10 Threats You Might Face When Bugging Out

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

When faced with a choice to stay home or bug out, most people would prefer to stay home.  But if there were some kind of widespread collapse, you may not have a choice but to evacuate.   In normal times, you could easily drive out of town and not have to worry about threats, but if it were a SHTF scenario, it would be totally different.   There will be many threats, and thinking about them now will help you be prepared.

Here are 10 threats you might face when bugging out

No traffic lights

If there is a power failure, traffic lights will not be working, leading to accidents and a traffic nightmare.  You need to be able to drive defensively and avoid main highways.  Make sure you have downloaded maps that can be used offline or paper maps for city, state or even inter-state driving.

Roving criminals or gangs

Whether you travel on foot or in a vehicle, you will need to be prepared for gangs that are trying to take what you have.  They will be armed with weapons or whatever they can find.   If rule of law has broken down, you will need to be able to either avoid them or defend yourself.

Lack of gas

Gas stations may not be open, or if they are open, they may not be accepting credit or debit cards.  Keep your gas tank at least half full in case of emergency.  If you store gas, make sure your canister is a no-spill container  You also need to have always have cash on hand just in case.

Lack of sanitation facilities

Rest stops and stores may not be open, and even if they were, it may not be safe to stop anywhere.  You may need to bring an emergency toilet with you, hygiene supplies or improvise using a five gallon bucket.

Vehicle is too small, or no vehicle

Some people who live in cities do not own a car, since everything is close by.  Or, their vehicle is too small to fit much of anything.  If you no longer have a car, you likely have friends or family who have one.  Before an emergency happens, have a plan on what you would do if you have to get out of the city.  Click here for some ideas if your bug out vehicle is too small.

No medical facilities

If you get hurt, there may be no doctors or hospitals available.  You need a first aid kit, dental kit and a supply of personal prescription medications.

Lack of water and food

To avoid having to find food and water on the road, you need to have a supply with you in the car.  You will need plenty of water, a way to purify water if you find it, and food.  Meal replacement bars can save space and give you much needed calories.

Extreme weather

Heat or cold can be a problem, especially if you are bugging out on foot.  You will need weather appropriate clothing, as well as protection from the sun, wind or cold, depending on the time of year.

Lack of communications

You may not have a way to communicate with others in your party, such as two way radios if cell towers are down.

No place to go

This will definitely be a problem when bugging out.  You should have an idea where you might head to in the event your town is no longer livable.  You may have relatives or friends you can head to, or at least have a plan to head to the next city or town that may not be threatened.


These are only a few threats that immediately come to mind in the event of a collapse.  I can’t even imagine how stressful it might be.  You will need to be prepared mentally to be able to cope with the changing situation.  No one wants to face such a widespread disaster, but imagining possible threats will help you prepare ahead of time.

© Apartment Prepper 2016



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  1. Minimalism ahead of time by only gets rid of unnecessary items but frees the mind of clutter. My goal is to only own what will easily fit into my car.

  2. Alot of people think about bugging out with a camper or trailer. Try that in the winter during snow or ice. I pulled a 20 ft construction trailer loaded appox 40,000 miles a year in Illinois. That will change your bugout plans fast .give it a try in snow or ice.

  3. Hi I’m saving food and water now because I know its coming soon,but my husband don’t believe it,how can I get him to see this is real,,? Thank you,,Toni in Colorado

    1. Hi Toni, Good question, thanks for the comment. Sometimes it is hard for people to imagine being in a disaster, or they don’t want to deal with it. Start small, just and do the practical ones first, such as having a good first aid kit in case someone gets injured at home, a car survival/emergency kit in case the car breaks down, and power outage supplies in case snow or wind knocks out the power, or save money and supplies in case a job layoff happens. These are all things that can happen to anyone. Also watch a few disaster type movies together, and consider what would you do if (fill in the disaster) happens. A lot of times unwilling partners become more accepting of being prepared and little by little will come around. Here’s an article about this: https://apartmentprepper.com/what-to-do-if-your-partner-thinks-prepared-paranoid/

  4. Toni, maybe start with a suggestion to be prepared if case there is a power outage that lasts for over a week. that might something that you husband can easily relate to or at least imagine in a plausible sense. Having lived in tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami threatened places all of my life, I/we have been prepared for such emergencies with a basic 6 month supply of water and food, medical, fuel, and defense preps. We started with a one month supply and went on from there. FWIW, a 6 month supply is a lot of work to organize and a lot of it would have to be left behind in the instance of an evacuation. Once you get him onboard with the 1 week scenario, have him consider a 1 month scenario – even if only a week of no power, it will take a lot longer for supplies and such to be restored when the power were to come back online. Check out images via google on how to store your supplies as well for the best use of rotating stock and saving space.

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