Everybody knows the main issues. You have to have a place to live, you have to be safe from attack, you have to have resources, and you have to be able to support yourself logistically.
Whether you plan to stay at home, or to bug out, or plan for both, you do need to plan. There are more books than I can count on "Bugging In" or "Bugging Out." Most of the survival magazines are replete with $100,000 purpose built bug out vehicles, and some people have "retreats" to flee to, ranging from cabins in remote areas to luxurious accommodations in old missile silos. Some people, for whatever reason, are pretty much anchored. They may already live in their retreat. They may have health or financial issues that prevent them from bugging out. Whatever the case, prior planning prevents poor performance.
If you are staying home, then you need to have some food on hand. I doubt the "three days" the government hawks is enough. It wasn't during Hurricane Katrina. You need water. You can't have too much of it. I have a well, and two streams I can access. But I still keep about 300 gallons of water on hand for ready access. If you live anywhere like a city, where your water is dependent on the city water system, don't count on that. If something serious happens, the people who run it won't be going to work, even if the system itself is intact.
I once talked with a doctor who was a survivalist. He lived in a gated community in Atlanta's outskirts. Some of his cronies had formed a group to protect that community if things deteriorated to the point that was necessary. These guys had plenty of money, but they weren't thinking things through. I asked him what he'd do if the water went out. Well, he said, they had a decorative pond on the property. That's nice, but it turns out the pond was filled by pumps from the city water system. How were they going to maintain sanitation. If people started burying their waste near the pond, how long would it be potable? They hadn't given any thought to that. Basically, these fellows had watched a few episodes of survival shows on television, but hadn't done their homework in terms of a day to day plan. It was fun buying guns and big shipments of long term storage food, but who wants to think about flushing the toilet? The old saw that you can go a while without food, but not long without water is true.
Security is not a joke. Consider how lawless our society is now. Even up here, we have burglaries, robbery, and other crimes against people and property. The closer you get to a big city, the worse it becomes. In a truly serious event, there won't be any police, and if there are, you might be better off avoiding them altogether. I think about what happened in New Orleans during the Hurricane. If you haven't been filled in on that, then the book "The Great New Orleans Gun Grab" is the best source of information on the topic I know of. Looting, gang violence, and mob disorder got completely out of hand there. So did the local police and those who were imported later on,
This kind of random violence can happen anywhere. And frequently does. We have whole segments of our society that look forward to any excuse for rioting , as a chance for a free shopping spree and an opportunity to hurt people they don't like , with impunity. Remember Baltimore:
warning: language content in video below:
I know after Katrina a federal law was passed to prevent blanket confiscation of personal weapons in a catastrophe. I wouldn't rely too heavily on it in real life. I do believe that anyone who is unarmed in times of disorder, whatever the nature of that disorder may be, is going to be in real trouble. Especially if they have something violent people want. The type of things individuals or groups specifically look for? Food, weapons, women, drugs, (legal and otherwise), vehicles, gasoline, Sometimes they just kill people for the fun of it.
You need a safe place to live, and a way to defend yourself and your family. The particulars of that depend on your individual situation. Security is not a one size fits all topic of conversation.
It would be nice to have a land line. They don't always work but they are worlds more survivable in a crisis than cell phones. Everybody has a cell phone, everybody tries to use it in moments of stress, and the system can't handle it. A land line is powered by the line itself, provided you don't buy a phone that needs electricity to work. The cost of a modest, line powered phone that doesn't need an ac adapter is about $2.00 or less at my local thrift shop.
The phone above needs AC power. If your power goes out, it won't work unless you have a serious battery backup on it.
If you need medicine, you had better have some extra in the bathroom medicine cabinet. Most doctors will only write prescriptions for a max of 90 days. As far as I know, foreign pharmacies still want a prescription, so buying outside the country may be cheaper but won't help you accumulate medicine. Over the counter stuff is no problem, but I have three prescriptions and my wife has five. That's 8 medicines we have to worry about running out of. My current doctor gives us one prescription for 90 days, and one refill. Then we have to go in and see him to get the next prescription written. I haven't found a solution for this. At best , we have medicine for 90 days. At worst, if we are near the end of the cycle, we may have very little on hand. You could, possibly, go in a month or so after you fill number one, and pick up the refill. But that's a stop gap solution at best.
If you google "survival medicine" you get hundreds of hits. Most of them deal with antibiotics. If anybody comes across an informative source on this particular issue, I'd like to hear about it.
I don't want this post to get too long, and start boring people. So I'll leave this topic here, but I'm going to pick up other issues in subsequent posts. If you have thoughts about this, please don't hesitate to share them. Nobody is so much the duty expert that they don't need to look at other ideas in the area of survival planning. Least of all, me.