Preparedness is all about being ready for whatever life throws at you. However, a lot of preppers seem to be stuck in a perpetual state of “almost there” preparedness. They’ve got enough ammunition to go through world war three, enough MRE’s to make a small tree fort out of them, but yet simple things like water, medical supplies and even communication plans are on the backburner or seriously “under-prepped”.
Well what if that SHTF disaster that we all fear happened today, right now? What if, as you were reading this post, the computer flicked off, the lights went out and every modern convenience that we rely on is suddenly gone without warning.
This is what you’ve prepared for right?
There are several real threats out there that could cause a situation like this to actually happen. EMP attacks, solar flares, an all-out attack on America’s electricity grid; although the chances that we’ll experience something like this in our lifetimes are unlikely, the threat is still very real and preparing for the worst of times makes any lesser disaster much easier to weather.
So today, we’re going to take an evaluation of your preparedness level. If the worst were to happen today, how prepared would you actually be?
How much food and water do you have on hand right now?
In a true SHTF disaster, you’re going to have to fend for yourselves for food, at least in the beginning. Venturing out in the immediate aftermath of a serious disaster is a good way to get yourself injured or worse. So it begs the question, how long could you feed yourself and your family if you literally could not leave your home starting right now?
Although most preppers understand the importance of storing food, when it comes to water, there seems to be some sort of disconnect. Many preppers have 3,6 or even 12 months of food stored away but yet only have half that amount of water; and even then they’re usually drastically under-estimating the amount of water they need daily.
So today, take inventory of your food and water preps. The average recommended calorie intake for a normal adult is 2000 calories per day. According to the Mayo clinic, we also need to consume around 3 liters of fluids per day, and that is before you count your water consumption needs for cooking, cleaning and other uses. Realistically, the actual water consumption per person, per day is around a gallon.
Let that sink in, 1 gallon per person per day. How many people are in your household? In a household with only 2 adults that means to survive a SHTF scenario for 30 days where you were unable to procure more water (for whatever reason) you need to have over 60 gallons of water stored. 60 Milk jugs, 130 2-liter bottles. If you don’t have this stockpiled right now, it’s very likely that you could not survive 30 days, regardless of how many bullets, MREs or how much “survival” training you’ve had.
I know what most people will say: “I’ve got enough plenty of ways to purify water; I don’t need that much water stockpiled.”
That’s all well and good, and yes water purification techniques are important. However, how many disasters can you think of that could require you to go on complete lock-down mode where you are unable to leave your home? Pandemics, civil unrest, nuclear attacks; there are numerous disasters that could land you in this situation and it won’t matter if you have an entire case of Lifestraws around, you won’t be able to access any water to use them, which means you’ll have to rely on what you have now.
Related article: Ron Paul: Be Prepared for the Worst
This post isn’t intended to be a scare tactic or an attempt to sell cheap “Doomsday” prepper products; it was intended to be a wakeup call. In fact, the majority of the “Doomsday” or “SHTF” disasters are extremely unrealistic. However, preparing for the worst makes every other disaster a lot easier.
A lot of preppers will use excuses for failing to make real disaster plans like:
“I don’t need to stockpile food, I can live off the land.”
“I don’t need energy, I can cook and get heat from fire, there’s plenty of wood.”
Or even worse:
“I don’t need to prepare, I’ll take what I need from someone else.”
This is a problem within the preparedness community. There is far too much of the “Well I’ll be ok because (insert random post-apocalyptic daydreaming excuse here).”
None of us know if, when or how severe the next real SHTF scenario will be. We don’t know the circumstances, or how it will affect our daily lives or preparedness plans. Heck, we don’t even know if it will be safe to open our doors.
This is why I advocate segmenting your preparedness plans and preps into 30 day chunks. Basically this means that you focus on stocking up on 30 days of each category of preps and you don’t exceed 30 days in any one area until all of them have reached that 30 day mark.
- 30 days of water
- 30 days of food
- 30 days of energy
- 30 days of heating or cooling
- 30 days of sanitation needs
- 30 days of security measures
Once you have 30 days of each of these categories fully prepared to the point where you could very easily survive 30 days of being on lockdown mode, with literally no systems of support whatsoever (man-made or natural) then you start again on the next 30 days.
The reason for this is that all these categories are connected. You have to have water to eat and cook, you have to have energy to cook, you have to have energy to keep warm, and you have to have security measures to defend your stockpile. It’s all interconnected.
This is why is a very bad idea to stockpile more in one specific area that you can actually use and at the expense of other things. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have 6 months of food stocked up when you only have enough water to get by for a couple weeks. Each area of your preps should be in balance with the rest so that you always have a minimum benchmark for how long you could last in a true and extended “without-systems-of-support” scenario.
So today, take a look at what you have stocked up and start dividing it into 30 segments. Food, water, security, energy; and ask yourself. If the worst did happen, and I only had myself and my preps to rely on, how long would I REALISTICALLY last with only what I have?