Survival and Prepping: There’s NOT Just One Way to Prep
When you think of survival and prepping, what is the image in your mind? Are you picturing bunkers, food stacked to the rafters, and a mini-armory in a secret room hidden by a bookcase? Or do you imagine roughing it out in the woods with a shack you built yourself, roasting whatever you caught that day on a spit over the fire in your front yard, and a cot that you humped out into the treeline for sleeping?
Those are viable options for some people, but many folks aren’t in a situation that allows for something as extreme as either of those solutions.
Survival and Prepping Is Different for Everyone
No matter who you are, how much (or how little) money you have, or what your living situation is, you can be better prepared. You have to let go of this “ideal” image of survival and prepping and work within your own situation.
You may catch some flak from those who are living the more typical prepper lifestyle. It seems like a lot of people in the preparedness world can be pretty judgemental from their redoubts in the country. That seems like the epitome of armchair quarterbacking. They don’t know your reasons for being where you’re at, your financial situation, or the needs that might keep you in an area that seems less than ideal to them. Just keep in mind they’re not making their comments from a place of knowledge – they don’t know the details behind your decisions. Take the good advice and leave the criticism where it belongs – not in your head.
Work Within Your Resources and Location
You may have a job that keeps you in a specific area, a kid in an excellent school there, or an older family member for whom you look after who refuses to leave their home. You may be upside-down in your mortgage. Your house may not be selling. There are way more reasons than I can list here that you may have chosen.
Your reason doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of preparedness. That’s your business and nobody else’s. All you need to do is focus on survival and prepping that works for you, right there, where you are right now. If you live in a big-city apartment, have a patio garden, herbs growing in the windowsill, are hiding water under the bed, and stashing food in a decorative armoire, you’re probably far more ready than the average American.
You Might Be Surprised Who Is Into Survival and Prepping
It could be that single mom you see taking her kids to the YMCA for swimming lessons. Perhaps it’s the well-to-do family who is always out hiking, skiing, and swimming. It might be the quiet guy who sits in the cubicle next to yours at the office. It’s not always the person with the mountain-man beard or the military buzz cut.
The point here is that you don’t have to fit into a specific category to be involved in survival and prepping.
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That You Can’t Be Into Survival and Prepping
As mentioned before, if you prep in an unconventional way and you discuss it in prepping forums or in the comments of websites, you will hear a lot of criticism from the peanut gallery, but they’re suffering from their own situational biases and often can’t see the forest for the trees. Unfortunately, people like this make others feel as though they can’t be prepared for an emergency due to a personal situation the new prepper may not be able to change.
No matter where you are, you can be a little better prepared today than you were yesterday.
Baby Steps Are the Way to Go
Instead of overwhelming yourself with the concept of epic disasters, we recommend baby steps as the best way to get prepared, particularly for those on a budget. Here are a few things to get you started building the fundamentals of preparedness.
1.) Inventory what you already have. Many people are shocked once they inventory and organize their belongings to see that they already have a lot of preps. This can save you lots of money that you can put into things you don’t already possess.
2.) Fill every empty, food-safe container in your house with water. This is a great, free way to begin building a water supply. Go here to learn more about storing water safely. Remember, containers take up the same amount full of water as they do when they’re empty.
3.) Learn, learn, learn. Take advantage of all the free information available on the internet and really drill down to what you need most. You can learn what the most likely disaster is for your specific area and prep for that first. After that, continue learning and add to your emergency preparedness skill set.
4) Scout your area. If things go sideways, regardless of where you live, there are bound to be assets that will be helpful in an emergency. Where is the nearest body of water? (If you’re urban, fountains and swimming pools count.) What store is the closest place to get food? Which gas station is nearby? Knowing these things can help give you an advantage when an emergency strikes. While everyone else is trying to figure out what to do, you will already be doing it.
Take these small steps to build yourself a foundation of preparedness and then build on top of this sturdy base.
No Matter Where You Are, There are Pros and Cons
Regardless of your situation, you’ll find that there are pros and cons to all of them.
Living in the city? You have faster access to medical care and emergency services. The stores have more competition and therefore have to put things on sale to draw in customers. If things truly went sideways, there are a lot more resources to acquire initially. While everyone else is carrying home widescreen TVs, you’ll be getting medications and food.
Living in the country? You probably have a lower crime rate and fewer risks to your personal safety. Likewise, you have the space and the ability to grow food and raise livestock. You may have a body of water on your property, and if you don’t, you can collect rainwater without asking your HOA first.
Urban Survival: The more people there are, the further available resources have to spread. Once people realize this is not just a short-term interruption, your former friends and neighbors will fight for those resources, including any they know you have. The options for securely growing food will be severely limiting. Crime will increase exponentially in urban areas.
Rural Survival: You may be far away from life-saving medical care when minutes count. While generally a good thing, your isolation can also mean that nobody will be around to realize you need help if you find yourself in an emergency. If the disaster means you’re on foot, there could be very little to scrounge within easy walking distance. Rural areas are generally the last area to have services like electricity and internet restored after an outage.
The Bottom Line is Survival and Prepping Are for Everyone
No matter who you are, what your limitations are, how much money you have, or where you are living, you’re ready to take your prepping to the next level. Your awareness that you need to do so puts you miles before other folks.
There isn’t one “right way” to prep. Just cover your basic needs and build from there – and don’t listen to the naysayers.
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