Saturday, June 25, 2011

In the Beginning, ... Part 4

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Lastly, you need to make a plan of what you and your family are going to buy to help you survive a disaster.

Buying in a Spiral
First, a shout out to Spartan, my brother, he came up with this method of buying stuff.

The idea is to buy a little (or complete a task) each month in each of the different categories to help increase you and your family's chance of surviving a disaster.

An Example of Buying in a Spiral

January '11 - Install new smoke detectors on every floor in the house
February '11 - 6 tarps and 50 feet of nylon rope for an expedient shelter
March '11 - Ten 5-gallon water carriers then fill them with tap water
April '11 - Two week supply of canned, boxed, and bottled food
May '11 - SKS rifle and 100 rounds of ammo
June '11 - First-Aid kit, one your family builds
July '11 - One pair of walking boots for everyone
August '11 - Weather alert radio
September '11 - 5 sets of bicycle tire tubes and an air pump
October '11 - Backwoods Home anthologies, first year - 10th year
November '11 - $500 in an envelop, under the mattress
December '11 - Emergency kit for each car

the next year

January '12 - Family-sized tent
February '12 - Water filter (Katadyn or Berkey)
March '12 - 360 pounds (12 cases) of wheat from the Mormons
April '12 - SKS rifle repair parts and 500 rounds of ammo
May '12 - Extra prescription medicine

You get the idea.

The Reasoning Behind this Method
Buying in a spiral pattern allows you to buy a little bit of prepping supplies in each category, every month or week. This prevents you and your family from over-prepping in one area. Instead of having a multiyear supply of food but no firearms to protect the family, you and your family can eat for a month and protect yourselves, and treat a minor injury, and bike to the store, and make an emergency purchase, and ...

An Organization Tool
Needless to say, you and your family are going to need something written down to keep track of what y'all are going to buy over the next year.

One method is a basic grid.

What I did is take a sheet of paper and write down each item category.

Next, I add one or two items, the top priorities, under each heading.

As the year passes by, the plan is to buy one of these items each month.

Folks, depending on your financial situation, you may decide to make a prepping purchase every week, instead of every month, buy larger quantities, or buy less often. It's your choice.

PS, again.
Even though I focused on purchases, you and your family can use this method to identify skills or tasks that you want to learn or complete to increase your chance of surviving a disaster.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In the Beginning, ... Part 3

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The next thing you are going to need to do is make an inventory of all your supplies.

Now, you need to do this in a secure fashion that means no spread sheets, no mobile devices, and definitely no 'cloud'

Yep, that means old-school, paper and pencil for this task, lots of paper.

Before you and your family begin, you are going to have to decide wether y'all are going to use an organized or an unorganized method.

If you have decide an unorganized method, stop reading and get to work. Now!

If you have decide an organized method, please, read on.

First, label the top of a sheet of paper "Air"

At the top of another sheet of paper "Shelter"

Another sheet "Water"







You get the idea.

Once all the sheets of paper are labeled at the top, pass them out to your family.

Next, you, your children, and your partner go around the house writing everything you own in that category on the paper. Remember, only the items your family owns.

An example might look something like this

and this

and this

and this

Folks, these are simple examples. You will probably have a lot more stuff to include on your family's inventory sheets

Once you and your family are finished with the inventory, you and your partner (and the children, too) go through all of the lists. Just like Saint Nick, you are going to check the lists, twice. If you forgot anything (how about that half-gallon of gasoline mixed with 2-stroke motor oil), add it to the list.

Next, you and your partner (the kids are probably tired by now) are going to line through any item that doesn't work/damaged. (your daughter's holey running shoes, your son's way too small jeans, your broken golf clubs, so on and so forth.

Once this is finished ...

Congratulations! Now, you know what you own, and you have a good idea of the supplies that you and your family have on hand for a disaster.

Plus, you can probably use this list for insurances purposes, if you include some pictures.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In the Beginning, ... Part Two

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

So you and I 'woke up.'

We looked on the internet, reading what we could, and trying to figure out what we needed to make our families safe. We started buying food that our families didn't like or food we didn't know how to use.

We went to the local gun store plunking down a month or two worth of pay to buy firearms we knew nothing about. If you were lucky, you had some military service and know about rifles but probably not handguns.

And the mistakes we made (and are still making) as we hurried to make up for shortcomings as the 'current' disaster reared its ugly head, but nothing happen. Oh, the jokes we heard from our friends and family that knew of our preparations

But we still prepare.

And this is what this blog is about.


The First Step

I want you to get a sheet of paper; lined or unlined, it doesn't matter.

I want you to fold the paper in half, long ways (like a hot dog bun) Along the crease, that you made, draw a line separating the paper in half.

On the left-hand side of the paper, start listing all the potential disasters and emergencies you and your family could face.

A Short List of Potential Emergencies/Disasters
Next, on the other side of the paper rank each potential disaster from 'most likely to happen' to 'least likely to happen.'

Ranking of Potential Disasters/Emergencies
Next, add any disasters to the list that you and your family feel are important for y'all to get prepared for such as Zombies, nuclear war, or ... that weren't on your original list.

Please, if you add any disasters to the list, make sure you put them in the proper priority from 'likely to happen' to 'least likely to happen.' 

Other Potential Disasters/Emergencies Added to the List
Almost lastly, line through any disasters you and your family are unwilling to prepare for. For some folks, it might be nuclear war (too expensive) or home invasion (pacifist)

Lastly, this list is personal. It is tailored to you and your family's situation. The list could and would be different for your neighbor down the street to your friends on the other side of the country.

1) If you don't like this method, Richard De Castro has another method. I provided a link, in the link section of the post, to his excellent Threat Assessment FAQ.

2) FEMA has an excellent booklet titled Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide. It is a  state by state guide covering tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, snow and extreme cold, tsunamis, nuclear power plants, and nuclear attack (the "Big One" not terrorists/small scale attacks). The booklet will give you an idea of the possibility of these threats for your state/region.

The Widening Gyre: Nick P. Norwood - Threat Assessment FAQ by Richard De Castro

Survival Ring - FEMA-196 Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide


Scrib - FEMA-196 Risks and Hazards: A State by State Guide

If you have children in grade school, they will be able to tell you about folding paper like a hot dog bun or a hamburger bun.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In the Beginning, ...

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

When did you wake up to the fragile nature of our complex society?

Was it urban riots like the one in Watts in 1964 or the one during the New York city blackout in 1977. How about the Miami riot in early 1980, another one again in Los Angeles in 1992, or was it the 2002 Cincinnati riot?

Was it a natural disaster such as a hurricane (Camille in 1962, Andrew in 1992, Katrina in 2005, the Schoolhouse Blizzard in 1888, the blizzard of 1978 and again in 2010, or the earthquakes 1811 in New Madrid, 1906 in San Francisco, or Northridge in 1994?

Was it a financial difficulty such as a financial depression, like the ones in 1857, 1929 and again in 1937, or maybe it was the recessions of '73, the early '80s, or the 90s?

Was it reading a book like Alas, Babylon in 1959, Warday in 1984 or One Second After in 2009 that put that nagging doubt in to your head?

Or is it a potential disaster that might be unfolding such as climate change, Peak Oil, the mass extinction of species, the massive volcano in Yellowstone, another New Madrid earthquake, or the collapse of the world's financial system?

Or could it be some fringe scenario like the Rapture in 2011, Mayan calendar ending in 2012, Zombies, or an alien invasion?

Either way,

Welcome to prepping and survivalism.

Wikipedia - Urban Riots

Wikipedia - Hurricane Andrew

Wikipedia - Hurricane Katrina

The Post Chronicle - Biggest Hurricanes in History: The Top 14 Big, Bad Storms

Wikipedia - Schoolhouse Blizzard

Wikipedia - North American Blizzards of 2010

USGS - Largest Earthquakes in these United States

The Amateur Economist - America's Great Depression: An Overview

Wikipedia - List of Recessions in these United States

Wikipedia - Alas, Babylon,_Babylon

Wikipedia - Warday

Wikipedia - One Second After