The 9 Habits Of Highly Effective Preppers

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The focus of prepping is to be a problem-solver. Whether it be to survive economic collapse or live more comfortably during a short-term power outage, prepping is about having solutions. These solutions are geared toward thriving during periods of adversity and being able to adapt to change and capitalize on opportunities that are a result of change. This is best accomplished by those who are effective in their preparedness habits. Author Stephen Covey is known for his series of books that started with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and outlined what effective people have in common that make them that way. The book revolutionized the way that many people looked at their lives and managed their decisions. Preparedness-minded individuals should approach prepping in a highly effective way to avoid pitfalls, bad decisions or apathy and maintain the ability to solve problems for themselves and their loved ones. These are nine habits that can make you a highly effective prepper.

1. Balance Expectation With Reality: It is easy to get excited and start looking at what would be needed to prepare for the Mayan Apocalypse or what you might do if there was a global nuclear war. The reality of life must be balanced with our expectations. It is far more likely that disaster will come in the form of a job loss, loss of a loved one or even a car wreck than many of the end-of-the-world scenarios. Take this realistic approach when making preparations and plans. This will keep you on the right track and will result in having what you need when the time comes.

2. Be Organized: Chaos during times of disaster is inevitable on some scale. Having a system of organization can increase chances of survival. This can be especially true in times where a situation dictates that there may be only a few minutes to grab items and leave.

In addition to having well-organized plans in place, it is important to maintain organization of preparedness items. It will makes things easier to find and can save money by avoiding waste. Rotate stored foods and water. Keep items where they will be needed. Don’t store all of you eggs in one basket. Insure against risk and diversely store your preps.

3. Maintain Fitness: There are three integral areas of fitness that must be maintained by the prepper: physical, spiritual and mental.

Physical fitness is paramount to being able to complete tasks and assist others during difficult times. Regularly participate in activities that will maintain and/or improve your physical fitness. Not only is this important for fitness, individual health will most likely be maintained by an exercise program.

Spiritual fitness is important to helping get through a difficult time or survival situation. The belief in a higher power has pulled many through trying and impossible times. This can be said especially about those who make it through combat experiences. Maintain spiritual fitness by practicing your faith and finding others to share in your practice. We gain strength from one another.

Mental fitness can mean the difference between life and death. Don’t keep things bottled up. Find someone to talk to. Share things that are bothersome to you and become resilient by growing from difficult experiences. It will make things less difficult to work through in the future.

4. Continually Assess Risk: Being an effective prepper involves preparing for the risks that are relevant to you, your loved ones and the area(s) that you live and spend your time in. It might go without saying, but a person who lives in Montana is not likely in a position where he needs to prepare for a hurricane. Conduct an assessment to determine what weather-related risks are native to the area of residence. Look at risks to income such as working seasonally or in a profession where income is not predictable. Determine if there are security concerns that could impact your life. Never stop thinking about what dangers you may face.

5. Steady Wins The Race: If I were to win the lottery, I could safely say that I may be able to be fairly well-prepared in a short amount of time. Even in that scenario, however, it is feasible that I could miss out on some important details. Effective preppers are the ones who dedicate a portion of their time, income or both to ensure that all their bases are covered and that each day, week, month and year that goes by leaves them in a better spot than before.

Make a plan to steadily become more prepared. This could mean focusing on a different area of preparedness every month, or even preparing a list of needed items prioritized by importance or urgency. The top item on the list can be obtained as the means or opportunity becomes available. Pay off debt to get out of the trap of owing others money. If finances are tight, try to barter services or trade for needed preparedness items.

6. Keep Your Head Out Of The Sand: This point somewhat ties into habit No. 4. Assessing risk will make you aware of your surroundings. Don’t be the person who knows bad things might happen and perhaps even has a good idea of what those things are, but chooses to not be aware of when those things are actually happening. Stay up with the news and current events to maintain an awareness of local, regional and national news. This can provide early warning to a bad or avoidable situation.

Not all situations are predictable, though. Keep a weather-alert radio in your home and consider installing a weather-alert app on your smart phone so that you will not be blindsided by dangerous weather. Avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations such as bad neighborhoods or being alone in a dark, empty parking lot using an ATM. If you do find yourself in an unfavorable situation, maintain your awareness of the situation and keep tabs on what other people are doing around you.

7. Always Continue To Learn And Improve: No person is ever done learning, and preppers are no exception. Those who strive to be self-reliant or survive difficult situations are always trying to learn skills to support our lifestyle. Particular focus should be given to skills that increase chances of survival, provide clean water to drink and food to eat, and further remove reliance on systems of support, creation of energy and so on. Look for classes online, at a community college or co-op, or network with others that you share commonalities with and learn from each other. Don’t stop improving your chances of successful survival.

8. Loose Lips Sink Ships: OPSEC, or operational security, is a buzzword in the survival community, but for a good reason. While it is admirable to spread the message of preparedness, it can be counterproductive to share information about specific preparations that are being made, where items are stored or what plans are in place to react to a certain threat. Veteran preppers will avoid showing their hand to avoid a dangerous situation down the road.

9. Take Action: The ninth and final habit of the highly effective prepper is to take action. This is, in my opinion, the most important habit of all. It is easy to become overwhelmed or be unsure and scare ourselves into inaction. Once we arrive in the land of inaction, it is even easier to stay there. It is a comfortable place where I can tell myself that I am not gaining anything but I am not losing anything either. This is great! I am no better but no worse for the wear. Wrong! The old saying “he who hesitates is lost” applies here. It is better to be a prepper of action and have some of what you need, than to be a prepper of inaction and have none of what you need. In fact, I don’t believe the latter can even classify as a prepper. Take action while the opportunity is still available.

The key to making yourself an effective prepper is to put these habits to use, but how will you do that? Most of these habits will have to be developed over time. There are a few steps that can be taken to serve as a catalyst down this path. Make checklists. Schedule routine and ongoing drills or inspections of equipment. Use a budget to pay off debt, spend with purpose and provide for your future, whether it be through the purchase of preparedness items or establishing a lifestyle, savings or investments. Develop the right habits and you can make yourself a highly effective prepper.

–Tom Miller

Personal Liberty

Thomas Miller

lives with his wife and three sons in the Northeastern quadrant of the United States. He has completed countless hours of advanced training in both clinical and trauma medicine and is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician. Tom has also completed several courses in disaster and emergency planning/management as well as hazardous materials handler and transport certification. He graduated with honors from American Military University with an Associate of Arts in Real Estate Studies.Tom is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served with honor as a combat medic on his multiple overseas tours during the Global War on Terror. During his time in the Army, Tom became an expert in the use of several weapons (including long guns, sidearms and improvised weaponry) and obtained competence with many other weapon systems, including foreign firearms. The Army also afforded Tom the opportunity to become proficienct in the driving and operation of several different vehicles from Humvees to heavy trucks and tracked vehicles.If there happens to be any free time available, Tom can be found sharing his passion for fishing with his sons, working on a project in the wood shop, tending to the garden or trying to maintain some resemblance of physical fitness. Tom's other writings can be viewed on his blog, The Prepared Ninja, at www.thepreparedninja.com. If you are on Twitter, Tom can be followed on the handle @preparedninja.

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  • KG

    I would like to know if there is any evidence of ‘preppers’ in Europe before WW2. It would offer a world of knowledge if someone saw the european conflict in the making and prepared for it beforehand. If there were Jewish preppers in Poland in 1939, they would have had at least 5 years worth of provisions. And even then, after Poland was annexed by the Soviet Union, these ‘prepper Jews” would have to suffer years of Communist oppression.

    • Vis Fac

      I remember experiencing some of what my parents discussed regarding that happened during that time in Deutschland. As you know at that time the world was in a deep depression work was scarce no one had money so no one was prepared for what was to come. Germany was covertly militarizing disguising their aircraft as intended civilian and commercial use. The agricultural application for mechanized machinery was a ruse to develop armor and communications were disguised as radio programing upgrades.

      Adolf Hitler; Like ODUMBO was a charismatic madman wanting COMPLETE control of the country using anything possible to to achieve that goal even using economic hardship (sound familiar?) .

      ONLY after Hitler attained control did war on Poland began. Of course there were rumors as we in Bavaria heard of them but like others said this couldn’t be true. WE WERE WRONG most all DUMBOCRITES believing government has their interests are WRONG too.

      In 1939 Blitzkrieg (lightning war) began against Poland and only after did Hitler, without warning began waging a war (extermination campaign) against Jews There was no time to prepare only time to react and survive.
      When it came time for our family (My father) to commit to the party or face execution we fled. We are not Jews but Father was an engineer who whose company provided electronics and guidance systems. It was important we be party members

      The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. Winston Churchill

      You don’t have to be a Marine to make a difference the only requirement is being truly patriotic and the willingness to back it up!!!

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est
      Semper-Fi

    • Charlie

      KG ,,, can you define this Jew , or Jewish thing you write of ??? Per The Bible?? IF? not ,,, you will never know the answers to your questions , until you seek “”Truth”” as The Holy Bible says to do …

      • KG

        G-d’s promise to Abraham

        Genesis 17:7
        King James Version (KJV)
        7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

    • Stuart Shepherd

      Your characteristic smug, sarcastic, and underlying vicious and hateful commentary is really, really, really old. You must be one of the most pathetic people on earth to have nothing better to do but make the kinds of, in some cases, obscene comments you make. I’ll try not to be equally sarcastic and wish YOU had been in the vicinity of the Nazis and on one of their “hit lists” (whichever would have applied- probably gay if you’re not Jewish, which apparently you’re not).

    • Urimas

      Well KG, probably that’s why 6 millions Jews ended up in crematories! If you watch the movie “The piano player” you’ll discover, when Warsaw Jew geto was established by the Nazis, the main concern of a Jews was to get the best living place in the geto, not to take a sail acrross the Baltic to Sweden!
      Some of them did see the writen on the wall and fleed!
      Even if they don’t fit today’s definition of a prepper, they inspired what today we call “The Prepp Movement”, and for your little brain looks so different from the past, because the Jews fleeing from Europe in the late 30′ they still had a safely land where to go: AMERICA!
      Now,the pillaging is happening in your back yard, IN AMERICA! If we cannot hold this place, as the beacon of Liberty, where to Hell we can go?…Tothe Moon?…

  • FreedomFighter

    Video: Nascent Iodine Benefits The Govt Doesn’t Want You to Know AboutGood information here for keeping yourself healthy
    Laus DeoSemper FI

    • Urimas

      I have a better tip for you! Why don’t you try “Colloidal Silver” instead? NASA uses it on any Space flight and on Space Station too! And if you think is some high tech stuff to make, just Google “How to make colloidal silver”! You’ll be amazed how easy is to make…

      • FreedomFighter

        Have a silver generator in my home for several years…a real asset in the fight against illness. I rarely get sick and then not for long.
        Laus Deo
        Semper FI

  • Urimas

    Well, I was almost to dismiss this article as crap, till I reached the points 7 and 8. And at that piont I wish Thomas Miller would elaborate. Not because the previous points don’t matter, but because points 7and 8 ARE THE AXIOM OF A PREPPER! TRY TO LEARN EVERYDAY SOMETHING NEW, AND NEVER BRAG ON WHAT YOU LEARN – JUST DO IT…QUIETLY…
    About being aware of what’s going on by watching the news, I’m really scheptical…as long as mass media is highly manipulated…
    Anf finally the fact that a Montana farmer is very low risk being hit by a huricane, sounds true, and probably is, but exactely as a farmer in Eastern Texas which is hit by a huricane, and loses all his crop from direct hit, so a Montana farmer can be hit by drought, because those huricanes in Texas suck all the humididy from The Plains, and let all states North of Oklahoma bone dry…