12 Days of Practical Preparedness Tips
Getting prepared doesn’t happen in one or two days. In fact, preparedness should be a lifestyle where skills and gear are obtained and perfected over time. But for the new prepper, having some goals or prepper tips to start with is helpful. And actually, these prepper tips are valuable for any prepper to keep their preparedness skills and abilities active and engaged in the preparedness lifestyle.
This article will cover 12 prepper tips that anyone can focus on for 12 days to jump-start their preparedness journey.
12 Prepper Tips #1 – Put copies of important docs into a binder that you can grab in an emergency.
Imagine losing your home and all your contents. Imagine then, on top of dealing with insurance and figuring out where you are going to live, you have to wait in long lines in government buildings to replace all of your important documents.
Take a few minutes a day for a week or take one Saturday to make copies of your important documents and place them in a binder. Keep the binder in your bugout bag or somewhere that you can easily grab it in an emergency situation.
Since you are making copies, get extras made and create another binder that you can seal up and give to a family member or leave in a safety-deposit box – just in case. And, you could also make digital copies so you could keep your documents on a secure flash drive.
Some important documents to keep in your binder are a marriage license, birth certificates, passports, medical records, social security numbers, ID’s, bank account numbers, mortgage documents, insurance information, and school records.
12 Prepper Tips #2 – Bring up an online map to find water sources in your area and have a way to filter/distill water.
This is an informational tip that you can store in the back of your head for the SHTF. And you will need this information if you don’t have a well that you can access with a handpump.
The idea is to become familiar with water sources in your area where you can go and get water in an emergency. The reason you might want to look at an online map is that you can get a real-life picture of what is around you. You might not realize that there are ponds, lakes or pools hidden around you.
Besides identifying water sources, you will need ways to filter, purify and distill water. You “might” be able to get away with just filtering and purifying water in a rural setting, but in the city, with all the runoff (chemicals, pesticides, and insecticides on the ground), you will need ways to distill water. This is a topic for another article, but something that is becoming more and more apparent to me.
12 Prepper Tips #3 – Create an emergency plan for your family, include important phone numbers, meet-up places, and other important information. Make copies!
When an emergency happens, many people tend to panic and not know what to do. But if they have a plan, like where to meet up, they can follow the steps and information there without much thought.
A one-page plan should also include family phone numbers and a number of a family member who is out of town who can be a point of contact. The reason for this is sometimes cellphones can make outgoing calls, but won’t allow calls within a local area.
Lastly, make copies of your plan so family members can keep a copy in their wallet, purse, bag and/or vehicle.
12 Prep Tips #4 – Check and/or replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors.
This is an easy one, but it is so important! Taking five minutes to make sure that your smoke and carbon dioxide alarms are working and replacing them with a $3-4 battery will be well worth it in an emergency.
You could look at it the other way too. Would you want to risk the life of your family for 5 minutes of your time and $3-4?
12 Prepper Tips #5 – Teach all your family members where the home water, gas, and electrical shut-offs are located and how to turn them off.
Again, this is an easy one, but oh so important if you ever have an emergency! Make sure that all of your family members know where the water, gas and electrical shut-offs (circuit breakers) are located around your home.
You will also want them to know how to shut them off. This means you need to keep the appropriate tools in a place where they can access them.
Every home and every area is a little different so don’t assume that they know how to do this in every location. Taking a few minutes to walk-through this can help protect your home from catching fire, flooding or worse in an emergency situation.
12 Prepper Tips #6 – Do a visual check on your food storage. Eat what is about to expire and check for signs of rodents or rust/damage to cans.
It’s smart to do a visual check on your food storage from time to time. Food storage has many enemies. And with the cost of food going up, doing a short visual check can save you from throwing out food.
When you do your visual, check for signs of rust and bulging cans. Also, if you get into the habit of writing the expiration date on the top of store-bought cans (with the date you bring them home) with a Sharpie, you can easily see when cans are about to expire. See my ???? on expiration dates.
You’ll also want to do a visual for any rodent damage. Check for packages that have been chewed on and look for other signs like poop. Rodents can wreak havoc on food storage, so don’t neglect this!
12 Prep Tips #7 – Add emergency items to your vehicle in case you get stuck in a storm or worse: water, snacks, blankets, extra clothes, etc…
The thing is, you might never need these items because of a storm or other emergency. BUT, if you did need them, they would be so valuable. Consider your environment and seasons and what being stranded in your vehicle might look like for you.
The other thing you need to consider about storing supplies in your vehicle is storage. You don’t want your supplies visible to “wandering eyes.” Consider placing items under your seat, in your trunk or any other cubby hole you might have.
12 Prepper Tips #8 – Always carry a battery charger to charge your cellphone!
There is no reason to not have an extra battery charger with you nowadays. Our phones are mini-computers and communication systems that are important to us. Carrying a 5000 mah battery is very affordable and will ensure that you can make a call in an emergency situation.
12 Preparedness Tips #9 – Add to your first aid supplies! You will never have enough in a true SHTF emergency!
First Aid supplies can easily take up a lot of space and make it seem like you have a lot. But in a true SHTF medical situation, you will go through a lot of supplies. Those few boxes of sterile pads will quickly dwindle.
Making small purchases on a consistent basis from Amazon or even Dollar Tree will quickly add to your first aid supplies. Just remember to have a place to store all of your supplies!
12 Prepper Tips #10 – Evaluate your EDC. Does what you carry everyday make sense?
Everyday carry is what you have on you in that moment. For many, that would be your wallet, a pocket folder, a cellphone, battery charger, keys, a firearm (if you carry) and anything else you have in your pockets. Others carry much more.
I have tried to carry more in the past. But after a moment of evaluation, I realized I didn’t use many things I carried. So take a moment to evaluate what you are carrying that you never use and what you aren’t carrying that you should probably start.
12 Preparedness Tips #11 – Break up boxes and put them in garbage bags to throw them away so no one knows what new items you have in your home: computers, TVs, etc..
This one will not only serve during Christmas but any other time you bring home a big-ticket item in a box!
The truth is thieves are looking for boxes out in your trash that would signal new expensive items in your home. You will want to break up any boxes and even put them in a big trash bag. The effort to break up the box and put it in a trash bag will be worth it if it causes a thief to pass up your home.
12 Prepper Tips #12 – Find ways to build layers into your home security: better deadbolt locks, security system, spiky bushes around windows, cameras, etc…
Every “extra” layer that you can add to your home is an extra layer a bad guy needs to get through. Thieves take into consideration the effort and risk they are putting forth to break into your home and steal your stuff or do your family harm.
Like the tip above, a little bit of effort can go a long way to protect your home.
Prepper Tip Wrap Up – Some will say preparedness is a lifestyle. Others will say it is an on-going process. Whatever way you want to spin it, evaluating and reflecting on your preparedness and then making adjustments is a way to keep your preparedness readiness at peak levels.