Bugging in Place and Making Your Stand

One look at the state of world events should convince anyone that we are precariously close to an imminent crisis of unparalleled proportions. As intertwined as society has become, should one arm of our culture collapse, the ripples would be felt across the entire system, possibly precipitating a global collapse.

But even if such an imminent catastrophe doesn’t come to pass, smaller ones on a regional or local scale are sure to occur, from any number sources, be they natural disasters, terrorism, pandemic, or riots.

Don’t be fooled, those people in your community you see shopping in the same grocery store or with their families at the local park may soon be vying for the very food and water you hope to procure for your family.

All it will take is a few days of interruption in the trucking industry’s supply chain for our grocery store shelves to go permanently empty. And if you have supplies and others know it how long do you think they will let their loved ones suffer before taking action against you? As history shows, not long.

Just consider the facts. The population of the world has doubled in the last 35 years. Civic unrest affects nearly every nation on earth, including growing unrest in our own. Natural resources are being depleted at alarming rates, and people worldwide are steadily losing trust in their leaders and each other. Realistically, we can’t expect that things will simply ‘work themselves out’.

{adinserter bph}No, we have to prepare ourselves for a worst case scenario. Whether the crisis is an extended power outage due to some severe storm or a global calamity, you should prepare now to keep your family safe.

With some planning and preparations, you can confidently expect to see your loved ones through to the other side, while those less prepared end up as a statistic in some post disaster FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) report.

For most of us, shouldering our pack and taking to the road in a catastrophe wouldn’t be a realistic option, unless we have the fighting skills of Denzel Washington in the movie The Book of Eli. No, taking to the road in the midst of an extended crisis should be a last ditch effort when all other alternatives have failed.

For another post-apocalyptic movie reference consider The Road, where the man and his child expose themselves to one danger after another attempting to find a safe haven. Remember who took in the child at the end of the movie? The family that bugged in place and made a stand.

I’m not implying that these movies are realistic renditions of what we can expect should we shoulder our bug out bags and head out the door. But they do realistically show a lack of control over circumstances and expose vulnerabilities should we leave the relative safety of shelter.

Prepping to Bug In

A reactionary person is not one that is well suited for the future. Alternatively, success is determined in large part by the preparations one takes. Those that have prepped themselves both materially and mentally will naturally have the upper hand in a critical situation.

The first step is to take inventory and prepare your supplies. See to it that you have a suitable first aid kit, reserves of food and water, batteries, light sources, heating sources, etc. You can find plenty of articles about gathering the necessary resources elsewhere on this site.

I will emphasize one thing, however. Make sure that every piece of equipment and supplies are usable and working. For example, if you purchased a hand operated water filter make sure you know how it operates. Concerning foodstuffs, before you buy 100 lbs. of wheat or a box of freeze dried meals one, make sure you know how to use it, and two, make sure you can stand eating it.

Making Your Home Your Redoubt

Next take inventory of your home defenses. This is going to be your safe zone in an extended emergency so make sure it is up to snuff before a crisis hits. If supply trucks can’t gain access to your community within a few days, you can expect the unprepared to go to great lengths to secure rations and supplies.

One of the many advantages of bugging in place is that you know what your home’s strengths and weaknesses are, those of your community and neighbors, as well as the land characteristics. Even though you may be in the midst of a SHTF you’ll know if something seems out of place in your neighborhood long before you’d recognize the same danger in a strange location.

  • Something to consider now are the benefits of a home security system. Those with security cameras mounted outside your home will allow you to keep tabs on what’s happening outside without exposing you to detection or attack. Motion detectors that turn on outdoor flood lights will illuminate anyone stalking around your home. Not only will you see what’s going on outside but you won’t compromise your location like you would if you shined a flashlight out the window.
  • Your home should have deadbolts on every door. All exterior doors should be free of glass and made of steel. They should also have a peephole installed as an extra security measure.
  • Consider locking security bars or grates over all of your windows. In the event you need to escape your home they can be unlocked from the inside.
  • Keep landscaping under control so that it gives you clear lines of sight and doesn’t provide cover for would be intruders. It is especially important to keep your line of sight open around windows and doors.
  • Have preparations to cover the windows so that no light can be seen from outside. Make sure to keep noise levels down to a minimum as well.
  • Arm yourself only if you have no hesitations about using a firearm on another person. Otherwise, the firearm in your home may be used on you.
  • Consider alternative means of protection. For example, bear spray will lay low a number of intruders with one burst of spray and is potent enough to permanently blind anyone hit directly in the eyes.

Finally, have an escape plan for a last ditch effort to keep your family safe. Should circumstances force you to leave, it is best to have some plan in place for where you will go. If you have to leave your home because it is being attacked or from some other chaotic event, make sure your family has a nearby safe location they can meet up at before moving on.

Even though you plan to shelter in place, it is a best practice to have a bug out bag prepped and at the ready for each member of your family. Scout out a location where you and your family can relocate to if absolutely necessary. The closer the better.

Prepping Yourself

Now is the time to shore up your mental attitude towards prepping. Preppers strive to attain self-sufficiency in a time of crisis. But how about now? Do you practice self-sufficiency in your daily life, or do you find yourself relying on others for your daily needs?

Case in point, how much debt are you in? Debt can slowly creep up and essentially take away our freedom before we realize it. If you are swamped in bills you are wasting a precious resource, money, that could be going to improving your preps.

If this describes your situation, look into digging yourself out of the hole by taking a second job or looking into other options if you are deeply in debt. The end goal is to free yourself of the shackle of debt. Practice living well within your means (or below your means) and just like prepping, seek out the advice of respected authorities on the subject, such as the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Prepping should also include a routine of regular exercise. When a crisis comes along your fitness will play a role in how you handle it, even if you are confined to the inside of your home. Surviving a crisis takes a physical and mental toll on the body, so the fitter you are the better decisions you’ll be capable of making.

A crisis of any duration will expose your body to a large amount of stress it is unaccustomed to. Being in good physical shape will help you think clearer and react better than those who are accustomed to spending their free time in front of a screen.

If you have no plan for surviving you will be of no use to yourself or your family in a crisis. Have a viable plan of action for bugging in and continually look for ways to improve it. In addition, prepare yourself mentally and physically for the stresses of facing whatever catastrophe, social or environmental, that may come your way.


This article has been written by Lucas Nicholson for Survivopedia

Written by

Lucas Nicholson has been in the home security field for over ten years. Living through several hurricanes as a kid has instilled in him the value of taking a proactive approach to prepping for whatever may come.

Latest comments
  • Not a bad article, but I do take issue with 2 points:
    1) In “The Road”, the family that took in the boy after the father dies had not bugged in. They had themselves been following the man and his son in search of a safe haven. They were the ones trying to gain access to the underground bunker the man & son had found.

    2) If one isn’t willing and able to arm themselves and use firearms in self defense, then you are probably doomed. Every unarmed person/family WILL be stripped of everything they have by others. Look at what happened in New Orleans during Katrina, and Argentina for recent examples. Your only hope might be to find a prepping group willing to take you in due to some skills you have they don’t; or maybe you could start a group in which others would be willing to be fully responsible for your security. Good luck with that.

    • KJQ is absolutely right. The ‘Book of Ely’ was interesting but not realistic. The message in the ‘road’ was kind of metaphorical. the inland was pretty much devastated out and everybody who was able headed out to the seashore where sea life and better survival resources might be available. Which is where most of the early primitive humans lived to begin with. Sort of like a… ‘well, we killed ourselves off, so now we gotta start all over again’.

      The real thing won’t be anything this above article can prepare you for. It’s nothing but a mini-knock of off one of the early ‘panic surivival’ manuals called ‘Survive in Place’ which i had issues with since it first was published. It was all wrong.

      I hate to whip my 40 plus years of every conceivable advanced military and police survival education AND hands on experience including heavy guerrilla fighting, and emergency evacs (bug outs on steroids) rescues and etc…

      But i can’t let the nice people in Survivopedia get misled to a point that could hurt them.

      First off, remember the hard to accept reality of the ‘survival scenario’. If it’s something other than a local disaster where outside help will eventually come, like even this 8 foot snow storm yesterday, which if you just had a week’s supply of food and heat, you could ‘vacation right through it’ because not even a lot of power went out…Most of the population will either be dead or close to it.

      Because in a very bad world/Country wide disaster like a bad EMP or computer hack virus, or attack that literally destroys most of the power grid in the country, all the food you stock or deadbolts you put on doors in in the world won’t protect you from what happens next.

      If a pandemic outbreak gets ‘out of control’ you won’t believe how vulnerable you’ll still be because of factors never mentioned in articles like this above even if you have all the best firepower and ammo in the world.

      Things like putting ‘black out’ shades to prevent light from escaping!’ Any special forces guys will laugh at you for this.

      As far as security bars/doors and such. Unless it’s a brick house, an ambitious intruder can smash right through your typical frame house wall between the 16″ studs right through the siding, right through the dry wall and insulation, in a few minutes with a pick or a big axe.

      Or, they’ll just ‘smoke’ you out.

      There’s more, but i don’t have the time to go into the details now.

      Just remember this. When a urban population goes into total chaos, the police will leave and just let it burn itself out. At best them might ‘surround’ the area with national guard and police but if the whole country is in chaos, there won’t be ANY help. you’ll be on your own. But you won’t BE alone because everybody will be killing everybody else for whatever they can get. And sooner or later they’ll find you.

      So your only hope to ‘Survive in Place’ is going to be to get OUT of the place you’re in to a safer one elsewhere, and then survive in place there. If you get into the habit of going on proactive self alerts in total awareness of what’s going on in the country, you’ll have plenty of time to Bug Out before the last minute death race. And even if it was a ‘false alarm’, and you were safely in your ‘out of town’ location’ sipping your brandy while watching the news as to why all the emergency rooms in your city were shutting down, and it turned out it was a ‘legal CDC regulation thing’ instead of an actual Outbreak of H1N1, you’ll be smiling at the good fortune of not believing in ‘false alarms’. Because it just as easily could have been the ‘real thing’.

      Also any ‘group’ you ‘think’–but don’t actually KNOW will help each other is nothing more than an exercise in ‘misery loves company’ and will more likely be a detriment to your security. The only exception is a well trained group who takes themselves seriously enough to put at least the amount of time and effort into prepping, practicing and planning that they would with their softball or golf games.

      Remember, trust and reliability are the only human values left in an end times scenario. But You’ll be quite shocked at how the people you thought the most of, suddenly turn out to be your worst enemies. People come together when someone needs help ONLY if the situation is not reversed on them. When everybody will be in trouble and need, the humanity disappears rapidly. The more limited your human association is when the time comes, the more likely you’ll survive.

      In any case, ‘Surviving in Place’ during a major catastrophe can only be achieved in a relatively remote and secluded area that has a sustainable privacy equation.

      So if you worry about it seriously enough, you’ll find a rural location (with the economy the way its been a lot of people are selling some nice little cottages on a couple acres deep in the woods/hills) within a gas tank’s drive from your city dwelling and set it up for private ‘get away’ quiet time on weekends. Make sure it can’t be visible from the road and that’s about as good as it gets, depending upon how ‘well’ you ‘set it up’.

      And here’s where i like to ‘slap’ most of the so called survival experts. Ask yourself what the most important physical survival aspect of your discreet bug out location will then be?

      Hint, it’s not what you think.

      And DON’T tell any of your friends, and in most cases even your extended family about it. Unless you have somebody of serious like mindedness and trust to go in on it with you.

      Good luck.

  • I can’t believe that the authorities actually had to deliver emergency food to people in Buffalo because of the snow. What kind of people are these, who don’t keep spare food.Why should authorities have to waste their time and endanger themselves? These recipients ought to be made to pay a heavy fee for the service.
    Do they all have flat or no spare tire in their car too? And dead batteries in their smoke detectors? Or no spare underwear?
    Unbelievable. There are ants and grasshoppers for sure

  • “bear spray will lay low a number of intruders with one burst of spray and is potent enough to permanently blind anyone hit directly in the eyes.”
    Permanently? I think not. Also bear spray is LESS potent than people spray, from what I read .
    “Bear spray is similar to pepper spray but is not the same thing. Though they both contain the same active ingredient — oleoresin capsicum, bear spray contains a much lower concentration.

    A typical pepper spray used for self defense will have an oleoresin capsicum (OC) concentration of about 10% or higher. A typical bear spray has a oleoresin concentration of about 1 – 2 %.

    The goal of using bear spray is to scare off an attacking bear, not cause it to become incapacitated and incur serious pain. That’s why bear spray only requires a small amount of active chemical — just enough to irritate the bear and cause it to back off.”

    Kinda like Gorilla glue? Sounds fierce, must be better.

  • We are all on an oil food chain. If the trucks are not delivering food we are in trouble. Even more dangerous is interruption of the supply of potable water.
    Humans can only go a couple of days without water, but can go weeks without food.
    Store plenty of water!

    • I agree that water storage is a critical component in any SHTF survival plan. But also critical is water purification capability. There may be tons of water out there that are completely unsuitable for drinking but that can be purified via having a really good filter system.

  • Reply to Mahatma Muhjesbude.
    I like your writing style and especially what you have shared! Excellent info

  • You guys are wonderful. I only wish I had some resources to mpve (bug out)
    How ever a thought to some of your subscribers. Do you want to go quick
    or do you want to live through a hell. At my age I am not so sure my last ten years would be worth the agony. Also I am alone. For younger people with families go for it.

    • I think you’d be less despondent, Jack, if you ‘got out and did something’ a little more. Even if it’s just going to a gun show or community event. Start talking to people and You won’t be alone anymore. And if you make it through the next ten years, Science will have improved so much as to almost guarantee another 20 to enjoy if you have the right attitude.

      I’m not a religionist but just going to any community church’s ‘activity night’ is a good way to find ‘like minded’ souls and companionship.

      In my rather extensive knowledge of this subject, you’d be surprised that the reality is that most of the best ‘preppers and survivers’ are Senior Citizens!

      Remember, “Old Dudes and Dudesses in old trucks RULE”!

      • I am 66 and alone in an apartment in a large urban area. I walk as often as possible til the weather gets too hot here in florida, then I exercise inside my building on the stairs and hallways. ive been a prepper all my life because my parents were preppers and I plan on taking care of myself as long as possible. I talk to a few neighbors about my lifestyle and try to help them get organized as much as possible. I have no way of leaving my area in the case of a disaster so I will stay where I am and survive as long as I possibly can on my own or with a few friends, if possible.

  • I’m 22 working in an office & my sister 19 is in college what should b in our personal bug out bags ?

    • If you and your sister are good looking all you’d need in your ‘bob’ is my BOL address, lol!

      What you need in a bug out bag depends upon how far you’re going to where you don’t need it any more.

      What city are you in? Do you and your sister even have a plan?

  • This is a good article. Some people will have no choice but to stay in place because of age or health problems. My daughter believes we should bug out but I believe we should stand out ground and fight. There is three big problems with bugging out for me. 1- My wife is sickly. I don’t think she could stand the stress. 2- I have a water well here and plenty of water. Bugging out will require our families to carry at lease 100 gallons of water. Thats 800 lbs. of water. 2- When you bug out who will you bug into. They will probably be just as armed or more armed as you. When they take all you have you are dead anyway.