May 28, 2024

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Do you have tons of preps but end up buying replacements of items you KNOW you have but just can’t lay hands on? Do you have everything you need for specific types of emergencies? How’s your emergency binder looking? And what about that prep closet (or room, or cabinet) – do you even know what’s in it?

Getting organized as a prepper is almost as important as having the preps themselves. You know the saying, if you can’t protect it, you don’t own it? Well, if you can’t find it when you need it, you might as well not own it.

This is why I swear by lists. I know, I know. A lot of experts in the survival industry will tell you that you can’t survive by list alone. And I agree. Just having a checklist and fulfilling it doesn’t mean that I have the skills to use the items I bought or even whether those specific items will be useful in my setting. Lists are definitely not the be-all and end-all of preparedness.

However, if you’re not using them, you are overlooking a vital tool. Lists are the secret weapon of the most organized preppers.

Here’s how I use lists to be better prepared.

I use lists religiously to stay prepared and well-organized. If my preps are set up in a way that I can quickly find what I need in an emergency, I’m able to breeze past the “finding that thing” part of my plan and enact the next step. This makes me better able to handle just about anything life throws at me.

As a creative person, I’m prone to chaos. I can easily drift into disarray which can then rapidly descend into pandemonium. Lists help a lot with this. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I can note where specific things are kept in my general list, making them quick and easy to locate when I need them.
  • It helps me to keep like items with like items.
  • It helps me to quickly see what I’m missing for an expected situation, rather than needing to pull everything out and do an inventory.
  • It helps me budget my efforts. I can look at my lists and see where I may be falling short. Then I can focus my preparedness energy and money there.

Since I’ve become better about using lists, I’ve had many fewer experiences of buying the same whatchamacallit repeatedly because I can’t locate the whatchamacallits I already have.

What kind of lists should you have?

Like all things preparedness, you should have lists that relate specifically to you and your family. If you don’t live in tornado country, you probably don’t need to stock a storm cellar. Likewise, if you’re far from the sea, preparing for a hurricane doesn’t make sense. The same thing goes for other regional likelihoods, such as earthquakes and wildfires.

In general, here are some examples of lists you should have.

  • General supply lists for a wide range of emergencies – the basics (and be sure to note the locations of your supplies)
  • Food checklists
  • Medical supply lists
  • Lists for specific emergencies like hunkering down, nuclear disasters, vehicle emergency kits, or civil unrest
  • Localized lists for emergencies that are common to your region
  • Action checklists to prep for evacuations, home inventory, pantry inventory, and prepper skills
  • Personal information packets for each family member with health info, important documents, legal documents, important phone numbers, accounts, and property deeds.

Particularly with personal information, you’ll want to be very careful about how you store it or you could run the risk of it being used for identity theft and fraud. I keep mine encrypted and password protected on a USB and also in hard copy in a fireproof safe.

Where to find the lists

You can find lists for preparedness all over the internet. We have dozens on this website alone that are free for the taking. Just use the search bar on the right-hand side of this page to look up different types of emergencies or preparations you may be wanting to focus on.

As well, I have a product that you might also like. It’s called The Prepper’s Interactive Book of Lists.

It’s jam-packed with more than 40 lists to help you get organized and ready for anything. It’s interactive, so you can open it up and type in all your information, check off your boxes, and use the book however you need to. 

Use this book as a shopping list, a checklist, and an organizational tool. You can print it all out or only the pages you need. You can store it on your computer, on a USB, or in the cloud so you can access it anywhere, any time. (Wherever you store this deeply personal information, please encrypt it or protect it with a password.)

If you prefer old school, don’t despair with all this high tech stuff! Print it out and put it in a looseleaf binder. (It’s designed with space for the binder clip holes.)

Here are the lists contained within:

Part 1: General Supply Lists

  • 1-Week of No-Cook Food List
  • 2-Week Food List
  • Prepper Food List
  • 2-Week Power Outage Checklist
  • Special Needs and Comfort Items List
  • Pet Prepping Checklist
  • Sanitation Checklist
  • How to Make a Kitty Litter Toilet
  • Non-Food Stockpile Checklist
  • Last Minute Shopper’s Checklist

Part 2: Medical Supply Lists

  • OTC Med Checklist
  • First Aid Checklist (Traumatic Injuries)
  • Health History for Each Family Member
  • Veterinary Supply List

Part 3: Checklists for Specific Emergencies

  • Sheltering in Place After a Nuclear Strike Checklists
  • How to Use Potassium Iodide After a Nuclear Emergency
  • Pre-Disaster Home Readiness Checklist
  • Post-Disaster Home Safety Checklist
  • Pandemic Illness Supply List
  • Pandemic Isolation Area Checklist
  • Vehicle Emergency Checklist
  • Winter Warm-up Checklist
  • Civil Unrest Checklist
  • Civil Unrest Lockdown Plan

Part 4: Action Checklists 

  • Home Inventory Checklist
  • Evacuation Checklist
  • Get-home Plan
  • How to do a Pantry Inventory
  • Food Safety Checklist
  • Activities for Kids During a Power Outage
  • Prepper Skills Checklist
  • 101 Small Ways to Prep

Part 5: Personal Emergency Preparedness Binder

  • Adult Personal information
  • Child Personal information
  • Pet information
  • Financial information
  • Homeowner’s or rental information
  • Automotive Information
  • Legal information
  • Important phone numbers
  • Emergency Contacts

This is the most comprehensive book of its kind that you’ll find!

This weekend only, I’m offering it for half price, for just $12.50! Use it to check that your preps are in order, to see what you need to get, and to get yourself organized and ready for an uncertain future.

The proceeds from your purchase will go to help us upgrade our server. (You may have noticed that the site has been down several times recently.) We greatly appreciate your support! Your purchase is a win for everybody!

Go here to grab your Interactive Book of Lists! https://selfrelianceandsurvival.com/product/the-preppers-book-of-lists/

Are you a list person?

Do you use lists to help yourself be better prepped and organized? How have lists helped you in your preparedness endeavors? Are there any checklists you’d add to the recommended ones above? Let’s discuss lists in the comments section.