Preparedness and Provident Living
We live in interesting times. Although a high standard of living still prevails in the U.S., those who do not willingly blind themselves with sin and pride see the writing on the wall; our society is being weighed in the balance and has been found wanting. Whatever economic challenges our society may face pales in comparison to the moral cliff that we will almost certainly fall from. The elevated rancor, rude behavior, and disregard for Godís laws that is common in our land is just not putting us on Godís A-list. We wonít go into all the reasons why being self-reliant is a good and prudent thing to do. Letís just say that if you are prepared to take care of your own and to help others when necessary, you know what it means to be a disciple of Christ.
If you havenít thought much about being prepared for disasters or catastrophic events or havenít been making consistent efforts to build your own awareness and knowledge base of preparedness you may be wondering where to start. The best advice we can offer is to be a candle and not a firecracker. Donít try to do everything all at once. Instead, measure your efforts and make preparedness a habit and not a weekend rush. While there should be some urgency to your efforts there is also real reason to develop a plan and to follow it.
Phase I : Preparedness isnít about having Ďstuffí, itís about learning to live with what you can provide for yourself when times get tough, and perhaps have some left over to share. That said, preparedness starts by looking at your current habits and seeing if there are changes that you and your family need to make to accommodate a more provident lifestyle. If your entire paycheck is consumed just trying to attain (or maintain) the lifestyle of co-workers or friends it may be necessary for you to re-think your priorities. Being prepared often means changing the way you live; changes in your daily routines that can be sustained over a period of time are going to be the most helpful in the long-run. Can you reduce your entertainment expenses? Can you cut back on fuel, heating, and power bills? Can you drive the old car a bit longer? Are you buying Ďthingsí that lose their value? Do you have habits that need to be curbed? Can you learn to do your own home repairs? These and other lifestyle changes are critical to self-reliant living. After you have carefully assessed where changes ought to be made in your daily routines, you are ready to start the next phase.
Phase II : When you begin your preparedness journey you will focus on your most elementary needs. A reasonable place to start is to consider what you would need to sustain yourself (and your family) if forced to leave your home for a period of 3 to 5 days. This is the proverbial Ď72 hour kití or Ďbug-out-bagí that everyone talks about. Since everyoneís needs are not identical we canít tell you exactly what needs to go in your kit, but we have provided some guidelines for bug-out kits on our web site (CEPN.US).
Phase III : The next phase of preparedness is to consider what you and your family would need to sustain yourself in your home over an intermediate period, say for about two weeks, such as in the case of a truckerís strike, power grid failure, or other serious interruption of conventional services. Although this is a bit more complicated itís really not that difficult to address. Our advice here is to make a point of buying an extra can or box of the same products you usually buy when you go grocery shopping and to store those items. We provide some basic details to this approach in our "Beginners Guide to Food Storage" on our web site (CEPN.US).
Other items of critical importance for survival include water, essential medicines, essential sanitation items, communications, and energy to cook food and perhaps to heat your home if the weather gets extremely cold. Another consideration for an intermediate period of survival is security. Short essays on these and other topics are provided on our web site (CEPN.US) to give you an idea of where to start. Review the material we provide links to and set out a plan that works for your family.
Phase IV : The final phase of preparedness which we cover here is long term survival; from 3 months to a year or more. When you reach this phase we encourage you to store bulk food items, purchase the support equipment, and develop the necessary know-how, that allows you to survive for an extended period of time from your own labors. We provide background on our web site (CEPN.US) in the document labeled "Advanced Food Storage for Emergencies" on the site.