- Bury cash money, food and a gun with ammo in the back yard (under a “shed”).
- Buy a diesel truck, know how to fix it and make your own fuel for it.
- Buy alternative heat backup, like a small propane heater.
- Buy alternative sanitation system, like a waterless composting toilet, or learn how to build an outhouse.
- Buy food from local suppliers, and in bulk from big shopping clubs.
- Cancel extra luxuries like cable, eating out at fancy restaurants, etc. Find free entertainment, like free days at museums, story hour at the local libraries, etc.
- Close your bank accounts. Pay with cash or money orders, and if you can’t afford it with cash, don’t buy it.
- Figure out a way to do laundry if you lose plumbing and other utilities. We have a small hand-turned washer and wringer (called a Wonder Washer: http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_MC%20W100_A_name_E_[[ProductNameURL]] ), and bars to hang clothes in the basement as well as outdoors.
- Get a pattern, and sew reusable and washable sanitary pads, diapers and underwear.
- Get reference books on gathering edibles in the wild, and identifying plants, like mushrooms. Supplement your diet.
- Grow a garden, even if you have to use a corner of your bedroom. Preserve by canning, dehydrating, smoking, etc.
- Have 72-hour kits in your front closet, your car, and your desk at work – just in case of emergency.
- Have a yard sale or two. Get rid of your clutter, and anything that can’t be used by your family. There is a place, however, for small amounts of sentimental items.
- Have various sizes of candles, waterproof matches, lighters, lightsticks, flashlights, and extra batteries.
- Keep a couple thousand dollars (as an emergency fund) in a safe or other hiding place in your home, in small bills. Don’t dip into it except in a case of extreme emergency, like a further economic crisis or major weather situation.
- Keep alternative lighting and heating ready at all times.
Keep at least 50 gallons of drinking water (stored in your home) at all times.
- Pay off ALL of your debt. Canceling your cable and other luxuries will help you pay your mortgage, and cutting out fast food will let you pay extra on your mortgage. Remember, don’t buy what you can’t afford with cash.
- Practice living without utilities – turn off the water, unplug the fridge and lights. Bundle up warmly if you do this in the Winter. Cook, eat, do dishes, shower, etc. outside. Then do what you can to live “off-grid” with solar or wind power (or other renewable energy) and alternative sources of water.
- Store extra cleaning and personal hygiene items.
- Store extra food – enough to provide for your family plus 2 for an entire year. Remember luxuries like hard candy and pudding mix. Learn how to cook with your stored foods (this blog - http://www.survival-cooking.blogspot.com/) gives a lot of suggestions.
- Store extra over-the-counter and prescription medications and eye-glasses.
- Store parts for your car, like air and oil filters, oil, brake fluid, battery, battery cables, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid and gasoline.
Prepare Time for Year 2009
How much of the following have you started on?