Although prepping has been around for decades, it seems with today’s economic situation, as well as the continually changing and unpredictable weather and seemingly increasing amount of natural disasters, prepping has taken a more prominent spot in society.
More and more people are beginning to curiously dip their toes into the prepping world, and understand that even a small amount of prepping could indeed make a significant impact on not only how they survive, but thrive should something happen to change the way they normally live their lives.
However, with all the new interest, old pros, and commercial businesses surrounding prepping, not to mention new tv shows, books and blogs on the topic, a new ‘want-to-be prepper’ sometimes feels overwhelmed and gets stuck before they even begin.
Let’s try to help you weed through all the ‘noise’ (extremist views, rage over the latest gadget/gear, sensationalistic television portrayals) and get down to basics. Adopt the following tips and you’ll be well on your way to being prepared for what life may throw your way:
- Goals & Plans – your very first step should be to write out your prepping goals and devise a plan of action. Knowing exactly what your prepping goals are will eliminate a lot of the ‘noise’ that doesn’t apply to you. Having a plan of action will give you clear and concise steps to follow to keep you on track (and away from the ‘rabbit hole’ you can easily fall into if you delve head first into the prepping world without one).
- Family Communication/Transportation Plan – One of the first plans you should layout is how your family will communicate with each other during an emergency situation and where all family members will meet. Remember to have more than one location selected and have more than one route planned to get to each location. Keep in mind that in many major natural disasters, for instance, cell phone service may be very limited (FYI – text will sometimes go through when other means, phone/email, will not).
- Most Likely Scenarios – Another important piece in helping you plan out your prepping goals/strategies is to think about the most likely events to happen in your area. (Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc…) This will give you a starting point to focus on and idea of what gear and skills you should acquire first.
- Off-Grid – No matter what area you live in and what natural disasters may be your most likely scenario, everyone should be prepared for a power outage. Going “Off-grid” may not be for everyone (and is not an overnight solution in any case), but there are many things you can do right now to make yourself better equipped to handle life without power. At least in the short term.
- Important Documentation – One of the things everyone should have prepared, whether you believe in the ‘prepping’ life or not, is having a binder, folder, USB drive, something, that contains all your important documentation (ID, passport, insurance info, emergency contacts, medical information, etc.).
- Start Now, Today – don’t think to yourself, “this sounds interesting” or “I know I should be more prepared” and figure you will put it on your ‘someday’ list. Do it now, today, while it’s on your mind. The longer you put it off the more stressful it can become, especially if a natural disaster or lost job, etc… occurs before you even begin.
- Do Something, Anything, Each Day – You don’t have to buy hundreds of dollars of food and gear, convert to all solar and wind power, have a full garden growing, know all about canning, be proficient in firearms handling, etc. all in one week (or even one year). However, you do need to do something, even if it’s cleaning out a basement corner for your supplies, each day. Keep putting one step in front of the other, slowly chipping away at your goals list and before you know it you will be better prepared than over ¾’s of the country.
- Keep It Simple – Don’t let those spouting their 2 year supply of food, arsenal of weapons or unbelievable survival skills training overwhelm or scare you into not prepping your own family. Stick to the basics – start with a 3 day emergency supply, prepare an emergency bag to grab if you should need to leave your home quickly, etc.
- Learn Basic Skills – This should be the fun and most valuable part of your venture into prepping. Not only are you preparing yourself for the future, but you will be learning skills that can be used all year long, such as gardening, canning, camping, building a fire, making your own shelter, purifying water (learning to find water sources), hunting, fishing (and scaling your own fish), self-defense, etc… The list is endless. You can start with what interests you most.
- Plan B’s (Backups) – Backups does not only apply to your computer world. You should have backups for all important things (documents, can openers, escape routes, meeting places, etc.).
Hopefully these ten steps will give you a starting point to get your baby prepper feet wet and begin you on a new lifestyle that will have you more confident and secure in your ability to survive whatever life decides to throw your way.
Good-luck and welcome to prepping.