Prepping basics: 6 Tips that will help newbies survive when SHTF
By Zoey Sky // Sep 03, 2020

Like any other endeavor, prepping is best approached with a plan in mind. If you're overwhelmed by prepping, survival and getting ready before SHTF, start with the basics: Draft your plan, prepare a budget and get your whole family on board as you start to prep.(h/t to


Start with your finances

Learning how to budget your money is key to starting your prepping journey. Don't buy expensive gear if you can't afford it yet, and start building a survival stockpile by buying some extra cans of food when you're getting groceries.

By saving up and following a budget, you can start prepping without running low on cash.

Do an inventory check

Prepping doesn't mean going on a shopping spree the first chance you get. Before you buy gear and supplies, check what you have at home.

Next, clean up an area or spare room in your house for your survival stockpile or storage area. Donate items you no longer need but can still be used, and repurpose what you can.

You should also do an inventory check of your mindset and attitude. What are your fears for the future? List them down, and plan how to address them before SHTF.

Teach your whole family how to prep

If your family members are old enough, teach them how to prep. Spend time learning important survival skills and practice them in a fun set-up, like going camping on the weekends.

Practice fire drills and do a skill check regularly. Get everyone involved by asking about their interests and incorporating these into your practice drills.

Set up a waste removal system

It's important to stock up on survival food before a long-term power outage, but when SHTF you'll also need a way to get rid of waste properly. Plan ahead of time so you have access to a working waste removal system even in a disaster scenario.

Learn how to compost food waste, which can then be used to improve soil health in your garden. (Related: Advanced prepper tips to take your prepping to the next level.)

Be more self-sufficient

Stock up on extra food and clean water, then rotate your supply to prevent spoilage. Don't forget non-food emergency supplies, such as:

  • First aid kits
  • Bug-out bags for the whole family
  • Cooking equipment
  • Water filters
  • Outdoor survival gear

When stocking up on food, start with prepper pantry staples such as:

  • Beans
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned liquids and juices
  • Canned meat
  • Cooking oils (e.g., butter, lard, or olive oil)
  • Dried fruits
  • Dried grains
  • Drink mixes
  • Powdered milk
  • Rice
  • Whole wheat flour

You can also turn your backyard into a survival garden so you have access to fresh food even after SHTF. If you live in an apartment, try container gardening.

While stocking up on water, don't forget that you'll need a separate supply for cleaning, drinking and cooking.

Know when it's time to bug in or bug out

If you can weather a disaster at home, bug in when it's safe to do so. But if you need to bug out, head to your bug-out location with your gear in tow.

Before SHTF, prep a bug-out bag for your whole family and keep it somewhere within reach. Make sure everyone knows how to use each item, particularly firestarting items and navigation tools. Give each family member a role to lessen the burden on you if you're going to lead the group. If you have several children, the older ones can look after the younger ones.

Prepping doesn't have to be a confusing endeavor. Start small and follow these tips so that when SHTF, you'll know what to do.

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