Will You Shelter In or Bug-out?
This may be the most important choice you have to make to survive an apocalypse. Sheltering in or traveling through a disaster is equally tough to pick from, but there are common sense ways to help you decide. Time is often of the essence during a disaster and not the ideal moment to be making these choices. How can you choose beforehand without knowing what horrible event is happening? Take it case by case.
Step 1: Consider the most common disasters
Fires and spills
Flooding and mudslides
Tornadoes and supercell storms
Hurricanes and cyclones
A Nuclear blast
A disease outbreak
A solar flare or EMP event
Step 2: Link them together
There are a lot more disasters that could happen, but if you prepare well for those above, you will have most of the others covered. For example, polar ice caps melting and flooding can be grouped. Likewise, rioting and looting can be hooked in with home and foreign invasions. Solar flares and EMPs are listed on the same line because they cause the same type of situation or danger. Fires and spills really can’t be conquered, so they’re together as disasters you have to bug out for.
Using these guidelines, you can add your greatest fears to one of the events above. I mean, if you've covered yourself for a nuclear bomb, any ‘normal’ blast might also be accounted for, right? Same for tornadoes and dust storms.
Step 3: Consider your shelter
Look through the above list and ask yourself if your shelter would work. Be realistic. Yes, your basement may protect you from a blast, but it will not keep out radiation unless you prepare it. Your country home may be ideal for hiding out from civil unrest, but do you grow your own food and have access to water? Do you have the chemicals stored to sterilize that water? Yes, you're near a river and you can combat light fires and droughts, but will you be caught in future flooding? Ask yourself the questions honestly.
I’m sure you’re realizing there isn’t one answer or one list for every situation. There is no one-fits-all size for disasters. Based on the information you’ve just gathered from asking the hard questions, make a list of the dangers you could face and go from there.
Step 4: Will my shelter withstand this?
Consider this one carefully. For example, most trailers can't withstand a tornado and an average basement won't be a great spot during an earthquake. Cities near missile silos may see preemptive action during a war. You have to consider the worst cases, to get to the best solutions.
Step 5: Who will be with you during the disaster?
Are your companions able to survive with the choice you've made? Can they travel? Run? Hide easily? Are they quiet or loud? Will they help with the work or will you have to carry them the entire trip? Do they need medicine you can't get by staying where you are? Do you have loved ones to gather up if it happens during school hours? All of these questions have to be answered before you can make a final decision on which option to take.
Survivalists are no longer being viewed as crazy in as many of their daily conversations. With all the violence and upheaval in the world these days, who wouldn't want to be prepared? Talk to other preppers or form a group of your own.
What if neither of these options will work?
Let me guess. You can't stay, but going doesn't seem to be an option either. You're between a rock and a hard place, right?
Yes, you are. The only choice you have is to prepare now, for at least one of the two. If medical reasons are keeping you from leaving a city area, but you’ll fear for your life there during a disaster, then you have to ask yourself if you can make your choice easier. Is there a way you can prepare for it, like stocking up on the medicines? Can you get it beforehand to make bugging out possible?
It is the same with sheltering in. If you need things that you won't be able to get while staying low, then ask yourself if you can make, grow, or raise any of the things you'll need. Do your neighbors grow, make, or raise it? Can you organize a supply line with them? Where there's a will, there's a way.
Steps to help You Pick: Stay or Go?
• Write down or copy/paste the list of disasters.
• Add your own nightmare scenarios.
• Decide which you can shelter in for and which you would have to flee.
•Start collecting tap water in approved containers. Store them out of sight. Weekly goal: 10 gallons stored. *You’ll need at least 1 gallon of water per day, per person. This includes drinking, cooking, washing, and personal hygiene.
• Read the next Hub: Apocalypse Conditions: Sheltering In Place
These are the first steps to learning how to survive Armageddon! Nice job on making it all the way through hub one. There are many different way to prep. If you don’t care for the quick and easy methods I’ve drawn up, just do a search for any of the topics we’ve covered here. Simply add ‘how to survive’ in front of it. There are millions of articles and videos online now, so you’re sure to find a plan that works for you.
What Comes Next?
Now that you have your list of disasters and choices on whether to shelter in or bugout for each one, you may feel daunted. Both choices are hard work to prepare for, but you've done a huge chunk of it already. By setting your mind to accomplishing these five steps, you've started a journey that may save you and your loved ones during a disaster. Don’t be discouraged. We’ll break it down into areas of importance, with homework at the end of each hub. All you have to do, is keep trying.
Most people will quickly understand that they have to have two plans and be ready to put either into motion at a moment's notice. It depends on the situation, of course, but it is a rare person who has a shelter that will cover them for the entire list of disasters. The rest of us have to make due with two plans.
In my next hub, we’ll begin talking about how to properly shelter in place, even if you're in a city. We cover things like using blankets and duct tape to keep from being seen, heard, or freezing, and even sanitation options.
Until next time, watch your six!
Sources and Notes
Other sources include blogs, websites, and personal information provided by preppers, medical staffers, mechanics, engineers, and many other career fields. I also have years of research, interviews, writing, and prepping experience. I hope you enjoyed your time with me. This is a series of Hubs on how to survive disasters (natural and manmade), with detailed topics and sub topics. By the end, you'll have all the steps, information, links, and suggestions you need to battle whatever apocalypse situation life throws at you.
Would You Live Here?
This is my ideal bug-out location. Why not use the comments to tell me about your perfect hideaway!
October 15th, 2013
The deadliest earthquake in 23 years happened in the Philippines in 2013. More than 200 people were killed, with 900 injured. More than 70,000 buildings or structures were damaged, with 14,000 being destroyed. The quake, which occurred on October 15, was the equivalent of 32 of the Hiroshima bombs. Three weeks later, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) came through and created an entirely new disaster.
2013 FEMA Disaster List
In 2013, there were 62 major disaster declarations by FEMA. Five of those were emergency disaster declarations. Floods, fires, tornadoes and storms, and hurricanes were the largest percentage, though there was an explosion and a few winter freezes. Check over this list to see what disasters have been near your home and your bug-out locations.
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This is a 1951 Cold War Public Service Guide Film