The two words in the title can have different levels of meaning, depending on who you are talking to. A neighbor may say, ”I have some extra food in my freezer if something happens.” Another common reply after giving me a look like I’m crazy is, “Nothing is going to happen here;” or “We’ll worry about it when it happens.”
Living in California, I experienced four earthquakes, another in Colorado and minor ones in the Albuquerque area where the Rio Grande cushions most of them. I also experienced a house fire. Since I commuted about forty minutes to work in California and the weather changed from inland to the coast, I kept a backpack in my trunk with a change of clothes, a jacket, extra food, snacks, water, a sleeping bag and anything else needed to stay overnight in my car if necessary.
Most people do not know where to start when building a “go bag”. I suggest you invest some time on the internet reading some of the survival sites. Some of them are by ex-CIA agents, such as Jason Hanson, and they offer free books and supplies on occasion for a few dollars to cover the cost of shipping and handling.
If you were in the wilderness, the first thing to work on is a shelter. A tent, tarp, sleeping bag and something to keep the rain off would help you. Your tent needs to be in place before dark since the weather may turn very cold outside. You can pack leaves, pine needles, etc. under the tarp to keep you away from the coldness of the earth. Your campsite should be in a dense area or not out in the open.
You should have more than one way to start a fire. Water and windproof matches and various fire starters can be purchased over the internet. Don’t forget flashlights. There are so many more that have other uses also and are very small. I have at least two or three different small sizes with extra batteries. As you shop around, look at the light weight tools with more than one purpose. You want to keep your bag as light as possible and make sure what you bought works well for you.
A radio and cell phone with a means to charge the phone will be necessary. Another necessity is water; one gallon per day per person. Be sure to have enough food such as protein bars, emergency food rationing bars, freeze dried or dehydrated foods plus some comfort food such as lifesavers or something to suck on. Avoid MRE’s. Expiration dates are coded and they last only five years. They are high in calories since the military would be very active. They can cause constipation and gas if you’re not very active, so it is best to avoid them. You can dehydrate your own fruits or make fruit rolls in the oven.
If you live with four season’s weather, then you should update your pack each season. When you shop for food, buy an extra can or two of what you normally eat and rotate by date in your pantry. You’ll want to keep extra food in case you cannot get out to shop. Food and gas stations have a three-day turnaround, meaning every three days the shelves are restocked. If trucks can’t get to your town, you may not be able to buy what you want or need. Also avoid allowing your gas tank to be below half full. Put some cash, small bills and twenty’s, in your go bag in case the grid goes down or in emergency it is cash only, no change.
California has a water shortage. The news has not said much about it yet. One friend put in artificial turf and takes a quick shower after two or three days at a time. Some farmers have given up their crops because of the water shortage, so the price of nuts, fruits and veggies will be going up. Be aware, the water shortage will probably not be limited to California in the future.
Our world is changing and we must be prepared for the changes. All of us will be affected in some way. If you prepare for what you can that is normal for your area, perhaps tornadoes or flash floods, then you are a big step ahead of most people. The go bag is what is needed most if you need to leave your home with maybe less than ten minutes notice. Have your important documents on a thumb drive or in a plastic bag. Don’t forget your pets.
This blog is only to get you started in what might be the most important thing you could do to save your family. Educate yourself and each of your family members.
Wishing you love in all that you do,