This is it. This is the day we’ve all lived for, as well as the day we’ve all dreaded. You’ve been prepping for years, knowing that calamity would eventually hit. Now it’s happened and it’s time to put all your plans, strategies and training to the test. You’ve got to shift from prepping mode to survival mode; and you’ve got to do it quick. The biggest question is, will your survival stockpile be enough?
Actually, that’s not a question; your survival stockpile has to be enough. Whatever you have, you’ve got to make it work. I can pretty much guarantee you that your stockpile won’t be enough… at least in some areas. You’re bound to find that you are short on some types of supplies, while having too much of others. Nevertheless, it’s a come as you are disaster and you’ve got to go with what you have.
Regardless of the disaster you face, there’s one thing you can be sure of; you don’t know how long it’s going to last. Worse, you don’t know how long the recovery period is going to last. In other words, you don’t know how long your family is going to have to live off of your stockpile.
You need to make your stockpile last as long as you can. Never assume that things will be back to normal in X amount of time. You don’t know that. Making that assumption may just help you run out of supplies too fast. If that happens, you’ll end up just as bad off as those other people out there, who didn’t bother to prepare. That’s not what you want.
I want to give you some strategies for making sure that your stockpile lasts as long as possible. These are things I do or am planning on doing, when the time comes. Through them, I expect to see my stockpile see me through.
Keep an Inventory
As you stockpile your supplies, you need to be keeping an inventory of everything you have. This needs to be specific enough that you can tell how long each type of supply will last. In other words, if you have powdered milk on your list, you should have calculated how much powdered milk you’re going to need per week and be able to project how many weeks your supply of powdered milk will last.
You also need to know exactly where everything is stored, so that you can find it. Many preppers use a storage room for their preps, but there are also those who hide everything around the house. If your stocks are hidden, don’t depend upon your memory for where they are. You should also have similar lists for anything you have stored in a remote location.
Your inventory should be updated every time you make a change. If you buy something new, add it. At an absolute minimum, have a page in the front of your book for “pending” items that you’ve bought but aren’t listed correctly in the book.
Rotate Your Stock
It’s been said many times before, but it’s important to say it again; you need to rotate your stock regularly. That will help eliminate the risk of things going bad before they are used. Never take something out of your stock, without replacing it.
Plan Your Menus
Pre-planning menus for use in a survival situation is a great idea. If you create a two or three week menu plan, it can help you to determine how much of each item you need to buy, in order to feed your family. You can use the same information to calculate how long your food stocks will last.
The more accurate you make your menus, the better. Don’t forget that you’ll have to change the way you are cooking, so you’ll probably need to find some new recipes. You’re also probably going to end up with a problem in getting many prepared foods that you are used to buying at the grocery store. So, you’ll have to bake your own bread and a host of other things that are not part of your normal routine.
Planning your menus also helps you with rationing your food supplies. As you create those menus, you should be adding up the calories of each thing you are planning on making, as well as tracking the macronutrients. Your menus need to be developed with the idea of portions which will supply your family with the amount of calories and nutrients they need, without going over.
Here’s the problem you’re going to be facing. In a survival situation, you’re going to be doing more physical activity than normal. That would normally indicate a higher calorie diet. But, at the same time, you’re going to be faced with a limited stockpile of food. So, you’re going to need to ration your food. This means that your family will probably end up losing weight, but they will be able to stay healthy.
When you prepare the meals, only prepare what is needed to provide the right nutrition and calories for each family member. You really don’t want to end up with any leftovers, as you probably won’t have refrigeration to keep them. This may mean you have to do some juggling with quantities on your recipes, in order to ensure that you are making enough, without making too much.
It also means that you’re probably going to end up hearing a lot of complaints from family members about not having enough to eat. Don’t be surprised when this happens. This is survival and your concern is feeding your family the nutrition they need, not necessarily what they want to eat.
Plan on Planting
Everyone’s food stockpile will eventually run out. You want to be ready for that, before it happens. My plan is to be self-sufficient within a year after a disaster strikes. That way, I’m sure of being able to survive well after the food in my stockpile runs out.
The biggest part of becoming self-sufficient in food is a vegetable garden. You’re actually best off if you can start it ahead of time, but even if you don’t, make sure you have a good stock of heirloom seeds on hand, so that you can start planting as soon as practical after the disaster starting. How soon this is will depend upon the part of the country you live in and what time of year the disaster strikes.
In addition to planting a vegetable garden, you may want to consider raising chickens and/or fish for protein. A half a dozen chickens will keep your family in eggs, providing you with a renewable protein source. Raising chicks to a size where they can be butchered is easy, as well as raising tilapia or some other type of fish for food.
Keep it to Yourself
You’ve probably heard this before, but you can’t afford to feed the whole world. If you try, you’ll end up taking food out of your own children’s mouths, to give it to someone else. While it is easy to feel sorry for the people who don’t have anything, it’s not possible to meet all of their needs.
One thing I’ve done is to stockpile a large amount of extra rice and beans. The idea is to have something that I can trade with neighbors, in order to get them working together with me on surviving. I wrote about this in another article, if you want more information about the idea.