Self Reliance: Thoughts on how to get there

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by prepareordie, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    To me self reliance is simply being prepared for the future. What ever it may bring.

    I think the word also implies that you have the ability to react to and to lessen and/or eliminate damage when faced with adverse situations. This includes both the knowledge and skills to take the appropriate actions as well as having the necessary resources.

    The best way I know how to reach a goal is to:
    1. Determine the steps you need to accomplish the goal,
    2. Develop a written plan to reach it.
    3. Put the plan into action.
    4. Evaluate your plan, checking your progress often making corrections as you go.

    So I developed some checkpoint questions to ask myself to see if I was sticking to my plan to become more self reliant.

    Feel free to modify these questions to meet your specific situation or plan.

    The questions I came up with are for someone like myself who is just starting out. I plan on modifying this list each time I update my plans then keep checking it often to nudge myself in the right direction.

    1. Am I doing things to maintain good health?

    a. Eating right?
    b. Exercising?
    c. Getting enough sleeping?

    2. How financially prepared am I for:

    a. Retirement?
    b. Children’s education needs?
    c. Emergency funds?
    d. Reducing debt?

    3. Do I have replacement costs saved for:

    a. Automobile?
    b. Major household appliances?
    c. Major home repairs - Roof?

    4. Does my home have adequate protection from:

    a. Fire?
    b. Thieves?
    c. Earthquake?
    e. Winter Storms?

    5. Do I have:

    a. Easily accessed emergency phone list?
    b. Fire safe deposit box for important documents?
    c. Food/Water/Fuel storage?

    6. Am I prepared to react to emergencies?

    a. First aid training?
    b. First aid kit?
    c. BOB or kit for home and cars.
    d. A minimum 72 hour emergency support kit handy?

    7. Have I talked to my spouse/others about:

    a. What you would do if child, now independent, wants money?
    b. What you would do if elderly parent runs out of funds?
    c. Being self reliant?

    8. Have I talked to my family/others about:

    a. What you would do in a natural disaster?
    b. Actions children should take to avoid trouble or escape bad situations?
    c. How you would reestablish contact with family if you lost contact?

    9. Have I thought about survivors after my death?

    a. Will?
    b. Living will?
    c. Power of attorney?
    d. Instructions to executor?
    e. Easy-to-find financial documents?
    f. Phone numbers of people who can help?
    g. Would your survivor(s) have sufficient funds?
    h. Helpful letter to spouse/other suggesting necessary actions?

    10. Am I adequately insured?

    a. Medical?
    b. Accident?
    c. Auto?
    d. Homeowner?
    e. Life insurance?
    f. Long-term-care?
    g. Liability?
    h. Disability

    11. How am I doing with my financial plan?

    1. Are you steadily reducing you debt?
    2. Are you saving for items (e.g., new car) that otherwise require more debt?
    3. Do you know how much income you will need in retirement?
    4. Do you know how much you should be saving for retirement?
    5. Are you making automatic savings deposits?
    6. If retired, do you know how to stretch savings till death?
    7. Do you have a disciplined approach to diversifying your investments?
    8. Are your investments low-cost?

    12. Are the wage earners of the family prepared to find other work quickly if job is lost?

    a. Are the wage earners networking?
    b. Are all family members continuing to improve and broaden skills?
    c. Is there an avocation or hobby that can produce income?

    13. Do I have a community emergency plan?

    a. Know your neighbors well?
    b. Any neighbors with special training or equipment?
    c. Neighborhood watch program?

    14. Am I keeping track of local/state/national/world issues?

    a. Do you keep informed about events? How? Do you listen to all sides?
    b. Do you know how to write to your local legislators?
    c. Are you registered to vote?
    d. Did you remember to vote?

    15. Have I shared my concerns about the long-term environment with my family?

    a. Do you voice your opinion about the media to family members? Do you listen and discuss?
    b. Do you support organizations that promote the ideals you think important?
    c. Do you communicate your views to those in political office?
    d. Do you give your opinions to candidates for office?
    e. Do you volunteer to help those who support your ideals?

    16. Is my family getting a financial education?

    a. Are your children developing a work ethic?
    b. Are your children learning money management skills?
    c. Do your children have a bank account or other simple investments?
    d. Can your children explain compounding or inflation? can I?
    e. Do your children have to pay for some key things out of their own income or savings?

    Perhaps these questions above do not apply to your situation, or you have moved way past this level, the point is to come up with your own list.

    Then review and update often, checking off those items where you are already satisfied that you are prepared and doing the right kind of things.

    Then list the ones needing attention and your plan accomplish that item.

    1. Area needing attention:
    a. My plan to improve my preparedness in this area:

    While I don't think any of us will ever get to a truly ideal self reliant state I think mental exercises like this help us move in the right direction.

    Regards, Prepareordie
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Good list. Also a good reminder that surviving is not just for the end of the world, but for every day life. Great post. [winkthumb]
  3. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member


    Fantastic list! Quite a thought generator!

    Thanks for sharing!
  4. prepareordie

    prepareordie Monkey+++

    More Thoughts....

    I came across this article in a prepareness web site I was reading last night.

    Here is some of it. I think its a good approach to build a firm foundation of self reliance. Go to his web site to read the whole thing. Just click his "blog" on the left hand menu and scroll down. He also has a lot to say about bird flu.

    "Each of us - and that includes you - is on a preparedness journey. Rarely are two of us at the same place at the same time. For example, some of us live alone in rural areas. Others live in suburbs with their spouses. Many of you are quasi-retired empty nesters. A few of us are divorced and developing a new life after our marriages. Some of you are single moms, while others are a part of a large extended family.

    This isn't meant to be a civic or sociology lesson. My point is that our circumstances are so different - and so constantly changing - that in order to truly formulate a basic preparedness plan, we have to take a different approach than what I have been espousing for the last two and a half years on this site. It's not enough to "have stuff and plans" to be ready. The "stuff and plans" are necessary, to be sure, but there are a few things we need before the "stuff and plans."

    Bear with me if you think I am rambling. Our gear, our procedures, our checklists make up the "framework" of our preparedness profile. However, I fear that many of us - and my name is at the top of this list - have failed to lay the proper foundation for a viable, long term preparedness plan. The "framework" described above rests upon this foundation; thus, the foundation must be the strongest part of your preparedness profile.

    Let me give you an example. I know plenty of people who, by mainstream standards, are "prepared." They have guns and canned food and batteries and candles and all that stuff we believe we are supposed to have. They have training in outdoor skills, CPR, and mechanics. They have a bug out plan in the event things get bad around their neighborhood.

    However, their personal lives are an absolute train wreck. Mired in debt, dysfunctional family relationships, unstable jobs, poor health and displaced priorities, these people will no doubt mentally implode in a Def Con 1 situation. They are not the kind of people you want on your team when all hell breaks loose.

    To be sure, I am blessed to have stable finances, a stable job and good health. However, I could always do more about these things. I want each of you - especially those of you new to this preparedness thing - to make sure you understand this one basic concept: Living responsibly is the number one thing you can do to prepare for an emergency.

    Freedom from debt, unhealthy relationships, poor health and bad decision making will prepare you for terrorism and bird flu far more than gas masks and AR 15s. Freedom from these negative things gives you the ultimate survival tool - options. When it all comes crashing down around us, my friends, those with options - meaning those with savings, good health, and good people around them - will fare far better than the dysfunctional survivalist and his "stuff and plans." .......

    ........ Now, don't be alarmed - I won't be selling my Glock or my night vision equipment any time soon. But I will continue to hold off on any preparedness purchases, as I have been for some time now. For now, I will worry less about surviving an EMP blast and more about surviving a lay off. I won't burn up any mental energy fretting over H5N1. Instead, I will work on living healthier to make my body stronger in the event of a pandemic......."

    article by Paul T. Martin

    Hope you enjoy the article....any comments?

    Regards, Prepareordie
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    From my POV self reliance and preparedness can be 2 seperate things (or mixtures of them). Some folks work toward hoarding supplies to ride out hard times which I would think of along the lines of prepairedness. Basicly having the BOBs, first aid kits, food stores, water surplus and so on.
    Then there is the self reliance where rather than hoarding it you figure out how to make it for your self. This would be more along the lines of being sure rather than having enouph bottled or stored water for say a year you have a well and or other means of obtaining potable water on a perpetual basis as needed, raising ones own food and so on.

    I think the most commonis some combination there of. Folks who say store the seeds they could plant if they had to but dont normaly garden or have a still for water but dont use that as their normal water source and so on.

    I know for myself the goal is to go as far as possible into self reliance as I can even without being forced to since it would free me from most of the financial needs as well as make it such that if things became such that I had to provide for my self and family (SHTF/TEOTWAKI) then it would make the change to that life style far more minimal. My own questions would go something like follows.

    What do I still buy? Is it a convenience or a need?

    What could I do to elimenate the need to buy these things and produce it or a substitute myself?

    If I could no longer buy anything (includeing utilities, services, etc.) what would I miss and how could I make it or substitute for it myself?

    What could I do that most folks couldnt or what could I produce that most folks couldnt that could be used for barter to get the things I want or need now? and in a SHTF situation?

    Basicly aside from some means to replace refridgeration other than cureing and canning everything we either currently or could easily produce all our needs and several oft he conveniences other than the water but are constantly trying to shift to producing more and buying less.
  6. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well said. Everyday survival.
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I thought this had a good list for prepping and was worth revisiting for newer members who didn't see it the first time around.
  9. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    [applaud][applaud][applaud][applaud]Stickie required!!

    IMHO 2nd only to the argentina thread...
  10. BuckBall

    BuckBall Woman Hater

    [ditto] I agree with Tango...definitely a stickie
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    To me self reliance is just as the name says relying on ones self. Being able to produce your own food, water, shelter, tools, and other necessities for maintaining life. Not looking to others to provide the things you need to maintain life.

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