Preppers believe in their abilities to take care of themselves and their families physically, mentally and emotionally. A prepper knows there are possible threats all around, and it makes sense to be as ready as possible to deal with potential emergencies. Families with emergency essentials on hand will be far better off in dealing with frightening situations than those who ignore the possibilities that emergencies can, and often do, strike when least expected.
Knowing What to Prepare For
First-time preppers will find it tempting to prepare for all types of disasters, from terrorist attacks, earthquakes, tornadoes, pandemics, civil disobedience, nuclear attack or other dire situations. However, this approach can quickly get out of hand, stretching budgets, storage capacity and inventory control and turnover. A better approach is to assess the most likely risks in the person’s own area and which are most likely to affect his personal situation.
A good place to start is to explore the emergency preparedness websites provided by the local city, county or state. Government websites often provide a listing of the most likely disasters to occur in the area. Add to this list by making a personal assessment of potential risks, such as:
- Living in a remote area and being cut off from food or fuel when disaster strikes
- Living in a part of the city that can become dangerous in emergency situations because of increased risk of terrorist attacks, gang warfare or mob activity
- Loss of income when a job is lost because of catastrophic events
Regardless of the potential risks, the first use of prepping budgets should be the purchase of necessary stores of food, water and first aid supplies. Then, identified risks can be reviewed and plans made to deal with the most likely emergency situations. Many preppers find it useful to remember that not all people will respond in civil and mild-mannered ways in times of chaos and uncertainty.
Preparing to Bug in and to Bug Out
Well prepared preppers stock emergency supplies to survive in place, as well as being prepared to grab and go when there is an emergency need to evacuate the home. For most, the availability of stored supplies in the home makes bugging in the preferred choice. This means that priority should be given initially to storing necessary supplies for staying in the home in emergency situations, with perhaps some basic supplies on hand in case an evacuation is required. When home supplies are in place, attention can then be given to creating the complete bugging out supply.
Essential Emergency Supplies
Before making survival purchases, research and plan fundamental requirements to sustain basic needs of water, food, clothing and shelter, and then add optional items. Basic disaster items should be sufficient to sustain family members for at least ten days, and many preppers have back-ups that allow dealing with much longer periods. Decide how long a period to prepare for, and then:
- Store at least, one gallon of water per person per day, with more if elderly, ill or children are involved; identify other sources of water in the home, and stock water filters to use with questionable water
- Use a food calculator to determine how much food will be needed based on 2000 calories per day per adult and 1500 per day per child; research what to stock, how to store, and when to change inventory; freeze-dried, dehydrated and canned goods have the longest shelf life
- Prepare medical emergency supplies; review first aid manuals and online resources to determine what supplies and items are needed; take into account prescription medication
- Prepare a basic 72-hour bug-out bag to expedite emergency evacuation if it is necessary
- Have essential survival tools on hand, including items for hunting, communicating, navigating, cutting and digging
- Invest in a good quality radio that is both hand crank and battery operated
- Ensure the home survival area is self-sufficient for heating, cooking and sanitation
- Assess requirements for defensive weapons
Preparing for and Dealing with the Emergency
Collecting necessary survival supplies is, of course, essential. Just as critical though is the ability to use these supplies properly. For example, take the time to learn how to use an emergency radio or a compass. Exchange knowledge and skills with like-minded people in the community. Know how to assess impending disasters, and evacuate in time if that is the best survival approach. Being prepared to deal with all emergency essentials is the route to safety for the prepper and his family.