You can’t start anywhere but at the beginning. You won’t have 3 months of supplies if you don’t have enough for a week. A prepping plan for most mini emergencies should get you through 3 days at least.
You should be able to find your food needs already sitting in your refrigerator and food pantry. Water will be a different story. I would suggest getting some bottled water, or save 2-liter soda bottles that have been rinsed out well and filled with tap water. There should be no need to add any chemicals to these containers as long as the conditions were clean when you filled them from the faucet.
Lighting is another important need if the power goes out. LED lanterns, candles and flashlights should be kept available, with a good supply of batteries. Cooking can be done outside on a grill, keep extra charcoal and lighter fluid on hand, or purchase an extra propane tank and keep it available for power outages. You will also want to have a small battery powered radio (preferably with NOAA Weather bands included) for monitoring the news and weather.
Please think carefully during the hot of summer or cold of winter, about ideas for heating and cooling your home safely during emergencies. The extreme summer and winter seasons could make your 3 day requirements more costly. An inexpensive generator is great to have, but the expected total runtime on them is relatively short. Small generators are best used for running the refrigerator/ freezer a few time a day, or keeping up with the sump pump during a storm. They are not designed for running 8 hours a day. The problem I see with the generators over 4000 watts is people either running a big generator to run small loads, or they are over loading and overusing them to the point of failure. A typical house uses very little energy unless the AC / heat, dryer, water heater and stove are running. My extreme weather plan would center around running a small air conditioning unit in modest room during the summer. For winter, luckily we have a wood burning stove to knock down the chill. Another option is to heat a smaller area with a kerosene stove (assuming all safety warnings are being followed) in the winter.
Don’t forget you will also need to keep extra pet food available. You are still responsible for taking care of your pets during these mini emergencies.
These basic needs should be the minimal start to a 3 day plan:
- lighting / radio / batteries
- heating / cooling
- pet food
I will go into more details on all these basic needs later on, and this 3 day plan should provide a basic starting point into prepping for short term inconveniences you will undoubtedly face.