Right now you might be thinking, “Why did he use the phrase ’emergency preparedness’ instead of ‘prepping’?” The answer is really simple; “prepping” has a negative connotation in this world. While the rest of the world has been in survival mode for a long time, Americans have been living in the lap of luxury. This world of convenience that we have made for ourselves has made us fat, naive, and lazy. This “lap of luxury” lifestyle has also made us complacent. We take things as they are and expect everything will be alright. If you are reading this, you have either already broken out of that mold or are ready to do so. Now what? How do you go about getting yourself ready for what is to come? That is what I am going to try to lay out for you here.
Let’s talk about commercial diving for a minute, so you can understand where I am coming from. Divers get on a boat with limited resources. They go out to the middle of the ocean, where help is hours, if not days, away. They go underwater, where visibility is usually non-existent, and perform a task that most people are not skilled enough to do. Sound familiar? If you have been thinking about getting prepared for an emergency of a large magnitude, this is exactly where you will be– out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but what you have brought with you. Help will be far away, if not non-existent. Few will be qualified to operate in this environment. See the parallels? So how do you become a person who will be qualified to operate in such a bad situation? The answer is one step at a time. Chinese philosopher Laozi once stated, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This is that step.
We, as Christians, may ask ourselves why we would bother to prepare. God will give us what we need and will call us home when he sees fit, right? I believe that God will give us what we need to survive, but how will He do it? I would have nothing but for the grace of God, but when I wake up in the morning there is not a plate of bacon and eggs sitting on the table waiting for me. There is, however, bacon and eggs in the fridge waiting to be fried up. This is God’s grace. He has given me the ability and sense to educate myself on how to acquire what I need to survive. This is how God has provided. This is what I call the conservative view of Christianity. The liberal view is believing that all thing will just be given to you without any effort on your part. I believe we all have been put on this earth to accomplish a task. I am not egotistical enough to think I know what God has planned for me or when I will be done with my assignment. I do know that when I finish my work that I have been put here to do, God will call me home. I prepare so that I can make the time between now and then comfortable for my family and myself. If my time to go home is 30 years from now, I want to live that time as comfortably as possible while I work on whatever God has put me here to do.
Mobilization, or mob, is what a boat does to get ready for a job. In this case, our job is to survive as easily and comfortably as possible. We first need to take stock of what is required to perform the job and compare it to what we already have. Preparedness gurus often refer to the “3 B’s”– beans, bullets, and Band-Aids. Each prepper is different in the order of importance they apply to each of the “3 B’s”. I believe that they are all equally important. Without beans (food), you will not have the energy to survive and will soon be one of the unprepared. Without bullets, you will have no way to protect yourself from the unprepared and will soon find that your beans have been taken. Finally, without Band-Aids (medical supplies), you will not remain healthy enough to survive. This is all great, but as far as I am concerned these follow behind a left out 4th “B”– brothers. Without brothers (like-minded people who can help you survive), you can have all of the previous 3 B’s and still find yourself wanting. Everyone has to sleep. That is a fact. Who is going to watch your back, while you sleep? You need others to help you protect yourself and your “preps”. Humans also need companionship. Without human interaction, you will become “the old cat lady at the end of the block”. So, the first step is to find/start a group. Believe it or not, everyone knows a “prepper”. We are everywhere, in all walks of life; we are doctors, businessmen, mechanics, and farmers. The trick is to find that person/group and align yourself with them. I will not pretend to be an expert on this. I fell into my group by divine intervention. God placed me where I needed to be and was needed. I still took the steps (conservative Christianity) to engage the person I knew could help me, but God put me in the position to be able to do that. There are prepper communities online, but I would carefully vet any potential partners with whom you don’t already have a relationship. In short, find yourself a group, engage that group, and prepare with that group.
So, the next thing is to evaluate our “B’s”. “But I don’t have any food stored.” I know you don’t. Most people have about three days’ worth of food in the pantry. This is not ideal for what we are talking about. Fortunately, having food is not the entire scope of having “beans”. What happens when that food runs out? This is where many of you might have something that others do not have. Did you garden with your grandmother when you were a kid? Did you learn how to can? Do you know how to raise chickens? These will come in handy when you need them most. Take stock of what you have in relation to the “4 B’s”, and then list what you will need. By starting with what you do have, while remembering that knowledge is extremely valuable, you can make what you don’t have less overwhelming.
When I say transit to location, I mean getting to where the job is. Remember, the job is survival. Now that you have taken inventory of what you do have and listed what you don’t have, it is time to start collecting what you will need in the future. This can be a daunting task. If you decided you want to do it all at once, then you need to realize that it will be a big hit to the pocket book. If you feel you have time, you can do it slowly and spread out the expense.
Find your group. Make sure they are someone you can trust and that the two (or more) of you will benefit from each other. Enough said.
Survival food can be EXPENSIVE. However, if you know how to can and grow a garden, you can put up your own survival food. If you don’t know how to can or garden, now is the time to learn. You can start building up your supply of food by buying an extra can of beans or corn the next time you go to the grocery store. This is a slow way of building up the food stores, but an extra can of beans in the cupboard is an extra can of beans in the cupboard. Another way of stocking up of survival food is to take advantage of the survival experts– the Mormons. The Mormons operate a store that sells food staples packaged for long-term storage at a reasonable price. Some wards allow non-Latter Day Saints members to shop there. I have one near me, and they have been a life saver (literally). Check out online where the closest LDS store is, contact them, and see if they will let you shop there. If not, there is an LDS store online that will let you. I recently completed an LDS order form and spent exactly $100. For that $100, I was able to obtain 80.6 pounds of food. I purchased 5.4 pounds of dried milk and 10 plastic lids to go on top of the cans that the food is packed in, once they are open.
Get a gun, learn to shoot, and become proficient. I cannot stress this enough. A gun is of no use to you if you don’t know how to use it and use it well. If you are scared of guns, get over it. Guns are not dangerous, but the person behind the gun can be. If you don’t have a family member who can teach you how to shoot, there are plenty of places that will teach a novice how to use a gun. If you are a woman, some gun ranges have ladies-only classes and ladies nights. When you choose a gun, choose something in a common caliber. Choosing a gun that shoots a bullet only made in Russia will do you no good when you run out of bullets. You will not be able to find bullets to protect yourself, and a gun without bullets is just an expensive paperweight.
This is a topic near and dear to my heart. My wife is a nurse. Every group should have a medical professional as a member. Doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and even a veterinarian can be a huge benefit to you and your group, but every member should have advanced first-aid training. What happens if the doctor gets sick? Find a CPR and first aid class, and get certified. Once you have basic first-aid, find a wilderness and remote first aid class and get certified. Take what you learn from those classes and build a first aid kit that matches your abilities. If there is something that you think you need but don’t know how to use, get it anyway. You may come across someone who does know how to use it. Stock up on antibiotics. “But my Dr. tells me I have to take all of the antibiotics when I am sick.” Your doctor is right. Get fish antibiotics. Fish antibiotics are the same thing that we are prescribed, but they’re labeled “not for human consumption”. This means they can be sold over the counter without a prescription. They work. I know because I have personally tested them.
Now it is time to do the work. You have found a group of like-minded people, have figured out what skills and supplies you have and are lacking, started accumulating supplies and knowledge (in my opinion you will never be done with this) to fill in the gaps, and have your preps ready. Now the unthinkable happens and it is time to go. Hopefully, in your supplies, you have enough gas to fill up your car. In a major power outage, you won’t be able to get gas. Fill up your car, pack your car, load your gun, and head to the group meeting place. Hopefully, you have figured out that things were about to get bad before things actually got bad. If so, take your time, be methodical, and get ready to leave. Make sure you know more than one way to get to your meeting location. You never know when a road will be blocked or under construction. Blend in; don’t look overly prepared. If you look like you have something that someone else wants, you become a target. The last thing you want is to be a target in a world without rules. Just stay calm and do what you have been preparing to do.
Decompression is the time after a dive where you let your body normalize. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, this is not going to be an option. As far as I can tell, we will never be back to “normal” again. Working the land to feed our family will become the new norm. Standing watch in the middle of the night so marauding bands of the unprepared don’t try to take your preps will be the new normal. This is something that I have had to come to grips with. My daughter may never go to prom, but she will be with her family and alive. Hopefully, if I have done my job correctly, we will not just survive, we will thrive. If you take your preparedness seriously and be methodical about it, you too will have a chance to thrive. I know it can seem like a daunting task, but if you just take it one step at a time, preparing will soon become second nature. Good luck, and may God bless you and your family.