Well, we’ve got a fun blog coming your way today. Yep, it’s time to talk about prepping. I’m not talking about the kind done on the show “Doomsday Preppers” (or am I?), but we’ve surely got to collectively do better than sitting at home waiting on our next stimulus check. I hope I’m not the first one to say this to you, but things are likely about to get REAL around here. If you’re running from a hurricane right now or maybe a wildfire, I think things are way past REAL for you. Wouldn’t you say? So, let’s talk about how we can get out in front of these kinds of crisis’ as well as perhaps some of the worst-case scenarios that are looking alarmingly more possible each day that goes by.
If you’re already bored reading about this, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Pop on over to the Gaining My Perspective Podcast and listen to my husband, Tom, and I talk about it instead. But in all seriousness, this blog is meant to be a supporting document to the podcast on the same topic, so do be sure to pop on over and give that two-part series a listen to really get the full scope of this topic and perhaps some things you’ve not considered. And hey, while you’re over there… give it a subscribe and maybe a review!
So, let’s get to it. First rule of prepping: A little goes a long way.
Second rule of prepping: Guns are not the first or only thing you need—despite what some might think or clichès would suggest.
Third rule of prepping: Conspiracy theories are not required. I don’t think the afore mentioned wildfires or hurricane smashing our country right this second are conspiracy theories, but they most certainly warrant some preparations. Some people will find they are ready for whatever comes their way, and others will discover that they are woefully unprepared.
Tom and I are rarely the ones woefully unprepared.
Whether it’s a Zofran on a cruise ship, a garbage bag after a long flight with kids, or a blood pressure cuff at a leadership meeting in Maui, the Cunninghams are going to have it covered. Or at least that’s the goal.
So, where would one begin?
Well, I’d start with what you’d most likely wish you were prepared for based on your family, your location, and your risks. Once you’ve got the basics covered, you can start to prepare for larger events, and eventually, you can work towards a more long-term solution to some of your potential preparatory disadvantages.
Reasons one might prep:
(*None of these lists are meant to be exhaustive, only thought provoking).
- Natural disasters (wildfires, hurricanes, storms, blackouts, ice/snow, etc.)
- Food shortages
- Inflation and hyperinflation
- Covid lockdowns
- Avoiding the mad dash for supplies in the eleventh hour
- Respond vs react to a given situation
- Avoid and control fear and panic amid a crisis
- Vitamins, medications, and supplements being taken off the shelf or more regulated and controlled
There are several broad concepts to consider regarding “prepping” for whatever might come your way. One of the blessings that came out of 2020 was the realization or revelation for many of us as to the areas in our lives where we are financially, or even mentally and emotionally unprepared for a rapid shift in our daily lives. For our family, we recognized that decisions we’d made in previous years relating to flexibility, diversity of income, and even flexibility in schedule allowed us to roll with the punches much more than some of our peers were able to do. Things like the careers we’ve chosen—the independence those careers give us—our choice to homeschool our kids, our choice to live on a farm and even in a more conservative state were all “preps” that we made intentionally for just such a scenario as a pandemic (although admittedly we did not see that specific scenario coming, we were no less prepared for it).
Consider the list below as things you may want to work diligently towards shifting in your life to be more prepared for what might come next.
Big picture things to consider regarding being prepared:
- Home based business
- Homeschool (I feel very strongly about this one and would HAPPILY have a private conversation with anyone who needs help, direction, encouragement, or advice)
- Flexible plans (what we expect pensions and retirement plans to provide us)
- Diversified income (I don’t mean different stocks in your portfolio y’all)
- Gain control over your decision making (You don’t want an employer, school, etc. mandating something you or your family don’t want)
- Go to a first aid and CPR class
- Does a camper fit your lifestyle? This is a great prep!
- Generator—whole house or even just a small one.
- Community. Build it and value it.
- Faith. God is the ultimate preparer—put your full faith in Him to provide.
If you’ve never thought about prepping in this context before and you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret. You don’t need to go out and buy a farm to get started. Here are some great go-to’s to have on hand in case of emergency.
Brand new prepper—basic go-to’s:
- Consider a simple bag of preps for your car as well as in your home.
- First aid kit*
- Pocket knife or Swiss Army knife
- LED flashlight
- Backup phone battery
- Water and snack bars for on the go
- Moms: Think diaper bag. You know you could have conquered a small island territory if you had to with that thing.
*Pre-made kits are usually unhelpful. Create your own with more substantial items (see below).
Generally speaking, the crisis you will face most frequently in your life is a medical emergency. Someone gets in a car accident, someone collapses, someone cuts themselves on a hike or in the backyard, etc. My girlfriend performed CPR on the street out front of her friend’s house on Easter morning because an elderly gentleman was out for a walk. Trust me, he’s very glad she was prepared and ready for action. Below are some things you might consider having on hand in this current climate.
- Blood pressure cuff
- Pulse oximeter
- NPA (airway through your nose)
- Vit D, C and Zinc
- Hydroxychloroquine (push health app or Americas frontline docs are great ways to get your hands on these last two)
- Ibuprofen and Tylenol for kids and adults
- Cough medicine
- Zofran (anti-nausea): Must get via Rx.
- Medical tape
- Anti-septic: Iodine, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol
Remember, often times simply having a plan in place should something happen is an adequate and critical prep. You’d be surprised how few people know what they’d do, where they’d go, or how to get there should they be faced with an emergency or unexpected scenario. My kids and I learned in homeschool just the other day what they should do if there were to be a fire in the house. We talked about all the ways a fire could start, all the places a fire might be, and all the potential ways to get out of the house in the various situations. That’s prepping and that’s smart. What would you do if there were a wildfire coming towards your house? Do you know where you’d go or what you’d need/want to take with you at a moment’s notice? What about if the government comes to take you to the CDC’s green zones (aka health “camps” in the “shielding approach”)? What’s your plan and who needs to be in on such a plan? Of course, this would never ever happen in real life, right? But it’s always good to be prepared for anything…
Planning is a prep: Things to consider long term
- What could our world look like 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now? How do you want to prepare long term? (Look for land? Possibly change states? Consider longer term food prep or garden?)
- Diversity, diversity, diversity. How can you diversify your finances and free up your hands? (i.e. if an employer requires a medical procedure of you that you’d rather not have, are you able and prepared to quit? If not, how can you plan for that?)
- “Bug out” plan: Where would you go if you needed to leave (long or short term), with whom would you go, and who brings what?
- What skills do you have to offer? What skills would you like to acquire that might come in handy? (first aid, CPR, sewing, canning, etc.)
- Community is critical: It’s not just about you. How can you take care of those around you? What skills do you have to offer your neighborhood and what skills already exist? (Are there nurses, doctors, farmers, welders, etc. in your neighborhood?) What preps can you put in place on your road (radios, plans, etc.)
On the podcast, we mentioned a “go bag.” This is a common “prepper” term and so I wanted to provide a short list of what we kept in ours.
- Change of clothes or two
- Weather specific clothing (winter gear, gloves, socks, hand warmers, etc.)
- Personal water filter
- Diapers (if appropriate)
- Hand sanitizer and/or wipes
- Snack bars
- Knife or similar tool
- Tennis shoes
- First aid kit and basic medications
Now, you might be thinking… Wait a minute! What about food and water? Yes, those things are important, and I’ve compiled a list of other preps to consider as you’re making plans. My goal, however, was to point out that most of us might not even be prepared for an event lasting only a couple of hours or days, let alone a much longer situation. To be a prepper is to be prepared (at least as well as you can be within reason) for anything that might come your way. Often times it’s not the worst-case scenario at all, just something we wished we would have better prepared for.
Other things to consider:
- Food (canned, shelf stable, frozen, etc.) Would it be helpful to have another freezer?
- Water/water purifier/ways to store water—maybe it’s simply a plan
- Alternative money (silver, gold, etc.)
- Alternative ways to make money—skills!
- Gardening supplies
- Clothes/shoes/coats, etc.
- Alternative transportation
- Skills (i.e. canning, first aid, CPR, sewing, etc.)
- Books (Where there is no doctor, how to’s, edible mushrooms, etc.)
- Building community
- Things to protect such things (aka guns)
Although prepping has prepared our family for many real situations over the years, for me, the biggest advantage has been peace. God repeatedly tells us in the Bible not to be afraid and yet when our world is shaken for any number of reasons, fear is often the first order of business. Prepping has helped me to extend just a touch of self-control over that vicious fear-monster. Peace is invaluable. The enemy is after your peace. Don’t let him have the satisfaction.
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