What does it mean to bug out?

And why would you need to?

Bugging out, prepper, prepping

Bug out is a military term. It simply means to retreat, or evacuate. Modern day preppers use this term to describe being in a situation wherein one would need to evacuate their home. Whether it would be due to an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, fire, flood, landslide, nuclear disaster or attack, cyber attack on our electrical grid, nuclear EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack or a solar EMP, the apocalypse, or zombie attack (yes, some people really do believe in zombies).

Everyone should be aware of any national disasters that are likely to happen in the area where they live. It is my belief that a wise person will be prepared for any such disaster or emergency situation that is common to where they live. Here is a link to the American Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Plan. Please read this if you need help in your preparations.

Should I stay or should I go?

When disaster is approaching, or strikes, we have to decide whether or not we are going to bug out, or bug in (stay and shelter in place). Depending upon the situation, there may be a period of time where you might be able to stay in your home. Whether you decide to stay or go will depend upon the individual circumstances and whether or not you have the supplies and capabilities necessary for either decision. Or, you may need to leave and go to a place of safety right away.

Obviously, in the case of a natural disaster such as a fire (either house or wildfire), hurricane, flood, or landslide you should go to a place of safety, as quickly as possible. That really shouldn't even be a question. If any of these disasters were to happen, it would be wise to have a BOB for each family member nearby so you can grab it and go. If you don't know what a BOB is, see my article Prepping 101 | Bug out Bag (BOB).