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Following on from last weeks blog on get home and “Bug Out” bags, I’d like to share some of my thoughts and sensible preparations you can make when it comes to “Bugging In”. This isn’t a comprehensive guide on what to do by any means but it will hopefully give you an idea of what to be doing and a starting point to go and look into things further.
For a majority of us, “Bugging Out” isn’t going to be a viable long term solution when faced with a prolonged situation such as a pandemic or social breakdown. Yes, “Bugging out” can serve a purpose to get from one fixed point to another, say a relatives house outside of a major city for example, but some preparations will still be required at your finishing location. Of course, each of us will have different requirements when it comes to the things we will want if we were going to be isolated at home for any extended length of time but the basics will be very similar.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to go out in the yard and dig yourself an underground bunker and fill I with enough food, drink and medical supplies to live down there for years just to be prepared. Most things you can collect gradually and not really see any change in your normal buying habits at the supermarket or DIY store. The most important thing to consider is who you are preparing to bug in with and how many of you there are as, for example, an infant will have special dietary requirements as would the elderly or disabled.
The first and most obvious thing that you need to consider is food and drink as these are the things that will most likely force you to venture out into the world during any sort of lockdown. This can easily be covered by putting aside a few extra cans of food out of the weekly shop and making a list of what you have stored and its expiration dates then, when the dates start getting near you can rotate them out and replace them with fresh cans with a longer expiration. As a general rule of thumb you’ll want to have around 2 weeks worth of everyday food put aside and then a couple of months worth of dry food. This could be military ration type food or freeze dried, Usually this will have an expiration date many years in the future. Personally I took this one step further and purchased myself a petrol generator to enable me to keep frozen food stored in the event of power cuts as a freezer is great at staying cold until you open the door and having a generator to run for an hour after closing the freezer makes it great for long term storage.
The same preparations apply to a source of drinking water. Bottled water, when stored in a cool dark place, will keep for a good long while and can always be treated with purification tablets in the event of a serious long term situation. You may also consider a way to collect rain water as this can be easily filtered and treated to provide drinking water or to use for washing.
Its also very worthwhile to keep a reasonable stock of first aid supplies and basic medicine like painkillers, paracetamol and Antihistamines. As with anything first aid related, knowledge is far more valuable than having the worlds supply of kit but no clue how to properly use it. To that end it is very worthwhile spending a little time and taking a general first aid course. There are many different types of these courses available but they all cover much the same content.
Depending on your location, home security may be something else you’ll want to have a look at and take some simple and cost efficient steps to improve. Simple things like fitting a security chain to your front door or security wires to your larger opening windows will go a long way to deter any would be intruders or thieves. Obviously in the UK we are very limited on what we are allowed to have for any form of home defence but something as simple as a powerful flashlight or a loud air horn will again help to deter an intruder or, at the very least, alert neighbours of others nearby to your situation.
As I’ve already said, this is by no means a definitive “How To” guide on “Bugging In” but I hope it proves useful to any of you out there that maybe want to be a little more prepared should something like the current Covid-19 situation occur in the future.