A while back, I wrote an article for folks that are brand new to prepping. If you missed it, click here to read it. Anyway, I got some positive feedback on that article, but I also received a few emails asking me to be a bit more specific. They wanted to know where and what they should start with first.
In particular, one email from a lady told me she was on a fixed, very tight income. She had very limited resources, and was asking me what should be the priorities for her, even more so than in the above listed article. I could tell from her email she was feeling a bit overwhelmed. She wanted to be more prepared, but could not spend very much each month.
That’s understandable. Beginning preparedness can feel like a daunting task. You can also look at everything you might potentially need, and feel concerned because your funds are limited. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I have decided to break down that beginning prepping article a bit more, and go into detail as to what I believe should be your top priorities if you are on a budget. Keep in mind that these are the top priorities in almost every disaster scenario, NOT just a huge SHTF event. As always, I stress that you need to start with the most probable scenarios, and work your way outward.
For this article, I’m assuming that you already have developed emergency plans. That to me is your obvious #1 priority. Failing to plan is planning to fail, and hope is not a plan. Instead, this article will focus on what resources you should be collecting first. (For more info on preparedness planning, click here.)
These categories are listed in order of importance (in my opinion). For each category I list the basics for that category that you should work on first. Once you have the basics in that category covered, move on to the next. Or if you can, try to cover more than one category at a time! For example, I list water storage over food storage. (3 days without water/3 weeks without food.) But if you can cover both categories at the same time, you are that much further ahead.
At the end of each category I will list “additional” items. These are items that while I feel are important, they are areas/items that you can come back to once you have all of your basics covered.
Having a cell phone during an emergency is EXTREMELY handy, and in my opinion one of the best things you can have on you during an emergency. Being able to contact others for help during an emergency situation is one of the fastest ways to resolve your crisis.
As more and more people move away from landlines, (the CDC studies find that almost half of all US households no longer have a landline), the technology needed for contacting emergency services with cell phones has been slow to catch up. So there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to using your cell phone during a disaster.
Everyone knows that for an emergency, you simply dial 911. (The number is 112 in other parts of the world.) Smart phones today now have a feature allowing you to use that phone to dial 911 even when the screen and other features are locked.
But what happens if you are in a situation where you cannot get a cell signal? Or worse, your battery is about to die? Here are some hints and tips to help you out if you ever find yourself in this position.
The 411 on 911 and cell phones
Despite what you see on TV and in the movies, calling 911 on your cell phone does NOT give the dispatchers your exact location. According to a 2015 article in USA Today:
Today’s cellphone system does not automatically send location data when you dial 911. After the call comes in, the dispatcher’s computer transmits a digital request to the cellphone network seeking the phone’s location. The data exchange can take seconds or even minutes. Sometimes, it doesn’t return a location at all.
Uber (Uber Technologies Inc.) is an American multinational on-line transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app. This app allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. As of May 2016, the service was available in over 66 countries and 449 cities worldwide.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009. The app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates.
Uber processes all payments involved, charging the passenger’s credit card. Uber takes a cut for itself (which ranges from 5% to 20%), and direct depositing the remaining money into the driver’s account. This makes all transactions completely cashless. (Although riders can give tips.) So it is a great convenience for both the rider and driver!
Although Uber is considered a safe mode of transportation, there have been instances where an Uber driver or someone posing as an Uber driver have perpetrated crimes against unsuspecting clients. (And vice versa.) So I wanted to give you the latest security and safety tips that can help prevent you from becoming a victim.
Before I get started, please know that this is NOT going to be a Public Service Announcement for driving sober, wearing your seat-belt, or not texting while driving. All of this is common sense stuff you should know and be following.
Instead, this article is about how to deal with other drivers’ with road rage, how to spot/avoid a potential drunk driver, and how to protect yourself while on the road.
Yes, this is important. It may not be as glamorous or exciting as reading about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. But to date, there have been ZERO reported deaths due to zombies. NONE!
The same cannot be said about motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, there were almost 30,000 fatal car accidents in the US. This resulted in 32,675 deaths.
In 1988 there were 162 million licensed drivers in the US. In 2010, that number had grown to over 210 million. See a trend here? That number is only going to go up. As the number of drivers grow, so too will the number of car accidents. And so too will the number of road rage incidents and DUIs.
All this means that the chances of you being killed or injured in a car accident are astronomically greater than dying in a zombie swarm. Hence you need to pay attention!
Summer is just around the corner. So for millions of Americans that means the beginning of “Beach” season. Whether they are headed to a lake, the ocean, or even a river, people love the water. It is a great vacation destination.
Though you might be on vacation, your preparedness should not be. The CDC reports over 3400 people a year drown in the US. Nine out of ten of those victims drown in inland waters, and had access to a flotation device but did not wear it. Why? A lack or preparedness and a lack of the use of safety equipment…..ie a life jacket.
Water Safety Equipment
There are 5 different types of flotation devices, with Type III life jacket being the most commonly worn. For simple outings on the water, where it is calm, these jackets do the trick. One thing to keep in mind is that they lack the ability to turn an unconscious person face up.
For longer outings in deeper waters, a Type I jacket is what I recommend. It can maintain buoyancy for much longer periods of time, and it will keep an unconscious person face up, preventing them from drowning.
Another device I would recommend for those on large bodies of water, (like an ocean), for long periods of time is an Aqualink Firefly. A waterproof strobe light that could help rescuers find you, especially at night. They also make one that sends out a radio distress beacon that can help rescuers pinpoint your location within a couple hundred meters.
Water Safety Skills and Knowledge
Your ability as a swimmer is one skill that many people either never consider, or vastly overestimate. Swimming in your backyard pool is not the same as emergency swimming at a lake or in the ocean. Your body will tire and fatigue much sooner than you think. So developing your swimming skill can be vitally important.
When you hear the word “Security” what word pops in your head? For some, they may think Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Others may think about the excruciatingly long lines at the airport. For preppers, I bet firearms are what spring to mind.
Nothing better than a Remington 870 shotgun for home security right?
While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with those answers, very few stop to think about security as a whole. There is more to a security plan than just a 12 gauge shotgun or Glock. Whether it is your home, your homestead, or a large company, security has three parts or stages. Each subsequent stage is predicated upon the previous stage.
When it comes to questionable or even illicit behavior, most humans tend to look at the risk versus reward aspects of their actions. Are the potential payoffs worth the possible hassles, headaches, and trouble?
All but the most psychologically warped individuals will try to weigh those factors in their heads before determining a course of action. The less the perceived reward, or the greater the risk for the bad guy, then the less the chance of bad guy(s) attempting to breach your security. That makes this the most important element of the three.
Why is deterrence the most important? Because if you can deter the bad guys, then you won’t need to rely on the other two elements.