Preparation of Your Home
2020 came like bad nightmare and made many of us feel unprepared for just about everything. Some are hoarding mass amounts of toilet paper while others stockpile ammunition for who knows what. Still, many are failing to take a look at the most important thing, the area in which they live. If the sky falls should I shelter in place or do I need a plan to bugout? Maybe the answer is both! Let us take a few minutes and look at some things to help you make an educated decision and increase changes for success.
The most obvious is; where do you live? Do you live in a neighborhood in close vicinity to other people or do you live in a remote area that is relatively private and isolated? If you are in a rural area you may think that you are going to come out ahead in this scenario, and you may have a strong case, but it may also be a great disadvantage. One particularly important example is convenient access to services and support. If you are in an urban environment, you may be thinking that you are the exact opposite if the power goes out for an extended period of time. Why does that have to be the case? We know that in any survival situation the more you know about different subjects the higher your chances for survival. You do not have to be the subject matter expert in everything. In both cases you want to BE AN ASSET and not a liability to the plan.
Whether you are in a rural or an urban environment a major part of your plan should be meeting your neighbors. This will help answer vital questions such as; if they will be an Asset or a liability! If they are easy to talk to and you get along with them, then you pretty much have an asset. How awesome is it to have an extra set of eyes on the neighborhood, to extend your network for access to information, goods, services? Nothing but pro’s in my book so I try and be as friendly and engaging with the people that are closest to my family as I can be. And that means in every direction and as far as you can continue to meet people. They larger your network gets the larger ring of security you can have to get information to the right places and at the right times. Another part to this simple engagement is getting to know what they can bring to the plan. What is their background, what’s their job, what did they study in school and the list goes on. Remember that this is a two-way relationship because they want to also assess the same about you.
What are areas that you should be interested in and take special attention to? I would suggest you look at everything within the range of a half tank of gas to your home. Why, because that is the range that you can either maneuver in and get home. Are there any bodies of water within that range to where you live? Do you have the means to collect and filter enough water? How much water do you need? Have you calculated out how much water you and your family will consume on a daily average considering not only drinking water but cooking and how much will be lost in the purification process? How about access to food? Is most of your food source perishable? Do you have the equipment or facilities to keep perishable food cool or frozen? The list for goods and services will be long and extensive. Start with those basic needs first such as water, food and improving shelter then fan out from there.
Your local weather/climate also requires special attention. The harsher the environment the more you will consume to sustain life. For example; in the west coast in mid-January my doors are open letting the cool air circulate my home. While friends on the east coast are shoveling feet of snow from their driveways and are no doubt burning calories and energy keeping their shelters warm and serviceable. However, snow is ultimately a source of water and can be utilized to keep frozen foods frozen for the time being while I will ultimately have to use fuel or other resources to power appliances that can do what nature is doing for some. These days the sun is a great source of energy. Batteries are getting more and more efficient which allows solar panels to be much more useful and reliable than ever before. Only problem is, are you located in a position to take advantage of that?
You can’t talk weather without talking about natural terrain, so let’s start big. Are you in a valley, mountain, desert, coast? Because it is so important, we will bring it up again. Are you close to any natural bodies of water? Do you have the space and the know how to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables? Instead of landscaping for appearance can you grow or maintain a tree that can produce fruit, or shade to cool your shelter during the hottest times of the year. How accessible is it to where you live? If the power goes out will the automated gates continue to function or stay open? Is your home close to entrances, stairwells, elevators or exits? Are there any easily accessible ingress and egress routes such as roadways and freeways area? In a major catastrophe have you identified alternate routes? Keeping in mind that everyone will be using the same major routes.
Navigating human terrain can be a lot more challenging for some and very natural for others. Some people move in and out of different types of groups better than others. Some are merely not willing to adapt or see eye to eye with a different political or religious point of view as a few examples. Don’t just try to succumb to the status quo. One of the most important lessons that I have learned is to meet people and continue to network. Your ability to demonstrate to people that you are an asset; the much more likely that you will be able to get the things you need in the most critical and dire of circumstances. It’s simple the more you trust someone the more risk you are willing to take on their behalf. I made a career in US Army Special Forces sticking my neck out for others as they put themselves in the same dangerous situation to support me. Keeping in mind what you know about your immediate surroundings and the people to include their limits.
Would your home significantly stand out from the rest of the community? Is there anything visible to deter someone that’s unwanted at your home? I really love technology in the home security sector. I love getting that alert that someone is at the door and having the opportunity to see who is on the other side before approaching the front door. What I love even more though is that my furry four-legged friend also lets me know. Even better is the fact that his bark can be intimidating, I know that I would definitely question how much I really want to be there especially if I was not invited. Keep in mind that this is also a layer to your security but part of the family.
Have you made it to a point that you can start to do some quality-of-life math? Are you liking the numbers that you have calculated for yourself? If you don’t; that doesn’t mean it’s over. Go somewhere else within that network that you have been working hard to develop. If I was in living in a desert by myself, I might just pack it in and go with immediate family that was living off the coast as I would much rather fish than hunt javelina.
I wanted to only bring up a fraction of the considerations that we all should be making on a daily basis. Also keep in mind that these are not the most important questions or topics nor are they in order. However, the biggest takeaway is get out and understand your environment completely. The more you get out and meet people, network, and strengthen relationships; the more survivable you and your family will be for anything that comes your way. And if we all go out and realize that we are more alike than we are different then I would like to believe that we may never have to put into practice some of the harsh conditions that we are preparing to survive but we will be ready!