The end is near.
It’s all downhill.
It’s SHTF time.
Time to kiss civilization good-bye!
Just watch the news. News stories of political and social unrest, financial uncertainty, weather and climate disasters and an on-going pandemic. It’s no wonder that many people are panicking (or near panic.) It really does look like The End is Here.
Is it really too late?
Is there really nothing you can do to be prepared for the collapse that many believe is coming? After all, anything you might do now will just be too little, too late. Why try to do anything now, right?
If that’s what you are thinking (and you are not alone!) you misunderstand what it means to be prepared.
First and foremost, preparedness is a mindset. It is a way of thinking and living your life. It begins with a sense of freedom: freedom from want, from coercion, from dependence. You build it on the skills and attitudes of self-reliance.
Here’s a blank check
If I were to give you a blank check and say “Go buy everything you need to be completely prepared” you would still not have what you need. Because preparedness is not about a garage full of food or water or an off-grid power system. Preparedness is about what you do each day with the bounty of each day.
- Do you make full use of a 24-hour day?
- Do you make wise use of the money you bring home each month?
- Have you honed or learned new skills to be more independent?
- Have you built networks of friendship that you can rely on in times of need?
- Do you give generously to your community?
These are all elements of provident living. No matter how much food or firewood, money or means you have put aside, if you do not live providently, all of that will be insufficient.
How will you be ready?
Once you’ve decided to live providently, now it’s time to start preparing providently. Where do you start?
You start by deciding what you are preparing for. Are you preparing for an End-of-the-world type scenario? A natural disaster? Job loss or cut back? Or maybe you just have an overall sense of concern and haven’t even thought in that much detail. You can’t prepare for everything, so prepare for what’s most likely to happen in your life.
Natural or man-made disasters will strike without warning. First you need a plan for the first three minutes after the disaster. Then you need a plan for the next three days. Most of these kinds of disasters are resolved in 3-5 days. After a few days’ time, other resources are in place to help you get back to normal.
Other disasters, like economic upheaval or (as we’ve seen this year) a pandemic may persist for a few months or as long as a year. If you are preparing for those types of disasters, you need a broader plan in place, one that includes ways to feed, clothe and keep your family warm. Those kinds of plans include a three-month food supply and skills like baking from scratch and sewing.
You can’t prepare for everything, so think about what kinds of disasters you are most likely to encounter. This short video gives some ideas of things you should think about when deciding what it is exactly that you are preparing for.
How do I start?
Everything starts with a plan. Once you know what your preparedness plan looks like, start setting goals that will help you get there. That’s where our Monthly Goals section will come in handy. Each month focuses on one or two things that you can do to be better prepared. Sign up for the PHC newsletter to get timely tips and information.
My Getting Started ebook can also help you. Just fill in the blanks in this workbook to help you decide what you want to be prepared for and how to map out your goals.
You know what they say about the best time to plant a tree? The same is true about being prepared. So you haven’t been stocking up on food and savings for the last five years. So what? Start today. Right now, take an inventory of what you have in your pantry and go shopping to double that. Next week, shop double again. In a month’s time, you’ll have a nice store of food put by that will sustain you if some disaster should strike.
No matter what you do, no matter what your goals are, pace yourself. Don’t go faster than you have money, energy or time for. Take it one small step a day so that it becomes a habit, not a marathon. Step-by-step, one new thing a week, you will begin to not only build a reserve for times of need, but to change your outlook and perspective by thinking and living providently.