For years we have witnessed many changes in nature. We had learned to use the word Extreme Weather in our daily vocabulary. Back in the old days, I don’t think our grandfathers used the word too often. We now see constantly days of extreme temperatures (hot or cold), more intense storms, strong earthquakes around the world, volcanoes erupting more frequently, glacial poles melting and many other situations that show us how nature and its extreme weather is affecting us as a whole planet. Therefore it is very important to acknowledge that we need to be prepared for difficult times ahead of us, and we need to act now.

Governments of different countries had begun redirecting part of their budget for studies and for promoting consciousness within their citizens through the media and social media. The scientists and the governments around the world are recognizing that the planet has changed and that we must be prepared for our coming future and all the difficult times with it.

Prepared for difficult times

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Was Just The Beginning

In 2017, Puerto Rico never thought to see and experience in their lives a terrible disaster as it was the passage of Hurricane Maria. Being that they are a Caribbean island, they have always been exposed to hurricanes years after years and have been victims of hurricanes in the past.

Now, Maria was the “big exception” a huge and strong 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 monster of hurricane left a deep scar in their hearts for the rest of their lives. No one was prepared to deal with such difficult times. The same happened to those living in Texas and Florida with hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

For years, the alert voice to live a lifestyle in total preparedness was always there, but unfortunately only a very few folks listened and truly believed in the call. Those few folks (preppers) took action to be prepared for difficult times. Of course, for so many decades Puerto Ricans have seeing so many other hurricanes that became big and strong and at the last moment took a turn north and disappeared in the waters of the Atlantic ocean.

So why hurricane Maria would not be any different from the others? Unfortunately, it was not like the other hurricanes in the past and 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 of the Caribbean were also devastated by this monster of nature.

Extreme Preparations

Hurricane Maria in 2017 and hurricane Dorian in 2019 has to be a big lesson for many families. In the Caribbean and the U.S. families are waking up to awareness and starting to learn about preparedness and becoming preppers. Many preppers groups and websites are being flooded with new people every week. Folks that want to get ready and be prepared for difficult times that may (or will) come to us in the future.

You can never lower your guard. Besides, these preparations also serve for any other crisis that may come suddenly, say as in the case of an earthquake. Although preparing for such events entails quite substantial economic expenses. We need to see it as a necessary expense, a necessity. For this reason, you have to live in austerity.

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 products and equipment of first necessity after a disaster become scarce and in many cases the price to pay has been doubled and even tripled by some stores, even though the government prohibit price gouging Whoever has not learned this lesson with the experience of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Maria and Dorian certainly lives 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 prepared for large-scale disasters. The logistics of food and water distribution and for the repair of the infrastructure is very disorganized and unfortunately, there are corrupt hands between them that make everything very difficult and out of control. This is why we can not depend on them.

To depend on the government is to be an irresponsible citizen. There are people who, due to their age or disability, have no choice but to wait for the government help or for a good samaritan who can extend their hands to them. If more people took the serious responsibility of living prepared for difficult times, I think the burden of the government to administer and supply the aid would be lighter and in turn easier to handle and more effective (it is my personal opinion).

Prepared for difficult times

Preparation Priorities

It is very important 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 on it, it’s extremely important. It is like a checklist. For sure that we would never miss a thing. You and your family can practice that action plan over and over, just like the professionals do. What things can we include in a preparation plan?

The following information is very helpful 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 route 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 basic equipment and then a list of the advanced ones. How much money do you need to get them?
  • Your food and water supplies – What do you need, how much do you need, where to store it and how much money do you need for groceries for your reserve?
  • Plan A and plan B – always have a RESERVE PLAN and even a plan C if necessary.

Long-term Preparedness

Among all the teachings of previous hurricanes, storms, and disasters, I think one of the most important things to do is, that once you have prepared your supplies for 3 days, then you must continue preparing for a longer period. Most survivalist experts and experienced preppers advice to have enough food and water for like 6 months or more. So, go ahead and be prepared for any difficult times that could come to us soon, and remember always take these matters very seriously and teach your family to do as well.

These steps will help you to be prepared, remember that difficult times can come to us with no warning at all. BE READY!!

Prepared for difficult times

The Bug-out bag

The bug out bag is still a very important part of a Prepper preparedness equipment and is used for when you have to make a sudden escape outside of your main survival place (your home or others). Most people have enough water and food in their backpacks for 3 days only. You need to have enough rationed food and water for at least a week. Remember that your bug-out bag is going to be packed with a lot of things, but you must make space for your food and water. Dry food and water in packages like mylar bags are your best options. 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 carry heavy backpacks, which is most people situation. So carry enough food and water to stay alive and not to have full meals. These steps will help you to be prepared, remember that difficult times can come to us with no warning at all. BE READY!!

When you are out there in a surviving situation, your state of mind, needs to switch to the survival mode so you can adapt to the situation. By adapting to your crisis on hand you will be able to concentrate on your survival and that includes to eat less food and drink less water. You need to learn to control yourself and adapt quickly. Otherwise, your mind and body will continue acting like on a normal 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 you are going to do? To achieve this, you need a lot of concentration and staying focus on surviving. That energy and feeling to survive will push you over your limits and you will be able to do whatever it takes to stay alive. Also, you will be able to share that motivation and energy to the ones around you, like your family.

Home preparedness

At home, you also must be prepared for difficult times and a long-term crisis. You need to use all viable means to increase your food and water reserves. The food should be stored in the safest methods of preservation, which are canned food (home canned or from the stores), grains and dry products and needs to be stored in vacuum-sealed glass jars, in Mylar bags or plastic vacuum-sealed bags.

You must learn what products or food are good for long-term storage and that are easy to make or prepare in your campsite settings. I can not stop thinking about some of the pictures that I have seen of some Preppers (some newbies and some with more experience) showing their reserves, which for me you should keep it as a top secret…would you show the money in your safe in a photo? And in those photos, I can sometimes contemplate products like flour for biscuits, cake mix, desserts and 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 wise idea to have in your reserves, although it is good to have some goodies for brain food (to feel good), and hard chocolate candies are the number one option in the suggestion list (caramels are #2) and required no confections.

Your Home Infrastructure

One of the major teachings from previous disasters like the hurricanes is the need to have a backup plan for not- drinking water and electricity. For non-drinking water, many people have learned to have and used water cisterns, rainwater retention, also to look for rivers, creeks, and ponds near their homes. Water filtration systems in this situation are a necessity if you are planning to use the water for drinking. Otherwise, the water can be 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 to the last minute to try to come up with options before a hurricane or any other situation. During Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, no one thought that a cat 5 hurricane was going to pass over them, therefore only a few families owned any type of generator or any backup system. Hey, many people didn’t have candles for more than 3 days and then again, a lot of people were out of power for more than 6 months and a few families for almost a year. Could you imagine living in the dark ages for almost 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, then it is our responsibility to find ways to become independent from government assistance. During such a crisis we need to supply our selves with the necessary equipment to live as close as possible to a normal 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. Since we are living in times never seen before and especially this extreme weather phenomenon that year after year is showing to be much stronger and more destructive. Therefore, we need to set aside any barriers, and most of them are mental barriers that make us think that investing in preparedness is a big waste of money, or that we can invest money but only limited to cheap equipment made with cheap quality materials (a lot of them from China).

Your Prepper Mentality

Only by having a survival mentality you can successfully face all the challenges and the survival needs during a crisis. It is not easy to face the reality of a disaster. We go through so much stress that we could easily go in a panic shock and all the survival stuff that we supposedly know is going to help 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. I once took some diving classes and I remember something that the instructor mention and that is that people can float by nature. Our bodies are built with positive buoyancy, we can stay floating in the water by just moving the hands in an eight pattern. But what makes us drown is our fear. with fear, we begin fighting ourselves for buoyancy. 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.

Overcome these challenges yourself, seek new knowledge and new information and learn new skills every day, or every week, as often as possible. Knowledge that can help you be skillful in survival. Nowadays there are no excuses for 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 all scared. Be mindful at all times and watch your six and protect those that you love as well.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED FOR DIFFICULT TIMES!

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