When to Move Out!

You have been “bugged in” your city apartment for several weeks.  No electricity, no phone, no running water, and lots and lots of crazy people are running around the streets. There is truly no way of knowing what exactly is happening in the world, but it really does not look good for the home team. Even though living conditions have certainly not been up to your preferred standard of living, you and your family have felt secure up until this point. You have plenty of supplies and your vehicle is still operational, but the environment outside filled with crazies, criminals and crusaders is out of control!  Life is just not the same as it was.  So what do you do?  After a thorough threat assessment is conducted by your group, you determine that your security precautions are holding up, but depending upon future threats, they could break down at any moment.  The tough decision must be made: re-enforce the homestead or move out.  The group decides that moving out is the best option.

When deciding to move out, several questions must be answered.  First and foremost: do you have another place to go? The last thing that you want to do is leave a not-so-good situation and move to something that is far worse.  Obviously, that makes no sense!

In the excellent book, CONTACT! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival, Max Velocity states that “you should only move if you have a safe place to go to, or your home is untenable.”  Max also states that “Getting out for getting outs sake, perhaps with nothing but a camper or a tent and heading to a National Forest like everyone else, will simply leave you out there at a great threat.”  I totally agree with him.  You should not move unless the situation dictates that you absolutely must move.

When you decide to move, there are a few additional questions that must be answered:

  • How do you get where you are going?
  • What type of areas will you be crossing to get there?
  • What are the potential security threats?
  • How do you secure your supplies or do you just leave them?
  • Do you have prepositioned caches along the way or are there additional supplies at your future location?

There are certainly more additional questions to answer, and they should all be addressed prior to the disaster as part of your “Prepared Lifestyle” contingencies plans.

As a side note, if you are going to be prepared or live the “Prepared Lifestyle” in earnest, you must plan and train.  Here is a simple blue print for the prepared lifestyle: Mindset, Tactics, Skills and Equipment.  Mindset requires the understanding of two key concepts: Awareness and Threat Evaluation. Situational awareness is a critical skill that must be instilled in your subconscious mind and you must be continuously evaluating your threats.  Always remember that the following are threats to your safety; Crazies, Criminals and Crusaders–the 3 C’s!

You should develop a set of core Tactics to deal with a variety of situations. Study and understand Colonel Boyd’s OODA Loop and make it a habit.

Understand that in living the Prepared Lifestyle, you must also practice Skills that work.  This is just a short list of skills that you should be honing: unarmed and armed fighting, use of improvised weapons, first aid, escape and evasion techniques, and driving skills.  The list could and should be endless.

Lastly, you must know your Kit, i.e. your Equipment.  Please ensure your kit is serviced and in working condition.  DO NOT carry kit that you do not know how to use!  I believe strongly in keeping things simple, and equipment should be ready and available when needed.

We must consider some of the following things prior to moving out;

  • When is the best time to move out – day or night?
  • Do you have contingency plans for emergencies and security issues?
  • What is the best route to take to the new location?  Do you have maps and predetermined routes to take?
  • How many people are you taking to the new location?  Are non-family members allowed?
  • How many vehicles will be in the convoy and how will you protect them?
  • Do you have spare equipment?
  • Are you prepared to move out overland if your vehicle(s) becomes disabled?
  • Do you have proper first aid equipment to deal with any medical emergencies en route to the new location?
  • Are you prepared to fight your way to the new location?  What is your weapons and ammunition count?
  • Is security at the new location in place or are you potentially going into a hostile area and will you have to fight your way in?

It quickly becomes apparent that the question of “Moving Out” is not an easy one.  I truly believe that if the option of staying in place is available and you have everything you need for survival, you remain where you are, hunker down and wait for conditions to improve.  If you do have an alternative location and prior proper planning has been conducted, then moving out is a viable option.  Just make sure you have considered the possibility of things going wrong and have plans in place to deal with as many difficult contingencies as possible.

A variable that is often overlooked is martial law, law enforcement and military interaction–are law enforcement officers and soldiers still operating under the laws that were in place prior to the collapse, or has martial law been declared?  Depending on how bad things have deteriorated, Rules of Engagement (ROE) might be the “law” of the land, and you most certainly will not be entitled to the same protection as before, nor do the same rules apply to search and seizure (or other constitutional rights).  You must exercise extreme caution.

Are you now prepared to make the critical decision: hunker down and stay put, or move out?  It is your choice!  For the sake of you and your group, make sure it is the right one.



  1. Thorough article and clearly shows how knowledgeable you are. Hopefully I won’t need these helpful survival tips.

  2. Certainly all points worthy of considering. One never knows. Natural disaster is the most likely trigger for a survival situation like this. Other things may happen.

    There are certainly numerous risks associated with moving depending how loose the situation gets.

    But consider, how suitable is your house for such a situation? Is it readily barricadable? Good observation? Has a basement? Solid walls? Etc.

    If your house is not suitable, look around your street or surrounding blocks. Look for the most suitable defendable or concealable location. Consider taking it over if the shit hits the fans.

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