Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Most Important Preparedness Item

I’ve been a prepper for many years. I was a prepper before they were called “preppers”. Working in preparedness for all those years I’ve learned of one single item that is the most important than any other preparedness item you could get. This item makes every other item worth so much more! That item is… A PLAN!
Without a plan, gear and even skills are less than they can be. For instance, let’s say you want to buy a new water filter. It is all the rage and you have researched it and found the best price. If you had a water plan you would know that you already have 6 different filters that will do what you want them to. You also have a 1000 gallon underground tank that is plumbed into your plumbing so it constantly is being replenished with fresh water and is always full. You don’t really need another filter. But some of those filters are in the back of you hall closet, and you’ve forgotten about them.
A preparation plan will keep you on task and not let you get side-tracked. In that plan should be inventories. This will let you know what you have and what you don’t. Our food storage plan and the inventory that goes with it is work to keep up. But it’s well worth it! With this inventory we know when something is getting low or out of date.
Some think that it’s not important to write down your plan. Seeing it on paper will give you a different perspective. It will save you money and time. You will also be able to look at your preparation quickly to know which area needs attention.
Other reasons for a written plan is goals and a stopping point. Can you ever have too much food? What about ammunition? Can you have too much first aid supplies? It’s like making too much money or your wife being too good looking! It’s just not possible. With a written plan you can set limits and goals to reach those limits. You may find you need to adjust those limits to really meet your families’ needs.
Without a plan it’s more difficult to keep track of things. You can be better organized with a plan and preparedness won’t overwhelm you into doing nothing.
Here is a look at what we plan for.
First Aid/Medical plan
This includes herbs and natural remedies, and over the counter meds. You would be surprised at how many items you use with just wound care. Bandages and tape can be gone through quickly. We thought our first aid supplies were pretty good until we tried to care for a wound for a few months. It will eat up your supplies fast! So we planned accordingly.
Food and water plan
We maintain a year supply of food and a 3 month supply of food that is more perishable. My wife cooks a lot with our food storage. She has even found recipes for crackers and things she makes from scratch. This is healthier, and it saves gobs of money. Part of our food plan is our garden and fruit trees, and livestock. Hunting, fishing, and trapping could be incorporated into this plan. Canning, dehydrating, and freezing is also a part of this plan.
Our water storage and filtration is also in this plan.
Defense plan
This includes a lock system for sheds, storage areas, and gates. It also has our home and vehicle safety and security in it. Personal security is something covered in this plan too. Guns, ammunition, and other lethal and non-lethal weapons are part of this.
Mobility/Bug out plan
This consists of bug out bags and get home bags. But it also incorporates most everything we do. I try to make everything as transportable as possible.
Heat/Light/Cooking plan
We put all this together because they are so similar. We try to put together fire and electricity with this. There is gas, wood, and solar as a consideration here too.
Cooking involves grills, pans, and utensils.
Blankets and clothing are part of the heat plan.
Safety is also important with this plan. If you have stoves, candles, lanterns, lamps, a fireplace, or a woodstove, or anything involving fire remember that fire consumes oxygen. If you must use it indoors make sure you have a source of air coming in too. With fire is always the danger of burning yourself or your shelter. Be safe. Have a fire extinguisher handy. If you don’t have one at least a #10 can of sand or dirt, and one of water.
When it comes to the basics or survival I like redundancy. Have a plan B, C, AND D!
The list above is only a suggestion. You know best the needs of your family. Don’t over analyze everything until it’s so overwhelming that you do nothing. Start small. Instead of writing down a food goal of 2 years supply of long term storage food, start with 2 weeks of what we would normally eat. Then expand that to 3 or 4 weeks. Then start with a few bags of wheat and oats. Then expand slowly learning how to use each item. I would also suggest you store what you eat and eat what you store. Most people aren’t used to raw grain in their diets. Start by grinding wheat for homemade bread. If you start slowly you will find room to store these items, learn to use them, and not break your budget.
It’s important to start today. Access your needs and write down short term and long term goals. When we were first married we used a hall closed for everything. That has expanded to many areas. Also remember that skill trumps gear. Get training, get educated, and learn hands on. When you buy gear go out and use it. You may find it’s junk or it doesn’t work the way you need it to.
Becoming prepared is a mindset. It will become you way of life if you plan and implement your plan.
Semper Paratus
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