by Contributor

(Jan. 21, 2021) — Emergency preparedness is all about anticipating future needs.

There’s an old saying, oft-repeated by teachers around exam time. It goes like this:

‘Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.’

It’s a great motto for preppers too! Emergency preparedness is all about anticipating future needs. You have to make sure you are prepared for any eventuality you can imagine, and many beyond our imaginations. 

With that in mind, starting out can seem incredibly daunting. There’s so much to think about and prepare for that you almost feel defeated before you begin.

Luckily for you, we’re here to help. You see, no matter what emergency you may be faced with in the future, there are always a few essentials that you’ll need. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re facing political upheaval or climate-related disasters, you’ll always need the following. 

  1. Water – You must have some​ water stored away. The recommendation is 1 gallon of​ water per person, per day. 

Ideally, you want to have as much water as possible stored away in readiness. You need to make sure it’s stored safely and appropriately. Sealed 5-gallon jugs can last for a few years if they’re unopened. 

If you’re storing water in barrels or other unsealed containers you need to replace it every 6 months. 

As well as having a supply of fresh water, you want two different methods of purifying water. 

Boiling is a simple and effective method of purifying your water but you want another method too.  

2. Food – You need to start with at least 30 days worth of food. Obviously, you need​ food that stores well. Think dried goods like pasta and rice. You’ll also want to go for canned goods and preserves. 

You’ll need to keep on top of your food stock. Make sure use-by dates are prominent and accurate. Rotate your stock so that you’re using up the oldest food first. 

It’s the food side of things that generally makes newbies realize that prepping isn’t a one-and-done activity. It’s an ongoing process. 

You can’t just chuck a load of tins in your basement. You need to itemize and rotate stock frequently. The last thing you want is to realize your 30-day stock is actually 5 days because most of it is gone off. 

3. First Aid – Buying a first aid kit from a pharmacy is not good enough. Your first aid kit​ needs to include far more than a few bandaids and a sling. 

First and foremost, your first aid kit needs to include the following: 

  • Dressings of various sizes. 
  • Compression bandages. 
  • Medical tape. 
  • Antiseptics. 
  • Benadryl.
  • Gauze. 
  • Painkillers. 
  • Gloves.
  • Sanitiser. 
  • Saline eye drops. 
  • Antibiotics. 
  • Tweezers. 
  • Trauma shears.

You can supplement this kit with a wide variety of other medical kit as you see fit. The above should help you treat most basic wounds and injuries. 

4. Shelter – Ideally, you’ll shelter in place at your home in the case of an emergency.​  However, this is not always possible. 

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some means of shelter.  A tent is a great idea but make sure it’s lightweight but durable. 

If you have to use a tent you’re probably on foot which means you don’t want to lug around something super heavy. 

If you really want to reduce the weight you carry, a tarpaulin or bivouac ​ is much lighter than a tent. 

Don’t forget that your vehicle is a great form of shelter. Always keep some basic supplies in your vehicle in case you need to use it to bug out. 

5. Bug out bag –​ The final essential you want to prep and have on hand is a bug out​ bag. 

A bug out bag is a grab-and-go bag filled with essentials like food, water, first aid, clothes, and shelter. 

The idea is that if an emergency situation forces you out of your home you can leave quickly but still be prepared. 

Your bug out bag needs to be easy to carry, well-stocked, water-proof, and easily


Many people keep one bug out bag in their vehicle and another in the home just in case. 

Final Thoughts

The above is not an exhaustive list. The thing you’ll find is that once you start prepping, there’s an almost endless list of things to get, store and maintain. 

What you can do with the list above, is make a start on your emergency preparedness kit. 

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