By Adelia Ladson
You have been faithfully stocking supplies, learning survival skills and forming your SHTF plan. You feel good about what you’ve done to prepare for a major disaster but beware because “the Devil is in the details.” Every good Prepper knows that they need food, water, medical supplies and survival tools to make it. However, when you’re looking at the big picture, don’t forget the small things. I have a feeling that some of you aren’t as prepared as you think you are. Here are a few things to consider.
This makes so much sense that it makes me feel stupid that I haven’t thought of it. If you have, then kudos to you! You need to have a good pair of walking shoes and socks underneath your bed at all times. If disaster strikes, you may not have a lot of time and this will ensure that your shoes are within easy reach. You don’t want to face a disaster barefooted. This goes for fire, flood, earthquake tornado or any other SHTF scenario. It’s such a simple precaution to take but so vital.
This is the wrong way to store your supplies This is the wrong way to store your supplies
When you are stocking food and other supplies, are they safe? Are you storing them in a place that won’t be susceptible to water damage or vermin? It would be a shame to spend so much money and time on your prep to have it destroyed or rendered useless. You need to invest in good, air and water-tight containers
or a good, water-resistant bag
. If you are depending on shelves in your garage or home, you’re making a big mistake. Also, if you don’t have a fireproof box or safe to store your important documents in, you need to go get one now. Disasters can come in a variety of forms but the key to surviving is having what you need. Treat your supplies with the same care that you treat your other valuables.
There is a lot of survival equipment and tools out there for you to invest in that will definitely benefit you like a reliable emergency radio
. However, you are SOL when SHTF if they don’t work. Do not buy items and leave them unopened in their boxes. Believe it or not, there are people out there who buy and store it away without a second look. You need to try out every piece of equipment you buy and if it’s something that has parts that could wear out, get extra parts for it. This goes for things like replacement flashlight bulbs and extra batteries.
This leads into the fact that you also need to know how your equipment and your tools work. Even if it’s something as simple as an axe, take it out and practice using it. If you’ve never used an axe to chop down a tree or to split wood, you’ll find that it’s not quite as easy as it looks. If you haven’t actually used a firestarter to start a fire, you won’t just magically know how to do it in an emergency. You can read all of the survival manuals you want but there is nothing that substitutes for actually putting them into practice. And I don’t mean you have to be a hard-core wilderness survivalist. Just make sure that you know how to use the gear and skills that you do have and trying out some of these tools can even be fun like taking out a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
and giving it a go in a lake or stream.
You need a knife sharpener in your bug-out bag.
You need a knife sharpener in your bug-out bag.
Now let’s talk about your bug-out bag. Even if you’re preparing to shelter-in-place, you need to have a bug-out bag
packed in case you do have to leave. And, yes, I do know that, for the most part, I’m preaching to the choir. Just thought it should be reiterated for those who are new to prepping. I’m not going to get into the necessities that go in your bug-out bag (FYI, the M48 Survival Kit
is a great addition). What I would like to discuss are a couple of items that you might not think are necessary. You need to include a deck of playing cards. You have to give your brain an outlet aside from day-to-day survival. There will be down-times and maybe even long hours of just waiting. With a deck of cards, you have endless options of entertainment, whether you play Solitaire or Go Fish with your family. A deck of cards is small and wont’ take up a lot of room in your bag or pack and you will find their value well worth it. You need to include a picture of every member of your immediate family. If you get separated, then you have a photo of them to show people to help you find them. If you have a family picture, it needs to be as current as possible. It’s important that family members look as close to how they look now. School pictures are great to use for your kids but don’t forget to change them out from year to year. You also need to pack a knife sharpener
. It doesn’t have to be some fancy deal, it can just be a good sharpening stone but you need one. That survival knife in your bug-out bag is not going to stay sharp forever. You don’t want to have a knife that is too dull to perform what you need it to do. Once again, a sharpener won’t take up much room in your bag but it is a necessity that you can’t go without.