Monday, September 5, 2011
Preparedness Organization - Inventory
One of the most challenging aspects of preparedness is organization. It is one thing to have supplies put away, it is something else altogether to know where they are. Preparedness stores can quickly become an out-of-control mess with a lack of organization. A key aspect of effective preparedness is maintaining a comprehensive, up-to-date inventory.
Although we have been preppers for the better part of 15 years, we don't have very much space in which to properly store our preparations. The food is jumbled in with the tactical gear. The bedding co-mingles with the toilet paper. Although it isn't ideal, we have to use the space we have to achieve our preparedness goals. Because of a lack of proper storage space, acquiring more preparedness stores can be an exercise in frustration. One thing gets shoved on top of another and pretty soon we have to repel to get to the other side of the mountain of supplies. The reality of this situation is that if there were ever truly an emergency, we would be hard pressed to actually put our hands on needed food or equipment.
Recently, Sir Knight and I decided to tackle our organizational nightmare. We started at the beginning of our shelving units, inventoried each item (including the number of each item), cleaned each bucket and rearranged the shelves so that like items were together. We assigned locations for each shelving units, including shelf numbers and included those on the inventory. We wrote everything down, whether it was food, tactical gear, medical equipment or communications gear. We included a location for each item. It was a long, hot project, but the end result was an extraordinarily organized storage space. Finally, if we needed something, we could lay our hands on it!
After we inventoried our entire storage space, I created a list of each item and its location, clipped it on a clipboard and hung it on the proper shelf. This enables anyone going into our storage room to determine, at a glance, what items are on each shelving unit. Once the lists for the shelving units were complete I created a Master List. The Master List included EVERY item on EVERY shelf, in alphabetical order along with its location on the shelf. The Master List lives in the house. If I need to know about a specific item, I can look on the Master List and locate the item within minutes. It also lets me know if I have a specific item or if I need to acquire it.
The reality is that preparedness takes effort. It is not enough just to buy food stores and equipment. You have to systematically rotate and organize your stores. Keeping an accurate and complete inventory will render your supplies readily available and easily accessible. Don't just rest on the knowledge that you have what you need "somewhere". Make the effort to know exactly what you have and were it is located. It will be the best few hours you ever spent.