Avoiding over confidence

Overconfidence can get anyone though I think it happens a lot more with people that have moved just beyond the beginning stage of prepping/survival and self reliance. We are kind of like that 20-25 year old driver that has a few years of driving experience and we have move beyond the being a little bit scared of screwing up and hyper-vigilante to being relaxed almost blase about driving. Guess what age group has the most accidents? I’m not saying you need to fear or keep yourself at the edge of panic because those emotions don’t help either. In fact the keep you from thinking clearly. But being complacent or over confident can be just as dangerous as panic.

I know I have a tendency towards over confidence, I think it more about my personality I tend to go all out when I find something interesting, I want to become an expert. But there is a big difference between theory and actual practice and I find that especially true with prepping. Heck I have a couple of commenters that have been doing this sort of thing for decades and they are still learning and doing new things. That is one thing I love about prepping and becoming self reliant as a way of life is because there is always more to do and learn.

To help me to become better prepared and avoid over confidence is doing tests and rehearsals. I’m not very good about not cheating when I plan a test in the future for some part of preparedness. I tend to anticipate and make it easier rather than the test coming at me “Out of the blue” and a surprise. So I have started using the news and if a disaster hits I start at least mentally rehearsing how I would deal with it.  I think this works as a start for your to start building up how you will deal with a disaster.  There have been 2 potential disaster that have come with the Government shutdown.  A cutting of pay for government workers, SS and VA and some minor EBT riots. The Gridex II coming on Nov. 13th is another thing you can do a test on.

While we have some warning  you can think though how you will react and what you would do if these things did happen and how will you protect yourself if they happen again. While I have described a few things I’m doing and you can do to protect yourself financially from a Government shut down that has a very good chance of happening again after the first of the year. Possible EBT riots if folks freak about the cuts. I think being ready for a long term power outage around the 13th ala “American Blackout” would be a good test.

I have a pre-storm checklist I do every time there is a weather warning and tweak it for what is the forecast:

  1. Go through the house and check to see if flashlights are working, that I have matches and lighter close by my lamps and easy to find. Replace batteries on non-working flashlights and check the dates on stored batteries.
  2. Recharge everything from batteries to cell phones and small electronics. If you have one of those car batteries jumper paks make sure it is fully charge and test it.
  3. Clean the house or at least the cleaning that requires power. Get the laundry going, vacuum and do the dishes. If you can make sure every gets a bath or shower before the power goes out.
  4. If you are doing this in the evening get the thermos out and make your coffee or tea for the AM. Have extra thermoses so you can have hot water for washing and cleaning up. Trust me having hot water ready to go in the AM makes starting the day a lot easier.
  5. Windup or battery power clocks: While you might lose power that doesn’t mean your job or the school lost power.  Add a little extra time to get things done.

If you do this little checklist you can make sure your stuff is always ready to go in the event of a real disaster. You will start off with everything clean which should give you a little extra time and breathing space before you need to go with a  low-tech or no power solution. If nothing bad happens you have done your test, confirmed everything works and if you are getting low, add that item to your next shopping list.

8 Responses to Avoiding over confidence

  1. anonymous says:

    I do some of the same when a storm is about to blow through, I put a pocket flashlight in my pants or belt and put out a couple of candles with BIC nearby in case power goes out.

    • Jamie says:

      That’s a good idea about the flashlight in the pocket. I preposition a flashlight, matches and either a candle or lamp in each room.

  2. dee says:

    GREAT POST!! We are having a stormy Halloween here in Louisiana, so this always gets me in the mindset of “how would I?” when it comes to interruptions of normality. Jan 2000 we had a two day power outage and ice storm in our area. Food was not an issue. We built our house with a fireplace and gas starter for an alternate heating choice, along with kerosene heaters. we had a gas stove, as opposed to electric, plus we could have barbequed. We closed off the family room kitchen area with quilts to conserve heat. Our biggest problem? A teenager who was lost without her music! She whined and moaned because we made her conserve batteries, and she wanted to sleep in her room instead of the family area. Logically, she understood the whys, but her sanity was stressed by these changes.Times like those help you tweek your preps.

    • Jamie says:

      dee, Using another area’s disaster helps think of less common things that happen in my area. We don’t get hurricanes or many tornados but we do get windstorms. Earthquakes tend to minor because we are far frm major faults, but i big California quake Cascadia or even yellowstone could damage the roads bridge, trainstracks making it hard to get gas or other goods into the area.

  3. Overconfidence is not a problem for me, because I am always being presented with new situations I have not planned for. I think the further out you live, the more apt this is to happen. Despite having been living the life style for more than 30 years now, I am still blindsided ever so often.

    • Jamie says:

      Harry, I think rural folks tend to do better because the have too. Cost to much money every time you run out of something so you tend to make do or do without. Where I grew up power would go out all the time and it Physically bothered me not having a backup heat source to electricity.The propane heaters and fuel were a good shorterm alternative but the wood stove makes me feel a lot better about being prepared.

  4. riverrider says:

    j, solar folks saying the sun is due a big one in november too. don’t forget to start/test yer genny too. i start/run my tractor too. the first winter here we got 4 feet of snow in about a week. thats about 10 times normal.good training,good training:)

    • Jamie says:

      river, You certainly have been “Blessed” with many opportunities to test. 🙂
      It may not help but I have learned a lot from you and how you handled it.

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