- Get out of debt. This is by far the best thing you can do to position yourself to survive just about anything. Not only does this free up your money for better things than paying debt, but it allows you to be vastly more flexible in everything you do from where you live to where you work to how you respond to disaster situations.
- Gain knowledge. Most of the disasters that happen to people can be mitigated/prevented just by having simple knowledge. Got laid off? You should know how to respond to this crisis (everything from when/where/how to apply for unemployment to the location of your nearest food pantry). Have a medical crisis? You should be able to respond quickly (everything from tossing your BOB in the car before heading to the hospital to having insurance to cover the majority of your medical expenses). Need a side business? You should be able to cobble together something to earn you a bit of cash based on your hobbies/interests and the vast array of "how to start a small business" knowledge available on the internet.
- Have gear. Yes, when an earthquake strikes you are going to be forced to respond. You may end up camping out in your backyard for days on end or you may be fortunate enough to bunk with friends who were unaffected. You will, however, survive much more comfortably if you have some basic gear (ie: your Daily Carry Bag, your BOB, your firearms, your tools, etc).
- Have training. A big part of preparedness, whether some people like the fact or not, revolves around firearms. In a true crisis, firearms will play an important part in your survival in many situations--everything from hunting down your own food to protecting your family and property. As with any dangerous item--from a gun to a motorcycle to a chainsaw to a boat--being properly trained to use the item in question can quite literally save your life.
- Have skills. After you have the gear and the training, you will need to practice, and practice some more, in order to develop your skills. If you have a sewing machine and a couple of sewing classes, with a bunch of practice you will develop some pretty usable skills (everything from sewing your own gear to repairing your clothing so you don't have to buy new stuff to using the skill for a side business). Ditto for firearms. Ditto for food processing. Ditto for reloading ammo. Ditto for...just about everything else.
- Be aware of your environment. This covers everything from assault prevention (if you're in an environment with a bunch of thugs, or the possibility thereof, you can almost guarantee trouble), to knowing where the fire exits in your hotel are, to knowing what natural disasters are most likely to happen in your current location so you can study how to survive them, etc.
- Be responsible for your own actions. Personal responsibility covers a lot of ground and prevents a lot of problems. If you manage your money well, manage your acquaintances well (ie: don't let them talk you into dangerous or illegal things), manage your attitude well, manage your family well, and manage your impact on your community as well as possible, life will be a lot simpler.
- Have multiple sources of income. There is no such thing as a job for life anymore and the ax can fall at any time. Be ready for this by always having multiple sources of income so if one source dries up, you will still have money coming in from other sources.
- A good stockpile can be worth it's weight in gold. Do you have extra food and water stored at your house? How about ammo, tools, firearms, et al? The reasons for having a goodly supply of all things that you regularly use--from food to toilet paper to ammo--are many. You can fall back on your supply during a job layoff or extended illness; during a disaster--everything from a snowstorm to an extended power outage--you won't be among the masses clamoring for needed supplies at the local Walmart; and you can "hedge the market" a bit when the cost of these items skyrocket as they tend ot do on occasion.
- Cash rules. If you pay cash for everything, you won't go in debt. If you always carry cash with you, you can instantly pay for any "good deal" you run across. If you need money but the ATMs are all down, or worse, there is a run on the banks, you will be sitting pretty with your stash of cash. tl;dr cash rules.
Monday, January 23, 2012
A Trip Down Memory Lane
After reviewing all 866 posts on this blog yesterday (!) and updating a bunch of them (actually I was removing any pictures that I didn't specifically own; sorry, don't know what that did to your feed reader...I hope each update didn't show up or you would have been inundated), I came to the conclusion that there are some very basic things, that show up year after year, that everyone can do to be prepared for 99% of what could possibly happen to them on the survival/preparedness front. Here's the top ten: