Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
The Practical Prepper
If you've followed along with my posts thus far (and you are keeping up, right? ), you probably have:
If you're like us, then one of the first things you've probably done was to put together evacuation kits (aka Bug-Out Bags, or BOBs) with the necessary supplies, in the right quantities, to allow your family to survive for 3 days (72-hours).
That was an easy enough task for us, because the list was relatively short and well-defined. Assembling the BOBs simply required calculating quantities and putting the supplies in appropriate bags. (You can find some more tips on building a basic emergency kit — even an inexpensive one — on my Self-Reliant Info site.)
After the relatively simple BOBs, however, building your preparedness supplies can be confusing and stressful. It can also damage your finances, especially if you give in to panic mode and try to get everything you might need all at once.
So how do you figure out what your priorities should be in executing your preparedness plan?
Well, first, it's important to remember that it's unlikely that you'll ever be "done" prepping. The world is always in motion and your family's needs will continue to change. You can cover the basics, but you'll always need to keep reviewing and adjusting your preparations.
That said, we determined our priorities by focusing on the things that every person needs to survive. This list of needs is typically summarized in the Rule of Threes, along with how long you can typically survive without them. The Rules of Threes means that you could die within:
*Credit to Cody Lundin for this one, in his excellent book When All Hell Breaks Loose
Note that not all of these are literally things to be stocked. For instance, building your composure might involve getting emergency skills training or certification. Similarly preparing to maintain your air could involve getting a smoke mask or fire evacuation hood.
Furthermore, we've found it helpful to think of our prepping plans as cyclical, or perhaps more accurately as an upward spiral. For example, we first addressed each of the above needs on a small scale in our BOBs. That was our "first pass," so to speak. Next time around, we expanded our supplies beyond the BOB for each category, adding both quantity and quality.
Increasing quantity just means that we increase how much of our supplies we keep on hand. For instance, we increase our stored food and water from 3 days' worth to a weeks' worth, then to 2 weeks' worth next time around, and so on.
Improving the quality of our prepping supplies means a couple of things. First, it can refer to increasing the diversity of our provisions. In other words, as we expand our food storage from days to weeks, then to months, we don't just buy the exact same food. Instead, we buy new varieties or flavors, in order to have a more well-rounded diet and avoid appetite fatigue.
Enhancing the quality of your preparedness may also involve adding a new type of supplies or skills. For example, putting in a garden improved our preparedness by giving us another alternative to just our stored food.
Likewise, learning new skills like carpentry or sewing can help defray the costs of your preparedness by enabling you to build or make extra storage or other useful items. In addition, useful skills like these enhance your preparedness in another way because they give you something to trade/barter in times of extended emergency.
Within each "cycle" of preparedness, we make a list of the additional items that we plan to acquire, and rough in an approximate cost for each. That way, we can adjust our budget accordingly and/or save up to purchase new items or supplies.
With the list in place, we generally obtain the supplies in the order specified above. That said, if we encounter a sale or some special deal on food supplies that we need, we will purchase things out of sequence to save money. As we've increased the supplies we have on hand, we've found that it's less critical to buy things strictly in this sequence, mainly because we have the basics covered.
That's our approach to prioritizing our preparations, but there are others. Do you think this would work for you? If not, how do prioritize your prepping?
Make a comment!