- List all the skills you currently have and what new skills you will need to learn and develop for each scenario.
- Make a list of all the items, supplies and tools needed for your well being under each scenario that you currently have and will need to acquire.
That sounds easy right? Wrong. This is probably the hardest thing to do. It requires being completely honest with yourself and what your physical and emotional limitations and strengths are. For instance, thanks to reality shows, most of us know we can survive on the protein from bugs if we eat them. Yet how many of us will actually eat bugs even if starving? If you are the leader or organizer of your family unit, this means you have to be honest about the physical and emotional capabilities of each family member. Does your partner or son really know how to use that circular saw? Can he really hunt and dress the kill, then smoke the meat? Can any of you really shoot to kill, be it animal or human?
Now that you have your probability and priority list done and you know what is already within yourself and your home, it’s time to consider the major variables that can occur with each crisis.
- Short Term – One to 7 days
- Long Term – Weeks, Months, Years
- Scope of Involvement – Local, Regional, National, Worldwide
- Location – Where you are when the crisis occurs
- Bug-out – Relocation or Evacuation is required
When you make your preparedness plan you will need to take each of your highest probabilities and priorities and re-evaluate your “needs” list against each of these scenario variables. This will also help you to determine what items, beyond the basics, should be in your 72-hour go-bag.
Budget and Research
I have put budgeting and research here, before planning, because learning what you lack, for what you feel are the most likely threats to you, will determine what you need to learn and budget to acquire. Not only that but without financial independence, you cannot acquire what you need.
Budgeting does not necessarily mean sacrificing. It merely means distinguishing between “Wants and Needs” or “If I don’t have this can I get sick and die” from everything else. Do you really need to eat dinner out three or more times a week? Go to a movie once a month? Buy that DC or DVD? Do you really need that new sweater? Are you actually reading and learning from all those magazine subscriptions? Do you really lack the ability and time to do that thing by yourself instead of paying someone else to do it?
The first and most important step to budgeting is separating Needs from Wants and being sure you either get out of debt or stay out of debt. For the majority of us no matter what we do we will still have at least one or both of these outstanding debts: Mortgage/Rent; Vehicle loan. The trick is to get rid of as much outstanding debt as you can. If you can purchase a used vehicle for cash instead of a loan – do it. If you can pay your mortgage off early or downsize to a cheaper home with a lower mortgage – do it. The “Jones’s” do not pay your bills!
Budgeting however is critical and has many common traits. Each budget will be different depending on what you already have on hand and what your overall resources are. A general rule of thumb is to plan for $15-20 each shopping week for your preparedness needs. This will include any food storage that may be a part of your preparedness plan. Be sure to read my Food Storage mini-book/letter sent previously for specifics. Also be sure to check out the budgeting and frugality documents in my shared Google directory.
Always re-visit your budget as your knowledge expands and your Probability and Priority scenarios change.
Research is an on-going thing. We all need to learn something, most of our entire life. The appendix should get you started by pointing you in the right direction without having to sift through tons of stuff. Since each of us is unique with our own knowledge, skills and state of being, this part is solely up to you and yours to perform. You may not even consider a volcano if you live in the heartland of the country. Someone in southern Arizona near the border may not worry about snow or tornados. Only you know what is important to you and what you need to learn or acquire.