This article was originally published by Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper.
Every year, businesses perform an inventory and do an audit on their supplies. This helps them to know what they’ve spent, what they have, and what they need.
If you’re serious about preparedness, you need to be doing the same thing. At least once a year, you need to do a preparedness audit to make sure you always have the essentials on hand.
Often times, you think you have a lot more than you really do. You forget about those times you dip into your stockpile because you ran out of something in the kitchen. Or maybe you stashed something “out of sight, out of mind” and it expired. Maybe you’ve “lost” a case of dried food, and you know you have it somewhere.
Well, if you can’t find it now on summer break with air conditioning and electric lights, how do you think you’re going to find it in an emergency?
And this just doesn’t go for food. It goes for supplies too. If you had to hunker down due to a nuclear event a hundred miles away, you’ll need to be able to find your potassium iodide pills NOW. Ditto for your supplies to turn a room of your house into a nuclear shelter.
Break your audit into two parts: food and supplies.
How to do a food inventory
The best way to do a food inventory is to pull ALL your food out into one room and start a physical list of what you have. Yes, you can do this on the computer or on your phone, but if the power goes out, you may not have access to these lists. If you do the list on your computer, print it out.
Break your food into categories. I use the following:
Take some time to figure out what meals you could make with the items you have on hand. (Get some ideas here.) This will help you figure out what you need to add to your stockpile so that you aren’t dining on canned peaches and saltines.
Then, take this opportunity to clean out your storage area and make it spic and span.
Finally, don’t think for a second you are going to remember where all your supplies are located. You need to make a treasure map so you’ll know where to find everything.
Next is your supply audit.
You may have tons of prepper supplies and pieces of gear, but if things are scattered all over the house, you won’t be able to find them when you need them. Sometimes, supplies are urgently needed and if you have to dig for 15 minutes to locate them, you may have missed an important window.
So pull out all your supplies, much like you did your food. Then you’re going to organize your gear.
For this, I use a variety of Rubbermaid tubs with the type of supply it is on the outside. I keep printed information in each tub that is pertinent to the contents. Here are some examples:
- Power Outage: This tub contains flashlights, headlamps, matches, candles, lanterns, lighters, cooking stove I can use inside the house, fuel for my stove, solar chargers, etc. For more information about power outages, go here.
- Pandemic: This contains nitrile gloves, protective clothing, N-99 masks, bleach, heavy-duty trash bags, eye protection, etc. For more information about pandemics, go here.
- Nuclear Event: This tub contains things like potassium iodide pills, printed instructions for taking them, duct tape and supplies for sealing off a safe room, this free book printed off, and other essential supplies.
- Tools: This contains a variety of manual tools that can be used during a blackout.
- Sanitation: This contains things like bleach wipes, hand sanitizer, cat litter, contractor garbage bags, antibacterial cleaners, etc. Print off instructions for making a kitty litter toilet for humans.
- Water Preparedness: Large water filter like a Berkey, replacement filters and parts, small filters like Lifestraws or Sawyer Minis, pool shock, test strips so you know what’s in your water, etc.
Obviously, these aren’t all the supplies you’ll need. This is just to give you a general idea of how I organize my gear. Don’t forget a well-organized tactical first-aid kit that will be easy to access in an emergency.
While you do this organization, really think through the emergency that each tub is geared toward. What’s missing? Jot it down on a shopping list. You don’t have to fulfill that list today, but you should work toward getting each kit well-supplied. And of course, when you get the necessary supplies, add them to the appropriate kit.
No matter how well-prepared you are, you should do this audit at least once a year.
You need to check your gear at least once a year, if not more frequently. When heading into winter, check to see that you have your cold-weather power outage gear up to par. Do the same thing when the warmer months are approaching. It’s easy to grab something you need from your supplies and forget about replacing the item. If you don’t do audits, you won’t know what’s missing until an emergency strikes and you need the item.
Daisy Luther is the author of Be Ready for Anything: How to Survive Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Pandemics, Mass Shootings, Nuclear Disasters, and Other Life-Threatening Events. Will you be ready for a dozen different kinds of disasters? You want to be prepared for whatever emergencies come your way. While prepping for a dozen different disasters may sound like a daunting task, there’s good news.
Preparing for a wide variety of disasters requires the same basic supplies as preparing for one or two. For each event, there will be some special steps, unique information, and precautions you need to take, along with a few additional supplies, but your essentials will be the same.
Never enough AMMO. Back up the truck on this one. Trust me. It will most likely be a Civil War. The “US Population” vs. “The Government Thugs”. Local, County, State and the Feds stealing our land and robbing our freedoms and quality of life.
Just because its not mentioned, does not mean its not implied. Same principle applies- store, rotate and check ammo and reloading supplies at least annually.
This is a great article, and its EXACTLY the method I use, right down to paper clipboards backing up excel spreadsheets. easier to do on the fly. Base your tubs on general tasks (water, sanitation, medical, etc) and tweak the contents to suit your needs. You must inventory and recheck at least annually!!
True that! Make sure your liberty tools are clean and lubed and ready to go also. Can’t use yer ammo if you got a jammo. I love the MC2500 synthetic oil and grease, the best I have ever used.
If you live in a humid climate a good thing to do is store your ammo in mylar bags or well sealed ammo cans. Don’t use seal a meal bags for ammo! Get the heavy mylar with ziplocks and heat seal the bag also (above the ziplock). You can refresh the gaskets on ammo cans by coating them with mineral oil and a Q-tip. Use a dessicant but if you use silica gel be sure that it doesn’t touch the ammo. PVC pipe is good but glue the ends well, you can just pound the ends off when you need it with a rock or hammer.
foodsaver bags are just fine, G. Just don’t apply a full vacuum.
If they are stationary maybe. If you move them around much they fail. I used to do that and know, I had 100% failure even with no vaccum. Heavy mylar is about the same price and is much stronger and has a ziploc seal.
I once seal a mealed (hardly any vaccum) a bunch of different calibers of ammo and put them in pvc tubes and buried them. Dug them up a few years later and ALL of them failed. If you use heavy mylar and heat seal it good you can bury it directly in the ground.
Great advice. I also recommend having containers with clothes and foot ware for each season so you have several emergency outfits ready for the time of year. Cold weather gear with cold weather general preps as redundancy to your cold weather bug out go bag for example. In each coat I pack a knife whistle, fire starter, compass and flashlight.
I tend to just stay with spread sheets.
Thus far this year I’ve had at least 10 black-outs
one lasting several days.
I just got passed by one former Hurricane,
it went south of us.
It is wet today. I have another Hurricane bearing
down on the island, but may pass to the north
as a tropical storm, or Not.
I have to use my “Prep” stuff,
I keep track of it, replacing what
The hard part is knowing when to buy, since I buy
in quantity. That is a skill
set I haven’t yet mastered, timing when to buy.
Certain times of the year, Wheat berries are
way cheaper than usual, canned fruits, veggies,
and meats are the same kind of variable market.
Locally produced foods are year round, so that is not
I have stuff from hell to breakfast. That would be a monumental chore lol. Maybe when I have a couple of weeks with nothing to do. I would never put a list on my computer… hand written on paper only. My bugout bag is a 5×8 enclosed trailer. 😛
One of my neighbors kids, did the original inventory.
I paid her $5 per hour. She was happy for the money,
and she learned a little bit about what a meager pantry
should have in it. It may stick with her as she becomes
a woman and has a family someday.
Kid has a bad home life and not a lot of direction.
I’m not worried about theft as I’m probably the most
dangerous guy around here. I’m old and I don’t give a
She was very surprised when she asked how much
food was this and I told her about 4 months for 2 people.
I didn’t have her inventory the freezer.
They is probably a years worth of food there.
She was shocked at how much food you really go through
given we make our own bread flour and harvest our own eggs.
Cool, I hope she learned from that. If I paid someone 5 bux an hour I’d go bankrupt lol.
Great article Daisy! I have been putting together a multi-tiered bug out bag/car bug out kit recently and it has forced me to go through all my supplies (e.g. perform a Preparedness Audit). Now I know what to call it! It has been tremendously helpful!!
I have “found” so many great things that I forgot I had. Plus it forced me to track down items that I knew I had somewhere?!? However, it has been a big job and I currently have gear and supplies spread out ALL over the place.
I totally agree with her that we should perform an inventory and do an audit on our supplies. “If you’re serious about preparedness, you need to be doing the same thing. At least once a year, you need to do a preparedness audit to make sure you always have the essentials on hand. Well, if you can’t find it now on summer break with air conditioning and electric lights, how do you think you’re going to find it in an emergency?”
For example, she asks/states that “you’ll need to be able to find your potassium iodide pills NOW”. While I knew where they were, I did not have them in the best places. First I only had 2 packs of iOSAT which delivers 130 mg. potassium iodide per tablet . They were both in my medicine cabinet. I recently put one pack in my car kit. Seems reasonable?!?! The second, I put in my back-up CBN bag. However, I discovered that my primary CBN bag doesn’t have any. Plus, now my medicine cabinet is bare.
Consequently, I had to order a 3 pack of iOSAT. One for my medicine cabinet and 2 for the primary CBN bag. Thanks Daisy for helping me get squared away!
A chemical rated resperator is good to have and cheaper than a gas mask. Add sealed goggles for your eyes too. Good thing to have if you get pulled over in Idaho lol.
If people break something, wear it out, or use it up, I would like you to find an independent replacement, free of govt or social interference. Brownie points, if you can fabricate it, personally. The last one you will ever need.
If your solution is to buy your way out of the end of the world, then, buy the y2k compliant, off-grid version of each of your consumerist conveniences.
Buy the most resilient and fixable version of your modern things, with replacement parts, since you like buying and buying, so much.
A completely different range of products appears, in your search engines, the more-thorough you are to prevent tracking. I have seen cast iron, leather, wood, and other, literal, real-life materials.
Have you Audited yourself? (Last year I did. What a disappointment.)
Every warrior knows/learns:
– It is easy to Prepare/Train, for battle/combat.
– It is near Impossible to Maintain those preps, skills, training, reaction times, edge.
Everything just goes away, spoils, breaks, rusts, deteriorates, slows down, without constant use/training.
* And you get injured. And if lucky you get Old. Those make you slow. And when old you heal slower.
LESSON: You loose the Edge. Now you have no edge. Without an edge you just Die. Now you are food for the worms.
It takes MUCH less time than you think to loose Everything you achieved and gained. You usually go backwards WORSE than where you started.
Wisdom bites form a great Chief: “Because you were good yesterday is meaningless. The only easy day was yesterday. If it didn’t suck then we wouldn’t be doing it. Embrace the suck. Pain/Discomfort are confirmation that you are alive.-Embrace”
Bonus Rant of the week:
* Free Speech.
* Free Thought.
* Open Discussion.
* Real time conversation.
* Free Will
These are the “Scarcity” imposed by Political Correct NWO communist TechMonopolyBullies.
How do you like your “change”?
How do you like your “new” internet?
Notice the “scarcity” of comments?
Notice the “scarcity” of views?
Embrace your 5g Beast control system children of the Beast.
You are so “trendy”, “diverse”, “open minded”, “political correct”.
No you are slaves to the Beast of Technology.
If something/situation, does not work for me. I remove that item from my life. If an entity embraces stupidity, ignorance, violence. devoid of common sense. Then I eject. So should you. UNPLUG.
——————————–Likely just another censored comment
one very good rule is to BUY ON SALE. when i go to the store i look for canned goods that are on sale, and i buy 5 or 10 cases at a time when i see things i like. i recently found baked beans @ 99c for a big can at winco. and if you ask, they will get those cases in a day or two, and the boxes won’t be all cut up, which makes them hard to handle. and they will even take them out to the car for you. sometimes the 99centsonly store has hard-to-find stuff like apricots, cherry pie filling, and such, for 99c, often in the bigger sizes. pie filling is 99c, while at regular stores it’s 2 to 3 dollars.
You can make some really good shine with cherry pie filling. Put the cherries in the mash and the juice in the finished product.
18 dead in an El Paso shopping mall in Texas. So where were the concealed carry crowd ???
I wondered the same thing. I noticed the mass casualty medical bus was on the scene asap. How convienient it was close by? Not releasing the name of the patsy yet.
Something I never see listed for preppers that I learned in 10 1/2 years in Uncle Sugars ARMY and I never understand why it’s so overlooked… Ivory soap. The bar kind not liquid. Mild enough for body/hair and can be used for cleaning wounds when diluted, tough enough to use for washing clothes. Easily storable if kept dry. In short order it will become an excellent source of barter.
What has happened to this site?
Three days and no new articles.