When I look around and see the lack of care the general population has about their future, it's rather disconcerting. Far too many people are living in the present, enjoying the day to day, without a though of what could happen tomorrow.
Of course, I'd love if a SHTF event never happens. But I've seen the writing on the walls and I know it's not a matter of "if" but "when" it's all going to go down. If you don't take steps to prepare now, you'll be at a significant disadvantage. And not only that, you'll feel better about yourself, knowing you've got a plan in place, just in case.
But reality is far from easy. Life has a way of getting in the way of even the best laid plans, and you may find yourself falling behind. Unable to commit the time and resources towards maximum preparedness. There's always a big project you're wanting to do, but I'd recommend taking a step back before you start stressing out over what's "not" done.
You can get most of the way there following a simple belief.
- Ready for a blackout or a grid down event.
- Ready to ensure my family is provided for, no matter what.
- Ready to adapt, overcome, and thrive, in whatever situation we face.
The trick, is to use systems, plans and procedures to ensure you never fall behind.
Become a master organizer
In absolute chaos, those who are organized will thrive. There's a reason the military run drills, practice and hone their skills with hours and hours or training. It's their way of staying organized. For you, of course practice is key, you need to ensure every member of your family understands the evacuation plans, and knows precisely what to do in a SHTF event.
But not only yourself, you need to keep your gear packed ready to go, supplies and stores in order. You may only have a few minutes to grab your go-bag and evacuate your home, and being packed in advance could save you precious minutes that are quite literally, the difference between life and death. Escaping a particular location before a lockdown or congestion hits, or the streets become too dangerous to be out on.
Be focused of your physical and mental fitness
Staying in shape is not only good for your health, in a crisis it means you'll be able to keep going that much longer. I'm not a big running fan, but I make a point to get to my boxing classes (it's far more fun for me) and we are regularly out hiking on the weekends. I've seen massive jumps in my stamina, even when weighted down with my kit, and I have a good understanding now of what it'll actually take to "bug out" into the wild.
Which leads me to the next part of this, mental toughness. You need to have an iron will to survive, and I've found the best fuel for this is practice. Knowing you can actually "do" something, whether it's to hunt your own game, start a fire from nothing, or last a night in the wild. All will help to fortify your resolve when times get tough. Oh, and don't forget the importance of friends and family in keeping you sane. They should be part of your plans too.
Be ready for the disasters that will come
Following the news and latest political situations can lead you down the rabbit hole, but it's important you've got your finger on the pulse of your community, as well as what's happening around the world. Look through the "spin" placed on every story in the media, and dig out the facts. What happened. What was the result. Then consider how you would have acted to deter the threat, and what adjustments this may result in your plan.
The trick is to stay updated, without wasting time. I like to flick through the latest headlines on sites like the Associated Press and BBC, and I'll always take the time to watch my local channels during dinner. That way I've got a good handle on what's going on, as you never know where a danger may be coming from, whether it's mother nature, or man-made. So I can take the proper precautions with my family.
Be in for the long haul
If you're trying to get everything done in a few weeks, you're going to be in for an unpleasant surprise. There's just too much to be done. My advice, is to be in it for the long haul, with a schedule that means every, single week, you're making forward progress. That will help keep you motivated, as you see yourself becoming just a little more prepared, every month of the year.
Of course, you should immediately prioritize key elements of your plan that are missing, like having at least 30 days food and water stockpiled, a means of defending your home, and a backup for every fundamental system in your home (water, electricity, gas, sewage). Then just keep at it, and you'll be surprised just how quickly you will progress.
Be a lifelong learner
The final, and arguably the most important element, is to always strive to improve. You can't ever get complacent, and if you're on a self-reliant homestead like me, there is always one more skill to learn, one more survival technique to practice, one more project to undertake that will greatly increase our chances of survival.
Be a lifelong learner, taking the courses you need to improve, the local community center classes that will teach you self-defense and wilderness skills, and don't be afraid of reaching out to the survival groups in your area to form a connection with other survivalists like yourself. The more you learn, the better your own chances of survival.
Ultimately, the key to being ready for a crisis is to move. You need to start acting now, preparing your plans, your body and mind, and getting all of your chickens lined up, so you know that when the SHTF, your family will do just fine. It's so easy to spend your nights on the couch in front of the television, but with a little effort you can get a step ahead of every other family out there. That's how you can stay prepared for whatever will come.