Remember, and this is important, if you don’t have it once disaster strikes, can’t make it, or repair it, you have to go on without it. The planning stage is over once the SHTF, it’s implementation time now. Thinking about what you should of and could have done is pointless, save the reminiscing until later, later when you have to start planning all over again for the next crisis.
Wasting time analyzing your past mistakes, and it remains to be seen if you actually had made any mistakes, is just that, wasting time, so don’t assume anything yet. Your efforts for the moment need to be on surviving the next few hours, days and weeks if it comes to that.
Start gathering information, and if you do not have a Ham radio, then considering getting one and become proficient in its use, and getting a license is the only way to master this form of communication. Some, of course, always ask why get a license to operate a ham radio, who is going to care or bother to check once something happens.
You cannot practice with a Ham radio without a license, no legitimate operator (s) will allow you on the net without proper authentication and without using proper protocol. Some, it seems, are under the impression you just turn the radio on and start chattering to whoever is out there. It doesn’t work that way. If you continue to transmit without identification it is very likely that your signal will be triangulated, thus, your location identified rather quickly. Professional operators do not tolerate interlopers.
You need a way of gathering information, so make this a priority among the other number one priorities. You need information so you do not overreact or do not react quickly enough. You need real-time information to make decisions that may be a matter of life or death.
Do not refuse help from legitimate sources. If a federal agency starts passing out emergency supplies get in line. You paid for the supplies with your tax dollars. You worked hard for them, and do this regardless of your stockpile.
First, you can never have enough supplies, and secondly, neighbors, friends, and others may question why you refused help, they may check up on you, or they may conclude you have a large stockpile or are anti-this or that. They may tend to avoid you, and believe it or not, you need your community, or they might decide they need your supplies more than you do. Do not draw attention to yourself. Do not do things that seem out of the norm for the situation, because people will notice.
Unless you have been through a SHTF situation before, you will need their support. You may have been prepping for years, but have you encountered a disaster like this before. In some cases, you have to react, as others would expect you to react. Do so until you have a better grasp of the situation, and then decide if you and your family need to go into isolation or avoid contact with others.
Do not lie to your family, be realistic about the situation. Collective minds can better solve a problem. You may have been the Prepper in the family, but now is the time to get everyone on board with your plans or with your lack of plans as the case may be. You will need their help, and you cannot let them assume things that are not true, they need the facts as well as you.
Now is not the time to explore the unknown. If you didn’t take the time to explore your area, your town, or city before the crisis, now is not the time to start a sightseeing tour. If you do not have a bug-out plan, a bug-out-location, or the means to get there, then you are better off sheltering in place, if you still have a place that is. The crisis will dictate your actions and without any plans at all, your actions are extremely limited.
Measure all risks against the gain. Is it worth it to try and hike to the next town or city seeking help or information? Not having the right supplies, the right amount and not having the means to gather information may force you into taking risks that simply have no upside, no gain in other words.
Become rational and do not let emotions make decisions for you. Your objective as in any survival situation is to survive as long as it takes. Running around in circles in a panic or with anger in your heart is dangerous. Do not blame yourself or others for inadequate planning. Deal with what you have and learn from it but harping on it does no one any good and it can damage relationships and it certainly lowers morale. Careful thought before acting can save your life.