> TEOTWAWKI Blog: What's your baseline for preps?



What's your baseline for preps?

What time baseline do you use (or are working towards) for your preps? Three days? A week? Two weeks? A month? Six months? Three years?

Food, water and other consumables. What's the minimum that you are comfortable with?

If someone was new to the whole disaster/end of times preparation thing, what time horizon would you recommend for them?

My personal baseline is around a month for food and two weeks for water (plus means to acquire & clean more). More is of course better, and we certainly have more stocked up, but a month will outlast most troubles. Less and I start to get an uneasy feeling...

For newbies, I recommend starting with two weeks and going from there. Very doable, even in a small apartment. More "getting started" recommendations right here.

How about you guys? What's your personal baseline, what do you recommend to others?


  1. I think the most important here is not to try to bite too large a piece at once ;-)

    Start small, to get it going, and gradually move the baselines further, as your budget / time / comfort / spouse ;-))) permits.

    A week's worth of food and water + the very basics (survival kit, shelter, water procurement, defence, essential tools).
    Then increase to 2 weeks, then 1 month, 3 moths, 6 months... And so on.
    Extend the list of items as well, not just the quantities.
    All the while make sure you don't loose control: keep the track of your preps, expiry days...

  2. About three months for food. I'm prepping for 1 and figure I need about a months worth of food. But, when you're prepping for 1 it's really easy to set a months worth of food aside and I might end up feeding more than just me. So, me for 3 months or 3 of us for one month. I want to have the option to help others out.

    Water wise I have 6 gallons stashed away plus, pop, juice, and chicken, veggie and beef stock, so a little over a week for 1. I should probably grab a couple more gallons of water. I have a backpacking water filter, but I live in a city and that filter wont take out some viruses or many chemicals, so I wouldn't want to drink any filtered water from around here. In an emergency it wont take that long for water deliveries to start coming in. The worry is what if the emergency outlives the ability for water to be brought in.

    I also figure 2 pounds of propane a week in the summer or 3 in the winter and have about 12 1LB pound containers. I found it easier to just get 1 pound containers than to get a big tank and adaptors and hoses to hook my lanterns and stove to. Plus, every connection is a potential leak and I don't want to die in a fire. I'm kinda freaked out by big propane tanks and large stores of gasoline.

    For someone with a family I'd start at a week and build from there.

  3. I try to keep 25 gallons of K-2 Kerosene on hand, my heater uses less than 1 gallon a day, and can be used as a crockpot type hot plate overnight. This also feeds all of my dietz, and hurricane lamps for better than 3 weeks.
    I currently have 4 weeks of foodstuffs on hand, but would like to bramch out and will probabily try canning venison this month, looking into a pressurre canner, shooting for 3 months of food, and water is bored well supplied with a 5 gallon dipper bucket as backup. Sanitation is a septic system, had it pumped 2 yaers ago as a precaution lasted 16yrs without pumping, should be goodish there. Female hygiene, and toilet paper I keep 6months on hand as a insurance policy. For cooking have grill, coleman stove and kerosene heater for during cold weather, solar oven rig for summer time. Need to learn garden-fu I have the acreage, but lack the time, do get good harvest from apple trees,pear trees, and peach tree, but haven't made raised beds yet, maybe this winter, in the spring I might try my brown thumb.

  4. It is best to start with a smal goal and work your way up but atleast a year would be the ultimate goal. More if posible. after reading the other replies do not prepare expecting someone to bail you out. And always if you start prepping especially food before any expiration rotate your food stuffs that means, use it now and replace it as you go. This way you will store foods you like and your body will get used to the diet and you will know how to prepare it plus the stuff won't go bad on you. I also prep by adjusting to thermosat at home to help my family get aclimatized to hotter or colder temps. You will notice if you gradually adjust the thermostat you can tolerate more and more temperature changes. Because we noticed after hurricanes Rita and Ike the heat about killed us with no electricity for long terms so we decided on this idea to help us cope better. Also keep in some sort of physical fit condition if you are no very active start moving around more because if SHTF you will be and it would be better if you didn't have to condition yourself at that time.

  5. In writing my blog, I usually suggest FEMA guidelines with the caveat that one's personal location and potential emergency situation may dictate more, and reference Katrina, etc.. Personally, because of our remote location and other potential emergency situations that include interruption of the long supply chain, I store more than the FEMA guidelines. Interim goal setting is really the way to go for anyone who does not have unlimited cash and space in their homes. Especially when supplementing with growing your own food, trying to do all at once could be pretty overwhelming. When I look at the buy-a-year kits, it just seems like storage and rotation would be more of a challenge because someone else chose what you will eat.

  6. I don't really have the funds for everything I feel I should have. My beginning is a few weeks of food with hunting and water purification for years. I'm hoping nothing happens before January when I can add food and fuel, but considering the value of water I would hope to be able to barter for food if the S hits the fan before then. There's also bartering security, being a large armed man who vaguely resembles a Wookie will hopefully allow me to exchange defense for provisions.

  7. I would say that putting together a 72hr. bug-out-bag should be top priority for those new to prepping.

    My personal "baseline" is 6 months for 2 adults and 2 children. But then, I have the room for all of this. Not all people do. I started prepping soon after my first child was born. The way that I accumulate preps is a small amount each week. I spend just $5-$10 each week buying non-perishables, water, water treatment, lighters, propane, oil lamps....etc...etc... I do this during my weekly grocery shopping. It's amazing how fast the preps pile up. Before I knew it, I was up to 6 months, and am now far beyond that. For bigger purchases like guns, a berky,...etc...I just make those purchases when I have a sudden wind-fall of cash, like during tax time, when I get back some of the money that the government has stolen from me over the past year.

    I also try to buy PM's (silver/gold) when I have the funds and there is a dip in the market. My "baseline" for cash (fiat) to have on hand at all times is 2 months worth. My "baseline" for precious metals is about the same, but I am way past that now too, having anticipated QE3 many months in advance.

    Once you get beyond your "baseline" you start to acquire barterable goods. Trying to determine what will be scarce, but a necessity. .22lr is always a safe bet, but I also buy personal care items heavily.

    We all somewhat prep differently. You buy what you can afford. You buy what you have room to store. You buy for the emergencies that are most likely to affect you personally. It all comes down to priorities and sense of urgency.

    BUT......The one thing that we can all agree on, is that whatever your "baseline", having something available in a time of need is always better than nothing.

  8. 72 hours and then build. Most people don't recognise teotwawki, but understand a storm or short term risk. I currently have 3 weeks, mostly because I can store that conveniently (food, fuel and water). With the stuff already on shelves etc 4 weeks would be doable if there was water.

  9. like most i recommend the 3 days, then 3 weeks, then 3 months, then 3 years approach. yes, 3 years. personally i'm pushing 5 years, but add another person to the group and you just divided your stockpile. its easy and cheap to build a stockpile using the superpails of rice, beans and wheat. then add the stuff that makes all that edible. mountainhouse is not the way to go for more than a weekend. you can put it in the bottom of an adverage closet where all those shoes are tossed, and cover it w/ a sheet or whatever for opsec. think about it, what if the transport of food gets interupted or another dustbowl hits. you need to be able to make it thru a bad harvest. the bible called for seven!

  10. Personnally I would prep for 6 months. That typically is long enough to weather an economic storm and/or helps you get into the next season (if it happens in winter) so you can start a garden and plant food for you to continue to eat. Everything else would help in the meantime (like ammo, nice-eties vs necessities, etc).

  11. With a country living flour mill you have an expensive startup but wheat berry is cheap. You can easily put away 2 years worth on a small budget. 7 years ia my goal but maybe I am a crazy survivalist. I also want 7years of. 22 lr.