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Robert slaughter

Robert Slaughter

Preparedness: Principles, Planning, and Resources

Who am i
Who am I?

  • I am not an ex-soldier, former police officer, or tactical operator, just an ordinary citizen

    • I am a liberty-minded person, attempting to be responsible and self-reliant

  • I am a History major, now involved in the information technology field

  • Within IT, I am an Analyst – I examine issues, ask questions, do research, and come up with recommendations for solutions

    • Those are the skills this presentation is meant to provide to you – a “Preparedness Analyst”

  • I have a wife (and a cat), but no children

  • And I am concerned about several significant issues in the world today, so I prepare

    • Not a brand-new beginner, but not nearly as far along in my preps as I would like to be

About this presentation
About this presentation

  • This presentation assumes you are familiar with the basics of preparedness

  • This presentation has two main parts

    • Principles – ways to organize yourself and your preparations, so that you are making sure that you have covered the fundamentals

    • Planning – ways to look at your personal preparedness to help you cover all the details

  • As we move through the presentation, and also at the end, resource suggestions will be provided

Regarding asking questions
Regarding asking questions

  • There will be 'breaks' in the presentation specifically for asking questions

  • But if you need to, please go ahead and just ask! “Hey Bob, I have a question...”

  • There are no silly questions. There are no stupid questions. There are no 'obvious' questions

    • If you're thinking it, so is someone else here

    • Ask!Our preparedness is important

What is preparedness
What is preparedness?

  • Preparedness is not just being prepared for ‘the end of the world as we know it’ (“TEOTWAWKI”), though it could be

  • It is simply being prepared for any abnormal and disruptive situation, so that you and your family can remain safe and reasonably comfortable for the duration

  • Possible situations:

    • Tornado or hurricane

    • Disease outbreak

    • Loss of job

More questions than answers
More questions than answers

  • I will not be telling you what specific events to prepare for, or what specific preparations to make

    • Too many options and too many different opinions

  • What I will be giving you are specific questions to ask yourself, and approaches to examine potential situations, so you will make good judgments as to what you need to prepare for, and how to approach those scenarios in an organized fashion

  • At the end of this presentation, you will have a straight-forward and simple, useful process to follow to improve your preparedness


  • Any questions or comments so far?

  • FIRST: Principles


  • Several preparedness experts have looked at how they approach their preparedness activities, and created lists of guiding principles for others to use

  • By reviewing several examples of such principles, you can consider both where that person sits relative to you (and thus how strongly to consider their advice), and they can help you clarify your own personal principles of preparedness

  • Having an organized set of principles gives you a framework on which to 'hang' your preparedness planning upon; an organizing structure

James wesley rawles
James Wesley, Rawles

  • Mr. Rawles (and the comma is intentional) has distilled his approach to four main steps

    • Beans – have sufficient food and water available

    • Bullets – have means of defending yourself, your family, and your preparations

    • Band-aids – have means of taking care of health, both emergencies and long-term

    • Bullion – have a means of trade and barter based in tangible items with real value (junk silver, silver rounds, spare ammunition, alcohol, cigarettes, socks, etc.)

  • His suggestion is to apply these in that order

Rawles resources
Rawles Resources

  • Website:

  • Books: Non-fiction

    • “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”

  • Books: Fiction

    • “Patriots”, “Survivors”, and “Founders”

Kellene bishop
Kellene Bishop

  • Kellene Bishop has created the “Ten Principles of Preparedness”

Preparedness pro resources
Preparedness Pro Resources

  • Website:

  • YouTube:

  • Facebook:

  • Twitter:!/preparednesspro

  • Book: Forthcoming


  • Andrew Jackson of has come up with his Full Spectrum Preparedness Doctrine, with 10 principles and 4 aspects

Prepography resources
Prepography Resources

  • Website:

  • Facebook:

  • Twitter:


  • The folks at have created a diagram of the tasks and skills to be fully prepared

Prepperlink resources
PrepperLink Resources

  • Website:

    • Diagram:

  • Facebook:

  • Twitter:

  • YouTube:


  • There are certain basics common to all sets

    • Food and water

    • First aid / medical

  • Two lists have an order, but with significantly different emphasis

  • Do any of the lists “ring true” (or instead, “ring false”) for you? Can you see ways of using these directly or creating your own personal approach?

  • Based on these sets of principles, have you spotted gaps in your own preparedness you were unaware of before?

My principles guidelines
My principles – guidelines

  • I see value in all the sets of principles, and in the planning matrix

  • In my opinion, more than five principles within a set starts being hard to recall and use

  • I like Prepography's four aspects as another dimension to principles

    • Tentative: Mental - “know”, Physical - “do”, Social - “who”

  • At the moment, mine are: Spirit, Sustenance, Security, Society, Silver

My subject to change principles
My (subject to change) principles

  • Spirit – a grounding in something greater than me

    • “There is One Presence, and One Power, in my life and in all the Universe: God, the Good, all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present”

  • Sustenance – food and water, both stores-on-hand and the means to re-supply

  • Security – firearms, self-defense, and other security and defense activities

  • Society – first-aid, shelter, communications, learning, and building a supporting community

    • I do not believe it is prudent to rely only on a small group for long-term scenarios

  • Silver – Silver and other tangible goods for barter


  • Any questions or comments so far?

  • NEXT: Planning

Planning the quote
Planning – THE quote

  • “A failure to plan is planning to fail”

  • Said by:

    • Benjamin Franklin ?

    • Winston Churchill ?

    • Alan Lakein ? (70's time-managment guru)

  • Does it really matter who said it? It is very necessary advice


  • By showing you a process for planning, the intent is to help you …

    • Understand how any potential threat impacts your personal preparedness plans

    • Decide if a given threat pertains to you and your family

    • Determine what specific preparations a given threat requires – duration, special changes, etc.

    • Understand how complete your preparations and planning are, and what gaps or modifications are required

  • “Write it down!”

Evaluating potential events
Evaluating potential events

  • Once you have your basics in place for whatever period of time you have initially chosen (a minimum of 3 days to a month), you should start considering possible events for the impact on your planning

  • Write down a simple list of all events you can think of, discarding only those you believe are absolutely impossible

    • People have very different beliefs around various events, which makes a one-size-fits-all approach to preparedness planning so difficult

  • Rate each event on how important planning for it is to you: High, Medium, Low (not everything High)

Event evaluation
Event evaluation

  • Starting with those events on your list most important to you, for each event answer the following questions as best you can:

    • How likely is the event to occur in the next 5 years? (Very High, High, Low, Very Low)

    • How likely is the event to occur in the next 20 years? (Very High, High, Low, Very Low)

    • How much lead-time will you get before the event trigger?

    • How much time between the trigger and maximum impact?

    • How long will the maximum impact of the event last?

    • How long will there be significant impacts?

    • Will life return to some level of normalcy afterwards?

Event evaluation tornado
Event evaluation: Tornado

  • Event: Tornado hitting your neighborhood, perhaps your home

    • How likely in 5 years? Very Low

    • How likely in 20 years? Low

    • Lead time: Zero to possibly a few hours

    • Time between trigger and maximal impact: zero

    • Length of critical period: minutes

    • Length of significant impact: 3 days to several months

    • Return of normalcy: Yes

  • These are my answers. Your's certainly may be different. Neither of us are wrong for ourselves

Event evaluation terrorist emp
Event evaluation: Terrorist EMP

  • Event: Terrorist EMP via nuke launched over US from cargo ship

    • How likely in 5 years: High

    • How likely in 20 years: High

    • Lead time to trigger: zero

    • Time before maximal impact: three days

    • Length of critical period: two weeks to two months

    • Length of significant impact: three to five years

    • Return to normalcy? Yes, with caveats

  • These are my answers. Yours certainly may be different. Neither of us are wrong for ourselves

Event evaluation group choice
Event evaluation: Group choice

  • Event: ?

    • How likely in 5 years: ?

    • How likely in 20 years: ?

    • Lead time to trigger: ?

    • Time before maximal impact: ?

    • Length of critical period: ?

    • Length of significant impact: ?

    • Return to normalcy? ?

  • These are some answers. Yours certainly may be different. Neither of us are wrong for ourselves

Looking at your evaluations
Looking at your evaluations

  • Do a batch (dozen) of evaluations, then for each, review its impacts on your prepping activities

    • Is the combination of likelihood and severity enough to adapt your plans?

      • Consider ranking events in priority before making changes

    • Would the event require sheltering-in-place or bugging-out?

    • What additional specific supplies, skills, or other changes are needed?

  • Write down your review on the evaluation (in a Notes section, or on the back)

Post evaluation

  • After reviewing the impact of multiple events, look for commonality of changes needed. If multiple events require similar adaptations, consider folding those changes together, so that as many of those events are taken care of by as little time and expense as necessary

  • If circumstances around or understanding pertaining to an event changes, re-evaluate it, then review the revised event's impact on your planning

  • If changes in your life occur, use the evaluations to determine how best to adapt

  • Review all your evaluations at least once a year

Events points to ponder
Events – points to ponder

  • In addition to evaluating events, you should review your preparedness around your family's daily routine, especially around these potential impacts:

    • Where they may be when something happens

    • Knowing what to do

    • Knowing where to go

  • Having some level of formal consideration beforehand makes success more likely

Location based example
Location-based example

  • Situation:

    • Wife: at work

    • Husband: At grocery store, doing weekly shopping

    • Children: at school, 2 at elementary, one at middle/junior high

    • Event: News alert via media – nuclear devices detonated in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles

  • Who gets the kids from school? Using what route?Who gets home first? What do they need to do there?

  • Deciding these by phoning is not efficient, and potentially impossible (cell network overwhelmed)

Dealing with locations
Dealing with locations

  • Make a list of all the places your family goes regularly

  • Determine place or places to gather (likely home)

  • Determine who picks up whom based on locations. Look for imbalances (if one parent gathers children from 3 different locations, while one goes straight home, is this OK?)

  • Establish plans for first-to-arrive activities

  • Adjust plans as needed for certain events

  • Have a framework for handling special locations (vacations, work-related travel, special events)

Establish formal plans
Establish formal plans

  • Creating written plans, as either “task lists” or “checklists”, allows for several things

    • Clarity – everyone knows what to do

    • Memory aid – having a list makes sure steps are not forgotten or missed

    • Review – having a plan in writing allows for review and discussion. You and your family can make sure a plan is complete and correct

    • Reference – you family may know the plan now, but may need a refresher in 6 months

  • Do not use a format that has too much detail, or that you and your family are not comfortable with!

Plan framework essentials
Plan – framework essentials

  • Any plan should have its own name and focus on the Six Question Words:

    • Who – who is involved, by name or by role?

    • When – under what conditions/events does the plan trigger?

    • What – what specifically needs doing? By whom?

    • How – additional details for 'what', if needed

    • Where – location of action, especially if not home

    • Why – not typically necessary “in the moment”, but useful to explain during training and review to show the importance of the plan

Plan a simple example
Plan – a simple example

  • Plan – Secure Apartment

  • Who – Bob (Primary), Mary (Secondary)

  • When – Civil unrest / rioting

  • What

    • Primary locks doors and sets up security bracer bar ; Secondary monitors news

    • Primary retrieves firearms; Secondary fills water-bob

    • Primary and Secondary jointly prepare pepper soakers

    • Begin 6-on 6-off security rotation (Primary first)

  • How – Have pepper spray pre-mixed and stored near soakers

  • Where – At home (bug-in). Return to home if external

Plan organization
Plan organization

  • Keep your printed plans in one place; three-ring binders or file folders. Copies on the computer are your backup, not primary

  • Keep individual plans simple – instead of “Bug-Out to Grandma's”, make it three separate plans, to execute in order: “Load Car”, “Set Up Nightly Camp”, and “Drive to Grandma's”

  • Keep plans short – front and back of one page of paper is ideal

    • Eliminate as many “if” changes from the plans as possible. Make multiple plans, and use the “when” portion to choose between them, to handle variants

Plan additional details
Plan – additional details

  • Do NOT just “write and forget” your plans. Review them periodically

  • Rehearse your plans wherever possible. This helps you and your family fully understand them, as well as find missing parts and make corrections

  • Make sure everyone has the training and supplies they need to do their part. Also make sure they have the right mindset for what they are doing

  • Try not to have only one person capable of certain tasks. “Two is one, and one is none” applies to people as well as gear

Plan considerations opsec
Plan considerations – OpSec

  • “Operational Security” or OpSec is important

  • One one hand, you want your friends, family and neighbors to also be prepared. On the other hand, if they are not, but know you are, they could become a problem

Planning resources
Planning resources

  • Basics of planning



    • “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right”, by Atul Gawande

  • Preparedness planning





  • Any questions or comments about plans or planning?

  • NEXT: Resources


  • There are two main categories of resources I will cover

    • Personal resources – personal things you need to have as part of your planning

    • External resources – things you can use to further your planning and your preparedness activities

Personal resources
Personal resources

  • As part of your preparedness activities, you need to have easily accessible and portable ...

    • Important personal papers – passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, insurance paperwork, adoption papers, property titles, mortgage paperwork, property tax receipts, etc.

    • Your preparedness plans in a folder or notebook

    • Gear instruction manuals – any piece of equipment that cannot be used or repaired is not useful

    • Reference works – detailing any skills or providing key information

External resources books
External resources: books

  • Survival books and magazines – as a general rule, books on specific techniques or skills are better than a catch-all book attempting to cover everything

    • “The Prepper's Pocket Guide” by Bernie Carr

      • If you can get only one book, consider this one

    • Backwoods Home Magazine

    • “The Backyard Homestead” by Carleen Madigan

  • My 'Preparedness' wish-list on Amazon has 287 items in it, not including the 200+ items on the 'Homesteading' and 'Firearms and Self-Defence' lists

External resources websites
External resources: websites

  • Survival websites – great ways to gather information. Use discernment about possible events; do your homework







  • If you find a great skill or tip, print it out. The website “” makes this easy for most web pages

External resources discussion
External resources: discussion

  • Discussion forums – useful for asking questions and similar. Always use discretion when contacted directly by someone




  • Email Discussion Lists



  • Podcasts


External resources people
External resources: people

  • Your friends and family – getting them on-board before something happens

  • Workshops and conventions

    • Charlotte PrepCon

    • Heritage Life Skills

    • Self Reliance Expo

  • If you have a question, ask someone who knows something about it

    • Need to grow some food? Ask a farmer!

    • You don't have to tell them why you need the info...