With the events that unfolded in 2020 and the events already taking place at the beginning of 2021, many are beginning to realize the need to prepare themselves should an event occur, forcing them to take care of themselves. In this video, we’ll lay out the steps you can take over the next 30 days to keep you and your family safe if you had to survive for 30 days on your own. Most disasters don’t last forever or forever change the way we live, so knowing you can make it for a month after a disaster will be enough to carry you through many of life’s most formidable challenges.
This blog will outline a strategy for you that you can follow for 30 days. We’re currently developing a complete series of blogs we’ll release soon that will go into much greater detail than what we’ll discuss in this blog. Still, in light of recent events, we felt it necessary to speed up my timeline in creating this blog. Most of what we’ll discuss in this video is high-level information to give you a solid starting point. If you can understand and process what we’re going to teach you, you’ll be in a much better position.
1- Supply & Equip Yourself
Having adequate supplies on hand when disaster strikes is critical. Knowing how to utilize those supplies is essential. So, as much as you prepare your stores of food, water, tools, and whatever else you feel you need, you also need to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to appropriately use these things. Two exercises I want you to start on day one are to start reading labels. Look at both the nutritional label and the expiration label of the foods you buy. For instance, did you know that most canned foods will last from 2 to 5 years when stored properly? There are 1 of 3 types of printed dates on most foods: Best if Used Before, Sell By, and Use By. Best is used before isn’t about safety. It’s about the freshness of the food. Sell by is a manufacturer’s way to tell a retailer to pull the food after that date. It, too, is not a health and safety date. Use by is the last date that guarantees the best quality of a product. Nonperishable items like grains and dried and canned goods can still be used well past their label dates. As a general rule, discard any dented, bulging, or damaged can and approach any long term stored item with caution.
What we want you to start doing, though, is looking at these advisory dates on your food. Start purchasing foods with longer shelf life and get them in your core prepping supplies. You may not be able to buy a vacuum-sealed emergency 30 day supply of food in neatly packed mylar containers. They are expensive, and that’s okay. In the first 30 days, I want you to focus on the basics. Buy a case of 24 cans a week of long-lasting foods. Buy 24 cans of soup, 24 cans of mixed vegetables, 24 cans of tuna or chicken meat. You will find it is much cheaper to buy in bulk and large quantities, but you can start with just a few extra cans per paycheck. Shop for what you will eat now, but store away what you will eat later.
When it comes to food, add to your list beans, rice, ramen, pasta, salt, sugar, cooking oil, and flour. Always be picking up at least one of these items extra for your supply. You will have to reseal most of these items for long term storage to keep out moisture, insects, and rodents, but start building your supplies. Mason jars, even repurposed jars from other products you buy, are perfect for this purpose. Next, and here is the real secret, start eating your supplies. Don’t just put it away for when a disaster strikes. You need to know how to cook the food, and your body needs to know how to process it. You may find that you really can’t do beans and rice. It’s better to know that now than five days into the aftermath of a disaster. You may find you don’t know how to bake at all. Now is the time to equip yourself with these skills.
Using your food supplies informs your decisions on the other items you need, as well. You likely won’t be using your powdered milk, canned butter, or hardtack, but you should be trying to utilize the core staples from your supplies. This gives you a 360-degree view of your readiness. Do you rely on an electric can opener? It’s time for a handheld can opener. Do you lack cooking skills? Here is your chance to learn. Do you now realize you need other foods and spices to round out your food stores? Here is your opportunity to add those things to your shopping list. Do you now realize your cookware isn’t going to last as long as a cast-iron pan? Now is your time to get that item you need and learn to cook with it. You are training your brain through practical application. To this end, I have one more exercise for you in these first 30 days. That is visualizing the water you will need to survive.
As a general guideline, one person will require 1 gallon per day to cook, drink, and wash. There are many variations to this, like physical activity level, exposure to the elements, rationing, and fighting off dehydration. Still, for our purposes, the 1 gallon per day is a good starting point. What you need to do is to be able to visualize that. Maybe you can’t afford the two stackable Wurx containers or the 10 WaterBricks like I have available at CityPrepping.com. After all, such solutions are expensive, but you still need to wrap your head around that amount of water and the space it would require. An emergency water BOB meant for a bathtub, which can be filled in the minutes of or preceding a disaster, will hold roughly 100 gallons. That could get three persons through the 30 days following a disaster. That might be part of your solution, but to fully understand the water paradigm, I want you to start buying and stacking in one place, gallon-by-gallon, the 30 gallons per person you need. One thing to note is that when all in one place, this will weigh almost 250 pounds. The exercise here is really to wrap your head around and begin tackling the volume of your water needs.
While you are at it, and in the interest of equipping yourself, start drinking one gallon of water per day. That is around 4 liters. Many people are walking through their daily lives in a constant state of dehydration. You need to understand what being properly hydrated feels like to understand better when you are not. Surviving the trauma of dramatically reduced fluid intake begins with recognizing the signs: the foggy thinking, the dryness, the decreasing capabilities of your body’s movements.
So, to supply and equip yourself, week-by-week, you can keep track on a printed calendar. When you add food items to your stores, note it on that day on the calendar. When you take food items from your stores, note it on the calendar. When you make your water consumption goal, write H20 on the day, and circle it. Your goal is to drink a gallon of water on five of the seven days per week. This will build toward a visual representation of your progress over the 30 days. That will help you build a solid foundation and inform you how you need to progress after the 30 days. There are other aspects to “equipping” yourself beyond food and water. There are the actual equipment and sundries and medicines, and so on that, you will need to start putting in your storage. For these first 30 days, review some of the other essential prepping supply videos on this channel and others. Learn what you need beyond food and water, but our goal for these 30 days is to build your food supplies, learn to use your supplies and what you still need, and understand the water paradigm and your place in it. If you add other items beyond food and water to your inventory like feminine hygiene products, camping products, or medicine, still note it on your calendar.
2- Physical Readiness
The majority of people, even well-supplied people, will not survive the first 30 days of a major disaster without significant outside assistance. Think of it like trying to run a marathon in loafers or heels. Our shoes are all wrong for the task we are putting them through. On top of that, though, nobody runs a marathon without preparing for it. If you’re winded climbing the stairs or the exercise you get is moving from the couch to the mailbox every day, you will have a hard time after a disaster even if you have all of the fanciest and most expensive survival gear and supplies. Your body just won’t be able to handle it.
Before the lockdowns of 2020, many of us may have made new year’s resolutions to get to the gym and commit to fitness. Many gyms rely upon the income from January and February alone to make it through most of their year. New memberships soar with people telling themselves, “this is the year.” Inevitably, the same cycle plays out year after year. Enthusiasm is met with sore muscles, which lead to skipped days, which lead to feelings of failure, which leads to giving up. At least 30 out of every 100 gym members are still paying on a gym membership that they haven’t used in over a month. It’s just a fact.
Prepping is also about physically prepping yourself. It’s hard to do even just a little bit 7 days a week, which is why I suggest you do a little bit 5 days a week. That could mean going for a jog or popping a workout DVD in your player, but you have to do something. It could be just walking every day. It could mean you do it five straight days in a row, or you just can’t one day and need to rest. My suggestion is to start small but strive for consistency. You can always build later. Set yourself a target like 30 pushups and 50 sit-ups per day, then try to hit that target five of the seven days per week. Set yourself a goal of walking three miles per day, and try to hit that target 5 of the seven days. Set a plan to do that DVD workout and try to do it for five of the seven days. Go on a hike on the weekends and get your 30 minutes or more in while invigorating yourself. If you set several options for yourself, you can put a checkmark on your calendar for meeting your physical fitness goals for five of seven days. This will give you a visual representation of your progress. This is so critical to genuinely wrapping your head around your progress. By the end of the month, you can re-evaluate, either adding in other options or increasing the work’s strenuousness when your body is ready.
If you can meet your goal of physical fitness activities five of seven days a week for an entire month, and you commit to drinking the gallon of water per day for a whole month, you may see other problems disappear. You will likely feel like you have greater mental clarity. You may feel like you have more energy. You will be building a foundation you can build upon in the next cycle of 30 days. You will be increasing your chances of surviving if a disaster strikes on day 31. We cannot stress this aspect enough, and we will address it in future videos and content this year, but physical readiness is the long game of prepping to survive. You can’t buy it off the shelf. You can’t unwrap it the minute you need it. You need to start small now and stay consistent over a long period of time to be ready when you need to be.
Finally, have both a strategy for eating better by preparing your food and for physical fitness. If you find yourself in lockdown, you have an opportunity to focus on your nutrition and your cooking of quality foods. You will save money, as most food is marked up around 300% for restaurants, and you will also be able to understand better what’s fueling your body. If you have ever worked in the restaurant industry, you know that restaurant food isn’t usually very healthy. Extra fats, sugars, and salts are how your cravings are triggered. It’s how they keep you coming back. That burger, fries, and soda you get once a week may taste good now, but it’s going to take you a long time to burn that out of your system. Set a goal, as well, to prepare your food, again five of the seven days a week, at least. Make it a challenge to never throw out a bag of salad greens or fresh produce again. Prepare yourself in these 30 days for the physical challenge of survival starting on day 31.
3- Mental Preparedness
Survival is mental. It’s having the right knowledge, knowing how to apply it, and having the will and desire to survive. Your mental preparedness, like your physical preparedness, is something you need to build up over these 30 days to have a chance on day 31. We view this as equal parts feeding your soul and strengthening your skills. Like the physical regimen I outline above, you need to focus on accomplishing one of these three things on five of the seven days, and you should try to vary them up to get the full effect. First, read and research to learn a new skill or better understand a prepping practice. We try to read at least 30 minutes a day. Sometimes we can only get a chapter in because of time. Set a time goal to strive for according to your schedule. Here you are reading with intent. Have you always been interested in canning fruit or making jam, but you never did. Now is the time. Your goal is to acquire a fundamental understanding of a wide range of practices, even if your understanding is only theoretical.
You may not be able to go fishing, but you will still want to know how to tie a Fisherman’s knot. Once you learn it, you will know it for life, and you will be able to say you know how to tie a bow, an overhand knot, and a Fisherman’s knot. We used to tell my cub scouts that every knot you learn will be of use to you when you need it most. You may never need to know a Monkey Fist knot, but when you are in a situation where you need to have one, you will be more likely to survive. Knots are a quick way to build your skills that can lead to understanding weaving and knitting. They are easy to learn with just two pieces of rope.
Maybe your reading and research is just to brew beer, bake bread, or garden. Perhaps, it’s to learn the ideal growing seasons of certain vegetables and collect heirloom seeds for next season. Maybe it is to fix your engine or install a light fixture. By reading and researching with the intent of learning a skill, you are conditioning your mind to become more self-sufficient and more confident. Now, we say both reading and research because you get the most from reading, but sometimes you get just what you need to know from a good YouTube video. If you want to learn the basics of brewing, for instance, there are whole channels dedicated to that. If you want to learn to prep, well, there are many videos right here that will get you on that path, and there are several blogs at CityPrepping.com that carry much of the same information. Over 30 days, you will start to turn your brain towards self-sufficiency and away from over-dependence on systems and services that will eventually fail you.
Second, read to ask the right questions. We are a big advocate of learning from financial gurus like Kiyosaki, Ramsey, even Orman. You have to understand every resource, including financial, coming in, and going out. If you haven’t read them to ask yourself the right questions, you should. The same is true for philosophy and scripture. Reading books that help you define your place and positioning in the world, both physically and spiritually, helps you develop your internal resources and ask yourself questions. Maybe you just want to understand your physical placement in your world. Read history books about your community. Pick up a guide on foraging and understand the plants in your environment. Read and research with the intent of understanding yourself and your world. I will let you ponder the possibilities and topics involved with that.
Third, take time to reflect and ask yourself questions. Develop a habit of dialoguing with yourself. Ask yourself where you want to be, how you’re going to get there, and what you can do right now to take a step, even just one step, in that direction. Maybe you want to journal or list out the pros and cons. Train your brain to be curious, creative, calculating, and self-reflective.
When you read on a topic for improvement of skills, or assist you with self-reflection, write the titles of what you have read on the calendar. Here, too, it is essential to visualize your progress and keep you consistent throughout. Thirty days of preparing your mind in this manner may seem like nothing to you. We are less apt to see the changes in ourselves before others see them in us. I promise you, though, if you can stick to these mental preparedness practices long enough to make them a bit of a habit, you will find yourself in a position to tackle whatever challenges come your way. You’ll be agile in a crisis and capable of surviving.
4- Using Your 30-Days
We know that’s a tremendous amount to absorb, and it may seem like too much. It really isn’t. It is just trying to concentrate on the efforts you may have sporadically tried in the past. To this end, recording your notes and marking off your calendar will help to keep your efforts focused, concentrated, and progressing. If you are new to prepping, you can be confident you’re making progress. If prepping is an old hack to you, you’ll have a means in your hands to reassert the core principles of your prepping.
To use the calendar, just circle the day you are starting your regimen and the day that is 30 days from that starting point. When you purchase supplies or equipment, document it. In this way, you will begin to inventory your supplies. When you store away another gallon of water, document it. Write out H20 and circle it on the days you consume your gallon of water. When you complete one of the physical readiness or mental preparedness goals for that day, mark that too on the day you achieved it. Strive for five of seven days with each of the goals you set. Remember, you want to start to build healthy habits and a survivor mindset that will later assure you that you have the internal resources to survive.
The final thing for the calendar record is to write a few sentences about how you feel right now and what you hope to gain from these 30 days on the back of the page. Don’t bother looking at it until the end. At the end of the 30 days, reread it and reflect on whether you think you have made any personal progress. Are you better prepared? What do you need to tackle next to best position yourself to survive in the future?
We are confident that if you can work on this plan, you will know what you need to work on in phase II of your personal preparedness plan. We assure you that we will have follow-up videos, and this channel will be an excellent resource for you. My goal is to lay out an easy-to-follow, step-by-step plan for prepping over this next year. My goal is to define for you the core of prepping and provide easy instructions for getting your preps in order.
As always, please stay safe out there.