Where To Start Prepping, by S.H.

If you are reading this, you are probably like many people trying to get a grasp on “prepping” and a general idea of what you need to do or not do to start prepping. If you’re reading articles in this blog then you are doing one of the first steps in the “prepper” lifestyle. You are educating yourself. Make no mistake, that is one of the most important steps. Now I’m no expert by any means, but I have been down this road. I’m going to give a few tips to at least help get you started in the right direction.


Again, if you are reading this you are well into this step. There is truth in the statement that knowledge is power. There are books, articles, YouTube videos, and blogs on any range of topics that you could remotely be interested in. So, finding information on weapons, medical issues, and homesteading is available. Well, you get the idea. Any special skill you want to learn is out there. There is no excuse for not getting the information you need. Don’t forget to research what has happened in areas where disasters have happened, like Katrina.


What is your current situation? Where do you live? Are you in the city or the country? Are you married or single? Do you have kids, or are you childless? You need to take a good thorough look at your situation and then start asking yourself some hard questions. Remember, before you can make the lifestyle changes you need to, you must answer those hard questions honestly. These are questions like, “If a Katrina-style disaster happened in my area, will my family and I survive?” If the answer is “no”, then the obvious follow up question is “What do I need to do to change that?”.


This is an obvious follow-up to the last question. Is your current living arrangement where you want to ride out a major disaster, such as an EMP. I use the EMP scenario as an example, because disaster is really a broad term that can mean most anything. Again, this is where hard questions and truthful answers are critical. If your current living arrangement is not where you want to ride out a disaster, then I suggest you start working towards finding the type of shelter you think you would need now. What a single individual might require is going to be completely different than what someone with a family of eight would require.

If you determine that you would need to relocate to a different place once a disaster happens or “Bug Out” as the saying goes, you need to plan that out now while it is calm. I do have a tip for someone that is planning on bugging out and is already placing caches between there starting point and end. I have walked many a mile on trails and have found many Geo Caches that someone thought they had cleverly hidden. If you hide it, you need to learn to camouflage it.


Again everyone’s situation is different. You must look at what your family needs to make it. Is someone in your family on a feeding tube? How about diabetic or on dialysis? How are you going to be able to take care of them in the event of a disaster? What special meds will you or your loved ones need? This is frankly one of the harder questions that you will be asking, because in the event of a major disaster you may end up watching someone you love die in front of your eyes. Or worse, you may find yourself dying and leaving some kids to fend for themselves.

Food and Water

If a disaster hit now and you needed to make it a week on the food you currently have at your home, could you make it? For a month or a year, could you make it on the food you have? How about water? If the water suddenly stopped flowing, could you make it with what you have stored up? When considering the last question, remember that toilets flush with water. It really surprises me how many people forget.

A little over a year ago the water plant was shut down twice due to flooding in my area. Both times, the national guard brought potable water for the community. When I heard that the plant was going to be shut down, I went out and bought a brand-new trash can and lid. I filled it with water before the pressure ran out, so I would have water to flush with. Thankfully, in both cases the plant wasn’t out too long and my family and I were okay.

Hygiene Needs

There are so many areas that this one subject covers, but I will only name a few to get you to think about your needs. Does anyone in your family need diapers? Do you have enough feminine products on hand to make it a couple of months? What about soap, shampoo, toothpaste, et cetera. What about toilet paper? At my house, we currently average a roll a day, and it will only get worse. (I have four kids.)

Cash on Hand

This one is short and obvious, but many people really don’t keep cash on hand any more. If the power went out in your area for a week and you couldn’t use your cards, do you have enough cash to make it?

Self Defense

Do you have the will to kill in self-defense? It is a question everyone should ask themselves before a potential situation shows up on their door step. If a major riot broke out in your city and you couldn’t leave your home, could you fend off the rioters? It’s one of those topics where there are a million scenarios with millions more possible outcomes. But you need to decide where you stand before those situations end up at your front door. One only must look at recent news in the U.S. alone to know it is possible.

What if the electrical grid went down across the nation and our economy came to a grinding halt. Now imagine that it is three weeks into that crises. Your neighbors, who have not eaten in a week, come banging on your door because they can smell the food cooking at your house. Now, before you say something like it’s obvious you should feed them, remember that you have no idea how long the crises will last and you potentially have a family to feed. Now it becomes a little tougher question, not to mention we haven’t even touched on what weapons to use. That really comes down to the individual and their preferences.


Despite what you may see in the movies, not everyone is built to handle a firearm. There are numerous resources available that cover unarmed combat and martial arts. I personally prefer Krav Maga for its straightforward approach, but that is my personal preference. There are many that would disagree. So, my advice is to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. I agree with the line: Nothing beats a good blaster at your side. A lesser known rule is the 21-foot rule. That means even if you have a gun with you, if someone is standing 21 feet from you, they can reach you and do harm before you can react with your firearm. It is with that rule in mind that I prefer to be trained in unarmed combat and firearms.

Regarding which firearm is the best to have, that really comes down to the individual and their living arrangement. I have known people who couldn’t hit the broadside of the barn with a rifle but were hell on wheels with a pistol. Also, something I have personal observed is that whoever your partner is, they need to agree with you on the firearms question. I have seen wives force their husbands to sell their guns once they were married because they feared guns. I could write for hours on different firearms, but there is plenty of information available.

Get started now

Look, it is easy to become overwhelmed when considering prepping. But by considering the areas I pointed out and asking those hard questions, you can at least get pointed in the right direction. I know there are those who are reading this that have already determined what the right direction for them is. I’m happy for you. That puts you miles ahead of those who are more than willing to stick their heads in the sand and pray that disaster never befalls them. This article is for those who are considering the topic and just don’t even know where to begin. I’m writing this for them.

Something that I have found to work is setting small goals and beginning to work on them. My overall goal is a year’s supply of food. I believe that I currently have a month’s worth of food on hand if a disaster did strike.When my family hit some lean times financially, we used this stash of food. I tell you this, as an example of where my preps worked out. My final advice is to hope for the best, but please prepare for the worst. If disaster strikes, wouldn’t you want to be ready for it?

Further reading:

Survival Blog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 70 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
  6. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  7. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  8. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
  8. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
  9. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
  3. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  4. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  5. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  6. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
  7. Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
  8. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and

Round 70 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


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