Anytime someone starts a new endeavor they’re likely to make mistakes. That’s usually how they learn. As a beginning prepper, the best time to make a mistake is before an emergency hits. This way, you can correct and learn from the mistakes without it costing you too much damage.
As the prepper movement continues to grow in popularity, people who are new to prepping can learn from the mistakes of others. Some of these mistakes are just overlooking or over thinking things and some are just made out of arrogance or forgetfulness.
So what are some of the mistakes that you, as a prepper, can avoid?
1. Not having enough food and water. You should have enough of both to last at least for a year, but you should have more water than food. Many of the more seasoned preppers have supplies that last for five years or more. If space is an issue, you should look at what’s taking up valuable space in your home and decide if you really need it.
2. Planning to bug out (leave) if an emergency hits. Okay, so you have your bug out bags neatly tucked away in your car and you always make sure that your gas tank is full so your supplies at home are limited, but what if you can’t get out? What if the streets aren't accessible? Are you absolutely positive that wherever you plan to go will have shelter and food supplies available? It’s better to establish shelter at your own home where you know that you can survive there if you have properly prepped.
3. Forgetting to prep your pets. Your pets can and should be considered members of the family as well as tools of defense. The urban prepper has covered prepping your pet and their supplies should be as plentiful as yours.
4. Placing the need of supplies over the need of skills. Once an emergency hits, having certain skills like preparing and maintain your food/water supply, knowing how to use any gear you purchase, using manual tools, and being able to support yourself with a new occupation is as essential as your supplies. Skills and supplies should be equal; you should be as skilled as you are prepared.
5. Letting what you store go bad. Successful preppers know that everything has an expiration date and they should eat their food then replace it. This also will help you know what food you liked and what food you didn't like so you can change certain items if necessary. A good rule of thumb is to eat what you store and store what you eat.
6. Bragging to anyone who will listen about what you have. The more people who know, the more threats you’re going to have of someone coming through your door or windows in the middle of the night. This also goes for telling people who you believe are fellow preppers. In moments of crisis, people will become desperate. It’s great to be proud of your endeavors, but just keep it to yourself. Discretion is often the better part of valor.
7. To mistakenly believe that you’ll know how to react. You never know how you’re going to react until you experience something for the first time. Human beings are emotional creatures and often react emotionally first. This is why it’s important to have plans written down and accessible. You should have at least have five first steps written down and posted in various rooms throughout your house. This way, once an emergency hits or is threatening to hit, you can go right to your written plans even as your having a panic attack.
8. Lack of medical supplies/medicine. Just like stocking up on food and water, medicine and medicine supplies are also important. Make sure you have more than enough antibiotic cream, prescription meds, natural remedies, and bandages.
Remember to do a couple of dry runs, testing for your preparedness, long before an emergency or crisis hits.