The whole concept of the preparedness/self-reliance movement known as "survivalisrn" is based on two simple and undeniable truths; "Things Happen" and "Things Change". One need go no further than your local newspaper or and available history book to see just how often things happen and how rapidly things change. Along with every happening and every change there are always winners (survivors) and losers (victims). Unfortunate it is human nature to not think about what could happen and to ignore changes until it is too late. While luck is always an element in determining or not a person is a victim or a survivor of any happening or change, leaving your very life and freedom to the whims of luck is foolish to say the least. Some events such as home fires, small accidents, etc. can be prevented from happening, but most like storms, earthquake, wars, etc. are not preventable. History clearly demonstrates that change (social, economic, political, and environmental) is a constant and unstoppable reality of existence. In order to truly survive then we must happen to things before they happen to us and we must change to meet change. In other words we must prepare and adapt to avoid becoming casualties. The whole future of mankind depends (as it always has) on what kind of people survive and what their vision of a better world is. When we speak of survival here we speak of the survival of free, honest and responsible people in a world that has become particularly hazardous to their kind. Those who are willing to prepare for what could happen and adapt to change fast enough will have the best chance to stay alive.

Staying alive is not survival. Staying alive is a means to an end and that end is to achieve and exercise freedom. The mere act of staying alive without freedom or at least the hope of freedom is not survival. Men and women of all races, nationalities and religions have heroically risked their lives to fight for freedom. A person whose only goal is to stay alive is known as a coward, while a person whose goal is to stay alive and free is called a survivalist.

Change is the origin of all disaster and of all opportunity. Change can happen as quickly as an explosion or as slowly as the erosion of personal liberties. Whether changes kill you or save you, enslave you or set you free, depends on you ability to anticipate, prepare, adapt and use change. 

In order that we may avoid any confusion or misunderstanding as to our (survivalist) meanings and intention I offer the following definitions:

DISASTER: a change in the physical, economic, social or political environment that has the effect of endangering the lives and freedoms of the people.

SURVIVAL: the act of staying alive and free.

SURVIVALIST: a person who actively anticipates and prepares to survive (stay alive and free) changes that threaten his or her life and freedom.

SURVIVALISM: a life style that emphasizes disaster preparedness, self-defense, self-reliance and the expansion of individual freedom.

THE SURVIVALIST MISSION: to save and liberate the people through programs that emphasize and support personal preparedness, self-defense and self-reliance.

THE SURVIVALIST VISION: A world that offers the maximum safety and expanded personal liberties to responsible citizens while minimizing regulation, taxation and exploitation.

This presentation is intended to provide an organized approach to planning for any kind of disaster. You must consider the who, what, when, where and how of any disaster scenario before you can make preparedness and emergency action plans to survive it. You must know the answers to the following questions: 

WHO will be part of your emergency plans: you, your family, friends, neighbors, the community, a special group?

WHAT emergency situations are the main threat to your life and freedom (e.g. crime, fire, storms political changes, etc.) considering your location, habits, lifestyle and occupation?

WHEN will the situation develop (e.g. what season, what time of day or night) and how will that effect you survival?

WHERE might you be when the situation develops (e.g. home, work, automobile, etc.) and would you need to move from there to another location?

HOW would you save your life and preserve your freedom during and after the situation?

For many of use how and why we became SURVIVALISTS may be somewhat vague. It may have come from our Boy Scout ("Be Prepared") days. It may have been inspired by religious upbringing. It may be the result of growing up with the threat of nuclear Armageddon. It is probably a combination of these combined with various other things that combined to make us seek to be self-reliant and prepared for anything. We probably never had the opportunity to start by analyzing what we should be planning to survive. Our planning may well have been more directed by romantic (Rambo) notions or personality traits and fears than by logical or mathematical analysis of probabilities and risks. In the following pages we will attempt to provide an organized framework for building a survival/self-reliance development program.

1. Hazard Recognition: What is the danger?

2. Hazard Vulnerability Analysis: What could this do to me?

3. Preventive Action Planning: Can it be prevented or avoided?

4. Preparedness Action Planning: What can I do to be ready for it?

5. Responds Action Planning: what will I do if and when it happens?

6. Recovery Action Planning: How can I get back to normal?

HAZARD RECOGNITION (reconnaissance and intelligence gathering); what could happen? Consider:

  • Weather patterns (cold, hot, rain, dry, storms)
  • Political Trends (jess freedom, controlled economy, etc.)
  • Crime Statistics (local and national)
  • Community Conditions (crime, jobs, gangs, etc.)
  • Economic Forecasts (up or down, oil, food, etc.)
  • Your Location (chemicals, nuclear, natural, dangers)
  • You're Life Style (parties, travel, etc.)
  • You're Occupation (high risk or low risk, commuting, etc.)
  • World Conditions (wars, terrorism, etc.)
  • Historic Lessons and Patterns

Look for changes that could affect your life and freedom in the next 5, 10 or 20 years. Don't eliminate anything that you think of, even if it is a remote possibility. You can prioritize all conceivable hazards in Phase 2.

You will probably come up with a long list of things that "could" happen. Now you can use the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis form to prioritize them. The three key factors in determination of your vulnerability are Probability, Risk and the Resources available to cope with them. For example, let's say that there is a high probability of world financial collapse, but you have two million in gold put away, then your resources have reduced your vulnerability and therefore that scenario would have to be given a lower vulnerability than if you had only a few thousand in cash. Do this phase carefully because if your Hazard Vulnerability Analysis is wrong you will then be preparing for the wrong emergency. 


See table on next page. 
TYPE OF EMERGENCY: list the potential hazards you found in Phase I in the first (left) column in any order. 

PROBABILITY: grade how likely each survival situation is to happen. Try not to let personal situations or prejudices effect you're grading. For example, if you spent a lot of money on a nuclear shelter you may want to grade the probability of nuclear war high while realistically crime, fire, storms, etc. may all be much higher for you. Use facts not emotions here.

RISK TO LIFE AND HEALTH: If it does happen how likely is it to kill you, injure you or make you sick?

RISK TO FINANCES AND PROPERTY: If it does happen will you lose your job, savings, home and other property?

RISK TO FREEDOM: If it does happen will you lose basic human rights? Will you live in a dictatorship? Will you be imprisoned?

EXTERNAL RESOURCES: To what extent will the system (e.g. Fire Dept., Police, Civil Defense, Survival Group, Etc.) be able to help you?

INTERNAL RESOURCES: To what extent are you or your family prepared (e.g. supplies, training, etc.) now to cope with this situation alone.

TOTAL: Add the numbers in the columns to the left.
Look at the right (total) column. Those with the high scores are the ones you are most vulnerable to. Those with the lowest scores "probably" don't need to be given high priority right now. Keep in mind that as you move along in your preparedness and external conditions (e.g. economic, political, etc.) your vulnerability pattern will change. You should do a new Hazard Vulnerability Analysis each year.
*The lower the score, the less vulnerable you are to the situation.



The old saying that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is very true. If moving to another location, changing jobs or modifying your lifestyle will reduce your vulnerability to a hazard without increasing your vulnerability to other hazards then by all means do so. Be sure to consider that action to avoid or prevent one hazard may increase another hazard. For example, you might move out of the city to escape the dangers of crime but then if you have to take a less stable job or drive a long way to work; you may have increased your total vulnerability. The Preventive Action Effects Analysis form will help you evaluate whether or not a given preventive action will be worth the cost and effort.


TYPE OF EMERGENCY: list those from Hazard Vulnerability Analysis that seem avoidable.

PREVENTIVE ACTION: Action planned to avoid or prevent hazard such as moving, job change, fences, sprinkler systems, etc.

VULNERABILITY: list total from right column of Hazard Vulnerability Analysis.

VULNERABILITY REDUCTION: How effective will the preventive action be in reducing your vulnerability to this hazard?

NEW TOTAL: Subtract the Vulnerability Reduction from the Vulnerability to get this new total.

COST/TIME: How much money, time, effort, family disruption, etc. will this preventive action cost. Because prevention is worth more than cure we only grade from 1 to 3 here.

NEW VULNERABILITY: Use the Hazard Vulnerability Analysis system to grade any new hazards generated by your preventive action.

TOTAL: Now, add the New Total, Cost/Time and New Vulnerableness together.

Obviously if the total is as high, or higher, than the original vulnerability you were trying to correct, you're actions may not gain you any additional security.


* If the total here is not lower than the vulnerability at the start, then the action was a waste.



Having determined what hazards you are most vulnerable to that you can not effectively avoid, you can now begin preparing for them. There are three steps in preparedness action planning:

1. Determine what you will need (e.g. supplies, training, etc.) to survive the high vulnerability items identified in Phase 2 that could not be reduced in Phase 3.

2. Determine what you already have that can be used to survive these hazards. Don't overlook the obvious, such as canned goods you normally have in your pantry, water in your pool or hot water heater camping and hunting gear, etc.

3. Establish a budget and time table for closing the gap between what you have and what you will need.

Use the Preparedness Action Plan List to make you plan


ITEMS NEEDED: List all the items you will need to survive the situation. This list should include not only water, food, fuel and shelter; it should also include books, training, physical conditioning and anything else relevant to surviving the situation.

AMOUNT NEEDED: List in number if items, gallons, pounds, etc.

AMOUNT ON HAND: List what you have now.

GAP MUST GET: The difference between needed and on hand.

COST & TIME EST.: How many dollars and how many hours, months etc.



EMERGENY/SURVIVAL THREAT ______________________________________________________________________________________________





Having the right equipment and the right skills is still not enough to survive an emergency situation; you also need to have a plan ready for the using of your equipment and skills quickly and effectively, This is called Emergency Planning or Contingency Planning.

Many emergencies are off the "bolt out of the blue" variety, that is that there nature is to happen with little or no warning. Such events as: earthquakes, criminal assault or terrorist actions, would fall into this category. For many others you will have weeks, days or at least a few hours to get ready to execute your plan. Major storms, civil unrest, wars, etc. almost never happen without some warning events or conditions prior to the event. In the former case (bolt out of the blue) you have little or no control of where you are or what you are doing when the emergency develops. In such cases you will have to be as ready as possible at all times and at all places (e.g. in your car, at your job, at home, etc.). Obviously you will not be able to carry a full survival kit to work every day or wear a bullet proof vest and weapons at all times. You can carry some items (e.g. in you briefcase, lunchbox, etc.) and plan on how to use items that will be on hand at various places to enhance your survival potential. You may also be able to reduce your exposure to "bolt out of the blue" hazards by simple measures such as changing your routs or your means of transportation, rearranging your office and/or household. Make the places you spend the most time in as safe as possible. For those cases when you will have some warning of impending emergencies your plan should have five stages:

(1) ALERT STAGE: As soon as it is apparent that the danger level is increasing your plan should provide for: 1) establishment of reliable communications with all parties in the plan (family, friends, etc.) and 2) establishing a 24 hour watch (e.g., observers, radio monitors, etc.) to assure timely actions under stages 2, 3, 4 and 5 as needed.

(2) READY STAGE: An increased level of probability would require that important materials be gathered. All persons involved in the plan be brought together or at least be ready to gather quickly. This would mean keeping children home, canceling trips and if possible staying home from work.

(3) STAND-BY STAGE: Once you have reached the Ready Stage the danger may pass quickly, the emergency will actually happen or the potential danger may remain potential for days weeks or even months. You should be able to adjust your Ready Stage here to be sustained for some time without too much damage to you life or finances.

(4) ACTION STAGE: This is the most important and detailed part of your plan since it is what you will actually do if the emergency happens. The plan must be simple and clear for everyone to understand, All instructions should be clearly defined by who, what, when, where and how.

WHO: all personnel should have clear assignments and tasks and should have sufficient skill and physical capacity to do there jobs. Be sure to cross train so if one person is out someone else can do his ore her job.

WHAT: Equipment and supplies to be used should be clearly identified and should be available to those who are assigned to use them.

WHEN: The time and/or order of priority for all actions should be established and understood.

WHERE: Where the participants will meet and where they should go to do what they need to do when they need to do it must be covered in the plan. Be sure to consider routes, alternate routes, etc.

HOW: Be sure that all personnel know how to do the tasks assigned and that they will be done in the way the plan intends.


Once you have established the action plan, you should do a "walk through" exercise with everyone involved. Go through all the motions of each stage in sequence to see if the columniations, timing, equipment and logic of the plan, seem to work. Once all the bugs are worked out of you plan (there will be bugs!), you can conduct a full scale drill with little or no warning and see if it really works. In some cases a full scale drill may be too costly or attract too much attention, so you may have to settle for a preplanned "dry run" modified for practicality.


One thing is certain about any emergency plan and that is that nothing is certain about an emergency plan. While you do get to make an emergency plan, you do not get to plan the emergency to fit your plan. Things will go wrong and you will have to be ready to change your plan or even abandon pails of it altogether to cope with changing condition. You should do a "what if analysis" on all parts of your plan. For example "what if" any person is unable to carry out his or her part of the plan? "What if" key supplies are lost? "What if" things happen more slowly or more quickly than planned? "What if" your planned route is blocked or your destination is unusable?

(5) STAND DOWN STAGE: In the event that the anticipated emergency does not develop, you need to have a simple plan to put away equipment and resume your normal life while still being able to reactivate the plan at any time.


SITUATION: Describe the emergency for which this plan is designed.

WARNING EVENTS: List events that will trigger preparations to execute this plan:

READINESS ACTION: List actions immediately preparatory to execution of this plan:

STANDBY ACTIONS: List actions needed to remain ready for an extended time:

ACTION: What will be done, who will do it; with what supplies? In order:
















LOCATION & ROUTES: Note specific assembly points, routs, shelters, rendezvous, etc:

COMMUNICATION PLANS: Note signals, codes, methods of emergency communication:

ALTERNATIVE CONTINGENCY PLAN: What will be done if things go wrong?

RECOVERY PLAN: What actions, supplies and support will be needed to recover?

Review Date for This Plan _________________________________________



After the 100 year war, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Great Depression and the obliteration of Hiroshima; the surviving people crawled out of the ruins, healed their wounds, helped their neighbor and rebuilt their societies. If you survive the happening or change, then you must be prepared to recover. Remember that a happening or change means that things will never be the same as they were so you, the survivor have two choices; you can make things worse than they were before or you can
make them better than before. The past belongs to the "victims'' the future belongs to the "survivors". Though there may be a great sense of loss and despair following a rapid or slow catastrophic event, there is always a great opportunity to make a better life for yourself and your family and to make a better world as well. This hope belongs to those who have a vision of what things should be like and the determination to make it so. It could be said that we are determined to survive in order to defend freedom and we will defend freedom in order to build a better life and a better world. You should be able to predict what you personal situation would be after any anticipated catastrophe and you should also be able to make a good guess about the physical, social, political and environmental conditions that will exist. Consider these facts and look for opportunities not to rebuild, but to improve, not to recover, but to advance, not to be as free as before, but to be freer than ever. Ask yourself:

What will be of high value?

What will be of low value?

What skills will be in high demand?

What business opportunities will exist?

What will the good locations be?

What will the bad locations be?

What new hazards will exist?

'What kind of people will be in power?

What political opportunities may exist?

What people will be strong?

What people will be weak?

What other changes (after shocks) will occur?

Think of how these conditions can be used to realize you vision for a better, freer life. Then ask yourself:

What should I buy?

Who should I work with?

Where should I go?

What should I do?

Always remember that you must keep you personal initiative [or life and freedom and avoid simply reacting to events and situations.

You may need to go back and adjust your survival plans so that after surviving you are in the best position to secure life, liberty and properly to your self and your posterity (sound familiar?) after the happening or change has been survived. Survival after all is a means to an end, but not the end in itself.


The nature of an emergency plan is to have answers for critical question before fate asks them. You can use the Emergency Planning Guide to build the outline of an Emergency Response Plan for any perceived potential threat to your life and freedom. You will need to fill in realistic workable answers to each question. This outline will work for everything from a house fire to WWIII and can be used for the slow developing catastrophes as well as the "bolt out of the blue".


Answer each question honestly, realistically and in detail to produce a working plan. Remember keep to plan as simple as possible.

1. WHAT WILL HAPPEN? What situation(s) will this plan be designed to respond to?

2. HOW WILL YOU BE WARNED? Will it be a "bolt out of the blue"? Is there a warning network or communications system?

3. HOW WILL I CONTACT OTHERS? Signals, phone trees, radio, etc.

4. WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN? If the time of day or time of year will effect the situation you may need alternative plans for day, night, summer, winter, etc.

5. WHERE WILL YOU BE? Could you be at various locations (work, school, home, road) when it happens? If so you will need alternate plans for each situation.

6. WHO WILL BE WITH YOU? Will they be a help or a hazard? What will their part in the plan be?

7. WHERE WILL YOU GO? Will you stay put or need to move to a base, shelter or camp?

8. HOW WILL YOU GET THERE? What routes will be safe? What means of transportation will be sure to get you there?

9. WHAT WILL YOU HAVE WITH YOU? Survival kits, packs, arms, tools, food, water, etc.?

10. WHAT WILL YOU HAVE AT YOUR HOME OR DESTINATION? Home preparedness, supply caches, foraging, etc.

11. HOW LONG CAN YOU LAST? How long is this plan designed to function? Is it as long as the situations may require?


13. WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH THIS PLAN? You will need to have alternative or "contingency plans" for the unexpected.

Once you have answered all of these questions, you have a rough Emergency Response Plan. Review the plan step by step with all those who will be involved. Once you all agree that it seems like a workable plan, test it as much as you can without attracting attention. Review and update your plan(s) at least once a year or any time conditions change.

If you did the Preparedness Action Plan List, you should have what you need.


Napoleon asked the question of his troops, "which is heavier a soldiers pack or a slaves chains?" He might well have been speaking of a survivalists pack or a survival kit, for once a citizen has taken the notion to gather up such supplies and acquire such knowledge that would allow him to do without the support of the system for even a short time, that citizen has begun a personal march towards freedom and self-reliance from which he will never retreat.



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Saturday, 22 June 2024

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