How to Prepare for Disasters—for the Non-Prepper

Don’t Let the Word Survival Scare You

Most people think prepping is for those funny people on TV who sit around the dinner table reading the bible with their gas-masks holding a rifle. I get it. We’ve all see the TV shows about Preppers or at lease we’ve heard about people who live off the grid, buying guns and amo, cases of food, building bunkers up in the mountains; but that’s not most people.

What about us city folk who live in apartments and will likely never go camping, let alone build bunkers full of supplies? Well, the answer is simple. Like the title of this article points out, you don’t have to be a prepper to prepare.

Prepping was never really meant to be a lifestyle or a way of life for the average person out there, it was meant to help you and your family survive natural and man made disasters, that’s it. It’s great if people want to live the outdoors lifestyle and be preppers, but you don’t have to live that way in order to prepare for hard times and disasters, including situations such as the recent riots, violence and civil unrest.

You should think of preparing for a disaster like you think about career planning, family planning, retirement planning or financial planning. It’s something you add to your life, it doesn’t become your life, it’s something you do to have a complete, safe and well planned life. Financial safety and physical safety for your family, that’s what we’re talking about.

There are those nature types who love the outdoors and choose to live that lifestyle, and that’s great for them. However, what I want to share with you here is how simply you can be ready for extended periods of time that you cannot leave your house, or your trapped due to a flood, earthquake, riots or as we’ve all experience, shut in orders due to a worldwide pandemic.

So next time we won’t be caught off guard.

It takes nothing to buy a First Aid Kit, a box or two of dehydrated food, storable water and throw it under your bed or in a closet. Having some basic supplies like flashlights, batteries, a knife and a backpack tucked away somewhere takes as little effort as buying that extra pair of shoes you ware once and throw in your closet and never use again. Voila, done! Now you have at least enough supplies to last three or four weeks without power, gas or government services.

I will recommend a bit more of course, but you certainly get the idea here.

Preparing for the unexpected doesn’t have to cost a lot nor does it mean you’re going to move to the mountains and live off the grid. It simply means you’re going to buy some extra supplies and groceries every time you can. For example, if you go shopping for the week like my family, just buy some extra groceries and supplies every week, it adds up quickly.

The Next time you go to the grocery story, buy two or three cans of tuna-fish or soup or ramen noodles, granola bars, energy bars, cookies, crackers, beef jerky, or whatever you like. But purchase the items that can be stored for a very long time, and the great news is that they’re inexpensive too.

Also, buy a pack or two of extra toilet paper every week, as we learned recently, TP goes quick when there’s a run on supplies. So buy your weekly supply, then buy a few extras on top of it and don’t use them, just store them in a closet, pantry, under the bed, in a closet, etc, then next week, do the same until you have a good supply of extra TP and food. But the following week, buy your normal supplies, don’t use your extras, that is for storage and emergencies.

There are a few things I would recommend that you buy that are out of the ordinary, such as what local emergency management personnel (and preppers) call a go-bag or a bug-out-bag, which contains items you would need to survive for 72 hours when evacuating from a disaster or leaving in a hurry. There are also kits designed to last longer than 72 hrs. that you can put together yourself or purchase ready made.

A well packed go-bag would have saved a lot of lives when hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, however we really weren’t prepared for something like that back then. It would have also saved lives and helped people during the hurricanes of the last few years. We’ve seen entire neighborhoods and cities underwater.

However since then, we’ve been hit with just about everything imaginable, from massive hurricanes, to actual tsunamis where hundreds of thousands of people died, to floods, to massive worldwide riots, terrorist attacks, and to top it all off we have a pandemic that we’ve not experienced in 100 years and actual civil unrest with violence in the streets.

The world has really thrown more at us lately than we can keep up with, certainly more than we’re used to. As unfortunate as it all is, it’s also good examples of why non-preppers, the average-everyday person out there should at least prepare with the basics.

So really the point is, don’t wait. We have been hit so many times lately, and quickly, and unexpectedly that nowadays it’s almost a must to be prepared to some extent.

Every city that is in a hazard area, like the Midwest with tornadoes, coastal cities, and inner cities all tell their residents to prepare for between a week to three weeks because they won’t be able to help you before then. You may very well be on your own for anywhere between 1 and 4 weeks. How will that feel with no water, food or TP?

This advice isn’t coming from a bunch of paranoid people who love the prepper’s lifestyle, this is coming from rescue workers, your city’s emergency management personnel, your local police, your fire department, your Mayor, your City Councilmembers and just about ever safety expert on the planet.

I hate to be this direct, but if you fail to act and something (more) happens and you’re stuck without supplies, it’s your fault.

You’ve been warned and told by just about everyone. Your family will have no food, and it’s because you didn’t listen to everyone under the sun telling you to prepare for a disaster.

So HERE is a list of basic supplies for your Go-Bag that you should have ready at all times, like a savings account.

And HERE is a larger more complete list you can use if you want to survive (in relative comfort) for an extended length of time in your home.

But the basic idea is what I mentioned earlier, buy extra storable food every week, or every time you hit the grocery store. Then buy the extras when you can. And the extras are listed HERE.

And you’ll defiantly need water, so invest in extra water. Unopened bottled water products can usually be stored for long periods of time, provided the bottles are kept in the proper environment. Typically, bottled water manufacturers indicated a shelf life of 1-2 years. Water itself does not go bad, but the plastic bottle it’s contained in does “expire,” and will eventually start leaching chemicals into the water. There are solutions.

Glass bottles of water, Emergency Water Packets or there is a special brand of water that is storable for 50 years. They use special cans that keep the water good longer than most of us will be alive. It’s called Blue Can, which you can buy HERE. I would also recommend a good and portable water filter for emergencies, which you can buy HERE.

So either way, buy lots of storable extra food and water first, then start buying first aid kits, go bags, candles, flashlights, knives and axes etc. After you have the basics covered, then you can learn the more advanced or longer term survival skills and buy more supplies and equipment.

But do start. It’s easy and inexpensive, and it’s not going to be all consuming. A little extra here and there.

However, fair warning, if you don’t start now, chances are that with the way the world is these days, you’ll be left with nothing when you need it most.

Learn from recent events, we’ve all been affected in one way or the other. So start preparing now.

Best of luck.

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