Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

SHTF! The first 9 things to do during a disaster

Would you know what to do in a serious disaster situation like a regional EMP? Here are the first 9 steps to help you survive: http://graywolfsurvival.com/157027/disaster-the-first-9-things-to-do-when-shtf/Most people in the world are reactive in emergency situations – especially when it comes to SHTF disaster scenarios (Shit Hit The Fan) that result in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It). Having the right survival gear and training isn’t the whole picture though; you have to have a plan and know how to use it.

I don’t normally write about full-on SHTF scenarios like this one but if you plan for the worst, it’s easier to plan for the most-likely.

Obviously, if you’re directly involved in a current disaster, such as finding yourself floating down main street during a flood or your building crumbling down around you, this article isn’t for you. Your first priorities are to get safe, fix your broken self, fix others, and get out of Dodge. This article is about what to do in the middle of a regional event that has happened but hasn’t yet directly affected you – but it soon will.

In this situation, something big happened to your region of the country and you have no choice but to leave town. Just make sure you don’t plan JUST for worst-case. Minor scenarios are MUCH more likely, but you can gain from thinking about the worst case. Let’s just go ahead and pretend that an EMP just hit, something like in this book (which is a really good book to get you thinking).

The world waits until something happens, then decides what they need to do. Preppers are typically different, but even they fall into a similar problem. They buy lots of stuff, and do lots of learning and training. Some even make plans. What they fail to miss is that sometimes the necessary assets to adequately deal with a situation aren’t readily available on a whim. You have to have them in advance.

The Special Forces and other organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working with are very good at executing effectively because the plan, then they drill it over and over and understand the military planning process. They wargame what could happen, develop possible COAs (Courses Of Action), run through mock exercises in as-real a circumstance as possible each time, and then do AARs (After Action Reviews) to redefine mission parameters, gear, and necessary additional training.

how to survive an emp

Their action may be reactive once it’s go-time but they’re proactive enough that they already know a good deal of what will happen once boots hit the ground. The more you make a plan, practice the plan, and adjust the plan, the more easily you’ll be able to deal with emergency situations.

The other problem is that without an adequate COA analysis, you may not recognize WHEN you need to take action, and you definitely won’t know what other people on your team or in your family will be doing. Essentially, everyone needs to not only know what to do, they need to know under what circumstances they should be doing it.

So, this isn’t an article about how to plan for a SHTF scenario. This is what you should do first, when you’ve recognized that there’s been a serious shift in your way of life due to economic collapse, natural disaster, EMP, or whatever. What you need to do after reading this article is to backwards plan so you can get to this point.

Obviously, this assumes that you have a team with which to rally. If you don’t, you won’t be surviving long though.

1. Collect intelligence on the current situation

Before you start phase 1 of any operation, you’re essentially in phase 0. This means that you should be shaping your environment, to include setting up ways to know what’s going on (which is what’s called Intelligence). During an EMP that blasts across most of the country, the first thing you’ll notice will depend on what time of day it is.

Make sure you get in touch with your neighbors. This could be critical not for just figuring out what’s going on, but for neighborhood security and augmenting skills you don’t have.

At night, the first thing you’ll notice is all the lights just went out. If you’re driving, your car will most likely stall. I say “most likely” because we really don’t know what would happen in real life and the exact circumstances would vary widely depending on the type of EMP, its altitude, atmospheric conditions, and the type and placement of the electronics and any shielding. We just don’t know.

Let’s assume you’re home, and it’s just after dark. All you know at the moment is that you lost power. So how would you know that this is a widespread event and not just that a tree fell on a powerline?

First thing would be to pick up something that would be susceptible to an EMP but not tied into the power grid. Check your cell phone for power. Check any battery-operated device.

Some things probably won’t be affected by an EMP though even if it’s strong so you’ll have to use some logic here. A metal flashlight that contains just a bulb, batteries, and wire would probably survive with no problem. A plastic one that has a little micro-controller circuit in it would be much more likely to fry.

Now, since you set things up previously, you pull out something electronic that you’ve stored in a Faraday cage. If the cage was constructed properly, it should protect your electronics against a decently-hard hit. There’s a lot of real crap out there on the web about how to build these things though so do some thorough research.

So at this point, you should have an idea as to whether the things in your home work or not. Next thing would be to start your car. Not only will this give you another indication, it’s necessary information to know how you’re gonna react.

Next thing you need to know is how widespread the EMP is so you’ll have to communicate with someone not in your immediate area somehow. Unfortunately, communicating long-distance pretty much means you have to use electronics. Hopefully you stored a ham radio in some kind of shielding (and not had it still attached to the radio). Many ham operators do this and most repeater stations have emergency power backup. I personally have a Yaesu 857d, that works very well for things like this.

Also consider that an EMP would develop massive power along any power lines or phone lines, which would most likely cause fires in the affected area.

What, or who, you check into next will depend on your own circumstances, but at this point, you should have an idea what happened. Based on that assessment, you decide that it meets your criteria for leaving town.

2. Gather gear and personnel for movement

If you’re already at your primary rally point, such as if you’re bugging in, best thing to do is immediately fill your tubs, sinks, pots, and other containers with water because that pressure probably won’t hold for long. Then move to gather your stuff in case you have to leave. Your plan must on some level involve bugging out at some point.

This is where you grab your bug out bags. Hopefully you’re not like most preppers and have 70 pounds of gear, or even worse – don’t have your stuff together and end up deciding at the last moment what to put in your bags. My bug out bag is currently is only 25 pounds plus whatever water and food I’m gonna carry (except when I’m traveling on my Harley, in which case all that gear and more is on my bike. If it works, I’ll ride it as-is. If not, two of my bags are weather-proof backpack/duffel bags and I know where each and every item is on my bike so I could assemble my gear in a few minutes).

Before you can move out, you’ll have to find everyone else with whom you’ll be traveling, and they’ll have to have their gear together.

Most likely, you won’t have everyone at home when it hits, so the next thing to do is try to establish comms.

3. Establish comms with your team

Hopefully, you’ve set up an emergency communications plan with your family and team, well in advance, and trained with it. If you haven’t read my article on SHTF communications, you should check it out too.

Essentially, that means you’ll have to have different ways to communicate, and those ways can’t all be electronics-dependent.

In a real situation, you may not be able to establish comms with every member within the time you can safely stay at home. In that case, hopefully you’ve planned and practiced and would each recognize what’s happened and that they need to now move out. Otherwise, you’ll spend a great deal of time just randomly trying to find each other.

If you can use electronics, nothing beats ham radio for SHTF communications. One of the best radios on the market is the Yaesu 857d, which I have. It’s super powerful, has a good menu system, and can Tx/Rx on a ton of frequency bands.

I have a Yaesu VX-6R as my personal handheld because it’s an awesome radio and it’s waterproof but if I were getting one now, I’d go for the Yaesu VX-8R. If you want to save some cash, get the Baofeng UV-5R but expect to spend some time learning it because it’s pretty confusing. It’s also not waterproof and requires a separate battery charger thing to charge the battery, which is inconvenient. Don’t get me wrong, I have one because it’s such a good deal, but I always go for my Yaesu.

If you can’t use electronics to reach someone, you should leave a message somehow. Have a predetermined location that everyone knows to check. Make it something that is out of the ordinary, can’t be accidentally done, is unlikely to be changed or moved, and easy to notice without having to walk right up to it. An example might be to bend the road sign at a particular corner as the sign that you’ve decided to bug out and they should move to the primary rally point and/or make comms with you.

4. Move to the primary rally point

In most cases, your primary rally point will be someone’s home but not in all cases, and for all you know, that home may not be there once you get there. Everyone should have noticed something happened and remembered during training that when ‘X’ happens, they should move to the primary rally point somehow.

You should all have already planned your bug out routes to get to where you need to go, which makes it much easier. Shit happens though, so you can expect that once you get there, someone will be missing. Make sure you wargame that scenario for each missing person or group of people because your next steps will depend greatly on who’s there and who’s not, and may also depend on what you’ve all brought or failed to bring.

Also, consider that you may find out that your primary rally point isn’t useable. The neighborhood may be rioting, the forest could be on fire, a roving band of baboons may have been given human-like intelligence by a mad scientist and started a commune there – all sorts of things. You need to have a secondary and at least a tertiary rally point set up that hopefully wouldn’t be affected by the reasons you can’t use the primary.

You may also find that for whatever reason, you have to move to a new location that wasn’t planned. Try to leave some sort of message to later parties who arrive so that they notice it and understand the message. In certain scenarios, you won’t want anyone else to understand the message though.

One example could be to stack rocks in the shape of a ‘4’ and the arrow defined by the triangle inside the four points toward the point where the two likes overlap (bottom right as the 4 is read). You might also add something underneath one of the stones such as a note or even more discreet, a symbol (anything blue meant you headed toward water in that direction, for example).


using number four to discreetly communicate direction

A written or laid out ‘4’ can communicate direction

Essentially, you need to get to some rally point and wait for everyone to show up so you can figure out what to do next.

5. Establish security

Once you’ve arrived, in a very rare set of circumstances (such as a regional EMP strike), you’ll need to worry about people who wish to do you harm. Hopefully you’ve already shaped the battlespace of your bug out location to make it easier but if not, you need to do it now.

Quickly set up defenses (such as set up a few people on the perimeter) and then work on improving those defenses later.

If you’re in a neighborhood, start figuring out who’s staying and what their skills and abilities are so you can establish a neighborhood watch. If you’re in a decently-sized town, you can expect certain areas will riot very quickly.

6. Collect intelligence on the situation

Now is when you realize that going it alone would have been a stupid idea. You’ll have to make sure you’re set with food, water, shelter, fire, etc and set up guards who can scan the area so a threat presents itself in time and distance to react effectively, but you have to know your situation first.

First thing to do once you have a hasty defense set up is to do your three inventories (read that article for more details). Essentially, you need to figure out what you have on you in the way of gear and skills (and what you don’t), what your immediate needs are (medical, water, security), what’s in the immediate area that could be of use (or isn’t), and what’s in the extended area that may either present a problem or a solution.

This is also when you should start monitoring frequencies across the spectrum and gain some intel on the situation. As you find a frequency with some traffic – even if you can’t understand them, document the frequency, time of day, your Rx (receiving) location, and the gist of what you heard. This makes it easier to try to reacquire that same Tx (transmit) signal at a different location or know when they may transmit again.

7. Establish comms with your missing team members

Once you’re at the location you’ll be staying at for a while, you may find that not everyone is there yet with you. If you’ve already established a radio plan with everyone (and they have comms that were protected and still work), you’ll probably have a time of day and a frequency to transmit and monitor as well as a couple of backup freqs.

If you’re in some kind of Red Dawn scenario (great movie, btw), you won’t want to be transmitting from your location or in any pattern of locations. You’ll have to balance your need to communicate with your need for OPSEC and evasion.

If everyone knows the general area where you’ll be, such as a town or a particular forest area, you can agree on very obvious locations to leave messages, such as the top of a very large hill or a unique building, etc. As before, prior commo planning will allow you to leave more accurate messages to your team while not giving away the message (or hopefully that there even is a message).

8. Link up with missing team members

Once you’ve establish comms in some way, you need to get everyone together. Either you have to get them where you are or you need to go to them. Your primary mission continues to be assembling the team, even if you have to divert resources to other missions such as collecting food or water.

If you’ll be leaving your basecamp or primary rally point to go get someone, you’ll have to decide who will go and who will stay (if anyone). Obviously if you have even more people still out there, it may not be a good idea to send everyone out after one person unless it’s unlikely you’ll be coming back.

9. Decide your next COA

Now that you have everyone together, you need to decide what to do next. Do you stay where you’re at or do you bug out to a different location?

In a lot of cases, you’ll have temporary rally points that are good for easy meetup and security but won’t be the same as your ultimate destination.

Either way, you’ll have some larger decisions to be made once you have everyone.

  • What do you do if approached by others who may be of use – or may be a threat?
  • Should you start the process of preparing to make a long journey to a possibly unaffected area?
  • Is there an imminent threat at your current location what may require you to move out?

Continue to collect intel, improve your position, assess your process, and make plans, and you’ll be much better off than anyone who didn’t do all this planning in the first place.


As you can see, the whole key to all this is prior planning and practice. Remember that a half-assed plan that everyone follows is much better than a good plan that people follow half-assed.

Thoughts? Questions? Please feel free to contribute your own ideas or experiences and help anyone who has questions.

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.


  1. Linda Cline says


    If I wrapped my wind up weather radio inside a bag, insulated with aluminum foil, would this also act as a Faraday cage to protect it?

    This is a great article for bugging in/out; particularly the paragraph regarding leaving a prearranged signal for members of the team that are not at home, or do not arrive within a designated time frame. I will be putting this into practice! I am very new to prepping, and continuously look for new information.


    • Wrapping something in aluminum foil will help but it’s very thin so it wouldn’t take too much energy to burn through it. The biggest thing to keep in mind with that plan is that you can’t have anything conductive come in contact with the foil or the current could follow that path as well. You should have something to insulate inside the foil.

      It’s not the best faraday cage but it’s better than nothing.

      • Wrap in heavy paper and tape, then foil (and tape) then a zip lock baggy. If possible, then drop it in a G.I. Ammo can or an unconnected microwave oven.

    • That’s a start but it’s likely not enough. Get a metal trash can with a tight fitting lid. Put a couple layers of cardboard on the bottom and sides to insulate your electronics from the metal can. Wrap the electronics you want to protect in aluminum foil being sure to use multiple folds and squeeze tightly to seal all seams. Put the electronics in the metal trash can on top of the cardboard, put on the lid and then seal the space between the can and the lid with a couple strips of conductive tape making sure to leave no gaps.

    • Nope No Way says

      I found a metal box for $2 at Goodwill and lined it with cardboard and newspapers. It doesn’t take much money to build one but the foil alone seems iffy to me. I suggest making a trip to a thrift store this weekend.

  2. Dave Sullivan says

    I tried to print your material off but I only got about 1/2 of each page. I don’t know if it is the way it was uploaded or if other people are having the same trouble

  3. Sara Burrow says

    Just starting to get prepped. Thanks for your articles. The more of us that are ready and survive, the better to rebuild later!

  4. What do you prefer as a primary communication device? Something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.? We are pepping on a budget and would like to be able to be able to live while we prep. Thanks in advance!

    • I’d say primary is a cell phone. For across town, a baofeng handheld ham radio programmed to hit the repeater towers is a decent choice but you have to get a license and have to work a while on figuring out how to use it. For short range like around the neighborhood, a decent set of those FMS/GMRS radios would work.

      • What if you don’t have a plan ready what would you do?

        • Make a plan.

          If you’re meaning what do you do if SHTF and you don’t have a plan, I still would say to make a plan. You just won’t have the opportunity to collect all the information and intelligence needed to make an informed plan, but you need a plan nonetheless.

  5. I’m just getting into prepping , I would like to thank you for the info you give it has been very useful and easy to follow ! Some of the other sites have little info and way to many sales pitches ! Just wanted to say Thank You sir !

  6. William Reynolds says

    Just started reading your articles . Bugging in vs bugging out . Because of my responsibilities to my extended family , and for health reasons . I really don’t see bugging out as realistic . Meaning I would have to leave people behind . So making my homestead into the new and improved Alamo , is the way I plan on doing it . We live in a small neighborhood of less than 100 homes Surrounded by a preserve . Lots of wild life : deer , hogs , squirrels , birds and so on . What follows is what I’ve gathered together so far .
    1) water :via a well , with hand pump . With water filter , plus in ground pool .
    2) Food : can and dry goods for 2 months , plus one month of long term 25yr food stores. I have a kelly kettle base camp stove and a charcoal / wood BBQ grill , lots of charcoal plus plenty of wood .
    3) weapons : three hand guns , two 9mm, and one 38 , one keltec sub 2000 ( 9mm) , one 12g pump shotgun , one 30-06 ,two 22 rifles , one black powder rifle , 2 compound bows , lots of ammo and Spair parts
    4) commo : two Yaesu hand held ham radios , one yeasu base station , 2 types of antennas ( father in law is expert ham guy ) . 4 Walky talkys radios for local security , one old 1940’s tube radio ( short wave) works great.
    5) medical supplies ( I’m a old ER RN and I got everything and more )
    6) power : small solar system for recharging batteries & power pot 10
    7) light : via regular candles and one case of 115hr candles
    8) started small garden
    9) reaching out to all neighbors to build network as you have stressed .
    10) get home bags that can be augmented to make bug out bags .
    11) three vehicles : one F150, one mid size SUV, one fiat , all work and run great . 20 plus gallons of fuel .
    12) optics : 10/25 binoculars
    I am continuing to improve on all of the above . Please critique what I’ve listed and offer any advise . Thanks

    • As long as you’re thinking it through and practicing, you’ll know better than I will about what’s best for you. Only thing I’d ask is what would you do if your neighborhood were quarantined or burned down? You have to at least have a worst-case bug out plan.

    • Rebecca Skidmore says

      I totally want to join your group William! However, a couple things I’d contemplate if I were are: 1 an alarm system. Always gotta think about those who want what you have and don’t want to share (tin cans on fishing wire is one inexpensive but effective alarm system). 2 Also, if Bugging In, I suggest having a backup hidden stash in case those who don’t share get in and take your stuff. Perhaps a hidden buried cash or 3 on that nearby preserve. 3 And lastly, I’d be sure that those in your party are all educated with the weapons listed not just for self defense, but for hunting as well.
      That was just some food for thought.

  7. Thanks for your hard work and information.

    • Thank you Colleen. I don’t work all that hard anymore though lol. Takes me a couple days to write an article.


  8. James McDonald says

    Being over 50 now bugging out is not a good choice. But if I have to, I have a cart made ith 4 26 inch bike tires as I cant carry a heavy backpack like I could while in service(plus the spinal damage) so a cart for moving our BOB bags. Just there will be nowhere to go! My daughter and her husband and 2 kids under 4. Will stay unless burned out. Am prepping on a budget and slowly building up supplies.

    • I am 70 with back problems. I plan to bug out in my vehicle in the early hours of a shtf situation or not at all. If I don’t make it out, I’ll likely die at home or in my vehicle attempting to leave but I’ll go down with empty weapons. Man’s got to know his limitations.

  9. Vicki Parker says

    Thank you for this interesting article. Being part of a team seems to be essential to survival. As a lone wolf, I will have to follow a different plan, but I loved reading what you have to teach. Thank you.

  10. question. in my situation i plan on bugging in, though i have a worst case bug out plan as well if something were to happen where i just couldnt stay. i am also planning on starting a community of people that shoudl the shtf would all band together. however in such a community, the one issue i have been running into is rules. if its a true wrol situation and someone decides to do something heinous (god forbid) how would you deal with it? and im talking anything from theft, to fighting, to detruction or comprimising peoples saftey to outright murder. there have to be rules and consequences in place that everyone agrees too and what kind of consequences would be ideal? i mean there wont be the ability to call the police to haul off some transgressor, so the consequences have to fit the crime yet still be enough to dissuade further violation without being too harsh (such as death for eveeryting). what in your opinion would be a good way to deal with these issues? any thoughts or ideas. id really like to get something on paper that would be later discussed and altered based off of the communities thoughts and ideas.

    • Always a tough one. In a no-government scenario, shunning and then banishing work pretty well due to the social pressures and then eventuality of having to fend for themselves. In any case, you essentially need some kind of consensus as to what punishments there’d be and for what crimes – and who’s responsible for proving a crime occurred as well as carrying out the punishment.

  11. Reading your 25# bob list; may I ask your opinion on hatchet vs machete? (condor parang). Making my “get home bag” on a budget, and sloooowly convincing wife I’m not nuts! Also; am looking to pu a “solar bank” a solar cell/battery combo to charge cells and maybe a ham, can you recommend one? (on a shoestring here).

    • Hatchet for woodland. Machete for jungle or grassland.

      The Baofeng series is the most cost-effective way to go ham.

      I use the goal zero guide 10 plus for solar/battery combo right now but I’m looking to upgrade to a 12v-capable solar panel.

      • Thanks!
        Couple more questions; I’ve read about using a poncho & liner as a sleeping bag; is this effective? wondering as it would perhaps replace a winter coat as well. When I was a young sprout I used to go camping a lot (boy scouts, pathfinders, friends) and I had bought a small sharpening stone from a Army/Navy surplus store, about 2.5 inches long, and half inch wide/thick. I sharpened knives, hatchets, and axes with it. Lost it long ago. Are you familiar with them, and would you know where I might find another?

        • The poncho liner makes a decent outdoor light blanket and the poncho makes a decent small raincover but I wouldn’t use them as a sleeping bag unless it’s pretty nice out. They’re a bit too drafty as a winter coat but I guess you could tie something around it to bring it in to improve it.

          As far as the sharpening stones, this is probably what you’re looking for: http://amzn.to/1RmYEtL

          • Thanks again! Stone is close, not quite the same, but closer than any I’ve seen so far. (its been 4 decades so doubtful they are still around.

  12. Enjoyed this article! If Martial Law comes in effect, do you recommend immediately bugging out? Thank You for your work.

  13. Your articles are always filled with good info and gives me new fodder for thought. Thanks DC

    • Thanks DC. I really try to only write when I have something interesting to say that I know something about. I’d like to write more often but it doesn’t come around as much as I’d like.

  14. Gotta pick your brain somemore. Looking for a good survival-type raincoat, with hood, and maybe a removeable liner for use in Ohio’s winter snow. I agree with the old adage; “a good coat is like a good lawyer; it should cover your behind.”
    any suggestions?

    • I’m on a motorcycle so it’s a bit different but I wear goretex rain/winter pants I got from the Army and an Arc’teryx goretex jacket with a hydrophobic wool under jacket and wool shirt. The jacket is made for mountain climbing. Very tough and good for layering. I can wear it when it’s not cold out and just put on more layers when it is cold.

  15. GW, if given the choice….. Live where winters are cold….or in southern locale and why? Makes a big difference in preparing…..I’m in NH….southern part.


  16. Hi, I’m looking into turning a conex shipping container into a Faraday cage. I.m trying to figure out how to make the doors seal metal to metal. currently they have a rubber gasket between the doors and the box. I’m thinking it needs to be metal to metal for it to act as a E.M.P. blocking cage. Any help would sure go a long way. Thanks in advance, Joe.

    • Steel wool would work well as a EMP weather strip for a steel door. Remove all rubber and paint from both surfaces, either screw or use a thin strip of hot glue or adhesive to hold the steel wool along the edge of the casing. Make sure if you glue or use adhesive that there is enough wool to make contact with the sill when crushed by the door.

  17. im 65 years old with moderate health problems. I am slowly building up a bob plus bug in supplies. I would love to join a like minded group in my area (mid west Georgia) . do you know of any groups in this area?. if so how could I get in touch with them or have them get in touch with me( I don’t want any info put out to anyone not involved) remember uncle sam is watching us. thanks for any help.

  18. wwhatttitis says

    Would an old freezer protect things from emp. Maybe seal the rubber seal with cool seal to keep pulse out?

    • Sandy Patterson says

      Maybe it would, but why take the chance? Why not just get a steel drum and a rubber dry bag? If some other badness besides an EMP happens they’ll be much more useful than a broke down freezer.

  19. One of the primary considerations for sheltering in place is your personal moral code. A hypothetical example of this would be a SHTF scenario where buddy down the road who called you a paranoid nut for prepping decides out of desperation to adopt the TOPS survival method. Ask and answer the question before it happens; “How far will I go to protect me and mine?”

    • Spot on Mel. No one knows what I have or how much I have & I plan on keeping it that way. I trust no one but my immediate family. In 2003 when the grid went out here in Michigan, people lost their D#@% Minds… over the simple loss of power. Throw starvation & dehydration into that mix… + the entire population… = bad things my friend.

  20. Hi I’ve been trying to set up a network for years but can’t find the right people. Any suggestions on finding or establishing a group?

  21. Interesting use of the number 4 but not known by the average person

  22. I’m so glad I found your sight. You make so much more sense than some I’ve visited. (Plus, you aren’t trying to sell me something I practically every paragraph. This gives me much more confidence that you’re more concerned with the accuracy of your information than in trying to get rich at the expense of others)

    • Hi Lynn

      I always write my articles first and then go back through to list anything that might help readers see a specific example with reviews and specs, which is pretty easy to find on amazon most of the time. Saves listing it all in each article, which are usually several thousand words as it is.

  23. Keep me in the loop because I think its coming!

  24. I keep reading and reading nonthing wrong with gaining more infor. this site does not steer you wrong. I live in the middle of gang town on the border with mexico. guess I will just stay and shoot it out. Do you think a 22 in the head will make them wish they prepped . they like to steal here. my thoughts are after they see five or ten bodys at the front and the same in the alley they will get the idea. of course they got guns too. so maybe its remember the Alamo. at 73 Ive lived already. no I live in a 1973 international bus all steel. keep afair amond of water and food on hand and lots of 22s and got pistols and rifles. could be fun. got my Yaesu ft 101 F 1957 hooked up to my batterys and solar panels rig it so I can talk on lower 38 side band maybe I will broadcast it all. four little dogs to keep me awake. and iam a fair shot DD214 says iam am a expert at 500 yards. yes i got a high power rifle with scope 7mm remmington mag. just in case I have to reach out to touch someone. and when they get close like in the yard cut loose with my 870 12 ga. pump. or maybe they will read this and just skip this place. but they are really stupid here they send thier children first. after what happen in Paris france yesterday I expect any thing. Long live America.

  25. I think it is in everyone’s best interest to have a plan in place for sure. Keep some sort of bag in your automobile at all times with what you think you need to get home safe. But the idea of bugging out for 99% of the US is unrealistic. Simply put the math together and you will see. One cannot go to radio shack get a HAM radio and operate over a weekend. 99% of the population do not have a second place/home to bug out too or even land to bug out to. Sure, there could be a quarantine issue and sure there could be fires… but I will take my chances of me, my SIG & my AR than driving who knows where and trying to kill who knows what for food. Learning, absorbing, & having a plan is by far the first step. Start with a plan, 3 months worth of food & water in your home, weapons, ammo, a place to use & get rid of your poop/pee. My 2 cents anyway. God bless us all. May he intervene and all of this prepping be unnecessary. Amen.

    • Jan Motier says

      I agree. If the shtf here in Missouri, I will stay and defend my home. Admittedly, I am several miles from a small town, and from the nearest interstate highway. I have a home, detached garage, a large, brick ‘workshop” and a large steel shed that would hold 3-4 cars. A well in basement and a creek nearby. Farmland and woods. I have a fireplace in the house, lots of firewood, and a basement. Loaded up with food, have a small garden and an orchard, practicing my canning this summer. Have 3 hand guns and a .410/22L with quite a bit of ammo, something to cook on, lots candles and a crank radio. I read everything I can and try to learn what I need to be prepared for. Keep writing and hope everyone continues to share.

  26. Thank you so much for sharing so much wonderful information with us! I am constantly reading up to learn skills and slooowly buying to prepare for the worst so the rare site like yours? It’s a God send! Truly! No high pressure sales, just links to make it easy to find what you are discussing be it another article you’ve written or equipment you have used and recommend.
    Sincerely, you are appreciated!

    • I ALWAYS write every article first and then go back through and look at what items would help people to know its reviews and more details about it if they’d want to buy it. I’d rather do that than try to spell out all those details and reviews on an article that’s already several thousand words.

  27. Tina Cooley says

    In case of an EMP, at least two of my immediate family would die quickly. The are both using CPAP machines for life threatening sleep apnea. Not too mention that one depends on a wheelchair to be mobile and the other is in her 60s. Add onto that they live two towns away and don’t have a car even if out did work. They and my husband depend on insulin as well, and that is supposed to stay refrigerated. Life will truly suck.

  28. I have yet to see anybody post this but when storing your communications or power gear, make sure you remove the batteries and or the power source as this will also ensure that the internal circuit loop is disconnected or broken which will also will with an emp or power spike. Try storing your batteries in a separate container.

    Retired Navy Radioman.

  29. Planning is the key. Everywhere I go, my first thought is ALWAYS, “if something goes terribly awry while I am here, ” Where are the exits and the quickest way out? Where is a good place to hide if I can’t exit? Other than my weapon, what could I use as a weapon? Who would get in the way? Who would likely help” Are there supplies I could access if I become trapped” All this thinking no matter where I go. It’s a mental checklist that I automatically run through and I am also always looking and listening for signs that something is not right. Learn to be AWARE of your surrounds at ALL times. Even if you are in a strange location, look around, sum it up and form a plan to get away and a plan to stay.

  30. My name is Elle, and I live in California, and I was wondering if you had inexpensive (Like poverty level and below) ideas or DIY for apartment dwellers that are not quite so tactical. I have just started prepping and at the moment the budget is pretty tight to begin with so it isn’t a matter of saving ten dollars to buy, it is bug out gear or food. Or would you have an idea of a place where we could get stuff that other people have ‘downsized’ out of their kits for low or no cost.

  31. I save plastic and metal coffee cans and lids in which I stash food goods and heritage seeds; however, the cans are for two-fold use. If worse comes to worse, can be used as chamber pots and taken out and contents buried three feet deep, rinsed, bleached and used again. I was raised in the country when it was 0 degrees and too far to the outhouse so we had real chamber pots.

  32. My family lives out in the country and has the knowledge and drive to take care of themselves if they needed to but not the ability and my husband’s family lives in a small town on a large lot 5 miles away from my family. They have the ability but not the knowledge or drive to learn anything. Both families have large enough houses that we could move in if necessary to help out. Who do you help though? Both households have around ten people already.

  33. Any suggestions for those living on a sailboat wether in a marina or on the hook?

  34. I have a metal house & shop would that be protection like the cage

  35. todays news gasoline riots in mexico. new government coming very soon in USA. thank GOD. Ify life on border with mexico. keep your health up. sleeping bag gives 8 hours good time. tent helps. read the bible. or like me come here and read Graywolf you never get has much as you need. been here a hundren times. like the posts more infor. Yes

  36. I’m trying to be inconspicuous & bugging in. Thought of a EMP protective solution. I had a lot of stuff in a 2 drawer metal filing cabinet. Wrapped electronics in layered cardboard/aluminum , placed in cabinet; connected a single wire to cabinet via screw, then opened an adjacent wall outlet and connected the wire to the ground wire.
    Any critiques welcome.

  37. Any suggestions as only being 12 and only having a bug out bag

  38. Mitchell Morgan says

    Would an EMP effect a LED flashlight?

  39. Tom Webster says

    One of the key considerations that I think is often glossed over, or not considered in enough detail, is intra-group politics. The SHTF, your community pulls together to get through it but now we face questions like who does what? Great if everyone gets one with each other but invariably there will be characters in the community that are not part of the pre-prep party, reckon they know it all better, are physically more aggressive/persuasive etc. Now priority number one has become, how to manage people for the common good. Chances are you’ve done the research but are not a natural leader. Has your own community suddenly become inimicable to long term survival for you? Are you now being forced into contemplating a lone wolf bug out situation because of it? Hard decisions.

  40. Hello Chief, 1st of all thanks for the article I think is spot on to get anyone started when/if SHTF. We need to have a course of action + an alternate. We need to set ourselves and our family members up for success by strengthening the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. Training of fire arms, cleaning water, making fire, hunting, gathering, self defense and communication are basic for survival. I thank all for the tips about canning food, medicine, gardening and having the proper clothes for all weather scenarios. I’m looking forward to read more and learn. Once again thanks Chief.

  41. Im ex-Navy, so military background and ex-carnival supervisor and worked for NASA doing data entry! So being out there and being alone or just getting it done i can do! I have a bug out bag together and the items I have make a lot of sence to me! But what is in your b.o.b. and if your begging out with family what would you make sure is in your bag?

  42. Guglielmo Marconi says

    I know that this article is quite dated, however it does show up frequently when searching for this particular type of information so I do feel compelled to comment on one point: Communications Equipment.
    You cannot simply buy a ham radio, store it in a faraday cage, and expect to magically have com capabilities post SHTF. There is SO MUCH to learn to use it effectively (or even use at all). Antenna theory, propogation, poor band condition modes (CW aka Morse Code), etc. This all must be learned and practiced.
    You didn’t buy your first and only firearm, take it home, and bury it, hoping to “know” how to shoot someday when you need it did you?

  43. Replying to Linda Cline says on April 15, 2015 at 9:53 am. For some reason it didn’t let me reply directly.
    Linda, for my weather radio I created a multi-layer foil/plastic-wrap wrap. I made sure my foil was smaller than the plastic and had the plastic on the outside layers. I did three layers of foil sandwiched with a layer of plastic wrap between each one. I made the wrap large enough to completely cover my weather radio. I keep it in the package it came in with an additional usb charger. I know it works because I turned it on and when it’s wrapped there is absolutely no sound. I hope you found something that works for you.

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