More people are preppers than they care to admit. This is because there are different levels of preparation depending on what you are preparing for. History makes it pretty clear that we will all experience several recessions in our lifetime, and most likely at least one natural disaster or military attack. At the same time, there are those who firmly believe civilization as we know it will one day be destroyed. In any case it is good to be prepared. However, before you can get started, you have to know what you are preparing for. Here’s a look at three different scenarios and how to prepare for them.
Rainy Day Prep
Thanks to the recent recession, many people have started to see the value in being prepared for a “rainy day.” Many who weren’t prepared soon found their credit scores ruined, lost their home to missed payments or were unable to pay other bills. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid these types of consequences. One way to do this is to start a rainy day fund. Ideally this fund would be large enough to support you and pay all of your regular bills for about six months. Build up this savings account by immediately paying yourself every time you get a paycheck. Keep the money you save separate from your regular budget, so you aren’t tempted to spend it on restaurants or vacations.
On top of building up a savings account, seek to reduce or completely eliminate credit card and other debts. Reducing the number of payments you have to make each month will significantly reduce your stress should you lose a job or see a pay cut. Finally, stocking up on essentials during times of plenty—such as basic home supplies or pantry items—can help reduce expenses when times get tough.
Recent disasters such as Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina have given many of us a rude awakening to how unprepared we are. Should the power grid get turned off, or if the city we live in is destroyed due to a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, how are we supposed to survive? Prepare your family for this kind of emergency by creating an emergency plan. Discuss where you will meet should a disaster occur. Have one location for a household emergency and another in a distant location should an evacuation be needed. Select and memorize an out of state contact should family members be unable to reach each other.
Putting together a disaster “go-bag” will make your exit quick, and you won’t leave anything important behind in your haste. In your go bag include basic necessities like food, water, sturdy shoes, a change of clothes and medicine. Tools for your comfort and survival are also important such as a radio, pocket knife, flashlight and a map. Keep a copy of important information in the go bag as well, including emergency contact info, identification cards, insurance information and copies of mortgage or rental contracts.
Even if a disaster doesn’t require evacuation, you could be left for days or weeks without electricity or access to food and water. Build up a good supply of food storage and water supply that will last at least three days. Make sure the food you store is similar to what you already eat and is shelf-stable. Food that doesn’t require cooking is ideal because the power and gas lines may be shut down. Rotate through your food supply regularly, so it doesn’t go bad sitting on the shelf.
Doom and Destruction Preparation
Should civilization as we know it be completely destroyed, all of the preparation you have done for the previous situations will do you absolutely no good. To prepare for destruction at this level you will need to think about how to survive for long stretches of time. A bunker filled with several years worth of food as well as an energy source and weapons to fight off pillagers would make a good start.
However, you will want to think beyond basic survival and think about how you will bring life back to the planet. You will need seeds and bulbs to build up an agricultural base as well as special skills, such as carpentry, metal work and sewing. In order to truly survive doomsday, think about not just how to survive the event, but how you would continue to live with absolutely no outside help available. A complete list of what you would need is too complex to address here, but there are plenty of sites out there to help you prepare for the worst.