How Basic Can You Get? List #5

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Here are ten more tips to help a newbie learn how basic can you get. If you’ve made it this far, you’re doing a great job of getting started! It can also help a seasoned Survival Mom stay on track!

1.  Start looking for both tarps and rope.

As long as they aren’t worn out or frayed, they will be useful for making shelters, wind breaks, and even for water collection. They can provide a quick patch to a roof, a wall, or a broken window. Six tarps and a few hundred yards of rope would be a good start, and both are inexpensive.

2.  Prepare for cold weather.

Even if winter weather isn’t a major issue where you live (wave if you live in Phoenix or Honolulu!), you should still have a few cold weather clothing items for each member of the family. It’s so easy to pick these up at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales, and end-of-the-season sales at department and sporting goods stores.

Warm waterproof boots, wool socks, long underwear, heavy jackets, waterproof gloves and warm caps should be a minimum. If you have kids, buy these in larger sizes when you find them at great prices.

Cold weather is one of those events that you can only be ready for and survive if you are dressed for the weather. Super hot weather — strip down to your bare skin! Unfortunately, you can’t do that when it gets really cold. With some experts believing the globe could be headed toward a new mini Ice Age, those coats and boots may come in handy sooner than you think!

And, on a less extreme note, if you’ll be driving through cold weather country, throw these items in the trunk. Just in case.

3.  Make a rice and beans meal 3 or 4 times a month.

These two foods combined create a complete protein, they’re very cheap, and have long shelf lives. Find recipes that provide variety for your taste buds, and then also stock up on the additional ingredients, including spices and herbs, that you’ll need to continue making your favorites.

4.  Add one method for cooking food and heating water when the power goes out.

If you already have a propane camp stove, make or buy your own solar oven or rocket stove. The BioLite stove is a great option because it requires so little fuel, is lightweight, and very portable. Having alternative ways to cook food and heat water is an important part of being prepared.

TIP: While you’re adding alternative cooking methods, remember to also store the necessary fuel.

5.  Begin to acquire camping equipment even if you don’t camp.

A tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove, etc. will come in handy in case of an evacuation or if your home is damaged and unlivable.

6.  Increase your own education and training.

Call the Red Cross and find out when the next First Aid/CPR class is scheduled. Sign up for the class. Do a search for free CERT classes in your area and sign up. CERT classes, in particular, can open doors to more advanced emergency response training.

7.  Call your insurance agent and find out if you live on a flood plain.

If so, find out if flood insurance is affordable for you and your family. Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in America.

Ditto for earthquake insurance.

8.  Choose one room of the house and begin de-cluttering it.

This will open up space for storing food and other essentials and even give you a chance to earn a little money if you opt to sell your unwanted stuff in a garage sale.

Download my mini-guide, “Declutter & Organize Your Living Space.”

9. Make sure every family member is equipped to get home.  

Could your spouse or child make it home if they were stranded miles away? Put together an emergency, or Get Home, kit for their vehicles.

10. Assess your level of physical fitness.

If you had to run for your life, could you? Get started with a simple physical fitness plan. Remember, when you’re vulnerable, your children are vulnerable.

Here are the rest of the articles:

List 1  List 2   List 3   List 4   List 6


16 thoughts on “How Basic Can You Get? List #5”

  1. Tammy L. (tammyluck)

    I love your site. Emergency preparedness can seem so overwhelming. You are excellent at breaking it down into do-able pieces.

    I just registered for CPR/1st Aid. This weekend is a get home bag for my car.

    I can do this!

    1. Great! I love to hear that you’re taking actual steps to be better prepared. A lot of us think about doing things but then never follow through. Good for you!

  2. Taking a Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Class next week (it’s free!). What about paracord? I’ve heard good things about it, is it better than rope?

  3. I’m a newbie to prepping, live in an RV and don’t have that much space. What do you suggest for that? I also live in an area that is nothing but rocks, not little rocks either so gardening is very hard to do here. I would also like to get together and maybe have prepping classes or something? I do belong to a group in Waco, and have yet to get my self out there too. Thanks for letting me join! 😀

    1. Hey Cheryl,
      There are probably meet up groups in your
      area. There is one in Tyler & Longview for prepping.
      Check out Any questions let me know.

  4. A little bit about tarps…Place some duct tape over the grommet areas/hole. This will give it a bit more strength when you need to tie it or stake it down. Also, mark the size of your stored tarps. A piece of tape w/the size clearly marked on it comes in handy when you are needing a smaller or larger tarp for your activities.
    Love your site.

  5. I think it’s also important to just sit down once a week / month and discuss with loved ones the “what if’s”. This helps everyone realize the reality of a disaster / emergency which is helpful in the event. It also helps everyone prioritize and understand the need for preps.

  6. Sheila Sund, M.D.

    It was great to stumble across your site today. As a disaster preparedness fanatic, my favorite tip is to tie a bag with a flashlight, shoes, glasses, and maybe your phone to your bedpost at night. As an earthquake survivor, I can tell you everything in the house will be on the floor,including broken glass. Walking barefoot through it in the dark is a really bad idea. When the bed moves across the room during the shaking, the tied bag comes along.
    You might like my blog. I’m a physician fascinated with emergency preparedness on all levels from individual through government. I try to translate what I learn into words we can all understand and learn from. See what you think.
    Sheila Sund, M.D.

  7. I really like the way you’ve covered a lot of ground with just a few tips, and it really gets me thinking about the pig picture without getting bogged down/overwhelmed. Thanks!
    Our power went out the other night for a few hours — that was a really good test of what we had, and what we didn’t, in terms of being ready to survive on our own without the usual supports of light and heat. We have a wood fireplace but it would have been nice to boil some water- we just weren’re sure if it was safe to use a camping stove indoors. The labels on our stove says not to use it in an enclosed space… so I was wondering, is there any kind of camping-type stove that really is designed to use indoors?

  8. Mike the Gardener

    I would expand on:

    “Begin to acquire camping equipment even if you don’t camp. A tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove, etc. will come in handy in case of an evacuation or if your home is damaged and unlivable.”

    and actually recommend start doing some camping … even if it is for one night at a campground somewhere within 20 to 30 minutes of your home … for one it is fun, and two with each trip you will learn the things you will need when in the outdoors.

  9. When you talked about tarps are you talking about the woven plastic ones? What kind of rope is the best choice for durability? Thanks

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