Natural disasters. Terrorist attacks. Wars. Zombie outbreaks. Real outbreaks that should be worried about more than zombie outbreaks. Etc.
All of these things make us worry. In all seriousness, before having a baby, I didn’t care. I just figured I’d face things head on. Once that tiny human of mine came into this world, everything changed. I became this person consumed with thinking of the worst case scenario. If the plague reemerged, did I have enough water to stay put in my house for long periods of time? Did I have enough wood to board up my windows to keep zombies out? Enough food to last a few weeks if I suddenly needed to pick up and go because of a natural disaster? Could I protect my family if a ground war began? I literally dreamed about apocalypses. There is nothing in me that could stand to see my child suffer.
The world is a shitty place. There is a lot of good, but a freaking lot of bad. I think, mostly, the world has always been full of bad people. We generally like to romanticize the past, but shitty things have been done by shitty people since the dawn of time. And mother nature, she’s the biggest jerk of them all. When you have a family, there is no such thing as being too prepared for the worst. Of course, all situations cannot be prepared for but I’ve done my best to take care of some of the minor things that are within my control.
ENTER THE SURVIVALIST MOMMY
I have no doubt turned into a crazy person. But here are some of the things my husband and I have done to make sure that our family has the basics should a catastrophe occur.
1. Bug Out Bags: You can make these yourself, but we took the easy route and purchased highly rated bug out bags. Ours is a 4 person set, even though we are a family of 3. Ours came with two fully loaded backpacks. Ours was about $160. It included the following:
Black backpack (2)
Zip lock bags x5
Waterproof document container
Reflective sleeping bags x2 (4)
Adult size poncho x2 (4)
2 person tube tent (2)
Hand warmers x2 (4)
FOOD AND WATER:
US Coast Guard approved 5 year shelf life 3600 calorie bars x 2 (4)
US Coast Guard approved 5 year shelf life 4.2 oz water pouches x12 (24)
1 L water purification powder x5
Folding 1 L water container for purifying water
Water purification instruction sheet
LIGHT AND COMMUNICATION:
Dynamo AM/FM radio/flashlight/mobile phone charger
Light sticks x2 (4)
Toothbrush x2 (4)
Feminine pad x2
Toilet paper roll
61 PIECE FIRST AID KIT:
Cotton tip applicators
N95 masks x2 (4)
Pair of medical grade nitrile gloves
10yd duct tape
5 in 1 survival whistle
50 ft rope
Leather palm work gloves
Multi tool knife
GI can opener
48 page Emergency Preparedness Guide
After doing quite a bit of research, I thought that I got the most bang for my buck with these bags. I did end up adding additional emergency rations, which brings me to point 2.
2. Extra rations of food: I don’t mean bring a few extra cans of pop and some Easy Mac. I mean, get some SOS rations that will last and also contain the necessary nutrients to keep you and your family going.
S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar – 3 Day / 72 Hour Package with 5 Year Shelf Life- 10 PK
3. A way to easily filter a lot of water: I chose to buy a few LifeStraws. If you haven’t heard of these, they are absolutely revolutionary. They filter water as you drink directly from the straw. Of course, you have to be close to a water source or have a way to obtain water. Once you do, this is definitely a must have.
– Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
– Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
– Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
4. Extra first aid supplies: Any large piece first aid kit should do. Your bug out bag(s) should already contain numerous first aid items, but having extra never hurts. We also keep various medications in bags that might be beneficial in extreme situations.
5. Self-Powered Radio/Flashlight/Charger Combo: I own the Eton self-powered radio (flashlight/charger) and have used it several times. It has a solar panel as well as a hand crank. I live in Ohio, so I use the hand crank (laughs). We don’t have cable TV, so I often monitor the weather using this radio. I’ve had it for years and have no complaints.
6. Extra light sources: We have a supply of candles, as well as emergency lanterns. I prefer hand-crank lanterns, but we also own a few that are battery powered (not practical long term, but okay for short spurts).
7. Map/Compass: I get lost, even with GPS, so these are just a necessity.
8. Some way to protect yourselves: Something that you can keep from your children in the home. Safety is of the utmost importance and keeping your littles away from dangerous objects is crucial. But it’s a good idea to have something you’re comfortable using. I have a taser and a few other tactical things.
9. Documentation: Keep your important documents in a water safe bag or safe and easily accessible. On that note, it’s never too early to get your children a passport. We have a passport and ID for Lucas and having the ID card makes crossing the border fairly straightforward and easy.
10. A Survival Handbook: I prefer the SAS Survival Handbook. This book is so thorough that it’s sometimes overwhelming. This book is more geared towards campers/hikers/outdoors folk, but it’s all the information you’d need to know to live off the land and brave the outdoors.
This list isn’t all-encompassing and there are obviously many things that would be great additions to this list. However, being a family on a budget, this is the prep work I’ve done for emergency situations. I hope I never need to utilize any of these things, but am thankful that I’ve taken at least a few steps to ease any burden we would feel should a situation arise.