2017 Resolutions for Preppers

A new year means a time to take stock of where we are as preppers, and see where we have to go for the next 12 months, both to expand as well as maintain our preparedness.  In this spirit, we wanted to collect a list of resolutions.

Best selling author & podcaster Mark Goodwin over at prepperrecon.com released a podcast recently with his Top Ten resolutions. Rather than repeat anything he has already said, I want to list his 10 here, and then further expand to another ten, bringing us to a total of 20.

We won’t go into any explanations of PrepperRecon’s Top Ten list, for that simply go listen to the podcast.  But here is the list:

10. Learn a new skill
9. Create a side business
8. Eat healthier
7. Wean yourself from excessive pharmaceuticals
6. Quit drinking
5. Quit smoking
4. Start a garden
3. Start exercising
2. Get on a budget
1. Read your Bible every day

And now our additional Top Ten New Years resolutions for preppers.  As I was coming up with this list, it ended up that things sort of paired up nicely in groups of two, so we’ll be posting two resolutions per day in no particular order, but grouped because they are related.

But let’s start with just our first one today:

Wedding Rings

Get your spouse on board

Assuming you’re married, prepping can be tough if you are not both already on board.  Spending any financial resources on prepping is probably the #1 concern.  It’s sort of ironic because often times one spouse can have a “hobby” and divert money to that hobby, and the other spouse won’t worry about it too much, especially if it’s not a large percentage of the monthly budget.  But if that hobby is prepping, the spouse might consider that a waste of resources, weird, or paranoid.

The key here is to win your spouse over to the idea that spending some resources, both time & money, on prepping is both akin to insurance AND should improve your life if the zombie apocalypse arrives or not.  For example, putting extra food away in a smart manner where it does not get wasted allows you to always buy the items you use anyway when they are on sale.  This helps save money, which pays a dividend that can be reinvested back into an improved lifestyle.  And sure on those icy winter days where you might get snowed in for a while, or if for any other reason it is impossible, dangerous, or merely inconvenient to go to the store for a food item, you’ll have it on hand.  The worst case if nothing happens: you time your purchases and buy extra when everything is on sale – cha ching!

Likewise in other areas of prepping, the same thought process holds true.  Consider that having the ability to perform water filtration is useful in camping & hiking scenarios, which allows the family to haul much less water and therefore worry less about dragging heavy supplies along.  Start out with something small like lifestraws and get your spouse somewhat on board before going for the Royal Berkey.

Communications can also provide useful in a camping scenario, and can provide an educational opportunity for the kids to learn about various radio frequencies.  It can also be a very entertaining and rewarding hobby to communicate on the CB radio or even get your HAM operator license and talk with folks around the region or even the world.

If your spouse is okay with you pursuing a “hobby” so long as it’s not “prepping”, you can also disguise your hobby at the onset.  Take up gardening – who can argue when they see fresh homegrown tomatoes and squash coming in to the kitchen from a previously non-productive back yard?  This might equally apply to becoming a HAM, as mentioned above.  If you like to grill, use that as an easy excuse to have an extra propane tank on hand – just in case the one you have ever runs out.  No one likes a grill flame out due to propane running out when they’re cooking a BBQ for friends & family.  The key here is to not be deceptive, but to be reasonable.

Once your spouse is eased into prepping through some of these initial ideas, she/he will start to see some of the benefits, and you can move along to intensify what you’ve already begun as well as add some of the “bigger” things.  Don’t rush it though – it will take some time, and that’s okay.

Preppers: Don’t Let Your Guard Down

Since the election of President Trump, the preparedness industry has seen large reductions in the purchase rates of key prepper items.  This includes long storage food, a primary staple of any prepper’s stash.  People are feeling good that soon as a nation we will be out from underneath the horrible policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years.  Preppers should beware though – while the vast majority of us agree that Obama leaving office is a good thing, we are still facing many serious problems as a nation.  Now is not the time to let your guard down.

The Good

  • Repealing Obamacare – President-elect Trump has made repealing the “Affordable” Care Act a #1 priority of his administration.  Obamacare is crushing household budgets with skyrocketing premiums, but what if anything will replace it is TBD.
  • Supreme Court – If Trump sticks by his word to nominate conservative justices, we can look forward to our constitutional rights being protected for decades to come at the federal level.
  • The Wall – If we are to have a country, we must have borders.  Today illegals, criminals, and potential terrorists stream easily across our porous southern border.
  • Better Trade Deals – The deals we currently have today are so bad for America, there is indeed major room for improvement.  We are still a powerful consumer, and Trump will leverage that power to get better deals.
  • Tax Reform – Taxes will be lowered across the board for individuals as well as corporations.  This should result in increased repatriation of offshore funds as well as a much needed boost to family bottom lines.
  • Russian Relations – The brink of WW3 with Russia has been averted with Trump’s proposed foreign policy of cooperation rather than confrontation.

The Bad

  • Infrastructure Spending – With taxes being lowered, any increased spending in the near term will almost certainly go directly to the already high federal deficit.
  • Draconian Leftist States – Even with some Trump appointments to the SCOTUS, nothing has been proposed to counter the efforts of states such as New York, California, Maryland, etc. in their continued drive to restrict our liberties in terms of the 2A, excessive “sin” taxes (soda / sugar), raw milk, and so on.
  • Increased Military Spending – While having a powerful military is a good thing and something the federal government should actually be doing, again there just isn’t the budget for it, so the deficit will likely skyrocket.
  • Repealing Obamacare – While repeal of the ACA is listed in the “Good” list above, it is also potentially bad in that it is unknown what it will be replaced with.  If it is replaced with nothing, and the medical industry issue below is not dealt with, folks who have pre-existing conditions will be back to square one.  I expect a likely potential outcome is that after a repeal, a compromise so called “public option” will be added where people who cannot otherwise get insurance will be allowed to buy it from the government, such as buying in to the plan federal employees & Congress have.  This starts us down the slippery slope of single payer.

The Ugly

  • National Debt – $20 trillion in direct national debt will not be solved by the Trump administration.  The debt will in fact likely grow by a substantial amount.
  • Unfunded Federal Liabilities – No realistic proposals have been made to address the near term bankruptcy of the Social Security & Medicare trust funds.  Entitlements, especially Medicaid, will continue to grow.
  • Unfunded Pensions – The pension systems of many state and local government workers as well as private companies have been woefully underfunded for decades.  A zero percent interest rate environment has decimated the required returns for these pensions, and they are beginning to fail and will continue to fail dramatically over the coming years.  There is no money to fill the holes, and retirees will be lucky to get pennies on the dollar.
  • Medical Monopoly – No major medical reform, such as an anti-trust & racketeering crackdown on the entire medial industry, has been discussed.  Without addressing this health care time bomb, nothing else will matter in terms of the federal budget.  This will cause a collapse within the next 4 to 5 years according to Karl Denninger.
  • US Polarization – The country is more polarized than ever in terms of race and political ideology.  It would not be a stretch to expect increasing episodes of civil unrest.  Leftists have become more and more violent in reaction to the election, and have acted out against folks even perceived to be Trump supporters.  They plan unparalleled obstruction efforts to the new administration.
  • Transition Minefield – Obama has left a minefield of issues for Trump to make his transition as difficult as possible.  The most important of these being the recent abstention to the UN Security Council vote condemning Israel’s settlements outside the 1967 boundaries.  This will very likely be impossible for Trump to reverse, and sets the stage for another powder keg in the Middle East & increased terrorist attacks.

As you can tell from the items above, while there are some good things to look forward to, this is absolutely no time to stop preparing.  There are a lot of very serious problems at our doorstep right now, which President-elect Trump either will not be able to solve at all or certainly not in the immediate future.  Do not let your guard down – continue to prepare and maintain situational awareness about the government (local and federal) as well as of the people in the nearest population centers.

Groupon deal: Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

bc623e9976e153f6ef9413c54356beecGroupon is currently running a deal on the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter.  You can normally find these at Safecastle or Amazon for about $20 or so, but right now Groupon is selling them at $16.  It looks like the deal is going to run for about 7 days more, so if you have been waiting to pick up one (or more) of these, it might be a good time to do so.

3 Days of Food… 5 Feet of Snow

NBC News had a really interesting segment last night about the recent blizzard in & around Buffalo that quickly dumped over five feet of snow in some locations.  The whole segment is interesting, but I think particularly interesting is the part that starts at about 2:55 into the clip – the couple with the baby…  Check the video out here.

They planned for 3-4 days at most, and now they’re out of food…   So, they knew the storm was coming, apparently had less than four days of food on hand, went out beforehand and got up to 3-4 days worth, and now since it’s worse than that, they’re in trouble. With a baby!

If this isn’t a perfect example for why it’s important to have some food on hand, I don’t know what is.  This isn’t NatGeo being prepared paranoia – here’s a real life story. Put another way, isn’t some part of your capital reserves safer kept in your pantry in physical form rather than in a bank in digital form, where it does you no good if you can’t get to the bank/store or if the power is out? “Food” for thought.