Overwhelmed with all of this “prepping” stuff? Heck, all it takes to get overwhelmed is a trip to YouTube! Well don’t worry… I’m here for you. Take my hand, let’s look at this together. Let’s break this down into a more simplistic approach shall we?
Simplicity: what a beautiful word. Simply look at what you need. You need air, shelter, water, and food and in that order. If you look at the Survival Rules of Three, you can last about 3 minutes without air, about 3 hours without shelter (depending on the environment,) 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. So let’s look at this in order. (Assuming that you are going to stay in your home, I have put “shelter” at the end of the list because you already have a roof over your head. If you are homeless, I suggest that be your priority)
Here we go.
3 minutes without air. Yeah… you’re screwed. Moving on.
3 days without water. You need to plan on needing approximately 3 gallons of water per person per day (yes, you could get by with less, but 3 gallons would be comfortable.) You will need water for drinking, cooking, rehydrating your freeze dried foods, washing up dishes and for personal hygiene. (You might be in survival mode, but you still need to brush your teeth if you plan on keeping them. And you might want to wash your clothes at some point.) So if you have a couple of cases of bottled water stashed away, that’s a good start! Figure out how many days of water you need by multiplying the number of people who will be relying on it by 3 (don’t forget the pets!) and that is how many gallons of water you need per day.
Water need: # of people x 3= gallons needed per day. (Note to self- Add calculator here to figure how many gallons needed for different amt of people and different durations)
Here are some options: 1) Store water. 2) Purify water. 3) Both. (You sure can’t make it.) If you are storing water, you will want to use food grade containers and you should refresh it about every six months because things can start growing in there. Simply water your garden with it and refill your container to keep it fresh. You can even add a teaspoon of bleach to five gallons of water to keep out the yucky stuff.
If you want to purify water from a lake, stream or a stagnant puddle, you can do that too! We at Truprep feel that the Berkey System is the best out there for purifying water. You can put yucky water in the top (yucky seems to be my word of the day) and it comes out the bottom drinkable. No boiling or additives needed. If you do not have access to a body of water, you can put a 55 gallon water barrel under your down spout to catch rainwater to filter.
Okay. Freeze. This is A#1 important. You do not need to rush out and stock up on toothpaste and toilet paper if you do not have a water plan. Okay? Got it? We are simplifying here… water first.
After water, you need food. Here again you have options. You can store up some regular store bought canned foods, just be sure to use them up in a year or two. You can still eat it after that time frame but it will not maintain its nutrients after the stamped date. I rotate my cans; I put the new stuff in the back and use the stuff in the front first.
Something else you can do is store freeze dried foods. Freeze dried foods can last up to 20 to 30 years and will maintain its nutrients. Just make sure that you store it properly. It likes dry, cool and dark environments.
Here is another one for you: mylar bags and food grade buckets with oxygen absorbers. Mylar bags are great for putting up dry foods like this bread recipe. Food grade buckets are handy for putting up 50 lbs of rice, beans or sugar. Check out this video to see how it’s done.
If you are a do-it-yourself-er, you can do some canning. If you have time for a little garden, putting up food in mason jars can be very rewarding!
Okay, Freeze again. Let’s review: First comes water and then comes food. Got it? Okay, let’s move on… but not if you are getting overwhelmed. You can stop right here and then come back once you have your water and food started.
Shelter comes next. Under this category you would consider the following:
- Lighting and Heat = Fire and flashlights.
- Security – Weapons might be needed to defend your family in times of panic, but try to use that as a last resort. First start by securing your home. You can place a dowel rod at the base of your sliding glass doors so they cannot be forced open. The same can be used for windows. See how to here.
- Good Hygiene will help to keep you healthy, and that is important in a situation where you might not have access to a doctor.
- Speaking of not having access to a doctor, make sure you have access to a good First Aid kit
- Go-Bags (sometimes called a “Bug-Out-Bag”) are important to have in case your home is no longer an option, like if it is on fire. Yes it would be warm but not ideal living conditions. If you needed to hit the road, it is much easier if it has been planned ahead and prepared for. (by the way, this might be something to consider out of order. Remember that this list is a great guideline, not engraved in stone. There is some wiggle room here.)
So lets recap with some How-To advice if you are new to prepping and overwhelmed:
- Set an amount in your budget that you want to contribute to emergency preparing
- Spend your money in the most important categories first:
- Shelter (the order below can be mixed up a bit if it gets your panties in a wad)
- Light and Heat
- First Aid
I hope this has helped simplify things for you! Remember, this is a basic overview. If you see something out there that I did not cover (which you probably will,) simply look to see what category it falls into and see if you need it before the other things listed before it.