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7 Essential Prepping Tips for Beginner and Seasoned Preppers

Ever feel like you’re playing a game of survival roulette?

Fear not! Whether you’re a greenhorn or a seasoned pro, the world of prepping offers a roadmap to resilience.

Buckle up as we unveil 7 game-changing prepping tips that will transform you from novice to a true prepper.

1. Develop a Comprehensive Emergency Plan

Epic scene of a strategic planning session in a command center with individuals discussing over maps, emergency contacts, and resource lists on monitors and documents, highlighting the urgency, collaboration, and importance of a well-thought-out emergency plan for preparedness and resilience

Where to Start Prepping: Emergency Preparedness for Beginners

Whether you are a seasoned prepper or just beginning your journey into prepping, establishing a solid plan should be your first priority.

This plan will act as your guide, ensuring that you are well-prepared for any emergency situation that may arise.

the steps for creating a disaster preparedness plan, starting with hazard identification and ending with emergency contact verification

One of the first steps in prepping for beginners is to evaluate the potential risks in your area and identify the most likely emergencies you may face.

HurricaneSecure, stockpile, know routes
EarthquakeSecure, kit, drills
FloodElevate, plan, supplies
TornadoSafe room, kit, monitor
WildfireDefend, clear, evacuate
TsunamiEvacuate, high ground, kit
BlizzardSupplies, indoors, kit
DroughtConserve, monitor
VolcanoEvacuate, communicate, kit
PandemicHygiene, supplies, isolation plan

This could range from natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, to man-made incidents such as power outages or civil unrest.

Essential Components of Your Emergency Plan

When creating your emergency plan, there are several key areas you should focus on.

Ensure that you have enough emergency food and food storage to sustain your household for at least a few days, if not more.

In addition to food and water, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of first aid and survival skills.

CategorySuggested Items and Actions
Water– Store at least one gallon of water per person per day
– Rotate water supply every six months
– Consider alternative water sources (rivers, lakes, rainwater)
– Have water purification tablets or filters
Food– Stockpile non-perishable items such as canned goods, dry goods
– Include a variety of foods to meet nutritional needs
– Consider dietary restrictions and preferences of household members
– Don’t forget a manual can opener
First Aid– Have a fully stocked first aid kit
– Include medications, bandages, antiseptic wipes
– Know basic first aid procedures and CPR
– Keep emergency contact numbers handy
Communication– Establish a communication plan with family and loved ones
– Keep a list of emergency contacts and their phone numbers
– Have a battery-powered or hand-crank radio
– Consider alternate communication methods (whistles, signaling)
Shelter– Identify safe locations within your home or community
– Reinforce existing structures for stability and safety
– Prepare for extreme weather conditions (tarps, insulation)
– Have emergency blankets, sleeping bags, or tents

Accidents and injuries can occur during emergencies, so having the knowledge to provide immediate medical assistance can be life-saving.

2. Prioritize Water Storage and Purification

Detailed scene showcasing a comprehensive water storage and purification setup with large tanks, filtration systems, and various purification methods in a well-organized space, emphasizing the critical role of reliable, clean water supply in survival and preparedness

Ensuring Access to Safe Drinking Water

In the event of a natural disaster or power outage, access to clean drinking water becomes crucial as it may not be readily available.

It is essential to prioritize water storage and purification as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

a comparison graph of different water purification methods, including tablets, portable filters, and boiling, comparing effectiveness, time required, and volume of water purified

Having an ample supply of water can sustain you and your family for an extended period when other resources may be scarce or inaccessible.

various methods of water purification

Water Storage

  1. Stockpile enough water to provide at least one gallon per person per day for a minimum of three days. This should include water for drinking, cooking, and basic hygiene needs. Consider storing more if you have infants, elderly family members, or individuals with special needs.
  2. Choose appropriate containers for water storage: Use food-grade containers like clean plastic bottles or containers specifically designed for long-term water storage. Ensure they have tight-fitting lids to prevent contamination.
  3. Store water in a cool, dark place: Avoid direct sunlight and areas prone to temperature fluctuations, as this can affect both the taste and quality of stored water.
Storage OptionCapacityIdeal Storage ConditionsShelf Life
Plastic BottlesVarious sizesCool, dark place away from sunlight6-12 months
Water Barrels55 gallonsCool, dark place away from sunlightUp to 5 years
Water Tanks250-500 gallonsCovered, away from direct sunlightIndefinite (if treated)
Water Pouches4.2 ouncesCool, dark place away from sunlight5 years
Water BladdersVarious sizesCool, dark place away from sunlightUp to 5 years
Water FiltersN/AN/AVaries (depends on filter)
Water Purification TabletsN/ACool, dry placeVaries (typically 2-5 years)
Water Purification SystemsN/ACool, dry placeIndefinite (if properly maintained)

Water Purification

  1. Include portable water filters or purification tablets in your survival kit: These can effectively remove harmful bacteria and parasites from natural water sources, ensuring its safety for consumption.
  2. Familiarize yourself with various water purification techniques: Learn how to boil water, use simple filtration methods, or construct makeshift filters to remove impurities when necessary.
  3. Maintain good hygiene practices: Regularly wash your hands, and encourage family members to do the same, to minimize the risk of contamination, especially in emergency situations.

3. Build a Sustainable Food Supply

a sustainable food supply, prepper food supply

Prioritize Food Storage and Preparation

When it comes to preparing for emergencies, having a sustainable food supply is crucial.

Store food that has a long shelf life and can provide essential nutrients. Canned goods, dried fruits and vegetables, and grains are great options to consider. 

Food TypeShelf LifeNutritional ContentBest Use Cases
Canned Goods1-5 yearsRetains nutrients, may contain added sodiumQuick meals, emergencies, pantry staples
Dried Beans and Legumes1-2 yearsHigh in protein, fiber, and vitaminsSoups, stews, salads, side dishes
RiceIndefiniteGood source of carbohydratesBase for meals, side dish, emergency staple
Pasta1-2 yearsCarbohydrates, some proteinVersatile for various dishes, quick meals
Oats1-2 yearsHigh in fiber, protein, and nutrientsBreakfast cereal, baking ingredient
Nut Butters6-12 monthsHealthy fats, protein, vitaminsSpread on bread, add to smoothies
Canned Fish2-5 yearsProtein, omega-3 fatty acidsQuick protein source, sandwiches, salads
Freeze-Dried Fruits25+ yearsRetains most nutrientsSnacking, baking, adding to cereal
Freeze-Dried Vegetables25+ yearsRetains most nutrientsSoups, stews, casseroles, side dishes
Granola Bars6-12 monthsCarbohydrates, some protein, fiberQuick snacks, on-the-go energy
Instant Soups1-2 yearsVaries by brand and ingredientsQuick meals, emergency food
Canned Soups1-3 yearsVaries by brand and ingredientsQuick meals, emergencies, comfort food

Prioritize buying non-perishable items that can be easily stored for extended periods.

Stock Up on Water and Water Purification Methods

In addition to storing food, it is important to stock up on water. 

Plan to have at least one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation purposes.

Keep in mind that in an emergency situation or when you need to evacuate, access to clean water may be limited.

Consider having water purification tablets or filters readily available to ensure the water you have is safe to consume. 

the effectiveness of different water storage containers

4. Focus on Mental and Emotional Preparedness

Captivating scene with an individual in a meditative pose surrounded by nature, engaging in deep breathing exercises for mental and emotional resilience, with symbolic elements like a calm body of water, lush greenery, a clear sky, and emotional support tools like journals, a comforting blanket, and a therapy dog, illustrating the importance of serenity, mindfulness, and emotional support in overall resilience

Embrace the Prepping Journey

Embarking on your prepping journey can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a newbie prepper.

 key points to mentally prep for prepper

While food and water storage are crucial, mental and emotional preparedness is just as important.

It’s essential to acknowledge that survival situations can be mentally and emotionally challenging, and being prepared in this aspect is key.

Steps to Get Started

 the most important aspects of mental prepping

Remember to take breaks, practice self-care, and engage in activities that help maintain a healthy state of mind throughout your prepping journey.

5. Physical Fitness and Prepping for Emergencies

Captivating scene of an individual engaged in outdoor physical training, performing running, strength training with improvised weights, and agility exercises in a rugged natural landscape, equipped with practical gear and surrounded by survival tools, emphasizing the integration of physical fitness with practical prepping skills for resilience and readiness in emergencies

In the case of an emergency, having a strong physical fitness level can be a tremendous asset. 

During an emergency situation, access to food may be limited, and without food, our bodies rely on stored fat for energy.

Additionally, being physically fit can increase your chances of survival in more challenging situations, such as evacuating on foot or engaging in physically demanding tasks.

the advantages of being physically fit in SHTF (Shit Hits The Fan) scenarios

Incorporating Physical Fitness into Your Emergency Kit Checklist

Every prepper should consider incorporating physical fitness into their emergency preparedness plan.

Fitness AspectDescription
StrengthAbility to lift, carry, and move objects
EnduranceSustained physical activity without exhaustion
AgilityQuick and adaptive movement
FlexibilityRange of joint motion for ease of movement
StaminaEnergy and resilience for prolonged exertion
CardiovascularHeart and lung health for endurance
MobilityFree and efficient movement
BalanceStability and equilibrium
CoordinationEfficient integration of movements

Here are some practical steps to help you get started:

  1. Integrate cardio exercises into your workout routine to improve endurance and stamina.
  2. Include strength training exercises to build muscle and increase overall physical strength.
  3. Practice functional exercises that simulate real-life emergency scenarios, such as carrying heavy loads or climbing stairs.
  4. Invest in essential exercise equipment, such as resistance bands, kettlebells, or a jump rope, which are portable and can be used during emergency situations.
  5. Find outdoor activities that help you connect with nature while keeping you active, such as hiking, biking, or swimming.

6. Assemble a Versatile Bug Out Bag

A detailed scene showing individuals organizing a versatile bug out bag with essential survival items including water filtration devices, first aid kits, multi-tools, emergency food supplies, and lightweight shelter, emphasizing the importance and readiness for emergency situations.

Why a Bug Out Bag is Essential for Every Beginner and Seasoned Preppers

A bug out bag is an essential component of any emergency preparedness plan.

Whether you are just starting to become a prepper or have been practicing this lifestyle for years, having a well-stocked bug out bag is crucial.

the process of packing a bug out bag, emphasizing the order in which to pack items for easy access and weight distribution

What to Include in Your Bug Out Bag

When assembling your bug out bag, it is essential to consider the basic needs for survival. 

the contents of a bug-out bag, categorized by necessity

“A well-prepared bug out bag is your lifeline in emergencies, offering not just survival essentials but peace of mind,”

says Alex Thompson, a survival expert

Three days worth of food and water per person per day should be a priority.

Some seasoned preppers even aim for months worth of food stored, ensuring they have enough food during the crisis.

7. Master Basic First Aid and Survival Skills

Engaging and epic depiction of individuals in an intense outdoor survival skills workshop, participating in emergency scenario enactments, navigating with a compass, and signaling for help in a breathtaking wilderness, highlighting the thrill of adventure combined with the serious pursuit of lifesaving skills

Importance of Being Prepared

When it comes to surviving in the event of an emergency, mastering basic first aid and survival skills is of utmost importance.

No matter the situation, having the knowledge and ability to provide immediate medical assistance and take the necessary steps to prepare for potential dangers can make a world of difference.

diagram illustrating the critical first aid skills every prepper should know, including CPR, wound care, and how to treat shock

Building an Emergency Kit

One of the basics of prepping is building an emergency kit that includes food buckets filled with non-perishable food items.

In times of crisis, access to fresh food may become limited, which is why having an adequate supply of long-lasting food can be a lifesaver.

CategoryItemShelf Life
FoodCanned goods1-5 years
Dried fruits and nuts6-12 months
Granola bars6-12 months
WaterBottled waterIndefinite
Water purification tablets2-5 years
First AidAdhesive bandages2-3 years
Antiseptic wipes2-3 years
Pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen)2-3 years
First aid manualN/A
Light SourcesFlashlightsVaries (batteries)
Batteries (for flashlights)Varies (check expiry)
LED lanternsVaries (batteries)
Duct tapeIndefinite

By being prepared with a well-stocked emergency kit, you can ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones in times of uncertainty.

Note: Ensure to periodically check and replace expired or used items to maintain the kit’s effectiveness.

What is prepping and why is it important?

Prepping is the act of preparing for emergencies and disasters by gathering essential supplies and making a plan. It is important because it can help you and your loved ones stay safe and comfortable during challenging times.

How can beginners start prepping?

Beginners can start prepping by making a list of necessary supplies such as food, water, and first aid kits, and gradually building up their emergency supplies over time.

What are the basics of prepping for food and water?

The basics of prepping for food and water involve storing non-perishable food items, ensuring you have an adequate water supply, and learning how to purify water in case of emergency.

How should one prepare for a power outage?

To prepare for a power outage, stock up on flashlights, batteries, and non-perishable food that does not require cooking. It’s also a good idea to have a backup power source such as a generator or solar charger.

What are important considerations for a beginner prepper?

Important considerations for a beginner prepper include starting with the basics such as food, water, and first aid, gradually expanding their supplies, and staying informed about potential threats and emergency management strategies.

How much food should one store for emergencies?

It is recommended to store at least a three-day supply of food per person for emergencies. Make sure to include a variety of non-perishable items and consider the number of calories needed per day for each person.

What are some effective prepping tips for seasoned preppers?

Seasoned preppers can focus on fine-tuning their supplies, rotating food and water storage regularly, practicing emergency drills with their family, and staying up-to-date on new prepping techniques and tools.

Here’s a list of links on emergency preparedness:

  1. FEMA Planning Guides
  2. ASPR TRACIE Emergency Operations Plans Guide
  3. NYS Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP)
  4. Planning Considerations for Cyber Incidents: Guidance for Emergency Managers
  5. MitigateNY – New York State Hazard Mitigation Plan