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The cooler temperatures in the air remind me of the approach of winter and with it many of the things I take pleasure in. Colder days give me excuses to wear my big warm coats that have been stuck in a plastic bin all year. I get to break out a completely new set of hats to keep my head warm and my closet has undergone a revival, albeit a pretty pitiful one where my short-sleeved shirts are now replaced by warmer garments. Hunting season preparations are well underway and this weekend I will be sighting in all of my rifles.
The cooler weather seems to have sent the flies and mosquitoes packing with spiders now seemingly the only holdouts. I watch their webs from my windows because obviously that is the only place they can set up house but they too will disappear soon. Everything has a cycle.
This is also the time of year where the subject of prepping seems to start falling off the radar for most people. This year I think it has been even more pronounced because the perfect storm of predicted events in September never materialized. The blood moons, the Shemitah, the stock market, UN speeches all culminated in… not so much.
Michael Snyder calls this the calm before the storm in a recent article and I am inclined to believe him. I didn’t get too wrapped up in the predictions of September, but I take a long-term view of prepping on my best days. I don’t look for anything to happen when we are all looking. When the eyes of the world are watching for the big one, they rarely ever happen do they? It is much more interesting to surprise people and I think we are still in for a big surprise some day down the road.
I was thinking about this cyclical phenomenon that we go through in prepper circles of the buzz about the next event creating fervor then silence when nothing happens. The news events are probably exacerbating this somewhat this time around, but if you ignore the huge migrant crisis in Europe and don’t get bogged down into politics too deeply at this point, there seems to be nothing to worry about on the surface. It is times like these that I am reminded that as a Prepper I need to be checking my blind spot.
You probably know what I mean when I refer to blind spot. It is most commonly discussed in the context of driving your car and it is the space you can’t see between what your side mirror shows and your peripheral vision. Normally, this is where the big sedan is lurking and if you only check your mirror, you might miss it and in the process of going around the slow poke in front of you, smash right into that car in the other lane. This is a danger to you as well as the other driver on the road.
The blind spot for preppers manifests itself in a similar fashion. We are happily driving along down the road of life and we react to the threats we can see in front of us. We keep an eye on the threats behind us and to our rear, but if we get complacent and don’t keep looking around, disaster can be waiting for us in our blind spot. If we don’t see an immediate threat (Y2K, Global Warming, Global Cooling, Acid Rain, Nuclear War, Mayan Calendar, Shemitah, blood moon, Stay Puft marshmallow man) in front of us we think everything is OK. Once the “threat” has passed it is in our rear view mirror and we think we are in the clear.
After Y2K, there was a lot of prepper “embarrassment” for lack of a better word. We certainly didn’t have the non-stop abuse factory that can be the comments section on social media now, but when nothing happened, a lot of preppers felt duped. Even without dozens of trolls talking about how stupid they looked for prepping, preppers felt silly for buying survival gear and stocking up on food only to wake up on January 1st, 2000 and find that the world was still spinning. I hadn’t really gotten into prepping at that time and my only real investment was s few jugs of water and some Mexican Veladoras that I picked up at my grocery store because I thought they would burn a long time. Our canned food was eaten and the water made it into the rotation. I still have the candles.
And every other event that we are supposed to be worried about is largely the same. Preppers will get extremely animated and stressed about the next upcoming event. Prepping blogs like this one will be inundated with requests for more information, there will be articles about preppers and their motivation for prepping in newspapers and online articles and when the event passes. Crickets.
I do know that we have a large amount of regular readers who are here every day – when nothing is going wrong just as they are here when some tragedy has struck. I am not talking about you, but I would say the majority of people who are interested in Prepping when it is convenient might be missing some large objects if they only focus on prepping when there is the potential for disaster in the news.
I have enough X to last me forever – Stocking up is a given for most preppers. We stock up on the items we need to live out of concern that we won’t be able to purchase them after some disaster. But simply stocking up on a few cases of water and some toilet paper does not a prepper make. Anything and everything you have will run out at some point. You can’t just go on an extreme Sam’s club trip and expect to be prepared for everything.
My Bug Out Bag is all I need to escape anything – Bug out bags are a very important survival tool. Properly sourced with the right essentials by someone who can carry that gear the distance and who knows how to use the contents, makes the bug out bag a huge advantage if you are forced to leave your home. However, just because you have a well-stocked bug out bag, that doesn’t make you invincible. It is an important step, but you shouldn’t just sit back when you have yours completed.
We will defend our castle from all zombie bikers/ I will be able to stay in my home forever – I am a huge believer in Sheltering in place as opposed to bugging out – provided my situation at home does not warrant I leave for safety. I believe there are many advantages to being in a known location, but I can’t believe that I will always be able to stay in that house. My plans and preps need to continue to evolve to account for different scenarios that might force me to grab that bug out bag and hit the road.
Living without power won’t affect me – I have been guilty myself of downplaying the importance of electricity. How hard can it be? I go camping all the time and there is no power, right? A world without power would be hell for a long time and to simply think it would be like camping is missing a much larger reality. I recommend reading One Second After if you don’t appreciate the potential of life without an electric grid.
There are many more and I bet each of you can identify your own prepping blind spots. What do you conveniently ignore or put out of your mind until the next forecast of extreme weather? I think one thing we can try to keep is a constant but low-level vigilance. I try not to get too wrapped up in the day-to-day news, but I think that one reason is that I am somewhat prepared for a lot of different contingencies. I have spent years stocking up on supplies, coordinating plans with friends and learning as much as I can. I feel I am half-way down the road. I can see a lot of old events in my rear view mirror but I know that if I get complacent, I could end up in the ditch. Keep your eyes on the road because as we speed through life, what is ahead can change quickly.
What do you forget until there is rioting in your city? What are your prepping blind spots?
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