With climate change rampant, natural disasters happen without much warning, so you need to be prepared for any situation at all times. Sound impossible? It’s not, really. Here’s how to make it happen.
You’ll need food, first and foremost. It’s the hardest thing to stockpile and yet it’s one of the most essential things on your list of “must haves”. Companies, like Food4Patriots makes this easy, thankfully, with foods that have a long shelf life and actually taste good.
You could also prepare rations and use oxygen depleaters to keep them fresh, but unless you’re skilled in the art of long-term food storage, it’s probably best to just buy from a supplier who knows what they’re doing.
If you’re a DIY who wants to take matters into your own hands, however, a few items that tend to work well include:
Preparing food is usually a multi-step process that includes dehydrating, preserving, and protecting the food from moisture. Most foods that can be dehydrated require either vacuum packing or some other means of storage that prevents air and water from spoiling the food.
Invest in a commercial-grade dehydrator that dehydrates, rather than cooks, the food. Also, get yourself a commercial-grade vacuum sealer and thick plastic bags for sealing.
Finally, make sure you have space in your home or nearby where these items can be safely stored without disruption. The more you move vacuum sealed bags, the higher the possibility that the seal will break.
Let’s also not forget an organic garden of food will also sustain you and provide nutrients and protein too.
Not all vitamins have a long shelf life, but some do and you should consider keeping some just in case you can’t get your hands on food that provides 100 percent nutrition. Most high-quality vitamins won’t last for more than a few months without proper storage conditions (optimal temperature), but some do, like iodine.
A Lugol’s solution of iodine is a great thing to have during a nuclear disaster and it’s a great supplemental source of iodine that doesn’t go bad for a very long time. Salt is another source of minerals that has a long shelf life, as long as you’re getting natural sea salt or mineral tabs from companies like Trace Minerals Research.
Other than that, your best bet for supplements is actually seeds and dried herbs. They’re concentrated nutrition and can fill in the gaps of your food rations.
Stockpile Ammunition and Weapons
No one wants to kill anyone – no one. Not really. OK, maybe psychotic people do, but most normal people don’t. At the same time, in a disaster situation where power is out and law enforcement is stretched thin, you might find yourself temporarily on your own for local disputes.
The worst thing that could happen to you in an emergency is for a local gang, or a group of citizens who were unprepared, to come storming your door for shelter or supplies. Having a way to fortify your home, and defend your family might be the only way you survive until things get back to normal.
But, beyond defense, weapons can be used to hunt for food if you run out of your stockpile. This is more or less a stopgap measure and a last resort, but it’s an important one to consider.
Get a Generator
A generator supplies power when there is no power grid or when that grid is on the fritz. Solar generators are usually preferred since they don’t require fuel for operation. A good solar generator won’t be able to power everything in your house, but it should provide you with enough power to run the lights, and possibly a small refrigerator or a small stove top – all of which will help you cook that precious food.
Prepare a Bug In And Bug Out Bag
This is a catch all for pretty much anything you would need to survive. Bug-out bags are backpacks filled with emergency gear like tools, non-potable water filters, water purification tabs, food purification and preparation tools, blankets (usually wool and waterproofing materials), at least 3 ways to start a fire (including flint and steel with magnesium block and waterproof matches), and a first aid kit.
Of course, they can contain other things too, but these are the basics and something you should definitely have.
A Bug-in bag is similar to the bug-out bag, but contains more of everything and is meant for barricading yourself up in your home.
So, think about what you would need to do that. Here’s an excellent list for ideas.
Allen Baler is a Partner at 4Patriots LLC, a Tennessee based small business that provides products to help people be more self-reliant and more independent. Allen founded the company in 2008 after 14 years as a corporate executive leading profitable business for the Easton Press and the Danbury Mint. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and resides in Nashville with his wife and 3 daughters.