We discuss the one big thing I hope you take away from this season about survival, preparedness, and survivalism–one thing that REALLY matters.


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Episode Resources:

Watch or listen to The WTF is Happening to ITRH Annoucement

From the Episode:

What are you preparing for? Is it focused on a world-ending event, the failure of the US economy, an EMP, or something else big and harry?

Why are you preparing? Is it merely for your own sake, or the health and safety of family and friends?

Think about it for a moment and let it churn in the back of your mind.

You see, I was sitting around thinking about this episode and all the episodes that have come before. I wondered if the show had done enough, said enough, and made an impact. Then I thought about my personal time in preparedness.

So, what’s the one big lesson or takeaway from all of this that I can share? If I could go back in time and share one thing with myself, what would it be?

We’ve discussed it in a variety of ways this season. But I wanted to really drive it home and put it by itself in a single episode.

The Most Important Survival Lesson

The lesson is this: Prepare for the simple and probable first. The topic or category doesn’t matter; it applies to all areas.

Now, we’re not talking about what you think is probable, what the news media winds you up about, not what fantastical boogiemen entertainers like Alex Jones rant about. These are things you can point to and say there is a statistical bases for concern.

I’m not saying don’t ever prepare for the big stuff or that it’s dumb. I really think you should. But a lot of what you do for the probable will cover your basic needs for the improbable.

Here are some examples of the improbable from recent history.

What Survivalists and Preppers Thught was Probable (and it Was Not)

Trump is going to declare martial law and round people up who oppose him. He will seize all power, suspend the constitution, and become a dictator.

That’s one side. There’s another from a few years ago. Some of you are already snickering at yourselves and know where I’m going with this.

Obama is going to declare martial law and round people up who oppose him. He will seize all power, suspend the constitution, and become a dictator.

The truth is this: I started both those rumors.

Just kidding!

Jokes aside, a lot of people were worried about Obama. Today, there are a lot of people saying the exact same thing about Trump. And, in both cases, people were and are convinced of this is going to happen—one-hundred percent.

Possible? Sure. Why not. I generally don’t say anything is impossible. But probable, no.

The Simple and Easy Before the Improbable

Here’s an example of something to prepare for the probable: Life insurance. It’s not sexy, sure. There’re no guns, knives, bug out bags, bug out locations, bug out vehicles, or zombie platypuses.

But there is an absolute certainty that you will die. Hopefully this is far off in the future, of course. It can happen any time, though. Youth does not insulate you from this all that much.

When you die, you will leave behind someone who will have to tend to your affairs and estate big or small. You will likely also leave behind people who are financially dependent on you. Your pile of prepper shit is not a substitute for this.

Survival at Home

Here’s another: On average, seven people per day die in the U.S. due to home fires. Do you have smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors in all the rooms of your home? Do you have them installed correctly? You don’t just tack them to the ceiling wherever you feel like it. While we’re at it, do you have the right kind of fire extinguishers and are they positioned strategically throughout the house? Does everyone know how to use them correctly? It’s more than just pull the pin and blast away. They also lose pressure. When was the last time you checked the ones you have? Do you have a family plan for a fire, and do you practice it? If it’s just you and a spouse, do you at least go over it regularly?

I can tell you that in our last house we had all the beans, bullets, and band-aids squared away long before we really addressed fire. This was a survival fail. And that was a mistake we were fortunate not to be tested on.

Are you prepared to survive for a localized natural disaster? You can’t shoot at hurricanes. You can’t throw gold at them and make them go away. Do you have the basics of preparedness squared away and will they all work for this?

Are you in a financial position to handle a job loss, a medical event, or even a car wreck? Or, are you spending all your free cash on gearing up for the lizard people to attack?

Do you have a schedule for going through your preps? Do you do it two or more times a year? Stuff gets borrowed and goes bad. We’re coming up on hurricane season here.

What about an assault on your home? Not the one you’re thinking of.

I once attended a course by a well-known author and authority in the community. There was a lot of information shared about defending against attackers in a grid down situation. Great thoughts and information was shared.

But what struck me was that we discussed nothing about securing a home against the probable. The DOJ estimates that a little over 1million home invasions happen each year. We never discussed replacing the screws in the striker plate of the front door lock with 3” screws. We never discussed evaluating your home for everyday security flaws. What about putting together a home invasion family plan?

I got it. We were there to discuss grid down. However, I wondered how many people there had taken care all the easy things for the probable. How many were focused on the improbable at the expense of the probable?

So, again, just to recap. The big takeaway is this: Prepare for the simple and probable first. The survival topic or survival category doesn’t matter; it applies to all areas of your life and preparedness. 10,000 rounds of whatever doesn’t help you if you lose your job tomorrow and have no savings. Or, at least, it better not.

And that’s what I think about that… damnit!