Well, I woke up this morning to see that the world didn’t blow up last night. But it is in the same sorry state that it was at 1159hrs. 31 Dec. 2014. Just new numbers on the calendar. But since we use the calendar to plan so much of our lives, I think the first week in January is an opportune time for preppers to evaluate the current state of their preps, and to sit down and seriously plan their prepping strategy for 2015. Here are a few items I think you should consider.
Everyone should have a written prepper plan outlining all aspects of your emergency preparations. Take a look at last year’s plan and see how well you did. Don’t be disappointed if you didn’t reach all of your goals. It is human nature to over-estimate achievables, and often times unforeseen variables, financial or otherwise slow us down. If you made progress in any area, pat yourself on the back. It is better to shoot for the stars and only hit the moon than to shoot for nothing and hit it every time.
Writing things down in a logical order makes it easier to prioritize, plan, and check progress. Some people just write out paper lists, but I use an extensive Excel spreadsheet for mine. I will list the pages (highlighted) and their uses to give you some ideas for whatever system you choose to use. From left to right my pages are: (You can expand the picture to the left by clicking on it)
Vehicle Load Out Estimates ( I have listed the weights of all of my bug out equipment and subtracted it from my vehicle’s load weight. This allows me to know how much more weight I can carry if needed.) Vehicle Analysis ( By experience I know my average mileage off road and have a chart that shows how much additional fuel I will need for various extended bug out locations I have planned on). Equipment On Hand ( This is a series of lists that show my equipment starting with the 72hr kit I keep in my Jeep, my bug out bag and necessities for immediate out the door bug out, a list of additional things to load out if I have one hour’s notice, and a final list of items I would want to take if I had plenty of time to pack out. All of these items have been weighed with the idea of keeping it all within my vehicle’s load out weight limitation. Equipment Needed (These are lists of items I still need to acquire and are broken down into lists for vehicle, expensive items, medical items, and sundries. I check this list frequently and when an item is acquired, it goes to the on hand list and is taken of the needed items list.)
The next page is Medical (This has two inventory lists. One is the items in my main medical bag, with needed items highlighted in red, and the other is a list of items in my IFAK (individual first aid kit) I keep in the Jeep.) Next is Food (I list food by types and quantity, and shelf life expiration. My estimates are based on a 2500 calorie daily diet. They are also listed in rotation order in order to be consumed and replace as the expiration date nears.) Water comes next. ( I list my inventory by type of container i.e. 5gal. can, one gallon jug etc.. and total quantities. I also list dates filled with the idea of swapping out the water every 6 months. Weaponry is the next category with three lists: Basic load out, secondary load out and any additional weapons I would take if I have time to load them. By each weapon is its ammunition inventory with another column for ammo needed highlighted in red. I can do a quick print out of it to carry to the gun show in case I see a bargain.
There are a number of other pages such as Edged Weapons, Important Documents, Bug Out Locations I have scouted, Priorities (physical fitness), and Skills To Be Acquired, but you should have the general idea by now. In addition, I have a hard copy where I printed out each page and have them in a three-ring binder as a back up.
If all of the above seems complicated to you, it really isn’t. It takes a little time to set up, but it then gives me the ability to evaluate any area of my preps at a glance. And hopefully when I go over it on Jan 1, 2016, I will see a lot fewer items in red!
In Part 2, we will continue on with planning and goal setting considerations.
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