Prepping for Beginners

Being from S. Ca I’ve always been aware of being prepared for an earthquake. Now being in rural Oregon I’m more aware of a possible disaster, earthquake, fire, chemical as I’m not far from train tracks.  I am not close to a hospital like I was in CA. Nor can emergency crews get to me quickly. So yesterday I taught a class on Emergency Preparedness.

Yes I am a junior prepper. I say junior prepper because I do not have a bunker, nor live off the grid. But I do stock food and water. A lot of folks ask “how do you get started prepping? I can’t imagine buying all the food at once!” My response is, like any big project, start small so it’s not so taunting.

Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

So what would you do if you were told you must evacuate in the next 10 minutes? Quick what do you take…clock is ticking….

But first a story because it’s a great lesson on hindsight. Back in the 80’s there was a large fire that started to burn near my home and eventually we were put on evacuation notice. (Sorry mom but the bus is coming….) I watch as my mom’s first concern was to immediately grab pictures off the wall. None of us want to lose precious pictures. But if that were up here, I don’t have the option of going to a local shelter or friends house in another county. I only have one road in/out.

Today I’m going to share with you my ‘Bug Out’ bag. This bag sits by the front door. In this backpack I have what I need to survive for 3 days. When I leave the house this bag goes into my car. Because let’s face it, if you’re on the road and disaster strikes you’re going to need to be able to take care of yourself until you can get to help.

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I’m going to list out here what you see in the picture. In the lower left is an old backpack that I sprayed with Scotch Guard water repellant. On the far left you can just see my hat. I carry a hat rather than an umbrella because I need to be hands free. 3 containers of water. Notebook/pen, protein bars, sturdy gloves, duct tape, water straw. This straw can be used to pull water from a contaminated source and purify to drink. Baggie #1, medication, hand sanitizer, lotion, medical cloves, toothpaste. Baggie #2 sewing kit, eyeglass kit, 2 large trash bags, rubber bands, matches, Leatherman tool with various attachments, can opener. Also those two baggies can be used to rehydrate food. Emergency whistle with compass and inside waterproof matches. Reflective twine, extra phone charger, utility knife, first aid kit, flashlight, survival sleeping bag,hand warmers which can be put into sleeping bag to help keep warm, radio, deck of cards, map of Oregon including BLM roads, list of emergency contacts and copies of our passports, and phone numbers of our banks, medical information, and pack of freeze dried beef stew.

Now time is up…what did you grab? Not a whole lot I bet and some items were unnecessary. But if you have a bug out bag, and you are at home when the emergency happens you will have time to grab some of those luxury items, like pictures,  and be able to take care of yourself.

Remember when the emergency happens the time to prepare is over. I hope you will take to heart that being prepared for even a short time is doable and you too will start preparing…to survive.