Will you know when it’s time to bug out? 14 signs to watch for

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(Natural News) You’ve already got your bug-out bags (BOBs) and you have several bug-out locations in mind. Everyone in the family knows what to do when SHTF, but how do you know when it’s time to bug out? (h/t to ReadyNutrition.com)

When it comes to bugging out, you need to be realistic and observant. Prepare your BOB and gear right now, if you haven’t done so already. No one can predict when exactly a survival scenario will take place, but if you’ve already prepared, then you’ve already won half the battle. (Related: What’s in YOUR bug out bag? 10 must-have multipurpose survival tools.)

To get a head start, observe everything happening around you. Estimate events, and compare the possible outcomes with the probable. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, decide on the best course of action and act “when you know and feel it is the time to do so.”

There are 14 keys that will help you pick up on things before SHTF. Remember that the more events you tick off from the list below, the higher the chance of a disaster is. Here are some signs that you need to watch out for:

  1. The complete collapse of the markets. While a “lagging indicator,” hitting rock bottom is a sign that the markets are kaput. Check out the Baltic Dry Index and all commodities markets.
  2. Foreign military forces on the move toward the U.S.
  3. The gradual disappearance of “key members of industry, banking, and the government” under the guise of taking “extended vacations.”
  4. Heavy troop and police movements coordinating activities in major metropolitan areas.
  5. Hospitals ordered to make any kind of “mass-casualty emergency preparations.”
  6. National Guard and Active Duty troops and vehicles are out on the highways. You might see them heading away from cities and off of military establishments.
  7. A nationwide bank “holiday” is held for all banks and all accounts are frozen.
  8. An outright declaration of either hostilities or an emergency condition by mainstream media.
  9. Sudden shortages or halts in the shipment of food, medicines, fuel, or other necessary items with no warning.
  10. When people in positions of authority (The President, Vice-President, and members of Congress and the Pentagon) “disappear very suddenly and noticeably,” they’re all probably on their way to the bunker that was built using your taxes.
  11. All the aforementioned events happening simultaneously in foreign nations and the U.S.
  12. Increased police and military checkpoints and restrictions on domestic or international travel.
  13. The decoupling of financial markets and banks overseas and in foreign nations.
  14. The immediate recall of ambassadors and staff back to the U.S. on short notice.


Remember that this is an incomplete list so you still need to be vigilant. The sad thing is, despite these telltale signs, not everyone will try to prepare for the inevitable need to bug out.

The best thing to do is to plan ahead, don’t tell anyone about your plans, and be self-sufficient so you can keep yourself and your family alive when SHTF.

What you need in a BOB

If you don’t know how to pack a BOB, check out the list below:

Items to include in each BOB:

  • Basic first aid kit
  • Compass and map
  • Emergency food
  • Knife
  • Personal documents
  • Rain poncho
  • Tarp
  • Two-way radios (if you need them)
  • Water
  • Water filter or purification tablets/drops

You can divide these items between several BOBs for your family:

  • Cook set
  • Emergency radio (alternative for two-way radios)
  • Extra clothes
  • Extra first aid items
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Flashlights
  • Specialty and comfort items
  • Tent
  • Rope/paracord
  • Weapons

You can learn more about prepping and survival at Bugout.news.

Sources include:



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