What is building resilience or prepping?
There are many different understanding of what building resilience or prepping is, and it is usually region specific. I don’t prep in the same way many do in the USA or Europe, as there is far lower density of people here in Australia so many plans and actions too take are very different. We have extensive wild weather events like bushfires and floods that cut off thousands of people from normal life activity, so we are quite practiced at prepping. The majority of rural land holders in Australia are always prepared for any event, and could be considered to be some of the most prepared people on the planet when it comes to dealing with adverse conditions.
Resilience is effectively ensuring you can survive a scenario you have planned for. This could be in relation to the recommended 2 week food and water supplies recommended by all states and territories here in Australia. As per Health NSW link below, they recommend all households be able to support themselves for 2 weeks.
This however this only minor resilience in my mind, but is a great start as you get experience by doing the two week prep plan initially.
Resilience is what you want it to be, it could be the simple 14 day food and water supply with batteries and clothing, or it could be long term supplies, tools, capabilities and self sufficiency.
Everyone has an opinion! – When you are building your resilience or a dedicated prepper and you share this fact with others you are bound to be told of a better way to do it. In my case here, I am happy with what I am doing and I have been watching and learning from many others over 10 years now. My preference is for people to keep there opinions to themselves, and do their own thing learning from others, and stop wasting time being a keyboard warrior prepper want to be. If you are doing it better then great move.
The Risk List
The following are what I consider to be my main risks that I am a building resilience and prepping for:
- Extreme Weather Events
- Solar storms or CME’s
- Magnetic Excursion
- Rapid cooling from Volcanic event
- Rapid cooling from ocean desalination – conveyer belt shutdown
- Geopolitical instability or world war
There are other events worth preparing for but these cover most of the important prepping ideas and processes.
Going off grid – Living life without amenities being supplied such as water, sewage and electricity. The benefit of going off grid is that you naturally become a prepper. This is a challenge for many people to do as it takes a prepper mind set to prepare for multiple scenarios all the time. What you need for living off grid: The basics
- Stable water supply
- Roof catchment into multiple tanks separated by distance to ensure 1 event cannot destroy all your water tanks, Concrete tanks are best in Australia for fire resistance and keeping water at a constant temp. If you manage your tanks well you should not require filtering or water treatment.
- A bore-well from a non-fracking ground water source. Ensure you understand your water licensing rights if you are in the Murray Darling Basin. Also consider what treatment is required for this coming from the ground.
- All of the above integrated, but separable and usable individually – plan your system well
- Have a back up battery system
- Have a back up solar system
- Wireless broadband
- Satellite broadband
- UHF/VHF/SW portable radios
- Septic system for sewage or a composting toilet if permitted
- Heating through firewood or similar fuel source, if you live in a colder region having a range stove is the best plan as it makes your hot water as well as keeping your house warm year round.
- Heavy duty machinery for cutting and drying wood
- Hand tools
- Health and safety equipment
- First aid kit
- Minor surgery kit
- Snake bite kit
- Protective clothing
As someone who has been living off grid since 2012, I found the first 12 months challenging to get used to not using high powered electrical items on cloudy days and drawing down the batteries, accidents did happen and I had to regularly top up the batteries with the generator. However over time I recognized when to do things and get the most from the sun shining on my solar panels. I built a second solar system which I use as a backup to my primary system, and purchased a DC-DC transfer device to be able to top up from one system to the other.
Growing your own food – Growing your own food can be highly rewarding along with cheaper over time as there is usually a setup cost unless you have landed yourself an excellent ready too go block of land with perfect soil. With an off grid property, just remember your power limitations, and do think that you can do masses of greenhouses with grow lights and such. Get used to getting dirty, dig and prepare your gardens, make your soil better through permaculture technics on the Permaculture section of this web site.
Practice your resilience and prepping responses – So many people who consider themselves preppers or highly resilient people/groups/family are not practicing what they preach. In particular for those in natural disaster areas where bushfires and other weather related events create enormously stressful situations. These stressful situations break down your ability to think in a methodical and precis manner, unless you teach yourself to do so through practicing responses. For me I regularly practice my fire response, I test my equipment, service it, and run scenarios regularly and ensure I keep my plans up to date with changes occurring around the farm.
I recommend the following approach:
- Create a list of your perceived issues
- Create a procedure for each issue that answers the following
- What is the issue?
- How will it impact me?
- Identify if you can eliminate the issue without a procedure to deal with it.
- When do you think you need to be ready by?
- What are the steps taken to prevent the issue impacting me?
- How much is it going to cost?
- Create a plan to implement your resolution
- Implement the resolution
- Test the resolution as much as you can without replicating the exact scenario
- Practice the resolution regularly enough to know every step without forgetting
- Practice 1 time with someone putting you under pressure by either interfering or creating a secondary issue to make you think quickly about setting priorities and learning to deal with pressure.
- Maintain your awareness of your scenarios, don’t leave known issues too chance. Chaos may ensue and prevent you being ready.
Planning for the unknown
In many circumstances it is not possible to build resilience for everything. The cost associated with being ready for all scenarios is why military spending is so enormous, as they do attempt to plan for the unknown. The average resilience planner or prepper must prioritise where $ are spent to achieve priorities first before unknown planning.
Unknown planning could be highly costly as it involves having full replacement backups or parts for nearly everything, which in some cases my be extraordinarily expensive. 1st rule of military spending is to ensure you get $ too support double what you need. But for the average resilience builder or prepper I recommend:
- Create a list of perceived unknowns
- Create a list of items you believe will negate or eliminate those issues
- Cost the list
- Build a triage list or order in priority for your funding
- Build a financing plan to achieve your list
- Discuss the list with your partner or family and decide if everyone agrees to achieve it
- Commence actioning your list
Know your physical and mental limits
Many of us think we are indestructible and can do anything we put our minds to. Yes in the pressure situations our bodies do flood our system with adrenaline and other chemicals to deal with pain and pressure, but there are limits that everyone should know.
Many people who classify themselves as preppers are not fit, they are not eating healthy foods, they don’t exercise and are reliant upon 1 frame of mind which relates to a weapon. This is a very dangerous person in my mind as they do not know their physical and mental limits when put under pressure. They believe they can simply kill their food or others too stay alive. I consider this a last resort situation in which most of these types will have failed already as most scenarios will creep up on you as you are too focused in one area.
So many preppers online via YouTube or other content platforms are speaking from places of self serving authority. They want you do it their way, buy their favorite recommended freeze dried food products to get a kick back on etc. Very few are showing they are physically or mental able to survive under pressure.
How to address this – If you wish to be ready for unknown scenarios you need to be aware of your physical and mental limits. You need to test yourself.
- Create a list of physical faults
- Create a list of things that make you angry or make you unstable
- Create a plan to work around your physical faults
- Create a plan to address what makes you angry or unstable
- Implement these plans
- Increase your overall fitness and mobility
- Regular stretching is important as it ensures your muscles are ready for action when needed as muscle tension can reduce mobility and increase mental stress
- Cardiovascular fitness is key, start building up a routine that takes you forward to ensure your heart and lungs can react appropriately when needed in pressure situations
- Build core strength, dont just work arms or legs, work everything through your core of your body so you can deal with pressure in a more comprehensive way
- Change your diet to match your body’s need, vs your minds desires
- Let your gut tell you things as your gut is the key too a healthy body and mind
- What works for others may not work for you, work out what your body needs through cause/effect on foods and pay attention to your feces structure, colour and smell.
- A healthy person wont break wind much, wont have loose or sloppy feces, wont burp much, as all of these indicate your gut health is not correct for you.
- Start introducing more raw foods into your diet, in particular the dark green leafy types, and those high in beta carotene
More to come: