This is some advice to provide a little guidance on getting into preparedness. Whether you are a “seasoned citizen” or a 18 year old – getting started in prepping is pretty much the same.
Depending on finances and how quickly you want to “get ready” – many preppers stock up on supplies in baby steps. It is surprising how quickly a survival stockpile can grow by just picking up a few items each week. Within a few months a good safety stock of supplies can be accumulated.
Before going out and starting to purchase and acquire supplies you need to determine what your immediate short term goal is. Do you want supplies for a few days? A few weeks? Months? Get out a pen and a notebook and start brainstorming as to what you are preparing for and what you think you will need. Make note of what you already have around the house.
If you are just starting out you may think of different scenarios that could occur such as a power outage or ice storm. Lets look at a few basics:
How may days worth of food is in your pantry right now? Set a short term goal to double it. Adding non-perishable food a little at a time can add up quickly and provide security. Easy to prepare foods such as soups, stews and pasta are good candidates to store in case of an emergency.
Consider how food will be prepared should there be no electricity and no refrigeration. Many homes in the United States have gas or charcoal grills. These would suffice as long as sufficient fuel is stored. An open fire pit can be used as well.
Camping stoves are wonderful methods of cooking. The camp stoves are small and compact for easy storage and run on small propane canisters. These fuel canisters can be purchased locally and stocked up on “just in case”. There are also camp stoves that run on other readily available fuel as well.
Some examples of common foods for increasing your food storage:
- SPAM/canned ham
- canned beans
- peanut butter
- canned vegetables
- canned fruit
- nutrition bars
- hard candy (nice treat for when the grid is down and stress is high)
The theory behind the typical food storage program is to “store what you eat and eat what you store”.
Depending upon your overall health you can live 2 – 3 weeks without food but only 3 days without water. Water is incredibly essential for the human body to function as it is supposed to.
It is commonly recommended to store 1 gallon or water per person per day. This is an absolute minimum. Consider that the one gallon of water will not only be be used for drinking, but also for washing one self as well as cleaning dishes. On gallon is not a lot.
So – water is necessary and must be stored. One of the least expensive methods is to refill empty 2-liter soft drink containers with water. These should be washed thoroughly of course.
Another inexpensive method is to buy 1 gallon bottles of Spring Water. Many preppers also buy cases of 16 oz bottles of Spring Water. These cases usually contain 24 bottles and are easily stacked.
Decide your method or use all. Just get it done.
Flashlights and lanterns. Make sure you have a few good flashlights and plenty of extra batteries. Always use alkaline batteries rather than normal heavy duty. LED flashlights have advantages over old school flashlights as they are extremely bright and batteries last much longer.
Candles are useful as well to provide a soft low-level light. Remember that candles mean flame and precautions must be taken to ensure that in the middle of a disaster another one is not created when your home burns down.
- Ready.gov – http://www.ready.gov/
- FEMA – http://www.fema.gov/
- Prepare.org – http://www.prepare.org/home/
- CDC – http://www.bt.cdc.gov/
- American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/
I would like to put my thoughts on food storage. To keep initial expences down, look at the many dried food items you currently eat, like mashed potatos, flavored rice etc; most are packaged in mylor type bags and have a long shelf life. How I get my stock pile up is to always buy at least 4 of each item. Set up wto storage areas, I call these my daily use cabnet and my restock pantry. By doing this I see how much I have, this also provides almost instant info on how many weeks/months of food on hand, what I tend to eat and what items I need more/less of. Keep your stores rotated and also have storage containers on hand to pack out if you have to. God Bless, Keep the Faith and Your Powder Dry.
Excellant advice and great idea. Will be discussing this very topic soon.