Infographic: What To Do When It’s Time To Bug Out

A handy infographic for you today.  So something’s going down and you need to bug out – but what exactly should you do?  This checklist gives you the steps to get home safely!

What To Do When It's Time to Bug Out

What To Do When It’s Time to Bug Out

I’ve also put this into .pdf format so you can download it and print it out.  Click here for the .pdf!

Breaking down the bug out

As always, step one is the most crucial.  Decide to act.  You can’t get home safely if you’re dithering about whether it’s really an emergency or if you’re just overreacting.

Getting your gear together is the next step – everything you can reasonably carry or shove in your car should come along. You can always dump things as you go if you find it not useful.  One sneaky trick if you’re walking (and *only* use this in a time of true crisis, as it’s technically theft) is to grab a shopping cart and load your gear into it.  Mr. WPW has a folding handcart in his car.  It’s designed for moving file boxes and I think we got it at Sam’s Club.  Doesn’t take up much room, but it will be very useful to carry his gear should he have to walk home.

Most preppers say you should never let your car get below half a tank of gas. Yeah. Um… I am a slacker here.  I know this will come back to bite me in the butt should the power be out in a large area or if prices suddenly skyrocket.  With any luck, in all but the most extreme situations I should have time to gas up before hitting the road.

Know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.  Plan for there to be road closures and traffic jams. Have a physical map (that you replace with an updated one every couple of years) so you can find your way should your cell phone or GPS not work.

The next item falls under the category of “don’t be stupid”.  People will panic in an emergency.  They’ll switch lanes without warning, try to drive on the median or in the emergency lane, and they’ll zig zag in and out of traffic thinking that being one car length ahead will get them home that much faster.  Don’t be one of those idiots.  Drive safely and cautiously.  When I started driving my father gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard.  “No sudden changes in speed or direction.”  I still repeat it like a mantra when driving in bad weather.

Once you get home, stay inside! You don’t want to add to the chaos on the roads by trying to run errands.  Also, if multiple people are coming home, you don’t want them wondering what happened to you.  Stay in for at least the rest of the day, longer if possible and/or necessary.  Listen to the news, inventory your preps, secure your location, or just read a book and wait for the storm to pass.  Just stay out of the cluster that will be the roads in an emergency.

More to the story

Of course so much more can be said about bugging out.  I didn’t cover “get your people” – if you have kids in school, prepping partners, or friends you’re taking with you that will add several steps.  This also supposes that cars are working and usable – a major blizzard would put a real crimp in driving home.  How would you need to alter this if you had to walk home?  But the general steps are applicable across the board and can be tweaked to your individual situation.  Use this as a jumping off point for your planning.

I hope you find this infographic useful!  Please feel free to share it – and tell me here what steps you feel are crucial to bugging out!

About WellieWitch

Wiccan prepper with a small hobby farm, a day job, & a bunch of animals. Blogging about prepping, homesteading, gardening, cooking, chickens, fiber arts, & more.

1 comment on “Infographic: What To Do When It’s Time To Bug Out

  1. For some reason Johnny Mac had some trouble getting his comment to post, but he kindly emailed it to me in full. Here it is – lots of good stuff to think about here. 😀 – Wellie

    I tried to post this comment on your latest blog post but once I typed it out I could not find the post button. Probably me but if you do not receive any comments it might be an issue. 😉

    “First, good foundation to Bugging Out. Here are a few comments for your readers.

    > Make sure your family knows each of your get home routes. If they have to go and help you out it would
    be good they have a good idea where you are.
    > If cell phones are disabled, think about carrying a HT (Handie Talkie) like a BaoFeng VHF/UHF ham
    radio. Do you need a license to use – Yup. However in an emergency I am sure the FCC would notcare
    if you used the airwaves. You could use the radio as a simplex communicating devise (HT to HT) or
    contact home via a repeater which gives you greater distance.

    Simplex is basically only good for seven or so miles – Line of sight. And as mentioned it is radio to radio.

    Repeaters are generally antennas located on hills or mountain ranges. Even with a HT and only
    using 5 watts of power you can hit a repeater antenna 30 miles away. Using a local repeater I can
    regularly talk with other hams 60 miles away. 30 miles to the repeater and then 30 miles from the
    > If you are starting to get a little nervous about the news another thing you might want to carry in your
    vehicle is a folding bicycle. They fold up to about the size of a piece of luggage. If your vehicle stops
    functioning, e.g. EMP – Bicycling home would beat the heck out of hoofing it.

    Last, there is a difference between Bugging out to get back home and Bugging out to get to Uncle Joe
    and Aunt Jane’s farm/redoubt/secret BOL (Bug Out Location). Just a few comments on leaving your AOL.

    The chances of you getting to Uncle Joe & Aunt Jane’s place decrease proportionally to the distance you will have to travel. This of course post a nasty drama that brings down the grid, pandemic, civil unrest, nuclear exchange, et cetera.

    Thinking about east coast sized counties, if you have to travel more than three counties to get there, your family will not make it. Unless you have planned ahead and pre-positioned supplies (caches) along rout “A”, “B”, or “C” as written earlier, your chances of you and your family arriving at your destination in one piece, greatly diminishes as you go beyond that initial three county range.

    Good stuff Wellie!

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