Where will you be when SHTF? There’s a big chance it will catch you in your home region and eventually, it will all be for the best. If you know your region before the event occurs, you have better chances of surviving it.
People are making a lot of preparations for various emergency scenarios, but we all know that it is difficult to predict the circumstances of the scenario. There are many things that can influence the outcome of a disaster event.
Things such as your location, environment, population density, etc. In a previous article, I’ve shown you how you can establish prepping priorities for the most probable events in your area. I recommend reading it because it will help you rethink your emergency preparedness strategy. Even better, it will confirm that everything you are doing is well planned.
Suggested reading: How to establish prepping priorities
After you establish your prepping priorities, the next step would be to predict the best course of action for you and your family, before disaster strikes.
For example, would bugging-in be an option for your family? Will you be forced to move to a safer location? If so, which route will be the safest and do you have all the supplies to make the journey, even if there are delays?
All these questions can be answered if you know your region and it will help you reduce the “unknown” factor. If you are forced to find refuge in your local wilderness, it is important that you know what resources are available and how to find them. Even more important, you should know how to avoid the dangers within your region.
Here is what you should know about your region before disaster strikes.
If you’ve been reading the articles from this website, you probably know by now that I’m encouraging foraging as a survival skill. Many plants have the ability to save your life in an emergency situation. However, they can also put you in an early grave if not researched carefully.
Without taking the time to practice plant identification, you will easily confuse the plants that can save your life with the ones that can have an adverse effect. You should start by learning which plants from your region will be of help during a survival scenario and which one you should avoid
You should keep in your bug out bag a guide that helps you identify the following type of plants:
Some of the plants from your region can provide you with the vitamins and nourishment you need to survive when food is scarce. You should discover which edible roots, flowers, berries or grasses grow in your part of the country and how to safely prepare and eat them.
A doctor may not always be around and proper healthcare will be difficult to find during a crisis event. Fortunately, you have a bio-pharmacy in your region and nature can provide you with all sorts of cures. From headaches to sore throats and even blood clotting, nature has a solution for everything. There are all sorts of plants that can heal minor ailments and injuries. You just need to know how to identify and use them.
Touching the wrong plant or ingesting the wrong berries can easily seal your fate. While some will make you ill and incapacitate you for a long period of time, others will leave you cold for good. Before you go out foraging for edible and medicinal plants, you should learn about the plants you have to avoid. Making a positive identification before usage is the number one skill of every forager. If you are in doubt, leave it be!
If you want to learn more about wild edibles and the dangerous plants to avoid, make sure you subscribe to my email list, to receive my free book: “The complete guide to foraging Wild Green Edibles in North America”.
Natural water sources
While water might not seem a primary concern when disaster strikes, it can become a major hassle if the event is not a short-term one. Many survivalists and preppers, have a good supply of water and various means to purify the water they find, if they are able to find it. You should know all the available water sources from your region.
It will help you restock your water supplies and it will provide you with an understanding of the disaster’s gravity. If there is only one major water source, there will be a lot of competition for it. You need to make sure you are able to deal with “competition”.
If there are multiple water sources, you should try the smaller ones in order to stay out of sight. Weather conditions play an important role in your region and they will increase or decrease your chances of finding water.
Suggested article: Ready to drink natural water sources to exploit in the wild
When hunger is becoming your mortal enemy, finding an animal in the wilderness is a true blessing. Each hunter knows that it is important to learn about the animals from the region. This helps you figure out which can be eaten and which will eat you. Every region has ideal prey that is good for consumption.
The trick is to learn which ones in your area are the easiest to find. You might not have a rifle available or you will have to avoid using it due to various circumstances. It is crucial to know various hunting techniques. You also need to learn about the right way to cook them because prey might be different from what you buy at the grocery store.
Your food list will include mammals, reptiles, insects and everything in between when your food supplies run out. Predators can be found in your region as well. You need to know what deadly beasts might be on your trail.
Every region has its dangerous animals and an encounter with a bear or a mountain lion is not a pleasant experience. Not to mention that there are also the sneaky, stealthier ones like spider and snakes. You should educate yourself about how to handle the dangerous animals that can be found in your region.
If your bug out location was not designed for long-term living, you might need to build something that provides you with comfort and protection. To do that, you will need to rely on using natural materials from your region. Building a shelter is not easy without the proper tools and materials. Time might not be on your side and you need to know beforehand which materials are available.
You have to practice how to use them properly and what tools you need to get the job done. The resources from your area will have to be exploited to create shelters, tools and weapons if the crisis event extends over a few weeks/months.
All across the country, there are weather conditions that affect our daily living. We make preparations to make sure we don’t freeze during the winter or that we don’t boil in our own juice during the summer. Knowing the weather conditions from your region is also important. It will definitely affect your lifestyle over the long haul. Flooding, extreme temperatures or winds, natural disasters could all be dangerous for your family if you are forced to bug out in the wild.
Knowing about the weather conditions will help you find water easily, it will help you build the proper shelter and it will help you face Mother Nature when she gets cranky. You should start by pinpointing the most dangerous weather risks from your region and the time period when they occur.
Research and discover solutions for each weather event identified as a possible risk. Learn how to make a fire in harsh conditions and prepare for various weather scenarios.
Suggested reading: How to make a fire when odds are against you
Neighbors and how to deal with them
Population density is an important factor from your region and you should know what to expect when things go south. There is a big chance that many of your neighbors will go for the hills, just like you. The resources you are aiming for are free for the taking and you might need to fight off the competition.
Having means to defend yourself and your bug out location is critical. Especially when there is a high population density in your area. Although it is recommended to stay out of sight during a long-term disaster scenario and let fate decide who makes it and who perishes, you might not always be able to stay under the radar.
Traveling without leaving a trace and keeping your perimeter secure are skills that you should acquire if there are a lot of people in your region. One usually knows about how safe or rough his neighborhood is on a daily basis. All this knowledge will help him prepare better for when SHTF.
If you live in a bad neighborhood, do you think that people will behave nicely and go to church when it hits the fan, or will the do anything they can to survive? The same logic applies to any region, the only difference is that survival will be much more difficult if you live in an area that is prone to criminal activities.
Escape routes on foot
If you need to bug out from your region you will need to learn about the escape routes you have and how to use them. You will use a vehicle for the most part of the road, but eventually, you will have to continue on foot. Regardless if you are in the city or in a rural environment, you will have to flee on foot at some point in time.
Do you know enough about your area in order to make sure you make it to your safe heaven by foot? If you have a long journey ahead, you will need to plan a bug out timeline and stick to it. Think about if you need to cache some supplies along the way. You will need a meeting spot for your family member and other local friendlies.
You should map the secluded routes you feel no others are aware of. Map the areas with an abundance of natural resources. When bugging out on foot, you should keep in mind the following, what are you carrying with you, where you are going and how are you going there. Proper footwear is a must for every journey. Being in good physical condition will make sure you are able to carry your bug out bag without too many resting stops.
Suggested reading: Bugging out without leaving a trail
We prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but that’s not enough. Emergency preparedness requires planning and prioritization, and it is not just a shopping spree as many tend to believe. Studying the details of your home region will give you a better chance of surviving a crisis event. It will keep your loved ones safe during an emergency situation.
In this article, you will find various suggested articles that contain a lot of good information. I recommend keeping them in mind because they can provide you with the missing pieces you are looking for.