In many ways, prepping for a disaster seems very easy. All you have to do is identify the supplies, tools, and skills you need, then go out and get them.
On the other hand, when you start thinking deeply about it, you’ll realize that it takes a very large commitment of time, money, and other resources.
Don’t panic! As with any other task, breaking it down into smaller steps that are relatively easy to achieve will help you build momentum.
First, let’s take a look at some of the common ways people talk themselves out of being prepared for an emergency.
Even a moment’s thought will expose this for being as silly as it is. Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time. Tornadoes can occur anywhere thunderstorms happen, hurricanes can travel hundreds of miles inland, wildfires can destroy thousands of acres, etc.
While the government has the collective resources of an entire nation to work with, it takes time for those resources to be brought to bear. And in many cases, the full effectiveness of those resources isn’t realized until after the disaster has passed.
It takes a long time to rebuild a city after an earthquake, for example, and flood victims can’t all be rescued at once. How will you survive until it’s your turn?
This is similar to relying on the government. Are you so sure your neighbor will share? What if they only have enough supplies for their family?
If it comes down to a choice between you starving or their child, who wins? Be honest. It might seem selfish, but a can of tuna only goes so far.
It’s too easy to focus on the sensationalist articles about people who are prepping against alien invasions, or building bunkers to ride out “the end of the world as we know it” (most often rendered as “TEOTWAWKI” on various prepper sites), but look at it this way: Small-scale prepping is just like carrying car or home insurance.
You may never need to use it, but boy, it sure is nice to have when you do.
This excuse is closely related to the previous one. Who says you have to advertise the fact that you are prepping?
In fact, it might be a wiser course of action to keep it to yourself, or you may end up being the neighbor that everyone comes to during an emergency to borrow/use/steal your supplies.
Religion can be a great comfort in troublesome times, but remember that God helps those who help themselves.
There’s an old joke:
A man was trapped on his roof by a flood. A rescue boat comes by, and he is encouraged to get into the boat. “No thanks. God will save me,” he replies.
Later on, another boat comes by, and he refuses to board, repeating that God will save him. As the water continues to rise, another boat comes by, and he again turns them down.
Finally a helicopter hovers overhead and a ladder is dropped to the man, who waves them off. Eventually, the waters rise even higher and the man drowns. When he gets to Heaven, he angrily confronts God about His refusal to save him. God says: “Refused? I sent three boats and a helicopter!”
This is probably the most common complaint, but it can be overcome. Take a little bit of time every day or each week to create your plan and make a list of the emergency supplies you need.
That is the very crucial first step, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. A 72-hour kit will fit into a backpack and can be stored in a closet or your car.
While this excuse at least acknowledges that a disaster can happen, it falls short in being realistic. You see this attitude in a lot of people that live in disaster-prone areas who have never suffered a devastating loss.
These are the people that don’t evacuate during a hurricane warning, for example, because their house wasn’t destroyed in previous hurricanes. People, in general, don’t like thinking about problems or nasty consequences, but you can’t assume everything will be all right all of the time.
Everyone has lazy days, and we can all procrastinate, especially over something that may or may not happen. Have you ever seen a news report about grocery store shelves being picked clean when the forecast calls for heavy snow or every store in a hundred-mile radius being sold out of generators before a hurricane lands?
You don’t want to fight panicked crowds for the last pair of boots or sack of rice. The best time to prepare for a disaster is before one occurs. When will that be? You don’t know, do you?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with different disaster scenarios, and all of the separate details involved, but you can make it easier on yourself. Again, make out a plan and a list first. This will help you stay focused.
If you are part of a group that is prepping together, like your family, assign different tasks to different people. Keep a checklist for who is responsible for what.
One person can take a first aid class and teach the others, for example, while whoever does the shopping can pick up extra food here and there until you’ve accumulated what you need. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money on top-shelf gear. A used tent purchased on Craigslist for $25 can work just as well as one purchased at REI for $250.
Finally, start with the things you are already interested in, as that will make it easier to build momentum for more extensive prepping. If you like to cook, for example, you can branch out to making and preserving your own emergency meals.
If someone in your family or circle of friends likes to camp or hunt, they probably already have a good idea of which gear is dependable and which would be a waste of money. Ask their advice.
We hope that you have found this article to be informative. And if we’ve touched on an excuse you’ve been using, we hope that we’ve given you a good way to overcome it.
The fact that you are here and reading our posts is a great start! Join us the rest of the week for posts on the different kinds of multi-tools you may want to have in your disaster supply kit, maximizing your chances of surviving a hurricane, and how to find water in the wild (and make it safe for consumption). We look forward to seeing you!
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