Well, we made it to December 22, 2012, something the Mayan’s never thought we’d do! As we got closer and closer to December 21, 2012, the last date on the Mayan calendar, some began speculating that this was an ancient prophecy about an impending doomsday! Most of us just used doomsday 2012 as fodder for some great jokes!
But there are still people who believe that some kind of doomsday is headed our way, whether it be a financial collapse, a nuclear event, or a natural disaster. A couple week ago we looked at some of these so-called “Doomsday Preppers” and I asked the question if you could prepare for a disaster without going (or being) crazy.
Now that the Mayan Calendar has come and gone, the media will stop talking about doomsday but there is still importance in being prepared. Doomsday 2012 might not be upon us but here are a couple things to keep in mind when thinking about a disaster, even if it’s as simple as an extended power failure. I’ve listed a couple steps you can take to be prepared and also given you examples of how a Prepper might go further to plan for these situations. Feel free to find a happy medium!
Water is Essential
Bottled water is one of the first things to go from the stores when a disaster is pending! That’s because experts say that you need 1 gallon of water per person per day, just for cooking, drinking, etc. That doesn’t count bathing, flushing the toilet, etc.
- Prepared: Even though some bottled water has an expiration date printed on them they won’t go “bad.” So pick up a few of those 2.5 gallon water jugs and store them in a cool, dark closet. You can also get water purification tablets or a backpacking water filter if you are going to be on the move.
- Prepper: Buy several 55-gallon water drums and fill them using rain collection devices connected to your drain spouts. You can also buy water tanks that fit directly in your bathtub and even drink filter water from your hot tub!
Pack the Pantry
Having the right foods on hand during an emergency is vital to survival. Canned foods and dry foods (like beans and rice) are essential to have on hand. And don’t forget the fruits and vegetables! Just like the water, food should be stored in cool, dark places and kept away from moisture.
- Prepared: Each time you go grocery shopping add a couple extra cans of assorted foods to store away in case of an emergency. As the expiration dates get close to rolling around you can cycle these foods into your normal pantry and replace them.
- Prepper: Packing food like rice and beans in mylar bags inside 6-gallon food-grade buckets can keep dry foods for up to 10 years. At a minimum you will want to have a year’s worth of food for your entire family and ideally a way to replenish that supply (garden, greenhouse, etc.)
Don’t Forget to Take Your Meds
The longer a disaster lasts the more important it is to be medically prepared, especially if you require prescription meds.
- Prepared: Make sure you have a well-stocked first aid kit, including instant ice packs and large bandages. Also refill any prescriptions or restock over the counter meds well before they run out so you won’t be left high and dry in the case of a disaster.
- Prepper: In addition to stocking up on prescription and OTC meds, preppers like to make sure they will be able to treat illness and infections. Most fish antibiotics are safe and effective for humans and can be picked up pet stores and stored for long periods of time.
Are You Ready to “Bug Out?”
Chances are, you already have many of the things you need to survive a short-term disaster; the question is, do you have them ready to go at a moment’s notice? When the hurricane is headed your way, do you really want to hunt through all your camping gear to find that headlamp or extra bottle of propane?
- Prepared: Spend a little time to organize the things you already have so you can throw a couple of storage bins in the car and be ready to bug out. This includes survival equipment as well as important documents like birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.,
- Prepper: Install a underground bunker to protect all your preps AND your family in case of a disaster. Or have a bug-out location that is easily accessible that has all your preps. Have extra gas on hand so you can make it to your bug-out location without having to wait in line at the gas station, even if your tank is empty!
How Do you Want to Pay for That
Forget a financial meltdown, accessing your money could be near impossible, even with an extended power failure. If you’re not financially prepared to pay for things in a crisis situation you may be stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in!
- Prepared: Have a couple hundred dollars in cash on hand, preferably in small bills. This will release you from your dependency on the credit or debit card in the case of a power outage.
- Prepper: In addition to paper currency, start collecting precious metals like silver and gold. This way if the value of the U.S. dollar becomes non-exsistant you will be able to barter using silver your silver and gold. Both can be purchased in small quantities over the internet or at local brokers.