Tuesday, April 7, 2020

You Don’t Need to Be a ‘Prepper’ to Be Prepared for Emergencies

Don’t Panic, But Do Be Prepared…

Red Cross via Wikimedia Commons

“Preppers” have gotten a bad rap in recent years – with the media generally focused on the fringe or extreme “Doomsday” elements. However, as recent natural emergencies, and the Wuhan Coronavirus Virus (COVID-19) pandemic is showing, maybe Preppers are on to something.

As a former Marine Corps Officer – and Boy Scout – and professional crisis manager – who also resided in hurricane-prone South Florida – Emergency Preparedness is in my DNA. But you don’t have to be a Prepper to be prepared for most emergencies.

All you need are some basics. Here are my suggestions for what everyone in America should have.

  1. A plan – a simple written plan on what to do and where/how to go if an evacuation is needed. Also, what to do if you need to shelter in place – as many are doing now.
  2. A credible, hard copy – Survival Handbook.
  3. Supplies – necessities to survive in isolation – possibly without power – for AT LEAST TWO WEEKS.

What supplies should you have? This is my basic (not all-inclusive) list:



  1. Every home should have an emergency health kit – empty out what’s in the built-in ‘medicine’ cabinet into an emergency box or pouch big enough to handle disinfectant alcohol, peroxide, everything-since that’s usually the way it is when there’s an ’emergency’ so you don’t not-have what you need, and don’t forget the scissors for butterflying if you don’t already have the butterfly bandages and tongue depressors b/c they make great splints for toes and fingers and even larger fractures if you put them in certain areas of that break – my box is an oversized ancient makeup case found on eBay and an emergency booklet in it too, and a Red ‘cross’ on it – keep it in a bathroom where it can be readily seen.
    We can imagine the NYTimes not having one, they’re too busy being malicious to be of sound mind.

  2. Nothing wrong with being a prepper. Actually, if everyone were, our present situation might still affect a lot of people, not nearly as many. We have had N95 masks and hand sanitizer for years, plenty of food and water, and yes–toilet paper, which seems to have been elevated to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People are still staring at us because we are wearing masks, most mostly staying in. My questions is always, “Where is your mask?”

  3. For sheltering in place like now, extra food and water are extremely important. Especially for the more rural areas where we have well water, and need an emergency power generation system to maintain a water supply. That’s why those 5 gal “cubes” that are sold in camping supply stores, even Wal-Mart are great, but even this, save the 1 gal ice tea or juice plastic bottles are great. You use those drinks anyway, just don’t throw the empties out. rinse and fill with water. A full size first aide kit is critical. The “tackle box” size is best. 20 years working the streets as a paramedic prepared me with many first aid supplies, including airways and “ambu bags” to ventilate those who stop breathing. Everyone should take a CPR course for many reasons, also a first aid course. Cut strips of plywood with foam from worn out pillows make great splints. besides the 9mm handgun, a hunting rifle in 2 calibers is needed. a small .22 for rabbits and squirrels, and larger for deer helps. That’s a lot of meat. Learn to dress and butcher. You don’t need to be great, you tube has good video’s, watch them. But MOST IMPORTANT. don’t wait for the emergency. do it ALL in advance. PREPARE, as be a prepper, to what ever level you feel comfortable with, but prepare in advance.


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