The reasons we turn to preparedness as a way of life are so variable it’s impossible to cover all of them. Some have a personal crisis (me), others have a bad feeling about the way the world is going, some have been raised that way. The important thing is it doesn’t matter what got you into the mindset, it matters that you’re there now.
For those of us not born to ‘the life’ it can feel so totally and utterly overwhelming that it’s easy to give up before you have properly started.
I know how it feels to have something go so very wrong in your life that you are frozen with fear. I’ve been there. I know how it feels to feel totally and utterly hopeless about your situation.
I also know how it feels to claw and drag yourself back to relative normality, and then to finally make it back up to a standing position and make the decision that no matter what you will never ever allow yourself to be in that position again.
It was this that started me on my journey into preparedness.
Did having such resolve make it easier? No, I still felt overwhelmed and had no idea where to begin.
How did I get started then? I turned to the web and I read and read and noted and learned from others that had been in my situation…and worse, yet had managed to not only get back on track but ensure they would NEVER struggle like that again.
Did I make mistakes? Yep, by the bucket load. Here’s my advice at avoiding the pitfalls and holes in the road that can derail you efforts.
- Decide what it is you actually want to achieve and write it down. By doing this you have a focus for the future and when you note under your aim the steps you are taking to get to that point it gives you encouragement to continue.
- If you start to feel overwhelmed stop, breathe and have a look at how far you have come. Search out websites that support your aims and give you decent quality information that’s useful to you.
- Start small and simple: Start by building your food stockpile based on foods you normally eat that will keep well. Pasta, rice, flour, olive oil and canned goods can be added to your weekly shop a bit of a time, it soon builds up. Aim to store a weeks extra food, when you have that aim for a month and so on.
- As you read more and learn more you will discover there is far more to prepping than storing extra food. Don’t panic. Sift the information saving what is applicable to your situation and discard what isn’t. You can revisit the choices you have made as you move along.
- Divide the now morphing and different areas of your preparedness so you have smaller chunks to deal with rather than tackling a massive amount of information in one block. A loose leaf file with dividers may be useful. Suggested topics could be, keeping warm, food and drink, tools and so on.
- Start to keep an inventory of what you have. It’s easy to lose track and end up with way too much of one thing and nothing of another. You could put each inventory in your folder in the section it applies to. It need not be anything more complicated than a list or as complicated as a spreadsheet, whatever works for you.
- Don’t over look the obvious, feminine hygiene products, condoms, pet supplies etc. You need to look at your life and who are in your immediate family/group and plan accordingly.
- Once the basics are underway you are ready to move on and delve deeper into the world of preparedness. The idea is not only to survive any situation you find yourself in, but to be able to thrive. This takes planning and supplies, things that will make you life better should your nightmare scenario occur.
- Consider other small ways you could become more self-sufficient. Could you grow a few pots of tomatoes on your balcony? Plant a few veggies in your garden? Do you have a skill that you enjoy that could make you some cash or that you could swap/barter for other goods?
- Learn a new skill (or 2 or 3). All types of craft, sewing, knitting and crochet are very popular and can save you money – and even earn you money if you are good at it. Excess veggies you’ve grown can be sold to neighbours or preserved for future use if you have the equipment or freezer space.
- Stay positive: This is so difficult some days but you can do this, you can get yourself into a better place but a main part of that is your mindset. You need to believe you can. reading the comments sections of many preparedness blogs and websites will quickly show you you are not alone. Find one you feel comfortable with and ask away, we are a friendly bunch and you may not believe me but you have something to say…we all bring something to the table that can be of use to others.
- Enjoy. Yes, enjoy the feeling of security that prepping brings. Enjoy knowing that be it a personal issue such as job loss and/or relationship breakdown or a two-week long power outage you can deal with it, you will not be hungry, your kids will go to bed fed. Preparedness in nothing more scary that future insurance, no more outlandish than having home or car insurance. Enjoy that you are taking steps to protect your family.
Here are a few things you may have never considered, articles that may get your grey matter tingling: