Just the other day I was talking with a friend of mine who just started working on his preparedness plan. He said he had everything he and his family needed to survive for at least 3 months if they had to shelter in place. I thought that was great, but he seemed uneasy, I asked him what was wrong and he said: “You know Dennis, I feel really good about my prepping, but I get this knot in my stomach sometimes cause I don’t know if I have enough; how can you really be sure I have everything I need for me and my family?”
I get this question a lot and my answer is always the same. It’s a 3 part answer really.
#2 Continuous Improvement: Preparedness is not an end goal or a destination, but a process. There are always things you can improve on. Adding skills to your survival toolbox, working on your supplies storage, working on your bug out plan, etc. will always translate to increased probability of survival
#3 The easiest and most practical way to address this question is to take your plan for a test run. The best way to assess your level of preparedness and also figure out what supplies, tools or skills you are missing is to put your survival plan to the test.
The best way to do that is to force yourself to live without the common modern essentials like electricity and water out of the faucet, before you are forced to live without them.
Try this for a week, turn of your water & electricity, and don’t go to the grocery store for a week. Can you and your family survive for 7 days?, How about 3 days? Can you even make it through 24?
- How much of your supplies did you consume?
- Does your consumption match what you had anticipated?
- What are you missing?
- What could you do without?
- Are you fit enough to procure food and water sources in your area?
After a few days you’ll learn really quickly if your current estimates and your level of preparation matches the reality of not having the essential supplies.
Taking your prepping plan for a test run will not only help you determine if you have what you need, it will also help you identify the following
- Your strengths: This will not only give you peace of mind, but it will identify areas where you can possibly help other with and barter if necessary
- Areas in need of improvements: Additional supplies & equipment needed, areas of weakness (most people do a good job when it comes to water a food but the missing pieces tend to be in the hygiene and specific health need areas)
- Your family supply consumption: This will help you estimate better for longer term preparedness.
Testing your preparedness plan is the absolute best way to improve and reduce the uncertainty if you were to need it. You've probably heard the the saying "Practice Makes Perfect", well preparedness is not an exception. And while there is no actual "Perfect" scenario when it comes to your survival plan you can get really darn close.
Now go test your plan.