Checklist for Hard Times

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“The more
we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.”

~ Vijaya Lakshmi
Pandit

As we approach
what many say will be the “Greatest Depression” I was inspired to
combine lists into items needed in hard times. What follows is a
list of lists covering areas that sustain the average
family.

Most US families
have no such checklist. Good times, as far as we can remember, don’t
inspire planning for hard times. We’ve been immune from such worries
for 65 years since the end of World War II. The average historical
memory is probably only 20–30 years.

That lack of
historical perspective is a handicap against what is currently happening
to the US economy. And, the US is exporting their worst problems
to the rest of the world. Ironically, “other" countries
are facing hard times now, before the US.

My interest
in optimizing all things leads me to prepare for good times and
bad. I’m a natural optimist and believe that our Creator gave us
the ability to overcome all obstacles. Checklists like this are
proof of that ability. It was wise, not
pessimistic of the Biblical Joseph to store seven years
of grain before the famine.

To optimize
one must first be thorough. When it comes to preparing for hard
times that means making a thorough checklist. You may not have to
purchase, store or do every item on the checklist. But, there’s
many benefits to making one.

If your family
could check off all the items on this list as ether done,
not applicable or have access to
then you’ll be doing far better than average even in good
times.

Benefits
of The Checklist, Itself

Just making
your own version of this checklist leaves you mindful of the many
tools and things that sustain us. It may even point out some weaknesses
you haven’t yet addressed or thought about.

Another benefit
is realizing we don’t need to own everything on
the list. Simple access to many items is fine, and sometimes better,
than ownership. That’s where friends and community come into play:
We trade and share to make life easier and be more smart. Being
more smart with what we have leads to needing less things to begin
with.

Still, things
like food, water, shelter and clothing are probably best owned.
For essentials, there’s many benefits to listing and buying them,
in advance:

  1. You need
    them, anyway, so nothing goes to waste.
  2. Buy them
    now, while they’re available.
  3. Buy them
    before inflation raises their price (And your boss doesn’t raise
    your wages).
  4. Get bulk
    discounts.
  5. Less trips
    to the store is more efficient.
  6. The cost
    of not having essentials is a “high price" to pay.
  7. Thinking
    through this checklist tends to optimize your household which
    leads to needing less things.
  8. Awareness
    of essentials gets your mind spinning on creative ways to obtain
    them.

You might say
this is a good list for good times. And it’s a
great list for hard times.

Gold, Guns
& Butter in Reverse

Gold
comes last, not first.

“Before
you buy gold, buy what you’ll need the gold for.”

We still have
division of labor. That makes everything needed in hard times available
for purchase now. If we get to a time when gold is needed to survive
many essentials won’t be available at any price.
Distribution channels for things that are available will be crippled.
That will make their price rise even in gold terms.

By the way,
have you seen the price of gold, lately? With one ounce in your
pocket who will be able to make change for $1000 when you need milk
and eggs at the store? It may be time to learn what our ancestors
knew: Gold is for kings and Silver is for people.

The Checklist

Making this
list forced me to recognize my limitations. As much as I value self-reliance
being the sole provider of every item would be hard, if not impossible.
For any truly hard times I’d want my family and friends around,
at least. Any kind of optimal living, however, would need to go
beyond that. That’s why I recommend adding one of the most urgent
and crucial items onto your list in the ‘personal’ section: “Find
people you can trust.”

Click on a
category to go to a list for that area. Cut/paste the whole list
into a word processor and use it to make your own.

Health
& Medical

Water
Food
Food Preparation
Hygiene/Sanitation

House

Tools
Security
Firefighting

Business
& Finance

Barter

Personal

Clothing
Books

Tactical

Communications
Transportation

Medical
& Health

  • hydrogen
    peroxide
  • alcohol
    for sterilization
  • Vitamins
    / Minerals / Herbs
  • Bandages
  • hot water
    bottles
  • Ice packs
  • sterile
    pads
  • slings/splints
    or raw material to make them
  • tweezers
  • hemostats
  • sutures
    and needles
  • clamps
  • stethoscopes
  • blood-pressure
    cuffs
  • thermometers
  • scalpels
    and blades
  • non-disposable
    syringes and needles
  • wound cleaning
    syringes
  • Iodine
  • Imodium
  • anti-histamine
  • aloe
  • Mercurochrome
  • Betadine
  • u201CBag
    Balm
    u201D (an antiseptic lotion)
  • dental floss
  • baking soda,
    instead of toothpaste
  • Personal
    medications
  • Augmentin
    / general antibiotics
  • Get dental
    work up to date
  • Painkillers,
    aspirin
  • Anti-fungal
    spray
  • DIY Dentistry
    kits (Oil of cloves, temporary filling kit, extraction tools)
  • burn treatment
    supplies
  • minor surgery
    kit (inexpensive Pakistani stainless steel instruments)

Back
to Categories

Water

  • Install
    Whole House Water Filter (Chlorine)
  • Install
    three-stage water filter under sink for drinking water
  • Atmospheric
    Water Generator/Filter for water from the sky
  • Rainwater
    catch from roof
  • House downspout
    (Redirected with sheet metal into barrels)
  • Water Containers
    for rainwater
  • Clorox hypochlorite
    bleach for sterilization
  • Berkey Water
    filters for rainwater/travel/car
  • Water containers
    for car
  • Water containers
    for barter

Back
to Categories

Food

  • Choose &
    Order 6-month supply of Freeze Dried food for entire family
  • See Water
    section for rehydrating freeze dried food
  • Decide on
    Storage Solution (Freeze dried makes that much easier)
  • Purchase
    containers to store the food
  • Designate
    cool & dry space for food storage
  • Purchase
    DVD canning instructions
  • Consider
    supplementing Freeze Dried storage with:
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Canned goods
  • tuna
  • salmon
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • soup
  • chili
  • milk — evaporated
  • beans
  • rice
  • peanut butter
  • popcorn
  • Dried pasta
  • olive oil
  • coconut
    oil — Best for long term storage
  • coffee
  • beer
  • wine
  • whiskey
  • pet food
  • protein
    bars
  • baby food/formula
  • spices (Makes
    all other list items taste better)
  • salt — sea
    salt and some iodized

Back
to Categories


Nitro-Pak--The Emergency Preparedness Leader

Food
Preparation

  • backup stove
    — BBQ Grill or portable Colemen or the like
  • fuel for
    backup stove — 6 propane tanks, Sterno, white gas
  • Grain mill
    if using flour or require grain grinding
  • pots, pans,
    utensils, dishes
  • paper towels
  • Mylar bags
  • Aluminum
    foil — Heavy (Can also be used for barter)
  • Wax Paper
  • pots and
    pans
  • buckets
  • mops
  • measuring
    cups
  • measuring
    spoons
  • metal mixing
    bowls
  • baking sheets
  • roasting
    pans
  • cleaning
    brushes
  • canning
    jars with seals and lids
  • baby food
    jars (excellent for storage)
  • thermos
    bottles
  • can openers
  • potato peelers
  • spray bottles

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to Categories

Hygiene/Sanitation

  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Razors
  • Toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • lotions
  • Soap (hand,
    dish, laundry, cleansers)
  • Shampoo
  • Hairbrush
  • Ladies'
    supplies
  • Toothpaste
    (or powder)
  • Floss
  • Q-tips
  • Sunscreen

Back
to Categories

House

  • Electricity
    Generator
  • call local
    utility company regarding solar panels
  • decide on
    which source of fuel (gasoline, diesel, natural gas/propane)
  • prepare
    city approval plans
  • decide on
    contractor or self-install
  • Consider
    only installing transfer switch and renting during emergency
  • install
    generator
  • test generator
  • house inventory
    of tools and box contents
  • garage sale
    items
  • sort out
    what needs to be stored
  • sort out
    what needs to be sold
  • inventory
    box contents
  • decide on
    storage for box contents
  • Decide on
    barter storage space
  • store barter
    items
  • pellets
    for winter
  • firewood
  • LED lights
    for all rooms in the house
  • lighters

Back
to Categories

Tools

  • Socket sets
  • pocket multi-tools
  • wrench sets
  • drill bits
  • chisels
    (wood and metal working)
  • files
  • Allen wrenches
  • screwdrivers
  • driver bits
    (with manual drivers)
  • cutters
    (side-cutters, end-cutters, snips)
  • clamps
  • hammers
    (of all sizes)
  • pry-bars
  • shovels
  • rakes (the
    heavy gardening type)
  • handsaws
    (hacksaws, crosscuts, etc.)
  • axes
  • oil
  • grease
  • WD-40
  • graphite
    grease
  • Gardening
    tools
  • Auto mechanics
    tools
  • Welding
  • Bolt cutters
  • Woodworking
    tools

  • Gunsmithing
    tools
  • work gloves
  • wire of
    various gauges
  • duct tape
  • chain
  • nails
  • nuts and
    bolts
  • weather
    stripping
  • glue

Back
to Categories

Security

  • Alarm System
    (Connected via wireless cell, not landline phone)
  • Connect
    alarm system to smoke detectors
  • 3rd-Party
    (ICE) contact for separated family members
  • Handgun
  • Shotgun
  • Rifle
  • Ammunition
  • Magazines,
    speed loaders
  • Gun cleaning
    kit

  • Spare parts
    for all gun tools
  • Gun Safe(s)
  • DuraCoat
  • eye and
    ear protection
  • carrying
    cases

Back
to Categories

Firefighting

  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Upgrade
    to a metal roof?
  • Clear brush
    around house
  • 2"
    water line from your gravity-fed storage tank (to provide large
    water volume for firefighting)
  • Fire fighting
    rig with an adjustable stream/mist head.
  • Smoke and
    CO Detectors

Back
to Categories

Business
& Finance

  • decide now
    on computer and hardware upgrades
  • decide now
    on software upgrades
  • Pay all
    vendors as far in advance as they will accept
  • Pay all
    subscriptions (internet, software upgrades, etc.) in advance
  • Pay all
    service providers in advance
  • Pay off
    all high-interest loans within reason
  • Keep money
    in a range of currencies or gold/silver
  • Reduce exposure
    to US Dollar as much as feasible

  • Consider
    2nd backup business if primary is vulnerable
  • Read The
    Hyperinflation Survival Guide: Strategies for American Businesses

    (Paperback)
  • Spare copy
    of all crucial documents

Back
to Categories

Barter

  • Water (From
    ecoloblue generator)
  • Eggs (Freeze
    dried)
  • Milk (Freeze
    dried)
  • Salt
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Cooking
    spices
  • Ammunition
    (9mm, .38, ,.357, .40, .45 ACP, .44 Mag, .223, .308)
  • Rope
  • Candles
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Whiskey

Back
to Categories

Personal

  • Make separate
    list for everyone in house
  • Prescription
    and nonprescription medications
  • Spare copy
    of all crucial documents
  • Backup eyeglasses
  • Backup reading
    glasses
  • sunglasses
  • Keep dentistry
    up to date
  • Any elective
    surgery that you’ve been postponing
  • Work off
    that gut
  • Stay in
    shape
  • Find people you can trust

Back
to Categories

Clothing

  • jeans
  • belts
  • warm durable
    jackets
  • wool sweaters
  • wool work
    clothes
  • T-shirts
  • Jean shirts
  • underwear
  • work gloves
  • boots
  • sneakers
  • sandals
  • baseball
    caps
  • hats for
    sun protection
  • Web gear/Bullet
    proof vests?
  • towels

Back
to Categories

Books

Back
to Categories

Tactical

  • Batteries
    of all types
  • pencils
    and pens
  • paper
  • Mosquito
    repellent
  • sleeping
    bags for each person
  • flashlights
  • penlights
  • Escape route
    maps
  • Topographic
    maps of your area
  • Safe room
    areas mapped out for your house/neighborhood
  • Home Invasion
    procedures & guidelines
  • Spare Masterlocks

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to Categories

Communications

  • AM/FM radios
    (crank power)
  • shortwave
    for local communication and monitoring
  • longwave
    for backup communications
  • police band
    monitoring
  • List of
    frequencies used in area

Back
to Categories

Transportation

  • advance
    maintenance for cars
  • replace
    tires that will wear out within 1 year
  • make sure
    have spare tires for all cars
  • emergency
    kits for each car
  • Make sure
    bicycles are in shape

Back
to Categories

September
25, 2009

Terence
Gillespie [send him mail]
has worked at IBM, played jazz piano on cruise ships, is an instrument
rated pilot, songwriter, and is attempting to optimize every aspect
of life one article at a time on his
blog
at YourOptimal.com.

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