I read an article the other day about “normalcy bias.” This can happen when something traumatic occurs, and people (in general) justify their reaction—things like “oh, it won’t happen” or “well, it’s really not that bad.” The author suggested that, in spite of what you may believe about SHTF, you prep to your comfort level or capabilities and then just a bit more.
So what are you doing?
We, of course, bought a place out in the middle of nowhere. Well, kind of. We’re about 25 miles from a town, which sounds close, but when was the last time you tried walking that far? Sure, the town’s population is around 4500, which is great for now, but if all those people are fanning out into the area, looking for supplies or shelter, it could be a problem—except that they’d need a way to get here, and there are a lot more places to stop or encroach upon between there and here.
We have a well, storage, supplies, a garden, a home. And the perimeter will be secure. We’re prepared to defend ourselves in many ways. We have a community of sorts, in the area, who are like-minded folks. In the next couple years, we’ll be even more prepared, and we’re hoping that’s enough time.
Time for what? Whatever happens. The rumors are always there, new ones every day, but you must, always, consider the sources. And not just TEOTWAWKI—interrupted supply chains, civil unrest, economic issues can all certainly cause problems for the average person.
Why prep? Why not? What’s wrong with using part of my barn for supply storage? If I decide to cook something for dinner, but don’t have it, I can walk up the drive and “shop” at my own store. If the grocery stores here aren’t restocked, then we’re still okay, for weeks or months.
Although I do have that one shelf with “stuff we’ll only eat if we’re actually starving.” You know, the things you always accumulate, somehow?
But how do you know if you’re doing enough?
Like they say, do what you’re comfortable with, and then a bit more. Take the garden, for example. If we need six hills of zucchini, I’ll plant eight; if we need a sixty-foot row of kale, I’ll plant 80. What if the deer get it? What if there’s a drought? Or a fire?
What if it’s a simple crop failure?
Then I take a look at all the things to be done yet: fencing, for instance. Our boundaries need repair, additions, and more security, yes, but at the moment, everything’s still okay. It is, however, a priority, but it’s also a huge job. Have you ever put in fencing? Barbed wire or hog wire or even split rail? Okay, that last is pasture fencing, but my point stands. I’ve strung all of those, and it’s not easy. Particularly when we’re not talking about a suburban lawn with all the marking flags, but thick woods and underbrush.
Water, food, shelter first. Then you can move on to security, and later, making things pretty and more comfortable. Remember too, that chores come first, every day, and then bigger projects. Doesn’t do you any good to put in a big garden if you don’t have the time or energy to tend it. Living on a farm or homestead or survival haven takes a lot of work, a lot of energy, every single day. Push yourself. Work to your limit, then a little more. Take breaks when you need to, of course, but the work comes first.