but hope for the best”
(British Prime Minister & novelist 1804-1881)
What is a back-up plan?
Well dah, it’s the plan you use when your # 1 plan isn’t working out.
How does this work in preparedness?
Most people plan for the best and then maybe make a back-up plan or two, in case things don’t go as good as planned. To me this is the hard way to do things.
Plan for the worst FIRST, then make each successive plan just a bit of a better scenario than the worst case scenario primary plan.
Remember it is far easier and quicker to adjust a worst case scenario plan to a better or best case plan than it is to do the reverse.
W. Edwards Deming
With this in mind; How do you make a back-up plan?
Keep all those human “conditions” that we have to balance in mind. Apply that to plan making – plan for the worst, underestimate just about everything and make a plan for that scenario. This is your primary plan.
First Plan for the Worst Case Scenario
Then play the What-IF game with your primary plan to make additional back-up and contingency plans.
- Your most knowledgeable and skilled people are NOT with you
- You lost or have NO access to most of your goods
- You can’t get to your primary or secondary retreat or those retreats are unavailable
- Usual modes of transportation are NOT available
- Usual routes are NOT available
- Usual and routine modes of communication are NOT available
- Second Underestimate
- Goods (supplies)
- Family and Friends
- Transportation (vehicles and roads, etc.)
- Communication (any method)
- Power (electricity from any source)
Second - Underestimate what you can do and how well you can do it. Expect and plan for the unexpected.
Third - Overestimate your weaknesses and enemies (including bad luck)
If you feel that you can do without a bed and drink canned milk if need be; draw your plans up around NOT being able to sleep on the ground and puking when trying to drink canned milk.
If you think you can hide or outsmart any dangerous “enemies”, center your plans around NOT being able to outpower, out maneuvor or outsmart your enemy – even if that enemy is Mother Nature.
Fourth, Plan Your Back-up Plans - Which now become “second nature”, require little if any thought or effort, as each back-up plan is one step better than worst case scenario.
Since you have done your hard work with your primary, worst case scenario plan it is now time to create your backup plans that are soo much easier.
Fifth Put Your Plans (worst case scenario) in Writing
With your worst case scenario as your primary plan and your better case scenarios as your backup plans you will be good to go and ready for just about any FUBAR that could head your way.
Taking the time to formally put your plans into writing is step 1 to a psychological exercise that is designed to have us remembering this plan without really thinking. The second step is to practice, practice and practice.
If you are a household plan for what to do if your most knowledgeable and skilled members do NOT make it to your retreat. Plan what to do if NONE of you can make it to either retreat – primary or secondary; if you’ve lost your supplies, etc.
Do the same for any preparedness group. What will your group do if your most skilled and knowledgeable members do NOT make it to the gathering place or retreat? What will the group members do if the MAJORITY of your members can’t make it to your rendezvous place?
the more you are dominated by them.”
Consider these examples:
Recently there was a person in a wildfire area that was complaining that she had to turn her horses loose and let them “fend for themselves” and she had no time to pack her valuables - all because she only got a 15 minute warning to evacuate. Now, how could this person have been living in a wildfire area; with all of its smoke, haze and ash for over a month and NOT have packed and moved un-replaceable items or had her horses moved out PRIOR to the evacuation notice?
This individual obviously did NOT have a plan, was NOT observant, had little real knowledge of wildfires or of what was going on around her and expected some outside “entity” to tell her, in sufficient time, when to evacuate so she could take care of her animals, pack and go.
Then there is a preparedness group that is running around accumulating skills for only a small, specialized team within their group. They are practicing, getting tools, supplies and ‘uniforms’, etc.. They don’t have a single plan, yet alone a back-up plan, on what to do to help the rest of the group (or themselves) if this team cannot show up in force or their supplies are unreachable. So just how successful do you think this group or this team is going to be in a SHTF world when they are needed most?
This group does NOT have a plan or back-up plan, they are feeding a psychological “feel good” need and accumulating “stuff”, rather than taking care of their physical basic needs.
to prudently act toward prevention.”
(born March 10, 1970 in Arcadia, California) is an American author.
4 Key preparedness aspects are ignored in the above examples:
- Plan and Practice for the Worst Case Scenario and hope for the best. This gives you easy best case scenario plans, even on the fly, in the quickest timeframe.
- Situational Awareness - Keeping an eye and ear on what is happening around you. Your own senses and gut instincts will alert you to pending danger faster than any news media or authoritive entity.
- If an authoritive entity suggests or orders an evacuation, they have waited until the last possible moment to issue the order.
- You CANNOT count on any authoritive, government or emergency agency to come to your rescue in a timely fashion. The only things you can count on are yourself (physical, emotional & spiritual), your knowledge, skills, supplies and tools you have on hand – At That Time.
William H. Johnsen
Depression-era realist/impressionist painter
As your household or group becomes more knowledgeable, supplied, skilled, practiced and working from a written worst case scenario plan, your back-up plans will fall into place quite easily with hardly any effort at all.
I know – it sounds simple in theory and is far from it in practice. This is another reason why it is better to Keep It Simple from the get go.
Do all your difficult soul searching, self-evaluations and decision making first - while you are free of the stress and pressure of the crisis itself.
Don’t consider high-tech gadgets or a warehouse full of goods as the backbone to your plans. These can be supplements, just not the mainstay.
Then just do it ;-}
what we least expect generally happens."