The Best Things That Need to Be Taken Into Consideration About Bugging In


I was researching different plans people have for bugging out and the question was posed;  What supplies do you store if you decide to *temporarily* bug in?

Bugging In means having a plan in place to stay in your home during a natural / man-made disaster.  Bugging out means having a well thought out plan to leave your home to a secure, safe location.  Being prepared means having multiple back up plans in case one or more fails or those options become void.  For some, bugging out is not feasible.

There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration about bugging in.  While you might have a good plan in place, you might also have a mandatory evacuation.  Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example.  People who refused to evacuate were arrested, and detained for months, before finally getting a hearing.  If ordered to evacuate, it is best to pack your family, your pets and what gear you can, than to stay in place and be taken somewhere unwillingly.  (Hence the need for a bug out vehicle.)  You might worry about looters and damage to your home, but that is why you have insurance.  You can always replace material items, you can’t replace your family and your freedom.

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Bug-In-Plan:  Things to consider

  • Disasters/Threats:  Tornado’s, Hurricanes, Earth Quakes, Fire’s, Snow/Ice storms/blizzards, Nuclear/Chemical Plant disasters?
  • Time:  How long do you want to be able to Bug-In without assistance?
  • Climate:  Do you live in an area where you get a lot of snow/ice or a place that is mostly warm all year?
  • Surroundings:  Country, Rural, Suburban, or Urban?  How far will you have to travel to leave or resupply?
  • Cash:  Depending on the type of disaster, one should always try to have cash put away in a safe place.  Debit or credit cards won’t be reliable.  If a tornado or earthquake were to destroy your place of business or where you work, then your paycheck would stop.  We try to keep enough cash in our safe to pay at least two months rent and utilities.  With our food storage on hand that is one thing we won’t have to worry about spending cash on.

At the advice of Sibi Totique, a fellow prepper, we have created a binder with information on each member of our family, and people who are important to us.  This information can help us to get in contact with our friends and family, to find out their status in an emergency and to find out what is going on outside our area.  It also makes emergency personnel aware of any medical conditions or medications we may need.  On the cover of our binder, we have it titled ICE, which means ‘In Case of Emergency.’  Most emergency trained people know what this means.  It needs to be kept in a place that is easily visible at all times.

Information In Our Binder:

  • Home phone numbers, mobile numbers, and fax numbers
  • Home addresses and type of housing
  • Email addresses
  • Work addresses and occupation title
  • Work phone numbers
  • Name, date of birth
  • Special Medical Needs, medications, allergies, Immunizations
  • Blood type
  • Physical description; Height, weight, hair color, eyes, and a picture if possible (For location if a person is missing) I keep two copies of the picture in case I need to give one to a police officer for a missing person.
  • Skills and education
  • A detailed map with several different routes to their location.  The highway will not always be an option so have back roads mapped out too.  It is wise to create agreed-upon meeting locations that are mapped out, with back up plans, in case you can’t get to a specified location.

Each family member and person in our group has one of these binders with each of our information in it.  I also keep a duplicate binder like this in our vehicle.  Most of us work away from home or go to school so plans must be in place to get back home.  In previous articles we have discussed having a 72 hour bug out bag, if you find you cannot use your car, and have this bag in your car, it should help you get home.

Communicating: Having one or more of these would be good.

  • Phone/Cell phones
  • Email/ Chat Clients / internet
  • Ham Radios
  • Walkie Talkies
  • CB Radio
  • AM/FM Radio’s.  Solar hand crank radio and/or plenty of batteries



  • Plywood (pre-cut for windows)
  • Bolts, nails, and screws
  • Tools: hammer, screwdrivers, shovel, wrenches, drills, chain saws etc.
  • Chains and locks
  • 2×4’s to barricade the doors or window
  • Saws/ saw blades / survival chainsaw
  • Wire
  • Weather stripping
  • Binoculars
  • Sheet rock in case of accidental holes in walls.
  • Toilet/sink repair items for water leaks etc. (We keep kitty litter in case we lose water to mask any smells.)
  • Work Gloves
  • Axe/Pry Bars/Sledge Hammer/Bolt cutters
  • Tarp/plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape/Electrical tape
  • Tape measures/ Levels
  • Ladder
  • GeneratorsFire extinguisher/fuel
  • Wheel barrel

Fire Safety:

  • Fire Resistant Blankets
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fire Alarms/batteries
  • Fire escape plan

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first-aid-kitFirst Aid:

  • Basic Home Built First Aid Kit
  • Suture Kit
  • Tourniquet
  • Pain killers
  • Antibiotics
  • Extra prescription medications
  • Vitamins
  • Potassium Iodide Tablets for radiation poisoning.  Remember what happened in Japan with their nuclear plant? It is better to be prepared than wait to be taken care of.
  • Blood clotting agent
  • Burn creamoil lamp lid


  • Flash lights/Batteries
  • Candles: We have several cases of 6 day burning candles.
  • Oil Lamps/Oil: Mason Jar oil lamp burners. These are lids that fit mason jars with wicks in them. They take much less room to store than an actual oil lamp. We have 6 of them and plenty of wicks stored in a small box.
  • Solar lights
  • Glow sticks

Fire Starting Tools:fire starting

  • Matches/Lighter
  • Fire steel/rod/Magnesium stick
  • Tinder
  • Wood
  • Charcoal/Lighter fluid


  • Water Bob
  • Water containers with and without filters
  • Large supply of stored water: Here is a link for  Collecting water for survival.
  • Water purification tablets AND Water Filtration System
  • Coffee filters
  • Big Berkey Water Filter

People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinkingfor just a bit and also look at how the guys who wandered the west 150 or so years ago did it.

The Best Survival Skills Of Older Generations Used On A Daily Basis


The important thing about storing food is to put things in there you know you will eat.  Make sure you balance it with the right nutrition as well.  You wouldn’t want all pasta and no meat. Remember to rotate you food storage so you don’t have bad food that you can not eat.  Here is a wonderful article on buying a years worth of food for about $300.00.  This article is only a start, it is NOT the only thing you should have in your storage.363448-185-8

Cooking: Alternate cooking source article

  • Grill
  • Wood stove
  • Stoves: Esbit, kelly kettle, Volcano Stove, Sterno Stove, Folding Stove, Rothco Folding Stove.  My two personal favorites are  Cylinder Camp Stove and Stove Techs Rocket stove.
  • Fuel: Gas, propane, charcoal, wood, can fuel, alcohol, fuel tabs etc…
  • Can opener
  • Potato Peeler
  • Cookware
  • Utensils:  A lot of preppers stock up on disposable plates, cups, eating utensils etc to avoid having to waste water to wash dishes in a no water or contaminated water situation.
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Tin foil
  • Zip lock baggiesHygene

Hygiene: Being clean is VERY important!  It helps keep away disease and infection and could mean the difference in life and death.

  • Bar soaps/Shampoo/Conditioner/ No rinse soaps/ Bath in a bag
  • Dish soap (dawn has MANY uses)
  • Laundry soap and a means to wash clothes.  A wander wash can be bought or made.  You can easily use a five gallon bucket to wash a few garments by placing them in there with a little soap and water, seal it up with a gamma seal lid and shake it up well.  They also make a special plunger you can use in and container to wash clothes.
  • Wash board/Clothes pins and laundry line.
  • Mop/bucket ringer.  Many preppers have a full mop bucket/ringer combo because you can wash and ring out your clothes with one device.
  • Bleach/Disinfectants
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush/Floss/Dental repair kit
  • Solar shower
  • Toilet paper
  • Sponges
  • Mop/boom/dustman/ Floor cleanser
  • Portable potty/outhouse (The portable potty I have linked you to holds weights up to 325 pounds.)
  • Kitty litter/Trash bags for waste disposalkeeping warm


  • Sleeping bags/pads
  • Extra blankets (wool, fleece etc)
  • Wool socks and clothing
  • Wood stove/Fireplace
  • Mr. Heater: One of the best indoor propane heaters you can buy. It runs on camping propane tanks of a large propane grill tank and has an automatic low oxygen shut off valve.
  • Warm shoes
  • Heat inserts/body warmers for pockets and shoes
  • A well trained dog.  The Local Animal shelter is a wonderful place to adopt a dog.


  • Firearms
  • Knife
  • Baseball bat
  • Taser:  Here is a cool one I found by Guard Dog that is also a tactical flash light.
  • Pepper spray/Mace
  • Home security system of some sort.  There are many out there to choose from that do not require electricity.

Other Items: When creating an inventory list for yourself, you can add things to this list.  I am sure there are many items not listed that you would add.

  • Electrical extension cords
  • Emergency Flares/Whistle/ Signal mirror
  • Fishing gear
  • Sewing kits
  • Repair kits for all of the items that might need repair.
  • Bug spray
  • Mouse/Rat raps

Bugging In temporarily, is a choice only you can make.  As you can see, it is just as important to prep for bugging in as it is for bugging out.  Having a plan is always the first place to start off.  I hope this list will help you understand how some of those needs are different and will help you to focus on those needs.  Remember to have fun and leave comments on some things I haven’t thought of or some things you feel are important to help our fellow preppers!!

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