Be Prepared: Beyond the Basics (Suffer in Comfort)

When you're ready for the extras

So you’ve got your emergency kits packed and ready to go. You’ve got a secondary kit sitting in the garage. You have fruit trees dotting your yard and a bumper crop of vegetables in your garden. Your freezer is full, your pantry is lined with preserved fruit and vegetables, you’ve got enough toilet paper to last the rest of the year, and you’ve learned to make your own bread. Your linen closet is stuffed with warm bedding, and your camping equipment is stored next to your water barrels. You’ve held evacuation drills with your kids and you’ve put fresh batteries in all the smoke detectors.

What’s left?

Now that you’ve got the basics covered, you can start thinking about the creature comforts. Things that will make your life a little easier in the event of a disaster. These are not necessary for survival, and you shouldn’t worry about them unless you feel you’re prepared on all the other fronts. But when you get to that point, here are a few ideas:

  •  Hand-crank clothes washer — Fairly inexpensive, this uses hot water and pressure to clean clothing in a very short time. Much easier than hand-scrubbing!
  • Camping shower — This is heated by propane, and will give you the chance to actually get clean, in warm water. Quite the luxury after days or weeks of dirt.  There are also solar versions, but in my limited experience, they get just barely warm enough to prevent brain freeze while washing your hair.
  • Greenhouse — This is a good way to extend the growing season, especially in cold areas of the country.
  • Battery-powered entertainment systems — Imagine having TV again, or being able to play your favorite music.
  • Expanded solar equipment, including solar generator for fridge/freezer
  • A buried propane tank connected to house utilities
  • A Mercedes (Hey, as long as we’re dreaming here…)
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