Now that the new year is here, many have made the resolution to be more vigilant with their disaster preparedness. And for some, they have decided to start the prepping process.
In Eastern Europe, at the end of December, stores are closed for two weeks for “inventura,” or inventory. Taking an inventory of supplies at the beginning of the year to see how much one has acquired and what one may need to stock up on is a good start to being more proactive. Furthermore, making plans to develop more knowledge based skills for the year such as CPR/first aid courses, auto shop classes, gardening courses or other crafting skills is also a proactive choice at continuing preparedness.
Make a List
Many who have already started prepping, have not created a list that has all the items acquired or needed for the future. Creating a spread sheet or keeping a written list of all the items needed for the preparedness list and checking the items that have been obtained is a great way to keep records organized. Furthermore, if mulitple preppers are involved, get all members together to see where everyone is at and verify that everyone is still on track. Make sure that contact information for all those involved in the disaster plan is correct and documented. “Prep meetings” are a good way to bounce ideas and scenarios off one another to be able to prepare even further.
Those that are new to prepping, begin by making a “list of lists.” Depending on the type of disaster one is preparing for write down the main items that will be needed such as food, shelter, water, first aid, and then add to the main sections. It is important to create the list that suits the particular needs of the person making it or his/her family.
Things to Keep in Mind with the List:
- How much food and water per member of the household.
- Any special medical needs that one may need to prepare for.
- Making preparations for anyone with a handicap.
- If children are a part of the household, making sure there are soothing items for them (books, games, special foods, etc).
- If there are pets in the home, prepare for extra food/water and any other needs to keep them healthy and safe.
In the popular book: How to Survive The End of The World as we Know It by James Wesley, Rawles, (who many consider the Godfather of Survivalism) he suggests being prepared for any type of disaster and suggests making a “List of lists.” Some list suggestions include:
- First Aid/Minor-Surgery
- Chem/Nuke Defense
- Biological -Warfare – and Pandemic – Defense
- Tactical – Living
- Security – General
- Security – Firearms
- Barter and Charity
As previously mentioned, depending on how far one wants to prepare is dependent on their personal taste. However, many like to prepare for the absolute worst case scenario so that all preparedness areas are covered. Rawles indicates that it is important to be prepared enough to “hunker down” for at least three to four months, with minimal outside contact.
Make a Plan: Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
If a disaster strikes, a person wants a well defined plan on how to most effectively stay safe. There are times when disasters are sudden, and while many are not prepared for this likelihood, there are some who are. And the ones that are prepared, are the ones who can leave the disaster area faster.
- Sitting down and preparing a plan A, B and C will help ensure that if things do not go exactly as planned, there is another plan to fall back on.
- Have maps on hand and plan evacuation routes.
- Having a safe place to stay (outside of the effected area) should also be relayed as a priority. Talk with family and friends so that it is already planned.
- Create a 72 hour bag with items that a person or family can sustain themselves on, so that if a disaster does occur, they are already prepared to leave.
- Have a organized manual that has all the necessary information in it so that it can be grabbed in a pinch.
- Having a way to stay informed such as a hand crank radio, HAM radio, etc is another form of preparedness that needs to be taken into consideration.
Being attentive and doing annual inventory checks to maintain storage items and preparing a list for items and skills to acquire during the year will keep a person as prepared as possible. Preparing for a disaster is a year long process. A person should always be on the look out for preparedness needs and stock up accordingly. Maintaining the storage gear and items can get disorganized if a person let’s it. Setting time aside for organization of goods will ensure everything is in it’s place when one needs it.