I had a request from a reader to discuss a bit on how to get started with prepping. It can indeed seem overwhelming when you’re just starting out. There’s so much to do, where does one begin?
As with many other aspects of life, it depends. For example, look at your budget. If you are independently wealthy and looking for a personal guide into the world of prepping, please email me direct. On the other hand, if you’re like the rest of us and have little money to spare, keep reading.
Start by setting aside extra food and water. Don’t worry right now about going out and buying specially packaged long-term foods. Just buy a bit more of what you already eat. If, for example, canned vegetables are on sale 5/$2.00 and you’d normally get five, pick up 10. To a degree, you’re playing the odds here. The chances of a short-term emergency happening, one that would require you to dig into your storage, is a lot more likely to happen than a long-term societal collapse situation. The idea is to stock up on things that will get you through if you were unable to go grocery shopping for a few days or weeks.
For water, store at least one gallon of water for each person in your family per day of the anticipated crisis. Start by putting aside enough for a couple days, then add to it gradually. Personally, I like to use the 7 gallon containers you can buy at sporting goods stores that are made for this purpose. While heavy, I can manage to move them around without too much trouble and it is easier than shifting around 2L bottles.
Next on the list is first aid and hygiene. Put together a decent first aid kit, keeping mind both the most likely injuries and illnesses you’re going to face as well as your own capabilities. It makes little sense to me to go out and buy a surgical kit if you have not the first clue how to use it. Stick with things like adhesive bandages, gauze pads of various sizes, elastic wraps, burn cream, antibiotic ointment, and pain relievers. Add in your favorite OTC meds for things like stomach upset. You’re not looking to do major surgery here, just keep people reasonably healthy until the crisis has passed.
Portable light is important. You have to be able to see what you’re doing, don’t you? LED flashlights are generally brighter and consume less energy than old fashioned flashlights. LED headlamps are great for when you’re doing necessary chores.
An area that is sometimes overlooked is entertainment. Netflix isn’t going to do you much good during a power outage. Invest in a few board games, decks of cards, and other such timeless activities.
In a later post, we’ll discuss this further, talking about things like bug out bags, evac kits, and making plans.