Part of being prepared is keeping your mind and body in decent shape. Eating right and exercise should be something you do every day. But sometimes that is not always easy. Especially when you aren’t sure if what you are eating is really healthy or not. Hopefully this article will begin to show you that sometimes, what you think is healthy may not be.
Hopefully, you are more conscience about what you eat AND what goes into the food you eat. America has become caught up in a health food craze. (That’s not a bad thing!) And trust me, the “food industry” is taking notice.
For example, many fast food restaurants are now offering “healthy” alternatives. More research is being done into GMOs. And more “health food” stores are springing up.
As a result, food companies are changing their labels and how their food is packaged and presented to the public. But as always, some of this can be a bit misleading. Here are 10 “misleading” food labels, and what they really mean!
Labeling food “natural” or “all-natural” is a really just a way to get people to think that the product is healthier than others because it comes from nature. In fact, “all-natural” is an very general and vague term for which the FDA doesn’t even have an officially recognized definition.
According to the USDA, meat can be labeled “all-natural” as long as it doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives. However, it can be full of broth or saline water.
If you are new to prepping, or have been at it for a short time, congrats! The fact that you have the mindset to be prepared ahead of time puts you at an advantage if/when the SHTF! But I want to caution you against certain mistakes I see new and/or inexperienced preppers make. If you find yourself doing any of these, stop and reassess your preps and your priorities.
Stockpiling guns and ammo and believing you are all set
I would never downplay the important of protecting you and your loved ones in a disaster. I have many guns and plenty of ammo. But I caution people to not focus solely on that. Many people confuse their love and collection of firearms with being prepared. It is NOT the same! There are other things that are more important in my opinion.
To those who think that skill and ability with (and possession of) firearms top all other skills in an emergency (even more important than the ability to find and purify water or more important than finding/making shelter from the elements for example), then let me say this:
I have been in numerous disaster situations. I lost an apartment to a tornado a few years back. The next year I worked in Moore, Oklahoma where a tornado killed 24 people and did over $2 billion dollars’ worth of damage. I experienced an ice storm several years ago where I lost power for two days and was snowed in. My brother lost his job last year, and lived on his food storage for about 8 weeks until he found a new job.
Never once did firearms come into play. Food did. Water did. Shelter did. My family and group helping me out did. But not firearms.
Prepping isn’t just about collecting guns for long term, grid down survival. It’s about keeping you and your loved ones prepared for ALL disaster situations. Click here to read a great article on why you should NOT prep for just TEOTWAWKI.
Even if we lose the grid for an extended period of time, you will need food, water, and shelter WAY more often than you will need a gun! So balance your prepping! Spend some of that firearm money on other gear and preps!
Buying premade survival bags, gear and/or not testing them out beforehand.
First, let me say that buying a ready-made survival kit/bug out bag is better than having nothing at all. Many ready-made kits have a lot of handy and useful items that could save your life.
But in my experience, I see many people buy a pre-made bag, toss it in the closet, and not think about it again. Hence the items in the bag do NOT get tested or used before they are truly needed. Some folks may not even know what all is in their bag or how to really use it. Or they may know what’s in the bag, but not where certain gear is located.
In the middle of a disaster is NOT the time to try and figure out how to use your emergency radio. Or find out that the batteries for your flashlight don’t work. Or that your bag only has one poncho and you need 4.
Will you waste valuable time digging through your bag looking for flashlight? Sure hope it isn’t completely dark when you need that flashlight and can’t find it!
By building your own bag and acquiring the gear separately, you will know exactly what and where your gear is. You will be more inclined to test it and become familiar with it ahead of time. And you will most likely save yourself a little money.
I see the question all the time, “I’m new to prepping and am looking for tips on getting started.” Enviably, that is answered by others with tips on creating bug out bags, storing food and water, purchasing firearms, etc. And while those are certainly very important, many times I see simple, everyday tasks that get overlooked.
And these tasks are not hard. They are easy. Easy enough that everyone should do them. These tips will help you not just in a disaster setting, but also in everyday life.
Always keep your phone charged.
In my 8 Lessons Learned from Disaster article, I mentioned an officer whose battery died while working in Moore, Oklahoma after a tornado, and was unable to communicate with anyone.
Imagine if you are caught in a quickly developing emergency, and your primary source of up to the minute information is dying because your battery is not charged. Not smart!
Having knowledge about what is going on around you is vital to your ability to survive a disaster. Being able to communicate is equally important. With today’s technology, a smart phone allows you to do both.
When a tornado recently hit my area, I used my cell phone to live stream the weather, and to text my family to keep them apprised of the situation. During that storm, my phone battery had plenty of life in it should I have had to make a speedy exit. I stayed up to the minute with news and information during the entire storm.
If you are like me, you probably have a pet. For me, my pet is a part of my family and has been included into my preparation plans. I would NEVER think of leaving him behind in a disaster. (He was also my partner for years, and at times risked his life for mine.)
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that there are 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Over 1/3 of all US households have a pet.
So if you are one of those people who have a pet, have YOU stopped to think about what you would do with them/for them should a disaster or emergency strike?
Any type of emergency or disaster preparedness starts with a plan, and the same is true for your furry or feathered friends. Formulating a plan now will save you time, energy, and potential heartache for you and your pet if the unforeseen happens.
I want to give you some tips and insights on how to come up with an emergency plan for your favorite animal companion. These include some overall general tips, some tips for bugging in with your pet, and some tips for bugging out with them.
In these uncertain times, when our fundamental gun rights are under attack, the availability of ammunition seemingly fluctuates daily. If you are like me, you tend to buy extra when the availability is normal and prices are reasonable.
Then, when some event happens that kicks off another gun scare; where ammo prices sky rocket while availability plummets, you are not one of the “panicked herd” that rushes into to scope up the last few boxes of overpriced .22 or 9mm.
By buying a box here, a “brick” there, over time, your ammo supply will grow. Then you won’t have that fear when the panic hits and ammo is hard to find.
However, growing your ammo supply might lead to other issues in the future, namely, how to properly care for and store it. An ammo stockpile represents a sizeable investment, and you want to make sure it is not damaged or destroyed.
There are a few issues that you need to prevent to ensure your ammo remains functional and reliable. Failure to do so could lead to your ammo not being:
- As accurate,
- Damage or destroy your firearm. This leads to the possibility of potential injury to the shooter.
Mistreatment of your ammo can, over time, cause issues to the powder within the cartridge. Ammo and powder manufactures make the powder cartridges with very tight tolerances. This is because the shape of those cartridges is a factor in how the powder burns. This means the burn rate of the powder can be adversely affected if the cartridge has been degraded.
As a youth, I was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, which is where I learned the importance of being prepared. “Be Prepared” is of course the Boy Scout motto. That mindset transitioned with me into my career as a law enforcement officer.
As a police officer, I teach people the importance of being prepared and staying safe. Not necessarily for the end of the world, but how to protect themselves from crime, or how to be prepared and what to expect should they find themselves a victim of crime.
Chances are that at some time in your life you, a family member, or a friend has been a victim of a crime. It is a very unfortunate part of not just our society, but our species. Because of that, I want to convey some general tips and steps you can do to protect yourself.
The most important tip is to always be aware of your surroundings. Stop texting for a moment and take in what is going on around you. Criminals prey on those who look lost, distracted, and/or weak. So pay attention to your environment. Appear confident. Act like you are in control and are moving with a purpose. Don’t look like an easy target!
There are tens of thousands of muggings and assaults every year in the US. I mentioned that remaining alert and paying attention to your surroundings is a good way to help prevent being attacked. Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
- When exiting a building heading to your car, have they key you need to unlock your door already in your hand. Don’t be distracted at your car by fumbling around in your purse or pocket for your car keys.
- Criminals look for victims that appear to have money or valuables. Avoid wearing flashy, expensive items. Or at least be discrete with them. Carrying large sums of money is not a great idea for obvious reasons.
- Avoid using ATMs when alone and/or at night. If you need to use one, try to find one in a busy area like a grocery store. Thieves HATE witnesses!
- Stick to well-populated areas. If you are visiting or new to the area, try to learn about the area before venturing out into the unknown.