Last night’s premiere of Doomsday Preppers got you thinking your emergency preparedness plans are somewhat lacking? We thought it might. Our resident gourmet prepper Kellene Bishop has put together an introductory lesson to the word of prepping. And big thanks to Kellene for live-tweeting during her episode last night! She provided great insight and behind-the-scenes commentary. And, since we noticed so many comments about people considering prepping or worrying about how they would fare in an unexpected emergency, Kellene put this handy guide together for anyone interested in how to start prepping:
Attempting to be more self-reliant in any one area of our lives can feel a bit overwhelming. Even more frustrating can be the litany of advertisers who scare the bejeebies out of us in hopes to get us to buy their new and improved disaster prevention thingamajig. But if you stick to two key fundamentals of preparedness, you’ll be able to avoid the countless pitfalls.
Prepare for today, be ready for tomorrow. Avoid looking toward a single specific event for which you’re going to prepare. Self-reliance applies very personally to each person’s life. If you can prepare for the everyday, then you’ll find yourself prepared for future events as well. Instead of dwelling on the myriad of horrible possibilities, take it one step at a time. As you go through your daily routine, challenge yourself with questions that make you think differently about the access and freedoms you presently enjoy that make your daily routine possible. For example, as you’re driving ask yourself what you would do if your ability to drive that particular route was compromised. “What if” scenarios are much more powerful than simple child games, they give our brain the resources to use in the future when we are suddenly faced with a challenge, allowing us the chance to better function when faced with stressful situations. Also, allowing yourself to think of the “what if “scenarios, will naturally help you to take measures to be ready with countermeasures when you’re thrown a curveball.
Prioritize. There’s a natural progression of events that unfold in the face of a trial. Understanding this natural progression is key to properly preparing and will ensure that you don’t ignore a key principle or overemphasize another. History provides us with an abundance of these examples. For example, while most people think about stocking up on food, when it comes to “preppers” such a principle is no where near as critical as access to proper medical care. No one gets into a car accident and immediately dials for pizza delivery, right? So strengthen your self-reliance efforts by focusing on the natural way that vulnerabilities will unfold in times of distress and take actions according to the level of importance to such priorities.
Here’s a list of 10 Principles of Preparedness in the order of their prioritization. Try as you may, you’ll be hard pressed to switch their order of influence in your life. Ensuring that you address all of them with the proper level of prioritization, will give you a balanced self-reliance result:
1: Spiritual Preparedness: Your core values and belief system will be the first point of strength in the face of any challenge and will no doubt determine how you respond to those challenges.
2: Mental Preparedness: Your level of knowledge, skills, and fortitude to endure a challenge will be closely linked with the first Principle of Preparedness. All of the tools and supplies and protections in the world won’t help a person without the mental ability to exercise the use thereof.
3: Physical Preparedness: Your level of physical mobility, fitness, and how you’ve prepared to address your physical vulnerabilities is crucial. A fitness guru can be just as compromised as a person who’s seriously overweight if they lack the muscle memory, dexterity, and physical skills needed to travel or defend themselves in the face of a challenge.
4: Medical Preparedness: Something as simple as a hang-nail, minor scrape, or running out of critical medication has killed a person more than once. Preparing for such instances in the form of first-aid knowledge, alternative methods of care, battle field triage skills, and stocking up on essential first aid supplies can eliminate a host of unpleasant possibilities.
5: Clothing/Shelter Preparedness: Personal and structural soundness, safety, and protection. You may think of water as more important than most anything, but you can perish from heat exhaustion or freezing to death much sooner than you will thirst. How will you control your environment if you lack the luxury of electricity or gas?
6: Fuel Preparedness: Light, heat, travel, cooking, sanitizing, and environmental control all require some form or another of fuel—whether it be your own physical energy or that provided by a resource such as propane, batteries, or wood. Do you have alternative resources along with the equipment to use such resources?
7: Water Preparedness: While it’s not accurate that 72 hours without water will kill a person, it is accurate that 72 hours without water will begin to damage vital organs in the body. Be sure you have reliable water sources in your shelter, easily accessed, as well as plans for filtering and treating other resources of water.
8: Food Preparedness: Be sure that you also have the knowledge and resources to prepare and serve food with absorbable nutrition. Simply storing food is only the first step. True self-reliance only comes in this area when you’re able to produce food as well. Also, don’t underestimate the need for familiar foods for your family, as well as comfort food.
9: Financial Preparedness: Ridding yourself of debt and having the ability to purchase what you need under a wide set of circumstances is critical, as is having 6 months reserve of your monthly income and setting aside items with which to barter.
10: Communication Preparedness: When trouble strikes, the first thing you want to know is that your friends and loved ones are well, however, there are many circumstances in which your traditions communication methods are compromised, so prepare for alternatives. Coordinating efforts, commerce, and safety are also compromised without sufficient low-tech communication alternatives.
Kellene Bishop, The Preparedness Pro, has been educating on panic-free, practical preparedness information for over 12 years. You can find more information at www.preparednesspro.com or Kellene’s Facebook and Twitter pages.