27 Preparedness Tips for Beginners

Just getting into preparedness? Getting ready for the zombie apocalypse?  Heard the Illuminati will be unleashing their full plan soon? Well – here are 27 tips that may just save you a bit of time, money, and frustration.

1. Don’t Freak Out – People have been predicting the end of the world for hundreds of years and unless you considered the canceled of the TV show Jericho in 2007 the end of days it still hasn’t happened yet. Chill out and enjoy life – and prep!

2. Canned Goods Are Fine – You don’t have to spend a ton of money on freeze dried food to be prepared. Stocking up on canned goods and other commonly purchased foods at your local grocery store is a great start.

3. Sam’s Club – A membership to Sam’s Club can cut food storage costs dramatically. Not only do they have large bags of beans and rice super cheap – but they do offer some commercial food storage products at heavily discounted rates(check out this link).

4. Have a Balanced Approach – All the food in the world won’t do any good if you have no water. Consider all the supply categories you want to stock up on and do a little at a time within each category.

5. Prepping Isn’t All About Stuff – Supplies are certainly an important part of prepping, however, your mindset and skills are critical as well. Visualizing those events which you are preparing and trying to experience them in your mind will help prepare you mentally should something actually transpire. Skills such as gardening, CPR, first aid, and canning can be learned and quite often for free.

6. Have an Emergency Fund – All the prep’s in the world will not help much should your teenage son get arrested and need to get bailed out of jail and you have no cash. Trust me – stuff happens and having an emergency fund will reduce the stress dramatically.

7. Shop the Sales: While you may feel a sense of urgency you have the time to shop sales. At the grocery store wait for items to go on sale before buying. Look for coupons to use and combine them with sales to provide more buying power. Look for sales on all survival products  – not just food. Ammunition, guns, backpacks, and numerous others items can be found discounted locally and online at such sites as Amazon.

8. Cover the Basics: Don’t make preparedness overly complicated. Start off with thinking about going on a week long camping trip. What would you need and make a list.

9. Buy Fire Extinguishers: One of the most common and unfortunate events that can occur is a house fire. They can get out of hand in a hurry. Buy more than one fire extinguisher and mount them on walls around the house. It is way too easy to forget where one is when you need it so mount them in the kitchen, the garage, and near the grill.

10. Make a Basic Communications Plan: This involves talking with members of the family and close friends. Come up with a plan on what to do if there is no communication. Who will go and get the kids from school? If the area must be evacuated where is the meet-up point? 

11. Get a Water Filter: Water is heavy and bulky making it difficult to store in large quantities.Having a water filter gives you an avenue to filter water sourced from questionable sources such as streams, ponds, and even puddles. A Berkey Water Filter is a fantastic system and considered the Caddilac of water filters. A less expensive alternative would be to purchase a Sawyer Mini Water Filter and then add a Sawyer Bucket Kit.

12. Re-Use Soda Bottles for Water: Like most Americans, you likely throw away several 2-liter soda bottles every week. Rinse them out(including the cap) and fill them with tap water. Store them in a cool, dry place in case of an emergency. While many may suggest to avoid drinking this water after years of storage – it would be perfectly fine for washing and various sanitation duties.

13. Freeze The Peanut Butter: When food is in short supply calories are what counts. Peanut butter is a fantastic food in that it is high in calories and protein. Typically peanut butter does not store much past 16 months or so. The solution? Throw it in the freezer! I have frozen and thawed dozens of jars of peanut butter with no issues. Once thawed the shelf life clock starts over.

14. Don’t Put All Your Preps In One Place: Think back to the mentioning of a house fire. If all your supplies are stored there and they are lost – you’re back to the starting line. Store supplies at a neighbor, relative, at work, or in a climate controlled storage space.

15. Don’t Emphasize Firearms: It is easy – especially for men – to allow prepping to take on an almost romantic existence and buying guns to save the family and the damsel in distress feeds that fantasy. While firearms are important, remember to keep a balanced approach.

16. Exercise: Look throughout history and almost any disaster involves people working their butt off trying to deal with the conditions and recover. Get out there and move and get in shape.

17. Create a Vehicle Kit: There is a good chance something could happen while you are away from home. Have a backpack with some extra food, a few bottles of water, flashlight, batteries, and other supplies to get you home in case walking is necessary. Consider that roads may be backed up and blocked.

18. Create a List: Going through and thinking about all the needed supplies and things to do can be a bit overwhelming. Writing it all down in list format will get it out of your head and on paper. This is a common practice among the most successful people in the world – making a list.

19. Get a Good First Aid Kit: It doesn’t take a full on zombie apocalypse to get a “boo boo”. Having a good first aid kit around the house is just common sense.

20. Get a Good Knife: A knife can be used in so many situations for so many uses. Forget the hollow handle survival knives from Harbor Freight or found on eBay. A solidly built, full-tang knife such as a Ka-Bar USMC or a high-quality utility knife such as the Mora.

21. Check Goodwill and Thrift Shops: A variety of survival supplies can be found at deep discounts at thrift stores. Tents, backpacks, and camp stoves are commonly found items.

22. Start a Garden: Seeds are very inexpensive and if you have any land at all putting forth some effort to turn the ground is a start. For those planning for a long-term situation, gardening is one way to provide food sustenance over the long haul. I highly recommend the book The Backyard Homestead.

23. Store Extra Gas: Pick up a few 5-gallon gas cans, fill ’em, and store them AWAY from the house. Even as little as 10-15 gallons could make a big difference in any kind of fuel shortage.

24. Refill Gas Tank More Often: Speaking of gas – don’t let your car drop below half a tank.

25. Stay Motivated: Getting burned out on prepping can happen. Life provides so many distractions prepping can fall to the wayside. Reading fictional accounts of SHTF events can provide good insight and peak interest. Two recommended series include American Exit Strategy and 299 Days.

26. Two is One and One is None: This prepper philosophy boils down to this – Have a back up for everything. Have one can opener? Then have two. The point is if you only have one of something with no backup and something happens to it your out of luck.

27. Know Your Neighbors: The time to know your neighbors – the good ones and the bad – is now. You do not need to tell them about your interest in preparedness however you need to evaluate which ones in a disaster could be called upon for help – and avoided.

Appreciate you taking the time to review this list. Most importantly is to get out there and get started.

Rourke

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