You Don't Have to Be a Prepper to be Smart: 5 Ways Everyone Should Be Prepared

You don't need to consider yourself a "prepper" to be ready when things go south.

There are several reasons to be prepared for bad times. It can be the inevitable zombie apocalypse I keep hearing about, or just a prolonged power outage. This list will get you started with some basics for when events take a turn for the worst.

1. Water

This is the one that sets war veterans apart from civilians, in terms of how likely they are to keep extra water at home for emergencies. You need water to live, so stock up now. You can do this in many ways, be it storing up water bottles or picking a filtration system. Both is better, have water bottles to carry and store water. Your filtration setup doesn't have to be extravagant either. You might be able to get away with a life straw.

The CDC rule of thumb is one gallon of water per person per day.

2. Food

You should always keep 30 days worth of food on hand. These can be MREs or canned food. Don't forget baking supplies to work off of your stored canned and freeze dried food. Flour, honey, spices, and salt are good to keep on hand and have a long shelf life. Prep healthy, too; we all have heard that twinkies last forever, but that is not a healthy and sustainable energy source.

The recommended emergency food supply is 2,400 calories per person per day.

3. Heat

Think of a heat source that you can use in the event of a disaster. If you have a fire place or wood-burning stove, great. Now, start chopping and stocking wood. If you are going to rely on propane, have a backup container or two. Blankets and warm clothes are always good to keep handy.

4. First Aid

I mentioned when things go badly. That doesn't always mean a disaster of sorts. Have a first aid kit and know how to use it. Also, general health knowledge helps too. Home remedies for poison ivy, how to properly clean out a cut, and most importantly when to get some one to the hospital and let the pros handle it. Most of you reading this probably have put yourself in a situation where you can't get immediate health care. Some basic healing knowledge might save your life in those situations.

Here is a great guide to medical preparedness.

5. Get in Shape

There is never a bad time to do this. Some preppers have gig-out plans that involve them hiking for miles. Most of these people also train for this, so why don't you start training for the unforeseeable? The overall health benefits day to day are worth it to start with let alone the advantages of being ready for that moment you need it. Even if that moment is the next time you have to drag a buck to the truck.