Actually Building Your Plan – II

J&J took their first serious step towards securing their future by realizing one very important fact. They didn’t know just what they wanted to prepare for. As they discussed things, they also realized that there was no way they could prepare for everything and, additionally, some things were more likely to affect them than others.

“What do we plan for, and what do we forget about?”

J&J Rules for Prepping #1
Discover and Evaluate Potential Threats
They knew they could not cover everything, but they didn’t want to miss something that they could take care of. Jill shouted out loud, “Some of what we do for one situation might actually help take care of another! Our preps can multitask!”  They sat down at a table with note paper and pens and starting listing potential problems, from the possible to the far out. The list grew longer and longer: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, drought, pandemics, nuclear – biological – chemical attacks, riots, home invasion, asteroids, Mutant Zombie Bikers (they found that one on a forum…), invasion – though not from space, 2012, earth change, pipeline explosions, oil embargoes and more. As they started to slow down due to lack of inspiration, they jumped on the net and looked for more. When they agreed that the list was long enough, they started crossing out the obviously silly. The hurricanes and tornadoes had to go, but earthquakes stayed, as they lived in California. They were not in a flood plain, or near any waterways, so floods were out. Asteroids and MZBs seemed to be too far fetched, so they went, too. But the some of the rest, in some form or another looked to be possible under the right conditions.

At this point, they were starting to feel silly for even considering some of what others might call paranoid concerns. Another in a long line of realizations overcame them. They were responsible for their well being, so outside opinions capable of stalling their efforts needed to be banished. Internal fears of what others may think of them would meet the same fate. Opinions would only matter if they served to help, call attention to deficiencies, or advance their goals.

Their initial list took this form:

  • Earthquakes
  • Home invasion
  • Financial collapse leading to civil disorder
  • Pandemics
  • Terrorist attacks

They ordered it according to what they felt were the most likely threats. They assessed the threats. They lived near 3 known earthquake faults. Home invasions had occurred in nearby towns and cities. The economy was a mess and they knew of many families that had lost income. It seemed that more and more super bugs were making the news the last few years, and terrorist attacks, while not likely near them, were obviously possible.

They asked themselves a few questions.

  • “What can these events do to us?”
  • “What would we need to have and to learn so we can survive them in their worst form?”
  • “What do we have on hand?”
  • “Do we know what to do when these things happen?”

Earthquakes can destroy our home and make transportation in and out of town difficult or impossible.
Being in the foothills, and relying on a few bridges for the most common and accessible routes out of town, the thought of their home collapsing in a quake and leaving them living in their cars wasn’t very appealing. They rode out shakers now and then, and while the risk of a big one wasn’t too high, it was possible. It had happened before. The town did not have many large stores, so getting items such as food and water, camping supplies and first aid kits during an emergency might be a problem. The recent water scare showed how that could be. Living in cars in the winter while FEMA geared up for rescue and housing could actually be a health risk.

Home invasion simply can get us killed.
A few families were terrorized by home invaders the past few years, and some people were killed. It had never happened in their town, but this type of crime looked to be spreading. Jack and Jill lived in a typical 1980s home, with all of the usual security negatives. They really didn’t know what they would do to stop or prevent one effectively. They had to admit that they also didn’t know how they were performed, and that would have to be researched in order to mount an effective defense.

Financial collapse can ruin our savings and investments, and leave us with a mortgage we can’t pay.
So, what? Do we need more money? That’s obvious! Where is that going to come from? This problem looked  impossible to deal with, but they determined to find some answer to it, even if it were strange and unlikely.

Civil disorder removes our security blanket – the police. It could turn peaceful places into war zones.
The uncertainty that such a possibility creates really knows few solutions. But it seemed to tie in with the “home invasion” class of problems, so they would work on these together and see if there was a common prep to deal with both. Multitask!

Pandemics can lead to severe medical illness in our area through contamination.
Fortunately, they were fans of some of the popular TV medical shows. Surely this would prepare them, right? “We’d best do some reading on this, too, and see just what is possible and what is needed.” They saw right away that isolation in the worst cases would be a positive.

Terrorist attacks could hurt us if near by, but could also injure the economy and restrict liberties.

A terrorist cell was rumored to be in a town about 45 minutes away, but nothing came of it. An attack the size of 9-11 might throw the country into a severe panic, and really mess with the markets. This one also required some study. It went on the internet research list.

“Wow, Jill. We have a lot of work to do. You ready for this?” “Of course! This could be fun!”

It would become a daily thing to do at least some work on Rule#1, even as they developed and followed further rules.

J&J Rules for Prepping #2
Determine What Skills and Materials each Threat Scenario Requires

Knowing that their list of threats was surely incomplete, they moved ahead anyway. Obsessing over that list would be as bad as not starting it in the first place. They were sure there would be additions later, and that actually made them want to make progress on these right away.

How they made progress tomorrow…

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