If you hadn’t noticed, prepping can cost a lot of money. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife. The cost is so much that some people get discouraged and stop prepping altogether. This isn’t necessarily the best course of action. I’d like to introduce you to the 80/20 rule.
There seems to be a recurring pattern in nature roughly divided around 80/20. 20% of people do 80% of the work at your job. 20% of rich people own 80% of the world’s wealth. 20% of foods carry 80% of the nutrients that we need to survive. You get the point. The pattern is everywhere. It stands to reason, and I think it’s entirely plausible, that we can prepare for 80% of disaster situations at 20% of the cost of being “EOTWAWKI” prepared.
For instance, being prepared for a hurricane, a loss of power that lasts several weeks, a giant flood, or a tornado that ravages your city is far, far easier than being prepared for an all-out zombie apocalypse. Here are a few milestones to help you with planning, and if you follow them you can be prepared for most smaller emergencies more quickly and cheaper, while ultimately moving towards being prepped for the emergency.
1) The “Get Home” bag. Priority number one in any emergency situation is to get safely home. More than likely you will at least have some food at your home, and maybe a weapon or two. This is a gigantic advantage in a survival situation. Your first task as a prepper should therefore be to create a “get home bag” that will help you get from work to the house. I wrote an article earlier about What Should Be In Your Get Home Bag.
2) One week’s provisions. Since you’ve made it to the house, you next task is to develop enough provisions for your entire immediate family to stay put and bug in for a week. I know most people will recommend at least 90 days, but again, my goal here is to help you survive 80% of emergencies. In most cases, the good guys will be around within a week. Even during the terrible ordeal that was Hurricane Katrina, the flooding began on August 29 and everybody was finally evacuated from the Superdome on September 4th, and that was generally considered to be one of the worst, most ridiculously slow disaster responses in history.
In order to calculate the food and water needs for your family for a week, you should be planning at least 1500 calories per person per day, and one gallon of water per person per day. It might be slightly more than you need, but at least you will be prepared.
3) Bug out bag. If your situation lasts longer than a week and your current location is untenable, it might be time to think about bugging out to a better location. Therefore, your third prepper milestone is to have a fully prepared bug out bag. I might write an article later on what should go in a bug out bag, but I’m sure if you google it you will find some excellent information in the forums.
If you do those bare minimums, with the possible addition of some firearms and ammunition stockpiling, you will be prepared for the vast majority of minor emergencies. That’s the goal of this post, to let everyone know that even if they can’t afford a bunker they can still be prepared for most emergencies.