Starting Your Preparedness Plan, Part II

Hopefully, everyone has a good start on their preparedness plans, and are now ready to expand on it.  Expanding on it in the areas that we’re going to be talking about will provide more capability to your preparations, which gives you a better chance of surviving.

Remember, these are only some of the highlights of what you should have.  See the Preparedness Capability Checklist for more.

Alternate energy

  • Have extra batteries for all of the battery operated survival gear.
  • But alkaline batteries eventually die, so you can expand your capability by using rechargeable batteries, like NiMH, and a way to recharge them.
  • Solar or a generator would be the easiest way to achieve this.  Solar is silent and requires no fuel, so it’s nearly perpetual and makes a good choice.  You can get small, foldable panels to power the battery charger.
  • Standardizing on AA and use adapters for C and D sizes.
  • Make sure your battery charger runs on 12VDC.  
  • Think about a generator, one large enough to power your fridge and freezer.

Sample chargers

Folding solar panels:

Battery adapters:

DIY Lawn Mower Genset:


  • rugged clothes and shoes/boots for every member.  Consider what the conditions might be like (wet, cold, sharp debris).
  • socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc.
  • waterproof boots.
  • outer gear for all seasons.
  • repair/sewing kit.


Communications and Computing

  • Inter-group communication – FRS, GMRS, etc.
  • Consider a Ham license or getting a short-wave radio with SSB.
  • Flash drive containing important documents (preferably encrypted.


Defense (Safety and Security)

  • Security system for your home.
  • Fire extinguishers (several).
  • Defensive weapons, preferably a firearm with 500 rounds of ammo.
  • Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors on all floors, including at least one that is battery powered and portable.


Information, Entertainment and Plans

  • Get the proper insurance and safeguard the documents.
  • Document your possessions. Video taping is fastest, but also write down any serial numbers for guns, etc.
  • Important phone numbers and website addresses.
  • Copies of personal information like birth certificates, SS cards, driver licenses, with current pictures, kept in fire safe (and digitized and stored securely).
  • Have a written plan for the most likely events (fire, home invasion, disasters, etc.) and make sure everyone knows what they are.
  • Have an evacuation plan and a grab-list for everything you want to take.  Make sure the list is prioritized.


Navigation and Signaling

  • Maps of surrounding area, including topo, road atlas, etc. 
  • Compass.
  • GPS (don’t forget spare batteries).  DO NOT substitute a GPS for a compass.
  • Whistle for every person.


NBCP (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Particulate) Defense

  • N100 or P100 masks/filters.
  • Nitrile gloves.
  • Decontamination gear and supplies.



  • 30 days of stored food and water for each pet.
  • Ability to handle pet waste if pet cannot go outside for 30 days.
  • Pet care needs, special medications, toys, etc for 30 days.
  • Leashes and kennels for each animal.


Stealth and Camouflage

  • Keep quiet – do not tell anyone about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies.
  • Teach your children not to talk about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies.
  • Have ready and plausible reasons for what you’re doing (“I’m buying all this food for the church cookout this weekend.”).


Tools, Repair and Utility

  • Basic hand tool set.
  • Be able to repair items.



  • Keep all vehicles in good repair.
  • Fill up when your gas tank gets to half empty.
  • Extra stored fuel.
  • Stabilizer for stored fuel (PRI-G and PRI-D).
  • Items and supplies to fix your vehicle.
  • Emergency road equipment (flares, warning reflectors, etc.).


Weather Information

  • NOAA weather radio.
  • Basic understanding of clouds, weather systems and storms typical in your area.
  • Thorough understanding of weather related alerts, watches and warnings for your area.

– Rob

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