Bug In or Bug Out – How Can You Know for Sure? (Part 1)

In the event of a disaster, do you bug in or bug out? How can you know for sure? How ready are you? Where would you go?

Have you heard the term BIBO? It stands for Bug in, Bug out. That’s a perennial question for preppers everywhere. On this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, I share part one of a two part conversation with Bill Cirmo of BIBOOutfitters.com to talk about the ingenius BIBO number system he’s devised to help you decide whether and when to bug out. You’ll also hear a little about his ingenius survival trailer that can help you get out of Dodge.

Bill is intelligent and articulate, and I didn’t have to ask many questions. He took off running with his well thought out answers. I think you’ll appreciate what he has to say, and I encourage you to listen to our conversation this week and next.


Who is Bill Cirmo?

As is the case with so many of my DestinySurvival Radio guests, Bill is passionate about what he does to help you and me get prepared. He comes at the subject with a different perspective than others who offer preparedness training. When you see his varied credentials, you’ll begin to understand why that is.

He wasn’t finding what he needed for his particular situation, so he came up with both the BIBO number system and his survival trailer to meet the needs of his own family and those who live in urban and suburban areas.

Bill realized that few people have the financial ability to move to a farm in the woods, and even fewer have the physical ability to live off the land. So he came up with a blueprint designed to work well for individuals, families, and the mature or elderly.

He grew up as an outdoorsman in the mountains and forests of New England, and that taught him the meaning of “poor planning produces poor performance.” He discovered that the ‘trial and error” teaching method had a very long learning curve. So he gained knowledge and skills by seeking out the advice of those with experience.

Bill says his formal survival education began while training to qualify as a Combat Pilot in the US Navy. He qualified as a Patrol Plane Commander and Mission Commander flying the Navy’s P-3 Orion aircraft, flying missions against the ever present threat of the soviet nuclear submarine force during the height of the cold war.

It was the extensive training by Navy Water Survival and Air Force Jungle Terrain survival specialists which honed his skills in the physical and psychological aspects of survival. He says this training prepared him to survive a crash landing while flying missions from the arctic circle in Iceland to the rain forests of South America.

Then Bill left the Navy to pursue his love for the aquatic environment. He became a USCG Master Captain and Master Scuba Instructor and operated dive charter boats throughout Florida and the Bahamas.

Bill says he’s the ultimate entrepreneur. His latest endeavor was to use the skills and knowledge he acquired as a Building Contractor to design and patent his unique Bug-Out Survival Trailer. He markets and sells this trailer through BIBO Outfitters Inc.

As if all that weren’t enough, Bill is a qualified FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor, and he enjoys the calm and serenity of flying over the Florida countryside. He lives with his wife and best friend, Sherry, in Jacksonville, FL.


Your BIBO Number - A Sub(urban) Prepper's Guide


Who needs a BIBO Number?

In spite of the fact that prepping has become more mainstream, very few people prepare. Those who do fall into three groups–survivalists, homesteaders, and urban preppers. Bill didn’t feel like he fit into the first two categories. He saw his own situation–and that of many others. Thus, he wrote Your BIBO Number: A Sub(Urban) Prepper’s Guide to meet the needs of urban preppers.

Three out of four Americans live inurban or suburban areas. That’s where the bulk of preppers comes from. Many are middle aged, have children or elderly relatives living with them. In other words, there’s a family unit to be taken care of.

Also, many urban preppers have pets, are physically active, and they take medications out of necessity. They may have a certain amount of knowledge and skills, but haven’t had much chance to put them to practical use.

Bill wrote his book to meet the needs of urban preppers and give them options for preparedness. But, as you may have discovered for yourself, there’s so much information out there these days, it’s hard to sort through it all and know what’s relevant. Whose guidelines do you follow? What lists of supplies do you need? Thus, Bill has devised the BIBO number system to cut through the clutter.


What can you expect when a disaster takes place?

There are three stages of a disaster or catastrophic event. In those stages, people respond similarly to the stages of grief. Bill explained this in greater detail during our conversation, but it breaks down like this.
  • Initial stage (First 3 days)–Denial and anger
  • Extended stage (first 30 days)–Bargaining and depression
  • Sustained stage (Beyond 30 days)–Acceptance


In every event people ask themselves whether to stay or leave. Bug in or bug out? Bill wants each of us to consider the desired outcome. We may want to shelter in place, but we don’t want to end up like those who were stranded in poor circumstances, as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The BIBO number helps figure out what we want our desired outcome to be.


Where does the BIBO Number fit in?

Rather than looking at bugging out and bugging in as separate plans, Bill says we should see them as extensions of one another. He strongly emphasizes the point that if you’re prepared to bug out, you’re prepared to bug in. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

There are times when a bug in plan won’t work well in an urban or suburban area. Yet bugging out can be plagued with several sticky complications, too.

That’s where the BIBO number comes in. It helps you analyze and plan. You score yourself in categories described in Bill’s book. You’ll be able to determine how prepared you are with the personal readiness index, and you’ll be able to know what you’re up against with the threat index. You’ll have a handle on whether, when and where to bug out.

Bill starts with primary categories, which include…

  • Bug-out Location
  • Bug-out Vehicle
  • Bug-out Route


Other category groups to determine readiness include…
  • Physical Attributes
  • Dependents
  • Knowledge and Skills
  • Equipment and Supplies


Your score will change in some categories, depending on what actions you take.

Here are a couple of examples of what you’ll be considering when you evaluate your supplies. Is your storage food designed more for sheltering in place or traveling? If you have a pantry full of jars of canned produce, it’s not as easy to transport as packaged, freeze dried food. If your water is stored in 55 gallon barrels, you won’t be able to take it with you. You may want to have at least some of your water in 5 gallon containers.


How can you sort all this out?

This all might sound complicated at first, but it’s well thought out. It will make sense as you work your way through the book. It’s an easy read.

Incidentally, don’t be intimidated by the fact that the book has 73 chapters. They’re short–a couple of pages or so–which allows you to eat the proverbial elephant one bite at a time.


There’s more, but…

In part two next we’ll hear about when you should bug out. Plus, we’ll get more details about the bug out survival trailer.

Meanwhile, please hear the first half of my conversation with Bill Cirmo by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for January 8, 2015. (Right click to download.) Find out more at www.BIBOOutfitters.com.

Your BIBO Number: A Sub(Urban) Prepper’s Guide is available in e-book form and will be available in print soon, if it isn’t already. You’ll find it on Bill’s site. Or you can click the image above to go directly to the page where it’s featured.

Any comments on what you’ve read above or heard on this week’s show? Share your thoughts below. Have you already tried Bill’s system to work out your BIBO Number? If so, how helpful is it for you?


Click here for part two.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.