New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to Become A Prepper - Part 1


Several of my friends have asked me how to get started on “Prepping” and food storage. So this document is an attempt to put as much information about being prepared and a “Prepper” as possible into one, all purpose, get started document. I sent this to my friends after the “Food Storage” mini-book was sent. Overall my friends have liked both and I hope you will too.

The following information has been accumulated from many sites over many years. I give credit and many thanks to all these people and sites and my apologies to those from “years ago” when I didn’t have the foresight to record where I got the information from.

The appendix has a link to resources on the web, magazines and books. Many of the web sites and blogs have downloadable material for your use and I highly recommend and that you register for a free online membership so you can search various topics and download or print the ones you wish to keep close.

I have uploaded a boatload of documents on Google to share regarding: Preparedness, Homesteading, First Aid, Survival, Food Storage and the like. You can view, print and download using the following link.

I also strongly suggest you download the following either from my Google library or from the original source. These will expand on what is in this letter. Some are short, others up to 70 pages – ALL are packed with extremely great all around information to assist you in your own preparedness plan.

  • • FEMA_AreYouReady_full.pdf – FEMA
  • • Basic-Preparedness.pdf – FEMA
  • • Citizen Guide to Disaster Preparedness (online) – FCIC Pick just about any type of emergency or disaster and then get really good basic information on how to prepare and be ready for it.
  • • DHSfamilyemergencyplan.pdf – Homeland Security. This is a checklist of important numbers, usual haunts, etc.
  • • FamilyDisasterSuppliesKitRedCross.pdf – American Red Cross Great start on a 72-hour go-pack.
  • • NFPA_GetReady_facts_all.pdf - National Fire Prevention Association Great for getting started.

Yes these are all from the government and No they do not have a lot of detailed how-to and are mostly for the short term 1-7 day type events. But they are all great at getting you started. If you start with the basics it is much easier to evaluate where you are right now and what you have right now compared to what you need to be really prepared.

Why Prepare?

Think about it: What would you do right now, this instant if the electricity goes out and stays out for the next 7 days? Where are you most likely to be? Where are the water, heat, cooling, and food? Are these items reliant on electricity? Will these items stay fresh and viable for 7 days without electricity? Can you even get to and or use them without electricity?

I don’t know a single person who wants to see or be involved in a disaster or emergency. Even the fire, rescue and safety people I know hope and pray they are never called upon. Historically, rarely a generation goes by that has not survived some kind of emergency or disaster, be it large or small. In fact, statistically, most of us will experience some sort of emergency or disaster, sometime in our lifetimes.

As the world population spirals towards forgetting how to live on what we have, rather than on credit to get what we want and we all become “commercial driven” to use and toss, many of us have started to “sense” the self-destructive nature of our ways. We collectively start to fear the unknown and that leads us to prepare for the worst case scenario our minds can conger up. We logically know that if we survive and how well we survive depends on how prepared we and those around us are.

This is why it is wise to prepare for whatever obstacles life throws our way.

What is a Prepper?

Ask people what a “Prepper” is and for every person you ask, you will get a different answer. However there are some key characteristics that will apply. Top of this list is Independence and Self-Reliance.

Independence is being able to take care of yourself with the least amount of involvement from others. Self-Reliance is knowing you can do what needs to be done or make what you need with the least amount of help from others and at the least amount of cost. Both characteristics require you to handle any situation with what you have, rather than hiring or purchasing what you need.

So becoming a Prepper requires independence and self-reliance in all areas of our lives including finances, utilities, food, clothing, health, devices and furniture to name a few key areas. If you want to be a Homesteader you will need to be this way continuously in your day to day life. To be a Prepper, some of these areas will require day to day independence, self-reliance, preparation and diligence while others you need only worry about for shorter periods of emergent times.

To me a Prepper, specifically is a person who considers what can happen: while at home, on the way to work, vacation (air, land or sea), from nature, from bad luck and clumsiness, spiritual, to human caused. Kind of like an adult Boy Scout – Always prepared for anything, anywhere. A Prepper will have a contingency plan to account for the best way to not only avoid such a situation in the first place (whenever possible), but also how to live through such an event and continue to prosper and be happy and content with life.

There are various levels of Preppers and at the highest level you reach Survivalists.

Survivalists also have various levels to them. The most common perception being; the extreme Survivalist who lives in the boonies and off the land in a very “times of yore” way. Yet, you also have wilderness guides who know all kinds of skills in case the worst happens - Another type of survivalist. Military personnel are taught how to make it through being separated from the rest of their team or troupe; How to survive the worst that can happen in a war situation. Again, another type of Survivalist.

If you really stop and think about it, most people are Preppers, at least in some small way. How so? Most of us have insurance for our health, home, vehicles and major “toys” and possessions. Insurance is in case the worst happens is it not? Ha – a Prepper. Many country and northern folk have alternative energy and food stores because winter storms often take out electricity, phone service and the ability to travel safely for days and even weeks. Again – Preppers. If you have a first aid kit in your home, boat, auto or RV you are preparing for the chance you might need it. A Prepper. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, avalanches, mud slides or floods you no doubt have some kind of plan to get you through each occurrence. Another type of Prepper.

I have long been a hiker and backpacker. I love the outdoors and nature. I love the idea of being self-reliant and have been researching, learning and planning for moving to a rural area with a small, as self-reliant as possible homestead. I want to be independent from as many utilities and outside entities as possible; for my food, energy, health, water, sanitation and all the rest of my basics needs. A homesteader, a small farmer/rancher, a country/rural person – A Prepper.

Even governments worldwide have various programs and agencies to address “disasters” and “emergencies”. Take a look at the FEMA and Homeland Security “Be Prepared” and “Are You Ready” websites. The Church of Latter Day Saints has long been “prepping” for disasters and emergencies that they feel precede the Second Coming of Christ.

Bottom line is that in some small way we are all Preppers consisting of all ages, all nationalities, all faiths, and all races, rich and poor, in urban, suburban and rural areas. We are the adult Boy Scouts – Always Prepared for whatever twists and turns life throws at us from any source.

I also know that in all my years of prepping and planning for homesteading (since the 1970’s); I have never before seen such a proliferation of information and groups on the subject like I have in the last 5-8 years. Something must be up to make people worldwide feel this need.

One thing is for sure – In a disaster or wide spread emergency - You CANNOT count on any government or emergency agency to come to your rescue in a timely fashion. The only things you can count on are yourself (physical, emotional & spiritual), your knowledge and skills and the supplies and tools you have on hand.


  1. Excellent Post! You certainly can't count on government to take care of you. It's all about being self reliant and thinking ahead. Have you joined our forum yet? At www.AmericanPreppersNetwork.Net there is a forum thread in there for New Mexico.

  2. To American Prepper,

    I have visited and often refer to your forum, NM forum told me to start this blog so they could see my documents, etc here. I am a novice at this blogging stuff and am still learning and I am in the process of selling my home to move rural - my time is rather fragmented right now ;-}


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