Surviving a SHTF situation as a healthy 35-year-old is tough enough but if you happen to be a bit more seasoned, your hill just got a little steeper. Don’t worry about it though – there are many things that you can do to counterbalance the years; it may just take a bit more preparation and forethought. Also, don’t forget that knowledge and experience can’t be replaced by youth, so you still have a tremendous advantage!
Throughout the following paragraphs, we’re going to touch on some steps that you can take to get prepared for a SHTF scenario no matter how old you are. We didn’t think it was necessary to include such tips as, “Know what disasters are probable” or “Know your community resources” because those are the no-brainers.
Knowledge is power, so on to the meat of the topic – an easy preparedness plan for the oldies out there!
Stay Physically Fit
The advantage that a fit, healthy body gives you in a SHTF scenario can’t be overstated so do what you need to do to stay in shape. Not only will your body be better able to run, jump, climb or simply endure, you will also avoid many of the diseases of affluence that accompany declining health.
The obvious downside to being fat and unhealthy is that you lose your stamina, flexibility, speed, and endurance.
Remember the old saying about running from a predator – you don’t have to be the fastest, you just have outrun the slowest guy! We joke about it but it’s true!
Possibly the worst disadvantage that comes with losing your health is that you’ll most likely need medication of some sort. Insulin, high blood pressure medication, heart pills, cholesterol meds: all life-sustaining medications that probably won’t be in ready supply if the SHTF.
Since these meds are almost 100% avoidable by eating right and exercising, it’s just good prepping to stay healthy. Why handicap yourself unnecessarily when survival is going to be hard enough?
Consider your Physical Condition When Planning
The fact of the matter is that if your health is going to determine your prepping plan. If you know that you can’t run fast enough to escape or stay out in the elements for a week while you’re bugging out, you need to plan for that. Grand plans that look good on paper won’t keep you alive – realistic preparation will. Here are a few things to consider when prepping:
- Create escape routes that you can actually navigate.
- If you know you can’t bug out, prepare your house so that you have everything you need to batten down the hatches and bug in.
- If you use a wheelchair that operates on a battery, make sure that you have a manual back-up.
- If you wear contacts or glasses, have back-ups.
- Stockpile any medications that you use but make sure to rotate your supply to avoid expiration.
- Make sure that you can manage your bug-out bag by yourself – if it’s too heavy, repack it.
- If you have medical conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, etc., wear a medical ID bracelet or necklace. First responders need every second that they can get to save your life in an emergency situation.
Develop a Community Network
An old saying something along the lines of “many hands make light work” is certainly applicable here. Though you may not be able to lift logs or fight bears off one-handed, you have plenty to contribute and it’s likely that others in your community will want to work together too, so put the word out and start building a network.
Make a plan to check on each other immediately after the SHTF, or even establish a common location where everybody will weather the event together if there’s notice. Have a strategy that defines each neighbor’s role in the plan. By working and prepping together, everybody’s chance for survival increases.
Prepare Your Bug-Out Vehicle and Stockpile More Carefully
If you’re planning on bugging out but need a vehicle to do so, use it to your advantage.
Stock it well so that you don’t need as much weight in your standard bug-out bag and keep your weapons either in your bug-out vehicle if you’re licensed or at the ready so that you can easily toss them in when SHTF. Have everything else already packed in there so that you can just get in and go.
If you’re going to need the assistance of others to survive, pack or stockpile plenty of items that you can use for trade such as food, toilet paper, or cosmetic items.
If you read accounts from people who have lived in warzones or survived natural disasters, one of the common threads that they discuss is how much getting clean again meant to them. You’re going to be surprised at just how much a bar or soap or tube of toothpaste is worth after somebody hasn’t had it for a while, so have trade items to make up for what you can’t do physically!
Your Brain is a Weapon and a Trade Item
We’ve already discussed the fact that even though you may be limited physically, your knowledge is incredibly valuable. Use that to your advantage. Once disasters happen, people panic. Even if you’re physically hindered, people will still look to you for direction if you stay calm and know what to do. That’s an invaluable tool to people who are terrified.
Use your knowledge to everybody’s advantage by jumping in right from the start and establishing yourself as a leader. It’s a tool that you’ve worked hard to earn over the years – use it.
Age may require you to modify your preparation plans a bit but as long as you keep your head in the game, you’ll be at least as ready as the next person. Before we close, we’d like to reiterate the importance of staying healthy and establishing a network in your community.
These two tools are vital to survival in a SHTF scenario as you age, and may even save the younger pups in the neighborhood, too! Good luck and get prepared!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
Photo source: Dreamstime.