Monday, April 30, 2012

A Prepping List for Beginners - Ten Things to Consider

Many people are hard core preppers and have been for a long time. They know what might happen and are prepared for it, giving them peace of mind. There are also those who have their head in the sand and don't want to even think about a local, national, or worldwide calamity by sticking their fingers in their ears and spewing "Nanananana" to avoid the subject altogether. Then there are those who have been hearing a lot lately about the subject and are now curious, but don't know where to start.

This article is for you, the curious. Prepping never really ends. It's a change not necessarily in how you live or in how you go about your daily life. It's a slight change in what you do when you shop and a little bit in how you think as you go about your daily life. It's really that simple. When preppers shop, as they go through the aisles, they think about how they would sustain their family if a tornado came through their neighborhood, or a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster. What would they need to survive a couple of days, or months, or even years.

Preppers learn to expand their pantry, they learn how to rotate their stock to keep it fresh. They learn to have backup systems for when the electricity goes out. How will they cook? Where will they get their food and when? What about looters? How will they protect themselves and their families?

Keep in mind, if there were a full scale economic collapse, only 10 to 20 percent of the population will survive. Most of them will be preppers. Prepping is not a cult. Nearly all preppers pray nothing will ever happen where their prepping skills will be needed. Their prepping is hopefully just an insurance policy just like your homeowners, auto, or health insurance is currently. Your not expecting your house to burn down, but you want to be protected in case it does. Are you planning to be involved in an accident? Are you planning on having a heart attack or cancer? No, but you pay for insurance in the remote chance that if something does happen, you are protected and can get the help you need to mitigate the situation.

With that said, here is a short list of things you will need to consider as you move into a prepping mindset. This is not a complete list. Far from it. Everyone's circumstances are different. As you open your mind to the prepping mindset, your sub-conscience will guide you. This is just a start:

Personal protection - Guns, ammo, and most importantly, tactical training. You can have all the guns and ammo you will ever need, but if you don't know how to use it against other humans who are thinking of creative ways to take what you have, it's worthless. David Kobler at practicalpreppers.com puts on a tactical training workshop that will help you not only protect yourself from other humans, but will help you divert them away so you won't have to.

Stock up on just a few calibers so you can maximize your arsenal to your advantage. You have twenty different guns all taking a different type of ammo, and two hundred rounds for each gun. How do you think you will stand up against someone with two different guns and two thousand rounds for each gun. The person with fewer guns, but plenty of ammo for them will have a much better advantage.

At a minimum, I would suggest possibly a .22L pistol and rifle, and a 12 gauge shotgun that will hold about eight rounds and as much ammo for each that you can afford and still do the rest of the stuff on the list. If you can easily afford it, you might look at a 5.56 caliber AR-15 (they can shoot .223 also), a .40 S&W hollow point pistol, or 9mm. Stick with common calibers, because under a total collapse, ammo will be the new currency for a while. Common calibers will be worth more, because it will be easier to barter for stuff you need and don't have. I started off with you getting .22L because you can buy much larger quantities for a lower price. This will get you up to speed quickly.

Water Supply - You can't live without water for more than a few days at the most. On a county or city water system? What if it goes out for an extended period of time? Have as much distilled water stored as you have room for it. Distilled water is cheap, but more importantly, it's pure and won't go bad over time if you keep it sealed. If you are on a well, do you have a way to get the water out of it if the power goes down? Do you have a generator? If so, do you have fuel for it? Enough for the long haul? Consider a "simple pump" from simplepump.com. It's a hand pump that sits along side your electric pump in the same well casing as a backup.

Food Storage - Whatever you like to eat, find a way to stock up on it and store it so it will last a long time. Up to 3 to 5 years preferably. 25 to 30 years would be even better. Include spices and condiments. Don't forget your favorite toiletries like toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, razors, soap, shampoo, detergent, makeup, etc. Start off with a 3 day supply, then work up to a month, a year, and longer as you can afford it. When you are comfortable with your short term food supply, start buying heirloom seeds to be able to grow your own stuff. Think about this... there is a total economic collapse in December. When will you be able to eat from the first harvest? Keep in mind you need to have seeds to plant for that harvest.

Power - Do you have a generator? Do you have a LOT of fuel for it? Will you be able to service it and keep it running for the long haul? Forget about air conditioning. Consider yourself fortunate if you can keep your refrigerator cold. To do this, you will have to run your generator about four hours minimum per day and keep the door closed as much as possible. Same goes for the freezer. Everything else that runs on electricity is a luxury.

Cooking - How will you prepare your food? Do you have an electric range? If so, you're in trouble. Gas? Can you light it? Even gas ovens require power to light them up. Consider that you may be cooking over an open fire, or better yet, a rocket stove. For information on this and more, go to practicalpreppers.com. Scott Hunt has done a lot of homework for you on a lot of stuff.

First Aid - Nearly everyone has this, even if it's just a box of band-aids. Start thinking of a first aid box on steroids. Think about any and every conceivable situation that could happen and try to prepare for it. after all, that's all prepping is! Thinking about what could actually happen and preparing for it. Consider things like pain relievers, bandages, gauze, and emergency supplies like splints, tourniquets, antibiotics, dental tools, life sustaining drugs, etc. Don't short yourself here. One of the easiest ways to die is by infection.

Communications - Consider a few 2-way radios (walkie talkies) so you can keep in touch with family or neighbors, or maybe your security patrol? You can connect two or more land line phones with a few wires and a battery (instructions easily found on the internet for free).

Perimeter Protection - In ANY disaster, you are on your own. Do NOT expect the police to protect you. It's not going to happen. You will have to protect yourself. Keep in mind that security is a 24 hour a day, seven day a week job. On top of security, you will have many other jobs that will take a lot more time than it does today. In a disaster, all conveniences are gone. Think of yourself living in the 1800's. The good old horse and buggy days. You can't patrol your property totally by yourself. If you can, welcome people you know and trust to join you. Spread the security detail across more people. Another way to reduce the amount of manned security required is to introduce a passive security perimeter using trip wire alarms, tangle foot wire, barricades, dogs, and anything else that can alert you that your attention is required in a particular area.

Transportation - This is especially true if you live near any large city. If the food is all gone and things get crazy, where will you go? How will you get there? How much stuff can you take with you? Do you have a place to go? Make up a bugout bag that can help you get by for a few days. The internet is full of information on these. Plan for it today so you're not scrambling when things get crazy.

Shelters - You need to have the ability to protect yourself or your stuff from natural or man made disasters, or those who want what you have. We build underground shelters and harden homes to resist intrusion. The price is only limited by your imagination and your wallet.

Silver & Gold - Precious metals have been used as currency since just about the beginning of time. It's a great hedge against inflation or even worse, hyper-inflation, which will make paper money worthless.

Hopefully, this article will get you thinking, and more important, acting toward protecting you and your family from whatever life throws at you. Don't wait. Get started today. Check out sites like survivalblog.com and youtube's southernprepper1 and engineer775. Take it one bite at a time. You will be glad you did. You will be doomed if you don't.

Note: If you don't look around at the rest of this blog, you're missing a ton of information...