If you have only recently been introduced to emergency preparedness, it may have been in an overwhelming way. You may be wondering how you can afford to stockpile enough food to last for months, build an underground bunker, learn tactical survival skills and still be able to pay the rent next month. Fear and overwhelm can be debilitating. Before you add a safe room to the top of your survival preparedness checklist – if that is even a desire – you need to start small. The best prepping supplies to start with are those that cover your basic survival needs.
FEMA encourages United States citizens to store enough supplies to get your family through at least 72 hours without public utilities and emergency personnel. A person needs approximately one gallon of water per day for drinking and sanitation. You should therefore store three gallons of water for each member of your family, at minimum.
If you experience snow storms or hurricanes in your area, it is not difficult to figure out that most Americans do not have enough food in their pantries to get them through three days. Just take a look at the grocery stores the day before a large storm prediction. Like water, storing food for 72 hours is not an insurmountable task. Plan out three days’ worth of meals that require little preparation and ingredients. Store the necessary food items in plastic tubs for safekeeping. Take a look at my survival food list for recommendations, or you can also buy pre-made kits.
It may not be possible for emergency personnel to reach your location immediately. Therefore, your doomsday supplies should include a first aid kit and manual. It is also advisable to brush up on your CPR skills, just in case.
Personal sanitation is often overlooked, but it can spell trouble quickly. If there is no water to your home, simple things like washing your hands and flushing the toilet are going to be a problem – and fast. Your doomsday prep list should include Wet Wipes and garbage bags for eliminating waste and the germs associated with it.
If you or a family member has special medical needs, discuss emergency options with your physician. Find out the shelf life of any medications and ask for an extra week or two to have on hand in case of an emergency. Keep these supplies in your emergency stores, but remember to switch them out before they go bad.
Now that you have the basics covered in your doomsday prepping list, there are a few other relatively inexpensive items to consider. A NOAA radio will keep you informed should there be a power outage or disruption in media signals. Opt for a hand-crank model that won’t require batteries. A whistle is also a smart buy. This will allow you to easily signal emergency personnel or others of your location. Dust masks can also be picked for just a few dollars and can help protect your family from airborne contaminants. They are easy to store and don’t take up much space.
What items would you add to a beginner’s survival preparedness checklist?