Prepping: How To Get Prepared For The Unknowable Future

By Just In Case Jack | Last Updated: September 27, 2017

Prepping For A DisasterPrepping – We’re Not Crazy, We’re Not Paranoid, We’re Realists

Prepping is the process of getting prepared for an unknowable future.

It’s a simple eight-letter word, but it carries a lot of preconceived notions.

Crazy, paranoid, hoarder, outcast – these are all words that come to some people’s minds when they hear the term. 

But who’s really the crazy ones? Who’s really living on the edge?

History has something to say about being a prepared citizen.

So let’s deep dive into what prepping is, what prepping is not, and whether it’s worth it.

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Guy In Hoodie Looking Over Cityscape

What Is Prepping Anyway?

Prepping is the process of taking action today to prepare for an unknowable future event.

There are two variables in that statement; action and event.

So let’s talk in more detail about those two specifically.

Prepping Events

Without a future event, there’s no reason to prepare. Prepping is 100% future-focused.

So what sort of events are worth preparing for? All kinds.

We prepare for work on Monday…right? We prepare for retirement (hopefully).

We prepare for vacation; heck, we prepare for a big speech, and we prepare dinner.

In some ways, humans are preparing machines.

But these are not the sort of events that we are talking about with the word “prepping.” When we say prepping, we mean something more significant; Disasters.

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Prepping Disasters

Prepping is not just preparing for doomsday or TEOTWAWKI. Yes, it can include those, but it does not have to.

Prepping also incorporates smaller local emergencies – such as natural disasters.

And no matter who you are, you should prepare for natural disasters at a bare minimum.

Every responsible adult owes it to themselves and their families to prepare a little bit.

Did you know less than half of American households have less than three days’ worth of nonperishable food and water? When I first saw that statistic, it blew my mind.

Food Stockpile Statistic

Seriously, that’s so disappointing.

In life, stuff happens ALL THE TIME.

Hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, blizzards, earthquakes, floods, job loss, riots, etc. Every year, millions and millions of people suffer because of these events.

And none of these events have anything to do with doomsday or a lawless society.

So prepping for shorter-term local disasters is an absolute must. No excuses.

If you haven’t already done so, you should take action today – with water storage and a small food stockpile.

Let’s move on to other disaster events on a larger scale and a longer timeline.

How about mass starvation? Wars? Terrorist attacks? Economic collapses and depressions?

We only need to look at recent history to find plenty of examples.

Russian Famines, World Wars, September 11, Great Recession.

They’ve happened before; some are happening somewhere in the world now. It’s guaranteed they will happen again. It will likely happen in our lifetimes; the only question is will it happen to YOU?

Americans as a society have become insanely complacent. In general, we are fat, dumb, and entitled. And this is a dangerous place to be.

Complacency kills.

And then there are the world-destroying events (The End Of The World As We Know It), mass extinction events like Nuclear Attacks, EMP attacks, world war III’s, asteroid strikes, etc..…

After the nuclear bomb was invented, Albert Einstien famously said:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

In his mind, World War III would include the power of atomic energy to destroy human societies and revert the survivors to the stone age.

Yes, the likelihood of one of these “world-ending events” occurring in any given year is extremely small. Maybe even minuscule.

But, if you add up all these types of disaster events taking place over a lifetime, the numbers start to stack.

For example, let’s pretend there are only ten major events possible (in reality, there are many more), and each event has a small likelihood of occurring in any given year.

Mathematically it looks something like this .01%  X  10 = 0.1%.

So while a single event may only have a 1 out of 10,000 chance of happening, if you have 10 of those events, the number becomes 1 out of 1,000.

Now that’s just for any given year, so if we extrapolate that by a lifetime, the odds increase significantly.

So while that number is still tiny once stacked and stretched out over a longer period, it’s no longer “impossibly low.” It’s on the radar of possibility.

So is it fair to call someone who is preparing for an end-of-the-world scenario crazy? No, it’s not because it isn’t.

Now, you can argue whether it’s “worth it,” but not because it can “never happen.” 

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Prepping Actions

Prepping actions are what most people think of when they hear the word prepping. It means taking meaningful action to prepare.

Getting prepared.

I break down prepping actions into three broad categories:

  • Survival
  • Stockpiling
  • Self-reliance

1. Survival is level one.

This level is where you are prepping by learning basic survival skills like:

These skills help you prepare for those local random life events. Skills that help you survive in the wilderness or in a surprise emergency.

2. Stockpiling is level two.

We stockpile to stash away necessary survival resources for a day when access to these resources gets cut off.

Stockpiling food and water are the first two items that come to mind—after that, stockpiling ammunition and medical supplies.

Everyone should stockpile a little bit for small local emergencies. But you can also stockpile to the extreme with several years’ worth of food, water, etc.

So stockpiling covers a broad range of preparedness.

You also need to think about protecting your stockpiles:

3. Self-reliance / self-sustaining is level 3.

Even if you stockpile to the extreme, in a worst-case scenario, you’ll eventually use up all your supplies. And if that’s all you planned for and ran out, it’s game over.

For example, if you stockpiled for a week, but a massive disaster lasts four months, you’re going to run out long before it’s over.

So you have two choices in your preparations, stockpile more or learn more self-reliance skills (or some mix of the two).

Self-reliance is those skills that replenish your survival supplies. It’s easier to explain using examples.

Food Example –

You need to learn the art of seed saving to become self-sustaining.

Being able to harvest seeds from your garden and then plant those seeds the next spring to produce more food is one powerful self-sufficient survival skill.

But it takes time, effort, and practice to master.

Water Example –

Rainwater harvesting or drilling a water well is both self-reliance setups. Or you could move to live on land with a pond or creek. These are all ways to ensure you have a self-sustaining supply of H2O.

My favorite is a rainwater collecting system; since rainwater is free, everyone can do it, and it will replenish your water storage supplies from time to time.

Arrows Example –

Making arrows out of natural materials, guess what? You’ll never run out of ammo. Turning any natural resource into a useful item is a self-reliance skill.

Energy Example –

With energy, it’s all about learning how to live off the grid.

You need to figure out alternative energy and heat sources. Refrigeration is a real challenge and takes a lot of energy. So you might need to look into some underground food storage options.

The more of these self-reliance skills you master, the better your odds of surviving in a long-term, prolonged “end of the world” type survival scenario.

So you need to figure out what level of preparedness you desire. How far do you want to take it? What’s the right amount of preparation for you and your family?

We’ll dive into that question more shortly but first…

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

What Prepping Is Not

Prepping is not crazy.

I argue those who refuse to prepare on the most basic level are the ones who are crazy AND irresponsible.

If everyone prepared for a one-week event, when a one-week event happened, everyone would be okay. There would be no news of people suffering or going hungry or cold over a 7 or 10-day period.

But we are humans, and in general, humans are silly.

We wait until disaster strikes and then scramble to the closest grocery store to try to get a few calories in our carts before our neighbor can. How crazy is THAT?

Humans are unique in the fact that we can think ahead. We can plan to some degree for an unknowable future. But we waste our ability to think, reason, and plan if we don’t prep.

Prepping doesn’t have to be expensive.

At least not at a basic level. You can get basic preps in place even on a limited budget. Here’s a post about 17 prepping steps you can take for under $100’s.

Storing rice because rice not only has a very long shelf life but is hard to beat on a dollar-to-calorie basis.

Again, there are cost-effective ways to install rainwater harvesting systems.

Growing your own backyard garden will save you on your grocery bills. Learn how to can any extra produce to use throughout the winter months.

So you can get a lot of preps in place without breaking the bank.

Prepping is not easy – if done right…

Prepping the right way is hard; it takes time, energy, and thought. And if your ultimate goal is full-fledged self-reliance, you’ll never stop doing it.

Yes, if your goal is a one-week stockpile, then it’s relatively straightforward. But anything beyond that takes some real effort.

So the final question is:

worth it

Is Prepping It Worth It?

Getting some basic preparedness in place is not only worth it but should be required.

You should have some water and non-perishable food stockpiled. You should be able to survive on your own for a week. A month is better.

Prepping at this level is worth it – no doubt about it.

But as we begin prepping for longer-term – less likely events, things get foggy. If an event occurs that turns our society into anarchy and lawlessness – is it worth surviving in that world?

Would it be better to be unprepared for such a world and suffer quickly and be gone?

It’s a good question, but it’s not one I can answer for you. Only YOU can answer that.

We’ve all seen survival movies and survival TV shows:

They are all fictional “lawless worlds of constant struggle.” But are those worlds worth living in? Is that the sort of existence you’d want to survive in?

If your answer is yes, then you’ve got a lot of work cut out for you. Because you’ll never finish getting ready, you can always do more, but your goal is to get as close to 100% self-reliance as possible.

Self Reliance Skills

You’re not just stockpiling food and water; you must learn many complicated self-reliance skills.

We’re talking about skills such as:

It’s a lifetime’s worth of work and effort (and money) to achieve complete self-reliance.

It’s not for the faint of heart but is it worth it? For some, yes; for others, no.

But those “world-ending” type events are at the end of the prepping range.

There’s an endless number of preparedness goals between 100% unprepared and 100% self-reliant.

You need to find your goal within that range that’s right for you. The place where “worth it” still holds strong for you.

Where prepping meets YOUR “worth it” is why SkilledSurvival.com is here –  to help you meet your prepping goals.

Remember: Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack

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