What is a Prepper?
Preparing is a basic human function. We prep for a visit to the grocery store by making a list. Eggs, check. Bread, check. Milk, check. You can even prepare mentally without physically doing anything."Prepping" is an extension of these normal preparations everyone already does. It is usually considered extreme due to the exposure it has garnered lately, being tied into ludicrous scenarios that grow more and more far fetched by the day. Those that use prepping to get ready for inevitable disasters or emergencies are "Preppers." At TruePrepper, we are here to clear the air. Prepping is not about daydreaming on doomsday scenarios, it is about being ready for threats likely and unlikely that will be thrown your way. Prepping is about keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from harm and staying in control in unavoidable situations. Five steps can help you stay in control not only when SHTF, but in everyday scenarios as well:
- Identify your Threats
- Determine/Prioritize your Risks
- Make a Plan
- Develop a Kit
- Train and Prepare
Reactions to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, highlight the importance of prepping for the well-being of your family. Understanding that post apocalyptic doomsday preppers are not the norm, and that most preppers are prepared for a wide range of disasters- from local emergencies all the way to economic collapse. The first step of prepping is understanding what these threats actually are.
Identify Your Threats
The first step is to take a look at all the threats we have identified on this website. Come back when you are done browsing, but it is quite a few! These are just threats we are making you aware of. Try to branch out and look at what your neighbors have experienced, conventional and unconventional. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Is your neighborhood prone to burglaries? How often?
- Do you live in a flood plain or where wildfires occur frequently?
- Do you live near a nuclear plant or a fault line?
- Do you live near a train that transports hazardous chemicals?
- Does your neighbor feed bears for fun?
You probably have the idea by now, and we could go on for pages. Writing the threats down will help you remember them for the next steps. There are many threats to your well being that we have not listed on this page, or ranked with our TrueRisk risk analysis system (such as bear attacks). These can be categorized as 'common sense' threats or 'unknown' threats. Common sense threats are threats that are so prevalent, we hope you have already considered them. This includes the possibility of a fatal car wreck, developing a debilitating health issue, and losing your job and having financial hardship to name a few. Unknown threats are threats not conceivable, or we have such little information on them we cannot judge the risk accurately. Don't ignore you or your family members's limitations, if you have them. You may have threats associated with disabilities or other personal factors which may also not have made our list.
Determine and Prioritize your Risks
Determining your risk to the threats you have identified is often overlooked in the prepping community, but it is one of the cornerstones of preparedness. Conducting a risk analysis is very important for prioritizing how you spend your time and physical resources. A risk analysis is completed by comparing the impact of a threat with the frequency that you anticipate that threat to occur. If you determine your risk levels wrong, and then prioritize your preparations accordingly, you may end up looking foolish or even worse, not being around to look foolish. Recently I read a blog post on how a well known prepper lost their home in a house fire. While my condolences go out to them and their family (nobody was injured, thankfully), I couldn't help but wonder if they had prioritized properly. Years of stockpiled food stores, energy solutions, and survival gear lost to one of the most common personal disasters that can affect a family. Take a look at our TrueRisk index, where at TruePrepper we have conducted a general risk analysis for you that you can tailor to your need. You will notice that almost everyone needs to prepare for house fires and home invasions first and foremost. Risk analysis and prioritization is important.
Make a Prepper Plan
Your plan can be written or verbal, small or large, a single plan or multiple plans, but it has to be shared and practiced. You have identified the threats, decided which you need to address and in what priority. Start with the high priority threats and plan accordingly. Your plan should include in the very least communication information, safe locations depending on threat, and ways to avoid threats and be more safe. Talk with your family about your plans for various disasters, emergencies, and survival scenarios. Share with trusted friends and ask for critiques to identify weak points in your planning.
Develop a Prepper Kit
Your kit can be generic, such as a simple disaster/survival kit, or it can be custom tuned to all threats you anticipate using specialized kits. The kit guides on TruePrepper are meant to get you started on developing different kits based on your needs. Our gear reviews are here to flesh out your prepper arsenal based on our collective knowledge and experience with the gear we share. Be wary of some items targeted to preppers online and in stores, as it is not always "you get what you pay for."
Train and Prepare
Set a schedule to practice, evaluate, and revise your emergency plans- at least annually. How do you prepare for the threats besides practicing your plan? You can mitigate them before they happen. If you live in a flood plain, look into flood insurance. Stay fit. You will be surprised at how much that helps all aspects of your life- not just during emergencies. Be resourceful. Keep learning new things- never stop learning. Survival skills are not only a huge help in making yourself self-sufficient, they are pretty fun to learn too. Last of all, although it is serious business to prepare for what life brings your way, try to have fun with it. If you find you enjoy prepping, you are more likely to stick with it and transfer the importance of being prepared to people you interact with.