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, April 7, 2013

Building a Needs Based Preparedness Plan – The Final Data Collection

Well now, we have created our Crisis Lists (possibility, probability, moderated), we have defined what goods, knowledge and skills we need to survive these crises for their potential scope of involvement and duration, plus what needs we already possess and have yet to acquire; and we have planned for the worst case scenario, utilizing our Who, What, When and Where Schedule and Map. 

What else can there be before we actually draw up our plan?  To be honest, two more biggies in terms of potential ‘dings’ to our survivability quotient and a few, shall we say, housekeeping issues. Both of these fall under what I call the ‘sad and bad’ ‘don’t want to think about it’ category.

To avoid some of our nasty human characteristics – like hating to think about anything bad or sad.  Remember that it is far easier to think and plan about this ‘sad and bad stuff’ when we are NOT under the duress of actually being in that situation, than it is to attempt to do so in the middle of a crisis. So here we go …

Mortality:  We humans just hate discussing death, yet this too is best done without the burden of the actual crisis. 

Most of us have wills of some kind, this is good and a copy should be in your Important Documentation Book.  However, our world now and our SHTF world could be two very different things.  You may wish to have a ‘SHTF Will’ that covers what to do when funeral homes and the like are not available, or if say, the disposition of your remains are taken out of your survivors hands. 
When your household knows how you want things done in the case of a SHTF death, there will be no guilt or remorse because they could not fulfill your physical body disposition last request. 

The next biggie is the dreaded Evacuation or Bug-Out scenario.   Many of us feel we would rather die than consider that we may have to vacate our homes.   However, reality is that there are some things that could cause us to do so in order to stay alive.  As mentioned before a house fire is the most common that we will likely face.

Before we can discuss the possible evacuation from our homes we need to understand some fairly standard authorative/governmental actions that occur when evacuation notices are issued or when a large crisis hits that requires authorative/governmental post crisis action.
It takes a lot of money, effort, organization, equipment, supplies, human-power and time to issue and implement an evacuation – no matter if it is large or small.  So issuing one is almost always done at the last possible moment!

This means that once the notice is issued you will NOT have the time to decide and pack what to take with you, yet alone to decide where to evacuate to.  Nope, you have to be ready to go within minutes of the notice being issued.
Most countries have two (2) types of Evacuation Notices:

  • Mandatory, which does NOT mean the authorities will drag you out of your home kicking and screaming.
  • Suggested, which is used when the scope of involvement has a few too many variables.  (Remember New Orleans and Katrina)

In the United States, where our states still have some independence and sovereignty, you may have only one type of notice or several additional types of evacuation notices. 
For instance in New Mexico they do not have a mandatory notice, only suggested evacuation notices.  Also in the US there is this thing called the ‘No Notice Evacuation Notice’ that can be issued by any department of transportation entity, at any time and does not require door-to-door notification.  This is generally issued in the case of say, a toxic spill or gas explosion and the like.
Then there are the usual ‘After Crisis Protocols’ which all the public safety, fire, search and rescue entities use to leverage their minimum equipment, human-power, time and finances to help the most people.  It goes something like this:

  • The area that received NO Evacuation Notice will be addressed first.  This is where the greatest number of people are likely to be trapped and or in need.
  • The area that received a Suggested Notice will be addressed second, as this is the next largest number of people trapped and or in need are likely to be.
  • The area that received a Mandatory Notice will be addressed last.  Historical crises have shown this area to have no more than 7% of people who are likely to be trapped or in need.

That takes care of the authorities, what about other things that might cause us to vacate our homes or render them un-safe to stay in?  Well I feel we are all smart enough to think these up ourselves, so I won’t list them.  Just know they are out there and ‘Murphy’ is just waiting to throw one our way.
No matter what, we need to identify what to look for in determining if we should vacate our home, be it a potential ordered evacuation or just a judgment call our part.  Discussing this NOW, without the stress of an actual crisis, is not only much less stressful, we also have more time to think about it than if we attempt this during the crisis.

Bottom Line: If we do not discuss and plan for this, it can lead us and or our loved ones into a deadly situation.
There are 3 key questions to ask yourself on this subject:

  • Will staying change anything when it comes to ‘saving’ my home?

  • If I stay behind and keep my family with me, can they handle what I can handle?

  • If I stay behind and send my family on, can we all handle the possibility that we may never see each other again?
Note:  There is a great podcast on this subject that discusses in detail the 12 questions that are pivotal to making a bug-out or evacuation decision @  Bug In or Bug Out - 12 Questions to Ask - Episode-289 found at:
We also need to hone our Situational Awareness by keeping an eye out for some ‘signs’ that ‘indicate’ that others feel evacuation is eminent or the authorities  are contemplating issuing an evacuation notice.
The more ‘signs’ we can quickly identify, the faster we can pack and go, and decide which secondary retreat will be best.  A side benefit to this is that you and your household will have a very good chance of beating the rush to get out of Dodge!

  • Stay aware. Keep your eyes and ears open and be alert to what is going on around you.  Take advantage of every possible type of news communication in your area:  Newspapers, TV, Radio, HAM, CB, Scanners, internet, weather alerts and the like.  The more sources of information, the faster you will be able to determine if you can stay put or must bug-out.
  • A rush or long lines at banks, gas stations, grocery, home improvement, sporting, camping or gun stores and the like
  • An increase in police, fire, rescue and military personnel or vehicles
  • An increase in barrel, barricades and their trucks
  • Ambulances and medical personnel are flocking to the hospitals
  • Long term care facilities appear to be removing residents
  • Nearby airports or military bases appear to be ‘on alert’ and or are calling in personnel.
  • Civilian air travel may be halted or flights canceled.
  • Public transportation may be halted, delayed or unusually crammed.
  • A sudden shift of who and what is out and about in your area.  Are the streets suddenly empty or crammed?  What kinds of people are out and about, doing what?  What kind of vehicles?
  • There is more traffic leaving your area than approaching 

All these signs tend to appear before any evacuation notice is ever issued or the potential is reported on the local news.
Remember that the needs and agendas of authorities and governments are different than that of its citizens.  They are not being cruel or mean, it is just the way things are, especially when contemplating something as complex as an evacuation.
All of this is your choice, your responsibility and yours alone! The stakes to this bet are the lives of you and yours.

  • We have identified and prioritized what crises we are concerned about, both consciously and unconsciously.
  • We have identified and prioritized what goods, knowledge and skills we need to survive the crises on our list.
  • We have identified and created our Who, What, When and Where schedule and map with its alternate routes and retreats.
  • We have addressed the two types of mobility issues and what we plan to do about them.
  • We have used methods to grab control of the few variables to our survivability quotient to reduce (or eliminate) the trials and tribulations of surviving the crises on our list.

Some things I have not mentioned or discussed are your budget and Important Documentation Book.  Although these things are very important, they do not affect the needs based plan per se. We’ll cover these later.

Next time we will go over how to take all this data collection and formulate a plan that is good, cheap, flexible, viable and based on the process and procedures behind all our goods, knowledge and skills or needs, required to survive any crisis on we are concerned about.


"Be Prepared - Not Scared"

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