Prepping: A Beginner’s Guide

By H&W on 1st Oct 2018

A prepper has at a minimum of ten basic items when they begin to prepare, but many go much further than those ten items. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, as well as today, there are many Americans that feel prepping is unnecessary or a waste of money, but a prepper would say differently. America has failed to prepare to survive in the past, and many Americans still do, so we will look deeper into how to fix this problem.

Having a plan is among the most important preparations a survivalist or prepper can have. While states, counties/parishes, and cities have Emergency Action Plans (EAP), having one for the home is just as important. A part of having a family EAP is to allow the family to know and understand what they need to accomplish in an emergency situation. These plans need to include all members of the family especially if the plan includes children, special needs, and the elderly. When these participants are included into a plan it is likely there will be more precautions needed to be taken such as extra medications, oxygen, or equipment.

From a personal view, a binder with a family EAP, copies of all important documents, and information about my child with special needs was added to ensure it is a grab and go type situation if evacuation is forced upon us. How often have we seen when a Hurricane is about to hit, local consumers piling into a store buying any and all necessary items to survive the storm that is coming? While this is one way to prepare, having the items already available prior to a storm and not going after items last minute allows for a less stressful personal environment and more time for last minute preparations such as boarding windows.

Supplies and supply lists are never the same nor do they ever have specific items a person should store. While all lists are suggestions it is ultimately up to the person taking preparing into consideration. Regardless of the list a prepper finds or a YouTube video they watch there are normally ten basics everyone should follow or begin with. The following are a preppers ten basic items:

Food, water, security, shelter, hygiene/first aid, cooking, lighting/power, tools/misc./entertainment, sanitation, and communication. Many people coming into prepping can be overwhelmed with the prices of items as well as quantity of different items that complete the same task. Prepping is based on a budget and the prepper’s budget decides where the prepper may want to shop. What is meant by this is that if a prepper is on a limited budget most if not all items can be purchased at a store such as Dollar Tree, but if the prepper has an unlimited budget or is not looking to worry about price as much they may look at larger retail stores such as Bass Pro Shop or Cabala’s, Amazon, Costco and so on.

While the qualities will be significantly different, at least the items are within the prepper’s inventory. Speaking of inventory, maintaining an inventory of items is a vital part of prepping. Knowing when items were purchased, how long they last, how many a prepper has, and what is still needed will help keep a prepper on track. While many items can maintain their usage following an expiration or use by date, there are items that can be harmful following these dates. Websites such as or provide many scenarios as well as a guide of how to prep. Using the timeline provided within a new prepper can begin a routine and learn what they must do prior to, during, and after the disaster occurs.

Regardless of the reasoning for preparing, in order to ensure survival it must occur. As Benjamin Franklin, once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. In other words if people do not prepare for what is to come people will not survive what is coming. If the government is stockpiling food, water, weapons, ammo and medical supplies don’t you think it is a good time for you to do the same? When starting out most preppers rely on the basics such as food, water, ammunition, and weapons in order to remain in their home when disaster strikes. While many view preppers as crazy people or someone that simply stores unneeded provisions, preppers are simply wanting to ensure their survival.

While many believe an emergency and a disaster are the same thing there are slight differences. An emergency is a sudden or unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. A disaster is a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction. There are many situations preppers use as their reasoning for being prepared such as economic failure, acts of nature, political upheaval, solar flare, Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) to name the most common ones.

All of these situations are likely to occur at any time so remaining prepared at all times allows us to be more in control of our outcome and lessons our fear. Disaster preparedness should never distract a person from meeting life’s other needs and responsibilities. While prepping should be heavy on a prepper’s mind, family and friends as well as work should be most important on anyone’s mind. No matter the situation, emergency, or disaster occurring there are many more important things than worrying about supplies or plans at times when family needs to come first.

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