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Introduction

Life is unpredictable, and disasters can strike at any time. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a power outage, or a pandemic, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies. Prepping, short for emergency preparedness, is the process of planning and stocking up on supplies to ensure that you and your family can survive in the event of an emergency. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of prepping and how you can start preparing for emergencies today.

Personal Encounter with Pandemic Scarcity

The covid pandemic has introduced me to unprecedented experiences. It all started with the scarcity of essential goods due to the hoarding of products. Being a raw feeder, my foremost concern was the supply of food for my pets. In no time, the supply dwindled, and the prices skyrocketed. The feeling of helplessness was concerning. Here we were, in 2020, experiencing shortages and scarcity of products and food that I had only seen happen in other countries. Not being in control is something I dislike the most. Uncertainties do not sit well with human nature.

Although prepping was something that had been on my mind for a while, I had not acted on it. Witnessing the extent of havoc that a pandemic like this can wreak, I have now taken prepping seriously, and I am determined to avoid a vulnerable situation like that again.

 

Why Prepping is Important

When disaster strikes, it’s often too late to start preparing. Being prepared can mean the difference between life and death, and having the necessary supplies can make a big difference in how you and your family fare during an emergency. Prepping is not just about stockpiling food and water; it’s also about having a plan in place for what to do in an emergency.

Some reasons why prepping is important include:

  • Natural disasters: Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can strike at any time. Having supplies on hand can help you weather the storm and stay safe.
  • Power outages: Power outages can occur for a variety of reasons, including severe weather, equipment failure, or cyber attacks. Having alternative sources of power, such as generators or solar panels, can be a lifesaver during a blackout.
  • Pandemics: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how quickly a virus can spread and how important it is to have supplies on hand. Being prepared for a pandemic means having personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, as well as food and water to sustain yourself in case of quarantine or lockdown.

 

Prepping Supplies

When it comes to prepping supplies, there are several key items that you should consider stocking up on. While everyone’s needs may be different, here are some basic supplies that every prepper should have:

  • Water: You should have at least one gallon of water per person per day. Store water in plastic containers, and don’t forget to include water for pets.
  • Food: Stockpile non-perishable foods that don’t require refrigeration or cooking, such as canned goods, peanut butter, and crackers. Don’t forget to include a manual can opener.
  • First aid kit: A first aid kit should include bandages, gauze, antiseptic wipes, and any prescription medications that you or your family members need.
  • Flashlights and batteries: In case of a power outage, you’ll need a reliable source of light. Stock up on flashlights and batteries, or consider investing in a solar-powered lantern.
  • Personal hygiene items: Don’t forget to include toilet paper, soap, and other personal hygiene items in your prepping supplies.
  • Cash: In case of a power outage, ATMs may not work. Keep some cash on hand in case you need to purchase supplies.

 

Creating a Prepping Plan

In addition to stocking up on supplies, it’s important to have a plan in place for what to do in an emergency. Here are some steps you can take to create a prepping plan:

  1. Identify potential risks: Think about the types of emergencies that are most likely to occur in your area, such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
  2. Determine your family’s needs: Consider your family’s unique needs, such as any medical conditions or dietary restrictions.
  3. Create an evacuation plan: If you need to evacuate your home, know the routes and destinations you will take.
  4. Establish a communication plan: Have a way to communicate with family members in case you get separated during an emergency. Consider setting up a group chat or designated meeting place.
  5. Practice your plan: Conduct drills with your family to make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.

Remember, a prepping plan is not set in stone. Be open to revising it as needed based on new information or changing circumstances.

FAQ About Prepping

What are the most common emergencies or events preppers prepare for?

Preppers often prepare for natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.), pandemics, economic collapse, civil unrest, and other situations that can disrupt daily life.

What should I include in my emergency preparedness kit?

Essential items include non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, hygiene products, clothing, blankets, flashlights, batteries, a radio, a multi-tool, and important documents.

Do I really need to prepare for emergencies? Can't I just rely on first responders to help me?

While first responders are there to help in emergencies, they may not be able to reach everyone right away. It’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least a few days until help arrives.

How much food and water should I stockpile?

The general recommendation is to store at least one-week supply of non-perishable food and one gallon of water per person per day.

What if I live in a small apartment and don't have a lot of storage space?

You can still prep even if you don’t have a lot of space. Consider storing supplies under your bed or in a closet, and look for compact items such as collapsible water containers.

Is prepping expensive?

Prepping can be done on a budget. Start by stockpiling a few basic supplies, and gradually build up your stockpile over time.

What are the best types of food for long-term storage?

Common choices include canned goods, dried goods (rice, pasta, beans, etc.), freeze-dried meals, and long shelf-life emergency food rations.

How do I store food and water for long-term storage?

Food should be stored in a cool, dry place in airtight containers. Water should be stored in food-grade containers, preferably away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

How can I become more self-sufficient?

Some ways to increase self-sufficiency include learning skills like gardening, canning, hunting, fishing, and cooking from scratch, as well as exploring alternative energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

Should I learn first aid and CPR?

Yes, acquiring first aid and CPR skills is essential for any prepper, as they can be life-saving in emergency situations.

How do I prepare for a potential evacuation?

Have a go-bag or evacuation kit ready with essentials like food, water, clothing, medications, important documents, and cash. Also, establish a family communication and evacuation plan.

What should I consider when choosing a bug-out location?

Look for a location that is away from densely populated areas, has access to water and natural resources, and provides shelter or the ability to build a shelter.

What is a bug-out bag?

A bug-out bag is a portable emergency kit that contains essential items needed for short-term survival (usually 72 hours) in case of an evacuation or crisis situation.

How can I stay informed during an emergency?

Having a battery-operated or hand-crank radio is essential for receiving information and updates during an emergency, as well as maintaining communication with family members or emergency responders.

Should I have a self-defense plan?

Yes, having a self-defense plan is essential for personal safety. This may include learning martial arts, carrying personal defense items like pepper spray, or having a firearm (if legal and with proper training).

How can I ensure my home is secure during an emergency?

Strengthening your home security can involve installing deadbolts, reinforcing doors and windows, investing in a security system, and creating a safe room or shelter in your home.

What types of emergencies should I consider when planning for my specific location?

Evaluate the natural and man-made risks in your area, such as hurricanes, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, or nuclear power plant accidents.

How do I involve my family in prepping and emergency planning?

Educate your family members about potential risks, teach them necessary skills, and involve them in creating and practicing evacuation and communication plans.

How do I prepare my pets for an emergency?

Have an emergency kit for your pets that includes food, water, medications, and a carrier or crate. Ensure your pets are microchipped and have up-to-date identification tags.

How can I stay connected with other preppers or community resources?

Connect with local prepper groups, online forums, or social media communities to share knowledge, resources, and support.

Conclusion

Prepping is an important part of emergency preparedness. By stocking up on supplies and creating a prepping plan, you can ensure that you and your family are ready to face any emergency that comes your way. Remember, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. So, take the time to prepare today, and have peace of mind knowing that you’re ready for whatever comes your way.