Not too long ago I began to realize that despite the effort I had been putting into mid to long term emergency preparedness, I was underprepared for small events that happen all the time.
I’m not talking about civil unrest, terrorist attack, disease, or any of the threats we all face that are addressed by our preparations at our homes or retreats. I’m talking about minor mishaps like trips and falls, cuts, automobile breakdowns, car accidents, and other generally under-prepared-for times of bad luck that happen every day.
For example, imagine you’re out and about with the family one evening and you get a flat tire. And, it’s raining and kind of cold. Or worse, it’s snowing and you’re not dressed for the weather and the tank is on E. This is a situation that happens every day and which some people deal with better than others because they are prepared. You should be prepared for something like this. You should not have a house full of emergency supplies, but nothing on hand when you’re a few miles (or more) away from home. There’s no reason for it. Every one of us should be giving thought to the most common mishaps and preparing for them in at least basic ways.
Here are a few things I do to keep Prepped for some of the smaller mishaps in life (and don’t you dare laugh at the first one which has come in so handy in the last few years it should be in a first-aid manual!)
1. I carry a band-aid, a small packet of antibiotic ointment, and an alcohol prep pad in my wallet to patch up small scrapes and cuts when out and about. It’s like having the tiniest possible first-aid kit with me at all times. I love it. I’ve fixed cuts for my kids, a couple of coworkers, and one time even a guy at the shooting range that got cut in the face by a hot piece of brass from his own gun. Seriously. Thoreau was there with me, just ask him. In every case it was nice to have the ability to take care of someone who just needed a little help. Whether that was a friend or a stranger.
2. I keep my vehicle stocked with not only the items in my Bug-Out Bag (see my previous post) but with additional supplies since I have the extra room. I drive a Jeep Cherokee, which I think is a great vehicle, and I make sure it’s always prepared with four or five bottles of water, extra jackets, hats and gloves, and a small soft cooler filled with energy bars and trail mix. I’ve also got a nice first aid kit, at least two flashlights, extra batteries, and some pepper spray. My car is always with me so it’s nice to know I’ve got some extra supplies on hand if I’m stuck in traffic or even stuck overnight.
3. I carry a pocketknife. Unless I’m traveling and have to get on a plane I usually have a small but sturdy Benchmade pocketknife with me. I’ve got several similar knives that are kept in my Bug-Out Bag, shooting bag, tackle box, etc… but my Benchmade is my favorite and it’s with me pretty much everywhere I go. A really great knife.
4. I keep my gas tank full. There’s no difference in the amount of money it costs to fill your tank once per week as it does to top it off three times per week. Same amount of gas used but you never let the tank get near even half empty.
5. I keep a variety of items in my everyday backpack that also serves as my laptop bag. This bag is always close by whether I’m at home, at work, or traveling so I have a small pocket filled with OTC medicines like eye drops, Rolaids, tums, Advil, and Benadryl. It also contains some cash and a few dollars in quarters, a solar charger for my cellphone, a flashlight, extra batteries, and usually some snacks and a bottle of water. Other items float in and out as I hear of new products and tire of others that don’t prove useful. Just remember this is not primarily a Prep bag and I don’t let Prepping take it over. It’s my everyday bag with a couple of pockets that I use to stay prepared.
The satisfaction of smoothly handling a small event because of your preparedness feels like the pat on the back from a teammate that keeps you going through a close game. Being Prepared means anticipating events that are likely to happen to you and handling them as well as possible. Big Or Small.