New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Step Four: Create a Home Fire Escape Plan and what to do if there is a house fire - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity
and not have one
than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
Whitney M Young Jr

Step Four: Create a Home Fire Escape Plan and what to do if there is a house fire

  • Do a home hazard inspection
  • If you cannot put the fire out - Leave the house immediately, go to a neighbor and call the fire department and Stay Out.
  • Have a safe place for the family to meet after exiting the house. This could be a neighbor’s or south corner of your lot and the like.
  • Install Smoke Detectors and or Carbon Monoxide Detectors in appropriate sectors of the house and change the batteries twice a year. Like when you change your clocks.
  • If you are trapped – Stay Low
  • Feel a door before opening
  • If you catch fire – Stop, Drop and Roll
  • For multi-story structures have at least one emergency ladder on every level above the first floor
  • Have a multi-purpose Fire extinguisher in appropriate sectors of your home and make sure everyone knows how to use it.

For Kids: Home Fire Safety Checklist and
Home Hazard Hunt Checklist;;;;;
Commit a Minute: 100 Things to Make Your Home Safer

Next week we will discuss selecting our Crisis Retreats (yes, plural)

"Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday"


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Step Three: Create a Who, What, When, Where Schedule and Map - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

“To be prepared is to anticipate risk and
to prudently act toward prevention.”
Wes Fessler American author

Step Three: Create a Who, What, When, Where Schedule and Map

List all the activities that you and your family members do on a regular basis. Try to list as many specifics as possible.

  • Now take a map of your town and surrounding area.
  • Mark your residence
  • Using a different symbol or colored highlighter mark each person’s activity locations on this map.
  • Make a note of the usual route taken to and from each activity location and your residence.

Notice we do not live our lives holed up in our houses. We live out and about and many activities are spur of the moment; we don’t really know where we will be, how we will get to and from there, who we will be with or when we may do that particular activity.

One of the biggest mistakes new preparedness people make is they assume they will shelter in place and never consider having a plan for how to not only get home, but get there as safely as possible if the worst case scenario applies – No usual mode of transportation, usual routes are unavailable and on foot!

Bottom Line: A Crisis Will Not Wait to Happen When We Are Home and Ready! Mobility WILL be an issue that needs to be covered in our plan if for no other reason than to get home safely and as soon as possible immediately after the crisis hits.

Failure to accept and plan for this IS hazardous to your health
and MAY cause injury or death!

Next week we will discuss selecting our Home Fire Plan …

Previous - Step Two: Create Per Crisis Needs Lists - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Step Two: Create Per Crisis Needs Lists - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

“Chance never helps those who do not help themselves.”
BC 495-406, Greek Tragic Poet

Step Two: Create Per Crisis Needs Lists.

This is a list of all the goods, knowledge and skills you feel you will need to survive the particular crisis for its potential scope and duration. It doesn’t matter if you already possess these items or not, list them.

You will most likely find that there are quite a few items that will repeat themselves from list to list. Write them down anyway but do “flag” them as repeats.

  • Clean these Per Crisis Needs Lists up a bit by prioritizing and listing all the repeated items first and then follow with prioritizing the remaining needs that do not repeat.
  • Next, take each Per Crisis Needs List and flag all the goods, knowledge and skills you already possess. These are your Final Per Crisis Needs Lists for use in building your preparedness plan.
  • Lastly create a consolidated Acquire List of all the goods, knowledge and skills you need to acquire.
o Start with your #1 Crisis Needs list and all the items that you do not already possess. Flag any repeat
o Continue on to the #2 Crisis. Do not relist a repeat, however do put a ‘tick’ mark next to the first time this is listed, so you have an idea of how many times this repeated.

Once this is completed you will have a prioritized Acquire List for your preparedness plan.

Worksheets can be found at:

A great place to get you started on needs per crisis is to check out as they have a ton of high level crisis based checklists.

For a list of links to many more detailed preparedness checklists contact me via Comments @ and I will send you a spreadsheet of these links.

Ready, Set, Go! - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement
Is There a Hierarchy for Acquiring Preparedness Needs?
Hierarchy of Survival Needs What to Buy First
How & Where to Learn Traditional Skills
SurvivalBlog’s "List of Lists" (spreadsheet)

Next week it’s Who, What, When and Where Oh My …

Step One Crisis Lists - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Step One - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

Step One: Identifying the various crisis’s to prepare for. This will be different for each member of each household; however a general “meeting of the minds” should be possible once you complete this exercise.

Before we get started lets define Crisis and Preparedness

noun \ˈkrī-səs\
plural cri•ses\ˈkrī-ˌsēz\

1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
3. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life.
4. Medicine/Medical .
a. the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.
b. the change itself.
5. the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely opposed to each other.

6. of, referring to, or for use in dealing with a crisis.

crisic, adjective
post•cri•sis, adjective, noun, plural -ses.

Origin: Middle English, from Latin, from Greek krisis, literally, decision, from krinein to decide — more at certain
First Known Use: 15th century
1375–1425; late ME < L < Gk krísis decision, equiv. to kri- var. s. of krī́nein to decide, separate, judge + -sis -sis


1. See emergency.

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.

noun \pri-ˈper-əd-nəs also -ˈperd-nəs\

: the quality or state of being prepared; especially : a state of adequate preparation in case of war


1. The military is in a state of preparedness.

First Known Use of PREPAREDNESS

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.


the state of being ready beforehand for a given event.

Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

Now let us define Crisis in terms of Preparedness. Any crisis will have three common characteristics:


  • Bad Luck/Clumsiness: Laid off, illness, injury, accident, crime, house fire and the like
  • Natural: Planetary/universe actions out of human control (solar flares, asteroids, earthquakes, volcanoes etc.) Extreme weather (hurricane, tornado, flood, ice storm, etc.); Epidemic (Hanta virus, Legionnaires Disease)
  • Man-Made: Failure of man-made structures and/or ideologies (bridge/dam collapse, war, terrorism; economic and/or civil collapse)
  • Metaphysical/Spiritual: Armageddon, Nostradamus, Mayan Calendar, Newton’s Bible Code and other like predictions and prophecies

Scope of Involvement

The number of people and size of area affected

3000+ people, injured dead or dying, in a high rise


3000+ people injured dead or dying, spread out over an urban area

are two completely different scenario even if caused by the same category crisis.

  • Small: A few families or individuals to local to your city, town or county
  • Medium: State to Regional
  • Large: Several Regions to National
  • X-Large: International to Global


The time from the point the crisis hits to the time one is getting back to a pre-crisis environment.

  • Short: Hours to 7 days
  • Medium: 7 days to 4 weeks
  • Long: 1 month to 2 years
  • X-Long: 2+ years

Ok now that we have defined what a crisis is in terms of preparedness, it is time to make a list and check it twice. To accomplish this and balance all those human tendencies this will take several steps. It’s well worth it though, I guarantee it.

First create your Possibility List: List and prioritize all the crisis you are concerned about, be it an irrational fear or something that science and education say you should be concerned about. These are all those “feelings”, those gut instincts and the like. Logic and science are not really taken into consideration here.

Note: Everyone should have the following four crises on their list, somewhere, even if you list nothing else:

  • House fire: With you home and not home.
  • Catastrophic Illness or Injury to you or a loved one.
  • Crime: While you are home, to your home while you are out or to your person or loved one while out and about.
  • Personal Economic Crisis: A loss of a job; long term disability ends, law suit, bad investments, etc.

Now create your Probability List: Do a little research on your Possibilities and rank them on this list based on the scientific and educated odds of these crisis occurring.

The following places can help you with this research:

  • Check your local, county and state Crime statistics. Talk to your local Sheriff or Undersheriff.
  • Consult with your local Fire Department on home hazards.
  • Consult with your physician on your health risks.
  • Consult with your local fire department for a home hazard hunt checklist.
  • Review your budget and what your assets and liabilities are. Consult with an economic or personal finance advisor at your bank.
  • Check out your employer’s financial stability. Standard & Poor’s, the Stock Exchanges and the like.
  • Check your local, county and state Hazard or Emergency plans. For tips on how to find this see: Where to Find Your Community's & States Emergency Management Plans & Agencies
  • Check out any schools your family attends and employers for any preparedness plans they have and what they are.
  • For most natural and man-made crisis information see: U.S. Risk Map Links

Thirdly create a Moderated Crisis List from your Possibility and Probability lists.

The only rule of thumb is: If you have a crisis that is say number 4 on your Possibility list, but is last or way lower on your Probability List, then it can be placed no higher than priority number 5 on your moderated Crisis List.

Once complete make a note of what the projected Scope and Duration are likely to be for each crisis on this list.

This is your final Moderated Crisis List that will be used to build your preparedness plan.

Worksheets can be found at:

Next week we prepare our Per Crisis Needs Lists

Previous Prerequisites - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Prerequisites - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

There are a few prerequisites before we start:

Prerequisite One: Accepting that we must “balance” some human nature factors that can otherwise cause us problems. These balancing factors are:

  • Human Irrational Fears and Sixth Senses VS Science and Educations Truths and Fallacies
  • Too Detailed VS Too General
  • Best Case Scenario VS Worst Case Scenario

Prerequisite Two: Total Honesty; with yourself and the other members of your household or group regarding your intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual, strengths and weaknesses.

  • Just what you can and cannot do.
  • What can you tolerate and not tolerate.
  • What needs, wants and desires you must have and those you can live without.

This is not the time to kid yourself or others!

"I've never been poor -- only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation."
Mike Todd

Prerequisite Three: A Budget: Review your budget and try to set aside a minimum of $25.00 per week for procurement of your preparedness needs.

If you feel you just can’t squeeze another penny out of your budget try this little experiment:

  • Sit down with your household and pick a jar to place where everyone can easily get to it and decide that as a family for the next couple of weeks:
o Every time you are out and you reach for your wallet you will ask yourself: Will I die in the next year if I do not buy and or do this right now.
- If the answer is NO, then every other time Do Not purchase or pay to do that.
- When you get home put the money you would have spent in the jar.
  • After a few weeks sit down as a family and count the money in the jar. Chances are there will be more than $50.00.

Budgeting for Mere Mortals
Frugality - A Homesteading Preppers Way
Can You Afford Your House Lifestyle?
Bartering and the IRS

"You will never 'find' time for anything. If you want time, you must make it"
Charles Buxton

Prerequisite Four: This will take time and accepting that none of this will happen overnight or in a few months is vital.

Sure some things can be purchased, but soul searching and planning take much more than money to accomplish and without it we are the looser and the plan will not work. If we just purchase what we think we need without actually having a plan – we will fail and worse we may end up with items, like food, that will be no good when a crisis actually hits.

Prerequisite Five: A few rudimentary supplies are needed to facilitate building your plan.

  1. A 2-3” three-ring binder
  2. Binder dividers (at least 6)
  3. Map of your town and surrounding area
  4. Highlighters in several colors
  5. A specific day/time that the household will sit down and do the exercises required to build the plan.
  6. As the collection of the information to build your plan progresses, other items (not crisis related) may be needed.

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life
that no man can sincerely try to help another
without helping himself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Prerequisite Six: Collecting copies of important documents and other vital information.

The copies of these documents and information will be stored in the 3-ring binder from Prerequisite Five. This is your Documentation Binder. If you ever have to vacate in a hurry grab this as it will enable you to get your life back quickly.

These documents should cover:
  • In Case of Emergency (ICE) contacts list
  • Emergency Contact Cards (ECC) one for each member of your household and they should be in their wallets.
  • Vehicle information: Registration, insurance, copy of drivers licenses, location and contact of storage facilities for things like RV’s, ATV’s, Snowmobiles and boats, any warranties, titles or leases and loan papers.
  • Church information: Membership records, name and contact information for the clergy in case you need them, baptismal certificates and the like.
  • Education information: copies of diplomas, class schedules, map of the schools, school calendar and any important class transcripts.
  • Employment Information: Who works Where, When, contact information at work, any retirement or pension or profit sharing information, wage statement and or copy of last tax return, copy of your social security card, copies concerning any other income sources.
  • Estate Information: Copies of loan, deed, mortgage, title and home owners insurance; Advanced Directive documents like Durable power of attorney, Living Will or Trust, Financial Power of Attorney and the like; Will; Any “Final Instruction” documents in case you die; any documentation of prepaid fees to a cemetery or funeral home plus contact information for them; any appraisals; property taxes; land surveys
  • For each family member collect: Current Pictures of all family members; any child ID’s; any DNA information; Adoption, birth, citizenship, divorce, marriage and death certificates; drivers, pilot and or military licenses and ID’s; passports and again social security cards. All of this should be in color if at all possible.
  • Financial Information: Bank name & contact information; bank account numbers; copy of and contact information for any credit, ATM or Debit cards; copies of any investments like annuity contracts, bonds, CD’s, IRA’s or stock certificates, mutual funds, Money markets; safe deposit information like location, number and contents; Current 3 yrs of tax returns.
  • Genealogy information: make a back up or copy of any family historical documents like immigration papers, pictures and family tree documents.
  • General: Copy of house and vehicle keys, labeled; record of home repairs and or maintenance; inventory of all possessions not already listed – pictures and any appraisals or special insurances; Food Storage and Preparedness Inventory list of locations; Preparedness and Evacuation Plan and routes.
  • Insurance Information: Copies of any personal disability, life, long term care, Medicare/Medicaid or other health insurance cards; travel insurance and the like; copies of any group insurance policies; contact information for all.
  • Medical/Dental: Business cards and or address and contact information for physicians, dentists and hospitals; copy of medical and dental records; immunizations; list of medications being taken and where they are usually filled along with contact information for the pharmacy; Pet records, licenses, insurance, immunizations, tattoo info and or registration papers, veterinarian contact information and photos of pet.
  • Photos: Any unreplaceable photos should be digitally scanned and stored on a backup CD or DVD.

More detailed how-to can be found at: Preparing Your Emergency Documentation Book/Binder
Important Documents Binder Checklist
Important Papers Quick Checklist
Location Directory - List the location of all important documents

Prerequisite Seven: Understanding the Key Terms.

  • Needs are any good, knowledge or skill that you feel you will physically die without; ie are required to survive a particular crisis.
  • Goods are all the tangible things we can touch, see, taste and smell; the reusable and consumable stuff. Like: tools and storage items from food, medicine, nails, hammers, sleeping bags, hunting, fishing, defense, lanterns, cooking/eating items, barter things, as well as “mental wellness” items like books, journals, guitar, harmonica, playing cards, Holy books etc.
  • Knowledge is all of the intellectual know-how drawn upon to use the goods.
  • Skills are the physical, practical application of the knowledge in using the goods.
  • Survivability Quotient this is that elusive figure that determines who survives what, why and how. There are a multitude of factors, both tangible and not so tangible that go into a Survivability Quotient and most are out of human-kinds realm of control.

Most of us lack Skills; we either have the knowledge but no practical application experience or we are no longer physically able to perform the skill.

All Needs (Goods, Knowledge,Skills) have a process and procedure behind them even if it is just one or two words.

This week collect all this prerequisite stuff and next week we will start with accumulating all the information needed to start building your plan.

Today is the Tomorrow that you worried about Yesterday


Previous Intro - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke