How to Start Prepping
A comprehensive preparedness guide for preppers just starting their preparedness journey.
This is a dynamic guide curated by all of our authors. How to Start Prepping is constantly being updated with up to date and accurate information, so please check back frequently for updates.
So you’re ready to start prepping and to be ready for any emergency or disaster?
Prepping can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like to make it. The scope of your preparedness journey depends on what resources you are willing to commit to your future stability.
What is Prepping?
The best definition of prepping is that it is common sense on steroids.
Prepping is simply following five steps:
- Learn your Threats
- Determine/Prioritize your Risks
- Make a Plan
- Develop a Kit
- Train, Prepare, and Share
You’ve Already Begun Prepping
You are already started prepping to some degree. Don’t believe us? Consider this:
- Do you have a savings account?
- Do you have first aid supplies?
- Do you have a smoke detector?
- Do you have any insurance?
- Do you keep gas in your car?
All of these are preparations to avoid or mitigate problems and emergencies. You don’t need band-aids often, but you keep a box on hand anyways.
Determine and Prioritize your Risks
We have several risks laid out in our risk analysis, which helps with the first step: TrueRisk Index. Determining your risk to these threats can be 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 your Preparedness Kits
Your prepper 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.
The Next Step
Now that we’ve covered the basics of prepping, we’re going to dig deeper into the specific kits preppers use to improve their chances of survival.
The first kit we discuss: the ever-important bug-in survival kit.