Ask yourself these Survival Questions: Prepping with purpose

I don’t claim to be an expert on survival or prepping in the slightest, but I do feel there are some important hypothetical questions that you should ask yourself that forces you to go through the thought process of certain scenarios.  Just by thinking through some of the questions below, you will help yourself act quicker and with more confidence when/if these situations should arise.  

Take at least a minute and think through what your actions would be on each of the questions below given your unique location, circumstances and company that will be with you. 

  • What “Emergency” scenario do you believe is most likely to happen that would constitute snapping into survival mode?
    • Everyone has their own idea of what’s going to bring about the collapse of civilization as we know it.  Some feel it will be a natural disaster like the super-volcano underneath Yosemite National Park erupting, others think it could be nuclear fallout from nuclear war, and some like myself, feel it will be a mix of war/inflation/and civil unrest.  Given your personal beliefs on the current political, natural and social climates, what do you feel is most likely?  Determining this will help you plan more accordingly. 

  • Will you Bug-Out or will you Bug-In?
    • Depending on your location, situation, capabilities and overall plan you’ll need to determine whether it’s best for you and your group to stay where you are or if you’re going to leave for a better area.  Not only do you have to determine that, but you also need to determine what your “trigger” point is.  When do you make that call?  Is it when chaos is ensuing around your town or will it be before then so you can travel safely? 

  • Who are your party members? 
    • Who will be with you?  These people will most likely be your close family like children, spouse, mother, father etc, however you might have different priorities like close friends who you trust more.  Making this decision requires a little homework that is tied to the next question.

  • Do all of your party members plans/priorities align and will there be conflict?
    • Once you pick your ideal party members, you must find out from them as to what their personal plans are.  They, just like you, may have not yet went through this thought process and they may need to make this same determination for themselves before answering.  If possible, when you have your “ideal party members” in one place, ask these important questions to get a rough agreement from the group.  This can also be a fun (maybe a little morbid) party conversation. 
  • What skills can your party members bring to the table? (Is your groups skills well rounded)
    • While narrowing down who will and won’t be in your group, it’s important to theoretically divy out jobs and duties that are best suited for each individual..  Obviously if you have a nurse or doctor in your group they would be most helpful in assisting with the inevitable medical situation that WILL arise.  Same would go for a former service member who is good with security or a farmer who would be integral in helping grow food for the group.  Everyone has a skill they can bring to the table as long as they are willing to contribute.

  • How do you plan for security and protecting yourself as well as those that you love?
    • If you don’t have that experienced military member in your group with a bunker full of ammo and weapons, how do YOU plan on keeping you and your group protected from outside threats?  What kind of threats are most likely given your location, population and surroundings?  In what ways can you protect yourself?  Do you have a firearm, do you have alarm systems, do you know how to NOT make yourself a target to threats?  The decision on how to best protect yourself varies from individual to individual based personal beliefs, skill level among other factors.  Knowing what you will do to protect yourself is a must nonetheless. 

  • What medical issues should you prepare for if you can’t see a doctor or go to the hospital?
    • Medical is often overlooked as people are becoming more reliant on hospitals and doctors, but when SHTF there won’t be many options other than your own know-how. Some things to think about besides basic medical emergency care is what your special medical care/supplies might you need for yourself or your group. Do you have a condition that might require specific meds? Does someone in your group require insulin? This topic should be looked at carefully by each member and made known to the entire group so people can keep an eye out for these items during “supply runs”.

  • Does your party include infants and elderly and how do you plan to care for them?
    • Recognizing your limitations early on can help keep you out of difficult situations when the time comes.  Knowing if you’ll be limited on movement and physical help from slower party members like the elderly & infants will help you make the most educated choice on hard decisions you will have to make. 
  • If you are bugging out, what vehicle will you use and how will you maintain that vehicle?
    • Deciding to leave the comfort of your home and security is a BIG decision, especially when chaos is already happening outside.  Many factors will come into play with this complicated decision.  Knowing that the last thing you’d want to happen is to be stranded on the side of the road with limited supplies, gas and no transportation and threats could force you to meticulously plan that decision out.  Will you have enough fuel?  What’s your plan if a tire goes flat? Will there be more than one vehicle in your “convoy” or group?

  • How do you & your party plan on keeping everyone fed and supplied with water?
    • Regardless if you’re Bugging-In or Bugging-Out, food and water are going to be a constant need.  The bigger your group, the more food and water you will need to sustain yourselves.  As you make these preparations, please do a little research on how people/humans react when faced with starvation.  People, even close friends can/will turn on you when faced with no other option.  

  • Will harsh weather be an issue for you and your party?
    • Your climate, location and time of year may very well dictate if you should or shouldn’t Bug-Out or Bug-In.  If the time to make that decision happens to be in November and you live in Montana, you might just want to head further south to warmer climates, I personally wouldn’t want to ride out a long winter with limited supplies.  

  • How bad is crime overall in the area you place to Bug-In at or Bug-Out to?
    • Assessing the crime rate in the area you plan on staying at is very important.  If you live on the south side of Chicago you probably don’t want to Bug-In there, same goes for some rural areas in the middle of nowhere that might have a history of “bad locals” that may decide to take advantage of their new neighbors. 

  • What is your backup plan?
    • “You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather”, this is especially true when it comes to the chaos of emergency prepping.  Having a detailed plan like your main plan is ideal, but at least having an idea of what your backup plan might look like can save you time thinking time when initial plans fall apart, as they often do. 

  • Are you prepared to say NO to people outside of your group?
    • Once you have a plan and become halfway organized, others outside of your group will notice this and see you as either an asset, their last chance or a target.  Maintaining the integrity of any group in a survival situation is hard enough as it is.  Making the hard decision to refuse or help an outsider could have detrimental consequences, so choose wisely.  

  • How will you react to authority?
    • When society starts to crumble it most likely won’t happen all at once, there will probably be a gradual decline of some kind resulting in local or federal authorities attempting to “fix” things.  Their attempts may or may not be in you and your groups favor.  If you’re trying to make it to your bug-out location and they tell you that they’re taking everyone to special camps for “your safety”, you may or may not wish to go with them.  I for one have read a history book before and would prefer to risk it on my own verse being lumped into a group or rely on another group for my protection.  This will be a decision you’ll need to assess while it’s happening. 

  • How will leadership work in your group?
    • No matter the size of your group, you will need some kind of leadership and organization.  If it’s just you, your spouse and your kids this decision will be easy, but if your group consists of multiple family members and friends you’ll need a more pragmatic approach that at least the majority of the group agrees with.  Things like enforcing everyone pulling their own weight, and punishments for outsiders and members may need to be ruled on by a committee or elders as the judicial system will likely be non-existent at that point. 

  • Are you prepared for a “slow” descent into an emergency prepping scenario?
    • As I said earlier, when SHTF it most likely will not happen all of a sudden, it might be painstakingly slow, but what does this mean? Think of “hyperinflation”.  In a hyperinflation scenario, your income, savings and food may slowly be depleted due to circumstances surrounding simple items like milk, gas and other essential items becoming too expensive for the average person to buy.  Many people will be in this scenario together, mass panic will occur and you’ll be forced to make the decision to Bug-Out or Bug-In when others tell you you’re “being dramatic” or “things will get better soon”.  That decision is yours to make, but waiting too long to make that decision can mean life and death. 

In conclusion, everyone’s circumstances and scenarios are and will be different given your individual resources, location, climate, group and other factors.  Just by reading this and asking yourself these questions you’ve already made yourself more mentally prepared than the average person who has never walked though these scenarios before.  Remember to take a moment here and there to talk about these scenarios with your close friends and family that could potentially be in your group if things are to go south, you won’t regret it.

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