In today’s world prepping is important and, in my opinion, necessary. Anything from a natural disaster to an economic collapse can bring added devastation to anyone — especially for those who aren’t prepared for such events.
“Where do I begin?” is the most common question beginning preppers ask first.
If you are new to prepping, knowing the initial steps to take can be overwhelming — but, with any new venture in your life, you start small and build your way up. In this article, I will discuss the basic first steps you and your family can take to make this a smooth transition. So, take it one step at a time and before you know it you’ll be a “prepping pro.”
I will talk about advanced prepping in a later article so, for now, let’s talk about the basics of prepping to get you started. Remember, you can always add as you go along.
1. Basic Supplies
Water is probably one of the most important items to stock up on. Your water supply is something you can add to as time goes on. Every trip you make to the store, grab 5 gallons, and before you know it you’ll have an impressive water supply.
The rule of thumb for individual water intake is one gallon per person per day.
Non-Perishable Food Items
Non-perishable food items are also something that you can stock up on over time. When you make a trip to the store to grab your 5 gallons of water, grab 5-10 non-perishable food items while you’re there. I know it may not sound like much but, in a month’s time, you’d be surprised how quickly you will build up your supply of food and water.
Good examples of non-perishable food items are:
- Canned goods – soups, vegetables, fruits, meats, beans
- Breakfasts items such as oatmeal packets and whole oats
- Peanut Butter
- Jars of Pickles
2. First Aid Kit
Everyone, prepper or not, should have a first aid kit. The bigger the family, the bigger the kit should be.
According to the American Red Cross, every first aid kit should include the following items:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 blanket (space blanket)
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
- First aid instruction booklet
(Make sure to include any prescription medication, and if you have a pet that needs daily medical care, include their medications as well.)
3. Important Documents
Personal documents play a very important role in a prepping lifestyle. Every family member should have copies of their important documents. Put them away in a safe place, but easily accessible for when SHTF.
Important documents to have ready include the following:
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- Birth Certificate
- Driver’s License
- Marriage License
- Medical History and/or Medical Records (also include necessary medical information for your pets)
- Emergency Contact List
- A list of possible destinations where you and your family can go in case of an immediate evacuation. Whichever location you choose beforehand, make sure someone outside of your family that you trust knows where you and your family can be found.
4. Other Miscellaneous Items to Stock Up On
Other important items to stock up on for when SHTF include the following:
- Weather Radios
- 2-way Radios
- Batteries for all your electronic devices
- Compass (one for each family member)
- Cordage (paracord would be my personal choice)
- Survival Knife and/or a Multi-tool
5. Join a Prepping Network via Social Media
My final piece of advice for beginning preppers: Join a prepping type group via Facebook or Twitter. There are literally hundreds of knowledgeable people in this field that can guide you in the first steps towards a ‘prepping like a pro’ lifestyle. It’s amazing how much you can learn from others via social media. Sharing ideas, receiving tips, and making new friends along the way with other preppers is a great way to start and succeed in a prepping lifestyle. Prepping can be overwhelming so having that piece of mind makes this process a smooth one.
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