What does prepping mean? What do people prepare for? Due to the lovely TV, most people think of preppers as the crazy, over the top doomsday conspiracy theorists. You know the ones with the huge underground bunker who’ve stockpiled ten thousand rounds of ammo for each and every gun they own, who have millions of dollars to drop on a house and outfit it with every possible security measure, who think the government is coming after them. Those are TV preppers. Real preppers are simply preparing for any interruption in their daily routine.
You may be a prepper and not even realize it! Which is great. Do you have insurance on yourself, your home, or your car? Why? To prepare for the unknown. Do you keep bottled water in the house, blankets, flashlights, a well stocked pantry? You’re starting to be prepared. It’s really not that exciting, like what we see on TV. It’s simply a lifestyle choice, and some people take it to the extreme.
Think about your grandparents for a moment. They were probably preppers, just without the label back then. It wasn’t glam, it was simply a way of life. Remember how grandma would grow and preserve her food into glass canning jars? The fresh veggies, the home canned fruits, jams, jellies, and so much more. That was a generation of preppers, but as I said, without the title because it was a way of life.
Since grandma’s time, the grocery stores have become more easily accessible. The population has grown significantly since then and many people live in urban densely populated areas. Therefore the need for self reliance has gone down significantly because the grocery store is probably just a few minutes drive away.
But here’s the million dollar question. What if the grocery store suddenly wasn’t available? I will talk about reasons why in a later post and topic. But just for a moment, stop and think what would happen if we couldn’t go to the grocery store. Could you survive? For how long? Then what?
So where do you start with prepping? Well, my starting place is space. Say that five times fast. Where do I have available space to put my prepping items? Do I stockpile a closet full of items or do I spread them out? It really depends on each of us, our family, our available space and what we are prepping for. Space is a hot commodity for many of us, including myself. I’d love to have another extra room to devote to my prepping, or even an extra closet. Sadly, I don’t have that, so I work within my allotted space.
Organization is a huge part of prepping for several reasons, which I will focus solely on here. One, you have to know what you have. It does you absolutely no good to stockpile a bunch of stuff if you don’t have the knowledge on how to use it and have tried it before.
Next up, nobody wants stuff everywhere. I call this hoarding. Because with stuff everywhere, it is very unlikely we even know the extent of what we have, or could find it in the event of an emergency. That is useless. Which is exactly why I say, you have to determine where you’re putting preps before you want to start buying. Once you have determined where you have space for prepping, you’re onto prepping itself.
This would be the part that can be overwhelming. We all see the people on TV preparing for an economic collapse, an EMP that will stop the world, a nuclear war, and the list just keeps going. For some, it can be simple. Think bad weather, where it’s unsafe to make a trip to the grocery store for a week or two.
The water supply is tainted (this actually happened twice in a nearby town and shelves were empty in an hour). Read more on Emergency Water Supply. A job loss where your savings needs to go to other things instead of food. Even a medical emergency. It can be anything that impacts you, your personal world, and routine. It doesn’t need to be some big global-wide disaster to affect you and your family.
The next thing to think about is, who are you prepping for? Do you have a spouse, kids, parents, pets? Think about that as you get started, because each one of them affects how much food, water, and supplies you’ll want to have on hand. It can also affect the kind of prepping you elect to do. For example, if you have elderly parents or small children, a bug out may not be a good option and we can put ourselves in more danger trying to do that.
Sheltering in place and good home defense may be the better option. Also, pets require food and water, keep that in mind as you are preparing. It’s a bit hard to explain to Fido or Fluffy why you’re not feeding them. Same goes with small children, honestly. Does anyone you are prepping for require any special care, dietary needs, or anything out of the ordinary you need to take into account? Think babies need formula, diapers, or elderly people may need walkers, canes, medications. Think about those possible needs.
Things to keep in mind when prepping…. Space. What you are prepping for. Who you’re prepping for. There are a ton of reasons to begin prepping, and I am always excited when someone I know starts! For me, it gives me a sense of security. My priority in life is taking care of my husband and myself. Prepping is a great way to ensure we are ready for an emergency, even on a small and personal scale. In my next article, I will discuss how to get started with prepping, because it can be a very overwhelming and confusing thing to do. Prepping also gets expensive, and I will be addressing that too. Because if done right, it will not destroy our bank accounts and anyone can do it.
That is essentially what prepping means. We are preparing for the unknown. Which I will discuss how really get started and doing it on a budget in another post. Stay tuned for more!