Beginner's Guide - 10 Steps to Emergency Preparedness
Updated: Aug 13
Where do I start? Is it too late? How do I begin?
Not to worry, prepping doesn't need to be expensive or complicated and it's worth the peace of mind. Start today with these smart easy, frugal 10 steps.
Step 1 - Identify the most likely threats to your well being.
Your priorities will be determined by what you believe are the most likely threats that could affect you and your family. Make a list and prioritize the most likely situation.
In your area what natural disaster could occur?
earth quake, volcano, forest fire, etc.
What extreme weather event is possible for your location?
tornado, hurricane, severe winds, flood, etc.
What type of personal disaster might affect you?
job loss, serious illness, loss of a family member, etc
What man-made events are highly possible that might impact you and your family?
power grid failure, gasoline shortage, terrorist attack, etc.
Step 2 - Examine your financial situation.
It is possible to prepare with a limited budget and it is best not to go into debt as that will only add stress. Use the funds you have to buy at thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales and dollar stores. Aim to be self-sufficient for at least 2 weeks. Each step you take will help you reach your goal.
Step 3 - Food storage.
Store one month of non-perishable food per person. Begin by takings and inventory of your pantry then stock up on canned vegetables, fruits, meats, and beans. Add rice, pasta, and a variety of herbs and seasonings.
Step 4 - Non - Food Items.
Consider and track your usage of cleaning supplies, laundry soap, extra prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. Your pets will need a supply of food, medication and supplies. Buy extra when on sale or use coupons.
Step 5 - Water is vital!
Store at least 2 gallons of water per person / day for drinking, cooking, bathing, and laundry. A family of four needs at least 56 gallons / week.
Sturdy containers are best. Use a combination of 2 Liter soda bottles cleaned and filled with water plus 5 gallon containers of water.
Protect against tainted water supplies, a power grid failure that would disable city water treatment plants or long-term droughts.
Step 6 - Plan for power outages.
Have on hand solar lanterns, batter-powered fans, battery packs such as those from Goal Zero and Jackery. Off grid methods for cooking food and heating water, such as rocket stoves and solar cookers, will provide hot meals. Their are DIY construction plans available online. The Sun Oven solar cooker is one of the best on the market.
Plan to maintain a safe indoor temperature both in the summer and the winter. Consider a generator and better weatherizing your home.
Step 7 - Prepare for family health crisis
.Have a well-equipped first aid kit and good first aid books such as "The Survival Medicine Handbook" by Dr. Joseph Alton and Amy Alton. Take classes in CRP and first aid from the Red Cross or wilderness training organizations. Be able to manage low level medical emergencies when access to hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies is limited or unavailable.
Step 8 - Stay fueled.
Create a rotation plan for gasoline storage if you have a room in your garage. Gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months or more, depending on its ethanol content. Extend the shelf life by adding a fuel stabilizer, such as Stabil according to the directions.
A simple plan is to mark three gas cans with a sharpie #1, #2, #3. Use the can in the front to fill your vehicle, lawn mower, motorcycle or other engine, refill it, and place it at the back of the line. Each month use the front gasoline can, this way you always have several gallons stored and your fuel will be continually rotated.
Step 9 - Keep your vehicle ready.
Do regular maintenance, set aside money each month to cover the expense or learn to do the maintenance yourself.
Items to have in your vehicle:
Blankets and long-sleeved shirts for warmth in the winter or protection from the sun in the summer.
Bottled water tightly capped as an emergency supply. Leave head space in the bottle if there is a chance of freezing.
Have cash hidden as ATM machines will probably not be working during a power outage.
Have a paper road map as you may not have GPS and need to find an alternate safe route away from danger.
Step 10 - Have a secondary form of transportation.
Have a bicycle with a small trailer or basket, or prepare to walk in case your vehicle becomes inoperable or gasoline is not available.
Begin today with these smart strategies for frugal prepping and you'll make sure your family is ready for emergencies.
The above notes were taken from an article written in The Epoch Times by Lisa Bedford.
She is the author of “Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios.” She founded The Survival Mom blog in 2009, and continues to teach families around the world how to be prepared for life’s challenges.