PLANS: How to Build a Survival Plan from the Inside Out


  • By: Marjorie Haun
  • Posted on: 3/5/14

Think of the ability to survive a national economic or societal collapse in the context of a series of concentric rings of vulnerability. They might look like this:


  • The largest and most fragile outer ring would be the nation itself. Operations of federal government, supply chains, national banks, military chains of command, etc. are highly vulnerable to attack because they are exposed to dangers at every level and every type imaginable. You, as an individual citizen, have little or no control over what happens on the national level. Citizens are doubly imperiled when the government itself becomes a direct domestic threat, while also failing to defend against foreign enemies.
  • The next would be the ring of state powers and governance. A regional disruption or shakeup at a state level could occur in the case, for instance, of a financial collapse. The citizen wields slightly more influence on state dynamics, but depending on the state and its population, that influence may be limited to pressures applied to state legislators and activities that directly impact state agencies, such as the state board of education and department of transportation. The state of your state is much more important to your personal well-being than is the state of the union.
  • The next inner ring would be your community, city, or rural town. The potential for disruption to your locale is dependent upon how well its resources are managed and whether or not officials have drafted and implemented emergency plans. You have a great deal of control over where you choose to live and how you use your immediate resources. You have a lot of influence over the functions and composition of city government, if you so choose. But in the event of community failure or collapse-which would be much more dangerous and disruptive in urban areas than in rural areas-you have the advantages of familiarity with the geography and economic profile of your area. In an emergency it will be much easier for you to navigate and access the things you need to survive in your town. Your town can be resilient and prepared if you are involved in the processes which address planning for emergencies.
  • The innermost ring of vulnerability is the individual/family and home. This is the smallest ring, exposed to the least dangers, and it is under your direction. This is the strongest and most resilient unit of government. Individuals and families survive when governments fail because the individual directs the functions, for good or ill, of that family. This is where you have the most control, and therefore, the greatest safety, IF YOU SO CHOOSE.

Once you understand the power you have to withstand fiscal crisis and potential national implosion, you can begin to prepare in a reasoned and effective process that will ensure that you and your loved ones will have access to the essentials until the national calamities pass.

Hierarchy of necessities:

Water: Store at least 3 days worth of drinkable water in a cool dark location in your home. A minimum of 1 gallon per day per person. A family of 4 would need a minimum of 12 gallons of emergency water storage. But store an entire week’s worth if possible. Obtain water purification tablets, and water filtration devices as well.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to store water.

Food: Begin with a 3-month supply of food storage. Some rules of thumb are:

  • Store what you eat and eat what you store.
  • Rotate.
  • Store foods you know you and your family will like.
  • Store foods that are familiar.
  • Comfort foods are a must in times of psychological stress.
  • Remember to provide for your pets.

All of the following items have a shelf life of much longer than 90 days. Be sure to store them in a cool place with a stable temperature (garages are not good) away from light.

  • Canned meats; tuna, chicken, Spam, salmon, etc. (only what your family will eat)
  • Dried meats such as jerky, chipped beef, summer sausage, salami, pepperoni
  • Velveeta or a similar processed cheese product
  • Powdered cheese
  • Wet canned vegetables, tomatoes, beans, condiments, and fruit
  • Easy to prepare dry boxed meals and side dishes ( Macaroni and Cheese is great because it is comfort food.)
  • Canned soups and stews
  • Dried pasta and a variety of bottled or canned pasta sauces
  • Instant potatoes
  • Rice
  • Dried beans
  • Dried fruit, raisins
  • Boxed Jello and pudding desserts
  • Boxed cake, muffin, dessert, and cookie mixes (treats and comfort foods have a lot of psychological value during times of stress)
  • Boxed cereal, oatmeal, cream-of-wheat, cracked wheat, etc.
  • Complete pancake mix, biscuit mix
  • Flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, arrowroot
  • Sugars, honey, molasses, corn syrup
  • Powdered drinks, hot cocoa, fruit drinks, powdered milk, other preferences such as coffee or tea
  • Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk
  • Baby food and formula
  • Peanut butter, Nutella, salted nuts
  • Condiments, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, vegetable oil, olive oil, shortening, peanut butter, jams, jellies, syrups, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, pickles, olives, capers, picante sauce, hot sauces, and other condiments that you use on a regular basis
  • Packaged gravy mixes and bouillons

Click here for detailed information on food storage.

For your freezer: Properly wrapped meats and other foods will last in a freezer well over 90 days. If there is empty space in your freezer, fill the spaces with 3/4 full water bottles. Your freezer will be more efficient when it is filled with frozen items and, if your lose power for a time, the food will stay frozen longer, up to 72 hours if you leave the freezer door closed.

  • Cured meats such as ham, sausages, bacon, etc.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Prepared foods such as pizzas
  • Butter, margarine, cream cheese, block cheese, shredded cheese
  • Sealed packages of pork, beef or poultry
  • Nuts
  • Breads, bagels
  • Candy bars
  • Ice cream (don’t underestimate the value of comforting treats, especially if you have children)
  • Bags of flour, biscuit or pancake mix (placing these items in the freezer greatly extends their shelf life and will fill up the empty space that may make your freezer less efficient)

Click here for detailed information on long-term storage items.

Emergency supplies:

  • A basic first aid kit
  • Several flashlights with batteries, emergency candles or lamps, fuel, matches or lighter’
  • If you have an outdoor grill, keep it well maintained and the fuel tank full
  • Sternos, a hibachi or other simple cooking devices
  • A battery powered or crank up radio

Medicine and Personal Hygiene: Obtain a 90-day supply of the following and store it securely away from moisture and heat.

  • OTC Pain killers and anti-inflammatory meds (Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin)
  • 90 days worth of prescription medications (many pharmacies offer discounts on a 90-day supply)
  • Dietary supplements, especially essentials like calcium, vitamin C, etc.
  • Feminine supplies, diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, tissues
  • OTC Allergy medications, topical anti-allergy cremes, Epi-pen (with a prescription) if needed
  • OTC Cold and flu medications
  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Epsom salts, burbling alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel, mineral oil, aloe vera gel
  • Tooth paste, dental floss, soap, deodorant, razors, shampoo, lotion, etc.
  • Laundry and dish detergent, cleaning supplies, rags
  • Garbage bags
  • Other dry goods or pharmacy items that you expect to use a few times per year

Click here for information of health and wellness during times of crisis.

Advance Preparations:

  • Prepare to grow your own food (and livestock) to the greatest extent possible using farming operations, home gardens, aquaponic or hydroponic gardens, patio gardens, potted gardens, etc. National Geographic Doomsday Preppers “Secret Garden”
  • Pay off debt to the greatest degree possible: Dave Ramsey system/Financial Peace University
  • Be prepared to defend your family and your resources: Q & A about personal protection using firearms
  • Build a network of Faith, Friends, Family, and Freedom Organizations: You are responsible to provide for the spiritual and temporal well-being of yourself and your family. Take advantage of your church and other faith organizations in a mutual-support, communication, and compassionate service network
  • Build a relationship with Heavenly Father, enlarge your personal faith, and become a source of confidence and assurance to your friends and loved ones. GO TO CHURCH and take advantage of your precious religious liberty.
  • Nurture your relationships with extended family and friends. Share information about preparing. Address anxieties about what is happening to the United States of America through positive action. Prepare a little each day.
  • Join pro-Constitution, Conservatively oriented organizations which encourage self-reliance, and involvement in government at the grassroots level. Participate in opportunities to learn about government, The Constitution, American History, and get busy with taking care of your present and future needs.

The innermost ring of vulnerability becomes the inner circle of strength when you choose to be prepared. The window of opportunity is still open, but it is quickly closing upon this nation and its citizens. Do not wait to become prepared. But you can survive. If the nation fails, you don’t have to. You are in control of the basic aspects of your life and liberty.

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Updated: March 6, 2014 — 11:40 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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