Welcome to my twelve months of prepping! The goal here is to break down how to get started prepping over the course of one year, and get you going on the right foot. Prepping is not only an individualized process specific to you and your situation (home, space, family, age, and more). It can also be very overwhelming because there is so much information out there.
My goal is to give you a great starting place, and the tools to decide what works best for you and your family. You’re welcome to leave me comments and ask questions as well. I’m happy to help!
This process will be broken down over 12 posts, one for each month. In them, I’ll be talking about things to do each week. My advice is to pick a specific day each week to work on your prepping. That way you are committed to staying consistent and making this a habit.
To read about January, click here.
This is the week I take another look at non-food items to stock up on and keep. I want to address something that not many people really talk about when it comes to prepping. Poop. Let’s face it, everybody poops.
You can read about how to make an emergency toilet here. I like making sure that I am stocked up on all the essentials for this during this week. I have no idea why, but February is the crazy weather month in my neck of the woods. If a snow storm is going to happen, it seems to happen in February.
When the extreme weather happens, store shelves are emptied in a matter of hours. It doesn’t take long, trust me. But with extreme weather comes a host of other issues, like frozen pipes or water not running. Going to the store may not be optional because of travel conditions as well.
Evaluate your available storage space and decide how many packages you can stack and where. I also recommend stashing the emergency stock elsewhere. That is the stash that isn’t touched until it really is an absolute emergency situation and the normal stock is used up.
I love evaluating my space to determine the number of items I can stack or store in a specific area. It is something I do everywhere in my house to maintain organization. Decide that for yourself, and how low you are willing to go on these things before it is time to replenish your stock. For example, I can store 8 bags of cat litter in my house, and I’m comfortable going down to 4 before I make a trip to Costco for more.
What other options do you have in addition to toilet paper? I keep a stash of baby wipes as an alternative to toilet paper. Note that if you buy a large bag, do not open unless you plan to use consistently. Once air gets into the package and are not used, mold will start growing. I keep small containers for that one-time or day use. That way I am not wasting a big package for a small need. That is a waste of money, and there’s no need to do that.
With the extreme weather, power outages can occur. Do you have a Blackout Box, spare blankets, extra warm clothing? If you don’t have a blackout box, I would recommend building one. Spare blankets are a must. I make most of mine, so they have an extra layer of batting in the middle to be heavier and warmer. But even simple cheap fleece lap blankets will help. I have a bunch of these in vacuum sealed bags stored in a closet.
We talked about the bathroom usage earlier, and I’m going to go back to that here for a minute. Having the necessary items to use the bathroom is great. But what about flushing? That requires water. This is something so many of us forget until the moment it is needed. I’ll be the first to admit I always forgot about this when the water was off until I started prepping and paying attention.
What I recommend for this is filling up old bleach or vinegar bottles and storing a couple under the sink in each bathroom. An addition to that would be to place a brick in the tank of the toilet and that will save on water waste in an emergency. It will at all times, but when water may be scarce, it is essential. Do not drink water from these containers. That isn’t safe, but they are perfect for other water needs like flushing a toilet.
Since we have been talking about power and water issues this month, this is the perfect time to make sure all flashlights are working. Check if there is a good supply of batteries, none are corroded, and everything works properly.
There is nothing worse than expecting your equipment to work in an emergency without testing it first. I am a firm believer in using equipment before an emergency. That way you know how it works and if there are problems beforehand.
I used to worry every year when February would come around. Because winters are fairly mild where I live. Up until the freak snow storm shuts everything down. Since becoming a prepper, this is no longer a real concern for me. I have the majority of things I need in case I go to sleep one night and wake up with 14 inches of snow on the ground and no warning.
There is still room for improvement, but I know I can still outlast a power outage while eating and using the bathroom comfortably and staying warm.
I hope you have enjoyed the second in my twelve part series of prepping for a year. The goal is to help you develop a system and get going with the basics. That is why I have links to other posts in here and I strongly encourage you to click the links and visit my related articles to learn even more as you go!
What are you doing to get going on your preps, or improving on this month? Tell me about it in the comments!
15 thoughts on “12 Months of Prepping: February”
The Blackout box is something I should seriously consider. After being without power on the east coast for 15 days due to Hurrican Sandy years ago you’d think I would be better prepared. Though I do have my generator ready to go and I check that once a month and start it. I also cycle through the gas I have in storage as well to make sure it’s always fresh. My flashlights are never ready or working when I need them. Especiually when my girls were younger. Great tips to start preparing now. Looking forward to the next one!
Keeping a stock of Toilet paper is a fantastic idea! It always sucks to run out so keeping extra is a must. If you do end up running out and don’t have baby wipes as a back up, if you happen to have paper towels or napkins they can be turned into baby wipes using a bit of water and a tiny amount of baby oil if desired.
These are such great tips. Little things like checking flashlight batteries and keeping some bottles of water on hand for flushing the toilet are great ideas.
I love the first tip of choosing a specific day each week to start prepping. What great post on ways to get out in front for preparing for looming weather -that can create power outages (and never knowing when it will come back on). I’ll be sharing these tips with my parents who live in a rural area that at times can go days without power when threatening weather comes about.
The blackout box is a very good idea. When I was a kid, I used to live in the place with massive snowstorms. One February we spent the entire month without light and electricity. Good thing we had a fireplace and blankets.
This is a very practical and comprehensive post. We’re so far from all those blogs providing “dreams” & “inspiration” – I love how matter-of-factly and important (!) this article is. And yet quite witty! A must-read!
I never would have thought about the toilet flushing for those that are on well water. Important to have water in containers on hand for this essential. I should definitely start to think of stocking up and creating a Blackout Box for the New England winter that is quickly approaching!
The blackout box and the toilet paper stock are awesome ideas! Great way to be prepared in case the weather decides to eat crazy!
As long as one may not be 100% ready for any eventuality, these tips here can get one to the 90% mark. Thank you for sharing.
For those of us like us who have never really faced such difficult situations it is such a great realization that people face so many newer challenges and come out winners. Some great tips I must acknowledge.
I totally agree on having a flashlight and adequate batteries at home, at easy reach, for whenever there may be a power cut. I make certain to keep a battery torch in the car in case I have to stop at some dark/dim lit parking lot.
You always have the greatest tips!! A blackout box is such an amazing idea! Thank you for sharing!
Oh, this post made me realize that I may be underprepared for a lot of things. Though I live in Texas where I don’t think Februaries are that extreme, I think I need to do a lot of reading on the weather and start prepping up!
planning is always a good option! I agree with needing such box, I will assemble it soon as well (when I finally move to the house, yay!)
This is brilliant! I love the idea of breaking it down into smaller chunks. I had to go back and read your January post too. Looking forward to seeing more from this series!