Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
If you are watching 2020 with horror like the rest of us, you may be thinking, “Holy cow, I better do something before things get even worse. This is a veritable festival of feces!”
A lot of people will respond to this and say, “Sorry about your luck, but you should have gotten prepared long before now. It’s too late. You’re out of luck.” Then they’ll huddle together in their experienced-prepper forums and snicker about the newbies and those who are just now arriving at the conclusion that they’d better get prepared.
A lot of people are a**holes.
While there’s absolutely truth to the fact that the sooner you’re ready for bad stuff, the better off you’ll be, nobody is ready for everything. That’s probably true of these folks too. I bet that most of them are not completely, 100% irrevocably prepared for any scenario. Why? Because that’s impossible. Nobody could have predicted half the stuff that happened this year all happening in the same year during an election and oh yeah, a whole bunch of riots, too.
If you are new to this and suddenly realize, “I’d better get with it NOW” I strongly urge you to focus your information-seeking on places that will welcome you, will answer your questions, and will treat you with the human decency that you deserve. Preppers all come to this awareness at different times in our lives with different experiences, different resources, and different responsibilities.
Your reasons for not being better prepared before now don’t matter.
As I mentioned, there are dozens if not hundreds of reasons that you may be just starting out. Spending time trying to explain yourself to those who just want to ridicule you is time that you’re wasting.
It simply doesn’t matter why you didn’t come to the realization sooner.
Now you know. Now you’re trying. Now you’re doing everything you can with the resources you have available.
Worrying about the past opportunities you may have missed, thinking of the previous advice you didn’t heed, and beating yourself up are all exercises in futility. They’re doing nothing more than taking your focus away from the things you can still accomplish. So shake it off, move forward, and ignore the criticism.
Disregard the naysayers.
The internet is loaded with people who will be smug and disapproving of you. It’s so rampant in this niche I wrote an open letter about it a few years back.
They’ll spend time telling you it’s too late, you’re going to die, you live in the wrong place, or you voted for the wrong person. They’ll be certain to remind you how you deserve whatever ill fate might befall you for not reaching their level of peak awareness back when they did. They’ll let you know in a jaded fashion that they “used” to try and help, but now, they’ve given up and there’s no point. (I call BS – baloney sandwiches, of course – on the suggestion they once tried to help. We all know people like this and ‘help” is rarely what they do.)
Folks like this, if they answer questions at all, will overcomplicate the answer. They’ll make it seem unachievable, or like an unreachable goal. They’ll make it seem as though only if you hop on a plane for a New Zealand compound that has already procured 10 years of food and water and runs a flock of sheep within the next 30 minutes, that you’re doomed.
Forget those people. In fact, RUN. Seek your information elsewhere. They only want to make themselves feel better by making others feel badly.
Anyone who is not directly helping you is either hindering you or distracting you. You have time for neither of these. You have things to do, my friend.
Find the people who want to help.
For every naysayer, there’s a yaysayer. (I’m not sure if that’s actually a word, but if not I just made it up.) You’ll find our comments section on The Organic Prepper is full of yaysayers.
There are tons of people out there with loads of preparedness experience who truly want to help, no matter how “late” in the game it is. We’ve got retired and active military members and law enforcement officers, farmers, homesteaders, housewives, moms, teachers, canners, foragers, thrifty folks, and all-around resourceful individuals who are happy to answer the same questions over and over and over again. This isn’t just on my website – you can find many places that welcome newbies.
It’s not all sunshine and lollipops, of course. We’re not going to be unrealistic. But we’re going to give you the best advice we can to try and help you in the circumstances you find yourself. And of course, it’s the internet – there are always jerks on every website. Just let that stuff roll right off you and focus on the people who genuinely want to offer you help and encouragement.
There are tribes out there who are delighted you’re ready to join us. The very best investment you can make in preparedness is your time and effort to get started.
It’s not too late.
Unless a nuclear warhead has hit America, Yellowstone has blown lava and ash into the atmosphere above us, or our system has devolved into a Mad Max scenario of dueling warlords and gangs, there are still things you can do.
Sure, maybe if you’re starting to get prepped right now, you won’t be as prepared as those of us who have been at it for 5, 10, or 20 years but you know what?
You’ll be ahead of the people who are blissfully keeping up with the Kardashians. Cut yourself some slack.
I would rather see you diligently working towards a greater state of preparedness than to witness you and your children starving or freezing after the second day of a power outage. I’d rather see you buy a good primer like The Prepper’s Blueprint and begin at square one, building on your preps diligently as you go through the book.
While it may not be the ideal scenario, there are a LOT of things that you can do, even on a very small budget.
What should you do now?
Start where you are.
That’s different for all of us. You may have been sort-of-prepping for years without even realizing it, just by buying doubles whenever something was on sale at the store. You may be the type of person who buys food for the day that day and be starting at zip, zero, nada.
It doesn’t matter. That’s your starting point. All that matters is where you go from there.
Start where you are now. Then tomorrow you’ll be further ahead. And the day after that, further still. Check in on a daily basis and look for content that you’ll find useful. Sign up here for our daily newsletter – we have current articles, frugality articles, and content from the archives. All of our content may not be for you, but you’ll find plenty to help you on your way. And if the content itself is not something you’re quite ready for, check it out anyway and hone your prepper mindset.
Here are the things you can start doing immediately:
- Organize the supplies you have. If you can’t find what you need, you might as well not even have it.
- Start making a list of what you use in a week. Just start with a week. Don’t overwhelm yourself. One week of supplies puts you one week ahead of where you were before. Don’t just think about food. Think about water, hygiene items, pet supplies, and all the other things you consume.
- Start shopping the sales. Whenever you find items on your list, try to buy enough for an extra week, or even an extra month if possible, grab it and stash it.
- Change how you eat and shift more toward longer-term items than all fresh ingredients. Look for canned and frozen versions, as well as dried goods. These will last for quite some time in your pantry.
- Learn to store food properly. This book may help with both storing food properly and building a practical pantry.
- Preparedness is about more than food. Work on building a financial emergency fund and buying non-food preps as well.
Here are some articles that may help.
- 9 Things to Buy Every Time You Go to the Store
- How to Prepare for What Comes Next
- A Quick-Start Guide for New Preppers Who Want to be Ready RIGHT NOW
- Survival Mindset: Know That YOU Are Worth Defending
- Life After COVID: A Look at the New Economy
- How to Feed a Family for a Month from Your Stockpile
- Here’s How 2020 Compares with the Great Depression (VIDEO)
- SHTF Food Storage Tips for Building a Stockpile
These are just a start.
Don’t worry about what you haven’t accomplished yet. Even the most prepared among us have things we wish we had already acquired or accomplished. Preparedness is a never-ending quest but it will give you a peace of mind like no other interest you’ll ever cultivate.
If you’re just getting started, welcome. You’re not too late. You are right on time for where you are in your own journey. Just start. We’re here to help.