If you're anything like me, you've got a laundry list of to-do items for your prepping that stretches a half mile long. When I first started I was no different, and I still haven't changed. What got me thinking though was a relatively new recruit who joined the APE Survival team on last weekend's outing, ultimately leading to this question being raised: ‘What do you regret not preparing earlier?’ As we're not currently in a SHTF scenario, there weren't too many life-or-death regrets, but it did raise a good point. Now it's the perfect time to get on top of these. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now. Today. This hour. This minute. There's something you can do right now to ensure you're better prepared should a crisis strike. Here's what the team at APE Survival recommends focusing on.
Get a plan The first step is to figure out what you intend to do, and determine any gaps in your plan. Perhaps you plan to bug-in, but you've got no power source to keep the lights on. Address this now before a disaster strikes and you're left in the dark. Consider how you're going to communicate with your family if your cell phones no longer work, where you will evacuate to should the crisis force you from your home, as well as the defensive measures you will need to take to keep your loved ones safe when the rule of law no longer applies. Throughout all of this planning, don't forget about operational security, and keep your preparations on the down-low. The less people who know you've got months worth of food stored in your basement, the better.
Get healthy If you've never been for a hike, you can forget making it ten miles to your bug-out location on foot. Your health is at the top of this list because it's so important, and it requires a consistent effort for you to start making improvements. It's probably the hardest thing you will face as a survivalist, and the most important. In a crisis, medical help and supplies are going to disappear almost instantly, and it's going to be the healthiest of us who inherit the earth. Not the ones with the most ‘stuff.’ So get off the couch, and start taking a daily walk around the block. Talk to your doctor before beginning a strenuous routine, but you want to push yourself a little more each day, and you'll start getting fitter. Watch your diet too, and only eat things that were grown, not processed. You'll thank us, trust me.
Get financially secure In the aftermath of a crisis your job is no longer guaranteed, and the smartest of us are quickly realizing that having multiple streams of income is the safest way to guarantee your continued financial freedom. The internet makes it simple to start a business from the comfort of your own home, so look for ways you can start a side project that makes you less reliant on your day job. It'll be less of a shock should you ever lose it from the falling economy, and who knows, you may even enjoy it more. I know I do. On a similar note, start a saving plan to put aside a portion of your income every month, and get your bills paid off. Having money stashed away for a rainy day will certainly help when the SHTF, be it a full-scale disaster, or an economic collapse. Money will retain value, and having more will certainly benefit you and your family in the early days of a crisis.
Get more skills Be on the lookout for ways to continually learn new skills that aid your survival pursuits. Finding hobbies you enjoy is fantastic, especially because they allow you to connect with like-minded people who could also prove to be great friends (and allies should you ever need their support after the SHTF). Look for local preparedness groups in your area, take a shooting course, learn first aid, go camping, join friends on a hunting trip or whatever it is that takes your fancy. The more you learn, hands-on, not from just sitting in front of a computer, the more skills you will have to drawn on should you ever need them.
Get your medicine If there's any supplements or medication you need to regularly take, make this a key part of your planning. The more you can stock up on now the better, just remember that they do also have expiry dates, you need to rotate these just like your food supplies, and store them in a cool, dry place.
Get your supplies On a similar note, make sure you've got your food, water, waste, electric and transportation gear organized. You want enough to be able to maintain your current lifestyle for at least two months in a grid-down situation, which is a surprisingly large amount of canned food, water containers and gasoline to have on hand. The faster you get your base supplies together the better, as you can then focus on larger-scale tasks like preparing your home to run on solar, installing water-catchment systems, and whatever other modifications you believe your home to need to reduce your reliance on the grid.
Get a team We banded together at APE Survival for the exact reason that we believe it will be very difficult to survive on your own should the SHTF. Figure out who you can bring into your plans, whether it's your neighbors, your family, or your friends, and start them on the path to survival. It multiplies your total cache of supplies, gives you backup and support should you need it, and - most importantly, it helps you form closer friendships as you practice and prepare to survive together. I love the monthly trips we do to keep our skills sharp, and so does my daughter. There is so much to be gained from having a team to support you, so start putting yours together today. Of course this list is by no means exclusive, but reflects the seven most important items our team at APE Survival believes to be the most important. You should be focusing on them now, so you're not caught off-guard when a disaster strikes. You never know when it could happen. If the SHTF and you're not ready, it could be a devastating mistake.