Thursday, January 26, 2012

The SHTF Folder

People love to talk about their sexy gear and guns on survivalism board but no one ever talks about the planning and skull sweat that goes into managing a SHTF group. I've been as guilty of Walter Mitty Mall Ninja-ry as anyone, but today I'd like to point out something that I have that the other "SKS + Full Spam Can + Head Colander = Preparedness" types do not have.

You can just walk on if you want a long list of my high speed low drag qualifications; my sole experience has been acquired in organizing our group for mock bugouts and thus is strictly non professional. But over the years I've put together a pretty good group and we have a couple of solid plans in place for disaster preparation. So I'd like to post about the SHTF Folder today and describe what it is and what we do with it. I'll start by listing the Table of Contents, verbatim, and I'll talk about each chapter.

(This is my special, uplifting message to group members who are opening the folder.)

Chapter 1 (Personnel) : Contact Lists, Qualification Tracker, Area Breakdown, Command Structure
(This is the business end of our preps though it is one of the shortest chapters. I find that when you have to keep track of 25+ people it requires a fair bit of paperwork and I prefer to keep updated contacts, and I have a very simple command structure revolving around the Household as the basic unit. It isn't complicated or pompous like your average militia "colonel's" might be but it does put a command structure in place for when we need it.)

Chapter 2 (Communications) : Phone Tree Protocol, COMSEC Procedures, Signals Chart
(Communications is one of the most important things we will be doing; things like our Phone Tree ensure that news reaches everyone and the protocol also allows for intelligence to be fed back up the chain to the command staff. It also outlines security procedures for radio comms in the field and provides a frequency chart with code words)

Chapter 3 (Operations) : States of Readiness, Rally Points, Procedures for Bug In\Bug Out\Fireteam
(This is the meat and potatoes of the manual and it contains our various SOPs when a disaster is occurring, depending on what the plan is. It also designates rally points and the expectations of members in various positions.)

Chapter 4 (Intelligence) : Risk Assessment, Maps & Topography, Scenario Outlines, Local Hazard Tracker
(This section contains all of our map data making it uber critical; it also contains addendum to bugout procedure based on the type of disaster and a section on risk assessment and intelligence reporting. It also provides a form to track potential dangers.)

Chapter 5 (Resource Management) - Inventory Tracker(Food, Ammo, Other) Cache Management System, Group Funding Records
(This chapter is all about piles of stuff. It provides blank sheets for keeping inventory of supplies as well as protocols and systems for managing caches, not that we have any respectable caches yet. It also contains a place for record keeping of group funds.)

Appendix 1: Useful Miscellany
(This section is mostly for cut and paste info that I found useful or relevant; about 50% of it is from Survivablog or Zombie Squad)

Appendix 2: Addendum for Command Staff
(This contains information just for area commanders and AXOs. This is not with every folder and contains a fair bit of info on how I believe this group should be led.)

Anyway, there you have it. As I always say-you can bug out without a rifle, you can bug out without food or water, you can bug out without a shelter or a knife or a bag...but you should never bug out without a plan.

How is your plan looking, folks? What goes in your SHTF folder?

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