Prepping refers to an individual, family or group preparing themselves for surviving a potential threat. From natural disasters to world wide catastrophe, prepping can help you to be ready to face just about any type of scenario. The basics of prepping involve being ready with the essentials of survival; having access to shelter as well as food, water and survival gear are central to prepping, but how can one get started from scratch?
10 Easy Tips to Help You Get Started with Prepping
1. Collect Research Materials and Do Your Homework
Books, websites and videos about prepping are a great place to start. The website you’re currently reading is packed with resources, but there are many on and offline resources to connect with. Online prepper groups and forums are a great place to look for information. As for books, there are a great many to choose from, but these titles can help get you started:
- SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea – by John Lofty Wiseman
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster — by Bernie Carr
- Survivalist Family: Prepared Americans for a Strong America — by Joe Fox
- Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition – by Abigail R. Gehring
- Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit — by John D. McCann
2. Get Your Family on Board
Once you feel you’ve educated yourself about prepping basics and feel confident you want to proceed, share your desire with significant family members. There’s no need to be an alarmist; let them know that your desire to start prepping comes out of a dedication to the health, safety and future of the family. Encourage them to start doing their homework as well.
3. Decide Where You’ll Go if Disaster Strikes
Once you and your family are on the same page, decide where you’ll go and how you’ll get there if SHTF. Having a plan is elemental to prepping, and at its core is knowing where you’ll go and how you’ll get there.
4. Create and Practice an Emergency Survival Plan
Now it’s time to sit down and make an overall plan. It may start as a one-page outline, but it will likely expand to include all elements of survival as well as sub-plans depending upon what is occurring. Lists such as emergency contacts, bug out bag contents and possible routes can also be included; consider keeping laminated pages of the plan in a 3-ring binder. You can also list out what you still need to do/get in the beginning stages of prepping. Be sure and have one overall go-to plan that covers survival basics. Discipline yourself and your family to practice and train your plan(s) until they are automatic. Repetition and rehearsal are key.
5. Roll Call
Get a clear and accurate count of how many people you will be supporting should SHTF — will it be your immediate family of four, or a small community of 12? Your partners may include extended family members and/or neighbors. You should also plan for what you’ll do with the family pets.
6. Emergency Contact List
Make sure everyone in your group has the phone numbers, full names and even addresses and directions to the homes, schools and workplaces of everyone else in your group. Include police, fire and hospital contact information as well. Make a comprehensive list and get everyone a copy. Place a copy in your emergency plan binder as well.
7. Prep a Bug Out Bag
A Bug Out Bag (BoB) contains basics such as portable food, water, basic survival and medical equipment, backup communications, flashlight and power, cash and a credit card, spare socks and copies of key documents. There is a lot of information available on creating the ideal BoB for your scenario, so put some time into this. Store the bag in an easy-to-access spot so it’s ready to go when you are.
8. Get Your Finances in Order
Prepping does require a bit of financial output, so make sure you can afford it. Watch your spending and pay down debt. Live within your means and buy what’s needed for prepping gradually as you can afford it.
9. Start Storing Gradually
To start prepping, there’s no need to buy a whole pallet of food and supplies right away, or store epic amounts each week. Start by simply putting away some of what you normally buy, or pick up just a little extra to store each week.
10. Get Healthy — and Stay Healthy
Lastly, if you aren’t already committed to eating right and working out regularly, start. People who are healthy and in shape are far more likely to survive an emergency situation.
Getting started with prepping need not be daunting; you don’t have to take all of these steps at once. Ease into it gradually and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to true preparedness.