Tag Archives: the prepper journal

10 Excuses for Not Prepping That Could Get You Killed

10 Excuses for Not Prepping That Could Get You Killed

Prepping is something that takes time, some level of commitment and usually finds its roots in some motivating reason or lifestyle characteristics. Preppers intentionally work toward a goal or measurement that can be held up to life for comparison. By preparing to have food stored over the winter, you may have a measurement of how long you can feed your family with those foods you are storing away. Food storage is just one example, but being prepared to a level that most would agree is some measure above their peers, takes work and it is so easy to make excuses to get out of that work.

Prepping follows life and comes, at least in my instance, in phases. There are times when I am more motivated by events in the news to get prepared. There are days when I have a little extra money and I can spend it on some piece of gear I have been meaning to acquire and there are times when I don’t really do anything that you can say would be a common trait of a prepper. I just exist and go about my day like anyone else.

There are phases to everything in life and certainly you can’t stay in a state of high alert all the time or you would eventually burn out. I plan on writing about that topic soon, but for this post I wanted to talk about the excuses people make to not start prepping in the first place. These comforting snippets we say either because we believe them to be true or use them as our get out of jail free card. By simply saying a problem doesn’t, exist we absolve ourselves of any guilt we might feel by doing nothing. It is far easier to say words than to act and today I wanted to try to address some of the excuses for not prepping that I have heard in the brief time I have been doing this.

The audience for these excuses are anyone who thinks prepping or getting prepared for emergencies in life is foolish.

PreppingExcuses

Nothing will ever happen to me – This excuse has several evil step sisters and believe it or not some people believe that you can rely on the bible to escape having to do anything. If you believe something bad will happen to you, you obviously don’t have faith do you? I do have faith but I believe God gives us many things we can use to protect our lives. God has absolute control over everything I believe but he also gave us free will. We can choose to jump off a cliff and I am pretty sure anyone who tries that will die. An often quoted verse from the Bible is Proverbs 22:3 which says:

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

I know how simple it is to pull a verse out of the Bible, devoid of all context and frame it in a way to match your argument, but this one for me seems consistent with so many other stories, parables and lessons from the Bible. God does intervene in the lives of people, but he also tells them what to do and expects them to follow suit in order to save themselves. Bad things happen all the time and I don’t think it is foolish to guard yourself against danger. If you can see problems happening down the road that could cause you harm and you do nothing about it, you will likely pay the price – one way or another.

The government will come to my rescue – This excuse for not prepping should be the one that anyone with half a brain would know is false. Government was not made to come and fly you off the roof of your home if it floods. You were given reason, logic and intelligence of self-preservation, if nothing else that should be guiding you to safety. Counting on the Government to save you is a waste of time in my opinion and I don’t want to wait around on anyone for the safety of my family. If a bad guy comes to my door, kicks it in and comes inside and says he is going to kill me and rape my wife do you think I am going to be calling 911?

Prepping is multi-faceted, but the core issue is taking responsibility for your own health and safetyinto your own hands. Don’t expect the government to show up and put you on a boat to happy town. You should have been prepared enough to get out-of-town before you needed to.

The banks will never close in America – They didn’t close in Greece or Cyprus did they? The banks most certainly didn’t close in Argentina either in 2002. Banks certainly wouldn’t have any reason not to give you the money you deposited with them because they are good honest people who have your own interests at heart. Yeah, if you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Banks are if nothing else, in this business to make a profit. Some would say they are making obscene profits and I don’t dispute that but what I do know is they don’t have to give you your money. Ever.

When you deposit your money in a bank, they consider your money theirs and you as an uninsured creditor. You are simply loaning them the money, they get to do whatever they please and if they lose your money due to shady business practices, oh well. Too bad. Don’t believe for a second that if something goes south in the world of finance, that you have any guarantee of access to your money. They may open up in a couple of weeks if they are forced to close and only allow you to get out a small amount each week. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you have alternate plans for at least some portion of your finances.

What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong?

There is no way the super markets will ever run out of food – Super markets depend on deliveries of food. They don’t make those pretty bottles, cans and bags in the back room. Just like they don’t make clothes in the store in the mall you go to. When the supply is gone, it has to be replenished. Some people get hung up on the amount of days that a typical grocery store has worth of food on hand. I have heard three days of food as a good guideline and for normal shopping that is probably right. When you go into the store, you will see how many packages of bread of the type you like to eat, maybe 2 dozen packages? What if that store was filled with hundreds of people in one day? How long do you think that food would last?

The grocery store should not be your last resort for food. The grocery store should augment the supply you already have at home which should be more than enough to eat for at least one month. I recommend a year, but you have to start somewhere. You don’t want to be the person walking into the grocery store after panic buying and complaining that there is no food. You won’t win any prizes for guessing incorrectly how much food they have on hand.

The government would never take your guns – I have two words for you, Martial Law. It was most recently implemented in a large-scale during hurricane Katrina and when that happened, they went door to door and confiscated firearms from law-abiding people. They didn’t go into crack town and take the guns away from the gangs, they took them from little old ladies. With the right reason, the government already has laws/orders on the books to confiscate firearms and if you think that could never happen, you must also think the government writes fairy-tales down to amuse themselves. Don’t believe me, just look at the video below.

You might think no person needs guns and that is fine if that is your belief, but I want to have something I can protect myself with. The only reason to take guns away from law-abiding citizens is to remove their ability to fight back. You may also think that the government doesn’t seem worried about anything and they would tell us if we were in trouble. I don’t think that is the case.

I will point out just some of the more interesting Executive Orders that are on the books currently. I am not saying which administration wrote these, but they are still current, so the government has some idea that bad times are possible or else, why the need for the following?

  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11049 assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.
  • EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation.

I can hear someone saying now – “Well, of course the government is in control of those things, I mean they are the government right”? Read it again and take a look at the topics covered by these Executive Orders. The government has plans for things going so bad that they will have to come in and control every aspect of our lives. They see the potential for disaster. Shouldn’t you?

FEMA recommends three days’ worth of food so that should be enough – The last time we had a good winter storm, the roads weren’t cleared near my home for a week. Yes, we got out but that was a simple storm. What if something really bad happens? Do you think three days is enough? What if the power is out during that same storm for 5 days? Would you want to trust that no matter what the situation was, that it would be over, all sorted out, cleaned up and back to normal in three days?

FEMA’s recommendations in my opinion are better than nothing, but they should not be considered all you need. You need to plan for feeding your family forever, not just for three days. Granted, we can’t put millions of pounds of food in our homes, but they still don’t have New Orleans back to the way it was before Katrina. Sure you can buy groceries now, but do you want to take the risk that three days is all you need?

I don’t have money to spend on prepping supplies – What do you spend your money on? Do you get your nails done? Do you pay hundreds of dollars for satellite TV? What about that Xbox? How many times a week do you get a $4 coffee? Are you paying for some music download service so you can hear all of the Johnny Mathis you want anytime, anywhere?

Most of us spend money we don’t need to spend on some luxuries and I do it too, but I have made preparations for my family. I did sacrifice on some of the things I wanted so I could havesupplies to keep my family fed, with clean water and shelter and security if our house disappeared tomorrow. Life is all about priorities for most of what we do. If you can look at your family while they are starving and say, sorry Johnny, I had to have the Prime Time ESPN package so I couldn’t buy any more groceries for you, that is on your head.

I don’t have room for extra food in my house – Unless you are living in a van down by the river, you have room. If you don’t have room, get rid of some of the stuff in your house. You can store food under beds, in bookshelves, in your kitchen cabinets, in hall closets, under your kid’s beds, behind the chairs in the living room. There are places to put food if you are looking and not having any place to store food is no excuse. Do you have room for that flat screen TV?

I don’t want people to think I am crazy – I don’t want to see my family hurt or suffering. I don’t care what people think about me as long as my family is safe and alive. I would happily be the brunt of a million jokes than have to look at my family and apologize for not doing what I could to take care of them.

Even if you are completely alone, what do you care what anyone thinks about you? You brush your teeth so you don’t get cavities I hope. You have health insurance if you get sick and car insurance if you get in a wreck. Why is having a little insurance for other emergencies so crazy? Get over yourself and start taking steps to be prepared or you could end up dead. Yes, if you don’t do anything to help yourself, if you keep your head in the sand you might be caught up in a world you don’t like. The worst thing that could happen to preppers if we are wrong is that we spent some money on food that lasts 25 years or guns we never have to use. Which side of that reality do you want to be on?

I am not perfect and I wouldn’t hold my preps up as the end all be all, but I am on that journey toward preparedness. I like to think I am pretty far down that road and I am just trying to get as many others on the path as possible. What do you have to lose besides your life?

10 Excuses for Not Prepping That Could Get You Killed was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/26/10-excuses-for-not-prepping-that-could-get-you-killed/

If You Could Only Have One Survival Item …

Occasionally I am honored with a request from someone writing an article on preparedness or survival,  asking for my opinion on a question they have. In the past, these requests have come from other bloggers who are just starting out or people creating infographics, even newspapers and magazines. The questions are all slightly different but a common theme has emerged over the years that seem to try to distil your odds of survival down to some reliance on one tool or one set of tools.

The question usually goes something like “How much gear do you need for survival? Not as a well-stocked prepper, but as a survivalist … what is too much /too little?” Another version is along the lines of “If you could only have one survival item, what would it be?”

I have seen this as the subject of countless articles on Prepper websites and forum posts over the years. To be perfectly frank, a couple of my posts have ventured into this territory slightly but I think with a different intent that I will get to in a minute. The point I felt like discussing today is this. If you are looking for a simple list of 5 things you need for survival, you might be going about getting prepared or even preparing for survival the wrong way and in the end that could be your downfall no matter what you have in your bug out bag.

What if you could only have one survival item?

Unless you are new to prepping, you have probably read many prepping articles. If that describes you, then I am sure you have seen these questions posed in lots of different ways too. I think it is far too easy to spout off with items like a knife, lighter, water bottle, tarp and duct tape. I completely agree that those would give you the ability to set something on fire, cut something and carry liquid. It could allow you to repair items or build a shelter. But those items alone do not guarantee survival. I would imagine that if you put some people in a survival situation with those five survival items, they would die just as quickly as if they had nothing. The interesting tangent is that other people with none of these items in their possession might live perfectly fine. The point is that those survival tools don’t have much to do with your survival and the dependence on a list of things that will save you isn’t where you should be focusing your effort.SurvivalGear1

But you may say, “Well I know how to use all of those things to survive.” OK, great. What about something to eat? What about shelter, outside of something over your head? What about security? What if you are in a desert and there is no water? What if you lived in a rural area and there was a drought or a disease pandemic, or mobs of people looting? What if the lighter or the wood you are trying to light is wet? What if you are a month from home on foot? In the dead of winter? With three feet of snow on the ground? And an injured leg?

I guess you would use your knife to kill a bison if you could find it, skin it and make clothes out of the pelts while you are cooking hundreds of pounds of meat over the fire you lit with your fire plough, drinking bison juice out of the water pouch you fashioned from a bison stomach.

What do you really need to survive?

Without getting too hung up on labels, I think people who call themselves “survivalist” seem to think that the only survival scenario they will be faced with always involves being dropped on a deserted island or rugged forest somewhere. The vision is something like a Les Stroud or Bear Grylls TV episode but I don’t think that is anywhere near a probable reality. Can you survive? Maybe under the right conditions, but Survival isn’t just being able to build a fire. Just because you can make a shelter with a tarp, that doesn’t mean you will survive. You can whittle all the sharp sticks you want and build fires all day long with nothing more than some belly button lint and you could still die!

Preppers are the same way sometimes. We look for checklists of gear that we can get like Dave Canterbury’s 10 C’s of survival and think that once we have those in our possession, it’s smooth sailing from there. Those 10 things can work if you know how to use them and the circumstances you find yourself in allow you to use those items for survival in a way that will actually benefit you.

I am not saying that to survive you should have a 70 pound bug out bag with every prepping supply you can think of. There has to be a middle ground, a lot of luck and resourcefulness to scavenge what you can along the way. I don’t believe in any magical bag that will have everything you ever need in every situation to get through any crisis. I also don’t believe that all you need to survive is a knife, a tarp and a way to make fire.

Thinking about Survival differently

To try to bring this back around to my first point. Gear all by itself won’t save you. I also don’t believe that skills all by themselves will guarantee survival either. We usually say “Skills over stuff” and that is true in many senses. On the other hand, stuff can really make your life easier and could allow you just as much survival with the right set of circumstances. One person could know how to make a fire bough to create fire. Another person could have lighters or a fire steel. Both could survive. It is only when we talk about what you have (when you actually need it), your personal resourcefulness and the nature or duration of the crisis that things differ.

The best I think we can try to do is prepare for a wide range of potential scenarios but acquiring gear and learning skills in and of themselves isn’t the only thing that will affect your chances of survival. You might have a warehouse of prepper gear but find yourself in another country on business when SHTF. Your stuff in that warehouse you call your basement might be worthless to you when you really need it.

You could also know how to make a fire with a couple of pieces of wood and your bare hands, but starve because there is no food. Even skills to some extent are just stuff too. Without the right ingredients to go along with that stuff your survival isn’t guaranteed.

Gear is good when it is practically applied in the right way, during the right situation. Skills can go with you everywhere but they usually need the same things. The right application and opportunity.

Prepping is much more mental exercise in my opinion than acquisition of things. Yes, acquiring gear is something I believe is valuable in some situations. I have purchased more than my fair share of “stuff” but I try to think through situations more so than acquire gear to deal with them. Prepping should be about options and redundancy of thought as well as tools. We should try to think of many ways to accomplish survival. Don’t just buy the top 5 survival items, stick them in a bag and expect to live. Think about living first. How can you use your environment to survive? How can you use what is around you? This could be gear, skills or bald-faced improvisation to get around a problem you have? Could an abandoned car offer survival opportunities? Yes for someone who is thinking outside the box. Duct tape anyone?

Don’t let your focus be limited by the one survival item theory. You are the only survival item you need. You just need to figure out all the ways you can use yourself.

If You Could Only Have One Survival Item … was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/08/07/if-you-could-only-have-one-survival-item/

Coping with Stress After Disaster

When planning for disaster, we run through scenarios in our mind and those scenarios give us a visual baseline for which we make plans. As preppers we talk a lot about the steps you can take right now to get prepared so that you will have a plan, supplies and options for when that disaster may strike. Often preparedness deals with the immediate effects of disaster like having a vehicle to bug out or having plenty of food and water to deal with shortages. The next logical step from that is a longer term plan, but those long term prepping plans usually revolve around extensions of those same basic needs: Food, Water, Shelter and Security.

Take any crisis with a timeline much longer than we associate with “typical” natural disasters and you need to consider different items as part of your planning. For a “typical” emergency, the chaos is relatively short lived. Even though the rebuilding and recovery process may take years, the process can start as soon as the dust has settled, the earth has stopped shaking, and wind no longer howls, the fires are extinguished, the rains have stopped or the water has receded. We shed tears and hopefully hug all of our loved ones and start to pick up the pieces.

But what about a scenario that just doesn’t stop? What if you are visited by the potential threats of a new fresh hell every day? We hopefully plan for food that we can eat off of and grow for future needs. We can band together with others in our neighborhood for security or devise alternative energy schemes to keep the lights on. We rarely talk about the stress, anguish and for some, crippling fear that could be a part of life in the worst apocalyptic view of the future. You have plans for everything else, but do you have a plan for coping with stress after disaster?

First world problems

It’s interesting to try and research stress from the standpoint of some end of the world as we know it perspective. So much of our current world is about as far away from disaster as you can be. In the U.S. currently, we lead very comfortable lives when compared with large parts of the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing for that at all, but it does change how you view stress.

We have a running joke in my family and I am sure we aren’t alone in this of whenever one of us encounters something that irritates us or “stresses us out” we jokingly, but accurately label that as a “first world problem.” If I can’t find any good movies out of the thousands available to me via the internet piped into my living room, that is a first world problem. If my computer is not running as fast as I want as I sit in an air-conditioned home or I have to wait 3 minutes for it to reboot due to a free OS upgrade, that is a first world problem. If I have to leave the security of my bathroom to walk two feet to a closet with dozens of rolls of soft toilet paper… you get the point. We don’t have anywhere near the stress in our lives now that some people do and we frequently take that for granted. I don’t expect anyone to sit and feel ashamed for our lifestyle, but what will you do if that is all gone?

Imagine the father who has walked hundreds of miles with his family across a desert to avoidethnic cleansing or the mother who is alone with three small children living in a refugee camp. The same camp with hundreds of thousands of other displaced people where she is lucky to have a small meal of watery rice a couple times a day. Oh, did I mention that she has to walk almost a mile to stand in line for that rice and she goes back to a tent to live in with 15 other families. I won’t even mention the people who are still running for their lives from groups bent on their complete destruction who kill men, women and children with machetes. We don’t know real stress in the US right now.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

You can find lots of information about the “stress” we do have in our lives and plenty of advice for dealing with stress. In a disaster, getting fresh air or exercise probably won’t cut it but that does say something about what we do all day. I think in a crisis like many of us are expecting in our worst nightmares, our very definition of stress will be radically rewritten. Even if nothing that bad happens, stress and I mean real stress is something we should plan for.

What are some symptoms of stress?

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Low threshold of frustration.

As preppers reading this article I have to assume that you will be leaders to the people in your group. Recognizing stress will be important for a couple of reasons. First you want to be able to identify situations where someone needs a little extra care, assistance or rest. Stressed out individuals can make mistakes that could get people hurt or killed. I am not talking about the kind of stress caused by not having enough space on your smart phone to take a one hour video of your daughter’s birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese either.

When you are living with loss, possibly death, great uncertainty or dangers to your safety, people can deal with stress in a number of ways. I think at some point stress will become a part of life and you will have peaks and valleys depending on the relative safety and security you are living in at any moment but when your entire life has been thrown into a blender and dumped on the ground, stress might take it’s toll for a while.

Stress

How can you deal with stress?

Each person deals with stress in their own way and in a disaster it would be perfectly normal to have feelings of sadness or loss and uncertainty. You as a leader will be living with stress just like anyone you come in contact with most likely and if you know how to deal with your own stress you will be better prepared to help others like a spouse, children or parent deal with their own stress.

Stress frequently brings dark feelings and doubt to the surface. It is very normal to want to lash out when you are stressed, to hit back at the situation that has impacted your life. Sometimes this may work to your benefit, but for most times I think you want to reserve anger like that. What can you do?

Focus on what you can control – We can easily dwell on the problems we can’t fix right now and worry about how that will change. There are so many things to consider when we are in a stressful environment and that is one additional reason to prepare now so that all of the basics of life and security will be checked off the list.

Admit you are stressed out and talk about that with someone – When I am stressed, I tend to focus on all of the things I am worried about. I rush through my day trying to knock things off my list or thinking about them until I reach some level of satisfaction about where I am. I don’t normally go to my wife to discuss things I am stressed out about but she seems to know when I am stressed and engages me to talk about it. Even though the things I am worried about don’t disappear, it helps to talk. Sometimes she does help me with ideas or just a different perspective. I would never want to be without her counsel.

Don’t blame yourself for bad things – I know that personally, I prepare because in the back of my mind I feel responsible for my family and I don’t want to let them down in an emergency. Its one thing if Dad forgets to stop at the store and get ice cream for dessert (first world problem) but another thing entirely if a storm knocks out power for two weeks and I can’t keep them warm and fed. There will be things you can’t control and dwelling on what you should have done is useless. Focus on what you can do, make things happen and move on.

Sleep, eat and drink – Our bodies are amazing creations and so many problems can be remedied themselves with the simple basics our bodies need to function properly. Making sure you get enough sleep is an important stress reducer. You also need to make sure that applies to everyone in your group. That is another reason why a group of people is better than lower numbers of people so that you have more people to work, stand guard and help. Food and Water is the fuel our bodies need to function at peak capacity. So that should be one of the first things you check off on your prepper to do list. See a theme here?

Rely on your higher power – The saying goes that there are no atheists in foxholes and that simply means that when you are worried about dying, you start to believe/hope for an afterlife and a loving God to watch over you and keep you safe. Many of us already have a spiritual component in our lives and we should be embracing this daily. You can certainly lean heavily on your own higher power for strength and peace in a time of high stress. Sometimes a simple prayer is all it takes to calm me down and I know that if I ever was in a real “stress” inducing situation I would be praying much more often than I do now.

How do children react to stress?

Adults are one thing and you might think we can do what they did in old movies. Just slap the person going hysterical and yell at them to “Snap out of it”! That may work, actually it might feel pretty good depending on the person on the receiving end of the slapping. Just kidding… sort of.

Children are different though so understanding the stress from their eyes will help you deal with them in ways that make them feel better. Children all deal with stress differently at different ages. This is a breakdown from FEMA:

Birth through 2 years. When children are pre-verbal and experience a trauma, they do not have the words to describe the event or their feelings. However, they can retain memories of particular sights, sounds, or smells. Infants may react to trauma by being irritable, crying more than usual, or wanting to be held and cuddled. The biggest influence on children of this age is how their parents cope. As children get older, their play may involve acting out elements of the traumatic event that occurred several years in the past and was seemingly forgotten.

Preschool – 3 through 6 years. Preschool children often feel helpless and powerless in the face of an overwhelming event. Because of their age and small size, they lack the ability to protect themselves or others. As a result, they feel intense fear and insecurity about being separated from caregivers. Preschoolers cannot grasp the concept of permanent loss. They can see consequences as being reversible or permanent. In the weeks following a traumatic event, preschoolers’ play activities may reenact the incident or the disaster over and over again.

School age – 7 through 10 years. The school-age child has the ability to understand the permanence of loss. Some children become intensely preoccupied with the details of a traumatic event and want to talk about it continually. This preoccupation can interfere with the child’s concentration at school and academic performance may decline. At school, children may hear inaccurate information from peers. They may display a wide range of reactions — sadness, generalized fear, or specific fears of the disaster happening again, guilt over action or inaction during the disaster, anger that the event was not prevented, or fantasies of playing rescuer.

Pre-adolescence to adolescence – 11 through 18 years. As children grow older, they develop a more sophisticated understanding of the disaster event. Their responses are more similar to adults. Teenagers may become involved in dangerous, risk-taking behaviors, such as reckless driving, or alcohol or drug use. Others can become fearful of leaving home and avoid previous levels of activities. Much of adolescence is focused on moving out into the world. After a trauma, the view of the world can seem more dangerous and unsafe. A teenager may feel overwhelmed by intense emotions and yet feel unable to discuss them with others.

Coping with stress may not be the first thing we consider when we are prepping, but it is a natural by-product of the events we are planning for. Your job as leader won’t end simply at gathering supplies. You will also have to provide strength and compassion and understanding as appropriate to help others around you. I don’t expect to turn into a touchy feeling – hug it out kind of guy when we are trying to survive and cannibals are munching on your legs. That is just not in my nature and I will be focusing on other things I assume. I do think it’s important to be able to realize how each person is dealing with the stresses in their lives. You can use this to help people by guiding them in certain directions or collaborating with others to provide assistance while you focus on slaying the metaphorical dragon.

Call it prepping for the emotional component of your group under duress. It is something that we all should spend a little time thinking about. You could be the person who brings someone through their stress and helps them survive. Helping others cope might even help you in the end.

 

Coping with Stress After Disaster was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/18/coping-with-stress-after-disaster/

Medicine Supplies

Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor

As preppers we stock up on supplies that we think we will need in an emergency. The order of priority for these items is usually tied to what our bodies need to survive. We can only live for 3 days (on average) without water so we make plans to purchase storage containers and water filtration systems to cover that base. We next need food, so we stock our pantries full of store-bought and freeze-dried food for a situation where the grocery store is either unreachable or out of food. Security and shelter round out the list of initial survival concepts you want to take care of but what else is there?

There are so many aspects to preparedness, but one of the more important ones to consider is medicine. If the grid goes down, the pharmacy will be in the same boat as that grocery store. If you are still able to purchase items (grid up), they may be sold out with no reasonable hope of resupply. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need simply medical supplies to treat illness or injury and aren’t able to procure them for your family. Thinking about your families’ health from an injury standpoint isn’t as sexy as buying a good SHTF weapon, but knowing which medicine to stock up on for an emergency will allow you to plan for disruptions and possibly keep your family more healthy when they need it the most.

What are important types of medicine to stock up on?

This list certainly won’t take the place of a hospital pharmacy and it surely won’t give you the skills you need to treat every injury, but even the most basic of medical supplies and a little knowledge could help you out. When shopping for medicines or thinking about first aid, I consider what types of injuries you could encounter in a disaster.

Disasters both natural and man-made bring death, disease and injuries. The medicines you need to stock up on should take some of these into consideration while not addressing every conceivable ailment under the sun. To achieve a basic level of preparedness I would recommend having the following items on hand.

Pain Medication / Fever Reducer

By pain medication I am referring to over the counter pain relievers. This can help with anything from headaches, sore muscles from too much exercise after SHTF or injuries. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is good for relieving pain and fever. It is generally less irritating to the stomach and is safer for children but can be toxic to the liver if you take too much of it.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These reduce inflammation caused by injury, arthritis or fever. They can also assist with pain associated with menstruation.

Children shouldn’t be given aspirin as it has been shown to cause Reye’s syndrome and can cause other bad effects. For pain medication I would have at least a bottle or two of your favorite pain reliever. For smaller children who might take liquid or chewable tablets I would stock up on that also. You don’t want your child to experience a fever without having medicine to bring that fever down if needed. The medicines above can be useful for both reducing inflammation, relieving pain and reducing fevers. I personally like aspirin for headaches but we do have large bottles of the other two on hand as well.

Anti-diarrheal

One of our readers put this as his top 4 or 5 items to have in his bug out bag and I can understand the rationale. The last thing you need to worry about in a bug out scenario is pulling over every twenty minutes or trying to find a safe place to let it all out. Diarrhea besides being messy as all get out can dehydrate a person quickly. Dehydration leads to weakness, irritability and confusion. Not the state you want to find yourself in an emergency.

There are two main types of medicines that help stop diarrhea, thickening mixtures (psyllium) absorb water and gives number 2 a little more volume. Antispasmodic products slow the spasms of your lower intestine. Loperamide is the active ingredient in products like Imodium and Pepto Diarrheal control. I have also seen loperamide hydrochloride in pill form in dozens of first aid kits. Fortunately, I have never had to use them but have them just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Antibiotics

Sooner or later someone you know will need something a little stronger than a clean bandage. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. A cut from a rusty piece of metal when the grid is up isn’t life threatening. Without something to fight the infection in a grid down world, a bacterial infection could spell death. Antibiotics do not work on viruses though, so they won’t help you out with every illness.

How do you know when to use antibiotics?

The answer depends on what is causing your infection. The following are some basic guidelines from Familydoctor.org:

  • Colds and flu. Viruses cause these illnesses. They can’t be cured with antibiotics.
  • Cough or bronchitis. Viruses almost always cause these. However, if you have a problem with your lungs or an illness that lasts a long time, bacteria may actually be the cause. Your doctor may decide to try using an antibiotic.
  • Sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, strep throat is caused by bacteria. Your doctor can determine if you have strep throat and can prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Ear infections. There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are used for some (but not all) ear infections.
  • Sinus infections. Antibiotics are often used to treat sinus infections. However, a runny nose and yellow or green mucus do not necessarily mean you need an antibiotic.  Read more about treating sinusitis.

In addition to the more serious antibiotics, you could avoid a lot of problems with simple topical antibiotic creams. If you only have small injuries (not serious burns, puncture wounds or deep cuts), quick and repeated application of this ointment per instructions could keep any bacterial infections at bay.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver isn’t loved by the medical or scientific establishment, but that doesn’t mean it does not work. Colloidal Silver or CS as it is referred to by some is said to be an excellent antibiotic with the side benefit of being able to be made with simple materials by anyone. You should research for yourself whether or not this is a prepper supply you want to store and there are well documented cases ofpeople who have abused this. I have some in my medicine cabinet.

Additional medical supplies

  • Oral re-hydration solution – To offset the effects of dehydration caused by illness or diarrhea, make your own by adding 6-8 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Best to boil the water, add the sugar and salt while it is still warm to dissolve completely and let cool.
  • Multi-vitamins – I know the experts say that vitamins don’t do anything for you, but I believe if your body is deprived of vitamins supplementing with a good multi vitamin is a good idea.
  • Bandages – Probably more than you would ever expect to need. Bandages on wounds need to be routinely changed and the wound cleaned (based upon injury of course, consult a medical resource book for frequency) and you can easily go through dozens with one injury.
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide – Both alcohol and hydrogen peroxide are useful for cleaning wounds but each have many other benefits in the prepper’s first aid kit.
  • Cough Drops – Sure there are natural alternatives to cough drops, but you can buy a few hundred for less than $10
  • Anti-itch creme – Itching sucks.
  • Honey – Natural honey can be used to treat wounds and never goes bad if you have it stored properly. Plus it tastes great on that oatmeal you have stored in your pantry too.
  • Knee Braces and Ace Bandages – A lot of injuries will simply take time to heal. A goodknee brace can make getting around possible for someone with mild injuries. Ace bandages can help with sprains.
  • Any prescriptions you take regularly – An entire post could be written about obtaining supplies of life-saving medical prescriptions. The sad fact is that in a grid down world, many people who can no longer access prescriptive medicine may die. There are alternative treatments, homeopathic remedies and natural substitutes for some specific medicines, but these should all be researched thoroughly on your own. At a minimum you should have at least a one month supply of any medicine you must take. If the disaster allows you to make it to another medical provider you have some time.
  • Thermometer – Get the old-fashioned kind if you are worried about EMP, although thenewer digital thermometers are really nice too.
  • Blood Pressure Cuff – Helpful in situations although requires some training on how to use one properly. Don’t forget the Stethoscope to hear the heartbeat. – Hat tip to Ty for these last three great recommendations.

When does medicine go bad?

Yes, medicine does go bad, but it may not be bad in the way you think or as quickly as you might believe. For one thing the expiration date on medicine does not mean that the medicine is badafter that date. Medicine does start to lose its effectiveness over time though so keeping your medicine up to date is the best approach to having a good supply of medicine in your home.

How quickly a particular medicine loses its potency will vary by the medicine and the conditions where it is kept. Moisture and heat are not friends to medicine so a cool dry place out of sunlight is the best location. Medicine that has changed color, texture or smell even if it has not expired shouldn’t be taken. If pills stick together or are harder or softer, show cracks or chips they likely need to be replaced.

This is really just a start at some of the most obvious medicine to stock up on but each person has their own needs. What is your plan if you can’t get to the doctor?

 

Medicine to Stock up on for When There Is No Doctor was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/07/medicine-to-stock-up-on-for-when-there-is-no-doctor/

Are You Prepared Enough?

There are many great reasons to start down the road of being prepared to take care of yourself in an emergency or crisis. When you feel that is something you need to do personally, it usually begins a search on what you need to be prepared. This searching can lead to checklists of prepping supplies which can provide guidance or a place to start but in reality; the process is different for each person. The answer to the question of what you need to do in order to get prepared isn’t something that anyone else can answer for you and in the end, is almost wholly dependent on what happens and where you are when “it” happens to you.

I have often sat down and compiled lists of things I need to accomplish in the main areas I focus on with prepping. My very first list had dozens of items and now, since I have been prepping for a little over 8 years, my lists aren’t quite as expansive. I have been acquiring the needed supplies and making preparations so that I don’t need as much as I thought I needed in the beginning. One thing I have learned though is my list overall still contains the exact items I thought I would need back in 2007, just the quantities of what is left to do have gone down.

The concept of making lists again made me think of the question I have asked before of myself. Are you prepared enough for what you think is coming down the road? Have I made the best plans you could have made knowing what I know? Have I made the right fiscal decisions to put me in the most advantageous position should the economy collapse? Have I shared enough information with my family and in my own small way, the rest of the world? Have I done enough? Am I prepared?

Are you prepared enough?

How much preparation can anyone do that we could consider the level of those same preparations to be sufficient? I have stated before that prepping is a journey, not a destination and I still subscribe to that theory, but depending on the situation; I could have more than I needed. What if there was a regional storm that caused minor flooding in my town and the utilities were out as well as roads for a month. Would I have enough supplies to last? Yes, I certainly would.

What if there was a crisis that lasted two years? Would I have enough?

Getting back to how much you need, it all comes down to what the emergency is, what your situation is at the time and how other influences impact you after the crisis begins. You could have enough food to last you for a year, but add in 6 family members who you take in and that amount of time could go down to 2 months. You might not have enough in your eyes, but the hungry family might think you are prepared enough. What if you have 2 years’ worth of food stored safely in your basement but you are away on vacation and a tornado rips right through your town and sucks everything you have been working on up into the air?

We can make as many plans as we want but if something happens outside of our plans we will have to adjust. Thinking that you have the answers to all of the different scenarios posed in your head is well and good, but you should account for contingencies. More importantly, you have to face the reality that you might walk into TEOTWAWKI with nothing but the shirt on your back.

Prepping

You are asking yourself the wrong question

You can inventory all of your prepping supplies and make lists; I do it too. I use these lists to gauge what I have left to accomplish in my mind. I check items off so that my imaginary supply room of everything I need, will be filled with precisely what I think will be the minimum necessary but I try not to ever think I have enough. Does this mean I am stocking supplies up as much as possible? Does this mean I keep buying ammo or food or weapons until I have no money left? No and I think if you are looking to reach some level where you can say, “I think I have enough to last…” you might be looking at this the wrong way.

There is a danger in thinking that there is ultimate security in your supplies. Why do I say that? For one thing, your supplies can be taken away from you. Your supplies will eventually go bad if left unused or in the right conditions. Your supplies, if you have to rely on them will eventually dissipate down to nothing. Having a 6-month supply of food or a few thousand rounds of ammo and some gasoline stored doesn’t mean I am any better prepared than the neighbor down the street when the time comes. It does certainly mean I have put some thought into this that the average bear might not have considered, but does that make me better prepared?

When my family asks me questions like, how much food do I have or basically, how long could we live on what we have stored, I have to guess. Sure, I know roughly how much food is stored and I have calculated how long we could eat on that food but I don’t consider myself prepared really. I am looking at this as a stop-gap measure. Could my preparations buy me and my family some time? Yes, very possibly we could be sitting pretty while others go hungry, at least for some time. Does that mean I am prepared enough? Not hardly.

Prepping isn’t about storing up supplies and quietly riding out Armageddon from the comfort of your easy chair, happily eating your MRE’s and enjoying reruns of the office on your Solar Powered DVD player. The steps you are taking today might not be enough for the disaster you face. Are they better than nothing? Absolutely, but don’t become complacent and cross the last item off your list and sit back and wait. Prepping should be constant movement, preparation, consideration of your environment and the world around us and you have to reevaluate what is happening all of the time. We shouldn’t think we know what is coming, even though we can prepare for certain scenarios.

When you start asking yourself the question of are you prepared enough, the answer is it really depends on what you are forced to go through. Looking back after you have made it through alive is the only way to answer that question. Making it through alive should be what we are striving for.

Are You Prepared Enough? was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.c