If you’re Worried About Collapse, Prepare


You are reading this article because you have a feeling that something is just not right. Everywhere you turn, you can see the signs. But, as you try to grasp what your fears are, you feel the walls closing even tighter. The pressures of determining what to expect, is not the problem. The problem is getting out of the maze, and to start preparing. But, what are you preparing for? Whether it is natural disaster, economic collapse, zombies, or a super volcano, the fundamentals of survival outweigh any specific catalyst that may threaten your livelihood. The key to survival during a post-disaster world is to make preparations now. The following 10 accomplishments are a great starting point.

1. Have Methods to Purify, Sanitize, and Store Water

In a post-disaster world, the sickness and death caused by unsafe drinking water will likely exceed that of any other threat. Don’t believe me? One out of five deaths, for children under the age of five worldwide, is linked to water-related diseases. Additionally, nearly 80% of illness in developing countries is linked to poor water and sanitation conditions (http://thewaterproject.org). As a society we have become too reliant on our public infrastructure. Sure, it is great now, but in post-disaster America; things such as safe drinking water may not be an option. So how do we counter this threat?

A. Learn how to make water safe to drink – Most water can be made safe to drink, by simply filtering large particles with a t-shirt or coffee filter, and boiling the water. Boiling water is the easiest way to make water safe to drink, as it will kill the parasites and cysts that would likely make you sick. However, boiling water will not remove any dirt, debris, chemicals, or metals.

B. Purchase water filtration devices – A water filter will remove most, if not all, parasites and cysts from your water, and can also filter dirt, debris, chemicals, and metals. The key here is to purchase a quality water filter. Products we recommend: Sawyer PointTwo, Katadyn Vario Microfilter, Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter, and candle-type water filters.

C. Learn to make a water filter – If you are on a budget, or just want to ensure you can filter water without a manufactured water filtration device, learn how to make a budget water filter. Keep in mind that you will also have to boil the water, or treat with chemicals, to remove any remaining parasites/cysts. Check out this video.

D. Learn how to treat water – You can purchase water purification tablets from any major survival retailer. But, did you know that you can use bleach and pool shock to also treat water? Most of the US Armed Forces deployed in combat regions, use and consume chlorinated water every day. While not as mobile as the purification tablets, bleach and pool shock are more cost effective.

E. Learn how to harvest water – For the lucky people that already have a well or spring on their property, ensure you can pump water even if the power grid is down. For the rest of us, learn how to collect water by diverting you roof gutters to rain barrels, using tarps or plastic sheeting to collect water, and/or learn how to properly harvest water from an above ground source.

While water filtration capability is important, it is also recommended to store water at your primary residence. There are many different water storage guidelines on the internet. I believe it is best to have 5 gallons of water, per person, per day. You can purchase bottled water or water storage containers. Additionally, depending on where you live, you may increase or decrease water storage levels. For instance if you live in an area that receives above average rainfall, then you may not need to store an excessive amount of water. In contrast, if you live in the desert, store as much water as possible.

2. Stock up on Medical Supplies and Medications

Unsafe drinking water and unsanitary conditions will likely be the downfall for most. If we are sick in present society, we can go to the doctor and have medications prescribed. If we have a cut, we can go to the local CVS / Rite-Aid / Walgreens and purchase peroxide, bandages, and antibiotic cream. In a post-disaster world, access to medical care will be limited if not non-existent. Therefore, we must hoard medical supplies now. The following are what we believe are most important.

A. Wound Treatment – Sterile bandages / gauze, antibiotic ointment, peroxide, alcohol pads, iodine, sutures, butterfly bandages, and medical tape.

B. Over the Counter Medications and Treatments – Pain/fever relievers, anti-diarrheal medications, allergy medications, cough syrup, Poison Ivy/Oak lotion, Hydrocortisone cream, Athlete’s Foot cream, and eye drops. If you have an infant, make sure you have medications and items that are safe for them as well.

C. Prescription Medications – If your doctor is receptive, ask if they can authorize a higher quantity of your medications. If not, let your doctor know you are going out of the country on an extended vacation, and you need a larger prescription (yes, a little white lie). Another method, and one that I do not recommend, is to skip a dose every few days.

D. Pet / Animal Antibiotics – If you are comfortable, and after you have conducted your research, purchase pet medications for personal use. Read the following article for a good source of information on the use of pet medications.

E. Surgery – Let’s face it, I do not want to conduct surgery on anyone. If you had to, you would need scalpels, sutures, medical scissors, forceps, irrigation fluids, trauma pads, gloves, and surgery / suture removal kits.

F. Dental – Having a small dental kit could prove invaluable during post-disaster. Products we recommend: Emergency Dental Kit and Clove Oil.

3. Store Food and Other Necessities

Building your food storage is an important part of preparing for any disaster. The amount and types of foods depend on how long you are preparing for. It is recommended to store foods you currently eat, and foods that are high in calories. At a minimum, it is recommended to have 72 hours’ worth of food stored, but I would extend that time period to two weeks. You can read the following article for more information on Food Storage.

In additional to your food storage, other items will also be required for survival. Please use the following checklist (located under attachments at the bottom of this article) to identify and stock-up on the items we feel are the most important.

4. Learn New Skills

Expanding your knowledge base is key to survival. If we reverted back to the 1800s, most individuals would not understand the basic tasks for daily living and sustainment. How many of us has grown a garden, raised or butchered livestock, or had to repair a garment? These trades are still conducted today, but if you work in a high-rise, well you probably do not have a clue. Great skills to have during a post-disaster world include: Gardening, food storage and preservation, candle making, soap making, first-aid, hunting/fishing, animal husbandry, mechanics, sewing, and basic construction.

5. Create a How-to and Reference Library

Even if we try to learn a new task each week, we will not become experts overnight. Having a how-to and reference library will help us leverage the basics in a time of need.

A. Mechanics – Have manuals for each of your motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, boats, etc. Additionally, purchase repair manuals for your vehicles.

B. Medical, First-Aid, Dental – Have medical reference books. Books we like: Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook, Where There is No Doctor, Where There is no Dentist, and Mosby’s 2012 Nursing Drug Reference.

C. Survival – SAS Survival Guide, Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties, and How to Survive the End of the World as we Know It.

D. Gardening – Square Foot Gardening, and The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible.

E. Product / Item Manuals – For appliances, firearms, survival equipment, and any other item you plan to use post-disaster.

F. Plant / Tree Recognition Guides – A Field Guide to Edible Wild PlantsA Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs, and A Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs.

G. Useful Videos – You can download useful training video from YouTube and other websites. Try this YouTube video downloader (we do not endorse this product, nor are we responsible if you decide to download and use it).

6. Purchase Goods for Trade and Barter

Having excess items for trade and barter will be very important post collapse. Think about it. Preppers already store items that we use every day, and post-disaster these same items may be hard to come by. Whether you are preparing for a storm or the end of society as we know it, the unprepared will also require specific items. Some argue that having excess goods is more important than having a stockpile of gold and silver. Don’t believe me, read this article from SHTF School (a very good read, and highly recommended).

Items you should store for trade and barter include: Ammunition, cooking supplies, food items, tools, first-aid supplies, flour, sugar, oils, gasoline, propane, etc. This list is endless. Think about what you use daily, and stock up on extras.

7. Invest in Alternative Energy

Power is easily accessible now, but during a power outage caused by a storm, most are helpless (Katrina in 2005, DC Storms in 2012). Luckily within a few minutes, or sometimes hours or days, the power magically comes back on. During a recent storm, I lost power to my house. My spouse looked at me and asked, “Which button do we press so the power comes back on?” I laughed, as I thought; I wish it were that easy. If you have an alternative energy plan and the required equipment, you can weather a small-scale power outage or the power grid collapse.

Gasoline and propane generators can provide the quick power you need. But, generators require fuel, and once your fuel stores are exhausted, you will no longer have power. Making the leap to solar, wind, or hydro systems can provide power for an extended period of time.

Getting started with alternative energy can be complicated. Which method do you use? What equipment is required? These questions usually stop the majority of us from making the leap into Alternative Energy. Cost is another reason why most do not purchase Alternative Energy components. There are differences between whole-house and survival solutions. Depending on which route you take, a whole-house system can be very expensive. A survival solution is tailored to a specific set of needs, and is usually on a much smaller scale, which could be as simple as a solar battery charger. The key is identifying what you really need to sustain your family, the energy requirements, and develop a plan for Alternative Energy. In most cases, you can purchase the core components and add more over time.

8. Network with Other Like-minded Individuals

If a collapse were to occur, it would take a group of people to ensure survival. Some believe that their small family will be able to defend their home, or survive by eating berries in a National Park. What history has taught us is that it takes a group of people to survive, especially if your family consists of small children. In a collapse situation, defense is only one piece of the puzzle. Acquiring resources, water, food, and gardening are also daily tasks that will require significant effort. To spread this burden, you must have a group of 10-20 individuals, or more.

Networking with other people is the best way to build a support structure. First, start with immediate family members, and then move to extended family, close friends, and strangers that are also interested in preparing. The key is to find individuals truly interested in preparedness. This may seem impossible because everywhere you turn you are faced with differing viewpoints, and the claims you are crazy. No worries, networking with like-minded people is the main reason why we created www.prepperlink.com.

9. Develop a Personal Defense Plan

Personal defense is another consideration that each person must make. Some prefer a peaceful approach, while others are just itching for a fight. Whatever approach you take, I would recommend that you have a means to protect your family. Your method of protection is up to you, just have a plan, and train regularly. Once individuals begin to starve, strangers and even people that you think are your friends, will quickly turn on you. Don’t believe me; watch Nine Meals Away From Anarchy.

10. Gain Experience Through Practice

The previous nine accomplishments are useless, unless you know how to make them work together. You can have the manliest combat rifle and gear, all of the cool survival thingamajigs, and a solar power system, but if you do not know how to use them; all are pointless. My point here is to gain the experience pre-disaster, so that you can leverage your brain when you truly need it. If you plan on bugging out, get out into the wilderness, and test your equipment. If you decide to protect your family with firearms, spend time on the range conducting shooting drills. It is through experiences that you will learn which equipment works and which does not, if you know how to use a specific item, and identify areas that you may have overlooked.


We have identified the top 10 accomplishments that we feel are most relevant. Sure, we could have included other topics. Please let us know what you think, or what we left off of the list.

1. Have Methods to Purify, Sanitize, and Store Water

2. Stock up on Medical Supplies and Medications

3. Store Food and Other Necessities

4. Learn New Skills

5. Create a How-to and Reference Library

6. Purchase Goods for Trade and Barter

7. Invest in Alternative Energy

8. Network with Other Like-minded Individuals

9. Develop a Personal Defense Plan

10. Gain Experience Through Practice

Be Prepared. Get Connected.



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