Prepping for beginners – what do we need to be prepared for, how to start prepping, and how do we keep it simple? Prepping used to be considered a radical activity, but more and more we are realizing the need to be prepared for all kinds of emergency situations.
When you consider the definition of Prepping, it becomes clear we all can benefit from basic planning:
– the act or process of preparing something or preparing for something.
– the practice of making active preparations for a possible catastrophic disaster or emergency, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
The following is a guest post by Dan Sullivan from Survival Sullivan.
Does prepping seem intimidating? Do you feel like you don’t know where to start? Have no fear, because a one year stockpile and dozens of survival items are NOT prepping.
The key is to not only start small but to focus on the most critical aspects of survival FIRST. In this article I’m going to show you how to do that and, although I won’t be able to cover every scenario, I will point you in the right direction.
What most people don’t realize is that prepping is not about zombies and asteroids. Not at first, at least. You can leave those for later because, at first, you need to focus on the smaller yet critical emergencies that can affect you and your family.
These emergencies can be anything from earthquakes to your kid being lured by a stranger to heavy snow. Believe it or not, there’ve been social experiments proving that no matter how many times you tell a child not to talk to strangers, he still walks off with them.
Here’s a list of the most important emergencies to consider:
- car and bike accidents
- dog attacks
- weather-related incidents (hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, ice storms, extreme temperatures, flash floods)
- food poisoning
- a prolonged economic crisis (this could directly affect you in that you could lose your job or, at the very least, you’d have to spend more to put food on the table; just look at what’s happening in Venezuela right now, people are resorting to drastic measures to put food on the table)
- car breakdown
- house fire
- terrorist attacks (we’ve seen a lot of these lately, some causing countries such as France to declare state of emergency)
- social unrest (people have gotten used to rioting, which means they will not only be more organized but will also come in larger numbers)
By doing a simple Google or YouTube search for each of these, you can find out how to prepare for each. It’s nothing complicated but it wouldn’t hurt if you could do drills with your family to make sure your reaction times are good and that you know what to do without thinking too much about it.
Once you take care of these, the next step is to worry about your 72 hour emergency supply, or stockpile. This will come in handy in case of heavy storm, state of emergency (like was declared in Brussels in 2015 after a terrorist attack), flood, ice storm and so on.
Of course, floods and hurricanes can have long-lasting effects, but a 3 day emergency supply is the absolute minimum you should aim for if you’re just starting out. Focus on acquiring:
- basic foods: honey, protein bars, beans, rice, pasta, canned food (MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are also an option but, with so many food choices, they don’t really make sense; they’re expensive, high in sodium and cause constipation)
- 2 gallons of water per person per day (that’s 6 gallons / person for the 3 days)
- basic over the counter medicine (ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, antibiotic cream) stored in a cool, dry dark place (First Aid Medical Kit)
- other survival items: Fixed Blade Survival Knife, hand crank flashlight, emergency radio
- some supplies in your car’s trunk (plus, make sure you always have enough fuel in the tank for an evacuation)
Skills are more important than gear, the reason I didn’t talk about them until now was because I wanted to ease you into prepping. You have to learn basic survival skills:
- starting a fire (I made a list of all possible ways here)
- using an emergency radio (to listen to radio stations and hear the latest developments during a hurricane, a flash flood or in case of social unrest)
- using a water filter (you can use a personal water filter such as the LifeStraw or the Sawyer Mini to drink water that is free of bacteria and other harmful compounds – usage is trivial)
- using an emergency blanket (say your car landed in a body of water, you got out and you need something to keep you warm after you dry yourself off)
- using a fire extinguisher (everyone should know how to use one)
- shutting off utilities (if your house catches fire or is affected by a hurricane)
- getting in shape (regardless of the emergency you face, you’ll need strength, speed, stamina and flexibility)
- finding your way back if you get lost (either in a foreign city or the wilderness)
These are all critical if something happens. You don’t want to be unable to move when you see your house on fire, you don’t want to try to figure out how to use your HAM radio when you need it most.
Do Things that Are Free
Oftentimes, when we get into something new, we’d prefer not to spend too much money until we see some sort of results. Here’s a quick list of things you can do that won’t cost you a dime:
- go through all the food in your fridge, freeze, pantry and basement and store the one with the longest shelf life separately for dark days
- start doing at-home workouts
- download or print survival article such as this one for future reference
- practice your skills
- print maps of your area and mark on them things like exit routes, get home routes, vending machines, road blocks and so on
- designate a safe room and move some of your preps there
- start a wish list of things to buy and monitor for discounts
- start planning designing a survival garden
- start walking more and using your car less to improve your stamina
- take free survival and first aid classes (if any are available where you live)
…and many more. I don’t want to overload you with information, I’d be much more content if you took action based on what you read.
In fact, let’s do a quick exercise before we wrap this up. Pick 3 things from this article right now that you can do before reading or doing anything else. Just leave everything else and do them, even if all you do is print a Google map of your town or city.
The key to preparedness is to take action over and over again. The more often you do it, the safer you will feel and be. So why not set aside one hour a day to read and prepare?
Dan Sullivan is one of those prepper bloggers who doesn’t compromise on quality when it comes to survival information. Emergencies are not to be taken lightly, the wrong kind of info could cost you your life. He and his team of writers are posting almost daily high-quality articles on www.SurvivalSullivan.com.