Prepping Intensive: Module 8

Set Up Your Survival Retreat

[catlist name="Articles - Week 8"]

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Weekly Challenge

Bloom Where You Are Planted

No matter where you live, from a condo to a mobile home to a rural homestead, every survival retreat must include certain elements. For this challenge, give careful consideration to each of these listed below and ask yourself:

  1. Is this already in place?
  2. What is my back-up plan and do I have the supplies, if necessary?
  3. Does my backup plan require written instructions? You’ll want to have these printed and stored in a file or binder.

Use this challenge as an assessment and an additional To Do list to take your preps to a higher level and truly create a survival retreat right where you are.


Without question, this is the most important component of your survival retreat. If your current water supply becomes tainted, what is your backup plan?

  • Do you have a secondary source?
  • Where is the closest place to get water and do you have a way to transport it?
  • Can you set up a water catchment system? If so, you’ll need the supplies and perhaps, printed instructions.
  • How much water does your water heater hold? Do you know how to access it?
  • If you have a swimming pool, pond, or some other body of water on your property, do you have a way to transport it and purify it? How can you insure it’s safe to drink?
  • Do you share a well, stream, or some other water source with others? How will you access the water and what agreement do you have with these other families?
  • A water testing kit is inexpensive and can help you determine the safety of water for drinking. Be sure to have at least one on hand.


Have you ever considered that one day your stored food will be used up, and there might not be a grocery store handy for replenishment? Having at least 3 months’ worth of stored food is a basic goal, but a backup is necessary.

  • What food are you currently growing, and what other foods could you add to your garden plans?
  • In a water shortage or drought, how would you water your garden?
  • Do you have stored seeds to cover the possibility of failed crops and/or expanding your garden?
  • If you have extra food, do you know how to preserve it? Learn how to can (both water bath and pressure canning) and dehydrate food.


  • What have you done so far to add security to your home?
  • What other inexpensive measures could you take to add another layer of security?
  • How is the perimeter of your property protected? The perimeter could be the border of your property, the hallway of your apartment building, or your front/back yards.
  • From which windows of your home do you have the best view of the surrounding areas?
  • What can you do to make your property less desirable to vandals and other criminals?
  • What natural disasters should you take into consideration where your home’s and family’s security is concerned? What plans can you put into place for your safety? Example: How close do you live to a body of water that could possibly flood your home?


It’s possible to become increasingly more self-reliant, even if you live in a city. A survival retreat should be self-reliant in as many ways as possible.

  • Without water or power, what is your plan to get laundry done? Do you have the supplies necessary? Can you dry clothes during the winter and what is your plan for that?
  • Without running water, toilets will stop functioning. What emergency toilet plans and supplies do you have? How will you dispose of the waste?
  • What appliances, both large and small, can you live without? Have you tried to do that for at least 24 hours?
  • What do you have for cooking food without electricity? How often have you used those methods and do you have extra fuel stored? For how long will it last?
  • Solar is a viable alternative for most people. What solar applications do you have and in what other ways could you utilize solar power?
  • Have a plan for bathing without running water or electricity for heating.
  • Gray water can become useful in a drought or other water emergency. Do you have a way to recycle that water and do you know what water is safe to re-use?
  • In a power outage, you will need to have a plan to stay warm enough on cold days and nights. What is your plan and do you have all the supplies and gear you need?
  • Hot days and nights present a different challenge. What is your plan to stay cool enough and do you have the supplies you’ll need?
  • Your survival retreat will need light sources: security lights outside, ambient lighting inside, and directional lighting for various tasks. What do you currently have for these and what do you still need to buy? (Don’t forget batteries and light bulbs.)

Weekly To Do List

No-Cost Preps

  1. The World Health Organization offers free Fact Sheets on many different sanitation related issues. You can find links to them here.  These can be useful additions to your binder.
  2. Do a home security assessment. Think like a criminal and try to figure out the weak points in your home security. Are your locks flimsy? Are there windows that would be easy to breach? Are there any neighbors of whom you’re suspicious? Take notes – we’ll use this later!
  3. Consider how you will get rid of trash. Practice re-using items as often as possible. If possible, set up a place to burn garbage that might draw flies or rodents
  4. View your home as a criminal. Pretend that you want to break in. See where the weak spots are in your personal home security and make a list of those gaps. Some things will be simple to resolve, while others will take more time or money.
  5. Organize your supplies in kits to make things easier when seconds count. Some ideas for kits are Pandemic Response Kits, First Aid Kits, Power Outage Kits, Water Kits, and Irreplaceable Items Kits.

Low-Cost Preps

  1. Head to the discount store and stock up on dental hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and floss sticks. Buy in bulk if you can.
  2. Prep for pets. This week, if you have animals, stock up on  some supplies for them. Invest in some dry food, but don’t go overboard – high fat content can make it go rancid quickly. Also purchase some canned food, flea and tick supplies, and any other regularly purchased items that you get for your furry or feathered friends.
  3. Install decorative gridwork over the ground-level sidelights to make them more difficult to breach.
  4. Invest in some thorny plants and nurture them around the perimeter of your house and yard.
  5. How long will your current toilet paper supply last? Make this the week that you stock more.  A storage-area tip: check out space saver bags and vacuum-squish your TP supply.
  6. Stock up on baby wipes, even if you don’t have any babies.  Wipes can be used in place of toilet paper and are especially handy if someone has diarrhea.  They can also be used to wash hands and faces, or to take a quick sponge bath.
  7. Buy some extra can openers – two is one, one is none. 😉
  8. Get some sheets of plywood.  Then, cut them to fit your windows and drill the screw holes ahead of time.  Tape the appropriate screws to the plywood. If you do the prep work, you will be able to install these on your windows in mere minutes should an emergency occur.
  9. Buy some red paper. Look up official quarantine signs and print some off to store in your emergency kit. In a dire emergency, you can post these on the outside of your home to serve as a deterrent in a civil unrest scenario.  You can also stash away quarantine tape.

Investment Preps

  1. Create a safe room to which vulnerable family members can retreat. (You can do this, even in an apartment or rental home.)
  2. Decide which method you intend to use to protect your home and family. Purchase the weapon if you need to. If you aren’t extremely proficient and comfortable with that weapon, get lessons and commit to practicing regularly.
  3. Harden your doors. A door is only as sturdy as the frame that holds it. Secure exterior doors with reinforced frames.

Shopping List

Extra dental hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, and floss sticks

Quarantine tape

Space saver bags

Wash basins

Bar mop towels

Flour sack towels

4-Way Silcock Key (Use this to access water on the exterior valve of some commercial buildings)

Preppers Communication Handbook by Jim Cobb

Preppers Home Defense by Jim Cobb

Urban Emergency Survival Plan by Jim Cobb

Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen

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