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Back in the early days, before writing about any one aspect of prepping, I had to do a lot of research. Online resources were meager so there was a lot of trial and error involved as I formulated my own preparedness strategy. Sadly, as I look back, there was considerable error. Who knew? The good news is that the school of hard prepping knocks has taught me a thing or two. This is especially true when it comes to last minute preps.
Now that I am lot smarter, I thought it might be fun to put on my thinking cap and come up with a list of ten last minute preps that could be put into place if I had a modicum of warning that a storm or other disruptive event was brewing. There are two parts to this list, things to do and things to buy.
Things To Do
1. Top Off Vehicles with Fuel
I never let our two cars go under half a tank but even so, 100% full is always a better option than 50%. Hopefully I will get wind of the pending event soon enough to beat the crowds.
2. Do the Laundry
It is not that I hate doing laundry but rather I get lazy about it. It is not unusual to have to do six loads at a time, simply due to procrastination. Given a brewing storm, you can bet the laundry will get done and while I am at it, the bedding will also get changed.
3. Inventory Prescription Drugs
With my Ammo Can First Aid Kit already stocked and set aside, I will want to do a quick check on prescription meds and if necessary, get them refilled.
4. Charge All Electronic Devices
Compared to six years ago, my home is overrun by electronic devices. Three Kindles, three iPads of varying ages, and four laptop computers, and two iPhones make up a motely crew of electronic devices that hold a wealth of both reference material and amusements. All can be charged using portable solar devices (which are pretty darn cheap these days), but if I am stuck indoors for any length of tine, solar is not going to help.
5. Set Out Spare Lanterns, Flashlights, and Batteries
Why wait until the power is out before digging out your emergency light sources? As I say this, I am confident in the knowledge that I already have a flashlight in every room of the house as well as a portable lantern. Still, this would be a good time to check to ensure their batteries are fully charged.
6. Gather Fresh Biomass
Rather than use up my back stock of charcoal and wood, I would prefer to burn the odd branches, twigs, leaves I find on the ground. They work perfectly in both my Solo Stove and EcoZoom rocket stoves. Plus, biomass is free for the taking.
Things to Buy
7. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
As an experienced prepper I have a good supply of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. But once a #10 can or pouch is opened, the 25 year shelf life is reduced to one or two years. For that reason, if a short term disruptive event is predicted, I will want to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits that require no refrigeration and can be eaten raw.
The nice thing about fresh fruit and vegetables is that most last-minute disaster shoppers will be hitting the packaged and canned goods aisle. Let them. I am already well-stock with canned goods and want as much fresh stuff as I can get.
8. Wine and Spirits
Not everyone consumes alcoholic beverages but here in my household, we do enjoy a nightly glass of wine or a cocktail . That said, I do not stockpile spirits to any great extent due to space considerations. My pre-event checklist would definitely include bottled beverages of the alcoholic type.
9. Paper Plates and Disposable Cups and Eating Utensils
Water may be at a premium and where as I will want to use stored water for drinking and hygiene, using it for cleanup is not high on my list of priorities, Instead, I am going to want disposables. It might be a good idea to pick up extra trash bags as well.
The goal is not to have to dig into long term emergency preps unless absolutely necessary,
10. Dark Chocolate
You are going to be stressed so accept that. Get yourself some chocolate – okay a lot of chocolate – and ride things out while indulging in your favorite chocolate treat. If chocolate is not your thing, then perhaps some cookies or graham crackers or just this once, some seriously unhealthy packaged caramel corn.
Additional Reading: 6 Useful Preps You May Not Have Thought Of
The Final Word
Some of my selections may have surprised you but that’s okay. They were meant to inspire you to come up with your own last minute prepping strategy. Why not sit down right now and make up your own list and share it with the rest of us.?
Just don’t forget to include the chocolate!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Here are some items included in my own preps that I find essential to both short term and long term preparedness.
Solo Stove: I personally own four solo stoves including the large Solo Stove Campfire. They are compact yet well-built and perfect for cooking off-grid with just a bit of biomass. They come in varying sizes so you can choose the one that is right for you. For more information, read my review here.
EcoZoom Versa: This rocket-type stove burns wood, charcoal and biomass. It is easy to use and fast. It will cook a pot of rice, as an example, start to finish in less than 20 minutes. I actually own two.
Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – Collapsible: I admit to owning a number of these collapsible lanterns. They use 30 different LEDS and are powered by AA batteries, including rechargeables. Instead of a switch, you turn these lanterns on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition. There are many different brands available but I have not found much difference between them. Shop by price. As of this writing, the price is with free prime shipping. For more, choices, click here.
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier: The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out. As much as I love my Berkey, it is finicky when it comes to the black filters, plus, it is very expensive. Read my review here of the Lifestraw Family here.
Choetech 19W Solar Panel: This lightweight and compact solar panel works great. The two integrated USB ports are both rated equally so you do not have to fiddle around to see which one will work with your device. Learn more: Charge Your Devices With the Choetech Portable Solar Panel.
EasyAcc Monster 20000mAh Power Bank: This is a robust power bank that can be charged from your laptop, a wall charger, or a solar charger. This one is beefy, with 4 USB ports that can be used at once. It also appears to hold its charge for a long time. I charged mine up then set it aside for a couple of months, When I pulled it out of its box, it was still fully charged. A nice unit that comes in very handy when power is out.
MPOWERD Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern: This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie. It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month. Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.
Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is currently priced with free shipping. Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller in both the camping and hunting knives categories. The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and and can recommend it. See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.
Grabber Outdoors Original Space Brand All Weather Blanket: I was interested in a re-usable emergency blanket so I purchased one of these based upon the excellent reviews. This space blanket is definitely “heavy duty” compared to the cheapies (not that they don’t have their place because they do).
BaoFeng UV5R Dual-Band Two-Way Radio: I own two of these and truth be told, need to practice using them more often than I do. Something to keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license. Still, it is a good idea because it will make understanding the technical aspects of HAM radio a whole lot easier. Special Note: BaoFeng and Pofung radios are one and the same. Some newer units are branded with “Pofung”.
34 Responses to “10 Last Minute Preps When a Disruptive Event is Brewing”
Love this article. I made my own list and posted it in my pantry. To your list I added… top off gas tanks, 5 gal gas cans and propane tanks; do laundry and run dishwasher; when buying fresh produce also get eggs, toilet paper, and dog food. Having a list handy really helps when you’re in a hurry. Thanks for the great ideas.
I would add “comfort food” after your “chocolate”….not everyone eats chocolate (cuz they are foolish? LOL) But most of us have a “go to” food in times of stress or instability….having your “stress” food, in ready to eat form, would make the situation a little easier to bear. (Cuz my stress food is popcorn, so I would grab a couple of bags of prepopped corn, instead of my usual microwave version)
I’m just a “newbie,” but I stay prepared for natural disasters. I just rode out Hurricane Harvey in Houston and can say I followed almost all of these tips. (We don’t drink, so I skipped #8.) I had water and non-perishables stored well in advance, living in a flood-prone area, so had no problem grabbing fruit, veggies, and junk food treats at the store in the days before the storm.
We didn’t even lose power, so we were able to cook plenty of home-cooked meals and leave emergency supplies untouched, even though many stores were closed for days. Great tip to invest in some perishable food – in a short-term disruptive event you may not lose water or power and can cook, saving those emergency supplies. Don’t assume stores will reopen immediately or even in a few days, or that you’ll be able to get around to them.
I’d also suggest loading up on toilet paper and paper towels, even cleaning supplies. We got some chores done while locked in! (When we moved, I studied flood maps to ensure we were in a safe area, but that’s another story…)
Stay safe and prepared. Thanks for the great blog.