When you first start to prepare your family for emergencies, it can be hard to figure out what must have basic prep items you need and what you don’t. While there are plenty of different tools and tricks that long time preppers keep in their bags, but for people who are new to the idea of prepping, most of those tools are completely unneeded. In reality, you only need a few.
Must Have Basic Prep Items
3 Month Supply of Food – Your family can’t survive any emergency without food. To start, build a supply of 3 months. Make sure that you’re storing food that your family actually eats. It doesn’t make sense to store things that won’t get eaten. If you (or your kids) won’t eat it now, they won’t then.
3 Months of Water – Water can be harder to store since it takes up more space, but along with your food storage, you need to have a water store too. Ideally, you’ll want to store 1 gallon, per person, per day and extra for pets.
First Aid Kit – Make sure that your first aid kit is very well stocked in case of any emergency. Make sure that you have things like bandages, gauze, a splint and OTC meds to cover any issues that may arise. Some preppers also look into using fish antibiotics, but this is a personal choice. If you do decide to add them to your kit, PLEASE do your research and know that they aren’t meant for human consumption.
Bug Out Bag – Your bug out bag is the bag that you pack that has everything in it in case you need to grab and go. Some preppers also create a separate bug out kit for their car.
Tent – Shelter is a must have basic prep item if you need to bug out. Like it or not, there may come a time when you can’t stay in your home but can’t get into a hotel either. A good example of this was when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Having a tent that is small enough to carry, but large enough for your family will make sure that you aren’t sleeping on the ground.
Sleeping bags & extra blankets – For the same reasons you’ll want a tent, you’re going to want sleeping bags. For best results, make sure that your sleeping bags will handle extreme temps as well just in case.
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Candles & Flashlights – If the power goes out, you won’t want to be sitting in the dark. Candles and flashlights for every person in your family will not only bring some light back but will also help to keep any little ones who might be scared of the dark calm.
Batteries – Speaking of flashlights? They won’t do you much good if the batteries are dead in them. Be sure to stock up on a supply of all sizes (AA, AAA, C, D, & 9V). You’ll need to account for all flashlights plus any radios or toys that you’re expecting to have to use.
Radio – If things are bad weather wise, you may lose internet or cable. In this case, you would want to have an NOAA approved all weather radio on hand to monitor weather conditions. You can usually pick them up for around $35.00 and some of them can also double as a flashlight.
Finally, the very last basic must have prep item you should have on hand is cash. You don’t need to have a ton of extra on hand, but the more you do have stashed, the better off you’ll be in an emergency. Aim for $1,000 on hand and keep it split up between on your person, your bug out bag and your car. If you’re ever in an emergency and are away from home, you’ll be glad that you did.