There are many steps that we can take which will advance our preparedness. However, there are also many things that we can do which are counterproductive to the point where we are putting our lives at risk.
It is just as important to be mindful of what not to do as it is to actively do the things that will advance us in our journey to self-reliance. I have broken down here five things that I have noticed some preppers do that you should never do.
Have All Your Supplies In One Location
We all have heard the expression, ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ This is true of our supplies as well. Ideally, we would all like to have a bugout location, several caches along the route, and a well-stocked home.
Unfortunately, the reality is that a tiny minority of us have the financial means to achieve a setup like this. Most of us keep all our preparedness supplies in our homes.
When all our supplies are in a single location, if something were to happen to that area of our home, such as a fire, collapse, theft etc., we could lose our entire stockpile. To avoid this situation, we must distribute our supplies in various locations around our homes.
Keep bugout bags in each bedroom closet, distribute water and food in as many separate locations as possible, and, if possible, store some supplies in a secure location away from your home. Avoid storing supplies in vulnerable areas such as sheds and garages or in crawl spaces which may become cut off due to damage or collapse.
Disclose The Full Extent Of Your Preps
Unless you are a part of a prepper group with whom you have an extraordinary level of trust, there is no reason why anyone outside your household should know the extent of your supplies and preparedness plans.
Your neighbors, friends, and family can be aware that you are a prepper and survivalist but should not know the true extent of your supply situation.
Always downplay how prepared you actually are, and definitely do not go on any reality shows bragging about how ready you are for the apocalypse.
The more people are aware of your preparedness state, the more people you will find on your doorstep come SHTF.
Disregard The Importance Of Cyber-Security
I think robust cyber-security is probably the Achilles heel of many preppers and survivalists. Technology changes so fast that it can be challenging to keep up.
Especially when we are focusing on building a stockpile of supplies and skills to use in the event of an SHTF situation. But, with so much of our personal information being online, we need to take its security seriously.
One of the first things we can all do is start using unique and secure passwords for everything. This is a royal pain in the butt but is an essential step to hardening ourselves from cyber threats.
Avoiding the use of password managers is also a good step to take.
But if you decide to use one, be sure that you are using two-factor authentication.
It is also a good idea to use two-factor authorization whenever possible to increase your security.
The next thing is to limit our reliance on smart home devices. These devices can be hacked and used against us. Smart plugs, thermostats, cameras, security sensors, garage doors, etc., can all be accessed by cybercriminals to gain access to our homes or our personal information.
We also need to be very cautious about what we post on social media. Every picture or video we publish needs to be vetted before we put it up for everyone to see.
Take a close look at the background and check for anything that may betray the extent of our preparedness or the security of our homes. Definitely never post anything that may indicate that your house is vacant.
Lastly, we must keep all of our devices up to date to patch any vulnerabilities that pop up from time to time.
We also need to be aware of what we are downloading onto our devices and what emails we are opening. Staying up to date on our malware scans and anti-virus software is also essential.
Even though it seems like cyber-security is the last thing you should be worried about when prepping for a grid-down scenario, failing to exercise vigilance very well could result in personal SHTF for you and your family.
Go Into Debt To Fund Your Preparedness
Being prepared for emergencies is an investment in your future. Preparedness requires us to spend our hard-earned money to acquire supplies we may never use.
Also, many of the most important items we can get are some of the most costly, and most of us can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars to get these big-ticket items.
It is tempting to take on some debt to purchase the more expensive items. The problem with this is that going into debt only results in you paying more in the end.
Not to mention, owing money to a bank or credit card company is not a good start to self-reliance.
The better option is to find savings in your household budget to put aside for these expensive items. Freelance work, creating a side-hustle, upgrading your skills for a better paying job, etc are a few other ways to acquire the money to upgrade your preparedness.
Be A ‘Lone Wolf’
I don’t care what the movies say; being a ‘lone wolf’ is going to lead to nothing but trouble. There is a good reason why human civilization has always gathered in groups.
There is not only strength in numbers, but many hands make for lighter work. When you are alone, all the tasks related to your survival fall squarely on your shoulders alone.
On the other hand, if you are in a group of like-minded individuals, the workload is now divided among several people. Prepping as a group also has the advantage of each person has unique skills that will benefit the whole.
A group of people also brings with it added security since everyone will be watching out for each other.
Many times throughout the day, we are vulnerable; if we are alone, that vulnerability can be fatal. We need someone to watch out for us while we sleep, eat, prepare food, use the washroom, etc.
There is strength in numbers and being a ‘lone wolf’ is no way to approach SHTF.
Knowing what to do is only half the battle; we all must also know what not to do as well.
Being aware of what we should avoid doing as preppers is an essential step to keeping our preps safe, secure, and hidden until the time that we need them.