Western Rifle Shooters Association

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Very Useful Preparation List

From Alpha Rubicon:

NOTE: The following is copyrighted by Rob Hanus and is used here with permission. You can find the original document here: http://www.thepreparednessblog.com/capability-checklist - which is also where it is kept updated.

The Capability Checklist Project

"To be prepared as best as possible, allowing for individual solutions while accomplishing common goals"

Goal of this project: To develop a Capability Checklist - a tool that we can use and fallback on to measure our preparedness. A quantitative method to ensure that we are making forward progress in our preparations, and a tool to make sure that our existing preps stay up to date.

This checklist will be kept updated in this location. Each capability normally applies to each person you are preparing for, though some consideration should be given to those capabilities that would apply to a whole group (user discretion).


  • Alternate energy
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Ability to recharge NiMH or NiCd batteries from an indefinite power source , in the sizes you use (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V)
      • Generator, with enough capacity to power critical needs for 14+ days (like freezer, refrigerator, needed electronics, etc.) (short term solution)
      • Store of fuel to power generator for 14+ days
      • Put Uninterruptible Power Supplies on all computers and other sensitive critical electronic equipment
      • Spare extension cords
      • battery maintenance items

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Solar-power, or other renewable/long-term power, setup capable of running all mission critical devices for indefinite period, working eventually to powering entire household
      • Make ice on indefinite basis
      • Spare parts for Alternate Energy generations, (fuses, wire, connectors, inverter parts, etc.)

    • Notes:

  • Clothing
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Three complete changes of rugged clothes for all members
      • Three complete changes of sleep clothes for all members
      • Seven changes of underclothes for each member
      • One pair of rugged, waterproof boots for each member
      • One pair of comfortable shoes (sneakers, sandals, etc.) for each member
      • Outer gear (boots, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats, etc) for all climates (cold weather, rain, etc.)
      • Spare shoe & boot laces

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Seven sets of rugged clothes for each member
      • Fourteen changes of underclothes for each member
      • Spare boots (rugged and waterproof)
      • Spare comfort shoes
      • Ability to make/repair clothes
      • Ability to make/repair boots and shoes
      • Quantity of various materials for repairs and creation of clothing
      • Second (spare) set of outer gear for all climates

    • Notes:

  • Communications and Computing
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Tactical Communications (0 - 5 miles), generally a handi-talkie (FRS, GMRS, Ham, CB, etc.), transmit and receive, with extra batteries (see also alternate energy)
      • Shortwave radio with SSB capability, for general listening of world events
      • Receive capability of the Rubicon Wilderness Network (uses short-wave radio above)
      • Basic computer to access the Internet and review files (.doc. .pdf. .html. etc.) and receive RWN {it should be obvious that an Internet connection goes along with this}
      • AM/FM radio, battery operated (TV sound optional, but might be worthwhile if you are close to a TV broadcast tower that can run on emergency power)
      • Plans and equipment for making expedient antennas (see Information and Plans)
      • Radio and computer manuals and backup discs (see Information and Plans)
      • If you have a cell phone, have a 12VDC charging cord for it, and a spare battery for it
      • Pocket list of contact numbers for family, friends, team members (see also Information and Plans)
      • Long distance phone calling card that doesn't expire
      • Pocket list of frequencies and Calling Clock (see also Information and Plans)
      • USB drive containing pocket computer system (OS, files, programs, PGP, etc.)
      • Door Intercom for communicating with people outside your door, while staying safe inside

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Short-distance Communications (up to 50 miles) (generally, a mobile ham VHF/UHF radio and a vehicle or yagi antenna), transmit and receive
      • Packet radio for short-distance digital communications (can be particularly useful for local MAGs/Teams)
      • Long-distance communications (greater than 50 miles), generally ham HF, transmit and receive
      • Ham Radio Email, like Wavemail or Winlink/Netlink over HF and possibly VHF (Packet)
      • Transmit and receive capability of the Rubicon Wilderness Network (long-distance digital communication)
      • Satellite phone

    • Notes:
      • The plans for expedient antennas is for reference. You should practice building these antennas.

  • Defense (Safety and Security)
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Security system that monitors home inside perimeter
      • Monitoring system so that you know when someone has breeched key areas of your property
      • Outside floodlights on motion sensors covering the outside perimeter of home and any other key areas on property
      • Put out small fires (a fire extinguisher for kitchen, garage and every level of the home)
      • Basic defensive firearms so that every able person can defend the home, with adequate ammunition supply
      • Every handgun has a holster, every rifle and shotgun has a sling; cases for all firearms
      • 500 rounds for every firearm that is in working condition (defensive ammunition)
      • 500 rounds of training ammo for each firearm
      • Three magazines or 30 clips for every firearm that uses one
      • Cleaning gear for all firearms
      • Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors on all floors

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Camera surveillance around home, complete 360 degrees
      • Motion and seismic sensors monitoring perimeter and other key areas of property
      • External fire suppression system
      • Spare parts for every firearm, along with the knowledge to repair it
      • Spare magazines and clips for every firearm that uses them (10 magazines and 300 clips, at your discretion)
      • Spare cleaning gear for all firearms
      • 1000 rounds for every firearm (defensive ammunition)
      • 1000 training rounds for each firearm
      • Reloading equipment and supplies for each of your main calibers
      • 5000 rounds for your main battle rifle
      • .22 LR training rifle and 10,000 rounds of good quality .22 LR ammuniton
      • Add laminate to exterior windows (resists break-ins, etc.)
      • Hardened Saferoom, from physical assaults (weather, crime, etc.)

    • Notes:
      • You can't have too many fire extinguishers. You need to be able to put out a fire quickly, especially if there is no fire department available

  • Economic
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Pay one month of bills with cash on hand
      • Supply of hard currency (silver, gold, etc.)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Pay three months or more of bills from cash on hand
      • Supply of barter goods
      • Ability to capitalize on opportunities (like, group buys or cheap land after a pandemic)
      • Know the silver content of junk silver and the gold content of various coins and how to convert that into current market value
      • Know how to calculate and determine specific gravity for various metals (how to spot fake silver and gold)

    • Notes:
      • Hard currency amounts at your discretion.

  • First-Aid, Medical and Fitness
    • Minimum Capabilities: Need to perform the following for a 30-day period
      • Preventative
        • Block Sun UV rays
        • Repel (keep away) insects
        • Blister pre-treatment
        • Protect care-giver from infection while treating others
        • Take CPR and other First-Aid courses
        • Maintain good dental hygiene practices

      • Immediate Response
        • CPR
        • Clear the airway / Start the breathing
        • Stop bleeding
        • Soothe burns
        • Treat bite and stings
        • Remove splinters, stingers, etc.
        • Remove venom

      • Diagnose
        • Patient assessment:
          • Primary (ABC - Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
          • Secondary, Head-to-Toe survey
        • Determine body temperature
        • Determine blood pressure
        • Determine heart rate
        • Recognize signs and symptoms

      • Treat and Protect Wounds
        • Disinfect minor wounds
        • Wound irrigation and/or cleansing
        • Splinting and limb immobilization
        • Dress and bandage wounds
        • Debride wounds
        • Close lacerations
        • Temporary dental fillings

      • Ongoing Care
        • Relieve pain
        • Reduce swelling
        • Reduce fever
        • Relieve allergy symptoms
        • Stave off infection (antibiotics)
        • Blister treatment
        • Shock prevention
        • Dehydration prevention
        • Muscle relaxer

      • Miscellaneous
        • Ice & heat packs
        • 90 days of life saving prescription medications
        • 90 days of OTC and "maintenance" medications
        • List of patient info for each person on their person & in BOB
        • Rubicon Medical Card

    • Extended Capabilities: Need to perform the above for at least 90 days, plus the following additional capabilities:
      • IV supplies to start one IV per person covered (including extras for missed sticks). 3 liters of solution per person
      • Knowledge of blood types of all persons covered. Transfusion* compatibility planned. Transfusion capability for one transfusion for each three people covered
      • Dental care
      • Additional 90 days of life-saving prescription medications
      • Additional 90 days of non-critical and "maintenance" medications
      • Take Advanced First Aid Courses, and yearly re-qualifiers

    • Notes:
      • Warning on transfusions: you can kill people easily if you do this wrong

  • Food and Cooking
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Stored food for 30 days (minimum, work up to 90+ days) of food you eat everyday (store what you eat, eat what you store)
      • Portable capability for minimum-prepared foods for 14 days (for traveling, short-term missions, etc.)
      • Gather more food: hunt, fish, trap/snare, gather wild plants
      • Dress and prepare gathered food
      • Keep perishable food cold using alternative energy methods for 30 days (see Alternative Energy)
      • Disposable flatware for 30 days
      • Cook food 3 times a day with alternate methods for 30 days (minimum, work up to 90 days)
      • Have cookware that can be used over an open fire (pots, pans, kettles, etc.)
      • Durable cooking utensils (including pots, pans, etc.)
      • Equipment to cook over fire pit (grates, tripods, hooks, etc.)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • One year's worth of food, in any combination of everyday, minimum-prepared, and long-term storage foods, with the experience and equipment to prepare it
      • Portable capability for minimum-prepared foods for 30 days or more (for traveling)
      • Grow food and harvest the seeds for the next planting
      • Grow and tend livestock
      • Preserve food on indefinite basis (canning, smoking, jerking, etc)
      • Keep perishable food cold using alternative energy methods for indefinite basis
      • Cook food 3 times a day with alternate methods for 1 year or more
      • Disposable flatware for 90 days (if continuous supply of water not obtained)
      • Compost pile (see Sanitation)

    • Notes:
      • Minimum-prepared foods are those that require little or no cooking before eating.
      • Flatware means plates, bowls, cups, spoons, forks, knives, napkins, etc. The idea of disposable flatware is to reduce consumption of water and is typically for shorter-term events. Those with extended capabilities for alternate energy and water will have less use for disposable flatware.
      • Oils: make sure you have enough oil, lard, etc. on hand to cover the increase in pan-cooking.

  • Information, Entertainment and Plans
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Acquire the proper insurance (home, renter, auto, health, etc.) and safeguard the insurance plan and contact information
      • Document with pictures and/or video all possessions for insurance purposes, including writing down the serial numbers for guns and electronics.
      • Post in a quick-access location the numbers for all emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, poison control, utility services), and include non-emergency numbers for the same services as well as family, friends, neighbors, etc.
      • Copies of personal information like birth certificates, SS cards, driver licenses, with current pictures
      • Have a written plan for what your actions will be for all conceivable events
      • Create a "Trigger Point" list that determines what plans need to be activated by event criteria
      • Write down your plan for increasing your preparedness level and then use the plan to improve your state of preparedness
      • A list of "last-minute purchase items"
      • Current inventory
      • Resource materials (books, CDs, etc.) covering a wide range of topics
      • Instruction and repair manuals for everything
      • Backups of all important computer files
      • Hard copies (printouts) of all critical information contained in computer files
      • Rubicon CDs
      • An evacuation plan and grab list
      • Plans and equipment for making expedient antennas (see Communications and Computing)
      • Pocket list of contact numbers for family, friends, team members (see Communications and Computing)
      • Pocket list of frequencies and Calling Clock (see Communications and Computing)
      • Forms of entertainment (games, books, music, DVDs, CDs, drawing, coloring, cards, etc.)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Maps of surrounding area with extensive notes on routes and areas, including conditions at different times of the year (see Navigation and Signaling)
      • "Range cards" for your entire property
      • Defense plan for entire property (who goes where, with what, does what, etc.)
      • Triple backups of everything that's important

    • Notes:
      • A "last-minute checklist" is generally a bad thing to implement. It's better to have all the equipment and supplies on hand before an event occurs.
      • A Grab List is a list of items that you want to take with you in case you need to evacuate your home. The grab list should include everything that you would want to take, in priority order, so that you don't have to try and remember while you're scrambling to evacuate.
      • Additional Entertainment considerations include games for kids, books (or reading material) for both education and learning resources, and books that show how to play more games (adult and children) using cards and other materials.
      • It's a good idea to keep important documents in a fire-resistant safe
      • Entertainment items such as DVDs and CDs require the use of additional electronics and power, see appropriate categories.
      • A "Trigger Point" is an event that you have pre-determined that will cause you to enact certain parts of your plan. For example, When virulent H5N1 reaches Canada or Mexico, your plan calls for you to do XXXX (whatever that might be).

  • Light
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Instant-on light for each member (a decently bright flashlight that doesn't burn through batteries, like an LED light)
      • Area light (prefer safe LED or fluorescent instead of flame-based light)
      • Spotlight, handheld, battery powered (see Alternate Energy)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Provide power to all normal light for home with Alternative Energy.
      • Spare parts for all lights (bulbs, etc.)

    • Notes:

  • Navigation and Signaling
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Maps of surrounding area, including topo, road atlas, etc. (see also Information and Plans)
      • Compass, several quality instruments
      • Protractor, rulers, markers, pencils, etc. for map use
      • Waterproof map cases, or waterproofed maps

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • GPS with built-in mapping software and direct-entry of information (coordinates, descriptions, etc)
      • Power support for GPS (see Alternative Energy)

    • Notes:

  • NBCP (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Particulate) Defense
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • N100 or P100 masks/filters
      • Tyvek suits, including hood and over-boots
      • Nitrile gloves
      • Air filtration system capable of providing positive pressure in a saferoom area (FIAC), with spare filters
      • EMP surge protectors on all sensitive equipment
      • Decontamination gear and supplies
      • 6 mil plastic in rolls and metal tape for safe rooms plus back up materials
      • Potassium Iodine/Iodate (KI) tablets, enough for a minimum of 14 days for each person

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Air filtration system capable of providing positive pressure to whole house (FIAC), with spare filters
      • EMP surge protectors on all house outlets
      • Radiation meters (survey and dosimeters)
      • Fallout shelter

    • Notes:
      • Air filtration system filters needs to be at least HEPA and possibly ULPA.
      • Quantities for the above are at your discretion

  • Personal Care and Sanitation
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Ability to handle human waste (ask yourself, "how and where am I going to go to the bathroom, and what am I going to do with it once I've finished?" and "Do I have enough toilet paper?")
      • Two pairs of eyeglasses, both with current prescription
      • Toiletries: Make sure you can do everything in the bathroom that you do on a daily basis, including:
        • bath / wash (soap)
        • brush teeth
        • take care of dentures
        • wash hands
        • floss
        • clean contacts
        • trim nails
        • comb/brush hair
        • makeup
        • shave
        • deodorant/antiperspirant
        • Keep skin from drying (lotion)
        • Tweeze hair
        • Clean ears
        • Blow nose
        • Dry self (towels)
      • Feminine hygiene items
      • Garbage disposal and recycle/reuse
      • Buckets
      • Plastic trash bags for waste both human and other to keep buckets clean
      • Deodorizers (Lysol, baking soda and vinegar, liquid porta-potty enzymes, etc.)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • More of everything above
      • Running hot water (see Alternate Energy and Water)
      • Running showers
      • Compost garbage and waste
      • Spare buckets
      • More plastic trash bags

    • Notes:

  • Pets
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • 30 days of stored food and water for each pet
      • Ability to handle pet waste if pet cannot go outside for 30 days
      • Pet care needs, special medications, toys, etc for 30 days
      • Leashes and kennels for each animal
      • Tie-down stake
      • Pest control for pets
      • Shot / Vet record
      • Up-to-date shots

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • 90 or more days of stored food and water for each pet, eventually working towards an indefinite supply for all pets
      • Ability to handle pet waste if pet cannot go outside for 90+ days
      • Pet care needs, special medications, toys, etc for 90+ days
      • Pet first-Aid kit
      • Tested recipes for pet food from stored and/or gathered food sources, food scraps, etc.

    • Notes:

  • Shelter, Fire and Warmth
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Tent(s), enough tent space to contain all members and gear
      • Tarps, decent selection for general and miscellaneous use
      • Sleeping bag or other bedding of choice for each member, capable of keeping person warm in sub-freezing temperatures
      • Ability to make fire in, at least, 3 different ways
      • Spare sheets and blankets
      • Pillows (as needed)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Alternate heating source for home
      • Land Mobile - more durable and mobile sheltering system (e.g., camping trailer)
      • Shelter building tools (see Tools, Repair and Utility)
      • Shelter repair supplies: plywood, wood strips, plastic sheeting, screws, nails, etc. (see also Tools, Repair and Utility below)
      • Pre-cut plywood for covering windows if you are in a Hurricane area
      • Ability to repair and maintain your home: Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry, Roofing, Fencing, Concrete, Welding, etc.

    • Notes:

  • Tools, Repair and Utility
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Buckets, with and without lids
      • Basic socket set
      • Basic screwdriver set
      • Basic wrench set
      • Basic set of saws (wood, metal, etc.)
      • Basic set of files
      • Basic wrench set
      • Multi-meter
      • Tarp and plastic sheeting for temporary repair of roof, windows, and siding from storm damage. Large-head nails and wood strips to attach them
      • Multi-tool, quality construction
      • Hammers
      • Shovels
      • Pickaxe
      • Axe
      • Hatchet
      • Rope
      • Wire (bailing and electrical)
      • Twine
      • Fuses
      • Crimp connectors
      • Soldering iron
      • Solder
      • Drill and drill bits
      • Measuring tool (tape measure, carpenter's rule, etc.)

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Gather & prepare fuel (axes, saws, splitter, etc.)
      • Supply of nails, screws, and some lumber for structural repair of house
      • Parts & tools to repair critical plumbing items
      • Spare buckets, with and without lids
      • Welding setup

    • Notes:
      • Some of the items above may require the use of electrical power (see Alternate Energy)

  • Transportation
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Keep all vehicles in good repair
      • Four wheel drive on "main" vehicle
      • Stored fuel for one full tank (e.g., if your vehicle's tank holds 20 gallons, store 20 gallons) in man-portable containers
      • 'Fix a flat' or Slime
      • Air compressor (12 VDC)
      • Hose clamps
      • Water hose
      • Syphen hose
      • Funnel

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Extended fuel storage
      • Spare parts for vehicle

    • Notes:

  • Untactics and Camouflage
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Keep quiet - do not tell anyone about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies
      • Teach your children not to talk about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies

    • Extended Capabilities:

    • Notes:

  • Water
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • Stored water for 30 days
      • Ability to (conveniently) transfer water out of bulk containers
      • Purify / disinfect water from the 30-day storage
      • Pre-filter / purify / disinfect water for an additional 30 days from gathered water
      • Gather small quantities of water (less than 30 gallons at a time)
      • Dedicated "dirty water " containers* equal to about 30 gallons, plus additional containers to catch rain water
      • Spigot-controlled water (on / off valve)
      • Catch waste water for reuse as grey-water or black-water, small scale (buckets, etc)
      • Have 5-day supply stored in containers that are easy to move when full
      • Portable capability to pre-filter / purify / disinfect water for additional 30 days or more

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Stored water for 90 days or more
      • Backup ability to (conveniently) transfer water out of bulk containers
      • Pre-filter / purify / disinfect large quantities of water (bulk chlorine, gravity/drip filter, etc.)
      • Gather large quantities of water, in excess of 100 gallons at a time
      • Dedicated "dirty water" containers* 100 gallons or more
      • Pressurize lines to feed water to one or more locations
      • Catch waste water for reuse as grey-water or black-water, large-scale
      • Well water system with alternative energy to keep it running (see Alternate Energy)

    • NOTES:
      • Quantities listed are per person
      • Know how much water each person consumes per day while performing strenuous activity; use this to calculate how much water you need.
      • *A dedicated "dirty water" container is what you use to collect and store raw water before you purify and/or disinfect it. They should always be kept separate from "clean water" containers.
      • A spigot-controlled water supply can be as simple as an Aquatainer.
      • "Gray Water" is water from sinks and showers that can be used for gardening, flushing toilets, etc.
      • "Black Water" is water that contains animal, human, or food waste

  • Weather Information
    • Minimum Capabilities:
      • NOAA weather radio
      • Basic understanding of clouds, weather systems and storms typical in your area
      • Weather reference book or poster
      • Thorough understanding of weather related alerts, watches and warnings

    • Extended Capabilities:
      • Handheld weather measurement instruments
      • Powered Weather monitoring station
      • Attend Weather Spotter class/participate in area SKYWARN activities/training

    • Notes:

"Minimum Capabilities" - the basic set of capabilities that a person starting out should strive to achieve as soon as possible.
"Extended Capabilities" - what we need to works towards and, once there, maintain; though every bullet point in the Extended Capabilities list may not apply to everyone.

I'm looking for suggestions and feedback, so don't be shy; please jump right in and let me know what you think.

Also very much worth your time is this article, which contains, among other important information, an extended discussion of the "rule of threes".

Tempus fugit.


Blogger jon said...

fantastic, but the links from the document source are relative, so they're broken from here.

February 25, 2009 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Concerned American said...

sorta fixed with a machete; they were internal links so I deleted them.


der kluge

February 25, 2009 at 1:30 AM  
Blogger Respectabiggle said...

An excellent way to approach preparedness - first determine the desired capability, then figure out what you need to achieve it. This is much better than the typical method -sitting down and writing a shopping list.

February 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yer killin' me here!
Good exhaustive list.

Did anyone see that Robert Byrd sent a letter to Obama warning him against further inroads against the balance of power?



February 25, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger FenceBurner said...

Further discussion on the Capabilites Checklist can be found here:

February 25, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Rob Hanus said...

I own the copyright on this material. If you want to keep it on the site, please add the following to the top of the article:

"The following is copyrighted by Rob Hanus and is used here with permission. You can find the original document here: http://www.thepreparednessblog.com/capability-checklist - which is also where it is kept updated."

If you have any questions, please let me know at the above email address.


February 25, 2009 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link on *Rob Hanus* needs to be corrected.

February 27, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

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