Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

One Second After

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

I just finished reading One Second After by William R. Forstchen (in fact, I read it in one sitting last night), and this is a book I must recommend to anyone who cares about being ready for whatever comes next.

While Forstchen’s apocalyptic electromagnetic pulse event is flawed in some ways and his aftermath scenario is a definite worst case, his story does an outstanding job of pointing out the incredible vulnerabilities our way of life faces if we experience a disruption of the critical goods and services we continue to expect to be delivered to us without fail.

This book, like others in its category, is not so much about trying to predict the future–although Forstchen is trying to deliver a stern warning about the very real threat posed by EMP–as it is trying to point out that we’re all at risk because we have so little capacity to support ourselves in the event we do not have access to electricity, technology, global distribution systems, and fuel.

Forstchen’s story may scare you, but if you are smart, it will force you to think. And if it forces you to think, then it should force you to act. Do so while there is still time. Be ready now.

DLH

 

Some thoughts on Irene

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Hurricane Irene has come and gone, leaving a swath of destruction in her wake. The latest reports indicate 21 people died, millions are without power, and the high winds and flooding have probably caused hundreds of millions if not billions in damages on the densely populated East Coast. Yet, it was not as bad as it could have been.

What strikes me about this event is the combination of media and government hype versus the backlash by many people because this event was not as bad as it could have been. Both the hype and the backlash prove that virtually everyone involved failed to get the real point: you should have already been ready before the hurricane came and you should still be ready now that it is gone.

Readiness is not piles of canned food and bottled water collected in advance of a known emergency. Readiness is not panicked preparations just before a disaster. Readiness is not falling for the hype then returning to apathy after it has passed.

No, readiness is being ready for whatever comes next both when things are calm and when things are in chaos. Readiness is a way of life, one that is so different than what most Americans live in 2011 that the mere suggestion of this kind of readiness seems alien and apocalyptic.

Nevertheless, the kind of readiness I describe is the only way to be ready. It means establishing a certain kind of autonomy from the very society that encourages us to be unready then panic when something bad seems about to happen. It means doing hard work for yourself and establishing local networks for what you can’t do yourself. It means being ready to feed, clothe, shelter, and defend yourself when no one else is able to do so. It means being ready to be a leader when all the so-called leaders have abandoned everyone.

My hope is that people will see Irene as a warning instead of an arbitrary occurrence. Be ready because you never know what will happen next.

DLH

Be ready now: 3 things you can start doing this week to be ready for whatever comes next: Establishing self-sufficiency

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

This week’s theme: Establishing self-sufficiency

  • Immediate: Make a list of all of the things you depend on in order to provide yourself and the people to depend on you with necessities. Such a list will likely include things like your source of income, where your food, clothing, and shelter come from, and similar things. Next, make a list of how you could provide for the same necessities if one or more of the things you currently depend on become unavailable. Finally, make a plan for how to implement each change will take place.
  • Intermediate: Consider replacing things you depend on others to do for you by paying them with things you do yourself. If you are unable to do them yourself, seek out the most local source for the thing you are paying for. Pay special attention to the sources of your most basic necessities.
  • Long-term: The best way to establish self-sufficiency is to surround yourself with people trying to do the same thing. Typically, such people gravitate to small, rural farm communities, and they do so because of the lower population density, the access to arable land, and the general tendency for rural people to be more self-sufficient than city dwellers. Before undertaking such a task, carefully consider what you can add to such a community–that is, what are you going to do to be self-sufficient yourself that would compliment what others are already doing.

 

Do you find this information informative and helpful? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can also contact meabout ways you can support this effort.

DLH

Be ready now: A 5 week recap

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

If you have been following these posts for the past five weeks, you will have noticed that, if you followed the suggested plan, you will have the following things on hand for immediate readiness:

 

At worst, depending on what you decided to buy, you might have spent several hundred dollars, but in fact, you could buy everything on this list for a couple of hundred dollars if you are savvy about how you spend. If you followed this plan, then you are probably now more ready than as many as 90 percent of the people in the United States are right now at the time of this writing.

If you did not follow these posts or the plan they suggest, consider doing so now. It’s never too early to be ready, but when disaster strikes, it is far too late.

Do you find this information informative and helpful? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can also contact me about ways you can support this effort.

DLH

 

Be ready now: 3 things you can start doing this week to be ready for whatever comes next: Clothing

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

This week’s theme: Clothing

  • Immediate: Put together a clothing kit for each person who is part of your immediate readiness plan. The kit should include, but is not limited to, at least one change of underwear, at least one pair of good quality socks, a pair of work pants or jeans, a shirt, a sweat shirt, a pair of sweatpants or long underwear (That can be worn under the regular pants), a pair of work gloves, a pair of winter gloves, a stocking cap, a scarf, and a good pair of walking shoes. Other items to consider could be sunglasses, dust masks, simple tools (a Leatherman or equivalent would be a place to start), a winter coat, a rain coat, etc. Pack all of the clothing in a waterproof container or bag and store them in a central location that everyone involved in the plan knows about. If you wear dress clothes to work, consider packing a smaller version of this kit into your car or carry it with you in a backpack. If you carry nothing else, carry walking shoes.
  • Intermediate: How much of your clothing is appropriate for an enduring emergency situation? Do you have the capacity to repair your clothing? How will you keep your clothing clean? Consider all of these factors for a period lasting as long as a year. Consider stockpiling extra clothing for everyone involved in your readiness plan.
  • Long-term: Do you know someone who can make clothing? Do you know of a local, non-commercial source for fabric and supplies? Consider stockpiling raw materials.

Do you find this information informative and helpful? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can also contact me about ways you can support this effort.

DLH

Be ready now: 3 things you can start doing this week to be ready for whatever comes next: Planning

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Be ready now is a weekly post about things you can do right now to get ready for whatever might come next courtesy of Dennis L Hitzeman’s Readiness Weblog. You can find other posts in this series in the “Be ready now” category.

This week’s theme: Planning

  • Immediate: Discuss and write out plans for such emergencies can include what to do in the case of a fire, a natural disaster, or civil unrest. Immediate readiness plans should include such items as who is involved, what kind of resources will be involved, where those involved should meet, and where they should evacuate to, if necessary. Keep the plans simple, and share copies of what you wrote down with everyone involved.
  • Intermediate: Consider what resources you and those who depend on you will need to survive for an extended time without electricity or fuel. Can you weather such an extended shortage in place, or will you need to find a better location? What kind of supplies will you need to have on-hand? What can you get from the local area?
  • Long-term: What would it take to make your living situation independent from regular supplies of outside electricity and fuel? How can you provide for your basic necessities (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) without depending on supplies from retail outlets?

Do you find this information informative and helpful? Feel free to contact me and let me know. You can also contact me about ways you can support this effort.

DLH

The looming currency collapse

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

UPDATE: For those who find the linked video too painful (that is badly done) to watch, if you browse away from it, then click “Stay on this page” from the resulting pop-up” it will take you to a transcript of the video.

I’m not much for investment research firms for the most part, so I am skeptical when they give advice for free or as part of a thinly veiled promo for a product or service they provide. It is with that skepticism that I viewed Porter Stansberry‘s apocalyptically titled “The End of America” video.

Most people find the subject of the video boring. Many people who actually watch it will see the video as a scare tactic designed to frighten them into using Stansberry’s products or services and will ignore its message.

I believe they will do so to their own detriment.

Whatever Stansberry might be selling, his analysis of the looming crisis with the American dollar and everything it could mean for our way of life is dead on. And, he only focuses on one narrow aspect of looming problems that threaten to create the perfect storm that could bring the American and world economy to its knees.

Again, it is easy to ignore what people like Stansberry or me are saying because it sounds so impossible, yet it is only impossible if one ignores the inevitable lessons history taught past nations and civilizations who thought the same things.

Now is the time, more immediate than ever before, for you to get ready. Get out of debt. Make sure you can provide for your own basic needs without the need for constant infusions of cash. If you live in a city, have a plan for how to get out and where you are going to go. Have supplies and means of self-defense on-hand.

I grant that I could be wrong and that these things may never come to pass. History is quirky that way. Yet, I cannot miss the fact that it can and does happen and that the United States is not exempt from that reality.

The signs are all there. Are you going to pay attention?

DLH

Will you be ready in 2011?

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

I believe being ready is more than having a stockpile of supplies just in case something happens that deprives me of the modern comforts I have come to expect. Readiness is a state of being; a world view focused on the art of living and a lifestyle adaptable to whatever circumstances might present themselves at the moment.

I want to inspire other people to pursue being ready the way I want to be ready myself, hence this weblog. Yet, over the last year, I have discovered just how much of a task readiness is and how hard it is to convince other people it is worth doing at all.

That last statement is not despair of trying. To the contrary, it is an acknowledgement of the difficulty of the task at hand and an acceptance that it is not going to happen quickly or easily.

I plan to be more ready when 2011 ends than I am now that it has started, and I hope you will join me in the quest.

DLH

Immediate readiness

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

The simplest part of immediate readiness is assembling a readiness kit. The government website Ready.gov has a good list for a basic kit, and a quick Google search can reveal hundreds of variations on the theme. That said, everyone’s kit is going to contain different things based on each person’s views, approach, and the kind of changes the person might be planning for. I tend to follow the advice presented by Laughing Wolf in his “Readiness Week” posts at the blog Blackfive because he has assembled quite a bit of information and experience all in one place. Whatever list someone might use, it should contain, as a minimum, the following:

  • Three gallons of water per person involved in the plan.
  • Enough preserved food to last each person involved in the plan for three days.
  • Flashlights and batteries (a hand crank radio with a built-in flashlight is really the better way to go).
  • A portable radio with batteries (a hand crank radio with a built-in flashlight is really the better way to go).
  • Weather appropriate clothing and footwear for each person.

In addition, some other things to consider as part of immediate readiness kits that do not always come up in lists:

  • A good quality multi-tool. I prefer multi-tools from Gerber, but brand is not so much of an issue as quality, but it needs to have pliers, a knife, and a flathead screwdriver as a minimum.
  • At least 100 feet of rope. I prefer military grade 550 cord because of its versatility.
  • A length of malleable wire (such as electric fence wire or steel ground wire). Wire can be used for all sorts of purposes, and even a short coil can prove to be infinitely useful.
  • A roll of duct tape.
  • A backpack big enough to hold all of your immediate readiness supplies.

The previous two lists are far from complete, but they are a good place to start. In my opinion, the best way to start an immediate readiness kit is to buy one of the ones someone else has already put together. There are as many kits as there are places that sell that kind of thing, but my personal preference right now is the Personal 72 Hour Emergency Kit with MREs from Emergency Essentials, to which I would add a Pocket Survival Pak (or a Pocket Survival Pak Plus when they become available), an emergency blanket, an emergency sleeping bag, a multi-tool, a 100 foot coil of 550 cord, a 100 foot coil of wire, and a roll of duct tape. My kits also tend to collect a variety of other things along the way, but pay attention to how much you put in the bag because they can get really heavy really quick.

I also take my kits one step farther by trying to stock one kit for each person in my house and another in my car, that way, even when I am away from home, I know I have at least a three day kit nearby. I also always carry a small pocket knife with me and will probably add some sort of survival key chain to the mix at some point so even if I cannot get to my kits, I am not without resources.

An important part of a complete immediate readiness plan is having an evacuation plan. Some sudden changes, like a natural disaster or a political upheaval, may require people to relocate, sometimes very suddenly and very quickly. Evacuation plans should include the following considerations:

  • Make sure there is enough fuel on hand for vehicles that may be used in an evacuation.
  • Make sure that some part of the readiness supplies are easily portable in case evacuation means walking.
  • If evacuation means walking, make sure you have appropriate clothing and footwear available. This idea is especially important if you find yourself needing to evacuate from work where you might not be wearing walking appropriate clothing and shoes.
  • Make sure that portable readiness supplies include supplies to weather being outdoors, possibly for several days.
  • Establish several rally points at increasing distances from the sites of potential changes and discuss those rally points with anyone involved in your plan.

Immediate readiness can be a lot more complicated than these simple considerations depending on the specific events someone might plan for, but starting at this simple point is a good way to establish a baseline from which more complex plans can be built.

DLH

    An aside: who the hell is Dennis L Hitzeman and why is he lecturing me?

    Monday, October 11th, 2010

    At some point, someone is going to ask who the hell I am and why I think I can lecture other people on readiness.

    Frankly, I’m nobody more important than anyone else. My readiness experience is average and some of my qualifications are tenuous at best. A lot of what I am repeating here, I have learned from other far more qualified people, and to them we all owe a debt of gratitude.

    Yet, while I am not some sort of super-secret-squirrel-ninja-ranger survivalist, I am a halfway intelligent person who can read and learn and observe the world around me, and what I have read and learned and observed over the past several years leads me to believe that it is very likely that you are not ready for whatever comes next at all. In fact, I used to not be ready at all too, and frankly, I still have a very long way to go to be ready in the way I think being ready should work for everyone.

    So what makes me think I’m qualified to be saying what I am saying and doing what I am doing? Mostly, because I care enough to say something even as I do the something I say.

    Five years ago, I was part of the Ohio National Guard’s assistance task force to the state of Mississippi as part of the response to Hurricane Katrina. One of the images that sticks in my mind more than most is the clear difference between people who were as ready as they could be and the people who plainly weren’t.

    Among those memories was a sign tacked over the door of what was otherwise an innocuous ranch style house in Waveland, Mississippi. It read: “We’re fine and don’t need help. We are armed. Please help those who actually need it.”

    Later, I discovered that there were as many as 10 people in that house: its original residents and probably family, friends, or neighbors who banded together for common survival. As far as I know, those people never took more from the relief workers than some water and ice.

    That image and those people changed me, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. Then, just two years ago, the freak windstorm caused by Hurricane Ike knocked power out to the area I was living for almost two weeks. While not everyone lost power, many, many people did, and I was without power for ten days.

    So, I began planning in earnest and have learned quite a lot along the way. And what I have learned is that, even if I do manage to get ready the way I think I should be, in all likelihood you won’t be, and what good will that do me? I want everyone to be ready because, if we’re all ready, then even if something bad does happen it won’t be as bad as it could have been.

    Hence this blog. I may not be an expert and I may not know everything, but I do care enough to try to get you to think about something I think is very important. If I succeed, then we will all be better for it.

    DLH