Chapter 1: Planning

Emergency or Disaster Planning

Planning and preparation for a wide spread emergency can be an overwhelming task. However, when broken down into individual tasks which are listed in logical order the process is greatly simplified. The most important aspect is to start planning now.

Threat Awareness

Identify the most serious threats that may effect you and prepare for those first. Threat to life, limb and then property is a logical approach. Determine what the trigger will be for different possibilities. Nearly everyone will have a different view of what they consider the “biggest threat” even after an emergency has been identified and declared. Whoever ever gets it right will have the advantage. Could a symptom of an emergency pose a greater threat than the emergency itself? Could it be lack of shelter, food, water and energy or could thieves, panicked crowds, police action or the military pose a greater danger? Is there any way to eliminate all of these possibilities?


Determine the severity of the threat and if possible, how much time you have to respond. The biggest decision may be, should I go else where (bug out) or should I stay put (bug in)? If you did not plan for your own evacuation someone else might make this decision for you and it may not be for your own good. It really depends on how bad the situation gets, where you are currently located and whether or not you can leave soon enough to avoid a potential lock down.

Emergency Preparation

Establish an evacuation process and plan escape routes. Gather important records and phone numbers. Make a written plan for closing up the house so time isn’t lost and nothing is forgotten. Store valuables that must be left behind. Back up important data. Establish procedures for executing your plan. Test your plan with drills, so you know it will work and how long it will take to complete.

Not everyone’s needs or motivations are the same. Make an inventory of what you have and what you might need. Cover all basics first and acquire additional items and skills as soon as possible. Make your own list of food, books, gear, clothes, tools, medicine, maps, bedding, utensils and other supplies. Don’t rely on someone else's plan or opinion but remain open to adapting your plan due to changing circumstances and information.  Customize your list and plan to suit your own group size, concerns and circumstances. After all, it is "your" life at stake.

Adventure Planning

If you are planning an adventure outing, be sure to leave a trusted friend with a map showing where you intend to park, which trails you intend to travel and where your camp(s) will be located. Make notes on the map of what you are driving, when you should be returning and who to contact if you fail to return. Stick with your plan. Be sure to call your contact person as soon as you return safely.

Developing Skill

Practice and rehearsal are the only ways to test knowledge, while at the same time developing and polishing your skills.

Physical Conditioning

Get in shape and stay in shape. Preparation will do you no good if you can’t physically carry out your plan.

Next Article: Choosing A Campsite


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