Once the prepping bug hits, it is easy to want to go for it. You know what I mean: Let’s do it and let’s do it all Right Now!
There are some problems with this.
First there are time constraints and second there are money and budget issues. But the biggest problem and undoubtedly the one that is overlooked in the initial flurry of readiness preparations, is that without reasonable care and thought given to the process, the tasks and the actual products involved, you can make some costly mistakes. I say this from experience. In my haste to get “stocked up” I bought gear that I don’t like and will never use. I purchased foodstuffs I will never eat. Jeesh.
Last month I laid out a calendar of prepping, 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time. Today, I explore Month #1 in greater detail. But before getting started, I want to go back in time and have a chat about what I like to call the Survival Mindset.
The Survival Mindset is a frame of mind whereby daily life is focused on the pursuit of of independence and self-reliance. This focus is done in a non-obtrusive way to the determent of no one and the betterment of everyone. It is a lifestyle and a commitment to preparedness and to courage. To optimism and to family values. Ultimately, it is the will to live and to survive with the knowledge that you have done the very best you can to protect yourself and your family from danger and the woes that come from living in complicated and uncertain times.
A couple of months ago I presented a calendar for family preparedness. In 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time, I laid out month by month tasks and was able to break down the overwhelming chore of preparing for an emergency in manageable and affordable chunks.
Today, I explore Month #2 in greater detail.
But first, let me step back and remind you of one of the most easily justifiable reasons why you should prepare: unpredictable weather. Storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other wonky weather patterns can disrupt you, your home and your life in a heartbeat.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist, a political dissenter or even a dissatisfied and disillusioned citizen to know that the forces of mother nature will – at one time or another – require you to tuck in and rely on your own resources to get by.
The holidays are upon us but alas, the task of successfully preparing our homes and families for an emergency is ongoing and does not end just because the calendar indicates a special day is coming up. Today, surrounded by the warmth and cheer of the December holiday season, I present Month 3 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.
Let’s start with the supplies and gear.
Month 3 Supplies & Gear:
- Canned fruits – 3 cans per person
- Any foods for special dietary needs (enough for 3 days)
- A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies.
The cold days of winter are upon us here in the Pacific Northwest and whereas we have not seen any snow yet, the temperature is frigid, especially if your factor in the wind chill. Outdoor activities are limited to walks with the dog and not much else. Preparedness wise, this reminds us that we need to insure that we have adequate jackets, blankets and warm socks put away in our emergency storage container.
But wait. I am getting ahead of myself as I present Getting Prepared Month 4 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.
The months seem to be flying by. And as each month passes, I feel a sense of relief that that except for a short burst of extreme winter weather, my household has not had to dig into our emergency supplies for sustenance. On the other hand, some unexpected personal emergencies have come up and with them, a renewed focus on being prepared not only for the big events in life but also the smaller events that can turn your world upside down. More about that on the Sunday Potpourri.
What are we doing in month five of 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time?
As the cold months of winter start to abate, it is easy to turn our thoughts away from preparedness and instead to the springtime pursuits of gardening or simply getting outside and playing in the sunshine. Perhaps you have a bicycle that has become dusty during the colder periods, or walking shoes that have been sitting idle in the closet. Before I move on to the specific tasks and goals for month six, I want to remind you that all of these outdoor pursuits are indeed a part of your preparedness journey.
This year, more than any, is the time to start a small vegetable garden so that you can teach your self the basics of working the soil, planting the seeds, and enjoying the bounty of home grown food.
We have now passed the half way point and are entering month seven of getting prepared one month at a time. By now you should be feeling secure in the knowledge that you are ready to beat the odds should a natural disaster or crisis appear in your area.
The gear and tools we are going to purchase this month are lifesaving and useful in many types of situations. Add to that an essential skill that everyone should learn and we have a two-punch whammy for seeing you through disasters, accidents, health care woes and more.
With that introduction, let’s get started.
You may be familiar with the saying “behind the eight ball”. This idiom implies that you are in a tough, difficult or losing position from which it is unlikely to escape.
Now surely that is not someplace that any of us wants to be and for that reason alone, we find justification to prepare. Prepare for what? Who knows. It might be a major disaster, it might be a personal health or financial crisis, it might be a terrorist attack or it might be the collapse of civilized society as we know it. Whatever the reason, the need to prepare is ingrained in us from the time we reach young adulthood.
Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done”.
This reminds me of prepping. At the beginning, the task of prepping seems impossible. But once you start – and once you really get going – the process does not seem so hard and most definitely seems possible.
Now don’t get me wrong. Talk to any prepper and he or she will tell you that the job is never done. Oh sure – you eventually acquire enough gear, enough water and enough food to get you by for three days. Next, you work on being prepared for a week, then a month and ultimately, for many, it becomes prepping for six months or a year.
As I do each month, I would like to begin month ten with a little pep-talk on preparedness. As the recent power outages, wildfires, and storms have proven, a disaster can happen anywhere at anytime. Although FEMA, the Red Cross and local agencies are going to do their best to mobilize and help you, there are a lot of people out there that will need assistance. Wouldn’t it be better to rely on your own resources instead?
Being an optimist, I can only assume that if you made it this far, you are well on your way to being self-sufficient in an emergency.
In North America, we are enjoying the final months of summer. This is a time for family activities, picnics, BBQs with friends and perhaps a weekend camping trip. There is also the usual rash of summer chores: mowing the lawn, washing the car, weeding the garden and the more mundane tasks of laundry and housecleaning.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be enjoying the fun in the sun than serious prepping this month. For that reason, this month we are going to do things that are a natural outtake from our summer activities. That said, we are not going to slough off and disregard the tasks at hand as frivolous.
The term “at the twelfth hour” is often used to describe something or someone that is late. But for us, in month 12 of prepping, nothing could be further from the truth. More to the point, if you have been following along the Backdoor Survival series on Getting Prepared: 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time, you have taken major steps toward becoming self-sufficient if a natural disaster or other crisis should strike in your neighborhood.
As we enter in to our twelfth month of prepping, we are going to take a look back at two of our critical areas of sustenance, food and water.
Back in September 2011, when I first wrote about 12 Months of Prepping, I was excited and highly motivated to share monthly checklists with the beginning prepper.
Leading up to the 12 months article, I had done a lot of reading and a lot of research. It was overwhelming to learn and to recognize just how much I did not know. I tried not to become alarmed and applied my typical pragmatic approach to moving forward, not only for the readers of Backdoor Survival, but also for myself. Most assuredly, I had some gaping holes in my own preps and what better way to fill the gaps then to break things down into manageable chunks?