New to Prepping?
When it comes to prepping, I see so many get caught up in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) scenarios. It is a popular topic amongst the “prepared”. But I don’t see near the number of topics toward natural disasters. Why? We are FAR more likely to experience a tornado or hurricane than an EMP attack.
Being prepared for those should just as important if not more so.
With all of the natural disasters in the news lately, I thought I would take some time to give an overview of five natural disasters, ie what they are, and ways that you can be prepared for them.
Watch vs Warning
If you have ever watched the weather on your news channel, you may have heard mention of a “storm watch” or a “storm warning” and wondered what the difference was. So before we jump into the disasters, I wanted make you aware of what a “Watch” is versus a “Warning.”
A watch, be it for a tornado, hurricane, or flood, means that the weather conditions are favorable for that type of activity. It has not started yet, and it may not even start. But you should be prepared to take precautions should the situation warrant.
A warning means that the expected disaster is expected, imminent, or may have already begun. Precautions should be taken IMMEDIATELY!
A watch means it MIGHT happen. A warning means it WILL OR IS ALREADY happening. Also keep in mind that a disaster can go from a “watch” to a “warning” in the blink of an eye. The tornado that hit Moore in May 2013 went from a “watch” to the destruction of the city in less than 15 minutes. So stay alert and informed!
Her initial question was:
I recently just bought a new pistol. I’ve shot it some and it’s a lot of fun. What sort of training do you recommend? – Prepper Pam
This was my response:
Congratulations! It is always fun when you purchase a new gun. I’m always excited when I shoot that very first round through it.
When it comes to firearms training, I would say train as often as you can. Make time if you have to. And not just range time. At home, I would practice (with your firearm unloaded of course) things like drawing it from where you carry it, (purse, concealed on hip, etc), sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. If your pistol has a safety, I would practice switching it off while drawing it. Practice those things all in conjunction.
Doctor Richard Schmidt wrote a book called Performance and Motor Control And Learning. In it, he states that it takes around 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. However, once a bad or inadequate habit is already in place, it takes about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct that bad motor pattern. (So train right the first time.)
When you go to the range, vary the length of your target from yourself. Shoot at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards for example. (Much longer ranges with a long gun of course.) Don’t lock yourself in to the same distance from your target every time.
As your experience grows, change things up. Give yourself time limits, ie 3 shots center mass from a holstered position in 3 seconds. Try to put a bit of pressure on yourself. If you ever find yourself in a life or death situation, your physiological reactions to the stressful event can alter the way you shoot, ie elevated heart rate, tunnel vision, etc. So putting a little bit of stress on your body now will begin to prepare you should that ever happen.
When you hear the word “Security” what word pops in your head? For some, they may think Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Others may think about the excruciatingly long lines at the airport. For preppers, I bet firearms are what spring to mind.
Nothing better than a Remington 870 shotgun for home security right?
While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with those answers, very few stop to think about security as a whole. There is more to a security plan than just a 12 gauge shotgun or Glock. Whether it is your home, your homestead, or a large company, security has three parts or stages. Each subsequent stage is predicated upon the previous stage.
When it comes to questionable or even illicit behavior, most humans tend to look at the risk versus reward aspects of their actions. Are the potential payoffs worth the possible hassles, headaches, and trouble?
All but the most psychologically warped individuals will try to weigh those factors in their heads before determining a course of action. The less the perceived reward, or the greater the risk for the bad guy, then the less the chance of bad guy(s) attempting to breach your security. That makes this the most important element of the three.
Why is deterrence the most important? Because if you can deter the bad guys, then you won’t need to rely on the other two elements.
If you are like me, you probably have people in your life that you love and care for who are not “prepared”. Either they do not believe in it, or they simply don’t do it. But for a multitude of reasons, you cannot simply write them out of your life. It might be a spouse, or a sister, or an adult child. So in some ways, maybe you are like me and prep for them “on the side”.
I have a girlfriend who seemingly understands the importance of being prepared for an emergency or disaster, but just cannot put it into practice. (I’m teaching her…so that’s a start.)
I decided, over the past year or two, that she and her son would be a part of my plans should we have a disaster, big or small. I began helping her become more prepared. In some ways, I started prepping for her.
When we sometimes go grocery shopping together, I have her buy a few extra cans of food, and a gallon of water. At the moment she has a 2-3 day supply of food and water. She also has an incredibly warm Teton sleeping bag. I gave her a hand cranked flashlight. As I mentioned in a previous article, for a beginner that’s a good start.
But I knew a good start wasn’t enough. If she was to be a part of my “long term” plans, I knew that I would have to help keep her going.
Began with a Plan
To start off with, the girlfriend and I sat down for a few minutes. We came up with a plan should she find herself in an emergency situation. If the situation was bad enough that calling 911 would be pointless, I told her the plan was simple, she and her son were to come to my house. (We also discussed a few different routes to take.) I have more than enough supplies to take care of her and her son, so if she could drive, she was not to worry about packing food or water.
I told her to grab warm, rugged clothing/blankets for her and her son. I have enough of everything else. But petite women’s’ clothing or clothing for a small child I do not have.
About a month ago, one of my best friends at work hit me up about purchasing his backup weapon, the Sccy CPX-2 , which is a 9mm. I normally would not have a need for this pistol, and would not have purchased it on my own. I already have a backup/off duty gun that I really enjoy. And I do not have any firearms in 9mm. (For pistol I stock .40 cal, .380, and some .357.)
But I knew he needed the money, and he was offering me a VERY fair price. So I purchased it from him thinking I would keep it until he wanted to buy it back. When I mentioned that to him a few days later, he replied that when he did eventually buy a new backup gun, he would go with something different.
So I am now the proud, permanent owner of a Sccy CPX-2.
At this point, I started thinking that maybe I could trade it in for something else. I could at least get out of it what I had in it.
I also wondered if it wouldn’t make a decent weapon for someone in my group. We don’t have any 9mm ammo, but what if we came across some if things went really bad? 100 rounds of 9mm ammo isn’t that expensive, and it might be a pistol I could give to a family member if “things go south”.
Either way, I decided to do a review on this pistol for folks who might want an EDC pistol without breaking the bank. The MSRP on the gun is $319, which means from a reputable dealer you could probably find it for around $250-$270. A used one might be even cheaper.
Over the past few years, I have read many articles on various websites concerning “Bug out bags” (BOB) and “Get home bags” (GHB). Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not pack. What you will or won’t need.
Because everyone’s situation is different, I cannot tell you what all you should have. You should know better than anyone what you will need to pack. But what I can tell you is that there are 3 VERY important elements that EVERYONE’s bag should have. And these elements are often overlooked.
The biggest element is mobility; the ability to move quickly and safely to whatever location you choose. Your bag should be designed for movement, ala speed. The lighter your load, the faster and further you able to travel. This is CRITICAL if your mode of transportation actively involves your feet!
Your bag, regardless of your conditions, should be packed with swiftness in mind. Ounces = pounds, pounds = pain. The more pain you have, the slower and less effective you become.
You are more vulnerable while on the move. And I’m not talking about roving bands of marauders that so many people envision. I’m talking about being susceptible to the elements, to fatigue, to stress; being vulnerable to the unknown.
At home (or bug out location) you are not as exposed. You will hopefully feel safer and more secure in familiar surroundings. The more rapidly you can get there, the better off you will be.