Here we are, two and a half months into 2013. Have you set any goals related to prepping and are you on the right path which will enable you to achieve them? Writing goals out onto a piece of paper and sticking them to your fridge might seem a little cheesy, but even a small bit of guidance/motivation is better than none at all when considering the consequences of getting caught with your pants down should T-SHTF. If you set 5 goals for yourself and manage to achieve even one of them I would say that is a victory. As always your goals should align with a well thought out strategy which includes prioritization and takes into account your specific circumstances (i.e. budget, family size, location). Here are 5 goals I recommend setting your sights on for the remainder of 2013.
1- One year supply of Storage Food. Some simple math is required here, in that you need to count calories. Figure 2000 calories per person, per day. Your food storage can be a combination of canned food, MREs, buckets and long term freeze dried / dehydrated items. More than anything make sure you utilize food which you won’t mind eating as there could be times when you have to dip into your supplies unexpectedly (natural disaster, job loss). If you hate SPAM but have 50 cans of it sitting on the shelf just because your local store had a case sale, you should probably take a fresh look at your selection process. Justifying the purchase of food which you would normally find revolting with the phrase “well if T-SHTF I’ll just learn to like it” really isn’t a great technique.
2- Bugout Strategy refined. I’m guessing that our SHTF plans are very similar. My primary plan involves bugging in should things go sideways but there could be times when I have no choice but to leave in order to keep my family out of danger. I am in no way naive enough to believe that no matter what comes down the road myself and a handful of guns will be able to fight it off, not to mention I like living. That said my bugout strategy is locked in tight and I hope yours is too. Have all of your bugout equipment sequestered in one area so you can quickly grab it, and make sure it is all ready for travel (i.e. in sturdy bags or containers, not strewn about in a bedroom closet). Have a checklist and conduct rehearsals with your family, drive the primary and alternate routes to your BOL so that you are familiar with them. Discuss plans for having to leave on foot, in a worst case scenario. Just because there is a low probability of something occurring does not mean you shouldn’t give it consideration during your planning phase. Ask those who were caught off guard in NYC after Hurricane Sandy blew through how eating out of dumpsters worked out for them.
3- Learn a new skill. Think of learning a skill that is outside of your traditional comfort zone. Some suggestions: take an outdoor survival course, learn how to hunt or fish (if you are a city dweller), get your CPR certification, learn how to reload ammunition, study for and pass the exam to get your HAM license, start a small raised bed garden in your yard. Pick something which interests you and go for it, you’ll be happy you did.
4- Grid Down Emergency Cash Fund. Not the emergency fund which you have in your savings account, but rather the cash you have on hand at home in the event the your debit card stops working. After natural disasters the power often goes out, sometimes for days. Cash will enable you to buy supplies or much needed gasoline (if it is still available). If SHTF happens (EMP strike, Cyber Attack) the power will be out indefinitely, ATMs won’t work and that plastic in your wallet will be worthless. Cash will be king briefly and it is during this time that you will be able to exchange your fiat currency for valuable items, before people start catching on. I recommend having at least $1000 in currency in the following denominations: $500 in 20’s, $250 in 10’s, $150 in 5’s and $100 in 1’s.
5- Embrace Physical Fitness. If you find yourself out of shape, fear not! Progress can always be made but it will take discipline and dedication to a long term plan. Take a look at some of the physical fitness tips I posted after the first of the year and make it a goal to complete the PFA before the year is out. If that is something that is completely outside of the realm of possibility think baby steps, do what you can when you can and no matter what: never give up.
The Bottom Line. As those who prepare for uncertain times we should always be looking to improve our position. Whether that is accomplished through acquiring more goods, gaining more knowledge, networking with like minded people or simply having discussions with family members all paths lead to a higher level of preparedness. It is very easy to become complacent after the initial surge of excitement associated with prepping wears off, when you have tons of supplies in your basement but SHTF has not yet occurred. Remember what type of game we are playing here, it most definitely is chess…not checkers. Best of luck with your goals in 2013.