While we didn't have a world-wide collapse on January 1, 2000, many have thrown in the towel and said "Never again" because they felt like fools preparing for something that didn't actually happen. But honestly, we should be thanking the Lord that He spared us from our own foolishness - an overall attitude and mindset that we will always have what we want when we want it!
Photo Credit: mellowynk
Today, I want to talk about how to actually begin preparing. This is just an overview and I'll continue to work from the broad big picture to the small details as time allows on future posts. It's a big topic out there - entire blogs are devoted to it. I'm just giving you an overview here with the intent to eventually give my take on each area in light of what I believe is biblical. (I cannot do justice to these things in one post so I plan to cover each item listed in a blog post of its own in the following weeks.)
12 Areas of Preparation to Consider
1) Get your house in order financially. If an EMP ever hit, this might not make a whole lot of difference, however, many other scenarios that are more likely to happen will be effected by this single area. If we move from a recession to a depression, being debt free might mean the difference of whether or not you keep your homestead. And you can imagine the trickle down effect if you loose that! A job loss or natural disaster will still mean your bills are due, and while they may grant you a period of grace to get back on your feet, having your finances in order will determine how well you're sleeping at night! (Proverbs 6:1-11)
2) Consider where you can store bulk food supplies in your home. Whether you choose to store food rations and supplies for 3, 6, or 12 months, your kitchen cabinets aren't going to be enough. Begin thinking about this, but think outside the box if your house is small. When my husband and I first married, our apartment was 385 square feet. Yes, indeed. You could almost walk in it! Seriously, it was very tiny and my mother was amazed at how much I could get in there (I have a gift for visual space). It can be done. But more on that another day. Just start thinking for now.
3) Begin keeping a record of what you cook regularly and start buying extra. Know what your family likes and doesn't like. Kathy Harrison, who wrote Just in Case, makes a terrific point about stocking foods that your family is accustomed to and enjoys, because in a time of crisis, food can offer great comfort. When everything else around us is spinning out of control, a familiar meal can remind us that God is still there providing for us.
4) Start looking for non-electric tools for cooking and other uses. When the power is out, know that you have things you will need like a non-electric can opener. Some type of light source. That kind of thing. But in this category, I'm also thinking of guns and ammo. You might need to hunt. Riots happen when people panic and you may not have police protection. (Oh, this will open up a lot of debate, but can we save it for when I do the actual post on this subject? It does need to be discussed, especially for the Christian, but let's do it at the point it is most appropriate.)
5) Consider your options for cooking and heating in winter. Will you eat the canned beans cold? Do you have the ability to use a non-electric grill? And if it's 20 degrees outside, how will your family keep warm. Blankets might work for a while, but the longer you are without electricity, the colder your house will become.
6) Know your local food and water sources. If a crisis lasts for more than a few days, what options do you have if FEMA or the Red Cross doesn't arrive? After Katrina, we all learned not to depend on the Cavalry to show up. Does your local water district have a back up non-electric pump? Does your community allow for water tanks on individual properties? Start brainstorming.
7) Communicate with neighbors NOW. This one can be the hardest because we fear being rejected and thought of as "crazy people". I was surprised to find my own neighbors were ahead of me in prepping in some areas, although lacking in others. Be that as it may, I have begun to learn where each person can contribute their expertise in a long term event. I now know who might need food. That kind of thing.
8) Have a family meeting place. And maybe a back up meeting place. Since we live out in the country, but two family members are in town each day, we would be separated if a crisis happened between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Talk about this and make sure everyone understands where they are to go in various situations.
Photo Credit: SlipStreamJC
9) Begin collecting supplies for Bug-Out Bags. A Bug-Out Bag (hereafter known as BOB) is a bag for each family member containing at least a few days worth of food and rations, some basic necessities for survival, and extra medications. And other stuff, too. But you get the idea. A backpack works great because you might actually have to walk out!
10) Start a small library of how-to resource books. If the electricity is off, you can't pull up information on google or a blog. You need a book. My first purchase was The Encyclopedia of Country Living because it covered so much stuff that I would use in a crisis or not. You can't believe how much is in this thing! Keep your eye out at garage sales and used bookstores. And don't discount those old Y2K books. The ideas people had about preparing were right despite the outcome of the event.
11) Begin acquiring skills. Don't wait for a crisis to start a garden. Begin now and get it going. Learn while you have time to make a few mistakes and learn from them. If a disaster happened and you waited until then to begin your garden, would the vegetables have time to grow before your stored supplies ran out? And there are other skills, too. Hunting, fishing, chopping wood, repairing things, recycling and reusing things, canning food, cooking over a flame, gardening year round... I could go on, but I'll stop there for now.
12) Put on a mindset that prepping is a life skill you keep all the time. Prepping shouldn't be a fad, but a way of life. If you were to prepare for 10 years and then give up because nothing happened that required your efforts, where would you be if the crisis happened in the eleventh year? No man knows the hour or day that these things take place. Only God knows. Our job is just to be faithful stewards of the resources He gives us.
Okay, let me know what category I forgot. I know there has to be something! And I could use your input.
Let me close with an encouragement to read Proverbs 3. It just seems to be a good passage to balance this all out. May you be at peace as you prepare!