All preppers have to start somewhere! To get things going with this lifestyle, there are some things you’re definitely going to need. We’ve got you covered for the essentials that’ll help even a novice prepper get ready for a disaster.
Novice Prepper: Essentials You Need
A Good Plan
You want to have a solid plan in place so every member of your family knows what they have to do when a disaster hits. It’s imperative to figure out what’s extremely important and what isn’t. You’ll want a meeting point your family can get to so you can make sure everyone is safe, and you’ll also want to make sure you get all the important things from your home.
Know what your insurance coverage is and make sure you have your policy in a place that’s easily accessible. You’ll also want to keep all your important documents, like passports and financial documents, in one place that’s easy to get to. Consider a waterproof and fireproof lock box for extra protection. Know what family keepsakes and photos you’ll want if you evacuate, too.
Food and Supplies
You’re going to need food if an emergency hits. Stock up on canned and dehydrated foods or other nonperishable food items. Anything that you can eat without having to cook is preferable. Include spices and condiments to make meals taste as good as possible. Having bottled water is absolutely crucial, as you won’t be able to trust water supplies when there’s a disaster.
Too many people forget about toiletries. You’re going to need things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toilet paper and detergent. Slowly stock up on these to build a decent supply. Have cash on hand since credit systems and ATMs may be down. An old, spare mobile phone is good to have as they hold their charge longer.
First Aid Kit
Getting to a hospital or doctor might be hard if an extreme event happens. They’re going to be overflowing with people. Having a decently stocked first aid kit could possibly even save someone’s life.
Stock your kit with practical items. Bandages of various sizes and types, antibiotic ointment and gauze pads are all good items. Make sure there are gloves, preferably non-latex in case there’s someone with an allergy. Gloves ensure that you protect yourself from any pathogens.
Your kit should hold enough supplies to cover your family, and maybe a little extra if you can carry it. This way you can help others you come across if there’s no other option for them to get medical assistance.
You don’t know what the disaster is going to be when it strikes. This is why you have to have supplies for all sorts of weather. Dressing in layers is one of the best options. You can always take some clothing off if you get too hot, and put it back on if the opposite happens.
Have a waterproof jacket, pants and even shoes if possible. Hypothermia is a possibility, and it’s very uncomfortable. If you don’t know where you’re going to be staying, and if you’re going to have to walk to evacuate, you might get caught in the elements. Your shoes should be practical and comfortable to walk in as well.
Know Your Bug-Out Bag
Your bug-out bag should be able to hold all your essentials. You want it to be light and easy to carry considering you’re going to be loading it up with all of your stuff. Have it stocked at all times and check it periodically to make sure nothing has spilled or expired.
In addition to what’s mentioned above, your bug-out bag should have some sort of shelter — like a tent — and a sleeping bag, ground pad, tarp and blanket. Bring some tools, like a pocketknife and/or a multi-tool. Batteries, flashlights, small LED lights, candles and matches are all good choices as well. Bring pepper spray for self-defense, as well as a gun and ammo if you’re comfortable. You never know what could happen.
Mode of Transportation
Unless the situation forces you to go on foot, take a car. And make sure that car is stocked up as well. Have a car jack and wheel wrench, spare tire, jumper cables and a basic car tool kit in your trunk. Keep a first aid kit in your car, too. It’s another place to store nonperishable food and water as well.
If you live in a place where a blizzard is possible, make sure you have tools for that. Have a shovel, ice melt and road flares in case you get stuck and have to dig yourself out. Keep extra blankets and hand warmers in case you’re stranded in the car for a while and have to keep warm.
Being a prepper is a way of life, and it’s time for you to get it started. These are the first steps to immersing yourself in the prepper lifestyle. Get your bug-out bag stocked and ready for when the next emergency hits!
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