There are many aspects of survival you as a prepper have to take into account when getting your preps together. Things like severity of the situation, duration, money, time, security, OPSEC, food and water storage, first aid, bug-out bags, weapons and ammo, gasoline storage, solar energy, gardening, hunting, communicating, and so forth are all things that come up when planning for a long term SHTF situation.
When you first get started it seems like there’s an overwhelming amount of things that you have to do in order to get “caught up” with others who have been doing it for awhile. But of course you only have a finite supply of money and time and you still have to pay the bills, so your desire to go out and buy everything all at once is suddenly offset by the need to keep the lights on and pay the insurance bill.
Then there’s the uncertainty of exactly what to prep for. Will there be a total off-grid situation come about due to some natural disaster or will it be some kind of economic disaster similar to what Russia went through about fifteen years ago? Obviously these are both dire situations, but a total off-grid event would be the more severe of the two and much more difficult to prepare for.
There are so many factors to think about that your head can literally start swirling around with all the things you “have” to do. For security do you have dogs? Guns? Ammo? Knowledge and skill on how to use them? If not how much does it cost to acquire them? Are there gun ordinances where you live? Do you want to learn how to hunt? Do you have safety locks or gun cabinets if you have kids? Once you’ve got your preps in place do you practice good OPSEC?
Another thing you have to worry about is bugging-out. What happens if you’re forced to leave your home? Do you have 72 hour bug-out bags for your family? Do you have a destination to go to? Do you have a plan? Or if a fireman knocks on your door at 1:00 am saying the flood waters are rising will you be doing the “running around naked trying to get your act together” dance?
Man. There’s so much stuff to wrap your head around it’s almost scary and if you’ve been watching the news lately the scare factor has been bumped up to a 9 out of a possible 10. War in the Middle East. Earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. Rolling blackouts and the possibility of a nuclear melt down. Rising inflation, food, and fuel costs. It really drives home just how vulnerable we are doesn’t it?
I think balance comes by assessing the perceived risks and then preparing for them logically and systematically. For example: I live in Maine and can’t turn around up here without falling in a river, lake or pond, so I don’t store a whole lot of water. I do have a Big Berkey water filter and if I lose running water it’s a simple matter of running across the street to the pond or going out back to my two 55 gallon rain barrels for drinking and wash water. If you live in a dry spot like Arizona or New Mexico you may want to store a lot more water just in case TSHTF.
A deep pantry is something everybody should try to achieve and it’s a great feeling when you can walk into your basement or pantry and know that you’ve got at least thirty days or more of food ready to go.
Some people choose to have lots of guns and ammo and they plan to raid others in order to get their supplies after TEOTWAWKI. No balance. Other than being morally wrong this kind of lifestyle can get you killed awful quick too.
What’s a good balance? Have enough food and water on hand to survive for a month, plus a gun or three. One gun for hunting and one or two for self defense. You don’t need an armory in order to survive, although this is a hotly debated topic on many forums.
If you live in a place where there’s a good chance you’ll have to bug-out have a good plan and a bug-out bag ready to go. Let’s say you live in wildfire country or along a fault line; you’ll probably want to have a kit ready just in case something happens and you have to get out of your home for a couple of days – or longer. Having a bug-out plan, a 72 hour bag, and a vehicle topped off and ready to go is good balance.
Building a small solar energy generator to power a few lights, a laptop, a battery charger, or other small electronics is a good idea. Stocking some gasoline (don’t forget the Sta-bil) is also wise if you have a generator and need to run it a few hours a day.
Have a buck saw with extra blades standing by in case you need to cut wood by hand for your woodstove. You’ll also need the skills and the physical ability to cut wood this way. I did it when I was a kid and it’s hard work, but it’s also great balance.
Each of these topics deserves a post all by itself, but since I’m already up to 900 words or so, consider this an over view. Something to get you thinking about balance in your preparations.
Do you have balance?