Welcome to the Keep and Bear, LLC 30 Day Preparedness Challenge! The purpose of this ‘challenge’ is to provide a paced and measured plan to fulfill some basic family preparedness needs. These needs are real-world, and applicable to the average family..
NOTE: This challenge is running in September 2019. References to weekdays (Sunday, Monday,…) are accurate for this year. If you are referring to this, post-challenge, or running it on your own afterwards, the weekdays may be off somewhat. It was designed to be started on a Sunday, for people who tend to work Monday through Friday. Adjust accordingly!
The scope of this challenge is to provide for the basic family of four for 7 days. We have 30 days to accomplish this but there are multiple considerations. For each task, the goal will be stated (for instance, for hydration we want 1 gallon of water for each family member for 7 days stored up. That’s 28 gallons total) and you may scale it accordingly (if you have 8 family members you’ll need to double it!).
In addition to basic needs, there will be ideas for emergency response and items for simply more resilient living. You will NOT be able to survive a nuclear winter or the zombie apocalypse from this 30-day challenge, but you will be well on your way to being better able to handle what life throws at you.
As far as costs, we have tried to keep this minimal and focus on what can be done cheaply. In some cases, cost cannot be avoided, but in some cases, the costs can be offset. Time investment is also something we’ve tried to minimize where we can. We have a month. If we can devote just 1/2 hour a day to that, we have 15 hours of preparedness forethought devoted to keeping our families safe.
Below is a list of typical survival priorities and a couple other categories we are going to explore. In each of them, we’ll have tasks through the month to accomplish. Not every category will have something allocated to it that day.
TASK: Download a quality task/to-do app. One that has scheduled events, recurring events, and subtasks. Microsoft To-Do is a great app for this purpose, and runs on your smartphone and syncs with your computer. Download it, and use it.
Positive Mental Attitude
A positive mental attitude is the first and most important survival priority there is. Only the will to survive will cause further action. A drowning person can continue to fight for survival, even without air. Eventually his body may give out, but lack of survival should never be because one “gave up”.
TASK: Buy, download, or otherwise obtain a book related to positive mental attitude. For me, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was a great book about getting things done, prioritization, and, well, becoming more effective.
We obviously need air to survive, and lack of it will cause death very quickly. What can we do to ensure air quality? Should we have SCUBA tanks on hand?
Our end goal will be to simply have reasonable buffer in case of chemical leaks or other airborne threats.
TASK: Determine if your inventory includes a decent dust/particulate mask for you and your family. At least one for each family member, but more is better. Learn about the ratings here. If your home inventory does not include them, add getting them to your To-Do list.
For the most part, this challenge will be a shelter-in-home and get-to-home oriented activity. Making bug out bags and the like can be expensive. Let’s do one thing at a time, and since most emergency situations are best weathered shelter-in-home, lets handle the highest probability case first.
Our end goal here will be to ensure we have a means to maintain and repair our home, and plans against common threat events (fire, tornado, etc.)
TASK: On your To-Do app, create a recurring 6 month task to change batteries in your smoke alarms. Create an annually recurring task to inspect your fire extinguishers.
How much is enough? We are going for 1 gallon of potable water per person per day for up to 7 days. That means with a family of 4, we need 28 gallons. This is a bare-bones amount suitable for average exertion in temperate weather. If you’re dealing with high exertion and hot weather, double the requirement.
The above was just drinking water. “Gray water”, or water that you can use as a tool (such as doing dishes, adding to toilets to flush, bathe, etc) is an additional requirement and should be accumulated as well, in at least equal quantities.
TASK: Start saving 2-liter bottles. If you buy soda, save them. If you have friends that have them, get them. 2-liter bottles are EXCELLENT water storage containers. Easily enough water for most personal tasks, and small enough to keep weight down.
TASK: Determine your family’s water needs. 28 gallons is the goal for a family of 4. That’s close to 53 2-liter bottles.
Nutrition is not as much a concern in the short term since the body can go many days without food. However, from a preparedness standpoint, extra exertion in an emergency requires more fuel to remain functional.
Additionally, food represents a comfort, a normalcy. In the coming month we’re going to prepare for food stores. These should not be MREs or other survival foods that your family wont even recognize as food. It should be stuff they already know and like, and we’ll simply have to identify what can keep for a longer time.
As always, food supplies should be rotated. If we stock up on Mac N Cheese, don’t just set the emergency boxes aside, eat them! Just have more in inventory to accommodate a 7 day consumption rate.
This is where the cool-guy/gal gear goes. Gear is fun. We like gear. We’re going to get to gear up a bit. Some of this we will talk about in other sections, but a lot of it here, too.
Some other things will be to ensure we’re prepared for events. Do you know multiple ways home? Do you know the resources and risks along those ways? Should you? Yup.
TASK: Determine if each family member has a sturdy pair of work gloves. If not, get them some. In an emergency, there’ll be more things to do, and some of the items will have less familiarity. More injury likelihood is present. Protect your hands. Establish a place to store these gloves and keep them stored there.
Wait what… I have to learn stuff? Yup. You don’t get to buy gear without having to learn the gear. We’ll also talk about stuff you should already know. Like First Aid.
Each day we’ll have a wrap up. Where we’re at and where we still need to get to. What we spent in time and dollars. Hopefully you’ll hit our FB page to discuss!