Success requires a plan, and that is true if you want to have success during and after the SHTF. You can have a great deal of knowledge and ideas but not have organized and applied any of this. Remember, only applied knowledge is power, and this is especially true of financial power.
Plan For Reality As It Exists Today
Success without an action plan is dumb luck in action. So, get your plan well documented! Your plan should be, must be, based on your specific reality– reality as it exists today and never based on some pipe dream. You can’t plan on your dream of locally finding a fully-equipped FEMA storage point unguarded and complete with instructions, how-to videos, and weapons with tons of ammo that you know how to use and maintain. It just ain’t gonna happen that way, no how, not ever, and not for anybody anywhere. It just won’t happen. I say again, it will not happen.
Your reality action plan will be limited to those points and items that you have thought about, discussed with other preppers, and gotten ready for, and with all of these indivisible parts finalized in advance of necessity.
Rules for Continuing Survival
You will absolutely have to never forget and aways follow these three rules of continuing survival.
- My plan will never survive intact from its first contact with the enemy.
- The 5 P’s rule is simple – “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”
- Solitary Individualism Usually Guarantees Personal Failure.
Elaborating On Rule #1
Be sure to create a backup plan for when rule #1 takes place and your initial plans fails. Have a retreat plan and your “barter stuff for security” plan. It is especially important that you also have your G.O.O.D. (GET OUT OF DODGE) plan.
Elaborating on Rule #2
About our rule #2 above, if it looks easy, it will not be good enough. “Proper” is a relative term. Get contrary opinions and constructive advice from your local peers. If you do not have local peers, find and recruit them, and do it now.
Elaborating on Rule #3
Finally on rule #3 above, usually loners die painfully and quickly. And they die alone, feeling very sorry for themselves. There was no one to come to their unscheduled surprise personal pity party.
Possible Rule #4
Because of the loner issue in Rule #3, maybe we do need a rule #4, so as to improve the post-SHTF future. Here is another suggestion: Form or join a group that trusts you, cares about you, and is capable of defending your six.
Importance of a Group
Why is a group important? It is a historical fact that group and/or extended family preparation surely improves these important areas by increasing the probability of success:
- Greater knowledge base.
- Heightened security
- Diversification of experiences
- Help digging the necessary slit-trenches
Unique Contributions of Individual Group Members
And in your particular situation there will always be items of importance that are unique to your individual/group needs and assets. The group member’s personal input to the group plan will be a fabulous plus factor. Remember these two things about the formation of a group:
- When you fail to care for others , no one will care for you. Believe it or not.
- Everyone has faults and relatives. That’s always everyone, even you and me.
Parts of a Good Plan
Okay, let’s move ahead to the some of the parts of a good plan. When we are working on plan updates, and periodic updates are very important, we need to have a specific “keeper “ of the plan documents. This is a key position. When we were first working up our plan, I suggested that we use simple tools to guide us with the least confusion as to the meanings of our terms. We settled on the word “SEEMS” to use as our guideline. S-E-E-M-S stand for the following interest areas:
S – Style/method
E – Extent/limitations
E – Equipment/tools
M – Management vs leadership
S – Staffing availability
Usually, I am the one to start the conversation with the words, “It seems to me…”
Okay, let’s get started on the how to start your action plan for survival after the SHTF incident. Remember that every plan needs to be changeable, depending on changing conditions.
A good starter plan example should contain, and not be limited to, these items. Non-changeable portions can be color-coated to reflect that status.
- “Documented” assets – tools & cash. Everyone needs lots of trust on this one.
- Possible different SHTF parameters and necessities.
- Group financing the acquisition of group equipment, such as a SW radio, et cetera.
- Group member’s abilities and disabilities. As an example, I need an indoor walker, a power scooter, and 24/7 oxygen. I have solar panels (a grid-tied solar, wind turbine battery system) to recharge equipment and tool batteries and to power both a portable and a stationary oxygen concentrator. The system also powers the computer and the SW radio, et cetera. My disabilities are not an excessive problem. It’s just another part of our reality situation.
- View every disability as an opportunity for a necessary repetitive activity.
- In the ground, the pantry, the closet, the freezer, raw, in the garage, under the beds, buried in a cache, and regardless of wherever it is, count it all and keep a list of where the food is located.
- There will never be a better time than now to acquire an ample supply of canning equipment and jars. Don’t forget to get a supply of reusable lids. Practice canning in advance. Smile and eat your mistakes!
- An excellent, frugal, simple to perfect, easy to learn and teach food storage and usage is the Wendy DeWitt website. Yes, she is a Mormon and does not push her church in her website. Information about successful easy food storage usage and rotation has no theology.
- The important question will always be, “Do we ever barter our food stocks?
- Distribution management. Rotate the responsibility. Count it all regularly.
- Discern in advance calorie minimums concerning age, health conditions, and workload.
- Food security is both necessary and continuous. Your food stores are a prime target for hungry thieves. Try to store your food stocks in a single location where there is nearly always someone right there to see anyone who tries to steal from you. Watch it all and count it all, regularly.
- If there is not enough food for charity, then you do not have enough. A few medium-size baggies will hold enough rice and beans to feed needy folks while they are moving on to another location. And they must move on. They can not be allowed to move in, unless you need their skills or tools. And then you will need a total group “yes” vote on joining the group.
- Finally, your mom, granny, wife, and/or hubby was right: Waste not, want not!
- Pre-determine group members and other local medical persons who may be available to you as local medics. Do not exclude the area veterinarians, who generally have a good stock of animal medications applicable to humans, plus a ready supply of dog and cat food, bagged and ready to barter for. In hard times, that animal food will feed people and can be bartered easily. Consider making an effort to determine if you want the vet in your group. Remember that most former military medics still have skills and often equipment that your group will need. With sufficient skills and tools, and meds on hand they are quite useful.Your group just might have created a mini-hospital situation that is unavoidable. Color it wonderful and enjoy the benefits. Even the local golden horde crud will hesitate to attack your mini hospital. Name your local id station the Mini Hospital. People will follow your example. Your entire location just might be classed as total neutral territory.Your group will need to recruit or train a qualified mid-level medic person. The group medic will be responsible for making sure that the group membership has “ALL” of the available inoculations up-to-date and securing ample supplies of individual needed medications. Your medic will be responsible for securing or copying DIY videos on various medical procedures, preventatives, tool usages, and teaching about personal and group hygiene. Your group medic will be responsible for maintaining a large supply of water purification materials.
- Medical situation/supplies/equipment security means a continuous and serious overwatch situation.
- Many medicinal items may need refrigeration. See Zeer Pot Refrigeration at “Some Medical Considerations, by Old Bobbert” December 19, 2012, using the SurvivalBlog search. And, yes, I was the author of that entry. It still works.
Tomorrow, in Part 2, we will continue with the components of a good plan. We looked today at the areas of financial and food and began the Medical section, but the topics for tomorrow continue with medical and move on to security, communications, and more.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a two part entry for Round 71 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 71 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.
In consideration of the reality of today, yesterday and tomorrow according to Maslow’s hiearchy of needs, don’t expect the hungry horde to respect a hospital or any other source of food.
without it, you’re dead.
So many articles on surviving SHTF neglect this.
While this is good information, might I also suggest the readers also read Patriots.
I live in a place where everyone in my church small group has their face in Facebook. They are oblivious to world problems. I have tried the local Tea Party and four different churches. I tried retirement and motorcycle groups. No one is on board and a number of times no one besides me has shown up to group meetings. Family is out of the question. Children live far away and the closest sibling has a drinking problem. I live in a rural area with no nearby neighbors. Where do I go to find these peers? I am open to suggestions.
Good question. I have been down that same road. I am leaving a group now. Our leader believes he is Rambo.
To Marilyn: Try a local gun range. Find the County Extension Office and attend any classes they have on canning, gardening, etc. How about a community college with adult classes for any home skills. The Red Cross usually has classes on first aide and life saving techniques. Or you may see a church run a special seminar on end time events. Any of those might lead you to meet up with some like- minded people. Most people who are prepping are closed mouthed about what they are doing, so it may take awhile till you see clues as to what they are up to. Good luck to you.
Janie is right, most people don’t understand or think this way. The few that do are tight lipped. Be patient, it’s a frustratingly slow process. While you’re searching for like minded individuals, prepare yourself and build your stockpile.
I would echo what others said about the difficulty in finding people to form a group. I have encountered Texas size egos and individuals who can’t stop talking long enough to hear. I’m quiet by nature and usually listen attentively but make a mental note of the braggers. It’s been a long four years to find peace and I may be breaking away to find members more in line with my spiritual views. Tough choices and more work but it has to be done.
I am in a similar place as Marilyn. I know no one locally who is interested in any of these topics. Or, perhaps, no one is talking. How to balance OpSec with finding like minded people? I like the suggestion of taking canning classes, first aid classes, etc.
I ask an innocent question, like: What would you do if an ice storm took out the power supply for a week? Other followup questions help me discern someone’s level of awareness. Still looking for folks who are paying attention. Although I have been able to find out several neighbors who have firearms.
This article got me thinking – which makes it good!
The more I read and rationalize all that I have read (the facts and fiction) the more I believe in the skills of leadership.
In our neighborhood, we likely have 5 of 30 that could assume a strong leadership role, the rest will follow and most will be able to contribute something, and a few will reguire our immediate support. If you are an avid reader of this and other blogs, then you and I will be called upon to lead – whether we are naturally borne for this role or forced to take on this role!
Having a group of like minded and prepared individuals is critical and may not be easy to assemble in one location; more likely spread out across a community. Few people will want to abandon their castle, especially if their preps and family are housed in their castle. Familiarity with their surroundings will keep folks from pulling up stakes until the bitter end. Personally, have 3 families and friends that are like minded, well equipped with hands on experience, but not within 5-15 miles of our home.
Assessing your neighborhood is a good first step. Are they or could they form a group that could be led to endure a worst case scenario (WCS)? What’s the skills of each family – neighbor? What tools, equipment and resources do they have? For instance, we have only one house with a pool – will be our source of water for non portable purposes – they just don’t see the pool for this purpose yet. I’ve gotten a good view from helping a few in home repairs or asking about a tool that I needed – will quickly tell you a lot about the person and their level of preparedness.
Our homes are large and the neighborhood is in a cul de sac, surrounded by woods and ravines, with one way in/out. A good layout to slow/control the entry but not perfect. It’s located on the outskirts of a city populated by 250,000, and will attract the attention of marauders in the WCS. How will your neighborhood and families have to band together to thwart such marauders- be they one lone wolf or a gang of 10?
We’ve got 15 families – most without kids at home – most are upper income boomers or semi-retired. Several specialty medical professionals but none carry a bag with advanced first aid gear or medications – have one thinking about putting one together for the neighborhood, including his assessment of my gear – which he expressed great surprise when I showed him my kit. With my supplies and his medical expertise, we are well prepared in this area.
Few gun owners (a shotgun or deer rifle here and there that haven’t been shot in years), and I’m the only reloader (in 223, 9mm, 300 blackout, and 30-06 calibers) for my personal armory.
A few have a good assortment of tools and knowledge to use them, most are only equipped to mow the lawn and do minor household repairs. Four generators – two of which I own. No solar PVC’s, except for my 6 – 100 watt panels, charger and three inverters, with 500 amp hour battery bank – all stored away. No radio communication but for my ARES UHF/VHF & HF gear.
Four have had military duty long ago. Several have health conditions requiring long term prescriptions – so they will struggle in the worse case scenarios. A few are in generally poor physical condition – not likely to be able to lift 25 lbs and carry it for more than 50 feet.
Most are conservative, libertarians, and have core Christian values – all good qualities, but will need more if faced with the WCS.
No gardens but have farm fields adjoining the neighborhood but likely few seeds (I have some stored away for a 1 acre garden) or known advanced gardening skills – hoping a few can leverage their farm family heritage when called upon – don’t like to rely on hope, but all I got for now.
Food reserves – no one talks about much other than what’s in their pantry and fridge – my fear is that they are all living week to week on shopping at the local grocery stores. – I’ve observed that upper income families, unless they have a few kids, are heavily relying on just in time food supplies (have several that use mail order meal delivery services that says it all), which is scary given our food distribution business models. No canners on the street but some grew up canning, but no such supplies to do so now or source of food to can. Certainly a gap in my plans.
What do you do then if you’ve got food for four for 12 months, and they have nothing? Willing to share my water from my water purification gear if needed but not sure how much to share if faced with a severe WCS – this will be a major conundrum for my family.
There’s no doubt that if you’ve not carefully considered all of the aspects of proper preparation, then you are ill prepared. But if you have, which this article so well touched upon, you have to assess what’s around you, how you will make very hard choices and decisions, and what leadership role you will take – you can’t be a loner for long in a WCS.
Thanks for getting us to think about this topic.
I’ll be blunt. Your first “Rule”, #1 is the most valuable. Saying that, I will add that anything you think you need, will be lost, fail, break-down, degrade and/or be taken from you. I’ve had it to “here’ (hand flat about a foot above my head) with all who clutch their current life-style ‘needs’ as if important. If you cannot breath without assistance, you’ll die. If you cannot drink water due to it be unavailable or not potable, you’ll die. If you cannot move without assistance – of any kind – you’ll die. If you have not the means to stay warm if need-be or to cool down – you’ll die. If you’re hurt beyond what you can do for yourself, you’ll die or at the minimum find a way to survive long enough that someone might just take mercy on you and help. If you cannot win – not just defend – yourself in a fight, you’ll most likely die. If you think otherwise on any of these counts….. you’re only fooling yourself. And last – to all the boys and girls who think that today’s rules apply when it all comes down…… I recommend considering a change of mind. It ain’t going to be a homesteader’s dream, a bugging out to the woods making like a modern-day Euell Gibbons or Jeremiah Johnson. Your food will be most likely eaten by others, your property confiscated and used by others…. all your painstakingly acquired and fine-tuned prep put-aways… ; and if you’re lucky, that ‘food’ won’t be you and your loved ones. Sorry, calling it like it will be. Last, don’t turn to the Lord for help. The Creator expects you to fight to the end. Funny how most all good Christians forget the primary purpose of prayer is to acknowledge God; not, ask a favor.