Editors Note: A contribution to the Prepper Journal Writing Contest from Charles McKelroy.
The wind picked up in the afternoon on a cloudless day. Nothing unusual for the area, we have windy days all during Spring and into early Summer. The dead tree in the backyard had been an eye sore since last winter, but it wasn’t hurting anything and the cost of removal was not in the budget. When it fell, it took out the main power supply line to the house, yanking it from the pole and in turn, yanking the service drop off the side of the house. The electricity was now off and luckily there was no fire or injuries. The tree falling while taking out the power line was definitely an oversight.
After three days of repairs, with no electrical service, and city inspections to bring the old house up to code, the cost came to 4 times the cost of removal of the tree. Looking on the bright side, the old house is now up to code with new breakers and wiring. The tree was cut up and hauled off by a friend in a barter deal. Having been through a few hurricanes, we were prepared for the power outage and having a safety net for emergencies, were able to cover the expenses.
The lesson learned was that anything can happen, anytime, unexpectedly, as we all know. Being prepared; we had batteries and lanterns for lighting, food that could be prepared without electricity, and a safety net for funding the unexpected, in our case, a credit card with a sufficient amount of credit available to cover the cost. We were able to barter for the tree removal. Luckily, our freezer and refrigerator were not very full, so the amount of loss there was minimal. We keep two 48 quart ice chest in storage for power loss during storm season, that took care of needs for a few days.
This is just one example of what prepping is all about. It is not what the skeptics think about us like we are some doomsday advocates or end of times promoters. We are realistic people who do not want to be caught in a predicament without a way out. Being prepared, the scouting motto, is what it is all about. Have enough common sense to know that things happen and having enough forethought to render a solution when they do. Emergencies and accidents are going to happen, and it is next to impossible to be ready for every one of them. If that were the case, then we could avoid ever having any in the first place.
Little things like keeping a basic first aid kit in the car as well as a small fire extinguisher and a small first aid kit in the glove box for minor injuries. Even the smallest cut can become infected. So it is always important to give attention to any and all accidents that cause any physical discomfort no matter how small. Just because the little cut or bump on the foot or hand might not seem important at the time, in a few days, without treatment, it could become serious. Just use some common sense and pay close attention. You do not want to get an infection or find out that sprain is actually a cracked bone when you are in a SHTF situation.
There are hundreds of list of essentials on the internet. The Red Cross has some expert advice and sells many of the items needed to make a bug out or bug in bag. Also, FIMA has some real good study materials worth checking out. Having taken a number of the FIMA courses and spending a lot of time on their web site looking over the disaster preparedness information they offer for free is advisable. Besides those two, there many others that offer free e-books and pamphlets for downloading. Amazon occasionally have their FIRE readers on sale for a very reasonable price that can store a lot of folders and flies in PDF or Word format. That is a way to have all the free materials handy, and the good part, is you won’t need internet access if you have them downloaded and saved in the tablet’s memory.
One other item that can be a real lifesaver that have come down in price over the past couple of years are solar chargers. A compact solar charger can be rolled up into small pouch and carried in your bug out bag. They come in many different capacities, so check which one will fit your needs. Add a USB battery charger and keep your rechargeable AA & AAA batteries charged up as well. It is also nice to have a Power Bank that will deliver enough power for emergency equipment or for when the cell phone needs a charge. Solar lanterns are an inexpensive asset these days as well. A couple of them were very handy while the power was out during the last thunder storm power outage. Leave them setting a window when not in use to charge.
Being prepared is a commonsense thing to do. It is about thinking of all the things that might happen around you at any time. Watch the local news to see what is regularly reported for your area during the different seasons and during the everyday course of events. Things as simple as tossing a small blanket in the truck of the car along with the first aid kit just in case someone is in shock at the scene of an accident. Small things like placing some band aids, little packets of ointment and whatever else you feel necessary in an empty plastic cream cheese carton and toss it in the glove box. Include a small pocketknife or safety razor blade. These small kits are sold on Amazon and other stores for a few dollars if you don’t want to make your own.
Hopefully this will help you to get the thought processes working. Being prepared for the unexpected by taking it seriously may just save your life or that of someone else one day. If you are ready, but never use what have prepared for, you are much wiser than those not prepared at all. Search around and get all the free stuff out there that is available is easy and even fun. Shop around to find the best deals on what you feel you might need. Play around putting it all together in your bug out bag. Make it fun, while keeping it serious.
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