End of Year Emergency Plan and Simple Checklist

Emergency Plan

Whether you are new or experienced in emergency preparedness, the end of the year brings a time to reflect on and update your preps. Having an emergency plan, so you are prepared for disasters or crises should be a top priority. Don’t get caught off guard – follow these simple steps to make sure you and your family are ready to handle whatever might come your way in the new year! Below you will find a free checklist you can download and other resources that you might find valuable!

Review and Update Your Emergency Plan

Make sure your plan accounts for any recent changes in your household and that all family members are familiar with it. Include important info like contact numbers, insurance policies, prescription medications list, etc. ReadThe Best Preparedness Gift You Can Give Your Loved One

Check Your Emergency Preparedness Supplies

Take inventory and replenish any depleted items in your emergency supply kits. Have enough food, water and other essentials to sustain your household for at least 72 hours. Read – 50+ Basic Preps You’re Probably Not Thinking About

Inspect Your Home’s Safety Features

Install smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and inspect for any potential hazards. Secure heavy furniture and ensure escape routes are accessible. Read – Real Preparedness:  Understanding the Significance of Shutting Off Utilities

Learn Key Skills

Consider first aid, CPR training, self-defense techniques, gardening, food preservation or DIY repairs. These can be invaluable during crisis situations.

Stay Informed

Follow news and official outlets to receive real-time alerts and updates on potential threats in your area. Early warnings are crucial. Read – Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life!

Have Backup Communication Methods

From phone calls to walkie-talkies, establish alternate communication channels to connect with loved ones during emergencies when traditional means may be unavailable.

Designate Meeting Points and Evacuation Routes

Ensure your whole family knows where to meet up and how to get there if you ever need to evacuate your home. Practice these emergency drills together.

Stock Up on Essential Emergency Items

Non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, blankets – these are just some must-have supplies to include in your emergency kits tailored to your region’s likely hazards. Read – Do This With $100 NOW

Learn Survival Skills

From emergency response training to basic first aid knowledge, useful skills can make all the difference during disasters. Never stop expanding your emergency preparedness education.

Document Important Info

Make copies of crucial documents like ID papers, insurance policies and financial info to have ready to take at a moment’s notice during rapid evacuations. Listen to this Episode – Bugout Docs

Connect With Your Community

Building relationships and support networks in your neighborhood can boost resilience during local crises. Get involved in community emergency readiness programs. Join the Exclusive Email Group

Review and Practice Your Plan

Once you’ve made an emergency plan, occasionally review it and practice evacuation drills with your family to keep it fresh. Update as needed and replace used supplies.

Final Word

Everyone can take small steps to keep their household safe in the event of a natural disaster, outage or other regional emergency. Have a plan and supplies ready to go – the more prepared you are, the better you’ll weather any storm!

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Nine Low Budget and DIY Prepper Gifts

Whether you’re looking for a gift for a seasoned prepper or someone who is just starting to get into preparedness, these low-budget and DIY gifts will make an impact.  And, as an added bonus, many of these gifts can be used as “stealth prepper gifts”, so you can help your loved ones get prepared without them even realizing it!

A Budget Family Water Filter

Hydroblu has a Versaflow water filter kit which is an awesome gift!   This kit can turn a 5-gallon bucket into a family-sized water filter. The Versaflow will filter up to a 100,000 gallons.

I like this kit so much that I did a nice little video and created a PDF tutorial that you can download.

 The idea would be that you get the kit, which runs $26, and a 5-gallon bucket, with a lid. You then drill out the hole. Clean up the bucket, put the kit in there along with the PDF tutorial.

Then you can let just instruct the person who received the gift to put the bucket up in a closet somewhere, and if they ever need to filter water for whatever reason, this is their solution!

Meals in Jars

I receive these all the time. Like, homemade brownie mix and such! The last one had a nice little bow and a little card that tells you how to mix everything.

You can use dehydrated food or freeze-dried food to create full meals. You can even use freeze-dried hamburger crumbles.  But you could just go to the grocery store and use noodles, beans, or rice.  You’re putting all the ingredients in one jar so all someone needs to do is dump the ingredients out into some water, stir it up, shake it up, or whatever it might be. 

For articles with Meals in Jars Idea – CLICK HERE and HERE.


I have a family member who always makes jellies. For no specific reason she will just share some fig jelly or whatever, and it’s usually pretty good. And it’s not really hard to make and it’s cheap to make too. 

Spices and Rubs

I had a boss who would make a Cajun spice to give as presents every Christmas. She would get all the bulk ingredients, mix it all together, and pour them in little shakers. And people loved it!

You could also make a rub and give it to that person who likes to barbecue.

This gift is very cost-effective when you’re making it in bulk.


This is one of those things that people will not usually make for themselves.  But it is one of those things that would be very beneficial. 

There is a hot echinacea tincture that I, have made before.  I found it years ago on the site Frugally Sustainable.  It is perfect for Cold and Flu Season!  

The thing with tinctures is you have to have some time, you gotta let them sit. 

Emergency Vehicle Repair Kit

I’m talking about a kit that would help somebody if they broke down. I’ve done this for all of our vehicles. You can go to Home Depot, get a small inexpensive tool bag, and fill it with items that will help like:

Throughout the years, I’ve probably used my vehicle repair kit more than I’ve used any of the other survival stuff I keep in my truck.

First Aid Kit 

You can find first aid kits for cheap.  I would let the person know,  “I’m giving you this first aid kit to keep in your car or a drawer in your desk at work. You can get kits from $9.99 to $19.99.  You’re not looking to do surgery with these kits, but I’ve I’ve done many videos, talked about it on podcast episodes before where I have used my first aid kit more than a lot of the other survival things that I might carry.  It’s a quick prepper gift.

DIY Meals Ready to Eat

 If you want to really give something cool, you can give DIY meals ready to eat. All you need is a Food Saver that can vacuum seal a package that you make. You put things in there like:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Beef Jerky
  • Tuna Packets
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Coffee Singles

And anything else you can think of.  Create a day’s worth of meals ready to eat in one package and give them a couple of days of those. Again, you’re buying a lot of the stuff in bulk. It doesn’t have to cost a whole lot of money. 

Power Bank w/ Some Extras

I think mobile power banks are a great gift!  Everyone should have one!  But beyond that, you might wanna get them a USB fan that can keep them cool if the power goes out.  Another extra would be an LED reading light.  Having this would allow someone to not have to use the flashlight on their phone.


Some of these ideas are DIY and some of these are low cost. Some of these might even be considered stealth prepper gifts.  But all of these gift ideas are gifts that someone can really use!

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Your Last Thanksgiving

John looked at the calendar.

He kind of suspected it, but he wasn’t sure.  He suspected that this might be the third Thursday in November. Traditionally his family celebrated Thanksgiving. 

But that has changed now.

The Collapse stopped all the trucks moving. And, all the grocery stores that were filled with all the items that his family would buy every week were long gone.

It was cold outside. But he was hoping to find something that his family could eat.

He went to the river, threw a pole in, and was hoping to catch some fish.

As he was there, he daydreamed, about that last Thanksgiving meal.

His cousin didn’t come to this one, because he was upset. They didn’t always see eye to eye politically. So it was easier just to stay away than to put those ideas aside and be with family.

The pies on the dessert table were plenty. Everybody had their special pie that they would dig into later on.

The meal was very tasty as always. There was plenty of turkey and dressing and cranberry to go around. There was plenty to drink. Plenty of smiles. And plenty of football. 

That was now a distant memory.

What If?

We don’t always go into the holidays or special moments thinking that it might be the last one that we are going to attend or the last one that we will attend with someone that we care about. 

But this happens every day and happens every holiday. 

I know plenty of people this year who are going to be experiencing this, this holiday season. 

Getting to the holidays without a certain loved one is hard. 

But what if it was the last holiday that you experienced in the way that you normally do?

In the United States, Thanksgiving usually is a meal with turkey and dressing and cranberry sauce, and all the other fixins.  Oh, and don’t forget desserts!

And although many are going through hard times right now, a Thanksgiving meal isn’t too hard to come by.  

But what if you didn’t have another one ever?

As you spend time this holiday season with family and friends, or maybe you really like to be by yourself that is fine too, take some time to…

  • Count your blessings.  Things aren’t what we might want them to be right now, but they could always be worse.
  • Be grateful. There are times when we have had plenty and times of want.  But there is always something to be grateful for.
  • Make memories.  Lock the time with family and friends in your mind and heart so you can go to them later down the road.

Thank you for your support of Ready Your Future throughout the years.  I greatly appreciate all the listeners to the podcast, readers of the blog, and members of the RYF Exclusive Email List and The Top Preparedness Articles!

A Thanksgiving Prayer


Thank you for all of the blessings You have given us.  We are truly grateful for the material and financial blessings.  But no blessing compares to the blessing of salvation through Your Son Jesus and eternal life.

We could have been born in any place at any time, but You chose this place and this time for us.

With all the craziness in this world, help us to know Your will and follow Your ways.  And as we do, put inside of us a spirit of gratitude.

In the days ahead, help us to keep our eyes open to Your plan and lead us on the path we need to take.

In Jesus Name.

Have you ever considered that a holiday or a special day might be your last? Has it changed the way you approached it?

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The Most-Important Last Ditch Prep To Start NOW (if you haven’t already)

No one should need to tell you how our times are growing more difficult every day. Inflation continues unabated, our politicians continue to spend our tax money like drunken sailors, and the Mainstream media lie to us all the time about it all. Nationally, crime is rampant, and supply chains are disrupted, food production is under attack, social cohesion is shredding and institutions we once trusted have been corrupted – some seemingly beyond repair.

We are witnessing a re-orientation of government into the hands of the few whose accumulated wealth and power are being used to systematically strip citizens of rights and freedoms, in the name of a myriad of dubious causes. All for the purpose of ending nation-states and instituting global government.

One such cause is “climate change.” Governments all over the world are using this to institute their control over food supplies, and limiting consumer choices for meat, dairy, and safer food. They are breaking the existing system and “fixing” it with their “solutions.” These solutions include limiting how we are allowed to buy our food, placing limits on what we can consume and how much, forbidding rainwater harvesting, actively engaging in destroying family farms and farming practices, while softening the public to begin consuming bugs as a primary source of protein rather than meat. In some locations, they are even forbidding people to use their own land to grow their own food.

As their control over the global banking system becomes total through the destruction of the U.S. economy and dollar, the gold-backed BRICS nations are in rebellion for self-preservation. The time will soon come when there will be a global digital currency harmonizing all existing national monetary units into one, under the ultimate control of a few people. With this control, they will force everyone to be subject to a social credit system, will limit what foods you can consume and how much, or even cut off access to your own money. Truly a nightmare scenario!

What Do You Need to Do? Start a Garden!

This is why you need to learn how to garden and learn to grow food year ‘round.

Because governments seek to control populations by limiting our food supplies, it is imperative for survival that every household should have a garden, both outside and indoors.

By learning to garden successfully, you will gain many immediate benefits including lowering your grocery bill, knowing the source of your food, and ensuring it is not tampered with by chemical additives or genetic manipulation. Growing your own organic vegetables will ensure you receive nutrient-rich foods to keep you and your family healthy and strong. If you use heirloom seeds and save some seeds from each crop, you will ensure an endless supply of food that you can grow and enjoy year-round.

Starting a garden begins with a basic education. Watch YouTube videos or read books from your local library on how to garden. You will also need some rudimentary garden tools, good soil, and seeds or seedling starts. Keeping track of everything you do in a notebook will help you to learn from your mistakes and become an expert gardener in less time. If you own a house, grow food in your yard. If you rent, ask the landlord if you can start a garden in their yard, or start a container garden on your porch, balcony, or patio.

Managing Your Gardening Costs

One can start a garden with little cost, but there are some expenses you will need to pay for. When I started planning for my container garden earlier this year, my first step was to review my existing budget to find a way to pay for it.

Most people shrug off doing the most important things to empower themselves and take care of their families – all because they believe they cannot afford to do it. Don’t let this be your excuse! Go over the monthly expenses in your budget (housing cost, insurance, car payment, cell phone plans, cable TV, etc.) with a fine-tooth comb. Start with the most- expensive line items and examine every possible way to reduce or eliminate that cost. Even if you’ve done this before, do it again.

For example, I shaved an extra $37 per month off my auto insurance by shopping around and reviewing my options. I found the same coverage for a lot less cost. $37 may not seem like much, but that extra money was added into the grocery budget which has allowed me to keep up with runaway food inflation and stock up on more canned food, which is a top prepping priority for me. This also allowed me to purchase some micro-green trays, seeds, a few simple gardening hand tools, and a small indoor greenhouse ($42 from Amazon.com), which I am setting up in my garage.

To grow food all year long one needs to learn how to garden outside either in the ground or in containers, or using both methods. To grow food indoors, gardeners can learn to sprout, grow micro-greens on a table using a grow light set-up, or limited gardening in a grow tent or indoor greenhouse. Serious gardeners in colder climates typically have an outdoor greenhouse which is heated during the winter. Some have constructed underground walipinis (pronounced wall-uh-peenee) on their homesteads. For the purposes of this article, I will assume the reader is not an experienced gardener and has little money to start gardening.

Gardening doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are ways to cut down on the expenses. One way is< by saving and recycling plastic food containers and use them as pots. You can start very small,< by learning to sprout or grow micro-greens and grow garden seedling plants from seed in such containers. I started by learning to sprout and have already sprouted for several years using small sprouting systems purchased online. I learned that I could have done it without that original expense, and have the same results.

You don’t even need to buy seeds to start! You can use your vegetable scraps to replant and regrow food. For example, I bought some fresh vegetables from a local Amish organic farmer and I followed the instructions from a YouTube video on how to cut an onion, saving the roots, then place the cutting into water and grow new roots for new onions. I recently transplanted two< onions restarted this way into soil and will be moving the newer onion seedlings into my garage greenhouse later this Fall.

Gardening is About Learning

Learn to grow the foods you eat. Start with what you use the most. I started with Alfalfa sprouts and later branched out into more protein-dense greens like mung bean and sunflower sprouts. Once you learn to grow some of your own food successfully, figure out how to increase your food production.

Once I could sprout food on a regular basis indoors, I moved outdoors to grow even more food. While the results from my first container garden were not as much as I had hoped for, I did learn why my production was low and have noted it for future crops. However, this summer I was able to grow onions, bok choi, baby spinach, and zucchini, which is why I invested a little money for a small indoor greenhouse, to increase production of these foods over this coming winter. Learn from your mistakes and keep plugging at it! Growing food is one of those things that takes time to achieve more predictable results.

If you start learning now, start with indoor sprouting or growing micro-greens. You can easily use canning jars or recycled plastic containers. Do a YouTube search for growing sprouts or micro-greens and watch all the many ways you can do it and only pay for the seeds. Additionally, grow vegetables from kitchen scraps and see if you can grow several more of these vegetables this winter, either on a south-facing windowsill that gets plenty of sunshine, or under an inexpensive grow light.

You can enjoy fresh greens all through this coming Fall and Winter, and then branch out by growing your garden seedlings from seed, beginning next spring. Take the time to learn all you can this winter on how to grow your most-consumed vegetables successfully and figure out your costs and how to pay for it. Once paid for, the costs associated with gardening go down over time. But certainly find every way you can to get started! The goal is to be able to grow food all year long both indoors and outdoors.

By starting now, you will be learning the most important last-ditch skill for you and your family’s survival.

This is a guest post by PJ Graves.

The Most-Important Last Ditch Prep To Start NOW (if you haven’t already) Read More »

Striking a Balance: Staying Informed, Prepping, and Living Life!

Balancing Prepping and Living Life

There is a dilemma that mature preppers have to deal with eventually, “how much news is enough to keep me informed but doesn’t keep me glued to the television or computer?”  This is exacerbated when the news is all gloom and doom like it’s been for a while now.  How much chaos can one take?  And does the intake of all that doom give us a false sense that SHTF is already here?  There is a balance that preppers need to keep and it can be done with specific resources!

News Junkie

As a recovering news junkie, I understand the need to be balanced.  When I was a teenager, before the internet and 24 News, I loved watching Nightline with Ted Koppel.  I wanted to know what was going on.  Talk Radio fueled my passion for news and then social media and alternative news sites took it to a whole different level.

But life shouldn’t be one big news cycle!  However, I still feel the need, as a prepper, to stay informed and at the same time not get sucked into hours and hours of news.  


Through the years, I have managed to watch my time more carefully.  I have also leveraged different media sources to stay informed and know what is going on.  These are not your traditional media sources, TV, radio, and newspaper.  They are usually quick hits and give me important information, which allows me to digger deeper if I feel I need to.

I would like to share some of these resources with you.  Hopefully, some of these help you too.

Email Newsletters

The most recent addition in my arsenal to staying informed comes from email newsletters.  This makes sense because I can easily access my email from my phone, wherever I am, even if I have a few minutes.  This is one of the reasons why the Exclusive Email Group works so well for Preppers!

1440 Daily Digest – Is a daily email that covers headlines from around the world.  It claims to be unbiased in its approach to the news.  It gives you a “Need to Know” section with hard news, followed by an “In the Know” section that covers topics like sports, science, business, markets, and more.  

Their website states, “We scour 100+ sources so you don’t have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more—all in a five-minute read.”

1440 is free! To sign-up, visit their site – 1440 Daily Digest.

The Pour Over – Is a Christian-based email newsletter.  It claims, “Your politically neutral, Christ-first, news source.”  It also states on the website, “The biggest news of the day, summarized in a way you’ll actually understand and enjoy, paired with brief Christian perspectives.”

Like 1440, you’ll find some big headline news stories, with a Christian perspective and Scripture at the end.  You also find a section called, “Other Brews” that covers small news stories.  

I don’t always agree with their Christian perspective view, meaning I think they take a middle-of-the-road view and don’t want to appear to lean left or right.  However, I haven’t found their views to be theologically incorrect.  

The Pour Over is free.  You can sign up here – The Pour Over.

News App

If you’re looking for an APP, then you will want to check out Ground News.  Ground New will let you know if the article you are reading leans left or right or center.  It gathers this information based on the source that it is using.  It is possible to have two news articles on the same topic, but come from different perspectives depending on how they lean politically.

You can set your location, so you can get news that is local to you.  Ground News also provides  “Blind Spot” articles.  These are, “Stories from one side of the political spectrum or the other that had little to no reporting.”

Ground News is free, but it also offered a premium account.  You can download the APP for iOS and Android devices.

Prophecy Preachers

Ok, you might think this one is weird, but hear me out!  Prophecy preachers look at current events and evaluate them in light of Bible Prophecy.  Some of these Bible Prophecy Preachers have really big followings from all over the world.  These followers share news stories that are happening where they live.

So what you get is an alternative news source that is often sourced by boots-on-the-ground Christians.  The thing is, if you are not a Believer, just listen/watch them for the information they are sharing.  

Now, there are many Bible Prophecy Preachers out there.  And every one of them has a YouTube channel. I’m careful who I watch because it is easy to get sucked in and spend a lot of time bouncing around from the content they produce.  But here are three that I would recommend.

John Haller – I’ve had John on the podcast before.  I believe it was a two-hour episode.  He is a retired lawyer and has been teaching Bible Prophecy for many years bi-vocationally.  You can find him on YouTube LIVE on Sunday mornings.  He also streams his LIVE update on Facebook.  Since retiring, he has been doing a lot of guest appearances that he shares on his Facebook page and during his update.

Watch John on the Fellowship Bible Chapel YouTube Channel.

James Jacob Prasch – Is a preacher/evangelist and puts out a lot of Prophecy Updates.  He often does the update with others who chime in and give commentary on the topics or news stories they are discussing.

The updates also get converted to audio so you can listen to them as a podcast if you don’t have time to watch a YouTube video.  

Watch Jacob on the Moriel YouTube Channel.  You can search “Moriel Ministries” in your podcast catcher to listen to the podcast.

Jan Markell  – Is the person behind the microphone for Olive Tree Ministries.  Her show is on radio and podcasts.  A few years ago she started sharing her show on YouTube.  She does focus more on End Times than John Haller and Jacob Prasch.  But it still applies to what is going on in the world.  

Watch Jan on the Olive Tree Ministries YouTube channel. You can also search for Olive Tree Ministries in your podcast catcher.

Social Media

Social media is a blessing and a curse.  You can get a lot of information on the platform, but you can also get sucked in and spend hours of your day on it as well.  You need to be purposeful to set a timer or “get in and get out” quickly.

Twitter – I’ve always been a proponent of Twitter.  If you go to my account profile, you will notice that I don’t follow a bunch of people.  I’m not interested in what the Kardashians are doing, know what I mean?  But I do follow news organizations of all sorts.  That way, when I hit Twitter, the only thing in my feed is news.  And, I follow both sides of the aisle so I know what both are “putting” out as far as their agenda goes.  

If you are interested in using Twitter, you can go to my profile and click on who I’m following.  Then you can follow all those news organizations right from there.

Telegram – I’ve recently started using Telegram.  Telegram is supposed to be an encrypted instant messenger.  I don’t use it for messaging, but I do follow channels that share a lot of current events  Here are some.

Moriel Ministries – They share a bunch of news from alternative news sources.  The news stories are varied.

Amir Tsarfati – This channel shares a ton of material too.  However, they seem to be more focused on the Middle East.

Paul T. Martin – I’ve had Paul on the podcast as well.  He doesn’t share as many articles as the other two above, but the articles are worth reading to preppers.  I couldn’t find a link for Paul’s channel.  You will have to do a search for him.  It’s easy though!

Ready Your Future – And of course, while you’re at it, join the RYF Telegram channel.

Alternative News Sites

I didn’t cover the multitude of Alternative News Sites that are out there. You could use an RSS reader to follow all the Alternative News Sites that you want to read so you can read them in one spot.  But speaking from experience, you can spend hours reading articles!


There are many options out there for the prepper who wants to stay informed.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you need to keep a balance.  You don’t want life to pass you by while you’re reading about the “war over there” or the possibility of “that thing happening” or “this time it is different because…”

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Alignment – Bible Study

Alignment is important for every Believer who wants to walk closely with Jesus. But it is easy to get off and not be in alignment with what the Lord wants for you. This Bible Study will encourage you to seek a deeper walk and alignment with Jesus.

1. What comes to mind when you think of alignment?

2. Read Romans 8:5-11.  What sticks out to you?

3. In John 21, Peter goes fishing.  Do you think he was completely turning his back on Jesus or was this just a regular fishing trip?  Why do you think so?

4. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22.  Does this represent a good list to follow to walk the Christian life?  What is missing?  What would you add?

5. How do you actually live out Proverbs 3:5-6?  What does it look like in real life?

There are other Bible Studies published on this site. Click here to learn how to lead a Bible Study for Preppers.


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