Right now, the world is a scary place. With the Covid 19 pandemic, a war with Russia and huge economic and political instability it’s only natural to feel anxious and uncertain.
You may be feeling that you want to know what to do if an emergency occurs that directly affects you and your family, or perhaps you simply want to be able to take matters into your own hands and be in control of what happens to you and when.
Many people have heard of the term ‘prepping’ and may even know people who are preppers yet still don’t entirely understand exactly what it entails. Some people are keen to start their prepping journey but simply don’t know where to begin.
Prepping means being prepared and making active preparations for an emergency or disaster situation. This could be either a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood, or an emergency like an attack or a sudden shortage in food supplies.
Being prepared helps you to avoid being left vulnerable and in danger in this unstable world. By preparing in advance you’ll be able to feed, care for and protect yourself and your loved ones whatever happens.
We are experts in prepping and we understand just how overwhelming it can feel when you’re attempting to start your prepping journey.
We’ve made this in depth beginner’s guide to prepping to help you take the first steps to being fully prepared for every eventuality.
What Exactly Is Prepping?
With the world becoming more and more unstable, people are waking up to the need for, and the importance of, prepping.
In previous decades, prepping was seen as something that only a small minority of paranoid people did and often focussed heavily on military equipment and routines. Nowadays, people have realized it’s something we all need to consider.
Prepping is a mentality where you use common sense to ensure that you are always fully prepared with a backup plan for any situation. Sometimes, simply being prepared psychologically for a disaster or emergency situation can help you to avoid being caught unaware and failing to deal with a situation due to panic or lack of resources.
Prepping helps to make you self sufficient and reduces your dependence on outside forces such as the government or other organizations or supply chains.
With careful prepping you can survive almost any emergency situation with your own resources – keeping you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Who Are Preppers?
You might wonder what kind of person is a prepper and the answer would be that anyone can become a prepper.
Preppers accept that disaster can strike at any moment and the best approach to this is to ensure you take full responsibility for your own (and your loved one’s) safety and security. So many people take a passive approach when it comes to facing disaster – preppers act.
Preppers can be any age and both men and women can prep efficiently and effectively. Preppers can be any nationality or religion. All preppers share a similar mindset and accept that there is real risk in the world today which can’t be ignored.
What Are You Preparing For?
Tier 1 – Basic Prepping
There are lots of people who may fall into this category without even being aware that they have started to become preppers. Lots of these people begin prepping on the basis of ‘just in case’ and if you are one of them, it probably means that you have a good deal of common sense.
This is great news and shows that you’re already well on the way to understanding the mindset required to prepare for all situations.
Some of the basic prepping that falls into this category may include tasks such as:
- Planning your food shop in advance and ensuring you have enough food to make at least enough meals for the next few days with some store cupboard essentials too.
- Taking out insurance policies on your home, vehicle and possessions. This shows that you are acknowledging there is a risk of disasters happening such as floods or extreme weather alongside your home being threatened by theft and crime.
- Putting aside money into a savings account or having a supply of cash in your home for if you’re unable to access money at your bank.
There are some specific basic prepping tasks that people who live in certain areas or do certain jobs may undertake. These could include:
- Always carrying wet weather clothing and waterproof boots if you work outside a lot
- Making sure your home is equipped with snow shovels if you live in a cold climate
- Providing yourself and your family with sunhats, suncream and adequate water if you live in a very warm climate.
Basic prepping is a good foundation but it’s often not enough. Having enough food for a week won’t help you if supply chains suddenly get cut off, and having a snow shovel won’t help you if you experience a hurricane with subsequent power outages and building damage.
Tier 2 – Temporary Difficulties
If we step things up a level, Tier 2 Prepping is related to the times when things go wrong in our everyday lives. These are situations that we often prepare for to some extent (although some people don’t prepare at all) but we still don’t consider they will actually happen.
Some examples of temporary difficulties might include:
- Dropping your cell phone in water and being unable to use it for work or contact
- Your car breaking down and needing repair work
- Finding out that your roof needs replacing and it will require expensive work
- Having an injury that requires you to take time off work or away from childcare
Obviously sometimes things happen and there’s little we can do to control them. However, getting the right breakdown cover for your car, having money saved up for emergencies and getting good health insurance can make the difference between serious stress and smooth sailing.
Tier 3 – Problems In The Economy & Medical Matters
As we move up to Tier 3, we start to see situations that have much wider impacts and which can seriously affect you and your family if you have failed to prepare.
The type of issues here relate to situations such as:
- Severe weather: this could be strong winds, flooding or severe thunderstorms causing damage to your home and cutting off power supplies
- Economic recessions: there’s very little certainty with the economy at the moment and even without a major collapse, you and your family can quickly feel the effects of economic downturn caused by global and domestic events.
- Major injuries: this could include illnesses that may be long term such as cancer or heart disease, as well as disabilities caused by injuries. Any of these will require you to stop working and possibly leave your family in financial difficulty.
Obviously being financially prepared can help with most of the issues you will face but there’s no harm in having backup plans for what to do when things happen to you or your loved ones.
Making plans and getting prepared for any situation is the key to overcoming challenges. You need to think about things like long term food supplies and whether you have enough to cover you during a power outage or if you can’t get out to access the grocery store. Even some simple backup supplies will make your life much easier.
Tier 4 – Catastrophic Disasters
The most critical time after a catastrophic disaster (such as a storm, earthquake or flood) is the 72 hours immediately following the event.
Issues will be widespread and you’ll need to think about prepping not only food and water supplies, but also how you’ll access power and how you’ll get any essential medical supplies.
You may want to prep for an evacuation or bug out to another area, or you may want to ensure that your home is fully prepped with enough supplies to allow you to safely stay there until the disaster is over.
Prepping for this type of situation has increased dramatically in recent years as people have witnessed time and again governments and organizations failing to deliver essential supplies to people in need.
For catastrophic disasters of an economic nature you’ll want to take a different approach. You can do this by keeping yourself as financially healthy as possible. Some good tips for this include:
- Avoid debt if you can and pay off any credit cards each month when they are due
- Ensure you have a good backup emergency fund in both your bank account and physical cash supply
- Make sure you have enough food to make cheap and long lasting meals to see you through the difficult period.
- Consider which of your assets you can easily liquidate and have a backup plan as to how you’ll action this if needed.
Tier 5 – When SHTF (Doomsday Mode)
Ever heard of the term When Shit Hits The Fan? This is what we’re talking about when it gets to Tier 5 prepping.
A survival bug out bag and 72 hour’s worth of supplies simply won’t be enough when it comes to full Doomsday mode. Some of the situations preppers anticipate include:
- A civil or international war
- A nuclear attack
- An epidemic or pandemic
- Total economic collapse
- A military coup
In order to be ready for Doomsday, preppers need to learn new skills and survival methods that take time and dedication. They need to understand how to deal with the hazards following a nuclear attack and they need to know how to find their own food and water sources in the wild.
In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of people owning underground bunkers – this shows that more and more people are prepping for when SHTF. You’ll need to think seriously about where you’d go and what you’d do in these situations when there are unlikely to be any services such as grocery stores, food supplies or banks.
The Benefits Of Prepping
Without prepping, you could be in some seriously dangerous and stressful situations. To do a basic level of prepping can enable you and your family to stay safe and well whatever happens in the world.
Some of the benefits of prepping include:
- It can save your life. Having access to food, water and medical supplies in an emergency can save you and your loved ones from starvation, dehydration and death.
- It allows you to overcome challenges successfully. You will be able to face disasters and emergencies much more efficiently if you have the right tools and supplies.
- It can save you huge amounts of emotional, financial and physical stress. Failing to prepare can lead to extremely stressful situations which can lead to dangerous circumstances that can affect you and your family’s health and wellbeing.
- It gives you full control over the outcome of a situation. You do not need to rely on other people or organizations to rescue you or supply you with food, money or aid.
How To Start Prepping
So we’ve gone through the different tiers of prepping and each of these is crucial to ensure that you are well prepared.
When it comes to the question of how to start prepping, we strongly encourage you to work up from Tier 1 to at least Tier 4. Many preppers are fully prepared for Doomsday and consistently ensure that their supplies match those needed at Tier 5.
It’s useful to ask yourself a few questions before you start prepping such as:
- Who am I prepping for? Is it just you or have you got a family and loved ones?
- Where will I prep? Will I stay in my home or will I evacuate to another location?
- What type of situation am I prepping for? This will depend on your geographical location
Each preppers journey will be slightly different but here are 5 useful steps you can take when it comes to starting to prep:
- Build up your food supply. This can be as small as buying a can of food each week in addition to your weekly shop to put aside for an emergency situation.
- Create a backup water supply in your home. You can use tanks, cans or bottles stored in a cool, dry place.
- Plan how you will cook food if you don’t have access to power – you may have access to a firepit or you may want to buy a portable camping stove
- Consider whether you can go off grid long term. Can you switch some of your energy to solar power and create a rubbish waste system that won’t require collection?
- Make sure you have a bug out bag ready to go, packed with essential supplies for you and your loved ones.
Learning Outdoor Survival Skills
There are so many resources you can access online now to learn simple outdoor survival skills.
Some of the key outdoor survival skills you need to be familiar with will include:
- How to build a survival shelter
- How to make a fire in any weather conditions
- How to hunt and fish for food in the wild
- How to cook on a firepit
You can prep your survival skills by practicing them as much as possible in non-emergency situations.
You’ll be much more confident putting up a survival shelter or successfully hunting for wild animals if you have practiced your survival skills in advance.
Remember that in a survival situation you’ll be under pressure and possibly feel panicked – by prepping in advance and knowing exactly what you need to do you can make things much easier for yourself.
Food & Water Prep
We’ve got some great articles about long term food storage which will really open your eyes when it comes to learning just how much you can prep for a food shortage.
Recent global events such as the Covid 19 pandemic have shown just how quickly food supply chains can break down so it’s essential that you are well prepared and have a backup food supply for when SHTF.
You may also want to think about how you can reduce your dependency on outside food sources. Think about whether you can start to grow some of your own food or whether you have access to wild animals that you can hunt for your meat supply.
There are some good ways to preserve food long term such as using a food dehydrator to make foods such as beef jerky and dehydrated fruits and vegetables. You should also consider freeze dried foods, many of which have a 20 year life span on them.
When it comes to having a good supply of water you can’t make compromises. Dehydration can quickly lead to other serious illnesses and even death so you simply don’t want to risk running out of water.
Whether you decide to go for a backup water tank in your home or consider a water filtration system to filter water from an outside source, make sure you have a plan.
Having A Bug Out Plan
Originally, the term bug out was used by the military for when soldiers would pack an emergency bag of essential items to take with them when they had to move out of an area immediately.
The same concept applies to your bug out plan. It relates to having your emergency bags packed and an escape route planned when you need to evacuate your home and get to somewhere safe.
A bug out plan will give you and your loved ones the peace of mind that you’ll know exactly what to do and where to go as soon as disaster strikes. Having a detailed plan helps to save panic, confusion and stress. It will also help you to avoid making life threatening mistakes under pressure.
Preparing Your Bug Out Bags
Once you’ve got a bug out plan and know what to do and where to go in an emergency, you need to ensure you have your bug out bag packed.
A bug out bag should be ready to go at all times – you don’t want to waste a single second adding in items or amending what’s in there. It should be ready and waiting to be grabbed as you exit your home.
What Is A Bug Out Bag?
A bug out bag will generally contain the essentials that you need to survive for 72 hours after an emergency. This could include survival kit such as water purification tablets, a sleeping bag, a first aid kit and a survival knife.
You’ll want to think about how you’ll be transporting your bug out bag – whether it will be in your vehicle or you’ll be carrying it on your back. This will determine how big it should be and the volumes of supplies you’ll be able to carry with you.
Conclusion: Always Being Prepared
Many people are skeptical about whether they want to become a doomsday prepper. It can be overwhelming when you think about how to get started prepping. However, it’s been shown time and time again that our world is dangerous and unstable right now.
You need to act immediately to ensure that you have plans in place for when SHTF. We’ve shown you the five different levels of prepping and how to get started, as well as discussing what to do in Tier 5 and how you can provide you and your family with the highest level of safety and security.
Always being prepared is going to save you from huge amounts of financial, emotional and physical stress as well as potentially saving the lives of you and your family in an emergency situation.