Plan For an

Updated 11 August 2016


Many of you know of Lisa Thiesse from her Quickening News. She is also a Friday regular on Alex Merklinger's radio show "Mysteries of the Mind". Additionally she provides insightful comments on the Building Community Database, ARK and DISASTER-l.

Some years back, Lisa, like many of us, realized she needed to prepare her family for the times ahead. One weekend she "threw together" this manual to organize her efforts. Others folks found out about it and asked for a copy. As a result, she has given away hundreds of copies via email.

Scroll down to find excellent information to get you started. Even the most prepared individual will find many helpful tips. Reading Lisa's Plan For an Emergency really hit my "practical" button! It is information-specific. Be sure to make a copy of this invaluable guide.

The first part of this document is basic 'how to start planning'. If you have an idea in this area, skim through to the next area on Emergency food, packs, clothes, money.

by Lisa Thiesse


First and for most, you need to know what it is you want to do.

  • Where is your safe place(s)?
  • Where is your 'dig in' site?
  • What is your particular situation?
    • Do you live in an apartment?
    • Do you live in the city?
    • Do you live in a small town?
    • Do you live on a farm?
    • Do you have children/pets?
    • Do you have anyone outside your immediate household to care for i.e. elderly parent, children with previous spouse?

All these will be important for YOUR personalized plan. Even the ages of children will make a difference in what you plan, how you pack, what you need for supplies etc. So, sit down and start organizing your group on paper.

Will your plan mean moving out of the immediate area? That is a personal decision. Things to consider:

Generally, in the case of a major earthquake or other catastrophic happening, figure that it will be 3 - 5 days before help arrives. This is a good rule of thumb to go by.

What type of emergency is this? (Storm, bad earthquake, impending hurricane, fire?) Will this mean extended periods without power, access to safe places?

If you plan to stay - Be prepared with at least 72 hours of food, water, a good medicine kit (contents will be described later) flashlight and batteries (lots of batteries) a portable radio (more batteries) candles (buy the emergency candles - they burn long), emergency cash (will be discussed later) clothes, and other of that type stuff which will be discussed that should go in your MAIN PACKS.

If you live in the city and there is a catastrophic type disaster - you will probably need to get out of it. Especially if power is out for extended periods or major damage. If you plan to leave the city -

First, plan several places to go. For a family, a meeting place is a must. One just outside your home (like you should already have in case of a house fire), one in your neighborhood, one outside your neighborhood (in case of major destruction), one in a well known place just inside your city and one outside your city. THIS WAY everyone can move from place to place - leaving notes behind with instructions - and hopefully, picking up everyone on the way.

Second, you need to know where it is you will go. Your SAFE PLACE can be a cabin, a campsite, a relatives home, another home you own or lease or another piece of property. {We have two places - both on the other side of the mountains from us - that we can go to that we either own or are purchasing. We have campsites on the west side of the mountains and will know different routes to all the places}

Third, the routes have to be traveled using different modes. Can't drive your car because roads are out? Ride a bike/horse. Can't ride? Walk.

Routes have to take in whether they have bridges (which are vulnerable to collapse during earthquake, mud-slides, floods etc.) . If they become impassable - is there another way? Even if you then have to ride a bike or walk? Think ahead to what and how much you can carry and good carrying carts, packs etc.

IF you plan to stay in town. People with small children may have little choice considering on the emergency.

in case they are cut off from you during the day and/or they need to walk/ride home - or to prearranged places.


a. the fewer people around you, the safer you and your family/group will be.

the more supplies and routes you have the more choices you have on little notice.

the more first aid, basic and secondary treatments you know the better.

the more you practice the easier to make decisions in emotional circumstances.

KNOW HOW FAR YOU ARE WILLING TO GO. (Will you carry a weapon for self-defense? For hunting for food?) Not a pleasant thought but necessary.

Know the capabilities of those who will travel or be under your care. Not only how far can they walk or ride, but what skills they have. (Someone who has medical knowledge can be a benefit, as can someone who has hunting skills, someone who has plant and other food gathering skills, someone who has map reading skills etc.) Plan on having each person in your group learn some of these skills. Even young children can take part. Make it a family project and practice them while camping or hiking.

Do not forget your pets. Do plan on extra water for them - but most pets can eat what humans eat so don't burden yourself trying to carry dog food or cat food. Pet birds can ride on your shoulder or should be set free as other critters may need to be also. (It may mean a death sentence for them, but if you leave them in their cages it surely would be a slow and painfully cruel death sentence.) Your animals can also be used for carrying items. Big dogs can carry packs or be trained to pull small wagons. Horses, and other such larger animals can also be useful - but that goes without saying.

h. Even if you plan to stay where you are,
the following items will fulfill your needs for an emergency plan. You have the luxury of not having to worry about how much weight you can carry - and you may not need emergency rations for as many days. If you plan that you will not receive outside help, have power or medical aid, nor have the ability to purchase items for 3 - 5 days, any help arriving earlier is a boon. You must remember to have at least 1 gallon of water for every one of those days per person in storage. (Water can be stored for up to 6 months in a unbreakable container before having to be purified or recycled.) Try and stock as many or all of the items listed below as you may not be able to sleep in your home but have to camp out in the yard or in one of the your in town safe-places. Keep these items OUT OF YOUR HOME AND IN A PLACE WHERE YOU WILL KEEP YOUR MAIN PACKS so that you can get to them if your home or apartment building is unsafe to enter.

[NOTE: You can use and old refrigerator or large container as a storage area. Halfway or almost all the way bury it in your back yard without the lid. Take a nice piece of wood or plastic and make a water proof cover over the top of the chest. Plant flowers around it or place a birdbath or decorate with yard statues. Inside, you can store your waterproofed packs and sleeping bags, your med. kit and other items with little worry of water, insect or vermin damage. If you have a wood shed or other small building they could be ideal for storing. Use BIG plastic garbage cans with locking lids as your storage bins. They are almost completely water proof - still waterproof by wrapping tarps and plastic bags around your packs and clothing. Other options are, keep them in R.V.s, fifth wheels, or barns.]


If you have done any research on this - you probably have suffered STICKER SHOCK on just how much 'they' want for emergency foods and supplies. You do not have to spend a fortune to supply yourself and family in case of an emergency! There are a few tricks to it though.

FIRST - Consider again those in your family. (If you are single or have a small family, you might want to combine with another small family or with some very close friends.) Do they have medical needs? Meds.? Glasses? These need to be duplicated and put into your Main Emergency packs.

[The main packs should be placed outside the home in a storage shed, waterproof chest container that is away from your home building and other major buildings. The Main packs will contain those most important items that will be carried no matter what! Or used whether you stay or leave your home. Each member of your family or group should have a PACK even the littlest tiny baby.]

Along with these packs you will have put copies of your family records, some sort of ID (which you should doubly protect from moisture), the few books you will need, again - protected from moisture and your medical kit which will be a pack by itself and marked as such. Each person should put their medicine in their own packs. Same with eye glasses or other such items with their personal stuff.

Let us talk of the pack itself. INVEST IN A GOOD HEAVY DUTY BACK PACK for each member of your family or group. Take your time and come up with a pack big enough to carry your main pack items (some of the older may need to take some of the younger stuff) but not so big that you can't carry it. Make sure it is well balanced. You might want to pack it and go on a hike several times with it until you find the best balance. The pack should be waterproof - and be made of a material that won't wear out fast or invite critters of the insect or animal kind. (In other words, can you spray it with repellents and such?)

It is important to not have a pack just with clothes, just with dishes, just with any one item. If that pack got separated from the others. Lost, destroyed, along the way EVERYONE would be without. By everybody carrying their own items, if someone losses their pack - the others can share until the pack is found or replaced. In other words DON'T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET!!!!!!

You will need to carry in your individual main pack:


Clothing can be expensive, so be smart. Go to K-mart or other like clothing chain and purchase plain, ordinary sweat pants and shirts in various sizes and colors when they have a sale. You can often find them for $4.00 to $6.00 for pants or shirts on sale. A really good sale, even cheaper. ALWAYS BUY THEM LARGER THAN YOU WOULD NORMALLY USE THEM as they will shrink and you may end up layering them.

Why sweats? Sweats are easy to wash (You may be doing your washing by hand and drying them on a line.) They dry quicker and easier than blue jeans or other clothing and without that mildew smell. They can be worn by anyone. (Even children can wear adult sizes if need be because they can push up legs and pull the draw string tighter.) Sweats are warm when it is cold, and cool (because they breathe) when it is hot. AND you can layer them and not be restricted in your movements. SWEATS also roll up small and take little space in your pack and are light in weight. NOW DON'T YOU JUST LOVE THEM! Love T-SHIRTS too cause they can go as under layer or as a light weight shirt in hotter weather. They also roll up small and are lightweight and cheap. Don't forget sweat shorts!

The one negative about sweats (also a positive) is that they are very absorbent which makes them not so good in the rain. SO - wrap each set in a garbage bag and place them in your pack. The garbage bag then makes a GREAT CHEAP raincoat for those rainy days! Just cut a hole for your head and arms and continue to march. If you get too wet - change into another pair of sweats, wrap them back up in the garbage bag, use the new garbage bag from the new sweats as a raincoat. The next time you stop or do laundry, pull the wet sweats out of the bag, wash, dry and pack in a new garbage bag. (Now, ain't I smart! :-) )

A few other items are:

Socks. Two kinds are recommended. Cotton tube socks and 100% wool socks (wool, though itchy, keeps you warm even if they get wet). Several good pairs for each member is recommended.

At least two good pairs of shoes. Sneakers are good and cheap if you don't buy the name brands. But they can get wet. So I recommend 2 pairs of sneakers and 1 good pair of knee high rubber boots. (Get those black farmer type boots.) These will roll up pretty small and are not any heavier than a good hiking boot and you can go to many stores and buy them for less than $20.00. I picked up a new pair just a while ago and bought them on sale for $9.99. Do not scrimp on socks and such, as your feet are your friends! (They take you everywhere you want or need to go!)

Other clothing items are a good jacket and coat. Wool is good as it will keep you warm even if it is wet. I recommend purchasing a good wool insulated hunting shirt (You know, the plaid ones) since you can always double or triple on sweats. (Buy it BIG). Also purchase a light weight jacket that will keep you warm. The newer ski-jackets are all made to be light weight, but heavy duty warm. Buy them off season on sale. (Again, give yourself plenty of room to move around in it if you are layering.)

Bandannas. Purchase a bunch. They can cover the head for warmth, tie back long hair, be used as a sweat band, be soaked in water and worn around the neck as a coolant, be used for private stops ;-) and be used to blow your nose. Very handy. They roll up small are cheap and extremely light. (Women, they can be used as sanitary napkins. Just triple fold, you can even use moss or other clean vegetation as absorbent. NOT POISSON IVY! Place the bandanna around the absorbing material and have at least two layers next to your skin.) They wash easily and cleanly and dry quickly. Don't be grossed out guys!

Remember: Your clothing needs to be easy to wash, dry, carry, pack and without being too heavy or bulky. Undergarments, gloves and a stocking hat and/or rain hat completes the clothes items.

To review. Each person's Main pack then should contain these clothing items:
  • 2 - sweat outfits
  • 2 - sweat shorts and T-shirts
  • 4 - pairs of socks with at least 2 of them 100% wool
  • 4 pairs undergarments rolled up small should get you through to a wash day. (100% cotton is recommended over silk/nylon for durability and wash-ability.)
  • 2 good support bras for women.
  • 2 good jock straps for men. It won't take you long to figure out why.
  • 6 - 8 Bandannas per person. (They really are handy!)
  • A roll of those LEAF SIZE GARBAGE BAGS for use as clothing, to pack clothing in to make them waterproof and to use as waterproofing on sleeping bags etc.
  • 1 or more preferably 2 pairs of sneakers. 1 pair knee high black rubber barn boots. (The boots could also be strung on a bungee strap and hang from the pack.)
  • 1 good ski type jacket and 1 extra large insulated hunting shirt.
  • Gloves. 1 light weight and 1 heavy weight
  • 1 stocking cap and one rain hat. Do not plan that your ski jackets hat will do. You will need a separate one for those hot rainy days when a jacket is too much.
  • 3 day supply of emergency rations. (Purchase good ones that you know how to use) More on this later! These can also be carried in other packs. 2 more days rations should be carried in another pack. With the kitchen?

The main packs should also contain your personal items:
  • Toothbrushes 2 per person.
  • Toothpaste
  • Women - tampons or pads but you may eventually need to use washable items.
  • Personal medicines and eyeglasses should also go into this plastic bag.

Remember even these items will take up room so don't store them in the boxes but wrap in plastic for waterproofing and for separating them from other items.


Here you will benefit by purchasing one of those military type kits - A GOOD STRONG ONE - per each family or group member. It should have a plate/bowl with full assortment of utensils that fold up in the middle of the plate and bowl. Then purchase a strong metal cup that can be tied to the outside of each pack by a strong bungee strap and used for drinking along the way. Try to have a least one extra set for each 4 persons in your family or group. Everyone carries and is responsible for their own eating and drinking utensils. It is best to color code packs with a person. You can even go as far as color coding clothing, sleeping bags, mats, tents and all other items so the 'blue' person had all their stuff marked or is blue and so on. (This is helpful with younger children - and for us confused adults too! ;-) )


Here again it is best to purchase the best in WARM sleeping bags. They now make light weight, heavy duty warmth sleeping bags that roll up small. You can purchase small lightweight camping pillows that will roll up inside the sleeping bag and not take much more room. Roll the sleeping bag into a small plastic tarp for further waterproofing and use bungee straps to wrap and secure to your pack. (The tarp can be used to put down under your sleeping bag for extra moisture protection, and/or as another layer for warmth. It can also be used to provide quick shelter and immediate cover.) If there is room, purchase a good thermal blanket and roll it up in your sleeping bag for those days you may need that extra something. These are generally inexpensive, lightweight and worth the small amount of room they take. - When you purchase your sleeping bags - you might consider ones that will zip together. Sharing body heat may help on those colder nights. Another good purchase is those dense sleeping mats that roll up small. They are light and will be a welcome barrier between you and the hard cold ground. These can be attached by bungees to the top of you sleeping bag.
  • 1 good sleeping bag
  • 1 small tarp
  • 1 small camp pillow that rolls up into sleeping bag
  • 1 twin thermal blanket that will roll up into sleeping bag
  • 1 sleeping mat
  • 2 - 3 good bungee straps

The sleeping bag, with the blanket and pillow rolled up into it, will be rolled inside the tarp and secured with the straps to the backpack frame of your main packs; and the mat attached to the top of that.

(Note: Another item that can be considered is a hammock. It can also be rolled up inside or outside the sleeping bag. More on this later.)

This concludes the main packs except for the medicine kit and money.


You could go broke real quick trying to set up a good first aid kit. But it doesn't have to be that way. Use some common sense. Items like, hydrogen peroxide and anti-bacterial ointments are a must. But some of the other stuff 'they' say are a must can be substituted with other items.

Bandages can be made out of white cotton sheets. (Which can be cut and used as needed.) Have some desirable lengths and widths pre-cut and rolled and put into plastic for moisture proofing. (Before cutting, wash than boil your sheet or part of a sheet. Dry then cut and roll) Purchase gauze and such in bulk. Separate them into different first aid kits throughout the house but first load your main pack kit. Cotton balls are wonderful and cheap. Buy them in the plastic bags. They can be used for many things. That white tape is important but again, don't spend a fortune. As cloth bandages can be torn so that they tie themselves. (Cloth bandages can also be boiled and used again.) Have regular bandages, aspirin, multi-vitamins, and a 3 day and only a 3 day supply of everyone's personal prescription meds. in there. (The rest will be in their own main packs.) Syrup of Ipecac, and find some diarrhea medicine that is powder - and you mix with water (there are many brands). Surgical gloves by bulk and cheap, a good pair of scissors, tweezers and several needles. WHITE sewing thread, fine fishing line (for sewing stitches - make sure it fits in the needles you have, pick up some curved needles as well. Look in crafts.) Safety pins. A well sanded, foot long, and another 6-8 inch long board that is lightweight will make great splints. Chemical heat and chemical cold packs come in real handy for the initial kit needs and are not too heavy. Rubbing alcohol, iodine, anti-bee sting or itch creams, snake bite kit. Insect repellents. SUN BLOCK.

The idea of this kit is that it can be slung over a shoulder and not be too much of an extra burden to carry - but be readily available and complete enough to handle most emergencies. This will never be a kit that can cover EVERYTHING, but handy and useful for those more common happenings. One of the books that should be carried should be on common medical procedures. Another one should be basic surgical procedures. Keep them small, and lightweight. The person in charge of first aid should probably carry these in their own pack. (Another book on Herb's and other natural remedies would also be handy.)

If you are staying in a set place or are able to carry a more extensive pack, you can, of course, have a more comprehensive meds. kit. Just use common sense when putting it together. Waterproof as much as you can, to help preserve the items but stockpile as much as you can - using sheets for bandages, and other such common sense approaches. Anytime you see a major sale - look for items you need and pick up a little bit at a time.


This is the most controversial item. Some say you shouldn't carry any as it can make you a target. Others say you should carry enough to purchase items along the way if possible. Others again say that money would most likely become worthless in extended disaster. SO - I recommend that you have on hand at home. $75.00 to $100.00 dollars per person in your family or group. No bills larger than a $10.00 bill. $5.00 bills are better and $1.00 bills are best. Have a lot of change. But carry most of it in rolled quarters. (In the event of long power outages and disaster - stores can and have stopped giving change so you will need to carry your own or loose the difference.) Purchase only those items you will need immediately. Sometimes, even if you prepare, there will be things that can only be purchased for situational disaster. Since you cannot count on the banks being open you therefore will need cash. Once those items are purchased either 1) leave the cash behind, 2) carry some of the cash and coins with you. Or 3) carry some of the bills with you. Hide it away in a difficult access place that isn't a common carrying place.

Have a hidden pocket, or other (no I won't make a suggestion, find your own) place that you can put it. Or, in the case of robbery, carry it on the leaders belt in a money clip and don't even fight them for it. If you get off with only money taken (which is doubtful unless you get amazingly stupid crooks) you can count yourself very lucky. It is best to be prepared, and have your safe-place, places and such stocked for passage and/or prepared for the long haul.

This concludes the MAIN PACKS.


[This may not be necessary but wouldn't hurt to have together if needed. If you carry the emergency rations in you own packs or as the kitchen, you may not need the below items. But if you have to camp or travel on foot or by other modes, you may want to have a mini kitchen ability.]

The portable kitchen - will not be as difficult as some might think. A very little bit goes a long way. These items can be broken up among the packs, hang pans off packs, make a special carrier for the knives and other utensils. Or, you can make a another pack that is carried between people on poles etc. (the poles can be used for shelters, lean-tos, shade or rain protection so they will be handy to have along. The poles can also be used as a travois which you could stack your kitchen and other items on and pull.) Stack the smaller inside the larger. Stuff other items around them - figure out the best arrangement for your group.

You need:
  • 2 frying pans (1 iron fry pan - it will provide iron to your group) One large, one medium
  • 3 pots: 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
  • 1 coffee pot - old type percolator
  • 2 spatulas
  • 2 large spoons
  • 4 hot pads
  • 2 cutting boards
  • 2 sharp knives
  • 1 ladles
  • 2 wire racks
  • measuring spoons
  • 2 cooking forks
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 small portable grill
  • measuring cups
  • knife sharpener
  • 2 hunting knives
  • roll of garbage bags (leaf size)

In with your kitchen items carry:

Bleach (bleach can be used for wiping down and sterilizing cutting boards & knives and other cooking surfaces after cutting meats, and can be used for purifying water. 10 drops per 1 gallon of water mixed well and let sit in an open container for 30 minutes - make sure you strain the water through a bandanna first.)
Steel pads for cleaning by the scratchy type pads instead of the S.O.S. or Brillo type.
2 liquid soap containers for washing hands. (Mix dish soap and vinegar - 1/2 & 1/2 - makes a great anti-bacterial soap that is cheap, will kill germs and keep your hands soft. It also works well for washing your clothes. Just cut the soap even further 1/4 dish soap & 3/4 vinegar to keep them clean & odor free. Too much soap makes you have to rinse more. A little bit really does go a long way. It also can be your shampoo. About the same as for laundry. Experiment and find out what is best for you - you will find your hair will benefit from the vinegar.) 1 soap container to be kept by the kitchen the other by the areas used for the bathroom.

[People, washing your hands after you use the bathroom and before cooking or eating will cut way, way down on colds, flu's and other illness. The last thing anybody needs is to get sick. Stress, and when using these emergency preparations you WILL BE UNDER STRESS, will weaken your body. Strengthen it (both mentally and physically) by being prepared and by being as sanitary as possible.]

As you can see, you will be using a lot of vinegar, dish soap (buy cheap i.e. crystal white, and in bulk) and bleach. Carrying these items will be heavy, so it will be up to you to decide what you will need.

If you remember that a little bit goes a long way you can get by with less. Practice using the items for washing dishes and clothes (by hand) and washing your body and hair. How much did you use in that week, then multiply by the number of people in your group. Keep in mind that all of these items are very useful - but balance that with the weight and the fact it hasn't to be carried. If you can use the travois, a cart or wagon that can be pulled it would make it easier.

Water - is one of the most important and necessary items. It is best to plan that each person will need 1 gallon a day. (More in the heat, and slightly less in the cold.) Learn and then watch for signs of dehydration. Too little water in the heat means heat stroke, too little in cold leads to equally dangerous problems including frostbite and cracked skin which can lead to infections and disease.

Now that is a lot of weight and bulk. Plan on watering spots when you plan your routes. Lakes, rivers, streams, melted snow - man-made water sources must all be planned on but not counted on. Constantly refill (if water is available) at every stop.

Purchase and then carry in your leaders pack or designated persons pack - a water testing kit. Do not use any water without straining it through a bandanna, boiling (10 minutes at an all out boil) and/or purifying (chemical kit or bleach 10 drops per gallon left in an open container for at least 30 minutes) before hand. Be extra careful during flooding - which pollute lowland water sources - even city sources. Higher ground streams and rivers are safer - rainwater is terrific. Water can be stored for 6 months before needing to be purified again or recycled. For every gallon of water - there is 8 lb.'s weight.

How to carry your drinking water is going to be again a difficult decision. Water holding tanks of 3 - 5 gallons are inexpensive and useable. Everyone should have a canteen they carry on their belt along with a knife, a whistle, and other items which will be discussed later. DO NOT DRINK STRAIGHT FROM YOUR CANTEEN. Instead, pour small amounts into your cup which should be hanging from your pack and then drink. (This will help keep your canteen clean, and cut down on colds and other disease.


The military and other survivalists type groups sell a good wide belt that you can attach many items to. On this belt you will need to carry:
  • 1 canteen
  • 1 machete or small hatchet that is in a strong protective case
  • 1 ammo pouch
  • 1 pocket or hunting knife
  • 1 holster for handgun
  • 1 whistle
  • rope (more later)
(The whistle should be used in case of separation. Organize a code. A certain sound means (all come now) another sound means (danger). Each child should have his own whistle and can learn to come individually by tone or by group to a different tone. This is important to keep the group together and to forage more effectively.)

The ammo pouch and handgun is, of course, optional. You must have a permit to carry a weapon in most states (even if it isn't concealed) so be sure to have a permit. We will talk about weapons later.

The hunting knife or pocket knife is age appropriate. But most everyone can carry one or the other. A pocket knife can be extremely useful when hiking or camping. Think of just how much more useful on a survival mission. The hunting knife can be used the same way but will make skinning animals and gutting them much easier.


It may seem strange to most of you that I kept the food for now. What and how much will depend on what your circumstances are.

If you have to carry everything - you will want to have 5 days of emergency rations (the ones in envelopes not cans) per person. (This is more than most say - but since they are light and take up little bulk I say it is better to have too much than too little.) [Do yourselves a favor - go to a military surplus store and purchase these food items. The military has been doing this for a long, long time and have them lightweight, tasting good, and durable in travel.]

These rations can be expensive. (even military rations) If you buy in bulk you can get them a little cheaper. If you can, mix in dried foods like, pasta/rice/beans and beef jerky or other such foods. Powdered milk is ideal - and a can or two canned milk can be an asset too. This will make it spread farther. (Canned foods are great but are heavy.) You can only carry so much. Frozen items are unrealistic but can be used in the first day or two - three in very cold weather. Do not plan to carry ice chests as they are unrealistic - unless you are in a vehicle or have a good cart/travois and good ground you will be traveling. You must also keep in mind how far you will be going.

Some 'must takes' if you carry your portable kitchen:
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Dry Beans
  • Grains
  • Garlic (cloves and/or powder)
  • Onions bulbs or powder
  • Vinegar
  • Coffee/Tea and Hot chocolate mix. (Morale and energy are closely related). Carry them in sacks that you then can wrap or double wrap in plastic bags. They can be more pack-able and are more flexible in how you pack them.
  • Chocolate Bars and Marshmallows. (again morale and energy)
  • Powder Milk
  • Dehydrated Fruits
  • Jerky.
Anything else is just luxury. Keep a few things in mind.

One item that is a must is rope. Good strong nylon and natural fiber rope. KNOW HOW TO MAKE KNOTS. Carry more than you think you will need.

Another item that would be helpful (if you have the room - ideal to roll up in your sleeping bags) would be a hammock. Hammocks get you off the ground, are light weight and can be adjusted. If you are traveling among the plains, you may not have too many groves of trees. You could plan your stops so that it is possible.

Tents. Buy those little two man tents that you pop into place. You may not have the time, the weight capacity or the room for carrying a tent - but then again. You may HAVE to. Keep them small, keep them light-weight, and no more than what you can use. For every tent, have a tarp big enough to go over or under it rolled up in it or around the carrying pack. (Tarps are handy and make great waterproofing) A wet tent does nobody good - and you will not have time to be drying them out.

Raft and/or boat. Depending on your circumstances, these items may be a must. Just look at the t.v. and you will see the people getting around in their little fishing boats and rubber rafts because of flooding. (I have a neighbor who has suddenly found himself with water front property. He can only take his little row boat and row to where he parks his vehicle in order to go to work.) So a boat or raft may be a must. It may also need to carried or used in your travels so plan several rubber rafts to carry your group or maybe carry your items and you wade. Think carefully of all your routes to travel.

Your aim is to achieve your goal of safe-place. You may have to walk every step of the way and you may have people outside your group who will want what your group has. Your preparation may make those who didn't prepare angry. (That may not make sense but it is true.) SO - when at all possible STAY AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE) Keep this in mind as you plan your routes.

If you have the luxury of having a stocked safe-place - you will be set when you get to where you are going.

If you are going to stock a safe-place or where you are now for emergency preparations, this is what you will need.

1 year supply of food per person. I recommend 2 weeks water supply per person if you can store that much. That is 14 gallons of water per person. A 33 gallon garbage can, can hold enough water for 2 people with water to spare. So if you have a family of 4 you would need 2 just for drinking water. (New garbage cans with good locking lids will be fine for up to 6 months before you will need to dump them out and refill.) You will need to store more for washing people, dishes, clothes and what not. If you have the capabilities, store even more. You can never have too much and you can recycle the water into a garden, pond, pool or even just water your lawn twice a year when you change the water. MARK IT DOWN ON YOUR CALENDAR

How you make this up is, going to depend on what you plan. If you think you will be having to travel - you will want to have more traveling rations of food. (Which is more expensive.) If you are going to be staying put you can get by with less of traveling rations and use more frozen and canned foods.

If you are not sure a good rule is 1/3 traveling rations, 1/3 canned goods & dehydrated foods and 1/3 frozen foods and dehydrated foods. Add to that - pastas, rice, flour, sugar, and of course, fresh fruit. (DO NOT SHORT YOURSELF ON FRUIT as it is essential in the diet. Fruit drinks do not make a good substitute.) Your dehydrated foods should be your fruits and jerky. Keep fresh fruit on hand, just like you keep fresh breads and vegetables.


If you can, grow as many of your vegetables and fruits as you can. Raise your own animals for meat. The more you know about your food - the more you can be sure it will be good for your family.

Then freeze and dehydrate the fruits of your labor. It is cheaper, more healthy and better tasting than store bought items.

The things you don't grow or raise yourself - purchase in bulk during sales. Most items that you purchase or process yourself are safe in the freezer for a year. You can even dehydrate and then put items in the freezer for even longer keeping. The only reason you can't only do this is frozen foods won't travel well, and most people can in jars which are heavy and don't travel well.

Can goods. (Don't forget meat - which most people do not often buy in cans) Go to your big bulk food store and purchase. Make your selections vary - and be sure to cover all food groups. Powdered milk, coffee and tea fit in this category. Don't do it all at once but try and do it as soon as possible.

Traveling foods are expensive. Check around for the best deal but don't forget to try before you buy. Test how the food tastes - in all the selections, not just some. Some of these foods taste pretty good. Some taste like cardboard. Ask lots of questions and don't hold them longer than they should be. Cycle them into your food throughout the year.

If you are diligent, you can continually be recycling the foods so as to always have a year supply on hand.


Weapons. A handgun or a rifle can mean life or death either way. If you have one, it could mean you are killed with it or that you kill with it. (I am not going to get into what is right or wrong or any of that debate. This is your personal choice.)

If you carry one, KNOW HOW TO USE IT AND CARE FOR IT. Don't ever, EVER point a weapon at anybody unless you are prepared to use it - which means you know how to.

If you will be hunting with the weapons, KNOW HOW so as to not unnecessarily wound or cause pain to the animal you hunt. Be compassionate and take your time to get a good shot (you may not have the luxury of following a wounded animal - which is bad for you and the animal) so it goes down the first time.

You will need to carry ammunition for the type of weapon you use. Buy the best shot not the cheapest - since you want no misfires. Carry also the cleaning kit needed for that weapon and several hundred rounds per weapon.

The type of weapon is also a personal choice. My husband and I, after many discussions and looking ahead to what we will need at our safe-place and alternative safe-place decided on:
  • 1 9mm handgun
  • 1 22 rifle
  • 1 shotgun
  • 1 30.6 rifle
We may take all, or just some of these depending on the situational disaster and where we end up going or staying.

Bow and arrow: Again, know how to use them properly, never point the weapon at someone unless you plan to use it. And, like a handgun or rifle, be sure of what you shoot before you shoot.

Little things to do:

1. Always refill you gas tank before or when the gas gage reaches the halfway mark. Keeping a tank with plenty of gas will be a boon if you are on the go and no gas is available because of power outage. Or if you get caught in a snow storm or mudslide on the wrong side of the road to home.

2. Anchor your items at home so that in case of earthquake, they are more stable. It's a good practice where-ever you live.

3. Know how to turn off the power to the house, the water to the house, the gas to the house. Even children can learn these points.

4. Know how to access the water in your hot water heater in case it is needed. It is a simple thing, but not everyone thinks of it.

5. Purchase a generator or go in with a neighbor(s) and purchase one together. Keeps that freezer going and affords you and your friends a bit of comfort. Remember to store proper fuel for it.

6. Keep an emergency pack for every one of your vehicles. Store an extra blanket and an emergency candle as well within each one. (don't forget matches)

7. Keep as physically fit as possible. (says she who isn't!) The healthier and more fit you are, the less your body will weaken in emergency. This goes for Spiritual fitness as well. FELLOWSHIP is good for you.

8. Purchase USGS maps for the area you will live and travel in, and a good quality Magnifying Glass. It can used for starting fires as well as map reading, looking for slivers or other like objects that can pierce the skin.

9. PRACTICE YOUR FIRE DRILLS AND, WALK AND DRIVE YOUR ESCAPE ROUTES as often as possible until you can do so in your sleep.

COMMON SENSE. God gave us this gift as a reasoning tool. USE IT.

If you feel that you should move elsewhere - do so. But don't move just because someone tells you to. If your thinking about it - make your decision and then plan from there. Don't go round and round.

If you plan to stay where you are, you believe you are in a stable area safe from most natural disasters (earthquake, hurricane, flood etc.) and you are outside of a major city - you can plan to 'dig in' and prepare your home and family how to care for themselves during an emergency. DON'T feel pressured to go elsewhere - but be prepared in case you have to.

If you plan to move to somewhere else - do so. Make your plans so the move can be as soon as possible, and that you have plans for where you are and where you are going and all the safe-places in between. (My husband and I will be moving some time in 1998. But we are preparing in as many scenarios as we could think of.) We also are preparing to be able to 'just leave' if that becomes necessary, and go to our safe-places on the east side of the mountains. (We live on the west coast.) So while we know what we are going to do we aren't just dropping everything and going, but making as complete plans as possible and working in deliberation.

I personally believe that no one on the west coast side of the mountains (in the USA) can be safe from natural disasters and such. The west and east coasts are highly populated and cannot naturally feed all those people. They are prone to earthquake, hurricane, tidal wave and other such disasters. But I also know that not all people who live there are doomed. There are safe places in almost every state so don't make a panic move.

If you can - be at least 200 miles inland from the ocean. Do not be near major rivers or lakes. If you live in an earthquake area, make your home as earthquake prepared as possible. Anchor things, strengthen your structure if possible. Have several alternative safe-places in case your home is unlivable.

Once you have made your plans and prepared as much as possible, relax and enjoy your life and loved ones. Don't become someone who fears the future, but one who is prepared and ready.

All of this may never be needed. You may never have to use your supplies - so keep recycling them into your daily foods and medical needs and just make restocking it a part of your regular living.

And last of all but maybe most important of all, whatever your personal spiritual route, be in touch with your God. Pray/meditate daily and keep your Bible or other such book with you and your family/group where ever you go.

The most prepared person is the one who can balance their spiritual, physical and emotional lives.

I hope this little handbook is helpful. Please, do not consider it the last word as you can go from here and get even more detailed information from more informed and knowledgeable sources than I. Feel free to share this booklet with anyone but do so in its entirety. If you have suggestions, comments, ideas to add or stuff you think should be thrown out - by all means - snail mail or e-mail me at: Any and all comments are welcome. I will keep this as a working document and change it as suggestions come along.

God bless and take care.

Lisa R. Thiesse <>
P.O. Box 19
Yelm, WA 98597-0019

To assist in your storage requirements, you might consider Millennium Foods. I have tried Millennium Foods and find them a terrific value. If you'd like a catalog and samples free of charge, contact them and say 'Lisa from Quickening News' sent you. You won't believe how inexpensive, good tasting, long lasting they are and how quickly you can receive your orders. I DO NOT GET PAID for advertisement (instead you get free samples and free catalogues).

Millennium Foods
P.O. Box 50597
Provo, Utah 84605-0597