I talked a little about prepping a couple months ago and, sorry to say, haven’t revisited the topic. But, since I do speak on getting ready for… whatever… I thought I’d share a few of my personal plans. And these are things anyone can do too, no special requirements involved.
I’m not a hardcore prepper, by any means, but we’re probably more ready than most if something dire were to happen. And I’m not talking, necessarily, about a complete world collapse and a resulting dystopian society. Probably.
If nothing else, there are some things you should have on hand, and we do, just in case:
Water and food.
Very important! What if you can’t get to a grocery store? What if there’s nothing at the store? Or what if the store itself is… gone? Or it the public utilities we take for granted suddenly stopped?
We keep a supply of bottled water, along with a huge box full of empty plastic jugs in case we happen to have notice that the water supply may be tainted or become nonexistent. Plus, they’d be handy to carry and store rainwater or other things. Of course, there are better methods for rainwater, but more costly and complicated as well.
We also store a lot of shelf-stable foods, like nuts, jerky, granola bars, dried fruits and vegies; canned goods, such as soups, stew, chili, tomato sauce, Vienna sausages, peanut butter, and so forth. I have a food dehydrator and freeze the results – apples and other fruits, mushrooms, herbs, potatoes, and just about any vegetables.
Even if you can’t garden, take advantage of sales on these items and dry and store them. And don’t forget to rotate – first in, first out, because not all of it is going to keep forever. Think about the kinds of food your family likes, and figure out how to preserve the food itself, or the ingredients. It’s not difficult. Take milk, for example. It doesn’t stay sweet for long, so you’d have two choices: buy a cow, or stock up on dry or canned milk. Dry is susceptible to mice, but canned is heavier if you were to have to go somewhere away from your home.
Just keep in mind that there’s no point in stocking food that no one likes. Unless that complete collapse occurs… in which case, I might be turning vegetarian. Except for bacon. There’s even shelf-stable bacon, thank goodness!
Personal care items.
This is something folks tend to forget about – toothpaste, soap, detergent, deodorant. Baby wipes, even if you don’t have a baby but especially if you do, and of course other baby supplies, like diapers. And toilet paper. Again, important. Once, out in the woods, I used some leaves. Oops, wrong leaves… I was, um, really itchy. In a bad spot. ‘Nuff said.
Buy these things on sale, with coupons, whenever. You don’t want to be a hoarder and end up on TV, or in the mental ward, but you do want to have a supply of these things on hand. Not like they go bad. Or maybe they do – frankly, I never checked for an expiration on deodorant.
Instead of buying the one that you need, buy two; sometimes there’s a discount for that. Usually stores have mix and match, food and personal care items and other things, like a ten items for $10. That doesn’t mean you need to buy ten tubes of toothpaste or ten cans of tomato sauce, just ten items total.
Medicines and first aid supplies.
The FDA and insurance companies make it very difficult to stock up on prescriptions, but there are ways. Ways that I’m not going to get into here, because I don’t want an investigation and/or a lawsuit. Come to think of it, anyone who sues me won’t get much… but I digress.
Stock up on prescriptions however you can, but the best defense here is to get healthy so you don’t need them. I could write all day about that, but there are much better sources and experts out there. My goal, after all, is to tell you what we’re doing… just in case.
What we’re doing is exactly what I’m going to detail in the next paragraph. We also (some of us more successfully than others) try to keep in reasonable physical and mental shape, use natural methods to fight our assorted afflictions whenever possible, and avoid sugar and preservatives and artificial stuff – back to basics, if you will, but we’re not fanatic. I had a Big Mac just a few days ago, one of the maybe two I eat in a year’s time.
Aspirin, ibuprofen, Bandaids, rubbing alcohol, Ace bandages, all the things you’d find in a standard first aid kit. In fact, to make it easy, go purchase a few complete kits. Problem solved. Just like food, though, keep in mind your own preferences and types of meds needed. Throw in some throat lozenges and OTC cough and cold meds, just basic things that you and your family use or might need.
Regardless of how healthy you and your family might be, try to think “worst case scenario.” Any type of SHTF situation is going to be stressful and that’s when things like the common cold can beat you down. Think antibiotics, or things with those properties. Don’t be afraid to research and learn, every bit of knowledge may come in useful at some point.
You really don’t need a lot of space, but you want to be organized. I have a stash in the garage, and in the upper kitchen cabinets. I have a lot of cabinets, and those high ones, well, I can’t reach them anyway so most are empty. Anything that might attract mice goes in the kitchen, the rest in the garage. You can use a closet, pantry, under the bed. Whatever works.
I also invested in a few – okay, half a dozen or so – plastic tubs with tight lids. If it came down to it, we could throw it all in the truck and take off to wherever. And if we don’t have to leave our house, everything is organized and stackable. And mouse proof.
Next week, I’ll go over what to do with all that food you’ve stored – fuel, cooking, maybe even a couple simple recipes – as well as some other miscellaneous items you might want to consider having on hand. And, of course, if there are any specific questions you have, just ask. I’ll probably answer…