Not long ago, I was in a discussion with a group of friends about disaster preparedness. Some of these friends are already what you would call “preppers,” who all have bug out bags and food stockpiles, while others are at the complete opposite end of the preparedness spectrum. We were discussing how a recent water outage in our area had left many residents scrambling and caught them completely off guard. Many in our little community just weren’t prepared for an 18-hour water shortage. Thankfully, the water outage was short lived, but it definitely got many people thinking! Many of my friends have realized that now is the time to get ready for the unexpected and have started stockpiling supplies. If you haven’t started prepping, maybe 2016 is the year you should start your journey. Here are five reasons why you should embrace prepping in the New Year.
You never know when you or your spouse could lose your job. A job loss can be really hard on a family, especially loss of a job that provides health insurance as well as a paycheck, when times are already tight. By taking steps now to prep for financial struggle, you can eliminate some of the stress that comes along with unemployment. One thing you could try is to start an “emergency cash fund” by putting back any extra money in to an envelope and vowing not to touch it unless it is an absolute emergency. You could also try to live on a really tight budget, even if it isn’t necessary. Cut back on any unnecessary expenses that could be chipping away at your extra cash. Most of us could actually live on a lot less if we really tried.
Food Prices are Soaring
If you’re like me, you are bound to have noticed the spike in food prices at the grocery store. Some say this is due to climate change, but regardless of the cause, it is affecting all of us. It is a little frustrating to find higher prices on many food staples every time I go shopping. One way you can combat that in 2016 is to start building your food stockpile. If it is done a little at a time, it won’t bust your budget. You can start small by adding a few extra canned items and a couple of dry goods, like beans or rice, to the cart each time you shop. Don’t forget to stock up on bottled water as well. Watch for sales and buy extras when the prices are at their lowest. I recently was able to do this with a meat sale at our local grocery store and got some great deals. Another idea is to grow your own produce if you can. Learning to grow things and live off the land will help your food budget, but it will also allow you to worry less about the rising food prices. If you know you have a good food stockpile at home, you’ll be able to spend less at the store when you don’t have a lot of money to spend. You’ll also be able to feed your family in an emergency without worry, because you have planned ahead to stock food for this very purpose.
Diseases are Rampant
It seems like we are always hearing about different outbreaks of illnesses that can spread quickly and infect a lot of people before they are contained. Remember the Ebola outbreak in 2014? It had a lot of people scared and worried. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help protect your family from epidemic disease outbreak. Practice good hand washing, and carry disinfectant wipes when you are out and about. Take multivitamins that are made for immune system support. Try to eat as little processed food as you can, and cook from scratch. Put down the tobacco if you are a smoker (not only will this help your health, it will help your budget as well!). Exercise and stay physically fit (this will also boost your immune system!). Practice good hygiene and germ killing habits if someone does get sick in your house to help stop the illness from spreading. Pandemics and epidemics are cause for concern, but they don’t have to spell disaster.
You don’t have to watch the news for more than five minutes to see that our society is in trouble. What was once right is now wrong and what is wrong is open to interpretation. People are looting in the streets and law enforcement’s job is tougher than ever. We live in a time of wars and rumors of wars, and it can be unsettling. One way you can prep for this is to be ready to defend your family and your home if the need arises. Get a carry permit and learn how to shoot. Make sure every adult in your home does the same. Have an escape and evacuation plan in place should you need to leave your home quickly. Get a guard dog. Take every possible precaution you can to make your home less of a target. Most importantly, you don’t have to become a recluse to be safe. You just need to be alert and aware of your surroundings and that can be your best defense.
It’s also no surprise that one of the worries many people have is the political upheaval our world is in right now. The USA is heading into an election year, which means opinions and emotions could flare quickly. The most important way to prepare in this situation is to familiarize yourself with local, state, and federal laws, and make sure that you are doing your part to abide by them. Exercise your right to vote, and encourage others to do so as well. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain! Keep up to date on political news and changes to laws that may go into effect. Being informed and educated about the legislative system never hurt anyone!
These are just some of the reasons you should consider prepping in 2016. One of the goals of preppers is to have advance plans and provisions for the unexpected, and doing so will only alleviate stress and help things to run a little more smoothly in the event of a disaster or economic collapse.
What are your prepping goals for 2016?