Yesterday, I wrote about the first half of my “need to do right now” prep list. As a reminder, we are completely soft core beginners and it will be a learning experience for us. My purpose with sharing our journey is to hopefully inspire others on the importance of preparation, learn from our mistakes, and learn from others. I’ve already made several friends as a result of this blog and am so looking forward to more!
Now onto the next half of my list. I’m sure that each of these topics will be its own solo post in the future as we accomplish them. That’s the plan at least!
5. Emergency Kits in each car. As I’ve stated before, disaster can strike anywhere. The typical American commuter spends 38 hours each year in traffic. That’s not including other casual drive time! Life gets busy for us all, especially if you have children. Just this week, I had a mini-crisis:
I woke up Monday morning realizing that I had lost my wallet somewhere during the weekend. Great. Sucked it up and went to work because I was running a little late. We were short handed at work so I was wearing multiple hats, and then the FDA shows up for an unannounced inspection (I work in the food and supplement industry). Then, the local college, less than 1/2 mile away received numerous bomb threats. Then, I forgot that my daughter had a check up at her pediatrician that afternoon. I had no cash, no debit card, my gas tank was nearly on E, I was so hungry, and let’s face it…I was cranky.
Us “preppers” seem to be viewed in a sensationalized manner thanks to the media portrayals, when in reality we’re just trying to prepare ourselves for real life. Because it will happen to you like it did to me this week. If I had followed a few of the prepping cardinal rules like always having some cash stashed, having some food stashed, gas tank never less than half full…my day wouldn’t have been nearly as stressful.
Back to the emergency car kits! Winter is coming in my neck of the woods, which means snow, snow and probably more snow. If you were truly stuck or stranded somewhere, a well stocked emergency kit in your vehicle could mean survival. Right now, I have a very simple and basic form of an emergency kit in my car that is geared towards our daughter. Toddlers are always hungry, crisis or not!
Timeframe of completion = 1 kit in each vehicle (2) by February 2016.
7. Stock up on first aid kits, medicines and knowledge. Have you ever bought the pre-made first aid kits from the store? Very underwhelming. A few band-aids, some antiseptic, and mini scissors won’t accomplish much in a crisis situation. Off brand and store brand first aid items run relatively cheap. Also, I almost always see great deals on medicines and first aid items when checking the extreme couponer pages.
I purchased this first aid kit a few weeks ago with an Amazon gift card. This kit is a great starting point and an option if you plan to add your own items to it. The advertising touts “117 pieces” including stickers and one of each important items like burn cream, sting relief, etc. With the room the kit provides though, it could easily become a well stocked and efficient first aid kit.
Three of the books on my wish list are Where There Is No Doctor, Where There Is No Dentist, and Where There Is No Vet. As we prepare for crises and disasters and equip ourselves with all of the things we think we need to survive, don’t overlook the importance of knowledge. In a world where there may be no Google, a well stocked library and a well read mind will prove to be indispensable.
Timeframe of completion = have at least 5 thoroughly stocked first aid kits throughout our home, bug out bags, and vehicles by March 2016.
8. Get healthy. Easy enough, right? This article on End of Three Fitness outlines a few scenarios in which being physically fit could save your life. If the sh*t did hit the fan, there would be no emergency response personnel, traditional hospitals, or pharmacies. There would be a huge increase in the physical demands it would take to live. Could you haul 5 gallon buckets of water over a mile from the only nearby water source? Could you cut firewood with an ex everyday to keep your family warm and fed? Could you support your significant other over several miles if they injure themselves? I’m sure I could do it all once or for a short time, but my endurance is lacking.
I have A LOT of work to do in this area. Sure, I’ve lost some baby weight and my clothes are fitting a little more loose…but weight loss has zero to do with strength and stamina. If my family was in a true and dire survival situation, I don’t want to be the reason we are slowed down.
Timeframe of completion: ASAP. This is obviously an ongoing and evolving large goal with smaller ones that I’ve made for myself along the way.
9. Vamp up food storage. Currently, we have enough food in our home to get us through a 2-3 week disaster scenario. My current specific goals for this to do item is to budget $10 per week (after Christmas!) on adding to our stockpile in addition to our normal day to day groceries. I plan to do research on and stockpile more ready to eat foods that do not require a form of cooking or heating. I have a local Aldi, which I love. I can get cans of baked beans, a staple in my house, for $0.39, canned fruit for $0.69, and canned vegetables from $0.39 – $0.79. Now that’s living on a budget.
Some longer term goals I have for this item are to create a price comparison spreadsheet for different stores, look into alternate forms of cooking, utilize coupons more than I already do, and become a master gardener and canner.
Timeframe of completion: meet weekly goal of $10 on storage foods to steadily build up stockpile.
10. Research and purchase a form of alternative heat. Where we currently live, our only heat is in the form of a gas furnace. When we build in the Spring of 2017, you can bet your boots we will have a wood burning stove or fireplace in addition to other forms.
But that doesn’t solve our problem right now. I’m currently looking into purchasing this kerosene heater to serve as a back up should we need it. This will also require the purchase of safety items such a fire extinguisher and a carbon monoxide detector, so please do thorough research when looking into these types of items.
Timeframe of completion = End of December 2015. It’s going to get cold, quickly.
That’s it! That completes our current “do right now” list. Is there anything you would add or that you think I may have forgotten? I’d love to hear about it!