February 21st, 2013

7 Tips To Help You Prepare For Hard Times


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This article was written by Gaye Levy and originally published at Backdoor Survival

Once you have been blogging for awhile, you begin to realize that bad news – and by bad news I mean the unthinkable – sells. Funny how that works, but following a natural disaster or major world event, site visits go up – way up. When my friend George at Urban Survival first told me this I was incredulous. But sure enough, it is true.

On the other hand, there is no reason why we should not prepare for the unthinkable even during those times when things are status quo. (And did you notice I did not say normal, although the new normal is the status quo – as tough as it may be to stomach.)

Today I would like to share a list of tips for preparing for unthinkable hard times. It is a quick and dirty list – things that come to mind here and now in the present moment. I am sure there are others, so please leave your tips in the comment section below.

1. Practice using less electricity – a lot less electricity

I just finished the audio book version of One Second After. An EMP, coupled the the potential of a cyber attack, tell me that it is only prudent to get by with less reliance on the electrical grid. For many, the problem of limited or non-existent electrical power can be mitigated by generators or solar power. Generators are great as long as you have fuel, and solar power will work if you have the money to set up a solar system plus, of course, an abundance of sun.

To me, the optimal solution is to try to get by with less electrical power. That means less reliance on my two freezers full of food and more reliance on bulk foods and freeze-dried meals. It also means lots of batteries and some wind-up devices.

2. Maintain a survival library and a survival notebook

The time may come when your online resources may no longer be available. Perhaps, as mentioned above, the grid may be down. Or perhaps the Internet will be censored with survival and preparedness sites blocked. It could happen, you know.

Accumulate some preparedness books in print form and maintain your own survival notebook in a three ring binder. Don’t overlook free resources that may be available from your local county or state emergency management department. Believe it or not, even FEMA has some good stuff in printed form (see Free for You: The “Are You Ready Guide to Preparedness”).

3. Make learning a habit
Set aside a brief period each week to either learn a new skill or practice becoming more proficient at a skill you already possess. Better yet, take some time – even a few minutes – each day to find a new trick or tip to add to your survival notebook.

Amazon frequently offers free e-books on a variety of topics. These books are typically only available for one to five days and are a great way to learn something new. Sure, they may not be available if the power is out, but if the goal is to learn from them, take notes and put what you learn into action now rather than later.

One of the most important things you can do now to prepare for a crisis or disaster is to always be learning.

Side note: On most days I post a link of two to relevant free e-book over on my Facebook page.

4. Grow food

Growing your own food can be so rewarding that I just can not fathom even the smallest apartment dweller not growing at least a pot full of herbs on their window sill. There is something magical about popping a few seeds in a pot and watching them sprout and grow into something that is actually edible.

Beyond the window sill garden, there is the container garden, bucket garden, square foot garden, vertical garden, raised bed garden and the mini-farm. No matter how difficult it may seem, check out some videos on YouTube or books from your local library and start growing some food this spring.

5. Acknowledge that there will be fear and panic

Those of you that have experienced a disaster, poor health, job loss, or civil disobedience and war will understand that fear and panic are inevitable. Realize that in the case of a disaster, there is not a darn thing you can do other than recover. Plan for the worst and hope for the best. A cliché, I know. But that is the truth.

Other woes such as poor health, loss of a job or a financial meltdown are a bit more difficult to deal with. Questions such as how will you cope and how will you live will cross your mind as you stay up nights wondering what you could have done to mitigate the situation in the first place.

Acknowledge now that there will be fear and panic and realize this is WHY you prep. Prepping is the insurance policy that will help see you through hard times.

6. Embrace companionship and love

Not to get dopey, but life is more robust when you have someone to hug. I like to say “hug the ones you love, and love the ones you hug.”

I would also like to suggest that you share a modest portion of your bounty with your less fortunate or elderly neighbors. I would also like to suggest that you share your kindness when kindness is shared with you in turn. Life is precious and at the end of our time, it won’t be the fancy cars, the elaborate home, or the diamond rings that count. It is will the feeling of peace knowing that you have lived well with love in your soul and compassion in your heart.

7. Maintain your faith

If you are a religious person, find comfort in your faith. And if not, embrace your inner strength and have faith in yourself and in the miracle of your life. Hold this faith near to your heart – when hard times come, it may be all that you have left.

THE FINAL WORD

Coping skills when the SHTF will be easier said than done.

Being realistic, it is difficult to predict what will happen and how we will react as individuals if and when we are faced with extremely hard times. For whatever reason – a disaster or personal crisis – we will each have to deal with situations that are foreign and unpleasant. Having the food, water, gear and the other tools of the prepping trade will help, but I can’t help but think that there are many other things that can be done now to prepare for the worst.

I encourage you to embrace the less tangible aspects of preparedness and consider events of the day a wake-up call advising you to get on with life in the best and most human way possible.




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