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supra
12-20-2012, 3:21 PM
After hurricane Sandy I realized how unprepared we are as a nation for any kind of disaster either man made or natural. Over the last month or so my wife and I have been talking seriously about starting to prep. I have been researching food storage, bug out bags, water purification, first aid supplies, ect. I was excited to see this as a forum on Calguns because I need help... I don't even know where to start. Other then guns and ammo I have nothing in terms of prepping, and I am excited now that my wife is on board with prepping not to get any grief over stocking ammo :). I don't want to waste all my savings buying everything I need at once, but want to start purchasing rather then just researching. What should I buy first? I was thinking first aid kit and a 3 day bug out bag for every family member(myself, wife, and 2 children under 3), then building from there. I would appreciate everyone's opinion on essentials that I need to have right away and then what you might think future priorities would be.

NotEnufGarage
12-20-2012, 3:38 PM
Don't worry about bugging out at first. More than likely, you'll need to bug in, ie. hunker down in your residence with whatever supplies you have and wait for either normalcy to return or for the government or someone else to "save" you.

Start with water... A few cases of bottled water and a few gallon jugs to start. About a gallon per person per day. Remember you have 40 gallons in your water heater and whatever you can fill your bathtub with before the water shuts down.

Then food. Canned goods, mostly. Things that you normally use, just buy a few extra each time you shop. Rotate them (use old ones first, replace with new ones). Dry foods such as crackers, pasta, rice and beans keep a long time. Frozen foods will keep as long as the power is on, plus a few days.

After that, meds, hygeine (TP, soap, towels), first aid supplies, clothing and shoes for terrain rougher than you're probably used to.



Most imporatant thing is to get started.

speedrrracer
12-20-2012, 4:29 PM
Good stuff from NotEnuf

Consider reading this blog from a guy who went through Katrina, and learned a lot of lessons. There's some serious gems in there, and not just for the Apocalypse, but for the problems you are statistically most likely to face in your lifetime, like a house fire.

He has a wife / kids, too, so his situation might be similar to yours.
http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/index.html

Lotta good videos to watch. MainePrepper, SouthernPrepper1, and engineer775 are good channels to pretty much memorize. MainePrepper for the philosophical / mental end of prepping, the others for the nuts-and-bolts.

Steve_In_29
12-20-2012, 5:44 PM
Most likely going to be a bug-in rather then a bug-out scenario in most cases.

Just buying extra of the canned/dry foods you already purchase is the easiest way to build up your food reserves. Spaghetti or other types of noodles keep well and premade sauce is easy to create a meal with. Food that needs electricity to cook (like microwaves meals) are not a good choice. Think things that in a worst case can be heated over an open fire if need be.

Spam is a great way to ensure meat protein in an emergency and it keeps forever. Spam rep stated they only put expiration dates on the cans to allow people to rotate stock and have opened 14? year old cans that were still good. Can be eaten right from can but does taste better if fried.

Buy extra bottled water and maybe a couple 5gaL water jugs from WallyWorld or other camping store that you can fill.

Pick up a 5gal gas can and either use it when necessary or keep it filled and every time you fill-up the car (or at least every couple of months or so) dump the can in the tank first and then refill it with fresh gas. No need for Stabil that way. Never let car get below 1/2 tank to ensure you aren't caught on empty if power goes out.

Some camping gear would come in handy as well. Tent, sleeping bags/cots, small backpacks, Coleman stove/lantern, flashlights (LED preferably for bulb/battery life), some type of raingear, solar shower and maybe a tarp or two.

Consider one of the windup/solar radios that provide cell phone charging. Perhaps some FRS radios. Walmart has solar-powered, LED flashlights for $12. Ensure you keep a stock of batteries at home.

ElvenSoul
12-20-2012, 7:06 PM
I would just buy a earthquake kit to start.

xgi1991
12-20-2012, 7:11 PM
great advice above so for, what I usually recommend is to look into a buying program for long term food storage, one good source (in California) and has very flexible systems, can be found here http://freezedryguy.com/ he also sells other items besides food.

Sunday
12-20-2012, 7:18 PM
Just start by making sure you have enough food, water , daily consumables camp type stove and fuel for it etc for a couple of weeks then go from there as in the other posts. The Sandy event there was ample warning so a credit card and some cash would get you a motel room. After that I wouldn't know what to do after a few days.

wjc
12-20-2012, 9:15 PM
A good trick I use is to keep track of what I use during a given time span to give me an idea of what I might need.

A basic earthquake kit is good for now. You can build on that once you get more involved.

OIFVet03
12-20-2012, 11:28 PM
Bottled water(save the bottles), food(canned, dried, or preserved), a good knife or multi tool, lighter( to start a fire), magnesium would be good too. Obviously a gun or two to defend yourself if you have to. The more you have, the better. Camp stove would be good. I would get rope or some kind of cordage. I have a whole bunch of 550 cord in case I need it. 550 cord is pretty cheap and it's awesome. Machete would be good too. You might think I'm going overboard but you can never be too prepared.

OIFVet03
12-20-2012, 11:29 PM
Oh almost forgot beer. I would stock up on beer but that isn't a neccesity. well maybe lol

ireload
12-21-2012, 7:29 AM
Since your wife is on board and you guys are looking into it, start out simple. Like others have stated: canned goods and bottled water (cases of it). But canned goods that you guys that normally eat. Single propane stove in the camping section of Walmart and several bottles of propane to cook or heat up your food. Cooking equipment you already have. If funds are more available, 5 gallon water container and a good water filter with extra filter cartridge. Can openers at leat two. Several boxes of matches (kitchen type 250 pieces each box readily available at Walmart or Target). Plenty of pillar candles. Battery and hand crank operated radio. Of course flashlights (don't go cheap like those $5 plastic ones. Maglites and such will give you the dependability factor). Plenty of toilet paper and a couple of 5 gallon empty buckets with lid for multiple use.

Keep in mind with equipment or gadget "know how to use them". Between you and your wife should go over them. Don't get caught up with the gizmos and gadget. "Simple is ample."

aalvidrez
12-21-2012, 7:38 AM
Don't worry about bugging out at first. More than likely, you'll need to bug in, ie. hunker down in your residence with whatever supplies you have and wait for either normalcy to return or for the government or someone else to "save" you.

Start with water... A few cases of bottled water and a few gallon jugs to start. About a gallon per person per day. Remember you have 40 gallons in your water heater and whatever you can fill your bathtub with before the water shuts down.

Then food. Canned goods, mostly. Things that you normally use, just buy a few extra each time you shop. Rotate them (use old ones first, replace with new ones). Dry foods such as crackers, pasta, rice and beans keep a long time. Frozen foods will keep as long as the power is on, plus a few days.

After that, meds, hygeine (TP, soap, towels), first aid supplies, clothing and shoes for terrain rougher than you're probably used to.



Most imporatant thing is to get started.

+1
Food, water and something to cook with. You can improvise the rest.

Bobbar
12-21-2012, 8:01 AM
Dont forget sanitation... extra tp, babywipes, small trash bags to poop in, alot of trashbags, paper plates and plastic spoons and forks (no doing dishes if there is no running water)

mossy590
12-21-2012, 8:31 AM
Lots of good stuff here already, so I'll just give a simple example of how to stay focused while getting started, it's real easy to get overwhelmed sometimes or get distracted.

If you've ever gone camping with the family, plan out for a three day camping trip, make your list, and go get it. Start with water, non-perishable food, fuel, and then gear.

After that, plan out for a week long trip, list it, then get it. Then two weeks, three weeks, a month, and on untill you get to where you need to start getting into the high skill/dollar prepping stuff. By then, you'll be way up on the curve and giving us advise and linking your youtube channel ;-)

It'll take a while to get to a month of preps by picking it up as you shop normally, then you can start rotating stuff out.

Eventually, you'll have collected enough stuff and knowledge to build 72hr BOBs for everyone, GHBs in each car, and an INCH cart out of bicycles and conduit.

FeuerFrei
12-21-2012, 9:58 AM
After hurricane Sandy I realized how unprepared we are as a nation for any kind of disaster either man made or natural. Over the last month or so my wife and I have been talking seriously about starting to prep. I have been researching food storage, bug out bags, water purification, first aid supplies, ect. I was excited to see this as a forum on Calguns because I need help... I don't even know where to start. Other then guns and ammo I have nothing in terms of prepping, and I am excited now that my wife is on board with prepping not to get any grief over stocking ammo :). I don't want to waste all my savings buying everything I need at once, but want to start purchasing rather then just researching. What should I buy first? I was thinking first aid kit and a 3 day bug out bag for every family member(myself, wife, and 2 children under 3), then building from there. I would appreciate everyone's opinion on essentials that I need to have right away and then what you might think future priorities would be.

It's a good thing that your are starting to ask questions and your wife is on board with the idea.
I personally don't like the one size fits all approach to buying gear. You have to have real world experience as to what you will need. The general thinking says "beans, band aids, bullets" are needed to survive a disaster. Not necessarily true for everyone.
I will give you my advice that I gave friends and family when they asked me.
Spend a weekend without power, running water, cellphones, computers, no cars to travel to the store. No store trips whatsoever. Just unplug yourselves from the conveniences. Zero cost. Remember this is only a starting point!
Try to make it with what you already have in the house now.
I know this sounds challenging but it is the only way you will know what you need to begin to survive a disaster. This enables you to develop a list as you go along and discuss "need to have" items. Those are the items you'll buy first.
This is the best way for you to start preparing.
My feedback seems to center around the boredom factor. Keep yourselves busy reading, playing games, having sex ;) or whatever makes things easier on both of you.
Some people can't hack being unplugged from the net or the grid and you need to know that now so you can plan for that too.
I hope this helps.

Norcalkid
12-21-2012, 12:46 PM
I would just start w a week or 2 food and water. That should get you started.

tommyboy619
12-21-2012, 1:13 PM
"Water, a whole lotta water and....Funyuns."

Seriously, water first (if you got the room 55 gallon barrels can be cheap and provide all the water you need for a month). Then the ability to get more water (water purification system like one of the hiking pump purifiers. Check out First Need XL.) Then shelf stable food and the means to heat water and food. After that you start getting into shelter (just think camping trip.) Cover the basics and then expand into creature comforts. It took me about 8 months to get to a point where I felt that I could comfortably weather out any bug in situation. And having the wife on board will definitely make it easier to get to this point.

KevinB
12-21-2012, 2:11 PM
You will hava to assess your own personal situation and assets.

Food and water will be your # 1 need. Storing just those can be a major undertaking. If flooding or fire are the top 2 things that you have to be ready for than storage becomes critical.

Another overlooked issue with all prep packages is meds. If you have people in your family that have special med or other needs these can become critical real easy.

At some point firearms are part of the equation. # one rule in a gun battle is bring one, followed closely by don't run out of ammo.

On food storage a good place to start looking to see what you need in the way of food and food storage is www.providentliving.com

Remember if you make a mistake in your food pantry, you can just eat it.

Iskra
12-21-2012, 3:09 PM
Family of 4 in California, I'd start with:

-60 gal of water (2 week+ supply)
-2 of these (2 week+ supply): http://www.augasonfarms.com/Kits-and-packs/30-Day-Food-Storage-Emergency-All-in-One6-Gallon-Pail-UPC-78716-20095
-Couple giant packs of baby wipes
-Pelican case with 1st aid, spare meds, spare eyeglasses (if you use them), toothbrushes, etc.
-Goal Zero or comparable solar phone charger
-Hand-crank flashlight & radio
-4 decent sleeping bags
-Good family size tent if you have the yard space to set it up & your house is uninhabitable
-Time passers like sketchbooks, games, cards
-big rubbermaid tub with briquets, TP, dog food (if you have a dog)... whatever you want to keep dust or water-free, but won't matter if its knocked around in an earthquake
-dutch oven: you can cook almost anything in a DO with briquets or wood charcoal or over (or in) a fire
-rescue/demo tools. Our event will most likely be an earthquake, so everyone should have some shovels, pry bars, flat bars, gas shutoff-wrench, pickaxes, heavy gloves, dust masks, etc. even if you normally pay someone to work on your house or yard
-more ammo than you have now

kaligaran
12-21-2012, 7:33 PM
Dont forget sanitation... extra tp, babywipes, small trash bags to poop in, alot of trashbags, paper plates and plastic spoons and forks (no doing dishes if there is no running water)

Bobbar's suggestions arevery important and often overlooked.

Chances are you have most of the items to make good get-home-bags and bug-out-bags already. Most likely you just need to stock up on consumables (not only food/water) and add some other small items. You don't have to necessarily spend a fortune, just be organized.

Start paying attention to what you use day to day and that's what you should stock up on. Not only food water but also toothpaste, TP, tampons/divacup (most male preppers totally forget this aspect of prepping when a woman is in the household). Costco/Sams FTW.

Make copies of all important documents. Back up things you don't want to lose like family photos on a USB thumb drive and encrypt it. Have a bag for each family member in a closet near the door in case of a house fire or some event that would force you out of your home. It should include all contacts including insurance companies and such which are handy in a natural disaster/house fire situation.

Having multiple bags is a great idea too. Having two bags you can throw in the car that weigh 20# is much better than one bag that weighs #40. You can have a duffel for 'nice to have items' as well but you need to keep important things on you that you can carry all the time like your documents and mini-first aid kit. Rolly airport style luggage is good for this use too and most people have these sitting in a closet collecting dust when not traveling.

Put a duffel bag in the car trunk or under/behind your truck seat. Should include things for a normal breakdown on the side of the road like flares, extra toolkit, yard gloves like those found at any hardware store.
One bag should also be something that would allow you to get home if an emergency/earthquake happened and the roads became parking lots. It should include seasonal items too like a poncho. Boots or comfy walking shoes and a change of clothes if you have to wear dress clothes to work.

Keep in mind, the idea of putting on a backpack and heading into the hills to live off the land with no destination is dangerous and should be a last resort. That's really a last resort IMO. Most disasters you can wait out at home.

And lastly, CASH! If an earthquake happened and stores/gas stations were without power and still open, they won't take cards and ATMs would be down. As was the case with Sandy. Having cash (small bills) stashed in the vehicle is important.

That's just my initial brain dump. I'm leaving out plenty of details and other thoughts to try and avoid writing a novel. :)

TheChief
12-21-2012, 7:58 PM
Lots of good ideas here. Here's mine ;)

You said you want to start purchasing rather than just researching. Not recommended but to each their own.

Some of many questions that go into your decision tree:

What are your goals

What are you prepping for (type of event(s))
Shelter in place (bug in), evacuate (bug out) or provision and plan for both


What can you do

What is your budget for the initial buy, and every pay check there after
How much storage room do you have
What is your knowledge level on the topic
What other resources are available to you
If evacuating, on foot, bike or vehicle


This is not a simple topic as you likely know already and a family's preps are unique to each based on interest, knowledge, budget, commitment, capabilities, and resources. I strongly recommend you spend time researching the topic and making a bunch of lists before spending any real money. I recommend picking up the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition - $20.74 - http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Practical-Disaster-Preparedness-Family/dp/1475136536 . It is well excepted and was recently updated (May 2012). I recommend it to all my friends, family and coworkers that have an interest in being better prepared to survive a calamity.

Since you want to buy something now, I recommend limiting yourself to a two week supply of whatever you ultimately get, then do the research before buying anything else. I am probably on my 5th generation system/list/config/whatever and have more items I no longer use than what I do use. Lots of money just sitting there. I wish I had known more when I started as I would likely have spent 50% less money on my preps overall.

As you make your lists, post it and ask for comments and suggestions before buying.

Just starting out, I recommend focusing on building up supplies for a two week shelter in place where you have no power, water, phone, internet, cable or gas. You have all the resources that are normally in your home. You just need to add on to them. You could expect to pay $200-$400 for the items below assuming you don't have some of them already.

Water
Shelter is covered by your house so the next most important item is water. With water rationing, plan for one gallon a day per person. That's half a gallon for consumption and the other half for hygiene (brushing teeth, bathing, washing dishes, etc.)


Cases of bottled water
5 Gallon water bottles from Home Depot or the Big Box stores


Food
Think shelf stable protein and calories. Think about how active you may be after an emergency. Think about what you already keep in your home for you normal meals. Can you just expand on how much you keep in your pantry? Remember, the fridge and freezer no longer have power so you need things that aren't refrigerated and portion controllable so you don't waste food that can't be eaten in that meal. Also...the last thing you want in an emergency situation is food poisoning from spoiled food

The food in your fridge and freezer: Fridges will generally keep for the first 4-8 hours after loss of power and the doors staying closed. After that the fridge rises above 40f and your food starts the spoiling process. The freezer will depend on how packed it is and design of the freezer. Once the contents in there hit 40f they start the spoiling process too. My side-by-side fridge keeps the food below 40f for about 6 hours and the freezer for about 36 hours. I have another beer fridge I keep water bottles and ice in the space I am not using.

About four hours after the power drops, I pull the ice and water bottles out of the beer fridge, load them into a couple of 5 day coolers and pull all the food out of the fridge. The coolers are better insulated than my fridge and keep the food for another three to four days.

Use a thermometer to check the food occasionally. If it goes above 40f for more than 60 minutes, chuck it. This is a general rule. If you educate yourself on what can last and for how long than great. If not, stick with the general rule. It's better to be hungry than suffering from food poisoning.


Food thermometer
Canned fruit, veggies, pastas, chili, meat
Pasta, rice, and beans


Cooking
Gotta boil water or cook some of those meals and no power or gas means no kitchen stove. Do you have a patio grill or wood stove? Do you have enough fuel to do three meals a day for two weeks for the whole family?


Stove
Fuel
Matches/lighter


Communications
How bad was the emergency? Are people coming to help? Is there somewhere I can get fresh water, medical treatment, food? Is a chemical spill\cloud or fire coming my way? If you have water is it safe to drink. Information is life and death. How are you going to get it?


Radio
Batteries


Light
The emergency may happen at night and there is glass on the floor or rebar sticking out of that concrete wall/rubble or that room is really dark with no lights even in the day and you need something out of there or little sally is crying and it is darker in your house then you have ever seen.

Candles are not recommend for one main reason...FIRE. Most of us here are adults and know the dangers of fire. However, you also know accidents happen. The risk is very high and the fire department will likely not be coming to help...enough said.

Area lighting is for the family table or board games, etc. Flashlights are for finding things and getting from here to there. You should think about getting both.


Lantern (fuel or battery)
Lantern batteries or fuel
Spare bulbs or mantles
Flashlight/headlamp
Batteries and bulbs


Hygiene
Just cause your roughing it doesn't mean you don't have to wash your butt!


Toilet paper
Baby wipes
Sanitizer
Foaming soap
Tearless shampoo


Save the fancy expensive stuff for your research. Not knocking it, just wait until you have more info and can make a more informed decision.

jonnyt16
12-22-2012, 6:15 PM
Twenty-one posts and nobody mentioned a generator?? If you can, save up and buy a real high quality one (Honda, Yamaha) because these consume very little fuel and make very little noise. But any generator is better than none and watching coverage of Hurricane Sandy really proved that for me. With a good generator you can run your refrigerator, heater, some lights, and other things that can make life a lot better for you in a crisis/disaster situation.

Anyway, here's the one I went with... http://calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=647382

Good luck.