Suffice it to say that much of this information is floating around in books, print, or cyberspace, and it may or may not be new and informative, but here is my outline for being prepared for possible difficult times and is kind of a value or mission statement that my wife and I have agreed to live by. It is by no means all inclusive or complete; rather, it is a work in progress for our group.
- Faith/knowledge. I am secure in my faith. I am a child of the most high God. I understand that God is good, holy, just, and faithful, and I know that I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. God promises me that, ultimately, all things work to the good of those called according to His will and purpose. I will strive to gain knowledge in order to have options for myself and loved ones. I understand that I don’t have to live in fear, but as a watchman on the wall I am called to be proactive in educating others, setting aside provisions for my family as well as others who God may call me to protect and/or bring into my home or circle in times of difficulty. I know that it will take courage, tenacity, integrity, faith, training, and hope in order to survive an extended period of lack.
- Finances/Be Debt-free. When I owe money to a lender I am indentured to them. The best way to be financially independent is to tithe first of the first fruits and then have a plan to be out of debt and remain that way. If I want to be free to advance the kingdom and to purchase things to be self-sufficient, then my priority should be to be out of debt as fast and as effectively as possible. I try to never pay full price for any item, if possible, and there are ways to do this without causing a spirit of poverty or lack to overtake me. I believe it is prudent to have cash on hand for a rainy day. I also believe there may come a time when precious metals will again be traded as currency and the fiat currencies of the world are no longer worth anything. Plan accordingly to have a supply of these items on hand, if possible.
- Water. It is quite possible that I will need to have additional water stored in my home because water is no longer available from normal sources. Therefore, I have gained knowledge and the ability to procure and implement necessary resources to treat water that is not potable. Much can be added to this topic, but procurement, purification/treatment, and storage of water will be critical for survival, and skill sets must be learned in all aspects of this asset.
- Shelter. If caught outdoors or away from my primary residence when a situation occurs, I must have a shelter to protect myself and my family from the elements. Shelter is the first priority, followed by water and then food. I understand that, if unprotected without shelter and exposed in nature during extreme weather, my family and I and anyone else with me may last only a few hours unless we find a way to protect ourselves from the elements. I must have the skills and materials on hand to build shelter where none exists. Tarps, cordage, bladed tools, and training in shelter building are critical to surviving away from home.
- Food Storage/Resupply. We will strive to have additional food stored for our family, ourselves, and also for others who the Lord may call me to help, for at least three weeks. Food for three months is more desirable in order to survive through a winter, if difficulty requires. In addition to food on hand, have ways to grow your own food, such as gardening, animal husbandry, and so forth. Also have extra of the supplies needed to grow your own food, such as seeds, and other much-needed items to barter. Food storage for additional extended periods of time should be an ongoing activity with the goal of having a long period of food stored. It is my long-term goal to have more than a year’s worth of nutritious, palatable food stored.
- Additional Supplies. In addition to food, I will have additional provisions set aside, such as health and medical care supplies, prescription as well as non-prescription drugs, cleaning, laundry, and personal hygiene items for three months or longer, should the ability to purchase them no longer exist. If I have a pet or pets, I will also have their food and other needs covered in my preparations and supply storage.
- Evacuation Plan. I understand that staying put in times of difficulty is usually my best option, but there may be times when this is not possible. I will put in place and train my family on an evacuation plan that should include multiple routes, multiple destinations or locations, and/or rendezvous points, in order to aid in our evacuation, should it become necessary. As part of any evacuation plan, each member of our immediate family will have a 72-hour kit with them or available to them in order to help achieve a better level of success when trying to unite as a group or evacuate to an alternative location other than my primary residency.
- Lighting Without Electricity. I will have multiple options for lighting, should the power go out. Such layers may include battery-operated flashlights or lanterns; Kero, Coleman, or oil-fueled lanterns; or lamps. In addition, candles and votives, as well as solar or hand-cranked lanterns are a few of the most commonly available alternatives, and they should also be on hand along with extra batteries, matches, and wicks/mantels bulbs, and other replacement supplies for our lighting needs.
- Cooking/Heating. We need at least one means of cooking food, should the power go off. Among them should be Coleman stoves, charcoal or gas grill (outdoor use only), Dutch ovens, Jet stove, hobo stove, Sterno or alcohol stove, and similar stoves. In addition, I will have alternative means of heating my home, including a wood stove, LP heaters, kerosene heaters, and so forth. A generator to run a freezer and refrigerator should also be included.
- Documents. I have duplicate copies of all my important documents, and I know where the originals are if I should need to take them when I evacuate. I also have a list of all of my valuables, furniture, and appliances or pictures to prove that I had these items should I need them.
- Self Defense. I have a working knowledge and means to protect my family, if I should have to, including hand-to-hand combat, firearm ownership/usage, and extra ammunition. I also will have on hand alternative weapons for protection and food gathering, such as bows, slings, crossbows, pellet guns, traps, and snares, and I’ll actively pursue training in force multiplication, tactics, and OPSEC methods to help in my defensive skills.
- Communications. I not only have alternative means to communicate with my family and friends as well as means to monitor weather and emergency situations, but my loved ones and I are familiar with their use. I will have a means to charge batteries, such as solar or crank, as well as other electrical power sources like a generator and fuel to aid in the use of these means of communications.
While nothing in the above list is probably uncommon or unknown to anyone who has been aware of the times we live in, it may be good information to present to those we know or trust who is just getting started in their journey toward self sufficiency.
I believe as Christians in a post-Christian society, we are called to be a peculiar race– a breed set apart– just as it says in the bible. If we want to be people of a peculiar race, we will want also to be able to bring light and hope to a dying land. If we are expecting to survive and thrive in difficult times and to lead others to safety and possibly salvation, we must be ready to share our preps as well as our faith with those who may be literally perishing around us. I believe we must be prudent and use good judgment and discernment to get the message out prior to a cataclysmic event, as well as reaching out, post-event, should it occur.
If things never fade to black and the world as we know it continues to limp along as we are now accustomed to, then I have hopefully helped equip some of the folks I know for their own personal crisis. At the very least, I have given them food for thought that they might not otherwise have gained if I had not taken the time to give them a alternative world view.
None of the 12 pillars has been fleshed out in the outline above, and this document is not meant to be all inclusive or even extensive in its scope. This is a beginning place for newbies or wannabees, and it should be used only as a launching pad, should you so chose.
Prepping is a way of life and lifestyle. It is hard to include all of the vast requirements of preparedness in one small outline, but rather this is a jumping on point that can start the journey of self sufficiency and sustainability, should life as we know it falter or even worse ceases to exist.