Create a Foundation to Build on.
Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief, behavior, or a chain of reasoning.
Sometimes we need a reminder to continue to prepare. It is easy to become complacent and fall back to our old ways. Even preparedness gals like me need a few reminders while on the path! Maybe you are new to this whole prepping thing, and you don’t know where to start. Perhaps you’ve been around awhile and need a refresher.
Either way, let me introduce you to the 10 principles of preparedness. These will keep you safe in an emergency, fed during economic trials, and financially prepared to handle any situation. The best part of all you can start small, make your foundation, and build upon it.
It begins with a plan
You need a set of survival plans. These are the basis of preparedness. You cannot expect to get anywhere in a timely manner without having a road map. Your plans will tell you:
- How to get out of your house if there is a fire.
- How to do a home safety check to keep safe from daily emergencies.
- How to decide what to do if there is a major emergency and your family is in different places. Where will you meet?
- Which emergency numbers you need to have on hand.
In my house, we do this in our monthly family meeting. We assess and plan so we can be safe.
Experts say you can’t live more than three days without water and many families use hundreds of gallon per day. It is not possible to store that much water long-term, and so you need a water plan. How much does your family need to save and for what? Drinking – yes; cooking – yes; bathing-maybe not as much as you think (your kids will love that!)
The rule of thumb is 1 gallon, per person, per day. I can tell you that there will be no extra if that’s your plan! There are easy ways that you can work on your water storage a little at a time and have ways to store and purify your water readily available. Are you ready to get serious about your water storage today? One of the best books I’ve read on the subject is The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide by Daisy Luther (my review) plus here’s an Amazon link . Thanks for the support!
Related: 5 Ways to Begin Water Storage
You can last weeks without food, but you won’t be very happy doing it. Your food plans should include what you will take in your 72-hour kit if you have to bug out, and what kind of food you need to keep around if you have to bug in and there is no electricity.
We think a good Food Storage Plan is a safe, self-reliant and frugal way to live.
Related: The Food Storage Page
4. Sanitation & Hygiene
You have your food. You have your water. Everyone is sick with the crud because you’ve forgotten to plan for your sanitation and hygiene needs. It may not be pleasant to talk about – but it needs to be planned for! After a major earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand, the people set up twin bucket toilet systems. Maybe that will work for your family too.
Have you ever been in a real emergency and not had a way to contact your family to make sure they were safe? Having a way to communicate during an emergency can be such a comfort. In the PNW we frequently have big wind storms, sometimes accompanied by floods and landslides. I learned first hand that cell phones do not always work during an emergency, the lines just get overloaded.
What is your plan to communicate during an emergency? Often long distance will function when local calls do not. Does your family have an out of state contact so they can check in and let you know they are safe? Texting and Twitter may be a good option, as well as the Red Cross Apps that will place a message on your Facebook page.
Maybe you are a camping family and you have been practicing this all summer. Maybe you live in an apartment in the city and you don’t get to rough it much. Energy needs are going to cover things like
- how will I cook if there is not power,
- how will I keep warm and
- do I have a safe way to see in the dark?
You will also need to know the safest way to store fuel for those emergencies.
You probably have a basic first aid kit in your home, it just makes sense. At my house, we keep cheap dollar store bandages for the kids to “play around” and save the expensive ones for a real emergency. Preparing your medical supplies might include
- creating a basic dollar store first aid kit
- having an advanced first aid kit,
- a suture kit (Amazon) and
- a stockpile of bandages, splints, and medications.
It will also include knowledge about how to use those sutures, CPR training and at least basic first aid skills. You might add some herbal preparations on top of it all.
We haven’t written much about protection on our blog, we like to think on the positive side, but learning to protect yourself is a reality in our day and age. I’m not talking about protection from Zombies, but from predators in all (living) forms.
Only you can decide if firearms are right for your family. If they are, get the training you need to be safe. In addition, you need to learn some ways to camouflage yourself and your supplies and barricade your house. You might want to check out these posts by SurvivalMom for ideas.
Peace of mind comes when you are financially prepared. You are out of debt (or working towards it), you have an emergency fund and you are living within a budget.
I can’t tell you how important this has been to our family!
10. Spiritual and Mental Preparedness
Maybe you consider yourself a spiritual person, maybe not. That’s not the point. When things get tough you are going to need all the spiritual and mental preparedness you can muster!
You must come to that personal knowledge that you can prepare enough to be safe, that you can mentally handle any challenge that comes your way. That’s what survivors do, so put yourself in survival mode and don’t let anything get in your way. Take advice from the experts on how to be mentally prepared before a big game – this applies to emergency preparedness too.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
These resources have been helpful for me.