When most people decide that it is time to take charge of there family’s security and preparedness, the first resource that they turn to is the Internet. This can be both good and bad as the entire gamut of the Prepping world is on display all from the comfort of your couch, and the entire Prepping world can be a bit, how to put this delicately. . . Bat Shit Crazy at times. While AR-15’s and EOTechs are cool they might not be of much use during the next Ice Storm or Blackout.
#1 Assemble A Black Out Kit
Whether it is a big storm or a drunk hitting a telephone pole, sometimes the lights go out. A Black Out Kit is set up for when things go dark. It has the stuff you will be looking for immediately: a flashlight (the cheap ones are fantastic for this), some spare batteries, a few glow sticks, a candle, and some matches. I have one in each bedroom, minus the flammable stuff in the kid’s room. A few cheap kits like this will get you through the the short term power outages without ransacking the house looking for light!
#2 Put Together A 72 Hour Kit
A step up on the Preparedness scale but still firmly rooted in Common Sense Preparedness is putting together a 72 Hour Kit. This the sort of kit that sites like Ready.gov have been squawking about for years now. A 72 hour should have enough emergency supplies to get you and your family through those crucial first 3 days following a disaster.
A good basic kit will have:
#3 Meet The Neighbors
When it comes to Common Sense Preparedness getting to know your neighbors just make good sense. Neighbors can come together to accomplish a lot in times of disaster. Clearing trees, bringing a load of firewood to the older couple next door, cooking a meal, running an extension cord to the house next door, keeping an eye out for those looking to take advantage of a disaster, or running down to the gas lines together are all good examples of the benefits of a strong neighborhood.
#4 Buy A Generator
Buying a generator is one of the best Preparedness investments you can make. If the lights are out for more than 3 days or so you will be amazed at how much you will crave a little bit of light. A generator just makes everything easier, being able to keep the fridge cold, cook a meal, and take a hot shower are just a few of the things a generator makes possible.
No matter what kind of generator you get fuel will be a big concern. A generator without fuel is just a very large paperweight. Having a few days worth of fuel on hand is a good level to strive for. During Hurricane Sandy the Northeast was hit with crippling fuel shortages and long gas lines, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the 70’s, were the norm. 20 or 30 gallons of extra gas and some restraint with the run times could mean keeping the lights on or being forced to stand in line with a bunch of angry irritable people who are just looking for an excuse to lash out.
#5 Get Started On Food StorageWhen you mention Food Storage automatically the non-Prepper begins to think of rows and rows of gleaming #10 cans filling a basement. I’m here to tell you that is a noble goal to work towards but I figure that working towards 30 days of food stored is a realistic goal for most people. By using methods like copy canning, shopping sales, and remembering the old adage “Store what you eat and eat what you store” you can begin right away to build a deep pantry that will see you through 99% of disasters.
#6 Talk About Prepping With Your Spouse And FamilyGetting a spouse on board with Prepping is a lot easier if you have some common sense goals in mind. Saying you would like to dig a bunker in the backyard is most likely going to earn you a glazed over look at best and divorce papers at worst. Having a family that can move forward together is much better than one partner prepping in secret!
#7 Go CampingGetting the family out of the house and into a tent in the Great Outdoors is still the #1 way to get a family ready to face most short term disasters. Plus a lot of emergency gear is really just re-purposed camping gear. Fancy flashlights and lanterns are easier to get past the significant other if you are actually going to use them. Camping also lets you hone all those short term survival skills that will come in handy in the event of a disaster.
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