Ok by now you should have your Moderated Crisis List. If you are a household or small neighborhood group then each individual in this household or group will initially make their own Per Crisis Needs Lists.
Keep in mind that we have some other ‘human traits’ that we need to compensate for here too, namely:
- That will never happened to me or here
- That’s what ‘blah-blah’ (agency) is for, so I don’t need to worry about this past ‘ta-da’ (timeframe)
- That’s “so’n’so’s” expertise in our family or group, so the rest of us don’t have to worry about that
- Planning to have our SHTF life be just like our ‘here and now’ life
As you make these lists please do not forget the projected scope of involvement and duration to each of these crises, as these may have a rather profound bearing on what is needed vs what is desired. Which brings me to another key point:
These Per Crisis Needs Lists are just that, Needs - NOT Desires or Wants.
The Physical Needs to human life fall into 4-5 areas:
- Air – We need clean oxygenated air to breath. If a crisis on our list has some kind of pollutant to the air involved, then we need to consider various respirators or air filtration device(s). 3 seconds without oxygen to the brain; 3 minutes without oxygen in general
- Water – We need clean or cleanable water to drink (on average 1 gallon per person per day). We need a good water source, a means to purify it and in some cases a way to store it. 3 days without water
- Food – We need nutritional food to eat to fuel our physical bodies. We need a way to obtain, store, preserve and cook this food. 3 weeks without food
- Protection From the Elements – We humans can’t be too cold or too hot, we have to be sheltered from extreme weather too. So this protection from the elements includes clothing, shelter, heating and cooling. 3 hours without shelter in poor weather
- Medication – Some humans may have an ailment, like diabetes, that requires daily medication or they will physically die.
The Psychological Needs to human life fall into 2 areas:
- Spiritual – Our spiritual health has a strong bearing on how we perceive our quality of life, our soul and spirit or will to live.
- Mental – These psychological needs fall into the realm of wanting to be loved, being social, being with or communicating with others, feeling safe and the like.
Important Side Note:
Defense, Safety and Security, or what I call DSS.
We all want to feel that we and our loved ones are safe and secure, that we have nothing to fear or worry about.
Although life tends to make this almost impossible – all the time; we often do feel safe and thus tend to overlook this much needed aspect in our preparedness planning.
On top of this, there are people who fail to understand that the everyday Life Services like police, fire, rescue and public safety (utilities, S&R, etc) entities have the following documented characteristics:
- Average urban response time is 5 minutes
- Average suburban response time is 8 minutes
- Average rural response time is 20 minutes
- A city-wide or larger power failure will take out not only electricity (and everything it powers) but water and natural gas too.
- These entities are often hog tied or overwhelmed, immediately following any type of major crisis event.
For those individuals that abhor lethal force and or firearms remember this: 9 times out of 10 a criminal or a person who is in survival/panic mode CANNOT be reasoned with! They WILL BE irrational! They WILL act before thinking their action through (ie: they want your farm and food and will kill to get it, not thinking that they themselves know nothing about gardening and preserving food.)
- There are many ways to avoid lethal force and firearms and still keep you and yours safe via your own means!
- Hating lethal force and or firearms does not mean not knowing about them so you can protect you and yours – safely and effectively!
We also need to be sure we don’t forget goods, knowledge and skills to compensate for any of the technological items we take for granted in our day to day, non-SHTF lives. Like:
- Flip a switch technology; electricity, heating, cooling, cooking and entertainment
- Fuel and Energy; gas, electricity, water, disel, gasoline, propane, etc.
- Just in time/as needed supplies from various retail stores
- Transportation; our vehicles, roads, etc
- Debit/Credit cards and checks
- Easy access to monies and items stored at the bank
- Digital access and documentation (our computers, phones and the internet)
And lastly we have to remember that just about everything we may need will require a proper storage place and has some kind of shelf life, usability life or viability life. Yes, one can starve to death while eating food that passed its viability life and is no longer nutritional to the human body!
- Low light
- Cool (food and medications, on average, require between 40 to 70 degrees with no more than a 10 degree temperature fluctuation in 28 hours or less, although some medications and vitimins can be frozen)
- Air Tight container
- As insect and rodent free/proof as possible
Needs are NOT just stuff, things, gadgets and books! We have to have the knowledge and skill to utilize all these needs.
Which brings me to another important Needs consideration to round this total out to 8; Communication
We need to be able to communicate with others to remain social and if there is some kind of crisis – we strive to be able to accomplish one or more of the following communications:
- Inform other family members so we can join together in our time of need
- Keep in touch with extended family and friends, we want them to be safe and secure if we are, we have an innate need to know their status.
- Keep aware of the status of the crisis at hand; be it one-way or two-way communication
These 7-8 Needs cannot be overlooked, belittled or ignored. If we want to not only survive, but live and even thrive, in the SHTF world (be it a long or short duration), we cannot ignore any of these points.
What are Needs?
That’s all the goods (consumables & reusables), all the knowledge (intellectual know-how) and all the skills (physical application of knowledge in utilizing the goods) you feel you will need for each of the crises on your list. It doesn’t make any difference if you already posses this need or not, or if this need is even obtainable or not – list it.
Remember when making your lists - Don’t forget things like:
- Important documentation book (copies of all documents that covers each member, pet and livestock that is you and your household – important numbers, insurances, physicians, veterinarians, inventory of items owned, land deeds, drivers licenses, birth/death/marriage certificates, wills etc. See Preparing Your Emergency Documentation Book/Binder ; Important Document Book Forms to Print & Complete )
- Communication (call tree names and numbers, alternative communication methods, etc)
- DSS (defense, safety, security which includes fire and rescue)
- Budget requirements
- Practice drills
- Mobility issues (a crisis is most likely to occur when you are out living your life; mobility will be an issue even if it is just to get back home to shelter in place)
- Multiple retreat sites that are NOT public shelters or evacuation centers, with multiple routes to get there
- Energy for mobility, cooking, lighting, heating, cooling, communication, etc.
- Sanitation (cleaning, trash, waste)
This is why when making our Per Crisis Needs Lists we have to pay particular attention to what we are listing. Is it truly a Need or is it really a Want?
Use one sheet of paper for each crisis on your Moderated Crisis List and list what you feel you will Need to survive that crisis for its projected scope of involvement and duration.
Again for households and groups – this is still an individual thing. We will get to where you can merge them into one household or group list later.
This is the Per Crisis Needs List; 1 needs list for each crisis on your Moderated Crisis Priority List.
As you are creating these lists you will see that quite a few ‘needs’ repeat themselves.
When this happens: Flag them and keep a count of how many times it repeats by placing ‘tic’ marks next to it on the Per Crisis Needs list that item is first listed on.
Once you are done, clean the lists up a bit.
- Place the ‘needs’ that repeat themselves first, in the order of the number of times they repeat.
- Prioritize any singular listed ‘needs’ and list them after the repeats. (Be sure the repeats are flagged and counted on each successive per crisis needs list).
At this point you may wish to have one Master Needs List rather than the Per Crisis Needs Lists. No problem …
- Start with your # 1 priority Per Crisis Needs List, through to the last priority Per Criss Needs List and record all the repeats, ranked by the number of times they repeat.
- Go back to your # 1 priority Per Crisis Needs List and list the singular needs, on to # 2 and so forth.
You now have a Master Needs List that is prioritized.
Once this is done go back and highlight any ‘needs’ you already possess.
Use a different color highlighter for items that need to be used and replaced due to their shelf lives (even if you already have the quantity that you desire), like food, medications, oils, fuel, etc.
Note: Where food and medications are concerned, shelf life means the time frame before the item loses its nutritional value or potentancy. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things (Must download in excel format to see all tabs)
Fuels have a shelf life too, for more information see Fuels and Fuel Storage, The Short and Long of It
This is your Acquire List that you will use to budget time and monies for.
If you are a household or a group this is where you will now combine the individual lists.
Use the same process for combining the Per Crisis Needs lists into a Master Needs and Acquire List.
I’m willing to bet that 80-95% of the needs listed will be the same and most likely in the same general priority order.
As a side note:
For those of you who may have a family member that just doesn’t see the ‘why for all’ in preparedness, ask them to zero in on the 4 types crises that most of us are likely to see: Fire, Crime, Illness/Injury, Personal finance. Above all, keep them involved, even if you have to play the ‘if you love me, you’ll do this’ card.
For the person in your household that may have what the rest of you consider a rather ‘wacked out’ crisis they want on the list. Go ahead and address it. It is here with the Per Crisis Needs Lists that everyone will see that most of the needs (if not all) to this crisis matches the needs to the other more ‘reasonable’ crises.
All of these tasks to formulating a crisis based preparedness plan are geared to avoid those pesky human characteristics that usually trip us up.
For Example: for some bizarre reason we humans will remember things better if we physically write with a pen or pencil rather than type or dictate them. Just as we remember more if we actually do something while being instructed rather than reading or watching it being done. Taking advantage of this is to use plain old paper and pencil to form your lists.
For the ‘clean up’ to these lists you can then use modern technology like a computer.
Whatever your preparedness plan, the final should be in writing or hardcopy - even if you think the government is going to go ‘Hitler’ on you. Keep this hardcopy in your Important Documentation Book.
Your hardcopy plan should NOT have details on your supplies.
For instance for Firearms, list what purpose you want those firearms to do, not details about the firearm itself: hunting, defense, barter and trade. You are not being detailed in what kinds of animals you plan to hunt for food, so no data mining ‘alarms’ will go off on any particular caliber and or model.
With your food needs, you are NOT listing quantity, merely a timeline for the supplies. IE: 3 months worth in canned, dehydrated, frozen format and the like. No data mining ‘alarms’ will go off on a particular food item or quantity.
Case in Point: Most of the terrorists (domestic and foreign) have been caught because of some kind of electronic communications and or talking about details in public. Warrants were then issued to search homes and businesses. The hardcopy did NOT get these people in trouble, their techno communications and mouths did.
This completes the second big hurdle to creating a Needs Based Preparedness Plan vs a crisis based preparedness plan and avoiding most of those human characteristics traps.
My only suggestion here is to hold off finalizing your needs lists until after you have completed your Who, What, When, Where Schedule and Map (which will be my next post) and you have completed the Routes & Communication/Rendezvous plots.