Preparedness

End of Year Emergency Plan and Simple Checklist

Emergency Plan

Whether you are new or experienced in emergency preparedness, the end of the year brings a time to reflect on and update your preps. Having an emergency plan, so you are prepared for disasters or crises should be a top priority. Don’t get caught off guard – follow these simple steps to make sure you and your family are ready to handle whatever might come your way in the new year! Below you will find a free checklist you can download and other resources that you might find valuable!

Review and Update Your Emergency Plan

Make sure your plan accounts for any recent changes in your household and that all family members are familiar with it. Include important info like contact numbers, insurance policies, prescription medications list, etc. ReadThe Best Preparedness Gift You Can Give Your Loved One

Check Your Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Take inventory and replenish any depleted items in your emergency supply kits. Have enough food, water and other essentials to sustain your household for at least 72 hours. Read – 50+ Basic Preps You’re Probably Not Thinking About

Inspect Your Home’s Safety Features

Install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and inspect for any potential hazards. Secure heavy furniture and ensure escape routes are accessible. Read – Real Preparedness:  Understanding the Significance of Shutting Off Utilities

Learn Key Skills

Consider first aid, CPR training, self-defense techniques, gardening, food preservation or DIY repairs. These can be invaluable during crisis situations.

Stay Informed

Follow news and official outlets to receive real-time alerts and updates on potential threats in your area. Early warnings are crucial. Read – Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life!

Have Backup Communication Methods

From phone calls to walkie-talkies, establish alternate communication channels to connect with loved ones during emergencies when traditional means may be unavailable.

Designate Meeting Points and Evacuation Routes

Ensure your whole family knows where to meet up and how to get there if you ever need to evacuate your home. Practice these emergency drills together.

Stock Up on Essential Emergency Items

Non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, blankets – these are just some must-have supplies to include in your emergency kits tailored to your region’s likely hazards. Read – Do This With $100 NOW

Learn Survival Skills

From emergency response training to basic first aid knowledge, useful skills can make all the difference during disasters. Never stop expanding your emergency preparedness education.

Document Important Info

Make copies of crucial documents like ID papers, insurance policies and financial info to have ready to take at a moment’s notice during rapid evacuations. Listen to this Episode – Bugout Docs

Connect With Your Community

Building relationships and support networks in your neighborhood can boost resilience during local crises. Get involved in community emergency readiness programs. Join the Exclusive Email Group

Review and Practice Your Plan

Once you’ve made an emergency plan, occasionally review it and practice evacuation drills with your family to keep it fresh. Update as needed and replace used supplies.

Final Word

Everyone can take small steps to keep their household safe in the event of a natural disaster, outage or other regional emergency. Have a plan and supplies ready to go – the more prepared you are, the better you’ll weather any storm!

End of Year Emergency Plan and Simple Checklist Read More »

Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life!

Balancing Prepping and Living Life

There is a dilemma that mature preppers have to deal with eventually, “how much news is enough to keep me informed but doesn’t keep me glued to the television or computer?”  This is exacerbated when the news is all gloom and doom like it’s been for a while now.  How much chaos can one take?  And does the intake of all that doom give us a false sense that SHTF is already here?  There is a balance that preppers need to keep and it can be done with specific resources!

News Junkie

As a recovering news junkie, I understand the need to be balanced.  When I was a teenager, before the internet and 24 News, I loved watching Nightline with Ted Koppel.  I wanted to know what was going on.  Talk Radio fueled my passion for news and then social media and alternative news sites took it to a whole different level.

But life shouldn’t be one big news cycle!  However, I still feel the need, as a prepper, to stay informed and at the same time not get sucked into hours and hours of news.  

Adjustments

Through the years, I have managed to watch my time more carefully.  I have also leveraged different media sources to stay informed and know what is going on.  These are not your traditional media sources, TV, radio, and newspaper.  They are usually quick hits and give me important information, which allows me to digger deeper if I feel I need to.

I would like to share some of these resources with you.  Hopefully, some of these help you too.

Email Newsletters

The most recent addition in my arsenal to staying informed comes from email newsletters.  This makes sense because I can easily access my email from my phone, wherever I am, even if I have a few minutes.  This is one of the reasons why the Exclusive Email Group works so well for Preppers!

1440 Daily Digest – Is a daily email that covers headlines from around the world.  It claims to be unbiased in its approach to the news.  It gives you a “Need to Know” section with hard news, followed by an “In the Know” section that covers topics like sports, science, business, markets, and more.  

Their website states, “We scour 100+ sources so you don’t have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more—all in a five-minute read.”

1440 is free! To sign-up, visit their site – 1440 Daily Digest.

The Pour Over – Is a Christian-based email newsletter.  It claims, “Your politically neutral, Christ-first, news source.”  It also states on the website, “The biggest news of the day, summarized in a way you’ll actually understand and enjoy, paired with brief Christian perspectives.”

Like 1440, you’ll find some big headline news stories, with a Christian perspective and Scripture at the end.  You also find a section called, “Other Brews” that covers small news stories.  

I don’t always agree with their Christian perspective view, meaning I think they take a middle-of-the-road view and don’t want to appear to lean left or right.  However, I haven’t found their views to be theologically incorrect.  

The Pour Over is free.  You can sign up here – The Pour Over.

News App

If you’re looking for an APP, then you will want to check out Ground News.  Ground New will let you know if the article you are reading leans left or right or center.  It gathers this information based on the source that it is using.  It is possible to have two news articles on the same topic, but come from different perspectives depending on how they lean politically.

You can set your location, so you can get news that is local to you.  Ground News also provides  “Blind Spot” articles.  These are, “Stories from one side of the political spectrum or the other that had little to no reporting.”

Ground News is free, but it also offered a premium account.  You can download the APP for iOS and Android devices.

Prophecy Preachers

Ok, you might think this one is weird, but hear me out!  Prophecy preachers look at current events and evaluate them in light of Bible Prophecy.  Some of these Bible Prophecy Preachers have really big followings from all over the world.  These followers share news stories that are happening where they live.

So what you get is an alternative news source that is often sourced by boots-on-the-ground Christians.  The thing is, if you are not a Believer, just listen/watch them for the information they are sharing.  

Now, there are many Bible Prophecy Preachers out there.  And every one of them has a YouTube channel. I’m careful who I watch because it is easy to get sucked in and spend a lot of time bouncing around from the content they produce.  But here are three that I would recommend.

John Haller – I’ve had John on the podcast before.  I believe it was a two-hour episode.  He is a retired lawyer and has been teaching Bible Prophecy for many years bi-vocationally.  You can find him on YouTube LIVE on Sunday mornings.  He also streams his LIVE update on Facebook.  Since retiring, he has been doing a lot of guest appearances that he shares on his Facebook page and during his update.

Watch John on the Fellowship Bible Chapel YouTube Channel.

James Jacob Prasch – Is a preacher/evangelist and puts out a lot of Prophecy Updates.  He often does the update with others who chime in and give commentary on the topics or news stories they are discussing.

The updates also get converted to audio so you can listen to them as a podcast if you don’t have time to watch a YouTube video.  

Watch Jacob on the Moriel YouTube Channel.  You can search “Moriel Ministries” in your podcast catcher to listen to the podcast.

Jan Markell  – Is the person behind the microphone for Olive Tree Ministries.  Her show is on radio and podcasts.  A few years ago she started sharing her show on YouTube.  She does focus more on End Times than John Haller and Jacob Prasch.  But it still applies to what is going on in the world.  

Watch Jan on the Olive Tree Ministries YouTube channel. You can also search for Olive Tree Ministries in your podcast catcher.

Social Media

Social media is a blessing and a curse.  You can get a lot of information on the platform, but you can also get sucked in and spend hours of your day on it as well.  You need to be purposeful to set a timer or “get in and get out” quickly.

Twitter – I’ve always been a proponent of Twitter.  If you go to my account profile, you will notice that I don’t follow a bunch of people.  I’m not interested in what the Kardashians are doing, know what I mean?  But I do follow news organizations of all sorts.  That way, when I hit Twitter, the only thing in my feed is news.  And, I follow both sides of the aisle so I know what both are “putting” out as far as their agenda goes.  

If you are interested in using Twitter, you can go to my profile and click on who I’m following.  Then you can follow all those news organizations right from there.

Telegram – I’ve recently started using Telegram.  Telegram is supposed to be an encrypted instant messenger.  I don’t use it for messaging, but I do follow channels that share a lot of current events  Here are some.

Moriel Ministries – They share a bunch of news from alternative news sources.  The news stories are varied.

Amir Tsarfati – This channel shares a ton of material too.  However, they seem to be more focused on the Middle East.

Paul T. Martin – I’ve had Paul on the podcast as well.  He doesn’t share as many articles as the other two above, but the articles are worth reading to preppers.  I couldn’t find a link for Paul’s channel.  You will have to do a search for him.  It’s easy though!

Ready Your Future – And of course, while you’re at it, join the RYF Telegram channel.

Alternative News Sites

I didn’t cover the multitude of Alternative News Sites that are out there. You could use an RSS reader to follow all the Alternative News Sites that you want to read so you can read them in one spot.  But speaking from experience, you can spend hours reading articles!

Conclusion

There are many options out there for the prepper who wants to stay informed.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you need to keep a balance.  You don’t want life to pass you by while you’re reading about the “war over there” or the possibility of “that thing happening” or “this time it is different because…”

Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life! Read More »

5 Mindshifts Preppers Need to Make for a Preparedness Lifestyle

preparedness lifestyle

The Preparedness Lifestyle can be a bunch of different things for people. To some, it may mean having a well-stocked pantry and a survival kit in case of an emergency. To others, it may mean being self-sufficient and living off the land. And to still others, it may mean being prepared for anything, from natural disasters to economic collapse. No matter what it means to you, the Preparedness Lifestyle is about being ready for anything that life may throw your way.

But within the preparedness lifestyle, there are some mind shifts that people need to make.  These mind shifts are important and beneficial for anyone wanting to live a self-reliant or prepared lifestyle.  The five mind shifts that I share below are mind shifts that I wished someone would have shared with me when I first started down the journey.  But like they say, it’s never too late to learn something new!

Preparedness Lifestyle Mindshift #1 – Pay Attention to How People Around You Respond in a Crisis.

This mind shift is important because it’s important to know how you respond in a crisis.  You should be practicing and training yourself to handle a crisis.  But it’s just as important to know what other people are going to do and how they’re going to respond. Because people can respond in crazy ways that throw a whole wrench in everything that is going on. And then, you are not only dealing with the crisis, but now you’re dealing with a crazy person that’s doing something stupid and adding to the crisis, all because they don’t know how to deal with stress in an emergency situation.   So, watch how people deal with a “regular” crisis right now.

 I say “regular”  because regular could be a flat tire.  Regular could be you’re at work and the power goes out for an extended period of time. How do the people around you react? 

You could be at work and your supervisor says, “Our Internet is down and we’re not able to process your checks.” That would be a big deal for many people!  I mean, you deal with someone’s money and that’s a big deal.   How would the people around you respond to something like that?  

So, watch how people respond to “regular” crises now at home, at work, with money, in your family, and in your neighborhood.

Watch social media.  If you have a neighborhood Facebook group, watch the Facebook group and how your neighbors respond just online. That can tell you a whole lot about some people.  You’ll get an idea of what will happen when you’re around a “real” situation or a “real” crisis. You want a little warning if people around you are going to lose it.  So, it’s important to get a gauge right now of how people will respond.

 One of the things that I think is valuable, is when you read articles from people that have really gone through big crises, like Selco over in Bosnia or Fernando Aquirre in Argentina.

I’ve had Fernando Aguirre on the podcast and I usually watch a lot of his videos because he talks about how things happened when he went through the collapse in Argentina. Fernando still has a lot of family members and friends there, and he responds to things that are still going on there and other things that are going on all over the world.  It’s a different perspective than many Americans have.

Fernando responds in a very sensible and logical way.  I really like to get his take on events.  And his books are really great books. If you are really looking for something to read and to beef up your survival skills. I think his books are no-brainers. 

You should at least get Surviving the Collapse in Argentina and his most recent book, Street Survival Skills

Then there are the different collapses that have happened, like in Russia and Greece. Finding survival or survivor stories on how people reacted and responded in those situations kind of gives you a little insight into the psyche of people and what they will do and how they will react.  

And then you have some cultures, like the Japanese when Fukushima happened.  The Japanese were a little bit calmer and they were able to go through the crisis a little bit smoother.  

So, you have to look at your situation. How would it go down in your area?  How do people around you respond in a crisis?  It’s important and valuable to have that kind of information.  And you can use a “regular” crisis to pay attention to how people will respond in a bigger, more involved crisis. 

Get Confident About Your Skills, Abilities, and Preps and Bring Your Family Along

Get confident so you don’t panic in an emergency.  Then help your family to do the same! 

When you feel confident about your skills, then you’re able to face the crisis more easily. You need to be able to have that confidence in your skills to move forward. Be confident in your plan, be confident in what needs to happen. Be confident in what to do, and what not to do.

This only comes with practice!

You can’t practice when an EMP hits! You can’t practice nuclear war!

But you can go through some scenarios. You can turn the power off over the weekend. 

You can actually practice it if your family is on board with it. That would mean turning off the water, turning off electricity, doing all those kinds of things. I mean, some families would be into that, and others probably not so much.  Many teenagers wouldn’t give up their phones for the weekend!  The thing about family here, is you really have to be purposeful about bringing them along.

This is a very sensitive thing because if they’re not into it, you’re going to push them away.  And I’ve seen that not only in families, but I’ve also seen that happen in organizations as well, where the owner or someone who is in charge wants to help people get better prepared, so they start going into scenarios and start throwing it out there and it freaks out people, and people start pushing back on it.  You really need to be careful about how you do it. 

I absolutely love that my kids, including the one that’s married and lives in his own apartment, know how to prepare! They’re paying attention like when we had the last freeze, Winter Storm Uri.  They were better prepared than most of their friends their age.  They were better prepared with water and other supplies!  They were better prepared by being able to cook and not being able to use their electric stove. When hurricanes come or big storms are coming, they’ll be better off. 

And a lot of that is because I’ve talked about it so much and they see the benefits of it.  Even during Covid, they saw the benefit of being prepared and having toilet paper and other supplies!  They actually got a bidet instead of stocking up on toilet paper. 

But I love it when I hear them talk about being better prepared. All my kids do that. But if your family is not, then you’re going to have to go into stealth mode.

And I’m not saying that you need to be sneaky and keep things from them, but instead gamify it.   For example, if you write things online and you use the extension Grammarly, Grammarly will tell you every so often, “Hey man, you’re a pro. This week, you wrote 10,000 words.”  Ok, not in those words, but you basically get this ego boost because you reached some achievement.  All it does is make you feel good about using the extension, but it is a number that many people look forward to in their emails.  It’s a conversation starter for some people around the water cooler.

Audible does the same thing.   If you have Audible, it’ll send you a notification and say something like, you hit this milestone or this achievement.   

So if you can gamify being prepared, it will definitely help.  Let me give you a couple of ideas here. 

One of the things that we always talk about is camping to practice preparedness.  Let’s say you plan a family camping trip where you introduce various survival skills such as setting up a tent, building a fire, identifying edible plants, and navigating using a compass. 

And the thing is, you frame it as a fun adventure rather than formal training.   So you call it a treasure hunt.  So you go to a campground and at some point, you set up a treasure hunt.  The treasure at the end is everyone goes and gets ice cream or whatever.   Or you stash the ingredients for s’mores along the way and the prize is S’mores at the evening campfire!

The point is, you plan this camping trip adventure.  You bring out a map and practice map skills and all the other things you set up like fire starting, cooking over a fire, etc.. 

Of course, you have to know your family and how much they’ll go for something like that. But that’s something that you can start to introduce and you just gamify it. How can you make it fun to be able to move forward? 

Another thing that’s kind of similar to that is scavenger hunts.  Organize a scavenger hunt in your backyard or your local park that incorporates elements of survival skills. For example, you can hide items related to first aid, navigation, and emergency supplies, and provide clues that lead to their discovery.  

Or, there are families that love breakout rooms. If you’ve ever gone through one, you know it consists of a series of things that you need to get through, and if you get through the puzzles you need to solve and all these other clues you get to take a picture and celebrate that you “broke out.”  Sometimes they help you out by giving clues and sometimes they don’t.  But you can create a breakout as a fun adventure and incorporate preparedness into it!

But whether it’s a scavenger hunt or a breakout that you’re creating, you’re doing it for your family to help them with preparedness.  You’re dropping little survival things in it. It might not be full-out and full-on training, but you’re dropping little scenarios and little things in there little by little. 

Maybe you’ve created an emergency binder.  And one of the things is you throw the emergency binder down and that’s part of the puzzle. And they got to find in the emergency binder a secret or a clue that gets them to the next stage.  Those are the kinds of things that would be very helpful. 

Another idea is just cooking lessons, teaching cooking skills while incorporating survival knowledge like talking about food storage and the fact that you’re cooking from scratch and have these basic ingredients. You bring out bulk flour, bulk salt, and sugar and they might start asking questions like, “Why do we buy it in bulk? Why do we have it this way?” You might respond, “Well, it’s cheaper and we have a lot of it.  Also, remember in the pandemic, we weren’t able to get some things? Well, we can make bread if we want to make bread this way.”  

While you’re cooking, you can incorporate things like water purification and different ingredients that you would need to make in case of emergencies.   You can encourage them to prepare meals using limited resources like, “Hey, let’s make a meal using these items. Or let’s make some bread just using these three ingredients and let’s see what we come up with.”

You don’t even have to talk about survival. You don’t even have to talk about preparedness. But you’re teaching them how to do something and it’s fun and it’s easy. 

And they get to eat it!  And that’s a form of gamification!

Not only that, you’re helping kids learn a valuable lesson in cooking that many people today don’t. And I think that’s great. My son has learned a lot of recipes just by looking at TikTok and social media. I don’t have TikTok. I don’t like TikTok. I’m not an advocate of it, but the young people are.

He has learned cooking and different recipes and enjoys cooking because of it.  I kind of count that as a win.  

Another thing you can do is just do nature walks.  You might not be able to go camping or do a scavenger hunt, but you can go out and just do a nature walk or a hike.  And you’re taking the family into natural settings while you’re doing that. If you are into foraging, you can point out different plants.  Imagine walking on a trail and you see something that’s edible and you get your kids around there and you’re like, “Hey, I wonder if that’s going to be any good to eat.”

 And they’re like, “Oh no, I wouldn’t eat it.”  And you just pick it up and you put it in your mouth and you eat it.  Can you imagine? They’re like, “OH, that’s gross.”  And then they realize a little bit later on you don’t keel over and die. Like, guys, “that’s edible. This is something that grows in nature that people don’t even realize. People think it’s a weed, but you can actually eat it if you really need to.”   You can talk about things like that. You can talk about poisonous plants like, “Okay, I eat this one, this one’s good, but this one over here, don’t ever eat this one. This one, you’ll really get diarrhea or you’ll die from this one.”

You can talk about animals and how to respond to encounters with different animals in life if you’re out in nature, especially those of you that live in places where you have bigger animals like bears. 

Another thing is movie nights. You can watch a survival-themed movie or documentary and engage in the discussion afterward, just asking different questions. And sometimes you don’t even have to ask questions. They’ll come up themselves. They’ll be like, “Hey, well, what about this? Or what about that?” It encourages them to be able to think through things. 

I remember when NAT GEO put out American Blackout.  I had all my kids sit around and watch that docu-drama.  They were into it because it was a drama and it had all elements of drama but also talked about survival.  I didn’t even have to say anything. I was like, “Hey, I want to get your opinion on this show.”  I was doing a review for National Geographics for Prepper Website at that time.  And they got into it. I was really happy about that. 

You can find movies for kids too. There are kid movies that you can use to talk about survival and different themes along with survival and preparedness. You can play role-playing games.   Organize role-playing scenarios where family members take on different roles and act out emergency situations. Maybe you do charades and it’s all like preparedness-type stuff, but you don’t really say that it’s going to be preparedness. 

You can do DIY projects. Again, you can engage in do-it-yourself projects that align with survival skills. You don’t have to tell them that it is about preparedness. 

You can talk about basic woodworking. You know how one of the biggest fads right now is burning wood for home decor, giving it that burn look?  I know a lot of the time they use torches, but you can go old school by building a fire first and then using that.  And you can incorporate that into your DIY.   

You can build something solar-powered or create something with cheap solar lights. You can create a basic shelter in the backyard, setting up a tent, using ropes and knots.  Heck, you can just use a sheet to set up a tent in the living room. That would be just an easy way of teaching them how to set up using knots and then creating a shelter that way.   

There are a lot of little DIY projects like that. 

You can garden.  You can use story time if you read to your kids. There are books that you can read that have survival or preparedness built in.  Not too long ago, I was discussing one chapter a week of  Little House in the Big Woods, the first book from the Little House on the Prairie series on the podcast.  You can use that to discuss how they lived in those times.  And that’s not one of those scary survival stories.

You can get into community involvement, engaging in community programs or volunteer work, but things that help in disaster preparedness. You can get them out there participating in local emergency response drills and supporting organizations that promote safety. Get them involved with the fire department when they outreach to your neighborhood. You might even sponsor that. A lot of the time, they get fire alarms or smoke alarms and give them out. Maybe you can be in charge of sponsoring that for your neighborhood or for your street and get your kids involved with that and talk about how important it is for fire safety and knowing how to get out of a home when it’s necessary. 

There are many ways to learn and get confident in your skills, but when you bring your family along, it is a force multiplier!

Think Through and Plan Emergency Scenarios Before They Happen!

We always talk about having a plan!  You need to envision the scenario and imagine how you will respond in your head. This is very important. There is research that your mind does not know the difference between what you’re thinking through and what you’re imagining and, what is real.

“Mental rehearsal involves imagined, mental practice of performing a task as opposed to actual practice.  That is, when engaging in mental rehearsal, one imagines performing without having to actually do anything.  (Insert your favorite consultant or management professor joke here.)

As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.”  Yes, practice can cause improvement, but “perfect practice” can lead to better results than practice full of failures.  Because mental practice is perfect practice, it is also a confidence-booster.  Experiencing success increases confidence, even if that experience is imagined.

Basketball fans recognize the old cliché that goes something like, “Free throw shooting is 90% mental, 10% physical.”  It’s true that a major determinant of a free throw shooter’s success is his or her mental activity before taking a shot and through the process of shooting (I’m not sure about those percentages though).  Focus and concentration are very helpful.  Accordingly, mental practice seems to assist mental preparation for the process of shooting a free throw.

A limitation, of course, is that one also has to have a certain degree of knowledge and skill for performing the activity in order to be successful.” Source

Have you ever had a scary dream?  This is your mind going through a scenario.  You are dreaming, wake up and find yourself sweating and your heart beating fast.  You feel anxious and then realize it was just a dream.  The fact is that your mind didn’t realize it was a dream. 

It’s the same idea when you are thinking through emergency scenarios. 

You should try it out!  Close your eyes and think through that emergency.  What would you do if,  fill in the blank. 

What would I do in case of a fire? What would I do in case of an earthquake? What would I do in case of a blizzard that’s rolling in?  You can then start to play that through your mind and maybe you’re writing things down as you’re doing it. Maybe you have the plan already and you’re just trying to solidify it in your mind. But that is a very powerful thing to do.

You see this happening during the Olympics when you see the divers or even the skiers, put on their headphones, close their eyes and they’re just thinking through the flip or they’re thinking through their turns in their mind.  They’re envisioning their dive or run down the mountain.  Sometimes you will see skiers actually leaning and that helps them to be a little bit better prepared. We can use this same technique to our advantage.

It’s helpful to run your family through these scenarios and the plans as well.  Because when you do that, they’ll feel more empowered or secure.   This is the case if your family is on board with preparedness.  

Get Prepared  by Doing What Works for You! 

You might not ever plan on going out to the wilderness and surviving, but you could get tips on what works in your situation.   Create or tighten up your emergency plan and get tips for that! They might be what works best in a suburban or urban scenario.  Focus on those types of skills and tips. 

Stock up and create an inventory of essential supplies.  And think about what would be important for your scenarios, your situations. Don’t go off of some YouTube video that you saw, some article that you read, some podcast that you heard. Get what you need for your situation. 

Learn basic first aid. 

Store water and figure out a plan on how you would get more if the tap wasn’t running. Because water is going to be universal to every survival situation no matter what!  If you have stored water, that is great, that’s important. But then what if the tap runs out and you can’t get water anymore? Do you know what you would do in your scenario? Do you know where you would go? 

You might have heard things like, “I would go to abandoned buildings.” Have you ever gone to a building to try to get water from them? Now, if they had security and things like that, they might not let you. But have you walked the perimeter? Is it as easy as you think it will be?   You might think, “I’m going to go to this pond or I’m going to go to the river?” Have you gone down there? Have you hauled water up from the pond or the river and brought it back? Have you used your filtration system or your purification systems to be able to drink that water? Or is it just something that you think you  can do?   

You might not run out to the wilderness, but securing your home is a preparedness project you definitely need to do. And what else can you do in that kind of situation? Know your neighborhood, drive around your neighborhood. That’s a preparedness tip that you definitely need to be aware of. If you come in and come out, and that’s all you do, especially if you’ve lived there for a while, you might miss some big changes in your surroundings.  

Has your neighborhood or your community changed? Have you seen things going downhill or are they getting better? What about establishing a network of other people that are like-minded and maybe that work with you or go to your church?  

What about learning self-defense techniques? That’s a helpful skill that is not wilderness survival.  

Do you deal with blizzards where you live?  Because I’m in Houston, I’m not going to go through a blizzard. But I am going to go through heat.  So, what do I do if the power goes out and I have excessive heat? 

These aren’t end of the world type things, but they are real world prepper tips that would be very helpful. 

And how do you stay informed of what goes on around you? Do you use Twitter? Do you subscribe to news alerts? Are there specific apps that you use to stay informed? 

Have you ever thought about creating a communication plan for your family or for your workplace or even for your neighborhood that people would be able to communicate with? That’s a prepper tip that might come in very handy!  Have you ever practiced your communication plan? 

Another prepper tip would be practicing how to blend in.  You would need to know and understand your community so you could blend in there. In some places, wearing camouflage is not something you want to be doing to blend in.  But in other places that might be what people wear. And if you’re not wearing camouflage, people might look at you weird.   Learning how to blend in is a prepper tip that you definitely want to learn.   

Understand that a Lot of Preparedness is Perspective

A lot of it is being prepared to act and to know what to do.  It is not necessarily a ton of gear that you have to buy. Although there is gear that you need to buy, that’s not where you start off. And that’s the biggest mistake that a lot of people make, buying stuff and not going through the necessary mind shift and the understanding of why they need it. 

You need to have that long term perspective, but you also need a short-term perspective. Preparedness is both/and!  You can always have an emergency that is short term. You lose a job or the electricity goes out or you have a blackout. But then there is the long-term perspective.  You need to wrap your mind around what things would look like if TEOTWAWKI really happened! 

Embrace the idea that preparedness is both short-term emergencies and long-term emergencies. You need to be prepared for all the challenges that might come in the future. And this shift involves recognizing that preparedness is an ongoing process and requires consistent effort. You need a proactive approach. 

If you adopt a proactive approach,  rather than a reactive mindset, then you’re able to respond much better. When you have that reactive mindset, you won’t make good decisions.  And you don’t want to wait for the crisis to happen to come up with a plan.

That’s why we talk about plans so much. It’s important in helping to have the prepper mindshift.  

You need to think, “I want to be proactive. I want to be prepared. I want to have a plan.   Whenever a situation goes down, I’m ready to move. I know what I need to do.”

Closing

In closing, develop self-reliance by acquiring skills and knowledge that help you to navigate the different situations that you’re going to be involved with independently.   

You don’t want to be dependent on the government or someone else during a crisis!   When times are good, the government MIGHT come through for you.  Or, there might be other organizations that are able to come through for you.  But do you think that will always be the case?

Making these shifts, means taking responsibility, personal responsibility for your own well-being and not leaving it up to anybody else.  Throw some extra kudos for yourself if you can get involved in your community, or your church.  Preparedness goes beyond just you and your family. And when you can help others out, you get them on your side.  And having people on your side in an emergency is a good thing!  

Not everyone’s going to embrace preparedness like they’re ready to go and buy six months or a year’s worth of food storage.  But you can be involved out there and help out as much as possible. And in the meantime, when you’re doing that, you get to know other people that are like-minded and maybe help them shift their thinking towards preparedness too!

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Prepper Minimalism – Get Started Prepping and Survive with Less

prepper minimalism

A Prepper Minimalist would seem like an oxymoron to many people. This is because preppers are known for acquiring “stuff” so that they are better prepared when it is necessary.  I don’t believe anyone has said this, but I think this would be a quote many would at least give a nod to, “He who enters the apocalypse with the  most gear wins!”  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m reaching.  But as I get older, minimalism does appeal to me.

Prepper Minialism Maximizes Resources & Space

Minimalism is a philosophy that has gained popularity in recent years as people seek to simplify their lives and reduce clutter. The idea is to focus on what is truly important and eliminate anything that is unnecessary or excessive. This can be applied to prepping by taking a minimalist approach to preparedness. Instead of stockpiling a large number of supplies and equipment, minimalists focus on the essentials that are most likely to be needed in an emergency situation. This might mean that the “tacticool” or extra gear many of us buy to stockpile gets a second or third thought.  “Two is One, One is None” would only apply to the most important preparedness essentials like food, water, and first aid.

Acquiring essential items is an important aspect of managing one’s resources effectively. By obtaining only the most necessary items, individuals can optimize the use of their space, time, and money. For example, having a well-stocked pantry and fridge, based on a menu, can save time and money by reducing the need for frequent trips to the grocery store. But just going to the grocery store and stocking up on whatever is on sale would add to the pantry’s disorganization, creating a need to spend time finding a way to use the items and use money that might have been used somewhere else.  Acquiring only the essential items is a smart way to manage resources and improve the overall quality of life.

When it comes to organizing our preps, prioritizing multi-purpose items can be a game-changer. By choosing items that can serve multiple functions, you not only save space and reduce clutter, but you also eliminate the need for excess specialized equipment. For example, a Swiss Army knife can replace the need for a separate knife, scissors, and bottle opener. A dry bag can serve as both a way to keep things dry and also a water carrier. By investing in versatile items, you can simplify your life and make the most of the items you already own. Plus, you’ll save money by not having to purchase as many specialized items. 

Carry Less and Stay Mobile

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasizes simplicity and the removal of excess possessions. For preppers, this means only carrying the most essential items needed for survival during emergencies. By adopting a minimalist approach, preppers can be more flexible and mobile, allowing them to move around more easily during emergencies. This is because they are not weighed down by unnecessary items that can slow them down or make it difficult to move quickly. Additionally, minimalism can help preppers save space and reduce the amount of gear they need to carry, making it easier to store and transport their supplies. 

This lifestyle allows individuals to be more flexible and adaptable to different situations. For example, in a bugout situation, time is of the essence, and every second counts. Having to pack and transport a lot of belongings can slow down the process and make it more difficult to move quickly. By minimizing the number of belongings that need to be packed, individuals can focus on getting themselves and their loved ones to safety as quickly as possible. Additionally, the stress of deciding which gear to take with them can be overwhelming and lead to indecision. Remember, many preppers are bugging out with families who don’t understand preparedness or who haven’t prepared for a bugout.

So, during times of emergency, it is crucial to have a well-planned and organized evacuation or relocation process. One important factor to consider is the weight and bulk of the supplies that need to be transported. Carrying a lighter load of essential supplies can significantly improve efficiency during these processes. This is because lighter loads are easier to carry and transport, allowing individuals to move more quickly and efficiently. Additionally, lighter loads can reduce the risk of injury or exhaustion, which can slow down the evacuation process. By prioritizing essential supplies and minimizing unnecessary items, individuals can ensure that they are prepared to respond quickly and move more effectively.

Prepper Minimalist Kill ALL the Choices!

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasizes owning only essential items and decluttering unnecessary possessions. For preppers, this approach can be particularly useful as it helps them focus on the most important items they need to survive in an emergency situation. By reducing the number of possessions they own, preppers can also avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many choices when it comes to deciding what to bring with them in a crisis. This can be especially important when time is of the essence and quick decisions need to be made. Additionally, minimalism can help preppers save money by avoiding unnecessary purchases and investing in high-quality, durable items that will last for a long time.

When it comes to preparing for any situation, it can be overwhelming to have too many choices. This can lead to decision fatigue, where a person becomes mentally exhausted from making too many decisions. By minimizing choices, individuals can avoid this fatigue and focus on the critical aspects of preparedness. This means that they can prioritize what is most important and allocate their time and resources accordingly. For example, if someone is preparing for a natural disaster, they may choose to focus on stocking up on food, water, and medical supplies rather than spending time deciding which type of generator to purchase. By minimizing choices, individuals can streamline their preparation process and ensure that they are fully prepared for any situation that may arise.

too many choices

Checklists are an essential tool for preppers who want to ensure that they have everything they need in their preparedness supplies. These lists can help preppers determine what items are necessary instead of “nice to have.” By creating their own personal preparedness checklist, preppers can ensure that they have enough food, water, medical supplies, and other essential items to sustain themselves and their families for an extended period. Additionally, checklists can help preppers by providing an inventory of sorts and help them to stay organized and avoid overlooking critical items. Checklists have long been a great tool for preppers and it will serve the minimalist prepper as well! 

Focus on Skills and Knowledge

Minimalism encourages individuals to focus on what is truly important. For preppers, this means prioritizing the acquisition of knowledge and skills that are essential for survival in emergency situations. By learning how to build a fire, purify water, and navigate without modern technology, preppers can become more self-reliant and better equipped to handle unexpected challenges. Knowledge and skill can replace the need for many items in an emergency situation. 

This view is most evident in bushcraft.  Bushcrafters focus on the skills and knowledge to make what they need or adapt what they need in the “bush.”  This was seared into my mind when I watched a video by Lonnie of Far North Bushcraft and Survival.  In a video, now 11 years old, he builds a bucksaw able to cut bigger pieces of wood than his smaller handheld saw.  Lonnie just carries a saw blade into the woods and is able to build the rest of the saw from wood that he crafts.  This affords Lonnie the time and space to carry a smaller saw and save weight and space in his pack.

Prioritizing skills over possessions means valuing the knowledge and abilities that one possesses. This mindset encourages individuals to focus on developing their skills and abilities, which can be used to adapt to different situations and challenges. By prioritizing skills, individuals become more self-reliant and less dependent on material possessions. They are able to use their skills to solve problems, create new opportunities, and navigate through difficult situations. This approach also promotes a sense of personal growth and fulfillment, as individuals are constantly learning and improving themselves. 

Are You Ready to Be a Prepper Minimalist?

Minimalism is a way of life that promotes simplicity and intentional living. It is not just about decluttering physical possessions, but also about simplifying one’s schedule, relationships, and mental clutter. By prioritizing what truly matters, prepper minimalists are able to create more time and space for themselves. This lifestyle values experiences over material possessions and encourages individuals to invest in meaningful relationships and experiences rather than getting stuck in the prepper trap of buying more “stuff”.  A prepper minimalist lives with intention and purpose, making deliberate choices that align with their values and goals. By eliminating unnecessary distractions and focusing on the essentials, skills, and knowledge, minimalists are able to achieve greater clarity, productivity, and fulfillment in their lives.  And isn’t that what we all want?

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Our Crazy World – A Serious Conversation!

crazy world

Do you feel like you’re living in a crazy world?  I first penned this letter on December 2011.  Back then, I was very concerned about our crazy world and the direction that I saw it going.  The signs have been there for a while.  For those paying attention, looking, researching and reading, you could easily find a myriad of problems that point to how fragile our world, country, state… is.  But now, the problems are glaring and in your face!  You really have to be Mary Poppins to think there isn’t “something” wrong! It seems like our world is going crazy!

From our economy to terrorism, to natural disasters, to deadly viruses, crime and more, you can easily find reasons to be concerned for yourself and your family!

There Are Major Problems in Our Crazy World!

The thing is, many of the problems that can arise because of these issues can be mitigated if you just put a little effort into being prepared.  Many of you won’t though because you are too distracted with “living the dream” and having fun or you just are irresponsible!  Responsibility is a problem in today’s world!  We all want the government or some other entity to come through for us!  And what if they don’t?  Are you willing to have your family staring you in the face, wanting to know what to do because they are in a desperate situation that could have been avoided or not as bad because you weren’t man enough to make some decisions and get off your butt?

People always ask, what if I prepare and nothing happens?  Well I say, that is good!  You don’t really want anything to happen!  Or, you don’t want terrorist to hack the electric grid and be without power for however long!  You don’t want the economy to tank and possibly lose your job!  Neither do you don’t want the drought or an earthquake in California to affect the food supply so much that you forgo buying fruit because it is too expensive!  You don’t want any of that stuff to happen!  But if it does….you want to be ready!

It’s Crazy, So What Should You Do?

Being prepared doesn’t mean you go buy a lot of camo, guns and go out into the woods.  Being prepared or living a prepared lifestyle just means you live responsibility by planning, thinking ahead and putting some things back for a rainy day!  There are so many aspects to it and each family is going to be different!  But failing to plan and prepare is setting your family up to fail!

You will tell that my letter below is a lot “softer” than what I’ve written above!  Back then, I didn’t want to freak people out.  I wanted them to think critically!  But now, I think people need a wake-up call!

After you read the letter below, I would be happy to answer any questions or point you to resources that can explain your question in better detail!

Peace,
Todd
July 2019

An Open Letter to Family & Friends

I’m writing this letter because I care about you.  Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying.

Why the Letter?

Our lives are crazy and sometimes it seems like we live in a crazy world!  We take care of our family, work, eat, play chauffeur, pay the bills, etc.  When we have a little bit of free time, we like to just veg in front of the TV and watch some brain-numbing pictures flicker across the screen.  We can go at it like this for days, weeks and even months, not knowing what is going on in the world outside our local community and just get by with the talk around the water cooler.

And when we take life in these little chunks, separate blocks of our time and attention, it seems a little bit more manageable.  We move from one task, event, errand, or chore to the other.

The problem is when we look at our lives from a big-picture perspective.  What if our lives, all of a sudden changed?  What if the stress of the day came bearing down at you all at once?  How could this happen?  This can easily happen during an emergency.  I’m not talking about your son just stuffed his GI Joe down the toilet, or the dog is out of food emergency.  I’m talking about the BIG stuff.

The Big Emergency

The BIG emergency is the one that stops you in your tracks.  It can be personal, based in your local community or worldwide.  But it is the one that everything else stops and all resources and energy are put towards it.

The problem is that most people are not prepared for a BIG one.

Prepared?

Are you and your family most people?  Do you have an emergency fund for financial emergencies?  Or, do you have insurance for medical emergencies?  Do you have food and water if there is a food supply/transportation emergency?  What about having another means of cooking and preparing your food if utilities weren’t available?  Do you have first aid supplies and extra medicine on hand?  Can you rely on some basic skills that could help you: fire starting, water purification, gardening, first aid, etc.?

This is the whole reason for my letter.  I want to help you see the importance of being prepared and to start being more self-reliant.  It’s not too hard, but it does take time, planning and effort.  But then again, what would the time, planning and effort that you put in ahead of time be worth in the middle of an emergency?  You’ll be glad you did!

Getting Prepared Action Steps:

Make a planWhat are you preparing for?  What needs to be done?  Don’t look at the magnitude of the plan, that can be overwhelming. Take it in chunks.  In reality, you will never be “prepared.”  You can be “not prepared” or “overly prepared,” but never “perfectly prepared.”  Consider the basics: financial, medical, etc…but also keep in mind your region of the country; hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, etc…

Set goals – When do you want _____ accomplished?

  1. Get a 3 day supply of food.  Then move to a 3 week supply.
  2. Revisit insurance: house, vehicle, medical, life, etc…
  3. Think about home and personal security.
  4. Start an emergency fund – 3-6 months of expenses
  5. Start a garden
  6. Take a class: first-aid, sewing, gardening, firearm, wilderness survival
  7. Watch some videos on Youtube (search preparedness)
  8. Read blogs and articles on “preparedness” and “prepping
  9. Listen to Podcasts that deal with the topic of preparedness.

Get active – go meet your goals!

Warning

The world of preparedness/prepping can be an addictive one.  It can suck you in, mess with your emotions and get you seeing are already crazy world in an even crazier way!  It is always best to approach preparedness within community.  You should go it alone only if no one else is willing.  Eventually, they will realize that you were right, even if that is in the midst of a storm.

It’s A Crazy World and It’s Fragile!

It is not in the scope of this letter to discuss all the possible emergency scenarios that you should prepare for.  But outside of regional, natural disasters, it is important to me to briefly mention our global situation.  Things outside our local community have gone from bad to worse!  At first, we might not care about what is going on in some Asian or European country, but the fact is that we are ALL tied into each other now.  What happens over there, affects us over here.

There are many “End of the World as We Know It” type scenarios out there.  One such scenario is an economic collapse.  Someone recently replied to me and said, “Yes, times can get hard, but we have been through it before during the Great Depression.”  The fact is that it is way different this time.  Our country didn’t have the debt that we have now.  And, if for some reason the world loses faith in our government’s ability to pay its debts, we are up the creek.  It really isn’t too far-fetched to imagine this happening if you’ll look into it.  The concern has gone beyond the tin-foil hat people.  Just research it!

Do Something

Please take this letter seriously.  If you prepare and don’t need it, the worst is that you have some food (food costs are going up/buy now at cheaper prices) and other supplies.  But if you ever find you are in a position that you do need it, you and your loved ones will be glad you were prepared!

Peace,
Todd

Crazy World

Our Crazy World – A Serious Conversation! Read More »

Survival And Safety- How Being Prepared Can Make A Difference

Survival and Safety

Life is unpredictable, and you can never be too prepared to deal with unexpected situations. Survival and safety are two critical concerns for any citizen, particularly if you have a family to protect. Riots, shootings, and bombing attacks are rampant, and even petty criminals in your neighborhood can be dangerous. While dangers lurk as you step out, you cannot be too sure about safety at home as well.

Apart from violent incidents, you may also have to deal with natural disasters like pandemics, earthquakes, floods, and tsunamis. The situation can get all the more critical when there are young children, old parents or a disabled family member to look after. Being prepared with a survival and safety strategy always makes sense. Let us explain how you can stay one step ahead of an SHTF situation.

Visualizing different scenarios

When it comes to survival and safety, unpredictability is the biggest challenge you face. In simple words, you can never know the dangers that lie ahead and exactly when they would strike. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, came as the biggest shock for the world. Even some preppers were taken by surprise with the outbreak.

It makes sense to visualize different survival scenarios so that you can be ready for them. Taking a solution-focused approach would be the best thing to do, as you need to think beyond disasters and incidents. Ideating a solution for each of the scenarios makes sense as it gets you ready on the fly.

Practicing situational awareness

While visualizing the possibilities will keep you one step ahead, you can never know what would happen until it actually happens. But things often happen (unless it is a disaster like an earthquake) with a forewarning, and situational awareness can help you reduce the risk with timely action.

Keeping an eye on the surroundings and taking even small precautionary measures can make all the difference. If there is civil unrest in your area, try to stay indoors and secure your living space. Avoid going out if there is a warning of a storm brewing in your area.  Skip your holiday plan to a destination threatened by terrorists or virus-like outbreaks.

Gathering your SHTF stuff

Another good reason for being prepared with a survival and safety plan is that you will have all your SHTF stuff in place. It is a clear advantage because you wouldn’t have to rush out for supplies amid a riot or a pandemic. You will be safe indoors and the family will be well provided for. Stock up emergency supplies of food, water, medicines, toilet paper, and other essentials, and have at least enough to cover your needs for a month.

Ballistic protection is another survival essential you cannot ignore. You can pick a bullet proof vest to stay safe even as you have to step out. Body armor not only protects you from bullets and weapons but also gives you the confidence to face the toughest situations while you safeguard your clan. 

Preparing your loved ones

While preparing for an emergency is important, it isn’t something you have to do alone. Even the best preparation would be worthless unless your family supports you during the situation. Consider involving your family when you create a survival and safety strategy for diverse scenarios. Create a complete plan of action so that everyone knows their roles clearly. The family can follow bodyarmornews.com regularly to understand tactical situations and self-defense better. At the same time, prioritize the value of safety and tell them that nothing matters more than saving themselves when a disaster strikes.

Awareness keeps them on track because they will be able to do their bit when a disaster strikes. Share a list of contact numbers to get help if they can escape during a situation. Investing in self-defense training for the entire family is a smart move because everyone will be able to do their bit during an emergency. Discuss the strategy from time to time so that everyone is on the same page.

Being ready for evacuation

Evacuation planning is a vital element of disaster preparedness. If you have a proper survival and safety strategy in place, you can easily evacuate your family from the dangerous area. It is vital to know your building well enough if you get trapped inside and want to escape at any point. Preparing a bug-out bag for every member is a good way to ensure that they can survive even if they are on their own after evacuation.

Your evacuation plan should also cover aspects like evacuating young children, seniors, and disabled members in grave situations. In addition to having a plan to evacuate your living space, discuss scenarios like being trapped in public places or outdoors during riots or violent events. Don’t miss the importance of getting out and seeking help for others, no matter how tough leaving your loved ones may sound.

Having a survival and safety plan can make a difference between life and death, no matter how serious the situation is. Apart from knowing safety basics and self-defense, also build up your confidence because it can keep you going even during the most challenging times.

This is a guest post.

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