Often times when it comes to being prepared to handle a disaster, people aren’t sure where to start. It can seem like a daunting task to gather 6 to 12 months worth of food or to set up a bug-out location where you can survive totally off the grid in all forms of weather. If you’re new to prepping, don’t panic. Today we’re going to share the 4 basic tenets of being physically prepared and self sufficient. Better yet, we’re going to show you how to put together a plan to get prepared without breaking the bank.
How to Have Physical Self Sufficiency
In our world at least, physical self sufficiency means being able to care for yourself in four basic areas: food, water, shelter and first aid. If you’ve got those 4 things covered, you’ve got a start. Here’s how you can get a start on having those four areas of your prepping plan covered.
If you’re in a situation such as a natural disaster where you can’t leave your home due to weather conditions, a situation where you can’t go to stores due to a widespread power outage, or where you can’t leave your home due to an unforeseen disaster such as a terrorist attack or sickness outbreak, you’ll want to be sure to have an ample supply of food on hand so that you don’t have to leave your home, even if you have the physical capability to do so.
When it comes to preparation, self sufficiency and food, there are some things you need to remember as you create your stockpile.
1. Get foods that require little to no preparation. Since you might not have access to cooking heat, it’s wise to get food that requires little to no preparation. Fully cooked soups and stews, canned legumes, canned veggies and a variety of nuts, dried fruits and snacks is a good place to start. Be sure to have enough to feed your immediate family for at least 7 days, and longer if you feel it’s necessary.
2. Get foods that you like. Be prepared to thrive, not just survive, should a disaster hit. Don’t get foods you hate and will abhor eating just to have a stockpile. Shop considerately and get foods that everyone in the family likes.
3. Consider having some cooking tools on hand. If you prefer to have hot food, keep a camping stove with filled (portable) propane tanks available or keep portable grill supplies handy at all times. These supplies aren’t expensive and don’t require a lot of room to store, but you’ll likely be glad you have them if a disaster strikes.Having basic heating and cooking supplies on hand also helps give you the option to expand your food storage stockpile to include things like instant rice and Ramen noodles.
4. Rotate your stockpile regularly. This is another reason it’s wise to get food you like. Don’t waste your stockpile via expiration dates; instead get foods you like and rotate them out occasionally, taking them off your stockpile shelf and replacing them with new items at the same time.
It’s vitally important to have a secure water supply in the event of a disaster. The human body can go several weeks without food but only a few days without water. Smart preppers should have a gallon a day for each member of the family for the number of days they want to be prepared to survive and thrive in the event of a disaster. For our family of six, that would mean that if we wanted to be able to survive for 7 days without a regular water supply, we’d need 42 gallons of water.
Some water preserving prepper options?
These highly rated Amazon products give you both short and long term water storage options. AND: for those of you with pets, don’t forget to add water for your pets into the equation. Water storage for cats and dogs, depending on the size of the dog, will vary. Cats will be fine with a pint of water per day. For those of you with farm animals such as horses, cows and goats, consider getting a manual pump for your well if you don’t already have one. A manual pump that is set up to surpass the electric pump system will nix the need for any additional water storage, provided you’re not dealing with a ground contamination problem. If you want to be prepared to not use your pump if the water isn’t safe and you have farm animals, I’d suggest several of the 55-gallon storage units.
Hopefully if an emergency comes, your house will remain intact. If not, do you have a plan for what to do? Here are some options:
An On-Site Safe Room
Depending on the type of disaster you’re facing, an onsite safe room might be a good option for weathering a disaster. An on-site safe room should be strong enough to weather even large weather disasters, have the ability to siphon in fresh air, having heating and cooling properties, and have enough room for you and your supplies to bunk comfortably for several days. Many construction companies here in the Midwest anyway are including an option for rooms such as bathrooms to be made into safe rooms to help prepare for disasters such as tornadoes.
A Bug-Out Location
If you can afford it, a bug-out location such as a cabin or a vacant lot in the woods with a camper, situated 2 or more hours from your home, might be a great idea for providing a second option for secure shelter during an emergency. Just make sure that you follow this rule of prepping:
- Always keep your gas tank at least half full
so that you are able to reach your bug-out location provided you have working transportation.
An Out-of-Town Friend or Family Member’s Home
If you’ve got relatives or friends that live far away that would welcome you in the event of an emergency, set that up as a possible option for obtaining safe shelter during a disaster.
The option you choose isn’t important – as long as you have an option that’s affordable and wise.
Having proper first aid options if professional medical help isn’t available is a smart move in being prepared for a disaster. Here are some things you can to to prepare your family for medical help.
- Take a local community course and learn the basics of first aid and emergency care
- Have an emergency supply stockpile, such as this waterproof emergency care kit
- Have a good medical book, such as one of the two shown below:
With some education and preparedness, you can have many of the supplies you need, along with the knowledge you need, to handle minor medical emergencies that might otherwise require a doctor when there’s none available.
Being prepared for Physical Self Sufficiency may seem overwhelming, but by following the above tips to ensure you’ve got food, water, shelter and first aid options available in the event of an emergency, you’ve already won half the preparedness battle.