Preparing for a Severe Winter Storm

Winter has come roaring in and it is proving to be fierce and we have only just begun. Storms that have ravaged the east coast have proven why it is absolutely crucial people prepare for severe storms that will leave them trapped inside their home for days at a time. If you have ever lived through a severe storm like the one plaguing the eastern seaboard, you know power outages are inevitable. Without power and the ability to heat your home, your life is at risk.

snow WVDo yourself a favor and prepare for the next storm by getting these items in your home today. The time to prepare is now. Waiting until the snow starts to fall will be too late. There will be a rush on these items and you will be left without.

• Bottled water—enough for at least 3 days, just in case pipes freeze
• Canned food
• Freeze-dried food—store extra water for preparing the meals
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Emergency candles and matches
• Extra personal hygiene items i.e. soap, feminine hygiene, toilet paper
• Solar charger for the cell phone in case power goes out
• Extra diapers, formula and baby wipes if there is a baby in the house
• Prescription meds should be filled with at least a week’s supply on hand at all times
• Winter gear i.e. coats, hats, gloves, scarves
• Alternative heat source—fireplace, woodstove and fuel to burn
• Space heaters in case furnace breaks
• Crank radio to hear current weather conditions
• Books, magazines and board games to keep you entertained
• Extra pet fooddog food

You can also help your home stay warm by winterizing it. Put on storm windows or put plastic over the windows to block the cold air from coming in. Hang heavy blankets or invest in heavy curtains to help block the cold drafts. Roll up towels and place under the doors to block the drafts that come in from underneath. Keep doors closed to rooms you don’t use to keep the heat in one area. If your heater has failed, gather the family in a single room, the smaller the better and huddle together to maximize body heat.

Do what you can to be prepared for the next winter storm. It is far too dangerous to try and leave your house just to get some toilet paper. Stay home and stay safe!

Top 5 Mistakes Preppers Make

food pantry-1With the prepping movement spreading across the country and the world, there are plenty of people getting into the world of preparing to survive anything. There is a lot of information out there and people are voraciously soaking it all up and putting it to work in their own prepping. But what if all of that information is leading you astray? Maybe you are not reading the fine print and you are making a huge mistake that could end up making all of your prepping for naught. Check out these top five mistakes and do what you can to avoid them.

1-Putting all of your eggs into one basket or in this case, putting all of your preps in one area is a mistake. What happens when your basement with every bit of your food, water and other emergency supplies is inaccessible or destroyed? You should have at the minimum, two places with supplies, just in case one is compromised.

2-Focusing all your energy on bugging out and creating the perfect bug out bag is dangerous as well. You may have to hunker down in your home for a few days while you wait for the smoke to clear so you can bug out.

3-Preparing to survive all by yourself and not including your family in your prepping is very risky. You cannot do it alone. You need to get your family on board and if you can, a few trusted friends and neighbors. Pooling resources is one of the best ways to plan to survive long term after a disaster.community

4-Not trying out and practicing how to use the survival gear you are storing. All the gear in the world isn’t going to do you a bit of good if you don’t know how to use it. This applies to that freeze-dried food you are stockpiling as well. Experiment and practice with your gear so you are not struggling to learn something new in an extremely stressful, life-threatening situation.

5-Buying a 3-month supply of food and considering yourself officially ready is a common mistake. You are never done prepping. You should always be adding to your supplies and tweaking what you have to make it better. It isn’t something you do on a Saturday afternoon. It is something you do every Saturday afternoon for at least a couple of hours.

Avoiding these common mistakes is important. Don’t get caught up in all of the hype of prepping. Do what you can that is right for you and your family.

Why People Prep

With the prepping movement picking up speed every time there is a new disaster or illness like we saw with ebola, people are reminded why prepping is so important. We just never know when the next catastrophe will strike. It will likely come without warning and we don’t want to get caught unprepared. The following reasons are why people prep. Maybe you have a different reason altogether, but these are some of the most common and plausible scenarios.

Natural Disaster

hurricane-67581_640Earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes can be devastating. They strike with little warning in most cases. With winter upon us, severe winter storms are a real possibility. We are already getting a little taste of what winter has in store for us and if we are not ready to ride out heavy storms, our families will suffer.

Financial Collapse

The entire world is standing on shaky legs as far as the economy goes. We are a breath away from sinking into financial ruin. Citizens are aware of the tenuous situation and are doing what is necessary to stock up on essentials that will help them ride out a global financial collapse of the economy.

Terrorist Attack-Foreign or Domestic

History tells us we are vulnerable for an attack whether it comes from outside or inside. These attacks may not strike near you, but they do cripple the nation as people come to terms with their fear of another attack happening. An attack may leave an area in dire straits until aid can come in. During that time, people will be forced to live on what they have stored in their homes.

Power Grid Failure

Our power grid is vulnerable. A natural disaster, act of war be it a bomb or physical attack on our transformers or a computer virus could thrust the country into the dark. Without power, there would be major upheaval in our world. We would struggle to function and commerce would grind to a halt.

Civil Unrestpolice-275875_640

People are getting antsy about the economy and other acts by law enforcement and the government. We have seen rioting pop up for various reasons. In most cases, the rioting is contained to a small area. What if people across the country decided to voice their irritation with the government by staging massive riots across the country? The country would be paralyzed while the law attempted to set things right.

These are just some scenarios that we have already seen at some point. Being prepared to live through them again just makes sense. We never know what may happen tomorrow, but we can do something to prepare for it today.

Is Bugging Out Best?

In the prepping world, you hear a lot about bugging out or getting out of dodge. Bug out bags are a very popular topic and preppers are constantly working to create the best bag possible. There is a bit of a misconception about prepping or survival training. It isn’t always about bugging out. In fact, your best option, if it is an option, is to stay put. Why would you want to leave the comfort of your home and head out into the open wilderness?tent and bike

Before you automatically assume you have to bug out and live off the land somewhere in a grass hut in the trees somewhere, consider your options carefully. When you choose to abandon your home, you are giving up all of those supplies you have hopefully been building up. You are going to be forced to survive on your wits and with whatever gear is in your bag. Technically, a bug out bag is only meant to sustain you for a few days while you walk or travel to your next rally point, which may be a bunker or some secret hideout.

Some preppers make the mistake of packing as much gear as they can into their bug out bag with the idea of living off the land for weeks or months with whatever they can carry on their back. This would only be necessary in extreme cases.

a stocked pantry is disaster insuranceInstead of assuming you have to bug out, consider this; can you make your home a fortress that will sustain you and your family? Putting up fencing, storing sheets of plywood to place over the windows and investing in a solar power system that can operate a security camera could make your home fairly safe for you to hunker down in. Bugging in is always a better option. Of course, this will depend a great deal on the disaster or event you are dealing with.

If you are convinced your home will be uninhabitable, do your best to scout out a second location that will sustain your family before a disaster situation happens. You don’t want to have to wonder around the forest, desert or prairie looking for a good place to set up camp. Decide early on and consider burying a few supplies for you to use. This will help lighten your load a bit while ensuring you have what you need to survive the great outdoors.

No matter if your plan A is to bug in, you should always have a bug out bag, just in case. Part of prepping is always having a contingency. If you have to leave your home and bug out, you want to be ready.