Are You A Prepping Addict?
So what is the point of all this? It’s simple really. You can’t do much about macro politics and high impact events other than to prepare for them. But if you allow the paranoia to seep in, you won’t make good decisions. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Unplug for a few minutes and evaluate your micro economy.
If you are able, take a moment and step away from the digital umbilical cord. This will be hard to do for some of us. If you don’t believe me give it a try. Here are a couple of exercises to see how bad you have it. We are going to start small; if we don’t start hyperventilating then we’ll move to the next level.
Try these exercises to measure your addiction:
- Turn off the computer completely, shut off the TV; remove the battery from all the phones in the house. Now just stand there and look at your dead electronics. Did you start twitching?
- Leave your phones at home and take two or more vehicles to a number of the same locations while running errands like we used to do before cell phones. Leave at staggered times and try to meet up at each without communicating once you leave home. Did you feel the helplessness of being unable to communicate and feel the creeping panic that something bad happened?
- Now turn everything back on and spend an hour reading up on world events. Did feel the relief of knowing what’s happening? Were you so concerned about a distant event that you want to impulsively prepare for it rather than check your property for wildfire or flooding risk? (The pandemic is coming you know, it may already be here.) Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Plan mentally then physically
Every construction guy worth his salt knows that you never ever schedule without planning first. It is no different in preparedness.
Plan with enough detail to achieve a goal but not so restrictive that you stall or miss a real opportunity that may present itself in your journey. Over-planning can lead to frustration when things don’t go well, and they won’t go well.
“The best laid plans go to Hell when the first round is fired”
– Grunt wisdom
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”
-General George S. Patton
Be resourceful and ready to adapt to your situation, when things go wrong act with a purpose and commit.
On the other hand, the shotgun approach is not always effective either. By working impulsively you will end up with a plan something akin to Swiss cheese. If you know you are going to Swiss cheese it, make sure you have the skills and resourcefulness to connect the dots. For example, you thought to procure a steel container to boil pond water and a flashlight but you didn’t think to get a dependable fire starter. Do you know how to use a flashlight to make fire to boil your water?
Awareness vs. Preparedness
There is a stark difference between being aware of something and actually planning for it. I find it similar to wandering aimlessly through the forest, you may eventually get you to your destination but most likely you’ll just continue to wander, chasing ghosts, depleting your resources and never really getting anywhere.
Where to go from here
There is a simple process you can use to get on track. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or have been preparing for years. Use the following list of priorities to guide your thinking and most importantly, be honest with yourself. As you ponder the questions attempt to spatially visualize how they connect for a more complete understanding.
- Take stock of your current situation:
- Your current location
- Understand your nearest and most immediate threats:
- Natural hazards
- Man-made hazards,
- People you may know
- Transient populations
- Criminal activity
- Understand distant threats and how they may become immediate threats:
- Oil prices
- Resource interruptions
- Inventory your stocks for basic survival (short, medium then long term):
- Realistically inventory your (and the family’s) skills in the above areas of survival
- Do you have any plans in place? Primary? Contingency?
- Have you actually practiced for any of your contingencies?
- Have you updated your information across the board lately?
Just start somewhere
Don’t try to do it all at once. Define simple achievable goals and build upon them thoughtfully.
As you can see this could be overwhelming and who has time for that. If you start out with some awareness, some knowledge and a goal you will be amazed at how fast you are advancing just by making a few simple life changes. And if that doomsday apocalypse you were worried about ever happens you’ll be ready. If the world doesn’t end you will definitely be ready for that more likely natural disaster that happens hundreds of times in the US every year.
While wondering where to look for quality knowledge and lessons learned, Look to those who have done it. Another appropriate quote from General Patton comes to mind:
“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.”
This sage advice should be foundational thought for all those who seek to prepare for what may confront us in the future, for the future really is the past.