If you’re worried about societal breakdown or how to survive a natural disaster that strikes your neck of the woods, here are seven steps that can help you weather.
- Develop a Solid Plan
The first step to surviving is to develop a plan for survival. Ideally, this would mean multiple plans for short-term (overnight to three days), medium-term (one to three weeks), and long-term (one month or more) scenarios. Think through what the most likely dangers are: house fire, earthquake, hurricane, nuclear plant meltdown, etc. and develop plans to react to them. Then make a backup plan or two, since your primary plan may very well go by the boards when trouble arises.
- Stockpile Food and Water – and Rotate
You won’t be able to go down to the store to buy food and water, so start stockpiling now. Put your kitchen cabinets or pantry to good use by storing canned food, grains, beans, and rice, and other non-perishables. Make sure you buy food that you would normally eat, make sure that you rotate it on a regular basis, and make sure that you protect it against rodents and insects. The last thing you want is to have to rely on your stored food and find out that it expired three years ago, or that rats and weevils got to your bags of rice and had a party.
- Be Responsible for Your Own Security
Make sure that both your person and your possessions are secure. Keep doors and windows locked when you’re not around. If you live in an area where you can carry a gun or knife, start doing it. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Owning a gun is important in a survival scenario too, both to ward off attackers and to put extra food on the table if need be. But you don’t need a huge armory, a 12-gauge pump shotgun and a 9mm pistol can suffice in many instances. Add a .22 rifle and a .223/5.56 rifle of some sort if you can afford it and you’ll be prepared for just about anything.
- Don’t Tell Anyone
You might feel proud that you’re prepped for disaster, but don’t brag about it. If people find out that you have guns, food, and supplies, they’ll inevitably joke that they’re coming to your house if anything happens. But if something does happen, you may find out that they’re dead serious and not too happy to find out that you don’t have enough to share with them. Spare yourself from having to deal with that possibility by not spilling the beans.
- Get Into Shape
In any sort of survival scenario, access to medical care will be limited. The healthier you are now, the less likely you are to need medical attention in the future. If you’re out of shape, get into shape, because there’s a high likelihood that you’ll need to walk long distances and carry large amounts of equipment. Start walking around your neighborhood or go on hikes while carrying a heavy pack. Start doing pushups, pullups, and situps to get your muscles used to doing work. You don’t want your body giving out on you when you need it to perform.
- Move Away From Population Centers
Most grocery stores only hold about two to three days worth of food. In any sort of survival scenario, those stores would quickly run out of food. Just look at the shelves of any grocery store in an urban area when there’s even a hint of a snowstorm coming. Since most people don’t keep a supply of food on hand and are dependent on grocery stores, expect them to run out of food soon and get hungry. Once they’re hungry and looking for food, they’re going to come knocking on your door. Better for you to get out of Dodge before that happens. If work, family, or other obligations mean you can’t move away from the city, at least make sure that you have someplace to go that’s away from large numbers of people, and have a plan on how to get there.
- Learn Survival Skills
People today have become more dependent on others to do many of the tasks that our parents and grandparents saw as routine aspects of daily life. Skills that previous generations would have taken for granted include:
- Wilderness Navigation
- Water Purification
- Knife Sharpening
- Animal Husbandry
- Fire Starting
- First Aid
Good sources for learning some of these and many other skills are in old Boy Scout manuals, in US Army field manuals, or at various survivalist and prepper websites. But while book knowledge is the first prerequisite, that only goes so far. You have to put that book knowledge to use and practice these skills. If you wait until disaster strikes to exercise them for the first time, you may find that it’s not as easy as the books make it out to be.