As a relatively new “Prepper” I found myself pretty overwhelmed by all of the information that is available to someone in my situation. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience – I knew I need to start preparing for something but I had no idea where to start or what to do. Not to mention living on a shoe string budget. My first thought was, “Well, let’s check the Internet!” Bad idea. There are literally thousands of places, each with a different recommendation of what to keep, when to buy, how much to buy, etc. I just sat there, on my laptop, staring into the screen thinking, “Where do I even start?” The entire exercise resulted in me turning off my laptop, deciding to deal with it all on a different day. That lead to me putting off any planning at all for several months.
Suddenly I found myself smack in the middle of hurricane season in Central Florida with a pretty dismal First Aid kit, meager (at best) water storage, flashlights without batteries, candles without lighters, and the list goes on. The first Tropical Storm that blew over us I waited nervously for the power to go out. I waited nervously for the power to go out. (We live a bit remotely, certainly not in an area where we’d be the first to get our power restored.) Thankfully it never did. That feeling of nervousness because I had not adequately prepared for even a small emergency situation stuck with me. So I headed back to the internet. This time I thought, “There has to be a better way. Someone has had to have sat down and made an easy, doable, CHEAP, checklist.” And they did. In fact, I found this little gem of a checklist for beginner preppers (or even anyone who lives in a hurricane prone area) on the United States Coast Guard’s website.
They broke down an emergency plan in easy to follow, weekly chunks. For a total of 24 weeks. For less then 10$ a week (in most cases), you could be completely prepared in the event of a hurricane, with useful supplies and food and water, plus a little to-do list for each of the 24 weeks, listing pretty valuable things that I had never even thought of checking on. For example, on week 1, you’d buy a jar of peanut butter, a gallon of water, a large can of juice, a can of meat, some instant coffee, and a permanent marker. Your to-do list is to make a family plan and to date your perishables. See how easy that was! You are now one week into your prepping plan, and you are doing it in a practical and methodical way for not a huge investment.
Even if you have been prepping for years, it would be wise to take a glance over this checklist and see if your hurricane supply kit is up to date. You could be missing something very simple and yet completely critical in the event that you need to use it.
Happy Prepping! – Lindsy