Whether you’re worried about what might happen to society as the Coronavirus pandemic refuses to go away or you just want to be ready in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster, there’s never a bad time to be prepared. Here are a list of our suggestions, broken down into categories based on your level of survivalist instinct.
The lifeblood of a prepper is his bugout bag. Most preppers keep two bags: a three-day bag and a two-week bag. While you needn’t get too hung up on that, it’s not a terrible idea to have something that you can easily grab that has everything you need in it in case you have to leave quickly.
They’re so durable, in fact, that some are specially designed to be used as a self-defense weapon. Get something that takes AA or AAA batteries since they’re easy to find and replace. But make sure it has a turn on button, not just squeeze on, for when you need to have light to work and be hands free,. Or you can get headlamps to flashlights so you can be 100 percent hands-free.
There was plenty of consensus here, too. Unsurprisingly, everyone likes a Leatherman. There are many types to choose from to meet your needs and budget. It doesn’t waste space and weight on tools that don’t matter much in an emergency, but it’s versatile and robust enough to be a core survival item.
First Aid Kit
For most preppers, recommending a first aid kit off the shelf would be like Julia Child telling you her favorite flavor of Pop Tart. They like to put them together themselves so they can pack them with some dressings for real trauma, including tourniquets, Israeli Bandages, and, in RC’s case, zip-tie restraints. Whatever first aid kid you decide on, maintain a 30-day supply of over-the-counter medicine (like painkillers, cold, allergy, anti-diarrheal medications) as well as any prescription medications.
In an extreme global situation, an entire country may be off-grid, but someone, somewhere, will be broadcasting. It’s capable of being charged via hand crank, solar panel, micro USB, a standard wall outlet, or batteries.
Waterproof matches are the best matches, though our experts say lighters are better than matches. Rogue recommends carrying both, in case either fails. It’s surprising how many people don’t know how to build a fire once they have a light.
It’s better to have power banks (which can be used to charge phones and other devices) that can be charged by multiple sources, including the sun. It’s even better to have several reliable options that will also jump start your car and are extremely small.
Whatever batteries you get, they should be rechargeable.
A large trash bag, like 55-gallon type, can serve as great sleeping bag, shelter, rucksack, float, etc.
No big surprise here: Everyone likes wool. Get a good, old-fashioned wool blanket, because it’s tough, breathes well, and keeps you warm, even if it gets wet.
A surprising number of emergency checklists suggest bringing a puzzle to give yourself something fun to do. A deck of cards is also the best. Cards are great for their small size, portability, and the numerous games that can be played with them. Also, you can get cards with survival info on the back, turning your diversion into a mini cheat sheet.
Bleach isn’t the only cleaner that will do the job. There are also cleaners like Lysol and Pine-Sol also work to keep things “germ free so that everyone stays healthy and doesn’t get sick.” But if you like bleach, any unscented, unadulterated bleach is fine. Just get some bleach.
Now hear us out: it might sound extreme, but at some point, you’ll probably wish you had some food. A three-day supply of nonperishable foods like canned meat, fruit, vegetables, cereal, and peanut butter. Also you can consider any junk food since it’s full of sugar and preservatives and is good for survival if nothing else. Also consider macaroni and cheese, packaged cookies, raisins, dehydrated fruits, popcorn, and chocolate.
A gallon of water per person per day for seven days, or get even more. You can’t have too much water. If disaster strikes, the first thing you should do is fill the bathtub or the sink with water to keep it as a reserve. If you’re sticking to bottled, any kind will do. But once that’s gone, you need to have a way to resupply. There are many ways to purify water. The easiest ways are by boiling (you’ll need something metal in which to do that), with water purification tablets, and through various filtration systems.
Slightly More Intense Essentials
The consensus seems to be for Heatsheets, which are the strongest and lightest options available. There are more lightweight ones, but they rip easily.
Just get the loudest without moving parts.
There are four different classes of fire extinguishers for four different kinds of fires — ordinary combustibles, grease, electrical, and metal — and our guess is you’d rather not get them all. Your best bet is a standard home model, which is versatile and inexpensive.
For Those Who Are Truly Ready to Bug Out
Plastic sheeting, or even a nice tarp, can have many uses: from collecting rain water to drink, to making a traveling shelter if you don’t have a tent and sealing off areas to keep out germs or bad air from coming in
Duct tape is “a survivalist’s best friend. It can be used for everything from making cups to helping stabilize a broken limb to patching leaks.
Everyone recommends you have a plan, preferably written out, and, if not rehearsed, at least talked about and memorized by everyone in your family. To implement the plan, survival supplies should be stored in accessible places that are known to members within the household. Know how and when to use all all the items you’ve gathered and test all your gear. And be sure to store important documents, photos and other items all in one place.
Signals and Maps
Have a compass and a mirror and designate FEMA locations and evacuation routes on your map.
For waste disposal.
Get a 2000W generator like this one to keep in the garage in suburban areas so you can keep your refrigerator on and charge your phones in case of power outages.
Keep 5 gallons of gas in your garage. To keep it from going bad, you can fill your car up with it once a month and take the tank to get refilled with fresh fuel at the gas station.
Get a folding portable solar panel that you can open up and place within sunlight to charge your devices directly from the panel. They come with USB plugs, so phones and other devices plug right in. You can do it outside or through a sunny window.