Hi all! Been away for a while dealing with one of the worst migraines I have had in over a decade…ugh…yuck…they are muscular from stress and lack of sleep and I finally broke down and went to the doctor and am on the mend now, thank goodness.

But as always, this was a learning experience for me…be prepared and don’t rely on one way to take care of yourself and family if TSHTF. Built in redundancy is another way to think about it…either food, medicine, self-defense measures, water or what have you.

Having one way is a good place to start when becoming prepared for what may come, but having a back-up just in case is even better and a ‘last resort’ is the best.

Food wise for me this means a good mix of can goods, MRE’s, freezed dried foods, dry goods and of course, keeping my frig full (not to mention keeping your refrigerator full saves you money because, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, it has to work less as food stays cold longer than air does). Under food I including cooking methods too…electric stove, wood stove, gas grill, gas camping cooker and eventually I want charcoal too and perhaps a solar cooker. And then don’t forget can openers (I have two in the house and 2 stashed away), plates (paper and/or extra regular dishes). Paper/plastic cups are good too.

Medicine– its no secret that I am a practicing herbalist so I have one aspect covered, but I do stock Tylenol, ibuprophen, aspirin, Excedrin, cough syrups (both OTC and herbal) and my own supply of needed pharmaceuticals. I also have a good stock of essential oils and homeopathics. But as I found out this past week, sometimes I will need other types of prescriptions and I am now on the march to find a few more common ones ‘just in case’ all else fails. I have what seems like a zillion and one bandages of all sorts and types, but you know, I have also stocked up on female sanitary pads too as part of ‘medical’…these make GREAT wound absorbers in a pinch.

Self-defense– While I don’t personally know karate or anything like that (though I am not afraid to use my hands if need be) I do have dogs, weapons of various sorts and have been thinking about adding pepper spray to my personal protection plans…but this area also covers escape routes and knowing them (do you know several ways out of your area if need be?) and what about where you frequently shop or go to work? How many ways do you know how to get home from there without using GPS? Knowing the roads around you is important. And what about home security which is ‘self-defense’ also? I can’t maintain OPSEC (operational security) and tell you what I have done personally, but suffice to say things are moving along nicely…some ideas for home security are nice rose bushes under your windows (or even the medicinal plant Oregon Graperoot, which is similar to Goldenseal in its uses), a home security alarm system, motion detector lights, nice tall wooden fences, a gate at the end of your driveway. If you have a large piece of land, barbwire all the way around your property at three different heights could slow someone or something down a bit, high tinsel wire fences that are electrified…the list goes on and on, but the point being is that you use more than one way to protect your home, some seen, some not seen.

Water– having more than one source or way to get water is important too…bottled water, both by the gallon and small drinking water bottles…ways to purify water, chemical, boiling, filtration, and where would you get it? Know at 3 places in your area if possible that you can get water. You can also collect rain water in most areas of the US (check first please, I know some places out west it is illegal to collect rain water). This is a just a basic start to building in redundancy into your preparedness plans, there are other aspects such as ‘money’ or things to barter with, jobs- have multiple sources of income is a good thing, computer files too (how many of you have lost files because your computer crashed? Well, having no electricity is about the samething, what are different ways you can access the information without your main computer? The Kindle accepts PDF files, thumb drives for small laptops, most smart phones take those micro-cards which you can put files onto…and as my recent health issue showed me, I need a few other ‘just in case’ things in case my original plan of taking care of myself doesn’t work.

Things have a way of not working out when you least expect it (which is part of SHFT) and knowing what to do just in case plan A doesn’t work out or runs out having plan B and C will make life easier and give you the breathing room you need…just in case and you never know…it just may save your life.

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