We all hope that the disaster lurking around the corner will be something we and our families will be able to ride out at home.
Hunkering down will not be fun, and there will be plenty of inconveniences involved if we’re unable to get out and about. But those of us who have prepared with stockpiles of food, water and other essential items will be able to handle it much better than a vast majority of people will.
There’s no guarantee the next crisis will allow you to safely remain in your home, however. You may find yourself having to bug out like everybody else.
Once again, though, you’ll be able to deal with an evacuation scenario much more effectively than most people around you… if you have prepared for it.
Where will you go?
People who will be successful in surviving an emergency that causes everyone in a certain geographic area to leave their homes are the ones who have a prearranged place to go, complete with the same type of stockpiles they’ve accumulated in their homes.
If you don’t have that place picked out yet, don’t worry about it. The disaster probably won’t occur today. But because we never know when it might happen, it’s a good idea to start working on this as soon as possible.
Location, location, location
The first thing to consider when you start thinking about where you’d like to build or purchase a cabin or other dwelling for your bug-out is the location.
It should be at least an hour’s distance from your permanent residence. Several hours would probably be better because if it’s too close, it’s likely to be affected by the same crisis that forces you to leave home.
This is only a temporary situation, so it doesn’t have to be anything huge. But we’re not talking about the tiny house movement here. Plus, nobody knows how long the effects of this disaster might linger, so keep that in mind.
Size might matter
Ideally, it will be a place where you are already keeping your secondary stockpiles. Your bug-out dwelling should be large enough to accommodate your emergency supplies and however many people you plan to bring along with you.
Only you can decide whether you want your cabin to be isolated or within view of other occupied homes. Depending on who they are and how you get along with them, neighbors can be a huge help during a time of crisis or they could present an enormous problem for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Water will matter
If at all possible, you want your bug-out location to be on the site of a well so that you can draw fresh water. If not, hopefully there is a nearby lake or river.
It’s more difficult to stockpile clean drinking water than it is dry food with a long shelf life, so knowing how to purify contaminated water is a must.
Elevation is also important. The lower the ground is on the property, the more likely it is that your cabin will flood. On the other hand, if you’re at the top of a hill, you’re going to be much easier for others to spot. Somewhere in between is probably your best bet.
If alternative energy is important to you for this location, think about the space your dwelling will have on a south-facing roof and whether there is room for a wind turbine that can be situated above nearby trees.
Depending on how handy you are, it may be very important for your dwelling to be as maintenance-free as possible. If the Menard’s and Lowe’s of the world shut down due to a long-lasting emergency, issues including siding, windows, doors and paint might need to be considered.
Don’t forget the roof
The quality of the building’s roof is also crucial. Today’s steel roofs can last about 50 years, but for an asphalt shingle, it’s probably more like 30.
The location for your bug-out place should be as far away from any SHTF threats as possible. Hopefully there are no nuclear reactors or chemical plants nearby.
You also don’t want to be too close to a penitentiary, which is likely to see an outpouring of desperate prisoners during a crisis.
Another factor is accessibility. If your secondary home is in the north, make sure nearby roads get plowed following snowfalls.
How’s your heat?
Cold-weather areas also mean you will require a good source of heat. A wood stove will probably be needed, and make sure there are plenty of trees in the area to provide that wood for as long as you think you might be there.
How much land should your property entail? That depends on the number of people living with you and whether you have animals. A rule of thumb is one acre per person.
Speaking of land, carefully check the kind of soil that exists on the property and make sure that it is conducive to whichever crops and plants you might decide to grow there.
Check local laws
Something that most of us would probably not think about when considering a location for our bug-out residence is what the local law enforcement situation is like. If they are strict about their rules, you may be limited in the type and number of animals you can keep on your property, including any livestock you might have in mind.
They might also have something to say about what kind of crops and plants you grow, whether or not you can have a shooting range and the types of expansions you can build on your property.
Of course, this could work the other way, too. If law enforcement is notoriously weak in your area, you might find a number of discarded items in and around your property, including abandoned vehicles.
Food for thought
The considerations we’ve discussed are important, but not comprehensive. Before you select a bug-out location, go through every possible scenario in your mind to make sure it will meet all your needs and not offer any unwelcome surprises.
One thing you will definitely need at your bug-out location is emergency food with a long shelf life. Click here to get a Food4Patriots 72-hour food kit for free. All you pay is postage.
To your survival,
P.S. Survival food with a long shelf life could save your life. Think about how much you and your family might need following a disaster.