How to Prepare for Texas Boogaloo (Or Pretty Much Anything Else)
Steps that can help you whether something happens or not.
Note from Josh: Unprepared.life superman brownfox was kind enough to write up this summary of some preps you can take if you’re nervous about the Texas tensions. It’s a good list to keep around for any scenario.
Whenever the news posts doom-and-gloom stories, my favorite question to ask as “Great, but what can we do about it?” Taking action helps to reduce anxiety and stress, even if that action is something small like “get outside for a minute” or “go for a walk.”
Doing one productive thing usually leaves me feeling better, and I can build other steps from that. On the Unprepared.life Discord, CurtisMayfield asked “What can we do about it?” How to reasonably prepare for a slide in escalating conflict?
I don't know how much of current events is empty political posturing versus an actual concern. But the good news is we can probably all take steps that help us to be better off right now, regardless of whether something happens or not.
Stay calm. You can improve any situation by bringing a calm mind to it. This might mean unplugging from the news, getting off social media, and doing something else. News outlets make money from fear and anger, so their goal is often to stoke your fears and make you angry as often as possible. It can be difficult, but spend some time unplugged.
Keep some money in more than one bank, with different risk profiles. e.g. Can you open an account at a local credit union, and another at a big national bank? Then if something goes wrong (power outage, computer errors) or you need to go or stay—at least one of your banks should be accessible.
Keep some cash on hand. This depends on finances, but e.g. enough to fix a flat tire, buy a meal, or pay for a motel room. If you're really advanced maybe you're looking into getting a fire safe or keeping enough cash to cover a few weeks of expenses.
Get first aid training, for you and people in your circle.
Have first aid kits in your car + house.
Exercise regularly. Stay in good shape. Even if you don't make it to Josh Centers Award Winning Levels Of Fitness, every bit helps. You're investing in yourself.
Eat well + get sleep. It's easier to stay calm and think clearly when you're rested.
Meet your neighbours. Try to build some good positive relationships now, while nothing is happening. Do kind stuff for them. Can you bake some cookies? Watch their dog?
Start a group text chat or channel with neighbours or friends, to be able to communicate important info quickly. Who would you want to be able to talk to, or hear from, if the power goes out or there is an emergency? Is it possible to set that up now?
Avoid putting controversial political signs on your lawn, or stickers on your car. This may be personal; stand up for causes you believe in. Consider what is right for you.
Stay informed with multiple, different news sources, so you know what the issue(s) are and what different sides might say, want, or do.
Think about your plans. What could you plan for the future to keep yourself safe? Do you want to register to vote early, or vote by mail, so you don't need to head to the voting station on election day? Could you save up some money and do a big grocery trip in mid-October, so you don't need to be out at the grocery store during the election?
Be ready to leave
Keep a Go bag ready, with clothes, snacks, etc. in case you need to travel on short notice. Have supplies for you and your family.
Keep your travel documents up-to-date—passport or driver's license. Perhaps in the Go Bag.
Keep your vehicle fueled up + do regular maintenance. Refill your gas tank when you hit half full. Can you budget and plan for vehicle work?
Keep prescriptions filled. Do you take medications you will need if traveling? How much of a supply do you need or can you have? Do you need a note from your doctor stating you are supposed to have it?
Find some allies who live elsewhere. Do you have family or friends where you could stay for a while? Perhaps out of state?
Research possible hotels or other places to stay where you would feel safe.
Get some paper maps and know or draw how to get there.
Explore your local area and know the routes in + out. Know some alternate routes you might take.
Consider what 'get there' supplies you might need for your vehicle to deal with hazards that might be in the way. Thick gloves, empty gas can, flat-tire fixers, spare oil? small hand saw? folding shovel?
Be ready to stay
If the power goes out or something happens, and you decide to stay in your home. Ideally you want enough supplies to be able to last for two weeks without going out.
Have food and water for several weeks. Do you have enough to cover pets and livestock?
Have some paper plates/utensils in case you can’t do dishes. (Editor’s note: We recently had a pipe freeze, and this is very good advice. —Josh)
Keep on top of your laundry so you have clean clothes if the power or water goes out.
Keep your place cleaned and organized so you know what you have, and can find it when you need it. Can you set up a cleaning schedule? Can you donate or get rid of things you don't need?
Have some entertainment to keep people occupied. Board games, books, a deck of cards, art supplies. Perhaps videos on DVD or an external hard drive.
Assess your door, locks, and windows—what might need fixing or watching? One common suggestion is to use a long drill bit and put longer screws in your door hinges.
You probably won't do everything on this list. But even just doing one thing means you're better off than you were, and you’re taking back some control over your life. Great work.