So, over the next few weeks, Lisa and I will be doing a series of podcasts and articles that will go through getting started prepping & the basics. Something that seems pretty simple on the surface can get a little confusing the more we get into it.
When we first come to the realization that preparing ourselves and our family is important, it can be a little scary and a little exciting all at the same time. It can be scary because usually one thing or another leads us into preparing.
It could be something that changed our lives personally and uncovered areas that we need to improve in, or it could be the fact that everywhere we turn now we hear about someone or something that could do us harm.
SPP249 Getting Started Prepping & The Basics
This week Lisa and I went through the very first steps that we should take we are just getting started with prepping. Our first reaction is that we need to buy a whole bunch of prepping supplies, but that is not the case.
We will be going over all the supplies we need in the next few podcasts, but it’s important to understand what you need, and why you need it, before you go out and spend a lot of money. Over the next few weeks we are going to go over, bug out bags, everyday carry, first aid and all 6 areas of preparedness.
Building Preparedness Foundation
This could be just me, but I think it’s a little exciting also because I know I have the opportunity to increase my chances and insure the safety of my family as much as I can. Excited might be the wrong word to use, but it does give me a feeling of satisfaction and security knowing I did what I could, and every day I am making my family stronger regardless what happens.
In the beginning it can be frustrating though. You start out by stocking up on some extra food, storing some water and buying a few supplies, but as you dig deeper into preparedness you begin to realize that to become completely prepared you need to do more than you thought you did. Pretty soon you have a little of this and a little of that, but you really aren’t prepared for anything.
I say it all the time but it’s true, prepping is like building a house. You need a good foundation to build on before you start putting up the walls and the roof. A quick shelter will protect you from the elements for a little while, but eventually it will come crashing down. Building a strong fortified home will protect you and your family for years to come.
I remember when I first started, I stocked up on some food and water, I got my bug out bag ready and started working on adding to my supplies. The excited feeling I had quickly turned to an uneasy feeling as I learned more about preparedness and realized that while I was “kind of” prepared, I wasn’t “really” prepared for anything.
When you are building the foundation of this preparedness house it’s not about how pretty it is yet, a foundation is an ugly slab of concrete that needs to be put in place to insure that everything you put on top of it stays where it should be for years to come.
It’s really easy to start getting pulled in every direction and forget what your main goal was in the first place. We have natural disasters like tornados and earthquakes, we have bigger disasters like EMP’s and terrorism and all of these could lead to Martial Law or a grid down event.
Everything I would read about these different events would tell me about something else I needed to be prepared for that event. Pretty soon my brain was swimming and I didn’t know which direction to go first. At this point I only saw two options…
- Rob a bank and buy everything I could.
- Stop getting pulled in every direction and focus on one area of preparedness at a time.
Because prison didn’t fit into my preparedness plan I decided on option 2. I decided that instead of trying to juggle 5 balls at a time, i would get the basics down, pick one subject, and drop everything else until I was completely done with the first one.
To do this I had to become comfortable with the fact that it was impossible to get everything done right now, and doing what I could was better than doing nothing at all.
I have had quite a few people ask me what supplies they need when they first start out prepping, so the rest of this podcast series is going to be about general preparedness supplies you should start out with. There is no “one size fits all” preparedness plan, but if you start out by getting the basics taken care of, you can personalize your supplies as time goes on.
This might sound a little strange, but to do this you need to completely forget about all these different disaster scenarios (for now) and focus on the basics. Trust me, this is easier than it seems, and this is just like learning anything else.
Remember when you are first started learning how to read? Nothing made sense and everything looked like Chinese, It probably seemed like you were never going to get it. As time goes on you begin to put some words together and pretty soon you were reading a Dr. Seuss book.
The same goes for prepping, you can’t expect to be able to read War and Peace if you can’t even read Green Eggs and Ham.
My point is, don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself, if you set the bar too high you will never get there. If you take the time to build a ladder, and take it one step at a time, you will get there in no time at all.
Prepping & Budgeting
The first step you need to take has nothing to do with supplies, the first step is to figure out a prepping budget and figuring out what you can spend without going into debt. Budgeting is one of those necessary evils that just has to be done.
I have also written a couple articles about this like 10 Ways To Reduce Debt as a Prepper, and Ways To Earn Extra Money For Prepping that might help you out. We also have a free budget planner at ThePreparednessExperience.com that you can download, and it’s the same budget planner I have used for years.
Just remember that if you are going into debt on your way to becoming more prepared, you are actually hurting your situation, not helping it. If you’re spending all you money on paying off credit cards, you hamper your ability to prep.
6 areas of preparedness
For everything you do from now on, regardless if you are preparing for a week or a year needs to include the 5 areas of preparedness, these are…
- First Aid
These are the building blocks of any good preparedness plan. How you prepare in each of these areas will depend on your personal situation, but they need to be included in every preparedness plan.
Stockpiling food and forgetting about water puts a huge hole in your preparedness plan and makes it ineffective. Having food and water without a way to secure it also puts you at risk. It really does no good to have all these supplies if someone can come and take everything you have without any repercussions.
While it’s impossible to protect everything we have, we can take steps to make it harder for someone to take advantage of us. Criminals are opportunists, and will take advantage of the easiest targets first.
The Rule of 3’s
This might seem obvious but it also needs to be in the back of your mind when creating a preparedness plan. The rule of 3’s in any extreme situation is…
- You can go 3 weeks without food
- You can go 3 days without water
- You can go 3 hours without shelter
- You can go 3 minutes without air
Again, this might seem pretty simple, but it’s just as important as the 5 areas of preparedness. Without water, it doesn’t matter how much food you have.
One Step at a Time
As I said earlier, don’t focus on any disasters at first, get your affairs in line and start working on a foundation you can build on. As you climb this ladder of preparedness you will find that in just a few months you will be more prepared than you ever dreamed of. You might even find that you are more prepared now than you thought you were.
Some of you might be further along than others, for the sake of making sure everyone gets the most out of this I am going to start from ground zero. If you are further along this will be a good refresher, and if you’re just starting out, this will be just what you need.
The next podcast in this series will be about some of the general supplies you need in your bug out bag. Each persons needs will be different but there are some supplies that are needed in any bug out bag. Until then we also have a couple of articles you might be interested in this one titled Prepping and Survival Where to Start and Why and some information about bug out bags here.
The Prepping Crash Course
Another bonus that we put together at the Survivalist Prepper Academy for beginning preppers is the free prepping crash course. The 100% FREE Prepping Crash Course have videos, downloads and links that give you a basic idea about what prepping is, and how to do it correctly.
If you have any ideas or tips about beginning prepping leave a comment below. Also, if there is something you would like us to discuss in the next few week, let us know that too?