Bugging In was New for Me

In all my years I haven’t experienced bugging in due to a stay-at-home order. Well, if you include Blizzards and heavy snow, I have. But Covid 19 was a new experience. We had plenty of supplies at home and all was good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good for everyone. I felt bad for those who couldn’t get the basics at the store. Panic shopping created CHAOS for way too many. Overall the grocery stores kept up fairly well, but what if supply chains were disrupted? This is why we prepare.

Bugging in is for situations such as covid 19. but what about the gas shortages or power grid failures. Is it possible that the government could impose stay at home or shelter in place orders for other reasons? Of coarse they could, and they get off on it. Having the power is why they ran for office in the first place. It makes me sick to see them destroy lives and lively hoods all in the interest of being re-elected.

Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Lockdowns

If you are one of many who experienced the COVID-19 lockdown, then you know firsthand that you probably don’t have enough supplies on hand. If you don’t live in areas impacted by severe weather, like hurricanes, then the lockdown chaos was probably a shock to you when you found the grocery stores pillaged. Who knew toilet paper and paper towels were going to disappear? Good thing I ALWAYS have a few months’ worth of toilet paper! Shows that this is a line item on your inventory list for bugging in!

Other than toilet paper, you probably learned a bit about your food situation. Did it work for you? Was it hard to cook with what you had? This was by no means easy, especially if you have children that aren’t old enough to understand the severity of the situation. If you called yourself a prepper before the pandemic, then I hope the lockdown was a good learning experience. For me, I already had 3+ months of food on hand with other supplies that allowed me to avoid the chaos. Bugging in for real allowed me to evaluate my level of preparedness.


Bugging In is a Mental Challenge

I want to first recognize that Bugging In is much more than simply keeping enough supplies stocked up to weather the storm. To be fully prepared to bug in, you need to understand that sudden isolation from the world will take its toll on you psychologically. I’m sure you know this by now, but in case you didn’t realize it, you need to have a plan to help you cope with this. Obviously, no one knew how long the lockdowns would last during the pandemic. Heck, I even bet preppers who were ready for this beforehand had a bit of a shock.

There is no one-stop shop to help alleviate everyone’s mental health challenges for bugging in. I’ve created a list of items that I think we should focus on when developing a bug in plan:

  • Communication Technology
    • Get started with long-range radios to keep in touch with family and friends nearby. We still had cell phones and the internet during the lockdowns. Imagine how hard it would be without it.
  • Become Involved with Your Community.
    • Talk with your neighbors. Learn to work together now so it’s easier in another crisis.
    • Learn your community skill sets. Develop a plan that leverages other people’s skills that benefits everyone during a crisis.
  • Strive for Variety in Food, Entertainment, and People
    • Build a menu that keeps you from eating the same thing multiple days a week.
    • Draft an entertainment agenda that keeps you from doing the same thing to relax.
    • Establish a network of people that you can talk to so you can have a fresh perspective on everything.
  • Practice Preparedness with Other People
    • Demonstrate your skills and learn from others by doing preparedness exercises.
    • Identify problems before you actually need to bug in with others so they can learn too.
    • Practice multiple times a year to maintain a higher state of preparedness.

Knowledge is Key

Often enough when we want to learn something or recall a fact, we turn to our phones. We rely on the internet for our knowledge more than we want to admit. It’s important that you recognize that simply reading something online doesn’t mean as much as actually applying that knowledge yourself. Even then, if you don’t do it enough, you are bound to forget. One last thing I want to discuss for bugging in is the value of hardcopy reference material. That’s a fancy way of saying books, manuals, and printouts.

Did you find something online that is helpful? Did you bookmark it for later? There’s a chance that you didn’t bookmark it, but many people do. Did you PRINT this information and store it away in a binder? Redundancy is key, and I don’t like to waste paper. However, is it really wasteful if this information you print out is helpful? I don’t think so. If you are planning on bugging in, then you should have books and binders of information that you have been researching online to help you prepare. It definitely will save you later when you are trying to remember the correct way to do something in a blackout situation.

One last thing. Keep your reference materials for BUGGING IN in a watertight, fire-resistant safe. Just like the title to a car, SSN card, and birth certificates – this information is important enough to stow away in a safe place. If for some reason you lose power or the internet goes down, then you will have your own knowledge base to go to when you are trying to remember something you did 6 months ago. Practice is important too. This makes the information stick. Stay safe out there and stay sharp!