We often let our imagination run wild and we put ourselves in all sorts of hypothetical scenarios. As preppers, a little skepticism may help us push forward with our prepping plans and keep us alive if SHTF. However, an excess of imagination can do more harm than good. Here is how we can keep a productive balance between being cautious and paranoid.
I’ve noticed a growing trend among preppers and sadly, most of them let their imagination run amok. If you let your fears take over and if you don’t act rationally, you will just become one of those “crazy preppers” people keep talking about. Rather than joining those ranks and become a compulsive hoarder or even worse, a danger for you and those around you, try to step back and think about your actions. Here are a few answers to the most common prepping questions and a few practical applications.
Do I have enough food and water? Will my kids starve if it hits the fan?
When it comes to prepping, this is the number one concern that turns preppers into hoarders. The fear of “not having enough” is not related to food stockpiling alone and it can take many forms. However, food and water are the basic needs of humans. We always want to have enough to thrive, even when others will not. Setting a goal and a realistic number is the first step when it comes to storing food and water. To be able to do so, you need to establish a preparedness plan and calculate your prepping actions. You should know about the most probable disaster(s) you could be prepping for, how many people you plan on taking care of and what you should do if the crisis lasts more than you initially assumed.
Having a backup plan, like establishing ways to procure food after your resources are depleted is the proper way to go. Everyone can buy food and water and stack those supplies somewhere, but few people can learn how to become self-sufficient and make it work long-term. Learning how to procure your own food will take some of the edge off and you will become more confident. Even if you believe you didn’t stockpiled enough, at least you have gathered the knowledge and means to look after your family. This alone should provide you with confidence and keep you on the sane track.
Should I stay at home and avoid crowded places?
I’ve noticed that more and more people are avoiding crowded places or social gatherings. The fear of something that could go wrong prevents them from enjoying time with others and living their lives as they used to. Prepping is about staying prepared and knowing how to act in certain situations. It is not about predicting the future or isolating yourself from others, just to be safe.
Related reading: How To Stay Safe In A Big Crowd
We are social beings and we end up being part of large crowds without thinking too much about it. If you are preparedness minded, you probably put a lot of effort into preparing your home for the worst. Since you are developing skills that will help you survive in any environment, you should learn how to stay safe in a big crowd as well. I know that from a self-preservation point of view, avoiding a crowd make sense, but is it worth becoming a hermit? You can force your kids to stay at home rather than going to the local fair, but you will do more harm than good. Paying attention to your surroundings and learning how to stay safe in a big crowd is just as important as stockpiling supplies or fortifying your home.
Should I invest in clean rooms for my house? Is it safe out there?
Epidemics are one of the reasons people prepare, but rather than going outside wearing a face mask, you should learn about how various pathogens are passed. We are so afraid of getting sick that sometimes we forget about the harsh reality. We are a nation that is sick and has been for a long time. It seems that things are not changing and we are getting sicker. While the reasons behind this sickness vary from one person to another and from one region to the next one, there is no point in panicking.
While a national Ebola epidemic may not be a real threat for most of us, there are still things to keep an eye on. The food you eat, the water you drink and the people you interact could influence your health. However, prepping is also about having the right education and passing it further. Eating fast food all day and sitting on the couch watching TV will kill you much faster than any disaster you fear. Keep a good hygiene and have some common sense to instruct your children to do the same. Rather than fearing some disease that may never reach you, learn how to prepare for medical conditions that are more common. Learn about the ones that will pose a threat for your health when SHTF and medicine and professional help are nowhere to be found.
Do I have enough guns? How about ammo?
When it comes to guns and ammo there is always the question “How much is enough?”. This question is not necessarily related to prepping and we as a free nation, we love our guns. Owning a gun is one of our fundamental rights and no one can take that away from us.
The problem is that some people can become paranoid when it comes to guns and ammo. They will spread their fear as much as they can through various communication channels. They will convince others as well and soon enough, paranoia sets in and you see ammo shortages taking place and what not. Rather than trying to put a number behind your guns and ammo gathering plans, think about the reasons to do so. Some will chime in that you must have tens of thousands of rounds per caliber then multiply that by the number of firearms you have in that caliber. Personally, I think that you should be able to stockpile ammo while still being able to live within your means.
Don’t invest all your hard earned money in guns and ammo because you can’t eat bullets during a famine. Also, going Rambo style to get supplies from others will not work for long.
I recommend reading the following article as it provides a more general approach and reasonable points of view:
Is it safe to fly or should I stick to my car?
I remember when flying used to be fun and you didn’t have to wait for hours to get boarded. It seems that those days are gone forever due to the action of some fanatics and psychopaths. Nowadays you have to go through all sorts of ordeals if you want to fly and your family won’t even be able to meet you at the gate. Dealing with TSA agents is not easy sometimes, but you have to remember they are just doing their job. The fear of flying nowadays seems to be a battle between civil liberties being ignored and national security being imposed without limits.
However, statistically speaking, you have more things to fear going to the airport rather than you do in an actual airplane. Situational awareness is key to survival when flying and you should worry less about the TSA agent being rude or not. Arm yourself with patience and smile if possible when waiting in line.
How do I train my kids to survive without scaring them?
Kids look up to their parents and up to a certain age there’s no better source of inspiration for them. Panic is the number one killer in most crises, especially if kids are involved. As I found out, many of my friends use a wrong approach when it comes to teaching their children about prepping. Being overprotective is the number one reason for this, combined with an “I know better” attitude. They seem to forget that some kids are tougher than they look. Their children are able to rise to whatever level of performance might be demanded of them.
Suggested article: How To Teach Your Children About Emergency Preparedness
If you want to teach your children about emergency preparedness you should empower them and alleviate their fears of the unknown. A parent’s job is not easy and adding emergency preparedness into the equation will certainly complicate things. However, parents can provide their children with the proper knowledge and tools to boost their confidence during times of chaos. Every parent should have an age-appropriate conversation with their child regarding the events from their life and the same rule applies when it comes to prepping.
Is the government spying on me?
The answer is “Yes!” and there is no point in sugar coating this. Everyone is spying on you, not just the government. Although the purpose of such actions may be different from one party to the other, this is still a proven fact that irritates many. Government employees want to keep Americans safe and put legitimate criminals behind bars. They are really not much different from the rest of us, they are people just like you and me. The problem is that some may be over zealous while others can let paranoia take over. In theory, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn’t have to worry at all. In reality, knowing that strangers can listen to your must intimate conversation or find out all sorts of private details about you is not an easy thing to swallow.
Even more, you have to understand that everyone is spying on you and not everyone is looking for terrorists. Most parties, spy on you because they want to make a buck or two by exploiting the information they gather. From Facebook to smart TVs and even Roomba vacuum cleaners, everyone is doing it!
Are my neighbors with or against me?
This is a common question for us preppers and there’s no easy answer for it. Prepping involves a certain lifestyle that will affect those around you at some point. Certain people require a calm and reasonable approach while others should be ignored plain and simple. No matter how much you try, you will not be able to convince everyone that your actions are justified. Not everyone can be converted and to be honest, there’s no point in trying if they don’t listen the first time. You are prepping for your loved ones, not for your neighbors.
As time goes by, you will figure out if they will join your ranks or work against you if SHTF. How you interact with them, how they act when you are not around and how they talk about you, are all telltale signs that will help you label them. One thing is certain, in densely populate areas, not everyone will become your friend when they are struggling for survival.
Will my family survive without me?
As I said before, you are prepping for your loved ones and they are the people that matter the most. That being said, sometimes a group has better odds of surviving under the right leadership. Regardless if you prepare for or with your family, there are some principles you need to implement. Groups with great leaders can pretty much accomplish anything. Being a survival leader and the head of the family isn’t easy. You already struggled to build a family, now is the time to develop them into a survival group.
Suggested article: The 10 Principles Of Effective Family Survival
Just like you put a lot of effort into your prepping plans, human relationships need nurturing to survive. There is a natural tendency for families to get along since blood is thicker than water, but never take this for granted. To make family survival work, it takes an empathetic leader. One who can keep an eye on both the mission and his or her family.
Is it safe to travel internationally?
It depends and there’s no way of telling for sure if you should post-pone your trip or not. I’m not talking here about countries that should be avoided at any cost, such as North Korea or some of the known war zones. Staying away from those places should be common sense and you should avoid going there unless your job requires doing so.
Suggested reading: Eight Rules To Acknowledge For Surviving Abroad
There are a lot of bad folks in the world, and every foreigner they see on their land is a potential trophy for them. That’s how the world works and it did so, long before the press and media made it more visible. Technology is spreading information, but unfortunately, nothing sells better than bad news. That being said, planning a vacation abroad has become a real challenge. From law enforcement corruption to street hustlers and improper medical care, everything needs to be considered. Inform yourself before traveling and take precautionary measures such as making a travel bug out bag or hiring a local guide.
A last word about prepping
As a prepper, you are more likely to be called crazy or paranoid than any other person around you. It doesn’t take much to start a contradictory discussion and you having to defend your prepping actions. In general, people are afraid of what they don’t understand. Being uninformed and brainwashed is a general characteristic nowadays and few people bother to think of the future. They do not understand that all the things we are prepping for are real. These things happened before, long before we decided to open up the subject. Just because it didn’t happen to them, that doesn’t mean they are safe or protected by some divine intervention. Unfortunately, it takes a harsh wake up call (like a natural disaster) to make people understand that nothing should be taken for granted in this world.