How to Prepare
Emergency preparedness, or prepping, is becoming a hot topic these days as more people are waking up to the fact that natural disasters in the US and around the world are increasing at a dramatic rate. There are more and more droughts, earthquakes, extreme cold and heat, floods, hurricanes, landslides, tornadoes, tsunamis, wildfires, and winter storms.
Other emergencies you should prepare for are influenza pandemics, home fires, technological and accidental hazards, and terrorist hazards.
Each emergency has its own considerations and you should keep each one in mind when preparing to meet the challenges of the world we live in today.
The basic necessities of life are all the same no matter who you are or where you live. You need clean water, food, shelter, and heat (if it's cold outside).
To provide for your clean water needs, these are things to check and have on hand.
Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired by a plumber
Make sure all household faucets have aerators with flow restrictors
Choose appliances that are more water efficient
Install low-volume flush toilets
Install ultra-low-flow showerheads
Collect food waste in a container for composting rather than using a garbage disposal which requires a lot of water
Plant drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees
Use micro and drip irrigation, and soaker hoses to water vegetation
Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil and help control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water
Harvest rainwater from down spouts
For Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Floods, Volcanic Eruptions, Winter Storms and Extreme Cold
You should store at least one gallon of water per person per day. A normally active person needs at least one gallon of water daily just for drinking; however, individual needs vary depending on age, physical condition, activity, diet, and climate. It is best to store water in manageably sized containers that you can move when filled. If you can't afford enough small containers, it is better to use a few large storage containers than nothing at all.
To provide for your food needs, it is best to prepare for the worst disaster that is likely to happen in your area. Prepare for 6 to 12 months without access to food from stores. You can start small and buy what you can as you can afford it. A little is better than nothing. We recommend #10 cans of storable food for at least part of your supply, as they can survive many hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Cardboard boxes of food from the supermarket usually don't survive disasters very well. If your food gets wet or smashed it will do you no good.
At minimum, your family should have enough stored food to last 2 weeks. You can buy a few cans at a time or get a pre-planned supply.
To cook or warm your food, you will need some kind of stove you can use inside your home or shelter. It is a good idea to have something that has versatile fuel types. Propane will be the best choice, as it burns clean, but having the option to cook with wood is also very important as propane can run out or stop working. Our Volcano 2 stove is a good choice as it works with both.
After an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or flood, your home can become damaged and unsafe to live in. If you live in a city you can go to a designated public shelter. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345). If you live in the country, your best option is a temporary shelter like a canvas or nylon tent.
It is important to plan and prepare a way to keep warm when the power goes out. Most furnaces won't run without electricity even if they are gas. If you own your home your best option is to install a wood burning stove. You can cook on it as well as heat water for washing. If you need something inexpensive, we have small stoves for as little as $153. If you are renting and need a backup heating source, your best option is a Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater. They are safe to use indoors and produce a lot of heat.
Here are some additional resources for those interested in moving to the country and locations where you can survive the best in the United States.
Strategic Relocation Documentary - Strategic Relocation Book
Country Living University is a great video training series for those wanting to learn country living skills and reasons for moving out of the cities. Watch a free video on the three bigest reasons to move out of the cities.