Getting started prepping is overwhelming! Thinking of all the possible that can go wrong in our lives is not a pleasant thing. Beginning prepping can cause real fear and panic and a sense of “why bother?” As a former teacher, I often think of learning things in a style called “chunking”. I approach prepping the same way and would encourage you to as well. Here is how chunking helps me stay both sane and motivated with the overwhelming amount of prepping I feel needs to be done.
After reading through all the disaster scenarios on every forum and blog out there I was pretty freaked out. Until I sat down and asked myself this simple question: WHAT AM I PREPARING FOR? I forced myself to be realistic in what is the most likely or most devastating things that could happen to my family. This is what I came up with in this order of importance to me. Yours could be totally different depending on your family situation and where you live.
- Medical shortages. Both my son and I have significant medical issues. An interruption in the supply of medicine would be life threatening.
- Being shut-in for several days with no power. I am not big on driving in the snow so I wanted to make sure there was nothing I ever HAD to leave the house for. I, also, wanted to be prepared for cold weather should the power go out. I needed alternative ways to heat and cook, run our sump pump and communicate with the outside world.
- Storm damage to our house. What would happen if a storm broke out windows and trees fell in the street? We went through a pretty good tornado scare a few years ago. I want to be prepared to board up my house if windows break and remove fallen tree’s. I wanted to be able to have enough food and water to get us through at least 10 days without outside help.
- Fire. I needed to plan what I would do if I had to evacuate our house quickly. Preparing an emergency 72 hour kit was a top priority and mapping out where we could go and stay.
- Sickness. What if we all got something as silly as a nasty stomach bug? As a parent, you may had those times when you are throwing up right along side the kids. It’s awful. I wanted to be prepared with extra clean laundry, gatorade, medicines and ramen noodles so I put together a flu preparedness kit.
So looking at the above 5 scenarios I started to beginning prepping by planning “chunks” of time I could live through each one. I started by slowly setting aside a small supply of necessary medications, from 1 day, to 3 days, to a week, a month and now well beyond. I learned a lot about medical expiration dates. I bought pill books and learned about alternative survival treatments. I have spent more than 10 years on prep scenario #1. It is a slow process but vital if you have any special needs. None of the other scenarios matter without our health!
When I got to 3 days of being able to survive through each scenario I moved on to the next one. Once I could confidently get through all 5 for at least 3 days I went back through the list and built to 7 days. Except water. I cannot say this enough. Besides medications, water HAS to be your number one priority! If you don’t have 10 days water storage in your house right now, you need to get that done! Also, it is more important than ever to buy a 1 lb bag of pool shock if you don’t have a sufficient supply of drinking water built up. You can disinfect water with pool shock if needed. It’s cheap and easy. Then build to 10 days, 14 days and then one month. Chances are, by the time you prepare for your top 5 scenarios for 1 month, you will have prepped for many more scenarios then you can imagine. I love the feeling now when a new and scary threat comes along (and they always do) that I can calm myself down by saying, “OK, you have not specifically prepped for that BUT this could work, and this, and oh yeah, that works too”.