The writing is on the wall; be prepared
There are many television shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and “Doomsday Castle” that tend to display examples of people preparing for extreme scenarios. Scenarios that are often so extreme that even most preppers think they are extreme. The typical response to these scenarios by the average person is that preppers are crazy and that there is no practical application for preparedness. I can tell you this is not the case, but I guess the news would be boring if the stories of preparedness were logical and reinforced the need to be prepared. Regardless of how you feel, there are many signs that indicate the practicality of being prepared for a variety of scenarios from natural disaster to job loss to government collapse. Some of these signs we are seeing today. It is almost as if the writing on the wall is telling us that we are in store for some tough times.
Last year, there was great controversy around the shooting of a black teen by a white police officer that led to rioting and protests that lasted for weeks. Then, after a few months of hearing almost nothing, two police officers were shot amid a protest in Ferguson, Missouri, last week while another racially charged situation developed as the result of another police shooting in Wisconsin. Who knows if things will get better or worse, but I am almost willing to guarantee that there were many residents who wish they had been better prepared to deal with the dangers of such protests and the inherent risk of leaving home in the middle of this. I can’t tell you if these events led anyone to stock up on food and water, but there was a great increase in the purchase of firearms.
There are other recent incidents that have happened and lend credibility to the practice of prepping in one form or another:
•Reports out of Venezuela outline a plan by the Venezuelan government to install fingerprint scanners in grocery stores to prevent the stockpiling of food. This has become a concern because of the plummeting value of their currency and the low prices of oil.
•The recent attempt by the federal government to ban the popular M855 ammunition for the AR-15 series of rifles, a move that was aimed at ensuring the safety of law enforcement officers. Ironically, M855 ammunition has never been used in the murder of a law enforcement officer.
•Our power grid has been deemed susceptible enough to going down that Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) proposed legislation to provide better security for our fragile infrastructure. This threat is real enough that NASA is scheduled to launch a two-year study of the magnetosphere to assess the nature of its threat to the power grid.
•Our European friends (whom we are following closely but are about 20 years behind) have expressed an interest in having a closed-circuit television camera in each and every home in the United Kingdom.
All of these events that are happening seem to justify the effort and expense of prepping and support the aforementioned writing on the wall. Looking at what is happening all around us, there is definitely greater risk associated with not being prepared for a disaster than there is being prepared for one. Some of the steps that you should seriously consider implementing at the soonest opportunity include establishing food and water stores, implementing a security plan, being prepared for a medical emergency, and having a plan to get out.
Establish food and water stores
The most basic action that can be taken by anyone wishing to be better prepared for a disaster, storing food and water is the most logical place to start prepping. Without food and water, a person will not survive anything for very long. It is no secret that wars have been fought over food and water. Having a stockpile of these goods will also help prevent any need to scan your fingerprint at the grocery store in Venezuela!
When establishing your food and water storage, there are a couple of key things to keep in mind:
•Try to have at least seven days’ worth of food and water stored and build it up from there. The more, the merrier.
•A day’s supply of food should be 2,000 calories for the average adult.
•A day’s supply of water should be at least one gallon of water for drinking and cooking. If water for hygiene is a concern, storing another gallon of water for each person will allow bare minimum hygiene practices to be followed.
•Track appropriate expiration dates and have a plan to rotate and replace items as needed.
When getting started with storing food, focus on shelf-stable items that are canned and will not expire for at least a year. As your storage supply is expanded, look at diversifying your stores into dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.
Implement a security plan
Disasters often bring chaos and fear with them. Because these can be such scary times, they will often lead people to do things that they might not ordinarily consider doing. This makes security a vital function of preparedness. Security considerations should include:
•What weapons do you have that can be used to ensure your security?
•Are you trained to use these weapons proficiently?
•Do you know how to clean and maintain these weapons?
•Can you perform basic repairs on your weapons, and do you have the parts and tools needed to make these repairs?
•How much ammunition do you have?
•Are your weapons of a common caliber that make it easier to find more ammunition for them?
•Be familiar with who your neighbors are and what skills they may have that could be useful in securing your neighborhood.
•Knowing who and what are around you. Are there key targets around you that someone may wish to strike in a moment of vulnerability? Are these targets something that you may need to take advantage of to help ensure your own security or to prevent a greater risk to your security?
Regardless of the real or perceived risks to your security, it is imperative to have the weapons, training and planning in place to ensure that security is maintained and that your property and loved ones are protected.
Be prepared for a medical emergency
When disaster strikes, medical emergencies are bound to happen. Injury can result from a deliberate attack, a stray bullet, being hit by a falling object or getting cut by broken glass; having a medical kit and training is a must.
Here are some basic considerations for being ready for a medical emergency:
•Is your medical kit geared toward illness, injury or both? (Your medical kit will ideally be capable of treating both injuries and illnesses.)
•How close is your nearest medical treatment facility?
•If your closest medical treatment facility is not available, where will you go or what will you do?
•Prescription medicines are relied on to sustain life more and more these days; do you have all of the medication that you need?
Each person’s health will dictate some of the preparations that need to be made from a medical aspect, but even the healthiest person should be ready to treat the basics. You may not need medical treatment; but you may have a friend, neighbor or loved one who does.
Have a plan to get out
Sometimes, things get so bad that the best decision is the decision to leave and go somewhere away from the madness. There are even times when you may not have a choice in the matter. This dictates the need to have a plan to get out. Typical evacuation considerations include:
•Determine primary, secondary and tertiary routes that can be taken. These should offer options that can be taken in three different directions as a way to circumnavigate threats.
•Do you have a load plan for your vehicle?
•What is included in your load plan?
•If you can’t make it home or load your gear, do you at least have a car kit that can sustain life for two or three days?
•Do you have cash available to cover expenses along the way? This is especially important if the power is out and credit card machines are not working.
In most cases, the option of leaving the safety and security of home should be a last resort. Even if you do feel like you will stay no matter what, the need to leave may come. Look at historical experiences like Hurricane Katrina. Remember what happened to those who chose not to evacuate? It was a bad deal!
There is never a guarantee that things will go bad, but it does seem like it is more likely to happen in today’s world than a sudden outbreak of world peace. Whether you consider these possibilities happening to you or not, you will likely not have the chance to put anything together once it is already too late. Take a look at the writing on the wall and take the steps necessary to ensure your future survival today while it is still both practical and easy to do.