There is some odd terminology that you might see when you’re doing research on emergency preparedness. So, let’s talk about it!

Bugging In

‘Bugging in’ means you will try your best to stay in your home during any type of emergency situation. I believe this is the best thing to do during most emergency situations.  You have all of your emergency supplies with you and being in your home just gives you the comfort level to reduce the stress that comes with dealing with an emergency.

However, some emergencies are so catastrophic that you should add extra supplies to your emergency preparedness plans. If the world we live in now falls apart to the extent that there is no more law enforcement or military support or even if our government has totally collapsed that you will need to be able to help protect yourself and your family for a long period of time.

You have already determined that you are going to stay put even in this situation so you need to help hide in plain sight. When everyone runs scared, looking for supplies for their family because they were not as smart as you to prepare, they may be looking to take your stuff, even by force.

It doesn’t matter how good a person someone is, when your kids are starving you will do anything, even harm your neighbor to make sure they will survive. This is a harsh thing to say but it happens all around the world, even in the 21st century.

Critical supplies include black plastic (like trash bags) and blue painter’s tape so you can blacken out your windows. This will help you block out the light that is emerging from your home. When people are running around and they notice your candlelight or flashlights they might believe you have other supplies that can help their desperate needs. I also have added trash bags of clothes that don’t fit anymore so I can throw them on our lawn, making our house appear to already have been looted. This should give you some time to decide if it might be too dangerous to stay put.

Here’s an interesting video that may give you a new perspective on what might happen in a major emergency: The World After Armageddon.

Bugging Out

On the other hand, ‘bugging out’ is when you have to leave the safety of your home. You should add a ‘bug-out bag’ to your emergency planning supplies. This emergency pack will allow you to leave your home by car or even on foot and get to a safe place.

A few situations might force you to leave your home, such as severe storms, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, and civil unrest. The local government and emergency services should set up evacuation centers that you can go to, allowing you and your family to stay in a safe place. These locations will have supplies, but I would still recommend having my own emergency kit with water, food, and shelter items. You never know how overloaded an emergency shelter could become and supplies will get thin really quickly.

You also might want to research other places you can go during an emergency, just in case a designated emergency shelter can not help you because they’re at full capacity. Think about relatives or friends you can go to, but make sure you bring your supplies so you’re not a burden on their family. Remember what I said before, people will take care of themselves and family before they take care of you.

I would also have cash set aside so you can get a hotel room or buy some supplies. Cash is always a good idea just because even though a hotel or store might be open, they might not have the ability to accept your credit cards due to power or Internet failures. I also recommend you have cash in small denominations because no one is going to give you change when everything is falling apart around you.

I would have paper maps or printouts in your kits so you have the info you need to get to these locations. When dealing with an apocalyptic situation, cash may cease to be used as a currency and you will have to be able to barter items to get supplies or shelter you’re looking for.

Examples of items you can barter are cigarettes and alcohol. As an example, a family member of mine buys little alcohol bottles you find on airplanes as potential barter items. These items are inexpensive and desirable in emergencies.

As a substitute for paper currency, you can buy silver or gold. I tell people if you’re going this route, I would buy more silver than gold. Like I said before, no one is going to give you change, so if you need to trade precious metal for supplies you won’t mind losing an ounce of silver to get what you need but it will hurt the pocket if all you have is gold to get these supplies. I would get a couple of ounces of gold so you can barter for larger items like a gun to help defend myself and your family or a horse or even livestock.

Folks, please remember I am a prepper preparing for the worst, so I am getting prepared to help myself and my family through the toughest scenarios. You can never be fully prepared, but the more things you collect then the easier it will be for you and your family if and when a disaster strikes.

I highly recommend a book that really made me want to get prepared. It’s called One Second After. Read this book and I tell you it will change your life. This is a scenario that could really happen to us in our lifetime.

Please reach out to me if I can be of help!

Best regards,
Paul Lessard