Having worked as a counselor in various positions, I have had the opportunity to view the system from many angles. What I am seeing scares me and should scare you too, not the type of fear that freezes you or drops you into a strong state of denial but the fear that motivates you to take close inventory of what is important in your life and causes you to initiate a plan to protect yourself and those you love.
I must have looked like an odd duck when I worked as a drug and alcohol counselor. My co-workers were left wing liberals and I am very conservative. While they ate their tofu products for lunch, I ate deer, rabbit, squirrel, or something I grew or collected myself (much to their horror). When I ate the eggs from my chickens, one of my co-workers exclaimed she would never eat an egg from a chicken as all her eggs come from the store; the same woman was working on an education degree to become an elementary school teacher with full intention of working in a public school setting.
I am seeing people from all walks of life fearing 2012.… as if the doctor diagnosed them with a terminal disease with a set number of months left to live. I see various types of reactions:
*Individuals in complete denial – asserting our system could never fail – believing there are too many programs to help people that are having difficulty. These individuals view the government as a parent with an endless bank account that can continually bail out its delinquent dependent children.
*Individuals trusting their pastors who tell them preparation is equivalent to a lack of faith because God is going to rapture the believers up right before anything bad happens.
*Individuals who realize that they should prepare but don’t want to make sacrifices with their current financial budget so they ignore what they see and write it all off as a y2k scare.
*Individuals at various levels of preparing and many that believe totally preparation is not necessary as imagining a world without electronics and electricity is beyond their comprehension.
*And there are those who are living their lives the way they want to now with the intention of taking by force what they need from those who have been diligent in preparing.
The best advice I could give is sit down with your loved ones and make sure that you completely understand each other and are on the same page. After a 4 year courtship with a man who claimed he wanted us to become self-sufficient, I found myself single again when he left after a series of tropical storms hit our area leaving much devastation. My property held – just had the minor inconvenience of no electricity which I saw as a time to test our resources. He left after the power came back on – with the belief he was running to a world that would never change… would always have the lights on… would always have stocked grocery stores and convenient marts full of gas. He ran to a place he felt he could live it up and experience all the things he was not going to willingly ever give up. He ran to his friends that call us “preppers” loony like those who called Noah nuts for building an ark in the dessert. The rain is coming folks. In fact… pun intended… it never really has stopped where I am at.
I have had some time to contemplate what happened to my failed relationship and it made me realize that he will not be the only one of us who runs. Some will run right into the arms of the enemy and gladly share what they know and where they came from. Some will jump off the cliff with the others when the SHTF. Some times we won’t be surprised at this and sometimes we will.
Make sure you are on the same page as your loved ones. Everyone has a special talent or ability that they can bring to the survival package. If things are not working now before anything catastrophic happens, then you can pretty much count on them not working at all if something happens. Change … dramatic changes… have the potential to bring out the worst in people. Panicked people can’t think and often do stupid things.
Also make a plan for how you are going to deal with all those who will not be in your immediate family/group but show up after the collapse. If you are a survivalist or prepper, you are noticed no matter how inconspicuous you try to be. We are noticed because we are different and there is nothing wrong with that. But that difference will be why they will be headed our way and not to their buddies who didn’t do anything to “weather the storm”. What is your plan to protect your own? How far will you go to accomplish that? Is everyone in your family and group on the same page with this? Figure this out now – because during a collapse, there are too many other pressing things you will be faced with you may not have anticipated.
I found out how panicked a community can become when the power went out for almost a week during tropical storm Irene. Panicked people have difficulty thinking as it is hard for the average person to imagine a world without electricity. Some basic things got my neighbors through the week once I explained how to use some basic items most people have around their homes already.
1. Garbage pails cleaned with some dish detergent or bleach can become great rain collectors to collector house water that runs from a gutter. This water can be used for bathing, cleaning, flushing toilets, and when filtered – using a coffee filter set in a strainer can be used for consumption. This water can also be boiled for those concerned with drinking filtered rain water.
2. Those cute solar lights that outline people’s driveways, walkways, gardens, etc make great indoor lanterns at night. They can be placed in a Mason jar or plastic bottle (stake down) and carried around the house or set on a table or shelf. The more sunlight available that day – the longer they will be lit at night. This not only saves batteries and candles but is a safe alternative that many people already own.
3. Use items thawed items in your freezer first. If food seems questionable it is still probably safe enough to be used as feed for dogs or cats if used right away. At my house – the saying is – nothing goes to waste. If we can’t eat it, either the cats, dogs, goats, ducks, or chickens can. The very little that is left over after that ends up in the composting bin for use as my medium for starting seeds in late winter for spring planting.
3. Restless adults, teenagers, or children can find entertainment in board games, cards, or story telling. Devastating storms don’t have to be devastating to families. This can be used as a bonding time without having to fight distractions from electronics, television, phones, etc.
4. Humor… humor…humor… Use it generously… Laugh. Depression is contagious …. But fortunately so is a positive attitude which is what you are going to need to recognize resources you already have around the house if you get caught with your pants down and did not prepare.
5. Toilets do not need to be flushed every time you use them. Flush them if someone has a bowel movement – all other times keep the lid down until the smell tells you it needs a flushing. This conserves a tremendous amount of water. Placed any used toilet paper in a lined garbage can to be burned later – clogged pipes or overflowed septic tanks can only make matter worse at this point.
6. Your hot water heater is a good source of water along with your pipes in your house when you run out of rain water you collected in a storm.
7. Bathing – collected rain water can be heated up with a gas stove, wood stove, or even a pot on your grill. What is really nice is the grills that have the burner attachment to them. Do NOT bring your grill into your home. That is dangerous. At our house we heated up enough water on our gas stove for each person to get cleaned up by a modified sponge bath accomplished by placing the heated water in a bucket in our bath tub. With a cup, we would scoop out just enough water to get our bodies wet and pour it on ourselves, then lather up, and use the rest of the water to rinse – if you use a cup you will use less water which means less waste and less time to heat up the amount of water needed. Since we were in the bath tub while accomplishing this the water and soap suds stayed where they belong.
I found that the things that concerned my neighbors the most (ones who had no survivalist prepping mindset) was eating, bathing, lighting at night, and ability to use toilets all of which I showed them can be accomplished with a few simple items they already have around their house.
Good luck with your prepping. Make it fun. Maintain your humor. Hug your loved ones frequently – well not so frequently they think you are completely nuts. If you are reading this blog then you are already concerned about what you see in the world and see that some changes need to be made to ensure long term survival. Give yourself a pat on the back for it – you are already ahead of the masses–even if you feel you have a long way to go in your preparations.