I’ve been asked a few times what would be the trigger for me activating my plans and I keep on saying the same thing. I have very few defined triggers and I have no single line in the sand that I can follow.
That may sound a bit strange but it always brings to mind the discussion on Yes, Prime Minister about the nuclear detterent. The question was when would you (the PM) press the button? When they passed the Rhine? No. When they entered France? No, when they got to the channel? No. So when would you do it?
The answer then as it is now is when you need to. Not when you tick a selection of boxes and when completed you press the button. That is insane. So why should you consider your prepping plans have to include such criteria? I don’t.
The truth of the matter is that there are only a few items that we would see as single trigger points. Bright lights in the day over local cities during a period of threats. An asteroid strike when one is expected. A sudden loss of all electrical power and comms. They would of course trigger a reaction and I would investigate and perhaps then trigger my plans. But in general it is a series of things that will make you activate your plans. You hear about food shortages, you find it is difficult to buy certain foodstuffs. You are likely to stay put at that point. Later on you hear of people getting killed and houses being broken into. Unless that is close to your home you probably still wouldn’t bug out. You may decide to play the Grey Man and gain some time or wait until something happens in your street. Either way the trigger point has not been met yet you will probably already have exceeded any threshold you wrote down previously. Of course if you are sensible even if you are not ready to lug your Bug Out Bag down the street you should be checking that everything is ready, packing away anything specific for that event so that when you do trigger you can be gone in a few minutes from the decision.
Every event needs to be considered and when your individual threshold is exceed you can be gone in a few minutes. Bearing in mind if it is a Bug Out Situation you want to be gone before the whole world decides to Bug Out and you get stuck in big queues.
Some people don’t understand this. It seems to go against all what we talk about regarding preparing. Why can’t you define a clear line? In my case it is because I am being realistic. I can’t evaluate every event and every scenario and define clear exit criteria. I can do it for one or two but even then there will always be that slight difference between what you have defined and what is happening. That difference needs to be evaluated before you risk your lives on it.
You can however always make sure you have thought about all the scenarios so you know what you can do and when. That statement may sound a contradiction but it is not. If you give me a scenario I can tell you what I would do and when. I just can’t define it down to the nth degree. Also made up scenarios don’t have any of the tension involved in real life. You can analyse them but if it was a real situation you would react differently.
So, bottom line, I have a list of scenarios I have considered. I know what I want to do when the trigger point is exceeded for each scenario and yet I have no clear trigger points for each scenario. Make sense? It makes sense to me.