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Preparedness begins at Home

Before we ever seek to bug out away from our homes, we should always seek first to take shelter at home where the majority of our belongings are and our family members will congregate in times of crisis. Whether it's winter storm preparedness, or how to build a bug-out bag, these tips will all be beneficial.

Alternate meeting locations or rendezvous should be discussed with your family as well should the home become compromised for any reason. These contingency meeting locations are vital to a good home survival plan and your mutual assistance group if you have developed such resources.

Storm & Disaster Preparedness

  • Know the risks for your area. While some weather-related disasters are seasonal, others are not. Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, and power outages are all risks everyone faces.

  • Have a Plan. Understand how to shut off utilities to your home, where to meet if the home is no longer safe, have alternate routes to get to or leave your home, and have a backup method of communicating with loved ones.

  • Refrigerated foods begin to spoil in as little as four hours. Have a plan in place to circumvent this obstacle. FEMA recommends a 2-week shelf-stable food supply for each family member at a minimum!

  • If you have pets, include them in your plan as a family member.

  • Remember to have backups of any necessary prescriptions and, if possible, backups of your important documents and prescription eyeglasses.

Essential Supplies (Per Person)

This 72-hour survival kit list is the foundation you build from.

  • Small Tool Kit that includes lighters, wrenches for utilities, and a can opener

  • Weather Radio

  • Lanterns & Flashlights

  • Phone Chargers with Emergency Phone if possible

  • Extra batteries

  • Duct Tape

  • Roll of 3mil Plastic Sheeting or a Tarp

  • Rescue Whistle

  • Wool Blankets

  • First Aid Kit

  • Toilet Paper

  • Map of Area

  • Changes of Clothing

  • 3 days of back-up Food

  • 3 days of Water (3 gal.)

Food Storage Recommendations

  • Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Food diversity is a necessity.

  • If you don't already eat it regularly, don't store it!

  • Vitamins, Minerals and Dry Milks and Protein options are vital to good health

  • Consider adding fiber supplements to your stored foods

  • 2 week minimum food supply per person in your family

If you want to develop a long-term home food supply, check out the online course and book The Disaster Ready Home by Creek Stewart here.

Survival for the Wilderness

The mind is the greatest tool for survival; the more you know and experience before a crisis event, the less you will need so far as tools and equipment, and the better prepared you will be when such an event takes place. Training such as the Modern Survival course will aid in better preparing you mentally and physically for such a crisis event. Still, all skills are perishable if they are not maintained. Do not permit weeks or months to go by without refreshing the muscle memories we seek to develop in this course. Take a survival course at least once a year to refresh your skills and keep your mind sharp.

General Safety

Maintaining a basic level of personal fitness is a vital component of survival. Suppose you cannot hike extended miles across potentially rugged terrain with a basic survival kit. In that case, it is very unlikely you would survive a potentially life-threatening situation with less gear, more than likely in worse conditions. Get accustomed to moving your body in functionally related tasks such as chopping wood, lifting a heavy backpack (up to 50lb), and hiking over rough terrain with time limitations. These simple fitness goals will better prepare you for the rigors of survival and hiking in general.

Begin by walking at least 20 minutes daily purely for exercise and increase the time and/or mileage as you can. When ready, add a backpack and increase the weight load in the pack as you get in better shape (Rucking).

Perform pushing and pulling exercises and squatting and crawling exercises with a backpack. Overhead presses, lying/ bench style presses, triceps extensions, curls, air squats, calf raises, bear crawls, push-ups, burpees, and more are all types of exercises that can and should be completed while wearing a backpack. Begin with as little as ten pounds and work your way up over time. We developed a 5-week Bushcraft Athlete program with these goals in mind.

Controlling your body's core temperature (CTC = Core Temperature Control) is the most important item on your survival “to-do list.” Your body can typically only endure 3 hours of extreme exposure before it begins exhibiting symptoms of hypo or hyperthermia; assuming that the weather is not in perfect conditions.

When you become wet due to perspiration or water drenching, you lose body heat 25 times faster than if you were dry. Therefore, in wet or cold conditions, FIRE becomes your most needed resource.

Fire will enable you to:

  • Dry wet clothing

  • Dry and warm yourself

  • Prevent hypothermia

Use the acronym HOT as a CTC checklist:

  • Hydrate Regularly

  • Overheating, Avoid it

  • Take time out

Conversely, if you are in hot and/or humid conditions SHELTER becomes your most needed resource.

Shelter will enable you to:

  • Prevent overexposure to harsh sunlight, which prevents burning

  • Give you shade which will result in a cooled area to rest

  • Aid in preventing hyperthermia

In cooler months, use COLDER as a CTC checklist

  • Clean Clothing

  • Overheating, Avoid it

  • Loose and Layered

  • Dry

  • Evaluate gear often

  • Repair clothing and footwear

I hope these recommendations aid you in developing a solid Home Preparedness Plan.

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