Last Updated on August 5, 2014
If the world really goes to hell in a hand basket like so many are predicting, what do you think you will miss most? It could depend on what your life is like after the SHTF that dictates just about everything for you. It could also depend on how you are viewing the word “miss”.
If you have ever listened to country music at all, you can see a trend in some of the more popular songs out there. They take a concept or phrase and spin it on its head to make a point you might not have expected. I know there has to be a term for this so if anyone knows it, please tell me in the comments. You think they are talking about one thing and then they switch it up. The song “The Good Stuff” by Kenny Chesney is a perfect example of this in action. The song’s main character goes into a bar after an argument with his wife and asks for the “good stuff” and it is obvious he is thinking about beer or whiskey. The bartender he is talking to has lost his own wife at some point in the past and has a different idea about what “the good stuff” is entirely. He wisely replies with “you can’t find that here”.
The Bare Naked Ladies who are a band out of Canada have raised this same technique to an art form in my opinion. They have a song that has as part of the main chorus, the words “You’re the last thing on my mind” which at first leads you to believe the singer is aloof to his significant other. When the song concludes the last verse and you find out the main character in the song has died in a car crash, the words “You’re the last thing on my mind” have another meaning. It’s very clever and changes your perspective.
It is similar in my mind to the word “miss”. This word like so many others means two totally different things depending on how you are looking at it. If you “miss someone”, it can mean you have a pain brought on, usually by their absence. It can also mean that you were trying to hit them and didn’t connect. You missed them. Confused yet?
What normal parts of life will you miss?
The motivation behind this post came to me as I was driving one of my children to swimming practice. Each of my daughters need to control the radio anytime they go anywhere with me and my daughter was rapidly punching up various stations to find something that would satisfy her ears for a couple of minutes. The weather has finally started to warm up so we were driving around with the windows down and as I often do, began to wonder about how our lives may change sooner than anyone wants to think. What if there are no more swimming lessons to drive her to? What if the only thing you get to do every day is try and survive?
I think that humans are incredibly resilient creatures that have a wonderful capacity for adapting and overcoming all sorts of adversity, but I think that one of the fears that people have is losing everything that we used to consider normal. This may be one consideration when you are trying to convince others to begin prepping. What will your life be like when driving 15 miles to church 2 times a week is no longer an option. When you aren’t able to go online, find anything you want in seconds, or go out to a nice dinner with your family. When just meeting up with friends over coffee is a much bigger deal than it was when everything was normal, what do you think you will miss the most? What if you can no longer take your pet to the 24 hour emergency vet?
I think that so much of our lives will be looked back on primarily from the perspective of convenience but possibly more from a security or safety perspective. Sure, we are really going to hate not having a microwave or a freezer but that will be more easily forgotten than the blissful thought that your job, home and family are all secure and nothing bad will happen. Losing that feeling of safety I think is what will hurt the most. Just knowing what your day is going to be like (wake up, eat, work, come home, eat, bed) for the most part is a routine that could be thrown completely in the trash in a survival situation. Maybe predictability will be something we all miss a little?
What supplies and training will you miss?
For some of us, the holes in our preparations are going to be evident very quickly. Some of these won’t come as a surprise because I think all but the most naïve of us realize what we have and what we don’t have. If you have taken a minute to write down everything you think you could possibly need for most of your likely scenarios then you probably know very precisely what is missing. I am reminded by the old proverbial rhyme:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
All for the want of a horseshoe nail. How many things can you envision being hinged upon something so simple as a nail? You may have the best survival firearm battery known to man, every type of ammo and every caliber, but what if your firing pin for your main battle rifle breaks? What good will that expensive AR15 or AK-47 be at that point? It will be a heavy club.
Likewise with the people who plan to bug out and hike into the wilderness. You may have all of the gear you need, but die because of an infection that could have been treated with a little antibiotic. Maybe this isn’t the best example, but there are others like this. I know that I haven’t thought of everything so this isn’t a case of me telling any of you what to do, it is more of a thought I have personally. What am I going to miss (forget) that could jeopardize my family?
I think that we as preppers, focus initially on having a 30 day supply of food and enough filtered water to keep everyone hydrated. After that usually comes some form of security or bug out gear, but the devil is in the details. Most of us will never have every single thing you can think of that you will need. Even if you have unlimited resources, food will expire or be eaten or stolen or damaged and you will need to go on with a plan B.
Will you know how to garden or take the food you are given and prepare it over a fire? Will you know how to stitch up a serious cut? Will you know how to hit a target at 100 yards when the target is moving?
What warning signs will you miss?
If you are reading this blog, there is a higher than average chance that you are already paying attention to warning signs. They are everywhere and regardless of politics, religion or nationality you should be able to easily list a few very good reasons for prepping. There have been too many examples in the recent past that highlight the fragility of systems (government, energy, economies, conflicts ) and it should be very apparent why preparing for a disaster or hard times is a prudent path to follow.
Right now in the north-west, they are dealing with flooding. Families are faced with rising flood waters and some may lose their homes. At least, they may be without power for several days. Just a couple of weeks ago we had a terrorist attack in Boston and they locked an entire town down for 2 days. Six months ago Hurricane Sandy wiped out homes along the northeast and caused wide-spread flooding and power outages for weeks. They are still dealing with looters and thousands are still homeless.
The trick to prepping is to have an eye on what is going on, to daily practice situational awareness AND to prepare regardless of what is happening. You don’t want a disaster to show up on your door and just then realize the things you forgot to prepare for. Being prepared is knowing what is coming as well as being ready for it.
What do you want to make sure you don’t miss.
This could be a list of your supplies, a list of training that you meant to sign up for, reference materials you always meant to purchase or a million other things. For me, I want to make sure I don’t miss time with my family now. I try to remember that all of this prepping, for me at least, is worthless if it can’t help my family. At the same time, I don’t want to have all of the preps in the world and alienate my family because they don’t understand or believe my motivations. I want to make sure I don’t miss the little things like driving with my daughters and jamming out to silly songs or going for ice cream every once in a while. Dance recitals and camping and swimming meets and first boyfriends. Well, maybe everything except that last one.