by Code Name Insight
It may be something small (like a wild fire heading your way), medium (like a chemical spill that empties your town) or bigger (like Hurricane Katrina bearing down on your city) but these are all occasions when bugging out is a good idea (or better than a good idea, legally mandated). Where will you go if you need to clear out of your home and possibly your city on a moment's notice? Here's ten options:
- A community shelter. These are set up when there is a disaster in your area that displaces more than a few home's worth of people. A fire, for example, might displace a few families at which time the Red Cross usually shelters them in hotels but when there is displacement of A LOT of people, shelters that can house up to a hundred or more people are generally set up. Community shelters are also set up when people can not shelter themselves due to the severity of the problem (ie: a tornado shelter for folks living in mobile homes, a warming shelter when the power is out for a whole community, etc). On a scale of "wonderful places to bug out to" these rate pretty low. But they are better than nothing.
- Nearby neighbors, friends, and family. If the problem that sent you fleeing from your home is limited in area (a small wild fire or flooding in low lying areas for example), one of your better bug out options may be with nearby neighbors, friends, or family. This is generally good for the short term and leaves you close enough to your home so you can do/help with your own recovery, make further arrangements, etc. Not a bad place to bug out to depending on the situation (you need to get along well with these people and the fewer people bugging out the better as bringing a family of two to stay is usually easier than bringing in a family of eight).
- Hotels and motels. Whenever there is a disaster, a common place for people to bug out to is either nearby or further away hotels or motels. This gives you more autonomy and privacy than staying with friends or family but can also get expensive quickly. Some of these places will give you better rates if you intend to stay for a longer period of time or if they know you have been in a disaster.
- Family and friends further afield. If the disaster is big enough, you may not be able to stay near to your home and may be forced to travel further away to seek shelter. Staying with family or friends who live further away from you is a good option. This is often a cheaper option (they may allow you to stay for free for at least a certain period of time) but the issue may be how to get there if roads and other transportation options are down.
- Boat or RV. Nothing like sheltering in your own "home away from home". If you have a boat or RV, along with a full gas tank, and the roads aren't too badly damaged, traffic isn't massively backed up, and/or access to useful waterways is available, this may be one of your best options. You will be mobile so you can relocate at a moment's notice and you will have privacy plus many of the comforts of home. Obviously this is higher up on the scale of expensive bug out options.
- Camping. For a short-term bug out, camping may be an option. Obviously you need the gear/food/fore planning to do this. Some of the negatives to bugging out in this manner are that, depending on the disaster, many other people may have the same idea so crowding at your intended camp spot may be an issue, security may be an issue (people may not be so nice is extreme situations), the weather can be an issue, and overall, camping due to circumstances instead of by choice can be downright unpleasant (plus you will need to source/create your own food, water, shelter, latrine, etc).
- Squat. Living in a squat can be either better or less better than camping but not by much. If your area is demolished but there are still buildings standing, these places look like good enough places to shelter for many. Again, safety and security will be issues (either with law enforcement or other residents), as will basic living resources (water, food, hygiene) but if the choice comes down to sleeping in a cardboard box or in a perfectly useful vacant building I'd probably pick the vacant building.
- Bug out cabin or second home. The image is ideal...you need to leave your home in a hurry due to disaster or other reasons and you have a perfectly good second home or cabin waiting for you. The three problems you may have with this set up are #1 the expense (it is expensive to pay for two complete houses, utilities, etc), #2 security when you aren't there (your second home may look like a good target for others either to squat in or to loot with or without you there), and #3 getting there (how will you get there during a disaster?).
- Another country. In an extreme bug out situation, high-tailing it to another country may be an option. Note that this would make you a REFUGEE which is an overall unpleasant experience by all accounts. But extreme times require extreme measures so if this is one of your bug out options, you need to be ready by having a passport, the means to get there and set yourself up for your stay, and a plan for what to do next.
- On the move. Slightly better or slightly worse than being a refugee--depending on the situation--would be a roaming refugee. Sure it is possible to grab your BOB or your bike and just keep on moving from place to place camping one night, couchsurfing another etc. until you come up with a better plan but this is yet another situation where your safety and security could be at risk not to mention the fact that you will still need to be able to provide the basics like food and water for yourself.