Friday, March 17, 2023

A Quick and Easy Outline of Preparedness

By Tim Gamble
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This article is a quick and easy outline to what I consider beginner level preparedness. This is the level most people think of when they here the word "prepper." This level works well for many short-term disasters, but may leave a lot to be desired for longer-term emergencies. Sadly, most folks are not prepared even at the beginner level. Do these things, and I believe you will be more prepared than 90% of other folks. 

1) Food, Water, Supplies - Stock up on food, water, cleaning & hygiene supplies, first aid supplies, medicine & medical supplies, batteries for your flashlights & radios, etc. Don't forget any special needs your family may have, such as diapers & baby formula. 

A good goal for beginner level preparedness is three months worth of stuff. You can then build your storehouse from there as you move into intermediate and advanced preparedness. ProTip: Don't be discouraged by the sheer amount of stuff to stockpile. Work in concentric circles. Get a week's worth, then two week's worth, then a month's worth, and so forth.

1A) Gardening - Now is the time to take up gardening, even if you start out with only a few tomato and pepper plants. Gardening is something you have to learn to do through experience. 

2) Home and Personal Security - Learn about situational awareness and the OODA loop (link to my article), which is where security starts. Consider security upgrades to your home, such as heavier security doors, dead bolt locks, motion activated outdoor lights, getting a dog, etc. Every member of your family should take a good self-defense course. Buy a gun and learn how to use it. Stock up on ammo.

ProTip: Think about how your behaviors can enhance or hurt your personal security. Avoid bad neighborhoods and high crime areas. Avoid large crowds whenever possible. Park in well-light, highly visible spaces. Shop in groups. Let others know where you are going and when to expect you back. 

3) Vehicles - You may need to evacuate (bug out) at some point. Make sure your vehicles are maintained in good running condition, including tires. Make sure you have a good spare tire in your vehicle and the jack & tools needed to change a flat. Every driver needs to know how to change a flat tire. Keep the fuel tank topped off. Safely stock up on fuel to the extent you can. I also recommend you have a good first aid kit in each vehicle. ProTip: Money is tight and car maintenance adds up. But it is a lot cheaper to maintain your car in the first place, then it is to repair it after its broken down. 

4) Bug Out Plans - Do you know where you would go if you suddenly had to evacuate your home for a few days or longer. Maybe there is a nearby chemical spill or an approaching wildfire. Figure out now where you would go, how you would get there, and what you would take. Pack bags now for each family member, as you may not have time to calmly pack during the emergency. These are known as bug out bags. ProTip: Have maps and written directions, instead of relying on GPS or Google maps, which may not be working during an emergency. 

5) Family Communications Plan - More than just an address book or contact list with phone numbers, a communications plan let's everyone know how and when to get in touch with each other, and what to do if they cannot.  ProTip: An often overlooked area of preparedness, good communications is essential in an emergency. For a much more detailed look, please read my article Do you have a Family Communications Plan?.

6) No Electricity? - You may have no electricity for a period of time. Having alternative ways to cook (gas, propane, or charcoal grill, wood stove), stay warm (fireplace & firewood, heavy blankets, warm clothes), or light your home (flashlights, headlamps, oil lamps, candles) is a good idea. 

7) Personal Finance - Set up an emergency fund (savings account). Keep some cash at home in a safe, well hidden space. Get on a budget. Pay off debt. Collect important papers (deeds, titles, insurance information, birth certificates, etc.) together in a safe, fireproof place so you can get your hands on them quickly if needed.

8) Training - Practice your bug out plans. Practice what to do in case of a fire, especially if you have young children. Everyone in your family should take a good self-defense course (you can find age appropriate courses). Everyone should learn first aid. If there are firearms in the house, everyone should take a gun safety course (age appropriate ones are available). Teach your children to respect guns, not fear them. 

9) Your Body - Begin working on your health and fitness now. Eat healthy. Get plenty of exercise. Stop smoking and abusing drugs or alcohol. Take care of any medical, dental, or vision issues you may have, as soon as possible.  

10) Consider Your Location - I know this suggestion upsets many people, and even makes a few folks downright angry, so consider this only as a possible bonus step. If you are living in a major population area, consider moving to a safer small town or rural area. Preferably one not under woke liberal control. 

ProTip: I assure you there are jobs in small towns and rural areas. I assure you there are doctors, even specialists, in or near small towns and rural areas (and they went to the same medical schools and passed the same licensing exams your Big City doctors did). 

Feeling overwhelmed by this list? You might need to do the most basic stuff first. Please check out my recent article Preparedness - A Quick Start Guide for basic level preparedness.
Ad: Survivalist Family: Prepared Americans for a Strong America, by Pastor Joe Fox (aka Viking Preparedness), is a great guide to beginner and intermediate preparedness and survival for both short-term disasters and long-term emergencies. Highly recommended!!!  

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