Friday, February 26, 2010

Prepping Yields Liberty

How often do we say to ourselves, "That could never happen to me"? I'll be taken care of if anything bad happens"? For me, I'm probably as guilty as anyone since I fall into this master procrastinator mode of: "Yes, that really needs to be fixed, but I'll do that next week. If not, then I'll just get my dad to help me fix it." Then, the next week rolls around, and nothing has changed except I've come up with a few more excuses why I didn't get around to doing whatever I had planned on doing.
In 2008, my family was affected by the Iowa Floods in Cedar Rapids, IA. Since that time, I've drastically altered my thinking about what being "prepared" should mean for you and my family. In 2008, we were told by the city to consume and ration water since the city's water treatment plant was virtually out of order due to the flood waters and where the plant was located. I was in Boone, IA while my wife was here in Cedar Rapids all by herself, afraid and unsure if the deteriorating situation would continue to get worse. Luckily, our home was about 5 miles north of the river waters out of harms way. But, the city was in dire straights with tens of thousands homeless, helpless, and scared.

Over the passed few years since that event, I've taken the approach that WHEN the NEXT event happens, my family will be fully prepared for whatever crisis may come (financial crisis, natural disaster, etc). I fear another crisis is coming our way and that our nation hasn't even begun to realize the hardship that awaits us. Now, I won't go into why I believe this since many of my other blog posts tackle the fundamental problems that are baked into our economic cake.

No matter the probability or timing, I believe it never hurts to be prepared. What do I suggest you, your loved ones, and friends do? Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. People need to think outside of the box of "what happens if x, y, z occur?" I almost think one needs to "war game" all "what if" scenarios and reasonable ways to hedge each event. You need to put yourself into a defensive position so when a crisis does occur, you are able to look at the situation and say, "I can handle this." You turn the crisis into an annoyance or a simple inconvenience. Most importantly, you empower yourself to be in control of your own life and your own liberty so you can be in a position to both thrive and help others who are looking for someone like you to be thrown a lifeboat.

Some simple ways you can go about "prepping":

  1. Think about the "systems" you are involuntarily dependent on (school, job, water , energy, food, transportation) and create plans of how liberate yourself to become “voluntarily” associated with them.
  2. Think about what happens to all of the food in your local grocery store right before a blizzard. Research methods for alternative means of producing food for yourself or family like "Permaculture " or "Community Sharing Agriculture" (CSA).
  3. Think about your food supply that you have in your house. Could you last more than a week? 90 days? 3 months? 6 months? What TYPE of food could you feed your family with that can be stored and have a reasonably long shelf life? The rule I follow goes: "store what you eat and eat what you store."
  4. Think about alternative water sources (like a "Rainwater Hog") to water your plants, take a shower, water your garden, or be a backup source of drinking water for your house or residence.
  5. Think about your health and how dependent you are on medical care. Think of ways to lose weight, improve your biometric results (blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).
  6. Think about protecting your homestead (alarm systems or even firearms) or your family. Obviously, living in a highly populated and urban area might pose a higher risk safety wise than more remote or suburban areas.
  7. Think about developing basic survival skills as taught by the Boy Scouts.
  8. Think about alternative means of currency like gold, silver, or other precious metals.
  9. Think about developing hunting skills and methods for harvesting wild game (squirrels, rabbits, pheasant, doves, deer, elk, etc).
  10. Think about buying some fishing or camping gear.
  11. Think about alternative means of income should you lose your job that you can barter with other people.
The above items I've mentioned are just a few things to consider no matter the likelihood of the future. Being "prepared" is a natural instinct that we do in our everyday life like saving up for retirement, putting away money for a vacation, saving an emergency fund for when our car breaks down, or just generally contributing to our rainy day fund. When the weatherman predicts there might be rain and you bring along your umbrella or wear a coat, you are preparing for an event that is likely to occur. Similarly, we must program our minds for the likely and unlikely when a degree of uncertainty exists in our future.

To me, prepping employs a very liberating mindset intentionally removing a degree of doubt should a detrimental event occur. For far too long, we have become a nation of dependents. When we remove that dependency, we experience degrees of freedom and liberty that have been ignored for far too long. Does freedom and liberty remove all forms of uncertainty? No, it certainly does not; but, in doing so a switch in our cognitive head is flipped and we remove the chains that have stunted our growth or limited our true potential. We must never voluntarily stymie our own potential just because we may prefer to be more risk averse. Becoming more self-reliant and self-sufficient reveals to us the power that comes from pure liberty and freedom.

No comments:

Post a Comment