8 Steps To Take To Become A Prepper

According to dictionary.com, a prepper is someone who actively prepares (preps) for worst-case scenarios, such as the end of the world, by practicing survivalist techniques, including hoarding food.

So you want to become a prepper? But what does that even mean? And why does it seem crazy to adopt that label?

So let’s start with the different types of “preppers”:

  1. Prefer to stock an abundance of supplies in their home
  2. Ready in case of a natural/man-made disaster
  3. Prepared for the zombie apocalypse
  4. They have a bunker in case of nuclear fall-out


I would definitely say that I’ve embraced my prepping ways in the last few years. We are definitely way more prepared in case of an emergency in the last little while. I’ve always been good at keeping backups on hand, for example, let’s take the Toilet Paper shortage of March 2020. After stocking up on toilet paper in February we didn’t feel the stress of how this shortage hit retail stores last year.

For someone who lives with future anxiety, I would say that become more prepared has helped me feel more secure based on always thinking about worst-case scenarios (which I realize, just run through your head all the time after becoming a mom). However, when you start going down the prepping wormhole you can definitely get lost in so many different scenarios that would cause more worry. I’ve decided to focus on basics and then I can build from there. Don’t worry, I’m not wearing a tinfoil hat (yet!) or building a bunker in our backyard (althought that would be cool).

Because I love to share things as I learn them I thought I would document the steps we’re taking as a family to become more prepared.

Step 1: Plan For A Power Outage

Do you have certain items on hand in case the lights and electricity go out?

  • Flashlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Battery Pack To Charge Phone
  • Candles
  • Coolers
  • Ability to Buy Ice Quickly (If in the summer)
  • Wood (We have a wood fireplace for heating the house in the winter months)
  • Lighter
  • Tinder

Next Level

  • Generator

Step 2: Plan For The Most Likely Natural Disaster In Your Area

For us, Ottawa has dealt with flooding and tornados in the past few years. So what if we needed to leave our home quickly because of a Tornado warning?


  • Home & Car First Aid Kit

If the house was safe, but we lost power we would have all the items on hand for a power outage & then we’d need to ensure that we have food & water based on what services might go out due to a storm. I’ll get into food & water storage in steps 4 and 5.

Step 3: Gather Important Documents

I have important documents like birth certificates, passports, and our wills in a safe in our house which is fire resistant. I also have copies of these documents saved on a USB that is in my everyday carry bag (my purse). That way we have these things on hand while out and about (just in case) or in case we need to leave the home suddenly.

Step 4: Long Term Pantry Storage

Ok so back to what happens if the power goes out? Do you have enough food to last you 72 hours, a week, a month, or how about even longer? Based on your comfort level you can start storing extra non-perishable food in case of a long-term power outage which could potentially affect grocery stores in the area. The bonus of having a long-term pantry is that you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping when food is running low and you’ll always have stuff on hand in case you decide to go on a last-minute camping trip.

Here are some items that we’ve decided to store:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Split Peas
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Canned Veggies
  • Canned Fruit
  • Dehydrated Meat, Veggies & Fruit
  • Canned Sardines & Oysters
  • Flour (Almond & Coconut)
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda

The next piece of information I had to comb the interwebs for ways how to keep these things on hand long-term. I watched countless YouTube videos and found myself googling “how to store X in a pantry long term” to figure out what I would need in addition to glass mason jars. I decided to store our food in glass mason jars because I try and avoid storing food in plastic containers and it’s easy to see what you’re storing with a glass jar. So I grabbed a bag of oxygen absorbers and silica gel desiccants and created a list on my phone of what gets stored with what.

Oxygen Absorbers

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Split Peas
  • Pasta
  • Rice

Silica Gel

  • Flour (Almond & Coconut)
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda

Step 5: Water Storage

Did a parent ever teach you to fill the bathtub with water if the power goes out? Raises hand.

It’s something I’ve always done. When I lived in Toronto and the power went out one year, I had already filled my bathtub before I even thought about eating the food in my fridge before it went bad. So in many prepper’s houses/pantries, you might find bottled water. And while I want to ensure we have water stored I also want to make sure that I am avoiding toxins as much as possible. So we have several glass water containers for storage here and we have one plastic container that we use when camping that can also store water and be thrown into a vehicle.

Step 6: Learn Basic Survival Skils

Do you know how to start a fire?

If someone was hemorrhaging from a limb, do you know how to apply a tourniquet?

Your car falls into water or catches on fire, do you know how to break a window in your car in case of submersion or fire?

You’re stuck in nature, do you know how to build a shelter?

Do you know how to hunt? fish? forage for edible wild food?

Do you know how to grow your own food?

I think you might be getting my hints 😉

Step 7: Plan for a Car Accident / Breakdown

So when it comes to prepping, I think a way more plausible worst-case scenario is being involved in or witnessing a car accident. And this is where being prepared is really important to us. With Mike’s formal training as a paramedic, he’s always been way more aware and prepared for first aid scenarios. And while he’s packed small first aid kits for my car, I’ve always been envious of his gear. So this year I’ve prioritized stocking my car with a mobility bag (also known as my “Get Home” Bag) which has a pouch for first aid. I also have a visor attachment that holds a tourniquet and a window breaker.

Step 8: Security

Are you simply aware of who is in and around your house at all times? This could be as simple as installing video cameras.

But in a worst WORST case scenario…

Could you protect your home in case of looting?

I hope this blog has helped you think about getting started in the world of “prepping”. If I’ve missed anything that you think is super basic in getting started let me know in the comments below and I can add it to the blog.

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