If you followed my post HERE about a beginner’s bug out bag, then you may be wondering why you even need it. By definition, bugging out means to leave in a hurry. When it comes to preparedness, there are many reasons you may want to bug out from hurricanes to earthquakes.
So what does this mean? Panic never helps anything so we are going to skip #1 and move on to #2. The purpose in bugging out is to get to safety. You could be at work, on the road, or away on vacation. Without prior knowledge, some kind of disaster happens. Maybe a train derails and lets out a cloud of chlorine gas. A tornado warning has been issued and you need to find a safe room to hide in. There could even be riots taking place. Basically, you have to move out of the area, and you have to move now.
In the EMS world, there are several reasons you may need to bug out. Almost every reason has to do with scene safety. Maybe you arrive on the scene to find a tanker has rolled during an MVA. You and your team safely extricate the patient, but there is fuel everywhere. Bugging out, aka leaving in a hurry, would be advised. You could also arrive on the scene to an unknown disturbance and quickly find yourself in an active shooting. Bugging out would be a great idea.
So what does this mean for the average civilian? You saw a recent headline that said storms may be entering the area bringing heavy rains and possible flooding. Knowing that you live in a local flood zone, you think about avenues for escape and what supplies you may want to bring with you in case you have to run for high ground. As the rain starts you are listening to the radio and hear a report that localized flash flooding is occurring, and some roads may become impassable. This happens frequently due to hurricanes and heavy thunderstorms. Knowing that the water may reach your home, you gather your things and flee to safety. You effectively “Bugged Out”.
In my local area of South Carolina people have had to bug out due to wildfires, flooding, severe storms, tornados, hurricanes, and many other reasons. Having a good plan to reach safety is important. Even if you live in the best location possible, having a plan to bug out could save your life.