Remember when you were a kid and your parents had to sit you down to have a tough conversation about the reality of life? Well, today is going to be one of those days because we’re going to be talking about something that many people don’t want to think about.
Most people who are reading this article are concerned about emergency preparedness, otherwise they wouldn’t be reading it at all. Many of you consider yourselves to be preppers and feel like you’re pretty well prepared to survive a doomsday scenario but today we’ll be talking about why you might not actually be able to survive one.
This might be a hard thing to hear, especially if you’ve spent years prepping but it’s important that you hear this now so that you can make changes to your emergency preparedness plans if you need to.
Now that I’ve told you what this article is going to be about, let’s get right to the nitty-gritty and talk about the nine reasons why you might not be able to survive doomsday even though you’re a prepper.
- We’ll start with the basics first because it’s one of the most important things. If you haven’t begun to prep or you used to prep and you’ve quit for some reason or another, there’s a very high likelihood that you’re not ready to survive a doomsday scenario.
Prepping isn’t something that you just do after you watch the news broadcasts of a terrible tragedy such as Hurricane Katrina. A lot of people feel a sense of urgency to prepare for emergencies after major natural disasters like this but once the news broadcasters aren’t talking about the disaster anymore, they go back to their regular routine and stop prepping altogether.
One of the most important aspects of prepping is having a plan with clearly defined goals and continuously working towards achieving those goals.
- Reason number two is that you don’t actually have enough food stored. One of the most important things that preppers can do is to adopt the strategy of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best. If something happens that leads to a major breakdown in civilized society that results in a doomsday type scenario, you could find yourself having to live on your emergency supplies for quite some time. I often hear preppers say things like, “if I run out of food, I’ll just hunt squirrels and rabbits to feed my family”.
Let me ask you this question. When millions of people who haven’t prepared are going hungry, how long do you think those squirrels and rabbits are going to be around? If you spend any time hunting, you already know that there are certain areas that have been over hunted to the point that there just isn’t any game left.
In a doomsday scenario, the unprepared will quickly trap or hunt every squirrel and rabbit in existence. Depending upon the length of time that they have to survive in such a scenario, it’s entirely possible that wildlife in populated areas will go the way of the dodo bird and become virtually extinct.
The best advice that I can give you is to prepare for a long term survival situation and this means storing a lot of food!
- Next on our list is that you may be storing your food storage incorrectly. If you’ve got all of your food stored in your garage that gets up to 115° during the summer and down to -20° in the winter, these conditions can dramatically decrease the shelf life of the food that you are storing.
Another thing to consider is the possibility that your food storage supplies could become contaminated by rodents. If you don’t have your food stored in rodent proof containers, there’s a very high probability that when you eventually need to open a bag of beans from your food storage that it will have been contaminated by rodents, rendering it unsafe to eat.
- I’ll start my next point with another question. How many of you are doing a good job of rotating through your food storage supplies on a regular basis? If you’re not, there may come a day when all of your food is virtually useless to you. Unlike some food items such as honey that can last for an extremely long time, most types of food does have a shelf life.
Sure, you can buy emergency food storage supplies from companies that specialize in this kind of thing and they might advertise that their product has a 25 year shelf life but how do they really know? Have they been in business for 25 years? Have they tested their product after it’s been stored for 20 plus years to see if it’s still good?
A lot of food storage supply companies have sprung up in recent years due to the increasing popularity of prepping so many of these companies are fairly new. While they may claim that their products will last for a certain amount of time, I really question whether they’ve done the research and development to know FOR SURE that the claims they are making about their product’s shelf life are actually true.
A good habit to get into is rotating through your food supply on a regular basis. What I mean by this is that instead of always grabbing food from your pantry when it’s time to cook a meal, from time to time you should be cooking food from your food storage supplies and then replace the items you used with fresh food. If you get into the habit of adopting this practice, the food that you have stored will always be relatively fresh.
- Here’s another question for you. How many of you are in the habit of actually preparing meals with the food items that you have stored? Some of you may be doing this but I would bet that a lot of you aren’t. As an experiment, I challenge you all to get into the habit of preparing at least one meal every couple of weeks using the items you have in your food storage stockpile.
This will serve two purposes. First, it will let you know if you are actually storing the right kinds of food .If you prepare a meal and find out that it tastes absolutely horrible, that’s a pretty good indication that you’re storing the wrong kinds of food. The other reason that this is a good idea is because it gets you into the habit of rotating through your food storage as I previously mentioned.
- Next up is the subject of how much water you have stored. Some of you may have 10 cases of bottled water in your garage thinking that it will be enough to get you through a crisis. If the situation that you find yourself having to deal with is minor such as a short term contamination of the water supply in your area, this may be enough to get you through a short-term emergency but it’s important that you don’t have a “short-term” mentality when it comes to prepping.
Remember, the best preppers prepare for the worst but hope for the best and that means that you should have several hundred gallons of water stored. I know a lot of preppers actually have several thousands of gallons of water stored. In my opinion, when it comes to water, the more you can store the better off you’ll be.
A lot of beginning preppers think that water has an indefinite shelf life but that’s just not the case. Depending upon how the water is actually stored, it does have a shelf life. While it’s true that commercially bottled water will last much longer than water that you store in your own containers, it’s difficult to store several hundred gallons of bottled water.
When it comes to preparing for a long-term survival situation, most preppers store their water in very large containers. In cases like this, it’s entirely possible, and probable, that bacteria will grow in the water. If it’s stored in an above ground tank that is exposed to sunlight, algae may also begin to grow in it over a period of time.
The key point to remember when it comes to storing water is that just like storing food, you need to rotate through it from time to time. If you have several hundred gallons of water stored, from time to time use that water to water your garden or your animals or your lawn. The point is that you should rotate through it and replace it with fresh water from time to time.
I can’t tell you exactly how often you should rotate through your water because I don’t know how you’re storing it but I’ve read on a government website that they recommend rotating through water that you have stored yourself at least every six months.
Here’s a direct quote from www.ready.gov/water, “Water that has not been commercially bottled should be replaced every six months”. I would take that one step further and say that depending upon how you’re storing your water, you may need to rotate through it even on a more regular basis.
- Next up is the subject of restocking your water supply if you happen to run out. Do you have a plan? If you don’t, NOW is the time to make one! Are there any nearby bodies of water that you can scavenge for water from if you need to? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you need to take the time NOW to find out.
This brings up an entirely separate subject and that’s on how to filter and purify water so that you can make it safe to drink. There are many articles and resources available to learn about that type of thing so I’m not going to simply regurgitate what I’ve read on other websites. Instead, I suggest you visit the link below that will allow you to download and print a document from FEMA that contains a lot of useful information about this subject. The document that I’m referring to can be found at: www.fema.gov/pdf/library/f&web.pdf.
- Now let’s take a minute and talk about your bug out plan. Do you have one? If you can’t answer yes to that question, NOW is the time to sit down with your family and outline a well thought out emergency evacuation plan. It’s important that you have one in the event that it becomes unsafe to stay at your home and you have to abandon it for your own safety.
The time to think about where you’ll go and how you’ll survive in a bug out situation isn’t when you determine that it’s no longer safe to stay at your home. If you wait till then, it will be way too late! You need to have a well thought out plan that is actually written down well in advance.
- Last on our list is for those of you who spend all of your time, money, and resources “buying” prepping supplies. Trust me when I tell you that all the money in the world can’t buy everything that you’ll need to survive during a doomsday scenario. The old adage that says money can’t buy everything is extremely true when it comes to prepping.
Along with taking the time to store emergency supplies comes the need to learn and develop essential survival skills. If you don’t have the knowledge that you’ll need to survive during a major catastrophe, it won’t matter how much food you have stored, it won’t matter how much water you have stored, you probably won’t survive. When it comes to survival, knowledge is power and knowledge will help to keep you alive.
I’m Not Trying to Be like Chicken Little
I hope you don’t take this article the wrong way. I’m not trying to tell you that you’re doing everything wrong and that the “sky is falling”. My goal with this article is to encourage you to look inward and be 100% honest with yourself about how you are preparing.
If you have 600 pounds of rice stored in several 50 gallon drums but you don’t have the other essentials that I’ve talked about in this article, there’s a very high likelihood that you won’t survive during a major catastrophe that last for a prolonged period of time.
One of the goals that I had when I started this website was to help people learn how to prep properly. I’m not saying that I’m perfect and I’m not saying that I know everything about prepping. I always challenge myself to improve my prepping skills and I hope that reading this article will do the same for you.
If you enjoyed reading this article I have another you might like that is titled, “7 Deadly Sins of Prepping Revealed: Number 3 is a Doozy!”
Please Share Your Thoughts
I’d really like to hear your thoughts about this subject so if you have the time, please leave a comment in the box below.