Reasons You May Need To Bug Out
The term “bug out” has become more and more a part of our modern vocabulary. People are now realizing that although the modern world as the capacity to protect us and allow us to thrive in ways humans never dreamed of, it can also fail us. Political discord and unpredictable weather events and even media manipulation has many people questioning the big “what if’s?”
But for some, the reasons to bug out remain woefully unclear. Bugging out, as some see it, sounds more like prepper conspiracy theory than it does reality. The media often fuels this idea that prepping is just for people who are paranoid. However, prepper reasoning and logic play out all around us all the time, we just have to realize it. The reasons to bug out are various and well-defined. We just have to pay attention to what’s going on around us. And we do not have to look very far at all to justify our inner-prepper. So, before you go over these bug out bag essentials, make sure you understand the prepper’s reality. Just prepping as a hobbyist might not serve you well unless you truly understand everything you are prepping for.
Reasons You Might Need To Bug Out
What if a government official decided to go door to door asking for your vaccine or medical records? Just what if they began telling you that you had to be on some sort of medication and possess the papers to prove it. What if the government sent agents to your home to collect your guns, which you are on record as owning. Would you stay or would you go? Would you bug out if the government turned on the people?
You might want to, but by not being prepared, that’d be a difficult scenario. The fact is, things in our world today are precarious. With Antifa and battles over guns and vaccines, governments worldwide are trying to tame the herd. In the end, we hope that they don’t turn on us, but we also don’t assume they will not.
This could turn into a tyrannical government situation. And in such cases, we’d either need to comply, fight the powers, or flee to a safe haven. Would you have a plan as to where to go? What if they killed off cell phone towers, would you family have a plan of where to meet if communication dropped? And do you have a means of family protection? I didn’t want to start off with this bug out reason, because too many people will get turned off by it thinking it is just conspiracy rhetoric. But you don’t have to look far to see indicators that governments could and would subjugate the masses for more than just the example reasons listed above. Greece shut down its banks. That means that the government of Greece would not allow its own people to access its cash. If that happened in America, would you be prepared?
Tyrannical governments don’t announce that they are becoming tyrannical. Instead, they act under the guise of “protecting the people.” The United States has been notorious over the past 20 years for restricting our rights in exchange for “increased security.” The Patriot Act passed during the Bush jr. Presidency “protects” us all by spying on us. We are now living in a world where we are under surveillance, even via our personal devices. The government doesn’t have to do anything extraordinary to begin complete enslavement of our lives. Most people would willingly go along with it (see mandatory vaccines, TSA regulations, anti-gun advocates, NSA fans, etc.).
A Weather Catastrophe
This is by far the most urgent reason you should ever prep. Bugging out due to nature serving up a bitter slice of wrath is almost inevitable at some point in your lifetime. We don’t have to look much further than Hurricane Irma or the earthquake in Mexico to see that our existence on earth is always being challenged. And if it is true that only the strong survive, then we must assume that the strong were also prepared. Here’s a list of natural catastrophes that may prompt you to bug out.
Fire: In this case, I mean wildfires. If your home catches on fire, just get out, don’t worry about grabbing a bug out bag. With wildfires, you may be asked by fire officials to “grab what you can quickly and evacuate.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bug out bag for the family ready to go? If you look out on the horizon and see flames, you might need to prompt such an evacuation yourself. Being prepared to bug out means you have an evacuation plan ready to go, and bug out bag essentials packed.
Earthquake: Earthquakes are unpredictable. Most likely you will be at home when it happens. In such cases, you will need to be prepared to bug out to a safe place once the shaking subsides. You will be prone to the likelihood of aftershocks. Because earthquakes are so unpredictable, it is a good idea to have a bug out bag in your car and in your office. A major quake will take out the power grid. It is also a good idea to keep a full tank of gas in earthquake-prone regions.
Tornado: Once again, tornadoes are mostly unpredictable beasts. When they strike, they can take out the entirety of your home, the business or place you are shopping, as well as the power grid. While they are seasonal, they can strike anytime. Read my how to survive a tornado guide for more information on how to deal with a large tornado.
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Hurricane: Hurricanes can cause massive devastation as well at latent civil unrest. And though hurricane are super predictable and seasonal, it doesn’t give any prepper a free pass on prepping for them. Hurricanes can change strength in an instant, forcing you to stay behind in them. And even if you do evacuate, you likely have to come back to the area at some point. I have a hot to survive a hurricane guide which gives insights into prepping for a hurricane. Too many people hesitate at prepping for them because they feel they get a lot of warning. But that’s not wise. Look at all the people who were short on fuel following Hurricane Harvey. There were people siphoning gas. Hey, knowing how to siphon gas is a great skill, but that really should be reserved for the worst case. Prep by having a full tank. Have your bug out bag. Be ready.
Lightning: A supercell with furious lightning rolls through and knocks out power. How prepared are you really? Most of the time we just assume power will only be out for a few hours at most. But our power grid is structurally unsound and unprepared for a lot of diverse threats. Sometimes, when power goes down, it is complicated for power companies to fix. Having food storage and survival water filters is just intelligent prepper form.
Flooding: A flood can happen quickly, hence the name “flash flood.” A flood can also be mildly predictable via river cresting metrics. In either case, you may end up needing to bug out on the fly. Flooding is another threat to your car, as well. Have a bug out bag inside your car in case you end up in a flash flood and have to get out in a situation where you might have to leave your car behind.
An EMP Attack
I used to take flack for bringing up EMP attack potential. But guess what? My how to survive an EMP attack is one of the most popular on my prepper news site. And for good reason. North Korea has consistently threatened us with a reasonable ability to carry out an EMP attack against us. And solar flares have caused EMP effects on our planet in the past. Not to mention that terrorist realize how unprotected our power grid is from an EMP attack.
An EMP attack is a real threat and it is one of the most terrifying threats we have. An EMP attack is reasonably capable of taking out our power grid for years. This would take our society back to a status pre-industrial revolution. This might require you to be able to survive in your home for years. This also might mean getting in your bug out vehicle and hitting the road. Yep, some vehicles might not work anymore after an EMP attack. Some red dot optics might fail after an EMP attack. EMP attacks are robust threats that’s effects are almost incomprehensible.
The Dollar Crashes
There are a lot of people who get confused by this idea. If the United States dollar crashes, it will crash the global economy. “Bank runs” will begin, causing major banks to lock down everyone’s access to cash. Food will suddenly be unaffordable. And worst of all, people will begin to act out of desperation. This could mean looting and violence.
Here’s the meat of the situation. The U.S. dollar is what is known as a fiat currency. Fiat currencies are currencies which are not backed by something brick and mortar, like say gold. In 1971, the United States abandoned the gold standard, leaving the dollar unbacked. This made the dollar a fiat currency. This was known as the Nixon Shock. Big deal? Well, in fact, it very much so is. Every fiat currency that has ever existed has crashed (except the dollar).
So why has the dollar been unscathed? We have a sizeable military and the dollar tends to influence the world economy. But that doesn’t mean it will not crash. And there are other ways to prompt a massive financial doom and gloom situation, such as a retail collapse or a stock market crash (this one is almost certain to happen again) or a major terrorist attack on our financial interest (look at 9-11).
In almost every above mentioned scenario, the threat of civil unrest exists. When desperation sets in, civil unrest can become one of your biggest threats (behind water and food). When it comes to civil unrest, a SHTF gun and a safe place to reside become a priority for your survival. Civil unrest can also arise from political fallout. The United States, after the election of President Donald Trump, has been embroiled in turbulent sociopolitical times. Antifa has threatened to attack our infrastructure. There have been riots.
Prepping Is Not Paranoia
Prepping is often labeled as an anxiety fueled unrealistic preparation. But if you look closely at the above scenarios, you see that prepping can help us become strong enough to survive through adversity. Prep now while things are good and worry less if things go bad.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.