We’d all like to think we’re some kind of action hero. Ready to fight against the odds and survive whatever comes our way. The smart, intrepid hero or heroine who gets things done, regardless of the situation and the people around us.
But are you really?
Here some New Year’s Day tough love with three quick profiles of some preppers I know. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.
If you look, deep down inside, in that place where the ugly truth comes out, do you see yourself in any of these?
The Wilson family had a secret.
It was locked in their basement, in a little door hidden by a bookshelf with a few inconsequential items on it.
If a determined intruder were to get past Mr. and Mrs. Wilson and make it to the basement, behind that bookshelf, they’d discover a stash of beans, rice, guns, and ammo. Stacked to the rafters were these elements of survival. When the shit hit the fan, the Wilsons told themselves, (rather unconvincingly) that they would be ready.
But while they had a room loaded with supplies, they were missing vital pieces of the puzzle. They had no way to heat their home if disaster struck during the cold, Northeastern winter. Mrs. Wilson had never cooked a bean from scratch in her entire life, and if the power was out, she had no way to cook them even if she knew how. Mr. Wilson hadn’t fired one of those weapons in 20 years and was relying strictly on a couple of experiences from his early 30s to protect his family.
They knew they weren’t really prepared, but they pretended like the secret room gave them solace.
Dave was overconfident.
Every night after a meal of processed food, he plopped down on his creaky recliner, using video games like Call of Duty to practice his survival strategies until the wee hours of the night. He was darned good at it, a master, and if trouble came to his door he was confident that he would take care of it as handily as his avatar did on the game. Sometimes, he took a break from gaming to feverishly pound out patriotic rants on his laptop about how the government better send an entire army to “silence” him and how they could have his guns when they pried them from his cold dead hands.
He was an athlete. 27 years ago, he had been the star quarterback, leading his team to victory at the State Championships two years in a row. He had been a superstar and had no doubt that he still was. One year, he bagged a deer that fed his family for an entire winter. Did it really matter that the deer had a broken leg and was just lying there? Or that he hauled it to the butcher to get it processed? He brought it home, and that was all that counted.
If it came down to it, he would bug out on foot to the woods 3 miles away, beyond the mountain, where he could live off the land, no problem. It didn’t matter that he got winded when he walked up a flight of stairs. He knew he could power through when it counted. He’d just have to drag his prissy little wife and cellphone-addicted kids along. Then they’d see that all of his time training had paid off. He’d get the respect he deserved.
At least, that’s what he told himself.
But deep down inside, he knew that all of his boasting and apparent confidence was over the top. In the wee hours of those nights when he tossed and turned in bed, the nights when reality reared its ugly head, he honestly doubted his ability to do what needed to be done. In those moments, he knew he was overweight, out of shape, and truly unprepared. He knew that he was a fraud.
Laura was overwhelmed.
Laura wore a mouth guard at night because she had a bad habit of grinding her teeth. It was a miracle she had back teeth left, so worried was she about the current events she read voraciously online. Her husband’s job wasn’t stable and hers barely covered the cost of child care. Between threats of war with foreign powers, economic instability, and a natural disaster every other week, she couldn’t decide what to prepare for first.
Laura dealt with a constant, creeping feeling of doom. Sure, she had a few things put back, but she knew that she was nowhere near ready.
The future looked bleak and all she had to fight it off with was some canned peaches and crackers.
She read websites that focused on getting prepped, but the conflicting information and doom only scared her more. She had absolutely no idea how they’d survive if something went down. There was so much advice out there that she didn’t know what to do first, and her husband seemed oblivious that something bad could be looming on the horizon.
The world was fraught with impending disaster and it was all so overwhelming that she did…
Tell the truth.
Be brutally honest. Do you see yourself or someone in your family in any of the character sketches above? Maybe just a little? Maybe even a lot?
If so, you aren’t prepared for a major disaster. If you’ve remain unwilling to do what really needs to be done, how will your family fare in a situation like the collapse of Venezuela? How would you feel if your children were suffering when you look back and know in your heart that you could have prevented it?
But you can be ready. If you accept the reality of your situation, you can change it.
It’s time to get serious.
Make this the year you get it together.
These prepper mistakes seem so obvious when we read about them, yet many of us are guilty of the same ones. The best way to tackle preparedness is this: make your goals realistic and complete one before moving on to the next. After all, your families lives could depend on it.
What are you waiting for? Start the year off right.
(If you need help getting prepped, we offer courses at Preppers University. Learn more about the Prepping Intensive here.)
Article reposted with permission from The Organic Prepper
Pick up Daisy’s new book The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months to help with your prepping needs.
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