Friday, February 24, 2012

Prepping 101: Weekend Challenge

Have you been watching Doomsday Preppers?  This reality show profiles a few preppers each week, each preparing for a different type of breakdown that could leave them temporarily or permanently on their own, such as EMPs, catastrophic earthquakes, and economic collapse (which seems to be a favorite among those profiled -- hmm, wonder why?).  Our very own Survival Mom was on the first episode, although I understand that the show took a few editing liberties with her and others.

Regardless of the factuality of the show, the format is fun to play with:  the show tours a prepper home or other prepared area (one guy planned to be mobile with just his bug-out bag, while another was an OTR trucker with a truck cab filled with preps), then has a panel of experts analyze how well the preps would stand up against the threat the prepper had posed.  Finally, there is an update in which the prepper explains any changes made or not made, and the show gives its estimate of the likelihood of the event.

Inspired by this, I challenge all my readers to a game of Sustainable Preppers.  This is a chance for you to engage your household in a discussion of how prepared you are for different events.  Here are your challenges for the weekend:

Challenge 1:  Catastrophic Weather
The National Weather Service says that your area is anticipating a catastrophic weather event:  a hurricane, a tornado, an ice storm, etc.  (You can certainly pick an earthquake or volcano eruption if that is reasonable for your area and you want to start a little bigger.)  You are at home with the "preps" (or pantry supplies) you have on hand.

  • Do you stay, or do you bug out?  Is there enough gas in your car if you decide to go?  Where would you go?  Where would your family meet if communication was down and you got separated?
  • How long would this event last?  Do you have enough medication, first aid, and other essentials to survive the first few days?
  • What would you need from the grocery?  If you can't make it through the period without a grocery run, what is so urgent for you to buy?  If you could not buy those items again for a long time, how would you grow/produce/make them yourself?  
  • Are there any last minute household chores that have to be done before the storm hit?  Would you haul in extra firewood, wash a load of jeans and sweatshirts, or pressure can some of your frozen meat?  Why?  Do you have the supplies on hand to do this?
  • How would you ensure you have adequate water?

Challenge 2:  Economic Difficulties
There is an economic difficulty of your choosing.  You might pick a "bank holiday" intended to stabilize an erratic economy, a job loss/cut-back in your own house, or a full-scale hyperinflation.  Products are still available, but you will never make enough money to afford everything you currently buy.

  • What do you absolutely have to buy?  Why?  In what order do you buy it?  Does your list change with the situation?  (That is, would you make different choices if you had a reduction in your work hours than you would if you thought the U.S. economy was headed for hyperinflation?)
  • What can you make/grow/trade for?  Why are you not doing that now?  What would you have to do to move that direction?  What do you dread the thought of doing for yourself?
  • Would you preserve any savings, or would you spend yourself to zero?  Why do you make this decision?
As I have always stated, I do not take an alarmist view to prepping.  Preparing for anything simply gives you options in all sorts of situations that you may not otherwise have had, and it is better to think things through when calm than when the SHTF (prepper lingo for when the --ahem-- stuff hits the fan).

What is one thing you need to do to feel better prepared, and how are you going to address this need?  Leave us your ideas in the comments section!

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1 comment :

  1. I don't consider myself a prepper. I grew up in the old fashioned ways of preserving and growing your own. Whatever we get that is more than we need I set it by for slimmer days and long snowy winters. We raise our own eggs, meat and seasonally our own dairy. I grow a large garden as well. I can and dry lots and lots of produce. We always have supplies on hand for any hardship that might arise.