I get teased about it once in a while, but I don't mind. I like to be prepared, just don't call me a prepper.
I think it's another trait I picked up from my dad. I keep things organized and easy to find. I keep a bag of clothes packed and ready to go, in case a rushed trip is required. I keep and extra button down shirt at the office, in case I spill something on myself right before a meeting. To me it only makes sense to be prepared.
Some of my friends think I must be a prepper. You, the people who turn their basement into a bomb shelter with 55 gallon drums full of freeze dried food and rounds of 5.56mm NATO ammunition. But that is not the case. I have no attention of waiting out the apocalypse in a crawl space, re-hydrating beef stew. I just don't see the point of emerging three years after the end of the world as we know it, once my rations have been depleted, to start a new life on the barren landscape.
No that's not the kind of thing I prepare for. I'm ready the more realistic situations. Like I mentioned, I keep a carry on size bag packed with clothes, shave kit, universal charger and a small assortment of other things. This is handy for last minute business trips, an impromptu weekend getaway, or an emergency trip to the hospital.
I spend a fair amount of time in the outdoors, so there's a duffle bag of clothes (and a towel) behind the seat of my truck. This comes in handy if there is an unexpected change in the weather. I have found the towel comes in handy if you get caught in the rain, or if you slip off a boat trailer and fall into a lake.
Around the house I have 5 gallons of water in the refrigerator and a flashlight in every room. If the power is out for an extended period of time, the extra water allows me to cook, clean up and even flush the toilet. Plus, it works as a "ballast" for the fridge. A full fridge runs more efficiently. If you need more room for food, just take out a gallon jug of water and set it aside.
A year or so ago, we had a nasty wind storm where I lived. The power was out at my place for 73 hours. Besides Internet withdraws, I survived just fine. Although I must admit, I did purchase a "luxury survival item" after that. A percolating coffee pot. Cowboy coffee on a propane camp stove is pretty tasty when you're roughing it in your living room.
As I type this, the first winter storm warning has been issued for my area. So with that in mind, here is a list of items one should have in their vehicle:
- extra clothes
- blanket and/or towel
- pencil & paper
- book or two
- toilet paper
- food (candy/granola bars)
- flashlight (keep those batteries charged or get a crank up type)
- pocket knife
- jumper cables
- tow rope
- 2 quarts or motor oil
- duct tape
- ratchet set
- adjustable wrench
Seasonal items (if you live where it's cold)
- coat, hat, boots, & gloves
- collapsible camp shovel