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Several years ago I wrote an article called 10 Common Prepping Mistakes To Avoid. It became one of my most popular articles, and to this day it still gets a lot of traffic. But the article was by no means comprehensive. There are literally hundreds of mistakes one can make when preparing for a disaster, so I thought it was about time for a sequel article.
Here, then, are 10 MORE common prepping mistakes to avoid:
1. Not Preparing Your Family – This one is huge. There are a lot of preppers out there who have wisely taken on the responsibility to prep, but leave nothing for their family to do. This puts the family at a disadvantage because only one member of the family knows what to do in the event of a disaster, meaning that if anything happens to that family member, the rest of the family will be in trouble if the SHTF. You don’t have to force everyone else in your family to be as into prepping as you are, but you should at least make sure they know the importance of prepping and teach them some basic techniques and skills. (Here’s how to talk to a non-prepper spouse.)
2. Preparing Too Fast – It’s perfectly understandable if you’re excited to prep and trying buy as much of your stockpile as you can all at once. You may also feel you’re running out of time before a potential disaster strikes and need to prepare NOW. In reality, prepping too fast can cost you a lot of money, make you less organized, and cause you to make even more mistakes. Instead, make a checklist and then strive to cross off the things on that checklist in order.
3. Buying Gear Without Researching First – There is a ton of information and product reviews on all types survival gear and equipment. The last thing you want to do is buy something without first consulting that information. This means you should thoroughly conduct your research before investing in a product. Read product reviews online, watch video reviews, and scan reviews from customers on sites such as Amazon to get a general idea of the quality of the product.
4. Not Testing Out Your Gear and Equipment – This one goes hand in hand with preparing too fast. Make sure you know how to use each and every piece of survival gear and equipment you buy. Learn how to use it for each of the tasks it’s intended for, learn how to disassemble and reassemble it (if possible), and actually read the manual. This is the only way to make sure your gear will work before you use it in a real life disaster scenario.
5. Only Preparing For One Type Of Disaster – While you may feel there is one type of disaster that is a more imminent threat than others, disaster preparedness is all about preparing yourself and your family for anything that could happen. If you want to prepare for the disaster that you feel is the greatest threat first, that’s fine, but only preparing for that disaster and nothing else is foolhardy.
6. Telling the World You’re a Prepper – When the going gets tough, people will do desperate things to stay alive. This means even the neighbors who you thought you could trust may turn on you in a disaster scenario, especially if they know you have a stockpile of food and water. The only people who should know you’re a prepper are your family and a close knit group of friends. Telling everyone you meet that you’re a prepper will come back to haunt you when disaster strikes. (By the way, here’s what to do if people find out you’re a prepper.)
7. Not Having Enough Backup Plans – There’s an old saying that nothing goes according to plan. This will never be any truer than in a survival or disaster scenario. Thought you could bug in? Nope, it turns out your home is in the path of a wildfire that is headed your way. Thought you could take your favorite route out of town? Nope, the road is blocked. Thought you could rendezvous at your bug out location? Nope, a dangerous group of people got there first. Thought you had enough food and water to live on? Nope, the disaster lasted too long and you’re out of supplies. I could go on and on. Nothing will go according to plan when disaster strikes and that’s why you don’t just need a backup plan, you need multiple backup plans.
8. Not Rotating Your Food and Water – Many preppers like to buy survival foods in bulk and call themselves good. The truth is that they are good… for now. Food and water goes bad eventually, regardless of whether it’s six months or ten years old. That’s why it’s very wise to rotate your food and water at least once every six months so you know you always have uncontaminated, high quality food and water on your shelves.
9. Forgetting About Sanitation and Personal Hygiene – Many people don’t realize it, but sanitation standards are going to drop significantly if the SHTF. Sure, you might have all of the food, water, firearms, and ammunition that you need to outlast the disaster, but if you get sick or infected as a result of the poor sanitation, none of those other preps are going to matter. Remember, if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. You need a complete first aid kit in your preps in addition to basic personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and so on.
10. Keeping All of Your Preps in One Place – Another old saying is to never keep all your eggs in one basket. When it comes to prepping, this means you should never keep all of your preps in the same location. Diversify where you keep everything. Keep some of your stockpile at home, but keep other parts of it in your car, in a shed out back, in a garage in the city, at your bug out location, in survival caches, etc. This way you’ll be able to access at least part of your total stockpile regardless of where you are when the disaster hits.