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Back Cover Front Cover

Table of Contents

The First 5 Minutes Of A Crisis ................................................ 3

Terrorist Lockdown .................................................................. 4
Winter Storm ............................................................................ 6
EMP Attack .............................................................................. 8
Volcano .................................................................................. 10
Blackout/Power Outage ......................................................... 11
Martial Law ............................................................................. 13
Riot, Flash Mob, or Demonstration ........................................ 15
Water Contamination ............................................................. 17
Tropical Storm/Hurricane ....................................................... 19
Tornado .................................................................................. 21
Severe Thunderstorm (Lightning, Hail, Wind) ........................ 23
Pandemic Disease Outbreak ................................................. 24
Financial Collapse .................................................................. 26
Nuclear Disaster .................................................................... 28
Earthquake ............................................................................. 30
Fire (Wilfire, House Fire) ........................................................ 31
Flood ...................................................................................... 33
Food Shortage (Supply Interruption) ...................................... 35
Chemical SPill (Train Or Nearby Plant) ................................. 36
Looting ................................................................................... 37
Forced Evacuation ................................................................. 39
Stranded (Vehicle Breakdown/Lost) ...................................... 40
Conclusion ............................................................................. 41
The First 5 Minutes Of A Crisis to provide you with, and a high-level overview of the
threats you’ll face.
If you’re like me, you worry. You worry about a LOT of
things. All right, are you ready? Then let’s get started.

A lot of people out there worry about all the dangers we

all seem to face in this world. Those problems, those
threats, sometimes seem overwhelming... but there is
some good news.

The good news is that you don’t have to be some kind of

“doomsday prepper,” or spend a ton of time and money,
to be prepared for ANY threat. The fact is, the first five
minutes of any crisis is the most critical period of any
emergency. That’s because the decisions you make
during those first five minutes are what have the most
effect on your chances of survival.

If you have the right gear, and you can read a book (this
one), you have everything you need to be prepared for
those first five minutes. That’s what this book will give

I’ve packed this little guide with a ton of “do this now”
checklists that tell you EXACTLY what you should be
doing during the first five minutes of any disaster. You
don’t have to train like a prepper to survive each threat.
You don’t have to go live in a faraway mountain survival
retreat. You don’t have to let it affect your life much at all,
really. You just need this guide, the checklists I’m going
Terrorist Lockdown in charge, chaos. They lock down the area in an attempt
to reduce variables and assert control. That control is
What It Is — During a lockdown, the authorities take total area-wide. It is no guarantee of safety for your individual
control of the streets. Citizens must remain indoors family.
wherever they happen to be. They can’t go out for milk or
bread and the stores wouldn’t be open if they did. The If you are not prepared for a terrorist lockdown, you face
populace in a lockdown is at the mercy of whatever the three main threats:
authorities dictate.
1. The terrorist suspects could come to your home if
The entire city of Boston was locked down when the it is not secured.
authorities sought one of the two Boston Marathon 2. You could catch a stray bullet or be fired on
bombers. The suspect was believed to be heavily armed mistakenly by the authorities
and very dangerous. Citizens were ordered to stay in 3. You could be caught without enough supplies and
their homes while militarized police with assault weapons your family could go hungry or thirsty while the
and armored vehicles patrolled the city searching for the lockdown is under way.
fugitive. There were reports of police pointing their
What To Do In The First Five Minutes
weapons at civilians watching from windows. This was
one of the most powerful examples of a terrorist • Lock your doors and secure your home, drawing
lockdown ever to occur in the United States. all shades and window blinds.
• Stay away from the windows and do not silhouette
If you think it can’t happen to you, think again. Terrorist
attacks are not a question of if, but a question of when. yourself in them.
There have been major attacks in the United States • Secure family members in the center of the house,
before, and there will be another attack in your lifetime where the most number of walls exists to absorb
(and possibly several). Our enemies have made it very bullets (which will pass through at least one
clear that they intend to visit as much destruction on us exterior and interior wall.
as they can, by whatever means necessary. If a terrorist • Stay quiet so you can listen for the sounds of
attack occurs in your city, a lockdown is likely to occur, intrusion. Monitor the radio and the news to stay
even if suspects are not at large, as the authorities up on the latest developments until the lockdown
attempt to reestablish order. Free movement is, for those passes.
• Check your property when the lockdown ends.
(The Boston Bomber who caused the lockdown in
that city was found hiding in a man’s boat in his
back yard by the owner himself, after the lockdown
was lifted.)

Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling

the following items to be better prepared for a lockdown:

• Guns and ammo (because if you want to be armed

in a crisis, you won’t be able to buy a gun or
ammo to put in it when the lockdown happens)
• Long-term storable food and water
• Batteries, Flashlights, and Lanterns
• A portable AM/FM and/or emergency band radio
• Install secure locks/quick release burglary bars on
doors and windows

What’s Coming — Either the lockdown will be lifted and

life will return to some semblance of normalcy, or the
lockdown will drag on (in which case what we’re dealing
with is martial law). Living under martial law presents its
own challenges.
Winter Storm If you’re not prepared for a winter storm, you could find
yourself stranded and in danger of dying from exposure.
What It Is — A winter storm is a crippling weather event If you are home when you get snowed in, you could still
that dumps snow, ice, or just sheer cold on an area, suffer or even die from the cold if you lose power and
making travel difficult or even life-threatening. A blizzard have no heat. If you don’t have enough to eat to sustain
can snow you in to your home or your place of work, and you for a few days, the storm will hit and leave you going
a cold snap can make going outside very dangerous, hungry because you can’t go out to get more. (That’s
especially for children and older people. why, before major snowstorms, the grocery stores always
get cleaned out for milk, bread, and beer.)
We usually live our lives as if we’re immune to the
weather. We complain about winter storms and shoveling What To Do In The First Five Minutes
snow, but we never really think of the weather as
something that can seriously interfere with our lives. • If you are safe indoors, assess the risk of travel
That’s when accidents happen. Every winter, there are and the likelihood you will get where you might
horror stories about people who get stranded in their want to go. If it’s too dangerous, STAY PUT.
cars. A couple of winters back, a man stranded in his car • If you are trapped in your car, DO NOT run the
in a major snow storm near Buffalo, NY, died of exposure engine when the tailpipe is covered in snow. You
while waiting for help to arrive. In another horrifying will die of carbon monoxide poisoning.
scenario, a man left his family with their stranded car and • If you are in your vehicle and stranded, DO NOT
struggled through the snow to get help. He never came LEAVE THE CAR. Help will come eventually when
back. the roadway is cleared. Stay with your vehicle to
be found.
Winter storms are not just dangerous to travelers. An ice • If you are weathering the storm with someone,
storm can knock out power and leave you helpless as remember that shared body heat helps everyone.
your home continues to get colder. If your heating source It’s better for two people to huddle under one
depends on electricity, losing power during a blizzard or blanket than for them to sit with two blankets
ice-storm can be life threatening even if you never leave separately.
your home.
• Section of a part of your vehicle or room with stuck on a major roadway, help will come to you a lot
plastic sheeting or reflective emergency “space” faster than if you are stuck on a side road.
blankets to create a smaller space needed to heat.
In most cases, beating a snow storm is a simple matter of
• Listen to the radio or the news, if you have power,
staying warm and staying fed and hydrated while waiting
and stay abreast of the breaking news so you can
for the snow to storm to pass and the roads to be
assess the status of the weather and the cleanup
cleared. In most cases, this takes a few days at most, but
for the snow or ice.
in very serious events, it can take a week or more.
Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a winter
weather event:

• Blankets (Emergency “space blankets” are ideal)

• Emergency food, water, boots, gloves, and (for
your car) flares
• Hand warmers and fire-starting supplies
• Flashlights and batteries (ice storms often cause
power outages)
• Shovels (you would be surprised how many
people don’t have them!)
• Emergency AM/FM radio

What’s Coming — It will take time to clear the snow and

restore power and normal transportation. Ride out the
storm and wait for these incremental steps. If you live on
a side street, it’s going to take longer to clear that than if
you live on a major highway or arterial. Remember that
this is also true if you are stranded in your car. If you are
EMP Attack What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — An electromagnetic pulse is caused by the • If you have advance warning that an EMP is
detonation of a nuclear device at high altitude over the coming, such as from a solar flare, unplug all your
target area. An EMP can also be caused by a solar electronic devices (cell phones; tablets, etc.), and
storm. The electromagnetic pulse generated by such an shield the ones you can by putting them inside a
attack or event can destroy electrical power infrastructure microwave oven, which is a good, quick substitute
and electronic devices, knocking out the power for Faraday Cage.
hundreds of miles. • Make sure family and friends are located centrally
where you can protect them. While you can, make
An EMP attack is not like one of those television shows arrangements to bring them home, because civil
or novels where all electricity everywhere stops working. unrest is very unlikely.
Some electronic devices will be destroyed, but others will • Lock your doors and secure your home. Be
not. Power will be out in some areas but may remain on watchful for looters.
in others. Some experts say vehicles won’t be affected, • Keep an eye out for fires. EMP may cause certain
while others say they could be. Small electronic devices support infrastructure to collapse, causing small
not switched on and not connected to the power grid may fires to develop that go unchecked and become
not be affected. bigger fires. During a widespread power grid
outage, the danger of runaway fire is very real.
It’s very likely that widespread power outages that take a
• If you have a functioning portable AM/FM radio,
long time to repair will result from an EMP. Many of the
listen to the news and stay abreast of what is
modern devices we take for granted, including Internet
access, will be unavailable. The wireless phone network
will almost certainly be rendered inoperable. Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for an EMP
If you’re not prepared for an EMP attack, you could find
yourself without access to electrical power or electrical
devices in a world that is falling apart around you. The • Batteries, flashlights, candles, and other power-
sudden loss of modern life as we know it is sure to outage items
generate riots, looting, and other societal problems.
• Faraday bags that insulate electronics from EMP
• Backup electronic devices stored in Faraday bags
• Firearms and ammo (for self-defense against
• Cooking supplies that do not require electrical
power, including food, and storable water

What’s Coming — It will take time to restore electrical

infrastructure and electric power after an EMP. During
that time, martial law might be put into effect. Chaos may
well reign on the streets. You must be prepared for an
extended period of civil unrest during which you protect
your home and your family from looters and other threats
before order is restored.
Volcano What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A volcanic eruption is one in which a large • If you have advance notice that an eruption is
volume of ash is ejected into the atmosphere from an happening, get out of the area if you can do so
active volcano. There may also be flows of lava in the safely.
nearby area, but in survival terms, it’s the ash that is the • Take shelter from the blast. Close the windows of
major threat. your home.
• Your car is not sufficient shelter. Get indoors if you
In May of 1980, Mount St. Helens in Washington State can.
erupted, creating a column of ash that was fifteen miles • If you see the ash cloud descending, tie a cloth or
high and which came down across eleven different US bandanna over your mouth and nose, and protect
states. Fifty-seven people were killed and billions of your eyes if you can.
dollars of damage was done as the choking ash coated
the countryside. Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a volcanic
No doubt the residents living near Mount St. Helens eruption:
never thought they would be subjected to a volcanic
eruption, but these can and do happen. There are maybe • Emergency food and water
169 active volcanoes in the United States alone, although • Candles, flashlights, and batteries
many of these are in Alaska (where there are eruptions • Tarps
almost every year). And those geysers in Yellowstone? • Emergency AM/FM radio
They may indicate future eruptions. A volcanic blast • A shovel or entrenching tool
could produce falling rocks the size of automobiles and • Goggles and face masks/respirators
hundreds of cubic miles of ash and pumice that will rain
down on the countryside, laying waste to it, choking and What’s Coming — When Mount St. Helens erupted, the
clogging anyone caught underneath it. area directly affected by the blast was devastated. Be
prepared for a long recover effort followed by
If you’re not prepared for a volcanic eruption, you could considerable disaster-relief efforts to restore life to
find yourself choking and blind in a cloud of volcanic “normal” in those areas saturated by the ash.
ash... or entombed in a vehicle that is coated in the stuff.
Blackout/Power Outage enforcement and emergency services struggle to keep up
with demand.
What It Is — A widespread blackout or power outage is
just that: It is a loss of electrical power as the electrical What To Do In The First Five Minutes
grid fails over a large area.
• Secure your home and make sure you and your
Our power grid is held together with duct tape and hope. family are safe. If some family members are not
There have already been terrorist attacks on electrical yet with you, make whatever arrangements you
substations in the United States. These have not made can to see them safely home.
nearly the news they should have. But as we saw during • Lock your doors, hunker down, and prepare to
the Northeast Blackout of 2003, it doesn’t have to be a wait out the blackout. Stay home and off the
terrorist attack that knocks out electrical power to huge streets. Monitor conditions outside as best you
portions of the United States. can, but don’t expose yourself.
• Duct-tape your freezer and refrigerator shut in an
In 2003, power was out for two days to a lot of the attempt to keep them as insulated as possible
affected area, and it took nearly a week to get while reminding you not to open them. Your
everybody’s power back on. The blackout has been freezer can keep food from spoiling for several
blamed on a software issue at a control room in Ohio, hours during a blackout as long as you aren’t
which triggered a “race condition” that overwhelmed the opening it and exposing it to warmer air.
power grid. A manageable local blackout instead became • Fill your bathtub and other receptacles with clean
a massive, cascade failure of the grid across multiple drinking water. In an extended blackout, there will
states. be no power to run water treatment, which means
water may become unsafe to drink. You need as
If you are not prepared for a power outage, you and your
much drinking water on hand as possible if the
family could find yourself in the dark without support
blackout persists.
services and without adequate food or water. Worse,
• Formulate a plan for what you will do for food,
widespread civil unrest could develop during a sustained
water, and light if the blackout persists.
blackout, support services could become unavailable,
and looting and wilding crimes could run rampant as law
Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a blackout or
power outage:

• Emergency food and water

• Candles, flashlights, lanterns, and batteries
• Emergency portable AM/FM radio
• A means of boiling/treating water
• Firearms and ammo (to fend off looters)

What’s Coming — The longer a blackout persists, the

worse conditions outside will get. Civil unrest could
devolve into martial law or, worse, complete chaos. In
most cases, though, the blackout, and the dangers
associated with it, will last for a couple of days before
power is restored and life returns to normal.
Martial Law race riot, are different things and will have different
What It Is — Martial law is the imposition of military
authority to control an area. The rights of citizens are If you are not prepared to cope with martial law, you
suspended and armed troops control the streets, often could find yourself on the wrong end of that “law,” herded
imposing curfews and otherwise constraining the into a government camp or otherwise detained. You
movement of the populace. could even end up shot dead by the very military that is
supposed to be protecting you, because they can’t tell
There’s a lot of speculation about what martial law would the difference between you and a rioter or terrorist.
actually look like. There’s really no clear-cut answer to it.
There are 800,000 law enforcement officers in the United What To Do In The First Five Minutes
States. During an emergency, it’s not uncommon for law
• Get off the street. If you’re not home, go there.
enforcement personnel to leave their posts in droves.
Lock your doors and secure your home, drawing
They have families to protect too. To restore order, the
all shades and window blinds.
government may well send in the military, who are
trained to deal with all other forces as hostiles, not as • Stay away from the windows and do not silhouette
citizens being served and protected. yourself in them.
• Focusing on keeping the household quiet and still.
In the United States, martial law usually indicates that You don’t want to attract attention. The authorities
control has been lost and someone in a political position will focus on areas where their attention is needed
of power is trying to do damage control and protect their most urgently.
career. What they then do is impose martial law and • If you must go out, play the part of the “gray man”
curfews until they can restore order. There are cases and be as unobtrusive and non-confrontational as
where this may even be the correct thing to do, from a possible.
practical standpoint. Martial law is the quickest way and • Avoid checkpoints and soldiers enforcing martial
the least painful way to get from a time of chaos to a time law at all costs, especially if a riot occurs. You
of order. Different martial laws scenarios are more or less can’t afford to get caught in a demonstration or be
intense, too. Locking down a city because of a terrorist confused for one of the enemy.
attack, and imposing temporary martial law to quell a
Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for martial law:

• Guns and ammo, including “sacrifice guns” to turn

over if the authorities come to confiscate personal
• Long-term storable food and water
• Batteries, Flashlights, and Lanterns
• A portable AM/FM and/or emergency band radio
• Any supplies that will prevent you from having to
leave the house and take to the streets

What’s Coming — Either the martial law will be lifted

and life will return to some semblance of normalcy, or it
will drag on. Living under martial law for extended
periods of time can be extremely challenging.
Riot, Flash Mob, or Demonstration What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A riot or flash mob is any group • Get away from the mob. Move in the opposite
demonstration, protest, or act of violence that takes place direction. If you cannot immediately get out of the
as a mass of people. A riot represents the worst-case crowd, play along, chanting the same way the mob
scenario for social order. When a group of people is chanting so they will think you are one of them.
become violent, they engage in behavior they might • If you’re caught in the mob, move at a 45 degree
never consider engaging in individually. angle to get out of the crowd, always working
toward the edge of the crowd (never the middle).
During rioting in England, one of the minor actors in the Avoid storefronts and never try to move directly
“Harry Potter” series was caught on video breaking the against the flow of the crowd.
law as part of the mob. From all accounts, he simply got • Never move toward the police, who don’t know
carried away. He’s a good example of how some people you’re not one of the rioters. You could get hit with
will lose their minds during a mass demonstration or riot, a rubber bullet or worse.
becoming criminals from within the safety of a crowd’s • Avoid the urge to preemptively shield your face
anonymity. from tear gas unless it’s present. Masked
protestors draw police attention quickly and are
Any political protest or gathering has the potential to turn
seen as willing agitators.
violent. Riots also break out during emergencies when
• Use buildings and other structures to shelter in.
the normal rule of law breaks down and emergency
Consider dumpsters or other obstacles to separate
services/law enforcement personnel are overwhelmed
yourself from the mob.
with calls.
Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
If you get caught up in a riot, you could be injured by the
the following items to be better prepared for a riot or mob:
rioters. You could also be injured by the police or military
responding to the riot, who have no way of knowing, • Emergency food and water (so you don’t have to
when you’re in the crowd, that you’re not just another go out while a riot or civil unrest is ongoing)
rioter. If you let yourself get drawn into the mob’s • Emergency AM/FM radio (to monitor the news)
violence, you risk getting arrested during or after the riot,
• Gas mask (for tear gas)
too, which can have long-term legal consequences.
• A nondescript hoodie (for concealing your identity)

What’s Coming — As long as you can get clear of the

mob or the riot, things will eventually get back to normal
relatively quickly (riots rarely go on for several days,
although that can and does happen). As long as you
avoid getting enmeshed in the mob or its behavior, you’ll
be fine.
Water Contamination boiling the water will make it safe? Determine what
methods, if any, can be made to treat the water to
What It Is — Water contamination can take many forms. render it safe for drinking.
For our purposes, it is any time the water coming out of • Make arrangements to purchase bottled water in
your taps becomes unsafe to drink. quantity, even if you have to buy it online. Bottled
water will quickly sell out, so if you’re not making
There have been several high-profile cases of water arrangements to buy as much as you can in the
contamination recently. The EPA accidentally turned an first five minutes, you will be out of luck.
entire river orange when they caused mining waste
products to be released into the river. In Flint, Michigan, a Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
series of bureaucratic missteps resulted in the piping the following items to be better prepared for
infrastructure releasing dangerous lead contamination contaminated water:
into the city’s water. There are studies claiming that the
water supplies of many major metropolitan areas are • Bottled water
dangerously unsafe. • A bathtub water storage container
• Water treatment tablets
If you aren’t prepared for a water contamination incident, • Water filters/straws
you and your family could be left with no source of • A means of boiling water
drinking water for an indefinite period of time.
What’s Coming — Depending on the nature of the water
What To Do In The First Five Minutes contamination, the problem could be over quickly and the
“boil water advisory lifted”... or the problem could persist
• If you have advance warning that there will be a
for weeks, months, or years, as it probably will in Flint
disruption in the water supply, fill your bathtub and
while they get their water crisis sorted out. Pay close
any other containers on hand with water so you
attention to whether your water supply is safe to drink.
have as much drinkable water as possible.
Whenever there is any doubt, there is no doubt: drink
• Determine the nature of the water contamination.
bottled water instead of tap water.
Is it chemical, in which case your tap water is
completely unsafe for use? Or is it biological (such Don’t forget that if a water problem persists for a long
as bacterial contamination), which means simply period of time, traveling to buy bottled water out of town
(where the supply has not yet sold out) may be an option.
Lay in as large a supply as you can. Collecting rain water
may be one way to supplement your stores.
Tropical Storm/Hurricane emergency services are overburdened and
What It Is — A tropical storm or hurricane is an ocean
storm that moves inland, bringing floods, high tides, and What To Do In The First Five Minutes
powerful winds to shore.
• If you can evacuate the affected area before the
One of the best modern-day examples of a storm storm, do so.
wreaking havoc in the United States is “Superstorm • If you are in your car, get off the street and get to
Sandy.” This was the worst hurricane of the 2012 shelter.
season. It did damage in 24 states and flooded parts of • Secure your family members and your pets inside
New Jersey and New York. The storm surge flooded New your home.
York city tunnels and subway lines, cutting power in the • Stay away from windows. If possible, tape the
city. It did more than 70 billion dollars of damage in the windows with an “x” of duct tape to help make
US alone. them less susceptible to shattering. Windows can
also be braced with plastic sheeting or plywood, if
One of the most vivid pictures of the aftermath of you have it handy.
Hurricane Sandy were the poor souls desperate to get in • If your home is located at a low point, take shelter
contact with their friends and family. Their electronic on an upper floor. If your home starts to flood and
devices worked, for the most part, but there was no there is nowhere for you to go, don’t go into an
power for days. People were clustering around extension attic where you can be trapped. Even the roof is a
cords set up in public, laden with extra adapters. Sales of better option to be saved
heat-exchange and solar charging equipment
skyrocketed. Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a tropical
If you’re not prepared for a hurricane, you or your family storm or hurricane:
could be hurt or killed in the immediate storm surge,
flooding, dangerous winds, and rains of the storm itself. • Emergency food and water
You could also be left to suffer through an extended • Candles, flashlights, and batteries
power outage in an area whose law enforcement and • LED strobe light to signal rescue responders
• Tarps
• Emergency AM/FM radio
• Duct tape
• Plastic sheets
• Plywood sheets (and hammer/nails)
• A solar or heat-driven charger for electronics

What’s Coming — Depending on how bad the storm is,

it could take weeks or even months for the damage to be
repaired. Arguably, the New Orleans area never did
recover from Hurricane Katrina. Be prepared to endure
months of rebuilding. In the absolute worst-case
scenario, you might even need to relocate permanently.
Tornado • Secure your family members and your pets inside
your home.
What It Is — A tornado is a violently rotating column of • Stay away from windows. If possible, tape the
air that makes contact with the Earth’s surface. The windows with an “x” of duct tape to help make
majority of tornados happen in the United States’ them less susceptible to shattering. Windows can
“Tornado Alley” region, but they also occur throughout also be braced with plastic sheeting or plywood, if
North American and the world. you have it handy.
• Stay sheltered until the tornado passes. The lone
The worst tornado ever recorded happened in Indiana in
exception is if the tornado is bearing down on your
1925. It went on for 3.5 hours (a record) and left a record-
location, in which case it makes more sense to
breaking destructive path 219 miles long. In Bangladesh
in 1989, 1,300 people were killed by a single tornado.
2011 holds the record for the most tornados ever Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
spawned -- 363 in the southeastern United States, 218 of the following items to be better prepared for a tornado:
those in a single day.
• Emergency food and water
If you’re not prepared for a tornado you or your family • Candles, flashlights, and batteries
could be hurt or killed devastating column of the • Tarps
tornado’s destructive force. You could also be left to • Emergency AM/FM radio
suffer through an extended power outage in a devastated
• Duct tape
area whose law enforcement and emergency services
• Plastic sheets
are overburdened and overwhelmed.
• Plywood sheets (and hammer/nails)
What To Do In The First Five Minutes • A solar or heat-driven charger for electronics

• Get immediately to shelter, preferably a storm What’s Coming — Tornadoes are usually over quickly,
shelter or basement. but the swath of destruction they leave can devastate
• If you are in your car, get off the street and get to entire towns. Houses can be picked up and shattered.
shelter. A car is absolutely no defense against a The tornado will leave some structures untouched and
tornado. completely level others. Rebuilding, and returning to
normal, may take some time, during which you’ll have to
live with reduced services.
Severe Thunderstorm (Lightning, Hail, Wind) also be braced with plastic sheeting or plywood, if
you have it handy.
What It Is — Severe thunderstorms are weather events • Be aware of the risk of electrocution from lightning
that include high winds, driving rain, lightning, and hail. In strikes. Avoid using landlines, taking baths, or
some cases, the hail can do significant damage to going outside while the lightning storm occurs.
structures and vehicles. Severe thunderstorms may also
be warning signs of developing tornados. Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a tornado:
If you’re not prepared for a thunderstorm, you could be
forced to endure a sustained power outage. You might • Emergency food and water
also be at risk of electrocution from lightning strikes, or • Candles, flashlights, and batteries
even property and personal injury from large hail. We • Tarps
tend to think of thunderstorms as no big deal, but they • Emergency AM/FM radio
are actually quite deadly when conditions are just right. • Duct tape
• Plastic sheets
What To Do In The First Five Minutes
• Plywood sheets (and hammer/nails)
• Get to shelter and monitor weather conditions • A solar or heat-driven charger for electronics
closely. A tornado could develop in the wake of
What’s Coming — Storms of this type usually pass
the thunderstorm and you’ll need to know about
quickly, assuming a tornado does not develop. Hail
that as soon as possible.
damage to your car or home could take some time to
• If you are in your car, the rubber of the tires may repair and rebuild.
insulate you from lightning strikes, although the
car itself is vulnerable to hail damage. It may due
as shelter if you cannot get anywhere else.
• Secure your family members and your pets inside
your home.
• Stay away from windows. If possible, tape the
windows with an “x” of duct tape to help make
them less susceptible to shattering. Windows can
Pandemic Disease Outbreak simply keeping patients as comfortable as possible while
waiting for them to die.
What It Is — A pandemic is any disease outbreak that is
prevalent over an entire geographic area, such as a What To Do In The First Five Minutes
state, a nation, or the world. Pandemics don’t have to be
• Go home and STAY THERE. The single best way
deadly to cripple society, but typically they carry at least
to avoid a pandemic is to avoid other people. This
the threat of widespread death.
is called “social distancing” and it works.
The recent Ebola scare was a great example of the • Whatever you do, do NOT go to the hospital. The
potential of pandemic to destabilize society. None of the primary vector for transmission of any pandemic is
Americans who contracted Ebola on US soil died from it, the medical professionals treating it.
but we were so terrified of the threat of Ebola there were • Tell yourself that for the duration of the pandemic,
Americans clamoring for martial law, rounding up you’re going to have to stay extra clean at all
affected citizens in camps, and closing the borders. Were times. Good hygiene is a must to prevent
we scared? Yeah, we were scared... and it could happen unnecessary infections.
again. Ebola had never come to US soil until recently. • If you have time to get to the store in the first few
Now, the speed with which human beings can travel all minutes of awareness of an outbreak, obtain as
over the world guarantees that a pandemic will spread many medical supplies as you can. They’ll be sold
globally... and very quickly. out if you go back for them later.
• If you have to go outside at all, wear a mask.
If you’re not prepared for pandemic, the worst could
happen: You, or your family, could get sick. It’s as simple Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
as that. Preparing to cope with a pandemic means the following items to be better prepared for a pandemic
preparing to avoid getting sick. If you contract the illness, disease outbreak:
chances are it’s already too late for you. Even if the
disease won’t necessarily kill you, medical services and • Emergency food and water
infrastructure will be so overloaded that you won’t be able • Medical and First Aid supplies
to get the care you need. Our government knows that • Emergency AM/FM radio
during a widespread, potentially deadly pandemic, • Surgical mask/N95 respirator
“palliative care” will be the word of the day. That means • Antibiotics and other medications
What’s Coming — The longer a pandemic persists, the
worse things will get. We’ve not yet seen a pandemic as
bad as the 1918 flu pandemic, but we could. Be prepared
for things to get worse before the infection finally burns
itself out. For extreme cases, it may be to your advantage
to use plastic sheeting and duct tape, together with a
filtered air evacuation system, to build a long-term
“pandemic safety room.”
Financial Collapse out of a job or, worse, your employer may simply not be
able to pay you, or anyone, anymore. A financial collapse
What It Is — A financial collapse is the complete failure represents nothing short of a complete “reboot” of our
of the monetary system we take for granted. It represents nation. Such reboots are notoriously chaotic and violent.
a fall-off in faith in the fiat currency our government
prints. If you are not prepared for financial collapse, you may be
stricken with poverty and left to starve and die. You might
We are printing money at such a rate, in fact, that a also fall victim to the predator class of your former
financial collapse is inevitable. Right now, the money in neighbors, a class created by the collapse.
your wallet and in your electronic bank account is not
backed by anything of value. It is backed by faith -- faith What To Do In The First Five Minutes
in the United States government. That is the nature of fiat
• Don’t go to the bank and withdraw all your money.
currency, and our government continues to print money
If the banking system is collapsing, it’s worthless
(backed by nothing) at an alarming rate. We’ve already
anyway. A run on the banks simply hastens the
teetered on the brink of collapse a few times, only for the
government to delay the inevitable by raising our debt
ceiling, printing more money (in the form of “quantitative • Secure your home and family members. A
easing”), and bailing out those private industries that are collapse may trigger civil unrest and you want to
“too big to fail.” Government interference in the home make sure everyone is safe and accounted for.
loan industry already led to a cascade failure of our • Monitor the news closely to stay abreast of the
financial system once. It’s going to happen again, and it’s state of the nation.
going to be worse. And then there’s the national debt. • Take a mental inventory of those items you
Sooner or later, it’s going to occur to us that we can’t possess that are of value and could be used for
afford to pay off the astronomical sum that is our national trade/barter.
debt, and when we default, our currency will become • Watch for looters and other external threats.
worthless on the world stage. Remember that emergency services will not be
available to help you in a collapse, as they will be
When financial collapse occurs, the rule of law we take overwhelmed.
for granted will break down. Your ability to buy and sell
goods and services may vanish overnight. You may be
Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a financial

• Emergency food and water

• Candles, flashlights, and batteries
• Firearms and ammunition
• Emergency AM/FM radio
• Small-denomination silver coins (real silver dimes
are a great choice) for trade
• Barter goods like alcohol and pornography

What’s Coming — A short "What To Expect Next"

section that illustrates what they may see over the
upcoming hours, days, and/or weeks so they can get
their head around what they'll need to prepare for next?
Without going into exactly "what" they need to do. That's
what our other guides are for.
Nuclear Disaster • Prepare your home to protect it from fallout. This
involves using plastic sheeting, duct tape, and a
What It Is — A nuclear disaster could take the form of a HEPA-filtered vacuum pump. When fallout is
nuclear weapon detonating on or over US soil, but it coming, it isn’t unreasonable to think you could set
doesn’t have to be a weapon. It’s much more likely that a up this sheeting to seal off your home in a few
nuclear power plant disaster could occur. The disaster in minutes. Your life, and the lives of your family, are
Fukushima had devastating effects on the local area; on the line.
even now, radioactive wild boars are running unchecked • Dig in and prepare to ride out the fallout. Monitor
in the quarantine area, and the plant itself is still spilling the news for updates, but don’t trust everything
contaminants into the ocean. There are nearly a hundred you hear. If you must go out, you must wear an
nuclear reactors in the United States, any of which could N95 respirator and protective clothing. Anything
be susceptible to an accident or even a terror attack that that comes in contact with the radioactive fallout
releases radiation. will have to be discarded before reentering your
If you aren’t prepared for a nuclear disaster, you run the
risk of being killed by the blast radius of the explosion (if Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
there is one) or, much more likely, being made sick by the following items to be better prepared for a nuclear
radiation poisoning. The threat of nuclear disaster did not disaster:
end with the cessation of the cold war with the Soviet
Union. The threat of nuclear disaster is no less real • Emergency food and water
today. • Candles, flashlights, and batteries
• Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets
What To Do In The First Five Minutes • Emergency AM/FM radio
• Plastic sheeting, duct tape
• Assess whether you should leave the area or
• HEPA filter and vacuum system for air exchange
remain where you are.
• Determine whether you and your family members What’s Coming — Fallout usually ends in a week or two,
should be taking KI tablets. These should not be but the devastating environmental effects of a nuclear
taken unless there is a direct medical need to do disaster will remain with the local area for years to come.
Surviving a nuclear disaster is just the first step in a long-
term survival scenario that is anything but pleasant. It is,
however, entirely possible. Nuclear disasters CAN be
endured. They are not the world-ending catastrophes that
1980s disaster movies lead you to believe.
Earthquake • If you’re driving, park the car, et out, and get away.
Stay away from bridges and overpasses, trees,
What It Is — An earthquake is a shift within the Earth’s light posts, and anything else that could fall on you
crust that produces violent shaking the ground. If an or your car.
earthquake is powerful enough, it can destroy buildings • Always move to higher ground if possible.
and other structures. Earthquakes also produce • Be aware of fire hazards, especially if gas lines
tsunamis, which produce devastating flooding and are ruptured.
sudden surges of water. • After the quake, check for problems like electrical
shorts, structural cracks, or developing flames.
If you’re not prepared to survive an earthquake, you
Shut off gas and electric at the control box/main if
could either be killed in the initial quake, or suffer through
necessary. Monitor the news for further
the resulting loss of infrastructure and services without
adequate food, water, or electricity. An earthquake
represents devastating property damage at first, but the Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
long-term problems revolve around the loss of power, the the following items to be better prepared for an
strain on emergency services and law enforcement earthquake:
personnel, and the degradation of infrastructure that
inevitably leads to social chaos, rioting, and looting. • Emergency food and water
• Candles, flashlights, and batteries
What To Do In The First Five Minutes • Emergency AM/FM radio
• A shovel or entrenching tool
• The safest place to be in an earthquake is an open
field. Stay away from buildings or power lines. If • A gas turn-off tool
you’re with other people, don’t stampede for the
What’s Coming — A short "What To Expect Next"
exits or you’ll make everything worse.
section that illustrates what they may see over the
• Don’t stand in doorways. Avoid exterior walls. If upcoming hours, days, and/or weeks so they can get
you’re trapped inside during a quake, getting their head around what they'll need to prepare for next?
under a table to shelter you from falling debris is Without going into exactly "what" they need to do. That's
your best bet. what our other guides are for.
Fire (Wildfire, House Fire) What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A fire is a structural conflagration that could • Get down low and crawl on the floor if you are
destroy your home... with you in it. Wildfires are fires that caught in a house fire. Toxic gas and smoke rises.
affect the surrounding area, too, endangering multiple • Leave the house immediately and do not try to
dwellings. reenter.
• Test doors and doorknobs for heat before opening
The danger of fire is not just flame. Fires produce toxic them.
gas that can overwhelm you and kill you even if you • If you see smoke seeping in from under the door,
aren’t actively being burned. Many of the would-be select an alternate route.
heroes who rush into burning buildings to rescue pets, • Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes catch fire.
family members, or whomever end up dying, not because • The moment you are clear of the house, call 911.
they were burned, but because they were overcome with
the toxic fumes. A fire is not like in the movies, either. In Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
real house fire, you won’t be able to see a thing from the following items to be better prepared for a fire:
inside the dwelling. The smoke will make everything
black and impenetrable. • Emergency food and water
• Fire extinguisher
Homes are destroyed by fire every day in the United • Emergency AM/FM radio
States and around the world. The threat of fire is very • Goggles and face masks/respirators
real. If you are not prepared for the reality of a fire, either
within your home or external to it, you run the risk of Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout
losing all your possessions in addition to your life. No the house. Test them annually. Consider also setting a
responsible parent should fail to consider the possibility fire evacuation plan and practicing it with your family
of a fire, as many of the victims of serious house fires are ahead of time.
children who don’t make it out in time.
What’s Coming — If your home survives the fire, things
will get back to normal pretty quickly. If it doesn’t, it will
take months, if not years, for your family to achieve some
sense of the “normal” after all their possessions are
destroyed. Follow the instructions of your insurance
company and remind yourself that possessions can
always be replaced, but people can’t. You may wish to
get counseling for the trauma of the fire.
Flood • Stay home unless your home is flooded and
untenable. Do not drive unless absolutely
What It Is — A flood is any ingress of large amounts of necessary (it may be physically impossible to drive
water that swamps a local area, destroying infrastructure anyway).
and endangering lives. The danger of a flood is that the • Avoid flooded areas and leave the area if possible
waters rise so high that homes and other structures are when the flood warnings start.
swamped or submerged completely. • If you are in your car and water starts to rise
around it, abandon your vehicle immediately and
Massive flooding during Hurricane Katrina devastated
New Orleans as well as parts of Mississippi and other
• Never ignore or circumvent flood barricades.
areas. The resulting chaos and breakdown in social order
Disaster almost always results.
produced damage that affects the area to this very day.
• If you evacuate your home, shut off water, gas,
There are many other examples of floods destroying
and electrical services before locking up the home
property and endangering lives, too. In 2012, the worst
as securely as possible.
hurricane of the season, Superstorm Sandy, flooded
subway lines and cut off electrical power. Parts of New Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
Jersey were also flooded. the following items to be better prepared for a flood:
If you’re not prepared for a flood, you or your family could • Emergency food and water
be hurt or killed in the immediate surge and rise of water. • Water treatment supplies (this is especially
You could also be left to suffer through an extended important)
power outage in an area whose law enforcement and
• Candles, flashlights, and batteries
emergency services are overburdened and
• Emergency AM/FM radio/NOAA Weather Radio
• A solar or heat-driven charger for electronics
What To Do In The First Five Minutes
What’s Coming — Depending on how bad the flooding
• Monitor weather radio and your surroundings to is, it could take weeks or even months for the damage to
gauge how fast the water is rising and the threat it be repaired. Do not attempt to return until the authorities
presents to you. say it is safe to do so. If flooding has affected your home,
check for signs of damage, especially damage that could
cause a wall or roof to collapse. Be aware that all manner
of sewage, litter, and other invaders, including living
creatures, might be borne on floodwaters and left behind
in and around your home after a flood.

Food Shortage (Supply Interruption) What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A food shortage is a disruption in the food • Take an inventory of the stored food, perishables,
supply caused by a disruption of the supply lines and other food items you have on hand.
themselves, or by a rise in food prices that makes buying • Set up a schedule of rationing your available food
food impossible for ordinary citizens. The danger of a supplies to stretch them for as long as is feasible.
food shortage is obvious: deprivation, vitamin deficiency, • Monitor the news for clues as to the duration of the
and ultimately starvation. disruption in the food supply lines
• Be prepared to secure and defend your food
For some time now, food prices have been rising. We’re stores from looters and thieves.
poised to see massive jumps in the price of food, and the
demand for food is only growing stronger throughout the Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
world. Some in the agricultural world wonder if we aren’t the following items to be better prepared for a food
close to reaching peak food production with our current shortage:
technology. Even if there’s plenty of food out there, civil
unrest, a strike, a natural disaster, or some other issue • Emergency food and water (long-term storage
could disrupt supply lines. The average grocery store will food is essential)
run out of food in just days if it is not resupplied by trucks • The means to boil and treat drinking water
bearing new goods for its shelves. That means that the • Hunting and supplies for securing small game
average American, who tends to live more or less hand • Gardening supplies/seeds for growing food
to mouth when it comes to groceries, is just a long
weekend away from going hungry if the supply lines are What’s Coming — A food shortage that lasts for a very
disrupted. long time will force you to find other ways to get food.
You can scavenge and forage for it, of course, but you’ll
If you are not prepared for a food shortage, you and your come up with less and less success over time. You must
family will go hungry. It’s as simple as that. be prepared to grow your own food and hunt for your own
small game if you intend to survive a long-term food
Chemical Spill (Train Or Nearby Plant) What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A chemical spill or release involves the • Evacuate immediately if this is feasible, especially
discharge of hazardous chemicals into the air or onto the if the authorities say you should. Flee the area if
ground of the local environment. Depending on the you are near the discharge point. Avoid that area
chemical released, the danger to human life can be at all costs.
extreme. • If you are fleeing the chemical spill, alert those you
encounter that they should flee as well.
In 1984, a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, discharged a • Pay attention for local emergency management
toxic cloud of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals alerts. Monitor local news for updates regarding
into the air. nearly eight thousand people died over the the spill.
course of two weeks. Half a million people suffered • Assess the nature of the chemical spill based on
permanently disabling injuries. The healthcare system the available information and proceed accordingly.
was immediately overloaded. Mass funerals and
cremations occurred. The chemical spill also killed Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
thousands of animals, including goats and buffalos, the following items to be better prepared for a chemical
which had to be collected an buried. Food and medical spill:
supplies became scarce. Fishing was banned, which
made the shortages worse. • Emergency food and water
• Plastic sheeting, duct tape
This is an extreme case, one of the worst on record. • HEPA filter and vacuum air exchange system
Chemical spills, however, can endanger anyone, • Goggles/face mask/N95 respirator
anywhere. All it takes is a single tanker truck hauling
something toxic to overturn and discharge the gas into What’s Coming — If you’ve evacuated a chemical-spill-
the local area. If you’re not prepared for a chemical leak, affected area, don’t expect to return until the authorities
you could be poisoned. You might also have to suffer say it is safe. When you do, you may have to contend
through the deprivation of a local area devastated by a with the long-term environmental effects of whatever
major chemical disaster, which will overburden chemical was released.
emergency services and law enforcement.
Looting preoccupied. Even if law enforcement is on the job, a
sudden riot can break out and cause people to start
What It Is — Looting is one of those things that happens looting simply because they are part of a mob.
whenever there is a breakdown in law and order.
Whenever social chaos reigns, looting is never far What To Do In The First Five Minutes
behind. There are always people in society who take
• Don’t give in to anger. You can’t afford to confront
advantage of a crisis, a natural disaster, or some other
a mob of looters, no matter how much the chaos
tragedy to start looking for “free stuff.”
bothers you.
Looting usually occurs because an emergency or social • Do your best to blend in among the looters. They
chaos condition has left law enforcement overburdened will ignore you if they think you are one of them.
and unable to respond to individual acts of theft. Then, Shake your fist and shout the same slogans they
too, the mob mentality that usually holds sway when are shouting. Make your expression one of
looting happens tends to embolden individual thieves. happiness or excitement. Match the people doing
They will walk off with things they would never think of the looting.
stealing by themselves, because hey, everybody’s doing • Flee the area where the looting is occurred as long
it. as you can sneak away unnoticed.
• Take shelter, preferably at home, and stay there
The danger of looting is that you could be caught up in it until the looting, and the emergency, has passed.
(and later arrested) or that you could come into conflict • Avoid the streets at night at all costs. It is at night
with looters and end up beaten to death (or worse). Most when looters and rioters are boldest.
of us value law and order, and the temptation to confront • Prepare yourself mentally to fight back viciously if
looters is strong. You might also have to defend your set upon by a group of looters. You’ll be fighting
home or your shop from looters, as was the case when for your life.
Korean shop owners took to the rooftops of their stores
with rifles during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for looting:
Worse still, you have no control over where looting will
occur. Looting could break out literally anywhere if some • Emergency food and water (so you don’t have to
emergency condition precedes it and law enforcement is go out while a riot or civil unrest is ongoing)
• Emergency AM/FM radio (to monitor the news)
• Gas mask (for tear gas)
• A nondescript hoodie (for concealing your identity)

What’s Coming — In the aftermath of looting, don’t be

surprised if individual looters are arrested an brought to
justice once order is restored. The good news is that
looting typically stops once the original emergency,
whatever it was, has come to an end. Looting is one of
those crimes of opportunity that accompanies an
emergency but seldom persists beyond it.
Forced Evacuation What To Do In The First Five Minutes

What It Is — A forced evacuation is any government • Gather your pre-prepared kits of documents and
mandated flight from your home or survival retreat. It bug out items, which are essentially to your
happens because the government dictates that everyone response to an evacuation
in the area must leave. This is most often done because • Designate “travel buddies” for every member of
a natural disaster is approaching. your family or party
• Take a verbal inventory of everything you have
One of the biggest criticisms of government response to with you so that all involved can hear (you’ll only
Hurricane Katrina is that many people stayed behind have one opportunity to inventory your belongings
when they should have left ahead of the storm. Buses in a forced evacuation
that could have been used to evacuate citizens were left • Follow the authorities’ instructions
to be flooded, rather than used to facilitate evacuation.
Those left behind suffered in deplorable conditions, such Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
as at the Superdome, where they were treated like the following items to be better prepared for a forced
animals by the very people who were supposed to be evacuation:
helping them.
• Prepare a kit with your birth certificates, medical
A forced evacuation is one in which the government is records, insurance, titles, deeds, and other
determined not to repeat that same mistake. Anyone government documentation, which you’ll want to
found in the affected area will be forced to go. If you are have access to if you are evacuated
not prepared for such a forced evacuation, you could be • Flash drive containing scans of the same
caught far from home with no supplies, none of your documents and any other information you want to
personal and essential government documents, and carry with you
nothing to do but live at the mercy of a government that • Portable emergency AM/FM radio
does not have your best interests at heart. Your • Bug out bag for extended travel away from home
government wants to restore order in a crisis. The
individual safety of you and your family is not of concern What’s Coming — The results of a forced evacuation
to the authorities. are hard to judge. Every situation will be different.
Stranded (Vehicle Breakdown/Lost) Suggested Supplies & Preps — Consider stockpiling
the following items to be better prepared for a stranded
What It Is — A stranded vehicle leaves you and your vehicle or breakdown:
passengers stuck in a location where help is not readily
available. The danger of being stranded is that you may • Emergency food and water
not have any of the supplies you need to survive in a • Car kit with emergency flares, blankets
location you did not intend to visit in the first place. • Spare “burner” prepaid cell phone
• A shovel or entrenching tool
People get stranded every day. Most of the time, you’re • Gloves, hat, boots, and an extra coat
just flagged trucker away from getting help from a cop • Scarf or bandanna (for protecting your head/face)
along the highway. But if you’ve ever been stranded in • Spare sunglasses
the middle of nowhere, on a back road somewhere or
even farther out in the wilderness, you could be very far What’s Coming — When you’re stranded, your job is to
from help. The danger is amplified if the weather is poor wait until help arrives. It may be necessary, however, for
and exposure becomes a real threat. Either way, being you to judge whether help is ever going to come to the
stranded means being stuck somewhere without the location where you find yourself. It may be necessary for
supplies you need. You may not even be dressed for the you to walk out simply because you’ll have to wait too
weather because you were counting on your car to keep long to be found. That’s a potentially deadly decision, as
you warm and dry. people often die when they leave their cars. Make leaving
your vehicle a last resort.
What To Do In The First Five Minutes
Consider also joining a roadside assistance club, like
• Stay with the vehicle, where you have the best AAA, so you always know who to all if you are stranded.
chance of being discovered
• Deploy flares or cones from your car emergency
• Call for help if you can
• If you are stranded along a busy highway, do not
get out of your vehicle (you could be struck and
killed by a passing car or truck)

The information in this book doesn’t take a committed

prepper to accomplish. You don’t have to spend a
fortune. You don’t have to give up your normal life and
live like a hermit. You can be prepared for any crisis
simply by reading this book -- and by having the right
gear on hand.

I’ve set up an entire organization devoted to helping you

accomplish that. If you’ll give me the chance, I’ll provide
you with the tools and the knowledge that you need to
protect yourself and your family from any threat.

As always, train hard, stay safe... and prepare now.