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Surviving with the electric grid down

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Surviving with the electric grid down)

home battery bank everything on table

[Deep cycle battery powering household personal electronics, low wattage lamps and charging batteries. See Steve Harris videos for "How to": http://battery1234.com/]

How do you live without electricity
January/February, 2002, Backwoods Home magazine, Issue 373, by Anita Evangelista 
Pasted from: <http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/evangelista73.html&gt;

It’s going to happen. Sooner or later, the power will go off, and you won’t know when (or if) it will come back on. This doesn’t have to be the work of evil-doers, either. It could be a sudden ice storm that brings down the power lines. It could result from other severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, or from a disruption caused by faulty power company equipment, or even something as simple as a tree branch falling on your own personal segment of the grid. The effect is the same: everything electrical in your home stops working.

For most modern Americans, the loss of power means the complete loss of normalcy. Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. How do you cook a meal if your gas stove has an electric ignition? How do your children find their way to the bathroom at night if the light switches don’t work? How do you keep warm if your wood heat is moved through ducts by an electric fan? What do you do with a freezer full of expensive meat? How do you find out what is happening in your area with the TV and radio silent? What will you drink if your water comes from a system shtf schooldependent on electrical pumps?

These are questions that both the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency are asking people to seriously consider. Both of these agencies have suggested that preparations for three days without power are prudent commonsense actions that all Americans should now undertake.

We’ll look at these issues in the broad context of living without access to the grid, whether you’ve chosen to separate from it or whether the choice is made for you by outside forces. What you can do now to mitigate your difficulties if the power goes off in the future, and what you can do then to help keep your situation under control, will be the focus of this article.

Remember, too, that an important principle in all preparations is that you maintain as much “normalcy” in your lifestyle as possible. For example, if television is part of your relaxation and unwinding process, don’t assume you can easily do without it. The closer you can keep your daily routines to “the norm” for your family, the more easily you can deal with power outages.

There are five primary areas that are easily disrupted if the power goes off. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind. In order of importance, they are: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.

1. LightApollo2
While living on our Ozark farm without the grid, we spent some time rising with the sun and going to bed when the sun set. This would probably have been a pretty healthy way to live, if everyone else in the world did the same thing. Our children’s bathroom needs didn’t stop when the sun went down, our neighbors figured that nighttime visits weren’t out of the ordinary, and those midnight raids on the pantry for crackers and peanut butter turned into fumble-fests. Sometimes the barking of our livestock guardian dogs meant strange predators were too close for comfort, somewhere in the countryside darkness. Light is the most important item on our Big Five list because without light we are not able to efficiently carry on the other activities of daily living.

The most simple and familiar form of emergency lighting is a flashlight. Do you have one that you could find in the dark, right now? If so, congratulations. You are among a very small percentage of Americans. Better yet if you have one for each member of your family, with fresh batteries, plus three extra sets of batteries for each flashlight. That should be your minimum “safe” number. Store your flashlight where you can quickly reach it in the dark night—under the mattress of your bed, for example. Each child old enough to walk should also have his or her own flashlight, and be taught how to use it.

Flashlights range in price from the 79 cent cheapie to the fancy multi-function $80 special. Consider a small 2-AA battery flashlight with a halogen bulb. These cost about $4-5 each, give an excellent clear white light, and are easily portable in a pocket or purse. Additionally, when we discuss communications later in the article, the most common battery used in these devices is also the AA, so your life will be simplified if you stick primarily to one type of battery and don’t have to buy various odd sizes for different needs.

Batteries wear out rapidly if your flashlights are used continuously: figure two changes per week of regular use. Alkaline batteries last longer, give a more AC-12v DC battery chargerpowerful light, but cost more than regular batteries. Most rechargeable batteries are suitable for flashlights, but should be recharged when the light begins to dim a little. Don’t let them get completely drained. This means you would need several sets of rechargables for each flashlight (some would be recharging while you use the others).

a)  Recharging can be done by means of a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. These DC-powered rechargers can be found at auto supply stores and at Radio Shack for about $30 or less. Solar rechargers work slower but produce the same results for about $30.

b) Candles are available, slightly used, at garage sales and thrift stores (5 cents to 10 cents each or less), and some outlet stores like Big Lots have new candles for 25 cents. We have a cardboard box weighing 35 pounds that is filled with various sizes and shapes of candles. This would be about a year’s supply for my family. We’ve acquired them gradually, every time we found them inexpensively. They never go bad! Candles are easy to use and familiar. Most of us can adjust to using candles easily. The light is soft and wavering. You’ll need at least three candles if you hope to read by the light. If you have small children or indoor pets, care must be taken where you place them. Metal candle holders that hang on walls are probably the safest. Remember to place a heat proof plate underneath the holder to catch drippings. Save your wax drippings, too, to no elect candle lanternmake more candles later.

c) Oil (kerosene) lamps produce a steadier light than candles. Department store oil lamps cost about $10 each and come in attractive styles. Lamp oil is about $3 per liter. A typical lamp will burn one to two cups of oil per night, so you would use about two liters each week per lamp. The light from these lamps is not quite adequate to read by unless it is placed very close, and the light does waver a little. A single lamp can provide enough light in a room so that you don’t bump into furniture, but two or three may be needed to provide good functional light. As with candles, if you have children, these lamps need to be placed securely and out of reach. The smell of burning oil (kerosene) can get heavy in a closed room so keep ventilation open. Keep an extra set of wicks ($2) and chimneys ($3) in case of breakage.

The Cadillac of oil lamps is the Aladdin Lamp. These run from $60 up to several hundred each. The light given off is as good as a 60-watt bulb, clear, and unwavering. You can read or do needlepoint by the light of one lamp. These burn the same oil or kerosene as typical lamps, but because they burn hotter, there is much less odor. Position these lamps so that they cannot accidentally be overturned, and so that the intense heat coming from the chimney won’t ignite something. Purchase an additional “mantle” (the light-giving portion of the lamp – $3), and chimney ($15), as backups.

Solar powered lamps ($80-$120) are typically small fluorescents, and can be run off of battery systems. It may take more than one day of bright sunlight to recharge these lamps, so you may need several—one to use, while others are recharging. The light is white and clear, good for area-lighting, and rather difficult to read by. Have extra fluorescent bulbs on hand, too.

Don’t forget to store matches!

2. Water
If you live in a town or city, the loss of power to homes and businesses probably will not immediately affect your water pressure, but it could affect the purification process or allow reverse seepage of contaminants into the lines. If, instead, your water comes from an electrically-powered home water pump, your water stops flowing the moment the power does. Either way, with the loss of power comes the loss of water (or, at least, clean water). Water that is free of bacteria and contaminants is so crucial to our survival that it should be a special concern in your preparations.royal berkey internet image

The easiest way to guarantee quality water is to store it right now. The important question is: how much? Both Red Cross and FEMA suggest a minimum of one gallon per day per person. This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question.

The typical American currently uses around 70 gallons a day, taking a nice long hot shower, flushing the toilet several times, washing a load of laundry, letting the water run while brushing teeth, and for cooking and drinking. In a short-term emergency situation, only drinking and cooking water is crucial, but if that short-term incident drags out to weeks or months, daily consumption would rise to include bathing and clothes washing. And this presumes that the family has prepared a sanitary “outhouse,” so flushing isn’t needed. In that case, 5-10 gallons per day per person would be a more reasonable amount, with a weekly communal bath becoming the routine.

One to three-gallon jugs, direct from the supermarket, run about 60 cents to $2; these store easily under cabinets and counters. A few tucked into the freezer will help keep things cold if the power goes off. You can also store water inexpensively in large, covered plastic trash cans; they hold 36 to 55 gallons each. Refresh the water every two weeks, so it will be ready in case the power goes off. Kiddie swimming pools—a 12-foot wide, 36-inch deep pool holds 2500 gallons and costs about $250—also make excellent above-ground holding tanks. Buy a pool cover, as well, to keep bugs out.

Farm supply stores often sell “water tanks” made of heavy grade plastic. These can be partially buried underground to keep water cooler and less susceptible to mold and bacteria. These run about $1 per gallon of holding capacity, so a 350-gallon tank new will cost $350. Plan to filter and purify the water before use.

Collecting water can be done by hand with 5-gallon plastic buckets if you live near a river or stream (it must be filtered and purified before use). You can also divert rainwater off your roof, through the rain gutters and downspouts into plastic trashcans. If you live in the Midwest, Northwest, or East Coast, rainfall is adequate to make this your primary backup water source. West Coast, high desert, and mountain areas, though, won’t have sufficient rainfall to make this a reliable source.

A drilled well with an electric pump can be retrofitted with a plastic hand-pump for about $400 – $600. These systems sit side-by-side with your electric pump down the same well-shaft, and can be put to use any time the power is off. Typical delivery is about 2 gallons per minute, and pumping strength varies from 11 to 20 pounds—a good but not exhausting workout.

Water can be purified inexpensively. Fifteen drops of bleach (plain unscented) per gallon of water costs less than 1 penny, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) per gallon will also destroy bacteria. Twenty minutes of a hard, rolling boil will, too. Bleach is effective against both cholera and typhoid and has kept American water supplies safe for decades. The chlorine taste can be easily removed with a charcoal filter system (such as Brita Pitcher or Pur brands for home use, about $30).

British Berkefeld water filters, along with various other brands, are more expensive ($150-$250), but can filter and purify water indefinitely. Both eliminate bacteria, contaminants, and off-flavors. We’ve used a “Big Berkey” for four or five years, and it is a very reliable gravity-fed system. When shopping for filters, if they only offer “better taste” they won’t protect you from bacterial contaminants.

Noah Water System’s travel companion will work great in case of a power outage, or your water supply becomes undrinkable. The Trekker is a portable water purificationn unit. With the Trekker you can get water from any river, lake, or pond. It’s small enough to carry like a briefcase.

3. Cooking
A person can survive indefinitely opening cold cans of beans for meals, but it wouldn’t be a very satisfying existence. In times of crisis, a hot meal goes a long way toward soothing the day’s troubles. The simplest way to heat a meal is the Boy Scout method: a couple of bricks or rocks set around a small outdoor fire, with the bean can propped over the flames. It’s low cost, and it works. However, the cook doesn’t have much control over the outcome.

Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during emergency situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. These are familiar methods, too, so family members don’t have to make a huge leap to accept these foods. It’s difficult to cook much more than meats and a few firm vegetables over open heat like this, though. Also, never use these devices in a confined space, as they emit carbon monoxide.no elect dutch oven

a) “Campfire” cooking can lend itself to some baking, if you also have a cast iron Dutch Oven—a large, heavy, cast iron covered pot. Place a well-kneaded pound of bread dough into a heavily-greased or oiled Dutch Oven and put the cover in position. Make a hole or pot-sized well in the ash near the fire, and line this with glowing coals. Put about an inch of ash over the coals, and place the Dutch Oven into this. Now, pile about an inch of hot ash around the oven and cover with glowing coals, then another layer of ash to keep the heat in. Uncover and check your bread in about 35 minutes, it should be done.

b) Propane and butane camp stoves are so much like ordinary home stoves that there is no difference in the cooking results. Portable RV 2-burner propane stoves are often available used—mine cost $5 at a garage sale—and can even do pressure canning because the heat is consistent and reliable. A typical 18-gallon propane cylinder, the kind used for barbeques, costs around $30 new, and a propane fillup is about $7. This will last for nearly a month of daily use. You’ll also need a feeder hose and pressure regulator for the stove, which can be prepared by your propane dealer for $20 or so.

c) Butane stoves are also portable and run off of a cylinder of the same kind of butane that is used in cigarette lighters. These stoves are $80-90 new, and cylinders are $5 and last for 8 hours of cooking.no elect coleman stove

d) General camp stoves (around $65 at department stores) operate on “stove fuel” (basically, propane in a small 1-pound cylinder – $3). A cylinder lasts for around 8 hours of cooking. You can also find camp stoves that will cook off of unleaded gasoline, and there are some that are “multi-fuel,” using either kerosene or gasoline—handy in case of a shortage of one fuel or the other. Use outdoors or on a covered porch to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so. A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels. Total cost for this, if you can scrounge leftover glass and cardboard, is about $1.

Place your food in a covered lightweight pan inside the box, prop it so the entire interior is exposed to the sunlight (about a 45-degree angle), cover with the sheet of glass (and tape the glass so it won’t slide), then prop the aluminum foil panels so that they reflect more sunlight down into the box. Move the box every 30 minutes so it maintains an even temperature. It will get hot fast, easily up to 325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun. Remember to use potholders when removing your foods! Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat-absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.no elect Global Sun over

Keeping foods cool if the power goes out can be as simple as looking for shade, even under a tree. Some Ozarkers have partially buried old broken freezers in the shade of backyard trees, storing grains and winter vegetables inside. During the winter, your parked car will stay at the same temperature as the outside air—below freezing on those cold nights—so you can store frozen goods there safely. During the daylight hours, the car interior will heat up, though, if it’s in the sun. Park it in the shade of the house, or cover the windows and roof with a blanket to keep the interior cool.

e) Kerosene refrigerator/freezers are alternative appliances that will continue to function with the power off because they are “powered” by kerosene. Their cooling and freezing capacity is exactly the same as a regular refrigerator, and they come in the same colors. Typically, they are a little smaller than conventional ‘fridges and cost up to $1500, but they’ll last for decades with care.

Portable battery-powered refrigerators that keep your foods 40-degrees cooler than outside temperatures are available at most department store sporting-goods sections ($90). These run off of both DC and AC power, so they can be plugged into your car battery through the cigarette lighter outlet or into a solar power system.Wynter 12v refrig w solar panel

What about that freezer full of expensive meat if the power goes off? First step is to cover the freezer with blankets to help retain the cold. Then, find dry ice (if everyone else in your town hasn’t already bought out the supply). Blanket coverings will keep a full freezer frozen for two days, and the addition of dry ice will prolong that to three or four days.

If power stays off, it’s time to eat and time to can the meat remaining. Canning low-acid foods like meat calls for a pressure canner ($90), canning jars ($6 for 12), a source of consistent heat (like a propane RV stove), and some skill. In considering your time requirements, it took me two days of steady canning to put a 230-pound pig into jars. Each quart jar holds 3 pounds of meat.

4. Heating and cooling
It’s a funny thing that even though we know winter is coming, we put off cutting our wood until after the first really cold night has chilled the house below comfort levels. But with the instability in the world today, it is sensible, and reasonable, to prepare well in advance of season changes. Putting in supplies a year ahead of time is a traditional farm practice, and it gives a cushion of safety against uncertain conditions.

a) Woodstove heating is more common, and comfortable to use, than it was two decades ago. New wood heaters run from $100 to several thousands, depending on materials, craftsmanship, and beauty. Better stoves hold heat longer and may have interior baffles that let you use less wood to produce more heat. Even so, the most basic metal-drum-turned-stove also works to heat a room or a house.no elect cylindar stove w h20 heater

Heating a 3-bedroom home that is moderately insulated will use about 8-12 cords of wood throughout the winter. The size of a cord (sometimes called a “rick” or a “rank”) is not standardized from region to region, but typically will be about 8′ x 8′ x 2′, roughly a pickup truck bed loaded even with the top of the sides. Prices will vary between $65 per cord to $150, depending on the region and type of wood. Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, and fruitwoods like apple and pear, burn better and longer than softwoods like poplar. Don’t use resinous woods, such as the pines, cedars, and spruces for the main heating—only as firestarters—because they burn too hot and fast and generate creosote. Better home insulation and better quality hardwoods will decrease the amount of wood you need to use.

If you plan to secure and cut your own firewood, be willing to acquire a good-quality chainsaw—any that cost below $200 will only give you grief. Keep an extra chain on hand. Use safety precautions, too: wear ear and eye protectors, heavy gloves, and don’t chainsaw alone. Cutting your own wood will decrease your heating costs significantly, but increase your labor. It typically takes us a full week of constant work to put up a winter’s worth of wood.

b) Woodstoves require heat-proof surfaces surrounding them, an insulated chimney pipe (about $90 per 3-foot section), and some building skills in order to install. Installation costs can equal or surpass the cost of the stove itself. Chimneys need to be thoroughly cleaned of the black crusty buildup, creosote, at least twice each year (and more often if you use the stove continuously).

c) Propane heaters that don’t need venting to outdoors are a relatively new product. A plain one ($200) can be mounted on the wall in the home’s main no elect buddyroom, or more fancy models that look like built-in fireplaces complete with fake logs ($450) are available. You will need a propane tank, regulator, and appropriate copper lines, but these will all be installed by your propane company for a small charge. Propane has varied widely in cost from year to year, but typically runs around $0.95 to $1.30 per gallon.

d) Kerosene heaters ($120) are freestanding units that burn kerosene in a way that is something like a lamp—it uses a wick system and flames to provide heat. These are best used in areas that can be easily ventilated, because of the potential for buildup of carbon monoxide. Kerosene has a strong odor, as well. Kerosene costs about $1 per gallon or less (in quantity).

e) Solar heat can be “grabbed” anytime the light from the sun hits your house. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north-facing ones. You can “store” the sun’s heat in any surface. Ceramic floor tiles, for instance, are excellent at retaining heat. So will a flat-black painted covered plastic trash can filled with water. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.

One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. If doors aren’t available, you can hang curtains in doorways (or even tack up a blanket, in a pinch), and keep your heat restricted to the room you are actually in. In an emergency situation, you can curtain up a room and set up a tent-like “den” for the family to snuggle in under blankets. Body heat alone will keep the den’s interior comfortable.

Cooling a residence during a hot summer requires just as much thought and advance planning as winter heating does. Battery and solar-powered fans help keep air moving, windows can be shaded by fast-growing vines and pole beans, and—planning way ahead—fast-growing trees like poplars can be planted on the house’s south side to shade the yard.

In areas where wind blows routinely in the summer, you can soak a sheet, ring it out, and hang it in front of a breezy window. The air passing through the window is cooled as it moves against the wet sheet, and helps to cool the house. Remember that heat rises, so make it easy for too-hot air to escape from the attic and upper floors by opening windows and vents.

5. Communications
In a time of distress, keeping in contact with family and knowing about local and national situations is important to maintaining both continuity and confidence. In general, telephone systems are on a different system than the electrical power grid, but they can be disrupted if there are earth movements or as the result of terrorist activities.

During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, we kept informed about the damages by watching a 4-inch black and white TV set (bought used for $25) that was plugged into our car battery through the cigarette lighter. At night, we heard reports from the BBC via a 4-AA battery powered shortwave radio ($70 from Radio Shack). I consider these two devices—shortwave and TV—the required minimum communication/ information devices during a crisis, especially if the phone system is down.

Satellite internet hookups, using a battery-powered laptop, could be an excellent communication tool, both for accessing news and for staying in touch with friends and colleagues by email.

Citizens Band (CB) radios are excellent tools, as well. These portable devices can be carried with you into the field and used to stay in contact with neighbors and family when you are away from the house. Basic models run $60—you’ll need at least two—and ones with greater ranges and features are more costly. They’ll run on 6 to 8 (or more) AA batteries.

“Family Radios” are FM-band devices that have a short range, about ¼ mile ($60 for a pair). These are handy for keeping family in contact during outings, when traveling in a caravan, or when one member needs to go out to the barn during a storm. They run on 2 AA batteries.

6. Keeping things normal
Even though circumstances may change in the world, we can choose how we wish to react. We can live in a state of helpless anxiety—or control what we can. We can control our responses, in part, by maintaining as much normalcy in our lives as possible.tv_on_cobra_400_watt_inverter_on_marine_battery[1]

If your family relaxes in the evenings with a video, plan to continue doing that. Acquire a battery-powered TV/VCR combination, and make sure you have enough power sources to keep that going for at least two weeks. (If things get dicey, you can wean off the system in two weeks.) A cassette player or CD player with external speakers can provide relaxation and entertainment, and they run off of AA batteries as well.

Children have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in their environment, so if you expect them to play board games if the power goes out, they should be comfortable with board games now. Keep routines consistent, arising at the usual time in the morning and going to bed as you have in the past. Prepare familiar meals with foods everyone enjoys. Have “fun foods” and goodies on hand. Remember to reach out to your neighbors and older folks who live nearby, and provide extras to help them, as well.

Use the knowledge you’ve gained, and your experience with non-electric living, to make your neighborhood a more secure and adaptable place.

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

When the grid goes down, be ready!

(Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ When the grid goes down, be ready!)

A.  When the Grid Goes Down, You Better Be Ready!
4 Feb 2012, SHTFplan.com, contributed by Tess Pennington
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/when-the-grid-goes-down-you-better-be-ready_02142012

The article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com.

Be prepared1

[Severe weather or geological conditions (tornado, hurricane, flood, fire earthquake, volcanic activity, tsunami) cause an extended local or regional grid down condition.]

Be Prepared2

[Solar flare powered Aurora Borealis triggers EMP pulse]

It is a fact that our country is more reliant on electrical power today than at any time in its history. Our way of life – from everyday conveniences and the security of local emergency services to commerce and communications – is contingent upon an always on, always available flow of electricity. But an aging infrastructure coupled with a rise in natural and man-made disasters threatens our entire modern-day digital infrastructure. According to many experts from the private and public sector, we’re just one major catastrophic event away from a complete meltdown of life in America as we know it today.

So, what happens if and when the grid goes down for an extended period of time? Aside from the aggravation of not being able to determine what is happening through traditional media channels, for the Average Joe, his problems have only just begun. Our dependency to the grid doesn’t just stop at lack of electricity in our homes to power our appliances or an inability to charge our cell phones; it is much broader and affects every aspect of our lives.

We are regularly inundated with news reports covering outages that last several days or weeks resulting from inclement weather like snow storms or hurricanes, or heat waves in southern states that threaten to overload the system. During those times, when entire metropolitan areas or regions experience black outs, we get a glimpse into what a truly widespread emergency might look like. It is often the case that the first thing residents of affected areas do is rush to grocery and hardware stores hoping to acquire critical supplies like food, water, batteries, flashlights and generators. And while these supplies acquired at the onset of crisis may provide short-term sustenance, any long-term grid-down situation that lasts for many weeks or months will prove dangerous, and perhaps fatal, to the unprepared.

EMP scenario ship-launcher

[Enemy nation or organization launches small nuclear explosive into near orbit from several hundred miles off an US coast. The crude weapon's EMP knocks outa third to half of the United States power grid. The damage to grid infrastructure causes a several month nation-wide power outage, followed by severe widespread brownouts, extreme national unemployment, a hunger crisis, enormous climate related death count, and several years continued privation until the transformers are rebuilt overseas, shipped to the US, installed and tested and brought on-line.]

Consider, for a moment, how drastically your life would change without the continuous flow of energy the grid delivers. While manageable during a short-term disaster, losing access to the following critical elements of our just-in-time society would wreak havoc on the system.
•  Challenges or shut downs of business commerce
•  Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
•  Inability to access money via atm machines
•  Payroll service interruptions
•  Interruptions in public facilities – schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings.
•  Inability to have access to clean drinking water

Neil Swidey, in his article What If The Lights Go Out?, indicates that the grid may be ill-equipped to meet all the enormous challenges it faces in this day and age.

The last widespread outage in the Northeast, the great blackout of August 2003, showed how intimately interconnected and alarmingly fragile our power grid is. How else to explain the way a problem starting in northeastern Ohio quickly cascaded into a blackout affecting 50 million people across the northeastern United States and parts of Canada? How quickly? Between the moment a power surge came rushing out of Ohio and the moment Manhattan began to go dark, exactly 10 seconds had passed.
..
If our society is more reliant on power than at any time in history – without it, we’ve got no commerce, no communications, no clean water – and if power becomes less reliable in the future, the big question is: Will we be able to hack it?
..
THE TROUBLE with the future of power isn’t that there is one big problem that could croak us. It’s that there are a host of them, any one of which could croak us.

Neil Swidey has grouped these potential grid-down antagonizers into three categories:
1. Extreme Natural Disasters
This includes earthquakes, hurricanes, snow storms, thunderstorms as well as massive solar storms that have the potential to seriously damage the electrical grid. You don’t think it could happen? In the article provided above, the author states, “It took just 90 seconds for a 1989 solar storm to cause the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power grid, leaving 6 million Canadians without power for up to nine hours. A 2008 NASA-funded report noted the risk of significant damage to our interconnected grid in light of the forecast for increased solar activity. The 11-year solar cycle is expected to peak in 2013, and just two weeks ago we saw one of the biggest solar-radiation storms in years.

2. Acts of Terrorists
This category includes, but is not limited to a physical attack on the bulk power system, either at its source of generation or somewhere along its transmission route, cyber attack on the computers controlling our interconnected grid, electro-magnetic pulse, or EMP, weapon. Have you read One Second After by William R. Forstchen? EMP’s will create long-lasting damage that would incapacitate electronic systems across the country and forever change our way of life. Cyber-threats are another concern and someone with serious hacking skills could easily take out computers, networks or information stored therein to cause lasting damage to our way of life.

3. The Ailing Grid
Our ailing power grid is almost as sick as our failing economy. With one malicious event, be it man-made or by natural means, it is down. Swidey compares the grid infrastructure to being as old and stooped as a pensioner. As it is upgraded and its capacity is expanded, our rapacious need for more electrical power races to max it out once again.

A wide-spread emergency, such as a massive power surge, solar flare or rogue electromagnetic pulse (EMP) detonation have the capacity to render our entire power infrastructure useless. Transformers and other key elements on which the grid depends could be permanently damaged as a result of massive electric surges.

In an event such as this our immediate problem will be finding a way to order, manufacture and take delivery of the components needed to replace the faulty ones. Most of the parts made for our electrical grid are made in China – and many are decades old. According to Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who recently warned people to get their families out of major cities because of concerns about the stability of the grid, it would take months to get the parts shipped to this country and replaced.

During the outage, millions would be adversely affected, with some like Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, suggesting that within a year 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead from starvation, disease and violence.

Ladies and gentleman, if there’s one thing that can cause the veritable “S” to hit the fan, this is it.
So how do we remedy and/or prepare for a grid down scenario? Think retro – like pioneer retro- and by that we have to go way back to when we were not so dependent on the luxury of on-demand energy in its various forms. When preparing for a grid-down scenario, we must comprise different contingency plans for short-term and longer-term issues. That being the case, we have to admit to ourselves that it could last longer than we expect and much more than just a minor inconvenience. Therefore, the best way to prepare is to start with your basic needs. That is the need for light, heat, water, and food. Some preparedness items to stock up on are:

  • Alternative fuel sources such as solar and diesel, wood for burning.
  • Food preservation supplies – dehydrators, canners, smokers, fermenting/pickling supplies.
  • Bulk food – Canned, freeze-dried, dehydrated or dry goods.
  • Water filtration supplies, rain harvesting supplies and large quantities of stored water.
  • Light sources: Lanterns, flashlights, candles and matches and alternative light sources
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Emergency stove – solar oven, rocket stove, camping stoves, etc.
  • Wood burning fire place – Central air heating systems,  even if they use natural gas or propane, depend on electricity for the blower that will circulate the heated air. When the grid is down, this system will not work. Having a wood burning fire place is an alternative to central heating systems.
  • Cash money and/or silver or gold currency.

The vulnerability of our grid is nothing new to preppers. Some have seen this problem coming for a long time and changed their entire ways of life by going off-grid. They have found alternative sources such as solar, wind and diesel to power their homes and machinery. A majority of us, who have not gone off-grid, are making a concerted effort to avoid dependence on this ailing infrastructure and preparing for life without it. That being said, all we can do is stay the course, prepare accordingly and continue on.

.

B.  Some Of The First Preps To Disappear
30 January 2012, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken (MSB)
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/some-of-the-first-preps-to-disappear/
Be Prepared3
Following the onset of a regional (or wider) disaster, if and when it becomes known that the disaster is going to last for a week or more, many or most items will disappear from store shelves. It is a given that food of all varieties will be one of the first things to go. But apart from that, here are just a few of the many other items that may disappear sooner than others, given their importance or impact on daily living in today’s modern world.

In no particular order, excluding foods:
•  Water Filters/Purifiers
•  Propane Cook-stoves, Coleman stoves
•  Propane cylinders and Coleman fuel
•  Gasoline Containers
•  Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Tissues
•  Flashlights, torches, lanterns, candles
•  Batteries
•  Generators
•  Portable propane heaters (if during winter), Firewood

•  Ammunition (Firearms will be difficult to purchase once TSHTF)
•  Aluminum Foil (lots of uses)
•  Matches and Lighters
•  Personal hygiene products (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, shaving, etc.)
•  Alcohol, cigarettes

While there are so many supplies and items that we all use over a period of time, these struck me as potentially some of those that will be in greater initial be prepared4demand and may be hard to find once TSHTF.
It may be a good idea to procure some extras of these items now rather than later, assuming that you could use any of them following a major disaster
Be Prepared.

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Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Lessons from Hurricane Sandy)

A.  26 Lessons from Hurricane Sandy
28 Nov 2012 , TheReadyStore.com,
Pasted from: <http://www.thereadystore.com/current-events/5561/26-lessons-from-hurricane-sandy?utm_source=rne_ep101_thu_20121129&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=thursday&utm_content=main_ep101&gt;

This week, we were forwarded an email from a family that lives in New Jersey that dealt with the power outages as the result of Hurricane Sandy.
This family made a list of lessons they learned during the storm. We wanted to pass along some of the points on their list so that you and your family could learn from their experiences and be better prepared for a power outage.sandy1 happy campers
We’d love to know what you think about them. Comment below to add your opinion or add No. 27, 28 or 29 to the list.

1. The excitement of a power outage wears off around day three.
2. Just because your generator runs smooth, does not mean it’s producing electricity.
3. A couple of cases of bottled water is NOT water storage.
4. You should have as much fuel as water. That includes:
• Propane
• Gas
• Kerosene
• Firewood
• Fire starter (kindling, paper, etc.)
5. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either. Don’t just sit around, go out and work.
6. You eat a lot more food when you are cold or bored.
7. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks.
8. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
9. Your 1972 Honda Civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade, but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump … you get the idea.
10. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
11. Think of the foods that calm you down and help you think – a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, etc. You’ll need comfort food.
12. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump running on inverter power.
sandy1 initial needs13. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold.
14. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
15. In an emergency men stock up on food, women stock up on toilet paper.
16. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
17. You can never have enough matches.
18. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm. The same goes for shoes.
19. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians! Or so it seems.
20. “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty”.
21. Most things don’t take much power to operate. Things like:
• Computers
• Phones
• Radios
• TV
• Lights
22. Some things take a ton of power to operate:
• Fridge
• Toaster
• Freezer
• Hot plate
• Microwave
23. It gets darker a lot sooner than you think.
24. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make your home the semi-warm place to come home to, not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
25. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
26. There were also many things that were not learned from Hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely spouse and that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am

Responses:
dheard wrote:
27.  Its a sad fact but thieves do come out during tragedies like this.watch your neighbors house as well as yours. Help could be a long time coming.
28.  A small chemical Toilet is great to have.
29.  A good first aid kit not one that you get in a department store.They are basics. You must be prepared for anything.Help could be a long time coming. Speak with your Doctor for recommendations
30.  Think about getting into canning & involve the kids.

Andrea G wrote:
We were without power for a week with Sandy (same with Irene last year & the freak Oct snowstorm).I loved the list, I was nodding “yes” at many of them and laughed since my husband is working really hard on the guitar thing.
#6 struck me, with the bored comment. In this age we’re all ‘dying’ without tv &/or video games – at least my son is. It’s important to keep things on hand to combat this. We have bunches of board games, cards, Legos, Jenga, etc. even little kids can play with the cards by trying to make houses instead of playing actual games. Just make sure you pull them out every couple weeks, so the kids don’t associate them with power outages (we made that mistake & now no one will play Sorry Sliders!)
31. Only other thing I’d add, 10 gallon totes are a great way to catch rainwater if you don’t have a rain barrel.

Shawn M wrote:
32. Have a supply of hard candies, books, board games. Comfort items that will make everyone, especially children feel more “normal”.

 sandy1 needs note.

B.  Learning Lessons from Hurricane Sandy
14 Nov 2012, Yahoo Finance, by Grant Thornton LLP
Excerpt pasted from: <http://finance.yahoo.com/news/learning-lessons-hurricane-sandy-175100237.html&gt;

Ten Things Businesses Can Do Right Now To Improve Their Disaster Preparedness

  1. First and foremost, have a plan for keeping your employees safe. Establish a central meeting point in the event of an evacuation of your premises. Do a dry run.
  2. Keep the basics in good working order. Just as you change the batteries in your home smoke detector twice a year when you change your clocks, run through a checklist for the business. Make sure that the fire detectors work, check that the “uninterruptible power supply” (UPS) really does kick in, and try restoring the offsite data backups to ensure you have the data you need to run the business.
  3. Plan for effective communications in a crisis. Make sure you have a clear employee communication plan, including a phone tree with everyone’s personal contact information. Have a plan for how you are going to deal with shareholders and media.
  4. Protect hard copies of business critical documents in storage cabinets that can withstand physical damage to your premises.  Archive critical documents in a second, secure location.
  5. If you have outsourced important business processes, ask your service provider about their disaster preparedness. Ask how you can ensure you are going to get the attention you need when you really need it.
  6. Establish a plan for re-locating the business in the event that the premises are temporarily disabled. Develop a check-list of things you’ll need (desks, chairs, phones, printers and storage space for salvaged inventory) to get a skeleton staff up and running quickly.
  7. Remind your staff to take their laptop home every day, particularly if there’s a chance that the office will be closed. Ensure that they all know how to log into the office LAN (or alternate system if your premises are hit) and that they have their passwords in a safe place.
  8. Buy a backup generator for the office and ensure employees know how to use it safely.
  9. Build a recovery plan on the assumption that a third of the staff won’t be available. If a serious disaster hits, like Hurricane Sandy, people are going to focus on the safety of their home and family—not your business. You would, too!
  10. Once the crisis plan is developed, test it at least once or twice a year. Just like fire drills, the real value of the plan comes when employees have experience with a dry run before the real thing hits. Practice today so that employees aren’t doing it for the first time  under the stress of an emergency.

sandy1 is it safe yet

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Common sense planning

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Common sense planning)

Trust in Uncle Sam

With commonsense planning, you can survive hard times
January/February, 1999, Backwoods Home Magazine, Issue #55, by Jackie Clay
Pasted from: http://backwoodshome.com/articles/clay55.html

Today, many people are afraid that hard times are about to descend upon us because of the Y2K computer date problem, also known as the Millennium Bug. Others fear that the economic chaos occurring in Asia, parts of South America, and parts of Europe will engulf the United States, causing a Depression on the scale of the one that followed the 1929 stock market crash.

The scenario of a Y2K computer catastrophe, which self-styled experts say will begin January 1, 2000, goes like this: There will be general chaos and shutdowns of the computer-controlled delivery systems of American society. Grocery stores won’t get adequate food supplies, gas stations won’t get enough gas to pump, hospitals won’t get enough medicines, and government computers will fail to deliver social security, pension, welfare, and other government checks.

The computer-dependent banking industry will collapse, making it impossible for you to take your money out of the bank to buy food and other necessities. Planes that are allowed to fly will be unsure of their altitude or bearing because the government software they use will have become flawed. And the electrical grid will either collapse completely, or in huge sections, leaving millions of people without electricity to keep food cold, their homes warm, or the lights on.

People in the cities will panic. Not only might there be widespread rioting, but the panic may well spill over into the countryside, with hordes of people searching for a way out of the catastrophe. Lawlessness and violence will rule the resulting chaos, with gangs of desperate people doing what they feel they must to help their families survive.

The scenario is even bleaker in the event the world’s economic woes overtake the United States. Where the Y2K computer glitch is seen as causing severe hardship on a relatively temporary basis, an economic collapse is viewed as long-term. And it will be exacerbated because most people today live away from the land, unlike the 1930s when a significant portion of the population still understood how to grow their own food and otherwise fend for themselves.

Miscellaneous supplies to store up
• 25 pounds laundry soap
• 12 ea 28 oz. bottles dish soap
• 73 rolls toilet paper
• sanitary napkins in sufficient quantity
• 8 gallons bleach (used for sanitation as well as laundry)
• 12 bars hand soap
• 6 ea 24 oz. bottles shampoo
• personal products, such as toothpaste, deodorant
• chainsaw oil and other items to keep things running
• pet foods
• livestock feed
• 55 gallons kerosene for lighting
• 25 gallons Coleman fuel or other lantern fuel

To view this possible scenario, the experts say you have only to watch the evening television news and observe the woes of Russia where an entire nation has been cast into poverty. Or view the once mighty economic giant, Japan, whose stock market has declined 60%, or the formerly strong economies of Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea, whose economies are down 70 to 90%. And lately South America has joined the casualty list. These countries are harbingers of what lies ahead for the United States, the doom and gloom experts say.

For many of these countries, families cannot pay their power and phone bills, food is in short supply, and other necessities needed to make life palatable have all but disappeared. Repossessions, and families being evicted from their homes, are common.

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? And it may or may not come true in this country. It happened before, the doom experts say, and it

can happen again. And this time, they say, Americans are even less prepared than they were in the 1930s.

Whether it happens or not, or even if it only partly happens, there are steps you and I can take now to prepare for any eventuality. And it’s a whole lot better to be prepared for something that may never materialize than to not be prepared for something that may hit in the year 2000, or next month.

This article, I hope, will help you prepare for any eventuality, whether it’s the Y2K Bug, a major economic collapse, an earthquake or hurricane, or even a death in the family that brings on hard times for you personally. The steps outlined below will also ensure a better quality of life if nothing every comes your way.

Finances first
While times are good, artificially or not, it’s time to work extra long hours and “kill the bills.” Just get out of debt. If you can’t see the way to pay off your $250,000 home, consider selling it and moving to a less expensive place. There are a lot of homes for under $50,000 available, in most locations, if you really look hard.

Consider fixer-uppers, longer commutes from a more rural setting. If your job is so-so, consider moving to a location that has cheaper housing and living expenses. Get your home debt free, as soon as you can. A homeless family is a refugee family. Never become a refugee! Can’t happen in this country? Think again. Check out the statistics for homeless people on the streets now. Sure some are addicted to drugs and alcohol, some too dysfunctional or lazy to “get a job.” But a lot are just plain hardworking people who have hit tough circumstances. Don’t put yourself in a position to become a refugee.

Pay off those credit cards, and put them in a top drawer. The interest is equal to that of “loan sharks” just a few years ago. A thousand dollar item can end up costing as much as three thousand, especially when you just pay the minimum each month, which is largely interest.

Get rid of all the “toys” you can: cable TV, the motor home you only use once a year, the vintage car in the garage, driven just to impress people, the new car in the garage (replace it with a good used one that you can quickly pay off), the extra vehicles you do not really need but are making monthly payments on. The vacation home could be replaced with one less expensive in a very rural location, to be used as a just-in-case retreat should urban or suburban life suddenly get too scary.

Sock away some hard cash. Yep, I sure know it’s awful hard, especially for we folk who are far from well-to-do. Even a few hundred dollars, especially if in coin or paper money turned to gold, could come in very handy. Don’t depend on banks. We use them, but would never, under the current economic climate, keep our savings in them. We would rather have real money where we can get it quickly…no matter what. FDIC insured? Yeah, right…when the country has more than a trillion in national debt…and no gold in sight? I don’t think so.

Prepare to live simply
Begin gearing up your household to run without electricity, which also probably runs your furnace and water well (or city water). In the Detroit suburbs, Dad had his own well.
Check out local regulations before drilling though, as in some areas, it is illegal. Personally, I would not live where there were such regulations, as it could be too dangerous should city water go out. A developed spring is an excellent source of dependable water, as you have water pressure without needing electricity.

A wood stove can be installed in most homes, in most locations, to provide emergency heat (and cooking). Other options include solar heat/cooking, which is legal most places, and propane, which will power a wall furnace or space heater, kitchen stove, lights, and refrigerator. A 500-gallon propane tank will last a long time when gas is used frugally. Beware of stoves with electric ignition or heaters that require fans to heat. No electricity = no heat. We’ve used a propane fridge for years, and like it much better than an electric one. You might consider switching before you need to.

Suggested   contents of a good medical kit
A good first aid book
Thermometer
Daily prescription meds for all family
members
Antibiotics
Ointments for the eye, fungus & cuts
Antidiarreal medication
Pain and anti-inflamitory medication
such as asprin
Burn treatment, such as Burn Free
Iodine/Betadine
Alcohol
Oral electrolytes (for dehydration from
fever, diarrhea, stress)
Cold remedies
Cough medicines
Cough drops/throat discs
Bandages
Gauze
Cotton
Surgical tape
Scissors
Hemostats
Tweezers
Needles to remove slivers
A dental kit to patch dentures,
replace fillings, etc.)
You may choose to include more, depending on your medical experience and background.

Store up fuel
Store up fuel for heating/cooking before you need it. Wood and other fuel can be stored a long time, will be cheaper before there is a great demand, and it will be easier to get. We have at least 12 cords of dry firewood in the lot, and only burn about one a year. It’s nice to have…just in case. Likewise, a barrel of kerosene is good insurance against spending dark evenings. You won’t be able to buy it during hard times, but it’s pretty cheap now.

Have alternative lighting, whether it is kerosene lamps, Coleman lamps, or propane wall lamps. Being poor and in the dark is not a good emotional combination. And be sure to have replacement wicks, globes, and other parts….just in case. We had one drop of condensation fall on a burning Coleman lamp, popping the globe instantly….and had to do without the lamp for a month, until we could get out of our snowed-in cabin for a replacement. Now we have replacements for each lamp type.

Store up some gasoline, where local regulations allow. With life-extenders, a barrel of gas can last a long time without getting too “old” to burn well. This gasoline can be used to travel or to cut wood to keep warm.

Food storage
Have enough food stored up for at least a year, preferably two. This seems basic, but I know very few people, especially those with good jobs and “normal” incomes, who have a full pantry. With today’s disposable society, many people shop daily for what they will eat for the next day’s meals. The pantry (if they even have one) shelves are empty or filled with junk.

I have written two major articles for Backwoods Home Magazine for the last two issues (Issue Nos 53 and 54) about preparing your food pantry. Read them.

We keep two years’ food stored up, from wheat to home-canned foods, just in case. We know we could never turn away hungry refugees without feeding them a good meal, especially if they were our neighbors or married children. Could you?

Medical needs
Build up an extensive medical kit. We use a large field box, which has two levels and many compartments. Get as much medical training as you can, such as EMT classes, held locally. You might not want to become an EMT, but you can learn much that will help your family in an emergency. Buy a good book or two, such as the Red Cross First Aid manual and the Merck Manual. Then stock up that medical kit.

Remember that “normal” things, such as cold medicine, may not be readily available.

Both my husband, a CNA, and I, a veterinary field technician, have extensive medical experience, so we include in our medical kit sutures and suture needles, injectable local anesthetic, an IV and IV electrolytes, epinephrine for shock due to allergies or drug reaction, a blood pressure cuff and stethoscope, plaster casting material, and more. One never knows if, and when, a doctor will be available during bad times. Of course, if a doctor is available, one should never attempt to treat their own or others’ injuries or illnesses.

 Other high priorities
A radio and batteries are other must-haves. This keeps you in contact with what’s going on in the world. There are several brands of solar-powered radios on the market today for not a lot of money. Batteries must be replaced or recharged. We also have a weather radio to keep up on weather conditions which can affect one’s life much more when times are tough. Listening to this 9-volt radio each morning keeps us in tune to Mother Nature.

Does your family have adequate warm, sturdy clothing? If not, this is a high priority. Buy good hiking boots, jeans, and clothing that is practical, long-lasting, and warm. If you never need ‘em, they won’t take up much space in a closet. If you do, they will become essential.
How about alternate transportation…not your car or pickup? Walking is fine, but doesn’t cover many miles in a day.

Some alternatives are bicycles, ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles (in snow country), and horses. All take much less gas to run than a car or truck, and bicycles and horses take none at all. Remember you don’t have to use a car or truck, even though you are used to it. The Amish and other plain people have always used horses and other non-motorized vehicles for travel, and in Europe and many other countries bicycles are the norm for a lot of folks.

Stay-at-home emergencies
Some emergencies, such as severe ice storms, power outages, and blizzards, occur every year or so in many cold-climate areas, more frequently in other areas. This past year El Nino has contributed to widespread flooding in areas unused to flooding, and to major storms in areas unused to major storms. All these things created emergencies that largely demand people stay where they are out of common sense.

Remember, without power, you will not have access to stores for food and supplies, banks and ATMs for cash, a flush toilet, drinking water out of the tap, your furnace fan (or heat at all, if you have a “modern” all-electric home), the electric kitchen stove, gas for your car, and many other “normal” conveniences you are used to.
The food in your refrigerator will slowly spoil and the food in your freezer will slowly thaw, then rot.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to keep on top of such a situation. Number one, begin a game plan of not depending on electricity. Power is fine. It’s handy, convenient, and easy. Just don’t depend on it.

Checklist for stay-at-home emergencies
• Food and water for family, pets & livestock for at least 14 days; 55 gallons of fresh water will last a family of four for over seven days.
• Daily medications for family for 14 days
• Alternative heat source & fuel
• Alternative cooking source & fuel
• Alternative lighting source & fuel
• Flashlights & batteries
• Transistor, crank or solar radio
• Medical kit
• Matches
• Butane lighters
• Magnesium, flint & steel fire starter

Getting along comfortably without electricity
Trade in your electric stove for a gas range that does not have electric ignition. It will work when there is no electricity. Better yet, buy a wood range for the kitchen or basement. Trade in your electric refrigerator for a gas unit. Not only will it run without power, but it keeps food much better and lasts for many more years. Have at least a back-up heating unit that does not depend on electricity to run or to power the fan. A wood stove, a propane or natural gas wall furnace, or a space heater are all more dependable than a central furnace requiring electricity to provide heat for the home.

Trust2Sanitary concerns
Build an outhouse. What? Yep, even if you live in the city, discreetly dig a hole and build a “garden shed” over it. UmHmm, I know it’s not “legal” in many localities, but in an emergency, you can use it and keep your home much more sanitary and sweet smelling. No emergency? Use it for a garden shed. Remember too that urine is normally sterile and can be diluted with water and poured around trees as nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If it is totally impossible to construct an outhouse, keep urine separate and dispose of discreetly. Solids may be buried daily or you can even use a “kitty litter” box, keeping them covered after each use. Toilet paper may be bagged and burned or kept for later dumping.

[Image: Survival doesn't have to mean stark times of doing without]

 Alternative lighting
Decide on what emergency lighting you will use. A lot of folks prefer to buy a generator to power their entire home during a short to moderate power outage. We prefer not to have to depend on generators running 24 hours a day; we use one for an hour or so and then only as truly needed. Remember, gasoline or diesel fuel may be exceedingly hard to get. Don’t waste it for luxury. We have used propane wall lamps, which give good light and are cheap to run; Coleman lamps, which also give good light, but must be pumped up to pressure from time to time; and kerosene lamps. Candles can do once in a while, in a pinch, but are easily upset, and are dangerous to use. Be sure you have a good supply of matches, as you’ll need more than you think. A few butane lighters also come in handy. I also keep a flint, steel, and magnesium fire starter, just in case. The magnesium burns very hot so it will light a fire, whether your fuel is wet or dry. You can buy them at the Preparedness Expos all around the country.

Food and drink
Have enough food and emergency water stored up if you don’t have an alternative water supply, such as a well with hand pump, spring, or cistern. Never drink any surface water, such as from a lake or stream, that is not either filtered with a good filter to remove contaminants such as giardia, which causes terrific diarrhea, or boiled for five minutes after straining off the major silt. You can treat questionable water with iodine, in drop or tablet form, but personally, I think the taste is awful. I prefer boiling, cooling, then shaking the water container vigorously to re-oxygenate it, which dramatically improves the taste. Never drink any water from a lake or stream in or downstream from agricultural land (leaching nitrates from fertilizer) or factories/mines (heavy metals, toxic wastes), as these may escape all but the most expensive filters. Boiling will not make the water drinkable.

You can obtain water for washing and flushing the toilet from several sources: melting snow, ditches, ponds, livestock tanks, rivers, and other surface water.
These will all do the job. When your water goes into an urban sewer, be sure you can “dump flush” the toilet, however, as some systems depend on pumps (electricity) to move the sewage. Check it out before you need to.

Vehicle emergencies
A lot of our day-to-day emergencies involve being stranded with our vehicle. A mechanical failure, a flat tire, being stuck in the snow, stuck in the mud and so on can make life miserable. We need to make it less miserable—and not life-threatening as it can sometimes be.

Vehicular emergencies are compounded by other emergencies. If you are stranded in a blizzard, possibly because of an evacuation or civil disturbance, it can quickly lead to a life-threatening situation. You should prepare for these situations also.
It may seem basic, but always know where you are, and know the best route to take to get to where you are going. Carry and use a map.

In cities, avoid “bad” neighborhoods, even if it requires going out of your way. Pay attention to weather conditions when you drive, and prepare accordingly. It’s shocking to us to see folks in cars during cold, unpredictable winter weather, dressed in shorts and sandals. That’s playing Russian roulette. Wear warm clothes during cold weather, or at least have them with you, including warm socks and boots.

Even in summer take some warm clothes along with you. Some evenings get downright cold in many areas, especially when there is a drizzly rain pouring all night.
If the weather is really bad, don’t drive. Seems logical, but a lot of unprepared folks set out into the teeth of a blizzard or hurricane because nothing is going to disturb their plans. Waiting a day or two is a lot safer. Listen to a weather radio or current weather forecast before setting out. Even a four-wheel drive can run into icy roads or drifted snow and have trouble.

If you do get stuck or stranded by a mechanical failure in bad weather, stay with the vehicle. A lot of folks lose their lives by trying to hike for help. In a vehicle, there is absence of wind, making comfortable survival much more certain. Your candle can heat the inside, warn other motorists of your presence, and attract the attention of rescuers. But be careful! Everything inside a vehicle burns with toxic smoke and ignites easily. Keep a down-wind window cracked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if you run the vehicle (with the tailpipe in the clear) from time to time, to keep warm.

Checklist for vehicle emergency preparedness
• Jack & lug wrench
• Spare tire
• Shovel
• Battery jumper cables
• Basic tool kit
• Fix-A-Flat
• Oil
• Lighter air pump
• Gallon of drinking water
• Blankets
• Basic first aid kit
• Flashlight
• Emergency food
• Candles with matches
• Map
• Cell phone or C.B. can  be a life saver.

A plan, truck, survival pack for short-term evacuation
There are many situations where you may be suddenly called upon to evacuate your home: forest fire, hurricane, earthquake, chemical spills by truck or train, flood, or even radical emergencies such as terrorist activity or riots. To prevent panic, be prepared, much before anything of the sort happens.

We also have our favorite photo albums, important papers, and keepsakes localized for instant grabbing.
Have a “plan of action” worked out, discussed with all family members. Where you will meet? Who will carry what, and where you will go—a relative’s house, a campsite on state or federal land? If you always keep on top of the weather, the news, and local conditions, you will have a jump-start on evacuation, allowing you to prepare beforehand and avoid panic.

Remember, no personal goods are worth the life of a family member. If an intense hurricane or forest fire is headed your way, make ready to leave. Wet the roofs, batten the windows, do whatever you can do. But when it’s time to evacuate, get out before the roads jam with traffic.
Have the car/truck fully gassed up and carry some reserve gas in cans….just in case. Carry not only your “grab and get” supplies, but be sure you have maps and your vehicle emergency equipment, as well. Try to stay out of main traffic areas/jams and stay out of dangerous areas, i.e., near the path of a fire, the chemical spill, the riot, etc.

It’s a good idea if every member of the family has his/her own survival pack. Even a cheap backpack containing warm clothing, food, water, a lighter, candle,

Evacuation Needs

Storage food in large cooler #1
Instant potatoes
Dry milk
Canned tuna
Dehydrated eggs
Dry noodles
Flour
Shortening
TVPs
Dry soup mixes
MREs (military instant Rice
meals; meals ready to eat)
Dry beans
Margarine powder
Dehydrated fruit
Dehydrated vegetables
Tomato powder
Baking powder
Salt
Spices & condiments
Pudding mixes
Cornmeal
Instant coffee, tea, drink mixes
Sugar

Kitchen box in large cooler #2
Frying pan
Large pot
Smaller pot
Mixing bowl, steel (can double as cooking utensil)
Matches & lighters
Toilet paper
Paper towels
Dish towel
Dish soap
Candles
Dish scrubber pad
Bowls for family
Silverware for family
Metal spatula
Roll of duct tape
Small roll of wire
Metal cups for family
Small water filter
Propane stove & tanks
Flashlight & batteries
Hatchet

Medical   Kit (as previously detailed)

Sleeping Gear (in large plastic box)
Sleeping bags
Candles & lighters
Coleman lantern
Unopened gallon of lantern fuel
Bow saw
Warm socks & jackets
10′ x 12′ plastic tarp
lightweight tent
Radio

Rifle/shotgun and ammunition (food procurement, signaling,   and family protection)

Personal backpacks
Warm clothes
Emergency food
Socks
Stocking hat
Basic fishing gear without rod
Small first aid kit
Space blanket
Flashlight
Roll of wire & rope
Pocket knife
Canteen with cup
Lighter
A few dollars in quarters & bills

first aid supplies, etc. will provide extra security if family members become separated or if someone forgets something.

A survival retreat for long-term evacuation
All families today should have a safe place they can evacuate to should things get dangerous in their home area. This is especially true for city-dwelling people. Such possible realistic scenarios as riots, often due to poverty, hunger, and anger at situations that seem to have no resolution; terrorist activity, which even the government fears is on the imminent increase in the U.S.; missile destruction of areas, which will become more possible as desperate Russians sell missile technology to terrorists; and severe economic depression or collapse, which, considering the current global economic mess, may be the most likely scenario of all.

This retreat can be called a summer home, a vacation home, hunting cabin, or whatever. Calling it a survival retreat immediately brands you as a nut-case radical. Just quietly go about your business, not making waves or attracting attention, and secure your hideaway.

This safe spot should be located at least an hour’s drive from a city—two hours from a large urban area such as an L.A. or Chicago-type metropolis. A rural location is great, but a more remote place is even better. Some folks freak out at this, preferring a small rural town setting. That’ll work, too, as a close small community can work together. But we’ve found that is not always the case, and we prefer to keep to the boonies.

You want something with a little acreage in case you must raise all of your food. Some people claim you can raise all your family’s food on a small 50 x 50-foot garden. Nope, you can not! When you must can all winter’s food, raise all of your small grain and corn, and grow feed for any livestock you have (chickens, rabbits, etc)—and take into consideration weeds, drought, and predation—you will need more land, at least two acres to feed your family well.

Forget living off the land. This sounds radical for a self-reliant, wilderness-living person such as myself, but it’s true. Sure, one family can survive living off the land, but when a significant portion of the nation lives off the land, the game is quickly killed off. It happened during the homestead days all over the nation. Even Indians starved because they were forced to eat what they could scrounge up in a limited area (reservations), and there was not very much left.

It is a great idea to learn to supplement your diet with wild foods. (Supplement, not live off.) There are many wild plants that can regularly be incorporated into the daily meal plan that are not only readily available, but nutritious and tasty. A good book on the subject is Guide to Wild Foods by Christopher Nyerges, who writes frequently for BHM and whose book is available through the magazine. He also offers courses on wild foraging.

Experiment before you need to forage for dinner. Remember there are some poisonous plants that will kill you if you eat them. You need to learn the good from the bad, the edible from the tasty. Get Nyerges’ book.

Your retreat needs to have non-electric capabilities (or PV power), well or spring water, wood heat, and alternative lighting, with appropriate fuel stored up in advance.

The sooner you get started the better, for you can plant an orchard, berries, and perennial vegetables, such as Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, etc., allowing time for them to mature to bearing age. You can also have adequate time to slowly stock up on food and other supplies, work the garden plot up very well, fence any land you need to, develop irrigation, etc.

Where should the survival retreat be located? That’s largely a personal preference. We love the very remote country: central Alaska, northern British Columbia, the Montana and Wyoming and Idaho high country. But it’s certainly not for everyone. Many more folks would be happier with the plains states: Maine, Arkansas, Missouri, or Minnesota. You can still find very rural areas, far from a freeway or big city, and find it easier to raise food for the family.

And the survival retreat does not need to be expensive. I have personally priced many retreats, in diverse locations, nationwide, priced below $35,000.

Choose the retreat with care, taking into consideration such things as nearness to a freeway (dangerous refugee traffic in some scenarios), nearness to a military or other strategic government location (possible missile or terrorist strike), nuclear plant (possible malfunction or terrorist strike), below a dam (possible rupture and flooding), or near any factory, chemical plant, etc.

The decision to evacuate
The decision to evacuate for long-term, perhaps forever, of one’s home is stressful and highly personal.

It’s best to leave before a situation becomes very serious. There are several reasons for this. First, there will still probably be gasoline available. The roads will be relatively uncongested, as most people have a tendency to wait until the last moment to leave, hoping desperately that things will get better. Travelling will be less stressful and much safer. A hoard of panic-stricken, angry, hopeless people, even the “nicest” people in the city, could become dangerous.

Take a good map and trace out a route, avoiding freeway-congested areas and large cities, even if it means going miles out-of-the-way. We would prefer to stick to back roads and minor highways. Drive this route often during normal times to familiarize yourself with it and work out any possible problems.

Trust3People today have largely become spoiled, being used to a relatively easy life (regardless of the stress of “the rat race”) with all the goodies and toys. They have forgotten how to live frugally, save money, provide for their own food, keep warm, safe, and dry.

[Moving into your survival retreat can be easy-- if you plan ahead]

I know of one intelligent young man who went to Alaska to live off the land. He killed a moose, then later almost starved because he didn’t know how to preserve the meat. It rotted.

When people suddenly lose all they have: the homes that were not paid for, the easy living, and the well-paying job, they will panic, angrily demanding to remain in their past lifestyle. And angry “nice people” can get ugly.

During the last upheaval, the Great Depression, folks were much less spoiled, and for the most part they had basic living skills. Women knew how to garden, raise small livestock, make meals from scratch, make soap, sew clothes, etc. Men knew how to maintain machinery, raise crops, raise large livestock, cut firewood, etc. All, including children, knew how to work hard to survive. This is a skill greatly lost today, as are the basic living skills. And Depression-era folks had always known hard times, and they were more prepared to face them.

Our goal today should be to regain some of our independence and self-reliance, and to be prepared for any hard times in our future, whether they are slight, short lived, or more violent and long-term.

A year’s food supply for your family

This is a sample list for my family, which is a family of three. Your family needs may differ quite a bit, due to your meal preference. However, if you use this list as a base, you won’t go hungry. It also allows for “company”  meals. This is a realistic pantry supply to last a year comfortably. Remember to rotate your supplies, using the oldest first, replenishing as you use, in order to keep relatively fresh food stocks.
If you have a family of 4, increase the amount by 25%, a family of 6, by     50%, etc.

Grains
• 300 pounds of hard wheat or in     combination with 150 pounds of wheat and 150 pounds of flour.
• 50 pounds of dry corn to grind for cornmeal
• 50 pounds of soft wheat
• 50 pounds white rice
• 50 pounds brown rice
• 50 pounds oatmeal
• 25 pounds of masa harina de maize (corn flour for tortillas and tamales)Legumes
• 50 pounds of pinto beans
• 50 pounds of combined other beans, such as navy, kidney, etc.
• 20 pounds of split peas
• 20 pounds lentilsDairy
• 18 #10 cans dry milk or in     combination with boxes of store-bought dry milk
• 2 #10 cans cheese powder
• 5 #10 cans dehydrated eggs
• 3 #10 cans butter or margarineSugar
• 50 pounds white granulated sugar
• 10 pounds brown sugar
• 10 pounds powdered sugarShortening/Oil
• 10 3# cans shortening
• 5 48 fl. oz. bottles vegetable oil
• 2 16 fl. oz. bottles olive oil

Salt
• 10 pounds non-iodized table     salt (used in pickling & meat preservation as well as table use)

Fruits
• 52 pints peaches
• 52 pints apple sauce
• 52 pints fruit cocktail
• 52 quarts apples (includes pies, etc.)
• 52 pints pears
• 104 pints misc. fruits
• 1 #10 can raisins
• 1 #10 can dehydrated strawberries
• 2 #10 cans dehydrated apple slices
• 2 #10 cans dehydrated banana slices

Vegetables
• 104 pints of green beans
• 104 pints of sweet corn
• 104 pints of carrots
• 104 quarts of tomatoes
• 104 pints of tomato sauce
• 104 half pints tomato paste
• 104 quarts of potatoes and/or 22 pounds instant potatoes
• 26 quarts of squash or pumpkin
• 26 pints beets
• 2 #10 cans dehydrated sweet corn
• 4 #10 cans dehydrated peas
• 1 #10 can dehydrated onions
• 2 #10 cans dehydrated broccoli

Pasta
•15 pounds spaghetti
•6 pounds assorted noodles
•6 pounds lasagna

Meat
• 52 pints lean beef/venison roast
• 52 pints chicken/turkey
• 52 pints ham/fish/misc.
• 52 cans tuna
• 52 cans Spam
• 52 pints home canned hamburger for tacos, casseroles, etc.
• 1 #10 can ea. TVP (textured vegetable protein), bacon, chicken)

Seeds
A heavy selection of garden seeds to replenish your food supply, should the period of hard times last longer than a few months. Always opt for the worst and prepare ahead.
Most garden seeds last for years, if kept dry. One notable exception is     onion seed, which should be replaced yearly.

Miscellaneous
• 1 pound baking soda
• 3 pounds baking powder
• 1 pound dry yeast
• spices usually used
• 25 dozen canning jar lids, wide mouth & regular
• coffee, tea, powdered drink mixes in sufficient quantity
• A grain mill to grind grains
• An Amish or other “cooking with basics” cookbook or two
• 1 gallon inexpensive pancake syrup
• An assortment of “treats”, such as pickles, jams, preserves

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Disaster “triggering events”

Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Disaster “triggering events”)

trigger events1

A.  How to Spot the Triggers of a Socioeconomic Collapse
19 Sep 2011, SHTFplan.com, by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre (Surviving in Argentina)
Pasted from; http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-to-spot-the-triggers-of-a-socioeconomic-collapse_09192011

The following article has been graciously contributed by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre. Fernando lived through the hyper-inflationary meltdown in Argentina and shares his wisdom in his book, The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, as well as regular updates at his web site, Surviving in Argentina .

Editor’s Note: With the many possibilities for natural and man-made events that can lead to local, regional, national or global crisis, it is often difficult to identify what is happening and what the consequences of certain events may be. As preppers we are always on the look-out for a potential disaster or emergency – it’s what we do. This is the nature of our chosen lifestyle. It is both a blessing and a curse. While most of us who prepare will likely be ready to deal with an emergency situation and minimize our panic while we respond to the crisis around us, our curse is that any event, no matter how insignificant or in the periphery it may be, raises our sensitivity levels, perhaps at times to extreme levels. There’s a lot of noise, confusion and misinformation out there, and sometimes it may lead to unnecessary stress.

In the article below Ferfal provides a little bit of relief for those of us who may look at every financial or economic occurrence as the potential trigger that devolves the entire system into meltdown and chaos. While we never know what will set the entire system ablaze, so our view is that it’s better to be overly sensitive than ignorant, Ferfal’s firsthand knowledge of a currency and societal meltdown on a national level gives us a critical view into what such an event may look like, the signs that will precede it, the sentiment and behavior of the people in the region, and what you can do to prepare. It’s not just about storing food and guns, but also being aware of our surroundings and the changes in society as the system around us becomes unhinged. With Ferfal’s help, we have another important piece of the puzzle. It’s an important piece, because in the event that the situation begins spiraling out of control, you’ll see it coming.

” Socioeconomic Collapse and Preparedness Timing by Fernando Ferfal Aguirre
Fernando, I really enjoyedyour book, (so have my parents, my wife, my friends and a dozen people in my office). It is very well written and packed with useful information. In fact, your book occupies a place in our law firm’s bookcase next to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Your book and your blog bring credibility to the debate over whether and how to prepare for a financial or other collapse.

One topic I have not seen covered deals with the timing of events. Most people I know who “prep” talk about “bugging out” and scenarios that rely on “triggering events.” Even in your case, you had a fairly short window of time during which time the currency collapsed. A currency collapse would definitely be a “triggering event” to almost everyone I know. In the last two years, however, I have come to believe we are in slow decline here in the U.S., and that there will not be a single “triggering event” that signals the time to start wearing my body armor (or whatever other example you want to use). The endpoint will be the same, but perhaps less dramatic than in Argentina. The problem is, there is a lot of danger and mayhem between now and what may be the final collapse of U.S. social order, perhaps even a generation. I am worried that in a slower, more orderly decline, it will be difficult to match my level of security with the level of threat. Many more people, even well prepared people, could be taken by surprise.

Most of the skills you recommend to your readers are good life skills that all people should have to enhance the chances of daily survival, even under normal circumstances. That said, constant, extreme vigilance is not any more practical than having Uncle Bob come over and help me guard my house 24/7 WTSHTF. While I am raising my children to be watchful and vigilant, there is a whole different level of vigilance I would apply if I lived during a triggering event like a currency collapse. For example, I let them play outside with their friends in the neighborhood without adult supervision. To disallow that would be unhealthy to their development, and the threat to their safety at the moment is not extreme. If the dollar were worthless and crime rampant as you have described in your book, there is no way I’d let them outside without an adult.

My question to you is this, assume I have taken all the advice in your book and acquired the skills, equipment and commodities to survive a pretty long time; what would be the top five or ten subtle changes in society, government, or markets that would cause you to go from a normal state of awareness to the “never let your kids out of the house to play in the back yard level of awareness?”
Thanks,
Andrew.

Fernando Ferfal Aguirre’s reply:
“An economic collapse in many ways is similar to the decline of an empire regarding how complex it is to prepare for it. Unlike defined disasters, natural ones like Katrina or man-made, there’s no clear beginning to it. It is a complex, multilevel event that in some aspects may have a clear trigger or milestone (such as defaulting or bank holidays) but on other aspects it may have been cooking slowly through inflation and unemployment for months, even years. Certain economic events may be easy to pinpoint, but how does unemployment affect people, when will this cause an increase in crime, or affect me directly leaving me without income? When will crime stop being only a factor related to the harsh economy and also be influenced in terms of how violent it becomes due to social hatred because of social polarization? Then there’s also the consideration that it may have been affecting people in different ways based on socioeconomic level and location in the country. Calling such a situation complex is an understatement.

Given such complexity and all the variables impossible to ponder, all you can do is stay informed, learn to tell the different signs and know how to interpret them so as to know what the future holds within a certain margin of error.

Things to look for would be unemployment, rumors from people within the banking and financial world (some of those rumors saved people millions when our economy collapsed) crime and what type of crime is taking place, corruption, debt and inflation. You must also become pretty skeptical regarding the information the main stream media provides. Who OWNS such media channels? Who are their sponsors and advertisers? What political agenda do they have or slightly tend to favor? If the media says the economy is doing wonderful but people on the street are barely getting by and you see more industries moving abroad, do have your doubts.

All these events and signs do tell you something. Don’t wait for the official SHTF day, in socioeconomic terms that simply will never happen, you will simply look back one day and realize the world around you has already changed. That is indeed how people will be taken by surprise. People sometimes talk about rule of law and no rule of law times, as if it were an on/off switch. One day everything is fine but the next week, ups! No ROL folks, so its madness out there, I’ll wear my MOLLE vest with armor plate to work and leave my Keltec 32 in the safe and pick my 1911 instead, carried in a drop leg holster or attached to my vest of course. People that think this way are the ones that will indeed fail at protecting their families today, ROL or no ROL. If you suffer a violent home invasion in an upper class neighborhood like the Petite family did, does it really matter if some nutcase declared that ROL is still in effect, or that it isn’t? Preparedness is now folks. Modern survival is the way you analyze events, make decisions and ultimately live your life from day one, not after an event. In states where its legal to carry, I would get my CCW permit and carry today. Doing so won’t bring any disadvantages to my lifestyle. My kids playing in the street with friends unsupervised? I´d be honest with myself. Can my son defend himself from a social predator? I wouldn’t leave a 10 year old kid unsupervised no matter where I live. How about 13 or 14 years old, and the general area you live in being pretty safe? Then I might be a bit more flexible.

What would be the top five or ten subtle changes in society, government, or markets that would cause you to go from a normal state of awareness to the “never let your kids out of the house to play in the back yard level of awareness?”

Unemployment: If unemployment is over 15-20% there will soon be serious social changes involving desperate people.

Poverty: Are half the people around you poor and looking your way with resentment? In Argentina the numbers are still pretty bad. 50% poor and 25% below the poverty line. Of the remaining 25% only 3% make enough money to life a life standard similar in quality to what middle class Americans are used to. Watch out for poverty and not only what the newspaper says or what the president announces. Do you see more people begging on the streets, more dumpster divers? How about shanty towns or tent towns? If you have any of those close keep an eye on your kids, your property and yourself.

Inflation: Right now Argentina ranks at the top 3 worst inflation in the planet. That’s a sign of bad times to come. We have unions forcing higher wages that chase after ever increasing prices and still losing millions keeping an artificial exchange rate with the dollar around 1 to 4,2. When the peso devaluates again, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go to 7 or 8 pesos per dollar. Rising inflation is perhaps one of the final stages before the collapse, and something Americans should pay special attention to.

Businesses and Infrastructure: Are roads being repaired, parks kept tended to? Do you see a general sense of decay in the overall infrastructure? Neighbors keeping their houses well kept are a sign of good times. When the economy collapsed here in 2001 middle class people wouldn’t even buy a can of paint let alone remodel, and it showed. Things like stores closing and going out of business, shops boarded up, sometimes being replaced with cheapo discount stores.

Crime and Rumors: Crime will be a clear indication of you having to go from yellow to orange in terms of awareness. Now, it may not appear on the media as much as it should and negative news may be avoided entirely by news groups trying to be “team players” with the government. You on the other hand cannot afford the pink shaded glasses. Pay special attention to the local gossip and rumors, and when something catches your attention try verifying through other sources. Who got mugged, robbed or suffered a home invasion. Don’t wait too long. Once you know this is happening in your general area take the extra precautions you know you must take.
You can still have a pretty normal and happy life in spite of being forced to be more cautions and more aware given the circumstances. I believe its much better to take those measures while still enjoying the things I can, than taking the easy road and not doing it, and maybe one day regret it.”

.

B.  Here is my List of Triggering Events – What’s Yours?
29 Jun 2012, learnto prepare.com, by Denis Korn
Excerpts from: http://learntoprepare.com/2012/06/here-is-my-list-of-triggering-events-whats-yours/

trigger events2 These times require being alert and awake! “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” ~ John Curran

In January of this year I posted the article below. Here is the segment of that article I want to focus upon in this post:
As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might – or might not – occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.” Ask yourself, “What are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?” “What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur or thought wouldn’t occur?”
If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action.

It is time to be specific! Whether an emergency can be short term and have only a minimal disruption in your daily routine, or catastrophic requiring a significant change in life style, apathy and ignorance will not be bliss. While I’m not a prophet or psychic, I do have the discernment skills to realize that we live in very precarious and uncertain times. Between acts of God or geophysical events and man-made devastating incidents, there are so many potential scenarios that could come to pass, that being continually vigilant is essential.

Based on the potential scenarios listed at the bottom of this post, here are some of my specific triggering events:

  • Declaration of an imminent weather event
  • A pattern of major and/or catastrophic weather events
  • Significant indication of, or actual occurrence of, a major physical event or multiple events
  • Prolonged drought leading to possible food shortages
  • Potential loss of job, income or bank accounts due to government or corporate actions
  • Serious personal illness
  • Substantial instability in national and global financial markets
  • The elimination of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency
  • Bank holiday’s
  • An indication of a major financial restructuring
  • Economic collapse
  • Shortages of critical foods, medications and provisions
  • Curious and strange activity of government officials, corporate executives and the very wealthy
  • Social unrest and civil disobedience leading to severe government and police action
  • Martial law being declared
  • The suspension of the 1st and/or 2nd amendments – freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc. and the right to bear arms
  •  Strict control over the internettrigger events3
  • Major cyber attack
  • Suspension of elections
  • Terrorist attack, act of war or preparation for war
  • Disruption of oil supplies
  • National medical or biological emergency – real or contrived
  • Activation of emergency presidential powers that will control everyone’s normal activities
  • An extraordinary governmental or media deception
  • Severe solar activity that could lead to CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejection) and major disruption of the electrical and communication grid
  • A profound and extraordinary religious, spiritual or cosmological event
  • Signs of an imminent pole shift or major geophysical event
  • An announcement by the government – widespread or to a confidential group – to relocate, leave coastal areas and to seek secure surroundings

You don’t have to believe in catastrophic events to be prepared. Being prepared for the unexpected is simply a good idea. Whatever your perspective, being aware of world events during these critical times and the their potential effect upon you and your family and friends is the responsible attitude to embrace.

Many folks are reluctant to plan ahead, or they assume that the government or others will take care of them, or they are just too busy, or they just don’t think it is necessary. As an option to doing nothing or to enhance some other method of emergency preparedness planning you have chosen, consider the following. As you reflect on the scenarios that you presume might – or might not – occur, think about the concept of a “triggering event.” Ask yourself, “What are the triggering events that will motivate me to immediate action?” “What triggering event will launch the imminent arrival of the scenario I have presumed might occur or thought wouldn’t occur?” If you have created a list of triggering events, you will be on the look out for possible immediate action. This is especially important if you have considered scenarios that will have a long term impact on the supply of goods and services that are required to sustain your basic needs.

If there are items that are essential to your well-being such as medical products, devices, children’s products, or special nutritional foods, then being alert to a potential disruption of vital needs is crucial. While it is always desirable to plan ahead and have provisions in place, it is better to react at the last minute than not at all. Know exactly what you need, how much will be adequate, where you have to go to supply your needs, how you will get there, and how you will pay for your supplies. Obviously some scenarios may offer some prior indications, such as hurricanes, storms, or economic/political issues; while others can occur without warning. You are responsible – you must choose to act or not – unfortunately non action can have severe consequences for yourself and your family!

If you have been hesitant to act or even reflect about preparedness planning you are encouraged to seriously consider this post.

Scenarios

Acts of God Man Made Earth Changes
Local – Regional National National/Worldwide
Earthquake Government regulation/control Catastrophic Weather
Flood Martial Law Asteroid/Comet
Fire Food Shortages Pole Shift
Hurricane Societal Breakdown Solar Flare – CME
Storm/Ice/Snow Civil Disobedience/Riots Tribulation/Religious
Tornado Medical Emergency Severe Earth Changes
Drought Economic Emergency/Collapse
Power Outage Major Accident
Mud Slide Terrorism Attack
Tsunami Biological/Chemical/Radiological   Attack
EMP – Electrical Magnetic Pulse Attack
PERSONAL ISSUES Bombing
Job Loss War
Illness Cyber Attack – No internet
Emergencies
Financial Loss

 Time Frames:

3 Days to 2 Weeks
Minor to moderate inconvenience and disruption of the daily routine.
Basic supplies in the first 3 days would be valuable for comfort but not essential.
An adequate amount of basic supplies after 3 days are important.

3 Weeks to 2 Months
The inconvenience is very noticeable and the routine disruption can be significant.
Supplies required are usually on hand, and stockpiling some supplies will be very important.

3 Months to 6 Months
Preparedness planning is very important and a serious disruption to the daily routine is inevitable. Mobility and location to wait out the emergency is important in your planning.
Proper supplies will be critical.
Medical and other special needs must be planned for in advance.

6 Months to 1 Year
Unless you are very prepared and are committed to self-reliance, in this time frame your lifestyle will definitely be impacted.
Serious attention to your preparedness planning is required.
Action and provisions are essential.
You will be dealing with serious issues during this time period, and you must be prepared.

1 Year or More
Scenarios actualized in this time frame are this most serious and catastrophic, and will require a serious commitment to lifestyle changes.
You will be dealing with national and worldwide calamity.
The extent of the impact on everyone’s life cannot be over emphasized.
Significant and detailed planning is required, and even with this an emergency situation of this duration will be wrought with uncertainty.
This will be a time for community togetherness, sharing, and mutual support.
Skills not normally possessed by folks will be required.
Gardening and other self-reliant skills will be essential.
Books, tools, and other valuable resources will be vital.

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37 Non foods & 37 foods to have in emergency storage

RainMan(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/  37 Non food and 37 food items to have in emergency storage)


A.  37 non-food grocery items to hoard before crisis
June 2012, HappyPreppers.com,
Pasted from: http://www.happypreppers.com/37-non-food-items-to-hoard.html

If you’ve read our free guide on the 37 Foods to Hoard Before Crisis, then you’ll want to take a peek at the 37 things to hoard that aren’t food that you can find at the grocery stores. You’ll be happy that you planned ahead by stocking these supplies for survival and comfort. This list does not include first aid items (unless they have multiple uses), fishing or hunting equipment, camping equipment or security and shelter items. These are everyday items that have a
multitude of uses.

Print this list and head to store now, before disaster strikes.

37 Thing to Hoard that aren’t food:

  1. Aspirin or pain reliever. Aspirin is a pain reliever that’s also useful when directly applied to relieve a bee sting. Aspirin also protects your heart by keeping your blood flowing freely. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
  2. Baking soda. Technically this is a food, but find out the preppers uses for baking soda beyond baking. Here are some unusual uses for baking soda.
  3. Bleach. The bleach a prepper stores is not for washing clothes. It’s for helping you to purify your water. Have many different ways to secure clean drinking water. Happy Preppers take a few precautions to sanitize food containers with bleach,
  4. Borax. Sure Borax deodorizes and freshens, but it’s also quite a handy thing to have in post apocalyptic times. Learn the many prepper uses of Borax.
  5. Bounce laundry sheets. Don’t waste bounce sheets in the dryer, save them to repel insects, which will be important when you butcher your game or eat or prepare foods outside! The other brands simply don’t work.
  6. Buckets. You’ll need a food-grade bucket to collect water and another bucket to collect grey water for your other uses.
  7. Can openers + Lid Openers (extras). You’ll have a difficult time opening buckets and cans without the proper tools. They break, so have backups!
  8. Cat litter. Mind you, the suggestion of cat litter is not for your cat. This certainly will come in handy to deal with human waste.
  9. Charcoal + lighter fluid. You’ll need a variety of ways to cook your food and charcoal is quite handy, though it’s not a long term solution. Even if you don’t have a fire pit or charcoal grill, you’ll want charcoal as you can dig a fire pit.
  10. Commercial Firewood. Wood needs time to age, your stash might get wet. Adding a few logs of commercial firewood to your prepping list will ease your mind a bit about warmth in the coldest months.
  11. Cotton balls. For application of ointments and creams, cotton balls are essential first aid supply. Do not use cotton swab sticks in the ear canal as it could cause injury. To remove ear wax, apply hydrogen peroxide drops into the ear to flush the wax. Create a fire starter with cotton balls coated in petroleum jelly.
  12. Dishpans. Ideally you’ll need three dishpans for your off the grid kitchen: one to scrap off the food particles, the next to wash the dishes clean, and finally a chlorine bleach and water rinse. Two is fine. See the collapsible dish washing basin for camping, right.
  13. Duct tape + Super Glue. A prepper will find infinite uses for duct tape in crisis from hemming clothing or patching up gear to medical uses and
  14. Dish washing soap (liquid) + dish washing gloves. Prepare for an off the grid cooking scenario by stocking up on dish washing soap for cutting boards, dishes (when you run out of the paper ones), utensils and pots and pans. Just, don’t scrub your cast iron pans with liquid soap or you’ll provide an unsavory soapy seasoning to your food. Dawn contains a biodegradable surfactants, and contains no phosphate, making it an ideal choice. It’s not for vanity’s sake that you will need dish washing gloves. In doing the dishes you may cut yourself! Minimize the risk, so you won’t get an infection.
  15. Facial tissues. You won’t want to rough it out on your nose during a cold or flu. Facial tissues will provide comfort in uncertain times.
  16. Fever reducer. Ask your doctor what fever reducer is appropriate for you. Children’s Advil suspension is a fever reducer and pain reliever contains ibuprofen to temporarily reduce fevers, relieve minor aches and pains due to the common cold, flu, sore throat or headaches and toothaches; however ibuprofen may cause a sever allergic reaction, especially in people allergic to aspirin.
  17. Freezer bags. Not that you’ll be freezing in an off the grid scenario, but freezer bags will help you preserve what food you have and collect food and water.
  18. Funnel. You’ll need a funnel for a myriad of uses.
  19. Garbage bags. You’ll be using garbage bags more often in uncertain times, including sanitation of human wastes and even for use in burying the dead in addition to collecting waste. Costco and Home Depot carry large garbage bags in bulk by the rolls and at very reasonable prices.
  20. Hand sanitizers. You won’t want to use water to wash hands in times of drought. Stocking up on hand sanitizers will help you through pandemics, and for cleaning hands after meat handling. Handy indeed.
  21. Hydrogen peroxide. You likely have hydrogen peroxide in your first aid kit to help you fight infections, but hydrogen Peroxide has so many applications from water purification to cleaning kitchen tools. See the many prepper uses for hydrogen peroxide.
  22. Lip balm, lotions and creams. Skin hydration will be key, particularly when water is at a premium. Don’t overlook these inexpensive finds at the dollar stores, including Blistex and Chapstick lip balms, cocoa butter creams.
  23. Lysol. You’ll appreciate keeping cold and virus flus at bay with Lysol. It’s also effective in combating lice, which may spread rapidly in uncertain times.
  24. Matches. Matches are easy enough to procure at the market. Stash them in a mason jar with a sandpaper striking lid to keep them dry and ready for use. You should also invest in amagnesium fire starter.
  25. Nail polish. Nail polish is another unusual prepper item, and not for vanity’s sake! Sure you can fix a cracked finger nail, but you’ll find loads clever uses for nail polish. Clear nail polish will help you smudge-proof your canning labels or the labels of your garden plants: just layer a coat on top of the important words. Thread a needle by coating the end of the thread with polish before going through the eye. Stop a window crack from
    getting worse by applying a dab of nail polish (we suggest using clear, but any nail polish will do)! Colored nail polish can help you color code keys or help you identify uses for buckets, mark levels for how much water you need, or mark funnels for use in food or gasoline. You’ll find an endless amount of uses, including keeping shoe laces from unravelling, tightening screws (coat the thread groves), plugging a cooler, or mending holes in window screens. It’s just another clever item for your fix-it box! Never mind what others may say.
  26. Paper cups, paper plates and paper bowls. For your hot beverages (coffee, tea, cocoa), using paper cups will save on the precious resource of water and is far more healthy than drinking from Styrofoam. You’ll likely need more paper bowls than you think as they are ideal for soups, cereals and chili, as well as freeze dried pasta and rice dishes. Get a few sizes of paper plates to accommodate your meal size.
  27. Paper towels. If you’re short on space, consider Shop towels. These strong, absorbent towels are great for wiping hands and cleaning up grease, oil, grime, and fluids. You’ll need fewer than ordinary paper towels, so it will take up less space.
  28. Plastic cups. Plastic cups will hold up better than paper cups. Mark plastic cups with a Sharpie to ensure water glasses are used to their full potential.
  29. Plastic utensils. Save your water in using disposable utensils.
  30. Paracord. An essential for your bugout bag, paracord will also provide entertainment. What will you craft from paracord?
  31. Petroleum jelly. Vasoline or the generic equivalent is an ideal fuel when combined with cotton balls as a fire starter. Petroleum jelly helps protect minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, and also protects skin from wind burn and chapping. Use petroleum jelly as a lip balm! To help heal chapped hands, load a generous portion on hands, then cover hands in plastic bags to keep them moistened for 20-minutes.
  32. Shampoo and soap. In an off the grid scenario, there won’t be much bathing, but you’ll be glad you stocked up on shampoo and soaps for an economic collapse where your money is better spent acquiring fresh meats, produce or other essentials.
  33. Steel Wool. Did you know that steel wool is an excellent fire starter? All you need is a 9-volt battery. Here’s the Doomsday Preppers tutorial how to make fire from steel wool.
  34. Toilet paper. Just for fun, read what people did before toilet paper.
  35. Toothbrushes. Buy one toothbrush per month for each member of your family. Stock up on toothbrushes at dollar stores.
  36. Toothpaste. You may want to reconsider your toothpaste if it has fluoride in it. Learn why you should buy fluoride free toothpaste.
  37. Writing instruments. Pens, pencils and paper will be a luxury item for a world that’s off the grid. Remember also to get a manual pencil sharpener. If you home school, you may also consider getting chalk and a chalk board.
  • TIP: A Sharpie pen will help you label food expiration dates on cans and shelf stable items. Additionally, it will help identify assigned cups and plates.

In case you think we forgot about water, read on. We recommend distilled water, though any bottled water will sustain you. Read about it in 37 Foods to Hoard Before There is a Crisis. This is not an eBook, but it is free information to the public.

.

B.  37 Foods to Hoard
Essential foods to stock in your Prepper’s pantry
June 2012, HappyPreppers.com,

http://www.happypreppers.com/37-food-storage.html


The more people who prep, the safer we all are. That’s why happy Preppers wants to encourage you to stock the 37 most important goods you can buy from the grocery store.
Wondering what are the 37 foods to hoard? Every day food storage is an important topic.
Before there is a crisis, it’s good to make a list of important food items that you can buy while they are still available. At HappyPreppers.com, we believe the happiest people on the planet will be the ones who’ve prepared should the unthinkable occur.

Preppers list of foods
Happy Preppers are now purchasing these 37 essential food items from the grocery stores for
their everyday food storage while they are still available:

  1. Distilled water: Grab any water you can, but distilled water is the most pure form of water. Get water now and make plans to get more water. Learn how to purify water and learn more about how to get water in our water guide. Consider adding canned seltzer water to your Prepper storage. Seltzer water adds a little pep to your water supply, and it can help relieve constipation. Avoid seltzer however if family members have acid reflux. (We know water isn’t a food to hoard, but you can’t live without it.)
  2. Canned liquids. It’s important to stock up on canned foods with high liquid content. Two excellent examples are canned pineapple juice and vegetable juice available on the bottom shelves of your grocery store. These foods will provide nutrition and hydration simultaneously. Look also for evaporated milk, condensed milk, and canned coconut milk. Coconut milk will help you cook rice faster! Stewed tomatoes, and vegetable, beef or chicken stock can also help you cook rice without depleting your drinking water. It’s also a great excuse to stock up on canned beer, which you can use to cook! Canned
    vegetable broth is extremely hard to find at your grocery store, but available right on Amazon.
  3. Dehydrated (powdered) milk. Bob’s Red Mill can last up to two years, and is an excellent natural creamer for coffee: try sprinkling in a tablespoon or two in your coffee and skip the non-dairy creamers made of hydrogenated oils. Like goats milk? Stock up on canned or dehydrated milk to give you around 2,500 calories per gallon.
  4. Hard cheeses encased in wax. Waxed hard cheeses are not so easy to find, but they are available, and when you find Parmesan, swiss, sharp cheddar or Gouda encased in wax, it’s a very “Gouda” thing! You see, the wax prevents cheese from growing mold and bacteria, and it also keeps moisture in your cheese, so it can store for a very long time without refrigeration. Parmesan is a hard cheese, and in the powder form has a four month expiration date, but encased in wax it can last up to 25 years! Consider buying cheese wax and even a basic hard cheese kit to make your own delicious cheeses. Wax will keep hard cheeses moist during the aging process, and also prevent unwanted mold growth on your aging cheeses. Here’s more about prepper cheese.
  5. Whey Powder or protein concentrate. You know that Little Miss Muffet ate her curds and whey, and so should you. In cheese making, curds are the thick part of the milk that’s separated from the liquid when the milk turns sour. Whey is the watery part that’s cloudy and yellowish. Whey is highly nutritious! Bob’s Red Mill offers an all natural whey protein concentrate. Whey contains a high quality complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids required by the body for strength and muscle development. It is a great way of increasing protein intake without adding excessive carbohydrates and fat. It dissolves instantly so it ‘s great for making high protein shakes and smoothies. In survival times, mix it with dehydrated milk for an extra frothy and satisfying nutrient! So while this isn’t the first thing that will fly off the shelves in the event of a crisis, it’s one Happy Preppers should have on their list.
  6. Canned & dehydrated meats. Go for the jerky! Tune-in to the tuna. Stack up on the Dak! Meats provide humans with around 90% of what we need to survive. When you realize that 90% of plants are deadly to humans, you’ll understand humans need to eat meat. When possible, look for grass-fed meats. Know that smoked salmon as well as sausages and hot dogs can last a long time in your refrigerator, but then should be among the first things to consume in a power failure. Store organic hot dogs and sausages, such as Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dogs which are made from organic, grass-fed beef. Always cut hot dogs (cut them lengthwise into small pieces and remove the casing) before giving them to children younger than 4 as they are a top
    choking hazard. Avoid “mechanically separated meat,” which is a product produced by forcing bones with meat under pressure into an edible paste. It sounds about as appetizing as it is good for you. Don’t buy them! See our complete list of canned meats (because variety is the spice of life).
  7. Tea, coffee and bouillon. Tea, coffee and bouillon will help your water taste better. Consider that tea has been around for 5,000+ years for a reason! Water quality of our ancestors wasn’t very good, so tea helped it taste better. Tea can help hydrate quickly when you can’t wait for the boiled water to cool. Decaffeinated teas can provide a burst of additional energy; while other teas can provide a calming and soothing effect. Additionally, many kinds of tea have anti-cancer properties (polyphenols), and reduce the risk of blood clotting and even lowers cholesterol levels. Consider adding echinacea,
    peppermint and chamomile teas to help combat the common cold, naturally, too! Finally, teas have a social importance in many cultures. In the Wild West, it was coffee that was more important than tea as a staple. Certainly coffee is a stimulant, but it’s also a diuretic, which means you’ll urinate more than without it. According to Web MD, drinking coffee means you’ll be “less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.” bouillon is an essential flavoring to water. Bouillon cubes are compressed stock that you must dissolve in water. This salty essential will help you flavor soups,
    rices, ramen style noodles and gravies. Bouillon cubes are compressed stock that you must dissolve in water. This salty essential will help you flavor soups, rices, ramen style noodles and gravies. Even if you don’t use any of these in your regular diet, consider securing them for your Prepper’s pantry for bartering!
  8. Oils. You can’t cook much without oil, so buy your favorites in small containers and look for the word “virgin” which means that they are the first press and have the most nutritive value. Buy cooking oils in small cans, which will keep them protected from light. Olive oil is an ideal oil, but can quickly go rancid, thought it may have a shelf life up to two years. Shortening usually has trans fats, so consider coconut oil as cooking lard to replace Crisco or other vegetable shortening, which is made of dangerous trans fats. Coconut oil is very heat stable, and because it’s low to oxidize, it means that it
    won’t go rancid as quickly as other oils. It can last up to two years, and it provides fast energy. Also consider Ghee or organic shortening! With regards to other kinds of oils you store in your Prepper’s pantry, if possible, look for a NON-GMO corn oil, as 86% of corn has been genetically modified. Whatever oil you buy, be sure to buy them in small containers as the minute you open, they oxidate and begin deteriorating quickly. Avoid anything made with Soybean oil as 90% of soybean products are genetically modified or cross-contaminated. Other oils to watch carefully include corn oil and canola oil, as they are high risk crops.
  9. Whole wheat flour. Wheat is a basic food product that’s chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins and even minerals, like selenium. Thankfully, “There is not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the market,” according to the Non-GMO project, so stock up! Even if you stock white flour in your daily pantry, be sure to stock wheat flour in your Prepper’s pantry because it has more nutritive value when it has the whole grain (bran, germ and endosperm). White flour has only the endosperm. You may also need flour for thickening gravies, or coat and fry, such things as freshly caught fish. If you have whole wheat flour, you won’t have to stock genetically modified corn starch, which is also used for thickening. Consider Bob’s Red
    Mill Whole Wheat flour because it comes wrapped in plastic, rather than a paper bag which is more susceptible to pest invasions. Ultimately, you should store whole wheat flour in your every day pantry. Your long term pantry should include whole grain wheat and you should have a grain mill.Read more about grains.
  10. Wheat germ and Shredded Wheat. Wheat germ is the center of the seed. Packed with protein and fiber, wheat germ also has folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium and vitamin E. It’s considered “nutrition in a crunch.” It’s not really a meal, but one you can add to your hot cereal. The first edition of the Boy Scout Manual in 1911 highlights the best food for Boy Scouts is Shredded Wheat, “because it has all the muscle-building material in the whole wheat grain prepared in a digestible form, supplying all the strength needed for work or play.”
  11. Potato flour. Consider adding potato flour to your Prepper’s Pantry. Potato flour is wonderful, gluten-free addition to your Prepper’s Pantry to make breads, pancakes and waffles, and potato soups. It’s also wonderful as a thickening agent, so you can avoid GMO cornstarch. Don’t confuse it with potato starch, because potato flour is the entire potato (skin and all) dehydrated. Potatoes are safe according to the NON-GMO project.
  12. Masa Harina. Spanish for “dough,” masa is the flour of finely ground maize, hominy or corn. It’s basically been dried, cooked, ground, soaked in lime and then dried again. It reconstitutes easily with warm water and salt to make corn tortillas. You can also use Masa harina to make the dough for empanadas, papusas and tamales. Look for organic brands, which will ensure you’re not getting a dangerous genetically modified food products. In the stores, look for the “Non-GMO project verified” label to ensure that the corn you buy does not have genetically modified corn in it.
  13. Corn Grits. While Masa Harina is a finely ground meal, corn grits is more versatile, hearty and nutritious basic food. Nothing satisfies like the savory experience of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free corn grits (also called polenta). For breakfast, you will love it with milk and honey. Grits left in a pot to cool become polenta. In this way, you can serve it for dinner with butter, cheese, marinara or gravy. Again, make sure you steer clear of GMO corn products by purchasing organic (shockingly, 86% of the world’s corn is GMO).
    You can also purchase alkali-treated corn (actually dried maize kernels) known as hominy, which is largely popular in Southern and Mexican cuisine. Popular in the South, you can also find this product out West if you look for it in cans in the Mexican food isles. Hominy is high in calcium content.
  14. Oatmeal. A favorite of American pioneers, oatmeal is a food low in saturated fat, and it’s also a good source of fiber, which is especially important during survival times. Look for John McCann’s steel cut oatmeal in a can, which are 100% whole grain and natural Irish oats. You’ll need to store adequate water as making porridge requires 4 cups of water for every one cup of oatmeal. Best of all, it can last for several years. A tip for preparing is to soak the oatmeal over night, so that it takes just 9-12 minutes to boil (instead of a half an hour).
  15. Bread crumbs and stuffing. Bread crumbs are a satisfying addition to casseroles, and can also help you make salmon and crab cakes with the cans in your Prepper’s food storage. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find Bread crumbs sealed in plastic for freshness. Usually, they are boxed in waxed paper. Stuffing is a natural accompaniment to your mashed potatoes and will mix nicely with spices and dehydrated onions.
  16. Pumpernickel. Learn to like Pumpernickel and make it part of your everyday diet! This amazing whole grain rye bread (enjoyed by Germans and Scandinavians with cheeses, pates and meats), packs a mighty punch of fiber and has a three or four month shelf life! You can make a satisfying meal with even one slice of bread. In the beginning of a food crises situation, you will find yourself feeling full from this nutritious bread. So pack some pate and store Pumpernickel regularly. (You’ll feel regular too.)
  17. Crackers. While crackers have little nutritive value, they do provide a sense of normalcy to a survival situation and will be a worthy an satisfying accompaniment to soups and tuna salad, and peanut butter stashes in the Prepper’s Pantry. You may find some surprising nutritive benefits such as niacin and iron in flaky flavorful crackers. In your long term food storage you’ll need to buy some pilot crackers in a #10 can.
  18. Potato Flakes and au gratin potatoes. If you can find a shelf-stable variety of au gratin or scalloped potatoes that don’t have hydrogenated oils, then go for it. Unfortunately, most au gratin potatoes have them (so skip Wegmann’s, Betty Crocker and Idahoan until they stop including hydrogenated oils in their manufacture). Look for au gratin potatoes at organic based food market, like Whole Foods.
  19. Rice. Sure jasmine rice is cheap food, and worth storing but you can also store a variety of rice to keep your family interested. Try batsmati rice, Italian arborio rice, short grain Asian rice, wild rice, and brown rice too! Brown rice is a healthy option, but requires more cooking time, which could deplete your cooking resources. Consider instant rice for this reason alone, though it’s not as healthy as other rice options.
  20. Pastas. Dried pasta has little to no fat or moisture content, so it resists spoilage. Among the most filling and inexpensive foods, store a variety of pastas in addition to your spaghetti and macaroni noodles including: egg noodles, gnocchi (made with potatoes), dried tortellini (filled with hard cheese), orzo (rice shaped pasta), couscous (wheat-based pasta) and the other variety of shaped Italian pasta such as lasagna, linguine, rotelle, rotini, rigatoni, orecchiette, penne, mastoccilli etc. Remember Asian pastas too! There are healthier options to the inexpensive ramen style noodles. Try soba (made from buckwheat), rice noodles, udon (what flour), bean curd noodles, and chow main noodles (fried noodles made of egg and wheat).
  21. Raisins and dried fruits. Just a handful of raisins will provide a full serving of fruit. Raisins have protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamin C. Raisins are loaded with antioxidants and potassium, too. Use them in your Prepper’s pantry to enhance the flavor of rice for dinner and cereals for breakfasts. Remember, raisins are a dried fruit and not a dehydrated food. There is a difference in how you store each. Organic raisins are the best choice so you can avoid toxic pesticides of commercial farming. Newmans Own is an excellent choice. These raisins are packed with juicy flavor and a pleasing texture, and are available by the six pack in 15-oz cans for your prepper’s pantry and delivered to your door. Enhance your supply with dried apricots, dates, cranberries, mangos and whatever your family enjoys.
  22. Fruit strips. Skip the fruit rollups, which are ladened with unwanted high-fructose corn syrups. Instead, look for Simply Fruit twists and high fiber dried fruit strips available in a variety of flavors, such as cherry, grape, and apricot. The more variety, the better for your family to fight boredom in diet and to get the essential nutrients they each provide.
  23. Canned fruits. Most people stock up on canned veggies, but really it’s the fruit they should concentrate on because fruits contain twice as much calories per pound as veggies. A fruit cocktail will give you about 300-400 calories per pound. Peaches, packed in light syrup offer a tremendous calorie boost to the survival diet. The liquids also provide a valuable source of hydration, so don’t can the juice in the cans! Look for citrus varieties, such as pineapple and mandarin oranges, to give the essential vitamin C. Applesauce too can be a wonderful accompaniment to cereals, and can also serve as a dessert. Canned pumpkin puree will also provide a heavy dose of Vitamin A and you can make a simple soup by adding bouillon and spices, such as garlic.
  24. Canned veggies. Think beyond green beans! Unfortunately, green beans do not pack many calories. If you’re looking for the ideal veggies to stash, then think about canned root vegetables, like sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, plus they’re filling. Add a variety with canned sauerkraut, cabbage and beets, too. If you eat them, carrots, peas and potatoes provide the fixing for a nice stew. Canned olives, asparagus and artichoke hearts will help you make easy pasta dishes. Dried veggies, right are availabe online. Skip the canned corn (it’s likely GMO).
  25. Beans and legumes. Stock up on beans — all kinds of dried beans and canned beans, (including refried beans). The more variety of beans you store, the better as it provides energy and fiber. Beans pack around 1250 calories per pound. Best of all, you can sprout beans — it as little as five days you can sprout crunchy, fresh phytonutrients for your family from dried beans, peas, and lentils. (See the sprouter, left.) Peanuts aren’t really nuts (they’re beans, but stock up on those too because they add protein).
  26. Nuts, seeds and nut-butters. While it’s true that nuts can go rancid quickly, nuts are an excellent source of energy, so stock up on them in your Prepper’s pantry (provided there are no allergies in your family)! Raw almonds, walnuts and cashews are excellent choices, pistachio’s too. Mixed roasted nuts will also provide varieties, such as hazelnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts. Nuts are obviously allergens, so avoid giving them to children under 5. Think also canned chestnuts, which are a great source of fiber and found in the Asian section of your supermarket. (They’re also an excellent source of
    potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C.) The healthiest nuts and seeds are in bags, rather than oil filled cans and jars. Think sunflower seeds and alfalfa seeds too! Yes, you already knew to stock peanut butter, but did you know that peanut butter is really a bean butter? Look for peanut butters that are simply peanuts, oil and salt (yes, the kind with oils at the top, which are the natural peanut butters). Skip the peanut butters that have sugars in them or worse yet, those with hydrogenated oils in them. Know that “trans fat free” doesn’t mean that they are free from trans fats, it could mean that there
    is less than .05 grams of trans fat per serving.
  27. Honey. Even if you don’t use honey, buy some honey, honey! Not only will honey last forever, but you’ll use honey in survival times to flavor boring oatmeals and other breakfast grains, as well as teas. Honey eases sore throats, and more importantly, if you don’t have any topical antibiotics, you can use honey as a paste to put on wounds. When you learn how to bake breads, you’ll realize that many recipes call for honey. So, honey, what are you waiting for?
  28. Iodized salt. Look to history and you’ll find salt was an important commodity. Salt can kill bacteria! Salt contains chloride and sodium ions, and all living things need these components in small quantities. Not all salt is the same! Humans need iodized salt to avoid thyroid gland problems and goiter and to help regulate fluid balance in the body, but more importantly we need salt to preserve food. How does salt help preserve food?
    Salt inhibits growth of germs in a process of osmosis where the salt pushes water out of the microbial cells. Best of all, salt lasts for ever. You can salt everything from salad greens the way the Roman’s did to curing meats and preserving other kinds food. Indeed, salt is very useful to Preppers.
  29. Sugars. You’ll need granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar. We also suggest buying sugar in the raw. Skip the beet and go for the cane, baby! Skip also the sugars that you can buy in boxes and paper bags. Buy your sugars wrapped in plastic, because this helps protect it from insects. As a second step you can buy sugars in cans or place your own sugar purchase into mylar bags and sealed food-grade plastic buckets sealed with a gamma lid. Look also for sugar in the raw packets. One final note of caution with spices: if you regularly eat curry or other spicy foods then it’s fine to include them in your Prepper’s diet; however, you may well find yourself with a “ring of fire” otherwise. We therefore suggest you cautiously pack
  30. Spices. In addition to salt and pepper, get whatever spices your family enjoys. Yes, spices are expensive, but saffron will sure make that boring old rice more tasty, and chili can help you add flavor to all those beans you’re storing. You may want to skip the strong spices curry. While it tastes wonderful, they may also attract human predators.
    Survival spices to consider might include Think about buying extra spices of what’s already in your cupboard, for example dill, red pepper, cumin, rosemary, oregano, dried mustard, and ginger for example. Garlic is packed with antioxidants. Cream of tartar will help you whip egg whites. spices.
  31. Condiments. Buy small cans of mayonnaise for your tuna salad on crackers (because once you open the mayo, it will quickly go bad). If possible look for a mayo that’s not made with from deadly soybeans (90% of which are GMO). A variety of mustards can also help spice up your foods. Buy ketchup without deadly high-fructose corn syrup, and keep it in a brown paper bag and store in a dark place so that it will preserve as long as possible. Tabasco sauce, too can help add flavor to otherwise bland foods. Think also of canned gravy as a condiment! Gravies will surely add some flavoring to your potatoes
    and stuffing. Look for NON-GMO soy sauce for all that rice. Stock vinegars (balsamic, cider and rice whine). Think also in terms of Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce and to enhance your stews and soups and to help you make gravies. And on the sweet side, consider stocking maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts, plus cocoa powder and chocolate syrups.
  32. Chocolates. Not only does chocolate pack loads of antioxidants, but it’s a morale booster that could prove essential. What’s more the fiber will fill you up. Pack high quality dark chocolate, like Dove bars, in your Prepper’s Pantry. If you look closely at the ingredients, of other chocolates, like Hershey’s Kisses, you’ll find an unwanted ingredient: hydrogenated oils. Those do not belong in your chocolate, even during survival times! Besides, chocolate has been known to boost heart health. According to Livestrong.com, chocolates may help fight urinary tract infections. So be sure to keep chocolates in your every day food storage. You can add chocolate chips to pancakes, muffins, breads, and more to delight kids and help keep the normalcy as best you can
    in a disaster situation.
  33. Vitamins. Keeping at peek vitality is crucial during episodes of stress. While multi- vitamins are a great idea, be sure to pack a Calcium with Vitamin D fortified vitamin, as this combination may help your body fight infections. Also, look for magnesium; As an essential stress supplement, magnesium prevents the damage caused by excess adrenaline.
  34. Food bars. Ideal for a bug out bag, food bars are compact nutrition and should be part of your everyday food storage. Sure, some food bars are a sort of cross between chocolate candy bars and vitamins, others more of a granola, but they are often high in protein. Food bars can provide a satisfaction for a morning meal or an addition to your other rations. Look for coconut bars too! Another food bar that often goes under the radar with Prepper’s (but shouldn’t) is Pemmican, pictured left, which contains complete protein and gives energy. Free of isolates, fructose, sugar and cholesterol, Pemmican is
    a concentrated food bar that offers quick energy.
  35. Vodka. You can cook with it, drink it or barter it. What’s more, vodka has a some medicinal value as well. Use vodka as a mouthwash or help numb the pain of a tooth ache. Apply vodka dabs to cold sores to dry them out, as an anesthetic for blisters, or to ease poison ivy and as a skin repellent to shoo flies and mosquitoes. Have stinky feet? Wipe the smell clean with vodka. Try vodka too for cleaning the lenses of eyeglasses. Who knew vodka would be such a versatile pantry item?
  36. Dry yeast. Unfortunately, yeast has a very short shelf life. Dry yeast is an essential leavening agent in baking bread, and has a longer shelf life than compressed yeast, but still after several months it loses potency. It’s purpose is to convert the ferment able sugars of dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Look for Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast, which is the original active dry yeast, relatively stable and valued for its consistent performance since 1945. It’s one of the most essential ingredients to use in your pantry immediately following a survival situation.
  37. Baking soda and baking powder. Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they produce carbon dioxide to help food rise.
  • Baking soda: Pure sodium bicarbonate, when you combine baking soda with honey or an acidic ingredient like buttermilk or yogurt, you’ll get a chemical reaction of carbon dioxide bubbles. This causes baked goods to rise. Look for aluminum free baking soda (a good choice is Bob’s Red Mill, which is extracted in an all natural process without chemicals. Baking soda can last two years.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder has sodium bicarbonate as an ingredient, along with an acidifying agent (cream of tartar for example) and drying agent (such as starch). Baking powder lasts around a year and half.

Other stuff…
Sure, we listed 37 essential food items for your Prepper’s Pantry, but the list could easily continue on non-food related essentials. For example, you may like to purchase extra can openers from the grocery store. You may also like to stock up on firewood, charcoal, lighter fuel, and candles, as well as and paper plates and plastic utensils and cups. And remember the tampons! Any real survival man will tell you that a fluffed up unused tampon is a good emergency tinder source to have around, so come on baby, light my fire!

But while we’re still on the topic of essential foods to stock, consider this…. If you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar, then you can stock fresh apples, potatoes, onions and garlic to last you several months, but remember, never store them in plastic bags or in the refrigerator.
They must be stored in a cool dark, and well ventilated space, and away from pests, which is not easy to do.

Finally, know that it’s okay to stock up on junk food. Did you know that Cheetos and Pringles can get a fire going? The content of much of the processed foods you buy has the perfect combination of air and fats to make fire. Who knew that your everyday food storage of junk foods would come in so handy in a disaster?

survival items2

[Do yourself and everyone else a favor-be prepared. Mr. Larry]

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City Survival: Evacuate (Part 2 of 2)

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ City Survival: Evacuate (Part 2 of 2)

How to Effectively Evacuate a Big City Without a Car
January 16, 2008, Grandpappy.info, by Robert Wayne Atkins
Pasteed from: http://www.grandpappy.info/hbigcity.htmcity3 neighborhood

If you live in a major metropolitan area then you may not own your own vehicle. The city’s existing mass transit system will take you anywhere you need to go within the city. Therefore everything you could possibly need is within easy reach, such as doctors, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and everything else. Purchasing a vehicle is simply not an option for most of the residents in a big city for the following reasons: (1) the down payment, (2) the monthly car payment, (3) the monthly insurance payment, (4) the monthly parking fees, (5) the cost of gas, and (6) the repairs. When added together these costs far exceed the small amount of money you currently spend riding the city’s mass transportation system. [Photo: Living near the older section of an urban region will lead to social issues, a few days sooner than in other areas.]

However, during a major disaster event some of the problems of living in a big city would be: (1) the mass transit system will probably become unreliable or simply stop, (2) deliveries of food to the restaurants and grocery stores will stop, (3) the electricity may become intermittent or stop, (4) the water and sewer systems may fail, and (5) it would only take one fire to burn the city to the ground. The fire could be started intentionally by a terrorist, or it could be a simple heating or cooking fire that accidentally gets out of control. Think about what happened to the World Trade Center in New York City. On September 11, 2001 the city’s fire fighters were able to limit the damage to a very small part of the city. However, if the fire fighters had not had access to an continuous supply of water at high pressure then the entire city could have gone up in flames. Therefore, during a major disaster event a big city will not be a place where people will die of old age.

If you would like to read James Wesley Rawles observations about the feasibility of attempting to survive in a big city during a disaster, please read my post titled, City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2) or paste the following website in your browser:  http://aspedantheod.tripod.com/id178.html

The first question is how could you escape from a big city if the mass transit system isn’t working and you do not own a vehicle? The obvious answer is that you could walk or ride a bicycle out of the city. Although this may seem to be a monumental task, it is a feasible option as long as you don’t have to carry a lot of weight with you. In fact, depending on the disaster event, a person walking or riding a bicycle may have a much better chance of escaping a major city if the disaster results in a traffic grid-lock situation and vehicles are stalled for hours or days on the roads, bridges, tunnels, and highways. In this situation it would not be unusual to see lots of people attempting to walk out of the city. Many of these people will have simple daypacks or school backpacks on their backs, or they will be pulling a luggage carrier behind them containing either a suitcase or a backpack. The only individuals who would be noticed would be the ones with specially designed camping backpacks which display a variety of special survival tools or weapons strapped to the outside of those packs. Those individuals would quickly become obvious targets for the thieves and criminals who are also a part of the exodus crowd.

city2 burn

The next question is where would you go and what would you do when you got there. Traveling to a remote small town with very little money in your pocket and with only the clothes on your back is a very scary thought. However, there is a way to make it a little less scary if you are willing to engage in a little advance planning.

Choosing a Safe Destination
Resist the temptation to pick another large city as a safe evacuation destination. All large cities have the same inherent weaknesses during a disaster as your current city. Almost any small community has a far better chance for long-term survival during a disaster event than any big city.

Therefore, you should begin your search by looking at a map of your state and identifying several small towns that:
•  are between 60 to 75 miles away from your current apartment,
•  are not on a major interstate or freeway, and
•  are where you get to them from at least two different directions during a disaster event without adding a significant number of miles to your journey.

A family could walk or ride bicycles a distance of 75 miles within three to seven days, depending on the family. However, the overwhelming vast majority of the people escaping from a city during a disaster would not consider walking that far. They would stop at the first safe community they came to and wait for the federal or state government to rescue them or for the local community to take care of them. Unfortunately their vast numbers will quickly exhaust that community’s charitable goodwill. On the other hand, families that do not stop at the first opportunity but who keep moving towards a more distance community would have a much better chance for long-term survival.

A person could carry enough food and a portable water filter to easily survive for three to seven days. However, you would not be able to carry a lot of equipment, supplies, water, and food with you. When you reached your safe destination, you would be just another homeless refugee family with limited options, unless you had something waiting for you at your destination.

If you rented a car now, before there is any threat of a disaster event, then you could drive to each of your potential safe rural towns and evaluate each town and select the one that would be best suited to your needs. An ideal small rural town would be one that:
1.  is at least several hundred feet above sea level,
2.  is surrounded by farm land, dairy cows, and other typical farm livestock such as horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens,
3.  has a reasonable supply of trees and forest timber land,
4.  has a few nearby manufacturing facilities of any size, and
5.  its residents still have the right to own firearms to protect themselves.

city9 small townIf the community meets the above minimum criteria then you should verify that you could afford to pay the local rent for a furnished apartment or Extended Stay Motel that meets the minimum needs for your family. You can find the phone numbers of all the local apartments and motels in the yellow pages of the local phone book. Call each apartment and make a simple list of the location and phone numbers of all the furnished apartments in the area along with the rental price and the required deposit for each apartment. Visit the ones that are of interest to you and politely ask to see the inside of an actual apartment. Write down a brief description of what you see along with your opinion about the place. If you have a camera then take a picture of the apartment building and the inside of the apartment after politely asking the manager’s permission. Record the picture number(s) on your master list of apartments so you can match them up later. This information will provide you with advance knowledge of your options if a disaster forces you to relocate to this community. Some of the places that currently have available apartments may rent them before you return, and some places that are now full may have an available apartment in the future. During an actual disaster the first families to arrive with enough cash to pay the rent and the deposit will get the available living quarters.
[Image: Small town, the kind of place you want to be/go to when SHTF.]

You should also ask if the monthly rent includes the basic utilities or if the utilities will be an additional expense. The utilities are normally included in the rent for Extended Stay Motels but not for apartments, although the apartment rent may sometimes include the water and sewer bills. During a disaster event it would be better if the utilities were included in the rent for the apartment or the Extended Stay Motel so the water, power, and heat would already be on when you arrive. During a disaster it might take a long time for the utility crews to get around to activating new accounts. Also ask if the apartment complex has its own washing machines and dryers for the use of its residents. These machines are usually coin operated. In addition, if an apartment has a functional wood-burning fireplace then you might want to give it more serious consideration than an apartment without a fireplace. If the disaster adversely impacts the state’s power grid then having a wood-burning fireplace would give you the option to heat your apartment and cook your food.

If the quality of the furniture inside the locally available furnished apartments is completely unacceptable to you then you should consider the unfurnished apartments. With an unfurnished apartment you would have three basic options:
1.  Sleep on the floor. Eat your meals while sitting on the floor. If someone in your family chooses to complain then you can remind them of your sleeping      accommodations below a bridge on a creek bank during your long walk to your new apartment.
2.  Purchase some high-quality inflatable air mattresses, and a folding table and some folding chairs, and then store them inside your storage unit at the small town.
3.  Set aside enough cash to purchase some new mattresses and some good used furniture after you relocate to your new apartment. The seller might agree to deliver these items to your apartment for free or for a small fee. Or you could rent a small U-haul truck and go get them yourself.

Renting a Small Storage Unit
After you determine which of the potential rural towns best suits your needs then you could rent a small storage unit near that town. A basic 6 foot by 6 foot by 8 foot tall unit rents for about $25 per month, or a 6 by 10 by 8 foot tall unit rents for about $35 per month. If possible you should pay the rent for at least three months in advance (six months would be better). You can locate these storage facilities in the yellow pages of the local phone book under the word “storage.” If you can afford it, one of these small storage units could easily be packed from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling with enough equipment, supplies, and food to last a family of four for one-year or longer. Put the heavier sturdier items, such as food, on the bottom of a stack and the lighter items, such as clothing, on the top of a stack. If possible leave a narrow aisle along one wall or down the middle of the unit so you can access any stack inside your unit at any time.city5 storage1
Climate controlled and 24-hour security storage units usually cost approximately twice as much. These units may be a better choice if you intend to make a substantial monetary investment in the items you will be storing inside your rental unit. Just remember that if the electricity goes off for any extended period of time then the temperature inside these units will slowly adjust to the current outside air temperatures. It is not unusual for rural communities to be without power for a few days each year and this usually happens during their very worst weather. If the facility has an electronic entrance gate then you may not be able to get to your things if there is a wide spread power failure during the disaster event that forces you to evacuate the city.

If you plan to store a lot of equipment and supplies then it might be wise to rent two small storage units in two different storage facilities a few miles apart, instead of renting one large storage unit. This would increase your family’s chances of survival because you would still have the supplies in one of your units if the supplies in the other unit were stolen or damaged by adverse weather conditions such as a tornado. If one of these units was climate controlled then it would greatly expand your options for long-term food storage. If you rent two units then you should strategically divide your food and clothing between the two units so that you would have some of your basic necessities in each unit. And keep a list of what you store in each unit so you can quickly locate it in an emergency.

It would be extremely useful if the rental storage unit was located within walking distance of the small town, or an Extended Stay Motel, or some other type of furnished rental housing or apartments, or near a campground. If the nearby furnished rental apartments are within walking distance of the small town then you might be able find some type of job if a future disaster results in your relocation to this community. However the chance of finding work after a wide spread disaster event are very slim unless you have marketable skills that would be in demand after a disaster.

Stocking Your Storage Unit
Immediately after you pay the rent and get a receipt, you should put your own padlock on the door of your storage unit. Then you should visit the local Walmart, city6 storage2camping supply stores, and grocery stores and purchase the things your family would need to survive. However, you should have made a comprehensive list ahead of time, along with the estimated cost of each item, so you can quickly purchase the most important things you will need without omitting any critical items. You could load your supplies inside your rental car as you buy them and then take them to your rental unit and store them inside your rental unit. If necessary you can drive back and forth to your rental unit several times. To the extent possible you should avoid attracting attention to yourself. This means it would probably be wise to buy your food items from several different grocery stores in the local or surrounding area instead of making one huge purchase at one store. When you have finished shopping and stocking your rental unit, you should once again lower your rental unit door, put your own personal round padlock  on the sliding door latch, and lock up all your stuff. Then you could drive home and return the rental car. This could all be done in one day, such as on a Saturday, if you had a plan and if you carefully worked your plan. Or you could rent a car for two days and complete your activities over the weekend by spending one night in a motel at the rural town of your choice. The advantage of spending the night in a motel is that it would give you a convenient private place to carefully pack your food and other supplies into your tote containers so you would not be attracting any special attention in public. The next morning you could then easily load your supplies into your rental car and transfer them to your rental unit. If necessary, you could make several trips back and forth from your motel room to your rental unit.

(Note: As you drive back to your apartment in the city you should write down all the highway mile marker numbers where bridges cross over streams or creeks because these could be potential camp spots for your family if a future disaster forces your family to evacuate your city. You could sleep under the bridge out of the weather and you could replenish your water from the creek by using your portable water filter. Depending on the size of the creek you may be able to catch a fish or two to supplement your food supplies. However, other families may have this same idea so you should be cautious when you first look under a bridge during an actual disaster event. As you continue to drive back to your apartment in the city you should also stop briefly at each community or major suburb along the way and look in the yellow pages of the local phone book. Make a list of the phone numbers of the local Taxi companies, the major churches, and the vehicle rental companies in that area. This information may be very useful to you if you are forced to quickly evacuate your city apartment during a future emergency.)

There are also a few other things you should consider. Depending on where you live, the temperatures inside a rental storage unit will fluctuate from below freezing to over 100 degrees during the course of one year. Most canned foods will not survive freezing without rupturing or exploding. Water will not survive freezing and it will burst its storage container. Insects and mice will chew through paper, cardboard, and thin plastic and consume any easy to reach food items. Moisture, humidity, and mildew will attack and gradually destroy clothes, supplies, and equipment that are not properly stored and protected.

city7 efoodsThe only food items that are specifically designed to survive temperature extremes are marine lifeboat ration bars and MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat).  Freeze-dried and dehydrated canned foods would also probably be okay, but they may have reduced shelf lives if your area experiences severe temperature extremes. These emergency food items are not sold everywhere so you would probably need to purchase them in advance, have them delivered to your apartment, and then transport them inside your rental car to your rental storage unit. These items are usually delivered in cardboard boxes that can be conveniently stacked on one another. However it would be a good idea to put each big cardboard box inside a 30-gallon heavy-duty black plastic bag and tape the bag tightly to the box like a birthday present using 2-inch wide clear packing tape. This will add a moisture barrier to the outside of the box and help protect its contents. It will also prevent other people from reading what is preprinted on the box as you load and unload your storage unit. The black bags would not reflect light and they would help to make the inside of your storage unit look dark and uninviting if someone who is passing by casually glances inside your unit while you have the door open. However, you should write what is inside each box in very small print on a thin slip of paper and tape it to the outside of the wrapped box so you can later determine the contents of each box without having to unwrap the box.

Large 5, 10, and 20 pound bags of ordinary white rice are usually easy to find at most rural grocery stores prior to a disaster event. You should probably store at least 100 pounds of white rice per family member inside several plastic tote containers. A few hundred pounds of a variety of different kinds of dry beans would also be a wise investment. Dry beans are widely available at most rural grocery stores in 1, 2, and 4 pound plastic bags. Leave the rice and the beans inside their original plastic bags and put several of them inside one large 30-gallon heavy-duty black plastic storage bag that is inside a plastic storage tote. Secure the top of the black bag with one of the twist-ties provided with the bags. Then snap the lid onto the tote. The bag will provide an additional moisture barrier for your food. It would also prevent anyone from seeing what is actually inside your plastic totes if they are made of clear plastic. This would be extremely important if food in the area becomes extremely expensive or unavailable after a disaster event. You should probably use two or three black plastic bags per medium size tote to keep the food separate and thereby help to prevent a total loss in the event one bag of food goes bad. Other good choices for long-term food storage include dry macaroni and spaghetti noodles, instant potatoes, and instant powdered milk. You should probably purchase at least a dozen boxes (or more) of each of these items and add them to your food reserves inside your storage unit.

For some information about the shelf life of canned and dry foods, see: http://www.grandpappy.info/hshelff.htm
For a variety of simple but tasty recipes for white rice and dry beans, see: http://www.grandpappy.info/indexrec.htm

[Note: Grandpappy's Recipes for Hard Times, Copyright © 1976, 2010 by Robert Wayne Atkins, is for sale through Amazon.com for $9.95.  116 pages, 8.5" x 11" format. Mr. Larry]

You should carefully pack all your emergency food into plastic totes with tight fitting lids to protect it from insect and rodent damage and to help prevent it from emitting odors that might attract flies. You should use several medium size plastic storage containers instead of one or two very large plastic totes. This would keep the total weight of each full container to a reasonable level and permit the container to be moved by manual labor. In addition, if the food in one container goes bad it will only contaminate the food inside that one container and the balance of your food will still be edible. If the temperature inside your storage unit exceeds 85 degrees for long periods of time then you would need to replace your rice and beans and other boxed dry food items with fresh supplies every year, or once every two or three years depending on how hot it gets inside your storage unit during the summer months. You could take the old food back to your apartment each October and gradually consume it while it is still safe and tasty to eat.

You should also consider storing several 5-pound bags of white granulated sugar, and several 4-pound boxes of table salt or canning salt, and about ten pounds of baking soda, and a few large boxes of kitchen matches, and a few butane lighters. All of these items can be safely stored for decades and each one is extremely useful in preparing a variety of tasty recipes. Store the matches and butane lighters in a separate small plastic container. Do not store them inside your food or clothing containers.

It is highly unlikely that food will still be available at a reasonable price in remote rural communities after a major disaster destroys a nearby large city. It is more probable that food will skyrocket in price or be completely unavailable at any price. Therefore you should resist the temptation to wait until you actually evacuate to your rural location to buy your food supplies. This strategy has a very, very small chance of being successful, and if it fails then you and your family will die of slow and painfully agonizing starvation.

If possible stack your equipment, supplies, and food containers on some wood boards or on some wood pallets so they are not in direct contact with the floor. This will protect them from absorbing moisture from the floor and it will also help to protect them from water damage if a few inches of water temporarily gets into the storage unit during an exceptionally heavy rain.

Most rental storage unit contracts prohibit the storage of flammable items, explosive items, and food items inside the storage unit. The food clause is necessary because families sometimes store bread and perishable items from their home refrigerator inside the storage unit and this food quickly begins to spoil and stink and attract ants, insects, flies, and rodents. It also frequently leaks down onto the floor of the rental unit and creates a mess for the rental facility manager to clean up after the family has removed their other belongings from the unit. After reading the contract, it would probably be prudent to simply sign the rental contract without asking for a detailed explanation of each clause in the contract, unless there is something in the contract you can’t agree to. In this case you should simply look for a different storage facility in the same general area.

It might also be a good idea to store a folding heavy-duty two-wheel luggage carrier inside your rental storage unit so you could later transport your things to your new apartment or campsite as you need them. Another useful item would be a bicycle so you could ride to work instead of walking each day. Rural city8 hand cartcommunities do not have mass transit systems. You should also place a single battery L.E.D. (Light Emitting Diode) flashlight and a spare battery within easy reach inside the storage unit door in the event you need to access your supplies at night and the power is off.

When you initially go on your rural town evaluation trip you could also take some things from you current apartment with you in your rental car. For example, you could take some of your old clothing, old shoes, old cookware, old dishes, old bed sheets and pillowcases, old blankets and quilts, old towels, and a variety of other old things you no longer use and store them inside your future rental unit. When I say “old” I am not referring to items that are worn out and falling apart. Those types of things should be discarded. Instead I am referring to used items that still have at least half of their useful life remaining. These old things could make your life much easier during a disaster event if they were already at your rental unit. Since you have already paid for these old items they would not be adding to the current cost to stock your storage unit. If you were already thinking about replacing a few of your old items then now would be a good time to do so. You could take your time and carefully pack your used items inside black plastic bags inside plastic totes at your apartment and then later transfer them to your rental car when you are ready to make your journey to rent a storage unit. It would then be a simple matter to transfer them into your new rental storage unit after you acquire one at your destination.

On the other hand, if money is not an issue, then you should consider purchasing several new blue jeans, shirts, thick wool socks, and underwear for each family member. Also some new high quality waterproof walking shoes that each family member has tried on and verified for a comfortable fit while wearing a pair of heavy socks (or two pair of thin socks). If you have growing children then purchase the next size up in shoes.

If you are currently employed in a trade where you use a variety of hand tools that are your personal property then you may want to store some of your older tools, that you have replaced with newer versions, inside your storage unit. This would permit you to continue practicing your trade in your new community if it should become necessary.

If you also include a high quality camping tent, some low-temperature high quality sleeping bags, and some high quality inflatable air mattresses inside your storage unit then your family would have an emergency temporary place to live in the event no rental properties are available when you reach your destination. The sleeping bags and air mattresses would also be very useful if you had to rent an unfurnished apartment. Store each of these camping items inside a big black plastic bag and secure the bag opening with a twist-tie in order to provide a moisture and humidity barrier and to help prevent mildew. It would probably also be a good idea to store several 24-roll packages of toilet tissue inside your storage unit after you put each 24-roll package inside a black plastic bag and secure it with a twist-tie. This will provide an additional moisture barrier for your toilet tissue. If you store all your stuff inside black plastic bags you will prevent anyone from casually looking into your storage unit while you have the door open and instantly recognizing what you have. You should also consider investing in several bars of hand soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, nail clippers, hair brushes and combs, barber hair scissors, and disposable razors. These are relatively inexpensive but very practical items that would help your family more easily make the adjustment to living in their new rural community. It would be a good idea to buy these things now because they could become either unaffordable or unavailable after a major disaster event.

Executing Your Evacuation Plan
If you implement the above plan then you would have equipment, supplies, and some food waiting for you at your destination in the event of a future disaster. And your destination would not be a last minute decision made during a life-threatening event. Instead it would be a carefully calculated destination that would maximize the chances of your family’s long-term survival.

If a disaster event has a serious impact on your city, then all the major banks and credit card companies will probably “immediately temporarily freeze” the accounts of all their customers who addresses match the impacted zip code areas. Therefore, before the disaster hits you should access your checking and savings accounts and withdraw as much cash as you believe you will need to survive for a few months. If possible, get $20 and $50 bills but nothing larger or smaller. This will make it easier to pay for things and it will keep your “roll” of bills to a reasonable size. If necessary, get a cash advance against your VISA, MasterCard, or Discover Card at your existing bank by asking your bank teller to give you a cash advance against your credit card. If you do this before the disaster hits then you will should have enough cash to get you settled into your new small town apartment and to pay for your basic necessities for a short period of time. (Historical Note: After the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans the local regional banks went bankrupt and the larger national banks froze the accounts of the local residents until they could verify all the last minute transactions by their customers at their branch banks in the disaster area. If a future disaster hits your city, then you would be very upset if you had money in your bank and you were not allowed to access your money because of “temporarily policies” your bank might implement to protect itself. On the other hand, if you already had enough cash to last you for a few months then you could afford to be patient and wait for your bank to release the remainder of your money.)

The only remaining element of your plan would be to safely evacuate with your family at the first warning that a disaster was about to strike, or immediately after the disaster hits if there is no advance warning. Families that evacuate quickly and immediately would have a much better chance of escaping the city.

If you have access to a working telephone then you could call the apartment or Extended Stay Motel you are headed towards and reserve the unit in your name and pay the rent and deposit immediately by phone using one of your credit or debit cards and get a paid confirmation number and the number of the apartment you have rented and the name of the individual that rented you the apartment. If possible, you should verify that they actually charge your credit or debit card and not just simply reserve the room for you using your card number. If you evacuate when you are first notified of the approaching disaster then it might be feasible to use your city’s mass transit system to take you a good distance towards your future rural retreat. When you reach the end of the mass transit system line you may then be able to rent a Taxi to take you the rest of the way. The Taxi could deliver your family to the door of the apartment you rented by phone (after you stop by the main office to get the key), or to one of the apartments you previously identified or to an Extended Stay Motel that is within walking distance of your storage rental unit. Also remember to take your Rental Storage Unit Receipt(s) and your padlock key(s) with you when you evacuate the city. (Note: Although it is unlikely you may be able to take a Taxi from your apartment all the way to your final destination if you evacuate at the first warning of an approaching disaster.)

If your family is forced to walk out of the city then you will need a stroller for each small child or infant. Small children cannot walk very far and carrying small children in your arms will exhaust you in a very short period of time. You should also remember to take your list of phone numbers of the Taxi companies, large churches, and vehicle rental companies that are located in each of the communities you will be passing through. This is the list you made earlier on your return trip home to the city when you first rented your rural storage unit. After you have walked out of the danger area and you have reached one of the communities on your list that is not inside the disaster zone, then you should attempt to find transportation the rest of the way to your new apartment. The obvious choice would be to call each of the local Taxi companies. If you have set aside some emergency cash for this specific purpose then you may be able to rent a Taxi that will come and pick you up and drive you the rest of the way to your destination quickly and safely. Or you could try to rent a vehicle, such as a car or a small U-Haul truck. If you rent a U-Haul type truck then rent it one-way only for drop off at a rental dealer near your new apartment at your destination. A rental car or a rental truck would not only get you to your new apartment but you could also use it to quickly transfer some of your things from your storage unit to your apartment. In the long run this option might be cheaper than a Taxi. If you have very little cash then you should call some of the larger churches in the immediate area. The smaller churches are usually only open on Sundays but most of the larger churches have a full-time staff whose primary job is to assist people in distress. These larger churches have people who will answer the phone on weekdays during the day. Just explain your situation to the individual who answers the phone and politely ask if there is anyone currently in their church office, or perhaps a retired church member, who would volunteer to drive your family to your apartment located in your rural town “x” number of miles away. You may be pleasantly surprised at how friendly most of these people are and how eager they will be to assist you in your hour of need. Regardless of the high moral quality of these individuals you should not tell them about your storage unit full of emergency supplies nor should you try to enlist their aid in helping you to move some of your supplies to your new apartment. This activity should be a private matter that only you and your spouse participate in.

Even if you include the above strategies as part of your tentative evacuation plans, your family should still be prepared to walk the entire distance if it becomes absolutely necessary. Eat well, drink a lot of water, and use the bathroom just before you begin your journey. Lock your apartment door when you leave. If your family must walk out of the city then each one of you should be modestly dressed in loose-fitting faded dark colored clothes so you will not attract any unnecessary attention. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes and wear a pair of nylon hose footies under your normal socks to help prevent walking blisters on your feet. If you don’t have any footies then wear nylon panty hose under your socks. This applies to both males and females. If possible, plan to walk completely out of the downtown area of the city during the first day or night of your journey. None of the females should be wearing any makeup and they should have their hair stuffed under a dark color large baseball type cap. To the extent possible the females should look almost like a male except from a very short distance away. This obviously means no visible purses or handbags. All the males should also wear a dark baseball type hat to minimize sun damage to the face and neck. Everyone should keep their head tilted slightly down with their eyes looking towards the ground and slightly ahead of them. The strongest person should be in the rear and the next strongest person in the front. You should have already planned your primary (and backup) departure routes from the city so the person in front will know exactly which way to lead the family. Do not talk to each other unless it is absolutely necessary and then only speak briefly in a whisper. If you must speak to strangers then let the oldest male do the talking while everyone else keeps their mouth completely shut during the entire conversation exchange. Tell your children to walk quietly and to step over anything in their path.
If you have a fixed-blade hunting knife then you should wear it in its case attached to your belt in plain sight. It would be nice if each teenage or older person had one of these hunting knives attached to their belt in visible sight. This includes both males and females.
If you have a firearm then you should keep it concealed and completely out of sight but it should be where you can reach it quickly if necessary.

If only one or two of you are pulling a two-wheel luggage carrier loaded with a medium size suitcase or backpack then your family will not look like it is worth the trouble to attack. Thieves and criminals prefer an unarmed prosperous looking individual instead of a poorly dressed person wearing a visible hunting knife. However, thieves and criminals are always looking to acquire more firearms and that is the reason you should not have a gun in visible sight. This evacuation strategy should permit your family to travel unnoticed and unmolested through a very dangerous life threatening environment.

Once you are completely out of the danger area you should transfer all your belt knives to your suitcase or backpack, along with any firearms you might have. You do not want to terrorize the residents of the small towns and communities you will be passing through. You also do not want to give the local law enforcement officers a reason to arrest and detain you. If you are stopped and questioned then you should provide the law enforcement officers with the phone number of the apartment you are walking towards along with your paid rent confirmation number and then you will most likely be permitted to continue to your destination. However you should not mention that you have a storage unit full of equipment, supplies and food waiting at your destination. These are some of the reasons why it would be wise to reach your destination as soon as you can without unnecessary delays. These are also some of the reasons why travel by night (10 PM to 5 AM) would be preferred to travel during the day. At night there will be little or no traffic and you can see the headlights of the few approaching cars from both directions and your family could quickly get off the road and lay very still to avoid being seen. This is another reason for wearing dark clothing. Night travel during the hot summer months is less fatiguing and during the cold winter months it helps you to keep warm because you are walking (unless a freezing night wind is blowing).

Your emergency travel suitcase or backpack should contain your basic survival necessities, such as a quality portable water filter, one 24-ounce bottle full of drinking water for each person, all your prescription medications, a first aid kit and 100 extra bandaids, a bar of soap, a hand towel, toothbrushes and toothpaste, a few one-gallon ziplock freezer bags (lots of uses such as water collection), a spare hunting knife, a Leatherman type multi-tool, some matches and a butane lighter, some toilet tissue, a waterproof tarp to construct a simple tent-like shelter, a plastic ground sheet to sleep on, at least 200 feet of strong twine or thin wire, a small fishing tackle kit with some fishing line, a wilderness survival manual, a bible, and a blanket and spare socks for each person. You should also take the original copy of all your legal documents, all your cash, credit cards, check book, jewelry, and other small valuables, your cell phones, and enough high-calorie ready-to-eat food items to sustain your family during the entire trip to your safe destination. Each family member will need at least 3000 calories per day if they are going to walk or ride a bicycle all day. If you still have some unused space then you may include a deck of playing cards and some children’s games to entertain your family at the end of each day’s travel. A small solar powered or battery operated radio with an ear plug would permit you to keep up with the current news each time you stop to camp. Sleep in shifts with one teenager or adult always awake. If you still have room then you may include a small laptop computer with DVD drive, or a purse or handbag inside your travel suitcase after you have removed all the useless items that can be easily replaced when you reach your destination. If you strap a ladies purse to the top of a suitcase then it would be obvious to everyone that a women was traveling with your party. Remember how far you have to travel and how long it is going to take you. Each unnecessary pound you add to your travel suitcase will slow you down and delay your arrival at your safe destination. Each unnecessary pound will cause you to burn more energy and require more food and water during the journey. To minimize fatigue and permit the fastest possible average travel speed, you should strap each of your suitcases or backpacks to its own individual folding heavy-duty two-wheel luggage carrier with extra big wheels that can be easily pulled along behind you.

If you decide to rent and stock a small storage unit then you should not tell anyone except your spouse. Even your children should not know of these arrangements. If your children don’t know then you won’t have to worry about them telling their friends. Neither you nor your spouse should discuss your evacuation plans with anyone, including other family members or close friends. It would be okay to give them the web address of http://www.survivalblog.com and suggest they take a look because you found it to be extremely enlightening and informative. But telling anyone about the emergency supplies you have stored in a distant rental unit would be unwise for a multitude of reasons. If either you or your spouse decide to ignore this suggestion then you will probably regret it when a diaster begins to unfold and everyone who knows about your plans shows up at your apartment because they have decided to evacuate the city with you. Normal people behave entirely differently during a disaster because their survival instincts take over and they will not listen to you when you try to explain that you don’t have enough supplies to share with everyone. You are their only hope of survival and they are not going to let you out of their sight under any circumstances. You can completely avoid this unpleasant and potentially dangerous confrontation by remaining absolutely silent about your evacuation plans.

Having an emergency evacuation plan is similar to making a religious decision about eternal salvation. The vast majority of people will agree that it is a truly excellent idea but they will do absolutely nothing about it while there is still time to take positive action.

Conclusion
In summary, the following steps taken now could maximize the chances of your family’s survival during a future disaster event:
1.  Select several small rural towns that are between 60 to 75 miles from your current apartment but are not on a major Interstate Highway.
2.  Visit each of these rural towns and select the one you believe is best suited for your purposes.
3.  Rent a 6 foot by 6 foot (or larger) storage unit near the rural town and stock it with equipment, supplies, and food.
4.  Do not tell anyone about your disaster evacuation plan for any reason. And never mention the name of the town you have selected.
5.  Later, if a disaster strikes then evacuate your family to your preplanned safe  destination as quickly as you can.
6.  Rent a safe place to live in your new community based on your previous survey of rental properties. (Note: If possible complete this transaction by phone before you start your journey, or during your journey when you get      within reach of a working cell phone tower or a working pay phone.)
7.  Your family should now be able to survive for a few months using your storage unit supplies while you and your spouse look for new jobs in your new community.

On the other hand, if you believe your city has a reasonable chance of surviving the disaster then instead of renting an apartment you and your family could rent a modest motel room in the rural town on a daily (or weekly) basis while you wait for the forecasted disaster to pass. Most of the smaller motels have a daily rate and a much lower weekly rate. If the disaster event should come and go and the city is able to survive with only moderate damage, then you could always return to your old apartment and way of life after the debris has been cleaned up, and the water and power is restored throughout the city. Just use a few days of your sick leave during this interval of time while things are being returned to normal inside the city. When you return tell anyone who asks the truth: you and your family stayed in a motel outside the city while you waited for the disaster to pass. You do not need to add any additional details. However, if the water and power is not restored and conditions inside the city continue to degenerate then you and your family would be able start a new future together in your new community.

Some of the very first things you should do after you rent a new apartment are:
1.  Hold onto your cash as long as possible and, if possible, pay by credit card instead.
2.  If necessary have the utilities connected at your new apartment. If necessary have the utilities stopped at your old apartment in the city.
3.  If your bank has a branch in your rural town then visit the bank and change the mailing address on your existing account. Or open a new checking account at a local bank by making the minimum opening deposit. Do not      deposit all of your cash.
4.  Visit the Division of Motor Vehicles and have them change the address on your driver’s license.
5.  Register to vote. You are now a legitimate member of your new community.
6.  Register your children in the local public school system. You will need your apartment rent receipt, your children’s birth certificates, a copy of their immunization records, and maybe a copy of their most recent report      cards or their previous year’s final report cards.
7.  You and your spouse should immediat ely file for unemployment benefits and for any welfare subsidies you may be entitled to. These benefits could keep your family alive until you can find a new job. However, you should not be surprised if it takes a very long time before you actually begin to receive any of these benefits because your state may be swamped with similar requests from millions of other individuals.
8.  Carefully consider who you want to notify of your new address and then do so. It may not be wise to notify everyone.
9.  Establish a budget and stick to it. Do not make any unnecessary purchases. Use the items in your storage unit. Do not tell anyone about the items in your storage unit. It may be a long time before things return to normal so      carefully ration your available food resources beginning immediately and don’t wait until half your food is gone. It is okay if you and your spouse loose a little weight. It will probably help you to better blend in with the other starving families in the immediate area.
10.  Honestly evaluate your current financial situation. If necessary, file for complete bankruptcy immediately. Since you and your spouse have both unexpectedly lost your jobs, a complete write-off of all your previous debts      should be relatively straightforward if you consult a good bankruptcy attorney. A good attorney will advise you to start over with no debt instead of just shuffling your existing debt around and decreasing your monthly payments by a little bit.
11.  You and your spouse should begin a diligent search for new employment. Almost any honest job, including a part-time job, is better than no job. Part-time jobs sometimes become a full-time job after your employer sees that you are a diligent honest hard-working person. You can look for  a better job after you have established some type of regular income. Never quit one job until after you have found another job. If necessary, work two jobs to keep your rent and utility bills paid. Do not continue working at a job if you do not receive your pay when it was originally promised.  There are unethical people even in small rural towns who will try to take advantage of anyone they can. Before you leave a steady paying job you should be reasonably certain you will get paid on your new job on a regular basis.
12.  Become a member of a local church and attend church every Sunday. Give thanks that your family has survived the disaster.

CITY10 EVAC

[Provide insurance for yourself and your family. At minimum, put together a "Bug Out Bag" for each family member, include sufficient cash in the bags to meet your finances for up to a month. Keep these minimal supplies out of the way from your daily lives, but in place for an easy grab-and-go should a suprise emergency strike your area. With fifty pounds per person of individual personal supplies, plus a tent, a "portapottie", and several cases of freeze dried meals or canned goods for two weeks you are pretty much prepared to weather out the aftermath of most natural disasters and could survive the initial shock of other unpleasant  events. Be prepared. Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2)

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2))

A.  Letter Re: Hunkering Down in an Urban Apartment in a Worst Case Societal Collapse
25  Dec  2007, Survivalblog.com, blog author James Wesley Rawles
http://www.survivalblog.com/2007/12/letter_re_hunkering_down_in_an.html

city3 neighborhoodHello,
In the event of a disaster (I live in New York City) I intend to shelter in place until all the riotous mobs destroy each other or are starved out. I am preparing for up to six months. I have one liter of water stored for each day (180 liters) and about 50 pounds of rice to eat as well as various canned goods. I have not seen on your site anything about heat sources for urban dwellers who intend to shelter in place. I’m assuming that electricity would go first soon followed by [natural] gas and running water. Do you have any recommendations for cooking rice and other foods in this event.
I am considering oil lamps or candles, methane gel used for chafing dishes, or small propane tanks. Because of the small size of my apartment and potential hazards of storing fuel I’m unsure which would be best. Please advise. Thank You, – Michael F.

JWR Replies: I’ve heard your intended approach suggested by a others, including one of my consulting clients. Frankly, I do not think that it is realistic. From an actuarial standpoint, your chances of survival would probably be low–certainly much lower than “Getting Out of Dodge” to a lightly populated area at the onset of a crisis. Undoubtedly, in a total societal collapse (wherein “the riotous mobs destroy each other”, as you predict) there will be some stay-put urbanites that survive by their wits, supplemented by plenty of providential fortune. But the vast majority would perish. I wouldn’t want to play those odds. There are many drawbacks to your plan, any one of which could attract notice (to be followed soon after by a pack of goblins with a battering ram.) I’ll discuss a few complexities that you may not have fully considered:

Water. Even with extreme conservation measures you will need at least one gallon of water per day. That one gallon of water will provide just enough water for one adult for drinking and cooking. None for washing. If you run out of water before the rioting ends then you will be forced to go out and forage for water, putting yourself at enormous risk. And even then, you will have to treat the water that you find with chlorine, iodine (such as Polar Pure–now very scarce), or with a top quality water filter such as a nKatadyn Pocket water filter.

Food. For a six month stay, you will need far more than just 50 pounds of rice! Work out a daily menu and budget for an honest six month supply of food with a decent variety and sufficient caloric intake. Don’t overlook vitamin supplements to make up for the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sprouting is also a great option to provide vitamins and minerals, as well as aiding digestion. Speaking of digestion, depending on how your body reacts to the change in diet (to your storage food), you may need need a natural laxative in your diet such as bran, or perhaps even a bulk laxative such as Metamucil.

Sanitation. Without water for flushing toilets, odds are that people in neighboring apartments will dump raw sewage out their windows, causing a public health nightmare on the ground floor. Since you will not want to alert others to your presence by opening your window, and no doubt the apartment building’s septic system stack will be clogged in short order, you will need to make plans to store you waste in your apartment. I suggest five gallon buckets. A bucket-type camping toilet seat (a seat that attaches to a standard five or six gallon plastic pail) would be ideal. You should also get a large supply of powdered lime to cut down on the stench before each bucket is sealed. You must also consider the sheer number of storage containers required for six months of accumulated human waste. (Perhaps a dozen 5 gallon buckets with tight-fitting o-ring seal lids would be sufficient.) Since you won’t have water available for washing, you should also lay in a supply of diaper wipes.

Space heating. In mid-winter you could freeze to death in your apartment without supplemental heat. As I will discuss later, a small heater or just a few candles can keep the air temperature above freezing.

Ventilation. If you are going to use any source of open flame, you will need lots of additional ventilation. Asphyxiation from lack of oxygen or slow carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are the alternatives. Unfortunately, in the circumstances that you envision, the increased ventilation required to mitigate these hazards will be a security risk–as a conduit for the smell of food or fuel, as a source of light that can be seen from outside the apartment, and as an additional point of entry for robbers.

Security. The main point of entry for miscreants will probably be your apartment door. Depending on the age of your apartment, odds are that you have a traditional solid core wood door. In a situation where law and order has evaporated, the malo hombres will be able to take their time and break through doors with fire axes, crow bars and improvised battering rams. It is best to replace wooden apartment doors with steel ones. Unless you own a condo rather than lease an apartment, approval for a door retrofit is unlikely. However, your apartment manager might approve of this if you pay for all the work yourself and you have it painted to match the existing doors. Merely bracing a wood door will not suffice. Furthermore, if you have an exterior window with a fire escape or your apartment has a shared balcony, then those are also points of entry for the bad guys. How could you effectively barricade a large expanse of windows?

If you live in a ground floor apartment or an older apartment with exterior metal fire escapes, then I recommend that you move as soon as possible to a third, fourth, or fifth floor apartment that is in a modern apartment city4 socialbuilding of concrete construction, preferably without balconies, with steel entry doors, and with interior fire escape stairwells.

Self Defense. To fend off intruders, or for self defense when you eventually emerge from your apartment, you will need to be well-armed. Preferably you should also be teamed with at least two other armed and trained adults. Look into local legalities on large volume pepper spray dispensers. These are marketed primarily as bear repellent, with brand names like “Guard Alaska”, “Bear Guard”, and “17% Streetwise.” If they are indeed legal in your jurisdiction, then buy several of the big one-pound dispensers, first making sure that they are at least a 12% OC formulation.

If you can get a firearms permit–a bit complicated in New York City , but not an insurmountable task–then I recommend that you get a Remington, Winchester, or Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotgun with a SureFire flashlight forend. #4 Buckshot (not to be confused with the much smaller #4 bird shot) is the best load for defense in an urban environment where over-penetration (into neighboring apartments) is an issue. But if getting a firearms permit proves too daunting, there is a nice exemption in the New York City firearms laws for muzzleloaders and pre-1894 manufactured antique guns that are chambered for cartridges that are no longer commercially made. It is not difficult to find a Winchester Model 1876 or a Model 1886 rifle that is in a serial number range that distinguishes it as pre-1894 production. (See: Savage99.com for exact dates of manufacture on 12 different rifle models.) You will be limited to chamberings like .40-65 and .45-90. You can have a supply of ammunition custom loaded. A Winchester Model 1873 or and early Model 1892 chambered in .38-40 might also be an option, but I would recommend one of the more potent calibers available in the large frame (Model 1876 or 1886 ) rifles. Regardless, be sure to select rifles with excellent bores and nice mechanical condition.

For an antique handgun, I would recommend a S&W double action top break revolver chambered in .44 S&W Russian. None of the major manufacturers produce .44 S&W Russian ammunition. However, semi-custom extra mild loads (so-called “cowboy” loads, made specially for the Cowboy Action Shooting enthusiasts) in .44 S&W Russian are now available from Black Hills Ammunition. The Pre-1899 Specialist (one of our advertisers) often has large caliber S&W double action top break revolvers available for sale. The top breaks are very fast to load, and you can even use modern speed loaders designed for .44 Special or .44 Magnum cartridges with the stumpy .44 S&W Russian loads.(It has the same cartridge “head” dimensions.)
Firearms training from a quality school (such as Front Sight) is crucial.

Fire Detection and Contingency Bug-Out. A battery-powered smoke detector is an absolute must. Even if you are careful with candles, lanterns, and cook stoves, your neighbors may not be. There is a considerable risk that your apartment building will catch fire, either intentionally of unintentionally. Therefore, you need to have a “Bug Out” backpack ready to grab at a moment’s notice. Although they are no proper substitute for a fireman’s compressed air breathing rig, a commercially-made egress smoke hood or a military surpluss gas mask might allow you to escape your building in time. But even if you escape the smoke and flames, then where will that you leave you? Outdoors, at an unplanned hour (day or night), in a hostile big city that is blacked out, with no safe means of escape. (This might prove far too reminiscent of the the 1980s Kurt Russell movie Escape from New York.”) By the time this happens, the mobs may not want just the contents of your backpack. They may be sizing you up for a meal!

Fuel storage. Bulk fuel storage has three problematic issues: 1) as a safety issue (fire hazard), 2) as a security issue (odors that could attract robbers), and 3) as a legal issue (fire code or tenant contract restrictions). I suspect that New York City’s fire code would not allow you have more than a week’s worth of propane on hand, and completely prohibit keeping more than just one small container of kerosene or Coleman fuel. From the standpoint of both safety and minimizing detectable odors, propane is probably the best option. (The odors of kerosene and chafing dish gel are both quite discernable.) But of course consult both your local fire code and your apartment lease agreement to determining the maximum allowable quantity to keep on hand.

Odds are that there will be no limit on the number of candles that you can store. If that is the case, then lay in large supply of unscented jar candles designed for long-burning (formulated high in stearic acid.) I suggest the tall, clear glass jar-enclosed “devotional” candles manufactured in large numbers for the Catholic market. You can even heat individual servings of food over these if you construct a stand with a wide base out of stout wire. Watch for these candles at discount and close-out stores. We have found that the large adhesive labels slip off easily if you soak the jars in water for an hour. Since their burning time is approximately 24 hours, and since you might need two of them burning simultaneously for sufficient light and to stay warm, that would necessitate laying in a supply of 360 candles! (This assumes that the worst case, with the outset of a crisis in October, and your having to hunker down for a full six months.)

Fire fighting. Buy at least two large multipurpose (“A-B-C”) chemical fire extinguishers

Cooking odors. In addition to the smell of fuel, cooking food will produce odors. I recommend that you store only foods with minimal spices. In situation where you are surrounded by starving people, just frying foods with grease or heating up a can of spicy chili con carne could be a death warrant.

Noise discipline. Just the sound of moving around your apartment could reveal your presence. For some useful background, see if your local library has a copy of the best-selling memoir “The Painist”, by Wladyslaw Szpilman. (If not, buy a copy through Amazon or request a copy via inter-library loan. It has been published in 35 languages. The US edition’s ISBN is 0312244150.) The book describes the harrowing experiences of a Jewish musician in hiding in Warsaw, Poland, during the Second World War. Following the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising and forced deportation, Szpilman spent many months locked in a Warsaw apartment, receiving just a few parcels of food from some gentile friends. In his situation, the power and water utilities were still operating most of the time, but he suffered from slow starvation and lived in absolute fear of making any noise. His survival absolutely defied the odds. There was also an excellent  2002 movie based on Szpilman’s book, but the memoir provides greater detail than the film.

Light discipline. If you have any source of light in your apartment, it could reveal your presence. In an extended power blackout, it will become obvious to looters within a couple of weeks who has lanterns or large supplies of candles and/or flashlight batteries. (Everyone else will run out within less than two weeks.) And I predict that it will be the apartments that are still lit up that will be deemed the ones worth robbing. So if you are going to have a light source, you must systematically black out all of your windows. But sadly these efforts will be in direct conflict with your need for ventilation for your heating and/or cooking.

Heat. With the aforementioned restrictions on fuel storage, heating your apartment for more than just a few days will probably be impossible. Buy an expedition quality sleeping bag–preferably a two-bag system such as a Wiggy’s brand FTRSS. Under the circumstances that you describe, don’t attempt to heat your entire apartment. Instead, construct a small room-within-a-room (Perhaps under a large dining room table, or by setting up a camping tent inside your apartment, to hoard heat.) Even if the rest of the apartment drops to 25 or 30 degrees Fahrenheit, your body heat alone will keep your demi-room in the 40s. Burning just one candle will raise the temperature another 5 or 10 degrees. For the greatest efficiency at retaining heat, your demi-room should be draped with two layers of  mylar space blankets.

Exercise. While you are “hunkered down”, you will need to maintain muscle tone. Get some quiet exercise equipment, such as a pull-up bar and some large elastic straps. Perhaps, if your budget allows in the future, also purchase or construct your own a quiet stationary bicycle-powered generator. This would provide both exercise and battery charging.

Sanity. .Hunkering down solo in silence for six months would be a supreme challenge, both physically and mentally. Assuming that you can somehow tackle all of the aforementioned problems, you also need to plan to stay sane. Have lots of reading materials on hand.

In conclusion, when one considers the preceding long list of dependencies and complexities, it makes “staying put” in a worst case very unattractive. In less inimical circumstance, it is certainly feasible, but in a grid-down situation with utilities disrupted and wholesale looting and rioting in progress, the big city is no place to live. But, as always, this is just my perspective and your mileage may vary (YMMV).

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B.  Cities – A Prepper’s Nightmare & Solutions
10 April 2012, SHTFplan.com, contributed by Jessica Hooley
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/cities-a-preppers-nightmare-solutions_04102012

city1The following article has been generously contributed by Jessica Hooley of the Salt n’ Prepper web site.
Is it a coincidence that all of my nightmares occur in big cities? While it may be a personality glitch, I find that considering the dangers you face in the event of an emergency while living in a city, my nightmares may be justified. If you live in a city – buckle up. As a prepper you will have to work extra hard to make your emergency plan viable. And while I make no judgments on city dwellers, I must say – MOVE! For your own safety – MOVE! Move, move, move, move, move. Okay. I think I got it all out.

Now I understand that not everyone can just pick up and move because some lady on the internet says so. So if you are in the situation where you must stay in the city here are a few things you MUST have in your emergency preparedness plan.

Define Your Strategy
One of the biggest problems with cities are the fact that they aren’t self-sustaining. They rely on outer communities to supply them with food, water and often times electricity. The second biggest issue with cities is the space. Most homes/apartments/condos don’t have the space needed to store supplies for 6 months to a year. And even if they did there is a severely high probability of civil unrest, leading to looting and robbery. In short – you need a plan. The three questions to ask yourself:
1.  How long will we stay – As I said before, in a city you must resign yourself to the fact that you will have to leave if the situation escalates to a point where you either have no supplies or your safety is in jeopardy. Decide with your family how long this period is going to be. After the power is out, the food is gone, and the shelves are empty in the grocery stores of all liquid – how much longer will you hold down the fort. Too short and you may have bugged out too soon. Too long and you risk the possibility of not being able to get out.
2.  How will we get out – Your exit strategy needs to be well planned out. Come up with a minimum of three routes out of the city. You’ve seen how a couple thousand people can shut down a road. Imagine the magnification of that situation when millions are out looking for food and water. You need to be able to navigate your way through the mess and be prepared to defend you and your family. I’ll go into further detail later.
3.  Where will we go – Once again, come up with a couple places as a destination if possible. Think of relatives out in the “boonies”. Anyone that you consider as being in a safe part of the world. If you don’t know anyone within a reasonable distance (you may run out of fuel) start thinking of areas that you could stay. Hotels. Camp spots. Some place to “ride it out”.

Make Connections
As we’ve pointed out before, the population of cities can quickly turn into one of your biggest challenges. So it’s up to you to change that. Build your community into your own personal defense. Help those around you prepare. Educate them about emergency preparedness. You don’t need to reveal all of your prepping secrets but by preparing others you are ensuring help in the event that looting reaches your neighborhood. If everyone has something to defend they are more likely to band together. By not including your neighbors you are making them a potential threat to you. And the last thing you’ll want is to have to pull a gun on your neighbor if they are trying to take your supplies out of desperation.

Get the Gear
__Bug-Out Gear
Although it may not seem like “gear” – a truck may likely be the most important bug-out necessity for someone in a big city. Reasons why:

  • Capable of hauling ALL of your bug-out supplies
  • You will need something capable of maneuvering around rubble, waste, people and stalled vehicles on the road.
  • Able to store extra fuel in the bed to get further away.

Outside of an off road vehicle, you will also need the following items:

  1. 96 hour kits for each person      in the family
  2. 7 days of water – 1 to 2      gallons of water per person per day
  3. A full gas tank and 40 extra      gallons to haul

Make sure in your plan to bug out, you have someone armed. When trying to leave the city there will be plenty of people outside waiting to stop you and take what you have. You must be prepared to face the realization that you may have to defend yourself with force.

__Water
No matter where you live, water is the basis to sustaining life. If you are planning to stay in your house longer than a week (after water is unavailable) you need to make storing water a big priority. Get creative with your water storage. As you can find in my other posts, polycarbonate containers are great for water storage. If you are crammed on space, I highly recommend “WaterBricks”. You can store upwards of 60 gallons underneath your queen size bed alone with them. No matter what you decide for a storage system – make the most out of it. You’ll want to store 1-2 gallons for each person in your family for every day you plan on staying in your home.

__Food Storage
Food storage goes along the same lines as water. Make a food storage list to last your family the time you will be staying in your home. The key to your food storage is making it secret. In cities, food is likely to completely run out within 3 days. People will get really hungry really fast. And if someone remembers seeing that stack of food storage in your garage, or remembers you saying something about having 6 months in your basement – you’re their first stop. Don’t put yourself in the situation where you are more likely to have to defend your storage by shouting it from a mountain top. Once again, get creative and bury it in your yard if you must.

__Lighting
In the event of an emergency, you will likely be facing a powerless situation. During the day you’ll just have to get used to being without certain luxuries like powered kitchen gadgets and television. But at night, no power can turn into a psychological battle. Especially for children. Have plenty of snap lights, flashlights and lanterns to keep it bright when the sun goes down so the little ones (and maybe even you) can relief during the night.

TIP: In most cities, homes and other living spaces are close together. When using your evening lighting make sure to draw the shades. Test your emergency lighting during peacetime and see which places in the house you can use them without it being seen from the outside. Light will draw more than just bugs during a power outage. And the result could end up in self defense.

__Warmth
Without electricity you may be in for some cold nights. Be prepared with some down blankets and 4 season sleeping bags. You can also get some indoor kerosene heaters. And if you are lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace, put it use! Get stocked up on firewood and use it when necessary.

Defense
__
Weapons
The terrible truth is that most places in this country where self-defense is needed most, it’s unavailable to law abiding citizens. I’m talking about guns. Big cities, despite their soaring crimes rates, seem to find rationale in banning guns whenever possible. And while free speech is still available – I’m telling you to get your hands on a gun no matter what it takes. As long as you are an otherwise law abiding citizen and you don’t hear voices in your head telling you to kill people – you need the ability to defend your property and more importantly your family.

Other fantastic weapons to have stored for self-defense include:
•  Pepper spray
• Taser
• Trip wires
• A guard dog – a really mean looking one

These other defense tools are great to get someone off your property initially but keep in mind that they’ll get away and may come back with the knowledge that this time they’ll have to kill you to get your food.

__Fortifications
If you plan to stay in your home for more than a month before bugging out, you need to consider investing in fortifications for your home. This includes making some changes that are more functional than pretty. This includes things like plexiglass windows, steel doors, removing landscaping features that people can easily hide in, blacking out windows, etc. Anything that can make your home more secure makes you less of a target.

So for all you city dwelling preppers, I hope this helped. Make your plan bullet proof. You are already at a disadvantage so have a process in place for everything you need to do. Good luck and happy prepping!

CITY10 EVAC[Consider the evacuation concepts shown above and begin to impliment.  Mr. Larry]

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Preparation levels: Why short, medium & long term planning is required

RainMan(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Preparation levels: Why short, medium & long term planning is required)

A.  The Three Levels of Preparing
12 May 2012, Code Green Prep, David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/05/the-three-levels-of-preparing/

prep1

[A FEMA map showing county by county counts of Presidential declared disasters for the period 2000-2010.]

It is easy to think of prepping as being one single set of actions, designed to prepare for any and all future challenges as/when/if they occur, and of the differences between types of situations and necessary responses as being on a smooth continuum, from trivial and minor to life changing/threatening and major.
This is only partially true, and masks the very different types of situations and preparations required. There are very different sets of responses to different types of situations – perhaps best to think of prepping like a plane, which you control very differently while taxiing on the ground compared to when flying through the air.

In fact, rather than just two modes of response (like a plane), we suggest it is most helpful to create three different sets of future challenges, and to identify prepping solutions for each of these, because the three different types of preparations are very different from each other. These three levels of preparing, and the three levels of future challenges, are :

Level 1 : Short Term
Short term problems are those which are, obviously enough, of short duration. They are events that clearly have an expected resolution to them via society’s normal mechanisms, and it is just a case of waiting for the issues to be resolved.

An example of a short term problem would be a major storm, flood, or power outage. Such events could inconvenience you for anywhere from an hour or two up to perhaps a week or two. Lesser events can be considered, too – having your car break down on the side of the road late at night, for example.
In such cases your response to such challenges generally does not require evacuating your normal residence – indeed, by definition, any Short Term/Level 1 events are ones which do not require you to leave home.

You may lose power, you may lose other utilities, and you may have transportation challenges, and there may be regional disruptions to normal social support functions. But the functioning of the country as a whole remains unchallenged, and in some form or another, you know that matters will, in the foreseeable future, return to normal. Society is not disrupted, you don’t have lawlessness or looting.

How/what do you prepare for and respond to a Level 1/Short Term disruption? Things like an emergency generator and enough fuel to power it for a couple of weeks. Extra fuel for at least one of your vehicles. Food and water for a couple of weeks. A two-way radio, although there’s a good chance your landline and cell phones will still work, as may also your internet.
You only slightly modify your normal lifestyle, and you are secure in the certainty that life will be back to normal well before you’ve exhausted your emergency supplies.
A person can be well prepared for Level 1 events without needing to outlay more than $10,000, and probably without needing to outlay much more than $1,000.

Level 2 : Medium Term
These are obviously events which are more major than Level 1 events. We define Level 2 events by the need to abandon your normal residence and move somewhere else. Level 2 events disrupt the total fabric of your region, and are more open ended in terms of when and how matters will return to normal. They might be natural – a solar storm wiping out our power grid, for example. They might be economic – a collapse in the global economy – something which we seem to be flirting with at present. They might be the result of military action, or could be any one of many other issues – maybe even something minor which then snowballs and destroys the increasingly fragile and delicate state of today’s modern interdependent society.

Level 2 events may even threaten people’s lives due to interruptions not only to utility services such as water, sewer, power/gas, trash, and communications, but also due to disruptions to the distribution system for food, gasoline, and other essentials – disruptions which appear likely to extend beyond the point at which most non-preppers can cope.
Some lawlessness and looting will develop, as desperate people search for food.
On the other hand, these problems, as severe as they are, have some sort of an eventual happy ending and resolution clearly in sight, such as to see the restoration of normal infrastructure and a return to ‘life as we know it’ (LAWKI) at some reasonable point in the future.

How do you prepare for and respond to a Level 2/Medium Term disruption? You need a secure location where you can shelter from the lawlessness that may envelope cities and other areas of dense population, and where you can create your own little bubble of comfort, safety, and what passes for civilization.
Possibly your retreat will still have essential services connected to it (power most of all), but you’ll be prepared for an eventuality without power.

You’ll live primarily from stored supplies without worrying too much about replenishing them. Sure, you’ll try and reduce your reliance on external sources of most things, but you’ll not feel the need to become 100% self-reliant or to adopt a 100% sustainable independent life. Instead, you’ll happily live off your stockpiles of food, energy sources, and whatever else, because you can see a clear restoration of ‘normalcy’ at some point within a year or so.

You need two way radio communication to supplement any remaining ‘normal’ types of communication, but primarily to communicate among yourselves, and perhaps augmented by a shortwave radio receiver so you can keep updated with news of ‘the rest of the world’ and what is happening to resolve the problems your region has suffered.
You may choose to do this independently by yourself, because you have the supplies and resources you need. Alternatively, and perhaps for optional social reasons rather than for any essential needs, you may choose to band together with other prepared people too.

Level 2 clearly requires a massively greater amount of preparation (and expenditures) than Level 1. If you have only prepared for Level 1 contingencies, you’ll have a problem surviving a Level 2 event, primarily due to not having a retreat location to move to. Cities will quickly become lethal environments, and even if you successfully manage to evacuate the city you live in, so what? Where will you move to? See our article about the modern day imbalance between city and rural life – there’s no way that small country towns can suddenly accept four times more people than they had before as refugees from the cities. If you don’t have somewhere to go to, already prepared, you have in effect nowhere to go to.

Preparing for a Level 2 event will cost you anywhere from $100,000 as an absolute bare-bones minimum up to $1 million or more. These costs will start to encourage you to adopt group/shared solutions. While two people can never live (or prepare) as cheaply as one, they sure can do so for much less than double the cost. There’s not only safety in numbers, but economy too.

If you feel it impractical to consider preparing to Level 2 standards yourself, don’t give up. The reality is that a Level 2 condition is close to essential. Maybe Code Green can help. Ask about becoming a member of our cooperative community and how you can benefit from shared investments in Level 2 and Level 3 preparations.

Level 3 : Long Term
This is the big one. Society has broken down. Something has destroyed much of the infrastructure not just of your region, and not just of the United States, but of most of the entire world. This might be a bio-disaster (a flu pandemic as has several times come very close in the last decade) or a global conflict, or an EMP pulse, or any one of many other events.
You’re not yet reduced to a stone age life-style, but you’ve no idea when you’ll be able to resupply any of the items you’ve stockpiled, and so your focus now is on sustainable ongoing self-contained living.

Whereas in Level 1 events, you happily lived off and even squandered your stored supplies, sure in the knowledge that the event was short term, and in Level 2 events, you were more prudent and glad you had spares for essential items and generous amounts of ‘just in case’ materials, with Level 3 events, you’re not just focused on spares for essential items, but on how to build replacement products from raw materials and how to adjust to a life with massively fewer modern and complex appliances.

You of course have needed to evacuate if you lived in a city, and the lawlessness (or arbitrary capricious unilateral attempts at imposing draconian ‘order’) is pervasive. It is an ‘every man for himself’ sort of situation, and yes, it may also become a ‘kill or be killed’ situation too. Starving people, facing certain death for themselves and their families, will have no choice but to fight for food and shelter, and you in turn will have no choice but to defend that which you have.

You need to change your lifestyle so that you can become self-sustaining and self-sufficient. Sure, you’ll use up your stockpiled supplies as you devolve down to a level of sustainable self-sufficiency, and as you do so, you realize that you might never be able to replace such things. You need to become both energy and food independent, and your energy independence needs to be not just in the form of PV solar cells (because what do you do as they degrade and fail, in a situation where you have no replacements and where you can’t create the underlying pre-requisite technology to manufacture more) but rather in the form of some type of energy source that you can maintain and operate indefinitely.

Food independence can be slightly modified by trading off surpluses of the types of food you can grow with surpluses of food developed by other nearby families and communities.

You need to become part of a community because you don’t have enough resources, by yourself and with whatever handful of friends and family are with you, to have all the talents, skills, and resources necessary to optimize your life. You need to be able to communicate, bi-directionally, not just locally and regionally, but nationally and internationally, so as to understand what has happened to and what is happening to the rest of your country and the world, and to coordinate your activities with those of other pockets of survivors.

If you have already prepared for a Level 2 contingency, you’ll have a ‘parachute’ to cushion your crash-landing down into the post-industrial society that you’ll be entering. The most important thing is you have a place to retreat to, and enough supplies and resources to buy you some time to urgently start adapting to the new future staring you in the face.

It would be better, of course, if you already have some Level 3 planning and preparations in place, but if you’re already at Level 2, you’re way ahead of most other people.

How much does it cost to be prepared for a Level 3 situation? That’s a question with a huge range of possible answers, and it depends on how much of life’s former comforts you want to try and preserve and for how long, how much you want to have in place to devolve down to less complex forms of technology, and how far you can split such costs with fellow preppers.

This is where Code Green Prep can help. Ask about becoming a member of our cooperative community and how you can benefit from shared investments in Level 2 and Level 3 preparations.

Here’s a table showing some of the key differences in these three levels of future event and their implications to us as preppers.

Item Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Duration Short – maybe up to a week or two Medium – perhaps up to a year Longterm
Likelihood of   Occuring Varies regionally, but between likely and definite every 5 – 10   years Take your best guess. A disruptive solar storm = 12% chance   every 10 years. Other risks = you decide. More likely than you’d wish for. What are the chances of Bird   Flu evolving and a global pandemic wiping out a huge slice of the world’s   population? Might Iran or N Korea detonate an EMP over the US? etc.
Return to Normalcy Assured Very likely Not for a long time, maybe generations
Regional Scope Probably local and limited Extensive, possibly national Definitely national, maybe continental, possibly impacting   much/all the world
External   Assistance Yes, expected Maybe some, but not much and such resource as there is will be   massively over-extended and unable to cope Probably none for extended periods of time
Survivability if   Unprepared Yes with some inconvenience and discomfort Marginal to low Very low
Social Disruption Possibly some limited opportunistic rioting and looting, brought   under control within a week or so Major, probably new forms of small community government and   policing programs will spring up to create pockets of order among much   lawlessness Complete. Organized gangs will dominate
Relocation Can survive in your normal abode Due to breakdown of city services, need to relocate Essential
Food strategy Not a constraint You’ll survive by eating through your stockpiles of food in the   hope by the time you’ve eaten it all, order will be restored Your stockpiles of food will give you time to create your own   ongoing food sources and to become self sufficient
Energy Some candles, flashlights, warm blankets, open fires, and a   generator You’ll reduce your energy needs and rely on a generator and   stockpiled fuel, perhaps using some in-place renewable energy sources too. Stockpiled fuel will be used carefully as you transition to   energy independence and renewable sources
Defense Stay at home. Biggest threat will probably be rude/pushy   neighbors. Hopefully no lethal threats or responses needed. Moderately uncoordinated groups of starving people or   opportunistic raiders, will probably be able to be repelled by presentation   of weapons and maybe occasional skirmishes. They are looking for easy   targets. Organized groups will battle among themselves for regional   supremacy, and will ‘fight to the finish’ to take over the assets and   resources of others. Expect stolen military weapons as well as civilian   rifles/shotguns/pistols to be used.
Transportation Stay at home Necessary to get to your retreat. Little need to travel outside   your retreat boundaries. Necessary to get to your retreat. Occasional travel to trade   with other groups, roads degraded, few mechanized vehicles. Pushbikes and   horse drawn carts become the norm. Travel is dangerous due to risks from   marauders.
Communication Hopefully some normal forms of comms remain operative – radio,   tv, land line, cell phone, internet. Traditional comms largely degraded or disrupted. Short-range   two-way radios to keep in touch with other members of your group. Shortwave   radio receiver for general news. Traditional comms all gone. Long range two-way radio for comms   within your group, and to interact with other groups and to understand the   world situation and what the future may bring.
Group Size Small. You can survive just fine, even if alone. Medium. Your group/community will essentially be the people who   share the retreat with you, providing social interaction, extra skills and   additional manpower for some tasks. Large. You need access to as broad a range of skills as   possible, and in a nearby region due to dangers and difficulties of   traveling.
Cost of Preparing Low – less than $10,000; probably less than $1,000. High – More than $100,000; potentially as much as $1 million   (but possibly shared among a group of people). Maximum : Everything you can afford and more besides. Definitely   requires group participation to make high-cost items affordable.

When Does Each Level Evolve to the Next Level
Determining the type of event you’re facing depends on three things. The event itself, the reactions/responses of other people, and the level of preparedness you already have in place.
If you have a realistic 5 year supply of everything you could possibly need, you’re in a Level 2 situation for any event that promises to be resolved within that five year situation. But if you only have a six month supply, then you’re forced to adopt Level 3 measures even if the event seems likely to be resolved within a year.
And if you’re prepared only for Level 1 events, you’re way short on options for any type of Level 2 or 3 event.

If society ‘gracefully degrades’ without rampant lawlessness, and if support mechanisms remain in place, then what could have become a Level 2 – 3 event may remain as an ‘easy’ Level 2 event. But if society explodes, then even a survivable Level 1 event assumes Level 2 status due to the need to evacuate the city.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, you need to consider how you can improve your preparedness to be able to respond adequately to Level 2 and Level 3 events. There’s no real trick to lasting out Level 1 situations, but even a mild Level 2 event will be life threatening to many people in the affected area. Speak to us about the Code Green Prep cooperative communities, and how it might be possible for you to find strength, safety, security, and financial feasibility as part of a larger group of fellow preppers.

.

B.  Why People Will Steal Your Food – And Everything Else – in a Level 2/3 Situation
11 Jul 2012, Code Green Prep, David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/07/why-people-will-steal-your-food-and-everything-else-in-a-level-23-situation/

prep2London’s 2011 riots yet again demonstrated the ugly streak of evil that lurks close below the surface of modern society.
(Note – it might be helpful to refresh your understanding of what we define as Level 1, 2 and 3 events.)

The main challenge you will have in a Level 2 situation is security. While you probably will have food and energy supplies for a year or two (or three….), most ‘normal’ unprepared people have no energy stockpiles and little food. Within a week, most people will be increasingly forced to ‘forage’ for their food – and we use this word ‘forage’ as a euphemism for more than simple ‘stealing’, because stealing is a familiar and non-violent sounding term.

Interestingly, we see the greatest problems being in the early days of any Level 2/3 scenario. There is probably an evolutionary process that society will shake down through – we discuss this in our article on the security/lawlessness cycle here.

In that article we lightly touch on the concept that people will be forced to choose between starvation and forcibly taking such food and shelter as they can, by any means necessary. Let’s look into this in some more detail both in terms of the types of risks and threats you’ll face, and how you need to prepare for them.

Level 2 Risks : (a) Lawless Gangs
We have regularly seen, both in the US and elsewhere in the world, the propensity of some groups of society to degenerate into violent lawlessness any time society hiccups and normal law enforcement activities pause.
These people violently riot and loot (and attack and murder) for the sheer devilry and ‘fun’ of it, and because they are laboring under some bizarre view of reality that makes them feel entitled to behave that way, and also for the opportunistic chance to enrich themselves by carrying away color televisions and other home electronics from stores they are looting.

How much more aggressive will they be in a Level 2 situation? It seems realistic to accept that normal law enforcement will be massively reduced in a Level 2 situation. Even if all the police and other law enforcement personnel still report for duty, the same as normal, they’ll be overwhelmed by the number of problems suddenly dropping in their lap.

As we saw in, for example, the Los Angeles riots in 1992, normal law enforcement numbers can be completely inadequate for any outbreaks of mass violence, and in a Level 2 situation, not only will there be even greater disorder, there will not be regional and national reserves of manpower to call upon, because every other region will also be struggling to keep ahead of their own problems. The inability of local law enforcement to deal with rioting is the flipside of the coin to do with the police relying on the general consent and acquiescence of the communities they police – when this starts to fail, so too does the policing, whether it be as we say in Los Angeles in 1992, or more recently in London in 2011, or anywhere else.

Add to that the fact that such roving gangs of people won’t only be looting for fun and for personal enrichment, and they won’t just be seeking things such as computers, iPhones, and suchlike. They’ll be as threatened with starvation as anyone else, and they’ll be looting for food and survival, too – just more vigorously and violently then everyone else.

Level 2 Risks : (b) Organized Gangs
A much greater threat is the presence of organized gangs – bikers, drug distribution networks, street gangs, and such like. While there aren’t as many of these people as there will be, initially, of lawless gangs, they are organized, disciplined, and totally amoral.

They are also determined. Whereas lawless groups of people – ad hoc gangs – are opportunistic and will attack easy targets and avoid hard targets, organized gangs will be willing to attack all types of targets – weak targets because they can, and hard targets because they pose potential threats to the organized gang that will otherwise seek to become the new power structure in a region.
Even worse, many of these gangs are vaguely prepping for the future, too. They’re poised, waiting to attack society as soon as it becomes feasible to do so.

Level 2 Risks : (c) Starving People
We don’t need guns if/when a person politely comes up and knocks on our door and asks if we can spare any food. If we are unable to help out, they thank us for our time and leave again.
But do you really think that is what will happen?
Let’s say 50% of the population only has food for three days or less, another 25% for about ten days, another 20% for about twenty days. And let’s say it becomes obvious to everyone that the Level 2 situation will take not days or weeks, but many months to be resolved.

In three days, half the population will be looking at empty pantries. What will they do?

Within another week, 75% of the population will have no food, and there will be a growing realization by everyone, whether they still have food or not, that there is no hope of any arriving any time soon. What will all these people do?
Over the next ten days, they’ll be joined by just about everyone else. In less than three weeks – probably much less – more than 95% of the population will be starving.

Will these people politely knock on your door, and then just shuffle off and die quietly on the street if you refuse to share your own limited supply of food with them? It is possible that a pacifist single person might do this, but what about a man (or woman) with a spouse and children to feed? Will they just passively let their entire family die of starvation, while watching you and a very few others continue to eat almost normally?

Here’s the logic they face :
You can threaten to shoot me with your gun, but if I don’t take your food from you, I’ll definitely die of starvation, so it makes sense for me to risk being shot while doing anything and everything necessary to take your food from you. If I have to choose between you dying, or me and my family dying, you will be the one I prefer to see die.

You need to understand this. If you refuse to feed your best friend in a post Level 2/3 situation, then he, just as much as any stranger, has no choice but to use whatever means necessary to take your food from you, because it is essential tp the survival of himself and his family.

You also need to remember how people are so brilliantly good at justifying any actions to themselves. The same people who laughed at you for stockpiling food will now be demanding it from you as their ‘right’ – ‘You have no right not to share your food with us, you can’t just leave us to die, you selfish so-and-so’. That’s only one small step removed from ‘You are trying to kill us by withholding food from us’ and ‘You’ve more food than you could possibly need yourself, there should be a law against such selfishness’.

After they’ve demonized you in their own mind, and played up their own deserving victim status, they’ll feel totally justified to shoot you in your doorway, and then to clamber over your dead body and to loot your house of all its supplies.

We are deliberately writing this in vivid shock terms, but you need to understand and accept this. If it sounds impossible to you, ask yourself – and answer the question – what will starving people do instead when they see you with plenty of food while they have none?

Some people might find it unlikely that their friendly next door neighbors will turn around and use any and all means up to and including lethal force to take food from them. We agree this is unlikely, but we realistically fear that it is much more likely that your neighbors (and, of course, strangers too) will do this than it is that they’ll just peacefully and calmly resign themselves to die of starvation and lie waiting for death to occur in their own homes.

Implications
No matter where you have your retreat located, sooner or later it will be found by groups of starving marauders and/or opportunistic gangs (see our article on ‘Is it Realistic to Expect Your Retreat Will Not be Found‘). The only three things you don’t know is, 1) how long it will be until you are first confronted by starving/looting marauders, 2) how often such confrontations will occur into the future, and 3) how many people you’ll encounter on each occasion.

The one thing you can be sure of is that these people mean to take your food and other supplies and resources from you, and if they have to do it by force, they won’t even pause to think twice. Indeed, their resentment at you being well prepared is such they’ll feel you ‘deserve to die’ – this is about as warped as illogic can get, but do you want to bet your life that this is not how people will end up thinking?

You will have become the evil ’1%’ that has recently been demonized by the ‘Occupy Wall St’ protesters. We’ve seen, over the last year, people trying to wrap themselves in the righteous mantle of being part of a supposed 99% of the country, using this supposed ‘moral majority’ empowerment to advocate violence and sanctions against the remaining 1% of the country – even though the supposed 99% group are – quite obviously to those of us who truly are mainstream – anything but representative members of the majority. They’re as much a 1% minority group as are the people they claim that their ‘majority status’ empowers them to act against.

We make these points not so much to criticize the Occupy Wall St people (although we definitely don’t support them) but rather to point out how people readily make completely ridiculous claims about themselves so as to give themselves a self-claimed mantle of legitimacy that then empowers them to do whatever lawless and wrong acts they wish.

The same people who are keen to live off government handouts today, and who believe that rich people should be taxed and then taxed some more so that they (the ’99%’) don’t need to do any work themselves, will of course now resent you for doing the very thing they will have laughed at you about before the Level 2 event – preparing prudently and storing food.

They won’t now consider it to have been prudent preparation and storing of your food. They will claim it to be immorally selfish hoarding of food that should belong to the community (and, in particular, to them). Your refusal to give all your food to them means that you are denying them the right to live. So, of course, they’ll feel totally morally empowered to at the very least take all your food from you, and if they have to shoot you in the process, so be it.

Summary
You need to plan your retreat not just from a perspective of weather and suitability for agricultural purposes and everything else. You also need to plan to make it defendable against people keen to rob you by force, even by lethal force if necessary.

The most important adage is ‘safety in numbers’. You need to become part of a community to share the burden of defending your properties, and to have the strength in numbers necessary to prevail against attacks by evildoers

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Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life)

 A.  When The Toilet Paper Runs Out
October 30, 2011, NC Preppers, by
Pasted from: http://ncpreppers.com/2011/10/30/when-the-toilet-paper-runs-out/in

tp-kleenix1[The last roll of TP]

I have a prepper friend who admits that if TSHTF, “I will share my stored food and supplies with family members who make fun of me for prepping. But I WON’T SHARE MY TOILET PAPER!”

Most of us have stored food, water, and supplies with plans for sustainable replacement. For example, we are planting gardens, raising chickens and rabbits, have rainwater barrels, and manual pumps for our wells.

But what happens when the toilet paper runs out?
If we are planning for a long term event, we need to face the scary fact that toilet paper is not a renewable resource and will eventually run out. I know some people who have a panic attack at the thought of that. What are our options?

What did people do before toilet paper was available? Everyone has heard about dried corncobs (ouch). When I was a child visiting my grandparents in the Appalachian mountains, I had to use their outhouse. Everyone in that area used old Sears’ catalogs. I would tear out a page and rub the page together as my cousins taught me to soften it a bit. Slick paper doesn’t work so well. I have read that Indians and pioneers used leaves. Some cultures use just their hand. For obvious reasons, none of these alternatives seem very attractive to me.

Almost two years ago someone started an entertaining thread on the American Preppers Network about the use of “family cloths.” I will admit that the idea of using cloth toilet wipes to be be washed and reused pretty well grossed me out. I thought, “These people are nuts!” Then about a year ago I decided to make some “for emergencies.” Once I made them and started using family cloths, I found I prefer them to toilet paper and miss them when I travel away from home.

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I found a website that sells them as baby wipes and bought a dozen to try. I liked the way they were made and bought the fabric to make my own. They are two layers, one terry cloth, the other flannel. I zigzag the edges in a very close stitch to keep them from unraveling. They are approximately 5″ X 7″. I made some smaller ones for those times when just a little blotting is needed. I made 40 cloths out of one yard of terry and one yard of flannel.

They are thick, soft, and substantial. I bought white fabric because I use bleach. After being used for a year, they still look like new. I am the only one in our household who uses them. Some people make them in different colors, one color for each person in the family. Many people save money by making them from old linens, t-shirts, or washcloths.

I am not 100% toilet paper free. I use a few sheets of TP initially followed up with the cloth. I wet the cloth with water and a little soap on one end of the cloth on the terry side. A dry cloth works for other times.

Following use, I fold the used cloth in half and place it in a large plastic container of water with a little laundry soap and Oxiclean and cover with a lid. There is no odor and nothing gross about draining most of the water off of them and just dumping the cloths into the washer. I wash them with homemade laundry detergent and bleach. They come out perfectly clean and white.

I have gone from using one roll of toilet paper a week to one roll a month. When the toilet paper runs out, I won’t be using corn cobs or a Sears catalog.

As I posted above, the key to avoiding stains is to put used cloths in a bucket (I use a plastic coffee can) of water with a bit of detergent and Oxiclean to soak until they are washed. I use the lid of the bucket to drain the water off them into the toilet before washing. I wash mine about once a week whenever I do laundry. If there were more people using them, I would wash them more frequently. I do not use bleach to soak them which would shorten the life of the fabric.

I wash them in the washer by themselves with laundry detergent, Oxiclean, and bleach. (I don’t measure.) Since it is a “small” load, I use less than a cup of bleach.

It has now been over two years since I started using the cloths daily. They still look like new with no stains just like in the blog pictures. The material and stitching have held up well with no mending needed. It is not unlike what you would do with white cloth diapers.

I keep cloths and a container for soaking in my master bath and the half-bath I use on the first floor. Because I use a few sheets of toilet paper for a first wipe when I do more than pee, the cloths are not really gross. If I ever don’t have access to TP, I will be fine using the cloths exclusively.

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B.  Several types of alternate cloth wipes
__1) Green Mountain Diapers
Pasted from: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/other.htm
I bought the ones that are 5″ X 8″, two-sided terry and flannel, 12 for $9.95.
Cloth-eez® Two-Sided Wipestp-kleenix3
Cotton terry on one side, soft flannel on the other side. Terry is great for the main job, and the nice, smooth, gentle flannel is great for the final touch-up details. White cotton is the best color for wipes, so you can see what you are doing. 5×8 inches, approximate measurements before washing, and they will shrink somewhat. I love this size, the feel, and the practicality of the 2 different sides. May fit in your wipes warmer without folding. This wipe is Karen’s favorite, because I find it easiest to use several wipes per poopy change, grabbing a fresh wipe as needed, rather than folding a larger wipe over and over. These wipes are a less overwhelming size for a young baby’s small bottom, yet still fine as baby grows. To me, flannel on one side and terry on the other has the best “feel” for the job. An inexpensive wipe in the perfect size. Fits in many wipes containers. Suggested amount: 4 packs for a young baby, 3 packs for an older baby. 100% cotton. Made in China. Pack of 12 for $10.95 + about $6.95 S&H

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2) GroVia Cotton Cloth Wipes, 12 count
Amazon.com, $11.50+$4.99 S&H
> 88% Polyester and 12% cotton, ultra soft baby terry
> 12 cloth wipes per pack
> 8″H x 8″W
> Easy to use and washable
> Our ultra soft baby terry wipes are gentle enough for baby’s face yet perfect for cleaning the messiest bums.
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C.  Using Handkerchiefs Instead of Facial Tissue
diyNatural, by Betsy Jabs
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.diynatural.com/using-handkerchiefs-instead-of-facial-tissue/

Five reasons to use a handkerchief:
1. It saves money. I used to love coordinating all the cute tissue boxes with my bathrooms (wow, that’s marketing at its finest), but I estimate we probably spent $20-$40 per year just on facial tissue. Not a huge savings, but I can certainly think of other things I could use that money for. We have not purchased a box of tissue in almost a year, and the tissues we purchased before that were to keep available for guests.
2. It produces less waste/saves resources. I have been so thankful for handkerchiefs as we strive to go paperless in our house. They take up very little space in the laundry and prevent our trash from filling up so quickly. Keep a stack of hankies in an easily accessible drawer in the house so family members aren’t tempted to use the paper alternative.
3. Hankies are more comfortable to use. Tissues used to make my nose raw after prolonged use. My 100% cotton hankies feel very nice on my face. As far as the moisture in the hanky goes… without going into graphic detail, I’ll just say that it all works out somehow and hasn’t been an issue for me. After using a hanky, it can be folded up, tucked away, and it’s usually dry the next time you pull it out. (And if this grosses you out, you can always grab a fresh hanky!)

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 4. Hankies create less of a mess. Hankies don’t leave any particles
behind, and never rip as I’m using them. The white fuzz left on Matt’s face after using facial tissues is a thing of the past. (I kind of miss being able to laugh at this.) Hankies won’t create trouble in a load of laundry if accidentally left in a pocket–and we’ve all had this laundry mis-hap with tissues. Picking a gazillion of those little white tissue remnants off clothes coming out of the washer? Ugh! Never again! In fact, you’ll just end up with a clean hanky if one is left in a pocket.
5. Hankies are more sustainable. Handkerchiefs are a much more sustainable replacement for facial tissues AND many other things. Think about replacing other things in your home with hankies…paper napkins, paper towel, toilet paper, tissue paper, or other things around the house that might currently be disposable. We no longer have to worry about running out of tissues. In the past, when the last tissue had been used, we would grab for toilet paper and frantically run to add tissues to the grocery list. With hankies, you can grab a fresh one whenever your current one is getting icky, and you can forget about a trip to the store.

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D.  How to Wash Handkerchiefs
ehow.com, S.F. Heron, eHow Contributor
Pasted from: http://www.ehow.com/how_5047316_wash-handkerchiefs.html

Washing handkerchiefs is relatively easy. The hard part lies in making sure the stains and nasal fluids have been completely removed from the fabric before sterilizing it for future use. Handkerchiefs come in many styles, including lace edged and monogrammed. Test any cleaning method on an inconspicuous spot before attempting to clean your handkerchiefs whether you are laundering basic cotton handkerchiefs in the clothes washer or by hand.

Things You’ll Need
•  Color safe bleach (if colored hankies)
•  Bleach
•  Shout or OxyClean
•  Detergent

Instructions
Washing Handkerchiefs in the Washing Machine
1. Address any stains or spots on the handkerchief fabric first. Spray spot remover on the handkerchief as soon as possible after the stain occurs to help prevent setting the stain. Allow the cleaner to work for some time before laundering. Don’t let the stain remover completely dry or it might enhance the existing stain or create another one.
2.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and 1/8 cup of bleach (or color safe bleach for colored fabric handkerchiefs).
Immerse the handkerchiefs into the water and allow to soak for some time. This step helps sterilize the fabric to remove germs.
3.  Place the handkerchiefs into the clothes washer and set the dial for a delicate cycle. Use hot water to help sterilize the fabric. Include the appropriate amount of laundry detergent for the load.
4.  Either air dry or tumble-dry the fabric handkerchiefs, removing the items from the drier while still slightly damp to help release the wrinkles.

Washing Handkerchiefs by Hand
5.  Soak the handkerchiefs in a sink basin filled with a small amount of chlorine bleach and water to remove germs and bacteria after testing to make sure to the fabric can handle the harsh affects of bleach.
6.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent.
7.  Immerse the handkerchiefs completely into the water, squeezing the fabric to make sure it absorbs the water. Wring the fabric to make sure detergent gets into the fabric as well.
8.  Allow the handkerchiefs to soak for 30 minutes.
9.  Run clear, cool water over the fabric until all bubbles are removed. Be careful not to wring the fabric too much as this will create wrinkles. Hang the handkerchiefs up to dry.
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E.  Why a Handkerchief  Should Be In Your Survival Kit
November 17, 2011, PreppingToSurvive.com, by Joe
Pasted from: http://preppingtosurvive.com/2011/11/17/why-a-handkerchief-should-be-in-your-survival-kit/

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Sir Baden-Powell founded the original Boy Scouts in England following his defense of the town of Mafeking in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The original uniform for the Boy Scouts included a Handkerchief folded in half and worn conveniently around the neck. His decision to include this accessory was not merely one of fashion. The handkerchief offers someone in the wild many varied uses.

Uses in First Aid
A handkerchief can be of great value when it comes to wilderness first aid. Few items are so flexible as a handkerchief. It can be used to put a sling around an injured arm, split a sprained ankle, and bandage an exposed wound. Handkerchiefs can be used to clean a cut with soap and water or cool someone who is suffering from heat exhaustion. Yes, when it comes to applying emergency aid to a victim in the wild, handkerchiefs come in handy.

Uses with Food and Water
Handkerchiefs offer a number of uses around the impromptu kitchen when effecting survival. You can place a handkerchief over the mouth of a container to strain muddy water from a pond or puddle. The water must still be purified but at least the handkerchief will prevent some of the larger items from making it into your drinking water.

As you purify your drinking water, the handkerchief can be used as a potholder to prevent you from burning yourself when removing a container from the fire. You can place handkerchiefs over your food to protect it from flies while tending to other survival activities. And you can use a handkerchief to aid in washing and cleaning your cooking utensils.

When water is in short supply, you can tie a handkerchief around your leg as you walk through a field of high grass and use it to collect water from the morning dew. Periodically take the handkerchief off, hold it above your head, and squeeze the refreshing liquid into your mouth.

Uses in Survival
By attaching a brightly colored handkerchief to the end of a long stick, a makeshift signal flag can be created to help alert distant rescuers of your presence.
In hotter climates, a handkerchief can be soaked in water and worn around the neck or over the head to help cool your blood and thus lower your overall body temperature. In cold weather, a handkerchief can offer additional insulation under your hat to help keep body heat from escaping through your head.

Handkerchiefs are lightweight, easily carried, and incredibly useful. Boy Scout uniforms are still adorned with the standard neckerchief for many of the same reasons listed here. Shouldn’t one or more be in your survival kit?

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