Bugging in, or sheltering in place, is a common option when there is no immediate threat to your home yet there has been some sort of disaster that makes it unsafe for you to venture from your home. The massive snowstorms that have covered most of the US this winter is one example. Other situations may arise when there has been a chemical spill, or there is an active shooter situation in your neighborhood, or there has been a disaster in your city and officials are asking everyone to stay put and stay out of the way of responders.
In all of these cases, you will want to bug in, or shelter in place, in your home. Here's how:
- Lock down your home immediately. This means lock all of your doors and windows, close the gates and garage door. Make sure that no one can come in or out of your home.
- Depending on the problem you may need to turn off all HVAC systems in your home (heating, air conditioning, fans, etc) so that, for example, any chemicals that have been released will not be sucked into your home.
- Also depending on the situation, you may be told to seal off your house. This means using plastic sheeting and duct tape to cover all areas where air can come into your house (windows, doors, vents, etc).
- Listen to the radio or TV news for additional instructions (you may be asked to turn off the gas at the main, turn off your electricity main switch, call and report anyone suspicious in your neighborhood, etc).
- If it is safe to do so, get out the buckets and fill them with additional water (ditto the sinks and bathtubs).
- Wait for further instructions (this will probably be the hardest part).
- Be prepared to carry on without leaving your home. This means eating (remember not to light a barbecue appliance indoors), sleeping, and entertaining everyone until the disaster has passed.
- You may also need to defend your home.
- When the all clear is given you will know you can safely come out of your home.
Remember that each situation is different. Sometimes you will be told to shelter in place, other times it will be left up to your best judgement. Knowing how to shelter in place is just one more skill to have in your survival arsenal.