Week 2 of 52: Hardware List

Thank you for visiting Ready Nutrition and the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Free Web Series. Because of the popularity of the series and the tons of great feedback we have received over the years, we took your advice and turned it into a full-fledged book.

The original web series is still available for free and can be accessed via the chapter menu in the right sidebar (and by scrolling down this page), but if you're looking for the most updated version of this information and prefer to read it in the form of a physical book, then click here to order your copy today.

With the assistance of Daisy Luther, editor of The Organic Prepper, we set out  to add even more information to the original web series, organize and transform it into a book that encompassed all forms of disasters – both big and small. With all of the additional information added, the title even changed toThe Prepper’s Blueprint to help readers understand that preparedness isn’t just about having a plan, it requires drawing out a blueprint to set a preparedness foundation you can build upon and rely on when the time comes.

(If you entered this page looking for a particular chapter in the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series, please scroll down to access this information)

About the Prepper's Blueprint

The Prepper's BlueprintAcross the ages, in every survival story, a disaster of some sort plays a prominent role. Sometimes the part is played by the government, sometimes it is played by Mother Nature, and other times, the role is taken on by a random mishap. If we have learned one thing studying the history of disasters, it is this: those who are prepared have a better chance at survival than those who are not.

A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. Because of this, it's important to have a well-rounded approach to our preparedness efforts. Due to the overwhelming nature of preparedness, we have created the Prepper's Blueprint to help get you and your family ready for life's unexpected emergencies. To make a more comprehensive, easy-to-follow program, The Prepper's Blueprint has been simplified and divided up in a way to help you make sense of all the preparedness concepts and supply lists provided. We have divided the chapters into layers of preparedness.

  • Layer 1: Chapters 1-14, prepares you for those everyday disasters that have shorter-term effects: power outages, storms, injuries, and evacuations 
  • Layer 2: Chapters 15-31 help you to get ready for disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: economic collapse, long term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few 
  • Layer 3: Chapters 32-56 prepares you for the long haul and a complete change of lifestyle, the end of the world as we know it: providing food and water once supplies run out, security, retreat properties, and long-term plans
  • The goal of The Prepper's Blueprint is to help you find freedom through self-reliance, and ultimately, to get you and your family to a point where you can not only survive, but thrive, in a world that may be permanently altered.


    The following chapter is part of the free 52 Weeks to Preparedness web series

    Week 2 of 52: Hardware List

    wk 2
    Welcome to week 2 of our 52 Weeks to Preparedness serieswhich focuses on finding cost-effective ways to get you prepared for disasters.

    This week we are going to focus on investing in basic hardware items. In later weeks, we will add additional hardware items to the list, but this week we are going to focus on laying a foundation.

    A good rule of thumb when planning for emergencies is that a person is only as good as their tools. Good, quality tools are a sound investment and can last a lifetime if they are properly cared for. When purchasing hardware items such as the ones provided in the list below, take take to read online product and customer reviews before you make an investment. Also, avoid these 8 Rookie mistakes often made by preppers.

    Preps to buy for Week 2:

    • 33-gallon garbage can or- a sturdy storage box to hold disaster supplies
    • Flashlight with rechargeable batteries or a hand-crank flashlight for each member of household that is over the age of 6. (Don’t forget extra batteries for the flashlights). Flashlights should also be purchased for each car, as well.
    • Batteries in multiple-sizes.
    • Paracord
    • Duct tape
    • Bic lighter and matches – to be stored in a waterproof container
    • Multi-tool
    • For furry friends, purchase a leash, or pet carrier and an extra set of I.D. tags.

    Action Items:

    1. Involve your children in your family preparedness efforts. Educate them on the different types of disasters and on your family’s disaster plans. Check out websites like Ready Kids for methods to teach your children about what to do in an emergency.

    2. You should ask your child’s school and/or day care about what their disaster plans are. Here are a few questions that I asked our school:

    • How will you communicate with a child’s family during a crisis?
    • Do you store adequate food, water, and supplies for a disaster?
    • Are you prepared for a shelter-in-place situation?
    • If you have to evacuate, where would you go?

    3. Find up-to-date pictures of each family member in case one of them gets separated from you during a disaster event, put the pictures in a waterproof or Ziploc bag, and place it in your emergency kit.

    4. Prepare a personal information card for each family member.

    5. As a family, discuss your emergency meeting places, contacts, and plans. Give your children the opportunity to express their feelings and to ask questions so they fully understand the disaster plan.

    6. For family members who have special needs, ensure that those needs are accounted for in your emergency plan.

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But if you follow this book’s plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months or even years. Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com.

    This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

    Originally published July 19th, 2011
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  • Renee

    This is a wonderful website I have just stumbled upon. I am just now strating my prepping and have one question if you don’t mind. What would the heavy rope be used for? I don’t want to have supplies on hand that I have no clue what to use them for. Sorry if this seems like a silly question.

    • Robert

      To hang ourselves with when the commies come!!  Ha.  Actually, you’d never believe how many uses you’d have for it if your house broke in half from an earthquake, etc….  in short do indeed get some!

  • Mark

    Rope’s pretty handy to have; In an earthquake, flood, or many other times, you could use a strong heavy rope to rescue others, get people safely up or down a cliff, get water from a well etc., tons of uses. I was in a Search and Rescue group for quite a while and when a team member turned their ankle, used my 40 foot rope to help them get back to the vehicle, we were in the deep woods with shale cliffs, hard enough without a hurt ankle, to get around.
    Myself, I’d toss in a big roll of black 8-mil plastic sheeting to that list, usable for shelter, to seal a broken window, for privacy, but then I live in the Pacific Northwest where we get “a little” rain 🙂

  • Doug A

    I would also add baling wire to the list. Can be found at farm supply stores, cheap, and endless uses. Strong, but still can be wrapped around broken handles and such by hand. Can even be “cut” by hand just by bending back and forth in the same place multiple times.

    • danny gaddis

      wire used to tie rebar is cheap and strong..get it at the home depot in large rolls (about the size of a roll of duct tape)

  • Tracy S

    We are getting a lot of paracord instead. It is lighter but very strong. Is it an acceptable substitute?

  • danny gaddis

    you should also consider changing out all your old incandecant bulb flashlights with l.e.d. flashlights..the batteries last alot longer and don’t quit working when you drop them ( maglites with regular bulbs had a spare bulb in a foam holder in the end cap for a good reason..drop the light..break the bulb!!!)

  • Kim

    Zip ties are pretty handy to have around too. 

  • FoolishCop

    I’m new to prepping but I like the concept of 52-Weeks to Preparedness! Small, doable action lists break up the very many steps needed to be fully prepared. Thank you!

    However, the question I have is the need for the 32-gal. garbage can. It seems like a pretty large container for the materials that are listed to be gathered. I realize a “sturdy storage box” is also listed as an alternative, I guess I’m just wondering how much of each item you’re recommending to accumulate? Are we actually filling up this garbage can?! Thanks! And thanks for the help and great information.


    • Hi Rich,

      The trashcan or storage box (your choice) will be used to fill up items for this week and additional weeks of suggested preparedness items.

      Thanks again for your kind words and I’m glad you are enjoying the 52 Weeks program.


  • Michael M.

    That trash can could also be used as a toiet.  After that hurricane hit the east coast some people were using the hallway to deposit waste.  Suppose it could be buried out in the yard and covered with plywood.  Though not ideal it could be used to store/collect water.

    • Rita

      A 5 gallon bucket would be easier to use and empty as a toilet than a trash can. A trash can could be used to empty your 5 gallon toilet into, along with cat litter, saw dust, or other product to cover the waste and the odor.

  • Britt

    The link to the “emergency kit” isn’t working, what is it referring to?
    I’m also new to prepping and love that you’ve made this step by step guide.  It makes it much less daunting for me!  Thanks!
    Also in regards to the comments about buckets above, camping stores make a toilet seat for a 5-gallon bucket, my husband uses one for hunting trips.  It’s handy!

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