How to Start Prepping
As prepping is starting to get more mainstream today, there is now more information than ever on the internet about prepping and getting ready for any kind of emergency situation, but, if you are new to prepping, where do you even begin to look? You need to know how to start prepping!
What would you do if there was a grid down situation, leaving you and your area with no power for a week. This could happen very easily, here in the UK, the power grid is in a very bad state of repair, it is old, and things are breaking all the time, whats to say someday, something won’t break, and cause a widespread blackout. This could effect water supplies, as water is pumped to your home using electric pumps, fridges/freezers will not function, you may not be able to cook either if you rely on an electric cooker/oven.
This article will cover how to start prepping, and what you can do today to prepare for a SHTF situation. This list was quite hard to come up with as there are many different ways to start prepping, so I have gone for the 10 most obvious, and most important things you need to do to start prepping.
So, lets get stuck into it! How to start prepping!
1) Gather Information
When learning how to start prepping, information is the most important thing you can have. There are a lot of websites and books out there on survival and prepping, even movies, but, the easiest and fastest way to gather information is on the internet. You should start gathering information about your surrounding area, and the local infrastructure, so that in an emergency, you are not relying on GPS navigation to find your way about.
You should also gather information regarding first aid, and eatable plants and animals in your area, you can either do this online, and print out the material, or buy a book and have it ready incase SHTF.
The information gathering topic is endless, the more you know, the better chance you have of making it through whatever disaster you may face. I will make a list below of some of the things I think it is important to gather information on.
– Water supply
– Eatable plants and animals in your area
– Your areas road network
– Possible food supplies for all times of year
– Neighbours: Are you friendly with them, do they know you are a prepper
– First Aid
– Shelter: If something happens your home, where can you go
2) Build a Food Supply
When I say build a food supply, I do not mean fill a room of your house with MRE’s, you should however start considering buying an extra tin or 2 of food when doing your shopping, this may add £1 to your shopping bill, but over the course of a few months, you should have gathered up enough to help you get through a few days. There are many guides on the internet on how to start prepping that will tell you to go out and buy lorry loads of ready meals, for me, this just doesn’t make sense. I want to be able to produce my own food in a crisis, which is why I also talk about having a vegetable garden.
The longer you do this, the more food you will have on hand.
I recommend you have 2 weeks of food for each member of your house. You should plan out your meals, and buy items that you need, and actually like, I have seen many preppers buy canned food, because it is cheap, but when it comes to eating it, they can’t, as they do not like it! Canned soup, beans, veg and fruit are all good places to start. Make sure you also have a can opener!
Also, remember to rotate your food supply to keep it as fresh as possible. Check out the £5/week prepping plan to build a food stash on a budget.
3) Have a Water Source
Remember the rule of 3? Well, if you don’t here it is, 3 minutes with out air, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food, thats how long you can survive without each. You should start storing up some water for use in an emergency, the US government recommends having 3 days worth of clean drinking water at hand.
Storing drinking water is pretty simple, you can either go to the shop and buy a case of water, or do what I like to do, which is also cheaper, and reuse old plastic bottles and fill them with tap water. Tap water will last around 6 months being stored in a sealed plastic bottle in cool conditions. I like to have about 10 days worth of water at hand.
Remember, the water will also need to be used for cooking and washing up, cleaning teeth and hands. Make sure you have enough, I recommend 3 litres per person, per day.
You also need to have a method of gathering water, that can be using a rain water collection system, or using buckets and gathering it from a nearby river. Make sure you have a means to filter that water, and kill any germs in it too, coffee filters and boiling are the easiest option.
4) Have Access to Clean Air
Having a means to purify air is a must in my opinion. Say there was a worldwide influenza pandemic, or even a volcano eruption, you need to be able to breath clean air. This is a relatively easy point to accomplish, you can buy a face mask for as little as £2.
There are a number of different face masks available, I use the FFP3 masks as they are suitable for filtering out viruses and other bacteria from the air you breath in. Heres a few links to the ones I recommend most. Please note, the FFP3 masks are a little more expensive, but well worth the investment.
5) Have a Plan
This maybe should have been number one on the list, but hey, it’s here now. Having a plan for any kind of emergency situation is necessary, governments have back up plans, the rich have back up plans, you should have a plan too!
Start out by sitting down and figuring what you are going to do in a few different situations, for example, if it is just a power outage, you should know where the candles and lighters are kept, where torches are, and spare batteries are stored. You want to know this before a situation arises, I have seen myself scrambling around trying to find a lighter when the electric goes out, its not easy in the dark, so it is best to have a place to keep these stored, that you can get easily when needed.
If you live in America along the Gulf Coast for example, you may want to have a hurricane plan, as hurricanes are a real threat there, and having a well laid out plan can be the difference between making it through maybe a few weeks to a month with limited food from shops, and possibly no electric.
Points a plan should cover:
- Emergency Supplies and where they are kept
- Where to go in the event your house is destroyed
- How long can you survive for on what you have stored
- What if someone tried to break in and steal something in SHTF
- Escape routes – If you need to get away from you home, i.e hurricane on its way
- Fuel Supplies – Where to get them, and how much you need
- Heat – do you have a means to generate heat
- Food – how much food do you need
- Can you access clean drinking water
There are many more things a plan can cover, those are just the basics, but hopefully it will get you started.
6) Loose Lips Sink Ships
When many people first start prepping, they like to brag about it to their friends and others around them, though this may not be a bad thing, as it can encourage others to begin to prep, it also draws attention to you, other people will now know that you are a prepper, and have food and other critical supplies stored to survive a disaster.
It is a wise idea not to go about telling people about your prepping, keep it quite, as if a disaster does strike, you may be a target. People already know you have supplies, so will rob you for those supplies, leaving you high and dry.
If you friends are asking you how to start prepping though, it may be wise to share information with them, as having a group of like minded people during a SHTF situation may not be a bad thing.
7) Have a Means of Protection
Many people go out and buy as many weapons as they can, they fill their house with guns, knives, crossbows and all other sorts of defence items. This is not a bad idea to do, but, limit the number of weapons you own, after all, you can only use one at a time, plus, you could use the money to buy extra food, or even a camping stove to cook in a grid down situation. When learning how to start prepping, it is a good idea to start with the basics like food and water, before gearing up with weapons.
A good hunting knife is a must, pick something with a solid handle (full tang). A non folding knife is best to have as it has more purposes than a folding knife has. You will need a knife for things such as self defence, chopping wood for a fire, cutting paracord, gutting animals and much much more. I recommend a Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Edge Fixed Blade Knife
This is a really good knife, it has lasted me quite some time, and has had loads of use, I will be making a review video of it shortly. It features a sharpener on the back of the sheath and a fire starter, which does work, I have used it before when camping!
Another knife that is also handy to have is a folding pocket knife, your EDC knife basically, I recommend the Gerber Lightweight Bear Grylls Outdoor Folding Knife available in Grey – 4 inch
Again, this is a really good knife, mine has lasted for ages, and I continue to use it on a daily basis.
The last thing on my weapon list is either a gun for hunting, which can also be used for self defence if needed, or a crossbow if you cannot buy guns in your country.
8) Build a Simple Bug Out Bag
Whilst learning how to start prepping, this is usually the first thing people do, make a bug out bag. For myself, having a bug out bag is a good idea for a number of reasons, even though I live in the country, so I would bug-in, in the event of SHTF. I use my bug out bag to store items which I may need in an emergency, so I always know where they are. In the event I do need to bug out, I will always have my bag at the ready.
You don’t need to have tents, sleeping bags, all that kind of stuff in your bug out bag, just have some basics for now, a first aid kit, few bottles of water, some food, flashlight, a means to start a fire and a good knife. I will cover bug out bags in another post shortly.
9) Start a Garden
This is a rather easy way to start prepping if you have a patch of land, or even a garden at your house. Currently, I am growing some things in my garden, peas, strawberries and sweetcorn. This didn’t take too much work, and was cheap to do, I got my spade, cultivated the soil in 1/4 of my garden, and planted some seeds.
Knowing how to do this is valuable in a time of crisis, specially if there is an extended grid down situation, for a year or more. You garden can help provide you with much needed food, even though it may not be much, it is always better than nothing, and some fresh strawberries are far nicer than tinned ones.
You could also barter with garden produce if you really had to in a time of crisis.
10) Have a Means to Generate Electricity
This is something that I have been working on over the past while, and is something I will be making a video on in the near future. If the grid goes down, how are you going to recharge those rechargeable batteries or flashlights?
For myself, I always have about 500L of diesel stored, which I can use to run my car, which powers a 12V – 240V inverter. That means I can plug an extension lead into the inverter, run it to my house, and plug it into an outlet socket, back feeding electric to my house circuit.
You need to make sure your mains supply is switched off at the main fuse, incase someone is working on the line, and your power electrocutes them. Another note, an inverter, depending on its output, will not power every item in you home, actually far from it. You will need to switch off A/C units, fridges, freezers, microwaves, kettles, all those high power items. I just use it for charging phones, flashlights, and running my router and MacBook. Here is a detailed guide on how to generate electric in a grid down power outage situation.
I hope this article has provided you with some inside on how to start prepping. Please like, share and follow me for more posts.