Immediate Needs focuses on those things that will save your life or that of a family member from an imminent risk or threat. This category is dedicated simply to mitigating the imminent risks or threats to your life, or that of a family member.
In the previous post in this series (Spending for Surviving: The 70/20/10 Rule: Part 2 – Needs Categories) I went over the importance of having a valid and consistent ‘needs description’ system. Then we moved on to generally explain how the spending breaks down. Now we will discuss exactly how to spend for Immediate Needs and how that will help us reduce or eliminate immediate risks and threats.
This category is not meant to be a guide on how to go camping, evacuate to a Red Cross shelter or how to form a militia. This is what and how to acquire those items that will save the lives of your family immediately after a disaster or emergency. It can apply to any disaster, emergency or even the worst of the TEOTWAWKI scenarios. If you want to know more about what are the biggest threats and risks you face read my post SURVIVING ANY DISASTER: Part 3 – Basic Threat Assessment
Suffice to say for this discussion that Immediate Needs covers risks and threats that are occurring right now or will occur within hours, but not more than a day or so. The risk or threat is such that you or a family member could lose your life or become seriously injured to the point of incapacitation. In other words…staying alive.
The Immediate Needs category is probably the single most important category because a mistake here could have an immediate negative affect on life. To put it into formal terms – Life safety is always the #1 priority. Here is my list of priorities within this category, in order of importance:
- Self-defense (Means to protect myself and my family from physical threats.)
- Medical care (Trauma level only, a.k.a First Aid.)
So my experience has shown me that if I was starting “prepping” right now, today, with nothing, here is the list of things I would acquire and which of the above priorities it addresses. This list would help mitigate Immediate Needs risks & threats:
• Blow-Out Kit (BOK) – Medical care
• Pistol + 2 magazines + 100 rounds + holster – Self-defense
• Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) – Medical care
• Hand held radio* + 2 sets of batteries (AA or AAA batteries) – Communication
• Survival straw type water filter – Water
• Water purification tablets (10-days) – Water
• Water bottle (stainless steel, 1 liter) – Water
• Folding knife – Self-defense
• Mylar space blanket – Shelter
• Bic lighter (at least 2) – Fire
• Emergency food 3 days (freeze dried or MREs) & Spork – Food
• Poncho (cammo colored) – Shelter
• 550 Paracord (at least 50’) – Shelter
• Tactical Light (not a full sized flashlight)* (AA or AAA batteries recommended) – Self-defense
* Make every effort to keep batteries standard. Use AA or AAA batteries for everything that requires batteries
You can use my list if you wish. Alternatively, now is the time to draw up your own list. I have spent a whole lot of time on developing this list over the years and I feel it covers the basics really well. I believe in serious prioritizing and I understand weight and space limitations. However, make the list your own and think it through…think it through thoroughly.
Whether you use my list or your list go look through your entire house, every closet, drawer, box, and bin because you may have some of these items already. Cross off the items from your list. Once your scavenger hunt is over you have your priority list of items to buy.
Remember the $1,000 in your budget that I talked about in the previous post in this series (The 70/20/10 Rule: Part 2 – Needs Categories)? Well, 70% of $1,000 is $700. So go ahead and start purchasing the list items in this article with the $700; but don’t spend more than the $700 or buy more items that are on the list.
Look for the next post in this series, Spending for Survival: The 70/20/10 Rule: Part 4 – Medium-Term Needs
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