There are a lot of factors that make preparing for a crisis difficult. While some have issues with budgeting for gear and products, others tend to forgo their physical preparedness. But if I were to pick the main culprit that prohibits readiness for those striving to be prepared, it would be time. The question that I get asked the most by my NTC Members goes something like this: How can I find time to get prepared when I barely have time to eat?
Multitasking: The True Secret of Emergency Preparedness
Time management is crucial in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world. Our jobs take up a big chunk of our day, and that doesn’t even count the commute. If you have children, there are continual tasks that need to be accounted for. When you add in a pet or two… Finding time for anything is at a premium.
We both realize the importance of preparing for ourselves and our families. If we choose to wait, it truly may be too late to get prepared. The stress in trying to find the time can be overwhelming. We all want to do the right thing, but there are only so many hours in a day. Alleviating something from your packed schedule may not be an option.
I have witnessed many would-be survivalists give up on their preparedness needs because they no longer had the time. Anytime they spoke about it, I could always tell that it ate them up inside. I began to think of how to multi-task in order to get prepared with other must-do’s still on the list. There’s always going to be a caveat or two, depending on your current situation. As with most things, what will work well for some may not work at all for others. But there are a few ideas that seem to work across the board.
Here Are a Few Tips for Getting Prepared When Time Is Not on Your Side:
Vacation time is factored into most hectic schedules. For your next holiday getaway….Go camping! Camping is a great way to de-stress and spend some quality time bonding with loved ones. It’s also an ideal environment to get some emergency preparedness training in. You can cook over an open fire. That way, you can practice your fire building skills. In addition, you can build a shelter and spend a night in there. When choosing a campsite, go with primitive. Avoid campgrounds that provide electrical and water hookups at the sites, which will help you get prepared subconsciously for longer survival situations.
On extended stays, you can test the requirements needed by your family for a 72 to 96 hour emergency. This will help you address your water needs, as well as food consumption. This is also a great opportunity to get familiar with the items in your go-bags. Live out there as if there were a crisis going on back in “civilization.” Perfect practice always makes perfect.
Watch Video Tutorials:
Family time is usually scheduled into most agendas. Instead of watching your favorite movie for the 10th time, put on some skill-building tutorials. You want to try and keep it fun and entertaining, especially for those group members that may not be as interested in preparedness. So break out the popcorn and play the tutorials on your home entertainment center! The more that it still feels like “family night,” the more enjoyable that it will be. This will go a long way in getting the family to retain the knowledge being conveyed.
Along the same lines, you can also watch a movie that is focussed on survival. Brief your family before the movie and have them reflect on how they would react if this crisis were to happen to them. Would they know how to get prepared? You can pause the movie after any major focal point and make it a quick lesson. The more engaging that the experience becomes, the more that everyone involved will gain.
Go Off-Grid In Your Home:
In many SHTF scenarios, bugging-in or hunkering down at home is your best bet. Getting as much real practice as possible is imperative for testing and even making your plan, so that you can get prepared. Since you don’t even have to leave your location, you save precious time. Once again, you can make this a fun, family event. Gather your supplies and make a weekend out of it.
Make all of your “on-grid” areas off limits. You can even go as far as shutting off the electrical breakers to the main area that you will be occupying in your home. Even bathrooms – and of course, the refrigerator -are off limits.
OK, maybe not the bathrooms…
The water coming from the home cannot be trusted, so it needs to be boiled. Do you have a propane stove that you can use? Is using a fire pit in your backyard an option? These are answers that need to be addressed. Going off-grid in your home for a weekend will give you valuable insight about your plan.
Add One Piece Of Gear Per Month:
We both want to build up our go-bags with all of the coolest and most functional gear available. We also realize that there is a lot of equipment that will be required for our family or group. Finding time to not only gather but also research the right products can be impossible.
Hasty decisions get made and…
More often than not, This leads to either inferior gear being implemented or just the wrong gear. Period. Gathering all of your gear at once can also break your budget much quicker than you think.
Add one piece of gear, personal or group, to your supplies each month. This will give you ample time to research the item. You may even have a friend that has the item that you have been eyeing. Ask if you can test it out and go from there. You can then find the best price on that same item or find something better for your needs. With the remainder of your time, try and get as much practice as possible in with your new item, so that you can truly get prepared. A new piece of gear is useless if you don’t know how to use it!
The following month, you can move on to the next item on your list and repeat the process. In a few months you will have some quality gear that you know how to use. You will be ahead of most that have stuffed go-bags. They have the gadgets…but are genuinely clueless on what half of their packed gear list is even for.
Throw On A Pack For Family Walks:
Another great way to utilize family time is to go for walks together. If you’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood where it is feasible, great! If not, head to the local city, county or state park. On these walks, put on a pack or your go bag as you continue your hike. If possible, get your family members to do the same. During an emergency, you may have to leave your home and head out on foot. This is giving you and your family members good practice. The best part is that it’s disguised as a regular walk.
If you have a dog, you can follow the same idea. Our dogs need daily walks; I will argue that so do we. Throw on your pack or go bag during these walks with your best friend. If you have a pack for your dog, this is the time that you want to get them used to it. This gives both of you experience with your pack. And let’s not forget the valuable physical preparedness that you’re building.
Whether it’s with your family, dog or both… It easily fits into your schedule.
Volunteer At A Boy Scout Outing:
I’m sure that you know someone who has a child who’s a boy scout. You may even have a boy scout in your own family. Most active boy scout troops go camping on a regular basis. If you speak to the scout’s guardian, they will tell you that they can always use some extra help at these outings. As long as they know and can vouch for you, you will be more than welcomed by the other adult leaders.
You will be wonderfully surprised by the proficiency of these scouts. They operate as one unit when needed and also break down into smaller patrols or groups. Their outdoor skill-sets rival many of the so-called experts that we see on reality TV. When you volunteer for an event, not only are you helping young scouts, but you’ll also gain some valuable knowledge.
If you do take my advice on this one, don’t be intimidated to ask the scouts to teach you. Not only will you be helping them to become leaders and teachers, but you’ll also make their day. On top of all that, you’ll get some real deal preparedness training under your belt in a relatively short period of time.
Get Involved With C.E.R.T. Events:
Getting involved in our community gets factored into many of our schedules. After all, these may be the people that you need to work with in a crisis situation. You need to get some face-time with them even if it’s extremely limited. One way to achieve this while aiding your preparedness is to attend a local C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Teams) event.
C.E.R.T. offers many opportunities to learn and even test your preparedness skills. It’s pretty much their mission. This is FEMA’s statement from their website:
“C.E.R.T. educates individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.”
Getting involved with C.E.R.T. allows you the opportunity to meet people that will be in charge during a local disaster. Being familiar with those in charge and their plan can enhance your chances of boding well during a crisis.
Practice Fire Building In Your Backyard:
Many of us live in cities and aren’t able to build a fire ring on our property. But at the very least, if you have the ability to put a small fire pit in your backyard, take advantage of the opportunity and do it! Fire building is a crucial skill to possess in most emergency situations. Being able to start a fire, by various means, is not only advised….It’s a must! In order to develop as well as to maintain this skill-set, there needs to be practice.
With a busy schedule, getting away to the local camping ground isn’t going to be sustainable. Having access to a place in your home where you can practice fire building is ideal. You can cook a weekly dinner in your fire pit as an example. Feeding yourself and the family is a necessity, so you may as well get your fire building skill-building in.
It just doesn’t get any better than sitting around an open flame with your family toasting marshmallows. Use your scheduled family time sitting around your fire pit instead of on the couch. You can hone your fire building skills while the family enjoys some sweet, tasty treats!
There will always be an excuse for not having enough time to prepare. Just like many facets in life, we need to actually want it in order to make time to achieve it. I gave a few simple tips for fitting-in the much needed time for preparedness. Hopefully these can get you started as you develop your own multi-tasking methods for preparedness.
The more fun that you can make the learning experience for both you and your family, the easier that all of you will adapt to an emergency scenario.
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If you’re looking for useful survival gear that you can’t make at home, check out the essay on basketball!
Have these tips inspired you to try and get prepared? Let us know in the comment section below! And be sure to leave any tips on how to get prepared too!
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