“It is better to be prepared and never need it than to not be prepared and need it!” It is in that spirit that I write these articles and make these pieces of training available to everyone and I hope and pray that we will never need to use any of it – Surviving South Africa- 2018
Why Are You Prepping to Survive?
In any situation, you need to know the why? It is the starting point. You need to know why you are prepping to survive. If you have no need or motivation to prepare for something because you don’t think it could happen to you, you will be sitting in a desperate situation if, God forbid, it does happen to you. You need to be brutally honest with yourself about the reasons and emotions involved.
Of late, the last 10 years, I have just watched as the politicians turn My country into a cesspit of hate and poverty. Does this mean that I give up all hope? No, never! What it does mean is that I prepare for the worst scenario but try to do what I can to prevent it from ever occurring.
Be Prepared – Not Just The Boy Scout Motto!
If you want to get through any unwanted or unexpected event, you had better be prepared. Being prepared is a process and not an action. There are things you need to research, learn, buy and practice and this will not take a week or cost only a couple of hundred Rand.
The idea of preparing is
- to prep for the immediate need,
- then take it a step further, for the next 24 hrs.
You increase your preparedness over a period and it could take years. So, don’t plan for a long-term survival situation immediately, unless Finances and time are not issues. Start with personal emergency kits, then Bug out bags, followed by 7day, 30 day, 90 day and so on.
Planning in phases makes it achievable and your level of preparedness grows as your plan evolves. The important thing is to start with what you have and then add to it every month. Don’t forget to plan your research and training. It is of no use having a first aid kit and not knowing how to use it. It is like having a fire laid out and not having any means to light it (and I will show you how to do that too).
Before you prepare, you need a plan. There are hundreds of plans available on the internet and you can easily download one and adapt it to your situation. It is vitally important that the plan suits your situation otherwise you could end up in a dire situation at a later stage.
A word of warning in this regard, Don’t just accept any plan as yours. Make sure that it is written by someone with some experience in this regard, make sure that the plan accommodates your circumstances and possible emergency. You might be preparing for more than one emergency because one situation can lead to another. It is important therefore to make sure that you have done your research properly or you will have holes in your plan and that could be disastrous.
The first thing you need to do is carry out a risk assessment so that you can determine what threats there are and what the risk is of it occurring. You will then be able to prioritise the threat and plan for them accordingly. It is amazing to see how many people just start preparing for something without determining if it is a threat and what the risk is of I occurring. If you are doing that, you are prepping as a hobby and not for any perceived threat.
Once you have Identified the priority threats, you can now evaluate them and see how many of them you should consider prepping for. A lot of scenarios have similar issues and require similar preparation so can be done concurrently. Some, however, need specific planning and preparation. That is where prioritisation comes into play.
Once you have created the priority list, you can now create the prepping list. This is your to-do list in order of priority. I use a spreadsheet with the priority needs list down the left side and the emergency across the top, with the most urgent on the left and the least urgent on the right. The content is pulled through from the specific emergencies worksheet. I Then black out all the blocks that do not apply to each emergency.
I colour code the first page cells to show which items are more or less urgent. Preparing this workbook is quite time-consuming but once done, it is of great value for tracking where you are in the process and it keeps you dealing with the need and not the wants. A lot of things are nice to have so you will be tempted to buy them first.
With this list now complete (you will constantly adapt this list so don’t worry, it is not written in stone), you can now move on the fun but costly part.
This is where you get down to the nitty-gritty and get your hands dirty and spend money. What you don’t have money to spare! No problem. This is probably going to be the best advice you will get. It was the best I ever received.
So, you don’t have a sleeping bag or have insufficient? No problem, Use two blankets and blanket pins and make sleeping bags. Can’t go and buy bottles of water, Fill the water bottles that you do have with clean water and store them. You do not need to go out and buy everything that you have on your list. Take what you can spare from your cupboard and prepare what you can now. DO NOT DELAY. It is not going to cost you anything to prepare what you already have.
Things can be done gradually. Do not go and borrow money to buy everything now unless you are absolutely sure that you are going to need them NOW!. I know some people that have been prepping for 15 years. Most of them started small and built up. I know of some that went out and spent 90K on camping trailers and then fully stocked them, only to sell them at a fraction of the price later. Heed this advice. Start with what you have and build on it every month.
Not having everything on the list does not mean that you will not survive. There are ways to improvise and that is what this site is all about. Practical prepping for practical survival. We are not here to make other people rich.
What You Need
There is a difference between what you need and what you want…the nice to have and that is what this site is all about. Practical survival. Using what you have and making what you need. We are not prepping to make other people rich. We want to survive but survive comfortably and long term.
What I am eluding to is that you do not need everything on your list. If you have sleeping bags on your list, they can be substituted for the less expensive blankets and pins. All that freeze-dried food, dried foods and tinned foods are expensive and you can make the bulk them yourself, at a fraction of the cost. Practical prepping, getting more for your buck. Lookout for our future posts with the “how to” videos and recipes.
Don’ forget to plan and prepare long term. You never know how long you will have to survive for so make sure your methods are sustainable. Where will you get
- medicine, especially chronic medication.
- cooking utensils,
and the list goes on. When a tropical cyclone or Tsunami hits an area, how long will it take to get:-
- water and
- medical supplies
These are things that you need to prepare for.
I am not referring to where you keep your bug out bag, the first aid kit, food or fuel. Here I am referring to things like:-
- Who is responsible for collecting kids from school
- collecting the elderly if they are not at home
- packing the fuel, food, water into the vehicle
- Where will you meet if you miss each other at home or if you cannot get home
- How long will you wait at meeting point 1,2,3 and 4 before moving on to the next
- Where are you fleeing to
- What facilities are there at the new site
- Are you planning and travelling alone or are your forming or joining a group.
- how are you going to communicate
- Who Drives and who navigates, keeps a lookout.
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Joining A Group Or Organisation
There are pros and cons to both of these and you should consider this choice very carefully. Your emergency could dictate your choice or at least influence it. You have three choices:
Joining an organisation
Pros – affords you more:-
- expert advice,
- More facilities and equipment
- strength in numbers
- Travel in convoy
- experts in the different fields like medical, defence etc
- Less independence
- restricted movement
- Slower travel
- More visible
Joining a local group
- Pros – affords you:-
- Possibly expert advice
- some organisation and
- some strength in numbers
- More freedom and say in the group
- Beter mobility
- Cons – affords you:-
- Less expert advice at a leadership level
- Less facilities and equipment
- Less independence
- Slower travel
- Less ability to travel invisibly.
Going it alone
- Pros – affords you:-
- Absolute independance
- Greatest mobility
- allows you to be less visible
- Cons – affords you:-
- No addition expert advice
- Only the facilities and equipment you have acquired and carry
- No strength in numbers
This is not a complete list so think about it and add to the list for your own benefit. Please consider leaving you ideas in the comments below. This will also help others.
Are You prepared?
This is something that you need to continuously evaluate. Circumstances change and, if necessary, so must your plan and preparations. When planning for an emergency nothing can be written in stone and we need to adapt the plan and the preparations to the circumstances continually.
Don’t fall into the trap of “OK, I am prepared so I can now sit back”. It does not work like that. It is a process that you have to keep evaluating, adapting and implementing all the time.
So you have watched the training videos, read the books and bought everything you think that you need. The question is now, can you use the equipment, cook over the open fire, follow a map or read a compass. What about first aid? are you proficient?
You need to get trained to use the equipment and cook the food. Once you have been trained in everything you need to know, put it into practice. Practice the 1st aid on each other, teach everyone to use all the equipment, how to read a map, drive if they are big enough, how to trap birds and other animals if that is in your plan.
There is so much to learn but you need to put it into practice. Become proficient at tanning hide, making soap, cooking over an open fire, making a temporary shelter, making water safe to drink and the list goes on.
I belong to a National group preparing for disaster and my one criticism, not with the organisation but with the members, is that they consider having everything to be enough. How many know how to pack a bug out bag, start a fire without matches, make a shelter or read a map. I hope there are not going to be a lot of people finding themselves in serious trouble because they did not learn or practice.
Need Help Or Advice
If you need help preparing for an emergency situation or just to find out where to buy something, you are welcome to drop me a line here and I will gladly help where I can. I am in the process of preparing and loading different training videos, manuals and how to ebooks which I will be making available online.
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