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)

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


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