Monday, June 8, 2015

Maintaining Operational Readiness

One of the interesting things that I have noticed about preppers is that they are great right out of the gate.  They are willing to spend money (often a LOT of money) on gear and equipment.  They're willing to invest their time in learning new skills.  They jump in with both feet, get prepared and settle in to wait for the end of the world.  And then the end of the world doesn't happen.  Soon, their food stores are depleted.  Their skills aren't used and are soon forgotten.  Their equipment hasn't been maintained and fallen into disrepair. 

Don't believe me?  Just look to our recent past - Y2K.  How many people do you know that bought into the Y2K hype, became overnight survivalists and now don't have a spare gallon of gas to their names?  I know of more than I can count.  Much of our preparedness inventory and equipment came from people selling their Y2K stores.  They waited for about 5 years and then began slowly liquidating their supplies.  Most of the generators had never been run, the grain grinders never used and the gamma sealed buckets never opened.  We benefited directly with tremendous deals on never-been-used Dietz lanterns, Aladdin lamps, All-American canners and military surplus.  Y2K was good to us in more ways than one!

Although we see the error of our post-Y2K brethren's way, Sir Knight and I can also understand their position.  They were experiencing Survival Fatigue.  The rush, the panic, the expectation of disaster - followed by an anticlimactic conclusion.  Their disenchantment was understandable. 

The same thing can happen to us today.  We learn, we prepare, we train, in anticipation of societal upheaval, yet society, amazingly, continues on as it did yesterday and the day before.  After months, and years and decades, it is easy to become weary and experience our own Survival Fatigue.  We can become complacent and apathetic and that complacency can cost us everything.

Being a survivalist is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle.  You have to be willing to prepare even when you don't feel like it.  You have to be willing to prepare even when everyone tells you there's nothing to prepare for.  You have to be willing to maintain your equipment, polish your skills and stay at the ready.  You have to be willing to invest yourself in prepping, not just your money. 

Maintaining operational readiness should be a part of daily life.  Use your equipment and keep it maintained.  Rotate your food, rotate your fuel and rotate your medical supplies.  Water your batteries, grind your grain and grow your garden.  Don't stockpile your skills and equipment for "some day", make them a part of your everyday life, now. 

We can't live our lives waiting for future chaos.  We have to live now.  And in living diligently now, we can maintain our own operational readiness.


  1. I started to prepare when I retired and moved to the country. I am not becoming tired of the lifestyle and am in fact about to make a run to the JCLDS pantry to purchase some canned beans. I figure that all I have purchased will get used someday and even if they can manage to keep kicking the can down the road ( they have already managed longer than I thought they would be able to) I have managed to spend some $ before they are worth less. The first new car I purchased was in 1966 and cost $3600 that same car would now cost about $36000 so the sooner I can spend the money for something useful and long lived the better! Thanks again for resuming your posting and thanks for the 2 great books that you have made available!!

  2. I've gotten into more than a few discussions over the possibility of societal collapse-either from a dissolving society, or a nuclear war (when I was in high school, it was considered inevitable by most of my teachers that we would play ,at some point, a very realistic game of Missile Command with the Soviet Union...other than one history teacher, that is. She said the Soviet Union would fold up under its own weight. It more or less did-she guessed it within five years( this was in 1974).
    Is societal collapse possible? Yes. Likely? I don't know. I have doubts. Predicting the future is iffy on a good day. With that said, being prepared certainly doesn't hurt anything.It's what I call The Spare Tire Theory-better to have it and never need it than the other way around. Keeping the spare inflated is a good idea, too..and a 12 volt compressor is nice. Don't just have a spare, but make sure it's ready to go if needed. It would be my guess the most common emergency anyone is likely to have to deal with is weather related (and possibly short-term civil disorder-looters and the like). My preparations are geared towards that, simply because I consider it the most likely.
    I plan to get outta town, simply because I want to...correcting a mistake I made 25 years ago. I allowed myself to be talked into moving into an urban area. Cities are like cars-they rust out from the inside out.

  3. Everyday the world doesn't end is an extra day to prepare. Don in Estacada

  4. Good comments. Hey to the Paratus family, miss seeing you all. Take a Hug and pass it around, hope to see before it falls apart,
    Automatic Survivor ;President/Instructor
    North Idaho

  5. I've been prepping so long (since the Cold War days - we were called survivalists back then) that I don't know any other way to live. Rotate more Coleman fuel and lamp oil..there's no such thing as too much TP. And so it goes. I told my son if I die before SHTF, just fly here as he'll need a UHaul to take all my preps back with him.

  6. My father was in the Army and my parents lived in Italy from 1958-1961with my two older brothers. I was born there in 1960. My mom explained to all of us years later that she had to be ready at the drop of a hat to not only drive our car with a small child, a toddler and an infant, but to lead other women and their dependents out of there. All were required to have suitcases packed and at the ready with non perishable food in them and to have jars of water ready to load up and leave as well. Mom said she had to buy "paper diapers" for me for the trip and she saved them for "just in case" and then used them when we rotated back to the states. The suit cases were in the front closet and mom literally used them as our chest of drawers because being fairly poor, there weren't really extra clothes to just keep on the ready. Same with the food, she bought new peanut butter and crackers, put them in the suitcase, took the items out of the suitcase and fed them to my brothers. There was more to it than just that, but she had a bug out bag for our family long before it was a term on the internet.
    We went over all of it in detail when we moved to Germany in 1972. Same scenario. Always ready to get in the car and drive. Suitcases always ready with food and the car was always full of gasoline and there were enough Deutsch geld on hand to pay cash to fill it repeatedly until we got to the west coast of Europe at a destination I was never burdened to be told.
    My mom is 83 and is the bravest woman I know, all 4'11" of her. She drove her car, with a two year old son, and a girl friend to New York in the very early 50's so she could get the car on a ship and then fly to Germany and then take a train into Berlin. (Her friend flew back to Missouri, her part of the trip was an adventure for her as well). Then she was always at the ready to take us kids out of Italy, alone with other women and kids, but she would be one to help lead. Again, the same in Germany. My dad wouldn't be coming because he would be busy doing his job in the military.
    Both of my parents grew up during the depression with an "I can" attitude. I can because I must.
    That is what many more people need to learn.
    Two summers ago, I hit the wall, tired of prepping. I had burnout. I needed a change and my husband made it happen. We are now prepping for retirement.
    We haven't changed our minds or hearts about what is coming but we have just become more determined to approach it differently. It's a lifestyle now, not a list of things needed to purchase, to store, to learn. We have an acreage, our gardening efforts should pay off better at 3000 feet elevation lower. We are fencing and hope to have larger livestock than our chickens. Speaking of those, we will finish off meat birds this summer, a first.
    It was a huge undertaking to move, leave the security of the place we lived and our like minded community. And our friends. We are farther away from family, also. But our family knows what they should be doing and if they do so or fail to do so, it is on them.
    Burnout is common. By making it a lifestyle of just being more self sufficient, it's more relaxing. We'll be better able to weather an economic depression, dependent more on our labor on this piece of dirt than our the labor of my husband to earn money. Before it felt like I was holding my breath waiting for the worst to happen, which makes it quite difficult to actually accomplish much. We are farther behind now, because we are starting a new adventure but I think the Lord led us to this place for a reason and I will just trust in Him.
    And continue to work and learn.
    God's blessings to you all.

  7. Space s in tentional
    I want this li fe style HOWEVER, I want to tra vel. Do you miss going to the bea ch or sk iing great his torical site. I guess I will trave l for 10 ye ars and pra y soci al colla pse is dela yed un til I return