I debated for quite a while on whether I should title this post – You’re Not Paranoid, They Are Out To Get You! It seemed like such a negative comment on what is going on around us these days. But let’s be honest, there are things going on in the world that are just unprecedented – at least here in America. It’s nothing personal, one minute you’re minding your own business and the next you’re caught in a “street disturbance” or a terrorist’s evil action. Of course, our view of the world can only be derived from what we’ve personally experienced or witnessed. Worrisome events have been worse and at times they have been quite limited in our history. Certainly, the era of World War II would have been considered worse. The Cold War era was also a time of constant awareness of what could happen. I can remember diving under a desk a time or two in elementary school. Fun times.
So, here’s what we have going on these days:
- A scary and unstable geopolitical landscape
- Adverse weather events
- Terrorism on American soil
- Civil unrest
- Hypersensitivity to everything these days. It seems everyone is overly sensitive or offended by something, either real or imagined, and are willing to use violence to express their dissatisfaction.
What can you do?
Learn a useful trade skill. If we should ever encounter the apocalyptic times of Mad Max, you would be considered a “keeper” if you had a useful skill. A few of the useful trade skills are:
- Medical professional
Now, what you should know on a personal level is some basic survival skills like:
- How to start a fire
- How to build a shelter
- How to use a bow and arrow or slingshot
- How to fish and hunt
- How to perform basic first aid and CPR
- How to sew and/or knit
- How to hot-wire a car
- How to drive a stick shift (manual transmission) vehicle
- How to operate a motorcycle
Build a survival supply stash and keep it stocked and up to date. The easiest way to do this is to buy pre-assembled kits that will be there, ready to serve your needs for 15 to 25 years. At a minimum you should have:
- A kit for each of your vehicles
- A kit for food
- A general family survival kit for any disaster or emergency situation
- A first aid kit
- A kit for each pet
If you want to build your own stash, you’ll need the following basic items:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home).
- Flashlight (preferably solar or hand crank)
- Battery-powered or hand-crank Radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, soap and toothpaste
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies), family and emergency contact information. (You can sign-up for our newsletter and receive a free Family Disaster Plan.)
- Cell phone chargers and power banks
- Extra cash
- Emergency blankets
- Map(s) of the area
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Games and activities for children
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Manual can opener
- N95 or surgical masks
- Lighter or matches
- Work gloves
- Plastic sheeting or tarp
- Duct tape
- Household liquid bleach
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Personal protection devices
Of course you’ll need a greater quantity of these items if you plan on surviving an apocalyptic event like nuclear war or a world wide famine or epidemic.
I hope that this basic information is just the spark you need to get started and be prepared. Don’t worry about becoming that “paranoid guy”. Nobody needs to know that you’re preparing for an adverse weather event or the great apocalypse. In fact, it’s in your family’s best interest that you keep your preparation efforts to yourself. By keeping your efforts quiet, you will be avoiding your friends and neighbors potentially psychotic behavior once an emergency situation arises, and they learn you were smart enough to be prepared. Think about it for a moment – how do you think they would act if they knew you had food and water and they didn’t? They would probably not act very friendly or neighborly. Of course, there is nothing wrong with setting aside some supplies for other people but, I would suggest you not reveal what you have in your main stash. In fact, as a true friend or neighbor, I would advise that you encourage them to get prepared as well. It will only make everyone’s situation that much better.
Hopefully, you’re not thinking that your favorite government agency has your back. The government is not a bad back-up plan but because they are so big and bureaucratically bloated, they cannot react as quickly as you can with a well thought out plan. With a little preparation, only you can truly take care of your family. With a little preparation, only you can act immediately to provide for your family in a timely fashion. With a little preparation, only you can keep your family from standing in a government line waiting for a hand out, which from my point of view is a very sad and unnecessary situation.
Good luck and happy preparing. Also, don’t forget to donate your time, money or blood to the Red Cross for disaster relief. Remember, “What goes around, comes around”.