Have you often heard the word prepping? I call myself a prepper, not a doomsday prepper, just a prepper. I love prepping and you will too if you understand why we need to start prepping. Basically, it’s a way of life for me and several of my friends. I want to be prepared for the unexpected. I am not a hoarder by any means, but I do store extra water, food, fuel, cooking devices and so much more.
I would describe myself as a prepper who is prepping to be prepared for the unexpected. I am self-reliant in every possible way that I can be. I do not expect the government or any other entity to take care of me in a disaster, an unforeseen emergency or a job loss. I can take care of myself and my family. It’s actually really quite easy to do. I always suggest starting small by learning to be prepared for whatever mishaps might come your way.
1. Prepping is storing water:
I bet you know by now you need a minimum of one gallon of water person per day. If you want to cook, wash clothes, etc. you need another three gallons per person per day. Yes, we can get by with less….but I would rather have too much water stored than run out and wish I had listened to my gut to store more. You can start on the cheap here, I promise. If you buy gallons of milk in the plastic container, wash them after use and store water. This water can be used to wash your underwear if nothing else. These jugs will leak over time, so I am only suggesting them as short term water storage. If you can save some money as part of your budget, buy a 55-gallon water container. Wash it and fill it with water using a lead-free hose. Ask your neighbor if they have one if you don’t. If they have a trailer with a water storage tank they should have a safe hose you can use to fill your container safely with water. Grab a few cases of bottled water. Trust me, eight cases looks like a lot. It’s not enough for my family of two. Just giving you the heads up here.
2. Prepping is storing food:
This is one area some people are afraid to think about. It’s really quite easy if you think about your pantry. Your pantry is full of food storage, for instance: cans of fruits, vegetables, flour, rice, beans, sugar, honey, etc. See, you have food storage! I buy #10 cans and use them daily. I buy canned beans and bags of beans. I buy cases of pineapple…the small cans. I love pineapple in smoothies, it’s a luxury for me. I feel a little spoiled with those small cans of pineapple. Life is good! I buy cream of chicken soup. Sure I can make it from scratch, but I don’t want to. I love my Campbell’s cream of chicken soup. With my stored pasta, I can make a yummy pot of spaghetti, and make spaghetti sauce with or without meat. My husband prefers meat in it. Dang! Cox’s honey is stored everywhere in my house. I add it to my bread, oatmeal and hot drinks. I love storing tomatoes, diced are my favorite. I love to garden and preserve what I harvest. Spices, you can never have too many spices. I love, love, love making tortillas so I have to have lots of salsa. Every time you go to the grocery store, add a few extra bags of beans, cans of your favorite soups and a case or two of water.
3. Prepping is learning to cook outside:
If you have a barbecue you can cook outside if you have some cast iron or heavy duty pans to cook with. Make sure you have an extra propane tank if the one that’s attached is all you have. Plan ahead, you don’t want to run out of propane. If you have a cast iron Dutch Oven that’s even better. Just make sure you store some briquettes for the Dutch Oven in an airtight container so they will last longer and light up easier. Food Storage Moms: How To Store Charcoal. There is something about using cast iron that just makes the food taste better. I have a DIY Dutch Oven Stand: How To Make A Dutch Oven Stand. My brother-in-law, Duane made it for me, I love it!
4. Prepping is learning to make bread:
I have made bread for 40 plus years and I still love making it. I realize a lot of people have trouble making bread so I must share my no-fail recipe with you. If you have fresh ingredients you can make bread, I promise. This is my no-fail freshly ground whole wheat bread recipe: Food Storage Moms Whole Wheat Bread Recipe. Now if you feel you can’t eat wheat learn to make crackers or bread with other grains. Do it today…you will love it!
5. Prepping is learning to cook from scratch:
If you cook from scratch it might take a little longer, but you will know the ingredients you are eating. I make the best tortillas, crepes, waffles, and yes, I dragged out the cookbooks I had when I was first married. I see the recipes from the 60’s on Pinterest every day! You have got to try these tortillas: Corn Tortillas (Melissa Richardson’s recipe): Corn Tortillas by Food Storage Moms. How many cookbooks do you have that you can use to cook from scratch?
6. Prepping is meeting your neighbors:
How many of you have a neighbor or two that you can approach to learn new skills together? Do you have neighbors that would be willing to have quarterly meetings to discuss what to you can do together to be prepared for a disaster or unforeseen emergency? Do you have contact names with phone numbers to contact their family members?
7. Prepping is learning new survival skills:
Can you start a fire without matches? Can you cook a meal outside on something other than a barbecue? Please think about learning a new skill every month. You will be glad you did. I am still working on getting my ham radio license. Learn to cook in cast iron on your barbecue.
8. Prepping is learning to live on less:
Here is where the budget word comes into place. If we learn to live on less we can afford to purchase a few extra items for emergencies, like water, food, cooking devices and some extra fuel. Take a bread making class, you will save so much money if you can learn this skill. You don’t need a bread machine. I made bread for years in a huge stainless steel bowl. Cook from scratch and you will eat healthier at the same time. Start a garden this year. You can have a salad every day or just sliced tomatoes.
9. Prepping is filling a 72-hour kit:
If you cannot afford the 72-hour bags (bug out bags) just put items you can use in a box. Here is my list to start thinking about items you may want in your 72-hour kit. These are items you will want to grab and take with you if you have to evacuate. This is just a suggested list I put together for my use, please add your needed items to this list. Food Storage Moms-72 Hour Kits: 72 Hour Adult Kits. Food Storage Moms-72 Hour Kids Kits: 72 Hour Children’s Kits. Just start with a few items and add them as your budget allows.
Who can call themselves a prepper? Are you already prepping? I would love to hear about it!
Reader comments about prepping:
1. Great article… one thing I would add to your water storage is a portable water filter and basic household bleach – 6% sodium hypochlorite (without any additives), this way you can filter and purify water from almost any source (caveat: this does not remove poisons). 1 tsp to 5 U.S. Gallons of water and let stand for 30 minutes before drinking. That will get you by more indefinitely than just stored water. Water from a lake or river, for instance, would now become safer giving you almost unlimited use.
2. I think people assume prepping (preparing for an emergency) costs a fortune, but it doesn’t. When money is tight I try to spend $5 on food/water storage/supplies EVERY time I go to the store. It’s amazing how such a small amount of money can quickly build up your emergency supplies! Coming from hurricane country, we know the importance of being prepared. After Hurricane Ike, our power was out for 11 days! We were hot and tired but didn’t starve or die of thirst. We didn’t count on the government to save us and we were able to stay in our home. Everyone everywhere should have emergency supplies on hand. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
3. The problem with liquid bleach is that it starts to lose its effectiveness by about six months. You can buy powdered dry sodium hypochlorite that never loses its potency until after it has been diluted. It is said to be better to use for when storing water as you never know how long those bottles of liquid bleach have been in those bottles! You can buy this on Amazon!