The fact that you are reading this article tells me that you are probably more prepared than most people.
Perhaps you have a stockpile, a bunker, or a grab-n’-go bag. Maybe you are ahead of the game and have a highly organized system and a solid plan for an emergency. That’s great!
However, even the best-laid plans can fail.
We all make mistakes. Even the most experienced of us will sometimes miss a vital component or forget a critical item. Unfortunately, when it comes to preparedness, there is no room for mistakes, and failure could be fatal.
To stay safe and sane during an emergency, you must ensure that every base is covered and your plan is perfected.
To avoid pitfalls, I have compiled a list of common mistakes to help you prevent slip-ups and stay safe.
Although I am sure you have considered most of these issues, it never hurts to be extra sure of your plans.
Don’t Assume Your Currency Is King
When it comes to being prepared, money is always a factor to consider. Do you store funds in a bank, keep cash on hand, or invest in gold, silver, or platinum?
Truthfully, you should have more than one option. To be safe, no matter what happens, having more than one investment and more than one currency at your disposal is vital.
Seek opportunities and create a solid, secure, and, most importantly, diverse portfolio that can withstand any event.
Don’t Rely Solely On Synthetic Medicines
We all need aspirin occasionally, and stocking up on necessary medications is critical to survival.
However, drugs have an expiration date. Certain medications may remain safe for consumption even after surpassing their designated expiration date, but their efficacy might be compromised.
What happens when they expire, and you can’t get to the pharmacy for more?
Don’t Forget The Documentation
Many people focus on food and gear when thinking of being prepared. What you will eat, how you will cook, and how you will defend yourself are essential things to consider. However, you must not overlook other important items you already have at your disposal.
Having copies of birth certificates and identification is critical in any prepper kit and should not be ignored. When SHTF, these items may be unattainable but might still be a travel requirement, making them vital to survival.
Don’t Buy Gadgets You Don’t Need
Prepping has become a popular pastime thanks to shows like Doomsday Preppers and the like. Due to this mainstream popularity, countless items are being advertised to consumers that make claims they cannot uphold.
An all-in-one food prep item or another trendy gadget may seem valuable, but you must decide if it is worth the money, effort, and space. Each device you add to your kit takes up space for something else.
Don’t Keep Old Broken Items
It can be tempting to hang on to an old radio, a handy gadget, or a broken water cooler to repair it and use it later. I am here to tell you that ‘later’ is too late.
Do not hoard damaged items because you might need them down the road. Fix it today, or throw it away. There is no room in a prepper kit for excess.
Don’t Store Items You Do Not Know How To Use
My friend was on a leisurely hike, enjoying nature, when she happened to encounter a large Grizzly. Not immediately concerned, she reached for the bear spray she had been told to bring on her adventure.
Unfortunately, my friend had thoughtlessly stored the can of bear spray in her backpack with food and camping gear. Although she fumbled and made a lot of noise, she was able to retrieve the bear spray, but she realized that she did not know how to use it.
While she struggled with the spray can, the bear moved closer, sizing her up. Thankfully, the bear was curious, not hungry, and wandered past. My friend is lucky. She can recount the story today. However, this situation could have been much worse. This simple mistake could have cost my friend her life.
I am sharing this story with you because when adding items to a prepper kit, you must ensure that you and anyone who will be with you are experienced in using the articles. You do not want to stand on a trail fumbling with bear spray while a Grizzly sizes you up for lunch.
Don’t Panic Purchase
If the pandemic taught us anything, it is the power of panic purchasing.
You must be ready today, so you do not need to rush to the store for toilet paper tomorrow.
Every purchase you make for your prepper kit needs a purpose and a plan.
Do not buy items simply because they are on sale or in high demand. Do not wait until you desperately need them.
Don’t Forget The Entertainment
Food is fuel for survival, but your mind must also be fed. All too often, preppers fail to prepare for the mental aspects of a disaster.
Lock yourself in the basement for two weeks without access to books, television, radio, internet, etc., and you will quickly see the dark power of the mind. If you forget to factor in entertainment, you are doomed to fail.
Don’t Neglect The Small Comforts
Although any food is better than no food, and being alive is much better than the alternative, failing to account for the small daily comforts is a mistake you do not want to make.
Stock up on the necessities but do not forget some of your favorites. Small snacks or treats can go a long way regarding your mental health in a crisis. The same goes for other objects. Add a favored blanket or trinket to your prepper kit for safety and comfort.
Don’t Stock Up On Foods You Don’t Like
When a friend recently showed me his preparedness stockpile, I could not help but cringe at his food choices.
I asked him why he made the choices, and he replied, “It was on sale.”
Seeing an item on sale can cause temptation.
However, if it is not something you are willing to literally live off in an emergency, it is probably not the best choice.
Stockpiling 936 cans of bento beans will not help you when you are sick to death of bento beans and starving.
Don’t Procrastinate Prepping Tasks
Procrastination is my worst enemy. I often put off until tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastination is probably my most significant fault. However, tomorrow may be too late when it comes to being prepared.
You can put off doing the laundry, washing the car, or cleaning the house, but don’t procrastinate prepping tasks. Ensure you are ready now. Disaster will often strike without warning, and you will fail if you are not organized.
Don’t Underestimate The Weather
One of the biggest mistakes preppers can make is disregarding the weather – this is especially true of those in warmer climates. Prepare for sudden temperature changes regardless of where you are, and don’t forget to consider the changing seasons.
Even if you live in Florida, having warm clothes in your prepper kit is a good idea. Remember, you do not know what tomorrow holds, and for all you know, you could wake up under a blanket of snow.
Don’t Just Plan For The End Of The World
Most people think of planning for the apocalypse when discussing prepping.
While you do want to prepare for a doomsday situation and be ready for the worst-case scenario, many other things are far more likely to inhibit your daily life. You need to plan for all situations, not only the worst-case ones.
Localized disasters, financial crises, or power outages can be just as challenging as any apocalypse situation.
Don’t Forget Your Pets
Having a bunker full of canned goods, weapons, tools, and books will not be helpful if Fido is starving in the corner. Don’t forget to add pet food and other items when creating a stockpile or filling your designated shelter.
Don’t Forget To Practice
Much like a fire drill, you need to practice to be prepared. Ensure you have your plan outlined and make a point to practice often. You should create alternative routes, scout new locations, and adapt for flexibility continually.
Since we never know what is coming, we must be prepared for anything. What if the main road is taken out? What if your shelter is damaged? What if you need to travel and be on the move? It is not enough to think of the worst-case. You must think of all possible situations if you hope to survive.
The biggest mistake you can make when planning for the future is to stop. The job of a prepper is never done, and there is always more that could make a difference.
The moment you give up and think you are ready for anything is when a ball comes from left field and catches you off guard. Never stop, give up, or get too comfortable – your life depends on it, and the future is far too uncertain.
While there are many more mistakes that a prepper can make, these are the ones that I felt were most significant to this piece. I could easily add hundreds more, as I am sure you could too. In fact, I would love to hear some of your ideas.
What mistakes do you want others to avoid? What lessons have you learned over the years? What do you think a new prepper needs to know?
Share your thoughts in the comments, and let’s talk about preparing for the inevitable. Stay safe.
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