Stockpiling food, water and other items is a great idea. In an emergency situation, having those crucial items could mean the difference between you and your family surviving on your own or having to become dependent on a Federal Emergency Management Agency center, assuming you can get to it on time.
But what if you’re traveling when a crisis occurs? It’s unlikely that you’ll have much of your food and water supply in your car when something like that happens. Or you may find yourself in a situation where you are really on your own and have to deal with the elements that Mother Nature can throw at you.
In addition to food reserves, there are a host of other items that will be incredibly valuable if the supply chain breaks down due to a terrorist attack, a natural disaster or other national emergency. If you wait you could risk never being able to obtain many of these essentials or be forced to prices beyond what you’d ever dream possible.
Stockpiling food is a no-brainer when you are prepping.
Most grocery stores stock less than two days of food, which will quickly get gobbled up when a panic hits. Smart folks who have food and water stored are going to be able to deal with the crisis a lot better than those who don’t.
If you plan to flee and you have time, consider preparing your home to make it as looter-proof as possible before you leave.
You’ve probably seen video or photographs of homes along the coast being prepared for the onslaught of a hurricane. Keep this visual in mind as you begin to make your home looter-proof.
At the end of last month’s article, I mentioned that I recently experienced the “joys” of purchasing the wrong piece of equipment (again). Hopefully, it encouraged you to take a closer look at improving your knowledge concerning the goods and gadgets that you have.
Do you think you know how to use your prepper tools? You might want to practice using them before you actually need them. (Knowing “how” to use them is not the same as actually using them.) If you have food from a particular food storage company, taste it. If you have a particular water filter, prime it and practice using it. For instance, if you have a flint fire starter but “can’t use it to save your life,” then most likely you won’t be able to use it to actually save your life.
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of living the preparedness lifestyle is that there is so much to learn. Pick any subject, and it seems that there are endless “experts” to listen to and hundreds of products to choose from. Once you’ve done your research and purchase your products, you’ll inevitably find someone else whose research landed on different products for different reasons.
As the executive director of Category Five, I am regularly asked questions about what piece of gear I recommend for this or what product I recommend for that; and it always makes me think about my own closets where I have an ever-growing collection of “junk” tools (and even more half-built projects sitting in my garage). Most of these blunders were from my early days of prepping when I thought that all I really needed was a bunch of cool gear and I would be ready for the big crash. Then, after learning more about prepping and practicing with the tools I had, I quickly began to learn that knowledge is infinitely more important than gadgets. Additionally, knowledge greatly improves to efficiency of your gadgets and saves you a lot of money spent on inferior or needless products.
Have you ever tried to encourage someone you know to prepare, only to have them look at you like you have three heads? Or have you started your preparedness journey and only found a sense of guilt about not moving as quickly as you’d like? Or my personal favorite: Do you have family members who joke about not needing to prepare because they have got you to lean on?
Being a lone wolf of preparedness may make you a very capable individual who has the knowledge to survive a potential crisis in the wilderness, but this mindset does not account for 99 percent of the situations that involve living in social context.
While the lone wolves might be ready to disappear into the woods and take on nature, they may not actually be able to survive the darker sides of a chaotic society in a likely crisis situation. For this reason, even though becoming a true “survivalist” is a great goal to shoot for, it is imperative to join like-minded preppers in your area if you want to be ready to deal with the fact that there are other people in our society who will affect your life in a time of crisis.
While three months’ worth of preparedness may seem like a long time, history confirms that it takes a combination of only a few emergencies for things like power, water and health services to be overloaded and run-down for weeks on end.
For instance, New Orleans is still being rebuilt years later, and Japan was still cleaning up their nuclear meltdown more than six months after the tsunami. There’s no telling how long the recovery from Superstorm Sandy will take.
Should a severe snowstorm or forest fire cut you off from the grid, it certainly has the potential to last longer than a week. Thus, as you progress in your preparedness lifestyle, you will want to move beyond a short-term plan.
The adage “practice makes perfect” applies to the prepper as much as it does to anyone. In order to stave off panic in a survival scenario, it’s a good idea to be familiar with your equipment and supplies. It’s also a good idea to get a feel for how your body might react.
If you’re caught in an emergency situation, food may be scarce. And if water is scarce but food is plentiful, laying off the food until water is found will delay the effects of dehydration. So it’s a good idea to get a feel for what it’s like to go without food for a couple of days. Fasting is also a healthful way to eliminate toxins from the body.