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I am writ­ing this post, because, it is prob­a­bly some­thing I should have writ­ten sev­er­al months ago when I start­ed writ­ing a dai­ly blog on my thoughts about sub­ur­ban sur­vival.  I real­ly start­ed get­ting con­cerned about what was going on in the world when I saw lit­tle progress in Afghanistan and Iraq.  I am just as con­cerned about it now, since we (our elect­ed offi­cials) have decid­ed it is time to start the process of pulling out of those coun­tries.  It is going to get messier over there that I think we know once we are removed from the dai­ly fight­ing.  Hon­est­ly, I have mixed feel­ings about the wars, but our heroes need to be home with their fam­i­lies.  That said, I have watched the hous­ing bub­ble erupt into a vol­cano of homes being aban­doned, peo­ple los­ing their jobs and are liv­ing on gov­ern­ment sub­sidy at or below pover­ty lev­el, no new jobs being cre­at­ed to help employ those unem­ployed, and gov­ern­ment spend­ing so out of con­trol that I am not sure this coun­try is ever going to recov­er ful­ly.

My con­cern for our coun­tries woes brought me not to the Inter­net to look for prob­lems, but to a book by Neil Strauss called Emer­gency: This Book Could Save Your Life.  I picked it up quite on a whim, but when I read it, I could not put it down.  I could­n’t believe what I was read­ing.  It was “my” primer to becom­ing a prep­per and a sur­vival­ist.  I can­not tell you how quick­ly I fin­ished the book.  I burned right through it.  And, like any neo­phyte prep­per, packed up my back­pack with any sup­plies I had in my home, bought stuff online, and assem­bled a bug out bag.  Then I start­ed buy­ing food, stored water, etc.  I was start­ing to get pur­chase crazy.  I fight that urge a lot.  I think a lot of peo­ple do.  At least I hope I am not the only one.

After sev­er­al months of start­ing to prep, buy­ing food to store, refin­ing my Bug Out Bag, pick­ing up books on sur­vival­ism, think­ing about bug out and bug in plans, my sub­ur­ban and urban philoso­phies of sur­vival­ism have become quite refined.  I am now quite the advo­cate of bug­ging out in the ear­ly stages of a SHTF.  I feel that you have a very short peri­od of time to make the deci­sion to bug out.  This rea­son­ing is behind a sim­ple state­ment I once heard, in a movie of all places.  Agent “K” said to Agent “J,” in Men In Black, “A per­son is smart, peo­ple are dumb, pan­icky, dan­ger­ous ani­mals, and you know it.”  That got me think­ing about bug­ging in, or bug­ging out.  That got me think­ing about Hur­ri­cane Kat­ri­na, it got me think­ing about earth­quakes, mar­tial law, eco­nom­ic col­lapse, EMPs, chem­i­cal or bio­log­i­cal attack/accidents, etc.  It got me think­ing about what hap­pens in the event the SHTF, food can­not be deliv­ered to your local gro­cery store.  What hap­pens in four or five days when there is no pow­er, it is win­ter time, your neigh­bors have no heat, food, running/clean water, etc.  I start­ed call­ing these peo­ple refugees, because they would start milling around look­ing for resources.  I then met a gen­tle­man, a school teacher, and a prepper/survivalist, that said, refugees was “polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect” for “locusts” that devour all resources in their path and where they land.  When peo­ple run out of their own resources, they will become locusts, look­ing for their neigh­bors resources, or worse yet, your resources as a prep­per, and if they get them, they have struck gold!

So bug­ging in, if you do so in the sub­urbs of a major city or if you are a res­i­dent of a major city, is a tricky sit­u­a­tion, and if you do bug in, you should be pre­pared to make your place look like some­one ran­sacked it, and that it has been pil­fered through already so you can cam­ou­flage your stay so the locusts hope­ful­ly pass you by.  This would work bet­ter in the sub­urbs than a city, as most city dwellers are apart­ment dwellers.  If you are an apart­ment dweller, you bet­ter know when to bug out, and that is at the first sign of a SHTF.  You have a very short peri­od of time to make the deci­sion to “get out of Dodge” when a real SHTF sit­u­a­tion occurs.

Bug­ging out, how­ev­er, isn’t enough. You need a bug out plan.  You need a place to go, com­mon­ly called a bug out loca­tion or a fall back loca­tion.  You may need ren­dezvous points and mul­ti­ple fall back loca­tions to meet fam­i­ly or friends that you may be bug­ging out with.  You need to decide on what types of sit­u­a­tions you would require bug­ging out from in your par­tic­u­lar geog­ra­phy.  You need to have preps and caches there.  You need to have enough sup­plies there, in the event you need to stay for an extend­ed peri­od of time so that you can be self suf­fi­cient with­out rely­ing on oth­ers around you.

You need to be able to pro­tect your­self, your fam­i­ly, and/or your team on the way to your BOL.  How­ev­er, if you are bug­ging out of a heav­i­ly pop­u­lat­ed urban or sub­ur­ban area, expect that there is a a good chance that there will be Local, State, and Fed­er­al law enforce­ment around pos­si­bly at check­points on major high­ways if you bug out.  If this is the case you need to be pre­pared to explain your­self, as well as explain away any weapons you may be car­ry­ing with you if they are search­ing vehi­cles.  And, expect that if this is nuclear, bio­log­i­cal, or chem­i­cal­ly relat­ed, there may be a quar­an­tine of a cer­tain radius you fall in, and you may have trou­ble get­ting out.  These among all rea­sons, are why I say as a sur­vival­ist in the sub­urbs or urban areas you need to bug out ear­ly in a SHTF.  Again, you only have a short peri­od of time to make that deci­sion, and you need to have your BOB ready to go and any oth­er sup­plies, that I hap­pen to call “Grab and Go Gear” that you may need to bring with you in cer­tain sit­u­a­tion.  Your grab & go gear may include, a propane heater, extra ammu­ni­tion, extra food, extra water, tac­ti­cal gear, win­ter weight cloth­ing, etc.

I think I got a lit­tle off track here, but to back­track a bit, I think that all sub­ur­ban sur­vival­ists should be ready to  bug out at a momen­t’s notice if this sit­u­a­tion war­rants it.  If you do not have a bug out loca­tion, you need to pick up Scott Williams book “Bug Out: The Com­plete Plan for Escap­ing a Cat­a­stroph­ic Dis­as­ter Before It’s Too Late” or Cody Lund­in’s, “When All Hell Breaks Loose,” that I am read­ing now (I will review this book when I am fin­ished with it), to give you a bet­ter idea own where you should go (inside your own geog­ra­phy) and how to get there, in the event you have to go.  A word of advice.  Don’t just decide you are going to go to a sug­gest­ed area.  Vis­it it, often, camp and/or there if you can, bring sup­plies with you to be self suf­fi­cient and self reliant.  Learn some prim­i­tive skills you can use in the bush.

My phi­los­o­phy of return­ing to your home post SHTF real­ly depends upon the SHTF sit­u­a­tion as well.  This is some­thing I will get into in a lat­er post, but I think worth explor­ing, hypo­thet­i­cal­ly for a moment…

Any­way, this is my sub­ur­ban and urban self preser­va­tion phi­los­o­phy of being a sub­ur­ban and urban sur­vival­ist.  It is okay to know where edi­ble plants are, etc. in the burbs or in cen­tral park, but there are going to be a lot of peo­ple fol­low­ing you around won­der­ing what you are look­ing at or what you are pick­ing if they can­not get any food for them­selves.  Just imag­ine what will fol­low that sit­u­a­tion.

Now you know where I am com­ing from and what my core phi­los­o­phy is for a SHTF.

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