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Are You Prepared Enough?

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There are many great reasons to start down the road of being prepared to take care of yourself in an emergency or crisis. When you feel that is something you need to do personally, it usually begins a search on what you need to be prepared. This searching can lead to checklists of prepping supplies which can provide guidance or a place to start but in reality; the process is different for each person. The answer to the question of what you need to do in order to get prepared isn’t something that anyone else can answer for you and in the end, is almost wholly dependent on what happens and where you are when “it” happens to you.

I have often sat down and compiled lists of things I need to accomplish in the main areas I focus on with prepping. My very first list had dozens of items and now, since I have been prepping for a little over 8 years, my lists aren’t quite as expansive. I have been acquiring the needed supplies and making preparations so that I don’t need as much as I thought I needed in the beginning. One thing I have learned though is my list overall still contains the exact items I thought I would need back in 2007, just the quantities of what is left to do have gone down.

The concept of making lists again made me think of the question I have asked before of myself. Are you prepared enough for what you think is coming down the road? Have I made the best plans you could have made knowing what I know? Have I made the right fiscal decisions to put me in the most advantageous position should the economy collapse? Have I shared enough information with my family and in my own small way, the rest of the world? Have I done enough? Am I prepared?

Are you prepared enough?

How much preparation can anyone do that we could consider the level of those same preparations to be sufficient? I have stated before that prepping is a journey, not a destination and I still subscribe to that theory, but depending on the situation; I could have more than I needed. What if there was a regional storm that caused minor flooding in my town and the utilities were out as well as roads for a month. Would I have enough supplies to last? Yes, I certainly would.

What if there was a crisis that lasted two years? Would I have enough?

Getting back to how much you need, it all comes down to what the emergency is, what your situation is at the time and how other influences impact you after the crisis begins. You could have enough food to last you for a year, but add in 6 family members who you take in and that amount of time could go down to 2 months. You might not have enough in your eyes, but the hungry family might think you are prepared enough. What if you have 2 years’ worth of food stored safely in your basement but you are away on vacation and a tornado rips right through your town and sucks everything you have been working on up into the air?

We can make as many plans as we want but if something happens outside of our plans we will have to adjust. Thinking that you have the answers to all of the different scenarios posed in your head is well and good, but you should account for contingencies. More importantly, you have to face the reality that you might walk into TEOTWAWKI with nothing but the shirt on your back.

Prepping is at best a stop gap measure. It isn't an end.

Prepping is at best a stop-gap measure. It isn’t an end.

You are asking yourself the wrong question

You can inventory all of your prepping supplies and make lists; I do it too. I use these lists to gauge what I have left to accomplish in my mind. I check items off so that my imaginary supply room of everything I need, will be filled with precisely what I think will be the minimum necessary but I try not to ever think I have enough. Does this mean I am stocking supplies up as much as possible? Does this mean I keep buying ammo or food or weapons until I have no money left? No and I think if you are looking to reach some level where you can say, “I think I have enough to last…” you might be looking at this the wrong way.

There is a danger in thinking that there is ultimate security in your supplies. Why do I say that? For one thing, your supplies can be taken away from you. Your supplies will eventually go bad if left unused or in the right conditions. Your supplies, if you have to rely on them will eventually dissipate down to nothing. Having a 6-month supply of food or a few thousand rounds of ammo and some gasoline stored doesn’t mean I am any better prepared than the neighbor down the street when the time comes. It does certainly mean I have put some thought into this that the average bear might not have considered, but does that make me better prepared?

When my family asks me questions like, how much food do I have or basically, how long could we live on what we have stored, I have to guess. Sure, I know roughly how much food is stored and I have calculated how long we could eat on that food but I don’t consider myself prepared really. I am looking at this as a stop-gap measure. Could my preparations buy me and my family some time? Yes, very possibly we could be sitting pretty while others go hungry, at least for some time. Does that mean I am prepared enough? Not hardly.

Prepping isn’t about storing up supplies and quietly riding out Armageddon from the comfort of your easy chair, happily eating your MRE’s and enjoying reruns of the office on your Solar Powered DVD player. The steps you are taking today might not be enough for the disaster you face. Are they better than nothing? Absolutely, but don’t become complacent and cross the last item off your list and sit back and wait. Prepping should be constant movement, preparation, consideration of your environment and the world around us and you have to reevaluate what is happening all of the time. We shouldn’t think we know what is coming, even though we can prepare for certain scenarios.

When you start asking yourself the question of are you prepared enough, the answer is it really depends on what you are forced to go through. Looking back after you have made it through alive is the only way to answer that question. Making it through alive should be what we are striving for.

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  • Mike Lashewitz

    There is no such thing as too prepared. That is like saying one can have too much ammo. When scarcity hits where do you want to be. With “too much” and able to barter or with too little and screwed?
    Of course the local governments will seek out preppers and take their food and munitions while taking credit for feeding the masses for a couple days while also skimming off the top for their own families. THAT is a matter of history, something they have always done. (How many times has that theme been in movies?)
    You have to realize that in a TEOTWAWKI situation there is no legal form of government because if there had been, TEOTWAWKI would not have happened to begin with. Isn’t that part of a governments responsibility to begin with. BE PREPARED? Even the Boy Scouts get that.
    Instead preppers will be called hoarders and stingy while being vilified and considered evil because they had forethought and instead of wasting their savings on stupid temporary enjoyment through television, drink, and video gaming, all the “instant gratification” crap they realized something is NOT RIGHT in the world of government and prepared for the inevitable failure.
    However when religion stores 7 years of wheat they are considered honorable and God fearing. It does not matter that I have 3 families depending on me now does it. . . .
    How much could you have prepped if you had not been smoking or drinking for the last 30 years? Who made wealth off of that?

    • EgbertThrockmorton1

      I agree with Mike above. Are we ever “too prepared”? No. Can we EVER “sit back” and wait for the Schumer to hit? No. Are we as prepared as our personal circumstances can allow? Maybe, maybe not. Can we always improve? Yes, we can improve physically, spiritually, economically, we can be more kind, more WISE, more intuitive, more empathetic, more sincere, more gentle, more willing to stand for truth-no matter the personal cost, more honorable…the list is almost endless as to HOW we can improve ourselves, our families and our situations.

      • Mike Lashewitz

        Well said Egbert! However there is one quandary. Having been in multiple wars and seen as well as heard horror stories, I fear that I may turn away a woman with a starving child who comes begging for food. Simply because I have heard the horror stories that some of these persons are subversives whose purpose is to find out who does have food. Then others come to kill and steal. I have witnessed this personally. Just as I have been kind when a fellow asked for gas money “because he ran out” and I helped push his vehicle over to the pump and with full intent to pay for a fill up, then as the meter clicked past the $8.00 mark it stopped. The tank was full!
        The fellow had actually asked for $10.00 for gas. I at least saved $2.00 from theft from a greasy con-artist.

  • NRP

    I personally like “short” answer to “Are You Prepared Enough?”
    No, and no one ever can be.

  • Bolofia

    My guess is that anyone reading TPJ always has a list (mental or otherwise) of things that they know they need to acquire, supplement, maintain or repair, inventory, learn, practice or simply do. If you think about it, the time to worry is when the list gets too short. You are absolutely correct, Pat: Prepping is a journey, not a destination.