So, when the shit finally hits the fan, you are going to, first and foremost, need to answer a few questions before you make any moves. These are questions that are necessary to making sure you make the right move for the right situation.
First Question: How Long Will It Last?
You first need to figure out how long the shit is going to be interrupting the rotation of aforementioned oscillator blades. If things are going to only be bad for a day or two, you're best bet is to sit tight. Chances are, society is not going to fall apart in 24 hours. Rule of Law will be restored long before things get out of hand. Stay in your house and, if necessary, keep a firearm close. Even that is pushing the limit of necessary prep. 2 Days barely counts as the SHTF.
Now, if things are going to be bad for a few weeks, a slightly different approach is needed. You also need to answer the Second Question: How Prepared Am I? If you have a strongly prepared and stocked home, just sit out the rough period. The chaos can be kept at bay for a brief period of time, and Rule Of Law (ROL) will return long before you are overwhelmed by the circumstances. However, if you are not so well prepared, and all you have is a Bug-Out Bag and a box of cereal, it's probably for the best you get out of dodge. After 72 hours or so, things will be dangerous (depending on how urban your living situation is), and many of the more unsavory characters will have figured out that ROL is broken, leaving them free to act as they wish. Additionally, I don't think MOST houses will, on Average, have more than a week or two of food stocked up in their regular grocery visits. Again, this is question two. You DO NOT want to be out scavenging for food after 2 weeks of WROL in an urban environment.
Now, if the situation is going to last for a few months, say 2-6 months, you are probably better off leaving your home. This, of course, depends upon Question Three: How Will My Surroundings React? The fact is, if you live in a small farming town of 600 people, you are unlikely to encounter a WROL situation. When the SHTF, it will be unlikely to affect you all for some time, as the community is used to being separated from the rest of society, and dealing with their own problems, and additionally has the supplies to make it through. If things are only going to be bad for a few months, it is likely the local community will be able to hold things together as usual, until normal society is reinstated large scale.
However, if you live in a large urban community, city sprawl, or even seemingly picturesque suburbia, the underbelly will quickly emerge and take advantage of the situation. After 3 weeks of WROL, and with seemingly no end in sight, the nasty parts of society will more than likely be ruling the streets, or at the very least engaging in pitched battles with whatever semblance of law that remains. If you try to hole up in your house for that long, even if you have the supplies to last that long, it is more than likely that you will be overwhelmed by one group or another after a month or two. You are not a one man army, and even with the assistance of your family, or even a few neighbors, success is unlikely. You need to figure out what kind of environment you are in, and get out of dodge, and soon, if you have a long time-line AND an unstable environment.
And finally, the big dog, 6 months or more. If the SHTF, and you are unclear that it will end at any point in the near future, if at all, and are looking at a long term survival scenario, you only have one option. Societal Construction. To survive a long-term period, you will have to bring together a community of people. The likelihood of one person surviving for more than a year in a complete WROL situation is close to zero. A single family is not much higher. No matter your skill at wilderness survival, no matter your ability to grow plants, fire a rifle, build a house, you have almost no chance without support. There are going to be those groups of unsavory people who I mentioned above, and they are, after given several months to work out their kinks, are more than likely going to be in strength, and roving around making trouble for people like you. You will need support, you will need to at the very least match those groups in strength, or you are royally screwed. Keep that in mind.
And, of course, there is one final question if you are weighing Bug Out vs. Camp In. Question Four: Is It Stupid To Stay Here? Look at the situation? Is it a WMD inbound? A foreign invasion on your doorstep? A force 5 hurricane ready to blow your shit to kingdom come? If you can just get out of the way of the trouble, DO IT. Surviving is about NOT sticking your head out in front of the chopping block.
So, that about raps that up. Remember, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN, for every situation you can think of, and you will be much more capable of answering these questions, and much more likely to emerge from hard times unscathed. Peace out, and good prepping.