What does it mean to prep? Simply put, in just means to prepare for an emergency. The term “prepper” has been used to describe those cray, tin foil hat wearers. Most of this is derived from those who prepare for very specific types of disasters like zombies and solar flares. While zombies could happen in some form, just preparing for a zombie apocalypse may net you some crazy points.
Preparing for an emergency is never a bad idea. Even the boy scouts have their motto of “Always Prepared” right? There are many tv shows that have recently shown companies who build state of the art bunkers and rednecks in the woods who use the land around them to demonstrate survival skills. I can say redneck because I do certain things that put me in that category. The recent increase in survival and doomsday scenario entertainment is a clear indicator that there is a real concern about the path we are on and what would happen in an emergency.
One day you will try and use an ATM or pay with your card at the pump and it will not work. Several confused people will be around asking if your card is working. Then you might call your bank and the only answer you will get is a recording likely telling you everything will be fixed as soon as possible. This will be a lie. Because when this happens it will be too late. If the economy collapses it won’t be broadcasted days in advance. It will happen in a matter of hours.
One day the power goes out because of a storm or earthquake that damages one or more of the larger power plants supplying your energy. You will use your phone to call friends or family to see if their power is out. You will look on the internet to find a story explaining why there is no power. You will see assurances from the government agencies and power companies that they are working on the problem and power will be on soon. This will be a lie. If power goes down across several states then mayhem will break out in the streets. No refrigerators to keep food and no air/heat. No way to get information once your phones die. The stores will be empty in a matter of hours.
These are only two scenarios about a major event. There are countless examples of local power outages and storms that have devastated communities and towns. Some never fully recover after a disaster. Many of you may remember seeing the chaos after hurricane Katrina destroyed much of Louisiana. Now, picture something similar in your town. Given the danger involved in a situation beyond our control, it’s a good idea to have some supplies on hand.
Supplies to keep around are debated by different survivalists and preppers alike. These differ when you are staying where you are or you’re going away. My suggestions will be mostly based on staying where you are but can be modified accordingly. I am not reinventing the wheel here, this information can be found in many places online.
- Water: You must have clean drinking water. You will die without it. You can store bottled water for around a year. Buy some extra cases when they go on sale and just rotate them with what you have. Another great idea are water purifying tablets. At $11 per 100 you can easily sterilize enough water to get you through a hard time. They also make LifeStraw that is literally a large straw that will purify water while you drink it.
- Food: This is where it gets debatable. There are many types of food that can be stored. Canned tuna and salmon often have a two or more year expiration date. Salt, sugar and white rice are good and fairly cheap. Peanut butter is great for calories and can be carried easily. Honey is just fantastic and powdered milk is great too, both of which could last indefinitely. Remember that storing food in buckets is best. 5 gallon sealed buckets with some oxygen absorbers and maybe some salt will keep your food for a long time. Plus you can stack a few buckets in the back of the closet. *** Short term is best by stocking up on protein bars and peanut butter, popcorn, raman noodles, mac-n-cheese, cereal and canned everything. These can be tailored to your normal buying and rotated when you get new. ***
- First-Aid: These supplies are pretty cheap and could save your life or at least prevent an infection. Alcohol/Apple cider vinegar for sanitation and disinfectant. Peroxide to disinfect wounds. Band-Aids, gauze, suture kit (stitches) and floss, surgical scissors, more gauze, tweezers, medical tape, gloves, tweezers, even more gauze, IBUPROFEN, different sized bandages, bandannas, Neosporin, Hydrocortisone (poison ivy sucks), the other alcohol (booze) as a pain killer and disinfectant, Life Savers (helps those in shock, especially kids), tampons and sanitary napkins (multiple uses), duct tape (of course), super glue and Vaseline.
- Communications: Think about having a wind up or solar powered radio so you can hear important messages or alerts. I would recommend a CB radio because you can talk to people in real time to get more accurate information. A police scanner couldn’t hurt either.
- Money: There is a good chance you won’t be able to access your bank account in an emergency. Therefore, it is a great idea to keep some money on hand. When it comes to Silver and Gold, you have to make the best decision for you. These are good investments but these and other precious metals are only tradeable to certain people and companies and can be volatile when it comes to value. Meaning they go up and down all the time.
- Guns and ammo: This is important. Some people out there will come and take what they need. You may have to scare someone off who is trying to steal from you or worse. Also, you can trade ammo and guns for other supplies. Hunting is possible for some and this could land you some much needed meat. Think about high powered pellet guns for small game if you aren’t into guns or need to keep quiet.
These are some good ways to get started. Of course if you have disposable income you can buy some great freeze dried food in containers for around $100 per person per week. This is a great way to keep food. Also, you can buy a vacuum sealer and simply create your own meals that will last a long time past the expiration date.
Remember, this isn’t an overnight solution. It takes time to build up a supply unless you’re willing to dump several hundred or thousands of dollars. Just buy small amounts at a time. Eventually you will start to have a good supply that will keep you safe through an emergency. This is a brief look at prep and I will talk about some of these individually at a later time. Stay safe and be prepared. Remember, the first 72 is on you.
Image credit: American Preppers Network