Tag Archives: emergency

How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

 How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a BudgetIt’s no secret the world is a dangerous place. Every day, we hear about something – whether caused by humans or nature – that’s turned lives upside down. Bad news greets us in the morning and follows us to bed at night.

What are we to do?

Fear and stress are killers. They kill us from the inside out. We must find constructive ways to defuse the situation. Faith practices, physical exercise, counseling and peer groups… all can help, but there’s one thing everyone should consider: Get prepared.

When you take the initiative to recognize potential problems and prepare to deal with them when and if they come, you not only position yourself to face those difficulties, but knowing you’re ready helps lower stress.

In this guide, we’ll talk about disaster preparedness. We’ll talk about the supplies and equipment you and your family need to weather out the storm or make it through the crisis. And we’ll suggest ways you can save money and still get high quality goods.

By getting ready now, you won’t have to worry so much about what might happen. If a news alert says severe weather is headed your way, you’ll be ready for it.

You’ll know that whatever comes down the pike, you’re not going to be joining the crowd desperately trying to find a store with something left on the shelves or wondering how in the world to live without water and electricity.

We’ve tried to keep the recommendations here in line with those suggested by the American Red Cross. Responding to disasters is a big part of what they do every day.

 How to Save on Emergency Supplies – Disaster Prep on a Budget

Most of Us Are Not Prepared for an Emergency – WHY?

Why don’t we stay ready, just in case the power goes out, the water doesn’t flow from the tap, or the grocery store has to close for a few days?

It’s a perplexing question.

We know disasters happen. We know we’re susceptible. Yet most of us are sorely unprepared.

And if we examine the usual answers to why that is, they all fail in the light of reason:

  • I don’t know how to prepare
  • We just don’t have time to figure it out
  • It hasn’t happened yet, so why worry about it?
  • I don’t have the money to get everything I need together
  • Public services like police, fire, and medical can handle any problem

According to data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey only about one-third of American households have developed a communication plan and agreed on an emergency meeting location.

In this emergency preparedness guide, we’ll talk about the preparations you should make and suggest ways to check each item off with a minimum of expense and hassle.

After all, the best plan in the world won’t work if you don’t have the means to enact it.

Read More…
This article was written by Coupon Chief and can be viewed in its entirety here

Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Hopefully by now you have gone out and bought yourself an EDC bag.  If not, you should backtrack to my previous post, “What is an EDC bag and why should I have one” before continuing on.  At this point it is time to start getting all of your gear together and organizing it.  Yes this sounds like it can be a daunting task especially when trying to figure out which items you really need and which ones should be grouped together.  This article isn’t about keeping a few items that can fit into your pocket such as a knife, a few band aids and a cell phone – it’s about having all of the “essentials” on hand so that you are fully prepared for any situation that might arise.  If you really think a pocket sized kit is all you will need then I hope the only thing that happens is you fall off your bike because you were looking back at a hot chick and scraped your knee.

When you look at the list of items below I know you will probably think to yourself, “how am I supposed to put all this in my EDC bag ?”.  The amount of stuff you can carry will depend on the bag that you purchased, however, the main idea here is to still keep everything as compact as possible.  Many of these items are small and hardly take any room.  There may be some things that you will find you may not need while other items may be available in smaller sizes or formats that can do the same job just as effectively.

To help simplify things we will start by breaking everything down into categories.  Remember that we’re only trying to stock the bare necessities here, not create a complete survival bag.  The items I’ve listed below are just general suggestions.  You will need to determine exactly what you think will be needed to accommodate your bag.

Clothing and Apparel:Hiking Boots

You should keep a complete spare change of clothing in your bag as keeping yourself dry is very important.  Modify the type of items listed here to suit your location and and environment.

  • Pair of underwear and socks (add long-johns if you live in a colder climate)
  • Pair of jeans or pants made of high strength material
  • Pair of gloves and hat or bandana
  • T-shirt and sweater
  • Rain poncho
  • Dust mask
  • Add anything else that you would need for your location and climate but remember to keep everything as compact as possible.


Food and Water:Water

Having clean drinkable water should be your top priority with food following right behind.  If possible, get yourself a water bottle that has a filter built into it so in the case that you need to collect water from a nearby river or stream it will filter out most of the harmful bacteria.  Remember though, it’s always your safest bet to boil the water before you drink it regardless of where you found it.

  • Water bottle, canteen or survival straw with built in water filter (always keep it pre-filled with fresh clean water)
  • Water purification tablets
  • A few MRE’s (ready to eat meals)
  • A few packages of oatmeal, granola bars or high energy protein bars
  • Mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • Hard candies
  • P-38 can opener (in case you come across some cans of food along the way)


First Aid & Medical:First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is another critical component to your EDC bag.  While a pocket sized kit could do the trick you should keep in mind that it’s always better to put together your own kit rather than buying one that’s pre-made because not one kit that you purchase will be tailored to your exact medical needs.  If you choose to build your own kit you should know that many of these items can be found at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost.  Below are some standard items that you should include in your kit if you decide to put it together yourself.  Remove or add items to suit your needs.

  • Band aids – different sizes
  • Butterfly band aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Arm wrap (in case of a sprain or fracture)
  • Medical tape
  • Rubbing alcohol (to sterilize)
  • Peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
  • Polysporin (to help heal wounds and infections)
  • Puffers, Epee Pen, etc..
  • Suture kit
  • Any prescription and non-prescription medication you may require
  • Quick Clot or cayenne pepper (cayenne pepper will thicken the blood and help slow or stop the bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • First aid manual


Navigation, Signaling and Lighting:Compass and Map

Regardless of where you live you should add a map of your local area into your pack in case you need to take a different unfamiliar route in order to get home or to a safer place.

  • A quality map compass
  • Map of local area and state/province
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Glow sticks
  • LED flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries (store batteries separately)
  • Cell phone (preferably a smartphone)


Fire and Heat:Fire and Heat

Aside from having clean drinkable water at the top of your list, keeping yourself warm and dry is also extremely important and being able to make a fire is extremely important.  Hypothermia can set in faster than you think so keep this in consideration when adding any of these items to your bag.  You will want to be able to make a fire in any type of weather so I personally would go with a magnesium fire starter.

  • Waterproof strike anywhere matches, Windproof lighter, Magnesium fire starter or flint and steel
  • Hand and foot warmers (if you live in a colder area)
  • Emergency candles
  • Space blanket (can also be used to create a shelter)

 

Shelter:Shelter

You may come across a time or place where you will need to have the cover of shelter perhaps to ride out the night or to protect yourself from the elements.  Carrying an actual tent or other shelter with you wouldn’t make sense as they would be too bulky and wouldn’t fit in your EDC bag anyway.  Instead, you will probably have to improvise and make one out of available materials.  Here are a few items that can help you to make one:

  • Small tarp (can be used as a wall or roof for your shelter)
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Rain poncho
  • Paracord (to tie and hold together your shelter)


Protection:Fixed Blade Buck Knife

People do crazy things when under pressure and stress, especially during the after affects of a severe natural disaster or when society has broken down.  Besides yourself, everyone else will be in full survival mode and being able to protect yourself will be crucial.  Here are a few items that you should consider putting in your EDC bag:

  • Pepper or bear spray
  • Pocket knife (preferably a quality knife with a fixed blade)
  • Hand gun with spare bullets
  • Taser gun


Tools and other misc items:Gerber Suspension

Aside from some of the items above, here are a few more which you will want to have on hand and will find to be very useful in many scenarios.

  • 50 feet of 550lb paracord
  • Pen and pad of paper
  • Adjustable wrench (to turn off gas valves, tons of other uses)
  • Multi-tool
  • Cable ties
  • Small mini screw driver with bits (to fix eye glasses or other small items)
  • Small hose (you might have to siphon gas) – has many other uses
  • Roll of quarters (for pay phones) and at least $100 – $200 in small bills (you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency purchase or have to buy your way out of trouble

Lastly, you will need to make sure that all of your supplies stay dry.  I previously wrote an article on different ways to “waterproof your backpack” and it’s contents.  Although I used backpacks as an example you can still use the same ideas for your EDC bag.  Click here to read it.

Best of luck with building your EDC bag and let us know what you put in yours in the comments below!

This article was written by INCH Survival and can be viewed here:

http://inchsurvival.com/blog/putting-together-your-edc-bag/

Creating an At-Work Emergency Bag

Creating an At-Work Emergency Bag

Like many other preppers all over the world I find myself in daily situations where I feel less than fully prepared. While you can never be ready for everything, and yes this includes when you are hunkered down in your bunker with the Fort Knox of dried foods and more guns and ammo than the Israeli army, there are some things that we can do to help minimize this. One of the biggest holes in my preparedness plan is work. Like almost everyone else I spend the majority of my time at work, specifically a school. While the school does have standard emergency provisions such as emergency blankets, medical supplies and enough salvageable materials and resources to at the very least, coupled with my EDC (everyday carry), put me in a very good position to head home to re-evaluate the situation. However, it could be better. As preppers we also have a moral responsibility to aid others when we can. Having an emergency bag, or preferably several, at work could make the difference for not only you but for the unprepared as well.

So what would this emergency bag or kit contain? In this article we will look at several points of consideration and areas that will need to be explored for you to make your own at work emergency bag. This is by no means a how to guide or my own personal opinion, more an aid in helping you, the reader, evaluate and create your own kit specifically tailored to your situation and the legal requirements and regulations in your area.

Some Big Questions

The first thing to ask yourself is what is the purpose of your kit? Is its purpose to get you to a specific place? To manage the immediate situation? Or to equip you and your co-workers with the means of effecting self rescue. If you are looking to get to a specific place you will be needing something lightweight and comfortable to wear even if you have sustained injury. If you are staying put you will be more concerned with medical supplies and provisions. Also, you will require materials and ways to secure your surrounding area. I.e clearing debris and checking for immediate threats like water, gas and electrical lines. If self rescue is your goal then a means of reaching help quickly and safely will be your main points of concern.

Mini bolt cutters can be carried easily and cut though locks or metal in an emergency.

Mini bolt cutters can be carried easily and cut through locks or metal in an emergency.

The next big question is how many people will be in your group and how many kits will you have? While safety in numbers and the additional manpower can be a big advantage, will everyone share your point of view or plan for survival? Will you have a set hierarchy or chain of command in place if an emergency does require it? An emergency situation is only made worse with the chaos of panic. Looking into or addressing these situations now will directly affect your gear and plan of action.

Let’s say you will go it alone or with a very small group. This will mean you will need gear that is lightweight with more weight and space being taken up by necessities such as water or medical supplies. On the other hand, if you go with a larger group you will be able to transport more gear and will have more options for what you can do in your situation. For example, you could carry a range of tools that could help you bypass obstacles easier, such as a crowbar or bolt cutters. You may also have more chance of people having access to a functioning vehicle or medical/emergency training.

Finally, and in many ways the most important question and without an answer to this, even your best laid plans will never leave the drawing board. How will you fund and start this endeavor? Can you get permission from your boss to store gear at your place of work? Will your co-workers be on board or just go with it when the time comes leaving you with stressed out, unprepared, possibly dangerous people to have to handle? Training or including others in your preps is a necessity if you plan includes others. See How to Make a Prepper by Benjamin Burns for more information on this.

If you have a single kit you will limit options for space and weight, if you have several the storage space and price may go up, one for everyone it certainly will. So before reading further these questions need to be answered.

Gear, Gear and More Gear for your Emergency Bag

Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack has a lot of features for less than $100.

Paratus 3 Day Operator’s Pack has a lot of features for less than $100.

Onto the matter of the gear. Like all good BOBs (bug out bags) a good emergency bag relies on the same principles. With that in mind let’s look at the first aspect: the bag itself.

You have a wide variety of options to consider here. You could go with durable military bags with ample padding, strapping and webbing for gear or a more discreet civilian bag that doesn’t draw attention. Others prefer high visibility bags with attached lights and whistles for easy access similar to the design of airplane life jackets or flame retardant bags that while not all too well designed will ensure your gear remains safe from fire and is partially waterproof. Each has their pros and cons and should be chosen when and only when the rest of your kit has been assembled. One of the golden rules of BOBs: buy the bag to fit the kit not the kit that will fit in the bag.

Next, clothing and protective gear. Most everyday office buildings, schools or company work spaces are built of similar materials, concrete, re-bar, steel (possibly corrugated) and plywood. These materials while dependent on size can be moved if blocking an escape route. However, doing so without adequate hand and eye protection would be a mistake. Strong work gloves,goggles and masks can be extremely useful. Be sure to take in mind the amount of protection verses dexterity you will need. If working with wires and fine tools is what you expect bulky industrial work gloves may not be the best choice. In regards to goggles and masks the standard N95 mask and standard full eye and nose goggles should suffice for keeping dust or smoke at bay.

Onto the case of footwear. While work boots are preferable don’t underestimate a comfortable pair of dress shoes. Try yours out on a long distance walk in the city or on a short jog. It may sound strange but it could save you time, money and space on gear you may not need. While helmets may be unnecessary they are a fair consideration depending on your place of work, but be sure to make sure you can wear it with your goggles and mask with good visibility.

fireman-100722_640

The next main concern in any kit is signalling and communications. For this aspect of your kit you should be looking at mid/long-range ham radios, solar/kinetic emergency radios, flares and glow sticks. The reason for this is that you can keep in contact with whoever is in the area, keep track of emergency broadcasts and signal for rescue. Replying on cell phones and land line communication is a gamble in a survival situation and should not be relied upon. If you are going to rely on ham radio then you first have to learn how to use it and all the relevant emergency frequencies. A good source of information for that is Grid Down Communications by Pat Henry.

Now let’s move onto medical matters. If any of your party are injured leaving them untreated can only make matters worse. Having a basic knowledge of first aid can prove invaluable and as the saying goes: Knowledge doesn’t weigh anything.

A small axe can make survival in many situations much easier.

A small axe can make survival in many situations much easier.

However basic supplies don’t hurt. Having a standard trauma kit in your pack can provide you with. A kit I would recommend is the Bighorn Sportsman Medical Kit, or at least one which contains similar provisions. That said, the best medical kit is always one you put together and tailor yourself.

The last but by no means the least important is food and water. While having a store at work for several days a head would be great it unfortunately isn’t possible most of the time. Having cooking gear and fuel, while they double as a heat source are, for most, quite unnecessary. Dried long life foods such as Datrex bars which are well suited to a small lightweight kit. While they are by no means gourmet but they will get the job done of sustaining you until rescue or self rescue occurs. Water, like food, does not need to be stored in great volume. A one liter bottle of water per person should be sufficient for 1 – 2 days. While glass containers will allow you to store water for longer periods of time and should be considered for at home stores, plastic is the best choice here due to its weight, durability and flexibility. Cooking equipment and food that requires such should be avoided to save weight and space. That said if it is within your capability to do so a hot meal can go a long way in regards to boosting moral.

Locked and Loaded

The last aspect of a kit to talk about is weapons and tools. While carrying a small axe, firearm or full tang knife is something that most, if not all, survivalists consider essential it may not be safe nor permitted in the work place. While it is tempting to simply conceal these items from people in your personal belongings it is also worth talking to your boss or manager about these things with the aim of having all your gear approved. Depending on where you work you may be faced with different rules, restrictions and regulations for what you can carry. Always make sure that you have the right permits and documentation. Who knows you may even make a Prepper out of them.

 

Creating an At-Work Emergency Bag was written by Mike Turner with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2016/01/06/creating-an-at-work-emergency-bag/

Survival Basics – Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage

You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that power outages can happen anytime, to anybody, and anywhere.  Some outages are planned, some are the result of Mother Nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis.  More recently, the threat of a cyber-attack or terrorist invoked EMP has been added to the mix, and most assuredly, if that were to happen, we will be without power for an extended time.

The bottom line is this: the delicacy of our grid is such that nearly any disruption can cause a sudden and unexpected power outage.

Whatever the reason, there are various measures you should take now to ensure both your comfort and safety when the power blows unexpectedly.  The good news is that prepper or not, most people already have the most basic power outage survival items on hand:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Blankets

Unless you have been living in a cocoon in Siberia, chances are that these items have already been set aside in your household so that they will be readily available when the lights blink off.  For a 3- or 4-hour outage, you will be just fine with these basic supplies.

But what if the power is lost for a longer period of time? How will you cook your food?  How will you keep warm?  How will you ensure your safety and security in the dark?  These are just a few of the issues you will face if there is an unexpected and extended power outage.  Add infants, the elderly, or the infirm to the mix unless you have planned ahead, you will have a big problem and potential catastrophe on your hands.

Preparing in Advance For a Power Outage

Today I get back to survival basics and offer suggestions and ideas for prepping for an unexpected power outage. My goal is to get those wheels in your brain cranking, and to provide you with a list of suggestions that can be implemented in stages as your needs and budget allow.

1.  Store foods that require very little in terms of warming or cooking.  These foods should be items that your family normally eats.  Suggestions?  Canned meats, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruits and veggies granola bars, and cold cereals.  If you are a coffee drinker, include some instant coffee as well.

The list is endless but let me caution you: if you gag at the thought of cold ravioli out of a can now, you will also gag if you have to eat it in an emergency, power outage situation.  Don’t be silly.  Store foods that are meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature, or, if not, try sampling them in advance just to be sure.  This may sound crazy but cold baked beans out of a can are actually quite good! Don’t forget the manual can opener and some disposable plates and utensils.

2.  Acquire one or more alternate cooking sources.  You can cook outdoors using a fire pit, charcoal or propane barbeque, camp stove or even a DIY rocket stove.

We are lucky in that we have a propane cooktop in our kitchen that can easily be lit with a match.  In addition, we have a Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove, an EcoZoom rocket stove, and three Solo Stoves. These devices provide options when it comes to using fuel not the least of which is biomass.  We also have a  cast iron fire pit that is set up for cooking, a couple of butane stoves, a gas grill, and a Sun Oven.

 

If propane is your fuel of choice, you will find lots of information and useful tips in the series Propane For Preppers, The Five Part Series.

Small-Sampling-of-Portable-Emergency-Lighting-400x370

Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and can be viewed here:

http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/prepping-for-an-unexpected-power-outage/

Coping with Stress After Disaster

When planning for disaster, we run through scenarios in our mind and those scenarios give us a visual baseline for which we make plans. As preppers we talk a lot about the steps you can take right now to get prepared so that you will have a plan, supplies and options for when that disaster may strike. Often preparedness deals with the immediate effects of disaster like having a vehicle to bug out or having plenty of food and water to deal with shortages. The next logical step from that is a longer term plan, but those long term prepping plans usually revolve around extensions of those same basic needs: Food, Water, Shelter and Security.

Take any crisis with a timeline much longer than we associate with “typical” natural disasters and you need to consider different items as part of your planning. For a “typical” emergency, the chaos is relatively short lived. Even though the rebuilding and recovery process may take years, the process can start as soon as the dust has settled, the earth has stopped shaking, and wind no longer howls, the fires are extinguished, the rains have stopped or the water has receded. We shed tears and hopefully hug all of our loved ones and start to pick up the pieces.

But what about a scenario that just doesn’t stop? What if you are visited by the potential threats of a new fresh hell every day? We hopefully plan for food that we can eat off of and grow for future needs. We can band together with others in our neighborhood for security or devise alternative energy schemes to keep the lights on. We rarely talk about the stress, anguish and for some, crippling fear that could be a part of life in the worst apocalyptic view of the future. You have plans for everything else, but do you have a plan for coping with stress after disaster?

First world problems

It’s interesting to try and research stress from the standpoint of some end of the world as we know it perspective. So much of our current world is about as far away from disaster as you can be. In the U.S. currently, we lead very comfortable lives when compared with large parts of the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am not apologizing for that at all, but it does change how you view stress.

We have a running joke in my family and I am sure we aren’t alone in this of whenever one of us encounters something that irritates us or “stresses us out” we jokingly, but accurately label that as a “first world problem.” If I can’t find any good movies out of the thousands available to me via the internet piped into my living room, that is a first world problem. If my computer is not running as fast as I want as I sit in an air-conditioned home or I have to wait 3 minutes for it to reboot due to a free OS upgrade, that is a first world problem. If I have to leave the security of my bathroom to walk two feet to a closet with dozens of rolls of soft toilet paper… you get the point. We don’t have anywhere near the stress in our lives now that some people do and we frequently take that for granted. I don’t expect anyone to sit and feel ashamed for our lifestyle, but what will you do if that is all gone?

Imagine the father who has walked hundreds of miles with his family across a desert to avoidethnic cleansing or the mother who is alone with three small children living in a refugee camp. The same camp with hundreds of thousands of other displaced people where she is lucky to have a small meal of watery rice a couple times a day. Oh, did I mention that she has to walk almost a mile to stand in line for that rice and she goes back to a tent to live in with 15 other families. I won’t even mention the people who are still running for their lives from groups bent on their complete destruction who kill men, women and children with machetes. We don’t know real stress in the US right now.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

We don’t know stress in the US like some people.

You can find lots of information about the “stress” we do have in our lives and plenty of advice for dealing with stress. In a disaster, getting fresh air or exercise probably won’t cut it but that does say something about what we do all day. I think in a crisis like many of us are expecting in our worst nightmares, our very definition of stress will be radically rewritten. Even if nothing that bad happens, stress and I mean real stress is something we should plan for.

What are some symptoms of stress?

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Low threshold of frustration.

As preppers reading this article I have to assume that you will be leaders to the people in your group. Recognizing stress will be important for a couple of reasons. First you want to be able to identify situations where someone needs a little extra care, assistance or rest. Stressed out individuals can make mistakes that could get people hurt or killed. I am not talking about the kind of stress caused by not having enough space on your smart phone to take a one hour video of your daughter’s birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese either.

When you are living with loss, possibly death, great uncertainty or dangers to your safety, people can deal with stress in a number of ways. I think at some point stress will become a part of life and you will have peaks and valleys depending on the relative safety and security you are living in at any moment but when your entire life has been thrown into a blender and dumped on the ground, stress might take it’s toll for a while.

Stress

How can you deal with stress?

Each person deals with stress in their own way and in a disaster it would be perfectly normal to have feelings of sadness or loss and uncertainty. You as a leader will be living with stress just like anyone you come in contact with most likely and if you know how to deal with your own stress you will be better prepared to help others like a spouse, children or parent deal with their own stress.

Stress frequently brings dark feelings and doubt to the surface. It is very normal to want to lash out when you are stressed, to hit back at the situation that has impacted your life. Sometimes this may work to your benefit, but for most times I think you want to reserve anger like that. What can you do?

Focus on what you can control – We can easily dwell on the problems we can’t fix right now and worry about how that will change. There are so many things to consider when we are in a stressful environment and that is one additional reason to prepare now so that all of the basics of life and security will be checked off the list.

Admit you are stressed out and talk about that with someone – When I am stressed, I tend to focus on all of the things I am worried about. I rush through my day trying to knock things off my list or thinking about them until I reach some level of satisfaction about where I am. I don’t normally go to my wife to discuss things I am stressed out about but she seems to know when I am stressed and engages me to talk about it. Even though the things I am worried about don’t disappear, it helps to talk. Sometimes she does help me with ideas or just a different perspective. I would never want to be without her counsel.

Don’t blame yourself for bad things – I know that personally, I prepare because in the back of my mind I feel responsible for my family and I don’t want to let them down in an emergency. Its one thing if Dad forgets to stop at the store and get ice cream for dessert (first world problem) but another thing entirely if a storm knocks out power for two weeks and I can’t keep them warm and fed. There will be things you can’t control and dwelling on what you should have done is useless. Focus on what you can do, make things happen and move on.

Sleep, eat and drink – Our bodies are amazing creations and so many problems can be remedied themselves with the simple basics our bodies need to function properly. Making sure you get enough sleep is an important stress reducer. You also need to make sure that applies to everyone in your group. That is another reason why a group of people is better than lower numbers of people so that you have more people to work, stand guard and help. Food and Water is the fuel our bodies need to function at peak capacity. So that should be one of the first things you check off on your prepper to do list. See a theme here?

Rely on your higher power – The saying goes that there are no atheists in foxholes and that simply means that when you are worried about dying, you start to believe/hope for an afterlife and a loving God to watch over you and keep you safe. Many of us already have a spiritual component in our lives and we should be embracing this daily. You can certainly lean heavily on your own higher power for strength and peace in a time of high stress. Sometimes a simple prayer is all it takes to calm me down and I know that if I ever was in a real “stress” inducing situation I would be praying much more often than I do now.

How do children react to stress?

Adults are one thing and you might think we can do what they did in old movies. Just slap the person going hysterical and yell at them to “Snap out of it”! That may work, actually it might feel pretty good depending on the person on the receiving end of the slapping. Just kidding… sort of.

Children are different though so understanding the stress from their eyes will help you deal with them in ways that make them feel better. Children all deal with stress differently at different ages. This is a breakdown from FEMA:

Birth through 2 years. When children are pre-verbal and experience a trauma, they do not have the words to describe the event or their feelings. However, they can retain memories of particular sights, sounds, or smells. Infants may react to trauma by being irritable, crying more than usual, or wanting to be held and cuddled. The biggest influence on children of this age is how their parents cope. As children get older, their play may involve acting out elements of the traumatic event that occurred several years in the past and was seemingly forgotten.

Preschool – 3 through 6 years. Preschool children often feel helpless and powerless in the face of an overwhelming event. Because of their age and small size, they lack the ability to protect themselves or others. As a result, they feel intense fear and insecurity about being separated from caregivers. Preschoolers cannot grasp the concept of permanent loss. They can see consequences as being reversible or permanent. In the weeks following a traumatic event, preschoolers’ play activities may reenact the incident or the disaster over and over again.

School age – 7 through 10 years. The school-age child has the ability to understand the permanence of loss. Some children become intensely preoccupied with the details of a traumatic event and want to talk about it continually. This preoccupation can interfere with the child’s concentration at school and academic performance may decline. At school, children may hear inaccurate information from peers. They may display a wide range of reactions — sadness, generalized fear, or specific fears of the disaster happening again, guilt over action or inaction during the disaster, anger that the event was not prevented, or fantasies of playing rescuer.

Pre-adolescence to adolescence – 11 through 18 years. As children grow older, they develop a more sophisticated understanding of the disaster event. Their responses are more similar to adults. Teenagers may become involved in dangerous, risk-taking behaviors, such as reckless driving, or alcohol or drug use. Others can become fearful of leaving home and avoid previous levels of activities. Much of adolescence is focused on moving out into the world. After a trauma, the view of the world can seem more dangerous and unsafe. A teenager may feel overwhelmed by intense emotions and yet feel unable to discuss them with others.

Coping with stress may not be the first thing we consider when we are prepping, but it is a natural by-product of the events we are planning for. Your job as leader won’t end simply at gathering supplies. You will also have to provide strength and compassion and understanding as appropriate to help others around you. I don’t expect to turn into a touchy feeling – hug it out kind of guy when we are trying to survive and cannibals are munching on your legs. That is just not in my nature and I will be focusing on other things I assume. I do think it’s important to be able to realize how each person is dealing with the stresses in their lives. You can use this to help people by guiding them in certain directions or collaborating with others to provide assistance while you focus on slaying the metaphorical dragon.

Call it prepping for the emotional component of your group under duress. It is something that we all should spend a little time thinking about. You could be the person who brings someone through their stress and helps them survive. Helping others cope might even help you in the end.

 

Coping with Stress After Disaster was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:

http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2015/09/18/coping-with-stress-after-disaster/