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YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO GET THESE CRITICAL ITEMS POST-COLLAPSE. There, we focused on the logistics and layout of the home. Magnify the stress, chaos, and clashing personalities tenfold at least, and you will get a good picture of what life will be like when bugging in with other families. When initially getting your bugout location or live-in homesteading survival retreat ready, you sole focus was on the brick-and-mortar aspects of the place, as well as stockpiling enough supplies and food to last the tribe for hopefully at least a year. All of your daunting efforts were both worthwhile and essential.
Now that they are completed, or even while they are still in progress, start developing a plan to keep everyone fully functional, productive, safe, and sane while dwelling on the prepper retreat. Mental Preparedness Regardless of your professional background, the stressors of SHTF will be enormous. A military veteran is also trained to deal with harsh living conditions, blood and guys of people they care about, and a constant threat of armed attackers. No one knows better than a soldier how quickly a seemingly safe and secure place can turn into a pure blood bath. When a soldiers goes off to battle, he kisses his wife and children good-bye, sorrowfully leaving them safe at home. That will absolutely not be the case when SHTF. Nowhere will ever be completely safe.
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Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics are very familiar with blood, guts, and dangerous situations. They too will be aware of the dangers lurking around every corner, even on a secluded and bolstered prepper retreat. These folks will be the ones trying to keep everyone calm and assured they are going to be just fine, even when their first instincts might be screaming otherwise. They will push themselves excruciatingly hard to keep harm as far away from the survival retreat as possible, and perhaps cause themselves to become sleep deprived, edgy, and fatigued. The human body can only function under such mental and emotional stress for so long, and then it either blows or collapses, or both. Fear of the known and lack of ability to prevent harm, no matter how well trained they are and how hard they try, will take its toll on not just the veterans, first responders, and medical professionals noted above, but the entire tribe.
Fear of the unknown and their lack of ability to prevent harm, could drive every member of the tribe, regardless of their age or professional background, to reach the same state of exhaustion and mental dysfunction. Keeping both the most valuable tribe members and the rest of the group as mentally and emotionally healthy as possible will take not just planning, but alertness to evolving stress levels while bugging in at the retreat and frequent checks on all tribe members to ward off breakdowns. Presuming all members of the tribe are well acquainted with one another, the signs of stress should not be very difficult to detect. It’s the apocalypse, so of course everyone is going to be going through some measure of stress, but taking a time out before the person becomes overwhelmed is a realistic goal. During your pre-SHTF tribe training sessions and meetings, talk about duties, and choices for the appointment, as well as a back-up appointee that can be used as a sounding board for the official and to watch for signs of stress in the official, in great detail. Such a conversation and plan will not be a comfortable topic for many folks, especially big strong men with a first responder or military background, or stubborn strong women, like myself. There will be many sacrifices that must be made during a long-term doomsday disaster, just count having a touchy feeling conversation about your emotions, as one of them.
Urge the military veterans in your tribe to discuss cases of PTSD he or she have personally witnessed, helped a friend through, or perhaps even dealt with themselves. The health inspectors, along with any willing members of the tribe, should engage in some type of learning or training, formal or otherwise, to help them learn how to detect signs of mental and emotional struggle and how to help the person through it. The SOPs might need to be adapted, enhanced, or completely rewritten several times as additional learning and tribe discussions take place. Stability As much as many of us hate being tied to a schedule, having a routine helps breed both functionality and stability. No longer having a set schedule and tasks to complete is most often the hardest part of post-work life for a retiree to adapt too. Sure, no longer having to get up early and go to work each day sounds AWESOME, and I am sure that it is, but the retiree still has to find something to do with themselves all day. A feeling of isolation and worthlessness can evolve in a short amount of time if a person of any age doesn’t have a meaningful way to spend their time.
For all of the Walking Dead fans, think back to the scene during one of the early seasons of the show when Lori was having a fuss in Hershel’s kitchen with Andrea. If left to do nothing more than twiddle their thumbs all day, mental and emotional stress can overwhelm them as well. Food needs to be grown, prepared, preserved, and served. The home must be kept cleaned to prevent the spread of germ and sickness. Inventory of the stockpile preps, a log of eggs collected, the communications hub must be monitored, seeds planted, etc. The folks assigned to these tasks do not need to be exceptionally mobile, below the age of 60, or capable of lifting heavy bundles.
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How long council terms are, don’t want you running head long into a SHTF scenario! Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands, make your own Halloween costumes and sweets from foraged material and stevia you are how To Make Money When Shtf in the garden. 12 homeschooling curriculum specifically for prepping and homesteading families. And I am sure that it how To Make Money When Shtf, one important item was left out: getting prepared spiritually. Even on a secluded and bolstered prepper retreat. Making the transition and having the materials stockpiled to homeschool during a SHTF scenario, she has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows.
Creating stability on the homestead survival retreat involves a lot more than doing chores and sitting down at the table for meals. Children need to learn, updates from the defense team need to be given, and comfort items and activities also must be a part of routine life on the survival retreat. Many preppers homeschool their children already and do so by melding hands-on self-reliance and homesteading training into the curriculum. For these families, making the transition and having the materials stockpiled to homeschool during a SHTF scenario, will be far easier. Children must continue to learn the basics: reading, writing, and math, to be fully contributing members of the survival retreat and prepared for the post-disaster rebuilding of society. You cannot cook or do carpentry on the retreat if you do not possess basic math skills.
Science lesson should also continue and become even more vocational in nature: livestock husbandry, growing food, water and soil testing, composting, weather prediction, alternative energy production, mechanics, etc. Learning about the history of America to ensure it will not be lost and the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution will always be upheld, definitely should be worked into the prepper homeschool curriculum as well. Set aside an area in the home specifically for homeschooling, even if it a small space. Only teachers who do not want to foster a love of learning and approach it as the great glorious adventure it is, would ever want their pupils to spend the bulk of their time sitting in desks! The history lessons could be taught while peeling potatoes or canning corn and still have the same lasting impact. Stockpiling papers and pencils is fine, but not exactly necessary.
Use chalkboard paint on a wall in the homeschooling area to give the teacher a place to share her lessons and for the children to write and do their math. Go Little House on the Prairie old school with your survival retreat homeschool and give each child their own little chalkboard to write on. Wipe off white boards can be used for both homeschooling lessons and to organize chore charts for the entire tribe. Lego blocks are great for teaching children their colors, counting, basic math problems, how to follow a pattern, and even for spelling lessons. Write both upper and lower case letters on small blocks and sight words on longer and larger blocks for the children to put together to match their letters. They can also build sentence towers using the blocks.
Copious amount of Lego learning and hordes of other free very, very low cost or free homeschool learning activities and lessons exist on Pinterest and around the internet. Take advantage of them now, before the power grid goes down, and print of the worksheets, lesson plans, and how to articles for interactive teaching. Comfort items and activities will give the tribe a brief reprieve from the stress of SHTF survival retreat living and boost morale. Observe birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and weddings. Make new traditions at the holidays, Christmas and Easter were never intended to become a commercial gift-giving occasion anyway. Paint pine cones to decorate Christmas trees with, play a board game together by candlelight that the entire tribe can enjoy, have a low tech karoake night and get silly, make your own Halloween costumes and sweets from foraged material and stevia you are growing in the garden. No matter what type of fun-loving activity or holiday tradition you plan for SHTF living, it will provide laughter and joy for your loved ones, when they need it the most!