Awakened from their slumber, your family hears sirens. As little Suzie emerges from her room carrying her Blankie, crying for her mommy, a loud siren races by.
Precocious twelve-year-old Joey is already going for the remote to check the news, while fifteen-year-old Mary staggers into the picture complaining her phone has no service.
Joey yells out, “Power’s out”. Scrambling in the dark, you’re cursing “I can’t find my pants” and realizing the only flashlight the family owns is in the car. Haphazardly dressed, stumbling out to see the confusion on the family’s faces. Sarah says “John, what’s going on?”. Looking at her you see fear in her eyes and replying “I don’t know”.
As you head for the door, you say, “Everyone stay inside. I’m going out to have a look around.” Outside, the neighbors are looking around talking. Turning and looking up you see in the distance the city burning. Numb from this, you almost don’t hear that prepper neighbor of yours who’s radio tower blocks your view.
He shakes you. “John, did you hear me? We’ve been attacked”. Racing in to your family, you realize this will change things. You have little food, and the damn flashlight broke last week when you got that flat tire.
The horror of reality strikes you like a hammer. How can you take care of your family if something happens? You wake up, sweat soaking the bed in a panic and realize it was just a dream.
Welcome to the world of prepping. You’ve decided you need to take steps to get prepared, but what do you do? Many will say, “just start stocking food and water”. And Yes, by all means do so, but it all gets so overwhelming. How much? What else do you need? What about heat, protection, cooking? Are we safe here?
Suddenly… it is not so simple and has just become a logistical nightmare and you are completely overwhelmed. Not only by the sheer size of the task, but all the things to consider, the questions you have.
Dear Sarah has begun to buy extra food, and you have scoured every inch of the internet for what to do and how.
Now you come to the next realization, you now have information overload and are completely lost in it. This is when you slow down and take a breather. Time to slow down and get organized!
First thing to consider is why you wish to be prepared. Get out a notebook and write down what you see is immediate reasons to prep. Could it be as simple as a job loss, or a larger threat like a hurricane or tornado.. a full on zombie apocalypse?
Reel in your fears for the worst and start writing. Having a good backup of extra food, water, light, heat and general needs is a good place to begin basic prepping and frankly, just a good idea. But now you know what it is you prepare for. You’ve identified what you see is the threats to your family and can act on that.
While you write your outline and have decided where you wish to be in terms of duration you want to be prepared to weather, a few basic needs must be considered, so here is a thought.
Think in terms of time periods…. Time it takes you to get home from work, a day, 3 days, weeks, months and, yes, even years.
Start small. Look at getting together a get home bag, things like water, matches, snacks, small items. Visualize this as the size of a purse or small backpack. It can likely even be gathered from things you already have around the house.
Next thing Is to assess your area. Are you rural, or in the nice neighborhood 5 miles from gangland USA, penthouse apartment? What is near you? Would you possibly need to leave? This brings into Light the bug out bag or “BOB”.
This will have more things and there are many good articles about these and I highly recommend everyone has one. They can not only be helpful or even lifesaving if you need to hightail it to your favorite campground for a bit. More important, it will have things you need even if you stay put and it will be all in one place.
Start with these things and you will feel better prepared almost immediately. Getting your thoughts organized is possibly one of the most important things you can do. Creating an outline and stop the running in circles will give you direction and focus. Begin with “what do I prep for?”
Subsection suggestions are in no particular order and by no means complete. Because your highest priorities may differ from mine, this is just an example of some sections to think of adding to your outline:
- Get Home Bag
- Purification tablets 8
- Pocket knife
- “BOB” [Learn Here]
- Water purification
- Extra clothes
- Extra socks
- Warm jacket
- Hiking boots
- Mess kit
- toilet paper
- Firstaid kit
- Skills to hunt
- Wild plants
- Bug out location
- securing home
- Self defense (hand to hand)
- Pain relievers
- First aid
- SAS survival guide
- First aid book
- Foxfire books
This is not a full list, but an example of how to get yourself organized. Download the PDF
A big recommendation and top of my list of things is education, know how to do things to help you survive if you lost all your preps. This, I feel, is one of the biggest mistakes people make, thinking they can put away enough to survive. While this would be ideal, there is always the unforeseen. Tornado completely destroys them, a gang takes them, you must leave with little and now you’re on your own without.
Learn how to purify water, what plants are good to eat by learning bush-crafting skills. The number one prep you have is you, and the more you know, the better you can adapt. Once you get your thoughts together and formulate a plan, it then becomes clear and easier.
“May the odds be ever in your favor”—Hunger Games