What is a prepper?
A prepper is somebody who is preparing for the unexpected. After all, the only constant in life is change.
One may get comfortable and get used to a certain lifestyle or standard of living. But as we all know, only one bad day can turn our whole world upside down.
How does this play out?
Well, that “bad day” can take the form of a natural disaster, or something man-made like civil unrest, riots, or terrorist attacks. Worse yet, when the unexpected happens, society gets caught blindsided.
No one expected it, and this led people to panic. Often, the fear and paralysis caused by natural disasters are worse than the actual emergency themselves.
When somebody becomes a prepper, they have changed their mindset. They don’t assume that things will stay as they are. They’re convinced that even though modern infrastructure does an amazing job of meeting everyone’s day-to-day needs, you can never eliminate the possibility of these being shut down.
Since they assume things will not continue as they are, they have developed the skills, and most importantly the mindset, to prepare for whatever Mother Nature can throw at them.
Is Prepping for You?
If you want to become a prepper, the first step is to change your mindset. Never assume that help will always be available when you need it.
You cannot expect your daily provision, such as water, fuel, heat, gas, food, and everything else, to be given in a safe, accessible, and cheap way. You must make this mental switch of doing things yourself and preparing for the unexpected
Once you make this mental switch, you have become a prepper. This has less to do with gear or any kind of material possessions and more to do with attitude and skill set.
A Quick and Basic Guide to Prepping 101
Here are the steps you need to take to become a prepper.
1. Prepare Yourself
I don’t want to state the obvious, but to become a prepper, you have to be prepared.
You may ask, “Prepare what?”
We all know that you need prepper gears and such things can be expensive. So before we can even talk about them, you need money to buy those gears. Therefore, you need to be prepared financially.
By being prepared financially, you can afford items that will keep yourself and your family safe during emergencies.
You also have to prepare yourself physically. Calling yourself a prepper while being decrepit, debilitated, or physically paralyzed, is a contradiction in terms. You have to achieve a certain level of physical fitness.
You don’t have to develop the body of a Greek god or goddess. Instead, it’s enough for you to be fit enough to defend yourself and your loved ones during emergencies.
2. Prepare Yourself Spiritually
This is the most important part. As I mentioned earlier, change your assumptions and expectations.
Finally, you have to prepare yourself spiritually. It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not. What matters is that you have a deep reserve of hope and expectation within. This way, you can find the willpower and focus to carry yourself and your loved ones till the next day.
That’s all you need in dealing with emergencies, but it requires spiritual strength.
3. Learn the Basics
When learning to be a prepper, learn the very basics of surviving when the grid comes crashing down.
I’m talking about learning how to do the following:
read a map,
use a compass
administering first aid
dressing or cleaning a wound
performing a CPR
building a basic shelter
finding a shelter
hunting or fishing
4. Build an Emergency Fund
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but without money, you cannot afford the resources to properly prepare for emergencies.
What if your source of income suddenly becomes unavailable? How will you afford to buy certain supplies? How will you get the specialized training that you need?
You should realize, then, the need to build an emergency fund.
It’s important to set aside some of your emergency funds for gathering gear and supplies for emergencies. Think of it as a set aside of the savings that you should already be doing
If you’re the typical, responsible American, you should set aside a certain percentage of your income for savings which you will invest later. And before investing anything, put part of that money for preparation and emergencies.
5. Get Good Health Insurance
There are many health insurance programs. Some more expensive than others.
No matter the form of insurance you choose, the key is to be properly covered. If for instance somebody gets injured, your insurance will enable you to dodge a lot of the heavy costs of treating that person.
6. Set up Your Home to Be Self-Reliant
This is crucial. Get rid of the mindset that the repairs you need at home will be brought to you in a silver platter just by picking up the phone and calling for help.
During an emergency, crucial personnel such as plumbers, roofers, or electricians, and others won’t be available to help you. Learn how to do all those repairs yourself.
This is why it’s important to set up your home in such a way that you’re not as reliant on outside help as possible. Pick up DIY skills, and as much as possible, you yourself must be able to repair and maintain your home. It’s wise not to be too dependent on professionals.
It’s also important to set up your home so that it has all the gear and supplies that you will need for emergencies. There should be food, water, and emergency supplies enough to last weeks, if not months.
7. Prepare and Follow an Emergency Plan
Sit down with your family and get everybody on the same page. Everybody should know what to do and what is expected of them when the unexpected happens.
This means that they should know where to get help, what to do to protect themselves, and where to find the emergency gear. In short, they should follow an emergency plan.
They also should be responsible for their own emergency bag. Now, keep in mind that even though you have a bug-out bag or an emergency kit somewhere, you cannot expect that item to be available when you need it.
Supplies get destroyed. So when everybody’s responsible for their emergency bag, this creates redundancies and such redundancies are good in this context.
If for whatever reason, the main emergency supplies of your family become inaccessible, everybody will be able to help everybody else and also move and take action according to plan.
Now, this doesn’t have to be supercomplicated. You don’t have to go through formal drills and routines, but as long as everybody knows what’s expected of them and they develop basic survival skills, then everybody will be ok.
Think as a team.
8. Keep a List of All the Numbers of Your Family, Close Friends, Neighbors, and Other Emergency Numbers
This is self-explanatory. Everybody should have a copy of the phone numbers of people that can help. It gets no more basic than this.
At the very least, this will enable you to coordinate and pool resources so you can make it through the worst part of the disaster.
9. Prepare a Bug-Out Bag for Each Member of the Family
As I mentioned earlier, every member of the family should have an emergency kit or an emergency bag. These contain supplies that are necessary to survival an emergency.
Instead of only one family member holding an emergency bag, it’s better to have everybody have their own bag just in case other bags disappear or something happens to one of your family members.
This way, you will always have the supplies that you need to make it through the night. These supplies include:
food and water
hygiene and sanitation kits
change of clothes
basic shelters like tents and tarps
a little bit of cash
10. Make Sure Your Supplies Will Last for at Least Three Months
When you are getting all your gear together, make sure you have enough to survive three months.
In most parts of the United States, emergencies are resolved within 72 hours. But with a really dire emergency or just a total failure of whatever infrastructure you’re plugged into, preparing for three months of emergency is a good rule of thumb.