We’ve been thinking a lot about prepping in the past few weeks – even more than usual in light of the fact that our city (Toronto) recently suffered from a massive power outage in the final weeks of December. We were personally impacted, as our house lost electricity for about 5 days total. That was certainly enough time to make us appreciate being well prepared for minor states of emergencies. As a result of what we learned during the outage, we thought we’d kick the 2014 year off with 5 really specific New Year’s resolutions that any prepper may want to consider aiming toward accomplishing over the span of the upcoming year. We’ve kept the list short, as we find it’s hard to accomplish goals when you can’t even remember everything you’ve set out to do. Take a look below to see if there are one or two you can already check off the list.
Prepper Resolutions You Can Set Yourself for the New Year
1. Work toward paying off all financial debts (credit card, loans, mortgage, etc).
This one is important. Prepping is about preparing for the unknown, and that most certainly includes common problems such as financial difficulties that may arise due to you or your spouse losing your job(s). Prepping is about mitigating difficulty and hardship in the long run, about attempting to assure your survival by getting ready for tough situations now, while you have the means to do so. Prepping should never just about preparing for the zombie apocalypse. So if you’re really serious about prepping – get to work on those debts!
2. Make sure you have a 6 month food stockpile for everyone in the family.
Though you might not be able to do this one in one year, it’s always good to be working toward this goal. You likely won’t need to use more than a week’s worth of food even if an emergency does arise, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have more than you’re likely to need. In the case of personal financial difficulties, for example, it’s always nice to know you and your family won’t starve for a very long time, even if you can’t afford to pay for any grocery bills right now.
3. Invest in a propane/butane heater and stove, and stockpile some back up propane/butane.
I didn’t realize just how important these items were to me until the power went out in the middle of the winter in my own city. You might not need to stockpile on these if you live someplace warmer, but in Canada, and in many places in the United States, I’d say these purchases should be somewhere at the top of your to buy list. Good propane/butane heaters and stoves are not very expensive. They don’t take very much to run, and they can be used indoors (under supervision).
When you do use these items, of course be very carful to make sure of a few things:
- Make sure the propane/butane tank doesn’t leak
- Make sure the tank is within its life expectancy (butane tanks, for example, are usually only meant to last 10 years; check the expiration date on the tank itself)
- Make sure you use them in a place where they cannot catch fire, as they are flammable
- Make sure there is enough ventilation where you use them (a medium- to large-sized room is fine, but putting one of these in a tent or other small space is extremely dangerous).
If you do purchase these items, also be sure to stockpile enough propane/butane to last you, as these tanks are usually one of the first things to be sold out in a state of emergency. Store spare butane tanks in your garage, shed, or someplace outside: definitely not inside, especially not near rooms or heaters, again, since they are flammable.
4. Have “prepper weekends” once a month.
Essentially, these are where you turn off all the electricity for 24-48 hours (and if you’re gutsy, the water as well), just to see what it would be like to be completely off the grid. These kinds of exercises are very helpful, as with them you will quickly learn what you’re missing in terms of what you may need to learn, and essentially, if there are things you might want or need in case you happened to be disconnected from the grid for any reason.
5. Start thinking about how to help your extended family if the SHTF.
Even if you have all that you could possibly need, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re done. Of course your first obligation and responsibility lies with protecting yourself and your immediate family, but what about those outside your nuclear family that you truly care about? You’re likely going to feel a great deal of concern for these people, whether or not you can help them in a state of emergency. Do yourself a favour and start planning on their behalf as well, so long as it’s within your capacity to do so. Have extra food in the house so that if they need to they can come over and your stockpile won’t be depleted very quickly. Talk to them about the benefits of investing in their own stockpile and prep-related items. Purchase things like HAM radios that will allow you to communicate with one another about your well being and if help is needed even if the cell towers and phone lines go down.
Do you have any prepper resolutions that you’re hoping to achieve in the upcoming year? There’s so much else we can do to prepare, of course, but what else would you suggest working toward?