Tips for Beginner Preppers
Individuals and families new to prepping can easily become overwhelmed with the information out there, particularly information found on the Internet. You may have come across information on how to prepare for a doomsday scenario, government takeover, and how to hide yourself from black helicopters.
Prepping for most people is about self-reliance, being able to survive on your own, and not having to rely on local, state or federal officials in the short term during a disaster. Most people realize that government is not the solution to all problems, and will prepare with that in mind. Prepping is about surviving, protecting and feeding your family and not waiting in line for emergency rations and blankets to be handed out by others during a crisis.
You obviously cannot live as well during a crisis as you do during the course of a normal day. You have to realize however, that many of the tasks you perform during a normal day will still have to be accomplished during a crisis.
Focus on Reality
What exactly are you preparing for?
If you think, all you need is a massive cache of weapons and ammunition then you may very well go hungry during a crisis. You cannot get into a siege or bunker mentality. Meals need to be made, baths given, clothes will have to be laundered and you may have to begin work on alternative food and water sources.
Home defense is part of preparing for a crisis, so it must be incorporated into your planning
Prepping is about surviving by having emergency supplies on hand and having the tools, materials and above all the knowledge to obtain food and water if the crisis is for an extended period. You are prepping to survive without electricity, gas for heating and cooking and without water, all of which is usually supplied by your local municipalities.
Focus on the basics of life, which are shelter, water and food. Do a little bit each day or week as you do your normal shopping. Your goal is to gather enough to survive a full seven days without, electricity, gas or water supply. Once you know, you have enough for one week, build up to 14 days and so on.
It is recommended that you use food grade plastic water barrels for long-term water storage. A family of four will need 28 gallons at a minimum for one week and this is just enough water for hydration and oral hygiene. That is 28 one-gallon containers on the shelves just for one week, so you can see storage will be a problem. Water barrels can be placed in the garage, basement and even in outbuildings. Past a week, you will need water for meal preparation, laundry and proper bathing for children and adults.
A family of four will need 12 cans of food daily. The recommended amount is one can of protein, one of fruits and one can of vegetables per person daily. Storage will become a problem once you start preparing for longer than a week. Look into dehydrate/freeze dried foods that take up less space and can be stored for long periods. Meals Ready to Eat is another option. Incorporate various types of foods and only stockpile foods you and your family will eat. There is no point in buying 1,200 pounds of freeze-dried spinach because it was on sale if no one will eat it.
Think Long Term
To survive any crisis you will need a shelter and a food and water source. You will of course have to be able to administer first aid, make repairs to your shelter and protect yourself and family as well. Once you have the basics secured, begin building your medical supplies and alternative heat sources such as bottled propane and wood if you have a fireplace/wood burning stove. Prepping is not just something you do for a few weeks and call it done.
Work on home defense in a rational manner. Large caches of weapons are not the answer because you can only fire one at a time anyways. Remember you are protecting your family and supplies against desperate people and looters for the most part. You are not preparing to repel an invading army. You as an individual or family cannot defend against a well-trained armed force so do not gather weapons and ammunition as if you need to. Be sensible and assess the threats realistically.
You should look into alternative water sources that you control, such as a dug or drilled well. Large bodies of water in the area can be utilized but you have to remember everyone else will have the same idea. Lakes, ponds and streams in your area will soon be public gathering places, and the water can become contaminated or even blocked off by local or federal officials for rationing. You must think in terms of “what if” so you can develop a backup plan.
Learn How to Keep Secrets
Bring your family and close friends in with you but do not announce to everyone else that you have a bunker buried full of gold, silver and ammunition. Letting everyone know that you are prepared for anything only makes you a target during a crisis.
Some people do stock up on gold and silver that can be used as currency, but remember if the financial market does collapse where will you go in the short term to trade your gold and silver and what will you trade it for, useless paper currency?
You would have to assume for it to have value that the market would recover at some point, which could be years. In the meantime, you will need food and water. Stockpile items that can be traded such as alcohol and tobacco products even if you do not use the products yourself.
The point is once again use common sense. What can you buy with gold and silver coins in the short term? Not many people will give up their food supply for a few coins, so if you are stockpiling metals to purchase food and water you may need to think it through some more. It makes sense to have gold and silver on hand to use when society does get back on its feet, but it may take years if there is a worldwide calamity.
Do not go into debt preparing, but gather a little at a time. There is much you can do that will cost you little and that is gaining knowledge. Investing in preparations today is an investment in your family’s survival in the future.