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)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What’s A Needs Based Plan?

“Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail.”
Marva Collins
(1936-present American Educator)

Why do preparedness plans fail?

Good question with multiple answers.  The biggest traps are:

  • Sticking ones head in the ground (a lack of reality/too much faith in other entities)
  • Lack of commitment (anything worthwhile in life takes time, effort, energy and money)
  • Trying to have your SHTF life be exactly like your ‘now’ life
  • Forgetting to take care of your body first (air, water, food, protection from the elements (shelter & clothing, heating/cooling) and maybe RX’s if you have an illness you will die from without the meds) Remember if the body is dead or dying we can’t take care of our spiritual or mental needs, yet alone our defense, safety and security needs, so take care of the physical needs first.
  • Thinking one can go it alone or that nothing bad will happen at all
  • Over estimating what one can do or live without, while underestimating what one can’t do or live without
  • Confusing Needs vs wants, desires (and conveniences)
  • Trying to help everyone and everything
  • Avoiding the ‘bad’ and ‘sad’ or depressing stuff
  • Attempting to purchase preparedness (stockpiling, techno gadgets, etc)
  • Thinking a household or small group can plan and respond just like large infrastructure entities
  • Having a plan that is ‘best case scenario’ based rather than ‘worst case scenario’ based (leads to inadequate and sometimes deadly backup plans)
  • Putting too much weight on science and education and not enough on human 6th senses, intuition and irrational fears (or vice versa)
  • The plan is crisis (disaster/hazard/emergency) oriented rather than needs based

Last month we discussed what the odds of various things occurring are and how to define and how to prioritize the crises you are concerned about – without falling into any of the above traps. (  This time around we will discuss what we need in order to survive the various crises on our list and how to prioritize these needs.

This is really kinda simple – list what you feel you will need to survive the crises on your Moderated Crisis List, for their projected scope of involvement and duration. 

What are Needs?

That’s all the goods (consumables & reusable’s), all the knowledge (intellectual know-how) and all the skills (physical application of knowledge in utilizing the goods) you feel you will need for each of the crises on your list.  It doesn’t make any difference if you already posses this need or not, or if this need is even obtainable or not – list it

This is a Per Crisis Needs List; 1 needs list for each crisis on your Moderated Crisis Priority List.

Don’t forget things like:

As you are creating these lists you will see that quite a few ‘needs’ repeat themselves. 

When this happens:  Flag them and keep a count of how many times it repeats by placing ‘tic’ marks next to it on the Per Crisis Needs list that item is first listed on.

Once you are done, clean the lists up a bit.

  • Place the ‘needs’ that repeat themselves first, in the order of the number of times they repeat.
  • Prioritize any singular listed ‘needs’ and list them after the repeats.  (Be sure the repeats are flagged and counted on each successive per crisis needs list).

At this point you may wish to have one master Needs List rather than the Per Crisis Needs Lists.  No problem …

  • Start with your # 1 priority Per Crisis Needs List, through to the last priority Per Criss Needs List and record all the repeats, ranked by the number of times they repeat.
  • Go back to your # 1 priority Per Crisis Needs List and list the singular needs, on to # 2 and so forth.

You now have a master Needs List that is prioritized.


Once this is done go back and highlight any ‘needs’ you already possess.

Use a different color highlighter for items that need to be used and replaced due to their shelf lives (even if you already have the quantity that you desire), like food, medications, oils, fuel, etc.  

Note:  Where food and medications are concerned, shelf life means the time frame before the item loses its nutritional value or potentancy. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things (Must download in excel format to see all tabs)

Then on another sheet of paper list all the ‘needs’ you don’t have yet.  Again start with the # 1 Priority Needs List, working to the lowest priority needs list.

This is your Acquire List that you will use to budget time and monies for.

Remember that all these ‘needs’ have a process and procedure behind them, even if it is just a word or two.

At this point we should have the following:

  • Prioritized Crisis Possibility List (feelings, gut instincts & irrational fears)
  • Prioritized Crisis Probability List (what science and education say the odds are & any occurrences to date)
  • Prioritized Moderated Crisis List (balance of the above)
  • Prioritized Per Crisis Needs List (and an optional Master Crisis Needs List)
  • Prioritized Needs to Acquire List (all the goods, knowledge and skills you are lacking or need to replace)

As a side note:

For those of you who may have a family member that just doesn’t see the ‘why for all’ in preparedness, ask them to zero in on the 4 types crises that most of us are likely to see:  Fire, Crime, Illness/Injury, Personal finance.  Above all, keep them involved, even if you have to play the ‘if you love me, you’ll do this’ card.

“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.”
Albert Einstein

For the person in your household that may have what the rest of you consider a rather ‘wacked out’ crisis they want on the list.  Go ahead and address it.  It is here with the Per Crisis Needs Lists that everyone will see that most of the needs (if not all) to this crisis matches the needs to the other more ‘reasonable’ crises.

“Every step we take towards making the State the caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our master.”"
Dwight D. Eisenhower

All of these tasks to formulating a crisis based preparedness plan are geared to avoid those pesky human characteristics that usually trip us up. 

For Example: for some bizarre reason we humans will remember things better if we physically write with a pen or pencil rather than type or dictate them. Just as we remember more if we actually do something while being instructed rather than reading or watching it being done. Taking advantage of this is to use plain old paper and pencil to form your lists.  For the ‘clean up’ to these lists you can then use modern technology like a computer. 

Whatever your preparedness plan, the final should be in writing or hardcopy - even if you think the government is going to go ‘Hitler’ on you.  Keep this hardcopy in your Important Documentation Book. 

Your hardcopy plan does NOT have to be detailed on your supplies.  For instance for Firearms, list what purpose you want those firearms to do:  hunting, defense, barter and trade.  You are not being detailed in what kinds of animals you plan to hunt for food, so no data mining ‘alarms’ will go off on any particular caliber and or model.

Case in Point:  Most of the terrorists (domestic and foreign) have been caught because of some kind of electronic communications and or talking about details in public.  Warrants were then issued to search homes and businesses.  The hardcopy did not get these people in trouble, their techno communications and mouths did!

That completes the first big hurdle to creating a Needs Based Preparedness Plan vs a crisis based preparedness plan and avoiding most of those human characteristics traps.

Next time we will address the dreaded Mobility Issues ;-}


(For visual examples of what is explained in this post see

Side Bar:

Data Mining and surveillance is a common occurrence throughout most of the world and the US is no exception. 

To name a few of the things our government, et al does to ‘keep us safe’ and ‘give us better products’:

  • FBI Fusion Centers have computer programs that eavesdrop on all unencrypted phone and digital communications, from actual audio conversations to comments on blog posts and what internet sites we visit or receive email from , not to mention our own emails.
  • We have our pictures taken constantly when we enter stores and purchase goods
  • We are seen in stills or motion video at public transportation centers and stops
  • Our spending habits are tracked via our debit and credit cards, our checks and ‘rewards’ cards
  • All cell phones since 2002 can be tracked via GPS unless the battery is removed, even ‘burn phones’ can be tracked if on for more than 2 minutes at a time.
  • Major roadways and toll booths are videoed constantly
  • Many cell phone and digital cameras ‘hide’ GPS coordinates in pictures so if you post them on the web anyone can get the GPS coordinates, not to mention an unscrupulous digital photo/video developer
  • Prescriptions are tracked
  • If we get any government assistance from anywhere including Social Security and disability checks, to our private retirement checks, are tracked
  • Vehicle (land, air or sea) are tracked via their VIN or Call/Registration numbers and when we purchase or get them serviced or file a flight plan
  • Since 1986 all public schools track students via their Social Security numbers
  • US drone usage that is supposed to track poachers and illegal border crossings are also videoing US citizens
  • State and Federal Income Tax returns are tracked
  • Since shortly after 9/11 all USPS mail has been x-rayed and radiated and any ‘suspicious’ letter/package is noted in a database
  • Vaccinations given at any age are tracked
  • US Passports and passport cards are tracked, along with all border crossings
  • Club Memberships and Magazine Subscriptions are tracked
  • Cable and Satellite TV viewing usage is tracked

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