Sorry for being away for so long, my new duties keep me on the road quite a bit.
All of us who prep have mostly the same concerns. When you get right down to it, the Rule of 3’s for wilderness survival also dictate what we are concerned about in a disaster we are weathering either in our homes or bugging out. Medical care, shelter (to include energy, like fire), water, food, community; these are the priorities as we prep. Our individual goals will differ slightly, the most reasonable threats differ from region to region and case by case. You might be perfectly content to store 30 days of food and water and call it good. My personal goal is a year. Both are perfectly ok, based on our individual circumstances. But we will begin by addressing those basic priorities.
But, what do we do once we have initially addressed those needs? Say we have basic first aid supplies, 30 days of food and water and a home that we can maintain a livable temperature in year around. We have a $1000 dollars in a safe, a basic 4 gun battery and a few hundred rounds of ammo and a few ounces of pre-64 silver coins or Silver Eagles. You have a genny and a few gallons of stabilized gas to run your freezer and some fans and a Coleman stove and enough gas to cook your food. What now? Below are my ideas for often overlooked prepping items that you will be glad you tucked away.
1. Feminine Hygiene Products. Ideally, you should have sufficient product of choice for the same amount of time you have food stored. If you plan to not be able to get access to store bought food for 30 days, what makes you think you can get tampons or pads or birth control? If you made the determination that 30 days of preps is sufficient for 90% of all emergencies, and your ok with that, then prep for the women in your life to have the necessaries for that month.
2. Iron rations. I first heard this term in the book that got me started thinking this way, back in High School, Alas Babylon. The term refers to luxury items that will be hard or impossible to get during a crisis, but which help give a sense of normalcy and improve moral. A pound of coffee or chocolate, a case of pipe tobacco or miniatures of the adult beverage of your choice. A box of Twinkies. Whatever floats your boat and will let your spouse or kids or yourself de-stress for a bit.
3. Knowledge. For all I have been studying this stuff for years, there is no way I can carry all I need to know around between my ears. A good reference library is invaluable. Everyone should have several copies of this, desk sized and pocket sized Basic electronics, chemistry, ag, carpentry, plumbing, etc.
4. Medical. While not overlooked in general, I propose that everyone keep certain specialized tools on hand. While it isn’t advisable to try to do work well beyond your training, you don’t want me trying to do an appendectomy or extract a tooth, someone who comes your way may have those skills but be without the necessary equipment to perform life-saving actions. So, I suggest everyone keep a small surgical and dental kit on hand.
5. Adhesives. It is possible to make acceptable glues from pine sap and charcoal or animal hooves. It is time consuming and smelly. There are numerous specialized adhesives readily and cheaply available and you should store quantities of all of them. Silicone caulk, JB Weld, Gorilla Glue, wood glue, electrical and duct tape. Absolutely invaluable when you need them to keep a piece of valuable equipment running without the right replacement part.
6. Adaptability. When you can’t run down to the nearest store to replace an item, you have to adapt and improvise. You can begin to learn this now. Fix things instead of trash and replace. Deliberately go out and do things with minimalist gear and tools. Adaptability is a mindset and the opposite of normalcy bias.
7. Give-away food. Whether it is taking out a bunch of Gatorade and hot soup to line crews repairing lines after a storm or a pound of rice and beans for the nice old lady down the street during a more severe breakdown, you need to ask yourself who you are willing to see hungry.
8. Along with this is alternate housing. During a breakdown, or when a tree comes through your roof, you can find yourself with unexpected houseguests or being one yourself. Alternate bedding like cots, sleeping bags, tents, maybe an RV are all excellent ideas.
I bet yall can come up with some more…