Preparing for SHTF is not a one and done thing for your family. It is a lifestyle that should be worked on daily. If you need to get caught up, these 101 easy ways to prepare for SHTF today are a great place to start!
I was not raised to be the type of person who prepares for emergencies. Sure, my parents kept a couple months worth of food in the kitchen, but finding a Band-Aid when you needed one or a candle when the power went out simply was not happening.
It wasn’t until I went through a “500-year flood” in 2008 that I really began to see the value of being prepared for whatever may be coming down the road.
Simple Ways to Prepare for SHTF
So many people are under the misunderstanding though that prepping for SHTF and other emergencies is a one and done type of thing.
It isn’t. Preparing and staying prepared is a lifestyle and one that in order to successfully do, you must commit to.
Why Prepping for Emergencies is a Lifestyle
Building a stockpile for cost reasons or having a stocked emergency cabinet during flu season is great but if you aren’t continually living the lifestyle, what happens?
Eventually your supplies run out.
Now ask yourself what happens if an emergency were to occur while you were out of those needed supplies?
Exactly. You won’t have what you need. And now you know the reason that preparing is a lifestyle.
How to Prepare for SHTF
But prepping for SHTF doesn’t stop at food, medical supplies or storing water. It’s about learning new skills, building wealth while you can and anticipating whatever may come.
At its core, prepping for an emergency is about learning to be as self sufficient as possible.
And the great part about it is that if you’re already living a frugal lifestyle, you’re already halfway there since in order to be truly frugal, you must be self sufficient and vice versa. I wrote an article not too long ago on this exact thing that explains this in further detail. You can check it out HERE (Six Dollar Family) if you’re interested.
Daily Preparedness Tasks
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the daily preparedness tasks you could be doing to help prepare your family for what may come.
Most of these are quick and simple ways to prepare for SHTF and can be done in just a few minutes. If you’re new to preparing, use this list as a guide to help you get started. If you have already been preparing, use this list as a way to double check your current preps.
Not all of these easy ways to prepare for SHTF will seem as if they’re directly related to preparing, however, as I said, being prepared for whatever may come involves a whole lot more than simply storing food and water.
How to Prepare for TEOTWAWKI
- Begin working a side hustle to add more income even if you think you do not need it. More income is never a bad thing. THESE are my favorites ways to earn money online (Six Dollar Family) with.
- Wash and refill empty milk jugs with water for storage. You can also reuse laundry detergent bottles for his, but if you do, be sure to clearly mark the detergent bottles as non-potable water. This non-potable water can still be used for cleaning. (Non-potable = do not drink)
- Buy 10 lbs. rice and store it properly. Use mylar bags to store rice (Six Dollar Family) or half gallon mason jars like THESE (Amazon)
- Shop the clearance section at the grocery store and add meat to your freezer.
- Buy a deep freezer like THESE (Walmart) if you do not already have one.
- Buy a pack of batteries and add them to your storage. For an extra boost, buy 1 pack in each size.
- Add a flashlight or 115-hour emergency candle like THESE (Amazon)
- Get your kids a survival whistle (Amazon) in case they were to ever get lost.
- Build a 72-hour bag or bug out bag for each member of your family.
- Buy 10 lbs beans and store them properly.
How to Prepare for SHTF Everyday
- Open a new savings account that is not directly connected to your regular bank like the one I use HERE (Qapital) and put $25 in an emergency fund.
- Order copies of all family documents for each family member including birth certificates and social security cards.
- Store those documents in a fireproof bag like THIS one (Amazon) inside a fireproof safe like THIS one (Walmart).
- Read a book on preparation. THIS one by Lisa Bedford (Amazon) aka The Survival Mom is great for new preppers.
- Print out 10 of your favorite recipes and add them to a binder so you have hard copies.
- Add portable water filters like THESE (Amazon) to each family members go bags ( 72-hour bag) When shopping for a portable water filter, choose a model fitted for removing bacteria and viruses. This allows you to drink from almost any water body without catching harmful diseases.
- Look through all silver colored coins in your home. Set aside any true silver quarters, dimes and nickels you find.
- Research which US coins are silver if you don’t already know.
- Add to your freeze dried emergency food supply. I recommend THIS (Amazon) for new preppers to get a good start.
- Change your furnace/ac filters. Buy 1 extra filter than you currently need. If you can afford it, put them on auto ship so you never run out and easily build a stock. THIS is who I use for ours (Air Filters Delivered). offer free shipping and $5 off your first order. These are great for more than just your furnace or a/c. You can also create a homemade air purifier with one and a box fan.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors.
- Add 10 cans of soup to your stockpile.
- Save seeds from the produce you use at dinner tonight.
- Start a kitchen scrap garden (Six Dollar Family).
- Buy a solar charger and battery bank for your devices like THESE (Amazon).
- Buy 1 box of Bandaids to add to your first aid kit.
- Learn how to can your own food (Six Dollar Family) and then can a few jars.
- Change all your online passwords.
- Update your must-have fishing gear (Six Dollar Family)
- Go fishing and filet/freeze your legal catches.
- Do a complete budget audit.
- Go for a walk so you’re in a little bit better shape.
- Add water purification tablets like THESE (Amazon) to your water storage.
- Buy 3 hand tools such as a hammer, wrench set and screwdrivers.
- Buy a manual can opener.
- Create a family information and home management binder using printables like THIS (Etsy).
- Add a hand crank flashlight like THIS (Amazon)to your preps.
- Add 3 boxes granola or cereal bars to your food stockpile.
- Start an emergency preparation binder using printables like THESE (Etsy)..
- Change the oil in your car. Do it yourself to save money.
- Air up your cars tires.
- Double check your spare tire. Replace if necessary.
- Have two months worth of any life sustaining medication stockpiled.
- Add necessary baking goods to your stockpile – flour, sugar, yeast.
- Create a family evacuation plan such as what THIS (Esty) offers.
- Add glow sticks like THESE (Amazon) to each adult/teen family members Go Bags.
- Take your pets to the vet.
- Buy an extra bag of pet food for storage. Be sure to properly store it.
- Purchase a food dehydrator (Amazon) and learn to use it.
- Check the grocery stores for clearance produce. Dehydrate or can it.
- Add matches or lighters for fire starting to your stockpile. Strike Anywhere matches like THESE (Walmart) are best.
- Waterproof the matches you buy using paraffin wax like THIS (Amazon).
- Take a concealed carry course. Get your CHL.
- Take a hunting safety course. Go hunting when the season opens.
- Add thermal blackout curtains like THESE (Amazon) to your home. They will provide privacy and help lower heating/cooling costs.
- Buy a tent if you do not have one. If you do, set it up and make any repairs needed.
- Add playing cards, puzzle books and board games to your stock.
- Buy a generator.
- Buy duplicates of your child’s favorite toys or security items.
- Print out your bank statements and check for identity theft or unauthorized transactions.
- Check your credit score using a site like Credit Karma HERE to check for identity theft.
- Buy life insurance for yourself and your partner.
- Get health insurance if you don’t already. Yes, it is absolutely worth the cost.
- Start building sinking funds to help cover expenses. Unsure what sinking funds are? THIS explains it very well.(Clever Girl Finance)
- Buy bikes to have another transportation method.
- Buy a wagon if you have small kids to make transporting them easy.
- Start a compost pile. THESE 106 things you can compost (Six Dollar Family) are a great boost to get started with.
- Add hand tools such as an ax and hand saw to your stock.
- Clear out clutter from two household closets.
- Purchase clothing one season ahead using sales, coupon codes and cash back to do so.
- Create a home security plan. Buy any items needed to put your plan into action.
- Purchase a non-electric smoker and learn how to use it.
- Smoke meat and fish to preserve it.
- Save bacon grease to use for cooking.
- Reuse chicken and beef bones to make homemade stock.
- Reuse chicken, beef and pork fat to make lard and tallow.
- Use lard and tallow to make homemade candles. If you’ve never made candles, the process is fairly simply following THIS tutorial HERE (Six Dollar Family).
- Learn how to dry can pantry goods like flour. HERE is a great tutorial.
- Balance your checking account.
- Save $15 a week in cash. Stash it for emergencies involving ATM’s being down.
- Add baby wipes to your stockpile for quick bathing if you have no water.
- Stock up on health and beauty products your family uses. Don’t forget things such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant.
- Add a compass and flint and steel to your bug out bags.
- Learn to read a paper map if you can not already.
- Stockpile things you can barter with. These can include TP, alcohol, lighters, baby products and even skills.
- Learn a barterable skill if you do not have any. HERE is a great list to get you started. (Six Dollar Family)
- Take a hike in the woods. Navigate yourself out of the area without your phone.
- Put your dog(s) through a behavior class to better the chances they will listen to you in an emergency.
- Get backyard chickens for eggs and meat. Be sure to check your local laws first.
- Grow an indoor herb garden. HERE is a great set to get you started. (Amazon)
- Back up your electronic files and photos to a portable hard drive like THIS (Amazon) or a flash drive like THIS (Amazon).
- Add a cast iron fire grate (Amazon), cooking tripod (Amazon) and cast iron dutch oven (Amazon) to your camping gear. Buy used camping gear using THESE tips (Six Dollar Family)and restore if you can.
- Change your regular cook wear over to a cast iron cookware set like THIS (Walmart). If you buy used and it needs restored, HERE is a great tutorial. (Six Dollar Family)
- Stock up on pest control items. This can include mouse traps, ant bait, insect sprays and even citronella candles. If you’d prefer natural items, HERE are humane mouse traps (Amazon), HERE is a great DIY bug spray recipe (Six Dollar Family) and HERE is how to make homemade citronella candles (Six Dollar Family).
- Buy a secondary heating source that does not run on electric. My favorite is THESE Mr. Heater propane heaters (Amazon) but a Kerosene heater like THIS (Walmart) or a Pellet Stove like THIS (Walmart) are also good ideas.
- Get home owners or renters insurance if you do not have it already.
- Up your car insurance to full-coverage if it is not already.
- Swap out all disposable products with a reusable option. HERE is a great list to get you started (Six Dollar Family). This includes making the switch to cloth feminine pads (Six Dollar Family)like THESE that I fell in love with (Etsy).
- Create a rain catchment system to help build your water storage using rain barrels or water storage tanks like THIS (Legacy Foods).
- Quit smoking or drinking if those are additions you currently have. For a more natural route, black pepper essential oil HERE (Simply Earth) can help with smoking cravings when added to the filter of your cigarette before you light it.
- Store powdered milk like NIDO (Amazon) or shelf stable milk like THIS (Dollar Tree) for both drinking and cooking. If you have or expect to have infants, be sure to stock formula as well.