What Are You Preparing For?
If you’re new to prepping, your first and most important task is to grasp the fundamentals of emergency readiness so you can survive whatever happens. In this post, we will look at those prepping essentials so you can start protecting yourself and your family from disaster.
The first thing people ask is how to start prepping, and the answer to that question is: “what are you preparing for?” Hurricanes? Earthquakes? Job loss? Power outages? Once that question is answered, you’ve taken your first step to mastering the art of preparation.
If it’s difficult to come up with a specific event to prepare for, this article will give you some examples you can use to formulate your worst-case scenarios. The biggest thing you can do for yourself and your family is to work out how you are going to take care of them when something truly life altering happens.
What Is Prepping?
This is a question that is asked a lot. Most of us have no idea that we are already prepping. Those of us that live in the North prepare for winter by checking our tires, buying chains, keeping cat litter and shovels in our cars, and more.
Prepping goes way beyond that, though; it is in every single area of your life. Financially you may be preparing by paying into your 401k. Having dental insurance is prepping, and even self-defense. Anything you do that provides a solution to the worst-case scenario is prepping.
For your home, it goes much the same way. Stand in your living room and imagine the electricity going out. Now imagine your cell phone is dead and you cannot call anyone. Food in your refrigerator is no longer getting cold, it is the middle of winter, and a snowstorm is keeping you from leaving your home. How do you charge your phone? What is your priority? Do you put your food outside in the blizzard to stay cold? How will you eat? What if you are on a well and do not have water either?
The Beginning of Prepping
Now that we have got you thinking like a prepper, let us take that next step and figure out what we will need to survive our scenario. Our priorities in prepping for weather disasters and many others go like this:
- Water – You cannot survive long without it, so store it up, and store it safely. Find out what containers you need and keep cycling it through until the day you need to use it in a disaster scenario.
- Food – Make sure that when you do buy food you are buying something with a sustainable number of calories. If you are looking at food that provides 1,000 calories per day, as an adult, that’s nowhere near what you need. Plan to consume at least 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day (if not more). Also, make sure you find out if your food requires water and a heat source to make, and that you have items to provide those things in your supply.
Most preppers purchase food with an extended shelf life. That way they do not have to cycle through it so quickly. Make sure you get what you like and understand completely how it is made, so you can have those essentials on hand.
- Shelter – You are vulnerable without some form of shelter. Make sure yours is secure, whatever that means for you: warmth, protection from the environment, etc.
- Miscellaneous – You will need something to cook with, charge your phone, maybe a generator to run your small refrigerator, and a propane tank for your grill to cook food. There are plenty of ways to cook without a stove. Review these and have an alternative method of cooking in case you do not have electricity.
It is critical that you have the first three areas of this list covered. Once you have food, water, and shelter taken care of, everything else from there is just extremely helpful and will become essential once you need them.
What About Protecting Your Items?
There are some great reasons for protecting what you are storing up, and the biggest is that when disaster hits, people without supplies may come and try to take what’s yours.
Many preppers will tell you they protect and even hide what they store up. They may even keep tight-lipped about what they have, because they do not want people coming to them when things go down.
We had one prepper tell us “we plan for taking care of our own, not everyone else. I can’t store enough for the whole town, so yea, I protect it.”
It is important that you decide what this means for you. Will you keep your emergency storage in a place nobody ever goes? Will you place cameras and even personal protection for the time people may come and want what you have?
What’s Your Supply’s Duration?
This is a question nobody can really answer but you. If you start by storing a month’s-worth of supplies, then you begin thinking of scenarios where something could last longer.
A Camping Survival employee once had a thunderstorm go through her area and cut off electricity that made her unable to go to town for 11 days. Luckily, she lived in the country, canned her own food, and had a generator. She was prepared, but many were not, and she was sharing with neighbors who did not have food or fuel stored. Some even asked her how to cook food without a stove. She told us “it really surprised me how many people couldn’t last 11 days without being able to go to the store.”
Could you go nearly two weeks without a store-run? What would you need to be able to sit comfortably at home, charge necessary devices, eat, drink, and not have to worry about anything?
- Hunkering down at home is one thing, but what if you must leave your home? Wildfires are an example. Make sure you have some sort of bug-out bag ready in case you need to throw it in the car and leave. It should contain the same essentials listed above, as well as any miscellaneous items that you find you require.
- Fresh foods are great, but not realistic in a situation where something has happened to your town or country. Make sure you have fruits, vegetables, and meat that are prepared to last. Freeze-dried, dehydrated, and long-term items from Camping Survival definitely fit the bill.
- Learn how to store foods properly. There is nothing worse than needing something and finding out it is ruined because of ineffective storage conditions.
- Look further than right in front of you. Some people have purchased generators but forgotten to store fuel for them. Make sure that even your cooking source has extra fuel, or that you have enough matches to start a fire.
Now that we have you looking at what could happen, consider where you live and decide for yourself what you need to begin preparing. You’ll never regret being prepared, but we assure you that you will regret not being prepared.