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You may have watched the latest reality show, conducted research on the Internet, or may even know someone who is preparing for a natural disaster. Now, you have decided it is time to begin prepping for yourself. You feel the excitement, you realize that you are moving forward and doing something to protect yourself and your family. However, before you begin committing time and resources to essentially preparing for anything, you must first realize there are mistakes you should avoid.
Focusing on One Potential Disaster
It is acceptable to focus on and prepare for a volcanic eruption, nuclear, chemical or biological attack, or even a 10.0 magnitude earthquake, but do not forget the fact that prepping is about surviving any artificial or natural disaster. You cannot spend all of your limited resources on one endeavor. Over time, you will likely have to survive multiples of disasters. You must be prepared generally for all possibilities.
Before beginning preparations, you must ask yourself if what you are preparing for is a realistic threat. Take the time to conduct a treat assessment. If you live in a heavily populated area then certain threats are more likely than if you live in a rural area. For example, if you live in a rural area you would not necessarily focus on a chemical or nuclear attack.
If you live in a large metropolitan, certain events are more likely because populated areas are always a target. However, if you are within a certain range of a possible nuclear, chemical or a biological attack, you are not likely to survive regardless of your preparations. The crisis will be upon you before you can get into your chemical suits, masks and shelters.
Not Preparing For Evacuation
Avoid focusing all your efforts on sheltering in place. Regardless of where you live, you may be forced to evacuate during a crisis. Many of you may convince yourself that no matter what happens you would never leave. Anything is possible and failing to prepare for the possibility of evacuation can have serious consequences. If you convince yourself you would never leave and you are forced to evacuate, you will not be ready and your chances of survival will have been reduced.
Have a backpack for each family member packed and ready to go at all times. The supplies in the backpacks will be in addition to any supplies you have in the home. You may not have time to pack anything, so they must be ready to go. Map out evacuation routes. Make sure you map more than one way out of your area and ensure more than one person in the family knows the way. Drive the routes so you can find them during daylight and after dark. Remember you must prepare for all possible outcomes. Once you become single minded and refuse to accept certain possibilities, you may not survive the crisis.
Not Spreading Your Supplies
Avoid the mistake of stockpiling all of your supplies in one place. Spare bedrooms, basements and garages are ideal storage areas and you can stockpile large amounts in these areas. However, having all of your supplies in one place can be problematic. You will lose all of your emergency supplies if there is a house fire, a robbery, or if your home is otherwise damaged because of the crisis.
You can cache supplies in various locations outside your home, or even at a bug-out location. You can bury supplies using waterproof containers, or in some cases put them in outbuildings on your property. If your home is damaged or robbed, you will have backup supplies nearby.
Place supplies in underground caches along your expected evacuation routes as well. If you have to evacuate quickly, having supplies in various locations ensures your survival. Avoid caching supplies at commercial storage facilities because these will be prime targets for looters and others during a crisis and you may not be able to make your way there.
Your emergency supply caches should be in areas that can be reached on foot and are along any expected travel routes. You must have unrestricted access to your cache of supplies regardless of the time of day or night.
Not Considering Other People as a Threat
Underestimating how desperate people can become is one mistake you should never make. Parents will go to any length to provide for their children and will take whatever they need by any means possible. Once the disaster strikes and a few days have passed, people will begin to realize how unprepared they really are and soon will become desperate. They will turn to violence to get what they need. Your friends, neighbors and strangers will be looking for those that have prepared.
These will be times when a loaf of bread, or quart of water, can mean the difference between surviving the rest of the day, or not. In reality, it may not be the case but that does not matter. If someone is convinced they are starving, they will turn to those they know have supplies and some will turn violent to get what they think they need.
Learn to keep secrets. Those who prepare like to encourage others to prepare for anything because they know the more people who are prepared means there will be less stress and desperation during a crisis. Not only are people who have not prepared a burden, they are also a threat during a disaster. You will want to help others in their time of need but during a crisis, you have to put your family and yourself first.
Never encourage others before a crisis strikes to seek you out for help once a crisis does strike. Many will take you up on the offer and some may not ask, but simply take. Do not tell others how well prepared you are. You have no way of knowing how people will react when put in a life or death situation. Many will step up and meet the challenge. Others will be so overwhelmed they will do things that they would not normally consider.
There are mistakes you can work through as the crisis unfolds. Then again, some cannot be overcome and can have serious consequences. Not preparing for all types of disasters and other common mistakes prepper make are difficult to overcome in the midst of a disaster. Explore and experiment with various methods and materials but always experiment in a controlled environment. Prepare and experiment before disaster strikes. This way, you have time to learn from your mistakes and you will not have to suffer from them.
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