For those of you who get my emails, you know I focus more on preparedness than any other subject. While I believe strongly in the other topics I write about, preparedness is where my heart is at home. I still strongly believe in self-sufficiency. I believe that personal responsibility and taking care of yourself is the way to live. Preparedness, though, is how I feel the most secure when events happen.
I'm sure you have felt some alarm and that deep down gut feeling that tells you that you need to prepare. Things are not right. They are definitely not right now. Shutdowns and lockdowns were just a taste of what most preppers have been preparing for and were anticipating. This "pandemic" has been a guessing game since the beginning with the powers that be changing the narrative when the "facts" didn't suit them anymore. You can see the encroachment on our freedoms, rights, and liberties. You wonder how far the government can and will take us down the road to ruin.
You still have time to get prepared, but the time to take action is now. You can not wait any longer.
There are several things I want to address in this post. Most of them will be "duh" things, but I always try to write from the viewpoint of a beginning prepper. We are all there at one point and time and some of us need to revisit that time.
In prepping, you want to make sure the basics are covered: food, water, shelter, security, warmth, first-aid/medicine, and communication. Those areas are pretty broad, but you would be lacking if they weren't addressed in one way or another. If you have glaring holes in one of those areas, now is the time to address it while you still have time.
First of all: Friends, please get prepared if you are not already. This world has always experienced one form of chaos or another over the centuries. History has shown us that those who are prepared usually come out ahead. You know what you have experienced over this last year will not be the end of it. There will be more events coming on the horizon. You should be anticipating those events and getting ready for them. If you are sure where to start, you can do a search on my site for any preparedness posts.
The first area I would cover, though, would be food. You can not have too much food. You can go to the grocery store and start your preparedness journey by buying doubles of the shelf-stable items you are already buying.
I don't think we are facing a situation where we will need to bug out, but you may want to think about moving. Large cities are nice and have lots of options for shopping and entertainment. There are also unsafe in times of crisis. Riots kept people in their homes for days if they hadn't been chased out of them by fire or violence. Smaller cities and towns still offer amenities like grocery stores and whatnot without the problems of large cities. If you are considering moving to a rural area, please be prepared for that too. It is a mental adjustment as well as a physical adjustment and a lot of people do not make that adjustment well.
Another consideration of moving to a rural area or a smaller community is the cost of living. Housing is generally cheaper. Jobs may or may not pay better. You may also be able to find a better job in a smaller community. You may save money because you don't have all the amenities close by. Your sense of security may improve in a smaller community.
You need to think about what you would need if you couldn't leave home for one week, two weeks, one month, three months, and longer. How much food would that be? How many supplies (soap, medicine, etc.) would that be? What would you do at home for that long? Even though this might not be a possibility in your mind, this is how you need to think when preparing for a crisis.
Please, do not brag or even mention what you have stored for food, supplies, and water. OPSEC is important and no one outside your very close circle of people should know anything about what you have stored. By talking about your food storage or even bragging about it, you are inviting problems in your house. You also need to keep your family from talking about it too.
Be prepared for extra people. Many people have their food systems and stockpiles so tight that they know exactly how many people can survive from what they have on hand and how long they can survive. That is pretty great, but you need to think about anyone you would shelter if they need it. Most of you will tell me that it will be just your family or you. Are you going to turn away your parents? Your adult kids? A really close friend? Grandparents? You probably will not turn them away so you need to think about being prepared for extra people.
Supply chains will be broken. No system is unbreakable. A fair amount of our food comes from overseas or across the borders. If there are problems in the supply chain, we will not get the food that was to be delivered. What can you do now to address that? You can grow your own food. You can add more to your food storage now. You can add more supplies to your stores. You can be more conscious about where your food comes from and eat locally. You can also eat seasonally which means you won't have strawberries in January unless you preserved them yourself.
What does your financial house look like? Now is not the time to spend like you are a millionaire. You should be paying down debt so you don't have that to worry about when money gets tight. You need to keep building up your emergency funds and your emergency cash supply. You need to look ahead to any expenditures and start saving for them. The money will get tighter and the cost of living has been and is still rising faster than income. Eventually, this current economic situation will crash and you need to be in the best possible position to weather that crash.
What does your health look like? You need your health. Unfortunately, you need to be in good shape or at least tackling the medical issues that you have ignored for a while. I finally addressed my dental health for the first time in forever. I will be spending a lot of money in the next few months on my teeth, but it will be worth it down the road. I am also addressing my weight since I know it will be an issue in the future and I'm not in the shape I want to be in. When your health is poor, life and prepping become harder. You can still take steps now to become healthier. You need to be making the appointments and addressing any major health issues now.
Speaking of health, make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked. As we saw with this pandemic, medical supplies and OTCs medicines were quickly depleted. Whenever there is even a small threat of illness, people will panic purchase as much as they can of those items. Whatever you take on a regular basis should be stockpiled (within reason). You should make a list of vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, OTCs, and anything else you may take for health reasons or sickness. Then you can make a concentrated effort to get a good stockpile for the future. In the same line of thought, if you have prescriptions, make sure you have a good supply on hand. You can ask for a longer refill if your insurance company will allow it. You can try to save some if that will not put your health at risk.
Have you checked to make sure all your equipment works? You hear it all the time on survival shows and in stories. "Well, we had a generator, but when we went to start it, it didn't work" or "I bought a back-up (fill in the blank), took it out of the package, and couldn't get it to work". Your equipment should always be tested and maintained. Your preps will do you no good if you can't use them or don't know how to use them.
Be prepared to be the one to save yourself. With riots, protests, and other situations, sometimes our law enforcement can be too busy to get to everyone when they need help. Our law enforcement may not be able to come to you or answer your call in a timely matter. You need to lock everything up, keep your security tight, and know that you can take care of any problems. You might want to consider having cameras or alarms where you have weak spots or blocked vision. With shortages in certain security supplies, you might want to consider alternative methods of protecting yourself and your property. You will be the last line of defense on your property so you need to defend it as well as you can.
Finally, you need to remove four words from your vocabulary: "That will never happen". I hear it all the time and yet, this last year has proven to us that anything can happen. I would rather be prepared and have nothing happen than to be unprepared and caught unaware. We are experiencing events that have happened in the past, but the information/misinformation has taken a whole new turn with social media and censorship. I would like to say if you can imagine it happening, it is not impossible. However, you should still be realistic. With a pandemic and more going on, several events have and will continue to manifest themselves into happening. Being prepared means you are not going to live in fear of those things happening.
I know this can be a lot to unpack for new preppers. For experienced preppers, maybe we need to be reminded of the basics as well as have a reality check. We all get stuck in ruts and get the idea that we are immune to bad things happening to us. Sometimes we get overconfident about ourselves and think we don't need to get prepared or reassess our preparations. However, we need to think like beginning preppers too.
Thanks for reading,