Brand new to prepping…where do I start?

  • I found your site and love it. I am brand new to prepping and have basically nothing ready for anything. Where do I start? (Tim)

First off…Welcome! Glad to have you aboard even if you are a little late to the party 😉

OK, now…”Where to start?

I will believe you when you say you are “brand new”…so let me start you at the very beginning.

Full disclosure: some folks have different opinions than I do…but most of them don’t have the training, skills, or experience that I do and they don’t have an organized approach to learning the necessary and required prepping knowledge. So, I am methodical, organized, and deliberate in my approach learned over the better part of 4 decades of professional emergency management Prepper Geek with equipment and gearexperience and nearly 50 years of prepping.

First four steps are learning steps, learning the principles of preparedness. This prevents a haphazard, disorganized approach to prepping. It also ensures you more fully avoid HUGE mistakes that many folks make as they prepare. Each step, except the first, will have articles…read them all before moving on. Watch for the “next” button at the bottom of articles. Also, it might be a good idea with you read the “Related Articles” in each posting as well before coming back to the next step.

#1 – Who are you? That is a purely rhetorical question. Do you know yourself, do you have principles, ethics, morals, and do you have foundational beliefs? Why and how do you want to survive emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events? If not, solidify those first. I suggest you write them down.

#2 – Learn Risk Identification and Mitigation.

# 3 – Learn the 7 Common Risks/Threats to all emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. Then learn how to “layer” to mitigate those threats.

#4 – Make a plan to start prepping.

This is your plan! It needs to be singular to you and your family. Lay it out any way you want…but I suggest you write it down. And I insist that it be based on “layering”…or you won’t be a successful as you could have been. You will have wasted your time, money, and resources if you don’t layer.

Next comes the actual prepping Step #5

Now start accomplishing your plan. You can multi-task as you go. Meaning, you can buy a pistol at the same time you are buying food, OTC medicines, and ammo…while you identify a potential bugout location and start storing water correctly.

Layering is vitally important. Example: You start storing water before you have a way to filter/purify it. A problem develops and water shuts off. You may have 100’s of gallons of water stored but not be 100% sure if it is safe to drink and no way to filter/purify it. But, if you have correctly layered then you have a filter/purifier and can make virtually any water safe to drink.

Let me be more clear…each of the 7 Common Risks/Threats have specific layers to them. Each layer is unambiguous in what needs to be done. Work from the inside out using each layer as a “step to take”.

IMPORTANT – while carrying out the practical aspects of prepping (i.e. acquisition of resources) you also need to learn how to set priorities and also learn what Situational Awareness is. You do that by reading and studying SA & LIPS while carrying out your new plan.

Once you have read those articles and you are working your plan of acquiring and organizing your 7 Common Risks/Threats mitigation resources you could start testing yourself…and learning more along the way by reading through the series “Days of September – 9/1/2019 Opening<click here>

To help you out…while you get started on learning the “principles” why don’t you go to your pantry, find the 10 foods that you use the most, then go buy 2 cans of each, continue to do so for the next 3 weeks. That will be some immediate gratification and get/keep you motivated to keep going.

So why do I have you learn the “principles” first? Why do all that reading? Why not just get started and do stuff?

Well, that would make you like many, maybe most, other preppers that are inexperienced, unorganized, untrained, unskilled, and chaotically going about preparing…or rather, thinking they are preparing. To be truly successful at prepping it is vitally important that you understand the big picture, then important bit and pieces of that big picture before you start spending your hard earned money and time.

I will send you my personal email, let me know how you are doing…or if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you and lend a hand if I can.

Now, a serious message from me to you…You are late to the party, meaning you are behind the curve on preparing. But, you are not too late…not too late at all. But you have to get moving and get stuff done…don’t delay or procrastinate. As I said in my article “Intensify” we have fallen as a country…it’s over. I lay out the case clearly in my article “The Fall of the U.S. Empire“. Don’t get me wrong…our country has not ceased to exist…and our people won’t…and the Constitution will continue to be a guiding document for those dedicated to the principle of a Constitutional Republic.

The Roman Empire didn’t simply vanish after its fall…it degraded and then over the course of some 1600 years it morphed into present day Italy, the socialist democracy it is today. Same with the British Empire…it too didn’t simply vanish…it shrank to a fraction of the size it once was and then became the socialist democracy it is today (i.e. Britain, England).

The USA will follow, is following, the same path as all empires…unless the globalists make their final move. So you have time to do a lot of prepping…probably more time than you think…so no need to panic. But time is of the essence. There are two major resources at your disposal; 1) time, 2) money. If you have enough money you can go do everything you need to do in a short period of time. If you are not wealthy then you will have to use your time wisely in acquiring that which you decide you need…and it will take longer to adequately prepare.

A final thought for now…Do you plan to shelter in-place or bug-out? The answer to that question will really make a difference on how you prepare and for what. Answer that question soon, very soon. Here are some articles that might help you decide that answer:

Try to avoid stupid mistakes…

For anyone that can’t or doesn’t want to make a “comment”…use the form below to send me questions, thoughts, concerns, issues, or ask for help. If you would like me to respond to you directly and confidentially just tell me when you send the form.

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Update & Things to Come

Good Afternoon!  I hope this post finds you well, healthy, happy, and not obsessed about prepping. Also, I hope you are clear-headed and enjoying each and every day. Which means that you have probably not been spending time worrying about things you have no control over, have known they were coming anyways, and not consuming your time with social media…especially websites that are a hybrid of prepping and social media…complete waste of time when compared to more productive time spent.

As you remember back on June 21st COVID hit our household…wife and I both came down with it. Yuck! Then on June 23rd I posted an article “Intensify” I had been working on for a while…had to finish it up while in the early stages of COVID. I hope you read that article…I gave a stark assessment of where our country was and where it was headed. But most of all I told you to get to work. I hope you did…you gonna need to have. Then on the 4th of July I posted an article that has been evolving for years now. I wrote the original version some years ago and each year on Independence Day I post it again with edits, corrections, and an expansion of ideas of what has happened to America and thoughts to ponder. I hope you read that article as well…it will give you pause to think about how our Founding Fathers would be treated today.

Right about then, 7/4, I started to feel good enough to work half days…normally the 12 hours from 4am – 4pm. Some days I knocked off early and called it quits about 2pm due to heat…yeah, hard to find good help these days!

My first post-COVID project was to finish a project I started earlier this summer. Oh, wait…let me explain something else first. I made a conscious decision to not post anything for a month. I made that decision for two reasons; 1) I wanted to focus my mental time on exactly what was happening in the world and give my brain time to percolate it, 2) I needed most of my daytime to get some really serious stuff done in a timely manner. Both were accomplished, sorry for the absence and more so for not telling you at the time. Back to my first post-COVID project that took the majority of my time in July…

In late spring my wife and I had a serious conversation about what was happening in the world, where did those things fall within the probability/severity scale, what our #1 mitigation priority should be, and to get on “fixing” that situation as quickly as possible.

Yeah, it was not a fun conversation and it pointed out how serious the trouble is in our country and world is right now. Kind of a downer but that conversation had to take place. So the answer was a stable and affordable “water supply” for our place.

Remember, we live off-grid, off the beaten path, and kinda like a soft homestead situation. Maybe I should invent a new descriptive word for it…”glamsteading”…BINGO!  Homesteading but with all the modern conveniences, shopping for our food, enjoying vehicles, watching TV, and air conditioning, but being off-grid.

When we bought our place we were thrilled that it already had a well on it, although we didn’t know the condition of the well at the time. Thankfully it was fine as we found out after a $600 inspection by a local competent and trusted well drilling company. Whew!!! Big worry lifted off our shoulders.

Shortly thereafter I started talking to a local plumbing supply house that specialized in wells…commercial, agricultural, residential, and off-grid. He gave me some great tips based on our situation such as:

  1. Use 1” Yellow Bimodal MDPE (Medium Density Polyethylene) Gas Pipe.
  2. Use a good quality 1/2hp 120v pump.
  3. Since the wellhead was 750’ from the house just use a 3500w gas/propane generator once a week to fill the water storage tank (also 750’ from the wellhead).
  4. Do it myself.

Man, great advice. The 1” pipe allowed me to accomplish a couple things; 1) no fittings, just a single piece of pipe running the 190’ to the pump, 2) I could run it up and down the well myself with a little engineering and our UTV, 3) the pump supplied the appropriate amount of water and the 120v 1/2hp configuration was substantially less expensive than any other option. It worked great for the first 2-1/2 years…then our water usage went up substantially and the price of gasoline went into the stratosphere. But most of all…we were dependent on acquiring gasoline or propane to run the generator.

Now to be fair to myself…in the back of my mind I had planned on doing a mini stand-alone solar system to power the well operation, I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. Well, “yet” turned into now…we saw the extreme danger in being dependent on gasoline/propane for our water. I designed a minimal solar system for the operation. I actually had the charge controller and solar panels on hand. I knew the inverter I wanted but I needed batteries. A friend of mine owns a local solar store so I met with him over lunch for pricing on batteries. He opened my eyes to an option that I though was beyond my reach…a DC pump and solar power. He explained it in detail and assured me I could handle the install myself. And, lunch was delicious.

So for two-weeks I prepped, ran wire, built an array stand, installed four solar panels, ran more wire, etc. Then four days of pulling the old pump, plumbing the new pump, running wire, and putting the new pump down the hole. Then test, test, and test. And yes, I had to pull it back up once to redo a bad wire splice. Then everything worked as planned and we had the added benefit of a float switch to run the well automatically when the storage tank hit 50% capacity. Then I had to cover the signal wire from tank to pump controller and put another 18” of dirt on top of the water line from the well to the tank. Yeah…150 buckets of dirt from a 60hp Kubota front loader over 3-days. No, the Kubota is not mine…belongs to a neighbor who gladly lent it to me. Great neighbors!!

Then hard rains hit and our retention pond system took a beating…had to upgrade and fix that situation. Another 10 days of backbreaking work in miserable heat and humidity. But the side benefit is we now have better built ponds, about 80,000 gals of surface water storage, and a much more secure 900’ driveway.

Mix in there some work helping out neighbors, working on our community roads, plus gardening, and you get an idea what has been going on with me. Oh, and I mowed the grass three times…but that is another story all together.

So here is what is coming:

  1. I am going to post some recent feedback gathered from my 6/27 article.
  2. I am going to respond to some questions that I have been asked.
  3. I am going to produce a SitRep…very different from my previous ones.
  4. I am going to post some “Tips & Traps” that have been rolling around in my head.
  5. I am going to post a couple articles that will hopefully jog you into you considering you own situation.
  6. And then…well, whatever I feel like doing.

So hang in there…I am renewed, refreshed, coming from a different perspective, and reading to rock it forward.

Come on back regularly and see what is happening!

note: if you still would like to send me feedback you can do so here…<click here>

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In response to my Immediate Action Warning of 7/18/2019

From one of the website regular visitors –

“Thank you once again. I took this opportunity to go back and reread the first two parts of this SitRep on 6/16/2019 1 & 2

“As is my custom I went over your article for any clerical errors of the kind that software lets slide by. Not very many. AND then I took the first of these 3 articles and started to break it down into almost 1 sentence paragraphs.

“Why? Because you my friend, make so many salient points that I feel people will skip over. These points should all be highlighted, IMHO, so that they all give pause in a thorough re-reading. But who wants to read most of your article in yellow?

“So making each point into a tasty morsel seems the best way to allow time to digest. And as ever, I am trying to maintain an off line archive. Who will be able to go online, should there come a day?

My response…

I surely appreciate your kind words…I mean that sincerely. These articles take a lot of time to research, write, and edit. Having someone express their thanks gives me hope that people are listening…and more importantly, taking action.

When I write my SitReps each sentence is carefully crafted, every word, is specifically chosen. Sometimes my spelling is off, other times my grammar is off, and then there are the times my editing just sucks. But I try to make it all mean something specific.

I want folks to be able to read the article as it applies to them. I want them to feel prompted by what they read. What they are prompted to do is up to each as an individual but I want the articles to apply to everyone…regardless of their preparedness level, skills, knowledge, abilities, and commitment.

The “salient points” you refer to are there for a reason. Each point is there for an explicit reason. And those reasons are to prevent a person from falling into traps. Whether they be traps of politics, religion, preparedness, or any associated areas of concern.

Bottom line…I am trying to help the folks that are willing to listen and act. And in this day and age I think that pool of folks is shrinking…just when the need is the greatest.



2009 - 2019 Copyright © ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
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See Content Use Policy for more information.