Year-Round Preppers: Survival Guides for All Seasons

Year-Round Preppers: Survival Guides for All Seasons

Preppers actively prepare for anything from natural disasters to social and economic unrest. While not everyone prepares for an emergency in the same way, you can put together a survival kit and perform some basic tasks to ensure you and your family are safe when disaster strikes.

Whether it is prepping your home or vehicle, planting a vegetable and herb garden or packing a bug out bag in case you need to evacuate, here’s a guide to the basic survival skills you may need for each season. 


A big snowstorm can knock out your power for days, leaving you stranded at home or elsewhere. Survival skills are more challenging in the winter elements of snow, ice, strong winds and sub-zero temperatures, so conduct an inventory of your emergency supplies before the first snowfall.

Food and Water:Stock up on non-perishable food and bottled water. An outdoor grill, a traditional fireplace or a camp stove are ideal makeshift cooking implements.

Lights: Prepare a backup light kit. Include candles, multiple lighters, oil lamps, fuel, flashlights and batteries.

Crank Radio: A crank radio is essential for listening to weather updates. 

Staying Warm:Stock up on spare blankets, keep the fireplace going or buy a portable generator to power a space heater to heat one room where everyone can gather.   

Car Upkeep & Supplies:Most northern residents know to winterize their vehicles, usually around Thanksgiving — but if you are traveling to a colder climate, consider these steps before taking to the road. Check all your fluids, including the oil, antifreeze and window washer fluid. Replace your wiper blades, and check your battery, brakes and tires, including the spare.

An emergency car kit can include solar blankets, a flashlight, water, cat litter, jumper cables, a snow shovel, a car jack, a tire patch kit, a phone charger, granola bars, lighter, first-aid kit and extra clothes such as gloves, hats and socks. 


Spring brings warmer weather and relief after a harsh winter. But for some parts of the United States, tornadoes and severe storms accompany the April showers, so don’t pack away your emergency kit yet.   

Spring Cleaning: While spring cleaning conjures up images of repainting fence s and cleaning out the garden, preppers know it is time to restock their emergency and first-aid kits.

The bug out bag is the emergency bag you have on hand in case you have to evacuate when a disaster strikes. This bag contains supplies such as jerky, powdered milk, granola bars, water, clothing, basic medical supplies, toiletries, toilet paper, a survival knife and possibly a sleeping bag.  Spring is the perfect time to inventory the bag and throw out expired products, remove clothes the children have outgrown and update the contents. It’s also a good time to check your first-aid kit and replenish medical supplies.

Practice Drills:If you have children, help them practice evacuation drills and memorize whom to contact in an emergency.

Update Personal Information Sheets:Update your personal information sheets and medical information. Laminate the sheets for additional protection. Review your home and vehicle insurance policies.

Renew your CPR and First-aid Certification:Keeping your basic survival skills up to date is essential, so if you’ve forgotten how to dress a wound or need to update your CPR certification, now is the time to do so.

Plant a Survival Garden:Choose easy-to-grow plants like tomatoes and herbs like basil and rosemary. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can grow some vegetables, fruits and herbs vertically or in potted plants. Your survival garden can provide the nourishment you need in an emergency and may even be a bartering tool in a disaster.    

Clean Your EDC Knife:One critical component of any bug out bag is an everyday carry knife. A great field knife has multiple uses, so it’s worth investing in a good quality knife with a full tang. Clean your knife at least once per year. Disassemble it before cleaning and polishing it. Use an inorganic oil when lubricating it to avoid clogging up the mechanisms, and then reassemble it.


Summer is a time for hanging with friends and family at the beach, hiking trails, attending festivals and otherwise enjoying the outdoors. Summer emergencies can strike at any time, though, so how do you prepare? 

Extreme Heat:Heat pushes the body beyond its limits and is the number one weather-related cause of death. To prep for extreme heat, weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in. Check air-conditioning ducts, install temporary window reflectors, keep your curtains drawn or keep your storm windows up. Install ceiling fans to help keep your space cool. Learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.  

Protect Yourself from Bugs:Wasps, mosquitoes, bees, ticks, chiggers and more are active during the summer. To protect yourself from summer bugs, wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves when outside. Remove stagnant water near the house and repair window and door screens. Use bug spray on your body and clothing even when you are in the garden. 

Create a Safe Room:Summer storms and tornados can hit at any time, so make sure everyone in your family knows what to do when one does. Staying away from windows and gathering in a downstairs bathroom until the storm passes can keep everyone safe.


September is national preparedness month and the perfect time to make sure you are prepared not only for the fall but also the coming winter. 

Prep for Winter:This is the season to start preparing everything for winter while the weather is still mild. Check for any air leaks in the windows or doors. Clean the gutters and inspect the furnace.

Know How the Fall Impacts Your Area: Depending on where you live, the autumn months can be fickle. Tornadoes, hurricanes, a nor’easter or even a freak snowstorm can leave you without power or stranded. 

Now is the time to make sure your safe room is fully stocked with perishables and other emergency supplies to last for at least 72 hours to two weeks. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, know your evacuation zone and explore your evacuation route. Don’t forget to research arrangements for your pets because hotels are not obligated to take them, and a designated shelter may only have a few spaces available. Ensure your pet’s medical records are current and your pet is chipped in case you become separated.

Harvest your Garden:Reap the rewards from your survival garden. Can or freeze dry what you can’t use now. 

Prepared During Every Season of Life

Prepping is all about preparing for real-life challenges and not some Hollywood doomsday scenario. Each season presents different weather-related problems — such as flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, excessive heat and blizzards — that can feel like the end of your world if you are not prepared.  

About the Author:

Ross Burgess is the operations manager for When he’s not working, you can find him outdoors hunting, hiking the trails, or researching the latest in tips and trends for survival.

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