PACE Plan for Preparedness

After discovering Fieldcraft Survival in 2021, I’ve been using their free resources and survival gear to become more prepared. I recently listened to this episode of Fieldcraft Survival’s podcast with Amber Elle. I realized that while we have many things in place we don’t actually have a PACE preparedness plan for everything.

For us, this is would be the next level of planning.

PACE is an acronym that stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency

Many Fieldcraft Survival staff are former military so I believe that’s where the use comes from. The PACE acronym is actually used in communication planning but can apply to preparedness plans.

This year I’ll build out our food, water, and shelter PACE plans.

PACE Plan for Preparedness

Typical Emergency Scenario Requiring a PACE Preparedness Plan

Since we live in Ottawa, Ontario our city has fallen prey to several kinds of natural disasters from Tornadoes to Ice Storms. With many of these weather scenarios, parts of the city could be out of power for hours, days, or weeks at a time. So for this blog post, I’ll use a multiple-day power outage example to map out our PACE plan for 3 key areas of survival.

Food PACE Plan

Primary: Our primary way to nourish ourselves is farm to table. This includes acquiring foods from farms during harvest seasons and learning how to store them. From packing freezers to shelf-stable canning.

Alternate: If we were to lose power, we have a generator to keep our freezers cold. We have quite enough food stored on hand to last us a while. And depending on the weather if it’s winter our lovely Canadian climate lends itself well to having an outdoor fridge/freezer. For primary and alternate, you may also want to think about how much food you want on hand to feed your family from 1 week, to 3 months to a year. The amount of food you have on hand will be different for everyone’s comfort levels.

Contingency: We purchased several freeze-dried buckets of food that have at least a 10-year shelf life so I’ll put this in the contingency bucket. And if we don’t end up using them to survive they are perfect to take on future canoe trips (so we can use them up before the expiry date).

Emergency: My wanting to garden and learning how to grow our own food is definitely not a primary or alternative way of feeding our family (yet). So I’ll put that in the emergency bucket for now. This would be based on an emergency that halted all food supply changes in addition to our local farmers who I currently source food from.

Water PACE Plan

According to this blog, on average we need at least 1 gallon per day per individual. 1/2 of this gallon is used for drinking, 1/4 for cooking, and 1/4 for washing. A recommendation is to keep at least 3 days of water on hand in the house. So that means I need at least 12 gallons on hand for our family of four.

So if the power goes out we only have a bit of time before we don’t have access to water from the taps in our house. Here are the things we already have in place and what else we need to do to have a PACE plan when it comes to water.

Primary: Our primary water source is the water that runs through our reverse osmosis system in our house. There is a reservoir, so we would have access to what is in there at the beginning of a power outage. It actually isn’t a lot so we’d move to our alternate plans quite quickly.

Alternate: We have water stored in glass containers in our pantry. We currently have 1 large carboy which is 5 gallons and then 3 1-gallon glass containers which used to have apple cider vinegar in them. That means I still need to add 4 gallons to my storage shelves.

Contingency: We have a water filter that we bring camping with us. While this is a great contingency solution it takes quite a while to pump one Nalgene of water with this filter. I’ve been thinking about buying a Berkey for large filtration at home. We will just need something to carry the water into the house. Whether it’s catching rain or sourcing it from nearby rivers. I’ll be looking at purchasing something like Water Bricks, a WaterBOB for filling a bathtub, and a collapsible rainwater barrel.

Emergency: Boiling water can be an emergency solution. If the emergency lasted longer than a few days we might choose to move locations. Our bug-out location is on a lake. I also have several supplies in my mobility bag in my vehicle for purifying water such as Life Straws and AquaTabs while traveling to an alternate location.

Shelter PACE Plan

Primary: Our primary shelter is obviously our house. As previously mentioned we have a mobile generator to keep our fridge, freezer, X, and a few lights working in a power outage.

Alternate: As part of my self-reliant challenge for the year, I do want to upgrade the mobile generator to a propane one that isn’t reliant on gas. We’ll purchase and install it later this year after the snow melts.

Contingency: We actually have two friends who live nearby in the country with generators. We could always go and stay with them if our house wasn’t safe anymore.

Emergency: If our two friends’ houses are not available we also have our emergency bug-out location.


Do you have PACE plans in place for food, water, or shelter? Let me know if I should add anything to ours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.