Family.  They say family is one of the most important things in life. If it is just you and the wife or you and the husband, they are family. If you have kids, and your kids have kids, now that’s a family, and no doubt they are very important to you. If you are reading the blog, you no doubt read other blogs, and are concerned with protecting both yourself and especially your family. Me, I’m a single guy, but if the SHTF, I’m making the trek (bug out) to a fall back location to protect my family (my parents and siblings). They come first.

What I want to talk about today, however, is crisis planning in your home whether you have kids or not. First, we are all human. I don’t care how well trained you are, in an unexpected event people panic, even if just for a moment. In that moment, you can forget everything you have been trained or practiced for months or years prior to the unexpected event. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it happens, and that is okay if you are prepared to use a backup solution as a compromise (to your ego) and to get you and your family to safety quickly.

What am I talking about. Well, aside from building my own binder to slip in my bug out bag for reference going forward if I have to hit the trail, it hit me one day that every home should have a “Home Crisis Handbook.” Now, what is a home crisis hand book? Let me explain. It is a small book that you can build that will have tabs and/or pages dedicated to different disasters suck as earthquake, tornado, hurricane, fire in the home, home invasion, etc… Each page should have a color coded tab so it is easy to find the SHTF situation, and each page should have explicit instructions on how to handle the SHTF situation in a moment of panic. This will give you a preparedness plan for each situation you could possibly encounter, and it will give each individual, without fail, instructions on what to do, where to go, and how to do or get out of a situation that is potentially deadly.

You can make copies, punch holes in them, and put them all in a three ring binder, or you can go to Staples and have copies bound for your family if that makes sense for you. But make sure it is in an accessible place where people can reach for it easily. That means putting a copy in the kitchen drawer, one in the drawer of the end table or coffee table, glove box, etc. There should be a copy everywhere someone might be in the home and they should know where each copy is, period. Each member of the family should get a copy, and each member of the family should keep a copy in their night stand, desk, with their BOB, and/or a copy in the car for mobile events.

Here is a list of SHTF events (admittedly compiled and ripped from several lists of SHTF events online). You should choose the ones that are most likely to affect you and your family, and build the content and instructions for each one for each page of your Crisis Guidebook(s).

  • ACTIVE SHOOTER
  • ANIMALS & INSECTS
  • AREA OF REFUGE
  • ASSAULT
  • ASSIGNED MEETING AREAS: ACADEMIC BLDGS.
  • ASSIGNED MEETING AREAS: RESIDENTIAL BLDGS.
  • BEHAVIORAL CONCERNS
  • BOMB THREAT
  • CHEMICAL SPILL INDOORS
  • CHEMICAL SPILL OUTDOORS
  • CRIME REPORTING
  • EARTHQUAKE
  • EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
  • EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM
  • EMERGENCY REFERENCE GUIDE
  • EVACUATION
  • EXPLOSION INDOORS
  • EXPLOSION OUTDOORS
  • FIRE
  • FIRE / GAS LEAK
  • FLOOD
  • GENERAL EMERGENCY INFORMATION
  • HAZARDOUS MATERIAL EXPOSURE AND/OR SPILL
  • HAZMAT SPILL
  • HOSTAGE SITUATION
  • HOSTILE INTRUDER/ ACTIVE SHOOTER
  • ICE STORM / WEATHER ALERT
  • INTRUDER ON CAMPUS
  • LOCKDOWN
  • MAP
  • MEDIA POLICY
  • MEDICAL EMERGENCY
  • MISSING PERSON
  • NATURAL DISASTERS
  • PHYSICAL ALTERCATION
  • POWER FAILURE
  • SAFE ZONES
  • SEIZURE
  • SEXUAL ASSAULT
  • SHELTER-IN-PLACE
  • STALKING/INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
  • SUICIDE ATTEMPT
  • SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE
  • THEFT / ROBBERY
  • TORNADO
  • TRESPASSER / INTRUDER
  • WATER MAIN BREAK
  • WEAPON ON CAMPUS
  • WEATHER EMERGENCY
  • WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

Once your guidebook is complete, make sure you go over it with your family in detail and let them know in each room where there will be a copy.  Everyone should review it, and you should even think about running drills for each scenario multiple times until everyone understands the steps.

Again, admittedly, I may have missed many SHTF events, but this list is a beginning for you to start choosing from.   Even I am going to choose from this list, and build a book for my parents, who are not starting to age and have some medical issues.  For them, it could be a life saving for them.

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We’re a group of suburban preppers in the Northeast and live in the NYC suburbs that write The Suburban Survival Blog to talk about preparedness and self-reliance out there to help others prepare for what could be an uncertain future due to economic, weather, and other reasons.