Family Survival Plan: Save Your Family and Pets Too!

“Wars are fought with weapons but are won by men (and women)”
                                             – George S. Patton Jr., General, US Army

Almost all “problems” regarding emergency preparedness stems from one thing – Not Having a Simple but Effective Family Survival Program that Works. Sadly, many of the guides you find online, at your local bookstore or library, lack the most essential and critical tips, strategies, and tactics you will need to use in the event of a disaster.

Most individuals like to believe that the probability for the occurrence of disasters, whether natural or man-made, are extremely remote. However, you, like many preppers or survivalists who don’t have their head buried in the sand, understand that the threat of a major crisis happening is real and ever-present.

According to Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, in a speech before the National League of Cities stated, “Never before has humanity faced such a threat as it does today. The sheer number of people at risk at any one time is unprecedented.”

Developing the Prepper Mindset

Preparing for any crisis should be one of your top priorities. The question is where do you begin?  First, you need to develop a prepper mindset that you must successfully and consistently incorporate into your life now and every single day onwards. There are 5 aspects to internalize:

1.Develop a Thrifty and Frugal Mentality

+ Try to not be wasteful of time or money (waste not, want not).

+ Practice the motto “use it up, wear it out.”

+ Choose what you need and carefully try to get three estimates to get the best price before you make your purchase.

+ Fix and reuse items that you find useful.

+ Save for the future.

+ Try to live a minimalist lifestyle (fewer material possessions). 

2. Attempt to Be Independent and Free of Harmful Addictions

+ Manage your money well and become the master of your finances.

+ Create a realistic household budget and make sure you stick to it.

+ Learn to save by paying yourself first before spending money on frivolous stuff.

+ Become drug, smoke, and alcohol-free.

+ Fight against the obsessive use of electronic and computer devices.

+ Do what works for you and not because it pleases others.

3. Seek Opportunities and Be Enterprising

+ Always be learning and expanding your knowledge base.

+ Continue to learn new skills.

+ Constantly improve yourself.

+ Attempt to do something and keep trying even if it fails (motion creates emotion).

+ Look for new ways to create what you need in order to succeed.

4. Be Self-reliant

+ Try to become less dependent on “the system” and on others for your needs.

+ Attempt to get “off the grid” wherever possible.

+ Make, grow and create what you need whenever possible.

5. Strive to Have a Year’s Supply of Every Essential Survival Item for You and Your Family

+Identify those items that would cause you difficulty if you do not have it.

+Purchase supplies in manageable increments of time until you accumulate a year’s supply of these items (i.e., work towards a 3-month supply than 6 months, and so on).

+Make sure to have the machinery, equipment and replacement parts for systems that will provide you with essential sustenance needs (ex. water gravity filtration system and its replacement parts ).

What I presented here I believe, provides you with a good start to develop not just a new and different perspective but most importantly, a way of life. I know it seems easier said than done but as a very well known quote by Robert Kiyosaki goes, “every journey of a thousand miles begins not with the first step but thought.”

By following the ideas highlighted above, you will be taking the initial effective steps towards implementing a survival plan that is both real and doable for the whole family. For those wanting a quick and simple survival prepper plan that works click here.

Survival Prepping

I will share some thoughts on how to begin survival prepping with emphasis on disaster planning. Disasters can occur at any time without warning.  The thought of such a possibility occurring oftentimes never enters the mind of a typical person. You, however, as a responsible person family member and citizen, should take the threat of disaster head-on with complete commitment and resolve.  

Your mission is not to become a tragic statistic in the aftermath of such an event. Most importantly, include all your family members and/or friends in preparedness discussions and planning to make your planning efforts more thorough and effective.


Because we live in different climates and geographical regions, identifying potential threats found in your specific area is key to effectively respond and counter these dangers.  Thus, it is important to discuss and identify with your family and or friends all possible dangers of man-made, natural disasters and/or “X” factors most likely to occur in and around your locale.

List of Potentially Life-Threatening Phenomena1.
1. Natural
A. Tornadoes, Blizzards, Flooding, Firestorms, Sandstorms, Drought, etc.
B. Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Volcanic Eruptions, etc.

AInner-City Chaos, Terrorism, Power Outage, etc.
B. Nuclear Plant, Chemical/Petroleum Facility, Prisons, Military Posts, etc.

3. “X” Factors
A.Civil War, Economic Collapse, etc.
B. Electro magnetic pulse (EMP), coronal mass ejection (CME)
C. Martial Law, Pandemics, Job Loss, etc.

Once you identify possible crisis events, begin to brainstorm with your group for answers to questions like:

1. What natural or man-made disaster(s) am I (we) likely to face in the next 5 years?
2. How should we effectively respond to each threat?
3. Does our community have an early alarm system?
4. Will the places where we work, play or learn to have the appropriate infrastructure to help me and my family during an emergency?
5. Where is the emergency shut off valves for the various appliances in or around our home?
6. What important resources (first-aid, emergency supplies, safety equipment, etc.) do we presently have?
How will we respond to an evacuation order?
Where will we relocate in an evacuation order?
How will we care for our elderly and or disabled members?
How will we care for our pets during a crisis?
Can we identify others in our community that are willing to cooperate during emergencies?

Probably the most important question to consider and decide is whether to stay or leave home during any one of the possible disasters you might face. Therefore, planning becomes an essential part of any emergency preparation plan.

Family Disaster Planning

Planning is the next phase in emergency preparedness. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” There are specific planning components one should consider in developing an overall comprehensive strategy that will be a thorough and well-executed response against any potential Threat.

The areas for planning are emergency communication, home fortification, evacuation, and pet care.

Emergency Communication Plan

1. If you are separated during a crisis, how and where will you and your family meet?

2. Which routes are available to get home or to a planned safe location?

3. Who will be responsible to gather the children, disabled or elderly members?

4.  Besides home, where is an alternate location to meet?

5. How long will the group wait before sending out a search party for a missing member?

6.  If a phone or email service is available, who will be selected to be the immediate receiver of messages and who will be the alternate designated receiver of messages located at a long distance location?

7.  Does everyone have an important phone number(s), routes and addresses memorized?

Home Fortification/Bugging In Plan

  1. Do my windows and doors need modifications to be strong and secure?
  2. Which defense equipment, weapons, and gear do I currently own? Where will they be secured?
  3. Is it possible to secure surveillance equipment for my home?
  4. What food/water resources do I currently have and for how long?
  5. Is there accessible sources of water and food around my location I can use as a backup?
  6. What off the grid energy sources do I have/need?
  7. Do I have goods/cash/coins for emergency purchases or barter?
  8. Are there places around my home to conceal valuable and vital items?
  9. Which prescription medications do I need to order and for how long?
  10. Do I have a 72-hour bag ready for each member of my family and pets in case of evacuation?
  11. Is it possible to build or buy a “safe” room?
  12. What emergency tools do I have/need?
  13. How will I dispose of waste products and where?
  14. Do I have first aid training available in my community?
  15. Are there training facilities to develop survival/prepping skills?
  16. How will I adequately support/care for my children, elderly, disabled, and pets if I am unable to get home?
  17. Do I have alternate means of making income independently from a job?
  18. Am I currently physically fit and mentally healthy? If not, what exercise options are available?
  19. Do I have up-to-date photos of all important documents, family members and valuables?
  20. Have I decided which documents are important to copy or save on a thumb drive?
  21.   Do I have all the expiration dates for all perishable food, drink, and medicinal supplies?

Evacuation/Bugging Out Plan

  1. Do I have the three different types of Bug Out Bags for each person in my group and pet? (everyday carry gear [EDC], get home bag [GHB] and 72-hour bag [72 Hr. BOB])
  1. Do I have the right equipment and sufficient supplies for each bag type above?
  1. Are these bags secure but easily accessible?
  2. Do I have a planned alternative location if we are forced to leave our home?
  1. Have I mapped out all of the possible escape routes and plotted areas to avoid?
  1. What form of vehicles can I use in an evacuation?
  2. Do I have the tools and extra replaceable parts for these modes of transportation?
  1. Is my current state of physical and mental fitness adequate to carry equipment and travel by foot?
  1. Are there areas along these routes that I can stash supplies?
  1. What will be the “red flags” that will signal me it is time to evacuate to a safer location?
  1. Have I found a bug out location?12. What supplies do I need to supply this bug out location?
  1. Did I make copies of all my necessary important documents?
  1. Who needs to be notified of our departure and did I provide extra keys to trusted neighbors?
  1. What parts of my home do I need to secure or turn off equipment before I evacuate?
  1. Do I have signs to stick on doors and windows notifying of our evacuation (if appropriate)?
  1. Have I taken photos of all gear contained in each type of bug out bag before I pack it in the bag/kit?
  1. Did I record the expiration dates of all perishable items in these bags?
  1. If I have a medical condition, do I have a medical id tag listing my illnesses and needed medications?

    Pet Care Plan
  1. Do I have a bug out bag exclusively for my pet?
  2. Do I have a list of pet-friendly dwellings to keep my dog?
  3. Do I have copies of all pertinent ownership and medical documents for each pet?
  1. If I cannot arrive home, is there a neighbor I can provide a house key and pet instructions to care for my pet?
  1. Have I written a letter to my pet caretaker that limits any liability from my pet causing injuries to others?
  1. Are the pets up-to-date with immunizations?
  2. Have I got extra supplies of pet food and medications?
  3. Do I have hard copies of up-to-date photos of my pets?
  4. Do I have a carrier to transport each pet?

    Preparedness/Survival Skill Development Plan
  1. Which skills do I and my family need to master?
  2. What equipment do I need to practice and master these skills?
  3. Did I organize which skills to master first in order of priority or importance?
  4. Have I assigned or shared the mastering of these skills with others?
  5. Does everyone in the group know safety precautions to take for each skill mastered?
  6. Is there a schedule to practice each skill to master?
  7. How many times do I need to practice each skill to be adequately trained in it?
  8. Which skills require assistance from a professional trainee and which ones can I learn through reading, audio or video presentations?
  9. Can I find the resources to learn these skills in my community or do I need to get them online?

Each one of the plans above should be recorded or documented. Copies should be distributed among members of your party. Revise and update your plans as improved tactics and methods become available to you. Review these plans at least twice a year with your whole team. Most importantly, involve everyone that is a part of your group. They should directly participate in the development, implementation, review, and revision of the overall Family Disaster Plan.

Realize that the family plan you create is a fluid living document. As the circumstances change, quite possibly will your plan.  Review your Family Disaster Plan at least twice a year to make sure you are current and up-to-date. The overall goal of creating your Family Review Plan is to stimulate your thoughts, activate your survival-prepper mindset and to prepare you to begin thinking of the following: What and how much effort are you willing to do and spend to acquire the survival skills or tasks you will need to overcome the difficulties you will face during a crisis?

Setting Up Your Personal System

It was once asked of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, why his empire was so successful.  The obvious answer would have been because of the hamburgers, but this cannot be farther from the truth.  Anyone who knows anything about hamburgers, know that the burgers cooked and served at the thousands of McDonald restaurants are adequate at best. Yet, anyone who owns a McDonald’s franchise makes lots of money.  If the burgers are not all that great, why then is McDonald’s so successful?  The answer is “the system” that all McDonald franchises must follow to a “T!”

Setting Up Your Core Group

 Phase 1

Form a core group. It is essential to take an inventory of the physical and human resources that are currently available to you. The resources to consider are those that will provide you with a level of help, aid, and assistance that will form the foundation from which to rely on during a crisis.  You need to create a core group of members that will work cooperatively to discuss ideas and be charged with the learning and mastering of a key survival skill or task. 

Each member must be willing to participate as a team member and provide reliable help to the whole group while at the same time, become the lead person responsible for achieving a consistent level of mastery of a survival skill (to teach the basics to the other members) and keep account of the resources necessary for keeping that skill/task, adequately supplied and maintained. Whenever possible, choose your members well. For members of your family, choose appropriate skills each one can reasonably learn.

Phase 2

Focus on which action-skill to master. There exists a process you might consider to help you decide and prioritize important survival or prepper skills and the level of mastery you want to achieve for each one. This will lead you to determine the appropriate supplies and tools you will need to achieve these preparedness goals.  The next step is to create a list of action-skills or tasks to learn and master. Brainstorm with your team to develop a list related to survival/emergency preparedness concepts.

To make it simple, you want to make each concept using just a two-word phrase for simplification. For example, if you decide shelter is important, you would attach an action word that would begin your selected phrase.  So “Secure Shelter” would be an appropriate phrase to use.  I provided some examples below for which to begin your process:


– Secure Shelter(s)

– Choose Clothing/Shoes       


– Produce Fire

– Obtain Light Source

Important Documents

– Collect Documents

– Store Documents


– Learn Signaling

– Select Communication Equipment

– Keep Informed


– Plan Evacuation

– Find Location

– Find Water Supply


– Store Water

– Purify Water


– Find Food

– Prepare Food

– Store Food

First Aid/Personal Meds/Hygiene

– Assemble First Aid Kit

– Perform First Aid

– Stay Clean


– Select Protection Devices

– Protect Members

– Learn Self-Defense

Miscellaneous Survival Skills

– Assess Dangers/Disasters

– Maintain Fitness

– Prepare Emergency Bags  

Work with your group to brainstorm and find more action-skill phrases to master.  If you have trouble coming up with more phrases, use question words like why and how before each of the phrases you record (i.e., Why find food…to survive famine…how do I survive famine…obtain different food sources). The goal is to create a list of action-skill phrases that you will later prioritize from the most important to the least important among the skills your team has decided to attain.

You will need to consider and make two major lists of action-skill/task phrases: one for “Bugging In” and the other for “Bugging Out.”  Each one of these may have distinct approaches and specific supply needs. Please keep this in mind.  Now that you successfully developed a master list of action-skill phrases for both bugging in and bugging out situations, we now need to select the right instructional approach and necessary items to help you master the skill level appropriate to your abilities and economic circumstances.

Phase 3

Quantify Your Action-Skill Phrases for Your Acceptable Level of Preparedness.  After reviewing and placing your action-skill phrases in order of importance, you need to quantify each one.  Applying the following quantifiers/criteria to each of your phrases will help you determine the level of preparedness you are willing or capable of achieving.

You then need to discuss with your group to identify the necessary items and gear you will need to find or purchase to successfully reach that skill/task level you agreed upon.

Quantifier Table

  1. Cost
  2. Amount of work required to accomplish skill
  3. Time
  4. Multi-functional Uses

The mission is to determine the level of emergency preparedness you and your team are capable of and realistically able to achieve under your current circumstances and financial capabilities. Applying the method below will help you figure out which survival gear and items to select from any survival or prepper list that will help you reach the particular survival approach best suited for you.

Step 1

Select one action skill phrase above

Ex. Secure Shelter

Step 2

Using the Quantifier Table, place the table under one of the action-skill phrase you selected.

Ex. Secure Shelter

  1. Cost
  2. Amount of work required to accomplish skill  
  3. Time
  4. Multi-functional Uses (skill or task can be used to satisfy different emergency preparedness needs)

Step 3

As you think about the action-skill phrase, use the quantifier word/phrase table and apply a numerical value (1 to 4) for each of the quantifiers (e.g., 1 is least problematic, 4 is most problematic). Ask yourself which of the four quantifiers is least problematic and which is the most problematic. Number each one accordingly.

Ex. Secure Shelter

  1. Cost (4)
  2. Amount of work required to accomplish skill (1)
  3. Time (2)
  4. Multi-functional Uses (3)

Thus, spending on a ready-made state-of-the-art shelter may be out of your budget but spending the time learning about different ways to build or means to secure a fairly high-level shelter is possible. This prioritizing allows you to know the limits on your available but finite resources you and the team are willing to use towards obtaining that particular action-skill/task. This narrows your viable options when you do a search for information online or through printed materials. In our example, our group brainstormed to come up with the

following possibilities

  1. Secure Shelter (Options)

+ Tent purchase and construction

+ Tarps to use and form a shelter

+ Build shelter using debris

You and the team must decide to either master one or all of your selected options.  If no ideas come to mind, assign a member of your team to research options that you can find on the internet. If you still haven’t come up with a viable option, you might want to approach a librarian at your local library to help you find possible leads on finding resources for options on the specific action-skill, you want to master.

Step 4

Repeat all of the steps mentioned above and apply them to all of the action-skill phrases your team formulated.  Allow yourself and the group ample time to gather the instructions, survival/prepper lists and the necessary materials you will need.  Place deadlines on when your group needs to complete gathering all the important resources and when the skill or task is to be accomplished or mastered.

The Need for Survival or Emergency Preparedness Lists, Checklists, and Videos

Survival and Emergency Preparedness Lists provide some of the most important and crucial supplies and gear you would want to have in your preparation plans. But before we begin to think about which lists would be beneficial to you, realize that a survival list is as good as its ability to provide gear, tools, and products you can realistically use for your particular situation and circumstance.

Thus, before making any purchases on your list, you need to set-up a system or method that will help you determine the specific survival items that will not only be most useful but will also truly fit your specific needs. Using survival and emergency preparedness lists/checklists and videos may not only help you speed up the process of finding action-skill options and knowing which gear, tool, item or supplies you need and can afford, but most importantly, provide you with the training you need to know how and be prepared to use them in case of an emergency.

Many of the lists you will find are categorized, use pictures and provide explanations about the item, thus making a survival-prepper list easy to use and understand. Using your internet search engine, you might type in the search box the following sample queries;

  1. Prepper list(s)
  2. Survival list(s)
  3. Prepper checklist(s)
  4. Survival checklist(s)
  5. Bug out bag list(s)
  6. Pet bug out bag list(s)
  7. First Aid list(s)
  8. Car Emergency list

You can also check out my site at to find many of the lists, you may need.  What makes my lists uniquely valuable and authoritative is the fact that the list(s) collected from the countless hours of research from authoritative, educational and governmental sources. I then reviewed, tabulated and presented the data from these sources to come up with a survival/prepper “master” checklist.  Thus, you get the thoughts, experience and reliable information straight from “THE EXPERTS!”

Once you select the lists that fit your needs, you might consider doing video searches to help guide you to properly assemble and teach you the skills or and assist you in getting organized on the tasks you need to learn. These presentations may also give instructions on optimal maintenance, storage and additional “tricks” on successfully retaining your newly acquired skill by memory. Utilizing YouTube is a smart way to find a variety of techniques to choose from that may help you learn the skill you need to master.  

My suggestion is to find three top rated or viewed YouTube videos that most closely fits your action-skill criteria and select the best one that you are most likely to learn. There are others who find reading survival and prepper books to be the most effective way to find lists and learn a new skill.  For one of the best sites to find a wide selection of books on survival, emergency preparedness or on a particular skill and the gear you will need, check out Amazon as this is by far the number one online retail website. provides book reviews on top rated and highly authoritative survival and emergency preparedness books found on Amazon.  These articles also provide links for easy access to these resources.  Although you have completed most of the important steps in either starting or developing a more effective and efficient survival or prepper lifestyle, there is still work to be done. Now that you have begun the process of developing a prepper mindset formed a key group of reliable individuals, started planning and have successfully located key information to help you hone in on the emergency preparedness skills you and your group will need in the event of a catastrophe, what is next?

It is too easy to gather all of the necessary materials and then feel adequately prepared. This, however, cannot be farther from the truth. Action and follow through is often the key ingredient most lacking or missing. There is a need to know whether everything you and your group have done or complied will work or fail. It is therefore important to get this done before disaster strikes.

Learning and Practice

Learning is a process. Unfortunately, our school system has taught us that failure is not a virtue. In fact, their message is to avoid mistakes at all cost. Therefore, the fear and stress of the mere possibility of failure have led many to avoid taking a risk. It is our current educational system that has, for the most part, failed to nurture and develop us to become independent free-thinkers and entrepreneurs.

My motto is: embrace failure, it teaches one to know what does not work and redirects one to keep seeking a solution that best solves the problem.  Take risks as long as it seems reasonable to you and your group. It is important to always include the input of others in your group (of which you have selected wisely) to help you take the next step(s). Do not be afraid!

Do not be an armchair survivalist! Doing something once is not enough. You need to keep active and routinely drill your skill (at least four times a year). Practice, Practice, Practice! No matter which emergency and survival skills and materials are available to you, the need to keep up with their correct and safe use is paramount. As you master a skill or learn a new task, you need to:

+ Learn It

+ Practice It

+ Teach It

This will ensure that others are capable of performing the skill/task if you are unable to do it. If it is at all possible, teach more than one to perform the same skill or task. In some cases, redundancies may be the difference between life and death. If you are responsible for a particular skill-task, you need to be aware of expiration dates, inventory and take account of all necessary supplies or gear and maintenance of the important tools or products to assure the successful performance of your particular skill/task. Furthermore, you need to keep up with correct and safe use of the materials you use.

Remember as long as you are making your best effort to reach a basic to a higher level of preparedness than your current status and are utilizing all the possible resources available to you, you already deserve a “congratulations” on achieving your goals and developing and mastering your skills!

Lasting Thoughts

I think it will become apparent to consider these other opportunities as you take this path of self-reliance and preparedness:

+ Seek a minimalist lifestyle.

+ Strive to further your financial independence.

+ Think about embracing a location-independent lifestyle.

+ Get off the grid as much as possible.

With all this information, maybe it can be overwhelming for some of you. I know it was hard for me. However, for those looking for an effective survival plan that will guide you to preparing your family for any emergency. Click here for this fantastic plan. It is with this I leave you with spiritual peace, good fortune and Godspeed on all your endeavors.

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