So many times new preppers begin with a lot of passion, but then they encounter critics that make fun of their efforts. They soon walk away frustrated and defeated. It is so annoying and unnecessary for people to make it hard for the new folks to learn the things they need in this most important area of life. Prepping is not something that comes naturally to many people and it is something that does require a bit of thinking and even a measure of creativity.
When the news media is constantly reminding us that the stock market is dropping and that the economy is not responding the way the “professionals” would like or expect, then the natural tendency of people is to make plans for a future that might not be too certain.
While there are numerous ways that a person could approach prepping there are some basics that you need to cover right away. If you are new to prepping and don’t know quite how to start, work through this list of top priority preps and you will be on the right path.
Start Storing Water Now
Water is the life line that we all need. While food is something that we tend to gravitate towards, you have to understand that people can live for several weeks without food but they can only last around 3 days without water. You need to be storing water now. In fact, it would have been better if you started yesterday!
It is not a good idea to store water in used milk jugs because these jugs can contain lots of microbes and the long-term issues could be disastrous. However you can store water in jugs that originally contained water. Use what you have but it is always a good idea to buy water storage tanks.
Water will eventually run out so you are going to need to have a way to filter and purify your water. Boiling is always an option and making charcoal filter or sand filters is also a possibility. However I would recommend that you have several Life Straw’s for each person in the group. It is also a very good idea to have a portable water filter. I have a Berkey that will filter 10,000 gallons and would like to have the ability to filter more.
Stockpile As Much Food As Possible
Food is the next item on the to-do list. When you start prepping with food you need to make sure you are stocking up on food that stores easily, stores long-term, and that you like to eat. Do not waste your time buying food you do not like.
One option that many people make is to purchase MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) packs. This is a military style pack that is dehydrated. You simply add hot water and eat. They are nasty. Some companies make great dehydrated food but MRE’s are not one of them. Take the time to taste a few before you purchase too much and you will be able to learn what works well for you.
Canned food is always an option but you need to make sure you keep tabs on the expiration dates. Caned food lasts a long time but it does not last forever.
Find a Secure Shelter
Shelter is another one of those areas that many people overlook. If the SHTF and society falls apart then you are going to need a place to live that is both useable and secure. Your home might be that place but there is a good chance that your home is in the middle of a neighborhood or other large areas. If your home is going to be the place were your stay then you need to make sure you have reinforced the doors and the windows.
While shows like “The Walking Dead” have brought the zombie apocalypse into the mainstream, the truth of the matter is that while zombies are probably not going to be the issue, the way in which these shows depict the actions of people during a crisis is probably very spot on. You need to make sure your home is secure and built to keep other people out.
While many other prepper sites talk about lean to shelters and bunkers, these are just not that practical for most people. You do however need to make sure that you have a place where you can live and where you can defend yourself and family.
Taking the time to understand these basics is key. While there are hundreds of items that you could purchase for your preps you are probably not going to do this all at once. Take your time and make sure you cover all of your bases.
Once you’ve secured water, food, and shelter, you can venture into defense tactics, long-term survival goals, stockpiling seeds, and collecting tools that would be useful if the grid goes down.
If you’ve been prepping for awhile, what advice would you give to the newbies in our group? What mistakes should they avoid in their first weeks of prepping?