Actually Building Your Plan – III

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

The easiest way to determine what skills and materials would be needed for a given crisis is to imagine what could be taken away. Of those things, which are necessary? What skills would be needed to compensate, replace, rebuild and defend? J&J worked on the list and discovered that not everything that could be lost was necessary for survival. So, as quick as they were to list items, they also crossed out quite a few. Taking the list they made via Rule #1, they wrote….

Everything! (just a joke, Jill…) “Okay, dear, let’s get serious. What might be lost if…..”

  1. House (through collapse or fire. Check on natural gas shut-off.) Can we fight fires? Can we dig through wreckage?
  2. Cars (if in an area like a garage or under or next to something really BIG). Could we really lose both? What do we do without transportation?
  3. Stored food and water, if the house collapses or slides down the hill and takes it all with it.
  4. Electricity, natural gas, water – might be cut off even if the house stays standing.
  5. Emergency Services like fire and paramedics might not get to us. Can we cope?
  6. Without power, we have few ways to get news. Car radios? Battery powered radios?
  7. Phones, both land line and cell phone. Will the cell towers stay working? How do we communicate?
  8. Looting. Can lose what things are left, or our lives.

Home Invasion

  1. We can lose our lives. Almost like “looting” in the earthquake list. The problem here is PEOPLE. Things can be replaced, but lives can not. The only thing we need to protect here is life.
  2. Health. Might be injured but not killed.

Financial Collapse

  1. Lose our jobs, lose our house – simple as that. Mortgage is too large to pay off or worry about paying down. Where would we live?
  2. Income can be partially regained through?? We need money to survive, or do we?
  3. Can cause Civil Disorder.

Civil Disorder

  1. Order falls victim to people, takes your personal security away. 3rd time “people” turn up as a problem. Need to defend life against those looking to steal, pillage, assault, rape and kill. Petty thieves taking advantage of disorder can turn deadly, too.


  1. Loss of life.
  2. Can cause total isolation in its worst case (aside from death).
  3. Loss of travel privileges.
  4. Government quarantine.
  5. Heavy financial damage if illness takes hold of us.
  6. Economic damage with business disruptions.
  7. Desperate people can do desperate things. People problem #4!

Terrorist Attacks
“This could be huge…” J&J still didn’t know where to start with this one, even after reading a lot online about others’ preparedness efforts. “It seems to require efforts right along with other threats. Depending on the attack, relocation might be necessary, which effectively takes away our home and anything we can’t take with us.”
J&J broke it down.

Dirty Bombs. (Radiological devices)

  1. Nuclear contamination. Very local. If nearby, requires long term relocation. Move our things? Is there time after detonation?

Biological Attack

  1. Similar to Pandemics. Need to stay away from contamination. Self quarantine?

Chemical Attack

  1. Removes ability to stay in the area for a short time. Most chemical agents are non-persistent… they dissolve away quickly. Big cities only?

In reviewing Rule #1, Discover and Evaluate Potential Threats, J&J applied it to Rule #2. Their brainstorming list brought up other threat categories that needed clarification. For instance, under Pandemics, the loss of travel privileges and potential forced quarantines looked to be a problem all their own. “Can we get home while away? Can we STAY home for the duration? How likely is it to happen?”  Financial Collapse and Civil Disorder could both happen, and as a pair, they create a whole new threat – threat to life and possessions.

The Necessary Preps – The Core of any Survival Plan
It took two nights of reading to burn the fog out of their heads and settle upon what they believed to be the necessities. For most people not already living off the land, this list is a must for review. When they had compiled it, they knew it was right. It just felt right. According to J&J, based on Threat Assessment, the necessities are:

  • Shelter – Home and mobile, earthquake alternative and defensible against NBC attack
  • Clothing – 4 seasons capable for shelter and mobile use, sleeping materials
  • Food – Capable of non-refrigerated storage
  • Water – Storage and water filtration capability
  • Air – Stationary filtering for quarantine, and portable for on-the-move
  • Medical – First-Aid, trauma, cold and flu
  • Defense – guns?
  • Energy – gas for cars, batteries, fire starters, propane for cooking
  • Mobility – Truck? RV? (both) Boots?
  • Communications – Wind-up or solar radios, walkie-talkies or CBs? Scanner?

With these categories properly supported, they could ride out just about any condition their Threat Assessment study had produced. Each bit of work produced more questions for them. Knowing the categories of things they might need raised further questions.
“What kinds of ‘stuff’ for each? How much? What type? Where do we get it?” 

One more realization came their way. It is impossible to perfectly tune each of the rules, lists and Q&As as they moved through the process. The entire job would have to be refined as they went along, and as the ideas popped up. Accepting that there would never be perfection, only a perfect effort, they relaxed and moved ahead.

This list covered one half of Rule #2. The other half, “Determine what skills…” was next.
Check back tomorrow….

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