Improvise to Survive & Thrive

Improvise to Survive & Thrive

by M. Bowie

       Have you ever used a butter-knife in place of a screwdriver? Have you ever used a wet piece of tissue in place of a band-aid or used Fix-A-Flat in place of a spare? Improvisation is one of the most fundamental abilities human beings possess & we use it more frequently than we are sometimes aware.

I, like many of you, have compiled a lot of lists concerning preparing for disasters. Not just the end of the world, but everyday life as well. I have also compiled a modest library of how -to’s & lots of other mundane and exciting things. So one by one I began acquiring things on lists, & making more lists & buying more things. My wife, who up ’til now had been relatively silent about it all, said “When will it be enough”? I immediately responded with “Soon. I just want to make sure we have what we need to stick it out, at least for a little while”. To which she sincerely replied “And then what? We have food, water, shelter, etc. for now & for an emergency, but what happens when we run out”? I realized then that I wasn’t being a very thorough prepper. No matter how much I bought & stored I would never be satisfied because inside I know that these items are finite & will in fact run out.  So I re-evaluted how I was preparing & decided to look into a truly reliable survival plan that would ensure our safety & moderate comfort no matter the emergency, time, location etc., etc.. It doesn’t exist! (Imagine that), I guess I’ll have to improvise something. So I decided to visit my library again & subsequently found myself making more lists, this time about things I could improvise, how to do it; blah blah blah. I needed to focus on some specific things.

The one thing that is true of every person on this planet is that after something traumatic happens, we just want to feel normal again. Even the smallest most innocuous thing can help with that, but what happens when we are unable to get the things that help us to feel normal? Bad things, that’s what. Have you looked around your life lately to see what you can’t live without? Do you know how to improvise those things? What about the things you’re buying & storing now? If they run out, stop working or are confiscated (stolen), can you improvise something to help get you back on track & feel normal again?

No supply of anything is endless. Know this & embrace it. When you prepare try to prepare for the Thrive stage of a disaster. First you Survive then you Thrive. Everyone should try to prepare for that, but how can you if you don’t know what to expect? Improvise! Plan ahead, as you do now, for the time when resources are tapped & learn to improvise some things that can help you & those with you to feel normal again. Another thing to consider about all of the books, videos, etc. is that they won’t do you any good if there’s no power. If you didn’t think the information would be useful you wouldn’t have sought it out, so you may want to sort through & print specific things (not whole books) that will help you in the thrive stage. Improvise to survive and thrive.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Bottled water – this is great for a time, as you mentioned. Where and HOW will you get water when that is gone? How far will to have to go to get water, whether you have to purify it or not?

    We have our own well, but still have to get a manual auxiliary pump to slide in place. This will cover our needs, and provide water to the garden. But will require hours of pumping to water a garden big enough to fulfill our needs year around.

    What percentage of your family needs will your garden supply? How much wildlife is in your area? (Providing everyone else isn’t hunting there, too) How will you heat your home if there is no power? If you are using wood as a backup, how much will you need every year to cook and supply warmth?

    We aren’t there yet. But my grandparents lived near here in a drafty cabin for years and ‘Thrived’, as you put it. The trick is to know what you NEED. Know how to get enough to live. But there is a more important requirement.

    You have to know what your skills are, and the skills of those around you. As a individual, or a single family for that matter, you are not likely to be able to do everything required to live. That is why we had communities in the old west, for example. We had a blacksmith (Machinist these days), we had a hardware store, and a grocer that bought and sold produce and eggs and flour. We had local farmers. We had sources of water from creeks and rivers to irrigate. We had wells for drinking water. Everything was local, but not everything came from ONE PERSON or family.

    What are the skills you can bring to the table? Carpenter? Seamstress? Machinist / Blacksmith? Plumbing? Canning and putting food by? Smoking meat/fish? Do you have all the tools of your trade? Do you have the MANUAL TOOLS of your trade from past generations?

    Storage food is OK. But it will run out over time. And you can’t do everything in the hours we are given in a day.

    You are on the right track. The time to know your neighbors and their skills is now. Not later. They may not be of the ‘prepper’ mindset. But they know their skills, and you should know them, too.

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