Preparing For More Than Just Yourself

I want to start off by thanking everyone who’s reading this for your continued support over the last 4 years.  This blog, the course,,, and more recently, wouldn’t have been able to impact nearly as many lives as possible if it weren’t for your help.

As you may have noticed, we moved the blog to a new URL.  It’s kind of a big deal.  It represents a small part of a major shift in gears that our team is taking in regards to survival and preparedness.  As a result, This is one of the most important and most foundational articles that I’ve written in the last 4 years. is going to become one of the early steps of helping to create not only more prepared households but more prepared and resilient communities across the country—and I need your help to make it happen.

Over the last year and a half, the fervor for preparedness has shot through the roof.  The upside of this increase in awareness and action has been that more families have become moderately prepared for disasters than at any time since people began abandoning the preparedness lifestyles of the greatest generation and adopting just in time lifestyles that only recently became possible.

Just to be clear on this, preparedness is real to me.  The threats that I write about are not marketing ploys…they’re clear and present threats that could quickly and dramatically change our way of life.  The personal stories that I share are from my daily life.  I write everything with the thought that my friends, family, or even my wife and kids when I’m out of town, might find themselves in a situation where they thrive or suffer based on the quality of products, information, and training I’ve given them.  As an example, the course grew out of the research that I did for my own family’s survival plan.  The course grew out of a need to be able to answer panicked calls and emails from friends who thought that they might only have a few weeks to get everything put in place.  The decks of cards I’ve created and smaller reports have all followed the same pattern.

You see, I think that it’s incredibly likely that we’ll see an Earth shattering disruption of our way of life in the not too distant future.  The particular incident that becomes the tipping point doesn’t really matter…many of the consequences will be the same regardless of whether it is natural, manmade, or a combination.  In any case, the advances in technology and just in time supply chains that have made our lifestyles so unbelievably convenient have also made our society unbelievably fragile.

As a result of the sheer number of threats and the consequences of any one of them actually happening, I’m introducing a 4 part push moving forward to prepare for, survive during, respond to, and rebuild after upcoming disasters.

They mesh with our mission statement of:

  • Prepare families so they can be the answer to other people’s prayers when disaster happens.
  • Equip them to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
  • Give them the tools they need to quickly create stable micro-environments from which recovery can happen, regardless of whether or not outside help is available.
  • Help people prepare in such a way that their lives will be enriched, regardless of whether disaster ever happens.

This mission statement gets fulfilled by breaking up the preparedness process into 4 phases…People try to make the phases linear and sequential but, as with many things in life, it’s not quite that simple.  The simplest thing to do is to tell you what they are:

Prepare:  This is the most basic of the phases.  It includes not only stocking up and learning skills to take care of essentials like psychology, food, fire, water, and shelter, but also areas like medical, trauma, security, general repair, power, mobility, and more.  I have and will continue to help people prepare with a mix of trainings that are as fast as possible to implement and trainings that are much more in-depth.

Survive:  When a catastrophic collapse happens, the first phase, in many cases, will be survival.  It may or may not include lawlessness.  It may or may not be any more dramatic initially than losing basic utilities and communication.  This is where the fruits of preparedness ripen and have the most value.  It is difficult to definitively state what this will look like because of the many ways that we could end up in a survival situation.  Is the breakdown in infrastructure and/or civil order local, regional, national, or global?  Did it happen because of a virus, catastrophic collapse of the electrical grid, war, total economic collapse, a series of dirty bombs, or something completely different?  In all of these cases, the specifics of how things play out will be different, but solid, fundamental preparedness and survival skills and tools will provide a solid foundation to build from.  Just as has been a valuable resource for survival and preparedness information for the last 4 years, will continue to be a valuable resource moving forward.

Stabilize:  In the event of a breakdown in civil order after a disaster, it’s important to return to a stable situation as soon as possible where it’s relatively safe to walk the streets, conduct commerce, and transport goods from one end of the supply chain to the other.

One theory of stabilization in situations where an insurgent force is trying to destabilize/overthrow a government is to create stable micro-environments.  In short, it is the idea of stabilizing an individual block or neighborhood and gradually expanding the stabilized area by creating/repairing infrastructure and eliminating destabilizing forces.

As individuals, we can do this by learning medical skills, learning or honing trade crafts, learning HAM radio communications, becoming a full time, part time, or reserve peace officer, firefighter, or EMS personnel.  We can also help our local CERT agencies and/or other volunteer disaster response organizations.

Soft skills, like leadership, decision making, encouragement, nurturing, and counseling are vital during these times as well.  If you don’t have the time, ability, or inclination to join any of these organizations, you can still support the ones that you believe in and have the most affinity for.  In a disaster situation, first responders have families, homes, and pets that need to be cared for.  They have meals that need cooking, errands that need to be run, clothes that need to be cleaned, and sometimes they simply need to be told to stop and take a break.  You may not be the point of the spear, but you CAN do things to keep the point of the spear sharp.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the years to become friends with US Army Special Forces personnel who have implemented counter-insurgency (stabilization) practices in various hell-holes around the globe.  Their door busting stories are fascinating, but their techniques of providing for basic needs and creating safe, stable areas to win “hearts and minds” are what are most valuable and applicable here and I’ll be sharing them with you as we go along.

This is where things get very interesting.  There are two distinct types of stabilization: post-event stabilization and pre-event stabilization.  Everything I’ve mentioned so far is post-stabilization.  Pre-event stabilization is, in many ways more powerful because it can prevent disastrous events from becoming long term collapses.  In short, the more stable, resilient, and able to self-support a neighborhood, city, or region is, the quicker it will be able to fix itself and move on when a disastrous event happens.  It won’t have to wait on centralized, top down help to show up…it will fix itself from the bottom up.  Not only that, an area that has multiple ways to provide for it’s people’s basic needs won’t be impacted as much when one or more of those ways is disrupted.

Finally, as the Godfather of the Resilient Community movement, John Robb, has stated, when insurgents/terrorists are looking for targets, they look for critical points that will give them as much bang for the buck as possible.  By focusing on developing stabile and resilient communities, we’re not only increasing our ability to recover from disastrous events, but also making those communities less appealing targets for insurgents/terrorists.

Recover/Rebuild:  God forbid we have a “One Second After”, “Jericho“, (EMP) or “Patriots” (total societal breakdown caused by economic collapse) event, but if we do, there needs to be an emphasis placed on long term rebuilding and recovery as quickly as possible.  Having a long term goal like this will not only give people a goal and the promise of something better down the road to live for, but also will serve to act as a moral compass.  Many inner-city kids who go to jail for murder at a young age have a similar statement when asked why they did their horrific deeds;

“Nobody in the hood lives past 20 (25, 30, or any other young age) so I’m just going to get mine while I can.  What do I have to lose?”

Interestingly enough, this same justification for horrific actions has been used by child warriors youngsters committing atrocities around the globe throughout history.  Take away hope and the prospect of a future and morality will soon follow.  In short, hope is a key component to survival and a vision of what life could look like after recovery and rebuilding will provide that hope.

The rubber hits the road for recovery and rebuilding by taking a look at basics like shelter, long term food security and drinking water.  Basic preparedness and short term survival can be taken care of with several storage bins of food, but there has to be a plan in place for sustainable sources of food and water when the larder runs out.

I’ll be introducing you to groups from across the country who are bridging the gap between government agencies and volunteer agencies to quickly and effectively help families after disasters.  Stabilization and recovery after long term disasters gets a little more complicated and gets into primitive living skills like gardening, animal husbandry, long term high-volume water purification, and the ability to take care of medical and trauma issues with items that can be found locally or predictably transported, but we’ll continue to cover solutions to these basic, but vital, areas.

Recovery and rebuilding also involves the leadership, strategic and tactical planning, and encouragement skills that we touched on earlier.  At some point during recovery, it’s natural and in many ways beneficial to begin specializing and depending on supply chains again…so long as the preparedness and self-reliance skills aren’t abandoned.

As an example, if I ever need brain surgery, I hope I get a surgeon who is a specialist who does nothing but brain surgery.  I hope he makes enough that he can pay to have every other task in his life taken care of for him.  The last thing I want is to need brain surgery during calving season from a brain surgeon who also happens to raise cattle and who just did an all-nighter pulling a stubborn calf.  (There ARE individual and societal benefits to both knowing how to being a jack-of-all-trades / Renaissance man AND having a specialty and outsourcing many of your basic needs to other people.)  It would be wise for jacks of all trades not to be too critical of specialists and for specialists to not be too critical of jacks of all trades…the world needs both, and situations may require that you switch back and forth between the two.

What is the intended result of this approach to survival and preparedness?  In short, it goes back to the statement I’ve made several times over the years that the more prepared families that an area has, the more stable and resilient it will be when a disaster strikes.  By addressing not only the core needs of survival and preparedness but also post-incident stabilization and recovery, we’ll be able to, in some cases, avert disasters and in other cases mitigate the cascading consequences.

But I need your help in a big way.

If you’re active on social media (I’m not, other than announcing new articles) and open about encouraging people to prepare, than I’d ask you to share links to articles and +1 things you like.  This not only helps by directly sending people, but the search engines reward sites that have high social media activity with better rankings in the search engines.

If you share preparedness articles with others by email, I’d ask you to share links to articles when I send them out.  If you’ve got products that you’d like to write reviews on to let other people know what works and what doesn’t, please let me know.  If you’ve got expertise in any area that we write on, please comment.  If you’ve got articles that you’ve written on survival or preparedness topics and would like to reach a large audience, let me know.  If you’ve got a blog and you’re looking for articles, please feel free to repost articles in their entirety with attribution and working links back to the site.  If you have a preparedness website or business and are interested in selling some of our high quality products, please let us know by commenting (start it off by using the comment box where it says “Speak Your Mind” (not the Facebook box) and saying, “please don’t post”) and we’ll give you all the details.  If you’ve got a great (completely finished) product that would be a good fit for the preparedness market, please let us know.

In short, we’ve got something special with this audience.  A HUGE percentage are military and law enforcement who see the threats and vulnerabilities that we’re facing on a daily basis and want to protect their families.  It’s also an incredibly educated bunch…both in terms of street smarts and book smarts.  It’s also an incredibly helpful and collaborative bunch, as evidenced by the conversation threads after each week’s article and on the forum, and we are in a position where we can really make a difference if we work together.

With that, I want to invite you to check out the new forum at  There are over 2500 posts in covering almost 500 survival and preparedness topics, including getting spouses on board, firearms, religion and prepping, local meet-ups, and more.

What are your thoughts on the new site?  The new forum?  How about our mission statement?  Anything you’d add/remove?  Please share your thoughts by commenting below:


God bless and stay safe,
David Morris

P.S.  If you haven’t taken advantage of the $7 special this week on my Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, I encourage you to do so now.  This is an incredible book at an equally incredible price.




About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. Judson Phillips from Tea Party Nation posted on May 9, 2011 How to Build a food supply on $5 a week. Here is the schedule they had:
    Week 1 6 lbs salt
    Week 2 5 cans cream of chicken soup
    Week 3 20 lbs of sugar
    Week 4 8 cans tomato soup
    Week 5 50 lbs wheat
    Week 6 6 lbs macaroni
    Week 7 20 lbs sugar
    Week 8 8 cans tuna
    Week 9 6 lbs yeast
    Week 10 50 lbs wheat
    Week 11 8 cans tomato soup
    Week 12 20 lbs sugar
    Week 13 10 lbs powdered milk
    Week 14 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
    Week 15 50 lbs wheat
    Week 16 5 cans cream of chicken soup
    Week 17 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
    Week 18 10 lbs powdered milk
    Week 19 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
    Week 20 50 lbs wheat
    Week 21 8 cans tomato soup
    Week 22 20 lbs sugar
    Week 23 8 cans tuna
    Week 24 6 lbs shortening
    Week 25 50 lbs wheat
    Week 26 5 lbs honey
    Week 27 10 lbs powdered milk
    Week 28 20 lbs sugar
    Week 29 5 lbs peanut butter
    Week 30 50 lbs wheat
    Week 31 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
    Week 32 10 lbs powdered milk
    Week 33 1 bottle 500 aspirin
    Week 34 5 cans cream of chicken soup
    Week 35 50 lbs wheat
    Week 36 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
    Week 37 6 lbs salt
    Week 38 20 lbs sugar
    Week 39 8 cans tomato soup
    Week 40 50 lbs wheat
    Week 41 5 cans cream of chicken soup
    Week 42 20 lbs sugar
    Week 43 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
    Week 44 8 cans tuna
    Week 45 50 lbs wheat
    Week 46 6 lbs macaroni
    Week 47 20 lbs sugar
    Week 48 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
    Week 49 5 lbs honey
    Week 50 20 lbs sugar
    Week 51 8 cans tomato soup
    Week 52 50 lbs wheat
    After a year, this is what you have:
    • 500 lbs of wheat
    • 180 lbs of sugar
    • 40 lbs of powdered milk
    • 12 lbs of salt
    • 10 lbs of honey
    • 5 lbs of peanut butter
    • 40 cans of tomato soup
    • 10 cans of cream of mushroom soup
    • 20 cans of cream of chicken soup
    • 24 cans of tuna
    • 21 boxes of macaroni & cheese
    • 500 aspirin
    • 1000 multi-vitamins
    • 6 lbs of yeast
    • 6 lbs of shortening
    • 12 lbs of macaroni
    This will last one person well over a year, eating normally. Two people about 10 months and of course it could be stretched out some.

    • Great idea, but I would suggest buying various vegetable and vegetable/meat soups, stews, prepared canned dinners and dried potatoes as well for better nutrition. And what are you going to do with all that sugar? Some can be used for baking, but the aroma of baking bread will bring many starving people to your door. Maybe canned fruits and juices would be a better choice. I would also recommend raw beans that can be sprouted to give you more complete nutrition.

    • Survival Diva says:

      This is a great list. It helps keep it manageable for those who are new to prepping and makes it easier to stick to a budget. The only thing I’d like to add here is if your budget can stand buying more—do it. The price of grains are about to skyrocket. Better to get it now before the price doubles or triples. I also have concerns of possible rationing for grains should the draught bring the shortages that are being warned about.

  2. Most people don’t care to be preached at so I keep my attempts to convert the “heathen hoard” to a minimum. I mention one or two emergencies (Katrina etc.) then I mention how I save money by purchasing in bulk, on sale, or by other such means. I also mention that at the cost of inflation I get a better return on my food stores than I do my savings account. This last comment always gets an agreeing nod. I drop the subject at this point unless they ask questions. This leaves them agreeing with me and ends before they start coming up with ideas as to why they can’t be bothered. If they are not into preparing now I can’t change them. All I can do is drop the idea once. It will take multiple introductions to open peoples eyes. I have chosen to be one positive and brief influence rather than that boor that won’t shut up about prepping.

  3. A note — my letter was referring to the great one from socaldano. Thanks!

  4. A few comments on the above (which has a lot of really great ideas); We have been told by our state and local agencies to plan emergency needs for two weeks at least, instead of 72 hours, as in a real wide-spread emergency crews will be so busy that it will very likely take at least that long to get to everyone, and probably longer, and in the meantime, we will be on our own, and need to help each other. In view of what has happened in the hurricanes, etc. anyone would be foolish not to be prepared to survive independently for as long as it takes, with all the preparedness supplies they could possibly need. After Katrina everyone was wringing their hands and crying that the govt was not helping fast enough, and they were hungry and thirsty, and their homes and towns were a mess besides, and where was the government?!! Ridiculous. During the depression and other prior years before now, people with any common sense had their storage supplies on hand as a matter of course and just rolled up their sleeves and went to work doing whatever needed to be done themselves, like cleaning up the messes left from the catastrophe. Too many men don’t seem to have too much of a clue as to how to do that!
    I remember all my relatives getting fresh fruits and canning every summer and fall so they would have that food for the year until the next harvest. They also got meat in lockers in freezer storage companies Now people seem to think that is foolish. They will be the ones to suffer — maybe we need to teach again the story of the grasshopper and the ants!
    As for getting a month’s supply, when the pandemic hits – and one will – a family will need a three month supply of all their basic needs, at least, as well as medical supplies and sanitary needs to treat the illness in their families, so as to be able to completely quarantine themselves within their homes until the pandemic passes. Those who go outside their homes to pick up something at the store will risk bringing back the illness on their clothes to spread to the rest of the family, causing their deaths. Just think – really think – about the possibilities and make out a plan as above and implement it, starting now.

    • Janet,
      I have been so busy unpacking after a sudden relocation to Las Vegas that canning had to drop from my list of priorities. I am now ready to put it back on the top of my list and wondered if you knew of a good book for a beginner such as myself.

      Janet Lawrence

      • ball makes canning jars and their blue book of canning is probably the best you can buy.. BALLS BLUE BOOK OF CANNING, GOOD LUCK DM

      • Janet Lawrence,
        Sorry, I haven’t checked this before now. I would suggest that you check with your county agriculture dept. In Salt Lake City, they have lots of information about canning and how to do it, as well as answers to your questions on the phone. If they don’t have an answer, ask them to find out more and call you back. You may want to check out your local book stores and sites like and Ebay, as well as other book sellers online. Even garage sales may have books, but a warning – be sure that the books and information you use are recent! The safety information changes with time and is updated as needed, and your county offices should be able to tell you the safest way to preserve food. I once spent a whole summer tending a garden growing green beans and then canning them at home, only to find out that they had all spoiled because I used outdated information from an old book — they should have been canned using a pressure cooker and I had done them the cold pack method.

  5. Mary Ann Moon says:

    Bravo.. love this approach.. It gives me a whole lot of easy fuel for my efforts.. It sometimes gets lonely out here! hugs and prayers

  6. PLEASE DO NOT POST I have a product that is ideal for prepping. it is a re-useable flexible water pouch with an insulated canvas carry pouch. I currently have over 3,000 available an ready to go. It is called “THE SQUIRT” If you would like to see one you can see it on my body shop site, or I can e-mail pictures, or send the actual one in the mail. I can also post up your products on my web site, and also have a Facebook and Twitter account to promote your great information. Thanks so much for all you are doing. Please contact me with more information

  7. socaldano says:

    One must always start at the basics. You need to make your own list, but start with foods you will eat and keeps for a long time. Start with friends at dinners and such. Keep it light and simple “did you know how cheap and easy it is to have a 30 day food supply just in case” ….
    Don;t fall for scare tactics like dirty bombs, EMPs will destroy your sensitive electronics nothing else. Los Angeles had 3 nuclear power plant meltdowns with major nuclear releases in 1959 and years after that were secret until 1989, and there were no major medical reactions. Look at Japan, beyond worst case scenario happened and the plants survived.

    The best time to help those coming to your door is BEFORE the event. If you can convince those who will come to your door to prepare with 30 day food supply, a firearm with a common caliber, a few hundred rounds of ammo for that firearm (4-10 boxes depending on pistol, rifle, shotgun). Now they are your asset rather then your liability. 9mm, .38sp, .45, .223, 308, .22lr 762×39
    Also the government has a plan to get the military there in 10 days. So if your group can make it 30 days, you will make it through most events where the military has 20 days to get their supplies in after they get her to stabilize. Most people can/will prep 30 days. Will not prep for 1 year.
    Show them how they can buy 30 day supply per person who they will want to support at $100 per person including bedding, clothing, cooking. By buying quantity.
    Dog food, 30 day supply is easy to buy, Baby food/diapers is critical
    Medical supplies, but the 200 tablets instead of the 24 tablets. But bandages and such at dollar stores, maxipads and tampons are great medical supplies, as well as vasaline (for sucking wounds)
    Don’t forget building supplies, including thick plastic sheeting used by pro painters, and both 2″ duct tape and packing tape to seal windows and doors. Fire extinguishers, fuel, cooking (ideal is old coleman stoves that use white gas aka unleaded gas). Old blankets and comforters, sheets, winter jackets, heavy clothing (all to be had at garage sales for under $1)
    Dirty Bombs are a scare tactic. Los Angeles had 3 reactor meltdowns at SSFL with no containment domes, and the local populous did not have long term health problems.
    Food: Go to sams club, get a case of top ramen per person, a couple of boxes of pancake mix (add water only unless you have chickens) and the large package of pancake syrup, get an 8 pack of chili or gallon for group for $5-$10, keep a spare box of cereal per person ($7), evap milk (6 a case of 8) large box of powerdered milk, cases of soups (8 pack), many other canned goods, the ricea roni and hamburger helper type foods are great meal Cheap plastic gloves (1000 for $6) extenders/tasty. Don’t forget 20 lbs of rice and smaller quantiites of flour and sugar unless you are great in the kitchen. AND of course keep a case of toilet paper on hand ($15)
    Don’t forget the sanitizer, dish soap, kitchen sponges, degreaser,…. in the very concentrated gallon bottles where they make 64 gallons for $5. And spray bottles to use them with.
    Dollar stores are great for kitchen utensils and such, dont forget half gallons of bleach (2 half gallons are better then 1 gallon, quarts are great) for water purification and cleaning.
    at $25 per week, you should have a month food supply for each person each month

    For longer range, have the tools (or access to) to tear up your back lawn for a garden. Tools to board up your house (you can steal doors and wood from abandoned houses) Practice with a garden plot each year. Have lots of extra seeds, they do last for a few years and are cheap at the end of the season.

    Water, figure out how/where to get water….short term, fill up 2 litre soda bottles with water. Fill up a chest freezer with these, where you do not need it for food. these 2 litre bottles stay fresh and will each keep the fridge cold for a couple of days. living in the midwest, kiddy pools and other rainbarrels will work great. Figure out if you can make a small well. Local lakes and ponds are great SHORT TERM sources.


      • Unfortunately where I live the rainwater is unsafe due to all the toxic chemicals routinely sprayed from the sky by the government

        • Corky, Have you had that water tested? It may not be as bad as you think. I’m guessing that you may have quite a number of plants, trees, and grass growing near/around you. If so, the water isn’t that bad. One thing the EPA and media do is over hype the dangers – and violate almost every scientific principle. One could admire their passion but lying about and changing data to achieve desired results cancels any respect one might have. They often label things toxic when you’d need to consume a month’s worth of that item every day for twenty straight years.

          That rainwater can be used for other things like for the toilet and the garden. You can purify it several ways (including a pond w/ the right plants). One fail proof method is to distill it. You turn it into steam, capture the steam, and let gravity pull those droplets down where they fall into a clean container. The most common method is to boil it but that will use a LOT of fuel. This is usually done by by placing your contaminated water in a pot, hanging that pot’s lid upside down above the pot, hang a container under the pot lid and above the pot (picture a ‘Y’ w/ the lid being the arms and the clean container being the trunk), and the steam droplets slide down into the clean container.

          A simpler (slower) way is a solar still. You dig a shallow hole, line it with a tarp, errect a tent of clear plastic over it w/ the bottom of the tent reaching beyond the hole so the droplets can drain into clean containers. This will even work somewhat w/ wet vegetation. To improve the taste of distilled water, pour it into another clean container and back several times.

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