Over the holidays, I took some time to spend it with family and friends as well as sit back, read and review. Yes, I am aware it is now the middle of April but I am a slow thinker. Well, more of what is considered a “processor”. When an emergency happens, my brain fires on all cylinders and things work out great. However, when I have the time, no pressure, no firm deadlines, I sit back and think, ponder, reflect and review over the thing(s) that is the focal point. For this post, it was PREPAREDNESS.
During the spending time with family and friends, I decided to watch one of my favorite series of movies “Resident Evil”. You don’t have to like it or even agree with it, but it stops my hectic lifestyle for a couple of hours to watch someone kick someone else’s butt <keeping it clean>. My wife decided that she would gladly sit and watch them with me if I would get up and turn on the light in the middle of the night when she made her routine bathroom visits. I called it “fair trade”.
After watching a disk the other night, I was sealing up the Netflix envelope to send it back and my wife asked me a question that made me start thinking a little bit harder (dang it). She questioned, “I know there are no zombies. And the CDC has proven that we can’t produce them at this time. But men are men and they do stupid stuff. If someone created a virus of some magnitude, similar to the one in the movie, are we prepared for that?”
My immediate response was “No, I would need more beans and definitely more bullets.” But the question nagged me for the rest of the night and again this morning. Is mankind really that crazy that they might invent something like that on purpose OR on accident? I don’t know the answer to that question except for I hope not. The question did move my butt along into doing some things I hadn’t already done to get prepped.
The other side of my thinking is based off of a previous post of mine, “What Are You Preparing For?” and a book I have been chipping away at. I say chipping away because it is just shy of 500pp. on 8 ½” x 11” with double column pages.
Atticus Freeman (@selfreliantinfo on Twitter) recommended to me “When Technology Fails” by Matthew Stein. In it, he calls out seven possible scenarios that could happen as an impending event and mentions the possibilities of even more. In reflecting on which of the scenarios I was preparing for, I realized I was preparing for all of them and none of them.
Let me offer a fairly simple explanation. You see, there are many things that I know I cannot prepare for as a single entity. If it is an Avian Flu Pandemic, then I hope the preps I have will do just fine. If it is a Zombie Apocalypse, then hopefully I have enough bullets. If it is a Global or Social Economic Collapse, I trust that all my training is still holding up and I can guide my family and friends through it.
I am not saying that I am totally prepared for whatever may come my way. I personally think I am not even close. However, my base preps should get me through as a starting point to just about everything in one way, shape or form. In other words, I will use my base preps regardless of the event.
I then have to look at my secondary preps and see that they, along with my base preps, will get me through to a certain point for total of about 80% of what could happen. So that leaves about a 20% gap. Whether I am able to or should ever fill that void is one of the things I am pondering. I know that I will not leave my family hungry while I am prepping for that 20% void as we all, yes even you, prep on a budget. I will ensure that my current stores are sufficient to last us for a period of time and I am completely satisfied with my work. Once that has been done then and only then will I start focusing on the 20%.
You see, what I realized is I could focus on one specific, impending event. Scientist could give me the data to back it up. Friends could encourage me to focus on this one thing. But in reality, it may not happen. I would be ecstatic if it didn’t as the goal is “Be prepared and be happy that you don’t have to use it”. Instead of Solar Flares pushing an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) to send us back to the 1800s, a tornado may just come right through my neighborhood. Or vice versa and then what would I do? Thank you to Doomsday Preppers for bringing this tidbit to my attention.
I had to take the fear mindset that grips so many people and change my thinking. It is not fear that causes me to react but comfort. Let me say that again. It is not fear that causes me to react but comfort. If a person is fearful sometimes it leads a person to panic or to inactivity. There are a small percentage of people that respond “correctly”, if there is such a thing, to fear. However, when I am comfortable, I know I can focus on those things that need to be done. I can see where my gaps are because I have taken the time to dry run through scenarios, eaten some of my rotated preps and practiced my tactical maneuvers because I am not in fear for my life or the lives of my family and friends.
After doing that I have the ability to move forward when the event happens and not be stuck in my tracks not knowing what to do. It is then, in that “fear” that muscle memory and rote action takes over.
CALL TO ACTION
Review your plan. Plan to review. Practice and run through your immediate scenarios both strategic and tactical. Lastly and probably the most important, pray. Pray that you don’t live in fear for your life as that is not living; it is, in reality, dying.
Until then, use your instincts to survive.