One of the bigger mistakes many preppers and survivalists make is not having multiple back-up plans.
Why do we need multiple back-up plans? Because the future is unpredictable. And in the chaos that will occur during and after any SHTF scenario, anything can happen.
You've decided that your going to ride out the future being
self-sufficient on your homestead. What if for some reason you can't
stay there? Sure, it seems like a great location now, but what happens when the government decides to set up a FEMA camp right next door? Or a bunch of Muslim "refugees" are resettled in your county, complete with a new mosque being built just up the road from your place? Or maybe fallout from a nuclear disaster, missile attack, or dirty bomb is drifting your way? Or, in the wake of a political collapse, a local warlord rises up with more and better armed troops than you can deal with?
You've decided that when the SHTF you are going to bug out
to Grandpa's old hunting cabin in the mountains. Solid plan, especially if you have stocked up and otherwise prepared this retreat. But, what happens if you can't get
there? Maybe an earthquake has destroyed the roads and bridges you need to travel to get there. Or military troops (foreign invasion? martial law?) have closed the roads and highways?
What happens if your bug-out vehicle gets a flat tire or breaks down half-way to your retreat? Do you a Plan B? Perhaps fixing it yourself? If so, make sure you have the skills, tools, and supplies to do so. Do you have a Plan C if you can't get your vehicle working? Perhaps hiking the rest of the way? If so, are you ready to do so with good hiking shoes/boots, backpacks, and weather-appropriate clothing?
You've decided you are going to raise your own food, but your
crops fail due to drought or disease. Do you have a store of food as a
back-up? Do you know how to hunt or fish? Are you familiar with wild edibles? Will you be able to barter with local farmers?
Always have a Plan B. Plan C is nice to have, too. And a Plan D probably isn't overkill.
My primary plan is to ride out whatever comes
where I am at now. That is where I am putting most of my efforts and
resources. But I also have a back-up plan (three actually) in case
things become too dangerous to stay where I'm at now for whatever
reasons. I've even pre-positioned some supplies at two of the three
locations. And I have figured out, and actually driven, at least two
alternative routes to each of those locations, in case one of the routes
was blocked for some reason
Other Back-up Plans
Don't just have back-up plans for your location. Have them for accomplishing various tasks, too. For example, your plans for water may include 1) your current primary source, 2) stored water, 3) a nearby creek or pond, plus having the ability to filter and purify it, and 4) collecting rainwater, plus having the ability to filter and purify it.
Do the same for other tasks, such as cooking (regular stove, propane grill, charcoal grill, wood stove, etc.), and staying warm (possibilities: natural gas, electric heaters, propane heaters, fireplace, wood stove, plenty of insulation & warm clothes, etc.)
The Bottom Line: Have multiple back-up plans if you want to maximize your chances of surviving future disasters and chaos. In addition to the areas already covered in this article - location, transportation, food, water, cooking, and warmth - you should ave multiple back-ups for every task you will need to accomplish.
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