If you have medications you need for life-sustaining purposes, ask your doctor to help you have some extra on hand for emergencies. If a snowstorm hits and you can’t get to the pharmacy, you could really suffer or possibly even die without the medication that you need. It doesn’t hurt to have extra over-the-counter medicines around, too, such as ibuprofen and allergy medication or anything else you need on a regular basis.
If you have the space, consider keeping extra home repair supplies on hand. Plywood and lumber, hammer and nails, rope, duct tape, and even a staple gun can help you make repairs in a hurry. A spare tarp can temporarily fix a leaking roof. A wet vac can help dry up a flooded basement. If a window breaks in a bad storm, the last thing you want to do is have to run to the store for plywood. You could even talk to a local handyman about what the most common repairs are so you can be prepared.
You don’t want your car to break down in the middle of an evacuation, so make sure it is in good running order. Keep the oil changed, the windshield wipers in good shape, and the fluids topped off so you are always ready to go.
If you are forced to shelter in place, you’ll want to do so in a home that is warm, safe, and secure. Don’t put off those pesky repairs. Get the windows caulked, finish that insulation project, and repair the French drain in case of flooding. If you’re without power, your home will be much easier to keep warm or cool if it has been weatherized and repaired.
A trip to the doctor and dentist will help you be physically healthy. You don’t want to go into a disaster or emergency situation in bad health and have it get worse because you can’t see a doctor when you need to. You’ll be better off if you take care of any health issues before they become a big problem.
When people become aware of just how fragile our civilization is, they tend to panic. Don’t do it. Panic will cause you to make rash decisions or to feel overwhelmed and give up. Will the next major disaster be tomorrow? No, probably not. Will there be a major disaster in your area in the next few years? It’s very possible. The point is, you should have a healthy sense of urgency, but don’t feel like you’re already out of time. Keep living your life and work on your preps a little bit every day, but don’t forget to relax.
Many people are so reliant on their microwaves and stoves that they have no idea how to cook a meal without them. Of course, there’s always the grill, but the smell could attract hungry looters, and what if you run out of charcoal or propane? Check out my ultimate guide to cooking without power.
We’re all so spoiled by the fact that we can throw anything in the trash and a truck will come along every week to take it away. Learn to start reusing items such as plastic bottles, glass jars, and newspapers. Here are a few more ideas.
Even if you already know how to hunt and fish, make sure you know how to clean and butcher all sorts of animals. Here’s how to build a survival fishing kit.
You don’t have to be completely off-grid to take advantage of solar power. Companies such as Bio-Lite sell solar lights and chargers that are affordable and easy to use. And there are lots of other solar gadgets worth looking into. Even if your electricity is only off for a couple of days due to a bad storm, it sure is nice to have some extra lights or an easy way to charge your cell phone or tablet. A couple of small panels, a battery, and some lights will go a long way toward adding a little bit of comfort to a dark night.