TRAP – The #1 obstacle to people getting prepared for emergencies and disasters is Normalcy Bias.

Normalcy Bias - Man with head in the sandI have never seen any reliable formal studies on what percentage of the US population is prepared for disasters and emergencies. Based on my 40+ years of experience I would say less than 3% for the most minor of emergencies and disasters that would last 10 days. For a longer-term disaster (i.e. hurricane Katrina) I would say that % drops to no more than 1% – 2%. For true “grid-down” I honestly believe that % is somewhere around .1%  (less than 1%) in the absolute best case scenario.

There are a number of reasons for the lack of longer-term and “grid-down” preparedness. Of which I think the top ones would be finances, knowledge and motivation. But for the average person being prepared for the most minor of emergencies and disasters would be Normalcy Bias. I written about Normalcy Bias before (TRAP – Normalcy Bias can kill you quicker than Competency Bias.).

And here is the thing…97+% of people don’t want to hear about emergency & disaster preparedness at all. Why? It is scary and way outside of what anyone really things will happen. Let me tell you I’ve seen folks who live in the forest with trees, brush and grass all around them. Then they can’t believe it when a wildfire is threatening. So how are those same types of people gonna process that the grid could come down? Come on, they couldn’t even fathom the damage a hurricane could produce living in New Orleans BELOW sea level!!

Normalcy Bias is the single biggest hurdle for almost everyone to overcome in preparing for emergencies and disasters.Normalcy bias - question mark holding man down

So, what is your Normalcy Bias preventing you from doing?

 

 

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TRAP – Do not rely solely on yourself for survival, you will fail.

LoneWolfThere is a “lone wolf” mentality in the prepper world that says you can survive by yourself (or just you & your family) tucked away in a cabin somewhere away from a fallen society. I say that is pure hogwash!!!

You might make it for a couple of days, a week or 6 months…maybe even a year. But survival takes a lot of skills and resources to be successful. And I am willing to bet that even with a large family you don’t come close to having all those skills.

Example #1: How about security? In “grid-down” with a threat of physical harm you must provide security for your location. How many people does it take to provide 24/7 security? Let’s say just one person at a time on duty. OK, how long are the shifts? How many shifts per day? How do they rest when they are not providing security? Do they have other physical responsibilities when not providing security? I say it takes a minimum of 4 adults to provide minimal security for a location 24/7. And then it is questionable how long they can keep that up before they become burned out and complacent.

Example #2: Your wife’s appendix bursts, how do you keep her from dying? Are you a doctor with surgical capability?

Example #3: Your truck quits working because you blew a rod. Can you fix it? Can you manufacture a new rod?Group-PeopleShooting

Your only chance of survival long-term is in a group with the right combination of skill sets. Plus, it is more enjoyable than cabin fever! Go find yourself a self-reliance group and work with them to make it a great experience…and improve your odds of survival.

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TIP: 2 for 1 special!

OK, first “Tip”…I love Columbia and North Face outerwear gear. Their jackets, coats, vests, etc. are top notch and what I personally use. I don’t think you can go wrong with those two brands.

 

 

Second “Tip”shopgoodwill.com !

This winter we decided it was time to update and replace much of our outerwear. We did our research and came to the conclusion that Columbia and North Face brands were really good and best suited us. But…that stuff is very expensive when purchased through normal channels. So my wife starts looking around for deals…and BINGO!  Shopgoodwill.com

We did a test run and bought a used item from that website. It was amazingly low priced and when it arrived it was in perfect shape. We have now transitioned to far better quality outerwear than we previously had. And we did it at about 10 – 25% of the price of new. And everything we bought was in “like new” condition. Actually a couple of items came with the store tags still on them.

Go check out shopgoodwill.com and see if it will work for you!

Bonus “Tip”…try to buy items in the off-season when there is lower demand.

 

 

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TIP – Food is not your #1 priority.

QuestionMarkCome on…really? Do I have to explain this one to you? You can live for 2 – 3 weeks without food. Sure, you won’t be at peak performance and you will lose weight but you won’t die.

There are other things that you can die from much sooner and much easier. Such as a gunshot, a cut artery, a bashed-in head, and dehydration to name just a few. So you might want to cover those bases before you worry about storing a few years of food.

What should your priorities be? Read “Setting Priorities”
 

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TIP: Don’t tear a fence down…

In its fullness…Don’t tear a fence down until you know why it was put up.

In the prepper world you can find a lot of “experts” recommending this or that. There is always some new gadget, piece of gear, latest equipment, or method of doing something. Some of it is way cool, helpful, and a huge improvement. But, don’t abandon the old ways until you know why people do it the old way.

In the political arena there is always some blockhead politician saying we need to change this or that. Examples: Increase gun restrictions, eliminate the Electoral College, Green New Deal, etc. But, what is the long-term effect, or the ripple effect, of their proposed changes?

Bottom line…Before you go tearing something down, changing something, replacing something, restricting something…figure out why they did it the original way to begin with. The fence may be there for a very good reason.

 

 

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TRAP: You think your 72/96-hour pack is light? Take a day hike for 6 hours…without Ibuprofen!

heavy back pack

I’ve seen folks load up what they intended to be a “72-hour pack” or a “Bug Out Bag” and think they are going to hike 1,000 miles to safety with it. But hang on a second – How much does that thing weigh?

A toughened, physically fit soldier can carry about 70 – 90 pounds of gear for a while. Are you one of them?

I am in good physical condition, workout regularly, and carry a 45 pound pack as part of my job during fire season. And let me tell you that is a heck of a chore! So, load up your “bag” (whatever you want to call it) and then go for a good hard mountainous hike for 6 – 8 hours and tell me how you feel afterwards.

Hey, you might even find out some interesting things about your boots and come to understand “Mole Skin” or “Second Skin” as your new best friend. But try out your pack before you think you have it loaded for the ultimate bug-out.

TRAP: I’ve been doing this for 28 years!

This is one of those really strange posts of mine, but a good lesson to be learned by some. I was one of those people that learned this lesson about 15 years ago. I am grateful I did.

So…I’m in this training class and this guy keeps trying to correct the instructor. Each time the know-it-all student would start out saying, “I’ve been doing this for 28 years and…” After the first couple of times it got really annoying and a number of the students, myself included, were getting irritated with him. The instructor was being patient and then it happened…

After about the tenth time of this guy do that…the instructor said the following, “Have you ever considered that you did it wrong the first year and then repeated it 27 more times?”

Yeah, the offending student was not happy with the instructor’s comeback. But, the point was simple…maybe you’ve been doing it wrong all along. Or, another way of putting it was…maybe there is a better way of doing it.

The point of this “Trap” article is simple…Just because a person has a lot of experience doing something doesn’t mean that the way they do something is right.

Solution? Whenever you hear someone state how to do something…question it!

Maybe not question it out loud to that person, but in your mind. Run through it and see first if it makes sense based on what you already know. Then ask yourself if it goes against common knowledge. then start asking more questions…Is what they are saying verifiable through your own research? And here is a big one…Are they going to make a bunch of money off what they suggest? Yes, that means will they make a lot of money if you do what they suggest? Do they gain power over you or someone else by doing what they say? Have they actually done what they claim? Do they “walk the walk not just talk the talk” is a great question to ask yourself.

Bottom line…just because someone has a lot of experience doesn’t make they are automatically right.

 

 

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