1. Why are you preparing?
This is the mental/spiritual asspect of preparing. Things will get tough, I don’t think anyone can make what’s coming easy, just less hard if you are ready.
2. Shelter is critical.
If you are caught in a snow storm in t-shirt and shorts with no shelter or heat you will be dead in a couple of hours. Now that is an extreme example but please take note you will need to stock extra clothing. Some good blankets, tent and sleeping bags can help protect you retain heat and are great multi-taskers. This just a start you can add to this easily if you don’t already have it on hand.
3.Water is critical
I’ve said this before water helps your body do everything. Water is also very heavy so if you decide to go with the big drums for storing water get some smaller carriers if you need to bug out. I like soda/pop 2-3 litter bottles, camp jugs 5 gallons and under for this task Have 14 days worth on hand for a gallon a day for each person. Filters: Almost everyone on survival sites recommend the “Berkey” water filters as being the best and easy to use. A little high in cost for me to afford, but there are some sites on the web for making your own gravity fed water buckets using just the replacement filters. That can save you a lot of money!
Coffee filters and cheesecloth, Start with the clearest water you can get before putting it through a filter. It will make your filter last longer. If you get water from a natural source make sure fish and frogs are alive around it. If everything is dead but Algae it’s probably badly contaminated/fouled and you should look for another spot. Bleach 6% solution is cheap a great sanitizer and cleaner. 1 gallon of bleach could sanitize over 3000 gallons of water. Get your eyedropper and know how much you need to sanitize water. More bleach is not better and can be dangerous. Boiling water, clear water held at a roiling boil will kill the bad bugs/and viruses but will have no effect on chemical/ nuclear contaminators. Harvesting your own water, Rain barrels, tarps and buckets. I love my rain barrels. I have 2, 55 gallon drums that are filled with 1 inch of rain falling on the back half of my house’s roof. I have a smaller than average home at about 1200-1400 sq. ft. I don’t consider this water for cooking or drinking, but for watering plants and the yard and flushing toilets. But, you can also lay out tarps and buckets and as long as the tarp is clean and the buckets are food safe, you could see how a couple of rainstorms can really extend your water supply.
This is a personal issue if you will use violence to protect yourself. But at least make yourself a harder target at home. Alarms, security cameras, burglar bars/wrought iron, motion-detectors/lights all will help. Situational awareness, look how you park and how you drive. Do you get as close as you can to the store or how quickly you could drive away if needed? At a stop light do you get bumper to bumper or leave a car length or two? Could your car jump the curb or does your car ride so low you scrape the undercarriage going over speed bumps and train tracks?
You will need this though I know most of us in the USA have already built in some reserves on our bodies. But when hunger/starvation really sets in all you can think about will be food. I know that beans&rice can seem like feast. But heck we are preparing so I hope not to go through that and we got some time so let’s avoid “food fatigue” grow a garden, and learn to cook and preserve food. Now in my “Start Here” page I give you some basics of long lasting foods that will keep you alive. I happen to like rice and beans though Pintos are not my favorite bean. But it got me out of “Panic mode”. Not a great solution, but I knew I could eat no matter what happened, and gave me time to plan. Now many sites will tell you to get whole grains. I’ll admit they (whole grains) do last a long time. But I stored white unbleached flour which is good for 5 years and I make bread weekly. If the STHF and last’s longer than 5 years I’m guessing I will adapt. I do store whole grains but it’s stored along side my flour not instead of flour. Go look at your produce section at your local mega-mart and look at the price of herbs and spouts. Whatever you buy that is the most expensive pick that for your garden. Or something you like to take it’s place.
6. Insurance Monetary
Fiat currency is dying, I don’t trust paper currency backed by the full faith of the US government. Diversify; hopefully you got 6 months worth of basic staples of all the above. Plus bit more for 1st aid, medicine, heat. You are doing good, now how to protect all you have worked for your future or something for your kids.
PM’s tend to do the best when other investments go to hell. Silver is very cheap compared most PM’s to buy.
I’m not market guru. I’m still learning and this is not investment advice. If you have all of the above taken care of first. You have gotten your basics for 6 months to a year. Don’t get greedy look to survive the first 1-3 months. Then be flexible, I don’t think most folks will be able to buy out of STHF. After 3-6 months you may get food, water or power for gold and silver. I can tell you I won’t be selling my food or water cheap and it won’t be for greenbacks.
Your Choice, be ready or be paying!