Part 6 of this what prepping supplies do I need series will be split up into 2 parts because I got a little long winded. This post will go into inventorying your prepping supplies and budgeting, and the next post will go over the 5 areas of preparedness.
Now that we are done with all the different bags and kits you need we are going to move on to becoming better prepared at home. While all of these kits are important because they will help us get to our home, if we aren’t properly prepared to stay there for an extended period of time we really aren’t prepared at all.
As I said in the beginning of this series it can be tough once you get to this point because by now you have learned a little more about preparedness it seems like there are a hundred different things you need to do, and you’re not quite sure which way to turn next.
We can’t completely forget about preparing at home while you are getting your bags ready. Buying a little extra food when you go shopping and storing a few gallons of water are things you can do that will cost little or no money at all. As a matter of fact, as you are building your bug out bags and car kits you should also be building up your supplies at home.
When you first start out prepping and adding to your supplies it can be a little like walking into your kitchen after thanksgiving dinner and looking at a pile of dishes and wondering where to start. The best thing to do in a situation like this is to get organized. Once you get everything organized you will have a better idea about where to start getting everything together.
Inventory Your Current Supplies
Before you even think about buying flashlights and water filters you need to take a look at what you have already. Most people are actually more prepared than they think they are in the beginning because they don’t realize what they actually have, or don’t know how helpful some of those supplies are. You wouldn’t think that a screwdriver or a box cutter are “prepping” tool, but they absolutely are.
Start by taking an inventory of what you already have. I use the Supply Checks PDF that I created that you can download and print off. You’re not going to be able to write down every single item individually, but you can organize everything to make it easier. Take tools for example, you don’t need to write down every screwdriver and wrench you have, but if you have them in one place it’s easier to figure out what you have.
Some people have their tools very organized and they all have their own home, and some people have tools all over the house. I am in the middle, I have my “good” tools that all have a home, and the extras that I have are stored in an old dresser in the garage. Do whatever works for you, the point is to know what you have, and not just guess.
This goes for all of your supplies, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, kitchenware and sanitation products. Some of these items that will not expire like paper plates and plastic spoons can be put in boxes and stored out of the way for later use.
As you do inventory of your current supplies. Ideas include…
- Extra Batteries – All different types and sizes.
- Light – Flashlights, lanterns and candles.
- Fuel Storage – For stoves, Fireplaces, automobiles, generators etc.
- Fire Starting Supplies – remember, 2 is 1, 1 is none.
- Food Storage – Start with nonperishable food and works your way up.
- Water Storage – Have a minimum of 1 gallon per day, per person.
- Alternative Energy Items – Solar power, generators crank radio & lantern.
- First Aid – Prescription medications, over the counter, first aid kits.
- Personal Hygiene – Bleach, toothpaste, soap disinfectants etc.
- Weapons – Knife, gun, bats, pepper spray
- Household Supplies – paper & plastic products, can openers, T.P. etc.
- Basic Tools – Plyers, hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.
- Miscellaneous Supplies – duct tape, cordage, storage bins, entertainment items, tarp, camping supplies.
Prepping Supply Downloads
Here are a couple of downloads that I use to do inventory and you might find helpful. I find that when I have everything written down I get a better idea about what I wave and what need to be replaced.
Click here to download the Personal Prepping Supplies List PDF
Click here to download the Prepping Supply Checks PDF
Doing Inventory and Budgeting
After you do an inventory of the supplies you currently have, you will have a better idea about what you need. Money can quickly become an issue in the beginning because there are so many things that you need to buy. Spending your money in the right places won’t cut down on how much you have to spend, but it will help to make sure you are putting that money where it needs to go.
Budgeting is probably the most important part of prepping. Unless you know for sure, and I mean 100% sure that something is going to happen in the next few weeks, you need to watch where your money is going. A good preparedness plan includes moving away from the fake money system, so if you are buying everything on credit, you are digging a deeper hole…not filling it in.
If you haven’t watched my Preparedness Myth video series I suggest you do, it will give you some ideas about how to find extra money for preparedness and how to keep track of your spending. I also have a couple of articles that might help with budgeting your money, this one will give you a few ways to reduce your debt, and this one might give you some ideas about how to make a little extra cash every month for prepping supplies.
As I said earlier, forget about the actual disasters you are concerned with at this point, right now you are building the foundation. Right now you are getting more prepared for anything that might happen. In the Preparedness Myth Video Series I call this “just in time learning” To stop getting pulled in every direction we need to focus on the task at hand, and put the other stuff off until later.
I am always finding information and articles that I know I won’t be able to find again when I need them, that’s why I use Evernote to keep track of these articles, and keep them tucked away until the time comes when I need that information. You can do this however you want, you can bookmark the pages, start a word document with all the links or use a tool like Evernote. Just remember, focus on the task at hand and put the other stuff off until later.
Preparing For a Week
With everything you do, make sure you include the 5 areas of preparedness in your plan. Think of this like baking a cake, regardless whether you are baking a 5 tiered wedding cake or a simple birthday cake the main ingredients are the same…eggs, flour and water.
Before we get into the 5 areas of preparedness though I want to cover electricity and fuel. Regardless what disaster situation we face these will be just as important as food and water. All 5 areas of preparedness will involve these in one way or another.
Light has become a huge part of our daily lives. Just over a hundred years ago having light in your home was a convenience. These days we wouldn’t know what to do if we didn’t have electricity. Because of this, and because most disaster scenarios will involve the grid being down, alternative energy should be high on our priority list.
We sometimes take or granted what it would be like if everything was pitch dark, I mean no light at all. Anyone who has been camping knows exactly what I mean. We can be rendered completely helpless if find ourselves in a situation where the power goes out at night and we are fumbling around, hoping we have a flashlight in the junk drawer.
Along with having candles, lanterns, flashlights and head lamps, it’s a good idea to start thinking about hand crank or solar options. You don’t need expensive solar panels at this point, but you do need some items that don’t run on batteries. Solar yard lights and crank flashlights are great as an emergency backup.
Storing fuel does not mean just gasoline, storing fuel for stoves, lanterns (oil, kerosene) and anything that requires fuel is as important as having the item itself. If you have a propane grill and only one propane tank cooking off the grid will be difficult and you might be eating a lot of canned food.
If you have an oil lantern make sure you have extra lantern oil and wicks. If you have a generator or an inverter to connected to your car battery make sure you have extra fuel stored, start out with a couple of 5 gallon jugs and work your way up.
Heating your home will also take fuel, this could be propane for a heater, wood for the fireplace or electricity which would require a generator and gasoline. Whatever you have decided is the best way to heat your home is, you need to have the fuel to do it.
Batteries and solar power can also be considered fuel. Batteries self-discharge at a rate of less than two percent per year. Batteries do have a long shelf life, but still need to be rotated and you need to make sure you have all the batteries necessary for the supplies you have.
Make sure and have a look at the second part of this post about the 5 areas of preparedness, just click the link below.
methane creator says
Organization of items, and lists of everything is always beneficial. I started out with only 3 boxes of stored items. As I acquired more stuff, I bought an additional storage container. Now I periodically pull the boxes down and re-inventory and re-shuffle everything. I like to have the most important items in 2 of the 10 boxes. Sure, I would want to take all of them with me, but if time prevents loading all of them, I know which two I need to be sure and bring. I am sold on Solar lighting, and have very few batteries/flashlights. Even pulling a trailer won’t allow me to haul everything I own. Maybe an Army 5-Ton truck is on my Christmas list……