What's Your Level of Preparedness?

I was talking with a friend the other day who was some-what boasting about all the things he’d acquired to provide for his family in the event of some potential disaster in the future.  I must admit, I was pretty impressed with the long list of things he rattled off and the amount of money he said he spent to “get ready”.

I’m one of those that prefers not to say too much about what I’ve put away for a rainy day, especially if I’m talking to someone I don’t know very well.  So when others want to start talking about all their preps, I’m all ears and just listen and ask questions to learn as much as I can about potential areas where I could improve.

My buddy started listing things like his food storage (over a one year supply for his family), water storage and purification systems, first aid, solar panels, wind turbine, a huge amount of split fire wood, 800 lbs. of charcoal briquettes, 200 gallons of propane, and the list just kept going.  I can’t even remember all the things he mentioned.  I would stop him every now and then to get details and clarification on an area where I felt I was a little weak.  It was actually rather entertaining.  It’s almost as if he was about to burst his buttons, he was so proud of his accomplishments and he just couldn’t keep it a secret – he had to tell someone!

I made sure I complimented him several times for his accomplishments (I could sense he really wanted that validation) and asked him what his next step was and if he was going to continue adding to his supplies.  He looked at me kind of funny, almost as if I’d somehow just missed his entire presentation and stated, “Dude, I’m done!  I’m ready!”  It now came more into focus, he felt he had completed his homework assignment and he was now giving his oral report and wanting not only a very high score, but a significant amount of praise.

And you know what, that’s OK.  At least he took the assignment to prepare seriously and did a great job and his best in accomplishing that task. (Just a side note, this guy is pretty well healed financially so he definitely had the where-with-all to get it done in a hurry.)  If it had been a race, he chose the 100 yard dash and sprinted to the finish line.  Unfortunately, for most of us, it’s far more than even a marathon, probably more like an ultra-long distance mountain run similar to the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance Run in Colorado.  This race has 34,000 feet of ascent!

For most of us it will take time, both to figure out what is the best solution for our family’s needs as well as needing to work within our budgets.  While we’re moving down this preparedness path, it’s helpful on occasion to grade ourselves as to the progress we’re making.  This will assist in possibly providing needed course correction that will help us get to the finish line as quickly as our conditions will allow.

I came across an interesting rating system recently that helps bring the priorities of prepping into focus.  It rates one’s preps into five categories.  Take a look at these questions and grade yourself on how you’re doing by way of preparations and see which category you fit in.

5 Levels of Preparation

Level 0:  Every emergency is a disaster
Less than two weeks of food in the house
No water purification system
No bug-out bag
No defensive weapons
No way to produce their own food
No physical gold or silver
No tangible assets to barter

Level 1:  Can Survive Two Weeks of Minor Emergency
Have sufficient food and water for two weeks of emergency
Able to heat their home for two weeks without relying on the power grid by use of kerosene heater or fireplace
Able to cook their meals for two weeks without relying on the power grid
Has a first aid kit
Likely has no defensive weapons
Must leave their home after two weeks due to lack of preparation

Level 2:  Can Survive One Month of an Emergency
Likely has a portable power generator and sufficient fuel for one month of operation
Has handguns or shotgun to defend their home
Has a month’s worth of food storage
Has sufficient prescription medicines for 30 days
Has enough batteries for powering a portable radio for 30 days

Level 3:  Can Survive Three Months of an Emergency
Has a deep-short term pantry
Likely has a water purification system
Likely has defensive weapon for each family member
Likely has some type of neighborhood safety watch or 24 hour security watch rotation at the home
Has stocked wood to burn in fireplace and/or wood burning stove
Has communication gear to keep track of local and world events
Has means to recharge batteries without relying on power grid
Has three months of prescription medicines

Level 4:  Can Survive One Year of an Emergency
Has a deep short and long-term food pantry
Likely has their own garden to produce food
Likely has small-sized farm animals to produce protein (chickens, goats, rabbits)
Has a deep supply of ammo (2000+ rounds per weapon)
Has a spare weapon in event of damage
Has means to produce herbal medicines to replace prescriptions
Has a long-term store of antibiotics
Likely has dog for security watch
Has full 24 hour rotation of security watch on the home (requires 6 adults)
Should have secondary off-site storage of food, weapons, and ammo
Is ready to bug-out with full hiking and camping gear, if security situation degrades
Is able to educate their children at home

Level 5:  Can Survive Indefinitely from their Home during an multi-year SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation
Has a fully functioning large garden or small farm for food production
Is able to can and store the results of food harvest for the coming year
Is able to harvest seeds for next year’s planting
Is able to raise multiple generations of farm animals (cattle, sheep, horses)
Has horses for local and distance travel
Has enough ammo to last a generation (10,000+ rounds per weapon)
Has spares of each weapon and lots of extra magazines
Able to generate their own fuel (bio-diesel, alcohol)
Likely has fully functional solar power bank with deep storage batteries
Has natural on-site water sources for farm and home
Has home-based business to generate income
Is able to build new buildings and make any necessary repairs to existing buildings
Is able to provide excess food for charity
Has a secondary residency (such as mountain cabin) for full bug-out
Is prepared for minor surgery and child birth at home
Has stores of gold and silver for barter
Is able to produce their own clothing (from raw wool or raw cotton with spinning wheel and small loom)
________

I’m fairly certain most of us would prefer not to consider having to live under the conditions of levels four or five.  Many are still struggling with trying to complete the requirements of level one.  My purpose of sharing this information is not to overwhelm or depress you but to possibly assist you in understanding what it really takes to become truly self-reliant and provide for an uncertain future.  Choose the level where you feel most comfortable and work on it as a family and you will experience the peace of mind and sense of security you deserve.