The Preparedness Primer: How To Get Started

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Lao Tzu (604 BC – 531 BC)

Above is the most popular version of this quote by ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.  But I’ve always kind of liked the more literal translation, which is, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin where you stand.”  I find it so inspiring that wherever I want to go in life, I can start working towards that goal, right here, right now.  I just have to make the decision to do so.

I can’t think of any place this quote is more applicable than with a journey to preparedness and self-sufficiency.  Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you can begin right now, this very day, to ensure the well-being of your family during whatever crisis comes your way.

Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of emails and comments asking where to begin.  I think that is a wonderful question because it means that more of you reading this have realized that there’s no time to lose.  I have given some brief suggestions, but this is a topic that deserves detail.  I brushed upon it recently in an article called, “Is It Too Late to Start Prepping?” but today, we’re going to get down to the nitty-gritty.

First things first, you need to figure out where you’re at with regard to preparedness.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your significant other on board?
  • What crises are the most likely?  Think about natural disasters that are common to the area, like earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.  Consider man-made disasters like leaks from chemical plants or nuclear meltdowns at power plants.  Don’t forget the potential for an economic crisis like job loss, illness, and general inflation.
  • How much money do you have to spend on prepping?
  • What kind of storage space do you have?
  • What natural resources can you tap into at your current location? (This could be a lake for water, wild berries in the forest, wood to heat your house, etc.)
  • What do you already have?

Once you know where you are, it helps you map out where you need to go!

Next, you need a plan.

This is where I refer you to another website.   I recommend 52 Weeks to Preparedness by Tess Pennington, over at Ready Nutrition.  This is a free (FREE!!!!) series that breaks down preparedness week by week.  It is incredibly well organized, and by breaking things down into small, bite-sized pieces, it’s far more affordable for those of us who make under 6 figures and cannot afford a fully stocked bunker in the mountains of Idaho.  When I first discovered this site, I’d already been prepping for several years, but the sheer organizational genius of all the lists helped me take it to another level.  So, whether you are starting from the very beginning or you’ve been at it for a while, this series will be incredibly beneficial.

Take the First Step

Take this a bit at a time.  No, you don’t have unlimited time to get prepared, but it’s important not to go out in a tizzy and make rash expenditures, particularly if the budget is already tight.  Use the “week at a time” system above to help you break this down.  It’s very overwhelming to try and attack this all at once.

If you’re going to go out and do some shopping, put together a list.  A good starting target is a two week supply of the following:

  • Drinking water for every member of the household (including the furry members)
  • 3 servings per day of grains for each person
  • 3 servings of protein for each person
  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables for each person
  • 2 servings of dairy for each person (more for growing children and pregnant or lactating women)
  • Take into consideration any special dietary needs that members of your household might have.  Things like baby formula, low sugar foods, low salt foods and supplements are often overlooked.
  • Necessary prescription medications
  • A method of heating or cooking the above foods in the event of a power outage, along with fuel (alternatively, you can make choices that don’t require cooking)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Candles or other light sources that do not rely on the grid

 And there you are. It really is THAT EASY to get started.

What caused you to make the decision to start prepping?  What was your first step?  Please share in the comments below!

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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4 Comments  to  The Preparedness Primer: How To Get Started

  1. Canada Canuk says:

    Hi Daisy….I found Tess Penningtons site about the same time I found Mac’s….and that’s when I really starting ramping it up. I guess I have always stashed a bit though, as I remember reading Howard Ruff’s (Rough Times) about 25 or so years ago…..boy, did I store water in Javex bottles back then!

    Great article, BTW, U Got Mail (at your email address…Hope you are receiving ok?

  2. Charlene Sands says:

    Daisy, thank you for creating this great website! I started prepping last year, jumping in with both feet instead of waiting for the “right time”! At the same time, I started reading “Nourishing Traditions” and am taking steps to change how our family eats. I have been frustrated that most prepper sites recommend stocking up foods that are not organic or are full of GMO’s, and your site offers some great advice and encouragement to make the extra effort and expense to find food that will actually nourish me in a crisis situation. Keep up the good work, I’ll defitely be adding this site to my favorites.

    God bless.

  3. Jim Thorton says:

    The 52 Week plan is excellent. In week 1, I explored many options on emergency food supply. I finally settled on one that now I promote at familyemergencyfoodsupply.com. Thank your for the great information and a breakdown by week on what to focus on. Cheers!

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