The Beginner’s Survival Checklist for the Apocalypse
We all like to think about it. What if there’s a zombie apocalypse?… What would you do?… Would you be prepared to survive?
But when you’re not killing zombies you will need to have food, shelter, and be able to sleep. The younger generations tend to not worry about actually being ready for extreme emergencies.
The most immediate instinct people feel when there is an emergency is how to fix it and return to normal life. People want the safety of a home, working utilities, and reliable food supply. But returning to normal can take time depending on the response of the government and those that operate the infrastructure in your area.
Would you be okay until help comes or conditions return to a sustainable society?
Here is a quick guide to start your preparation!
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As we keep seeing around the country recently, a number of things can bring down our infrastructure like – floods, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, riots, power outages, food shortages, to name a few. When disaster strikes you don’t want to be part of population that loses their heads in panic. Having supplies and a plan in place will make the situation less stressful and easier to manage.
A wise move is to gather basic supplies in case your area is affected where groceries and utilities are not available, or worst case – you are forced to leave your home. Being ready for a number of scenarios and what you might take to survive in your car or be able to have shelter.
This guide is not all encompassing of every single item you need to pack nor every possible scenario that can happen. But it can guide you to start thinking and preparing about how to prepare yourself and your family to withstand emergencies and disasters. These lists are great starting points with suggestions of supplies to have on hand or extras you might consider.
Some of these items have links to where you can buy them. Keep in mind you don’t necessarily always need the best of the best product available. Based on your individual needs you can decide where to spend more to have better quality gear.
Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag should contain enough essentials supplies in order for you to sustain yourself for a couple of days. Think of very simple necessities such as water, food, and hygiene, and other basic needs for your specific situation – medication and appropriate clothing. And should be relatively easy to carry on your back without being too heavy.
The point of a bug out bag is that it is ready to grab and go at a moment’s notice when there is not time to pack. Either you go now or get stuck.
- Durable backpack or large Camelbak
- First aid kit with a tourniquet – more than just bandaids
- Flashlight or lantern – ideally with above average battery life
- Pocket knife – nothing too small
- Water bottle – with a secure cap and can withstand some abuse
- Life Straw – in case there is no clean water supply
- High calorie protein bars, nuts, etc – just enough to stave off hunger
- A few MRE entrees – if you have room
- Heat packs
- Paracord or rope
- Fire starter
- Emergency blanket
- External power bank for recharging phones
- Compact firearm with a full magazine
Pre-made bug out bags are available if you want to save time. They will have a good amount of supplies that a typical person would need. The downside is they tend to cost more than by packing your own bag.
They will save you the time and thought process that go into buying everything individually and packing your own bag. But you may still have unique needs that you may need to account for like prescriptions or multiple family members.
72 Hour Kit
(in addition to your bug out bag)
This pack is meant more for staying in your car or shelter that you can still access easily. It should contain more supplies that are needed but not as crucial or that should be carried on your person as often.
- 72 hour food supply
- Change of clothes
- Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
- Jacket or Coat – depending on the climate of your area
- Blanket or Sleeping bag
- Small tent – enough for your group but compact enough to transport
- Portable stove and gas cans
- Can opener
- Bowls and utensils
- Toilet paper or wipes
- Portable toilet
- Infant formula
- Extra batteries
- Bar of soap or hand sanitizer
- Super glue and duct tape
- Basic hand tools – screwdrivers, hammer, pliers
- Card games for kids
- External hard drive with your personal documents
- Respirator masks
- Rifle or shotgun with ammunition
- full gas can
- Spare tire
- Jumper cables
- Car jack
- Tie down straps
- Towing cables
- Glass breaker with seat belt cutter
- Long range walkie talkies
Aside from food in your bug out bag or 72 hour kit, also stockpile food with a long shelf life that can remain in your house. In some emergencies where you are confined to your house or can’t acquire food elsewhere, you can remain in your house with food to last until help can come or your area opens again to freight.
Most people don’t want to can their own food for storage. There are two options that can be combined to build up your emergency food supply.
1. Food Supply Kits – These come pre-packaged in various sizes with various meals and ready to store. Pretty straight forward.
2. Canned Food – A normal person goes to the grocery store 3 to 6 times per month. Each time you visit the grocery store make a note to pick up a couple of cans of whatever you want. These few cans from each trip go directly to your emergency food supply, not your pantry. Over time it will add up to be a substantial supply that can feed your family.
The nice part of this is you can pick what foods to have in your emergency supply. Black beans, corn, carrots, green beans, fruits, rice, meats, all come in cans that can store for a long time. And combined with buying a few pre-packaged food kits you can build up a solid supply in just a few weeks.
The goal is to have enough food to sustain you for 1 to 3 months. The more the better – with food you can never have enough especially when survival is a priority.
Each bug out bag is not like another. While all humans need the same basic resources, your needs may be different than your neighbors’. Take a look at bug out bags on social media and you will see some bags that are just full of weapons and tools, some are only food, water, and medicine. In the end you just need to answer a basic question – what do you need to survive?
Will your bug out bag help you survive all possible apocalypses? Probably not. But it will increase your probability of survival if utilities go down, riots reach your neighborhood, or a natural disaster affects your area.
If you are serious about your preparation, also seek out classes to help you learn about about what you can be doing. Learn about fire safety, first aid treatment, firearm training and safety, auto repair basics, land navigation… the list goes on.
If you recognize the need to prepare but really don’t want to spend the time scrutinizing and gathering each possible item to have in your supplies, then you might consider subscription boxes. These are packages delivered to you monthly or quarterly with various useful items should you find yourself in tough situations, or just for outdoor use.
All that matters is that your supplies provide the ability for you to survive for at least three days. The goal is to make it long enough in good health to where you can return home or find a new safe place to provide for the necessities of life.