Over at American Thinker, Michael Devon asks the question: “Is It Time To Start Prepping?”
As the title to this post suggests, preparing for disaster is always relevant. For many people — people with any kind of brain, that is — this would not be a time to start prepping as much as it would be a time to take stock of one’s preparations, and either add to such, refine what you need, or address any shortcomings thereof. Devon’s list is interesting:
Water sources and water filtration. You will need a minimum of 2 gallons of drinking water per soul per day — For how long, is the question. I would suggest that 2-3 weeks’ supply is pretty much all the water one can store easily (unless you have substantial property like a farm), or carry in a car. For longer than that, filtration becomes more appropriate. How good is your filtration system?
Shelter. This should be located 1–2 hours’ travel time outside urban and suburban metros — Forget it. In my case, it ain’t gonna happen. If the S genuinely does hit the F, I will either shelter in place, or drive 15 minutes to Doc Russia’s little festung (we’ve discussed it, often, and I know exactly what I’ll need to bring so as not to be a burden on him but a benefit (added security, an extra gun or two for guard duty, and shall we say “an aggressive mindset” towards protection of mine and his).
Non-perishable food. You will need 2,000 calories per soul per day with a healthy ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. — I have about two months’ supply for me and New Wife, maybe a month longer if we ration ourselves severely. After that, it’ll be time to go shopping with an AK. Of course, there are all the dried food packs (e.g. Mountain and MREs), but that’s your call: I’ve never found any of them palatable. I’d rather just have dozens of different energy bars as the last resort.
Prescription medications. Talk to your doctor and somehow finagle a three-year supply of all your non-perishable meds. Perishable meds are a more difficult issue to resolve. — Only one of my meds is perishable (glaucoma drops, which I keep in the fridge). I have about two months’ worth of my meds (New Wife has less, need to do something about that), which I can likewise extend to maybe three by skipping every third day. With sufficient warning (a day or two) Doc can write me all the Rx I need if I think I’ll need longer. Also worth considering: “general purpose” antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciproflaxin.
Personal hygiene supplies. — Covered. Three months’ worth (at least) of soap, toilet paper, wipes, toothpaste, and so on.
Ten like-minded adults willing to work hard together and to defend the shelter and its souls. — Nope, not interested in that big a group. There’d be four of us, although I’d really like it — as would Doc — if the Son&Heir could join us, suitably provisioned of course (that Eagle Scout thing, plus a deadly aim when it comes to boomsticks).
2A hardware. Never come up empty. — I believe we have that part covered.
(I have some too, if necessary. Also a few extra rounds of ammo.)
Comms. Have multiple backup and power for all comm devices. — Ugh. I need to get a couple decent Garmin walkie-talkies. Batteries, I have about a six-month supply.
Electrical systems and chargers. Solar-powered, and multiple redundancy is essential. — I need to check that my solar stuff is still in working condition. Also my car’s power inverter.
Barter stuff. Booze, tobacco products, OTC meds, instant coffee, batteries, Bic lighters. Barter food. — Good point. Note to self: empty out liquor cabinet if decamping. (The gin and single malt alone would get me whatever I want, for about six months.) Passing thought: I don’t smoke, nor do any of the folks in our little SHTF party. Worth considering getting a carton or two of Marlboros as trade goods? [/post-WWII Germany]
Metal tools. Axes, knives, saws, etc. — Covered. My SHTF bins have enough not only for me, but for Doc as well, if he needs any.
Home Depot stuff. Lumber, screws, nails, tarps, rope, duct tape, glue, gloves, concrete, etc. — Concrete? LOL. But I might need stuff like 2x4s and plywood (note: talk to Doc). All the other stuff I have in plenty.
Replacements: clothes, shoes, boots, socks, undergarments, jackets, and hats. — Covered. Included are things like serious rainwear, gloves (work and warmth), cold-weather gear and so on.
Shiny metals. — Errrr whut? I have a couple steel mirrors for signaling, but that’s about it.
Transport. Trucks, motorcycles, fuel, and spare parts. — Just enough to get me to Doc’s, but I always keep at least a half-tank of gas in the car. Doc has more at his place.
My additions and suggestions:
First aid: antibacterial stuff (ointments, disinfectants), bandages and so on. You can go nuts with preparing a list of this stuff, so I tend to go with a simple checklist of what I’ve needed to have handy over the past ten years, and adding things like coagulants and such for more serious wounds. Rule of thumb: whatever you think you’d need for OTC meds, double that number.
Cooking: some kind of camp stove or grill with an adequate fuel supply, plus metal pots and pans (like Lodge) that won’t break. Also cooking oil because butter is perishable.
Extra sugar, salt/pepper and spices. Great barter goods if nothing else. Also rice, cornmeal, pasta, cereals and similar starches.
Canned food of stuff you like to eat. Don’t bother with the junk like asparagus, cream corn and pumpkin which make you barf just at the thought; go heavy on your favorites e.g. in my case, corned beef hash, chicken and tuna. Also: evaporated milk and condensed milk.
Biltong (not jerky). Two lbs of biltong, if properly rationed out, can keep you alive for a month all by itself. (You are already making it, using Kim’s Sooper-Seekrit Recipe, aren’t you?)
Feel free to add or substitute as you wish.