A couple of days ago I received an email from Todd Sepulveda who happens to be the editor of PreppperWebsite.com. On several occasions he’s been kind enough to feature articles that I’ve written here on Preppers Illustrated on that website. I happen to be a regular reader of his site and the other day I noticed that the link to preppersillustrated.com that was once located in his “Preparedness” category had been removed for some reason.
I emailed Todd to thank him for featuring my articles on his website and asked him if there was a reason that the link to my website was removed. After a couple of days, I received a reply to my email and in his response, he explained that he monitors emergency preparedness websites to make sure that they are still being actively maintained by their webmasters.
If he finds that a site seems to have gone dead, he removes the link from his website. Along with this explanation, he included a link to an article on one of his other websites that explains why he occasionally removes links.
The article that he referred me to is called The SAD Way of Preparedness Websites – Possibly An Analogy of the Preparedness Life!. His article really struck a chord with me and after reading it, I was inspired to write this article where I’ll be pointing out the 7 deadly sins of prepping.
Ironically, sin number 3 is one that I’ve personally been guilty of on more than one occasion which explains why Todd removed the link to this website. I simply let other projects consume all my time and consequently, Preppers Illustrated didn’t get updated for several months. The reason I included, “Number 3 is a Doozy” in the title of this article is because it’s the one that I was once guilty of. My point is that regardless of how hard we all try to be diligent preppers, none of us are infallible.
By the way, Todd was really nice when I contacted him and explained that I’m back on track and giving this website the love and attention that it needs and deserves. All I had to do was ask and he put my link back up which I deeply appreciate.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to prepare for emergencies in a responsible and “balanced” manner. When you read Todd’s article, you’ll understand what I mean when I refer to maintaining a balance while prepping.
Without Further Ado, Let’s Get Started
Below you’ll find what I consider to be the top 7 mistakes that people make when it comes to prepping.
- Not Preparing at All: Regardless of your personal beliefs, I believe that everyone should work towards preparing for emergencies. While you may not believe that a major catastrophic event will lead to the breakdown of civilized society as we know it, one thing that we can all count on is that natural disasters WILL continue to occur all around the world. History has proven time and time again that during times of major natural disasters those who have taken the time to prepare ahead of time are much better at coping with the aftermath of the disaster. Even though history has shown us that these types of disasters WILL occur, most people choose to bury their heads in the sand and do nothing at all to prepare.
- Prepping without a Plan: One of the most important aspects to being a good prepper is having a well thought out emergency preparedness plan. If you go about prepping like a chicken with its head cut off and you don’t have a clearly outlined plan of what you actually want to accomplish by prepping, you’ll never actually be prepared. Instead, you’ll end up with SOME supplies that will be helpful in surviving during a crisis but you’ll likely be missing many important survival items that you could have stockpiled ahead of time if you would have had a clearly laid out prepping plan.
If I can offer a little bit of advice, it would be to write down on paper exactly what items you think you’ll need to store and what skills you need to acquire to be able to survive whatever type of catastrophe you happen to be planning for. Attaining these items and skills will be your ultimate goal but the key to achieving that goal will be in clearly defining the individual steps that you need to take to reach your emergency preparedness goals.
If you don’t have a clearly defined plan of what it is that you’re actually trying to accomplish by prepping, you’re never going to be as prepared as you could have been if you would’ve taken the time to plan appropriately.
- Being Inconsistent with Your Prepping: One of the most important things that you can do if you actually want to achieve your goal of being prepared for a major emergency or catastrophe is to be consistent. It’s human nature to get scared when we see natural disasters happening in other parts of the world. Usually, when these types of events occur, preppers run out and buy a bunch of emergency supplies. They usually go like gangbusters and really work hard at preparing in the event that a similar disaster might happen where they live. Unfortunately, a few weeks or months after the particular disaster isn’t making headlines in the news anymore, many people tend to go back to their regular routine and stop prepping altogether.
Try to think about prepping like a long distance runner approaches running a marathon. In order to complete the 26.2 miles, they understand the importance of pacing themselves. Those who perform the best at these types of endurance races are usually the people who have learned to pace themselves. By doing this, they don’t expend all of their energy in the first few miles and have nothing left in the tank to complete the race.
While you’re working towards achieving your prepping goals, try to maintain an even and consistent pace. The important thing is that you continually work towards achieving your prepping goals at a steady pace if you want to actually achieve them.
- Overspending: If you’ve ever watched the television show called Doomsday Preppers, you’ve probably noticed that some people take drastic measures when it comes to preparing. Oftentimes this results in them making poor financial decisions at the detriment of other aspects of their lives. For example cashing out your 401(k) and spending tens of thousands of dollars on prepping supplies is an example of a poor financial decision. This kind of decision is one that is usually made based on the fear of what “might” happen in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel like it’s important that you include money in your budget each month to spend on prepping supplies but I highly discourage people from blowing their entire retirement nest egg on the most expensive prepping gear that they can buy. If you’ve spent any time reading my website at all, you know that I “think” that there will come a day when we will need to rely upon our emergency supplies. Having said that, what if I’m wrong and I made the mistake of spending my entire retirement account on emergency preparedness supplies? What if nothing does ever happen that requires me to live on the supplies that I have stockpiled and the day comes when it’s time for me to retire? How would I be able to afford to retire if I made the rash decision to cash out my 401(k) and spend it long before it was time for me to actually retire? In this situation, the scenario wouldn’t be a pretty one for me. If I were to act irrationally and make poor decisions that consumed all of my financial resources, I wouldn’t be able to ever retire.
I hope you’re beginning to see the point that I’m trying to make and that is to act responsibly when it comes to prepping by setting a budget and sticking to it. This relates directly to my previous point about making sure that you pace yourself while prepping. Pacing yourself financially and not going on extravagant spending sprees is very important when it comes to being a responsible prepper.
- Spending Too Much of Your Time Prepping: As I’ve mentioned before, I personally believe that it’s important to consistently spend time prepping. That being said, just like you need to budget your money, you need to budget your time as well. If you spend all of your time preparing for whatever scenario you think might bring on a doomsday type catastrophe and none of your time with your family, you may end up having to face some serious consequences.
It’s not unheard of for one person in a relationship to be much more concerned about preparing for emergencies than the other. When this happens, a person who doesn’t take the time to nurture their relationships stands a pretty good chance of losing them. If you alienate your spouse and children because you spend all of your time prepping and none of your time with them, you’ll probably be very prepared if a major crisis ever does occur but you might find yourself divorced and estranged from your children. This would be a direct consequence of not budgeting your time appropriately.
- Neglecting Other Responsibilities: I hope you’re beginning to see a pattern emerging in this article and that is that like Todd pointed out in the article that I linked to above, it’s important to not neglect the other aspects of your life. For example, if you don’t dedicate yourself to your career because you think that in five years from now civilization as we know it will end and you won’t actually have a job, you may find yourself without employment much sooner than you expected.
Part of maintaining a balanced lifestyle when it comes to prepping is to not neglect the other aspects of your life such as nurturing relationships, focusing on performing well at your job, and saving for things like your children’s college education. Ask yourself this question; what if nothing bad ever does happen that results in such a drastic change in our civilization but you have neglected your other responsibilities because you spent all of your time prepping?
One of the most important points that I want to make in this article is that you shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of your life here and now because you expect a major catastrophe to change life drastically for you someday. Again, I’ll use the word “balance” when I say that it’s important to prepare for emergencies but it’s also important to attend to your current responsibilities.
- Bragging about Your Preps: In my experience, there are two types of preppers. The first group consists of people who are extremely secretive about all they do to prepare for emergencies. The people in this group don’t tell anyone anything about what they are doing to prep or what items they have stockpiled.
The second group consists of people who can’t resist telling anyone and everyone that they interact with about all of the things they are doing to prepare for doomsday. It’s no secret that I talk about prepping because I spent a lot of time writing articles about this subject here on my website. While I do spend a considerable amount of time nurturing this website, you’ll notice that you don’t see any pictures of our families bug out location. You’ll also notice that I don’t talk about what my specific plans are if our family does eventually have to bug out one day. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have a plan but I feel like it’s important for that plan to be kept private.
On at least three separate occasions, I’ve been contacted by casting directors for various television shows on the subject of emergency preparedness and sustainable living but in each case I politely declined. I enjoy prepping and I enjoy encouraging others to prepare for emergencies by writing articles for this website but I personally believe that it’s important to keep the specific details about what our family is or is not doing private. That being said, there have been occasions when I’ve talked about certain supplies that our family has such as emergency generators but the vast majority of our prepping plan is a closely guarded secret known only to our family members.
The point I’m trying to get across here is that if you’d like to talk about emergency preparedness with your friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers, be very careful about what details you actually reveal to them. You’ve all heard the expression, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. Well, if you spend to much time squeaking about the precise details of your family’s emergency preparedness plans, someday you’ll be the wheel and the grease will be in the form of looters who come to steal your precious supplies.
Can You Relate to This Article?
If you related to any of the “sins” discussed in this article or if you found any value in it at all, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me know by leaving a comment in the box below. If you don’t agree with my opinions, it’s okay to let me know that as well. The point is that I always encourage everyone to feel comfortable voicing their opinions about my articles by leaving comments on them.