Have you given thought as to what it is like to go without your morning coffee for a week, to be without food for a few days, or on a more critical level, to be unable to get the daily medications you may require to even stay alive. When planning for a survival scenario, be it the result of a large scale catastrophe or a localized storm that leaves you stranded for a few days, there are day to day matters to address before the situation is at hand. On the most critical level, be sure you are stocked with enough of your prescription medications to last you through a crisis. Usually a one month supply would be more than adequate. Make sure to rotate this medication so you always have a fresh supply on hand. The medicines I speak of here may be heart medicine, blood pressure medicine, insulin, etc. Talk with your doctor and let him or her know why you need it and there shouldn't be any problems.
Keep your medical supplies in a brightly marked waterproof container in a location you can get to. It is a good idea to also keep a watertight, clearly marked container with all medical information in the door inside your refrigerator so emergency personnel can find it in the event they must come to your house. Emergency personnel usually know to check this location for critical information. If you want to get really proactive with your health, try talking to your doctor and doing research on your own to find out what you can do to minimize your dependence on medications in the first place. Many health conditions can be regulated or eliminated just by making healthier lifestyle choices. The more independent you can be from anything the better off you will be when the going gets tough.
Freeing yourself from less critical dependence is something that can be done by anyone at any time. These things can range anywhere from addiction to caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, sugar, television, and anything that may cause distress or withdrawal if it is suddenly unavailable. Some ways to prepare yourself include going off caffeine for a week. You may experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from a headache, to tiredness, to feeling like you have the flu. It may not be a pleasant thing to do but at least you will know how you will respond physically, mentally, and emotionally in a situation that you are in control of; rather than a scenario where you have no choice.
I often wonder what the world would be like if suddenly the worlds tobacco supply was cut off. Imagine a world of hundreds of thousands of irritable people jonesing for a smoke. Not a pretty scenario. Combine that with the stress of a disaster and it ain't real good! There are two options that I know of. Stockpile a supply of your favorite addictions, free yourself from them for good, or at least long enough to know what it will be like to do without. I actually keep a pack of cigarettes in my survival kit just in case I encounter an irate smoker about to go postal from withdrawal.
Once you have mastered freedom from dependence on addictive behaviors, try doing without the more essential things in life for awhile. Try fasting for a full day or leaving the lights off for a full 24 hours. Even try turning off the heat for a day in the winter. I do recommend approaching all of these things responsibly. If you have health conditions, be sure to consult your doctor before doing anything that will disrupt your normal life. Do not put yourself at risk, but do work toward preparing yourself for whatever situation might occur.
Preparedness of the types of things I have mentioned can be as comprehensive as you like. My wife and I have led each other on long walks blindfolded to see what it would be like to be blind. Only do this with someone to guide you though, for obvious reasons. Finding your physical, mental, and emotional limitations is one of the most valuable survival skills I know of. You can't prepare for everything but you can meet anything with greater confidence through knowing yourself as well as you can. Integrate independence and awareness into your daily life. Make these things into family activities. preparedness can be a fun activity for everyone but being caught unprepared in a crisis is never fun.
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