Monday, September 18, 2017

Ten Prepping Habits You Should Be Working On!


Habits can be good or bad. They can be a wonderful thing or a curse. However, I believe in having good habits as a prepper. We need to be diligent in our personal growth as preppers and habits do this for us. Habits keep us accountable and help us to become better preppers.

Some of these habits may seem a little different, but I see prepping as a personal thing to improve us as well as make us better people in general.

Ten Prepping Habits You Should Be Working On!

1. Organization. Being organized is only for your advantage in prepping. In an emergency or crisis, you will know where everything is. That is key for good emergency management, good response time, and good decisions. You will be able to see what you have and what you need to replace. You won't have to guess where everything is. You can tell someone where to find a key item and get the item quickly. I can not stress being organized enough.

2. Being Proactive. You want to be a proactive prepper. You want to see problems before they occur. You want to take care of problems before they happen. Need more water in your storage? Buy it now instead of waiting until a crisis is looming. A window needs to be fixed? Take care of it now before a storm blows it out or a thief finds a way in. You can scale this down to simple everyday things. Dishes need to be done? Do them now before the power may go out or the well pump quits. Laundry piling up? Put a load in the washer every day so you don't have to worry about it later. Taking care of things now will save you a major headache later.


3. Good Health. Your health is key in prepping. If you are too unwell to respond to a crisis or emergency, you might end up dead. Every prepper should be working on good eating habits, being in good physical condition, living in moderation, and working on/quitting bad habits like smoking and chewing.

4. Skill Building. Always Be Learning. You are never done learning as a prepper. There are new skills to learn and to hone. There is always new information to learn, process, and/or implement. As a prepper, you need to keep up to date on the current news, new trends, new information, and new threats that may be on the horizon. You may need to learn new skills to adjust to the new information you have learned. As a tip, I know preppers that learn a new skill every month. They learn about that skill and start practicing the skill. This is something we all should be doing.

5. Good Communication. Being able to effectively communicate is key. You don't want to have misunderstandings in times of crisis. You need to be able to listen well and talk clearly.

6. Becoming Debt Free. Life is better when you are debt free. There are times in life where debt is unavoidable, but trying not to accrue more debts is key. If you are in debt, try to find ways to get out of debt. I personally like Dave Ramsey's system, but that may not be for everyone. However, you should be finding new ways to make extra money and putting in the overtime now so you can have financial peace later.


7. Establishing Routines. Do you have good routines? Do you check the house every night to make sure the doors are locked and windows are secured? Do you have your clothes laid out the night before so you can get dressed quickly in the morning or during the night if you need to? Doing the same thing every day and every night is good for you. You established routines so you stay proactive about what needs to be done, what gets done everyday, and what problems need to be addressed. Routines keep your mind calm and reassured that everything was done and checked. Establish routines now to keep the chaos in check later.


8. Practice. Always keep practicing. Whether that includes your skills, your routines, your talents, etc. Most things you learn should not be learned once and thought to be done with them. You should always make time to practice what you need to know.

9. Conservation and Sustainability. Recycling. Reusing. Live somewhat minimally. Reduce our wants and focus on our needs. We really need to learn to quit being wasteful. When times of crisis come, we need to learn to reuse what we have and focus on just what we need to survive.


10. Learning To Live Without. This may be the hardest habit for anyone, not just preppers. We rely on our comforts so much and can get really cranky without them. We expect instant access to information instead of having to look it up in a book. We expect to be entertained when we want to be entertained. We expect to have air conditioning at our fingertips. We really need to learn to live without. If you learn this now, that habit will serve you later when the power is out or you are stranded somewhere for any length of time.


I consider these the top ten prepping habits that every good prepper should be working on! I am curious, however. What habits would you add to the list?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Friday, September 8, 2017

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In September


The end of August and beginning of September this year has taught us a few things. Being prepared is not only crucial, it is purely survival for those who have been or will be caught in the hurricanes and the wildfires. Living where I do, I get complacent about bug-out bags and having things together to be ready to evacuate.

Many people in Texas and now Florida are wishing they had listened to the warnings. They are wishing they had everything together in one place and ready to go. They are wishing they had food and water for a month. They are wishing they had their bug-out bags together and a secure place to go to.

This is why I do the Five Prepping Things To Accomplish each month. I want you all to be ready for the natural disasters as well as the life events that could change your life in a minute. While you get warnings to get ready most of the time, finding the supplies or the important documents at the last minute (or even week) could mean life or death for you and your family.

September is National Preparedness Month. Nothing is proving that more significantly that the natural disasters that are hitting the United States. While FEMA and the Red Cross encourage 3-10 days of food and water, I encourage you to make that a month or longer. The flood waters may recede and the fires may burn out, but who knows when you will be able to get gas and supplies again for awhile.

Five Prepping Things To Accomplish In September:

1. Stock up on fluids besides water. While you should have a plentiful supply of drinking water on hand, I encourage you to stock on other drinkable fluids as well. Broth, juice, pop, electrolyte drinks, and more not only help stretch the water longer, but they also help keep the spirits up and break up the water monotony. Broth is a great for cooking liquid as well. Rice and beans taste pretty good being cooked in chicken broth. It is also a great starter for soup.

2. Memorize and write down your emergency numbers. Having them on your phone is great and smart, but you need to memorize them or at least put them down on paper. You never know when your phone will die or be left behind. You will still need to know them. Taking this a step further, you should laminate that paper with the numbers and make 3-4 copies. You should have one in your wallet or purse, your bug-out bag,  and your important papers' binder or file.

3. Stock up on flashlights, lanterns, and solar lights. I would recommend a flashlight (or two) in every room. I have both oil-filled and battery operated lanterns. Please make sure you have extra oil and wicks for the oil-filled lanterns as well as have them filled and ready to go. Solar lights are great for walking around outside as well as inside the house. During the day, set them outside and be able to use them at night. I keep all of these light sources in my stash as well as around my house. Be sure to also have extra batteries and lighters for them too.

4. Solidify your bug-outs plans. Where will you go if you need to evacuate your home? Sleeping in your car or going to the woods is not really an answer. Will you go to a parents' or siblings' home? Will you choose a hotel 100 miles west of you? If you have a camper and can leave with it, where will you take the camper to? Don't pick just one place either. Have several options and prioritize those options. Plan A can be your parents 30 miles away. Plan B can be a friends house 45 miles away. Plan C can be the campgrounds 60 miles away. Plan D can be a hotel 90 miles away. Just have a plan, write it down, and memorize it.

5. Start accruing a cash stash. Having cash will help you in an natural disaster or emergency more than your cards or checks. I would have a lot of small bills that will not need to be broken by the store or another person. I would start with having $100 in small bills and increase that amount to $500 then to $1000. Having a fair amount of change will also help you too.

Check out these months:
1. Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in August
2. Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in July
3. Five Prepping Things To Accomplish in June

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Can You Stop Someone From Looting Your Home?



Inevitably, after every national disaster, riot, or crisis, we hear about looting. People without morals will steal other people's things for their own gain and profit. They will steal anything that looks to be valuable. They will steal from stores, storage areas, and homes. The looters will probably be in groups and, more than likely, armed. They will believe they have the upper hand and will use that to their advantage.

Can you stop someone from looting your home? I believe you can with some advance planning and training. Some situations will be unavoidable such as having to evacuate your home. However, there are ways to make sure you don't make it easy for them to loot your home.

If you have to evacuate your home, do what you can to seal it up. Please realize that flood and water damage from natural disasters will weaken the structure, but you need to do what you can. Most people know when they will have to evacuate so take the time to do these steps:

  • Board your windows up with plywood on the inside of your home. 
  • Put a deadbolt and a solid lock on your doors. 
  • Use 3 inch screws on your door's strike plates to make it harder to kick in the door. 
  • Barricade any decorative doors like French doors that are easy to kick in or break in.
  • Pay special attention to any easy access windows like basement windows. Make sure they are boarded up on the inside and barricaded with sand bags on the outside. 
  • Make sure the garage doors are down and locked. 
  • Put the valuables you are not taking with you in a locked, secured, and hidden box. If the valuables are too large, put them in a locked room or closet. 
  • Hope for the best. Hopefully, you will be able to come home soon and do what you can.

If you are home and looting starts in your area, you have to put the security of your family and home above anything else. You need to arm yourself and your family. You should already have adequate amount of guns and ammo for anyone that can shoot in your home. You need to talk to them about firing warning shots and then wounding someone if the need arises.

If you can, have other family and friends come over to help defend your home and your area. You will need to have a neighborhood plan set up ahead of time to keep the area safe. You also need to make your elderly neighbors a priority in keeping their homes safe. Do not rely on the police to get to your home when the looters are in the area. More than likely, they will be busy with rescues and other emergencies.

Looters will more than likely steal from unoccupied homes before they will steal from occupied homes. You need to make your home look occupied or always keep an adult at home at all times when looters are in the area. If you are in a neighborhood, people should be actively moving around the neighborhood in order to look occupied. If you are in a rural setting, do not leave home unless you have to. Even then, only one person should be leaving the home while the rest of the family/friends provide security.

Even if you are home, you need to follow the steps above for leaving your home to make your home as unappealing as possible to steal from. Looters are looking for easy targets first. They want to steal easy things to carry and they don't want to get caught. They want food, water, goods, and valuables. Some looters may be out looking for more than that.

Be aware that if the looters are desperate enough, they may not care if you are home or not. They may attempt a home invasion. You should try to defend your home as much as humanly possible, but you may have to flee. Please take into consideration your family when deciding to defend your home in the case of a home invasion. Their safety is worth more than your home. You are also no good to your family dead.

Looters are often driven by desperation and anger. Some are driven by profit and survival. They will have adrenaline running through their veins. If they have looted several places already, they will also have confidence on their side. A show of force may turn them away and it may not. You need to ready for both situations.

So can you stop someone from looting your home? I believe you can, but not always. The cost of defending your home may not outweigh the benefits. You may have to evacuate and will not be able to defend your home. You may be able to defend your home with help from neighbors, family, and friends. No matter what, planning and preparation will be key for defending your home against looters.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Friday, September 1, 2017

What Does National Preparedness Month Mean To Me? Time to Assess, Test, & Plan Your Preps!


Being prepared has different meanings for different people. Many people might prepare for the same things, but most of us have different circumstances. One person might try to prepare for everything possible while the next person just wants to get through the next crisis.

September is National Preparedness Month. This is a good time to assess, evaluate, test, and plan your preps. We have some national disasters happening right now and potential crisis coming on the horizon. As we are seeing, people have had to prepare with a plan to stay home and a plan to evacuate. Many people thought they only needed food and water for three days and now they find out they need it for a week or longer. Grocery store shelves were cleared a few days before the hurricane hit and prices rose for products in demand.

What does National Preparedness Month mean to me? It means I need to assess and evaluate my preps. Some of the questions I will ask myself are these:
  • Where am I with my water storage? 
  • Do I have enough one and five gallon water containers to keep us in a good water supply? 
  • How is my food storage? 
  • Could I reasonably last one month on what I have? 
  • Can I stretch it to two months? How is my fuel storage? 
  • Do I have gas cans and propane cylinders to fill? 
  • What do I need to replace in my preps? 
  • What do I need to add? 
  • What areas of my prepping need tweaking, boosting, and rethinking? 
I will consider taking the next step in my prepping. For everyone, the next step will be a different thing. For me, it is considering the purchase of a propane fireplace or wall heater that is non-electric. We need to be able to heat a few rooms without electricity and we cannot have a wood stove at this time. We also need to seriously consider a generator that we can directly wire into the well pump for water and a generator that will run a few things. Since these things take money, we will have to come up with a savings plan and shop around for good deals or used items.

National Preparedness Month means I need to test my preps. 
  • Do my preps still work? 
  • Do I need to replace batteries? 
  • Will my solar chargers work well and how long will they last without recharging? 
  • Do the external battery chargers work and how long do they last? 
  • Do the flashlights and lanterns all work? 
  • Do the lighters still work? 
  • Can I still make fire with a flint and steel? 
  • Does my camp stove still work? 
  • Can I make coffee on it? 
  • Are my gas cans in good shape or do they need replaced? 
Testing your preps now means you can take care of the problems now. I would rather know if things are not working correctly now rather than later. It is easier to replace batteries now than to be fumbling in the dark for them. It is easier to practice your skills now than to learn them in an emergency.

National Preparedness lastly means I need to keep planning my preps. 
  • How are my plans holding up?
  • Do I need reassess my plans?
  • What are my staying home plans?
  • What are my bugging out plans?
  • How are my kids getting home from school if something happens? 
  • Will my daughter be able to drive home from school or work if something happens?
  • How are we getting home from work if something happens?
  • What are my plans for the animals and livestock if something happens?
  • How will we handle security for our home and property?
Planning and re-planning my preps means I have everything taken care of "in case of an emergency". Plans should be reviewed every year as your family grows and life changes. You should also know and print your daycare's and school's plans for emergencies. You need to know where to pick up your kids and if you will be able to. Does your work have a plan for emergencies? You need to know that too and, if they don't have a plan, help create one.

National Preparedness Month is a great time to review, assess, test, and keep planning your preps. If you need help, just search the articles on my blog as well as doing a Google search. There is a lot of great information out there and, as preppers, we want other people to be prepared too!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The 10 Cold, Hard, Ugly Truths About Prepping


Many people have a dim view of prepping. They think preppers are crazy. They think prepping is easy. A lot of people think they just need a little extra food, an emergency kit, and a case of bottled water and they will be fine. 

Then disaster is about to strike. All of a sudden, they are panicking. They wipe out the grocery shelves and empty gas stations when they find out the power may be out for a week. They wish they would have done more prepping before, but it looked like too much work. 

Prepping is work. It can be enjoyable work, a lot of fun sometimes, and a great bonding experience. The hard work pays off when you are feeling secure with your preps and knowing you can easily ride out a week with no power or a month with no job. You don't need to make a last minute panic trip to the grocery store. You don't need to wait in long lines for FEMA supplies. You don't need to apply for government assistance. You and your loved ones will be fine.

Those other people? The ones who thought you were crazy? They need to realize they need to do the work too. Most people don't understand the cold, hard, ugly truths about prepping. They just see it as a crazy thing or easy to do right before a storm. Then they find out the reality of what you do. They go through the hardships and wonder why they didn't do more. 

All your hard work pays off. You are prepared although, in your mind, there will be more you thought you could have done. Every learning experience is a teaching moment and you will learn more as you prepare more. You will know next time what you need to do. You will know what you need to buy and what measures you need to take now for the next crisis. 

Because you already know the 10 Cold, Hard, Ugly Truths about Prepping

1. You never be prepared enough. In your mind, you will always think there is more to do and to be done. That is okay. That mindset will keep you from getting comfortable with your level of prepping. That attitude will drive you to prepare more and harder. 

2. You can try to be prepared for everything, but more than likely you won't be. It is really not possible to be prepared for everything. Personal crisises will likely catch you off-guard. Disasters are unpredictable and can strike with only a few days notice. Trying to be prepared for all of that is mentally exhausting and almost impossible to do. You are better off doing the best you can to be prepared and not to be caught unaware. You should cover your basics and expand from there. 

3. Prepping is hard. If prepping was easy, everyone would be doing it. However, everyone is not (unfortunately). Prepping takes forethought, good decision making, smart thinking, skill learning, money, and time. You will have to decide what to prep for and how much to prep. You will have to save money for the big purchases. Prepping is not easy. 

4. Prepping takes time. You cannot accrue all your food storage in one day. Skills take time to learn, practice, and perfect. You will have to save money to make the big purchases or buy a home in an area you want to relocate to. You will have to make plans and practice them. Most people have the time to prep, but don't want to take it.  

5. You will never really be done prepping. There is always more you can do. If you are prepped for a month, prep for three months. Then take the next step. There is always more skills you can learn and perfect. You can always add to the food storage. You can always revise your plans. You can always do more prepping. It is just a matter of do you want to do more prepping?

6. You shouldn't prep out of fear, but you will prep out of fear at some point. Fear is a powerful motivator and that is not a bad thing. Just as long as you do not get crazy and buy out your local store. Being a little fearful will keep your focus sharp, but can also cloud your judgment. Just be wary of being too fearful.

7. You will have friends and family who will think you are crazy for prepping. Let them think it. They are not responsible for your survival. You are. Just be ready with a plan when they come knocking on your door. Also, practice saying "no". Be an encourager, not an enabler.

8. You cannot prep in just one day. Prepping takes time, money, skills, and resources. These cannot be acquired in one day. You might be ready for something short term, but long term prepping takes time and effort. Make a plan for your prepping and make lists for what you need to do, need to buy, and need to learn. 

9. Someone will be better prepared than you. Instead of being jealous, try finding out what he is doing and prep harder. Admire what he has done and take notes. 

10. You cannot be an armchair prepper. You cannot just buy, buy, buy and expect to be prepared. You bought enough food to survive five years, but how will you cook it? You have seeds for that survival garden, but have you ever planted something? You bought a gun, but have you ever shot it? You need to get around quickly, but are you in shape? Being an armchair prepper is a dangerous thing and will be more a danger to those he is trying to protect.

Most of you reading this already know these truths and have experienced them. However, you also know what you need to do and who you need to convince of these truths. They will be the ones standing on your doorstep, crying through the door that they need you to help them, and will not be nice about it. 

You already know the truth and they should know too.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Preserving The Bounty: How To Freeze Sweet Corn


One of my favorite ways to deal with my garden bounty is to can it. I love canning! However, when I am putting up sweet corn, I like to freeze it. Freezing sweet corn is so easy. Let me walk you through it!

How To Freeze Sweet Corn:




1.Pick and husk your sweet corn. Make sure you have as much of the silks cleaned up as possible.

I tend towards picking and freezing mine in smaller batches because of my time constraints. If you want to do a lot all at once, go for it!

2. Fill your stockpot about 2/3s full with water and set it to boil.


3. In the meantime, fill your sink or a big bowl with really cold water and add a significant amount of ice to it.


4. Once the water is boiling, you will be blanching your sweet corn. I do this with the cob still on the cob because I find it easier to deal with that way. Boil the sweet corn for three minutes and immediately put the sweet corn in the ice water to cool quickly. I leave the corn in the ice water for 1-2 minutes. You will have to do the corn in batches. Doing the corn all at once will result in unevenly cooked corn.


5. Remove the corn from the ice water and let drain on a pan or towel.

6. After you have all the sweet corn blanched, you can start cutting it off the cob. I use my biggest baking sheet pan with sides to do this. Starting at the top of the cob, I slice down the cob using a slightly serrated knife.

The aftermath plus some seedy summer squash. The chicken were grateful!

7. After I get through all the sweet corn or have the pan full, I start filling freezer bags. Sometimes I just use zippered freezer bags and sometimes I use my Food Saver. Just depends on what I have for bags. I like to put 2-3 cups in each quart size bag because that is perfect for my family. If you have a large family, you might want to put more in a quart size bag or use a gallon size bag!


8. You should label each bag with "Sweet Corn 2017" or whatever year it is when you read this! Trust me on the labeling. I used to be a lazy labeler, but that hasn't worked out so well for me!

9. Put the bagged and sealed sweet corn in the freezer. This will be delicious in the winter!

I know some people put sugar or salt in their water when they cook sweet corn. That is a personal preference and I don't personally do it. If you want to, do it. It will not negatively affect the flavor of the sweet corn.

That's it. Easy peasy! Have fun and let me know if you have tricks or tips to freezing sweet corn!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Have An Overwhelming Urge To Prep? Here Are 25 Things To Do Now!


Some people are now finding an overwhelming urge to prep and/or prep harder. Whether it is world events or personal crisis driving that urge to prep, they just feel this need to prep or to get their preps in order.

This is not a bad thing! While some preppers will caution you against panic prepping, getting yourself and your family prepared for the next crisis is a good thing. In fact, you should take advantage of this urge to prep!

Some preppers, myself included, are feeling a need to get their preps in order and make certain we have enough water and food to last a while. I certainly don't have a good feeling right now about world events and that has made me look at what I need to do too.

So what can you do to take advantage of this urge to prep?

1. Get your water situation in order. Make sure you have enough drinkable water for at least two weeks, but a month would be better. They say a gallon of drinkable water per person per day. I stock up on the gallon size jugs and 24 pack cases of bottled water.

2. In addition to your water situation, keep some bottles of juice, tea, soda, and other drinks on hand. You can also stock up on powdered drinks to add to water. Water gets boring after awhile and having something to break up the water monotony will certainly keep the loved ones from getting crabby (hopefully)! Just be aware if you stock up on powdered drinks, that you might need more water to have with those.

3. Stock up on easy to eat food. If you lose power for any period of extended time, you will want food you can open, eat unheated, and be filling. That means having a healthy supply of canned vegetables, fruits, ready to eat soups, meats, and prepackaged meals (canned spaghetti, ravioli, etc.). You will want crackers, granola bars, cold cereal, muffins, survival bars, protein bars, and anything else you can eat without heating it up. I know most of you will have access to a grill, camp stove, volcano stove, and other methods to cook food, but you may not be able to go outside either. Again, I would have enough for at least two weeks, but a month would be better.

4. Buy a manual can opener. Scratch that, buy at least three manual can openers. Just in case one breaks or is misplaced. In addition to that, buy a bottle opener too. They also come in handy to open canning lids.

5. Buy trash bags. You will want the small kitchen size, the 13 gallon size, and the large black (33 gallon) ones. You may need the small ones for bathroom using purposes and to take the trash out every day to keep the home sanitary. The other sizes are just handy to have for all purposes.

6. Buy paper plates, cups, bowls, napkins, and towels. Buy plastic cutlery. You may not have a way to wash dishes. You will want something you can eat off of and throw away/burn easily.

7. Buy toilet paper. You really can't have too much of this stuff. You will always use it.

8. Buy a few more five gallon buckets. You can store water in them, use one as a toilet, wash laundry with a plunger in it, use to clean, and much, much more. Having a good supply (10-20?) of five gallon buckets will help tremendously.

9. Stock up your pets' and livestock food and water. You don't really want them to go hungry or struggle to feed them from your supply! We keep our dog food and chicken feed in steel trash cans with a tight fitting lid to keep the critters out of it and keep it fresher. We keep the cat food in five gallon buckets with a tight fitting lid for the same purposes.

10. Buy some more ammo and practice shooting more. Having a little more ammunition on hand will only help your cause. In times of crisis, you never know who might show up at your house. Ammo is also a good bartering item if you need to use it that way. Practicing your shooting will only help you feel better about your skills and gain confidence in using your gun of choice.


11. Have a way to cook outside the home? Whether you use your grill, camp stove, volcano or rocket stove, a campfire, and more, you need to find ways to cook food in case of no power or limited power. If you are using any of those methods, you need to keep your propane tanks filled and firewood stocked. You would not be out of line if you got more propane tanks (1, 5, 10, 20, or 30 pound) and/or had a very healthy stock of firewood and charcoal. Don't forget to get some matches and lighters too!

12. How are you going to see in the dark? Stock up on candles, flashlights, lanterns, lantern oil, matches, lighters, wicks, a few candleholders, and batteries.

13. Get your bug out bags and 72 hour kit ready to go. You may not be able to stay where you are and you will need to leave quickly. Having these ready to go will be a time saver and possibly a life saver!


14. Buy some external battery chargers, battery packs, and solar chargers for your cell phones. I know the other devices can be important, but having a working and charged cell phone can be a life saver and a game changer. Keep these things charged at all times for emergencies. Some of you might say that in certain situations a cell phone will be worthless, but I don't really want to take that chance. I would rather have one charged and ready to go than to be stranded without a way to communicate or get warnings.

15. Have things to entertain yourself and your kids. You should have a healthy supply of books, games, puzzles, craft projects, word searches, workbooks, and other toys to keep everyone from killing each other. If it is just adults, most of that stuff is still good to have on hand. If you like to knit, crochet, and do needlework, have some projects on hand to work on. You don't have to spend a lot of money on this stuff. The thrift stores are usually well-stocked on these things.

16. Consider your personal needs. Keep plenty of baby wipes, body wipes, toilet wipes, hand sanitizer, sanitary items for women, deodorant, baby powder, foot powder/spray, and whatnot on hand for times when the power is out. Other people's body odor can really be a bad thing. Being unsanitary can cause illnesses. Staying clean as possible will help you feel better.

17. Check the first aid kit and get it stocked up! Bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze, tape, adhesive bandages, and more are all things you do not want to run out of. You can make your own first aid kit or buy one, but make sure it is ready to go at any notice. I would keep a really good one in the house and shop. I would also keep them in the cars just in case you need backup in the house.


18. Check your over the counter medications. If you are fond of taking ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen now, you don't really want to run out during a crisis. I would make sure to have multiple bottles of those pain relievers. I would also have on hand cold medicines, cough syrups, acid reducer medicines, multivitamins, Vitamins C & D, and any supplements or other medicines you take on a regular basis. Research and start practicing natural remedies too.

19. Keep up on laundry, dishes, and anything that takes water. If you lose power for an extended period of time, the last thing you want to worry about is how to do dishes and laundry without running water. Make sure the dishes are done every day and the laundry is done at least 2-3 times a week.


20. Get your plans in place. What will you do if you are at home and need to leave? What if the kids are at school? What if you are at work?  How will you get home and how many ways can you find to get home? What will you do if you are at home? What if you are stranded in another town or at another relatives' house? Play all the scenarios you can think of in your head and make a plan on paper for them. Memorize those plans and make sure your family knows them too. Then practice, practice, practice those plans.

21. Do you have addictions? How will you cope? Whether it is to nicotine, drugs, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, social media, and more, you will need to figure out if you can quit cold turkey, deal with the withdrawal, or have a plan in place to slowly wean yourself off these things. Ideally, now would be a good time to quit or at least cut back, but that is your personal decision. Just be aware that you may not have access to those things and will need to live without them.


22. Do you have a way to heat your home without power? If you don't, now would be a good time to figure out how you are going to deal with the cold. There are many ways to keep yourself warm, but finding a heater that works indoors without electricity would be ideal. If you can do a propane fireplace, that would be good. If you can do a woodstove, get one installed. Just make sure you have a way to stay warm. Also, have a battery powered carbon monoxide detector and extra batteries. No one wants to die that way.

23. Go for a walk. Get some exercise. Work out and get your body in shape. Whatever you need to do to handle the physical demands that a disaster or crisis may require of you. There are plenty of armchair preppers, but being in shape will give you the advantage. You will feel better, have a clearer head, resist illness, and be able to handle the stress better.


24. Practice living without electricity and running water. Spend a day doing that will be a big eye-opener to you and your family. One day will not compare with being without power for a week or longer, but you will have an understanding of what you need to do to be prepared.


25. Do you have a baby? Someone with special needs? An elderly person living with you? What special considerations do you need to make for them? Do you have extra diapers, wipes, and formula? Do you need to deal with oxygen tanks? Write down everything they need in a day and a week and figure out how you will deal with those things. Having a plan and being prepared now may mean the difference between life and death later.

Some of these things will be easy to do and easy to implement. Some of these things are harder and will take time to practice and implement. Some of these things will cost money and some are free. Some of these things involve self-improvement which is part of prepping too. Most of these ideas involve living without electricity and running water which will be a big problem for most people.

If you are getting started in prepping, these things are key for getting started. If you have been prepping for awhile, you should take the time to review these things and find your holes. You may think you are totally prepared, but there is no room for arrogance in prepping.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


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