I’m excited to bring out our very first guest article. This one is starting on prepping on your homestead. If you have any thoughts please let me know in the comment section. Also be sure to check out Dan’s website.
What if I told you that working on your homestead has a “side benefit”? One that people who live in cities will never have… No, I’m not talking about the fact that staying busy around the house is also keeping your body and mind healthy, I’m talking about… emergency preparedness.
Being a prepper no longer has the Doomsday stigma attached to it. It went past that when people realized there are over 3 million active preppers in the U.S. alone. Being one is about getting ready for small and medium-sized emergencies, and homesteading has everything to do with it.
Many if not most of your daily activities on the homestead are also prepping you for various emergencies that could affect your family at some point in the future.
Your garden and your farm animals can provide you with food in case of a long-term economic crisis…
Your rainwater harvesting system can quench your thirst when water is scarce or contaminated…
Your knowledge and skills can help you make your own food, fix your own clothes, and maintain your house.
So you could say you’re more prepared than 90% of Americans for things like an economic collapse, a drought, extreme temperatures or a power outage.
But what if you want to take it to the next level and prepare for even more things, such as a prolonged grid-down situation or a home invasion? In that case, I highly recommend you read and apply the suggestions I’m about to give you, and not worry about what other people think.
First thing’s first… protect your home from natural and man-made disasters. I realize most of these have small chances of happening where you live, but so what? A flood or a house fire only needs to happen once to destroy everything you worked for.
The good news is, the things you can do to protect your home are easy. Get some fire extinguishers and place them in strategic locations. If you’re really close to a forest, remove the trees that are too close to your home and could help spread the fire to your house, shed or barn. Insulate your basement, then figure out how a flood could come and set up strategic barriers to deflect the water. Things like sand bags will help.
Next, consider burglaries and home invasions. You may want to set up an alarm system (you can make your own really cheap if you want), set up some lights that turn on automatically when someone’s near them, motion sensors, have a few guns, maybe even a security camera or two.
As you can see, these are all common sense but they might save you thousands in case something happens. Best of all, they’re not extreme in any way, no one is going to label you a prepper for wanting to protect what’s yours.
Do you have a bug out bag? It’s a backpack full of supplies that you can grab and go when your home becomes unsafe. A flood may be too big for you to fight it, a hurricane may be so strong that you risk dying if you’re stubborn enough to not want to evacuate… As awful as it may seem, you have to prepare for the case in which you may need to evacuate and leave most things behind.
This doesn’t mean you have to leave everything behind. Besides a bug out bag, you should also have a car with a large trunk ready to go, where you could quickly throw in as many valuables as possible before fleeing.
Make sure your tank is always full, and make sure you have the right supplies in the trunk, such as jumper cables, blankets, some food and water, flashlights, printed maps and so on. But if you really want to load as much stuff as you can, a covered trailer would be ideal.
And if you want to take things to the next level, you may want to “make part of your garden portable”, meaning you should have buckets and pots with various veggies such as potatoes and tomatoes. If you ever wanted to experiment with container gardening, now you have an excuse.
Next… how about a stockpile? You probably set aside food for the winter and are using various food preservation techniques (canning, salting, dehydrating, smoking). All you have to do now is store more of the same. This could mean that, in case you’re stuck inside your home, you’ll have food to last you 2 months instead of 3 weeks. Not bad, eh?
Now, expanding your stockpile may mean you need to invest some time and money. Maybe you want an extra freezer. But the beauty of preparedness is that you always have dirt cheap alternatives. For instance, if you don’t want to buy a large freezer and worry about the increased power bill, how about making a root cellar?
Next, how about you learn some food preservation techniques you’ve never used before? If you’ve got enough sun, you don’t need to buy a dehydrator, you can do it like our great-grandfathers did it. If you don’t want to buy a smoker, guess what? You can make your own. So you can do everything really cheap if you’re willing to learn and put in the time and effort.
Last but not least, worry about electricity. You need alternate sources in case of a grid-down situation that could last for months. The easiest thing you can do is to get some of those cheap hand-crank flashlights and keep them around the house. Mine are triple LED and work great. The beauty is I don’t have to worry about batteries, I just push a button for a few seconds and I have light!
Next, how about some solar panels? These will set you back a few bucks but if you use a lot of electricity, you’ll recover your initial investment after a while. Keep in mind that, in a long-term emergency, you will need to power up your fridge, your TV and other devices.
As you can see, from an emergency preparedness perspective, you’re very lucky to be a homesteader, because the learning curve is so much easier for you.
Now, this article was more of an overview meant to point you in the right direction. You know best your priorities are, but what I can tell you is to make a plan and stick to it. There’re lots of places where you can learn from real life survivalists how to prep for various emergencies, such as my site over at http://www.SurvivalSullivan.com .