Get Started Prepping: Part Two in Our Series

Hello Mommies and Daddies!  Thank you for reading with me today. As you know, our goal at happyhealthychildren.org is to provide you with information that will help you raise happy, healthy children. My last blog post was part 1 of our series on prepping. The post addressed what it means to prep and why prepping is important for raising happy, healthy children.  Today’s post will help you get started prepping for your family.

A brief review:

To briefly review, in case you missed part 1 of the series, prepping is the act of preparing for emergencies that might come about due to natural disasters or societal, economic or political unrest.  The reason prepping is important is because, if such situations arise, you might not have access to the essential goods and services that your family needs.

Being prepared will give you peace of mind!

Getting away from the notion that prepping is only for the “fringe”

Some people think that prepping is a fringe notion used only in far-right circles, like homesteading communities.  (Not that I would ever knock homesteaders…what a cool way to live!)  But the truth is that all of us need to be prepared for emergencies, especially those of us who live in large towns or big cities. 

Let’s get started

For those of you who have researched prepping in the past, you know it’s a huge topic with entire books and websites dedicated to it. We obviously can’t cover that much information in one post, but reading this should help you get started prepping.

Firstly, please keep in mind that what your family needs to be prepared for an emergency situation will, of course, depend on the nature of that situation. If you endure a situation like my family did during Hurricane Irma, you may only need a 2-week supply of goods. However, if you face a more long-term situation, like serious supply chain issues or societal unrest, you will need a larger supply of goods to cover your family’s needs.

The basics: clean water

When most of us think of requirements in an emergency situation, the first thing we think of is clean water.  Whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural community, in an emergency, you will likely lose access to your primary water supply.  For example, if you live on a well and depend on electricity for your well pump, you will lose your water source when the electricity goes out. Even if you have municipal water at your home, when natural disasters occur, the water supply often becomes tainted and the municipality puts out an alert that you should not drink the water.  (As an aside, if you haven’t done so already, please read my post on municipal water supplies and why you should not drink from them, even in best-case scenarios!)

There are many options for clean water that will depend on your geographic location.  But, regardless of whether you live by a river or get a water collection system, please make sure you also have several weeks’ worth of bottled water and a good water filter for your emergency backup.

Food

After clean drinking water, the next thing most of us think of in being prepared for an emergency is food. The good news is there are so many long-term food storage solutions nowadays. The bad news is that food can be expensive! Whether you decide to invest in a pre-packaged emergency supply of food, pack or jar your own food or purchase regular food with long shelf-lives, such as peanut butter and canned beans, please get prepared now.  Make space in your budget dedicated to this.  Also, make sure you have something reliable on which to cook. An outdoor gas grill is a great option during short-term emergencies. Just make sure you have plenty of propane. Alternate options include solar ovens and chimineas.

If you have pets, think about how you will feed them as well. Pets are not only part of your family; they can also be important to your security during emergencies, so you’ll want to keep them healthy.

What about shelter?

After food and water, the next thing you want to consider is shelter. Ideally, your home will be your shelter. But what happens if your home becomes uninhabitable?  If a crisis occurs, your neighbors may become very important to you. They may have shelter that they can provide to you or vice versa.  Unfortunately, in the year 2022, many of us do not have well-developed relationships with our neighbors. Life is such that we go from school or work and back home again and don’t necessarily take the time to develop relationships with our neighbors. Take a little while. Get to know your neighbors. It will be a good investment for you.

Safety

Unfortunately, when times get bad and basic necessities, like food and clean water, become less accessible to the general population, the safety of our families can become an issue. Make sure you have a safety plan. Whether you keep firearms in your house, have a neighborhood security patrol or have a good security dog at home, have a way to defend yourself if necessary.

First-aid

Whether you are living through a natural disaster or another situation that requires emergency preparedness, general medical care often becomes unavailable. Roads may be blocked by fallen trees or hospitals and urgent care facilities may run short on the supplies they need. Keep important first-aid supplies at your home so you can deal with basic injuries that may occur.

Personal hygiene

During Hurricane Irma, all 3 of my children developed heat rashes. While we washed daily and stayed clean, a lack of air-conditioning for two weeks in 100+ degree humid weather tends to bring these things on! Thankfully the rashes turned out to be minor issues to deal with. But make sure to have plenty of soap, toothpaste and personal care items, such as female hygiene products, that you and your family may need in case of emergency.

Entertainment

One of the few nice things about having no electricity for 2 weeks during Hurricane Irma was that our family grew closer because of the quality time we got to spend together. Keep items like good books, board games, writing tablets, etc. around the house so that you and your family can enjoy passing the time together. Who knows, after spending special time as a family, your children may not want to go back to those dreaded devices!

Miscellaneous

Don’t forget miscellaneous items like batteries, flashlights and lamps, fire starting equipment and warm clothing. Try to minimize waste. Your regular waste disposal systems will not be available during the emergency.

Concluding thoughts

I hope that you never experience a situation during which you need your emergency supplies. However, emergencies do occur with regularity. Being prepared will give you peace of mind and may pull you and your family through whatever emergency situation you encounter.

Thank you again for reading with me today. Happyhealthychildren.org is here to help you raise happy, healthy children, regardless of the situation you find yourself in.  However, I am a mother and a medical doctor, not an expert in prepping. So please consider this post to be only an introductory framework for you to use to successfully guide yourself and your family through an emergency situation.  Again, there are many books written and websites dedicated to the subject of prepping. I would encourage you to take a look at these books and websites, so that you can be fully prepared in case of emergency. 

Until next time, I wish you joy in raising your happy, healthy children.  Please enter your email address below to subscribe to my blog, which will allow my future posts to come directly to your inbox.  Write to me at dr.pamela@happyhealthychildren.org with any topics you would like to see me cover in the future .  And please share my Gettr account, Facebook page, YouTube videos and Instagram with your friends and family.  My goal is to provide you with information that will help you raise happy, healthy children!

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