A New Prepper’s Checklist – 10 Things a New Prepper Should Start Right Away!

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As a new prepper, I wish I would have had some really good, concise advice about prepping early on.  Back then, I was busy moving from website to website trying to gather all the information I could.  But it would have been nice to have a top 10 list of no B.S. to get my head wrapped around the plans and goals I should be making.  New preppers have a lot of challenges when it comes to prepping.  They shouldn’t have to figure it all out on their own!

In this article, I’m sharing the top 10 moves I wish someone would have laid out for me.  Notice that I didn’t include putting together a bug out bag or purchasing an arsenal.  Those things are important.  You should have a bug out bag.  But it shouldn’t be the first thing you do.  There are other preparedness related activities that will give a new prepper more bang for their buck!

You’ll also notice that I have included some articles and videos for further research and understanding.  Please don’t get overwhelmed.  This article is meant to help the new prepper get started and get some big wins behind them.

If you are an experienced prepper, feel free to add some of your own advice in the comment section.

Don’t Panic

Listen, we’ve all been there before!  When you finally wake-up to the fact that our world is fragile and little disruptions can cause bigger disruptions that cause a lot of pain to you and your family, it is normal for a little fear to set in.  But as a new prepper, if you stay in “fear mode,” you will make mistakes.  Fear can cause you to spend money you don’t have on items you don’t need.  Mistakes based in fear can cause you to isolate important people in your life as you start talking about SHTF and The End of the World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI).  Fear can get you making big life decisions, like moving out to a cabin in the woods, before you fully understand the implications of what you are doing.   No, instead take a deep breath and relax.  Knowing how crazy our world is, is a big deal.  Your next step needs to be planned and purposeful.

Lean and Do

This is important for the new prepper to understand because it is easy to get sucked in to all the preparedness related content on the internet.  You can sit for days, in front of your computer, wearing your pj’s and not having brushed your teeth, taking in all the expert knowledge provided for free on prepper websites, podcasts and YouTube channels.  I understand I’m poking fun at myself, but many have found themselves in this specific situation.  Ok, maybe not the “haven’t brushed my teeth for days” thing.  Instead, based on your plans, learn and then do the things that will get you better prepared.  Make a list of what your family needs to be better prepared and then start checking it off.  Preparedness is a lot of commonsense.  With a little bit of critical thinking and some knowledge, you’ll make some big inroads to your preparedness.

Stock Up on Food

New preppers need to start a food storage program right away.  You don’t need to build a root cellar here.  You just need to boost what you have in your pantry so your family can have 2-4 week worth of food at any given time.  This will protect you against a financial emergency, like having a big bill come due or even a job loss.  After you get your first month of food in your pantry and in a good rotation, work on stocking up 2 months of food.  For an easy process, take my FREE eCourse – Three Easy Ways to Get Started in Long Term Food Storage.

Get Your Finances in Good Shape

Many preppers come to preparedness because of the fear of an economic collapse.  And, there is good reason that we should be paying attention to our economy and all the debt that is owed out there.  A new prepper should make sure they are working with a good budget, saving money in an emergency fund and paying down debt.  The old adage, “spend less than you make” is still a good one to live by!

For Further Reading: Economic Tweaks: Changing Our Behavior on the Spiral Downward!

Involve Your Family

Preppers that can involve their family in preparedness are truly blessed.  There are many solo preppers out there.  However, a new prepper shouldn’t freak-out their family into preparing for the zombie apocalypse.  Instead, getting the family to love the outdoors, sitting around a campfire, taking hikes, cooking from scratch and planting a garden are all ways that a new prepper can “subtly” and “stealthily” help their family get better prepared.

Pay Attention More

Someone might misunderstand this one if it is not explained.  But a new prepper should be situationally aware.  This means that they should be able to look at their current situation and make good decisions based on what they see.  There is a base understanding to this that means look at your current local surroundings.  For example, if you have parked your car and you are getting out at the mall, make sure you are watching everything that is going on, taking note of potential threats instead of burying your head in your phone.  But on another level, this idea means that you should be aware of what is going on in your greater neighborhood, city, state, nation, world, etc…  For example, if the supply chain is disrupted in China, what could that mean for you?

Stockpile Water

New preppers need to understand how important water is to their survival.  We have become so accustomed to going to the sink and turning on the tap to run water, that we don’t think about not having water.  But having water is so important that if the tap runs dry, you’re in trouble.  That’s why preppers always have a stockpile of water!  Storing water doesn’t have to be expensive.  The main problem with water is that it is bulky and weighs a lot.  Preppers like to have, at minimum, 1 gallon of water per person per day.  Again, that is on the low end of the scale for most preppers.

Build an Emergency Binder

When the poop hits the fan and you need to leave your house quickly, one thing you want to grab is your emergency binder.  This binder has copies of important documents like birth certificates, social security cards, medical records, bank and financial account information and more.  Think about your house burning down and on top of all the junk you have to deal with, you have to go stand in lines to get copies of all this stuff or in some cases, wait days while you get copies sent to you in the mail.  And while you’re making copies for your emergency binder, make two or three copies and have two or three emergency binders.  You can put one in a safety deposit box and you could send one to a parent or a trusted family member in case something happens and you can’t grab your emergency binder.

Prepare for the Most Common Emergencies

One of the biggest mistakes a new prepper makes is focusing on the big end of the world type disasters like an EMP or nuclear war.  New preppers should focus on the more common emergencies that could disrupt life like natural disasters that are common to their area, job loss or a health crisis.  Once thoughts and plans are put in place for the common emergencies that could occur, a new prepper could focus on the alien invasion happening in 2046.

Know Yourself and Your Family

Lastly, an important key that a new prepper should consider is to take into consideration how you and your family will respond to preparedness and the thought of an emergency.  Some preppers can allow their mind to “go there” and be fine because they are preppering.  Others, allow their mind to “go there” and take panic and anxiety to all new levels.  The same goes for family.  How will your family respond?  If you are not sure, you need to ease the family into the conversation by prepping stealthily: camping, building a fire outside to roast marshmallows, teaching kids how to cook and shoot a pellet gun at some soda cans.  The thing about some of these outdoor activities is that they breed a love for the outdoors and are gateways into other preparedness activities.  You just have to be smart and purposeful about it!


And there you have it!  You’ll realize that preparedness is a lot of commonsense.  You just need to put it into action!  Which item on this list are you going to tackle first?  Give yourself a timeline and get to it!  Then take the next one and the next.

If you are one of the lucky ones and your spouse is behind your preparedness, ask him/her to help take one of these so you can move through these items even faster.  Because when it all boils down, you are prepping because you love your family and don’t want to be reliant on anyone else to help provide the basic necessities for them.



Listen to the Podcast version of this article over at The Prepper Website Podcast!

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PrepperWebsite.com has been live since September 2011, we specialise in both expert prepper guides, and a daily curated feed of the best prepper content online.

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