That may seem like a weird question to some, but in actuality it’s an extremely valid one. What motivates you to prepare for a collapse? I’ve always been conscious of the need to prepare myself for the unexpected.
Living in the South, we always had to be ready for a tornado outbreak, so we planned accordingly, but it wasn’t until September 11 that I realized I really needed to put more thought into my disaster and crisis plans. Fear of the uncertainty propelled my desire to be a better prepared person, but I did so haphazardly simply because I was afraid, and my prepping was unsuccessful because of it.
After 9-11, the number of people preparing for another terrorist attack skyrocketed. All of a sudden, our home soil wasn’t safe anymore. A number of websites sprung up after the attack on America. There were many good ones, and sadly to say there were a lot of bad websites that looked and sounded good, but overall was just there to extort money from fearful citizens. The common theme was preparedness and being ready for the next one. It was a crazy time and fear ruled over many.
Fear is a powerful emotion. Fear will cause you to do things you wouldn’t ever think you would do in a million years. Fear will also cause you to forget things that are second nature. And unfortunately, money hungry people prey upon this with websites and blogs that incite the fear of the unknown inside of you and then exploit that fear to get you to buy their products.
How do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fear mongering sites and businesses? Simply put, you need to know why you are preparing in the first place.
Do you have a family whose welfare you are in charge of? Or are you single and wanting to make sure that when SHTF you are one of the first to survive? Whatever your reason you must have it clearly in view. It’s okay to be afraid of an unknown future crisis event, whether it been a devastating EMP blast, or an all-out civil war. Fear is natural.
Prepare with a Purpose
If you have been just preparing on the fly for a while with no real plan or purpose, it’s time to stop now and reorganize. If not, you’ll find yourself being tossed about when you hear of crisis level events going on all over the world. Fear will continue to reign unless you make a good plan.
Planning according to your own individual situation is vitally important. Fear should not be the reason motivating your desire to prep. A good reason to start prepping could be something as simple as preserving your life and those with you.
Another good reason to prepare is to make sure that when the next crisis happens, you’ll be able to provide for your household and also anyone else that may need your expertise (ex. Medical, EMT, or any other trade.)
Can You Prep and Enjoy Your Life at the Same Time?
The answer to that question is YES. Some people perceive preppers and the prepping lifestyle as fanatical, but it’s not like that at all. With television shows like National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, the lifestyle has come into the limelight. When researching for this article, a simple poll was taken on the opinions of the general public about the prepping lifestyle.
A majority of those asked, didn’t really know anything about it. And those who had been exposed to it, didn’t have a good opinion of it. One person even stated that preppers seem to: “Miss out on life preparing for the end of the world.” – F. Childs, Atlanta, Georgia.
Is this something that you feel will happen if you start making prepping an important part of your life? Do you think that you’ll have to stop living and enjoying life in order to properly prep for a coming disaster or collapse? If so, it’s natural to feel that way. But you really don’t have to change your life all too much in order to be a successful prepper.
Make Simple Adjustments to Your Lifestyle
What kind of adjustments can you make in your life? You don’t have to do anything suddenly drastic like selling your 4-bedroom home and building a survival bunker in the woods. Everything you need to do, can be done slowly and on a daily basis.
There are several things you could do:
- Make a Prepping Budget – First and foremost, before you take on any project you must first budget it and see how much money and resources you have to work with. This budget should include all of your current income from all sources and all of your expenses. Leaving anything out would not give you an accurate picture of what you have to work with.
- Create an Emergency Prepping Fund – It helps if this fund is an actual box or empty jar. Any money you save, get back in change, or find laying around the house, should go into the fund box.
- Create a List and an Agenda – This should be a list of the ideas/ways you plan to adjust your life while prepping on a daily basis, and an agenda of how you’re going to put those ideas/ways into action.
- Start Using Cash Only – This may be one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing to do for some people. Take all your credit cards with high interest rates and either cut them up or put them all into an envelope. With your budget that you create, you’ll be able to guestimate how much cash will be needed for the week.
- Bargain shop and use coupons – Shopping for bargains and using coupons takes some getting used to. It does take time to search out where the best deals are in town on items for your emergency food supply, but it’s well worth the adjustment. Connect with others in your area who are couponers and ask them to teach you how to benefit mostly from combining coupons and bargain sales. A lot of times you can get dozens of items for the pantry for just a few dollars.
- Dine out less, or Stop all together – This may be hard for some to do, because dining out can be viewed as a reward for working hard all week. But when you cut back on the amount of times you dine out, the money you save can go towards stocking up on the items that you need.
- Say “No” to a Car Note – If you have a massive car note, you can understand the strain that it puts on your wallet. Consider giving up the note, and paying cash for an efficient car. You might also want to consider walking, taking public transit, or even riding a bike so you’ll have more funds to allocate towards your prepping fund.
- Buy in Bulk – When combined with bargain shopping and couponing, you save an extremely large amount of cash and get more product for your money. The cash you save and/or the change you get back should go into the emergency prepping fund. Bulk membership stores like SAMs Club or Costco often have great deals on items.
- Give Up Other “Luxuries” – You may have enjoyed stopping by the local Starbucks once a week and ordering a Grande caramel macchiato, but once you start interweaving prepping with your daily routine, luxuries like this have to go. This warm beverage cost about the same price as a 5lb bag of rice. Instead of the $5 cup of coffee, buy the 5lb bag of rice for your pantry. Very painful now, but you’ll be glad you did later.
Hopefully by now, you feel more confident about your ability to prep successfully. Prepping doesn’t have to be a scary adventure. If fear got you started on prepping, allow knowledge about what you’re prepping for to propel you forward. It may be painful to give up some of the things that you now enjoy in life in order to prep for a future crisis but it’s worth the sacrifice.
If you keep your eyes simple and cut back little by little every day, you will be thankful you did when the SHTF. The naysayers say that it’ll never happen, but we all know it will. A knowledgeable prepper is a surviving prepper. When the next crisis or the inevitable collapse happens, you’ll be sheltering in place thankful that you decided to make a conscious effort to prep the right way.
When that times comes, you’ll see some of you neighbors scrambling and scrounging for supplies. But you’ll be fine where you are, because you made the necessary changes and sacrifices in order to work prepping into your everyday life. It may have been uncomfortable but it was doable. And it made the difference in whether or not you would be prepared for that moment. Push fear aside and be ready when the SHTF. Happy prepping!