Backpacker preparing for a trip. If you are preparing for the worst, you probably already have plans and schedules for every aspect of your survival. Stacks upon stacks of food and water are common for you, and you’ve got plenty of emergency supplies to boot. You may have done a lot of your prepper work yourself, but you have also likely had help. If this is true, who has helped you? Maybe it was your extended family member; a brother or sister, maybe even a parent or aunt or uncle. Perhaps it was a long time friend of yours, who supported your decision to prepare. Or maybe, the person who helped you out was your neighbor across the street.

Sure, getting help is great, but you may not realize that receiving too much assistance is a potentially dangerous game. Although you may trust the folks that live near you, are you entirely certain you can depend on them when SHTF? Are all people the same? Are all people basically good? Is everyone willing to pull their own weight? Is everyone honest? These are questions one has to be aware of when they are prepping. In a social situation, you might want to be a little careful about what you say. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, especially when preparedness essentials are involved. You have built up your storage for you and your family, and that’s it. The unprepared others down the street (usually) do not get to piggyback off of your hard work.

Remember, geographical location is hardly the only thing that proves that someone is your “neighbor”. It’s advised to only let one or two close friends know about your preps. Folks you trust and know should be the only people who know of all of your storage. This way, they can help you in your time of need, but they don’t need to depend on you in emergency times. Sure, assisting them every now and then is fine, but they won’t need to be asking for handouts. A lot of preppers overestimate disaster, but no one knows your prepper plans more than you.

We’ve been talking a lot about why you shouldn’t look for help (or minimize your seeking, at least). Now, let’s look at some pros to being vocal about prepping in your community. Firstly, it’s often a good idea to be honest about yourself to others, and doing so will convey a feeling of authenticity. Creating a prepper atmosphere that has a sense of community has many, many positives. Imagine a scenario where a circle of like-minded preppers help each other out all the time. When the power goes out, you can rely on your neighbors to support you and one another. Taking time to explain why you are a prepper, and communicating with others why you feel the need to prepare, is important. Storing vast amounts of food, water, and firearms, may honestly weird others out, and it’s also important to understand that. Make sure you explain your prepping aspirations and hobbies earnestly. This will create a good relationship between you and the others you live around, and maybe even encourage them to assist you. Remember, that no matter where you live, you are a member of a community. Be kind and courteous and help others too, while you’re at it. Tried and true unwritten rules of common decency will kick in, and you will eventually see returns.

Even though it may seem difficult to trust others, especially when it comes to things that are super important with you, it may prove more valuable than you think. It is optimal to find a balance between outside help, and relying on your own abilities. Make sure you find a system that works for you, and your family. You can check this question off of your long list of prepper worries, and feel comfortable and confident in your decisions.

A compass with marked degrees and a north heading on a paper mapIf you’re a prepping noobie, you might not know where to begin. You may be passionate about preparing for a dire situation, but you may be confused about where all these emergency essentials fit into your budget. Most folks live paycheck to paycheck, and it may sound difficult and stressful to even make space for all of these things. The first thing you should do is to make a checklist of your circumstances. Are you in a house or an apartment? Do you have storage space available, or is space a concern? Do you have emergency-compatible supplies already? What kind? Canned food? Water bottles? Firearms? How much do you need?

Well, you’ll want to start small, and with simple things. The common way most new preppers want to start out, is absolutely everything at once. This is to be resisted. When you get all of your supplies at once, you’re probably going end up spending more than you are comfortable with. When you shop, toss in an extra can or two of beans, or extra package of 24 count water bottles. If you do this for a few months, you might be surprised how quickly it adds up. Once you have a good hold on these necessities, you can begin to expand into other areas like tools, fuel, energy technology, and firearms.

Some preppers will tell you that you always want to be able to protect your stored goods. This is not without good intentions, but, you may want to accumulate something worth protecting first. A good rule of thumb is to be storing supplies for around six months before heavily investing into firearms and ammunition.

There are many ways you can save money on emergency essentials. Keep an eye ontwo LED flashlights on a black background your local army/navy store, and look out for sales and discounts. Check out garage sales and flea markets for “camping” supplies, and stock up on things that could seem useful. Water filters are usually a good start to collecting prepping supplies. Remember to date your canned goods, and rotate them when they go bad. Make sure you always have “x” amount of canned food and water. But, above all else, you should have a plan, and your purchases should reflect and funnel into that plan.

Work on putting together a Bug-Out-Bag, with enough supplies to sustain you for 72 hours. The supplies within these bags should be of high quality. Work up to these higher quality emergency essentials slowly, just like with your food and water storage. Set many small goals, and take baby steps. Save 50, 20, or even 10 dollars aside from each paycheck you receive. Put this money towards a steady and simple acquisition of emergency goods. Every time you add something to your prepper storage, document it. Keep a journal with all of your prep purchases, so you can look back and have a detailed list of all of your supplies.