Amassing the supplies needed to be fully ready for any emergency can seem like a daunting task. But by taking the right steps one at a time and focusing on the most important items first, you’ll find that the process is easier when you have a preppers guide or tips to follow.
- Take inventory. Walk around your house with a notebook in hand and write down anything you have that could be used in an emergency, or that you could use to meet your everyday needs.
- Compile a comprehensive list of things you might need. Once you have this main list, delete items that you already have or that don’t apply for your family. (Skip bartering items until your preps are complete.)
- Go over your main list and pick out a few items from each category that are the most necessary and concentrate on acquiring those items first.
- Determine the disasters that are the most likely to occur in your area and prepare for them. Consider events like wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, train wrecks, chemical spills, nuclear power plant accidents, riots, etc.
- Plan for the “disaster” of unemployment. If you lost your main source of income today, how long could your family last?
- Take baby steps. Start out with a 3 day supply of everything you’d need to get through an emergency. Then amass a 7 day supply, a 30 day supply, 3 months of supplies, etc.
Things to Consider as You Prepare
- Water: Store as much as you can, and have supplies on hand and the know-how to purify more.
- Food: Enough to provide for your family’s needs and dietary requirements.
- Cooking methods: Ways to cook for the duration of the event, without electricity or natural gas.
- Sanitation: Plan how you’ll clean up messes, keep yourself clean, handle trash and human waste, etc.
- Paperwork: Gather any important documents, forms of identification, and copies of favorite photographs, and compile a list of emergency contacts. Have all this documentation ready to grab at a moment’s notice.
- Bug-out bags: Put together a bag for each member of the family who can carry one, with complete needs for that family member for three full days. This bag should be kept in an easy-to-reach place, ready to grab in an emergency if the family must evacuate. Don’t forget to plan for babies and pets.
- Evacuation: Plan for what to do in the event of an evacuation of your home, including escape routes and places for family members to meet up if you get split up or a family member is away from home during the emergency.
- Personal defense: Plan how you and your family members will defend yourself against attacks. Don’t let someone carry off your daughter, or the only food keeping your family from starving to death.
- Survival library: You can only hold so much knowledge in your head, and you can’t count on computer or internet access. Keep a preppers guide and manuals of various survival skills on hand.
- Treats and fun: You’ll want to have books, paper and pens, games, candy, and treats that will pack small and store well. You’ll want distractions to relieve stress and tension.
By taking these initial baby steps and planning a little at a time, then accumulating your supplies in order of your own family’s greatest needs, you’ll be ready for almost anything the future could bring.