Written by Bernie Carr
The New Year is here and along with it comes hopes that this year will be better than last year. We are all hopeful but there are many signs that the difficulties we’ve experienced such as supply chain issues, shortages, high inflation, evolving pandemic, rising crime, and unrest will continue.
With this in mind, let’s look at the top 10 preps for the New Year. Whether you are just starting out or have been preparing for a while, I am sure you will find something to improve upon.
If you have stored water from the previous year, now is the time to replace old water. Sometimes stored water can form algae. You can still use it for cleaning, but won’t want to drink it unless you have a water filter. Use up your stored water for watering plants, washing your car, cleaning your home, etc. If you noticed mold or algae, wash your water containers with a small amount of bleach: one tablespoon for bleach mixed with one gallon of water is enough for most cleaning purposes according to the CDC.
Save at least one gallon of water per person per day. Try to have enough for at least three days.
Rotate your food storage
Another activity I do in the beginning of the year is to check the expiration dates on my stored foods. Foods do not immediately go bad upon expiration; in fact they can last for a while if you have stored them in a cool, dry place.
I still prefer to use them up as soon as I can when the expiration date is approaching, as many members of our family tend to get squeamish about expiration dates. I then make a note to myself to replace those foods that I have used up.
Get your power outage kit ready
As we have seen in the recent months, the power grid is certain areas has been the target of attackers. Not trying to be an alarmist or conspiracy theorist, but these attacks have already been on the news enough times to not notice a pattern.
Because you never know if the power grid in your town can be targeted, why not get your power outage kit ready now, before anything happens and your family is left in the dark while repairs are being made.
Here are some links that will help you get started:
Replenish your first aid kit
I know a lot of families that don’t even one a single first aid kit. I gave first aid kits as Christmas gifts one year. As you may have seen reported on the news, there is a shortage of cold medicine at the moment, due to the widespread flu, COVID-19 and RSV. Not telling you to start hoarding cold medicine, but if you buy just one bottle, you will be ready in case you were to come down with a cold or flu. No one wants to have to drag themselves to the store when one is already feeling sick.
You can easily buy a pre-made kit, such as this one, or build one yourself. Here’s a good starter one.
Here are some money saving tips for building your kit.
How can anyone forget the great toilet paper shortage of 2020? With supply chain issues still going on, you may want to pick up at least an extra pack of toilet paper for your family. While you’re at it, replenish your supply of:
- Trash bags
- Disposable gloves
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes
Include items your family normally uses and wouldn’t want to do without.
Every winter at least one reader gets concerned about staying warm during a power outage. Check out this article for ideas.
A lot of people are concerned about safety these days.
There have been a lot of car and catalytic converter thefts these past few months. There have also been a lot of burglaries reported even in quiet neighborhoods. I have considered a doorbell camera as well as a safety gadget or two for the car.
Take steps to keep your home and your car safe.
Boost your cash emergency fund
A lot of people don’t think about finances when it comes to prepping. But the truth is, being financially prepared is also part of an overall preparedness plan.
Having an emergency cash fund is part of prepping. During an emergency, electronic forms of payment may not be accepted, as cash machines and credit transactions may be down. Carry at least $40 with you or in your vehicle. Check out these ways to add to your emergency fund.
Pay down debt and lower your expenses
As interest rates continue to rise, variable interest debt such as credit card debts just keep costing you more and more. Resolve to put the breaks on incurring new debt and start paying off your balances.
A lot of people lost their jobs in the recent months. One way to be prepared is to lower your expenses before you have to. Look at all your monthly bills and see if there is a way to lower them. Check each and every expense and see if you can:
- Switch to a cheaper phone plan
- Ditch or lower your cable package
- Eliminate streaming services you hardly use
- Eat more home-cooked meals instead of eating out every day
Get in shape
Being fit is a top priority in a prepared life. Being in a disaster is exhausting, and being in poor shape makes it that much tougher to cope. A strong immune system will help you resist illnesses. Resolve to get healthier this year.
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About the author
Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.