Okay, I’m not a prepper. Not really. I guess I’m what you’d call ‘prepper lite.’
I don’t think there’s going to be an earth-destroying comet or zombie apocalypse or anything. But I do think it’s a good idea to be ready for disasters that are much more likely — say for example getting laid off, a house fire, a flood, a long term power outage (like the one that lasted two weeks after the hurricane a few years back). What if your income stopped unexpectedly, or you had to get out of town due to a natural disaster? Would you have enough food to last you a few months, or be ready to evacuate to a motel if you needed to?
Here’s the extent of my prepping. Let’s call them “Prepper Lite Tips”:
FOOD: Once a month buy an extra week or two of staples that will keep at least a year. Get foods you know your family actually eats — not freaky dehydrated stuff that will go in the trash when the date expires, no MREs or super-expensive backpacking meals, just real food. Pasta, canned pasta sauce, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruit, rice, etc. Put each week of groceries in a box and label it for January of the next year. The next week’s worth label February, the next one March, etc. Stack the boxes in the pantry or in a closet. When you have twelve boxes you’ll have a 3 month supply of emergency food. Each month the following year, pull down the box and bring it into your regular supply. Replace it with a new week of food. This way you are naturally rotating stock and not wasting money.
GO BAGS: Prepare a go-bag for each member of your family in case you have to leave the house in a hurry. Each bag should contain that person’s passport, a change of clothes, some cash, a mini first-aid kit, and any essentials peculiar to that person (backup medicine, extra eyeglasses, etc.). Make sure you have copies of your insurance policies and other essential documents. Also a thumb drive with important scans, sacred photos, and anything digital. I just realized I need a go-bag for my dog. Note to self. Tip: when you get your new eyeglass prescription, put the old one in your go bag. Not ideal, but they’d do in an emergency. Same goes when you get a new toothbrush. Wash the old one and put it in the bag. Again, not ideal, but if you had to go in a hurry, it would do. This way you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of cash to be prepared.
MONEY: When you get paid, put some cash aside for your go-bags. It doesn’t take long to accumulate a fair amount, just ten bucks each payday and you’ll have a few hundred bucks before you know it.
OTHER STUFF: Got anything silver? Make a bag full of that stuff and set it aside. I have a bag full of silver forks, knives, and spoons, as well as a small bag full of silver coins. If the economy breaks down all apocalyptic-like, it’ll be there. But, more importantly, if for some reason I fall on hard times, I could take it down to the pawn shop or precious metal exchange and get a grand for it if I had to. Consider picking up a used fire safe on Craigslist to store it in. I did.
Anybody else have tips for prepping lite, easy, and on the cheap? Please share.