My friends like to joke that I'm prepared for anything. In short, they're probably right, but there's always a little more you could do. Especially if you know trouble's coming.
So let's just say the emergency broadcasts start going off. There's 2 hours until the crisis hits.
Do you know what you're going to do?
One addition every survivalist needs to make to their preps today, is to create a countdown list. This is basically everything you ought to get done, before you hunker down to ride out the storm.
- Leave your office immediately. I'm lucky as I run the business, but if you're an employee you've got to decide which is more important, your family's long term survival or a job.
- Give my wife a call and tell her it's GO TIME. She'll get started getting the house ready.
- Go pickup my kid from school. She's the most important, and if nothing else on this list gets done, she's going to be in my car and headed home with me.
- Drive to the nearest ATM and withdraw as much cash as possible. You may want to call your bank and increase your daily withdrawal limit ahead of time, just in case.
- Stop in at a gas station, and fill my cars tank, and buy a few of portable gas cans and fill them too. I'll also buy a couple of extra LPG tanks for the barbeque, if they're available. Remember to use your credit card for every possible transaction.
- If you've not got enough food, make a bee-line for the supermarket. I'd focus on rice, beans, canned meats, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, flour, sugar and salt, cooking oil, a bunch of frozen meat, soaps, cleaning products, toilet paper and paper towels, aluminum foil and garbage bags, but by all means grab anything else you like to eat. The more the merrier.
- Otherwise skip the supermarket and drop by your local sporting goods store. Buy extra ammunition, paper plates/cups, a couple of camping stoves and extra propane, ready-made meals, batteries and torches and anything else you think may come in handy.
- Go to the pharmacy and get all your scripts refilled. While you're at it, stock up on any over-the-counter meds you need, like immodium, painkillers, antibiotics and some vitamins.
Then head home as fast as you can get there.
- Drop the shopping I've just bought in its place. Gas tanks in the back garage, ammunition in the gun safe, and everything else in either the fridge or my storage room.
- Plug everything in and get it charging. This includes all of my power-banks so I've got portable backups to keep my phone running.
- Crank my fridge and freezer to its coldest settings, and fill any spare space with containers of water so they freeze and act as ice-blocks.
- Grab my aquapods and start filling these up in the two bathtubs in my house. They're essentially water storage bladders that can hold around 65 gallons each.
- Do a quick run around and check the levels of water collected in my rain-water tank, and that my solar panels and wind turbine are working and charging my battery bank.
- Check my bug out bags have everything they need, and put them by the car in the garage just in case we need a quick evacuation. Buy one of our backpacks now and stock it so it's ready should you ever need it.
- Go give my generator a once-over and start it up, just to confirm it's all working should we need it if the grid goes down, and check the additional fuel is still OK.
- Get my firearms in their rightful places, loaded and ready, just in case.
- Give my extended family members a call and check in, just to let them know what's happening, and to ensure we're all on the same page with or evacuation plans.
Depending on the actual emergency you're facing, you may want to do a couple of additional preps.
If it's a flood that's coming, move all of your electronics and important belongings you don't want destroyed by the water to a higher level in your home. Take them upstairs if you can, or put them in boxes up in your attic. When the water starts rising turn off your gas and power at the meter.
If it's a hurricane, don't forget to screw plywood covers over all of your doors and windows, and be ready with tarps and rope should any branches break through.
If it's localized rioting, barricade all of your doors and windows, put up your plywood hurricane window covers, and I'd even hang light-blocking curtains so no one lurking outside can peek in. Prepare flashlights and your weapons, and be ready for anything.
I'd also recommend boxing up anything that holds special meaning to you, so you can easily toss it in the back of your car should you need to evacuate.
Then, just sit tight and listen to the emergency broadcasts for more information. Keep an eye out on what's going on in your neighborhood, and touch base with your neighbors to ensure you're all looking out for each other's homes.
When it comes down to it, the most important thing you're going to need to do is get your family together and your home secure. The last minute purchases only make sense if you can be in and out of the store within 15 minutes, so if there's big crowds and a mass of shoppers, skip it and make a bee-line for your house.
Hopefully you've been able to stockpile enough supplies to see it through beforehand, because after all, that's what being a survivalist is all about.