Millions of Americans believe that life as we know it is on the verge of collapse. Any number of disasters could be looming just over the horizon at this point. From global warfare and nuclear weapons to an insurmountable disease that sweeps the globe, there are several possibilities. With that in mind, about 15 million families across the nation are openly preparing for worst-case scenarios.
Countless more are prepping covertly. After all, many don’t want to broadcast the fact that they’re getting ready to face disaster. That could bring about an entirely different set of problems to deal with, including unprepared neighbors trying to take advantage of their foresight. No matter what type of predicament you’re getting ready for or how open or secretive you are about doing so, certain supplies and equipment are essential parts of the process. You can find many of them through the right Prepper Shop.
What Do You Need to Be Prepared for Disaster?
Numerous tools and supplies could be considered essential in times of crisis. Some people keep only the basics in mind whereas others are looking to create a life that’s as comfortable as possible after a disaster. Which essentials you need will depend on your overall goals and priorities. Still, some items are universally important. Take a look at some of the high-priority items you’ll need to be ready for what’s to come.
An Adequate Supply of Water
Obviously, you’ll need an adequate water supply for your family. Without that, all your other preparedness efforts could be in vain. If you’re creating your own cache of water, plan for at least one gallon per person per day. For high-volume water storage, food-grade, BPA-free plastic containers are best. They’re tough and lightweight, and they won’t leach dangerous chemicals into your water.
If you store water for a long time, you’ll need to be sure it’s not riddled with microorganisms and other contaminants. Adding a teaspoon of bleach for every five gallons of water will safely and effectively purify your water supply. Bottled water is another option, but authorities recommend not drinking it if it’s more than two years old.
As an alternative, you could purchase personal water filters for each member of your family. Portable filters that can process higher volumes of water are also available. These devices filter out certain contaminants to make water safe to drink. They’re helpful if you’re facing disaster on the run or you don’t have a vast supply of water stored for emergencies. They don’t eliminate all potential hazards, though, so be sure to read the fine print to avoid falling victim to a false sense of security.
An Emergency Food Supply
Food, of course, is also a basic necessity. You’ll need a stockpile of nutritious, long-lasting foods to keep your family fed and healthy. Canned foods are a go-to option here. They last a long time, and they’re packaged in sturdy containers to protect them from contaminants. They’re also readily available at the supermarket, so you can add them to your stash little by little.
As is the case with bottled water, though, canned foods have a shelf life. They won’t last forever. Some last for a year or so whereas others can hold out for a few years. If you’re relying on canned goods for your emergency food supply, be sure to keep watch over their expiration dates.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are a great alternative. They can last a couple decades or more as long as they’re stored properly. An extensive selection of these options is available, pre-packaged and ready to add to your emergency food stockpile. If you want to create your own food supply or supplement the commercial options, you could grow a garden and can a selection of vegetables at home. Consider purchasing a dehydrator to make your own meat jerky and dried fruits and vegetables as well. Hunting and fishing will also greatly expand your options.
With plenty of water and food on hand, you’ll need protection against the elements. A variety of shelters is at your disposal. Bunkers are an increasingly popular choice, but you’ll need plenty of land for one of those. Having a bunker put in is a significant investment as well, so that’s not the best choice for everyone. Bunkers aren’t mobile, either. If you need to leave your property to weather a disaster, you can’t take a bunker with you.
Tents are a more mobile and affordable solution. Numerous versions are on the market. From basic one-person models to expansive setups for 10 people or more, you’re sure to find one that meets your needs. They also come with a variety of extra features for added comfort, practicality, and convenience.
If you choose a tent for your emergency shelter, consider buying one that’s rated for all four seasons. That way, if you need to use it in the winter, you’ll have more protection against the cold, snow, and other forces of nature. Be sure to keep the weight of the tent and how complicated it is to set up and take down in mind as well. Adding tarps and extra blankets to the mix is recommended too.
Aside from the bare essentials, having a well-stocked first-aid kit is advised. Those are also readily available from an array of sources. Some are more inclusive than others. Consider purchasing one that goes beyond the basics. Find a first-aid kit that contains not only adhesive bandages, sterile gloves, antiseptics, gauze, and medical tape but also suturing supplies, trauma shears, clotting agents, burn care supplies, and a variety of other tools.
Stock your first-aid arsenal with pain relievers, antibiotics, antidiarrheals, and an assortment of other medications. Don’t forget about any prescription medications your family may need. Those might include insulin, asthma inhalers, and anti-seizure medications. You don’t have to get a comprehensive first-aid kit together immediately. You can add to it over time as new needs and possibilities come to mind.
We’ve all become accustomed to being able to easily communicate with the rest of the world these days. Of course, in the face of a disaster, staying in touch with the rest of the world may not be as simple as picking up your phone. Internet and phone service may not even be available. That could be crippling for those who use their phones for everything from conversation to navigation.
Because of that, extra communication devices could be essential. Two-way radios will allow you to stay in touch with people in your family or group and others nearby. For news, weather updates, and other communications, an emergency radio is a vital piece of equipment. Those devices will help you stay connected and in the know even without internet and phone service.
You’ll also need a power source to ride out a disaster. Electricity may not be available from the conventional grid in times of crisis. Having a generator could be a major advantage. Several types of generators are available. Portable versions powered by gas or diesel are your best bet for being prepared for emergencies. If you choose one of those, you’ll need to have a supply of fuel on hand for them, though.
Solar power is also a terrific solution for emergency situations. You can install solar panels to power your bunker or purchase a solar generator. Both of these options allow you to power essential equipment without having to find fuel. You can take portable solar generators with you and use the power of the sun to keep them up and running. Adding a portable solar panel bank to your preparedness kit can give you extra power on the go as well. At the very least, stock up on batteries to keep your flashlights, radios, and other equipment working.
Self-defense will also be a crucial part of your emergency preparedness plans. You never know what types of threats may emerge when things take a turn for the worse. Wild animals and hostile invaders are only a couple of the possibilities. Even your fellow humans can be dangerous in a crisis. Desperation often brings out the worst in people. Pepper sprays, tasers, and knives can give you a certain amount of protection, but realistically, it’d be best to venture beyond those options.
If you haven’t already guessed, we’re leaning toward firearms here. Guns give you an effective line of defense against any number of dangers as long as your aim is good and you know how to use them safely and correctly. Unlike the other options mentioned above, they also give you long-range protection. You don’t have to be within arm’s reach of a threat to use them. They’ll come in handy for hunting as well. Be sure to stock up on the right ammunition for your guns too.
Personal Protective Equipment
Depending on the type of emergency you’re facing, you may need personal protective equipment. Several items fall into this category. On the most basic level, protective clothing to safeguard you against the elements is essential. From there, gloves and boots will further protect you. If you’re caught in the midst of nuclear or biological threats, gas masks and hazmat suits will be vital. Heated jackets, bulletproof vests, and many other items fall into this category as well.
Getting Ready for the Inevitable
Many people believe that some type of disaster could be imminent; the way the world is going, they’re probably right. Of course, it’s impossible to predict exactly what type of crisis you’ll be facing. If you’re committed to prepping for the inevitable, the points mentioned here can help get you started or supplement the effort you’ve already put into the process. Keep in mind that your own goals and your family’s unique needs can help hone your preparedness plans.