During the Cold War, the US pre-positioned equipment, supplies, and fuel throughout Europe (mostly in West Germany) at POMCUS* sites. The idea was that if the USSR invaded Western Europe, the US Army would have enough equipment in-place to field several divisions within days. The soldiers would arrive by plane from the US, get their equipment at a POMCUS site, and head off to fight the Soviets. This would be faster and less dangerous than moving equipment by sea during wartime.

Civilians like you and I can do something on a smaller scale. After all, having a cache of supplies at a secondary or tertiary location could really come in handy during an emergency. You would already have some necessary items staged and ready for use upon your arrival. Plus, it would make it easier on your hosts.

What are some items that could go in your POMCUS cache?  Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Toiletries
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Bedding
  • Medicines
  • Portable radio
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Cash
  • Paperback books
  • Playing cards
  • Water
  • MREs
  • Knife and/or multitool
  • Copies of important documents
  • Emergency contact information
  • Printed list of important phone numbers

The presumption is that your destination will be relatively safe and that most services (water, electricity, phone/data) would be operational.

Start thinking about one or two locations where you could store a set of gear. Family, relatives, friends, co-workers, teammates, and others would be good candidates for POMCUS locations. Offer to reciprocate too, doing so could help someone close to you during an emergency. Your supply cache does not have to be large or extensive, start with what you would need for a few days and expand from there. Work with your site host to determine how much space you need and where the gear would be stored.

This will be an ongoing process and I’ll write more on this subject in the future. For now, get started and begin to think about what your POMCUS cache would look like.

*Prepositioning Of Materiel Configured in Unit Sets