Friday, April 29, 2011

An Idea is not a Plan

I surf and participate in a fair number of preparedness and survivalist forums. I suspect you do as well. For the vast majority of participants, these forums are merely social entertainment. Most posters are not really into preparedness – they are just interested in the subject much like most people who enjoy martial arts movies could not fight their way through a Boy Scout troop.

One thing that bugs me (because I care) is that many people have actually fooled themselves into thinking that because they read a lot of posts about preparedness, they can handle anything that comes down the pike. They cannot. Many people have an idea that “bugging out” is the thing to do when the world turns upside down. I mean, gosh! EVERYBODY (on the forums) knows that trying to stay in a city during social turmoil is a bad idea! So their idea is to flee the city ahead of the crazed, starving masses and bug out to a safe place.

As if they will get warning before said masses.
As if they will be able to travel to their intended destination.
As if they really had a destination (does Aunt Mabel know your intentions to live with her?)
As if living at Aunt Mabel’s would actually be any better (how much food is at Aunt Mabel’s?)
And that is for the folks who actually have the idea of living somewhere specific – many have the idea that they will bug out to the country and live off the land.


An idea is not a plan.

I discuss Planning (capital P) in my book Survivalist Family (which is also available at Amazon) but let’s cover just a bit here as well.

Plans start with ideas.
I don’t like planning to bug out as a primary response to troubles so let’s consider something else...hmmm....ah! Food.

Let’s say you have an idea that food could get scarce for you and yours.
Good start – let’s kick that around a bit – why would it get scarce? (no answers from me – this is YOUR idea!) Based on each “why” (because there are many causal factors and yeah, you better start making lists here) you could develop your idea as to how long food could be scarce. You will probably develop related ideas depending on the causes you dream up – if it’s plague then you might want to avoid people; if it’s a Chinese invasion you might want to have a plan to hide your food, and so on. Consider these, but try to stay focused on food – you are developing a food plan.

Let’s say your idea is a longer term food shortage. You look around your place and figure out that you have an acre of lovely lawn surrounding a house with about four days worth of food in it. This is an assessment of your current situation. It is your start point.

Now figure out, based on your ideas, where you want to be. Maybe you want to expand your food storage but have no room but you do have the idea of converting part of the house into an honest to God pantry complete with shelves, lights and the works. That would be short to medium term. Maybe your idea carries out further – perhaps you desire one day to sculpt your property into a permaculture food forest (if you don’t know – YouTube it) complete with a rabbitry, egg production facility and tilapia pond.

Right now you are still in the idea phase. Let’s start planning.

For each idea, (you have several now) come up with three courses of action (COA). They have to be feasible and unique. Take the food storage idea: Maybe COA 1 is to convert the spare bedroom into a pantry. COA 2 might be to wall off part of the basement and COA 3 could be to build a separate shed for the purpose. Each is doable; each is different from the others. Now start looking at your COAs and try to pick them apart. Be ruthless. Find the holes; discover the things you didn’t think about yet. Consider costs in time, money, emotional investment, and so on. Consider threats (would one COA be better than another when considering foraging Chinese soldiers?) Consider how well each COA meets your needs. Then pick one.

Let’s say you chose COA 3 – the shed. You know your current situation – you have no shed. You know what you want...or do you? Have you really thought out how you want this puppy to look? How you want it constructed? Wood or concrete block? Front yard, side yard, or back? You now have other COAs to consider. Do so.

Once you have this figured out you need to develop milestones, points along the way from now (no shed) to competed survival pantry. With each milestone set a date.
Perhaps you have something like:

1. Complete blueprint – July 4 (that means you want it done by Independence Day)
2. Raise funds – July 10
3. Purchase materials – July 12
4. Exterior complete – July 20
5. Interior complete – July 25
6. Food purchased and stocked – 1 August

Now obviously that was grossly simplified but you should get the idea. You now have something more than an idea – you have a plan. And because you have an actual plan – you will very likely accomplish what you set out to do. Sure this is a lot more work than dreamily typing on some internet forum – I plan on storing a lot of food; but you will actually have a food storage facility someday as opposed to the folks who only come up with ideas.

Time is short.
You can feel it.
You are running out of planning time.
Get busy.

I’ll see you out there.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. - Proverbs 22:3

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


At 4/5/11 04:38, Blogger Prepping said...

Excellent point. A "plan" without an action is nothing more than a wish.


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