I have always had the question of “What If?” in my head. Ever since I was a boy.
What if all the power went out? What if there was a natural disaster? What if I had to fend for myself, could I survive?
When I discovered the Prepper community, I jumped in with both feet hitting the ground running. With minimal research, I was relying on my Military and Emergency Medical skills to carry me through. While having a strong skill set already, as time passed; I found that I was making some pretty big mistakes in my Preparedness efforts. Ones that could have simply been avoided if I had just slowed down.
1. Start Living Below Your Means Right Now – Become a penny pincher as fast as possible. Coupons are your ally! Don’t go out and just buy all your food and supplies in one fail swoop. Instead, look for ways to lower your bills until you have some money left over for preps. Make a budget and stick to it.
2. Store Plenty of Water – Water is technically more important than food, and you’re going to go through it faster than you think. I know this firsthand. We went 12 days without running water when our pipes froze one winter. We burned through half our stored water in the first 4 days. You can collect your own water and store it in collapsible containers or barrels for long periods of time in your garage or basement. Don’t store water in old milk jugs either. It seems like a good idea at the time, but it could end up being your downfall. It’s hard to wash out all the milk residue which means you could end up with harmful bacteria growing in you water and now you have killed your entire family with infections and dysentery.
3. Don’t Buy Food Your Family Doesn’t Eat – If SHTF, it may seem like having a plethora of food stored is a good idea, and it is. But if you and your family don’t eat what you have you just wasted time and money and storage space. I don’t like Brussel sprouts, nobody in my family does. So why would I buy 50 cans of it for Prep? MRE’s, (Meals Ready to Eat) are a good investment for some. Personally, I have lived off the stuff for years in the Military and have acquired a taste for them. My son on the other hand can’t stand to even look at them. Buy food that your family will eat.
4. Have a Plan for Your Pets – If you have pets, you have three choices: plan on feeding and caring for them, abandon them or euthanize them. It’s a hard fact to swallow, but pets are a luxury. If you can’t take care of them, some hard choices will need to be made. If you care about your pets, be sure to store pet food, water, and other supplies for them. If SHTF and you must bug out, it’s going to be difficult as is; But trying to bring your pet Iguana and his aquarium with you isn’t going to ensure your survival. I hate even writing that, because I personally know how pets can be a part of the family; but it’s the cold hard truth.
5. Don’t Tell Everyone About Your Preps – You never know what a person is truly capable of until they are pushed to extremes. Your best friend in the whole world can quickly become your worst enemy should the issue of survival arise. You don’t want to advertise what you have. I’m not saying don’t trust anyone and become “that crazy doomsday prepper person who lives down the street”. I am saying that you don’t want a gaggle of former neighbors now turned enemy, trying to kick down your door to take what you have. Some people may think I am over reacting here, trust me; I’m not. I have been overseas and seen firsthand how people can turn on each other just for a loaf of bread. Keep your plans within the family and a few trusted individuals.
As always, Stay Safe. Stay Prepared.
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