Prepper Saturday: How to Survive the Apocalypse

Prepping has been the norm for a lot of people for a while now and post-apocalypse shows and movies have become mainstream (Walking Dead, The 100, Mad Max, World War Z, Hunger Games, Terminator and many more).

Here’s a blog post from a couple of years ago about surviving the apocalypse:

Do you prep at all? What tips do you have for someone who is just starting to prep?

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See now you’re singing my song. :laughing:

It’s all paranoia, right up until it turns out to be prudence. :blush:

Yep, we prep. And we take it seriously. So far, there’s been no apocalypse but that’s no proof there won’t be one.

We have used our prep supplies in emergencies including ice storms, power outages, injuries away from home, travel issues, and periods of financial stress. It’s not all about the apocalypse.

Here’s my best advice for starting:

  • Consider the basics of what you need. Food, water, shelter, protection, medical care and prescription medications, light, heat, communication, sanitation, some cash. Start with the things that are most important to you first.
  • Do the basics first, time to get fancy later
  • Buy and store what you already use. If you need 1, buy 2 and put the second one away. Every week buy something even if it’s just extra cans of soup or a box of bandaids.
  • Having what you’re familiar with makes everything easier. Don’t get exotic.
  • Consider the tools you need to use what you store if services are out. Can you open a can of soup if your electricity is out? Can you heat it?
  • Consider not just what you’ll have. But how you’ll use it. Can you prepare that freeze dried survival meal if your water is out and your stove doesn’t work?
  • Practice. Shut off all your lights and see if you really can find your candles and get them lit in the pitch black
  • Plan. Do the “what ifs”. What if you’re at work, and your kids are at school when the earthquake hits, and communications are down… which adult goes to the school, which goes to the house?
  • Train. Physical capabilities and skill matters. Maybe a little extra time on the stairmaster. Maybe some time chopping firewood so you know you really can, and that you’re not gonna hurt yourself wielding that axe.

Don’t get overwhelmed by it, just make a plan and make progress. The goal isn’t to be apocalypse-ready by the end of the month or the end of the year, it’s just to be in better shape for an emergency tomorrow than you are today.


I have 30 days of food and water. In the winter I stock up on firewood for the wood stove for heat. I also have a generator that powers most of the house but gasoline can be an issue during a severe winter storm. Oh, and enough ammunition to protect what I have in the event that becomes necessary.

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Preparing for when the SHTF is an interesting and complex question, one I have considered for some time now. Please remember, all standard caveats are in place–I am speaking as and for myself and not claiming any expert status. Adopt these ideas at your own risk.

There are several primary questions to be considered;

  1. How bad? How much S, what kind of S, and how fast is the F spinning?
  2. Survive or thrive?
  3. Duration?
  4. Where?

So, for #1, what are you preparing for? Do you anticipate the disruption of infrastructure (power, water, communications, supply deliveries) but a continuation of municipal authority (Police still patrolling/on call, medical services still available as best they can, etc)? Or are you planning for a complete breakdown of infrastructure, technology, and social order? Every person for themselves; root, hog, or die?
Deciding this will tell you what goods and materials (G&M) to prioritize beyond the basics.

#2: Is your goal to survive or thrive? Survival could mean simply having food, water, sanitation, shelter from the elements, and defense. Thriving would include these things plus the ability to engage in useful/productive activities with the goal of improving comfort, security, and longevity, to name a few.

#3: DURATION: How long are you expecting to continue in “prepped” conditions? Are you waiting out a period of disruption, after which life in general will return to a semblance of pre-SHTF conditions? Or are you anticipating a civilization ending paradigm shift in which you will be responsible for ALL your own needs indefinitely, if not forever? Between these two options there is a vast disparity in the type and quantity of G&M to be gathered and stored (and protected).

4: WHERE: Are you planning to shelter in place or would it be better to bug out? If you stay put you mostly have to accumulate and store your G&M and having a way to secure and defend. Bugging out open up many cans of worms, such as: How? By vehicle? On foot? Alone? How far can you go before fuel/security become an issue? How much can you practically carry with you?

These first four questions are the essentials, and the first thing they do is lead to hundreds of more questions dependent on how they are answered. For some years I have engaged in a thought experiment I call “Apocalypse Village”, in which I try to answer these questions and then go on to imagine the necessary preparations to fit the conditions I have settled on.

More later if people are interested in continuing the discussion in depth.



@David38 you and I can definitely be friends :grin:

I’ll add one more thing to your excellent list of basic questions:

  1. WHO AND HOW MANY: Part of planning will be who you’re planning for. Your diabetic 70-year old uncle needs a different prep plan than your 20-something triathalete daughter or your 8 month old son. If you’re the one with the farm, you may need to plan for your city relatives to show up on your dirt driveway with just their jewelry, family photos and handful of granola bars. You also might need to give some serious thought to if you could turn them away. If you can’t find refusing them in your heart, better think about how to support them when they show up or how to get them to be part of your plan.

One thing on bugging-out. If its infrastructure-down, everybody and their brother is gonna be bugging out - there are places where things are going to be really bad and staying would be a poor choice. But you do need to consider where you’re bugging-out to… do you have a specific place? Or are you just heading to “the woods”? I’m fairly certain that by week two of general bugging out the woods are going to be a very crowded place full of the under-prepared and desperate, all the miners lettuce and wood sorrel are going to be gone, the deer will have fled, and it’s not going to be much fun for those trying to survive. Better plans are needed.

The good thing is the apocalypse doesn’t seem to be on for today. You’ve still got opportunities to plan and prepare…


@dawn you might have broke the forum with this topic.

All great advice so far everyone preps to a certain extent whether it’s for a week or a year is the big difference.

My advice to someone who’s just starting is the first big question are you digging in or bugging out. Once you have a plan then you can start with supplies and skills.

Also start with 30 day goals then expand out. It takes away some of the overwhelming aspects.

This thread is gonna get outta hand. But it’s gonna be a fun read.


An excellent addition, one which I consider as a subset of “Duration”. In any case it is a critical first point to settle.

If you are easily upset, you may wish to quit reading at this point because I have a point to make that is as harsh as it is true.


In a sufficiently devastating ‘apocalypse’ people around you are going to die. Lots of people of all ages. Strangers, most of them, but also friends and neighbors and maybe even extended family. You will not be the direct cause of the overwhelming majority of these deaths. After the initial “event” the deaths will come in waves, mostly caused by the absence of infrastructure and technology, at least a first. We could go into details, but the specifics aren’t as important as the mere fact.

The first key to survival in this scenario is “You Can’t Save Everyone”. Try to do so could lead to your own end.



This is where the rubber meets the road. I’m a bugging out person. My truck already looks like the apocalypse has hit, so it’s ready for bugging out too. All the way to some family property that has ample fresh water, shelter, and game to eat.

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800 bottles of wine in the cellar. we are good to go :100:

Old full face modular motorcycle helmets are kept in the basement - think tornado.

Biggest thing for me is some of my meds I need to stay alive. Sometimes I pay non insurance price on some when I go to Canada just to have extras of them. My c-pap machine is my second biggest problem. The battery I have for it can run the c-pap for 4 - 5 nights.

We have all kinds of camping gear also including multi fuel stoves. so we have options of digging in on the farm or leaving.

House has a wood fireplace, I have a wood fired stove in the man cave also.

When we grill we use charcoal not gas so we have lots of charcoal on hand

keep 50 - 100 gallons of gas on hand because of the farm equipment.

Lots of home made canned goods, some freeze dried (lighter to transport if leaving)