By March 30, 2012 Read More →

Beginning to Prep – Things to Consider

This week has been a crazy week as I have been thinking about where to start and getting my Gear organized and inventoried.

In my last blog we discussed a little about preparing your BOB, (bug out bags) and to take it slow and plan it accordingly. So today, we will discuss how to begin and some things to consider.

A few things you should ask yourself are:

  •  What sort of disaster am I preparing for? There are many, tornado’s, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, personal safety (Stalkers, etc…), job loss, economical collapse, the list go on and on.
  •  How many people/animals should I be prepping for? (Husband, wife, kids, sisters, parents etc..)
  •  What time frame would I like my BOB to have? 24 hours, 72 hours, an indefinite way to survival?

Depending on what you’re preparing for, here are a few ideas for a 24 or 72 hour BOB. You would want your basics of course.  For starters, you want a good sturdy back pack for each family member.  After many trials, we noticed that ones with wide, padded straps for carrying are best.  The thinner straps cut into your shoulders.

Things you will want to have in these bags might be;

  •  extra copies of each person’s ID/Drivers licenses
  •  medications to sustain those who need them
  •  extra changes of clothes
  •  toothbrush/toothpaste
  •  baby wipes
  •  your basic hygiene needed items.
  •  a small bible
  •  snacks
  •  Some small trash bags or a mesh bag for dirty clothes
  •  Oh, and don’t forget deodorant! You don’t want to be stinking up the car. lol

It is also a good idea to carry some extra cash for gas to get to your destination or a motel for a few nights or a week depending on the circumstances.  If your home gets destroyed by a tornado, you will definitely be glad you have these bags to keep you going.  Maps with pre-mapped destinations are also a great idea to keep in your bags.

A lot of people have MRE’s (meals ready to eat) like our fabulous military men carry in war. While those can be good they are also heavy, which is something to consider. For my family we make our own MRE’s. We have a food saver vacuum sealer that we use for everything; it saves a lot of money versus buying already made meals.

We seal things like Ramon noodles, powdered soups, oatmeal  so they are not as bulky.  When we go to Sam’s we buy a big container of powdered Gatorade/ pink lemonade and in each of our packs I seal up a gallons worth of it.  If you split one into four, it’s a quart of Gatorade a piece so each of your family members would get plenty of electrolytes for energy and re hydration.  Along with that, I also pack a few zip lock baggies to put the remainder powder into once it’s opened.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer there are other ways to package food and water.  In the camping sections at places like Wal-Mart or army/navy stores, there are prepackaged meals that are smaller, made for hikers and campers.  You just add water.  You can also find prepackaged water as well.  Do a search on numerous survival/camping web sites for prepackaged drinking water.  In my families pack we each have a 1 quart water canteen, and I keep several gallons of fresh water in the trunk of the car and in our home.  Also several cases of bottled water, but that is just my preference.

We have two children, ages 12 and 10, so we also pack things like beef jerky, granola bars, raisins, nuts, small things that last a long time that they like to snack on.  It all just depends on what your family likes to eat, but it is wise to pack foods that don’t need refrigeration.  Check your items on a regular basis to make sure they are still good.

If you have a dog or a cat, you can’t forget their need to eat as well, they depend on ya’ll!  So a gallon size bag or vacuum sealed bag with a few days’ worth of dry food is a great idea to and will also be one less thing you have to worry about or purchase in a stressful time.

Practice Drills can save your life:

One important thing your family can do is practice drills. Make sure your children know what to do in an emergency situation. Plan a place for you to all meet up to evacuate, if need be, so everything is organized.  We keep our packs in our garage close to our car so we can grab and go, but for those with small children, you don’t want to be searching for them because they are scared if there is a tornado or earthquake.  Make sure they know to stay calm and to go immediately to your meeting spot.

Knowledge s power and being prepared for these things can save yours and your children’s lives.  Having children that are scared and in a panic state can be one of the worst things that can happen when you need them to deal with the situation at hand.

These are just a few things to consider keeping in a 3 day survival bag for each family member of your house hold. Being prepared for this will ease your mind in the long run. You don’t want to have a damaged home due to tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or fire and not have a few basic essential’s to make it easier to deal with for your family.

A very wise quote by David Meyer “Its better to be prepared ten years early than 10 minutes to late,”  from his article on Society’s Five stages of Economic collapse.

Remember my friends, you don’t have to rush out and buy all these items at once. When you see toothpaste on sale at the store for a dollar, buy one for each pack instead of a big bag of chips. If you buy twin packs of deodorant, put one in your bag. Build as you go so this doesn’t hit your pocket hard.   Please feel free to comment with your ideas, thoughts or questions!!

Keep it Spicy,

Jalapeño Gal

Please visit my store: Jalapeño Gal’s Survival Surplus

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About the Author:

Cari is an editor and author for American Preppers Network. Her family currently live in Georgia. Cari spends her free time gardening, canning, testing products for review, helping others prepare and going to the gym. She believes preparedness is about love and taking care of your family. Cari also has her own website where she shares all of her preparedness articles and her recipes for canning, dehydrating, juicing, basic cooking. To have a look and hopefully follow her: Click Here! Please Join My New Blog!

7 Comments on "Beginning to Prep – Things to Consider"

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  1. Dave S says:

    In the post you mention you create your own ‘MRE’s’

    Would you detail what items you include


  2. We buy freeze dried fruit and vegetables, but we also include things like boxes of raisins or other dried fruits that will last a long time. We also vaccum seal nuts such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. We add things such as beef jerky which you have to rotate out on occasion because even beef jerky won’t last forever. I vacuum seal Ramon noodles with the seasoning packets and for energy and electrolytes we seal Gatorade mix to add to our water. The kids have instant oatmeal in their packs because they love oatmeal. These are just a few things i make for us but it depends on what you or your family like. The important thing to remember is to add stuff that has a long shelf like and to rotate it out on occasion.