When it comes to preparedness, our main concerns are usually centered around how much we can stockpile, and how long we are prepared for. Most preppers tend to fall short when it comes to long term self-sufficiency.
Having a years’ worth of food stored is great, but what do you do when that runs out? And not many of us have the means or ability to store a years’ worth of water, so what do you do when that runs out?
While most disaster scenarios will not require you to have a years’ worth of water stored, the larger less likely disasters will have far more devastating consequences. Even a depression type event that wouldn’t “devastate” the U.S. could last several years and require some life changes.
SPP276 Long Term Self Sufficiency For Preppers
This week Lisa and I talked about considerations for when the well runs dry so to speak. It’s easy to go out and buy all our preparedness supplies, but what do we do when that options disappears.
Water: Without water, everything else we have done to prepare is worthless. Water storage is fairly simple, but storing the amount you would need long-term is not.
Regardless of how much water we have stored, we will eventually need a long-term sustainable supply. Lakes, rivers, and wells are all great options, but are they available to you?
Gardening & Animals: As with our water storage, at some point our food storage will run out. Our food storage should be used as a buffer to get us by until we can produce our own food.
Gardening & raising animals are great ways to supplement your food storage, but both take time and practice. The time to learn these skills is now, and not in a SHTF scenario.
Bartering: After the dust settles and the most dangerous aspects of a disaster subside, people will begin forming communities and trading supplies and goods. Bartering can (and will) also include bartering your skills.
We may not be able to produce enough food to barter with, but if we teach, repair or lend a helping hand, payment would be in goods rather than paper money.
Food Preservation: Along with the ability to produce your own food, knowing how to preserve it is also important. Some of your meat and your harvested fruits & vegetables will need to be saved for future use.
The most popular method with preppers is canning, but there are a number of options when it comes to preserving and food storage. Dehydrating, smoking, curing meat, and root cellars are other options.
Cooking Options: Something we take for granted (just like running water) is the ability to cook. The first question is when the grid goes down what emergency cooking options do you have? The second question is what will you do when that fuel runs out?
There are not many cooking fuel options when you start talking about long-term situations. The first that comes to mind is wood, and the second is solar cooking. We have an All American Sun Oven and plenty of trees around us, so I’m fairly confident in our ability to cook dinner.
Getting Out of Debt: Something that seems impossible for most people these days is getting out of debt. but for preppers this is a crucial part of preparedness.
Whether it’s a personal doomsday, an economic crisis, or just being financially responsible, the less you owe someone else, the more you have for the important stuff.
Alternative Energy: People have survived thousands of years without electricity, but that doesn’t mean we have to also. We may not have the option to power everything in the house, but we should try to have some options.
Although there are wind turbines and hydro power options, the most realistic option for most people is solar power. The ability to create power when everyone else is without could be a game changer in a survival situation.
Be Prepared to Adjust: As they say “Prepare for worst, and hope for the best”. We can plan and prepare all we want, but the truth is, we just don’t know how things might unfold.
This doesn’t mean stop planning, it means be prepared for that plan to fail. Be prepared to pivot and change course depending on the situations you encounter, and the challenges you face.
Mental Health: In a podcast Lisa and I recently did we talked about how people will become the X Factor. We not only need to worry about the people who might want to do us harm, but we need to consider the people around us, and ourselves.
Each person handles crisis and traumatic events differently, and we need to be aware how that might affect our preparedness plans.
Grid Down Challenge
In the show this week Lisa and I talked about doing a “Grid Down Challenge”. You may have heard about people going the entire weekend without power to test their skills, but our challenge is a little different.
Ours is to see how long you can go without using anything powered by the electric grid for the entire day. This gives you a chance to use some of your preparedness supplies, and also gives you an idea about how things would really be without electricity.
If you have kids in the house it’s also a little less traumatic to them when they only have to spend 1 day without their cell phone.