Body Conditioning and a Quick Response to Disaster
Being prepared for the worst is more than just going online and ordering bulk supplies of freeze dried food, compiling a comprehensive bug out bag and having a reliable automobile and a back up mode of transportation. To fully realize your preparedness level and capability to quickly respond to disaster or collapse or whatever it may be, you must prepare your body. When we are in good health, that is one less thing that will hold you back when you need to take action fast. Having a your body conditioned and ready for fight or flight can be broken down into strength, endurance, and speed.
Strength Conditioning. You need to have strength for lifting heavy loads like lifting debris off of someone. Strength to carry heavy things like your pack for long distances, or carrying an incapacitated friend or child. If there is no rule of law, you may be face to face with someone who wants what you got. You need to have the strength to defend yourself. Even if you have a firearm, you can still get jumped from behind. There are a million strength training videos on the web and lots of gyms nearby so go out and start with core exercises, upper body conditioning and leg exercises. At the very least rotate push ups and pull ups, sit ups, and lunges. It is not recommended to get too bulked up because this can lead to decreased flexibility if you do not incorporate stretching into your routine.
Endurance Training. Chances are you may have to push your body to its limit. If you can go further and push harder, if you can stave off fatigue and exhaustion, you can perform better and increase your chances of survival. Making your heart, lungs and muscles more efficient is key to physical stamina. The best way to get the most out of your time is to hike rough terrain with a fully loaded pack on your back. If you want peak performance consider putting an additional brick in the pack and wearing weight cuffs on your ankles and wrists - this is exhausting but when the time comes, your lighter load will feel like nothing.
Speed Training. Your reaction time is based on your reflexes and agility. You must be in shape to maneuver quickly and sprint when needed. This comes into play and is helpful when dodging debris, moving through crowds, and evading the unsavory elements of the population. Sprint workouts work best for this. Do not forget to work on lateral movement as well. Running in a straight line from a bullet isn't ideal.
Now that you are hopefully working out and developing your strength, speed and endurance consider what else could be missing from your prepping. Have you thought about an action plan on where to go when SHTF? Most everyone will either shelter in place or evacuate. Most people will evacuate during a major crisis. The gas stations will be inundated and all the major highways will end up standing still with the worst traffic jam you have ever seen.
What is the most efficient way to bug out if you have to?
One idea is to get yourself a backup mode of transport like a motorcycle, or a bike, preferably an electric bike. Now you are saying to yourself "electric bikes can't be charged when there is no power." Fact, when the power grid is down and chaos is descending upon the masses you will not be able to plug your electric bike into an outlet and wait a couple hours to charge up. The very important point here is that your electric bike is charged and ready to roll, just like your bug out bag. Stromer makes an electric bike that is a mountain bike with a electric motor. Or you can fit an electric motor onto your already decked out mountain bike with a sweet EGO Kit.
Think about it, if you are in a city center, that is the last place you and million other people want to be during a disaster. Everyone will be on the freeway trying to get out of town and inevitably the streets get clogged and jammed up. If you have a bike, you can either take a trail, or maneuver through smaller gaps and get around stuck traffic. Now if you have an electric bike, granted you probably won't be able to charge it for a very long time, but that single charge can take you ten times further than the average cyclist and give you the additional power and speed to get through dodgy areas. And when it eventually runs out of juice, you will have covered more ground than 90% of all other travelers putting you in a much safer situation. If you do the same on a motorcycle great, but a motorcycle can't be pedaled after it runs out of gas.
Rich Coffman is a blogger living on the front range of Colorado