Have A Survival Plan: The Basics

The best way to ensure your survival during a disaster is to have a survival plan. This allows you to prepare for any unfortunate circumstance to ensure your survival. An emergency plan must be formulated and introduced to all the members of the family. Everyone should be fully oriented on the plan so that you can carry out the steps quickly and efficiently. Familiarity also instills confidence so that your family will be less likely to panic.

Everyone in the household should know exactly what to do in case of a natural gas leak, an earthquake, or extreme flooding. A speedy response to these emergency situations ensures fewer casualties. Your plan should include a clear set of actions, the necessary equipment, and a rendezvous point.

Home Preparation

The first step in your survival plan is to make sure that your home is sufficiently reinforced against any disaster. Take your Action Planner. Write out “Home Preparation” as a header and then draw a line to divide the page into two columns. On the left, write “Get.” On the right, write “Do.”

List the things that you need to get and do to sufficiently prepare for disasters. Some of the things that you might want to include in the left column are fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, first aid kit, communications devices, etc.

For the right column, examples include replacing smoke detector batteries, fire extinguisher maintenance; secure cabinets in case of an earthquake, etc.

To Bug Out Or Hunker Down?

In case of a disaster, you’ll be left with two choices: to evacuate or to stay? You’ll need to evacuate if the local government unit advises you to do so. Some disasters will mandate you to stay at home where it’s safer. It’s important to assess the current situation and then make the right call. It also helps to be prepared for both possibilities.

Bug Out

Bugging out means you need to leave your home to travel somewhere safer. You’ll need to go to government shelters or camp out on safer grounds. For this, prepare bug-out bags (BOBs) for every member of the family, including children. These bags must contain provisions to help you survive for three days to a week.

Bugging out means you’ll do a lot of walking, so make sure to keep your bag as light as possible so that you won’t get strained during the transportation. The bags should also be made of water-resistant material to keep the contents secure. It should house survival essentials like important documents, emergency cash, first aid kit, canned food, water, camping gear, etc.

Survival Bags In Your Car

Aside from the standard bug out bag, there should be another emergency bag in your car. A member of the family might be at work or away for the weekend so it helps to have an extra stash in the car. Aside from the basic bug out bag necessities, the car kit should also contain equipment for automobile emergencies like emergency flares, jumper cables, flashers, flat tire repair kits, etc. These items come in handy especially if you need to evacuate using your car.

Bug Out Bag Checklist


  • Bottled water
  • Tablets for water treatment
  • Portable water filter


  • Granola bars
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Jerky
  • Hard candy
  • Chocolate bars
  • Trail mix
  • Eating utensils
  • Portable knife
  • Can opener
  • Cooking set
  • Moist towelettes


  • Spare clothes
  • Long underwear
  • Thick socks
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Handkerchief

Portable Shelter

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tarpaulin
  • Duct tape
  • Tent spikes

Home Caching

This involves creating an emergency stash that is hidden and only accessible by you and your closest family members.


Water is an essential survival item. Much of the human body’s physiological needs rely on the presence of water. There should be clean drinking water as well as water for daily use. Make sure to stock two gallons per day per member of the family.

It’s much more sustainable to have plans to outsource water once your home stash runs out. Prepare a portable filtration system. Scout your area for bodies of water. Reuse gray water for tasks like flushing the toilet. Orient everyone on the importance of rationing and preserving water.


Food is the second most important survival essential. Aside from stockpiling canned goods, it also helps to know food-preservation techniques. This is a sustainable way to have a steady supply of food for everyone. It’s also healthier to prepare your own meals every once in a while rather than relying on preservative-ridden foods.

During an emergency scenario, your access to food might be limited which is why it helps to throw in some multivitamins in the mix. These supplements ensure that your basic nutritional requirements are still being met despite the circumstances.


Clothing helps your body stay warm during cold days. Your emergency stash should contain clothing pieces fit for different weather conditions. Pack in some long underwear, sweaters, thick socks, and many other things to help keep you warm.


You might think that there’s no need to prepare for additional shelter when you are already staying in your home, but you shouldn’t discount the possibility of an emergency evacuation. Pack a tent that’s big enough to fit everyone in the family. Tarpaulin and duct tape are great for building temporary shelter.


Alternative energy sources are important to keep your electrical appliances up and running. A disaster will most likely shut off the power source in your city. It helps to have a generator to power the essentials. Have alternative sources of light to keep your home illuminated at night.


Disasters are said to bring out the best in people, but they also bring out the worst. Don’t forget about the possibility of burglars and assailants. Pack some self-defense items like pepper sprays, Tasers, or a licensed firearm. Install some home security devices like motion-sensor lights in order to deter burglars. Always be prepared for the possibility that law enforcement might take time to respond to your emergency since they’ll be busy dealing with the disaster.