What I love about the week after Christmas, besides the leftovers, is the “Year in Review” programs. There are always a few on television that go over the good and bad that happened in our country. As the show is on, my husband and I often say to each other, “Oh, remember when that happened?” or “Wow, I forgot about that”.
Well, the same is true when it comes to evaluating the year as preppers. It’s worth taking some time to review this past year. Go through your calendar if your memory needs a nudge.
- What emergencies and crises did you face that you were prepared for?
- What events were you not prepared for?
It doesn’t have to be a big disaster, but even small incidents can become overwhelming when we aren’t as prepared as we know we could be. Take a look at your own “Prepper Year in Review” and find where your strengths and weaknesses lie, based on events of this past year in my Prepper Evaluation.
- Was your home safe from intruders and the elements?
- Did you have all of the tools and supplies needed to make regular and unexpected repairs?
- Is there any regular maintenance that needed to be done that wasn’t?
- How are your backups for electricity, heat, and water?
- Were there any downed trees, outside water pipe leaks, unstable fences, home break-ins and such that required care?
- What is your homeowners/renters’ insurance coverage like?
- If you experienced a power outage lasting more than 3 or 4 hours, did you have enough emergency lights and maintain a healthy indoor temperature? Did you have alternative forms of communication and ways to cook food?
Outside elements and nature
- What natural disasters have happened in or near your home?
- Where there heat waves, storms, or other extreme weather you were not fully prepared for?
- Consider trains routes, freeways and other busy roads in your area? What would happen if a toxic spill happened?
- In which direction does the wind blow at your home? It’s important to know this in case of la and
- Did you have to evacuate your home for any reason? If so, did you have a plan in place and how effective was it in getting everyone out, along with the most necessary gear and supplies?
- If you had to evacuate, did you have at least one place to go for the duration?
- Do you have a map and back up routes to get home or to evacuate?
- How long could you live in your home without any outside help if you had to?
- Were there any vehicle breakdowns over the past year? If so, did you have the funds to take care of the repairs or vehicle replacement?
- Are basic tools in your car for minor repairs?
- Is there a Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag in your vehicle?
- This past year, was there a time when you were away from home and realized that you needed something that wasn’t in your vehicle or kit?
- Did you have to call roadside assistance at all this year? Why? If they had been unavailable, how would you have coped?
- Are extra keys made for all of your vehicles?
- Do you have plans for back up transportation? Bus, subway, bike, carpool?
- Do you have a car manual and additional fluids in your car?
- Do you have extra fuel stored safely?
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- Did you ever run low on your cell phone battery during an emergency?
- What is your communication plan if both landlines and cell phones were inoperable?
- Are there power banks and additional chargers in your cars?
- Does your family know who to call in case of an emergency?
- Where is your families meeting place if a disaster happens?
- Are your computers backed up and virus protected?
- Have you postponed taking ham radio classes?
- Do you have a battery/solar/hand-crank emergency radio?
TIP– Have you considered how you can communicate if the power is down? Here are four reasons why you may want to consider getting a ham radio license.
- If you have someone in the household with special needs, have you made plans for how you would accommodate their needs in a major emergency?
- Did you have a complete diaper bag for your vehicles?
- Are there elderly people who need additional supplies kept in cars or at their bedside/chair side?
- Have you needed to have a list of medications that are being taken by those in your home?
- What medical supplies do you need to have on hand, “just in case”?
- Do those with dietary issues have enough food on hand for them in an emergency?
- Could you contact your doctor and get additional medicine for an emergency?
- What allergies have you had to deal with this year? Food, animals, seasonal…
- Were you missing or needed to order important documents?
- Were there any emergencies in which you couldn’t find the paperwork or documentation you needed?
- Are there additional copies located in other places for safekeeping?
- What documents can be scanned and kept on your computer in a safe space?
- Could you grab all of your documents fast if you need to leave your home? Here are instructions for creating your own Grab and Go Binder.
- In the past year, were there any medical emergencies?
- If so, did you have a plan in place to know exactly what to do? Were there any skills you needed but did not have?
- Where could you learn necessary medical/healthcare skills?
- Were there any preventable health issues that happened?
- What steps can you take to make sure they don’t happen again?
- Did you go to all of your doctor, eye and dentist appointments?
- What type of exercise did you do or should have done?
- Do you know what your health insurance covers?
- Was there a time you had to run to the store to buy medicine or other supplies you thought you had on hand?
- Were you ever short on basics like toilet paper, tissue, sanitary supplies, soap or bandages? How could you make sure you always have these types of things on hand?
- How are your first aid skills?
- If the internet was out, do you have medical resource books to help you in an emergency?
- What is needed to help those with emotional and mental disorders in your home?
- What indoor and outdoor animals do you have?
- In the past year, was there a time when you needed to evacuate your pets and/or livestock? How did that work out? What mistakes were made and what went well?
- Are there carriers or trailers available if you needed to evacuate?
- What bug out bag do you have for them?
- Do you have all of your animals’ paperwork in a safe location?
- Did you need to find a place to store your animals this year because of an emergency? If so, was that a success or do you need to find alternative locations for next time?
- Did you have any financial setbacks this year? Were you prepared for them? If not, what can you do this coming year to be better prepared in this area?
- Were there situations where you used credit cards to make purchases because you didn’t have the money in savings?
- Are you putting money away for retirement? Is it going to be enough?
- Has there been a time in the last year where you needed cash or change and didn’t have it?
- Is there money in your bug out bags and stored in your home?
- Does your family have adequate health, life, car, home and other insurances? When was the last time you went through the policies to make sure they provide the right type and amount of coverage?
- Did any legal issues arise that were preventable?
- Did you use a budget?
- If so, did you stay within your budget?
- Was there a time when you relied on your food storage in the last year?
- Did you notice items that you were always short of?
- Do you have a regular system of adding to your food storage pantry each week/month?
- Do you have enough water for your family for a week?
- Is there food and water in your vehicles and at your job?
- Did you need to rely on another cooking method?
- Did you have a garden? Was it successful? Why or why not?
TIP– I suggest giving some thought to how you’ll prepare food and heat water without any liquid or gas fuel whatsoever. Learn about this cooking off the grid method.
Now that you have gone over your “prepper year in review”, you have a pretty good idea where you need to step up your game. Use this exercise as a jump start to your new year’s resolutions. Learn about how to stay motivated and on track in your prepping. What areas did you find you need to improve upon? What did you learn?