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5 Levels of Preparation

Southbound traffic clogs Highway 99 Sunday evening, Feb. 12, 2017 as residents flee Yuba City, Calif., part of a massive evacuation of communities downstream of Oroville Dam, in Oroville, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

This family was prepared for emergencies, including the Oroville Dam evacuation.

Live Oak resident prepares for the worst

Live Oak resident Patrick Dustin and his family heard the evacuation notices for Sutter and Butte counties and wasted no time. The Dustin family packed up some of their personal belongings, warm clothes, checked inventory on the nearly month worth of food Patrick had stockpiled in the camping trailer for just such an emergency, then headed to a local high school, the same place they went nearly 10 years ago under the same threat of flooding.
Read more and video here:  The Sacramento Bee

We never know when we might have to leave our home suddenly. It can save critical time if you keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full, have a go bag with essentials, a list so you remember medications, water and food (manual can opener, utensils) you can take with you, extra clothes, jacket, shoes, and gloves. Or the electricity may go out for an extended period of time at your home. (Got batteries, oil lamps or candles, and a way to cook?)

My personal emphasis (on a low budget) has been water, food, meds, personal protection, water purification, a way to cook, a hand crank standard radio, and a HAM radio. I have at least one item from each level below. It’s a start. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process.

The following is not a perfect list, but if you’re new at this, it’s a starting point to figure out where you are.

There are five levels of preparedness.

Level 0: Every emergency is a disaster

Less than two weeks of food in the house

No water purification system

No bug-out bag

No defensive weapons

No way to produce their own food

No physical gold or silver

No tangible assets to barter

Level 1: Can Survive Two Weeks of Minor Emergency
(such as ice storm)

Have sufficient food and water for two weeks of emergency

Able to heat their home for two weeks without relying on the power grid by use of kerosene heater or fireplace

Able to cook their meals for two weeks without relying on the power grid

Has a first aid kit

Likely has no defensive weapons

Must leave their home after two weeks due to lack of preparation


Level 2: Can Survive One Month of an Emergency (such as major hurricane)

Likely has a portable power generator and sufficient fuel for one month of operation

Has handguns or shotgun to defend their home

Has a month’s work of canned goods to eat from

Has sufficient prescription medicines for 30 days

Has enough batteries for power a portable radio for 30 days


Level 3: Can Survive Three Months of an Emergency (such as martial law or impacting earthquake)

Has a deep-short term pantry

Likely has a water purification system

Likely has defensive weapon for each family member

Likely has some type of neighborhood safety watch or 24 hour security watch rotation at the home

Has stocked wood to burn in fireplace and/or iron stove

Has communication gear to keep track of local and world events

Has means to recharge batteries without relying on power grid

Has three months of prescription medicines


Level 4: Can Survive One Year of an Emergency (such as currency devaluation, economic depression)

Has a deep short- and long-term food pantry

Likely has their own garden to produce food

Likely has small-sized farm animals to produce protein (chickens, goats, rabbits)

Has a deep supply of ammo (2000+ rounds per weapon)

Has a spare weapon in event of damage

Has means to produce herbal medicines to replace prescriptions

Has a long-term store of antibiotics

Likely has dog for security watch

Has full 24 hour rotation of security watch on the home (requires 6 adults)

Show have secondary off-site storage of food, weapons, and ammo

Is ready to bug-out with full hiking and camping gear, if security situation degrades

Is able to educate their children at home


Level 5: Can Survive Indefinitely from their Home during an multi-year SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation

 Has a fully functioning large garden or small farm for food production

Is able to can and store the results of food harvest for the coming year

Is able to harvest seeds for next year’s planting

Is able to raise multiple generations of farm animals (cattle, sheep, horses)

Has horses for local and distance travel

Has enough ammo to last a generation (10,000+ rounds per weapon)

Has spares of each weapon and lots of extra magazines

Able to generate their own fuel (bio-diesel, alcohol)

Likely has fully functional solar power bank with deep storage batteries

Has natural on-site water sources for farm and home

Has home-based business to generate income

Is able to build new building and make any necessary repairs to existing buildings

Is able to provide excess food for charity

Has a secondary residency (such as mountain cabin) for full bug-out

Is prepared for minor surgery and child birth at home

Has stores of gold and silver for barter

Is able to produce their own clothing (from raw wool or raw cotton with spinning wheel and small loom)


5 Levels of Preparation
Sacramento Bee – Kenneth Huskey, 70, of Oroville sorts through his belongings at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds




One comment

  1. They don’t care if you get out. If they did, all north bound lanes would be converted to south bound… and what ever applies to all evasion routes. They simply don’t care, they just go through the motions.

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