Some Thoughts on Supplies

One of the main tenets of preparedness is having sufficient supplies – to enable you and your family to be comfortable and enhance survival during a disaster, and also to aid those less fortunate. One of the issues we deal with as preparedness advocates and practitioners is bulk storage, small item storage, inventories and moving all of the things that we accumulate, if need be. As we get more advanced the problem just becomes that much more difficult to deal with. If you’ve ever had to truly evacuate, you’ve developed a deep appreciation for just how bulky things are and how little room there actually is in whatever transport you’re using.

One of the issues that comes up time and again happens during forced evacuations. A person has purchased large amounts of supplies, working up to whatever time period or supply they envision. Doesn’t really matter whether that time period is a month, a week, a year – same issues abound. You’re short on space. It’s not an easy thing to develop an efficient inventory system. Some items need to be regularly rotated and replaced. Other items need periodic maintenance. The list goes on and on.

So, as humans, we have a tendency to do the easy thing – keep supplies organized in large containers, in large quantities, or sometimes just keep them in their original boxes (MRE’s are a good example of this). The problem occurs when we need to move those items. Note that I didn’t say “you need to move those items”, I said “We”. Meaning that unless you’re a single person, don’t envision having friends, family or anyone else over, ever….you need to plan on storing items so that they’re accessible and easily movable for everyone in the household.

Meaning that those cases of MRE’s that you’ve stored….break them down into more movable packages. Those bulk grain buckets you have? Can the wife move them? How about the kids? No? Break them down into more maneagable packaging.

This all came about during a discussion about ammunition storage among some friends and I. Like many of us, I store bulk and some boxed ammunition in surplus ammo cans. Right now I prefer the .30 cal variety, but to give you an idea as to how much even those small cans weigh, here are some figures for you:

30 can filled with 6 unopened boxes of Federal 22lr (550 round boxes)=29#

30 cal can filled with 550 rounds 7.62×51 in 10rd boxes=37#

30 cal can filled with about 10 boxes of 32gr Federal 22lr (bulk boxes dumped in), about 6k rounds = 42#

30 cal can filled with 840rds 7.62×39 122gr = 36#

30 cal can filled with 780 rds 5.56×45 SS109 green tip in bandoliers, stripper clipped 29#….

So looking at those examples, ask yourself “can my wife carry one or two of those cans comfortably? Can the kids? Could I do it if I was disabled somehow?” The reality is that many packages are just too heavy for everyone in the household to move easily, and that’s exactly one of the issues you’ll have to deal with during an evacuation of any sort.

The last thing I’ll hit on is having to do dry runs on load outs. Having to think about it, putting ideas down on paper, talking over ideas, seeing what works for others – all those things are great and good, but the only way you’ll know what works for you is to get out there and do it yourself. Take a weekend day off and make a decision that you’re going to do a practice loadout – say with a supply load for two weeks for a family of four. Unless you’ve done this sort of thing before you’ll probably be a bit surprised as to how bulky things actually are.

So go prepare!

-Greg

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