Celebrate National Preparedness Month (spread the word, give gifts)

A recent poster was inspired by National Preparedness Month to start a post collecting tips. I had one that I thought might work as its own topic – and that is to use National Preparedness Month as a way to spread the word! 

Many people struggle with how they can convince the people around them to become more prepared, or whether they even should try (OpSec!!!). ThePrepared has a great article on this. It’s important to spread the word because the more prepared the people around you are, the more prepared you are! National Preparedness Month is a terrific opportunity to encourage others to prep, and will give a huge boost to your efforts – because it’s not just coming from you, it’s a whole national program. You are just spreading the word. Plus it happens in a month where there are typically a lot of emergencies (wildfires, hurricanes) so preparedness is probably already in the back of their minds. A few tips on how you can use the occasion to get others to prepare:

1. Give gifts. OK, your family and close friends probably already know you are a wacky prepper. You’ve probably tried to convince them. So instead of another paranoid plea, make it an occasion and give a gift! 3 days worth of bottled water, or a couple of headlamps, would be affordable options. Plenty of more expensive ideas out there if you have the money! Water filters, NOAA emergency radio, a tub of emergency supplies, fire extinguisher, 3-day emergency food bucket – lots of options. Make it lighthearted and fun. 

2. Social Media. A quick post saying it is National Preparedness month, with a link, and giving 1-3 simple ideas for getting started. DON’T make it overwhelming with a giant list or scare stories! Huge lists are the quickest way to get people to tune out. You know all those ads that talk about “One weird trick” or “Do this ONE thing every day” – that’s because people want ONE simple thing to do! I suggest water on my Preparedness Month Facebook post because it’s so basic, important, easy and cheap and not a lot of people store it. If you are really into it, you can offer ONE simple tip per day on your social media for the whole month. Be bright and positive and don’t talk about doomsday scenarios or total collapse. Keep the focus on preparing for short term emergencies, because that’s achievable. Throw in a link to ready.gov, especially this build-a-kit link: https://www.ready.gov/kit

3. Work, neighborhood groups, school and scouts. Any groups you are a part of may be interested in preparedness. Your work probably has an emergency plan – ask about it, maybe offer to help with it or just suggest an employee email updating everyone about emergency procedures. If you are a part of a neighborhood organization or Facebook group, that is a PERFECT way to share a link about National Preparedness Month and possibly some local resources. You could take it much further like developing a neighborhood emergency plan, but even just sharing https://www.ready.gov/kit on your neighborhood email list could make your neighborhood more secure and prepared. You can look into your school’s lesson plans, you can get scouts involved in projects. Use National Preparedness as a jumping off point so it’s not about you being a prepper – it’s about a national program that everyone can participate in.

I’m going to post the text of my recent facebook post below, feel free to adapt it. Happy Prepping!  


It’s National Preparedness Month! Here’s a reminder to get yourselves some basics if you don’t have them already. Already got supplies? It’s a good time to check your supplies and replace anything that’s expired-or set a new preparedness goal!
Here are a few absolute basics if you want to start out.
1. Water. Get 3 days worth of bottled water (1 gallon per person per day) to start with. More is better – aim for 1 week or 2 if you have the space. The crinkly, milk-jug type of plastic will eventually leak. I like the 3 liter Poland Springs bottles.
2. Food. Have some food on hand that can be prepared with minimal power or water, like canned soup, peanut butter, etc. You can keep this in a separate kit or just make a habit of having extra in your pantry. You can also buy one of those 3-day emergency food kits. Kinda pricey but they last a long time and are portable.
3. Emergency kit. You can start a kit with supplies often needed in an emergency- at minimum, batteries, flashlights/headlamps and a lighter/matches. If you’ve got nothing else just stop there so you don’t get overwhelmed! But if you have those things, you can add other supplies like emergency blankets, work gloves, gadgets like a solar panel charger and an emergency NOAA radio, a camp stove, matches and lighters, basic tools, a tarp, etc. you may have a lot of these things scattered around the house but it’s good to have a kit of dedicated supplies all in one place. There are tons of emergency kit lists online, but again, don’t get overwhelmed (those lists are long) – just get started!


  • Comments (7)

    • 3

      Hi, July. Great idea. I haven’t started giving gifts yet, though I do post photos of my modest almost daily prep enhancements on social media limited to my friends, not public. I try to lead by example and show that preparedness is first a mindset, an orientation that we can bring to every situation regardless of wealth, health, or circumstance. 

      Best regards to you.

    • 4

      Great suggestions/reminders! I say “reminders” particularly because I have done social media posts, but very infrequently (like once a year or so), and I could definitely do more there. I actually did one the other day, because we dumped, cleaned, and refilled our 55 gallon water drum, which was fun to document, as prepping tasks go, but also not the most accessible activity under the banner of “prepping”.

      I definitely gift preps, especially to my parents. My mom gets overwhelmed by it and asks me to help. When I asked my dad a few years ago if he had any supplies on hand in case of an earthquake, he said, “Wine.” Then I heard my stepmother shout, “And chocolate! We also have chocolate!” For the next several years, all I gave them for Christmas, birthdays, and Father’s Day were prepping supplies. I was pretty sure my dad was just rolling his eyes and shoving them in the garage, but when I visited them this summer, he showed me his stash of preps, which included things he had gotten for himself as well as the things I’d purchased for them. So, it worked!

      • 2

        I know many people here would love to see your 55 gallon water barrel cleaning tips and tricks! I sure would if you have the time.

      • 3

        Oh gosh, I have no confidence in the adequacy of the cleaning we did. We basically siphon-pumped it out until it was light enough to tip on its side (about half full), splashed a small amount of bleach in there, closed the bunghole, and rolled the drum back and forth for 10 minutes, letting it rest with the bunghole oriented in different directions (and presumably washing/disinfecting different parts of the interior of the drum).

        The water that was coming out through the pump appeared clean despite having been in there for longer than recommended, which was reassuring, but we’d likely treat it before drinking regardless, just to be safe. 

        We did all this while loading the glut of inedible ground fruit from our pear tree into the green bin (good fruit of course is salvaged for eating or donation) and cutting back excessive vegetation in the yard— so just a part of basic yard maintenance. 

        We’re definitely not experts, just doing our best!

      • 3

        Sounds like you did what I would have done. High five!!

        What’s your plans for rotating your water in this next barrel you just filled up? Are you going to rotate every 1, 2, 3, or 4+ years?

        I’m rotating mine water storage every 2, but if you do things right like it sounds like you are then it should be good for longer.

      • 3

        Aw, thanks Gideon! You are always so encouraging! 

        Tbh, I was planning to rotate every six months, but what I learned from my first year and change of the 55 gallon drum is (1) I have no desire to deal with this in winter when it’s cold (I definitely got wet), (2) just-post-summer feels like the right time, since summer is when I feel like the water is most in danger of getting gnarly, and (3) after 15 months it still *looked* clean. So the new goal is once per year in September. Labor Day weekend even works as a good benchmark— it’s the end of summer, after all!

      • 3

        For what it’s worth, many years ago I did a public health training for a community that did not have water access, so the residents hauled water in to their homes (most people only had access to 5 gallon jugs due to very limited income). The method we taught to clean their water storage bins was exactly what you did.