Items to Have When Preparing to Bug In

preparing to bug in

Preparing to Bug In

How long do you think you can survive in an emergency when you are preparing to bug in? Do you think you won’t need to? Look around; watch the news and take a look at all that’s happening in the world today.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. There has been a Category 5 hurricane and you have lost your electric power. You can’t get to the store; and even if you could, the store shelves would probably be bare due to anyone that is able has already bought everything and the stores can’t bring in more right away – and there is no estimate as to how long it will take to get things back to “normal.” It could be that you would need to bug in for only three days or three weeks – or it could be months!

What do you need to have on hand when preparing for just such an emergency or any other emergency where you will need to live in your home for an extended period of time? Let’s take a look:

Preparing to Eat
Preparing to Eat



Remember Mahatma Gandhi? He managed to survive 21 days of complete starvation. However, it’s going to depend on how fit you are, how old you are and how determined you are.

While it’s been reported that a healthy person can live up to eight weeks without food, I sure wouldn’t want to try that, would you? After a couple of hours, my stomach’s growling like a ferocious dog. And what about your family, especially your kids. It won’t be long before they’ll be complaining, “Mom, I’m hungry. When can we eat?”

So food is going to be essential to have on hand when preparing to bug in. It’s best to have food on hand that doesn’t need any cooking – like canned food and non-perishable foods like MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) or foods that you just need to add water. Remember, you’re not going to have a refrigerator to keep things cold, you’re not going to have a microwave, you’re not going to be able to wash dishes, and you’re not going to have a stove. So, I’d make sure I had plenty of paper plates and plastic silverware on hand).

Remember Buffalo, New York, USA, just recently? They had that horrible nor’easter where they got approximately seven feet of snow. They ran out of gas for their furnaces and generators – the snow actually was up over their front door so they couldn’t get out. They were trapped!

You can also get a little camp stove so you can heat up water. Oh, and by the way, don’t forget a manual can opener!


Speaking of water, again, it is going to depend on your health and condition of your body as to how long you can live without it. Most people can go for an average of 3-5 days without water.

According to

“You should store at least one gallon of water per person for three days.”

That is not going to take into account children, nursing mothers, sick people or your pets. That is just a starting point.”

Please also read up on how to determine your water needs, including water filtration, on this same website.

Don’t forget you are going to need water also for sanitation and cooking. (not to mention bathing) 😉

Medical Supplies / Sanitation / Safety

When preparing to bug in, you will want to have things in one place so you can go to it quickly in an emergency. Some of the items that will fall into the medical supplies/sanitation & safety category are the following:

• First Aid Kit & first aid book
• Prescription Medicines & items for special needs (inhalers for asthma, etc.)
• Pain Medication
• Moist towelettes
• Feminine hygiene items
• Baby diapers, bottles, etc.
• Matches / Candles
• Flashlights (solar, battery operated and/or hand-crank flashlights) – Do not forget batteries!
• Toilet seat/bucket, toilet paper, paper towels, Terry towels, or even rags
• Firearms, bows/arrows, knives, pepper spray, etc. – these would be needed in extreme cases where people were unable to buy food. Even a slingshot could help you out if need be. People that wouldn’t be able to get it elsewhere would want YOUR food because they can’t get it anywhere else. Be safe and be able to protect yourself and your family.

Communications Equipment

Not only will you want to communicate with all of the individuals in your family; but you will also want to communicate with friends, neighbors or your local governments for regular updates as to the disaster you are potentially in or about to be in.

Your cell phone can be a valuable communication device – but what if it goes dead? Have you prepared for that possibility? Do you have extra batteries and possibly an extra charger? You will certainly want to have your smart phone or laptop or notepad available so you can connect on social media.

What about a radio? No, no; I don’t mean one to listen to music. There are ham radios that run on batteries, as well as CB (Citizens Band) radios that you can use.

If you are in the United States, it is highly recommended that your radio be equipped with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

The NOAA Weather Radio network provides voice broadcasts of local and coastal marine forecasts on a continuous cycle. The forecasts are produced by local National Weather Service Forecast Offices. Coastal stations also broadcast predicted tides and real time observations from buoys and coastal meteorological stations operated by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center. Based on user demand, and where feasible, Offshore and Open Lake forecasts are broadcast as well.

You may also sign up in advance to receive notifications from your local emergency services.

If you’re in a hurricane or tornado or other severe weather storms, it won’t hurt to have on hand the following as they are good means for signaling helicopters or land vehicles if they are looking for you:

• Whistle – Good whistles can be heard from a great distance away.
• Flashlight (solar is a great alternative that doesn’t require batteries or power to charge)
• Mirror – You can use the sun to reflect light.

Important Documents

Be able to put your hands on the items below at a moment’s notice in case you need to leave your home:

• Personal Identification (driver’s license)
• Passport (if you have one) or government-issued documents
• Social Security Card
• Health Insurance Cards
• Credit Cards
• Other important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, will, marriage license and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

Alternative Power

Items that can run by solar and/or hand-crank chargers are great items to have in a disaster kit. These will include cell phones, flashlights, cell phones and radios.

To Be Prepared Is to Survive!
To Be Prepared Is to Survive!


One of the greatest things you can do in any emergency or disaster – anywhere in the world – is preparing to bug in. If you are on a budget, you don’t have to buy a lot. Depending on what you’re wanting to get, you can even buy one #10 can of food, 2 oz. cans, 1 oz. cans and even buckets.

Bugging in may not be necessary – but then, does it hurt to be prepared? I say not. How about you? Have you started prepping yet?

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