Current political events have left many unsettled. Our country has been thriving on strife for over a year now, and the effects are showing up everywhere. I hope that all of you fulfilled your civic duty, and voted in this election. Win or lose, your participation is important. Hopefully, the national stage will settle down. But now it’s time to concentrate on some things you can do to make your life secure, no matter what happens…out there.
Let’s go through a list that will check your preparedness level…
Do you have a 72 hour kit? In case of an emergency, you should be able to stay in your home for at least three days. You should have enough food, water, and essentials to hunker down for 3 days. You should also have the means to heat part of your home, cook and go to the bathroom without plumbing or power. Three days is a minimum to get help mobilized and into an area. It could be much longer, so extra food, water and fuel is always good!
Is your car full of gas? This is one of the easiest things to do…yet it is essential in almost every scenario. Whether it’s a flood or tornado that you have to flee, or a kid who fell off the jungle gym and broke his arm…you don’t want to stop and get gas now. Plan to always keep the fuel gauge above the half mark. Above 3/4 is even better. The peace of mind I have knowing that I can get my kids and get home without delay is priceless.
These two items are the bare minimum that every person should have at all times…no exceptions.
These are elementary prepping. Whether you are a college kid in a dorm, a family in suburbia, or an older person in a retirement community…you need these. You can’t always expect help. There are times when the amount of time and resources is not equal to the need. There may not be enough rescuers to get to you, so you have to tough it out. You can spend a quiet couple of days at home, eating canned food and playing board games. You might spend a couple of days hungary and in the dark waiting to be rescued…that is up to you. Now we will go through intermediate preps.
Do you have a bug out bag? Some of you may have heard of this. There has been a lot of hype about them. You can put together a B.O.B. fairly easily. A bugout bag is simply a 72 hour kit in a bag. If there was a gas leak in the neighborhood, and a cop knocked on your door and said you need to leave in 5 minutes or less, you could grab BOB and be ok, even if you are living in your car or the park. Each person in your home should have a bag. There should be one for the pets too. It should be something you can throw in the trunk, or be able to carry if you have to walk or be loaded into an evacuation vehicle.
Is your car in good shape? You don’t want to be the guy in the movies who dies because his car won’t start. Changing the oil, checking the antifreeze, adding windshield wash, having good tires and carrying a spare are things every car owner should do. If you take care of your car it will take care of you.
Is your car winter ready? Do you have an emergency kit in the car? Jumper cables, a tow rope, flares, a blanket, food and water might not be needed every day, but the day you need them…they could save your life and your loved ones.
Do you have your papers in order? If a cop knocked on your door and said a fire was coming…could you get all your important papers (birth certificates, titles, insurance policies ,etc) and get out? All these essential papers should be in an accordion file or binder that you could grab on a moment’s notice.
Do you have an evacuation plan? Just like you make a plan to escape your home in case of a fire, you should plan for emergencies. If your kids are at school, how will you contact them. Will you pick them up or your spouse? Will everyone get home or to Grandma’s? If you have a disaster, will the college kid stay put, or drive home? These are decisions that are best discussed before the problem so kinks can be ironed out. Having the same plan for everyone helps, especially if cell service goes down.
If you make it a priority to get these things done, you will be better prepared than more than half the population.
Christmas is coming. Maybe this year, you could invest in your children’s safety rather than their toybox. The items in my kids’ bugout bags were Christmas gifts. A good sleeping bag for each person is a much better buy than another video game. I hope this list motivates you to get you house in order. Most of us can’t do anything about current political events or the weather, but we can control how prepared we are to face the problems that come our way.