One of the best ways to get started on your journey to preparedness is to make a list of the types of disasters you are preparing for. Power outages from winter storms is the most common reason that I have for prepping. For most things the list of gear is the same with some exceptions. Heat during the winter months is an important consideration here in the New England but much less so in South Florida. Feel free to add your list in the comments section below. Remember you don’t need to start out preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Start out small concentrating on planning for those events most likely to affect your family. After that you can scale up your plans to help survive larger scale events should they occur. In my opinion any preps you have on hand are better than none at all. A months worth of food in your pantry will feed you better than that years supply of food that your going to buy someday. In fact I would start out with a weeks worth of supplies and increase it from there. Scaling food, fuel and water stores up to whatever level you feel comfortable having. Along the way there will be choices about bigger ticket items as well such as power generation. Personally I think shelter, food, fuel for heat, medicines and water are the most important items you can store. Here is my list of things I prep for.
1) Power outages – With some basic items on hand you can keep your family warm, fed and supplied with water.
2) Unemployment – Having food on hand will help out if you lose your job or are underemployed and looking for a better paying job.
3) Natural Disasters – Having food, water and supplies on hand will help keep you safe if you are sheltering in place or bugging out to another location.
4) Evacuation – How many times have we seen people on the news fleeing because of an approaching storm or wildfire. Some portable supplies would come in handy. Don’t neglect to put together a folder with all important family documents as well as important photos that can be grabbed on short notice.
5) Pandemic – How well would you survive if a flu outbreak caused you to have to shelter in place for 2 to 4 weeks.
6) House fire – According to ready.gov 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires each year. Planning escape routes can save your life in the event of a fire. Having gear in your car or an out building can help during the fire as well as in the aftermath. Fire safety is usually some of the first prepping any of us do. Changing batteries in smoke detectors and checking fire extinguishers are both good solid basic preps.