This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
One of the most hotly argued points in the prepping community is whether it is advisable to “shelter in place” or stay in your home or bug out when there is an emergency. Many preppers would readily choose to shelter in place to be close to their emergency supplies. Staying put would also be easier if you have no bug out retreat or destination. I say it really depends on the type of disaster you are facing, so there is no definite answer to the shelter in place versus bugging out question. Even though we would all rather stay at home, there are five reasons you may have to bug out:
1. Natural disaster in your immediate region. When hurricanes approach, people are asked to evacuate if they are in the direct path of the storm. We’ve seen from previous disasters that in some cases, people in the worst hit areas who decided to stay put and become stranded and drowned.
2. Fire approaching. If you live in an area prone to wildfires, and one is headed in your direction, you will be asked to evacuate. Authorities go around the neighborhood announcing the threat and give residents about 15 minutes to pack up belongings and head out.
3. Industrial accident causing chemical spills, poisonous emissions or nuclear disaster. We’ve all heard about the recent anniversary of the Fukushima, Japan earthquake and many of the areas affected have still not recovered.
In Houston, certain neighborhoods that are close to industrial sites have been affected by chemical spills and noxious gases. In some cases, these neighborhoods have been evacuated. Residents are able to return only after the “all clear” has been issued. If you live in an area that can potentially be affected by these short term emergencies, have your go-bag ready and in a handy place at all times.
4. Infrastructure has widespread damage. If you live in an area that was hit by a disaster and has no electricity or water, with no estimate on when the fix will be made, you may want to get out and stay with relatives or friends for a while if you can. If there is no water for a long period of time, sanitation will become compromised. Similarly, if you live in an area where it gets hot or cold enough to endanger your health, and there is no power to make the house liveable, then you will be forced to leave the area.
5. Post disaster, widespread looting/crime with no law enforcement available. If you decided to stay put during a disaster but later find that there is no longer any “rule of law” being enforced in the area, then it will become too dangerous to stick around. You may want to stay and defend what’s yours but if there is a risk you become overrun by a greater number, then you must consider bugging out.
No one wishes for any of these situations to happen, but the possibility exists. The choice whether to stay put or bug out is entirely personal and will change according to circumstances. Picturing various scenarios and what you would do in each one will help you make your own decision when the time comes.
© Apartment Prepper 2013
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