I’m writing this by hand with pen and paper in the darkness of a power outage caused by stormy weather. I’m going to ask some hypothetical survival and prepping questions that are more alarmingly real than most people want to admit. Answer them honestly for yourself or with your spouse. If your responses are disappointing, examine how you can change; and then do it!
When we see earthquakes topple buildings in Peru, tsunamis wash away villages in Japan, lava swallow homes in the Canary Islands, fire consume Australia, or civil war rage in Africa, we tend to think “it can’t happen here.” Thinking “It can’t happen to me” is a fatal flaw. Bad things happen to all people sometimes. America has already had a civil war, rebellions, natural disasters, lethal power outages, invasions, heatwaves, and plagues. So, what’s this “it can’t happen here” mindset?
In the interconnected world in which we live, disasters are amplified manyfold. A disruption in one part of the supply chain thousands of miles away, for instance, could directly impact your local stores’ ability to keep their shelves stocked or leave the pumps at your corner gas station bone dry. (Several months after writing the previous two sentences, as I finally polish up this article for publication, we now see massive strains on the supply chain globally, truckers threatening strikes, companies unable to get product, cargo ships lined up outside of harbors waiting to offload, gas prices shooting up, pilots striking over tyrannical vaccine mandates, potential war in Ukraine threatening Europe’s gas supply, etc. It’s all falling apart and the time to start preparing was yesterday!)
Since we know all these awful things can and do happen, the question becomes: What are you going to do about it? Are you preparing for or evading reality? There are really only two ways a person can react to potential threats – prepare or ignore. Being aware is not being prepared, though it’s an essential first step. True preparedness requires action. Acknowledging this, it’s time to answer some questions and decide what you’re going to do about them.
If the power went out, what would you do? Don’t misunderstand; I’m not referring to a temporary outage that the power company quickly fixes. What if a section of the power grid – or the whole thing – went down, either from a hostile EMP strike, a terrorist attack, a comprehensive hack attack, or even a solar flare, and no one knew exactly how long it would be off? It could be days, weeks, or months. And the devastating crisis would be compounded further by anarchy and rioting, or perhaps even by an opportunistic attack by Russia and China.
In such a scenario, which is far more realistic and far closer than most realize, what would you do? Could you survive? Do you have a power generator? If so, what kind? If it’s gas-powered, do you have sufficient stores of fuel on hand for long-term use? Do you have alternative energy sources, whether wood, coal, gas, hydro, or solar? If your answer is “wood,” have you prepared it, dried it, and made it ready for use? If you answered “solar,” consider whether your solar panels are linked to the power grid as most installed panels are, making them quite useless in a grid-down scenario. Whatever your alternative source, ask yourself if you know how to use it and if you have enough to last.
More pressing even than alternative forms of power is the question of food and food preparation. Do you have food that could be prepared without electricity? More to the point, do you have a way to prepare food without electricity; say, a solar oven? If not, then, again, I ask, what will you do when the power inevitably goes off?
Even if the power doesn’t go off in a meaningful way, there will still come a day when you will need a food storage. How much food storage do you have? Three days? One week? One month? One year? I don’t recommend anything less than a one-year supply. All those experts telling you to get a two-week supply are misguided and will lead you to starvation and misery if you heed them. Half measures won’t get you through what’s coming.
Again, I ask: If the store shelves were empty, could you survive? For how long? Do you have food canned, packed, and stored in your house? Do you have a home garden or homestead? Do have #10 cans or buckets full of grain, oats, beans, rice, and other staples? Do you have honey and other essentially non-destructible foods? Do you have spices – salt, pepper, cayenne – to live up your food so you’re not eating the same thing every single day? Do you have flour, oil, Crisco, or other ingredients to cook with, or at least the means of making your own?
Furthermore, do you have a solar oven, portable solar oven bag, wood stove, or other alternative way to heat and cook food? Do you know how to grind wheat and make bread? If you have some food stored, is it expired or ready to use? Do you have a list of the foods you have available along with their amounts and when they need rotated or eaten? And if you have a baby, or pets, have you factored their unique considerations into your planning?
Being prepared to feed yourself in a crisis demands a lot more than just having some food in buckets. It’s a mindset. It’s a skill set. It’s a determination to not only survive, but thrive. Could you do it? Could you live for a year – or any prolonged period – without setting foot in a store or murdering your neighbors for their cache of supplies? Starving people are desperate people – especially those with starving children at home. Are you willing to watch your kids starve or are you confident that you’ve prepared enough food storage already to take care of them in a major crisis?
Perhaps you’re in the camp that thinks they’ll just go into the woods with their gun or bow and hunt game or live in a shelter made of sticks and moss. Good luck! Though God has blessed America with an abundance of wildlife and natural foods, this isn’t a winning strategy. Some may successfully do it, but with droves of people attempting to hunt in a given area, how long before it gets hunted out? The Indians who often subsisted on hunting didn’t stay in one area too long because they’d hunt it out too quickly and wouldn’t be able to survive. Do you think you’d avoid the same fate? Or are you prepared to shoot other desperate people who try to go onto your property to hunt for food?
As important as food is, water is even more critical. If the water supply suddenly evaporated, what would you do? Think of the question in serious terms. If terrorists or enemy forces poisoned the water supply, or if pipes burst for any number of reasons and a plague or war conditions prevented maintenance from occurring, or a major earthquake disrupted the delicate system, what would you do? If any of these or other scenarios turned off the water, and there was no prospect of it flowing from the tap any time soon, how would you get by? Filling your bathtub with water isn’t going to hold you over for long.
Do you have a water storage on hand? If so, how much? Enough for a day, two days, a week, a month, longer? The average American drinks about 182 gallons of water a year, or eight cups a day (though you should ideally be consuming more than that). I ask again very pointedly: How much water do you have stored and ready to use in a crisis? 182 gallons? 728 gallons, which would supply a family of four? More? Less? Is your supply enough not only to drink to stay alive, but to prepare food, wash utensils, and bathe?
Let’s say you physically don’t have enough storage space for the large quantities of H2O we’re talking about (though everyone has room for some – under the bed, in the closet, on a shelf, on top of the dryer, in the car trunk, etc.). Do you at least have water filtration devices at the ready? LifeStraw, Sawyer, and numerous other brands, make high-quality, inexpensive and highly portable water filtration systems that can be thrown into any bag and even that can fit in a pants pocket. Do you have one or more for each member of your family? If not, do you have chlorine tablets or drops to purify water? If you have none of these things, do you at know at what temperature water boils and how long you need to boil water to kill harmful bacteria? This brings us back to whether or not we have fuel or electricity to even heat our theoretical water. Answer honestly if you could survive a severe water shortage.
Moving on. If the “unthinkable” happens and nuclear war hits us, how would you cope? Some people have been awed into complacency and inaction by literal Soviet propaganda, still prevalent today, about “nuclear winter” that will exterminate all humanity and end the earth. Rest assured, all the nuclear weapons in the world couldn’t destroy the planet or kill off earth’s population. So, considering that you’ll likely survive the initial devastation of the planned nuclear war against our civilization, what will you do in the aftermath?
Do you know how to defend yourself against radiation and fallout? Do you have KI tablets handy and tucked into your survival kits? Do you even know what KI tablets are or do? Are you familiar with the prevailing wind patterns and how fallout might be dispersed? Do you know how to calculate the half-life of radiation and estimate when it will be safe to emerge out of hiding after a blast? Do you know what the potential nuclear targets in your area are? In short, what is your strategic plan to save your family in the nuclear war that I guarantee is coming in our future?
If civil unrest, which seems to be spreading like wildfire, comes to your community, what will you do? Will you flee? If so, where? Have you selected a retreat location? Do you have a go-bag ready to get you there? Who will go with you? Who knows about it? Does your family know how to get there and what to do if it ever becomes necessary? Have you coordinated the details with your loved ones? For instance, how will you transport your survival supplies – the food, water, and fuel we’ve discussed – to your retreat location? What if your preferred route is blocked either by the National Guard, a riot, roving gangs, a natural disaster that destroys a bridge, or any other cause? Do you have an alternative route, a back-up plan, or a secondary location?
Perhaps you don’t want to flee, but prefer to fight. What is your defense strategy? What buildings or assets will you defend? Will you stand on top of your business with a rifle and pick off rioters? Will you shoot starving people who want to get at your food storage? Will you call up some friends and form a vigilance committee to collectively guard your neighborhood? If making a Spartan stand is your choice, then which weapons will you use? Firearms? Are you trained with them? Are they in working order? Do you have enough ammunition? Are your friends reliable? Are they also trained? Have you trained together in small arms tactics or urban warfare? Do you have a command structure? Can you rely on each other in a life-or-death situation? Could you really survive violent anarchy and are you emotionally prepared to gun down your countrymen if you decide to dig in?
Or maybe you don’t want to flee or flight. Instead, you want to hunker down until the raging storm blows over. Fair enough. How will you do it? Will you bury a large bunker in your backyard? Do you have the money to do so? Can you do it without all your neighbors knowing what you’re up to? Will you build a concealed shelter in your basement? Are you capable of such a task? Hiding in your closet isn’t a practical option, so are you prepared to go big or go home and put in some form of shelter, panic room, or bunker? And if you put in a survival shelter, remember that you still need to stock it with food, water, a waste disposal system, and so forth. Could you survive if you tried to hide?
If a truly devastating plague – unlike the COVID-1984 scamdemic – hit us and caused a legitimate pandemic, could you survive? You’ve survived a global psyop, but could you survive the real thing? Do you have gas masks or other biochemical warfare gear? Are you in tip-top physical shape? Do you get proper nutrition and take sufficient vitamins? Do you have reserves of vitamins, antibiotics, and other life-saving medicines? Do you know any herbal and traditional remedies? Could you use cayenne, cattails, chamomile, dandelion, elderberry, garlic, ginger, turmeric, or any of the other amazing plants, herbs, and spices God placed on earth for the benefit of man for your health and healing?
Additionally, if your health requires you to be on oxygen or dialysis or some specific medication, how will you survive if society collapses or hospitals are truly overcrowded with infectious patients? Do you have a plan? Do you have alternative medicines in mind? Do you have back-up supplies to hold you over until, perhaps, society could get back up on its feet enough to help you in the normal way? And, as always, if a true pandemic or war or terrible event forced you to shelter in place, or if the government sealed off your neighborhood or city, do you have a medicine cabinet, a food and water storage, and other supplies to sustain yourself for the long haul?
Throughout all of these scenarios, I bet you imagined yourself clothed. But this begs the question: Do you have proper clothing set aside for times of trouble? We’re not talking about your everyday clothes, but the sturdy garments that will last – especially during the winter.
One of the most essential items in every survival kit should be a warm winter coat. Do you have a water-resistant, breathable coat that is good for use in minus temperatures? Do you have good outdoor boots? Do you have the type of clothes you’d wear camping? Those are the ones you’ll want – not your fancy business suit or night club skirt. And what about spare socks and underwear? Extra shoelaces and soles? A warm hat and gloves? Tactical gloves or tactical pants?
Perhaps even more important than having these things on hand is possessing the ability to mend or make them. Can you sew a torn shirt? Can you put a button back on? Can you crochet or knit? Could you make your own clothes, blankets, gloves, or other necessities, if the supply chain broke down or the stores closed or war disrupted society? Our ancestors knew how to make their own clothing – do you?
Finally, are you mentally prepared to survive the coming apocalypse? Earlier, I said that preparedness is a mentality. Are you psyched up and ready to survive? Are you actively and strategically thinking about all of these things? Are you actively engaged in protecting your family and ensuring their future? Have you run through all the scenarios and hypothetical situations? Have you war-gamed it out with your family? Have you tested any of these hypotheses and plans? Have you taken your head out of the sand and looked reality square in the face, both the reality of what’s coming and how prepared (or not) you really are for it? And, lastly, are you spiritually prepared with sufficient faith and testimony to weather the storms, resist the Adversary, and come out of the furnace of affliction more refined?
The future is both dark and sunny, terrible and great. Things in society will get so much worse before they get better. You’ll live through other pandemics, false-flag attacks, world war, famine, mobocracy, and tyranny. You’ll see friends and loved ones turn on you, neighbors tear each other apart, and order break down. You’ll watch loved ones pass on to the other side and millions of your countrymen perish.
Yet, in the face of it all, the Lord has promised: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30). Normal is not coming back, Jesus is. But before He does, hell will be unleashed in an unprecedented way. Prepare to survive so that you can be one who merrily meets the Lord when He comes to claim His Kingdom.
December 1, 2021