brush fire
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S.M.A.R.T. Plans for Survival Preppers, Part 2

When you’re applying S.M.A.R.T. goals to your survival prepping efforts, you need to focus on making sure that what you do is measurable and you have the right supplies. If you’re randomly prepping and stocking up on things, you won’t ever know if or when you’re sufficiently ready to handle a SHTF event.

A Lumberton, NC resident frees horses during a flood situation.
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A Lumberton, NC resident frees horses during a flood situation.

Measurable Prepping Is Crucial to Your Survival

So, how do you measure your survival prepping efforts? The first way you can do this is by calculating the needs of your family. Many people fail to do this, but it helps you list everything you should acquire before a survival event.

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You have to take into consideration the age, size, and gender of the individuals and pets that you are stocking up on supplies for. For example, a bug-out bag for a 5-year-old will be very different from that you would purchase for a grown person.

It’s the same with your first aid products and the food you need to stock up on. The calorie needs of a child are very different from those of an adult in your family and should be calculated appropriately but with an eye toward growth in the future.

A bug out bag for a 5 year old will be very different from that which you would purchase for a grown person.

The calorie needs of a child are very different from that of an adult in your family, and should be calculated appropriately but with an eye toward growth in the future.

Survive first. Live Later.

You also have to consider any medical measurements crucial to the survival or good health of the individuals in your care. You may need to have certain things on hand, such as wound dressings, medications, prescriptions, etc., so knowing how much you will need is important.

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You also have to factor in the amount of everything you have to purchase that is not necessarily based on the individuals you buy for. For example, you need to measure the amount of ammunition you have on hand, the number of sleeping bags and tents you have, and so on.

You may need to measure the distances between one location and another one. This might be something such as going from your home to a bug-out spot or the distance between one natural source of water and the next. Plan what your ‘feet’ will allow, if possible.

You also need to make note of the dates in some cases; these types of measurements help you decide when to rotate your supplies and when to use them so that they don’t go to waste.

Actionable Steps Are Important in Every Area of Survival

Many people have good intentions with their survival-prepping efforts, but they let themselves down because they never go further than surface-level plans. For example, they may be good at broad, vague goals, such as saying, “If we can’t stay here, we’ll simply bug out.”

As you purchase your supplies, start putting them in order as you receive them. I’m afraid I’m one of those that procrastinate. Hoping this blog will help me get myself organized better!

Making broad statements without doing anything more specific in terms of planning will cause your family to be caught off guard in a real survival event. You want to have actionable steps for each member of the family to know ahead of time.

Thank you to Patrick Hendry, Unsplash, for this bugout bag image.
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Thank you to Patrick Hendry, Unsplash, for this bugout bag image.

For example, in the case of bugging out, the action steps should include finding out information that would help a family decide whether to stay or leave, immediately grabbing their bug-out bags, taking a specific form of transportation or leaving on foot, where they should go, what they should set up first when they reached their campsite and more.

You may also have different tasks that each individual is responsible for. You need to have the instructions not only spelled out for each person but learned without having to stop and find the step he/she wants them to take.

It’s not enough to simply have tools and supplies on hand, either. The people in your survival group, such as yourself, your spouse, and your children, need to know how to use your survival products.

For example, if you have purchased a solar cooker, but no one in your family has ever bothered to open it, learn how to use it, or practice with it, cooking a meal quickly and easily without trial and error will be hard.

The same could be said for first aid gear. Your family needs to have actionable steps about what they should do if someone suffers from a cut, burn, broken limb, etc.

Action steps are good for every area of your survival planning. For example, if you have to purify water, and you don’t have any tablets or a water purification straw, you need to know the best steps you can take to purify it to the best of your ability using sand, charcoal, etc.

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Because some steps are easy to forget if not utilized, you may want to print out the instructions you feel most imperative to your survival and even laminate a copy for each family member.

Remember that your spouse or children may become separated from you, so actionable steps are important for everyone – not just one person. This is not something that each person knows that they are responsible for – survival is something every person has to master for times when they may be on their own.

Realistic Planning Will Help You Overcome Survival Obstacles

Some people aren’t very realistic with their survival plans. You need to prioritize your planning in a S.M.A.R.T. manner by adopting a realistic approach to what you stock up on, what you prepare for, and how you plan to react.

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Start by thinking of what’s most likely to happen to you and your loved ones. If you live in a hurricane, tornado, fire, or blizzard zone, you might plan for those types of emergencies.

If you live in a city where civil unrest is constantly brewing, you can plan for something like that to unfold. You might also want to keep an eye on the global and national news to see what’s likely to happen in the near future so you can plan for it.

If supply chain issues are rising, if tension is occurring between two powerful nations, or if forecasters are predicting a harsh winter, you’ll know to get ready in advance for things that are more likely to happen than something like an asteroid or solar flare wiping out half of humanity.

Start by thinking of what’s most likely to happen to you and your loved ones. If you live in a hurricane, tornado, fire, or blizzard zone, then you might plan for those types of emergencies.

Just Survive Somehow

Timely Preparations and Response Plans for Any Crisis

Timed survival planning is important and you can apply the concept of timeliness in different ways. Some people are in no rush to plan or act when it comes to survival, but knowing the clock is ticking can help you get more prepared and plan better.

For example, you can set timed goals for paying off your debt and saving up for 3-12 months in the event of a financial crisis. You can also make timed preparations for when you’ll break ground on a survival homestead when you’ll begin teaching family members certain skills, and so on.

You might even practice the skills you need to know and time yourself (and the others in your family) on how fast they can do things. This might include how quickly everyone can get ready to go to a second location, how long it takes to get there, how fast they can set up a tent, etc.

Being fast with your survival skills – from starting a fire to being able to exit a dangerous situation – is paramount to your success in getting everyone through a situation intact and without having to go through a traumatic outcome.

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Survival prepping already means you’re headed in the right direction. You’re doing something most people will never do for themselves, and they’ll regret it when and if something occurs.

But focusing on specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely goals when you’re prepping can take your plans to the next level and protect yourself and your loved ones more than if you haphazardly selected what to do next.

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