One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard centers around the frustration of “where do I begin”. So let’s consider the basics of what you need to be better prepared for an emergency.
A “bug out bag” – this is a typically a simple, light-weight bag with the most core essentials. It gets its name from the idea that there are situations that will require you to evacuate with little or no warning – to “bug out”. The keys here are that this kit bag should only have the most essential materials. Since you may need to walk some distance with this bag, you want it to be as light as possible. Here’s a more detailed write-up: [link]
The “Shelter-in-Place Box” – the opposite of bugging-out, sheltering-in-place emergencies are those situations where you are unable, or are strongly advised, NOT to leave your current location. A Shelter’ box is typically a medium sized, water-resistant container that you can stock and then just leave and forget in the back of your closet. If you have to leave, and you have some warning, you can just pick up the box as part of your evacuation process, and if you have to stay in place for any amount of time, you’ve got supplies to help you and yours out. Here’s a more detailed view of the Shelter box: [link]
The box and the bag, as you might guess, can and do compliment each other. Start building your Bag right now, as it is useful in *all* situations. Next, start working out the details of the Box. Thought remember our core tenets here: keep it simple, keep it easy, keep it inexpensive. In addition to these basics, also consider the following:
Plan “A” – It’s useless to try and plan for every possible situation and trying to do so will only drive you mad. Play to the highest-level situations, as we’ve done with the Bag and Box, and you’ll have the tools you need to enhance yourself in any situation. That said, it doesn’t hurt to have some basic plans and information handy. The idea is pretty straightforward – ask yourself what information would be important for you to have in a pinch? If i had to leave, where would I want to go? That kind of thing. It’s much in the way that you always want to have an idea of where the fire exits are when you go to a movie, but you don’t want to spend several hours planning and exploring every possible escape route. More information about Planning: [link]
Food and Water – This is the last thing to setup. Build up a modest supply of food and water to supplement your Shelter Box. The key here, as with all things, is balance. You want to balance the ideal of having a well-stocked pantry with the realities of your life and situation. We talk a bit about this topic here: [link]
If you have all four of those bases covered nicely, than congratulations, you’ve gone a LONG way towards being disaster-ready!