Beginning Prepping and the SMART plan

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    Vanguard Six

    There are a lot of topics about prepping, preparedness and how to start being prepared. But, in most of those topics, there isn’t a simple way to address the numerous issues involved with starting a new project. Remember, everyone needs a plan no matter if you’re an experienced prepper or just starting out. As my grandfather told me, ‘Always have a plan.’

    For those that are just starting to wake up to the concept of prepping, the task ahead is quite daunting and much like trying to drink water from a fire hose. When a newbie starts researching into prepping they will find all kinds of events that they might never have heard of. Right along with those events come the huge amount of information from many, many websites. This can be overwhelming even for those of us who aren’t just starting out.

    I’ll put on my instructor hat for this next part. When a person begins prepping they need to sit down and make a SMART plan. This is not a complicated project. A SMART plan = Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Task Oriented. The first part of the plan is Simple. When you begin prepping you want something simple to remember. If you’re stocking up on canned foods, create a FI-FO or First In, First Out system. What works for me but may not work for others is the use of color coded self-adhesive dots that I place on the cans. These colors correspond with the color of the month that I have assigned. I then write the year on the dot. That way at a glance, I can tell when I purchased that particular item.

    The next step is Measurable. How does one measure preparedness? One way to measure your level of preparedness is to look at how your pantry has grown if you decide to follow the 24 Weeks of Preparedness or some other similar program. Another way is to work on the skills you might need for whatever event you’re prepping for. That way you gain experience and that’s measurable.

    Achievable. Is the goal you set for yourself and/or family/MAG achievable? Let’s say that you plan to be more prepared for the coming year. How will you achieve that? Is the goal or goals you set achievable within the time frame you have allocated for it? And that brings us to realistic.

    How realistic are your goals? If you plan to recondition a cold war missile silo into a livable space within a year, is that realistic? When setting preparedness goals you have to remain realistic. It’s easy to say but sometimes hard to do. When setting a goal you need to look at all aspects that might affect successful completion of stated goal. These conflicts could be economical, physical, or other.

    Task Oriented is the last part of your SMART plan. All the above steps lead to this one. When you work out the simple, measurable, achievable and realistic part of your preparedness planning, you need to make sure that all of those steps are task oriented. What that means is if you plan for a power grid failure, it really wouldn’t make too much sense to take a class in something related to electricity unless it related to the maintenance of generators or similar devices.

    Now that you understand what a SMART plan is, hopefully, this will make it easier for you to work on more realistic, achievable and simple methods to improve your state of readiness. Don’t just jump into prepping and start buying equipment and supplies if you have no idea what you’re prepping for. Make a SMART plan and take your time to research what events are most common in your area or happen with frequency. That way you know what you’re preparing for.

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