It is important to regularly acquire survival gear, food, and training. Even just ten or twenty dollars a week and one weekend a month will go far over the course of several years in the purchase of food, clothing, self defense items, and training.

The most important considerations are to:

Regularly add to your emergency preparedness stores so that over time you accumulate a significant amount.

Keep your emergency preparedness stores up to date and viable.

Train yourself in the proper use of your gear.

Acquire knowledge and experience in the survival arts.

When acquiring survival items you should consider:

Will the item serve a real need in a survival or emergency situation?
Do you have the ability to use the item? Perhaps its full and proper use will require training. For example, if you have not trained to use a map and compass it may be of little use when you are lost in the wilderness.

If the item should break down can you repair it with the means you have available? Often simpler is better - an axe will always work, but a chainsaw may not.

Does the item require something in order to function? Gas, electricity, oil, warm weather and many other things may be in short supply during disasters, emergencies, and survival situations.

How much of the item may you need? For how long are you going to need it? For example, I recommend at least 1-gallon of clean water per day per person. That means a monthís supply of water for drinking and cooking for a family of four is 120-gallons.

Is the item practical for the conditions you are likely to encounter? Take into consideration climate, surrounding environment (jungle, desert, cold region, urban, etc). For example, in arid regions you may not need snorkeling gear but along the coast or near bodies of fresh water a divers mask could help you acquire and abundance of wild foodstuffs. Winter survival takes specialized gear and knowledge.

If you are forced to move on can you easily bring the item with you?

bviously you cannot carry on foot 120-gallons of water. But you can bring with you the means to disinfect water for your needs. Some items, such as food, may need to be rotated so that your stock remains fresh. This will also have the effect of reducing your survival budget since you have to eat anyway.

Once your initial stocks of survival preparedness food have been laid in, you only need to replace that which you rotate out and use. For example, you can purchase large sacks of rice for your emergency food cache. As you use up a sack of rice over the course of your regular pre-disaster meals, replenish your stock. Continue to draw from the older food items, replacing them as they are consumed. In this way the food in your survival cache remains viable at all times and your food budget does not increase.

As discussed above, it is important to set aside funds for the regular acquisition of survival supplies and training. The requirements for full emergency preparedness may seem large when just beginning, but a series of baby steps will eventually produce large results. You need to do this for yourself and your family, so if you havenít already then start now.