The Four Lists of Preparation

I just finished three long, busy, rewarding days at the Firm Foundation Expo in Orem, Utah.  It was gratifying to see many friends there as well as a number of former customers.  I consider my customers my friends too, since we have the common interest of preparing.  I have had long discussions with many of my customers, sharing what I have learned and helping them to avoid many of the mistakes that I have made in my prepping journey.  I have also learned much from many of them as they have had interesting experiences and ideas on how to get ready for what is coming.

I presented two days on the topic, “Useful Camp Gear – How to Make a Tent a Home”.  I shared some of the things that I have learned about sanitation, sleeping comfort, space considerations, keeping clean, play and handy tools.  Then I talked about the four lists of effective preparation and how to prioritize.  Here is a link where you can view/download my presentation (updated)- Useful Camp Gear / How to Make a Tent a Home.

Let me explain more about these four lists. The first list is the things you would need for your most likely scenario. When I say, “most likely scenario”, I mean what is the most likely place you are going to end up when the fan gets dirty. When I first started prepping, I thought I would be bugging in and prepared for that. Then I learned that I would be bugging out, and my preps did a 180 degree change. Planning to live in a tent city, and having to get my supplies there, made a huge change in what I needed.

So my first list is, is what I need to have to bug out and live in the wilderness.

The second list I developed is what I had – my inventory.  If one doesn’t know what one has, prepping becomes more stressful and expensive than it needs to be. By having an accurate inventory, it provides a scorecard of how prepared one is, and eliminates duplicate buying. This is especially important for those that have been prepping for a while. After you have bought something and stored it, it is easy to forget. When you forget what you already have, it can create worry that you need that item and you go buy an unneeded duplicate. This is a waste of time, energy and precious resources.

So the second list is your inventory.

The third list is the difference between what you need and what you have. I call this my “Need to Buy” list. This list is dynamic. When I obtain something on the list, I move it to list #2. When the Spirit tells me something I need, I put it on this list. This list grows and shrinks, but eventually gets much smaller. This list keeps one’s purchases focused so one doesn’t make duplicate purchases.

So the third list is what I “Need to Buy”.

The fourth list is my evacuation list. Much of my gear is preloaded in my trailers, but there are items in my home that I want to take when the time comes. The night we move, is going to be stressful. It is best to have a plan already thought out of what needs to taken from the home, how it is going to be packed, and how it is going to be transported. My wife and I have made a list of things in each room that we want to pack and bring. Then we assigned the rooms to members of the family. They are responsible for packing those items and bringing them to the trailers. Each person also is allowed one personal bin. This is for things like scriptures, laptop, etc. I have requested each make a list of the items to be included in their personal bins so that someone else could pack it for them if they were not able to.

So the fourth list is the evacuation list.

One last suggestion that I used to help with my prepping and packing. There are so many “what ifs” that goes through one’s mind when prepping. If we follow all of those “what if” scenarios and try to prepare for each one, it can not only be discouraging, but almost immobilizing. We cannot prepare for every contingency, and I am sure the Lord doesn’t want us to. As a husband and father, I am to preside, provide and protect. Because of my especially strong inclinations to provide and protect, I want to eliminate any depravations that my family might experience. But it is impossible to move from our home to a tent and not be deprived of the comforts and luxuries that we now experience. I also recognize the limitations we have regarding the space and weight of what we can transport. All of us are concerned about being able to fit our supplies into our vehicles and trailers. Because of this, I did a ranking of my supplies.

It is a simple ranking of A-survival, B-comfort, and C-luxury. If there is a choice of bringing an A item or a C item because of space and/or weight limitations, it is an easy decision.  That is, if I make the decision prior to the stress of the moving day. It is too easy to make emotional and imprudent decisions regarding what is really important to bring, if we wait until moving day to decide. A sleeping bag is more important than a family heirloom. We will all have to leave things behind that we love and cherish, but we need to keep focused on the A list (survival).  As you prioritize, you will focus on “A” items first, then “B” and then “C”. 

So the four lists are:

  1. Items needed for your most likely scenario.
  2. Inventory
  3. Need to Buy (difference between lists 1 and 2).
  4. Evacuation plan (what has to be packed from the house and where it is)

I hope that this info on the four lists helps some of you be more effective in your prepping. The better we are prepared, the more able we will be to help our many future neighbors that might not have the same level of preparation.



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