For years we have witnessed many changes in nature. We had learned to use the term Extreme Weather in our daily vocabulary. Back in the old days, I don’t think our grandfathers used that term too often. Too often, we see days with extreme temperatures (hot or cold), intense storms, strong earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, icy poles melting, and many other situations. That shows us how nature and its extreme weather is affecting us as a whole planet. Therefore it is crucial to acknowledge that we need to be prepared for difficult times ahead of us, and we need to act now.
Different countries had begun redirecting part of their budget to studies and to promote consciousness within their citizens through the news media and social media. We need to get ready. Scientists and governments acknowledged the changes in the planet and are alerting that difficult times are coming.
Difficult Times Ahead – Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Was Just The Beginning
In 2017, Puerto Rico never thought to see and experienced in their lives a terrible disaster as Hurricane Maria brought it. Since Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island, they have always been exposed to hurricanes before, years after years.
Now, Maria was the “big exception,” a vast and robust nature phenomenon. It felt unreal for the majority of the people, it was the mother of hurricanes that hit the island of Puerto Rico, and this weather monster left a deep scar in their hearts for the rest of their lives. No one could deal with such difficult times, and no one got prepared. The same happened to those living in Texas and Florida with hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Are You Ready?
Be Ready- has been the voice of the government to the public. For years, the alert sound to live a lifestyle in total preparedness was always there, but unfortunately, only a few folks listened and truly believed in the call. Those few folks (preppers) took action to get prepared right away. For so many decades, Puerto Ricans have seen so many other hurricanes that became big and strong, and, at the last moment, it took a turn north and disappeared in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean or went south to the Caribbean Sea.
So why hurricane Maria would not be any different from the others? Unfortunately, it was not like any other hurricanes in the past. Everyone on the island experienced the force and fury of nature with a category 4 hurricane (with cat 5 wind gusts), and some other islands in the Caribbean were also devastated by this monster of extreme weather.
Hurricane Maria in 2017 and hurricane Dorian in 2019 had to be one of the biggest lessons for many families. In the Caribbean and the U.S., families are waking up to an awareness and are taking the preparedness very seriously. Many preppers groups and websites are flooding social media and new people joining them every week. Families want to get ready, getting prepared for difficult times that may (or will) come to us in the future.
You can never lower your guard. Besides, preparation will also help for any other crisis that may suddenly present. A good example will be in the case of an earthquake. Although preparing for such events entails quite substantial expenses. We need to see it as a necessary expense, a necessity. For this reason, you have to try to live frugal (minimalist).
Many of us like to call it living “a frugal life.” To make this happen, we set priorities for our money. We learn to set aside money for equipment and supplies. As many already know, the cost of grocery products and equipment of first necessity after a disaster becomes scarce. In many cases, the price to pay has been doubled and even tripled by some stores. Although the government prohibits price gouging, some store owners still increase the costs. Whoever has not learned this lesson with the experience of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria and Dorian certainly live on another planet.
Relying On The Government
Relying on the government can not be our main plan of action. It would be the biggest mistake that we ever made. Another lesson that Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Dorian gave us is that the government is not ready for large-scale disasters. The logistics of food and water distribution and the repair of the infrastructure are very disorganized. Unfortunately, there are corrupt hands between them that make everything very difficult and out of control. For these reasons is why we can not depend on the government.
To depend on the government is to be an irresponsible citizen. Due to their age or disability, some people have no choice but to wait for government assistance or for a good samaritan who can extend their helping hands to them. If more people seriously took the challenges and responsibility of living prepared for difficult times, I think the government’s burden to administer and supply their aid would be lighter and, in turn, more manageable to handle and more effective.
It is crucial as Preppers to have a written plan of action. I know we like to do everything by memory, but having a written plan that we can go over and make sure we do not overlook anything is extremely important. It is like a checklist. Pilots who fly every day and know all the procedures to the dot still go through a checklist, so nothing gets missed and especially during difficult times.
You and your family have a written plan for different scenarios? If you do, you can practice that action plan repeatedly, just like the professionals do.
What things can we include in a preparation plan?
The following information is beneficial in making a complete preparation plan:
- Talk to your family – Preparation is everybody’s business. Wrap your family around and share opinions. They may have something important to say.
- Make plans for different types of situations – hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, etc.
- Evacuation routes and meeting places – Have more than one path and more than one meeting place.
- Shelter in Place – If you had to stay at home. What should you do? What is the plan?
- Your survival equipment – Make a list of the necessary equipment and then a list of the advanced ones. How much money do you need to get them?
- Your food and water supplies – You must discuss the what – food you are going to buy? How much – do you need? Where – are you going to storage it? Who – is doing what? Why – the importance of everything getting done and everyone’s help.
- Plan A and plan B – always have a RESERVE PLAN and even a plan C if necessary.
Among all the experiences learned from previous hurricanes, storms, and disasters, I believe that preparedness is an ongoing process. We set small goals; once you reached that first goal, set your heart and mind for the next one. People usually get focus in getting a 72 hours preparedness kit and have food and water for that same timeframe. However, many survivalists, experts, and preppers promote to have enough food and water for six months or more. So, go ahead and get ready for any difficult times that could come in the near future. Remember always to take these matters seriously and teach your family to do it as well.
These steps will help you be prepared and remember that difficult times can come to us with no warning. BE READY!!
The Bug-Out Bag
The bug-out bag is an essential part of a Prepper preparedness kit and is used for when you have to make a sudden escape outside of your central survival place (in most cases, your home). Most people have enough food and water for three days in their bags. You can add a little more food and water and rationed to last if necessary a week. By doing so, you are adding more time to settle in a temporary shelter (tent or tarp) and find food and water resources.
You will have a fully packed bug-out bag, but you must make space for that extra supply. Dry food is your best option. Canned food or bottled water adds too much weight to your bag, and you know that you will get tired very soon and have back pains if you are not used to carrying heavy backpacks, which is most people’s situation. So take enough food and water to stay alive and not to have full meals.
When you are out there in a crisis and fighting to stay alive, your state of mind needs to switch to the survival mode and adapt to the situation quickly. By adjusting to your crisis on hand, you will be able to concentrate on your survival skills, including eating less food and drinking less water. It would help if you learned to control yourself and adapt quickly. Otherwise, your mind and body will continue acting like on a typical day, and you will feel the effects of being thirsty and hungry and will drink and eat all your supplies in a matter of a day or two. And then what are you going to do?
To achieve this, you need a lot of concentration and staying focus on surviving. That energy and feeling to sustain will push you over your limits, and you will be able to do whatever it takes to stay alive. You will also be able to share that motivation and energy to the ones around you, like your family.
Be prepared at home at all times. For short or long term crisis. It would be best if you used all viable means to increase your food and water reserves. Store your food in the safest preservation methods, which are canned food (home canned or from the stores). Store grains and dry products in vacuum-sealed glass jars, in Mylar bags, or plastic vacuum-sealed bags.
Learn which products are suitable for long-term storage and are easy to make or prepare in your campsite kitchen settings. Keep in mind that your chances of having power in your kitchen are almost none in a crisis. I can’t stop thinking about some of the pictures that I have seen online from preppers (some newbies and some with more experience) showing their reserves (which should be kept in top-secret). In those photos, I’ve seen products like biscuits mix, cake mix, candies, cookies, and many other products that involve a lot of preparation or are not good options for survival food. I think we need to be very wise about what to buy for our reserves.
We need to ask ourselves before buying, how easy is it to prepared?, how many rations or servings I can get from a single product? And the intake values such as calories, vitamins, and minerals, among others. Junk food is not a good thing to have in your reserves, although it is good to have some goodies (to feel good), and hard chocolate candies are the number one option in the suggestion list (caramels are #2), and both required no confections.
Your Home Infrastructure
One major lesson learned from previous disasters (like hurricane Maria) is to have a backup plan for when there is no potable water and power. For non-drinking water, many people have learned to have and used water cisterns, rainwater retention, or rivers, creeks, and ponds near their homes. In this situation, water filtration systems are necessary if you are planning to use this water for drinking. Otherwise, the water it’s used for toilets, washing dishes, and personal hygiene.
For power or electricity, a portable propane gas or gasoline generators (or hybrid), power converters (dc to ac) using the battery of your cars, solar panels, and many other options. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to come up with alternatives before a hurricane or any other difficult times.
This Will Be Over Soon
During Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, no one thought that a cat five hurricane was going to hit them; therefore, only a few families owned any generators or any backup system. Many people didn’t have candles for more than three days, and then again, a lot of people were out of power for more than six months and a few families for almost a year. Could you imagine living in the dark ages for nearly a year? Yeah, I know, only in Hollywood movies. But in reality, it happened to many families in Puerto Rico, too many other islands in the Caribbean and other countries in the world.
Knowing that rebuilding the infrastructure of a devastated country involves a lot of time, money, and dedication on the part of the government, this is why it is our responsibility to find ways to become independent from government assistance. Before such crisis, we need to supply our selves with the necessary equipment to live as close as possible to a typical day amid the circumstances. All this entails extra expenses, and it is for this reason that we can not perceive this expenditure as unnecessary expenses.
Your Prepper Mentality
Since we are living in times never seen before and primarily this extreme weather phenomenon, year after year, it is much severe and more destructive. Therefore, let’s set aside any negativity in our minds that makes us think that investing in preparedness is a big waste of money, or that we can spend money but only limited to standard equipment made with cheap quality materials.
Only by having a survival mentality, you will successfully face all the difficult times, challenges, and the survival needs of a crisis. It is not easy to face the reality of a disaster. We go through so much stress that we could quickly go in a panic shock, and all the survival stuff that we supposedly know is not helping us at all. Why? Because we let fear takes over us. Fear is our worst enemy. We could have everything that we need to survive and staying alive, but fear could drag us down to the hole. So stay calm!! Take control of that fear, your enemy. Let all that knowledge and that practice that you had with your family using your action plan sink in. You will survive.
The Right Attitude
Overcome these difficult times, challenge yourself, seek new knowledge and new information, and learn new skills every day, or every week, as often as possible. Instruction and practice can help you be skillful in surviving. Nowadays, there are no excuses not to learn something new. We have the benefit of the internet and YouTube to watch videos. The responsibility falls on you, do not let the crisis come to your doors and catch you unprepared and scared. Be mindful at all times and watch your six and protect those that you love the most. They depend on you.