4 Realistic Threats You Should Be Prepping For
Editor’s note: This prepping primer was written by guest contributor Mark Hedman.
Shows like National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers have shone a spotlight on the prepping lifestyle, and people across the country have joined the movement. Families are stockpiling water, food, weapons, essential first aid supplies, and more. While many people associate preppers with crazy people preparing for a zombie apocalypse, there are some real threats that you should be prepping for. You may be surprised at which ones make the list.
Prepping for Losing a Primary Source of Income
Losing a main source of income can be a catastrophic event for any family. Today, you almost need two incomes to survive, so what happens if you lose one of those? Worse yet, what if you’re single with only one source of income and lose it?
Most preppers don’t talk about losing income, but it’s an event to plan for. Here’s what you can do:
Stock your pantry – Stocking your pantry with items you use every day is smart. Think beyond food. Look for items such as shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, toilet paper, and other household items. You can add to your stockpile a little at a time by purchasing items when they’re on sale. If you or your spouse lose a job, at least you have some of the necessities.
Save an emergency fund – Many financial experts say that you should save enough money to cover at least six-months-worth of expenses and household bills. This savings account will help you pay for unexpected bills such as car repairs or cover expenses if you lose your job.
Aim for self-reliance – The more self-reliant you can be, the better. You can even take steps to move off-grid and away from community resources. Making the shift to off-grid prepares you to live without community services such as water, trash pickup, electricity, etc.
Prepare for Floods
Don’t think you are safe from the dangers of flooding if you live outside of flood-prone areas. Think of Hurricane Harvey and the destruction it caused in Texas. That hurricane remained over Texas for six days, making landfall three times in September 2017. Approximately one-third of Houston, Texas was underwater. According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Harvey caused $125 billion in damage, and 88 Texans died, mostly from rain, floods, and wind.
Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S., per Ready.gov. Flash floods can occur with no warning. To prepare for a flood, first check FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to see if you live in a flood area. Then sign up for your community warning system. You can also get alerts from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, and EAS—The Emergency Alert System.
Research evacuation plans and practice drills with your family. You should prepare a bug-out bag with essential survival gear, medications, and other necessities for your family members. Don’t forget your pet’s needs.
Civil Disturbance and Social Unrest
The way society is today, expect something disastrous to occur. Communities are divided, and it seems sensitivity is at an all-time high. Be prepared for riots, active shooter incidents, and other similar events.
Learn what to do to survive a riot and teach your family how to respond if they’re caught in the middle of an active shooter incident. Always remain aware of your surroundings when you’re in public, as situational awareness can save your life. Learn how to defend yourself and carry a weapon or tool for protection. Be prepared for anything.
The United States has been attacked multiple times from 9-11 to the present. Thousands of terrorists live right here in the U.S., so the likelihood of another attack increases every day.
The Red Cross says that you can prepare by developing a disaster plan. Create a plan for communication with other family members or friends that live out of the area. They should live far enough away that they would not be affected by the same incident as you if one occurred.
You and the other family or household you pick should email or call if something happens. Make sure each of your immediate family members has the contact information for the other family or friend. Leave the information with each of your children’s schools, and the workplaces of you and your spouse. Those numbers serve as a backup should something happen to you.
If you need to evacuate work or home and get separated from your family, you should establish a meeting place for your immediate family members. Make sure you keep a bug-out bag with supplies on hand for incidents like this. Keep copies of important documentation like marriage and birth certificates, power of attorney, insurance policies, and other essential paperwork in a safe deposit box at your bank or at a friend or another family member’s house.
Make sure you know school emergency plans for each of your children. Leave updated contact information with the schools and designate and give permission for other trusted friends or family members who can pick up the kids from school if you or your spouse can’t.
These attacks could include dirty bombs or biological agents, and these are real threats that you may face.
You don’t need to just survive the disaster; you need to survive the aftermath as well. There are many things that you need to worry about after a disaster. You may be without community resources and utilities for an extended period. You’ll need food, household supplies, water, first aid supplies, and more. You need to be able to cook your food without electricity or gas.
Sanitation may also become a problem if the local infrastructure fails. Your local grocery store may be shut down for a long time.
Make a plan that covers all these possible problems and teach your family how to implement it.
These are just a few events that you need to prepare for. Flooding and natural disasters can occur at any time and are common occurrences. Other disasters such as civil disturbance and terrorist attacks are less likely but still a real possibility. Also, you can lose your job tomorrow.
As the old adage says, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. If you prepare for any of these events, you’ll be miles ahead of other people and will fare much better during and after a disaster.
Mark Hedman is the CEO of LA Police Gear, located in Valencia, CA.