Given the latest hurricanes, fires, and threats of nuclear annihilation, I believe that everyone can be a little more prepared when emergencies strike.
There are many different types of prepping and many different types of preppers. What this means is that the way you approach prepping is going to depend on your individual circumstances. For example, a family of four with two kids prepping for a natural disaster is going to have survival requirements that are far different from an individual or couple prepping for a government overthrow (although this may sound like a ridiculous notion at first, Venezuela is a recent and terrifying example of just that). Additionally, the logistics of survival for families with children or elderly family members are much more complicated than logistics for an individual or a couple. Another important thing to consider is that the amount of risk you will be willing to undertake will be different based on whether you have children and family to worry about, for fear of putting loved ones in harms way (this is not to say that prepping and survival are incompatible with having a family, just that the way you prep will be different based on your specific circumstances such as family, age, skill, location etc.). That being said, I hope that you will follow along with this blog, and I hope that I can help provide a guide for creating a survival plan that is useful and unique for all individual situations.
We have already seen in instances like hurricanes, earthquakes and power outages how quickly the societal systems we have come to rely on break down. In Puerto Rico, for example, a large majority of the population is without power (approximately 85% at the time of this article). According to Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico, “Our telecommunications system is partially down. Our energy infrastructure is completely down.” What’s more, it is expected that 95% of power will be restored in December 2017. Restoring energy is a first priority for the government of Puerto Rico right now, and their estimated time of completion is three months from now. Can you imagine how long it will take to restore water service, regular delivery of supplies, medical services, and other necessities that are not their first priority? All of this is happening to U.S. Citizens and even with the backing of the federal government, the timeline for restoring infrastructure is bleak. There have been reports across news outlets that people have resorted to pumping water out of a hazardous-materials site because they have run out of options for water. Hurricane Maria was not a once-in-a-lifetime hurricane, yet it shut down the delivery of supplies, aid, and power for months. It showed that a recurring weather event (think Hurricane Harvey, Jose, Irma, and Maria in 2017), could decimate a U.S. territory, and leave U.S. citizens to fend for themselves for months. This is why everyone needs to have a survival plan in place after taking into account the various catastrophes, big and small, that could befall their individual communities.
It can be difficult to think about all the small things we have come to rely on thanks to modern society. We don’t often think of toilet paper as a “necessity”, but in a shitty situation, running out of toilet paper can quickly make your life difficult. This one small thing may not mean the difference between life and death, but other small things like antibiotics or a wound stitching kit could certainly mean the difference between life and death during a catastrophe.
At the end of the day, you never want to find yourself without something that could save your life, or the life of your family, due to a lack of preparation and planning.
So, what is the prepper mindset?
The prepper mindset is no big secret. Preppers sometimes get a bad rap for being crazy, loner, conspiracy theorists. I want to challenge that image. A prepper is someone who has thought about the situations that may befall and endanger their lives and the lives of their family, and has the answers, supplies, and a plan for every day life questions when shit hits the fan. For example, in a natural disaster, knowing that a hurricane is coming and having a bathtub bladder on hand may mean survival for you and your family, especially if the alternative is having to scramble and buy water in the last minute when supplies are running low. But what if the hurricane decimates your home and your bathtub bladder is useless? These are the logistical challenges I will tackle in this blog so that the answers to them will be second nature in an emergency situation.
Ok, you’ve convinced me to become a prepper. What is the first thing I need to do after reading this blog post to be on my way to becoming a prepper?
The first thing you need to do to be on your way to becoming a prepper is to sit down and think about (preferably jot down) some of the things your family needs to survive. Think about the specific things you will need to plan for based on your location, living situation, and specific needs. Here are some questions you should think about before you start making a specific plan:
- How many people live with you? Are they children or adults? Do you expect more people to join you in an emergency situation (grandparents, siblings, friends)?
- Do you have a meet up plan in case communication goes down and you/your spouse are at work and your children are at school? (There should be a primary and secondary plan where to meet).
- Does anyone in your family take life-sustaining medication?
- Do they need specific items to help them function daily?
- Do they wear glasses/ contacts (having two backup pairs of glasses can mean the difference between life and death for people who need glasses to see)
- Do they need allergy medication/ EPI pens?
- Are they using insulin or oxygen?
Before I end this blog, I suggest that you think about how these three questions apply to your family. Would your children know where to meet up with you if staying at school was no longer safe? Would your spouse know what to do if an emergency struck while both of you were at work and all communications were down? A good place to start is to ask you children or family members what they would do in a hypothetical emergency situation. Then, start working on a plan and discussing it with those in your family unit so that everyone is on the same page if an emergency strikes. In the next few blogs, I will discuss some of the most important supplies and knowledge necessary for survival. You are joining me at the beginning of this blog, and I hope you keep coming back for more survival logistics.