Tag Archives: Planning

Madness and Mayhem

The news over the last few days seems to be filled with chaos and mayhem. Whether it is the abandonment of vehicles in Atlanta or cryptic statements being made by journalists, it seems as though we are experiencing interesting times in America. To me, this further reinforces the need to be prepared and have a plan. Here are a few of my thoughts on recent events:

1. The gridlocked traffic in Georgia, Alabama, and other southern states reinforces the need to have a bag packed with appropriate items to help sustain your life in the event of an emergency. What if the businesses like Home Depot were not willing to harbor refugees from the weather? What would you do? Where would you go? It is possible to remain in your vehicle and protect yourself from the elements with the right equipment. Make sure to go out with a plan and not blindly hope that other will look out for you. Even if you do nothing else, put the following items in a bag in your car at the minimum:

  • A blanket for each person in the vehicle.
  • A one quart bottle of water for each seat in the vehicle. (Wrap these up in the blankets to keep them from freezing.
  • Food – Stable food that does not require special treatment (refrigeration) and that needs no resources to prepare. Think about items like jerky, granola bars, MRE’s, etc.
  • A first aid kit.
  • Hand Warmers
  • A light source (flashlight w/ batteries or chemical lightsticks).
  • Hat & gloves for each person.
  • A roll of toilet paper.
  • A disposable poncho for each person.

This is just a short list of the minimum items. These are all items that can be purchased at the dollar store. Put all this stuff in a plastic tote and keep it in the trunk. It could save your life!

2. Matt Drudge recently made a cryptic statement on Twitter about needing an exit plan. His exact tweet was, “Have an exit plan…” Many have taken this to the extreme and speculated about economic and stock crashes as well as other ideas. I take it as another reminder that we should all be preparing for the tough times that are likely ahead of us. It is not a bad idea to have an exit plan about how we would live our lives if we only had ourselves to rely on. (FYI-In the end, you can only count on yourself anyway.) Think about these points to assist you in your exit strategy:

  • Get out of debt.
  • Store enough food and water to sustain you and your loved ones for a predetermined amount of time (a MINIMUM of 7 days).
  • Have a plan on how you would acquire more food and water once you run out.
  • Establish a way to secure yourself and your property. Have a gun and know how to use it!
  • Always be able to provide yourself shelter, even if it means just having a tent and a plan on where it can be safely set up.
  • Talk to your family, friends, and neighbors about what you would all do if something were to happen. The solution to difficult times is to band together, pooling your resources and planning the path to recovery.
  • Pray, meditate, or do whatever you have to in order to seek wisdom and guidance as to how to deal with challenges. This is a daily task and does not have to only apply to an end of the world scenario.

These are a few of my thoughts. Take them for what they are. Remember that it is better to have something and not need it, then to need something and not have it!

Being Prepared Is a Team Sport

FamilyBeing prepared for any level of disaster or emergency is definitely something that should be a family, group,or team effort. This point was driven home to me as I was sick over the Christmas holiday. I had nothing left in me and if something had happened I would have been worthless. It is safe to say that I was actually a liability in my state and would have taken away from any efforts instead of helping. So what does this mean from a preparedness perspective for you?

1. GET YOUR FAMILY, GROUP, OR TEAM ON BOARD

In my family I am the primary prepper and until recently my wife has not really been all that thrilled with much of the ideas and practices of prepping. In fact it would be fair to say that she is not entirely on board. She is more like a person that is being towed in a boat behind mine, but at least she is not frantically rowing in the opposite direction!  So how do you get others on board with preparedness planning?  There is certainly no one answer to this question but from my experience the best approach to take is to be open and honest and help those who are important to you see how preparedness matters so much to you, your family, and inner circle.  If you are truly important to your family, friends, and community members then they will seriously consider what you have to say.

If you are a lone wolf type then seriously consider finding some like-minded people who are in close proximity to you so that if there is an emergency or disaster situation you are not forced to go at it alone.

2. DETERMINE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Each person in the group should have a primary and secondary responsibility when possible. If your group is two people then the situation may dictate otherwise but in a normal family size unit of 2 adults and 2.5 children this should be feasible and if you are part of a larger group of families then this is definitely doable. In fact in these larger groups, once primary and secondary roles have been mastered then the group should work on cross training in each other’s roles as well as taking on the responsibility of learning new skills.

Examples of potential individual roles/responsibilities include:

-Security
-Power
-Water
-Food
-Medical
-Communications
-Maintenance

This is of course not an all-inclusive list.  It does cover some of the major areas and systems of support that are an area of concern.  What roles need to be assumed will of course depend on the capabilities and systems that are available to your group.

3. DISCUSS WHAT TO DO IF SOMETHING DOES GO WRONG

If my role within the group is to be in charge of the generator and emergency power systems and I am ill then what will the group do? These types of situations need to be discussed and alternate plans need to be made to address such problems. This is where secondary responsibilities and cross training come into play. The subject matter expert in each area will assist the group by taking on an apprentice to teach their craft to.  If the size of your family/group makes taking on every responsibility that may need to be taken on then this is where strategic partnerships and community building comes into play.  No one person can do everything and sometimes it is better to rely on a trustworthy member of your community or inner circle than to try to be the jack of all trades.  A prime example that I can think of is knowing how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw is a valuable skill to have but is not on the same level as trying to remove a tree that has fallen on top of your garage.  Taking on this task without the specialized skill necessary could easily wind up getting someone seriously injured or even killed.

4. DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT…

As roles are determined then update the group documentation.  This is a great way to get your survival documentation updated and not put the burden all on one person.  Each person takes a folder, binder, journal, or whatever and compiles all the information that they can about their responsibilities and how it fits into the group.  This binder should include manuals/operator guides for any pertinent equipment, standard operating procedures, decision points for bugging out or other key events, expansion plans and ways to deal with changes in group size or locations, etc. 

There is certainly much more that goes into making sure that your family or group is prepared to appropriately react to an emergency or disaster but hopefully this serves as grease to help get the wheels turning.  The team approach is a must in my opinion and certainly relieves the burden of preparing on the group leader or head of household.