How to get prepared in three easy steps

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I admit to a bit of creative over-simplification in today’s title, but there’s an important lesson in it.

My wife and I were walking in the woods recently, and the topic of conversation touched on preparedness. Rather, the lack of preparedness amongst a large percentage of the adult population.

How the other three-quarters lives

She used an example from her previous life in corporate America: Her profession was accounting, and she worked as a department head in several large companies. This usually put her in a corporate headquarters office with a lot of other people.

Now as you might imagine, my wife is a bit more attuned to the skills and hardware associated with self defense and preparedness than most people. Still, she was surprised by her co-workers on nearly a constant basis.

Almost daily, someone would come to her and ask to borrow her knife or her flashlight (usually so they could open something or find something in a dark corner.) In many of those cases they expressed their astonishment that someone would find a need to tote around a knife or a flashlight, never connecting the fact that they themselves just needed exactly that!

Now juxtapose this with a question I routinely find in my email (paraphrased, of course): “I know I need to become more prepared, but it’s overwhelming. Where do I start?”

Combining my wife’s experience with my knowledge, I’ve developed a simple three-step answer to that question. It’s designed to help those who might be getting started on their own preparedness journey, or to share with those who might ask advice on the topic.

Ready? Here it is:

Grant’s Patented Plan To Becoming More Self-Reliant In Three Easy Steps ™:

1. Buy a pocket knife.

2. Buy a small high-intensity flashlight.

3. Carry them with you every day.

Seems simple, right? Almost…too simple?

Seriously, doing just those things will make you instantly more prepared than about 85% of the people around you. (If my wife’s experience is any guide, it’ll actually be more like 98% of people!)

What to buy

The knife doesn’t need to be some high-tech, one-hand-opening wonder of exotic steel and titanium. A plain pocket knife, the kind with two or perhaps three blades like the one your grandfather carried, is enough. All it really needs to be is sharp.

The flashlight, likewise, doesn’t need to have fins or jagged edges around the lens; it just needs to be bright, reliable, and easy to carry in your pocket. I’m a big fan of those taking a couple of AA batteries, because they’re bright enough for just about any use while being easy and cheap to feed. 

(Trust me, once you discover how useful that flashlight is, you’ll be using it a lot. And the unprepared people around you will figure it out too. Cost of feeding will become important.)

That’s a good start for anyone.

Just do it

How do the knife and flashlight make you better prepared, more resilient, and safer? I’ll get to that next time. Between now and then, if you don’t already have a knife and a flashlight you carry daily, fix that problem. Get them and make sure they’re always with you.

-=[ Grant ]=-

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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