Natog and Me (Lagniappe’s Lair) both have excellent articles on being prepared – go read ‘em! I’ve mentioned Mr. B’s and Midwest Chick’s articles before – go read ‘em again: here, here, here, and here.
I’m sure there’s a boatload of folks out there that think preppers are nuts – preppers are extremists, right? The grocery stores will always be open – some of ‘em 24 hours a day, right? Natural disasters always happen somewhere else, right? This is only a recession – surely we couldn’t have another Great Depression, could we? We’ll just continue along fat, dumb and happy, right?
Some food for thought: do you wear your seatbelt because you are planning to be in an accident – or just in case? Do you have a fire extinguisher in your abode and car because they are gonna catch fire – or because they might? I bet when you were younger, you kept a “go bag” of sorts with toiletries and a change of clothes in your vehicle because you never knew when that party you were going to might turn into an all-nighter! ;^)
Backwoods Home Magazine has a good article on stay with your vehicle preparedness for first-timers – using grocery store items. I’d add individual packs of peanut butter, honey and possibly crackers – plan to rotate items out to use at home before end of shelf life. Spam Singles are a good alternative to the Treet cans mentioned in the article. My son carried those with him along with packs of Frank’s Red Hot on patrol in Iraq. Chris also recommends as “field expedient” the refill packs of wet wipes in addition to or in lieu of regular toilet paper (I concur).
The author’s cooler storage method is great for a “stay with your vehicle scenario”, but you’ll certainly need a pack, comfortable walking footwear and outdoor clothes as well in case you need to leave your vehicle behind. “Get you where you need to be” is usually going to be home – home is most likely the most secure place you have to be.
Once you get home (hopefully that is your ultimate Bug Out Location) – do you have a year’s worth of sustenance laid in? Here’s how you can start. Do you have a stock of viable non-hybrid seeds? Hybrids are wonderful for the year you plant ‘em, but they are a dead end. Non-hybrid (heirloom) seeds you’ll be able to save, trade and use in the years to come.
“But Scott,” you say, “I live on a suburban 2/10 acre lot. I can’t grow a garden!” Yes, you can – I grow 90% of our summer vegetables in a 4′ x 24′ raised bed garden (on our 2/10 acre suburban lot). Square Foot Gardening and The New Self-Sufficient Gardener – get ‘em and read ‘em. A substantial amount of those veggies get canned, dehydrated or frozen for winter use. That’s 96 square feet of my yard that I don’t have to mow, I just have to harvest it. Easy to expand – easy to maintain. Add a cold frame and extend your growing season by at least a month or two (depending on your climate).
I work about 180 miles from home which is yet another 280 from where we’ll ultimately “go to ground” – that may be a bit of a trip, but I’m more prepared than I once was. Hopefully the homestead will be done – or at least in progress before anything catastrophic happens - but as Me says:
“Now get out there, build up a bag (or check over the one you’ve got), and prepare yourself mentally to use it. Sad to say, but with Obama and his band of looters running our country into the ground, we may all need such packs one day soon.”
FTC notice: NO compensation. I either bought ‘em or I’m just recommending ‘em. Bite me.