The End Game, by M.W.A.

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Preparedness, planning, survival… Words we heed and respect as part of our every day lives for the past few years and for some, the past couple of decades. We know not what the event will be, or if the SHTF will be a multi-pronged crisis. We just know that WTSHTF is inevitable and addressing basic needs is an absolute must.

Preparation starts by accumulating the rudimentary elements of survival: food, water, shelter, medical supplies, security, survival skills and a basic reactionary plan. We research and consume information through articles, books and web sites dedicated to different skills and techniques of survival.  With each foray into the sphere of preparedness, we become cognizant of new ideas and perspectives discovering ourselves thinking, ‘Gosh, I never thought of that’. We encounter the interconnected challenge of becoming aware that some problems will present/require more complicated solutions addressing services and issues which we now take for granted in our modern world.

With regard to food, the search for proper nutrition and caloric intake is meshed with the storage and multipurpose usage, along with the economic considerations of acquiring it at a reasonable cost. How many adults and how many children will comprise our cadre?  Any special dietary needs? Can a daily diet be developed that wouldn’t be monotonous and further exacerbate the general panic of the overall situation? Do we have the abilities, resources and skills to replace our food stocks if the event is a long term proposition?

Once the food quandary is in the process of being addressed, or so we surmise, what do we do about water for preparing the meals, what do we wash the food down with, and how do we replace our most needed survival item on a sanitary and quality basis, both on a stay put or bug out basis?

What are the collective health standing and physical conditioning of the group? Any long term physical limitations to be addressed? Can the food stores sustain the energy and nutritional requirements for the challenges of an upside down, tumultuous new world?

How do we protect and guard our storage preps and our loved ones? Do we have the correct firepower, the will and the skills essential to effectively defend our location? How many rounds are sufficient? Will security skills be for defensive purposes only or will it be necessary to go on offense and become scavengers if need be?

Will we stay in our home location or have to bug out? If we bug out, how will we do it? On foot? By bike? What direction and by what route for safety and speed?  What will the event dictate? An EMP or solar flare with prohibitive transportation problems, a biological or terror attack creating immediate danger and minimal ability to travel with a limited amount of supplies, a financial collapse inciting riots and looting creating unsafe conditions. All present dynamic situations subject to various scenarios.

Questions, questions, questions, many unanswered.

The world is getting more inflamed on a daily basis and with the lack of sustainability of our current economic situation becoming more apparent with each dollar printed or borrowed, I decided recently to raise my preparedness to a level nine on a ten scale. After aggressively prepping for over six years, I felt comfortable in the knowledge that I had most of the needs for my family and group.  Adequate food to last for over a year, adequate guns and ammo to arm each person with more than two weapons each, multiple water and filter systems to meet our needs, a fully stocked medical supply with provisions, drugs, skills and instruments to safeguard our group up to the major surgery level, skills and equipment to replenish food stocks for a longer period of time and finally an big picture, written plan for addressing emergencies.

As I started the final planning process work and towards preparation for what I see as an imminent event, a memory flashed back of a science project in my fifth grade, almost 50 years ago. My chosen project was to build a wooden pulley and weight gizmo which could measure the reduction of force necessary to lift a weighted object. The wooden gizmo was about eighteen inches high and resembled a gallows from the Old West. It was fun to build and effectively demonstrated the desired effect that less force was required with the use of one or more pulleys. Long story short, when my teacher asked the question, “What does this prove?”, I buckled. I had been so enamored and enthused about building the wooden gizmo that I did not fully realize the resultant essence of the outcome. I was so busy prepping that I did not have the end game figured out.

This embarrassing project mirrored my conundrum with my current prepping situation. I have been so wrapped up in arranging and organizing my preps that I did not have a real solid plan to institute when a SHTF event occurs.  It is my opinion that the next three or four months hold a great deal of uncertainty and danger for our way of life. There appears to be multiple tinder points around the world- Israel v. Iran, the Euro banking situation, natural disasters, Greece, Spain, the Arab Spring hangover, potential terrorist attacks and last but not least, the election and the hubris and perceived unfettered power of a narcissistic elected official.

It suddenly and forcefully became readily apparent that I was not really prepared. I knew what I wanted to accomplish but really did not have a route to get there, much less the needed multiple routes, as it dawned on me after some focused thought.  With so many  SHTF events that could trigger multiple scenarios requiring different responses, I decided that I needed a variety of checklists to respond. I liken this to a pilot using his preflight checklist to organize procedures that will avert and prevent mistakes which may occur by an incomplete thought – a snap decision if you will. There will be a good many ‘seat of the pants’ actions required in any big event, but anything to minimize and prevent regrettable missteps is time well spent.  My main focus now is to prepare the multiple responses addressing different scenarios brought about by the most likely SHTF events present, at least in my purview.

To begin my project, I thought a grid table would be the optimum starting point. It’s principal purpose is to be an outline from which actions can be identified and present obstacles which may or may not be resolvable.  

The five most likely SHTF events which would produce TEOTWAWKI, again my opinion based from my point of view, would be positioned across the top of the table in no particular order – EMP – Martial Law – Israel vs. Iran- Biological/Dirty Bomb Terrorist Attack – Financial Meltdown. Other SHTF events could be higher on another person’s list due to geographic considerations, business, military or personal experiences and beliefs.

My left column of actions, which of course is not a  complete list and would  vary dependent upon personal preferences,  would consist of: Probability Ranking - Regional – National - Stay Put – Bug Out – Travel ease – Travel Prohibitive – Immediate Threat – Delayed Threat – Gather family/group easily – Gather family/group difficult – Long term – Short term – Prepared – Unprepared. These are starting points to simplistically induce thought and prioritize conditions. (Not meant to get hung up on the wooden gizmo again)

Example Matrix:








Rate 1-5






Regional Threat






National Threat






Stay Put






Bug Out






Travel Ease






Travel Prohibitive






Immediate Threat






Delayed Threat






Gather Family/Group Easily






Gather Family/Group Difficult






Long Term






Short Term



















From this table, I had a basis to determine what course of action and concerns need attention. It is basic (and not a wooden gizmo) but it is an organizational tool which has helped me. A checklist can be formulated dependent upon the scenario and my perceived capabilities, or inabilities as the case may be. Deficiencies can be remedied and a side benefit was an offshoot. New, previously undiscovered issues became apparent.

The checklist can prioritize needed actions when a SHTF event occurs as to make the initial reaction more efficient, as any planning or drill tends to do. Printing out a completed checklist and filing it in a binder brings more order to the preparation. It also opens lines of communication with other family or group members hopefully provoking thought and sharpening their sense of purpose. Perhaps when utilized, the order and organization might allay some of the anxiety and angst which undoubtedly will surface in a major event.

My first checklist produced a prioritized twenty seven point plan of action beginning with defense issues, food, water, and progressing to assignment of chores and responsibilities which prevents duplication of effort and also helps make everyone an integral part of the team. One of my major concerns upon reflection of the check list was the ability of my younger family members to adapt and accept the new obstacles which have been thrust upon us.

Using the table as a guide, one can play a ‘what if?’ game and develop a coherent response to different scenarios. Many people have probably surpassed the rudimentary structure which I have utilized and I applaud them for their organization. It was only when I determined the need to take the next step in elevating my readiness that I discovered my preparation was inadequate. I needed a simple starting point and a means to get closer to my goal without getting hung up on another wooden gizmo.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim Rawles published on October 2, 2012 12:55 AM.

Letter Re: Advice on Home Purchase: Minimize or Maximize Mortgage? was the previous entry in this blog.

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