Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. All preppers feel this, it’s the basis for the reason many starts prepping. Prepping is a mindset, a way of life; and it all starts with the word ‘prepare’.
The Definition of Prepare
The word prepare is what Prepper Life® is based on. Getting prepared. Preparedness supplies. Preparing. Prepping. Being prepared.
~Prepare | verb - to make ready beforehand for some purpose, use or activity
~Prepared | adjective – 1. to put in a proper state of mind 2. subjected to a special process or treatment
~Preparedness | noun – the quality or being prepared
~Preparing | verb – to get ready
~Prepare | verb – to put things or oneself in readiness; get ready
~Prepared | adjective – properly expectant, organized, or equipped; ready
~Preparedness | noun – 1. The state of being prepared 2. Posses of adequate armed forces, industrial resources, and potential, etc., especially as deterrent to enemy attack
~Preparing | verb – to get ready
Prepping vs. Being Prepared
Prepping simply means to prepare, in anticipation, for something that may or may not happen with the idea that you and your family will be protected and survive the supposed threat.
It can essentially be defined as an action or process of preparing something, like your supplies, or preparing for something, like a natural disaster. For instance, if you are in a hurricane-prone area, prepping could include stocking up on water and non-perishables, putting shutters on your windows, or checking that your flashlights have fresh batteries.
Being prepared, on the other hand, is the finished product of prepping. Getting to that point where you consider yourself fully prepared for you and your family to survive certain scenarios is the whole point of living the prepper life in the first place. Prepping is the process, being prepared is the end goal.
~What is a Prepper?
~A prepper is someone who is readily prepared or trying to become prepared for every regional disaster, emergency, or 'everyday' scenario that could happen to them and their families. Often times a close call with danger triggers one to become a prepper. Ultimately confronting the fragility of ones life is the ultimate catalyst that catapults them into the Prepper Life.
~Often times the term 'Prepper' has a negative connotations associated like frantic bunker digging, toilet paper hoarding, conspiracy theorists. However, in reality, most times they are just average people trying to keep their families safe. The more serious preppers could in-fact have a private bunker or cellar stocked with all the necessary supplies and procedures in place to survive a serious long term disaster, but that just makes them a well prepared individual.
~Our goal here at prepper life is simple; to help others prepare to protect themselves and their families, allowing as many people to survive dangerous scenarios and to thrive afterward.
How to Begin Your Prepping Journey
The word prepare holds significance in everyday life. Being prepared comes in handy for day-to-day routines, when traveling, and in emergency situations. The truth is, even the most prepared survivalist can't be 100% prepared for every possible scenario. But, our ultimate goal as preppers is to get as close as we can.
~Being prepared is an everyday state. Most people have predictable lifestyles. They go to the same stores, the same malls, same restaurants, etc. Being prepared when driving to and from, when shopping, when eating; are all important. You could get a flat tire, an house fire could break out, someone could choke on dinner. To survive these day-to-day issues takes prepping.
~Preparing for your day-to-day routine:
~~1. Know Where You’re Going
~~Unless you travel frequently, your day-to-day activities probably lay within your town, city, or county. Most people have standard places they frequent: the Walmart on so-and-so road, the family diner down the street, or the strip mall 20 minutes away. The fact that you always visit these establishments means you should have extensive knowledge the venue and surrounding areas.
~~As a prepper it is important to take note of the exits, where the nearest hospital is, is there a payphone nearby, is it in a bad part of town, etc. Remembering all of these details could mean could save a life.
~~2. Think About What Could Happen
~~Depending on the part of town, the kind of people that live in your city, how new the roads are, and your knowledge of the natural disasters your location is prone to; you should be able to piece together a decent list of what may or may not happen while you are out-and-about.
~~If you are visiting a store in a bad part of town you might consider pickpockets, or muggers. If you drive down a poorly paved or dirt road daily you will likely, at one point or another, get a flat tire. If you have children and like to attend crowded venues, you may consider the idea that your kid could wander off.
~~Keeping all of these possibilities in mind will keep you sharp on your daily travels.
~~3. Have a Public Meeting Spot Planned
~~If you have small children, wandering teens, or even a curious significant-other having a designated meeting spot for your most frequented locations can save you a lot of stress and anxiety. If every member of your family knows to meet up at the fancy water fountain in your local mall if separated, you will always know where to find one another.
~~For really young children it may be a good idea to run periodic meeting spot drills until you are sure they know your desired meeting spots for all of your regular place.
~~4. Carry/Stash Your EDC or Get Home Bag
~~One of the good ‘ol basics of everyday prepping is an EDC (everyday carry) bag or a get home bag. Preppers that have children often opt for the EDC bag. Depending on the results on the 3 steps above, your EDC bag should include a first aid kit, flashlight, kid items (diapers, formula, etc.), non-perishable snacks, door stopper, knife, lighter, and water. These few basics can help you survive an everyday emergency.
~~Preppers who only need to worry about themselves tend to opt for a get home bag that can be stashed in the trunk of the car. This is convenient so you don’t have to carry a backpack everywhere you go. Just remember in the case of any incident you will need to make it back to your car before you can take advantage of your survival kit. Items of a get home bag are rather similar to an EDC. However, due to not having to carry it around you can add a few additional items like a tarp or survival blanket, fire starter, weapon of choice, paracord or rope, power bank, compass, extra clothes, whistle, wet wipes, paper map, etc.
~You can’t let your guard down, especially when traveling. While you do not want to overthink and not enjoy your vacation, making sure your family is prepared while traveling is a part of the preparedness lifestyle. Preparing to travel is important for the standard reasons like making sure you don’t forget deodorant or your phone charger, you also need to prepare for any surprises like a natural disaster or injury.
~The whole point of travel preparedness is to avoid common travel mishaps and situations that may leave you stranded or worse; stranded and injured without survival supplies.
~~1. Check your Passport and Visa
~~This is especially critical if you are leaving the United States to enter into other countries that require a visa to visit. Always ensure beforehand that your passport and visa are up-to-date. For example, some countries require your passport be valid for at least six months post-return date. The U.S. State Department actually recommends that citizens apply to renew their passports at least nine months before they are due to expire.
~~The State Department has all the information you would need to prepare for your specific situation as well as critical information about your host country. You can also register your trip with the State Department.
~~2. Confirm the Status of your Destination
~~Part of preparing for your travels is ensuring the destination is safe for you to travel to. There are a few ways to go about this depending on what you are checking for. To check for the potential of natural disasters you can look up the local weather to see if there are any storms or other warning signs. To ensure a location is safe medically, politically, or dangerous to visit in any way; you can check the website of the State Department for health advisories and government-issued travel warnings for destinations with a long history of conflict and insecurity.
~~3. Get a Check Up
~~Currently, due to the persistent Covid pandemic many places may require you to have negative covid test or even require full vaccination before travel. Other notorious destinations have long since requires some form of medical reassurance like requiring travelers to be vaccinated against polio, yellow fever, etc. These requirements are in place to prevent you from getting some of the worst diseases out there when trying to enjoy your vacation.
~~To get the proper information you can visit the CDC website and get the vital health information and other travel requirements for your specific destination. Your preparedness may include anything from getting vaccinated for things like Zika virus, filling your prescription, or even packing an extra pair of your prescription glasses.
~~4. Choosing your Payment Methods
~~Lost or stolen credit cards become a much greater risk when traveling, especially when traveling abroad. Elaborate and not-so-elaborate schemes to steal tourists’ money are becoming increasingly popular. While no one wants their money to be stolen, it is something everyone needs to be prepared for.
~~For instance, carry only 1 or 2 of your credit cards at a time so only a portion of your finances gets disrupted, bring extra cash in case your cards get compromised, and always keep your debit card safe as that should be your last line of defense. If you carry all your money together and something happens; you will have no money and no way to get yourself and your family out a very sticky situation.
~~As part of your travel preparedness process make sure you select how much and what forms of money you will bring, being sure to have a backup plan. Most hotels and cruises have safes in the rooms, as a safeguard you can always keep your extra money and a designated card in there at all times. This backup card will ensure you have a way to pay for everything you need to make it back home and/or until your cards can be canceled and your money returned.
~~Lastly, if traveling out of state or abroad it is always recommended to let your financial institutions know you will be traveling to said locations so your cards do not get paused or declined while you are trying to have fun.
~~5. Pack Appropriately
~~While many consider packing to be the most essential part of their pre-travel prep list, those who are not avid preppers often get it wrong. Yes; packing clothes, underwear, hygiene products, and electronics are all great, but a true prepper knows there are some essentials missing from that list.
~~When packing for a trip take put your prepper hat on and ask yourself what natural disasters happen in that area? Will we be outside? Will we be active? How many days will we be gone? All these elements need to be considered. If you are visiting a theme park, make sure to pack sunscreen, anti-nausea and headache meds, refillable water bottles, etc. Visiting a national park, like the Grand Canyon? Pack a first aid kit, extra snacks, waters, sunscreen, etc.
~For Disaster and Emergency Situations
~Emergencies happen. While you pray it doesn’t happen to you, you must prepare for it regardless. Broadly speaking, preparing for emergencies requires a three-step approach:
- Being informed
- Making a plan
- Building an emergency kit
~~1. Get Informed
~~Knowledge is one of the most valuable items in a prepper’s arsenal. Knowing as much as you can about disasters and emergencies that can affect your area is crucial. Is it disaster-prone? What disasters are likely to occur? Is the disaster seasonal, predictable, unpredictable? What do you need to do to keep you and your family safe?
~~2. Make Plans
~~Knowing what potential emergencies could happen to you allows for you to make a plan for each potential event. While that may seem intense, each emergency can require different action plans and supplies, so, having specially tailored plans ready is invaluable. Having a shelter-in-place plan for hurricane season, a fire evacuation plan for a house fire, or even a public meeting spot for those terrible instances in which case your family gets separated in a crowded place.
~~3. Put Together Survival Kits
~~As you make your plans, formulate an emergency or survival kit to match each scenario and plan. If that seems unreasonable for your current level of preparedness, simply having an EDC bag would still put you ahead of the layman. These kits should include enough supplies for your whole family, including any pets. These specifically designed kits ensure you are prepared should you need to survive without running water or power for a few days in the aftermath of a disaster. All kits should be easy enough to carry or place in your car should an evacuation order come down.
~~Your kit should at least include the following basic emergency supplies:
- Water. A gallon of drinkable water per member per day.
- Food. Pack non-perishables for each person for at least three days.
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra batteries.
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit. Preferably the kind that features ointments and basic medications.
- Local map. Yes, a paper map.
- Phones and power banks.
- Whistle. To signal for help.
- Prescriptions. Enough doses for at least 3 days.