So, you think you should start preparing for an emergency "outage" of some proportion. Good for you. The more people who are prepared the better. But don't make a common mistake that many make; trying to do too much too fast. They either get frustrated and quit or think they're all set but find they missed some important basics. Unless you have a lot of extra money to install a bunker/shelter and buy a couple of years worth of food at the drop of the hat, you need to start slow and in phases.
If you haven't already taken the Disaster Preparation Quizzes, do it now. They will help get or keep your preparation juices flowing. They will reinforce what you already know while educating you on things you may not know. It's educational. It's fun.
When a disaster happens, some may feel they will role right into a survivalist mode with ease because they have been doing a lot of planning and prepping. Most likely, the disaster will be sudden and "ease" will not be part of its description. However, it's amazing to see just what we are capable of living through, and of accomplishing, when we depend only on ourselves [with God]. So, let's take a look at what reality might actually be like:
It's NOT just like camping
You CAN'T buy enough food and supplies to last forever
Your neighbors will NOT gather around and help each other when things go bad
"Gadgets" are a waste of money you need for real preparations. Gadgets break and you will have to learn to live without them anyway.
There's a very good chance you may NOT get to your survival location when things go bad
You DO need to prepare a special place to go (near or far) - just in case you can't get home or your home is uninhabitable
Your kids will NOT be bored. When planning for emergencies, it's extremely important to involve your children in the planning process and talk to them about emergency preparedness. Children can better cope with disasters if they know what to expect and feel like they can help protect themselves and their family. They will learn so many new ways of living, so many daily activities and chores, connecting with nature in so many new ways, they won't have time to be bored. Allow them the freedom to discover things like what bugs are in the grass around your home, what plants to grow for food or medicine, what wildlife is still abundant on this beautiful land. If your attitude is one of wonder and not worry, so will theirs be. Help them look at this as an adventure, not a burden.
Tell them the truth:
- Don't Scare; Teach without allowing their imaginations to get the better of them.
- Tell them why you're preparing to help them understand the realities of life.
- Share your Plans to help set their mind at ease, what you expect of them and how to react if they're on their own.
Help them become Aware of their Surroundings:
- Point things out throughout the day that will get them thinking instead of their nose stuck on the TV, game console or smartphone.
- When you see someone doing something dangerous, point it out to them to help them develop a safety mindset.
- Point out exits, police officers, and other safety necessities so they know what to look for when things go bad.
Conduct regular safety drills:
- Practice the skills and plans that you’ve been sharing with them so it becomes second nature to them.
- Pop Quiz them to see how they react during a situation then give imput for corrective action and support a good reaction.
- Throw them a curve ball to help them "think on their feet" instead of just a going through the motions.
Give them the skills they need to cope with a Disaster:
- Ask them questions and answer theirs to make sure you're clarifying anything they don't understand.
- Help them build their own bugout bag so they understand its purpose and know what's in it and how to use all contents.
- Involve them as much as possible. Make everything a learning experience to help them develop a sense of confidence, self-reliance, and the ability to deal with stress and fear in a positive way.
DON'T STOP BUILDING:
3 days of supplies is the basic preparedness recommendation. It's simple and doesn’t take a lot of money. Start there. When you've planned and saved for 3 days, begin working on plans for 2 weeks which will require you to look a little deeper into things. When you're set for 2 weeks go for a month, then 3 months, then 6 months, etc. Too much is when you begin to overflow all of your (reasonable) storage space. A year's worth of food is a good goal if you have somewhere to put it. Don't waste food/supplies that might expire or can't use because you can't find it; organize and inventory. Use your food/supplies as usual, and replenish what you use, to keep inventory fresh. Do what you can with the space you have and you will be better off than the majority of folks who aren't doing anything. Also consider working with others to increase storage/supplies but be careful who you confide in.
HIGH VALUE ITEMS TO STOCKPILE FOR PERSONAL USE AND BARTERING, BEFORE SHTF
ORGANIZE YOUR PREPS:
Just having preps is not enough. Keeping track of their status and knowing where they are when you actually need it is crucial; not just for you but anyone within your trusted survival network. After all, you may not be around when the SHTF so help them find the supplies.
Vehicles should always be in good condition and ready for an emergency evacuation. Inspect them frequently. Follow owner's manual for guidance. At a minimum: good tires, fresh and topped-off fluids, good brakes, good battery. Avoid letting the fuel tank get below 1/2 empty.
Don't evacuate on a whim. Stay informed for accurate information on the current status of an emergency event. Be ready but don't do things to risk your job/livelihood.
If an emergency enters a crisis mode, some societal groups might see that as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Their intentions might range from settling old scores to opportunistic looting of homes and/or stores. Be alert, be ready.
Extra Clothes can help everyone stay warm, clean and comfortable but can also be used for rags and bandages.
help to filter contaminated air (dust, gas, etc.)
An overstock of supplies can be used to barter for those things you do not have but need/want
Attend Church regularly, attend to your duties, say your prayers, tend to your family, stay right with God.
Keep a Survival Guide with you at all times. Keep one in each vehicle, in the purse or pocket and in each Emergency Kit.
An expert survivalist may not need a guide but the average person may have a memory lapse of personal survival skills, especially during times of stress. While everyone should regularly practice their survival skills, always keeping a Survival Guide nearby will come in handy to help others or to refresh the memory during a stressful situation or just brain farts. A quality guide should include first aid, shelter and fire building, water collection and decontamination, wild edibles and catching game, defense, signaling and other survival topics. My 2 favorite Survival Guides, due to their comprehensive content and compact size, are the SAS Survival Guide (not Handbook) (3.23 x 4.61 x 1.2 inches) and The Tiny (wallet sized) Survival Guide that can fit in a wallet or purse (magnifier included; survival tools card optional).