Prepping Checklist | Prepping for Beginners Supplies & Guide

January 20, 2022 8 min read

Prepping Checklist | Prepping for Beginners Supplies & Guide

Prepping is a lifestyle. In the blink of an eye chaos can break out and throw you out of your normal routine. When this happens people panic trying to prepare for the event after the fact.

Those who aren't panicking took the necessary steps to prepare for these events ahead of time. Learning how to start the process of prepping for beginners without all the overwhelm and confusion.

In this article we detail how you can begin the process of prepping for beginners.


are you ready to prep?

How to Start Prepping for Beginners 

As a beginner in the prepping world you must start with a solid foundation. This means you need to understand and prepare for any emergency situation. Some situations will be evergreen and standard for all preppers.

Other situations will be more specific to where you live and the events that can take place. For example, living on the west coast, wildfires are much more likely than if you live in the midwest.

Same goes for living in a coastal state like Florida. The chances you will experience a hurricane are much higher than a blizzard. Below we detail 6 basic steps for prepping as a beginner that will start you on the right path.


be prepared

The Beginner Prepper Checklist

  1. Build a solid foundation
  2. Get your home ready for two weeks of self-reliance
  3. Be able to leave your home with only a moment’s notice (“bug out bags”)
  4. Prepare for emergencies that happen away from home (“get home bags” and everyday carry)
  5. Learn core skills and practice with your gear
  6. Share and recruit while continuing to learn and going beyond the basics

valley food storage long term food storage buckets

How to Prep a Solid Foundation

As a beginner in the prepping world building a solid foundation is the first step on your journey. To build a solid foundation as a prepper you need to start by stocking up on a few everyday essentials.

We like to refer to these items as evergreen products. Evergreen products are water reserves, emergency food, first aid kits, hygiene products and sanitation supplies. These are the first products every beginner prepper should start with.


Food Prepping

The first thing any beginning prepper should start to stock is healthy survival food. Emergency food is dehydrated or freeze dried food that has a long shelf life. This is food that you shouldn’t consider eating until necessary.

Emergency food can be the difference between panicking and peace of mind. We recommend storing at least two weeks of emergency food.

Yet, the more emergency food you stock the longer it will last and the better prepared you will be. You can find emergency food like survival food kits, freeze dried meats, and freeze dried fruits and vegetables right here at Valley Food Storage. 


rain water collecting in a rain barrel

How to Prep Water for Beginners

The next thing every beginner prepper should stock up on is water. Stocking up on water is as important as stocking up on emergency food. Without food or water you won't make it very long when disaster strikes.

Food and water are always the first two products that disappear at stores. Which makes it crucial that you have your own stockpile. When starting your water stock you need to stock two types of water. The first should always be clean drinking water that will last at least two weeks.

This means keeping 14 gallons of water stored away. We based this on the daily average of water consumption for humans. Collected rainwater is the second type of water you should be storing.

Collected rainwater is a great way to store lots of water in rainwater barrels. The first way to use rainwater is by purifying the water to drink. You would want to do this once you run out of your normal stock of emergency water. The second use for collected rainwater is to replace your running water.

During infrastructure failure running water is one of the first things to fail. You can read more about collecting rainwater harvesting and purifying in our blog Lear How Rainwater Storage and Collection can Protect You.


first aid prep

Prepping for First Aid

Another essential evergreen product for beginners are first aid supplies. During emergencies hospitals often become overwhelmed and wait times increase. When this happens you need to be capable of managing injuries yourself while you wait for care. This means knowing how to treat cuts against infection or how to split broken bones. Below is a list of first aid supplies that comes directly from the red cross.

  • Bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Adhesive tape
  • Adhesive bandages
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Gauze pads
  • Leg splint
  • Arm splint
  • Latex gloves
  • Emergency blanket
  • First aid guide

cleaning supplies in a pantry

How to Prep Hygiene and Sanitation for Beginner Preppers

Hygiene and sanitation products are the next products beginners should stock up on. These products are anything that you use to keep your personal hygiene in check or keep a clean home.

In emergencies these products can be hard to find or get to depending on the type of emergency. We recommend keeping a stockpile of all the hygiene products you use in your bathroom.

These include soap, hair products, feminine hygiene products, dental care, toiletries and hand soap. This will reduce the chances of your personal health declining. We also believe it is important for beginners to keep a stock pile of cleaning supplies.

Keeping a cleaning supply stock is crucial for lowering the spread of disease. The dirtier your home is the higher chance you have for disease to spread. As we mentioned earlier, hospitals are overcrowded in emergency situations.

By keeping a clean house you lower the chance that you will get sick and keep you away from those crowded hospitals.


firefighter doing his job

Situational Prepping for Beginners

Now that we have explained evergreen products, we can move into situational prepping for beginners.

We mentioned earlier that depending on your geographical location you will experience different disasters. In the following paragraphs we detail how beginners should prepare for different disasters.

The disasters that vary by location are wildfires, hurricanes, blizzards and tornadoes. Each disaster is different and the way you prepare is too. Yet, the evergreen products we listed will still be essential for any of these disasters. And these don't even consider other issues like preparing for inflation or grocery store food shortages.


wildfire in a brush

Prepping for Wildfire

If you live on the west coast it’s likely that you will encounter wildfires. These fires aren't limited to the west coast yet, they happen the most in that region. As a beginner in the prepping world you need to be ready to encounter a disaster like a wildfire. And the best way to be ready for a disaster is to prepare.

To prepare for a wildfire you need to prepare to flee your home if necessary. Wildfires are hard to contain and will move while they blaze on. Because of this you need to prepare to flee when the fires get too close to your home. This means keeping an emergency or bug out bag handy.

This bag should contain enough supplies to get you and your family from your home to a safe location. That means at least two days worth of food, water, first aid and hygiene products.

These supplies should not replace your emergency food and your emergency destination should still have a stock of evergreen prepping products.


cargo ship our in the ocean

Hurricane Prepping

Beginner prepping for a hurricane is like beginner prepping for wildfires. In both situations you want to prepare to leave your home once at a moment's notice. Like preparing for a wildfire you need to have a bug out bag.

These bags should have enough food, water, first aid and hygiene to get you to your emergency destination. The difference between the two disasters is you can better prepare your home for a hurricane.

You can prepare your home for a hurricane by boarding up your windows and doors. This will lower the water damage caused by hurricanes to your home. Which means you should keep a stockpile of plywood and nails to cover all your doors and windows.

You should also keep a stockpile of sandbags in your home for a hurricane. During a hurricane greywater back up from the influx of water that enters the system. The extra water creates failures in the drainage system by overloading our waterways.

Using sandbags can help mitigate the amount of gray water that enters your home. Sandbags should cover around your home over floor wastes and drains. These drains are often found in bathrooms, showers, laundry rooms and basements.

Using sandbags will keep grey water from backing up into your home causing water damage.


tornado season prep

Prepping for Tornados

The last type of natural disaster that could cause you to flee your home are tornadoes. Tornado prepping is more similar to hurricane prepping than wildfire prepping and with this the hurricane preparedness checklist is essential in order to survive.

While preparing for a tornado you will also need to board up your windows. Which means you need enough plywood and nail stock stored to board up all your doors and windows.

You will also need the emergency bug out bag to help you evacuate during this time. The only real difference between preparing for a tornado is that there is less greywater. Since there is less greywater you don't need to stockpile sandbags to cover your floor drains.


cars driving in a blizzard

Blizzard Prepping for Beginners 

The next type of natural disaster that you might need to prepare for our blizzards. Blizzards affect people in the northern midwest states. Blizzards differ from the previous disasters we mentioned.

Instead of fleeing your home you need to bunker down and not leave your home. This is where keeping a stock of survival food buckets in your home becomes crucial. It becomes crucial because you need enough supplies until the blizzard has passed. Keeping little treats like freeze dried cereal can help make these long days pass a little easier, especially with little ones around.

Once the blizzard passes you can leave your home and restock your supplies. We recommend keeping at least two weeks of stock in preparation for blizzards. Even though a blizzard won't last a whole two weeks, the effects of a blizzard can last two weeks.

These effects include infrastructure failure, empty grocery stores, and dangerous road conditions.


power outage prep

Beginner Prepping for Power Outages

Like blizzards, power outages can cause you to bunker down in your home for an extended period of time. Blizzards can cause power outages but they are not the only cause of power outages.

During a power outage you want to ensure you have enough resources to last you two weeks. While preparing for a power outage you want to ensure you have enough emergency lighting.

You also want to make sure you have a way to cook your emergency food if you rely on electricity for cooking. You can do this by getting a camping stove and stocking up on propane.


emergency prep checklist

Beginner Prepper Checklist

For each of these situations the supplies you need are standard but the way you use them will differ. To make things easier on you we have created a prepping list for beginners.

These are products you should be stocking up on no matter what. The items on this beginner prepper list are not the only things you should be stocking. But, it is a great place to start.