In any widespread social disruption, you can expect diminished access to vital resources that come from national or large regional distribution systems – food, water,
fuel, medicine, etc. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a terror attack, or an economic collapse, access to key resources could become cut off completely.
Savvy preppers know it’s important to get a feel for what’s available locally before there’s a disruption. Where does local food come from? What do you know about your local water supply? What resources exist nearby that you can use now to make you more prepared later? These six simple ways to get ready for anything will help you start to think about your local resources, and how you might get them in an emergency.
1: Get to Know Your Local Farmers
Even if you live in the city, you probably don’t have to drive more than an hour to reach a nearby farming community. These communities can be lifesavers during difficult times. While grocery store shelves may be picked clean, local farmers may have fresh eggs and milk, fresh vegetables, and fresh meat that they’re willing to sell or barter for.
Getting to know what’s available through your local farmers’ markets and produce stands can serve you in two ways. First, you can get on friendly terms with a few local farmers, which will make it much easier to approach them to buy or barter for food during a crisis. Second, buying food now straight from your local farmers often gets you more nutritious food at a better price. That means you can buy in bulk and increase your own food reserves.
2: Utilize Community Canning Centers
In many communities, during the height of the growing season, you can take your homegrown produce or produce that you picked and purchased from a local farm to a county or community canning center.
These centers have the equipment you need to can your food and many have canning experts on hand to help make sure you preserve the food safely. These facilities make it easy for you to preserve a variety of foods without having to invest in equipment.
We know of one gentleman who owns a tract of hunting land not far from a community of Amish farmers. He collects sap from the maple trees on his land and has the farmers boil it down for him. The farmers get a share of the syrup for their efforts, and the landowner has a great source of natural sugar for his own household – plus a cash crop to sell in his community.
3: Develop a Strong Social
Network in Your Neighborhood
Perhaps the most important local resource is your neighborhood. Take the time to get to know your neighbors. The more you can pull together with the people who live closest to you, the more secure and comfortable you will all be during an emergency. Imagine the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your neighbors are looking out for each other.
4: Work with What
You Already Have
The resources you have immediately on hand will make the biggest difference during any kind of breakdown. Your yard or balcony can double as a garden. Your laundry room and pantry can double as a storage space for your extended food reserve. Your bathroom closet can double as a first-aid and pharmaceutical supply closet.
5: Take Advantage of
Your local Red Cross offers a number of low-fee workshops – some are even free. One of the classes many Red Cross branches offer is an Individual Preparedness
Skills Workshop. This workshop teaches basic skills intended to help you be self-reliant for an extended period of time. You’ll learn emergency response and recovery skills that you can fall back on in any number of difficult situations. While the workshop is truly basic, it gives you a framework you can build on for more advanced and personalized prepping.
Your local outdoor stores are another good place to look for training classes. You may find affordable classes covering camping, hunting and fishing, recognizing and using edible plants, and basic first aid. A corollary to this is hunter safety courses, where you’ll learn safety and survival skills and more than likely meet like-minded individuals.
Community colleges are another option for preparedness training. You can expect more in-depth classes that could run the gambit from emergency response training to how to be a better gardener.
6: Get Started Today
If you haven’t started yet, make this the day where you actually make significant strides toward readying your family for the growing likelihood of widespread social and economic disruption. It’s never too late.