*Where Do I Start?*
Alright, youíve come to the conclusion that you need to have some preparations in place "just in case". Then, for some, comes the overwhelming anxiety and the question, "where do I start?" I assure you everyone has asked themselves this exact same question at some part of the journey. Youíre not alone, weíve all been at that point, and the important thing to remember is that you are starting today and not tomorrow.
There are many levels of preparedness, and The Rubicon offers the most advanced knowledge of preparedness on the planet, but for the sake of those that are just beginning, this article will hopefully get you off to a basic start.
Think about what that "just in case" means to you. Emergencies can take many forms, from running out of gas at night in February, to a global pandemic, laced with a couple of dirty bombs for good measure and everything in between. Once you identify a few threats to your way of life you can better prepare. Remember though, your preparations will cover a lot of these threats all at once.
There are many sites that can offer you checklists, and these can be helpful to a point. They can also get long and they can add anxiety instead of relieving it! What happened to me was that I searched for every checklist I could find. Most repeated themselves, some left out items that were critical to me and I ended up feeling worse about my lack of preparation than better. What works for someone else may not be the best for you. Our goal is to find what works best for YOU.
There are priorities to preparation and certain things you have to have to live, i.e. shelter, water, food, security but for the sake of our exercise, weíre going to deviate from the hierarchy.
This technique is a quick and painless way to get started, and it will be what works best for YOU.
Humans are creatures of habit, and while that has itís downsides, weíre going to use that to our advantage.
Imagine the various routines of your day in chronological order and use that for a guideline.
For example, the first thing I do when I wake up is let the dog out. ( Do we have enough dog food stored for a week?)
2. I go to the fridge for a Diet Coke. ( Do I have enough for a couple weeks?)
3. I go to the bathroom. (If the water isnít running, can I dump flush? Do I have alternate means of disposal? A 5 gallon bucket, trash bags, bleach, and enough toilet paper for a few months?---Running out of toilet paper scares me more than mostJ )
4. I take a shower. (Do I have soap, shampoo, shaving cream, etc. stored up to last me a while? How would I shower or bathe if there was no running water? Wash cloth, towel, 5 gallon bucket---NOT THE SAME ONE WE USED EARLIER!)
5. I get dressed. (Do I have seasonal appropriate clothing in good repair? How would I wash those clothes without a washing machine? Do I have enough laundry soap?)
6. Fix breakfast. (Do we have food put away? What if the electricity is out? No fridge means no bacon, How about an alternative to the stove. A grill and a few propane tanks will get you through for a while)
7. I kiss my wife and leave the house. ( Is she safe? Doors locked, first aid kit, smoke alarm batteries checked? Fire extinguisher?)
8. I take my daughter to school. (What arrangements have we made for her if something happens while sheís at school? Can she walk home? Who picks her up? Etc.)
9. I drive to work (Is my car gas tank at least half full? Do I have enough fuel to drive for 2 weeks? What if I canít get to work? Alternate route. What if I lost my job? Savings? An alternate skill or job is handy to have to fall back on.)
10. Come home and work in the yard. ( Do I have all appropriate tools to keep yard and home maintained? Could I start a garden?
11. Dinner, fire up the grill and start cooking. (Do I have paper plates stored to save water, trash bags?)
12. Itís going to be dark soon, do I have alternate lighting? Flashlights at least. Lanterns. Maybe consider a Coleman 5000 watt generator, a deep cycle battery, an inverter and youíll be ahead of many with enough electricity to watch a movie or two and keep the food in the fridge cool.
Your daily routine will probably vary from mine( I hope youíre not kissing my wifeJ ) But the point is, that if you go through your daily routine and find alternate ways to achieve your daily objectives, you are going to not only survive and be more prepared than most, you are going to survive in some sense of normalcy. Emergencies do not mean that you break out your camouflage, paint your face, tie on the bandanna, and go hunting deer with a spear. (Iím not quite that good with a spear and the face paint makes my face break out.)
I want to have my family safe, fed, and going on with our lives as close as we do now.
The thing is that with these preparations, you will be covered for a lot of emergencies. I will have to use the bathroom whether thereís a global pandemic or I just got laid off. I got toilet paper regardless.
Write down your routine, and make notes as to what you need. Next time you are at the store, pick up a case of water. Canít find a flashlight? Buy one. It doesnít cost much more to get 4 jars of spaghetti sauce than it does to buy one. Start with whatever it takes to keep your life going as close to it does now with minimal interruption. Then, add more items as you go. Your next level could be 3 weeks, then 90 days, etc.
Now youíve got your routine, you made some notes as to what to add, and you know the best part?
You Have STARTED!
There is literally a goldmine worth of information here at The Rubicon. Read as much as you can and use as much as you can , and get out and get it done!
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