I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Topics in this category pertain to planning. Discussions include how to prepare yourself, your family and your community for catastrophes and what you plan to do when they hit you.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by marktaff » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:41 pm

FanaticalModerate wrote: Many think of electric heat as an enormously inefficient use of self-produced power. Just how many KWs are you generating on a daily basis?
Just wanted to touch base on this. I think you mean electric heat might be an imprudent use of available electricity, if there is only limited electricity available. I say that because electric heat in general, and baseboard electric heat in particular is *very* efficient, up to 100% efficiency, as all the electricity is converted to heat (none to light, noise, moving air, etc). So if you are only generating a few dozen or a few hundred watts, then one might find lighting, radios, etc to be more useful, especially as other less efficient energy sources like wood or propane can be used for space heating.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by FanaticalModerate » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:06 pm

marktaff wrote:
FanaticalModerate wrote: Many think of electric heat as an enormously inefficient use of self-produced power. Just how many KWs are you generating on a daily basis?
Just wanted to touch base on this. I think you mean electric heat might be an imprudent use of available electricity, if there is only limited electricity available. I say that because electric heat in general, and baseboard electric heat in particular is *very* efficient, up to 100% efficiency, as all the electricity is converted to heat (none to light, noise, moving air, etc). So if you are only generating a few dozen or a few hundred watts, then one might find lighting, radios, etc to be more useful, especially as other less efficient energy sources like wood or propane can be used for space heating.
You're absolutely right - I was thinking in terms of economic efficiency, not thermodynamic efficiency. ...and with good reason: I wouldn't know a joule from a BTU if they bit me in the ass! :oops:
PistolPete wrote:Locked, but left here as an example why the PAW will suck beyond imagination. You people can't even get along when there isn't stress and starvation. Imagine what a bunch of raving lunatics you'll be when you have to skip a couple meals and wipe with the Sears catalog.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by marktaff » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:00 pm

FanaticalModerate wrote:You're absolutely right - I was thinking in terms of economic efficiency, not thermodynamic efficiency. ...and with good reason: I wouldn't know a joule from a BTU if they bit me in the ass! :oops:
Joule from a BTU ==> BTU - Joule ==> 1,055.05585 Joules - 1 Joule = 1,054.056 Joules. Now you know, no ass-biting required. :mrgreen:
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Laconic 24 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:33 pm

So...your survival preps include Ramen, airsoft bbs and grenade launchers, and camo. Your plans include running electricity indefinately, watching DVDs, and having your paintball team as 'minions,' slaying zombies with their fencing skills. Your personal skills involve throwing hatchets, organizing airsoft games, and setting up solar powered generators. And you're eagerly awaiting an apocalyptic event to get away from work related stress.

Yeah, seems like you have things well in hand.



In all seriousness, I don't mean this in any derogatory way, but you seem overly paranoid, overly confident in yourself, and seem to be basing a lot of your preparations on assumption. It's really easy to say, right now, that in PAW you'd get stuff from your boss, and turn your airsoft team into a bow and sword wielding militia...but how will these people react when they haven't eaten more than crumbs for 2 weeks, their families are sick, it's cold out and they're freezing? Especially if you're sitting in your nice warm, lit house eating Ramen noodles.

Don't count on people helping you unless you have an arrangement set up with them, concretely, well in advance. I don't mean asking "Hey Jim, if things go bad one day, can I come borrow your generator?" If you want to include friends in your planning, that's good, but think beyond "hey, grab your bow and arrow and head on over." Where are they going to sleep? What are they going to eat? How will daily work be divided? What practical skill sets do your potential team members have (medicine, farming, hunting, mechanical, etc.)? Don't plan on foraging for food on farms. Don't overestimate the importance of electricity. Human beings existed thousands of years without light bulbs, we can't last more than a few days without food.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by none1 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:58 pm

There are ... multiple issues with this thread ... where to start .... well, prob should start with the most egregious mistake ......

JamesCannon wrote:Ramen is not preps. Ramen is not meal for anyone but a drunk college kid pinching pennies for the next bottle of booze or case of beer.

You stock food, but have you ever lived on them? Do you buy the same food you normally eat? Do you rotate your stock in with your normal eating, or just throw some stuff in the closet and forget about it?

AMG YOU STOP RIGHT THERE! RAMEN IS FOR EATING!!!!

JC, you DO understand the importance of storing / prepping what you eat, and eating what you prep?

I EAT RAMEN ALL THE FREAKIN TIME! I buy them by the case, I've got THREE cases of ramen, they won't last till spring. 16 cents for FOUR HUNDRED CALORIES? $6 for 14,000 DELICOUS calories that will keep for 12 to 18 months easy ?

YOU eat what YOU like, and I'll be fat and happy eating what I prep .......

NEXT THING YOU KNOW someone will get on here about how SPAM is not a good prep food ............

/goes off grumbling
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Kelvar » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:29 pm

CDI wrote: One of my buddys fences' im not sure if your familiar with fenceing its not some fat kid with a broad sword and an anthrax tshirt its someone that could actually do damage...this is a zombie forum right?, some undead thing wandering at him at a walking pace id say he would have a field day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fencing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; theres a little info.
I would respond to this, but we've been asked to be nice. I'll simply say that I'm familiar with fencing and it is a sport. :|
Last edited by Kelvar on Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by WhoShotJR » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:49 pm

Whether its been people telling me of coups, invasions, disasters,zombies or any type of bad thing I've spent about 20% of my income in preparing for what ever may come.

An honest assessment? I think you're approaching the whole topic from the wrong direction. You're making two major mistakes:

1. Trying to prepare for the absolute worst, and most unlikely, things that can happen per the above quote.
2. Unrealistically planning for those events. Things go south you're not going to be a general in a rag tag army.


I'd say you need to fantasize less about commie invasions and hoards of the undead roaming the earth, and focus more on more realistic scenarios. Sell a couple of guns and buy a couple of months of real food you will actually eat, and something like a Berkey water filter. Put aside a 3 month emergency fund. Just doing what's listed in this paragraph would, IMHO, make your preps 10x better than they are now.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Kelvar » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:10 pm

If I could spare 20% of my income, I'd put it in a 401K.
Failure to plan means planning to fail.
JamesCannon wrote:I was more mad that it was closed down, because I loved the dish that was apparently rat meat.
Meat N' Taters wrote:Death rays, advanced technology or not, no creature wants to be stabbed in their hoo-hoo.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Abacus » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:40 pm

CDI wrote: One of my buddys fences' im not sure if your familiar with fenceing its not some fat kid with a broad sword and an anthrax tshirt its someone that could actually do damage...this is a zombie forum right?, some undead thing wandering at him at a walking pace id say he would have a field day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fencing" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; theres a little info.
Yeah, I had to respond to this in my normal nature.

I spent 15 years in the salle, learning to fence. I'm a "B" with dueling sword. Yes, I'm that old that I learned out of Castillo who used the term "dueling sword" rather than "epee".

Unless you're going up against Olympians (and I did), I'm about one of the more dangerous people with a sword. Despite years of training, drill, competition and dedication I have to say, fencing is about the stupidest, most useless martial art there is and only a fanboy fuckwit would consider using it a a viable method of self defense.

Ok, I had to get that out.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by huntingohio » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:48 pm

Ive read this whole thread and all i can think is where the fuck is jeriah

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by KnifeStyle » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:48 pm

I teach fencing (foil, saber, historical-rapier) and was trying to respond all day to this, but Abacus just one-upped every credential I have, and summed up my point with the same conclusion. In fact, you even added in the outbursts I made to myself while reading this on my phone.

This topic is getting heated fast, I'd recommend keeping it topical real fast if you really do just want to talk gear and preps. I...have yet to ever have some one manage to offend me as a fencer, and that's saying a lot in a sport that requires knee socks, yet it happened in this topic. Focus on the preps, friend, don't get personally wrapped up in all this.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by KnightoftheRoc » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:22 am

I also need to address the fencing vs zombies concept- I won't dignify it by calling it an idea.
Suffice to say, if you use Fencing against a zombie, you might as well duct tape a push pin the the bayonet lug of each of those rifles you have- they will be about as useful. The "fat kid in an Anthrax teeshirt" wielding that broadsword would be more effective.

Now, with that off my chest- at least you realize there ARE weak points in your preps, I just don't think you were prepared for the viciously honest response in how MANY holes there were in your plans. Buck up- you're still young, and there's always hope. Don't take these pricks too seriously to heart- they really do mean well, and you'll see that if you can mange to not let them hurt your feelings, and you think on their suggestions for a while. And, by "they", I mean myself as a part of it- I'm a miserable old fart myself.

Also, I'm seeing an awful lot of the ZS crowd making a mistake here- NOT READING THE OP. Everyone's been jumping on the "boss's preps, not yours" bandwagon, and missing where the OP says he works for FAMILY. To be fair, if CDI had identified "the boss" as family more often in his posts, it might have helped with the confusion, but really- he did say that in the very first post.

I'm going to figure you have about 10 years of paintball experience- some or most of it competitively. That would equal, in my experience, to about 1 week of actual military basic training- and I'm being incredibly kind with that estimate, believe me.
Ramen, I'm sorry to say, does NOT equal preps, even if you DO like eating it. You'll need other things in your diet that Ramen simply does not provide. Store what you eat, eat what you store- THAT is food preps. Get yourself set up with a three month minimum for everyone you can expect to have bugging in with you. Then work on getting more.
I, too, know almost nothing about farming. I'm also working toward purchasing a farm. Until I get to the point where I CAN buy the farm (without dying- that's a 'Nam era joke for you), I'm studying my ass off, haunting the self sufficiency threads here, researching elsewhere, and reading constantly. Because I DON'T know enough about farming. Even so, I know that you are WAAAAY under prepped in this area. I don't care what 2 vegetables you grow, two are not going to cut it.
Also, do not depend on hunting, regardless of your skill level. No matter what your plans are for when TSHTF, someone else has thought of it too. They will be out hunting. Since hunting in general is such a "no brainer" solution, EVERYONE thinks of it- and then everyone will be out there, wiping out the wildlife till there's nothing left to hunt. You have to not only plan for what YOU will do, but also plan around what everyone else will likely do. Who else knows about this lake you mentioned? I'm betting it's not exactly a secret, now is it? You're certainly not the only one thinking fish=food. What happens when a lake is over fished?

I won't go into your weapons choices- there's a line forming for that already, I'm sure, but at least you have some, and recognize the likely needs and uses of them. But really- the BB's??? Unless you plan on loading them into shotgun shells and shooting birds, they are so much useless weight and space in your preps. Unless you plan on a diet of songbirds, they will be useless for hunting unless you DO load them into shotgun shells.

As others have said, welcome to ZS. Read, read, read. Then read some more. And don't EVER ask for an honest opinion here unless you have the thick hide to handle the responses. I'm hoping you don't get your feelings all hurt and leave- you could do well here if you can hang on long enough to catch on.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by none1 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:35 am

CDI wrote:
... snip ....
Power Wise I feel confident that I could live with electricity indefinably. I plan on living out the PAW with the utmost luxury and with my dvd collection.


... snip ....

I need to know if im on the right track or if ive just over did it or if im under equipped. ... snip ....
As folks have mentioned, you need more food, more first aid. But hmm.

There have been a TON of "what's the best thing to have to barter with in the PAW" threads.

Perhaps CDI will be RICH cause he's got electricity? /cough barter town mad max /cough

But seriously, if you're family business is solar power, and you got solar charging units and lots of spare batteries and equipment .... how much would the surrounding folks pay for some electricity? How much would they pay to see a MOVIE? How much better is the defense if you're the only house in town with an eletric perimeter warning system? (these are more questions for the whole forum, not just CDI)

YOU COULD BE THE RICHEST MAN IN THE COUNTY. Um. One question, how many of those M-PRES units are you willing to give me for an extra 14,000 calorie case of ramen if your GF and mom are starving and begging you for food? 2 units? 3? :)

Well, if you gota crew coming over, and don't know how to make bread yet, maybe buy a few MRE meal trays? $10 for 7.5 pounds of premade food can feed a bunch of people ...... http://www.mredepot.com/servlet/the-MRE ... Categories" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Murph » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:35 am

KnightoftheRoc wrote:Also, I'm seeing an awful lot of the ZS crowd making a mistake here- NOT READING THE OP. Everyone's been jumping on the "boss's preps, not yours" bandwagon, and missing where the OP says he works for FAMILY. To be fair, if CDI had identified "the boss" as family more often in his posts, it might have helped with the confusion, but really- he did say that in the very first post.
Whatever assumptions aside... Just because someone is family doesn't mean they're going to magically save your ass in SHTF/PAW/etc. Especially with limited preps and resources.

Just think about the people who can't stand in your extended family. If you can't think of anyone, you're that person for everyone else. :wink:
Does your BOB at least have: water, basic tools, fire, food, first-aid kit, and shelter?
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:38 am

huntingohio wrote:Ive read this whole thread and all i can think is where the fuck is jeriah
I tried to bait him by writing "In before Jeriah writes a 'novel' response." Maybe the lilliputians have him tied down somewhere. I heard he's a ginger giant.

Well, maybe if we bait him some more, he'll show. :)
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by FanaticalModerate » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:09 am

Murph wrote:
KnightoftheRoc wrote:Also, I'm seeing an awful lot of the ZS crowd making a mistake here- NOT READING THE OP. Everyone's been jumping on the "boss's preps, not yours" bandwagon, and missing where the OP says he works for FAMILY. To be fair, if CDI had identified "the boss" as family more often in his posts, it might have helped with the confusion, but really- he did say that in the very first post.
Whatever assumptions aside... Just because someone is family doesn't mean they're going to magically save your ass in SHTF/PAW/etc. Especially with limited preps and resources.

Just think about the people who can't stand in your extended family. If you can't think of anyone, you're that person for everyone else. :wink:
You're absolutely right in stating that families are not perfect, cohesive units.
But I'm not sure where that'd fall on my "so what?" meter. You have to start somewhere.

A certain level (perhaps about 10-50 times more self-sufficiency than the average American citizen?) is wise, but at some point, comrades, teamwork and a civic structure of some sort become a better buttress for long-term security.

I know I'm in a minority here, but I think most of us here over-do the self-sufficiency thing. :shock:

As prepping advocates, we obviously know we need to try to pre-build those associations. And in our mobile, disconnected society, I think that's damn hard for most people (except those that have a church or job superstructure that provides it).

At least the OP is relying on family and on people he says he's been associated with for years. That's a long stride forward - it's harder than just stockpiling things, and its a step where many falter and just turn back to organizing and re-organizing their BoB. :|

Not that I'm defending the hurling of innocent hatchets or the stock-piling of flare guns... :)
PistolPete wrote:Locked, but left here as an example why the PAW will suck beyond imagination. You people can't even get along when there isn't stress and starvation. Imagine what a bunch of raving lunatics you'll be when you have to skip a couple meals and wipe with the Sears catalog.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by the_alias » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:24 am

I know I'm in a minority here, but I think most of us here over-do the self-sufficiency thing. :shock:
Huh really? How many % do you think grow their own food and are off the grid?
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:58 am

I'm figuring that any disasters that are going to be so severe as to knock out water, food and electricity for more than say a month, something really bad has happend on a large monumental scale. I really can't envision a disaster of such scale for of all out nuclear war. Our govt. is quite effective in combat a serious virus or bacteria and they would contain it quickly. Sorry, I don't believe the Left 4 Dead theories. It's a fun game though.
Our assests in the country our very well distributed, that include fuel, food and water.
I think as humans we will figure a way to provide these things within a month or at least a substitute way to provide them. I believe the food and water thing are critical but the electricity, I don't think so. Humans have existed and still exist without it. So big genies and massive fuel stock piles, meh. Eskimos hack it in Alaska without electric heat.
So I'm shooting for 1 year of food and one month of water. Some solar panels and chargers, there, your done. Get a bike for transport. I own lots of guns but I think your good if you have a semi auto pistol of good quality and a good bolt/lever/semi action rifle. Ammo, a couple hundred rounds of ammo for each and sufficient skill to use them.
Not excessive but very practical. Now, if everyone did this we'd look at any disaster and say meh.
My main concern is the freakout the unprepared will have when an artifical disaster such as a crash of the internet.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by HurricaneDad » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:26 am

Sealegs wrote:I would say prep less for war and more for general strife. Make plans for using your skills as trade or alternate income, take some courses in old school farming and maybe butchering.

[...]

The PAW will be more like the 1700s than Mad Max. Just my own guestimate.

You should do a risk assessment of disaster/catastrophy risk and plan contingencies from that.
My best advice (seriously) for getting a clue about surviving well in a "typical" PAW (natural disaster type distruction, power outage, etc) would be to hang out with historical reenactors. These people voluntarily do things "old school" in their spare time. They often practice primitive skills and have the equipment to do it. While they might not have PAW-level preparations and stores, their skills are many and varied. In some aspects, historical reenactors are like the air-soft crowd, meaning they're not really up to surviving PAW. But, they have learned information and skills that lend themselves very well to a PAW-esque situation. Most of them are happy to talk your ears off about their chosen "thing" as well, be it preparing meals over an open fire, making metal tools (ala blacksmithing), making books and paper, or anything else that is period-appropriate.

Check out some Civil War reenactments, "Rendezvous" events or French & Indian war events. Those are my faves at the moment. How do I know so much about the mindset of reenactors? I iz wun.

ETA: About that risk assessment thing, spend the time to reasonably and rationally determine what your most likely 2-5 "disaster" events are. If anything has screwed the pooch in the last 5 years, add that, too. Don't forget to add "long-term unemployment" and "unexpected medical problems" into the mix. After you've made that list, work out the various ways that you could survive comfortably through them and use that as your basis for what's missing in your preps. The NOLA flood wasn't an unexpected event, and neither was the hurricane. Use your region's history as a guide.
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by DannusMaximus » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:11 pm

Kelvar wrote:If I could spare 20% of my income, I'd put it in a 401K.
This is the correct answer, although I might use the 20% to beef up a savings account instead (more liquid that way), or pay down existing debt (if you have any) instead.

Regardless of the question, "Have more money set aside" is frequently the right answer, or at least a large part of it!
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by raptor » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:30 pm

DannusMaximus wrote: Regardless of the question, "Have more money set aside" is frequently the right answer, or at least a large part of it!
It is very rare that this is a wrong answer. In fact I have never run into a situation where this was a wrong answer.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by JTNieman » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:32 pm

raptor wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote: Regardless of the question, "Have more money set aside" is frequently the right answer, or at least a large part of it!
It is very rare that this is a wrong answer. In fact I have never run into a situation where this was a wrong answer.
The only time I've seen that be the wrong answer is when you use the money that was supposed to go to the tax man, to set aside.

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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by Vicarious_Lee » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:38 pm

JamesCannon wrote:
raptor wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote: Regardless of the question, "Have more money set aside" is frequently the right answer, or at least a large part of it!
It is very rare that this is a wrong answer. In fact I have never run into a situation where this was a wrong answer.
The only time I've seen that be the wrong answer is when you use the money that was supposed to go to the tax man, to set aside.
I've said it before: If the answer to your questions isn't either "a hot naked chick", "more money", "something belt-fed", or "Danny Trejo", then you're not asking the right questions.
duodecima wrote:The tinfoil's a clever idea...
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JTNieman
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Re: I need an honest assessment of my preparedness level.

Post by JTNieman » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:47 pm

Vicarious_Lee wrote:
JamesCannon wrote:
raptor wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote: Regardless of the question, "Have more money set aside" is frequently the right answer, or at least a large part of it!
It is very rare that this is a wrong answer. In fact I have never run into a situation where this was a wrong answer.
The only time I've seen that be the wrong answer is when you use the money that was supposed to go to the tax man, to set aside.
I've said it before: If the answer to your questions isn't either "a hot naked chick", "more money", "something belt-fed", or "Danny Trejo", then you're not asking the right questions.
I fully submit to your wisdom!

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