Bug Out or Stay Put?
[Preparation and Assessing Threats for the correct course of action]

The goal of this blog is to encourage Planning and Preparation for emergencies or changes in resources, the environment or economy. Of all the "emergencies" I've experienced, I never needed to leave my house? Staying put was the best place to be. Of all the other things that "could" happen, staying put (Shelter-In-Place) will, most likely, be the best option than evacuating ("bugging out"). So, when I see some of the extreme evacuation preparations on TV or read the plans for putting so much time and money in preparing to leave "just in case", I think just how likely is that going to happen and could the efforts be better spent on surviving where they are.

In one of my former roles, I did Risk Assessments and have applied this process to my Emergency Planning. I make a list of my assets and think of the potential threats against my assets, then try to determine the likelihood (how often) those threats could occur, then identify the plans and resources I have to protect and respond to those threats. 99.99% of the time, I will be staying home. So, most of my planning is based on staying home. However, I do have plans for relocating on that rare occasion. Part of that plan is being able to quickly mobilize, what I have prepared for staying home, to a predetermined evacuation location. Do you live near a plant that manufactures or stores dangerous chemicals, a nuclear power plant, in an area susceptible to tornados, fires or flooding? You need to evaluate the potential threats where you live and work and plan accordingly.

I try not to think in the extreme; the simpler the better and easier to remember. For example, instead of an underground bunker, my plans include visiting a friend or family member several hundred miles away toting all my home-prep stuff with me in my pickup truck. Naturally, I must know that they are not be facing the same predicament that I'm running away from. Fortunately, my friends and family extend to many states far and wide.

When something happens, you will need to decide to do one OR the other or one THEN the other. THE most important thing is to HAVE A PLAN, and the preparations, for the decision you make.

The moral of this Posting is, think of what could happen and how often it could happen and plan and prepare logically and sensibly so that your planning efforts are focused properly. There are two basic intelligent choices. A third choice (don't plan and just wing it) boggles my mind, and I would rather believe that the readers of this blog are more intelligent than that, so let's stick with only choices 1 and 2:

1 - STAY PUT (Shelter In Place):
Learn how to evaluate When Bugging Out Is not an Option. Stay where you are (Shelter In Place) at your home, or at work, and be able to Survive Where You Are for a reasonable period of time without any outside assistance.
Tips For Sheltering In Place

2 - BUG OUT (Evacuate):
Quickly and efficiently evacuate your home, or work, and travel to a predetermined destination . . . know where you will go, what you will take and how you will get there. Usually, it is best to leave under the cover of darkness. Dark clothes (and dark vehicles) will be beneficial.

Essentials for Choosing the Perfect Bug Out Location
Shelters for Off-Grid Living and Emergencies

If you must travel on foot, walk silently in a single file (if there are multiple people in your party) for the appearance of a single person from the front or rear of the column to help reduce attention to the exodus. Reference: Escape and Evade

Dangerous Hiking Mistakes Most People Make: When planning a hike, keep in mind to have a solution for the following . . . even highly experienced mountain packers can get into trouble – in a heartbeat.

When is it time to evacuate? If you bug out too soon, you may discover the emergency was not really as bad as first thought, wasting time and resources. But if bugging out too late, you could find yourself in a worse position than you were in had you stayed.

Considerations for a Bug Out (R.E.D.O.U.T.)
Staying Tuned to the News is staying informed of the situation to make an educated decision. The acronym R.E.D.O.U.T. may give some idea of when it's time to implement your bug out plan. Any one or combination may send you packin'.

Some references to consider:

See Also:
Preparing a Bug Out Bag
Things To Do Before An Extended Leave From Home
Bug-Out Vehicle Considerations