Prepping unfortunately is one the least focused aspects in most families. We have become all too comfortable having things given to us on silver platters. Over the past few years, there have been many natural and man-made disasters that left many families in dire circumstances.
Being prepared is the key to surviving and thriving when things go south.
There are many resources on the internet that range from the budget conscience to those who can afford to hire consultants and build underground bunkers with a year supply of food. Such as those on the hit TV show “Doomsday Preppers”. Preppers range from one extreme to another. Prepping begins with a level of awareness of possible threats and having the necessary provisions (Basic Needs) such as food, water and shelter to survive the situation.
Getting Started With the Basics
Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to purchase a years supply of emergency provisions for their family and/or hire a consultant to help. Actually, in my opinion a years supply of food is nice but not necessary for the common prepper and there is no need to hire a consultant. The key is to not overwhelm yourself and use common sense and practicality.
- Be patient and start slowly.
First things first… Start building a emergency 72-hour kit immediately. It’s not expensive and you can probably assemble the kit from items laying around your house. Compare prices when shopping around for food and gear. Prepping does not have to be expensive.
In many instances, a 72-hour kit could mean the difference between life and death. After a major disaster, it may take up to three days for relief workers to reach certain areas. Most likely the relief workers will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation. In such a case, a 72-hour kit is the absolute minimum you should have available.
- Here’s a checklist of items to include in your kit. Checklist: 72-hour kit (pdf)
- I personally store my 72-hour kit in a plastic bin in the garage.
- There are many pre-made 72-hour kits on the market. Some are better than others.
- Sample pre-made emergency 72-hour kits can be seen here. SAMPLES
- Don’t forget about your Pets when building your kit.
- Each family member should have their own kit with food, water and clothing. Distribute heavy items between the kits.
- Keep a light source (flashlight, candles) in the top of the kit. Don’t bury it on the bottom. This will most likely be the first item you grab.
- Inspect the kit twice a year and replace old items when necessary.
- Read The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-hour Kits for more info.
2. Make an Emergency Plan.
Being prepared is the key to survival. Having emergency food and water is nice but if you don’t have a plan then it’s all for nothing. Planning is probably the most effective strategy when prepping. The skills of survival planning is knowing what to do and when to do it. Strategically storing emergency provisions is just the start of your prepping journey. Prepping involves learning new skills and testing your abilities to see what works in real world disaster situations.
But where do you start? What needs to be included in my survival plan? What skills do I need to learn? These are all common questions you need to be asking yourself when devising your emergency plan. Bottom line, you need a plan and the best thing to do is write it down. Set realistic goals within your budget as your budget will dictate the depth and content of your emergency plan.
Practice, practice, practice! Once you have your emergency plan written down and your goals set. It is important to test the plan and make sure it’s going to work. Sit down with your family and do mock up tests at least every six months.
Read my post on emergency planning here: Be Prepared: Emergency Preparedness!
Here is a good place to start: Family Emergency Plan (PDF)
3. Personal Protection.
When the SHTF the normal day to day rules change. For example, you get a family of four who have been without food and water for three days, what happens? The man of the household will most likely do anything to feed his family. This includes but not limited to breaking into your home and stealing the provisions you have saved for your family. There will be no police or emergency personnel who are able to respond. What do you do? It’s easy! Protect yourself and you’re loved ones at all costs. You will have to handle you own.
Most folks are genuinely good; they would never hurt anyone under normal circumstances. Desperate times calls for desperate people. There is an old saying that in our modern privileged society we are only nine meals away from anarchy and chaos. The personalities of the the people around you will change in only three days. Behavior that is traditionally forbidden will now be rational.
What type of personal protection you go with is totally up to you. You must be comfortable with the items you decide to use. A lot of folks will go out and buy tons of firearms and ammo to protect themselves. However, they lack the discipline and training to be effective at using it. If you decide to use a firearm for personal protection then you must get safety training and learn to use it.
At the very least, if you are new to prepping I would stick to pepper spray in your 72-hour kit. Go out and buy Bear Repellent – Pepper Spray. Bottom line, Bear repellent is stronger than normal pepper spray and has a longer range. If it can stop a bear in it’s tracks then it can stop any HUMAN instantly. Just saying…
There is a ton of information on the web and at your local library that deals with prepping. Research is the key to being a successful prepper. I recommend reading a few books on prepping and survival to gain more knowledge.
Here are a few recommendations:
This article is geared toward getting a newbie up to speed with the absolute basics of prepping. This includes having a plan and at least a 72-hour kit with provisions to provide food, water, shelter and some type of personal protection to protect your family when the SHTF (Sh@& hits the fan).
New preppers should always start with these items. When you have mastered steps 1 – 3 then you can research further and get more training. Prepping will take time and money. I recommend you slowly build up your preps over time. During the journey train and learn as much as possible. How much you put into prepping is totally up to you. Here is a sample progression of preps you can start with and you can adjust it to reach your own goals.
First 3 Months:
Next 3 Months:
Next 3 Months:
Next 3 Months:
- Emergency Essentials: Water the Element of Life
- Earthquake Preparedness
- Be Prepared: Emergency Preparedness
- The 21st Century Survivalist
- Customizable Survival Food