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By now everyone has heard the term "bug-out," if a situation becomes unbearable, but bug-out to where?  One of the biggest decisions to make in the event of a natural or man-made disaster is "should I stay or should I go?"  This is the important advanced planning part of prepping, which should be discussed among friends, family, and whomever else will be involved in a possible bug-out scenario.  Remember, we take many things for granted in normal times, such as trash collection, streetlights, working sewage services, clean water, etc.  But when infrastructure goes down, these things can become a problem, especially so in tightly packed cities where population is dense.  When trash piles up, vermin and rodents become a problem.  Blacked-out city streets are dangerous to roam.  In extreme social disturbances such as the L.A. riots, mobs went looting and pillaging, and store owners had to defend their businesses at gun point. 

If weather is hot, lack of trash collection, and even dead bodies, can make conditions ripe for outbreaks of disease.  Soldiers who have been deployed to places like Iraq can testify to the progression toward disease and squalor in cities with no trash collection or running water, in hot weather with flies and rats rampant. 

So an early order of business is to discuss with family and friends what you would do in emergency situations.  Does a member of the family have a large house and/or yard, where other family members could set up tents?  Perhaps this is where storage bins of food could be kept, ahead of time, by members of the family who live in the city and might be bugging out.  In fact, this would be wise since you will only be able to carry so much with you, especially if the roads cannot be traveled by car and you are making your escape on foot, or on a bicycle.  You want food where you are going to end up, so you are not a burden to your host. 

So have food in your city home, but also at the final destination of your escape route.  This could also mean renting a secured storage facility space near your destination for food and supplies.

Why discuss these things with your extended family ahead of time?  Because remember, it is possible, bordering on probable if the situation is grim, that Internet and cellphone communications will be bogged down or nonexistent.  Agreeing upon a course of action ahead of time might be the only chance to plan you get, before showing up on someone's doorstep after, for example, a major earthquake, which gives no warning. 

Another thing to think about: With GPS and Internet down, you will not be able to look up the best escape route online.  You should think of this ahead of time, and have escape routes memorized.  How exactly would you get to auntie's house if you had to walk?  Does following a certain railroad track provide a more direct route?  For this you might even find it interesting and enjoyable to study the Google Satellite Earth photos of your region.  Where are water sources.  Where are likely places to stop and camp in the woods for the night? 

And what if all your family is far away, and can not be reached in a few days walking?  It is certain that many "city slickers" are in the same boat, and so this is where a little creative thinking can go a long way.  Watch this space for how to start a survival community utilizing land in rural areas, either developed or undeveloped, and understanding the local real estate laws which govern camping or living in a tent, or RV.  In the end, in a truly mass disaster, those who can make to the Spring planting season will be the people who might be able to start afresh, living off-grid and growing food, as others perish from hunger or cold or both.  If there is no government to speak of and infrastructure is down, the first wave of fatalities will take place 2 weeks to 2 months after people's normal food supplies run out, and begin getting sick from drinking dirty or polluted water.  

Prepping does does not assure a happy outcome for anyone, as life is simply not that predictable.  But it will buy time to find or create solutions to problems.

A Word on Firearms

It may have been noticed that Prepped Nation includes little discussion of firearms, although it is sensible to ask: should I arm or should I not?  If, despite the best efforts of sites like this and other fine prepper sites, a significant portion of the population chooses to reject advice on basic family food and necessities security, there will be many desperate "have not" people who will be looking to take from the "haves."  The ability to defend what you have may be as important as having it in the first place.  We have left this as purely a personal decision, and welcome discussion of firearms in our Discussion Forums.  The big hope, of course, is that Basic Family Security, as we chose to call it, will take the country by storm and we will become a nation of families prepared for anything.  Once we have done that, the rest we must leave to Our Maker.

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