One of the most common questions I get asked from new preppers is simply how to get started. If you’ve been living a preparedness lifestyle for a while, you can probably remember those first few months and being extremely overwhelmed. You may have been like a lot of new preppers and had some sort of SHTF event that you sure was right around the corner that you needed to scramble to prepare for or else life as we know it would cease to exist…somehow. Hopefully, it didn’t take you long (and didn’t cost you too much money) to learn that real, practical prepping isn’t about breaking the bank preparing for a single event but instead is about preparing for all the stuff life likes to throw at us both big and small. Today we’re going to go over a new preppers list that outlines the first 3 steps that a new prepper should begin with to start down the road to self-reliance and true independent liberty on the right foot.
Financial Preparedness – $1000 Emergency Fund
The first step in our new preppers list is financial preparedness. Now this isn’t nearly as exciting as tactical training with firearms, growing a couple acres of food or learning 543 ways to make fire without matches. However, in my opinion financial preparedness is the most important aspect of practical prepping and establishing a $1000 emergency fund is the first step. A financial emergency can happen at any time. Unexpected vehicle repairs, medical bills and job losses are a lot more common than even localized natural disasters, let alone the big SHTF type of
Hollywood disasters like pandemics and EMPs. $1000 may not get you through every financial disaster, but it will get you through most of them.
Since these small financial disasters are the most common type of disasters you’re likely to encounter, I feel that getting to this $1000 reserve very quickly is important. Go through your monthly spending budget and decide what expenses you could live without for a few months. We want to go on “financial lock-down” until this cash is raised. Yes it might be a pain to give up going out to eat; cutting the cable bill for a few months and doing without some of the daily conveniences, but you’ll raise that $1000 and be a lot more prepared for a common financial disaster once you do. Once you have this cash raised, it may be a good idea to keep half of it stored in the bank, and the other half stashed away in cash in a fireproof container in a secure and hidden area in your home in case there is a disaster that may require cash on hand.
Check out some of our past posts on Financial Preparedness
Food Preps – 30 day food and water supply
The next step in our new preppers list is becoming 30 days self-sufficient for food and water. Although 30 days might not seem like a lot (and it’s not) having at least 30 days of food and water stored will get you through most disasters. It doesn’t matter if it’s a job loss, localized natural disaster, a pandemic or the zombie apocalypse (our favorite) stored food is the foundation to preparing for any long-term disaster scenario. Storing 30 days of food is actually easier than
most make it out to be. Take a look in your kitchen; you probably have at least a week of non-perishable food items already, so getting to a month will be easy.
There are several ways to go about this, but I find the easiest way is to just start out with common canned goods. Whenever you go to the grocery store, buy a day’s worth of meals in canned goods for everyone in your family and put them away. Find things that are simple to prepare. Spaghetti-o’s, canned soups, chili and canned meats and veggies are cheap and will store for a minimum of a year or two. Although you will want to eventually diversify the types of foods you are storing (and start making some of your own) this is still a great start and will get you through pretty much anything we’re likely to come across.
Storing a months’ worth of water is also fairly easy, but you do have to plan out how much you need. The very base minimum you should be storing is 1 gallon of water per person per day (although I’m much more comfortable with 2 gallons). We’re not going to go into procuring water from other sources, purifying it and all the other wilderness survival types of skills for this because I think it’s important to have at least 30 days of water stored so that you don’t have to worry about procuring water for at least that amount of time. One of the easiest ways to start storing up water is to simply clean and refill common 2 liter bottles and gallon jugs with tap water.
Check out some of our past posts on storing food and water
Start your own preppers list – What do you want to accomplish in the next year?
The final step in our new preppers list is about setting goals and planning out how you’re going to achieve them. This is a little more general than the last 2 steps but it’s very important to start doing this right out of the gate when you first start your preparedness journey. So many preppers today start out buying tons of food, ammo, spend thousands of dollars on “survival gear” and yet really have no clear cut plan on what they are trying to accomplish with all these things. In the end, they’re really no more prepared than someone who’s never even heard of prepping.
What I suggest doing is to take some time to set up a prepper “wish list” that will cover everything you would like to accomplish over the next year. This list will include things like food and water storage goals, new skills you want to learn over the next year, checklists and “to-do tasks” for things like putting together a bugout bag and documentation package. Essentially this list should include all your prepper goals for the next year and a clear plan on how you’re going to reach those goals. It’s also very important to outline a budget for your preps. Depending on the skills you want to learn or the types of preps you want to stockpile, prepping can become very pricey very quickly if you’re not careful. You don’t want to put yourself in financial trouble just to buy a few more cases of food or a few bricks of ammo! Don’t worry about overloading yourself on your list, adding more items than you can accomplish will simply motivate you to do more and will give you a head start on what to put on next year’s list.
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