I must be going crazy. Hours spent researching solar water heaters, how to build game traps, how to make gunpowder. Sleepless nights spent worrying about how to get to my bug-out location that does not yet exist. Stressing over how to provide for my family when things get really bad and I don’t have enough food or water. Just as I felt my sanity slipping away I had an epiphany. I have no idea why or what I am prepping for. I needed to look around at what I have and just start small.
I want to begin prepping but would like to avoid the eye rolls I inevitably will get from my wife. So I explained how after narrowly avoiding a few close passing tornado’s at our house we need to “bug out” to a better place other than our house in the event of tornado like weather. This would mean prepping small, portable survival items that could be quickly collected when seconds count in a bug out situation.
Water, food and shelter, that’s the basics right? I stepped into my kitchen and looked around for what I had available. It had been a week since I went to the grocery store and after making note of all the food I had available in the house I had roughly three weeks’ worth of food. I decided to rearrange items that would be taken in an escape situation to make food items collectible in just seconds into a duffle bag I keep nearby. This would give us at least three to four days of food if we were unable to return to our house and possible help ease our children and pocket book by providing food they are used to and not a freeze dried pouch of food, although I am sure taste fantastic according to youtube.
So I got food covered now even if it just for a few days. Now to take care of water needs. I have a water filtration picture but that is not exactly ruggedly portable but will help in a bugging in situation. I have firewood and a fireplace available and I have a water heater that holds 45 gallons. So I think I have enough water to last me a few days of bugging in. To cover bugging-out I simply went to the store and purchased a 15 gallon portable water container and a 24 pack of bottled water. I know what you’re saying, “That’s not nearly enough because everyone needs one gallon a day and you got this and that and yada yada….”. You have to remember my above motto, just start small.
For shelter I just looked around at the four walls of my house. Bugging in shelter, check. However that’s just not good enough. First keeping in line with my tornado guise I spoke with my wife on very close tornado safe locations to bug out to. We could not decide on one. I heard a knock at the door, it was my blood pressure. Later that night I was sitting in the Sunday school office at my church racking my brain over a safe bug out spots. Then it hit me, literally. I was leaning way too far in a chair and hit my head on the concrete walls of the Sunday school office. See our church built the lower half of the church underground. I later found out this was because it was to be used as a shelter in case of bad weather. So since we have the codes and keys to gain access to this building and we could drive to it in roughly 2 minutes we had our tornado bug out location checked off.
This does not however fix a non-tornado get out of town bug out location. A few weeks later we were at our friend’s house and I was talking to him about the new Glock 22. Personal security and concealed carry licenses check. He said he had a place to shoot it. After a little interrogation I discovered he had a cabin, in the middle of the woods about an hour outside of town. I spilled my beans on my prepping agenda. After some visiting and planning we decided we would begin working on prepping ideas to help our two families in a bug-out situation.
Finally I attempted to close some gaps I felt were important in either bugging in or out scenarios. I work at a hospital. I remember getting a cut on my hand one day and asked the nursing director if there was a first aid kit. She patted me on the shoulder and said, “You work in a first aid kit.” She pointed me to a walk in closet that was a literal free market of first aid and triage supplies and said help yourself. The next morning I asked her if I could have some of the items to build a kit for myself and she agreed. Nothing fancy – ointment, bandages, alcohol wipes, burn cream and some tape. This combined with the medications we had on hand at home gave me a great starting point for first aid situations.
After all this I had invested roughly $120 including 250 rounds of ammo into this project. The pistol was a gift from my dad and I also came across four new 2.4ghz walkie talkies I got crazy cheap. I started to feel my sanity return. My next goal is to sell my house which we have been trying to do for something with more space and they expand my preparations. Prepping is a journey not a destination and I feel like I have gotten past the most major hurdle, getting started. I accomplished that by simply looking around and starting small.
The article above was an entry into the ModernSurvivalOnline Preparedness Guest Post Writing Contest.
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