What does it mean to survive? Obviously, humans have survived countless natural and man-made disasters and continue to survive and thrive on planet earth. However, in this blog, we are focusing on surviving a SHTF situation.
All around us we see our freedoms being eroded and many of our systems being corrupted. So we prepare. But for what? So many scenarios could play out– a false epidemic, fires (natural or man made), SWAT teams in the early hours in small communities where they can knock out power and cell, preventing us from spreading the alarm. And, there are so many more possibilities.
Three Most Critical Areas of Preparation
The three most critical areas of preparation are rarely discussed. These are mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Why These Areas of Preparation Are Important
Why are these areas of preparation so important? It’s because, at our core, that is all we truly are. Our body is a vehicle we use. It needs sustenance, warmth, and protection. Al of that we need to be mentally and emotionally strong to achieve.
We can buy food, store water, own guns and ammo, have sufficient medical needs and even camping gear. However, if we are not knowledgeable on many fronts, we are ill prepared. Not only is it important to know how to use what we have but also how to place it for maximum security and use.
Let us look at the fires in California last year as an example. Aerial views show whole neighborhoods reduced to rubble. There has been speculation that it may have been done with a laser-directed beam from an airplane. Regardless, if you had been in such a situation, all of your physical prep would have gone up in smoke. Are you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ready for such an outcome?
Loss of Life
And what of loss of life? In a SHTF scenario, people will die, even people you love. Grief will blind you as well as derail your ability to cope, which is why the military train so intently.
During one of the World Wars, psychologists wondered about the men who repeatedly ran back in to save others. They surmised it was because of being raised in poverty or strained conditions. However, they were wrong. In fact, those who went back in came from intact, well to do homes and were loved and well educated. Strong mental and emotional lives gave them the tools they needed to survive and still help others.
World Wide Web
Today, we have access to so much free material on the world wide web. This allows you to provide yourself with a wide range of knowledge in an assortment of disciplines. https://eartheasy.com, is such a place. There are countless others as well as free courses in carpentry, sewing, and of course cooking in a wilderness setting. Map reading and proper use of compass.
A Mindset That Can Shift Gears
To be able to have a mindset that can shift gears in a changing environment and makes use of whatever you find around you is a true survival tool. I am a big fan of the original McGyver show. I loved that he had such a broad range of knowledge to pull from and could improvise on the sly.
Part of that mind set is to break from the masses of which a large part are dependent on the government, experts, or technology. All of these can paralyze us from acting, or force us to act recklessly, such as in a pandemic situation where staying in place is better and safer then fleeing. To stay put in the face of the unknown and potential life threatening situation, takes strong emotional control and a deep faith, not only in a higher power, but your own knowledge and supplies.
There are so many programs and videos online that teach you how to survive in different terrains as well as locations, such as urban or rural or mountainous or desert. Learning situational awareness as well as intelligence gathering and analysis.
Bug Out Bag
Keeping a bug out bag in your car that has the most basic of needs, should you have to leave in a hurry. It is an essential item. Items in the bag should have the greatest range of uses should it be all you have.
Using intelligence gathering, you know which locations apart from yours that would be secondary locations. Maybe a handful of close family or friends buys a storage facility in the secondary zone and you each store back up material.
Find off-the-path locations and bury supplies on the route, including weapons. Doing this act of caching, as an insurance against some scenarios, takes some of the stress off a sudden change in circumstances.
Mental and Emotional Strengths
Being able to stop and breathe through the fear, to rely heavily on a higher power, to shift gears at a moments notice, to think through a scenario to see a clear path, to stay put when your fight and flight response says flee– these are mental and emotion strengths you will greatly need.
And what of the Spiritual? As a death survivor, I know both sides of the divide. My inner strength and my unwavering convictions, my deep and abiding confidence in Spirit, are the bedrock foundation upon which all else is built. Jesus did not tell us to have faith IN God, but instead to have the faith OF God. That small word makes all the difference.
There will be times when you will want to just give up. Here is when the Spiritual foundation truly kicks in. I remember many times when I was a new mom and I would ask my mom this or that, some days wanting to quit. She would say, “Just wait a day before deciding anything.” It took a while to get what she was saying.
Begin today to practice meditation. Jesus said to seek the kingdom first and that the kingdom is within. So spend even five minutes listening and going within. Like any muscle, it will strengthen with use. Soon you will find that it will become easier and will be the greatest resource you have.
Not Far Enough
In the TV program The Walking Dead, many people stopped watching it because of the violent actions of the bat wrapped with barbed wire character. They felt it went too far. In fact, it did not go far enough. In a SHTF scenario, the psychotic will be out in force. They will kill for the sheer pleasure of it.
It is easy to sit in your comfortable home and feel safe. You have your gear, and so in your mind all is well. Reality will surprise you. During his time at Valley Forge, George Washington was given three visions. In the last, he was shown the nation as it is today. He was told the last attack on the Republic would be the worst and many would die. No watering it down. Just straight up many will die.
Included in that is our pets. SWAT will shoot them. A pandemic could get them easier than us. Again, there are countless scenarios. In many natural disaster evacuations, people leave their pets behind. Can you do this? How will you feel later for having done so? Will they make noise that gives you away? What of the death of an elderly family member?
It is not a subject people want to brooch but is absolutely necessary. Blood, torture, suffering, death– these will happen, and you need to be prepared emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for the possibility. To ignore the most horrific possibilities is to keep your head. Play “What would I do if…?”
In the real world, we know that when the unexpected happens we were not ready for it. We can be tripped up, frozen with fear, or simply left shocked and immobile.
Build Your Prepping Insurance Stock Stock Pile
As you build your prepping insurance stock pile, be sure not to leave out the emotional, mental, and spiritual. Educate yourself. Take a deep inventory of your emotional responses and your own self control. Put yourself, mentally in different outcomes, and walk through how you would react and change anything you see into a better response.
We can prepare to a degree for a SHTF scenario, but likewise prepare mentally to what will come after as well. Get to better know the ones who will be around you and will have your back. How they weather the storms around themselves will give you a better assessment of how they will be with you. We all have a hidden fear and knowing it and eradicating it now will be good practice in facing new ones and getting beyond them quickly.
Children and Teens
As difficult as this subject is for us adults, it’s doubly so for children. Teens are on a cusp from the safety of childhood to the full minefield of adulthood. Smaller children may take it in stride, whereas teens may have increased stress. You know your child. So, preparing them is a job only you can do.
I would often watch certain shows with my children and use them as teaching moments. We would discuss how a character acted or reacted and what might be a better action. We would discuss what would you do in a situation like that. By doing this they saw it played out and were able to put themselves in it safely.
None of us know the absolute how, or when, but we can build the mental, emotional, and spiritual muscles we will need regardless of the event or events.
Remember courage is not having no fear; it is instead not letting it be an obstacle to action.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.