Recent floods in America and Britain remind us of the need to prepare for such disasters. But where do you begin?
First, let’s define a couple of terms – “bug in” and “bug out”. Bug in means planning to stay put and bug out means planning to relocate to a safer place. It’s a good idea to plan for both but the place to start is to access your situation and decide which – bug in or but out – is likely to occur first. For example, if you live in a high-rise apartment building in an active earthquake zone, bugging out is probably your first choice. If on the other hand, you live in a heavy snowfall area, then bugging in may be best for you. Bugging in can be a lot more expensive and involved than bugging out because you will be stock piling lots of supplies. When bugging out, you will most likely be just grabbing your bug out bag and leaving home.
Let’s start with the more involved bugging in.
Remember the rule of 3’s – you can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. Therefore water is where you should start.
I’ve seen estimates of between 2 liters to 2 gallons per person per day. I personally go with the 2 liters because water is heavy and takes up a lot of room. That might not be enough for people to drink and bathe too, but we are talking an emergency situation here and drinking and cooking come first. So, if you have 5 people in your family you need 10 liters per day. If you’re planning for a 7 day emergency situation, then you need 70 liters. There are other things you can do to plan for longer emergencies, such as water purification tablets and bleach. I won’t go into those here just now as this is just a beginners post. You can buy water in bottled form or a cheaper way is to buy food grade plastic containers and use tap water if yours is chlorinated. Here’s how to identify food grade plastic containers.
Next is food. Since the power may go off and be off for some time, I use canned goods for most of my food storage. I try to buy food that is close to what the family usually eats and I have a camp stove that’s safe for indoor use to cook on. See, I told you it can get complicated and expensive! Ok, so how much food? I try to plan meals. So, say for lunch we have 2 small canned hams, a can of peas and a can of fruit. Then for dinner several cans of corned beef, a can of corn and some fruit. You get the idea. If you’re on a tight budget, just buy a can or two extra every time you shop. It will build up soon and you won’t notice it. If you bought 2 cans a day for a month, that would be 60 cans.
So maybe make it a goal to get the water and 60 cans of food this month. It’s a start!
There are lots of other things to consider like, flashlights, candles and first aid but this is a beginners post!
Now if you’re going to bug out, say to your parents home, you might just need a small bug out bag. It might contain some changes of clothes, toiletries, medication and chargers for your phones and tablets, as a minimum. If you have started preparing to stay at home, you might grab some of that food you’ve been storing to help your parents.
I may do an expanded post or posts on this later, but as you can see it can get as simple or as involved as you want or need it to be.
Hope this helps you get started!
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