The author of the following article has gone the extra step and made out a quite detailed list of objectives to accomplish if a SHTF event were to develop. Also, because he is a sailing enthusiast with apparently a large enough boat to carry his prep supplies, he has made the list with an eye to those specific circumstances. While reading the following article, substitute what Mr. ‘Maast’ does to prepare his boat, into what you’d do to prepare your home, auto, tow vehicle, or cabin. When he discusses procedures to ensure he has fresh water on-board, you should list what it will take for you, in your circumstance, to provide fresh water on land, etc. What is so great about this list, is the obvious value to seeing the timing, decision making events and procedures all laid out. With a list like this, you’ll know what pivotal items you have in supply, when various events trigger a given reaction and what needs to be done with specific items of equipment at specific times.
My detailed SHTF plan
Tue Feb 01, 2011, Zombie Squad, by Maast
Here’s my SHTF plan, the main point is that I’m planning on specific capabilities and goals and prepping to meet them vs. just accumulating things that sound good (which I did when starting out)
Hopefully people can take this as a basic framework and adapt it to their particular needs.
As it stands now I can only accomplish (see below) the ‘interim bug-in portion’ and ‘the sewer’, I dont have the sandbags (easy fix), polycarbonate panels (expensive!!), additional folding 250gal rain barrels (though I do have a 60 gallon), thermoelectric, microhydro, boat bladder tank, boat mast or coal bags (easy fix)
Below is a list of my “Gucci” plans with everything I think we’ll need to be relatively comfortable, somebody just starting out should probably just focus on the basics first: Water, Food, Shelter, Safety and then add what you think you’ll need.
• If earthquake: check house structural integrity, check city gas/water/power/fire hazards. Grab/wear leather welding gloves/boots/jacket/chaps and 6’ long pry-bar; check/rescue neighbors. Check phone, check cell, wind up shortwave emergency radio. Get FMRS radios, base station w/ Ann, one on self, two spares.
• Bring preps indoors to downstairs; unload all gear from metal trashcans to indoors.
• Check outside freeze protected foamed 250gal rain barrel for leaks.
• Tarp and spray foam any breaks in roof or walls.
• If EMP ops check all electronics for aluminized trashcan shielding effectiveness; vehicles/generators/radios, check ruggedized laptop and USB thumb drive data, wind up shortwave radio, assign radios and guns.
• Evaluate if immediate bug out is necessary (rolling firestorm, rising floodwaters, approaching battle lines, etc), if so grab BOBs, med equipment/supplies, tent, camping gear prepacked in rubbermaid boxes, guns/ammo, grab the three full 15 gal boat tanks on cache tank, generator, batteries/charger/inverter and stuff as much food (MREs and Mountain House have priority) and water will fit in Subaru Baja and utility trailer.
2. Interim Bug-In:
• Home unlivable/non-repairable? Relocate to boat on trailer, assemble stairs to boat. Move med equipment/supplies, bedding, clothing, food, guns.
• Secondary backup: Move canopy garage to back yard, web roof and sides with 650lb net cord, install tent stove/chimney/thimble, assemble and install plywood door & frame, tarp ground and overlap with sides, lay 2×4 stringers on tarp, spray 1.5 inch 3 pound foam layer on inside including space between ground stringers, leave 2 vinyl windows each side unfoamed, lay plywood floor. Install cots, shelving, tables, folding camping kitchen, med equip & supplies.
• Reconfigure house: clear all furniture from downstairs family room, close and seal doors to downstairs B/Rs to conserve heat.
3. No Power
• Get/check flashlights, get camping stoves & lamps from rubbermaid boxes, use coleman propane lamp and save dual fuel lamp as backup/exterior use.
• Hook up 400AH boat battery bank from battery maintainer to generator, battery charge meter, 40A multi-input battery charge controller & 2000w SW inverter.
• Fill three 5-gallon gas cans from 200 gals in cache tank. Cache tank kept STRICT secret, also if asked tell everyone boat and suburban near empty. Put locking gas cap on suburban, siphon full suburban to cache tank if fuel is an issue.
• Move refer food into 5-day coolers, freezer food into outside chest freezer. Put 2 liter bottles of water in freezer to freeze. If above freezing run power to chest freezer once a day. Rotate frozen water bottles into coolers once a day.
• Run 110v power to auto dialysis machine.
• Run 110v power to stove insert fan
• Run 110v power to lamp w/ 110v LED bulb in L/R
• If city gas available, run 110v to boiler, if not and below freezing drain boiler & baseboard pipes.
• Set up Coleman propane stove on counter, when propane gone switch to wood gassifier camping stove, reserve dual fuel camping stove as emergency backup.
– Note: Pressure cooking ONLY on camping stoves from now on, everything else on wood stove insert or wood gassifier camping stove.
4. No Water
• Get the six 2 gallon jugs of water from outside shed and place in kitchen for immediate use.
• Set up base camp gravity fed water filter & bag over sink.
• Set up 250gal foldable rain barrel on elevated cinderblock platform downstairs near outside wall, ensure top of barrel is 1 foot minimum above ground level.
• Siphon outside under deck foamed rain barrel to downstairs barrel.
• Get camping shower bag from camping supplies, hang in tub/shower
• Eventually rig 12v low flow pump feeding low flow shower head from warmed water in 5 gal buckets.
• Make up several gallons of bleach from Pool Shock calcium hypochlorite crystals.
5. Washing Clothes/Bedding
• Place two Rubbermaid tubs in bathroom, one for washing by stomping on clothes, one for rinsing – use only 1-2 TBS of detergent, a little goes a long way in a tub.
6. No Sewer
• Set up camping porta-pottie in bathroom. Dig 4 foot deep cesspit in backyard, cover w/ styrofoam sheet.
• Attach hose to tub/shower drain, run hose to yard
• Attach hose to sink drain, run to cesspit, foam hose if below freezing.
7. No Heat
• Move bags of coal from outside alongside shed to downstairs or garage, install coal grate in wood stove insert, use coal for overnight burn, if cordwood close to used up switch to straight coal and keep cordwood for starting coal fires. Monitor stove for heat warping.8
• Roads passable? Gasoline resupply? If no gasoline available rig mountain bike w/ rickshaw trailer and studded tires (if winter), use for all movement if possible to save gas.
9. No/Unreliable Communications and/or Information on situation
• String up ham radio antenna in front tree, listen to national/international
Day 7 with no end to emergency in sight
Switch to severe conservation mode
• Switch to manual P dialysis, warm bags in pot on wood stove, do absolute minimum dialysis to conserve auto solution bags, save all tubing and connections and sterilize in grain alcohol
• Run 12v line from battery bank to distribution 4 circuit breaker box in L/R, run lines from distribution box to 12v outlet boxes and affix outlet boxes to wall in L/R, B/R, Kitchen, and downstairs ceiling, use 12v LED lighting only.
• Change wood stove insert blower over to temporary 12v fan.
• Absolute minimum gasoline usage, no 110v usage at all with the exception of keeping freezer frozen, too much meat in freezer to allow to thaw and go bad.
• Assemble stove dehydrator and dehydrate meat in freezer to “crispy critter” level, store in leftover mylar bags or 1 gallon canning jars w/ O2 and moisture absorbers
Day 10 with no end in sight, or if it looks like Bug-Out likely
Begin Pre-Pack & Boat Reconfigure [For those not using a boat as a bug out vehicle, make a list of similar ‘reconfigurations’ for using 2 or more family cars, a pickup truck bed, 1-2 tow trailers, a RV, etc. Mr larry]
• Lay and secure bladder fuel tank on back deck, built temp deck above bladder tank, lay plywood sheets on temp deck.
• Run boat packing checklist – pack boat with low value preps (cordage, lumber, fasteners, lug-alls, etc) not being used for interim bug-in, assemble high value preps in downstairs.
• Attach aluminum emergency sailing mast to pre-welded pivot point on boat cabin roof
• Attach outriggers to pivot points
• Load leeboards
• Load bolt-on outboard motor rudder extension
• Disassemble 12×20 canopy garage, load on boat
• Strap sea canoes to cabin roof, load canoe sail kits and and outriggers.
• Load up electric trolling motors and deep cycle batteries
• Evaluate road conditions/accessibility to the boat launches.
1. Bug-Out/In Decision
• Local/Regional/National/Global emergency?
• Hard trigger: national+ emergency, store shelves bare 5 days straight, resupply status unsure but thought not likely.
• Hard trigger: lower 48 EMP, catastrophic damage, no barge shipping
• Hard trigger: biowarfare plague
• Hard trigger: widespread local civil rioting/raiding
• Evaluate medical item and prescription resupply status. If resupply available bug-in regardless of conditions.
• Middle of a city of 300,000 people and sufficient local agriculture not even a remote possibility
• Food available but power/water/sewer not then bug-in, without food supply will starve in 10 months without resources at BOL.
• If no food supply people will start to starve at this point, starving people form mobs, no matter what I do neighbors will suspect, if nothing else fuel in boat. • Some friends and coworkers already know of some preps. House is not fireproof.
• If no food supply, no medical supplies either, no reason to stay around.
…..Sheer bulk and weight of factory dialysis solution precludes bug-out, reevaluate when enough gone to enable bug out.
2. Bug In, Long Term:
_a) Secure House
• Paint downstairs windows black, reinforce downstairs glass with plywood panels, screw ½ polycarbonate sheets to all indoor window frames leaving vent holes and access in kitchen, L/R and B/R. Reinforce downstairs poly with 2x4s, shovel boat pad gravel between windows and polycarbonate. Spatter mud against outside of front downstairs window.
• Sandbag all upstairs front walls and 15’ along sides up to 4’, leave firing ports at windows.
• Reinforce downstairs ceiling next to walls with 2×4 uprights and headers to take weight of sandbags.
• Sandbag both sides of front door, leave vision port to see who’s at door.
• Install doorknob wedge bar to all doors.
• If no city gas move all firewood to garage, all usable items in garage to downstairs.
_b) No Water Long Term
• Set up additional foldable 250gal rain barrel downstairs next to other on elevated platform.
• Connect both barrels in parallel, run 3 inch overflow hose to outside through wall from second barrel. Catch water from front and back downspouts in screened 5 gal buckets 4’ above ground attached to wall, run garden hose from bottom of buckets to first downstairs barrel.
• Rig sand filter for incoming water to barrels
• Rig intermittent 12v fish tank bubbler to barrels to keep fresh
• Run hose from second barrel to foot pump to black ABS 12 gal barrel w/ spigot on kitchen counter at the sink.
• Hang 10 gal aluminum rectangular water tank under mantle over stove, insulate all sides except bottom of radiant heat absorber flange, paint that flat black, adjust flange size to prevent boiling water in tank. Risk of freezing precludes using on-demand pressure pump and tapping into existing water pipes, must have all pipes/hose exposed to warmed living area.
• Rig foot pump on from downstairs barrels to mantle warm water tank. Tank exit hose is from top, to get warmed water out you pump cold into bottom of tank.
• Rig on-demand 12v marine pump from downstairs tank through heat exchange coil in warm water tank, install anti-scald valve at exit from warm water and run to bathroom, use automotive pressure hose.
• Rig drainback system so water doesn’t stand in hose and get cold.
• Put clean 32 gallon trash can near hearth in corner, keep full of snow to melt, siphon water to downstairs barrel when gets ¾ full – always leave min of ¼ full to assist in melting.
_c) No Power Long Term
• Move boat battery bank/charge controller/inverter/voltmeter to inside downstairs, vent battery box to outside. Set up charge controller, inverter and battery meter on wall shelf above box.
• Rerun 110v power to freezer only.
• Move chest freezer onto deck outside kitchen under canopy, raise on blocks and foam sides, bottom and top, leave vent for motor. Use two layers of sign plastic along lip to keep from gluing lid shut, trim flush after foam layer cured.
• Put generator on back deck in hush box, attach muffler to exhaust.
• Put both solar panels w/ mylar concentrators on roof, wire to charge controller.
• Install two 50W thermoelectric generators to wood stove, ensure thermosiphon water cooling loop is filled w/ glycol solution and radiator is outside & oriented correctly. Wire to charge controller.
• Run 12V via 8 gauge solid core ROMEX to 12V distribution box w/ breakers and then to 12V outlet boxes in kitchen, L/R, B/R and downstairs ceiling.
• Plug in 12V LED lighting to LR, kitchen, B/R and downstairs ceiling.
• Replace 110v blower fan on wood stove with 12v fan.
• Tarp off edges of canopy around deck.
_d) No Sewer Very Long Term
• Construct sewage septic system good for 4 years min:
…..Dig 4’deep 4’ wide and 9’ long hole in backyard away from tree roots, ensure bottom is very flat and slopes 1 inch from one to the other, add first 1” sand and then 2” pea gravel on bottom.
…..Place two 55 gallon brute plastic trash cans upright side-by-side in hole.
…..Connect the two cans by drilling 3” hole 6 inches from the top of both cans and assemble 3” ABS pipe connection in form of upside down “U”, legs of the U should be 7” long pointing towards bottom of cans, marine goop liberally in place inside and out of can
…..Drill a 3rd hole on the opposite side of the can/can connection
…..Take third 55 gallon brute can and cut it in half. Affix halves brim-to-brim resulting in a trough that’s 26” wide X 66” long, drill 3/8 holes every 4 inches three inches up from cut lip.
…..Cut 3” hole in trough at one end of trough chamber at apex of curve.
…..Place chamber face down on gravel in trench next to upright cans, hole toward cans, cover with plastic hardware cloth.
…..Make another ABS upside down U, through additional hole, inside leg 7” outside leg connecting to chamber, goop it.
…..Cover with perlite to 1 inch over top of chamber, cover with 3” blue foam board.
…..Cut 3” hole in lid, place lid on first can, run ABS pipe in, have elbow at lid for support, run pipe out in level trench slightly sloping towards house sitting on foam board. Cut 2 more holes in lids; one in center of each for pumpout access.
…..Foam cans including lids, fill septic trench with perlite up to 3” below ground level, then dirt.
…..Foam all ABS pipe outside house. Cover with dirt.
• Remove standard toilet, replace with old manual pump marine toilet w/ macerator “If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down”, SEVERELY limit toilet paper use.
• Attach travel bidet to on-demand marine 12V pump system and plumb to warm water tank, continue plumbing into shower/tub.
• Connect sink drain to hose and route to septic, foam exposed hose
• Route tub/shower drain to empty 250 gal foamed foldable rain barrel outside, if below freezing foam hose. Saved greywater may be useful if bug-in for spring garden, no baths only navy showers.
_e) Plant Garden
• To supplement probable meager food supply build garden, climate requires greenhouse style covered garden.
• Work out deal to cut down neighbors light blocking trees, we’ll all need firewood anyway.
• Build offset A frame style cover, south leg of frame to be at 60 degrees, back wall insulated and covered with mylar reflectors, front wall double wall acrylic panels.
• Build raised bed garden in greenhouse and drip irrigation system, plant in high density intensive gardening
• Install LED grow lights to extend growing season
• Investigate wood fired boiler to heat thermal mass in greenhouse to extend growing season year-round.
• Save urine to use as fertilizer
• Plant rest of yard in raised beds under cold frames and edges in wolfberry, front yard in hedge of wolfberry too – it’ll look like a decorative plant, investigate edible landscaping.
• Plant edible blue-berry honeysuckle as hedges, fruit is edible and can be used to make jams and jellies and is high in vitamin C
3. Bug-Out decided
_a) Bug-Out Process
• Disassemble interim bug-out gear, recover hoses, empty and fold up 250gal rain barrel
• Finish boat packing checklist
• Load high value preps in one go: food, filled fuel cans, guns, ammo, powder, generators, bug in equipment, durable cold weather clothing, 2 part spray foam canisters and equipment
• Pump cache tank contents into 250gal bladder tank on boat
• Pump in just enough fuel in suburban to reach boat launch +10%
• Depart in middle of night, tell nobody of departure date or time, if asked say “Not ready yet, another 5 days or so”
• At boat launch siphon all fuel from suburban
• Run on kicker only to save gasoline, use emergency mast & sail if calm and winds allow.
_b) Arrival at BOL Cove
• Drop the tall pine trees across narrow entrance to cove
• Retrieve 9” penstock ABS pipe sections pre-positioned and sunk on location, also retrieve 2” pipe sections and buried cordage and coils of aircraft cable.
• Begin construction of camp, live on boat until construction complete, boat heater diesel good for ~30 days.
• Inflate flotation bags and build floating dock from 3”-4” diameter trees. Assemble steps into boat.
…..Thread stainless aircraft cable through 40’ of 2” ABS pipe, then stretch cable 18 feet high between two stout trees with fairly level ground between them, tension to several hundred pounds with come-along, clamp and solder cable. Pipe provide smooth folds and prevents cable abrading tarp.
….. Thread and stretch two more cables 8” high 10 feet each from centerline of first cable
…..Web roof supports using 650 net cord every 2 feet
…..Place 40×40 heavy duty tarp over wires (select tarp that has rough surface), stretch along and paint with black rubberized RV roof paint as it goes up to protect it from UV degradation.
…..Foam spots on underside to glue tarp to roof webbing
• Erect 12×20 canopy garage under over-roof as is noted above in shelter plan, run stove chimney out through rear wall to avoid over roof.
• Alternate shelter construction: Lower aircraft cables to 14 foot peak and 4 foot high sides, lay waterproof tarp on ground, build basic 6’wall frames under over-roof using 2×2 lumber, build door & door frame and put in place, staple ground tarp overlap to frame, staple heavy duty tarps to frame, place 2×2 floor stringers on ground, foam inside walls/floor/roof, use 3-4” of foam on roof. Install tent stove with thimble and chimney through rear wall
…..Coat area outside within 5 feet of chimney with Flameseal.
– Place paraffin based thermal mass device kettle on tent stove to even out temp swings
• Rig perimeter bear alarm to activate noise and lights
• Run water hose to food prep area sink, let run continually to prevent freezing, keep water hose under surface of ocean and stream as much as possible.
• As time allows build perimeter fence.
• Run up ham radio antenna and monitor situation
• As time allows build corduroy walls on shelter walls for bear protection
• As time allows sandbag outside
• Build tent stove dehydrator
• Install thermoelectric generators on tent stove
• Erect solar cells and reflectors
• Install power and warm water systems
• Build shower, use RV roofing paint to waterproof plywood
• Install sewer septic and manual marine toilet (don’t want to be discharging waste into area I’ll be gathering seaweed from.
• Build penstock and lay ABS pipe for microhydro from stream that runs year-round,
• Only use microhydro if thermoelectric and solar not enough to maintain charge in battery bank and elec trolling motor batteries.
• Hunt deer, moose and bear, gather salmon, rockfish, other fish, gather seaweed and wild edibles IAW seashore survival books. Dry and store, use food prep stores as little as possible. Use casting net as much as possible to conserve hooks and line.
• Plant gatherable edibles like blueberry honeysuckle and wolfberry that can withstand climate
• Burn seashells to lime to make basic mortar, eventually replace tent stove with mortared rock stove, before foam goes bad extend shelter at least one room using debarked trees and foam inside.
• In time as situation stabilizes explore trading possibilities with local town or other steads. Travel using sail power or trolling motors only.
• Evaluate relocation to shore to assist in rebuilding town