How Prepared Are You?
by Pat Henry, Ready Nutrition
The Prepping Community’s most active discussion revolves around preparing for disasters. Not that disasters or zombies are our only focus. The broader topic of prepping involves a lot of discussion and debate on various subjects. At the end of the day though, it comes down to how prepared you are when that disaster that forms the motivation behind our prepping, strikes. We can talk tactics and strategy all day long. We can debate which firearms are best or even necessary if the grid goes down. We can plan to defend our neighborhoods from lootersor scoff at the notion that something like that could be necessary. We could write tomes on a thousand ways to build a fire out of nothing more than belly button lint and a tennis shoe, but when the disaster happens you are going to be playing the hand you are dealt. At that time, you will not be able to run to the store most likely for those last-minute supplies and what you have in your pantry or stored in your basement will be what you have to ride out that disaster.
Whatever skills you have learned will be at your disposal, but those plans for that tactical pistol class you kept putting off will be just that, plans. The best intentions to take that Wilderness First Responder class that you had meant to look into for the spring would be of no value to you. The garden you had been putting off for 10 years never got created and now, that grassy patch in your backyard is still not producing anything that will keep you alive.
Time’s Up! How Prepared Are you?
One of the motivations that drive my prepping efforts is the concern that if something happened today I would only have what I have. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be that bad off, but I wouldn’t have everything I think would be ideal in my ideal situation. I also know that having a couple of years’ worth of freeze-dried food doesn’t ensure you will live through any disaster, but every little bit helps.
Prepping is a series of steps that you can take toward a set of goals. You can start at a million different places and I know that there are different situations each of us face that make our personal preparation story different from person to person. However, there are some things that I think are universal that we all need in order to live.
There are certainly other things you need to live in an ideal state. For example, the list above doesn’t take hygiene or medical needs into consideration. You certainly won’t find an entertainment option above; that is unless your idea of fun is shooting water bottles, but the list above is what I consider the most important categories for survival.
If disaster happened today, how prepared are you? If you faced TEOTWAWKI this afternoon as you pulled into the driveway, how would you fare? Try this exercise when you get home tonight. Sit down with a piece of paper, take a look at all of your various prepping supplies, grab a pencil and ask yourself the following questions.
Before you start, here are the ground rules:
Assumptions – First off, when the disaster strikes, you are not able to run out to the store for anything. Some crisis has happened. The power is out and you are unable to leave your immediate area out of safety concerns. You are unable to bug out at the present time and are forced to shelter in place. There is no imminent danger but all services are completely inoperable.
Q. – How much water do you have stored for each person you are prepping for?
Q. – Do you have a source for water when your stored water runs out? Do you live near a lake, pond or have a stream nearby?
Q. – Do you have a means to purify your water?
How prepared are you when it comes to water?
Now that you have asked yourself the questions above, where do you stand in the water category?
- The recommended amount of water stored is one gallon per person per day. If your water supply is contaminated like the several instances last year, specifically Charleston, VA will you have water to drink, cook with and bathe?
- Do you need to stock up more or are you OK? If so, for how long? Evaluating this list of questions myself, I admit I am not where I would like to be ideally. I have several hundred gallons of capacity, and plenty of renewable resources, but I would like to increase my in-home storage. I am also looking to increase rain storage capacity with a 250 gallon tank. Something for me personally to work on.Water is more easily stored in larger containers, but this is a space consideration. 7 gallon water containers that stack are easy to use, carry and allow you to begin your water storage plans.
- Water Containers should be clean and ideally have not had any other chemicals or liquids in them.
- Unless you have a NORAD style bunker under your home, I would bet money you don’t have a ridiculous amount of water stored so whatever you have will run out.
- Bodies of water and even rain barrel systems provide the best redundant source of water, but you will need to figure out how you will carry water to and from. I recommend a heavy duty yard cart to easily carry the weight of even a few dozen gallons.
- There are many ways to make water safe that are detailed on several posts from the Prepper Journal. My personal preferred method is gravity filters. For home use that can easily handle several gallons at a time, I have a Big Berkey. If I am on the go, such as bugging out, I think a filter like the Platypus GravityWorks makes getting safe water, nearly effortless. This method could work for home too, but the Big Berkey has a much higher capacity.
Q. – How many calories do you have stored for each person you are prepping for?
Q. – Do you have a source of food once your stored food is gone?
Q. – Do you have capacity to store foods that do not require refrigeration?
How prepared are you with food?
Now that you have asked yourself the questions above, how are you doing in the food department?