Survival, The core reason of prepping!
Prepping is short for preparedness planning!
People have a skewed view of “preppers”. They think these people are just “crazies”, and certainly there are crazies out there. The truth is that many are just people that wish to be prepared for a disaster.
They might be preparing for global nuclear war, they might be preparing for total economic collapse, or maybe the eruption of a super volcano. If Hurricane Sandy had rolled through their neighborhood, they have resources to survive the disaster.
That is the real key. It is not guns and bunkers and molotov cocktails. Having water, food and medical supplies. The other stuff is important too, but the focus should be the storage and preservation of resources. Many people have resources in their homes that are valuable for their survival. Canned goods are a valuable asset. First aid kits are another.
A quick note about Firearms. Firearms are recommended as a tool to protect you and your family. Part of this is protecting the supplies that you have put the effort into saving. Too many people waste their money on buying way too many “guns”. You really only need one per family member plus an extra if any break down. Having a couple of pistols is a good idea too. Keep calibers as common as possible. More separate calibers of ammo means you will have to make a larger investment in ammo. Keeping more of your firearms in common means you can have things like magazines that are used in more than one firearm. That money can be spent elsewhere.
One of the best investments you will ever make is a .22LR rifle. It can be used for defense, it can put meat in the pot and it is very affordable to train with. There are many good “survival” firearms out there. Many will have you believe that an AR-15 or and AK variant are what you need. The truth is you need what YOU can shoot well. If that is a .22LR, then that is what you should have. I have a couple of AR-15′s, but if I could only take one rifle with me it would be my Ruger 10/22.
You can can improve your survival resources just by organizing and planning for a future disaster. It is reccomended that you have at least 3 days of food and water per person. Most of us have at least this much food in our cupboards. Keeping your cupboards full is the first step in preparing. Water is a different story. It is recommended that you have about 2.5 gallons of water per person per day, for drinking and cleaning. For short term survival I would try for at least 1 Gal. per day per person. Most of us do not have enough water sitting around. You can improve this easily by buying cases of bottled water. The real problem is finding room to store it. Water also has to be exchanged every so often to keep it fresh. Bulk storage of water in drums can be used but then you will have to look into treating the water to prevent algae or contamination.
Though there are many resources in your home, they are not organized! When was the last time you cleaned out your cupboards? you undoubtedly will find some really old stuff in the back of them. You will not even be able to remember when you bought some of it. Clean them out then buy some bulk or canned goods at your favorite bulk store. Refill your cupboards with newer stuff. Replace it as you use it and keep the cupboards full. Plan out how you are going to get it all into bags or boxes if you have to leave. Make sure you have enough bags or boxes always around to pack it all up. Make sure you have salt, sugar, rice, beans and flour on hand all the times. Keep energy/granola bars around and rotate them out as you eat them. Buy up Rice a Roni and Noodle Roni when it is on sale. Make sure you have canned or dried fruit around also. Ramen Noodles are cheap. If you can get “meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) they can be a good source, but remember they are partially dehydrated so you must have plenty of water while you are eating them. Overall keep those cupboards full, just in case!
Make sure you always have at least a half tank of fuel in your cars. Drive out of your area and try to find someplace that is safe to move to, if your home becomes unlivable. You will be looking for cover/concealment and a water source. See if it will be a good place to grow a garden. If you can, hide some of your items there just in case. Are there trees or other materials that can be used to build shelter. Make sure you have the tools to use those resources! Think about a small trailer or camp trailer to store and to move your supplies.
If you are one of those that believe having guns(Firearms), is going to get you what you need to survive? Think again. People will band together to clean you out of their area if you make a nuisance of yourself. They really will get to a point that they are tired of looking over their shoulder and hunt you down. Buy a couple less guns and buy more supplies. One less AR-15 can equal months of food and water for your family. Do you really need two per person?
Trading materials can be very important for survival. Cigarettes always have value. If you are not a smoker yourself then that is bonus. Knives, flint fire starters, old pots and pans etc. make good trade goods. Pocket Rockets (slingshots) are cheap quiet and easily used for game. Inexpensive air guns and pellets are real game getters also. These are inexpensive and store well. High tech items like cell phones and such will have less value than food or durable goods. But solar chargers for those items maybe good trades.
I would not recommend using firearms or ammunition as trading material. These are much too likely to be turned against you to make them a good trade. In fact they would be more likely to draw the wrong type of people to your area of trade. keep weapons as concealed as possible while you are at trade. Setup your trade site where it can be overlooked by one of your people who is armed.