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.
Have you been asked by these questions before? What’s inside your fridge right now? Is your dog food or cat food edible by humans? Do you have an emergency meeting place for your family? Who’s going to get your kids in school, in case, you did not make it? Do you even have dogs at home? Well, these questions could be some what intimidating, privacy intruding, and all the more, unusual for you to answer. But, if you are familiar with emergency planning, you will instantly know that the inquirer may be talking your family’s preparation for emergency situations.
Emergency planning unfortunately is one of the least focused aspects of family safety planning. Your family may have been through all sorts of safety activities such as engaging in seminars about family emergence response, you may have all the books of safety and emergency for homes, you could be installing the most high tech security and alarm system in your house, but if you don’t have an emergency plan when that dreaded day comes, it would all be of no use.
Fortunately, you never have to add worry lines on your face. You can actually do something to prepare your folks of worst case scenarios. Remember, that when you do emergency planning, you consider all the possible threats, calamities and disasters that may come. Home related emergencies may include the most common, electrical or fire accidents, physical accidents such as falling from the stairs, to gas leak explosion, earthquake, typhoons and even burglar.
Your first step in emergency planning is to make a list of contacts to emergency units like the police, 911, fire department, hospital, clinic and technicians, in case of electrical appliance accidents. Make sure that you provide speed dial numbers like 911. It is also best to put this list beside the telephone table or in a place where telephone conversion is commonly held. The purpose of this is for every member of the family to familiarize the numbers every time they pick up the phone.
Emergency exits must also be clearly laid out in case of home invasion. And don’t forget to orient every member of the family of a designed place where you will be meeting in case all members are not present during an emergency. It is also good to recognize a relative leaving nearby as destination of refuge.
Finally, always keep and bring with you a family photo or individual photos of your family members. This is helpful in times when a member is missing. Remember, that emergency planning is not just plain planning; it’s a preparation for emergency situations.
Like I said in a previous post, There is no one size fits all bag, neither are the contents. The building of your bag is a personal project and should reflect your personal needs. I personally don’t think it is a good idea to go buy a cute little pre-configured “Survival Bag”. Here is a list of items to consider, you don’t have to pack everything, Choose what’s right for you. Click next to each for an example
- Small AM / FM Radio Preferably Solar Powered Like This One
- Batteries Large to Small (don’t pack ones you don’t need)
- Bar of Soap (unscented) eg Ivory
- Toothbrush Like This One
- 2 pairs of clothes
- Pair of Work gloves. Like These
- Cold Weather Gloves Like These
- Canteens, covers and cups Like This One
- Pocket Knife. Like This One
- Tactical or Boot knife. Like This One
- Sleeping Bag. Like This One
- Emergency Blankets Like These
- Waterproof Matches. Like These
- Spoon and Fork Like This One
- Small Stove. Like This One
- Military Cook Set Like This One
- Water Purifying Tablets. Like These
- Toilet Paper.
- First Aid Kit Like This One
- Over The Counter Medications Like Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, etc.
- MRE’s Like This One
- Whistle Like This One
- Cell Phone
- Solar Cell Phone Charger Like This One
- Portable Weather Radio Like This One
- Your Prescription Medications
This list is only the beginning, it could go on and on. You could include things like an mp3 player or bible. Just depends on your preferences and needs. These bags are really only meant to be temporary for short term disasters that require you to leave your home. You will never be able to live out of your bag forever. So additional preparations for long term may be needed.
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