REFUGE BY SAFECASTLE: Search results for bug out or dig in

There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bug out or dig in. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query bug out or dig in. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bug-Out-or-Dig-In.com: Cool Interactive Infographic Resource


Preparedness 101
What's Your "Plan A" - Bug-out or Dig in? 

Is "Plan A" to "get out of Dodge" in the event of a pending or sudden crisis? Or is "Plan A" to "bunker down" at home?

An intelligent approach to crisis preparedness planning requires consideration of specific crisis scenarios as well as individual constraints and limitations. Thinking about it before the pressure is on helps you arrive at the right decision when the time comes.   

Pre-crisis--honestly assess your general options, constraints, overall risks, and best odds for surviving and thriving.   

Options for most people are usually an either/or proposition:
  • Stick it out at home where your supplies, tools, and community support network are established.
  • Bug-out to a hoped-for relative place of safety.   
Best odds are arrived at by looking at the strength and position of your home and community vs. the circumstances of the crisis. For most people, "Plan A" in many events would be to "dig-in" and fortify at home. However, there ARE events when bugging out is the smart move.   

Bug Out Or Dig In?
Want Help Calculating Your Best Option?

Here is a very cool interactive graphic to plot some of your strengths, weaknesses, and potential crisis scenarios:  bug-out-or-dig-in.com

Share this tool with your friends and use it as a starting point for discussion.

What a great way to break the ice about preparedness with those who are still "on the fence" about preparedness!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Will You Run or Gut It Out?

There's a fundamental “either-or” decision that often has to be made in the face of impending crisis. That is, flight or fight ... bug out or dig in ... run or gut it out.

We all need to be prepared for either side of that equation. It's great to have stacks of stored food, tools, and supplies in the basement, because there are plenty of scenarios where all those resources will serve you well. But there are also a myriad of cases where the smart money picks up and gets out of Dodge. In that kind of situation, it's often going to need to be done on a moment's notice, so we need to have some resources packed and ready to go.

It's not easy making the right decision. Some folks have a hard time leaving their homes and possessions behind if there is a risk everything will be lost or destroyed. One memorable example was an old fellow named Harry Truman who, in 1980, refused to leave his lodge on Spirit Lake in the shadow of the building eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. He had run the lodge since 1928, and his stubborn refusal to abide by evacuation orders was given much media attention at the time. Of course he and his beloved lodge were lost in the catastrophic eruption ... his body was never found.

Stubbornness, fear, or ignorance often prevent folks from recognizing the nature of impending risks and to fairly weigh their options. Or perhaps it is courage that differentiates one man’s action from another.
Clearly, paralysis is far easier to give in to than to overcome. How many folks lost their lives to Hurricane Katrina because they did not evacuate, in spite of the most urgent warnings given by authorities? Certainly thousands.

Sometimes, warnings leave no time for thought or doubt. Imminent dangers leave logical, instinctive survival responses to rule. For example, there in the last several years, there were two devastating tsunamis in Asia. Telltale natural clues and as well as last-minute urgent warnings from authorities allowed many to take immediate evasive actions that saved their lives. Wildfires or forest fires often provide some small window of opportunity for evacuation for those in their path. People who see an approaching tornado do not dally and over-think their options--they either get into their available shelters or they flee if none are available, depending upon their proximity to the funnel cloud.

A list of potential threats would be endless. Sometimes, we are given days to mull over our course of action. Other times only minutes or seconds.

Of course, there are plenty of events where no warning is given ... such as major earthquakes, industrial accidents, terror attacks, and on and on. In those events, survival can be affected by instantaneous reactions. Basic survival instinct can spell the difference between life or death.

The bottom line is, when we are given fair warning of impending disaster, we must be physically and mentally prepared to make the right moves.

Basic Choices and Pre-Positioning Your State of Mind

We can boil down our basic choices in an effort to apply them to most situations and to help you get yourself into a ready position for potential dangers.

Most important--you will ALWAYS be best served by keeping a clear head and calm demeanor in order to rapidly work through what must be done when you are faced with a potentially life-threatening situation. BEFOREHAND, do regular thought-pattern drills …think about the need for self-control and practice that at all times. Mull over basic emergency options in general terms periodically before you are actually presented with an emergency and you will be more apt to react wisely in the chaos of crisis.

Then, when the moment of truth arrives, you will be functional and capable of responding in logical fashion to the circumstances presented. Given your predilection to preparedness, you will also have adequate physical assets, tools, and resources available so that you do actually have a full range of options at your disposal.

In man-made or natural disasters, you will need to either …

1. “Dig-in.” If you are at home or work or on other familiar ground and you know your available resources will provide you with what you need, this is often the wisest choice to make (and the one we often spend the most time building up in our preparedness activities). If you have a hardened, storm-proof shelter with supplies in stock, and you do not face a flooding or fire risk, or there is not an air quality situation that makes staying put a losing proposition, then you may very well opt to "stay home." After all, if most others are having to evacuate the area, you could find yourself in a dangerous gridlock or panic situation out there secondary to the major risk, but just as dangerous. The other major advantage here is community support available that is lost when you hit the road. So, if you are well positioned to stay right where you are and the risk is appropriate to your preparations, then stay put.

2. Or “Bug-out.” If you have no decent shelter and supplies available where you are, or the threatening situation will overcome your position (as in fire, flood, toxic gas), then you must pick up and go. If you are adequately prepared for this kind of event, you will have some needed resources packed and ready to go--in your closet, under your desk, and/or in your vehicle. Commonly called a bug-out bag, you'll want to have at a minimum: some drinking water, food, a change of clothing, cash, credit card, ID, a contact list, flashlight, first aid kit, needed medications, a surgical mask to filter airborne particles, a multitool, and cell phone. This list can be greatly expanded depending on your situation. (In the north, smart folks have blizzard bags in their vehicles that include blankets, food, matches, hand warmers, etc., in case we are ever stranded in our cars in the cold.) Figure that everyone should have at least a 24-hour emergency bag with them wherever they are. Many have a few bags ready to go that provide care and sustenance for a week or more. The Hurricane Katrina aftermath was a good example of the wisdom in that approach.

In any case, “react well.” No-warning disasters or threats require some mental acuity more than anything else. If there are adequate physical preparations on hand, that can often be of great use as well. I am thinking here in terms of a violent assault, a home intrusion, or a sudden geophysical act of God. Other potential scenarios could include a major transportation or industrial accident that releases toxicity or radiation into your area ... or an act of war that would include a chemical, biological, or nuclear event. If you have previously trained or prepared or thought through your options, you will be ahead of the game. If you are surprised with a situation that you have no ability to deal with, good luck. Don't obsess, but give some thought to your potential risks and figure out now what you might be able to do.

Above all, stay calm and within your capabilities as you try to deal with a situation. A human's heart rate reaches a certain level usually seen in "panic situations" when normal brain activity is impossible. (Think mass crowd panic.) Understand that you will not always tend to think or react rationally. Preparation, mental and physical, can help and will often mean the difference between life and death.


Vic Rantala is owner of Safecastle LLC, crisis preparedness provider. Emergency storage food such as Mountain House freeze dried foods, Safecastle steel-plate shelters and saferooms, and other unique survival gear solutions are available at www.safecastle.com

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Plan A: Bug-Out or Dig-In?

There are generally three plans of action one can lay out in preparation for possible local disaster. Most folks actually seriously consider only two of the three for reasons that are obvious.

1. Rare, but Effective: There are some who decide to change their life in total and move to a location that they deem is safe and secure from almost all threats. To do this often requires a full-household life-transformation, from career and home moves to lifestyle choices and standard of living alterations. This kind of plan is quite simply not realistic for most people today. But for those who do this, preparedness obviously becomes a prime driver in life, for better or worse.

2. Be Careful and Think Through This One: Some folks, for reasons reasonable or occasionally unreasonable, plan to deal with most or all disasters by "bugging out." If there is an attainable destination within a short drive, this may be OK. But much thought must be devoted to whether there is actually a necessity to leave your home and to make yourself vulnerable on the road--whether there may be gridlock along the route of your escape, or whether there may be elevated danger in a potentially chaotic evacuation scenario. Weigh the risks against the benefits. Is your planned bugout location truly that much safer and better equipped to sustain you in a time of crisis? Will you enjoy the familiarity and community support system in place in that other location that you would naturally have in place back at home? Are you willing to spend the time and money to prepare that location adequately (perhaps doubling your preparedness expenditures if you are also prepping your normal homestead for staying put through a period of difficulty)? The list of considerations is long if one really wants to seriously assess ramifications.

3. If Possible, Dig-in: For most people and for most disasters, the best "Plan A" is to stay put ... hopefully where you live, perhaps where you work. For planning purposes, minimizing your vulnerability to social chaos in an evacuation scenario and capitalizing on your home-neighborhood and community support system makes staying-put your best option. Of course, you must look at the exact situation and decide if that actually makes sense. For instance, exceptions to the rule might include a major hurricane bearing down on you, threatening to flood you out, or an industrial accident upwind that threatens air quality in your locale if you stay where you are.

Best to Be Ready Either Way

For everyone, the ideal approach to preparedness is to try to cover as many bases as possible. Be ready to stay home and fortify your position in the place you know best ... but also be prepared to pick up and get out of Dodge in an instant if you absolutely need to.

For many years my own plan was to be able to adequately anticipate whatever major danger might require "Plan A" to be put into action. That very optimistically meant being ahead of the curve, hitting the road before everyone else would be out on the highway, for a drive with my family and vehicles loaded to the roof with whatever necessities we could fit in. The destination was two-and-a-half hours away in ideal conditions ... our secluded cabin off the grid in the middle of the woods, far from even the closest rural neighbors. The place was fully stocked and squared away for a nice little rendevous with TEOTWAWKI.

But after years of spending the money and time to keep it at full readiness, it dawned on me that we could be more realistically applying my available resources to a solution with better odds.

It was, in itself, a big move for us after becoming so much a part of that piece of remote and beautiful property and the idea that we could play northwoods-pioneer-survivor whenever we needed to ... IF we could actually get there when the time came.

But the logic was undeniable and we did ultimately arrive at the decision to reformulate Plan A.

In a few words, that meant that we sold that property. We applied the money to building onto our outer-suburban home in the form of an addition. AND most significantly, the project included the installation of an indestructible steel fallout shelter under the addition. In short order, we greatly enhanced our chances of surviving most anything, and made our refuge more immediate, convenient, and certainly more robust. It proved less costly in the long run as well, since we no longer need to try to maintain and prepare two different locations for whatever may come.

So do we still have a Plan B? Of course. We know where we'll go if we need to bug-out. It's three-and-a-half hours away in ideal conditions and there is a nice community support system in place for us (family ties, etc.) But that Plan B is really Plan Z for us, as that is what we will do only when all else fails.

Staying put, putting money and work into fortifying one's homebase, developing community ties ... it all makes sense in more ways than just preparing for doomsday. It's almost a straightforward business decision--after looking at the risks, assessing the actual payback opportunities for various options, ascertaining core holdings and committing to the plan that holds the most promise based on available resources ... you almost always dig in and stick to what you know best, defending your current marketshare.

For us, it took years of working through other ideas and plans and alternative realities. But in the end, common sense prevailed--there's no place like home if you want to maximize your chances of survival across the spectrum of potential risks.

Get Ready, Seriously ... www.safecastle.com

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Evacuate or Defend?

There's a basic, all-important decision that often has to be made in the face of impending crisis. That is, flight or fight ... bug out or dig in ... run or stay put.

We need to be prepared for either side of that equation. It's great to have all your stored food, tools, supplies, etc. that fill up your basement, because there are plenty of scenarios where all those resources will serve you well. But there are also a myriad of cases where the smart money picks up and gets out of Dodge. In that kind of situation, it's often going to need to be done on a moment's notice, so we need to have some resources packed and ready to go.

Examples

It's not always easy to make the right decision. Some folks have a hard time leaving their homes and possessions behind if there is a danger they will be destroyed.

One memorable example was an old fellow named Harry Truman who, in 1980, refused to leave his lodge on Spirit Lake in the shadow of the building eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. He had run the lodge since 1928, and his stubborn refusal to abide by evacuation orders was given much media attention at the time. Of course he and his beloved lodge were lost in the catastrophic eruption ... his body was never found.

It's not at all unusual for stubbornness or ignorance to prevent folks from recognizing the nature of impending risks and to accurately assess their options. Paralysis is far easier to give in to than to leave it all behind. How many folks lost their lives to Hurricane Katrina because they chose not to evacuate, in spite of the most urgent warnings given by authorities? Certainly many hundreds ... perhaps thousands.

Sometimes, warnings do not leave any time for thought or regret. I suspect that immediate-threat situations leave less time for people to decide to stay put and instead demand their logical, instinctive responses to rule.

For example, there were some who recognized the coming tsunami a year ago and took immediate action that saved their lives. Wildfires or forest fires often provide some small window of opportunity for evacuation for those in their path. People who see an approaching tornado do not dally and over-think their options--they either get into their available shelters or they flee if none are available, depending upon their proximity to the funnel cloud.

The list of potential threats would be endless. Sometimes, we are given days to mull over our course of action. Sometimes only minutes.

And of course, there are plenty of events where no warning is given ... such as major earthquakes, industrial accidents, terror attacks, and on and on. In those events, survival can be affected by instantaneous reactions ... but of course in some cases, nothing can prevent the worst from happening.

The bottom line is, when we are given fair warning of impending disaster, we must be physically and mentally prepared to make the right moves.

Basic Choices

I'm going to condense and simplify our choices to try to apply them to most situations, though of course you will be best served by keeping a clear head and calm demeanor in order to think through what must be done when you are faced with a potentially life-threatening situation. In most cases, your options would fall into one of these categories:

1. Dig-in. If you are at home or work or on other familiar ground and you know your available resources and shelter will provide you with what you need, this is often the wisest choice to make (and the one we often spend the most time building up in our preparedness activities). If you have a hardened, storm-proof shelter with supplies in stock, and you do not face a flooding or fire risk, or there is not an air quality situation that makes staying put a losing proposition, then you may very well opt to "stay home." After all, if most others are having to evacuate the area, you could find yourself in a dangerous gridlock or panic situation out there secondary to the major risk, but just as dangerous. So, if you are well postioned to stay right where you are and the risk is appropriate to your preparations, then stay put.

2. Bug-out. If you have no decent shelter and supplies available where you are, or the threatening situation will overcome your position (as in fire, flood, toxic gas), then you must pick up and go. If you are adequately prepared for this kind of event, you will have some needed resources packed and ready to go--in your closet, under your desk, and/or in your vehicle. Commonly called a bug-out bag, you'll want to have at a minimum, some drinking water, food, a change of clothing, cash, credit card, ID, a contact list, flashlight, first aid kit, needed medications, a surgical mask to filter airborne particles, a multitool, and cell phone. This list can be greatly expanded depending on your situation. (In the north, smart folks have blizzard bags in their vehicles that include blankets, food, matches, hand warmers, etc. in case we are ever stranded in our cars in the cold.) Figure that everyone should have at least a 24-hour emergency bag with them wherever they are. Many have a few bags ready to go that provide care and sustenance for a week or more. The Katrina aftermath was a good example of the wisdom in that approach.

3. React. No-warning disasters or threats require some mental acuity more than anything else. If there are adequate physical preparations on hand, that can often be of great use as well. I am thinking here in terms of a violent assault, a home intrusion, or a sudden geophysical act of God. Other potential scenarios could include a major transportation or industrial accident that releases toxicity or radiation into your area ... or an act of war that would include a chemical, biological, or nuclear event. If you have previously trained or prepared or thought through your options, you will be ahead of the game. If you are surprised with a situation that you have no ability to deal with, good luck. Don't obsess, but give some thought to your potential risks and figure out now what you might be able to do.

Above all, try to stay calm and within your capabilities as you try to deal with a situation. A human's heart rate reaches a certain level usually seen in "panic situations" when normal brain activity is impossible. (Think mass crowd panic.) Do not assume that you will always think or react rationally. Preparation, mental and physical, can help and will often mean the difference between life and death.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Why Prepare & Fortify?

Deep down, you know that serious crisis preparedness is the wise approach to life in the 21st century. But if you need some factual context to bolster your resolve, have a look at these four longer term trends reflecting growing distress (beyond the simmering brew of near-term economic doom that is now quickly coming to a boil) ...

Disasters Infographic

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See also: "What's Your Plan A: Bug-out or Dig-in?"

Shop online at www.safecastle.com and get club member discounts and free shipping all the time on the world's best storage food brands, such as Mountain House freeze dried food.