From From Beginning Prepper, to Fully-Stocked Retreat: What to Buy, and When, by Scott in Wisconsin - SurvivalBlog.com
Here is an interesting essay to give you some guidance whether you're preparing for a weekend blizzard, a medium term disruption of services or a long term lifestyle-changing event.
Here are the highlights:
It's easy to see that the world may be heading for more trouble, and we need to prepare for hard times ahead. But it can be daunting to decide what to do, what to stock, and when to get it.
I've been working at this a while, and I've figured out a simple balance in what to buy, and when to buy it, that I think will help other Preppers move ahead with confidence.
You could call it my 100/1,000/10,000 system, and I hope it helps you get going, and get to a place where you feel more prepared for the tough times ahead.
Step one is to become a "100 level" Prepper. If you're not there, you're helpless in the event of even a minor disruption. Luckily, you can get to the 100 level fast, and inexpensively.
At the 100 level, you're prepared for a brief disaster. You have some food and water, you can keep warm, travel, and protect yourself in the very short term. It's a start. The bare minimum.
Here's what you need: 100 cans of food, 100 bottles of water, 100 lbs of fuel, 100 rounds of ammunition, 100 silver dimes, 100 dollar bills.
Now, it's time to strive for the 1,000 level Preparation. This is the point where you and a couple loved-ones can handle a significant breakdown of civil society. 9-12 months without our accustomed infrastructure will be survivable at the 1,000 level Preparation.
Here's what you need: 1,000 pounds of food, 1,000 gallons of filtered water, 1,000 lbs of fuel, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, 1,000 silver dimes, 1,000 dollar bills.
This is the 10,000 level preparation, and it will enable you to keep a dozen adults safe and healthy for 2+ years. How cool is that?
Why a dozen adults? If things really fall apart, you'll find friends and family at your door, asking to be taken in. You can either plan on sending them away, or you can plan on taking care of them. I suggest you plan on taking care of them.
Besides, you'll need a dozen adults to protect your retreat/home. You can't stay awake 24 hours a day guarding your stash. You can't be watching in all directions. There will be troublemakers to deal with. You need time to sleep, regroup, cook, wash, garden, play. That means you'll need help. Stock enough food for them, and they will come.
Why 2 years? Because it may take that long for things to settle out. It may take that much time for you and your friends and family to learn to grow food, and hunt and trap successfully. There's a lot to learn, and you don't want your first crop to be a matter of life & death.
Here's what you'll need: 10,000 pounds of food, 10,000 gallons of drinkable water, 10,000 pounds of fuel, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, 10,000 silver dimes, 10,000 dollar bills.