Step 2 Gather information

Now that you have a community to use as a resource, you need to inventory nearly everything you’ve got and create a contact list.  Notice we haven’t spent a dime yet.  🙂

Get out of Debt

You need to get out of debt as fast as possible.  I am not out of debt.  I am trying.  The Dave Ramsey system is a really good system to start with.  There may be parts that aren’t for you – I’ve found that it really centers on families without little kids.  The major principles are simple.

1 Inventory all your spending for 30 days in a notebook
2 Inventory everything you eat for 30 days in a notebook

This is done to show you where you can improve.  You’ll review your spending habits, and it should be fairly obvious where you can improve.  Now set a budget and stick with it.  Pay the smallest bill completely off.  Use that money you used for that old bill and apply it to the next smallest bill.  Rinse, repeat until you are debt free.  Being debt free makes you more liquid with your assets and allows you to make investments in land, etc.

Inventory all food that won’t spoil

Bring out your notebook, and write down everything  in cans, sealed containers, frozen, etc.  that will keep if you lose electricity.  Knowing what you have will allow you to start estimating how long you can be fed from what you have.  This will either scare you or make you feel better.  If you’re scared at this point – don’t panic.  You can fix this with one trip to the grocery store.  We’ll go over what to pick up later.

Master contact list (documentation)

Last but not least is the all important contact list.  Build a list of local and long distant family and friends.  Names, addresses, phone numbers, cell phone numbers, allergy’s, medications, insurance policy numbers, home insurance numbers, mortgage information, car titles, bank account numbers, potential properties or resources any of them might have.  Think farms (and phone numbers if they have them), tractors, RVs, cabins, weapons, vehicles, water storage tanks, etc.  Anything that’s note-able about their environment, or resources – add it to the list.  Don’t feel weird about this, you aren’t going to loot them- you’re just getting an inventory of resources.

Now list external information and data.  Police phone numbers, fire and rescue phone numbers, HAM radio repeater frequencies, NOAA emergency radio frequencies, etc.

Once you have this list you’ll want to make sure you have it secure.  It will be your link to your critical data.  Keep it in your go/bug-out bag (we’ll go over that later), or directly on your person.  You might be surprised who will want this list in your family once you’ve got it made.  It’s a helpful thing to have if its updated and ready to go.