There’s no question 2020 has been a shocker of a year, and with the way we’re still trending I’ve not got my hopes up for a recovery anytime soon. But I like to look for the silver linings, and the good thing I see in the crisis is the importance people are now placing on preparedness. Families who never before stockpiled food are buying in bulk, they’re planning ahead, and they’re rapidly adjusting to this “new normal” we’re currently neck-deep in.
Personally I think it’s a fantastic change that more people are embracing this way of life, because it will make a world of difference in the tough times to come. But I do want to issue a word of warning. Too many people who are new to survival will be making these simple mistakes. Mistakes that will get them killed in a real SHTF event. Read up, and make sure you’re not slipping on any of these, no matter how long you’ve been prepping for.
Don’t talk about your supplies
Much like the lottery winners who want to remain anonymous so they’re not plagued by friends and family coming for a handout, telling people about the years’ worth of food stockpiled in your basement is a big no-no. You’ve got nothing to gain by bragging about the preparations you’ve made, and when things get desperate you can bet they will remember that you’re sitting on a goldmine of food and other gear. It’s far smarter to keep your mouth shut, and far safer too. Because the people you tell may decide it’s worth relieving you of your supplies with lethal force. Why paint a target on your back?
Don’t skip the planning
I see good planning as the key to survival. You’ve got to think out all the likely scenarios, and put together contingencies so you can overcome each in turn. If there’s an earthquake, what happens. A flood, a hurricane. And so on - you get the idea. Plan out how you’d respond to each crisis in turn, and also what’s needed for your family to survive it through. Once you’ve got a well-thought-out set of plans, taking action on whatever still needs to be done gets so much easier. It’s almost like a checklist you can follow, to ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row before a SHTF event actually happens. Don’t skip the planning.
Don’t forget guns and ammo
Having a stocked armory ensures you have the tools you need to defend your family, but you need to remember that a tool is only as effective as the person wielding it. If you’ve not got the skills to shoot accurately under high-pressure situations, your guns aren’t going to be much use against a determined attacking force. Take the time now to get out to the range, and learn to shoot effectively with a range of different firearms. Oh, and don’t forget to pack in as much high-quality ammunition as you can too. You’re not going to be able to find this when the world implodes, so stock up now – while you still can.
Don’t rely on electronics
We’ve taken steps to store significant amounts of digital information, protecting it from both an EMP while being able to generate enough power to get our lights back on when the grid goes down, but you shouldn’t rely on electronics alone. Without power or an internet connection, your smartphone or your laptop is quite useless. What you need to do is start building a library of information that you can use to boost your chances of survival. Find reference books on key topics, like homesteading, bush survival, car and home maintenance and other key topics, so you can still “look it up” when YouTube no longer exists.
Don’t rush to bug out
I hear this a lot, and while it’s a romantic notion on paper, actually bugging out with your kit on your back will be far harder than you ever imagined possible. Living off the land is incredibly tough, you’re more likely to starve and die of exposure than to make it like this unprepared. But that being said, planning where you will go if you’re forced to evacuate your house is a smart idea, especially if you take the time now to outfit the location with the supplies and gear you need to ride out a crisis. We’ve got a remote cabin for this exact purpose, and in the basement, there is enough to keep us going for a year, without ever needing to hunt.
Don’t do it all alone
Planning to survive is usually something we do in the confines of our own home, putting the needs of our immediate family members as a key priority. But when the SHTF you’re not going to be able to do it alone. With a group you’ve got the ability to get more done, to run round-the-clock security, and you can benefit from a pooling of resources (so long as everyone is contributing a similar amount). Take the time now to think about who should be brought into your survival plans, and start gently raising the topic. You’ll need to approach this conversation tactfully, as you start pulling people together to form your survival group.
If there was ever a year that highlights the need to get your family prepared for a crisis, it’s 2020. I won’t list out everything we’ve had to endure this year, but you know as well as I do that what we’ve got left could all come tumbling down at any moment. If you want to survive, you need to ensure you’re not making these mistakes – they could get you killed when the SHTF, and here’s the scary part. The real crisis could be much closer than you think. Are you prepared for everything to go to hell?