Well, after last evening’s interview with Doctor Prepper, I thought I would write up a few thoughts on planning for your preparedness goals. This will probably appeal to novice preppers, but it got me thinking about a few points of discussion around how to get the ball rolling and keep your head on straight at the same time.
- Have the determination to start and continue prepping. By this I mean, if you honestly believe it is going to be part of your lifestyle and you are not afraid of learning or admitting there is a lot to learn while you are getting started, you can get your family prepared to survive almost any situation.
- Stay physically fit (if you can). It’s my opinion that your health is all you have. Staying fit as best you can will help you during an emergency. It’s no secret that being physically active and fit helps you to deal with stress more effectively. It will also help you to work through any other physical situations you find yourself in if you find yourself in an emergency situation.
- Start a preparedness budget. Yes, a budget. When I first started prepping I bought everything. I thought I researched things, but honestly many of my purchases were emotional purchases vs. intellectually thought out purchase decisions. I wasted a lot of money, and wasted it quickly. Budgeting will help you think though your decisions, and the time frames in which to make them more intelligently.
- Create an action plan, or plans. Plan, plan, plan, and document your plans to be distributed to your family or group so that in a crisis situation they know what to do if they have a brain cramp due to the stress. See this post about a personal prepardess planning booklet for your family
- Build a Bug Out Bag. Build your 72 hour bag with the basics you need based on your skill level as well as being able to satisfy the needs of your family. Make sure you cover the following: Fire/Energy/Power, Shelter, Food/Water, Signaling/Communications, and Security.
- Create a long term survival plan. What if you had to bug in or bug out for a long period of time? What’s a long period of time? Let’s call it two weeks to a year. What would you do?
- Get trained. Get training in areas where you are not proficient. You don’t have to become an expert, but be able to handle the situation or issue when it arises. An area or two to consider:
- Practice the skills you learned when trained. Enough said.
- Remain Humble.
- About your preps
- About what you know
- About where you are going if you need to bug out.
- About what you have if you bug in.
- Learn to heighten your state of awareness. Google “Jeff Cooper, Cooper Codes” and get an understanding of who Jeff Cooper was and what the Cooper Codes were designed for and make them part of your life and lifestyle. I asses every room I walk into. I don’t stop and count the people, but just take note of the people, demeanor, etc. very quickly and note anything or anyone that might be out of place… Use the Cooper Codes to help you asses the “situation” for bugging in or bugging out.
Under the heading of budget, you may want to consider adding getting out of debt. Debt makes you more prone to have localized SHTF events. Getting out of debt also means you are not slavishly bound to the system.
Thanks PrepperJim! You just did. 🙂
Being debt-free seems very hard to do these days, but I’ll agree its up there with good health.
Agreed about being hard.
IMO start with the highest interest rate credit lines regardless of balance. IOW, $10,000 at 20% is worth more in terms of paying off sooner than $20,000 at 5%. Easier on the cash flow to have the latter than the former.
You can try to negotiate payoff terms with a credit card bank. Some will work with you, some won’t.
Some may give you a fixed low rate or even zero rate as long as you make a minimum payment each month.
Some may even forgive part of the debt but will hold you to a fixed repayment schedule. (ps- the amount forgiven is NOT “free money”. You’ll get a 1099 for that amount.)
However, IMO, if the economy is on the verge of tanking it’s better to have cash on hand than put every spare dime into paying down debt. You can more likely work with creditors later but you still need to buy food now. Better to ask for forgiveness later than permission now. 😉