There is no doubt in my mind that every day there are more and more new preparedness-minded (preppers) out there who have made the decision to get started.
There are PLENTY of plain-to-see reasons why a newbie might want to start taking charge of their own preparedness, and with today’s current-events coupled with the many systemic risks that we face as a modern civilization and population, to NOT prepare seems quite dumb, if not foolish. Preparedness is insurance. Preparedness for life.
While I have written my share of articles about beginning preparedness basics, I feel compelled to briefly approach the subject once again…
If you have recently come across this post while searching for preparedness ideas, let me offer a few suggestions for getting started without overwhelming yourself with too much too soon.
For some of you, it may seem like there’s not much time left and you want to do all that you can to get ready (for whatever it is that inspired you to start prepping). I have one word for you (for now)… RELAX. Let this process be FUN (because it will be). The process might even become a life long endeavor as you shift your own way-of-life to one which is slanted towards your own benefit and well being (rather than that of the mainstream).
While I do not know what inspired you, chances are that you want to be more self-reliant and secure in your life. Just bear in mind that no one can be entirely self-reliant, but you sure as heck can become more self-reliant, more independent, more assured, more resolute, and more capable than most others by taking a few simple steps.
Mindset. Don’t look to others to save you… only YOU can save you. What I mean by that is to change your mindset (if required) to that of setting responsibility square on your own shoulders. When confronted with a challenge (even seemingly impossible), say to yourself, “there’s always a way”, and then go about figuring it out… Instead of delegating it, do it. Of course there are exceptions, but I’m trying to get the point across to lift your head high, put your shoulders back, and get ‘er done. You can do it. Take charge! ;)
Now that I gave you that little ‘pep talk’, lets look at a few very practical areas to get started with preparedness in today’s modern world.
Emergency Kit. What I’m talking about is a kit to keep in your car. The practical reason? No, not for a bug-out to the wilderness, but for a more ‘typical’ and likely circumstance – an emergency or disaster which unexpectedly sets you off ‘on the road’ for a time. Or perhaps you might find yourself stranded at your place of employment for a time while an event restricts or prohibits you from immediately returning home. Stuff like that…
There are lots of articles here on MSB about Survival Kits
Without repeating everything mentioned in previously written articles, a good basic emergency survival kit will provide enough food calories to eat (for several days), a means of containing and filtering water to drink (and/or storing some), and other potentially useful supplies.
I suggest working on a car-kit because most people spend so much time in their vehicle, and it’s our primary means of transportation. It’s only logical to keep a kit in there…
3 Weeks Food At Home. You may or may not already have this. But for ‘most’ typical disaster scenarios where life returns to normal after awhile, having 3 weeks of food will get you through most all of them. While it may seem ridiculous that I mention this, it has been shown that the majority of Americans do not have this much food in their homes. What IS ridiculous, is that there’s no excuse not to have 3 weeks food, because it is ridiculously easy to acquire.
When deciding what to get, you should consider the ability to eat these foods in an environment where there might not be any power. So I would not recommend buying freezer food for this purpose ;) Instead consider ordinary canned foods (all of which technically do not require cooking for safety – just for the pallet) (don’t forget the manual can opener). Consider the calorie requirement for all members of the household (2000 calories per day per person).
Think about cooking without electricity. Do you have a portable means of boiling water or heating up food if there is no electricity?
Drinking Water. Either store some yourself in clean jugs, or go out and buy some drinking water and store it aside. It’s cheaper to buy it by the gallon than by the individual bottles. Even though your tap water is plentiful and seemingly endless, there could be scenarios which contaminate your water supply for a time (this is not terribly uncommon and we see this in the news once in awhile). Guess what happens when there is a water emergency? EVERYONE runs to the grocery stores and cleans out the bottled water shelves… Then they have to drive farther and farther away to find some. Don’t let that be you.
The next level up from simply buying/storing extra water is to get yourself a drinking water filter (of which there are many to choose from). This is a budget issue, and you could pay hundreds for a high-end Berkey (for example), or you could settle for a quality portable water filter like the Sawyer for much less… Here’s an article where I asked the readers “which water filter to buy”.
Situational Awareness. Look around. Situational awareness is knowing what’s going on around you. Not only does this tie in with security, but your ability to avoid pitfalls by recognizing trouble ahead, so to speak. This is a broad category varying from being more aware of one’s own immediate tangible surroundings to that of recognizing risks related to current events which may seem further away from affecting you (but still could), to world events, news (find many sources – not just the mainstream), and the many systemic risks due to massive systems that we rely on for survival in today’s modern world. Open your eyes…
So… start with those few things, and then come back for more ;)
Your pod has just popped open, and you’re about to see the world for what it really is…
For those of you who are further along with your preparedness, here’s a question for you for the sake of discussion…
If you were to give advice to a newbie (a few things to get starters), what might you say?
Note: This advice would not be for TEOTWAWKI prepping (which comes later), but for practical ‘modern day’ preparedness to get them motivated and started.