If we were to make a list of all the disasters that happen year after year, taking their human toll, we could come up with dozens. I’m also including personal emergencies here, but the point is, there’s so many of them. The worst part is, when talking about preparedness and preppers, Big Media is focusing on the ones that are less likely to occur, such as asteroids hitting the earth, war, total blackouts pandemics and so on.
Plus, the amount of information about survival can be overwhelming, sometimes even contradictory. There are lots of mistakes to be made... some of them are inevitable but others can easily be side-stepped by doing it right... and that means asking yourself the right questions.
The first question you need to ask yourself is:
What disaster am I preparing for?
The answer will largely determine whether you should keep doing what you’re doing or, on the contrary, to stop everything until you figure out your priorities. There are a lot of lists on the Internet with dozens or even hundreds of survival items, but blindly purchasing them won’t get you very far. Sure, you’ll be more prepared than 90% of people but you can do a lot better. Spending thousands on pre-packed food is a waste of time, as well as of money.
In what follows I’m going to give you the categories of disasters that should be top priorities for any prepper.
#1. Daily Emergencies
Most people get injured or die every single day in every single country of this planet not because of zombies but because of things like:
· food poisoning
· dog attacks
· house fire
· car, bike and boat accidents
· ...and even hiking accidents.
So the first step to preparedness is becoming more vigilant and prepared for these (more or less) random accidents that may occur.
If you go swimming regularly but you’re not very good at it or if you venture into unsafe water, you may want to reduce the risk of drowning. If you’re a bad driver, you should consider taking some lessons and practicing on your own. I also think it’s a good idea to get defensive driving lessons, they will teach you things you never knew about handling your car in emergency situations. Remember that in a bug out situation, you’re going to need to drive fast and under pressure.
This is yet another big category of personal emergencies that affect millions of people each year. 300,000 Americans are raped each year and I’m sure the number of assaults and street fights is a lot higher.
There are many ways to improve your personal security:
· you can take self-defense classes (there’s a variety of martial arts out there that you can learn)
· you can get into shape (to have a fighting chance in front of an opponent that’s bigger and stronger than you)
· you can get a gun
· a dog
· you can improve your awareness, to be able to spot trouble before it happens
· move out of a bad neighborhood
· avoid dark alleys
· avoid going to events that could take a turn for the worse (games between rival teams, political rallies)
· or you can get some alternative weapons, that won’t do much harm but might give you a few precious seconds to escape: pepper spray, tasers, a folding knife, a tactical pen and so on.
These are all common sense and easy to do.
#3. Natural Disasters
By now you probably know what the odds are of a hurricane or a tornado affecting you are, but do you know about the other natural disasters?
· thunder storms (which could lead to electric shocks and even electrocution a.k.a. death)
· ice storms
· heavy rain and snow
· ...and even landslides.
Just because they didn’t happen recently, it doesn’t mean they won’t happen again. Dig up old news stories online or even in old newspapers if you have them and see how some of these tragic deaths occurred. With so many unnatural deaths going around, the vast majority of these stories don’t make the national news. When travelling, find out the natural disasters that have affected the region and take specific precaution measures.
Talking about specific things you can do to prep for each is beyond the scope of this article, however, I want to help you figure out which of them you should prep for:
· If you consider getting a bug out location, you may want to take a look at Time.com’s map of safest counties. It’ll show you where the safest places are (U.S. only). The cool thing about the map is that it also gives you a population count for each county, in case you’re worried of an influx of people bugging out and possibly looting your home.
· Consider prepping for natural disaster at your bug out retreat. Landslides, avalanches, flooding, you may not find the perfect property, so you might take extra precaution measures to protect yourself.
· Consider prepping for all natural disasters, not just the ones that are likely to hit. This isn’t a priority, of course, but who knows when knowledge will save your life? For example, if you live in Arizona, you may not care much about snow, but if you go skiing one winter and you’re not prepared for an avalanche... enough said.
#4. Man-Made Disasters
Human beings are pretty creative when it comes to ways to destroy other human beings. This is why, when prepping for things like war or a total economic collapse, it’s time to start thinking about bugging out, living in the wilderness for longer periods of time and about ways of becoming self-sufficient.
If you don’t have a bug out location, it’s probably time to upgrade your bug out bag to an INCH bag. INCH bags are larger, have more equipment and are designed to keep you away from any home month after month.
Of course, if you’re already have plenty of, a regular bug out bag is enough. You need to start thinking about ways to grow your own food, gather your own water and ways to protect them from looters, and organized mobs who might be ruling the community in a WROL situation.
I hope made a good point of convincing you that prepping is much more than Doomsday, zombies and bunkers. There’s a whole plethora of disasters that can take your life or the life of your family members, so you have to start with the ones that are more likely to affect you first.