With life (at least to me) feeling like quicksand at the moment where anything can happen (think Murphy’s Law) at any given moment I have to come to believe that there are indeed a few things that I can do to prepare against shtf and having it on me. And trust me, like you, I FEEL it everyday. Just going to the grocery store or filling up the gas tank keeps me aware that the SHTF is coming on now, it just hasn’t snowballed to critical yet (thank goodness!) at least for me.

I don’t believe that it can be posted enough that being prepared for whatever may come is best practice so here is my own short list in order of importance of getting down to business to being prepared:

1) Store Food- yes, this is at the top of my list, everyday I do something to either get prepared to store food, actually store food or something dealing with storing food (gardening, containers, dehydrating, purchasing, planning) now, the ‘feds’ used to say enough for 3 days for each person in the family. They have recently revised this up to 7 days, but recently, the head of NASA told his people to be ready to take care of themselves for at least 3 months…hmmm…think I will continue to work on at least 1 year. And don’t forget Fiddo and Kitty. Under this also falls water.

2) Work at Increasing my Earning Capacity- now, I realize that some of you won’t be so fortunate as to be able to do this with grace and ease. Since I work for myself and work from home (which by the way is the BEST way to prepare for after SHFT funding of your home and family) I control what I do and when I do it. For me, increasing my earning capacity means giving great customer service (within boundaries) and consistantly adding new things to inventory, reworking what I do and how I do it (increase efficiency) and working on new ideas for my own businesses. For those of you who are tied to a paycheck, increasing your earning capacity can be done in many different ways, just be careful in doing so if it also means increasing your level of debt. Flexibilty and not having all your financial eggs in one basket is key…

3) Gather Essential Items – well, a ton of information has been written about this and covers such things as tolietries, items of interest and need (think anything and everything that you use even occassionally). For me sometimes, it’s a daily adventure in just recognizing what it is that I use daily…like those white scrubby things that take the place of cleaners that have a million and one uses for cleaning around the house. Put that on my list of ‘need’ to get.  Sometimes gathering essential items doesn’t just mean buying something that day, but as I said above, just figuring out what I use and would need to survive if it hits.

4) Learn Something New Everyday- each day I spend anywhere from 10mins to going down the proverbial rabbit hole in learning something new. It is a commitment I made (made much easier to the internet thank you!) to myself…knowledge is power people and practical knowledge is even better.

5) Pay Off Debt- oh yes, that dreaded D-word, I am not, as most people aren’t, immune to debt…I have a small amount of credit card debt (2 almost paid off and as soon as they are they will be cancelled), student loans (again, a fairly small amount), one car payment and my mortgage. Some days working towards paying off debt is simply not wasting food, other days its paying more than the minimum due…but I am conscious everyday what I owe to creditors and work each day to getting rid of it somehow.

6) Help Others- now, this may seem strange to be put on the list of getting ready for worst case SHTF, but for me, its important…it keeps me grateful for what I have (or don’t have), keeps me grounded in reality and most days allows me to feel good about life in general. Nothing like knowing that you helped someone (even its opening and holding the door or just listening) have a better day themselves to give your own life a better glow to it. When we help others we are helping ourselves, getting outside of our head space (which can be a scary place) and into the world. An attitude of gratitude, sharing and caring can be developed which is paramount in surviving whatever may come…the lone wolf dies by himself. And you know, it just feels good to help out when and where you can. Let it begin at home folks and then take it out to the world.

So, that is my “Down to Business” List for everyday living. It helps to keep me focused and not living in fear (which is paralyzing btw). It gives me structure and guidelines (which is comforting when it gets crazy in my home) and keeps me action oriented. For you, the ‘list’ might be a bit different or the details different, but maybe my list will give you something to think about and get you going on your way to being prepared.

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