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Prepping - Are You Prepped for Doomsday?

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Prepping is the practice of preparing for a long term disaster by outfitting a person's home, property, and even vehicles and workplace with essential emergency supplies like large amounts of food and drinking water needed to survive a long term period lasting several weeks or even several months.
A catastrophic disaster -- one bigger than any disaster yet experienced in the modern world -- can result in the complete collapse of society, which means shipping and transportation comes to a halt and within days or even hours stores across the region begin to close; some may possibly never re-open.

This is when reality is going to set in for a lot of people and they ask the question:

"Where Do We Go for Food?"

Depending on the disaster, there may not be any water from the tap as well. City water originates from water plants; often times that may include treated sewer water that has been processed by machines and is now safe for drinking.

A catastrophic disaster can wipe out or shut down power to local water systems leaving you with no safe drinking water whatsoever.

Now what?

No Food, No Water

On top of that you can expect massive civil unrest in many areas, both major cities and even small towns as millions of people around the nation suddenly come to terms with what has happened.

How do you survive when suddenly, unexpectedly society as we know it has simply collapsed?

The average family only has a few days of extra food kept at home. Frequent trips to the grocery store have made people complacent about food shortages; in the modern age, and in nations like America, we don't know what a food shortage is -- perhaps our grandparents and great-grandparents do, however. Those who were around for the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The next "Great Depression" is likely to be several times worse and one that our nation never recovers from. Imagine a line for food stretching miles... food is going to run out and a lot of people are going to go hungry.

How to Prep for Disaster or a Collapse of Society

To keep your family well fed for any extended period of time, you'll need to take steps to store food that doesn't need refrigeration, typically non-perishable foods from your grocery store, including canned food and foods you'll find in the bulk-food section, like dried beans, nuts, seeds, possibly rice and things like dried fruit and trail mix.

Becoming increasingly popular today -- you've probably seen advertisements somewhere by now -- are large supplies of freeze-dried food. Most backpackers are familiar with small, individual freeze-dried meals that come in a package. Today though more food manufacturers are packaging freeze-dried food in much larger containers with a much longer shelf-life, which may be as much as 25 years.

Because canned goods and other non-perishable foods from the grocery store have a much shorter shelf life, these long-life freeze dried food packages appear to be a great choice. But ask yourself this: Wouldn't it be nice to have some variety, especially over several months and possibly years of surviving off stored food following a disaster?

Prepper Food Choices

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Are You Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario?
Are You Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario?

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A smart prepper, in my opinion, will choose both freeze-dried foods, as well as foods from a bulk foods section, like dried beans, nuts, etc. mentioned above. Then a prepper should learn ways to prepare these foods for long term storage by either canning them or bottling them. Eventually they'll be able to make homemade soups and stews, perhaps using meat from freeze-dried packages (that only contain meat, or meat and vegetables) or use meat that they've procured and stored in other fashions -- whether that's from hunting and fishing, or simply by buying cuts of meat fresh from a butcher shop and taking them home to then smoke and dry them using natural methods (such as those used by early Native Americans, discussed in detail in another article on our site) to then salt and brine and store this meat long term. See: Emergency Food Storage and Primitive Methods of Food Storage

Prepper Food Storage

Meat that's been dried and smoked or salted can be stored for several years. Thus it's a very important survival skill to learn. Sure you can spend a lot of money on freeze dried food and not take this step but what if that food is destroyed in the disaster that strikes, or is simply taken from you by force one day by looters, burglars (there's likely to be a lot of crime in a time of collapse following disaster) or even government authorities -- who believe that taking your food is for the public good (even if it never reaches the public; in other words your food may be taken to help feed a local army or the new government that has seized power, if a power seizure takes place).
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Are You Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario?
Are You Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario?

Sign Up for our free email newsletter packed with survival tips and tips on preparing for widespread disaster. Topics covered include survival foods, martial law, government collapse, living off the land, self defense, survival hunting, survival fishing, and MORE...

Survival Gardening

Of course, another way to provide food in a time of collapse is to raise or grow it yourself. I'm talking about gardening -- building yourself a survival garden (discussed in detail in another article). See: Secret Garden of Survival - How to Grow a Camouflaged Food-Forest
What are you and your family (and your livestock) going to eat when your food stores run out? Grow a survival garden. And how do you keep others from stealing it? Answer: A camouflaged food forest.

Then there's livestock -- chicken, sheep, goats, pigs, cows and even horses. Animals such as chicken and pigs were often taken on boats traveling vast distances in earlier centuries as they could be used to populate a new area with a renewable supply of food when a boat eventually landed. (When traveling, pack up young chickens and pigs, while they're still small, because you can take more with you than full size adults. If you have the means of course bring adult livestock also, as they can be used for food along the way).

Prepping with Livestock

Finally, there are other choices of livestock to consider -- Rabbits, guinea pigs (a staple in the Andes Mountains of Peru); also fish. Did you know that fish can be farmed and harvested? Depending on where you live you can have trout ponds, or raise tilapia or other fish, perhaps even turning what used to be an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool into a home for a specific type or types of fish.

A few people have even taken the initiative to grow foods like kelp (sea weed) and edible algae, both are highly nutritious food and a staple in other parts of the world, such as Japan. - Why We Should Grow and Eat More Sea Weed - Making Herbal Salve and Sea Kelp - The Growing Trend of Fish Farming at Home

Questions for a Prepper to Ask

To become a prepper, you have a few questions to ask yourself:

What is the most cost effective way for you to prep?

What will you do when you run out of food eventually, or if your food is destroyed in a disaster or taken by thieves?

How many people are in your family and how much food do you need for each person to feed them for several months?

How many calories can you cut out of your diet to make your food stretch longer, while still providing nourishment and warding off starvation? Keep in mind that the average person today eats a lot more calories each day than is healthy or what our bodies can even handle. The fact is you can likely live off a lot fewer calories and be healthy and even have more energy and ward off the effects of over-eating that plague so many people today.

How to bottle and store dried beans, nuts, seeds, rice, dried fruit, and even trail mix. These are available in large quantities at most grocery stores and have a lower price, per pound, than packaged food typically. (If you're concerned about your budget then pay attention to these foods as well as what it takes to bottle and store them).

How to build a backyard smoker for the purpose of drying and smoking meat for long term storage.

How to salt and store fresh fish in barrels for long term storage (fish caught off the Atlantic coast by early Americans in the 1600-1700s were salted and stored in barrels, and then sent by ship across the ocean back to Europe; no refrigeration was needed).

How to hunt both large and small game and ways to fish and harvest edible sea life (if you live near one of the coasts).

Skills Preppers Can Barter With

What skills can you learn today that would be highly useful to people in a time of collapse? You'll be able to barter with these skills. For example, if you know how to build a "gasifier", which is a homemade device that turns burning wood into an alternative fuel source for the purpose of powering things like generators (used to produce electricity to power lights, radios, and communications equipment), you can offer a valuable service to people, which you can barter with. Trade your service and knowledge for food, water, or other supplies.

What Are Some Other Skills?

Skills such as hunting, fishing, and trapping would be useful skills to offer others. Another skill likely to be in demand is the homemade manufacturing of weapons and ammunition. With so many dangers in the land in a time of collapse, neighborhoods and entire communities may want to find ways to protect themselves.

Here's an overlooked skill that is under-appreciated by preppers in general, and that is physical fitness. In our current society, we face few threats and dangers. When was the last time you had to run from a bear or pack of dogs or someone armed with a weapon, intent on killing you?

Everything is Going to Change

In a time of collapse everything we know about life is going to change. Survival skills that focus on fight or flight will be great skills to have in your arsenal. But what if you're well along in your years, approaching 60 or even 70, and have no hope of being the runner or fighter you were back in your early days? Well, do what you can today to at least be capable of long treks on foot -- bartering for goods may call for a long walk down an empty highway to the nearest town or marketplace that has sprung up.

When Fight or Flight isn't An Option -- Learn from the Apaches

Turn your inability to run and fight (perhaps you have bad knees, due to an injury) into a strength. Become adept at stealth instead, at moving quietly and staying in shadows; become adept at listening to the sounds of the environment while using the foliage and objects in your environment to help you stay hidden and camouflaged.

Stealth can help you survive and stay alive in a land that no longer has any laws in place, other than the law of the land; stealth can be nearly perfected as well, with nothing more than practice. Stealth is often not hurried -- most of the time it will be slow, patient movements, helping ensure you make very little noise (if at all) and leave no sign of your presence.

Take an example from the Apaches, Native Americans known for stealth who today's Special Forces often times take examples from as well.

Up against U.S. forces in the American Southwest, the Apaches could appear from the terrain unexpectedly, sometimes launching successful attacks and several ambushes, and giving the U.S. army more than it bargained for.

(This is also how "street kids" stay alive in dangerous places in the world, where many have been orphaned by civil war and rampant poverty and crime. They learn to stay out of sight, staying hidden and quiet when they move about, careful to try and keep a distance from dangerous people who may be out to harm them).

If You're Older, Pair Up With People Younger

Pair yourself up in a time of collapse with men and women half your age. Teach them how to shoot, how to hunt and how to garden, and also how to stay hidden. You can bring leadership, knowledge and wisdom to the group; the group can help you stay alive by fighting a fight you may not be capable of fighting on your own, simply because you don't have the speed you had back in 1972 when you won medals in track and field.

There's More to Prepping than Just Stockpiling

When it comes to prepping, it's not just about storing food, water and weapons. You're going to want to learn how to connect and work with others; how to formulate a plan of action and then how to adapt if things go south or obstacles or threats present themselves unexpectedly.

I wish I could tell you that survival is going to be as simple as stockpiling large amounts of food and water and learning methods for growing food, but I know it's not. If you think that's all there is too it, please realize that you may be setting yourself up for early disaster.

Prep By Learning Valuable Survival Skills

Surviving a collapse of the modern world and the social chaos and civil unrest likely to follow calls for learning survival skills today that can help keep you and your family alive and out of danger, as well as help others survive, who in turn will help you survive. See: Survival Skills for the Wilderness

Your ability and desire to help others will play a role in another person's ability and desire to help you. Your skills and resources will help them; their skills will help you. You will need to work together for the common good of the group.

Understanding this, and planning for this, I believe is a key part of prepping.

Not Every One Preps

There are two types of non-preppers in the world. Those who don't think any of these threats are ever going to actually take place, and every thing is just going to work itself out in time.

Then there are those who don't prep because they believe God has not called them to prep, and instead to live a sincere Christian life looking forward to Christ "calling home" his children here on earth (an event commonly referred to by believers as the "Rapture"). Who are Christ's children? Those who have truly been saved by their faith -- in other words, it's real, and their lives reflect that of a true follower of Christ (we all know fake "Christians"; the "Christians" that openly sin or even in secret, not realizing that God sees our very hearts and knows our thoughts and even motives). These are sometimes the "Christians" that "fleece the flock"; they're greedy, liars, and in-sincere, and even worse. In Jude, in the New Testament, it says they will meet their end in Hell.

Christians Who May Not Feel Led to Prep

Most people by now know what the rapture is, even if they don't believe in it, including other Christians (some Christians believe in it, and some don't). Believers, like myself, who believe their will be a rapture of the church, may not feel led to prep to the same extent as a typical "prepper", simply because they believe the Bible teaches that we will be "rescued from the coming wrath" (1 Thessalonians 1:10) and "spared from the hour of trial" (Revelation 3:10). (In other articles on this site, I explore in depth what the Bible teaches on the rapture; find these articles by using the search bar at the top of the site or just read through the section titled "The Last Days".)

Can Christians be preppers also? Sure, why not stock a few essential supplies on hand? There's no telling on whether or not a disaster will strike your region as part of the "birth pains" of Matthew 24, before Christ calls us home, such as Hurricane Sandy striking the East Coast. Plus, you'll have a few supplies on hand for family or friends, as long as they know how to find them.

Promised Return

For as many people in the world that are looking forward to the rapture it is shocking it is something not more openly acknowledged.

I'm a writer who believes in the promised return of Christ and that he will stand on his promise in Revelation 3:10.

But even so I will still use this site to publish on topics of survival and preparing for disasters -- simply because I care about people, even people who don't believe in the Lord -- yet -- and I hope that something that is published on this website will help someone, somewhere in a time of emergency.

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