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As we enter month eleven of 12 Months of Prepping, it might be easy to become complacent and decide to set aside this month’s preparedness tasks until some other, more convenient, time. After all, if you are following along in accordance with the calendar year, there are family gatherings and holiday preps to attend to this month.
Please do not slough off and let that be a deterrent to the task at hand. Prepping is a lifestyle and a commitment to preparedness, courage, optimism, and family values. Let us use this opportunity to continue our learning and to continue to pursue our quest to be ready for whatever disruptive event may cross our path.
Speaking of which, what is a “disruptive event”?
The Dreaded “Disruptive Event”
Back in 2013, I started using this term to describe any event that could potentially transform our personal lives into one of chaos, distress, confusion, or all of the above. Interestingly enough, today I could not find many references to this term using Google so the how, where, and why I started using it most likely has to do with my own thoughts on TEOTWAWKI.
Note: TEOTWAWKI = The End of the World as We Know It
TEOTWAWKI was a commonly used acronym in preparedness and survival circles until the end of 2012 when various predictions of the end of times did not materialize. The term is still used today, in a much broader sense. At Backdoor Survival, for example, TEOTWAWKI refers to anything that disrupts our normal way of life. This could be something as devastating as an EMP taking down the power grid, to a more mundane (but equally devastating) job loss or loss of a family member.
Disruptive events are common and that is why we prepare. In Twelve Months of Prepping, we are preparing for short term disruptions of a few weeks and in doing so, we are going to be better prepared than 95% of our friends and neighbors.
What about the longer term? We do that too. On the Backdoor Survival website, there are do-it-yourself projects fostering self-sufficiency, food storage and first aid tips, gear and book reviews, think pieces to help us learn, and a myriad of other tools to foster preparing for a long term disruptive event. Each topic and each article is there to help you come up with a preparedness strategy unique to your needs.
For now, however, let us set aside thoughts of that dreaded disruptive event and move on to Month Eleven of prepping.
Twelve Months of Prepping: Month Eleven
MONTH 11 SUPPLIES & GEAR:
- Package of paper plates
- Package of napkins
- Package of eating utensils
- Package of paper cups
- Garbage bags and ties for the disposal of used items
As much as I hate to use disposables, there is a strong likelihood that water for cleaning will become quite precious following a disaster. Even if you normally shun paper goods, it is prudent, in fact necessary, to put aside a supply of paper plates, napkins, cups, and plastic eating utensils for emergency purposes.
You are also going to want to purchase a supply of garbage bags so that you have someplace to store the garbage and the used and dirtied items until things get back to normal. Personally, I prefer tall, kitchen type bags but you may prefer the larger, garbage can sized bags. Whatever you decide, be sure to take the time now to look around your home and property and to identify a location where you can store excess garbage if normal collection methods are shut down for a while.
These are the basics. And although we have covered these items in the past, double check that you do indeed have a manual can opener, a sharp, all-purpose knife, and some paper towels as well.
But there is more. For extra credit, think about what you would need if you had to cook outdoors. Perhaps a rocket stove (you can build your own!) or grill that burns wood or biomass? How about some waterproof matches or a Zippo lighter? If you have room in the budget, think about these things now and add them to your month 11 purchases.
MONTH 11 TASKS:
- Exchange work, home, and emergency contact phone numbers and email addresses with family neighbors for use during an emergency
Neighbors helping neighbors is an important part of emergency and disaster preparedness. This is not to say that you are going to have to provide for your neighbors, after all, they need to provide for their own basics of food, water, and first aid supplies. On the other hand, when something bad happens (that “disruptive event” I spoke of) you will want to get in touch with your neighbors and of course, you would want them to get in touch with you as well.
Think about this. You are at work and you receive a news alert indicating that there is a fire in what appears to be your neighborhood. Who do you call? Is it your house? Is it the house next door? What about your children and pets? Are they safe?
Although this is a simplistic (yet dreadful) example, having neighbors that are able to contact you directly or that can pass your contact information on to first responders will go a long way toward keeping panic and fear at bay.
Your only task this month is to contact your neighbors and exchange emergency contact information for use in an emergency. Telephone numbers, cell phone numbers and email addresses should be gathered and stored in a safe place in both printed and electronic format on a hard disk, smartphone (if you have one) or flash drive.
Now I know that these days, with OPSEC and all, the idea of neighbors helping neighbors is becoming unpopular. I challenge you, though, this month, to look at this from the standpoint of YOU being the one in need. Wouldn’t you want someone to contact you?
The Final Word
Although the purchases and tasks this month seem like no-brainers, they are critical to putting together a complete preparedness plan for you and your loved ones. Furthermore, although the words “disasters can and do happen to ordinary folks” has become a time-worn cliché, it is true. Disruptive events and disasters happen to anyone and everyone, rich or poor, young or old, urban or rural.
The best we can do is take steps now to prepare for the unexpected. Remember: You are responsible for your own preparedness. No one else will do it for you.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Today I share a few of the items that are part of my personal preparedness kit. These items were acquired slowly and over time, in much the same manner as everything else in 12 Months of Prepping.
GI P38 & P51 Can Opener Combo Pack (Made in the USA): This is one of the army’s greatest tools. Can be used for dozens of jobs. Makes a great can opener, cutting edge, groove cleaner, screw drive, clean fingernails, open seams and many, many more practical uses.
Coghlan’s Waterproof Matches 10-pack: That is a good deal for 400 waterproof matches.
Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: FAVORITE! Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife. It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp. Many Backdoor Survival have emailed me indicating this is now their favorite knife too.
Zippo Brushed Chrome Pocket Lighter: When it comes to lighters, the Zippo is ubiquitous. They are refillable and have a “fix it for free” live time guarantee. Everyone should have at least one Zippo!
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultralight 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 2oz. making it perfect for the prepper. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.
On Duty Emergency Gas & Water Shutoff 4-n-1 Tool: This 4 in 1 Emergency Tool was designed and tested by professional firefighters. It is light-weight, heavy duty, and easy-to-use for shutting off gas and water. Plus, it can be used to pry open doors and dig through debris.
Kingston Digital DataTraveler 16GB USB: I have learned the hard way that thumb drives with plastic key ring holders break. I store a backup of my contact list and Outlook data file on a flash drive along with encrypted documents and my password list. There are photos and survival books in PDF format. You will be amazed at how much you can store on an 8GB or 16GB flash drive. They are dirt cheap too.
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