Prepping takes time and preparation. This is essential whether you are doing a Bug In at home with family, a few extended family, neighborhood friends, or a Bug Out solo or with a partnership team. Just know that the more numbers you add, the more complicated and difficult things suddenly seem to become. It is inevitable I guess. Either way you will be facing the daunting task of learning, teaching, practicing and perfecting your TTPs or Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. Far be it for me to preach to you guys all the details of that approach, so I will just highlight some priority topics.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog
Look at the Survival Cache site under the books section to get some heavy duty reading materials on the subjects at hand. There is rarely a substitute for building a foundation of basic knowledge regardless of the subject. I have probably quoted this before but this comment by Patrick Rogers in SWAT Magazine just about says it right. “When all is said and done, practice does not make perfect. Practice only makes permanent. If we strive for only for mediocrity that is all we will ever achieve.”
That is the bottom line with survival prepping. We can read all we want. Attend seminars and take courses to expose ourselves to knowledge. Watch all the You-Tubes we can, but if we never try to perform these skills ourselves, then we are just kidding ourselves in the worst way. And I point the same finger at myself with many of these things. We have got to do better.
Do yourself a favor whether a Bug In or Bug Out alone or with others, conduct a SWOT analysis. These are Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The easy way to do this is to use different colored sticky pads for each of the four SWOT concepts. Have your family, group, or team write down ideas on each topic and stick them to the wall or white board under each category. Compile them, consider them, debated them and then prepare for them.
SWOT Analysis is a commonly used management tool for developing teams to work better toward common goals but also to learn more about the challenges you face as a team. It can be a fun process, if you anoint someone with leadership skills to guide the process and control the discussions.
In terms of practicality, I can only imagine how difficult if not actually impossible to train or prep for every possible contingency. You have to take stock of where you live for example and look at the most likely worst threats. Where I live we are subject to tornadoes, and hurricanes. This year is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There will be more. There are tornadoes every year that rip apart entire communities in my home state. What if one hit your house, or mine or the neighborhood down the road knocking out all power for a month?
Where I live I am 60 miles as the crow flies from a nuclear power plant. What if ISIS somehow bombed that or an insurgent slipped in with a suitcase dirty bomb? Impossible you say? Better rethink that line of denial. Am I spending a lot of time on how to recover from a nuclear plant meltdown? Nope. Do I know what I need to do to get ready for the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane? Yep. You have to regionalize your prep plan when it comes to the potential for natural disasters where you live. Then get our TTP priorities in order and initiate action.
Then you can start to concentrate or parallel your prep for unnatural disasters such as an economic collapse, a bank closure, widespread power grid lock down, communications crash, epidemics of all kinds (Dah, like what…..measles?), and other SHTF events that are out of our control except for the survival part. Work to those ends. Heed your SWOT, even if all you do in that regard is one for yourself. You have to know where you stand in your world.
Training the Undesirable Tasks
Do not spend all your training time on the things you like to do or already do well. For example, most of us preppers like guns and shooting. We make a critical error if we dwell on firearms defense and protection to the neglect of many other things. Sure it is important, but if you starve to death or die from weather exposure without shelter, then what have you gained but weapons left to rust.
Stock up your canned goods or dry pack foods. Learn to light a fire in the wind and rain. Get your reserve fuel stocks in order including cooking stove fuels. If you Bug Out, know how to assemble your tent in the dark or by flashlight. Work your “pack and jerk” plan which is to say have supplies ready to go, ready to toss into the pickup bed or SUV at a moment’s notice.
Also Read: You’re a 1000 Miles Away and the SHTF
Don’t just buy a can or bag of survival food. Buy some then prepare it. See firsthand if it is edible or if you spit it out. Can you light that Coleman lantern or replace the mantle screen? Can you sharpen knives, and axes? Have you tried to put a tourniquet on someone? Can you break new ground for a garden, hoe it, and plant it? What would you try to grow? You could actually try that in your backyard this summer.
Maybe a good start to this end would be to make a list of the things you dislike doing the most, then dedicating at least some time to those tasks. Perhaps there is a person on your team or family that might actually enjoy that task. Let them plan for it and lead the practice. Hey, SHTFBlog fans, what are the prepping tasks you hate the most? Tell us in the comments below.
Adverse Conditions Training
Train and practice in good weather and bad. SHTF knows no fair weather birds. In fact many naturally occurring SHTF’s are severe weather incidents. As I look out my office window right now the temperature has dropped 20 degrees in three hours and a winter advisory is out for the evening and tomorrow. How would you like to camp out tonight? It would be a perfect time to test your skills and your will. See, this is just another reason I plan to Bug In.
Related: 1 Pistol, 1 Rifle, & 1 Knife
Suppose right now you lived in Boston and maybe you do. How was that walk to the corner market just to find many items gone from the shelves because restocking was impossible on the impassable roadways? How many times can you dig out the sidewalk or driveway? Are these conditions starting to wear on your psyche? Getting a little edgy are we?
I suppose within nine months we will see a spike in the birth rate in these areas impacted by adverse winter weather. Did your prep plan factor in another child or a first one? Now you have other issues and concerns to deal with. So, don’t just pick the blue sky park days to get outside to execute some of your prep plans. As nasty as it might seem and will be, whether freezing cold or super hot and humid, when a SHTF really does come, the environmental conditions will be real all year long wherever you reside. Know this, prep for it and practice for it.
Plan For Training Then Execute
Neither planning nor training is like reading a book then putting it up on the shelf to collect dust. You may well know how to overhaul that garden tiller motor, but have you done it? A few months ago you bought a new AR for defensive perimeter work and a bright shiny new red dot optic for it. How many rounds have you put through it to date? One box is not nearly enough regardless of the cost of the ammo. Can anybody else in your family or on your team shoot this weapon with reliable accuracy?
Every component and aspect of your prepping plan has to be executed at some point in order for the plan to be effective. Well, there’s a no brainer if I ever heard one. It’s just reality that most of us have longer lists of things to accomplish on our prep plan than we have yet to do. I am with you brothers. You are not alone in the prepper wilderness.
Also Read: Raising A Prepared Kid
For me, I am the best planner, I create impeccable detailed lists, and am a thinker of things to be done. But I am the worst at doing them in a timely manner. My wife on the other hand is a doer, but plans nothing. Whatever she buys she never reads the owner’s manual, while I pour over one for days. She’ll plan a project, have half the tools needed, and always forget some critical phase of the deed. I hope she doesn’t read this. You’d think we would complement each other, but as you know, it doesn’t work that way. Which one of us is it again that is from Mars?
Again, I think the best most prudent approach is an incremental one. We simply cannot do everything at once anyway, though our thought patterns may be able to work and plan that way. If we continue to postpone the inevitable, we are likely to get caught with our pants down around our ankles with Brian Williams there on the chopper flying overhead, but passing us by.
I’ve never had to really survive a tough SHTF yet, but I cannot imagine any part of it being much fun. I had to “survive” nearly a week without air conditioning and electricity from Katrina in August heat. It was grossly unpleasant, but it was only 5 days. What if we had to do endure that for a month, a year, longer? Get your TTPs in order and things will go much easier down the road.