Crisis Action Plan for Survival

Step 2: The Crisis Action Plancrisis action plan

A Crisis Action Plan (CAP) is a detailed survival plan of action. It’s how you respond individually, as a family, or group when the SHTF. You may have accumulated a garage full of stuff trying to get prepared. Included are your survival tins, packed Bug Out Bags, and at least 30 days of food water and supplies. Developing a detailed crisis action plan will save your ass when it counts.

Crisis Action Plan Considerations

  • Rally points
  • Communications plan
  • Get-Out-Of-Dodge plan
  • Retreat location
  • Escape routes
  • Logistics
  • Important Documents

Rally Points

One of My biggest reasons for prepping is to protect my family. Getting the family back together is my first priority after the initial shock of a disaster. Rally points are simply designated meeting times and locations. Your chance of survival is usually increased with numbers. Have a backup rally point in case the first one is inaccessible.


Normal modes of communications may be limited or unavailable in a disaster. Use your crisis action plan to designate primary, secondary and tertiary methods to communicate. Mobile devices may be completely useless. CB radios and walkie-talkies don’t rely on cell towers or land lines to work but are limited in range. Having alternative means to communicate will help you reunite more quickly. Another benefit may be the ability to monitor the disaster response using a weather radio.

Getting Out of Dodge

Identify a retreat (and bug out) location in the crisis action plan. If you’re not living at your retreat, know where your going if things become intolerable where you’re at. If you’re in your retreat, you’ll want to specify a bug out location. Remember the news reports during Hurricane Katrina? The gridlocked interstate highways made it almost impossible to escape. Identify escape routes that are outside normal lines of drift. Being able to get out of dodge will be much easier if you’re not stuck in traffic.

Knowing What to Take

Crisis action plan logistics identifies what you plan to take and how you intend to carry it if you have to GOOD. You’ll want to have most of the basics pre-staged and ready to go. If you don’t have a permanent retreat, a bug out trailer can be quite handy. Don’t forget your essential documents (you might not be coming back). We’ve got all of our essential documents (SS cards, birth and marriage certificates, etc) in a clearly labeled envelope. You will also want to have some cash on hand. ATMs (if they’re working) will have limited cash and long lines. I would also have some items packed away for barter and charity. If the current crisis is economic collapse, your cash might become worthless.

Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down!

No matter which way you slice it; a crisis action plan will increase your chances of success. You are more likely to be reunited with your family or group. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. Take the time to develop a crisis action plan. You’ll be glad you did. You don’t want to be caught with your pants down when the SHTF! You’ll have the things you need when you need them.

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About the Author

Greg B. is the president of Survival Tactics NOW! providing professional consultation in survival planning and emergency preparedness. He is an ardent outdoorsman and wilderness survival enthusiast.


  1. Josh L says:

    Hey Greg, I saw a [television] special the other day and it was discussing prepping and natural disasters, etc. in the documentary it said that the national guard would treat preppers as terrorists during these times. Being that you prep and have military experience, what are your thoughts? Is this just someone’s take on it or someone who misspoke? Just curious.

    • Thanks for the post, Josh! This is an interesting question and really depends on what kind of scenario your facing, what state you live in, and the attitude of the governor of the state.

      The National Guard is under the direction of each individual state’s executive branch (governor). For instance, when the guard is activated for combat zone deployment, it is by direction the governor of the state and then placed under operational and tactical control of the supported commander.

      Because of the posse comitatus act, the united states armed forces are not permitted to act against U.S. states or their citizens. The U.S. Coast Guard and National Guard are not bound by this Act. Furthermore, the National Guard can only be deployed within it’s home state or to an adjacent state with express permission of the host state’s Governor.

      With that being said, I don’t see prepping as a terrorist threat but rather a patriotic duty of all citizens. If you don’t break federal, state or local laws, and you maintain good OPSEC, I think you’ll always be good to go.

      P.S. If the U.S. has declared martial law and federal troops are deployed within our own borders, you had better hope you have some serious preps because it’s a whole different ball game at that point!