TEOTWAWKI information, SHTF scenarios, checklists, guides, and useful information

American Survival Guide






1.    Resources……………………………………………………………………………………..............…….3

2.    Disclaimer (please read carefully)…………………............…………………………………..4

3.    Prologue………………………………………………………………………………………...............……5

4.    Buying Smart…………..………………………………………………………………….............……….6

5.    Identifying the Threat…………………………………………………………….........……………….7

6.    Level One Event……………………………………………………………………...........……………..9

7.    Level Two Event…………………………………………………………………………...........……….18

8.     Level Three Event……………………………………..…………………………….........…………..24

9.     Postscripts…………………...…………………………………………………………..............……..27

10.  The “CME”……………………………………………………………………………………..............…..29

11.  Epidemic and Pandemic……………………………………………………………........……………31

12.  Location, Location, Location……………………………………..…………….....……………….34

13.  Timing……………………………………………………………………………………...............………..36

14.  The Bugout Bag……………………………………………………………………...........…………….37

15.  The Underground Economy…………………………………………………......………………….39

16.  A Typical Incident Response Plan….……………………………………....…………………….41

17. Typical Risk Matrix…………………………………………………………………..............………….50

18. The “Rule of Threes”……………………………………………………………..........……………….51

19.  Are You Planning to Fail?...........................................................................53

20. Your Fortress Home……………………………………………………………..........………………..58

21. Guerrilla Gardening.....................................................................................61

22. Davids ToolBox.……….……………………………………………………………...............………...66

23.  Conclusions…....………………………………………………………………………..................….72



Compiled excerpts from various documents gathered over the past twenty years.

Other references:






Recommended reading:

Modern Survival Retreat

10 Best Traps

Action Encyclopedia

Underground Economy

Do-It-Yourself Medicine

  • All of the above by Ragnar Benson

Where there is no Doctor - David Werner

Art of War - Sun Tzu

1999, Who will Survive? - Stefan Paulus

Free for the Eating - Bradford Angier

Science and Survival - Barry Commoner

The Anarchist Cookbook (original unedited version) – William Powell, Peter Bergman

Out of the Ashes - William Johnstone

Hillbilly Cookin’ Mountaineer Style – C & F Sales Inc.

Deadly Harvest – John Kingsbury

Living Off The Grid – Dave Black

How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine, and Crafts – Frances Densmore

Healing Herbs – Michael Castleman

Special Forces Unarmed Combat Guide – Dougherty

Combat and Survival -  Aerospace Publishing





Absurdly necessary legal disclaimer –

 “The material, procedures, products, and concepts presented in this book are offered for educational and research purposes only. The authors and contributors to this work do not advocate, promote, or otherwise encourage the actual utilization of the material covered herein. Construction, possession, or utilization of these products or concepts, or the possession of components of these products, may be in violation of Federal, State and /or local laws.”


 What this appears to mean – (I cannot resist interjecting comments, as usual…)

  Basically, if you follow any of the advice given by the authors of this compilation, you risk getting into some serious trouble. Sadly, we have reached the day and age when even contemplation of the concepts can be illegal. This will be interesting research in the future, if we have one. 

Keep in mind, this is not just about making weapons and dangerous items such as that. Hoarding is considered a criminal act in many cases, and is frequently declared during emergencies. For instance, hoarding gasoline was illegal during the gas crisis of 1974, for those that remember. Hoarding gold was illegal in the not so distant past as well. I am sure hoarding food or water will also be illegal during any future crisis involving those items, so never think this doesn't apply to you....

 I am perfectly willing to bet, that if any of the Founding Fathers were alive today, they would be arrested fairly quickly for a violation of the mountains of regulations and laws we now have on the books. I am truly afraid that they would not recognize the country as the same one they lived in 200 years ago.

 History repeats itself, and always will. It is part of the cycle of life, just on a bigger scale. The  Founding Fathers knew this when they wrote the Constitution, and made frequent reference to fighting for it to maintain it. During that time, they were outlaws of the English Crown.

 Enemies of the State.


 Sometimes , if we abide by the law, we go down with the ship. 

It was the courage of the Founders in ignoring and contravening the law that led to the formation of this country.

True Law is bigger than the State. 

 They became outlaws for a belief they held, that all men should live free. 

 Somewhere along the line, we have lost our commitment to liberty. And we are the worse for it.


 FAIR USE and CORRECTNESS NOTICE: This document contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe herein constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this document is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/ If you wish to use copyrighted material from this document for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. In addition, I do not guarantee the correctness of the content. The risk of using content from this document remains with the user/reader.




This compilation has taken over two decades to assemble, and is in no way complete. The environment around us is changing, and we must continually modify our plans to address our immediate situation.

“Being Prepared” is the essence of life.

 I have come across a very good indication of ‘common sense.’ It consists of the ability to think just one step ahead. We see acts of stupidity all around us, every day. These are people acting with no ‘common sense’. They are people who have not considered the ‘next step’ in a consequence of an action they have taken.  With that in mind, maybe playing chess is an exercise of common sense.

By thinking just one step ahead… just one, the chances of success are increased dramatically. By thinking two steps ahead, they are increased exponentially.

One other thought, before you launch into this volume.  Level one and two events are quite different from a level three event. In a small scale local event, there is no breakdown of authority. There may be a localized breakdown, but it is obvious that there is an external authority, even if it is temporarily unable to project ‘control’ into a localized area. (Think the recent floods from Hurricane Irene that isolated towns in Vermont.) Under conditions like these, you may reasonably be expected to come together as a family, neighbors, or a small unit of people.

Level three is different. The difference lies with the breakdown in authority. You must have a reasonably sized group to make it through this. I suggest a minimum of ten people, be they family, neighbors, or friends. This would probably be a smaller amount in actuality, as there may be difficulties gathering together, travel, roadblocks, road damage, any number of other variables will probably reduce your expected number by 50%.  Plan accordingly if you have ‘common sense’.

This level must be anticipated and prepared for now, not during a crisis. Start with family and friends, and expand your network. You will all need each other when and if this time comes. Remember failure to plan, is planning to fail. 

What events could trigger a need for these kinds of plans?

CNN has released an article called “7 threats to the economic recovery”. One or all of these could easily be catastrophic to civil stability in this country.

1. Default of Greece – this would lead to a possible disintegration of the European Union, (the Euro).

2. The Deficit, now 13 Trillion, and rising. This can only be brought under control two ways, less spending, or more taxes, you get to guess which one it will be.



3. Inflation – the Fed is currently printing money with no backing. This causes dramatic rises in consumable goods.

4. Unemployment – if this is not addressed soon, major changes to the social structure of the country will occur.

5. Housing crisis – Foreclosures are accelerating. Inflation will drive this even faster.

6. Erratic Stock market – less people willing to jump in and risk capital.

7. World Instability – ‘Arab spring’, Iran threatening to close the Gulf to oil, Nukes, the death of North Koreas leader and replacement by his 22 year old son. Many things are creating instability, as we get closer to a tipping point.


The following treatise discusses some options we have to consider to ensure our future, if we are to have one.


 One Final note before we take off -

Where you see this icon :

New material has been inserted in the last 30 days.


First, a bit of educational material.

When purchasing or gathering items indicated in these guides, avoid the temptation to use ‘seconds’ or ‘spares’. What do I mean by that?  Well, we all have a drawer full of screwdrivers somewhere, don’t we?  Some are bent, some have broken handles, others we just use as pry bars. When it comes to surviving, don’t bet your life, or the lives of your family or friends, on second rate equipment. Use only the very best.

This means not to bother throwing that old spare knife in your pack, or some old clothesline instead of a real rope. Get the very best you can afford.

When buying, be careful.  There is inexpensive, and there is cheap. Steer clear of cheap. How can you tell? There are a few good ways. Look for giveaway words such as “Military-style”, “replica”, and such. These indicate right away that the product is designed for sales, not purpose. When possible, try to get real Army surplus items. This is because these items are produced under very strict guidelines, and must pass actual testing to prove they will work under a wide variety of conditions. That is what “Mil-Spec” means.  Even if you must get a used surplus item, it will be much better quality than a new cheap imitation.   Here are some examples of ‘wanna be’ military items.




There is almost always a giveaway word hidden somewhere in the text that will help you identify ‘real’ from ‘similar to’.  Not that ‘similar to’ is entirely bad. Just be aware of what you are buying. I have a package of those can openers, and I can tell you that they are not quite as strong as the originals, (but strong enough to do the job), and the plating has a tendency to flake off over time, being only plated, not solid material. I simply try to replace them all every ten years or so.                                               


Here are some ‘real’ items.  Note that it is easier to find foreign surplus than US surplus. This is due to recent legislation making the sale of certain items illegal, and results in surplus shortages in some items. ‘Real’ military MRE’s, Jerry cans, ammo boxes, etc are frequently banned for sale, the most recent example being after the Waco incident. Sometimes, the bans are lifted or expire, sometimes they don’t.


Identifying the Threat –


Much has been written and said about the need to properly identify the threats you may be faced with. After all, that is what planning is all about, preparing to meet an anticipated threat.  And how can you plan to meet a threat if you have not figured out what it is?

Obviously throughout this document, we have discussed some general threats like, lack of power, civil unrest, breakdown of law and order, natural disasters, etc.

Now we must discuss specific threats to you personally. 

There is one overwhelming source of threat that virtually every one of us faces, and it is this particular threat we are least prepared for.

This threat comes directly from your very own friends and your relatives.

How many times have you been the butt of a joke relating to preparedness. I know I have been, and I am sure you have been as well. In any case, you will usually end up in a discussion that ends with…”well, if things get that bad, I know where I am heading…” meaning your little retreat.

The problem is, they will.

If things do get bad, you may expect visits from all your friends and family members, and by that I mean extended family members, cousins, uncles, in-laws and out-laws.

Please recognize this for the threat it is. 

You, by now, understand full well the amount of preparation needed for just your own family unit. Now the neighborhood decides that your place is where they want to be.

Will you willingly share your family’s very limited food with someone who has taken no pains to prepare themselves? Someone who has thought of all your work preparing as an amusing little joke?

By sharing your resources with those who have chosen to ignore preparation to save themselves, you are dooming yourself and your family to death by starvation.

But what can an honest, good to the core person do?

There are several things to do, but you must start now. If you do not, your life, and the lives of your loved ones are in danger.

First: Keep a low profile. Never advertise that you have stored food, shelter, or ammunition. Especially among family. This is pretty hard to do however, and most close families will know something is up.  That’s okay, we will deal with that later. The point here is this – keep this information on a need to know basis only. Avoid all the bumperstickers about shooting terrorists and being the NRA. Become a “gray” man. Indistinguishable from the rest. Just blend in.

Second: For those who need to know – (very close friends, family not living with you) – Let them know in no uncertain terms that you will shoot anyone who approaches your house, especially if they do not come bringing all the food and equipment they need to keep themselves alive.  It sounds very harsh, but it does get the point across. The best time to bring this up is after one of the jokes about them all converging on your ‘bunker’. It will make them think, and if you say it often enough, they may just believe you.

Third: For those non-confrontational folks , you could always move to a Plan B location and avoid them right from the start.  (You haven’t told them about Plan B of course, go back and re-read number one. )

Fourth: Knowing there may very well be a few stragglers who do make it to your place, or maybe got robbed on the way, you could lay aside some extra rations and equipment for just such an occasion.

All these things require doing NOW, not then, when you really have no choice. After that, It will be very difficult to make a decision. It will be your life or theirs.

By far, this will be the worst attack on your little retreat, and if you can neutralize it now, so much the better.

It will be fairly easy to shoot at a raging mob that is shooting back.

On family and friends?

Not so much.


(The following is a rough rewrite of an article that originally appeared in the Millennium Monitor, 1999 and was transcribed in 2006. It has been further edited to bring in some current events and updates.)




There are three levels of ‘preparedness’, to use the politically correct term. Each level is an increase over the level below, and each responds with escalating solutions to the severity of the incident. Each level fully includes, and in some cases, supersedes, the level beneath it.

   A quick reference here on Level determinations -

Level 1 - May be quite devastating locally , but regional control is still fully operational. Examples, Severe Blizzard, hurricane, tornado, earthquake. There may be periods of no-authority but will be brief and it is obvious help will arrive. This type of event occurs every few years to most people.


Level 2 - More severe, may be regional areas of no control, still federal control. Examples, hurricane Katrina, hurricane Andrew, Mt. St Helens, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Chicago fire. This type of event happens 2-3 times in ones lifetime.


Level 3 - Federal control is lost, or limited to very small islands of control, (ie, military bases, government buildings). No regional or local control.  One might argue that this has not happened yet, but some examples could be the Civil War in the 1860's, or one might argue, the internment camps of WWII (in the US).   


Level 1 – Incident and response

This level corresponds to basic disaster preparedness. It covers incidents lasting from a few hours to a few days. This is the level most people find they are prepared to handle. The 7 basic needs are usually met in the following manner:


Need #1: Lighting

At this level, flashlights are generally employed, and most of us can round up a few extra batteries if we need to. Candles and oil lamps help as well. There is no immediate concern to restock fuel as the expectation is that supplies will be available very shortly.


Need #2: Heat

This is not normally pre-prepared, but access to a kerosene stove or a wood stove is more than adequate in the winter months. An incident lasting a few days would start to create some heating needs in the winter months, but could be survived using just extra blankets and sweaters. The average home would not lose all of its internal heat in that time unless it was unusually cold and windy.


Need #3: Water

Bottled water, sodas, juice, whatever is in the fridge, usually will cover this time period. Even if the power is out, you can still get a few gallons of drinking water by opening up your supply lines on the lower floors of your house. To flush toilets, get a five gallon bucket of water into each bathroom. To flush, dump about 1/3 of the bucket directly into the bowl.


Need #4: Shelter

Normally not a problem as most people would ride out an event like this in their home, or even in the car. However, high winds, wildfires, (smoke), hurricanes, and such could possibly cause damage to the house, so an alternate emergency shelter should be Plan B. Make sure you investigate this idea before you need to implement it. Most plan B’s at this stage would simply mean packing up the car and staying with a relative or neighbor.


Need #5 : Food

The treasure chest of food for most people is the refrigerator. The secondary choice is the pantry, where you may find some canned goods to get you by. Note that most people keep no ‘reserved’ food stocks. There is no shelf in the garage or pantry that is strictly ‘off limits’ unless it is an emergency. Fortunately for these short duration events, what you can find in the house will hold you.  To heat or cook food, use a propane BBQ grill or a charcoal grill.  Important:  Do not operate the refrigerator doors as often as normal. Plan what needs to be removed and do it quickly. Refrigerators are very poor at retaining the cool air once opened. A closed refrigerator will hold most foods for about 12-20 hours, but only if they are not opened. Once the door is opened, 12 hours is about the most you can go.



Need #6 : Communications

In our technology dependent world, many of us carry a mobile communications device all the time. This has taken the place of more dependable forms of communication simply by virtue of its portability. This is quite a big mistake. If you depend on your cell phone as your communications link, you had better hope for a short duration event. Once your batteries are down, you become the proverbial toast.  At least have sense enough to use your car radio to receive official news and weather. Buy a small portable radio that has a weather and shortwave band. This will last far longer in an emergency.

A word about cell phones. They are not the cure-all you may think. Reception is spotty at the best of times, and in a natural disaster, may be completely blocked. Cell towers can lose power, (just like your local area), they can blow down in a storm, and they can be damaged in an earthquake or fire. Satellites can be disabled and fried completely in a solar flare. Some cell phones can even be disabled remotely by the government! Charging is the big problem, when the power is gone, so is the phone. Yes, you can charge it off your car battery, but is that really efficient? What if you will need to use your car to escape to safer ground? Do you really want to risk a dead battery or low fuel because you were charging your phone?

Need #7 : Security

Very few people have a definite security plan in place. However, since the August 14 blackout [2003 Ed.], when we all watched as New York City slowly went to mobs, many people have thought twice about the capability of authorities to protect them.  When everything goes out, Police, Fire and all the usual emergency services are overwhelmed. Remember, the Police are NOT required to protect you. Their duty is to uphold the law, and sometimes the two are quite different things. In an emergency, they will all be working at the high priority areas anyway.  At this level 1 event, unless you are in a sensitive area, (like NYC in 2003, 1977 and 1965, Ed.), there is not much defensive posture needed. A little common sense and extra security precautions will fill the bill.



Recommendations: Level One Event

Need #1: Lighting

Good: Flashlights are great if you have good batteries in them, and spare batteries available. Most people simply do not keep the batteries fresh or have spares on hand. Make of habit of changing them once a year, along with your smoke detector batteries.


 Better: A pump powered flashlight does not use batteries, and is always ready for use. There are also ‘shaker’ flashlights, but these do not produce much light. They are better than stumbling around in the dark though.  Candles work okay, but be sure everyone knows proper handling and placing techniques to prevent a small incident from becoming a major one, like your house burning down. NEVER go to sleep with a candle burning. Chemical lightsticks are also good for this. The chemical illumination is fire-safe and bright, and will generally last through a level 1 event.



 BEST: An oil lamp or kerosene lamp works the best in these situations. It is portable. It burns with a bright light for a long time. They get great ‘kerosene’ mileage, but it does require you to have fuel on hand if you need it. Another best option – a small generator. You can always hook up some Christmas tree light strings and have plenty of light around without using large amounts of current, that way the generator can run most efficiently.

Emergency lighting can be had by removing those ‘solar light’ garden accessories after giving them a good charge in the sun, then bringing them in at night as lights.

Need #2: Heat

Good: You MAY be able to run your heating system from a generator, depending upon the type of heat you have. Hot air furnaces are the easiest to power, then hot water. For this to work, it must be hardwired into your generator system with a transfer switch. A small generator cannot easily be hooked up to run your furnace, especially if you wait until the power is out. (but it can be done, see below).

A generator can also power an electric space heater, or even a pellet stove. At this stage, don’t even consider using a propane kitchen range for heat. Doing that is more dangerous than the ‘McGyver’ tip given below!

Also avoid using a contractors ‘salamander’ jet heater inside the house, unless it is an extreme emergency. The heat given off at the ‘jet’ end can ignite flammable materials many feet away.  If you must operate one, never let it leave your sight. Operate it only while someone is specifically sitting there and watching it. It will produce a strong odor in use, and make sure to point the ‘jet’ end towards a clear space of at least 10 feet. Did I mention that they are extremely loud inside a house? Be warned.


This belongs in the “don’t try this at home, boys and girls…” but, this is an emergency, right?

It is possible to buy a very heavy duty extension cord, and cutting the female end off, attach another male connector.  Now, if you shut off your MAIN breaker in your circuit panel along with all other circuits, you can plug one end of the cord into a generator, and the other into a wall receptacle. You are now powering all the outlets on that circuit. Be very mindful of the capacity of the circuit you plug into, since this will effectively activate all circuits in the fuse box (that the circuit breakers are switched ‘on’) by a process called ‘backfeeding’. It is best to turn off every circuit in the panel including the one you are powering to prevent an overload.   SAFETY WARNING – plug in the UNPOWERED end first, otherwise the prongs will be ‘hot’, and accidental contact with the prongs will result in electrical shock. In simpler words, plug into your household line first, generator last.





Better: A kerosene heater is always a great backup. Sometimes they give off a kerosene odor when starting them up or shutting them down, but hey, this is a level one event! You can’t get too picky in an emergency. You need to have at least 10 gallons of good quality kerosene on hand in storage, and your heaters must be clean and in good working order. You can get scented additives to put in the kerosene, but they certainly would not be on my ‘must-have’ list.



 BEST: OK, the wood stove shines here. But that’s why you have one already hooked up, right? If you do, I imagine that you have a supply of dry wood nearby as well, so you are golden. Pellet stoves do not count! Pellet stoves require mechanical feeders to move the pellets, and many have draft fans and circulating fans as well. None of this will work with the power out. (Yes, you can power it with a small generator, as long as you have gasoline to run it).  A wood fireplace will also work fairly well, but is harder to cook on, or boil water on, and the heat given off is not as much.


Need #3: Water

Chances are, you have a case of bottled water put away somewhere. If not, then here’s the list of things you will need to treat the water you will need to drink.

Good: Chlorine Bleach. The plain type, no scents, no additives, just bleach. One teaspoon per gallon and let it stand for 15 minutes. Then drink. This only applies to water of ‘uncertain origin’. In other words, not from your tap. Pool tablets (chlorine tabs, not potassium tablets), can be used the same way, and store better than liquid bleach*. Just scrape 1/3 of a teaspoon off the tablet and mix with 1 gallon of water, let stand 15 minutes and you are good to go. 

 McGyver Tip:  Note: storing chlorine tablets is a bit tricky. The chlorine gases will corrode any metal containers, or caps. I have found the best solution is to wrap each tablet in plastic, seal the wrapped tablet in a baggie, and seal in another baggie. Store in an all plastic container, with a secure plastic lid. Keep this container away from metal. The gasses will still escape, but will be greatly slowed down. Best is to store them in a small plastic pail, like a cleaned out coffee container (plastic), or a spackle compound bucket. Do not store the buckets with your food supply, and by all means, keep it away from any firearms, ammunition, or knives.

Better: Water purification tablets. These are premeasured to treat 1 quart of water per pill. Just add one pill to a canteen of water (usually one quart) and wait 15 minutes. Then drink. Doesn’t taste quite as bad as the chlorine, but does have a taste. They can be expensive however. Twenty pills is the usual amount in a bottle, which is good for 20 quarts, or about 5 gallons. In an emergency situation, this will last one person about 5 days. One issue I have found with these, they do not keep long term. Figure on replacing them every 5 years. The caps corrode and the contents leak and corrode anything they touch.

  Best place to store the tablets is in the pouch in your canteen holder!


backpackable filter straw

Best: A portable water filter. Not the kind you put on the sink. Remember – no power = no water pressure. A ‘filter straw’ is the most convenient way to filter virtually any water. The benefit is that there is little taste difference. These are limited in the amount of water they can filter though, so either get several, or get ones with higher capacity. There are some replaceable cartridge hand pump filters that will work on up to 400 gallons of water.

NOTES: You can always boil water! It may taste bad and be the color of pudding, but the beasties are dead if you boil it well.

For extended water supplies, consider using an above ground pool. If it is located above any of your plumbing facilities in your house, you can connect a hose from the drain line of the pool, to your outside water faucet. Turn off your pressure tank water at the tank. Now when you open the valves, you will have a gravity feed water system that will allow showers (cold), and flushing water to any device that is located below the level of water in the pool. A rainbarrel system could be set up the same way. I do not advocate drinking this water, but it could be boiled and consumed in an emergency.

 It is important to get any necessary adapter fittings NOW, so they will be right there when you need them.




Need #4: Shelter

Good:  For this type of event, using your existing home is usually fine, and the best option. But if you are that poor guy who just had a 200 year old pine tree crash through the living room, you probably should have another option on standby. This is referred to as ‘Plan B’.


 Better: Have one room that you set up as your ‘command post’. That way, even if part of the house is damaged, you can retain heat and stay out of the elements. It should be big enough to sleep everyone. You sometimes hear this referred to as a ‘safe room’.

Best: Set up an emergency room in another building, such as a detached garage or shed, or even better, a storm shelter type of cover. A small generator could cover all of your power needs, and the best part is much of your equipment and needs could be stored on the spot, eliminating the need to round up all the supplies and carry them somewhere.

You could also make up a prefab set of walls that could be stored in the garage, maybe along one wall. These panels could be placed and fastened together to create a ‘room in a room’ . Make the wall material from something light, but solid, like some leftover paneling. Roof it the same way. You can use plastic sheets in the walls (under the paneling) for insulation value, but do not use any on the ceiling. If you were to use a kerosene stove or candles inside, plastic directly above the heat source would not be a good idea.


Need #5 : Food

Good: Chest freezer. This will keep things frozen for quite some time with no power, just don’t open the lid excessively. In winter, items can be moved to outdoors as necessary as well. Just cover them well to keep other critters away from your dinner. The pantry should have a special area where you keep your reserved canned food. This should be comprised of high energy, high protein foods, which basically boil down to one common item, beans. Be careful here, as most canned foods are excessively high in water. What you are looking for here is a high ‘protein to can’ value. Yams, peas, and spinach are good choices for some variety, just to keep the essential vitamins up.  Corned beef hash, Spam, any canned meat will be good also. Tuna and Sardines will even get some fish in your diet.  These things will last years, but I suggest practicing some form of rotation to keep it as fresh as possible.




Better: Treat your canned goods to last longer. Don’t drop or dent the cans, and be aware that they will rust in damp or humid areas. This could lead to perforation of the can, and some severe poisoning, which is the last thing you need at this time. Try this with those metal cans – take an old pot, and several old candles. Melt the candles in the pot. Then dip the cans, one side at a time in the hot wax. This will prevent the cans from rusting. In an emergency, you could even reclaim the wax.



For Details on exactly how to do this - see www.teotwawkinasg.webs.com - pdf downloads


Best: Along with a large supply of canned goods, you need other alternatives. Just think, 2 cans per day per person is quite a lot of cans. There are dry alternatives too. Dried milk, rice, flour, cornstarch, peas, beans, all can be vacuum packed and dated and put in storage. I have used baggies to measure out and store one pound of rice, then double bagging it as well. If you know any welders, a quick purge of Nitrogen gas in the baggie will eliminate any chance of oxidation. I have successfully kept rice over 10 years this way.




Military MRE’s are top notch and fairly easy to transport, but they are very expensive. Currently, the real military versions cannot be sold to the public any longer (pictured above), and the civilian version is not as good, but costs the same. It is still a good idea to pick up a few cases of these if you can. They are a lot easier to carry than a tubful of cans.





MREs are designed for men ages 18 to 45 who carry 16 percent body fat and are of average fitness. Each MRE contains about 1,200 calories and has a higher percentage of fat and sodium than a normal meal to replenish what a combat soldier works off.


The traditional MRE sometimes is not efficient enough for soldiers in heavy combat. A newly developed MRE called First Strike Ration, or FSR, is a snack meant to be eaten on the go. An FSR has a caloric content of nearly 4,000 calories. Red Bull drinks are also supplied for energy.

Read more: here


This seems to indicate that a new, improved version of the MRE is being employed in some situations, and that this version would be ideal for a survival emergency. Of course obtaining these may be difficult.


 From:  mountainhouse


The FDA suggests that the average consumption of males lies between 2200-2600 calories per day while the consumption of females lies in between 2000-2200 calories per day.

Any emergency food that claims to serve for a fixed duration must reflect these values.

Most bargain deals claim to supply the required calories per day for the duration but do not in reality.



From: Livestrong


Freeze-dried fruit offers a crisp snack, but you can also reconstitute it in milk or water -- this makes this fruit preparation a popular choice for breakfast cereal. You get quality nutrition in freeze-dried fruit -- for instance, a 0.4 oz. serving of strawberries contains 100 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 3 g of fiber, and a 0.4 oz. serving of pears provides 8 percent of the vitamin A you need each day, a vitamin important for your eyesight. Use freeze-dried fruits for desserts, stirred into yogurt or eaten plain.


You can store freeze-dried vegetables for use in soups, stews, casseroles and other recipes -- these foods offer a no-fuss method of cooking as vegetables are pre-cleaned, pre-chopped and ready for use. These foods also offer nutrition. A 1/4-cup portion of freeze-dried leeks have small amounts of potassium, manganese, folate and vitamin C while freeze-dried spinach offers a higher level of nutritional value -- 140 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 50 percent of the vitamin C you should consume each day and 16 percent of the needed daily iron per 0.4 oz. You also take in 12 percent of the calcium your body requires when you eat a serving of freeze-dried spinach.


Meat eaters may appreciate freeze-dried meats -- you can purchase nearly any type of meat in freeze-dried form, which makes creating freeze-dried meals convenient. A 1/4-cup serving of freeze-dried chicken is a good source of protein, containing 10 g; it also contains no fat. Freeze-dried beef also contains 10 g of protein per 1/4 cup serving as well as 6 percent of the daily recommended intake of iron. The protein in these foods contributes to the amount you require each day: 50 to 175 g, which accounts for 10 to 35 percent of your daily caloric intake.


Some brands of powdered milk are freeze-dried, but you can find a range of dairy products prepared in this manner, including eggs, cheese and butter. These products help maintain your nutritional intake, whether you are consuming them as part of your normal diet or roughing it out in the woods. A 1-tbsp. serving of freeze-dried cheddar cheese provides 3 g of protein, 4 g of fat, 8 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium and 2 percent of the vitamin A you require each day.

My Take:

 What I read here indicates that freeze dried foods offer less than 100% of your daily calorie needs, choosing to concentrate instead on vitamin needs. If you are going to approach the needed calorie levels in a survival situation you will need 3 to 10 packages of freeze dried meat per day, according to the information given under ‘Meats’ above. Maybe this is cost effective, I don’t know.  Anything other than freeze dried meat would seem to be a waste of money, since there is virtually no calorie content. I suggest the reader investigate this more thoroughly if they are going freeze dried foods.  Don’t get lost in the vitamins and minerals angle, you will need carbs and protein in abundance during a survival situation. Vitamins are easier to carry in pill form.


From: http://www.mreinfo.com/civilian/mre/civilian-mre-comparison.html

Specification Comparison


Ameriqual APack


Sopakco Sure-Pak 12

Wornick Eversafe

Number of unique entrees





Meals per case





Total calories per case





Average calories per MRE





Case Price1

$73 (incl. ship)


$783 (incl. ship)

$82 (incl. ship)

Price per MRE





Heater Included?





Heater Type

Salt Water





1Case price is a blend/estimate based on surveys of various dealers. Prices include heaters. Price does not include shipping (except where indicated), which could be anywhere from $5 to $25 per case.
2MREStar MREs are $70 w/o heaters, $78 w/ heaters.
3Sure-Pak 12 MREs are $73 w/o heaters, $78 w/heaters.


Civilian MREs or Military MREs?

People interested in obtaining MREs for camping, hiking, or emergency supplies often ask "Should I buy military MREs or are civilian MREs ok?" Up until 2005, that answer was always that military MREs were far better than most civilian alternatives. The older civilian MRE did not contain as much food, had different or inferior components, and did not offer much variety.

Civilian MREs

Ever since Y2K and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, there has a been a strong demand for a "Meal, Ready to Eat" type of product that's available to everyone. Military MREs would be ideal for this need but unfortunately, the companies that produce the MREs are not allowed to sell them to the general public. Military MREs can still be found for sale by individuals (see Buying MREs for more information), but there is still a demand for a commercially-packaged and readily available supply of MREs.

Before 2000 (Y2K), only two companies - Sopakco and Wornick - produced civilian MREs. Sopakco had the "Sure-Pak 12" and "M-Packed" brands while Wornick offered the "Mil-Spec" brand of MREs. Around 2001, after the Y2K-inspired rush to stock up on food and other emergency supplies ended, Wornick dropped out of the civilian MRE business and Sopakco dropped the M-Packed line - leaving the "Sure-Pak 12" as the only civilian MRE available. There were other "homemade" civilians MREs out there but those were mostly MREs put together out of spare or old MRE parts and pieces.

Around 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit, the civilian MRE market picked back up and more companies began producing legitimate, branded civilian MREs. All three of the major manufacturers of MREs for the military started producing their own civilian MREs. Additionally, International Meals Supply, a certified supplier of emergency rations for the Department of Defense, has joined the civilian MRE race with their new "MREStar" product.


As you can see on the Civilian MRE Comparison page, the calorie count of most civilian MREs is fairly close to the 1,250 calories in military MREs. For the most part, civilian MREs use the exact same components (food, spoons, heaters, etc.) as the military MREs. And even though most civilian MREs do not quite offer the same variety of 12 different meals per case, the variety and rate at which the manufacturers change their menus has improved.

Civilian MREs average around $75 per case while military MREs can be found on eBay for $50-$60 per case. Even though the civilian MREs may be more expensive, they have a couple of advantages over military MREs:

  1. Consistent product quality - all military MREs start off with the same high level of quality that civilian MREs have but when you buy the military MREs from eBay, you have no idea about the conditions under which they have been stored or how they have been handled. You might save $20 per case with military MREs from eBay, but did those MREs sit in the burning hot Iraqi desert for 6 months? Were they submerged in the Katrina floodwaters for weeks? My experience with eBay-purchased military MREs has been positive so far but it is always a chance you take. If you are trying to supply your home with emergency supplies, you have to ask if you are willing to take that risk.

My Note:  Heat and cold do not affect military MRE’s. The only issue is that they should not be in temperatures cold enough to cause the packaging to brittle-fracture from handling. These temperatures are well below 50 below zero, so that is highly unlikely. Military MRE’s also are multiple packaged, so a failure in the outer package does not affect the inner packages, each item being wrapped individually, so even some abrasion of the outer package is not a concern.

  1. Reliable vendors - civilian MREs are sold from through reliable vendors. If you have questions or problems, you will have someone to contact. If you get a bad MRE that makes you sick, you have some place to go for recourse. With military MREs, you do not have these options.


3.      Private Label MREs can be a good deal and have their advantages and disadvantages over the name brand civilian MREs. On the advantage side, they can sometimes be cheaper than the brand name civilian MREs. For example, CheaperThanDirt.com sells a case of their own  for $49.97. They also sell the Ameriqual APack MREs for $69.97. The main difference between these two types of MREs is that APacks contain an average of 1,200 calories per MREs vs. 500 calories for CheaperThanDirt.com's MREs. For someone wanting to save money and have more of a "lunch" MRE, these private label MREs could be a better deal.


4.      Another example of private label MREs would be LongLifeFood.com's own brand. These MREs sell for $92 per case vs. the name brand Wornick Eversafe MREs they also sell here for $82. In this case, the private label MREs are actually more expensive than the name brand versions.


5.      The disadvantage of private label MREs is that you don't always get a complete menu listing of the contents. In many cases, you're just told you'll receive 12 meals, each with an entree, side, bakery item, spread, beverage base, etc. but you won't know the exact menu items or what kind of mix you'll receive. Will you get a case of 12 "Omelet with Cheese" MREs? Does the company consider a "Clam Chowder" to actually be a full entree and not a side? These are questions that could affect your satisfaction with your purchase. While the websites selling many of these private label MREs might not have a detailed description of the contents, you could always contact them and ask for the details before you make a purchase.

My Note:  In a related matter , there used to be things called “squad meals”, in a big metal tray, fully cooked and ready to serve. I have not seen these advertised anywhere recently, but keep an eye out for them. If you obtain them, make sure you process them like you would metal cans, coat them in candlewax or they will rust out on you.



 Notice the one item that I did not mention here, your refrigerator

Your refrigerator is poorly designed when it comes to retaining its temperature controls. A few seconds of opening the door will lose all the chilled air inside. Best bet, do not open your refrigerator for 24 hours after the power is lost. Then, if you must do so, open it and empty it. Either consume the contents, or if you are lucky, and it is the winter, move them to a colder area outside the house. In summer, consider moving the contents into a chest freezer. If you go the outdoors route, don’t forget to cover them and protect them from predators.

Need #6 : Communications

For a low level incident, such as a level 1 event, you should not require much exotic hardware. Regular phone lines should be up and running, although some areas may be temporarily rendered unavailable due to either traffic volume or physical damage to wires and lines. Cell phones are a good second choice here, although volume of traffic could still interfere with some areas.

A predefined emergency plan should be in place with your family, and it should not rely on good communications. Meeting in a previously determined area should be expected, whether communication exists or not. Never assign places that are contingent upon communication.

A reasonable backup could be CB radios (remember those?), ham equipment, or even two-way FM radios. Of course there are power requirements for such things, so plan on your power source first, then use what will work.


At the time of editing this document, we have just experienced a 5.9 ‘moderate’ earthquake, centered in Virginia. Even though this location is several hundred miles from there, cell phones up and down the east coast are out due to overloaded lines.  In any incident, make sure you are NOT dependent on a cell phone to know what to do. All plans should be pre-thought out, pre-communicated, and then acted on even without communications.

Need #7 : Security

A level one, short term incident will not normally require much in the way of security measures, but there are a few cases where you should think about it. Tornadoes produce severe damage in very localized areas. If you are in an area hit by a tornado, there may be no emergency services that can reach you. While the immediate aftermath of the storm may be fairly safe, it does not take long for looters to realize that they have a chance for a free-for-all.

Earthquakes are also a real possibility, and although rare on the East Coast, tend to be more devastating due to the shallow underlying rock. Aftershocks will make continued rescue efforts difficult.

Some security/defense should be available should you need it. In the country, many people have hunting rifles and shotguns, both of which are proven to prevent looting problems. Be aware though, using them may subject you to more fines and imprisonment than the looters. Use them only if life is in immediate danger.

A better bet here is a dog & some signs…                 







Level Two

This is a bigger deal. A level two incident will last from a few days to a few weeks. All of the preparedness items discussed in level one incident will be needed, but in more depth.

This type of incident could be brought on by a major storm such as a severe hurricane, F-5 tornado, major blizzard, volcanic eruption, civil unrest, epidemic, nuclear accident, space junk, CME, and a host of other disasters.


It may be difficult at this time, but you will need to try to determine whether the situation has an end in sight or not. In other words, will this become a level three, or will it end in a few weeks? This is quite important since a level three response is very different from the first two. If the situation appears stable, and you believe cleanup and help are on the way in a reasonable amount of time, then treat the situation as a level two, but always be prepared to raise your response to a level three at any time.

Chances are, if you are in a level two event, you started it as a level one. It is rare that the situation is obviously a level two from the beginning. This means that after a few days at level one, you need to switch gears completely.

Need #1: Lighting

By now your flashlights are probably dead or near it. Here is where it is important to have a more long term solution. You could still use candles, but candles suffer from portability issues and some safety concerns, especially around children and pets. Oil lamps come into their own at this point, and are a better choice. It is unlikely you have stocked enough gasoline for a generator for this long, unless you use it very sparingly.



Need #2: Heat

If its winter time, you had better have a wood stove or a large supply of kerosene. If you are in a mobile home, you may be using kerosene in your fuel oil tank. If you are, you have quite a supply and a kerosene stove will serve you well. Best solution here is to have a hand pump to recover the kerosene from the tank without disconnecting any fuel lines.

If you are a wood stove person, hopefully you have a good supply of wood put away. A fireplace will also work, but is inefficient for heating, and will waste much of your wood. If you go this route, cordon off the room with the fireplace in it to conserve heat. Hang blankets across openings and close all doors. You will have to move into this room to survive.

 Need #3: Water

By now, you have used all your bottled water, or drained your pipes in your house. Now you need an external supply. If raining, put pots and pans outside and collect the rain. Use anything that will hold water. You should keep a supply of half a dozen 5 gallon pails, nicely cleaned, for this purpose. You can dip water out of a swimming pool, from a creek, pond, or lake. You will have to boil or filter this water, so figure that in the plans. In winter, you may have to hack a hole in the ice, and take water from there. Your emergency plans must include a plan of how you intend to get water. Rain gutters are a very efficient collector, just disconnect the downspout and run it into a 5 gallon pail. Empty often, it will fill quickly. Don’t forget about the pool trick.

Another variation of the 'pool trick', involves taking a 5 gallon pail, drilling a hole in the side, about 1" above the bottom. Screw a plastic pipe nipple in and seal it. Buy the nipple to fit a garden hose. Now , if you disconnect the downspout to your rain gutters, and run it into this pail, you can thread the garden hose through any window and into your home, (as long as it is below the level of the pail), or even into an outside (or inside) faucet. This will also give some running water for toilets and showers.




Need #4: Shelter

At this point, if it is winter, you must pull back into the smallest possible heated section of your house, assuming it is still habitable. In the event of social instability, you may need to leave your house. Have a ‘Plan B’ ready to implement if this is the case.  Blanket off a small section to heat, and move everyone in. It will be cramped, but you will be warm.  If conditions will not allow you to stay in your house, maybe you can set up an emergency area in an outbuilding. You may need to leave the house completely and take to the woods for a little camping. This may be true after an earthquake, where aftershocks threaten to take down the houses and buildings, or it may be dangerous because of looters. In either case, have camping materials available, ready to go, and know how to use them. Now is not the time to learn how to set up a tent. 

If you are forced from your home

You have a few options.

Easiest option - Move in with friends, relatives, or neighbors.

Next easiest option - camp on your own property, if its big enough.

Last option - camp where you can.

Nylon tents come in all sizes, and are light and easy to set up. The negatives are that the flexpoles break, and the nylon tents don’t hold any heat.  Make sure you can cut some poles and tie the tent up reasonably well if the poles break on you. Pup style tents, although small, are the easiest to fabricate poles for. You can also make a superstructure of branches and cover it with pine boughs to break the wind, or hide a bright yellow color.

Canvas tents are generally smaller and heavier, but they will hold up better in the long run. These do not usually have a sewn in floor. Make sure a tarp is packed with them to serve as a floor covering. They hold the heat better than nylon, and tend not to get burn holes from drifting hot ashes. They will also resist claws of animals better!

A few big plastic tarps or sheets will make a great teepee. This is a perfect camping alternative, since a large teepee will hold several people and can hold a small campfire inside. Practice building one of these first. Getting the tarp around the top is tricky, if it is low enough for you to reach the top, it is too low for a fire inside. In general, it should be at least twice as tall as you are. Make sure the hole at the top is adjustable to vent the heat and smoke, otherwise you may not wake up in the morning.




A lean-to shelter is a good choice also. Make the rear of the shelter face north, and block the sides. Cover with pine boughs. It may not be very waterproof unless you have a plastic sheet. Build a small fire directly in front for heat and cooking.

Most of these options will require some practice. Just knowing won’t cut it here. This is true of most longer duration survival. There comes a point where common sense isn’t enough on its own.

You have reached that point.


The following from - Cody Lundgren , "98.6 - Your Ass Alive", 1996

“…The increased proficiency developed through practice cuts down the reaction time needed to perform a skill, thus using a lot less energy”…

 “… the more survival skills an individual has that have been practiced physically and otherwise, the better the odds they have of those skills coming to the forefront during a stressful emergency…”

 I might add that the “otherwise” in the sentence above can be had by teaching what you have learned to others. Don’t worry that you are not an expert, just pass along what you know. Doing this ‘locks-in’ the skill set to your memory.





Nuclear incidents

This can be a ‘dirty bomb’, a damaged reactor from a natural disaster, or an all out nuclear exchange.  The same basic information is true of all sources, but the intensity is different.

Where the ‘ground zero’ point of the radiation release is focused becomes very important.


With a nuclear weapon, the general idea is to detonate it in the air above the target, not too far, or the blast effect will not be optimal, but not so close as to restrict the blast radius either. With such a release of radiation, the focal point is actually in the air above the target, and this is where the gamma and x-rays will come from, all at once. Shielding from these rays must be extremely dense, (concrete or lead), as they will penetrate in a line-of-sight path to you. If over the horizon from you, you are protected from these rays by the earth between you and the focus point. You have very little time and even less warning to seek protection from these rays, (remember ‘duck and cover’ in school?). The blast wave will follow, traveling at the speed of sound, covering 600 feet per second. If you are 20 miles from the site, the blast will reach you in 3 minutes.  Overpressure could reach over 10 psi, which would demolish a concrete building.

About half of the radiation given off at this moment has a half-life of less than 5 days. If you can stay under cover for a week, you will have gone most of the way towards surviving. The other half of the components have half-lives of up to 35 years, (Strontium-90, Iodine-131), so you will not be able to minimize risk from this without relocating away from the original source.



Dust and particles which will continue to fall out of the atmosphere over the next year will carry alpha and beta particles. These are easily shielded against, although great care must be taken not to ingest or inhale them.

A ‘dirty bomb’ or damaged reactor will partially eliminate the threat from the skies, as the explosion is much smaller, and there is usually no release of gamma rays or x-rays. You may encounter a large amount of alpha and beta particles however. Proper dress and washing routines can minimize this exposure. Even so, this type of radiation ‘tracks’ easily, like mud on your shoes, (literally). You may expect it to travel with groups of people almost like a virus. Prolonged exposure to these particles will cause radiation sickness, recognizable from the symptoms in the illustration.


The government stance on dealing with these types of situations is pretty simple, and I have attached some illustrations concerning it.

Step one is immediate forced evacuation from the affected zone. There is no time to pack, nothing you can bring, even the clothes on your back will be removed and burned at the decontamination station. This immediately renders you a refugee. Don’t let this happen to you. Jump the gun on this and pack up and leave before the round-up starts.



Step two is just as simple, expand the zone.  If you lived 20 miles from the Fukishima plant last year, the time to roll would have been less than a day after the tsunami. Maybe it would have been unnecessary, but as it turned out, it would have been the smart move.

The 12 mile radius zone is still uninhabited and cordoned off.

Significant amounts of radioactive material have also been released into ground and ocean waters. Measurements taken by the Japanese government 30–50 km from the plant showed radioactive cesium levels high enough to cause concern.

Moving :

If you need to move- travel upwind and perpendicular to the source and the wind, generally either north or northeast. Take a look at the plume map. In general, the prevailing wind across the US blows from the Northwest to the Southeast. You want to avoid being downwind where the dust particles will be falling out on you in a constant rain.



 For shelter, keep an earth block between you and the source.(if you know where the source is). A mountain, hill, stream bank, any kind of earth embankment, concrete, stone, will absorb any radiation being emitted from the source. If there is contamination in the air, try to get under a rock or concrete overhang. After a severe nuclear incident, you should remain protected for at least 24 hours. Then move out. Be aware the next few days will still have high radiation levels. Note that the radiation falls off rapidly after a day or so. After a nuclear attack, stay covered and don’t move for about a week.

 Most people are unaware of the very limited nature of radiation from either a nuclear weapon, or a nuclear leak. If you are any appreciable distance from the source, (ground zero), you will be fine if you take proper precautions. The blast radius of the largest nuclear weapon is less than 30 miles in rolling countryside. The wilder the country, the smaller the radius. Obviously this is bad news if you live in Oklahoma.

Surplus cold war era radiation detectors are widely available at reasonable prices. They use 1 "D" size battery to operate , make sure to change it once a year.

Important Note: Surplus civil defense radiation detectors are designed to detect gamma radiation, not alpha or beta particles. Do not assume that because you are getting no readings, there is not significant low-level radiation present.  

 Need #5 : Food

Now you are probably dangerously low on food as well. Refrigerated food is definitely bad by now, and frozen food is at the end of its useful life too.

What you can do.

Any meat left in the freezer – hang up over a small smoky campfire for at least 24 hours. This will make a dried jerky out of it which will last much longer. Do the same with any fish, if you think it is still good. Read up on how to

 do this now, there is a trick to doing it properly. 


Depending on the season, you options will be limited. Many people believe they will simply hunt and fish.


Hunting and fishing take far too much time and energy. While you are hunting, you are slowly starving, and nothing is being accomplished at your ‘camp’. The fire is going out, there is firewood to gather and cut and a million little things waiting on you to get that big buck. Fishing with a pole is pretty much the same depressing story. It may be fun when you life is not hanging in the balance, but it just will not work when it is. 

For those who think I exaggerate the issues involved here, just think for a minute. Hunting requires you to periodically move through the woods and brush. Then pass long periods of time waiting, trying to get a good shot, then track the deer if it doesn’t go right down, etc, etc.  Try doing all that while avoiding other people who may be doing the same, or just looking to hunt YOU. Try shooting a deer ‘quietly’ so no one else will hear the shot and come running, to claim your deer for their dinner. (This happens now!)  What if someone walks up and finds your camp, with all your supplies while you are out hunting?



OK ToTo , this isn’t opening day any more.  So, how DO you obtain food?  

This is the time to trap and snare. All animals can be trapped, but we as Americans are not used to getting our deer this way. But it is the most efficient way to go about it. A snare or trap is working while you are doing other things. Same for fishing. Set up some lines, or a fish weir, and let it work for you. Pickup a “YoYo Reel” pictured below. This is a set and forget automatic fisherman.  Learn how to make squirrel snares, duck snares, deer snares and fish snares. Let the snares work for you while you are foraging, since foraging cannot be made 'automatic'.

Learn NOW. Put the ingredients for your snares in your bug-out kit, so you will have them when needed.


(YoYo automatic fishing reel)                                                     

(For more on what should be in a “bugout bag” – see Prep kits ideas at end.)

Level Two requires learning and practicing, and you have to do it now. Just knowing will not help at all.

While you are learning, pick up an edible plant guide as well. For 6-7 months of the year, there is abundant food available, growing all around you, but you must recognize it and know what it is.

Any food you catch should be dried and smoked, and hung up fairly high to keep the animals from getting it, because they will be hungry too.

6. Communications:

Ok, now we are into this for the long haul. If you are still in your home, or near a car, you still have a 12 volt charging capability. If you are out in the woods, you don’t.  Not to say that you can’t, mind you. I have seen very good portable solar chargers available, and one of those puppies may just keep you going. Sooner or later though, your communications will go down. The most important thing is that you monitor the radio, commercial or ham, every day, just to find out what’s going on. Maybe nothing is, but at least you will know. And if your communications are down, most everyone else’s will be too. If you are in a group, use passwords for people entering/exiting your area. You may need to establish a lookout post as well, just to visually see what is happening.

7. Defense: (No longer can this be considered ‘Security’.)

Now the need for some kind of defense becomes necessary. Even if you are a pacifistic lover of all creation, if you are camped in the woods, there is a goodly amount of creation that may be stalking you. Wolves, Coyote , Bear, Mountain Lion, Feral Dogs, Feral Pigs, Feral Cats, Rabid Raccoons and squirrels, the list is pretty big without adding in other humanoid creatures.  





 The minimum you will need is a .22 rimfire rifle, of the semiautomatic variety, with at least 3000 rounds of ammo to go with it. While that may sound like an excessive amount, it is not. At least .22 ammo is relatively cheap and easy to carry. Be thankful you don’t have to carry 3000 rounds of BMG .50 caliber at a weight of 1 pound for two bullets! If you can only deal with one weapon, this is it. Like a Swiss army knife, it can do it all. Also like a Swiss army knife, it doesn't do any one thing exceptionally well.

Any .22 rimfire rifle should preferably be scoped, and have at least a 10 round clip, 30 is better. If you can make a silencer for it, so much the better. A handgun has limited use in this situation, and I wouldn’t recommend it except for its portability. Get a common caliber if you do, a 9mm or .45, and loads of ammo. Use it strictly as up close self defense. Its good for those charging coyotes, but a 9mm will only annoy a bear.


  A good shotgun is your mid range defense weapon of choice. It will drop a bear or a deer and put a big hurt on a pack of wolves or coyotes. Get a pump version for reliability. Attach a sidesaddle ammo rig to the stock, and convert it to an extended magazine. You can carry 6 rounds in the gun and 6 more in the sidesaddle. Get a bandolier and fill it with 50 more shells. For ammo use a 60/40 mix of 00 buck and slugs. Some very nice specialty ammo is made for the 12 gauge including Flamethrower shells, flechettes, bolos and other interesting items.( see page 66)  Use your imagination. Learn to reload at each shot, that way you can mix the shells as the situation requires. Again, 3000 rounds per firearm is recommended.



Lastly, you will need a reliable military rifle, capable of accurate shooting, with high capacity, and lots of ammo. This can double as a deer rifle, but its primary purpose is defensive. Once again, pick a readily available caliber. I suggest either Russian 7.62x39 (AK round) or the .223 (M16 round). These will be the most common calibers found. You will be able to carry more .223 than the larger 7.62 due to the lighter weight. For my two cents, unless you have been trained on the M16, avoid it and get a Ruger Mini 14, which shoots the same round but is a simpler rifle to care for. For the 7.62 crowd, there is nothing better than an AK for reliability and convenient access to ammunition.

The recommended firearms are listed as they are for a simple reason. You will have to carry them all. Therefore, a take down .22 rifle like the Feather or the old AR-7, (now being remade by Henry), will come completely apart and store in a pack. You will need slings for all of these however. You might be able to tie the shotgun on your pack as well, but that depends on what you have selected to use. You will absolutely have to carry one rifle on a sling.

One more note about firearms -

This was written primary from a suburban/rural point of view. Your operating area and terrain will affect what works best for you. Out in the flat plains, long range weapons are a must, so first priority there may be a military rifle.  In the cities, you could probably do well with just a shotgun and .22.  Luckily keeping hunting weapons like this in the city is not impossible yet, although you may have to register them.  Of course none of these limitations apply to the criminals, who will be quite heavily armed.  Let your terrain guide you in your needs.

Other considerations:



One more item I rarely see mentioned, and that is a good compound bow. Crossbows may be useful as well, being quite silent, but bolts can be expensive. Reloading time is a bit slower with a crossbow as well.  The only issue I have with hunting bows is that they are difficult to carry, being very bulky to carry with everything else.

 A lighter fiberglass field bow could be used, and would pack easier, but is not as powerful as a compound bow.




Air Guns

Some of these may actually have a place in your supplies. I am not talking about your old  Daisy Red Rider here. To really be useful, the airgun needs to shoot BB's or pellets at least 600 feet per minute. The minimum would be similar to a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster. Many of the higher end guns will do this easily.

The benefits to airguns are many. They are quiet, ammo is easily available in large quantities very cheaply, and they will take out most small game.


 Blow guns

I have seen these mentioned in other publications, and I really don't see how they could be helpful. The range is very short, and the projectiles are not deadly, (unless you are a small rodent). Skip them.


Throwing Stars (shuriken)

I do know people who believe these are deadly weapons. Only certain types in the hands of highly skilled masters would really have the potential to do serious damage.  Skip these, along with the throwing knives and tomahawks.




Take this over a Blow gun. The kind that use surgical tubing are very powerful, quiet, and would make an easily packable item. For its size and portability, do not overlook this item. One drawback - the tubing will decompose and break over time, pick up spare tubing pieces, and change them out every few years.   


Other firearms

Handguns - as discussed, do not place alot of faith in these to solve your problems. As portable self defense, they work well, up close. Thats about it. Semi autos are now extremely reliable and have large clip capacities, so favor these over revolvers, which carry limited shots and take far longer to reload, even with speedloaders.




Marlin Camp-9 - 9mm rifle. Nice intermediate weapon, using the readily available 9mm ammunition. Great rifle for kids, comfortable to shoot for women, extremely accurate. The clip interchanges with the Smith & Wesson handguns, which is great if you have both. 

Marlin Camp-45 - 45 caliber version of the Camp-9 , but interchanges with the 45 handgun.




Cobray 37mm - Available in either a separate complete unit, or an under the barrel version. Plenty of 37mm ammunition available, although no real military rounds. The 'mortar' shells are actually M80 bird-bombs, and are extremely powerful. The usual assortment of aerial shells are also available.

It is possible to obtain a 40mm barrel, and if you are handy, you could replace the 37mm one with it. The availability of 40mm rounds is much more limited, but I have seen them at various gun shows. 

There are also barrel 'adapters' which slide in the 37mm barrel to allow it to shoot 12 gauge shotgun ammunition. Doing this technically means you have created a shotgun with a very short barrel, see the warning on page 4.

Automatic, or select-fire weapons - Ammo wasters, don't bother. Learn to shoot accurately instead of 'spraying' bullets.



While we are on this subject – a few more words are necessary here.


I have a fairly large collection of automotive tools, and am able to fix many of the things that tend to wear out or break on my vehicle.  I have socket sets in metric and English,  in ¼” drive through ½” drive, various wrenches in all sizes, and tons of specialty tools like cylinder hones, vacuum gauges, A/C kits, etc.

 If I was told that I had 30 seconds to pick some of those tools to go fix a car breakdown on the side of the road, what would I take?

 I would grab the following:


A regular (standard screwdriver)

A Phillips head screwdriver

Vise Grips

A roll of duct tape

And a wire coat hanger.


Chances are, I would be able to ‘fix’ the car enough to either get it home, or move it somewhere where it could be fixed properly.

 Preppers need to keep this mindset in sight at all times.

 There are a million gadgets out there that would be useful to a prepper, but in the end, it comes down to what you can carry.

 This applies to food stores, water, shelter and security.

 We all know people with dozens of different weapons. While they each may have a specific use to which they are supremely tailored, what does one do with them all?

 If you plan on ‘Bugging-In’, permanently, with a plan to not run, then a selection of items like this may make some sense.

But then, are you a survivor? 

Survivors are Preppers, but not all Preppers are Survivors.

If running away is your best option for survival, staying put is a conscious choice of suicide.

While this may be your ‘end-game’, it does not make you a survivor, just a well prepared martyr.


My point here is to choose your tools, (and weapons and food are tools), with extreme care, and plenty of thought.

Your choices may not be the best for some situations, but they should be the best for most situations.

 Remember, your most important tool is between your ears. Humans can improvise tools from almost anything. We have done it for thousands of years.


Practice improvisation.

When choosing the tool of a weapon, think about portability, reliability, range, and accessible (and lightweight) ammunition.

 Think the same of food. Calories, Protein, storage, portability.

 For wild food, learn the six most common edible plants in your region. Go out, identify them, eat them. Once you know those by heart, pick another six.

 For shelter, learn how to make six different kinds of shelter. Make them, sleep in them.  If in an urban area, pick the six most likely places you would go. Analyze them (use the Preppers Checklist tab). How would you get there? What would you bring?

 How do you plan to cross rivers? How about mountains? What will you need to wear in the winter? The summer?

 Make a list and then simplify it. Get items that can do double duty. I like canned food because I can also use the empty cans. You cannot boil water in a plastic MRE bag. You can collect Maple sap in a can, but the bag will blow around. I am not discounting MRE’s here, they have their place, but look beyond the product to multiple uses to maximize your survival.


In this sub chapter, we are going to look at methods to deal with specific events.


A Hurricane is really an event that should never take a prepper by surprise. Modern weather forecasting has been able to provide extensive warnings and coverage well in advance.  The only way this could surprise someone is if they pay no attention to the weather news, which is really unthinkable if you are prepper-minded at all.

Besides having the usual emergency supplies, you should know if you are in an area that is low lying or has the potential to flood.  You may live miles from the shore, yet if your location is low, or along a river, rising water is something you must plan for.  The storm surge of tropical storm Irene reached 30-35 feet in some places, so picture the nearest water source near you and add 35 feet to it. If it comes close at all, plan on an evacuation.

Rising water is not the only reason for evacuation.

Areas that may suffer long term power outages may face a mandatory evacuation order even if there is no threat of flooding. These are the kinds of unexpected issues that catch the prepper unawares.

For Hurricane Irene, even though the forecast predicted the path a good three days in advance, fully prepared people of Long Island were caught off guard when mass transit, along with all bridge and tunnel access to/from the island was cut off 12 hours before the storm arrived.  

Looking at how past events played out is very instructional for how to handle the future.

If you are in an area where this can happen, make your move well in advance. If those people had loaded up the car and “taken a trip inland”, they would have been safely out of the way, had they left immediately. If nothing happened, they could just drive back at their leisure after enjoying a quick mini vacation.  

Another unexpected issue here. People with nursing or EMT backgrounds, not to mention doctors, were told to come in and report to work during the crisis, and were not let go until afterwards. If you are in these fields, you will have to figure out how to avoid a “mandatory 36 hour reporting for duty”.

Gasoline supplies were also disrupted for weeks after this event, so stocking a good supply of gas in advance of these storms seems to be prudent. The “new formulation” gas will not keep long however, so only stock up just before a storm and then use the gas within a few months afterwards. Best place to store gasoline?  The gas tank of your car. Keep a siphon hose handy and know how to use it.

Portable 5 gallon containers (gas approved) should be used as well.  If you need diesel (for a generator, for instance), you can siphon diesel from a fuel oil tank if necessary, (and vice versa).

Plan on extended power outages.  These always last longer than anticipated. Minimize your use of generators and concentrate on simple long term solutions. As pointed out elsewhere in this book, consume items in the refrigerator first, since they will go bad within a few days at most. If you have a separate freezer, move freezable items (even non-freezables actually) into it. If you are cycling the generator, the temperatures will not be as cold as usual.  If not, and you live in a hurricane area, get a small chest freezer for precisely this reason.

A few tanks of propane, or bags of charcoal briquettes will round out your cooking options as well. Even if you have natural gas, this may be turned off at the mains in the event of a severe emergency or repairs. 

Before the storm arrives, fill your bathtub with water and any clean 5 gallon pails you can find.

With these and other very basic precautions this type of disaster is easily overcome, but thinking about the related issues will show areas that need further work.  It helps to read the After Action Reports (AAR’s) on Katrina, Andrew, and Irene to see where things went wrong and what other avenues to explore.




Moving On:


There probably will be very little to distinguish a level three event from the previously discussed level two. In most cases, the level three will grow out of an existing level two event that has been in effect for a few weeks.

Over time, even a few weeks, the lack of authority will lead to increasing events of lawlessness. It will occur faster if the environment is damaged as well. When roads are blocked or impassable, the criminal element is fully aware of the benefit. The lack of power for any length of time means that monitoring alarms, cameras, and most other forms of communication will be nonexistent. The survivor must be prepared to escalate his plans to the next level as the situation deteriorates.




In rare instances, the transition to a level three event could be instantaneous. A nuclear event, whether intentional or not, could become an instant level three event. A biological event could also lead to a level three quite suddenly as well. At this level, most transitions to this stage will be gradual, not catastrophic. One things statistics teaches however, never rule anything out.

Alright, let’s suppose we are in week two of a level two event. It started as a category 5 hurricane, and another category 3 followed it a week later. Tornadoes from the system spun throughout the affected area. There is a 900 square mile area that has been completed decimated. No travel, no communication, and crowds of people are screaming for food. In the middle of all this, there is civil unrest, riots in the city, a terror attack - gangs of ‘neighbors’ are going house to house raiding food. You believe it is too dangerous to continue to stay around your home, whether you are inside it, or staying in an outbuilding or shelter on the property. You hear gunfire sporadically through the night. There is no news, no sign of any help.

Now what?

OK, so on to the ‘Big one’.




Level Three –

This is where your Plan B comes into play, and possibly your Plan C. (See Rule of Threes at end of this article).

First, and most important – you must decide whether your Plan A, staying where you are, (bugging-in) is defensible and feasible for a long haul. 

Is it off the beaten path? Hard to access? Hidden away out of sight? Fireproof?

A long hard objective look at your home base is necessary here. Look at it from the outside. How would you get in? It is vitally important not to gloss over this part of the analysis, your life depends on it.


 If not, proceed this way:

 Move to a safer location. This could be in with others, it could be an old abandoned house well off the traveled road, a hunting camp, an old factory building, whatever you have designated as Plan B.


Be prepared to go immediately to Plan C if you find someone has beaten you to your planned destination. Unless you can join with them, keep on going. You will not be traveling light. Your Plan B and C should include detailed plans to get your supplies to where you are going. You may need a truck, several cars, you may walk, or some other way, but you need to get there, with all your supplies, safely.

Traveling now is not as easy as before. You must assume that any open roads are not safe. Traveling during daylight may not be safe. Even if you have a vehicle, walking may still be safer. Several trips may have to be taken to carry your supplies. You may have to transport everything in small batches at night, with an armed patrol to accompany you. Plan for these eventualities.

One last word on shelter. Your plan B should be big enough to comfortably house you, protect you, and retain heat. It should not be any bigger than you need. A group of 6 or 10 people will not be able to effectively hold a large building or factory. There is just too much area to cover.  That sized group should be in a small 1 story house. Why? Because you need to cover all approaches, and in a small house that means 8 people tied up in observation. Grow into a bigger place as you need it, rather than occupy a bigger place and be forced out.

Now that you are established in your shelter, start with some minimal defense. Identify areas around the shelter that could be useful to your group, or an attacker. Booby trap any area that an attacker might use, and fortify the rest. Old wire fence can be strung tree to tree to make some areas impossible to enter at any speed.

Above all , conceal your location as much as you possibly can. Your survival at this point is going to depend upon your invisibility more than anything else.

 Time Out for a little explanation here.

Of all that I have written in this booklet so far, this area is the part that generates the most controversy.

Let’s be clear.

In a Level 3 event, civil authority and control is non-existent.  This may occur in a regional area, and not on a national scale, but the effect is the same either way.

For example, even in the event of a full scale nuclear exchange, it is unlikely that the central government would cease to exist. Instead, it would exercise control from very specific bunkered control points, and conduct national defense from those. It would not be able to exercise control on the local level, and probably not on the regional level either.

The area of control would shrink to areas around the government operations areas, military bases, ports, etc. Outside of those areas, there would be no control at all. Eventually, one hopes, control would slowly be re-established, but this could take many years.

It is this time period that is considered a Level 3 event. Someday, control would be re-established, so all of your actions taken during the time of uncontrolled authority would eventually be subject to scrutiny by the authorities when local control (probably in a form of martial law), is re-established.

 So why do I mention burning up empty houses and stealing trucks?




First, these items would be low on the list of ‘crimes against humanity’. The houses were empty, and many more would be  burned by looting mobs than you would be doing by securing your area. The vehicles you rescue will also be destroyed by these same mobs, or worse, turned against survivors as weapons by these same mobs.

 What you are doing, in effect, is taking the weapons from the hands of people who will use them for destruction and using them to help yourself and other people survive.

Yes, you will have to overcome an internal moral barrier. We have laws that reflect our moral convictions. We believe stealing is wrong therefore we have laws that reflect that. The absence of the law does not change the moral obligations we hold.

We, to survive, must re-analyze these morals in the light of the results, not the actions.

Our highest moral obligation is to help others. We cannot perform that service if we are bound by rules that limit our ability to do that.  The corollary of this obligation is that we must prevent the hurting of others, therefore we assume control of the potential weapons they will use so that we can do good, not harm.

 It would be a fatal mistake for the survivor to remain bound to rules and laws that no longer exist, because the unprepared and the simply evil of society will not be bound by them.

 Your defense, should the time come when order is once again restored, is simply that you did what you could to save lives, not destroy them. This is your highest calling as a survivor and a prepper.


Continuing onward - 


To fortify your new retreat, cut logs and pile them up outside the shelter, cover them with dirt, rocks, whatever you can find. Drop trees and power poles across narrow points in roads to discourage access.

For more ideas on these items, see “David’s Toolbox” at the end of this article.

A critical point will be reached about this time. Entering a Level Three means that society as we know it has collapsed, and no rebuilding it is in sight.

Level Three in many ways is a point of no return for the survivalist.

 It has been at least three or four weeks, now things get desperate. Leave the wires on the poles, and drop trees first, this will keep the wires spread off the ground and be harder to get through. Work your way around your shelter, gradually moving further out with these blockades. You may think about starting to burn out any structures nearby that could be used as a staging area against you. Clean the houses out first, salvaging anything you can use, then light it up if your security requires it. Watch the winds , you want to be upwind from any fires. There probably will be literally tons of empty houses by now, and most will have been looted at least once.

 Be aware that a fire (and smoke) may draw unwanted attention to the area and plan accordingly. Best to time these for a foggy rainy day to minimize visibility.

Be aware, before you go taking down power lines and burning up empty houses, you must be sure that help and organization are NOT on the way.

These are non-reversible actions. Should some form of local authority be re-established, you will be held criminally liable for the destruction of this property. Under these circumstances, or under Martial Law, you may be executed. These actions are extreme, and should only be undertaken in extreme circumstances. It is vitally important to ‘read’ the situation correctly from the start. There is no second chance here. This is why you need good communication and intelligence gathering from the start. I would think these types of irreversible activities would be delayed until it is obvious that no help is arriving for months or more. This may be obvious right at the start, but in most cases it will not be.  



Rebuilding -

At this stage in a level three event, the best thing you can do is absorb people. More people mean less overall work for each individual. Somehow, you will need to be selective in your choices. The best strategy is to start before this all becomes necessary, making plans to group at specified locations in the event of any emergency. At this stage, you will need a minimum of 10 people to function effectively, and as the weeks go on, you will need to add 2-3 people per week.

Be aware that there will be a huge amount of people doing exactly what you are doing.  Do not be too quick to assume they are hostile. Many of these people will be great assets. Pool your resources and work smarter, not harder. Best bet, join up with an preppers group now, and start building those contacts. Visit the American Preppers Network site for local chapters near you. (or see my 'who we are' tab for some links).

You still need to eat, drink clean water, and sleep out of the weather. Your food supply is much more critical now. You may pick up some canned food raiding empty houses, but even that will run out eventually. Start switching over to wild food, making up at least 50% of your daily diet. Then increase it to 75%. This will retain your limited food resources longer. If it is spring or summer, you are in luck. There is food available in the fall if you know what to look for. Winter will be the worst. Very little will be available in the way of greens, only tree bark and cattail bulbs easily found. Maybe some leftover nuts and berries. This is meat season. You will have to trap animals, or fish. The colder temperature will require more calories. Snow will shut down just about all of your activities, and make them much harder. Of course it makes it harder for everyone else as well. Take the good with the bad. The key to survival at this point is discipline and some kind of routine. The people that will do well are those that work with nature, not against it.

There are some foods available all winter if you know where to look...


“ …The average person eats one ton of food every year….”

Obviously that is when food is plentiful, but food may not be as critical as other items...

“… Food is not a priority in a modern day survival situation…”

“…the world record for fasting is 72 days, accomplished in a snake filled glass coffin, no less…”

 Cody Lundgren  - "98.6 Your Ass Alive", 1996

Fasting for a few days forces your body to create Ketones, which allow fat deposits to be converted to energy. Continued fasting can optimize these fat deposits to provide up to 50% of the brain and body energy needs.





Maintain regular patrols and sentries. These people are now your eyes and ears.  Rotate people and train. Practice what you learn. Everyone in your group must know how to do everything.  The really big decisions will need to be made very soon. To survive very long, you will need goals. Maybe your group needs a bigger place, and taking over that old factory would be beneficial, now that you can hold it. Maybe you want to relocate further south. These are the big plans that will provide a sense of hope in an otherwise seemingly hopeless existence. Maybe take over a small town , reopening the stores and providing a more stable, familiar lifestyle. Have a common goal, and make plans to reach it. This will provide the incentive and will power to hold on when everything looks pretty bleak.

 Some goals may include:

Putting in a garden and growing vegetables - 

This could be done on the flat roof of a large building for safety and maximizing your yields, it would be tough for the woodchucks to eat your veggies up there...

 Keeping animals - 

Another rooftop possibility , goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits could be kept safely.


Establishing a small community - (see Plan B planning)

More on this at your local APN chapter , see the 'who we are' tab for some thoughts on this.

 Maintain a positive attitude.


“ …Science has proven that attitude, self-esteem, and humor influence changes in heart rate, hormones, and body chemistry. All living cells respond instantaneously to every thought and feeling we have… how we think and feel about the world affects our perception about everyone and everything….If the world looks like hell to someone, so be it. For that person it turns out to be just that….”


“ Your psychology creates your physiology…”


Am I talking ‘mind over matter’ stuff here?

I most certainly am.

 These are all just fancy terms for belief. What your mind believes, is.

 You can believe your way out of a bad situation.

The trick with fooling a lie detector is to believe the lie.


Its not enough just to mentally believe though. Your actions must echo that belief. Everything you do should be because of that belief.

The belief must be very specific.

 General good thoughts are not beliefs.

 “I hope we find some food” is not a belief.

 “Things will get better”, is not a belief.

 A belief is YOUR truth. It is a part of you.


“People who die in survival situations experience psychological death long before their physical bodies check out….”

Cody Lundgren , "98.6 - Your Ass Alive", 1996





Lessons from Irene , August 2011

Hurricane Irene struck without much fury here in the northeast. The winds were very moderate, even the rain was not torrential during much of the storm. Because of these immediate effects, few people realized that the after effects would be so far reaching. The sheer quantity of rain caused trees to begin toppling after the storm had passed, and rising water would be another full day away. The delay influenced people to let down their guard, then to suddenly cope with rapidly rising water amid instant blackouts that eventually affected over one million people. As I write this, 6 days after the storm, 100,000 people are still without power, and many will not have electricity restored until another 4 or 5 days pass.  According to the categories above, this would qualify as a class 2 event.  It clearly started as a level one, and then, as power still was not restored, extended another level. Generators ran out of fuel, gas stations were closed, and food was in short supply.

And this was not even a category 1 hurricane at this point.  It doesn’t take much, does it?



Lessons from Katrina , August 2005 –

One other important point to make. Survivors of Hurricane Katrina had some disturbing news to report. Even though their neighborhoods were not heavily damaged, they had communities near them that were. This brought in an official “Disaster Declaration”, which from what we are always told , “makes federal funds available”, and allows National Guard troops to be activated to ‘assist’.

It does more than that. But this is the part that is rarely reported on or spoken about.

In one community, not very hard hit, the people banded together to maintain order and begin cleanup. Since neighboring communities were hard hit, the authorities, local authorities, went door to door in advance of the ‘Disaster relief’, to ‘stabilize’ the community. They did this by asking each person to surrender any weapons they had in the house.

Now, if you live in a state like New York or California, virtually all firearm sales are registered, and handguns can only be held by permit. Authorities, whomever they may be, have this information. They know what you own. 





In any kind of emergency such as this, they will be at your door, with a list, as well as some ‘inspectors.’  You won’t let them in? Good luck. Under a state of emergency, there are no rights. You will not have a choice. If you do not hand over what they are looking for, they will look themselves. And they will not be happy about it.

The person who wrote the article was incensed that the authorities would remove the only tools they had to maintain order and stability in such a desperate time. Predictably, as local control was disarmed, the community fell into violence, arson and looting. The people of the community had to flee the area.

A very hard lesson here.

You had better hide what they don’t know you have, but be fully prepared to surrender what they do know you have.  If you have sold a firearm that you registered when it was purchased, be sure to have a receipt. They will certainly follow that up. It helps to have several receipts, for almost everything you own, especially if they are ‘sold’ to people who have recently died. Heres a HINT: Look in the obituaries for someone you may know, or went to school with. Keep in mind, they will need to take something! Surrender what is least useful, or what you may have more than one of, and by all means, forget trying to keep those licensed handguns, those are only in your hands at the authorities good will, which has obviously run out.

Remember also, they will not be just collecting weapons. They will be collecting ammunition, food, water, and medical  supplies. You will not be allowed to keep anything, and probably will be 'moved' to a 'camp' where you can be fed and watered. Timing is everything.




 Lessons from the outages in the Northeast, 2011-2012

In the past year, our electricity has been out for a total of 5 weeks, the most recent being 3 weeks beginning July 24, and continuing as we talk.

Looking back on these incidents, there are a few outstanding thoughts that contribute to 'lessons learned'.


Key Items:

A generator. I love the little Honda, but its only 2200 watts. It runs 5 hours on a gallon of gas, is fairly quiet, and will power most small items like lights, ceiling fans, TV etc. It struggles with the refrigerator however, and although I have run the fridge on it in a pinch, I do not recommend it for that. Ideally, a 3500 watt should be a good compromise between power and fuel consumption. I also ran a larger 5500 watt unit, but it very loud, and goes 12 hours on 6 gallons of gas. I used this mainly for 4 hours every morning, and three hours every night to run the fridge and the chest freezer.

Units wired into a transfer switch will be more efficient, therefore running larger loads, the extension cords waste alot of power.




The Pool hookup - 

The pool is a small inflatable Intex, and has a garden hose drain, which I connected to my outside water faucet,this supplied water at low pressure to the lowest floor of the house. Rule of thumb - you will supply 1/2 PSI for every foot difference from the top of the water in the pool, to the outlet at the sink. With a ten foot drop, this was supplying 5 PSI of water pressure, enough to wash up with, and fill buckets for flushing water.


Battery powered Christmas candles - 

These were a lifesaver, my wife says to order more.  These are single LED  candles to place in the windows at the holidays. They have a timer in them to run for 8 hours on, 16 hours off, which is perfect. We placed them in the bathrooms and bedrooms. Not extremely bright, but plenty of light to see where you are walking.


The Propane BBQ grill. great for cooking up dinner, but make sure you have some cast iron pans, or some camping enamelware to make the most use of it. Always have a backup propane cylinder full and ready to go.









A quick primer on CME – “Coronal Mass Ejections”.  While you may not have heard about them, they happen fairly often, the latest being only a few days ago.

Luckily, the size and strength of these vary greatly, and we have not experienced a ‘biggie’ in several decades.


This information comes directly from a National Academy of Sciences 2008 Report ,(NAS 2008).

“Civilization is at a higher risk to solar storms than at any other time in its history, due to the reliance on electrical power.” In 1859, a solar storm lasting 8 days disrupted world communications and caused the sky to glow with the ‘northern lights’ all the way into the Caribbean. In 1989, a small storm knocked out power to the entire Canadian grid for 9 hours.  Today, and since 1989, the reliance on computers is almost total. An event similar to the 1859 ‘Carrington Event’ would decimate the entire planet. Avionics in planes would cease to function, most would crash. Almost every vehicle would immediately cease to function, the electronics totally fried. Computers, cell phones, all communication would be permanently damaged. The power industry itself states “the economic foundations of the United States, already badly cracked by chronic recession and the collapse of its’ financial institutions, would fall”.

They are not optimistic about an early recovery either , they further state, “ a contemporary repetition of the Carrington Event would cause…extensive social and economic disruptions…within a month the handful of spare transformers would be used up, the rest will have to be built to order, something that can take up to twelve months.”

The NAS report goes on to state “... recovery time at four to ten years.”

NASA scientists are predicting an unusually strong solar activity cycle, to peak near 2013. (Posted in Science, 16th June 2010 06:02 GMT)

"The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years, we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity," says Richard Fisher, head of NASA's Heliophysics Division. "At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms.

The earth has been battered by solar storms before, but never has civilization been so vulnerable, since it's now so dependent upon both electrical and electronic infrastructure.

Fischer sees serious trouble ahead from the 2013 peak solar activity attacks. "I think the issue is now that modern society is so dependent on electronics, mobile phones and satellites, much more so than the last time this occurred," he said. "There is a severe economic impact from this. We take it very seriously.”



What I personally take from all this is that, should an event like this occur, we may be living in the stone age for a long, long time. Seriously, restoring power would take 4-10 YEARS. That’s a level three event if I ever heard one…

[From Off-The-Grid-News]

“In 1962 the United States government discovered nuclear EMP when the lights went out in Hawaii after a nuclear test detonation. 50 years later, we are no closer to hardening our infrastructure against such a devastating attack than we were then.

It's true that there are degrees of EMP. A solar flare will not produce the harsh aftermath of a missile blowing up in the skies above the United States. But a solar flare is not what we need to be worried about. Rogue terrorist cells can easily transport a dismantled missile off the coast anywhere in the United States, reach our waterways, and reassemble it for delivery into the sky above us. In fact, our politicians have a word for it – “SCUD in a bucket”. The entire power grid would collapse.

It would be beyond horrific. It has been estimated that within a year, 75% to 90% of the population would be dead because we no longer have a society that can take care of itself. (Just in food production alone, 2% of the U.S. feeds the other 98%.) Even our military bases within the U.S. are dependent on the power grid to function.

And things wouldn't get better quickly or at all. We only have enough transformers to replace 1% of those in operation. The rest are manufactured in South Korea and Germany, and take on average 18 months for delivery of one unit. In that type of catastrophic scenario, where major transformers in the power grid would have to be replaced, there wouldn't be enough to take care of the needs of the citizens. We would literally be thrown back into the 19th century at a moment's notice.

Would you survive?

This headline from Fox news, 7/31/12








Epidemics / Pandemics

These are far more serious, as they will start almost without much public notice, but may escalate extremely fast. Be prepared to respond quickly, moving your timescales up accordingly. What follows is a direct quotation from a pamphlet that was mailed to every resident of my county. If you thought the movie “Contagion” was full of Hollywood exaggeration, note that these quotes come directly from the county health commissioner of my county.

“ The XXX County department of Health encourages residents to stock at least a two week supply, preferably a three week supply, of essential household items.”

“Plan for the possibility that usual services may be disrupted. This may include services provided by hospitals and other health care facilities, banks, stores, restaurants, government offices, and post offices.”

Sheltering in your home and not exposing yourself to people who are sick is the best way to avoid pandemic flu.”

The following was copied directly from a county source as well, I have edited out the boring parts and the repetitious parts in the interest of saving space – I have put all notable actions in BOLD.

Pandemic / Avian Influenza Response (non-weaponized)

Pandemic / Avian Influenza Response
Level 1  - Pre planning, including confirmed cases of human-to- human transmission of avian / swine flu
Level 2  - Suspected case(s) or suspected/confirmed cases

Level 3  - Confirmed case(s)


Level 1

Level 2
(in addition to Level 1 actions)

Level 3
(in addition to Level 2 actions)

Assessment  Team
Critical Incident Team
-Public Safety

  • Quarantine planning.


Essential personnel receive respirator masks from Public Safety

Maintain contact among Assessment team.

Incident Commanders

-Director of
Public Safety
-Emergency Mgt. Coord.

  • Communicate with County Health Department and DOH for Planning and monitoring.
  • Regularly communicate with Cabinet regarding status of preparedness.
  • In conjunction with President’s Office, issue info to  community regarding status of disease spread, self protection and response. (e-mail, website, meetings)

Notify  County Health Dept.

Notify Housing  on number of potential contacts that may require isolation.

Compose communications with Media Relations and the Advisory Group Coordinator for the community regarding signs/symptoms, protocol for referral of suspected cases.

Incident Commanders activate Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Recommend temporary closure of building(s) and suspension of  activities.

Implement Critical Incident Management Plan with Assessment Team.





Public Safety

Train dispatchers, and Public Safety Officers on avian flu.

Alert  Health Center if encountering individual(s) with flu-like symptoms.

Essential personnel receive info on respiratory and personal protection.

Implement policy on transporting individual to hospitals.

Public Safety.

Secure buildings & post signage

Assist Health Center

Facilities Management

Identify building ventilations systems.

Update training for removal and cleanup of hazardous waste.

 Issue additional hazardous spill recovery kits and review hazardous waste removal procedures.

 Stand by to shut off utilities as directed by Incident Commander, if necessary

President’s Cabinet


Receive information from Incident Commander(s).

Review content of internal and external public information bulletins and announcements. 

Consider restricting movement  Based on U. S. State Department recommendations,

Advise Executive Management on response options.

Activate Critical Incident Management Plan.  


Provide oversight for notifications if appropriate.

Authorize temporary suspension or closures.


Level 1

Level 2
(in addition to Level 1 actions)

Level 3
(in addition to Level 2 actions)

Media Relations

Draft internal and external bulletins and announcements, with the Cabinet and Pandemic Advisory Group.

Write and record bulletins and updates Emergency Information Hotlines.

Write scripts for phone tree with approval from Advisory Group Coordinator.

Request to staff and their families to report all flu cases to Incident Commander.

Organize phone banks, if necessary (phone banks can refer callers to emergency services, take messages, support rumor control)

Establish a Media Relations Center: coordinate press releases, and manage news teams and interviews, etc. 

Medical Leadership
(RAs, etc…)

Health Center trains on avian flu.

Notify Health Center if suspected cases are encountered.

Essential personnel receive info on respiratory and personal protection.

Not applicable

Not applicable




Enact planning for quarantine

Health Center trains essential personnel on risks and response.

Identify potential rooms and/or buildings to be used for quarantine.  Notify current occupants in spaces that will be needed of the potential or need for them to move.

Ensure emergency response menu is planned for various degrees of need.

Stockpile additional food stuffs and water.

Ensure food delivery process is planned and supplies are on hand.

Essential personnel receive info on respiratory and personal protection.

Enact plan for isolation or quarantine  , Set up Housing  command center and recall essential personnel.      Enact emergency phone contact tree.     Identify meal delivery need and method for quarantine.

Communicate situation and needs to Corps.

Identify roles of essential staff: leadership, communications, food production, food delivery, maintenance and housekeeping.

Activate emergency locator tracker on housing website for use by displaced to report their temporary addresses.

Activate plan from level 2 to quarantine in conjunction with the guidance from the County Health Department.



Every year we seem to get a new epidemic scare. Avain Flu, Swine Flu, HN1, fill-in-the-blank-here flu and all the hoopla that accompanies it.  Expect it to get worse.

If you take anything from the above pamphlet, it should be these things:

1. The County will order all businesses closed. That includes the deli, the bank, and your job, people…

(needless to say, you must still pay your mortgage and all your bills…)

2. The County will enforce a quarantine. They may detain and hold anyone for any period of time. They may move people to other areas or facilities without their consent.

3. They can force you from your house and lock it up, destroy it, or utilize it themselves.

4. You will not be allowed OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.  It is essentially house arrest for everyone.

An interesting update from recent news –

The World Health Organization has requested that the details of constructing the ‘weaponized’ Avian Flu strain not be published in the Journal ‘Science’, by the researchers at the University of Wisconsin. This was only a request, the information will be available to other scientists, and naturally will be hacked on the internet. What was a relatively mild flu strain has been intensified, and made transmissible through the air. Now it is extremely dangerous. And for all you know, your neighbor could be making it in his basement!






     Do you know what your plan is?


 Most people never really develop an emergency plan, figuring its not worth the time, due to the small chance of an occurrence. This thinking is like those of California, living on the San Adreas fault. They know the big one is coming, they even believe it, but they are just not ready to deal with that reality.

There is a doctrine known as the ‘rule of threes’. This basically means that you should always have three alternatives to any situation, whether its transportation, food stocks, water supplies, or where you will make your stand. (see ‘Rule of Threes’ article ).

I call it Plan B.

Plan A involves the lower levels of critical events, the short term inconveniences that require riding out. These are usually done at your residence. So your residence is Plan A.  You sit tight and stock up.

Most people stop right there. It takes too much of a leap of faith to think of leaving. But in serious situations, most homes are just not defendable. Sight lines are generally poor due to landscaping considerations, houses are in close proximity to each other and to public access (the road), and they are highly flammable. The simplest thing to do to vacate someone unwilling to move is to light it up. Unless you have a large yard sloping off in all directions, clear sight lines 200 feet out, someone can get close enough to lob in a Molotov, and its game over for you.

When, or I should say before, things get that bad, you need to get out of Dodge. A good location is dependent upon the situation at hand. Obviously in a contaminated environment, you’re stuck in Plan A, at least until the worst is over. Hopefully the contamination works quickly on the looters, before they get to you.

Normally, I would consider areas that have these ideal characteristics.

·         They should not be easy to reach.

·         They should be fairly isolated.

·         They should have good cover around.

·         There should be available resources, (water, food) on the site.

·         Preferably, there should be solid buildings or shelter on the site.

·         Needless to say, in virtually every case, they should be on the high ground. You need visibility, but beware of being visible.

Start close, using a topographic map, or Google Earth, find somewhere close to where you are now. Identify water availability, food (hunting/trapping possibility), fishing, and shelter. Without a doubt, this will most likely be land that belongs to someone. In the event of an emergency, that will be a hurdle you will have to clear. Possibly they don’t live nearby. Maybe you can access the property from another direction. Work out those details now, don’t wait. Scout the area on foot if you can. How are the sight lines? Does the pond have fish? Is there an old hunting cabin in the woods?  Old outbuildings? If you are satisfied, then designate that your plan B. Make sure you devise transportation (3 different ways) to the site. What will you carry?, How will you carry it? Who is going with you? Are you meeting anyone there?


Next, select your Plan C. Do the same drill. Note that plan ‘C’ should not merely be a clone of ‘B’, it should be an order of magnitude bigger in every way. If plan ‘B’ was a hunting cabin in the woods, plan ‘C’ should be a concrete building that is much better protected. It should also be a bit further out as well.

Now you have three different places to be. Select which one will be activated at what event. Make sure everyone involved knows.  

Expect that you will not be the only one to have selected that prime piece of real estate. Be prepared to visit, or be visited. In a situation such as this, it would be beneficial to link up with others,provided they are not just opportunists.

 34 , 35




Ok,  so how do you know when it is time?


A very good question. I’m sure there were a good many Jews in Poland who weren’t sure it was ‘time’. Some got out, most didn’t.  There will be no big announcement on the TV that ‘now is the time.’ 

Don’t even expect to hear snippets on the internet, as the government now has the power to throw the internet switch to ‘off’ whenever they feel it is justified.

Timing your movement will be critical to your very survival. Too early, and you may run afoul of checkpoints and other ‘official’ problems. Too late, and you may face the same thing, or worse, wild mobs of refugees fleeing from whatever they think they can.

 It is vitally important here to keep as many options open as possible.Be prepared to use cars, trucks, planes and trains. Have multiple avenues of escape (Rule of Threes again).  If you need to cross a river, do you have an inflatable raft?  A boat on a lake?  Lay out everything with a good brainstorming session, you may find things you never dreamed of.


If you have to drive, avoid the interstates, unless you leave quite early. They are the easiest to checkpoint, and the most likely routes for people heading out. Plan your routes and scout them well ahead of the need to use them. Know where you can get off the road for repairs or rest. Take note of possible choke points along the way. Using a CB or scanner will help when you reach those areas in an actual emergency.

So, timing depends on where you are going, what you expect to find there, and what you have to bring.

If you own a cabin in the woods, then you can leave earlier, and even prestock it.

If you plan on taking over a cabin in the woods, then its ‘get thar fustest wit da mostest’.

If you plan on meeting somewhere as a group, be sure to designate a code phrase to use that will trigger action. If this phrase appears in any email communication, blogs, forums, wherever, everyone will know that people are on the move.

Try to designate an RV (rendezvous point) that is near, but not at, the intended 'Plan B'. Then move in as a group.

This makes sure people (your people) already there know you are not a hostile force.

One thing is very important - because you will not have much time to make a decision, you must cache some of your supplies away your home, the farther the better.  (see the section o lessons from Katrina....)

If emergency workers, FEMA , National Guard, etc. are called into action, they will be confiscating all weapons and ammunition, along with any usable items you may extra extra of, like food, water, and medicines. All that you have prepared with will be gone. It is imperative that you hide some of these items NOW.  At least 1/3 of your supplies should be cached somewhere safe, preferably 'off-site'.

They will come for your registered weapons, and while visiting, they will take a look around.

Give them what they want, but make sure you keep what they do not know you have.







The BUGOUT BAG , compiled from “prep 1999”, and “HM response plan, 2010.”

OK, just what do you think you will need in an emergency?  Most disaster planning includes a portable kit containing key items to make your life easier.  But remember, in the end, all of us carry the best survival kit in the world, all the time, between our ears. We just have to remember to use it!

 There are two different types of Bugout Kits.

There is the personal kit ,designed to be for just one person, and carried by one person.

There is the family Kit - this consists of several large units and is designed to be packed into a vehicle to move.

I keep a personal kit in every car , holding items that the person who normally drives the car knows and uses.



 This is a typical Family kit.  Each steel box has been inventoried and weighed.  They are designed to stack as well. As pictured, ammo cans will usually make up a big portion of this, and a heavy portion.

Make sure your plans allow for some way to transport this material if you have to leave, after all, thats what the kit is for!




Good:  A regular size plastic cooler will hold quite a bit and be mostly waterproof as well. Storage totes will work also. A plastic garbage pail with lid also will work , but is bulky to handle if you have to move it around a lot.

This works well if you plan on Bugging-in.



Better: A large frame backpack (not the school size, real camping size).  Hang it from a wall to keep it out of any flood water. See a military surplus store for ALICE packs.



Military duffel bags with straps -

NOTE ! Not all have carry straps, get ones that do.



Meet B.O.B.

BOB is the 'Bug Out Bag', and should travel with you everywhere !


Best: The all around best item I have seen is a duffel bag with shoulder straps. They are fairly cheap and available from any Army surplus store. Many outdoor sports catalogs also carry them.  Like the backpack, these will need to be hung on a wall to prevent flood water from soaking into them.

Contents:  Yes, this is the important part. The contents listed here I have personally used, you may wish to swap items or include others. These are listed in no particular order , but they are all critical items.



ITEM 1: (shown in following pictures) Sleeping Bag  - preferably rated to at least 20 degrees. (a compression strap will be needed for this)

Item 2: (Shown in following pictures) Foam pad to put under the bag – at least ¾” thick

Item 3: Moskito net , at least head sized.

Item 4: Tent – pup tent styles, as well as small dome tents will fit, (poles will be an issue on dome tents)

Item 5: Two canteens (or one double size, as shown)

Item 6: Mess kit

Item 7: Pocket knife with fork and spoon (Hobo knife) (camp set shown)

Item 8: Magnesium spark lighter, butane lighter, and matches in film canister (Rule of threes, remember?)

Item 9: Water purification tablets and filter straw (in pocket of canteen case)

Item 10 : First aid kit

Item(s) 11: Hat , Jacket, extra socks, gloves, pants

Item(s) 12 :Larger hunting knife or camp axe, machete, other knives

(Item not shown) Cans of food – two or three cans of high protein-low water content food (beans, etc)(or a few MRE bags)

(In outside pocket) Can opener !

Item 14: Coil of rope is very handy (paracord shown)

Item 15: (missing from this photo) Tarp (8x10) - GREEN

Old (but working) watch

Spare glasses

Washcloth and hand towel

Item 17: Pick or folding shovel

Item 18: Web belt and sling


 The waterproof container, (an old surplus decontamination kit piece), holds small critical items such as fire starting devices and other small easily lost items:




 Item 1:Camo face paint stick

 Item 2: Compass with magnifying glass

 Item 3: Mini Lightsticks

 Item 4: Sugar packet / creamer packet

 Item 5: Coffee packet 

 Item 6: Aspirin

 Item 7: Waterproof container

 Item 8: .22 caliber bullets - (firestarter)

 Item 9: Alcohol Prep

 Item 10: Tweezers

 Item 11: Snap fireworks( perimeter warning device)

 Item 12: Pocketknife

 Item 13: Ace bandage clips

 Item 14: Nail file

 Item 15: nail clippers

 MORE STUFF - in the outer pocket of the duffel bag -

 Not much room in here, but you can always work in a few more items:


 We have a lighter, a bottle of water tablets, a can opener, and some more .22 shells to start a fire with.





Method One:

 IF you do not have a compass -  You can use a standard (analog) , (that means with hands), WATCH.

 Point the hour hand towards the Sun. 12 O'Clock will be South , 6 O'Clock will be North.

 Method Two:

Place a 8-12" stick in the ground. Place a pebble where the tip of the shadow is. Wait 15-30 minutes and repeat. Lay a stick across the two pebbles, it will point East and West. Place another at 90 degrees across it, this will be your North south line. 

 Method Three:

At night find the North Star. It is exactly in the center between the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. Practice this so you can recognize them before you have to.

 Method Four:

Moss does grow more densely on the North side of a tree. Note that the moss will grow on all sides of the tree, but it will be at the greatest concentration on the North side. Compare several nearby trees to get a consensus.

  Method Five:

In general, during good weather, the wind will blow from the North or West. before rainy weather it will blow from the East. Fair weather clouds will generally drift East or Southeast. 




There is a particular way of stuffing all this in the bag. Start by rolling the sleeping bag up just as tight as you possibly can, then, using compression straps, go even more! The heavier (ie cold weather bags are much fluffier) the bag is, the harder this step is.




Place the sleeping bag in the pack, standing up. Roll up the bedroll pad and place it directly opposite the shoulder straps (opposite where your back would be).  Now place your tent in around the space created between the roll and the sleeping bag. It should look like this :




Place all your soft items towards where your back would be, and the hard items, like shovels or mess kits, towards the back. Stick a machete or shotgun in the center of the bedroll pad.

All of that will fit in a duffel bag, and will come in around 30-65 pounds, which can be carried without too much difficulty. This will allow 1 person to exist for a few days completely on their own.






The last thing you need to pack is some form of currency. If the economy is dead, then there are only a few things that have value. Obviously, your own skills are first. Are they barterable? If not, better learn some. The skills we are talking about go way back. So far back, they were not considered skills at the time, and along the way have been lost to many of us.

Can you find the direction in the woods?

Do you know enough about edible plants to survive a full year?

Do you know about medicinal plants?

Can you hunt, trap and fish?

Can you make a fire, purify water, make a good shelter?

These will not only be valuable skills, they will be necessary skills.

The other barterables are more tangible.


Watches - especially wind up ones


Deck of playing cards –


We will halt here for a brief explanation - 

 An ordinary deck of playing cards can represent an Almanac and The Bible.

Using Playing Cards as a Calendar

An interesting relationship exists between playing cards and the calendar which many find fascinating.

For instance, there are:

  • Twelve face (or court) cards, directly relating to the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the zodiac.
  • Two colors to the deck - red and black - matching the two halves of the year (summer solstice and winter equinox).
  • The four suits - Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts and Spades - match the four seasons of the year.
  • Thirteen cards in each suit to match the 13 weeks of each season.
  • Deck holds 52 cards just as there are 52 weeks in a year.
  • All of the spots on the cards in the deck equal 365, the number of days in a year.

 Now in a survival situation, it might be pretty handy to know what day it is, whether winter is coming or leaving, or even when your birthday is. People stranded on desert islands and in prisons, both scratch out day marks to record the passing of time, and know "where in time" they are.


Using this info, you can make up any system you wish, or you can adopt systems that are already present.


The correspondence between week number and playing card weeks is as shown below:

      Clubs   Diamonds   Hearts  Spades

Ace      01        14        27      40

Two     02        15        28      41

Three  03        16        29      42

Four    04        17        30      43

Five     05        18        31      44

Six       06        19        32      45

Seven  07        20        33      46

Eight    08        21        34      47

Nine     09        22        35      48

Ten      10        23        36      49

Jack     11        24        37      50

Queen  12        25        38      51

King      13        26        39      52

 Joker      53

Date example:
1999-08-25 is
Wednesday ISO week 34, therefore
Wednesday Eight of Hearts (ISO Deck)

The following image is taken from - 



 For your spiritual edification - a deck of cards can also be used as a memory/teaching aid  -


 Playing cards and The Bible

It has also been said that playing cards bear a direct relationship to the Bible.

For example:

  • Ace = One God in Heaven.
  • Two = The Bible's two sections, the Old and the New Testament.
  • Three = The Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
  • Four = The four evangelists of the Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  • Five = The five wise maidens who were ready to go with their lamps trimmed with oil and that five foolish maidens were shut out.
  • Six = God's creation of the world in six days.
  • Seven = The Sabbath.
  • Eight = The eight people who were saved after the flood: Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives.
  • Nine = The ten lepers that Jesus cleansed; One came back to give thanks and nine did not.
  • Ten = The Ten Commandments.
  • The King = One King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Heaven.
  • The Queen = The Virgin Mary who conceived through the Holy Spirit.
  • The Jack of Spades = Satan, the Dark Force in life.




 (Who can survive without music? Even the earliest humans created music from hollow reeds and drums)



(a form of currency , like gold or silver)


Lighters - whether they work or not, as long as they spark, they are useful.




Gold – rings, jewelry, diamonds, coins (diamonds and precious stones – not so much – it takes an expert to identify genuine stones, so expect most people will believe them worthless, even if they are real.)

 A note here on gold. While gold items such as rings may be good to have, pure gold in coin or bullion form is not such a great idea. At this time, gold is running about $1800 per ounce. Possessing a gold coin is like possessing a $1000 dollar bill in an exact change lane. Breaking it down to match barter rates may be a problem.  This is where silver and jewelry come in, they become the ‘small change’ in the new world. Consider what is known as ‘junk silver’. This is typical of old silver coins (pre 1964) and jewelry, and will be much handier as small change. Forget diamonds and precious stones. In a barter situation, the chances are pretty good that whoever you are dealing with wont know an amethyst from an atheist.



Arms of any kind, ammunition (assuming you have more than you need, not likely)

Knives - if you have any extra (you might).

SPICES - Will be highly desired in a freezedried world.

Seeds - small and easy to carry - packaging is critical.

Traps, snare, books, diagrams

I like the small items that can be packed in with the medical supplies,

Below is a nice example of a “figure 4” deadfall trigger, and is representative of the kinds of skills that would be valuable to have.


 I keep a set of sticks pre-carved in my pack, mainly so I wont forget how to make one. And the practice in making them helped a lot as well. By the way, the bait for the trap is placed on the end of the stick marked ‘A’, which should be a few inches longer than shown in this picture. The structure supports a heavy log or rock, which rests against the end of stick ‘C’.




The following information extracted from the ‘XX Response Plan’

This section – very similar to the first, contains five levels instead of three. This is because it concentrates on family protection alert levels, not the incident levels discussed earlier. Some figures are slightly different, but the overall intent is the same.

Escalation Matrix


 Threat Level




Lime Green

(Level 1 event)

Normal Alert Level - 

Power failures, small floods, tornado, hurricane disruptions, local acts of nature.


Group movement only

Outside supplies should not be required


(Level 1 or 2 event)

Upgraded Alert Level - 

Extended power outage due to nature or terror acts.  Movement may be restricted.

May also be impending or developing acts.


Pull in and stay close to home

Be prepared to leave jobs immediately and head for home

Possible reliance on supplies


(Level 2 or 3 event)

Lock down response by authorities, movement may be restricted, neutralization of neighborhoods by local Auth. (Emergency Zone declaration) Potential for violence in the vicinity. Declaration of ‘State of Emergency’.


Sanitize and decoy.

Get Home, stay home.

Alert status, possible patrol. Alarm systems.

Reliance on now cached supplies. Consider consolidated safe room.

Consider retreat.


(Level 3 event)

Local Auth overwhelmed, Authorities busy elsewhere, no effective authority. Movement dangerous.


Full alert, patrols.

Safe room required. Retreat required as time progresses.Supplies cannot be obtained elsewhere.

Full pack.


(Level 3 event)

Nuclear detonation. Dirty bomb, reactor leak or spill, biological weapon dispersal.


Full safe room with all supplies. Retreat after two weeks.No patrol for two weeks.




Food – rule of thumb – 1 MRE per person per day.  1 can of food per person per day.

Water – two quarts per day min.

Shelter – one complete tent unit per person. (see below for equipment details)

Personal pack equipment

Refer to BUGOUT BAG in previous section - :

Firearms and knives

As an absolute minimum each person should have :

  •   22 rimfire rifle with 5000 rounds of ammunition. (I recommended 3000, but more is better)
  • Shotgun with 400 rounds ammunition, 200 slug, 200 buckshot. (I think more would be advisable)

In addition, a hunting rifle is a good idea, something with a 300 yard range, semi automatic, clip fed.

For this you will as much ammunition as you can get. Make sure it has a sling.



Good knives:




A high quality game knife is the most necessary, then, in priority order :



   ·          K-Bar style bowie with 440 stainless blade OR


 ·         Tanto style knife with 440 stainless blade, 3/16” thick


·         Fillet knife , fish scaler

·         Avoid the cheap Rambo survival knives

·         Avoid high carbon steel blades, I have had them snap.

·         Make sure it has a full tang – if the handle breaks, you can make your own.


Best knife steel is made in Germany, Spain, India, Pakistan, Japan

Medical Supplies

o    While the medicine closet may work for the short term, any extended survival will require a well stocked supply of items.


First – Your own medications -  Make sure you have stockpiled any medications you currently require. There will be no further prescriptions if these events come to pass. As a general practice, always max out your refills of prescriptions, and put the medicines away.

Many antibiotics can be purchased in pet stores for animals, as well as online. Make the best use of these that you can.  

I would strongly suggest a handbook on natural remedies and herbs, because in the end, that is all that will be left.


These 81mm Rocket Boxes are the best for item storage, 

they are stackable, and have carry handles


So get a big metal box (Army surplus has some great ones) , and pack it with:

  • Bandages, gauze, clean old tshirts, feminine napkins,  to stop bleeding
  • Alcohol in plastic bottles (it wont freeze)
  • Any old ace bandages you have lying around
  • Aspirin in plastic bottles
  • Any tabular pills that would be useful (in well marked plastic bottles)
  • Cloves, one unopened container – (Cloves are a strong anesthetic for tooth problems)
  • Tweezers, nail clippers, combs, razors (old style if you can find them)
  • Spare eyeglasses and cases, eyeglass repair kit, eye patches if you have them
  • Ideally, any heavy duty meds you can find/scrounge should be packed for possible future use.
  • Lightsticks – you never know when you need to do some minor surgery at night.
  • Vitamins - especially C , your diet will be suffering


Remember, this med box kit is for a group, not an individual, while it should take into account individual needs, it should be as comprehensive as you can make it. A canvas roll up litter with 6 handles, a transfusion kit, tubing, needles, and surgical knives, is a great addition . It is better to be prepared, than unprepared.



Batteries, even rechargeable ones, have a fairly limited life. If you cannot use the gadget without the batteries, think twice about it. Batteries are typically heavy, and must be recharged, and have a life span even if unused. While okay for short term requirements, try to find a substitute that does not use them.  There are many generator/magneto devices out now, like radios and flashlights, which are preferable to batteries.  I know there are portable solar battery recharging panels, and yes, these will work – assuming you have access to the sun, which you may not. Of course there is always the battery life problem either way.


Things to Avoid: Gadgets -

 Sure, there are plenty of cool gadgets designed to make life in the wild easier. Most have one thing in common – batteries.

 Here are some of the common ones –

  • 2 way radio / walkie talkies – very tempting, but others will have them too, and you don’t want them knowing you are out there.
  • Heat/motion detectors – nice for knowing if theres someone hiding in those bushes, but shouldn’t you go find out for yourself? What if it is just a rabbit?
  • Cell phone -  Most phones now have GPS signal locators built in, not exactly what you want in a survival situation.
  • Geiger counter/radiation meter – now this one I would make an exception for, and pack some new spare batteries every year, chances are, you won’t use it very often.
  • Easy-up tents, hammocks, things with wearable components that will not last a year of use. Best way to determine this, ask around, or better yet, test them yourself on some camping trips.
  • Heat or Cooking stoves that require special tablets, or liquids, or propane cylinders. The supply of these will be extremely limited, get used to the old fashioned way as quickly as you can.
  •  Books and reference materials:

Avoid packing books, magazines or maps. Instead, make copies of only the critical things you need to know. If necessary, make one single notebook of all the pages and maps you have copied. Pick one example of many (the simplest), and stick to it. Practice what you learn in camp outs. To waterproof copies or printouts from the computer, buy a can of clear enamel paint. Gently mist on a coat and wait for it to dry. Repeat a few times. Don't forget to do the back as well.

·         Lightsticks

 Great while they last, but that’s not very long. For special situations, maybe in the emergency medical kit, could be useful, but not in general.


·         Laser scopes, illuminated scopes, night vision devices:

See the section on batteries. While these batteries may be smaller and lighter, there is no reason to depend on this stuff. Use optical or iron sights on firearms. A good pair of binoculars will serve as an adequate night vision device.


Storage of supplies

The following list is from Off The Grid news. It is the minimum amount of food to survive most of one year, for two people. I disagree with some of the items, but I will present the list first and disagree later. It is designed to show you how to buy enough food for a year within one year, and without having to commit towards a large cash outlay. (I have omitted the purchasing plan – see "Off The Grid News" for it).



If you follow their purchasing plan – after one year you will have the following:

500 Pounds of Wheat , 100 Pounds of Sugar , 40 Pounds of Powdered Milk , 12 Pounds of Salt , 10 Pounds of Honey , 5 Pounds of Peanut Butter , 45 Cans of Tomato Soup , 15 Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup , 24 Cans of Tuna , 15 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup , 21 Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese , 500 Aspirin , 1000 Multi-Vitamins , 6 Pounds of Yeast , 6 Pounds of Shortening ,12 Pounds of Macaroni

 Now, considering you may have to transport all that stuff , the proper storage and carrying containers are a must.

 Plastic milk crates work okay, and have carry handles, but are not waterproof. A storage tote full of cans is too heavy to lift.  I favor handmade wooden crates, but that’s just me. Army Surplus Rocket boxes work well, but they are expensive.

I would modify the list some – specifically:

                More peanut butter – it lasts forever and is packed with calories and nutrition

 NO cans of soup. What do you get when you buy cans of soup? Some flavorings, and up to 90% water.         Why carry all the water? Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon. Don’t carry it or store it if you can avoid it. It also freezes and expands when it gets cold, another hazard you don’t need to worry about.

In place of soup – buy cans of beans, all types, (not in water), cannellini, kidney, baked , etc. Very high in protein, and if they freeze, less likely to damage the can. In fact, anything in a can that has very little water in it would be good, (spam,sardines, etc). As a plus, the cans are useful even after they have been emptied. (Like for a dripstove, boiling water, or catching sap).

What you are looking to do here is to stock cans that have a high protein to weight ratio, or high protein to volume ratio. This generally means beans, chickpeas, etc. The less water in them, the better they will store without worrying about freezing expansion damage.

·         500 aspirin is only one bottle. Get several plastic bottles of 250 count aspirin.

·         The multivitamins are a good idea, get the smallest size multis you can find (not gelcaps).

·         I am not sure about the value of the yeast and shortening. If you plan on cooking, then I guess it makes sense, Otherwise skip those in favor of the pasta.

·         I would skip the honey also. Collect maple sap or birch sap and boil up some sugar, (use those empty bean cans).

Empty the macaroni boxes into baggies. Place them in other baggies. You can carry them easier and the smaller baggies make good portion control to prevent spoilage. Use the cheapest pasta you can find. Spaghetti will work, but has to be left in the boxes, as it tends to poke holes in baggies. Better with pastina, which will be the densest to pack.

A tip here, if you have access to a MIG welder that has a nitrogen tank attached, or if you can get a paintball gun that uses nitrogen as a propellant, or just rent a nitrogen tank – pack the supplies in the baggies while running a slow stream of nitrogen gas into them. Seal one end and as you slide it shut pull out the nitrogen hose. The nitrogen will displace the oxygen and help you preserve these supplies much longer.



Other supplies:


Commercial MRE’s: Though not as good as the military surplus stuff, the commercially available meals are usable and last quite a long time. The big benefit is that the meals are not freeze dried or dehydrated, and are precooked, so they may be eaten as-is. Some surplus is still available, but either way, they are pricey. The trade off is in convenience. They are the perfect item for your pack.

Freeze Dried or dehydrated foods – Again , the trade off is the convenience, and the fact you need to add water to these. Still a bit pricey though.

Seeds  -  This is a tricky one. While seeds are small, and huge quantities are easily carried, there are some big drawbacks.

  • The seeds lose the power to germinate based on time, heat, humidity, and light. You may be able to protect against the last three, but not against time.
  • Many seeds purchased now are hybrids, and will not produce seeds that will germinate (they are hybrids).
  • The Heritage seeds that will germinate do not have the disease and insect resistance the hybrids do.
  • Seeds generally produce over a three month period - Will you be in the area to harvest them?
  • The seeds will have to be hidden to prevent the discovery of the plants by others, hiding them generally means they will not have ideal growing conditions - (too much shade, weed competition, not enough water).
  • Seeds generally produce vegetables, few of which have good keeping abilities.

The Native Indians around here planted what they called "The Three Sisters". This was Corn, Squash, and beans, the idea being that the corn would grow up quickly allowing the beans to climb on it as a pole, and the squash would protect the base of the plants due to the prickly leaves. They were planted in units, one set of three to a hill, with a small dead fish in the hill as fertilizer.

Scattered throughout the landscape, this seems like a practical way to garden.


If you can address these gardening issues, then maybe seeds will work for you.


Transportation and Moving About

This is an often neglected area of concern –

 ·         Highway travel




In a stage one or two emergency, getting about will mainly consist of clearing roads of debris and having a truck type vehicle to get out with. Depending upon the type of emergency, you may just encounter local obstacles, but you may also encounter roadblocks. It would be expected that in a terrorist style scenario that certain choke points would be established and manned. If you are allowed out, you may not be allowed back, keep this in mind. Expect choke points before bridges, tunnels, near rail facilities or docks. They also could be at ‘targets’ like court houses, military complexes, or other government facilities, including nuclear plants. Plan ahead, do not go joyriding. If you are heading for the retreat, plan on a one way trip. Be aware that your vehicle will most likely be searched at these checkpoints. Either have some very good hiding places, or don’t bring anything that would raise some eyebrows. Better yet, stay off the main roads and avoid these high profile spots. A CB radio would be a great asset here, as would a police scanner.


There is a key difference here, and it centers on exactly what you are using the vehicle for. 

If you need a Bug-Out vehicle, then certain features are most likely mandatory.

  • Capable of all terrain ability
  • Capable of carrying weight and people
  • Capable of pushing, winching, or plowing vehicles, debris, barricades etc. out of the way.

 Once at your destination , or if you plan on Bugging-In, then the choice of vehicle must serve different needs.

  • Quiet in operation
  • Agile
  • Quick
  • Fuel efficient

 As you can see, these needs may not reflect the same vehicle.

Lets examine some options:



 ·         Hoofing It

 I suppose, if you do not have to go far, you could walk out. It may take several trips over several days to get moved, but it is certainly possible. In a serious emergency, it may be the only option. Know where you are going, and take the most direct route you can, avoiding roads if at all possible. Assuming the trains aren’t running, the tracks may make walking easier, but remember you will be quite visible from a long distance if the area is open straight track. You could consider driving on the tracks as another possibility. Do not attempt this if trains are running! Also, make sure you have a lot of ground clearance as most vehicles will get hung up on the tracks, and the tires do not fit between the rails!


 ·         Motorcycle

They don’t carry as much, but they travel where other vehicles won’t, and that’s a plus. It may take several trips, like hoofing it, but would be less exhausting. Could have a potential noise issue if your bike is loud, that would not be very stealthy.  The best bet here is what’s called an “on-off road” bike such as the Honda XR series. With a good muffler and a small engine, this is the ideal type of bike to use.


·         Off Road Vehicles

 Here we are talking about 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and boats.  Aside from the noise problem, in most cases, cargo space is limited. The other big issue is these vehicles may not be licensed for public highway use.

While in a severe emergency it probably won’t matter, it does limit their use in the minor ones. Range is also an issue here, as the multiple trips to carry cargo will eat into your mileage.



·         Bigger Boats

These have some potential if you have a boat on a good sized river, lake or ocean. Chances are, you know of some small islands or remote areas you can access with these. Cargo capacity is not bad, and you have a radio to monitor. Watch for choke points if you pass near a nuclear plant or military shipyard, or an important historical site. Be sure to hide the boat when you reach your destination, and I don’t mean just pull it into a shady lagoon. You will have to remove it from the water and bring it into the treeline. Maybe you can build a temporary shelter with it.


·         Air Travel

Well, as we saw during 9/11, planes may not be such a good choice. All aircraft were grounded for weeks after 9/11, and airports were watched closely. Even commandeering a plane wont help if flying it brings in the F16’s.

 Assuming otherwise, cargo capacity is typically small in a light plane, and landing facilities are scarce. They are generally loud, so silent movement is out of the question.





  ·         Trains

This one would be a bit more plausible than a plane. You could commandeer a train. Travel direction is very limited, but cargo capacity is huge. Also once moving, you’re just about unstoppable. The real question is what do you do at the end of your run? Are you ‘there’? I hope so, unless you packed the train with a spare vehicle or two.


Needless to say, before you plan on one of these unusual forms of transportation, you need to know how to operate it. Fortunately there are many games available that simulate everything from flying a plane, to steering a boat, to operating a submarine.  These games use very similar control systems to make you feel like you are handling the real thing. Microsofts ‘Flight Simulator’ was briefly removed from the market when the government thought it was used in training exercises for the 9/11 disaster.  It turned out, of course, that the terrorists actually went to a flying school, but the simulator was certainly a possibility.


·         So what is a good vehicle?

The prime choice for most people would be a 1 ton pickup, dump, or utility truck. Preferably 4WD, with a heavy duty suspension. Everything you have should be packed in the bed, Covered with a cap if possible. (One of those ‘tall’ caps). It should have a CB radio, a scanner hookup, a full toolkit, and some hidden compartments to squeeze by those checkpoints. Ideally, it would resemble an ‘official’ or utility vehicle, as they would be expected on the road in such an emergency. A dream truck is below -




Its official looking, has big cargo capacity, 4WD, and intimidating, all at once.  With the lights all going, who is going to stop it?  Can’t afford one? Not to worry, there will be plenty sitting in abandoned fire houses all across the country.

Another ideal truck, although it has some drawbacks, is the readily available deuce and a half.


Six wheel drive and good load capacity are big pluses, but I’ll bet you would not be cruising through a checkpoint as easy as that firetruck. In fact, you may be singled out for a very thorough search as a domestic militant. So checkpoints definitely must be avoided in this.

 Currently these trucks are a bargain, running around $5,000 in extremely good shape. Many variations are available, I would look for a command/radio rig with the hardcase enclosed back.

Far more available, capable of carrying people and weight, and even official looking are these familiar vehicles.  

There should be hundreds just parked around, waiting for drivers during a time of crisis. Also consider vehicles such as garbage trucks, utility trucks, dump trucks, town plow trucks,etc. The key here is to supply the basic ingredients, which I will outline here as follows:




·         Official looking

·         Multi wheel drive if possible

·         Cargo carrying capacity

·         People carrying capacity

·         Available nearby

·         Hard to stop with small obstacles.


One more note that goes with transportation –


Some people think they could just load everything into a trailer and pull that behind a truck or car. This is not a very well thought out idea.

Consider this, in an emergency you suddenly have to turn around in the road.


 Or, you have to detour around a roadblock through a field or woods.


 Or you are facing a gang with rifles standing in the road and you need to reverse at high speed ,


Be warned.






Risks, Dependencies, Assumptions, and Constraints

·         Listed are any risks that may affect the successful execution of this Action Plan, with  mitigation and contingency strategies for each risk.



Mitigation Strategy


(Risk is realized)

Road Closed, Checkpoints,

Traffic jam

Alternate route –

Secondary roads

Leave earlier

Three viable routes

CB monitoring

Scout route ahead of time

Event escalates before you can respond

Alternate route

Alternate plan

A ‘stay put’ plan

Three viable routes

Three alternative transportation scenarios

Buckle up and stay put

Too much to carry

Dry run on packing and transporting

New transport plan required

Not enough medical supplies

Purchase on way out

Raid on way out

Dont get injured or sick

No barter supplies

Have a good tradeable skill

Merge with another group

Someone has beaten you to your retreat

Get there early

Contact them to merge

Scout and raid

Expect company

Dont expect them to be friendly

Have a good raiding plan

Mob overrun at your original base

Fence, dog, clear lines of fire

Get out before this happens

Better have an awesome safe room

Have a plan for a very close retreat point

Mob overrun at your destination

Farther in the boonies, away from roads

A good defense plan for the retreat

Group together for additional strength

Good defensive plan


This is obviously a last ditch plan. The fact that it has to be made at all is very disheartening to us as Americans.

The object is simply preparedness, and to prepare properly and thoroughly.

Above all, test and practice. Knowledge alone will be of little help if the actions are not natural instinct by now. 

Listen, watch, and pray.




The Rule of Three’s………………By XXX – from “Off the Grid News”

“Be Prepared”, the simple two word motto of the Boy Scouts encapsulates the very essence of individual independence.  With being prepared, one becomes dependent upon the charity of others ,whether they be individuals, corporations, or the State.

I ran across the “Rule of Three’s” mentioned in a book by Ragnar Benson, “The Modern Survival Retreat”,  and I found it to be simple and easily remembered, and an invaluable aid in planning the future, regardless of what you believe it contains.

Since that time, I have refined the concept a bit more, to encompass what I call “defense in depth”.  Both concepts are closely related, they differ only in scope.

Defense in Depth uses the ‘Rule of Three’s in a vertical sense. This means that each action taken is backed up by a similar action. By using three actions, failure is much less likely.

Here’s a simple example of this concept.

Christmas Eve, my daughter and her fiance were expected to attend a family gathering in Massachusetts, about 3 hours from our house.  A large snowstorm was expected, and I made sure they used the defense in depth concept to maximize their safety while they traveled.

The perceived danger here was identified as being stuck or disabled in a large blizzard for an extended amount of time.

The first line of defense included a complete once over of the vehicle, checking air, oil, antifreeze, and making sure they were carrying tow chains and a winch.

 The second line of defense was to carry a blanket, some peanut butter sandwiches, and some water, as well as an extra coat and gloves.
 The third line of defense included a disaster bag in the trunk which expands on the minimal survival items carried in the car. This contains a sleeping bag, lighters, pre-prepared food packages, water filters, a pocket knife, some rope, some first aid supplies, and so on.

 This triple threat approach enables one to meet an increasing challenge, rather than just reacting to the initial one.

 In the end, they left the event a bit early, and made it home just before the storm hit, proving that common sense is the most important element in your survival kit.

Before I go into the Rule Of Three’s , a quick departure is necessary here.

Far too many people feel that simply grabbing the cell phone will somehow eliminate the need for this type of planning. In reality, depending on a cell phone simply places you right in the position of being dependent upon the charity of others, or worse.




 Think about it for a minute. If you are stranded in a blizzard on an interstate, the most you can accomplish with a cell phone is calling someone and letting them know where you are.

I’m not sure about you, but if the roads are snowed in and closed, I don’t think I would risk going out to ‘rescue’ someone. I would be putting my life in danger, as well as those I would contact.  If you think the police would dispatch someone to ‘rescue’ you, think again. The reality is you need to be prepared to wait for a rescue, not to demand one. The recent storm in the northeast on January 26 stranded hundreds of motorists on the highways as the cars were snowed in and disabled. Today, two days later, they are still there, abandoned as their owners tried to walk out, since they were not prepared to wait.

 Depending on a cell phone carries a huge risk factor. Lack of service, dead batteries,  and the futility of calling someone after it is too late to respond are just a few.

Now, the Rule of Three’s calls for making alternate plans. This is seen as a horizontal approach, rather than a vertical one. Using the same scenario I gave above, my son-in- law could have made plans to take the train if the weather turned bad, or to stay a few extra days and fly back. This way three different alternatives would almost guarantee he could get back.

Try another example -  What are your plans for starting a fire?

It would be a foolish person indeed that would set out on a week-long camping trip with one book of matches. But so many of us do similar things every day.

My packs carry a few lighters, a waterproof match container with some strike anywhere kitchen matches, and a flint spark stick as well. In addition, I know I can start a fire with my reading glasses or the polished bottom of a soda can.

This multiple approach is the essence of the Rule of Three’s.

Now, to recap, the defense in depth concept is vertical, meaning each additional step is an expansion of the original step.  The Rule of Three’s is horizontal, meaning each step is completely separate and independent of the others.

 To use these concepts, treat each step in your task separately. Break them down by the 6M’s, (Manpower, Mother Nature, Machines, Materials, Measurements, and Methods).

 Then apply a version of the Rule of Three’s to each step. If nothing else, this little exercise will point out weak areas in your plans and allow you to focus some attention on them.

 Above all, resist the easy way out by depending on others. When you depend on others, you deprive them of resources and time, and these commodities may well be needed by true emergencies.  If there is one elemental description of Americans, it is our independence, let us not forget that inheritance.



Are You Planning to Fail?..................By XXX, 2010 – “Off the Grid news”

“Failure to plan is planning to fail”… a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, is the core motto of the survival-conscious. Or should be. Unfortunately, our best intentions are never as effective as we would like to believe.

 It is not from lack of trying, but from misunderstanding the principal issues that we assume will affect us.

 If you are reading this, chances are pretty good that you consider yourself prepared for just about any eventuality. And maybe you are. But for the majority, planning may simply be an illusion, and a very dangerous illusion at that.

What do I mean by that?

To plan properly actually requires thinking from outside your perspective. Your beliefs, traditions, and culture strongly influence the way we perceive our own planning efforts.

Fortunately there are tools that have been developed specifically to help generate plans that are as free as possible from your own influences.

We will cover the application of a few of these tools, many of which are presently in use by quality engineers throughout the world. By combining these tools even more useful information can be generated, and hopefully acted upon.

 The first major hurdle, which most of you have already overcome, is lack of any planning at all. I have ‘friends’ and neighbors whose only plan is to forcibly take what they need from wherever they can find it. I must assume that their plans could make me a target as well, so my own plans must include a contingency for such a case.

 This is really a ‘no-plan’ scenario.

I truly hope this is not the type of planning the reader is considering.

 By far – the largest portion of the survival-conscious population will be using what I would term a ‘shotgun plan’.  This simply means that you have sat down and tried to cover as many contingencies as you could think of. Food, check, Water, check, seeds, check, etc, etc.

The problem with these shotgun plans is that they are influenced by your own opinions, beliefs, and traditions.  You may firmly believe that the greatest threat to you is governmental collapse. As such, you structure your checklist around the things that are believed to be useful in such a situation.  This approach skews the planning towards a certain set of expected circumstances, which you will counter with your own expected solutions.

 This type of planning quickly falls apart when the unexpected occurs.

So how do we separate ourselves from the planning process?

Quality Engineers spend a large amount of their time planning to prevent problems. The product is studied, and potential areas for failure are dealt with in the design stage, rather than recalling a defect product for rework or

repair. A primary duty of the engineer is ‘risk management’. Reduce or eliminate the risk by designing changes and improvements into the production of the item. The goal is to minimize the risk to an acceptable level.




When we are dealing with the survival-conscious, this must be the absolute minimum goal, since failure in any aspect is likely to be life threatening.

Before we start, let me preface this by saying that there are two ways to approach problems. Both have advantages. I would try to use both whenever possible to maximize the effect.

The first way is to prevent or minimize a problem. 

Example : Problem  - need to generate electricity quietly.

First way – minimize – add a bigger muffler, buy a quiet one to start with, use solar cells instead, etc.

Second way – Make it worse – What would you do to increase the problem? Remove the muffler, use a noisy generator, use a bigger than necessary generator?  Now do the opposite –

The second way is known as “Make it Worse – Do the Opposite”, and can be a very valuable tool in solving difficult problems, unlike our simple example.

The Tool: The Fishbone Diagram



Let’s borrow a simple tool used in failure analysis called the ‘fishbone diagram’.

The purpose of the fishbone diagram is to examine every possible way that a problem can be generated or made worse, then do the opposite to correct it.

To make sure it deals with all the aspects, it uses a simple mnemonic, “6M”.

By memorizing the 6 M’s, you can greatly increase the scope of your planning, and take the first steps to a true analysis of your position, uncolored by the filters of your own experience.

The 6 M’s are :

Manpower – the simply means people power – how physical bodies affect the equation.

Machines – the mechanized aspect of the problem, equipment.

Mother Nature – the environmental aspects of the problem.

Methods -  how something gets done.

Materials – what do you need or have?

Measurement -  How much, what quantity, when, how long.

Now for the structured part, draw a line across page and label the six categories. Each category is seen as a contributing factor to the problem at hand. Below each category, fill in items to either prevent the problem, or what is needed to make the problem worse. (Make it worse – do the opposite). Only use one system for the entire problem, if you decide to utilize the “minimize or prevent the problem” approach, do not mix in “Make it worse”, use one or the other.






What ends up resembles a fish skeleton , so this is known as a ‘fishbone diagram’.


Let’s do a quick example here to see how it works.

Let’s assume the problem is a major electrical power disruption. We write that on the right side as our problem. We have decided to approach this problem in a ‘solving’ way , which means we are not trying to make it worse, but are trying to minimize the disruption.

After filling in our 6 M’s,  we can start with the ‘manpower’ category. Nothing immediately springs to mind yet, so we skip to “Mother Nature”.  We draw a line, number it “1”, and fill in ‘solar flare’. Under “2”, we could add “EMP”, “Hurricane”, etc. Brainstorm as many ways that Nature could cause this disruption.  Under “Machine” -  list how you address these disruptions , such as “generator” , “Solar cells”, etc. Now you begin to see other possibilities, such as maybe a “Faraday cage” in the “Material” column.  How will you take critical measurements? Put your answers, such as “RF meter” in that column. How long will it last? Another entry in the “Measure” column.  Do you have gasoline for the generator? Another answer in the “materials” column. Will the generator take two people to move? An answer for the “manpower” column.


When done, this little diagram will have documented an all around approach to the problem while minimizing your personal bias that would have been present if you had just quickly thrown an answer at the problem. Many times, this diagram will bring up issues beyond the obvious, like gasoline storage, stabilizers, and items two or three steps removed from the obvious answer.



The Tool: SWOT Diagram

Let’s talk about one more useful tool for analyzing your personal situation. This one is called a SWOT chart. This is a business planning and analysis tool used primarily to maintain competitiveness in the marketplace.

SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  It a great overview of your situation at one specific moment in time.

Draw a cross on a piece of paper, and mark the quadrants with “S”, “W”, “O”, and “T”.  It should look something like this:



To make this analysis more effective, limit it to certain problems or situations. For example, we can use the previous scenario, the power disruption.

Written in the “S” quadrant are your strengths – Generator, gasoline, solar cells, Faraday cage, and so on.



Under Weaknesses , you will list your liabilities, only 5 gallons of gas, no storage containers for fuel, poor wiring or electrical knowledge.

Skip to threats next, leave Opportunities for last.

As Threats, would there be mobs, (maybe after your fuel?), Anarchy? Lawlessness in general might make the usefulness of a noisy generator more of a liability than a strength. What if equipment breaks down?

Lastly, look at your opportunities. These represent what you can do now to minimize the threats or weaknesses your chart has turned up.

One such opportunity might be to take a extra-curricular course on basic electrical circuits, or small engine repair. You may also want to explore minimizing the noise of the generator, or coming up with a quieter source of power.


One last, but extremely critical, point.

There are many reams of books and articles which are well written and well intentioned, but could actually be hazardous to your health.

  It is one thing to write, and another to do. Head knowledge is really useless until you actually put what you know into practice to see if it holds up. Everyone “knows” you can start a fire with a flint sparking tool, but have you actually tried it? It is nowhere near as easy as you may think.  Can you make a “figure 4” trap? Can you really build a shelter or clean an animal and eat it?  Knowing is no substitute for doing.


The godfather of Quality, William Edwards Deming called this the “Shewhart cycle”, in memory of another great quality figure, Walter Shewhart.

The PDCA cycle stands for “Plan”, “Do”, “Check”, and “ACT”.  This is the most critical part of planning, for it goes beyond the plan, and delves into evaluating the plan.





It is vital that you carry out your planning in trial runs. For many of us, this means camping a bit. I am the not-so-proud owner of several poor quality tents that did not survive a real trip into the “wild” of my backyard.  I planned, I “did”, I checked the results, (and they were poor), and I “acted”, I purchased different tents.  I learned a valuable, and potentially lifesaving lesson, and I did it in advance, before I needed to rely on what turned out to be substandard equipment.

How loud is that generator?  Have you walked down the road to see how far you could hear it from? How about at night, when sound carries even farther?

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Next time you think of planning, try these three tools, paying close attention to how the results may be different from your natural knee-jerk responses. If they are, then you have just increased the survival odds.

Remember, if you can’t beat it, minimize it!



Here is another perspective, gathered from the internet. I have added some comments in GREEN.





Your Fortress Home

Aug 9th, 2010 | By Mike | Category: Self Defense | Print This Article

In the interest of saving space - here is a direct link to a great article - I have kept the commented areas in this page - 


The gravest threat is the hungry throngs of people who have had neither the foresight nor inclination to do any planning or prepping of their own.[ *** see important chapter earlier in this book, titled “Identifying the Threat”….] Faced with depleted provisions, their only source of food and supplies are their neighbors. At the very least, you can expect mass looting, and even that may be the least of your worries.



Better yet, roofing metal would be more effective at warding off intruders and would be a better bullet shield. In either case, it would be a good idea to prepare some of them with gun ports. This is a good time to point out that having a pre-charged drill on hand for fastening bolts and drilling holes would be essential. [Metal roofing is generally only 1/16” thick – DO NOT consider it a bullet resistant material!  It takes at least 1 inch of mild steel to stop most rifle rounds.]

[ from another source , it is recommended that you cover the exterior of windows/doors with wire fencing, with 2 inch or smaller openings. Chain-link fencing is ideal. This will prevent items from being thrown into the building. Keep the fence angled, tight at the top, about 8 inches off at the bottom.]

Tactic 3: Have a good supply of sand bags on hand as these provide the best door seals and are able to withstand bullets and light artillery. Setting the bags two or three rows high against doors and entries will prevent intruders from busting through the doors. However, it is important not to completely seal off possible escape points.[ Studies show that 24” of sand will stop most small arms rounds. If you use the sandbags, stack them 2 rows deep, not just on top of each other, and interlock them.]

Tactic 4: Your best line of sight is always from up high. By taking positions in the second floor rooms, you have the advantage over any street assault. If you don’t have a second floor, you will want to position yourself as high up on your first floor windows as is possible. Your gun ports should be near the top corners of your window shield.[Better yet, in the roof itself…]


[For more great ideas, read “Combat and Survival, What it takes to Fight and Win” , this is a 28 volume set, still available on Amazon , $75 for the entire set – a top notch reference for every situation]





1.     x says:

I use this tactic when camping in the middle of nowhere–and it works great. Simply screw eye-bolts into trees and run the fishing line through. History showed me that two lines work better than one (ankle and thigh height). Then tie the other end off to a pyramid of aluminum cans (out of the wind), or a glass bottle above a rock that will fall and break. You can spread the line out a long ways around a perimeter and have great effectiveness.


Tie off the line to one of these party favors….





The Guerrilla Garden


 First, let’s cover seeds and what to grow with them, then we will get ‘down and dirty’ regarding planting.


When we think of seeds, most of us think of tomatoes, lettuce, and salad greens. A few from the Midwest may think of corn as well.

When it comes to survival gardening, the choice of vegetables takes on an entirely different perspective.

What the prepper gardener needs, are vegetable that meet the following needs:


·         They must grow quickly

·         They must tolerate a wide range of weather extremes

·         They must produce a large amount of vegetable in ratio to the seeds planted

·         The vegetable must store well

·         The vegetable must produce more seeds for the next garden


This narrows the focus quite a bit. As an example, Tomatoes can be finicky about soil, are largely hybrids, and don’t keep very well over the long term unless dried.

 What is needed is something that grows like a weed, is practically indestructible, and lasts for many months.

 I will leave the selection to you, but here is what I would consider –

 First, eliminate hybrids from your garden. Purchase only ‘heritage’ or ‘heirloom’ seeds.

You will find this narrows the field immensely, since most vegetables we grow today are hybrids, bred to be disease resistant, have shorter growing seasons, and produce larger fruit.  All of these benefits come at a price. Invariably, this price is reflected in the ability to re-seed.  

 Secondly, producing seeds from these usually means skipping the fruit on those plants, so the available food value from your seeds is reduced by the amount of plants you must let go to seed. This varies based on the type of vegetable.  An Eggplant produces only one or two fruits per plant, so the efficiency ratio of seed/fruit is low, and at least two fruits will have to be let go past the eating stage to guarantee the seeds are fully developed. Most of the vegetables we eat that contain seeds are picked and eaten prior to the seeds being fully ready to germinate.  Beans and Peas have a better efficiency ratio with more seeds per plant.




 Thirdly, storing the produce must be easily done during times without refrigeration, and must last at least a month or more.

 I would consider the following as very high on my list:

Beans – they can be dried and kept indefinitely to eat, and easily to the following year.

 Peas – same as beans.

 Winter squash – especially varieties with thick skins designed for long term storage, like Hubbard.

 Corn – can be dried just like beans, on the cob or off. (Dried kernels can be ground into corn meal).

 Onion/garlic/leeks – keep well long term

 Potatoes – I routinely keep potatoes in a basket in my garage from October until the following April, when I replant them.

 Radish – grows within a month or so, tolerates cold, reseeds well.

 Horseradish – You can’t kill this stuff.

 These are just a few of the possibilities. Look up your own favorites and see how they compare, using the five keys previously mentioned.



No discussion of this can be complete without some planting ideas.

 Forget what you traditionally learned about planting vegetables, most of it is outdated information carried over from the days when farms were common, and machinery was used to plant, till, and harvest.

 I suggest reading up on something called “Square Foot Gardening” which makes far more sense in the situations we are describing. The spacing of vegetables was largely determined during the early 1900’s and is no longer applicable to the home gardener.  I utilize what I have called the “dense pack” system with good success. For instance, I have planted fifty tomato plants in a raised bed garden only two feet wide by four feet long. This provides more tomatoes than I can eat all summer long.

 Think about it. Plants in the wild seed in clusters. A tomato falls from the plant on the ground right by the parent plant. There are perhaps 100 or more seeds in that tomato. If conditions are right, they grow. All in one area. They thrive.  It works with anything.

 I can grow the same amount of vegetables in five 2x4 raised beds, that I can grow in a 25 x50 foot traditional garden in the ground.






Moving On:


Now we have covered those basics, lets discuss growing a garden under adverse conditions.

 A level 1 or even a level 2 event does not really affect how you grow your garden. While an extended level 2 may mean that you need to watch for people stealing some veggies at night, not much really changes. The big difference comes with a level 3 event.

 In level 3, social stability is disrupted. This plays havoc with a traditional garden. In a level 3 event, your garden must behave the same way you have to. It must try to stay out of sight. This is virtually impossible with a traditional garden. People easily recognize it for what it is.

 This is the domain of Guerrilla Gardening.

 The native Americans were not largely a permanently settled people. They migrated from location to location within the area they claimed, based on the seasons.  In the spring, they would head for the sugar-bushes to collect Maple sap to make sugar, In the fall, the natives of the upper peninsula of Michigan would head for the swamps and ponds to collect wild rice, in the winter, they would pull back into the hunting camps.  Along the way, they planted ‘gardens’ , to be visited when they were in the area the next time.  The most famous of the practices involved planting “The Three Sisters”, Corn, beans, and squash.

 Essentially, they would make a hill, and put a dead fish in it. They would plant the corn and the bean side by side, and the squash around it. The corn would grow fairly quickly, and the beans would climb on the corn. The squash would grow around the base, and the prickly leaves would keep animals away. (How effective this was, we do not know).   These became their food caches , planted all along the trails they used to travel.



 In a level 3 event, concealment is what it is all about. This same type of planting would have to be followed.  These mini-gardens would be scattered about the landscape, hidden off the beaten path.  This is the way we would have to garden under adverse circumstances.

 Keep in mind, this all would work only if whatever disasters that had occurred did not affect weather or soil.  Radiation, whether from a bomb, a leak,  or from natural causes like an CME could seriously interfere or stop growth. Climate change would also affect your growing season. Unusually heavy rains, prolonged cloud cover, storms, all could make trying to grow anything impossible.   

 In this case, simply holding on to your seeds for a better time may make more sense.

 One final word about seed storage - The enemies of the seed are heat and humidity. You must deal with these effectively if you plan on storing seeds.

The best bet here is some kind of vacuum packed bag kept in a cool dry place.

Even with that, germination rates drop by about 10% per year. After 10 years, almost none of your stored seeds will grow.

 Keep this in mind if you intend to barter with or for seeds. Knowing how they were packed and stored means the difference between eating and starving.   






Homemade Help:


The devices in this section are presently considered to be in violation of Federal, State, and/or Local Laws.  At the present time, the knowledge of how to put these items together is not illegal to exist in your cranium, but that may change.


The title of this section is taken from a book by Ragnar Benson ,called appropriately "David's Tool Kit". The compilation of information in here is from various sources including military manuals, The Anarchist Cookbook, and several other lesser known publications.

My intention here is to make you aware of the possibilities, not to provide an instruction manual.

You should consult your own reference material for these – in general, the following items are fairly easy for anyone to make, and will give the survivor an edge over a mob.



Some people ask me why I have included this chapter.  They do not see prepping as having very much to do with weapons or fighting.  They group these people as “Rambos”, those who are placing all reliance on guns and ammo, rather than “true” prepping.

I agree.

But one would not be a true prepper if they did not prepare for every possibility, and those possibilities include defending your family, your friends, and yourself against those who believe that a gun is the new universal credit card.


The ideal situation is one in which the prepper continues to live off whatever they have put away, and nobody knows they are there. Unfortunately Murphys Law always intrudes at the worst possible time.


Here is the sad fact, while most preppers are hunkering down and living as they expected to, those who did not prepare will do the one thing they can to survive right away, band together. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, these groups will begin forming rapidly.

 This coincides with the time that the majority of preppers plan on spending bugged in, out of sight. When the preppers finally emerge, whether it be after a few weeks or a few months, they will still be individuals and family units, but what they will face are large organized groups of punks and thugs.

Individuals or very small groups will be easy prey for these organized ‘militias’.

To mitigate this, I propose two options.

Option one, have a Plan B scenario which involves grouping together with other preppers like yourself. (See MISSION page).  Do not plan on waiting very long to do this after something happens, time is NOT on your side here.

Option Two, utilize what the military call a “Force Multiplier”.

A Force Multiplier is a technology, a device, or a method that increases the amount of force one person can apply.  For small groups or individuals, this is an absolute necessity.

This is the purpose of “Davids Tool Box”.

Utilizing some of the techniques shown here will increase the force you can apply to extract yourself from a bad situation, of which there are bound to be a few.

Take the grenade, pipe bombs and mines sections. These allow an individual to exert control over an area he would not be able to without them. A mined section of ground, or a boobytrapped one, will fight for you while you are doing something else. Like maybe sleeping.  The psychological effect on an intruder is tremendous. One person hits a mine and suddenly everyone becomes acutely conscious of where they are walking or stepping. At night, all movement has to stop.


You and your family will be outnumbered from the start.

This section is here to help even the odds.

Disclaimer (again)

The following information is taken from several Military Manuals, still in print, including "Boobytrapping", "Improvised Explosive Techniques", "Survival", "The Ranger Handbook", etc. There are many other sources of this material, and I do not claim any of it to be original to this site. For specific details on the following devices, please consult those reference materials, not this abbreviated synopsis. My intention here is to provide examples of the "Force Multiplication" technique. 






The PVC  (or metal) pipe grenade.

 ** As seen and demonstrated on "Doomsday Preppers", episode of April 17 **

(Department of the Army Field Manual F-5-25)

This is a simple device, and as such, it deserves a place in your supply.



(From Expedient Hand Grenades by G. Dmitrieff) 

Speaking of grenades, it is fairly easy  to reactivate ‘dummy’ grenades found online and in various novelty shops.




The auto hunter (not as simple to make, but lasts indefinitely)

Basically, this is a modification to a 12 gauge trip flare device.

(From Anarchist Cookbook)




The 12 gauge mine

This derived from “Improvised Explosive Devices” Field Manual for Special Forces. At the time, these were known as “toe poppers”, and they used a rifle cartridge, not a shotgun shell.




 The soda bottle and rag silencer




 Yes, go figure. Silencers are required in England, but they are only usable by license here in the States.



This is just a sample of the types of things a prepper must keep in mind for the ‘worst case scenario’.


Expedient Hand Grenades by G. Dmitrieff

Improvised Explosive Devices, Department of the Army TM 31-200-1

Unconventional Warfare Techniques , Department of the Army

Explosives and Demolitions, FM 5-25, Department of the Army

Terrorism Counteraction, FM 100-37, Department of the Army

Combat and Survival, What it takes to Fight and Win, 28 volume set, Aerospace Publishing

The Anarchists Cookbook, Powell & Bergman (original version, hard to find)




·         The various 12 gauge ‘specialty’ shells (not homemade, but great to have)



 o    Dragons Breath

This is a shotgun shell that sprays a stream of fire lasting several seconds about 200 feet, roughly towards your point of aim. It seems to be a magnesium compound, like a road flare, and will set fire to easily flammable objects like paper, liquid fuels, or dry brush or leaves.  They come in packs of three. See YouTube videos on this for a good example of what it does.


o    Flechettes

These look like sharpened nails with little fins on them. Range is limited to 150 feet. They will completely penetrate ½” plywood at 50 feet with a spread of about 3 feet at that range. These types of weapons were used in Vietnam in artillery shells called ‘beehive rounds’ due to the sound they made whizzing through the air. 

o    Bolo

This round consists of two large steel balls with a 12” length of piano wire strung between them. I suppose this would be great for the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’,  but that is about all the use I can think of.




 o    Birdbomb

This is an M80 firecracker inside a 12 gauge shell. It is useful for creating a distraction, like a flashbang, since it can be aimed and has a good range. A warning however. I have had these explode in the barrel when fired. While it will not damage the gun, it will deafen you at this close range. I have traced this problem to an incomplete seal in the wax on the top of the firecracker, allowing the spark to slip directly into the end of the cracker. Before using, open and inspect each load and reseal the top if necessary with hot glue or epoxy. Once sealed, it will work like it is supposed to.




o    Shot

Shot is not limited to 00 buck! See what else is available. 00 Buck contains 9 pellets, a wider spread can be had with some smaller sizes. This could be useful in confined spaces or at shorter ranges. There is a limit to how small you can go and not be effective. Keep it within 3 sizes of 00 and you should be fine.






LOAD (Birdshot)

Pellet Diameter

Pellets per Oz. (L –lead, S –steel)



35 (S)



39 (S)



36 (L)  53 (S)



44 (L)  62 (S)




50  (L)  72  (S)



72  (L)  103  (S)



170 (L)   243 (S)

8 (skeet)


497 (L)



So, from the above chart, only consider birdshot above “BB” size.  Loads below “BB” are too small to be of any real value except maybe to clean the barrel.

 Also, please note, there is a duplication of numbers between “Birdshot” and “Buckshot”. Do not mix them up.

 A number 1 birdshot is about an 1/8” pellet, a number 1 buckshot is over ¼”.  For home defense purposes, and to simplify things, only use ‘buckshot’.


LOAD (Buckshot)

Pellet Diameter

Pellets per Oz.

0000 ("quadruple-aught")

.38" (9.7 mm)


000 ("triple-aught")

.36" (9.1 mm)


00 ("double-aught")

.33" (8.4 mm)


0 ("aught")

.32" (8.1 mm)



.30" (7.6 mm)



.27" (6.9 mm)



.25" (6.4 mm)



.24" (6 mm)



o    Slug

This is the heavy weapon item and gives the shotgun its’ amazing power. As with any shotgun, range is limited, but knockdown power is incredible.


·         Real blockbusters (easy to get around July , dip them in Epoxy and wrap a roll of nailgun nails around them.)

·         The fishing charge (Just an ordinary M80 or M60)

·         A fishing net

·         A camo net

·         Stick with the simple, easy to throw together, or easy to store items. K.I.S. – Keep it Simple.

·         Simple plans, simple technology are the best bet for the long haul.





Ham Radio –

Pros – generally requires AC power, may be run on a car inverter for brief periods. Large antenna requirements. Worldwide range, may be able to get ‘unofficial news’.

Cons: Not easily transportable due to large size and power issues. Even a multiband antenna is complicated to set up. Vehicle mounted would be as portable as it gets.

CB radio –

Pros – Fairly good range, up to 20 miles, 60 with SSB option, can utilize a mobile antenna, power requirements usually 12 volt.  Can be fairly compact.

Cons – Will not receive any ‘official news’,  May have very limited range due to antenna/location. Not normally a man-portable device. Some walkie talkie models available.

Note - SSB model (Single sideband) are considerably more powerful. (12 watts vs the 5 watt limit on CB.)


FMRS Radios -  Portable, chargeable, range varies. May be worth looking into.I have seen up to a 35 mile range, and scrambling technology also.


Police Scanner –

Pros – can monitor a number of departments simultaneously. Range of 20-50 miles, power requirements normally 12v.

Cons - Will not receive any ‘official news’,  May have very limited range due to antenna/location. Not normally a man-portable device, but walkie talkie units are available.

FM two-way radios –

Pros – reasonable range for walkie talkies, anywhere from 5-20 miles. Not normally receiving any outside signals except other units on same channel. Many units offer scrambling. Generally battery powered.

Cons – Batteries will need to be recharged. Other people can intercept transmissions, Range could be severely limited in some conditions.

Cell Phone –

This will not be discussed here – If you cannot understand why, you should not be reading this newsletter.

Other possible forms of communicating between two or more areas.

·         Light flash – morse code

·         Sound – morse code

·         Smoke – your devised code

·         Runners

·         Drops





I hope this little imaginary exercise gave you something to think about.

The prepared are never caught by surprise.

But very few of us are truly totally prepared.

It is not what you know in your head – it is what you do about it that counts.

Above all , practice.