Hunkering Down or Bugging Out
Listen here: http://youtu.be/8wor2LSlfMU
(Image via ReadyNutrition.com)
One of the first things you have to consider when you are in the planning stages of disaster preparedness is deciding whether you want to try to stay, leave, or prepare for both scenarios.
In some situations it might be better to try and hunker down either at home or in a safe place. As long as you have the necessary supplies and a fortified location, this option could work.
However in the event that there is a mandatory evacuation or the situation becomes highly dangerous, you may also have to Bug Out.
**One thing to remember when prepping is stay on budget. Our family, like some of yours, is on a limited budget. We are an average low-income family and so we do what we can, when we can.
Don't sink your family in debt just to prep! In theory, that might help you later, but it's not worth compromising your families finances and more importantly your relationships now. Shop around, compare and find the best deals: Do the Math!
Don't overspend on items for a brand name, instead look at the quality and durability.**
If you choose to try to wait out a disaster, make sure you have the needed items it will take for you to get by. (Personally, I would recommend stockpiling at the least 30 days of supplies, per person)
Fire- Methods of fire-starting for cooking & warmth
Water- for drinking, cooking, personal hygiene & pets
Food- Remember nutritional sources of food will help keep up your energy levels, digestive tract working properly, and stress levels down; among other things. Remember: Formula for the little one and specialty items needed for them also (30 day supply).
Shelter- Make sure where you're staying is fortified, remember you have supplies, others won't, and some won't hesitate to try to get yours. Depending on the severity of the situation you may have to board windows, fortify entrances, and try to stay out of sight.
Signaling- Have a way to signal for help if needed
Security- Have defense systems of some kind, if you have a weapon make sure you have ammo. If you chose to not use weapons, have other methods of defense. Make sure everyone knows how to safely handle and use all weapons*.
*You're not Rambo, be realistic and always use common sense with weapons!!!
Medicine & First Aid- Make sure you have basic medicines that you might need and a good first aid kit. If you have a family member that requires a daily medicine, try to store some up for emergency's. Some of these can include insulin, asthma medicines, heart medicines, blood pressure medicines, and pain medicines for chronic conditions.
Fuel- Remember situations can change instantly and though you may hate too, you might be forced to leave. Have enough fuel, a full tank for your vehicle or enough to get you at least 100 miles. Fuel can be stored and it's shelf time extended, by adding a fuel stabilizer.
This is where your preparedness gets really tested, time to break out those bug out bags!!!
If you already have a B.O.L (Bug Out Location), then it is highly recommended that you stock up this location beforehand. In some situations you may have to leave with minimal supplies, or nothing at all. You will still need all of the above supplies, but a few additions:
1. Take Bug Out Bags/72 hrs. Bags (Each Adult or those who can carry one)
2. Don't forget about the weather, dress accordingly, and wear proper footwear such as sneakers, or hiking boots.
3. Take a map and have alternative routes planned ahead.
4. If leaving on foot, tether your children to you if there are crowds.
5. Stay Calm and Don't Panic!
In extreme situations, if you don't have a B.O.L you may need to learn to live off the land. There are many resources to examine types of edible plants, snaring, and food scavenging. We will look much further into that later in the discussions.