Whew! What a week, I have been camping with my extended family since Saturday. My parents and siblings joined us at a lake in Central Iowa. The weather was great, the lake was wonderful, and I have two exhausted little boys and a camera full of fabulous pictures. I’m more than a wee bit tired myself.
So, here to speak some sense today, is SmokeCheckTim, with some thoughts on having a plan. I’ll be back full force next week.
You’ve been warned people, brace yourselves. ;-)
A lot of blogs and websites spend lots of time talking about the latest shiny toy, how to set up your bug out location or even how to build a tank trap….really? a tank trap? What I haven’t seen, at least lately, is a discussion on what should come first before all the beans and bullets, A PLAN. Now if you’re a grizzled old prepper this article probably won’t help you much, but you may pick up a nugget or two and I’m sure that you will be able to add a comment on things I may miss.
First of all who are you prepping for? Yourself? You and your other? One family or a group? Once you have figured out who will be in the plan the next step is OPSEC ( operation security). No one outside the plan should know about the plan. Don’t talk to people about where you will be going and what you’ve stored. Don’t go on TV to brag about what you have because if there is trouble somebody just might decide to take your plan with your beans and bullets and make it theirs.
You now have a group and you have to make a lot of decisions about what you will be doing. You should work backwards from where you plan to stay, permanently if needed. This has to be based on where you are, what your finances allow, and where you can reasonably expect to travel. Will you shelter in place for a week or two to weather the initial panic? Will you try to get to the final bug out location directly or will you have a intermediate location where your group will muster, gather up supplies and head to your longterm hideaway. How will you travel? Do you have small children or elderly parents to consider?
THE PLAN is dynamic. As the group develops and changes the plan must change too. I’ll set up one possible scenario and you can use this example to fit your plan. Your family and your brothers family have located a small hobby farm located about 20 miles from the city. You plan to meet at your house in the suburbs and move as a unit from there to the farm. From your house you have located three different roads routes that will get you to the farm. You have also developed a backup plan that involves moving without vehicles cross-country if needed. Lets look at what needs to happen for this to work. If you can drive to the farm no problem. If not, 20 miles will take time and you will be limited as to what you can carry, so most gear will be stashed at the farm, with a cache hidden along your overland route to resupply your group as you walk to the farm. Your suburban house should have enough supplies for at least a week as you wait for everybody to get to your house from wherever they are when the balloon goes up.
Still working backwards you should assume that the trouble will hit when you are not at home, sitting on your front steps with your faithful Remington 870 across your lap. How will you get home? How will all family members get to your home? You need to develop individual plans for each person that includes multiple routes to get from work or school to the house. A bug out bag is critical to be sure that each member has the supplies they need to cover the distance they need to travel to reach home. With school age children a bug out bag may not be an option because of restrictions placed on items that are allowed in the school, so their bag may have to be modified or placed at a friends house nearby. Possibly you could plan to round up the kids as people move toward your intermediate stop. Also, you have to decide how long the group will wait before leaving for the farm. For whatever reason there may be a member who doesn’t make it due to injury, blocked routes to your house, or even death.
The group might want to consider the fact that the final destination might not be needed because the crisis appears to be short term in nature (loss of electricity, flooding). History says there is a good chance that you will face some sort of temporary crisis many times before TEOTWAWKI. Ice storms, social unrest/riots,Tornadoes, Hurricanes, less then lethal earthquakes, all can cause a temporary situation that could take several weeks for the authorities to get straightened out and utilities and order restored. You want to know that you have the supplies in in place to wait a temporary disturbance out with minimal stress.
While working on the plan you can still begin the process of stockpiling food and water. Its important to remember to start slowly and stay within your income. You can buy a large bottle of water with each visit to the local big box store and a couple of pounds of beans or rice shouldn’t break you. This website has a huge archive of articles that cover many things that you will have to consider on this prepper journey. Good Luck!
Remember, a goal without a plan, is just a wish.
- Calamity Jane