Do you want to be better prepared for emergencies and disasters? You’re in the right place! Beginning your prepping journey can be daunting, but this guide to prepping for beginners aims to help. We will take you through some sensible steps to start prepping. Learn about being prepared for anything that might happen, from minor emergencies to major disasters and surviving an apocalypse. Take your prepping at your own pace; you don’t have to do or buy everything at once.
Preppers are often thought of by many as slightly crazy people living in a bunker. Of course, this isn’t really the case, and prepping is simply being prepared for anything that might happen. How far you take your prepping is up to you! So what is prepping?
What Is Prepping?
Prepping is about being prepared. Prepared for what though? It could be anything from minor day to day emergencies, to less likely scenarios such as fire or floods, all the way to the most extreme situations such as the collapse of society.
Prepping is not only stocking up on food, or having a bug out bag. Prepping is understanding the variety of disasters and emergency situations that you could face. It is about having a plan to allow you to deal with any of these scenarios. Prepping is also learning survival skills and knowing how to survive in many different situations.
Do you have a first aid kit at home? What about candles or a torch in case there is a power cut? A fire extinguisher? If you can answer yes to any of those, you’re already a prepper. Those examples are all preparation for minor emergencies, and a great starting point for prepping. Starting from there you can take your prepping as far as you want, to be prepared for anything.
Why Should I Be Prepared?
Everyone has different reasons and motivations for prepping, with some common reasons for prepping being:
- Financial: Prepare financially to cope with situations from losing a job through to economic collapse.
- Survival: The ability to survive any disaster scenario, no matter how serious.
- Escape: Safely escaping the home with equipment you need and a plan to be able to survive away from the home.
- Safety: Being able to deal with emergencies, disasters or unexpected situations at home or away from home.
Prepping For Beginners: The Basics
The initial steps to consider are:
- Building a stable financial base to prepare for job loss or other financial instability.
- Determining potential emergency scenarios for the areas you live, work and spend time in.
- Preparing your home to be able to survive off the grid for a period of time.
- Preparing kit to be able to leave your home at short notice or deal with emergencies away from home.
- Learning survival skills so that you know how to survive in many situations.
- Regularly reviewing scenarios and plans, checking your kit and practicing survival skills.
How Do I Start Prepping?
Prepping isn’t just buying a year’s supply of food, or building a bunker in your back garden. The most important part of prepping is planning. Planning will help you understand disasters you may face, and know how to deal with them. It will also help you to work out what equipment and stores you need to buy.
Only after planning what you will do in a variety scenarios should you buy equipment and stores. The planning means that you’ll be able to buy what you need. Without planning, you might buy equipment you don’t need, or miss something you do need.
Prepping also means learning, and regularly practicing, survival skills. After a major disaster, you may have to adapt to a totally different way of living. You will need to rely on your own skills to survive. Learning and practicing those skills now puts you in the best position to survive anything.
Prepping Means Plan, Plan, Plan
We can’t emphasise enough the importance of planning. Planning means that you will understand any disaster scenarios that you could face. It means you’ll have all of the kit and stores you need to survive those disasters. Finally, planning also means that you and your family will know exactly what to do when disaster strikes. While others may be panicking, you will be prepared and able to survive.
In the UK, we are lucky because we don’t face as many risks as some other parts of the world. For example, major natural disasters such as huge earthquakes and tsunamis are not events we see in the UK. This doesn’t mean that we should be complacent. It also doesn’t mean that there is no chance of a major disaster affecting us.
The two biggest risks facing the UK at the moment are climate change and a catastrophic power grid failure. Both of those scenarios would have a huge impact on society as we know it. However, we should also consider other disaster scenarios that might not affect the whole UK, such as fire or flooding.
We’ve already done some of the work for you. Take a look at our disaster scenarios section for articles covering a variety of scenarios. These articles cover how to be prepared for, and what to do during each of the scenarios. They’re a great place to start your planning. Look at scenarios that you think are more likely to affect you first, and prepare plans for what you will do.
As part of your planning, you should also get to know your local area. Finding sources of water, alternative escape routes, or buildings you can shelter in might save your life one day. Here are five useful things you need to know about your local area.
What Equipment And Stores Do I Need?
Prepping should be able to help you survive any emergency or disaster, wherever you are.
- Getting home if an emergency happens while you are out.
- Surviving disasters by sheltering at home.
- Bugging out if you need to get away from your home because of a disaster.
Some scenarios will be short term, and need little equipment other than food and water for a day or two. Others will be long term, while the most extreme will lead to the total collapse of society. To survive this level of collapse, you will need to be able to become self-sufficient for long term survival.
The sections below cover equipment and stores that you will need to survive anything. Each section builds on the previous in terms of how long it will allow you to survive. This is intended as a guide to be personalised based on your planning for various disaster scenarios. When you start prepping, begin with equipment and stores for the more likely minor emergencies. You can gradually build up as time and money allows.
Every Day Carry
Every Day Carry (EDC) refers to the items that you always have with you. For many people this might mean just keys, money and phone. For preppers, EDC is usually the most basic survival kit to help survive and get home in a disaster. Your EDC could be just a few items that you can fit in your pocket, or you could have a small EDC bag. Always keep your EDC kit with you because you’ll never know when an emergency is going to happen.
EDC is a great place to start prepping for beginners as it doesn’t take much money or time. Your EDC gives you a great starting point for building the rest of your prepping equipment and supplies.
See our article on How To Create An Every Day Carry UK Survival Kit to make your own EDC kit. If you want to go really small with your EDC, try these Seven Survival Kit Items You Can Keep On Your Keyring.
Car Emergency Kit
Keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. This can contain more survival equipment than your EDC kit, because you don’t have to carry it everywhere. Your car emergency kit should also include items to deal with simple car fixes and maintenance. For example, include a tyre pump, jump leads, oil and water. Unlike in the image above, however, make sure you don’t include too many things that you’ll never need!
Bug Out Bag or 72 Hour Survival Kit
A bug out bag is intended to allow you to survive for a few days when you have to leave home quickly. It includes food and water for 72 hours as well as a variety of other survival equipment.
A bug out bag doesn’t have to be used for bugging out though! If you shelter at home during an emergency, your bug out bag can become your 72 hour survival kit at home.
Our article on the Ultimate Bug Out Bag To Be Totally Prepared will help you create your own bug out bag.
Long Term Survival
Long term survival is one step below self sufficiency. Your equipment and stores will allow you to survive for an extended period of time. Foraging for food, and purifying water from natural sources can extend your supplies.
Many people’s first thought when they hear the term “prepper” is a huge store cupboard with food to last forever. While it isn’t really possible to store enough food to last forever, a supply of long lasting foods is important.
Our prepper’s food list article will show you a wide variety of foods that can be stored for a long time. To manage your food storage, learn about the first in, first out principle, which will allow you to manage and rotate your stores. Water is even more important; have a look at our article on how to buy and store water so that you can have an emergency water supply.
Check out all of our prepper’s lists for more!
Prepping For Beginners: Survival Skills
Learning survival skills is an extremely important part of prepping for beginners. You may have all of the equipment and stores that you need, but without the skills to use them, you won’t survive a major disaster.
Survival skills are often thought of as being skills that only bushcrafters or people who want to live in the wild need to know. That is not the case. After a major, apocalyptic disaster, we may not have the society or infrastructure we have now. Everyone will need to rely on their own skills to survive.
We have a variety of articles that you can use to learn survival skills. These are the The 7 Most Important Survival Skills You Need To Know. Take a look at the skills section of our website to see more.
Total self sufficiency is the ultimate goal to be able to survive any emergency. If you are able to survive completely off-grid, then you have the best chance of being able to survive any disaster.
Becoming totally self-sufficient is not easy. It means being able to provide all of your own food and water, as well as living off-grid. It takes time to build up to being self-sufficient, but don’t be put off by the difficulty. Self-sufficiency is well worth the challenges that you may face. It allows you to live without relying on a supply chain, and can also provide a very healthy lifestyle.
The self-sufficiency section on our website will help you learn how to become totally self-sufficient.
We Hope This Prepping For Beginners Guide Helped You
We hope you found some interesting and useful information in this article. Do you have any other ideas for prepping for beginners? Or have you used any of the information in this article to start your own prepping journey? Let us know in the comments below.