This Preppers Checklist is a list of functions, or capabilities that you need to provide for in each of the survival categories, especially if you’re a beginner at prepping. Unlike other preppers checklists, this checklist isn’t a shopping list of items that you need to get or put into a kit. It does something much more important for…

Instead, it helps identify which functions you WILL need to make sure that you can perform within a category. Another way of stating it is that the checklist will tell you WHAT you need to accomplish, but not HOW you need to accomplish it.

This method is the one that I use allows for individual needs while still accomplishing common goals. The list is broken up into general categories to help keep things organized and each Category is broken up into several subsections, allowing for Minimum and Extended Capabilities.

The Minimum Capability is the minimum amount of preparedness that you should strive to accomplish as fast as possible. It’s the basic set of functions that a person starting out should strive to achieve as soon as possible. The Extended Capability allows for surviving longer durations and/or increases the capacity of that group.

Alternate Energy

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Ability to recharge NiMH or NiCd batteries from an indefinite power source , in the sizes you use (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V)
☐ Generator, with enough capacity to power critical needs for 14+ days (like freezer, refrigerator, needed electronics, etc.)(short term solution)
☐ Store of fuel to power generator for 14+ days
☐ Put Uninterruptible Power Supplies on all computers and other sensitive critical electronic equipment
☐ Spare extension cords
☐ battery maintenance items
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Solar-power, or other renewable/long-term power, setup capable of running all mission critical devices for indefinite period, working eventually to powering entire household
☐ Make ice on indefinite basis
☐ Spare parts for Alternate Energy generations, (fuses, wire, connectors, inverter parts, etc.)


Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Three complete changes of rugged clothes for all members
☐ Three complete changes of sleep clothes for all members
☐ Seven changes of underclothes for each member
☐ One pair of rugged, waterproof boots for each member
☐ One pair of comfortable shoes (sneakers, sandals, etc.) for each member
☐ Outer gear (boots, gloves, mittens, scarves, hats, etc) for all climates (cold weather, rain, etc.)
☐ Spare shoe & boot laces
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Seven sets of rugged clothes for each member
☐ Fourteen changes of underclothes for each member
☐ Spare boots (rugged and waterproof)
☐ Spare comfort shoes
☐ Ability to make/repair clothes
☐ Ability to make/repair boots and shoes
☐ Quantity of various materials for repairs and creation of clothing
☐ Second (spare) set of outer gear for all climates

Communications and Computing

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Tactical Communications (0 – 5 miles), generally a handi-talkie (FRS, GMRS, Ham, CB, etc.), transmit and receive, with
extra batteries (see also alternate energy)
☐ Shortwave radio with SSB capability, for general listening of world events
☐ Basic computer to access the Internet and review files (.doc. .pdf. .html. etc.) {it should be obvious that an Internet connection goes along with this}
☐ AM/FM radio, battery operated (TV sound optional, but might be worthwhile if you are close to a TV broadcast tower that can run on emergency power)
☐ Plans and equipment for making expedient antennas (see Information and Plans)
☐ Radio and computer manuals and backup discs (see Information and Plans)
☐ If you have a cell phone, have a 12VDC charging cord for it, and a spare battery for it
☐ Pocket list of contact numbers for family, friends, team members (see also Information and Plans)
☐ Long distance phone calling card that doesn’t expire
☐ Pocket list of frequencies (see also Information and Plans)
☐ USB drive containing pocket computer system (OS, files, programs, PGP, etc.)
☐ USB drive containing your data files
☐ Door Intercom for communicating with people outside your door, while staying safe inside
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Short-distance Communications (up to 50 miles) (generally, a mobile ham VHF/UHF radio and a vehicle or yagi antenna),
transmit and receive
☐ Packet radio for short-distance digital communications (can be particularly useful for local Groups/Teams/Family Units)
☐ Long-distance communications (greater than 50 miles), generally ham HF, transmit and receive
☐ Ham Radio Email, like Wavemail or Winlink/Netlink over HF and possibly VHF (Packet)
☐ Satellite phone
The plans for expedient antennas is for reference. You should practice building these antennas.

Defense (Safety and Security)

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Security system that monitors home inside perimeter
☐ Monitoring system so that you know when someone has breeched key areas of your property
☐ Outside floodlights on motion sensors covering the outside perimeter of home and any other key areas on property
☐ Put out small fires (a fire extinguisher for kitchen, garage and every level of the home)
☐ Basic defensive firearms so that every able person can defend the home, with adequate ammunition supply
☐ Every handgun has a holster, every rifle and shotgun has a sling; cases for all firearms
☐ 500 rounds for every firearm that is in working condition (defensive ammunition)
☐ 500 rounds of training ammo for each firearm
☐ Three magazines or 30 clips for every firearm that uses one (yes, there’s a difference between clips and magazines)
☐ Cleaning gear for all firearms
☐ Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors on all floors
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Camera surveillance around home, complete 360 degrees
☐ Motion and seismic sensors monitoring perimeter and other key areas of property
☐ External fire suppression system
☐ Spare parts for every firearm, along with the knowledge to repair it
☐ Spare magazines and clips for every firearm that uses them (10 magazines and 300 clips, at your discretion)
☐ Spare cleaning gear for all firearms
☐ 1000 rounds for every firearm (defensive ammunition)
☐ 1000 training rounds for each firearm
☐ Reloading equipment and supplies for each of your main calibers
☐ 5000 rounds for your main battle rifle
☐ .22 LR training rifle and 10,000 rounds of good quality .22 LR ammuniton
☐ Add laminate to exterior windows (resists break-ins, etc.)
☐ Hardened Saferoom, from physical assaults (weather, crime, etc.)
☐ Night Vision (mono- or binocular)
You can’t have too many fire extinguishers. You need to be able to put out a fire quickly, especially if there is no fire department available.
Yes, it seems like a lot of ammunition, but every year our freedoms erode a little bit more. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it (that pretty much goes for everything on this CC list).


Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Pay one month of bills with cash on hand
☐ Supply of hard currency (silver, gold, etc.)
☐ Extended Capabilities:
☐ Pay three months or more of bills from cash on hand; increase to 6 months when possible
☐ Supply of barter goods
☐ Ability to capitalize on opportunities (like, group buys or cheap land after a crisis/pandemic)
☐ Know the silver content of junk silver and the gold content of various coins and how to convert that into current market value
☐ Know how to calculate and determine specific gravity for various metals (how to spot fake silver and gold)
Hard currency amounts at your discretion. Though in general, use gold to store larger amounts of wealth and silver for smaller amounts. Silver is also better in a barter environment.

First-Aid & Medical

Minimum Capabilities: Need to perform the following for a 30-day period
☐ Preventative
☐ Block Sun UV rays
☐Repel (keep away) insects
☐ Blister pre-treatment
☐ Protect care-giver from infection while treating others
☐ Take CPR and other First-Aid courses
☐ Maintain good dental hygiene practices
☐ Immediate Response
☐ Clear the airway / Start the breathing
☐ Stop bleeding
☐ Soothe burns
☐Treat bite and stings
☐ Remove splinters, stingers, etc.
☐ Remove venom
☐ Diagnose
Patient assessment:
☐ Primary (ABC – Airway, Breathing, Circulation)
☐ Secondary, Head-to-Toe survey
☐ Determine body temperature
☐ Determine blood pressure
☐ Determine heart rate
☐ Recognize signs and symptoms
☐ Treat and Protect Wounds
☐ Disinfect minor wounds
☐ Wound irrigation and/or cleansing
☐ Splinting and limb immobilization
☐ Dress and bandage wounds
☐ Debride wounds
☐ Close lacerations
☐ Temporary dental fillings
☐ Ongoing Care
☐ Relieve pain
☐ Reduce swelling
☐ Reduce fever
☐ Relieve allergy symptoms
☐ Stave off infection (antibiotics)
☐ Blister treatment
☐ Shock prevention
☐ Dehydration prevention
☐ Muscle relaxer
☐ Miscellaneous
☐ Ice & heat packs
☐ 30 days of life saving prescription medications
☐ 30 days of OTC and “maintenance” medications
☐ List of patient info for each person on their person & in BOB
☐ Extended Capabilities: Need to perform the above for at least 90 days, plus the following additional capabilities:
☐ IV supplies to start one IV per person covered (including extras for missed sticks). 3 liters of solution per person
☐ Knowledge of blood types of all persons covered. Transfusion* compatibility planned. Transfusion capability for one transfusion for each three people covered
☐ Dental care
☐ Additional 90 days of life-saving prescription medications
☐ Additional 90 days of non-critical and “maintenance” medications
☐ Take Advanced First Aid Courses, and yearly re-qualifiers
Warning on transfusions: you can kill people easily if you do this wrong. DO NOT perform any medical treatment that you are not trained for.

Food & Cooking

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Stored food for 30 days (minimum, work up to 90+ days) of food you eat everyday (store what you eat, eat what you store)
☐ Portable capability for minimum-prepared foods for 14 days (for traveling, short-term missions, etc.)
☐ Gather more food: hunt, fish, trap/snare, gather wild plants
☐ Dress and prepare gathered food
☐ Keep perishable food cold using alternative energy methods for 30 days (see Alternative Energy)
☐ Disposable flatware for 30 days
☐ Open cans and other packaging
☐ Cook food 3 times a day with alternate methods for 30 days (minimum, work up to 90 days)
☐ Have cookware that can be used over an open fire (pots, pans, kettles, etc.)
☐ Durable cooking utensils (including pots, pans, etc.)
☐ Equipment to cook over fire pit (grates, tripods, hooks, etc.)
☐ Recipes for making a variety of dishes from the food you store
☐ Spices to make food more palatable, enjoyable, varied
Extended Capabilities:
☐ One year’s worth of food, in any combination of everyday, minimum-prepared, and long-term storage foods, with the experience and equipment to prepare it
☐ Portable capability for minimum-prepared foods for 30 days or more (for traveling)
☐ Grow food and harvest the seeds for the next planting
☐ Grow and tend livestock
☐ Preserve food on indefinite basis (canning, smoking, jerking, etc)
☐ Keep perishable food cold using alternative energy methods for indefinite basis
☐ Cook food 3 times a day with alternate methods for 1 year or more
☐ Disposable flatware for 90 days (if continuous supply of water not obtained)
☐ Compost pile (see Sanitation)
Minimum-prepared foods are those that require little or no cooking before eating. Flatware means plates, bowls, cups, spoons, forks, knives, napkins, etc. The idea of disposable flatware is to reduce consumption of water and is typically for shorter-term events. Those with extended capabilities for alternate energy and water will have less use for disposable flatware.
Oils: make sure you have enough oil, lard, etc. on hand to cover the increase in pan-cooking.

Information, Entertainment & Plans

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Acquire the proper insurance (home, renter, auto, health, life etc.) and safeguard the insurance plan and contact information
☐ Document with pictures and/or video all possessions for insurance purposes, including writing down the serial numbers for guns and electronics.
☐ Post in a quick-access location the numbers for all emergency services (police, fire, ambulance, poison control, utility services), and include non-emergency numbers for the same services as well as family, friends, neighbors, etc.
☐ Post a list of important websites next to (or along with) the important phone numbers.
☐ Copies of personal information like birth certificates, SS cards, driver licenses, with current pictures, kept in fire safe.
☐ Have a written plan for what your actions will be for all conceivable events
☐ Create a “Trigger Point” list that determines what plans need to be activated by event criteria
☐ Write down your plan for increasing your preparedness level and then use the plan to improve your state of preparedness
☐ A list of “last-minute purchase items” – in case you have time to “top off”
☐ Current inventory
☐ Resource materials (books, CDs, etc.) covering a wide range of topics
☐ Instruction and repair manuals for everything
☐ Backups of all important computer files
☐ Hard copies (printouts) of all critical information contained in computer files
☐ Backup copies of your computer data on discs, USB flash drives, portable HDDs
☐ An evacuation plan and prioritized grab list
☐ Plans and equipment for making expedient antennas (see Communications and Computing)
☐ Pocket list of contact numbers for family, friends, team members (see Communications and Computing)
☐ Pocket list of radio frequencies used (see Communications and Computing)
☐ Forms of entertainment (games, books, music, DVDs, CDs, MP3 players drawing, coloring, cards, football, frisbee, baseball/throwing ball, soccer ball, etc.)
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Maps of surrounding area with extensive notes on routes and areas, including conditions at different times of the year (see Navigation and Signaling)
☐ “Range cards” for your entire property
☐ Defense plan for entire property (who goes where, with what, does what, etc.)
☐ Triple backups of everything that’s important
☐ Personal Items
☐ Purse
☐ Wallet
☐ ID
☐ Watch
☐ Money
☐ Daily carry items
A “last-minute checklist” is generally a bad thing to implement. It’s better to have all the equipment and supplies on hand before an event occurs.
A Grab List is a list of items that you want to take with you in case you need to evacuate your home. The grab list should include everything that you would want to take, in priority order, so that you don’t have to try and remember while you’re scrambling to evacuate.
Additional Entertainment considerations include games for kids, books (or reading material) for both education and learning resources, and books that show how to play more games (adult and children) using cards and other materials. It’s a good idea to keep important documents in a fire-resistant safe Entertainment items such as DVDs and CDs require the use of additional electronics and power, see appropriate categories.
A “Trigger Point” is an event that you have pre-determined that will cause you to enact certain parts of your plan. For example, When virulent H5N1 reaches Canada or Mexico, your plan calls for you to do _______ (whatever that might be).


Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Instant-on light for each member (a decently bright flashlight that doesn’t burn through batteries, like an LED light)
☐ Area light (prefer safe LED or fluorescent instead of flame-based light)
☐ Spotlight, handheld, battery powered (see Alternate Energy)
Extended Capabilities:
☐Provide power to all normal light for home with Alternative Energy.
☐ Spare parts for all lights (bulbs, etc.)
LED lights are preferred due to their lower consumption of battery power.

Navigation & Signaling

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Maps of surrounding area, including topo, road atlas, etc. (see also Information and Plans)
☐ Compass, several quality instruments
☐ Protractor, rulers, grid squares, alcohol-erase markers, pencils, grease pencils etc. for map use
☐ Waterproof map cases, waterproofed maps, or maps covered in clear acetate
Extended Capabilities:
☐ GPS with built-in mapping software and direct-entry of information (coordinates, descriptions, etc), preloaded with the appropriate maps
☐ Power support for GPS (see Alternative Energy)

NBCP (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Particulate) Defense

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ N100 or P100 masks/filters
☐ Tyvek suits, including hood and over-boots
☐ Nitrile gloves
☐ Air filtration system capable of providing positive pressure in a saferoom area, with spare filters
☐ EMP surge protectors on all sensitive equipment
☐ Decontamination gear and supplies
☐ 6 mil plastic in rolls and metal tape for safe rooms plus back up materials
☐ Potassium Iodine/Iodate (KI) tablets, enough for a minimum of 14 days for each person
☐ Log book for noting exposures and readings, pencils, pens, calculator, ruler, log-log paper
☐ Radiological Instruction manual (like “Fallout Survival” by Druce D. Clayton; FEMA)
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Air filtration system capable of providing positive pressure to whole house, with spare filters
☐ EMP surge protectors on all house outlets
☐x2610; Radiation meters (survey and dosimeters) Fallout shelter
Air filtration system filters needs to be at least HEPA and possibly ULPA. Quantities for the above are at your discretion. Do not expect to stay in any room that has been sealed up with plastic for more than a few hours unless you are providing filtered air into the room.

Personal Care & Sanitation

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Ability to handle human waste (ask yourself, “how and where am I going to go to the bathroom, and what am I going to do with it once I’ve finished?” and “Do I have enough toilet paper?”)
☐ Two pairs of eyeglasses, both with current prescription
☐ eyeglass retaining straps
Toiletries: Make sure you can do everything in the bathroom that you do on a daily basis, including:
☐ bath / wash (soap)
☐ brush teeth
take care of dentures
☐ wash hands
☐ floss
☐ clean contacts
☐ trim nails
☐ comb/brush hair
☐ makeup
☐ shave
☐ deodorant/antiperspirant
☐ Keep skin from drying (lotion)
☐ Tweeze hair
☐ Clean ears
☐ Blow/clean nose
☐ Dry self (towels)
☐ Feminine hygiene items
☐ Garbage disposal and recycle/reuse
☐ Buckets
☐ Plastic trash bags for waste both human and other to keep buckets clean
☐ Deodorizers (Lysol, baking soda and vinegar, liquid porta-potty enzymes, etc.)
☐ Lice/Nit comb.
Extended Capabilities:
☐ More of everything above
☐ Running hot water (see Alternate Energy and Water)
☐ Running showers
☐ Compost garbage and waste
☐ Spare buckets
☐ More plastic trash bags

Pets & Animals

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ 30 days of stored food and water for each pet
☐ Ability to handle pet waste if pet cannot go outside for 30 days
☐ Pet care needs, special medications, toys, etc for 30 days
☐ Leashes and kennels for each animal
☐ Tie-down stake
☐ Pest control for pets
☐ Shot / Vet record
☐ Up-to-date shots
Extended Capabilities:
☐ 90 or more days of stored food and water for each pet, eventually working towards an indefinite supply for all pets
☐ Ability to handle pet waste if pet cannot go outside for 90+ days
☐ Pet care needs, special medications, toys, etc for 90+ days
☐ Pet first-Aid kit
☐ Tested recipes for pet food from stored and/or gathered food sources, food scraps, etc.

Shelter, Fire & Warmth

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Tent(s), enough tent space to contain all members and gear
☐ Tarps, decent selection for general and miscellaneous use
☐ Sleeping bag or other bedding of choice for each member, capable of keeping person warm in sub-freezing temperatures
☐ Ability to make fire in, at least, 3 different ways
☐ Spare sheets and blankets
☐ Pillows (as needed)
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Alternate heating source for home
☐ Land Mobile – more durable and mobile sheltering system (e.g., camping trailer)
☐ Shelter building tools (see Tools, Repair and Utility)
☐ Shelter repair supplies: plywood, wood strips, plastic sheeting, screws, nails, etc. (see also Tools, Repair and Utility below)
☐ Pre-cut plywood for covering windows if you are in a Hurricane area
☐ Ability to repair and maintain your home: Plumbing, Electrical, Carpentry, Roofing, Fencing, Concrete, Welding, etc.

Stealth & Camouflage

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Keep quiet – do not tell anyone about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies
☐ Teach your children not to talk about your preparedness plans, equipment or supplies
☐ Have ready and plausible reasons for what you’re doing (”I’m buying all this food for the church cookout this weekend.”)

Tools, Repair & Utility

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Buckets, with and without lids
☐ Basic socket set
☐ Basic screwdriver set
☐ Basic wrench set
☐ Basic set of saws (wood, metal, etc.)
☐ Basic set of files
☐ Basic wrench set
☐ Multi-meter
☐ Tarp and plastic sheeting for temporary repair of roof, windows, and siding from storm damage. Large-head nails and wood strips to attach them
☐ Multi-tool, quality construction
☐ Hammers
☐ Shovels
☐ Pickaxe
☐ Axe
☐ Hatchet
☐ Rope
☐ Wire (bailing and electrical)
☐ Twine
☐ Fuses
☐ Crimp connectors
☐ Scissors (need several pair for different tasks; a good set of scissors is indispensable)
☐ Soldering iron
☐ Solder
☐ Drill and drill bits
☐ Measuring tool (tape measure, carpenter’s rule, etc.)
☐ Repair/Mend clothing
☐ Sewing kit
☐ Clothes pins, wooden
☐ Eyeglass repair kit
☐ Extended Capabilities:
☐ Gather & prepare fuel (axes, saws, splitter, etc.)
☐ Supply of nails, screws, and some lumber for structural repair of house
☐ Parts & tools to repair critical plumbing items
☐ Spare buckets, with and without lids
☐ Welding setup
This is one of the exceptions where this lists actual items. The reason is that the tool is often the action; for example, it’s easier to say “hammers” instead of “ability to hammer.” Some of the items above may require the use of electrical power (see Alternate Energy)


Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Keep all vehicles in good repair
☐ Four wheel drive on main vehicle, or traction-enhanced (locking differentials, etc.)
☐ Main vehicle needs to be able to carry everyone in family, including a minimum of gear and supplies for 1 week
☐ Main vehicle needs to run on standardized fuel (gasoline, diesel), not specialized fuel (high octane, bio-mix, propane,etc.)
☐ Stored fuel for one full tank (e.g., if your vehicle’s tank holds 20 gallons, store 20 gallons) in man-portable containers
☐ ‘Fix a flat’ or Slime
☐ Self-vulcanizing plug kit
☐ Air compressor (12 VDC)
☐ Hose clamps, various sizes (or hose wrap or duct tape)
☐ Siphon hose
☐ Funnels (keep in mind that a funnel for your fuel tank will probably be different from the ones that you use under the hood)
☐ Full-sized spare tire
☐ Emergency road equipment (flares, warning reflectors, etc.)
☐ Navigation (maps, GPS, etc.), stored in vehicle
☐ Basic spare parts (hoses, belts, sparks plugs, fasteners, etc.)
☐ Extra fluids (oil, coolant, transmission fluid, washer fluid, etc.)
☐ Tool kit, stored in vehicle
☐ Fire extinguisher
☐ Jumper cables
☐ Recovery strap/tow rope
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Extended fuel storage
☐ Additional spare parts for vehicle


Minimum Capabilities:
☐ Stored water for 30 days
☐ Ability to (conveniently) transfer water out of bulk containers
☐ Purify / disinfect water from the 30-day storage
☐ Pre-filter / purify / disinfect water for an additional 30 days from gathered water
☐ Gather small quantities of water (less than 30 gallons at a time)
☐ Dedicated “dirty water ” containers* equal to about 30 gallons, plus additional containers to catch rain water
☐ Spigot-controlled water (on / off valve)
☐ Catch waste water for reuse as grey-water or black-water, small scale (buckets, etc)
☐ Have 5-day supply stored in containers that are easy to move when full
☐ Portable capability to pre-filter / purify / disinfect water for additional 30 days or more
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Stored water for 90 days or more
☐ Backup ability to (conveniently) transfer water out of bulk containers
☐ Pre-filter / purify / disinfect large quantities of water (bulk chlorine, gravity/drip filter, etc.)
☐ Gather large quantities of water, in excess of 100 gallons at a time
☐ Dedicated “dirty water” containers* 100 gallons or more
☐ Pressurize lines to feed water to one or more locations
☐ Catch waste water for reuse as grey-water or black-water, large-scale
☐ Well water system with alternative energy to keep it running (see Alternate Energy)
Quantities listed are per person.
Know how much water each person consumes per day while performing strenuous activity; use this to calculate how much water you need.
*A dedicated “dirty water” container is what you use to collect and store raw water before you purify and/or disinfect it. They should always be kept separate from “clean water” containers.
A spigot-controlled water supply can be as simple as an Aquatainer.
“Gray Water” is water from sinks and showers that can be used for gardening, flushing toilets, etc.
“Black Water” is water that contains animal, human, or food waste

Weather Information

Minimum Capabilities:
☐ NOAA weather radio
☐ Basic understanding of clouds, weather systems and storms typical in your area
☐ Weather reference book or poster
☐ Thorough understanding of weather related alerts, watches and warnings
Extended Capabilities:
☐ Handheld weather measurement instruments
☐ Powered Weather monitoring station
☐ Attend Weather Spotter class/participate in area SKYWARN activities/training