Or start at the beginning here.
Start PointWe have to start somewhere and if you are following this with a genuine wish to begin some sort of preparations for dealing with unknown future events then this, I recall, with numerous new and frightening thought streams buzzing around in your head, is very difficult to establish.
Where did I begin?
When you know little or nothing about a subject you can either run around like a headless chook for a while, likely getting disillusioned or discouraged, or you can start by picking other peoples brains through reading what their approach was when they began the process. This can be a double edged sword and there are likely to be fewer tears and regrets if a little caution is exercised in using cool and clear-headed discrimination about the quality of advice that you may come across or indeed be given by otherwise well-meaning folk.
I tend to not get involved in online forums (though they have occasionally proved useful when thrown up by an internet search for something specific), being suspicious of the control freaks and know-alls that abound in such places. I would also not recommend relying on local libraries or random book purchases as the basis of your research endeavours, although you may well come across good book recommendations along the way. Research before spend, is my advice. You will have more than enough necessities to spend your hard-earned on after you have gained some reasonable picture of what is most needed.
Talking to friends about this is also not wise until after you have grounded and established yourself as an active and knowledgeable preparer, unless you are fortunate enough to be close to someone who is already somewhere along the path of readiness preparation and who doesn't mind being pestered by a (was going to say 'Noob' but that is disparaging forum talk, best avoided) newcomer to the process. You are, after all, endeavouring to become a self-reliant individual who knows their own mind, has made a decision to stand on their own feet together with like minded folk or alone if necessary, and you are exercising your own powers of judgment about what matters and what does not, what you take on board and what you consign to the trash bin. Majority views and attitudes are not what you are seeking. What you are doing now, will never become mainstream.
By the way, having done much research and reading the hard way in times past, I think that we are currently sublimely fortunate to have the excellent facility and research power of the internet at our disposal and I can think of no better purpose to put that resource to use than this. Keep in mind, it may not be there for ever.
My approach when I come across a new online link is to get some feel of the tone of the individual writing it and their purpose in doing so. Unless the feeling is right or I am looking for specific information which I believe may be referenced there, I move on elsewhere.
In my own country of Australia there is not a great deal of good advice available as this subject is still in its infancy, not yet being taken too seriously by the majority of folk, if indeed it ever will.
I am not going to insert specific search words or links as general reference points here but I may well do so later or in a separate post for that specific purpose. Those things take time to set up and while I am in the writing mood, I will get as much general information laid out here as I can. It does not, in any case, take much imagination to start searching for something relevant but again I warn that you will need to exercise a good personal discrimination filter if you are not to be sidetracked or led astray from your current purpose.
You will find (at least I did) that you are inevitably led towards information from US sources, where this type of thing is big-ish business, especially among those who like playing with guns out in the woods. But this is the land of cowboys after all. Americans seem to have a deep seated suspicion of the motives of their government (perhaps not unwarranted), conspiracy theories, erosion of their freedoms (again, perhaps not unwarranted) and a god given desire and right to shoot just about anything that moves if they perceive it as a threat. That country holds a great many wackos, but then so does Australia, of a slightly different variety. Thank goodness that gun ownership is not a right of citizenship here.
Contrasting that picture, American 'prepper' sites do contain a wealth of valid ideas for the scenarios I am talking about and that country is also the source of some very good outdoors equipment not available elsewhere.
Another important warning that I should give is to not jump into spending huge sums of money based on other people's recommendations until you have formulated some sort of plan of your own and have prioritised your anticipated spending.
Thinking...Ok, so you have done some research of your own. You have seen others' varied views of the sort of situations that we may expect to experience at some stage. Be aware though that not all possibilities are widely canvassed in the available literature and folklore surrounding collapse, and those that do receive the most airplay are not necessarily the most likely to occur. For example, you can almost, almost but not quite, forget about the possibility of EMP attacks. This is a purely American preoccupation.
The next step is to start thinking, by asking yourself questions about various likely collapse trigger events.
Think about what you would wish to do to preserve a reasonable way of life in the new set of circumstances that might be expected during and after such events.
Think about what equipment and supplies you should gather to realistically allow you to achieve those aims and also about what new skills or training would be necessary to enhance your current knowledge.
A short section, but that is a lot of thinking to do. Take your time.
Questions, Questions, QuestionsHere are some possible pointers to get your thinking started.
You need to answer these questions for every eventuality that you consider may be appropriate to your particular circumstances. For example, if you had cause to believe that above rooftop flooding would ensue, you would not elect to remain in your dwelling but if you believed the property to be defensible against marauding attackers, you might stay there, at least for a while (though I would advise against it).
DO NOT, whatever you do, print out these questions and show the answers to others or leave them laying around where they may be seen or found. The same goes for any other documentation or plans that you may put together as part of your preparations.
Is there some sort of danger, whether anticipated, present or growing, in your country, region, city or general area?
How imminent is that danger?
What level of threat would you assign or have been advised that this danger presents to your household?
Is your concern for others close to you or just for yourself?
Do you have a plan covering such an event? (Now is not the time to make one)
Do you need to evacuate:
- at some stage?
- when advised?
- not at all?
If you need to evacuate at all, are you ready to do so?
Does your evacuation plan include a vehicle?
Is the vehicle packed for evacuation? Fuel tanks full?
Will you be heading for some specific place, perhaps to meet up with others?
Is the destination within range of your fuel load?
Do you have an escape route from the immediate area planned? Plan B? Plan C?
If you are staying where you are for now, are you able to fortify the building entrance points?
Do you have a safe room? Is it a potential death trap?
Do you have a hidden underground shelter? Is there an emergency exit?
How many days/weeks supply of food/water do you have stored? Is that enough?
What are the intentions of neighbours around you as to staying/leaving? Does this affect your decision? (only ask around about this if there is general awareness of the problem and you are in regular neighbourhood communication.)
Do you have a pre-planned point of escalation of the danger being faced at which you will retire from open neighbourhood participation to your own personal strong point for safety?
Do you have personal packs, 'go-bags' set up for everyone in your party, in case your evacuation vehicle is unavailable or you need to make an emergency exit on foot from your stronghold?
Do you have an emergency on foot escape route? Plan B? Plan C?
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Ok, that should give some idea of the sort of thinking that people ought to be making well before an emergency starts. when the wheels of disaster start to roll, is not the time to be formulating plans to deal with the situation. There will likely be no time available to plan, alter, gather resources or otherwise act cogently and cohesively unless you already know what your intended actions will be beforehand.
You will no doubt be able to add to and flesh out this list of queries to your own preferences and satisfaction. I hope you do. It is only a guide.
So, we have got you either safely ensconced within your castle, hopefully providing and receiving support from your neighbours for as long as it is practicable, motoring to your pre-agreed evacuation point or, in emergency, escaping on foot to some place with only what you can carry on your back(s).
There is one further situation that may be vitally important to consider for a great many people in this modern age. What arrangements have been made if one or more of your immediate party/family is away from home, perhaps for work reasons, at the commencement of such a scenario as we are contemplating? How will you make the trip home if the whole country/region is under disruption? Do you have the on-hand resources for the possibility of such a journey under your own steam? Do the rest of your party/family know what to do, what the plan is in such an event? Do they possess the capacity to work the plan in your absence? What if you are all away from your normal base of operations at the time eg. holiday travel?
I will leave you to ponder those things. Until next time.