Note: over the next several days, I’ll be publishing a list of several exercises to get you thinking about survival topics. These are meant to serve as an introduction to the world of emergency preparedness, and more thorough discussions of each idea will come at a later date.
Take a deep breath.
If you’ve been reading around survival/prepping blogs, you are probably a little overwhelmed, confused, or even scared. Hardcore enthusiasts throw around acronyms like TEOTWAWKI (“the end of the world as we know it”) and WTSHTF (“when the s*** hits the fan”) to explain why they are prepping. Might major, world-changing events happen within our lifetimes? Sure. But what is more likely are sporadic power outages, bad weather, and street riots. In these situations, you will hopefully only need to hunker down for a few weeks – at most – as opposed to escaping to the wilderness for the foreseeable future (although we’ll eventually talk about that option as well).
So first off: take a deep breath. Relax. Don’t’ be scared. The sky is (probably) not falling, and panicking about the future will definitely not help you in the event of a real emergency.
Feeling better yet? Good. Then it’s time for our first exercise.
Exercise 1: Being realistic
As a city dweller, it’s unlikely that your apartment will be attacked by feral wolves. More likely? A gang fight, a riot erupting after a sporting event, or a power outage affecting your block. The types of emergencies that may affect you will dictate the type of planning that you do.
Take 10 minutes, sit down with a pencil and paper, and list every emergency you can think of. Write down everything from the relatively commonplace, like losing your job, to the unlikely ones, like zombie attacks and asteroid strikes. Keep writing until your imagination is exhausted.
Now, take a good hard look at your list and think about your city, your apartment, and your family (or lack thereof). Which four or five events are most likely to happen to you? Circle the emergencies that are realistic, and cross off the ones that are preposterous in comparison. Leave the others untouched:you can prepare for them after you take care of the top-priority circled items.
Look at the emergencies you circled, and briefly think about what sort of planning will be required to survive each one. Are you worried about losing your job? Food storage and a large savings account should be important to you. Concerned about a fire in your building? Planning various escape routes will be vital for your survival. Are zombies on your list? Well then email me, because obviously you know something that I don’t!
For the next day or so, spend more time thinking about your concerns and what resources you will need to get through these emergencies. You will find that you will look at your surroundings with a more observant eye. You may even become conscious of superfluous expenses and bad habits (three-a-day designer coffees? Yeah, I’m guilty of that). Don’t worry about changing these habits yet…it’s enough that you’re aware of them.
My next post will deal with ways to make specific action plans for your emergencies. After that, we’ll put together a list of resources, and then start creating shopping lists to bulk up on our supplies.
Have a great day! Be smart!
Extra credit: Buy or repurpose a small 3-ring binder and place your emergency list in the front pocket. We’ll refer back to the list later on, and we’ll be filling the binder with important personal documents.