Ep 119: Bugging In Vs Bugging Out

Ep 119_Bugging In VS Bugging Out

I’ve nibbled around the edges on this one for a while, so I feel it’s time to tackle this controversy head-on…or is it a controversy?


While researching this topic, I came across some surprising data.  First, though, I was unable to find any definite data on the percentages of times an emergency requires evacuation versus staying put;  those types of averages simply don’t exist.

Next, I looked at several areas prone to “disaster” disasters…meaning big stuff may and can happen there.  Two areas I looked at in regard to readiness were the Long Island region of New York and Florida (the state).

I found that nearly 1/3  of Long Island residents (which includes part of New York City and encompasses some pretty affluent areas) are woefully un/under prepared for an emergency and evacuation.  I focused on Long Island because an island cut off from the main land in an emergency could be disastrous.  I also used its data because the area has a significant urban/suburban interface, and thirdly for shock effect…the numbers, when matched with statistics, are staggering.


Do you see the weight these unprepared people will put on the system?  Can you see that law and order will collapse under the weight of the desperation if something happens?


Some nuggets from the study prepared by the Red Cross.

  • Only 1/3 of the residents have an EEB/bugout bag despite 2/3 of the population realizing that they may have to evacuate during an emergency
  • 61% have some kind of emergency supply kits (impressive)
  • …but most of the emergency supply kits were incomplete/ not comprehensive
  • 80% plan to follow the government instructions during an emergency (both bad and good)
  • Many residents either are unprepared, lack information, or feel that preparedness won’t make a difference in an emergency…(Wow… just wow)
  • Only half of the residents WITH supply kits have 3 days worth of water…OMG!!!
  • Nassau County Population: 1,300,000 (est)
  • Suffolk County Population: 1,490,000 (est)
  • So that’s almost 3 million people in those two counties alone.  Let me do some numbers…even though more than half say they’re in decent prep shape, the fact that only 1/3 have a bugout bag…tells me it’s more like 1/2 to 2/3rds of the population.  Let’s keep it simple and underestimate the problem and say HALF.
  • that’s 1.5 MILLION people walking around without a clue.
  • and that’s only part of that city. I can only estimate that the numbers for the rest of the metro NY area aren’t any better.  Assume a ballpark figure of 21,000,000 (That’s 21 MILLION people, folks) and let’s take half of that again (but I really think its more like 75 percent) and you have 10,500,000 people without preps, a plan, or even a clue.
  • Does that scare you yet?  Do you really think the numbers are much better in other countries or areas?


  • Thirty-three percent of Florida residents are unsure of their evacuation route.
  • Over 2/3 of Floridians have extra candles, food and water, and first aid supplies.
  • Hooray for Florida…you’re smarter than New Yorkers (joke) BUT…do the math: 19,000,000 residents and let’s assume 1/3 aren’t prepared–which is ridiculously low but I’ll accept that number, and that’s over 6 million residents who are woefully unprepared for disasters.

So,those numbers are nice, what do they mean for me?

They mean that bugging out, in many cases, is a bad idea unless you absolutely have to


  • Because you are now falling in with all of the unprepared
  • If you take your preps with you, you may be a target and your safety may be threatened.
  • Unless it is physically unsafe to stay in your home…STAY!

Take these factors into consideration when deciding whether to stay put or flee

1. immediate threat: how bad, how soon, for how long

2. potential long-term issues: can you wait it out or will it only get worse?

3. current readiness level: if you can wait it out and have the preps, STAY.  If you have nothing…RUN!!!

4. specific threat ramifications: each situation is unique, as is every person.  What is good for others may not be good for you do what’s right for you.


Levels of Bugging Out

  1. Bugging in
  2. Going to a family/friend’s place
  3. Going to your bugout/ alternate home
  4. Going to the country/woods to camp
  5. Going somewhere else, but no definite plan
  6. Going anywhere–no plan








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