Do you have a strong sense of responsibility towards your own safety and that of your family? Do you feel the need to be always and well prepared to deal with any natural or manmade disaster or catastrophe?
Does the state of world affairs, with all the violence and natural calamities, worry you to the extent of being desperate to ensure that youâ€™re not caught at loose ends when something like that happens to you, or close enough to affect your life?
If yes, then youâ€™re what is called a prepper.
Personal preparedness and self-reliance is increasingly becoming a big phenomenon in many countries, including the United States, where a large number of people consider themselves to be preppers.
Itâ€™s evidently something to do with a growing sense of security among people these days, with all kinds of natural disasters, terror attacks, shootings etc., taking place every other day. Most people are now living in a perpetual state of uncertainty, not knowing when they may have to go underground, evacuate in a hurry or live without the basic amenities of life, such as electricity, gas, etc.
While itâ€™s a good thing to be prepared for such eventualities, unfortunately not everyone really knows how to go about it, and thus end up making mistakes that may prove costly in the long run. Here are 10 common mistakes made by preppers which can be easily avoided with just a little effort and attention to detail.
Here are 10 common prepper mistakes
1. Focusing on single event
Most of us have a myopic vision and are able to visualize only things that weâ€™ve seen around us. Till terror struck in New York, people in the city only looked at it as something that happens in far-off lands. Shootings may be a matter of concern but not something that you can envisage as an incident happening at your doorstep until and unless it does happen in your neighborhood.
As a result of this limited vision, you end up focusing on a single event that appears to you to be looming large in front of you, based on your personal experience, leaving others unaddressed.
2. Preparing for doomsday
In contrast to the above, youâ€™ll find a lot of people who ignore regional or localized threats while preparing for a doomsday situation. Now while such a major catastrophe, such as the earth turning on its axis, is not beyond the realm of possibility, itâ€™s less likely to occur than some of the commonplace events that you should ideally be more prepared for.
3. Sense of complacency
You may feel youâ€™ve got a lot of food stored up for winter in your kitchen. But is it really enough, say, if youâ€™re snowed up more heavily, and for a longer period, than usual?
After all, thatâ€™s been known to happen. And increasingly so in this period of global warming and climate change!
You may have a licensed gun or two in your home, within easy reach. But do you really know how to use it in an emergency?
These are a few examples of suffering from a sense of complacency about your own preparedness, which you need to fight off.
4. Getting too micro
Sometimes, we tend to forget the big things and go into micro details and end up working on the small things (such as storing minor items) rather than taking care of major issues.
So youâ€™ve stockpiled enough food to last you through a period of likely shortage? But what if your neighbors havenâ€™t and they decide to break into your house to get hold of the food youâ€™ve saved up?
Did you forget to be prepared for such an eventuality? Perhaps you should have also picked up a gun or two while out shopping for food.
5. Too much of planning
While planning is necessary to avoid getting into a micro loop, as discussed above, you can err on the side of excessive planning.
You canâ€™t spend all your time preparing endless lists of things to do and buy. You should know when and where to stop planning and get into the action mode.
6. Talking loosely
If youâ€™re a good prepper, and proud to be so, you may end up talking loosely about your stocks and other preparations, tempting others to make a beeline for your house in case of an emergency.
Remember, itâ€™s nice to be charitable, but family comes first.
7. Lack of skills
Thatâ€™s a crucial part of becoming a prepper. Self-reliance requires a lot of skills, without which youâ€™ll never really be able to manage to secure yourself and your family against unexpected events.
You may, for instance, need to learn to grow your own food because your stockpile will not last forever. This, along with many other skills, is necessary for survival, as a good prepper would know.
8. Storing in one place
Now that would be a really foolish thing to do. But many preppers do end up making this common mistake, without realizing that a fire or flood may destroy all your food in one go if itâ€™s kept in one place.
9. Donâ€™t put things off to tomorrow
Yes, thatâ€™s extremely important. If youâ€™ve decided to do something as part of your preparations, do it today, because tomorrow might be too late.
Just like you need to go out to work every day to earn your living, you also need to prepare every day for future eventualities because every day brings new challenges.
10. Donâ€™t prep alone
This doesnâ€™t mean that you canâ€™t do it by yourself and should take help in prepping. It simply means you should encourage others, especially relatives, friends and neighbors, to become aware of the need for prepping and for taking up the task in right earnest. It also means you should involve your own family in your preparation efforts.