The Survival Pyramid: Helping Families Prepare

In Alabama in April, tornadoes destroyed homes and disrupted lives.

This Survival Pyramid was created by a friend of mine who sells food storage and survival products. Her name is Brenda Nicholson. In November, I flew to Florida to help her sell survival foods at the Tea Party convention. She published this Survival Pyramid and gave me permission to use it in this article.

Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best

There is no way we can know exactly what emergency situations might occur. If you break down the short-term and long-term emergencies and prepare for them in sequence, it will be easier and less overwhelming to put together emergency survival foods and other supplies just in case you encounter a power outage, tornado, hurricane, flooding, civil unrest or any other type of local disaster.

To stay healthy and survive any emergency situation, we must have adequate food and water. Prepare as if you are going on an extended camping trip. Think through the most likely scenarios that you could encounter where you live and prepare for them. My book, Emergency Food Storage And Survival Handbook, goes into great detail on this subject. Go to to get the book.

Survival PyramidThe following is a list of things needed for short-term or long-term situations:

  • Bulk long-term dehydrated food or quick and easy-to-fix meals.
  • An alternative way to cook without power and cooking supplies.
  • Paper and plastic goods, such as: paper plates, plastic cups, garbage bags and silverware.
  • Alternative communication, such as a battery-powered radio.
  • Shelter for protection from the weather such as tents, tarps, Mylar® blankets and other camping equipment.
  • Sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothing.
  • Alternative heating.
  • Emergency lighting.
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies, including toilet paper.
  • Medical supplies.
  • Fuel or wood for cooking outdoors.
  • Fishing and hunting supplies.
  • Cash in small denominations.

Step No. 1

Prepare for immediate disasters from one to three days. That is why the bug-out kit is also called a 72-hour kit. The water should be in a separate container with a handle for easy carrying. Smaller containers for each person would be helpful. It is recommended that everyone in the family have 3 gallons of water per person. (1 gallon per day).

The 72-hour bug-out kit can be put into a backpack. It should be lightweight and be easy to grab and go. It should include the following:

  • Three days’ worth of pantry or easy-to-open-and-eat meals.
  • High-calorie energy bars.
  • All other lightweight supplies for survival.

Step No. 2:

Prepare for short-term disasters for up to three weeks: things such as severe natural disasters, local and regional power outages, and food and water shortages. It should include the following:

  • Clean potable water (21 gallons minimum per person).
  • Bulk supplies of regular pantry food (63 meals). They should be easy to prepare. Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals are recommended.
  • All other survival items listed above.

Step No. 3:

Prepare for intermediate disasters of one to three months. This could include Food shortages, riots, strikes, natural disasters and other emergencies on a massive regional scale. Store the following:

  • 100 gallons of water (minimum) per person.
  • Bulk long-term dehydrated food or (90-180) emergency quick, easy-fix meals.
  • All other survival items listed above.

Step No. 4:

Prepare for long-term emergencies of up to four months, which could include massive natural disasters: financial or economic collapse; and no electrical power, lights, heat, plumbing or food supplies.

You will need the following:

  • Four months to one year supply of food.
  • An alternative long-term water supply or filtration system.
  • Alternative communication, such as Ham radios, scanners and battery-powered radios.
  • Off-the-grid power source, generator or solar power.
  • Alternative cooking and heating with propane or solar.
  • Wood for cooking outdoors.
  • Lanterns with fuel, flashlights, candles and alternative lighting.
  • Sleeping bags, wool blankets, warm winter clothing, wool socks and warm boots.
  • Tents, fishing, hunting and camping equipment.
  • Non-hybrid garden seeds and tools to grow a garden.
  • Extensive medical supplies and emergency medications.
  • Sanitation, medical supplies, non-food items and feminine hygiene supplies.
  • Paper goods, such as: paper plates, plastic cups, garbage bags and plastic silverware.
  • Antibacterial soap and wipes, hand sanitizer and cleaners.
  • Stash of cash.

As we approach the new year, it would be good to have a master preparedness plan. Anything you can do on this list would be helpful. It takes dedication and focus to be a Prepper. My husband and I have been working on it for 25 years. We set new goals every year. We are always planning and working toward the next preparedness project. Just take the first step then move to the next. You will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you are making progress toward having your family prepared.

Emergency Food Storage nand Survival HandbookFood Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage), the American Harvest food dehydrator, water storage tanks, ION water treatment (which provides safe water for five years), dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Food Storage Meals in Mylar Pouches

These products are meals ready to cook, just-add-water type of food. The food can be stored long-term. These foods are quick fix meals. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water, cook for 20 minutes and it is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches and has four servings per pouch. They are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years. To get three sample meals, sealed in Mylar® pouches, that serve 12 people, click here You pay only the shipping of $9.95.

Personal Liberty

Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.

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