Preparedness Capability Checklist – Minimum & Extended Levels

Posted on Sep 07, 2011 in Emergency Preparedness & Survival, Featured Articles

Kevin Hayden –

Source: The Preparedness Blog by Rob Hanus

Preparedness Capability Checklist

The Preparedness Capability Checklist (PCC) is a list of functions, or capabilities, that you need to provide for in each of the survival categories.  Unlike other survival lists, the CC isn’t a shopping list of items that you need to get or put into a kit.  Instead, it helps identify which functions you 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 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 sub-sections, 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.

This Preparedness Capability Checklist is a work in progress. It is constantly being refined to make it better and to fill in gaps.

 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
  • Notes:
    • 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)
  • Notes:
    • 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)
  • Notes:
    • 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
      • CPR
      • 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
    • Notes:
      • 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.

Continue reading over to Rob Hanus’ website, The Preparedness Blog.  He is the original author of the Capability Checklist and has turned it into a great new ebook! He continues, in-depth, on the following topics and more! 

Food & Cooking

Information, Entertainment & Plans


Navigation & Signaling

NBCP (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Particulate) Defense

Personal Care & Sanitation

Pets & Animals

Shelter, Fire & Warmth

Stealth & Camouflage

Tools, Repair & Utility



Weather Information


Original listing can be found at  The reader is encouraged to check out the original site, as the list periodically changes.

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