Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Prudent Prepping: $30 And 15 Minutes

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping. 

I was unable to come up with a topic for this week's post until a behind-the-scenes chat with the BCP bloggers gave me an idea for a topic: What if I knew for certain an earthquake was going to hit in fifteen minutes, while I was in a Big Box home improvement store? I have only $30 to spend and fifteen minutes to get out of the store with my essential items to get through a disaster.

Here's what I chose and why. You can play along at home by substituting your local disaster for mine!

The List
This was a bit harder than I first thought, since Home Depot/Lowe's/Menard's don't have food. (Sorry, jerky and chips don't count this time.) That left other things that might be cheap and very useful in a disaster. First thing I picked?

Home Depot and everyone else sells water by the case of half liter bottles and occasionally half gallon jugs. I found these in cases, stacked by the contractor check out.

24 ct filtered water
This isn't "fresh from some mountain spring" water, this is "from your municipal system, filtered for you' water. The price reflects what it is: water. Just water.

With a good, clean supply of water, you can live quite a long time. I 'bought' 2 cases at $2.48 each.

It's organic!
Well, sort of. A bag of charcoal was my next pick. This is a way to cook and keep warm with minimal flame, smoke and blowing embers.

I looked to add a small grill to the mix, but the prices were most of the total budget. Besides, if I can make it home then charcoal will be a nice backup to the propane grill I already have; and if I'm stuck someplace, the charcoal will work very well in the Solo Stove in my trunk!

I 'bought' one  (almost) 16 lb bag for $9.97.

 2 mil plastic
A roll of plastic, a good amount of duct tape and rope will make a shelter for a reasonable amount of time.

Here is the plastic roll I picked out. 9' x 12' 2 mil plastic is a good compromise between strength, weight and cost. Whether it is used as lean-to or rigged as a tent, it is tough enough to do the job.

I 'bought' one roll for $3.18.

Duct Tape

If duct tape, some tie wire and super glue can't fix it, things are really broken! For use in my shelter, duct tape can seal edges to make a wind proof enclosure, be twisted into strands almost as strong as rope, or be used to temporarily plug holes.

I 'bought' one roll for $4.98.

Paracord with winder

This roll of paracord is 75 ft long -- 25 ft longer that than the usual bundle sold in Home Depot. This is long enough to tie other things together as well as rig a shelter. It  was $2.98 and I 'bought' one roll.

The Recap
So how did I do? Let's total this up.
  • Two cases of water @ $2.48 each: $4.96 total
  • One bag of charcoal: $9.97
  • One roll of plastic: $3.18
  • One roll of duct tape: $4.98
  • One spool of para cord: $2.98
Before tax, everything came to $26.07. Add in local and state sales tax and you get $28.74!

With a little bit more time to figure things out, I may have dropped one case of water and added in another drop cloth. Since this was a test with a time limit I gave myself exactly fifteen minutes to navigate the aisles and theoretically fill a cart.

Let me know what you think of this list and what you have in mind. Remember, walk through your local store and time yourself as you go!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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