Let me start by saying Preparedness Is Never Pointless.

preparednessPreparedness isn’t about “guaranteeing” ourselves that we will have a particular result. There are too many aspects that are completely out of our control for this to be realistic. Preparedness is about giving ourselves OPTIONS.

Today’s article is in response to a question posed yesterday by one of our readers. I’m sure that he speaks for nearly everyone—at least at some point in their preparedness efforts. I felt that his answer merited more than a one liner response and one that all of our readers may benefit from—at least I hope so.

How can we be at peace with our preparedness efforts?

He writes:

“In a society where less than 2% of people will have any preps, even short term. What are the chances of being able to stay in your home in an emergency? I’m starting to think that I need to have better plans to bug out, unfortunately I don’t have a dozen reliable people to provide defense.

Seriously, how are we supposed to avoid being overrun by hungry, desperate neighbors?

If it progresses to violence or threats of violence it is only a matter of time till someone snipes us when we go outside.

I’m having a hard time visualizing how it can possibly work. Sometimes that aspect makes me wonder if it’s worth putting all this effort in, just to lose it.”

We have all uttered the words “why bother” when it comes to preparedness. Even men and women that I know, admire, and love have succumbed to a moment of emotional defeat and have uttered the words “why bother”. The good news is that there are some great answers to counter such a defeating rationale.


Sichuan Earthquake

Ten Areas of Preparedness

First of all, remember that there are 10 different areas of preparedness. Even with the most advanced architectural designs and enforcements, there’s no way that we can guarantee our home will not be gobbled up in an earthquake with all of our preparedness supplies therein. But which aspects of preparedness would such an event really destroy? Medical, Clothing and Shelter, Fuel perhaps, Water, and Food. We would still be left with 5 other areas of preparedness that we own regardless of whether our home stands erect.

An earthquake cannot rob us of our Spiritual strength, our Mental Preparation and Knowledge, our Physical strength, our state of debts (Financial), and our ability to Communicate. However, had we not prepared sufficiently in any of these other areas, the earthquake would be the least of our problems. Yes, there is a point where after all we can do physically our preparedness supplies may be worthless dust in the event of a fire or an earthquake. But after such an event, are we worse off for having prepared? NO. Perhaps our example of preparedness is why we can find safety and solace in the home of another. Perhaps because of all of our preparedness efforts we’ve learned sufficient knowledge along the way to provide for our family in other critical ways as well.

Next, preparedness in the nine other areas following Spiritual Preparedness actually helps to ensure our spiritual preparedness stays intact. How I’m judged after I die is much more important than how I’m judged here. To keep this perspective, our spiritual preparedness has to be our foundation on which we build all other areas of preparedness. It is the physical preparations which will either tax or ensure our spiritual ones. Our Physical Preparedness efforts give us options so that we do not have to become the ugly person who will do anything, including selling our soul, for something to eat. If we do not take the time to prepare physically, then we are leaving ourselves no options to be level headed, peaceful, and capable of providing for us and our families. Instead we will leave ourselves subject to whatever morality prevails in the moment of need.

preparednessYes, in the event of a disaster there will be many desperate souls. Desperation changes even the best of people who are less resolved in their goodness. One of the questions we all need to ask ourselves is, do we want to become one of those desperate souls who will do anything for a meal? We will indeed seal such a fate for ourselves if we do NOT prepare. Our preparedness efforts now will help us to NOT become one of those people. Our efforts provide us with OPTIONS. While a person may have to leave their home to get rid of sanitation waste occasionally, if they are prepared with sufficient supplies, at least they have the option of staying safely inside for a couple of weeks while havoc is wreaked outside.

In addressing this issue, also keep in mind that those who would harm you also require physical and mental sustenance themselves. If they are hungered or thirsty, their intended right hook or sniping will not be well-placed. Their resolve will be compromised by their physical and mental faculties being weakened. Criminals are creatures of prey. They prey on the easy targets, not the fortified ones. History has shown us that 10 days into the aftermath of a disaster eliminates many of the weak and unresolved. During that period of time, while you gather with your family in safety, you can be making preparations to come off conqueror in the event of future encounters.

A key component of being prepared is to mentally prepare yourself for what “might” come. Once you mentally explore the possibilities, then you have to decide what merits your preparedness efforts. I’m sure that there may have been some soldiers on the beach at Normandy who wondered why they ever bothered to bring their gun only to get shot down immediately. On the other hand, there are soldiers and grateful citizens that are still alive today because these brave and prepared soldiers acted with all possible readiness so that they could survive such a slaughter. For that matter, I suppose that any soldier who goes into battle could consider their rifle as an “optional” piece of equipment. Do they occasionally have the doubts of “What if someone is a better shot than me?” “What if I miss the telltale signs of a roadside bomb?” “What good is my body armor if I take a head shot?” Yes. But they still arm themselves to the best of their ability and let God do the rest.

preparednessJust as the firearm, the body armor, and the countless hours of drills are important to the preparation of a soldier’s survival, so are our preparedness efforts. Why? Because all preparedness efforts boil down to having OPTIONS. What options do we have to stay safe in our homes when others have to flee if we haven’t taken the time to prepare? If you have no food, water, fuel, clothing, heat, etc., then when there is a prolonged electrical outage in the middle of winter, you have no option but to leave your home in hopes that you find a safer environment. If we do not educate ourselves in matters of alternative health care, then someday the only option we have are to trust in desperation and take any vaccine that’s waved before us. If we do not practice and prepare to defend ourselves, then when the first desperate soul enters our home we have no option but to surrender.

My husband and I like to play strategic games such as Chess, Othello, Sequence, and Stratego. We’re both good at these games because we’re always planning several strategic moves ahead. We specifically plan “now, if he does this, I’m going to do that, and if he does this, I’m going to take this move.” While it messes with my husband’s head when I’ve tried this strategy, I’ve never been able to beat him simply by deploying reckless abandonment in my moves. All it’s really done is finished the game faster.

Ultimately, the moment will come when we will have to meet our Maker and be responsible for how we fought the fight. Will we stand there knowing we gave up on ourselves and our fellow man by simply making defeatist moves, or will we proudly stand knowing we gave it our all to win and accomplish our stewardship? I believe we frequently underestimate our preparedness efforts and the worth of our existence to ourselves, our family and our nations. I hope that we will remember this when we experience moments when we ask ourselves, “Why bother?”



Jackie · November 5, 2009 at 8:50 am

We have to do what we can and let God do the rest!

Lon2000 · November 5, 2009 at 9:58 am

Amen Kellene! My two cents worth are, that being a "prepper" is a lifestyle, not just stored food in the basement. Trying to live a more self reliant life starts with a "can do" attitude. Since we are in a pandemic, I've been trying to avoid germs and have medical supplies on hand, enough resources to do a home quarrentine if necessary. So, what happens? Hubby is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I did not see that one coming. This is where attitude and spiritual preparation comes in. We take a deep breath, learn what we need to do, and be flexible (maybe I don't need to store anymore sugar!). So I have my flu preps, my gratitude list, and my faith that whatever happens, we will be ok.

JoeinNY · November 6, 2009 at 12:22 am

Thanks for this timely post. Yesterday I was reading a list of lessons learned by someone who lived near New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Several of the lessons involved prepared individuals who became targets of those who were unprepared and desperate. While I learned a lot by reading the accounts, it depressed me to think that my preparedness efforts could make targets of me and my family.

You are right, though. While I may become a target, at least I'll have options. In the event of a catastrophe, those who are unprepared may face the choice of resorting to violence or dying. My family will have the option to stay at home, flee to a friend or relative's house, or offer assistance to those without options. The decision won't have to be made out of desperation.

Thanks for the perspective.

Believer · November 6, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Why bother indeed. You would have to be blind to not notice some of the things that are going on in the world. It wouldn’t take much to cut off our food supplies, since we have become so dependent on stores to get our food. Our food supply comes from all over the world, not to mention oil and many other things. We saw what happened to food prices when the cost of gas went up so high. What if the trucks, railroads, etc., were stopped for whatevcr reason. A snow storm can make roads impassable, or make it impossible to leave your home? It wouldn’t have to be much.

guest · November 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm

My husband and I and our young children prepared for Y2K. We learned all we could in an 18 month crash course—ordered wheat , put in a hand pump well, bought some gold, stocked up on canned goods, ect.
We learned a lot more than we actually had time to put into practice. Y2K didn't happen the way we expected—but it did happen–in May of the year 2000 my husband, at age 40, strong as an ox, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He died 6 months later. We never saw it coming. Because we had prepared for "who knows what", we lived a whole lot of life in those 6 months. After his death, I stayed on our small farm and raised the children as we had planned. Nine years later, as I grow older and the kids grow stronger, I'm amazed at what God has done for us.
We are still
" self sufficient " minded . We have cattle, bees, know some about solar power and a lot about hard work, being good to your neighbor, and trusting God. We live well and have a peace that even if things don't always play out like the scenario in our head, God uses it all for our good. Prepare, pray and trust God = peace and peace in your heart is priceless.

jamie · November 9, 2009 at 12:45 pm

We have a lot of "why bother" folks in my family. Yes they look at me like I have sprouted a 3rd eye. LOL
Well I buy food that doesn't spoil quickly. 2-5 years min. for most. So it's good for sometime and I'll use it up quicker than that. So a good investment.
I saw a thing comparing the price of an ounce of gold to t-bone steaks. At today's prices and assuming you had enough room to store it. This bit of history and T-bone home economics suggest to me the following. As the dollar depreciates further and the dollar price of T-bone steaks rises, gold will continue to rise in price approximately in line with the price of T-bone steaks.
If you'd like to stock up now on a lifetime supply of T-bone steaks at the current price of $8–$10 a pound because you expect them to soar in price due to high inflation, then consider buying gold and storing it for future use. You can then convert it back to inflated dollars later.
Gold is about $860 an ounce. For $8,600 you can buy 10 ounces (using the GLD security since coins seem to be in short supply due to a recent rush of demand). This is enough for 860 T-bone steaks weighing 1 pound each. If you eat one steak a week, that's a supply that will last you 16.5 years. http://www.lewrockwell.com/rozeff/rozeff229.html
Now Gold is $1100 + per ounce and T-bones are about $6-9.00 per pound. Gold is only good for what it can buy you.
If there is famine do you think food will go up or down in price? What good is gold besides a trading medium. You can't eat it. It is used in electronics but copper is cheaper and more available.
People value Gold because people value gold. It's the same as those little green pieces of paper that folks seem to like so well.
Now food is tangible, if you know how to keep,store and prepare it. It means I and my family don't starve. You can create extra value, it becomes more than the sum of it's parts.Give apples,flour,sugar, baking powder to a 4 year old and to a pastry chef. See who creates value and who destroys it.
Gold is only good if someone will trade it for something of else of value.
That's why I bother about prepping
A good short story to read is Christopher Anvil's "The Royal Road" I believe it's available at http://www.baen.com

Fruitfulvine2 · November 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

So profound. I am still not there yet in all aspects you mentioned but working towards it. It just makes better sense to learn all you can and prepare for many different possible scenarios. When all else fails the Spiritual Preparedness is going to make a big difference because we can then tap into the wisdom of God to lead us our to victory.

Lemann · October 6, 2012 at 4:24 am

I heard about your website off AVOW – I love it! You are doing a great job-keep it up!

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