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Jun 19, 2017

17 Things Real People Are Doing To Prepare For Disaster

From hitting up Costco to learning how to hunt.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they prep for disasters, the apocalypse, or any worst-case scenario. Here are some of the most prepared people out there:

1. Setting up a network of communication among family and friends:

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"My family (all are in SF, I'm in NYC) and I have a family friend as a point of contact in case cell towers go down within major cities during an earthquake, hurricane, or terrorist attack, so we can all find the same person and say we're OK and that can be communicated to anyone else that calls in. We're a little crazy maybe, but make sure you have a person to be your point of contact, a meeting place if you're in the same city, and a wind-up radio/phone charger/flashlight (only like $10 on Amazon)."

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2. Figuring out how to access any medication and equipment they might need:

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"Honestly, the worst could be infection treatment and control, so learning how to make natural forms of remedies is a priority, and learning where antibiotics are available and accessible is necessary. The first 72 hours of anything would be all anyone has to obtain supplies of that sort. I work in EMS, so I am more medically-minded. We have go bags and kits, but I think we often take for granted clean water, dry shoes, and even low-dose antibiotics or burn treatments. Those would be necessary to obtain within hours of whatever impact. That, and safe, clean salt."

—Lizzy Rose Kurylo, Facebook

3. Building a bug-out bag:

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"I have a bug-out bag with clothes (a jacket, shorts, pants, and a short-sleeve shirt), extra hiking boots, protein bars that I replace every few months, a Life Straw, an emergency blanket, a flashlight, a Swiss Army Knife, a pillow, a first-aid kit, my emergency contacts on a laminated index card, a solar charger, a handbook on local vegetation and wildlife (I live in the mountains so there's lots of resources), rope, duct tape, a multi-tool, and photos of my family at the foot of my bed next to a pair of slip-on shoes so I can just grab it and go in case of emergency."

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4. And a get-home bag:

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"I keep a 'get-home bag' in my truck, for getting to my house with a veggie garden, and my supplies (water, food, heat) for just-in-case. I also keep a 'bug out bag,' although it's to supplement my tracking, edible and medicinal plants, and bushcraft knowledge. I also have a love of permaculture with which I can use to thrive most anywhere I would land. I've spent over four years in Iraq as a US Army Infantryman, so I've seen how easily life as you know it can change in an instant, and what happens if you're ill-prepared."

—John Daniels, Facebook

5. Learning how to DIY some primitive weapons:

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"I live in New Mexico, so I always figured I'd move to one of the archaeological ruins like Bandelier or the Gila Cliff ruins, since they're both cliffside. They're fairly difficult to get to, and near water. My background is in archaeology, so I know how to make stone age weapons. Plus, Bandelier is close to the national labs, so we might get government protection."

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6. Doing some target practice:

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"I'm well-armed and a good shot. (I only do target shooting.) I have two bug out bags for me and my husband, and they're full of supplies needed for long-term outdoor survival: Hatchet, heavy duty knives, flint, tarp, emergency crank radio and flashlight, heavy wool blanket, quality sleeping bags, first aid kit, flares, rope, small pot & pan kit, clothes for warm and cold weather, ponchos, I could go on. My husband's into bushcraft, and knows a hell of a lot more about this stuff. Like which wood, fungi, and natural materials that are most useful."

—Krystal Watanabe, Facebook

7. Staying in as good of shape as they can manage:

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"The number one survival tool I would recommend is fitness. Be able to run a certain distance with your gear, and be able to ruck your pack. Being in shape is free and will generally help you survive more situations that just about anything else."

—William Jones, Facebook

8. Writing down every important phone number:

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"Just in case my phone gets messed up, I wrote down all the phone numbers of my family members and anyone else I might need to call on an index card and laminated it. I made a few of them and put one in the glove compartment, little zipper pocket in my purse, and in my 72-hour bag. Good idea for emergencies that don't include cell towers going down."

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9. Acquiring some practical skills, like first aid and hunting:

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"Nothing is as good as the knowledge/skills you can gain, such as first aid, bushcraft, hunting, and purifying water."

—Michael Miller, Facebook

10. Thinking about how to defend themselves in their own home:

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"We have a small apartment that is easily defensible, given there is only one side anyone could come in or leave from. We've got the heaviest books lining the half wall next to the stairs, a hatchet hidden in one corner, a saw in another, a dagger next to the futon, and knives. We've got a real sword and fencing equipment that we know how to use upstairs, as well as a bow small enough for me with metal tipped practice arrows. If that fails, we have other heavy objects and a little martial arts training."

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11. Reading up on edible local plants, army survival skills, and more:

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"My boyfriend and I have books on edible plants native to our region and their uses, as well as both an army survival guide and a guide for using tech scraps and coding to survive a zombie apocalypse (or other doomsday scenarios). I would be the plants person, and my boyfriend would probably be the coder. I'm more of the hide, sneak, and pray sort of person, my boyfriend is more of the move and fight sort of person."

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12. For hurricanes, keeping flashlights, water bottles, food, and spare batteries around at all times:

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"I am a Floridian, so you always have to be prepared for hurricane season. We have flashlights stored away, buy our dog's food at Costco, keep a case of water bottles in the garage. We also always have soup/tuna fish/etc. in the house, and both my mom and I own backup external batteries for our cell phones."

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13. Buying food in bulk and trying to grow their own, too:

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"I normally pick up bulk items every time I go shopping. It can be just a bag of ramen, a bottle of water, matches or a can of fruit. I keep at least three days worth of water at home, always have candles and matches, and food for at least two days that doesn't need cooking. I grow as many vegetables and herbs that I can on my windowsills and balcony, and I forage and preserve, as well."

—Erika Drewke, Facebook

14. Getting access to a sailboat, and stocking up on all the necessary equipment:

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"My disaster plan is that I know someone with a sailboat. As a joke, one day we planned that we would book it to the boat and load it with canned foods and stuff that can last. We have large planters on standby that we can use to grow vegetables to supplement the fish we could catch. My friend has a water filtering system and we would catch rainwater into barrels for a reservoir. We would sail toward good weather and then could hopefully find a small deserted island that we could make as our home."

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15. Dividing responsibilities among family and friends, and conquering:

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"If the apocalypse starts my plan is as follows: My boyfriend is in charge of weapons and ammo, my best friend is in charge of food, and I'm in charge of transportation. We have our hide out spot picked out in the middle of the woods. My boyfriend and I both have go bags packed in case we ever needed to leave at a moment's notice. Not taking any chances."

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16. Planning to escape to an isolated place that has plenty of natural resources:

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"My sister and I have a whole plan of what to do in case of a zombie apocalypse (or WWIII, whatever comes first). We're running to our summer house, located in the middle of the woods. We have our own natural spring, a lake for fishing, and can keep animals and grow crops. We both have our weapons of choice ready (I have a badass machete), we know what people we want to save (people with skills beneficial in our dystopian reality), and how to protect our land. Apocalypse, come at me bro!"

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17. And, when in doubt, going to Costco:

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"I live in Utah, home to the largest Costco in the world, I'm good...I think."

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This week, we're talking about preparing for and surviving the worst things imaginable. See more Disaster Week content here.

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