Just a start, but here is the official govt preparation guidelines…I will be adding more soon, as these do not go far enough, in my opinion.
The recent record winter storms and the on the ground reports from various blogs I read (pssst, over here, to the right —–>) and my FB friends, mostly from Minnesota where I grew up, have motivated me to start working on the “Prepping” page here. This will be the first entry, and I will append future entries and other readers’ tips and thoughts (so sent them in).
So why prepare for unforeseen future events?
I have the Boy Scout motto ingrained in my head, “Be Prepared”.
I grew up in Minnesota with the “Car Survival Kit” for winter driving (not sure if this is encouraged anymore, with the new AWD technologies and ads that show a compact car passing a snowplow in between 15 foot snow banks, though you are not supposed to notice the small print disclaimer that its a professional driver on a closed road, but who needs preparedness when the marketers tell you your car can kick a snowplows ass?…). I went to school in Montana, and my first wife’s parents lived in Wyoming, so I made many a trip across the vast, dangerous, “fly-over country” in winter between the Rockies and Minnesota. Blizzards and black ice are common, so the likelihood of having to sit in a ditch in the weeds and wait for someone to notice you is substantially higher.
I lived in SoCal, popular earthquake central, where an earthquake can rupture power, water, sewer, roads, bridges, and NatGas lines…no heat, cooking, toilet, bathing, internet, lights, escape, food. Plus you have zillions of people there packed in close together who are not used to inconvenience….
9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew, the Blizzard of 2011, crop failures in Russia, crop failures in Canada and the Red River Valley, “the times they are a’changing” Bob Dylan sang.
Oh, and the government recommends it as well (despite the “see/say” Walmart campaign, and various publications to the “Fusion Centers” by DHS). Here are their recommendations: FEMA PLAN AND PREPARE. So even the government would like us to be prepared. I personally think prepping for a 72 hour emergency falls way short, but it’s better than nothing.
Many people think of prepping as a throwback to the Y2K survivalists…I was there on Jan 1st, 2000, on call as a computer geek should be, and nothing, nada, zilch. Are/were the survivalists wrong? Not necessarily. I have put a lot of thought into this difference between full-on off the grid “survivalists”, hunkered down alone out somewhere, and common “prepping”.
As much as the “go it alone” mindset can appeal to me (especially on my more misanthropic days), I have concluded that “community” is more realistic…no one has the “all and everything” to go it alone anymore, imho. Though many can actually do it, wouldn’t responsibility distribution be more efficient? Whoever is more skilled in something takes that role on (hope to have some farmers and ranchers in the bunch, they have practiced doing everything since forever…). And we humans tend to be social animals and like to help/interact with others.
So, where to begin? Start at the FEMA site. Then prioritize based on your needs and location. If you are in hurricane zones, getting away may be your best, first consideration…earthquake zone, maybe in situ will be most realistic. Urban vs. rural vs. sub(ex)urbia.
Also keep in mind the needs hierarchy: Water, Shelter, Food, Energy (heat, cooking), Communications, Tribes (your hierarchy may vary, this is mine).
For example, food storage, many online sources of info, such as: LDS Food Calculator (they have persecution and hardship in living memory). I am not LDS, but I won’t quibble with a good ideas’ source.
One way to efficiently and cost-effectively reach self-sufficiency is to align your “hobbies” with “prepping”…George Ure had a nice piece on this in his subscribers area this weekend HERE (urbansurvival.com).
I am blessed in this area.
Hobbies, in no particular order:
computers (including long gone old-school communications tech)
former chef/perpetual “foodie”
CBT counselor (cognitive behavioral therapy)
non-pro massage/shiatzu therapist
…(things I haven’t thought of…)
The point of that list is to demonstrate that ANY activity, knowledge, expenditure, learning, experience in those areas enhances, by default, my prep needs hierarchy goals, and I get to practice them in real-time. And I get to enjoy it right here, right now. There are lots of “things” to get into…for example, Tommy over at Freedom Guerrilla is into metalworking, photography, videography, etc., among other things…the possibilities are vast, direct yourself thoughtfully and get two or more birds with one “stone”.
So, what’s in YOUR non-job hobby list? What did you used to do for fun and enjoyment before your “career” and bills took over your(our) life? Can you, would you, will you?
As people have been finding out everywhere lately it seems, things may NOT be as they always have been, whether in the Southwest, Northeast, Midwest, China, Egypt, Ireland, Iceland, England, etc…maybe it’s time to spend some mental effort “out there”. Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents lived prepping for things unknown, and known, as we humans have done for thousands of years, by default and as normally as getting a triple latte at Starbucks is for us today. Can’t hurt, can it?
From Tommy over at Freedom Guerrilla, some comments related to prepping, most important, the “spouse” question…
The funny thing about NYC is that everybody really should be doing more prepper activity yet it’s the people who live in less vulnerable places that tend to be more active in this area. Go figure.
But Rawles’ newest book is a comprehensive source. I recently put up a good bit of food stores which has proven tremendously handy in years/months past. Since we eat food, this is equivalent to a savings account for us.
My wife is straight up paranoid, which is great fun. I know some couples/families struggle when there is one “believer” and one crazy person (you decide which is which).
Yes, the relationship dynamics must be considered, some do not WANT to see, and thus WILL NOT…the grocery store has always been there, and will always be there…with food on the shelves even…