No, You Can’t Take It

five basic needs: 1) food, 2) water, 3) shelter, 4) SECURITY, and 5) energy

Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime.

There’s a story of a prepper moving into his new home. As he’s unpacking all of his preps and food storage in his garage the nosey neighbor wanders over, looks at all stuff and ‘jokingly’ says, “If the shit ever hits the fan, I know who I need to come and kill.” The prepper looks at the neighbor and says, “That’s too bad. Before you said that, I would have shared with you if you were in need.”

Now that we’re starting to build our preps, what do we need to do to keep them secure? It’s a tough, but real question. There are people out there who’s shit hits the fan (SHTF) scenario is to take others’ stuff by force (“I don’t need to store food, I just store ammo”). To share, or not, is a personal choice; however, the decision is one you should be allowed to make, not forced into.

Our neighbors and those around us know that we’re preppers. They see into our garages; they hear us discuss our projects and stores. Some in the prepper community express concern about others ‘knowing too much’; but I believe, with the appropriate caution, we should share our knowledge and set an example, and build community around us.

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Lack of water kills us in a few days; lack of security can kill us in seconds.

Security involves many technical skills: personal defense, weapons, firearms, and first aid. Almost all require some degree of initial training, and then continuing education to maintain proficiency. It encompasses a lot of things viewed as the ‘Cool Guy’ exciting stuff. Many of us, myself included, enjoy training in personal defense, shooting guns, or learning to treat a trauma wound. But these skills become very serious when lives depend on them.

Being aware of your environment and actions is also a big part of security. Know who’s around, have escape routes in mind, look for potential weapons. Do what you can to avoid dangerous places and situations. Frank Sharpe Jr., of Fortress Defense, teaches “We don’t go to stupid places, with stupid people, and do stupid things.”

In addition to the practical skills, there are the moral aspects. While most would agree with defending yourself, and others around you, what about defending your ‘stuff’? Where is the line, how much of your preps (‘stuff’) can you lose before that loss threatens your life?

The Second Amendment affirms our right to “keep and bear Arms.” Firearms ownership in the prepper community is overwhelmingly approved of and encouraged. I believe firearms should be a part of your preps. But everyone must decide what is appropriate for them. If you do choose to use firearms, ensure you have the proper training in safe use and handling.

Whether you choose to use firearms or not, I also highly recommend carrying pepper spray on a daily basis. It’s a non-lethal option that is easy to carry, requires no special training, it’s inexpensive, and very effective.

And finally, first aid training–to keep us secure if/when someone gets hurt– is a topic near and dear to me. After working as a paramedic for almost 10 years I appreciate what can, and can’t, be done.

Firearms, other weapons, and first aid will be the topics of future posts. At this point I simply want to raise awareness. As we strive for self-reliance we know that systems fail–especially in disasters. It is up to us to protect our five basic needs, our homes, and our families.

(Friday: What I Did This Week To Prep)