Just another fan of your blog and videos here. I really appreciate your reasonable and realistic take on things.
In my current situation, I'm not as prepared as I eventually want to be, but we're getting there steadily. I'm living in a small apartment in a big city and I'm still recovering economically from a divorce, so that limits some things, but there is one thing I'm doing that I wanted to get your thoughts on.
I just refer to it as 'pipelining' (in a reference to how most computer CPUs consume instruction codes) and what I mean is the practice of having 2-5 months worth of all the things we consume in storage here in the apartment, and when needed, putting the oldest item to use first, hence the "first in - first out" pipeline. With the exception of some perishables such as fresh meat and vegetables for upcoming meals, which we tend to buy just a day or two before use, we've slowly accumulated a stock of pretty much everything one buys at a store from dry and canned food stuffs, to other goods like storage bags, wrapping paper, soap, laundry detergent, cleaners, tooth brushes, paper products, and so on and on. We've really gone out of our way to identify everything that might be applicable, even if they are items we use only irregularly. When we run out of something, we check storage, pull out another one if we have it, and add it to the shopping list - so that when we go shopping, we are mostly replenishing storage and not stuff in current use.
Ok, so this is all probably pretty basic preparedness stuff - the idea being that if there is an interruption of any various sort - unavailability at the store, sudden price controls, banking system holiday, gas shortage or transit outage, etc... that we can just stay tight at home and ride out the storm. Since all of the items being purchased will wind up being used or consumed in the near future, we don't feel like it's a waste of money on something speculative. Given that we're in an apartment, the 'depth' of our 'pipeline' is limited by storage space. In the near future, we're likely to move outside the city and into a small house, and should have considerably more storage capacity.
What I wanted to ask you was if you had some thoughts on just what is a good 'depth' (in time) for 'how deep' to make our pipeline. i.e. at what point of stocking up, does the value of doing so start to really diminish?
Hi Matt. I very much agree with your line of though. I too lived in an apartment for years at a time and understand the storage space limitations.
The greatest problem I had was finding ways of storing water. We had experienced both power outages and water shortages and by far what worried me the most was being without water. You thinking spending a couple days without power is bad? Try turning off the water supply for a weekend and see how that goes. Knowing well that water is a top priority what I did was store it in 2 litter soda bottles and just using up any free space I could find, from under the bed to behind furniture, under couches or corners in the dressers.
As you correctly point out, these are supplies that you will use anyway, dry food, soap, detergent, toilet paper, so having them sure isn’t wasted money. In fact, if you stock up you can save money by buying in bulk when you find good deals.
What’s a good “depth” of supplies in term of time? One month as minimum, with six months being ideal. And if you can extend you dry food staples so as to cover 12 months in a worst case scenario, that would be perfect.
I believe that a month is the minimum you should aim for in an apartment , at least for everything other than water. You just cant store that much water in an apartment. In an apartment, I’d go for at least two gallons per person as a basic minimum so as to have enough water to drink during short term emergencies. A month would buy you enough time for shelter in place scenarios which are generally short term events.
Ideally you would have more, given that you have space for storing it. Six months worth of supplies would buy you time during recessions, job loss, rioting and problems in the supply chain during longer term emergencies. The logic here is that if stores and groceries aren’t working normally after a month, let alone two months, you have to plan on relocating anyway because things are about to get very ugly! The supplies will buy you time to get things sorted out without worrying about keeping your family fed, clean and healthy. A cash stash will help keep power, heating and other bills paid, cover any holes in your preps that you missed or procure transportation and relocation funds.
Some of the things to stock up on:
Dry pasta (lasts forever and keeps you alive)
Canned vegetables (preferably in glass jars)
Hand Sanitizer (alcohol based)
Disposable plates and cutlery (great for when there’s no water to clean up)
Any other suggestions, leave them in the comments below!
Take care everyone,