Monday, June 6, 2011

Bug In - An Introduction

How one should best prepare for a Crisis or Survival Situation is a well debated subject. Within the Survivalist and Prepper Movement there are two main strategies that dominates the approach to Crisis and Disaster Preparedness: Bug In and Bug Out. Bugging In or Bug In refers to a strategy that focuses on having the capacity to deal with a crisis or survival situation in the home. Bug Out Refers to having the option of evacuation if this would be needed.
In this introduction article I will discuss some of the factor that you will have to take into consideration when deciding what you should focus on for a Bug In approach. All locations are unique and this is just some of the factors that you may have to take into considerations.

1.) Climate
The Climate where you live in one of the most critical aspects when it comes to what strategies that you should focus on if you are preparing to Bug In. What type of temperatures and weather do you normally encounter? Do you live in a climate where Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Blizzards, Wild Fires, Extreme Heat or Extreme Cold can be a factor? Another critical factor is the seasonal variations in your climate.

2.) Setting
Your setting is also critical aspect that must be taken into consideration. Do you live in an Urban, Sub-Urban, Rural or Wilderness setting? Is your Home located near the sea, a river or lake? What type of terrain surrounds your local setting?

3.) Type of Housing
Another aspect is what type of housing that you are living in. Do you live in a House, Apartment or on a Farm? Many not have their own housing but may either rent a room, live with their family or live in other small types of accommodations like student rooms. How many people are there in the household?

4.) Access to Water
One of the most important factors for survival is water; a human will only survive a few days without water. Some settings like cities located in the desert may be almost totally dependent on water from other locations in order to maintain the needs of the city. How much rainfall do you get every year, is there nearby sources of water like lakes or rivers? If there are local sources to water how far away are they located from your home and is it safe to drink this water without treatment?

5.) Energy
What kind of energy systems do you relay on in your home? Some common types of energy that people depend upon are Electricity, Natural Gas, Oil Heaters, Wood Stoves and District Heating. Most people rely on electricity but other may also be dependent on Natural Gas or Oil for heating or remote heating in some cities.

5.) Transportation
Another critical aspect for your approach is your need for transportation. How long do you have to travel in order to get to work? How long are the distances you have to travel to hospitals, first responders, grocery stores and other types of services that you depend upon? How many vehicles are there in the household and is it possible for you to bike or walk for your basic needs like groceries? What other types of transportation is available like buses, airports, ports, railways and subways?

6.) Budget, Work and Income
People with a high budget can afford solutions that are not accessible to everyone like owning a farm or living in a gated community. How much income do you have every month and how big is your expenses? Economical Preparedness is also a critical part of Crisis and Disaster Preparedness and is often a prerequisite for many solutions.

Urban Environments often provide more opportunities for finding an income and work than a rural setting. The access to more specialized stores and education is often higher in larger cities as well and this is some of the driving forces behind the urbanization trend in the world today. The high population density of cities can however lead to many casualties if a disasters strikes and make evacuations a problematic process.

7.) Your Social Network
Another critical aspect for a Bug In approach is the proximity to your friends, family and social network. Is your family located near or are they located far away? Do you know your neighbors and what kind of relation do you have with them?

8.) Storage Solutions and Keeping an Inventory
All homes have different potential for storage, if you want to be able to store supplies you must find solutions that allow you to access the equipment that you may need and make it easy to organize. Keeping an inventory is also critical so that you what you got and where you can find it.

9.) What Kind of Scenarios Do You Prepare For?
Maybe the most important aspect to your approach is the risks that you are facing and what type of scenarios that you are trying to prepare for. What types of Natural Disasters are common in your area? Are Hurricanes, Wild Fires, Blizzards, Floodings, Tornados, Earthquakes or Tsunamis a potential problems? Are there other types of man-made threats like chemical plants, nuclear power plants or hydro plants in your proximity? By making a Risk Assessment you can get an idea of some of types of scenarios that could possibly affect you.
• How long do you want to be able to make it without external assistance?
• What are the most critical areas that you want to cover?

A remote rural or wilderness setting is often described as the most ideal setting to cope with a Crisis or Survival Situation. As I see it there is no perfect location that is superior, all locations have their pros and their cons and you must do the best you can with what you got.

A remote area may be a nice place for a recreational house but there are many disadvantages for this type of setting as well; you may have to travel long distances in order to get supplies and groceries, medical assistance in case of accidents may be far away, you may be very dependent on vehicles for transportation, there may be less specialized resource to cope with a crisis in than in a large city and most importantly it can be hard to find a source of income.

• You can store much more supplies in your Home than you could ever carry in a Bug Out Bag
• Your Home Provides an excellent shelter against the elements
• You often know your local terrain, local hazards and the people around you

• Your Home and all your supplies can be possibly be destroyed by a number of events like a fire, hurricane, tornado, tsunami, earthquake or other types of disasters.
• Some scenarios like a Hurricane, Earthquake, Volcano, Wildfire or Tsunami may require an evacuation no matter if you would like to or not and you may have to abandon your home.

Bug In and Bug Out are two strategies that are often combined; personally I recommend that you should have the capacity to do both in case of an emergency.

Other Articles:
The Bug In Plan
Risk Assessments
Equipment For Your Home - Checklist

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