Transportation in Full Spectrum Preparedness

Transportation in Full Spectrum Preparedness

Today we return to the our series introducing each of the 10 Foundations of Full Spectrum Preparedness in more detail.  In these articles we’ll start fleshing out the Fundamentals of Full Spectrum Preparedness.  Essentially, this series will discuss each Fundamental’s place in our Full Spectrum Preparedness cognitive model and briefly discuss how each Fundamental interacts with the other nine.  These articles are about the concepts, in later articles we’ll provide practical tactics, techniques and procedures for each Fundamental.  We continue this discussion with Transportation in Full Spectrum Preparedness:

Why is Transportation Preparedness Important

Transportation preparedness serves a key support role in your preparedness efforts.  In the event of a breakdown of modern transportation networks, a fuel distribution interruption, an electro magnetic pulse or even societal or personal economic difficulties you will need a transportation plan.  For transportation planning you should consider a layered approach with backup and alternate plans.  Some of the potentials requirements you should plan primary and backup transportation plans are:

  • Ways to continue commuting to work or do required shopping
  • A way to pick up family members who will take shelter with you
  • A way to take the injured or ill to medical care
  • Bug out vehicle capable of carrying your family and necessary supplies
  • Ways to transport supplies to-and-from or in-and-around your home/shelter.  For example, how will you transport wood from your supply to your home if you use it for heating and/or cooking?

Aspects of Transportation Preparedness

Aspects of Full Spectrum Preparedness FundamentalsAs we discussed in our article, Introduction to Full Spectrum Preparedness Doctrine, each Fundamental should be viewed both in terms of the following four aspects as well it’s interactions and overlap with the other Fundamentals.  Viewing each Fundamental in these two ways should be help you develop a preparedness plan that is more comprehensive than any one-size-fits-all survival program.  Consider your Transportation Preparedness in terms of:

  • Knowledge & Skills:  Knowledge is knowing how to do something, skill is actually being able to do it.  Do you have and maintain the skills necessary to operate and maintain your primary and alternate transportation.  If your primary transportation requires fuel, do you have the knowledge of where and how to store that fuel so that it’s usable when you need it.  Maybe your backup transportation is a scooter or ATV…does anyone in the family besides you have the skills and experience to operate it?  Perhaps one of your backup transportation options is that bicycle you only get out once a year…do you know how to patch a hole in the  tire’s tube or properly lubricate the chain?
  • Stuff:  This is the storage and supplies you maintain to meet your Transportation Preparedness needs.  If your transportation plan includes an animal or vehicle that requires fuel, do you have enough stored?  Have you planned for spare parts, stocked owners manuals, own the proper tools to maintain your transportation.  If your plan transportation includes animals, do you have adequate fencing and fence maintenance tools and supplies?  What’s your backup plan to allow you to stretch your primary transportation’s fuel supply longer and what will you do when that fuel is exhausted?  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking only of vehicles while developing your Transportation Preparedness plan…wheelbarrows, carts, walking shoes, backpacks and buckets are all ‘stuff’ used to transport people and things.
  • Network:  This is your personal network of friends and acquaintances.  You may have relatives and neighbors who are expert mechanics so there’s no reason for you to fully develop that skill, but make sure that you have skills, or stuff to trade for that skill when you need help.  Your personal network is where you go when you’re over your head.

Transportation Preparedness & the Other Preparedness Fundamentals

Transportation PreparednessAs we’ve discussed previously, there is tremendous overlap between the Preparedness Fundamentals, which is why we refer to it as a ‘spectrum’  instead of a category or list.  Below are some examples and thoughts about how your Transportation Preparedness will interact and overlap with the other nine Fundamentals of Full Spectrum Preparedness

  • Cognitive Preparedness:  At the most basic level… this is knowing that it’s important to plan for your transportation needs as well as develop the knowledge, skills and network necessary to keep yourself and your family as mobile as you need to be.
  • Communications Preparedness:  How will you communicate with your family or group before, during and after travel?  For example:  you could establish a procedure that before leaving the home you tell a designated person where you’re going, what route you’ll take to get there, what time you expect to return, and what to do if you don’t return by a set time.  During your travels you may elect to communicate by citizens band radio (CB), HAM radio (license required), MURS Radio, GMRS Radio (license required), cellphone, land line telephone (from destination) or not communicate.  After returning you may have a procedure established to capture and record relevant details like route security, roadblocks, etc.
  • Family & Community Support:  Are there safe areas along your route where you could seek shelter or aid…a friend’s farm for instance.  Will your neighbor keep an eye on your place for you while you’re out, or maybe take in family members temporarily that won’t be making the trip?
  • Financial Preparedness:  Do you have the savings necessary to keep your family mobile if you lose your job?  Fuel itself will become a financial asset following certain types of calamities.  Do you have the money or barterable resources to hire someone to move goods for you.  Your ‘teamster’ could move loads that you aren’t capable of carrying or through areas that you feel are too dangerous.
  • Food Preparedness:  Will you potentially need to move your food storage to a backup site or bug out location…if so, how?  If hunting large animals is part of your food plan, how will you transport that 250lbs deer if you don’t have a functioning pickup truck to load it into…maybe you need a game cart or wheelbarrow.
  • Personal Health and Medical Preparedness:  If the transportation networks we’ve grown reliant on break down we may have to resort to bicycle or walking to get around.  Are you physically fit enough to handle walking everywhere you need to go?  Do you have shoes that will protect your feet from the elements and injury?  How will you take a family member to seek medical aid if necessary?
  • Security Preparedness:  In addition to maintaining proper security (keeping an eye out so you can avoid trouble and having a plan to deal with it if you can’t) while you are traveling you must also build operational security (OPSEC) into every transportation activity you undertake.  For example:  while communicating by radio (where you can be monitored) don’t divulge locations or the strength of your group.
  • Shelter, Clothing & Protection from the Elements:  Maintaining your shelter and protecting it from the elements will require the transportation of fuels and materials.  The simplest example is transporting firewood to heat your home/shelter…do you have a cart capable of helping you efficiently move large loads of wood from your stockpile or the woods if you didn’t lay in a big enough store.  Remember, that pickup truck may be out of commission or out of fuel.
  • Water Preparedness:  If you’ve got the ability to pipe (transport) water into your shelter you are VERY lucky.  If not, you can’t believe how much work hauling your family’s water needs will be.  Make it easier with proper containers and the carts to put them in.  Remember to evaluate your exact needs…a little red wagon will work well on a paved surface but a garden cart with large wheels will work better on uneven terrain.

As you can see, the Aspects of each Preparedness Fundamental and the overlap with the remaining Fundamentals when considered together will help you build a more complete Transportation Preparedness plan as part of your Full Spectrum Preparedness.

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