Face Your Fears
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing to fear is…fear itself” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear is debilitating, non-productive and let’s face it; it’s scary. It is hard to move forward when we are being chased by fear. Take for , example, the recent events in Orlando; France; the constant unrest in the Middle East, and may we never forget the terrible events in New York, on September 11th, 2001. These terrorist activities are meant to instill fear. The enemy wants us to be fearful, so we become complacent, weak and vulnerable.
Fear is the enemy.
Being prepared, and having the right tools to combat the enemy takes a little effort, and comes with a tremendous sense of security. Simply enough, we have many of these tools right at our disposal, and we only need to tap into them. Knowing where, and what these tools are, gives us this power to overcome the fear that settles in because we have no idea what to do when the SHTF…ah, but we do! Even if Armageddon never happens in this lifetime, at least you will be ready for those occasional, and nuisance power outages.
Top 12 Things You Need To Know to Combat Fear
#1 – Be aware of the major news events of the day.
The news is filled with depressing stories, and it’s easy to want to ignore it. Putting our heads in the sand does not make it go away, and by forcing ourselves to be aware with what is happening around, can give us power. Remember that the media thrives on sensationalism, and it’s probably worse than it really is. However, by keeping an eye on the current situations of the world, we are better prepared for what may come, and can have further discussions with our friends and family about what is real, and what we can do about it.
Do This: Spend a few moments each day scanning the front page, listening to a 10 minute snippet on the radio, or thumbing through your Twitter feed.
#2 – Be aware of your stored non-perishable foods.
Many foods can be stored safely for over a year, and because of the shelf life of many canned and packaged foods, we may forget what we have in the pantry. It’s a good rule of thumb to have at least three days worth of food on hand, per person, at a minimum. Canned meat, like Spam and Kipper Snacks, or packaged meat like Beef Jerky, can be eaten without heating, and like so many sauces, these require no refrigeration. Crackers and Cookies are good tummy fillers, but a stock pile of protein, like nuts and quick energy foods like dried fruit will sustain energy.
Do This: Inspect the pantry monthly, and throw out or eat expiring food. Experiment, and make it an adventure when shopping to try new canned and packaged food with the family.
#3 – Be aware of the water you have stored.
We can get by for a few days on the soda and beverages we have around the house, but without clean drinking water, we begin to feel weak, and more susceptible to getting sick. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a gallon of water a day, per person, at a minimum. Know where you keep these emergency supplies of water around the house, and educate yourself on how to drain the water from your water heater, which has over 50 gallons of potable water. Experiment by filtering and boiling it before taste testing.
Do This: Stockpile gallon jugs around the house, and rotate once a year by using it to make coffee, or to cook with. Get into the habit of picking up a gallon each time you go shopping.
#4 – Be aware of emergency lighting and batteries
Flashlights, candles, and hurricane lamps are most likely a part of your camping supplies and in your home somewhere. These will serve you well and calm down fears when the sun goes down and the power is out. Keep a flashlight in every room, and have them spread around the house, so everyone has access to them immediately at the same time. Keep candles in a secure and cool place, and be sure you know where the matches and/or lighters are.
Do This: Stockpile an assortment of batteries, and check them yearly for expiration dates (batteries die). Check all the flashlights, too and be sure they are in working order.
#5 – Be aware what is in your refrigerator and freezer.
Our refrigerator has all the food, but the freezer will keep our food colder, longer, when the power goes out. In addition, our freezer will be the place where we make ice for the long haul. Again, think about those three days. Big blocks of ice will last that long, and the freezer is the key, so inspect it regularly and know what you have shoved way in the back. Throw out freezer burned food, for this is what you may be eating three days out.
Do This: Make room in the freezer for at least three blocks (frozen milk jugs) of ice. Keep it stocked with foods that can be eaten without heating, like fruit.
#6 – Be aware of the gasoline you have in the tank.
Gasoline may be hard to aquire during an emergency, and at the very least, you may need to wait in a line for a very long time in order to fill up your vehicle’s tank. It would be terrible to run out while waiting in line. Keep the tank in your car half full at a minimum, at all times. Another method is to have a few gallons of gasoline stored at home, in a safe place, and rotate this every 6 months to insure the gasoline stays fresh.
Do This: Be in the habit of checking the gauges when driving home. When pulling into your driveway, be sure your tank is filled, and don’t put it off until tomorrow.
#7 – Be aware of the cash and assets you have on hand.
We are reliant on many things that are tied into the internet and power grid. When these things shut down, ATM machines and debit cards will not be of any use. Cash will be needed, and it’s important to have a stash on hand at all times. Some believe that precious metals, like gold and silver, will be important to have available, also. Anything that you think of that might make a valuable commodity, or asset that could be traded, build on it. This may be your home garden, or your gun collection.
Do This: Keep items, such as cash, locked away safe, but easy to access. Continue to add to your supply of assets.
#8 – Be aware of your neighbors, and who they are.
Your neighbors are the first people you will have contact with, if something happens and our phone service, our power is unavailable. Naturally we will want to know if anyone else is having the same issue, and you will have a tremendous advantage if these people you live near, can be trusted. It will also be very impotant to know who the people are that cannot. Additionally, your neighbors may have something to trade that you need, and vise-a-versa.
Do This: Go outside and be visable to your neighbors. They want to know you, too. Acknowledgement is the first step, and soon you will have an opprotunity to be aquainted.
#9 – Be aware of where your utilities are connected.
The companies and municipalities that provide services to our homes will be unavailable for some time, if at all. We may need to turn off the gas, or water coming into our homes as a precaution against chemical warfare, or surges. Additionally, if the power grid goes down, or gas lines are severed, these utilities will eventually come back online and meters will need to be reset. Appliances, such as the stove and waterheater might need to be re-lit, and these should be shut off to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in case of a leak.
Do This: Inspect your home and know where the electricity, natural gas and municiple water is coming into your home, and if necessary, talk to a professional about how to turn them off.
#10 – Be aware of the weather.
The weather has a tremendous amount of impact on how we live, and in the case of a SHTF scenario, it could just be the weather, and nothing to do with what man has caused. See Anthropogenic Global Warming. In all truth, the climate IS changing, and as a result, a storm might bring rainfall in amounts we have never seen, or we may experience a drying pattern, and extreme heat that may bring drought conditions with no rain for many months.
Do This: Make it a habit to monitor the weather every day and look at the forecast for the week ahead. All smartphones come with a weather app in the programming.
#11 – Be aware of what you allow through your front door.
Our front door is the mouth of our home, and this is the opening where toxins and negativity has a chance to come through. In order to combat this and make our entryway a portal of positive energy and fresh air, the front door should be welcoming, but secure. Keep this area fresh, and free of debris, including cobwebs and dust. Sweep the area around the threshold and replace the door mat, if worn and tattered.
Do This: Inspect the front door yearly and adjust hinges, tighten door knob screws and do a thorough cleaning of the surface; perhaps with a fresh coat of paint.
#12 – Be aware of how you are protected against intruders.
Intruders can come in many forms, and at the same time, we can protect ourselves in many ways. Windows need to be secure, not necessarily with bars and cages, but with secure locks. Our entry doors need to have strong deadbolts. Know how to lock down your home when you leave for an extended period of time, as well as when tucked in for the night. Security cameras and alarms are another method. Firearms might be essential in certain circumstances, and if you are a gun person, you already know about the safety aspect.
Do This: Inspect the locks on all openings yearly, and make the necssary adjustments. Keep all security equipment and monitoring devices updated.
Be Brave and Aware
Be proactive in the fight against fear. Educate your family on the areas outlined above, and they will feel more secure, and be able to assist, if and when, the time comes. As you become knowledgeable in your surroundings, you become confident, and the fear that once kept you stifled, and in bondage, will be set free; your life will organically become more self-sufficient in doing so. This self-sufficiency is the genesis of a Lifestyle in Sustainability.