We all want to be prepared for anything. After all, it makes us feel more secure. If you’ve never tried prepping before, it can be intimidating. How do you prepare for anything that could happen?
Luckily, there are millions of preppers in the United States alone that have been sharing their expertise for years. Instead of focusing on one aspect of prepping, we are going to look at how you can kick off your prepping with a range of tips and materials you should keep on hand.
How Far Should You Plan Ahead?
There are some preppers that are ready for the end of the world. They have everything they need to survive if society were to completely fall apart. While this is admirable, don’t be intimidated by not being able to invest the time and money into it right away.
For the average prepper, the time to prepare for self-reliance is at least 2 weeks. This can help you if utilities get knocked out for days, a bad storm or hurricane rolls through, or even if you just get laid off and money is tight. If you are married or have children, you’ll want to make sure there’s enough for everyone through those 2 weeks.
What If You’re Prepping On a Budget?
There are plenty of preppers on a budget! Just because you can’t stock your house all at once doesn’t mean you can’t prep. Many preppers have gathered their gear and supplies over time. Instead of buying everything at once, try to put a little money aside each weeks to gather what you need. It can actually be more effective to slowly plan what you need instead of jumping in blindly and impulse buying things that may not work with an emergency plan.
When it comes to some necessities – such as food and distilled water – buying in bulk can also save you some cash! Coupons are also a great resource.
Saving money and building up your “rainy day fund” is a long-term preparation. This is something that’s easy to overlook for new preppers. This makes sense, it doesn’t fit most people’s picture of prepping. It isn’t physical such as a first aid kit or long lasting food. However, if you get caught in poor weather, it’s going to help out immensely if you have some money on hand for problems like necessary repairs.
It’s also a good idea to keep as much cash as possible – in small bills – within reach. This is essential in the case that you can’t retrieve funds from your bank.
There are some basic needs that every human has: water, food, and shelter being among the most important. When it comes to immediacy, though, water is the most important for survival. Over the 2 to 3 weeks that you can go without food, you can only go 3 or 4 days without water. If you live in a hot climate, you’re cutting down on the time you can go without water.
In the case of an emergency, you can’t depend on the fact that your water is still on or if you’ll have time to fill the bathtub.
For one, keep purified water on hand such as store bought jugs or a water bottles – about 15 gallons a person is good estimate. When and if these run out, you’ll want to be aware of how to get more safe-to-drink water. As for supplies to keep on hand, you can keep a bottle of chemical treatment for water, a pot to boil water in, or purifying bottle or straw. Keeping a bucket on hand to catch rain water is also a good idea.
As just noted, you can survive around 3 or 4 weeks without food but ideally you won’t starve yourself to the brink of death. You always want to stay ahead of your limits.
When preparing for two weeks, most people reach for canned food and freeze dried food. This is because these are examples of food with a long shelf-life that are either ready to eat or ready to prepare.
If the survival period lasts longer than this supply, you’re going to need to be able to hunt and catch your own food. Some tools that will help here are survival knives and firearms. When preparing to hunt your own food indefinitely, it’s important to make sure that you have extra ammo and flexible optics that will help you hunt in any condition.
As for a survival knife, this will help you prepare meat, protect yourself, and even work in odd jobs such as opening cans in a pinch.
Of course in an emergency situation there’s the risk that someone will get hurt. Additionally, even small scrapes and cuts can cause a problem if they get infected. This is why it’s important to keep a well-supplied first aid kit that is checked regularly to make sure it’s still ready.
The Red Cross has a guide to everything that fully stocked first-aid kit should include. A few basic supplies include:
- Compress dressing
- Adhesive bandages
- Antibiotic ointment
- Emergency blanket
- Non-latex gloves
They recommend that you keep first aid kits on hand no matter if you’re in your home or in your car.
You’ll need fire for warmth, cooking food, boiling water to distill it, light to work by – the list goes on. As such, you’ll need to be able to start a fire. While learning to start a fire with very little is a great skill to have, but it’s always good to be ready in case you struggle with this. Fire starting kits and weatherproof lighters and matches are all good ideas.
There are situations when you’ll need to do your best to contact help or listen for information. The truth is that, if things get to a catastrophic level, there might be concerns if these tools will work. For the average emergency like severe weather, tools such as radios or a reliable phone can help.
Prepping can seem intimidating and overwhelming at first but it doesn’t have to be! This can be a task that you work at a little at a time until you’re ready for anything the world might throw your way.