HYST - WTF Just Happened!?.

ShockedYou have just escaped your house, your neighborhood, and perhaps your city.  No matter how prepared you are, when you stop running, the first thing you do is sit down and consider what has just happened.  You haven't really had much time to consider it, and the reality sort of settles on you.  The adrenalin dump is over.

There you are, standing around with that shocked expression on your face.  The voice of your mother comes to you and you can definitely tell her that you do not have clean underwear.  Now you've just discovered why I had you pack TWO sets of clean underwear in the BOB...

This is a perfect time to take a REST. 

No, it's no time to take a nap.  It's time to Re-Evaluate your Strategies and Tactics.

Everything you have with you right now is everything you're probably going to have for awhile, so let's review where we are before we start that uphill battle for Home.  If you have been following along with this blog, you should now be in a position to stop following and start leading.  That's the #1 thing I want you to take out of this work - the mental desire and ability to be the master of your own destiny. 

Now doesn't that sound flowery?  Really, though, you must take personal responsibility for your own well being.  If you do not, then you make the active choice to turn that responsibility over to others - and as we will see, others aren't always going to make the best choices for you.

The #2 thing I want you to take out of this is that you should never - never, ever - follow someone else's plan, mirror someone else's methods, or buy a kit from anybody.  You really do NOT need to go out and buy a bunch of special or expensive stuff to be effectively prepared.  Survival is not a kit, and survival is not a plan.  Survival is about thinking clearly for yourself.  Being truly prepared means just that, and making good decisions for yourself and your family.

Let's review this section and see where we are and what we have learned. 

1.  Survival is not a kit.
2.  Bugging-out sucks, but sometimes you have no other option.
3.  Do not plan to survive.  Plan to prosper.
4.  All of your plans should have a common goal of safeguarding your Health and your Wealth.
5.  Wealth includes: Life, Health, Money, Major Assets, Material Possession, as well as your Identity, Education, Skill Set, and Future Earning Potential. 
6.  The best way to safeguard all of these things is to HYST.
7.  HYST means being proactive about collecting, organizing, and protecting your Important Documents.
8.  HYST means laying out some simple, primary items in a way to support your escape.  This includes your Bug-Out Bag.
9.  HYST means having an integrated, multi-level plan that provides a logical, reasonable diagram for your escape in the face of any threat in any time frame.
10.  HYST means having the physical means to escape a disaster of any scope.  This is your vehicle (life boat.)
11.  HYST means having the mental preparation (in addition to the physical preparation) to be able to make good choices.  Know when to pull it!  Get off the tracks!  Listen to your gut!  Make decisions today!
12.  HYST means providing for special needs. 
13.  HYST means that you will be able to easily Escape when you need to.
14.  When it's time to Escape, put your lifeboat in the water and ROW!
15.  HYST means having a beach already picked out upon which to land your lifeboat.  Know where you are going.
16.  HYST means having your spouse (and children) on-board with your plans. 
17.  Remember that your Primary Strategy in all of this is to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
18.  Keep your eyes on the prize - Home.

HYST means Having Your Shit Together, and knowing what to do with it.

In order to support that strategy, I have invited you to prepare the following:

1.  Laptop Bag (or box of important documents)
2.  BOB (Bug Out Bag)
3.  Complete documentation of your entire life using a digital camera
4.  60 Second Escape Plan
5.  Collection of people to communicate with
6.  Dependable escape pod
7.  One Hour Escape Plan
8.  Twelve Hour Escape Plan
9.  Landing Plan (Have some place to go)
10.  The support of your family, and especially your spouse, in the context of emergency planning.

These things are very generic to emergency preparedness for any kind of emergency or disaster.  This is, however, only a framework, and you should adjust anything you need to to suit your own needs and purposes.  I have tried to make this blog about the strategy rather than about specific tactics.  Any list that I - or anyone else - can create will not ideally suit your needs.  You will have to make your own lists and your own preparations.  That's the only way you will know that your strategy and your tactics are right for you and your family.

In bringing this section of the blog to a close, I realize that there are several things that we have not entirely covered in the bug-out preparations and plans.  It is up to you to fill in the gaps as you see fit.  I do want to talk about one kind of wealth that we have not covered, and that is cash.  Hard currency.  Foldin' money.

In the next section of this blog, we are going to talk about disaster economics quite a lot.  The first thing you find out when SHTF is that your credit cards and ATM cards don't work anywhere because the communications are down.  Nobody wants to take your check either, because nobody is sure when the banks might open again.  The only means of exchange short term is cash.  Long term, the barter system may or may not come into play, but when SHTF, people want cash.  You can have millions of dollars in the bank, but you won't be able to get to it right away.  You may not have time to stop at the bank while you're making your escape - and even if you can, everyone else will be trying to get cash too.  The only safe thing to do is to have some amount of money on hand at all times.  This is a always a good idea, even when no emergency is looming.

How much you keep and where you keep it will be up to you.  At the time of this writing, a few hundred dollars is a minimum.  You should have at least enough cash to get you from your home to the furthest bug-out location you have selected.  You will also want to support yourself financially when you get there.  What's an optimum amount?  I can't really say.  If you're running away from home, how much money do you want in your pocket?  $5,000?  $10,000?  I don't know about you, but saving a couple of hundred bucks takes me awhile.  Think about it clearly and make your own decision.

LAZY PEOPLE DO NOT PROSPER!  Neither do people who fail to save for hard times.  I'd quote all the Biblical verses about storing up treasures and such, but you've already heard them.  Instead, I'll start a train of terms that will grow over time.

In our timeline, it is Sunday, August 28th, 2005.  The clock rolls over to midnight, but I keep watching the news on television trying to make sense of what's going on.  It's not just 'WTF just happened!?', but also, 'WTF is happening!?'.  Eventually I manage an hour or three of something resembling passing out on the floor. 

The morning will come early, and then we'll go from 'WTF just happened!?' to 'WTF do I do now!?'.



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