May 29, 2017

National Preparedness Month Challenge

National Preparedness Month Challenge

This is the Month the federal government sets aside to talk about Preparedness. There’ve been conversations about their effort in other articles, but I don’t want to get into that. Instead, I want to challenge you with five tasks! All but one of them is free. If you accept and meet this challenge, even if it takes you longer than this month, you will be so much more prepared!

1. Create a Living Will

Make your end of life decisions now and have them documented. During that time, your loved ones will be under huge amounts of stress and very emotional. Please do not leave these decisions for them to make during that time. Trudee and I got ours done at Legal Zoom, where the price starts at $39.

2. Serial Numbers

Make a list of serial numbers and take pictures of all expensive items. If your house is broken into, damaged or destroyed, this information will greatly increase the speed of getting your insurance claim submitted. I created a Serial Number Recording Form for you. I also recommend taking pictures and storing those images with the list of serial numbers in a couple locations; a thumb drive in a fireproof safe, in any of the online data storage solutions and even on a thumb drive in your trunk!

3. Have Redundant Bug Out Plans

If you have a Bug Out Location (BOL), I suggest you document multiple ways to get there. If you don’t have a BOL, you still have options. One option is to have an agreement with a friend or relative that, if needed, you would head there. You could go one step further and ask to store some food and gear there so you have more than what you were able to BO with.

Another option is to pick small towns; one north, one south, one east and one west of your home. We picked towns that are 30-60 miles away, had a population of around 5,000 and, if possible, a small hotel. You don’t have to stay at the hotel but it can serve as a rally point. Another reason for the hotel is that if you and your family don’t bug out together but agree on which direction to take, if someone is delayed, they can call the hotel and ask to leave a message for your family member who is on their way and will be checking in.

The reason I like this idea is that you have a plan to execute and won’t have to try and figure out where to go if things start going sideways. I like the idea of four directions because you don’t know what direction things might be melting down. For instance, many Minnesotans might think about heading ”up north” because there are many lakes, woods and plentiful wildlife. There is a nuclear power plant along one “up north” route for us and a state penitentiary along another. In a worst case scenario such as an EMP, there is no way I want to go near the nuclear plant and I’d like to keep my distance from the prison as well. It might be easier to just go east instead.

4. Meeting Location

Have a location outside of your neighborhood designated as a meeting place that everyone in your family knows about. If something happens at your home or very near your home, and people cannot get into the area, everyone should know to meet here.

5. 90 Days

Have a plan in place to be self-sufficient for 90 days. I believe that in 95% of situations, battening down or bugging in are better options than bugging out. I believe that 90 days is a moderate goal that we should all be working towards, and when we get there, we should set it out another 90 days!

This can be a lofty task, so planning it out is a great idea. Decide what you will need to provide all of your basic needs; water, food, shelter, energy and security for 90 days. Storing 90 days’ worth of water isn’t realistic if you don’t own a pool, so a water purifier would suffice.

If you are in debt, then getting out of debt should be step one of your plan. One aspect of this plan should also include saving up and stocking away enough money to pay all of your bills for three months.

If you get to a point where you could provide clean water, food, shelter, heat and security for your family, plus pay your mortgage and any other bills for 90 days, you will be better prepared than the overwhelming majority of people.

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  1. I really enjoy all the insightful information and the Truth behind Prepared Christian’s daily tips and informative articles. I have been following Chris/Prepared Christian’s FB page for quite some time Noe. In my opinion, he is the most balanced.

    Thank you Prepared Christian/ Chris for all you do!

  2. Excellent advice about having multiple BOLs with alternative routes to each. It’s not as difficult as it sounds, either. Using Google Maps, you can get the directions from your home to your BOL, and then change the parameters: avoid highways, avoid cities, etc. Print out a copy of each alternate route and keep them in your bag or vehicle. It’s also a wise idea to drive each route at least once, so the area isn’t totally unfamiliar to you. It’s often surprising the things you discover when you put the rubber to the road that aren’t apparent on a map: is there a low water crossing that might make this route unusable in rainy conditions? Does that route go past a Border Patrol check point that might be put to other uses during a disaster?
    Just a few thoughts.
    Anyway, I seldom write, but always read your articles. Keep up the great work!

  3. Chris,thanks for ur articles like this that seek to influence us to keep moving forward in our prepping journeys. We are almost at the 90 day mark. Have enough food stored. Need to get the 2 water barrels set up & need something to heat our home in winter (even tho winters down here in Okla are very mild compared to yours up in MN).

    Will also do the living will & serial numbers. Just a suggestion on the Serial Num. Recording Form (an excellent idea), I’m adding the date I fill it out, b/c TVs, computers, etc do gradually get replaced, as time goes along. I plan to keep my guns for decades; so their serial num’s will not change.

    • Sure thing Red.

      Good for you, that is quite the achievement! Adding the date is a good idea. It would also be a good idea to either add new items to the list as you buy them, or update it every six months.

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