It’s always best to be ready for even the worst possibility, but ensuring that you’re as prepared as possible is a tricky task. Many beginners don’t know where to start or what to do in order to properly prepare for emergency situations.
The Internet is loaded with information on the topic, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. You don’t need to become an expert overnight. You simply need to create a good foundation for your own prepping practices using these tips.
The Essential Building Blocks of a Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag is a bag or case that holds essential items for nearly every emergency situation. It is a necessity for anyone who is interested in prepping. The bug out bag itself should be very rugged and sturdy. It should be able to withstand abuse and water without significant damage.
The most vital bug out bag supplies include:
- Bottled water
- Any necessary medications for people and pets
- Water purification tablets and/or a water filtration system
- Fully stocked first-aid kit
- Duct tape
- Hand crank radio
- Cell phone
- Hand crank charger for phone
- Bug spray
- Emergency whistle
- Flashlight and/or head lamp
- Protein and energy bars
- Freeze dried meals
- Small pan
- Portable stove
- Stove fuel
- Fire starter
- Can opener
- Eating and cooking utensils
- Metal plates and cups
- Fishing line
- Thick socks
- Wool hat
- Rain poncho
- Sleeping bag
- Extra batteries for every device
You’ll also need self-defense items in your bug out bag. While a knife is a good start, it’s also a great idea to have pepper spray and a taser. It’s best to have a firearm safely stored in your bug out bag with a good supply of ammunition.
If you’re not skilled or familiar with firearms, you’ll have to learn to be comfortable and safe with them. There are firearm safety courses available in most areas that don’t take much time to complete.
Create a Plan with Your Family
In the event of a major emergency, you and your family should know exactly what to do.
For example, they should know what items to grab, what to do with pets, everyone should each have specifically assigned tasks, and there should be a safe meeting place in the house, such as the basement or a bomb shelter, where everyone can gather.
Get in Shape
Survival is tough work. You won’t make it through any serious emergency situation for very long if you don’t have the strength and stamina to keep moving forward.
Create and maintain a regular exercise routine to help build muscle and improve endurance.
Human beings can live for three weeks without food, but they can only live for about a week without water. Storing water is easy, especially if you buy cases of bottled water in bulk.
You can also store water in gallons, barrels, jugs and any other suitable clean container.
Be Smart About Food Storage
A good emergency food supply has a wide array of foods. Foods that are high in calories, protein and nutrients are essential. If you have pets, stock up on food and some treats for them as well.
Store foods that everyone in your family enjoys, and include some of everyone’s favorite snacks, as long as they’re not quickly or easily spoiled, to keep spirits high.
Remember, emergency foods aren’t just canned goods. They’re also dried, freeze dried, and any other food that has a very extended expiration date.
Always Keep Learning and Building Your Skills
One of the biggest mistakes people make with prepping is thinking that they’ve learned all there is to know and becoming stagnant with their skills. There is always more to learn about preparing for emergencies. There are endless websites to explore, books to read, videos to watch and more methods to learn about prepping.
You also need regular practice on your skills to keep them sharp. Letting your knowledge and skills fall to the wayside is a recipe for disaster when an emergency strikes no matter how many supplies you’ve bought.