In emergency situations, there’s not always time to have to remember where you put one item or another. Did I remember to put the flashlight in the bugout bag? Did I remember to buy more coffee for the storage pantry? If you’re already a prepper, don’t keep a list and haven’t gone through your gear for awhile, take an hour or so to refamiliarize yourself with what you already have. Make a list, if you can. Then do a quick online search for survival or emergency gear lists, and see if there was something you’d forgotten about. Had you meant to order some thread or a new radio, but put it off and then forgot? Have you printed out your important documents, put them in a waterproof bag and added them to your BOB yet? Are there any small items you’ll need to remember in such a moment (for me, a nightguard for my teeth I cannot afford to duplicate, for instance). Pin a note to your pack so if such a moment arises, you’ll remind yourself to grab it before you head out.
In the past few weeks, millions of people, at one time or another, were faced with a potential tornado tearing down their door. In such situations, there is no time to think of much other than personal safety. I wonder how many people took their bugout bags with them in shelters, basements, closets or bathtubs, and survived just a little bit easier for having done so? A change of clothes, a few meals, a flashlight, a favorite book, insurance cards, first aid and extra medicines…these little things can make all the difference.
Thankfully, in Hawaii we don’t have many tornadoes. However, that doesn’t mean we’re immune to disaster. Earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes are occasional visitors. In fact, today, June 1, is the start of hurricane season. We should be ready for them way beforehand. Not to mention, as I repeat here again and again – a large disaster elsewhere could mean trouble for our supply barges.
If you’re new to the idea of preparedness, start off with a plan. Think about how many people you’re preparing for, any special needs and how long you feel is necessary to plan for. Official authorities recommend 72 hours. We’re working on six months. So somewhere in there. 😉
Be organized. Know what you have, and where you’ve stored it. Occasionally go over your list, or through your shelves, know what you need to replenish, and what you could use more of. If you’re on a budget, create space and work out a plan for acquiring the supplies you want to have to feel secure. Our bug-in gear is stored in various places, so I make a point of repacking crates, shelves and boxes as more things are added. It reminds me I have plenty of one thing, but not enough of the other.
If you’re not sure what you’ll need, do a little research now. Search your spirit about the times we’re living in, and decide how important that kind of security is for your family. And rather than working from a place of fear, think of it like having insurance. Whatever happens, emergency and survival gear is never a bad thing to invest in. I hope we’ll never have to use everything we have stored. But if we do, I’ll not regret one dime or one minute I spent on it.
Go here for my bug-out bag list; here for bugging in. And do a search online – plenty of people out there with lots more information. In Hawaii, there are not many independent bloggers writing about these things, but SurvivalHawaii.com, though also a relatively new website, is a great local place to start as well. Dave and Matt’s podcast there is personable and fun to listen to, and they bring up lots of great ideas and suggestions for Hawaii. Community is where it’s at in such times, so I’m happy to have been in touch with their work.
For an update on the weather weirdness and other such topics, check out my recent post at Surfing the Tao, Global Weirding Update: Surf’s Up. My most recent post there, Gratitude in Interesting Times, is a little morale booster you might enjoy as well. It’s not all gloom and doom folks.
Be wise, be prepared, be well.