What Is Your Ultimate Default Plan?
This article was written by Tom Chatham and originally published at Project Chesapeake
Most thinking people have a backup plan for disasters of some kind but do you have a final default plan if everything goes wrong? That is to say, do you have a final last ditch plan to provide the basic things you and your family need if all other plans fail.
I have written before that you should have a few thousand dollars set aside in the event things go wrong and you are forced to resort to a backup plan to insure your family has the basic things they need. This backup money would be used to create your backup system and not to continue living your normal life until all of your resources are gone leaving you no good options.
That basic plan was based around having or getting a good used camper trailer and a cheap tow vehicle you could pay cash for. Then buying a years worth of basic food items to put in it and some clothing for each member of the family. You would then want to get a basic rifle or shotgun and ammo for hunting and self defense. With this basic setup you could continue to care for your family even in the worst situation where you lose your job, savings, mortgaged home and vehicle.
Having a backup system like that would be ideal for many people but there may be many that do not have the financial means for even that these days. It has been reported that most Americans have less than $5,000 saved up for retirement and many have nothing at all. For these persons, losing the little bit that you now have would be devastating. It would mean losing all of the support structures you need to take care of your family.
In this event you would still need a basic system to take care of your family. There may come a day when you will not have the advantage of collecting money from the social safety net. If that system fails along with the economic system you will be forced to live with what you have on hand. For those with limited financial abilities, you will still need to develop a fallback plan.
A very basic plan would include buying a good four season cabin tent that you and your family could live in year round if necessary. Each person should have a good cold weather sleeping bag good to at least zero degrees. You will need a set of camping cookware and cooking utensils. A good backpack for each person and a good set of hiking boots per person in addition to suitable clothing for your area year round. You should have at a minimum a water filter, an axe, bow saw, hunting knife and shovel. Add to this a good rifle or shotgun with ammo for hunting and self defense.
You should have sufficient food supplies to last for at least two months. Since you might be carrying this along with your other supplies you will need to keep food items very basic and light. Rolled oats, rice, dried beans, cornmeal, flour or pancake mix, honey, salt, spices and powdered drink mix.
Any equipment and supplies beyond these that you can manage will make life that much easier long term. Keep in mind that if you find yourself in this type of situation, it will likely be something that will last for quite some time meaning months or years.
With these supplies you would have the ability to move into a wooded area, possibly on the edge of a national park, and set up a camp. It would need to be near a water source but off the beaten path. With the basic tools you have you would have the ability to construct a dugout in the side of a hill to provide better shelter than your tent. With local building materials you would be able to construct a hillside shelter with overhead cover and even build a basic fireplace in it for cooking and heating.
This type of backup plan may not only be necessary during an end of the world situation but during current economic disruptions such as what happened in 2008. Even now, there are many people living in tents around the country due to their current economic situation. This is happening at a time when social services and government agencies are available to help. Just imagine what it would look like if these agencies ceased operations. While this is a level if existence you should try to avoid, it could happen if you fail to plan to prevent it.
This type of plan is your last line of defense when everything goes wrong and nothing else is available. No matter how well you may have planned for future disruptions, you need to have a very basic plan standing by at the bottom of your list that can prevent a total collapse of your living standards. Sitting on a street corner or in the woods with no supplies and no way to care for yourself is the last thing you want. Even if you have a good fallback plan keep in mind that something could happen that destroys that plan. If you are forced to flee you may only have what you can carry to start over somewhere else so you should know exactly what to grab if that eventuality ever happens. People always hope for the best but reality has a way of making life hard at times.
Nobody would want to resort to this level of living but the fact is many have and will suffer from events out of their control and how well they live afterwards depends on how well they are prepared to deal with it. If you fail to prepare for the worst you may be condemned to suffer through it when it happens. Preparing does not have to be expensive. It costs nothing to sit down and write out a plan of action utilizing the resources you have on hand now and working to fill any gaps you identify in that plan as time and money permits. Your well being is your responsibility so provide yourself a plan to succeed.