Once the prepping bug hits, it is easy to want to go for it. You know what I mean: Let’s do it and let’s do it all Right Now!
There are some problems with this. First there are time constraints and second there are money and budget issues. But the biggest problem and undoubtedly the one that is overlooked in the initial flurry of readiness preparations, is that without reasonable care and thought given to the process, the tasks and the actual products involved, you can make some costly mistakes. I say this from experience. In my haste to get “stocked up” I bought gear that I don’t like and will never use. I purchased foodstuffs I will never eat. Jeesh.
Stupid stupid stupid of me. I should have taken my time, done my research, and made a well thought out and educated decision before I even got started.
Today I would like to help you break down the overwhelming task of emergency preparation by providing you with a month by month calendar of things to do, tasks to complete and items to purchase. For the newbies, this gives you a manageable number of things to do in a short period of time. Instead of looking at a task list 10 pages long, you have a short list that is eminently doable in 30 days or less.
And for the more experience prepper? You can start with month #1, look at the activities and tasks involved and fill in any gaps you may have in your own preparation. In some cases you may see a need to update or rotate what you have on hand and in others, you may find the need to practice a particular skill.
I love lists. So bear with me as I present a readiness calendar to guide your through twelve months of prepping. Hopefully you will find that one month’s work is not too costly, not too time-consuming and not too difficult. The most difficult part as I see it will be getting off your bum and starting.
So let’s do it!. . . read more . . .
Last month I laid out a calendar of prepping, 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time. Today, I explore Month #1 in greater detail. But before getting started, I want to go back in time and have a chat about what I like to call the Survival Mindset.
The Survival Mindset is a frame of mind whereby daily life is focused on the pursuit of of independence and self-reliance. This focus is done in a non-obtrusive way to the determent of no one and the betterment of everyone. It is a lifestyle and a commitment to preparedness and to courage. To optimism and to family values. Ultimately, it is the will to live and to survive with the knowledge that you have done the very best you can to protect yourself and your family from danger and the woes that come from living in complicated and uncertain times.
What I have just described is the Backdoor Survival and SurvivalWoman mindset. And while I would like to think that it is the very best description out there, I am not arrogant enough (well, maybe just a little) to think that what works for me will work for everyone. But – and you know how I like to do this – whether you are an experienced prepper or a newbie that is just beginning to get your toes wet, you need to think about your own personal Survival Mindset and move to a survival place that meets your own needs.
Nuff’ said. I don’t want to lecture and surely, you are here to learn about Month #1.. . . read more . . .
A couple of months ago I presented a calendar for family preparedness. In 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time, I laid out month by month tasks and was able to breakdown the overwhelming chore of preparing for an emergency in manageable and affordable chunks. Today, I explore Month #2 in greater detail.
But first, let me step back and remind you of one of the most easily justifiable reasons why you should prepared: unpredictable weather. Storms. tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other wonky weather patterns can disrupt you, your home and your life in a heartbeat.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist, a political dissenter or even a dissatisfied and disillusioned citizen to know that the forces of mother nature will – at one time or another – require you to tuck in and rely on your own resources to get by. If you are lucky, you will only need to get by for a few days but alas, the aftermath of some weather systems may require you to fend for yourself for a week or longer.
And so, in this month by month preparedness series, review your existing preparations and make sure these basics are covered. And if you are just beginning to prep, breathe a sigh of relief. The tasks in any one month will not be too difficult nor too expensive and, at the end of twelve months, you and your family will be prepared.
Are you ready to get started with Month #2 preps?. . . read more . . .
The holidays are upon us but alas, the task of successfully preparing our homes and families for an emergency is ongoing and does not end just because the calendar indicates a special day is coming up. Today, surrounded by the warmth and cheer of the December holiday season, I present Month 3 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.
Let’s start with the supplies and gear.
Month 3 Supplies & Gear:
Canned fruits – 3 cans per person
Any foods for special dietary needs (enough for 3 days)
A large plastic tub or bin for storage of food and other emergency supplies.
By now you should have a good supply of basic foods put away including protein items such as canned meats as well as veggies. This month we add fruits as well. Why? Well for one thing, fruits add additional nutrients, variety and interest to your meals. But perhaps equally important, fruits add a touch of sweetness to daily fare. You may not think this is important when you are in survival mode, the sweetness provided by canned fruits can kick start sluggish and depressed appetites and bring a smile to the face of weary family members, especially children.
In addition, fruits add fiber – yes even canned fruits. It is true that in many cases, it is the fruit’s skin that contains most of its fiber content. And, since many fruits are peeled before they are canned, the fiber content may not be as great as fresh fruit. On the other hand, using peaches as an example, two canned peach halves contain 1.4 grams of fiber versus 2.3 grams for a whole peach. Not a bad tradeoff considering fresh fruit will be hard to come by in an emergency.. . . read more . . .
The cold days of winter are upon us here in the Pacific Northwest and whereas we have not seen any snow yet, the temperature is frigid, especially if your factor in the wind chill. Outdoor activities are limited to walks with the dog and not much else. Preparedness wise, this reminds us that we need to insure that we have adequate jackets, blankets and warm socks put away in our emergency storage container.
But wait. I am getting ahead of myself as I present Month 4 of 12 from 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.
Month 4 Supplies & Gear:
A minimum of a 7 day supply of critical prescription medicines
$100 (or more) in Small Bills
Extra Storage Containers
Something often overlooked when putting together emergency supplies is an adequate supply of critical prescription medications. The reason this is often overlooked (or shall I say a victim of procrastination) is that collecting extra meds in darn tough because most insurance policies only allow a thirty day supply to begin with.
I have a lot of ideas for getting around this – ideas that I use myself. Here are two.. . . read more . . .
The months seem to be flying by. And as each month passes, I feel a sense of relief that that except for a short burst of extreme winter weather, my household has not had to dig into our emergency supplies for sustenance. On the other hand, some unexpected personal emergencies have come up and with them, a renewed focus on being prepared not only for the big events in life but also the smaller events that can turn your world upside down. More about that on the Sunday Potpourri.
What are we doing in month five of 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time? In Getting Prepared Month 5 we are focusing on cleaning and personal sanitizing supplies and on taking steps to establish a neighborhood community of like-minded folks that are interesting in learning about preparedness.
This is going to be an easy month so let’s get started.. . . read more . . .
As the cold months of winter start to abate, it is easy to turn our thoughts away from preparedness and instead to the springtime pursuits of gardening or simply getting outside and playing in the sunshine. Perhaps you have a bicycle that has become dusty during the colder periods, or walking shoes that have been sitting idle in the closet. Before I move on to the specific tasks and goals for month six, I want to remind you that all of these outdoor pursuits are indeed a part of your preparedness journey.
This year, more than any, is the time to start a small vegetable garden so that you can teach your self the basics of working the soil, planting the seeds, and enjoying the bounty of home grown food. The skills you hone now will go a long way towards feeding yourself and your family should there ever be a major disruption in the food supply chain. Just remember to start small and expect some mistakes and failures along the way. The results with be worth it.
And what about getting outside, taking a walk or hike, or perhaps a bike ride? Fitness is also an important aspect of preparedness so yes, go ahead and enjoy the sunshine. Make it fun and get fit. I do not need to tell you this because you already know it: a healthy and fit body will help you sustain the physical and emotional toll of a crisis.
So with that, let us get started on month number 6.. . . read more . . .
We have now passed the half way point and are entering month seven of preparedness. By now you should be feeling secure in the knowledge that you are ready to beat the odds should a natural disaster or crisis appear in your area . . . . .
The gear and tools we are going to purchase this month are lifesaving and useful in many types of situations. Add to that an essential skill that everyone should learn and we have a two-punch whammy for seeing you through disasters, accidents, health care woes and more.
You may be familiar with the saying “behind the eight ball”. This idiom implies that you are in a tough, difficult or losing position position from which it is unlikely to escape . . . . Now surely that is not someplace that any of us want to be and for that reason alone, we find justification to prepare. Prepare for what? Who knows. It might be a major disaster, it might be a personal health or financial crisis, it might be a terrorist attach or it might be the collapse of civilized society as we know it. Whatever the reason, the need to prepare is ingrained in us from the time we reach young adulthood. After all, the very first insurance policy we purchased was our way of saying “I am going to be prepared”. . . . These days, we can not count on traditional insurance to keep us safe, to keep us fed, and to keep us sheltered from the storms that are brewing in our world. Instead, it is my belief that we must self insure by storing away supplies and learning skills that will get us by when going is not so good.. . . read more . . .
Nelson Mandela once said: “It always seems impossible until it is done”.
This reminds me of prepping. At the beginning, the task of prepping seems impossible. But once you start – and once you really get going – the process does not seem so hard and most definitely seems possible.
Now don’t get me wrong. Talk to any prepper and he or she will tell you that the job is never done. Oh sure – you eventually acquire enough gear, enough water and enough food to get you by for three days. Next, you work on being prepared for a week, then a month and ultimately, for many, it becomes prepping for six months or a year. And even then the job is not done. There are new skills to learn, old skills to fine tune and well, before you know it, a whole new checklist of stuff to buy.
This month I want to remind you that it is perfectly okay and even preferable to start slow as we have done with our one-month-at-a-time prepping series. Try to think of yourself as a little fish in a big pond. You are growing and with each month you become stronger and more able to fend for yourself. Like the little fish, you take on what you can handle when you can handle it so as not to exhaust yourself physically or financially. At the same time, you stay nimble and alert and ready to make a quick decision should the big fish try to swallow you up.. . . read more . . .
As I do each month, I would like to begin month ten with a little pep-talk on preparedness. As the recent power outages, wildfires, and storms have proven, a disaster can happen anywhere at anytime. Although FEMA, the Red Cross and local agencies are going to do their best to mobilize and help you, there are a lot of people out there that will need assistance. Wouldn’t it be better to rely on your own resources instead?
Being an optimist, I can only assume that if you made it this far, you are well on your way to being self-sufficient in an emergency. And based upon the emails that I have been receiving, I know positively that a number of you are following along each month. As with the previous months, month ten is not overly difficult but it will take some time and it will take some effort.
More specifically, this month we are going to take a break from purchasing gear and supplies. Instead we are going to focus on disaster readiness and more specifically, earthquake preparedness and and an actual practice drill so you can anticipate what happens when you go off grid.. . . read more . . .
In North America, we are enjoying the final months of summer. This is a time for family activities, picnics, BBQs with friends and perhaps a weekend camping trip. There is also the usual rash of summer chores: mowing the lawn, washing the car, weeding the garden and the more mundane tasks of laundry and housecleaning.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be enjoying the fun in the sun than serious prepping this month. For that reason, this month we are going to do things that are a natural outtake from our summer activities. That said, we are not going to slough off and disregard the tasks at hand as frivolous. For even though they seem rather menial, they are as important and as necessary as the prepping tasks in each of the previous months – and in some ways even more.. . . read more . . .
The term “at the twelfth hour” is often used to describe something or someone that is late. But for us, in month 12 of prepping, nothing could be further from the truth. More to the point, if you have been following along the Backdoor Survival series on Getting Prepared: 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time, you have taken major steps toward becoming self-sufficient if a natural disaster or other crisis should strike in your neighborhood.
As we enter in to our twelfth month of prepping, we are going to take a look back at two of our critical areas of sustenance, food and water. And if you are just getting started? Well, let’s chat about why we are taking this staged approach to getting prepared.. . . read more . . .
Backdoor Survival presents a recap of the popular survival series, 12 Months of Prepping – One Month at a time. Included is some all new material and links to detailed articles for each of the first 12 months.. . . read more . . .