It’s nearly impossible for us to predict a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) situation. You could find yourself strangled in it today, tomorrow, or even after a month. The thing is, nobody knows what the upcoming days hold. For this reason, it’s a good idea to be prepared at all times. The mentality of “I’d figure it out when it happens” is no longer a valid excuse (even if you try doing it all at once, you’re likely to get overwhelmed and quit). Similarly, burying your face inside your bomber jacket is not a strategy and relying on the emergency department to come to your rescue is not a plan.
Because a grid-down or disaster-driven scenario can last several days or even months, prepping and survival plans need to be made early. You can’t make them in the heat of an emergency. In fact, it’s best to spend a little time each day working on your survival plans (time adds up fast). Here are 7 survival and prepping tips to help you get started.
1. Become a “Grey Person”
The philosophy of becoming a “grey male” or “grey female” revolves around being 100% equipped but inconspicuous as to not divert unwanted attention on yourself. These serve multiple purposes. For instance, being a grey person helps you blend into a crowd if you’re attempting to evade pursuers or if persons are gradually being singled out.
Anyone can be a grey person by taking the following measures:
- Avoid unnecessary contact or staring.
- Keep any survival equipment in your possession away from prying eyes
- Wear regular clothes, not survival gear or camo.
- Do not open your survival kit in a public place where others can spot that it is loaded with liquid, food, and other equipment that they might require in an emergency.
- Remove any tactical style logos from your clothing and backpack.
By taking these steps, you’ll seem more like a regular individual rather than a target of opportunity for those who are less prepared than you.
2. Build A Support Network in Advance
Preppers and survivalists have several core values. One of them is self-reliance. If disasters hit, you should be able to get all survival equipment in order and don’t expect anyone to come to your aid. However, that doesn’t imply that you should plan to go at it all alone. In fact, the Lone Wolf mentality is one of the biggest mistakes a prepper could make.
Yes, you might have enough strength and capability to plan an escape route, but wouldn’t it be better if someone could help you out? (and potentially cut the time you spent in devising a survival plan in half?) It’s important to remember that humans have strength in numbers. Even the weaker ones may have something to offer – like playing the role of lookouts, helping kids stay calm, or finding their way through smalls space.
Hence, practice self-reliance, but also create a support-network, involving your friends, family, colleagues, relatives, and even acquaintances.
3. Make A Bug Out Bag
If you’re a novice in the world of prepping, a BOB (bug out bag) might be new terminology for you. It’s mainly a bag that you keep your survival materials in. The concept is that if disaster strikes, you can take your bug out bag and escape danger quickly. Many preppers don’t have one, and that’s a huge mistake. If they were forced to leave their home during a catastrophe, they wouldn’t have a way to sustain.
Bug out bag supplies usually last 72 hours and include the following:
Drinking Water: People need at least 1 liter of water each day for essential hydration – more for hygiene and specific weather conditions.
Shelter: This includes clothing like an extra pair of jeans, hiking socks, thermal innerwear, extra shirts, mid-weight fleeces, hiking boots, military-grade poncho, rain jacket, etc. You can also put in an emergency survival blanket as it can also be used as a sleeping bag.
Food: Easy to prepare meals should be the order of the day. Canned beans, vegetables, and meats are great picks. Packaged stews and ramen noodles are equally great choices. If there’s the risk that your bug out bag will become heavy, look for dehydrated camping meals. Take a metal pot along if you prefer eating warm.
Fire: Toss in a few things like waterproof matches and lighters. Also, preppers can include fire steels as they’re capable of generating sparks in any weather.
First Aid Kit: Create your own or invest in a premade one. Make sure it includes gauze dressing, adhesive bandages (butterfly closure and knuckle versions too), alcohol pads, medicines, and suture kits.
Other Tools: Besides the previously mentioned must-haves, several devices should be present in your bug out bag. For instance, a survival knife (all purpose) will help in splitting, self-defense, and chopping, as well as in other tasks such as preparing food. Likewise, lighting such as LED head-lamps, candles, and glow-sticks will enable you to navigate in the dark. Lastly, it is vital to pack maps; you don’t want to get lost in case carrier networks stop working.
Remember, there is no perfect BOB. Every BOB evolves and changes with the user’s needs, tastes, wants, risk capability, and thoughts. However, a fundamental and imperfect bug out bag is still better than nothing at all in dire times.
4. Don’t Forget to Engage in Spring Cleaning
For preppers, spring cleaning has a new meaning. It is vital to conduct a bi-yearly check on all the prepping supplies available at your disposal. You can do this in the summer and winter season. During both seasons, you’ll want to do the following:
- Perform emergency drills with your children
- Perform an inventory check of all the bug out bags in your household
- Replace expired liquids and food with fresh stock
- Add new addresses and phone numbers in your contact list
- Buy new suppliers for the upcoming year
Updating what’s at hand and replacing what’s no longer usable is often forgotten. However, if you don’t keep tabs on your prepping gear, then you might land yourself in trouble when disaster strikes. To save time, focus on durable and non-perishable alternatives.
5. Learn to Negotiate
Out of the several disasters people might prepare for, perhaps there is none that individuals are as ill-prepared for as an attack consisting of EMP (electromagnetic pulse). That’s because an EMP related disaster changes the way people are living in an instant. When electricity is gone everything changes. It’s no surprise why EMP disaster survival searches are on the rise.
One thing that could come in quite handy during an EMP attack is your skill to negotiate. Once shops are looted, going to store to get what you want will come to an end. And it could stay like this for months to come. In such a situation, there would only be a couple of ways to get the things you need: bartering and scavenging.
The latter isn’t a reliable strategy because you won’t have an idea of what you’ll discover and what you could get yourself into. On the other hand, bartering skills would allow you to tell others exactly what you need, and they’ll let you know if they can provide you with that item or not. That’s where you could gain more and lose less with smart negotiation.
6. Be Wary of Environmental Deathtraps
The urban environment is full of risks that can be exposed to any disaster. For instance, damaged offices can release dangerous debris in the air, and cause other hazards like broken glass to concrete dust and toxic smoke. Hence, preppers and survivalists should invest in proper protective gear as you never know when you’d be required to scramble over to get to a state of safety.
Our recommendations include long sleeve clothing, high-quality pants, and sturdy shoes (they can be kept in your bug out bag). These items will protect you from burning or jagged debris. Also, consider adding the following items to your environmental protection gear to prevent harm to the rest of your body:
- Hearing aid
- Lung protection
- Eye protection
Environmental safety gear that includes these items is a first mover advantage. Even if everyone around you has a bug out or get home bag, your protection gear will allow you to take the lead when it comes to navigating debris-filled roads and alleys.
7. Communication Devices Are Key
Before bugging out, you’ll have to find your loved ones. Every family member might be in different proximity when a state of emergency is announced, and you might only get a couple of hours to leave the town.
Also, you’ll be required to know different obstacles and roadblocks, whether invisible or visible. And if networks fall out, it could be a disaster. However, you could lessen the damage by investing in a GPS-enabled walkie-talkie. A custom radio that allows you to communicate with friends and family could also become your savior.
Though it isn’t cheap, it could buy you those few hours that you need to get every loved one to a safety zone.
Surviving a disaster, an EMP attack or any other emergency is a big challenge no matter how you proceed, but it’s not impossible. Since the majority of individuals aren’t going to ready themselves at all, the very fact that you know what to do and what to stock means you’re already way ahead of the game.