These days, you can buy insurance on pretty much anything, from smartphones to cars to vacations. When you buy insurance, you agree to pay a certain amount of money, whether in the form of a lump sum or as semi-frequent payments, to a company that agrees to give you money should there be damage to whatever you insure.
This is the popular way of ensuring our possessions and even ourselves (think health and life insurance). You hope that you never need to cash in on your insurance, but you're very happy that you have it when you do.
However, many people don't realize that there are a number of other ways you can insure yourself and your possessions besides making payments to an insurance company.
This might sound a bit abstract, so stick with me here.
What if there was another way to insure yourself that was a bit more proactive? Well, you’re in luck - there is!
It’s called being a Prepper.
What is a prepper?
While the pop culture view of Preppers paints a picture of someone who is hiding in a cave paranoid about an impending doomsday event, most Preppers would find this to be highly inaccurate. Although there are certainly people who are concerned with an apocalyptic disaster, many Preppers are more concerned with being able to deal with day to day issues or larger scale natural disasters, power outages, or the like (common sense stuff to most Preppers).
As was just mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to describe all preppers in a single, concise, definition. However, most preppers are just like you and me, who have seen or heard about disasters, like a house fire or earthquake, and have thus taken steps to be more prepared to deal with such a situation, should it happen again.
We might all have different reasons for being Preppers, but fundamentally, all Preppers want to be prepared for something. Generally, Preppers make sure they have the tools, supplies, training, and knowledge to deal with a multitude of situations, but the specifics of these things will vary from person to person.
Prepping as a form of insurance
Think about this - when you're a Prepper, you make sure you have the right tools, supplies, training, and knowledge to deal with a variety of situations.
Instead of giving your money to a company who promises to help you out financially in the aftermath of an emergency or disaster, being a prepper is a more proactive form of insurance. If you buy supplies and tools and invest in your own training and knowledge, you're setting yourself up to better respond to an emergency that affects you, your family, or your friends.
Sure, this doesn't necessarily replace the need to financially insure you or your possessions, but it does help you and your family be better prepared to react appropriately to emergency situations. Plus, while traditional insurance is really only helpful after something happens, being a prepper means you can deal with a situation while it’s happening.
See the advantages here?
How to start prepping
Although prepping is often considered a fringe activity, it's really just about making sure you can handle many of the emergencies that can come your way.
It’s important for everyone to consider what can happen where they live and how they might best be able to address these situations. To start prepping, we recommend considering the following things:
- Your current situation is (i.e. if you have a family, where you live, what your financial life is like, and what possessions you have)
- What kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect you, such as a hurricane, snow storm, earthquake, or more
- What you would need to do to protect or prepare yourself, your family, and your possessions from these potential emergencies.
Once you understand what your assets are and what potential threats they face, you can start to consider what you might need to do to protect your assets (including family). Every Prepper - and every Prepper's strategy - is different. Thus, it's important to figure out what your unique needs are so you can formulate your own action plan.
Now, you can start to think about your next steps, which are to determine what you need to do to create your own ‘prepper insurance plan’.
Becoming a prepper doesn't have to be difficult. You can make things as simple or complex as you like. But, at the end of the day, most preppers will generally have the following things in some capacity:
- Emergency supplies at home
- A solid every day carry kit
- A bug out bag
With these three ‘systems’ you can be prepared to deal with minor day-to-day happenings, large-scale disasters, and short-notice evacuations of your home.
The best part about these three prepper essentials? They’re customizable to best meet your needs. Instead of purchasing a premade bug out bag or emergency supply kit, you can make your own so that you have everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
Plus, many of the things that you include in these kits are multi-purpose by design, so you can also use them for fun activities, like hiking or camping.
That being said, many new preppers might not have a good idea of what these three things are. So, let’s discuss them a bit so you can get an idea of what you might want to have to meet your needs.
Emergency supplies at home
In many instances, we're forced to take shelter in our homes as a major event takes place, like a blizzard or hurricane. Many preppers have a collection of food, water, and supplies at home that can help them survive days, weeks, or more inside their home without outside assistance. This is particularly important for people who live in remote locales or those with large families that may not be as mobile, but everyone ought to have some supplies readily available should they be stuck at home for an extended period of time for any reason.
Every day carry kit
An every day carry (or EDC) kit is exactly what it sounds like. EDC items are carried on your person or vehicle at all times and are useful for dealing with minor issues or big problems. They often contain a variety of tools, such as knives and matches, which are incredibly versatile. You can find plenty of information on what should be in your EDC kit here.
Bug out bag
A bug out bag is a premade kit filled with everything you need to survive at least 72 hours away from home. Generally, bug oug bags have clothing, food, water (or a means to get it), fire starters, first aid kits, and other useful tools. Many preppers have bug out bags in their home or car so that they can grab it and go should they be issued evacuation orders during a natural disaster or similar event. If you’d like to build your own bug out bag, you can find a great how-to article here.
At the end of the day, being a Prepper is about being prepared. Whether you’re prepared to deal with minor cuts and scrapes at a soccer game because of your EDC kit or you’re ready to hunker down at home for four days during a blizzard because you made a great emergency supply store, prepping can be a fantastic form of insurance.
While prepping might not result in a large insurance payout, prepping can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you can reasonably handle what's thrown your way. Instead of waiting for a check after a disaster, you can go into any situation prepared with the right kit, knowledge, and skills to stay reasonably safe and happy given the circumstances.
We all have assets that should be protected, and being proactive and prepared is one of the best ways to insure yourself during an emergency!