We have all heard the famous saying in regards to the basics of preparedness; “Beans, Bullets and Bandaids”. It stands for the proposition that the initial steps in preparation MUST include food/water, firearms/training and medical supplies/first aid know-how. No one argues about the first layer. It sufficiently covers the basics. It will allow you to remain in your home/retreat fed, protected and cared for. For those of you who are still on the road to a SPS (sufficient preparedness state) what comes next? Level 2!
Level 2 in my opinion is the next step in preparedness. Below is a list of gear or skills that should be put together immediately after or concurrent to the level 1, beans, bullets and bandaids.
1. Lighting. In the winter (and depending on your location) you maybe operating during low light conditions 50% of your day. Lighting can be broken into three types.
a. High intensity lighting with short run times: This lighting is for use during tactical, rescue or other emergency situations. You should have 25% of your overall lighting in this category. My favorite is the Surefire G2. It comes with a standard 65 lumens bulb for 60 minutes of runtime for only $36. I have bought several different colors so I can tell them apart and each color has a different purpose. You can also upgrade to a 120 lumen bulb but the run time is then cut to 20 minutes! I have one of my G2s with this bulb and it is BRIGHT!
If you are super cash baller go for the Surefire M6! It comes standard with a 250 lumen bulb and a 500 lumen bulb for retina searing light. But, you are going to pay for this … $390! If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or any other billionaire is reading this then you guys can afford the supreme lighting solution … the BEAST. 2000 LUMENS at a bargain price of only $5,000! Got a mounted .50 cal machine gun on your McMansion, then go with the HellFire!!
b. Low intensity with long run times: Definitely not as sexy as the high intensity lights but more important overall. LED lights with low output should account for 75% of your lighting. The reason? Most of the time you are going to be performing relatively simple tasks that do not require insane lighting. LEDs use less battery power and the LEDs themselves will outlast you! I like the Mini-Maglight 2 AA LED. It is simple and based on a time tested design. They are a bit pricey though.
c. EMP backup: Lightsticks, Lightsticks, Lightsticks. They are a bit pricey and they only last a few years but you should have a few on hand.
a. Two-Way Radios:You will need communications gear. You will eventually need to venture out of the McMansion for something and you will want to be in communication with your base of operations. For the basics, really any radio will do. Anything is better than nothing. Pick up a set at Costco or Walmart. I suggest you go with Motorola but that is just my preference. I had 2 other non-motorolas before and they both failed on me… just died. My Motorolas have been going strong for two years now. Remember, the range they quote on the box is total BULL$HIT! The ones I have are rated at 10 or 15 miles (I can’t remember) but in my small town I only get 1.25 – 1.5 miles. Also, the hands-free kits are ESSENTIAL. You do not want to be sneaking around town only to have your radio start screaming someone’s voice!
b. Police Scanner:I am admittedly new to police scanners but they are an essential part of a preparedness plan. Why? You gotta know what is going on in YOUR location. You must assume the internet is going to be down, the TV stations are no longer broadcasting and the radio stations are intermittent at best. A scanner will allow you to legally eavesdrop on police, fire, air traffic, federal agencies etc. Once the SHTF, the scanner may be your only source of intel. Get one, learn how to use it and find out the local broadcast frequencies for your police and fire.
Good Luck and Keep Prepping!