Welcome to part one of our preparedness series:Bug-Out/Disaster Essentials and Why You Need Them
Why be prepared?
Many people would think this is a no brainer. Being prepared for a natural disaster, solar flares, power outages etc. seems over the top…until your stuck in a Hurricane Sandy situation. FEMA can’t get water to you for several days, gas stations have no power, (therefore cannot pump gas) grocery store shelves are empty, you have no running water, no electricity and there’s a family relying on you to get them through this scary situation.
What do you do? If you’re asking that question during a catastrophe, you’re asking it too late.
You will need plenty of food to feed your family three times a day plus snacks for at least one month (three months would be better, 6 months is ideal if you have the space).
Since you’ll still need to cook, charcoal briquettes. fire pit or gas for a grill will be necessary should you be able to cook at home and even boil water.
Have a flint if you need to start a fire.
Put together a proper first aid kit or you can buy one. If you have children, any elderly or frail family members or live too far away from a hospital, you may want to consider a fully stocked first aid kit.
You can always tweak what you think you’ll need based on your family’s needs. Always have a stock pile of medications, seeds, protein bars, blankets, working flashlights, matches, candles and bullets for any fire arms for protection.
Dealing with other people.
What ever you do have put back for an emergency, keep that information under your hat. Don’t broadcast it. Your entire neighborhood doesn’t need to know what you have and where you store it. Should things go south and people find out you have goods they can’t get, you may need to protect the very things you’d happily share during any other less dire or stressful situation. If you think I’m wrong, keep in mind what Black Friday is like. If people will go nuts for a doll or video game, imagine what they’ll do for food or water. If you choose to share, that’s up to you. However, if you’re resources are limited, what ever you share outside of your circle is food and water you’re taking out of your own child’s mouth.
Another option is to start a group of relatives or neighbors – people who agree with this mindset. A lot of people think it’s silly or don’t want to waste their time or money to be prepared. Those types of personalities won’t put in the effort but sure don’t mind if you do.
A communal effort of like-minded people may be ideal for you. Everyone is good at something and contributes for the common good of the group. Groups can be great or terrible. Research it. Something to think about.
Water, water, water!!
I normally would not post this because one could assume most people have at least a meager stockpile of water. Not true. Clean, running water is one thing people believe they’ll still have access to in an emergency. If the worse happens and lasts longer than we think, without clean water you will die. Seriously folks, nothing will be worth more than gold should our system fall apart or if a weather situation takes out an entire state. Remember hurricane Sandy? The folks on Staten Island were begging for clean, drinkable water for days! Stores will be sold out within hours should the worse happen and restocking store shelves may be impossible. What if trucks can’t get into your area? What will you give your children to drink then? I don’t think you really want to find out.
If your plans are to leave your home and bug-out elsewhere, be sure the new location has access to fresh water like a well, stream or lake. There are many ways to purify water. Perhaps Water Purification Tablets will be a good option since they’re very light and easy to pack. Remember, if there’s no water, you cannot rely on the government to send immediate help or provisions. It’s up to us to do that for ourselves and our loved ones.
Fema recommends one full gallon per person per day and having at least 6 gallons of water on hand at any given time. Children, the elderly and breastfeeding women will require more so take that in consideration when stockpiling water. Depending on the size of your family, I personally would want enough water on hand to minimally last at least one month. Stock up when water is on sale. Even if you buy one or two large packs of bottled water per month just for your stash, it will probably be more than most people will have. If you have the space and can store more water, than I suggest doing that. Services could take longer getting restored than we could ever imagine. Be prepared for the worse. If you don’t end up using it all during an emergency, it’s no big deal. If you didn’t prepare or run out quickly, you could be in big trouble.
Be sure to put back some easy to store games, coloring books, puzzles etc. for children to keep them occupied. When your life gets turned upside down by a disaster, giving a child something that feels normal can really help them cope and get through the situation. Something so small can mean a lot for their well-being and helping them to feel safe.
If you have any infants or babies in your family. you will need extra diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. on hand. Because it would be tough to stock pile diapers for a 3 month old when they grow so fast, perhaps cloth diapers would be a better solution. Have a plan in place for washing and sanitizing them as well.
Where you live.
Depending on where you live, you’re list of some essentials may be different. If you live in the country, and you have a great water source like a running stream or well water, stocking up on water may not be as important to you. Seeds may be more important so you can grow food in your garden. Chopped wood for warmth, etc. If you live in the city, bottled water, canned food, and candles may be more important to you.
Considering where you live is the first step in creating an essentials list for you and your family.
Be sure to check out our part 2 of our preparedness series:
What would you add to your list?