You don’t have to be a prepper or survivalist to have a good stash of supplies. Many of us gather food and water just because we want to be sure we have enough to make it in these uncertain times. Every time I look at my emergency supplies I can’t help but think that there is something I’m missing.
Thinking about the uncertain future and planning for it is a good practice for every prepper and survivalist. Making sure that your supplies are safe and ready to be used should be common sense.
Ask yourself these questions every time you check your gear and emergency supplies.
Are my emergency supplies located somewhere I can easily access?
It doesn’t matter if you have a well-equipped bug-out bag if you can’t reach it in time. The same goes for your supplies and they should always be in reach. You don’t have to put in extra effort to locate and use the items you stored for survival. You should always review the location where your supplies are stored and do a mental check to make sure you’ve had them in a good spot.
Can I get out of the house in time, in the event of an emergency?
When disaster strikes, time is of the essence and you need to make the best use of it. It’s not the time to start and look for your bug-out bag or any other items that you would need in order to travel to safety. You should always store your bug-out bag near an exit from your home, preferably the one you’ll be most likely to use in the event of an emergency evacuation.
If you keep your survival bags in a corner of your attic you might as well forget about them. You should also do some emergency evacuation drills, to see how everyone reacts and if they know what to do. If you see your family members running around, trying to find what they are missing, it’s time to rethink your exit strategy.
Suggested reading: Disaster strikes – Should I stay or should I go?
Do I have everything each member of my family needs to survive for 72 hours?
Each family member should have his/her own bug out bag with all the items needed to survive for at least 72 hours. You should run down the list of items you need for each. Then go through the list a number of times to make sure each of the items your family member’s needs are listed. It’s best to review this list with the family members because they will be the one carrying the bag. Make sure they are used with using the items in their bags and that they can carry the load.
What am I to do when those 72 hours run out? Do I have any backup plan?
Just like with everything in life, you need to have a plan B. You can’t just run for the woods and hope for the best. Personally, you might be comfortable with this scenario, but not everyone from your family will. You need to keep them well-fed and you need to keep them safe.
A bug out location is a must if you want to survive for more than 72 hours. It doesn’t matter if you go to a family member’s house or if you go to a cabin in the woods. The important thing is to have somewhere to go if you decide to evacuate.
Suggested reading: Items that should be in your 72 hours bag
Do I have a means of protecting myself and my family in the event of an emergency where there is no law?
If there are people who didn’t plan ahead, you and your supplies will become a target for these desperate individuals. This is a reality and in today’s world, it doesn’t take much for social upheaval to be born. You will need to be armed with a weapon or two, to protect yourself and your family. You will need to defend your supplies from looters or anyone who thinks you have more than you need. In today’s world, regardless of what some might say, if you’re not protected, you will end up dead and God knows what will happen with your family members. Plan ahead and protect yourself, don’t just wait and see “how things will develop”.
Are my emergency supplies expired or on the verge of expiring?
This is one of the questions that many fail to ask, and the answer to it might not be what they expect. Storing food, water, and other emergency supplies it’s not only about buying and storing what you need. It’s also about keeping a track of these supplies, doing periodically checks and looking for signs of expiration.
All items can go bad, anything from baby wipes to canned goods. All items that are close to expiring should be replaced and you have to mobilize yourself to do monthly checks. If you want to be sure that your supplies are ready to be used when the time comes, this is something you have to do.
Were there any changes since the last time I’ve checked my emergency supplies?
Make sure there weren’t any events that might have affected the numbers and the integrity of your supplies. Did you make a pact with some of your friends to provide food and shelter in exchange for their skills when SHTF? If so, you need to recalculate your stocks and get the extra items you might need.
Did you or your wife experiment with some of the foods from the pantry? If that’s the case, you need to replace those items. The point is that there is always something that happens, something that lowers the numbers of your supplies. Our first reaction is to say “I’ll replace them when I have the chance”, but most of us, we simply forget about this.
For example, the set of clothing you stored for your kids a year ago, might not fit the person they were packed for. Kids grow up fast and you don’t want to be on the road to find out the change of clothes you packed is not good anymore.
Asking yourself these questions will help you ensure you have everything you need in order to survive an emergency scenario. I have these questions pinned down on my fridge and I always ponder when I see them. It’s a method of making sure that I didn’t forget something and it provides peace of mind.
Other Useful Resources:
The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Drought USA (Secure unlimited fresh, clean water) – A DIY Project
Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)