It’s easy to go overboard when it comes to prepping. But with all the movies and other entertainment out there, why wouldn’t it be? Movies such as Mad Max and The Book of Eli come to mind, in addition to shows Falling Skies or video games like Fallout 3. How far is too far, though? Should you start planning on how you’ll loot supply lines or defend your home against invaders? Probably not but it is easy (and enjoyable) to ponder similar topics. Prepping is a slippery slope and sometimes it’s easy to forget the fundamentals.
Three Central Tenets
Prepping comes down to being able to survive. What do people need to survive? Well for one there’s water, we need it to live. Second is food, eating is a necessary function of maintaining a healthy body and high energy levels. Remember during the Y2K scare and people were stocking up on gallons of water? It’s because you don’t just need water to drink. You also need to cook with it, wash with it, and a host of other personal uses. Last is shelter. Shelter is you and your family’s form of protection against the weather, it is a safe zone for you and your family members, and it can serve as an area for storing resources. Each of these three essentials is important and necessary for survival and prepping for uncertain times.
Being shielded from the elements and keeping warm during the cold months of winter are crucial to survival. Imagine living outdoors and in the elements with no roof above your head to divert the rain or snow, or walls to shield you from powerful winds.
We take fresh water for granted. A toilet uses more than a gallon of water each time it is flushed. And according to a credible source, the average person flushes the toilet five times per day. Water is used in our consumables; soft drinks, medicine, lotion, shampoo, cleaning agents, canned foods. It is also an essential aspect to many industrial processes. Water is also a source of electricity and powers your home. When heated, water turns into steam and can power machinery. These are only a small number of water’s vast resources.
Only 2.5% of Earth’s water supply is of the fresh variety, according to an article by the United States Geological Survey. This means all those water uses outlined above have to fit in this small percentage of water. Couple this with any given economic or environmental disaster, and water will be one of the (if not the) most valuable resource. The importance of conserving fresh water and utilizing every drop cannot be stressed enough.
Food is our source of energy. It is what allows us to perform the daily activities necessary to thrive and succeed as human beings. Food is to humans as gasoline is to cars. It provides our bodies with the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs. Keeping our bodies healthy during times of peace and prosperity is difficult enough, but once life becomes unstable it will double as a top priority to survival.
Prepping is just like establishing an emergency fund when it comes to your personal finance, except you’re saving resources instead of dollars. Your prepping shouldn’t be as extreme as some of the things you may see on television; you don’t need an expensive underground bunker with walls of steel 3 feet thick, the fastest security system on the market, or a weapons cache with enough ammunition for 20 years of extended combat. Procure the necessities for you to live. Imagine living off these resources for 3-6 months. If you can do that, you will have successfully prepped and are ready for SHTF.
Riley Harkins enjoys educating others about prepping, survival, and personal security. He writes for SafeMart and experiments with some of the most advanced security technology on the market.