The info below is a representation of our preparedness plan and has worked well for for us for decades. Using this method, our household has been able to maintain an above-average level of preparedness and self-sufficiency.
This is a repost of an article that was posted on our first blog in 2012. I saved this article since it is a tough concept to illustrate and it took a good deal of my time to document. In light of the accelerated chaos that is going on around us lately, I felt that this info needed to be re-circulated.
Our plan is illustrated in the chart below. Since the article was written a few years ago I’ve added a few updated thoughts at the bottom of the page.
ABOUT THE CHART:
Level 1 is the center of the pie and the foundation of the plan. EVERYTHING needed for our household to function, without help, for 1-2 weeks should be in our home. Some of the most essential of these preps are ready to leave on a moment’s notice. This level of preparedness is more than adequate for us to weather thru the most common local emergencies.
Level 2 is the next “ring” in the circle chart and we didn’t think about this level until Level 1 was completed. It represents the 1-12 Month portion of our preparedness plan. It built upon Level One’s supply list and included plans to improvise and learn to do as many things as possible without the help of others.
Level 3, the final level, is the limitless area shown outside of the Level Two blue ring. Our main Level 3 goals are to have over a year’s worth of preps on hand and be completely self-employed. For some it may mean advanced training or acquiring equipment to generate an income or trade for other goods. For others it may mean farming or raising livestock.
The pieces of the pie are broadly labeled and represent the main necessities required to maintain a relatively normal life if things go badly. Water and Food are obviously the major concerns and should be the first things taken care of at every level. After those are:
- Power/Fuel/Heat: Short-term items include spare batteries, generator, kerosene heater, gasoline to get to work, etc. Longer term includes wood heat, solar/wind/hydro power or learning to live w/o electricity altogether.
- Health & Medical: Hygiene supplies, vitamins, prescription items and first aid would be Level one and Level two types of items. Level three, for others, could mean a fitness program, nursing school or possible medical procedures to take care of chronic health conditions.
- Security: Short term may include a year’s worth of bill money in savings*, scanner radio, CCW permit or getting a dog. Long term goals may mean a paid off mortgage**, moving to another area or building a group of like-minded friends.
- Income: Level one plans may mean eliminating wasteful spending or selling off unused items to build an emergency fund. Long term goals may mean starting a business or learning a skill that can be used as barter.
- Misc. Equipment and Consumables: This would include everything outside of the above categories. Shelter maintenance, communication equipment, clothing, cleaning supplies, transportation, tools, etc.
This is the basic outline to OUR household preparedness plan. We can consistently maintain a Level 2 and are now moving into Level 3 across multiple areas. Hopefully, there is something in our method that can be of use to your household.
*UPDATE 8/16/17: Keeping cash savings in a bank (or safe deposit box) is something that we no longer do. Banking policies continue to become unfriendly to depositors. As we’ve seen in Greece, withdrawals can be forcefully limited in times of crisis. There are also the new regulations making depositors financially responsible for their bank’s reckless loan practices.
**UPDATE 8/16/17: I’ve been enlightened by more than few friends that completely paying off your home mortgage may not be the best plan. Many locales offer substantial tax exemptions to mortgage holders. Maintaining a small mortgage could allow us invest our tax savings in better ways.