Recommendation for bugging in or out in Taiwan

I live in Taiwan and prepping for bugging in, I also have bug out options  but with two kids I am limited. What do you think I should prioritize? Trying to figure out if I forgot anything obvious…


  • Comments (19)

    • 3

      Here’s an article that I think might help answer part of your question: Bug in vs. bug out: Why your home is always the default choice

      Could you tell us a bit more about your circumstances and what might influence your decision to bug in or out? For example, what are some disasters you may face that would entail a bug out? How likely are those? Are you afraid of war coming to Taiwan? Do you have anywhere that you could go in a bug out? …

      Also, hope you don’t mind me adjusting the title of this post to better reflect the subject. Feel free to edit it further if you would like.

    • 3

      Given the recent news, I do think it’s time to check my prep thoroughly. China has been flying plane daily around Taiwan for over a year now, and they could make a move and send people in with a short notice I believe. If it happens, the army and many Taiwanese people will fight back, leading to SHTF situation somewhat similar to what we see in Ukraine today.

      The background info is that Taiwan is a semi-tropical island, densely populated in some areas, not at all in others. The island is prone to earthquakes. There are caves and abandoned mines, but I am not familiar with them and they are fairly dangerous, due to earthquakes and volcanic fumes.

      Winters are warm and rainy, summers are hot and rainy. It’s a small country, unlike Ukraine and because it is covered 70% by steep and densely forested mountains, the surface of city is actually quite small and would be easy to bomb. The other access would be by the sea.

      Taiwanese society is heavily dependent on electricity, notably because of the high buildings. My elevator was off for a week and I could tell this was a major issue. Many old people living above 10th floor would be in danger if the electricity would go down for more than this. I guess electricity grid would be a primary target in case of attack.

      My home is far from the city center and any potential target building, and has 3 floors of underground parking which could provide shelter in case of bombing.

      I am living in the lower floors and could do just fine without electricity even long term.

      I have 2 kids, 4 and 6 years old so I don’t see myself walking long distances in the mountains. Also, lots of snakes there, especially off track. I do have bug out bags though, built thanks to the guides on this website. Thank you so much for your great guises btw.

      I am good on the Meds and food part. I am a bit low on the communication part, no radio license yet. Not sure what would work best from underground… I am thinking VHF?

      • 2

        “Not sure what would work best from underground… I am thinking VHF?”

        I think the antenna will need to be above ground. You could put the antenna above ground, outside your shelter, and run a wire from the antenna into the shelter so you can use the radio from inside the shelter. Just accept that the antenna could become damaged, in which case you lose communications until you can go out to repair or replace the antenna.

      • 2

        Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it. Ok I’ll get an antenna, indeed that’s probably my best option 

      • 2

        VHF should get through barriers like walls and trees better than UHF. 

        Eric hit the nail on the head to run your antenna up as high as you can and then connect to it inside your building.

      • 2

        Pay close attention to the Ukrainian invasion to get a glimpse of what you may encounter in the future. (I pray you don’t)

        This post should give you some good ideas What can we learn from the war in Ukraine? The thing I am seeing many people say, is to get out of the area as soon as you can if you sense something is going to happen. But your kids, and not having a place to go certainly is going to factor into your ability to bug out.

        Since so much of your society is dependent on electricity, get a generator that runs on gasoline, or some sort of solar panels. Have a camping stove that you can run off of propane.

    • 2

      Thanks a lot guys, yes I am going to get an antenna and additional radios. Aiming at the Baofeng F8HP because the Yaesu advised in the guide here is sold out everywhere here.

      I have a few small solar panels, the sun is strong here. What about the power stations, that are essentially large batteries? I saw that the ecoflow delta can power a fridge for 10 hours. Any of you know about this kind of generator? Being in an apartment, storing a large volume of propane/gasoline is very inconvenient. 

      indeed, given what I see in Ukraine, bugging in my basement is a totally valid option, just as long as I can stay put for an extended period of time. 

      thanks a lot, if it gets hot here, I’ll give you an update. Again, thank you so much for all the efforts guys, thanks to this website I feel much more confident about my preps!

      • 1

        I do, I am getting my paperwork ready in case, at least for my kids. However it might not be easy to leave the island, and it also means leaving people here on their own. I wish it were possible to just relocate now but it’s hardly an option for me

      • 1

        You are in a very difficult situation with no good options. I just thought of things I would try to do if I were you, but I know you’ve already thought about all of them. Maybe go to another island on vacation but never go back, but that might be being restricted as well, by the Taiwanese government. Good luck!

      • 1

        Thanks! The other Taiwanese islands will be the first places to be invaded. I am looking at escape routes to Philippines and Japan but clearly that won’t be easy to pull out, which is why I need to perfect my bugging in plan

    • 2

      I know this is outside the bounds of prepping, but here’s an interesting article that challenges conventional thinking. I would have hesitated to post it two weeks ago, but seeing Russia stumble badly in the recent days has encouraged me a little:

      Taiwan Can Win a War With China

      • 1

        Thanks for the article, it’s interesting. I am not expert enough to say who would win or not, but indeed it might be a tough call otherwise they would have make their move a long time ago already. Regardless of who is the winner, it would likely be a bloodbath anyway.

        The government is going to issue a document with war preparedness instructions: https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4462167

        I am ahead of the mass in terms of preparedness, but in the event of a war I’ll never be prepared enough….

    • 1

      An American in Taiwan when China eventually invades is not a good position to be in, And if Putin is sucessful in the Ukraine its almost certain China will feel it can go at Taiwan.  I would be looking at escape routes  by air or sea.

      • 1

        Yes I totally agree, I hope Putin screws up in Ukraine. The problem of the escape is that planes will be quickly overwhelmed and I can’t easily pass a boat license here. Also, the sea would be pretty busy if there was an I casino and I can’t leave my love ones here which is why I lean towards the bugging in/out option.

      • 1

        But you couldn’t live out of sight with your family indefinitely. Are the planes overwhelmed now or they will be in the future? If I were you, I’d leave as soon as possible.

    • 2

      As a follow-up, the government finally issued a hanbook with instructions on how to prepare for emergency. They cover the very basic, which is better than nothing. It did increase the overall preparedness of the country with more people preparing a backpack and some supplies at home.

      FYI, the handbook is available here:

      All-out defense handbook

      This is the English version there is a longer chinese version 

      • 1

        Thanks for sharing the intro handbook. Why is the Chinese version longer.

        How have your thoughts on preparation for an invasion changed since you started this post almost two years ago?

      • 1

        There are mroe details in the Chinese versino because there was a backlash against  the original version which was too simple and basically always mention what the government is supposed to do, not what people should do (besides waiting for the government help). They updated the Chinese version with more instructions but not the English version. I was at least happy to see that they mention having a backpack and some basic supplies…

        As for my thought, I made sure that we will be in line for evacuation, should anything happen. I keep accumulating supplies and skills such as first aid, learning local language, taking online courses (thanks to the black Friday deal ;). I keep exploring the trails that would allow me to go home from work and to bug out. I keep learning about local dangers (Taiwan is full of snakes). I do have a stove and backup electricity which would support some days of food.

      • 1

        Sounds like your preparations are going well. I very much hope you won’t need to use them soon.