Prepping Your Home for Bugging Out
When it comes to bug-out preparedness, most people focus on developing their survival skills, gathering supplies, packing essentials, and creating evacuation plans.
However, there's a crucial aspect that often gets overlooked: preparing your home. In this article, we'll explore the importance of prepping your home before bugging out, the key steps to take, and how to manage the associated costs effectively.
Why Prepare Your Home Before Bugging Out
When you bug out, you likely plan to return to your home at some point. Leaving your home unattended in an emergency situation is a little different than going on vacation. You may need to leave quickly, so it’s important to have the house adequately prepared in advance.
If you don’t prepare your home, you are more prone to being looted or having serious environmental damage to your property.
You can make improvements to your home that make bugging out easier, such as having a dedicated emergency pantry. Hopefully, taking some preparatory steps can give you peace of mind while you evacuate, and facilitate an easier return to your home.
How to Prep Your Home
Reinforcing your doors and windows is the first step in home preparation. Install deadbolts and strike plates on all exterior doors, so that they cannot be breached easily by intense winds or nefarious actors.
Weak or broken windows should be replaced, ideally with an impact-resistant or storm window. Consider replacing shuttered windows with impact-resistant glass, which can save you valuable time during an evacuation by eliminating the need to close and check each window individually.
If bugging out is a concern, you’re likely well on the way to self-sufficiency with an emergency stockpile. However, having convenient storage can make your escape easier, and keep your stash secure long-term.
Build an emergency-specific pantry in a secure location in your home, ideally near an exit. A walkout basement would be the perfect spot to keep your canned goods, bottled water, bug out bags, and other survival items.
Large outdoor items, such as patio furniture or a grill, should be anchored to the ground, or at least have a set-indoor home. In a bug-out situation, being anchored is ideal. However, quickly taking loose items into a secure shed or garage can also prevent them from becoming projectiles in high winds.
Keeping up with landscaping and yard work can be a fun hobby, but it can also help to keep your home safe. Trimming trees and removing dead branches is essential, as they can fall and damage your home.
Additionally, clean your gutters and ensure they drain properly. You might need to adjust the grading of your yard to ensure that all water flows away from your house. The last thing you want to return to is a flooded basement.
Lastly, consider what location-specific upgrades you’ll need to make. Those in places like Florida will obviously have to prepare their home for hurricanes in a way that someone in other places would not.
Alternatively, if you live in an area with high crime rates, preparing your home might mean installing bars on windows.
The Cost of Prepping Your Home
Preparing your home for when you bug out can be an extensive, and sometimes expensive, task. However, it is likely cheaper to secure your home than return to a looted or otherwise destroyed property.
Additionally, some upgrades, such as storm windows, might save you money on energy or insurance bills long-term.
There are multiple ways to facilitate these home upgrades. Using a cash-out refinance can allow you to use the equity in your home for any improvements that need to be made, and give you cash on hand instead of credit that can be difficult to trace in a large scale emergency situation.
Some preparations can be done yourself to save money. However, consider hiring a professional for more extensive ones.
It will be cheaper to have them done correctly the first time. If your DIY window shutters fly off at the first sight of wind, they can be more of a danger to your home than having none at all!
Preparing your home before bugging out is a crucial step to protect your property, increase your safety, and facilitate a smooth return after evacuating. Reinforcing doors and windows, creating an emergency pantry, securing outdoor items, and maintaining the exterior are key aspects of home prepping.
While these preparations may involve costs, they are investments that help safeguard your home and belongings. By prioritizing home prepping, you can have peace of mind during emergencies and ensure a more secure and efficient evacuation process.