Basic Considerations for Newbie Preppers

While it can be extremely intimidating and nightmarish (read: The Book of Revelation) to entertain the thought of a disaster occurring and all the potential outcomes of such an eventuality, there is a growing number of people becoming preppers.  As many experienced preppers will tell you,  preparedness is a life style, and you can never be fully prepared…. but… by considering the basics, you can increase your chances of survival 100 fold. Whether you’re a seasoned prepper or you’re a newbie that’s unfamiliar with what is required to begin prepping, keep reading!

Prepping Tips for Beginners

To start off it’s very important that you and your family all genuinely believe there is a need to prepare for potential disaster, and are committed to both prepping and survival. Understanding that a disaster can occur at anytime, anywhere is something most of the survival community accepts and believes strongly. It is not in the least bit surprising that more than half of the survival community consists of families, when you consider the natural human response to potential danger is to protect the family unit.

So let’s get started with some essential basics to prepping.

Reason for Prepping
The first thing you need to consider is what the logical worst-case scenario is. Is it a local natural disaster such as flood, earthquake, tornado, tidal wave or the like, or are you expecting something far worse that affects the entire country, or perhaps something that threatens the entire planet’s existence!? Once you’ve considered which of these scenarios is the most logical, you will have a better idea of what preparations you will need to make. One of the most logical reasons for household prepping (especially if you’re an American) is for the event of an economic collapse on an international scale. Regardless of scenario, FEMA have gone as far as to advise Americans prep for at least 3 days (minimum) with no water, electricity, or outside assistance .

Bug Out or Bug In
Consider whether the threat you expect requires you to bug out to a less populated area such as the country. If you live in an area that is highly populated such as a large city it is almost a given that bugging out will be required. Just remember that in the face of a terrible disaster, normally sane people behave in ways that would not normally be expected or acceptable. There’s a saying in the survival community: “We are 9 meals away from anarchy”. If you are in a rural area when disaster strikes you will want to fortify your position. The only exception to not bugging out in the country side is if you’re located on low-lying land in which case it’ll be important to have an alternative location well above sea level in the event of a tsunami/flooding. Use logical thinking and common sense when deciding what is the best survival strategy for you and your family. If bugging out is necessary, every member of the family will require a bug out bag to keep them supplied as you travel to your survival retreat. Fortifying yourself in a shelter requires stockpiling adequate supplies of food, water, and supplies.

How to Store Food
Consider and decide how long you and your family may expect to have to survive without the availability of an easy to acquire food source, bearing in mind that during a disaster grocery store shelves have always been emptied almost immediately (within hours in some cases). Human nature dictates that normally sane people will become hysterical as the need to survive kicks in and they’ll inevitable start hoarding food and supplies once a disaster strikes. When planning the food requirements for your entire family allow for at the very least 1500 calories per day, with a preferred allowance of 2000 calories per day for each person. 2000 calories per day per person will ensure not only adequate caloric intake, but will also increase you and your family’s chances of remaining in good physical/mental health. If your situation does not improve after you’ve run out of food, you must be prepared to either barter, fish, hunt or even perhaps farm animals/insects/rodents to supplement your food stores. There’s a popular survival saying: “We are all 9 meals away from anarchy”, just give that some though and keep it mind when considering your food preps.

The need for protection is very real during a disaster so it is critical to prepare accordingly. Realists understand why jails and prisons are full of dangerous criminals, and so should you. While I am sure you understand that evil exists everywhere, in a time when laws are not being observed things can become ugly very quickly. You and your family can prepare for this eventuality by learning about the use of firearms as well as self defense (a REALISTIC self defense such as a combatives training, or Krav Maga). Purchase a firearm immediately, and learn how to use it. If you want proof of the need for arming yourself, refer to what occurred during the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster, when property owners were required to bear arms to protect what belonged to them.

Hygiene and Health
There is a strong possibility that medical care will not be available during a disaster, and even if a hospital is able to remain open, demand will be high. Maintaining good hygiene will lessen the opportunity for health problems to occur, so ensure you store supplies of such items as toothpaste, toilet tissue, detergents and the like. Every member of the family should know at the very least basic First Aid and basic trauma response. Hygiene and First Aid kits should be included in your bug out bags, be stored in your survival retreat and also your vehicle, so no matter where the disaster occurs you will have access to at least one of these supplies. A good lightweight, easily transportable item for this is the USMC Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK).

No Electricity
It is almost inevitable that during a natural disaster for there to be a severe power outage, and while we take so many things for granted such as air conditioning, refrigeration and the like, these all rely upon a supply of electricity. You will even be without lighting at night when the power goes out, both inside the home and out on the streets. For anyone not experienced with power outages living without electricity for anything up to fourteen hours a day can be quite traumatic and depressing. For situations where there is not power you will need a good supply of batteries for flashlights, gas generators, solar cells, firewood for heating and open fire cooking, and even wind power generation. Gauge how long you can expect to be without electricity during a disaster and prepare accordingly. It is better to err on the side of caution and over-estimate your alternative power needs.

Dehydration is a very real threat, as your body loses water through various means such as sweating, breathing, bowel movements etc, it’s essential to survival to ensure regular, adequate replenishment with clean drinking water. The Institute of Medicine Standards dictate fluid intake for men to be 3 liters (13 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women per day, and although it is not necessary for it all to be water (fruit, and other food items), clean water is best. When allowing for water storage, these amounts should be the minimum as it is far better to have additional supplies of clean drinking water for back-up. If fresh drinking water does not become available again, you will need to look into having a filtration system and everyone should learn how to purify water. Also take into consideration how much water you’ll need for cleaning and other non drinking uses.

Prepping can become expensive, so it’s best to budget for it methodically. We at recommend initially investing whatever is required for each member to have a bug out bag plus enough food/water to survive 3 days (without going into debt), then allocating 5 percent of your income for additional preps and 10 percent to be allocated to savings and investments in such things as precious metals, etc. Rural dwellers may find prepping to be less expensive due to the availability of crops that can be dehydrated for prepping. You should also consider items that will be valuable for trading such as: precious metals, alcohol, toilet paper, spices, salts and other items that other survivalists may find themselves in need of.