Always Improve Your Position

AR2-01
“What exactly is it that you want people to be ‘Ready’ for? Doomsday? Zombies? The Apocalypse?” I get asked this question a lot since I started this site. Unfortunately, my answer is not quite as exciting as all the things you see on TV about “Preppers” and “Survival”. In short, “Reality”, that’s what I want people to be ready or prepare for. Real life presents us with situations that can be just as devastating, or more so, than any “Doomsday Scenario” or “Zombie Apocalypse”. If you don’t believe me, ask someone that has just unexpectedly lost a loved one, been the victim of a home invasion or lost everything in a house fire/ tornado/ earthquake. I know that personally, I’d much rather be “Naked and Afraid” in some wilderness for a few weeks than to have to deal with any of those! I want to help people to be in a state of “Readiness” so that they are prepared to handle the unexpected blows that life throws at us sometimes. While you can’t always see what is headed your way, you can condition yourself to be prepared to face whatever is thrown at you. Remember, survival is about 90% mental toughness, 7% skills and 3% gear/ equipment. By first accepting that disaster can touch your life, you make it easier to transition into dealing with the situation rather than sitting around in shock, feeling sorry for yourself or wondering “why” it’s happening to you. Instead you can respond swiftly and aggressively in your time of crisis and meet the issue head on.

“But I don’t want to be paranoid and think about all those bad things. I want to think ‘good thoughts’ and be happy. I think if I stay positive, only ‘good vibes’ will come my way and I won’t have to deal with those things or if they do come, someone/ something will come along and make it all OK.” Hmmm… Listen, I’m not a negative guy. I don’t walk around thinking that I’m going to be attacked or anything, but I DO pay attention to my surroundings and avoid potentially bad situations before they ever get to that point. If you think that you can control the forces of nature and the instincts of predatory people through YOUR behavior, good luck with that. I’m not going to be able to change your mind and honestly, I’d rather focus my attention on people that are more likely to be a benefit to society, rather than your parasitic ass that thinks that it is “someone else’s” job to get you through whatever situation that you find yourself in. So if you can totally identify with the first sentence of this paragraph, do yourself a favor and head on over to www.delusionalhippies.com, continue on in blissful ignorance and leave the grown ups here to talk. OK?

Now let’s talk about some of the reasons why it is important to be in a state of “Readiness”. I’m going to break these threats down into a few different categories that loosely puts them in order of their likelihood and broken them down into zones (Self/ Family, Neighborhood/ Region, Nationwide and Global). You may notice that the least likely events are also the farthest reaching.

Self/ Family
* Unemployment
* Car Accident
* Vehicle breakdown/ Stranded
* Burglary
* Robbery
* Illness/ Hospitalization
* Accident/ Disability
* Lost/ Injured While Hiking, Camping, Fishing, etc
* Divorce
* Terminal Illness
* House Fire
* Home invasion

Neighborhood/ Regional
* Power Outage/ Grid Failure
* Crime/ Gangs
* Contaminated Water
* Tornado
* Mudslide
* Thunderstorm
* Flood
* Winter Storm
* Hurricane
* Tsunami
* Earthquake
* Volcano
* Wildfire
* Drought
* Heat Wave
* Civil Unrest/ Rioting
* Chemical Spill
* Terrorism
* Nuclear Accident

National
* Inflation/ Hyperinflation
* War
* Crop Failure
* Supply Chain Failure
* Government Collapse
* EMP Attack
* Economic Collapse
* Invasion
* Pandemic/ Epidemic

Global
* Solar Flare
* World War
* Global Agricultural Failure
* Global Financial Collapse
* Thermonuclear War
* Global Pandemic Event
* Super Volcano
* Asteroid Strike

While these don’t represent every disaster that can strike, I’m sure that every one of us can look at this list and realize that there are multiple items on here that can affect us and/ or the area we live in. Trying to prepare for each event individually would be overwhelming and quite possibly take every minute of every day of your life, leaving no time to enjoy our lives, loved ones and friends. Such an undertaking would, in my opinion, be an incredible waste of time and would defeat the whole purpose for this life altogether. You can however, maintain a state of “Readiness” and be prepared to deal with any of these events as best as possible by having a basic “Readiness” or “Preparation” kit and plan in place. Shelter, food and water are your highest priority and any disaster kit or plan should address these needs first and foremost.

In the Marine Corps we were taught to “Always improve your fighting position”. For our purposes here, let’s just say that everything you do to maintain your state of readiness should “always improve your position”. What does that mean? Anything you do to achieve your state of readiness should improve your position (make your life better) whether a disaster were to strike or not. Stockpiling a bunch of rifles and MREs most likely will not improve your quality of life UNLESS there is an armed conflict and you are forced to hole up and fight it out. I have nothing against firearms or MREs. Well, I’m not particularly fond of MREs, but I am a firearm enthusiast and a hunter. I believe firearms are a great tool towards achieving a state of readiness, but focusing solely on these kinds of things are not very likely to “Improve your position”. Becoming less dependent on the system though, can improve your position even if you are never touched by hard times. How so? Being more self sufficient and less dependent on others may come in the way of producing your own food. Whether it is a family garden, a few chickens or a full blown farm, producing your own food would provide you and your family with much healthier food as well as save you money. Disaster or not, there are benefits to taking control of this part of your life. In the event of a disaster or hard times, you have one less (very important) thing to worry about.

What about these nuts that stock up on all kinds of food and water? As with anything, there are some people that take anything they do to an absurd extreme. Think about this though, if you had enough food on hand that if you did not “have” to go to the grocery store for 3 months (maybe no money, supply chain is interrupted or physically prevented from doing so) would this “Improve your position” if no such issue ever came to pass? My opinion, yes! The price of food has steadily increased over the years. If you are buying foods (that you use- think rotation) at today’s prices, you are off-setting the cost of inflation. By having food storage you also are free to purchase the items you use when they are on sale, thus saving there as well, again, “improving your position”. Having water stored, or a source of your own for water can also improve your position. I have lived where water is more precious and more expensive than gasoline. We had to be aware of how every drop was used, how much was in the storage tank in case the power went out and the well pump couldn’t run, etc. Water is a necessity of life and having water on hand and available to you can make a life or death situation into a simple inconvenience.

Below are some of the ways that you can improve your state of readiness, thus constantly “Improving your position”:

* Remain “Situationally Aware”, stay informed about what is/ could be happening in your area.
* Exercise your body and your mind regularly. Say in shape physically and mentally.
* Have at least a minimum of 3 days of food and water on hand, just in case. Increase your stores as you can afford to.
* Become more self sufficient. Take responsibility for you and your’s, don’t count on the government or others.
* Eliminate debt. Being debt free is absolute freedom and the less debt you have, the less dependent on others you become.
* Store extra cash for emergencies.
* Develop a secondary stream of income. This can help mitigate the hardship of losing a job.
* Learn to produce your own food. Even if it’s not all of your food needs, in the event of hard times, your food stores can hold you over while you escalate your own production.
* Learn and prepare to protect your family. When Seconds count, the Police are often Minutes away.
* Study and learn the skills that our ancestors practiced every day. Things such as canning, sewing, gardening, butchering, making your own tools and repairing your own equipment are some examples of these skills.

In short, don’t live your life fearing that bad times may come. Rather, live your life confident that no matter what comes your way, you are ready to face it head on, deal with it and come out the other side even stronger. Maintaining a state of readiness and becoming as self sufficient as possible can give you the confidence to not live in fear. In my opinion, that definitely improves your position whether hard times find you or not!

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2 thoughts on “Always Improve Your Position

  1. Recieved this comment on FB and added it here… Response below, Thank you Christy (and Ursula)!

    Christy Westmoreland We live in an area of tornados and they are real and scary this time of year
    Everyone says you need an emergency kit… Tell me what would you put in that kit or box that’s stored in a place we can grab easy?

  2. Daniel Higginbotham Christy Westmoreland- Having been in a tornado myself in Mississippi and having a good friend of mine severely injured in one, I agree with you they’re terrifying. I keep a rolling, lockable tote (Rubbermaid) with most of my gear as well as a backpack that has all my needs for 3 days. The tote would probably be best for your needs and i would recommend keeping it where you intend to seek shelter. In the kit: 1. 3 Days non-perishable food (if canned, remember the can opener). 2. 3 Days of water (1 gallon per person, per day). 3. BAsic first aid kit (include any required meds). 4. Radio and flashlight(s). (If you use battery operated instead of crank, make sure all use the same size batteries and have extras stored as well. 5. Any necessary tools to turn off utilities and a good multi-tool. 6. A 10X10 tarp, plastic sheeting and duct tape (can be used as temporary shelter afterwards or to protect exposed items. 7. Cordage (rope or para-cord). 8. Rain ponchos. 9. Sturdy boots/shoes and heavy duty work gloves (lots of broken glass and twisted metal). 10. N-95 Facemasks. 11. Blankets. 12. A flash drive with copies of all important documents (Birth Certificates, insurance, etc). 13. Air horn or whistle for signaling. 14. A small camping or alcohol stove. 15. Lighters/ matches. Bonus Item: Something to occupy children (games, coloring books, etc). Another thing to think about in tornado country is an actual tornado shelter. The only one I would recommend is from http://www.ozsaferooms.com (I’m not affiliated in any way, however Jimmy Caruso WILL buy me a beer!). They have the only tornado shelter that has taken a direct hit from an F-5 tornado and sustained no damage. They are also above ground, so flooding is not an issue. Jimmy Caruso is a Director there (Etiwanda High Alumni also), He can tell you more about them then I can, lol. Good luck and be safe!

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