Across the nation, people are starting to pay attention to the news. News stories centered around gun control laws, the Department of Homeland Security buying and stockpiling ammunition, Drones taking over our communities, natural disasters bringing the world as we know it to a screeching halt, and numerous other events have people worried for the future of their family – and the future of our nation.
So where can you start as far as instituting an emergency preparedness plan in your home? Read on as we detail the very best – very basic – 5 steps you can take TODAY to begin readying your household for an impending disaster.
5 Simple Ways to Start Prepping TODAY
Assess your current situation.
Make a list of your current skills, talents and supplies. Grab a notebook. On separate pages create titles like ‘Skills/Talents’, ‘Food Supplies‘, ‘Home/Shelter’ – etc. Divide each page down the middle and begin to list what you currently bring to the table – one column for what you have — the second column for what you do not have. If you’re new to Prepping you may begin to see a theme here… more on the “have not” side of the page than on the “have.” That’s OK: by assessing your current situation, you are taking the first – and most important step – in protecting your family and your life. Continue to list items – go as far as to start room by room in your home to potentially rediscover items that could be an asset toward emergency preparedness. Be creative here! Some household items that you already own may need to be viewed as “repurpose-able” — and you may already have things just laying around the house that are valuable in terms of survival.
Create your 72-hour kit.
Your 72 hour kit (also known as a 72-hour bag, Bugout Bag, or BOB) is the most important item to assemble for emergency preparedness. Generally seen in the form of a backpack for ease of use, it is imperative that a separate 72 hour kit for emergency preparedness be assembled/provided for each family member, regardless of age. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Red Cross, and FEMA all recommend assembling supplies to sustain your family for a minimum of three days. If ALL you can do at this point (time-wise and financially) is to put together a 72-hour bag for each family member, then do it. You can’t afford not to. You can put together your own Survival Backpack Kits, or purchase a pre-made emergency kit. Click here to see a detailed list of items every 72-hour bag needs – and consider adding a LifeStrawto each back pack, for the assurance of having filtered water on the go.
Buy into the necessities.
Cases of bottled water, gallon jugs of water, 3 gallon-sized jugs of water: these are all readily available now. Think what the grocery store shelves might look like in an emergency situation. Buy and store extra water, dry goods – flour, sugar, cornmeal, shelf-stable (powdered) milk, baking soda, shortening, all-in-one pancake mix, syrup, powdered eggs, dried meals with noodles or rice (Hamburger Helper or meals packaged in mylar bags, etc), – canned goods… you just can’t go wrong in stocking up on items that will address your basic needs in a disaster situation. Be sure to buy or assemble a basic First Aid Kit, and add to it regularly. It isn’t so difficult to add to your emergency supplies and survival food stores each week… double up on at least 1 item every time you shop. If you can’t afford to spend a lot more each month, at least do what you can. Doing so will put you one step closer to sustainable living.
Dedicate yourself to the pursuit of continued education and training
Go back to your lists. If you have identified skills or training you already have, capitalize on these by becoming better at what you can do. Examine the areas in which you could become more knowledgeable. You may be lacking in the skills you need to protect yourself, home or family – learn self-defense or take an NRA course to learn how to use and handle a gun. Learn how to store food by canning, dehydrating, pickling, and smoking. Join a meetup group so that you can learn and network with others who are concerned about the state of our nation. As First Responders, my husband and I have seen many occasions where family members are unable to perform even the basics of first aid or CPR on their family members or neighbors. I recommend that everyone take a basic First Aid class – better yet, do the combined class that offers First Aid with CPR/AED. Kids as young as 12 can take a Red Cross Babysitting class, which teaches basic first aid and CPR. Adults can start with the basics and progress if they find they have an interest in the subject. Keeping your family safe and being able to care for them in the event of an accident is important: there may not be First Responders available in event of a health emergency: learn as much as you can and take care of yourselves.
Be aware everyday of the week.
If you don’t already, start to pay attention to the news. National, state and local legislators are making headlines every day with proposed changes that can effect your family – in good ways and bad. Another place where people can become more aware is in assessing your neighborhood and the people who live near you. Would you trust these people in the event of a natural disaster or economic collapse? Begin to pay attention to their actions and habits. Know who you can trust, and who to avoid. If it comes down to it, you may need to protect your home, property and family. Be wary of sharing your emergency preparations unless you know someone very well. Finding books that will help you understand the emergencies you may be preparing for, and reading up in regard to emergency food storage or Prepping can help too. Check out The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster and The Prepper’s Guide To: Bug Out Bags – Your Essential Bug Out Bag Guide Book For Disaster Survival Planning.