7 things to prepare before it’s too late

I’ve been thinking about TEOTWAWKI or The End of the World as We Know It. To be clear, I believe that there are many other more likely scenarios to happen before this, but if you plan for the worst you will be prepared for the rest. 

As part of my family’s plan I wanted to make a list of the things we need to get in order before it’s too late. They are in no particular order and is just a very short list of things we need to do. I am planning on expanding my description of and notes for each point once I finalize the list. What do all you preparedness experts think of this list and what would you add or change?

1) Have ways to collect, treat, and store water

Water is life, we all need a lot of it not only for drinking but cleaning, cooking, and hygiene. Not having it will quickly lead to disease, dehydration, and death. Not only is storing clean water important, but have ways to collect and clean more.

2) Store food and ways to cook it

Start with a week of food, then a month, then three, then six if possible. Have ways to cook and prepare multiple recipes with the food we store and don’t just do beans and rice every day. 

3) Learn basic first aid and have a supply of medical supplies

Be able to treat wounds, sprains, cuts, and breaks. Store medications and don’t forget about dental and eye health. Store more than we think we will need.

4) Have backup sources of energy

Have alternative ways to stay warm, cool down, modes of transportation, and power the various devices and appliances in our home.

5) Fortify our homes and self

Secure our home against nature, humans, and animals. Learn personal self defense and carry some defense tool with us at all times if possible. No use preparing if we get our stuff stolen or die.

6) Create a reference library and practice various skills

The internet may not always be available, have some paper reference material and practice skills so we aren’t trying new things during the disaster.

7) Work with other preppers

We want to create a network of other like minded individuals and have goods and skills ready that can be used for trade and bartering.


  • Comments (13)

    • 4

      Good morning Mike,

      Ref 5;

      Sometimes nature can overwhelm us and our dwellings.

      Are you prepared to load out and carry away some food, water, medical supplies 200 meters away ? … for a long hike ? … to an alternate storage area nearby home ?

      • 3

        You seem to have a good list of things to do to be prepared Mike. Like Bob mentions here, you also need to be prepared to bug out if you need to. Maybe that can be the 8th point in your checklist.

        #8 Create a bug out bag that contains a portable and packable version of all the above steps.

    • 4

      Looks like a good, thoughtful list. 

      For anyone that has access to an Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or other health savings, OTC and first-aid supplies may be re-imbursable expenses. Check with your plan on what is covered (YMMV) and if you have dollars available (especially any that will expire on Dec. 31) use them to bulk up your supplies. 

    • 5

      If you are talking TEOTWAWKI, then food storage ain’t enough.  You have to have the knowledge, tools, acreage, seeds, etc., etc., etc. to be self sufficient.  Food stores will run out.  In this extreme case of survival, they are just used until you can ramp up food production.

      Then of course, you need to have the knowledge and tools to store your food to last you over the winter months.

      Assuming you aren’t already self sufficient, I suggest you study two groups of people.  First, learn from the native Americans, who were self sufficient without any modern conveniences.  Then I’d study the settlers in the US prior to electricity.  Granted, these folks would have many tools & would have knowledge we lack, but we can still learn much from them.  I highly recommend this book:

    • 3

      I have all I need for protection, security and survival in the short term (say 1 year) but it occurred to me a couple of months back that I could not grow additional food if stores run out.

      Currently I am trying to grow some of the easy to grow items in the questionable media I have available.. such as tomatoes….lettuce….peppers potato etc ….

      I am sure it will shock most of you to see I am deficient from this angle…….. but in the last couple of months I have tried to rectify things by starting hydroponics and using the Kratky method. I did not even know it existed!

      All my food waste I am now making into a compost pile using dead vegetation….. and seeds I am collecting….just in case!

      I cant believe I have been throwing away useful sources for so many years.

      • 2

        I’m a big believer in growing what the native Americans grew… the 3 sisters.   Have you tried growing field corn, pole beans & winter squash?   By themselves they provide almost complete nutrition and all three dry naturally in the field for easy preservation.

      • 1

        Thanks Redneck

        Will give those a shot too…..

      • 4

        ,With respect to the OP’s beginning post, First aid and related medical procedures prove necessary in routine daily living, not just disasters.

        To some extent this is also true of “home defense.”  In many quarters, this is overemphasized considerably.  There is a lot of beneficial cooperation and assistance common to disasters, although crime does occur.  It is also present in normal daily life and you should know how to deal with it appropriately.

        I do own and use firearms, but they are not the cornerstone of my preps…..

      • 3

        There are exceptions to the three sisters.  In aboriginal California, acorns were the mainstay, supporting very advanced societies…

        Years ago, I directed excavation of a large,  well sheltered cliff dwelling in Canyon de Chelly with excellent preservation.  Wee did a thorough study of the diet, blessed with abundant evidence, ranging from corn husks that were still green after 800 years all the way to the (ahem) final product.

        The diet was corn plus whatever was handy.  Beans were surprisingly scarce, replaced by cotton seed, cactus, Cleome (beeweed, a wild plant) and squash.  Domesticated turkey, mule deer,, and antelope provided meat.  I an sure there were lots of variations of the “three sisters diet” through time and around the continent.

      • 2

        Most certainly there are exceptions to the three sisters, however they were grown from Mexico to Canada by many native cultures.

        My main point is that if one is looking to become self sufficient after a TEOTWAWKI event , then a great area to study would be what the native Americans grew in your area.  For most, that will involve the three sisters… along will all sorts of other crops & foraged foods.  No reason to reinvent the wheel.

      • 2

        There’s a lot to learn from the people who came before us. I have long been of the opinion to never underestimate the power of practical archeology.

        For about 15 years, I was a member of a medieval recreationist group, and learned a whole heck of a lot, from how to keep insects from cured meats in your pavillion (soak a linen bag in vinegar, let it dry, pop your cured meat in it, tie it off and hang it from the frame so that air can circulate) to re-evaluating my own biases around the intelligence of modern humans. Oh, and beeswax wraps aren’t a new thing.

        There are a whole lot of people who can look at a picture or read a description of how a thing was done in the past and try to make it work like our forebears did. I have witnessed, over the course of a weekend, a guy take bits of wood, set himself up a foot-powered lathe (like this one from a local history event, but using young trees instead of wooden poles), and make small stools to sell at the event market. 15 years later, my stool from that event is still trudging along, not once needing repair. Amazing.

      • 4

        Good morning Hikermor,

        One of the variations here was survival reliance on the maritime botany along with the fishing efforts.

        A benefit of following Redneck’s view to read up on how the Indians / native Americans and early colonials worked their survival efforts is to also visit museums. Museums … the small ones especially … typically have small gift stores with some super books by local writers on this subject.

        Getting the family – and friends – involved in this helps many.

    • 5

      I’ve found almost all of my prepper concerns fall under the following categories (which are amazingly similar to your own – lol). Anytime I ponder my kits, home supplies, or overall preparedness I view it through that lens (in no particular order) :

      1) Water

      2) Food

      3) Shelter (including tools, and proper clothing)

      4) Security

      5) Energy (including warmth)

      6) Medical

      7) Hygiene

      8) Entertainment/Resources (I’ve got everything taken care of, now I’m bored. Bored people do stupid things.)