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Advice for the new prepper Part 2

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Continuing on the advice for individuals just getting into the preparedness world. Again, this is personal opinions, but just a few tidbits I've picked up over the years to assist me.

5. Get ready for a lifestyle! Being a prepper is not a hobby or a once a year thing to poke at. It’s a lifestyle. A continually evolving system to better prepare yourself for realistic scenarios you might encounter. But overall, it’s a way of life. Some people walk into a grocery store and see cans of chili on sale and think “oh, that’s nice; I can save a few bucks on the next company barbeque” and buys five cans. A prepper walks into the same grocery store and thinks “Awesome! Those have expiration dates of four years from now!” and buys five cases. It’s a lifestyle change that takes hold over time. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you find yourself more and more looking at things from a long term standpoint and building your stocks up. Eventually if you stick with it, you find your lifestyle has changed from the 95% of the masses that are unprepared.

6. Be prepared to rise and fall and share that experience with others! This is a threefold point. The first part is about success. You have things in your life that work great and could help the rest of us. Share that information with others so it can help. In sharing, you might learn another trick or something that works with what you were doing. Or it assists others by showing them a new trick. Share the knowledge of your successes with others and let them know what you learned during an emergency or disaster. “Doodad X really helped make life easy during this hurricane by doing this, that and then this. I wholeheartedly endorse their products.” Share the knowledge and stories of success with others as it can only better prepare us all for whatever comes our way.

But on the same token, we have times we fail as well. Yes, you will fail at something eventually. Sure, we make it through the disaster, but we find something that was missing. All too often we have an emergency in our lives (whether it is a power outage that lasts six hours or a blizzard that snows you in for ten days) that we learn from. And in the end, I doubt there is anyone that believes themselves to be “prepared” that doesn’t come away thinking “you know, we made it through okay, but Doodad Y really sucked and we wasted money on it.” Nobody has ever been entirely prepared for a disaster coming their way. There is always that one little thing they overlooked that would have made life that much easier during a disaster. Maybe not necessary, but nice to have and makes our lives simpler. And there is always that item that didn’t work as advertised and failed at the most opportune moment. So you learn a little bit, you try things to see if they work, discard those that didn’t and rely on those that did.

And third, don’t be afraid to share the knowledge of failure or success with others. “We had a hurricane and forgot to get extra chainsaw oil beforehand. It sucked and we had to wait for three days for the city to come by and remove the trees from our block.” We learn from our own mistakes, but we also learn from others as well. The sharing of knowledge will help us all get through times of crisis. But even those we might consider “new” to the preparedness world WILL have things to offer. Folks starting out typically have more to share than the old hats. They offer stories of success and failure that make us all look at our preps and wonder if we might be in the same situation. Don’t be afraid just because you are new to not tell people your experiences. Everyone can learn from the successes and failures of others.

7. Be realistic and dynamic! It really does you no good to prepare for a hurricane if you live in Kansas. Or a volcano if you live in Florida. Create a realistic plan of becoming more prepared based on what threats you are likely to encounter. Start small and build up from there. But be dynamic enough to plan for multiple contingencies. The same basic plan is typically going to work for multiple scenarios, but often additional refinements are needed for specific emergencies. Don’t get bogged down in preparing for things that aren’t likely in your area. Prepare for the most likely situations first and expand from there.

8. But overall, BREATHE! Far too often new preppers get discouraged from seeing how well prepared others are and lack the determination to continue with preparedness. If you feel yourself start slipping down that path, stop, look around, poke at some news articles about how unprepared others are in times of disaster and remember why you are doing it. But getting started can be a little overwhelming for some. They see the mountain of tasks to be achieved and get discouraged and quit after buying six cans of tuna. Start small, end big. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither will your emergency preparedness plans. When you believe you won’t ever be fully prepared (and nobody ever will be, trust me) take stock of what you DO have as opposed to what you don’t and realize you are probably better off than 95% of the population on the planet.

And after knowing what you do have, continue taking account of the things you don’t and plug away at that list. Don’t get discouraged by your seemingly lack of preparations. Just by seeing the fact you are unprepared means you are taking the right steps in correcting that problem. Don’t get overwhelmed in things you don’t have and let it worry you. Stop for a moment, take a breath and continue preparing for whatever comes your way.

Just a few pieces of advice for those starting out.

Updated 08-27-2011 at 03:22 PM by Grand58742

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