How to prepare for difficult times

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War has struck so close now that many people are worried and want to do something. For the sake of your wellbeing, don't spend too much time guessing what world leaders are going to do. Instead, focus on things you can do while you are not under pressure. Here are a few preparation tips that may prove useful in many kinds of crises like a natural catastrophe, martial law, or war.

This article isn't about survival in the woods or basic advisable things like having a first-aid kit and means to put out fires. This is a short list of things people rush to do in panic mode. Beat the crowds and queues by doing everything in advance! The list was compiled by Hemmo Päiveröinen and the boring rationalizations were added by us.

Keep cash available

Card payments require electricity and working internet connections. Everyone has probably been in a situation where card payments have stopped working locally for a while. In a crisis, this is likely to be the norm and in times like that, don't count on ATM:s. Even if they work and still have some bills inside, there will be a line of people and possibly some vultures trying to take advantage of them.

Maintain a reserve of food and water

Arrange your food cabinet so that you use and replenish some of your stash to stay ahead of the expiry dates without much troube. Prepare for a week at least but the longer you can do the better.

Remember to make sure you can heat food with a gas stove for example.

Keep your vehicle topped up

You might need to relocate during a crisis and fuel price - if any is available - will be high. When you keep your tank 2/3 filled at all times, you can cover hundreds of kilometers with what you have.

Unless the situation demands stepping on the gas, you can conserve a significant amount of fuel by driving at intermediate speeds rather than the usual freeway speeds.

Buy a battery-operated radio receiver

It's commonplace in modern information warfare to spread false information through text messages and any internet media is susceptible cyber attacks. Without downshifting to messengers on horsebacks, just an old-fashioned radio is a robust thing and may keep working when more delicate systems fail.

Lithium batteries have a long expiry date and they remain more functional even in the cold.

Pick up shooting as a hobby

Hunting and recreational shooting are great pastimes in their own right and during a crisis their meaning changes, even if some people say you shouldn't even think about this kind of things. A country with an armed populace is virtually impossible to occupy and even if you're dealing with a mad dictator, quite often they retain a basic understanding of risks and rewards. Of course, a deer rifle doesn't stop a tank, but death squads trying to wipe out civilians are softer targets - and completely legitimate ones.

If you're concerned about buying guns just in case, consider thinking about it as just another hobby. It's not like someone buys a car to prepare for post-apocalyptic scenarios but should something like that happen, it might prove to be a good choice in hindsight. If you are lucky enough to never come face to face with wide-scale crises in your lifetime, at least you had a peaceful life with fun things to do.

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