Prepping: Basic Beginners Guide – Why Prep? (Pt. 1)

To those of you who have seen the importance of preparing and who have a desire to keep your family safe during a disaster: Congratulations.  Prepping is for

  • those who are preparing for an unknown economic future
  • those who see the importance of having necessary items in place before a disaster strikes
  • those who realize that the government is not going to save them and intend to save themselves
  • those who realize that being able to meet their own needs is the key to true freedom and peace of mind

This is a 2 part series that will give you the basic fundamentals of how to start prepping, help you gain an understanding of why you need to have certain disaster supplies in place, and give insight on where to get those supplies.

If you are new to prepping, you should start by planning for a specific disaster that could likely occur in your area, and then begin acquiring items for your basic needs should that event occur. To start, begin with a two week supply of food and water and begin building upon that. If a person lives in an area prone to flash flooding and torrential downpours from thunderstorms, the items they choose would be different than survival items chosen for earthquake preparedness.

Preparing for a short term disaster or a long term disaster shares the same basic goal.  That goal is: to be self-sufficient and have the ability to care for yourself and your family independently during an unforeseen disaster.  Create a disaster check list  to add another layer of disaster planning and to expedite the process of dealing with a disaster, if one comes your way.

Know What You Are Preparing For


Disasters can strike quickly and without warning.  Knowing what type of disasters could affect the area you live in will help you plan more thoroughly for the disaster.  Deciding on the type of disaster to prepare for will also determine the type of survival gear that is needed.  For example, if you live in the Eastern coastal regions, you might begin preparing for a hurricane. If you live on the West Coast, an earthquake is a more likely crisis in your area.  What weather-related issues are the most common for your location?  Is there a reason you might need to make an emergency evacuation, such as a plant nearby that could have a likelihood of chemical spills?

Typically, the best way to prepare for a disaster is to plan for the worst case scenario so that all areas are covered.  Many think this ideology is a bit excessive, but being completely prepared and self-sufficient for a given disaster is the basis of prepping.  Soon, thinking of the possibilities and how to solve the issues that arise will be second nature for you.

Types of Preppers

We all prepare for something whether it be for a bad storm, unemployment or for a long-term disasters. That said, because of the many different disasters that can affect us, there are different types of preppers to go along with those different scenarios. Short term preppers are those that want to be prepared for anywhere between 1 week-3 months. Many government websites such as The American Red Cross and FEMA suggest every family have a short term food supply in the case that food routes are interrupted due to severe storms or another unforeseen event.

Longer term preppers are generally planning for disasters that could last for a more extended period of time. They plan for longer periods of self-sufficiency in the event that such a disaster does occur. These preppers have a short term supply to complement their long term supply.  A longer term food supply usually includes dehydrated foods, MRE’s, seeds, hand crank wheat grinders, and equipment to be used in a non-technological environment.  For a more detailed list of short term food supplies and longer term food supplies, click HERE.

Disasters do not just happen to other people – they can happen to you, and they can happen to me.  When you are prepared for a given scenario, then you already have tools in place for when you need them the most.  According to some, prepping has become some sort of a trendy, social movement.  Preparing for a disaster and being self-sufficient has occurred for centuries.  It is nothing new.  It is simply families trying to make the hard times easier.

For information on necessary and essential items needed to prepare for emergencies, go to Prepping: A Beginner’s Guide – Pt. 2

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 16th, 2010
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