A Houston Reader New to Prepping Asks for Advice

There are a variety of things I like about running this blog, but the best is helping people out (self-entertainment is a close 2nd). It’s not that I have all the answers (I don’t), but I like to think I can offer something of value. On that note, a new prepper/reader contacted me last week and asked where he should start in his preparedness efforts, stating he felt overwhelmed by it all (common theme).

He briefly described his situation and asked for input. I responded saying I needed more information, specifics to what his needs, desires, and perceived threats are. In the end, my starter suggestion was to 1) stock or secure water, and 2) begin building a food pantry of foods his family already eats, and to continue building that food supply until he reaches a stage where the food he is stocking expires before he can rotate through it. Then it would be time to add more long-term food storage items if he felt the need.

Knowing I don’t have all of the answers, he agreed to (and seemed thankful for) letting me post his non-identifying information and situation here for readers to offer advice. Feel free to offer “Cub6” any advice you have. The area I have the most trouble with is offering advice on when he should bug out, what the signs might be, etc. Every situation would seem different. Maybe you’ll just know when the time comes … ?

– Ranger Man


Hey RM,

I am increasingly aware of the need to start prepping. I’m married with two small kids; live in Houston; and on the municipal water system. There is no natural water source nearby. I see the biggest threats in our location as being the people who will NOT be prepared – predators looking for food, water, fuel or anything. Also, the city itself is far-flung, so transportation / gridlock will likely be an issue. My wife is from a rural area in the next state, and definitely a pioneer-woman. We are welcome to bug-out there on 100 acres with a farm house – about 350 miles away. We can almost get there on one tank of gas.

The bug out location has no elaborate preps but there is an enormous public reservoir with fish in it 100 yards away. It contains the usual guns, fishing tackle, and a practical couple. There are chickens. The relatives are not really preppers but one is a retired Vet.

At home, I am ashamed to say that I have almost no preps in place, except ownership of a .38 Colt revolver and a little dehydrated food. I would like to know, where would be a good place to begin prep work? Stockpile canned food? Get a camping water purifier? And how does one assess the threat – stay at home to ride out an event, or just bug-out at the first sign of…? We actually did bug out during Katrina/Rita, so that was a slight rehearsal.

In any case, I am glad your site addresses a growing concern. Thanks for your input!

– Cub6