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Friday, July 17, 2009

Ask The Survival Mom: Hunker Down vs. Bug Out?

Author: The Survival Mom

Reader DJF read “Organize to Evacuate“, which you can read here, and had this to say.

Good work and great page!

I would like to mention one thing, though. I’ve heard a lot of folks going with the “bug out” idea. Now, if you had a week’s warning that something was happening, it might make sense. So it doesn’t hurt to be prepared BUT!! In general, I think the “bug out” option is not very viable.

First, there will be ten thousand other folks trying to do the same thing. The roads will most likely be impassable.

Second, in the event of empty supermarket shelves or stuff like that, you would be putting your life at risk by traveling, even if well armed.

Third, I think you would be far better off IMMEDIATELY organizing with your neighbors to set up guard watches and divisions of responsibility.

Just my thoughts.

So, which is it? Do you hunker down in an emergency or bug out?

The Survival Mom:

DJF, actually, I agree with you. I’ve heard it said that once the authorities give the word to evacuate, it’s already too late. In other words, you should get out when your own eyes and ears tell you it’s time and not rely on an official directive. Your assessment of road conditions in an evacuation is right on.

Once you leave your home, even if you’re well-armed, you’ve just become another refugee. You are highly vulnerable until you reach your destination. I don’t like that option, but in many cases, there’s no other choice. In the case of natural disasters, for example, potential or actual structural damage to your home and the surrounding areas may require bugging out as the only safe option.

Hunkering down has its’ own pros and cons. It really depends on what type of crisis you’re experiencing or expecting. By staying put, you’re gambling that you will be ABLE to get out later, if need be. In a martial law scenario, you may be prevented from leaving. Also, if the crisis continues long-term, supplies will run low for everyone. You may end up at the mercy of government officials handing out boxes of food and bags of ice, if that. Could be a horrific scenario.

On the other hand, at home you’re in familiar surroundings with neighbors who, hopefully, will be willing to join with you in sharing resources and protecting property. All your stored gear and food will be in one place. You know the neighborhood, the businesses and all the routes to and from. If you have kids, remaining in their own home will almost surely be less traumatic.

A final thought. Consider the home itself. Is it defensible? What is the construction like? If you stay put, can you be sure of a long-term clean water source? Do you have neighbors you can count on or will they be part of the problem? The room I’m sitting in right now has five large windows on three walls. It’s a nice feature, unless you’re concerned about armed groups of zombies roaming neighborhoods in search of food! Critique your own home, and if hunkering down is your first choice, take steps now to “harden” your home against both natural disasters common in your part of the country as well as the criminal element.

Ultimately, our most important survival tool is our brain. If you prepare for both hunkering down and staying put, you’ll be ready for whatever the future brings.

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