Survival Operating Procedure (S.O.P.)

Survival Operating Procedures, Survival Knife, Survival Rifle, Bug Out Bag, Bugging In, TEOTWAWKI, Survival, Survival Rifle, Survival Pistol, Long term Food storage, emergency preparedness,,,,,water purification, water filtration, water purification systems, water filtration systems, backpacking tents, md creekmore, Bug Out Vehicles, Riots, Urban Unrest

S.O.P. is an acronym for Standard Operating Procedure.  We are going to put the SurvivalCache spin on things and change the term to Survival Operating Procedure to help your family with Emergency Preparedness.

The idea behind using an S.O.P. is that it outlines the steps that would be taken in an emergency and lays them out in a way that can be practiced and repeated easily in an emergency. Very similar to rehearsing a fire drill.

By Josh, The Survival Kid –

The Scenario:

For this example I am going to share my family’s S.O.P. for an emergency evacuation of the home,Bug Out Bag or “Bug Out”.  For this scenario, lets say that there has been an event in town that is causing civil unrest.  Things are starting to heat up with rioting in the streets and mobs of protesters.  My parents are not sure how much longer it is going to last, so they decide we should pack up our belongings and “Get Out Of Dodge”.  Time is always of the essence once these decisions are made and if we are going to beat the crowds we must move fast.  Our family’s goal is to be packed up and on the road in less than 15 minutes.

By dividing the house into three key areas such as kitchen, bedrooms, and garage, we can divide up the work load.  Below is an example of my families “Survival” S.O.P. or Standard Operating Procedure.

KitchenBug Out Plan

The kitchen detail is in charge of packing up all of the food and cooking utensils in the house and loading them into the Bug Out Vehicle.  The kitchen detail is headed up by the lady of the house because she knows her way around the kitchen the best.  She is aided by one of the younger kids to help her move stuff around.


The bedroom detail is in charge of packing up the contents of the bedrooms.  They pack the Bug Out Bags (B.O.B.s) from the individual packing lists, they pack all of the school books, the guns and ammunition, the indoor tool box, and the family first aid kit.  The bedroom detail is headed up by Dad and one of the older children.  After packing up everything from the bedrooms, they are also responsible for moving it out to the B.O.V.


The garage detail is in charge of packing up everything that is stored outside. They grab the Family Survival Plangardening, camping, and shelter bins from their shelves, they pack up all of the tools from the workshop area, they load the family chickens into a crate, and also grab the chicken food. They then move everything into the B.O.V.  I head up the garage detail, because I am in charge of maintaining the yard and garage and know where everything is.

The S.O.P.

Here is what the actual S.O.P. looks like. We keep laminated copies throughout the house, so that in a time of crisis everybody knows what to do.

Kitchen Detail: Mom, Joey
Bedroom Detail: Dad, Caleb
Garage Detail: Josh, Luke

Kitchen Detail:

*Tip – Keeping food in trays or Storage bins saves a lot of packing time.

Bedrooms Detail:

  • Pack Bug Out Bags from individual packing lists
  • Pack guns and ammunition into appropriate cases
  • Pack books into plastic bins from packing list
  • Pack indoor tools from packing list
  • Pack family first aid kit
  • Pack Survival Binder

Garage/ Outdoors Detail:

  • Pack “Shelter”, “Gardening” & “Camping” bins
  • Pack chickens into crate. Pack chicken food
  • Pack outdoor tools into plastic bin from packing list
  • Pack water jugs
  • Pack propane tanks, gasoline, and kerosene jugs

Share your ideas for your emergency SOP in the comments below.

“The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare”

Photos by:

{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

justin2004 March 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Do you have more than one BOV? Just seem's like a lot of stuff to fit in with six people :P


Josh March 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

We have a 12 passenger van.


justin2004 March 12, 2011 at 9:38 am

Well that certainly makes things easier lol. Definitely enough room, probably with some extra space for unexpected gear, bring alongs, or situations.


ZOMCON1 May 17, 2013 at 10:32 am

How about grabbing the pre-packed B.O.B., and getting out of dodge? I don't need to pack up the house, i'm not moving. Only the essentials in my opinion. Besides evac time will be cut dramatically from 15 minutes to just several. No time to waste, gotta go now!


CaptBart March 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Josh, nice article. My only comment is that I think there is a bit too much packing in the list. For example your BOBs should stay packed at all times, along with a Bug Out Gun(s) ready to grab and go. If you don't have 15 minutes, grab BOB and BOG and go! I was on an inspection team in West Germany back in the day and we failed a unit because they had the wrong packing order. They were given 30 minutes to pack. At 17 minutes, the whistle blew and they had to go. Most of their ammo was on the loading dock. Bad news for a combat unit. My BOB stays in the car and my BOG is usually on my hip. If I have time, I get more but given 30 seconds or so, I could be on the road, ready for a minimum of 3 days. The longer the time, the better but if you're ready for no warning, little warning is a plus.


Rescue7 March 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Good going Josh. Personally I don’t leave fire arms in the SUV unless I’m in it… Would hate to have someone break into my vehicle for money or a stereo and get any of my weapons. For that reason I also make smaller kits for going to the game or to see a show. FYI, a lot of public venues now search you before entering so don’t forget to remove your every day carry items from your key chain and leave your Leatherman in the car.


CaptBart March 5, 2011 at 6:53 am

I agree. Guns in vehicles are at risk of being, shall we say, 'acquired' by unauthorized users. Check out… for a solution. This helps but I do not leave guns unattended in a vehicle if I can avoid it; sometimes it is just not avoidable. A long gun safe is more difficult but a rifle locker can be mounted. The key is to fasten it to the vehicle to prevent a grab and go.


Enron-Survivor March 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Thanks for the great article. Personally, I would leave the school books at home. Let the looters learn something.


Josh March 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

We are a home schooled family, and a lot of our curriculim, (excluding algebra) would be useful after a collapse.


CaptBart March 5, 2011 at 6:46 am

Good for you guys! I'm a strong supporter of all Home Schoolers, everywhere. I think you guys are the hope for our future. My grand-kids are home schooled and are years ahead of their age groups in the government schools.

I'm afraid that algebra is also used after a collapse as well as before. Anytime you go to increase a receipt 2.5 times, you're stuck doing algebra. Sorry.

I'm fairly sure you guys know this but every time my son takes his family on a trip they turn it into a class trip. Biology, history, geography, etc. of a new area are explored. Everyone has fun, the students (and teachers) learn and usually at least parts of the trip are tax deductible. A trip to explore the flora and fauna of your BOL is an educational opportunity. Your state laws may be different but if you haven't checked it out it might be worthwhile.


Josh March 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

You have expressed my opinions on the topic to a tee.


Logan April 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

While this doesn't apply in all situations, I would argue that many home-schooled children have social issues (they are extremely introverted, haven't been exposed to the real world – pros and cons of it! – and their social support system often relies exclusively on families, as opposed to friends who may be able to bring a different viewpoint to a situation). Also, what happens when home schooling ends, and it is time to go to college? The student will either not know how to conduct himself in a public educational institution and end up dropping out, or will go wild now that he is out from under the control of his parents.

I attended a public school, and believe I had a great eduction. To each his own, I suppose…


CaptBart April 19, 2011 at 6:36 am

I am sorry, sir, but your post indicates you know little or nothing about the home school movement. The NEA stereotype you have just described has not existed for the last 15 years if it ever existed in this country. The home school associations have joint classes where appropriate (team sports and PE for example) and often with teachers who are much better qualified in their subject than the 'educators' in the local government school. (working geologist and physicist teaching earth science; MDs teaching biology etc.) While you may have seen a poor example of a home school somewhere and you may have had a decent education from a government school recently, both are rare and hard to find. The reason many of the national competitions created separate categories for home schooled kids is because (in my opinion) they got tired of the "poorly formed" home schooled cleaning the clocks of those formed in the government schools.
As for college, in my experience over the last 15 years, the home schooled do much better in college since they have not been subjected to the amoral drivel that passes for social studies in government schools. Regardless of the reason though, the fact is home schooled as a group do better in college than government schooled as a group. Most state universities will take home schooled and their graduation rate is higher than those from government schools. They tend to be more serious students who do well, academically and personally. I do not know where you got your information but it sounds like NEA (National Education Associate) propaganda, not solid facts from the real world. Individual examples don't make the case or counter case but I strongly urge you to do better research before making such statements.

badvoodoodaddy March 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Very good post. Those of us that have prior military experience know the importance of having a good SOP in place. It takes care of any gray area that might exist in a plan. Having everyone on the same sheet of music makes a very chaotic situation a bit easier.


Josh March 4, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Exactly, thanks for commenting.


Michael March 4, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I'm in earthquake country so what I've done quick bailout wise is to put my earthquake stuff in bins that are sturdy and portable. All I have to do is throw 4 action packer bins in the car and go. I also have a kit with a day or two worth of stuff in it in the car all the time.


CaptBart March 9, 2011 at 8:34 am

Michael, that is probably about as good as you can do in earthquake response. Nobody, except maybe the pets (and they don't talk), can give accurate warning of the exact date/time for a quake. If you make it through the first bump, you generally have 15 min to a couple of hours before the next shake. The trick is to figure out if you had THE quake occur or if what shook everything up was just a precursor. If the damage is such that you need to GOOD, you are faced with traveling during the aftershocks but your plan to grab and go seems about as sound as you can get. I HATE earthquakes because they are so unpredictable and imprecise. I really enjoy studying them (and volcanoes) but I really, really dislike being in earthquake country. I don't even like driving through New Madrid and that is relatively quiet right now. I can see a storm coming but telling me the 'BIG ONE' will hit some time in the next decade isn't much help. Remember, we're not paranoid, Mother Nature really is out to get us all. There is no safe place but you seem to have the right idea for your area. I assume your bins are in a place likely to survive and be accessible after any quake you make it through.


Joe March 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Actually, it's "standing operating procedure." A standard and a procedure are the same thing.


JohnDoe1999 March 5, 2011 at 4:00 am

In my experience I've found this argued over constantly. Sometimes we forget what the acronyms we use even mean. I worked with Army officers that said Standard, but also worked with a USMC Corporal who said Standing.


Josh March 5, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Outside of the military community, ie. medical, hazmat, etc… SOP is Standard Operating Procedure. For instance, ANSI, and OSHA both have SOPs for various items.


nerdyadventurer March 9, 2011 at 8:48 am

Yeah, you should have heard the argument I had with my Dad on this one. He's an ex-Marine, so he said Standing. I'm a Paramedic and I work with alot of police, fire, hazmat etc, so I said standard. The key is that we are using standard as an adjective not a noun. (yay, English class! I actually remembered something!) :)


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 11:33 am

I am reliably informed that there is no such thing as an EX Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. At least that is what the guys that I know tell me. I'm retired Army so my opinion doesn't count.


usnyhockeyguy March 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm

In the Navy its a Standard Operating Procedure.


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

If it is 'Standing' in the Marines I would have bet big money it was 'Standard' in the Navy. I made the mistake once of telling a Marine they were a branch of the Navy. I WILL NEVER BE THAT STUPID AGAIN!


guest1053 August 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

The RCAF call them standard, because when they're executed, you're Operation up to Standard Orders. There were also Standing Routing Orders that were non-operational.


Matt March 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I like the idea of plastic bins. Say you set up your pantry with your can goods already in them one for peas, beans, carrots, ect… When it’s time to go half your work is already done for you. Plus this would make food rotation easyer. Just number the tops of the cans and when you pull the bin you would see which one was next in line.


Zythum_Halen March 5, 2011 at 4:07 am

I have an 8'x10' covered utility tariler that stays packed and ready for camping. I have started using empty Tidy Cat litter containers to store different foods. The Tidy Cat containers are great storage and the fact that they say Tidy Cat Litter may act as a simple form of camoflage. The containers have the 5 PP on the bottom and according to the web is used to store some foods like Ketchup, Mustard etc. The rectangular design of the buckets makes for easy stacking. I don't write on the containers what is in them, I only number them and keep a spreadsheet with the contents.
BOBs are ready for each family member but I too have a growing 4 year old and must change out the clothes on a regular basis.


Wolfie March 5, 2011 at 5:08 am

The tidy cat buckets are great but please note the weight of litter that came in it. Try not to store anything denser or weighs more than the original litter or stack them to high. The plastic may fatigue in the corners and fail. I know, I used to manage the distribution for the southeast. The white plastic shows signs of fatigue by starting to have a cloudy white appearance instead of the glossy white. The corners then bulge and burst leaking out the contents. Long term storage exposes the plastic to temperature extremes thus varying its elasticity and strength.


Zythum_Halen April 7, 2011 at 5:40 am

Thanks for the advice.


CaptBart April 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

Do you have a rotation plan in place for the food and other consumables (like fuel)? I find it easy to rotate food on shelves but I seem to find it impossible to remember to rotate the stuff in the containers. I have come to the place where I only store stuff with a year shelf life or longer and I check the containers at the start and end of Hurricane season. Part of my hurricane SOP and keeps the containers current for any use.


Zythum_Halen April 7, 2011 at 5:38 am

I have a spread sheet in my computer and printed out on a clipboard near the pantry that shows the Best Used by Dates for foods that have shorter shelf lifes. I try to update the spread sheet at least every two months. Each bucket is numbered and gives no indication as to the contents. I just use the `find` feature on the spread sheet to find items of particular interest if they are not on the shelves in plain sight or I can use the clipboard since I sort the data in alphabetical order for ease of use in scanning for items.

If I remove things from the shelf or out of the buckets I mark them off the spreadsheet if I am not in too big a hurry. I also try to add to the count on the clipboard as I restock or add to my stores. This is a pantry that is hidden in the back part of the house. I do not inventory the pantry in the kitchen (yet). In a SHTF scenario where conservation and calorie counting becomes needed I would inventory all food.


Zythum _Halen April 7, 2011 at 5:39 am

I have a computer recipe program called "One Million Recipes" that is full of recipes but will also give you all the nutritional info you could want for the recipes. You set the number of portions and it will adjust the calories, fat content, etc… This is a good program to have even if your not a prepper. It only cost $10 I think.


CaptBart March 5, 2011 at 7:04 am

I'd forgotten how fast growing kids run through clothes. My 'baby' is a 36 year old airline captain. He now has the same issue with his growing family.


Josh March 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I am only thirteen, but in my relatively short life I can see how much my little brothers have grown. I think that for the most part larger families will fare better after a collapse. And with law and order still in place, families are still amazing things, I am truly blessed to have loving and nurturing parents. Thanks for commenting.


KvG March 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

This is all well and good if you happen to be at home when a SHTF situation occurs, but what if you are not at home? Main Question: Can you make it home? Also, what plans do you have in place? What if one or more members of your family are not at home? Rendezvous, markers, time tables, and evacuation locations? Things to think about: mass traffic jams (4 hour plus evacuating a area (major cities)), loss of electricity and all communications, and looting/rioting/fighting in streets. Can you evacuate on foot if you have to?


Chefbear58 March 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Good point about having to GOOD on foot, where me and my family spend the vast majority of our time we can easily navigate to a major river and make it to the Chesapeake bay or up to the mountains of VA using little to no navigation equipment and little supplies (if the worst happens and we have to leave without gear/preps). In both directions we have friends/family who would be expecting us, but the beauty of it is that in either direction you can travel for miles and miles without risking exposure to other people, in everyday life, and I imagine many folks wouldn't think to use this waterway as a navigation tool in an emergency. Most of the folks around here can't pull their heads out of their rears long enough to even notice the river, let alone have the sense to follow it! I have hiked the banks a few times (using an ultra-light pack and little supplies), either direction the trip takes only a few days of long trekking. The river also can be a source of fairly easily obtained food, and of course with some purification you have water. I also keep a GHB (Get Home Bag) in my JEEP, which has enough food, fishing tackle, water purification supplies and first-aid gear (enough to handle anything short of a VERY serious gun shot wound) to get myself and another person to any of the 3 locations (including home).

Something to think about, there may be natural resources in your area that most people wouldn't think to use to their advantage. I have discussed this idea with a couple like minded folks that live near me, and they hadn't thought of it either.


nerdyadventurer March 9, 2011 at 8:57 am

I'm so happy to hear you say that! I thought I was the only one. My husband and I have maps, but the main thing that we built our route around was the rivers! Even if somehow we end up with no maps, we know that we will be able to find our way along a 200+ mile route. It's great in a plan for if you get separated from your partners too.

Remember that if you are following a river or other body of water, back in the day people specifically built towns by water. Check out how many towns of what sizes there are along the way. And plan for going around them if necessary. That can add alot of miles to the hike. And this is only for the on foot plan. I still intend to take a vehicle as far as I can.


Josh March 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

This is just one of several SOPs for various scenarios, it is also just an example, and something that is subject to changes. You do bring up good points, and they are things that I have attempted to address in my planning. Thanks for commenting.


CaptBart March 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm

KvG, you are talking about what the Army used to call an SOI/SSI – Signals Operating Instructions/Standing Signals Instruction. This was usually a combined document (at least below the Corps level;check out… for a useful discussion of communications under unfriendly conditions ). It contained the standard procedures for all communication events. Codes, challenge-response combination, duress words, special action commands.
When you have group members who may be out of position due to job or what ever reason, you need to be able to communicate without using open language. When I worked special weapons we had phrases that sounded like normal conversation but said,'I'm being forced to do this – react accordingly'. Using such a phrase might get you killed but you protected the weapons.

You need a way to tell the absent member "don't come home; go directly to BOL". or "Come home NOW" or "GO TO PICKUP POINT AND I'LL BE THERE IN XX MINUTES". As well as a way to say I'm being forced and am not free to talk or I'm being forced but can answer yes/no questions.

The SOP is critical but without and SOI/SSI it is incomplete.


Zythum_Halen April 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

I have get home bags for both our vehicles and I have discussed there uses with my wife. She really surprised me when I started putting them together, I half expected her to roll her eyes, but she didn't.

We have discussed where the first rendezvous point is and what route she is to take if she is on foot. I live in a realitively small town and My wife works only about a mile from my mother. Guess where the first rendezvou point is. From My mothers to my house is less than 5 miles.

All my emergency bags have county, state, and surrounding state maps inside. We also have collapseable walking sticks and ways of procuring drinking water in all of our vehicles and bags.


ZOMCON1 May 17, 2013 at 10:42 am

That's why you have your E.D.C. (Every Day Carry) and your G.H.B. (Get Home Bag) on your person daily. This then gets you to either your B.O.V. (Bug Out Vehicle), or B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag), etc. A modular system and a plan A, B, and C is a good start. This should mitigate any issues arising from your particular location when disaster strikes.


Stormin March 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I drive a lot for work, and have many friends that do the same. We have a system set up where we have agreed to allow each other to place a locked foot locker at each others house. With some planning and careful choosing of friends you can safely cache a BOB all around the city and not have to worry about making a long trip home with little or no supplies. I have cache as far as 75 mile from my home, and a small kit in the car to ensure that I can make it to my supplies.


Michael March 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Good plan.


nerdyadventurer March 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

Awesome! my husband and I are considering 'caching trips' in order to cache things in locations further from us but in areas that we intend to be passing through. It's gonna be a while before we get to that point, and there's always the risk of someone finding your stash, so you can't depend on it.

It actually sounded like a fun plan for a camping trip though.


Michael March 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

There's only so much you can plan for and worry about.

In my case there's really very little that could cause you to need to bug out. The bigger worry is getting stuck somewhere do to earth quake, bad weather, whatever. I keep food and water, some toiletries in my car so that I can "shelter in place/bug in" with the car until I can get home if I'm more than walking distance from the house.

I'm in in Western WA, am rarely that far from Puget Sound, and live a short walk from the sound. Worst comes to worst, I could probably pay someone to give boat ride home.


Chefbear58 March 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Beautiful country up there, my aunt and uncle used to live on Puget Sound. That's actually the place where my uncle (master diver) taught me how to S.C.U.B.A. dive. A lot bigger than most folks think when they hear the name to, but your right if you live near the sound you probably could get somebody to give you a lift. Most of the folks I have met on the water out there are pretty nice, don't know if that will change post [insert need for "bug out]….
The sound could also be a HUGE potential food source, and fairly easy transportation with knowledge of the waters and a small boat (I'm thinkin' kayak).


Josh March 5, 2011 at 7:56 pm

My family was stationed at what is now Joint Base Lewis/McCord. It is really pretty up there, glad you you have a basic plan in place.


Wolfie2884 March 6, 2011 at 12:16 am

Good article, however I think it needs more planning as SOP depends upon situation and while this is a good foundation, what is the SOP is the event is an EMP or solar storm? How much can you carry on foot?


Josh March 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This is just an example, I have several more for different scenarios.


KvG March 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

EMP/solar storm is the most plausible threat. Nasa has a few nice videos showing the possible threat we face in the coming year. There was 3 major solar flares that knock some communications and electrical grids out in china about 3-4 weeks ago. Problem is we will never get the full extend of the power outages and/or loss of communications coming because its china. For SOP you must start at worse case scenario: evac on foot – things to considered: distance you can travel per day is based on: physical fitness, terrain, load (equipment/food/water/weapons/ammo), small children. Bicycles pulling a cart, and wagons may help. You may have to re-evaluate your destination. if you live in a major city you have 3 days to get out. Do not think your home is your castle, the animals will burn you out.


CaptBart March 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I see your point but I do not agree that you must start with the 'worse case' event in your planning. I'm afraid that is a recipe for discouragement and failure to prepare. I think you must start with the most likely event and build from there.

Prepare for that one first. The earth may or may not have another Carrington event in my lifetime (the last one was in 1859) but Houston WILL have another hurricane, probably within 5 years. There may be a terrorist attack that takes down the power grid some time this decade but the northeast WILL have a major ice storm next winter and power will be down for days or weeks for some folks.

Start with the probable events. This makes a good foundation for building to the more unlikely, albeit more severe, events. If I'm prepared for the Mississippi to flood, I have a leg up on the gear I need for another New Madrid quake. Fortunately, the more severe the event, the less frequently they occur. The better prepared you are for the likely, the better able you are to deal with the unlikely or black swan.


GettingReady March 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Josh, I think that you have to be one of the smartest 13 year olds I have seen. Great job!

For our Bug-Out plan , we have 3 different levels 1. Grab everything!. 2. Grab half of everything!. 3. Grab the BOB and Bug-out food bag!. The way we have this plan it allows us to exit the home starting with #3 and working our way up to #1.


Josh March 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for the compliment! I am glad that you have a plan of some sort in place.


Chefbear58 March 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I have to agree with you GettingReady… How set would folks be if every 13yr old was as dedicated to prepping for and surviving whatever is over the horizon?!

I have said it before on other articles you have written Josh, and I will say it again… You seem to be a cool "kid", and it's awesome to see someone from the "internet generation" who is so knowledgeable and willing to listen/learn! Very uncommon these days!


Josh March 6, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Thank you very much for your flattering compliments. I have been very blessed with a God given thirst for knowledge and it is something that I am very happy to share with others. Once again, thank you both very much for your comments, it is touching and I appreciate it.


Chance March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

Josh, I was homeschooled as well. Never take for granted the love and sacrifices your parents make to insure your education.


Josh March 8, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for saying that, and I agree completely. Have a good one.


Chris March 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Yup. I have a rough idea of my plans right now. I'm debating wether to flesh them out or not since I'll be moving again soon. :/


CaptBart March 8, 2011 at 8:10 pm

There is a truth that the military knows very well. That truth is that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. That doesn't mean you don't plan, that means you have to be flexible enough to take what you have and adapt it to what you need. There is always a "good and pressing" reason to postpone the start of preparing. The problem is a year from now you will be a year closer to TSHTF, a year of preparation time gone, and still faced with the problem of is this the time to START preparing. When I was in the army, every time we stopped we started 'improving the position'. If you get hit, you will bitterly regret the 15 minutes you wasted not improving your defensive capability. The same applies here. Plan for where you are. If your moving plans change or are delayed, you will be better off than if you wait. Nothing is more frustrating than to plan on starting when you move in two weeks and then in two weeks get hit with a three week delay and so on. Start where you are and modify as things change. Just do yourself a favor and don't wait.


Tony March 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I'm new to this great web-site and also the survival skills that many of you have. I live near Indianapolis, IN and looking for week/weekend courses, starting with the basics. I'm also ready to purchase weapons, 1 (one) side arm and 1 (one) long rifle but again not sure of what I should be looking for. Any help or suggestions would be great.

Thanks everyone;



CaptBart April 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

There are several threads on the site that deal with long guns (rifle and shot gun) and short guns (revolvers and pistols (semi automatic like a .45 Colt 1911). There is also some discussion of other weapons (bows for instance) so there is a wealth of information. I'm a 'big bore' bigot as I'm sure you'll discover if you read the posts. Others prefer smaller calibers. I prefer revolvers where possible, others prefer pistols.
The key is to decide what the primary purpose of the firearm is to be and then buy accordingly.
I have a couple of articles on the psychology of deadly force. I would urge you to read them before you buy any weapons. Several of us troll the various threads so if you have questions just ask and we'll try to answer. Welcome to the site.


LesStroudfan March 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Personally, i thought the kitchen detail was unnecessary. i mean, you already said this could be a potentially dangerous scenario so why waste time having to run around the house trying to get your gear packed? in my opinion, this a good time to have a dedicated BOB because it is a whole lot more simpler, and when the time comes to "Get Out Of Dodge," i want to be through that door ASAP.


mike June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Yeah that's true. But when you have a family, especially one with younger kids, your going to want to take as much as possible. But it also depends on how much time you have until the problem is at your door too.


Nor' Country March 15, 2011 at 7:28 am

Please expand on the “survival binder” listed on your bedroom details check off list… Is that your actual written SOP?


Josh March 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

The survival binder is a collection of information that might be useful after a collapse, from important legal docs, to recipes, and stuff. It also does have copies of different SOPs


mike June 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Great article. A plan is always a good thing. especially in a time of chaos.

It obviously depends on how much time you have available to you (like how close those "riots" are to your home) but I kind of agree with CaptBart's statement about BOB's. I prefer a balance of speed and efficiency. Like me and my wife have all of our BOB (Or as we call them for humor "holy shit" bags) supplies (enough to sustain us for about a week and a half) in one corner of my office. so if trouble is ever "at the front door" we can have our stuff in 40 seconds flat. Although with my wife I have to add another minute onto it, because god forbid we leave the cat. Damn thing will probably out-survive us when SHTF.


squiddy1 October 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Very good plan ya got there.
Not to mention when everybody has an assigned task it will bring some sense of order and a type of calm to a very tense situation.
Both of my sons are grown one is in the Army 101st Airborne ( its not the Navy but hey Im proud )The other has a very good job and a nice house , Im only 46 and me and my wife are on our own .
We keep a Priority list of if we need to be gone in 10-15 mins we know what needs to go.
If we have longer then obviously We have extras that will make the trip. WE live togeather we survive togeather, We both know our roles


Dwight Atkins October 12, 2012 at 1:28 am

This is a great practice! One should know the first aid and should know how to survive without their usual comfort. Learn diy kitchens to prevent you from hunger, and learn self defense to secure yourself and everyone.


franciscorobins October 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Being prepared is all it takes to prevent any untoward events during a dreadful situation. And the help of an urgent care littleton co will complete the preparedness you make.


Steve November 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

This may sound silly but where are you all planning to go? If I can't live out of my house with a well and a generator for awhile how are my prospects of driving on a 2 lane road with all the other nuts trying to leave the Puget Sound area? Only a fire could make me leave the area. I'm in a much better place to defend myself and family on our land from rioters than in a car driving around looking for a calmer place. Just curious as to where folks think they're going?


Peter December 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm

The priorities to include are for any one person to make. However, I would make the lists in order of priority – e.g. in the "bedroom" list, I would put the first aid kit first. You may need to get out of there before you're done, so pack the essentials first – first aid kit IMHO being the first in that category. Same prioritisation can be made for the rest.


mike November 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Having been home schooled, public schooled, and private schooled; I can safely say that the social interactions you describe were least helpful when I was in the public school system. Specifically dealing with the bully (everyone has to deal with bullies, not everyone asks out chearleaders or leads a team to locker room let alone state) I got a life-long friend out of dealing with a bully while home schooled. Tried the same thing in public school and almost got expelled because of politically instituted zero tolerance lunacy. Some people just need a good fight.


bob davidson July 18, 2011 at 4:42 am

Logan made a reasonable point. Home school students do not have the same interactions w/ the public. Socially, home school vs. public education would have to be on completely different levels.


CaptBart July 18, 2011 at 8:14 am

My point was simply that broad generalizations such as "I would argue that many home-schooled children have social issues" are not supported by facts. This is the Pravda (Main Stream Media) and NEA take on home schools but it is hard to see how subjecting a grade schoolers to the propaganda that passes for social studies and history in many states (LGBT history in California for example) is good for the children or produces better 'balanced' citizens as opposed to learning local, state or national history.

As government schools become more outrageous in their curriculum the home school movement becomes stronger. There is not a single bit of evidence that indicates home schoolers are at any kind of social disadvantage later in life and much evidence that they are better prepared for the future – if your definition of being prepared for the future does not include the government doing things for you but does include logical thinking and solid traditional education values.

I am a strong supporter of home schools because they work and work extremely well in most cases. There are, I am sure, some cases where it has failed due to the parents not exercising proper care but I don't know of any. Usually a parent who is willing to take on the work load of home schooling is also intent on doing a good job. While there are excellent teachers in the government schools, it seems to me that the enforced curriculum is designed more as propaganda than education thus depriving the good teachers of the opportunity to do their jobs well.

To each his own, of course, but by every standard that I know of the home school does a better job of producing educated citizens well grounded in the duties of citizenship.


Straydog September 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I have a limited experience with home schooled children. However, the two children of neighbors of mine in Wichita KS were absolutely wonderful children, but definitely lacked simple social skills. I feel as though the parents were extremely religion/ faith based in their upbringing. No TV except "Sky Angel;" and even 4th of July. They didn't know what M&Ms were, ha, call them M's because they had NEVER seen them before. Mind you, these weren't a couple of zealots, he was a computer sciance guy and she was stay home mom. But these little boys were headed toward a brick wall once they reach adulthood. No disrespect to home schoolers intended, as if I had school aged children again today, I would probably elect to do so!


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