Ryan Thomason

WPR is here PREPPING you for an emergency. Or the next big apocalyptic world ending event of destruction.

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Scene from Mad Max Fury Road

Scene from Mad Max Fury Road

There is a giant swath of people who enjoy post apocalyptic themes and survival scenarios. Heck, most of us have watched a movie or show and commented, “I could survive that.” I know I’ve had dreams of being Max Rockatansky in my tricked out car surviving the wasteland. Or watching The Walking Dead and thinking of which weapon I’d use the most to keep myself and my family alive. We are though generally living in the real world and there are more realistic survival scenarios that we could be prepared for, you know. Stuff like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or even a tsunami. We could even toss in a general blackout/brownout for a week or two on a multi-state scale, there are some valid reasons why we should be more prepared with basic supplies for at least a week or two period.

September was National Preparedness Month here in the United States. While delays in this article kept me from posting this during that time, preparedness is something we should generally be more concerned about long term. So, after communicating with a couple of businesses that specialize in “Prepping” that were kind enough to lend me their perspectives and in the case of Living Rational, a Guardian Deluxe two person survival kit I have this is tell you.

Having a basic kit or even basic material stored for a disaster is stupidly easy, at least if you live in a country such as ours that has relative easy access to supplies such as Water. Clean, drinkable water is the key component to survival. Yes, food is good too, but you can go longer without food and really, how hard is it to fill up some bottles from the tap and put them in a closet? Water containers are pretty common place and affordable. You can just fill the containers up at home with your own water. If you think about it, water is probably the most vital supply that you can prepare with. You might be able to survive a few days without food, but you have to have water to stay alive. I think that would be the easiest and most basic supply that the general public could start with. Brandon – Spokesperson for The Ready Store

When talking to professionals in the preparedness industry, I didn’t find (nor was I assuming they were) the stereotype that is so commonly associated with people who make preparedness their focus in life. If you’ve ever watched ‘Doomsday Preppers’ (I do), you can sometimes get a sense that through editing these people are just slightly off their rockers. Even though, the prepper basic fundamentals will give “extreme preppers” a leg up if they ever found themselves in a bad financial situation or actual survival scenario. We all know TV Shows paint prepping in a sometimes bad light for dramatic reasons to boost viewers, a spokesperson for Living Rational said “(They are) Beneficial. The bottom line is, they either get you more interested or they create some initial interest in the idea of preparation and survival tools. If you were interested in these topics before, it isn’t likely that the show would somehow dissuade you to toss aside your prior interest.”

Brandon from The Ready Store elaborated further, saying TV/Movies takes the actual industry both ways: ”The prepper TV shows do a pretty good job about getting the word out. They do a good job telling people how to survive in the wilderness if they’re stranded or lost. But at the same time that can be a hindrance. It’s good to know how to survive on a desert island or in an arctic snow storm, but your family also needs to be prepared for an evacuation from a wildfire, an earthquake or even a job loss. The TV shows make people believe that’s what being prepared is all about and that’s only a small sliver of it. 

That’s an area that I feel most TV shows don’t really cover, probably because it’s not very exciting to watch on TV. But most people need to know how to be more self-reliant instead of how to survive by eating bugs. Teaching people how to garden, homestead or gather a 72-hour kit. These things would benefit the majority of society more than knowing which mushrooms are safe to eat. 

Basically what I’m trying to get at, is that we need a different approach to what we define as preparedness. Everyone knows that having money stocked away in a savings account, or some cash on hand is a good idea. So, why not try having a few cases of bottled water and a couple of gallon jugs full of water tucked in a closet? It’s not like people look down on you for having too much food in your pantry. Ok, maybe Mom will if all you eat is boxed cereal, but I think you get my general perception. Having a sense of preparedness isn’t crazy or weird, especially in our current society if you watch the main sensationalist news channels.

I think the general public thinks that being prepared is extreme. They believe that we think the worst possible situations are commonplace in the world. Most prepared families don’t really think that though. Most families are just being prepared in case something bad does happen. More often than not, they are preparing against tough economic times – like a job loss or inflation. Being prepared is more of an assurance that everything is going to be OK instead of a ‘every man for himself’ mentality.” – Brandon, The Ready Store

The biggest misconception you can have is that having a basic preparedness supplies or kit isn’t worth it. As the Living Rational spokesperson points out. Be it time or money. In reality, the cost to be just a bit prepared is worth an awful lot, especially if you find yourself in a situation where even a basic survival kit would have been a big help.

So, what is cost efficient if you’re looking for a basic supply kit? I’ve been slowly piecing together my own survival kit over the years, it’s nothing glorious, just a handcrank/solar radio, a leatherman tool, a basic first aid kits and the waterproof matches kind of stuff. Basically things I found shopping at normal stores for less than $5 a piece over the course of time. I keep them all in an old over the shoulder satchel bag, it’s not fancy, but can get the job done if I ever needed it, which I sincerely hope I don’t.

Obviously you could save yourself a lot of time (and probably money short term) just buying your own survival kits online. As I mentioned earlier, Living Rational sent me one of their Guardian Deluxe 2 person survival kits that if you rationed enough can last ten days. Or, twenty days if you’re not a good friend/spouse.

guardian deluxe kit

Here is a rundown on the kit to give you some perspective:

Water and Food Products

  • 24- 4oz. Water Pouches
  • 12 – 400 Calorie Food Bars (4800 Calories)
  • 20 Water Purification Tablets – each tablet purifies 1 liter of water

Communication Products

  • Am/Fm Radio with Batteries and Headphones
  • Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight – 3 LED flashlight
  • 30 Hour Emergency Candle
  • 5-in-1 Survival Whistle
  • Box of Waterproof Matches

Clothing Products

  • 2 Emergency Survival Sleeping Bags
  • 2 Emergency Ponchos

Tool Products

  • 16 Function Knife
  • 2 N95 Respirator Dust Masks – NIOSH approved
  • All of our kit items are packed securely in a resealable, waterproof storage bag

Cleanliness Products

  • 2 – 24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kits
  • Tooth Brush
  • Tooth Paste
  • 9 Wet Naps
  • Soap
  • Shampoo/ Conditioner
  • Dental Floss Pick
  • Hand/ Body Lotion
  • Deodorant Gel
  • Twin Blade Razor
  • 5” Black Comb
  • 4 Maxi pads/ Bandages
  • Washcloth
  • Shave Cream
  • 6 Pocket Tissue Packs
  • Safety Goggles
  • Sewing Kit

First Aid Products

  • 37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit

Entertainment and Miscellaneous Products

  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • Deck of playing cards for entertainment
  • Infectious Waste Bag

Actually, I was rather surprised at how much stuff was stored in this backpack, that and the quality of some of the items that might get heavier use like the swiss army knife. The metal swiss army knife was sturdy and when I tried to break any of it, they all held up fine, I was impressed. This backpack is HEAVY, mind you, but if you’re trying to survive in a situation for 10 days, your calves will just have to suck it up. Plus, it’ll get lighter if you had to start drinking/eating the supplies Thankfully, Living Rational has much better skills at packing than I do, with everything fitting nicely in three zip-locked bags. For the sake of testing (And probably losing a days worth of rations) I tried some of the water and bars, they weren’t really even that bad. With a mentality that if I was hungry and resources were looking scarce, they would have probably felt like the bars were a kings ransom.

I did give the backpack a proper beating though, I tossed it on the concrete floor and maybe got a little excessive on pulling the zippers hard. Or maybe I just really liked the **ziiiiip** noises. But the bag held up to a general beating, nothing broke inside, the radio worked fine. While something may have been bruised, they were all very functional.

For their price point on the survival kit, I find that this is a very versatile bag that gives you tons of the basic essentials you’d need. Heck, even if you didn’t like everything the stuff you do like are easily transferable into your own kit, nothing should be discarded especially if you know that you never know what you’ll need in any given situation. I’d really suggest you check out their site for more information on the survival kit and consider purchasing one for your home.

With all that aside, my hope that you take from this is that perhaps it’s time to start thinking about having a little bit of closet space sorted out and keeping some basic preparedness supplies on hand. Go get some water jugs at the store, fill them up from the tap and get a case or two of bottled water put them in the new closet space. Then you can at least start having something in the back of your mind that you’ve started getting ready in case of the next black out or if your water services were compromised. Then, perhaps you can find an old backpack and stick a first aid kit and some cheap tools in it and build from there or just go buy yourself a survival kit to store next to the water.

There is nothing weird about any of this, you are a rational person, you’re not assuming the world is going to end. This is no different than keeping a flashlight in your junk drawer if the lights go out, you are just better prepared in case of an emergency.

But, if you see me driving by in a muscle car with no doors, wearing a spiked shoulderpad leather jacket while I’m sporting a mohawk, then there might be cause for concern. Since I shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

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