Making The Hard Decisions Somewhat Easier- Part 3, by Old Bobbert

We are in the midst of the third example in our consideration of making hard decisions whether to go or not go in a crisis situation. I am using scenarios to illustrate the decision processes.

Scenario #3: Small Town, Patriotic Family (continued)

This time we are looking at a small town, patriotic family that works together to run an Internet-based business from home. Let’s get to know them and their circumstances in this scenario better.

Work and Finances

The sons were taught by example to work hard and to be a deliberate saver first and only then to be a spender. Henry, the father, worked diligently at being aware of the ever-changing twists and turnings of the financial markets as a regular part of his work. Those efforts to stay aware of market trends for the book re-sale business also created an important point of knowledge concerning alertness toward national and area potential SHTF situations. Being preparedness minded was a daily condition through the entire family.

The Community

When Chicago followed New York and Washington into the sudden power outage darkness, Henry and Mom became very concerned. Their little (imaginary) town of Masonville, Utah was considered to be top level, semi-rural good living. The community college was basically a solidly conservative bastion of so-called over-achievers who were mostly believers in strong moral values with a strong dash of country style, common sense, and good ethics to boot.

The college student community was a growing good source of quality used books to buy for resale, and of students who needed his good quality used books. Most of their neighbors had been raised to put up stores and things for future usage.  They spoke the “be prepared” language  to children and to one another.

Sincere preparedness and charity to the needy was generally a community way of life. Being a college town made the national news a regular conversation topic, especially when the terrorists were thought to be responsible for the current power grid shutdowns.

Power Failures

Chicago was more than a thousand miles away, and yet Henry easily saw it as a forerunner of a cascade of Dominos power failures spanning the country. The outages were in locations that should not have triggered the three area series. It has to be a series of well planned disaster events.

A Family Council

Henry and Mom called a family council for Monday evening family time after supper to discuss the power outage situation. With a single mindset, the family agreed to get ready immediately for the unavoidable financial system cascade failures. Current event news highlighting Wall Street stoppage in New York and the Chicago commodities markets having shut down within 24 hours of one another had already begun the domino drop offs with most people still being totally unaware of the growing disasters.

The News

The national news media were playing games with the truth as fast and furious as they could. The local news were quoting the European news sources concerning the American financial debacle honestly.

A Well-Stocked Bathroom and Laundry

Mom and Karl took a large part of the families reserve cash and stormed the local big box Super Market, the dollar store, and filled the truck bed with everything needed in a well stocked bathroom and laundry. The list of items needed and the differing amounts necessary to restock the partially used items made her task much easier and quicker.

Para-Support Group

ROTC Tim has the responsibility of contacting his Military Science professor and selecting a few of his classmates who have expressed a serious interest in a more intense level of personal preparedness. The family plan is to stay in touch with those few Army-trained individuals who the family may want to contact again later to discuss a secure cooperative defense response effort– a quiet, very discrete home-grown para-support group.

Medical and Herbal Remedy Items

Your family had always practiced the powerful preparedness concept of ”having just enough is never enough.” And this is how Mom and Karl worked to complete her list of OTC medical items and herbal remedy list items. The local “Dollar Tree” store was a great dollar saver for them, all year every year. They had more than just enough.

Solar Lights and Dry Ice

Karl’s first responsibility was to shop the store for metal base ***solar driveway lights*** and loaded two dozen lights into Mom’s carts. His second chore was to secure a large supply of dry ice, enough to fill the plastic storage bin they had brought with them. He had to get the store manager to help with the sorta-dangerous dry ice. Mom showed Karl how to use large double wrapped ***zip lock bags*** to secure the dry ice going into the bin.  He lined the bin with many copies of the store ads to protect the sides of the bin from freezing and then cracking.

Ready to Sustain the Family

On their return to home base, they found that everything was ready to sustain the family during whatever came their way. Then the extras for the exclusive gift of helping others in need were listed and put up in storage until needed. Afterward, they prayed for themselves to be strong and to be kind to one another and to others. Their prayers were for peace and plenty for the folks they knew and those families.

They were able to determine that their preparedness lists were fully completed and they could rest. They did their good nights and dreamed happy dreams of plenty in a land of love and peace, and it was good for them.

Teaching Points

Now is the time to consider seriously what teaching points have been explored and how to include the generalities into our personally more specific circumstances, enabled by whatever changes may be necessary. Let’s begin with the learning points section of this essay by first seeing which attributes of correct preparedness are common items in all three examples.

In all three examples, we find the following:

  1. Family togetherness in purpose, effort, performance, and concern.
  2. Lists of lists of lists of everything.
  3. Continuous communication within the family or the group.
  4. Teens actively participating in both the planning and the labor.
  5. Prayer isn’t a “denominational” item and was used in each example.

In our first example, there was emphasis showing:

  1. How hasty decisions can be made,
  2. Creating differing solutions to specific action-response needs,
  3. How to make better decisions based on the proven process of listing the “pros & cons“ of the situation, begging  a decision,
  4. Idea of how to protect the most probable simple security areas– the RV window curtains and aiming the RV at the exit routes, and not leaving the RV unattended,
  5. The preparedness mindset must exist before the necessity occurs,
  6. The family/group had planned and drilled the varying action steps of the hasty exit plan,
  7. How wordage is changed from “bugging out” to the “hasty exit plan”,
  8. That failing to write the plan is planning to fail.

Here we continue onward to our same play Act Two. Scenario #2 demonstrated that:

  1. The family/group had determined, well in advance, that they are going to automatically execute their “hasty exit plan” based on a single triggering event,
  2. There is a specific “code word sentence” concerning everyday life that has a specific action notification within the plain language wordage,
  3. Each family/group member has a prepared duffle bag containing ample, long-term absence, comfort items and other necessities,
  4. The “hasty exit plan” has specific items concerning notification of departure to other family members and a specific required time schedule for those others,
  5. The family/group is concerned about their absence being a problem for those being left behind and called to say their goodbyes to provide a reason to be gone,
  6. Most importantly for many of us, they had a specific place to go with supplies already stored there for their future use, and
  7. That location was with loved family and had room enough to provide comfortable housing and other features.

Now, let’s look at Scenario #3. This, our final example, is most likely to be the actual situation for most prepared families. It showed us:

  1. They will be continuing to maintain a home-based response to the SHTF event,
  2. They were ready well before a specific actual event, or the expected triggering incident(s),
  3. There is cash available to complete the stocking up for the eminent hard times, and
  4. The ROTC son, Tim, has the responsibility for security because he has some military training and is the most capable to be in charge of security.

Have Your Plans In Place For Emergency Events

Be ready and have your plans in place because an emergency SHTF event could occur at any time. Even natural disaster events are occurring in parts of the world. On May 22, 1960, a 9.5 earthquake, the largest ever recorded, hit southwest Chile, generating a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Island in about 15 hours. Hilo Bay area on the island of Hawaii was hit hard by the 35-foot wave, which destroyed or damaged more than 500 homes and businesses. Sixty-one people died. This I know to be true. I was there, in Schofield Barracks, 25th Inf Div, Div Arty Hq communications section.

The earlier 1959 eruption of Kīlauea Iki Crater was a relatively short-lived event and still produced some of Kīlauea’s most spectacular lava fountains.

Thanks for your attention and most especially for your comments, pro or con.

See Also:

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been part three of a three part entry for Round 79 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

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Round 79 ends on November 30th, 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.


  1. This is a very good post. I am always thinking about these things. I recently sent a note to some “like minded families” that they should review their “last run” lists. The situation in our nation continues to worsen and few people realize just how bad things could get and how quickly they could get to that point. Just looking around plus remembering things our parents have told us about is not enough to be prepared. We must think “outside the box” to stretch our minds. Like the guy on the insurance commercial says: “A 500 year storm doesn’t mean it only happens once in 500 years. In the last decade, there have been 26 such storms in this country”. An extended family member lives in an area that is the evacuation place “to go to” for hurricanes evacuations. When they were told to evacuate for a hurricane (they live 70 miles from the coast), they did not believe it could be a problem. At the last minute they evacuated. When they returned, they found that tornadoes had passed over the land at 200 yard increments. You could see the destructive paths of 24″ to 48″ diameter oak and pine trees broken off or twisted off that went for miles thru the woods. The local electric coop that covers a two county area had 8500 broken down power poles. Some of the area had no power for 5 weeks. At that time, none of the locals had generators. Now some of them have 4 per family. None of these details were covered by the national media. Just because you don’t see it happening, doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening right here in this nation.

  2. Just a year ago a snow and ice storm broke off power pole lines, cross bars on the poles, and the poles themselves across three counties in the Redoubt. “The world will little note, nor long remember….”, as it was in north Montana. The thousands of power poles broken resulted in many remote homes without power for several weeks in snowy, freezing weather. Be ready.

    I enjoyed Bobert’s parables here. The tidal wave casualties he mentions included those who went out onto the newly, temporarily exposed seabed as the waterline receded prior to the tidal wave coming in.

    A few years later I witnessed the Columbus Day storm in the PNW which destroyed homes and power infrastructure, and also the Alaska Earthquake which killed people as far away as the Oregon coast.

    I worked at Schofield Barracks with Tropic Lightning Division about 20 long years ago. I learned about Lightfighter Candy (800mg Ibuprofen) and wearing nylon stocking footies in order to march and run with 40 to 60 pound packs week after week, slide down ropes from hovering Hueys, do pushups with the toes of your boots up high on tree trunks and your palms on the ground.

    We watched and prepared for the civil wars take place in southeast Europe, played war games for invasion of islands, monitored insurrection on Madagascar, fought forest fire burning up the slopes of the jungle on the north end of Oahu, saw brown snakes devastating the local fauna, an Army helicopter hitting high voltage lines and killing the aviators, and more.

    I worked for a Major at 25ID who had been on the Grenada invasion was a witness of the problems when Army radios cannot talk to Navy and Air force radios. He learned well enough from mistakes and errors, that he then implemented better management through his career. I got to shake his hand while he wore three stars years later.

    What preparations have you made for these things that are coming in our collective future?

    More important, do you have a mentor, trainer, active advisor, peer, who is objective and gives you advice….that you actually intend to implement?

    I appreciate the writers here who list their mistakes and successes. Thanks for reinvigorating my efforts. God Bless

  3. These posts are always good for planning and prepping for disaster. However, what they all fail to include is contingencies. For example, what if, on your way to your bugout location you run into a military blockade or the unprepared carload of panic-stricken neighbors in front of you runs out of gas…effectively blocking your carefully packed carload of preps?

    These posts also seem to assume that the proponents involved will be rational and level headed…which is an unknown in time of crisis since we in this country have not experienced much beyond bad weather, forest fires and short term power outages.

    They also seem to assume that people will not be caught unawares, have plenty of cash to prep and can find their way home in the face of danger to enact their plans.

    Still, full of good ideas as long as the situation allows for their implementation.

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