Many things these days are inevitable. Top on the list is change. I guess Bob Dylan had it right after all. If that does not ring a bell, check him on Google to learn about a true iconic folk singer. Sorry, but I digress. This term I use to open this retort is one I doubt many have seen before. I had not either until recently, but I am a bit of a study of eclectic terminology. Vicissitude is the quality or state of being changeable. It is the natural change or a mutation visible in nature or in human affairs. It is the real world we face every day now.
Prepper’s Mindset of Change
In many respects vicissitude is the mindset we must adapt to when we take on the cloak of survival preparedness. It is all too easy to remain within our comfort zones and I am the first to advocate that. I repel change like a good Gore-Tex rain suit. But then I am a realist as well. I know the world can change with a single missile downing a commercial jetliner over a war zone or thousands of “kids” pouring over our southern border. These are in a sense a mutation of our world security and our own society here in America. We have to acknowledge their impact and our reaction.
At my age I am finally beginning to slow down just enough that I am beginning to recognize the elements of change all around me. Some of these things can be clearly documented as trends. For example the cost of living is one of them. I have been to the grocery store twice this week to buy food essentials for the family. The first trip cost $160 bucks and the second went $146. All that food might last two weeks. Makes one wonder how to stock up for a SHTF doesn’t it?
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My electric bill this month was $279. Last year same month it was under $200. My car insurance and homeowners went up 19% this year in one hit. The 3 percent raise I got in July was already spent due to all the cost of living increases. It is happening to you, too I bet. Prepping gear costs are up too. A thousand rounds of .223/5.56 ammo goes for around $400. Shop around for sure but watch those shipping costs. Before the last election it was $325 in my area. Survival food costs are up. Good, durable outdoors clothing costs an arm and a leg. A good pair of hiking boots can run over $200. I could give a dozen more examples, but I think I make my point. In lieu of all this change, do we slow down our prepping efforts or quit them altogether? Hardly. Actually it is time to gird the loins and jack up our commitments to prep.
Ahead of the Curve
As the world changes around us not only on a global level but next door, down the street, across town, the state and country. Is crime escalating where you live? Is it rampant and infiltrating the suburbs in your town or neighborhood? Are senseless murders on the rise, home invasions, and crash and dash robberies? How close are these events to where you live, work, and the kids go to school?
Have you taken notice that essential supplies and food stuffs are sometimes in short supply? A local national grocery chain sent out a recent weekly sales flyer advertising pineapples for $.99 each. The store never got any. I can sure live without fresh pineapples, but what if it was milk or bread? Well, maybe I’m just overreacting.
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Noticed any power outages lately? Are response times by police and fire stretching out a bit longer these days? Are your doctors easy to get an appointment with and have their fees gone up? Are public school rules more restrictive all the time? Has your work environment changed any in the last year? Now is the proper time to stop to take a look around and keep assessing societal mutations that might create a SHTF event. The point here is that part of prepping is monitoring what is going on around you. In the event a full fledged SHTF should evolve quickly, you will be ready to respond as quickly as necessary.
How do we monitor our world around us? Well, you can check into your favorite survival blogs on a regular basis to see what is going on. Search for some trustworthy news services to listen to on the radio on the way to work or TV news to watch. Yes, I realize that is getting quite difficult to find. Even Fox cannot be completely trusted anymore. Every news service has its own agenda, and it is likely not ours.
Still we listen and watch to balance one against the other to get some measure of what is going on. Scan news magazines and world reports at the newsstand just to see if there is anything interesting. Prepper oriented magazines and current books can shed some light on world trends that might impact our prep planning. Read and study a lot of different information sources from a lot of different backgrounds from economics to politics to social science, and the like.
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Remember the day of 9-11 when you sat at your work desk or home in total disbelief? A major SHTF is going to be like that. An exception can be a weather event when in these days hopefully we get some scientific advanced notice on what to expect. Still people did not evacuate from Katrina or Sandy. They sat and waited and died. When these events occur, you have to immediately become self-reliant.
It would be to the preppers‘ movement credit if we could say that we remained ever vigilant and on the cutting edge of our world’s mutations. Truthfully it is difficult to do, but the changeable, flexible, ever pliable mindset is the one we must cultivate. Sure, we keep prepping, keep practicing, learn new skills, acquire new gear and test it, and watch the world around us. Keep the car full of fuel and know where the keys are. Every day we strive to maintain the vicissitude attitude. That way we win.
All photos by Dr. Woods
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