By Dave B Owner of Survival Puck
I have a saying I use on my son. Listen to everyone but make up your own mind. I think this applies particularly to the web. The internet is full of those dispensing wisdom, some of it excellent some of it just plain off base. The subject of survival is no different so before considering a bomb proof shelter, step back and take some time to honestly assess the realistic scenarios you may find yourself in. These are some hard questions you need to ask yourself as you consider your course of action.
What is the likely threat?
Make a list sorted by most likely to least likely. This depends on what part of the country you live and work in. Are you a city dweller or do you live in the sticks? Be realistic, do you really need to prep for a chemical attack if you live hundreds of miles from any likely target? Do you work down town next to a federal building where the likely hood of terrorism might be higher? What severe weather can be expected? What natural disasters are your area prone to? What else is nearby? A chemical plant next door might require a bit more planning. Will you be able to count on your neighbors or will they become potential threats after a week with no electricity.
What is your anxiety level for each of these potential situations? We all have different fears, some justified some perceived, it doesn’t matter, if it bugs you it needs attention. To me the greatest good I get from being prepared is the peace of mind it brings and a sense of control over unpredictable circumstances. I do not live in fear of terrorism, I live and work far from likely targets. I made a conscience decision not to worry about it. Of course my neighbor may feel completely different. Based on your feelings go back and reorder your list.
What is your level of commitment?
It all boils down to time and money. If money is not an issue there is really no limit to how prepared you can be. Most of us don’t fall into this category, we have to pick and chose what to prepare for and to what extent. Those on a budget should spend wisely on those items that will help across a wide range of scenarios. In other words be sure you have flashlights and batteries before investing in the rifle and scope.
How much time can you devote to this, will you really ever finish digging a fallout shelter in your crawl space? Are you better off making sure your water pipes in that crawl space are well insulated so they don’t freeze and split during a power outage plus a cold snap? Will you take the time to change the filters on your reverse osmosis water filter system or just keep a rotating stash of gallon water jugs in a closet? The message here is bite off what you can chew.
What are your Skills Sets?
In my view this is an overlooked area that requires some soul searching.
Can you change a flat tire, can you cook over an open fire, could you sew up a wound on a child, could you butcher an animal, do you know how find and turn off a gas valve, could you kill someone? Really consider your skills when selecting equipment or making plans. Just because you can purchase the Navy seal gear does not give you the Navy seal skill set. As a rule I do not rely on items that I have no real experience with. I don’t want to learn a new skill set while tiring to survive at the same time.
What is your fitness?
How far can you walk? How far can you walk with a pack? How far can you walk with a pack up hill in the rain? Let’s be honest, we are part of a sedentary society. Many of us have no clue what it would mean to hike 10 miles home or to a bug out location once your car becomes useless. Could you swim a river if a bridge was down? Are you better off sheltering in place and be prepared for marauders then going cross country only to blow out your knee 2 miles from home. In my opinion this is one of the most limiting factors we face and really should be the base line you plan around. Seriously load up a pack with 40 or 50 lbs of gear and see how far you can go. I think lots of us would find the result sobering. Being painfully honest on this point could save your life.
So there are some things to think about, but as I mentioned make up your own mind it is your life to save.
Be sure to take a look at Dave’s Survival Puck Series – he is also an advertiser on this blog.