A definition of what prepping is.
Disasters can be roughly defined as natural, political, environmental or social in origin. They can be triggered by natural disasters, terrorism, military and police actions, political and social unrest etc.
Though you can do little or nothing about disasters happening you can through planning and preparation minimise the effects on your family. The main objectives are to survive the initial disaster then to continue to flourish after the event.
What do you need to be prepped?
The answer to this question depends entirely on what event or contingency you are planning on surviving through. It could be that you only want to prepare to survive a winter power cut, so in this case flashlights, candles, matches and warm clothing may be all you need. Most preppers are concerned about much larger or prolonged events such as food shortages, civil unrest, major earthquakes, economic collapse, etcetera and feel driven enough to at least attempt to be self-sufficient in all the essential needs for at least 3 months or longer if necessary.
In this brief review I will attempt to list the GROUPS you need to deal with rather than specific amounts and individual items, other ARTICLES and LISTS from this forum will help you fill in the gaps. But please note this is a GENERIC article and you must adapt and adjust the subject matter to meet your own individual needs.
The PRIMARY groups you need to consider are (not in order of priority) basically
From here each group will be sub divided as required EG Shelter will divide into Primary (your home or retreat) Mobile (tent or improvised shelter) and Temporary (a place of safety other than your permanent home.
So are you planning on weathering the event in your home, if so what improvements must you make to adapt the house to your needs, or are you planning on bugging out to a secondary location, and what does that place need to function the way you want to?
So for example if you have decided to stay at home during the crisis you need to ensure that your home can sustain you independently of the national grid, utilities, supermarkets and authorities for the length of time you feel you need to plan for. Most preppers keep an absolute minimum of 72 hours emergency supplies, the general accepted norm for UK preppers with families is believed to be 3 months supplies but 6 / 9 and 12 months stockpiles and caches are very common. It is also well noting that since around the year 2000 more and more preppers are making steps to produce at least SOME of their own food and many preppers now have allotments whilst others have converted flower beds into vegetable plots. Others now keep and breed small animals such rabbits, chickens, miniature breeds of pigs and goats etc.
Moving on to look briefly the other PRIMARY groups, you need to build up as your finances allow and as time permits enough food, fuel and water in order to provide your family with a healthy balanced diet of foodstuffs you family is already familiar with and actually likes to eat. Do not waste money on buying foods in because of the cheap price buy only the foods your family is familiar with and like.
What you are attempting to do is to make sure that if something major goes wrong with society that you have independence from the vulnerable grid or chain of supply;
Food to sustain you for the duration of the crisis
Water for drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning
Heat for warmth and heating water for cleaning
Light for vision after sundown (Lanterns, Solar systems, Flashlights etc)
Fuel to power lights, cookers, heaters, stoves and generators
Clothing to sustain you for the period heavy duty outdoor gear recommended)
Bedding, sleeping bags, towels etc
Medical supplies and prescription medicines (and dentures, eyeglasses etc)
Emergency medical kits for dealing with injuries and traumas
Books / Maps for reference and information
Logistics such as garden tools, DIY repair materials, spare batteries etc
Radios for monitoring radio broadcasts
Transport for bring in supplies, bugging out or patrolling.
Weapons for self-defence and security
These are the PRIMARY groups and the sub groups and LISTS of kit can be found listed here and almost any other Prepper or Survivalist forum.
Other issues you will become aware of quickly is the extra equipment and plans preppers make to be able to respond almost instantly to an event, crisis or disaster occurring, you will see frequent reference to Bug out Bags and Get Home Bags, these are pre-packed items of luggage containing essential tools, food, water, clothing, maps and supplies keep by the front door of the office or home to allow them to simply grab the bag and go immediately the incident happens. They may be called various names from bug out bag, get home bag, commuter escape kits, get out of Dodge bags or whatever. But they all serve the same purpose and that is to sustain the prepper on his or her journey home or to their retreat.
Other items of note are the vehicle choice of many preppers with modified panel vans fitted out as stealth campers, discretely uprated 4×4 vehicles, mountain bikes and even Kayaks in some cases being selected for their utility and durability to get to a destination when ordinary vehicles would get stuck or bogged down.
Imagine getting up one morning and finding the gas, electricity, water, sewage, phones, street lights etc were out of service and the shops did not open. Most of your neighbours will be floundering around not knowing what to do, unable to cook a meal or even get washed or showered, no lights, no television, just confusion. Everyone except the prepper who has back up lighting, auxiliary cooking equipment, caches of food and fuel and a well sorted plan to work from.