Today we will be doing the first of several “back to the basics” posts to help out some of the newer members of the audience and maybe even help some of the more experienced preppers brush up on some of the things they may have missed starting out. We will be focusing on food storage, water storage, security and several other topics that will get you started off on the right foot in your preparedness journey without buying into all the “Doomsday, TEOTWAWKI, ZOMG ZOMBIES!” hype that plagues this community.
Headless Prepper Syndrome
Most people that are very new to the idea of preparedness experience something within those first few weeks that I like to call “Headless Prepper Syndrome”.
Have you ever seen what happens when a live chicken is harvested? After dispatching the bird by cutting off its head, the bird goes absolutely ballistic. The chicken will literally run around with its head cut off in every direction, flapping its wings wildly, blood and feathers going everywhere. Finally, when the adrenaline keeping it alive finally runs out, it falls over dead.
A lot of new preppers do something similar. Usually there is some sort of event or tipping point that a lot of us call the “Wake Up” phase. It’s when someone’s long-standing acceptance of the modern world, with all its conveniences and innovations is finally challenged by the reality that there are literally thousands of threats out there that could destroy our way of life.
They feel vulnerable, caught off guard and are compelled to run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to do anything (usually involving dropping far too much money on “stuff” they don’t need) to become “prepared” for whatever big disaster event they are now sure is right around the corner.
The worst part is that just like the chicken, the adrenaline doesn’t last long. After a few months prepping becomes less and less of a priority. It’s hard financially, they don’t have a clear plan and the things they are doing aren’t helping them in their daily lives. Before long, they bury their head right back into the sand, depressed and less prepared than when they started out. We call that prepper burn out.
I know I experienced this and I know a large chunk of preppers did as well. Heck, some preppers never got burnt out and are still sitting on a couple pallets of MREs, are spending tens of thousands of dollars on credit cards every year buying the newest prepper gear, buying into every hair-brained SHTF scenario Alex Jones tells them is around the corner and are scratching their head wondering why the end of the world won’t just hurry up and get here already so they can be proven right to all their friends and family who now, for some reason, don’t come around much anymore.
To anyone out there that’s going through this “wake up” moment right now… Calm down and take a deep breath. You can’t plan for disaster or respond in an emergency situation in that way. You need to be calm and you need to have a plan.
Planning is the key to everything when it comes to preparedness. Food and water storage, bugging out vs. bugging in, security, gardening… all of it requires planning in order to really be effective at all and to have a positive impact on your life today, as well as in a disaster.
There’s a big difference between planning and daydreaming. Every single day, in every single online prepper community that’s out there, there are hundreds of preppers simply daydreaming instead of actually planning. I can’t even count how many times in a day I see “When the SHTF…” followed by some sort of outlandish claim of their survival skills which are apparently going to keep them alive when the end of the world inevitably comes.
If I could give a new prepper only one piece of advice, I would tell them to stop thinking about how they are going to survive SHTF, Doomsday events. Always keep practicality in mind when planning your preps. It’s very easy to get sidetracked and get caught up in daydreaming about things that are completely irrelevant when making preparedness plans.
There is a simple way to keep yourself from going down this road. When making plans, deciding on gear to buy…anything, ask yourself one question:
Is this going to benefit me now?
Everything you do in your preparedness journey should add a real benefit your life now. Yes, the doomsday events like EMPs, Pandemics, Peak oil, Invading foreign armies… they’re all absolutely possible. If you lived to about 200 you might even actually have time to prepare for these individual events too, but last time I checked we don’t have that much time on this planet.
The thing is, these events have an extremely low statistical probability of happening compared to real life events like a job loss, the rising cost of food, the availability and affordability of water, personal security, availability and stability of energy, natural disasters, inflation…the list could go on and on. The fact is that there are so many realistic disasters out there that you either WILL or are LIKELY to encounter at some point that taking time and resources away from them to plan for the unlikely SHTF disasters isn’t just ill-advised, it’s irresponsible.
This is the mentality we will maintain when we continue with the Prepper Basics series. We will show you how practical prepping can not only make you prepared for most real disasters, but how it can actually provide amazing benefits to your life even when nothing goes wrong. We’ll show you how to make realistic and obtainable plans for storing food and water, protecting yourself, determining whether or not bugging out is right for you and many other aspects of prepping. Then, we’ll show you how to put those plans into action affordably and effectively.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for part 2 of our Prepper Basics series. We will be discussing how to make a food storage plan that can get your family to 6 months of long-term stored food quickly and efficiently.
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