But you’re not that kook.
See, the media wants you to think that you’re crazy for storing a little food, water and medicine for your family. The main stream media wants anything even remotely connected with self empowerment (read, not dependent on government) to be vilified and marginalized.
First of all, it’s none of anybody’s business what you do in the privacy of your own home. Second, taking common sense precautions is, well, common sense.
Just think for a minute: What if your little girl needed medicine, and there was no power, and your car either didn’t run or you couldn’t get gas for it?
Could you carry her to the hospital?
What if the water were turned off for a month and you have three small children or an infant at home.
What would you do?
If you think you don’t need to worry about it, just ask the 300,000 people of West Virginia who had their water contaminated by a chemical spill. Or maybe ask the people in New Jersey when 1.4 million lost power – some for over a month.
There is something you can do. Start here with these 5 steps for emergency preparedness for the regular guy or gal…
Step 1: Emergency Water Storage
Most guidelines suggest 1 gallon per day, per person. For most regular people, this is the hardest part. If you’re on public water, one good suggestion is to get a 55 Gallon Water Barrel. You can find a good one at Emergency Essentials.
With this, you’ll have a great start. For a family of 3, this will provide enough water for about 16 days or so. Find a place in the basement or garage for it, consider putting it on a couple 2×4’s or maybe on strong casters to move it if necessary.
Step 2: Pack a Survival Emergency Kit
Make a list of all the things you must have in terms of medicines or health products. Extra prescriptions, a good first aid kit, over the counter pain meds, an antihistamine, thermometer and other health essentials. If you have a baby at home, think this through! An extra box of diapers would make it to this kit for sure.
In addition to a great first aid and medicine kit, here you should be thinking about a few extra blankets. Of course, consider your geography and plan accordingly. If you live in Minnesota, make that a couple extra blankets.
Step 3: Food Storage Preparation
If all you’re trying to do is get two or three days of preps set up, you won’t need to do much. Most of us can get by with what is in our pantries for just 72 hours.
But what if it is longer?
A good target would be a month.
There are many ways to go, but cover some big bases first. Look for 20lb buckets of oats. That will provide healthy breakfasts for a small family for a few weeks. Start with a weeks worth, then two, then a month. Beyond that, it is up to you. An easy way to do this is to pick up the following mix of products…
– You can get 120 meals all set in a long term storage box for $280. This will get a small family set up for a couple weeks. Of course, the food is not great and this will not do as a sole source. But it’s a good place to start.
– Pick up a 5 gallon bucket (about 20 lbs) of rolled oats. You can find this at Costco and many other places.
– Look for the same 5 gallon bucket of rice (about 40lbs).
– Getting set up with various grains and yeast for bread making is a good idea too. You’ll find all kinds of bread making kits at places like BePrepared.com, preparewise.com and others.
The goal here is to get a few big necessities that will carry you through the first 2-4 weeks. As you move out beyond 4 weeks, the likelihood of such an event decreases and you need to decide how far you’d like to go. (That’s just my opinion – think for yourself!)
Step 4: Make a Getaway Plan
What would happen if the big boy went off in Washington DC and you lived 20 miles outside of town? What would you do?
Well, assuming the EMP didn’t take out your vehicle, you’d want to get away. (The EMP deal is for another discussion, another day.)
There are two things in play here. First, you need a communication plan for your family. Decide ahead of time where you will meet your wife, who will get the kids from school, how long to give each task, etc. Second, you’ll need a place to go.
For the former, find out what the emergency lock down procedures are for your kids school. Depending on the emergency, you may not be able to get your child out! Think about that for a minute. Decide on a place to meet (this might be home) and provide a timeline.
For the latter, talk to a trusted friend or relative about a bug out location. For example, if you are in DC and you have a relative in Charlottesville, that might make a good destination, since you can get there on one tank of gas. We’re not talking about living in the woods here, just a place to go if something terrible happens in your local geography. (We’ll cover living in the woods another day.)
Step 5: Personal Defense
It is always a good idea to be proficient in firearms handling. You never know when it could save your life! Remember Katrina? There were roving gangs of hoodlums looting and pillaging house to house. Visit the NRA.org or your local shooting range. Learn how to safely handle a revolver, semi-automatic handgun, rifle and/or shotgun. Learn it, then make an informed decision on what you think best fits your needs. There is a ton of information right here on ToBeRIGHT about concealed carry, choosing a gun for women, even concealed carry handbags.
Lastly, there are odds and ends. Do you have a pet? If you do, make sure you have food and water for him too. There are all kinds of other little things too… Batteries, hand cranked radio, 2-way radios, and on and on.
Get these five basic steps taken care of and you’ll be better prepared than the vast majority of people.
The key is to start slow, plan for a few days, then a week and then a few weeks.
Work through these three steps and in no time, you’ll be a regular guy with a solid plan. Start today, because disasters are not typically planned…