Prepping 101 For The Storm – A giant snowstorm just hit the Eastern coast of the USA. Lots of power outages and a large quantity of snow has paralyzed most towns and cities over a short period of time. As I purchased some fresh items at the grocery store a few days ago, I noticed how the shelves had already been depleted of many items. It’s times like this, when I’m snowbound with the fireplace blazing, that I’m glad I’m a prepper.

Rule number one when you’re prepping your stash, plan ahead, make a list, and don’t panic. If it’s a weather event that’s coming your way, you have days to collect important items. Set aside a space in your basement or a spare room to store your stash of food, medicine, and other items.

Just a few days at home, snowed in, won’t require a lot of food. But if you lose power, that’s a different situation. A generator would be extremely useful, especially in cold climates—and it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. A generator with enough power to run your heating source, usually a boiler or furnace, and keep the fridge cold would be sufficient.

Here’s a list of items I always keep in my prepping stash. Point is, you’d rather have them and not need them. That’s the mindset here:

  1. Cell Phone – make sure you have a charging station and the generator keeps power to that outlet. Have an extra cord to plug in at all times so you can rotate phones on and off.
  2. Food – easy things, such as food sealed in packets, meals ready-to-eat, canned foods.
  3. Water – this is a must. You need to buy bottled water and stock it.
  4. Coffee – buy it in sealed packages and rotate it out of your stash. This is a must for me.a
  5. Medicines – if you cannot make it to the pharmacy, make sure you have a refill of each prescription medicine. Your doctor can give you an extra refill just for this purpose if you ask for it most will comply.
  6. Cash – you should have a safe and keep some cash on hand. There may be times you won’t be able to travel to the ATM or bank. Or, the ATM or bank may not be open.
  7. Gasoline – keep this outside in a shed, but keep a few 5-gallon containers just in case the gas pumps are down. Remember, they need electricity to work.
  8. Radio – a good AM/FM radio will keep you in touch with what’s going on, and is especially useful if you have lost power and can run it with batteries.
  9. Batteries – you need to have a good stash of batteries of all sizes.
  10. Flashlights – keep several of these in varying sizes on hand at all times.
  11. Sundries – these are items that are not edible, but you will need them to make life easier. Items like toilet tissue, paper towels, paper plates and cups, plastic containers, powdered creamer, etc.  Also, items like body cream, face cream, Chapstick, and Kleenex.
  12. Clothing – if you’re going to be outside in cold weather, dress for it. Preppers need to have gloves, warm jackets and coats, wool sweaters, socks, boots, hats, clothing made for outdoor work.
  13. Shovels and a Snow Blower – These are a necessity if you live in snow country. Get everyone in the family to pitch in and help.
  14. Games and Books – A big storm or power outage can give you an opportunity to make the best of family time. Some fun games or a few good books can help pass the time and make life more enjoyable.
  15. Guns and Ammo – This should be locked in a safe. Not everyone feels comfortable having a gun, so this is a personal decision. Being a gun enthusiast, I have more than one handgun and a beautiful tactical Mossberg shotgun. Just as important, stock up on ammo. You can never have too much.
  16. Bartering – It’s a really good idea to have too much in your stash than barely enough. Why? Because if you are ever involved in a lengthy power outage, you may need to barter with neighbors to get something you need or want. The more you have in your stash, the more you will have to use for bartering.
  17. CB Radio or Ham Radio – This is optional, but great if you can have one set up. It gives you communication with the outside world when your cell phone might not work.
  18. Wood Burning or Propane Fireplace – An alternate source of heat is always a good idea. Not everyone can have one of these installed, but if you have one it can be a second source of heat in your house.

It’s a good idea, also, to talk with family members about preparations for power outages or emergencies during storms. Stay in touch with one another, and try to gather inside the house while the storm is at its worst. Thinking ahead can prevent a lot of worrying.

I live in a forest on a dead-end road on the side of a mountain overlooking a lake. It’s remote. I chose this place for that reason. It’s not for everyone, but I love it. Being a prepper makes my life run smoothly and it’s not all that hard to do. I think if I lived in a city, I’d be a mindful prepper, too.

Independent author, Ava Armstrong, writes thrillers and romance – yes, she dares to combine the two; such a renegade! After more than a decade in corporate America with a four-billion dollar company, Armstrong decided to focus on her true love: writing literature that could be read by the average human being. Ava describes herself as a Constitutional Conservative, and sleeps with a loaded Smith and Wesson revolver. She has one child, whom she loves, and her collection of firearms, which she loves slightly less, and a special affinity for Glocks and tactical shotguns. Her favorite things are the smell of molten metal at the shooting range, motor oil that drips from vintage 1940's Indian motorcycles, and the scent of sandalwood soap. You'd have to read her novels to understand that more deeply. Who are the heroes in Ava's novels? Everyday men and women who do extraordinary things. Veterans, policemen, farmers, hard-working middle-class folks, all striving and struggling to make the world a better place. From homeless vets to women living quiet lives of desperation, Armstrong transports readers to a small town, writing complex characters and stories that often stir strong emotion.