No one really can define what will be the catalyst for The End of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI), but, the opportunity for it to happen is looming over us every second of every day. Different people have different definitions and are preparing for their personal interpretation of when the SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan).
Some of the most common definitions / threats are:
- Solar Flare / Solar Phenomenon / other EMP event(s)
- Civil War / Civil Unrest / Revolution to restore the Constitution
- Terrorist attack of epic proportions
- Expansion of Middle East War – Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and using them on us
- War with Russia or China
- Economic collapse
- Failure of the power grid
- Epidemic / Pandemic
- Natural Disaster – Yellowstone Caldera, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
- Yellowstone Caldera eruption
- Hurricane / Tornado / Earthquake
- Forest / Grass Fire
- Flooding (we’ve had our fair share here in Central Texas this spring).
Surely, whatever your event that has you a little worried and underlies the reason that drove you to read this, there is always the possibility that it will happen. Our unknowns right now are – What and When?
Like most of you, I read a lot, and watch at least an hour of you tube videos a day, and I don’t know whether you tube is directing me there because I did a search once, or whether it truly is the major thinking, but, there seems to be an almost over-emphasis on bugging out.
So, here’s my list of the 25 truths you need to know, consider, and possibly redo your plan.
- You don’t have a plan. Sit down and write it down.
- What is your biggest threat / fear and what are you going to do about it.
- When do you think it will occur?
- To what extent will it affect you?
- What is your best course of action?
- What do you need in order to survive it?
- How large of a budget are you willing to set aside for your solution(s)?
- You’re listening to the wrong people. This is a tough one, I see plenty of you tube videos and read an awful lot of blogs, and some of the stuff they advocate is nonsense. I’ll have to try to temper my next statement since all of my equipment for my Bug Out Bag is new, but, that’s because the one I’ve worked on building since the mid 1960’s was recently stolen out of the back of my car. But, chances are – if the video shows equipment with the label still on it, then the person is trying to impress you with what they’ve bought instead of teach you with what they’ve used. There are a couple of what I call “professional product reviewers” with humongous followings out there and from what I’ve seen their reviews of equipment is pretty much accurate. So, that might be another exception to showing brand new equipment to you. Look for people who have some credible knowledge and / or experience. There are a couple of what I call “professional product reviewers” with humongous followings out there and from what I’ve seen their reviews of equipment is pretty much accurate. So, that might be another exception to showing brand new equipment to you. I really like Lisa Bedford and Scott Kelley along with a host of others – but, look at your source with skepticism until they prove themselves to you before spending money on their advice.
- Prepping costs money. If, you think you’re going to need to be ready for tomorrow, it will take an enormous amount of money. When I am doing training, I have a little cardboard triangle I put upright on the table. I write one word at each apex of the triangle – inexpensive, quick, and good. Reality says you can only have two of those at any one time. If, you want it cheap and quick, it won’t be very high quality. If, you want high quality and inexpensive, it will take some time going to garage sales, looking at Salvation Army, etc. because you’re most likely only going to get those qualities in a used item. If, you want it high quality and quickly – it will cost you – it won’t be inexpensive.
- You’re putting way too much time, effort, energy, and money into your bug out bag and not enough in your hunker down preparations. Yes, all the members of my family have their own bug out bag and yes, I would say that they would place in a competition – maybe not win, but would be among the finalists. But, our bug-out-bags are our last resort. We focus 95% of our effort on what we’ll need here in our home to survive.
- You plan on bugging out to the local state or national park. So is everyone else. It’s going to get extremely crowded there and tensions will be high. Chances for confrontation will be extremely high. And, the marauders will most likely go there looking for you. Yes, there are those whose sole plan for TEOTWAWKI or SHTF is to to go where the preppers will be going, kill you, and steal your gear.
- You should be more afraid of disease than getting shot. A lot of preppers are spending way too much effort on trauma treatment (and without training / knowledge) than on the little infection from that little cut you got trying to do a featherstick. A small wound left untreated is just as dangerous, if not more so, than a trauma wound.
- Trash and human waste will be major killers. This is another version of 4. Did you see the restrooms in the Super Dome after Katrina? Human waste piled up and overflowed into the hallways. This carries numerous diseases. Chances are that you will go for convenient and dig your latrine way too close to your drinking water / food supply and if the waste itself doesn’t get you, the insects which gather for the feast will.
- You haven’t fished, hunted, farmed, or gardened. You’ve bought a Ruger 10/22 or a Mini-14, maybe even a Remington 870 in 12-gauge, but, you’ve never shot anything – to include the purchased firearm and never hunted in your life.
- You think that a couple hooks, some sinkers, bobbers, and a string of internal filament for 550 Para cord will feed your family.
- You think you’ll farm with your heirloom seeds but, haven’t had your first successful crop of radishes. Start a garden now, get the experience in how to grow the foods you are counting on to sustain you later.
- Just having the tools isn’t enough; you need to know how to use them.
- Just having the books isn’t enough, you need to read them and practice what they are teaching.
- You also need to know how to dress your kill or clean your fish or you will kill yourself and your family with foodborne disease. What do you plan to do with that rabbit? IF, you catch one with that snare line you bought to throw in your bug out bag?
- If, you think you’re going to clean and filet a fish with that 14” 3 lb. zombie killing Rambo knife you bought for your bugout bag because it batons woods so well. You might as well drop your stuff off at my house, because you’re going to starve to death.
- You’re buying in bulk to save money. Yes, barbecue beans are cheaper by the ounce in the #10 can you just scored at that super discount store. Bet you didn’t think about how you’re going to store them after you open the can. You either eat all of it within four hours or cool it below 40 degrees or you will die when you go for seconds. You might reconsider and get sizes you and your family can consume entirely in one meal.
- You’re out of shape. You will be under a lot of emotional and physical stress, and your body will have to endure environmental conditions it is not used to, which will cause additional physical distress. Get in shape now. Make sure you add vitamin supplements to your plan. If, you choose to bug out, you will need to have someone doing security all of the time, which means every night will have interrupted sleep when you pull your shift. The more people in your party, the less sleep disruption. If, you’re already physically exhausted and you don’t get the requisite sleep; well, I’ll let you speculate as to the outcome.
- You haven’t taken barter or beggars into consideration. Consider hiding a small cache of items (can of beans, bottle of water, hotel size bar of soap, etc.) in a one gallon zip loc so that when beggars come – and they will – you can direct them to the hidden cache and they won’t have any idea what is inside your house. Some barter items you might want to have on hand – tobacco, liquor, bic lighters, sewing equipment, spice packets (the extra ones you got from the fast food restaurant), etc.
- You haven’t taken equipment maintenance into consideration. You will need a gun cleaning kit and lubricant / rust inhibitor along with a knife sharpening kit, and if you have the preferred 1095 carbon steel for your edged tools, you will need some sort of rust inhibitor (oil) – I even have leather strops in my kits for that ultra-sharp hone. Don’t forget a sewing kit, and, if you’re bugging out, you’ll need a repair kit for your tent, backpack, tarp, sleeping bag, etc. Common garden and maintenance tools will become valuable items.
- There will be casualties. People are going to die, and you won’t have the convenience of a mortuary home. You will have to dispose of the bodies. This is extremely gross to think about, but, you have to make plans on how you will protect your family by disease. How will you respectfully dispose of those who don’t make it through the event?
- You are over dependent upon both electricity and combustible fuels. If, the grid goes down, for just a short period, then that generator will prove a fantastic investment. If, it goes down for the long term, your investment is a very short term convenience.
- If you talk to others about preparedness, they’ll try to get you committed. If, you don’t, you won’t have a community of diverse skills, support, and defense. A real good Twilight Zone episode about this appeared when I was a little younger – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GynHH8bBYJo it’s called “The Shelter”. By talking to others who think you’re a kook, when SHTF, they’ll see you as a savior, be prepared to do what you have to do to keep yourself and your family alive.
- Simple things will have great value. On TEOTWAWKI or SHTF plus 30 days, you won’t believe how much you’ll want just one roll of double ply soft toilet tissue. You’ve been spoiling your behind for decades and will suffer immensely from not having this common item available.
- Everything will be situation dependent; your preparations will lessen the impact, but not control them. If, you focus too much on bugging out, the situation might dictate on hunkering down and vice versa.
- There will be time (not) – both now and in the future. If, you think you’ll have time to sit on the bank of a lake and fish with a hook, line, and sinker, or, if someone offers you a bug out bag with a deck of cards to handle “boredom”, you belong in the twilight zone. Time is something you never get back. When in survival mode every second will be devoted to surviving or resting (sleeping). If, you aren’t hunting, fishing, gathering firewood or water, improving your shelter, weeding your garden, disposing of waste and trash, odds are, you’ll be sleeping.
- Your home is not disaster ready. That Coleman® stove won’t work in your kitchen – it puts off carbon monoxide. Your propane grill – your alternative form of cooking will run out of propane. Your home will be hot in the summer and freezing in the winter. How will you make it more “off the grid” capable?
- The biggest threat to your survival will be the U. S. Government. We’ve had a trend towards an all-powerful central U.S. Government since at least Roosevelt. The current administration is taking that to limits we never imagined, and the limiting powers – the Congress and the Supreme Court are colluding with the Executive Branch to make it happen. Don’t be surprised if you wake up tomorrow morning and your hunting equipment is now illegal, your stored supplies are confiscated for the “good of all”, and your gold and silver are declared illegal to possess.
- Stress will be unbelievable. It will strain the strongest of relationships. Once again, I refer back to that television show made while I was in middle school. Best friends showing racism towards each other, marital relationships will be tested to the max, tempers will flare, emotions will overrule logic, and self preservation instincts will prevail over common decency.
- You will become family / neighbor centric. Without transportation and electronic communications, your immediate family and closest allied neighbors will become your primary concern. Chances are you won’t know what’s happening just 2 – 5 miles away.
- The weakest minded will succumb to alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Likewise, those with chronic ailments (diabetes, heart conditions, hypertension, asthma, COPD, etc.) will succumb to those ailments within weeks after their medications run out.
- The true you and the true “them” will come out. You will discover what is really important to you and what you are capable of to protect what is important to you. Likewise, once your supplies run out, you will discover what else you’re capable of to sustain them.
- You’ve just greatly enhanced your chances of survival by reading this list. The more you educate yourself, the more you prepare, the higher the likelihood that you will make it through whatever circumstance is thrown your way. I wish you the best of luck.
If, you’re interested in finding others just like you to form your own survival community – go to my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/prepperlee send me a private message and let me know where you are (generally, not specifically) and I’ll put you in my data base and let you know of others in your area with your same general mindset.
This post was inspired by a blog by the SurvivalMom read her original postLisa Bedford is one of the blogs I read almost religiously, and I would like to recommend reading everything she writes – subscribe to her blogs