The first six things  I wrote about brought so many new thoughts to my mind that I just had to sit down and write six more. While they may seem like basic common sense, it is easy to overlook one or all of them. I just hope it might nudge someone in the right direction.
A Plan Of Action
Do you know what you would do if you awoke to find your house on fire? If you live near the coast, do you know your hurricane evacuation route? How about a plan of action for a tornado warning in your immediate vicinity? If you are any kind of prepper, I bet you have those answers down pat.
Here is a harder one…What do you do if the government warns of an imminent asteroid impact in your area? You have one hour to hit the road and get as far away as possible. It may be unlikely, but it never hurts to plan.
Harder yet, and more likely… there is a serious global financial meltdown sending the world into a new great depression. You lose your job, what do you do?
Do I have the answers? For you? No. I don’t know your situation. For me, I know what I would try to do in those situations and many more like them.
In order to get your own plan of action, you need to play the “what if” game. Ask yourself “What if…?” These questions can be as simple or complex as you like. For example: You are driving down a country road listening to the radio. What if the car coming toward you swerves into your lane? That is a simple straightforward question that many defensive drivers constantly ask themselves.
A more complex question could be what if due to economic concerns, civil unrest breaks out in your area. What steps will you need to take?
They say knowing is half the battle. By playing the “what if” game with enough scenarios, you have at least thought about many of the potential problems you may face as a prepper, and you will be a step ahead of people taken completely by surprise.
A Water Source
Do you have a well? What are you going to drink if the power goes out? How many water sources do you have available?
Let me share what happened to us a few years ago during an ice storm. We live in an old farmhouse on a small homestead. We have three wells, one for the house, a hand pump in the front by the old summerhouse, and a barn well that no longer has power to it. I figured with the hand pump we were fine if we lost power.
Then we got this big ice storm that knocked down power lines all over the place, including one draped right across my hand pump. So no power for water and a power line on top of the hand pump—what did we do? We put buckets under the spouting to catch rainwater and then ran it through our gravity water filter. No problem.
Potable water is essential to your survival. Make sure you have a reliable source, and then make sure you have an option in case that one gets messed up.
E-readers and computers—what wonderful things they are! You can download volumes upon volumes of survival info. You can buy CDs packed with thousands of pages of how-to guides. But what happens when there is no power and you need that info?
BOOKS! No power or special software needed to read them, and you don’t have to worry about a virus corrupting the information and losing it. Yes, I want an e-reader just for the reasons I mentioned above, but I also have no plans of getting rid of my paper and ink library.
What books you get, again, depends on your situation. Books on emergency medicine, edible plants, wilderness survival, firearms, training and tactics, homesteading, trapping, and general prepping are all useful, and most would say essential.
If you have been a part of the prepper online community for any amount of time, you will run into the person who has purchased one of every conceivable survival supply available but has no idea how to use any of it.
One of my pet peeves is the people who buy lots of snares for their bug out bags but have not spent a day of their lives on a trap line. They expect to be able to set out these snares and catch animals, but they have no experience. Those of us who have trapped know that there is a learning curve involved, and these folks are in for a hungry surprise unless they are very lucky.
Another area where you see this a lot is firearms. People will go out and buy the latest whizbang and a billion rounds of ammo and never touch the thing, let alone shoot it enough to be proficient.
A very good trend is the number of women getting into the prepping movement, and for the most part, if they don’t know something about firearms, they are willing to admit it and will seek out training to make an informed purchase. They then are more skilled and safer than many men whose egos will not let them admit they don’t know anything about guns.
If you have tools or equipment you don’t know how to use, find someone who does and have them teach you how. In some cases, it is better to do without than to try to work your way through something you should have learned a long time ago.
I admit it: I am anti-social. I would like to build a thirty-foot wall around my homestead and never have to deal with another human again. Dream on. In truth, no man is an island, and we all need help now and then. No one has the same skill set as anyone else, so every person we have in our circle of friends brings more skills to the table in the event of an emergency.
Making the right kind of friends is important in a serious survival situation. They will be the people who watch your back while you return the favor. Most of the locals whom I consider friends I have met at church. I joke about being a survivalist when I teach Sunday school and am very open about my beliefs. The right kind of people will be curious enough to start asking questions, while the wrong kind will usually try to impress you with their “knowledge.”
I have even met a couple folks through online forums for preppers that over the years I have gotten to know a little. I have had a couple get-togethers at the homestead where I was able to get a pretty good read on what they were like and have extended an invitation to bug out to our place if the situation warrants it. These are skilled individuals that would help us as much as we would help them.
Get In Shape
The Internet is full of keyboard commandos who can run thirty miles in an hour and a half carrying a seventy-pound pack all while fully engaged in a running firefight. The reality is that Americans are getting soft, and I admit, as I get older, I spend less time out doing and more time on this infernal machine reading and writing about it.
Getting in shape is paramount to our lifestyle . What are all our preps for if not extending our own lives? What is the point of prepping if you aren’t going to be around to use them? Situations that preppers are prepping for tend to require a heightened level of physical activity, and if we are totally out of shape, we run a higher risk of injury or illness as a result.
Anyone can get in shape with just a little extra work every day. Do some research and find something that works for you. A great program for starting out is called “Couch to 5K.” It can get most people running five kilometers (three miles) in just a couple months.
Again, everyone has a different situation to think about when prepping, but these six items should be universal to everyone. You can’t afford to overlook things like these. A little brainstorming on your part should turn up something.
©2012 Off the Grid News