Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
Do you prep every day?
A lot of people have the wrong idea about the preparedness lifestyle. They think it’s all big things, like digging a bunker, buying a year’s worth of food at a time, having an arsenal, or moving to an off-grid retreat in the mountains where you will live in conditions so austere it would seem like you took a vow of poverty.
But really, the thing that makes you truly prepared is turning it into a habit. It’s more about the little things you do each and every day that help you make the shift to a preparedness lifestyle. If you do one thing each and every day to make yourself a little bit better prepared, at the end of the year, you will likely be much further ahead than the weekend warriors who perform an occasional grand gesture.
A preparedness lifestyle is about the little ways you prep every day.
Over in our Facebook group, a few years ago we did a monthly challenge called the Take Action Challenge.
The challenge is simple. Each day, we post some small thing we did to make ourselves more prepared. It can really help you to see that these small steps really add up. 30 days of small actions beat an occasional larger action hands down.
If you aren’t a social media person, you can still start your own version of this. Get yourself a notebook and write down something you did each day that made you more prepared. These little things are unbelievably motivating because every single day you are thinking of something to add to your list. It means that you are making prepping a daily priority. It means that you have shifted from “someone with a few things put back” to someone who lives the preparedness lifestyle every single day.
Need some inspiration?
Some things may not even really seem like official “prepping” but will still lead you to be better prepared for a variety of emergencies. You have to think outside the beans-bullets-and-bandaids box to see how the tasks below take preparedness from an occasional huge project to a daily lifestyle.
The moral of the story is…choose ACTION. Every day. No matter how small it is, it all adds up to a much greater level of preparedness.
Below, you can find a list of actions inspired by ones that folks took over in the group.
- I got two months ahead on my prescription medication.
- While I was cleaning the kitchen I rotated stock in the pantry.
- I bought white vinegar on sale for cleaning.
- I bought extra gloves for each of us to keep in the car this winter.
- I put back a whole bunch of Halloween candy for an emergency. (In case of chocolate deficit emergency break glass!)
- I bought a huge bag of apples to turn into applesauce and apple butter.
- I converted my Get Home bag into a 3-Day Away From/Get Home bag by changing out seasonal clothes and adding extras, rotating meds, eliminating some comfort items.
- I went to a ham radio training meeting tonight.
- I packed up all of the leftover paper plates/disposable products from last night’s Halloween party and put it away in long-term storage for wash free emergency extras.
- I Added 6 kg of rice, 6 kg of lentils, 6 kg of pasta, 1 kg ground coffee, 1 kg hot chocolate powder, 500g powdered milk, and 20 instant noodles to the stockpile.
- I dehydrated some onions before they went bad.
- I infused vinegar with lavender trimmings (to use instead of fabric softener).
- I added a huge bag of leaves gleaned from my neighbor’s yard to our compost bin.
- Today, I put extra money into my emergency fund.
- I bought extra cat litter on sale.
- Finally, put batteries in lanterns I bought on sale several weeks ago.
- I finished my CERT class tonight!
- I inventoried and reorganized first aid supplies.
- Finally bought some potassium iodide pills and some N-95 masks and several other items.
- I bought batteries on sale.
- Paid off the home improvement loan 18 months early.
- Switched the car emergency kit supplies to “winter mode.”
- Bought an extra bag of food for each pet.
- Dehydrating catnip, chocolate mint, garden sage, oregano, and sweet potato leaves from the garden.
- Hung laundry to dry instead of using the dryer.
- Got a porta-potty ready today, stocked with garbage bags and wipes. Will add a bag of kitty litter later.
- Got rid of stuff we no longer need or use and to free up space for my preps.
- Caught up on all our dirty laundry. That might not seem like a prep but after being without power AND running water from the well for 3 days after Irma I now appreciate an empty basket.
- Today, I made salves and Fire Cider.
- Put our raised garden beds to bed for the winter. Set up the hoops over the strawberries ready to cover them.
- Today I washed the flannel and cut 46 squares for a start of our family cloth. (TP replacement)
- I made breadcrumbs from ends of bread and stored for later.
- We raked leaves, cleaned out the gutters, and I put the remnants of my container garden in the compost bin.
- This winter’s supply of cranberry relish, canned and in storage.
- Washed all blankets and warm weather clothing that has been in storage.
- Did an inventory of all my essential oils.. was low in a few.. (placed another order for them).
- Finally got my truck into the shop to be repaired. But it brings up an important concept: KEEP UP ON HOUSEHOLD AND AUTO MAINTENANCE. If something breaks (or is wearing out) and the SHTF, there may be no way to fix it
- Made more vapor rub for the winter
- Made lots of pumpkin puree to freeze.
- Repackaged 35 lbs of sugar into large mason jars (tucked safely under the bed). About to repackage 20 more lbs of flour and 12 lbs of cornmeal. Repackaged 7 bags of pinto beans and about 12 lbs of jasmine rice.
- Made a meal entirely from leftovers, the only thing I added was pasta. I’ve been trying to practice using our leftovers up as extra meals instead of putting them in the freezer, only to be forgotten about and freezer burnt. Saves me a trip or two to the store!
- Set up laundry lines in my basement so that we can hang our stuff to dry now that the weather is cold and damp outside.
- Cleaning out the closet: Purging, sorting, getting some stuff ready to sell (to put monies into ‘reserve’ funds) and will donate the rest.
- Downloaded months of copies of bank statements, financial docs, etc. Getting copies of deeds, pink slips, legal docs, organized and filed to be able to grab quickly in case we had to evacuate.
- My daughter was home sick from school. I picked up double the soft Kleenex, cold medicine, cough drops, and ginger ale and put half of it back for future needs.
- Killed and dressed out an 8 pt buck. Meat in the freezer. I will make jerky later.
- Our church put together a security plan. We have never had one before today.
- We bought some rechargeable batteries and a charger
- Bought some extra OTC medications.
- Set up a galvanized steel Faraday cage.
- Bought extra shoe laces and heel savers because shoes will be hard to replace if the SHTF. Or maybe you just can’t afford to replace your shoes right now.
- Today, the vacuum cleaner was disassembled, cleaned and repaired instead of replaced.
- I filled three 7-gal water jugs with drinking water.
- We cleaned out our basement storage unit, purged it of junk, and organized some of our preps… camping equipment, food buckets, off-grid light sources, etc.
- While in the checkout line at the grocery store this morning l picked up 2 lighters. I realized l only have matches.
- Studying for shortwave radio exam and getting familiar with my handheld.
- My green tomatoes were rotting instead of ripening, so I made a monster batch of green tomato enchilada sauce.
- Ordered more ‘fish’ antibiotics. Just in case ‘the fish’ get sick.
- I’m going to the Seahawks game tonight! I will be working on Situational Awareness when I go, so that’s today’s action.
- Hiked a proposed bug-out path out of the city. Took me three hours on foot.
- Fasting today, 500 calorie limit. I do this twice a week if I can. It helps ‘harden’ my tendency of assuming I’ll always have food available.
- Covered asparagus bed with leaves/mulch to get them through winter.
- Potatoes were on sale so I got 70 pounds. I will freeze-dry and can them.
- Mended my husband’s jeans so they could last a few more months.
- I stocked up on feminine hygiene products. I don’t even want to imagine a world without them.
- Put dates on new things (like the fresh toothpaste & laundry detergent l just got out this morning) to give me an idea of how long these items last (on average).
- Dehydrated bok choy stems and scallion tops; I turn these into powder and use as flavoring for homemade flour tortillas and flatbreads.
- Added wool blankets to the car.
- Read When There Is No Dentist and ordered some of their recommended basics.
- Boiled the turkey carcass for stock, picked every speck of meat off the leftovers, refrigerated all of the above and plan to can spicy turkey soup tomorrow.
- Used my new immersion heater to make hot chocolate in the car!
- Had to go to the ER! Did a little snooping on making a more advanced first aid kit. Didn’t steal, just made some mental notes on what they have.
- Made up a travel sewing kit.
- Purchased 8 yards of denim on sale.
Today, I hit a grocery sale that was Buy One, Get One. I added lots of stuff to my stockpile at half price.
- Pulled out recycled (from last year and previous) wrapping supplies for presents.
- Hauled out the tote of winter outerwear. Paired up mittens, inspected everything for holes, and chucked the machine washable ones in the laundry. Ones that need small repairs are in the fixit basket. Really damaged ones were sneaked into the trash. Single mittens and woolly stuff will get hand washed tomorrow. I use the singles as ornaments or the base for other crafts.
- Purchased emergency supplies for family vehicles. When it comes in.. I will package it all nicely and give as Christmas gifts.
- Turned our never-used formal dining room into a huge pantry with heavy-duty shelves and yardsale cupboards.
- I canned 6 quarts of organic green beans I found on clearance at Sam’s
- Started a batch of jerky in the dehydrator to keep in vehicles for a protein source.
- I winterized the chicken coop by covering the windows with plastic and putting the water warmer in.
- I made little travel sewing kits.
- I am working on a generator shed near our back door. It will hold oil, cords, and quick tools so we don’t have to go all the way to an outbuilding in the cold and wet.
- Prepared some ingredients for meals/holidays and put in the freezer.
- Went through the potato storage and cooked/mashed questionable ones, then froze them.
- Garden planning to increase yield easily: add raspberry bushes (strategically) and increase Jerusalem artichoke area ( easiest food source to grow!), and add herbs, especially medicinal.
- Bought a few cases of bottled water to have in the cars.
- Got extra bleach
- Found 5-gallon, food-safe buckets on sale and bought them ALL. (You can never have too many, right?)
- My family and I talked about what to do if my kids got lost. We were at a large party with 300 people. We had the kids point out who they could locate if they could not find us.
- Inspected the property for security concerns and began taking steps to increase our security.
- Printed out how-to articles from my favorite websites and put them in a binder so I can access them if the internet is down.
- Went through food storage and made meal plans based on that for the month of December.
- Got eye exams for the family.
- Inventoried emergency medical supplies and put them in one place. I had them in 3 different spots and ha forgotten about some tucked in a closet!
- Been taking pictures, researching and listing items no longer needed to get extra cash for savings.
- I have been practicing setting things up at night to be ready to grab if I had to get out quick. Purse, BOB etc..
- I’m putting together a “pantry meal” basket to each household in my family for Christmas – containing 1 pint of soup per person and a loaf of sourdough bread.
- Got a reusable coffee filter
- We are getting our fireplace cleaned so it is ready for winter
It’s so motivating! One member of the group said:
This challenge has taught me that writing down my achievements on a daily basis keeps me motivated. I would never want a day to go blank just because I did not want to do anything that day. I will now keep a daily journal listing what I achieved in a day but will also include what I have done to be frugal. This way whenever I feel that I am not doing enough to prepare I can just look back and see all that I have done.
I really recommend you give it a try.
Live a preparedness lifestyle and prep every day.
Give a preparedness action journal a try and let me know what you think.