prepping basics

Prepping Basics: The Complete Prepper’s Checklist

These are scenarios that every prepper should prepare for. In this post, we will learn prepping basics and provide a basic yet comprehensive beginner preppers’ ultimate guide to help you survive any survival situation.

Do you have a plan in case of an emergency? What if the power grid went down and you were left without electricity for weeks or months? Or what if there was a natural disaster and you had to evacuate your home?

Situations To Think About When Prepping

According to survival experts, being a prepper for everyday life is all about being efficient. Start by thinking about the situations for which you would need to start prepping. Think about things like:

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Natural Disasters:

Imagine for a moment that you are in the middle of a natural disaster. An emergency situation such as power outages, impassable roads and cut communication lines are just some of the worst cases you can think of when disaster strikes.

When natural disasters such as, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricane, tsunami occur. Most of the time, there is not enough supplies of food and drinking water and worst you don’t know when help will arrive. This may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but for millions of people around the world, it is a very real possibility.

Natural disasters can strike without warning, and they often result in widespread damage and loss of life. That’s why it’s so important to be self sufficient and be prepared in case of a disaster.

With a survival mindset such as stocking up on first aid essentials and making a plan ahead of time, you can increase you and your family members’ chances of staying safe and surviving until help arrives. So don’t wait until it’s too late. Get started on your disaster preparedness today.

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Economic Distress:

Economic distress can come in many forms. It could be a recession, inflation, high unemployment rates, or any number of other financial problems. When the economy is struggling, it’s important to be prepared.

That doesn’t mean stockpiling canned goods and weapons in your basement, but it does mean having a plan and being smart with your money.

Being prepared doesn’t guarantee that you’ll weather an emergency economic downturn, but it will give you a better chance of making it through unscathed. So start saving and planning now so you’re ready for whatever comes your way.

Technology Collapse:

Let’s say you’re sitting in your home and you hear a loud bang outside. You look out the window and see that there is a power outage everywhere. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably start to panic.

But if you’re a smart emergency prepper, and you do have an emergency preparedness plan you know that no matter what the situation is whether it is a power outage and technology collapse is just a minor setback.

Technology collapse can happen anytime, anywhere, and it can be caused by anything from a natural calamity to an EMP attack. That’s why it’s important to be prepared.

Basic prepping includes having things like food and water storage, a backup generator, and a plan for how you’ll communicate with your family if the power goes out. By being prepared, you can minimize the disruption to your life and make sure that you’re able to weather any storm.

Emergency Preparedness: The Basics Of Getting Ready

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Step 1: Make Sure Your Finances And Personal Health Are In Good Shape.

As a smart prepper your first step in creating your emergency preparedness plan is to take care of the most likely problems first.

All the numbers about people’s financial health are shockingly bad, especially in the United States. For example, more than half of Americans wouldn’t be able to handle an unexpected $500 emergency (like a home furnace breaking down when the warranty has run out) without using a credit card.

If you don’t have a rainy day fund, a plan to pay down debt, and retirement savings, you shouldn’t spend money on gear or supplies that aren’t essential.

More: How regular people can turn their money from a “problem” to “ready”

The same thing is happening with our health: we’re getting sicker and less able to handle the physical demands of a survival situation. If you have trouble walking up stairs, are addicted to drugs, or can’t keep your mind clear while your body is under a lot of stress, it will be hard for you to survive at all.

Step 2: Prepare Your Home For Two Weeks Of Self reliance

Ready.gov, which is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says that when you start prepping you should have enough supplies to last at least three days.

What is a good starting point for someone who has never cooked before? Sure. When bugging out and carrying all your supplies on your back, should you pack that much? You bet.

But is it enough if you’re bugging in or hunkering down in the real world? Not quite. In fact, it doesn’t even get close.

Many groups, including the Red Cross, now agree that you should have enough supplies for at least two weeks in your home. After the National Guard of Washington and other military branches in the Northwest did an earthquake drill, experts found that preparation systems were not good enough and that people needed to have at least two weeks’ worth of supplies in their homes right away.

So, when you start getting ready, make sure you have enough supplies for at least two weeks at home. Then slowly add to it until you have enough for a month, then three months, and so on.

In an emergency, it’s fine if you don’t use all of your supplies. It’s better to have more than you need of things like food, water, and fuel than to not have enough. We’ll talk more about the things you should have in your emergency kit later in the article.

Step 3: You Should Be Ready To Leave Your Home Only A Moment’s Notice (“bug out bags”).

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Depending on how bad the situation is, you might need to jump in your car and leave in a hurry. There are some things to think about. First, you should be ready with a bug out vehicle (BOV). You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to leave but can’t find a car.

Make sure you have a car big enough for everyone in your family. You don’t have a Batmobile that everyone can fit in? Work with neighbors who also do it.

Again, it’s better to work out this plan with your neighbors ahead of time than to try to figure it out at the last minute. When putting things in your car, truck, or van, you should have enough for at least three days.

Make sure to pack a separate car kit along with other essentials like food, water, and clothes. Don’t forget to bring a few gallons of extra gas while you’re at it.

Remember that if there is a natural calamity, you don’t know where the closest gas station might be. Even if you do find one, there will probably be a long line and the prices will be very high. When taking a car, it’s always better to have gas on hand.

Step 4: Create An Emergency Plan

Even if you have the right supplies on hand, you won’t be able to save yourself if you don’t have a plan. Where will you keep the things you need? How will you talk to each other if the grids fail? Where will you go if a natural calamity is coming right at you? What roads will you take if you need to leave?

Sit down and make a plan of what to do. Try to think of a few different situations and ways to deal with them.

Say you have to leave your home because a Category 3 hurricane is coming. You grab your “bug out” bag and leave right away. But because of the storm, the GPS on your phone doesn’t work anymore, and the main road out of town is jammed with people trying to get away.

Where do you want to go? How are you going to get out of trouble? What are your back-up plans if your first plan doesn’t work? Another thing to think about is whether or not you’ll work with your neighbors and tell them about your plan.

Some people think that there is strength in numbers and prefer to work together to stay alive. This is great if you live in a close-knit neighborhood where everyone has the same ideas. But don’t tell everyone about your survival stockpile and preparations unless you want them to steal from you.

If you want to work with your neighbors, you have to make sure that everyone does what he or she is supposed to do. It should be up to each person or family to get their own supplies. You don’t want your neighbors to take your stuff without asking

Step 5: Create A Strong Foundation In Prepping

As a beginner in the world of prepping, the first thing you need to do is build a strong base. As a prepper, the first thing you need to do is stock up on a few things you use every day.

These things are what we like to call “evergreen products.” Products that will always be needed are water reserves, emergency food, first-aid kits, hygiene products, and supplies for keeping the place clean. These are the first things that every first-time prepper should buy.

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Prepping for Essential Materials Needed for Survival

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Prepping For Food

When you start prepping the first thing you should do is to start stocking up for your own food. Food that can last a long time is either dehydrated or freeze-dried food. This is food you shouldn’t think about eating unless you have to.

Creating a prepper pantry in case of emergencies is one of the basic steps a beginner prepper such as you should make. Having a food storage can make the difference between being scared and being calm. We suggest putting away enough food for at least two weeks.

Still, the more food you have on hand in case of an emergency, the longer it will last and the better prepared you will be. You can look for emergency food such as food kits, freeze-dried meats, and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables. Make sure to place the food in plastic with zip ties or sealed containers.

Prepping For A Clean Drinking Water

Water is the next thing that new preppers should prepare. It’s just as important to have water on hand as it is to have food. During an emergency or if something bad happens, you won’t last long without food or water.

The first things to go from stores are always food and water. So it is very important to have your own water stored. When you store water, you need to remember that there are two kinds of water. The first thing you bring should always be clean water that will last for at least two weeks.

This means you need to keep 14 gallons of water in a safe location. Hence it should be based on the average amount of water each family member drinks every day.

The second type of water you should keep on hand is rainwater or running water. Rainwater barrels are a great way to store a lot of water that has been collected from the rain. The first thing you can do with rainwater is clean it so you can drink it.

You would want to do this when you run out of the emergency water you usually keep on hand. The second thing you can do with collected rainwater is to use it instead of your tap water. Of course, it makes sense to have a water filter

Getting Ready For First-aid Kit

First aid essentials are another essential item that will always be useful for beginners and should always be present in your bug out bag. During emergencies, hospitals are often full, so wait times get longer.

When this happens, you should be able to take care of your own wounds while you wait for help. This means knowing how to clean cuts so they don’t get sick or how to break bones so they don’t break.

During emergencies, self reliance is a major skill. To start prepping here is a list of first-aid supplies that come straight from the Red Cross.

  • Bandages
  • Wipes that kill germs
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sticky bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze pads
  • Leg splint
  • Band aids
  • Arm brace
  • Latex gloves
  • Emergency blanket
  • First-Aid Book
First Time Preppers Prepping For Hygiene And Sanitation

The next things that a beginner prepper should prepare are items for hygiene and cleanliness. These items are anything you use to take care of your own hygiene or to keep your home clean. Products used to keep you and family members clean during an emergency must be part of your go bag.

Depending on the type of emergency, it can be hard to find or get these things when you need them. We suggest stocking up on all of the bathroom items you use for personal hygiene.

Soaps, toilet paper, hair products, products for women’s hygiene, dental care, toiletries, hand sanitizer, trash bags and hand soap are some of these things. This is your self defense against different diseases that might spread during the survival period.

To stop the spread of disease, it’s important to always have cleaning supplies on hand. The more dirty your home is, the more likely it is that diseases will spread. As we’ve already said, when an emergency happens, hospitals are already full.

If you keep your house clean, you’ll be less likely to get sick and won’t have to go to those crowded hospitals.

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Preparing For Different Situations

Now that we’ve talked about products that are always useful, we can talk about situational prepping for beginners.

We’ve already talked about how different disasters can happen in different parts of the world. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll talk about how newbies should get ready for different kinds of disasters.

Wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes are all types of disasters that can happen in different places. The way you get ready for each disaster is also different. But the products we listed that don’t go out of style will still be important for any of these disasters. And these don’t even take into account other things, like getting ready for inflation or food shortages at grocery stores.

Prepping For Economic Distress

Build up an emergency fund or insurance policies. This will help you cover unexpected costs if you lose your job or have another financial setback.

Pay down debt. This will reduce your monthly expenses and give you some breathing room if income decreases.

Save money. Put away as much as you can each month so you have a cushion to fall back on if needed.

Invest in yourself. Learning new skills or getting additional education can make you more marketable and help you weather a tough economy.

Prepping For A Wildfire

Wildfires are likely to happen if you live in a rural area or on the west coast. Even though these fires aren’t only on the west coast, they happen most often there. As a beginner in the world of prepping, you should be ready for an emergency like a wildfire.

When faced with wildfire there is an urgent need to evacuate your place. Hence, you should prepare to leave your home if you have to. Wildfires are hard to stop and move around as they burn.

Because of this, you should be ready to leave your home if the fires get too close. This means having a “bug out bag” or emergency bag ready.

This bag should have everything you and your family need to get from your home to a safe place. That means having enough food storage, water, first aid supplies, toilet paper and hygiene products to keep you self-reliant for at least two days.

These supplies shouldn’t replace your emergency food, and your emergency location should still have a supply of “evergreen” prepping items. Apart from that important documents, birth certificates, passports of family members must be placed inside your bug out bag.

During disasters such as this it is normal to experience traffic jams therefore you must know alternative way that will lead you to the right path towards evacuation centers.

Prepping for a Hurricane

Same principle applies when dealing with another natural calamity such as a hurricane. Preparing for a hurricane for the first time is like preparing for a wildfire for the first time. In both cases, you should be ready to leave your home at any moment. You need a bug out bag, just like you would prepare for a wildfire.

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Have Enough Supply Of Water, Food And First Aid Supplies

There should be enough food storage, water supply, first aid supplies, and hygiene items in these home bags to get you to your emergency location. A hurricane is different from a tornado in that you can do more to protect your home from it.

Since power outages are normal during hurricanes. Hence, you should be ready with energy gears such as flashlights, candles and battery operated lamps in case of power outage. Also prepare blankets to stay warm especially during cold and wet weather such as this.

Make Your House Hurricane Proof

You can get your house ready for a hurricane by covering the windows and doors with boards. This will make it less likely that hurricanes will flood your home. Which means you should keep a supply of plywood and nails to cover all your doors and windows.

You should also prepare sandbags in your house in case of a hurricane. During a hurricane, when a lot of water comes into the system, greywater backs up. The extra water makes the drainage system break down because it makes our waterways too full.

You can reduce the amount of gray water that gets into your home by using sandbags. Around your house, you should put sandbags over floor wastes and drains. Most bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms, and basements have these drains.

Getting Ready For Tornadoes

Tornadoes are the last kind of natural calamity that could force you to leave your home. Preparing for a tornado is more like preparing for a hurricane than a wildfire. Because of this, you need the hurricane preparedness checklist to stay alive.

To start prepping you will need to board up your windows as part of getting ready for a tornado. That means you need to have enough plywood, duct tape and nails on hand to board up all your doors and windows.

During this time, you will also need the emergency bug out bag to help you leave. Also, You must have blankets ready to keep your family warm the whole period.

Only the amount of greywater is different when getting ready for a tornado. Since there is less greywater, you don’t need to prepare sandbags to cover your floor drains.

Blizzard Prepping For Beginners

The next type of natural disaster you might need to get ready for are blizzards. People in the northern and midwestern states have to deal with blizzards. Blizzards are different from the other disasters we talked about.

Instead of running away from home, you should stay put and not leave. This is why it’s important to prepare a supply of survival food buckets in your home. It’s important because you need enough materials to get through the blizzard. Having small treats on hand, like freeze-dried cereal, can help these long days go by a little faster, especially if you have small children with you.

When the storm is over, you can leave your house and get more supplies. We suggest having enough essentials for at least two weeks in case it snows. Even though a blizzard doesn’t last for two weeks, its effects can last for that long.

These effects include infrastructure breaking down, grocery stores being empty, and roads being in bad shape.

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Step 6: Make Time To Master Different Survival Skills

Your prepper everyday carry will have a lot of tools, but if you don’t know how to use them, they’re almost useless. You won’t have time to teach yourself how to use these tools in a survival situation, so it’s important to know how to use them like a pro.

Don’t stop there, though. Take the time to learn the skills you need to stay alive before you try to learn more. Always keep in mind that the more you know, the less you need.

You might go years without having to deal with an emergency, so make sure to keep your skills up-to-date by practicing often. Think about learning and getting good at the following:

First Aid

In order to stay alive, you need to know how to give first aid. You should know the basics, like CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver. You’ll also need to know how to stop bleeding, clean a wound, close an injury, and bandage a wound.

How To Use GPS

People depend way too much on GPS to help them get around. Learn how to use a compass and a map so you can do things the old-fashioned way if you need to. You can also get your bearings by using the sun and constellations to help you find your way.

Making A Fire

Fire is one of the most important tools for survival. It’s actually harder to start one and keep it going than it sounds. Even though your prepper kit will have matches and lighters, you should learn other ways to start a fire, especially for when the weather is bad.

Building A Shelter

In an emergency, you shouldn’t take shelter for granted. Tents are great, but they are probably too heavy to carry. Tarps are lighter and can be used in more ways, so you might want to try building different kinds of tarp shelters instead.

You can also build shelters for survival and bushcraft out of things you find in nature, so make sure to practice making these shelters as well.

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Water Purification

You can’t be sure that the water you drink in an emergency is clean. It’s not safe to drink just because it’s clear. You should learn how to clean and sterilize water so it is safe to drink and cook with.

How To Tie Knots

There are a lot of different knots, and each one is used for a different thing. You should learn about the different kinds of knots you can use and when they work best.

Finding Food

Like water, food is not something you should take for granted. You should know which wild plants are safe to eat and which ones are not in your area. You may also want to learn how to catch, clean, cook, and store fish and game you catch yourself. If you know how to dry and store wild game correctly, you could have food that will last for months.

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Conclusion

Water, food, and shelter are the basic necessities for survival. However, there are many other items you should have in your prepping supplies. A well-rounded checklist will help you be better prepared for any emergency situation. 

Reviewing a comprehensive prepper’s checklist like the one above can help give you an idea of what you may need to add to your own supplies. Remember, it is always best to be over prepared than underprepared when it comes to emergencies.