A Well Regulated Militia Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» A Well Regulated Militia » Basic Training » Survival & Preparedness » Survival Retreat SOPs

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Survival Retreat SOPs
ConSigCor
Administrator

Member # 7

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ConSigCor   Email ConSigCor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Survival Retreat SOPs

Standard Operating Procedures For Your Survival Retreat

Survival Retreat SOPs are sets of rules or guidelines that establish how the group will respond or react to various situations, or specify what is expected of group members. These can be as extensive or limited as you feel necessary, the important aspect is to cover the situations you feel are most likely to impact your group. What’s critical is getting buy-in from the members of your group; otherwise any SOPs you create will have less value than wallpaper for your retreat. This is the first of a series of articles that will address and explore SOPs for the survival minded.

It is possible to go overboard when setting up SOPs, and I’d advise you not to go there. Better to establish them for things that are important, like life and death, and ignore mundane things such as how boot lacing. In this article I’ll provide examples of SOP topics and suggestions of what might be addressed in them. In later articles I’ll dig in to the topics to illustrate some concepts and suggestions for you to consider. Please remember, there are very few hard and fast rules when it comes to SOPs for retreats. Each retreat is different, each location is different, each of us could face different threats, etc. So our SOPs will probably be somewhat different, but as long as you’ve covered the basics you should have what you need, and you can expand them as you see fit.

Pilots doing their pre-flight checklist are following SOPs. Soldiers on guard duty have a set of generic general orders and possibly some special orders for that specific guard post that define their SOPs while on that duty. Help desk personnel use a set of SOPs to determine how to handle callers and the problems they are seeking assistance with. Do a search on SOPs and you can find guides for writing them as well as examples by the dozen. So we are surrounded by SOPs on a daily basis.

Some examples and assistance:

http://www.standardoperatingproceduretemplates.com/standard-operating-procedure/6-examples-of-standard-operating-procedures/754/

http://www.ehow.com/how_4455615_write-standard-operating-procedures.html

http://www.epa.gov/quality/qs-docs/g6-final.pdf

http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/atp3_90x90.pdf
11GO


With all of this in mind using SOPs for a survival retreat makes perfect sense, though the specific SOPs established for a retreat probably won’t resemble much of what any of us have seen elsewhere in our lives. This is simple reality, as the world won’t resemble much of what any of us is familiar with. Seriously, something bad enough to make us leave our homes (in most cases), our jobs, our hobbies, etc. and head to a retreat had to have occurred in order to find ourselves in that situation.

So hopefully each of us will have a solid set of plans, SOPs, to help us deal with things. Note: Preppers won’t have any OSHA or similar inspectors reviewing their SOPs, so you don’t have to be a formal or official as the examples above, but I hope they will provide some inspiration at the least.

Bug Out SOP

This is the foundation of your plans and you will certainly want to have some SOPs for this. Some examples:

When would you decide to bug-out? What event or situation would need to happen before you would initiate your plan?
Would your group head straight for your retreat or would you meet at a rally-point first?
Would you institute a defensive stance during your bug-out? Automatically or only in certain situations? How active or passive would your defensive stance be?
How would you respond to things that block your planned travel route?
How many travel routes would you have scouted and set for your vehicles to use?
How might you get to your retreat if vehicles are not an option?
How would you handle a vehicle breakdown during a bug-out?
How would you handle casualties during a bug-out?

How would you maintain isolation against biological agents during a bug-out?

Security SOP

This is what will keep you alive. It’s also the area you will probably want to have the most SOPs established since deadly force is part and parcel of any retreat security setup.

How will you set up your guard rotation to best secure your retreat? This can mean numbers, posts, hours on post, how guards will be posted or relieved, and how many of your group will be on the guard duty roster.
Will you use a “challenge and password” system for people coming into the retreat? Will they change daily, twice daily, or never? Will there be a danger or alert password that your people can use if they are returning under duress?
When will your guards be expected to use deadly force? How will you keep them safe while avoiding situations where they shoot too soon, or too late? How will you keep them from firing at your own people returning to the retreat or checking on your guards etc.?
How will you notify your people of an impending threat, to take up their fighting positions, of a perimeter penetration, or to bug-out? Some possibilities include; siren, bell, horn, metal on metal, or similar acoustic method. Flashing lights and similar could also be used.
How will your guard posts, outposts, etc. warn of potential threats and report on the nature of the threat?
How will your guards, and anyone outside of the retreat, be instructed to deal with refugees, potential “bad guys”, official looking folks, people who might be sick, etc.?
Will you make use of a sniper over-watch?
Will you make use of “booby-traps? If so, at what point do you set them? Will they be designed as noise-makers, immobilizers, to injure, or to kill?
How will you establish a perimeter? Will each adult capable of firing a weapon have an assigned fighting position (aka foxhole)? Will each person have fallback positions as well?
Will you use a reaction force? If yes, where will you get the personnel for it if everyone has assigned fighting positions, and will those positions be occupied by others of your group or left vacant?
Will you have a specific uniform for your people, or a patch for use on whatever they will wear, that will help your guards identify your people from a distance?
Will you make use of light signals during the hours of darkness?

Will your guards have non-lethal as well as lethal force options available to them?

Cooking and Meal SOP

This area is a key consideration for both the health and morale of your group.

Will you use designated cooks for the group or will each family be cooking their own meals? Personally this is the only approach that makes sense from a
Assuming you will have a centralized food supply for the group, will you establish a specific calorie allowance per person per day? Will those be flexible based on the nature of the work that person does for the retreat?
Will you make any allowances for Vegans, Vegetarians, or members with religious dietary restrictions?
Will each member/family be responsible for contributing food to the group or will all food items be maintained at the family level? This goes hand-in-hand with the question about cooking for the group and needs to be established well before the group finds itself in a crisis situation.
What food options will you have for any patrols or teams leaving the retreat for more than a few hours? Items such as MREs, dehydrated foods, and similar will be your best bet for this type of meal needs but other options exist as well.

Hygiene SOP

Another area where the SOPs implemented by the group will have a serious impact on the health and survival of the group members.

How frequently will members be able to bathe or shower? Consider how much water this will take and how much fuel to heat that water. Don’t forget to have a plan for dealing with the waste-water.
Same question for hand washing and brushing of teeth.
Same question for laundry and gear cleaning.
Decontamination – how would you perform decontamination of personnel and equipment in the event you find yourself in a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear environment?
How will human and animal waste be dealt with? Urine and feces can be both useful and a complete pain in your anatomy.
How will food prep, storing, and refuse be dealt with? This would also include waste from butchering of livestock and game.

If you have addressed these 4 primary areas you should be in good shape. Obviously there are many other areas that you might need SOPs for, but these are the ones that everyone should develop and implement. These will be given expanded attention in future articles.

Another significant area that deserves serious thought would be what I’ll call the group economy. That would include questions or issues of members (and non-members) labor that benefits the group, labor/materials/time that members use to benefit themselves, how food (grown, gathered, hunted, trapped, caught, or scavenged) and other items of value are distributed or utilized for the good of the group. However, this topic will require an extensive write-up of its own.

The final area I plan addressing in this series will be combat. This will also require an article dedicated to the topic and will cover concepts from ambushes through range cards.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15323 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
ConSigCor
Administrator

Member # 7

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ConSigCor   Email ConSigCor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bugging Out SOPs

Bug out – This is the foundation of your plans and you will certainly want to have some SOPs for this. Seriously, this is the make or break point for a Prepper. Leave too late and you may never get to your retreat. Leave when the situation doesn’t call for it and it could cost jobs, the faith of family or group members, or other potentially negative results. Leave without realizing the nature of the threat and you could be following a plan that won’t address the specifics of that threat.

My purpose with these is not to create your SOPs but to get each of you thinking of a wide range of questions and possible issues. It’s up to you to decide which apply to your specific situation and what you will do about them. That should enable you to craft a set of SOPs tailored for your needs and agreeable to your group.

When would you decide to bug-out? What event or situation would need to happen before you would initiate your plan?

This is probably the trickiest question you will attempt to answer, and the SOP that will inflict the most stress on you. I know it was for me, and I frequently revisit this one to see if modifications are called for. Why? Because this is the moment of Go or No-Go. For me, this could easily be a one-shot deal. If I tell my group to go and it turns out there was never any valid reason for doing so then many of the spouses (the majority of whom don’t share the Prepper mindset) will never agree to a bug-out again.

So I dare not call for a bug-out lightly. You may be in a similar position, so give this question a lot of careful consideration. The flip side of my dilemma, of course, is if I wait too long to call a bug out then some of my people might not be able to get away from a deteriorating situation. So any bug out decision is going to require serious thought and data from many sources.

Would your group head straight for your retreat
or would you meet at a rally-point first?


For many this will seem to be a minor decision, but there are implications worthy of your attention. How far must you travel to reach your retreat? How difficult is the journey, or how many potential obstacles (rivers, major population centers, local law enforcement, etc.) must you cross to reach your goal? If the travel is easy and the distance minor then head for the retreat, but if the potential for issues is large then improve your odds by first meeting in a Rally Point (RP). A Rally Point gives you options for rearranging your vehicle loads, drivers, order of march, etc.

For longer distances the use of multiple Rally Points prevents your various elements (smaller groups of vehicles if you have too many vehicles and would attract attention as a large group) from getting too spread out or badly misdirected. Another consideration for the RP decision, is there someone already at your survival retreat? If you have someone living there full time who can secure it till you arrive than a RP isn’t as critical. If you don’t then you might want to consider having a RP near the retreat so you can hold the group there while a recon team checks the retreat for any surprises. With all of these things to consider you might actually make use of multiple RPs under certain conditions.

Would you institute a defensive stance during your bug-out?

Would you assume it automatically or only in certain situations? How active or passive would your defensive stance be? This is a tricky concern to say the least. What rules govern firearms in your state? Can you carry concealed? Can you open carry? Must weapons be cased and not accessible by the driver? Will there still be enough ROL (Rule Of Law) that you don’t need to have a defensive stance, or will things have degraded enough that you do? Will you have more than just a driver in each (or any) of your vehicles?

How would you respond to things that block your planned travel route?

Take a minute and think about all the possible ways you might be blocked. Some examples; roadblock, detour, collapsed bridge, gridlock, fire, riot or similar public disturbance, flooding, mudslide, or similar. How would you avoid these? How would you find a way around them? Are there any single points between you and your retreat that if blocked would cripple your bug out?

How many travel routes would you have scouted and set for your vehicles to use?

The more travel route options you have the more likely you’ll make it to your retreat in a timely manner. Beware of single points that could block you from your retreat such as a major river with limited bridges. Develop ways to overcome such obstacles by thinking outside the box, possibly making use of a railroad bridge to cross that major river for example.

How might you get to your retreat if vehicles are not an option?

This might be the case in an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) event, where virtually all vehicles would be rendered inoperative like in the book One Second After (Affiliate Link). Or you might find yourself in a gridlock situation that blocks all avenues of egress toward your retreat. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in such a situation, but you need a plan of what to do just in case. Your non-vehicle options could range from horseback, hiking, bicycle, watercraft, to some homebuilt vehicle powered by an alternative fuel source. And, no surprise, you will need to have routes selected in advance for these as well.

How would you handle a vehicle breakdown during a bug-out?

Will you have a mechanic with you? What about tools or parts? Will you have the means to tow a disabled vehicle? Will you have adequate storage space in other vehicles to redistribute the disabled vehicle’s load? Can you afford to leave a vehicle behind if it breaks down, possibly with supplies still onboard? Would you leave a guard behind to secure the vehicle until you could find the needed parts and head back to repair it?

How would you handle casualties during a bug-out?

A bug out will be a very stressful time for you and your group. With that in mind you will need to think about how you will handle injuries (from accidents and such) or casualties (from combat situations) during your movement from the home area to the retreat. Will you have a designated ambulance with an EMT or similar on board? Will you have spare drivers in case a driver is the injured person? Will you have adequate medical skills and medical kit supplies on-hand to give your casualty a good chance of surviving to reach the retreat?

How would you maintain isolation against biological agents during a bug-out?

My primary concern as a Prepper is biological. Whether a man-made horror or a natural Pandemic Flu, I am more concerned with these threats than any other. So my bug out plans include SOPs for family isolation, strict rules against transferring items without decontamination procedures being followed, mask and glove use, and similar concepts.

With each of these SOP articles I hope you will broaden your understanding of just how complicated being a Prepper can be and how many things you should consider planning for. As the old joke goes “if it was easy everybody would be doing it…” But even though it isn’t easy more and more people are doing it as the realization becomes obvious that during a crisis we will have no one to depend on but ourselves.

[ 11-18-2017, 06:58 AM: Message edited by: ConSigCor ]

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15323 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
ConSigCor
Administrator

Member # 7

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ConSigCor   Email ConSigCor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
SOP Expansion – Cooking, Meals, and Hygiene

These areas are intertwined in so many ways that it makes sense to address them in one document. All deal with the health and morale of the group. All have water requirements. And they are all areas that a bit of ignorance or outside interference could result in disease or death among your group members. If you haven’t read my previous posts on SOPs you might want to start there.

 -

Cooking and Meals:

Will you use designated cooks for the group or will each family be cooking their own meals? Personally the designated cook arrangement is the only approach that makes sense from a time management perspective for any group that I’d be associated with. Seriously do you use something like 25% of your group to handle the cooking and food prep for the rest, or do you use a much smaller percentage of the total group with special training and skills instead? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Assuming you will have a centralized food supply for the group, will you establish a specific calorie allowance per person per day? Will those be flexible based on the nature of the work that person does for the retreat?

With centralized cooking and meal prep a group must establish a centralized food supply I would think. Each day the cooking staff/team would need to come up with a menu for the meals over the next 24 hour period. To do that they have to know what food they have to work with. If each family unit brings some food to the cooks each day they could end up with one bringing rice, another pasta, and yet another with instant mashed potatoes. If this was a restaurant setting that might work, but this would be more similar to a military dining facility (mess hall), meaning one or two main course options per meal. And the only way to efficiently plan not only the meals for the next 24 hours but the meals over the next month is if your food is held centrally and controlled by the cooking staff. This is the only way to ration the group’s food, ensure caloric intake and nutritional values are met, as well as maximize your workload efficiency. Bear in mind that you might want to offer larger portions to those doing the harder work, or burning more calories, or any pregnant women.

Will you make any allowances for Vegans, Vegetarians, or members with religious dietary restrictions?

In normal times I support a person’s right to determine what is best for them-selves in terms of diet. However, we’re not talking about normal times; we’re talking about a time as abnormal as it could possibly be. My advice will be for people with such dietary issues to suspend them until things get back to something resembling normalcy. Not doing so will place a terrible burden on the group and the individuals with such dietary requirements.

Will each member/family be responsible for contributing food to the group at some set interval/quantity or will all food items be maintained at the family level?

This goes hand-in-hand with the question about cooking for the group and needs to be established well before the group finds itself in a crisis situation. The expectation in my group is that each family unit will have at least 6 months of food on hand for all their members prior to any bug out to our retreat. Our intent is for the majority of this food to be in common/bulk items that lend themselves to a centralized cooking setup. Things like rice, beans, pasta, and similar bulk food should be the foundation of the accumulated food. There are many other recommended items to be accumulated, but your groups should select such items to fit your needs or preferences.

What food options will you have for any patrols or teams leaving the retreat for more than a few hours?

Items such as MREs, dehydrated hiking/camping foods, and similar will be your best bet for this type of meal needs but other options exist as well. There are reasons to consider these items prior to needing them including; simplicity for those away from the retreat, increased food safety by not having to transport freshly prepared foods with insufficient cooling while in transit, avoiding the weight of cans and similar packaging, and their inherent portability.

Meals will have a huge impact on the morale and esprit of your group during a crisis situation. So know how you will keep your people fed, nourished, and happy. Do not leave this critical area to chance or some last minute decisions.

Hygiene and Water Issues:

This is another area where the SOPs implemented by the group will have a serious impact on the health and survival of the group members. There will need to be some hard decisions made here, and some folks will likely have their feelings hurt, but we’re talking survival of the individuals as well as the group so hurt feelings are not important.

How frequently will members be able to bathe or shower?

Consider how much water this will take and how much fuel to heat that water. Don’t forget to have a plan for dealing with the waste-water.

Same question for hand washing and brushing of teeth.

Same question for laundry and gear cleaning.

For most of us today these are questions that never enter our thoughts. Water comes in from some local government agency, waste water is taken care of by some local government agency, and it doesn’t cost us much money. But what will you do when there is no city government, or government department to handle water for you?

For most the answer to “where will you get your water?” will be a well or stream. For most the answer to “how will you handle waste-water?” will be a septic field or that same stream. But those answers generate questions of their own. How will drought affect your situation? Will the septic system poison your water supply? What will your neighbors downstream think of your waste in their water supply? Lots of thought required here, probably some education as well as fact finding, and this is not an area to leave until you’re trying to survive at your retreat.

It's Hot in Here!

Decontamination – how would you perform decontamination of personnel and equipment in the event you find yourself in a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear environment?

Decontamination is both an art and a science. The science part entails the ability to identify the contaminants you’re dealing with and knowing the best means of eliminating the threat they pose. The art part is developing the skills, and routines, for living in an environment where such are required. Having been trained as a NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) Specialist in the Army I hope you will believe me when I say this stuff isn’t easy. It’s hard to spend long periods of time in protective masks, especially if you’re doing any physical labor or trying to stay alert.

The masks, and the suits that are part of the package that keeps you uncontaminated, are hot and make most activities exceptionally unpleasant. The process of removing these items in a way that doesn’t contaminate you, or spread contaminants into your living space, is anything but simple and demands your intense and undivided attention. You will want SOPs for this topic, and they will be based on your perception of the most likely threats that you might have to deal with, and the specifics of your retreat arrangement.

How will human and animal waste be dealt with? Urine and feces can be both useful and a complete pain in your anatomy.

This question ties into the one regarding bathing, showering, and laundering but with a twist. You may need to use these as fertilizer for the food you’ll need to grow. You may need to process them before you can safely make use of them. And you still have to be concerned with the possibility of spreading disease with them.

How will food prep, storing, and refuse be dealt with? This would also include waste from butchering of livestock and game.

Will you bury these items, burn them, dump them, or use them to feed hogs? All are potentially viable options, and all have potential issues to consider. If you bury them there is a chance they will spread disease or other contaminants into your water supply. If you burn the smoke and odor could attract unwanted attention. Dumping, say in a landfill or unused quarry/mine, could also adversely affect your water supply. Using this waste as feed for hogs might require the separation of some items, which would then require one of the other disposal methods.

The questions in this article are ones that no retreat can avoid. If you address them prior to a crisis situation you have time to acquire needed materials, build needed structures, and formulate the processes it would take to handle these issues. If you don’t you might find yourself awash in waste or dying of thirst because you don’t have something you’d need in order to handle the situation. Don’t let that happen to you or those you care about!

About Rick Cox

Rick became a soldier when he was 17 years old and spent 8 years active duty with a total of 5 MOS's. After leaving the Army and returning to his family he realized civil defense was no more and because a prepper before it was even a word. Today he offers a prepper consulting service and is the head of sales at Fortitude Ranch which is a dedicated prepper community.
View all posts by Rick Cox →

[ 11-18-2017, 06:59 AM: Message edited by: ConSigCor ]

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15323 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
ConSigCor
Administrator

Member # 7

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ConSigCor   Email ConSigCor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Waiting until you're waist deep in the middle of CHAOS is not the time to be asking these questions and trying to figure things out. Doesn't matter if you're a survivalist or a militia group you need to come up with a plan now.

--------------------
"The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon, and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Gen. T.J. Jackson, March 1861

Posts: 15323 | From: A 059 Btn 16 FF MSC | Registered: Oct 2001  | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | A Well Regulated Militia

All information posted on this site is the private property
of the individual who posted the information and AWRM.org,
and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission.
© 2001-2017 AWRM.org All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2