Different people prep for different reasons. Many people have zeroed in on a particular disaster or event that has them concerned: EMP, reversal of the poles, nuclear war, government takeover, pandemic, you name it.
Maybe one of those things will happen, and maybe they won’t. It’s anyone’s guess.
The one thing that all preppers can agree on is the fact that the way of life we enjoy right now is exceptionally fragile, and something is going to bring it to a screeching halt, probably sooner, rather than later.
When it happens, those who have planned ahead will be in a position to thrive and rebuild, and those who haven’t probably won’t survive the first month.
Unfortunately, spending too much time focused on prepping for one very specific kind of disaster can leave you ill-prepared should TSHTF in some way you had not anticipated.
Drawing from the examples mentioned above, let’s say your big fear is that a global pandemic will hit.
In that case, your preps will likely be heavily centered on medical supplies, surgical masks, bleach, and other things related to triaging, quarantining, and treating people who succumb to whatever disease you’re worried about.
Not to say that other preppers don’t stockpile medical supplies, but if a pandemic is your big worry, you’ll probably spend an inordinate amount of time and resources preparing for that specific incident.
If you’ve guessed wrong, and the end of the world as we know it takes the form of say, an EMP, then you’re likely going to be meds-heavy and electronics-lite. Not a happy situation.
Your best bet, by far, is to be more of a generalist when it comes to your preparations, because then, no matter what happens, you’ll be well-positioned to survive it.
Even if you are more of a generalist, it’s still possible to get off track, because let’s face it, there’s a lot to keep track of, and while it’s virtually impossible to cover all your bases. Most preppers are pretty good at covering the basics: Food, water, and basic tools.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to surviving than just these. At the end of the day, you want to do much more than just survive day-to-day, you want to make sure you’re in a position to thrive in the aftermath and be an integral part of the rebuilding effort.
So how does one stay focused on the big picture, exactly?
Opinions vary, but a good place to start is to review your stockpile and setup on a regular basis and with your current preps in mind, answer the following questions:
- How long will my food stockpile last, and knowing that it is finite, what’s my specific plan for creating a renewable food supply before it runs out?
- How long will my water supply last, and knowing that it is finite, what’s my specific plan for creating a renewable water supply before it runs out?
- How do we move from merely existing, to thriving in the post-disaster world? What tools are required, and do I have them? If not, what’s missing?
- How do we get the lights back on, post-disaster? What will it take to build a robust, independent power supply for my family pre-disaster, and what will it take to expand it, post-disaster?
- How (specifically) do we defend ourselves from those who would want to take it away from us in the wake of a civilization-ending disaster (note that this involves a lot more than simply counting guns and rounds of ammo, but developing a detailed defense plan to deal with all manner of threats you might face)
- How long do we wait, post-disaster, to begin searching for and reaching out to other communities? When we do, who handles the initial meeting with those groups? Where? (a detailed protocol needs to be developed—subject to revision, of course—well in advance)
- What communications equipment do I have? How are those devices powered? Do I have backups?
- What skills do I currently lack that would be of tremendous value in the post-disaster world? Is it practical for me to acquire them?
All of these are vitally important questions that deserve well-considered answers.
The bottom line here is that preparation isn’t just about stockpiling provisions.
That’s key, because if you don’t have the basics well-covered, you won’t live long enough for the rest to matter, but “the rest” isn’t going away.
If you don’t have detailed answers to those questions, at a minimum, then you’re going to find it very difficult to move away from merely existing, and on into thriving and rebuilding.
The ability to make that transition is critical. Don’t leave it to chance, and don’t just assume you’ll be able to “figure it out” on the fly.
When TSHTF, you’re going to be very, very busy, and you won’t have a lot of spare time to sit around and brainstorm solutions to the highly complex problems you’ll be facing. The more of that you can do now, and the more infrastructure you can put in place on the front end, the better off you’ll be.
Bio (if needed):
J. C. Simmons is a life enthusiast, father of two, and a compulsive reader. He loves enjoying a natural outdoors life with his family and delving into the world of self-sufficiency. J. C. is a writer by hobby and passion, currently a contributor to Consumer Files and other online publications.