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The Prep for Today Podcast
19 minutes | Nov 25, 2017
PFT009: What is Personal Capital and Why I Love It!
Anyone that’s looking to keep a keen eye on their personal finances are in for a real treat with this episode. If you are like me you spend a fair amount of time logging into various websites to monitor and track your financial assets and accounts. If you have ever longed for a centralized tool to aggregate all of your account and transaction data, then here is the tool for you- and it’s a free web-tool, to boot! If you have never heard of Personal Capital, you are in for a real treat! In this episode I will cover what their fee web tool has to offer and how you can use it to manage, track, and plan for your financial future. While tools like Quicken and Mint may be nice for day-to-day transaction tracking, Personal Capital does all that plus so much more- with a heavy emphasis on investments and portfolio management and long and short term goal planning- all the way down to the individual holdings within mutual funds, ETFs, etc. Yes- it is free! I’ve been using it for nearly 10 months and couldn’t be more happy with the product and their continuous improvements to the system. To make things even sweeter, just yesterday they announced a special offer to help grow their user base. They are offering new users of their free platform, along with those who refer them, a free $20 Amazon gift card just for signing up. The link to check this offer out is- https://www.talkable.com/x/hYmyM7 Note: I am not a financial adviser, nor am I trying to sell anything- I’m just sharing a resource that I found useful. I was working on this podcast before they even offered the $20 gift card. I use this myself and want to share it with my audience. Tools like this help immensely when it comes to goal planning and tracking incoming and outgoing cashflow. All the best, Steve. If you like our podcast consider subscribing for update (link on the right) and adding the PrepForToday podcast your favorite Podcast application.
28 minutes | Aug 12, 2013
PFT008: An Agile Approach to Prepping
Today we’ll expand on the basics of Scrum- a flavor of Agile project management and how it can help us achieve more in less time. Not restricted to our personal preparedness needs- – use individually – Immediate family (household), or extended family (family or community) – Business continuity and disaster preparedness Scrum Theory- founded on empirical process control theory- empiricism – Knowledge comes from experience Making decisions based on what’s known – Iterative/incremental approach- optimizes predictability and controls risk Transparency- significant aspects must be visible to those responsible to the outcome – Ex- what does done mean? Inspection- – Progress towards the goals and scrum artifacts must be inspected through the sprint Adaptation- look for deviation- outside of acceptable limits – If new items are identified- capture them and add to the backlog Formal opportunities for inspection/adaptation- – Sprint planning meeting – Daily Scrum – Sprint Review – Sprint Retrospective – Serves as a continuous feedback loop- needs/changes/relevance is continuously being groomed/refined. Scrum Team- – Product Owner- Person responsible for maximizing the value of the product- responsible for the backlog Sets priorities of the backlog Ensures value of work that the team will do Ensures everyone understands the backlog Development team Self-organizing team who do the work in the increments Scrum Master Servant leader- serves the team Product Owner Clearly communicates vision, goals, and product backlog items to the team Teaches the team to create clear and concise product backlog items Facilitates scrum events as needed or requested Team Removes impediments so the team can progress as smoothly and quickly as possible Organization Leading the organization with it’s adoption of Scrum Help employees and the stakeholders understand and undertake scrum and agile processes Scrum events- Sprint- Time boxed No more than one month Begins immediately after the previous sprint’s conclusion No changes are made that would affect the sprint’s goals Clearly defined- what will be achieved in this sprint/timeframe Sprint planning meeting- What will/can be delivered in this increment? This defines the sprint’s items! How will the work needed be delivered? Daily Scrum/Daily standup- Daily update meeting No more than 15minutes Not an update meeting! Each person answers- three questions- What did you work on yesterday (or since the last meeting)? What will you work on today? What obstacles (impediments) are in your way? Sprint Review- Held at the end of the sprint- Reviews what has been done? What is not done? What went well? What problems emerged and how can they be avoided/addressed? Review outstanding backlog Group collaboration on what to do in the next sprint (basis for next Sprint Planning Meeting) Sprint Retrospective- How did the last sprint go- in regards to people, processes, relationships, and tools? Identify what went well- what didn’t, and potential ways to improve. More team-based, than task based (as in the sprint review) Scrum Artifacts- Project backlog Never complete- everything doesn’t need to be identified from the beginning- like waterfall Initially, only basic info needed- description, order, and estimate (effort) Gets groomed by team- flush out needs/concerns/impact/etc. Sprint backlog Items that were assigned/committed to the given sprint Show Resources- http://facebook.com/prepfortoday http://twitter.com/prepfortoday The Scrum Field Guide- One the best books I’ve found on Implementing Scrum The Scrum Guide- A nice overview of Scrum
12 minutes | Aug 4, 2013
PFT 007: ProjectBasedPrepping
Project Based Prepping Today we’ll go over a couple of the most common project management methodologies and what is probably the most common approach used for prepping. The most common? Shotgun approach- Chaos- first to mind, first to action, think of it-do it, let opportunity fly Good approach, but risky Potentially shortsighted- hasty decisions Inefficient- constantly changing what’s being worked on Can cost money and time which could be better spent Waterfall Methodology One of the most popular/ traditional methodologies Requirements based- up front analysis feeds into detailed project plan Weaknesses- plan way ahead, trying to account for everything right from the start Risk- one thing goes off target, the whole timeline and budget can be blown Planned items can become obsolete/ no longer needed urgent items may be missed when they are needed Agile/Scrum Much more nimble Build a backlog of items User Stories define what’s needed, not what to do As a user, I need… The tasks define what gets done to complete the user story User Story examples- … to have three months of shelf-stable food storage… … to produce 10% of my food from the garden… …to ensure I have enough propane on hand for… … to have 30 days of potable water stored for our household… …to have proper power backup for the furnace to run for 14 days in the winter… … to have a fire-emergency plan capable of addressing common fire scenarios … have $???? in liquid- emergency cash Etc. Plan time-blocked iterations (sprints) Add backlog items to sprints Re-prioritize backlog at the start of every sprint Benefit- only work on current sprint If it’s too big for the sprint- break it up across sprints Don’t all need to be in the same sprint Different priorities at different times of year Personal preference- Agile/Scrum approach – Constantly refining – Identify missing, add as new backlog items – Needs change- add to backlog – Backlog item becomes obsolete- remove it Show Links- – Find us on Facebook- http://facebook.com/prepfortoday – Find us on iTunes- The Prep For Today Podcast – Subscribe! Get spam-free notification emails when new episodes are posted
17 minutes | Jul 27, 2013
PFT 006: Home Garden Seed Bank
Building Your Own Home Seed Bank- In this episode we discuss the value and benefits of having own seed bank and why it’s advantageous to store your own veggie and flower seeds. Points covered include: Why bother saving seeds? Convenience Ensuring availability Opportunity to share/trade Getting started- Where do you get your seeds? Self-harvested Retail stores Seed catalogs Friends and family Seed exchanges What’s the difference between… Wild harvest Self-harvested Heirloom Hybid GMO Storing and Taking inventory Create an inventory spreadsheet- so you know what you have in your bank Eases sharing and trading with friends and family Keeping them organized and safe Storing in wide-mouth mason jars Snap-lock totes Good-ol’ shoeboxes Show Links- – Glenn Fink– The man behind our intro music – My video on Harvesting Red Russian Kale Seed – Heirloom Seed Swap – a great site for trading seeds for free – Subscribe! Get spam-free notification emails when new episodes are posted
12 minutes | Jul 14, 2012
PFT 005: 12 Important Phone Numbers to Program in Your Cell Phone
12 Important numbers to keep in your cellphone, car, or little black book In any emergency time will be of the essence, especially when you need to reach one of these people. In this episode we review twelve numbers your will want to be sure to keep handy. 1.) local police non-emergency number 2.) local county non -emergency number 3.) veterinarian number (include after hours number if different) plus Vet ER 4.) insurance company claim line (auto and home) 5.) tree service company (or two) 6.) family lawyer 7.) plumber 8.) electrician 9.) volunteer fire/ems 10.) Local taxi service 11. ) Handyman 12.) Roofer Bonus credit card company/bank 800 number (for loss/fraud) — Have some suggestions for more critical numbers that you keep handy? Please leave a comment and tell us what you think.
12 minutes | Mar 6, 2012
PFT004: Growing Salad Greens in Containers
PrepForToday Ep4 Today we will review the benefits of and how to create your very own salad green containers. Not only are they quick and easy to assemble, they make a great prep as a food production system and provide a steady supply of fresh greens at a fraction of the cost of those store bought salad blends. Salad Green Container- Ready to begin harvesting Outline of topics covered- Benefits – Quality – Cost – Convenience – Control (inputs) – Safety Inputs – Container Window Box w/ watering tray Good Quality Growing Medium Seeds (loose leaf salad blends) – Growing Environment Warm Light- critical – Water- non chlorinated (or let it sit out for a day or two) Assembling – Container Drill drain holes Fill container (within 1-2 inches from top) Water soil Sprinkle seeds (like grass seed) Tamp seeds with hand to ensure good contact (carefully) Wet with spray bottle a couple of days, until seeds germinate Care – Germination Keep top damp Spray bottle- avoid watering w/ can (washes seeds into a corner) Water from bottom once germination starts Keep close to good light (for 16hrs a day)- use timer, if possible – Growing Water weekly from bottom Provide natural sunlight whenever possible Harvesting After 4 inches tall Harvest in sections (usually 1/3 to ½ of container at a time). Cut flush to top of container (leaving at least 1-1 ½ inches of growth for regrowth (careful not to pull out of soil) Overseed if too thin Rinse, dry and enjoy Succession plantings Being new containers every few 2-3 weeks, to ensure a continuous supply — Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to receive spam free updates when new episodes are posted. I have a long list of new topics I’ll be recording and publishing in the days and weeks to come. If you have a comment or suggestion about how we can make this podcast better, or to provide suggestions for future episodes, please send me a PFT-Comment.
12 minutes | Nov 10, 2011
PFT 003: Household Power Backup Options
In this episode I review our 2008 power outage, how we managed, and why we chose our current backup solution for our current house.
10 minutes | Aug 30, 2011
PFT 002: Life Saving Emergency Weather Radios
5 Things to Look For When Choosing An Emergency Weather Radio It seems like every time we turn around there’s a new stream of weather emergencies unfolding. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world Mother Nature is always working hard to keep it interesting. To help us be more prepared for these often unpredictable weather events it’s critical that we have an early warning system in our homes. This is especially critical while we are asleep. One of the simplest ways to help fulfill this need is to choose a good quality emergency weather radio. Here are five key features to look for when researching your emergency weather radio’s features. Photo Courtesy of NSSL 1.) S.A.M.E TECHNOLOGY- LOCALIZED RECEPTION- This enables you to configure your radio for your specific and/or surrounding counties. Programming the weather radio for your local area helps prevent unwanted alerts from non-relevant areas. You don’t want to be awaken in the middle of the night for something that’s not heading your way. 2.) ALL HAZARD ALERTS- there’s more than just weather emergencies and disasters that impact us. “All Hazard Alerts” include events like Amber Alerts, Nuclear Power Plant Warnings, Biological Hazard Warnings, Civil Emergency Messages, and Fire and Landslide warnings. 3.) All 7 NOAA Weather Bands, and Canada Weather Channels for our friends in Canada and the northern states. These weather bands aren’t just for emergencies. These weather stations provide you with your local weather’s current conditions and forecasts, 24-hours a day, not just when there’s a looming emergency. 4.) MULTIPLE POWER SOURCES- AC and battery at the minimum. Some models have hand cranks and/or solar panels. An “AC only” unit won’t do much good if the power goes out. A battery backup solution is a requirement, not an option. 5.) ANTENNA- This may seem like a strange item to be in the top-5 but the larger the antenna the better the potential reception your radio will have, especially if you are in a basement or internal room. In addition to the Top-5, there are several ‘notables that are worth mentioning, the non critical niceties. Some of the better units on the market will provide features like alarm clocks with a snooze feature, multiple alert methods- (voice, display, and alert), USB charging ports, Public Alert capabilities, etc. Some are even built into regular alarm clocks. Photo Courtesy of NSSL Photo courtesy of NSSL There are many great units on the market that fit a wide assortment of needs- home based units, hand-held and portables, emergency-crank, marine grade radios, etc. For our basic needs we chose the Midland WR-120 Emergency Weather Radio With Alarm Clock. We found that this unit filled all of our needs at a very reasonable price. It’s been a great unit and comes highly recommended by me. If you have been thinking about getting an emergency weather radio, don’t wait any longer- do it now! You owe it to yourself and your family. After all, your safety and well-being can depend on it!
5 minutes | Aug 28, 2011
PFT 001: Introduction
Episode 1- Introduction This introductory episode of the PrepForToday podcast provides some objectives for the podcast and a brief introduction of myself. The primary objective for this blog and podcast is to deliver valuable information and resources that can help you better prepare for many of life’s emergencies. Life’s emergencies come in all shapes, sizes, and frequencies. By educating ourselves on a wide range of topics ahead of a disaster, we can often handle the aftermath of the disaster more effectively and with less stress, often times with reduced cost in time and resources. The blog posts and podcasts will cover a wide range of topics. We’ll be covering the core preparedness topics like food, shelter, energy, health, well-being, and financial preparedness. Not to mention the disaster recovery and hazard preparedness- both naturally occurring and man-made. Realizing that disasters aren’t limited to our home lives, we will also have topics dedicated to our businesses and organizations. For starters, these topics will include developing some business continuity strategies and business-specific disaster preparedness and mitigation plans. With all of these great topics on the horizon, there are other topic areas we will intentionally stay away from. Politics, religion, and conspiracy theories. Everybody has their own opinions and beliefs and I respect that. These topics are well covered in plenty of other places. By now you may be asking “who is Steve White and what does he know about disaster recovery and preparedness?”. Well, I’m Steve White. I am a certified Project Manager specializing in Information Technology, Finance, and Business process. I have over fifteen years of project management and business leadership experience, including new business development. My primary areas of focus are Process Design, Process Improvement, System Design, System Implementation, Risk Mitigation, and Disaster Recovery Planning. I have been personally practicing preparedness planning and disaster recovery mitigation for more than twenty years. The combination of my professional and personal experience, plus my preparedness theories, which I’ll be outing in future episodes and blog posts, helps lay the foundation for this podcast and blog. There’s plenty of great information on the way. If you have not already, please subscribe to the blog and to the podcast in iTunes. Thank you, steve. Please leave a comment or email me at steve (at) prepfortoday.com with any questions, suggestions, or feedback. Your input helps improve this resource for everybody. ### Epi-0001-PrepForToday-Intro.mp3
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