Do you need a long term plan?

There is something a bit fanciful about planning what you are going to be doing in a grid down scenario that lasts for a long time.

It reminds me of what a friend once said:-
Why do you worry about something that can kill you in the future when there is so much that can kill you today. He had a point.

Just thinking along the Survival Rule Of Threes sort of questions your survival longevity.

  • 3 Seconds without adequate cover or defence from attack
  • 3 Minutes without good air, a heartbeat, or massive blood loss.
  • 3 Hours without shelter and adequate climate control.
  • 3 Days without clean water, personal medications, and SLEEP.
  • 3 Weeks (continuous weeks) without food.

Especially if you factor in the effects of a CBRN event.
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear event.

  • Chemical?
    Some nerve gases will see you dead in under a minute
  • Biologicals?
    Zombie type? Seconds maybe if you believe Hollywood.
    The usual nasties, 7 to 10 days before you become symptomatic.
  • Radiological aka dirty bomb or industrial accident
    Probably years
  • Nuclear?
    Hopefully if you’re going to go it’ll be too fast to register but typically radiation sickness takes a few weeks for a serious exposure.
    As for the genetic nasties to show their faces? Years maybe?

You know I’ve often wondered the logic of the 72 hour bag too.
I’ve asked and re-asked why 3 days?
Ex-spurts the whole world over are always guessing the answer or citing a reference (that also guesses the answer).

Except everyone I asked didn’t think to ask one pertinent question.
Under what circumstances was it being used?
Probably because the (FM) Field manual doesn’t ask that either.

However the two common responses to the question were:-

  • 3 days worth of supplies will last you until the authorities either resupply or save you.


  • Or that it’s damn hard to carry more that 3 days worth of water (3 US gallons, 25 lbs), food, and gear. That is for everyone except Captain America or Macho man.overload

When you consider the usual SOP of disasters i.e.
Warning signs (if any),
The Event itself,
The immediate aftermath,
The recovery after that.

Unless you can cherry pick the scenario to suit your capabilities, equipment, training, or if today is lucky for you. How do you know what you’ve got, or if the training you had is good enough to survive whatever, and what the long-term effect of the event will do to you anyway?

So why bother planning (or laying in supplies) for the long-term?
Do I?
Not really.
My Banner line  reads:-
You wanna know the funny thing about the end of the world?
The world is still afterwards.
Thus I prepare for today and will sort out tomorrow when it arrives.

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22 Responses to Do you need a long term plan?

  1. yokel. says:

    i’m one of only a few in the UK who does plan for a long term event, or as I usually say, I plan for a new normal which is nothing like the “normal” that went before.

  2. equippedcat says:

    “The world is still afterwards”? Could be, could be. Or still there if we are lucky 🙂

  3. equippedcat says:

    A “long term plan” for “anything” is not possible. If you have a particular scenario, you can attempt a long term plan for that, but be aware that “no plan survives contact with the enemy”. The best one can practically hope for is a “long term guide”.

    So how long should you stock up for? Depends. There is a bell curve, where less than median is silly and more than median is likely to be wasteful. It would be nice if that bell curve is the same for everyone, but unfortunately, it differs for each person or group.

    The most practical methodology might be a “graduated” stocking plan, where you have “everything” for a short period of time, the important things for a longer period of time, and the means to get important things (skills/equipment) for long term.

    • Survive the event, that’s where we stop.
      After that it’s down to foraging.

      One thing is certain, there will be stuff left because of there isn’t, neither will we.

      • equippedcat says:

        Foraging is certainly part of most plans. But only a part.

        Stuff left, yes. And probably 3 types of people. 1) A majority of people who want the stuff and who’s only skills are mob behavior, which will tend to use up and ruin a lot of the stuff. 2) a few people who want “all” the stuff and don’t mind killing off any competition, who will stockpile some of the stuff, and 3) those who have the skills and equipment for effective foraging who will pick away at what is left.

        So no matter how much stuff there is, and how good a person is at getting it, stuff gets used up, contaminated, decays, breaks, becomes inaccessible or wears out so that eventually there is “none”. In which case, foraging becomes much less viable a methodology. Long term, having skills and equipment to create more stuff is worth considering.

      • equippedcat says:

        Well, that is a really good question. And the answer is, it depends on what the disaster was. How much was destroyed, what the condition of the survivors are, and if there is any group left in or who took charge. And the nature of that group.

        Basically, long term is the “rebuilding society” phase – farming, animal husbandry, fishing and eventually manufacturing and trade. Having some of the basics on hand will help this go much more effectively (or if you prefer, allow you to position yourself better in the new society).

    • Taxdn2poverty says:

      Please be advised, that most of the folks that made famous comments never once served a day in the trenches, never fought in hand to hand combat, never placed a friend that gave his life so that I could live in a body bag, and most assuredly never screamed MEDIC. You either know what I’m talking about r you don’t and it can never be explained unless you lived it and if you have it doesn’t need explaining. Long term for those of us that have been there is numbered in seconds, not minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years. It’s one heartbeat at a time and nothing more or less.

      • yokel. says:

        maybe to begin with, maybe not, but very quickly the survival rate of “the masses” will decline, the expected survival rate in the UK is about 5-10% at the very most, maybe even less, so don’t get into pitched battle mode just yet.
        the chances of actually seeing someone post SHTF say 3 months after, will be very low.

      • Lovely thought isn’t it!

      • Now this is where I usually get slapped.
        I used to say scavenging for what you want and predictably I got called a looter.
        Someone without morals, you know, the whole “you’re not a nice guy” bit.

        So, after talking it over with minds greater than my own (SWMBO), I changed the term to foraging defined as:-
        To obtain food, provisions, or what is needed by searching a location for what you need.

        That means if a place is no longer inhabited, abandoned, or whatever, I’ll enter it and get what I need.
        That includes housing, retail, or industrial ‘premises’.
        And of course I include field and woodland foraging which we do anyway.

        Guess what happened? Yep, I’m a looter again.
        So sod it I thought.
        There ain’t no nice way of putting this for some people so I don’t sort of bother any more.
        If people are dead they don’t need what they have left behind!
        Better we use it than someone else.
        Those who protest that are just upset that I’m telling it the way it will probably turn out.

  4. jlm990 says:

    Although I write occasionally about a “long term” plan I really do not have one for myself unless you consider 40 days long term. I stock 40 days for bug in. I can load out 40 days worth in my vehicle in 30 min for bug out. (yes I have practiced it). My plan for day 41 (assuming I’m still functional) is to act on whatever I have learned and assimilated the last 40 days. Although we sometimes see the weapon thing from different perspectives, my long term survival is going to depend to a large degree on skills, and especially people skills, scavaging skills, combined with weapon skills if necessary. Lone wolf will keep me going 40 days. After that, I play whatever hand I am dealt. Since none of us have a crystal ball or are Merlin the ——- Magician ( although I had a Col. once who swore I was), a lot of what we discuss is pretty academic. After all, Bill Hickock died holding a winning hand.

  5. yokel. says:

    TPTB definition of long term is anything that lasts longer than 30 days.
    my definition is YEARS/DECADES.

    • Long term for me?
      Probably tomorrow after I survive whatever happens today.
      SWMBO says it’s no good us long term planning for anything anyway.
      Something or someone always cocks up our plans.
      She’s got a point and it’s backed up by bitter experience.

      No, long term for us is defined by the rule of threes.
      Anything better than those rules is gravy on the biscuit!

  6. Thoughtfully Prepping, Thank You,to You and all of the people in the prepper community who give of their knowledge and experience so freely. Some folks like me, have to put extra effort into our preps just to find the time or a little extra cash to prepare with, and all of the information that we get from good folks like You seem to make things a little easier.

  7. yokel. says:

    Long Term will be down to the “Tribal” level, “communities” will be made up of small, isolated villages, cities wont be viable and will be left for mother nature to retake.
    if you haven’t got a long term plan that involves some form of agriculture and self sufficiency, then don’t bother with prepping sites cos you wont survive in the long run, and attempting to do so will only delay the inevitable.
    “foraging” only goes so far, and hunting and trapping can be a hit and miss affair.

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