What am I really preparing for? What are some things that could happen? How many provisions do I need? And for how long? It could be a natural disaster, weather related, pandemic, civil unrest, economic collapse, EMP or Carrington Effect, or a combination of these. One event could easily trigger other events. With all of these events, the topics below are almost all the same as far as preparing for.
Deciding to prepare for a disaster be it short term or long term means a lot of planning and careful preparation. First you will need to decide if you are going to stay hunkered down at home or escape to a pre planned rural area or bugout location. Staying hunkered down in the city or suburbs is a recipe for disaster. You and your family will be a target. Your provisions will be stolen, your house may be burned to the ground, and your family will be in extreme danger and may not survive.
Wherever, you will need a place to stash a lot of provisions securely. It's good to have your provisions split up and hidden in different places and not all in one location if you're not confident the single location is secure. If split up, and your stash is compromised, only a portion will be lost.
Don't be a "Lone Wolf". Trying to prepare by yourself may be destined for doom. Become a part of a group so you can share security, skills, prepping topics, and barter techniques.
All disaster preparations fall into a group of topics in this priority:
1) Water - You cannot survive without clean water. Filter and boil water for drinking. Water can be gotten from downspouts, cisterns, other rain collection tanks, clear water from streams and ponds from known sources. Do not drink water that has not been adequately filtered or sterilized. It could be deadly.
2) Food - You must grow your own garden and have a large seed bank, raise rabbits, chickens, and goats. Learn to dehydrate and can. At least store enough canned and dry goods for at least six months for your entire family. Learn how to make a fire and cook.
3) Shelter - Sufficient and hidden for hot summers and cold winters. Heat can be tolerated by just staying in the shade. Cold weather means having sufficient wood for a woodstove and proper clothing.
4) Security/Communications - You must disappear from sight and not be a target. Having solar panels for rechargeable batteries for lights, walkie-talkies for perimeter security, and local happenings. Get a ham radio license and HF transceivers for very distant communications. Also study this web page. Obtain a firearm and plenty of ammunition and cleaning kits, and become proficient. You will need it for hunting too.
5) Health and Medicine - A good supply of vitamins and supplements, and foraging your own from herbs and plants. There are books that will show you what common weeds and plants that can be used as a substitute for medication. Learn basic first aid and advanced care for trauma and serious wounds. Don't forget soap and detergents. Learn how to make lye soap.
6) Clothing - Save every stitch of clothing so it can be mended or cut into pieces for re-purposing other clothing items. Good leather shoes with rubber soles, not cheap sporting/running shoes that won't last a year. Ample thread and needles are a must.
7) Survival Supplies - This is just a brief list. Fire starting, rope, sewing kits, fishing kits, knives and sharpening, soaps and detergents, water filtration, cooking implements, first-aid supplies, radios - short wave, walkie-talkies, ham radios.
See Items To Stockpile for a more detailed list of items.
Learn to barter for goods or services. Learn a skill that you can trade for goods.
There are many thousands of books available either in hard copy paperback, or ebooks. There are countless websites full of information on how to prepare, checklists, and hands-on instructions. Youtube has many hundreds of individuals or groups with how-to instructions like The Canadian Prepper or LDS Prepper. There are some reality programs that dabble in prepping and learning from them on how to live in the wild. Some TV reality show series' are "Doomsday Preppers", "Naked and Afraid", "Alone", "Life Below Zero", "Mountain Men", "Survivorman", "Live Free or Die", "The Legend of Mick Dodge", "Alaskan Bush People". There are many others too. Each episode drops into their lives and they demonstrate how they cope and survive with living on almost nothing, mostly without electricity. Some are syndicated and still run on TV, or can be viewed on the National Geographic Channel or available on DVD.
Even the government has a lot of official information on how to prepare and what to prepare for. ready.gov, fema.gov, redcross.org
Still, there's nothing better than one on one instruction, taking prepper classes or belonging to a group of trusted, like minded individuals that meet often to learn and share ideas. Finding them might be a problem because many preppers are leery about sharing their plans and whereabouts. You may talk to trusted persons, family, or neighbors, and search them out as to how they feel about prepping. Some will be very interested and some will want to distance themselves from you because of some negative publicity "survivalists" have gotten over the years.
Be aware that there are some websites that are filled with inaccuracies and false information. Some are conspiracy filled so just be cautious if you stumble on one of these.
©2021 Rick C. Ver 0.14 Oct 27, 2021