Doomsday Prepping for Beginners: All You Need to Know

Unless you live under a rock, most everyone has heard of doomsday prepping, and it’s not just a fad. In this crazy world, anything can happen.

It’s better to prepare for the worst in case things go upside down and you aren’t equipped with the essentials to survive. So, here’s a guide for those of you who are just beginning to prep for the worst possible scenario, such as a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

Why Is It Necessary to Prep?

As we’ve seen with Hurricane Katrina, Harvey, and numerous others, natural disasters wreak havoc on local government infrastructures and resources. Many people were without water, gas, and electricity for weeks.

Rebuilding efforts were slow, and many people lost everything. Emergencies could also include a layoff from work, civil disorder, the total collapse of society, or a medical epidemic.

Some of these problems are worse than others, but it’s critical to prepare for every possible event. Losing your job may seem low in severity, but what if you can’t find another job right away? Food lines will be a reality, so be sure to stockpile essential food items.

Otherwise, you will go without food until emergency resources reach your community. Planning also includes prepping for you and your family’s safety. Therefore, you must prep for incidents like this so that your loved ones don’t go without. Some of the essential elements of prepping include:

Prepare to leave your house with short notice

  • Get your home, animals, and property ready so you can be self-reliant for at least two weeks.
  • Plan and practice with the family the exact steps you’ll go through in the event of a disaster.
  • Spread the word to your neighbors, families, and friends, and recruit other families to help prepare multiple locations. That way, there is always a place to go, no matter where the emergency occurs.
  • Have a self-defense weapon on hand to keep you and your family safe if you happen to find yourself in an aggressive situation with another person or animal.

Be prepared for emergency incidents when you’re not home.

Start small and then grow your stockpile over time. Don’t expect to do it all at once unless you have the resources to do so. If your budget is tight, simply start with one item at a time, beginning with the most critical resources.


Storing enough water for your family is critical for survival if you’re cut off from civilization. Each person needs approximately one gallon of water every day for drinking and washing. There’s a wide variety of storage containers for water available today.

There are large tanks for collecting rainwater and small options that fit well in your kitchen. To begin with, you can use a smaller container, but if you want ideas for long-term storage, there are many off-grid solutions for water sources. Some of the primary sources of water include:

  • Well
  • Pond
  • Rainwater Collection System
  • Creek
  • Water Hauling Tanks or Cistern

If you’re not 100 percent sure of the purity of your water supply, you need a way to purify it. There are various ways to treat water, such as water filters or purification drops, and tablets.

Food Supply

Building a stockpile of food is also essential. Start with how much food your family needs for two weeks and stash away that much. There are several things to consider when starting a food supply. The first thing to consider is the shelf-life of the food you’re storing.

You never know when you’re going to be consuming the food. An emergency event could happen next week or in two years. Therefore, foods that expire quickly, like fresh fruits and vegetables, are not ideal for stockpiling.

Canned foods are excellent, and some places even sell Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) or other packaged foods that last for years. There is a wide variety of emergency food on the market, such as rice dishes, stews, and casseroles.

Many preppers like to supplement their food supply with delicious freeze-dried foods for more variety. Prices vary because they can range from everyday food items up to gourmet meals.

Food dehydrators are excellent kitchen tools for preppers because they allow you to prepare your own dehydrated foods. It’s a less expensive option, in the long run, as kits can be costly.

Many preppers also look into generating sustainable food as well as having an emergency stockpile of food.

Being able to grow your own food supply is critical for off-grid living in the future or if you’re planning for a catastrophic incident wiping out community resources. Having a renewable source of food also helps family and friends in the event of a food drought.

So, how much food do you need to store? Take your weight (in pounds) and multiply that by 15. This number represents the total amount of calories that you consume daily. You can also break that down even further to figure out how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates you need daily. There are calorie calculators that can help with this.

Home Checklist for Doomsday Prepping Beginners

Besides the two main necessities of food and water, there are other essential supplies that you need.

  • A well-stocked first-aid kit – Vaseline, blood clotting sponge, nail clippers, tweezers, and medicine
  • Fire – Matches, lighters, and a fire starter as a backup source
  • Heat – Blankets and clothing, as well as survival blankets and propane heaters
  • Light – Battery-powered or crank lanterns and flashlights, candles
  • Hygiene items – Soap, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, feminine hygiene, oral hygiene, razor blades, toilet paper
  • Cash – As much cash as you can afford to hide away, preferably small bills
  • Communication – Flares, whistles, a solar-powered or crank-powered NOAA radio
  • Self-defense tools – Firearms and ammunition, knives, snares, traps, bow and arrows, camouflage
  • Tools – Work gloves, axe, wrench, sewing kit, duct tape, zip ties, rechargeable batteries, saws, pliers, and more
  • Documents – Birth certificates for your whole family, copies of deeds and titles, insurance policies, maps, and other important paperwork
Photo by Grand Canyon National Park on Flickr under CC BY 2.0

Doomsday prepping isn’t just for the nuclear annihilation of the world. It’s for common emergencies, natural disasters, or anything that would disrupt society and the distribution of community resources.

The majority of preppers are ordinary people who are smart enough to plan for the inevitable. Stockpile essential items for survival. Include some non-essential comforts and games to make roughing it easier.

Next time a hurricane devastates your community, your family will be well taken care of, and you’ll see it was worth the effort!