At this point in your preps you will have covered most of the critical infrastructure you can. Probably in varying scales of completeness, with your own experiences and prejudices ensuring certain areas are covered to your satisfaction. There are quite a few areas that have not really been looked at which will enhance your life and ease you into your new life. Let us look at some of those now.
Unless you are bugging out you will not have thought much about transport. After an event the situation will have dramatically shifted as cheap and abundant fuel will no longer be available. You will have to make do on stored fuel which will have degraded and be of variable quality or home made fuels such as alcohol, cooking oil or a mixture of these. There are various articles around on these and it is important to remember that most require a diesel engine. Diesels being originally designed to run on peanut oil but being modified to use fossil fuels. Even though diesels can be converted most modern systems are built to such exacting specifications to meet emission targets that they will not run on anything but refined fuels. Buy your vehicles carefully.
Alternatively you can use horses, if there are any, motorcycles, which have similar problems to other fuelled vehicles or one of the oldest and more reliable modes of transport which is a bicycle. These are in use all over the planet, require external power, you, and need little maintenance. Servicing is easy and the only real worry is looking after tyres. There are several articles on bikes available.
We don’t think about power much now because it is cheap and readily available at the flick of a switch. It won’t be after an event, like fuel and closely related, we will either have stored our own or have to create it. You could put aside a generator, but that need fuel, valuable fuel. You could put aside batteries but they eventually go flat or simply refuse to store any more charge.
There are still options, a diesel generator running from biofuels or alcohol. Wind power, for when it is windy, solar power from panels, solar power via heat exchange. There are several options to be considered and the options can be found in articles on the site. We must consider what is best for your situation and abilities. Your gas bottle will be running low and you need to get things in place so you can generate heat which is your main reason for power with the addition of generating power for other tasks, such as charging batteries or powering security systems.
You can use solar showers to wash yourself. No power requirement. You can use solar to heat water and cook. You can use firewood and other flammable materials to reserve your other limited resources.
If you live by a stream or on a hill, you should consider a water turbine, by the sea or on a hill or plain then consider wind power.
Myself I’m looking at solar panels to generate electricity to provide power for my systems and charge batteries. Eventually though they will all fail and we will be back to basics.
Our communications grids will be down. The telephones, although most of the wiring will be in place, will be unpowered after 72 hours, the mobile phone system won’t even last that long and any TV or radio station will be offline as soon as their power goes. Unless it is a localised event all transmissions will stop within a few days. We will be back to smoke signals and runners.
For most of us the easiest objective here would be to go back to a wired system. Piggyback onto the system in place, lay wires where necessary. Hardwire phones in, at the very minimum point to point, one fixed phone to one fixed phone, or best via a small exchange.
You can help with the transition by looking at these options and preparing ahead of time. A small exchange is relatively cheap now a days but requires power. Fixed phones also require power to ring the bell. Usually, in field telephones, performed by a cranking handle.
The wired system has advantages but for implementation speed you cannot beat the little hand held radios. Several channels, no fixed location and they run on cheap batteries. Get rechargeable batteries that you can recharge yourself. Remember though with these although the range is limited you can still be detected and tracked unless you remember OPSEC.
There are several options available for wireless systems, see the articles on the main site. Most will provide power for local use and battery powered.
Distilling and Brewing
An area that I think more of us should look at is distilling and home brewing. Not only can the alcohol be used as fuel and used for medicinal purposes, the main reason I’m suggesting it, but you can also use it to improve your existence by getting blotto every now and again. Alcohol in general will be a much sought after commodity and an excellent barter item. It doesn’t require much and all the ingredients can be found in nature. Stock up on the equipment now. Modern equipment will make it much easier for your new brewery.
Most of this will be procedural and reliant on habit and audit. There are a few things that you can put aside to make this easier. PIR lights, alarms, night vision. Trip wires and flares. Consider your situation and bear in mind that alrams and bright lights going off advertise your position and are hardly OPSEC.
It is going to be worthwhile buying plenty of tools. Tools built to a very high tolerance and at little cost now will be to all intents and purposes impossible to create. Have a good look around and make sure you have a comphrehensive toolkit. It is better to get some good quality tools rather than cheap ones but cheap ones have their place in your inventory as well. Sometime we just can’t afford a good quality tool that is rarely used so instead we make do with a cheaper tool. Look at everything you need now and make sure that you have tools to cover that and for critical tasks, more than one.