Routines can be dangerous when lulled into indifference. You know your daily routines like the back of your hand. Most likely you do 90% of the same things the same exact way every day you get out of bed. I bet you are headed to Starbucks right now for another $5 cup of Jo-Jo with a whip. Or rushing to pack your briefcase or purse to pick the kids up at school so you can jump ahead of the long line of buses? I guess we call that life. Some just call it our routines.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
Many might call it a rut. We all have our own ways of being or remaining in a rut. It is what we become accustomed to doing in our day-to-day functions of being. For sure it is a learned behavior and for some it is tough to break the cycle. But changes do come.
A SHTF will break your cycle. It will thrust you out of a rut so fast, you’ll be some time trying to understand the circumstances as to what exactly happened to shake your world. You may never come to terms with it. To review, just go back and look at news reports post-Katrina, post-the New Jersey/New York hurricane, riots in Ferguson, post-terrorist attacks in France, or any other SHTF event natural or unnatural. The impact is immense and long-lasting. There is no routine in disaster of any kind. Maybe we can’t avoid it, but we can sure prepare and train for it.
Victims of Circumstance
When a SHTF event unfolds, if we are near enough to become directly involved then we automatically become a victim of the circumstances. Sure, the houses and businesses on our city block may not be burning, or were not blown away by an F-5 tornado, but we could suffer none-the-less. The impact radius could be a hundred miles out. That’s just an improbable guess on my part. Maybe you can guess better. Maybe not? These are those things we can’t know, until we know.
Services can be lost, essential grids will in all likelihood go down for electric power, municipal water, and natural gas. That likely also means no way to pump gasoline at the local quick stop (are your vehicle fuel tanks full now?). For days, weeks, or maybe longer there will be no food restocking for local stores either if they weren’t burned down or looted already. Police will be busy and it may be a while before state troopers or the National Guard show up to re-establish law and order.
Also Read: The Ideal SHTF Bug Out Team
We could explore further other types of SHTF events but we have only witnessed some small outbreaks of social breakdowns when social recipients don’t get their monthly goodies or other services. We have not seen banks close, Wall Street not reopen on Monday morning or other major commercial or government collapses. Yet! But just remember the minor inconveniences of massive credit card hacking jobs. These are likely to grow in frequency and intensity. All these events could happen and present another whole set of circumstances to which we could become victims as well.
Maintaining Our Own Radar
Ever see the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? A sequence in the movie plot describes a series of events, the specific timing of which resulted in a career ending crash with Benjamin’s lifelong girlfriend walking out into the street only to be hit by a cab. She was a celebrated dancer, but lost her career by breaking her leg in the accident. As they say, “timing is everything.”
The narrator described the unfolding events saying that had any aspect of the series of actions not been delayed by only seconds, the cab would have passed her by on the street minutes before she walked out. She would have missed the whole accident. Of course, there is no control over such events of fate. We may not be able to alter fate or even jump back to the curb in time to miss colliding with a vehicle in the street as in the movie series Final Destination, but we should be able to remain vigilant in keeping up with events happening in our vicinity.
Sometimes preparation for a SHTF is as simple as watching the weather, monitoring news reports, local police radios channels on a scanner receiver unit, or watching world wide news sources via the internet. We may not always be able to interpret world events and their eventual impact on our households, but surely we can observe the projected pathways of a storm coming our way in time to Bug Out or Lock Down.
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If you have not established a “radar screen” and regular methods to keep track of what is going on down the street, in town, state, country, or the globe, then set about becoming more aware. We certainly cannot survive a SHTF by sticking our heads in the sand. That’s a great way to get your tail feathers blown off.
Plan & Practice To Establish SHTF Routines
During any kind of a survival scenario regardless of the type or duration, your everyday life routines will be grossly interrupted. What needs to happen immediately is the establishment of completely new routines designed to help you get through the SHTF as unscathed as possible. These new routines you can develop, devise, plan, hone, and practice well in advance of the real thing.
The real trick is not to wait until it is too late to react and catch yourself thinking or saying, “Boy, I sure wish I had done that before now.” I hope you’ll laugh when I say, “after all that’s why they call all this prepping.” Ultimately the prep is in the practice. “When all is said and done, practice does not make perfect. Practice only makes permanent. If we strive only for meritocracy, that is all we will ever achieve,” stated by Patrick Rogers in the April 2011 issue of SWAT Magazine. It’s an interesting perspective with application to a lot of things, including prepping.
Therefore, we prep, we practice and hopefully this work achieves some measure of permanency that will outlast any SHTF. Sure is nice to think it might anyway. We have to put our trust in something, and that something is ourselves. Sure, put the kids on the school bus the next school day, head to work and finish that report, think about that vacation you want to take, but be prepared if the everyday routine gets derailed and be ready to implement your new routines.