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Disaster Tip of the Week: Choosing Your Bug-Out-Location

Last week I talked about the first steps on deciding on what to include in your Bug-Out-Bag (BOB). As I mentioned one of the most important things about deciding on what to put into your BOB is how far away or how long it will take you to get to your Bug-Out-Location.

How you choose your Bug-Out-Location will depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • Can you afford to purchase your own location
  • Do you have a trusted group of people that can purchase a location together
  • Is it easy for you to get to
  • Can you get there if you had to walk
  •  Is it safe from the same or other potential hazards

If you’re lucky enough that you can afford to purchase your own location or to get in on one with some other people you will want to look for a location that is preferably in a different region from your main living location. The best site will be property you can purchase that also has access to water, hunting, wood, and enough space to grow your own food. Also take into consideration the security of the location as well.

If others can find it or know where it is, and you have supplies stocked up there is the chance that they could be gone before you get there or even worse taken over and occupied.

Again, consider how long it would take for you to get to the location. If you’re traveling alone and have the knowhow to survive the more remote and further away you can make your location. If you have a family that you need to take care of you MUST consider locating your Bug-Out-Location closer and will likely have to make it more accessible.

What if you’re not lucky enough to be able to afford your own property? The first thing I would do is find a relative or even a friend who lives either in a remote rural location. At the very least find a relative or friend that lives outside of the region in which you live that will not be impacted by the same event that would cause you to leave and seek shelter.

Once you choose the relative or friend, talk to them about your plans, and as a start offer to set them up at your location if something should happen to cause them the need to leave their location. Once you agree to work together in this respect, you can work together to get supplies and set up your Bug-Out-Location.

Another option you have especially if you live in an urban environment is to know where evacuation points and evacuation shelters will be during an emergency. Typically they will be in large schools, but not always. If you must, get involved with your community, or call your local Emergency Operations Center and ask them where the shelters are and which you should report to if a disaster occurs.

Know where these locations will be, and devise a plan to get to the shelter or evacuation points. If you’re in a situation where you need to utilize this option make sure you’re one of the people who get there early. Getting to them early is particularly important if the plan is to use these shelters as a staging point to get people onto other methods of transportation to relocate them out of the area. Make sure you’re on that bus, train or other means of getting out.

As a last resort you can always use the option of Bugging-In which is when you choose to stay put and wait out any event. Not the best option especially in a fire or flood situation and you’ll be taking your life into your own hands.


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Reader Comments (8)

Great post! There is so much to consider when looking at BOBing. One thing I like to tell friends and readers is to pack a simple BOB and head out on an overnighter. They are guaranteed to discover very quickly what the want to have in their bug out bags for emergencies! :)
Good post ... I like this post. Thank you for useful article.
December 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercgames
How I wish our friends from the Philippines could read this blog. They were a victim from the horrible tragedy brought by "Typhoon Washi".

So I hope you could promote this blog especially for those areas that needs our assistance.

Anyway, thanks for your post.
December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Planning before emergencies happen is especially important for people with disabilities. Also, for this population it is crucial that the local authoroties take their needs into account when designing disaster mitigation plans for the community.

yu can read more information about disaster preparedness, and in particular about people with disabilities in emergency situation, at:
January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca
This is a great post.
January 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael
Hi Francesca,

Thanks for sharing that, and yes disaster preparedness is important for people with disabilities, and special needs. In fact I did a post on that quite some time ago, if you get a chance you should check it out.

You can find it by entering disabilities into my search feature or try this link:
January 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterKeith Erwood
Thank you Michael
January 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterKeith Erwood
For someone new to prepping building a Bug Out Bag can seem like a big task. Everybody you read about has been tweaking theirs for months or even years and has a pile of gear built up. It’s hard to know where to start, but if you cover just all of the basics in a survival situation you will still be much better off that 99% of the people.

We started with one of the kits and added copies of important papers, extra clothing and an emergency radio too. It takes only a few minutes to pick out a kit that works for your family and have it shipped to you, instead of driving all over town trying to find all the items you need for a good bug out bag. Then spend a day reviewing the contents and adding your extras. Put it in the hallway closed by the door and it's ready whenever you need it. Total time spent probably 2 hours = Lifetime of Peace of Mind!
January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMitch

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