Bug Out or Bug In?

Editor’s Note: This resource has been revised and updated for 2019.

To bug out or bug in? That is a question that a lot of us may have given some thought to over the years. If you haven’t thought about it much then you probably should ask yourself some questions that will help you think more logically about it when the time comes.

Here are some questions to think about now but also ask yourself when a situation arises.

How long is the emergency likely to last?

While there are things that it may be impossible for you to know, an emergency that is only going to have a major impact for a few days or a week might mean that you are better off staying put and not contributing to congestion or involving yourself in large crowds. A little bit of civil unrest in town, for example, means that you should probably just stay in place.

The Nuclear Incident

A nuclear incident means get out ASAP and plan on staying gone a long time or possibly forever. In this type of situation, you might consider using your car to get as far away as you can and even dumping it and going on foot if it comes down to it.

Keep in mind that if you bug out of a nuclear zone, there may be checkpoints set up for evacuees. It is possible for you to have everything you have carefully chosen and packed, taken and disposed of because of the chance it is radioactive. Then you will have to depend on the state to help you.

Those that lived in the Fukushima nuclear zone were not allowed to go back for any items for 4 years.

Do you have the supplies you need to survive?

Notice I said to survive. Just because you don’t have everything you might want doesn’t mean you don’t have what you need for you and your family to survive. Risking safety to get unnecessary things can lead to tragedy. Just look at what happens when…

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