The Compasss DeRose Guide to Emergency Preparedness: Quick Start

A Red and Green Compass Rose, logo for the Compass DeRose Guide Series.This page tries to reduce preparedness to a short list of checklists. It gives almost no information about the things it mentions -- rather, it assumes you're in a hurry and can either figure things out yourself, or refer to other materials. This page would be most helpful as a first cut at planning, or a check to help make sure you're not forgetting things.

This page was written in early 2003, and last update 2003-04-23 by Steven J. DeRose.

Who do you want to protect?

What disasters do you want to prepare for?

When will you prepare?

When a disaster happens, it's too late to do much preparation, and you're reduced to "expedient" methods: in other works, making do with what you've got. Even a warning of possible danger quickly strains supplies of bottled water, food, flashlights, batteries, plywood for window coverings, and so on. If you're going to do any advance preparation, make a plan and a budget, and do things in a sensible order: get the most important things, and the things most likely to disappear quickly, first.

Where will you go? To run or to hide

How will you decide which to do? How will you decide when it's time to do it?

Either way, how will you meet up with your group and get to the chosen place?

If running:

Where will you go?

How will you get there?

  1. Car in good shape
  2. Spare gas
  3. Excellent maps (topo maps such as for orienteering, not just plain old road maps. Compass. Maybe GPS. Navigation capabilities
  4. Off-road capability (4WD)
  5. Protection until you get there (gas mask?)
  6. Emergency equipment in car

Assume no gas will be available, and most or all roads will be hopelessly jammed.

How will you surmount any potential obstacles?

What's the backup plan if you can't get through to your goal?

If hiding (using a shelter, at or near home)

How will you get there if you're not there already?

How long do you want to be prepared to stay? Several hours for a big storm? 2 weeks for fallout decay? A year?

Air supply

  1. 10CFM per person (how pumped in, how escapes?)
  2. How much cleaning/filtering?
  3. How will you protect against blast waves (say, 30PSI shocks)?
  4. How will you power any cleaning/airflow system?
  5. Most poison gasses are heavy and collect in low areas

Water supply

  1. 1 gallon per person per day, minimum. Rotate supply
  2. Chlorine for purification
  3. Filtering supplies
  4. Where will waste water go?

Food supply (assume it will be too late to buy anything)

  1. balanced diet
  2. long shelf-life (peanut butter, grains, canned goods,...)
  3. rotated

Toiletries etc.

  1. Go through your bathroom and list everything you truly need
  2. Waste disposal

Cooking, heating, and lighting

  1. Batteries? Not for long. Bulbs?
  2. Candles? Not for long, and use air?
  3. Propane and stove? Venting?
  4. Utensils and cooking tools?
  5. Generate/recharge power?


  1. Non-battery-dependent radio
  2. Antenna on outside of shelter?
  3. One-way or two-way?


  1. Radiation survey and dose meters

Passing the time

  1. Compact but flexible games (cards, etc)
  2. Reading and writing materials
  3. Some means of exercise -- jump ropes, bicycle (with generator?)

Other detailed pages

Back to home page of Steve DeRose or The Bible Technologies Group. or The Bible Technologies Group Working Groups. Or, contact me via email (fix the punctuation).