Easy At-Home Prep for the Non-Prepper
Being a “Prepper” doesn’t mean you have to become a survivalist with a bunker, two years worth of food and water, and a fear that the world as we know it is ending. I’m a bit of a prepper, but I don’t have any of those things. I consider myself a casual prepper. I like to be safe in the event of an emergency. And in my eyes, an emergency can be anything. Maybe it’s something terrible like a new plague or flu. Or maybe it’s something Mother Nature throws at us like a hurricane or a super snowstorm (I’ve been through both of those in the last year!). Maybe it’s just a longer than comfortable power outage. Whatever it is that’s headed my way, I want my family to be safe. So here’s my easy, Get Prepared list for the casual prepper.
1. Get a Go Bag.
Some people call these Bug Out Bags. Whatever you call it, get one and put it in your vehicle. Basically you want a good quality backpack that you can carry to take with you if you have to leave in a hurry. In it, you stuff a bunch of essentials you think you’ll need. Some of the items in my bags (I have 2, 1 in each vehicle) are: water, energy bars, first aid kit, flash lights, solar powered radio, rain ponchos, tube tent, foil blankets, candles, water bottles with filtration, carabineers, pocket knife, hunting knife, pencil, paper, hand warmers, glow sticks, waterproof matches, flint… I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t think of it right now.
2. A stockpile of food.
It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. You just need a little extra food in the house that can feed your family in case you have to shelter in place. I would say having at least 2 weeks of food is a must. Anything extra is up to you. If you’re interested in long-term food storage options, you can check out my post from Jan 2013 on that topic.
You need water to survive. Do you have a water plan in place? If not, you should figure out what you would do for water if you have to shelter in place or if you have to leave. Do you have a water source? Is it safe to drink? What are your alternatives? I keep bottled water on hand at home and have filtering water bottles in my go bags. I know that probably wouldn’t be enough in a real prepper’s eyes, but for me, I think it’s enough. Hey, it’s better than nothing!
What happens if there is an emergency in the cold winter months that leaves you without power? Do you have a heat source that is safe and clean burning? This is very important. A fireplace or generator would be ideal, but you have to do what is right for your family and within your budget. Whatever you do, MAKE SURE YOUR HEAT SOURCE IS CLEAN!! You do not want to endanger yourself by depending on a heat source that creates toxic fumes. Think about it now before you need it so you can make the best decision possible for you and your family.
5. An evacuation plan.
If you are told to leave, where do you go? What if you are separated from your family members at the time? Make a plan on what you will do in an evacuation, where you will go, and when you will meet. Make a back up plan incase plan A isn’t possible. Tell other (outside the area) family or friends where your meeting place will be in the case of an evacuation. That way, worried relatives will know where to search for you if needed.
Any preparation that you make in advance of needing it is a good thing. You don’t have to go all out and become a hardcore prepper if you don’t want to. But take a few minutes and think about what your needs would be in different situations and make a plan to prepare for them. I’m glad I did! After going nine days without power after Hurricane Sandy, I vowed to be more prepared the next time. So, when super snowstorm Nemo was on the way, I didn’t have to panic. I knew that I could keep my family warm, fed and entertained if we were snowed in or lost power.
Heather Thurmeier is a lover of strawberry margaritas, a hater of spiders, and a reality TV junkie. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies, but now lives in upstate New York. When she's not busy taking care of her family and pets, or preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse, Heather's hard at work on her next romance novel. Escape to My Arms, her first prepper romance, is coming soon to Decadent Publishing. You can find out more about her current and upcoming romance novels on her website at www.heatherthurmeier.com.
DISCLAIMER: The Survival Blondes love all of God's creatures and do not endorse hatred of any kind. Not even of people, who totally suck sometimes. However, we are not judgey, and only hope that Heather, in time, can work through her spidey issue .