1) Keep it as simple a possible. If something can be done in two steps instead of three why bother with the third step? If there is an easier and simpler way to the same result, why make things difficult. Remember The KISS principle: “Keep it simple, stupid”.
2) Take your time and create a plan. With a paper and pen write out a detailed survival plan. What, when and how – while considering your personal needs and those of your family. Do this every six months – circumstances change, keep you plans flexible.
3) Have realistic expectations. I’m sure many of you would like to have a retreat on one-hundred acres nestled in the remote Idaho wilderness. A room full of high-tech weapons and gear. A customized humvee in the drive. A bunker stacked from floor to ceiling with MRE’s and the latest freeze-dried foods. But in reality most of us will never have this stuff. Set your preparedness goals at an obtainable level work relentlessly to meet them.
4) Educate your team, work together. Divide your family or survival group by skills. For instance; one member might specialize in medical procedures, another in chemistry and another weapons repair and reloading etc. Figure out what skills and resources you have as a group. Fill the gaps with training, classes and study.
5) Get a solid understanding of the basics. Everyone should at least know the basics, CPR / first aid, how to shoot, weapons maintenance and using available resources. Cover the basics first before moving to more advanced concepts. Refer to #1 above.
6) Know when to change strategies. Don’t become fixated with plans or beliefs. If something works, great; if not you need to find out what the problem is and how to fix it – even if it means a complete overhaul of your original plan.
7) Do a threat analysis. Stop, think, look around – if you were being attacked what would be the most likely approach? What are the weak points in your defenses? Who are probable attackers? When are they likely to attack. When are you most vulnerable? Find weak spots in your defenses and harden those points.
8) Experiment. Never assume something works without first trying it yourself. We have to many armchair survival “experts” giving advice on things they have never done. Never take anything at face value – try everything yourself to see if and how it works, leave nothing to chance.
9) Build a good library. You need books on gardening, homesteading, food storage and cooking, trapping, tracking, repair, raising livestock, alternative energy, medical, herbs and edible plants, outdoor survival etc. Make a list of the books you need. It’s best not to get many titles covering the same subject – they tend to overlap and cover the same techniques and advice. See number 8.
10) Don’t get discouraged. It’s easy to become discouraged or give up altogether. Stay focused, set obtainable goals and remember everyone started from the beginning. Stop worrying about what some survival guru said you need in his latest fiction novel. You know your situation and needs better than anyone – plan accordingly.
11) Analyze your skills. Take a close look at yourself and your skills. Write down the things you are good at – find your strong points. Do the same for your weak points. What do you know little about? Find the area that needs improvement and get to work building your skill level in that area.
12) Take inventory.Take a good look at your food storage and other survival supplies. Write down what you have, look for gaps in your inventory. I did this a couple of weeks ago and found I needed to expand my medical kit.
13) Get a check up. If you still have a job with medical insurance great. Get a complete physical and check-up – same with dental. Correct any problems found.
14) Find your own way. No one knows your situation or location better than you and no one can formulate a survival plan based on your personal needs better than you. You know who you are and what you are capable of – plan accordingly.
Did I miss anything? Please feel free to add to the list in the comments below…