1. Not keeping track of what you have.
If your anything like me your space is limited to where you can store items and food you have bought. So you may have several locations within your home, or apartment you store your preps. If you don’t keep track of what you have a couple of things can happen. a) You may not be able to find items you need during an emergency. b) You buy unneeded items because you already have 10 of them and have forgotten about them. So it’s a good idea to keep an inventory list of all the items you have and where they are located. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy just something you can reference when you need it. Say when your shopping for preps or looking for your candles during a power outage.
2. Don’t keep your preps in plain view.
Keeping your preps out of site outside your home is just common sense, people are no where near as honest as they used to be, some will steal your last bite of food if given the chance, even if they didn’t need it. But inside your home or apartment , you might not think about keeping your stuff out of site. You should! Because anyone that sees inside can potentially break in and take it if they know it’s there, especially if they need it for themselves during a disaster or such. They could just kill you and your family and take what they want. Here are a few tips to help. Be selective about who you let in your home or apartment, Keep the blinds or curtains closed to avoid prying eyes, Try to hide as much as possible inside because some situations are unavoidable, such as maintenance coming over to fix something or pest control. Now your maintenance person, pest control technician, or best friend most likely wont steal from you but, They may inadvertently bring up your preps in conversations with others that may, so be careful. Trust me people will show up at your door during a disaster or SHTF situation if they know your prepared for it and have supplies.
3. Not having a plan.
All the preps or survival gear are of no use if you don’t have a plan to use them. Because you don’t want to be decked all out in camo talking secret code on your 2 way radio, wielding a tomahawk just because the power is out for 20 mins. Ok I know most won’t do this but hey it could happen. In reality there are several things and types of emergencies you should plan for. Everything from a short term power outage, to teotwawki, and mass rioting. Know what you have and when to use it. A couple of plans I would suggest to start with are a home evacuation plan in case of fire, a get home plan for emergencies while your away from home such as at work, and a communications plan to communicate with your family and close friends during an emergency. There a lot more plans to create but this is a start. When you create your plans especially your communications plan be sure to involve who your trying to contact, you can’t contact your family if they are not aware how your planning on contacting them. Don’t share your plans with everyone but at least everyone involved in those plans.
4. Not buying ahead of time.
During the April 27, 2011 tornado that struck my county here in Alabama, people could not get simple things like water. I wanted to help by donating water to the town of Hackleburg, AL I had to drive 110 miles round trip to get a pickup truck load of water to donate. Everyone lost power a lot lost their homes, and family members. In the days following everyone flocked to the local stores to buy up what they needed to survive, but the stores didn’t have any, other people had bought it all already. You could not just go to Wal-Mart and get a case of water or loaf of bread, it was not that simple. So it is always a good idea to buy the stuff you need before you need it.
5. Not Keeping track of Expiration Dates.
I know that dates on food items are not exact expiration dates, because many items will keep past their posted expiration date. However, some foods really do not taste so good even when slightly past the date. The item may just not taste good, you could get sick or even worse, so be mindful of what you eat close to or past the expiration date. Take a marker and rewrite the date where it is visible and keep rotating your stock.
6. Storing water in weak containers.
Storing water in flimsy containers is asking for trouble. The container can break and flood the location you have it stored, Although flood is kind of a strong word for this situation unless you have water stored in a 100 gallon generic space bag. At the very lease you will have a mess to clean up but it could get much worse if your supplies are ruined because of a cracked container. I recommend storing your water in disinfected soda bottles or BPA free plastic containers.
7. Buying big ticket items you don’t have room for or not allowed to have.
If your planning on purchasing a large item such as a generator make sure you have a place to store it, you would not want to just leave it on the porch. If you live in an apartment or rental house make sure your lease does not forbid the item for some reason.
8. Only Preparing for Big Events
One mistake I have seen is people preparing for the large scale events that have a small chance of happening, while ignoring the smaller scale things that actually happen in their area. While I think a general approach to preparedness is best, I think it also makes sense to make sure we’re prepared to face the events that are most likely to happen in our area. For my area, that includes Tornados and Severe Storms
9. Having an Obsession With Prepping
A healthy, happy family is more important than extending your food stock another month. Everything in the family begins with the husband-wife relationship. Make sure that’s solid above all else, and everything else will fall into place.