You want to get prepared! Right?
Well let’s do it!
Here are my top 25 tips to help you get prepared:
Focus on you and your journey
Focus on YOU and YOUR preparedness journey. We all compare ourselves to others, it’s human nature. I do it every single day, but I always come back to the realization that their path isn’t my path. It’s tough to see others with such success and tons of preps and we feel like we’re nowhere close to being at “that level”. The fact is, regardless whether you’re ever at “their level” or not; their prepping has nothing to do with your prepping. You don’t have the same space, the same budget, the same needs. Focus on YOU and YOUR needs.
Set a budget
Setting a budget isn’t just to determine how much money you can spend on preps. Setting a budget sets realistic goals for your spending. You don’t want debt. You don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. Neither of those options are sustainable. Figure out a plan to get out of debt, to live frugally so you can save money, to set aside some money for preps. The first step is to set a budget.
Take a hard look at how you’re prioritizing your time
In addition to setting a monetary budget, take a hard look at how you’re managing your time. We all have the same amount of time in the day and we all make choices on how we spend that time. I’m not saying you should never take time to relax, in fact, we all need time to unwind. What I’m saying is, if you’re constantly saying, “I don’t have time”, maybe we should be looking at how we’re spending our time to try to make the time. Not everything takes a long time to accomplish and sometimes, we can do little tasks here and there. Read a couple pages of a book. Watch a YouTube video. Look on Amazon for that sweet new knife that you want. Practice your fire starting skills. Lots of ways we can spend our time and pepper activities into our days.
Try new foods
As preppers, we should always be trying new things. The other day I tried some chicken creations and absolutely loved them. I had only tried the tuna creations, but now I love the tuna AND the chicken and will be adding both to my preps. Making these discoveries can help us a lot when it comes to variety in our food storage. Branch out and try new things!
Learn to be more self-sufficient
Nobody is saying you have to provide and create everything yourself, but learning how to make things from scratch or make things yourself is a huge asset to our overall wellness. Think about our modern conveniences; what would you do without power? Running, clean water? Fresh produce? Gas? How can you make your own wipes? Hand sanitizer? Cleaners? Clothes? You don’t have to be a master at any of this, but definitely start learning little things here and there. You’ll be amazed at how empowered you feel when you can make things from scratch!
Create a recipe document
Speaking of making things from scratch, start a recipe document. This document would have ALL of your recipes in it. Hand sanitizer recipe, food recipes, soap bar recipes, chapstick recipes, rice recipes, etc. ALL of the recipes to do all sorts of things. Create it all in a document so you have quick access to it, online or off.
Practice survival mindset
Your mindset can make or break you. Not just in an emergency, but everyday. We need to take care of our mental well being. Practicing mental wellness is something that we actually need to consciously practice. Deep breathing exercises is a great one. Being conscious of our triggers. Realizing our mistakes. Being able to make quick decisions. Letting calm rule the storm (figuratively and literally). Simply put, when you feel yourself struggling with something, just stop. Take a second, breathe and re-assess the situation to see how you could better act or react to it. Practice this daily!
Gain better intel
Constantly gathering intel is incredibly important to your overall survival and well being. If you don’t know what’s going on around you, or the world, then you’re making decisions in the dark. Gain intel through social media, trusted friends and news sources, ham radio, weather apps, good ol’ newspaper and situational awareness of the sights, smells and sounds we experience everyday. Make sure to verify everything, don’t take anything at face value until doing your due diligence to look into it further. If you feel it’s legit intel, then act accordingly.
Staying active is an important part of our overall wellness. It’s especially important during an emergency or disaster. If you need to move quickly, adrenaline will only do so much. You may not be running around like a chicken with your head cut off, but you could be going through strenuous activities. When your body is strong, your mind is strong and so is everything else. And don’t confuse what I’m saying: you don’t have to be super buff and skinny in order to be in shape. Simply staying active with consistent exercise throughout your day is better than nothing. If you can increase it to a 30 minute walk everyday, that’s even better! Doesn’t have to be a lot. You can even exercise while you watch TV. Multitask!
Don’t hyper focus your preps
One thing this pandemic has taught a lot of people is the fact that they prepped for one very specific thing and that was it. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they never expected or prepared for a pandemic. They just never took it seriously. Of course, I don’t think any of us could have imagined the lockdowns/quarantines. However, the point is, write out a list of things you want to prep for and prep for those things. Also, take lessons with a grain of salt. While cash may not be king during a pandemic, you better believe it’s still king overall and if lights were to go out, people would expect cash, at least in the beginning. Make changes to your preps, of course, but try not to be so hyper focused on your preps that you lose sight of the bigger pictures, as well as everyday.
Start a garden
The dream of most preppers when it comes to gardening is to be self-sufficient and one of the best ways to do that is through gardening. However, even having a small container garden on your balcony is a great start! Or heck, even in an indoor herb garden. Something is better than nothing. Start small and work your way up. Get creative with the space you have to work with. Maybe you won’t be able to provide all the fruits and veggies for your entire life from your garden, but maybe you can provide some fresh veggies for a couple meals. And that’s awesome!
Find opportunities, not limitations
We all go through struggles and it can be really difficult to look past our hardships and find the positives. But that’s exactly what we must do in order to keep moving forward. I can tell you countless times in which my life has spiraled downward, but I’ve always managed to remember that it’s only temporary and I’ll find a way back on top. Keep in mind that your version of success and happiness will be different than someone else’s. Always find the opportunities, even in the darkest of times.
Prep your family
If you have a family, you’ll need to prep for them, too. Kids, elderly and pets all need to be prepared for with basics of food, water, shelter and medical needs taken care of. Even better if you can get them involved in preparedness, but it’s okay if they don’t have interest. Keep doing what you’re doing to make sure your loved ones are prepared.
Get to know your neighbors
Preppers downright hate community! Hah. I think it’s because preppers work so hard and we don’t want people to “come for our stuff”. It’s been a running joke with non-preppers that they’re just going to take our stuff in an emergency. But we all know that isn’t likely. Instead of seeing “non-preppers” as the enemy, we need to see our neighbors and community as sources of strength. Everyone has a skill or item that can be used to barter or trade for food or water or hygiene or whatever else they may need. Community is strength. Get to know your neighbors. You don’t need to be BFFs with them, but in times of crisis, people come together. If you know them, even a little, you may be able to create alliances and help each other out.
Re-visit your emergency disaster plans
If you don’t already have an emergency disaster plan, you should get one! But if you do have an emergency disaster plan, it’s time to re-visit it. How’s your bug out plans? How are your bug in plans? How are your communication plans?
Strengthen your defense
While we want to turn our neighbors into allies, there are still going to be bad apples. Strengthen your personal and home defense. Cameras, motion sensor lights, stronger locks are all ideal for homes. Non-lethal self-defense options are a good start, though I also highly encourage you to look into buying a gun and training with it. I know a gun isn’t for everyone, but do consider it as a serious option, and be sure to get training on how to use it.
Learn from the past
One of the best ways to learn how to be prepared for a certain event is to learn from past events. There have already been hurricanes, riots, economic collapses, etc. Look into past events and figure out the best ways to be prepared for those events.
Learn to cook from scratch
Learning to cook from scratch has been a hit during the pandemic lockdown. Keep at it! Learn to cook with your food storage and more specifically, make up your own recipes with the items you have on hand.
Learn new skills
Never stop learning new skills. But don’t just learn new skills, practice old skills, too! Never let your skills get rusty. Even if you’ve done something 1,000 times, it’ll be that 1,001 time that something get messed up and you’ll have to figure out how to fix it. Practice, practice, practice and never stop learning.
Use your gear
Just like you should be practicing your skills, you should be using your gear. Don’t let your gear sit in a closet, get to know how to use it. When the time comes and you actually need to use it during an emergency or disaster, you don’t want to be fumbling around trying to figure out how it works. You just need to know how it works and get it up and running as smoothly and quickly as possible.
The most perfect time to test your skills and gear is when you’re camping. Plus, you’re getting outdoors! Match made in heaven. You can even camp in your own backyard, that’s just as fun, especially for kids!
Look into alternative energy
While we live completely off grid on solar and wind power, I know that’s not a possibility for everyone. However, it never hurts to have alternative means of energy. Solar, wind, hydro and a generator are all options to look into. They all have their pros and cons and they won’t all fit your particular area/needs. Do some research and start hashing how you could get some alternative energy going, even if it’s starting out with a folding camp solar panel. That’s better than nothing!
Look into herbal medicines
Do you know what medicinal herbs are? Garlic is a medicinal herb. Cranberries is a medicinal herb. Many of the foods, herbs and spices that we eat regularly are actually medicinal. There are many other wild medicinals that can be found in our yards if we know what to look for. Get to know your local wild edibles, wild medicinal plants and the medicinal benefits of the foods and herbs that we already eat.
Look into your water
People tend to forget about water because it’s so readily available through our faucets. However, that water can be gone or contaminated in the blink of an eye. How’s your water storage? Do you know how to procure water? Do you know how to purify water?
Look into your entertainment options
Entertainment is widely overlooked. People seem to think that when disaster strikes, you won’t have time for “entertainment”. That “entertainment” is a luxury. While some disasters will be disastrous enough to be unable to take advantage of entertainment, many emergencies and disasters will need entertainment options, especially if you have kids. Cards, board games, battery powered DVD players, coloring books, toys, crafts, etc. All of these things should be considered when it comes to preparing for any event.
The point of preparedness is to be able to go on about our everyday lives without worrying.
Lights go out? Oh well. Now we get to play with our flashlights and candles!
Water no longer flowing from the faucet? Oh well. Now we get to use the water we’ve been storing!
Pandemic hits? Oh well. Now we get to avoid people and practice our preparedness skills!
All about staying positive. And prepared.
You got this!