A natural disaster can happen at any time. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods…they often take us by surprise. Just in the past decade, natural disasters have effected more than two hundred and fifty million people all over the world. Because of this, it is imperative that you understand what calamities your geographic area is prone to and know what exactly you need to do to prepare to deal with it if it happens.
The best thing to do in case of an SHTF situation is to have a personal family plan. My friend that owns a carpet cleaning biz (click here) gave me the idea to come up with my own family’s plan. Where you live will determine the plan you need to have. For example, if you are living in the South, you will need to make a plan for potential hurricanes. You will need to have a safe place to find shelter where there are no outside doors or windows. Basements make great shelters for this very reason.
When it comes to natural disasters around the world, floods are responsible for almost half of the number of deaths. One way for you to keep your family from becoming victims to flooding is to pay attention to your local news and heed the warnings of evacuation when flooding is imminent.
When you begin making your family plan, you will need to keep a few things as a priority. First, if you have children in your family, you will need to know which parent is taking responsibility for getting each child in the family to a safe place. You will want the children to know the plan beforehand so they are prepared and know what to expect. Discuss your plans with close by family and neighbors to determine who may be able to help you in an emergency situation. It is possible that your child(ren) may need to stay in a different location if your home no longer safe.
Before you get in an emergency situation, it is important to determine what you will be comfortable leaving behind. Sure, there are things we would all love to save, but consider what is most important to your family in this case. You certainly will not be able to carry all that you want.
Figure out how you will help any elderly or disabled members of your family in an emergency. There will be special considerations for them. Also, you will want to have any medications that are necessary available at all times in a box or bug out bag in the case of an emergency.
We can all expect to face at least one crisis situation in our lives. If we are prepared, though, we will fare much better than we would otherwise.
If you have been prepping for any time at all, you have probably heard that the only time you should move in an SHTF scenario is at night. I believe this is a bad idea to follow for many reasons. Yes, this may be a great idea for trained soldiers, but think about having your family, with your wife and young children, walking through the woods at night.
I am not saying you should never move at night. There is a lot of value in doing so if the situation demands it. Traveling alone, I would certainly see it as a viable option. In a group, though, I would only do it if absolutely necessary.
Here are seven reasons that I think traveling at night in a family or group is a bad idea:
Your group will likely get separated: Even those in the military have issues with staying together in the dark. Can you imagine moving only at night in territory that is unfriendly in order to avoid being detected? You try to give hand signals in the dark to help you avoid the enemy, but it’s too dark for people to notice it or they are too tired to really care. Twenty minutes later, you stop to do your headcount and realize that not everyone got the signal and you are missing people from your group.
You will get lost: Remember that the best ways to travel unseen is to stay off roads and paths. Now think about traveling with your family all geared up, in the pitch black of night, and still finding your way. Almost impossible to do even in the daytime.
Consider your weakest link: Maybe you have a lot of experience in the military. Maybe others in your group have survival skill sets that are wonderful for the SHTF event. Well, how about your seven year old that is having to keep up with the rest of the group in the dark? You may as well tie a rope around each person’s waist to keep them all together.
Consider potential hazards: We are making the assumption that you are walking through the brush instead of down a road in order to stay hidden. There will be a lot of potential hazards along your trek, such as large rocks, holes in the ground, and tree roots, that you simply will not be able to see as you walk in the dark. All it takes is one person falling victim to one of the hazards, and now the situation is worse because you have to transport that person the rest of the way.
Noise and light: Have you ever noticed how sound seems to travel much further at night? Light also. Keep that in mind when you are traveling at night with a child that may start crying, or someone that lights a cigarette every thirty minutes.
Night travel is slower: To keep everyone together, you will be moving at a snail’s pace.
Missed opportunities to forage: When it’s pitch black out, you won’t see the wild edibles.
I will reiterate that there is value at only moving around in the dark of night, but you should only do so if necessary. You will be risking a lot of issues otherwise.
If you are already a prepper, you likely know what it is to barter. If you don’t know what it is, bartering is trading one thing for another. Bartering will be important in an SHTF situation because, let’s face it, you can’t store everything you will need for the long hall.
I have found that there are some things that are much better for bartering in an SHTF world than others. Of course, guns and ammunition will be huge in a world where the law is not in place and you have to defend yourself. The items I will be listing are ones that you won’t likely be able to barter for weapons, but they will help you barter for other items that will help your life “after” to go more smoothly.
The five items on my list for bartering are as follows:
- Food: Trust me, there will be a lot of people willing to barter for food. There will not be enough available for sustaining a lot of people. Of course, a lot of people will help others that are without but, for the most part, people will have to trade things in exchange for food to feed themselves and their families. You may even be able to barter for a weapon if you are willing to part with a large portion of food.
- Water: In an SHTF world, clean water will be one of the most important things. When a natural disaster occurs, disease becomes a huge factor, especially without healthcare in place to help. Very quickly, the water supplies can become contaminated by wast leaking into the rivers nearby. Luckily, you can buy filters for the water now to help you have a regular supply of water then. Being able to barter with water filters can mean, for many people, the difference between living and dying.
- Ammunition: In a world without money, ammo can become more expensive than gold. As people struggle to defend themselves and stay alive, ammo will be going at a premium. You can guarantee there will be plenty of criminals roaming around trying to take advantage of those who are not prepared enough.
- Antibiotics: Stockpiling medication is one of the hardest feats as a prepper. You can store painkillers and antibiotics that you can get over the counter for now, but may have to resort to raiding hospitals if the time comes.
- Candles: These will most likely become a lot more valuable than you think they will. In an SHTF scenario, the power will go down and there won’t be any electricity. People will find they need to use candles to light their world. Figuring out a way to make your own could make you rich.
There are many other things you could add to your stockpile. Consider the things most needed first, though, when determining what you will be able to barter with.
We all know that predicting the future is impossible. Of course there are blogs and websites all over the internet the scream “the end is near” each and every year. They will show you charts and graphs that show that the economy is about to crash, or show you photos from space showing a meteor that is certain to strike the earth soon. Not only that, but FEMA is supposedly building camps and very soon your guns will be confiscated by the government. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
I agree that there are a lot of really big issues in our world with our society and economy that makes it a smart thing to prep. Thing is, these “experts” have been wrong in the past and will continue to be wrong in the future. Yes, it will unravel at some point, but don’t fall into the trap of following stories telling you that it’s all going down the drain by such and such time. These people usually want to scare you into buying something from them. The important thing is to make the best of what you have when that day comes.
Want to know the best advice ever given to new preppers? Create a plan you can stick with and do NOT, under any circumstance, accumulate ANY new debt, even if you are using it to prep. The next thing to do is to make sure you have the basics in your stockpile. These things are food, water, personal protection, medical supplies, and water filtration. How much of things you stockpile should be determined by how much you can afford. Remember that prepping isn’t always about the stuff you have, but a big part is the prepper’s mentality. You want to be able to be aware of the world around you so that you do not fall victim to the news on your television or on prepper sites. Start considering the skill sets that you and your family have and how those skills can be used in an SHTF scenario.
The main reason I am wanting to help beginners is because I regularly come across people that are interested in starting to prep. They hear the doom and gloom on the television and start freaking out. Many will make rash decisions and run out and purchase things they will never need. We need to help them to prep smart and to do it in moderation because, I guarantee you, whether the SHTF event happens this week or five years from now, not a single one of us will be completely prepared.
Are you new to the world of prepping? It is not an easy time to be a prepper, much less to just now be looking into prepping. If you have been prepping for a while, try to think back to when things first “clicked” for you. You saw an entire new reality and believed you needed to accomplish hundreds of things within the first month and stressed that there wouldn’t be enough time for you to get ready. Now think of someone coming into prepping now and deciding it is what they need to do. I can imagine that they are facing a lot of panic right now.
If you are just starting your journey into prepping, I know you are struggling right now. There are so many news stories screaming at you saying the end is near. If nothing else, the elections this year should scare you half to death! You may be one of those folks that start out thinking that a couple of cases of water and a few buckets worth of food would be enough. Then you start looking into prepper sites and read articles about the end of times being imminent, and then those articles linked to others about how the government is going to collapse by the end of the year. After a couple of days of non stop reading, you are thinking you should sell the house and start investing in more food, eater, ammo, silver, gold, and medical supplies. Because, hey, if it is all going to go down by the end of the year, you want to be ready, right?
Well, don’t get ahead of yourself. Yes, things can go downhill very fast, but you don’t want to make decisions on a whim that will cost you in the long run. Take a breath and relax. We will help you figure out what you need to do.