Bugout Triggers. When Do You Know When to Go?

Bugging out is an often discussed issue in the prepper community. You should have a plan for both staying in place (bugging in) and evacuating your domicile (bugging out), but what should cause you to make that serious and potentially life and death decision to bug out in a SHTF situation? There is no one size fits all, but there are areas of consideration you need to think about.

750px-Zeichen_101_svgEvery SHTF situation and every family situation is entirely different. If you have solid bug in and bug out plans, you now have more options to deal with changing situations than those who don’t. Every prepper will ask themselves the question, ” How do I know when to go?”. “When is it time to leave my bug in residence and try to get to somewhere else?”


This is going to be a serious personal decision. You cannot make this decision emotionally. You need to make this decision using as much real information as you can get. And this is going to boil down to having an effective communication system. You need to know whats going on everywhere from you local community to nationwide, depending on the emergency. How soon will the storm hit and with what severity? Is violence breaking out in your community with little government control? What announcements are the government making? Don’t depend on the government to tell you when you should leave. In way too many cases, government at all levels waited to long to announce evacuation. What are family members at a distance from you doing? What are other preppers saying?

You need to plan on being in a grid down situation with no electricity.  For weather and news you need a battery operated or hand crank/solar weather radio. Make sure you can find emergency weather channels.

Consider getting a HAM radio license and a small portable HAM radio that you can set up a large antenna for at home, or take with you when bugging out.

Bug Out Indicators

No one can tell you when the “right” time to bug out is, but the following indicators could cause you to decide to move.

  • There is an immediate threat such as flood, hurricane, chemical leaks or tornado.
  • You dwelling is no longer safe due to damage.
  • You no longer feel you are safe due to uncontrolled violence nearby.
  • You are starting to run low on basic necessities such as food, medications and water, and have no safe, viable way to resupply.
  • Health or sanitary issues dictate that you can no longer stay put.

The above is not an all-inclusive list, but gives you a frame of reference to begin. You need to ensure that you have a viable bug out plan in place with pre packed bug out bags and equipment ready to go at a moments notice.

A final issue you need to face ahead of time is psychological. You need to be ready for the fact that if you bug out of your home, you are leaving everything you own, except what you take with you, behind. Looters will probably clean your home out and even damage it. Don’t let that keep you from bugging out if that is what is indicated. Just face the issue ahead of time.

Only you can make the decision to bug out. Having a serious bug out plan, prepacked bug out bags and equipment, and an understanding of under what conditions you will need to bug out, will go a long way to making that all important decision easier.


One thought on “Bugout Triggers. When Do You Know When to Go?

  1. Pingback: Bugout Triggers. When Do You Know When to Go? | Azweaponcraftprepper

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