Prep’ing to Prep in Six Steps
Ok, so you have decided to prep. First of all, congratulations on taking charge and determining that you are not going to a victim in any situation. If you look at BBC’s Connections Season 1 Episode 1, there is a portion that discusses the people stuck in the subway during the black out. They shared some food and sang some songs but they were just waiting until someone else would come to tell them what to do or help them. What if no one ever comes to help? I expect if no one ever did we might find their bones in that same subway car today. Just for fun look at the short video at :
Most people expect the government to provide emergency services in an emergency but that might not always be the case. Recently we saw the Cajun Navy mobilize to assist people stranded by the flood waters in Louisiana. What did the government do? They set up checkpoints to control access to the flooded areas. In this case, it almost appeared that the government was preventing emergency services (in this case privately organized services) from helping people in need.
On 29 August, the Washington Post ran a story “A Fortress Against Fear” about preppers in the Northwestern US. One prepper was quoted: “I don’t want to be one of the guys waiting for waiting for help.” I think that encapsulates very nicely where we are at: you want to be prepared for the emergency so you can help yourself and don’t have to be completely reliant on others for your existence.
Start with some good prep’ing habits:
We may not have all the conveniences of modern life available in a crisis. What if gas or power are not available? You won’t be able to drive your car to pick up supplies. You may have to gather firewood to heat your shelter and cook food. So now is the time to start some good prep’ing habits and actually make them your recreational hobbies.
Improve your health
⇒Physical fitness: starting a fitness program and sticking to it are foundational to prep’ing. It was Zombieland’s Rule #1 – Cardio! Doesn’t have to be extreme but walking, biking, swimming, and/or weight training will help keep you healthy for when you may need to be in good shape to survive. Being in better shape benefits your mind acuity, your attitude, your self-confidence. We also strongly recommend getting into some sort of martial arts. It really does boost your confidence in all situations, particularly when a fight starts.
Make surviving “fun”
⇒Recreational activities: Think of things you may have to do in a survival situation. Camping, hiking, hunting, fishing. Now is the time to do these things so you get more comfortable with the intricacies of living in the outdoors. A survival situation shouldn’t be the first time you have to build a fire in the rain, field dress a deer, hike several miles with all your heavy gear to a camp site. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to get familiar with your gear and how to pack it (and prioritize what you need to carry with you versus nice to have stuff). And finally, you get used to being outdoors even when the weather is not so pleasant. Each occasion brings new familiarity with the challenges of changes in weather or seasons.
Additionally, you should get in the habit of growing some food items on your property – gardening and if your circumstances allow, maybe you want to raise some animals (chickens are easy to raise). Consider what your schedule allows and your land can support – but this is a simple step that starts making you more self-reliant. We will talk more about homesteading in the other blogs.
Develop Specialized Skills
⇒Medical training: take a basic first aid class and CPR. Many are offered by the Red Cross or at the community center. You definitely want to be able to stop bleeding, splint (and possibly even set) a fracture, give mouth to mouth / CPR. We will be offering some more advanced medical training, hygiene and prevention classes. Getting to know as much as you can on anatomy, physiology, causes and symptoms of diseases will improve your chances of survival. What if there is no hospital nearby? What if you can only talk to a doctor over the phone? While you are likely not to be a doctor, it helps to be familiar with the subject.
⇒Be the Handy Man: not just to encourage you to shop more at Lowe’s or Home Depot, some DIY projects will help you learn about repairing and maintaining systems around the home or your safe haven, or if you have to build something from scratch. While you might not be able to handle every job, having several vocations that you are familiar with will also come in handy when you need to cooperate with other post-apocalyptic survivors – you can barter your skills for things you don’t have or services you can’t perform yourself. My personal ace in the hole is making wine – won’t that be in demand? J J And as you do projects, you will acquire tools that will then be available to you in the future when stores may not be operating.
Enhance your knowledge
⇒Build a reference library – there are some great videos available and if you have a source of power, you would be able to refer to them. But you also need to have access to written materials that you can refer to even if there is no power. See our recommended list on the webpage for some ideas. I am reminded of the character in Niven’s novel Lucifer’s Hammer who spent time preserving and storing reference materials so they would be available to the post disaster (in this case an asteroid strike) survivors. Knowledge is power.
Finish with a plan
⇒Develop your own MAP (Massive Action Plan): what are your current capabilities? What are your desired capabilities? What do you need to do to get to that desired end state?
At Prepper Skills, we have broken down requirements into five categories:
► Sustenance (Water, Food, Cooking)
► Shelter (including power)
► Medical (1st Aid, Prevention, Hygiene)
► Defense (Self-Defense, Weapons, Fortification, and OPSEC)
As you start to consider the 3-3-3-3-3 scenarios: ask yourself, what do I need to survive a 3-hour incident, a 3-day incident, a 3-week, 3-month, or for 3-years? Do you have everything you need in each of those five categories to survive (and thrive) in these scenarios? We will be discussing each of these scenarios in more detail in other articles. Each scenario builds on previous capabilities so you can incrementally improve your survival capability as you progress. It also helps you to start prioritizing what you need to focus on to enhance your ability to survive longer and more complex scenarios. A year’s worth of food does you no good with no ability to collect, purify and store water….
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