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Keeping Your Head Down While Bugging In

Your home represents safety and shelter from the elements, natural predators, and scarcity of food and water. For most of us, no other institution in our day-to-day lives has the resources that we need to survive.  Yet why do many survivalist take such great care in finding and stocking the ideal bug out location, more often than not far from their homes? What threat could possibly make a remote hideaway more ideal than the house that keeps us safe every day?

Some in the survivalist community consider bug out locations to be a last resort.  Some simply choose a friend or family member’s home as their bug out location. However, a bug-out location far removed from your home has the advantage of averting man-made threats. Humankind is the only type of predator with the intellect to bypass security measures and prey on those whom have supplies, known as “predator prepping.”

But what about survivalists who choose to stay in their own homes in lieu of establishing a bug-out location? What can they do to avoid the threats of these predators? Keeping a low profile while bugging in can be challenging, but it can be done.

Considering the principles of home security

“Bugging in” when disaster strikes can be extremely difficult for two obvious reasons. First of all, most disaster scenarios involve grid-down situations in which security measures such as electronic locks, burglar alarms, or lighting can fail. While backup energy sources can keep a home armed and lit up, this is a consideration that requires significant resources and forethought. Second, and far more problematic, is that the basic principles of home security can often be at odds with personal survival.

Practices and equipment which might be effective in keeping away potential predators in ordinary situations often rely on their ability to deter, or warn away. It’s important to consider how these elements would play out in disaster situations.

  • Lighting – One of the most difficult aspects of keeping a low profile is that any form of light can mark you very quickly as a potential target. However, living in complete darkness is uncomfortable if not impossible. Given that the process offers additional security benefits, boarding one’s windows and only using limited interior lighting is an excellent way to shed some light on your situation without letting potential threats peer in.
  • Alarms – Any kind of alarm should be seriously considered before remaining in place for your post-disaster security needs. Especially considering that burglar alarms may provide no benefit if emergency services aren’t able to assist you. In fact, such alarms might do more harm than good if they broadcast your position to everyone around you in a two block radius. Instead, consider passive forms of defense; window bolts, magnetic locks, window boarding, and chain locks are excellent and subtle methods of limiting entry to intruders without necessarily providing a tell-all.
  • Signage – While they offer arguable benefits in usual circumstances, mass-produced security signage may not be as effective when the grid is down or when emergency services are no longer reliable. Hand-made “No Trespassers” messages or similar signage might be more effective in potentially warding off threats who might assume that a home is otherwise vacant for looting, since this provides reasonable doubt about your home being “ripe for the picking” by looters or predators.

Surviving the times

One of the most challenging aspects of bugging in is that it is extraordinarily difficult to provide for all of your family’s resources without leaving to hunt and gather more food, water, or other supplies. Unfortunately, making runs for supplies isn’t exactly a subtle way to bug in. Unlike bugging out in isolated parts, searching for supplies while bugging in can put you at risk to predators and expose your position.

However, the risks of leaving your shelter can be minimized with some planning. In fact, you can nearly eliminate your need from leaving your shelter if you make the right preparations.

  • Food – The importance of keeping a pantry of long shelf-life foods like dehydrated goods can’t be said enough. The difficulty of maintaining a safe, steady supply of food brings out the most creativity in the survivalist community. Regardless of whether you want to become a hunter or a gardener, always remember that foods which don’t have to be either heated or frozen to preserve them have an advantage.
  • Water – While a good bug-out bag contains a liter of water per day per individual, this is impossible to provide for in long-term bug in scenarios. Instead, look into a water purification system. Boiling water or using water purification tablets are excellent alternatives than wasting time and resources gathering purified bottled water.
  • Medical supplies – It can be difficult to remember everything that one needs to survive without medical care. Without adequate bandaging, antibiotics, and medication, your survival plan can be jeopardized by constant supply hunts that leave your party exposed. Depending on where you live, acquiring supplies in the event of snake or insect bites can be a smart move as well.

These measures can help keep you safe, healthy, and stealthy when bugging in is your plan. What else would you recommend to follow survivalists who want to make their most of their in-doors survival plan?

Lukas Nicholson has been in the home security industry for ten years and an avid prepper since growing up in Florida where he experienced more than his share of hurricanes. He currently writes for Top Consumer Reviews Home Security.

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