food, water, medical, communications, power/heat, tools/supplies, comfort, defense, shelter, sanitation, cash/metals/valuables, transport.
trade/barter items, forage/hunting, food preservation, construction, maintenance, gardening, space and container storage.
Power, heat, $2,000 – $20,000
Tools, supplies, hardware $2,000 – $10,000
Comfort, library, education $2,000
Defense $3,000 – $30,000
Shelter items $10,000 – $50,000
Sanitation $1,000 -$10,000
Cash, metals, valuable $10,000 -$100,000
Transport items $2,000
Vehicles – truck, atv, horse or mule, hand cart $10,000 – $50,000
Homestead $50,000 – $200,000
Barn and out buildings $10,000 – $200,000
Working farm 80 acres $100,000 – $500,000
Low – $278,500
High – $1,250,500
This project is really a life long one but the actual implementation will take 10 years to complete. In 5 years, you will have the basics.
12 people are needed once prep operation is fired up in a crisis. This can be built up by an individual but when the crisis hits you need to recruit the proper group. There are too many chores for one person to do. There needs to be rest time and time to heal if injured or sick. Companionship is of the upmost importance. Cohesion of the group points to families undertaking this. Church groups and clubs make good social cohesion groups. Ideally you will have a community of permaculture farms orbiting a permaculture town. This means locating properly before you ever start your project.
The way you can make this work is through community. People in a group such as a religious organization or club can pool resources. You yourself can build this up over years. You can turn your house into a homestead and have a working farm. Create community and lots of this survival attributes occur naturally. You as an individual can cherry pick things to invest in like food and water. To succeed with a full fledge doomstead and working farm takes a life time and is a spiritual undertaking meaning this is where you find meaning. Good Luck
Food is a critical aspect of preparedness. Everyone can benefit from this. If you are an urbanite in a small apartment in a densely populated area you can still do this. Most people can work towards having a deep pantry and a well-stocked freezer. You can add to this several months of long shelf-life food. Learn how to cook like the old days. No food should be wasted. Your animals need to be part of this. Any of my food waste goes to my livestock guardian dogs and chickens. You ideally would work with your neighbors on cooking specialties by trading foods and efforts. Community cooking is a must. If a pig or cow is butchered then a group can do this together and make a celebration of this. All this is what was done in the past that we have lost to this just-in-time on demand culture.
All forms of food cooking and preservation are important. Drying, fermenting, and juicing all have a place. Grilling, slow cooking, soups, fried foods and raw food preparations should be mastered. You should have a stock of charcoal, propane, and electric cookers. Have multiple cooking and preparing machines. Many of these should be non-electric but also electric. Remember not all collapse situations are going to be immediate all-down situations. It may be brown outs and black out that partially correct over time.
I fast during the week. Twice a week I do a 36 hour fast this makes for one full day without food eating into a night going to bed without food. The following day in the morning a meal is then had. I recommend you do this occasional to experience hunger. Most people will be desperate by the third day without adequate food. Keep this in mind because if you are desperate over food, you will not have time to cover the other prep requirements. You will be forced to leave your safe space to go find food. In the beginning of a crisis this is what you will not want to do. There is no substitute to having a good stock of food and water above all else.
Here is a list of what you should have in a well-stocked and prepped household. This list is a maximum so adapt that to the amount of people and storage you may or may not have:
1 year food supply for 10 people
Eggs, dairy, breakfast, meats, protein, entrees, bakery, soups, vegetables, fruits, pastas, grains, beans.
This will amount to 1500 units (cans, meals, and buckets) 75,000 servings, 7,000,000 calories
20 gallons of oil
50 gallons honey
10 lbs. canned butter
A prepped house should have 1 big 1 small refrigerator, 2 freezers. You will need back up power to keep them running from solar and generator.
A deep pantry will have your normal food stuff that is only good for a year or so.
All these stock need to be managed. Pantries and freezers need to go through constant rotation to avoid spoilage and economic downcycling. This downcycling which is also not green would be allowing food to be wasted by being stored and not used.
The advanced food category would be one where hunting and foraging is included. The results need to be processed, preserved and saved. On a working farm with animals, equipment to butcher animals is needed. Gardens and orchards need canning, juicing, fermenting, and drying equipment.
Water is a critical resource. This prep asset will vary greatly on where you live. Urban and desert regions will have to spend more efforts on this. A working farm in a well-watered region will be naturally prepared with water resources. River, lakes, ground water and springs are natural resources that will need to be utilized. This will still likely mean moving water over distance. It will mean purification.
Water containers and purification systems are a must. Rainwater harvesting and cisterns are great infrastructure to build into your homes and farms. Have bottled water for immediate use in a sudden crisis then have equipment to make your water once immediate supplies are exhausted.
Water needs are not just for drinking. Washing and cleaning strategies are needed. Water needs to be reused. So, the basic concepts of brown and black water thought out. Human waste must be carefully removed. This requires lots of water for solid waste. Brown water should be used to flush. Urine waste needs to be multiple additions before flushing. Ideally this waste would be used in the garden. Solid waste can be used in gardening but a much more elaborate treatment is needed. In a crisis situation you may not have the time for this. An outside outhouse is a good strategy if you are in a rural area. In this situation no water is needed. When washing dishes and cloths water can be reused. Shower and bath water can be reused for cleaning cloths.
If you have a working farm additional water strategies are needed for animals. A watering system will not work without power so have a generator and or solar battery system to back these up. Have ponds or access to streams or rivers. Water is going to be a major chore depending on sources. Water is heavy and its placement is fixed. Time and muscle power will be needed. You will also want to consider bug-out water strategies which will include small filtration and containers. You may need to hike or drive distances to get to safety so have water equipment and storage for this.
If you have a well a solar system with batteries can pressurize a pressure tank. A generator can do this also and the generator can charge your solar batteries when sun is minimal. Wells require a great deal of power but for a short time. You can have a solar DC pump in your well system this eliminate an inverter and batteries. You can have wind mills. An important and cheap tool is a torpedo bucket which can be lowered into a well to bring water up by rope. A big pully should be used for this. Backup well pump might be considered.
Berkey water filtration system (6 gallon)
Generators, gas/propane, diesel, solar/battery.
10 individual water filter systems typically used in camping.
Backup pump, well torpedo bucket, DC pump run off solar and or battery
6-55 gallon food grade drums.
Transport strategies for moving water.
Rain harvesting equipment
This is one of the most difficult of prep categories and one of the most important. The amount of equipment, expertise, and experience needed to even provide a small level of care is overwhelming for individuals and small groups. This is why it is so important to do two things. The first is be healthy and safe to begin with. Going into a crisis in poor shape with medical handicaps is avoidable. Eat better and exercise more. Take great care to be safe and avoid needless poor lifestyles that lead to injury. If this is done then going into a crisis a natural health and safe response is achieved. Learn basic first aid for soft tissue injuries. Learn to treat basic medical issues related to sickness. You can do a lot to stem further complications and allow convalesce of less critical ailments and injuries. This is about stabilization until better care can be obtained. Knowing a basic level of medical care is available will greatly boost morale. Morale is one of the most important aspects to survival. Your budget will limit equipment and training. At least get the basics and if possible, identify physicians located near you. You can stabilize soft tissue wounds but major trauma will likely be beyond your abilities.
Trauma kits (field medic)
Infirmary package (bleeding, suturing, infection control)
The ability to effectively communicate with your team and to gather information around you is a key element of short and long term survival. In the event of a crisis normal communications may be down. This includes cell and internet. Having a solid communication plan on where to go, when to go, how to get there and what to expect is key to safe formation of a group at a safe place. In the case of the individual and small group already in place this is key to determining the safety of travel to obtain supplies, get medical help, and prepare security plans.
Communications involves equipment but also plans. Equipment will be discussed below. Plans are a central aspect of group protocol. Have a plan to meet. Laminated cards with phone numbers and emails. Travel plans should have maps with routes. Timelines should be established based upon crisis levels. Have the appropriate radio language and establish special codes for private communications.
Listen only radios for AM/FM and weather. Weather band will have emergency broadcasting information.
Secure person to person radios for local use. This can be shortwave, CB, and walkie-talkie.
Scanners to track first responder channels
Ham radios for long range monitoring
Have a faraday cage to protect electronic equipment from electronic pulse and solar radiation events.
Power, Heat, and Batteries
Power is essential to run systems and force multiple activity. Lights, refrigeration, and electronic devices for communications need power. Heating systems will need power. Solar/wind and fossil fuel generators can supply this power. The grid may or may not be available. It may be that there is grid power part of the day. Batteries will be essential to change up for periods when grid is down. This is also important to store solar/wind when conditions permit. Diesel, gas, and propane storage is a must. If you store diesel and gas, you must realize they will need to be rotated because fuel goes bad. Wood heat is ideal. Have two years’ worth of wood stored up. This works well for seasoning wood too. It generally takes 2 years to properly season wood. Wood and charcoal can be used to cook with too. If you have a robust solar/battery system you can run a mini-split cooling system. You can easily cool a small space. Generally, a whole house AC unit will need too much power so if you can invest in a mini-split inverter technology.
12 300-watt solar panels with inverter and battery. If possible, wire for DC too so if the inverter fails you can still run DC lights. Refrigeration can be run with DC too. There are also propane refrigeration systems.
Gas/propane generator with throw switch. Throw switch allows disconnect from the grid. A diesel generator that is also a welder is a great asset.
300-gal diesel and gas tank. 500-1000-gal propane tank
Wood stove or better wood boiler with water-to-water radiators. This will heat water too.
Electric heaters in case grid is functioning.
Propane heaters as backup.
Tools, Supplies, Hardware
Tools are a must for longer term survival. You will need to make and repair things. You can also trade and barter tools. Get a nice tool box or two. Get hand tools as well as power tools. Have supplies like necessary lubricants, solvents, and paper products. Have a supply of hardware like screws, nails, bolts, and rope. The sky is the limit here. Walk through a Lowes and you will see all the various categories. Save hardware and try to sort it as you do your normal maintenance and repair. Keep your stuff organized for compact storage. Good storage technics allow quick access in crisis. Get a stock of sand bags for building ballistic protection in times of armed conflict.
This is one of my least favorite categories. I am not into guns but they are a necessary prep asset. Guns give preppers a bad rap maybe because many preppers are gun nuts and security freaks. Guns are a necessary asset because they have dual use as a means to obtain food and security. A well defended homestead will have an assault shotgun, handguns, sniper rifle, and assault rifle for each member engaged in a security. Scopes are a must for accuracy. Ammo should not be wasted but occasionally training will need to be performed. Security people may also have body armor, night vision, and gun maintenance gear. These guns need to be properly stored in safes. Lots of ammo is needed. Guns and ammo make great trade and barter items also.
The important aspect of defense is hardening the target so marauding bands of looters. They will move down the road to less protected targets if you have good defenses. Shooter training is a must. The homestead should have defensive positions and outpost for spotting. Sandbags are needed for defensive positions. Speakers at gate should be used to avoid direct contact at least in the initial phase of negotiating with visitors. Dogs are a must. They give early warning and they create a sense of fear in would be stalkers that may want to case your place for theft or attack.
Keep in mind professional law enforcement and military will not be the object of defense here. They will almost always have superior firepower and training. If the security situation deteriorates and they want in to inspect your homestead, you will be wise to allow them in even if they have gone authoritarian and hostile.
Small arms like 22s and small shotguns are needed for hunting. A good defense squad will have spotters, shooters, and gun handlers. These groups will have a routine established so there are always sentries with others having rest time.
To have good sanitation long term you will need to learn how to make soap. Stocking up on all the various products is a must but over time these products will be used up. Be able to clean cloths the old fashion way with washtub and air drying. Hot water is a must for good sanitation. Have ways to boil water with a wood fire. Preventing infection is easier than treating it. Mental wellbeing of your group when they can clean up is essential. These will be small comforts not to neglect.
6 – 5-gallon buckets for laundry, flushing
Bucket toilet seat for improvised out house. This is needed if an influx of people shows up under your care. Your toilet can be flushed with a bucket of water.
360 rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. This also serves a good trade and barter good
Garbage bags 50, 30, 12 gallons
Ziplock bags 100
Nitrile gloves 100
Reusable chemical gloves 6
Hydrogen peroxide 10 lg bottles
Isopropyl alcohol 10 lg bottles
Backing soda 10 gal
Lye to make soap
Soap bars 100
Hand sanitizer 10 gal
Tooth paste 100 tubes
Bleach plain 10 gal (keep in mind bleach degrades over time)
Hand towels cloth
If you are in a fall out zone you should consider:
Gas masks FM50 series
Tyvek suits 100
Rubber gloves 12
Rubber over boots
Duct tape 100 rolls
Black plastic sheets 6
Air filtration system
You should have an idea of a way to seal up a room and keep it filtered. Fall out will be a danger for 12-36 hours depending on the wind patterns. Protective gear will need to be washed. Potassium iodine administered properly.
A proper shelter is essential to long term survival. This can include secondary shelter like barns that can be retrofitted to hold people. If you have a barn, one that is insulated and has wood heat is important. If you can, have good ventilation for hot summers. Have camping gear and a large expedition wall tent for further sheltering. This is also important for bugging out if your homestead becomes unlivable. A bunker is a great idea. A good bunker will have CIF (concrete insulated forms) with drainage so ground water does not infiltrate. There should be a tunnel for escape which is at least 36inches. This bunker can also serve the purpose of a root cellar. A cistern can be added to this arrangement. This serves as a great fallout shelter. The tunnel will allow air to be filtered. Manual filtration devises are easy to build.
Cash, Gold, and Valuables
Having a stash of cash is important in the initial crisis. You will want to be able to buy things and initially in a crisis cash will work. ATMs and banks may not be operating. Gold coins in the small 1/10 oz are the best choice longer term and will work as a currency of exchange. 1 oz gold coins are much more problematic because of the high cost. A 1/10 oz is the equivalent currently of a $200. Silver likewise is good but harder to store because so much more is needed. Have a money belt full of 1/10 oz for bugging out. Other valuables may work too like art and jewelry. Have a home safe to keep some of this but do not keep too much at your place because theft is a big issue. Even if you have a safe you may be forced to open it at gun point. This means having a safe deposit box during times of normality. If a crisis is building then go to the bank and get your valuable out.
Trade and Barter Items
I have a large stock of bourbon with a lessor stock of vodka. This will trade well in a time of crisis if it goes longer term. Ammo will trade well. Much of your food stock and sanitation good swill also trade. Tools, supplies, and hardware will trade well. Firewood and charcoal are more items for trade.
You will want to have a bugout vehicle with gear. If you have a truck you will want to consider fuel tanks for extended range. You will want to have manual transport like a Mormon handcart. This can transport food stuff and water around your homestead. ATVs are essential at least while you have fuel. This is why on farm storage of fuel is so important. Animal transport like a horse or a mule will be worth its weight in gold in a crisis.
Library and Games
A library with many books will help pass the time. It will also serve the function of educating the younger generation if the crisis is longer term. Practical books on how-to, farming, and homesteading are a must. Collect local history books to know how life was in earlier times because you may be forced in to living like our ancestors did. If you have solar you can run DVDs for entertainment.
Working Farm, Homestead, Small Town
I will not elaborate on what is involved with this because a full post would be needed. I have on my blog multiple sources how and what makes for a good working farm. A working farm is essential longer term. Ideally you will have a permaculture farm orbiting a permaculture town. With this set up you will have people who can do many tasks but specialize in a few. With a number of farms, the specialization will cover most items of importance. A local economy is created. A permaculture town would be a place where crafts and specialization are concentrated. Trade and barter places for primitive markets of commerce. Doctors, teachers, and maintenance places would serve as a go to place for the orbiting permaculture farms. Places of worship and community centers would serve the function of community.