The world can be a scary place. From political upheaval to catastrophic storms, there are all sorts of things that could threaten our lives as we know them. In response to the many uncertainties in the world in which we live, many people have started stocking up in anticipation of a widespread disaster. In other words, they are prepping.
Prepping has become increasingly mainstream in recent years. While the term “prepper” once brought to mind images of people with entire underground bunkers stocked with enough supplies to survive the apocalypse, it has become something that is associated with simply being ready for the unexpected.
When you are first starting out, the idea of becoming a prepper can seem a bit daunting. Even if you are just trying to make sure you and your family have everything you need to survive, say, a few days without electricity, it isn’t always easy to figure out exactly what you need. Whether you want to prep on a large scale or you just want to have some emergency supplies on hand to help your family get through a few rough days, this starter list will help. You can also find the ultimate prepper guide very useful and detailed if you are ready to take on the full prepping experience.
How to Become a Prepper: A Simple Starter List
In an emergency situation, having enough water is always a primary concern. According to Ready.gov, you should always keep at least one gallon of water per person for three days on hand. For a family of four, this means that you need to prep for no less than 12 gallons. Keep in mind that you may need extra water if anyone in your family is sick or nursing.
You also need at least two ways of purifying water. Camping filters, bleach, and water purification tablets are all good options. You could also invest in a gravity-fed water filter to give yourself the ability to purify more water at once.
Prepping means making sure you have plenty of food on hand. Stock up so that you have at least 30 days’ worth of the food you eat daily at all times. As you eat fresh food from your supply, replenish it. It takes a bit of time to get a good system up and running. But once you do, you will no longer have to worry about trying to get food if it becomes scarce.
Fill your pantry with long-lasting staples, too. Things like flour, sugar, honey, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, powdered milk, and salt are must-haves. You may also want to invest in freeze-dried foods.
You’ll also need a means for preparing food. A simple camp stove is a sufficient option. Just make sure you have plenty of propane or charcoal. Solar ovens are another option.
First Aid Kit
Even if you aren’t a prepper, you should always keep first aid kits in your home and vehicles. The exact items that you will need in your kit vary. Essentials include bandages in various sizes, gauze, medical tape, butterfly closures, alcohol wipes, latex gloves, antiseptic ointment, and hand sanitizer.
Over-the-counter painkillers, antacids, allergy pills, etc. are also highly recommended, as are sunscreen, aloe vera gel, and lip balm. If you or anyone in your family takes prescription medications, make sure there are a few days’ worths in your first aid kit.
Taking a shower may not be an option in an emergency situation. You should still have certain things on hand so you can clean up as needed. Always make sure you have extra shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. It’s also a good idea to have nail clippers, tweezers, a comb or brush, and a razor. Don’t forget about feminine hygiene products. it’s better to be prepared with these things because you may not think about hem in a rush.
Basic Camping Gear
If you are ordered to evacuate your home and the hotels are already full, having basic camping gear prepared can be a lifesaver. Invest in a decent quality tent that is large enough for your family, sleeping bags and sleeping pads.
When it comes to emergency lighting, buying a few flashlights is always a good place to start. If you are trying to prepare for a potentially long power outage, though, make sure you also have a large supply of rechargeable batteries and a charger that is solar powered or can be connected to your car. Invest in a solar or car charger for your cell phone, too.
Invest in an LED flashlight and a headlamp for each person in your family. Buying a few battery-powered lanterns is smart, too. Propane lanterns and oil lamps are also options. Just make sure that you know how to use them safely.
If the grid goes down, you won’t be able to do laundry. Invest in some wholesale apparel to have on hand in case of an emergency. Things like plain t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts are always solid investments. They can be layered as needed to keep you warm during cold weather, and certain ones have moisture-wicking properties to help you stay cool when it’s hot.
Make sure you have extra socks and underwear, too. Just having something clean to change in to can lift your spirits and help you stay healthy during an emergency.
Cash isn’t an “item” in the traditional sense of the word, but being prepared by having it is extremely important during an emergency. If the power is out, you won’t be able to use your debit or credit card. You also won’t be able to go to the bank to withdraw cash.
It may take some time to save up, but try to make sure you have at least enough cash to cover a week’s worth of hotel stays and a few tanks of gas on hand at all times. Ensure that you have enough cash for a week’s worth of food and supplies, too.
Becoming a prepper can seem overwhelming. But by taking it a little bit at a time, you can stock up on the things your family needs to survive an emergency. This list is far from exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of some of the most important items for preppers and make it easier to start preparing yourself for an uncertain future.