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Planning For The Worst

November 15, 2010 by  

Planning For The Worst

If you’re going on a vacation, you plan your trip. Especially if a family is involved, hours are spent determining where to go, what to do, how to get there, how much you can spend and what to do with the mail and the pets while you’re gone. If you’re getting married, you not only spend countless hours planning every detail of the ceremony, but you’ll often hire a wedding planner to help with that planning.

Planning for daily lives can involve a desk calendar, smartphone with calendar apps and email notifications of important events, daily Internet reading of planning blogs and attending periodic planning seminars.

But for some reason, the thought of being in the wild (or a wild situation), either by choice or necessity, doesn’t always trigger such planning efforts. That’s a confusing conundrum, because outdoors, away from constant electronic support and contact and with your own life and possibly the lives of others at risk, the lack of planning can be catastrophic.

Cody Lundin, survivalist and co-star of Discovery Channel’s Dual Survival, listed five steps of planning for outdoor excursions in his book, 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! In a chapter that deals with the “Seven Ps” of the military saying, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance,” Lundin stresses the need for Physical Preparation, Mental and Emotional Preparation, Materials Preparation, Dangerous Scenario Preparation and Spiritual Preparation.

  1. Physical Preparation: Outdoor activities are synonymous with physical stress and unique sanitary conditions. Maintaining a proper level of physical fitness, health and hygiene is strongly recommended.

This is one of those truths you encounter in life that is so obvious, you forget about it. It’s clear that if getting up from the easy chair for a refrigerator run tires you out, there’s no hope in a situation that requires extreme or prolonged physical exertion. It’s just so much easier to tune to another channel and put off conditioning until another day. Peter Drucker, also known as “The Man Who Invented Management,” said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans.”  Make a commitment to get in shape and stay in shape.

  1. Mental and Emotional Preparation: Self-confidence is the key and is the result of proper prior planning, skills practice, personal belief systems and your overall backcountry experience.

Drucker also said, “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately generate into hard work.” Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone during training results in a mental and emotional attitude that will recognize a dangerous situation and act accordingly. Your attitude changes from that of panic to that of, “I can handle this.”

  1. Materials Preparation: Pack the right equipment for the job (maintained and in proper working order) and know how to use it. Having back-up equipment for critical goods is wise in case of loss or failure.

The noted philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” No matter how much training you do or mental fortitude you possess, you’ll do much better in an emergency with an organized supply of survival gear.

You can buy a ready-made kit, start with a purchased kit and add to it or construct your own from scratch. Amazon has a great source list of survival supplies, hurricane survival supplies, and an emergency disaster kit. In addition, Popular Mechanics has a guide on “How to Disaster-Proof Your Life.”

  1. Dangerous Scenario Preparation: Weird stuff happens. Play out possible nightmare scenarios with others in your party, including travel routes, leadership roles and relevant environmental emergencies.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower had this to say about battle plans: “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” In most emergency situations, the plans you’ve made won’t unfold exactly the way you expect (an emergency is a series of extreme variables), but preparing for worst-case scenarios will allow you to deal with the inevitable snags that do arise. Don’t allow yourself to go into a “doubt spiral” of increasingly worse scenarios, but do plan how to deal with scenarios unique to your situation. If you’re in a hurricane-prone area, you’ll prepare differently than someone who lives in the mountains.

  1. Spiritual Preparation: A strong grounding in a presence larger than oneself is an extremely powerful force and imparts the gift of a positive, holistic eagle’s-eye view of the current situation and life in general. I have been fortunate enough to witness “atheists” praying during a compromised wilderness scenario, and it is a profound sight to behold.

King Canute (c. 994-1035) once ruled England, Denmark and Norway. It’s said that Canute, fed up with fawning members of his court who claimed he was so powerful that even the tide would obey his command, had his throne carried to the edge of the sea. There, he commanded that the advancing tide stop in its tracks. When it didn’t, he told his courtiers that, “the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy of the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws.”

Canute couldn’t command the waves, and you can’t command your circumstances. You’re not in control, and you don’t have to be. The sooner you realize this, the more likely you’ll be to remain calm when things get out of hand.

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • 63rdpatriot

    Great article! But will the sheeple listen….?

  • Kim

    Not until it’s too late, Patriot. As for me and my husband, we are getting ready. It WILL happen, we don’t know when, but we’re as ready as we can be, and far better off than 99.9% of the population. That’s where the stockpiled ammo comes in…

    • JC

      Like you, we have planned well for any eventuality.
      So have a lot of people we know. All stocked up on everything.

  • TIME

    Great blog, being one who loves being around in nauture when I can its reather funny when you get out and find the ” Experts” who have a PHD in Ha Ha Ho Ho marching around in the woods lost with their cell phones looking for service.

    I think everyone should take a class in Survial, and not the bloody mindless stupid show on the Telie. But the real deal.

    A Military grade Survial school will do you a ton of good. That way if “you ever need it” you will be very calm and able to do whats needed when faced with no other choices. “Real Leaders” are not easy to come by, yet arm chair Generals are less than a penny per hundred.
    Leaders in everyday life are ones who understand risks v benifits, but can they transcend to the wild?

    Ever step on an Alligator when walking around in a swamp?

    Do you know how to read a map, can you use a compass with that map, and understand topography?

    What would you do if in the wild and your bitten by a Diamond back?

    • JC

      Throw in a course in Wilderness First Aid as well.

    • Dennis

      Also throw in a book by Bob himself -> How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization, and this one is very very good also -> Terrorism Handbook for Operational Responders.

    • Granny Mae


      You have some great suggestions there. It is too bad more boys today haven’t spent time as a boyscout ! I will say this though, there are a lot of us that will have to hunker down in place. I am one. Travel is out of the question for me, so we will have to make the best of what we have where we are ! I wish it were not so but such is life ! However we are very well set up and hopfully will be alright ! If not, Oh Well again such is life ! I have my husband and a large family to stand by us here but I am worried about those that live in another state and far away towns. Come Thanksgiving and Christmas we will have the plans for them taken care of too. I think that people with medical problems should make some kind of provisions for meds. or alturnitive medicine if at all possible ! I’m not so sure that bugging out to a remote area is a real good idea either. If you do you will be the unfamiliar guy around and could be subject to suspicion! So all you that may decide to bug out just be careful and realize that you would look at others the same way they may now be looking at you ! God Bless

      • 45caliber

        There are several books out on herbs. Most tell what they were once used for as medicines. Today, most medicines are made in chemical factories. There is too much need for the drug companies to try to grow plants for drugs so they don’t bother. Some of them give the way to make drugs from them as well. If you are interested in alternate medication, look them up. Amazon has them.

        • Granny Mae


          Thanks for the info. I have several herb books but so far havent found quite the right one. I’m looking for one that deals with type 2 diabetes! If you come across one let me know so I can get it ! I do have a lot of news bulitins from different places but most of them deal with exoctic herbs that you have to get from mail order or health food stores but no info on growing your own ! Maybe I’m looking for the needle in the haystack !

          • 45caliber

            My wife is also diabetic. So far no luck.

          • Granny Mae

            We will keep looking and I will share with you what I find !

          • http://?? Joe H.

            Granny Mae,
            I will check the one I have that I told you about. I’m diabetic and I never thought to check good preparer I am!! I do know anything high in vitamin E will help as there was a study done on the effects of E on diabetes. That’s why I take 1000 iu each nite at bed. I am usually at or about 98 to 105 and if I stop it goes up about 15 to 20% in about 3 days. I weigh about 180 and it said to guage it by your weight. Start off low and work up. Take time to see if it works at each level.

          • Granny Mae

            Joe H,

            Thanks I will try this. My blood sugar is all over the place and we can’t figure why. I was in the hospital in intensive care for 6 days and they couldn’t seem to get it stable either. I have wondered if I might have some food allergies that may cause a fluxuation. I try to stick to mostly protein as my doctor has advised and it seems good for a day or two and then bingo it will spike. My morning numbers are usually in the low 200′s. One day last week I was 94 in the morning and I thought I would flip. It hasn’t been that good in years. It is very frustrating. Doctor says it is because I’m getting insulin resistant ! Bummer. We will keep working on it.
            I’m going to try the “E” but I will have to take less as I am taking Arthritis med. that cause me to bruise and bleed so I will have to find something for that too. Fingers are stiff and can’t make a fist anymore ! Old age is wonderful !!!

    • Al Sieber

      TIME, I have the opposite problem, I live out in the wilderness, solar and wind power and satellite internet. wild burros, Big Horn mountain sheep, rattle snakes, mountain lions etc. and illegal aliens. I know how to survive out here, but, put me in a city and I’m lost, it scares the hell out of me. the nearest person to me is 3 miles, the closest cop station is 25 miles and they don’t like coming out to the mountains.

      • Granny Mae

        Al Sieber,

        Isn’t it amazing that each of us finds our own level of comfort? I can see you are right at home where you are and that is where you will be the safest ! I doubt that there will be many venturing out your way! They will stay more to the nearest settlements looking for what ever they can find. To venture out in the mountains where they have no idea of finding water and food I don’t think so ! Hey Al, this is a stupid question I know but I feel stupid so here goes. Have you ever eaten rattle snake? They say it is good but I think it would take some getting use to ! LOL ! I guess you won’t run out of food for a while then !

        • Al Sieber

          Granny Mae, that’s not a dumb question, I have eaten rattle snake, but you have to make sure they haven’t bitten themselves or you’ll be poisoned. I’ve been bitten once, but it didn’t inject any venom. we have some real nasty snakes out here, one is called the “Mohave Green” it has two types of venom and is very aggressive. and they don’t always rattle to warn you.

          • Granny Mae


            Sounds like some real nasty critters out your way. I have seen some real big rattle snakes here. My two older sons were out to a shooting range one time practicing and when they came home they hauled this huge snake out of the trunk. My son had shot the head off of it but the body was still six feet long with rattles on it the size of a mans thumb ! It was as big around as my sons thigh ! I didn’t know that they could get that big but since then I have seen pictures of some that were even bigger! They were caught here in Florida ! All I can say is be real careful when you go for a walk !

          • http://?? Joe H.

            I’m real partial to snake meat. Everyone tries to say it tastes like chicken but that’s BS they have their own distinctive flavor. Real good eats!!

      • Dan az

        Hey Al
        The decisions that we made long ago seems to be the right ones huh!To me I wouldnt live anywhere else and as far as cities go they can keep them.when I had to go to phoenix last month I made more U turns in one day than in my entire life.How anyone can live in that kind of maze is beyond me,what kind of life is that.Ill stick to elk and dear and rabbits as far as meat goes you can keep your snakes down there,the only good snake is a dead snake I say.

        • Al Sieber

          Dan, you got that right, haven’t been to Phoenix in years, rattlesnakes don’t taste like chicken, only people who haven’t eaten them say that, I don’t eat them, Lizards are better, ha, ha,… just kidding.

          • Dan az

            Al get out of the sun now!lol

  • Seawolf

    It is inevitable that we will have those who prepare and those who don’t. The only reasonable and moral course is to prepare to help others get through the initial stages of an emergency. In other words, be a shepherd, not a sheep.

  • Dr. smith

    “the power of kings is vain and trivial”

    wait a minute, has anyone told Obama “the anointed one” this? Isn’t he going to part the Red sea or the Gulf of Mexico, isn’t he going to save us from the evil Bush and republicans?

    Thou speakest blasphemy, and Bis Sis is watching!

    • eddie47d

      A little humor thrown into the mix?

  • dan

    Beware the wolves who prepare to hunt sheep … a wise shepherd prepares
    to defend the helpless flock.

  • eddie47d

    65 years ago everyone was told to build a bomb shelter ;for the world was facing annihilation. The threat was real and nobody wanted to be in that city where the bomb would go off. Obviously the end of the world did not come and I know of no one who built a nuke shelter.Being prepared for emergencies is important although overreacting and fear should be put into perspective.Stroking government conspiracies (fema camps),immigration and so forth is minor compared to the nuclear threat.When it comes to a financial collaspe you have a better chance of getting an audience.Most people don’t buy into all the conspiracy gloom and doom for this nation has faced much worse, When it comes to” what’s in your wallet” or what isn’t in your wallet people perk up. Then their survival skills kick into action. Unfortunately some people think that means calling a financial advisor and adding more money into their account. I agree everyone should have a survival plan and have their homes supplied with necessary equipment and food. Also have a place picked out where you can escape to when needed.

    • 45caliber

      For once you make sense. I’ve lived in Tornado Allie and now live on the Texas Gulf Coast. I’ve exchanged tornados for hurricanes. Neither are fun.

      If you do plan to leave (run from a hurricane), don’t depend upon the evacuation routes. The police try to shove EVERYONE onto them and this means you are lucky to go more than 5 miles an hour. I know one friend here who made 11 miles in twenty hours the last time a hurricane came through. She finally went back home. Pick out a back-road route and use it instead.

      • Granny Mae


        You know that, to me, is only common sense and yet with every hurricane it is the same with all these folks ! They all get on the highway and try to leave and there is always someone with a flat tire or out of gas or some darn thing to hold up traffic. From the first time we were expected to evacuate I told my family, we were not getting on the highway, we were going to plot out a back roads way to where we were going and sure enough I was right and we had no trouble at all, but my stupid sister wouldn’t listen to me and she was suppose to meet us at our mobile home in the north and wouldn’t you know she didn’t make it ! They had seven adults and three children packed into one small car and they were stranded on the highway for 26 hours ! I told her to take two cars and to go the back roads but she wouldn’t listen. Nothing new there ! No they packed everyone into a small compact car and suffered with the heat and trafic and still didn’t have sense enough to get off at the next off ramp ! I could not believe it. She called me from her cell phone and acted like she wanted me to come and get them ! I told her that was impossible they would just have to get off at the next exit and take the back roads ! Still they didn’t do it and ended up sitting out the storm in that little car . All in all they were in that car for three days before they could get back home. As it turned out they would have been safer if they had stayed home in the first place ! I don’t often admit to being realated to her or my brother! I have no idea who they take after in the family because I know of no-one that is that stupid ! I hope people most certainly do develope a back road way to get to where you are going if things get bad. Also plan on carrying enough gas to get there because there may not be any gas stations open !

        • 45caliber

          One problem here is that once you get on an evacuation route, they won’t let you off again. I live about 60 miles south of Houston. My doctor was coming back here after a hurricane and they didn’t want to let him off the route listed for return to Houston. He was told that he had to go to Houston and then go south rather than drive straight here. Actually, I think it is pretty brave of them considering that most cars had at least one gun in them (ready cash if you need it).

        • Dan az

          I would be doubting my heritage if I where You could write a book about those two.Hey I told ya that I would be glad to hop up that chair for ya with a harley motor and atv tires.And maybe set up some shotgun grips for those that refuse to move out of your way!Keep the powder dry granny!

      • http://?? Joe H.

        45 caliber,
        my sister in law left Houston during Ike and got twenty miles before she ran out of gas. Started with a full tank! Stranded on the interstate with kids and two black labs!! She had a guy come to her, gave her the keys to his house outside the danger area, got her to a rental agency to rent a car and she stayed at this complete strangers house for 3 days!!! I swear it is all the truth!! There are still some good samaritans out there!

        • Granny Mae

          Thank God for Angels in a time of need !

      • http://?? Joe H.

        right at the end of my street is an old non functioning nike missile site! The government leased it at first to the city for about 100 dollars a year without access to the bunker. now there’s talk of them selling it to the city lock stock and barrel!! I’d like to tour it!! I was stationed on a hawk site in Germany in wurzburg in 1969. I was the only one in the crew that wasn’t school trained and we went to a little island off the coast of crete to do an actual fire competition! we took third place. also tracked three russian migs that strayed over the border should have seen them bug out when we lit them up with radar!!!

    • JimH

      Hi Eddie, I would like to add, if you need to evacuate and communications are down, have a predetermined spot for your family to meet in an emergency.

      • JC

        My wife keeps a handheld non-cellular walkie talkie in her purse I keep one nearby as well. We can communicate no matter what.
        We’ve already worked out several contingencies for ourselves and the kids. And you should too. :)

  • independant thinker

    I would ask, how many of you could safely cut and de-limb a tree using only an axe? How many could heat a piece of iron and make a simple tool from it? How many have any carprentry skills that do not require power tools? While I could not make a living at it in todays world in a disaster situation I know enough about all of the above to get by. I could even make charcoal if I had to and know how to build a simple still if needed. Now I will say I am not a doom and gloomer but learned these things because I find them interesting but knowing them I am better prepared than many who have stocked up on food and water thinking that is all they need to survive I do have a certain amount of supplies stored because I live on the edge of tornado alley and the edge of the damage zone for the next big one from the New Madrid Fault.

  • Santi

    Has anyone read the Book of Books? Must read, Matthew chapter 6 verse 25-34. I found this bible in my home with a marker and a highlighted section in it. This is after I ‘ve lived there for over eight years. No one knows how this bible got there, but I know it is a message from GOD. Please read this chapter and verse. God will take care of us no matter how well we prepare. You don’t think that the devil what’s you to stock up on ammo and kill a few people. He will be waiting for you at the gates of hell. Trust in the LORD THY GOD. GOD BLESS.

  • 45caliber

    One thing to remember – it seems that a lot of people get lost and cause a lot of excitement and expense to find them each time. If you get out into the wilderness and do get lost, GO DOWN HILL. It will, sooner or later, take you to water. Keep going downhill with the water and you will sooner or later find a road and/or a house. There are few places that you can’t find yourself this way in the US within a few hours at most. And it won’t cost you to pay for the expenses of finding you. I doubt that this would work well in a desert since you’d probably die of dehydration before you found someone but such things there are rare indeed.

    • vicki

      45caliber writes
      “GO DOWN HILL……”

      This is VERY good advice and has saved me hours of frustration at least once.
      The only place I know of on the US mainland were this will not work is the great meteor crater in Arizona. And you can easilly tell before you start down :)

  • David

    Three years ago this article would only be found in a hard core survivalist magazine. People with this opinion are not the minority or a lunitic fringe anymore. The mainstream of America is seriously worried that our economy and law and order in general are starting to collapse.
    The only thing I find humorous about all of this is the progressives are adamantly anti-gun and adamantly anti-survivalist; those misguided fools, who caused the problem, will suffer the worst at the hands of those they have made dependant on the government. It is quite obvious that when food stamps or cash will no longer buy food those who have not prepared or have a barterable skill will do what they have to do to eat. When money won’t buy anything those who want, will steal.
    All this is made worst by the massive cutbacks in police personnel. I read an article that Oakland, California will no longer investigate non violent felonies. Once criminals feel there is no police presence and no funding to investigate crimes our civilization will collapse.
    I guess this is what Obeyme calls change and hope. i.e. I’ll CHANGE everything that supports the American way of life and you better HOPE you survive.

    • 45caliber

      England is already there. They won’t even bother to write down a report of burglary or simple assault there. They are too busy – primarily on things like someone getting welfare who shouldn’t. The local gangs are ignored.

  • chuckb

    guess why england is down for the count poor enforcement of their emigration laws: muslim’s!

    • Dennis

      Muslim’s are @ 50% or better in the UK and growing fast taking over thier country, using thier laws against them to do so. And guess whos next, thats right America, some how we got this Koran or Quran carring Muslim in our white house and he is bringing the same here, why do you think he keeps going back to his homeland ???? And what the Fuk does he need with a blackberry -> email sending -> picture taken Fuk in phone ????????

  • MN North

    JC. I like the idea of the walkie-talkie but what is the range that your wife’s gets? I need to get one that will work over 17 miles. Any ideas as to brands???


    • http://?? Joe H.

      MN north,
      motorola has one with a 35 mile range and you can get the value pack from Dick’s sporting goods for 89.98 for two. Or they have a midland set with a 24 mile range for 39.98. I know that sounds low, but I’m looking at the flyer as I type! I don’t know if you have any Dnhams sporting goods stores where you are but they have a midland set with a 34 mile range for 39.99. and DICKSSPORTINGGOODS.COM

      • MN North

        Thanks Joe. I do have a Dicks Sporting Goods right down the road from me but Dunhams is not familiar. I’ll check it out. Appreciate the help.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          No prob friend!!

  • Dan az

    For all you who dont ride a motorcycle you may want to because some get 100 mpg and when the pumps are shut down at least you wont need much to get to the next gas station or parking lot and their narrow as to getting through traffic with ease.With a back pack and saddle bags you can carry allot of things for surviving and if its a multipurpose bike off road is the best way to go.

    • Al Sieber

      Dan, I have 2 Quads, and a 4-wheel drive Rhino, what works good for me.

      • Dan az

        Hey Al
        yep me to except for the rino its a streched autocy with a kawasoki 1100 strapped to it.Just incase you have to haul azz.

  • Teresa

    The harsh reality and truth of our existence is the same today as it was in George Washington’s time. Freedom is preserved only through the exercise of spiritual strength, the power of will, determination and, if all else fails, force of arms on the field of battle. Before a free nation can flourish, it must first survive.

    There are worse deeds than the taking of human life. There are those actions and policies that enslave, destroy, corrupt, demean, or debauch our souls and the lives and souls of others. Yes, we should pray for a time of “no war” on earth, but let us not forget that there will still be times of necessary war.

    Like our forefathers, let us determine to never fall into the trap pointed out by Edmund Burke, a noted English statesman of the 1700s, “All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world, is for enough good men to do nothing.”

    Let us resolve to focus our attention, energy and resources on the threats at hand. The result is that we will not just survive, but will flourish and continue to be the beacon of hope and liberty that is America.

    • Dan az

      very well put thanks teresa!


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