Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Building an Emergency Stockpile

We all know that stockpiling survival food and other necessities is a very good idea. It’s not only helpful during short-term emergencies. Someday it could literally be a lifesaver.

But that’s assuming you do it right. Unfortunately, too many well-intended folks make stockpiling mistakes. And those errors lead to problems.

Today I want to share with you what our preparedness guru, Seth Weller, says are the top five stockpiling mistakes. As well as providing advice on how to avoid them.

Seth has not only seen these mistakes made through the years. He’s also heard from the Customer Council team about how these errors negatively impact preparedness plans.

Take that first step

An emergency can overwhelm you like an elephant in the room. And how do you eat an elephant? You take one bite at a time. Starting sooner than later makes all the difference in ensuring you end up with a fool-proof plan…

That’s why first on Seth’s list of mistakes is not getting started. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s far too common. Most people know they should stockpile survival food and other items. And they think about it periodically. But they keep putting it off.

Why? Because they view it as an overwhelming task. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. The key is to start small. Every little step helps you get better prepared. And each step also serves to reduce anxiety about the future.

Sit down and identify the most likely scenarios that could lead to serious problems you might experience. In many cases, that’s extreme weather that could result in a loss of electrical power. Or contaminate your water. Or keep you from obtaining groceries.

Then be proactive and solve one problem at a time. Stay consistent and keep at it. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be prepared for the uncertainty our world offers.

Be certain you’re prepared

The second mistake is not knowing for sure that your preparations will do what you need them to do in the event of an emergency.

The number one rule at 4Pariots University is, “Don’t lie to yourself.” In other words, don’t try to convince yourself you’re prepared without closely examining what you need to be prepared.

You need to take a very close look at what preparedness means for you. Then work on each component of that process until you’ve accomplished your goal.

In our consultations, people often tell us about the items they’ve stockpiled and the knowledge they’ve obtained. That’s all well and good. But the truth will come out when an emergency occurs.

Are you sure you have enough?

The third critical stockpiling error is not having enough to sustain yourself and your family during a crisis. Too many people have miscalculated and then regretted it when they ran out during an emergency.

A case of water, for example, may seem like it will be enough prior to an extreme weather event. But then it runs out quickly. Especially because emergencies are lasting longer these days than they used to.

Study some previous emergencies in your area. Determine how long they lasted and what the recovery time was like. How long was the power out? How long were roads impassable? How long were grocery store shelves picked clean?

Consider this mentality: “One is none, two is one, three is best.” In other words, you will probably always need more than you think you will. In addition to food, power, and water, think about other items. Including first-aid, medications, flashlights, batteries, etc.

Write it right now

Fourth on Seth’s list of stockpiling mistakes is not having a written plan. Because you’re preparing for potentially the worst experience of your life, you need to take it seriously.

And that means crafting a written plan you can access at any moment. There will be significant stress during an emergency. It will be easy to make mistakes. But don’t make this mistake. You’ll want something to refer to.

A step-by-step written plan will keep you centered. And moving in the right direction during a demanding and difficult situation.   

Sharing this plan with other household members will enable them to better assist you. Both before a crisis occurs and while it is unfolding.

Aim for comfort in a crisis

Don’t assume the emergency you face will be a life-or-death survival situation. It could be, of course. But it’s more likely that being prepared will allow you to be comfortable while the unprepared are miserable.

People lost in the wilderness with no food and water are trying to survive. Those emerging from a plane crash in a remote area are trying to survive.

A more realistic situation for you will be having to hunker down after a storm knocks out power. And contaminates water. And makes roads impassable.

So, if you have survival food, back-up power, a water purification device, and other essential items, you’ll be able to handle it. Prepare with life as you know it now in mind.  

By avoiding the stockpiling mistakes above, you’ll put yourself in a good position to deal with an emergency. And that will give you peace of mind now, as well as during the coming storm.


  • Pati - June 26, 2024

    Thank you for willingly preparing us in the practical things.

  • Deborah McLean - June 26, 2024

    Clear and concise advise. I have broken rule number one: “Don’t Lie To Yourself”. I have stockpiled, however, I have procrastinated in writing the step-by-step plan! I believed that I shall be fine in a crisis but without a written plan shared with my family/grandkids, I will have potentially put them at risk and set them up for failure during a crisis. Resolution: Writing a detailed plan today!

  • Rose Ann Cox - June 26, 2024

    Very helpful in putting us on the right course that will relieve a lot of stress! I better start working on my written plan!
    Thank you for all this information!

  • Edward Beacham - June 26, 2024

    first aid and meds 1, Liquid – 2, food and cooking- 3, weather conditions and eq. 4, communications 5, transportation 6, Housing 7, traveling *
    and last in sleeping! This the order as I see it and last is protection from mature, weather, and surrounding conditions

  • Margaret Beverly - June 26, 2024

    I have been trying to prepare for anything but it’s difficult when you don’t have storage space for some of the essentials. I have been stocking up on food but I need more water. I know power is essential but other priorities take precedence. Thank you for the advice of writing out a survival plan.

  • Windy West - June 26, 2024

    I have been stockpiling small amts .. and checking everything I do have. I do not want to face the scenario at the grocery stores as in the recent pandemic.. with no food available, and survival is kicking in for everyone in the area. An extreme emergency may not happen, but if it does, I do not want to regret not preparing when I had the chance. Thanks to Patriot supply for keeping us informed.

  • john hanley - July 01, 2024

    The power part ya mentioned is most expensive to accomplish. I’m a 83 y.o disabled milvet, so I can’t use an el cheapo easy to set up bike powered reliable generator, that don’t need wind or sun to power it, butt, ole fashioned muscle power. Actually galley save style rowing is a more efficient way to harness muscle power, butt, that require a different and more expensive set up to pull off. Does yer course have any videos describin’ this alternative? I ask ‘cuz with lotsa sun here in horlando, its only 12 hours a day, with 8-10 hours of actual solar intensity, ’cuz dawn and sunset don’t offer much solar energy, ‘cuz of the angle. The 4Patriots solar cooker is an affordable source of cooking energy, but not for anything ese, its a shame it can’t be configured to recharge batteries for light at night … hint-hint. an extra sales gimmick, if’n yun’s an make it happen. The emergency radio has a hand crank which is too small to produce much usable power, an extended handle, hint-hint’d be better way to get light when ya need it, and charge batteries at the same time.

  • pamela diane east - June 24, 2024

    thank you for info we are on the right track just need to improve on a couple of things thank you

  • Jim Henderson (not James7) - June 24, 2024

    I never looked at it this way. I have everything on the list but a written plan. I guess that’ next. Thanks.

Leave a comment

*Required Fields