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Top Prepping Tips for Beginners

This is the ultimate preppers list for beginners

It is impossible to predict what will happen in an emergency. Many people haven't lived through an absolute disaster, so they have no idea what to expect when disaster strikes. However, there is no excuse for not preparing, and the adage remains true: better safe than sorry.  Having an exemplary emergency prepping 101 list can be helpful.

However, before you can start thinking about a beginner prepper checklist, you need to put a lot of thought and consideration into it. There may be good ideas on a generic emergency preparedness checklist off the internet on several prepping websites and prepping blogs. Still, they may not apply to your situation.

Prepping or preparing need to be tailored to each individual's specific needs, resources, locations, strengths, and limitations. Depending on the specifics of your situation, you should design your plan based on your family or team. You will forget less essential things if you plan with that scope of focus.

We're going to discuss all the things you should consider when you're planning an emergency kit for your family in this article. As you prepare an emergency prepping list, here are some tips you might find helpful. If you follow this prepping for disaster plan for yourself, you will be much more prepared when it occurs.

What is in an Emergency Kit?

When prepping for survival, the first thing to consider is what you will need to survive at home if you are stranded. You might call this an “emergency kit.” You should ensure that your kit provides food, water, clothing, and shelter for the entire group at the very least.

There are items for sanitation, first aid, and shelter from the elements that are essentials. These include long-term storable food, collecting and disinfecting water, items for first aid, and long-term storable food. Communication and lighting are also essential resources. Ensure that you have a battery-powered radio and flashlight and extra batteries in case of power loss. If you have to evacuate and they restrict access back to your home area, you should also include important documents that prove where you live in your kit.

Start Small

Learning more about emergency preparedness is essential for preppers before disaster strikes. 

  • ​Learn about storing food, clothing, water, and other necessities.
  • ​ Learn how to purify water.
  • ​ Find out how to make emergency shelters.
  • ​ Get to know the first aid kit. Discover how to use fire extinguishers.
  • ​ Find out how emergency communication devices work.

Once you get the basics down, you can put together a survival kit that suits your specific needs. Do not panic if you do not have every supply you could need in a disaster situation! You need to maintain calm and determine the best course of action. 

Preparing in this way gives you a chance to picture how you will react to various situations when you are in a calm, safe state of mind. It will be helpful when you are actually in an emergency.

Think About Different Situations

Thinking through likely scenarios will help you make prepping plans. For example, what would you need to consider if a spouse was going out of town and it would be a long time before they come back? What if a natural disaster happened during that time? What would you do? How would you communicate with them if they were stranded? Your tragedy could even be more mundane, like a job loss or extended illness.

There are a lot of different scenarios that could happen that would require being prepared. To be ready for all those different scenarios, the best option is to have a plan of attack that you have rehearsed well in advance.

Take it Slow and Get the Right Equipment for the Situation

  • ​There are certain natural disasters that require different plans and solutions. People are wondering what they can do to prepare for any emergency when flooding and hurricanes occur. You may feel lost when there are so many factors to consider, but here are some helpful tips to get you started:
  • ​ Prepare your family so they will know what to do in an emergency like a tornado, fire, or any other natural disaster. 
  • ​ Develop a plan for emergency preparedness that you can share with family and friends to ensure that they know your plans and where you can be found if something goes wrong.
  • ​ Make sure you're prepared for all types of emergencies, such as floods, blackouts, earthquakes, hurricanes, and pandemics.
  • ​ You might want to discuss your emergency plans with your employer and tell them if you or your family members have any preexisting medical conditions.

Create Your Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist

Having taken a moment to consider some of the things you should prepare for, it's time to make a list. First, you should create a list of the items you would like to have in your emergency preparedness kit to deal with the issues you identified in your planning.

Some people prefer to keep an emergency kit in their vehicle that is well stocked. It is advantageous if you must leave home for work, or if you live alone with someone who is not as prepared as they should be. 

It can save your life or the lives of your friends and colleagues if you use this checklist and the gear in your kit during a catastrophic event. To survive for a few days or until you can make it home, you will need the following supplies:

  • ​Food and water – Enough for 2-3 days in your climate.
  • ​ Tools and shelter – Prepping basics such as a knife and multitool, a tarp, and a sleeping bag.
  • ​ Communication and lighting – A simple radio and headlamp powered by batteries
  • ​ First aid and sanitation – Bandages and wipes. Tourniquets if necessary.
  • ​ Kids and pets – Based on the age and need.
  • ​ Documentation and evacuation – personal documents on a flash drive, as well as maps.

You should also consider how connected you are to the Internet and the gadgets that help you stay in touch with the rest of the world. You may want to include this in your emergency preparedness checklist if you work remotely.

How to Implement Your Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Step 1: Starting on Emergency Preparedness

The fact that you can't predict an emergency for virtually every situation should be no surprise to you. This is why it is essential for you to continue to prepare. You should not simply purchase them and leave them hidden away. Having an emergency kit in an accessible place and viewing the world with a different perspective that puts preparedness in its rightful place in all of your planning will ensure you are “prepared.” 

Step 2: Putting Together Your Emergency Kit

How can one best prepare for disasters? Start by creating a checklist. To prepare for a disaster in your community, follow the steps in your preparedness checklist. Consider your circumstances. What you need to prepare depends on your location. Fire-prone areas, for example, may require a lot more water and high ground to reach. Coastal areas would need boats and evacuation plans. Plan for the type of disaster you are most likely to encounter and make an appropriate plan. Create an emergency supply kit. 

Step 3: Stock Up On Emergency Supplies

A preparedness kit is an important investment for any family or team. A simple way of looking at this is making sure you are prepared to survive if you are unable to rely on anyone else you are currently relying on. You always have to make some purchases to achieve this, but you can be smart about how you accomplish this.

You can't just stop when you have water, food, shelter, and safety. If you want to avoid the disaster happening in 5 years where you have nothing but rotten food, out-of-date batteries, and moth-eaten clothes, regularly inspecting and rotating your supplies will be crucial. It is just as important to reevaluate your kit on a regular basis as to have it, and you should do so as often as you can for those unforeseen emergencies.

Step 4: Develop An Emergency Plan

There are so many things you need to consider when it comes to emergency preparedness - it can be overwhelming for beginners. Starting with your plan is the easiest way to get started.

There are resources online - like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - for those who need more assistance. Knowing what you need to buy and where to buy it in an emergency can be determined by making a list of all the things you would need.

Getting Started with Doomsday Prepping for Beginners: Easy Steps

There is no way that any of us can truly say we are prepared for every conceivable emergency. Prepping for economic collapse is a lifestyle, not a destination. You don't know everything there is to know about surviving just because you camped out in the woods or ate a bug. Despite the fact that we all have lived through different experiences, we are all human. Some of us have more experience than others in certain areas of living. We account for so much more than we think we do with our drive and determination. If we have the right mindset, resources, and circumstances, nearly anything can be survived.


Let's begin with the obvious. Under normal conditions, an average person needs about one gallon of water per day. In terms of survival preparations, you should not plan on less than this amount for hygiene and cooking. The lack of water can quickly dehydrate our bodies, so a bad day can quickly turn into a nightmare. 


Food is one of the first things you need to prepare when you start prepping for doomsday. You need food to survive, and your family must always have food readily available regardless of the situation. Most grocers stock just enough food to last three days because of our just-in-time supply chain model. Store shelves are cleaned quickly during an emergency or disaster. A major snowstorm, hurricane, or other disaster is coming, and you have nothing for dinner. Don't let that be you. When you walk into the grocery store, the shelves will be empty. This is true in every situation where people are at risk of going hungry. In a larger city, the shelves are bare faster because the stores are cleaned out.

The shelves may not only stay empty for a long time but there will be no food on them. And what if there is no way to travel? What if supply is disrupted? The last thing you need is to be without food for an extended period of time. Each and every one of us eat every day. You should not let your family run out of food for a reasonable period of time.


The shelter is a broad topic that can refer to a lot of different aspects of prepping, but essentially it refers to keeping people safe from the elements. Alternatively, the shelter could be a safe place away from people who would harm you or your family, or it could be maintaining your body temperature so that you will live. 

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

With these emergency preparedness basics as your guide, you will be ready for any future events that may arise.

Prepping Priorities

Before we start, it helps to identify what you need to prepare for. When we visit preparedness sites, sometimes we’re immediately struck by the enormous loads of things to buy, do, and learn. 

They all have their places, but sometimes things get missed, and it can make for a very overwhelming introduction. It can make it hard to prioritize where to spend our time and financial budgets, even for those with experience and years of exposure to the prepared mindset.

To make it a little easier to prioritize, we can look at what is most likely to occur in the near future and our lifetimes and use that information to help us decide where to focus our time, efforts, and resources on the basics of prepping for a disaster.

Daily Occurrences

Daily emergencies are those that strike somebody somewhere every single day in our English-reading modern life. While some affect larger groups, these tend to be personal or family-related items. They’re the kinds of things the neighbors might not even notice. Some examples are:

  • ​Layoff, cut hours, cut wages
  • ​ Major bills (roof, medical, HVAC, veterinary)
  • ​ House fire
  • ​ Major injury/developing disability
  • ​ Theft, burglary, mugging
  • ​ Vehicular accident & malfunction (temporarily removing transportation)
  • ​ Temporary power outages (hours to 1-3 days)

Seasonal and Annual Occurrences

These are the things we often consider by consulting our Almanacs and insurance companies. They usually affect a large number of people. There might be a problem with a block or a street in some cases, with parts of a town or county, or with a whole state if not a region. Examples include:

  • ​Boil water orders due to burst water mains
  • ​ Storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, cold or heat waves
  • ​ Thunderstorms and wildfires
  • ​ Outages lasting 2-5 days
  • ​ Terroristic events caused by active shooters or bomb threats

5 to 10-Year Occurrences

Things like these happen regularly but infrequently. Some even occur in cycles. Some natural disasters, such as those discussed above, appear to follow a predictable pattern. While many of them can't be predicted in advance, in areas prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, they are predictable once you learn how to anticipate them.

  • ​Slides
  • ​ Drought (personal & widespread effects)
  • ​ Widespread livestock diseases (such as the avian diseases that are frequently seen)
  • ​ Outages lasting 3-14 days
  • ​ Cost cycles for fuel

Generational Occurrences

According to the strictest definition, the term "generation" tends to change. On average, a generation lasts from 20 to 30 years. Here are a few examples that are generational in nature:

  • ​Veterans' disabilities, good and bad effects of war on income (major wars)
  • ​ Depressions and recessions
  • ​ Cost cycles for fuel (more extreme)
  • ​ Severe multi-year "weird" weather events (floods, droughts, early or late springs)
  • ​ Flood levels for 25-years and 50-years

Eventual/Lifetime/Possible Occurrences

The effects of many of these will not just affect one region or one nation, but many countries. We've had pole shifts, Yellowstone eruptions, significant storms that affected the power grid, and asteroids that hit the earth in the past. How likely are they to occur again in our lifetimes? Perhaps some will. Others are more of a "maybe." Others might be possible.

  • ​Great Depression
  • ​ Devastating earthquakes in the Midwest
  • ​ Global or national pandemics (COVID)
  • ​ A significant eruption of volcanic ash (the type that blocks the atmosphere)
  • ​ EMP, destructive solar activity.
  • ​ Electronic virus(es) that cripple the nation

Almost everyone will experience something from the first or second tier at least once in their lives, and for some, it's a regular occurrence. 

Even in the midst of crisis and upheaval, we're likely to need electric power. You will still need a job or find a new one; be expected to show up to doctor's appointments well-dressed; hunting in national parks and squatting in the street will still be frowned upon, and wearing combat gear will still be the exception rather than the rule.

Our life-altering experiences may only last a few hours or days in some cases. In many parts of the world, however, these hours or days can be highly inconvenient, if not fatal. Making beeswax candles, repairing a downed or wrecked car, and maintaining a CPAP machine is as vital as protecting the home and defending it from looters.

Keeping an eye on what you still need rather than adding to whatever your favorite prep stash is, and prioritizing your prep basics instead of jumping willy-nilly, can prevent daily disasters from truly upending your life.

Common Prepping Mistakes

So you're good at this prep, right? The supplies that you have in place for prepping your home will cover any contingency, and there's nothing left that you haven't thought of or purchased. You and your family have covered all the bases, crossed all the Ts, and your stuff doesn't stink. Congrats! Now you belong to an elite group of people with stuff in their homes. What now?

Complacency occurs when Preppers think they can finally sit back and relax. We won't be much better than someone who hasn't prepared at all if we let this go on long enough. By letting your guard down or thinking you're "done," you can make mistakes that could hurt you or your family. We don't want that to happen to you.

Not Rotating Your Supplies

Survival food can be obtained in a variety of ways. Having years of long-term storage food, such as freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, is wise. Then, there are foods that will last for a few years like grains or canned vegetables (generally speaking here) and perhaps MREs and Mainstay bars.

You also have foods that can be purchased at the local grocery store, and you have a freezer and refrigerator. If you have a fully stocked pantry, you can sit back and smile, knowing you are preparing your family for the day. While the food you have stored is great, rotating your food storage will ensure the longest shelf life and the best nutrition.

This principle is the easiest to apply to grocery store foods, but the mechanics of making this happen aren't always simple. You should use and resupply any foods you purchase using the FIFO process. It stands for First In First Out. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The Failure To Resupply

Have you ever had to use your First Aid kit on an outdoor camping trip? Prepping basics is good for a number of reasons. First and foremost, you are prepared for contingencies and familiarize yourself with your provisions. But be careful not to run out of rice before you buy more. Make sure you replace your spare propane tank as soon as possible if you need to use it during a storm.

You should fill that backup fuel tank the next time you are out if you have used your spare fuel to refill the lawnmower.

Have Trouble Using Your Preparations

We should avoid making this prepping for pandemic mistake because it might lead to future reckless behavior. Consider a scenario where you purchased a big new yacht and took it out for its maiden voyage. Would you need to learn how to operate the lifeboats, or would you be happy to see them sitting there on the deck?

Having lifeboats is great, but if you are up there reading the manual for your new toy during the middle of the night while exhausted, scared, maybe it is raining, will you regret it?

There is a place for tools in everyone's preps, and they are necessary. Wouldn't it be great if you were Bear Grylls, and all you had to do to survive was catch some twigs on fire with your survival mirror? You're right, but you should know how to build a fire in the first place with your firesteel striker or even a lighter.

There are many of us who have invested in a grain mill and purchased a lot of hard red winter wheat, but have you ever ground the wheat into flour and used it for cooking? It may be a rude awakening if you buy a dozen jars and lids of Ball canning jars but never can anything before. If you own firearms but have never practiced with them at the range, they may not be worth anything to you when you need them. You should be able to instinctively use a firearm if you need it. Even in pitch-black darkness, can you feel whether the safety is on? Have you ever reloaded a firearm or cleared a jam without looking at the weapon?

The First Tool in your Preparedness Kit is What You Carry Every Day

Each of you should always have access to everyday carry items whenever you leave the house since they are up close and personal prepping items. The tools can be helpful in many circumstances, but they all have one or more life-saving features if used properly. When it comes to daily necessities, most of us aren't without keys, wallets, and phones. There are, however, other items that you should consider if you want to have an advantage over others.

Everyday Carry: What Is It?

Before we dive into the details, let's define the concept of everyday carry. Daily carry, also known as EDC, refers to the gear that you carry everywhere you go. It's important to keep in mind there are a variety of ways to consider this, and the level of everyday carry can vary depending on your specific situation. Those who work as delivery drivers may require different everyday carry items than those who work in a government office.

Everyday Carry Items

People can carry a wide variety of items. Although this list does give us a starting point, please note that these are not in any particular order. You can carry the following items as you walk out the door on your way to work:

  • ​Keys containing a small FireStash lighter
  • ​ Money wallet
  • ​ Mobile phone
  • ​ Watch
  • ​ Knife
  • ​ Flashlight
  • ​ Spare (Emergency) Cash

Here is a list of what I consider essential EDC items everyone should have on them, no matter where they are. Do you know this list of essentials that can save your life? These are the basic things. When you drive away, you need your keys, which are an obvious necessity if you own a vehicle. Even in worst-case scenarios, keys can be used as a weapon of defense.

Knives can be used for self-defense. The knife is also useful for cutting and slicing numerous things, and it is one of the most indispensable tools. There is no question that having a light to see in the dark and a way to make fire is a necessity.

Make Sure Your Home is Ready

Now that you have your own personal decision matrix and you are accountable with your EDC, you are ready to move on to larger prepping basics for the home. 

Food Storage

It's important for everyone to know how to stockpile food for emergencies. Preppers who are just starting will get the most out of the topics below, but some of the ideas could be valuable to anyone who wants to ensure their family has food. 

Survival can be broken down into five main components that everyone should consider. There are five basic needs: water, food, security, shelter, and hygiene. I think water is more important than food, or at least we can live longer without food than we can without water, but both are vital.

Why Should You Stockpile Food in Case Of An Emergency?

Perhaps you have seen something that triggered your interest in prepping if you're new to it. Preppers are motivated by a variety of reasons, and no prepper is the same. Some people prepare for the end of the world, but most see reasons in our daily lives for stocking up on supplies. 

At this point, it seems almost cliché but definitely happens when a winter storm is a forecast. The store is wiped out of certain food supplies as everyone rushes to the store. It is almost impossible to avoid seeing images of empty shelves on news broadcasts and eventually on prepper websites. During simple storms, food shortages are common if not predicted. We are so used to checking the local grocery store on the way home from work and grabbing some basic necessities or comfort food that we don't even blink anymore because we are so used to waiting until the last minute.

Whenever you find yourself constantly running to the store after less than three days, it's time to reassess your family's readiness. Most of the time, we hear that the average home only has enough food for three days. What would you be doing on day three if you couldn't get to the grocery store before the storm hit? Suppose instead of a snowstorm, a virus outbreak had occurred, and everyone was asked to stay indoors for their own safety? To prevent surprises from leaving you hungry, you should always have more food on hand than you think your family and friends will need.

How Much Food Should You Store?

I used a virus outbreak as an example to illustrate why you wouldn't be able to go to the store. But there are other reasons, such as the weather. Can we walk to the store? But what if all the food has already been cleared from the stores? What if power outages prevent them from completing any transactions? Keep these things in mind.

You can never be completely prepared. You might be a lot better equipped than some or all of your neighbors, but you will never be 100% self-reliant. When you start stockpiling food, you learn about how to stockpile it, regardless of how much money you have.

When you are starting to stockpile food for emergencies, it is a good idea to start small. There's no need to start with a year's worth of freeze-dried food. Just purchase a week's worth of extra groceries your family already consumes. You can accomplish this without any exotic storage requirements or figuring out how to prepare buckets of 5-gallon grains.

What Are The Best Types Of Food To Store?

A layered approach to food storage would be ideal for each person. In the long run, this gives you flexibility and variety, which is essential when you get to 6 months, one year, or two. 

Food Storage Should Ideally Cover The Following:

Short-Term Food Storage – The best and simplest food is what you eat every day. A key point to keep in mind is that the majority of this food should be non-perishable in case of a power outage. The best foods to buy are canned foods, drink mixes,  pasta, and staples. They typically last for a year or more.

Medium-Term Food Storage – MRE's are great for food storage over the course of 5 to 10 years, although they are heavier and more expensive. Another great option is to add hot water to freeze-dried camping food like Mountain House. Rice and beans are great choices because they can easily be stored as long as they are kept dry and cool.

Long-Term Food Storage – If you want to store foods that will keep for a long time, then you should consider grains such as Hard Red Winter Wheat that can be stored in sealed buckets. There are many sources of freeze-dried food, which can be kept for 20 years in Mylar packets. However, they can taste surprisingly good even when re-hydrated with water. Don't forget to add seasonings, though.

Sustainable Food Storage – Here's where your inner farmer comes into play. You can grow your food, raise poultry or rabbits, or catch wild game by hunting or snaring. Your food will run out during the worst disasters, so preparing for that ahead of time will be beneficial.

Preparing food doesn't end with stockpiling. We store food to survive the worst of the disaster. The disaster we have been facing will hopefully be mitigated before our food runs out and life will return to some level of normalcy. If not, we have a huge advantage and can harvest more of our garden to store food as the pioneers did. In this way, we give ourselves a sense of security and prepare ourselves to live to the next day.

Water Storage and Filtration

What is the purpose of knowing how to stockpile drinking water?

You probably already know the simple answer to that question. Water is essential to life, and if you are without it, your health will deteriorate. The result can be headaches, weakness, and fatigue. When you go without water for more than two days, you die. More than almost anything else, water or a lack of sufficient, clean drinking water will cause you to die.

It's that simple. Generally, most people accept that premise without batting an eye. Most people are troubled by the notion that you can ever run out of clean drinking water. Nearly all developed countries have water treatment facilities, plumbing, and systems for bringing clean water inside the house or the office, and no matter where you walk, you can quickly find clear, plastic water bottles for sale.

However, what if the tap water was tainted? What if the water flowing from it was no longer clean and shiny? What if all of the stores with bottled water were empty? Preparedness and stockpiling water for emergencies begin here.

Preparation requires proactive action.

How Much Water Do I Need To Stockpile?

So we agree that we should stockpile water, but then the obvious question becomes: how much water should I store? Several factors determine how much water you need. The general rule is that each person needs one gallon of water per day.

In this one gallon per day rule of thumb, hydration and hygiene are taken into account. You will not necessarily drink a gallon of water, but it may be needed to reconstitute freeze-dried food, wash cooking equipment, or wash your body. Sometimes you may not even need a gallon. At other times, you may require much more. You may lose fluids through perspiration when you exert yourself physically, or the temperatures are high.

The amount of water you need can be calculated by multiplying the number of people you are planning on feeding by the number of days you want your supplies to last. You may want to calculate it for at least a month.

That's only one month. What if the emergency lasts for a longer period? At that point, what if the water in the town is still unsafe to drink? Well, that’s when storing enough water comes into account.

What Is The Best Place To Store Drinking Water?

You can store water in many different ways. The first method is to store it in a heavy-duty plastic container that could hold 7 gallons of water. 

The advantage of these is that they are stackable, portable, and may be used in smaller spaces, such as the pantry shelves. It is also easy to transport some of these to a Bug-Out Vehicle if needed. However, the storage will only last a week.

You can also use rain barrels that hold 50 gallons each. Rain barrels are great because they are refilled by Mother Nature without any intervention from you, except for disinfecting the water. But this requires a place on land where barrels can be backed up under gutters, and not everyone lives on land. Apartment dwellers have different space limitations.

I would recommend stackable storage for apartment dwellers, but distribute it around your apartment, so you do not have weight concentrated in one spot. As an apartment is usually built on concrete, even a few hundred pounds of water in the closet would not harm the floor. Storage facilities can also be used if necessary.

How Do You Handle Running Out Of Water?

However, even if you store a lot of water, it could run out in the worst emergencies, so having an alternate plan to acquire clean water is important. Hence, a plan to procure water is more important than stockpiling it in the long run.

During a disaster, you don't want to deal with bacteria and viruses carried by the water. Even a mild stomach bug can make you feel sick and give you diarrhea. The last thing anyone wants is to worry about getting sick when everything ends, let alone poop all the time when toilet paper is scarce. It is also very important to have a way to make your water safe to drink.

Boiling water kills all viruses and bacteria. This approach, however, has the disadvantage of requiring you to start a fire and use a container. Fires could alert people to your location, and you would not want that to happen. Also, water must be allowed to cool before it can be drunk, and boiling will not get rid of sediment, but it will make drinking water safer.

Gravity filters are the most efficient way to filter water. Gravity filters are easy to use, compact, and can provide excellent filtration. Platypus Gravityworks filters are quick and easy to use. With just a few steps, you can filter 4 liters of water and have it ready to drink in minutes. It takes less than 2 minutes to filter 2 liters.

Bleach, water purification tablets, and even iodine can also be used to disinfect, but these have their own disadvantages as well and do require waiting. There are options to choose from, but the choice is yours.

Make your water preparedness plan now so you can provide water to your survival group at the onset of any emergency and long after.

Home Defense

Water, food, shelter, self-defense, and first aid are some of the disciplines of prepping or survival. Indeed, there are other priorities, but this is just one simplified view of priorities. It is prudent to consider self-defense a more urgent matter, and building our home fortifications should be part of our initial survival plans.

How Should You Approach Home Fortification?

When you think of fortifying your house, you can consider it as a way of buying time. If a burglar comes to your home while you are not at home, you would want them to walk away without entering. Fortifying your home can give you time to get a firearm and prepare for a potential threat when you are at home.

The best thing we can do to make our homes harder to break in is to make them more secure. However, that won't turn your house into a medieval castle. You can enhance our security by taking any measures that first alert you to the fact that someone is outside trying to enter and then at the same time buy you time to act.

Fortifying Your Home Layer By Layer

When it comes to defense, we don't usually worry about people inside our home but rather those trying to enter. Starting with the most crucial point and working down, your home, as well as all access points and entry points, are the most crucial points of defense.

Perhaps you are wondering, why not the edge of your property? You would undoubtedly want to know if someone was in your yard before they got to your door, wouldn't you? Both yes and no. Determining if someone is in your yard would be helpful, but they might be there by accident. They may not even try to get into your house.

Conversely, it doesn't matter if you know they are in your yard because they can walk up and kick down your front door. What matters is that you know they are coming. It is more important to keep them from getting in. And you can do this in the following ways:

  • ​A security camera system – Why do we need one? The documentation serves as a warning to authorities and a major deterrent.  You can see who is coming to your door with a security camera. You can choose from many options for security cameras, such as batteries versus wires, Wi-Fi versus cable connections, and on-premises versus cloud storage. Today, many cameras can even hear and speak to people at the door.
  • ​ Steel doors – But well, the physical door is the weak link, not the security cameras. If you take a look at the connection points that hold the door to your house, they are fragile. Hollow wood core doors are less durable than steel doors, especially when physically abused. In the US, this isn't a solid steel door but a steel panel covering a frame, but it's a good starting point for you.
  • Harder to kick in doors – Most door failures occur at the point of the lock housing since the wood and screws that hold the plates in place are not strong enough. Use Door Armor. The Door Armor (formerly EZ Armor) is a thin steel brace that adds a lot of protection to your door by reinforcing the weak points. A hinge plate cover, a lock core cover, and a jamb cover with 3.5-inch screws are included.
  • ​ Using window security bars - These are more obvious options that will prevent anyone from entering your home through your windows. A window guard typically prevents the window from breaking or allowing a smaller object to enter. Usually, you'll find these in high-density areas, such as apartments or small buildings with ground-floor windows.
  • ​ Window film – There are lots of choices out there for security window films, and if you install them yourself, you'll save money. The adhesive backing of window film allows you to install it just like a window tint for your car. Although it requires patience, it is a simple DIY project. The rubber squeegee and the squirt bottle should be sufficient for you.

This should give you some ideas on how to increase your home's fortifications with relatively low-cost options. By following the steps above, you'll make your home much safer for yourself and harder to break into.

Learn more about home fortification in Evading and Escaping Capture.

Defensive Weapons

Discussions about firearms, and especially what weapon is most suitable for home protection if you just began your emergency preparations, tend to cause arguments. Everyone has different opinions, reasons, and options about what you should or shouldn't do.

If you don't purchase any other weapon, the best choice you have at this time is a 12 gauge shotgun. It is my honest opinion that there is no better gun for home defense when all else is considered. 

  • ​Cost – Given that most handguns now cost more than $500, 12 gauge shotguns are about as cheap as you can get. But you have to find one.
  • ​ Easy to purchase – Buying a shotgun or a long gun usually doesn't require the exact ridiculous licensing requirements as buying a handgun. Yes, you must still fill out paperwork, but many states don't require you to obtain a license.
  • ​ Availability – Guns and ammunition are flying off the shelves right now. The gun-grabbers do not seem to be as interested in shotguns yet, so they are still more readily available.
  • ​ Ease of Use – A good shotgun is very easy to use; simply point and shoot.

All these reasons make the 12 gauge the best home defense weapon.

Sanitation and Health

A disaster or emergency situation should not prevent you from considering the health of your family. There are so many factors that affect your family's health beyond having enough food storage. Although self-defense is essential, what if an illness breaks out in your group that could have been avoided with a better survival sanitation plan?  Imagine if the killer that attacks you is a tiny microbe you never even noticed?

What is Survival Sanitation?

When a disaster occurs, how is survival sanitation different from normal sanitation? I think it's pretty simple to say that sanitation is all about getting rid of waste. The vast majority of us have access to systems for taking care of sanitation for us in a grid-up scenario. There is an availability of running water, toilets, garbage pick-up, and/or landfills.

The chances are you wouldn't be reading this on the internet if you didn't have any of those. We can get our waste and trash to faraway places with those systems,, and that's an important part of the process. Diseases can spread quickly without sanitation.

As an example, nearly half a million people became sick with Cholera after the earthquake in Hati in 2010. That disease spread very quickly to neighboring countries. The disease is water borne. After the disaster, people in Haiti, where sewage systems and latrines were lacking, often drank from the same water supply they used for bathing and defecating.

Cholera patients suffer from severe diarrhea and can become dehydrated without immediate treatment. A rapid loss of water can lead to shock and even death.

What can we do to keep that from happening to us or to our families? There are several ways, but one is to ensure that our waste doesn't contaminate our drinking water. To achieve that, we need to ensure we have a way to filter our water, but much more importantly, we need a plan to deal with good old number 2.

In addition to that, maintaining a clean environment is important, so storing soap, gloves to deal with nasty things, trash bags, and disinfectants is smart.

Survival Communications

Preparations for a disaster or survival situation should include a plan for survival communication. If you are away from home, this could be a way to communicate with your family. Perhaps it would require group communications during a retreat or neighborhood watch scenario,, or perhaps it is simply as simple as being able to give family members a heads up if you need to separate?

By planning your survival communications in advance, you may be able to save someone's life and efficiently execute any other plans you have.

  • ​Solar-powered or hand-crank radio - Everyone should possess at least one emergency or weather radio. Having a radio that is powered by batteries is a good idea in case the power goes out. Another option is to have a radio that can be powered by either a solar panel or a hand crank in case the batteries are not available.
  • ​ CB Radios – Depending on the terrain, CB radios can typically cover a range of 5-20 miles. The emergency channel is 9 and each channel has a different frequency. Channel 9 provides news updates and makes it easy for you to communicate with friends and family while you are away from home. You can even make calls using your CB with some models, like the Cobra® 29 LTD BT, which has Bluetooth built in. An antenna, and a CB are all you need. They are easy to install,, and you can communicate with anyone in your range.
  • ​ Scanners – Scanners, sometimes called police scanners, are great companions to CB radios. They randomly scan all radio frequency channels. It surfs for you, and it stays on a channel when there is traffic during the broadcast if it finds it. With some scanners, you can listen to emergency service personnel using thousands of frequencies. You can also listen to the news before it appears on the TV. You can still hear what is happening in other parts of your town if scanners are still functioning and if your police department is not blocking the frequency somehow., You may want to plan a bug out if necessary.
  • ​ A two-way FMRS radio – Anyone who has been to Walmart has probably seen the FRS radios or walkie-talkies. If you want to stay in touch with another driver in another vehicle while on a road trip, these are great. Additionally, they are useful during camping trips when groups want to separate. Although they do have a smaller range, their range is highly affected by a line of sight. 
  • ​ Military surplus – A good old field telephone (TA-312/PT) can be a great option  (for specific scenarios).

Regardless of the method you choose (we have several), it is wise to think about different scenarios and the communication plan you would use to keep in contact with your family. 

Storage of Fuel

The same way you can't fire a rifle without ammunition, you can't run a generator without gas. If you want to make your generator anything more than a large, expensive paperweight, you need a plan for storing fuel long-term.

It is also important to consider this if you do not want to wind up like the millions of people who are unable to get gas after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. In order to have an effective fuel storage plan, you need to buy and treat a small amount of fuel in order to last for whatever situation you are planning.

Depending on your bug out plan, this may be fuel for generators or even gas to get you to your bug-out spot. Purchasing fuel in advance and storing it means you won't have to stand in line if an emergency occurs. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are planning to store fuel for a long time.

What Is The Best Container For Storing Fuel Long-Term?

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Fuel containers come in a variety of shapes and colors,, but the most common type is plastic, red in color, with a built-in nozzle. Fuel containers for kerosene are blue, and fuel containers for diesel are yellow. You should be sure to follow these color conventions so that you don't accidentally mix regular gas and kerosene heaters, and end up with a burned eyebrow.

Long-Term Fuel Storage Using Fuel Additives

Diesel and kerosene also lose their potency with time. Keeping diesel at temperatures lower than 70 degrees, for about 12 months without any additives is possible if the container is sealed tightly. It slips by 50% to 6 months if your temperatures are much higher than 70. 

The reaction between diesel components and oxygen in the air causes a fine sediment and gum to form within the diesel as it ages. Filters will be blocked by fine sediment and gum, resulting in fuel starvation and engine failure. A frequent filter change is then necessary to keep the engine running. It leads to carbon and soot deposits on injectors and other combustion surfaces because gums and sediments don't burn very well in the engine.

Is there anything we can do to avoid these issues and protect our fuel, so we don't have to worry about being outrun by mutant zombie bikers from Mars? Adding additives. STA-BIL and PRI-G are the two major additives. Additives from PRI are available in various lines,, and a -G designates gasoline.

For diesel, there is also PRI-D.  The primary function of PRI additives is to maintain your fuel in its best condition possible through regular additions, and even if you age your fuel already, using PRI-G has shown to restore it to “refinery-fresh” condition. 

What Is The Ideal Amount Of Fuel To Store Long-Term?

Is there such a thing as too much fuel? Maybe not in an emergency situation. You can never have too many rations or gas when you're not able to reach the gas station. Would 500 gallons suffice? That depends on the situation. You wouldn't need so much gas if you had a minor power outage for a few days. The 500 gallons will be extremely handy if the gas stations disappear and there is no gas left, but it won't last forever.

A good baseline incorporates the 80/20 rule. How likely is it that you will need this fuel in the future? Most people plan for fuel storage for bug-out vehicles or generators. Ideally, you should plan to store as much gas as you need to get you to your bugout location, and consider 50% more.

To put it another way, if you need two tanks of gas to get to your retreat, but your tank holds 20 gallons, I'd have to store 60 gallons of treated fuel. Then,, if the grid were to go down, or if the SHTF were to happen and zombies roamed the gas stations' parking lots, you should have plenty to get you where you need to go.

If you want to buy a generator, you need to consider what you will be running it for and for how long. As long as you are only using the generator for necessities, 15 gallons should last you about a week. Obviously, it depends on the season,, but that is a rough estimate. Every household should have a can of gas on hand in case of emergency.

How Do I Store My Fuel?

Ideally, you should store fuel away from your residence in a cool, well-ventilated place. You should avoid storing energy in your house if possible because that could lead to an accident. It is likely that you would not be as concerned about your shed blowing up as you would be if your house blew up.

Make Sure Your Long-Term Storage Of Fuel Is Rotated

Make sure you rotate your fuel every year and you will be in great shape if you need it in the future.

The blend of gas differs in the Winter, so you can buy your fuel in January and store it until the next year. Each January, for example, you can fill up your car's gas tank by using up the gas stores,, and then you can head to the pump to fill up again. Your fuel will be in the best possible condition this way.

Final Thoughts

We live in a world that is constantly changing. There are a lot of outstanding and marvelous things to see and do there that we all should have the chance to experience. Unfortunately, we don't always realize how dangerous it can be. Avoid letting emergencies ruin your life and plans by being prepared beforehand so that you can handle them. 

Did you find this article about emergency prepping for beginners useful? If so, please share it with your friends.

Article by Sam Fury

Sam Fury 3 png
Sam Fury 3 png

Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.

He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.

As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others. 

These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan. 

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