Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bugging In: Provisions

The first area of bugging in to discuss is provisions. What will you eat, drink, and otherwise consume in an emergency situation? How will you store everything so that it is ready and safe to use when you need it? How much do you need, and are there ways to obtain it that don't require long-term storage?

The easiest way to approach this is to break down the consumables themselves and discuss them individually. Storage and acquisition can then be discussed for each group.

Water is one of the basics of life; we've discussed it at length. Adults need roughly one gallon per person per day, and pets need roughly the same amount. That's fairly easy for short term, but two people require over 700 gallons for a year of very basic subsistence, which is highly impractical.

Long-term survival requires a water source, and very likely a way to filter it. If you have enough property, a well is a worthy investment to consider, as would the equipment to draw from a river or spring if one is available. Catching rainwater is also a viable plan, if you live somewhere that gets enough rain. No matter what you use to get your water, you'll definitely need to plan for filtration. We've covered that quite a bit, and made some educated recommendations.

Food is another provision that we simply cannot work around. You should consume at least 1500-2000 calories of the stuff per person, per day. Canned food is great for some things, but it's expensive and takes up quite a bit of space, and is also quite often nutritionally lacking. When planning for long-term storage, raw ingredients very frequently store just as well (if not better) and carry far more nutritional value. 

 Dried rice, beans, and other items can be bought in bulk and store wonderfully. Dried meat and produce also store for a decent length of time, and can be rehydrated to use in a great number of recipes. David has become our house expert on buying and storing food, and much of the stocking for long-term can be done simply by expanding the scale of his plans. 

 The only other advice for food storage is to buy foods that you actually eat, and rotate your stock by using your storage as your pantry, and replenishing it regularly. Eat the older foods first, and put the new stocks in line at the rear. Be sure to also include salt and oil in your storage plans, as they're needed for survival and are very often overlooked.

Seed is also a food stock to consider.  If you garden, or have the capacity to do so, keep a stock of seeds handy, so that you can plant each year and keep sustaining yourself.  Look for "heirloom" seeds, which allow you to take seed from each year's crop and plant it for the next season.

Medical and Health Care
If you have medicines that keep you alive, see if you can order them in a 90-day supply instead of 30. This way, you're far more likely to have at least a month of medication on hand at any random time. Investigate alternatives that may be more available in a pinch. 

Keep your first aid kits fully stocked. Since you're not carrying the kit, you can stock larger quantities than you might otherwise have at hand, and keep bulky items that you would pass on in a carried kit.

Miscellaneous Gear
This group of provisions is the hardest to lay down a plan for, because it is so individual. Look around your house, taking inventory of consumable items you need to keep everything running. Some things to consider:
  • Pet food
  • Lubricating oils (spray and liquid, both have their benefits)
  • Gasoline (treated with a stabilizing agent)
  • Bleach (remember, it breaks down over time, so keep it rotated)
  • Other cleaning and disinfecting agents
  • Tools - we've assembled a couple basic lists
This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Take stock of your situation and your needs, and stock up on the things you need.


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