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When Bugging In Can Get You Killed

Unless you have a fully stocked bug-out location and the means to make your way there in a post-apocalyptic landscape, bugging in is probably the path many of us take when SHTF strikes.

The term ‘bugging in’ refers to the act of sheltering in your home during an SHTF situation. This can seem like the best option in many ways, especially if bugging out was never an option.

Your home is where the bulk of your supplies and gear is located, and it makes a lot of sense to secure the family home and shelter in place.

Even though bugging in is the better option for many of us, it can be a more deadly option in many circumstances than a bug-out. Even with nowhere to bug out to, it can often be the case that staying put will get you killed.

I’m not suggesting that bugging in does not have its merits or that it should not be considered a viable option for preppers; what I am doing is to illustrate some scenarios where bugging in could be deadly.

Many preppers ensure they are prepared for a nuclear attack or accident and stock up on all the necessary gear to shelter in place after such an event.

When Bugging In Can Get You Killed

In addition, countless books, websites, and videos are dedicated to surviving any radiological event.

With all the information and supplies we have access to, it seems that bugging in is a good option for a nuclear attack or another type of release of radioactive material.

When faced with this type of scenario, the problem with bugging in is that we can learn from only a few instances of large-scale nuclear events.

Most of what we have to go on regarding prepping for a nuclear event is based on the best science and research available, but there have not been enough real-world examples to test this information. We lack recent data on how people prepared for and survived a nuclear event.

The truth is that shielding ourselves from fallout is something we can prepare for but can not effectively practice. Despite any drills or practice runs you do, there is no guarantee that these efforts will be effective in a real-world scenario.

There is a good chance that after you seal your home from fallout, a small forgotten area that did not get appropriately sealed could leak radioactive materials into your home, making you and your family ill with radiation sickness.

A minor insignificant lapse in the shielding of your home could very well be deadly.

When Bugging In Can Get You KilledA wide variety of potential natural disasters can strike without warning.

It is a difficult decision to pack up what you can and evacuate the area, especially when you have invested a significant amount of time, money, and effort in being ready for anything that comes your way.

Related: How To Understand The Signals From Animals Just Before A Natural Disaster Strikes 

Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t care, and if she decides to level your home, no amount of preparedness will stop her. Hurricanes are a great example of this.

Hunkering down in your home is not going to do a lot of good if the storm surge floods the area and your house along with it.

Even if you are not killed during the storm, the aftermath will bring a lot of additional problems which you would not have had to face if you evacuated the area.

Sometimes, following evacuation orders is the best option.

When Bugging In Can Get You KilledDepending on how long the emergency lasts, you could find that your food supplies dwindle quicker than you had initially anticipated.

Likewise, if you are only prepared for a few weeks, a disaster lasting months could lead to potential death due to dehydration or starvation.

Even things like medical supplies can result in a bug in turning deadly. For example, running out of critical daily medication for some people will either result in much suffering or be a death sentence.

If don’t want to run out of medical supplies, learn here an ingenious method to stockpile prescription medications and what supplies you need to stock up on before it’s too late.

Ammunition is another supply that running out of could turn deadly. If you end up in a situation where you have to use force to defend your home, you will be shocked at how fast your supply of ammunition will run down.

If you are battling to protect your home and run out of bullets, it will certainly be a situation that becomes deadly.

When Bugging In Can Get You KilledI am a huge advocate for including amateur radio in any preparedness strategy. But, unfortunately, when you bug in, you are effectively cut off from communication with the rest of the world.

Any other potential problems approaching your home will take you by surprise.

Floods, fires, storms, riots, or looters are only a few examples of things that having good communication with the outside world could prevent them from sneaking up on you.

Even just getting information on the scope of the situation you are bugging in from will protect yourself and your family.

It is good to know that what you thought was an EMP was actually a distant nuclear attack, and there is fallout heading your way.

Even in the event of an EMP, using this method you can maintain the continuity of comms, and it is actually very simple and inexpensive to do. Knowledge is power in an SHTF scenario, and not knowing what is going on outside your walls can be deadly.

A critical aspect of bugging in is maintaining a high level of physical security in and around your home. Once people realize that you have a stockpile of gear and supplies, there will be some who will want to take them from you.

If you have not paid enough attention to securing your home against attack, you will be caught off guard and could be seriously hurt or killed by those who want to steal your stuff.

Ultimately, if a group of people is motivated enough, all the protections in the world will not prevent them from gaining entry and taking what is yours. So the best you can really do is make it as difficult as possible for them to get to you.

Another problem is that when a group of criminals and looters surround your home to attack, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for you to escape.

It will also be easy for anyone intent on driving you out to set fire to your home to ‘smoke you out.’

Not all of us can afford to have a remote bug-out location and the ability to get there after SHTF. This means that many of us will plan on bugging as our primary preparedness strategy, with bugging out being a last resort.

The important thing is that if you plan on bugging in, you need to stay aware of all the ways it can turn deadly and make plans to mitigate those risks.

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Is bugging in better then bugging out. I have set up both places. bug in or out…

Bugging out can give the same scenario as bugging in. Just a different location, but still same scenario.
Make no since to me because all the scenarios are the same to me. You can get people that “will find out where you are” and come and take your stuff just as if I was bugging in at home. ?

The only safe place will be in the arms of our Lord and Savior. JESUS the Christ…

This article seems to be the same as the other side of the apple.

The dollar is collapsing, so you better get your SHIT in gear to be ready for a big, massive LIE, that we will be told to us. The Petro dollar in no more. WE are sinking like a ZEPPLIN.

Hey, take a good look at your surroundings, your house, your car, your family, your life in general.

ASK yourself, AM I READY and are YOU!!!!

This is not a test run or a video game, there will be NO RESET. Just you, fighting for your LIFE.

it’s on its way to your doorstep and that includes all the people, “ALL of us”…

Buy Silver.

stay sharp

Amen brother

Red Ant hits the nail right on the head.
Good article, but your situation will be fluid and these points may not apply to you or us.
Bugging out has serious risks associated, you will be mobile, traversing countryside, roads, small towns, perhaps cities, all the while encountering challenges and other people and many risks that come at you unannounced. Will your transportation break down ? Will you be intercepted by others who may have malicious motives ? What about weather events ? And what will you find at your destination, if you do arrive intact ? All these possibilities spell significant risk in a SHTF scenario. At least at home, if you have prepared, you have a perimeter delineated, and some sort of protective grid set-up. You know the terrain, you also know who you can call for help, or assistance. Your transportation is intact. Your supplies can be added to before, during and after the situation presents itself.
Not everyone can be able to prepare for some events, all you can do is your best. And in terms of tornadoes, I am still surprised why people living in the south and midwest continue to live in wooden homes, and don’t at the very least build underground root cellars made of cement block sealed with a
steel door; it doesn’t have to be elaborate, just big enough for the family to hunker down and weather a passing tornado. And why aren’t towns mandated to create fallout shelters to protect the population. Switzerland and Russia have done so, but not the US, why not ? Billions and billions for foreign wars, and the Ukraine, but no such money for the American people ?!?
One last point, may God protect all of humanity from a nuclear war, and why would anyone think that surviving that kind of event is even doable, but forgive me I am a child of the 60’s, and mostly my belief system is akin to another reality. another American society that has ceased to exist. This present world
of trans-sexuals, mass corruption, drugs as commercial enterprise, hollywood violence on steroids, disney as pedophile marketing BS, democratic party and Rinos as Hitler wannabees, big pharma medical industrial complex of creating mass death; all this BS is a world I still can’t believe people today swallow as nothing more than psychotic, destructive ideology for families, our society and America. But hey maybe that is just me.
SHTF ? I think we are already there, whatever comes next is just sliding down the cliff that has been constructed by the people that run our world, while making money, hand over fist doing it.

Vic you make some good points. The reason most people/communities in the south do not build storm/bomb shelters is because they don’t have the funds like some countries do. In most of our government buildings, schools and larger buildings there are basements/shelters. There are scattered personal storm shelters around. Wooden homes have an advantage. The most important is they are easier to repair. If a tornado comes along do you honestly think a concrete structure above ground will fair any better? I don’t.
Now as to a nuclear war I do not think survivability is doable either. But you can survive for a little longer but overall the majority will not survive long.
As to our so-called federal government we don’t have one. At least not one FOR THE PEOPLE. What we have is a bunch of money hungry politicians that will vote for anything that lines their pockets or completes something towards their agenda which is not the peoples.

Yes, an above ground concrete structure WILL survive quite nicely! Look at some pics from Moore OK and in several just about all that’s LEFT is the concrete saferoom. And yes, wood is cheaper to rebuild with, and more susceptable to storm damage. And after the second, not 3rd or 4th, but SECOND time you’ve rebuilt with wood you’ve paid for building back with concrete, ICF, etc. And the fire hazard is much higher with a “stick” home as they’re called around here. Also, i did NOT say concrete block. They’re definitely more solid and fire resistant, but not physical damage or lift resistant. An ICF home is just about the only state approved new construction along the coast in florida. And yes, wood structures are easier to repair, much along the same lines that a go-cart with a Briggs & Stratton motor is easier to repair than a modern vehicle. Both will get you from point a to point b, but one is certainly not the equivalent of the other.

I understand your valid points, enough assets to be able to draw on is always the problem, but when towns rebuild AFTER a devastating tornadic event, it should be MANDATED that new construction INCLUDE a root cellar ( cellar is BELOW ground not above ground ) that can be used as an emergency shelter. Such root cellars have been used all over the world in past centuries for food storage, usually they are built into a hillside, or below ground, given that the temperature range of the ground varies less so during day and night time hours.
But sadly county and state governments don’t seem to concentrate on PREVENTING loss of life, going forward, they seem more preoccupied with how to spend the dollars coming in after emergency declarations open the money spigot from Washington. Then decades later the devastation visits once again a new generation of citizens. We don’t to seem to learn and evolve, we just keep repeating the same tragedies over and over again.
Leaders are expected to lead us, unfortunately more often than not, they lead us down the wrong paths; and leaders today are mostly falling short of their promise to all of us.

Not just you! Many of us see how our once wonderful nation is “going to hell in a handbasket”.

Yes, at an alarming rate while WE watch.

Vic, my friend, it’s not just you and there are many more that think just like you and me. Putting faith in Jesus Christ should be primary. Preparedness is very important and secondary. Unfortunately, our great nation that was is experiencing moral decay on a massive level. We do have some great politicians, but there are a bunch of idiots too and Joe Biden is a criminal. Pray for U.S. all, we need it!

I agree. Nuclear is probably going to be the last stand. With the idiot in office, I really thought before, we would not out live anything like that as we are retired. Now, not so sure, and probably a lot sooner than I think.

While we have anyone and everyone pouring over the border including Chinese Nationals. China being allowed to open offices in major cities, “to monitor its citizens living here, ” and, China being allowed to fly observation balloons at will over the US. DemoCommunists trying to take our guns and China insisting we sign on to the UN small arms agreement…. Nuclear is not my biggest worry.

What do you mean “no money for Americans”? Our government hands out billions in welfare and other programs to assist Americans. It’s all written on rubber IOUs of course that the taxpayers will be expected to fund someday down the road but they do give it out.

Communication & Supplies? Wont’ matter if you’ve bugged out or bugged in for those two; they shouldn’t be on the list.

The most obvious thing about this is it does not matter bug in or out. You will most likely end up fighting at some point. Bugging out if you are in a big city might be best because you have a very large number of people. Otherwise there seems to be no point.

A delay in bug out might be warranted. If you survive the first event, you may have done so by your own preparations. Recently, I had the opportunity to witness a tornado event in DFW…people were warned well in advance. Schools canceled after school activities fir late afternoon and early evening. Employers let people work from home or leave early. Early releases from schools. It was going to be a VERY STRONG/HIGH WINDS/LARGE HAIL EVENT. We knew when it was arriving…
STILL HAD IDIOTS ON HIGHWAYS, rather than sheltering inside buildings for 2-3 hours.
Lesson: Bug out timing matters. If you cannot get out in advance, then pick a good window, before conditions deteriorate rapidly. Be willing to wait, be willing to choose a different direction area, if a damage assessment warrants it.

The unexpected path may be safer. Don’t follow “the heard”. Small groups are more versatile/mobile.

Well I loved through the F-5tornado of Dec.10th that stayed on the ground for around 120 to 130 miles here in western Ky. Lost several friends in it though. I love in a stick house that was built in 1949. When they still built houses to last. A few years before the tornado hit, I changed my heating to ventless propane from the original natural gas floor furnace. Then I removed the old floor furnace from the floor and replaced the grill. I spent a couple of months under my house with a trenching shovel removing dirt. When the tornado warning started, I put my wife, grandkids and pets down there and pulled the old furnace cover,grid,grill or whatever you want to call it. Thank God that our house was spared! But it was fairly safe, plus it’s a great place to hide things that people would want to take. With the grill in place I’ve never had anyone give it a second glance. I’m gonna make more improvements to it. But it works out well in a pinch. Just an idea.

Yes, a major urban area is gonna have it’s serious downfalls. Chief among those is gonna be looters and the associated violence of defense of yer place. In a large urban area, after the massive chaos of the first month or 2 of, say, an EMP strike, there will be organized groups that will systematically clear houses for all goods that are worth taking and eliminate any resistance along the way. Also, in a city that has lost infrastructure, ambulance, fire dept, cops, etc, fire is a major concern as many times one house ignites the next one, or more, and there’s not much the average person can do to stop it from progressing. I live a ways out in the country. While it’s certainly possible for groups of thugs to find my place, all those miles out in the country, on a secondary road, it won’t be the first go to. Maintaining noise, light and smell discipline will take you a long ways towards not being noticed by such groups.

Choice as apposed to reacting to circumstance. In an “event” your choices may be dictated by established protocols. Federal mandates will come into play. Protocoled Quarantines of predetermined regions are already in place. Our Government has prepositioned assets for most contingencies. FEMA drills train for disruptions, disaster, and mayhem. Remember Katrina. Check points, thermal imaging, drones, and armed response make moving unlikely. Rounded up and forced to comply. Forced to leave area within x number of hours. Terminated with extreme prejudice. Nobody gets out alive. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide…imagine if the technology today was in Hitlers hands! This is where we are right now. Prepare to make a choice. You never see a u-haul pulled behind the Hearse. You can’t take it with you.
If your not ready…get ready. Yet while I breathe there is hope! Save your community or move to a community worth saving.

While the article mentions hurricanes and if your primary location/residence is in harms way of severe storm surge/extremely high winds, you have to relocate at least temporarily and possibly permanent. The article doesn’t mention flooding specifically; but if your location/residence is in danger of severe flooding, you best relocate–temporarily. There are two types of “bugging out”–temporary and permanent. Nuclear Accident–you have to relocate permanently for increased life longevity. Global Nuclear War–the luckiest people will be the ones who are killed instantly. People who survive the blast will die horribly slow from radiation poisoning; and those people who survive blast and radiation poisoning will die slowly of starvation because “Nuclear Winter” will really be the new Ice Age and agriculture will come to a screeching halt. When I was a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defenseman in the Marines, we had a saying about Nuclear War–“Bend over and kiss your ass goodbye.” I purposely bought the house I live in because it is located only 2 miles from an Air Force Base that would be a primary target for nuclear attack. Gotta die sometime.
An insecure domicile is NOT a good reason for bugging out. If your domicile is insecure then you need to secure it. Any and every prepper should be armed and trained on how to use the deadly weapons they have should a SHTF come to that. My Mom told me about a “home alone” invasion by 3 hardened ex-con criminals story she heard in church where an 11-year old boy had a .22 caliber rifle and shot at the invaders “to scare them”. He killed all 3 invaders. The boy was unharmed.

Nuclear war is totally survivable. The majority of the strikes are planned as airbursts, which will result in minimal fallout. A pre-arranged fallout shelter can be constructed by most people. I would encourage “good people” such as yourself to not be so fatalistic and quick to give up. A global war with nukes will not be the end of humanity. It would be best if those who survived, either by “accident” or by good planning, were those with high moral standards and who have the skills to rebuild society.

Go to KI4U dot com and read the article “The Good News About Nuclear Destruction.” Then read the article “What to do if a Nuclear Disaster is Imminent.”

Best to you

The US Army NBC (nuclear,chemical, biological warfare school) is an eye opener. Your after action response is based on information. How many rads, fallout area, and duration. Without knowing these variables you will be blind to the potential hazards. Total dose is the amount of rads that will kill you in a specific time frame. If for example you are in a zone where total dose is 45 minutes. You will be done in 45 minutes. With out being aware of exposure levels it’s a bad thing. Even sheltering in place the half life of the most common nuclear weapons is several hundred years! So you might be in the worst place and not know it. We wore dosimeters that tell you when your no longer able to stay in zone. Radiation poisoning causes brain swelling (fastest cause of death from exposure), nausea-vomiting, burns, loss of energy (weakness) and confusion. What I’m saying is way to complex to share in a limited time. Research this more if want to understand effects of this worst case scenario. Survivability factors are extremely complex. Alpha particles are stopped by skin. Dust carries alpha particles if you breathe them or consume them on food/drink they cause damage internally. Tissue damage internally will destroy your immune system. Gamma particles are impossible to shield yourself from. Lead shielding or gold shielding is able to stop gamma particles but very impractical. Then there is beta particles. A good shelter will protect you reasonably well. Life is good! Know your threats. Focus on what works for you. Love and care for yourselves. Being as prepared for life as possible is the best medicine. Many folks will help each other when facing a reality that threatens us all!

If it comes down to a nuclear war? I’m hoping it lands on my forehead!

The most obvious SHTF scenario I see that we will face for very near certainty is economic collapse which I see well underway. Everybody’s financial and prepardness situation is different. Some people may have to “bug out” if they have to work for a living and where they are at doesn’t have employment opportunities. Poverty is by far the number one killer of people.


I have to agree with red ant, dammed if you do dammed if you don’t. Bad article!

Good job Michael!! Did you engage the TROLL SHIELD?

Let’s be realistic.
You can never be fully prepared for every possible disaster, bugin or bugout.

As an example;
How long do you want to stay inside after a nuclear attack?
The fallout is not gone after a few months, look at the effects of depleted ammo in Iraq and Yougoslavia, people are still dying there as a result of that junk, even after all these years.
And what if you run out of food?
many edible wild plants will be contaminated, as will water.

Another example;
How big is your food supply?
A month, six months, three years?
At some point it runs out. and then?
prepping gives you the ability to have more time and chances to survive, but ultimately you will have to confront the circumstances that apply at the time.

For many it is not an option for bugin, for others not an option for bugout.
Everyone again has their own circumstances , possibilities and impossibilities.
There is no such thing as a generic solution for everyone.

Everyone looks for solutions that apply to his/her situation within the possibilities one has.
The important thing is to be a good person with peace in your heart, love for your fellow man and God.

My apologies for the translation into English.

Greetings from the Netherlands

Yep, most people who say nuclear war is survivable, are thinking only about evading the initial blasts,
and hunkering down for a period of time with enough food and water– short sighted folks, they are,
sooner or later you run out of food and water, and then what ? Plus what kind of world will we face then, do you really want to live in such conditions ? In a nuclear war, there will be no winners or losers, everyone loses, including other forms of life. I for one still believe that we have a responsibility as caretakers of the world God handed us. Damn those that only seek to destroy and annihilate, perhaps they should start with themselves first and foremost, and leave the rest of us out of their manic idiotic dreams of imaginary conquests.

All anyone can do is prepare the best they can for any type of event. I live in a hurricane-prone area and have reinforced my home for that type of event including steel screens on all windows (stay up 24/7) and reinforced doors, full-house generator, extra storage for food, etc. And far away from all major cities. In any event, I plan on staying and defending my home and family. I’m also fortunate to live in a high area (no flooding) and with a community that is like-minded. Not perfect, but no one knows what the event will be, how long or how serious. All anyone can do is prep the best way possible. May God Bless us all.

ask myself why americans who live in a region of tornadoes keep building houses that are prone to hurricanes/tornadoes.
Why not dome-shaped houses?
This shape is much more resistant to Mother Nature’s aggression because the strong winds have much less grip on this shape.
This construction method does deviate very much from the usual construction form, but will suffer much less damage than regular houses.
I saw the images of Catrina at the time, and the destruction it caused.
It hurt my heart to see all that sadness and despair.
And almost every year again and again the same sadness and pain with you.
In order to better resist Mother Nature, people should move away from traditional construction methods to build houses.
I can point, for example, to the igloo of the eskimos , resistant to the strong polar winds.
Also look at the shape of an egg, which is quite strong despite its thin shell.
I hope there are builders among you who will take up this idea so that life will be better to live without unnecessary grief, pain and huge costs.

Greetings from the Netherlands

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