You don’t have to be a “prepper” to be prepared. In light of the current situations of 46% of Texans, it has left me thinking about how prepared and not prepared we are for disaster situations. With this flood there is little you can prepare for and you could, in fact, have all the things I list below and you’d potentially lose it all in a flood. It has also been interesting to see just how many people think preppers or people who are preparing for disaster are crazy individuals. Let’s get one thing straight right now before we go any further. Making sure you and your family are safe and have provisions in the case of a disaster or even a massive power outage is the farthest thing from crazy. Period.
There are certainly different levels of being prepared and I wanted to share with you all a few of the things we have done to be more prepared and a few of things we would do or plan to do later:
- Get a Bug Out Bag. At the very least you should have a bug out bag that can supply your family with food and water for a week. It also will carry essential items you may need if you have to evacuate in your car to another location, or campsite. You can actually buy Bug Out Bags completely packed already and those prices vary from $50 to $400 (and probably more). Or you can buy a backpack or duffel bag and pack your own. Here are some items I would suggest packing in your bag:
- Camping food – these are the add water pouches you can buy at the sporting goods stores and even Wal-Mart has a limited selection. In our bag we have a 12 day supply of the Mountain House brand. In our trailer we have a 3 month supply from Wise Foods.
- Water- DO NOT pack water bottles. Water bottles are not good for long term storage as there is an amount of chemical leaching that happens from the plastic. If you plan to use and then replenish this stock of water bottles then go for it. Otherwise buy water in cans, it’s the best long term. Or purchase plastic storage containers that specifically say they are for long term. Pack a water filter, water purification tablets and even a life straw. You won’t be able to pack out enough water for the same week long period in your bag. You need to have enough water so that each person gets about a gallon a day. So plan to have water stored in something else to put in your vehicle or hope to find water elsewhere.
- Cooking gear – You need something to cook the food in and on. If you google backpacking cooking stove you can find several options that are perfectly portable and range in price from $20 on up. I even saw one on prime for $8.99…. So this does not have to be a major investment, although you do want it to work when you need it to. These work on propane and so you’ll need to purchase a few propane bottles as well. You can also find great collapsible pots online as well as in stores like Cabela’s and Bass Pro.
- Blankets, ponchos, a tarp… these things are super helpful for obvious reasons.
- Rope, bungees, zip ties…duct tape
- Matches, lighter and flint striker (always have various options for starting a fire)
- Flashlights, head lamps, candles
- Batteries for the flashlights
- Knives for various things – depends on what you are packing this bag for. Chances are you won’t need a bone saw, or even a hatchet but we have these as well as skinning knives etc.
- Flares and glow sticks can be helpful if you need to signal for help.
- First Aid kit
- Aspirin, antibiotics and extra meds that you may need.
- Garbage bags and a few ziploc bags
- Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, baby wipes
- Emergency radio
- If you want to plan to stay put in your home OR plan to make your RV your giant bug out bag like we have, you can do a few things differently….
- Water supply is easier to carry. Your home will most likely continue to have water in the case of most power outages. You will also have space for possibly a water barrel or two and canned water. RV’s can hold massive amounts of water at a time and it’s super easy to survive for a week with a tank of water in your RV.
- Food – You can keep canned food on hand in your home or RV easier than in a bug out bag. You can also order a month’s supply of food from Wise Food company and then you’ll have extra or be even more prepared. Then, if you don’t use it and you are nearing the expiration date then you can eat it for a month and save your food money and throw a party! Although, the expiration dates on the Wise Foods are usually 25 years so… party way later….
- Cooking gear – If you have natural gas in your home you are golden! You can easily cook whatever you need even if the power goes out. In our travel trailer we have a propane stove that works no matter if we are hooked up to electric or not. Propane is great because as long as you are not using it for heat, you can get months of use out one tank. But if you do not have this you can buy a camp stove and small propane bottles- some of these can be used indoors too.
- Generators – This is a big ticket item and we just recently got ours. We have wanted one for a year now, but it was really hard to shell out a few hundred dollars for it. BUT we found an amazing sale online at Cabela’s and were able to buy a $500 Champion 4,000 watt generator for $275. We could not pass that up! If you want to be able to power your refrigerator or RV you must invest in one or a solar power system. Solar, however, is more expensive if you are looking for a massive amount of power. Just do some research to figure out what you would need and what would be best for you.
- Gas cans – always keep some gas on hand. And you’ll need it if you have a generator.
It also helps to have a plan. Know several routes away from your house, one that uses back roads is always helpful. You should know how your neighborhood reacts to flooding so that you don’t accidentally end up driving across high water. Make sure your family knows where to go to meet or where you would be in the case of emergency.
All of this of course is mere suggestion. Do your own research and figure out what is best for you and your family. You may feel good just knowing you have an extra week’s worth of food.
It all sounds and seems just a bit nuts I know. You will feel kind of crazy buying all this stuff too. Especially if you do it all at once. But you will feel better and more prepared and when the time comes to use it you will feel super happy you did.
Our bag has been a little pilfered since we have been on the go, our good flash lights and lanterns we use all the time. Our first aid kit does not live in the bag right now either.