Preppers Journal: Record Keeping For Disaster Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness Checklist

If your prepping is hap hazardous then your readiness for a crisis could be called into question. There are certain records that you should keep to ensure, you always know where you are at all times when it comes to being ready for a crisis.

Staying organized is important and if you cannot determine what you have, when you bought it, how much you have, and how long it is good for, then you may run into problems at some point, problems that could cost you money and have an effect on your preparedness. Good record keeping can help to keep you up to date and always ready.

First, however, let’s talk about security and record keeping. Businesses big and small today are developing their own disaster plans. Often times the businesses do so in cooperation with local authorities, the Red Cross and even FEMA in some cases.

Schools in particular will develop plans and stockpile certain supplies, materials, and equipment that must be purchased, inventoried and safeguarded. Private and public organizations prepare for active shooters, natural disasters, and man-made disasters.

Your preparedness and record keeping would not be much different from a large corporation except for the scale. You, as well as businesses need a plan, need supplies and need someone that is in charge of various aspects of the operation and above all else the organization needs good record keeping.

In your case you will want to control your supplies and materials so you know if there is theft, loss (misplacement), damage, spoilage, and wastefulness. You need to keep track of purchases, when and where in most cases, and track usage, when and where and by whom.

Children and even some in your Prepper group may decide that emergency supplies are so-called community property. Your children may think that mom and dad’s gear and supplies would make for a nifty camping expedition.

If you are responsible for a Prepper group and if those in the group combine resources to make purchases, you never want to be in a position where something (money) cannot be accounted for. Money, friends, and even family do not mix well in some cases. Anytime others are involved in purchases that benefit the group, as a whole, then the records must be in order for those that have a need to know, or a stake in the outcome if you will.

Does the money that has been spent match the inventory on hand? When something used the money is spent to replace it must be accounted for. If you cannot account for purchases and then match against usage then you have no idea where yours or someone else’s money is going essentially.     

The problem with record keeping is that others can access those records unless properly safeguarded, and records as simple as a receipt for ammunition and supplies should be protected from prying eyes. Records will help you do costs comparisons, track what you have and how much you have used, for example.

Today, most people keep records on computers, smart phones, and tablets which are susceptible to hacking, or susceptible to snoops that simply pick up your device. If your information is not safeguarded then anyone that comes into your home could potentially have access.

You as an individual may not find this too alarming, but if you have organized a Prepper group, helped with your company’s disaster plan, or even helped your school with theirs then there is information, records in other words, that have to be safeguarded. Have a security plan in place for your records and for the records of all involved when you are helping out, or actually work for an organization that has a crisis plan in place.

It is important that you keep meticulous records when it comes to firearms. At some point you may have to prove ownership, and you do not want to rely on the person or business you bought the firearm from to provide the documents. They may not have them, or it can take weeks in some cases, for the business or individual to provide the documents, and in the mean time your firearms are confiscated because of a paperwork snafu.

Your records are personal and you may want to limit the number of people that know you have a firearm, for example. In some states you can purchase a firearm without a license so a public record request may not show that you own any at all, which to some is a good thing, so do not make it easy for anyone to find out by leaving records laying around the house that anyone including your children can access.

Inventory sheets are records and the more organized you are the more money you can save in some cases. Not knowing the shelf life of all foods stockpiled can mean you end up wasting food. Not knowing what you have may result in duplicates as well. Of course, you cannot have too many cans of this food or that food, but the money you spend to buy something you already have may have been better spent on something you did not have. Knowing what is on hand gives you better control over how your money is spent.

You need to track what comes in and what goes out just like a financial budget, and less coming in with more going out usually means you end up with nothing. Some of you may be thinking that your supply stockpile is not large enough to worry about it. A simple glance at the shelf tells you all you need to know. However, you may not be the only one involved, others in the family may at some point have to do it, and so they need to know the details, and what better way to get up to speed than looking at the records you have kept.

Everyone needs a budget. A certain amount has to be set aside to fund your prepping, because if prepping supplies are not accounted for separately and if everything is considered daily use then things may be used without you realizing they are gone, things that you will need during a crisis. If you are not paying attention you may not know this until disaster strikes.

If you have been prepping for some time and have not kept records you can start now. You would have to go through and inventory, update, discard and replace to ensure you are ready.

You need to know what you have, what it is used for, and a record of training with any specialized equipment or gear by all involved. Additional things you may need to know include expected life span of the gear, material, or supplies, and current replacement costs of all supplies.