Staying ready, not just prepared!

“Staying ready and not just prepared” should be every Preppers mantra! You see, just having preps and a go bag doesn’t mean that you are ready. There is far more to it than just that. Being ready means that you have your finger on the pulse of what is going on in the world and are ready to act on a moment’s notice. It also means that you have everything already in place to act when you need to and not just an idea of what you might do. I myself was guilty of this for a long time and whether you are just starting to prep, or you have been doing it for years, it is something you really need to focus on and address, if you haven’t yet. This is also the subject of today’s post.

So what exactly is the difference? Well to start with, being prepared means you have all of your supplies, food, and medical supplies stored up, along with a multitude of other things you might need like tools and medical supplies. Being ready means you are not just prepared, but also have the skills and plans in place to be able to act, at any given time, no matter where you are. In other words, it’s the planning and practicing part of preparing for SHTF. Either one without the other is useless in my opinion. Now that we know the difference, let’s take a look at what all makes up the being prepared part of this equation.

Information – We need to be constantly aware of what is going on in the world today and how it could possibly affect each of us. Things like Russia’s growing hostile attitude towards the US and Europe, and does Iran actually have access to nuclear devices and what do they plan on doing with them if they do? Here at home in the US, we need to be concerned about our tyrannical President and his push to disarm the American public. Is he ready to declare Martial Law?  That could signal that it is time to get to your retreat.  Information is all around us in our everyday lives, and we need to take advantage of it, so that we are not caught off guard when it happens. If you don’t know what is going on in the world and here in the US, then you are setting yourself up to be caught of guard and that can be a fatal mistake. You need to keep your nose to the ground and be constantly aware of the world around you. Another thing worth remembering is that you should research what you hear, because not everything that you read is the truth. Check in on a few survival and prepping forums on the internet and listen to what they are saying, but take it with a grain of salt. Trust, but verify as the old saying goes.

Education & Practice – Educating yourself for emergencies is a very worthwhile effort. Having all of those preps and not knowing how to use them makes them practically worthless. Read and learn everything you can and even better is practicing using them as well. Do you know emergency first aid? Do you know how to stitch a wound or set a broken leg? These are things you need to know and you should be learning them now, while you can. What would you use as a disinfectant or in place of antibiotics? The internet is full of this type of information and only a fool would ignore the opportunity to take advantage of it. Some skills are perishable like shooting and tactics. If you don’t practice these, you will soon lose them. Gun skills are all about muscle memory and need to be practiced often or your muscles will forget. You should practice with all of your pistols and rifles on a regular basis.  I would recommend at least once a month, so you can react without thinking about every little detail. The same is true for making tactical decisions; they need to be practiced on a regular basis, using different scenarios for different times of year and situations. Something else you should be constantly practicing is Op-Sec and situational awareness. Many people practice these on once or twice a year if that. If you don not keep these skills sharp then you are not ready for SHTF and could find yourself in a bad situation when the time comes. Skills = Survival and if you don’t have them then you’re not ready. All of those preps are good, but skill is what will keep you alive when SHTF hits.

Planning – Planning is a big part of being ready as well. If your planning consist of a plan that says that if this happens, then I will probably do such and such, then you have no plan! Planning means you know if something happens, then you will take a particular route to reach a known destination and you will use this particular transportation and bring these exact supplies when you go. You also know exactly what events will cause you to do this. For example if Marshal law is declared or The US is attacked be a foreign enemy. For each of these you should have a particular destination and multiple routes planned for reaching it. You should also have multiple forms of transportation, as well as possibly more than one destination. In an emergency, old man Murphy will do his best to trip you up and you must be ready for him if you want to survive. Please don’t be one of those that think that if it hits the fan, they will just run off to the closest state park and survive on their own in the wilderness with no shelter. Just because you have been there to hunt or fish a few times, doesn’t mean that you can survive there. That is where all of the unprepared will be heading and within days, there will be nothing left to hunt or eat and you will be forced to move to a new and unknown location. Don’t think that just because you have a place to go, that you are safe either. If your retreat is over run and you are forced to evacuate it, you need to have plans in place of where you will go. Redundancy is the key here when it comes to planning. Vague ideas of where you might go will get you killed. Know exactly where you are going and how you will get there and what preps you can bring based on your mode of transportation and destination. If you are forced to cache your supplies before you go, know in advance where you will put them and how to find them.

The point I am trying to make here is that in order to be truly ready, then you really need to stay on top of what is going on in the world today, as well as here in the US. Don’t let yourself get caught by surprise when it hits the fan and not be ready. You need to practice and learn how to use your equipment and preps in a real world environment and not just read the manual. Take the time now to learn everything you can. Practice, practice and practice some more, until you build the muscle memory that you need to use your weapons, without having to think about where the safety is or how to change the mag without thinking about it. Muscle memory will save your life and keep you going but you also need to plan for every scenario that you can possibly think of. Planning is more important than you realize because when the flag goes up, and your adrenalin is pumping through your veins, is no time to try to figure out what you are going to do or where you are going to go. Create an emergency binder and a section in it for each scenario that you can think of. Each section should have a prioritized list in it for what you need to do step by step when the time comes. Multiple routes should be laid out with the safest route being first and the unsafe route being the last one. List exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there. Give a copy to anyone that is going to meet you there, so if you don’t make it they can go looking for you.

Don’t just prep, be prepared and know what you are going to do when the time comes and just maybe you will survive SHTF. Well that’s it for today and I hope I may have helped prepare you for SHTF in some small way. Until next time, stay frosty and keep on prepping !!!

-The Sargent-

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