If you’re a beginning prepper you may feel the need for a clear road map or checklist. If you’re currently striving to be ready for life’s curveballs, you may benefit by taking stock of your efforts with the following fundamental tips in mind

Prepping for Beginners #1: Remember, it’s a PROCESS, not a destination

Remember that prepping is a way of life, a way of thinking. It’s not a destination. Sure you can have a list of “things” that you want to accumulate in order to better ensure your comfort and safety amidst life’s curveballs, but any prepper can tell you that if you approach it properly, it will forever be a process. As you learn you’ll always want to do better and more to ensure that you have eliminated as many vulnerabilities from your life as possible. You’d be surprised how often I get a new idea just from reading the posts of all our readers. Sometimes it’s a big “aha moment” about prepping (that I feel foolish not to have thought of before) and sometimes it’s a simple refinement to what is already being put  into practice.

Prepping for Beginners # 2: Where to start?: Your mind will expand your level of awareness congruent with your level of readiness.

You’ll also find that your comfort level of pondering certain scenarios will expand as you get more self-sufficient in your prepping efforts. You may have started with a motivation to endure a potential job loss, but when you allow yourself to consider how to be better prepared against a potential home invasion; and then after watching “Red Dawn” you may actually envision yourself fighting alongside Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey as you save your community from a Russian overthrow. *grin* It’s a process. Our minds protect us from voluntarily going to areas that are simply unthinkable to us. But as your level of readiness in prepping expands, you’ll find that considering more “unthinkable” scenarios isn’t a source of fear, rather it’s a source of expanded awareness.

Prepping for Beginners #3: Establish a foundation of balance and prioritization in your self-reliance efforts.

There’s a reason why you call 9-1-1 when you find yourself in a car accident instead of the number for Domino’s Pizza. We can all agree that starving to death would be an ironic end after you’ve survived a car wreck worthy of a 9-1-1 call, but obviously food has it’s time and place—as do all of the Principles of Preparedness. That’s why I created and teach The Ten Principles of Preparedness. They cover every significant prepping fundamental to a self-sufficient life AND they are put in order of their prioritization. While they do all have a synergistic relationship, I’ve found that approaching preparedness with these key fundamentals will help us approach this unfamiliar territory with balance and practicality.

I encourage all of our readers to put “Ten Principles of Preparedness” in our search bar (up on the right) and then take a tour through the articles that deal with the Ten Principles of Preparedness as a whole and which also break each of the  Principles down and illustrates what each Principle entails.

When my husband and I really worked at breaking down and identifying the Principles like this many years ago, we were certain that we were assisted in this effort beyond our own abilities, because as many times as we’ve tried to tweak it, question it, and fiddle around with it, we’ve discovered that it is perfect in what it entails and the prioritization thereof. While we both may be perfectionists, we rarely do things perfectly. But this is one of them that we can frankly direct people towards and know that it won’t lead them astray.

Prepping for Beginners #4: Put your time and money where your commitment is:

If you really want to experience the sanity of being self-reliant then you need to give prepping what you give everything else that’s important to you—your time and money. Prepping doesn’t come with hollow wishing or as a date on a calendar; it only comes to fruition with a commitment to it as a lifestyle. Those folks who rush to the store hours before a storm to buy band-aids, beans and bullets aren’t anymore prepared for the storm than I am to run a marathon, because to them it’s a singular event, not a lifestyle. But this is our LIFE we’re talking about here. Doesn’t it merit a regular financial and time commitment to ensure it’s not neglected? Budget X percentage of your income towards your future peace of mind.  After all, we already do it with insurance, retirement accounts, and college education. The fastest way to frustrate a good plan is to cut off it’s funding, right? Likewise we must be willing to invest X percentage of our time to this end as well. If it’s important it gets done; if it’s not, it gets an excuse.

Prepping for Beginners #5: Accept no counterfeits. 

At one end of the spectrum, you have the survivalist mindset (to be frank, I really don’t relate to survivalists, per se; to me they are extreme in their way of thinking and planning).  In fact, I often find such persons with the survivalist mindset to also be arrogant in the midst of their peers—which is ironic because they are more likely to be lone wolves in their “preparedness” efforts—very secretive and hermit-like. It’s kind of tough to get adoration for an inflated ego when you’ve cut yourself off from everyone else. *grin*

On the other side of the spectrum you have what I view as “the loons” who actually fool themselves into preparing for “the end of the world.” Somehow the logic is lost on them that in the event of such an “end”  all prepping supplies and plans would be mutually damaged as the earth, which holds it all, is swept away. (Dare I presume that so will the people on the earth at such a time?)

Peaceful Prepping?  Yep!

Alien abductions, zombies, or castaway on a deserted island with nothing but a soccer ball for companionship are all delusions and distractions of the real peace of mind that comes from a practical and truly peaceful self-sufficient life. They are counterfeits, and counterfeits only exist to commit fraud and distract you from what’s real. While yes, there really are such things as blood-sucking zombies—they all work for the government, they have no part in a lifestyle of preparedness, neither does gloom and doom talk, panic, or fear. Instead, I can confidently assure everyone who is willing to try and embrace living a self-reliant lifestyle that the stigma of being some crazy prepping freak, village idiot  or “the fringe” of society will be replaced by contentment and a peaceful feeling of wholeness. A life of readiness has the undeniable ability to replace the counterfeit of vulnerabilities, insecurities, worries, and fears with the reality of your truest self —one of hope, confidence, independence, empowerment, value, and love to those around you. While there’s so much around us that would cheapen those words and dress them up cheesy, I assure you that their true definitions only have a lasting place in a self-sufficient life. Panic and fear have never led to confidence and peace, but self-reliance always has; so let’s not  settle for the carnival trinkets and focus instead on what’s real. I assure you that peaceful preparedness is real.


Isherwood Wildwalker · February 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Thank you for breaking things down into easy bullet points!

Section 5 really helped put some things into perspective for me. I’ve struggled with societal labels, and how it influences what I plan for.


Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I hope you find these three articles helpful in answering your questions. http://preparednesspro.com/are-you-part-of-the-problem/ ANDhttp://preparednesspro.com/five-ways-to-better-convince-your-loved-ones/ I’ll also be posting one on Tues. a.m. that deals with this topic.

bugabuu92 · February 20, 2012 at 12:01 am

My husband and I watched your segment last night for the first time and we were incredibly impressed! I’m so glad you’re here and we both agree that we definitely like your style! We look forward to learning from all your mad skills…;)

KRobertson · February 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

thank you for this post. While we are just able to breath some and are beginning to prep. I’ve read a lot and there are way too many doom and gloom preachers out there and the nuts who want to be the loan wolf, who I don’t believe would make it too long.

While we had not been able to do much other than buy a little extra each time we went shopping. Research is the best thing a prepper can do. Just my 2 cents. I am so glad I found this site. While I know you were on Doomsday Preppers, I actually found this site looking for canning recipes. 🙂 Again I cannot thank you enough for sharing the knowledge you have with people.


savingandsurviving · February 20, 2012 at 4:24 am

to catnest007, one suggestion is to talk with your spouse about different scenarios. Talk about: how you would put food on the table if your income was cut in half or stopped all together? How would your household deal with a power outage that lasts more than a few hours? Both of these are common proplems in todays world. Once you get his prepper juices flowing expand on different subjects like natural disater preparedness, what is common in your area? tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes? If he doesn’t believe there will be a financial or economic collapse get him to watch the news about how other coutries are falling apart and just ask, “how would we get by if that ever happened here”? He doesn’t have to get fully onboard at first but if you can show him how much food prices have gone up over the past few months or better, a year (show him old grocery receipts) he might start to pay a little more attention to what is going on in the world and get onboard. It takes time but once his eyes are opened he will be pushing for more beans, bullets and band-aids guarenteed.

bugabuu92 · February 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I have a question you may be able to help me with: My husband and I have been working the Dave Ramsey get out of debt plan since August 2011. We have excellent credit and pay our bills on time all the time and have been successful in reducing our debt however; now I feel somewhat overwhelmed at trying to become both debt-free and prep simultaneously. I feel strongly that we should do both but, I wonder if you have any thoughts or input or experience on how to navigate through it? Also, I failed to mention in my last post that just yesterday morning I told sweet husband, “I want to approach prepping practically, I don’t want to live in fear. I want to figure out how to both live and prep.” So, thank you for your site and for being on the show. It was a great relief and confirmation!

Looking forward to buying mineral oil! 🙂

    jamie l · February 21, 2012 at 6:43 am

    @bugabuu92 If you look at the 10 items 3 take no money at all. Spiritual, mental, physical are all based in time and sweat. Financial you are working on already. I did budget all prep as an additional $20-$50.00 per month, if you buy in bulk that can add up faster than you might think. Learning to bake bread can save a lot of money, my cost to bake a loaf of bread is about 30 cents and most bread in the bakery will cost $3.00 for a good tasting loaf of bread. As you buy real food and practice cooking it you will save money not buying the prosessed stuff, you will eat better and you will know what’s in the food you eat. You can get to where you shop not for what you need this week but what you will need in the future. You will always need Toilet Paper so why not buy it only on sale? Or OTC medicine, bandages and stuff can be a great buy at your local dollar store.

    I live on disability but I don’t get food stamps or any of the other goodies from the government. But once you get to shopping for the future and you buy only the sales and loss leaders you will surprised how much you can save and I’m not even a coupon ninja like Kellene.

      bugabuu92 · February 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      @jamie l

      Thank you! I appreciate the input and will start doing my homework–i.e. learning how to bake bread! Blessings to you… 🙂

        Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:45 am

        @bugabuu92 @jamie l I have an undeniably fabulous 100% whole wheat bread recipe on this site. It’s been used by several of our readers who have gone on to win blue ribbons for it. 🙂

          jamie l · February 24, 2012 at 7:22 am

          Kellene it’s a great recipe but I still like white flour bread. Oh you can stamp me as a bad prepper as I store white flour along with my whole wheat berries. I do fear for folks that think they can go whole wheat in a day, Buy extra TP before you start and you will find out about the wonders of bran using whole wheat.. I believe someone refered to whole wheat as a wisk broom for your colon.

          Kellene Bishop · February 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

          Jamie, you do know you can store whole WHITE wheat berries, right?

          Jamie · February 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

          I’m okay with most wheat and yes I have stored both hard Red Wheat and Soft white wheat. But whole grains have tons of fiber compared to your aveage white flour. It’s not a bad thing unless you don’t know about it. Heck Kellene you have talk about and warn going from a white flour to whole grain wheat flour. Back to the mantra of store what you eat and eat what you store

    Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:44 am

    @bugabuu92 Financial preparedness is #9 out TEN key principles. I’d suggest you take a gander at the 10 Principles to help you put things into perspective. Getting out of debt is vital, in my book, however, it should NOT be done at the risk of ignoring the other, much more important areas of preparedness. (just put in “10 principles of preparedness” in the search bar.

      Melissa · February 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I did find them after posting the question and will get back to them for further study! I’ll go check out the bread recipe too… 🙂
      Thank you!

evan marshall · February 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

whatever happened to the Berkey water review?

Evan Marshall

Rattailusa · February 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Great post, I enjoy a practical mindset rather than an extremest one. It does seem sometimes there are two camps; the “Be Prepared” camp and the “TEOTWAWKI” camp. One seems to be people who like our forefathers prepared for a hard winter just in case and the other who can’t wait to fight off Russians, Zombies, Aliens, Government Gone Wild, and assorted other issues. I just want to be sensible about being prepared.

Rattailusa · February 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

As part of our prepping I have small herd of meat goats, I also keep two large breed dairy goats that I keep in milk year around by keeping their breeding at opposite times in the year. I get a gallon of milk a day from milking one goat. I don’t use a gallon of milk a day so I make cheese which is really pretty easy and you can get books about it that are fairly easy to read and follow at most Caprine Supply places on line for just a few dollars. Something people don’t realize is that goat milk freezes very well so you can freeze it and make your cheese later on or can it later etc. A lot of people judge goat milk by what they have bought in the store which is horrid. Our goats produce milk that most people cannot tell the difference between it and whole cows milk. It comes down to handling, feeding etc. When you get goats milk at the store it has been blended with the entire herds milk and one goat that has off tasting milk has changed the flavor of the entire batch. So when making your preparations if you have the place to keep them, consider keeping some goats for both meat and milk, it will make your life a lot easier and you will have a ready made bartering product.

MsMayham · February 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I love your way of thinking and am just getting started for the most part. I am going to be following you idea and a few from (edited for spam content) . Room is going to be a big part of storing food long term, so drying it out is going to be our best way. Being that we are just now buying our first home that will have room downstairs for storage is going to be better than where I am right now. We plan on having rabbits, chickens,goats and a cow and pig, along with a full freezer and pantry with in a year of moving I hope. I will have my garden and will dry a lot of that and use as we go.

Since watching Doomsday Preppers I have really started to thing of all that might or could go wrong in the USA.

jamie l · February 20, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I’ve been prepping for awhile and I know for myself once I got past my panic stage that took almost a year of constantly focused on buying stuff and worrying about everything. I finally got what Kellene was trying to convey in the 10 steps.

I started learning all kinds of things from canning butter to watching the futures markets. and puttering around in the garden. One bit of skill and knowledge builds on another and I find it’s a lot of fun!

I know if you look at the “Headlines” it’s enough to scare the poo out of Superman, but you can prioritize and not panic if you follow the 10 steps. Take it from me who did almost everything in the wrong order.

I can’t tell you the peace of mind I have when I read about a nasty storm coming and I know I have everything I need and ready to go.

    Benita · February 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    @jamie l I am new to prepping, and noticed your post mentioned canning butter! I would love to learn, could you tell me were this info. could be found. Thank you.

    jamie l · February 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

    For goodness sake follow Kellene’s 10 steps. I had time to do them all in the wrong order. It’s not panic that motivates me it’s just do what she suggests and in the right order. She was right and I was wrong, and I don’t think we have a lot of time to screw around and be wrong on our priorities. Follow Kellenes 10 steps, it doesn’t mean you will survive it just gives you a good foundation to build on.

Valerie SmithKindler · February 21, 2012 at 1:18 am

Thank you for helping me become a prepper like my Dad who I moved out to my place due to his health> Oh the food I had to bring out! My husband and I are newbies but love your website to help us!

KRobertson · February 21, 2012 at 5:02 am

Not sure where I read it, but actually went to HyVee and got fee 5 gal buckets. Its a good day. I would suggest for anyone who is starting to do the same.

Exciting because usually nothing is as easy as that for me. For any reason, just too late someone else picking them up, or they are not able to do that. My type of luck, but today was a good day picked up 5 over all.

Linda M · February 21, 2012 at 11:39 am

I have been an “unknowning prepper” most of my adult life, I guess. I’ve always kept a 3-4 month pantry and rotated it religiously, and other emergency supplies for my own small family….thinking mostly of weather related disasters. (And indeed, in one bad blizzard, I was the only one in the neighborhood who had what I needed for me and my kids but also some to share!) I grew up in World War II time and in tornado country besides. And with that background , just grew up wanting to be prepared. I was not raised that way! In the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve expanded my prep to be more inclusive than just food, hygiene & first aid…and for more people than just me and one of my sons & his family who live near me. I’ve added things like oil lamps & oil, candles, batteries, extra bedding, disinfecting/ sanitizing products (like vinegar!!! cheap and very effective sanitizer!), more medical supplies, paper products, pet food, and freeze dried foods that have a 20+ yr shelf life “just in case”.( I am 70 yrs old so I don’t expect to see the freeze dried foods expire! But my kids/grandkids might!) Point being: I live only on Social Security now but have found no financial stress in adding to my supplies. Each trip to town, which is twice a month, I spend about an extra $20-30 on prep supplies. And some things haven’t cost me anything. Extra bedding & towels don’t have to be pretty! When I or someone I know is replacing old faded or worn linens, I pack them away instead of throwing them away. When friends or family are discarding things, if it looks like something usable for a group of people in an emergency, I snag it! (like cookware, large pots, extra silverware, dishes). I am a rather recently retired registered nurse, so I’ve had some advantage knowing what kinds of medical things to stock and I have a nice library that is current enough to be helpful if needed. (i.e., a person’s gall bladder will be in the same place & the symptoms the same no matter how old the book is!) I would recommend any prepper have a good medical reference book on physical assessmen; an excellent one for persons without medical training would be an EMT course manual. Plus a CPR manual from a recent class. Both would be available at a college bookstore where those courses are offered. And perhaps even to be found cheap on Amazon as used. The usual emergency bandages, ointments for boo-boos, a bottle of peroxide and one of rubbing alcohol, tylenol, aspirin, a thermometer, etc. of course. But think too of cough drops, Vicks rub, toothache gel, a hot water bottle, simple little things like that.

Starting to prep from scratch can be frustrating, not knowing where to begin……….and maybe hard to get husband or wife on board………..but the supplies do add up faster than you might think, even buying just a few things at a time. So just go about it quietly and offer information along the way that may engage your partner over some time. Start simple preparing for a few days’ needs for your family. As you get that done, you will think of more scenarios, longer periods of time you might need to endure, more people who may come to you for help, etc. and you can add then to what you have. Make use of Thrift stores and low-cost “dollar stores” for some things. Keep in mind the age differences of the persons you may need to help…….might someone be pregnant and have to deliver? We aren’t talking a difficult birth here….but you should have a suction bulb for babies mouth & nose for sure and a few cloth diapers & pins and some soft warm blanketing. Girls will need tampons or pads. Deodorant, toothpaste and soap will make crowded togetherness a little more tolerable. And the “sample sizes” of all those are cheap to buy or, if you travel, save the hotel offerings! Children will need crayons, paper, color books, a game or two. Dont get all twitterpated about it . Just start small…but start!… and expanding your scope and supplies will come as you go.

    Loli5506 · February 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    @Linda M

    Just last wk flipped the channel & ran in2 Kelline Bishop on this dooms day prepper show that i never heard of. I am now super obsessed with starting to prep for the worst. However I am a COMPLETE beginner(literally food shops for 2wks worth) so i was so frustrated on where to start. This post really as relaxed me some. Your ideas, tips & ways of thinking are GREAT. Ty so much…i am excited to finally start prepping!

      Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:39 am

      @Loli5506 @Linda M Truly, MY pleasure! I’m SO glad you found something useful. I really, really am. It makes all of the garbage I take for writing it all worthwhile!

gardeninghoneygirl · February 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I have never heard of canning butter. How do you do it and how do you store it and how long will it store? After canning, does butter need to be refrigerated?

    jamie l · February 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    @gardeninghoneygirl Just search the term Bottled Butter on this website.

    Kellene has it.

    Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:36 am

    @gardeninghoneygirl There’s a detailed article on this site. The search bar will turn up all kinds of great goodies for you on the topic. Let me know how your experience turns out!

KRobertson · February 22, 2012 at 1:53 am

Not sure where I read it, but someone stated if you go to the local bakery you can get free 5 gallon buckets. Well I gave it a try and my luck turned out. Usually someone beats me to it and I’m left to come back or something of that nature, but this time I visited HyVee and managed to get 5, 5gal buckets for nothing. It was nice to save about 20 bucks in buckets. I would encourage anyone who is using 5 gal buckets to do the same.

Just my 2 cents


    Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:36 am

    @KRobertson I’m glad you had a good experience. With the prices of resin rising substantially, more and more business are either sending the buckets back for a return deposit or wising up to the value of what they’ve got in the form of the empty buckets and charging for them. My used bucket source just increased 1,000%!

      KRobertson · February 28, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      To everyone,

      I cannot say it enough if your in need of 5, 4, 2 gal buckets Go to your bakeries and get them. I know HyVee does not have to send them back and they would love for people to pick them up so they don’t have to pay. I have 2 HyVee stores now I’m collecting about 10 5 gal buckets and about 5 1 gal buckets. I’ve not tried Casey’s store but they do fresh doughnuts. Which takes frosting which comes in 5 gal buckets.
      Its an easy savings 🙂 especially for newer preppres

        Kellene Bishop · February 29, 2012 at 1:20 am

        I can assure you that this won’t be going on for much longer. Companies are being paid too much to surrender used buckets due to the skyrocketing prices of resin.

Valerie SmithKindler · February 22, 2012 at 3:22 am

Thank you for helping me become a prepper like my Dad who I moved out to my place due to his health> Oh the food I had to bring out! My husband and I are newbies but love your website to help us!

savingandsurviving · February 23, 2012 at 4:29 am

Kellene, Have you ever added honey or cinnamon to your bottled butter? I love honey butter with cinnamon and was thinking that since honey does go bad it might be able to be mixed with the butter in the bottling process. What are your thoughts on this? Ever heard of it being done and if so how?

    Preparedness Pro - Kellene Bishop · February 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

    @savingandsurviving I think you might regret “pigeon holing” yourself by bottling butter that way. After all, it’s so easy to add the honey and cinnamon afterwards (both have an unlimited shelf life). So personally I wouldn’t do it.

      KRobertson · February 23, 2012 at 6:06 am

      @Preparedness Pro – Kellene Bishop@savingandsurviving There was an article I have read about canning butter. I’ll try to find it and give that link. It seems that I read it was good once canned for about 2-4 years.

LisaInTexas · February 23, 2012 at 5:06 am


My husband finally got to see the Doomsday Preppers show that you appeared on last night. I’ve been raving about you and the increased knowledge you have given me. Once he saw the show, he was more on board with me than he has been. We both agree on what needs to get done, I don’t think we 100% agree on what takes priority. But after seeing your show, he realizes that we have to have food no matter what, and if I spend just a few dollars extra on every shopping trip, it’s not really going to hurt anything, so thanks again!

Stephanie · February 24, 2012 at 12:48 am

I wanted to share some of the things that I can remember about how I got started expanding my pantry and getting my husband on board. I’ll start with my husband..poor guy. He looked at preppers as some form of survivalist mentality and expected to have to wear camo’s and put in a basement bunker. He would make jokes about my prepping to grocery clerks when I would buy 5 large cans of coffee by saying something like, ” She thinks there’s going to be a depression” or “She’s in survivalist mode”. I would just ignor him. I have some things in my favor on this subject, one is that my husband envisions himself as an expert in most everything (LOL) and two he likes to read. I began to peruse the fiction section at Amazon and found a few books about preppers who were ready when some civil or economical disruption hit. The story lines were usually a bit dramatic and included gun fights and military issues etc. I had them downloaded to my kindle then read them for content. I then told my husband he should read the story because I bet that he could find a lot of errors in the use of the weapons and the caliburs etc. That alone attracted him as he feels he always spots the errors. In the process of his reading the material looking for mistakes he started learning things about prepping. He has now read multiple books on prepping (looking for mistakes no doubt) and doesn’t think its such a dumb idea. I don’t know if that is something that other husbands might do but it helped with mine.
Second I think that when you begin prepping it can be as easy as pie. When you make your grocery list for regular shopping, if you for instance know your going to be out of mayonaise and you put that on the list buy 2. When you open the first of the two jars you bought put it on your list and buy 2. You start building up a reserve of items you use on a constant basis. I currently have about a years supply of coffee just from doing that process. It would probably last 18 months if I am careful and don’t waste it. That can get you started then you can work on buying extra items once in awhile like a case of toilet paper or a 25 lb bag of rice or powdered milk or barter items like liquor, tobacco, etc. (I dont have any babies in the family but I consider powdered infant formula a barter item) I hope this gives some of the newer preppers some ideas and I would love to hear some of the ideas others have used to get more prepping done.

H man · February 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

My question is why so few preppers have anything resembling a steam engine. The one invention that took humanity from poverty to prosperity, relatively speaking.

Stephanie · February 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I have been looking at Prep sights in persuit of ideas for actual storage ideas as we are expanding our storage area a bit. What kind of hits me is that in most of the pictured storage areas there are large metal storage shelves with cases of canned goods stacked up to over 5 feet high. What is going to become of all those jars when an earthquake hits? They aren’t going to rattle they are going to fall and break. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars of food are history (not to mention labor hours). I would suggest those that have that type of system for storage 1. bolt the shelves to the walls, 2. devise a system of 1X3’s with holes drilled and wing nut assembly across the fronts and sides of the shelving. Yeah a pain to remove each time you want a case of something but at least you will not lose all your food that is stored in glass. Even worse would be to be standing in your pantry when a quake hits and 3 cases of metal canned tomatos fall on your head or the entire shelving and all its contents.

    Kellene Bishop · February 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    There are all kinds of things that you can do to ensure more stability with your stored goods. Rubber bands around glass jars, storing lighter things up high and heavy things low to the ground, bolting furniture to walls and floors, etc. You don’t have to make it inconvenient for yourself though. One of the other things I do is wrap my glass jars in newspaper and then store them in 4 gallon square buckets down low.

Joe · February 26, 2012 at 7:30 am

” While yes, there really are such things as blood-sucking zombies—they all work for the government,…” OH? The people who ensure your website stays up because they work to block groups like Anonymous from attacking the Internet backbone, the people who work against contagation and outbreaks, the people who lose their lives in war, the coastguard, those working against organized crime and many, many others who honorably serve this country all deserve your ugly name calling, right?. If you don’t like some of the policies that are implemented, look to to politicians who do this. You talk about balance, I recommend getting some yourself.

    Kellene Bishop · February 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Joe, are you new here? I think you’re being a bit touchy there. I didn’t say ALL government workers are zombies AND it was a joke. However, I will say that if you’re one of those persons who actually believes that our government leadership as a whole cares one fig about us in ways that extend beyond putting money in their pockets and that they behave in a moral, upright, and constitutional manner then you’re really on the wrong blog. I think perhaps you were looking for CNN or MSNBC.

Jamie · February 26, 2012 at 11:20 am

Stephanie, the USA has a wide variety of disaster threats. What you saw might be fine in La. Texas or Fla. Hurricanes or tornados are a big threat but earthquakes not so much. The west coast tend to get a lot more earthquakes the midwest a few more tornados. the SE states face hurricanes. While we all need the same basics. How to store them and how to protect yourself might be quite different. Your average midwesterner would probaly go underground in an emergency and an average Californian would probably get above ground in an empty field if availible. Just how we react to the most common disasters we deal with yearly. Go up north and 8 inches of snow overnight is no big deal but in the south a single inch of snow will shut down the whole state in some northern states that is spring time.

jacqueline · February 27, 2012 at 2:50 am

I need help!!! I have been prepping for years and have been made fun of for years, but that has never slowed me down.. I figured when “TSHF” I will be the first person that hits their mind….. heres my problem. The other night watching you on TV i seen you use the attachment on your foodsaver to seal dry goods in your jars. i threw my attachment away years ago thinking i would never use it so i decided to order me 2 from the foodsaver company. Well they finally came in and the tubing that attaches it to the machine wasnt part of the order. i was furious. (why would you order those things without the tubing). So, i just went to town and paid $100 for the 3rd vacumn sealer just so that i could get the tubing.(you don’t get the attachment anymore just the tubing) so that i could get to work on all my jars of dry goods. i started with clean sterile jars, new lids, clean the rims very good and i just sit it on top of the jar and start the machine and it will go through the whole process and them when i take the attachment off the lid comes off with it. what am i doing wrong?????? this is so disappointing.

    Kellene Bishop · February 27, 2012 at 3:01 am

    disconnect the tubing first and then the jar attachment. It’s a common mistake. I don’t know why FoodSaver isn’t clear on those instructions, but I get that question a lot.

Makailah · February 29, 2012 at 1:51 am

If your artliecs are always this helpful, “I’ll be back.”

    Kellene Bishop · March 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

    We do try, but nobody can be “on” all the time. 🙂

Pamela Daves · March 5, 2012 at 12:59 am

I am new at prepping and I need to know how you would make butter, milk, butter milk and items like this how would you make it a shelf stable food. And were do you find red cheese wax. I live in Alabama and I do not know of any one else being a prepper. I want to learn so I can help others learn.
And I also have never canned anything so what is the best canning of fruit/veggies/and meat/fish. And is there a special book on canning wild game.
Thank you for your help. Pamela

Claudia · March 16, 2012 at 12:32 am

I don’t have a food saver but thanks to a clip on YouTube I bought a hand vacuum pump. It’s an automotive tool for checking vacuum seals in EGR valve or something, the food saver jar sealers and now I can vacuum seal my jars. Very inexpensive and very effective plus it will work if the power is out. So sometime when you run out of ideas for a post please do a list of item that are best for vacuum sealing. Like does it really help the shelf life of pasta, wheat berries, beans and such? Thanks for all your wisdom, time and effort I for one really appreciate it. I’m trying the eggs but our summers can get well over 100 and we can usually keep the house below 80 so I don’t know if it will work I’m going to crack one in august to see .

    Kellene Bishop · March 16, 2012 at 12:37 am

    It definitely DOES help those items last longer. Any time you can keep the inherent or added oils in food from being exposed to oxygen then you get a MUCH longer shelf life! Yay!!!
    Yeah, I would work on dehydrating your own eggs then instead of putting mineral oil or water glass on them. I’ll cover that soon. Good luck!

Margie · March 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I was wondering when I use my Foodsaver jar sealer for my dry goods do I need to include an oxygen absorbing packet too?

lisa · March 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

just read ur articles, i live in ny, i cant have a hand gun u need a permit and i cant get one , my husband and i did buy 2 rifles, and i plan on getting a cross-bow we plan on moving to the country and are looking for a nice house w land so i can put in a kitchen garden , get some chickens ,geese and maybe some goats ive just started to my stockpile of food i plan on getting a dehydrater and canning this summer the problem i see w my husband and i have severe depression and are on medicatoion herbel remendites dont work for us but it we go off our med and this is a possiblity, we will survive

Chris · April 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Kellene, many thanks for the time you spend sharing your talents with us. Site is easy to navigate and full of great info. Im a dad thats been prepping for about a year and when searching for info some of the survivalist stuff makes me question my goals and intentions. Your “Ten Principals” put many things in perspective for me and will help me plan my future preparations. Regadless of what happens, I dont worry… Its a great feeling knowing Im planning to take care of my wife and kids, and hopefully others. Have a blessed day and thanks again!

SallyD. · April 19, 2012 at 5:03 am

My husband is a panic prepper, : “We need more ammo, more guns, and OMG why don’t we have more wheat”, I am a practical prepper, I slowly store water, and buy a bit extra at the store and hide it away. I am hoping that if he reads the 10 principles he will get more on board with my methods. I was raised to save back for winter, and make do with what I have, before I rush out to buy more. I am quite well adjusted to hurricanes and ice storms and cooking without power, he thinks every storm is Katrina. I did mention he was a panic prepper. He did buy me a good quality wheat grinder instead of buying ammo, so its all works out.
Loved you on the show, and you gave me a lot of great ideas.

    Kellene Bishop · April 19, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    That would be my hope for you guys as well. 🙂 Glad you found us here though! Thanks for your kind words.

Margie · May 3, 2012 at 12:53 am

Hello to all. Thanks to everyone for their great advice. I do have a question and not sure if it is on this site some where but I thought I would just ask. As a new prepper I bought a hand wheat grinder and now would like to purchase a electric one since we have a solar panel with batteries we might be able to run it off that. Can I get recommendations on a quality grinder or grinder combo. I was thinking a vitamix that could do wheat grinder and other things? Is that a good idea? I read that Kellene you love your Bosch? Does that do multiple things like blending too?I plan on making bread almost daily this summer with my solar oven. Thanks so much

    Kellene Bishop · May 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

    The Vitamix will give you course grain unless you run it 3 times as long as you’d normally do. I use my electric Nutrimill for everyday, all is well kind of work. I have several folks who LOVE their Wonder Mill and I’ve just reviewed their new little hand grinder the Wonder Mill Jr. Deluxe that was certainly satisfactory.
    My husband purchased the Family Mill because he was also able to get attachments for it that would enable us to grind wheat while bicycling. Above all else, when you’re using a hand grinder, you want to consider the amount of energy your having to use for a cup of flour.

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