When placed in a survival situation the normal protocol is to stay put. This aids SAR (search and rescue) teams in finding you by conducting grid searches in relation to your last known location. Does this same rule apply to a natural disaster or civil unrest situation? The answer is yes and no. As we say in the military “the situation always dictates” Lets dive a little deeper into the reasoning behind both and ultimately help you in developing your survival plan.
In the disaster response world this is known as “sheltering-in-place”. Basically this means staying put and using structure to create a safe indoor atmosphere. Ideally this would be in the security of your own home. In most cases this should be your primary plan. In the event the power grid goes down, you may need to survive on your own for an extended period of time. This is another reason why SIP should be your first option. If you’re a prepared individual you will have the necessary items and equipment to sustain yourself. Supplies such as shelf stable food, potable water, fully stocked medical kit, illumination devices, and thermoregulation gear should be at the ready if a situation does occur. I recommend having at the very minimum two weeks of food and water to sustain your family in case the supply chain is cut off. Another major benefit of sheltering-in-place is that you will have the “home field advantage” in terms of personal security. Also understand you may lose communication with the outside world. That’s why its important to share this plan with your family as well as having alternate ways of collecting intelligence (such as a solar powered/crank radio).
In the military we use the phrase “get off the x” and this basically means to move away from a threat. The current buzz word among many survivalist and preppers is “bugging out”. This should always be the last resort for your survival plan and only executed if you are in more danger by staying home. Being mobile limits on what supplies that can be carried, whether in your vehicle or in worst case- in a pack on your back. In your survival planning you need to have prearranged routes and safe locations with contingency routes and location if your primary ones are compromised. Your “bug out location” doesn’t have to be a fully stocked bunker in the mountains. This could be as simple as going to a friend or family member s house that live within a few hours drive. Remember you’re only trying to remove yourself from the threat.
You will need to have equipment if you decide to leave as well. These items should revolve around a 72 hour scenario. With a proper survival plan it shouldn’t take longer than that for you to reach your safe place or remove yourself from chaos. You will need items such as: sheltering equipment, water/water purification, fire making, food/cooking, knife/multi-tool, communication, medical, and self-defense. This would be the absolute minimum gear I suggest and you may add and take away from as needed. If you have small children it may be beneficial to have toys or games to keep them occupied.
Understand that the situation may force you to stay or go. In either case always have a plan and be prepared.
About the Author
Jack Richland is a former 8 year U.S. Marine Veteran that has deployed to countries all around the globe. He is an expert in wilderness/urban survival. He currently writes for a few survival magazines and is founder of Black Scout Survival.