You know the old saying, “There is no time like the present.” I guess few other things could be further from the truth than initiating a SHTF survival plan as soon as possible. Sure it can be postponed, forever if you like. Maybe you can predict the next SHTF event, what it will be and when it will hit. Maybe your only Bug Out plan is to get in the sedan and head up the interstate highway. How far can you go on half a tank of gas and the off ramps are packed solid? That is until you reach the 50 mile bumper-to-bumper congestion. Then it dawns on you that there is no water and no food in the car.
Dr. John J. Woods, a Contributing Author to SHTF Blog
Your young daughter is not in favor of peeing on the side of the highway in plain view of everybody. Then there is that guy walking down between the lines of vehicles stopping to talk to each car. The shotgun he is carrying gives you a cold chill, and your wife is gripping your arm. Oh, you didn’t bring along your Glock either.
Problems have a curious way of escalating for the unprepared. Under the best of SHTF prep conditions we still cannot know what situations that might pop up to complicate things or to completely derail our Bug Out plans altogether, even if only for just a short while. Planning for contingencies is part of the agenda, too. But you have to start the planning process.
Get the Ball Rolling
SHTF prepping isn’t something that has a definite end date like starting to paint the house today, and expect to be finished by the end of next week. Get all the paint, brushes, rollers, ladders, tape, wire brushes, paint scrapers, and everything else together then start to paint. Do some everyday until the job is finished, complete, done. Prepping is not like that, but you still have to start “painting” as it were.
Prepping does not have to be a panic in progress. It can actually be fun if you frame it as such. I mean who does not want to survive a flood, hurricane, wildfire, dirty bomb, or roving gangs of thugs after the federal cheese runs out. You don’t have to break the bank either or raid the kids’ college funds. Spend what time and money you can afford. I just recommend you start with some basics today, or well, tomorrow, but definitely this week.
Who’s on First?
I’ve recommended this before and it is still pretty good basic advice particularly if you are new to the prepper movement. Go buy a couple of the common sense survival manuals designed for regular people. You don’t want to train like a Navy Seal, and you don’t want to become a hermit hidden away in an underground bunker eating tree roots during a Bug Out scenario. Certainly read everything you can on SHTFBlog.com.
Thumb through the various survival oriented books on the book shelf and look for common sense lists of stuff to do and stuff to have. Forget the “MacGyver” books that want to teach you how to build an electric generator from three old tires, a milk jug, and a roll of masking tape. You need practical, real world ideas and instructional information to help you achieve a starting place to begin your prepping plan.
Lists, Lists, and More Lists
I am a list maker and re-maker. It works for me and it can for you. Your “list” might be on a chalk board in the garage (though I’d rather it be hidden from outside view), a handheld tablet of paper or an electronic I-Pad or a new 5-inch screen I-phone or whatever. Just start jotting stuff down from what you learned in your reading and research. Get your wife and kids involved. Their commitment has to be secured before you can move forward anyway. Just don’t scare them with some doomsday scenario that may prove to be overkill. Be realistic.
Make a list or computer file for each category of prep. File names could be food and water, camping gear, clothing, weapons, ammo, gun gear, storage options, car prep, Bug Out site work projects, blades, tools, redundant repair parts, paper products, consumables, and on and on.
I think the reading and study will be the most beneficial things you can do to start out. I know several survival preppers that rushed out to buy outlandish items and quantities of stuff they will never use. Make the whole process a prudent one. Go slow, but steady in your prep work. Buy consumables like survival foods in samples to try them out. Rotate your stock to find what the family will eat. If you buy cased water for an emergency or a Bug In, be sure to rotate it every month, but keep enough on hand to survive a month or more minimum.
Put Action Where the Mouth Is
I admit this is a tough one for me, too. Heck, though I am near retirement age, I am still working full time. My wife is a computer engineer working full time. I still have a 16-year old special needs child at home in high school. I write nearly 100 outdoors articles a year to supplement my retirement income and to buy toys, trips, and prepper gear so these expenses do not have to come out of the family income.
So, when do you think I have time for prep practice? I plan a Bug In so far as I hope that approach will work. But, I have a Plan B, too about 85 miles away. That transition could be a dicey one and even then there is no guarantee that there will be electricity or water when I get there. So, I have to plan for that. At least I have a sound structure to go to so camping out in a grass hut is not on my prep list. Still I have many skills to master, practice, and hone. These activities eat time like my schnoodle dog Mollie eats a dropped piece of bacon on the floor.
“With Expediency” perhaps ought to be very prepper’s motto. It means start up, gear up, train up, and be ready. Can you leave out before the hat hits the floor? Set goals and constantly work toward them. Then maybe no surprise will be too great to overcome.