Welcome to the world of preparing to survive any situation, from government collapse, EMP attack, or full on zombie apocalypse.
Since you are new to prepping there are a few basics that you need to start with. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed will all the information out there so lets focus on a few basics that you need to start with.
When faced with their first survival situation most people have their priorities in the wrong place, which in turn, means the end of their journey.
Take just a minute and read this:
Secure your shelter first, use the skill you have to go from there.
By starting to prepare now you will be better off than 80% of all Americans in a SHTF situation. If you want till shit happens you will be with the 80% of people scrambling just to survive.
The Basic Steps To Preparedness
- Prepare your home for at least two weeks of self sufficiency.
- Get ready to evacuate your home within a moments notice.
- Have the skills to be self reliant where you away from home.
- Plan and Practice
- Teach and Share
When you are just getting started there is so much noise, advice, and endless debates over the best methods and what you need to do first. There are so many different “what ifs”, it is easy to get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing at all.
Prepping is simple: depending on what happens, you’ll either stay in your home, leave your home, or get back to your home. That’s the best way to think about prepping. Making things overly complicated makes you less prepared and more stressed.
How long do I need to prepare for?
The Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov site currently says, “Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours.”
They’re wrong. You should be prepared for at least two weeks or more.
Consider your location and frankly, social status… are you a senator, congressman, high ranking military official? In a SHTF situation those considered of “high importance” by the government will be the first to get help. So 99% wont make the list of important people that the government care about helping.
Most survival experts use the two-week rule. Some groups, like the Red Cross, have updated their suggestions — their site now says, “3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home.”
In 2016 the US Navy, Coast Guard, and Washington state’s National Guard did a full-scale, nine-day drill to test how well they could respond to a massive earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. That area covers Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland through northern California.
The 83-page report reveals a lot of scary conclusions. The reports concluded that systems are not ready, infrastructure would collapse, and they’d have a full-blown humanitarian crisis with in ten days.
The increase in recent natural disasters like, Hurricane Harvey, earthquakes in Papua New Guinea, volcanic eruption in Guatemala, and the Californian Wildfires are all examples of recent disasters where people were displaced or without basic services for weeks, not days.
Questions to Consider When New To Prepping
How are your finances sitting?
Thousands of families today would be truly devastated by a sudden and unexpected $300 expense. If you’re in that category right now, you might consider making it a priority to do everything you can to get out of that hole.
Setting aside the romantic fantasies of becoming some high-flying’ post-apocalyptic warlord, and thus being able to ditch the mortgage and Visa bill, the reality is that cash solves an awful lot of problems.
Will it be worth anything after a financial collapse or some other truly end of the world event? No, probably not. But, it is certainly worth something right up until that happens.
In an emergency evacuation, a cell phone and cash will get you a place to stay, a meal, a change of clothes, and pretty much anything else you need.
How long could you sustain your family with what is currently in your home?
Let’s say you couldn’t get to the store due to weather, vehicle malfunction, whatever. How much food do you have?
How long would it take before you’re putting together the really odd meal combinations like stuffing mix and canned mandarin oranges?
For most people the answer is just a few short days….
Are you comfortable with those answers? If so, great. If not, come up with a goal and begin working toward it.
Meal plans are a great tool. Sit down with pen and paper and write out a sample meal schedule for two full weeks. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Concentrate on meals made with ingredients that are shelf-stable whenever possible.
Determine everything you’ll need to prepare each one of those meals. Multiply out the amounts to figure out how much of each thing you’ll need for a month or two, then start stocking up.
How much water do you have on hand?
If the taps stop running or you find out that the water isn’t safe to consume, then what? A few water filters might be a wise investment.
Locally, I can pick up a case of 24 half-liter bottles of water for under three bucks. That’s cheap insurance, in my opinion. How much water should a family have on hand?
Well, let’s put it this way — nobody in a crisis has ever complained about having too much clean water available. Various experts suggest a gallon of water per person per day, though that can vary wildly depending on the situation.
For those of you keeping track of numbers, that case of bottled water comes to a little more than three gallons. Use stored potable water for consumption and food prep rather than washing clothes or filling the toilet tank.
Are wilderness survival skills necessary?
Well, they certainly can’t hurt but I guess it depends on your overall situation. If your main concern is an extended power outage or job loss, I’m not sure how being able to cobble together a awesome debris hut is going to be of much help.
On the other hand, if you anticipate being forced outdoors for an extended period of time, it might be worth your while to take a few classes on bushcraft.
That said, I do feel strongly that every adult should be able to build a basic campfire and boil water over it, at a minimum.
Are firearms and other weapons important?
Well, all of your carefully curated supplies won’t do you much good if someone is able to take them away from you. This is a judgment call, though.
How you approach security and defense is up to you.
But, something to consider — it is awfully hard to hold a handgun or rifle steady when you’ve not eaten for two weeks and the last drink of water you had came from a mud puddle early yesterday morning.
When I first started prepping I made a ton of mistakes. I rushed into things, got overwhelmed, panicked, then quit.
So I reached out to the prepping community and ask them for their best prepping advice for beginner survivalists. There a lot of common points about what they wish someone would have told them when they started on this journey and I complied them in this article. It is really the best place to start.
Basic Prepping Skills
You can start to get a feel for some basic prepping skills with these articles.
Basic Prepping Gear
Here are my recommendations for starter prepping gear in these articles.