A Few Thoughts On Being Prepared For Chaos


In today’s world the Boy Scout Motto of “Be Prepared” holds true more than ever. We all know the basics for survival and preparedness….shelter, fire-starting, water, food, signaling/communication, medical. Other considerations such as ways to go mobile, the ability to purchase or trade for resources if the grid is down cannot be overlooked. The list can expand greatly from aforementioned based on your individual or family needs. How you prepare exactly can vary greatly depending on your geographic location, numbers of family/friends you are responsible for and specific needs of individuals.

Consider for a moment events during the past year, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, active shooters and civil unrest to mention just a few. How can we be prepared for such events? In reality we cannot be 100 percent prepared for every possible scenario.  But planning and thinking ahead can go a long way to give you and your family the advantage in a chaotic circumstance.

Let’s look at some variable and logistical approaches to preparedness and survival….in other words being adaptable and having options…a plan!

Becoming mobile

Perhaps you cannot reach your primary residence or are too far away to make a safe return. Or maybe you must leave your home because of fire, weather, or other catastrophic events. Does your plan include becoming mobile via one or more methods? Consider having the basics of survival stored in your bug-out means of transportation at all times (or the ability to quickly move gear to these transport options). The transport could be a variety of options to include, standard vehicles, ATVs, aircraft, boat, motorcycle, bicycle, snowmobile, horse or by foot. The amount of gear must obviously be limited by the transport method.

Be prepared to move if need be! – photo credit pantaeo.com_

Several years ago I lived in a rural area right along the banks of the Rio Grande River. The road to my house literally ended at the river. At times, the area demanded transportation options other than by automobile. My options included a john boat docked at all times during high water flow periods in a small inlet below the house. In low water periods I could cross the river by ATV, horseback, or on foot in order to access other resources to the south. Point being, I had a plan, so should you.

 Staying put in your current home/location

 If you happen to be at your home or close to it when chaos happens there is much to be said for just staying put in that location. After all you have made all the necessary preparations and have supplies for many months (hopefully). You know the area and locations of additional resources. You are comfortable in your home and have an idea of how to defend it. Your stay put plan includes other members of your family or friends/neighbors and their respective roles. Right?

Not all eggs in one basket 

Spread your resources out in several locations you can get to and that you are certain is secure (to the extent possible). I would split these resources between locations that are occupied and those that are well hidden.

While you’re at it, knowing multiple geographic locations that provide diversified natural resources (food, water, and shelter) may come in handy.

What does your survival gear consist of?

While it’s impossible to have expertise in all possible survival living skills, being knowledgeable and capable in a diverse set of skills will no doubt serve you well if chaos strikes.

A group approach 

Working together as a group has its advantages…..and some possible drawbacks, a few pros and cons are;


Strength in numbers

Shared resources

Diversity of skills and assigned tasks


Too many chiefs

Internal conflicts/trust

Strain on resources over time

I like the group approach as long as there is complete trust among all parties and an agreed upon leader and co leader. This will help eliminate many problems in the long run. Realize of course not every situation will allow for the group to assemble during a chaotic event, so be ready and able to act as an individual if necessary.

A quote to remember… “Only a fool confuses preparedness with paranoia”.


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