Preppers must complete this 5-item checklist BEFORE disaster strikes
By Zoey Sky // Oct 03, 2019

As a prepper, you need to stay organized, so you can keep track of the preps that must be taken care of before SHTF. Some of these may seem obvious, like setting up a survival stockpile. However, others won't be as apparent, like maintaining your physical and mental health. (h/t to


If you want to survive when disaster strikes, get these five preps ready as soon as you can.

Finalize your emergency preparedness plans

A prepper knows that their survival isn't 100-percent guaranteed just because they have a stockpile of supplies.

While a survival stockpile of food, water, and gear is a crucial part of your preps, you also need a detailed emergency preparedness plan. Your plan will remind you what you need to do the minute SHTF.

Your plans should also include details for a bug-out scenario, such as where you need to go, where you'll meet up with your loved ones (in case you get separated), how you’re going to leave town, and where your bug-out location is.

If you're not sure how to start your emergency preparedness plans, follow this step-by-step guide.

  1. Figure out which natural disasters are common in your state. For example, if you live in a tornado-prone area, fortify your home or decide on a safe bug-out location.
  2. Prepare a bug-out bag (BOB) for everyone in the family. Your BOB should help you survive for at least three days as you journey to your hideout. BOBs usually include a first aid kit, food, water, firestarters, an extra change of clothes, and important documents like IDs and medical records.
  3. Discuss your emergency preparedness plans with the whole family. Tell them where the emergency supplies are and who to contact if you get separated.
  4. Prep your bug-out location, which must contain enough emergency supplies for at least six months to one year. Your supplies must be rotated occasionally, so they don't go bad while the location isn't in use.
  5. Document your plans. Give each family member a clear copy of your plans, with important contact numbers that they can reach if SHTF.
  6. Practice drills regularly. Plans won't be as useful if they remain plans, and practicing will help everyone remember what they need to do and where they need to go before disaster strikes.

Learn essential survival skills

Before SHTF, learn crucial survival and prepping skills such as firestarting, hunting, foraging, and water filtration. Other skills like building a shelter, navigation, and self-defense will also prove useful for outdoor survival.

Stay in good physical and mental health

Can you stay calm when something unexpected happens? Can you lift heavy items not just in the gym but while you're walking miles and carrying a heavy bag to your bug-out location?

If your answer is "no" to both questions, you might get in trouble when SHTF. Staying fit physically and mentally doesn't just help prevent health problems like obesity and heart disease, it also improves your chance of survival.

Even something as simple as stamina can be incredibly useful in a post-SHTF world, where you might need to travel for several days without stopping to reach your hideout. Maintain good oral health, so you have one less thing to worry about when disaster strikes. If you or a family member wears eyeglasses, prepare several backup pairs in case you need replacement.

Prep for loved ones who can't prep

This includes family members how are too young, too old or those who need preps like medication for certain health conditions. If you have pets, they'll also need supplies like pet food and treats to help them calm down when they get restless.

Keep your vehicles properly maintained

Check your car regularly and address any issues immediately. Don't forget to prepare a car emergency kit with extra parts and tools in your bug-out vehicle.

If you need to evacuate immediately, your car will help you reach your bug-out location safely. (Related: Advice for beginners: 4 Common prepping pitfalls to avoid.)

Get your preps ready while you still have the chance. Stay in good physical and mental shape, learn survival skills, and develop emergency preparedness plans so you can survive when SHTF.

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