A new year coming up, a new administration being sworn in, and new threats emerging, so will this be a winter like no other? Ice storms, power outages, mass shootings, financial crisis’s, possible attacks by other countries and civil unrest all loom large in the new year.
The nation’s power grids, yes plural because there are three of them are in disrepair, and much of the grid system relies entirely on computer systems, which it seems, are hacked on a daily basis. Russia is stirring and making war noises, North Korea has failed to launch but they keep trying and they will get it right soon enough, and then there is Iran running their fingernails down the chalkboard trying to get our attention. Iran wants a war because it takes the focus off of just how badly treated their people are and it always ends up being about money and power, so why not start a war is their thinking.
All in the name of something are wars started, wars are profitable, and they cover up a lot of atrocities committed by all parties, the fog of war, and all that. This winter we may or may not be in a war much may depend on just how the new administration handles things, however.
You cast your vote and pray for the best, of course, there is much more you must do. You as an individual and as a family or even as a community must prepare, because you may have to go it alone for days, weeks, or even months if the grid is hacked and shut down, or if we are attacked or if a natural disaster strikes. The world is in turmoil and much of what happens is simply out of your control, what you can control, however, is how you prepare and react.
You have to be prepared to live without your local, state or federal governments help. No garbage pickup, no clean water piped in, no natural gas for heat or cooking, and no snowplows patrolling the streets. Police will prioritize so that recent break-in with no injuries goes to the bottom of the list. Firefighters may be responding to fires set by violent protesters and ambulance services may have to respond to a mass shooting or injuries caused by rioting. You, the average citizen may very well be on your own, on your own in the dark in some cases for a very long time, in the winter of our discontent.
The weather will have an influence on you, and it must be dealt with along with the other threats looming. It may be time that you grocery shop for two weeks instead of stopping every night or every other night to grab something quick. This way you stand a good chance of having a week to a 10-day supply of food on hand for emergencies.
We generally recommend several months, and in some cases, several years’ worth of food, but the prepping landscape is changing, and finances are the biggest factor. For most Americans, it is not realistic to have a 6-month supply of food on hand, and with that being the case, you will have to adjust your shopping habits and meal preparation habits, so you do have some food reserves on hand at all times. It may not be much but it may be enough to get past many local disasters. If you can afford to have a 6-month supply on hand do so, but for many this is financially out of reach.
The problem with stockpiling food, however, is that it will need to be prepared and many today simply do not have the time or skills to properly prepare a meal, but during a crisis is not the time to try and learn to cook.
There is more to being prepared than having a spare bedroom filled with dehydrated foods, lanterns, batteries, tents, and sleeping bags. You also need skills, such as cooking, fire starting, how to stay warm outside when the wind chill factor is well below zero and how to prepare fresh foods like wild game or fish, for example, without making the family sick.
We have written dozens of articles about the skills needed, and it is well worth your time to review a few. This article is more about reminding you that regardless of what may be going on in the world, the biggest threat to you is usually local. Snow storms, local power outages, broken water mains, which means no clean water unless you boil it, or you lose a few days of work because of a snowstorm, or you experience icy road conditions and end up in the ditch or down a ravine. Local threats and national and world threats all have to be dealt with, but you start with the most likely at the time.
The Simplest Of Things Matter The Most
Keep your vehicle fueled up can save your life. If you run off into the ditch almost on empty, you can’t stay warm. You need a winter survival kit as well. Warm clothing and shoes for walking in snow and wet conditions, blankets and food and water protected from freezing. You don’t have to run out and buy emergency blankets, use one or two from the house and toss a spare jacket in the back and those old snow boots you never wear around the house. The simple things matter.
Buy a box of protein bars, and a case of water. For less than 12 bucks, you have water and food for a few days. Toss in some matches, a flashlight, gloves, a small shovel and hat and you are almost there without breaking the bank. You know what you need, it is just a matter of taking the time to do it, and if you look around the house you will find you may not have to run out and buy anything because you already have what you need.
You, of course, have to focus on the big picture as well, the threats from abroad, nuclear war, armed invasions and a major grid collapse but it is likely you will meet a snowstorm or icy roads before the other threats manifest themselves. Of course, we never know for sure, but life is always about the most likely and what is the most realist way of living your life day-to-day.