By The Coach, Contributing Editor
I wrote this article for senior citizens who are just getting started in prepping. This article is NOT written for someone who has been prepping for years. However, you may pick up some useful information.
There are many articles written about all of the aspects of prepping. However, there are very few articles written with the senior prepper in mind.
I am sixty-four (64) years young and know the problems and concerns that most senior preppers have.
The senior prepper that reads this article my not like what I have to say because I am going to be brutally factual in what I have to say.
This article can also be used by preppers that are not in good health yet want to prepare for whatever you deem necessary.
First: Religious Faith
Get right with whatever God you worship!
Religion should be an equal if not major part of your prepping.
Start reading the Bible or whatever book your faith uses.
Go to church. If you cannot get to church because of your age or health, call a church of your faith and ask if they have a ministry that sends people to seniors’ homes that can’t get to church. Many of the larger churches do have such a ministry.
The point is, get right with your God!
If you do not believe in a God, I truly feel sorry for you and hope someday you will see the light.
One of the most important things that you can do to aid in your security is to “Keep Your Mouth Shut” about your prepping activities. DO NOT tell anyone what you are doing or what steps you have taken for your security or what you have purchased. Say NOTHING to ANYONE!!!!!!
Why you may ask?
In a TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It) situation, those people who have not prepared will be looking for food, water and other supplies that they do not have yet need to survive. Those people will do ANYTHING to get what they need. Remember what occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Think of it another way. If one of your grandchildren were visiting you when a TEOTWAWKI situation occurred and they had not eaten anything for a week, what wouldn’t you do to get them some food?
During a TEOTWAWKI situation, people will kill you to get what they need. No matter of how good of a friend you think they are.
Keep quiet about what you are doing and you have done for your prepping.
Ask questions, give up NO information!
Third: Health Conditions
Your health condition will be a major factor in your prepping.
I have a heart condition. The truth is, as long as I have my heart medicine to take each day, I will be able to live. However, during a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation, you may not be able to get to the pharmacy and get your life sustaining daily medications. After Hurricane Katrina, there were NO pharmacies in the New Orleans area open for three (3) months. The closest pharmacy that was open was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 90 miles away. What would happen if there was none of your prescription medication to be had after a TEOTWAWKI situation? So, you will only live for as long as you have medications stockpiled for whatever medical problem that you have.
You MUST stock pile your life sustaining medications. I know this is a very difficult thing to do but you MUST find a way. My heart medication alone cost me $554.00 each month. Yet without it I would not live more than a few days after my medication run out. So what good is it if you purchased six months’ worth of food, water and other supplies that you will need to survive, if you die from not having the life sustaining medication that you must take on a daily basis within the first month? Someone else is going to thank you when they loot you house.
Keep ALL of your prescription medication in one place at your residence. If you must evacuate in a hurry, you can locate and pack all of your prescription medications easily without taking additional time to go to several locations to locate them.
How mobile are you?
No, I am not talking about purchasing a Hum V!
Can you still walk or are you wheel chair bound?
Do you still have the capability to drive yourself to whatever location you need to get to or are you dependent on someone else to take you where you need to go? If you have a vehicle and can still drive, keep your vehicle in good running order. NEVER let your gas tank get below half a tank. This way you can Bug Out at a moment’s notice and do not need to stop to get gas until you are out of the city.
Are you in good enough health to load your personal vehicle with the supplies that you have purchased and will need to survive if you plan to leave (Bug Out) in a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation?
If not, you need to plan on staying where you are and sheltering in place. Do not depend on someone coming to get you and evacuating you. In a bad disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation, that person may not be able to get to you, no matter how close they live to you.
You may want to talk to a relative in advance and determine if you can make it to their house before a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation occurs, can you stay with them. Again, do not depend on them coming to get you.
During a post TEOTWAWKI situation, NEVER go ANYWHERE by yourself.
It is NOT a good idea to go to a government evacuation shelter. The New Orleans Convention Center (pictured here) was used as an emergency shelter for Hurricane Katrina. NO ONE there had food, water or bathroom facilities for three (3) days. There were many rapes and robberies reported during that time. This is an actual picture taken of an elderly lady at the New Orleans Convention Center during that time. Imagine you being in this situation!
If you decide you need to “Bug Out” from you residence and have nowhere to go, this is one idea I have used twice in the past during mandatory hurricane evacuations. I contacted the pastor at my church and asked him if he could contact a church, of our denomination, in the city that I wanted to evacuate to that would house us for the duration of the mandatory evacuation. Both times I asked, he found my wife and I churches to go to. One time we were housed at a church with other evacuees. Another time, the church in the city we went to found one of their parishioners to take my wife and I into their house for the duration of the mandatory evacuation. We did not have any problems at either location. The churches work in times of need!!!!
Fifth: Prepping Groups
One of the things that you may want to consider is joining a “Preppers Group”! In other words, find like-minded people in your age bracket.
However, the reality is, unless you have something major to offer a prepping group, the younger groups are not likely to allow you to join. The reason is that most prepper groups look at senior citizens as a labiality that will use up their resources and not contribute anything of value to their group.
However, there may be an answer for you.
Start your own preppers group of senior citizens. There are certainly other senior citizens that want to prep but are in the same situation that you are. The old cliché that there is safety in numbers is true. If you want to try this approach, you need to find group members close enough that everyone in your group can go to one central safe place when a disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation happens.
One of the problems that you will have is the same problem that all prepper groups have, maintaining tranquility amongst the group members. It is very easy to get someone else’s nerves on edge when being confined in a single location for a long period of time with many people you do not normally live with. The LAST thing that you will need is a fight, verbal or physical, during or after a major disaster or TEOTWAWKI situation. Everyone in the group must be compatible. If you become a member of a group, suggest that the group spend a weekend together wherever your group plans to relocate to. Once at the location on a Friday night, no one leaves until Sunday night. This will give you a good idea how everyone in the group will get along.
Another thing that MUST be established if you want your prepping group to work is a clear line of authority. You should have a clear chain of command. The person that is the leader should have final say in ALL situations and everyone in the group MUST agree to that authority! You may use some type of voting system to make decisions but there must be a single person in charge to make the final decisions that need to be made. That decision should be final!
There should also be clear rules for the group to adhere to.
One of the most important and first rules that should be agreed to is under what circumstances and conditions can someone in the group be kicked out of the group. This way if someone violates one of those rules; there is no question as to what is going to happen.
Another major concern that MUST be addressed is, when it is time for the group to get together, can a group member bring a non-participating person or relative with them to the central location? This is easier said than done. What happens if your granddaughter is spending a week with you and a major TEOTWAWKI situation occurs? What will you do if you are told your granddaughter will NOT be allowed at the retreat location! This question should be decided upon and adhered to with no exception! Once an exception is made, the flood gate is open and there is no going back.
Read, read and then read some more!
Before you buy anything, read as much information that you can on the item you plan to purchase. Read what experiences and opinions other people have on that item.
Talk or e-mail people that are willing to give you educated advice and are NOT trying to sell you their product.
There are MANY very good books and web sites on prepping.
If you do not conduct your research, you will waste a lot of money on items that either you do not need or are trash. I learned this the hard way many years ago.
It is now and only now that you should start to stock pile supplies.
DO NOT plan on trading for or bartering for whatever items that you need after a major disaster or a TEOTWAWKI situation. If you cannot afford the item or food now, what makes you think your could trade or barter for it when your situation gets worst or there is none to be had?
It’s called beans and bullets in the prepping community!
Why should you start stockpiling your supplies at this point?
The reason is the items that you will purchase can be expensive. Also, there are different supplies that you will need to purchase if you are planning to stay where you are or if you plan to leave your location (Bug Out) and travel to another location.
You do not want to waste money buying the wrong supplies.
What do I mean by, “supplies”?
I mean, Water/water filters, food, proper clothing, defense items – firearms and ammo (you never have enough ammo), Mace, alarms, etc., portable shelter – tent, camper, conversion van, radios, etc.
You would be surprised how many items you can purchase for your prepping for pennies on the dollar at flea markets and garage sales. My wife and I go to garage sales and flea markets all of the time.
DO NOT forget about the daily comfort items. What do I mean by comfort items, toilet paper, bath soap, toothpaste and adult diapers if you use them? Can you imagine having to live without the above items? No you do not need them to survive from day to day but it sure makes life just a little nicer.
So how can you stockpile items, especially food, affordably? This may be a little confusing.
Let’s say you are going to fix chicken tonight for supper. Along with the chicken you want to fix canned green peas but you do not have any in the house. You go to the grocery store to get some. You buy one can to eat and a second can of green peas for emergency supplies. The next time if you need one can of pork and beans buy two. Eat one and store the second. By using this purchasing method you do not have a large initial expenditure, yet you are starting you disaster food supplies. You can use this method for everything except fresh produce and such.
One MUST have item is a good AM/FM, weather radio, with a telescoping antenna, powered by electricity, battery, solar power and hand crank. You must be able to obtain up to date news and weather information. You must know what is going on around you, what the government wants you to do or not do! You can purchase a good one for around $45.00 new. If you buy cheap junk, it will fail when you need it the most. I purchased a “C. Crane, CC Solar Observer, AM/FM/Weather, Windup Emergency Radio, Model: COBS for $44.95.” I am well satisfied with this radio.
WARNING: DO NOT count on contacting anyone on your cell phone after a major disaster or a TEOTWAWKI situation! After Hurricane Katrina, NONE of our cell phones worked for a month.
A warning on firearms! Before you purchase a firearm, check your local laws. The law change dramatically from state to state and from city to city.
Then you must make an important decision before you purchase any firearm. You must decide if you can physically shoot a firearm accurately.
You must also decide if someone threatens you or your spouse with great bodily harm or immanent death, can you morally take their life.
If the answer is NO to either of the above question, DO NOT PURCHASE A FIREARM!
If you do, the bad guy could easily take your firearm from you and use it against you and/or your spouse.
Also, only purchase a firearm that you can shoot accurately. It is much better to buy a .22 long rifle caliber pistol that you can shoot accurately than a .45 ACP, pistol that you cannot hit anything with. It is better to get hits on an intruder with a .22 caliber pistol than to miss an intruder with a .45 ACP pistol.
If you have never owned or shot a firearm before, be sure to take a class taught by a certified firearms instructor before you depend your life on that weapon.
I practice with my firearm at least once a month.
I hope this has answered some of the senior preppers’ questions. If you need more specific information, leave your questions in the below comment section and I will attempt to answer them.
NOTE: I DO NOT receive ANY compensation, of ANY kind, from ANY company, for mentioning ANY product, named in ANY of my articles. I write about products that work for me.
“In anger we should refrain both from speech and action.”
Pythagoras (582 BC – 507 BC)