5 Steps Most Preppers OverlookJuly 31, 2014 by Melanie Swick | 3 Comments
Most people start prepping by ordering some freeze-dried food and stocking up on weapons and ammunition. Many end up planting a garden and building a rainwater collection system. Some continue to the next level, investing in a backup power system or a bug out property, but most overlook these 5 critical steps.
Debt makes you a slave and limits your options. When you have to pay $1,000 each month to Master Card, you can’t afford to leave a job that’s killing you, and since you’re locked into a cycle of paying interest to live outside your means, you can’t invest as much into self-reliance and your retirement. I’m not recommending that you eliminate access to credit, but you should make it a goal not to carry any consumer debt except for a mortgage, and possibly a car loan.
Your health is always important, but it is even more critical during times of stress and physical challenges. Take the time for cardio, strength training, and stretching, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding processed foods, tobacco and excess alcohol, and get your stress under control using meditation and relaxation techniques. Better health will help you cope better during a crisis, but it will also help you to live longer even if a major crisis never occurs.
Develop independent revenue
When you’re trapped working for someone else, you are subject to the whims of your supervisors, your industry, or the general economy. If you get fired from a job that provides all of your income, you’re screwed, but if you run your own business, it’s impossible to get fired. Plus, you can develop passive income so that you are paid by the value you provide and not just the hours that you work. An added benefit is the tax write-offs that a corporation provides effectively increase your income without any added work.
Build a network
Even the most challenging disaster can be made tolerable when you have a group of like-minded people to share the burden, but you need to build this group before disaster strikes. I went through this myself when I became very ill for a few months. I was barely able to leave the couch but needed to slaughter my livestock, which I could not have done by myself at the time. Fortunately, I was able to tap into my network and together, we knocked the task out quickly and efficiently. Think about some of the tasks that would be difficult or impossible to do alone, such as pulling overnight security, removing downed trees, or stopping a wildfire. Find people in your area, ideally neighbors, who share your mindset and compliment the weaknesses in your skill sets.
I know a lot of people in the prepping community who have more gear and supplies than me—I do not know many who are more prepared though. If there is anything the Marine Corps taught me, it’s that you can never be too prepared. Definitely invest in the gear and supplies, but make sure you get off the couch and practice using them as often as possible. The time to learn how to start a fire is before you need to. I can assure you that reading about how to start a fire with a bow drill and actually doing it when you’re cold and wet are two very different things. Take the time to develop practical knowledge.