Actually Building Your Plan

What is a Survival Plan?  A Survival Plan is the orderly and purposeful compilation of knowledge, skills and materials that enables someone to avoid or overcome adverse conditions, and continue living as best as he can expect afterward.

There are a lot of variables in the definition, and the plan itself. A short example might be the personal requirement to continue living comfortably after a tornado has ripped through town. To this end, this individual decides it will be necessary to have alternate housing and portable employment. While difficult to achieve, he knows this is what he wants, and he can work for it. For some preppers, the plan is simply to be alive after a “collapse”. It’s a good starting point, but for me, it’s not enough. I want to be able to live without outside help, and additionally, to be an asset to others (and not for others…).

The period between the current time, and the “end game” requires planning. I find it best to start with these ends in mind, and proceed from there. In consultation with individuals, I work to determine their world view, fears and concerns, strengths and weaknesses, personal beliefs and dreams for the future.

This post is the beginning of a series that describes what can hardly be defined and contained in a generic sense. It is both extremely difficult, and simple to the point of silliness. Difficult in that every plan IS different, and simple in that each and every one is built step-by-step.

Starting Out
To repeat, constructing a plan requires knowing the start and end points. Without those it will have no immediate relevance to the planner, or enable him to determine when enough is enough. It should also work to prevent “burn out”. We will study the efforts of a hypothetical couple to take some risk out of their lives. This study will proceed from the initial realization that a “plan” was needed, to the completion of said plan to the satisfaction of the planners /preppers. In the following example, Jack, our prepper novice, will work to build a level of overall security for himself and his wife, Jill. They woke up one day with the city water service down, and a three day estimate for its repair. Having to buy bottled water was much too similar to the nursery rhyme for them. Hills and buckets were never in their “plans”. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of the end point of anyone’s plans is subject to individual opinion. Yours may be perfect in my opinion, and sadly lacking in another’s. What’s important is that you have one. Jack and Jill, while not awakened to the need for one until recently, are not the type to let others destroy their efforts via opinions. They will listen and learn, but not be dissuaded. I encourage you to be likewise.

J&J were hit hard by the initial realization that there would be no showers that morning, no coffee, no brushed teeth and only one flush per toilet. This quick shock was lessened when they remembered they had a few 500ml bottles of water left on the shelf. Brushed teeeth, washed faces and coffee were now possible, but only for the first day. When the repair estimates predicted a three day outage, however, their concerns returned.

The Initial Plan
As with any “emergency”, some simple solutions arose. “Got to the store and get as much water as possible.” They did, and they didn’t. Too many others were doing the same, and they came home with just 2 cases – 48 bottles. The next day was a bust, and the third and final day saw another couple cases from an out of town store.

This initial “plan” was an expedient plan… one that is defined and executed on the spot. When they talked and laughed about it with friends later, Jack told his pals that next time he would be okay, since he had some of the water left, and he would buy more next week. He quickly realized how funny that sounded. “Oh, Jack’s ready to face the world!” a friend said. It got his mind to working on problems he never considered before. He knew from recent experience that the only reason he was able to use water was because water was available for purchase. What if it wasn’t? The obvious answer was just what he related to friends…. it needed to be in inventory ahead of time. But how much?

The “initial plan” was no plan at all. It was a plan for failure. J&J decided that they would need to think about what they might want to have on hand ahead of emergencies. Their plan, their real plan, thus was born.

J&J Begin Their Plan
“We must decide what could happen, and how to prepare for it.”
The first part of their embryonic brainstorming list tomorrow…..

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