13 Ways to Become an Awesome Prepper
1. Have an emergency planAsk yourself this: “What would I do if there was disaster that affected my home and my family?” Think about the risks inherent to your geographical area and your own vulnerability when it comes to those risks. Once you do that, come up with a plan for preparing, responding, and recovering if the worst should happen. See: Survival Basics: 10 Steps for Preparing a Family Emergency Plan.
2. Put together an emergency kitAssemble the items you will need to get through an emergency safely. In addition to flashlights, batteries and an emergency radio, you are going to need other basic gear plus hygiene items, medications, cash and some extra clothing. Your kit should be portable and light enough that you can handle it on your own. See: Back to the Basics: The Bug-Out-Bag
3. Store plenty of waterClean water is something we all take for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. It is plentiful, it is clean and it is drinkable. Learn where to find it, how to store it, how to purify it and how to filter it. Whether you are a prepping newbie or an experienced survivalist, water should be high on your list of prepping priorities. See: Water – The Survival Basic
4. Have emergency food suppliesFortify your home with enough food to get by for a minimum of seven days, and longer if you can afford to do so. Don’t get discouraged into thinking that you need to spend thousands of dollars on a year’s worth of specially packaged “survival” food. That is, of course, a great option but not the answer to the call for emergency food storage. Inventory what you have then come up with some reasonable goals for adding to your food supply weekly, with every visit to the grocery store. Build up your food supply using foods you like to eat that also have a long shelf life. See: 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan
5. Plan for your petsDon”t forget about your pets. Be sure plan for their food and water needs. In addition, recognize that they may or may not be able to stay with you if you are forced to move to a shelter. Luckily, the Red Cross and other agencies are recognizing that people may put themselves in danger because they will not abandon their pets. As a result, they are beginning to set up “pet shelters” along side the people shelters. See: Tips for Creating a Pet Preparedness Plan
6. Be a good neighborLearn to be a good neighbor so that you build a solid foundation of folks that will be there to watch your back and help you out if you become incapacitated or need post-disaster assistance. A good neighbor will be there to help you long before the government or the first responders. See: 9 Simple Ways for Preppers to Be a Good Neighbor
7. Remember those with special needsPerhaps a family member is handicapped, elderly, medically dependent or has other special needs. Be prepared to deal with these special needs as you build your kit and your food supply. In addition, be prepared to help those with special needs during an evacuation. See: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors and the Elderly and Preparedness Tips for People with Mobility Challenges
8. Learn how to safely shelter in placeIdentify, outfit and prepare an area of your home that is suitable for a “shelter-in-place” emergency. If possible, select a room that is isolated from exterior doors and windows, and outfit it so that you can remain there in relative comfort until the emergency passes. Keep in mind that if you shelter in place, you will rely upon supplies in your emergency kit as well as specific shelter-in-place items such as sheets of plastic and duct tape. See: Learn How to Shelter in Place
9. Prepare to survive without powerOne of the most common emergencies does not need to be an emergency at all if you are well prepared. I am referring to a grid-down, short term power outage. As recent events have taught us, a freak storm can bring the power grid down for a few days, a week, or even longer. Learn to cope with plenty of light sources as well as cooking and heating facilities. See: Survival Basics: Preparing for a Grid Down Power Outage
10. Have an emergency fundIf you have ever been shopping and realize that you left your credit card at home you will understand the need to have some spare cash on hand. But what about the bigger emergencies? Perhaps the car needs to be repaired, or like me, you are faced with an $800 refrigerator repair bill. The need for an emergency fund goes beyond short-term cash needs. Unemployment and a medical crisis may also require you to dip into emergency funds. Building up an emergency fund when you are barely scraping by may be difficult but it is not impossible. Go slowly and you will be surprised by how quickly those dollars add up. See: 26 Five Minute Prepping Projects
11. Stay fit and healthyI have always been health conscious and even more so now that I realize that staying fit and healthy are the cornerstones to long-term survival during stressful situations. Even if you have six months of food storage, six months of water, a sustainable food garden, and a fully stocked first aid kit, you will have a tough time coping if you were not strong, fit and healthy. Granted, age and time take their toll and many illnesses and infirmities just happen through no fault of your own. Still, eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise will go a long way toward insuring that you are a physically able to withstand the rigors of a disaster. See: Putting a Priority on Health and Medical Preparedness
12. Live a strategic lifeLiving strategically – by my own definition – means living a life full of abundant adventure while embracing the tenants of simplicity and sustainability. It means being healthy and reaping the benefits of bounteous friendships and caring relationships. It means living a life full of happiness and readiness, without the burden of wanting to be someone else or someplace else. It means liking yourself and moving forward with this business of life with animated spirit and optimism. Living a strategic life is something I believe in and became the basis of an e-Book (11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life) I co-authored with my long term friend George Ure at www.urbansurvival.com. See: 10 Steps to Living a Strategic Life
13. Have a survival mindsetEven though it is listed at the bottom of this list, having a survival mindset is of utmost importance to your ability to prepare and stay focused on this all-important journey we call family preparedness. Reading this blog and others like it is the first step toward establishing a survival mindset. That, and having the will and the perseverance to keep going is what it takes to be an awesome Prepper. See: Survival Mindset: Preparedness as a Way of Life – Part I and Survival Mindset: Preparedness as a Way of Life – Part II and Survival Mindset: Preparedness as a Way of Life – Part III
Test Your Awesome QuotientWhy not up your score to determine your awesome quotient? Are you a 1, a 13 or somewhere in between? Wherever you are, I promise not to rank you nor to judge. If anything, I want to make you realize that you are a lot better off than your thought your were, even if you are a newbie and just getting started. The passing score of this test is one – just one – and that is all I am going to say about that!
The Final WordAre there other ways to become an awesome Prepper? Of course there are. To write about them would take days if not weeks and would fill a book and not just a single web page. That said, there is no magic potion that you can take to become an awesome prepper. It takes time, perseverance and diligence as well as the mindset to keep going in spite of set backs- real or perceived. Remember that knowledge and information is fluid. It does not start and stop; it only keeps on going. Over the coming months, I hope to refresh and revitalize topics that relate to the more practical side of being prepared – everyday topics that will help us live our lives fully today as well as during a future that is filled with unknowns and uncertainties. Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation! Gaye If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Pinterest. In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide. Bargain Bin: Today I have an eclectic assortment of items for you. All are well-priced for the cost-conscious Prepper. Eveready 3-LED 6Volt Floating Lantern (battery included): I don’t know how long it will last but there is currently a great price on this LED lantern-style flashlight. (If you are planning to build a 2000-hour flashlight, this is the one that you need – see next item.) The last time these were priced less than $6, I purchased four. Granted, I have a flashlight fetish but these are wonderful lanterns nonetheless. The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight: This short little e-book will give you detailed instructions for adding a 30-cent resistor to a $5 flashlight and create a light that produces useful illumination for 2000 hours on the same battery. (And I wrote the forward!) 60 – 1 Gallon Mylar Bags & 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is another “deal” that may not last. The price as of this writing is $20 for 60 Mylar bags and 60 oxygen absorbers. Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. I paid $12 for this knife last week and now it is $8.95. It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95! Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 ounces, making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.
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