Preparedness Provisioning (Good, Better, Best), by Bill L.

In an event where supplies of food and water or your access shelter have become compromised due to natural disaster, civil unrest or an unplanned scarcity of commodities, it would be comforting to know that in spite of the unplanned event you have planned for it. 

This is not a detailed itemized list of what to get. There are numerous books, internet sites and clubs that offer all kinds of advice on preparedness. By doing your own research you will see that there are ample lists and dialogs to glean from. What this is is a method to keep you focused and ultimately successful in your plan to prepare for what may come.

When beginning to form a plan to put away necessary provisions for an emergency event it can be overwhelming as to what and how much would be needed to provide for simple survival. The first thing to do is break it down into manageable parts and start working on a basic inventory. Once you have covered the basics then and only then do you proceed to a more complex inventory. The logic of working up a basic cache of supplies is that once it is in place you are secure in your ability to survive, albeit simply, for a determined amount of time. Without a plan you will be tempted to start gathering an unorganized pile of “stuff” that has value, but does not ensure that you are prepared. Haphazard gathering is incomplete gathering and if you leave out an important item you leave yourself open to disaster.

Here is my way of staying organized as you put together a cache. Before you buy a can of food, a box of Band-Aids or a set of camo’s start first with this simple plan that relies on meeting three levels of preparedness;
Good, Better, Best.”

To illustrate the levels and give guidance as to when you move from one level to the next, let’s use the basic necessities of survival for our goal. As stated in the first sentence they are: food, water and shelter. 

Again, your own research will be needed to determine exactly what to get and how to use it.  


This is your basic level of stuff. If you have a good level of provisions you will be ready to survive in a basic manner for a short time period. At the good level you also have acquired some simple skills on how to maximize your basic provisions. Here is how it looks…


  • A one week supply of usable non-perishable nutritious food stuffs kept at your home
  • A grid down means of cooking, i.e. propane stove, gas stove, etc
  • A grab and go kit of food in case your home becomes untenable


  • An amount of clean stored water equivalent to 2 gallons/day per person to last one week ( 28 gals per couple)
  • Knowledge of secondary water sources (hint: 40 gal water heater)
  • Means of water purification (pump, chemical, UV light)


  • Your home…with grid down heat and light (kerosene heater/lamps)
  • A RV (fully self contained and stocked with propane)
  • Quality tent and sleeping bag ( as part of your grab and go kit)

At the good level you will be able to live in your home during a short term disruption of services or be able to leave if necessary with a grab and go kit that contains a basic amount of survival items to support you for a short time.


You have the good level covered now it’s time to step up to doing better. At the better level you build upon the amount and variety of provisions in your cache and work to improve your skills. At the better level you will enhance your survival odds and make the situation more comfortable through thoughtful and more thorough preparation. Here’s how better looks…


  • In depth study and procurement of long-term storage staples, i.e. wheat, corn, rice and beans.
  • Food in adequate amounts correctly stored with the bulk of it in a secure location. In addition; sundry food stuffs like powdered milk, spices, sugars, fats, vitamins, etc.
  • Cooking and cleaning supplies and a reliable long term grid down means to heat food (wood stove)


  • Reliable and safe access to water source, i.e. lake, stream, spring, etc.
  • Large capacity filtration system, i.e. “Big Berkey” or reverse osmosis
  • Water storage with ability to heat large amounts for bathing (wood stove and tubs)


  • Your home has been retrofitted to off the grid capabilities with solar and deep cycle batteries
  • Wood heat with enough fuel for six months
  • A bug-out plan to your long term cache at a fall back location



This is what the well prepared person has been working towards. At the best level of preparedness you have been steadily building your cache and skills to a level that allows you to live in relative comfort and security. Things may have gone very wrong in the population centers, but you have placed yourself, family and friends in a remote retreat location with the means to live through a cooperative effort for the duration of a societal collapse. There will be hardship at times and hard work constantly, but with the tools and provisions you have cached and the varied skills of the group you will make it through. You will not only survive, you will thrive.


  • Livestock, poultry, bees and other regenerating food sources
  • Non-hybrid seeds and garden space with an established orchard to grow sizable crops with the means of food storage, i.e. canning, drying, cellaring, freezing
  • Tools and skills to hunt game and catch fish locally to augment diet


  • Easily accessible potable water source at the retreat with back up gravity fed storage tank
  • Water heating capability; solar in summer, wood stove with coils in winter
  • Irrigation system installed to both garden and orchard along with fire suppression plan for structures


  • Retreat layout to provide living space for all members with adequate sanitation facilities
  • Work spaces with necessary tools and equipment, i.e. shop, outdoor kitchen, wood shed, livestock paddock, coops etc.
  • Complete off the grid capabilities with redundant systems combining as many of the following as possible: solar, wind, hydro-electric and generator.

So, here is a start. By following this outline of the “Good, Better, Best” plan you can stay on task in your efforts to lay in supplies and learning valuable skills.

Whether you need to ride out a storm for a week before the power comes back on, or you been forced to bug out to your completely stocked group retreat; your careful, deliberate preparation has made the difference between success and failure.

Preparedness provisioning is not only wise, it can be fun.