Developing a Plan - Revisited

We ran a short (incomplete) series of articles a while back, starring a fictional couple of their way to building their plan.  Here are links to the four published parts:

The “Jack & Jill” series will be taken up again this week for Part V. In the meantime, though, I’d like to share some points collected before the series was started, and submit them for your consideration. If you are new to prepping, these 5 posts should help you wrap your mind around the problems of, “Where can I start?” and “Can I be successful?” The answers are, “In your imagination and YES.”

So you decide that a plan is in order, but you don’t know where to start. Well, then, let’s look first at what a “plan” is.

plan – from http://dictionary.reference.com/

  • 1. a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance: battle plans.
  • 2. a design or scheme of arrangement: an elaborate plan for seating guests.

A plan, for most purposes, can be defined as an ordered list of steps toward achieving a future goal. As pertains to prep plans, almost all preparation materials involve money – money that must be managed. Money management is greatly streamlined by the use of a budget.

budget –

  • 1. an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.
  • 2. a plan of operations based on such an estimate.
  • 3. an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period.
  • 4. the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose: the construction budget.

A budget, for the prepper, is developed with specific detailed cash allotments to fund the plan. Both work together, and must be tuned and adjusted in progress, with careful thought, in order to profit the most from a cash source.

A survival plan then, simply stated, is a method of ensuring the survival of particular individuals, enabled by the intelligently guided usage of resources prior to the onset of _____ (fill in your scenario of concern).

Keep in mind that no one can plan for everything. In order to ensure survival during ____, the wise move is to make a well-informed decision as to what situations could actually occur. If _____ doesn’t happen, some of those preps might be wasted.

Three-fer. I try to go by the “Three-fer” concept. The Three-fer idea states that any significant expense should provide something that has at least three uses. An example might be an RV. It provides recreation, a mobile bug-out residency, and a place for family members to live if their financial world comes apart. Three uses, at a minimum, readily available when needed, with present and future application. More for your dollar.

Use your imagination!

Review your available resources, and your ability to add to them, and see just how many scenarios can be adequately mitigated. For instance… a family on the Mississippi delta is concerned about these items:

  • Hurricanes
  • Flooding
  • Economy
  • Nuclear conflict

After playing with different budget configurations, the parents decide that their income can not cover everything they would desire. The cash flow just isn’t there. They dispense with the fallout shelter stocked to the rafters with supplies. Instead, they decide to build a storm shelter /fallout shelter combination on the back of the property, above the flood line, and position it so that it can act as a defensive position. The cash saved from not going whole hog on the full-boat shelter is used to build a simple covered cache, similar to a root cellar, and store supplies there. The two are connected by a trench that marries the two entrances. To save more money, they do as much as the work as possible by hand, contracting out only the delivery and settling of the pre-built shelter ordered from one of the many builders found online.

Your budget makes clear to you just what cash is available for investment into food, medical, misc supplies, equipment and schooling in various skills. By running a budget, you are able to make determinations as to what stays, what goes, and what comes into your life. Stretching the budget involves being creative. In the above example, the family saw that they could cover the shelter with heavy timber, and mound dirt above it to a thickness of 4 feet, and thus create the needed shielding for an effective fallout shelter. Their entrance is a covered trench of the same treatment, with a 90 degree bend leading to steps up to the surface, and a path to the supply cache. All of this is done by hand – sweat equity – saving funds for other uses. Saved were the expenses of; excavating a bigger hole, back filling that hole, purchasing a bigger shelter and shipping that shelter. Further, since the shelter was built on and into a berm, they saved even more on the excavation. By building their own HEPA filter system, they were able to pass on buying a professionally built unit. Budgets help you determine what is realistic, and encourage imaginative ways to save money, and get hold of things that might originally appear impossible to acquire.

The Jack and Jill scenario to be picked-up this week will continue to showcase the exciting journey that our fictional couple undertook. Part V gets into their creation and defining of the “Lists of Everything” – Rule #3 of “J&J’s Rules for Prepping”.

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