Friday, October 17, 2014

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The headline caught my eye, Bug In or Bug Out? Why Conventional Wisdom May Be Wrong? I wondered, what does conventional wisdom say.

After reading the article, I still didn't know (although my suspicion is that most preppers believe bugging out is the only answer). What I did get was a very cool list of questions to help assess my individual situation.

I've always planned to adapt in place - to bug-in, if you will. My whole lifestyle, for the past seven years, has been about changing my attitude and actions, and learning to live where I am with what I have. I'm working on leaving the modern mind-set of everything is disposable to one in which everything is precious and has a use ... or doesn't and I should give it to someone who can find a use for it. The Three R's have governed my life for a long time (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and note that the first one is "reduce", i.e. live with less. We're getting better and better at this, every day.

I found the list of questions interesting, and so I thought I would share them. Whether you already have a bug-out plan or you haven't thought about it, yet, this list might help you to really assess your situation and figure out if you should stay or go.

  • Is my home easily defensible?
  • Do I have a safe room in my home or property?
  • Do I have a good mode of transportation if bugging out is necessary?
  • Do I have adequate supplies of fuel at my home to last at least a month?
  • Do I have an alternative source of electricity at my home?
  • Do I have enough food to provide each member of my family (or group) with 2,000 calories a day for at least a month?
  • Do I have adequate supplies of drinking water (at least one gallon per day) and cleaning water to last for at least a month, and the ability to purify new water?
  • Do I have weapons at home?
  • Do I live in a more rural setting, away from urbanized areas, but close enough to town?
  • Do I have strong support and good relations with the rest of my community?

According to the article, if you answer yes to most of them, you should stay. I answered yes to seven out of the ten.

Who's not surprised?


  1. I am surprised! Do people in the states really have a 'safe room' and all those supplies? There is no way I would have space for a months supply of water let alone the rest. Gun licences aren't that common either, except in the country, where farmers traditionally shoot pests and then the wealthy landowners hunt for sport.

    I would be seriously surprised if there are more than a handful of people in the UK who could say yes to 7 of those questions. I can say yes to 3! Transport, good community relations and semi-rural setting....well maybe it isn't quite a yes on that. I am edge of town, but then only 15 miles from 3 large cities.

    My friends think I am extreme because I store a fair amount of food and a few days water, and I also have a UV pen for sterilising water. I cannot persuade anyone else to prepare these basics....but then nothing extreme ever happens in the UK and panic is not permitted :-)

    1. Please don't judge :).

      "Having water" can also mean that you have a supply of water nearby that can be made potable. I live in an area where there is a lot of fresh water - rivers, streams and ponds. I have rain barrels, but they are completely useless during the winter here. I have some stored water, because when I do my canning, I usually do so in small batches, and if I don't have enough jars to fill the canner, I'll add a jar of water.

      Weapons don't have to be guns, either. There are a lot of non-firearm weapons available, although, personally, I think having weapons is a low priority when it comes to preparedness.

    2. Oh Wendy, I have read enough of your writing to know that you are not extreme, just very sensible and thoughtful. I don't mean to come across as judgemental. I read your views and can relate to them, but then it shocks me how different things really are between our countries. And worries me, because how could I possibly be that prepared, without it taking over my life and living space. Yet as an island that cannot feed itself, the UK really should be that prepared. And yes there is also some jealousy that you have such a lovely big space, even though I can see by the standards in US you are making very good use of a smaller than average space.

    3. @ Judy *grin* I was teasing, because while there are many people who have everything on that list, there are even more, who, like the people you describe in your first comment, are unwilling to consider that having a bit of food stored up or some basic supplies would be a good thing - no matter what.

      That said, I think preparedness is more a mental exercise than so much a gathering of things. For instance, if you worry that the grid is going to go down knowing what to do is equally as valuable as having a bunch of supplies.

      *grin* I never considered that my quarter acre was a very big space. My neighbors on either side have an acre and a half acre, and the two houses down my road have three acres each. My little lot is a postage stamp by comparison. Thank you for reminding me that it really is a matter of perspective :).

      I'm so happy that you found my blog. I really do appreciate your candor and insight. It is very interesting how different opinions and attitudes are when we move outside of our borders.