The coming of any new year starts out of the gate brimming with a plethora of opportunities to achieve many things. This includes wrapping up goals, projects, and missions from the previous year and a new chance to sit down to lay out the priorities for the year ahead. All of this should be approached with a fresh breath of air. You know how it feels and smells just after a big storm has passed, especially a lightning storm that charges the air with fresh ozone. You can smell it. Take it in, breath deep, chin up and embrace the coming 12 months with a positive attitude to keep plugging away at your prepper initiatives.
The virtual plague of the past eight years is ending. Pro or con, this country has slipped into an international quagmire of disrespect and disregard. We hope this status can be regained in short order. Domestically, the economy is beyond flat. Regardless of what the administration peeps say, nearly 8 million Americans are out of work and countless more are underemployed. All of this is seasoning for a SHTF recipe.
The New Political Climate
Five generations of citizens have been on welfare now to the point that it is considered the entitlements of all entitlements. This needs to end, too. And the “government” still does not get it. The IRS just rolled back the per diem expense allowance for vehicle business travel for 2017, ostensibly because they say fuel costs are down. Today at home, unleaded gasoline is $2.19 a gallon. Up over twenty cents in a month. An executive order just cancelled more offshore drilling and the huge new oil field in Texas cannot be tapped even if we had the pipelines to transport it to refineries. All this adds stress to an economic recovery.
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Health care for the working class is in crisis. My wife and child pay $1100 a month for basic care with a huge deductible. It is only good for a catastrophic health incident or accident. Doctor and hospital costs are totally out of control. My GP’s office charges $65 for a flu shot, while a local pharmacy charges only $25. Go figure. And on and on it goes.
Taking Care of No. 1
Not to be purely selfish, but this is the age of taking care of you and your family first, then help others as you can. This includes the entire realm of personal attentions to health and welfare for you and family, then taking care of business in preparation against any potential threats that might develop this year and beyond. Once you have your own affairs relatively in order, then you can reach out if you choose or then direct your efforts or attention to other projects. This is a tall order, so there is no better time to take it all on than right now. Nothing happens all at once. It’s like a huge marble statue that you chip away at day after day. You may never see the final product, but you can take pride and honor in the constant effort toward the final goal.
Review the Current Plan
This is assuming you have a plan or sort of directional guide in hand and that it is written down to pass around, invite comments, add to, take away, alter, shift, redirect, adapt, adopt, and then initiate. If not, do this first, now. Perhaps reconsider bugging in or out. For existing plans, review them now, item by item. If you have achieved some of the steps, check them off and or add comments about parts that need to be rechecked, revised, or completed. Try to add completion dates so that some achievement schedule can be established. Otherwise, everything is just floating out there undone or half done.
Things change all the time. Adjust your plan according to changes that you anticipate or not. For example, maybe you plan to acquire a new bug out property or perhaps an RV, camping trailer or other major purchase to give you options during a SHTF event. Such changes can produce a number of new tasks to accomplish. Plan accordingly.
2017 To Do Tips
Defensive security should be reviewed and shored up if lax. Add new supplies, weapons, ammo, accessories, and gear to fulfill your security needs. Again, review what you have and then move forward. Perhaps it is time to beef up your home security with heavier locks, window storm covers or other precautions. This first initiative includes inspection, maintenance, repairs, or replacements of weapons, gear, and equipment already in hand. Add to this additional time for training, shooting practice, formal shooting course training, and then more practice for everyone. This should include reactionary drills at the bug in or out location. Have everybody comfortable to respond as necessary. If needed, buy an extra firearm and add to ammo supplies.
Unpack your bug out bags, inspect everything, recycle old out of date supplies and repack. Inspect the bag, too for wear and tear, zipper function, clean it up. Refresh the entire kit bag. Same for other quick grab bags full of gear for a bug out. Do the same for your EDC satchel, bag, or backpack. Clean guns, oil knives, refresh batteries in everything, and get the everyday carry squared away again.
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Check out your entire bug in food stocks and supplies both at the bug in locale and the secondary bug out site, camper, trailer or whatever. Recycle dated foods, snacks, staples like beans, rice, flour, sugar, etc. Add new canned goods, and other foods you eat regularly. Restock or recycle water stores and add more as space allows.
Replace batteries in everything you own including house smoke alarms, security system backups, communication radios, AM-FM-Weather radios, flashlights, electronic or regular illuminated gun scopes, rangefinders, bore lights, lanterns, cameras, hearing aids, and such. Charge or replace vehicle batteries, ATV or SUV batteries. Replace old batteries in storage with fresh ones.
Revisit all medical supplies, personal medicines, aid devices, CPAP, and OTC med stocks. Check first aid kits, refresh as needed. Add new boxes of band aides, gauze, wraps, bandages, and other medical supplies. Check stocks on antiseptic ointments, creams, Vaseline, lotions, and other supplies to support health care and injury recovery.
Do an inventory on all other kinds of consumable supplies. The list could include all types of paper products from paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, a variety of tapes, glues, oils and lubricants, grease, chainsaw oil, and anything else other than cooking materials that you use up on a regular basis. Inventory all types of parts for plumbing, HVAC, motor parts, etc.
Refresh fuel supplies from regular gasolines, diesel, white gas for lanterns or camp stoves, bottled propane, and charcoal lighter if used. Ditto on charcoal for outdoor cooking, newspaper supplies for charcoal chimneys, and stock up plenty of matches and butane lighters.
Now is the time to take advantage of New Year sales, too. Watch newspaper ad flyers, visit the big box outdoor stores, gun shops, and gun shows to stock up or shop for advantageous price points on gear and stuff you need or want to add.
A bright horizon comes with 2017 but that is no reason to let our guards down. Natural disasters cannot be controlled. Terrorism is still viable and a threat. Our borders remain open for now. Crime is still rampant. There is plenty to be considered about to remain vigilant.
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