A Four Seasons Emergency Plan: Autumn Survival

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 A Four-Seasons Emergency Plan Autumn Survival via The Survival Mom

September is National Preparedness Month and the perfect time to look at a few ways you can be prepared.


Preparing kids

Autumn is a lovely time to go for a drive. This year, why not explore some possible Get out of Dodge (GOOD) evacuation routes for your family? You can give the kids maps to hone their map-reading skills at the same time, maybe even try using some topographical maps. When you get home, update your plans based on your drive.

Make sure your kids know what to do in an emergency: where to go, with whom they can go home, how to contact you. Put a map in their backpack and highlight the route home (or almost home – for security if the backpack is lost, you might want to stop before your street since your kid will know the last bit anyhow), and mark some of their friends’ homes that they can go to. Just make sure to OK it with the other parents.

Camping and food preservation

How about preparing for and scheduling one or two cold weather camping trips.  Wilderness survival during the cold months is a whole different ballgame!  Check Craigslist, eBay, and Freecycle for any camping equipment you’re missing.  As the mom, this will be a great time to learn new Dutch Oven cooking techniques and recipes.

A lot of us are doing new things, so learning and researching are part of being a prepper. One of the things we need to know is how to preserve foods by canning, drying (herbs, primarily), pickling, preserving, and dehydrating. Of course, there are also fall crops to plant, such as fruit trees, garlic, and cover crops including winter wheat.  Bring inside any plants that won’t survive the winter.

Home and garden

Clean and store your gardening tools and equipment to be ready for next spring. Scrub off any dirt and mud, then lightly oil the metal portion and wipe down the wooden handles with linseed oil. Sharpen any cutting tools at this time as well.  Check out this article about caring for your tools. Inventory your winter tool needs – shovels, ice melt for sidewalks, and repairs or parts needed for equipment like snow or leaf blowers. If you burn wood, stock up! Do you have the means to chop and split the wood yourself if you need to? If not, then you know what you need to do.

Walk around your home and check to see if the sun and hot weather of summer have damaged anything on the exterior of your house or property.  Fences, gates, wood trim are all susceptible.

Medicine and herbs

If you have an herb garden, start learning how to use those herbs during the winter months. Read here to learn about herbalism as a readiness skill to better help yourself and loved ones during an emergency. Don’t forget to buy gelatin capsules! Speaking of medicinal, empty out your medicine chest, check ALL the expiration dates, toss the old stuff, make a list of what you need, then restock – particularly cough & cold, flu and other winter-time medicines. While you’re at it, expand what you keep on hand. Much like your stores of food, if you toss in a box or two for your First Aid kit every time you are at the pharmacy, you’ll build up a nice supply reasonably quickly. Although many OTC medicines are $5-$15 or even more, you can get rolls of gauze bandages, tape, slings, and a variety of other First Aid supplies for only a few dollars each.

An impending cough, cold, and flu season make this a good time to stock up on “sick people food” – crackers, ginger ale, chicken noodle soup (canned and instant), popsicles, Pedialyte, etc. You should also find an activity for your family to do as it gets colder in order to stay physically active on super-cold days.  Indoor activities could include jump-rope, a treadmill, or working out to exercise videos.

TIPS- Antibiotics are often a popular topic in preparedness circles. Some people want to incorporate herbal antibiotics as alternatives to prescriptions. Read more here to see if herbal remedies benefit your family?


Finally, prepare for the holidays.  Shop back-to-school sales for gifts.  Many department stores discount kids clothing as part of their sales, and now is a great time to grab some bargains that will find their way under the Christmas tree or presented on Hanukkah.

Holiday feasts and entertainment are just around the corner as well.  Canned ham is more readily available than canned turkey. Mashed potato flakes are totally easy to find and so is a canned yam. You can change your holiday menu slightly to include items from your preps so that if you have to have a holiday meal entirely from your stored food, it is still fairly “normal” for your family. Take advantage of this wonderful season.

Every fall, Americans across the country gain an extra hour each day when they “fall back” and reset their clocks one hour later with the end of Daylight Savings Time.


This year, don’t just fall back. Read here to take a few steps ahead to make sure you’re also prepared for what the fall and winter bring.

A Four-Seasons Emergency Plan Autumn Survival via The Survival Mom







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Bethanne is an eclectic writer who lives in the exurbs (that's what comes after the suburbs) with her husband, sons, and cats. She has been writing for The Survival Mom since 2010. You can learn more about her books, including the "Survival Skills for All Ages" series, at BethanneKim.com.

7 thoughts on “A Four Seasons Emergency Plan: Autumn Survival”

  1. Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup is currently on special for $.50 per can at my local target. The grocery store had tomato soup as well, same price. We are now VERY well stocked for Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup! I also have about a half dozen cans of canned ham from Aldi.

    As part of the new routine for the new school year, my oldest is taking air rifle classes every week. (Technically, they're pellet guns where he's shooting, not air soft.)

  2. Great article and excellent advice! Fall always energizes me.

    I put chamomile seeds down this year. Hoping to have a great harvest to dry, grind, and story for tummy tea!
    My flu prep checklist follows yours. I also include ~ Echinacea / Goldenseal tablets, Vitamin C, Airborn(DH's choice), anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer, and Lysol spray.

    I think I may can some homemade chicken noodle and chicken rice soup this year.

    Storing holiday foods is a great idea. I found Betty Crocker instant mashed sweet potatoes on sale. I grabbed 4 boxes and packed them in Mylar bags w/ O2 packets. I also have canned chicken, turkey dressing, canned green beans, and (like all good preppers) instant mashed potatoes. If times are tough during the holidays, I hope a semi-traditional holiday meal would pick up our spirits! (Note to self ~ grab a couple of cans of cranberry jelly!) 🙂

    1. We have a five gallon bucket plus some of instant mashed potatoes, and about half a second bucket. I figured out that the assorted brands we have use one of two recipes to rehydrate, so I'm storing them accordingly – but I'm short of mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets right now, so only part are stored. Anyhow, I've found stuffing in a variety of flavors and we're eating it with regular meals as well now, not just for the holidays. I do have some canned gravy as well. Since that is waaaaaaay waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down my list of things to learn to do myself, that wouldn't be a change for the family! I also have Lipton Cup a Soup. Sometimes even opening a can and watching the stove is more than I'm up to. 🙁 But not very often. 🙂

  3. Gravy is soooo easy to make. Saute 1 Tbls spoon of butter with 1Tbls spoon of flour for approx 20 seconds. Add 1 cup of water and a chicken bullion cube or 1 Cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Season to taste with pepper, perhaps a tiny pinch of ground sage. Taste test and add salt if needed. Typically, the bullion cube is already salty so you may not need salt. Easy. This can be modified for chicken soup by eliminating the butter and flour. Then adding 1/4 C. of cut up chicken, 1/4 C of cut up veggies or a frozen + a couple of broken spaghetti noodles. Cook until the noodle and/or veggies are tender. This can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled as needed. I like to make a larger batch then freeze the left overs in a square 4 cup size freezer container. This is the perfect size for lunch or dinner.

  4. I love fall! I think it is a great time to start thinking about ways to prepare for the winter months. I think people have a tendency to overlook winter and focus more on summer survival and prepping.

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