Everyone is a Prepper to some degree. Whether you bake pies in the fall and keep them in your
freezer for the winter, have a backup generator for your home in case of a power outage or stock up
on extra food or water when they are on sale that is prepping.
There is no shame in being a Prepper. Whether you have an under-ground bunker buried in the
back yard complete with a chemical biological filtration system, 10,000 rounds of military grade
ammunition in sealed containers or a freezer in the garage with the holiday roast and a month’s worth
of dinners, you are part of a larger community that is about being prepared.
Being prepared can mean keeping a few extra cases of bottled water and canned soups in your
pantry, it can mean installing a high-tech security system in your home, drilling for an ambush and
planning choke points in your driveway to repel armed invaders or simply having extra batteries and
flashlights in your kitchen drawers in case the lights go out from a storm or downed tree cutting off the
There are three (3) main considerations to prepping:
2. World View
The first consideration and most Preppers overlook this, is your budget. Not all paychecks are
created equal and many of us earn more or less than our neighbors. Some of us have unlimited
budgets and plenty of cash and most of us do not. Some Preppers prepare for the worst case scenario
and don’t put money into their retirement plans or away for their kid’s college educations. Other
Preppers sit down and figure out how much per month they can and want to spend on prepping and
treat it like any other expense. There is no right or correct amount to spend on prepping. It’s
whatever you can afford that gives you the peace of mind you need.
The second consideration for prepping is your world view. Are you preparing for the
breakdown of the government, all infrastructure and total chaos on a world scale like global
thermonuclear war leading to a nuclear winter, a pandemic sporting the latest antibiotic resistant flu
strain, or are you worried about another hurricane knocking out your power? Or maybe you just want a
security system to keep your home and personal property safe when you go on vacation this year?
The third consideration is choosing a location to prepare. The term “bug out” and “bug in” have
become synonymous with prepping. Many hours of TV programming have been devoted to bugging
out or bugging and preparing for a road trip to a safe house away from the strife and turmoil of the
outside world. Whether you bug in or bug out, location will be driven mainly by the first and second
considerations of prepping. Budget and world view.
If you live on the beach anywhere on the eastern seaboard, it’s a good idea to have another
home or place to go when the next hurricane comes into town. If the zombie apocalypse is the issue,
having a bug out location is a great idea as well (assuming zombies do get tired of walking?). In lieu of
the cost of multiple homes, staying put in your own home or apartment may be your best bet. And you
have to consider you won’t be the only one fleeing a troubled area and may have to make the trip on
There are five (5) basic and fundamentals pillars of prepping:
1. Water filtration/Food storage.
3. Medical supplies/Health care
You cannot survive more than two to three days without a supply of clean water. You can last a good
week up to three weeks without food (more if you’ve got some extra meat on your bones…) but your
strength and energy levels will suffer adversely without food and you’re likely be more prone to illness
or injury. Ideally, all food and water sources should be renewable which means they can be
replenished and used continuously without running out in the short term.
Water storage and filtration should be your first priority. Depending upon your size and the climate you
can get by with one gallon per day per person. This is for drinking and cooking. In an emergency it is
advisable to forgo bathing and flushing the toilet until there is ample water for those activities.
Tap water contains chemicals as all municipal water supplies are treated. However, your home’s water
feed is gravity fed and will work generally without electrical power and you can buy a filtration system
for it. Well water may be more pure but is also prone to ground water contamination and most well
pumps are electric (hence the need for a backup generator). Streams may be too far to walk to daily
and their water generally contains various parasites and must be filtered or boiled (min of 10 minutes)
before drinking. Bottled water supplies can run out and those plastic bottles are not good for the
environment. Rain water, filtered can be an excellent back up source for the Prepper and it can be
stored in containers ready for immediate use. The basic rule is you cannot have too much water on
Food supplies are your second priority. They can be anything from store bought canned goods,
MREs (military lingo for Meals Ready to Eat) which are freeze dried foods -- just add water (hence the
need for a large water supply), home canned foods you prepare yourself to raising animals like
chickens that produce eggs or make good eating in their own right. You can store rice and beans in
Mylar bags, suck out the air (aka moisture) and they will stay good for decades. Most commercially
processed canned or packaged goods will also stay years past their freshness dates, though you
should make it a habit of rotating out your stock of canned goods on a regular basis by keeping track of
their expiration dates.
Special note on Twinkies and other manufactured food items. Most processed foods will last for
years but now that Hostess is no longer producing Twinkies, now would be a good time to go out and
horde them for future use.
The most important factor in food storage is don’t stock up on things your family won’t eat! You
would be surprised how often this is an issue, seriously. Food items can be bulky and you need a good
amount of space to store the cans, jars, packages, buckets, etc. Not to mention raising animals like
chickens, rabbits, goats, cows, etc. also requires space and they require food as well. If you live in an
apartment building you will have fewer options than someone who owns several acres of land. Plan
Ideally all food and water supplies should come from a renewable source. While most natural disasters
won’t last years there are other types that will and if they are a concern for you, then your top priority
should be securing a renewable source of food and water. Renewability means access to a stream,
well or other source of water. In terms of food, raising or hunting animals and growing fruits and
vegetables are all critical to your long term success.
Canning and preparing your own foods for storage is an excellent practice. Milling grains to bake your
own bread. Storing and harvesting seeds to grow vegetables. These are all skills that need to be
learned and they do require an investment in equipment and time to learn how to do them correctly but
the long term advantages to having the ability to sustain your food supply is priceless and may keep
you and your family alive. You can never have too much food or water on hand.
Shelter is as critical as food and water. If you live in a temperate climate without extreme
weather conditions you have more flexibility. If you live in a climate with 100 degree summers and sub-
zero degree winters, you have fewer options. Shelter must keep you warm, dry and protected not only
from the elements but from predators that walk on four legs as well as two legs.
Your home is typically your largest investment in time and money so protect it and by extension
your family accordingly. Whether you bug in or bug out, your shelters should have ample food, water,
medical, communications, security and heating supplies as needed. You can use a conventionally
stick built home for shelter, an underground prefabricated bunker, cabin in the woods or a high rise
apartment. The main decision in choosing shelter is based on what you can afford, where you live and
what type of event(s) you are preparing for.
Many of us have few options with shelter. We live where we can afford to live. Bugging out is
usually not an option for most people. The best way to prepare your home as your primary shelter is to
evaluate it based on your family’s needs. Does your home have attic or basement storage access?
Can you put a storage shed in the back yard? How many people are in your family? Do your neighbors
prep? Do you use oil heat or natural gas? Does anyone have special needs or a medical condition?
Municipal water supply or a well and septic system?
Without writing a separate book on preparing a shelter, your home needs to keep you and family
warm, dry and safe. It needs to provide ample room for supplies, withstand the elements of your
climate and provide safety from others that may do you harm. Ideally, it should have ample space so
the entire family doesn’t have to share the same room at the same time. And it should have a safe or
“panic room” where you can gather the family together at the same time in the case of an emergency.
In terms of heating and cooling your shelter, you can invest in solar power, wind power, gas or
oil, coal or pellets -- depending upon where you live and what types are fuels are readily available. If
you live in a warm or tropical climate, heating may not be a necessary consideration. In the Northeast
and most of the Western states, it is a major consideration. All systems should have a backup system.
For example, you should (budget permitting) have a backup generator and a solar or wind system as
well. For heating, both oil and gas furnaces require electricity for ignition and/or the blower (if they are
forced air) so a stove that burns coal or pellets is a necessary consideration. Most gas fired hot water
heaters do not require electricity to run. Aside from keeping your heating and cooling bills down,
alternate heating and cooling systems provide safety and comfort for you and your family.
Special note on backup electric generators. You can buy a portable gasoline fired generator to
run your homes’ critical systems (heating, cooling, refrigeration, etc.) but they require fuel every 10
hours or so (depending upon their tank size). If you are not able to run down to the local service
station to buy more gasoline due to a power outage…you may soon run out of power yourself. Your
options are only limited by your budget but you can store extra gasoline (keeping in mind it has a
limited shelf life of about one season) without chemically treating it for up to two years but if you live in
the Northeast it is recommended you swap it out every season.
The other option is to use a generator that burns natural gas as it is more efficient combustion wise
and the gas supplies are not initially contingent upon power outages. If natural gas is not available,
liquid propane is an excellent alternative. Tanks from 100 to 1000 gallons can be placed next to the
house or buried and a gas line trenched to the generator. This will insure a longer lasting supply of
fuel for a backup power supply. And as long as the power lines aren’t down, you should still have
cable TV service available unless you use a satellite service, then you only need to be concerned
about electrical power as the satellite is self-sufficient.
Security systems and home security should be developed in layers. Your first line of defense is
an early warning system of monitors and sensors to alert you to someone’s presence on your property
before they can enter your home. The second line of defense should be non-lethal in nature. Ideally, if
an alarm doesn’t scare of a would-be intruder, pepper spray or some other sort of non-lethal electrical
device should be used as well as a well-trained attack dog. There is a risk the animal could be shot or
wounded but it is a better alternative than to have that happen to a family member. The third line of
defense is your last resort. The use of deadly force should be applied when all other methods have
Home invaders come in two varieties. The kind that breaks in when no one is around; they are
trying to avoid a direct confrontation and injury to themselves. Looters and other petty drug
users/criminals generally fall into this category. The other kind of intruder is looking for a
confrontation and is usual armed and means to do harm to you and your family. This is the predator you
need to be concerned about because he is looking to commit acts of violence or rape as this is part of
the fun of it for him. Like most predators, good security will derail their plans and they will seek
another home to invade but if they don’t, lethal force may be the only way to stop them.
Clothing is up to individual taste but there are certain practical considerations to be taken into
account. If you reside in any climate with several weather conditions you need to keep a supply of
clothing for those contingencies. Having one pair of sneakers you wear 12 months a year isn’t going to
cut it in an emergency situation. You should have 2 outfits for all types of weather and extra socks
and undergarments. Washing clothing regularly if possible is ideal depending upon your water
reserves. Clean clothing provides a positive mental attitude and keeps germs away from your body
and thus you stay healthy.
Special note about physical fitness. You cannot be too healthy. Also too rich but you can be too
thin. Staying healthy gives you an advantage during any natural or unnatural disaster. Healthy people
have more stamina, need fewer hours of sleep and can perform physical tasks more efficiently and with
less energy. They eat and drink less to… There are many ways to stay in shape and not enough space
to describe them all. From a prepping standpoint, martial arts training is an extremely useful skill set to
possess. Not only do you stay in peak physical condition, but the practical aspects of the training will
give you confidence, it will give you the ability to defend yourself and your family with or without
having to resort to the use of lethal weapons.
Many Preppers overlook medical supplies and medical training. Having a first aide or
emergency medical kit is an excellent start but many people take prescription medications and during a
natural or unnatural disaster, these may become difficult or impossible to get so keep a good supply on
hand. Learning first aid basics such as CPR, stitching up a wound or setting a broken bone are critical
survival skills most sportsmen are aware of them but rarely get to practice. Any medical training you
can take is a huge benefit to your survivability during any disaster.
Having a radio, short wave, ham or regular FM/AM should be part of your emergency preparation
plans. Ideally you should have ones that run on batteries or a backup power supply. Ham radio used
to be a fringe hobby years ago but it is a great asset to have in times of civil unrest or any emergency
situation. If an evacuation has been called, you won’t hear the warnings without some sort of device
that can pick up a broadcast signal.
How well do you know your neighbors? Many of us don’t take or make the time to get to know
them and in some communities, neighbors know each other very well. In any emergency situation,
having a group of people who band together, greatly increases the odds of getting through the event
safely. Plus you may have electronics skills and a neighbor has blacksmithing skills. Another operates
ham radio, while another is an EMT, firefighter, police officer, soldier, doctor, pharmacist, etc. You can
never have too many friends with specific skill sets in an emergency situation. Their skills can
supplement yours and having support in any disaster or emergency is priceless.
Many Preppers have formed community groups and in the time of an emergency will band
together for support, protection and to share valuable resources. It’s good to have members in a
group with several specialties and others who can back them up with those special skill sets.
Some people feel it’s important to have cash, coins, gem stones, gold or silver supplies in case
of an event. Money or currency of any sort is always good to have on hand in an emergency. The only
exceptions to this are how bad the situation becomes. If a hurricane knocks out the power for a few
days and you need to buy food, having cash is critical as people and smaller stores will sell their items
for cash when your ATM debt card isn’t working. If a polar shift, sun spot or pandemic ravages the
population and destroys our infrastructure, bartering with food, water, medical supplies and
ammunition might be a better option.
Much emphasis has been placed on security when prepping. Most of the TV programs love
showing the guy with 4000 rounds of ammo for each of the 40 weapons he owns not to mention the
Samurai katana with the natural hamon line, various tactical folding and fixed blade knives and
compound bows. An ATF agent once said they consider firearms the “F” word so you know how they
feel about citizens owning guns. And of course this gets a lot of media attention and a lot of
uninformed people all feel the need to express the equally ignorant opinions on the matter. To put
aside the hype and fact that many guys and now women like their guns, whether they are Preppers or
not, there are some critical practical considerations when choosing to own and/or use lethal weapons
for your protection.
1. All guns should be treated as if they are loaded.
2. Never point a gun at something you do not intend to destroy.
3. Make sure you know what is behind your target and that friendless or innocents are not in your
line of fire.
4. Only shoot the largest caliber you can handle safely and with confidence.
5. Think in terms of reloading or resupplying your ammunition unless you own a munitions factory.
6. Alcohol, drugs, young children and firearms are a bad mix under all circumstances.
7. Anyone with access to a weapon MUST be thoroughly trained on how to use that weapon.
8. Practice, practice, practice. And then practice again.
9. If you must shoot, shoot to kill and don’t stop shooting when you think they are dead. Stop
shooting when they think they are dead.
10. See rules number one through ten again.
Regardless of your personal feelings or political views on firearms these are the facts. People kill
people and guns just make that endeavor more efficient. If you don’t defend yourself or refuse to take
responsibility for your family’s safety, they and/or you may become a victim of violence at some point.
In a perfect world, law enforcement will protect you. We unfortunately do not live in a perfect world.
Most importantly, do not casually buy a gun just because you think it will give you some measure of
security or safety because it won’t. Without training, experience and the proper mindset, you will
violate one of the 10 above mentioned considerations and someone might get injured or killed.
Carrying and using any weapon is a life altering experience. Taking a human life will change you and
rarely for the better. Once that bullet is released you cannot take it back. Carrying a weapon requires
a quantum shift in your thinking and it requires a lot of training to use it proficiently and the most
important consideration is to walk away whenever possible to avoid having to use a weapon.
“Drawing down” on someone should be your last option, not your first response.
Many states “permit” people to carry concealed weapons but don’t require rigorous training beyond a
basic safety class. The weapons permit gives you the legal authorization to carry the firearm(s) not
shoot someone with them (and knives are generally excluded). There are legal as well as moral
consequences for brandishing and discharging firearms. Police and military are given the benefit of a
doubt when they discharge their weapons. Civilians are not despite what the second amendment says.
Every Prepper has a different definition and level of commitment to prepping. There is no right way or
wrong way to prepare. The only error is not to prepare at all.
This message was sent by Adam from Connecticut Preppers.
|The Basics For The New Prepper