With information comes misinformation. Prepping has been around for years, but it has grown in popularity recently thanks to television shows and magazine stories. As a result, more people are aware of how to begin preparing for a disaster. Unfortunately, not everything is accurate.
For example, simply buying gear and wandering into the woods will not make anyone a survivalist, so before you’re forced to make the decision to either stay in place or leave your home following an emergency, you should get to know a few simple facts.
Learn situational awareness
From a domestic point of view, if you’re facing disasters that are threatening your family and home, you will eventually have to make the decision to stay or go, and that choice involves quite a few factors requiring “situational awareness.” Situational awareness simply refers to your knowledge of what you have and how well you’re capable of dealing with the problems and threats around you.
Situational awareness will be easier to understand if you break it down into its three main areas: self-preparedness, surroundings and resources.
Step 1: Self-preparedness
Being prepared means more than stockpiling gear. It also involves looking at things like your overall health, mobility, skill level, and your capability to physically and mentally cope with the situation at hand. I use the term “self,” but in the case of a family unit, you really have to look at everyone involved as one main entity. Examples of how self-preparedness impacts you are best seen when deciding to leave your home in an emergency. If you bug out, each person must be capable of mobility because your group only moves as quickly as the slowest person. The group also has to be capable of transporting its resources, which can present additional considerations.
For instance, when transporting by vehicle, you must ask whether yours is capable of transporting the number of people you have, along with the supplies you need to reach minimum safety.
As any parent who has brought kids on vacation can tell you, the more people and the more stuff to pack, the larger the vehicle and the more time you’ll need before you’re mobile. With the current price of gas being high, it’s common for those in the city to own small, fuel-efficient cars. If you decide to bug out on foot to avoid main roadways and people, be sure each person in your group is capable of carrying enough supplies to help support himself. No nine-year-old child is going to be able to carry his share of clothing and food, and most certainly won’t be able to move quickly while trying.
So when people start talking about just picking up and fleeing to the wilderness, they must be able to envision a good idea of what it takes.
Step 2: Surroundings
“Surroundings” does not simply refer to knowing the main routes in and out of your town. It also includes the knowledge of local flood plains and the