The PREPARED Path Introduction

The PREPARED Path Introduction

Welcome to The PREPARED Path 12 week course!

[Note: Please read this page in it’s entirety so you understand what to expect, how the modules are put together, and so on.]

This 12 week course is meant to get you and your family ready for nearly any emergency where sheltering at home is the best option. Using what I coined the A.P.T. concept, I intend to walk you through 12 areas of preparedness as I see them. When we’re finished you’ll have covered every major aspect of prepping and will be ready to tackle nearly anything that comes your way. :)

What This Course is NOT and Limitations

Please remember that the focus of this course is to prepare a typical suburban family to survive in place for a few days to months or much longer, if needed. It is not meant to be a homesteading course, although some homesteading practices are covered. Regardless, we won’t be raising livestock, I promise! Neither is this course about wilderness survival or survival retreats. That said, there are some obvious disadvantages to surviving in place. For example, if your expectation is that you’ll need to survive a major economic collapse that will last for years then being closer to a major urban center means you’re also closer to chaos and mayhem and everything that goes along with them. In this case, it would assuredly have been best to retreat to a low population area living off-grid well before the proverbial “S” hits the fan. The simple truth is that most of us just can’t make that happen for a variety of reasons… we simply have to be realistic.

The A.P.T. Concept

What I propose is to use the A.P.T. concept, which stands for Austere, Preferred, and Temporary (I’ll explain in a moment) and is modeled after the P.A.C.E. concept that I happened across some time ago. When I originally began writing this course I did so with the intention of using the P.A.C.E. concept; however, I found that as I wrote, things didn’t line up properly with my line of thinking and so was born a simpler (I hope) method.

The A.P.T. concept is meant to be simple and remembered too, hence, the A.P.T. mnemonic. But there’s a bit more to it than just that. Consider the definition of the word “apt” which is simply “appropriate or suitable in the circumstances.” And that’s what this is all about: appropriate to the circumstances. Now, let’s quickly consider the definitions of each A.P.T. acronym, but do so in reverse order (according to Google):

  • Temporary – Lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent.
  • Preferred – Like (one thing or person) better than another or others; tend to choose: “I prefer Venice to Rome”.
  • Austere – (of living conditions or a way of life) Having no comforts or luxuries; harsh or ascetic.

When I think about disasters and more importantly, preparing for them, I think in the above terms. To be clear, Temporary measures are meant to get you through a short term emergency of maybe a few days to weeks at most. Preferred measures are for weeks to months and even longer in some cases. Austere measures are for much longer scenarios or for when there’s little to no expectation of returning to normal anytime soon.

What to Expect From Each Module

Each module discusses a different topic (e.g., water, food storage, safety and security, etc) and is laid out using the aforementioned A.P.T. concept. Information, videos, and equipment are referenced as I see fit for each section (Austere, Preferred, and Temporary) with the expectation that what’s provided is appropriate for that need.

As an example, I don’t mention water cisterns in the Temporary section of the Water module because it’s not a Temporary solution but, rather, an Austere solution. Instead, we talk about more basic solutions like storing water in 2-liter bottles. This process is repeated over and over for all modules. I should mention that some solutions can span more than one section (even all three sections) so please don’t feel like what I discuss is ONLY relegated only to a temporary, preferred, or austere situation.

Course Schedule

The expectation is that you will roughly cover one module each week. This includes reading not only what I’ve written but much more so about the many articles and videos that are included. There are literally hundreds of links and videos referenced throughout. In fact, I would suggest that a week per module is very ambitious indeed, so if you want to cover them over a longer period of time then that’s perfectly fine too. So long as you’re learning that’s what we want.

Here’s what will be covered:

Week Topic Description
 1 Water Water procurement, storage, and treatment are covered.
 2 Food Storage A variety of food storage topics are outlined, including using a vacuum food saver, dehydration, preserving meats, canning, bulk foods, and plenty more.
 3 Sanitation and Hygiene Sanitation, garbage, showering, laundry, dishes, and plenty more are dealt with.
 4 First Aid and Medical Everything from basic first aid (wounds and burns) to pandemics, medical kits, as well as long term considerations such as using herbs, essential oils, and more are discussed.
 5 Safety and Security General home safety is covered (e.g., fire safety, CO poisoning, etc), self-defense options, firearms, caches, NBC and EMP, etc.
 6 Heating and Cooling An assortment of portable heaters and permanent heating are covered as well as some considerations for cooling.
 7 Cooking and Hot Water Learn about camping stoves, makeshift stoves, dutch oven cooking, and even solar cooking.
 8 Lighting We’ll discuss candles, lanterns, flashlights, and even solar-powered options.
 9 Communications Learn about radios (weather alert, AM/FM, shortwave), CB radios, two-way radios, and even HAM radio.
 10 Power and Fuel We cover batteries, the usual fuels (propane, gasoline, diesel) and also consider generators, solar, and more.
 11 Shelter and Clothing You still need to know how to keep yourself warm and dry from the elements, both with clothing and how to care for your home.
 12 Everything Else So much still to know! This is the rest of it, including money, precious metals, assorted tools, dependents, special needs individuals, as well as skills and knowledge preservation.

A point of emphasis: Please don’t feel that later topics are unimportant, not at all. There are any number of reasons why they could be critical to your survival. For example, attempting to survive in Maine in the freezing winter will put heating as well as shelter and clothing at the top of the list. Though the order isn’t perfect for everyone, please don’t skimp on later topics simply because they’re further down on the list. It all needs to be considered eventually… I simply started with those areas that I can guarantee everyone needs (e.g., water, food, sanitation, etc).

I’m sure by now you’re also wondering why shelter and clothing is almost last on the list? The way I see it, you already have a shelter (your home) where you’ll be surviving in place and probably plenty of clothing to see you through most emergencies. Regardless, there are some things to consider with respect to these topics so they still need discussed. Obviously, if this were a bug out situation then shelter and clothing would be at the top of the list, but we’re not focusing on bugging out in this course… we’re sheltering in place.

PDF Checklists and Listmania! Lists

Learning via the above referenced 12 modules is ONLY the beginning. In fact, it’s probably the easiest part of the whole process because the “real” work begins when you start to decide what options to rely on, purchase the gear, and track your progress. It’s all conveniently done using the accompanying PDF Files and Listmania! Lists.

If you’re unaware, Amazon makes it easy to gather dozens of related products in one list. I’ve taken advantage of this fact and created what they call Listmania! Lists. Each module has it’s own list and includes all of the products mentioned in each module–those that can be purchased on Amazon.com anyway–for ease of reference. I do ask that you choose to use the provided Amazon links either within each module OR via the accompanying Listmania! Lists because I will earn a small sales commission from Amazon. It’s not much, trust me, but it does help me keep the cost of this course down and supports the site. [EDIT: As of October 2013, Amazon has stopped offering me any sales commissions because the state I currently reside supports charging sales tax on Internet sales, bummer. Regardless, you can still use the links.]

As for the PDF Files, they’re relatively self-explanatory. Each module has it’s own file (except that weeks 11 and 12 are combined). The first time you open a PDF file you’ll be provided with the options I’ve outlined for that particular module, organized using the A.P.T. concept (with exception of Weeks 11 and 12 which do not follow it). Simply click on the checkmark for those options you want to rely upon and an accompanying set of information will become visible, including equipment to purchase, tasks to complete, and additional notes to include as necessary. A progress meter is included to help you gauge your progress as you purchase items and complete tasks for each option selected. These files are meant to be working documents so please utilize them as needed until you’ve completely finished any given module. Of course, you don’t need to use them either if you prefer something like pen and paper instead.

If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat or the free Acrobat Reader, you may download Adobe Reader freely here.

Bonus Content

As I’m sure you’re well aware there are more than a dozen additional files (all but one are PDF files) for you to better prepare your family. By and large they are self-explanatory but if something doesn’t make sense then by all means ask me. You can view the additional bonus content here. Like all other PDF files, if you do not already have Adobe Acrobat or the free Acrobat Reader, you may download Adobe Reader freely here.

Final Thoughts

My recommendation is that you work on the modules as I’ve outlined but it’s certainly not necessary. The best strategy is probably to read the Temporary sections of each module first and utilize the provided PDF files to plan what you will do with respect to your Temporary options BEFORE moving on to the Preferred and Austere sections of any module. After you’ve finished buying the gear and completing the tasks related to the Temporary options you’ve selected for all the modules, then you can move on to the Preferred sections and repeat with the Austere sections. In other words, don’t just work on everything in the Water Module, for instance, until it’s complete thereby neglecting the others. Doing so only leaves you nearly as unprepared as when you started.

I want to reiterate that the course is much more about reading and watching the referenced content and not just about reading what I wrote. As such, you should take your time with each module… it’s not a race. Be sure you understand each concept before moving on to the next one. And should you not understand anything please don’t hesitate to email me, Damian, at rethinksurvival@gmail.com.

Let’s get going… on to Week 1: Water Module