9 Vital Steps That You Should Take As Soon As Disaster Strikes
I’m constantly amazed at how very few people in our self-satisfied and lazy society actually take even a few minutes to prepare for a disaster scenario. Most don’t even take the time to think about preparing.
As a prepper of course you don’t fit into that category, you’re aware of the dangers and are taking steps to safeguard your family and yourself.
But even so, do you actually have a full, detailed plan of the vital steps to take when finally the SHTF situation actually happens?
The guys at Gray Wolf Survival have prepared a detailed inventory of 9 steps that you must have a plan for – so read them!
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 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).
credit: Gray Wolf Survival
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…. Read More
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