Oct 10, 2014
When you hear the word “prepper,” do you immediately think of the National Geographic TV show “Doomsday Preppers?” The amazing cast of characters is constantly building bunkers and canning enough food to survive a total economic collapse. As much as I am embarrassed by the crazy that comes out of that show, I still consider myself a minor league prepper. I don’t have a bug out compound (aka emergency shelter to those who aren’t tuned into “prepper” speak) to call my own but I do try to have a moderate amount of forward thinking to prepare for reasonable occurrences.
We are an on demand society that depends on quick-service restaurants for our nutrition, debit cards for our money and Duke Energy for our power.
Is it crazy to think that a natural disaster could knock out some of that on demand infrastructure that we have been trained to depend on for survival?
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York causing billions of dollars in damage, the local residents were left without power, food, water and many other life essentials. I have a friend that I will leave anonymous (Dana) that didn’t own a flashlight, let alone any other basic survival items. So when her New York apartment lost power she was forced to live with a co-worker until basic services were restored.
Now that we agree that a natural disaster is plausible, what about a random run of bad luck?
The average American spends 101 minutes per day in the car but doesn’t prepare for a disastrous situation. This is especially important if your time in the car is spent driving back and forth to a business environment that dictates you wear a suit or dress. What’s the harm in throwing an old pair of jeans and sneakers in the truck of your car? Hopefully you will never run off the road while driving those back roads to work but if you do, that change of clothes will come in handy when you have to walk somewhere for help or change a blown out tire. While that trunk is open, throw in a backpack with a small amount of camping gear that normally sits in your garage – flashlight, first aid kit, Cliff bars, a sleeping bag, etc. It’s always better to be prepared.
I fly every week for work and have developed a small amount of gear that lives in my backpack on every trip. This minimalist prep kit only has items I consider to be essential for my health, safety and comfort. I bought a small, six-inch-by-six-inch pouch that carries all the items I need in an easy to access, compact case. By keeping my kit as small as possible, it forces me to only carry essential items that I use on most trips.
Here are some of the items in my travel kit:
- Small Case
- Tylenol AM & PM
- Nitrile gloves
- Spare ID
- Wet Ones
- Hand sanitizer
- Duct tape (couple of wraps around an old hotel room key keeps it compact)
- Safety pins
Note: The key to always being prepared is religiously replenishing anything you rob from the kit as soon as you return home safely.
Being properly prepared is so important that FEMA recommends that every citizen have basic survival essentials readily available. You can learn more about what their recommendations at fema.gov. I love this stuff and enjoy helping others learn from my many expensive mistakes. If you have any interest in putting together a small emergency kit for any environment, please reach out to me as I am always happy to put this wealth of hopefully useless knowledge to work.
If you find this information helpful, please leave a comment at www.verlatti.com and take a look at my other posts.
Feeling inspired? Here is my list of essential home items I recommend every person stocks up on:
- Water – Pick up a case at Costco for $5 and throw it in a closet
- Food – Grab a couple of packs of items with a long shelf life at Costco like canned tuna or ramen noodles
- Colmen Battery Powered Lantern
- Spare batteries of all types
- First Aid Kit
- CPR certification
- Charged Mophie external iPhone battery
- Emergency radio
- Organized and accessible container for all important documents (passports, medical information, will/living trust, emergency contacts, digitally scanned copies of everything on a thumb drive)
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