When is it time to get out of Dodge? More expert advice, Part 3

Some of the links in this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

The series continues with these experts answering the question, “When is it time to get out of Dodge?”

From Todd Sepulveda of Prepper Website

When I think about the phrase, “when the balloon goes up,” I don’t usually think about natural disasters, but instead, something man-made.  Although I don’t typically see conspiracy around every corner, I do think that it is important to be aware of what is going on in the world.

The way I do this is to stay connected to alternative media.  I sift through a lot, but I have found that the alternative media usually releases important stories/reports 3-4 days before the mainstream media. Three of my look-fors are:

Pandemic – It’s easy to get freaked out when the mainstream media starts talking about the latest virus, they sensationalize it so much for ratings.  But if a real pandemic was to hit, it would be devastating.  In fact, the video, “After Armageddon”, was the show that got my wife on board.  I tend to pay attention when I read about pandemics in various parts of the world…especially if they have gone airborne. I’ll bug out if I see virus trend maps showing movement towards my state.

Riots – I’m not talking about your ordinary neighborhood or city riot.  I would pay close attention if riots started in one city and started spreading to other cities.  This could happen for many reasons: economic, food shortages, government dissatisfaction, but no matter the reason, I would pay close attention. Although things are good in my home state of Texas right now, I would start making preparations to bug out if I saw riots in cities like Austin and Dallas or any big city in one of our neighboring states.

Financial Crash – Again, I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill Dow Jones dropping 200+ points.  I’m talking about days of uncertainty that would spiral and cause people to panic.  Panic is contagious.  When people panic, they do stupid stuff…like riot (see above).

Some might wonder why I’m not referring to nuclear war, super volcanoes, solar flares, etc.  I feel that if these things happen, everyone would know about them instantly.  There would be no time for the balloon to travel up…it would just pop right then and there!  Barring a solar flare/EMP that fried everything, I would bug out in any of these scenarios.

Again, the key for me is to be aware.  I don’t let this all get in the way of life happening, but I do keep an eye out for what is going on.  The point to ponder here is that there will be signs and people will be talking about it.  Air has to go into the balloon before it can go up.

From Steven Aukstalkanis of Threat Journal/AlertsUSA

Current events unfolding in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Argentina, and elsewhere provide us a clear view of what causes a widespread, sustained breakdown of social order.

While the specifics leading to their situations vary from country to country, the breakdown in social order typically begins when people, en masse, are rapidly taken out of their comfort zones.

In each of the above instances, large numbers of people were quickly put out of work, banks became insolvent preventing the withdrawal of deposited funds, extension of credit slowed to a crawl and, perhaps most importantly, social programs and safety nets were dramatically cut back.

The impact extended to businesses as well. As an example, if grocery stores did not pay their suppliers, deliveries of stock ceased and shelves were bare. If the transportation companies were not paid, products remained in warehouses. If workers were not paid, products were not produced and companies closed.

In modern society, literally, every aspect of one’s life is dictated by access to money either through wages earned or social programs. A home, basic utilities, and food on the table are all dependent upon its accessibility via some means.

When large numbers of people rapidly begin having problems meeting these basic needs through lack of work,  bank failures and insufficient social programs, dangerous levels of unrest and crime WILL occur.

In desperate times, desperate people do desperate things.


– Failure of multiple LARGE banks.

– Failure of multiple LARGE brokerages

– Bank holidays declared preventing withdrawal of deposited funds

– Widespread “Bail Ins” (depositor funds used to refund insolvent banks)

– Capital controls (limited withdrawals and limited movement of assets abroad)

– Bond market collapse


1. Keep an eye on overseas markets. It is highly likely that a cascading systemic failure of the U.S. financial sector will begin overseas. Europe and Japan will be likely epicenters.

2. It is critical that readers make moves NOW to exit the system. Keeping deposits in banks beyond that necessary to cover monthly bills is placing those funds at tremendous risk.

3. Regarding 401Ks and IRAs: These are the last remaining piles of unencumbered cash available for the U.S. government to seize upon. There is already legislation being drafted in Washington that will mandate the replacement of such tax-deferred savings with dollar-for-dollar equivalents in U.S. Treasuries. The reasoning that will be used is “to protect responsible savers.”

This has been in the planning stages for years

NOW is the time to get out if at all possible. Bite the bullet, pay the taxes and get your assets back. Anything left in these accounts stands a good chance of being taken

4. In all investments it is critical you eliminate, to the greatest degree possible, all of the agents between you and your assets.

If you hold stock, the chances are good they are held by the broker in what is referred to as “street registration”. This means that in the brokerage records, the stock belongs to you, but in the eyes of the company in whom you own stock, it is in the name of the brokerage. Leaving assets in “street name” with your brokers and bankers is a financial death wish.

The preferred way of holding shares of stocks has always been in your own name as physical certificates. The second best method is to hold your shares in Direct Registration.

From Rob Hanus of The Preparedness Podcast

There are some other minor events that would require a short-term evacuation, such as a chemical spill, but there are four big events that would cause me to bug out immediately.
NUCLEAR DETONATION:  Should there be a nuclear detonation on any city in this country, regardless of where it occurred, it would immediately throw the country into chaos and turmoil, both socially and economically. The sense of security we have in America would be completely shattered and we’re likely to see a psychosis among many people. The threat, real, implied or inferred of another detonation would necessitate the need for me to get my family out and away from any large population centers and any other likely targets.
RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT: Without appropriate shelter, the only defense against radiation is distance. A radioactive cloud, whether from the fallout of a dirty bomb, nuclear detonation, or power plant meltdown, requires a spontaneous evacuation. This is one instance where getting stuck in traffic could be deadly, so you would need to leave immediately in hopes of getting out before everyone else realizes they, too, need to leave the area.
EMP: An EMP attack on the US would shut down the electrical power grid for the entire country. Once down, it will likely be over a year before we would see electricity again. Without the power grid, there will be no food or fuel deliveries, nor will there be water, sanitation, or any of the other many services we rely on for daily life. This means the cities will quickly become death traps, either through starvation, disease, or violence.
In some urban areas, the breakdown of society is likely to happen within a matter of hours, though in most places, it may be two or three days before people realize the problem is bigger than they initially thought. Without radio, TV, and phone communications, there will be no way for people to learn the entire country has been affected and most will opt to wait it out.
By the time people have figured out the electricity isn’t coming back, everyone else will also have realized there is no more society. Once people understand there are no more laws, no police, no firefighters and no medical help available things will quickly deteriorate. For this reason, once you realize we’ve been hit with an EMP attack, you need to do whatever you can to get out of the urban and suburban areas and get to someplace that can grow food and supply water.
ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: Society has suffered economic collapses before, but should the collapse be so severe that we lose basic social services, such as law enforcement, sanitation services, food and fuel deliveries, and when the crime rate begins to increase, it’s time to get out.
This scenario is trickier to know when to leave, especially if you are one of the lucky few that still has a job. If you have the resources to build up your defenses at home, you might be able to stay and ride out the collapse, but don’t stubbornly resist leaving. Safety of your family should be paramount.
The most important aspect of bugging out is having someplace to bug out to. Never become a refugee. Have several safe places you can go to. Having a destination eliminates one of the biggest barriers of deciding to leave. Ideally, have several retreat areas planned, and choose the best once you’ve made the decision to leave.

From Erich of Tactical Intelligence

Since the authorities will always wait until the last minute to evacuate a populace, waiting for the government to announce that it’s time to evacuate is in many cases too late. Especially if you live near a highly-populated area. You could be joining thousands of other stampeding cars all trying to Get Out Of Dodge — likely not getting anywhere but stuck on an evacuation route with all the other disgruntled (or worse) people.
For this reason, you’ll want to have a set of “precursor signals” that tell you and your loved ones that it’s time to go (and let me remind you again, this shouldn’t be when the authorities tell you it’s time to go). Having this will keep you way ahead of the crowd. What you’ll need to do is make a list of events that would act as triggers that let you know it’s time to head out to your predetermined Bug-Out Location (or at minimum, a safer spot). Remember, in most cases, you can always go back if things calm down or never amount to anything.

Here are a few example events:

The Economy

  • Bank holidays or limits on withdrawals
  • Stock market closes or the DJIA reaches ‘x’ amount
  • Dollar loses reserve currency status

Social unrest:

  • Looting/riots spreading to nearby city
  • Crime and lawlessness on the rise and reaching a “tipping point”
  • Racial violence (ie a “Rodney King” event)
  • Class violence (ie “have-nots” beginning to physically target the “haves”)

Weather conditions:

  • Any category ‘x’ hurricane
  • An impending tornado

National events:

  • Martial law enforced
  • Internet goes down for extended period of time
  • Transportation or supply systems effected

Local events:

  • Power outage for more than x number of days
  • Curfews implemented
  • Police going on strike

Ultimately, it comes down to paying attention. Awareness is ESSENTIAL.

In other words, you can’t afford to live in a bubble! Stay abreast on what’s going on in your local area, on a national level, and in the world, and consider how those events could shape your future.

These trigger events are very subjective and unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all”. For your own trigger events, you’ll want to consider the most probable events first and then move on to other disaster scenarios.

It’s also very important to trust your gut in all of this. If you or someone in your family or group “does not feel right” about what’s coming, then that should also be a valid trigger event.

READ MORE: Do you know the three warning signs that’s it’s too late to prep? Click here to find out what they are!

Read all the advice on this topic

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

6 thoughts on “When is it time to get out of Dodge? More expert advice, Part 3”

  1. Thanks for these comments and another excellent article.
    I’m a single gal living in a small apartment west of Denver, Colorado. More than half of our local news each day is filled with the news of the dozens of horrible wildfires raging throughout our state. Each day, hundreds if not thousands of families are evacuated from their homes. Many had less than half an hour’s notice. A couple have already lost their lives, while trying to pack their car in their garage. They waited too long.
    It is constantly on my mind what I need to have prepared should a fire be sparked on the hilly dry brushy open space park which is just 300 yards away from my door. I could have even less time than most.
    We are grateful for the thunderstorms tonight but very mindful that any of the hundreds of lightning strikes could mean thousands more forced from their homes and hundreds more houses lost. They also mean the threat of tornadoes on the eastern half of the state.
    ~ I have my car emergency kit in the car with water, jumper cables, a blanket and lots more: but good sturdy shoes aren’t in there yet.
    ~ I have my first aid kit, my 72-hour kit, and my 4-day food box: but last month I raided my food box for that road trip we took. And I need to re-pack my “go-to-a-hotel suitcase.”
    ~ I have my pet emergency kit, but I haven’t even tried to practice getting the dog and both cats in the car…that scares me to death.
    ~ And last but certainly NOT least, my computers are backed up to the cloud, but I don’t have my Grab & Go Binder really started yet.
    Guess I’d better really get going on this.
    Thanks, Survival Mom!

  2. Excellent series of articles. Thank you Survival Mom! Motivated me to research the kinds of warning systems we have today in this country. Balloons were before my time, but I grew up during the cold war diving under my school desk within seconds of hearing the sirens go off. The list of things to watch for provided by the experts who contributed to the article is a good start, but how do we know any of these things have taken place? Weeks before a disaster, the Internet, radio and TV stations and our newspapers might give us a few weeks notice, but a police man driving through my neighborhood yelling through his megaphone “Pack your cars and evacuate immediately!” means it’s too late to get out of Dodge. I might as well sit in my home and wait for the looters and the zombies than sit on a grid-locked freeway where my family would be even more vulnerable to the maddening crowd.

    So I’d like to find out what warning systems have replaced the balloons and sirens. And how “early” will the warning be? I found one this afternoon that delivers warnings to its customers on wireless devices, but they charge you for the service. And what good is a warning system if a SHTF event takes the grid down before any warning can be disseminated? The 911 disaster was surprisingly sudden–caught everybody with their pants down . I sure don’t want to be like Will Ferrell who said in one of his crazy movies, “I did NOT see that coming!”

  3. I keep reading about GOOD, but where the heck do you go? I’m a single parent with a daughter. The idea of camping out in the open by ourselves seems more dangerous than hunkering down. If everyone is saying avoid urban areas, again, where do we go?

  4. www.crownpeptides.com

    Wonderful overcome! I wish to trainee whenever you modify your web site, how can i join for any weblog web page? The actual profile solved the problem your appropriate bargain. I am a bit familiar on this your current broadcast offered radiant transparent concept

  5. Maria if you have no where to go, then you very well might be better off hunkering down where you are. There are a lot of variables. The most important thing will be having food/water/ and a way to protect it and yourselves. Finding like-minded folks to join with is important to. Survival will likely require help. People who try to go it alone are going to have problems. They have to sleep sometimes! From there it’s a matter of deciding what you think the most likely scenario is and preparing for it. If you think that the “worst case” scenario is likely then finding a place to go that will also have water and the means to produce food, along with enough supplies to tide you over until you can produce that food. It’s a big decision and a lot of planning. There are plenty of websites out there that can help you with the planning part. Just type “survival” or “prepping” into google and you’ll find a number of them. One website that I follow on a regular basis is Jim Rawles site http://www.survivalblog.com Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *