Over the last several years the term preppers has become a household term. Most of them are portrayed as paranoid, anti-government, or anti-establishment. And in certain cases, that may be true. But if an emergency situation came up in your area, how prepared would you be?
Types of Emergencies
An emergency can be many things: a failure of the power grid, societal breakdown, terrorist attack, and forces of nature are all legitimate types of emergencies. During these situations it can become difficult to find food, water, or even shelter. Our system of supply is somewhat precarious. It is extremely efficient under optimal circumstances, but any sort of substantial event can cause enormous difficulties in delivering basic needs such as food and water to large portions of the population.
And while you can’t make yourself immune to the repercussions of such events, you can help prepare yourself and your family to survive and even thrive under these circumstances.
Changes is What is Normal
At no other point in human history have so many people relied upon such a small amount of stored food. While many of the people on prepper-type shows are ridiculed for their belief that something catastrophic could happen to our system, preparation used to be the norm.
Hundreds of years ago it would’ve seemed the utmost in stupidity to only keep enough food on hand for the next few days. Obviously the system by which we purchase our food is very different from what was around back then, but it doesn’t change the fact that in an emergency food and water become scarce. And the last thing you want to be doing after a catastrophic event is to be dependent upon someone else or the government for your basic needs.
Things to Keep On Hand
There are lists you can find online, such as here, that can give you volumes of information regarding what you should store in case of various emergencies. We’re going to cover some of the basics here.
Water is number one. You can go many days without food, but your body can only go a short period of time without water. Keep at least two weeks worth of water on hand for each member of your household. There are plenty of water storage options out there. There are also filtration systems out there that allow you to quickly clean water that you find to ensure that it is drinkable. A well-prepared home should have both. Lifestraw is a great option that is small, portable, and can make just about any water drinkable.
Food is number two. The same as with water, you want to keep at least two weeks worth of food on hand for each member of your family. Canned food is by far the easiest to store. Frozen food is okay, but if a loss of power occurs, you won’t be able to save it for very long.
Medical supplies round out the top three. Make sure that you have enough medical supplies on hand to last for the foreseeable future. If you or any of your family require medication on a regular basis, keep anything that will store for extended periods of time on hand in case it becomes unavailable during an emergecny. Bandages, disinfectants, and other basic first aid items should be stocked up as well.
Tools to Keep On Hand
There are any number of items that will come in handy during an emergency. Flashlights are a key item. Make sure you have several high quality flashlights and enough batteries to power them for a few months.
A survival knife is an extremely important item to have. In fact you should have several. They can serve any number of purposes from utility tool to weapon. Keep your knives sharp and make sure you have a quality sharpening system to use to keep your knives in top shape.
If you’re comfortable with guns, make sure that you have something that is suitable for both protection and hunting. In a longer-term breakdown, food sources may be scarce for long periods of time. The ability to scavenge the area around you to supplement your food will become extremely important. Make sure that you have a way of storing ammunition that keeps it both safe and dry so it’s ready to go when you need it.
Have a Plan
All of the items listed above are worthless without some sort of plan. Know what you and you’re family are going to do the moment an emergency hits by preparing ahead of time. Have a bugout bag packed at all times with the basic things you’ll need to survive if you need to leave your home in a hurry. Keep in mind any pets will require leashes, food, and carriers if you’re planning on taking them with you.
There’s nothing wrong with being prepared. While the examples shown on TV are often extreme, you owe it to your family and yourself to be able to survive on your own should the need arise. You’ll be amazed at the peace of mind it provides.