5 Easy Things You Can Do to Prepare for A Disaster
If you are new to the idea of prepping, likely you are overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to keep your family sustained in the event of an emergency situation. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you start slow and work on it little by little. Here are some simple tips to help you get started this week.
Buy a water dispenser
Purchasing a water dispenser is one of the easiest things you can do to store water because it gives you the opportunity to stock 5 gallons at a time, all in one container. Using a water dispenser will ensure that you rotate your water regularly, so you can be sure that your water is always fresh and usable, providing that it is clean, purified water.
You might be wondering how much water you need to store. It is said that each person needs 1 gallon per day minimum, so you’ll need to decide how many days worth of water you want to store. If you have a family of 5, you can plan on storing one 5 gallon container for every day you are preparing for. It is recommended to rotate each container every 6 months to a year.
TIP: Keep more bottles that you need so that you always have 1 week’s worth of water on hand at any given time.
Purchase an oil lamp
If your family suddenly found yourselves without lights in your household, are you prepared? What type of lighting would you need in order for your family to continue to function for the most part? There are plenty of great choices, but an oil lamp would go a long way to providing some light and comfort during an inconvenient time.
There are many choices for oil lamps. Cheap ones are available online or at your local super centers and hardware stores, running about $6-15. Those work just fine in a pinch but they are not quite as bright as a whole family might need. Also, they put off quite a bit of fumes for the light they provide, which makes them difficult to read by. The more expensive mantle-types are much brighter, and may be worth purchasing if you will only be purchasing one. Be sure to buy extra supplies along with your lamp, such as wicks, oil, and mantles, just in case you need it for a few weeks.
TIP: Get well-versed with how to light your lamp, and keep it where your family can easily find it in a pinch.
Clear a shelf
Stocking up on food isn’t something that most of us do in one week, but rather, over time. Clearing off a shelf will give us a place to put our food storage, and will go a long way in helping you get started on your new endeavor. Use this shelf to neatly store shelf stable foods that your family uses most often. If boxed and canned foods are part of your regular grocery shopping trip, buy a few extras for your new shelf.
Foods that will be best for your food storage are ‘just-add-water’ types (be sure to get your water storage in order, though, or this won’t help!). Canned foods also work very well. There are also freeze-dried foods that are shelf-stable for long periods of time, providing you don’t open the cans. What you store is entirely up to you, only make sure you have a place to store it. It won’t matter if you have it, if you can’t find it.
TIP: Watch your local grocery store circulars for loss-leader sales on your favorite canned or boxed foods. Often you can purchase these foods quite cheaply, which makes your prepping endeavor more economical.
Thermal underwear, that is. In the event that your family is wthout heat, a good pair of thermal underwear under your regular clothing will help trap your body heat close to the skin and effectively keep you warm in a pinch.
TIP: Check local thrift stores or off-season sales and purchase two pairs apiece for your family.
Plant one food source
Choose one food source plant and master its growth, harvesting, and preserving. Once you are comfortable with that plant, you will have the confidence to try another, then another, soon mastering many food-type plants. In doing this, you secure for yourself important gardening knowledge that can be used in an emergency situation.
TIP: Choose plants that your family will enjoy eating versus those that are easiest to grow, even if they are not as prolific. It is said that if your family won’t eat it now, they won’t want to eat it later, which will render that part of your food storage less handy that you had planned.
Do you have any other tips to share?
Kristi Stone homesteads .18 of an acre in Southern California where she gardens, cares for her rabbits and chickens, and lives with her husband and two of her three children. You can read more about her homesteading journey at Stone Family Farmstead.
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.