Don’t stop reading this because I tell you September is National Preparedness Month. The fact is, many don’t like to talk about being prepared because if you do, people will automatically label you a ‘prepper.’ Or they will just laugh at you and dismiss you as a wacko. That’s okay, but when/if the SHTF you’ll be the one they come running to.
If you are already someone who is, or is working on being prepared, then the information you are about to read will just be a review. So don’t just dismiss it, share it!
Being prepared starts with you! And, it’s as easy as having a bug out bag. Again, this list is a starter list. Once you have the following items, go out and learn just a little bit more and grow your kit.
Starter Bug Out Bag:
- Bag: This doesn’t need to be a fancy backpack. It just needs to be sturdy enough to hold all of your items you plan on carrying.
- Change of Clothes: 2-3 days worth of clothes to include undergarments and a few extra pair of socks. Also, don’t forget that your climate can change multiple times a year, so you should rotate the types of clothes you would carry.
- Money/Items for Barter: A good rule of thumb is to stash away $100 in various amounts. If you were to carry a couple of items that you would barter with, think about the types of disasters your area may experience.
- Food/Snacks: 2-3 days worth of easy to carry food like snack bars, instant oatmeal, nuts, dried fruit and crackers.
- Water: Besides carrying a few bottles of water, the rule of thumb is to also carry a way to purify contaminated water. This can be done with iodine tablets, or with a product like LifeStraw.
- First Aid: Aside from carrying a basic first aid kit, be sure to carry 3-5 days worth of prescription medications. Most doctors are okay with supplying you enough to rotate out so none of your medications go bad while in storage.
- Book/Entertainment: If you find yourself needing to reach for your bug out bag, it will be comforting to know that in your down time you can read a book, or do puzzle/word games.
- Flashlight & Knife: Carrying a small flashlight and knife have multiple uses. Don’t forget to carry a few extra batteries!
- Radio: The best thing to carry is a weather radio that can also get AM/FM as well.
- Fire Starter: The smallest and easiest to use in any type of element are waterproof matches. If you get cold and wet, you’ll wish you had a way to get warm.
- Personal Information: This information should include phone numbers, addresses and medical info. One idea is that you could store it on a thumb drive.
So what’s the next step in being prepared? Move on to your family! You don’t want to be the only person in your family to be prepared do you? Nobody wants to be alone. It’s a lot easier to survive when you have someone with you.
- Each family member should have a bug out bag: See above for a short recommended list of items to pack.
- 3-6 months of Financial Security: In the case of an emergency, you’ll want to ensure you have some level of financial security to cover some expenses.
- 3-6 months of Food & Water Storage: This should be foods you eat on a normal basis, not the fancy MRE’s you find on the internet. Storing water can be difficult, but every effort should be made to have some set aside. (Don’t forget to rotate through your storage so it doesn’t spoil.)
- Have a Disaster Plan: Does everyone in your home know how to escape a fire or protect themselves from a tornado or hurricane?
- Family First Aid Kit: This is separate from your personal kit. Don’t forget to include family medications.
- Communication Plan: Make sure everyone in the home knows who to contact and how to contact them.
- Travel/Bug Out Plan: Have a plan in place so members of your family can get linked back up with each other.
- Animals: If you have animals, make sure you have supplies for them. Are they not part of your family too?
Again, the information provided above is not set in stone. It should be a guide to help raise awareness to be prepared for anything should it come your way.