There are 3 basic priorities in prepping plans – food, water and shelter. Some people like to throw in fire, or the ability to make fire. But if you throw in fire, you need to crawl out from under your rock from time to time.
Some things should be a given, such as packing medicines, fire, or considerations for special needs people. Its impossible for someone to list all of the considerations people might face. Whether its medicines, flood insurance, homeowners insurance, preps for people with special medical needs,,,,, only the reader is going to be familiar with special plans they need to make.
Items such as first aid kits, flashlights, copies of important papers are a given. Do you really need to be reminded of things you should already know about? Do adults have to be reminded to brush their teeth or take a shower before they go to work? We know we should be doing certain things, so I see no reason to go over the same list everytime the discussion comes up.
Now that the special needs and the given items are behind us, lets talk about priorities in a prepping list.
Identify your personal priority.
Take steps to minimize the impact of the priority during a disaster.
Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. For the people on a city water supply, the search for water might drive them from their homes before the search for food will. Most people keep a few days supply of food on hand. How many people keep any water at all stocked up?
If there is one thing that can spread disease faster then an airborne infectious disease, it has to be a waterborne pathogen.
When the city water supply is shut off, people will go to drinking bottled water. When the bottled water runs out, they will resort to drinking whatever water they can find. Some people might be smart enough to boil the water, some might not take preventions and drink the untreated water.
Unlike years ago when people that private water wells, society today depends on a water supply from a city. If and when the city water supply goes down, a lot of people will be left high and dry.
Due to our dependance on modern water systems, one of the priorities of preppers and survivalist should be to have backup water sources and or supplies. Whether it’s a hand powered water well, water filter, slow sand filter, UV light,,, we need some kind of backup water plan.
My personal opinion, food preps should be divided into at least 3 phases – short term, medium term and long term.
Short term – These are the food preps you should be eating when a disaster strikes. Most of the time this is going to be meat and other perishables from the fridge and freezer.
Medium term – These are likely to be can goods, food stored in mylar bags and #10 cans.
Long term – This is going to be your garden, fruit trees, farm animals, chickens, goats,,, and so on.
One way people stockpiling food make mistakes is by not having a can rotation system in place. A few months ago my wife and I started working on a can rotation system with 2 shelving units and some wire racks. The racks are marketed as being able to hold 12 – 12 ounce soda cans, but they hold 11 – 12 cans of food in the same manner.
You put the cans in the top, they roll towards the back, drop down, then roll out the front. the racks are a quick and easy way to help keep your cans rotated.
One of the issues I am running into is estimating how much food to stockpile for the family members that might need assistance. Between my wife and I (we have a blended family), we have 6 grown children living nearby, and 8 grand kids. How do you prepare food stocks if you do not know how many people will need help.
With food goes the ability to cook. It does not do any good to have a superpail of oats, if you can not boil water.
What good does it do for a member of the group to bring in a deer or wild hog, with no way to cook the meat? Or better yet, have a smoke house at the bug out location to preserve the meat.
During the 2 1/2 weeks my area was without power after Hurricane Rita, my neighbor was using their propane grill to cook with. After about 2 weeks of cooking with propane, they had gone through about half a dozen of those 20 pound propane tanks. Those 20 pound bottles hold a lot of propane, why my neighbors used so many of them I do not know.
A mans home is his castle. One of the most important parts of prepping is making sure you and your family have a place to go, a place to eat and a place to lay your head at night.
During hurricane evacuations, people leave their homes, head out on the highways with no idea of where they are going. If people can not make plans for hurricanes, what are they going to do during a long term survival situation? The grocery stores close, fuel shipments stop,,, people will probably respond the same way they do during other disasters.
Along with shelter comes security. Security means being able to defend / protect your family and property.
Then comes everything else; such as having home owners insurance, flood insurance, wind storm insurance, having a stock of prescription medicines, contact list, phone numbers written down on paper, maps and addresses of friends and family members,,, and so on.
Priorities in your plans
Priorities vary from person to person and family to family.
If you live in a flood prone area, flood insurance might be a priority.
If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, an underground shelter might be a priority.
I used to live next to a man who had a disabled son. While the son slept, the child had to be connected to a breathing machine. If the power went out at night, there was a chance the child would stop breathing and die. The priority for this family was making sure they had a backup propane generator that had an automatic switch to turn on when the power went off.
What are your priorities?