How to prepare your family to survive and thrive in todays uncertain world

Category Archives: Getting Started

Prepping For Beginners

Prepping For Beginners

stress 300x300 Prepping For BeginnersLately I’ve been considering the plight of people who are new to preparedness. How overwhelming this must be for them.

Even for those of us who have been prepping for years it can still be overwhelming and intimidating. I imagine that for people that are new the task ahead must look like Mount Everest.

Most people begin to plan for specific problems or vulnerabilities and go from there. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, and I believe that looking at specific scenarios is a key part of being prepared for whatever may come this way.

Rudy’s Note: It’s perfectly normal and common to start this way. Most of the time you start thinking about the scenario that first got you started on the preparedness path. It’s ok, and normal, and not wrong. Trust me!

But today I want to advocate an approach that is a bit different than that.  This approach is a bit less overwhelming and it is more practical than war-gaming individual disaster scenarios.

Ignore Specific Scenarios

tornado 200x150 Prepping For BeginnersThe first thing you need to do is ignore specific scenarios. Yes, this means that I don’t want you thinking about EMP, tornadoes, pandemics, or even the zombie apocalypse.

The reason why I want you to do this is because any time you look at a specific scenario in depth, you end up focusing on specific details and you end up rat-holing and losing sight of the big picture. You end up spending a ton of time with no concrete results that you can actually do something about.

Rudy’s Note: In case the term isn’t something you’ve heard before, “rat-holing” is a term used to describe a conversation or process that has deviated from its original productive purpose into a generally unproductive but long and winding detour that eventually comes to a dead end.

The original discussion purpose may be to agree on a course of action. However, if one or more people rat-hole into a specific point of the discussion then the discussion stalls with no actionable outcome.

Figure Out What’s Important

The first thing I want you to do is to figure out what is important to your life. Most of the time the basics are clear: food, water, your health, shelter, and power.

Grab a sheet of paper and write it down. Think about what else is important to your life, and go into a bit more detail than I went into here.

Find Your Dependencies

Now for each of these things you’ve written down, figure out what you’re dependent upon for those needs. For example you’re probably dependent upon the power company for electricity, and you most likely get most of your food from the store.

Do this for each item you’ve written down, and now you should have a list of needs and what you are dependent upon for those needs.

Contingency Planning

planning 200x120 Prepping For BeginnersNow it’s time to do the fun stuff. You need to put contingency plans in place for each of these dependencies. But not just anything. I want you to start small, and work your way up.

What you’re planning for is for the disruption in the normal availability of those dependencies. To use the electricity example again, this is you planning for a power outage.

Like I said, you want to start small here, and expand your contingency plans. Start planning for a three day disruption. Then a week. Then two weeks, a month, three months, and six months. Go all the way out to a year if you want.

Rudy’s Note: Once you hit two weeks, if you feel more comfortable with different time frames after that, go for it. I’m giving you a guideline, but it’s definitely not some sort of hard and fast rule.

Take as much time as you want. This doesn’t have to happen tonight, or tomorrow. Go at your own pace, and don’t feel like it’s a race. But don’t stall out. Make progress on a consistent basis.

Why This Works

This works because all any disaster is, when you get down to it, is a removal of your support structure and dependencies for a certain amount of time.  Whether it’s a power outage for a few hours or a job loss that lasts a few months.

By preparing for those dependencies to be unavailable, you’re actually preparing for just about any disaster scenario.  You can dig into specific scenarios once you’ve got the basics accounted for, but by and large just having your main dependencies covered will get you through just about anything.

As with anything in life, though, action is what gets things done. You have to actually work on your preparedness plans, not just put them together.  You have to take action to put those contingencies in place.  They won’t show up on their own.

Wrapping Up

calm 200x150 Prepping For BeginnersRemember…preparedness planning is very personal, and it’s not about planning for the latest and greatest disaster. It’s about structuring your life in a way that you are not completely up a creek without a paddle if the power goes out or you can’t get to the store.

This will give you a sense of peace and confidence that you are able to take care of yourself and your family. When your dependencies give out for whatever reason, you’ll have a sense of security that comes from knowing that you’ll be ok, and you have time to figure out what comes next.

Thoughts On Getting Started In Preparedness

Thoughts On Getting Started In Preparedness

Preparedness is a mindset.  You have to realize that getting prepared isn’t a one-time thing.  It’s a fundamental shift to the way that you think and the way that you live your life. And honestly, everyone is different and everyone will have a different level of preparedness that they’re comfortable with.  And there’s nothing wrongContinue Reading

Putting Together your Family Food Storage Plan

I promised an announcement today, here it is! Some of you have been asking me to show you how to put together a long term storage plan in more detail. After thinking about it a bit and discussing it with my wife, we’ve realized that this is a huge undertaking and one that needs toContinue Reading

Show Me The Money!

My day job, aside from being a loving father and adoring husband is a very technology centric occupation.  I work at a desk and it is somewhat difficult to find jobs in my field outside of urban areas.  This does not fit well with our desired lifestyle nor do I find the suburbs a particularlyContinue Reading

Emergency Power Generation and Storage

I had an interesting conversation via email with one of my readers this week.  She was responding to my winter storm scenario and wanted to know more about alternate power arrangements in the case of a grid failure.  We ran through some scenarios and I explained to her HOW to go about figuring all thisContinue Reading

Should We Stay or Should We Go?

Anyone who has read some of the survival and preparedness sites on the internet has undoubtedly read about people planning to ‘Bug Out’ or Head for the Hills when TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World As We Know It) strikes.  While the idea of striking out on your own, heading for the hills too hunt,Continue Reading

What Do You Mean, We’re Out Of Toilet Paper?

Guys, you’ve heard it before.  “Honey, we’re out of toilet paper.”  When you hear that today you can just run down to the store and save the day, hero that you are.  You may not be so lucky down the road.  This isn’t just for toilet paper though … other non food items are prettyContinue Reading

Too Many Mouths to Feed and Not Enough Food

So if you remember the Rule of Threes, you know that it’s time to talk about food now that we have water sorta covered.  When you say food storage, most people picture 50 lb bags of rice and buckets of wheat stored in the corner of the garage, and boxes of freeze dried food onContinue Reading

Water Everywhere and Nothing to Drink

So according to studies, and we all know how accurate they are, your average American uses about 50 gallons of water a day.  Great Caesar’s Ghost!  And here I am telling you that you should have not days, not weeks, but MONTHS of water stored.  Why, that’s 1,500 gallons of water per person, or 6,000Continue Reading

Move over Steve Martin, Hello Rule of Threes!

Everyone knows that you need oxygen, water, food, shelter, and so on to survive.  We all get that at a gut level.  What many folks don’t realize is that there’s a pretty simple way to triage those things.  It’s often referred to as the Rule of Threes. The rule is simple: You can survive forContinue Reading

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