S is for Seeing Ahead
You've probably watched enough dystopian TV dramas to know that bad things happen to the guy or gal who fails to pay attention to the world around them. But you know something they don't: police scanners and shortwave radios provide advance notice about what's going on in your neighborhood and around the world.
You don't want to become a weirdo who obsesses over every tremor on the planet, but you do want to monitor conditions that may affect your survival. Stay tuned to the financial market reports, weather forecasts, and public safety messages that will impact you.
Having a heads up if there is a flu epidemic at school or a fire hazard in your neighborhood can mean the difference between escaping harm or falling victim to it. Remember that the most important aspect of seeing ahead is making a list of the tools and skills your family must have to survive any potential threats where you are.
T is for Taking Lessons
When you practiced seeing ahead, you made a list of tools and skills you and your family will need during potentially disruptive events. Don't just buy a weapon and let it sit in a gun safe. Don't make an elaborate bug-out plan and never rehearse it.
Go to the gun range and practice firing your weapon accurately and safely. Have regular drills with your family to ensure everyone knows their role in a bug-out situation.
Take classes on edible wild plants, primitive fire starting, and foreign languages to keep yourself on your toes. Every skill you gain is an advantage when your life and your family members' lives are on the line.
A is for Assembling All You Need
When planning for a shelter-in-place or an escape situation, you should have lists of what you'll need for the most likely scenarios you expect to encounter. How will you handle water, food, and shelter needs at home? Begin the assembly process by collecting the food and supplies you'll store there.
You'll need to assemble off-site supplies, too. Where will you store extra fuel for the car, emergency food, and replacement ammunition away from your residence? Gather these items next. A Brownells coupon can help you procure extra ammo and supplies.
You'll need a master plan with a checklist for every emergency criteria, including maps, recipes, phone numbers and backup plans. One copy of the master list should be located with your bug-out bags that you assemble for each family member and keep at home or in your vehicle. Another copy should be located off-site where you can reach it easily if you are forced from your home for any reason.
N is for Nesting or “Nomad”-ing
Once you have the supplies, tools, and training you need to face emergencies at home, and you have solid bug-out plans if things start going sour, you're ready for whatever life throws you. When disaster strikes, you only need to decide whether you will nest or be nomads.
There are times when staying at home is not an option. Flooding or fires may make your home a death trap. Other times, staying home is the best way to remain secure.
The important thing is for your family team to be committed to whichever choice is made. When you nestle in or play nomads as a devoted, strong group, your chances of survival increase. Work out any kinks in your plans and toughen up your family by having “no power” nights at home and by camping in state parks while acting out pretend emergency role playing games.
D is for Defend
Whether you nest or nomad, you must constantly be on guard for weaknesses in your line of defense. How can you secure your home or your bug-out spot from potential threats? Think up methods that will work even if you have no power.
Devise low-tech ways to camouflage yourselves and your supplies. For example, string up fishing line or string trimmer line attached to bells or metal pie plates to make noise if a person or animal walks into a boundary area.
Know the animal, human, and microscopic threats your family faces, and be certain all capable family members know how to defeat them, whether that means aiming a pistol or boiling all creek water before drinking.
If you keep your family's emergency “stand” in mind, you'll find it easier to organize and prepare your family for anything that develops on this volatile, ever-changing world.
About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.