There’s been quite a few hurricanes hitting the U.S. recently, and preppers in hurricane territory not only need to look out for themselves, but look out for their gear as well.
As preppers, we tend to think about what gear we need to keep ourselves safe during a crisis, but one thing that usually gets overlooked is how to keep our gear safe. It doesn’t matter how much thought we put into our preps if it ends up getting destroyed by water.
Since our gear is a critical part of a prepper’s survival strategy, you need to make sure water doesn’t ruin your preps. I’ll give you a quick rundown on some simple steps you can take to keep your gear safe.
Different Levels of Waterproofing
Before we get into how to protect your gear from water damage, let’s define a few different levels of waterproofing. Note that these aren’t technical definitions. Rather, they’re just rough guides for us to use as a reference.
Waterproof: Let’s say something is waterproof if it can be completely submerged in water without getting damaged. For example, a sealed can of food is waterproof.
Water Resistant: We’ll consider something water resistant if water can fall on it without the gear getting damaged. However, it’ll still get damaged if it’s submerged in water even if it’s not completely submerged. For example, clothes wrapped and sealed in a plastic bag.
Out of Water’s Reach: This would be gear that’s under shelter so it won’t get rained on, and is also raised far enough off the ground that it won’t get submerged in water during a flood. For example, anything stored in the attic.
How Much Waterproofing Is Necessary?
Thankfully, not all your gear needs to be 100% waterproof. Some gear, such as food and electronics, needs to be totally waterproof while non-perishable and non-electronic gear can afford to have less protection.
The big thing to watch out for is keeping your food safe. If you’re stockpiling canned food, you pretty much already have this covered since the can itself is waterproof.
The tricky part is waterproofing food that isn’t in a can. In that case you’ll need to pack them into buckets lined with waterproof bags. However, the problem here is that the buckets can then float away. You’ll need to tie these buckets to something that won’t float away during a flood.
That takes care of your food, but what about all your other gear? You probably have a lot of gear, so waterproofing all of it by sealing it in buckets simply isn’t practical. Plus, you might need to have quick access to it.
This is where settling for water resistant and keeping it out of water’s reach come into play. Your non-perishables and non-electronics can be safely stored by tightly wrapping plastic bags around them and keeping them raised far enough off the ground.
Do some research here. How bad is the flooding in your area? If the flooding isn’t severed in your area you can probably get by just by keeping it on shelves off the floor. If the flooding is really bad you’ll need to store it on the second floor of your house or your attic.
However, this can be a bit inconvenient too. If you need something you’ll have to find it and dig it out of the packing.
To get around this, I recommend picking the gear you think will be most useful to have in most situations and store them in a waterproof dry bag where you can easily access it.
At this point you should have:
- Perishable and electronic gear completely waterproofed and stored anywhere (Usually in the basement or garage.)
- Your most important and frequently used gear sealed in a waterproof dry bag somewhere easily accessed.
- Non-perishable and non-electronic gear stored in water resistant packaging and raised above ground level.
This should be enough to keep your preps safe from water damage in most cases. If you have any tips and tricks of your own on how to keep gear dry, share them with us in the comments section below.