Letter Re: Stocking Level Advice for a Preparedness Newbie

Hi James,
My name is Heather. My husband and a couple of friends started discussing your novel “Patriots” and that they wanted to be prepared. I began reading the book to get an idea what my husband was talking about. I found it very interesting and informative, however, being the more logistical minded of us I am at a loss as to where to start. We have four children under the age of 11 and live in downtown Salem, Oregon. We both work so we have some money to begin preparing with, but what do we start with? And if preparing for a scenario as described in the book, is there a formula or guesstimate on what each person will need for a year of food, clothing etc? I have been looking through books and web sites but I haven’t found anything like that. My husband and his friend are reviewing the weapons and such but is there a general guide to how much to stock up? I apologize in advance if this information was in the book or your web site and I missed it. Thank you very much for your book, your knowledge, and your enthusiasm! – Heather

JWR Replies: My oft-cited “Lists of Lists” post is a good starting point in prioritizing what you need. However, quantities can be very subjective. They are dependent on how long you think a crisis will last, and how many “strap hangers” will show up on your doorstep the day after the Schumer Hits the Fan (SHTF). Those siblings and cousins that incessantly teased you about being a “paranoid preparedness nut” (and that did nothing to provide for themselves) will be standing there, looking very sheepish.

As for determining quantities for food storage, see the calculator at the LDS Provident Living web site, which I linked to in this November, 2007 SurvivalBlog post.