Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Medical Supplies - Always Overlooked

One area that is often overlooked in prepping is medical supplies. I am talking about supplies that the average Joe can purchase. Sure it would be great to load up on antibiotics and painkillers like other survivalist blogs preach, but I have yet to find a doctor to prescribe me these items for storage purposes. The supplies I am talking about here are bandages, alcohol, and other first aid type gear.

Putting together a storage of medical supplies can be an expensive task that you may not be very excited about. If your like me, than you would rather spend the money on guns, ammo, and food. However, those items won't be very useful if you are unable to take care of your injuries.When the power is out and the food is no longer being delivered to your local grocery stores, your jobs around the house have just increased 10 fold. Imagine the injuries you might incur chopping wood, hunting, digging a garden, and protecting your home from others.

Buying this large first aid kit is a great start to your prepping, and I guarantee you will be more prepared than any of your neighbors, but it's only a start. You want more bandages on hand than you believe you will ever use in a lifetime...and then buy a few more. Remember, most people will have little to no first aid supplies, so it becomes a great bartering item in the future. I would also add a few Quikclot packages to your kit. Quikclot is a sponge that helps to stop bleeding fast and can be the determining factor after a dangerous accident.

One way to have painkillers and antibiotics on hand without a prescription is to save the ones you or your family members don't use. Despite the expiration date, most medicines will still have some effectiveness and will be better than nothing. However, some medicines do become toxic with age, so be sure to research what you are storing. Tylenol and anti-diarrhea medicine is also highly suggested. Do you wear glasses or contacts? Try to have an extra pair handy and plenty of contact solution as well.

I know, this list is getting quite expensive isn't it? I have a solution to this. If your employer offers a flexible spending account for medical costs, sign up immediately. Flexible spending accounts subtract a certain amount from each paycheck, BEFORE TAXES, which means you barely notice a drop in pay. You then have a year to spend the money on anything medical. I use all of our unused portions to buy tons of bandages, glasses, contact solution, thermometers, tylenol, etc. A flexible spending account allows you to build a nice supply of emergency medical supplies without you feeling the expense burden. Don't be afraid to buy the store brand medicine and supplies as well. They are generally much cheaper and just as effective.

What do you recommend?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WATER - Emergency kit item #1

Focus on water first if you are a beginner to prepping. The first reason for this is because water is so important to our survival and sanity. Not only do our bodies need water but we need it for cooking and cleaning as well. The second reason is because the beginning stages of prepping can be overwhelming and costly. Water is free!
Side Note: For those that have wells, you are better off than us urbanites that are tied into the city lines. Just make sure you have a back-up plan when the power is off and you can no longer pump water from your well. A hand pump can be a great investment that will return your investment many times over.

Most survival sites recommend a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day. I agree with this number and believe that some days we will have extra to use the next day. The math portion for this is easy. Just multiply the number of people you are storing for times the number of days you would like stored.

ex: 3(people) x 10(days) = 30 gallons of water to store.

An easy and free way I found to store water is reusing all of my plastic 2 liter pop bottles and juice bottles. If the plastic is strong enough and you can screw the lid on tight than you can use it. Just please be sure to wash the bottles out prior to filling them. Washing won't remove all of the bacteria so I would recommend a couple(2-3) of drops of chlorine bleach in each bottle as well(1/8teaspoon/gallon).

Only use bleach that contains 5.25% hypochlorite and is scent-free.

So if I want to store 30 gallons of water for an emergency situation I would need how many bottles? Here comes more math! There is roughly 4 liters in 1 gallon so we need 2 bottles for each gallon or a total of 60 - 2 liter bottles. YOWZERS! I don't know about you, but I don't have the storage space for 60 bottles filled with water.

There is another option here: Most Americans have a water heater in their home. That tank of water that is sitting in your house will most likely be free of contaminants since it was filled prior to WTSHTF(just make sure you shut the intake water valve coming into your house). My small tank only holds 40 gallons, or about 13 days of water for my family. So I am done right? Depends on if you are satisfied with about 13 days of water storage. I know I'm not. What if this issue lasts longer?

A solution to this problem that takes up little room in your storage is a filter. Filters can turn creek and river water into acceptable drinking water and save the day. With a 13,000 gallon filtering capacity, the Katadyn water filter is my favorite. 13,000 gallons is almost 12 years of clean water for a family of 3. That is worth the cost. I also recommend water purification tablets because they are cheap and can be helpful to remove certain bacteria.

I can write on forever about the different water situations, but this general knowledge will help everyone reading this get started on building their supplies.

Monday, January 16, 2012


If you are here, than like me you are interested in preparing yourself and your family for some sort of interruption in our daily lives as we know it(TEOTWAWKI, WTSHTF, etc). Maybe nothing will ever happen. But if it does, I don't want to look back and realize how easy it would have been to prepare and give my family a better chance of survival. The book that motivated me to begin prepping was "The Patriots" by James W. Rawles.

Most families do not have the necessary stock of food and supplies to stay alive during an extended emergency. I am willing to bet 3 days of no power would really test a majority of the households in America. Sure, Uncle Sam will be there to hand out supplies. But who wants to stand amongst the mobs to receive rations of water and food? Not I. Maybe Uncle Sam's ability to help will be delayed if the disaster is far reaching. Then what?

I am using this blog to track how I am preparing my family and hopefully you can learn something too. Feel free to leave me comments if you have something to share. We all can learn from one another.