Category Archives: Survival Manual

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Emergency shelter

(Survival manual/ 4. Shelter issues/Emergency shelter)

 Building a Survival Shelter
There are many books and DVDs on survival and most of them cover the survival shelter. God forbid that you’ve ever in an emergency situation requiring you to survive in one. What follows is a visual listing of several potentially life saving shelters, going from a true emergency to the garden shed- cabin concept.

Poncho shelters

Primitive Lean-to Shelter
The lean-to  is the simplest and fastest Survival Shelter to build.
You will need a horizontal branch which can be tied between two trees or supported by two branches crossed over. Then branches are leaned against the wind side to create an angled roof. The roof can than be covered with branches, grass, leaves or moss.
This one is usually found near a survival cache. It’s a spot where all the basics are covered like shelter, weapons, 3 days worth of food, and water gathering materials. You make this camp in preparation of moving to a better more permanent location soon.  They are great for those of us that like being
able to Bug Out quickly without a second thought.
•  Advantages: Very quick to set up,  easily hidden, cheap.
•  Disadvantages: temporary, not easily defended, limited supplies.

Debris Hut
A debris hut is a good option when in search of warmth and it is also easy to construct.
1)  It is built by constructing a simple tripod using two short stakes and one long “ridgepole,” a sturdy pole which  runs down the length of the shelter.
2 )  Large sticks are then propped up along the length of the ridgepole. This is the shelters “ribbing.”
3)  Next, in a way similar to the building of the vertical ribbing, smaller sticks are placed horizontally to make a criss-crossed pattern or latticework. This latticework will support the insulating materials.
4)  After insulating materials (leaves, grass, etc.) are collected, they are laid over the construction until the layer is one to two meters thick. Thicker for more insulation.
5)  The floor is then covered with a 12 inch layer of the material.
6) Then a pile of material is placed near the doorway. This pile is to  be dragged to the door in order to “shut” the door. Finally, the “ribbing” step is then repeated to hold the insulation material in place.

Once again in brief: To build a debris shelter you will need a sturdy ridge-pole this will need to be propped on a sturdy log or rock, When the ridge-pole is in place, you will need to place sticks close together along both sides at an angle, leaving an opening for a door. At this stage, it will look like a backbone with ribs. Cover the roof with branches, grass, leaves or moss. For inner insulation you will need to find the softest, driest debris  possible. Pad it out top to bottom, go inside and compress it. This Survival Shelter will keep you warm if done properly.

[Photo above: Literally, a "debris hut", but one which works in an emergency situation.]


Pallet house #1
 The average life of a Refugee camp is 7 years, with some camps maintaining residency over 50 years. There is a need for an alternative shelter to the typical tent solution that can transform a temporary living condition into a permanent home.

Pallet House by I-Beam Design, was conceived as a transitional shelter for returning Refugees. It’s a good looking house, especially for a pallet house.

Pallet house #2
The floor is made from pallets with slates abutted to each other. Can be set on a stone foundation to keep  the wood off the ground. A simple 16 by 16 foot shelter can be created with 100 pallets.
[Picture at right: A more ambitious pallet house with an interior wall. Exterior can be covered with plastic sheets, tin, or thin plywood.]

Simple building designs that can be quickly and easily erected with common materials are becoming more and more essential as climate change and population growth push the limits of traditional building. Quick, affordable and sturdy housing will only be more in demand in the coming years, so ideas like the Pallet House can be invaluable for destabilized communities.

Micro Shelter

A mini/micro shelter designed as a tiny, easy to build “escape cube” (for indoors or out), and/or a super-affordable short-term shelter for the homeless or for hikers/travelers, etc. Total cost: Approx. $100-$110. It’s a mere 16 square feet inside, but “roomier” than you might think, for something mainly built out of two sheets of plywood. [For an emergency or remote camp where such a structure could be prepositioned, the concept of the above microshelter is as expedient as it is inexpensive. Made with full 8 feet long sheets of plywood it would provide a much larger, almost solid structure to sleep or escape into in the advent of inclement weather.]
The shelter also could be put on an elevated platform for security from some wildlife, or cranked up into a tree with a come- along; even mounted on a utility trailer frame and filled with other camping or emergency supplies for vacation or ‘bugging out’. The beauty of this shelter is that it can be built in under a day, by someone with very little building experience.  Build it yourself.

Ideas for a precut garden shed/ emergency shelter/ cabin
Lets say the basic structure will be a common wood product garden shed as seen below, including a view from the outside and inside. You might want to have an extra, optional window installed for cross ventilation (2 windows minimum). These sheds are commonly sold by Home Depot and Lowe’s and can be bought as a kit or  professionally constructed on site.

Exterior additions
By adding a lean-to roof to the shed, you have an outdoor ‘porch’ or workspace;  by enclosing the lean-to roof, the space becomes a shed or an additional room. Solar panels could be installed on the roof to maintain a 2-4  sealed, deep cycle battery electric storage capacity, with which to charge your personal electronics (cell phones, Ipod, iPad, CD player, portable DVD player), a fan, lap top computer and for night time illumination.


Once you see and can imagine everyday furnishings set in a garden shed and begin to think about electrifying that small space, the livability of such a common enclosure becomes evident.
An 8’x12′ or 10’x16′ gargen shed could easily become a comfortable, interm emergency dwelling.

Add preparedness functionality with:
Coleman stove set under window, several wash basins, Big Berky water filter, rain barrel, shed roof gutters, small wood burning stove with chimney or catalytic heater and appropriate size propane tank, bunk bed style camp cots, folding leaf table and chairs, porta-pottie, solar panel-battery storage, fan, 12 volt interior lighting, Zeer pot refrigerator, chest of drawers, overhead storage below rafters, outdoor clothes line….

With this concept in mind, all that you would need for ‘long’ term survival situation (this is not a complete list, but is a very good start) would be some cash, a bag of pre 1965 silver coins, a galvanized trash can filled with dry goods, another filled with canned foods, a stack of boxes of freeze dried and dehydrated foods, a solar oven, 1-2 sanitary fifty gallon drums of water with rainwater catchment or  several gallons of household bleach disinfectant, sleeping bags, cold and warm weather clothing (ie shorts, wide brim hat, long johns, hoodie, coat) some rat traps and conibear traps, a .22LR rifle and 12 gauge shotgun and  medications. The items in this last paragraph are- or will be, discussed in greater detail else where in Survival Manual, see the Categories or look under the Survival Manual tab at the top of the 4dtraveler home page.

Actual living conditions. What people have done, or are doing now…
In an emergency you CAN live in ‘small’ and you can probably do better than  much of what follows, below:

Russell Lee Home Sweet Hovel December 1936. “Mrs.Charles Benning sweeping steps of shack in Shantytown. Spencer, Iowa”

A temporary shelter packed in to a remote area piece meal, undergoing construction.

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Filed under Survival Manual, __4. Shelter Issues

Inexpensive non food items you should have on hand

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ Inexpensive non food items you should have on hand)

 A.  37 (updated to 70) Things You Should Stock but Probably Aren’t,
Excerpt pasted from:

non foods 1UPDATED:  37,  67,  70  Items!
Every survivalist message board and prepper blog tells you to stock the same things; weapons, water, food basics, etc. So, I went looking for a list of things that you should be stocking, but probably aren’t. Everything on the list will make your life many times easier after the SHTF, especially in a Bugging-In scenario.

1. Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
2. Gun Cleaning Supplies -cotton pads, Hoppe’s,  Remington Oil, etc.
3. Duct Tape
4. Cooking Oil
5. Shampoo
6. Deodorant
7. Laundry Detergent
8. Books or other reading for enjoyment materials
9. WD-40
10. Sewing Supplies
11. Bolts, Nails Screws
12. Games
13. Paper and Pencils
14. Spare Parts for any and all gear
15. Musical Instruments
16. Lantern Mantles
17. Hand Tools
18. Broken window fix/replacement/cover (plywood or plastic panes)
19. Bleach
20. Household Cleaning Supplies
21. Sponges
22. Towels and Wash clothes
23. Gold Bond or Baby Power
24. Baby Supplies – diapers etc
25. Aloe
26. Sunscreen
27. Bug Spray (wearing kind)
28. Bug Spray (killing kind)
29. Comfort Foods – for morale
30. Chains and Locks
31. isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
32. Rat traps, snare wire, #110 Conibear traps
33. Lamp Wicks – for Oil and Alcohol Lamps
34. Lice Shampoo
35. Salt
35. Liquor
37. Glasses – Prescription and OTC

38. Alcohol Wipes
39. Eye drops
40. Pet Food
41. Fertilizer
42. Coolers
43. Buckets
44. Clothes Pins
45. Children’s clothes in sizes larger than they wear
46. Superglue
47. Wash board
48. Spray paint in black, white, green, brown and black.
49. Zippers, buttons, snaps, knee patches, Velcro
50. Patches for tents and tarps
51. Garbage bags
52. Lime
53. Charcoal/lighter fluid
54. Birth control
55. Vitamins
56. Razor blades
57. Saw blades (think 12 inch hack saw with several each wood, metal and ceramic cutting blades)
58. Garden tools
59. Spark plugs
60. Motor oil
61. Manuel Air/Tire pump
62. Bird seed to attract wild birds (food source)
63. Fire extinguishers
64. Wire
65. Q-tips
66. Cotton balls
67. Corn Starch
68. Thermal underwear
69. Bar soap
70. Toilet paper
71. “Fish” antibiotics

What Else?
This is a short list of things we are probably forgetting. What other things are going to be essential, or especially useful in a survival scenario that you don’t hear about a lot? Leave a comment and tell us yours.


B.  Best Stuff You’ll Need When SHTF
10 April 2013,, by
Pasted from:

I’ve updated my ways, and thinking on what to prepare, what to have before the big one hits, here’s my list:
When SHTF cell phone towers would be flooded with helpless people calling for help, emergency dispatch lines will be flooded and shut down. When the electricity goes out you’re gonna need help eventually, preppers should volunteer in the local community and help each other out, network with other preppers and don’t just sit in our house and help each other survive. The best communication would be a HAM RADIO, it’s the only way to maintain communication when SHTF!

Solar or Gas Generator:
You’re gonna need some way to power your stuff, your big stuff, like the fridge, radios, and etc. For your small stuff like GPS, rechargeable AA/AAA batteries, iPad, smart phones, LED lights, radios etc. Get a portable handheld solar charger, one that does not require batteries to operate, is water resistant and can last a long time. Solar will save our butts when the power no longer works due to an EMP or Solar Flare, or what-have-you.

Gasoline and Oil:
This is GOLD when SHTF, you will not be able to escape when you need to if you don’t have it. The world has already hit peak oil, this is just another item that people will be desperate to have.

1) Storing as many bottled water cases I could or filling up empty 2liters with ordinary tap water
2) Hoarding as many grocery bags, rolls of Saran wrap, garbage bags, tarps i could find. (for water collection and other things)
3) A few bottles of iodine 2%, bleach bottles.
4) Buckets and trash cans (to collect water in case it rains)

1) Planting Perennial Vegetables, here’s a list of 20 that once you plant them they will grow forever: berries, asparagus, rhubarb, kale, garlic, radish, artichokes, watercress, beans, etc.

2) Planting food trees like: pecan trees (pecans can last 3-4 months in storage, easy to grow and nutritious)lime trees (full of vitamin C, lasts a long time), Japanese fruit (these trees product A LOT of fruit and the fruit lasts a long time and delicious), peach trees (another tree that produces a lot of fruit with very little effort), fig (when SHTF they are great dried, dehydrated or canned just like peaches) also: pears, cherries, grapes, and apples are great unlimited producers. (planting fruit trees are the easiest to grow and provides you unlimited food as long as you care for them, check out the survivalist boards for a ton of information on fruit trees and survival)

3) Storing food like; rice, beans, cornmeal, lard, salt, canned meat, canned fruits, canned food, sugar, pasta, peanut butter, protein bars, powdered milk, powdered cheese, game meats (frozen), trout (frozen).. here’s a list of high-protein meats you can start dehydrating and turning into jerky or freezing them for later. (See at:
[This list includes:
The Most Protein Packed Foods:
_1.  Lamb (shoulder) - 30g of protein
_2.  Trout - 30g of protein
_3.  Pork (tenderloin) – 30g of protein
_4.  Beef (pot roast) – 28g of protein
_5.  Beef (round roast) – 27g of protein
_6.  Beef (sirloin) – 26g of protein
_7.  Chicken (white) – 26g of protein]

Like JP Morgan said: “Gold is money, everything else is just credit”, I tend to agree, things like Silver, Paper Money and etc. will all be left in the dust when SHTF, the only real money is Gold, always has been. Sorry silver dudes!

Medical Stuff:
First Aid Kit, Cotton, sutures, butterfly strips, needles, antiseptic, medicine, vitamins, Vaseline, tourniquets, cloth, medical scissors, scalpel, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, super glue, Saran wrap

Imodium AD (for diarrhea), Ipicac (force throw up poison), Charcoal (absorbs poison in the stomach), Ibuprofen, penicillin, Amoxicillin, Cephalexin (for infections).

Box of Bic lighters (I’d seal all the lighters in clear packing tape to water proof them and keep the gasoline from vaporizing.)
Wax Candles
Wax-Coated matches
Flint Rock and Steel
Magnifying Glass
Cattail (the most natural, flammable tinder i found)
A Ferro Rod

Other Survival Stuff:
And of course you got your basic essential survival stuff that everyone knows to carry, a Bug Out Bag, tools, knives, comfort stuff like sleeping bags, tarps, Tin Cutters, aluminum foil, a shake light, duct tape, packing tape, rope, para cord, string, twine, compass, LED USB headlamps, cooking material like pots and pans, mirrors, toilet paper (a whole lot of it!), flares, books, hooks, paper, pencils, sheers, can opener, a multi tool like a Leatherman, hatchets, saws, shovel, drills, personal protection, ammo, rifle, plunger etc.

You’ll need LOTS of these items: toilet paper, garbage bags, baby wipes, soap bars, liquid soap, hand sanitizer, alcohol, towels, floss, tooth brushes, eye drops, shavers, shaving cream, bleach, etc.

Also you might want to stock up on PVC pipe, gravel and sand when the toilets stop working, just dig a hole the same diameter of the pvc pipe with a double headed shovel as far as you can go, then dump some gravel or sand down there (do this in a place where soil is very soft or sandy) and cut the pvc pipe where you think it should be.. this will be where you piss.

If you have a septic system:
You can still use the toilet, just pour water in the tank and flush normally. or get a 2 gallon bucket and pour in the bowl until it flushes.

If all else fails:
Dig a hole deep enough, do your business and cover with dirt. Or build a latrine (basically a huge hole that can be used many times) and do your business, make sure to cover your stuff with wood ash, lime or dirt before you leave.. you don’t want flies or pests around, also you can cover the hole with a wood plank so you don’t accidentally fall in it.

There’s also the bucket method, just cover it with a garbage bag, do your business, cover the stuff with wood ash, lime or dirt and toss away.. you can also cover the toilet bowl with a garbage bag and do the same thing.

Always wash your hands, use sanitizer afterwards.. when SHTF there’s going to be so much disease going around because stupid people will poop everywhere, do anything, because they are stupid, it’s going to be a mess. So keep safe and don’t get sick, be sanitary at all costs.

[If you have extra items, trade. If you come up short, trade. Basic instructions for bartering in a long term survival scenario are discussed in the following article Mr. Larry]

C.  10 Rules for Trading in Long Term Survival Scenarios
29 Dec 2012,, by Selco
Pasted from:

non food 3All of us rely on our skills when SHTF. So we all hope that we can cover all of major skills that can lead us trough all basic needs in order to survive. So we choose to learn lot of things, how to fight , how to can, how to grow food, how to heal people. And we are buying equipment and learn things.

We choose different approaches, someone chooses to learn just basics from one skill, or someone chooses to learn one particular skill in depth. Like to be very good in growing food when SHTF.
But most of the people take trading and bartering in long term survival scenarios for granted. Most of the people see trading like scenes from the movies. So there is some kind of accepted picture that man gonna be able to go out with bag of potatoes for example and trade it for something, for batteries or whatever.

Or there is gonna be something like trading place, where you can go and check what is on offer there.
It is actually strange how lot of things are covered good at lot of places on forums and blogs when it comes to some skills and equipment, but when it comes to trading it is accepted more or less that it is common sense that it is gonna be easy to trade things.

When SHTF we all going to trade things, no matter how great we are prepared, because it is gonna be way of living, one of the few ways of obtaining the things we need, especially for long term survival.
It makes sense to think today about trading when SHTF. It can be major source of resources and provide for your living in hard times, and if you prepare carefully and act smart when SHTF, you can live much better than other folks around you.

Because differences between regions in the world some things about trading can not apply everywhere, just like advice about which weapon you should have.
But some things are common everywhere, just like you can say that shot in the head can kill you, no matter what kind of gun we are talking about.
So here are some things to keep in mind.

 1. SHTF (real SHTF) = no law anymore
When you are taking your time today and think about being trader when SHTF, you need to stop for a moment and accept the fact that there is no law when SHTF.
After you accept that fact, only then start with thinking how you can improve your role as a trader in collapsed world. You can see what I store for trading in my supply list in course area. What you pick for trading depends on many things I also mention later in this article.
The point here is that you have to really understand how drastically things change when there is no law. It is hard to imagine but you look at life from whole different angle and from that angle you have to approach trading.

2. Look around you, today
Some common sense again. When people struggle to survive they gonna need everything. But use common sense. So there is no too much sense in storing something that can be found easily around you.

 3. Small things, always
Whatever you trade, and whenever you trade do only with small things and small portions. For example you are not offering 5 liters of alcohol, you are offering ½ liter of alcohol. And that’s it. Do you have right bottles for that? Why are you doing this? Other people might not take your life because it is not worth half liter of alcohol, but for more, or when they think that you have more at your home it is maybe worth.
Also it is much easier to go somewhere and carry with you 50 flints for trade than to go and carry 10 liters of fuel.

4. You wanna be big trader? Don’t
If you have some big plan to do very well when SHTF and you store whole bunch of interesting things you need to keep absolutely low profile. So if you want to be big trader that means that nobody outside your house can know that you have whole bunch of things for trade.

Only thing that is standing between lot of nasty people and you and your storage is fact that you are not interesting for them. You can say that you are very good armed and prepared, and that you have friends with you, and that they are armed too.
I will tell you that sooner or later someone will come with more friends and more arms and you are dead and your stuff gone.

So stay low. You cannot be anything like “big trader“ for other people around you. Whatever you have to trade you are gonna need to have some kind of smart strategy to trade / distribute that. Watch your ego too. Having resources means power, but showing that power gets you killed.

5. Middle man- golden solution
For best results in trading over longer period of time, you need to be something like, middle man“ in process of trading, not a guy who owns things. And of course this means that people need to think that you are only middle man, not a man who actually has things.

So if you are prepared for trading and you have lot of different things to trade, you can not go and offer things as yours, you need to be the guy who can obtain things.
If you have 1000 lighters for trade, and SHTF tomorrow, and after a month you realize that lighters have good price for trade, and you want to go and offer lighters, best solution is to be something like a man who knows a guy who has lighters for trade. So when you walk with few lighters in your pocket and trade them, they are, not yours“.
You are acting as a guy who has information where something can be found for a trade, you can, go there“ and find things for trade.

6. Basic security rules
Again and again, you need to be not interesting, so common sense again about security of trading:

  • Never trade in or in front of your house
  • When you trade with unknown people, always watch carefully if someone is following you on your way home
  • No matter how great deal you can make never do too much trading with one person in short period of time (for example, do not trade 10 liters of fuel 3 times at week with same person, or in the same street)
  • Make compromise. Trading with known people increases risk because known people know where to come if they conclude that you have lot of interesting things at home, on the other side trading with unknown people has risks too, because you do not know them.
  • I never trade bigger amounts of things, or some really interesting things with folks from my really close neighborhood unless I trust them 100%, which I usually don’t. If I need to trade something bigger and interesting I take risk and go in other parts of city and do trade with people who do not know where I live.

 7. Pricing, value of things
It can be very specific depending on the regions what things will have more value, and what lower. You may think that food will have biggest value, but there is a difference from what will be always wanted and what will have BIGGEST value. So yes, probably you will be able to trade food always for something usable, but better idea is maybe to have some interesting valuable things that YOU can trade for food.

  • Sources of light and energy: lamps, batteries, candles, burning cubes (paraffin cubes for starting fire), light sticks, flints, solar chargers, fuel…
  • Always have things stored that people in your region use in everyday socializing rituals.

You may think that when SHTF people habits gonna be erased and everything connected to that will be stripped to bare simple survival living, basic food and water intake. Yes, for great number of the people it was like that, but reason was that because they did not have these social / comfort things stored, or they did not have enough items to trade for them. If they could they would have got these comfort things.

What that meant in my case, people here drink coffee… a lot, 3-4 times per day, and most of the folks smoke cigarettes or tobacco. Drinking the coffee is more like ritual where good friends, or family sit down and have some special time.
When SHTF people were in hard situation of course, and some habits or rituals from normal life gain even much more importance. I mean when everything falls apart around you, to have some special moment with your family with coffee becomes even much more important.

As a result, coffee was very valuable. I mean very, very valuable. Even some poor substitutes for coffee were very important and valuable. Same was with cigarettes. So depending where you live, check for those things, and have it in your storage. It can be coffee, cigarettes, tea, beer…

Have some kind of system in your storage to know what things you use for yourself, or for trading. For example you store food for yourself and your family only, but you store great number of batteries for yourself and for trading too.

8. Charity
There is no golden rule about trading process, other than those security measures that I already mentioned. But few more things to have in mind.
Charity in good times is good, charity when SHTF is wrong and dangerous. I know I disagree here with one big survival blogger but my advice is never do real charity when SHTF. I mean it is crazy if you give things away for free if others struggle to survive. What do they think?

This guy has a lot so we get what we can and then more even if that means taking with force. You can give things to people but it cannot look like charity.
You need to get something if you give something. If you do real charity and word go around, you are done. I saw this happening several times. Even people everyone thinks who are always good went out to “convince” charitable guys to give them something and this ended up very bad sometimes.
If you see your kids starve to death but this one guy has food but is not giving it to you what do you do? Exactly…

9. Scams
Of course always expect scams, people will do lot of wrong things in order to get things, plaster in baby food is only one example from my time (they take out half baby food, stuff plaster in there and cover it to make it look like full).

I know how to make 1 kg coffee with just 20 % of coffee and 80 % of other stuff, and it looks and smells like real coffee, 90 percent of people will not notice difference, bad is that that mixture screws up people’s blood pressure really bad. That’s one example.

So common sense is to trade with,  “persons only for, canned“ or sealed things. If man gives you half bag of powdered milk for something, you only have his word that he did not mixed that with something in order to make it more heavy.
Different dried plants mixed with tobacco and sold as a tobacco, different seeds grinded with small amounts of coffee and sold as real coffee, alcohol… I have more examples of this in my course.

 10. Pick the right moment for trading
Value of things changed during my year in war, depending of lot of things like entering of goods in area, rumors and word on the street, state of black market or simply security situation, so in first month pack of batteries were worth maybe 5 kilos of flour, but in third month it was worth 15 kilos of flour.

Or another good example would be that candles were worth more in first few months of SHTF then after that. Example would be that people find some substitute for light in house like oil lamps, and also realize to have light in every room is just unnecessary luxury.

Watch carefully for rumors and word on the street. I mean do not go and trade some of your precious stuff for few gas masks just because someone told you on the street that you gonna need them really hard. Luckily he is knowing someone who has few of them of course.
Word on the street or rumors will work for you, but also against you and there will be moments when people or groups of people produce specific news in order to gain something or sell something.
This is basic advice for trading during long term survival scenarios.

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Best inexpensive foods to store

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Best  inexpensive foods to store)

RainManA.  Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency
29 December 2013,, by Vanessa DiMaggio
Pasted from:

Natural disasters—a flood, hurricane, blizzard—often come with little or no warning. Stocking up now on the right nonperishable food items will help you weather the storm with less stress.

Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you’ll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you’ll have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat—and the less of them—the better. “In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories,” says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University. “You want some nutrients and some fiber—something to keep your diet normal.”

“In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors,” says Elizabeth Andress, professor and food safety specialist at the University of Georgia. “But if you plan right, you can have a great variety of foods and nutrients.” Here, Andress and Swanson weigh in on what items you should include.

_1. What to Always Keep in Your Pantry
These items have lengthy expiration dates, so you can stash them away for long periods of time. Make a list of everything in your stockpile and check expiration dates every 6 to 12 months to keep things fresh. And don’t forget to have a can opener on hand at all times—all that food won’t be of any use if you can’t open it.

best food1•  Peanut butter:  A great source of energy, peanut butter is chock-full of healthful fats and protein. Unless the jar indicates otherwise, you don’t have to refrigerate after opening.

•  Whole-wheat crackers:  Crackers are a good replacement for bread and make a fine substitute when making sandwiches. Due to their higher fat content, whole-wheat or whole-grain crackers have a shorter shelf life than their plain counterparts (check the box for expiration dates), but the extra fiber pays off when you’re particularly hungry. Consider vacuum-packing your crackers to prolong their freshness.

•  Nuts and trail mixes:  Stock up on these high-energy foods—they’re healthful and convenient for snacking. Look for vacuum-packed containers, which prevent the nuts from oxidizing and losing their freshness.

•  Cereal:  Choose multigrain cereals that are individually packaged so they don’t become stale after opening.

•  Granola bars and power bars:  Healthy and filling, these portable snacks usually stay fresh for at least six months. Plus, they’re an excellent source of carbohydrates. “You can get more energy from carbohydrates without [eating] tons of food,” says Andress.

•  Dried fruits, such as apricots and raisins:  In the absence of fresh fruit, these healthy snacks offer potassium and dietary fiber. “Dried fruits provide you with a significant amount of nutrients and calories,” says Swanson.

•  Canned tuna, salmon, chicken, or turkey:  Generally lasting at least two years in the pantry, canned meats provide essential protein. Vacuum-packed pouches have a shorter shelf life but will last at least six months, says Diane Van, manager of the USDA meat and poultry hotline.

•  Canned vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, and peas:  When the real deal isn’t an option, canned varieties can provide you with essential nutrients.

•  Canned soups and chili:  Soups and chili can be eaten straight out of the can and provide a variety of nutrients. Look for low-sodium options.

•  Bottled water:  Try to stock at least a three-day supply–you need at least one gallon per person per day. “A normally active person should drink at least a half gallon of water each day,” says Andress. “The other half gallon is for adding to food and washing.”

•  Sports drinks, such as Gatorade or PowerAde:  The electrolytes and carbohydrates in these drinks will help you rehydrate and replenish fluid when water is scarce.

•  Powdered milk:  Almost all dairy products require refrigeration, so stock this substitute for an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D when fresh milk isn’t an option.

•  Sugar, salt, and pepper:  If you have access to a propane or charcoal stove, you may be doing some cooking. A basic supply of seasonings and sweeteners will improve the flavor of your food, both fresh and packaged.

•  Multivitamins
Supplements will help replace the nutrients you would have consumed on a normal diet.

What to Buy Right Before an Emergency
_2. Produce
If you’ve been given ample warning that a storm is coming, there’s still time to run to the market and pick up fresh produce and other items that have shorter shelf  lives. Most of these foods will last at least a week after they’ve been purchased and will give you a fresh alternative to all that packaged food. Make sure to swing by your local farmers’ market if it’s open; because the produce there is fresher than what you’ll find at your typical supermarket, you’ll add a few days to the life span of your fruits and vegetables.

•  Apples:  Apples last up to three months when stored in a cool, dry area away from more perishable fruits (like bananas), which could cause them to ripen more quickly.

•  Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits:  Because of their high acid content and sturdy skins, citrus fruits can last for up to two weeks without refrigeration, particularly if you buy them when they’re not fully ripe. Oranges and grapefruits contain lots of vitamin C and will keep you hydrated.

•  Avocados:  If you buy an unripe, firm avocado, it will last outside the refrigerator for at least a week.

•  Tomatoes:  If you buy them unripe, tomatoes will last several days at room temperature.

•  Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams:  If you have access to a working stove, these root vegetables are good keepers and make tasty side dishes. Stored in a cool, dark area, potatoes will last about a month.

•  Cucumbers and summer squash:  These vegetables will last a few days outside of refrigeration and can be eaten raw.

•  Winter squash:  While most are inedible uncooked, winter squashes, such as acorn squash, will keep for a few months. If you’ll be able to cook during the emergency, stockpile a bunch.

•  Hard, packaged sausages, such as sopressata and pepperoni:  You can’t eat canned tuna and chicken forever. Try stocking up on a few packages of dry-cured salamis like sopressata, a southern Italian specialty available at most grocery stores. Unopened, they will keep for up to six weeks in the pantry, says Van.

_3. More Food Advice for an Emergency
•  If the electricity goes out, how do you know what is and isn’t safe to eat from the refrigerator? If your food has spent more than four hours over 40º Fahrenheit, don’t eat it. As long as frozen foods have ice crystals or are cool to the touch, they’re still safe. “Once it gets to be room temperature, bacteria forms pretty quickly, and you want to be very careful about what you’re eating,” says Swanson. Keep the doors closed on your refrigerator and freezer to slow down the thawing process.

•  If you don’t have electricity, you may still be able to cook or heat your food. If you have outdoor access, a charcoal grill or propane stove is a viable option (these can’t be used indoors because of improper ventilation). If you’re stuck indoors, keep a can of Sterno handy: Essentially heat in a can, it requires no electricity and can warm up small amounts of food in cookware.

•  If your family has special needs—for example, you take medication regularly or you have a small child—remember to stock up on those essential items, too. Keep an extra stash of baby formula and jars of baby food or a backup supply of your medications.

•  If you live in an area at high risk for flooding, consider buying all your pantry items in cans, as they are less likely to be contaminated by flood waters than jars. “It’s recommended that people don’t eat home-canned foods or jarred foods that have been exposed to flood waters because those seals are not quite as intact.”

B.  $5 Preps – You CAN Afford to Prepare
18 May 2012,, contributed by Lucas from his site SurvivalCache
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Guest Post by Lucas: aspiring survivalist/prepper, Eagle Scout, and blogger on his site Survival Cache where he writes survival gear reviews, tips, and ideas.

“I can’t afford to” is definitely the number one excuse people use for not prepping. They believe this because they read about someone who has a $20,000 dollar gun collection and a basement filled with a 10 year supply of freeze dried food. That is just as unrealistic as saying that you want to buy your first house, so you attempt to get a multi-million dollar mansion. It’s just not going to happen.

By following the Survival Food Pyramid and spending just a few dollars a week on preps you will be surprised how quickly your stockpile will grow.
Here is an entire list of food and gear you can get for just $5:

Foodbest food 5 dollars
Five gallons of purified water
4 pounds of Sugar
5 pounds of Flour [x 2=10]
1.5 quarts of cooking oil
Two cases of bottled water [x 4=8]
4 cans of fruit [x 5=20]
5 pounds of rice
5 Pounds of Spaghetti
4 Cans of Potatoes [x 4=16]
4 Cans of Vegetables [x 4=16]
4 Cans of Beans [x 4=16]
2 bottles of garlic powder or other spices
A case of Ramen noodles
Five packages of  instant potatoes
4 Cans of Soup [x 4=16]
2- 12 ounce cans of chicken or tuna [x 8=16]
Two- 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon [x 8=16]
5 pounds of Oatmeal
5 packages of corn bread mix
3 Pounds of dry beans [x 3=9]
2 Jars Peanut Butter
2 boxes of yeast
8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
A can of coffee
10 Boxes of generic brand Mac & Cheese

Non-Food Items
A manual can opener
Two bottles of camp stove fuel [x 6=12]
100 rounds of .22LR ammo [x 10=1000]
25 rounds of 12 gauge birdshot or small game loads [x 10=250]
20 rounds of .223 or 7.62ammo [x 50=1000]
a spool of 12 lb test monofilament fishing line
2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks
3 Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
A package of tea candles
50 ft of para cord [x 2=100 ft]
A roll of duct tape
A box of nails or other fasteners
A flashlight
2 D-batteries, 4 AA or AAA batteries or 2 9v batteries
A toothbrush and tooth paste
A bag of disposable razors
8 bars of ivory soap (it floats)
A box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
2 gallons of bleach
Needles and thread

OTC Medications
2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)–also available at walgreens under “sleep aids.”
4 bottles 500 count Tylenol
2 boxes of generic sudafed
4 bottles of alcohol
a box of bandages (4×4)
[ 'fish' antibiotics]
[mosquito repellant]
[topical antibiotic]

What Else?
If you get just one of these things each time you go to the grocery you will be well on your way to preparedness. What other $5 Dollar Preps can you think of?

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How to keep warm at home

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/ How to keep warm at home)

A.  Ice Storm Survival Preparedness
Posted on 14 December 2012,, Submitted by: Ken Jorgustin (MSB)
Pasted from:

warmathome ice storm
An Ice Storm is a unique weather phenomenon that immediately paralyzes a region, much more so than a major snow storm. An ice storm is so debilitating that you risk your survival and life simply by walking out your front door.

Just prior to nearly any forecast of a major storm, people rush out to the grocery stores, which quickly run out of lots of food and supplies. How does this happen? Its pretty simple really… just think about your own habit of going to the grocery store… you probably go on the same day of the week, right? Let’s say you normally go Friday, someone else goes Saturday, yet another always goes on Tuesday, etc. When a storm is forecast, people disregard their normal schedule and many of them run out to the store during the same day just before the storm. Bingo… the store shelves go empty. The lesson is to NOT have to run out – keep enough at home to begin with. Not only that, but an ice storm will completely prohibit you from running that errand as soon as the fist liquid begins to freeze into ice.

EXPECT more dumb decisions. As it is, a certain percentage of people make dumb decisions, but for some reason just prior and during a storm, there are more of them making poor choices. There will be more accidents (automobile and otherwise). People rushing around, nearly panicked. Out for themselves. It’s really quite amazing to witness. So the best advice is to stay out of their way, and better yet, stay at home!

If you are stuck at home for days with the rest of your family, it will become increasingly likely that you will all get bored or stressed out. Think ahead of time for things to do. Have books to read. Games to play. Projects to accomplish. Be extra nice so as to reduce the possible stress around everyone.

Ice will quickly bring traffic to a crawl or complete halt. Cars may become abandoned and roads completely impassible. Even though you may have a 4×4, keep TIRE CHAINS in your vehicle. A 4-wheel drive will do no good on ice, just like a 2-wheel drive vehicle. Chains however will add biting grip to your tires (even 2-wheel drive vehicles) and may be the difference to get you home. They are easy to get… just ‘size’ them according to the tire model/size that you have. Oh, and once you get them, be sure and familiarize yourself with putting them on one time in your driveway, when the weather is nice, so you know how to do it!

One major danger and risk is that the power often goes out during an ice storm. The weight of the build-up of ice on the power lines and tree branches is enormous (more than you may think). Once a critical point is reached, these lines and limbs will start crashing down. Even worse is that it will be nearly impossible for repair crews to do their job until AFTER an ice storm. This means that you may be without power for a LONG TIME.

During the winter, being without power is an entirely different deal than a summertime power outage. Even a relatively short term power outage in the winter can be deadly. Your home will likely lose its ability to heat. Pipes may freeze. You may freeze. It is crucial to consider an alternative method for keeping warm. Safe portable indoor heaters are available. Of course a wood stove is a no-brainer.

Remember this, whereas during a power outage resulting from a snow storm may allow you to drive to another location which has heat or power, during an ice storm you will NOT be able to safely travel. This makes it all the more important to have a means of keeping warm in your home during a power outage.

Plus, there are all of the other aspects that go with getting along without power…

For your vehicle, keep tire chains, tow strap, salt/sand, shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, a safe gas can, extra gloves, extra hat, blanket, 72-hour kit with food (or at least some power bars, etc.), road flares, LED flashlight, car charger for cell phone, and whatever else you think may be good to have just in case…

A few additional preparedness items for home include LED flashlights, extra batteries, solar battery charger, portable battery powered AM/FM Shortwave radio, a weather radio, a safe indoor cooking stove, enough food, some stored water in case municipal tap water pumps go dead, generator, extra fuel in safe gas cans, car charger for your cell phone, and most important of all… enough hot chocolate!

If you have large trees or limbs over or near your home or roof, be very aware of this. A falling tree can easily slice into a house and kill you. Consider trimming large limbs that may be a risk. At the very least, I would not sleep or spend much time in a room underneath such a danger zone.

Conserve the power on your cell phone. Shut it off except for when you are going to use it. Cell towers are often repaired well before the power comes back on, so bear that in mind.

If you are ‘out’ and you hear a forecast of icing, do your best to get where you are going to go, BEFORE the event. Your ears should perk up when you hear the word, ICE.
Be prepared.


B. How to Winterize Your Home
15 Dec 2012, The Ready Store,
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Previously, we talked about what you could do to prepare for a power outage during the winter. But how can do you winterize your home to be ready for the snow and cold weather?

Here are a few points to consider as the winter weather descends upon us. Check out these points and then add your insights below. Your tips could save people money and time as they prepare.

Reverse the fan
One thing that most people don’t think about is reversing the ceiling fan. Hot air rises and you’ll want to make sure that the warm air that is collecting around your ceiling is being pushed back down into the room to heat everyone.

Clean the gutters
The last thing you’ll want to do in the middle of the winter is climb up on your frozen roof on a cold ladder and take out soggy and frozen leaves from your gutters. Cleaning your gutters allows cold water to quickly get off your roof and not collect.

Besides making sure that your house is well insulated, make sure that there aren’t any large cracks or leaks in your home. Those cracks can let hot air out and drain your heating bill.

You’ll also want to make sure that the seal around your windows and doors is tight. Many people even consider putting bubble wrap or other clear plastics around their window during the winter to allow light to come in and cold air out. You can even sew your own door draft stopper.

Planting a windbreakers
This probably isn’t something that you can do quickly or easily but you should consider planting evergreen trees close to your home. This keeps a buffer of tree between your house and the cold wind outside. The evergreen trees will also force cold winds up and around your house.

Programmable gadgets
One new trend is consumers who are installing timers on their heating systems or water heaters in order to only run during certain times of the day. This allows you to only heat when you need it – saving you money!

Shut the door
Many times it’s just more efficient not to heat a room. If there is a storage room that you aren’t using – just close the vent and the door. That allows you to focus your heating on the rooms that you use on a regular basis. You’ll have to make sure that without the vents open the room doesn’t get too cold that you have a busted pipe.

Use your large appliances
When it gets cold outside, clean the house. The heat that the washer, dryer, dishwasher, oven and other appliances put off will heat your home when it’s cold. That means you’ll want to make sure that your appliances are in working order.

Make sure you have an auto emergency kit
While you’re out and about during the winter time, make sure that you have the proper equipment in your car. That means having jumper cables, food, water and other items that will be necessary if your car breaks down in a winter storm.


C.  How to Stay Warm with Less Heat
4 Dec 2012,, by Daisy Luther
Posted from:

warmathome cold day

I live in an older house.  It’s not too fancy, but it features things like wood heat, an independent water supply and a million dollar view with a frugal price tag.   In the Northern winter, however, I notice exactly how drafty and chilly our little house is!  The breeze off the lake also increases the nip in the air.  With an older wood stove as our only source of heat, the rooms more distant from the stove move from chilly to downright COLD.

From a prepping point of view, using less heat allows you to extend your fuel supply. If you are totally without heat, greater measures would need to be taken than the ones listed here.  For some SHTF heating ideas, this article has some fantastic and inexpensive tips.

I rent so it isn’t feasible to insulate or replace the windows and wood stove with more efficient models. So, in the interest of non-tech solutions, here are a few ways that we keep warmer without plugging in the electric space heaters.

warmathome dress warm Keep your wrists and ankles covered.  Wear shirts with sleeves long enough to keep your wrists covered and long socks that keep your ankles covered.  You lose a great deal of heat from those two areas.

Get some long-johns.  Wearing long underwear beneath your jeans or PJ’s will work like insulation to keep your body heat in.  I like the silky kind sold by discount stores like Wal-mart for indoor use, rather than the sturdier outdoor type sold by ski shops.

Wear slippers.  You want to select house shoes with a solid bottom rather than the slipper sock type.  This forms a barrier between your feet and the cold floor.  We keep a basket of inexpensive slippers in varying sizes by the door for visitors because it makes such a big difference.  Going around in your stocking feet on a cold floor is a certain way to be chilled right through.

Get up and get moving.  It goes without saying that physical activity will increase your body temperature.  If you’re cold, get up and clean something, dance with your kids, play tug-of-war with the dog, or do a chore.  I often bring in a few loads of wood to get my blood flowing and get warmed up.

Pile on the blankets. If you’re going to be sitting down, have some layered blankets available.  Our reading area has polar fleece blankets which we top with fluffy comforters for a cozy place to relax.

warmathome sleep warm

Use a hot water bottle.  If you’re just sitting around try placing a hot water bottle (carefully wrapped to avoid burns) under the blankets with you.

Use rice bags.  If you don’t have the readymade ones, you can simply place dry rice in a clean sock.  Heat this in the microwave, if you use one, for about a minute, or place in a 100 degree oven, watching carefully, for about 10 minutes.  I keep some rice bags in a large ceramic crock beside the wood stove so they are constantly warm.  You can put your feet on them or tuck them under the blankets on your lap.

warmathome warm room

Insulate using items you have.  A friend recommended lining the interior walls with bookcases or hanging decorative quilts and blankets on the walls to add an extra layer of insulation. It definitely makes a difference because it keeps heat in and cold air out. If you look at pictures of old castles you will see lovely tapestry wall-hangings – this was to help insulate the stone walls, which absorbed the cold and released it into the space.

Layer your windows.  Our house has large lovely picture windows for enjoying the view.  However, they’re single pane and it’s hard to enjoy the view if your teeth are chattering.  We took the rather drastic step of basically closing off all the windows but one in each room for the winter.  We insulated by placing draft blockers at the bottom in the window sill (I just used rolled up polar fleece – I’m not much of a sew-er.)  This was topped by a heavy blanket, taking care to overlap the wall and window edges with it.  Over that, we hung thermal curtains that remain closed.

 Get a rug.  If you have hardwood, tile or laminate flooring, an area rug is a must.  Like the blankets on the walls, this is another layer of insulation between you and the great outdoors.  We have no basement so our floor is very chilly.  A rug in the living room protects our feet from the chill.

Wear a scarf.  No, not like a big heavy wool scarf that you’d wear outdoors – just a small, lightweight one that won’t get in your way and annoy you.  This serves two purposes.  First, it covers a bit more exposed skin. Secondly, it keeps body heat from escaping out the neck of your shirt.

Burn candles.  Especially in a smaller space, a burning candle can raise the temperature a couple of degrees.

Cuddle.  Share your body heat under the blankets when you’re watching movies or reading a book.

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A few other storage items to consider

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles/A few other  storage items to consider)

RainManA.  16 SHTF Barter Items to Stockpile
12 March 2012, DebtReconing, by Tyler
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Every good survivalist has a stockpile of things he or she recognizes their family may need to survive a natural or man-made disaster. However, many people forget the value of maintaining a barter store as well.

If things hit the fan, particularly in an economic collapse where the dollar is nearly worthless, a number of non-monetary goods will be more valuable than a fistful of dollar bills.

It’s also important to recognize that we can’t possibly store enough of every item to account for every scenario for an indefinite period of time. However, what we can do is have some items on hand to barter with neighbors to plug gaps in our preparations.

Imagine a neighbor with a large garden and some chickens trading a half dozen eggs and some squash for a box of ammo, or a small bottle of Vodka.

Consider stocking up on the following items, even if you have no plans to use them yourself, for their potential barter value.
storage items 1.
16 Things to Stockpile with High Barter Value:
Cigarettes. I hate smoking, and can’t stand being around anyone that smokes. Having said that, I recognize that in a SHTF situation many others will be cut off from their access to cigarettes, so there is plenty of barter potential.

Soap. Bars of soap, and even those little cleaning napkins/wipes that you get at the BBQ restaurants could be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Ever see “The Book of Eli?”

Bullets. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have a decent store of ammo representing all calibers of the weapons you own. However, it is also a good idea to store extra ammo in common calibers (9mm, .22, .38, 12-guage shells, etc.) as a potential barter. After all, a gun without ammo is just an inaccurate throwing object.

Alcohol. Alcohol could serve a variety of purposes in a SHTF situation. It is valuable as a potential bartering commodity, and it also has medicinal uses. Did you know Vodka is a great home remedy to counteract the reaction to poison ivy?

MREs. More portable and easier to barter than larger 5-gallon buckets, or even #10 cans of dried foods, MREs are great to have on hand for bartering. Keep a variety of flavors and different kinds of foods because you could be holding something that could complete a meal for a hungry person.

Silver Coins. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean only silver dollars with a full ounce of silver, but even older, less expensive coins with a high silver component (the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar, for example).

Detergent. Don’t think people are interested in bartering detergent? Check out the story about the recent rash of detergent thefts across the country. Apparently, Tide detergent on the black market is now referred to as “liquid gold.” Interesting.

Water bottles. To someone in bad need of water, a water bottle could be worth its weight in gold. Remember the rule of threes: you can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Store accordingly.

Matches and lighters. A box of matches is relatively inexpensive, but for someone needing to build a fire a pack of matches or a lighter could be very valuable. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container.

Sugar. My grandfather used to tell stories of things that were in limited supply in the Great Depression. Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a sweet-tooth with the promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.

Toilet paper. This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Charmin, but who wants to keep using leaves when paper feels so much better.

Water Filters/Purifiers. Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Who’d be willing to trade for that?

Bleach. May be used to disinfect water, or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized.

Batteries. Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices.

Candles. Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity.

storage items 2 .

B.  50 Survival Items You Forgot To Buy
14 January 2013,, by Matthew
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If you’re reading this, you probably already know the basics: water purification, food storage, first aid, lighters, flashlights, etc. But even hardcore survivalists can overlook things. In this post I want to mention 50 survival items you might have forgotten to buy.

I already mentioned several of these in the post, Unusual Survival Gear, but this is a much longer list. It’s not comprehensive, but hopefully it’ll remind you of a few things you still need to get. For everything on this list that you already have, give yourself a pat on the back.

1. Acoustic Instruments – For entertainment and morale.
2. Aluminum Foil– Great for all sorts of things like cooking food, boiling water, enhancing antennas, keeping sunlight out, etc.
3. Axes– How else will you chop firewood?
4. Baby Wipes– Really easy way to keep clean.
5. Baseballs, basketballs, footballs, etc. – Playing ball is a great way to stave off boredom and keep morale up during hard times.
6. Bicycle Gear – If gasoline is in short supply, you might need your bike to get around. That means you’ll need a bike pump, extra tubes, etc.
7. Book lights– It’s difficult to read by candlelight and you don’t want to waste your flashlight’s batteries. Book lights are cheap and last a long time.
8. Books – You might be surprised how much free time you have after the SHTF, especially when you’re on guard while others sleep. Now’s your chance to read those books you always meant to read (like Atlas Shrugged).
9. Bug Spray– There is usually a major lack of proper sanitation after a disaster, especially if there isn’t running water. That means there will be more roaches and other critters. There might also be a lot more mosquitoes.
10. Bouillon Cubes– These make boring meals much more delicious.
11. Calendars– You’ll need a way to track the day and date if the power is out for a long time.
12. Candy – Huge morale booster during difficult times. Just don’t overdo it.
13. Cast Iron Cookware– If you’re cooking over a fire, your regular pots and skillets won’t cut it.
14. Cloth Diapers – Other than the obvious usage, these are also great for cleanups because they’re so absorbent.
15. Clothes Lines and Pins – Because your dryer will be a waste of space.
16. Condiments – Imagine eating a typical meal without mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc. You’ll get bored fast.
17. Condoms – TEOTWAWKI is not a great time to get pregnant, but people still have needs. Use protection.
18. Cotton Balls – Great for first aid, cleaning, kindling, and many other things.
19. Duct Tape – A must have for any prepper.
20. Ear Plugs – It’s important to use these when hunting with firearms, but they’ll also help you sleep at night. Why? Because after the SHTF every little bump will wake you up. Just make sure someone is standing guard while you sleep.
21. Floss – It’s even more important than your tooth brush. If you’re not flossing now, get started. (See “Get Your Teeth Fixed“)
22. Games – Board games, cards, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and any other type of game that doesn’t require power. This is especially important if you have children.
23. Glasses and Repair Kits – If you wear glasses, make sure you have a backup pair and a way to fix them.
24. Glow Sticks – A great way to find your way around in a dark house.
25. Goggles – This includes safety goggles and swim goggles. You never know.
26. Hand Sanitizer – As I mentioned above, there might be a lack of proper sanitation after a major disaster. Stay germ-free.
27. Instant Coffee – If you’re hooked on coffee (like I am), then you’re liable to go crazy when your coffee pot won’t turn on.
28. Map of Your Town – Most of us have gotten used to relying on Google Maps and GPS, but those could become things of the past. Paper maps never stop working.
29. Paper Plates – So you won’t have to waste water cleaning dishes.
30. Pencil and Paper – These are historic times so keep a journal. Also important for games and making lists.
31. Pet Supplies. Don’t forget about your pets! There’s a detailed list of pet supplies in this post.
32. Plant Pots – Plants often easier to grow in pots than in the ground.
33. Plastic Sheeting – For repairing leaks, collecting water, keeping out contaminants, and much more.
34. Powdered Butter and Eggs – It’s amazing how many recipes require butter and/or eggs. These are hard to store long-term, so try some of the powdered variety.
35. Powdered Juice Mix – Because you’re going to get sick of drinking room-temperature water.
36. Saw – Axes are good for chopping firewood, but you’ll need a saw for everything else.
37. Sewing Kit – If your clothes tear, you might not be able to afford or even get access to new ones. Learn how to sew.
38. Shoe Laces – Again, you might not be able to get new ones. Plus, shoe laces have several uses.
39. Shut-off Wrench – Very important if you have gas power. A broken gas line is extremely dangerous.
40. Slingshots – Another way to kill small animals for food.
41. Snow Shoes – You’ll be trapped in a snowstorm without them.
42. Song Books – As with acoustic instruments (mentioned above), these are good for entertainment and morale boosting.
43. Survival Books – You’ll need this as a reference. Check out my post, The 10 Best Books On Survival.
44. Tampons – You really don’t want to be without these. Ask your wife what type she prefers and order them in bulk.
45. Tarps – Use them to keep stuff dry, provide shade, carry things, and so forth.
46. Umbrellas – Do you have one? If so, does it work well? And do you have extras for your family members?
47. Whistles – These can be a lifesaver if someone is under attack or lost.
48. Wind-up Clocks – So you don’t have to waste batteries.
49. Yard Bags – Heavy duty bags will be useful for all the trash and debris that accumulates.
50. Ziploc Bags – Great for keeping things dry and organized.
C.  5 Food Storage Items That Will Last Longer Than Any Apocalypse
30 Oct 2013,, guest post by: Lee Flynn
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One of the biggest concerns people have with food storage is shelf life. After all, nobody wants to dip into their emergency food supply during a real honest-to-goodness disaster and find that all of their “imperishable” goods have decomposed into brown sludge. It’s true, many foods such as canned goods and frozen meals don’t last as long as you might expect. But what can you do? Well, for starters, you can do some in-depth research into what you decide to store (which is probably why you’re here in the first place). For another thing, you can stock up on foods that really will last forever. Here are five of the longest lasting emergency food storage items available.

1. Salt- Although, depending on who you talk to, salt may not technically be a “food,”  this mineral has been used in conjunction with food for the better part of, well, forever. Evidence of salt extraction operations dates back about 9,000 years. To give you some scope, the wheel wasn’t invented until about 3,000 years later. Being a mineral instead of any sort of organic material, salt is completely immune to microbial attack. That means that it won’t spoil, and it helps prevent spoilage in other foods. It also enhances taste, so if you do catch yourself in a situation where you have to live off of bland emergency food, you’ll be happy if you’ve got some salt nearby. As for its shelf life, well, it’s a rock; it will last forever, or until you eat it.

2. Honey- Honey is a wonderful substance. Unlike salt, it is 100% organic. It’s also 100% healthy for you to eat. Raw honey has natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal properties, it boosts the human immune system, and can even be used to soothe symptoms associated with the common cold. It’s high in calories, so in a low-food situation it will give you much needed energy on an otherwise empty stomach. You can also spread it on burns for temporary relief, making honey a useful first aid supply too. Perhaps most amazing is that honey doesn’t seem to ever go bad. For example, 3,000 year old honey unearthed from an Egyptian tomb was still edible. It may change its consistency and crystallize/harden, but when heated it will simply return to its original state. Be warned, however, honey can be dangerous for children under 1 year of age, so keep it away from them.

storage items 33. Dried white rice- If properly stored, white rice can last upwards of 30 years in storage. I know that doesn’t sound too impressive compare to the forever shelf lives of salt and honey, but come on, 30 years is a really long time. If you were to start your food storage on the day you were born, and live to be 90 years old, you’d only have to replace this stuff maybe three times. White rice also has a variety of uses. It’s filling, contains calories, protein, and certain vitamins and nutrients, and is easy to prepare. Brown rice has more nutrients than white, but it doesn’t store quite as well.

4. Freeze dried foods- Freeze dried foods are made by rapidly freezing meals, and then leaching the water from them leaving only a frozen, dry substance that can be easily packaged and stored. Adding a little boiling water will reconstitute the food into something not only edible, but downright palatable and healthy. See, the freeze drying process is able retain the taste and nutrients of the original meal. Different freeze dried foods can be safely stored for varying lengths of time, but regardless of what you use, their shelf lives usually end up being about 20–30 years. Compare that to most canned goods, which only last for 3–5 years.

5. Dehydrated foods- Although not quite as long-lasting as freeze dried meals, dehydrated foods still have long shelf lives. This is because they follow the same basic process: moisture is removed and then the item is packaged. The difference is that with conventional dehydration techniques, only about 90% of the moisture is removed (as opposed to freeze drying, which removes approximately 98% of the moisture). Thus, dehydrated foods only last about 15–20 years before needing to be replaced. Still, that’s really not bad, when you think about it.


D.  Great tasting “Survival soup”
[Prepackage the ingredients and vacuum seal for nutritious meals. Mr Larry]
Excerpt pasted from:

survival soup How to make your soup:
8 oz  of rice
2 oz of red kidney beans
2 oz  of pearl barley
2 oz of lintels
1 oz  of split green peas
1 oz of chick peas/garbanzo’s
Bouillon to taste

Take the 16 oz dry mixture and add 6-7 quarts of water with a spoon of butter or olive oil (optional) to prevent the water from boiling over.  Add 3 tablespoons bouillon or to taste.  Then add any other meats, vegetables, potatoes or seasonings you’d like to.  I personally love to add garlic and Lima beans.  DO NOT add onions.  They will spoil the mixture. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for two hours.  You should have enough to feed 4 people for two days if rationed correctly.

Note: Onions ferment too quickly and will cut the time you are able to store the already cooked soup mixture. There is always the option of dried onions and you can add it to smaller batches you know will be eaten on the first day.

On the second day you will need to add more water and a tablespoon of bouillon because it will thicken in the refrigerator overnight. Boil for a min of ten minutes to kill off any potential bacteria, especially if you’re not able to store it in the refrigerator because you’re without electricity.

You will be full off of ONE large bowl of this delicious soup.  The kids usually eat about a half a bowl with bread.  That’s what makes it so great.  If able to, bake some bread or corn bread to go with it.

If there is any mixture left on the third day, then just add it to the new mixture you make.  (If making a new mixture on the third day) As time goes by you will learn to tell how much of each ingredient you need to fit your family’s needs.

With the exception of dairy and Vitamin B 12, this should take care of your nutritional needs.  Maybe not all of your wants, but once you get this out of the way, you can concentrate on adding the stuff you want to your food storage knowing you have enough for a year already if you half to use it.

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Senior citizen survival techniques

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Senior citizen survival techniques)

A.  Survival of the Elderly and Disabled
19 Dec 2013,, by James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM
Pasted from:

seniors in the day

The challenges of surviving a sustained catastrophic event for the elderly and the disabled are almost totally ignored by the “prepper” community.  Survival recommendations and training are almost always directed at healthy, younger people who are at their maximum strength and health.  Most preppers have or will have elderly parents or relations that may suffer from arthritis, heat disuse, COPD, and dementia at some point. My wife and I both lived in the inner city with disabled parents for decades.  For us, evacuation was just out of the question.  We were not going to abandon our responsibilities regardless of risk.  A few years ago I participated in a FEMA sponsored workshop on community preparedness.  We knew that there are people who need oxygen, chemotherapy, medications, dialysis and other treatments to survive more than a week or two.  Even more are aged or crippled with MS and other diseases that prohibit them from accessing food and critical needs without aid.  What we learned at that event was that there was little the emergency services could do for these folks under major disaster situations.  It is estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full –scale national disaster. [This should be a fair warning and wake up call for us seniors...take steps to beat those odds and to help prepare your junior family members for what might come as a surprise event for them. Mr. Larry]

If you are among the elderly or disabled or anyone important to you is, you need to adjust your plans accordingly.  If you have disabled parents, your whole survival plans are going to be limited and modified.  Evacuation may be impossible.  Rescue and defense may be the only option.  Disabilities (yours or other) and handicaps will reduce your chances, but it does not mean that you are doomed.  Realistic preparedness can provide a real chance for your survival regardless of conditions.

As we grow older (we all will) our capacity to carry loads for long distances is going to diminish.  In addition to muscle loss we are more prone to illness and sensitive to temperature extremes.  Heat diseases, COPD and arthritis may make any kind of “hiking” out of the question.  If you are living alone or with an aged partner you have two options:

1)  If you can move to a safer location away from the city and high populations do so.
2)  have a plan to drive or be driven to a safer area well before situations get critical.

If these are not an option or unlikely, plan to shelter in place as best you can. That means having water, food, warmth, medications and self-protection that works for you in your conditions.
Fire is your biggest threat to in place survival. Can you use a fire extinguisher?  You must have ways to escape a fire that works for you.
In the gravest extreme you still need to have some kind of evacuation pack.  Even if you can only carry or drag 5 to 10 pounds it’s far better than nothing.  A quart of water, medications, snacks, a flashlight a Space Blanket and a weapon will give you a big advantage.
If you can get a few hundred yards to some other shelter you have a chance.   Some perfectly healthy people will die from unpreparedness and giving up.  Some prepared and determined disabled folks will get through with a little luck and determination.

There are two classes of disability related to emergency situations.  We have the cooperative, but disabled who will aid in their own care to whatever extent they can and the uncooperative who may have dementia, or are just in violent denial.

This last category is very difficult to help. They may fight your efforts and even sabotage your plans and equipment.  Getting them to a care facility in advance is your best option, but keep in mind that many of these facilities were abandoned during hurricane Katrina and would be again.  They have good plans for limited time and area disasters, but not for massive collapse events.
Otherwise, you are going to have to care for them as best you can while dealing with survival and defense priorities.  The cooperative disabled may be able to aide significantly in their own preparations and survival actions depending on the extent of their problems.  You must discuss these issues with them now.
Build up supplies of everything they need (as above) at their location and show them what to do.  Give special attention to oxygen and critical medications they need. Have a plan to take them to safety or to your safe location ahead of an event.  If possible make arrangements with neighbors for their care until you can get to them.

seniors collage



B.  Prepping For Seniors, by Retired Rev.
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I became aware of the need for prepping too late to have the advantages associated with youth.  Seniors are already dealing with issues of declining physical prowess, declining health and a growing sense of mortality.  To add prepping to the list of concerns seemed more than a bit overwhelming, but given the realities of our day, prepping slowly became an unavoidable necessity as I began to understand that the economic path on which our nation is traveling is clearly becoming unsustainable and is getting worse, not better.

There was also the additional concern – shared by preppers of any age – of convincing my dear wife that my fears were well-founded and that prepping was seriously necessary if we were to have a chance to survive TEOTWAWKI.  So the first challenge to overcome when contemplating prepping as a senior is the same challenge as for younger preppers:  Becoming convinced that there is serious trouble ahead that will likely destroy the support systems on which we have all become far too dependent.

For me, that reality began to come home to me as I watched the unfolding of the current administration’s agenda to abandon private enterprise as an economic model and move toward a more socialistic, European model.  It still puzzles me that we can easily observe the disintegration of the economic well-being of European nations on our evening news broadcasts, and then decide to emulate them ourselves.  Human nature is a strange thing!  Regardless of the reasons, it became clear to me that there is no will to rectify the situation in Washington and that we are rushing pell-mell toward some sort of inevitable financial Armageddon.  Therefore, the only reasonable path for me was to begin prepping in earnest despite my age of 66 years.

At first my wife was not open to the idea of prepping at all.  Women don’t like their “nesting” instincts messed with and to assert that all that we have come to depend on (Social Security, pensions, health care systems, investments, and the like), might well come to an end in the reasonably near future, was and is very difficult for her to deal with.  It was understandable.  So, my initial efforts at raising her awareness consisted of providing a running commentary on the evening news.  As things in Europe began to deteriorate into economic chaos, I would just point out that if we think that we are immune to such things here, we’d better think again!  Then, when President Obama was re-elected for his second term, I turned to my wife and said, “Honey, I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but now we really do need to get serious about our prepping.”  The economic mess that has been created was not going to be addressed by the Obama administration.

Reading was essential to my preparation for prepping.  The first book that influenced me was 77 Days in September , by Ray Gorham.  This was a tale of a man on a business trip to Houston whose plane crashed on take off due to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States.  It chronicled his trip walking home to northwest Montana, and was a primer to cultural breakdown.  Additionally, I read James Wesley Rawles, Patriots, which served as a wealth of resources for prepping and was a whopping good story.  I couldn’t get my wife to read either one because they were both just too scary, but they helped me get prepping into focus for my family and I.

Another influence in raising my awareness was information from a friend of mine who subscribes to Richard Maybury’s Early Warning Report (  Mr. Maybury is a combination historian and economist whose writings are both eloquent and pointed respecting how history intersects with economics and whose writings were often the stuff of Ron Paul campaign speeches on the topics.  The subscription to Maybury’s publication is a bit pricey, but worth the investment.

My wife was still not really on board (the contemplation of economic chaos was just too unpleasant to deal with for her), so I determined that I would begin prepping on my own simply because it is my responsibility to provide for my wife, (our daughter is grown and gone), whether or not she approved of my efforts and would willingly suffer whatever consequences may come from that.

As retired senior citizens, there are things to be considered in prepping that younger people don’t need to consider to the same degree.  Living in the wilderness at a remote retreat simply isn’t as realistic an option for seniors no matter how tempting that choice may be.  Health care needs especially come into play and the effort it takes for relocation to such locales is almost beyond our emotional and physical abilities.  This was particularly complicated for us because after 40 years of married life, we had finally retired and moved to our retirement home in northern Colorado, near Fort Collins.  We had often joked that the next box out of our house had better have one of us in it!  So for us (and I believe for most senior citizens), prepping is a “bug in” proposition.

We have some things going for us in our location.  We live in a small town of about 3,000 people.  It is mostly a bedroom community for Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley, Colorado.  Additionally, we are not next to I-25 but about several miles east of that major thoroughfare.  We are about an hour north of Denver which is a cause for some concern, but are hopeful that most desperate refugees would turn west from I-25 toward Fort Collins rather than east toward the open prairies.  Our community is likely small enough to get organized, but I don’t see that happening until the proverbial stuff hits the fan and they are forced to do so.

The problem with a bedroom community is that it doesn’t really see itself as a community to any great degree so it will be necessary to try to identify some like-minded folks prior to the collapse to form a cadre of leadership with which to offer our community some guidance whenever things “go south”.  It will be a difficult place to defend as we sit out on the prairie with the usual mile section grids that come with that.  Additionally, while some natural water sources are present, most are connected to irrigation canals, reservoirs, and the like, while the municipal water supply is connected to a water tower which requires electricity to pump water into it.  Water is always a big issue when you live in the rain shadow of the Rockies.  Therefore, I have begun to store water in larger quantities in house and garage.

With respect to food preparation, I have convinced my wife that having a year’s supply of food is just a practical thing to do if there is any chance that things could get rough – the Social Security and pension checks could stop coming, and the panic following an economic collapse might quickly empty the grocery store shelves.  So I opted for a two-pronged approach.

1) First, there was the purchase of some long-term foods that stored essentially longer than I am likely to stay alive.  Here I examined the “Mormon Four”:  wheat, honey/sugar, dry milk, and salt.  These were basic staples that may not be all that tasty, would keep us alive and I wouldn’t need to worry about expiration dates except for the dry milk.  There are some local grain elevators near us who sell wheat in bulk, but the grain has not been thoroughly cleaned and my wife wasn’t very excited about that.  So the best source I could find for nice, clean wheat for the price was at  I am not a Mormon, but I do recognize that these folks likely know more about food storage than just about anyone out there.  So 600 lbs. of wheat was ordered (hard red, and hard white) and stored away for safekeeping.  Likewise, a hand grain mill was ordered.  It will give you a workout, but it nicely converts wheat to useable flour.  I purchased a Wonder Mill Jr., grain mill from, and it works just fine.  Additionally, quantities of salt, sugar/honey, and dry milk were purchased and stored in the usual white buckets, but since my wife can’t open the usual plastic lids on the buckets, I opted for splurging on some gamma lids that seal nicely, but unscrew for easy access.  Arthritis takes it’s toll!

2) The second prong of my food preps involved the purchasing of food items from Sam’s Club, and the local grocery stores with emphasis being given to acquiring a year’s supply of such goods and using them on a first purchased, first eaten rotational basis.  We built some storage closets in our basement, installed shelving, and stocked them full of goods paying attention, whenever possible, to finding items with extended expiration dates.

We have also planted three raised gardens in our back yard to produce as much produce on our own as we can and have purchased long-term, heritage seeds to keep for the future.

The next real life senior concern to be addressed was prescription drugs.  Both my wife and I are on cholesterol statin drugs, and blood pressure medication as are nearly every elderly couple I know.  What to do about that?  Here I want to carefully evaluate how seriously we need these medications and seek to acquire a surplus of them.  If possible I hope to convince my doctor to prescribe a year’s supply of these medications.  If he refuses, then it is my plan to see how much of the medications I can take and still not see a significant jump in either my cholesterol “score” or my blood pressure.  Perhaps I can take the meds every other day or every third day instead of daily and save the rest.  Failing to succeed in those efforts means that when things get serious and no further prescriptions can be obtained, then I will take whatever prescription medications I have and cut them in half.  Then I will take half of those cut in half, and cut them in half again.  The object is to wean myself off of them gradually rather than take them as prescribed and then stop cold turkey.  Blood pressure medications and cholesterol drugs are preventative meds, thus, it simply may become necessary to let things play out as they will if they become unavailable.

In addition to medications, the elderly need to consider establishing a circle of friends and/or family who live in close proximity.  Eventually, us old folks get so old that we just can’t get things done on our own.  I’ve walked through these things with my own parents so I know what I am speaking about first hand.  Aging is simply one of the most challenging aspects of life and there is no such thing as the “Golden Years”.  Death does not scare me nor does it frighten my wife.  We are Christian people (I am a retired Lutheran pastor), and we know exactly where we are headed when we die and frankly can’t wait to make the trip!  What doesn’t excite us is the process of dying.  If we end up in a situation in which the usual artificial supports (medications, hospitals, doctors, and such) are not available, we know that we will die sooner rather than later.  If that is the case, then so be it!  The cadre of family and/or friends nearby is simply what people have always done in the past to care for those who can’t care for themselves until they go home to be with the Lord.

Older people are not just a drag on others, however.  We have an array of skills, knowledge, and understanding of an age when electronics didn’t even exist, when we burned our own trash in the back yard, and by and large took care of ourselves and others without the government having much to say about it.  Those are precisely the skills that communities that are cooperating in surviving need to know.  Additionally, there is a difference between being older and being decrepit.  I am old, not decrepit.  I can work a full day, shoot straight, and think clearly.  Until the day comes when such things are no longer possible for me, then I can be a productive member of any survival community.

With preppers of every age, however, I hope and pray daily that all of this preparation isn’t needed.  However, I will continue to be ready just in case it is.


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Trash and Human Waste disposal

(Survival manual/4. Shelter issues/Trash and human waste disposal)

Unsanitation is coming and it may be closer than you think.
If you don’t properly dispose of your trash, within a couple weeks after SHTF, what you see here will be what you, your neighborhood and city will be faced with.
(Picture at left: A beautiful spring day in May 2008, Naples, Italy, one spot in one neighborhood, after 5 months without city garbage pick up – the city landfill was filled to capacity and closed.)

A.  City drowning in rubbish: 10,000 TONS of waste pile up on streets of Marseilles in chilling echo of British ‘winter of discontent’
26th October 2010, By Peter Allen.
Pasted from:
“Nearly 10,000 tons of rubbish has piled up in the streets of Marseilles as French strikes and blockades continued. All of the country’s 12 oil refineries remained closed today after nearly two weeks of industrial action which is costing the country up to £350 million a day.
During the disruption French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s opinion poll ratings have collapsed and he is now the least popular leader in the history of the Fifth Republic.
Demonstrators restored their blockade at France’s biggest refinery of Fos-sur-Mer, Marseilles, following last week’s clearing of their demonstration by CRS riot police.  ‘The refinery is back in our hands – the police are standing off,’ said a local trade union spokesman.
Around 70 ships including oil tankers are currently waiting at anchor off the coast of Marseille because militants will not let them dock and unload.
Up to a quarter of 12,500 fuel stations have run dry, with rationing introduced in area which are particularly popular with visitors from the UK, including Brittany and Normandy.
A Transport ministry spokeswoman said: ‘In the west of the country and in Paris more than a third of filling stations have been shut down – the situation is extremely serious.’
Nicolas Sarkozy scored a victory on Friday by getting his bill to make people work two more years for their pensions through the Senate, but striking refinery workers are putting a strain on businesses and daily life and show no sign of backing down…

Photographs above: Left: Marseille, France has been crippled by strikers. A fleet of huge ships  cruises offshore, unable to dock, their lights reflecting against the still  waters of the port at night. From the air it looks like a giant game of  Battleships.
Right: In the city centre, streets are still piled high with rubbish after the  refuse collectors joined dock workers, train drivers, students and airport staff who have brought the city almost to a standstill.

Photographs above: Scenes of New York City trash build up during and following an early  January 2011 winter storm. Sanitation becomes a problem immediately following even  a common, brief weather shut down. Imagine a situation that closed down  garbage and waste  removal for weeks – or months.

Meanwhile a resident in Philadelphia writes:
“You’ll be thrilled to know that I made it into work in less than 50 minutes this morning, and I didn’t need to drive ‘the 30 Blocks of Squalor’. But, I still needed to maneuver through West Philly
around the Zoo. I’m not quite sure but I believe Monday is trash day in West Philly based on the size of the garbage bags piled high in front of the ‘tenements’ and hovels. I was just happy there was no snow on the streets from the snowstorm one week ago. It seems that the new Phila snow removal program is
working wonders. Wait until the temperature goes up to 50 and the snow melts.
What struck me was how much trash and garbage was generated in such tiny row homes by people with a median household incomes of $21,000. The median value of houses in this war zone is $30,000. I’m mentally picturing the inside of these houses.
The question I have is what did these people use to purchase enough crap to generate this amount of garbage? These are the poorest of the poor in our nation and they are generating twice as much garbage as my family. In a three block stretch, there were more newer model $30,000 cars than there are in my entire upper middle class neighborhood. My driveway has an 11-year-old minivan and a 9-year-old CRV in it. What gives? They are not buying shit with wages, because 50% of the people in this neighborhood don’t work. The only thing I can think is a combination of government handouts, illegal activities, and credit cards…”

  BTrash disposal in an emergency situation
For urban dwellers: If everything is seriously messed up after the SHTF and major state functions fail like water, garbage, power, etc, then you may  need to take cover when going about business outdoors. Night disposal runs are best in two man teams. Foot travel to alternate trash dumping locations a few blocks away in the moonlight will be safer than day traffic. Avoid driving, save your fuel for more important events.
Compost all organic material, recycle all plastic, glass, metal, and wood to the best of your ability. The remaining refuse should be discarded as soon as you can to prevent disease / illness, also reduces odors.

 Incinerate the burnable rubbish, along with the plastics.
Organics get composted.  Burnables, we burn.  That probably sounds like heresy if you live in a city, and I confess I had to get used to it myself.  Hadn’t seen a burning barrel in years.  But yeah, burn’em.  Glass jars get re-used; they’re valuable.
That leaves tin cans, beer bottles and non-flammable  construction or demolition trash.  Haven’t found a self-sufficient answer for that one, so I haul it to the landfill.  If ever the day came when that was no longer practical, and I was generating that much trash, I’d contract with a neighbor who has a backhoe and make my own landfill.  I’d really hate to do that, though.
[Steel drums last about a year each, depending on how wet they become inside from rain and snow. Set the drum on a couple of concrete blocks to get it off the ground which will make the can last longer. In order to get the best combustion and the least amount of residual ash, make several dime size ventilation holes around the can’s lower periphery and up the sides. Use a steel chisel, drill or a few bullets more powerful than 22LR. Put a steel lid  on the can between burnings, to keep rain  or snow out of the ash. Wet ash accelerates rusting on the inside of the can. When the can is about 1-2 to 2/3 full it’s time to empty. If your moving the contents to another spot (and hopefully you are), have a wheel barrow handy to tote the can and contents. Dump the can upside down and bang the bottom to dislodge compacted materials then return the can to its ‘home’.

Compost to get rid of your bio-degradable materials 
Select an area for your compost pile or bin. Look for a spot that gets a lot of sunlight and has nearby access to water. Make sure the location is close to the house for convenience, but not so close that decaying organics can be smelled inside. [I had one 100 feet away for 30 years and never
smelled it, even while standing outdoors beside the house.-Mr. Larry]
Efficient decomposition requires nitrogen (kitchen scraps), carbon (yard waste), oxygen (air), and water. Collect kitchen and household scraps for the compost pile. Useful items include:
•  Fruit and vegetable scraps
•  Coffee grounds and tea leaves
•  Eggshells (rinsed of whites and yolks)
•  Shredded newspaper (not magazines)
•  Fireplace ashes
•  Sawdust

Do not compost meat, bones, fat, grease, dairy products, or pet waste. [I composted all the preceding except pet waste . The compost pile and garden loved me for it, but the larger bones don’t break down]
TIP: For more efficient composting, cut large scraps into smaller pieces.
TIP: Use a carbon-charcoal filter container to collect household scraps. The filter eliminates odors
[For many years, we used a 4-5 quart, covered, plastic ice cream pail to store our miscellaneous daily
household scraps and dumped the pail when it was full.-Mr. Larry].

  1. When the collection container is nearly full, empty the scraps to the compost bin or pile.
  2. Add a layer of leaves, grass clippings, and/or weeds from your yard. If not available, add straw.
  3. Moisten and mix the compost pile every few weeks. Water the pile, then use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the compost so that oxygen reaches all ingredients to encourage decomposition.

TIP: To make sure there is sufficient moisture, examine a clump of the material.  It should be damp, but not soggy and drippy.

  1. Adjust the proportion of compost ingredients by odor. The compost should have a good earthy smell. If the compost has an ammonia odor, add more carbon materials such as leaves and
    newspaper. If the compost smells foul, it is probably too wet and needs more dry materials such as leaves or straw.
  2. Allow the compost materials to decompose before use. It should feel crumbly, look dark, and smell earthy.
    The process typically takes a few months, depending on ingredients. Do not use compost before it’s ready—the decomposing ingredients can attract pests.
  3. In a SHTF scenario: Never put any trash near your house to avoid letting people know you
    have food. All trash which can be burned will be for fuel. Cans which cannot be reused will be crushed and buried away from the house. If water was not an issue, would wash them out to use for other purposes. If water was short they get thrown out to avoid attracting pests and guests.

This pair of compost bins were  made from 8 pallets, one pallet down the middle, and stripped boards off the 8th pallet to hold it all together. Throw kitchen scraps, some grass clippings, manure, little screened loam, leaves and other misc. “brown” material like small  twigs, rotting wood, etc. Then I leave it. Turn the compost probably 3 times next year, once in the spring, mid-summer and again next fall. Then use it in  Garden the following year. Pallets are awesome. They’re free and can be used
for all sorts of things.
[I used pressure treated rough sawn 1” x 8” pressure treated planks, they definitely looked nicer, but n a pinch the pallets would work.- Mr. Larry]

Build or purchase compost bins. A small fenced area with no bottom allows worms, soil bacteria, beetles and other beneficial organisms to work and aerate the compost. L>R: Steel post & chicken wire; circular, made with common wire fence; divided square bins made from wood slats and chicken wire.
[My bins looked similar to the wooden slat bin at right, except it was about 3 times larger and made from rough sawn pressure treated planks.


B.   Human waste disposal
Sanitation is a dirty subject that no one really wants to talk about.  But it is an often overlooked aspect of emergency preparedness.  When a disaster creates a situation where the water sources are compromised, the lack of sanitation in the given disaster area will be a disaster in itself.  A 50 mile radius of individuals could be affected by illness and disease.  Prepare appropriately for this aspect of disasters in order to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

 Add a Sanitation Kit to Disaster Supplies
Photo at right: A confined, rolling method of moving several dozen, sealed plastic trash  bags containing human waste to a remote site –  away from your shelter.

Having a sanitation kit that is ‘ready for use’ in times of disaster is essential to keeping your family and neighbors healthy.  These kits can fit comfortably into a bucket, are affordable, and will not take up much space.  Additionally, being educated on how to properly dispose of waste is a key factor in keeping everyone healthy during a disaster.

Some suggested sanitation supplies to add to any short or long-term emergency kits are:
•  Port-a-pottie, disposable 5-6 gallon paint bucket with lid, ‘luggable loo’ with seat
•  Toilet paper
•  Rubber gloves
•  Garbage bags with twist ties ( for liners of toilets or luggable loo)
•  Bathroom cleaner, Clorox, small bowl with water-disinfectant for washing hands where there
is no running water.
•  Cat Litter or absorbent material such as saw dust or dirt
•  Baby wipes, sanitary hand towels.
•  Baking soda can be used to help eliminate odors, lime
•  Vinegar
•  Shovel

Image at right is a Short term Family Toilet Sanitation Kit, containing: 1) Double Doodie toilet waste bags (or a medium-sized plastic bucket, 5-6 gallon, lined with a heavy-duty garbage bags); 2) toilet paper (for a family you’ll definitely want more than 4 rolls for anything longer than a few days business); 3) Basics Antibacterial bath wipes (or Handi-wipes, Wet Ones, etc); 4) small bottle Aqua Chem, port-a-pottie deodorant, or RV toilet deodorant; 5) toothbrush with paste. Determine quantities from your disaster preparedness scenario.

Additional ideas:
Have several buckets with lids to store stuff up while I wait to dump them. The lids are to help control smell. Human waste will be buried away from the house.
Keep a 80 lb bag of common industrial grade powdered lime on hand.

•  We evolved to live in small bands, and move on to a new location every week or so. The further you get from that lifestyle, you’re going to need fancier and fancier engineering. A trench latrine works for campers. Leave the TP roll on the shovel handle, and throw some dirt in the trench to cover your deposit, thanks.
•  Sharing a toilet seat means you get as sick as the sickest person that uses the same throne. It’s literally like dropping ‘trou’ and bumping butts with everyone else in your group, several times a day. Lysol is a must.
•  If you are in a suburb or city, first use the toilets you already have. You can take the lid off the water
closet and add more by hand. Use any water, like after a rain, or dishwater, whatever. Toilets don’t need electricity to flush, just water in the tank. Your public sewer lines might work for a week or two before they stop up. Use the time well!
•  After that, or where you don’t have the spare water, line a bucket with a heavy trash bag, and take the seat off of a toilet, and use that. Throw the full bag in a city trash can or dumpster. It will help with the smell, and if authority comes to clean up, that is where they will empty first. You can burn the dumpster or can if you get desperate.
•  If you compost with animal or human excrement, watch out for hookworm and ringworm, which can migrate and infect plants like tomato and corn via compost. This is also especially true of dysentery, the leading cause of death in Latin America. In Africa, blood flukes are a major health hazard from this, and from people working in irrigation ditches that are waste deep, then flowing onto fields.

Photos above: Left: Drain water from you home toilet and line bowl with plastic trash bags,  remove as
necessary. Center: 5-6 gallon portable toilet, used with trash bag liners. Right: Port-a-potti style toilet with minimal flush capability, deodorant in tank, empty every day or two.

Emergency Sanitation

The images above are common, modern camp gear – toilet/shower privacy enclosures. In a really bad situation, few things will provide your accustomed comfort as the personal privacy of an emergency bathroom’.

C.  Emergency Sanitation
27 July 2009,, by Kellene Bishop
 Sanitation is one of the ten critical components of emergency preparedness. It is usually one of the top two that are most overlooked. A lot of us take emergency sanitation for granted until our toilet breaks down or the sewer backs up. Keep in mind, if there is a quarantine, who’s going to maintain the proper working order of the sewage services? If there’s a financial collapse, how will we even have the wherewithal to send our waste somewhere else? If you don’t take emergency sanitation seriously, then the consequences can be extremely dire—even up to a 50 mile radius. Preventing waste from
contaminating the soil is just as important as preventing the spread of any other disease, as it contaminates crops, water, and air. Additionally, as water will be scarce in a time of emergency, ensuring that it does not get contaminated from improper sanitation habits is critical.

High amounts of hydrogen sulfide results from human waste. It not only smells horrible, but can also be very dangerous if a great deal of build-up occurs locally. Flies, rodents, and other unwelcome “guests” are attracted to the smell of fecal matter. Flies actually consume it.
Unfortunately, this also means that human waste is speedily spread to humans via flies and rodents to multiple locations and can subsequently effect an entire community with a sanitation disaster within 48 hours. Thus ensuring that your toilets are covered and you have the ability to break down the waste is critical in order to ensure the best health in a stressful circumstance.

Your first line of defense for emergency sanitation will still be the toilet in your own home—for a little while at least. You may only have enough time to build an alternative source, but you should at least have some time to implement these initial strategies. So long as you have water supply, flush conservatively.
When you aren’t able to flush any longer, plan on pouring water down the toilet to get rid of the waste. (Think how fast you’ll be using that water folks. Now do you start to see why I say a gallon per person, per day is the minimum amount you want to store? Although, keep in mind, you can use dish water, laundry water, or leftover cooking water for this purpose.) After you no longer have this option, plan on using the toilet as more of a “bucket.” Turn off all of the water to the toilet, and then plug it up with a tennis ball to ensure that no sewage comes through. Then line your toilet with a bio-degradable, compostable bag.
When you’ve exhausted the use of that bag, seal it, and then bury it so it will decompose properly.

In the eventual likelihood that you will have to move your “outhouse” outdoors, there are several additional considerations for emergency sanitation. Obviously, you want to keep it away from any food or water supply.
But you will want to be sure that you have chlorinated lime or bleach on hand to chemically and safely break down the waste matter. (Note: Powdered, chlorinated lime is available at building supply stores and it can be used dry. Be sure to get chlorinated lime and not quick lime, which is highly alkaline and corrosive.)

Every single time a person uses the toilet, some type of disinfectant should be sprinkled on top. It can be chlorinated lime, bleach, or even some other household disinfectants such as Pinesol, Lysol Cleaner, Arm & Hammer cleaners, plain baking soda, laundry detergent, etc.


D.  What To Do When the Sanitation Hits The Fan
22 December 2010,, by Tess Pennington
Excerpts pasted from:

Cathole considerations:
When choosing a site to bury waste:
•  Select a cathole site far from water sources, 200 feet (approximately 70 adult paces) is the recommended range.
•  Select an inconspicuous site untraveled by people.  Examples of cathole sites include thick undergrowth, near downed timber, or on gentle hillsides.
•  If camping with a group or if camping in the same place for more than one night, disperse the catholes over a wide area; don’t go to the same place twice.
•  Try to find a site with deep organic soil.  This organic material contains organisms which will help decompose the feces. (organic soil is usually dark and rich in color.)  Refer to the jars used to demonstrate decomposition.  The desert does not have as much organic soil as a forested area.
•  If possible, locate our cat hole where it will receive maximum sunlight.  The heat from
the sun will aid the decomposition.
•  Choose an elevated site where water would not normally runoff during rain storms.  The idea here is to keep the feces out of water. Overtime, the decomposing feces will percolate into the soil before
reaching water sources.

Disposal of Feminine Napkins
It is important to properly dispose of sanitary napkins, as they contain bodily fluid that could pose a health hazard to others. Methods of disposal may differ according to where you are and what you have available.  However, tampons and feminine napkins do not decompose quickly.  Therefore, the best way to dispose of used feminine napkins tampons is to burn them. The fire must be very hot in order to thoroughly destroy the used items.

Sanitation will require the same type of  supplies for a short-term as a long-term disaster, however, a more permanent structure needs to be in place for long-term use.

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