Survival Guide: Common Prepper Mistakes To Avoid

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Survival Guide - Common Prepper Mistakes To Avoid

You may have watched the latest reality show, conducted research on the Internet, or may even know someone who is preparing for a natural disaster. Now, you have decided it is time to begin prepping for yourself. You feel the excitement, you realize that you are moving forward and doing something to protect yourself and your family. However, before you begin committing time and resources to essentially preparing for anything, you must first realize there are mistakes you should avoid.

Focusing on One Potential Disaster

It is acceptable to focus on and prepare for a volcanic eruption, nuclear, chemical or biological attack, or even a 10.0 magnitude earthquake, but do not forget the fact that prepping is about surviving any artificial or natural disaster. You cannot spend all of your limited resources on one endeavor. Over time, you will likely have to survive multiples of disasters. You must be prepared generally for all possibilities.

Before beginning preparations, you must ask yourself if what you are preparing for is a realistic threat. Take the time to conduct a treat assessment. If you live in a heavily populated area then certain threats are more likely than if you live in a rural area. For example, if you live in a rural area you would not necessarily focus on a chemical or nuclear attack.

If you live in a large metropolitan, certain events are more likely because populated areas are always a target. However, if you are within a certain range of a possible nuclear, chemical or a biological attack, you are not likely to survive regardless of your preparations. The crisis will be upon you before you can get into your chemical suits, masks, and shelters.


Not Preparing For Evacuation

Avoid focusing all your efforts on sheltering in place. Regardless of where you live, you may be forced to evacuate during a crisis. Many of you may convince yourself that no matter what happens you would never leave. Anything is possible and failing to prepare for the possibility of evacuation can have serious consequences. If you convince yourself you would never leave and you are forced to evacuate, you will not be ready and your chances of survival will have been reduced.

Have a backpack for each family member packed to the top with the best survival gear so you’re ready to go at all times. The supplies in the backpacks will be in addition to any supplies you have in the home. You may not have time to pack anything, so they must be ready to go. Map out evacuation routes. Make sure you map more than one way out of your area and ensure more than one person in the family knows the way. Drive the routes so you can find them during daylight and after dark. Remember you must prepare for all possible outcomes. Once you become single-minded and refuse to accept certain possibilities, you may not survive the crisis.

Not Spreading Your Supplies

Avoid the mistake of stockpiling all of your supplies in one place. Spare bedrooms, basements, and garages are ideal storage areas and you can stockpile large amounts in these areas. However, having all of your supplies in one place can be problematic. You will lose all of your emergency supplies if there is a house fire, a robbery, or if your home is otherwise damaged because of the crisis.

You can cache supplies in various locations outside your home, or even at a bug-out location. You can bury supplies using waterproof containers, or in some cases put them in outbuildings on your property. If your home is damaged or robbed, you will have backup supplies nearby.

Place supplies in underground caches along your expected evacuation routes as well. If you have to evacuate quickly, having supplies in various locations ensures your survival. Avoid caching supplies at commercial storage facilities because these will be prime targets for looters and others during a crisis and you may not be able to make your way there.

Your emergency supply caches should be in areas that can be reached on foot and are along any expected travel routes. You must have unrestricted access to your cache of supplies regardless of the time of day or night.

Not Considering Other People as a Threat

Underestimating how desperate people can become is one mistake you should never make. Parents will go to any length to provide for their children and will take whatever they need by any means possible. Once the disaster strikes and a few days have passed, people will begin to realize how unprepared they really are and soon will become desperate. They will turn to violence to get what they need. Your friends, neighbors, and strangers will be looking for those that have prepared.

These will be times when a loaf of bread, or quart of water, can mean the difference between surviving the rest of the day, or not. In reality, it may not be the case but that does not matter. If someone is convinced they are starving, they will turn to those they know have supplies and some will turn violent to get what they think they need.

Learn to keep secrets. Those who prepare like to encourage others to prepare for anything because they know the more people who are prepared means there will be less stress and desperation during a crisis. Not only are people who have not prepared a burden, they are also a threat during a disaster. You will want to help others in their time of need but during a crisis, you have to put your family and yourself first.

Never encourage others before a crisis strikes to seek you out for help once a crisis does strike. Many will take you up on the offer and some may not ask, but simply take. Do not tell others how well prepared you are. You have no way of knowing how people will react when put in a life or death situation. Many will step up and meet the challenge. Others will be so overwhelmed they will do things that they would not normally consider.

There are mistakes you can work through as the crisis unfolds. Then again, some cannot be overcome and can have serious consequences. Not preparing for all types of disasters and other common mistakes prepper make is difficult to overcome in the midst of a disaster. Explore and experiment with various methods and materials but always experiment in a controlled environment. Prepare and experiment before disaster strikes. This way, you have time to learn from your mistakes and you will not have to suffer from them.

Give us your feedback on most common mistake You’ve done!

By: My Family Survival Plan

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4 thoughts on “Survival Guide: Common Prepper Mistakes To Avoid


    This is the story of my experience during Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines that hit November 8, 2013. The story is a combination diary and tips on what to do during a storm / disaster. I have collected many good ideas from others on the Internet about survival / camping. Now it is my turn to share my experiences, for you to learn from me. I am retired, and have lived in the Philippines for over five years. I purchased a Philippine house, and added some improvements to bring it closer to American standards.

    We have lots of typhoons. Usually it means three days of rain, not really a storm just rain. They shutdown of the ferry service because of high seas, and school is closed. I do not know why they close the school, no one takes a ferry to school. I only found out the day before storm, that this storm would be different! So I did buy extra batteries.

    The storm arrived in the morning. It was much much better in daylight. It would have been very scary at night!

    I was just thinking dollar signs to replace it all. The walls of the house were concrete so I was not afraid.

    As the eye of the storm passed over, the wind stopped. I walked 100 feet to the neighbors house. I told them we still have part two ahead. I think each part was two hours. How many people have walked in the eye of the strongest storm, in recorded history to ever touch land!! The price of that was a third of my roof and other damage.Part two of the storm was much worse!! Almost no damage was done in part one of the storm. Part two of the storm did the damage to our house and most other houses. Water was rising around the house. I did not know when it would stop rising. We moved electronics and papers to higher shelves in the house. The roof over the attict was gone so that was not available.

    We have a shed with a flat concrete roof / balcony. It has concrete stairs to the roof / platform. It is used for small parties. It is about 12 feet by 20 feet in size. We put two tents on top of the shed. The shed roof is about 12 feet above the floor of the house. The water went up till it was about a foot from getting into the house. We also had life jackets for all in tents and a long rope available. The roof / balcony also had a very strong steel pipe railing So we might survive water more than 12 feet deep.

    I was not worried about food and water. I had two 55 gallon plastic drums full of water, 4 – 5 gallon containers of water, and 5 – 6 liter sealed containers of distilled water, and water filters to purify three thousand gallons of water. A stream is walking distance from our house.

    For food, I had enough freeze dried food in cans to last five months. We also had 100 pounds of rice in water proof containers. I had a case and a half of military MREs ( meals ready to eat ). The advantage of MRE is in saving time preparing a meal, when there are lots and lots of other things to do. Roof repairs, drying wet clothing so that it will not mildew, and cleanup after storm.

    These are the MRE entries only from MRE Star on the Internet. They are not a full MRE which has a dessert, and coffee. We ate MREs for the week after the flood.

    For preparation have lots of paper plates, plastic cups, plastic silverware and trash bags. We did not have enough. Washing dishes is work, and time is at a premium.

    The kitchen stove survived with no damage at all. The fuel is propane, in a canister like used for an RV camper. Each canister lasts about a month. We have two canisters and swap when one is empty, so should always have a month supply.

    One useful freeze dried food is freeze dried eggs. They taste like the real thing. I also had freeze dried onions and cheddar cheese, so I could make an omlet. The freeze dried eggs are easy to cook. Just add water and salt and cook like scrambled eggs. The brand is Ova Easy Whole Egg Crystals from

    We slept in two backpacking tents, on top of the shed, for many nights, ( actually untill I got back with a generator from Cebu, the nearest large city). The shed is all concrete with a flat 12 by 20 foot concrete roof with a railing. It is like an elevated deck or balcony. I use is for small dinner parties. It is about 12 feet about the level of the floor of my house. Because it is up high on top of shed you get a nice breeze, so it is cool enough to sleep after 10 pm. Since there was no electric, there were no fans and no AC.

    The rain stopped the day of the storm in the evening and the water also stopped rising.

    I need to burn trash, as no longer have trash pickup. There was no trash pickup for about a month.

    The storm had 315 km sustained winds 380 km gusts which is 228 mph gusts. WOW!!

    I had lots of preparation, but not prepared for 228 mph winds.

    I have been camping for 20 years. Much of what is called survival gear is just camping gear. So I had lots of gear for an emergency. I had tents, flashlights, stoves, sleeping bags, fire making gear, rain gear, etc. The best quote I heard was that preparation and or a survival kit

    “Preparation will turn a Survival Situation into just Camping”.

    The difference is that my camping has been for a weekend. This situation has been over a month, and still going. ( The electric was restored after four ( 4 ) months, on March 7, 2014. )

    When storm hit I figured I had canned freeze dried food for three people for five months. Plus I had a hundred pounds of rice in two sealed containers. We would get very tired of rice and beans but we would not starve.

    The power went out with the storm, ( Electric power was restored March 7, 2014 ). The city water also stopped for several days. After a couple days we sent our worker with 5 gallon containers to get water at a nearby well. We filtered all the water for drinking and cooking through a backpacking water filter. The filter takes out everything, even viruses! The downside is that it is not fast. It takes 10 minutes to pump 6 liters of water. One filter can filter a thousand gallons. I had several replacement filter cartridges, so could filter thousands of gallons of water. If you ever get one it is the First Need Deluxe water filter by General Ecology. Get the deluxe model, it costs more but the ease of use is much better and you will appreciate the improvements after you pump 10 gallons of water.

    If you plan to store supplies for a disaster, you need a tough cabinet with a domed top to shed water. If a flat top on cabinet, the water will soak thru eventually. Good to have some supplies stored in seperate shed / building seperate from the house. If house collapses or burns your supplies are not lost also. Problem with this is that now you need duplicate or triplicate of some camping / survival items, so cost increases.

    Supplies in town that dissapear are, Clorox, disinfectent soaps, tarps, and fresh meat. Gasoline costs more than before and there is a several hour wait to get your gas at the station. Carpenters are also unavailable! First they will work on the politically connected, the mayor, congressman. Second the really rich people in town. Third they may get to me. It will be a very long time before proper repairs are done!!

    Taxi / bus service was unavailable for three days after the storm. The taxi drivers were all home fixing their own houses. I would expect something similar in the USA durring a wide spread disaster. The hospital workers, police, and emergency workers will be taking care of their homes after the disaster.

    No electricity so no ice, no refridgeration, and no fresh meat, in the entire city.

    People go to bed early, since no electricity. Washing clothes without electric is tough!

    Years ago, I used to work 30 minutes in very hot weather and take a 10 minute break. Now I work 10 minutes and take a 30 minute break. Without electric it is hard to cool off as no fan or AC. So I will take a cold shower. It is my only way of cooling off. If you are old and out of shape work will go slowly. Keep that in mine when no electric is available.

    A universal adapter goes from the big 12 volt battery to whatever you need charged. We have purchased a universal adapter to charge cell phone from car cigarete lighter. Cell phone towers were working before the

    I am somewhat prepared for civil unrest. I have two shotguns. One is American made. I also have a 9 mm Glock pistol with six 31 round magazines. The shotgun has a flashlight and a laser on it. I also have lots of ammo. So if worse comes to worse, I can fight back. I also have three bullet proof vests, one for each of us. When sleeping in the tent, I slept next to the loaded shotgun, and had the Glock pistol at my feet.

    Saturday November 30, I bought 6500 watts 13 hp, generator. It is supposed to be big enough to run an air conditioner. The generator cost 41, 000 pesos about $ 1000 dollars. It is Navigator brand generator made in China. I could not find any known brands, like Honda or Yamaha.

    Friday December 6, started generator at 8 pm shut it off at 1 AM as neighbors complained about noise. The next two nights I shut generator off at 10:30 PM so neighbors could sleep. I moved the generator to the far corner of the yard and made a fiberglass leanto against the wall to keep it dry. The distance away reduces the noise a lot. I normally run it from 5 pm to 10:30 pm. I run the washing machine till about 7 pm and then turn off washing machine and run the AC till 10:30 pm. I use 600 to 1000 pesos of gasoline a day to run generator. Over the four ( 4 ) months without electric that would be about $ 2,700.00. So I would recommend a fuel efficient generator. We used about 2.5 to 5 gallons of gasoline a day. So for a four ( 4 ) month outage would need about eleven ( 11 ) 55 gallon drums of gasoline.

    So that is my story. Hopefully it will give you some ideas on how you can prepare.

    1. Good P.M. Sir Bill,
      Thanks much for your survival tips. nowadays, people talked about the “The Big One” [a magnitude 7 earthquake] that would hit
      Metro Manila. I’m also a Filipino who lives at Malate, City of Manila.
      My home is situated 2 to 3 blocks away from the Manila Bay. We have
      also a threat from “The Manila Trench” in which a 31 foot Tsunami might occur when the Big One hits.
      It really scares the hell out of me but what I can do is just to prepare myself & my family to survive this disaster.

  2. cannot over think it too much, trust in me, that you don’t want any dampness in your dried blend prior to starting vaping

  3. Have some form of electrolytes in your stored foods or medical pack. Try them out ahead of time. I found out the hard way that a tablet electrolyte worsened my GI condition. Now I must try to find something else. High fever, a lot of sweating, or dehydration may occur with no IV solution available.

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