Words To Live By, by Paul Z.

Everybody has a set of words that they live by- have you ever stopped to really think about which words might keep you alive? Time to get motivated. Sounds silly but there are eight very simple words that will get you on your way to becoming a different person, a person that identifies who and where they are in the universe, a person that plans, a person that starts down the road towards self-reliance, a person that is not apathetic, a person that commits to learn, a person that executes and maintains what they learn. You can be this person. Take a moment and examine what is important to you now and what should be important to you in the very near future. Mark my words, there will come a time when things break down, get nasty, and your world will lose its coziness- will you have the wherewithal to keep yourself comfortable or keep yourself alive? Take the time to learn these key words and set your goal to become self-reliant.

Yes, I am talking to you about you. No matter what job you have, no matter what role you may play in your family or community, there is no better feeling than having the confidence in your own ability to maintain yourself without outside aid or relying on any outside sources. How can you become independent, isn’t it hard? Doesn’t it cost a lot? Is it really worth all the effort? Ask the people of New Orleans, Joplin, and Japan if it’s worth the trouble. Is it really trouble? Learning how to plan for the worst-case scenario seems to me to be something that avoids trouble. What do you do when the power lines outside your home are blown down on the street? What do you do when water has flooded your neighborhood and there isn’t a drop to drink? What do you do when a group of people has assembled around your home with the intention of taking it over? You become self-sufficient and learn how to plan and live in a self-reliant manner. Could you grow your own food for months at a time? Could you light a fire with what you have on your person right now?  If the world as you know it came to an end could you keep you and yours together and safe? Could you?

Being able to adapt is the key to avoiding a terrible end to a horrible situation.  Having an edge in any predicament that helps you come out on top is invaluable.  How do you adapt, how do you have that edge if you don’t come up with a strategy? When this happens, then do that. Simple. So what is the hold up? Why don’t you know five different routes out of town? Why don’t you have a way to cook food on the road? Why don’t you have extra medication, cash, and clothing in your car for that next trip of more than ten miles from your door? Because you have not gotten serious about what is coming around the bend. Avoid the chaos of the unknown by making it known and create a strategy that will get you through the worst of times. Are you ready to map out your strategy?

Begin right now, read this and then educate yourself on how to survive when society collapses. Did you see that? Not if but when society and your safety net fall apart.  “Fire and police will not arrive for up to 72 hours after an earthquake unless you are located where the most damage has occurred”, that’s the first thing that a Los Angeles Fire Department captain told me at a Community Emergency Response Training (C.E.R.T.) class recently- the class was free, put together through my local Neighborhood Council.  She stressed becoming self-sufficient and pounded it into our heads that we would be on our own in the event of a natural disaster for much longer than most of us were currently prepared to deal with. Get the odds stacked in your favor, start now and educate yourself on the art of becoming self-sufficient.

Avoid becoming apathetic. It’s amazing how many Americans show such little concern regarding not being prepared in the event of a shutdown of some sort. It’s going to happen and it doesn’t have to be the result of a catastrophic tsunami or a global economic meltdown. An electrical worker mistakenly removed a piece of monitoring equipment at a substation in southwestern Arizona last week (September 9, 2011) and caused a power outage for over four million people in Southern California, Arizona, and Mexico. One person got distracted and it affected four million people- how many of them were prepared to deal with that?  No power, no cash from the ATM. But forget about the ATM because the traffic lights will be out and the gridlock will stop you cold. The cold, no power means no heat because your thermostat won’t work. See what’s going on? Your good intentions aren’t worth squat if you become apathetic and allow yourself to be indifferent towards the reality of needing to be self-sufficient.  Stop being apathetic, become passionate, educate yourself, make a plan, execute your plain, and know that you can rely on yourself.

Bandages, a flashlight, and a bottle of water will help you stay hydrated in a dark room while covering a skinned knee; however, will you be able to feed, shelter, and sustain yourself and your family for days at a time?  Months? You must learn how to be self-sufficient- it is not a guessing game. Educate yourself in the many disciplines of self-sufficiency. CPR, water purification, food storage, fuel storage, and strategies for dealing with emergency situations are not listed on the side of a ninety-nine cent first aid kit. Bandages will not get oxygen to the brain of an unconscious and unresponsive relative on the floor. A flashlight is only as good as the batteries in it- how old are those things and are they even in there? Did you know that the suggested minimum amount of water per person is one gallon per day- do you have three gallons of drinking water in your home? Any water in the car? Strategy is important, learn how to save yourself and your loved ones by getting educated. Take a walk through your house and really ask yourself if IT happened right now, would you know how to purify the water in the back of your toilet tank- did you even think about the water in your toilet tank? What about the water in your water heater? Do you know where your water heater is? Learn, learn, and learn because it will happen and you will want to know what to do.

If you’re going to do it, then do it. There is no such thing as almost storing some water or kind of putting a few hundred dollars in small denominations in your “bug out” bag. Unless you, yes you, do it then it will not get done. You have to commit to doing this for yourself and your family. It is tough, it is daunting; however, once you commit you can make it happen. Good intentions will leave you unprepared while committing to getting every aspect of your life as self-sufficient as possible will leave you ready to be on your own when everything around you has failed.

Follow through and carry out your plan. Go buy that generator. Outfit your “bug out” bag and put it where you know it will be. Get that emergency kit together for your car and actually put it in your car. Knowledge is wasted unless you physically implement what you have learned.  Reading about starting a fire with two sticks is great; however, actually starting a fire by rubbing two sticks together is better. Knowing you need a gallon of water per person per day and actually procuring that water and storing it properly is the difference between a comfortable life and an agonizing death. Once you learn what you need to do go do it.

Having one hundred and ten gallons of potable water in your garage is great, going to use it after a year of storage only to find it full of algae and other toxins is just sad. Did you know that some plastics are affected by a concrete floor? Something as simple as a piece of wood between your container and the floor could have kept your supplies ready for use. How about those gallons of gas you’ve been storing for six months, did you know gasoline goes bad? Or what about your firearms, have you cleaned them recently? Do you know how to clean them? Have you rotated your canned food supply? Maintain your supplies, maintain your equipment, and maintain what you know by refreshing your skills- don’t let them spoil through ignorance and neglect. Self-sufficiency is a learned, practiced, and maintained skill. I put an extensive first aid kit in my wife’s car, I know that if I needed to I could open it up and have access to a surgical field kit, at least I thought I did. I was shocked to find that my wife had gone into the kit and used the surgical tape for wrapping Christmas presents, the surgical sheers were nowhere to be found, and the alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, and pain reliever had been pilfered over time. Maintain your supplies, you never know who has been doing what to them. Maintain your knowledge and skill, if you don’t use it you will definitely lose it. Read up on what you think you already know, you’ll be surprised to find out that someone has come up with something new.