Not yet. It is too easy to panic, grab a credit card and buy things you may never need or that expire quickly.
Calm is the key to prepping. Calm is the key in any disaster. Learn to be calm now. I love my son, the blogger’s, what if scenario, also. He was asked what if nothing bad happens EVER? You have to pay those bills, and you will have to consume those bought and paid for items. Plan first.
Prepping is planning. You already have items you could use in a short term emergency, a list of what you have on hand would help you to NOT buy something you already own. Before you start shopping, ask yourself how long will what I have last? Before you shop, determine what you may need for several days, several weeks, and several months. Make shopping lists accordingly. Do the math and average your weekly consumption.
Start again, delete perishables and do the math again on only meals made from non-perishables. There is no sense prepping for disaster if you are still counting on best case scenarios. If there is no electricity there is no cold milk. Include in this list things like canned butter beads, dry milk, dehydrated eggs.
Compare the lists and adjust your mind. You can easily become over-whelmed or depressed by the vastness of what you want to have on hand compared to what you really need to survive. Break it down in to manageable and less scary totals. It was suggested to me in my research on the web at www.survivalblog.com that you could use a rule of 100. The theory is purchase 100 bottles of water one week, and then build up to 100 cans of canned foods till you build your supplies and are ready to purchase 100 lbs. of the next item because you have built upon weeks and weeks of 100s. Check out this site for more info on weapons, storage, vehicles, and retreats. They have an archive available for purchase at a reasonable price and a reading list. I am here to get you started and assist in brainstorming and crafting your simple needs. Research the experts.
But, for our purposes, let’s return to starter kits. This week you could refine your weekly shopping list to add an extra day of supplies and a flat of bottled water on your grocery shopping trip. After a month, you will have nonperishable food for four days plus water. This should be enough to get you through a power outage due to a straight on hit from a category 1 hurricane in a well populated, quick response area. My experience puts most people back on the grid in that time. However, as you add a number to the strength of a hurricane, you have to add weeks to the power outage, so a cat 3 can be three weeks or more, depending on where you live and past experience, you have to judge. My prep rule is; more is better.
Prepping is planning. It is also challenging. Money is an issue in this economy and we will mount that hill together with tips and techniques to get more and better, for less. There are ways to save as you go. I do NOT suggest ever taking from a power bill to buy alternate power sources or take from the mortgage thinking the economy will collapse and no one will come looking for you. I DO suggest that you convert a large frappe coffee concoction for a twelve pack of water. I suggest you drive less and save more for a different kind of future plan. I suggest you pay attention to where the money slips away quietly and get hold of it!
My BEST suggestion so far is, don’t panic. Don’t shop till you are prepped to go shopping and shop only for what you need, in the beginning. Get those lists together. Refine the lists. Think need as opposed to want, stored supplies are not to be used till needed or near expiration date, then replaced. Don’t panic. Plan and prep.