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Prep In Steps – The 4 Levels Of Prepping

Rev up your prepping one step at a time with the four levels or prepping, from bad weather to major SHTF. Start now with these simple preps.

Back when farms were the primary livelihood for most families, everyone practiced basic preparedness by keeping around emergency supplies and food items.

Today, in the world of supermarkets and online shopping, it seems the majority of people see emergency preparedness as an extreme tactic.

In reality, preparing for emergencies is an important step to take to protect yourself and your family (whether it be a small town blackout or a devastating natural disaster).

There are four levels of preparedness depending on the severity of the disaster you’re planning for.

Level 1 – Basic Preparation

Level 1 preparedness should be practiced in every household around the world. In the event of a blackout or bad weather, you’ll have the basic supplies that you’ll need on hand. Some things you’ll want to store are:

  • A good first aid kit with bandages, ointments, and necessary medications
  • A kerosene heater or extra firewood (something that will work without power)
  • Water supply (plastic water bottles should be kept away from sunlight and rotated every so often)
  • Easy to prepare food – good examples would be pre-mixed stovetop meals (like soups), freeze dried food, etc.
  • Flashlights (battery or solar charged)
  • A battery-operated radio or television set
  • Batteries

Level 2– 30+ Days

A Level 2 event will likely have effects that last over a month. For example, a bad flood, fire, or hurricane.Here are some things to include (along with those listed in Level 1 preparedness):

  • A generator and backup fuel
    • A small generator is best as they’re easier to store and move around. They’ll power basic electrical equipment that you’ll need. A huge generator will be able to power your house, but you’ll use a lot of fuel.
  • Defensive weapons
    • Disasters bring out the worst in people. Between common looters and those trying to protect their family, you’re likely to attract some unfavorable people, especially if you live in a very populated area.
  • A cooking method
    • Cold food for thirty days will put you in a very unpleasant mood. Invest in a camping stove (and account for the fuel it will use).
  • Water
    • You can never store enough water. You’ll need either a bottled water supply that will last at least 45 days and/or a means of purifying water.

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Level 3 – Three (or more) Months

A Level 3 event could impact you for more than three months, which is why it’s important to be very well prepared for all aspects:

  • Communication devices (i.e. a Ham radio) to keep in touch for family and neighbors
  • Create a neighborhood watch program
    • It will be a much more appealing idea to everyone to team up with your neighbors rather than turn against them. Suggest forming a neighborhood watch so you can all feel better protected and prepared.
  • Rechargeable batteries (and a solar recharger)
  • Barter items
    • You’ll want to keep a set of supplies on hand solely for the purpose of trading. In an event such as this one, money will be of no value. You need high-use items such as water, food, defense weapons, first aid supplies, etc. that people will need.
  • A waste disposal plan
    • Disposing of your waste becomes an important factor in survival. Anything that will signal a potential looter and tell them something about where you’re at or what you have is dangerous. Come up with a plan ahead of time.

Level 4 – Over a Year

A Level 4 event could be an economic collapse or even a war, and it will likely take over a year before life begins to return to normal:

  • Seed storage
    • You’ll need to plant and grow your own garden for an on-going supply of food. Educate yourself on local gardening seasons and what is easiest to grow.
  • Rain barrels or another way to capture and store water
  • Livestock
    • Keeping small livestock (like chickens) and having the education and means to butcher and cook them will be a necessity.
  • Defense weapons (and proper training)
  • Plans & Drills
    • Knowing where you’re at and what’s around will be crucial. Get maps of the area (especially topographical ones) and keep a plan of your house and land. Practice escape drills and other routines before you need to use them.
  • A serious first aid kit, along with any medication and extra antibiotics
  • Knowledge of herbal medicine
    • There will be no doctors, so having good knowledge of herbal medicine could save your life.
  • Books
    • If you have a place to store a book or two, choose wisely. Good subjects would be farming/gardening, first aid, etc.
  • Setup a network
    • Connect with your neighbors and keep in touch frequently. Setup a watch to keep away looters and make everyone (including yourself) feel safer.

Final Word

Perhaps the most important thing you can do now is begin educating yourself on first aid, farming, and defense. These skills are priceless in any situation.

Your emergency supplies should be set aside in a safe place away from prying eyes, extreme heat/cold, potential water damage, etc. Make sure you organize everything neatly and keep it all in one place so you know where to find it if you ever need it.

Having things stored in water-tight, easily maneuverable containers is important, especially if you’re planning on an event that would cause you to leave your home (like an approaching wildfire or flood).

Another thing to consider, if this is what you’re preparing for, is where you would go in this situation. Remember that neighbors and local family/friends would also have to leave their homes under these circumstances.

So, whether you’re just putting away some rainy day supplies, or you’re fully prepared for a bug-out event, anything you do now will help ensure the safety and survival of you and your family.

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Meet The Author

Robert Rickman

I have been practicing survival and prepping skills since the 70's through backpacking across the USA and outdoor living in the wild, and also at my off-grid homestead with my family of four.

2 Comments

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  1. I started ‘prepping’ several months ago and have reached ‘level 4. Yes, I spent some money and PO’ed husband, but he is sort of behind me. Fortunately we live in a semi-rural-suburban area and can have chickens, rabbits, a garden. Could have a cow, hogs, etc but I’m not going that far. Our threats are ; earthquake and civil unrest. Living 20 miles south of St.Louis MO, we’re on the fault lines for earthquake, tho there hasn’t been one since 1810. Civil unrest? Maybe ‘they’ won’t leave the ‘big city;.

    1. You should research your threat of nuclear exposure with the underground storage area that is burning.

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Prep In Steps - The 4 Levels Of Prepping

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