Preppers are the type who like to be prepared for anything for the long term. They don’t just look at the short term goal of surviving on their own for a couple of days while the government and emergency services mobilize to send help. Anybody who is doing that may be waiting for a long while. When you are thinking long term, you will need a lot of supplies, not a single box of matches or a single bottle of water purification tablets. You need a lot, which is why buying in bulk makes so much sense.
Buying in bulk is typically more cost effective. You can buy prepping supplies by the case load and get a significant discount. Things like hand warmers, emergency blankets and water purification supplies are just some of the things you will need a lot of. Buying individually can get expensive in the long run. You will pay anywhere from one to three dollars for a single blanket. However, when you buy in bulk, you can often get that price to under a dollar.
While many preppers will say they can’t afford to spend $50 on a case of hand warmers, when you break down the price for each pack, you are going to spend nearly twice as much if you buy a pack here and there. It makes good sense to save up and make those bulk purchases. It will ultimately save you money and you will have more supplies to put on your shelves. You can always use the extra you have to trade for other things you do need.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take advantage of clearance prices and sales on the individual packs. Always be on the lookout and do your best to catch sales. Adding a little at a time to your emergency storage is okay, but if you find an opportunity to buy in bulk—go for it!
It never hurts to recheck what you have stockpiled in your emergency food storage. If you are new to prepping, you may be trying to figure out what you should be stocking up on. It can all be a little overwhelming. Do you stick with a lot of canned food or do you invest in lots of dried foods? There is no right or wrong answer. Every family will eat differently. The key is to stock up on food that your family eats today. Don’t waste your money buying a bunch of food that your family would turn their nose up at should you put it on the table for dinner tonight.
Survival mode in a chaotic situation is not the time to experiment with the tastebuds of your family. They need the food they know and love. They need their comfort foods to help make them feel at ease and even a little normal. Look at your pantry and start making notes. When you go grocery shopping, look at the stuff in your cart. THAT is what you are going to put on your shelf.
The following list includes some of the things you should add to your stockpile. These are items that are inexpensive and can store for very long periods of time, decades even. They are rather generic and can be used to thicken up soups, stews or even make casseroles. You can certainly get your family to eat that.
Beans—pinto, white, black
Oats—great for thickening up soup
Freeze-dried dairy products—butter, cheese, milk; this is the only way to store these items long term
Variety of spices and seasonings, a little salt goes a very long way to making a bland dish edible
Pasta noodles—go for a variety and not just spaghetti
Wheat—only store this if you know how and are willing to grind it up to make flour
Canned fruits and veggies
Canned meat—Spam will be very popular, don’t forget tuna, chicken breast and sardines
Dried fruit and veggies
This is a basic list. Don’t store a bunch of canned food and ignore the dry stuff. Canned food is typically high in sodium and there is that certain mush quality that will get old very quick. Freeze dried foods are a little more expensive, but they give you a lot more options.
If you have plans to keep your dog after SHTF, that is great. Many preppers are planning on keeping their pets with them for a number of reasons. Your dog is probably like a family member and you wouldn’t leave one of them behind. Dogs can offer safety, security and comfort in a time when things are so chaotic. If you have children, they will appreciate having that extra bit of comfort.
With that said, you need to spend some time training your dog. A barking, disobedient dog that runs off every chance he gets isn’t going to do you a lot of good in a survival situation. You need a dog that will help you and not hinder your survival. The following things are important to teach your dog today so that he is ready to be a contributing member of your family. Some preppers teach their dogs some pretty cool tricks, which you may want to do as well.
How to be quiet, no barking
How to fetch
How to hunt
How to protect/attack on command
How to search or find somebody
Your dog may be capable of doing much more, but these are the basics. Ideally, you would want to get a young dog that you can train. Some breeds make excellent guard dogs, while others make excellent hunters. Mixed breeds shouldn’t be ignored. They are often just as smart and just as trainable. Work with a professional trainer if you are unsure about your training abilities.
There is no time like the present to start training your dog to be a survival dog.
Water is life. Plain and simple. Humans need water to live. An average person can live three days without water. However, after the first day or even the first 12 hours without water, things are going to get very rough. Nobody wants to experience the consequences of dehydration, especially when in order to survive you are going to have to have physical as well as mental strength to get through.
You have to do what you can to store enough water to last you a minimum of three days. That is one gallon of water per person in your family per day. Storing water is a problem because it is so darn heavy and takes up a lot of room. You need options.
Here are a few ways you can store water around your home to use in case of emergency.
1-Rain barrels. Set the things up outside so they can catch the rain water off of your home’s roof. Once the barrels are full, use a hand truck to put them inside a shed or against a side of the house that gets lots of shade. 50 gallons of water will last you several days.
2-Bottle your own water in old juice bottles, pop bottles or even iced tea bottles. Don’t use plastic milk jugs. Store the jugs in your root cellar, pantry or even under your bed. Storing the bottles outside may not be a good idea if you live in an area prone to extreme temperatures.
3-Invest a few hundred dollars in a large 250-gallon cistern. This can be placed in the corner of your yard and filled up with the hose or set up a rain catchment system. You can buy bigger cisterns if you have the funds and the room.
4-Stackable water containers are perfect for setting against a wall in the basement or even in the back of your pantry. You can save space by stacking up and against the wall and save your shelf space for your food. The portable containers are easy to carry to a watering hole to refill.
Don’t assume you will find water after SHTF. Do what you can to store water today so you do not have to worry about water those first few days following a disaster.