September is “National Preparedness Month”. The one thing left out of all the hype for this new “celebration” (yes, I’ve read an ad on a alternative news web site that said “Celebrate [9/11] with a 20% discount…”) is, for how long do you need to be “prepared”? You have to understand that you cannot buy enough toilet paper to save your ass.
Say you’re one of the smart ones who has been prepared for whatever is coming down the pike to survive through. You’re already set up in a remote location, gotten your dwelling built, and you have separated yourself and your family from “normal society (the system)”. You’ve been studying and experimenting with gardens, but haven’t perfected the art yet. You haven’t had a need for money in a year or two, because you’ve been living off your well-stocked larder for that time. Suddenly, and seemingly all at once, things in that larder begin to run out. Now what do you do???
When the baking powder runs out, you learn to make flat pancakes. When your chickens aren’t laying to put eggs in the pancakes, you make breads instead (and a pot of chicken soup here and there). When the flour runs out, you grind rice and get creative with it. When the rice runs out, you start eating lentil soup, lentil burgers, lentil chili (even though your chili powder ran out a month ago, too) – and you lose a lot of weight.
Just take a trip into town to re-supply? Well, maybe that’s ok for now, while there still is some semblance of an economy. But what will you do if that economy – and society – have completely collapsed and there are no stores in which to shop? Prepping is a great way to start to get you mentally ready for separating from the current average urban/suburban lifestyle. After “prepping” comes real survival.
You may have to check out the local flora for edible items. Do you know how to test a plant to see if it is poisonous? (Rub it on your arm and look for a rash, rub it on your gums and check for tingling… There’s much more to it. Here is one site you may want to read about it.) You may need to go hunting. Do you know how to “field dress” an animal? Do you know where to shoot? Do you know how to shoot?
I’m not talking about being a weekend warrior. I’m not even talking about going on an extended hunting trip. I’m talking about learning to live a new way, a way that includes new ways to find food other than going to the local supermarket. A way that includes using washable rags instead of disposable toilet paper. The idea may be frightening to many – probably most – of you. You’ve been taught that there is only one way to live and that is the consumerist life. A sure sign of success is how much “stuff” you have. Well, in the near future, success may be boiled down to did you eat today, did you feed your family today, did you sleep inside, out of the cold last night?
With all the new “preparedness” consumables available, here is one thing you can’t stock up on: TIME. Are you running out of time? Preparedness not only means buying as much “prepper stuff” as you can, it means watching world events so you will know 1) what you are prepping for and; 2) when you are prepping for. Believe me, it’s not easy to look at everything going wrong with the world these days – economies in shambles, major war looming, wacky weather, violent solar activity. But you must gather up your skirts and stare it in the face, or why bother prepping?
So go ahead and get that extra bag of rice or beans at every trip to the grocery store. But have a plan, start educating yourself about what to do when that runs out.
Dan & Sheila are the authors of Surviving Survivalism – How to Avoid Survivalism Culture Shock . For questions about their survival community and other topics, they can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .