Setting up an EOC (Emergency Operations Center) for your Prepper group should be at the top of your group activities. When SHTF hits, you are going to need a centralized base of operations for disseminating information to your members. This could be everything from weather information to road closures and possibly even troop movements. Waiting until SHTF hits and then scrambling to figure out just how to set one up, is a recipe for disaster and one that can be avoided by good planning now. This is the topic for today’s post.
Your first question may be “What exactly is an EOC and why does my Prepper group need one?” The answer to those two questions is really very simple. An EOC is a centralized source for information that is gathered from many sources and compiled for your group’s members. The reason for the Emergency would dictate the type of information that would be needed by your members. If it was weather related for example, they might need information on road closures and flooded areas, as well as storm updates. If it is caused by an attack on the US of some type, then you may need to update your group, on where the troops are and the best routes to avoid them. A chemical attack, would necessitate the need for information on wind speed and direction. I think you get the point as to why your group needs to have one and just how important it could be when the time comes.
Now let’s take a look at choosing the best location for your EOC. If your group has a clubhouse or a particular home where you regularly meet, then that may be the best place to create it. This is only if the location will not need to be evacuated for flooding or is not situated anyplace that could place the occupants in a dangerous situation. The best place in my mind to locate one would be in the home of someone who intends to bug in for a SHTF situation. Someplace with both wired and wireless phones, as well as Cable TV and internet access. In other words it needs to have as many forms of gathering and sending information as possible. It should have backup electrical systems, in case the power goes out as well as several maps of the area for locating alternate routes. Where you locate it is up to you, but I recommend that it should be someplace that is manned at all times if possible, like maybe the home of a retired member of your group for instance.
The next question after you have decided where you will put your EOC, is to decide what to keep in it. For this I have several recommendations. Besides the obvious such as Phones, TVs and maps, there are a few other items you should add such as a good HF Ham radio for receiving and sending information over large areas of the country. No, you don’t need a large tower to be able to talk for long distances, as a simple wire antenna strung up in a tree close by will do just fine in most cases. You may want to add a VHF radio, for communicating with your group locally in the event cell phone coverage is out. Another item is a good computer connected to the internet with multiple monitors for monitoring several things at once. You will want to identify several key road intersections that have traffic cams and bookmark them, should you need to access them in hurry. You will also want to bookmark several trusted news stations, both local and national as well. When a disaster strikes and you need the information in a hurry, you will be glad you took the time to do it in advance. I would also bookmark other sites, such as local weather radar and the national weather service for example. Maybe a site with information on surviving a nuclear blast or a chemical attack would be handy to have too. Anything you could possibly need to know in a hurry.
OK, so now you have your EOC setup, how do you use it in and emergency should be your next question. This is a really hard one because it depends on exactly what the Emergency is. In this case, we should just look at it from a high level that might apply to as many situations as possible. First off, the overarching goal here is to gather and provide your members with as much information on the ongoing emergency as possible in a useable format. This means that if it is weather related then you may need to provide weather information first. Always place the most important information at the beginning of your update just in case you lose contact with them before you can provide all of the information you intend to. In any given emergency, the most important information will be that which will allow the members of your group to safely reach their retreat or to provide safety information to those who are bugging in. The power of this type of information should never be underestimated and as I said before, should be the highest priority for your group. Even if your group is only planning to meet at a stop somewhere before going their separate ways, getting them their safely is the first key to survival!
Discussing this in detail well in advanced of an emergency and taking the time to plan out and setup and Group EOC is well worth the effort. Until such time as an emergency occurs, all we can really do is prepare, plan, and practice for every possible scenario we can think of. Plan ahead and plan to survive!
Well, that’s about it for today’s post and I hope you have enjoyed it. I hope I have given you something to think about and maybe even a few new ideas for getting ready for SHTF. Until next time, just remember that prepping is a direction of travel and not a destination! Keep on prepping folks!