13 Essential Preps You Are Forgetting

13 Essential Preps You Are ForgettingEvery year the number of preppers is growing more and more, and it seems only natural with all that is going on. Entire states are affected by natural disaster, and constant national threats are being “kept under control” by our government. Emergency preparedness requires a lot of time and effort, there is no doubt about it, but even so, there are a few essential preps that most people are neglecting.

The majority of Americans have it wrong when it comes to prepping. They think that emergency preparedness it’s all about having an underground bunker, a few years’ worth of food, and an armory filled with guns and ammo. While it’s hard to argue with the logic of keeping a year’s worth of food, other essential preps are just as important.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting or have been doing this for years, it’s really easy to lose track of things and get trapped in the fantastic image portrayed by the media. Rather than going on with the hype, make sure the following essential preps are covered.

13 essential preps to cover

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1 13 essential preps to cover
  1. Making a realistic survival plan

Although this is the first step when it comes to emergency preparedness, most people start to think about it long after they bought supplies or other gear. A good planning will allow you to put things in perspective and identify threats, but also to organize the disaster scenarios you should be prepping for.

Without a proper assessment, you’ll be spending a lot of energy and resources, without accomplishing much of anything.

Why aren’t people making a realistic survival plan?

The answer is that many of them lack the time to formulate such a plan. Others have no idea where to start, and they get tangled in all the available information. However, most people cannot see the benefits of planning and keeping things organized.

What to do about it:

Start with a simple plan and concentrate on your region and build from there. Even if you fill a page with next steps to do, is better than nothing. Make a basic plan and test it in real-world conditions to identify flaws and areas that need improvement. It’s hard to make progress without having a real plan and tracking your success or errors. I wrote an article a while back about how to establish prepping priorities, a threat analysis scale model. It helped a lot of people to put things into perspective.

A must read: Prepper’s Threat Analysis – Establishing Prepping Priorities

  1. Accurate Self-defense and security measures

No amount of food or water will protect you from fellow humans when the brown stuff hits the fan. The authorities will have their hands full, and you’ll most probably be on your own. The ability to protect yourself and stay out of harm’s way is one of the essential preps that most people underestimate.

Why is this overlooked?

Most people have no idea how violence can rapidly develop when things go south. They fail to realize that law and order are just an illusion when people are starving, and chaos takes over. Even more, many assume that the government will take care of its citizens, and will quickly reestablish order. This assumption is unrealistic, just look at how Puerto Rico is doing.

What to do about it:

Start by acknowledging that you are the only one responsible for yourself and your family. Do a realistic security assessment of your home and self-defense measures. Address all of this before any crisis and test your plan.

I do agree that having firearms and sufficient ammo is one of the essential preps, but you will win every fight that never happens. Your priority should be to avoid violent confrontations by planning a layered defense system. Put a distance between you and potential threats. And last but not least, if you buy a firearm or two, train and make sure you’re ready to use it when the time comes. The same should go for all members of the family.

  1. Self-healing and medicine supplies

All the essential preps listed in this article are much easier to implement compared to this one. Your health is crucial during a disaster and hospitals, and doctors may be overwhelmed. Imagine getting injured or running out of medicine you desperately need.

Vital medications, like antibiotics, were in short supply in Venezuela before the economic crisis and are nowhere to be found now. This is one example that should make you think about what you can do when emergencies rooms experience shortages.

Why isn’t healthcare a main priority?

Many of us can’t imagine that routine medication could be suddenly unavailable considering how well we have it going. Antibiotics, painkillers, and sedatives can be bought without problems nowadays. People will keep pushing their luck as long as there’s a “fix” for it.

What to do about it:

If you and your family take maintenance medications, you should make a stockpile that can last for months. Don’t be shy to talk to your doctor about it and explain how vulnerable you would be in the event of a disaster. If they’re watching the news, they should have no problem complying with your request. You may have to pay the upfront cost for the 90-day prescription, but you will have a larger supply of medicine available.

There’s always an alternative way of healing for almost all common illnesses. Learn how you can deal with these without having to take a risky trip to the nearest hospital when the city is burning. Making a good antiseptic like Dakin’s solution is easy while growing medicinal plants could be a productive hobby.

Related article: The Most Powerful Antiseptics You Can Make At Home

  1. Tools and spare parts

After a disaster devastates your area, there will be a lot of repair work to be done. Repairing and rebuilding takes time and resources, but it’s almost impossible without the proper tools. You can’t borrow the tools from your neighbors since they will probably need them for themselves. Not to mention that help could be miles away and you will be on your own.

Why do people forget about these?

People forget that equipment and machines can fail or break down at the worse possible moment. They are unrealistic and often optimistic about their gear. Even so, few of them do proper maintenance. “I haven’t used it in a while; it should be in good shape.”

What to do about it:

Start by seeing this as one of the essential preps which require your attention. Make a list of the tools and parts you have, and how often you use them. Replace what you are using and buy what you lack. Store everything you have in a secure location that you can access at any time. People drowned in attics because they didn’t have an axe to make an opening when their house was flooded. Think about making a disaster toolkit and you won’t regret it.

  1. Multi-purpose supplies

While the survival market offers a lot of multi-purpose supplies, most of the household products you own can be repurposed. They offer a good flexibility and can become a good replacement for other essentials that may be in short supply. Honey can be used as an antiseptic or to preserve meat, while baking soda has a multitude of uses.

Why are these overlooked?

Most of the products you own aren’t seen as essential preps, and they are just stuff. Few people can look at an item and figure new uses for it. Most, are unaware of the many beneficial uses of items around them and don’t think twice about it.

What to do about it:

Everything starts with your mind, the greatest survival tool you have. Look at things around you and figure ways to reuse them during harsh times. There are all sorts of good, survival tools all around you and you need to be able and recognize them. It’s a fun exercise to imagine how you can use the items from your house to help yourself and your family through an emergency.

  1. Sanitation and hygiene

If a catastrophic event would hit us tomorrow, handling survival sanitation will become a nasty reality for some. Sooner or later, they will have to deal with the S from the proverbial SHTF. There is a lot of information online about emergency preparedness and how to deal with various crisis scenarios. However, when it comes to dealing with survival sanitation, it seems that this subject is somehow sensitive and it’s not fully covered.

Why is this overlooked?

Everyone prepares as best as they can for the SHTF event they fear the most and for the environment they live in. However, most of them don’t see this as a priority, and it’s not on their essential preps list. They can’t imagine that clean water will someday stop flowing and toilets will stop flushing. People have seen garbage accumulate on the sidewalks only in movies and such scenario doesn’t create a strong impact for them.

What to do about it:

This is an extensive topic which requires planning to properly dispose of human waste while staying clean with no water. You need to stockpile various items to keep a good hygiene, and you have to learn how to collect and disinfect water.

Suggested reading: Survival Sanitation And How To Deal With It

  1. Knowledge, skills, and reference materials

When it comes to prepping, every day you will learn something new. Life-saving skills, like performing CPR weigh nothing and you can take it with you everywhere you go. The amount of knowledge and skills you gather will help you survive when other people start panicking. Even more, it will make you a valuable asset for every group or community you wish to join.

Why are you missing these?

Most people find prepping overwhelming, and they don’t know where to start. They gather a lot of information, and they fail to filter out what is not important. No one can learn everything needed for survival, and there are a lot of things you will be missing. There are few essential preps which require the same amount of concentration as developing and mastering new skills.

What to do about it:

Start by filtering out what is not actually needed, what is fantasy and what is fiction. If you live in the woods, you should prepare your home for house fires and leave the Nibiru preps for later. Since you can’t learn how to become a farmer and a gunsmith at the same time, gather books and other materials that would help you fill in the gaps. Having a survival library helps you get rid of the pressure of “knowing it all” and that information won’t be lost.

  1. Testing drills and evacuation plans

You can’t discuss about essential preps or survival without actually taking the time to practice what you learn. If you’re planning for bugging out, you should try it when you have the time and luxury to do so without any dangers lurking around. You will never be able to figure out what can go wrong if you don’t try it. If you bought a water filter and it still sits in the box, you will never figure out how it works, how much water can you filter and how fast.

Why aren’t you practicing?

The vast majority of people lack the time to do so. Some get a false sense of security by reading about prepping and buying supplies. They think they are prepared and when the time comes, they’re often paralyzed by fear and indecision. This is one of the essential preps that most people underestimate and they fail to see how simple it is to test the things they are reading about.

What to do about it:

During a camping trip, you can test all sorts of equipment and drills. During a town fair or any other social gathering, you can test your bug out plan. You can cut your power and try to live for a few days without electricity. Make a realistic plan and put it to the test. I guarantee you will enjoy the experience and you will help you discover your limitations.

  1. Staying organized

You need order in the chaos, and you should keep thins organized. Otherwise, you will become one of “those crazy preppers” you keep hearing about on the news. Congestion, clutter and the lack of structure are the enemies of preppers and will add up to the stress of everything. Getting organized takes time, and you need to establish priorities.

Why do people embrace the chaos?

Because other priorities or essential preps get in the way and they have no idea where to start. In fact, getting started is the most difficult part and the hardest thing to do. Some are just happy with having everything they need in one place. They fail to realize that they will not find what they desperately need when SHTF.

What to do about it:

All your essential preps should be kept under control, and everything should be prioritized. This is not a one-man job, and every family member should help. From having a rotation schedule for your pantry to separating your supplies based on use and expiration date. Keep similar items grouped together and important items in reach (bug out bags, evacuation kits, valuables, etc.)

  1. Physical fitness

Gathering supplies is easy, and you can do it from the comfort of your couch. Getting your ass off the couch is the most difficult part for some people. We are not a fit or healthy nation, and that’s something you see daily. Survival requires physical strength and endurance, and there’s no sugar coating this. You will need to travel long distances while carrying a heavy load, you will need to fight off attackers, and you will need to climb, crawl or run.

Why is this overlooked?

Many Americans live sedentary lives, and they have jobs that aren’t physically demanding. Our dependency on modern appliances and services is what’s killing us. Our lifestyle doesn’t involve activities which require physical fitness, strength, and stamina.

What to do about it:

This is one of the essential preps that is hard to put into effect. People don’t get medical checkups unless they have to. They don’t exercise willingly, and they don’t know how to break bad habits. Since it’s hard to find a winning formula for everyone, I will just say this: do what you love doing as long as you’re getting outside. There are all sorts of activities that can help you build endurance, strength, and flexibility.

  1. Household animals and pets care

You see on the news horses tied to fences during floods and people breaking into homes to save cats and dogs. This is an ongoing pattern, and people jump to conclusions without knowing the facts. Evacuating animals when bugging out requires a lot of preparation and knowledge.

Why do people keep forgetting about animals?

Most animals are being left behind because their owners are not there when it hits the fan. Some people panic, and they just leave their homes without looking back, while others simply don’t know what to do. Not everyone is a prepper, and most of them have no clue what to do to prepare their animals for evacuation. They do not expect something to happen and they are often caught unprepared.

What to do about it:

One task would be to keep pets under control during a disaster. Most of them will run and hide, and you may not have the time to go and look for them.  You should know the hiding location of your pets, and you should have their supplies in reach (carrying cage, food, medicine). You should also let your neighbors know about your pets and ask them to keep an eye on them if you’re not home. Even placing a pet rescue decal on your front door or window is recommended and it will give your pets a chance for survival.

Related article: Saving Pets During Disasters

  1. Keeping a low profile

Some may not see this as one of the essential preps they should be concerned about, but this one is quite important. People tend to brag when they feel good about themselves, and they tend to show off their work or achievements. Feeling proud and accomplished is one thing while showing off your supplies and making public your survival plan is another thing. There should be a limit somewhere, and you shouldn’t share everything.

Why are they bragging so much?

I still can’t figure this one out. I guess vanity is part of human nature and they like to show others how good they have it. It’s like they are prepping for others and not for their families.

What to do about it:

Stop by telling everyone what you are doing. Is everyone from your audience your friend? Do you trust them enough to share your survival plan with them? What’s stopping them from turning on you when the situation becomes desperate? I hate when people say: let them come, I have enough ammo. Wouldn’t it be smarter to keep a low profile rather than shooting desperate people? Think about the first priority (your family) and don’t put them in danger. Keep things to yourself, and you will better off without all the attention.

  1. Having a backup plan for your essential preps

This is one of the most difficult essential preps you have to cover, and it’s hard to figure it out. People don’t have a plan B, and they fail to realize that no matter how much you prepare, you can’t predict the future. The unexpected or the “randomness” factor is something that you cannot cover. You can, however, have a plan B, in case plan A goes up in smoke.

Why is this overlooked?

Most people believe that once they are done preparing for a disaster, they have everything covered. They don’t go one step further, and they don’t bother asking themselves one simple question: “what if this doesn’t work?” Many avoid doing so because this path often leads to paranoia and they feel like running in circles.

What to do about it:

First of all, when developing a backup plan, you should think about two things: short-term survival and long-term survival. While things can go back to normal after a few months, this isn’t a guarantee. If you have your short-term survival covered, think about what you will do after a year and how you can prepare for such scenario now. Puerto Rico is a good study case for every prepper out there, and it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how the situation develops. It will provide valuable information and show us how a powerful nation can handle such a crisis.

A last word

The essential preps listed above are some of the observations I’ve made over the years. I see this in my network, and I see it everywhere in this country. We can no longer ignore the fact that more and more people are affected by natural disasters.  So far in 2017, the U.S. has endured 49 separate weather, climate and flood disasters. People need to learn how to prepare properly because things will only get worse.

Other Useful Resources:

Extensive EMP prepping guide

This ONE THING Can Help You Terminate Your Store-Bought Dependency

A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere

Discover the lost ways of living of our ancestors

Learn how to Safeguard your Home for when SHTF



1 thought on “13 Essential Preps You Are Forgetting”

  1. All very good points – thank you. I was happy to see you mention tools as essential. I, like most folks I know, keep a toolkit in the truck – wrenches, socket/ rachets, screwdrivers, etc, and actually have to use them more than I care too! It’s easy enough to carry these in the truck, but I don’t know if I can spare the weight in my pack if it comes down to being forced afoot – getting too old for that! Still trying to compile a good comprised collection. I also agree with you wholeheartedly on some of your other points – of more value is knowledge an experience(practice), and physical fitness. Thanks again


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