Ever had 7 Layer Dip? It seems like there are a million iterations of the 7 layers. They may have some layers in common, but each one is slightly different. Your emergency and survival planning should be done the same way.
There is no one plan that fits everyone. The desired end result is the same though. So don’t take someone’s idea of “the perfect plan” as fact. Take into account unique factored in your life. Do you have small children, elderly family members, special medical needs, or unique geophapical concerns? Factors like these will color the plan you choose.
Planning to “bug out” or “bug in” may be one of the first areas where you have to take factors like these into account . The health and age of your party members will greatly affect the speed and distance you can travel. Even if you have a vehicle, this can still be the case, though it is much more pronounced if you are on foot. If the area you are in is relatively safe or can be made so, then “bugging in” may be the best bet if you have these concerns. On top of this you know the area and can use that home court advantage. Also, you should have many more supplies than you could carry on your back at home. While stuffing them in the car is an option, you may find yourself abandoning a large percentage of them if your vehicle is incompassitated or the roads impassible.
Special factors will also dictate what supplies you need to stock beyond the essentials. If you have small children, powdered formula, baby food, and short and long term diaper plans will be a necessity. Medications to treat gas, teething pain, and digestive issues will be very helpful too. Also forms of entertainment can be a necessity with children. On the other side, you may need a stock of prescribed medications, and vitamins if you have elderly members. A special diet could also be in order if anyone is diabetic or has particular allergies.
Any special geographical concerns should heavily be taken into account. Do you live in an area frequented by hurricanes or tornadoes? This plan will differ greatly from one based in an area that has frequent and deep snows. If you live in an area that frequently floods, you will need to take steps to waterproof your supplies. Road salt and tire chains are not much use in a hurricane, but can make a huge difference on icy winter roads. Similarly, a canoe and materials to board up windows make little sense in a snowstorm, but mean life or death in a hurricane.
A good way to begin your planning would be to set down and honestly list out the skills and challenges related to your group members and location. With these in black and white you can look for ways to offset issues. This may be by storing particular supplies, learning new skills, or devising alterations to your planning. In the end it is best to remember that you can make up the layers with anything you like, as long as it works for you.