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Prepping In A Pinch

August 9, 2012 by  

If you are truly prepared and have nothing else that needs to be done, then this post may not hold much advice for you. However, if you are like most people who could always use a little bit more time and motivation to be better prepared, this information could be exactly what you’re looking for as something you can “set aside” until you need it.

Let’s pretend that as you are reading this the global markets are collapsing, a hurricane is coming your way, or NASA just informed the world that a sunspot is about to shut down the power grid for months (or a combination thereof).

What do you do?

For starters, communicate with your family and make sure you are all together. Second, go to the store, hopefully before everyone else gets there, and purchase what you can from the items listed below. At this point you cannot be too concerned with how much something might cost or how much you have left in savings at the end of your shopping spree. (Depending on the crisis that is developing you may not have a savings that is worth anything by the time it is over anyway.) Finally, while you are at the store, leave someone in charge at the house to start performing the other last minute tasks on this list.

Category 1: Water

□ Purchase drinking water (recommend 1 gallon per day / per person)

□ Don’t forget cooking water (1-2 gallons per day)

□ Fill containers around house for hygiene water (brushing teeth, sponge baths)

□ Consider purchasing a water filter for sourcing surface water

Category 2: Food

□ Purchase ready-to-eat food “essentials”

  • Canned – fruits, vegetables, meats, soups, chili, etc.
  • Dried – cereals, nuts, crackers, jerky, meal bars, etc.
  • Fresh – fruit, bread, vegetables, other room temperature items

□ Purchase ready-to-eat food “wants”

  • Food – candy, cookies, chips, other room temperature items
  • Liquid – soda, alcohol, juice, other room temperature items

□ Consider food sourcing capabilities and prepare accordingly (hunting, fishing, neighbor’s orchard, local farms, etc.)

Category 3: Shelter

□ Weatherize property

  • Bring in outside belongings
  • Prepare property for corresponding event (wind, water, fire)

□ Finish outfitting bug-out-bag (BOB) (See Category Five’s BOB Quick Reference Guide at

□ Set out BEST survival outfit to change into when needed

□ Purchase flashlights, candles, batteries, matches, other sources of light and heat

□ Purchase other survival items (blankets, sleeping bags, camping toilet, firewood, work gloves, propane tank, etc.)

Category 4: Power

□ Get “spare” cash from bank (small bills)

□ Consider purchase of generator

□ Fill gas cans for back up fuel

□ Fill vehicle tanks

□ Purchase 2-way radios

□ Purchase additional guidance (survival books, field medical book)

Category 5: Security

□ Defensive security (firearms, ammunition, mace, tazer, dog, etc.)

□ Purchase medical supplies (Check out for a FREE checklist of recommended medical supplies.)

□ Account for special needs within your family (diabetes, asthma, etc.)

□ Copy important documents (See last month’s post or check out for a FREE Document Checklist)

□ Establish emergency plans with your family

□ Give document copies to external family

Clearly, being “prepared” means that you already have all of these things taken care of BEFORE you need them. Nonetheless, even the most prepared individuals will need reminders and guidance when the world starts falling apart around them. For more FREE information and checklists visit

Austin Fletcher

is the Executive Director of Category Five, a Preparedness Education Network, and is a prepper at heart. After graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in Global Business Management, Austin spent seven years in pastoral ministry while building ministry and business relationships around the globe. During that time he became keenly aware of the coming financial storm that is upon us today, and has been prepping ever since. For this reason, in early 2009, Austin and his team at Category Five began to change the original purpose of the organization to become what it is today. Prepping is not about being an expert in survival or having experience as a former Special Forces soldier; prepping is about building on the strengths of those you prepare with and educating yourself about things you can control. This is the idea behind the Category Five, and the necessity of a Preparedness Education Network.

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  • JimH

    If a sunspot is coming to wipe out the electrical grid use a credit card to buy all your last minute needs.
    When the grid goes down and wipes out the record of the credit card use, you get it all for free.

    • Sandy

      Unfortunately your bank account may also be wiped out. So keep paper copies of you bank statements.

      • Austin Fletcher

        Sandy – Having copies of your bank statements is a great idea. It is actually one of the many documents that we suggest you have available to you at all times in our detailed documents checklist.

    • Cliffystones

      You’re thinking like me. And I also hope that the entirety of bank records is wiped out, including my mortgage!

  • texastwin827

    As anyone who lives on the Gulf Coast will tell you one of the first rules of riding out a hurricane is….fill your bathtubs! The normal bathtub holds over 50 gals of water, which can be used for flushing toliets & personal hygiene and, if sterlized (buy regular (not scented) Clorax) for other uses, such as cooking or drinking.

    Keeping as much non-perishable foods, on hand, is the best advice I can give you… anything that can be eaten, straight out of the can, without cooking or warming. I have been stocking up on the little “fire in a can” type heating, as they are smaller and easier to transport than charcoal or wood.

    I purchased some tall canister type plastic containers (2 qt, 3 qt & 1 gal) from Dollar Tree and have transferred items like rice, dried beans, dry milk, pasta & instant potatoes over into them because they will afford more protection from critters and moisture than the boxes would. While regular tape doesn’t stick well on them, packing tape seems to be doing a better job of holding the “how to prepare directions” on them OR you can use a permanent marker to write on them. Make note of how much equals what you would normally make, if you use these types of containers. As an example, 2 1/2 cups of dried beans (except the smaller Great Northern which is 2 3/4 dry cups) equals a 1 lb pkg of beans.

    The 1 gal size are ideal for storing water that you might have to bug-out with as they could easily be put into a backpack (they are tall & slender). A 5 gal container of water weighs about 42 lbs, whereas a 1 gal container would be easier to split up amongst a family and not weigh down the carrier, especially if some of those carrying it are children. Even a small child could carry the 2 or 3 qt size, in a back pack.

    At Dollar General I found some plastic boxes (to store shoes in) that are ideal, because of their shape, to store small items in such as lighters, matches, bar soap, can openers, measuring cups & spoons, etc. This allows you to just grab the boxes rather than try to go through your house gathering items, to take with you. Both the containers at Dollar Tree and the shoe boxes at Dollar General were $1 each so it’s economical to buy these.

  • FreedomFighter

    As ready as my limited means allows – just wish I had a horse.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • JimH

      FF, Agood sturdy bicycle will transport you. Not good in front of a plow though.

    • Bob

      If things get too bad, you can eat the horse.


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