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How should the newbie Prioritize?

Preparedness tips fpr , emergency , disaster , hurricane , earthquake, etc..
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:45 pm

I'm hitting a couple of issues. I've been actively prepping for a couple of months now, on a very slim budget, and everywhere I look are things I "need" to get done... My first foray into prepping was my Go-Bag, and that sits at a comfortable 99% completion rate... I've got a fair bit of experience in the military and long-distance hiking, so that wasn't all that difficult... but by the time I got done, I'd had my eyes opened to everything else that needs to be done. I knock out a little bit at a time, but I feel very scattered...

current projects / budget allotments include :

  • My wifes B.O.B - 50% completion
  • (1) 96 hour Kit - 10% completion
  • D-hour checklist - 100% written,]0% practiced
  • B.O.L. research - 25% completion - options selected, nothing scouted. I can't buy land, so this is all very loose anyhow, but i need a place to go.
  • saving for my first ballistic weapon -100% (was going to get it last week, but ran into logistic Driver License Issue.
  • saving for a trailer to facilitate any B.O. plan. - 80%
  • Long term food storage - 01% done (went to the LDS Cannery for my birthday, got a small start)
  • trying to research set up side business to bring in extra $$ - 40% done, who know's how well i'll do once i can start selling things. I like the idea of prioritizing this, because any $$ made will facilitate prepping only.
  • saving $$ for major purchases for my wifes kit - 0% she needs her own gun, a good knife, etc, etc.
  • a myriad of small things - 0% a better compass, a survival reference i don't have for the B.O.B. that i know is the one i want in there, adequate maps for my AO, backup filters for my water purifier, an extra stash of iodine pills, or h20 tabs, another good BFK for me, etc, etc, etc.
  • a "survival staff" - 60% - it was a side project that i thought would be a weekend, now it sits waiting on me to overcome a hurdle about a specific element of it.
  • constant tweaking of other survival / car / kayak kits that i have around the house -- 80% completion (seems i'm always finding something better to replace, upgrade or make better use of the space in these things.
  • Important papers copy / storage - 0% completion
I could probably go on for a bit longer... but all ya'll get the picture. Everywhere I look there's something else to be done, and I'm not terribly far along on an overall level. there's a thread around here that suggests "lists of lists", and while I'm going start this here in a couple of minutes, that seems more to organize the lists of what I need to do, but not necessarily how to prioritize the budget allotments, time investments, and manpower.

so my questions to you, are ....
  1. How do you choose what to focus on?
  2. how do you assign priorities?
  3. when a 'need/want' comes up, and it's a $20 thing you can go out and get, but that's a brand new need/want; whereas you were planning on putting that $20 to an old need want, what do you do, and what is your reasoning....

You guys get the picture... I'd love to hear how ya'll do it. I bet there's some neat logic out there.

Thanks everyone,


PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:53 pm
I would focus on at least 6 months supply of food and a good water supply first. Food water and meds was our first priority and then guns and ammo when we were first starting out.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:09 pm
yep........food and water should be one of the very first things to git started on.......at a bare minimum i would say at least 2-4 weeks worth to start. then each trip to the store include a few cans of this, a couple of bottles of that and in no time you'll be surprised at how much stuff you have just accumulated....then ya gotta figure out where to put it all :D i dont put much emphasis on weapons other than a good shotty and some diffrent types of rounds for it will be just fine to start out with.......more than likely yer gonna be in a close encounter-type situation and 00 buck usually settles things fast :shock: like you said...want-need......i WANT a .50 cal. Barrett but i NEED an all-purpose SHTF weapon..........i WANT a 20 year supply of food but i NEED a years supply of food......on and on :pop: time is of an essence PRIORITIZE for the safety of yerself and family or group :welcome:
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So much stupid on one little planet.. sigh.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:47 pm
Prioritizing your budget is one of the most difficult aspects of prepping, IMO. I started out freaking on guns, bought lots of guns and lots of bullets...not so much thinking on repair parts, either. Now I have some better sense. If I'd spent the money on food, medical, etc, I would be overall better prepared than I am ATM. I have a reasonably well stocked medical kit, but it's still lacking antibiotics, suture kits and some other stuff. I am doing well with food, I mostly shop as I go, with the occasional prep run.

For example, today it was:
25 lb sugar
2 packs toilet paper
4 large cans crushed tomatoes
2 cans chicken
1 foil pack sardines
1 lb instant yeast
6 trapping snares
2 jars peanut butter
1 can lysol
1 can barkeeper's friend(excellent all purpose cleaner...try it you'll love it)
1 bottle of liquid barkeeper's friend(dunno if it's any good, thought I would try it)
1 pack of magic eraser sponges.
1 gallon bleach

I bought other things, too, but all these are things I keep stocked. Some of this I bought to replace stock used, and that's the most important thing when it comes to balancing your preps. Once you decide what, and how much, to stock, you have to pay attention to what you use. If you decide to keep 24 cans of whole corn in your pantry, note each time you used one...and replace it ASAP.

As far as a year's supply of food, be careful. It's very easy to buy a bunch of stuff that you don't need/won't use. You will also find there are nutritious, affordable things you can buy that you might not eat normally(oats, for example). Learn to cook whatever you decide to prep in a way that's enjoyable...the last thing you want is to eat stuff that tastes like dirt, when everything else is falling apart too.

If you can obtain potable water locally(I have springs), then you've got it covered. I also have a rainwater collection system in place, plus a well that I could hook a hand pump to if necessary.

There are a million things that might cross your mind to buy, but the key is taking little steps. If you need a gun for defense, get a shotgun first. Pistols are tempting because they are concealable, but it takes a lot of practice to become proficient with one. If you plan to hunt for food, you might look for a .22 caliber rifle, but get started hunting before SHTF, because it's not always as easy as one might think. A .22 LR, with a well placed shot, is capable of dropping a whitetail deer.
Go to chinamart, get a decent first aid kit. Stay out of the camping section, the ones there have the same contents as the ones next to the pharmacy, with a higher price. There are lots of other things you'll need for medical, but if you have nothing, get that tomorrow. That will get you through one or two injuries. I'd suggest one for each vehicle, one for the home and one for each BOB. I've added additional gauze pads, tape, and other things to mine, and the ones in BOBs get removed from the plastic boxes and placed in vac-seal bags, to save weight and space.

There's a whole section of this forum dedicated to the medical stuff, and I'm a poor source for information on that subject. I did manage to successfully treat a cut that probably would have required 8 or 10 stitches at home, it's healing, another couple weeks and the skin will be closed.

Anyhow, this got a bit long, but hopefully it'll give you some ideas.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:53 pm
Yep focus on food and water storage. With an ever increasing food prices the more you purchase now you will save down the road. Just remember only buy things you know you and your family will eat. So buying 50 cans of sardines might work for you, for a few weeks or so but might not work for other family members. Also remember when it comes to kids even in a shtf moment
food is still important and eating the same things over and over they would rather pass on meals down the road. Learning what dry goods store the longest and canned foods hold the longest shelf life is a good idea also. We all know canned goods can go well past there sell by date or best used by date because it's sealed properly. It loses nutrients and taste over time. Learning how to store your own dry goods such as beans rice noodles pasta powdered milk and so on will save you money in the long run than going to an LDS cannery. They will have some items that are still good to buy that you might otherwise not be able to seal yourself but IMHO I say try to learn and store your own dry goods as much as you can.

As far as the need and want, make you a list starting with high priority items first, food,water,firstaid,protection
Use what you think you and your family need first for survival situation. Just have to stick to your list if you see a need/want item add it to the bottom of the list to get at a later time. Just keep telling yourself what's important.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:10 pm
yep, food first, but i would caution against just buying a couple hundred pounds each of wheat, beans, rice, etc and calling it good. instead, focus short term food stocks (3-6 months) on what you already eat. the simple method for those on a budget is to do your normal shopping but add extra of what you already eat (shelf stable items only) and putting the extra back for hard times. as an example, if you buy 6 cans of a soup you like, get 4 more to put back. if you get a good deal on can corn buy an extra case to put back. put these items in a location where you can get to them and they will be protected, but not where you put food normally. the reason is to discourage you from eating your prep supplies out of laziness while allowing you access to rotate stock as necessary.

the reason for buying this sort of food is familiarity. crisis are stressful. trying to completely change your diet is also stressful. during a crisis is the last time you want to add to your stress level. instead, you'll be able to get through the first few months eating what you like while you learn to use the longer term preparedness foods.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:35 pm
Prepping is mainly about food and water, then a plan and then the cool bags and stuff.
Make a plan...what if (fill in with emergency of your choice) and then go from there.
Will you be staying at home? If so, how long? do you have food, water, heat and light?
Will you be bugging out? Is, where to? do you have food, water, heat and light?

If you bug out, you need to have supplies so you don't drain the people you will stay with OR so that you can survive when you get there. It all begins with Food and Water.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:38 pm
In my weak old mind, a way to procure and process water is more important than food. Water storage can be terrific and should be very inexpensive but a way to what ever water might be available is a more important single item than any other one item.

A decent water filter like the one from Monolithic - under $30.00 if I remember correctly is a one time purchase with infinite storage life and absolute minimal storage space required.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:09 pm
You are asking very important questions and ones that really only you can answer. We all start out new and have to make those same decisions.
You will find many saying food and water first, which for them is a good decision. I took another course. I first put together the Bob’s because I figured if I could not get through the first 72 hours, then longer term did not matter. In those bobs, I had a pan to boil water in and some bleach so I could purify water to drink. Food and water are very important, but when I had a few days worth my next priority went to personal protection, guns and ammo because that is what I saw as next major item to take care of. If you have all the supplies in the world, but can’t protect them, your families, or your own life… well all the supplies in the world will not help you.
If you are bugging in, then your BOV is low priority, if you are not, the BOV becomes a higher priority and also sets the amount of food and supplies you need early on. If you can’t pack and carry it and you are bugging out, well tons of supplies don’t help. You would get what you can take in your BOV not spends lots on tons of food and water, just have what you can carry in the BOV.
You get those taken care of, then you can start expanding out and getting more supplies, fancier gear, etc.
The priority all depends on your plans, your decisions to bug in or bug out, your and families (if you have one) capabilities, your terrain, travel plans (or not), weather, etc. Only you really can decide what is best and what to do. I find most people are pretty smart and if you give them the problem and a method to think about it, they usually make the right decisions if they are preppers.
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“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:35 pm
I would suggest going with the BoB to the Food & Water approach WHILE getting that side business up and running. More income will facilitate everything. What Wulfin says is good. I started really slowly it took me several years to convince my wife on "camping stuff", but now she is getting more and more on board. I had my "Camping" gear staged year round and my wife would ask why my bag was always packed, why I always had a duffle bag filled with camp food, and why I always buy camping gear in the winter. There is a long list of questions I could post but you get the idea.

Get you vehicle ready if your leaving. If it wont make it 300 miles on the freeway your toast in a non-SHTF situation so get it rady now. Have your BoB's ready and a location that your going to. Don't leave the relative security of your home without a plan. Otherwise you unduly put your family at risk. I see your in central TX. Look for other preppers near you for the ease of finding a location to bug out to. Plan at least 3 routes to your BoL 2 non-Interstate/Major highway.

Get that business up and running to facilitate a lot of things! It will solve a lot of your questions with the answer that we all could use some more of. BUT make sure that you have a spreadsheet or at least a list of stuff in the order of importance. Like CFI said go for 2-3 weeks of food/water, THEN start adding to your stores.


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