Letter Re: Bugging In or Bugging Out


Hi, I have a question. I live in a middle-sized city in South Carolina. Our population is approximately 180,000. There are good and bad neighborhoods, one being on the east side and the other on west side of the city. The city’s crime is #33 in the FBI’s stats. We’ve gone through disasters and we’ve seen only minor looting in the wakes of them but nothing serious. I have general confidence that if something major was to happen, my church and neighborhood could come together to cope with the situation, making leaving the city entirely unnecessary. However, I have read, particularly on your blog, that remaining in a large city would be dangerous in a grid down scenario. My question is, in the event of a grid down scenario, would it be wise to bug in at my house, which is located in a good neighborhood or would it be better to bug out to another location, say a relative’s house in the country? Would a city our size make bugging in dangerous? Is it realistic? Assume I have all the necessary supplies to survive at my house for six months. – N.R.

JWR’s Comment: In my estimation, any city over 5,000 population will probably lose any sense of cohesion in an extended (3 week+) grid-down collapse. And if civic water supplies are disrupted, a large city would also be a public heath nightmare. Please make plans in advance and pre-position supplies so that you can bug out to double up with your Country Cousins.