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Author Topic: Preparation Budget & Planning  (Read 6549 times)

Geek

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Preparation Budget & Planning
« on: March 19, 2013, 06:37:23 PM »
I was looking over some old threads and saw a comment by Gil that he was trying to devote equal amounts of his budget to each category of needs.  (Sorry if I butchered you point Gil.)

Depending on what your categories are, that may or may not make sense.  Here are the categories I use:

Water, Food, Energy, Security (firearms, etc.), Shelter, Clothing, Transportation, Communications & Electronics, Hygiene, First Aid/Medical, Tools & Materials.  Someone else could have different categories for their own planning.  These are just what I use.

With these categories, some are much more expensive, while others can present problems of sufficient space, etc.  As a result, while I have a dollar budget, I try to spend enough in each category to be prepared for a given length of time.  I don't want to be in the position of having a year's supply of food and energy sources for a week.

What I then do is set a target amount of time slightly longer than what I am currently prepared for, e.g. 3 months, 6 months etc.  I then spend enough on each category to take my preps out to that target.  When all preps are in place for that period, I pick a longer period as the new target.

I'd be curious what others are doing to maintain balance in their preparations.

Joe

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2013, 03:57:32 PM »
I have basicaly the same catigories. When I first started prepping some 6 years ago, I had the help of some good friends who are Mormon. They showed my wife and I the basics of preping and how to do it on a shoe string budget. They suggested to start small, Start with getting a bug out bag together. Then move on to a weeks supply of food, water, hygiene, medical, and security measures. Then once you have a week supply move on to a month, than 2, and so on.

We where compairing notes and I asked about communications. I have always been around radios from CB's to fire service, and Sheriff's dept. They said at a miniumum to have a good AM radio with renewable power supply and a scanner, to stay informed as to what is going on. And once that was covered if we wanted more and a means of communication to get a HAM license.

With all these catigories it can become over whelming to say the least. What I have found is to always go back to basic survival needs and meet them first. When I am ready to move to the next step I start with water first and when that is met I move on to food and security. For me Food and security have the same priority. Than I move on from there. And before I move on I check over everthing to make sure all the bases are covered.

To help with the work required. We set down and figured out everyones strenghths. And assigned them that portion of the list to prep for to make it a family effert. Then we have a famly night and we pick someones house to have dinner at and teach each other on a topic. And go over where everyone is at. And by doing it this way we can buy in a larger quantity to get a cheaper price.

I took on the communications part. We already had the AM radio covered along with the scanner. I had a old CB laying around so I got that up and running. We wanted to be able to talk to each other. So I started small, started with the little GMRS/FRS radios they work great for around the house use. Then I got my ticket and moved on to 2m and 70cm. And know I want to expand to CW.

White Tiger

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Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 04:26:24 PM »
Some of the prioritization is different, but that basic list is accurate for me.

Shelter, water, food (and the means to protect each) should be the bedrock your prepping philosophy is designed around - after that, your guide should be your own concept of what your preparing for...and how quickly you think it will occur.

For instance, I'm bugging in - first - however; my long-range (5years) budget is being built for a a fall back location should I need to "bug out"...so my prepps reflect that reality. The adage "man plans and God laughs" indicates that while plans are necessary, don't get married to one philosophy, be flexible. We entered into uncharted territory long ago, time is short.
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

Geek

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2013, 04:42:05 PM »
I have basicaly the same catigories. When I first started prepping some 6 years ago, I had the help of some good friends who are Mormon. They showed my wife and I the basics of preping and how to do it on a shoe string budget. They suggested to start small, Start with getting a bug out bag together. Then move on to a weeks supply of food, water, hygiene, medical, and security measures. Then once you have a week supply move on to a month, than 2, and so on.

We where compairing notes and I asked about communications. I have always been around radios from CB's to fire service, and Sheriff's dept. They said at a miniumum to have a good AM radio with renewable power supply and a scanner, to stay informed as to what is going on. And once that was covered if we wanted more and a means of communication to get a HAM license.

With all these catigories it can become over whelming to say the least. What I have found is to always go back to basic survival needs and meet them first. When I am ready to move to the next step I start with water first and when that is met I move on to food and security. For me Food and security have the same priority. Than I move on from there. And before I move on I check over everthing to make sure all the bases are covered.

To help with the work required. We set down and figured out everyones strenghths. And assigned them that portion of the list to prep for to make it a family effert. Then we have a famly night and we pick someones house to have dinner at and teach each other on a topic. And go over where everyone is at. And by doing it this way we can buy in a larger quantity to get a cheaper price.

I took on the communications part. We already had the AM radio covered along with the scanner. I had a old CB laying around so I got that up and running. We wanted to be able to talk to each other. So I started small, started with the little GMRS/FRS radios they work great for around the house use. Then I got my ticket and moved on to 2m and 70cm. And know I want to expand to CW.

Sounds like we've arrived in the same place via different paths.  I didn't have any Mormon friends to discuss this with, but did review some of their materials I found online.  My Boy Scout background was very useful in short term preparations.  However, the biggest influence was probably disasters I've actually experienced over time.  For instance, lack of phone or internet during Hurricane Sandy, our most recent disaster experience, got me to start on communications, which had been the laggard among my categories.


Joe

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2013, 04:55:01 PM »
So true White Tiger. I have planned for both to Bug in and out. No one knows what is ahead. We are looking to get a better bug out location than what we have. We have our supplies divided between the different location.

Geek it does sound we have followed the same path. I also was a Boy Scout. I was also a firefighter for some time. To get my bug out bags together i just merged the two, the survival of and prepardness of a boy scout and readness of a firefighter. In my area we have floods and fires. I have gone through both, I have seen where the stores have been shut down and flooded out or burnt out. gas stations closed. Power and communication lines out. Some for a couple of days and some for weeks. With these scenerios it made it a lot easier to get my family to prep. And it has helped to open the budget to allow for prepping.

Geek

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2013, 06:10:47 PM »
Regarding bug out locations, there is a tendency to think in terms of owning a farm or rural property.  That's great if you can afford it, but most of us are well short of that with prepping to stay in place and normal living expenses.

However, ownership is not important.  Knowing where you are going is what is important.  I have an arrangement with a geographically distant cousin.  If he needs a bug out location, he can come here and vice versa.  In addition, our "group" which is really just my family know where we are to assemble in the vent we are separated and can not go home.  In this case we would assemble at our assembly point and then proceed as a group to the BOL.  The important part here is not the characteristics of the BOL so much as having a plan and the plan being known to all.

Frosty

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 12:16:24 PM »
I try to brainstorm around "what if's" on all the individual problems that might occur in a larger disaster, and prioritize based on those instead of by the beans/bullets/bandaid lists.

What if there's a winter storm?
What if there's a winter storm and the power went out? 
What if there's a winter storm, and the power went out, and it's 10 below outside? 
What if there's a winter storm, and the power went out, it's 10 below outside, and a tree branch broke my picture window?
What if there's a winter storm, and the power went out, it's 10 below outside, a tree branch broke my picture window, and I  cut myself badly on a shard of glass fixing it?

Keep adding more problems, frozen water pipes, generator won't start, firewood pile buried under a couple feet of snow or encased in a couple inches of solid ice, wife/kids very late coming home from work/school and phones are out, house fire when the dog knocks over the kerosene heater, or whatever.  Every situation I've ever called a "complete disaster" in hindsight always had the snowball effect of little things adding up that made it a disaster.  The way I see it, most of the problems are going to be the same whether it's a result of a snow storm, or a pandemic/EMP/economic collapse anyway.  Prioritize so you don't end up with body armor and NV gear, and no way to fix a flat tire :)

On BOL's, they don't have to be expensive necessarily.  Sure, a turnkey home on 100 acres of farmland isn't cheap - but what about a small lot with a drafty shack or old mobile home on it a couple hours away?  Lots of hunting shack type property like that in my state, bordering federal/state land, and for the price of a used car.   Vacation there, fix it up yourself maybe. 

Geek

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 01:39:36 PM »
I've gone through the scenario planning, but I've also experienced things that tell me I can't predict what sort of disaster might occur.  For instance, I was inside the WTC when it was hit.  Who would have dreamed that up in advance?  (Well, al Qaeda, did, but I am coming from the perspective of someone working there.)  I've yet to read the apocalypse novel that is stranger than that.

I've also concluded that there are a few needs that get increased by the type of disaster, e.g. medical supplies during a pandemic, but most of the supplies are consistent, e.g. food, so it isn't too hard to cover all the categories with limited concerns for specific scenarios.

The other variable that makes planning difficult is the number of people you are prepping for.  I'm not sure what folks here are planning, but I have heard of groups up to 84.  Personally I am planning for 16.

RadioRay

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On Strange Scenarios
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 02:29:24 PM »
Geek -

You are SO right about us living through disaters which were considered 'tin foil hat'  territory not very long ago.  Last month Gil and I were on the air, tapping back and forth in Morse (over 800 miles distance) about the meteor event in Russia leaving over 1,000 injured. . .   Some strange events indeed!  Plan for what we can and always remember the three survival priorities:  shelter, water & fire - the various combinations of which make our homes secure & warm with safe food, safe water, light. Add to that a garnish of 'looter repellant' to defend our homes. . .


>de RadioRay ..._ ._
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

Frosty

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 03:56:02 PM »
I've gone through the scenario planning, but I've also experienced things that tell me I can't predict what sort of disaster might occur.  For instance, I was inside the WTC when it was hit.  Who would have dreamed that up in advance?  (Well, al Qaeda, did, but I am coming from the perspective of someone working there.)  I've yet to read the apocalypse novel that is stranger than that.

Geeezzz Geek.  If you mentioned that before I missed it.  Inside ground zero?  Sincerest sympathies if you lost anyone close. 

I was on a pandemic prepping kick awhile back, and it made me think about how similar it was to a winter storm.  "Can't leave the house" is close to "don't want to leave the house", so being prepared to hunker down works for both.   If bugging out makes sense to anyone in that scenario, better do it fast - or expect to be seen as "infected" wherever you're trying to get to.   Maybe taping a couple PM coins to the front of the bugout vehicle makes sense it a case like that?  "Take 'em, and please let us pass Officer/Sargeant"? 

On the number of people, anywhere from 2 to 84 would be a good guess here.  Maybe close to that many pets too.  Hell, some of the pets would be more welcome than some of their owners.    ;D   Our place would be a magnet for family/friends, but that said, during the northeast power outage we had family that couldn't make it 30 miles to us and were forced to turn back (traffic, and lack of gas).  And we're a lot further away now.  Hard to plan for...   Take care.

Geek

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 05:44:13 PM »
9/11 wasn't so bad for me personally.  I knew a few people who were killed but I hadn't seen any of them in a long time and my experience wasn't so different than everyone in the metro area in that regard.  I really didn't see much either because of being inside.  I later had to reconstruct events to figure out I was in the fire stairs when the second plane hit.  It shook like crazy but it was much less dramatic than the video on television screens all over America.  :-)  Anyhow I never would have dreamed that up, even knowing the WTC was a terrorist target.  The point is general prepping is going to take care of 90% of your needs whatever the disaster du jure is.  Relatively little is specialized needs specific to one type of disaster.

For a pandemic the novel Jakarta Pandemic may be a good read.  Of course the hero is prepped like crazy in advance, but you get a good sense of conditions.  Hunkering down is fine as long as zombies don't try to take over.

Having a radio or two would be quite handy under those circumstances.

Geek

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2013, 09:34:05 PM »
I've gone through the scenario planning, but I've also experienced things that tell me I can't predict what sort of disaster might occur.  For instance, I was inside the WTC when it was hit.  Who would have dreamed that up in advance?  (Well, al Qaeda, did, but I am coming from the perspective of someone working there.)  I've yet to read the apocalypse novel that is stranger than that.

Geeezzz Geek.  If you mentioned that before I missed it.  Inside ground zero?  Sincerest sympathies if you lost anyone close. 

I was on a pandemic prepping kick awhile back, and it made me think about how similar it was to a winter storm.  "Can't leave the house" is close to "don't want to leave the house", so being prepared to hunker down works for both.   If bugging out makes sense to anyone in that scenario, better do it fast - or expect to be seen as "infected" wherever you're trying to get to.   Maybe taping a couple PM coins to the front of the bugout vehicle makes sense it a case like that?  "Take 'em, and please let us pass Officer/Sargeant"? 

On the number of people, anywhere from 2 to 84 would be a good guess here.  Maybe close to that many pets too.  Hell, some of the pets would be more welcome than some of their owners.    ;D   Our place would be a magnet for family/friends, but that said, during the northeast power outage we had family that couldn't make it 30 miles to us and were forced to turn back (traffic, and lack of gas).  And we're a lot further away now.  Hard to plan for...   Take care.

I just reread this and wanted to comment on a couple points in the last paragraph.  The number, which you have as 2 to 84, really matters, though I guess if you plan for 84 but only have 2 you'd have some surplus preps on hand.  :-)  We could easily wind up with quite a few pets as well, so I get that problem.  Dog food is on the list of preps and no I do not have enough.  :-)

The points about not being able to make it 30 miles is also interesting.  Keeping vehicle tanks full and having a couple gas cans around is pretty critical.  Around here we seem to have downed trees every time something happens, so a chain saw is a good thing to toss into the back of the vehicle.  I also think having a few bicycles is a good idea.



s2man

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2013, 01:07:38 AM »
Budget: I put 10% of my gross income into savings.  That covers home and auto repairs, and prepping.  If savings gets up to $2000 I start to get nervous.  I don't want that much in FRNs or in the bank.  So at that time I tend to go on a shopping spree.  I recently went to second shift which will come with an additional 10% raise.  We've decided to route that to savings, too, so we don't even see it coming in.  I think I will steer that toward the mortgage.

Planning: Most prepping pundits seem to think if the sky falls it will take one year for the dust to clear and some new form of society to emerge.  So I would like to have one year's worth of food for my family plus a few others who will probably show up.  But getting much past six months' worth has been difficult.  We just couldn't rotate that much of the more-perishable foods.  So that leads to lots of buckets of wheat, beans and pasta for long-term storage.  We also raise our own chickens and rabbits, and garden.  I need to inventory again...

Now that I've got a lot of the basics stored up, I don't really spread out my budget in each category like I used to.  I kinda go in spurts as I feel an area is lacking.  Like a couple of months ago I made a big order of dried, canned dairy products.  Right now, I'm thinking the ammo section of the pantry could use some bolstering, and I know the medical supplies need some antibiotics. 

I feel fortunate that I have been able to acquire all I have and I am now able to work on some more costly items (in money and time). For example, building a greenhouse to heat the house and extend the growing season, putting in solar/emergency electric systems, and learning about and acquiring comm equipment.  Those big projects take a lot more effort than just picking up an extra pack of toilet paper.

That probably doesn't help much with how to budget.  I guess my point is that once you have sufficient overall prep's in place it is not as important to keep them precisely balanced.  Just like stocking food; Once you have enough on hand that you don't have to go to the store for this week's meals, you can just buy the sale items.  Sure, one week you buy pasta and the next you buy canned veggies.  Or, this month you buy building materials and next month you buy Wes's radio!  (lol)  But over time it all evens out.

KC9TNH

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Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 07:44:48 AM »
Budget: I put 10% of my gross income into savings.  That covers home and auto repairs, and prepping.  If savings gets up to $2000 I start to get nervous.  I don't want that much in FRNs or in the bank.  So at that time I tend to go on a shopping spree.  I recently went to second shift which will come with an additional 10% raise.  We've decided to route that to savings, too, so we don't even see it coming in.  I think I will steer that toward the mortgage.
That paragraph by s2man should be re-read by many; it is gold, in very practical terms.

Liquidity is your ally in a couple ways. You get operational flexibility out of that in a huge way - your timetable, not the bank's. (The actual number is an individuallized thing, appropriate to one's own situation.) The other consideration is to remember that you can gauge the ham-fistedness of a central government by how it views the liquid capability of its citizens. G would like you to be dependent upon its institutions. If you think that a government wouldn't back-up its own edict to forbid withdrawals or transfers, look to recent history in the EU, look to the desire to model this country on that. If you say it couldn't happen here, then go back to the 30's and take a look at the machinations of Comrade Roosevelt.

The issue of the mortgage is also gold and one of those techniques I used that is, literally, going to give me more security and (in 12 days but who's counting?) more range time, radio time, camping time, fishing time... I own my primary roof for awhile now. That's gotta be a prime directive unless you're day-by-day flipping something for more profit for you.  If you have direct-deposit, get that payment going to your mortgage at whatever interval is less than the normal payment requirement.

Example: For decades I've been paid every 2 weeks. Most mortgages are calculated monthly. I had a bit more than 1/2 the monthly payment going in every 2 weeks. An institution's default regime is to collect that money, hold it, and then apply the whole monthly payment when it's time. I directed them, in writing, that they were to apply that amount EVERY 2 weeks upon receipt. The faster you are banging the principal, the faster you are free and the more income is in your wallet.  Do that with your vehicle payment if you have one.  If they tell you "uh, our system isn't setup to do that" then tell them you'll find someone with the 3rd grade education who can. The answer will change, I guarantee you.

You are shortening your payment period because anything over the minimum required must bang the principal. Ultimately it's still a human who has to read the little note when they break out electronic transfer that tells them to apply $xxx to Loan # 123456.  How about a 15-yr re-fi that results in a 12.5 yr actual term?  Pretty good numbers, just one example. You can treat perfecting the lien on that monster vehicle in the same way & if you haven't treated your CC that way then get on that most rikki-tik. They MUST allow you to do that; anything over the monthly payment is yours to bang that loan's principal.

This stuff is simple; the actual doing of it separates the ants from the grasshoppers.  Be the ant.


Radio Preppers

Re: Preparation Budget & Planning
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 07:44:48 AM »