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Ever since I began and launched my blog, I have been trying – emphasis on the word, TRYING – to put together articles about what are the best and most complete supply caches you should maintain in your home and vehicles. I did an article on Bug Out Bags (BOBs), but there is just so much more.

I’m constantly learning and posting things I learn to share with you. To truly become self-reliant and prepared for economic collapse, natural disasters, or other emergencies, the amount of preparedness is so varied and vast that I cannot possibly address and post all elements at once. But I just came across an excellent article which will serve me well and I feel will do the same for you, too. I wish I could credit the original author, but it is unknown.

As you may or may not know, I am a consultant for Shelf Reliance/Thrive Food.  We are a preparedness company and I can help you make your plan to get your family protected. Just let me know how I can help. Of course, you can visit my store at by clicking [here] or click any of the links I provide throughout the article.

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PrepperPennyWho, or I should say, what is BOB? BOB is an emergency Bug Out Bag. It is your critical link to survive in a total crisis, but for only 72 hours. According to Bug Out BagFEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency under The Department of Homeland Security), every person should have a readily available, well stocked BOB. According to their website, the first 72 hours of a crisis is the most critical time in an emergency. During a power outage on the northeast coast of America in 2003, store shelves were empty within only a few hours. And it just can not go without saying. We know the failure of FEMA  in the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Seventy-two hours was a joke!  Even if the entire city, county and state had BOBs, it would not have sustained them until help arrived. Please, please, PLEASE don’t go through life taking misplaced comfort in thinking that your government will be there to help you in a disaster! You are risking your family and your own well-being. I just can’t put my faith in them, or anyone other than my family. The government has proven too many times that they are inept and simply can not protect its’ people! That’s one reason I prepare. American’s need to stop relying on their government to do for them what they can and should be doing for themselves. And whether you want to face it or not, we all must wake up to a world that is different from the one we grew up in. There is no more Mayberry and there are no more super heroes. We must all take the care and well-being of our families very serious. You must ask yourself this. If I were to wake up tomorrow and there was no more electricity, no more gas, no more food in the supermarkets, how will I take care of me and my family. Can I take care of us? If not, you better begin to learn what you will need to know, now! If you are even one day late . . .

Empty Store Shelves

Stores Can Be Emptied Within 3 Hours

BOBs in the prepper community are an important part of their every day lives. Serious preppers would never be without their BOB on any given day. My husband and I each keep BOBs in our cars. We also keep an additional, commercially produced and packaged 72 hour kit which contains nothing but enough food for a family of 3.  However, this kit is not portable like BOBs but it is packaged to keep the supplies safe for more than 20 years. It’s a back up to our back up.

But what should be contained in BOBs are as diverse as the people who keep them.  For example, my BOB has different items than my husbands because I usually have our grandson with me so I pack according to  his needs in addition to mine. My husband travels throughout the state on business. He often has to drive over treacherous mountain passes. So if he were to be stranded on a mountain, his needs would be much different.  And this difference is typical for all BOBs. Even with the vastly different items in each of our BOBs, my husband and I started out with basic essentials then customized them from that.

When we finally decided to move toward self-preservation, we learned that a bug-out-bag was an important element to ensure the safety of you and your family.  I watched a lot of You Tube videos and read many blogs to learn how to put a BOB together. I found that everyone’s were different. But I found a few places that actually give you a roadmap to putting one together.

I will post these lists below. But here, I would like to talk about adjustments I have made since I first put our BOBs together. I’m always learning new things and understanding more. While at first, I packed cans of things like tuna and chilli, I began to learn more about recipes for dehydrated and freeze-dried foods and began replacing the heavier canned products with these alternatives. I can (and will post videos and recipes soon) make complete, healthy and flavorful meals using only dry products that need only boiling water to reconstitute. Meals like chilli, cream soups, casseroles, spaghetti and lasagna. I’m even working on a recipe for beef stroganoff complete with sour cream. These meals also work in your food storage supplies and look beautiful assembled in canning jars. And I have to add, make excellent gifts. But again, I digress.

While if a disaster were to hit now, my grandson, CJ would be covered by the BOB I have prepared for me. But I am working on getting him his own BOB with things like crayons, coloring books, flashlight, compass, and things that will make his life a little more pleasant and make him less distressed during an emergency.

And don’t forget about what your pets will need.  Please don’t overlook this important member(s) of your family. Click here to be directed to the Humane Society website to help plan for your pets specific needs.

Axel & CJ Playing

Axel and CJ playing with a big red ball

Finally, I will be posting more about my own BOB soon. I will show what I have chosen for it, and why I have chosen what I used. But for now, I hope this information will help you to get started if you have not done so already.

FEMA

I lifted this directly off of FEMAs website.

  • Food: Maintain enough nonperishable food for each person for at least 72 hours.
  • Water: Store enough so each person has a gallon a day for 72 hours, preferably for one week. Store in airtight containers and replace it every six months. Store disinfectants such as iodine tablets or chlorine bleach, eight drops per gallon, to purify water if necessary.
  • First aid kit: Make sure it is well stocked, especially with bandages and disinfectants.
  • Fire extinguisher: Your fire extinguisher should be suitable for all types of fires. Teach all family members how to use it.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries: Keep flashlights beside your bed and in several other locations. Do not use matches or candles until you are certain there are no gas leaks.
  • Weather Radios: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio, with battery backup, portable radio or portable television with extra batteries: Telephones may be out-of-order or limited to emergency use. The NOAA weather radio, portable radio or portable television may be your best source of information.
  • Miscellaneous items: Extra blankets, clothing, shoes and money. Wear sturdy shoes just in case you need to walk through rubble and debris.
  • Alternative cooking sources: Store a barbecue or camping stove for outdoor camping. Caution: Ensure there are no gas leaks before you use any kind of fire as a cooking source and never use charcoal indoors. Gasoline-powered appliances should be filled away from ignition sources.
  • Special items: Have at least 72 hours of medications and food for infants and those with special needs. Don’t forget diapers.
  • Tools: Have an adjustable or pipe wrench for turning off gas and water, and a shovel or broom for cleaning up.
  • Pets: Assemble an animal emergency supply kit and develop a pet care buddy system with friends or relatives to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be sure each of your pets has a tag with your name and phone number.  Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to plan for your pets.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Off-the-shelf Red Cross preparedness kit

A bug-out bag[1][2] is a portable kit that contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours[3][4] when evacuating from a disaster. It is also known as a 72-hour kit,[5] a grab bag,[6] a battle box, and other popular names include “Personal Emergency Relocation Kits” (PERKs) GO Bag and GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge)[7] bag. The focus is on evacuation, rather than long-term survival, distinguishing the bug-out bag from a survival kit, a boating or aviation emergency kit, or a fixed-site disaster supplies kit. The kits are also popular in the survivalism subculture.[8]

The term “bug-out bag” is related to, and possibly derived from, the “bail-out bag” emergency kit many military aviators carry. The concept passed into wide usage among other military and law enforcement personnel, though the “bail-out bag” is as likely to include emergency gear for going into an emergency situation as for escaping an emergency.[9]

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I was pleased that yesterday I was able to get my 6.5′ x 6.5′ greenhouse together. Seems it took forever. If it wasn’t the weather, it was my grandson, CJ being ill. Then it was a husband who spent time in the hospital and weeks recovering. My goodness, there is always something!  But I was able to get ‘er done, with a help from my little man, CJ. Now I am able to start an entirely new garden, better planned out to have lots of great food to feed my family.  I plan to can, pickle, dehydrate and so much more. This garden, God willing, will provide my family with its’ produce for months and even years, depending on how I process and preserve it.

For the first time, I bought heirloom seeds from www.mypartiotsupply.com. I have no affiliation with mypatriotsupply.com. Just letting you know where I got mine. I bought heirlooms so I can harvest their seeds at the end of the season. Never having harvested seeds before, I fear a certain level of failure. Murphy’s Law, ya know?  But a good prepper always has a back up plan, and I have a good one. This company, like many others out there have Survival Seed VaultsThe one I purchased contains 250,000 seeds for $37.95 and is packed in several layers ending up in a sealed metal can.  They are packed to last 50 years, or even more.  They will be one of your most valuable resources if, as I believe, food will be harder to get to market or just too expensive for many to afford. I live my life assuming that not just mine, but a vast majority of families will eventually have to grow their own foods just to survive. A quarter of a millions heirloom seeds is the best insurance policy to make sure my family eats.

But I had to learn about what to grow, how to grow and naturally, what seeds to buy. I hadn’t realized before that seeds you purchase in the little paper packaging typically do not go to seed, so harvesting seeds from these plants are just not an option.  I know that this seems so basic and fundamental, but these are the most basic of skills my generation lacks.  My grandparents knew how to manage meager resources, and one of their “managerial” skills was being able to grow food, usually for a very large family.  Before prepping, any gardening I did was more of a hobby. And the most effort I ever really made was in herb gardens. But looking at a survival situation, I learned really quickly how important gardening really is.

The seeds I wanted were non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) AND heirloom.  Let me share what I learned which led me to this choice. Your needs might be a bit different so keep that in mind when you do your own research.

GMO. Organic growers hate anything that is altered from its’ original state. I have benefited all my life by GMOs because that has allowed farmers to grow the food we eat in the quantities we require. I’m from Illinois, so I know a bit about corn. Modifying corn, or most crops, has made them resistant to bugs and diseases, thus producing larger crops. We have all  heard the stories of previous generations of farmers loosing everything to failing crops. Droughts, pests, inclement weather. Families going broke and even starving!  The food supply was very fragile. If it weren’t for the types of modifications they have made, crops would be much smaller and food would not be so easily available to the world. This reasoning is simply my own. But I applaud the minds that were able to alter seeds to protect them against the diseases that could have made food production on a large-scale less stable.

Now, having said that. I don’t need to grow quantities large enough to feed an average town full of people. I am feeding my immediate and extended family. So I choose to buy seeds that have not been modified.  And organic? Doesn’t interest me either. I want to grow stable, large yields of tried and true varieties of vegetables and herbs.

Heirloom seeds have not been modified. These are seeds that came from plants that were hardy, produced consistently good qualities, quantities and were strong. When a farmer or gardener harvested food and found a certain plant or variety to be producing exceptionally well, they would harvest those seeds and replant them the years after to always have that particular plant or variety.  Those seeds would be shared and produce more of the same hardy plants and more seeds to share and sell.  And those are the heirloom seeds we buy today.  Many seeds you buy at your local hardware stores don’t even go to seed at the end of the season making it impossible to replant them the following year. Heirloom seeds should always grow the tried and true vegetables you plant. And at the end of the growing season, I will harvest seeds from my own plants to do it all over again next year. Plus, I will have enough seeds to share with my family, friends and community to enable them to grow fresh, healthy foods for their families.

So, there it is. A new and exciting step to genuinely become more self-sustaining from government and corporations. No matter what happens in the years to come, I am gaining skills of value and worth that can not be measured.

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Pauline Hawkins

Writer. Teacher. Dreamer.

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