ADVICE FOR THOSE NEW TO PREPAREDNESS
There wasn't a day that went by without someone new to the world of preparedness asking advice on everything from the best way to accumulate long-term storage food to where the safest (most defensible) place to live might be. It seems I've given a lot of the same advice over the years, and I've been doing this for my whole adult life. To save you the trouble of having to ask, I'm going to expound on the subject of preparedness based on my own experience and research. This treatise is for those who are new to preparedness because of concern over the economy, the pandemic, extreme weather, or civil unrest.
WHAT I CAN DO
What I can do is try to point you in the right direction. For people who are new to preparedness, it's a real challenge to find reliable information on the topics of concern to you. Much of the information on my website consists of links to other websites containing valuable reading material. There are many excellent sources of information available right from your keyboard. Some of the best sources of information can be found in books written by experts in a variety of disciplines.
WHAT I CAN'T DO
I can't make your decisions: "What works best is what works for you!" The ideal situation for us may be totally unworkable for you.
I can't help you achieve real-life experience through the process of osmosis. There is no substitute for doing. Take the information you study and put it into practical application in the field, whether that field is the forest or your own kitchen. The time to acquire valuable skills is now, not when you're in the middle of a crisis situation; e.g. if you're in charge of the food supply, try your hand at dehydrating, canning, smoking, salting, vacuum-sealing and nitro-packing. Cook using some of your storage food and find recipes that you and your family/group will enjoy.
I can't do your research for you but I can point you in a direction that will get you started. If you don't have the motivation to look up the answers for yourself, your chances of achieving even a minimal degree of self-sufficiency are somewhere between nil and null.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO GET READY?
In 1998, a major ice storm in Virginia left hundreds of thousands without power. As I read what one person said about spending Christmas in a shelter to avoid freezing to death, I thought about woodstoves, kerosene or propane heaters, and generators. TX suffered major damage and death from an uncharacteristic freeze and loss of natural gas and "green" energy sources. Every year, there are forest fires that force people from their homes - Holloway, Mendocino Complex, Lodgepole Complex, Camp Fire, Soberanes Fire, Rim Fire; hurricanes that knock out power, utilities, and services, - Dorian, Maria, Irma, Harvey, and Sandy; tornadoes that force residents into storm shelters and render homes uninhabitable - Tuscaloosa AL, Birmingham AL, Joplin MO, Moore OK, Laurel MS. Besides weather emergencies, there have been terror attacks like 9/ll/2001 and the Boston Marathon bombing, and 2020 saw almost a full year of civil unrest and riots. With a spend-happy government in DC, economic collapse is another possibility. Personal economic collapse resulting from job loss due to general layoffs or pandemic lockdowns has been seen many thousands of times in the past year.
You may have months or you may have only a few days, so stop thinking so much and start doing something about emergency preparedness. It seems that weather-related disaster has been the rule instead of the exception the past few years, yet some people haven't heeded the little alarm bells that should have been going off in their heads. How much time do you have? Only until the next disaster strikes...
On that happy note, the following list of related articles should help you get started in your quest for preparedness. This is not intended to be a preparedness manual - it's just a collection of ideas based on my own experience and education, and input from many like-minded friends.