FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

? How do I prepare for an emergency I know nothing about?

Rule of Threes:

  • can’t live more than 3 minutes without air
  • can’t go more than 3 hours without shelter
  • can’t go more than 3 days without water
  • can’t go more than 3 weeks without food
  • can’t go more than 3 months without hope


Have a backup of your backup for important items. Meaning, have 3 different sources for one idea.


  • Water purifying – 1)boiling, 2) water filter, 3)water tablets.
  • Fire – 1)matches 2)Bic lighter 3)fire-steel
  • Shelter -1)Poncho 2)tent 3)improvised using nature


Due to any number of emergencies, you may be forced to leave the area quickly to ensure your safety. This means leaving your place of residence for someplace safer, possibly for a long time. Some or all of your plan may involve “bugging back home” if you already live at a good bug-out location, or work far from home and need to get back before you bug-out.

It is important to have a bug-out destination picked out ahead of time whether it be with friends or family, or to property you own out in the country. Running into the hills to live off the land is terribly difficult and should be avoided if at all possible. Most of the SF members favor survival-homesteading (country- style, self-sufficient living) as the ultimate long-term solution.


BOB is a “Swiss army knife” of a pack that will help you through just about any crisis. It contains gear to keep you alive, and in many cases keep you comfortable too. The common theme for the BOB is for traveling/stranded in a crisis, but each person has their own spin on it. Some members here have only a vest or very small pack to help them get home from work or deal with emergencies. Others have large packs tailored to leaving town and traveling long distances. Most carry at least some form of a BOB in their vehicle.

There is a general list later in this FAQ of areas to consider when building your BOB.


“Bugging-out” usually gets all the glory, but it is not always the best thing to do. Bugging-out requires travel, which is especially risky in a SHTF situation, and it also requires a BO location, which some people don’t have. “Bugging-in” means staying put and doing your best to to live safely and self-sufficiently through a crisis. The better your preparations, the better your chances.

Bugging-in might be a wise decision in some of the following situations:

  • The situation is mild and does not require BO. This could be anywhere from a short power outage on up.
  • You are already at a good location.
  • The situation does not allow you to BO immediately. You will have to BI for a while, then BO later.
  • You don’t have a good location to BO to, but your current location is not the best. Your chances are probably better if you stay put and make the best of it.

Basic Equipment Lists


Some categories your BOB should cover:

  • Water (Can’t live without it)
  • Navigation (Knowing where you are and were)
  • Weapon (Defense/Hunt for food)
  • Food (You need this for energy)
  • Fire (warmth, cooking, water purification)
  • Shelter (Protection from elements, including clothing!)
  • Medical (Addressing/ protecting minor wounds)
  • Signal (To signal/ summon help)
  • Communications (AM/FM/SW receiver at least)
  • Tools (knife, flashlight, multi-tool, para cord, etc.)


Some important areas to consider:

  • Water (both stores and procurement)
  • Food (both stores and procurement)
  • Heating and cooking
  • Security/Defense
  • Communications
  • Power generation
  • Medical


A good starting list for your vehicle:

  • jumper cables
  • tow-strap
  • folding shovel
  • duct tape
  • zip-ties
  • bailing wire
  • spare belt or belts
  • tool kit
  • flashlight
  • jacket
  • gloves
  • spare vehicle fluids
  • fire extinguisher
  • road flares
  • blanket
  • 2 cans of Fix-a-Flat