Sometimes we get so consumed with preparedness supplies that we forget that prepping is about more than what you have in your bug out bag, and how much food you have stored. Sometimes we get so focused on the “sexy” parts of prepping (supplies and tools) that we forget about truly important stuff.
All of these tools and supplies for prepping are important, but even the best bug out vehicle in the world is not going to do you much good if it only has a quarter tank of gas, and a top of the line ferro rod is worthless if you can’t get a fire started with it.
There are also times when money is tight, and we have to put off buying that new survival knife for a while. This is a perfect time to focus on the everyday preparedness stuff that we tend to put on the back burner.
In this week’s show Lisa and I talked about some of the smaller areas of preparedness that are just as important (and sometimes more important) than having all these supplies in the first place.
SPP157 Prepping is More Than Bug Out Bags and Food Storage
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Here is the list that Lisa and I put together and talked about in the show. This list is great if money is short, but it’s also important to have these bases covered if you want to be completely prepared.
Inventory & Rotation
Sometimes what you have, and what you think you have are 2 different things. If we are doing it right, and we are using the supplies we have, then we are going to need to replenish those supplies at one point or another.
Supplies can be moved or damaged, food can be eaten without you knowing about it, and quite a few preparedness items come with expiration dates and need to be replaced.
We all have ups and downs when it comes to being prepared. One month we can feel really confident about how prepared we are, and then a month later find ourselves playing catch up because we dropped the ball.
Practicing situational awareness should be something we do on a daily basis, and everywhere we go. Sometimes situational awareness is a simple as paying attention to your surroundings, but looking for something, and knowing what to look for are 2 different things.
Some examples include…
- Looking for exits when you enter a building.
- Scanning your surroundings in a parking lot, and knowing where people are.
- Keeping your head up and not focused on your cell phone.
- Look for people behaving oddly
- Checking your 6 (who’s behind you?)
We also need to practice these skills, because with more practice it gets easier and becomes a habit. This article titled “How to Develop the Situational Awareness of Jason Bourne” goes through the OODA method, and even memory games can help with situational awareness because they force us to pay more attention.
Create Good Habits
Sometimes we can get what I call “prepper burnout” and lose our focus. Other times we can talk ourselves into doing something else just to avoid doing what we should.
The more we do something, the more it becomes something we just do naturally. If we start making it a habit that every Saturday we practice a survival skill, it becomes something he need to do, rather than something we have to do.
Talk to Your Neighbors
This is a hard one for me because I really don’t like putting myself out there, but knowing your neighbors is incredibly important. At the very least we can figure out whether they will be with us, or against us when and if the S hits the fan.
If your neighbor feels like they know you (even just a little) they will be less likely to try and take advantage of you in a bad situation because they know you.
Take them Cookies: It’s human nature that when someone does something for us (no matter how small) we feel obligated to return the favor. While we are not doing this to get something back from them, it could be the difference of them being with us, or against us when the S hits the fan.
The Rule of Obligation, also known as “reciprocity,” states that when others do something for us, we feel a strong need, even a push, to return the favor. Returning the favor rids us of the obligation created by the first good deed. Like the saying goes “one good deed deserves another”
Learn (and Practice) Skills
With the internet today there is literally nothing we can’t learn, and almost no question we can’t get an answer to. Google “how far away is the moon” and see what I mean. While these resources are fantastic, they are worthless unless we apply that knowledge.
In the show we talked about how watching a video about building a survival shelter looks really simple, but when you go out to do it yourself you find out it’s harder than you thought it would be.
It’s really easy to edit out the mistakes in a video, but in real life we don’t have that option. We need to make these mistakes now, and learn the process now, because a SHTF scenario is the time for doing, not learning, and a mistake could mean life or death.
Being Physically Fit
In last week’s show we talked about how the best thing you can do to prevent illness in a SHTF scenario is be as healthy as possible now. Sanitation and public services could be nonexistent, and having a healthy immune system and being physically fit could prevent some of the common illnesses.
This doesn’t mean we need to go to the gym twice a week, it means we need to become “farmer strong” A farmer probably doesn’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but a farmer can work from sun up, to sun down on a daily basis.
Let’s say you have a great bug out bag, with all the bells and whistles, what good is that bug out bag if you can’t walk more than 2 miles?
Setting goals is a great way to keep your preparedness plan on track, creating goals can help us keep our focus and eventually achieve them.
When you are setting goals it’s important not to make all of them too big, or too small. We want some small goals that can be achieved easily, we want some long term goals that will take some work, but stretch goals are the most important.
Stretch goals are goals that are completely attainable, but require some work to get them done. A stretch goal could be getting your long term food storage up to 6 months, or learning the bushcraft skills we see in all those videos.
Download Reading/Learning Material
At the Survivalist Prepper Academy, we are working on a course that goes through creating a preparedness library. Having these files stored is important because most disaster scenarios involve the loss of electricity, meaning no internet.
These files could include SHTF recipes, knot tying or anything you feel would be important to have. If you ever have to say “how did I do that again?” It’s probably something you should download.
These can be digital files, or downloaded and printed out. If these files are downloaded, you will need to have a way to power up your laptop and read them. I have a bunch of digital survival files because I have this solar generator I built in the past.
Planning & Family Discussions
One of the most important aspects of preparedness is making sure everyone is on the same page. Just because WE know how everything needs to go, doesn’t mean everyone else in the family is going to do everything according to plan.
As active as we are these days, the odds of the whole family being in one place is slim, getting everyone in one place could be harder than the actual disaster plan, and should be a plan of its own. The more we discuss these plans, the more likely it is to sink in…especially with teenagers.
In the show we talked about how this can be a challenge for the “lone prepper” when the family is not onboard with prepping. We have this article here that might help with that, and this article about getting children interested in preparedness.
A Few More…
There are a few other things we talked about in the show like keeping always your gas tank half full, storing extra fuel, assessing your property and ways to earn some extra income for prepping.
If you have any ideas about some areas of preparedness that get taken for granted from time to time leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear them.
Also in the Show…
The Contest: First off congratulations to the winners of this month’s contest! And even though this contest was great, the next contest is going to be HUGE! To celebrate the launch of Academy 2.0 I am going to put together 2 grand prizes and a few other prizes as well.
I’ll have more information on this in the next show, so stay tuned…
Academy 2.0: Over the last few weeks I have been working on updating the Survivalist Prepper Academy and building the new website Academy 2.0, and for a limited time we are offering 50% off membership.
This discount is only going to be available until we launch Academy 2.0 and anyone who joins before we launch will have access to the original academy, and the new academy.
Nicky Tompkins says
I like the way you mention using food storage bags, my husband got me one but there are no instructions on how to use it. I wish your tips helps me in it so I could pass on it. Thanks for sharing..!!