December 2, 2018

5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Getting started with preparedness can be overwhelming.   Most people immediately focus on how much gear they need, and how much they don’t have.  Then you worry about how much this is all going to cost and where the money is coming from.  It does not have to be like that.

Here is a list of five easy and free activities you can do this weekend, and you will instantly be a lot better off in terms of preparedness than your were last weekend:

1.   Go “shopping” in your own home.  Take a small box or laundry basket with you and go through your home.  Look at all closets, and boxes in the garage.  Pick up all items that will come in handy for the next emergency.  Find flashlights, matches and lighters, camping lanterns, sleeping bags or even just extra blankets, old battery operated radio, extra toilet paper, trash bags, etc. Even forgotten gift cards with a few cents left can help with your prepping efforts.  All too often, people forget what they already have lying around.  When I went through this exercise, I discovered several items I had forgotten about, and was glad I checked before buying new items at the store.

2.  Clean empty soda bottles and start filling them with water.  To disinfect a bottle, just add a teaspoon of bleach to a gallon of water.  Rinse the soda bottle with this, then rinse well with tap water.  Fill it up with tap water, use a permanent marker add a date on the bottle.  This way you will remember when the bottle was filled.  You can also partially fill some of the bottles (leaving a few inches room for expansion) and freeze them.  You will have ice to keep the freezer cold at the next power outage.

3.  Backup your smart phone contact list  I used to store all phone numbers in my cell phone, except for a few that I had memorized.  One day I was talking to my brother and the cell phone ran out of battery life (I know, I wasn’t very prepared that day).  I wanted to call him on a land line when I realized I could not remember his phone number, and the cell phone would not turn on until it was sufficiently charged.  Luckily it was a short term situation.  I backed up all my contact numbers into an old address book the next day.  I know it’s a chore but one day you’ll be glad you have it.

4.  Plan multiple routes out of your city and write them down.  Most people rely on the phone for directions, or on GPS devices.  In an emergency, you may not be able to access the electronic maps.  Why not plot out various emergency routes out of your city or town now, while there is nothing going on.   Find routes via car, or on foot or bicycle.  Get familiar with the street maps and write down directions to get out.  Or better yet, try and get a free paper map from your auto insurance or roadside assistance company.  Keep the maps in your car’s glove box or emergency kit.

5.  Choose one survival skill and practice doing it.  You can try filtering and disinfecting water,  making a fire, assembling a tent, learning CPR by watching an instructional video, etc.

There are lots of things you can do to be prepared that are not too time-consuming or expensive.  It just takes a willingness to learn and a commitment to prepare consistently.

© Apartment Prepper 2016


2 Comments on 5 Easy Things You Can Do This Weekend to Become Better Prepared

  1. #4 on the list is more important than most people realize.

    Electronic maps aren’t always reliable.
    I don’t know how or where the information for electronic maps is gathered and posted – it doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is that the route actually exists and is passable.

    When we lived “out in the country”, electronic maps showed two ‘alternate routes’ near our home. One route didn’t exist: it was a dead end road that a landowner had added an addition to in order to more easily access his wooded lot to cut firewood. It was strictly 4-wheel-drive access in dry weather only. The other route was a private road that had zero maintenance: the road was rutted and so badly washed out that only a bulldozer would have been able to use it.
    It should also be mentioned here that those two routes appeared to be perfectly fine when viewed on satellite images.

    It’s absolutely essential to check alternate routes in person.

    • Hi Paul, Electronic maps have led me astray more than I care to admit, that is why I am a bit leery of them esp in rural areas. Thanks for sharing your experience on this.

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