Yes, everybody should have a plan to “Bug Out”.

First, let us define the term bug out or bugging out:

A quick google search reveals that the term “Bug Out” means to leave quickly. Simply put, it means to evacuate.

Bug out definition

I’ve touched on the subject a little bit before in previous blogs. But, I’ve seen the discussion come up a lot more recently in several prepper groups that I’m a part of on Facebook. Surprisingly, a lot of people were advocating against bugging out. To be fair to them, I believe the premise behind their debate was that bugging out should not be your first option or, they live in rural areas where they don’t believe a bug out plan is necessary.

Let’s go ahead and put the bugging out debate to rest:

  • No, bugging out should never be something you plan to do as a first or only option. Bugging out is a last resort plan to evacuate your home or location because it has become too risky to survive. Meaning your current location is presenting a high hazard to your safety and/or your life.
  • Yes, everybody should have some sort of bug out plan created specifically for their situation.

Why should you have a bug out plan?

No matter where you live in the world, there is always a scenario that could happen where leaving your home is the best option for your survival. The scenarios are endless but, here are a few examples:

Pigeon Forge, TN Bug out situation

Gatlinburg, TN 2016 Wildfires Bug out situation Source: TN National Guard

  • Natural disaster threatens the safety of your home. Severe tornado warnings, flooding, earthquakes, wildfire, etc. (History gives us many examples where towns, cities and even rural properties needed to be evacuated. Example: Recent Tennessee wildfires that destroyed many homes in Pigeon Forge, TN)
  • SHTF has happened and your home or property has become compromised by an outnumbering or superior enemy. (Is it better for you and your family to die with pride or to survive and rebuild?)
  • Maybe you live in an urban environment and your area has been overrun by violent “protestors”.
  • Terrorist attacks. It’s a real possibility for a lot of people.

Examples of scenarios are endless. Each scenario is unique to your current environment. Prepare for the risks to your local area accordingly.

So, here we have shown that there is a reason to create and maintain a bug out plan. The only question remaining is at what point should you create your bug out plan?

At what point should you create your bug out plan?

To answer this question you need to evaluate the environment you currently live in and your current home situation.

  • Do you live in a high population dense area?Types of threats to bug out for.
  • Are you renting your current home?
  • Do you live in a high-risk flood area?
  • Is your home in a hurricane zone?
  • Does your area have tornados?
  • Are you in an urban environment? (regardless of how “good” your neighborhood is)
  • Does your county have a history of evacuations? (do some research)
  • Are you currently located near a nuclear power plant? If so, how far? Are you in the Severe Damage (SD), Moderate Damage (MD) or Light Damage (LD) zone? Use the NukeMap to figure out different nuclear scenarios.

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions then you should already have a bug out plan (evacuation plan). If you do not already have a bug out plan then I highly recommend that you begin gathering information to create one as soon as possible. Creating a bug out binder is ideal.

  • Is your closest neighbor a half mile or more away from your property?
  • Do you live in the mountains or desert?
  • Are the nearest signs of civilization too far to walk for the average person?
  • Do you live in a rural setting?
  • Do natural disasters occur in your area? (Can natural disasters occur in your area?)

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you are in an ideal situation for prepping. Your main focus for prepping should be preparing your home. However, I am under the belief that no one is truly ever finished preparing their home or property for disaster (or SHTF). Therefore, I recommend you make time to create a bug out plan. Bugging out is not as high on the priority list for people in rural areas. But, this does not mean a bug out plan should not be created.


Our greatest threats.

Our greatest threats to our survival are natural disasters and other humans. Naturally, if you are located in a more population dense area then other people probably pose more of a threat to your survival than natural disasters (not always the case though). By moving away from population dense areas you are minimizing the threat to your survival (in a SHTF situation but, also in everyday life). However, just because you minimized the risk from other people does not mean you have minimized the risk of natural disasters. As long as you are surviving there is and will always be risks, hazards, and threats to your survival.

We are more alike than we are different. 

As preparers for SHTF situations, as survival enthusiasts, as homesteaders, as bush crafters, and as preppers, we all have many things in common. If one of our common goals is to be prepared for horrible situations, then we should not be discouraging people from being as prepared as possible in any way they see fit. To the contrary, we should be encouraging it and offering advice to one another in an honest but respectful manner. Let’s face it, starting with a bug out bag is not a bad way to begin prepping.

Identify threats & hazards, Gather information (research), assess the risks, Prioritize threats & hazards, Prepare.

To read my blog about when to bug out and info about the predicament regarding when to bug out click here.

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