No one really knows how many preppers exist in the world but it is safe to say that there are three to four million in the United states alone. Even though at first blush this sounds like a huge segment of the population, in round numbers that is still only slightly more than 1% of the total US populace. When you think about it, that is pretty shocking.
Who is going to take care of the remaining 99% percent of the population when a major disruptive event occurs? My guess is that most folks believe that the government will step in. Yeah right.
The truth is that the US Government is ill equipped to take on a massive rescue operation. Plus, if the disruptive event is an economic collapse, you can bet that corporations will be bailed out long before the populace. It happened in 2008 and 2009, and many of us have the retirement account statements to prove it.
Four Major Types of Preppers
From what I can ascertain, the mix of readers on prepper-centric websites fall into four major camps.
First, is the Prepper Wannabe. This is someone who wants to embrace preparedness but does not know where to start. He or she may also feel they do not have adequate financial resources to prep.
Second comes the Prepper Newbie. This prepper has started to prepare but needs help in sorting through an overwhelming amount of advice and preparedness strategies both online and off. Whether it is simply handholding or education, the Prepper Newbies have started their journey but continue to seek knowledge and positive reinforcement to ensure they are on the right path.
Third comes the Dedicated Prepper; someone who has embraced the preparedness lifestyle with gusto. These preppers have supplies, knowledge, and skills but are seeking to fine tune their preps with advanced strategies for survival healthcare, living off-grid, and coping with civil unrest. They actively share their own personal experiences with others and offer tips help other prepper-types learn and grow. I consider myself to be a Dedicated Prepper.
Fourth and last comes the Diehard Prepper. This prepper is planning for a major apocalypse and devotes considerable time and energy to ensure that he or she will prevail. The Diehard Prepper may have a well-stocked bug out retreat where they can live out their days if the end of the world should come. They may also be highly secretive and unwilling to share what they have and what they know for OPSEC reasons.
Being a Diehard Prepper has been somewhat glamorized by the entertainment media. This serves to disillusion and discourage those who are unable to create this type of alternative life for themselves.
I do not mean to imply that any stage of prepping is a bad thing. Not at all. Rather, it is our duty to exercise our own free will to make preparedness decisions that bring sense to our unique situations. There is no such thing as the one-size-fits-all Prepper.
Okay, so we know know that there are at least four types of Preppers. There are undoubtedly more, but for the sake of simplicity, let us leave it at that. This brings me to the topic for today; 10 simple strategies for becoming a prepper.
10 Simple Strategies for Becoming a Prepper
1. Do your own research
Everyone is different. You live in different geographical locations, have different financial considerations, and have different needs. In order to succeed as a prepper, you need to do what is right for you and not the guy down the street. Do your own research and come to decisions that are right for you and you alone.
2. Create and emergency contact list
When a natural disaster of other disruptive event occurs, you want to act on instinct. Alas, human nature may set you on a tailspin instead.
Well in advance, prepare a list of emergency contacts for police, fire, doctors, hospitals, and, of course, family members and close friends. Be sure to include telephone numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses. There is no guarantee that any one method will work if the emergency is dire.
3. Stockpile as much water as you can and learn to purify the rest
Store as much water as you can. Look for hidden locations in your home where you can store either purchased water or water you have bottled yourself using plastic soda or juice jugs, Water Bricks, or something else. Beyond that, find other sources of water that you can use in an emergency and learn how to safely filter and purify raw water for drinking purposes.
4. Purchase beans and rice and learn how to cook them
Beans and rice are chock-full of calories and, in the case of beans, extremely nutritious. Stock up on dried beans and rice then learn how to cook them off grid, and outdoors over an open fire or rocket stove. For very little money and with very little skill, you will keep hungry bellies full when there is no other food to be had.
5. Work toward optimal physical fitness
Exercise regularly and stay in shape. This does not mean that you have to be thin. Rather, build up your stamina and strength so that you can perform manual labor for extended periods.
Hike, power walk, lift weights, bicycle; pick something and stick with it so that you reduce body fat and build up muscle endurance and physical tolerance.
6. Develop a community of like minded preppers
Regardless of where you live or your family situation, become a community with others. Even if your community consists of only two or three persons, these few people will serve as your support group and sounding board for the tactical decisions you will make when things get tough. In addition, you need at least one other person to watch your back as you will watch theirs.
7. Create a survival library
No one can remember every single detail about every single subject. As practiced and skilled as you may be, there will always be a situation where you either forgot or just plain do not know. Build up a survival library. Binders full of paper are good but so are electronic readers and tablets that can easily be powered using inexpensive solar chargers.
8. Put together a basic bug out bag
Bugging in during a disruptive event is always preferable to bugging out. That said, if your home is no longer safe, you may be required to bug out. This does not mean that you will have to flee to the woods. Bugging out may as simple as retreating to a friend or relative’s home or as complicated as hiking in a storm to the nearest shelter twenty miles a way. Regardless of where you bug out to, you are going to need some basics to help you get by.
A basic bug out bag that is light enough to carry when fully loaded, is something every member of the family should possess.
9. Practice an evacuation plan
Related to #8, if your home is no longer safe to live in for whatever reason, plan to leave. Map out an evacuation route in advance. Determine two or three different ways to physically exit your home and then two or three ways to find your way out of the immediate area. At least one of the routes should avoid major streets and arterial locations.
Once you develop an evacuation plan, practice by traveling each route at least once annually.
10. Learn the basics of first aid and survival medicine
Put together a comprehensive first aid kit that includes trauma supplies as well as protection gear to keep you safe in the sick room. Acquire extra prescription medications as well as antibiotics and essential oils. Learn about herbal medicine and keep a good book on survival medicine on hand as a reference.
The Final Word
Each of these strategies has been listed with an all too brief explanation. The reality is that each warrants a full blown dialog as to why it is important as well as steps to put the strategy into action. You can probably guess where this is going.
I have created a roadmap for going forward as I develop each topic in detail over the next few months. As with the Twelve Months of Prepping Series, I will create actionable steps that you can take to become a prepper of the highest order while doing so with grace, optimism, and hope.
We travel this journey together. Let us share the burden and learn from each other. Together, we can become a community.