When I started my journey in preparedness, I went down all the wrong paths and bought a lot of unnecessary stuff. But it was fun and I am happy that I woke up eventually to what I would like to call Everyday Prepping.
The thing is that the apocalyptic, Mad Max-inspired scenarios of the future is not reality. At least not yet and hopefully never will be. And the thoughts of an all out nuclear war are really scary but we need to face the facts that we can’t do anything about these big things that might happen or not.
That is where sound (or sane) prepping comes into play. We need to act on preparedness for the situations that are feasible and might happen to us and where we have the means to do something about it.
After becoming a somewhat (more) mature prepper, I have come to some conclusions and tips for starting in a better way than I did. And I wish I had found some of these tips when I started out. But maybe they will help you out?
STOP – Stop, Think, Observe and Plan
This is something that you can use in many scenarios. Most first responders like the police, fire fighters and ambulance personell use it in some way or another. They never run head first into a new situation and the same goes for all of us. We have a much higher rate of success if we:
- Stop what we are doing
- Think about what is happening
- Observe the situation
- Plan the next step(s)
The same can be used for prepping and I really urge you to do so before running to the store to buy everything you need according to a list you found on internet. If you already have planned to go on a buying-spree this weekend, with that pdf-file printed out on a sheet of paper in your hand, please stop. Don’t do it. Not right now.
Think about why you reacted this way. Why you felt the need to start prepping.
Now take a step back and think again about the scenario that is currently in your brain. If it is something really big like the war in Europe or the next pandemic that will be hitting us eventually, please realise that these are all examples of things that you cannot do anything about. You can’t stop them.
If you are still worried about the war or the pandemic you probably already have some experience in how these things affect you though. For us in Sweden, it is quite unlikely that the Russian army will invade. It seems like they already have their hands full so to speak. But if we are talking about war (and what we have seen here), there is a high probability that we will be targets for cyber attacks which could ultimately end up in a scenario where we loose the ability to pay digitally or where the electric infrastructure suffers a blow.
In all unexpected or strange situations, it is important to think rationally. And when it comes to prepping, of course, it’s also important. Therefore, take the time to think carefully about what your situation looks like right now, what you are worried about, how you can remedy shortcomings in your preparedness and how you can plan to lower your anxiety and possible discomfort.
Observe and Plan
Observation is all about getting a clear picture of the current situation. And since you have followed our advise to Stop and Think, you probably have a better view of what a real crisis would look like for you and your family already.
Perhaps you have even started documenting what events that realistically could occur and how these might affect your family. Maybe you want to rush out and start checking all those brackets on the prepper checklist, finally buying all the stuff that you need?
Please stay put. Stop. Don’t do it yet. Maybe in a day or two. But first, use the findings that you have made so far to make a list of you own. Or start removing things from that list you downloaded from the internet. Make it real. Make it useful for your household. For the crises you see possible.
Now use that list. Not as a list for purchases to be made but rather a list to see what you already have at home. When starting the journey of preparedness, there is no need to buy things you already have; that’s inefficient and not good for your economy.
About food: feel free to skip counting calories in each can, it takes too much energy to document (if you do not love pivot tables in Excel). Instead, try to figure out how many meals you can cook with the food you already have in the pantry. You will probably be amazed at how much resources are hidden in the cupboards behind the doors!
Once you have gone through the existing equipment and supplies, it is time to plan. And when I say plan, I still do not mean to check off items in a pre-written list of gadgets. Planning in this case is about two things; what do you need and if you have the means to acquire it. What I am saying is; are the products available, can you afford them and do you have the time and means to transport it home?
Be realistic. If you live in an apartment, you do not have to start googling for electric power plants or huge battery banks that can keep the fridge and freezer running. Instead, divert your thinking about good things in life, and focus on the shortcomings of your preparedness.
Think primarily of hope, warmth and water. Do you have board games at home or a deck of cards? Do you have blankets, warm socks and other things that can keep you warm in a cold home? Is it possible to fetch water nearby, and do you have vessels that you can fill if needed?
The first step to healthy prepping does not consist of buying all the water bottles that you see in your store or buying all the jars of ravioli that are available at your food store. Nor is it about finding the optimal solution for energy production in a world without electricity.
It’s about common sense. To be thoughtful before and to strengthen your preparedness one step at a time.
The next post will be about crises that are real and might affect you. Please stay tuned and tell your friends about this blog if you find it inspiring 🙂