17 Things to Do or Check before Bugging Out
The Internet is filled with various lists of what to pack in your bug out bag, what kind of bug out bag to buy, how to pick a bug out location, how to choose a bug out vehicle, and what to pack in that vehicle. It seems that the topic of bug out supplies and how to carry them has been covered ad nausea by most prepper sites. If you’ve got your bug out bag packed, you may think you are ready for anything. But the reality is that when disaster strikes, you can’t just grab your bug out bag and head out the door.
Here are seventeen things that you will need to do or check before bugging out if you want to increase your odds of making it safely to your bug out location. Some of them will apply to your situation and some may not but they are all worthy of your consideration, way before the time comes to grab that bug out bag and before you set foot out the door!
Factors to Consider Prior to Bugging Out:
- What are the demographics of your town?
Knowing details about the people in your town will help you estimate just how many people will be on the roads, and where so you can detour around these places.
- Where are the geographic bottlenecks that will become jammed with traffic and that you want to avoid?
Avoid bridges, interstates, intersections, etc. where traffic will quickly jam up.
- What are the high population density locations, like trailer parks, housing developments, apartment complexes, condominium complexes?
People will be leaving in droves and thus intersections and roads near these areas will be jammed.
- What is actually going on? How large an area is being affected?
Understand the scope of what has happened to know if you might be able to return in the future.
- Are others evacuating already?
Use an alternate route that doesn’t involve roads, such as railroad tracks or subway tunnels.
- If something goes wrong and you have to abandon your bug out vehicle, can you do it quickly. Know that you still have enough vital supplies?
- How long will you wait before bugging out? What factors will tip the scale for you?
If family members are separated and you haven’t decided these things in advance, you could waste valuable time.
- If an evacuation happens during school hours, where will your children be taken to and how will you get to them?
Not being prepared for this can really throw a wrench into the best bug out plan.
- Where is the nearest source of water to your home and on the way to your bug out location?
- Where is the nearest area to your home where you might be able to stay temporarily?
This could be a state park, empty building, or any place you can build a temporary bug out shelter.
- Do you have a back-up of important documents and family photos on a USB drive or another storage device that can be protected and transported during a bug out?
- If your current food stockpile were to run out or worse be stolen from you by looters, are there places nearby that you could find food?
This could include wild edibles, nearby abandoned food pantries, a stocked fish pond or lake, etc.
- Where will you and your family members rendezvous if you are separated and can’t communicate?
Make sure you plan for several locations between home and the bug out location in case any are compromised. Plan a way to leave messages that only family will understand.
- How long will each person wait at a rendezvous point before moving on?
This is crucial so that family members don’t waste valuable time waiting for someone who isn’t able to rendezvous.
- Is it feasible for you to have a few hidden caches of supplies along your bug out route?
If you do hide supply caches, make sure all family members or group members know their locations.
- What is your level of physical fitness?
Will you and family members be physically able to travel the distance needed to reach safety? Make sure you take physical fitness levels into account when creating your bug out plan.
- Do you have the proper tools and supplies on hand to turn off utilities quickly and secure your home against looters or damage from flooding, etc.?
There is no such thing as a foolproof bug out plan. Give consideration to the 17 things to do or check before bugging out that we’ve listed above. It will certainly increase the odds that you can effectively handle whatever might occur. Did we miss something that you considered when making your bug out plans? Let us know in the comments.