I’m 100% disabled and on SSD as well as getting a bit of VA disability and I’m a prepper! I’m lucky that I can get around via a walker and I was really lucky my home is basically 1 floor and not a split level. While CIDP is not fun, life could be worse! I was so weak after this disease hit I could not make a pot of coffee or even pull on a sock as my muscles and nerves got FUBAR for information. Now I can putter around the house and take care of myself, do my own shopping and drive myself around. If you have to depend on others to get around you know what a big deal it is to go and do stuff when you want to and not be dependent on someone else.
I’ve been focusing on many new skills and a few old one I learned when I was younger to add to the mix. I found a nice little lead melting oven for $65.00 and a lead mold for doing six 9mm bullets at a time. It takes no great feat of strength to make those bullets, in fact some people find it kind of boring and repetitive. But it’s a great job for someone that can’t do hard labor and you can make a heck of a lot of bullets in a few hours work. Sewing, knitting and weaving are some new skills I’m trying out or slowly getting better at with practice. The thing is, if you screw up you can just start over as your basic materials are still okay to reuse! Same thing with reloading bullets it just take time and attention to detail to make good bullets.
If you can’t do hard labor you can still learn skills to be useful for barter or for your tribe. I don’t care much for taking care of kids, but watching/teaching the little ones while the parents work can be a great occupation for all those who do like rug rats. Going out fishing and taking the kids is a great way to add protein and I know I started to learn to fish at about 5 or 6 years of age. I won’t say I was good starting out but when I got to 7 and 8 years old I could clean the fish I caught and be trusted with a pocket knife to do a good job. Plus at that time I learned how to sharpen knives because a sharp knife is less likely to cut you compared to a dull one. I think learning to clean a fish is a great introduction to cleaning all meat animals. Cleaning a rabbit or a deer is basically the same it’s just a matter of scale and adding a bone saw to get through some of the larger bones.
So if you handicapped or you are not quite up to doing some of the more physical things to survive you are going to have to build up your skill set as well as having the tools to make things easier for you to accomplish. I’m adding a lot of muscle power and electric/ battery powered tools to take advantage of solar energy rather than just gas powered equipment. If I have gas I can use my generator to power them, but as I get my solar generator parts and the solar generator online it will give me another energy option. Go into a truck stop and would be amazed at all the little appliances that can be power via 12 volts, from mini fridges to frying pans . Solar panels and inverters are fairly cheap and if you can’t afford a generator yet, you can use your car battery, a small inverter and a solar panel trickle charger to help keep the battery charged up and stretch your gas supply.
Having the right tool for a job to share, trade or barter might get you a little free labor for the use of that tool. Someone will get sick and will need some nursing care, monitor a radio, provide security lookout, or the cooking the meals while all those healthy athletic types are doing the physical labor. Hot water for washing up, a good meal or clean clothes is very important to anyone who has spent a long day working. With a few tools to make those tasks easier you can contribute a lot to your tribe with just these few ideas and I’m sure you can think of more you can do with things that take time to get done. You will have to get creative but I don’t see that being handicapped should mean a person has no value to the tribe.
My odds are probably on the low side for survival because of my handicap. I can’t run or work hard physically or go long without a rest, but that is why I get stuff that helps me work and have food and stuff stored so I don’t have to work so hard. What I do is about giving myself the best possible chance at survival and no guarantees are given in life other than “you will die”, and I refuse to just give up because things are harder. So I keep adding stuff and skills to stack the odds in my favor. Doing and learning stuff to be less dependent is a lot more fun for me than say, buying a bag of flour or rice (unless I get a really super price). 🙂