More and more people are beginning to embrace the idea of “Prepping” for disasters. It might be to prepare for a natural disaster, an extended trip off the grid, an attack from an enemy entity or country, the oncoming proverbial end of the world, or the zombie apocalypse (It’s going to happen, people. Be ready or be food). Either way, these folks are becoming masters of preparing for…something. There are seemingly infinite approaches, depending on each person’s physical geography, prescription medicine requirements, and a boatload of other variables. There are very obvious needs like food, water, and a secure shelter, and every person has a different strategy, situation, or passion. By no means is this list exhaustive, it is simply meant to help beginners get started and give experienced folks a refresher on some things that they may have forgotten or overlooked. Without further adieu, here are some essential pieces of gear for every prepper, young or old, new or experienced. Feel free to add to the list in the comments below.
The subject of firearms is a very touchy one in our current cultural climate, but let’s face it, you’re going to need to protect yourself and your family in the event of a large-scale disaster. You don’t even necessarily have to use a firearm. Besides, we all know that loud noises attract zombies, right? A really great knife or multi-tool is a fantastic place to start. A knife alone, however, may not be enough to protect you and everyone in your party. You should also consider some sort of hatchet, archery equipment (crossbows are pretty awesome, right?), or just whatever you think will suit your situation best. Regardless, it is important to begin thinking about just how you are going to protect yourself from wildlife, marauding looters, and the undead.
Water Storage & Filtration
Clearly, you have already thought about the need for clean, potable water. Having something to put future water stores in to supply yourself and everyone with you over the long haul is almost as important as initially storing some away. Milk jugs, steel water bottles or canteens, or pretty much anything that will, well…hold water is important to keep around, even if it’s empty. Another important piece of the puzzle is having something to purify your water. Obviously, when everything goes to crap, clean water is going to be pretty hard to come by. In fact, it’ll probably be one of the first things to go. Invest in some purification tabs, iodine tablets, or some kind of fancy filtration system. The LifeStraw is an awesome compact, lightweight tool for purifying water. You’ll want to take new filters into account with any filtration system, as they all must eventually be replaced. Stay hydrated, Apocalypse Warrior.
Almost everyone has something that they “need” as a comfort. Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and nicotine are the first ones that come to mind (don’t get me started on how crazy people get without their coffee). In our post-apocalyptic world, money won’t mean a whole heck of a lot. These items will very well become the new currency. Stock up on these things (don’t smoke, kids!!), and you will be able to barter your way out of sticky situations, acquire food or assistance, or at the very least you’ll have some booze to ease the pain of your zombie bite.
Thorough First Aid Kit
Surely you’ve already thought of a first aid kit, but when a well-armed band of cannibals driving armored cars is on your tail, you’re going to need more than a tin of band-aids and Neosporin, trooper. Spend some time looking for as thorough a kit as you can find, and then add more to it. Generally with first aid kits, you get what you pay for, so don’t be stingy when it comes to your future well-being and health. Extremely extensive first aid kits can be developed through multiple trips to your local pharmacy or army surplus, or you can find basic ones online and build from there. Some pretty decent government suggestions for your first aid kit can be found here. That is, if you trust the government…
Copies of Your Important Paperwork
When the sky comes crashing down on our heads, it’s vital to have some proof that you exist(ed). Make copies of all of your important paperwork like your birth certificate, identification, social security card, any applicable passports or visas, prescriptions, medical records, and anything else you can think of that you might want to be able to prove to others after civility has been reestablished. Another route is to ditch the paper copies and upload all of your vitals onto a flash drive. That eliminates the possibility of your paperwork getting wet, torn, burned, or crumpled, but flash drives always seem to be especially susceptible to accidental disappearance. So…maybe go both routes?
Means of Communication
Cell towers are down so forget about calling, texting, or playing word games with your friends, kemosabe. Seriously consider investing in an emergency two-way radio so that you can communicate with others in your party from a distance or cruise the channels for other users nearby. It is important to establish a predetermined channel for everyone in your group so that you can communicate easily with one another. Obviously, you’ll also need a pretty big storage of batteries or ideally a source of electricity so that you can charge them. Many come with several emergency features, so be sure to do your research so that you can find the radio that works best for your unique situation.
Again, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Preparing for a disaster scenario is no laughing matter and requires a great deal of planning, research, diligence, and patience. Taking all of your unique situations and demographics into account is absolutely integral in keeping you and your family in the best possible position for survival in the event of a large-scale disaster. Just remember, zombies are attracted to loud noises.