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I am not an alarmist. I don’t believe in pandering to people’s fears in order to sell magazines. I just like to be prepared. The time to prepare for an emergency is not after it has occurred.

Slim Pickings

One thing to take into consideration is that in times of crisis, the stores will be packed full of hysterical people who didn’t prepare, and most of the supplies needed to survive and thrive through a disaster will fly off the shelves quite quickly. The only supplies you’ll have are those items you were smart enough to stock up on when there was no emergency in sight.

A good example of this was Hurricane Harvey, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in late August 2017. As word of the powerful storm began to circulate, most of the critical items flew off the shelves, and fuel costs skyrocketed across the nation. Supplies such as food, water, ammunition, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, sugar, flower, salt, and preserved food stores and medical supplies were in such high demand that they all but disappeared when the realization set in with people that they were going to be fending for themselves at least for a while.

It is never a bad idea to stock up on nonperishable items with long shelf lives. You should start a system via which you rotate out older items through consumption and replace them with items of extended shelf lives. Be careful not to purchase “on sale” food items with expiration dates that are coming to an end. In addition, beware of dented, damaged or swollen containers and cans, because this can be a sign that the seal has been compromised, and the contents could have spoiled or have a reduced shelf life.

“You don’t have to be a perpetuator of doom and gloom to be prepared for a crisis. All you have to do is recognize that we live in a world in which emergencies do happen.”

The Currency of Lead … Bullet Lead

As we try to store away items to help us through an emergency, one item that stands out to me as probably one of the smarter items to stock up on is ammunition.

Ammunition can help protect and feed yourself and your loved ones. That said, you can have an arsenal of firearms—but they are only as good as the amount of ammunition you have for them.

As the fights against gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment go on, one of the “backdoor” threats that face gun owners is the availability of ammunition. Add a natural or manmade disaster to that equation, and you can expect ammunition to be in high demand and surely difficult, if not imposable, to get your hands on. That is why I encourage you to stockpile ammunition for their firearms now so you will have it if and when it becomes a problem to purchase on the open market.

While it should be your top priority to stock up on the ammunition that matches your personally owned weapons, don’t forget to stock up on a few common calibers, as well, to be used as bartering items. Ammunition such as .22, 9mm, .45 ACP, 7.62×39, 5.56 and assorted 12-gauge ammunitions are always good to have, even if you don’t currently own the weapons to match that ammo.

When a crisis hits and things go south, they do so in a hurry. Your ammo storage plan should include having some mags loaded up for your go-to guns. These organizers from Mag Storage Solutions work perfectly for that. (Photo: Robb Manning)

Long-Term Storage Solutions

Another thing that you will want to consider is long-term ammunition storage.

Anytime you want to store ammunition for a long period of time, one of the biggest problems you will run into is corrosion. The best way to avoid corrosion is to store your ammunition in a cool, dry place. If you don’t do this, you might run into problems that will make firing the ammunition either dangerous or impossible to fire—such as bad primers, ruptured cartridges and rust, to name a few. I suggest you store ammunition either in its original packaging or vacuum seal it.

Another way to store it is in 5-gallon buckets with silica packets placed inside to cut down on moisture. You can fit about 6,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition in one 5-gallon bucket. You can also go online or to a military surplus store and purchase ammo cans for very little money.

You don’t have to be a perpetuator of doom and gloom to be prepared for a crisis. All you have to do is recognize that we live in a world in which emergencies do happen.

We have a choice to either prepare—to protect and provide for ourselves and our loved ones by ourselves in a time of crisis—or we can depend on the government to do that for us. History has shown that it could take days, weeks or longer for aid and relief to arrive.

“Murphy’s Law” says, “Anything bad that can happen will happen at the most inopportune time.” Don’t be a Murphy; start building up your supply stores now, so that when you need it most, you can have the peace of mind of knowing you can take care of yourself.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the December 2017 print issue of Gun World Magazine.