Step 1: Resolve and Awareness

No plan can begin without reconnaissance.  As would the military survey the terrain and evaluate an enemy’s strength and weaknesses, so should we conduct our own reconnaissance. Because our goal is to survive and thrive, we have to first identify all the possible threats to our survival.  This list can very quickly become quite extensive.  Ask any agoraphobic, they never run out of reasons to retreat into their house.  Our mission is to address the likely threats and find our key vulnerabilities.  The list should begin with the most common threats to your area or community.  For example, someone living in a Rocky Mountain community above 8,000 feet would be under continuous threat of snow storms.  This threat is probably the most recurrent, as the snow season can last almost half the year.  Someone living off the Gulf of Mexico can point to the recurrent threat of hurricanes.  A family in Oklahoma is always on the lookout for the next sudden tornado.  Think about the recent times over the last few years where you and your family had to evacuate, live without power, or borrow supplies from you neighbors.  Perhaps you were fortunate to have nothing that extreme actually happened to you, but there were likely times when your eyebrow raised as you watching the local news and thought, “what will we do if…”.  The purpose of this drill is to, as the saying goes, “take care of the closest alligator to the boat”.  Long before we begin digging nuclear fallout shelters, we should plan for the inevitable natural disasters that routinely threaten us every year.   Keep in mind, your threat list will never be finished; start with the top 5.  Most of us will have weather ruling the top of the list.  As we routinely discover, weather is random, spontaneous, brutal, and guaranteed to catch someone off guard.

Now that we know what to begin planning for, how do we begin to plan?  Remember, our goal is to become self-reliant.  They question you will burn into your brain is “what do I need to so I depend on no one but myself.”  The following lessons will provide plenty of guidance about what to supply you with.

This section is dedicated to raising your awareness.  Soon you will no longer worry about the “what if?”  We are raised in America to be dependent to some degree on the government.  The police will always save the day, and EMS will arrive just in time to rush you to the hospital, and FEMA will always be there to help, right?  Would you bet your family’s life on it?  Begin reprogramming yourself to become self-reliant.  Start asking yourself, “What can I do?” not “who can I call”.  Resolve yourself to survive.  You will learn what and how to prepare to enable your success, but the battle for survival is won in the mind.  A truly resolved individual will find a way to survive anything with nothing.  Furthermore, your family will reflect your behavior.  Stand tall, poised, with confidence, and your family will reciprocate.  Commit yourself to survive and thrive during any critical event.  Today is Day One of your journey to self-reliance.