Using Layers to Build Your Preparedness Supply

Have you ever shipped a packaged containing something extremely fragile? One year, we mailed a fragile, blown glass ballerina. We wrapped the little dancer first in a few layers of tissue paper, carefully winding it around her outstretched arm and leg. Then we nestled her into a small box filled with Styrofoam “popcorn”. We closed that box, wrapped it in tissue and then bubble wrap before sliding it inside of a bigger box. We stuffed all the openings in the bigger box with more tissue, sealed it up and sent the package on its way. When the little ballerina arrived at her destination and was carefully unwrapped, she was still in one lovely sparkling piece.

When you are well prepared, you are cushioned by layers, somewhat like that delicate little ballerina. If the outer layer of tissue and bubble wrap doesn’t protect you successfully, the danger still has to get through the second box, the Styrofoam popcorn and more tissue paper. Every layer of preparedness that you add shields you and your family, placing them just a bit further out of the reach of danger.

Build a Foundation

I have found that when starting your preparedness measures, it is best to start at the beginning in order to ensure you have everything you need to build up your foundation. Start your preparations with a 72-hour kit and then create a vehicle 72-hour kit. Once that is complete, you can begin ensuring your basic needs are met for longer periods or begin targeting other layers of preparedness. The 52-Weeks to Preparedness series offers a complete list of getting your home and family ready for unexpected disasters.

Having multiple emergency plans is another example of layering up. Not only do you always need a Plan B, you need Plan C, Plan D and on through the alphabet for every situation. Keep the following tips in mind when beginning your preparedness foundation:

  • Keep family members and any medical or special needs in mind when planning
  • Don’t forget your pets
  • Continually adding onto your layers will makes for a more economical approach to preparing
  • Many preps have multiple uses and can be used for multiple disasters

Let’s look at some other examples of how you might layer your preparedness.

Water

Your initial line of defense would be the two week supply of bottled water that is recommended in Week 1 of the  52 Weeks to Preparedness series. If the danger lasts longer than two weeks, you could fall back on your water treatment preparations, mentioned in Week 17, such as water filtration systems, distillation, or the addition of bleach or water treatment capsules for water that is not potable as is. If the issue continues as a long-term problem, water will have to be collected and purified on an ongoing basis, requiring the steps you took in Week 24 to be put into action.

Food

Most preppers have some short-term food stored to be used for things like a power outage, being snowed in for a week, and those things that are more “inconveniences” than actual disasters. Many of those foods require little-to-no cooking and can be eaten at room temperature.

But what if the outage lasts longer than expected? Then it is time to dig into the long-term food storage as well as looking at alternative methods of cooking it.

If it turns into a true TEOTWAWKI event, then at some point you are going to have to begin producing your own food supply through raising livestock and gardening.

As another example, you need a plan in place for what you would do once your stored food is gone – so, you would prepare to learn to hunt, to raise livestock and to grow food.

Security

Most people strive to make their homes safe and secure. We install motion lights, fence the yard and make windows difficult to open. We have good quality locks on the doors and sometimes burglar alarms as well.

In a disaster situation, this may not be enough. We need only to look at the situation on Staten Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to see that looters are out in full force, taking advantage of the people who have already lost so much. As we’ve said here before, “If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it!”   Most preppers have guns and ammunition with which they will defend their homes and families.

In an even longer-term situation, more plans for defense would need to be made, with perimeters, night watches and an organized plan.

Build Layers

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are our preparations. It takes time to research and plan what your family needs to be disaster ready. When you invest in your preparedness foundation, you are slowly adding preparedness layers that your loved ones to rely on. Each time you add to your preps, always think ahead to the day when the item you just bought runs out and begin planning now to solve the problem before it happens. In every situation, increase your protection layer by layer, just like preparing that spun glass ballerina for her journey through the mail.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published November 8th, 2012
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  • jamie briggs

    invest in several Rubbermaid ActionPacker bins. they are lockable and they float. we keep them filled with camping supplies and non perishable food. they are ready to go into our jeep cargo rack(from harbor freight)if we get a strong hurricane coming. we live in s fl and thankfully havent yet needed to evacuate.

  • Prepared Painter

    This is excellent advice. The need to be able to answer a variety of threats and duration of disasters is difficult, I have about a year of supplies, from food to TP to weapons, but it did not happen in one shopping trip and it is not all designed for the same SHTF scenario. Look at it as the “old” investment strategy, diversify! Pray and prep… Its coming… 

  • http://easyemergencypreparedness.com Randy Meyer

    This is a very good find.

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