Category Archives: Prepper articles

On being prepared

On being prepared

A. How to Survive Societal Collapse in Suburbia
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/how-to-survive-societal-collapse-in-suburbia.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

Suburban1

Photograph by Dwight Eschliman for The New York Times

The Douglas Family Stockpile
1.  Staples in 6-gallon buckets include: rice, beans, nuts, sugar, salt, matches, wheat, flour
2.  Freeze-dried meals
3.  Assorted canned foods: cheese, butter and meat
4.  Water-bath canner
5.  Vacuum sealer
6.  Pressure canner
7. Pot
8. Canned meat: red is pork, green is turkey
9. Broth: beef and chicken
10.  Salt: 25-pound bags
11.  Aluminum foil
12.  Portable first-aid kits, lighters, U.V. light sticks, fast-acting glue
13.  Candles
14.  Sunflower seeds
15.  Cough drops
16.  Canned turkey
17.  Stackable containers of canned food
18.  72-hour backpacks
19.  Charcoal chimney
20.  Potatoes
21. Grill
22.  Solar oven
23.  Beef jerky
24.  Vinegar, white and cider
25.  Olive oil in cans
26.  Wall-mounted first-aid kit
27.   Canned staples: rice, dried carrots, dried onions
28. Powdered milk and eggs
29. Laundry detergent
30. The Douglas family
31. Heirloom seed bank
32. Bleach
33. Pasta
34. Dehydrated mashed potatoes
35. More assorted staples
36. Miscellaneous canned goods
37. Stackable containers of canned food
38. Powdered hot chocolate
39. GeneratorNot pictured: juice, apple and grape; fortified water; hand sanitizer; laundry bucket; jars of bouillon; canned apple-pie filling; filtered-water bottles.
40. Propane burner
41. Water filter
42. Hand warmers
43. Surgical masks
44. Empty Mason jars for canning
45. Jars of roasted peppers
46. Rifle, shotgun and pistol
47. Buckets of honey
48. Cans of sardines
49. Foldout tent
50. 5-gallon gas cans
51. Solar panels
52. Plastic hose

suburban2

B. Survival In A Big City After Disaster
12 November 2014, Modern Survival Blog, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/systemic-risk/survival-in-a-big-city-after-disaster/

The issue of survival in a big city following a major disaster is a serious one. In 1800, only 3 % of the world’s population lived in cities. Today, about half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and in developed countries up to 70 % or more live in larger cities. New York and Los Angeles are among the top 10 most populous cities in the world. There are 30 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) within the United States which have 2 million people or more.

What could possibly go wrong?

Hopefully nothing… however don’t count on it. A microcosm of what could go wrong already happened years ago in New Orleans. Remember Katrina? What about Hurricane Sandy not that long ago in the heavily populated Mid Atlantic region of the Northeast? Does anyone remember the LA riots? What about Ferguson MO?

There are all sorts of natural or man-made events which could spell disaster for the big cities.

What about this one… There are approximately 50 percent of Americans who get some sort of government benefits and there are 82 million households on Medicaid. The amount of people on SNAP (food stamps) has nearly doubled since 2006. And this is only from 2011 Census data. There’s little doubt the numbers are even worse today. How many of these people live in the cities or metropolitan areas? I would suggest that the majority do.

What happens if government assistance is reduced via a financial collapse, or perhaps by a devalued dollar through price inflation – which buys less product? What happens if EBT cards stop working or are ‘worth’ much less than before? I will tell you what happens… The dependent class will revolt.

Without going further down that rabbit hole (I digress), let’s think about survival in the big cities. Let’s face it. There are lots of you who live in the cities or heavily populated MSAs.

When considering one’s preparedness and/or how to survive in the city after a disaster – the thought processes, the plans, and the resulting actions will depend (very much) on the circumstances that one is preparing for. In other words, how bad of a disaster scenario and how long might it go on. These are judgment calls which are made during the event and are preconceived “what if” scenarios based on your own risk tolerance.

The first thing that many people will think to do (following a disaster while living in the city) is to simply ‘bug out’, get-out-of-dodge, leave the city to greener pastures. The problem is, many people really do not have another realistic place to go than where they are now. Unless you truly have a willing friend who lives away from the city, then you will need to think about Plan B. Besides, who’s to say that you could even get out of the city during certain disasters? For an obvious short-term localized disaster you could certainly try to get out and stay in a hotel somewhere out of the region. Traffic will certainly be snarled.

Plan B is to face the very real possibility that you will be stuck right there where you are now. In the city. This is a very bad situation for some disaster circumstances, however for other scenarios it is survivable. Much depends on initial severity as well as the expected length of time in which you will be adversely affected.

If any of the city infrastructure is severely damaged, you will probably be facing a relatively long time to recovery and some very serious problems. If the water and/or sewage is affected, then you are in big trouble. This could be the result of physical damage (e.g. a major earthquake, attack, etc..) or it could be the result of regional (or wider) power outage. If it’s the later, then you will need to understand the cause of the power outage so that you can reasonably determine the expected length of time until it’s re-established (very important to discover and know). A battery powered portable radio is an essential item to get news and information about the disaster.

A major electrical grid power outage could be caused by storm damage. Ice storms are particularly notorious for this, as well ask hurricanes which wreak wide spread damage. Often these types of weather related outages will be resolved within days or weeks because the power company brings in multitudes of crews from other regions to help with the repairs.

On the other hand if the power outage has been caused by a worse enemy, such as a ‘Carrington Event’ solar flare & CME, or by an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, then this could be a life-ending event for many millions. How will you know? Some or all things ‘electronic’ may not be operational (fried). An entirely different approach must be taken to survive this. But that’s another subject.

Having said that, I believe that the biggest (general) factors to survival in the city is:
– the condition of the electrical grid
– the condition of the infrastructure
– the condition of the distribution networks which bring food & supplies
– the condition of the chaos and your security

For starters, while considering how to prepare for disaster while living in the city, figure out how you will survive based on the four previously mentioned factors. Since most (typical?) disasters are relatively short lived (hours, days, maybe a week or two), then the foremost important thing to do is determine what you will need (in your city apartment or home) to survive without these things. In other words, you’re on your own (completely) for a day or two, maybe a week, or maybe even two.

We’re talking about some of the basics such as water, food, sanitation, keeping warm (during the winter) or keeping cool (summer), and your personal security. Although depending on exactly where you live, your personal security should not (generally) be an issue at first, given a short term disaster. Just keep in mind that when it begins to go on past day-3, then there will be increasingly desperate unprepared people – at which time security will become an increasing issue.

Water
Water can easily be procured and stored. Figure at least 1 gallon of water per day per person. More is (always) better in this regard. You can stock up on cases of water bottles and/or fill up some water storage containers. Get yourself a quality drinking water filter. Most people forget the water when thinking about preparedness. If you’re reading this, there’s no excuse now…

Food
Store some foods which do not require cooking (important). Remember, you can safely eat grocery store canned foods without cooking (even though you’re used to heating them up first). Don’t forget the manual can opener. There is literally no excuse for anyone not to have enough food storage to survive several weeks.

Sanitation
Imagine the scenario without running water. Consider keeping a quantity of ‘wet wipes’ or some such disposable cleaning wipes for hands or other duties. Know that you can flush a toilet without running water. If the power is out for long, this could become a big problem in the city if their generators are not working (or run out of fuel). Pumps are required to water to your faucets and to move sewage – which might ‘back up’ into buildings. Don’t laugh but a 5 gallon bucket (or your existing empty toilet) lined with a heavy duty trash bag (use kitty litter to pour over afterwards) is better than nothing. You could then tie and dispose of used bags somewhere outdoors (although it will be another difficult issue in the city).

Heating & Air Conditioning (Shelter)
A big issue for survival in the city following a disaster is the potential lack of HVAC (heating and air conditioning). Air (or lack thereof). Most apartment buildings (and large buildings in general) are designed to produce a climate controlled environment (which requires electricity). Many buildings do not even have windows which can be opened. Even if they do, it won’t be enough during the summer to prevent a virtual ‘cooker’ in such a building. And if during the winter, you will need to find a way to stay warm without the HVAC system (safely). Mostly, this means wearing warm winter clothes, jackets, hats, gloves, thermals, and having a cold weather sleeping bag. You can survive this way without heat – so long as you have adequate clothes and protection (shelter).

Personal Security
Your personal security will potentially be at risk in the city if the disaster looms long. Face it – most people are not prepared whatsoever for disaster. These people will be ‘screwed’ in a moderate or long term event. Coupled with the dangers of desperate people doing desperate things will be the city gangs of thugs who will take advantage of the chaos. Avoid confrontation by being prepared ahead of time and staying home while you secure your own perimeter and go about the task of survival. For anywhere it is legal, I suggest owning a firearm. Learn how to use it at the range (most people who’ve never shot a firearm before are surprised at how much fun it is when they finally do ). The longer the disaster scenario plays out in the city, the more dangerous it will become for you. Know this and prepare for it accordingly.

Apart from water, food, shelter, security, there are countless other considerations and supplies which will help during a time of disaster. Browse this site (http://modernsurvivalblog.com) and others for lists and ideas. Some of the ideas are obvious ‘no-brainers’ such as a flashlight and extra batteries, while other ideas may really help you in other less obvious ways…

In conclusion, let me say this… during a complete collapse of society and/or SHTF, the cities will not survive. Today’s ‘Just In Time’ distribution will collapse and leave the cities as wastelands of descending chaos. When the trucks stop, it’s over. IF you sense that the disaster is leading towards complete collapse, then I would do everything in my power to get out of there.

By the way, the top 30 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the United States are as follows:
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. Chicago
4. Dallas-Fort Worth
5. Houston
6. Philadelphia
7. Washington
8. Miami
9. Atlanta
10. Boston
11. San Francisco
12. Riverside
13. Phoenix
14. Detroit
15. Seattle
16. Minneapolis-St.Paul
17. San Diego
18. Tampa-St.Petersburg
19. St. Louis 20. Baltimore
21. Denver
22. Pittsburgh
23. Charlotte
24. Portland OR
25. San Antonio
26. Orlando
27. Sacramento
28. Cincinnati
29. Cleveland
30. Kansas City

(Prepper articles/ Readiness in suburbs and city)

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Urban survival techniques

A.  3 Stages Of SHTF
14 February 2014, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/modern-survival-ideology/3-stages-of-shtf/

urban slideSlippery Slope
The first stage of SHTF begins with creeping normalcy and shifting baseline. This is happening now, and has accelerated rapidly. It has been happening slowly for many years… the inability of people to react to significant changes that occur gradually. People that do not make themselves aware of gradual change, suffer eventual undesirable consequences. The powers that be have always known that change needs to be gradual to be accepted; at least until such time that a critical mass of useful ‘idiots’ have accepted it, which results in a very rapid final push towards the final change or changes. We have reached that point and are moving beyond it.

 Collapse
The next stage of SHTF is collapse. Societies along with their life support systems suffer abrupt failures after the long term ‘slippery slope’ decline of its culture, its civil institutions or other major characteristics of it as a society, eventually and suddenly collapsing after triggering or passing a tipping point when they fall off the cliff, so to speak. There is no turning back. Factors that may combine and contribute to collapse are economic, social and cultural, overpopulation, resource depletion, or major natural or man-made disaster including war or invasion.

During collapse, and for a time, power becomes decentralized and people tend to be more self-regimented and have many more personal freedoms with a slackening of social rules, although what’s left of society as a whole is suffering chaos. Geographically speaking, communities become more isolated.

 Lock Down
The third stage of SHTF is lock down, a state of containment or a restriction of progression to prevent people or information from escaping. It is ordered by someone in command and implemented by force. Martial law or takeover imposed on an unstable population. It accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, and civil rights. This final stage can be the most dangerous in that it will encompass a time of either total compliance or civil war, or a mixture of both.

Preparing for, and functioning under each of the three stages of SHTF involves different methods, choices, and behavior. While we are most definitely in Stage 1, the slippery slope, many people instinctively know that we are not far from Stage 2, collapse. It may benefit you to consider each of these three stages and form a plan how to prepare and survive through each of them.

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B.  The 3 things you will always need in an Urban Survival situation
SurvivalCache.com
Pasted from: http://survivalcache.com/urban-survival/

WTSHTF maybe you are prepared for an extended survival scenario away from civilization, but you have to get out of the city first (maybe). In a disaster situation that might not be so easy. If you have these three things in place you will greatly increase your chances.

1.  Get Home Bag (GHB)
Imagine for a minute that you work downtown in a large city, maybe you ride the subway or take a bus to work every day. You are in a large office building with many floors, thousands of people, and you are on the fifteen or twentieth story. If a disaster strikes how are you going to get out? I mean literally. If there is an earthquake, or a catastrophic man made event how are you going to get out of your building? How are you going to get down the street? How are you going to get home? Do you want to be one of the people covered in dust wandering around in shock? I sure don’t.

But I have my Bug out Bag you say!

Oh really, where is it? Even if it is in your car it is useless to you at this point. The parking garage is at street level and possibly blocks away. That could mean life or death in this situation and you need to act now.

Even if you could get to your Bug Out Bag, how much good would it do you in this environment? Most people’s B.O.B. is packed for survival in the wilderness. Camping gear, food, clothing, etc.

A Get Home Bag contains an entirely different set of tools and serves one purpose: To get you from wherever you are to your Home.

…How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag
Your GBH should contain things that are going to get you out of the building like a prybar. Things to help you make it through the aftermath like water and breathing masks. Things you might use to help rescue others like flashlights or radios. Things that will help you on what could be a very long walk home such as food and maybe shoes.

Clearly a GHB is not a Bug Out Bag. Sure they have some overlap, but a GBH can be much smaller, less weight conscious, have more specific tools, and be planned for one purpose. Do you have one cached in your office or place of work?

…Gear for your Get Home Bagurban GHB
Use Sunglasses to Maintain a Tactical Advantage
The Platypus Collapsible Water Bottle
Dust Mask for Toxic Dust and Debris
Window Punch: Because It’s Quieter Than a Rock
Ear Plugs could make your Urban Survival more Bearable
Bandana

 2.  A Bug Out Plan
So you made it home, now what? Let’s assume that the SHTF out there. You have surveyed the situation and determined that the city is in mass chaos and you need to get out now. What do you do ? Again, you have your Bug Out Bag, but you still have to get out of the city. Do you have a Bug Out Plan?

For our purposes here let’s assume that your Bug Out Plan needs to get you from your home to your serious survival cache or Bug Out Location outside of the city. I understand that not everybody has caches hidden in various places, and even fewer people have a dedicated But Out Location. While you should probably be working on that, you still need a Bug Out Plan.

There’s no way I can go through all of the various problems you might encounter while trying to bug out of your city so you will have to plan for yourself. What I will give you are some questions to consider and one rule: Contingency. Is your way out double, triple, and quadruple backed up?
If the highways are shutdown do you have a surface street route?
If no roads are passable do you have an off road route?
If driving is out of the question do you have a planned walking or riding route? (Do you have maps of your area in your Bug Out Bag?)
Do you have a rendezvous point with other family members?

3.  A Bug In Plan
Lets back up a minute. Pretend you just got home again, but this time you surveyed the situation and decided that you are not in immediate danger but are still not at situation normal. Now what do you do? A Bug In Plan is for emergency situations where you can stay in your own home but have to rely on your own preparations to survive. This might just mean that you will be without power or water for an extended period. Maybe it means you actually can’t leave your home at all for whatever reason.

What plans do you have in place to live like this? A Bug in Plan should include food and water preparations first and foremost. What will you eat since all of the food in your refrigerator is going to be bad soon? Do you really want to live on the backpack meals out of your Bug Out Bag when you don’t have to? (Be sure to stock the Top 100 Items that will Disappear First.)

How much water do you have stored? Do you have a sewage system set up. (No water=no sewage: it’s always the little things….) Do you have unprepared neighbors to worry about? (To help or guard against?)

Starting out a survival situation in an urban environment is almost an immediate set-back compared to those bugging out from more rural areas, but with a Get Home Bag, a Bug Out Plan, and a Bug In Plan you are better off than most people.

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C.  Scavenging for Survival After SHTF
12 May 2013, USCrow.org, by Website Administrator
Pasted from: http://uscrow.org/2013/05/12/scavenging-for-survival-after-shtf/

urban scavennge1

Looting, scavenging, call it what you will. When the SHTF, you might need to do a little scavenging. Scavenging after SHTF carries significant stigma, invoking your most dreaded nightmares. During man-made or natural disasters (including war), scavenging is a common occurrence.  Practicing subscribers to usCrow and other various prepper or survival websites are more prepared than others. However, even the most faithful survivalist will need to scavenge.

There are several reasons to scavenge. In the short-term you might need parts for your shelter, vehicles, equipment and etc… In the long-term you will deplete your two-year food/water/supply storage. If you don’t have a renewable food and water source as pointed out in CMF Contributor Black’s Victory Gardens article… Either way, get ready to scavenge.

This guide will attempt to explain the basic parameters for scavenging on an operational level. Instead of aimlessly wandering out to find day old tacos, you will approach scavenging with a strategic mindset. The human condition will never change. When the shit hits the fan, you damn well better know the whole of humanity will revert to the laws of nature and natural selection.

While survival groups are safely hunkered down in their various BOLs (bug out locations), looters will be hard at work clearing out the shelves. We’ve seen it time and time again. The unprepared will go into panic mode in the presence of disaster. That panic will lead to a frenzy, sending the most legitimate and ‘stand up’ people into desperation mode. That desperate frenzy will not only cause mass casualties, but it will also leave factories, grocery/department stores, farms, and etc completely bare.

Not only will looting leave stores bare, but it will turn any suburban center into a complete wasteland (if said suburban centers weren’t wiped out in the initial disaster). It takes one disrespectful asshole to ignite a plague of destruction. A present day example of looting and destruction can be seen in; any Occupy protest, post game celebrations, natural disasters and etc…

The Threat of Scavenging
Scavenging will most likely require your survival group to visit highways, population centers, government facilities, farms and other various installations. Evaluate each mission. Prior to a scavenging operation send a scout out equipped with a direct line of communication to your base of operations. Scouts should be fully versed in travelling through hostile territories, preventing a hostile force from tracking your scout back to your base. Service members who were snipers in the military are ideal for scouts. They are well-trained, well-disciplined, and an essential element of your survival group.

Scouts should survey the target area from a safe distance using standard surveillance techniques to avoid detection. Such evaluations should consider; hostile occupying force, environmental risk (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and natural conditions), variables, and operational costs. Operational costs include; distance, weather conditions, force elimination. By establishing operational costs the scout can report to the commander of the survival group outlining how much food, water, fuel, required equipment, force needed, and munitions the scavenging operation will cost. At which time the commander can make the call.

If it’s not worth it, it’s not worth it! Should your commander make the decision to carry out the operation, those assigned to carry out the task must be well versed in combat theater and tactical operations. Scavenging like all other ops must maintain command, control, communications and intelligence.  In addition, MOPP Standards should be applied for all operations.

Where to Scavenge after SHTF
Your scavenging target shouldn’t be some random location like Wal-Mart; your target should fit your need. Going to a random location with no direction would likely force your group into a shitty situation. Aimlessly moving from one location to the next is strictly prohibited. It’s prohibited because it will tire your group while exposing them to the human and natural threats in theater.

Scavenging operations should not only have a specific target, but two backup targets should be established (when applicable). The following are examples of scavenging needs versus targets;

  • Automotive Parts – Logic would dictate the last place looted would be automotive shops. I don’t see a Mad Max scenario happening because most of today’s generation can’t even change a tire. In the absence of an automotive shop you will need to scavenge from nearby abandoned vehicles. Luckily a part replacement scavenge op will most likely only need a three-man team; two assisting cover operators and a mechanical engineer. Note: in all usCrow articles we highly stress the need for a mechanic in your survival group.
  • Renewable Power – Again, this could easily be considered a low-risk op with a three-man team. Excellent locations include federal installations. Federal installations are equipped with commercial grade solar panels. Such locations include; power-substations, federal office buildings, freeway lighting and etc.
  • Fuel – Fuel can be scavenged from abandoned vehicles by siphoning the gas out of abandoned tankers (if operable take the tanker), cars/trucks, convenience store fuel holds, and etc. You will need a vehicle to transport the fuel when applicable and a four man team to acquire it.
  • Ammunition – Had you taken our advice you’d be reloading your own ammo. Even then, you could possibly run out of ammo. This means you will have to take on a high-risk op. Ammo will be a hard thing to come by and in the event of scavenging for ammo you will need a five man team. Five are required not only for adequate force but for adequate manpower. Ammo is heavy! Such targets include; military bases, law enforcement vehicles and stations, gun stores, and dead bodies.
  • Food and Water – Food and water will be extremely hard to come by when scavenging (food more so than water in most locations). Think unconventionally. For food, target wholesale distribution warehouses. You will have to establish these locations prior to disaster because they are not easily identified. In addition to distribution centers, food can be acquired from; abandoned homes, tractor trailers, grain mills, farms and etc. Read the usCrow SHTF Water Source Guide for potential water scavenging locations. See: http://uscrow.org/2013/02/15/shtf-water-sources/
  • Niceties and Necessities – Niceties and necessities include various items that make survival much more tolerable. Necessities include; birth control, prophylactics, Lysol, bleach, soaps detergents, and etc. Niceties include; entertainment, board games, toys for the kids, electronics and etc. Birth control is priority. Pregnancy after SHTF will not be easy. However, if a member of your group becomes pregnant, that child is not only the mother’s responsibility, but the entire group’s. Children take priority over all. The acquisition of these items should not take precedent over the safety of the group. These items can be acquired from several locations, you just have to be smart.

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D. How to Scavenge After the SHTF
30 October  2014, Urban Survival Site, by Alan
Pasted from: http://urbansurvivalsite.com/how-to-scavenge-after-shtf/

urban scavenge2

I know what some of you are thinking: “I won’t have to scavenge because I already have everything I need.” Maybe, maybe not. Even if you’ve been prepping for years, it’s still possible you forgot a few things. But even if you didn’t, you could still end up in a situation where you need something you never thought you’d need.

What if you have to take in a pregnant woman or a parent with a small child? You may have to go looking for baby formula. What if your mother’s prescription medications are lost or destroyed? You may have to go looking for replacement meds. What if vital equipment is damaged? What if you need parts for your shelter or vehicle? These are just a few possibilities off the top of my head. There are dozens more situations we won’t think of until we’re in them.

The point is, you might have to scavenge for supplies after the SHTF. If someone’s life is on the line, you’ll have no choice. But before I explain how to scavenge after the SHTF, I want to clear up some confusion about the difference between scavenging and looting.

Scavenging is Not Looting
After hurricane Katrina, were the people running down the street with arms full of jewelry and electronics scavenging or looting? I think that’s pretty clear. Looters are not looking for things they need to stay alive; they’re just taking advantage of the situation. Looters know someone is going to miss the stolen items. They know the owner will eventually return and find out what’s missing. For these reasons, looters are no different from common thieves.

Scavengers are a different breed altogether. They search for things they need to live through a disaster, and they only take things that have been discarded or are unlikely to be missed. There could be a situation where you have to take food or medicine that will be missed, but I believe this is justified if someone needs it to live. Taking food or medicine right out of someone else’s hands is another matter.

I know of some legalists who insist that stealing is stealing no matter the circumstances, but morality is not a simple list of do’s and don’ts. Frankly, people who are squeamish about morally gray areas will not do well after the SHTF. Now on to scavenging.

Send a Scout
If you know the area you want to search, it’s a good idea to send a scout with binoculars, a radio, and a gun. Scouts should watch the area for a few hours to make sure no one is living there and that there are no bandits lying in wait. It might sound paranoid, but some people become very dangerous when there are no police to keep them in check. The last thing you want is to get robbed or possibly killed while scavenging for supplies.

The radio is so your scout can stay in touch. If the area is compromised or not worth the trouble, the group’s leader can instruct the scout to return or to check another area. If you lose contact with your scout, you’ll know something is wrong and can send reinforcements. But the reinforcements need to be careful not to wander into a trap. The purpose of the scout’s gun should be obvious.

When surveying the area, the scout needs to note any obstacles that might make the area more trouble than it’s worth. Examples include barbed wire fences, high walls, ditches, streams, and so forth. All these things might make it too difficult or dangerous to lug back supplies.

The scout should also note whether any buildings in question have been damaged by things such as bombs or and earthquake. You don’t want the stairs you’re climbing to collapse or a ceiling to fall on your head while you’re digging through rubble. You and your group will have to weigh the costs versus the benefits and the risks versus the rewards before searching an area.

Make a Plan
Once you’ve decided where to go and what to look for, you’ll have to decide who to send. Never send someone alone. He or she could twist an ankle or something and need help returning to camp. Also, there could be heavy obstacles or supplies that require at least two people to move. And remember, one person is far more likely to be robbed or killed than a group of people. Ideally you would send several people, but that depends on how many you can spare. You don’t want to leave children alone at your camp.

Everyone who goes should bring a sturdy backpack along with several empty bags (cloth, mesh, or even trash bags for light stuff), work gloves, a multitool, a good knife, a flashlight, a gun, a face mask, and goggles. Those last two are in case the location’s air is full of dust, smoke, or toxic chemicals. At least one person in the group should also have a crowbar. And if you need gasoline, don’t forget to bring a siphon and a gas can.

If you have several areas to search, you’ll have to decide the order in which to search them. It’s better to start farther out and work your way back toward camp so you don’t waste energy carrying supplies farther than necessary. But if you know the heaviest items are going to be in a particular place, you might want to go there last. If scavenging your area is going to take several days or weeks, you should get a map and mark the locations you search so you don’t accidentally visit the same place twice.

Where to Look
Pretty much everywhere! Here are some possible targets and what you may find within them.

•  Automotive Shops – You have a better chance of finding the part you need here than in a department store. It’s true now, and it will be true after the SHTF, too.
•  Cars – You’ll want to check the glove box, under the seats, and in the trunk for snacks, tools, and other useful items. Parts of the car itself might prove useful, too. The mirrors could be used for signaling, the wiring for cordage, the upholstery for bedding and insulation, the battery for power (if someone in your group is mechanically inclined), and of course the engine parts if you need them for your own vehicle.
•  Distribution Centers – Most people will hit grocery stores first, so it will be a little longer before the warehouses are picked clean. Even then, there may be a few things that were overlooked. Also check the semi-trailers. You may find non-perishable foods and other supplies.
•  Dumpsters – It won’t be fun, but you might find some hidden treasures in dumpsters.
•  Fire stations – You may find food, supplies, and clothing. Plus, the fire engine has a tank with hundreds of gallons of water. It will need to be filtered, though.
•  Gas Stations – These will probably be picked clean, but you never know.
•  Government Buildings – Most federal installations have commercial grade solar panels. You may also find backup lighting and emergency supplies.
•  Grocery Stores – These will probably be picked clean, too, but you may find food in less obvious places such as under shelves and behind displays. Also check the bathrooms, the offices, the stock room, and the loading dock.
•  Hospitals – Obviously these should have lots of clothes and medical supplies.
•  Houses – Check everywhere–rooms, garage, basement, attic, backyard, storage sheds, the garden if there is one, etc. The water heater has up to 70 gallons of drinking water. Better yet, look for houses with swimming pools. Also keep an eye out for metal mailboxes which can be converted into woodstoves.
•  Manufacturing Facilities – They may have fuel, batteries, tools, and first aid supplies.
•  Marinas – Check abandoned boats. They usually have supplies like emergency rations, communication equipment, fishing equipment, and possibly guns.
•  Office Buildings – Check break rooms for vending machines and check desks for snacks and small tools. There should be fire extinguishers in most rooms and cleaning supplies in the janitor’s closet.
•  Pawn Shops If you’re lucky you’ll find weapons, ammo, and other miscellaneous gear.
•  Pet StoresIf your pets are still okay, a pet store might make it possible for you to keep feeding them without giving up any of your own food. You could also eat it yourself, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you’re really desperate. There are no FDA regulations on pet food and it could make you sick if you eat too much.
•  Restaurants – These will probably be empty, but check anyway. There may be a few cans or bags of food that were overlooked. Anything that was in the freezer will have gone bad, though.
•  Retail Stores – See “Grocery Stores” above. Consider grabbing some non-electric entertainment such as books, cards, board games, sports equipment, etc. •  Schools – There’s a lot to be found in schools–tools, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, cleaning supplies, and possibly food in the cafeteria.
•  Self-storage Facilities – If you have time to pry open all of them, it might be worth it. You probably won’t find any food or perishable items, but there ‘s a chance you’ll find some clothes or useful gear and equipment.

Hopefully you’ll never have to go digging through any of these places, but you should prepare for the possibility. Good luck!

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Urban survival techniques)

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Survive the Collapse

A.  How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization
Nov 2012, SecretsofSurvival.com, by James Roberts
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.secretsofsurvival.com/survival/collapse_of_civilization.html

survive

“…Priorities considerations in the event of total social breakdown (the order here doesn’t matter, as it could conceivably change greatly depending on the situation)

 Find food and water – If you are someone that believes the world is on the doorstep of Armageddon or could be in for some tough years ahead, you may want to plan for this one in advance. If everything breaks down, one of the first things you’ll need is an immediate supply of food and water.

Best case scenario: you thought about this before the problem and have emergency supplies on hand at your home and / or office. This will help you get through that first week or two.

If not, this could conceivably become the first order of business. Sustain yourself for long enough to come up with a plan. By the way, in speaking of a long term plan…

Find a group ( if there is one available to you )- Under circumstances where complete social chaos is reigning, you might not want to be by yourself. First, there’s physical safety in numbers (on Jericho there have been several situations where outsiders have come to the town intent on doing folks harm; on Lost, of course, there’s the Others).

Regardless, a group will help you protect your family and yourself when and if further danger arises.

Beyond that, group membership will help to meet your need to belong later. That’s right, like the world famous psychologist Abraham Maslow has indicated, all human beings need to feel as if they belong and are safe.

Regardless, look to those you can trust: people within your own neighborhood, for example. Further, if the availability is there – as in the case of Jericho, Kansas – look to your town.

Pick a leader – Football teams need a head coach and some assistants. Without this, any player or coach will tell you that chaos would reign. Every form of government also has a set of leaders. Don’t believe – even for a second – that you can survive chaos without installing some kind of power structure. Everything that is civilization tells us different. Further, by implementing a power structure of sorts, you’ll have in essence brought some order to the chaos, even if only within your own group.

Therefore, small groups would be wise to elect a leader early on (this will be easier within groups that truly know one another). Further, plans regarding the future power structure should be made at this time ( will there be voting?). Such discussions might serve to quell the jealousy of those who are not elected to lead.

Bigger groups could go the democratic route and have mini parliament of sorts, if they chose. Or perhaps an elected official might serve the purpose (like a town mayor).

Protect yourself from the elements with a shelter – Do you still have a house? If so, great! If not, look for natural shelters (like the caves in Lost). Or if no manmade or natural shelters are available, consider building some (like the contestants always do on the hit CBS show Survivor).

By the way, do this quickly. Further, if total social breakdown occurs in an area where the elements are a big problem, this may need to be your first order of business.

Heating and cooling – Is the electricity working (not in Jericho, Kansas, it isn’t)? Are there any heat sources available? If not, we’re talking fire. Which of course requires something to burn.

It would be smart to have a plan for dealing with this.

Can you defend yourself?

Are you in danger? – In other words, are people walking down your road with guns intent on stealing or otherwise doing harm to you? Obviously, if this is the case, then defending yourself becomes first priority.

Perhaps it’s an opposing military; perhaps it’s our own citizens trying to better their own situation. Regardless, here are some ideas to consider.

Fortify your area – There are all types of things you could try. You could line cars, busses, or trucks around you for protection. You could try to build a wall if time permits. You could even attempt to build a fort of sorts. Here’s the problem with all of those ideas.

They let people know where you are.

Thus, the best course of action would likely depend on the situation. If you’re a relatively large group that has weapons and capability, doing some fortification work may not be a bad idea. However, if you’re a small group that wants to remain nameless, the last thing you may want to do is line a bunch of trucks around four houses, particularly if there are groups out there to fear. After all, fortification strategies like that tend to scream, here we are!

In such situations, search for natural barriers to live near (lakes, mountains). These won’t bring any obvious unwanted notoriety. However, keep in mind that if you live near fresh water, expect others to eventually come calling (food and water would, of course, be of paramount important to survivors of social breakdown).

Collect weapons – This is an obvious one. Just remember that if someone wants to be a part of your group, their weapons are too. It can’t just be a band of individuals.

Remember the power structure – When it comes to military maneuvers, a power structure is absolutely of paramount importance. In fact, when you’re electing or deciding on a group leader, their ability to lead you in a military sense should be high on the list.

This leader, if they’re worth a grain of salt, will devise a guard schedule. If there is any truly conceivable danger at all, a watch should always be put into place along with a way for the guard to contact others without alerting attention to him or herself.

Finally, think long term when it comes to food – How are you going to sustain yourselves in the long term? If there is true social chaos that could go on indefinitely, this needs to be considered in great detail. Some things to think about are:
a) Rationing the food you have.
b) Freezing food that might go bad (if you have the means). If not, then eat that first.
c) Farming possibilities (present and future).
d) Cattle availability.
e) Winter rations.

In sum, total social breakdown has never happened in the United States. During periods of specific social unrest, this country has always been able to recover. Regardless, there could be any number of situations that could change America’s luck.

Terrorists, a nuclear war, the consequences of global warming, etc.

Further, total social breakdown can occur in other ways (think Lost). So are you ready? Would you know what to do? Here’s what’s certain.

This article is only meant to get you thinking in the right direction. If the real thing were to ever hit, survivors would have to do a lot of thinking on their feet. Of course, if you thought some of this through before the event, that might save some time and effort…

That’s for you to decide. “

.

 B.  Long-Term Security, Perimeter Defense and Lethal Tactics
5 October 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Max Velocity
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/long-term-security-permieter-defense-and-lethal-tactics_10052012

This article first appeared at Ready Nutrition as part of the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series and is written by Max Velocity of Max Velocity Tactical.

Max Velocity has been kind enough to dedicate his time and professional insights to our preparedness community. He has an extensive military background, having served in both the British and the U.S. armies and also as a high threat security contractor. He has served on six military operational deployments, including to Afghanistan immediately post-9/11, and additionally he spent five years serving as a security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his career in the British Army he served with British SOF (The Parachute Regiment), to include a role training and selecting recruits for the Regiment. More recently, he has served in a Combat Medic and Civil Affairs role in the US Army Reserves. He is the author of two books: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations. With his vast military background and real world experience, Max provides the kind of information that every prepper needs to learn, understand and integrate into their long-term security and home defense plans.

defenseIn this article for the final week of ‘52 Weeks for Preparedness’ I will discuss long term security and defense of your retreat location. We cannot predict now exactly what conditions will look like after a collapse and as such I urge you not to make too many assumptions based on your particular idea of what such a post-SHTF situation will look like. The purpose will be to give you the general principles and techniques of defending a location, which you can tailor and apply as necessary and appropriate. It is best to adopt a mindset of flexibility and gather mental and physical knowledge and ‘tools’ in order to be able to develop your response and put some of these measures in place as you find them necessary and appropriate. For the article I will assume a broad post-SHTF situation of societal collapse with a general absence of law and order.

What is the threat? As a prepper hunkered down at your home, with food stores, the most likely threat will be from looters and marauders. These could take many forms from a simple beggar, through starving neighbors, mobs, tricks and deceptions, to a tactically organized group with weapons and equipment. The worst case is some sort of organized paramilitary style force with heavy equipment bent on forced redistribution. Therefore, remain flexible and have an emergency rally point and extraction route should you be overmatched. Know when you have no alternative but to bug out. You can make this decision if you have the information before the threat arrives and conduct the bug out in good order. Alternatively, you may be forced to make the decision as the attack progresses and have to ‘break contact’ and withdraw under enemy fire; this is one of the most difficult tactical maneuvers. Work on your leadership, decision making and decision points so that your response under the pressure of both time and enemy is optimal. Tied in with this is the need for clear rules of engagement and for the use of force appropriate to the threat.

This short article is mainly concerned with defense of a single location and as such will not go into techniques such as mobile and area defense, which could be useful for a larger community. Remember, the best form of defense is to avoid the fight. But that may not be possible and you have to always plan and prepare for that fight. You can better avoid the fight by adopting a lower profile at your location, attempting to conceal your supplies and capabilities. The opposite of this is to have a high profile and try to use threat of force as a deterrent. But remember that a good rifleman could sit out at long range and simply shoot your defenders in their sentry positions. In my opinion, the best approach for a small survivor group is to adopt a lower profile while maintaining the capability to defeat threats as they are encountered. The following are some principles of defense that you should consider and apply to your location and plan:

  • All Round Defense, in order to anticipate a threat from any direction.
  • Depth, in order to prevent penetration of your defended position.
  • Mutually Supporting Sectors of Fire, in order to increase the strength and flexibility of a defense.
  • Concealment and Deception, in order to deny the adversary the advantages of understanding.
  • Maintenance of a Reserve.
  • Offensive Action (where appropriate), in order to seize or regain the initiative.
  • Administration, to include:
    • Appropriate numbers of trained personnel.
    • Appropriate weapons, ammunition and equipment.
    • A watch system for early warning.

Most modern family homes do not lend themselves to defense. The structure is vulnerable to high velocity rounds which will pass through multiple frame, wood and plasterboard walls, and also simple mechanical breaches are possible with tools and even vehicles used as rams. They are also very vulnerable to fire. If you try and defend your house from the windows, then you will not be protected by the walls framing those windows and the room can be filled full of high velocity rounds by an attacking group. There is a real danger of being suppressed by superior firepower. If you stay back from the windows as you should, then you limit your fields of fire and unless there are enough of you defending then the enemy will be able to take advantage of blind spots to close with and then breach the house. You need a basement or other ballistic protected safe room for your noncombatant personnel (kids etc.) to shelter in; otherwise they will not be protected from the violence and from the high velocity rounds ripping through the walls.

One of the key things for a prepper defense of a location is to have an appropriate number of trained personnel with appropriate firearms, ammunition and equipment. You will also have to take measures to harden the building to slow down attempts to breach. You need to consider whether or not you want your property to look derelict; this could be good or bad in the circumstances. It would be worthwhile to consider boarding up or shuttering at least the ground floor windows and think about putting up door bars or even board up some of the doors. This will also help with light discipline. External boards can make the place look derelict, but looking derelict could also encourage approach by potential squatters. You could put up the boards internally, or something similar, in order to maintain a low profile and slow any breaches. There a lots of pros and cons each way. When boarding up doors, ensure that you have at least two independent exits that can be used both for routine tasks but also for egress if you have to escape. Boarding up your windows and doors does not make them ballistically hardened. You could have sandbags ready to go, and you will need to consider a big pile of dirt to fill them from. Consider the benefits of simple mass of soil in protecting you from high velocity rounds, and for the construction of fighting positions. Sandbags need to be at least two deep to protect against high velocity rounds. If you try stacking enough of these on a modern upper floor, or even a ground level floor with a basement beneath, then the weight of a constructed fighting position may cause a collapse. You could stack sandbags externally around designated window fighting positions on the ground floor, but you will need a lot of them. Other alternatives would include filling a chest of drawers with soil to create firing positions, or maybe even material such as steel plate that will weigh less but will provide ballistic protection.

From the principles of defense it is clear that we need to establish a plan which provides early warning, all round defense and mutually supporting sectors of fire. We also need to create depth, which is best utilized outside the building rather than with fall back positions inside the house. We can create depth using external fighting positions to keep attackers away from the house, which will also aid mutual support. A key thing that will really help defense of a house is to have a second or more positions outside of the main building that can provide fire support, thus these positions support each other by keeping enemy away from the house and each other. This position(s) could also be another house or cooperating neighbor if it works out that way. This creates a ‘cross-fire’ so you must enforce fire discipline and allocate sectors of fire to ensure you do not cause ‘friendly fire’.

A very important concept is that of ‘stand-off’. This can be created with a combination of fighting positions in depth and cleared fields of fire with obstacles. If you have an obstacle, such as wire, it must be covered by fire to be effective. Utilize stand-off distances to keep enemy away from the property, combined with obstacles to slow vehicle and dismounted approach. Examples like wire are good for dismounted personnel and also vehicles if it is correctly laid concertina wire. Obstacles such as steel cabling, concrete bollards or planter boxes and felled trees will work well against vehicles. This will also have the effect of reducing the risk of attackers getting close to set the place on fire, which they are likely to try if they can’t get in to get your stuff. If we expand this concept we can see how a mutually supporting neighborhood with checkpoints/roadblocks and observation/fighting positions will provide a great advantage. Stand-off is also important in terms of engaging the enemy with accurate effective fire at the longest range that is physically and legally possible. If you are competent and have the equipment for long range effective suppressive fire, this can have the effect of keeping the enemy at arm’s length and reducing the accuracy and hence effectiveness of their fire, which will prevent them successfully suppressing you and subsequently maneuvering onto your position to breach or burn the property. In addition, consider the presence, placement and potential hard protection of any flammable sources on your property and close to your buildings, such as propane tanks and fuel supplies. Ensure they cannot be repeatedly fired upon by the enemy to cause a fire or explosion. The ability to generate accurate effective long range defensive fire depends on skill, equipment, positioning of fighting positions, your policy for the use of force and also the way the terrain affects weapons killing areas and ranges. To engage at long range you have to reasonably fear that the enemy presents a threat of lethal force against your defended location. However, if you are in a closer urban or wooded environment you may find some of your fields of fire are limited and you will have to plan and position accordingly.

Administration is a key factor. While you are maintaining your defense you need to look after the welfare of the team, equipment and the site itself. Administration is what preppers usually concentrate on. This is your “beans, bullets and band-aids”. This is an area where those that are non-combatants can really pull their weight and make a difference. You must maintain a watch system which will be tied in to ‘stand to’ positions and maybe some form of ‘Quick Reaction Force’ or reserve, depending on the resources and numbers available to you. Your watch system can be augmented by other early warning sensors such as dogs and mechanical or electronic systems. Day to day you will need to keep the machine running and this will be the biggest challenge as time goes on. Complacency Kills! Depending on the extent of your preparations, stores and the resources within your property, this will have a knock-on effect to your ability to remain covert and the requirement to send out foraging patrols. People will also start to get cabin fever, particularly kids, and you will need to consider how to entertain them. Consider that while mundane tasks are being completed, there is always someone on watch. People that are not on watch need to have weapons and ammunition carrying equipment close or on their person while doing other things. Consider carrying long rifles slung as well as handguns everywhere you go on the property, with at least a light bit of web gear with some additional magazines in pouches. Rifles should never be out of your arms reach if there is any kind of threat of attack. You should put rifle racks or hooks/nails on walls in key rooms, out of reach of kids, so that rifles can be grabbed quickly if the alarm is sounded.

Regarding your noncombatants or protected personnel; what you do with them depends on who they are. The younger kids will need to be protected in the safest location you have. Others will be useful to do tasks such as re-load magazines, distribute water and act as firefighting crews. Note that you need to have fire-extinguishers and buckets of water and /or sand available at hand during a defense to put out any fires. The more tasks you give people during a crisis, the more the activity will take their minds off the stress of the situation and the team will be strengthened. Ammunition replenishment, water distribution, casualty collection point, first aid, watching the rear and looking after the younger kids are all examples of tasks that can be allocated to make people a useful part of the team when personnel resources are tight.

Firearms and equipment has been covered under the home defense article. For this kind of defensive situation you will be well served by the ability to detect, observe and accurately engage enemy at the longest range possible by day and night. This is easily said, but would take throwing money at it to get all the equipment you need to best do it. In terms of firearms, I would recommend tactical type high capacity magazine rifles for the main work, backed up by handguns and pump action 12 gauge shotguns. The shotguns are good for close work and if the enemy gets in to the building, last ditch stuff. Long range hunting type rifles are good for observation (scope) and longer distance engagement. You would be best served with good optics for your weapons and also observation devices such as binoculars. Think about night vision and even thermal imaging if you can afford it. You will also have to consider that even if you can afford a night vision device, it will only work for whoever has it so how will the rest engage? What type and configuration of these night vision devices, on weapons as sights or not? Without night sights you can fire at muzzle flash or use whatever illumination is available, white light or whatever. A good option is to have parachute illumination flares. Loose barking dogs on your property are perhaps the best low budget early warning system; however consider that they may give away your position if you are trying to be totally covert. Decide on your priorities and strategy and tie that in with what money you have to spend on equipment. You can get expensive systems such as ground sensors, lights and alarms, but these cost money and you have to consider their use in a long-term grid down situation. I would prefer to spend money on optics and night observation devices which will last without grid power (but will require batteries) and can also be taken with you if you have to move locations. Here are some basic suggestions for equipment to augment such a defense:

  • Appropriate tactical firearms & ammunition
  • Web gear and magazines
  • Ear and eye protection
  • Body armor and helmets, NIJ level IIIa or Level IV
  • Barbed wire, coiled (concertina) and for low wire entanglements
  • Sandbags or other ballistic protection options
  • Night vision devices
  • Binoculars plus optical rifle sights
  • Black out curtain and pre-cut plywood for windows
  • Parachute illumination flares
  • Trip-flares
  • Trauma medical kit incl. CAT tourniquets
  • Range cards
  • Two way radios and/or field telephones
  • Multiple fire-extinguishers and/or buckets of water

If you have put a group together for such a defense, they need to be trained on not only tactical shooting and basic small unit tactics and movement, but also briefed and rehearsed on the defensive plan including fighting positions and sectors of fire. Consider that depending on your circumstances and the terrain, you may be benefited by running periodic clearance patrols around the property to mitigate against surprise attack, and to do this your team need to be able to patrol and move tactically, as well as respond to any enemy contact. You will preferably have a medic with a trauma bag. You do not want to ever run out of ammunition, so make sure you have as much as you can reasonably purchase. Like tactics, ammunition quantities are a subjective argument with many solutions. I recommend a personal load of six to eight thirty round magazines on the person, with at least as many full magazines for resupply. And once you have used that, you need another resupply! In a real life contact you will likely use less ammunition than you may during training and you must concentrate on effective accurate fire rather than simple quantity. Train your team to engage positively identified enemy, or suppress known enemy positions. A rapid rate of fire is 30 rounds per minute; a deliberate rate is 10 rounds per minute.

Practice and rehearse the command and fire control procedures at your location, including the communication of enemy locations and actions. Use range cards to tie in sectors for mutual support and to prevent ‘friendly fire’. Run ‘stand to’ drills like a fire drill by day and by night and be able to call out which direction the enemy threat comes from. Be aware of diversions and demonstrations intended to distract you from the main direction of attack. Always cover all sectors, even with just one observer looking to the flanks and rear in a manpower crisis. Keep unnecessary noise and shouting down, allowing orders and target indications to be passed around the position. Every team member is a sensor and a ‘link man’ to pass on information.

Having said all that, you are not going to open fire on just anyone coming to your location. Any actions that you take should be justifiable as self-defense. Do be mindful of tricks and the potential for snipers. However, don’t give up on morality and charity and don’t illegally open fire on anyone that comes near your defended location. You need to agree on rules of engagement for your sentries and you should apply escalation of force protocols to meet a threat with the proportionate and appropriate force necessary to stop that threat. Have the ability to warn anyone approaching, whether you have permanent warning signs or something like a bullhorn that you use as part of your escalation procedures through warning to non-lethal then lethal force as you begin to identify them as posing a threat. Remember that escalation of force is a continuum and you can bypass the early stages and go directly to lethal force if taken by surprise and faced with a lethal threat that must be stopped.

Max Velocity is an author and trainer providing tactical instruction and advice for those preparing for disaster survival and high threat, protection and combat operations. He is the author of two books on security issues: Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival and Rapid Fire! Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations .
Visit http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/

 (Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Survive the Collapse)

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Must have kitchen items and survival skills

RainMan38 Must Have Kitchen Items for Any Survivalist
16 September 2012 , The Emergency Food Supply, by Michael
Pasted from: http://theemergencyfoodsupply.com/archives/38-must-have-kitchen-items-for-any-survivalist by SurvivingSurvivalism.com

Regardless of how many #10 cans of “just-add-water-ready-to-eat” stuff you have, at some point you’re going to have to learn to use a kitchen in much the same way as your granny, or your great-granny, did. So we’ve put together this list of 38 essential kitchen items for any survivalist.

1.  Matches  If you don’t smoke, why on earth would you need matches? But if we’re going to learn to cook like granny, for most of you that would include cooking on top of a wood heat stove, or on a wood cook stove with an oven. I know there are ways to start a fire with a magnifying glass, some straw and some kindling, but believe me, matches are easier. If you’re really good at starting and keeping a fire throughout the 3 daily meals, you could use as little as 1 match a day. If you’re not, 20 may not be enough. We have found that the most economical matches are book matches, like you get with a pack of cigarettes. They come in a box of 50 books, 20 matches per book, for about $1.50 in many stores. That’s a lot of lights for cheap. Wooden kitchen matches go for about $3.50 for 250 matches. See the difference?
kitchen openers2.  Can-Opener -we’re not talking about the kind that plugs into a wall. Have at least 2 good, sturdy hand operated can-openers . The newer ones from China do wear out. We’ve worn out a few. We also have an Army C-Ration P-38 can-opener. It takes a little practice, but once you get the groove going on it, you can open a #10 can in a few seconds.
3.  Hand Grain Mill - We have said this before, but we personally like the Wondermill Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill. (This is not a compensated endorsement, it’s just what we use and like.) For the money, it’s the best we have found. What can you do with it? Grind wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye, lentils into flour. It can also be used to make nut-butters, like pinion butter, walnut butter, chestnut butter. It will also make cornmeal. The uses are virtually endless, especially if you eat a lot of whole, natural foods.
4.  Cast Iron/Stainless Steel Cookware - If you are going to be cooking over a wood stove of any kind, you need durable stainless steel or cast iron cookware. Aluminum (besides not being good for your health) tends to warp on wood cook stoves. Black, cast iron pans heat evenly, hold the heat for a long time and do not warp., not to mention giving you a little dose of iron in your food.
5.  Roasting Pans – Enamelware is best, and so is stainless steel. Make sure the roasting pan will fit into your oven! Wood cook stoves don’t have the same huge ovens as gas or electric stoves.
6.  Tea Kettle  Stainless Steel or Copper. In the winter, a steaming tea kettle on the wood stove not only serves as as-the-ready for tea or coffee, the steam warms and moisturizes the air. Just don’t let it boil down all the way before refilling it.
7. Colanders  Metal (stainless steel) is best. If you have or want some plastic colanders, understand that they will break over time, and most of them are made with BPA in the plastic.
8.  Cookie Sheets  for breads, biscuits, cookies, for drying fruits or veggies… Avoid Teflon coatings or aluminum cookie sheets, get stainless steel.
9. Cooking Utensils- Again, metal (stainless steel) is much better than plastic, and with stainless steel and cast iron cookware, you don’t have to worry about scratches:
– Ladles
– Serving Forks
– Slotted Spoons
– Pastry Cutter
– Rolling Pin
– Sharpening Steel
– Cheese Grater/Slicer
– Potato Peeler
– Whisk- Meat Tenderizing Hammer

kitchen utensils
10.  Measuring Cups and Spoons- Once again, stainless steel is the best choice for these. A 4-cup glass measuring cup with a pour-spout would be a nice addition, too.
11. Good Knives  Good Knives are ones that will keep a sharp edge for a reasonable amount of time, not go dull instantly upon use. If you can find old, carbon-steel knives in yard sales or flea markets, they are best, Old Hickory, Old Timers, Imperial are some brands to look for.
12. Sugar (or honey or molasses), Essential for coffee, tea, baking, preserving, and much more. Get Turbinado or Demarara Sugar, which is unrefined and still contains nutrients.
13.  Salt - Sea salt may seem more expensive that “table” salt (I didn’t know you could get salt from a table!?!), but it has many minerals and nutrients still in it. It also tastes better.
14.  Baking Soda -there are soooooooo many uses for baking soda besides baking: antacid, drawing poultice, kitchen cleanser, vegetable rinse, fire extinguisher, food preservative, water purifier, toothpaste, bathing, hair rinse, facial exfoliant are just a few.
15.   Vinegar  white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar all have their uses. Distilled vinegar can remove lime deposits from cookware, use in salad dressings, rinse minerals from hair, preserve/pickle vegetables.
16.  Spices - this will be different for different people (no accounting for taste!), but here are some suggestions:
– Garlic powder
– Paprika
– Dill
– Basil
– Oregano
– Onion Powder
– Cinnamon
– Chili Powder
17.  Dried Veggies - these can also be used to season dishes, or to make soups or stews. Again, this is not a paid recommendation, but http://www.sfherb.com/ (San Francisco Herb Company) has a great bargain.  1 lb of dehydrated veggies for around $7. A pound lasts me about a month, and I cook a lot.
18.  Cooking Oil  In our opinion, there are only 2 types of cooking oil safe for human consumption… Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Peanut Oil.

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B. 25 Must Know Skills For Surviving The Coming Nightmare
3 April 2012, SHTFplan.com, article contributed by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/25-must-know-skills-for-surviving-the-coming-nightmare_04032012

kitchen fireThe following article was generously shared with the SHTFplan community by regular contributor ‘Be Informed’ and provides skills that will be essential for surviving any number of catastrophes that may befall us.

Many people nowadays are quite aware that the world they live in is going to the toilet. Aside from the geophysical part that “seems” to be going haywire and could be nothing other than the planet’s cycles, there are plenty of manmade catastrophes that loom on the horizon. Never has the planet had as many people as now and the more people there are the more competition there is for resources. More countries seek nuclear devices than ever before and with advancements in technology this is a much easier process than anytime before. Biological and chemical weapons are also much easier to manufacture because of leaps of technology in regards to computers. Oil markets are much tighter because of the countries of China and India and their increasing need of energy to fuel their booming economies, and new finds of oil fields cannot keep up with the demand. The debacle of the world economies needs no introduction. In short, bad times, really bad times could and probably be coming to a neighborhood near you. Unless you and your family take quite seriously this possibility, if and when something extremely horrible happens, you could very well end up one of the large number of statistics.

Many survival sites have informative and excellent advice on survival that can help you make it through a limited amount of time when everyday life is totally disrupted. However, what exactly does a person do IF the society that almost all of us have become way too dependent on, fails to recover for an extended period of time, if ever again? What IF civilization implodes and only begins to recuperate after centuries have gone by? If you watch some of the ideas people have on survival being interviewed on television, you have to wonder what exactly these people are thinking. The people that have prepared for problems with the world are woefully ready for any disaster lasting for more than a few days at best. One lady thought having a flashlight was being prepared. Even those that have invested in years worth of food and supplies, there are some basic survival skills that need to be learned and understood to better increase one’s chance of making it through a possible long-term survival situation.

The following are 25 suggestions on those survival skills that will likely be needed after a nightmare has hit human civilization with a vengeance. Each of these 25 skills can fill an entire article on learning and teaching of it. So only a brief overlay of each of these will be discussed to avoid pages long descriptions. Further information can be obtained through many survival books and the many articles on each subject. Situations and personal handling of SHTF situations will differ widely, but the foundation will likely be there for almost everyone. The main objective is to get people into learning and practicing these survival skills so when something cataclysmic does happen, they can better deal with and make it through intense human tragedy.

1.  Prepare for the worst. Individuals can still hope for the best, but something lacking with many preppers is that they still cannot even think about something really awful happening. Too many of those that do ready themselves for disasters cannot find within themselves to even discuss with their families and friends a calamity that is horrid and what to do if it should manifest itself. This denial leads to a failure of preparing enough beyond usually a couple of weeks or so. To them, there is still that government or other safety net waiting for them when their preparation runs out.

2.  Learn and train your mind to expect the totally unexpected. The bizarre oftens happens, and there are events that are going to freak out even kitchen thoughtssome the better prepared survivalists. A lot of people will prepare and practice all sorts of drills for various horrors, which is wonderful training. There still lurks the possibility of something so strange and weird that it shocks practically everyone. By addressing this possiblity in your thoughts before it actually happens, you have conditioned your mind to at least accept this. Training for something strange can be done through other individuals within your circle of allies coming up with sudden scenarioes that only their imaginations can fathom.

3.  Learn to live meager. This is practicing for when times become lean for everyone. If a person wants to avoid the shock of living well to living under a rationed way of life, now is the time to get used to it. We all take so much for granted – the modern conveniences – it becomes an automated habit to turn on a light switch, flip on the internet, TV, cell phone, without even considering this could be wiped out within an instant. We open the refrigerator and there is food, or put food already pre-cooked into the microwave to warm it. We go to the supermarket and get what we need. We have entertainment at our fingertips. If this is all gone, how will people handle it? Horribly if they have not gotten used to going without it for at least part of their lives. A “time out” each day from what we so rely on that could disappear is quite helpful to being ready for if it does go away suddenly.

4.  Find personal motivators to continue on. When it looks hopeless after a mega SHTF episode, having some concrete reason to fight and continue on is an absolute necessity to avoid giving up. Many people will feel, “what’s the point?”, and just stop trying to survive. Someone’s child sitting next to them, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a friend, someone that means something to you can be that inspiration to continue on. It can be just someone’s desire for life that helps them over the hump. Finding that personal reason to survive and fight on is so important.

5.  Understand the world and potential disasters that await. When you can better expect what could happen, you are less likely to be caught off guard. Timing is everything. An individual that can bug out before something hits is going to be way ahead of the pack. While predicting the future is probably going to be unlikely, seeing a situation developing and acting on it before it occurs can be a life saver. By monitoring the news of the world with vigilance you can see something others don’t. By becoming more informed about earth science if you live in an area prone to geophysical disaster prone areas can help much. The old adage about knowledge is power is very true, but knowledge is also part of survival and the more you have the more likely it is that you will survive.

6.  Make plans and stick to them. After a disaster your mind is going to be racing around like a car on a race track. Pre-planning and having a written down set of measures to take will make someone’s life go much smoother when SHTF. Your own personal plan is ONLY what best fits what you are going to do during and after a disaster. People should also have back-up plans, PLAN B and C and D at least because nothing ever seems to go as planned. Haphazard approaches to the aftermaths of catastrophes are kind of like a chicken running around without a head.

7.  Understand how you’ll react. Some people just cannot handle stress, they freeze up and panic overwhelms them. Everyone reacts to stress and fear in different ways, and even the most calm in control person can become ballistic or paralyzed with fright. Addressing this issue before something happens and attempting to come to grips with it is essential. People have remarkable levels of tolerance for bad times and most can dig down and come up mentally with what is necessary to survive. Any phobia or fear is usually better dealt with before being put to the test. A first step is to admit to oneself that these disasters can and do happen and then thinking over, even writing down how one will handle it. Talking this over with another is invaluable.

8.  Understand the psychology of desperate people. This is a difficult one. After a SHTF event people are going to, simply put, go crazy. That neighbor that was in control during many minor emergencies may be the one pounding on your door with whacked out eyes demanding what you have because they did not prepare for anything. Someone in your own survival group may just blank out in a zombie-like stare. Unexpected times brings out the worst in people and people should prepare for this possiblility. You yourself could lose it. Again, preparing for this will help should it occur. You always hope that disasters will bring out the best in your fellow person, but often this is not the case.

9.  Be clever and inventive. When the world falls apart around someone, there is likely not going to be anyone there to repair what you have or somewhere to replace it. You will either have to go without, repair it yourself, or jerry rig up some contraption that will function for you. Much can be learned by practicing going without your power tools and fixing things using only hand tools and what you can find in spare parts laying around. Using junk to come up with unique devices that work for you will become a necessary skill you will need to master should society fail to come back.

10.  Learn and condition yourself into a survival mentality. Homeless people become experts at seeing what others consider pure trash as survival tools. The fine art of scrounging around will become a chore that people will have to do to find what they need. That bottle on the ground after a disaster can be used for many purposes including collecting something you can use. People must first try to see in their minds what certain items can have use for them. Homeless people have become quite good at this during stable times, everyone will have to learn this skill after times become nightmare-like.

11.  Know where you are going. Whether someone is going to bug in or bug out to somewhere safer, they need to know where they plan to take a stand and stay. Transportation is a very important issue to consider and how much of what they have can be moved to where they are planning to go. Fuel will be a huge consideration as the lack of it prohibits how far someone can go. Something else everyone should understand is how to read maps. You will likely not have any GPS system to guide you and the good old fashioned paper map may be the only way to show you where you are going. Understanding topographic maps is also key here.

12.  Learn how to maintain light at night. One of the most depressing situations is to spend night in near to total darkness. Besides this, not being able to see at night is dangerous. Learning how to make candles and wicks should be a skill to consider learning. Fats and other oils will burn and can be obtained throughout nature and the outdoors. Long term solar battery rechargers for flashlights and LED battery powered lanterns are another option.

13.  Learn how to hide. There will almost certainly come a time after a bad disaster that you will want to avoid being noticed at all. Learning how to camouflage yourself is a good start. Avoiding detection is concealing yourself from sight, sound, and smell from others. Any activity that a person engages in can be magnified many times when the normal sounds of a busy city or town are now quiet. Much careful consideration must go into taking this into account if a person wants to remain unbeknownst to others that mean them harm. Remaining inconspicuous can be difficult in some cases, but it can be done.

kitchen sanitation14.  Maintain proper hygiene. This is one of the top priorities within the armed forces because disease and sickness can and do take down the toughest of soldiers. People must realize that after a terrible disaster it is not like someone that goes camping, comes back dirty, and takes a nice long shower or a hot bath. After SHTF the water to the faucets, as well the hot water heater, may not work. Bathing on at least a semi-regular basis is necessary to avoid all sorts of bacteria from building up on the skin and causing a variety of health concerning ailments that will then have to be treated. People should plan on just how they will keep themselves clean, even thinking about sponge baths as an option.

15.  How to dispose of waste and proper sanitation. In third world countries and the pre-flush toilet era one of the leading causes of illness and death was and is waste not properly discarded. If the toilets won’t flush because there is no water to make them work, human waste is going to be a huge whopping problem for people trying to survive. Even improperly burying human excrement can lead to disease. Portable toilets, toilet paper and disinfection (bleach for one) should be one of the top items in any survival kit, lots of it. Also disposal of other trash is an issue that can bring hungry dangerous animals around drawn to the stench. Burning of trash can be choice of some, while plastic trash bags and the means to find some place to dump them is another alternative.

16.  Learn to control pest and other vermin. This is a problem that led to about half of Europe dying several hundred years ago with the black death. Fleas and ticks carry some terrible diseases. Even people that stay inside their own homes will have to deal with this problem. People outside will have to contend with the fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes, mice, rats, etc., etc., etc. There are many repellents in nature that can help a lot such as citronella, even the smell of garlic that most vermin do not like much at all. Stocking up on insect and other commercial repellents is always an excellent idea. It only takes one bite to make a person deathly sick.

17.  Understand radiation and fallout and how to protect yourself. This is one of the least understood of the survival precautions taken. There are hundreds of nuclear power plants that could fail after the world goes to the toilet. There are still tens of thousands of nuclear weapons available for war should countries decide to use them. Fallout is something that you might not even see and until you are sick might not even know you have been contaminated. Purchase of a radiation detector that is protected against EMP is a wise idea. Even building what is called a Kearny radiation detector is something someone can do that doesn’t have much money to work with. Understanding about radiation accumulation dosage RAD’s and how to shield oneself against it is paramount.

18.  Learn how to forecast the weather. Without knowledge of what to look at before a storm system comes in, someone could be trapped and die when they are are buried under snow or a wall of water from a flashflood. Even one of those pocket weather forecasters that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores is a good start. Other weather forecasting books are available to help someone get a better idea on what the future weather holds for an area that they are at. Weather is still one of the deadliest killers in the modern age. It will become magnitudes worst when people cannot get weather warnings over a radio or other source. People will have to forecast it themselves.

19.  Learn first aid. Treating yourself and or others will probably be the only thing someone can do as medical professionals are going to be few and far between. Many places offer free classes on first aid because they want people in the community to be prepared. A good first aid book along with a first aid kit is something every household should have before, during, and after a disaster. Primitive conditions should be expected when anyone is helping someone after a catastrophe. A stockpile of antibiotics are always a good idea. Even acquring the skill of making your own antibiotics can save lives as infection is something that will become an epidemic, especially with minor cuts and abrasives that are sure to be plenty.

20.  Learn about nutrition. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are nothing to fool around with. Just look what scurvy, the lack of Vitamin C, can do to someone. Many survivalists and preppers make the critical mistake of only being concerned about calories to keep them going. Vitamins; A, B1 through B12, C. D, E, K, Minerals; Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, and trace minerals are necessary to keep a body going. Many survival foods have some of what your body needs, but sadly lack in others. Each person needs different amounts and any survival food supply should take this need as important as the food itself. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be stocked with food if someone is unsure about what they are getting. Trace mineral drops are a liquid that offers much and are a good addition to any emergency supply someone has.

21.  Learn to keep body temperature uniform. The Goldilocks analogy here, not too hot, nor too cold, but just right. Your physical body should remainkitchen water as near to what your body has been use to as possible. It is not only uncomfortable being freezing cold or roasting to death, it puts a lot of stress on the body making someone more susceptible to becoming sick. Trying to stay cool uses up a lot of water, and trying to stay warm uses up more calories. Plan ahead with good warm clothes and blankets for the cold. Find places that are cooler during hot weather. Keeping out the elements where you are is essential and should be given much thought. If living outside, having a good shelter is beyond important. Insulation is something everyone should become more familiar with.

22.  How to start and maintain a fire. This is for everyone. Having a fire and keeping it going when you need to has been the essence to the very first people on the planet surviving. Fire cooks, heats water, keeps you warm, sterilizes items, and gives light. Having a lighter, matches, any starter is one thing, but actually keeping the fire going is another. Making sure the fire does not cause damage to your home or shelter is something not everyone thinks about. Burning of toxic wood or other material is something to remember never to do. Keeping a fire not too noticable to others is something everyone should remember because normally a fire means FOOD to a hungry person. While most everyone thinks that using a fire is rudimentry, there is much more to it.

23.  Obtain water and purify it. This is one of the most rehashed subjects of survival but probably the most important one. Most people just assume the taps will continue to flow and water will be there. Preppers that take water as extremely urgent often forget just how heavy water is and the hauling of water back and forth from a source such as a stream can be difficult as well as hazardous if it is wiser to stay inside for whatever reason. People need to know that unless water is from a spring it will likely need to be purified and this means some reliable filters or boiling it which requires heat from a fire, along with pots to boil it in. Aside from drinking, water is also needed to rehydrate food, make milk from powder, and of course cleaning yourself with. We all have to have a certain amount of liquid a day, and juice and other sources will suffice, but water is something that everyone still needs in order to keep their bodies healthy and functioning, as well as to remove toxins in the body. Water need and how much water will be used is something that is often vastly underestimated by many.

kitchen scavange24.  Learn how to grow food and or find it. People’s supplies will only last so long, and eventually self sufficiency with acquiring food will become necessary. Many people are into seed storing, and in many cases growing your own food will feed the family. However growing food has many drawbacks that people need to look at. Water is an issue in dry areas as irrigation is very manpower or animal power dependent. Growing season is a huge consideration as most of the U.S. is under 300 days of rain a year. Pest problems are enormous as pest control, pesticides both natural herbicides and chemical, are not going to be readily available. One of the gravest things to contemplate about is actually guarding your yield, as two legged problems could be a bigger issue to your crops than some beetle infestation. Hungry people will see food growing and take it, 24 hours a day. No one can grow enough food to feed all those seeking food. From a practical sense, it might be a better idea for some to go the hunter and gathering approach.

25.  Learn how to defend yourself and be willing to do it. This almost certainly means owning a firearm and knowing how to use it and be willing to use it to protect yourself or others. Many TV survival documentaries shows have people that feel they can defend themselves with knives, clubs, whatever, but in reality against someone else with a firearm they are going to lose 95%+ of the time. A firearm is an extension of a weapon that has speed and force behind it. Even the humble .22 caliber can stop any person. Many people think that they cannot use a firearm against another person, but this feeling changes abruptly when they see one of their family members at risk. Some people still cannot use a firearm, and in this case should consider some form of self defense such as the non-lethal devices including stun batons, pepper sprays, TASERS, even ball bats. NO ONE should ever consider themselves to be safe after a SHTF event, NEVER. People can feel that everyone will come together and rebuild society, many good people will, but there are plenty of bad people in this world. It may come down to you or them. Everyone needs to practice and practice with any self defense armament they have, so there is no hestiation when it comes to saving one’s life from someone that is willing to take yours.

These are 25 suggestions that people need to address now, before trying to survive the aftermath of a horrible event that sends the normalcy that everyone has become accustomed to down the drain for extended periods of time. People that prepare have to realize that when civilization stops functioning so does everything that most of us depend on. There may never be that safety net there for us to fall into WHEN our stocked up survival supplies run dry. Much of survival is having supplies, as well as backups for when food, water, and other necessities cannot be found. The other part is being ready for everything our new life could throw in our way. For this we all need to learn survival skills. At least think about it and then hopefully act upon it. When someone thinks about their personal needs, an individual can probably add many more survival skills to these 25. They should become quite proficient with the skills they personally need and can use NOW before SHTF so they have a better chance of surviving some nightmare series of events that “seem” like an inevitability in the not too near distant future.

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Must have kitchen items & survival skills)

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Food expiration dates

A.  The Real Expiration Date for Common Foods
15 March 2014, Natural Blaze.com, by Heather Callanghan
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-real-expiration-date-for-common-foods_032014

cheeseBy Heather Callaghan
The regulation guidelines for expired foods are few and arbitrary, really. They are also voluntary. They sprang up in the 1970s for more consumer information and perceived freshness. Expiration labels are only required by law for infant formula and baby foods; other laws regarding dairy are left up to some states and vary. There is waste before, during and after a food item’s grocery stay. Now, more than ever, when throwing out food we’re unsure of, it feels like trashing bags of money – and most of it is completely unnecessary. But nobody wants too read yet another scolding article about it. So…

Now that we know our expiration labels don’t tell us anything at all – where do we go from here? What can we eat with confidence?

First, let’s define some terms for the dates printed on food products:

Expiration – This is an estimated date for when the item is expected to go bad and the consumer is expected to proceed with caution. Still, a surprisingly large amount of these can be expanded, with some exceptions.

Sell by – That’s for the retailer, not for you. It’s about peak quality, like with flavor. It’s for store display and maddeningly, much of this gets tossed – prompting a “dumpster dive” revolution. Wouldn’t it be nice if people didn’t have to relegate themselves to a dumpster to get this perfectly good food? But in the dump it goes first.

Best if Used By/Before and Use By – Again, these refer to quality, not safety.
Pack or Born On – This is the manufacture date stamp and often refers to canned goods and beer.
Guaranteed Fresh – This is mostly the baker’s way of letting you know how long you can enjoy the baked good before it possibly goes stale. It doesn’t mean it’s harmful, but could be stale.

Yogurt and deli meat can last a week to 10 days more than the “sell by” date. Salami at two to three weeks. Most fresh meats, especially poultry and seafood, should be cooked and eaten within days. Eggs a whopping five weeks after expiration. When in doubt, gently place eggs in a big bowl of cold water filled to the top. If the eggs float, toss them. If they “stand up” that just means they are not as fresh but are still okay to eat.

Packaged items can last a long time after expiration but after months you may notice a staleness and waxy taste which could be rancid oils. Packaged and canned items can generally last a year or more after the stamped date.

The key to keeping storable foods the longest, is cool, dry and airtight. Canned goods included. If you see bulging cans – do not open! It’s rare, but it could be botulism. Bill Nye made this crystal clear to me as a kid.

Real Simple and iVillage offer a list of items and a “true” expiration, some lasting for years, but again, take with a grain of salt. Throwing out opened juice after a week in the fridge? No way! Of course if you make your juice yourself, ideally, it should be consumed immediately for best benefits. Whole, natural foods and drinks do not generally last as long as the grocery store – but you knew that! For instance, when I buy homemade bread I know to freeze it, otherwise mold is great indicator I waited one day too long. Lesson learned. Raw honey can last forever and honey and brown sugar indefinitely.

Cheese can have a long fridge life too. According to one naturopath, Kerrygold cheese from grass fed cows can be bought in bulk at Whole Foods and sit in the fridge for six months – mine is still fine after one month.

Is it really a great idea to be eating old food? Debatable. Some fruits like bananas can have added benefits with age. Ayurvedic principles frown on old or rotten food for its effect on the body or bio-rhythms (except for items better with age or fermentation). But, I’ve seen depression-era folks charge through their 80′s having lived a frugal life eating the bad fruits first, expired foods and keeping the fridge well above the suggested 40 degree mark. (Where can I get an immune system like that!)

The bottom line is that expiration is perception and to follow your nose and your gut. If something smells or tastes funny, do not risk it! Common sense and intuition are our friends and thankfully, we are much less likely to get sick in a clean home than from a restaurant. If you think you might get food poisoning, immediately take homeopathic Arscenicum Album 30c and Activated Charcoal.
What have you noticed that you can eat after the stamped date?

Two websites devoted completely to real expiration dates:
http://www.stilltasty.com/
http://www.eatbydate.com/

All Recipes allows you to type in what ingredients you currently have and pulls up recipes you can use. You can save favorite recipes in your own online recipe box.
Love Food Hate Waste is an English web site devoted to helping people use food on its way out

– See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/the-real-expiration-date-for-common-foods_032014#sthash.iOuVubo3.dpuf

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 B.  Shelf Life for Long-Term Food Storage
ThePreppersWife
Pasted from: http://prepperswife.blogspot.com/p/shelf-life.html

The following may be stored indefinitely (in proper containers and conditions):
Wheat
Vegetable oils
Corn
Soybeans
Sugar
White rice
Bouillon products
Powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)
Vitamin C
DRY Pasta

PRETTY GOOD REFERENCE FOR LONG TERM FOOD STORAGE ~ Your mileage may vary ~ not a complete list but a good start.  Shelf life data provided below gives specific foods and average shelf life assuming optimum storage conditions.  Foods kept at lower temperatures extend their shelf life. Foods vac sealed – last longer

“A hungry man decides for himself what’s fit to  eat, A hungry Mom decides what’s fit to eat for the family” ~ The Prepper’s Wife 2011 Shelflife of Food Items * NOTE: Shelf life info from various sources.  Conflicts are researched through multiple resources.

Baby Food, canned – 12 months
Baking Powder – 18 months (unopened)
Baking Soda – 18-24 months
Beans, Adzuki – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Blackeye – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Black Turtle – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Dried – 12-24 months ( in their original container)
Beans, Dried – indefinitely (resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Beans, can, Baked, Bush – 24-36 months 1-423-509-2361
Beans, can, Black, Progresso – 24 months 1-800-200-9377
Beans, can, Bush Beans Brand – 26 months
Beans, Garbanzo – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Great Northern – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Kidney – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Mung Beans – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Pink – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Pinto – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Refried – 5 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Small Red – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Beans, Soy – 8-10 years (at 70 degrees F.)
Bouillon – 24 months (Keep dry and covered)
Bouillon (Cubes) – 24 months
Bouillon (Granules) – 12 months
Bouillon, Herb Ox – 24 months
Bouillon, Tone – 24 months
Bread, Crackers – 3 months
Bread, Crackers, Saltines – 8 months
Bread, Crackers, Ritz – 8 months
Bread, Crackers, Whole-wheat – 48 months
Bread, Crumbs, dried – 6 months (Store dry and covered)
Bread, fresh, store-bought (original container @ 70° F. basement) – 5 days
Bread, frozen, store-bought (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 6 months
Bread, Mix, Biscuit Mixes (most) – 9 months
Bread, Mix, Biscuit Mix, Krusteaze, any flavor except mix for bread machines – 24 months
Bread, Mix, Hot-roll mix -18 months (If opened, store in airtight) container
Bread, Rolls (commercial) – 3-5 days (frozen 2-3 months) Homemade breads may have shorter shelf life due to lack of preservatives.
Bread, Tortillas, Corn – 1-2 weeks (refrigerated 2 weeks) May be frozen
Bread, Tortillas, Flour – 1-2 weeks (refrigerated 2 weeks) May be frozen
Bread, wheat, homemade (polyethelene bag @ 70° F. basement) – 3 days
Bread, white, homemade (polyethelene bag @ 70° F. basement) – 5 days
Butter, dehydrated – 5-8 years
Butter (refrigerated) – 1-2 weeks (frozen 6-9 months) Wrap or cover tightly.
Buttermilk Powder – 24-36 months
Buttermilk (refrigerated) – 10-14 days Cover tightly. Flavor not affected if buttermilk separates.
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Cake Mix (most) – 9-12 months
Cake Mix, Angel Food – 9 months
Cake Mix, Betty Crocker – 8-12 months
Cake Mix, Jiffy – 24 months
Cake Mix, Pillsbury – 18 months
Candy, hard – 24 months
Casseroles, mix – 9-12 months (Keep cool and dry)
Cereals, cooked – 6 months
Cereal, Corn, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cereal, Cream of Wheat – 12 months
Cereal, Hominy Grits – 12 months
Cereal, Oatmeal – 12 months
Cereal, Processed (in a Box) – 6-12 months
Cereal (Publix) – 12-18 months 1-800-242-1227
Cereal, Quinoa Cereal – 1-3 months
Cereals, Ready-to-cook, oatmeal, etc. – 12 months
Cereals, Ready-to-eat (unopened) – 6-12 months (opened 2-3 months)
Cereals, ready-to-eat (opened) – 2-3 months (Refold package tightly)
Cereal, Rice cereal, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cereal, Wheat, shredded, dry Ready-to-eat – 12 months
Cheese, Brick (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Brick (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Cheddar (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Cheddar (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Cottage cheese (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 10-15 days
Cheese, Cream cheese (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 21 days
Cheese, Cream, Neufchatel (refrigerated) – 4 weeks
Cheese, dehydrated – 5-8 years
Cheese, Dry cheeses (original container @ 60 – 70° F. basement) – 3 months
Cheese, Edam (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Edam (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, Gouda (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Gouda (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Cheese, natural (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 6 months
Cheese, Parmesan, grated – 12 months
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano (opened/refrigerated) – 2-4 months
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano (unopened) – 10 months
Cheese, processed (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 8 months
Cheese, Powdered – 36 months
Cheese, Processed Cheese Products (refrigerated) – 3-4 weeks (frozen 4 months)
Cheese, Ricotta (refrigerated) – 5 days
Cheese spreads/dips (original container @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 21 days
Cheese, Swiss (Hard and wax coated) (opened/refrigerated) – 2 months
Cheese, Swiss (Hard and wax coated) (unopened/refrigerated) – 3-6 months (frozen 6 months)
Chocolate ( An Import ) – 12 months
Chocolate, Hot Cocoa Mix, Nestles (Individually Wrapped) – 24 months
Chocolate, Nestles Quick – 24 months
Chocolate, Premelted – 12 months Keep cool.
Chocolate, Semi-sweet – 18-24 months Keep cool.
Chocolate syrup, (unopened) – 2 years
Chocolate syrup, (opened) – 6 months (Refrigerate)
Chocolate, Unsweetened – 18 months Keep cool.
Chocolate syrup (opened) – 6 months
Chocolate syrup (unopened) – 24 months
Cocoa – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Cocoa mixes – 8 months
Condiments, Catsup – 12-24 months
Condiments, Mustard, prepared yellow (opened) – 6-8 months
Condiments, Mustard, prepared yellow (unopened) – 24 months
Condiments, Mustard, French’s (Jar) – 18 months
Condiments, Mustard, French’s (squeeze bottle) – 12 months
Cookie Mix, Basic – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Corn Meal – 6-18 months (Keep tightly closed. Refrigeration may prolong shelf life.)
Corn Starch – 18 months
Corn Starch, Argo – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Cream, Half and Half, Light and Heavy (refrigerated) – 7-10 days (frozen 2 months)
Cream, ultra pasteurized (unopened/refrigerated) – 21-30 days
Cream, Sour (refrigerated) – 2 weeks
Cream, Sour, Dips, commercial (refrigerated) – 2 weeks
Creamer, non-dairy, Creamora – 24 months
Creamer, Non-Dairy – 9-36 months
.
Drink Mix, Country Time Lemonade – 24 months
Drink Mix, Crystal Light – 24 months
Drink Mix, Fruit, powdered – 10 years (in Mylar pouch)
Drink Mix, Orange – 10+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Drink Mix, powdered, Kool Aid, Kraft Foods – 18-24 months 1-800-543-5335
Drink Mix, Tang – 24 months
.
Eggs, dehydrated or freeze-dried powdered – 5-8 years
Eggs, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 120 days
Eggs, pickled – 1-12 months (cool storage is recommended)
Eggs, powdered – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Eggs, processed (original package @ 70° F. cool basement) – 15 months
Extracts; i.e. Vanilla – 18 months
.
Flour, Rice flour – 1-2 months
Flour, White – 6-9 months (some sources say up to 5 years)
Flour, White enriched – 12 months
Flour, White – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Flour, Whole-wheat – 6-9 months (some sources say up to 5 years)
Flour, whole wheat graham – 2 weeks
Frosting, canned (opened) – 3 months (Refrigerate)
Frosting Mix – 8-9 months
Fruit, Apples (can), Comstock – 24-36 months 1-800-270-2743
Fruit, Apples, fresh (separated in boxes @ 32° F. mod. moist cellar) – 6 months
Fruit, Apple Chips, dried – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Fruit, Apple Slices, Dried – 24 months [8 years (in Mylar pouch)]
Fruit, Applesauce, Motts – 12 months
Fruit, Bananas – 2-3 days (until ripened, then refrigerate)
Fruit, Banana, Dried Chips – 8 months
Fruit, Bananas, fresh (ventilated container @ 60 – 70° F. basement) – 1 week
Fruit, Berries, fresh (ventilated container @ 38 – 40 F. refrigerator) – 1-2 weeks
Fruit, Canned – 12-24 months (in the original container at 70 degrees F. in a dry basement)
Fruit, Canned fruits (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 2 years
Fruit, can, Del Monte – 18-26 months
Fruit, can, Comstock – 18-26 months
Fruit, can, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Fruit, Citrus fruit, fresh ventilated container @ 32°F. mode. moist cellar) – 8 weeks
Fruit Cocktail, Canned – 24 months
Fruit, Cherries, Bottled – 24 months
Fruit, Coconut, shredded, canned or packaged – 12 months
Fruits, dried – 6-12 months (Keep cool, in airtight container; if possible)
Fruit, Dehydrated – 6-8 months
Fruit, Dehydrated – 5 years (Hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. – They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures.)
Fruit, Dehydrated fruits (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 8 months
Fruit, Frozen fruits (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 12 months
Fruit, Jams & Jellies (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 18 months
Fruit, Peach, canned – 24 months
Fruit, Peaches, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Fruit, Pear, canned – 24 months
Fruit, Pear halves, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Fruit, Pears, fresh (ventilated container @ 32° F. mod. moist cellar) – 4 months
Fruit, Pie Fillings, Comstock – 18-26 months
Fruit, Pineapple, canned – 24 months
Fruit Smoothie, Del Monte – 12 months
.
Gelatin – 18 months
Gelatin Mixes  18 months
Gelatin, flavored, Jello, Kraft Foods – 24 months
Grain, Barley, Whole (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Barley, pearled – 12 months
Grain, Buckwheat (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Buckwheat (kasha) – 6-12 months
Grain, Corn, Whole, dry – 2-5 years (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum-sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Corn, Whole, dry (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Flax (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Kamut (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Lentils – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Millet (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Oat Groats (a soft grain) – 8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Oats – 2-5 years (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Oats, Rolled (a soft grain) – 1-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Quinoa, Whole (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Rice – 24-48 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Grain, Rice, brown  1-6 months
Grain, Rice, white  24-48 months
Grain, Rice, white – 4 years (in Mylar pouch)
Grain, Rice, wild  24-36 months
Grain, Spelt (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Triticale (a hard grain) – 5-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Grain, Wheat, Whole (a hard grain) – 10-12 years+ (at room temperature sealed without oxygen – possibly indefinitely)
Granola – 1-3 months
.
Herb, Garlic – 5-8 months (Keep in cool, dry, ventilated area.)
Herbs, ground – 6-36 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Herbs, whole – 12-48 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Herb Leaves, flowers, roots, and other herb parts – 12 months after harvesting (in cool place)
Herbs, Frozen (in freezer bags) – 6 months
Herbs, Green, Leafy – 12-36 months
Herbs, Whole Seeds – 3-4 years
Herb or Spice Extracts – 4 years
Herbs, Seasoning Blends – 12-24 months
Herbal Essential oils – indefinitely
Herbal Extracts (Commercially prepared) – expiration date
Herbal Infusions – Make fresh daily. Store in refrigerator or cool place.
Herbal Decoctions – Consume within 48 hours. Store in refrigerator or cool place.
Herbal tablets or capsules (Commercially prepared) – expiration date
Herbal Tea (comfrey leaf or root) – 24 hours
Herbal Tinctures (Alcohol based) – 2-4 years
Herbal Tinctures (Vinegar based) – 12-24 months
Herbal Tinctures, syrups, and essential oils – Keep for several months or years. Store in dark glass bottles in a cool environment away from sunlight. Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Herbal Ointments, creams, and capsules – Keep for several months. Store in dark glass jars (or plastic containers.)
Honey – 12-24 months (Some sources say indefinitely. Gently heat to remove crystallization.)
Honey – indefinitely (in an airtight container at room temperature) (Watch out for additives in the honey. It is possible to buy honey with water and sugar added. This honey generally doesn’t crystallize like pure 100% honey does when stored for a long time. If there are additives, there is no saying how long it will last.)
Hormel (all canned products) – indefinitely in original container
.
Ice Cream (frozen) – 1-2 months
Ice Milk (frozen) – 1-2 months
.
Jams – 12-18 months
Jellies – 12-18 months
Juices, can – 12 months
Juice, Apple, Motts – 12 months
Juice, Apple (Whitehouse), Nat’l Fruit Prod. Co. – 24 months 1-800-551-5167
Juice, can, Dole – 24-36 months (800) 232-5942
Juice, Canned fruit juices (original container @ 70° F. dry basement) 24 months
Juice, Dehydrated fruit juice (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 12 months
Juice, Frozen fruit juices (original container @ 0° F. freezer) – 12 months
Juice, Fruit (canned) – 18-36 months (in a cool, dry place)
Juice, Fruit, Dehydrated – 12 months
Juice, Orange, Bluebird – 24 months 1-800-237-7805
Juice, Pineapple, Del Monte – 18 months
Juice, Snappy Tom Cocktail Juice, Del Monte – 18 months
Juice, Tomato, Del Monte – 24 months 1-800-543-3090
.
Ketchup (glass & plastic) – 24 months
.
Legumes, bottled or canned – 24-36 months
.
Marshmallows – 2-3 months
Marshmallow Creme – 2-3 months
Mayonnaise – 3-4 months
Meat, Beef, canned (original package @ 70° F. cool basement) – 30 months
Meat, Beef, canned (in chunks with natural juices)  30 months
Meat, Beef, Dried, canned – indefinitely
Meat, Beef, dried (can @ 70° F. cool basement) – 18 months
Meat, Beef, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 10-14 days
Meat, Beef, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 10 months
Meat, Beef, Roast, can – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, canned (most) – 12-36 months unopened (1-2 months opened, refrigerated)
Meat, canned, Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chicken, canned – 12-36 months
Meat, Chicken Breast, canned  36 months
Meat, Chicken Breast (can), Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chicken, canned, Tyson – 36 months
Meat, Chili, canned  indefinitely
Meat, Chili w/beans and without, can – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, Chili w/beans, Hormel – indefinite 1-800-523-4635
Meat, Chili, Seafood Cocktail – 24 months
Meat, Fish or shellfish, canned  12-18 months
Meat, Ham, canned (shelf stable, unopened) – 24 months
Meat, Ham, Country style (unsliced) – 12 months
Meat, Ham Chunks, canned – indefinitely
Meat, Ham, Deviled, can – indefinitely in original container
Meat, Lamb, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 7-10 days
Meat, Lamb, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Pork, cured (vacuum package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 weeks
Meat, Pork, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 days
Meat, Pork, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 4-6 months
Meat, Pork, sausage (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 4 days
Meat, Poultry, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 5 days
Meat, Poultry, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Seafood, canned  48-60 months
Meat, Spam, canned – indefinitely (in original container)
Meat, Spam, Hormel – Indefinite 1-800-523-4635
Meat substitutes (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 4 months
Meat, Tuna, canned  48-60 months
Meat, Tuna, Starkist – 4-6 years 1-800-252-1587
Meat Turkey, can – 12 months
Meat, Turkey and Gravy canned dinners – indefinitely in original container
Meat, Veal, fresh (original package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 6 days
Meat, Veal, frozen (air & moisture proof @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Meat, Vienna Sausage, canned  24 months
Meat, Vienna Sausage, Libby’s – 24 months 1-888-884-7269
Milk Alternate, Morning Moo brand powdered – 5 years in original bag (7 years in bucket) Food storage and gluten-free food products – Augason Farms
Milk, aseptic packaging – Pkg. date
Milk, Canned, Condensed – 12 months
Milk, Canned, Sweetened Condensed – 24-36 months
Milk, Canned, Evaporated – 12-36 months (Invert can every 2 months.)
Milk, Evaporated, Publix – 18-24 months
Milk, Powdered (Instant Non-fat) – 6-15 months
Milk, Powdered (Nonfat dry) – 3 years (in Mylar pouch)
Milk, Powdered (Non-Instant) – 24-48 months
Mixes, Biscuit – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Bread Mix, White – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Brownie (most) – 9 months
Mixes, Brownie – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Cookie mixes – 12 months
Mixes, Cornbread – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Muffin Mix (most) – 9 months
Mixes, Muffin, Blueberry – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Muffin Mix, Krusteaze, any flavor except mix for bread machines – 24 months
Mixes, Pancake Mix (most) – 6-9 months
Mixes, Pancake, Buttermilk – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Mixes, Pie Crust Mix – 8 months
Mixes, Sweet Roll Mix – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Molasses (opened) – 6 months
Molasses (unopened) – 12-24 months
Mushrooms, Freeze Dried, Tone – 24 months
Mushrooms, Green Giant – 48 months
.
Nuts (in the shell)  24 months
Nutmeats (in vacuum can)  3 months
.
Oils (unopened) – 18 months Store in cool place away from heat
Oils (opened) – 6-8 months Store in cool place away from heat
Oil (some) – indefinitely (in original container)
Oil, Canola, Best Foods – 18-24 months 1-800-338-8831
Oil, Corn, Mazola (Best Foods)  18 months from pkg. Date1-800-338-8831
Oil, Olive – 24 months
Oil, Salad – 6-9 months
Olives (canned, unopened) – 1-3 months
.
Pasta – 24 months  to indefinitely
Pasta, American Beauty – 36 months (in original package)
Pasta, Cup-O-Noodles – 24 months
Pasta, Fusilli – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta, Macaroni – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Pasta, Macaroni & Cheese – 12 months
Pasta Mixes 6 months
Pasta, Noodles & Sauce, Chicken Flavor, Lipton – 24 months
Pasta, Noodles, Fettuccine, Montalcino – 18 months+
Pasta, Penne – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta & Sauce, Lipton – 12 months
Pasta-Roni  Exp. Date
Pasta Sauce – 24 months (unopened) (2 weeks opened, refrigerated)
Pasta Sauce – Lipton 5 Brothers – 24 months
Pasta Sauce (Ragu-Jar), Lipton – 24 months 1-800-328-7248
Pasta, Shells – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Pasta, Spaghetti – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Pasta, Spaghetti – 10+ years vac packed
Pasta, Spaghetti – 18-24 months
Pasta, Spaghetti, Montalcino – 18 months+
Peanut Butter (opened) – 2-3 months Refrigeration prolongs storage time
Peanut Butter (unopened) – 6-24 months Refrigeration prolongs storage time
Peanut Butter (Jif), Proctor & Gamble – 24 months 1-800-543-7276
Peanut Butter, Jiffy – 24 months
Peanut Butter, Skippy – 24 months
Peanuts 24-36 months
Peanuts, Planter’s – 24-36 months 1-800-622-4726
Pectin, Dry – 3 years
Pectin, Liquid – 12-18 months
Pectin, liquid (opened) – 1 month (Refrigerate)
Pickles (canned, unopened) – 1-3 months
Popcorn – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Popcorn, both microwaveable and regular – 24 months
Popcorn, whole kernels – 12-24 months
Popcorn, Pops Rite – 24 months
Potato chips (original container @ 70° F. basement) – 1 month
Pudding Mixes  12 months
Pudding Mix, Chocolate or Vanilla – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
.
Ready Meals, Chicken and Dumplings, can – indefinitely in original container
Ready Meals, Chicken & Dumplings, Sweet Sue – 24 months
Ready Meals, Chicken & Noodles, Sweet Sue – 24 months
Ready Meals, MRE (Meals Ready to Eat)  3-10 years (stored at 80 degrees or cooler)
Rice, flavored or herb mixes 6 months
Rice, Minute Rice, Kraft Foods – 18 months
Rice Mixes – 6 months
Rice, parboiled – 6-12 months (stored unopened in cool, dry place)
Rice, White Emerald – 12 months+
Rice & Sauce, Lipton – 12 months
Rice-a-Roni  Exp. Date
Rye (a soft grain) – 5-8 years (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
.
Salad dressings, bottled (unopened) – 10-12 months (Store on shelf)
Salad dressings, bottled (opened) – 3 months (Refrigerate after opening)
Salad dressings, made from mix – 2 weeks (Refrigerate, after mixing)
Salt – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Salt – indefinitely if stored free of moisture
Sauce, Barbecue – 12 months
Sauce, Chili – 12 months
Sauces, Gravies, powdered mixes (most) – 12 months
Sauce, Hot sauce (commercial) – 24 months
Sauces, powdered mixes (most) – 12 months
Sauce, Salsa (commercial) (unopened) – 12-18 months
Sauces, Sloppy Joe Sauces – 24 months
Sauces (steak, etc.) – 24 months (stored unpacked in cool, dry place)
Sauce, Tabasco Sauce, McIInenny – 5 years
Sauce, Worcesterhire (commercial) – 24 months
Sherbet (frozen) – 1-2 months
Shortenings, solid – 8 months
Shortening, Crisco, Proctor & Gamble – Indefinite 1-800-543-7276
> Shortening, Crisco – indefinitely (in original container)
Shortening, Powdered – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Soup Base, Tone – 10 years
Soup, Bear Creek – 36 months (435) 654-2660
Soup Broth, Chicken Broth, Swanson – 18 months
Soup, Campbell – 18-24 months 1-800-871-0988
Soup, canned – 3+ years
Soup, Country Kitchen – 36 months
Soup, Progresso – 36 months 1-800-200-9377
Soup Mix, Chicken Noodle, Bear Creek – 18 months
Soup mix (dry) (most) – 12 months
Soup Mix, dry – 5 years (in Mylar pouch)
Spaghetti Sauces – 24 months
Spices – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Spices, ground – 6 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spices, whole – 12-24 months (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Cinnamon sticks, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Cloves, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Spice, Nutmeg, whole – 24 months+ (in airtight container in dry place away from sunlight and heat)
Stew, Beef, Dinty Moore – 24-36 months 1-800-523-4635 (some sources say indefinitely in original container)
Sugar – 24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Sugar – indefinitely if stored free of moisture
Sugar, Brown – 4-18 months
Sugar, Confectioners – 18-48 months
Sugar, Granulated 24-48 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Sugar, Granulated – 20+ years (in Mylar pouch)
Sweetener, Artificial – 24 months
Syrups – 12 months (Refrigerate, after opening)
.
Tapioca – 12 months (stored unopened in cool, dry place)
Toaster pastries – 2-3 months (Keep in airtight package)
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Meat substitute (bacon bits) – 4 months (Keep tightly closed)
TVP, unflavored – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
.
Vanilla Extract (opened) – 12-18 months
Vanilla Extract (unopened) – 24 months
Vegetables, Beets, fresh (ventilated box @ 32° F. moist pit or cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Cabbage, fresh (ventilated box @ 32° F. mod. moist pit/cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, canned – 24-48 months (unopened)
Vegetables, Canned veggies original container @ 70° F. dry basement) – 2 years
Vegetables, can, Bush Beans Brand – 26 months
Vegetables, can, Del Monte – 24 months
Vegetables, can, Green Giant – 24 months
Vegetables, can, Progresso – 24 months
Vegetables, Carrots, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 32° F. moist pit or cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Carrots, dehydrated – 10 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Corn, canned 24-36 months
Vegetables, Corn, can, Green Giant – 36 months
Vegetables, Corn, can (whole & creamed), Del Monte – 24 months 1-800-543-3090
Vegetables, Dark green, fresh (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 7 days
Vegetables, Dehydrated veggies (air/moisture proof @ 70° F. dry basement) – 8 months
Vegetables, Dehydrated – 8-12 (at room temperature sealed without oxygen)
Vegetables, dehydrated flakes – 6 months
Vegetables, Green Beans, Del Monte – 24-30 months 1-800-543-3090
Vegetables, Hominy – 12 months
Vegetables, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Vegetables, misc. fresh veggies (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 1-2 weeks
Vegetables, Onions, dry – 2-4 weeks (Keep in cool, dry, ventilated area.)
Vegetables, Onions, dehydrated – 8 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Onions, fresh, dry (net bag @ 32° F. cool, dry area) – 6 months
Vegetables, Peas, dry – 12-24 months (indefinitely resealed in a food grade container w/oxygen absorber or vacuum sealed in a food grade bag)
Vegetables, Peas, dry – 8+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Pillsbury – 24 months 1-800-328-6787
Vegetables, Potato, canned (original container 70° F. dry basement) – 30 months
Vegetables, Potato, dehydrated (original package @ 70° F. dry basement) -30 months
Vegetables, Potato Flakes – 3+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Potatoes, fresh 4 weeks (Keep dry and away from sun. Keep about 50 degrees for longer storage.)
Vegetables, Potato, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 35 – 40° F. mod. moist pit/cellar) – 6 months
Vegetables, Potato, frozen ) original package @ 0° F. freezer) – 8 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, sweet 2 weeks (Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes.)
Vegetables, Potato, sweet, fresh (ventilated boxes/bags @ 55 – 60° F. dry) – 6 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant 6-12 months
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant – 3 years (in Mylar pouch)
Vegetables, Potatoes, Instant, Idahoan (in a can) – indefinitely (in original container)
Vegetables, Pumpkin, fresh (ventilated box @ 55° F. mod. dry basement) – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, pumpkin – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, acorn – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, spaghetti – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, butter-nut – 6 months
Vegetables, Squash, winter, fresh (ventilated box @ 55° F. mod. dry basement) – 6 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, canned 30-36+ months (unopened) (2-3 days opened, refrigerated)
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, Crushed, Flavored Diced – 24 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, Diced, Wedge, Stewed, Whole – 30 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, can, No Salt Added Stewed – 18 months
Vegetables, Tomatoes, fresh ripe (flexible package @ 38 – 40° F. refrigerator) – 2 weeks
Vegetables, Tomatoes, green (flexible package @ 55 – 70° F. mod. dry basement) – 4 – 6 weeks
Vegetables, Tomatoes, Libby’s – 36 months+ 1-888-884-7269
Vegetables, Tomato Paste – 30 months
Vegetables, Tomato Powder – 5+ years (in #10 can with oxygen absorber)
Vegetables, Tomato Sauce – 12-24 months (unopened) (3 days opened, refrigerated)
Vinegar (opened) – 12 months
Vinegar (unopened) – 24 months (some sources say indefinitely in original container)
.
Yeast – 24 months (or expiration date on package)
Yeast (Fleischman’s), Freshlike – 24 months 1-800-435-5300
Yeast, Fleischmans (800) 777-4959 Date is stamped. If you use it past the stamped date, you must first “PROOF” it. Proof it by bringing ¼ cup of water to the temperature in the instructions on the back. Stir in 1 tsp. of sugar and one packet of yeast. After five minutes it should begin to bubble. At the end of 10 minutes, it should have a rounded crown of foam on it. If this happens, yeast is active. (Be sure to deduct ¼ cup of liquid from your recipe)

We use our best judgment NOT the date stamped on a can or box.!

 

(Survival manual/ Prepper articles/ Food expiration dates)

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Pandemic preps: Don’t count on government agencies for protection or help

A. Homeland Security Isn’t Ready To Combat A Deadly Pandemic
9 Sep 2014, ThinkProgress, by Tara Culp-Ressler
Posted from: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/09/09/3564842/deadly-pandemic-dhs/

The Department of Homeland Security is “ill-prepared” to take the necessary steps to stem a future outbreak of a deadly disease — like a particularly ebola2 govdangerous strain of the flu, or even the continued spread of the Ebola virus — according to a federal audit released this week.

In 2006, Congress gave $47 million to DHS to take the necessary steps to prepare for a national medical crisis. So, for nearly a decade by now, the department has been stocking up on supplies like surgical masks, antiviral medications, and hand sanitizer. But that process hasn’t been undertaken in the most effective way. The audit discovered that many of those supplies are now totally useless because they’re either about to expire or because they’ve already surpassed their expiration date.

For instance, more than 80 percent of the department’s antiviral drugs will expire by the end of next year. Most of the hand sanitizer is already too old. A stockpile of about $5 million worth of antibiotics might not be effective because they’re being stored incorrectly. And because DHS hasn’t kept accurate records of its materials, employees don’t even know how to locate their emergency gear, like personal protective masks.

“As a result, the department has no assurance it has sufficient personal protective equipment and antiviral medical countermeasures for a pandemic response,” the report, which was prepared by the Office of the Inspector General, concludes.

DHS is specifically tasked with protecting the United States from external threats, including weather disasters and potential disruptions to the nation’s infrastructure. “A severe influenza pandemic presents a tremendous challenge, which may affect millions of Americans, cause significant illnesses and fatalities, and substantially disrupt our economic and social stability,” the report points out. “It is DHS’s responsibility to ensure it is adequately prepared to continue critical operations in the event of a pandemic.”

We already saw the firsthand consequences of that type of crisis during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak — popularly called “swine flu” — which killed more than 12,000 people. Experts anticipate similar health disasters in the future. For years, the public health community has been worried about an impending global flu pandemic, which is expected to be even more deadly than previous outbreaks of respiratory illnesses like SARS. [And now they have it, Enterovirus D68.–Mr Larry.]

Previous reports have found similar gaps in the country’s readiness to address potential public health disasters. An annual review from the Trust for America’s Health on whether we’re prepared to protect Americans from “diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism” has consistently found that too many states are cutting their public health budgets. States are also falling behind on initiatives to prepare for the impending health consequences of climate change. And a 2012 study found that, despite the 2009 swine flu outbreak, most U.S. schools haven’t improved their ability to respond to infectious diseases.

Congress has recently attempted to take some steps forward in this area. Last March, lawmakers approved and President Obama signed the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act, or PAHPRA, which authorizes more funding for medical preparedness programs. PAHPRA is an update to the original 2006 legislation that first designated the $47 million in funding to the Department of Homeland Security.

In response the release of this week’s audit, a spokesperson for DHS said that the department was previously aware of the issues and has already begun taking steps to address them.
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 B. SHTF Medical: Basic Pandemic Preps
21 July 2014, The Rebel Prepper Network, by Rebel
Pasted from: http://www.therebelpreppernetwork.com/pandemic-preps1/

With the recent rise in global epidemics, including the flesh eating Ebola virus spreading from Africa to Italy, I was not surprised to receive messages asking if I could cover the subject of preparations to prevent exposure to a pandemic level threat. With the US/Mexican border crisis bringing thousands of disease carrying children in to the country and their relocation being kept from the general population the next Spanish flu may be closer than you think. In the last week (article written 7/21/14) there have been four confirmed cases of pneumonic plague in Colorado, this stands as a reminder that not all enemies are on two legs.

The fact is that viruses and bacteria have it out for us. Nature has developed many forms of transmission to spread disease; insects, birds, mammals, surface exposure, person to person, water borne, and the most frightening of all transmission, air borne. The mission is to multiply and when humans become the carriers then we become the battle field and the enemies secret weapon. Coughing, sneezing, mucus secretions, blood contact all aid in transfer of the illness.

If you are looking to survive a pandemic then your best bet for survival will be preventing yourself from becoming infected. This will mean a drastic change in your daily life once it is announced that the given illness (we will be using a flu for this article) has reached the epidemic level. Advanced preparation will save you from further risking exposure when the initial word goes out about what steps should be taken to help reduce chances contracting the illness.

The irony is that the CDC would put out a message to the general population to stay indoors, cover windows, avoid large groups of people and in response the vast majority of the general public would rush out to the stores for supplies exposing themselves to the conditions they should be avoiding.

Knowing that people will be the enemy in most pandemic situations you will stock up well before the CDC makes its panic inducing announcement.

1)  First you need to stock up on duct tape and 3mm plastic sheeting for doors and windows. I recommend spending the extra money on gorilla brand tape and choosing clear sheeting rather than the “fogged” type or black, you will want to be able to see through your windows. Creating a barrier is your first line of defense. I recommend covering the interior and exterior of your windows, this will create a makeshift air seal. You should also have enough to quarantine members of your family showing symptoms for observation.

ebola mask

2) Latex or polypropylene gloves are another excellent item to stock up on, but touching your face will make your efforts pointless so it should be at all costs. If the illness is air born then there is a higher risk of transmission person to person via touch which is more likely.

3) Purchasing a quality gas mask, disposable 3M dust masks, or even a bandana coated in vapor rub will help filter the air if you have to leave the safety of your home. Make sure to change filters, dispose of used dust masks and sterilize bandanas after use.

4) Next you will want some way of sanitizing yourself and your home. Rubbing alcohol between 70% – 90% (hand sanitizer could also be used) and soap will help clean/disinfect you after venturing out of your home.

5) In a bad situation stripping down, sealing your clothing in a trash bag and showering in an outdoor shower before reentering the house will be an additional step for the cautious. Washing clothing in hot water should prevent the spread of infection. Keeping your home clean will be a daily chore, bleach and room temperature water should be used to wipe down all smooth surfaces in the home including counters, floors, door knobs, toilets and refrigerators.

ebola glovr & alcohol

6) Having basic medications is always a good idea. Things like cough drops, anti-inflammatory, fever reducers and the like may help you hang on a bit longer, especially if hospitals become over crowded. However in a true epidemic a vaccine will need to be produced or nature will just have to run its course. Remember that if you are stocking antibiotics they are useless against flu viruses, so do not waste them if you have them.

7) Bolster your food and water stocks, will keep you from having to leave your home unnecessarily. It can take quite some time for scientists to come up with a cure and at a minimum flu season is three months long. Knowing this I recommend having at least three months of food stored, not including what is in your pantry or fridge, if you are prepping for pandemic. You should also have a 3 month supply of multivitamins as well as an additional stock of vitamin C, D, E and calcium. When it comes to water I believe that four months would be the smart course of action using the two gallons per person per day, so 240 gallons. Why so much water? Staying hydrated while ill is imperative to healing as well as regulating body temperature. If you cannot store that much water then you will need to make sure you have a way to obtain, filter and purify large amounts on a regular basis.

ebola2 food & water

Some diseases like plague are spread by blood sucking insects fleas, ticks and mosquitoes rather than contact with humans. In a dire situation you may be forced to choose between your families safety or your pets life. I am sure this will cause outrage to some people, but in all honesty there should be no second thought when it comes to your families well being.

Be warned that once you have made your preparations, especially those to your home, you have marked yourself to the outside world as target of possible resources. As always there will be those who did not take heed to the warning and will want to take what you have, putting you and your loved ones at risk. All the defensive safeguards in the world will not save you if someone infected busts your door down and comes in to contact with your family. You must be ready to stop all threats. Make sure you are justified in all life or death situations. Security cameras or even cell phone video could aid in you defense if you must take a life. Remember that after a WROL situation laws will return and you may be held accountable for any lives you take.

The information above is just a basic overview, if you would like more specific info let me know and I will do my best to get the information out. These points should go hand in hand with your everyday preps As always being prepared for the worst will not guarantee your survival, but anything you can do to increase your odds will not hurt. Having ways to pass the time will help from going stir crazy; playing cards, board games, art supplies are all useful tools that do not rely on electricity. As a Christian I believe that this rise in illness is just the beginning of the horsemen “Pestilence’s” run and more sickness is on its way. Having faith in something will help you deal with loss, regardless of your religious views I guarantee that in your darkest moment you will talk to something in the darkness about finding the light.

C. Why An Epic Food Crisis Will Follow A Pandemic
August 25, 2014, modernsurvivalblog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/pandemic/why-an-epic-food-crisis-will-follow-a-pandemic/

ebola2 retail closed

While the pandemic assaults the population, stores will shut down and a devastating food crisis will rapidly develop – starving millions – even those who have escaped the deadly grasp of the virus itself.

While the current Ebola virus rages in Africa, and although the mainstream media is keeping it mostly quiet, the problems there are mounting in ways which we should take notice – because one day, a pandemic will happen here…

As fear grips the population, many will stop doing their jobs as they begin to realize that their lives will literally be in grave risk while in proximity to others.

Given our ‘just in time’ (JIT) delivery systems – especially our food chains – grocery stores will rapidly deplete their food supplies (days, not weeks).

When the truckers stop delivering, when people stop showing up for work, it’s over. It will happen faster than you think.

Excerpts from a recent news report exemplifies what will happen – and what is happening right now in Africa as a result of the Ebola virus:

The first food source that disappeared from markets was “bush meat,” meat from forest animals. Other foods have become scarce as a side effect of efforts to keep the virus from spreading. Governments stopped people from moving from country to country, or even from one town to another, it stopped traders from delivering food to the markets. Imports are down. Ships are reluctant to dock in places affected by the epidemic. The Ebola came in at a time when farmers were ready to go to the field to work together, in groups, but people now have been advised to avoid such activities. Coming together in groups could spread the disease. So essential work is not happening. —--NPR.org, A Food Crisis Follows Africa’s Ebola Crisis

When you consider the follow-on effects of a deadly pandemic such as mandatory shut-down’s, the breakdown of ‘just in time’ delivery systems, people not showing up for work, coupled with the death toll itself, there will no doubt be a food crisis during and after a Pandemic.

You can prepare for a pandemic. You will need food storage.

For prepper’s, I’m ‘speaking to the choir’, but for any of you who might happen across this article who have not yet established at least a 3-month food storage, please consider it for your own life’s sake.

Set food storage goals. 3 weeks. 3 months. 6 months. 1 year. etc.

A deadly pandemic WILL happen here: 1) Given the 7 billion people on the planet, 2) given our modern world of global travel, 3) given the increase of drug-resistant strains, 4) given the tampering with biological weaponry, 5) given the reportedly careless activities at some of the world’s most dangerous biological labs, something is bound to happen one day.

The flu pandemic of 1918 infected half a billion people (that was way back then!) – before the days of world travel, etc. Don’t let your normalcy bias cloud your thinking…

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Pandemic preps: don’t count on government agencies for protection or help)

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Questions & answers for the Non Prepper

A.  Mark Levin: Government Is “Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System, the Collapse of Our Society and the Potential for Widespread Violence”
8 Mar 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/mark-levin-government-is-simulating-the-collapse-of-our-financial-system-the-collapse-of-our-society-and-the-potential-for-widespread-violence_03082013

guide disaster formsAlong with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, leading conservative radio host Mark Levin reaches tens of millions of listeners weekly, and what he talked about recently on his nationally syndicated show has sent shivers down the spines of many of them.

A few years ago this was fringe theory, restricted only to the sphere of alternative (conspiracy) news.

Warnings of a massive economic collapse, government stockpiling of weaponry, and the idea that Americans could be broadly classified as terrorists and then detained indefinitely or killed often fell upon deaf ears.

Today, as more information ‘leaks’ into the mainstream, it is no longer just conspiracy theory. We now have some of the most influential journalists and commentators in the country alerting Americans to the possibility that everything the government has been preparing for the last several years may soon be realized.

I’m going to tell you what I think is going on. I don’t think domestic insurrection. Law enforcement and national security agencies, they play out multiple scenarios. They simulate multiple scenarios. I’ll tell you what I think they’re simulating. The collapse of our financial system, the collapse of our society and the potential for widespread violence, looting, killing in the streets, because that’s what happens when an economy collapses.

I’m not talking about a recession. I’m talking about a collapse, when people are desperate, when they can’t get food or clothing, when they have no way of going from place to place, when they can’t protect themselves.

There aren’t enough police officers on the face of the earth to adequately handle a situation like that. I suspect, that just in case our fiscal situation collapses, our monetary situation collapses, and following it the civil society collapses – that is the rule of law – that they want to be prepared. There is no other explanation for this. Sourced via Red Flag News

YouTubeLevin: Government Simulating the Collapse of Our Financial System and Widespread Violence
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d63GRfBo0Vg#t=16

The Pentagon and military have been war-gaming large-scale economic collapse and civil unrest for nearly four years. Those within our government who understand the ramifications a massive breakdown in our systems of commerce, transportation and justice are preparing by stockpiling weapons and ammo, tens of millions of food rations, and even emergency shelters. They are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on continuity of government programs and exercises, preparing for what they know is coming.

Now why would the government be doing this if there wasn’t a reasonable chance that such events could come to pass?

We’ve urged our readers to prepare a well thought out contingency plan for the very scenarios our government is spending your hard earned tax dollars on.

  • Have, at a minimum, two weeks worth of emergency food and water in the event of a breakdown in the just-in-time delivery systems that keep our grocery store shelves stocked. (Two weeks is a bare minimum, plan on 90 days)
  • Plan on having to defend yourself, your home, and your food stockpiles, because if law and order breaks down, you’re on your own.
  • Learn critical skills that may be the difference between life and death including basic medical skills, survival skills and self defense strategies
  • Have physical precious metals on hand as a mechanism of exchange should the monetary system fall apart.
  • Look for a home or retreat in strategic locations that will help insulate you from widespread chaos in high population areas.

The government may be stockpiling and preparing, but understand that none of these emergency supplies are reserved for you and your family. Only essential personnel involved directly with government operations will have access to these critical survival supplies.

So you’d better have your own reserves. For those who fail to prepare, it will be horrific. See article at: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

 

B.  50 Shocking Questions That You Should Ask To Anyone That Is Not A Prepper Yet
17 Jan 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse Blog Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/50-shocking-questions-that-you-should-ask-to-anyone-that-is-not-a-prepper-yet_01172013

fail1Share this list of shocking questions with everyone you know that needs to wake up. Sometimes asking good questions is the best way to get someone that you care about to understand something. When I attended law school, I became very familiar with something called “the Socratic method”. It is a method that has been traditionally used in law schools all over the United States. Law professors will bombard their students with questions, and the goal is to stimulate critical thinking and allow students to discover the answers for themselves.

Many times those of us that can see what is happening to this country get frustrated when we try to get others to see what is so apparent to us. But instead of preaching to them, perhaps asking questions would be more helpful. When you ask someone a question, they are almost forced to think about what you just said and come up with a response. And without a doubt, the fact that America is in decline is undeniable. Those that would choose to blindly have faith in the system are foolish, because it is glaringly obvious that the system is failing. Our economy is heading for collapse and the world around us is becoming more unstable with each passing day. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the number of preppers in the United States is absolutely exploding. Some estimates put the number of preppers in the U.S. as high as 3 million, and the movement continues to explode.

So exactly what is a “prepper”? Well, the truth is that there is a tremendous amount of diversity among the people that fall under that label.

To me, you don’t have to move to Montana and store 500 cases of MREs in a nuclear fallout shelter to be considered a prepper. I believe that anyone that can see a very serious crisis coming and that is taking steps to prepare for that crisis would be considered a prepper. You might be living next to one and never even know it. Many families have converted spare rooms into food pantries or are taking survival training on the weekends. Others have renewed their interest in gardening or have started to invest in precious metals. As far as I am concerned, anything that you can do to become more self-sufficient and more independent of the system is a good thing, because the system is rapidly failing.

Perhaps you are reading this and you are thinking that people who are “preparing for disaster” are being rather foolish. Well, I encourage you to read the list of questions that I have compiled below and come to your own conclusions.

The following are 50 shocking questions that you should ask to anyone that is not a prepper yet…

#1 Why are sales of physical silver coins breaking all sorts of all-time records? The U.S. Mint is on pace to sell more silver eagles during the first month of 2013 than it did during the entire year of 2007.

#2 Why has Germany announced that it will be moving gold from New York and Paris to its own vaults back home? Is this a sign of a breakdown in trust among global central banks?

#3 Why is China systematically hoarding gold.unbank silver eagle2

#4 Why have billionaires such as George Soros and John Paulson been hoarding massive amounts of gold?

#5 Why are billionaires buying up so much ranch land up in Montana?

#6 Why is Russia warning that we are rapidly approaching a global “currency war”?

#7 Why has Barack Obama chosen this moment to launch an all-out attack on the Second Amendment?

#8  Why does Barack Obama want doctors to ask their patients questions about firearms?

#9  Why is there an incredibly severe nationwide ammunition shortage all of a sudden?

#10 Why has a bill been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that “would ban Internet or mail order ammunition purchases“?

#11 Why are gun control advocates such as Piers Morgan pushing for us to become more like the UK when the UK actually has a much higher violent crime rate than we do?

#12  Why was a Forbes article that made a connection between the use of psychiatric drugs and the mass shootings that we have seen in recent years almost immediately taken down from the Internet?

#13 Why does the federal government want to start putting “black boxes” in all new motor vehicles?

#14 Why are some U.S. states now using computers to predict “future crimes“?

#15 Why are “black-clad federal SWAT teams” raiding farms and ranches all over the United States?

#16 Why are we all being trained to spy on one another?

#17  Why are highly advanced facial recognition cameras being put up all over the United States?

#18  Why have police departments all over America begun to deploy unmanned surveillance drones in the skies over our cities?

#19 Why are schools all over America beginning to require students to carry IDs with RFID microchips in them wherever they go?

#20 Why are more Americans not outraged that nearly 400 TSA employees have been fired for stealing from travelers since 2003?

#21 Why are Americans not more outraged that TSA goons are manhandling the private areas of our women and our children in the name of “national security”?

#22 Why is an elderly survivor of the Nazi occupation of Austria, Kitty Werthmann, warning that America is heading down the exact same path that she experienced?

#23  If the economy is in good shape, then why are more than one out of every four U.S. workers with a 401(k) raiding those funds in order to pay current expenses?

#24 Why does the Federal Reserve continue to insist that the economy is “improving” when it obviously is not?

#25 Why can so few Americans explain how money is created in the United States?

#26 Why has the U.S. dollar declined in value by well over 95 percent since the Federal Reserve was created?

#27 Why is the U.S. national debt more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created?

#28 Why isn’t the mainstream media in the U.S. discussing the fact that the U.S. dollar is in danger of losing its status as the primary reserve currency of the world?

#29 Why don’t more Americans know about the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble?

#30  Why did the U.S. national debt grow during the first four years of the Obama administration by about as much as it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office?

#31 Why is the middle class in America bringing home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before?

#32 If the U.S. economy is producing a healthy number of good jobs, then why are we spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on welfare?

#33 If the U.S. economy is not collapsing, then why has the number of Americans on food stamps grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today?

#34 If America is still an economic powerhouse, then why have we lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001?

#35 Why are we losing half a million jobs to China every single year?

#36 Why were one out of every ten homes sold in the state of California last year purchased by Chinese citizens?

#37 Why has the percentage of men with jobs in the United States fallen so dramatically? Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#38 Why are so many Americans poor today? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”. Why is this happening?

#39  Why does the U.S. government have a website that teaches immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States?

#40 Why has the number of gang members living in the United States risen by an astounding 40 percent just since 2009?

#41 Why does approximately one out of every three children in the United States live in a home without a father? Can such a society prosper in the long run?

#42 Why are our supermarkets being flooded with genetically-modified foods when a whole host of studies have shown that they are potentially dangerous to human health?

#43  If the economy has “improved” during the Obama years, then why are hunger and poverty still absolutely skyrocketing in the United States?

#44 Why are more than a million public school students in the United States homeless?

#45  Why are more than 50 percent of all children in Detroit living in poverty? Detroit used to be one of the greatest cities in the entire world. How did such prosperity turn into such desolation?

#46 Why did a violent riot break out at an event where government-subsidized section 8 housing vouchers were being handed out in a suburb of Detroit earlier this month? Is this the kind of unrest that we can expect to see all over the country when things get really bad?

#47 Why are cities all over the United States making it illegal to feed the homeless?

#48 Why is the UN trying to take control of the Internet?

#49 Why have global food supplies sunk to their lowest level in nearly 40 years?

#50  Why is global power concentrated in so few hands? According to the Swiss Federal Institute, a network of 147 mega-corporations control 40 percent of all the wealth in the world, and in a previous article I described how just six obscenely powerful corporations completely dominate the media industry in the United States. Is it good for such incredible power to be concentrated in the hands of so few people?

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C.  First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper
16 May 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Norse Prepper
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/first-things-first-key-questions-facing-the-beginning-prepper_05162012

 The following article has been generously contributed by Norse Prepper.
SHTFplan Editor’s Note:  While there may be three million Americans preparing for a paradigm shift which promises to change our very way of life, that leaves roughly 99% of our population that has failed to take any serious steps to insulate themselves from catastrophe. Earlier this week we asked “How Horrific Will It Be For the Non-Prepper?”, in which we detailed the disastrous consequences that await those who will get blindsided by a widespread natural or man-made disaster. Hopefully, that article will be enough to convince some “non-preppers” to start putting their well-being into their own hands by developing personal and familial preparedness and response plans for far-from-equilibrium scenarios that may strike at anytime. 

shtf foodAs Norse Prepper points out in the article below, one of the key motivators for ramping up your personal larder, supplies and skill sets is to avoid ever putting yourself and family into a situation where you are left with no choice but to tell your loved ones that you’re, “going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.” In a scenario like that your odds of survival diminish significantly.

If you’ve turned the corner, or been ‘awakened’ as we like to say in alternative media, then the notion that the system as we have come to know it could fall apart around us without warning can be very overwhelming at first. So, too, is the daunting task of determining what steps to take next and how to go about creating your own personal preparedness plan to shield you from whatever may befall us.

The following questions, suggestions, considerations, and topics of discussion are a primer for those who have chosen to take control of their personal safety and security, and may help to point beginning preppers in the right direction.

First Things First: Key Questions Facing The Beginning Prepper by Norse Prepper 

Inspired by the article regarding how horrific it’s going to get for the non prepper, I thought I might also submit the following article on what it is like to be a new prepper. See article at: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

The purpose of this article is not to tell my story, but to give perspective on how overwhelming it was for me as a beginning prepper. With the amount of knowledge that readers at this website display, what could I possibly add? My answer to that is perspective.

Many on this site and others have been preparing for years and are prepared.  I know one of the first replies will be that you can never be fully prepared and it’s a journey more than a destination and I subscribe to that 100%.  I personally will never be done prepping.  One thing that I have found in my years of work is that after someone has done something for some time, it’s hard to remember what it was like in the beginning.  I work in an engineering field and things that are very simple and seem like basics can be complicated and not easily understood by someone who is new in their engineering career.  Hopefully this article takes you back to when you first began prepping and helps you relate to us newbies.

Think back to when you first felt the tugging of something in the back of your mind leading you to do more research and eventually coming to the conclusion that you must become a prepper.  It may have been as blunt as a Katrina event, or possibly it was just little things here and there that eventually and gradually led you to where you are at today.  Regardless of the journey, I believe it to be important to remember your roots and by doing so you will be more armed to help other people to come in to the light of what is going on in the world around us and help them get more prepared.

How I was first awoken from my state of unpreparedness was when I watched the End of America video produced by Porter Stansberry.  What I saw scared the heck out of me and after watching what he had to say and showing the facts of our economic system, I went from being a SHTF ostrich with my head in the sand, to fearful that time is running out for our country as we know it.  Even after seeing the End of America video, I still wasn’t aware of what it was to be a prepper.  I focused more on investing in silver and things like that to hedge against the coming hyperinflation.  It wasn’t until about six months ago that I came across the term prepper and dug in to see what this movement was about and frankly, I found it extremely overwhelming.

Below is my top ten list of the thousand questions that came flooding in to my head upon my awakening as well as what I am doing to answer these questions.  I believe these are all questions that every new prepper should answer as fast as possible and take steps to prepare for immediately.

  1. What am I preparing for?  I needed to identify what it is that I’m going to try to protect myself from.  If I was going to prepare for a one week loss of power in a winter storm then there isn’t much to prepare for.  If I am preparing for a global collapse of the financial system or EMP that would send us back to the early 1800’s I’ve got some work to do.  At a minimum I would suggest that new preppers start with a plan for being self reliant for 3 months.  By the time you are prepared for this, you will have learned much and can then set out on whatever your phase II duration will be.  I live in a northern climate with harsh winters so my phase I goal is to be prepared for six months.  Personally, I am still in this stage of prepping, but phase II will be for preparing for a multi-year grid down scenario.
  2. Am I going to bug in or bug out?  I agree with the opinion that bugging out should only be considered if you have somewhere to go.  Heading out torefugee2 crowd2 the woods is not an option unless you are trained in surviving under these conditions.  I’ve got a wife and three kids, heading to the woods is not an option for me.  If you are going to bug out, it needs to be earlier in the collapse rather than later or you will find yourself stuck at a road block.  Read the book, One Second After, for a detailed description of what happens to refugees attempting to flee to already starving communities.  Personally, I have chosen to bug-in.  It is where my preps are located as well as familiar neighbors.
  3. Can I defend my family, property and preps?  Let’s face it, when the SHTF, my preps will be viewed as “their” preps to the golden hoard.  Is a stranger more likely to watch their children starve or are they more likely to tell their wife “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.”  The prepared need to ask a different question.  When they arrive at my doorstep, what will I do?  Will I give them some of my preps as charity?  Every meal I give out gets me closer to the time when I will be telling our family, as I head out the door, “I’m going to get us some food and will return with it or die trying.”  This is a huge decision to make because we need to have resolve in our minds what we are going to do when this day comes.  In a SHTF situation there can be no indecisiveness.  I won’t go in to any detail on how to defend yourself as there are novels of information on this subject.  I believe a defense plan is more important than a food plan because if you can’t defend it you might as well not have it.
  4. Do I have enough to feed my family until order is restored?  That is assuming order will be restored.  Personally, if it gets as bad as it can, I do believe eventually a new nation or nations will form and there will again be public services.  I had to figure out what my comfort level is for the amount of time that I will need to eat from my preps, supplemented by gardens, hunting, fishing…etc.
  5. How will I heat my home?  Since my plan is to bug-in in a northern climate, I need to figure out how I will heat my home. I live in suburbia and it scares me to see that relatively few people have wood burning…anything.  I have a fireplace in my house and will secure enough firewood this summer to heat my house for two winters.  All of my neighbors depend on electrical or natural gas for heat.  I personally have seen the temperature in my location get to -60 degrees below zero with a wind chill of over 100 below.  Many in my surrounding area will die of exposure unless they can be in my living room.  I honestly don’t know the answer to the question of what will I do when people in my area are freezing and there is smoke coming out of my chimney.  Anyone who has driven past a house burning wood in the winter knows it is fairly impossible to not alert people to a nearby source of heat.  To me, this poses one of my greatest threats.  Suggestions here would be helpful.
  6. How will I keep clean?  Personal hygiene will be a huge issue in a SHTF scenario.  I realized quickly that I need to stock up on toothpaste, TP, laundry/dish/hand soaps, medical supplies, and everything else needed to keep sanitary conditions in an unsanitary world.  I made lists of lists of all of the things I will need. [Lists and more lists] See list at: http://thesurvivalmom.com/a-list-of-lists/
  7. 25May14 4 panels flatHow will I provide light and electricity?  In an EOTWAWKI situation having some rechargeable batteries to use will be a luxury that we currently take for granted.  I plan on getting a stockpile of rechargeable batteries and solar equipment.  I have a basement with a sump pump, when the grid goes down what will keep my basement from getting inundated with groundwater?  I picked up a secondary battery powered sump pump that runs off of a deep cycle battery.  Solar rechargers can be purchased to ensure that the batteries can be kept charged.  How great would it be to be able to watch a movie on a laptop?  With respect to light, when there is no power, it will be very dark.  Children (and some adults) can get spooked easily when there is 14 hours of darkness per day in the winter.  I am going to stock some solar powered garden lights.  These can be placed in the light during the day and provide for a night light during the hours of darkness.  Radios, flashlights and other things can be hand cranked for power.  Anything that is sustainable and will produce light or energy will become extremely valuable.
  8. How will I keep up on information and communicate with the outside world?  Obviously my TV will become useless. Who knows if there will be radio stations transmitting, and if they are, what is the source of the information?  Personally I plan on eventually getting a HAM radio and learning the trade.  I believe this will be the best information available as it will probably be filled with info from other preppers in the nation.
  9. What do I have to offer others?  In a collapsed society, skills, knowledge and items for trade will pay off in a huge way.  The only thing that will help me acquire supplies that I don’t have or want will be the ability to offer something to someone who has it and they find the value of my goods or services to be more than what they have.  If they don’t, then they will not be willing to trade.  I have personally chosen to stock up on more of the convenience things for these situations.  I plan on stockpiling coffee and lighters.  People will trade for a hot cup of coffee and from my perspective, coffee is a convenience.  People will need to be able to start a fire for cooking or heating their homes and a source of fire will be invaluable in a SHTF scenario.  Personally I won’t be bartering away guns or ammunition because the person who I just armed would also realize that if I can spare these essential items I probably have other essential items and now they have a way to get them from me.
  10. How will I fight off boredom?  One thing that has haunted me is when the SHTF, how can I pass the time without going completely stir crazy?  Obviously, there will be many chores and a lot of labor involved in daily life after a collapse, but there will also be hours upon hours of sitting in a quiet house.  My kids will be involved in chores of the day, but what can I do to reduce the monotony of a grid down situation?  I plan on stockpiling books on many different subjects.  Fiction and nonfiction.  How to’s and stories.  A bow and arrow can provide hours of target practice as well as developing a survival skill.  Decks of cards can provide entertainment as well as bartering potential.  If you go to a casino, you can get decks of cards for 50 cents.  Puzzles, board games, pads of paper and plenty of writing utensils.  Anything that can hopefully make life more fun for the family to escape reality, even for a moment.  Don’t forget the most important book of them all, the Bible.
  11. How do I pay for all of this?  OK, I know I said top 10, but this question needs to be taken care of pre-SHTF where as my top 10 deal with issues post-SHTF.  Most are living paycheck to paycheck, so how can preps be paid for when we are in survival mode?  My plan is to sell off anything that I don’t feel is necessary.  Have a garage sale and go to garage sales – you would be amazed at what you will find.  I recently found three oil lamps for 50 cents each!  Sell things on Ebay and Craigslist.  Get a second job and dedicate all income from it to preps.  Don’t worry, if the SHTF doesn’t happen and you are prepped, you can always go back and replace these items, but get prepared first.  I would rather have a stocked supply room than shares of Google.

What am I preparing for?  Will I bug in or bug out?  How will I defend myself, family and home? What will I eat?  How will I heat my home?  How will I keep clean?  How will I produce light and electricity?  How will I get information and communicate with the outside world?  What skills do I have and items can I use to barter?  How will I fight off boredom?  These are but the tip of the iceberg of questions needing to be answered for when life as we know it comes to an end.  When talking to and dealing with anyone new to prepping, please remember that they are entering a large and complex world where their decisions on what to do next could mean the difference between life and death.  Help them to make a list of priorities and offer them advice on what the list should contain.  This article is just a primer, but is more than what 99% of people have done to prepare themselves and their families for what is coming.

Also, please let me say thank you to Mac, the contributors and people who comment on the SHTFplan.com web site for helping me and my family prepare.  You truly are today’s patriots.  God bless.

(Survival Manual/Prepper Articles/Questions & answers for the Non Prepper)

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Power out? Being prepped for the EMP

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/Power out? Being prepped for the EMP)

A. The Big Blackout: Why I’m Going Low-Tech to Prep for an EMP
30 July 2014, of The Organic Prepper Contributed by Daisy Luther*
Pasted from: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-big-blackout-why-im-going-low-tech-to-prep-for-an-emp-07302014

* Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheOrganicPrepper?ref=hl) and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

 emp blackout

This might be stating the obvious, but in the event of an EMP, things will not be the same, no matter how great your generator is.

Aaron Dykes of Truthstream Media wrote an excellent article about the extreme likelihood of a catastrophic event that could take out our power grid:

Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.

According to Singer, research shows that no other incident, including a nuclear bomb, has the potential for such wide-scale devastation, coupled with the relative likelihood of occurring. While a nuke would primarily impact on the location of a such (such a city), an EMP could occur globally or across large-scale regions, wreaking havoc on the entire electric grid and devices…

…Government agencies, such as NASA and Homeland Security, have taken some preliminary steps towards preparing for an EMP attack – regardless of the potential for natural of man made causes – but the public at large remains cripplingly unaware of the dangers present to modern life, and its reliance on all things electronic, digital and, thus, transient. (Check out the rest of this MUST-READ article, ‘Catastrophic’: Hedge Fund Billionaire Paul Singer Warns of EMP, see below.)

We’ve all read many articles about the likelihood of grid failure. We’ve been warned again and again that it isn’t a matter of if, but when, it happens.

Because of this, a lot of people are preparing for a very different future.  Folks are getting ready for the Big Blackout.  The thing is, I am not sure everyone is thinking this through.  Many people are spending buckets of money on preparations to try to keep their lives as similar as possible to how they are today. They’re investing in diesel generators and Faraday cages to protect their electronics. They are buying propane-fueled appliances.  They’re stashing away fuel to run these gadgets.

Generators are not a practical investment for EMP preparation.
The problem with that method of preparation is, the fuel-generated lifestyle will only last for as long as you have…well…fuel. Very few of us have enough storage space or the proper facilities to store 5 years’ worth of fuel.  If the power grid goes down in a catastrophic way, it’s going to take at least 5 years to get things up and running again, and that’s assuming things ever get up and running again in the way they are now.

That means that people are spending thousands of dollars investing in items that will only sustain their lifestyles for a brief period of time.  Generators are not a long term solution unless you have renewable power. (More on that later). While a generator would be a blessing in a short-term emergency (think a week-long power outage due to a storm), for a permanent way of life they are completely impractical.

Furthermore, in the event of an EMP strike, if your generator is not protected, it may not work no matter how much fuel you have stored.

Maybe the fact that I’m not rolling in money is the reason I feel this way. Maybe people with lots of money to spare have ideas about how to keep their generators running forever. But for my personal situation, this is a preparation strategy that is completely impractical.

A low-tech lifestyle is the best way to prep for grid-down survival.
If money is an object in your preparedness endeavors, (and let’s face it, money is an object for most of us these days), then focus your dollars on preps that are sustainable without electrical power.  Instead of trying to live the exact same life you are living right now, only fueled by an individual generator, look for low-tech solutions instead.  This reminds me of people who stop eating gluten but still want to eat exactly like they have been eating their entire lives, only now with expensive gluten-free baked goods that cost 4 times the price of their wheat-filled counterparts.  When things change dramatically, accept the change and adapt to it, instead of trying to maintain the illusion that everything is the same.

Whether you can get power from an outlet in the wall or not, the necessities of day-to-day life will remain the same:

  • Water
  • Shelter and Warmth
  • Food
  • Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Light

The ultimate preparedness goal should be to provide those necessities without any help from the power grid, generators, or fossil fuel. (LEARN MORE about planning for a long-term disaster, The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Preppers-Blueprint-Step-By-Step-Disaster/dp/1496092589/ref=as_sl_pc_ss_til?tag=theorgpre-20&linkCode=w01&linkId=&creativeASIN=1496092589)

When my youngest daughter and I lived in the North Woods of Canada, we lost power frequently throughout the year. Lots of folks in the area had generators that they would fire up when the power went out, and that was a viable solution, since gas stations were available and fuel was pretty much unlimited as long as you could afford to go get it.  We were on a tight budget, however, and we adapted our situation to live without power during those outages.  After the first couple of outages, we had worked out most of the bugs and we even began to look forward to our time without power – it was like a little vacation from the regular workday.  As plugged in as our society is, power is not actually a necessity – it’s a luxury, and we can live without it as long as we are adaptable, creative, willing, and prepared.

Let’s look at some specific examples of low-tech ways to take care of our necessities.  These ideas are just food for thought, based on my own preparedness plan – they may not be the solutions that will work best for you, but the goal here is to brainstorm your own situation and figure out how to live your life low-tech if the need occurs.

Off-grid Water

If you haven’t located water sources near your home,  it’s time to break out the topographical maps of your area and find them!  A low-tech water plan might include some or all of the following:

Off-grid Shelter and Warmth

Homes these days aren’t built to function without a connection to the power grid.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in an older home that was designed for off-grid living, look at some ways to take your home back a century or so. A secondary heating system is vital in most climates.

  • An antique oil heater can use lots of different oils and requires little effort for installation.
  • Have a woodstove installed
  • Clean your chimney and get your fireplace working
  • Set up an outdoor fireplace with large rocks to bring inside for radiant heat (this won’t get you super warm but it’s better than nothing)
  • Have a good supply of blankets, warm clothes, and cold-rated sleeping bags
  • Learn techniques to stay warm with less heat; see article at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/how-to-stay-warm-with-less-heat-2-12042012

Off-grid Food

Not only do you need access to food, but you also need a way to cook it and a way to keep your refrigerated and frozen items from spoiling.

Off-grid Sanitation and Hygiene

How will you keep clean and deal with human waste in the event of a long-term emergency?

  • If you are on a septic system, store water for flushing and have a collection system to save your used water in the future
  • If you are not on a septic system, devise a plan and get supplies for an outhouse or cat hole
  • Learn how to do your laundry off-grid (I use a janitor’s bucket for wringing out clothes – get the best quality you can afford – the cheap plastic ones will break when you use them for laundry)
  • Learn how to make your own cleaning products

Off-grid Lighting

The world is a scary place when it’s dark, and most of us have forgotten how dark true dark really is, due to light pollution and the proximity of neighbors. Here are some lighting solutions for an off grid world:

Renewable power is practical power.

25May14 4 panels flat

home battery bank everything on table

[Above photographs: Top 4 ea 130watt solar panels that supply electricity to a 12 volt battery bank composed  of 4 Vmaxtanks AGM 125ah batteries. The system runs a 4.4 cu ft back up refrigerator and charges all of the household’s rechargeable batteries. Lower picture shows the type of common household items that can be charged from a 12 volt system, see Steven Harris website at: http://battery1234.com/    Mr Larry]

One exception to my no-generators rule is renewable power. If you can afford a solar set up for your home, then very little would change about your day-to-day life, aside from you being one of the few people with power.  You don’t have to go totally solar to have power for a few important items. Assuming you have electronics in working order, they can be powered with solar, wind, or water.

Most of us can’t afford an entire set up but these are some options to consider:

What will you do when the electrical power goes out?

Do you have plans in place for a long-term (or permanent) power outage?  Are you planning to use generators and maintain your current lifestyle, or are you planning to go low-tech?

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B.  ‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
30 July 2014, Truthstream Media, By Aaron Dykes
Pasted from: http://truthstreammedia.com/hedge-fund-billionaire-paul-singer-warns-of-emp/

 emp strike

Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event…
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.

According to Singer, research shows that no other incident, including a nuclear bomb, has the potential for such wide-scale devastation, coupled with the relative likelihood of occurring. While a nuke would primarily impact on the location of a such (such a city), an EMP could occur globally or across large-scale regions, wreaking havoc on the entire electric grid and devices.

CNBC reported:
“(A natural EMP event) today would cause a massive disruption to the electric grid, possibly shutting it down entirely for months or longer, with unimaginable consequences,” Singer wrote. “Only two years ago, the sun let loose with a Carrington-magnitude burst, but the position of the earth at the time prevented the burst from hitting it. The chances of additional events of such magnitude may be far greater than most people think.”

“It would not cause any blast or radiation damage, but such an attack would have consequences even more catastrophic than a severe solar storm. It could not only bring down the grid, but also lay down a very intense, very fast pulse across the continent, damaging or destroying electronic switches, devices, computers and transformers across America,” the letter said.

Members of Congress and other officials based in Washington have previously conferred on the threats rendered by an EMP, with Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) – a senior figure in the House Homeland Security Committee – warning that The Likelihood of a severe geo-magnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is 100%.

The Center for Security Policy, along with other officials, have similarly warned:

And experts forecast if such an attack were a success, it effectively could throw the U.S. back into an age of agriculture.

“Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.

Government agencies, such as NASA and Homeland Security, have taken some preliminary steps towards preparing for an EMP attack – regardless of the potential for natural or manmade causes – but the public at large remains cripplingly unaware of the dangers present to modern life, and its reliance on all things electronic, digital and, thus, transient.

We reported in August 2013 on then Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s claim that a collapse of the grid was an imminent ‘if not when’ scenario… unsettling, whatever one’s read on the looming government agendas at work.

What You Can Do: Preparing for the Worst
The prolific writer Michael Snyder, warning that an impending EMP event that could bring down the entire grid is “only a matter of time,” outlined some steps that individuals can take to prepare, protect their devices, and plan for adjustments to life off the grid, which could take months or even years to repair in some areas. See article at: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/what-are-you-going-to-do-when-a-massive-emp-blast-fries-the-u-s-electrical-grid

In short, consider your own reliance on electronic banking, credit/debit cards, ATMs, heating, lights, Internet/TV/radio, phones, ATMs, gas/fuel, and government/commerce at large.

With this in mind, hedge your preparation for emergencies with as much physical currency, food, fuel, candles, water as you can reasonably store/save up, as one would for other emergencies.

Also, with some planning, you can create Faraday cages and bags to shield electronics (perhaps backup units and parts) from damage. You can convert such common objects as metal trash cans into safe storage areas, but it must be done in advance. See article at: https://4dtraveler.net/2012/03/08/faraday-cage/

Consider this source (and others) for further information: Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm, see at: http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html

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Normalcy Bias

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Normalcy Bias)

AAmerica Has Fallen Victim To The Normalcy Bias, Do You Suffer From Normalcy Bias?
25 Jan 2013, BeforeItsNews.com
Excerpt pasted from: http://beforeitsnews.com/education/2013/01/america-has-fallen-victim-to-the-normalcy-bias-do-you-suffer-from-normalcy-bias-video-2442598.html

AENThe Normalcy Bias condition is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state of denial in which individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger. Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as its possible consequences to their health and safety.

The Normalcy Bias often results in situations where people fail to prepare for a likely and impending disaster. The Normalcy Bias leads people believe that since something has never happened before, that it never will happen. Therefore, like an infant with a security blanket we cling to our habitual, repetitive, and normal way of life, despite overwhelming proof that serious danger lies ahead.

The Normalcy Bias is part of human nature and, to some extent, we are all guilty of participating in it. Unfortunately, the Normalcy Bias inhibits our ability to cope with a disaster once it is underway. People with Normalcy Bias have difficulty reacting to something they have not experienced before. The Normalcy Bias also leads people to interpret warnings and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome which leads to the person to infer a less serious situation. In short, it is kind of a pain-killing drug which numbs a person to an impending danger.
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B.  50 Signs That Human Civilization Is In BIG Trouble: “Times Have Become Strange, Disturbing and Frightening”
4 Aug 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/50-signs-that-human-civilization-is-in-big-trouble-times-have-become-strange-disturbing-and-frightening_08042014

 Editor’s Note: The signs of collapse are all around us. From naturally occurring phenomenon to man-made influence, one can’t help but notice that something just isn’t right with the world. Most people ignore the possibilities, often making up excuses for why they shouldn’t be preparing for a significant change to our way of life. But the evidence, as outlined in the following analysis by long-time SHTFplan Community contributor Be Informed, suggests that failing to prepare for it could have a horrific outcome

normalcy bias1It is not just you that has seen that life has begun to stink for the human population around the globe.  Like a sick person there are symptoms of a much more aggressive underlying condition that can become or IS terminal.  Life is not just like it was a generation or two ago.  This is not just some sort of nostalgic longing for people’s youth.

Times have become strange, disturbing and frightening for most.  Even the most elderly and long lived of the people can tell you that during their lifetimes there has not been such a disconnect with the dreams of people and their futures looking bright.

A negative cloud hangs over human civilization and the following 50 examples show why we all should be quite unsettled.

  1. Fukushima. This is a catastrophe that is poisoning the regional western Pacific Ocean that will become worldwide sooner than later unless repaired or contained. [You do understand that the problem at Fucushima is NOT contained and is threatening a much worse disaster to humanity than the tidal wave did to Japan. Mr Larry]
  2. Bee and butterfly die off. Butterflies are the canary in the coal mine warning of a toxic environment.  Bees are the difference between food and about 1/2 less the needed amount we all depend on if bees are not around to pollinate flowers.  Bees help fuel the agriculture industry.
  3. Genetically modified foods and poor unhealthy livestock.  We are not meant to eat frankenstein food that our bodies don’t recognize or don’t properly assimilate.  Eating animals that are shot full of chemicals or that eat GMO foods or other substandard feed is a human health problem starting with all forms of cancer.
  4. Lack of arable land.  At a certain point people won’t be able to grow enough food to feed the world.  This is normally reached at between 1500-2000 people per square mile of arable land.  Right now the world stands at about 1400 people per square mile of arable land.
  5. Antibiotic resistant diseases. This is very serious for humans as a very contagious and highly fatal bacteria could wipe out massive numbers.  It is also an issue with animals on the farm and plant life people depend on to consume.  An agricultural blight would be just as devastating as centuries ago if uncontrollable.  People go hungry.
  6. Chemical poisoning of the water ways.  This is from the creeks to the streams to rivers and lakes to the ocean.  Clean water is necessary for health.  Food sources are being contaminated at a very alarming rates from toxins all around the world.
  7. Fresh water scarcity.  One only has to look to the American Southwest to see just how important fresh water is and what any drought can do.  Famine becomes more and more likely when someone cannot give crops enough water.  Cities can cease to function without enough water.
  8. Toxic processed foods being the normal staple people eat.  Junk food by any name, people become extremely malnourished which causes an overwhelmed health care system.  People simple don’t function well when they live on bad food.
  9. Super germs, both human, animal, and plant. There are life forms in the plant and animal kingdom that go extinct all the time.  Recently Ebola has become more virulent, new diseases such as MERS shows an increase of the chance of a super pathogen killing off large percentages.
  10. Human beings becoming more frail. Lack of good food, proper exercise, clean safe water and food has helped create a creme puff type of people.  These people lack hardiness and will wither in the face of any real hardship.
  11. Invasive introduction of species not meant to be part of certain ecosystems. People continue to accidentally or on purpose bring in plants, animals, and germs into places that just can’t handle them.  Look at the Burmese Python snake in Florida that has decimated the animal life there.  Asian fish and mollusk species into American waters have caused horrible damage.
  12. Pharmacentical poisoning of humans. MEDS, as people call them, have caused side effect after side effect and left exploding health care costs that have bankrupted individuals all over the place.  On top of this it has left the population in a state of being almost half dead.
  13. Over vaccinations. There is still much debate over Autism and vaccinations being the cause, but why is it necessary to overtax our immune systems with every practical inoculation against every disease ever thought of?  Especially something someone has extremely little chance of ever catching?
  14. Difficulty in maintaining proper crop production. In many areas the ground is no longer able to sustain itself because of over fertilizing creating a brine of salt and other minerals.  More and more already scarce water to help water down the soil becomes necessary.  Plants suffer disease and need even more fertilizer treatments to give out a decent crop.  These plants also need more pesticides.
  15. Expansions of human settlements into known disaster areas. Much of these terrible calamities such as intense flooding can be avoided by proper planning and never putting buildings into known danger areas such as flood plains.  This expansion continues at an alarming rate each year.
  16. Little or no protection given to people’s businesses and homes from catastrophes.  Flood walls, buildings constructed to better withstand earthquakes, pre-established fire breaks, etc.  The whole country and other countries are mostly still at the mercy of Mother Nature because of lack of insight to safeguard property.  See #1 Fukushima.
  17. Crumbling infrastructure. Someone can drive around and see all the bridges and roads in desperate need of repair or replacement.  The power grids and nuclear plants are at the top of the lists in need of help, and would cripple the country if and when they fail.
  18. Over populating urban areas worldwide. This is a problem that is waiting to become a cataclysm should the economy collapse or other widespread disaster occur.  Large cities depend entirely on outside aid to continue to operate.  Without this, large cities die and with them most of the people that live there.  Congestion is adding much to the stress level of hundreds of millions from these concentrated number of people living like matchsticks on top of each other.
  19. Almost total inability of most people to adapt to harsh change. A sudden drop off of “necessary” reliances have put most people on the brink of individual collapse when what they need is not there for them for days, weeks, months or longer.
  20.  Failure of solutions and problems. Like Fukushima, other big problems are lost for concern as there is a near universal acceptance of just living with it no matter how terrible it is.
  21. People depending on safety nets to bail them out of ALL circumstances. So many now just know that no matter what happens, the government, FEMA, or other agency will save them.  People have become reliant on others that might or might not be there.  Setting up for failure.
  22. No monetary accountability. As people care less and less, future financial disasters build up steam and are allowed to get worse.  New 2008-09 type economic collapses become more likely as phantom money and fudged numbers go by without much thought about what is really happening.
  23. Exploding debt.  The U.S. debt is following E to the X expansion in which inflation not only becomes hyper, but infinite and limitless.  This is the way expontential E to X works as the line of increase starts out gentle and almost flat and grows to almost 90 degree vertical increase.
  24. More percentage of world’s money in less percentage of the people’s hands. Money simply means power, and less people have this power.  This means fewer people with more control over more people, a lot more control.
  25. Main stream media and government deception. Most people are naive and even more so want to think everything is rosy and wonderful.  We are being fed a constant stream of information that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface just how awful things are and how close to everything falling apart life as we know it is.
  26. Lack of privacy and government intrusion into our lives. Besides the drone problem, you just have to ask how much NSA and others pries into our private lives and makes honest good citizens into suspects of everything and anything.
  27. People wanting to be linked up to everything. While people complain about the government looking in like peeping Toms at others’ lives, the public wants to be connected with everything.  This is opening all sorts of windows to everyone’s lives that they’d rather not have others observing.
  28. Credit cards and taking physical money from society. Cashless societies means that every single thing someone purchases is monitored.  One thing bought could send your friendly neighborhood Gestapo to your door to see why you purchased what you did.  People depend more on plastic cards than anytime in history.  This also of course leads to bankrupt type debt from so many that are irresponsible with credit.
  29. Allowing a machine or government to do someone’s thinking for them.  People will not even act on anything anymore without asking their SMART phone to do everything for them.  They rather have those in authority tell them how to think and behave, it is far easier.
  30. Total dependence on technology and gadgets.  People cannot function the most rudimentry tasks or problems anymore.  Mental laziness is gripping this world.
  31. Lack of concern for anyone but oneself.  Self indulgence and living for the moment at other people’s expense.  Just look at the most popular word now filtering around the world, SELFIE.
  32. Worship and practice of weirdness and perversion. There is a loss of wholesomeness that was once praised and admired.  The following of these music idols shows this all too well.
  33. Human self mutilations. You look at some of the face jewelry that pierces their lips and cheeks that looks like some has been blasted by shrapnel and you wonder how anyone would want to look like they were hit by some suicide bomber.  A trendy look that is a frightening example of how much certain people dislike or hate their bodies and lives.
  34. Listlessness and stagnation of humans. There is a strong lack of any drive in people anymore.  Like a sloth people just exist and wander around like zombies oblivious to much around them.
  35. Political correctness and conformity. This is a plague, as people are losing their rights to say anything that might be offensive to anyone.  The First Amendment is dying slowly in front of our eyes.  It doesn’t matter how well thought out or true something is, only that NO ONE has hurt feelings from what is said.
  36. Taking people out of the decision making processes. As technology grows so does the elimination of people.  This is not only job losses, but allows fewer and fewer to make important decisions in business, military, and everyday life.  It sets up for failure that is not easily correctable when the status quo does flop.
  37. Destruction of people’s rights as humans and as life forms to defend themselves.  Those that would attempt to control everyone by forcing their idealism of what means to be civilized is the taking away of people’s self defense all over the world.  Some areas even prohibit the use of your own personal body to save yourself from being brutally attacked.
  38. Numbness of other people suffering. Even to the point of enjoyment of seeing others in pain, sadism is becoming more intense each day.  Music songs talk about this barbarism all the time.  Pain for everyone is the new norm that individuals are gravitating towards like a moth towards fire.
  39. People’s lack of convictions.  Just look at the 90% disapproval ratings given to the U.S. congress.  Each election cycle however the same politicians that get so much hate and flank are re-elected over and over again.  Most people talk and that is it.
  40. Indifference and falling apart of the family unit. There has been, over the course of humanity, much strength and security in families.  This is dying off as families have grown so far apart that they interact only for short amounts of time each day with each other.  A common response to this is a cop out – we have to let others live their own lives.
  41. Escapism. Human beings are so miserable with the horrors of the world that they take drugs, create fake worlds of fantasies in video games, and do anything they can to get away from it.
  42. Death of the human conscience.  This is one of the most distressing of human problems that there is.  People have lost that special side of them that defines wrong and right.  Morality is way more than what others tell you what is correct, it is knowing what is fair and just towards others.
  43. Widespread unhappiness, depression, despair, fear, anger, and hopelessness. Those that choose not to escape from this, deal with this ugliness each day.  The stress level of so many is higher than anytime in history.
  44. Increase of rampant insanity. Whether it is from brain chemistry toxins or just human beings losing it, lunacy is becoming commonplace everywhere.  Then 2nd Amendment rights are vilified and blamed on firearms rather than the person that needs mental help and would have used some other tool to murder others anyway.
  45. Loopholing of long established laws and freedoms. All over the world peoples’ rights are being attacked by their government to gain more control.  This is fueled further by the majority of the population accepting and supporting this power grab.   Many in the U.S. actually want to rewrite the Constitution, something that has worked remarkably well for more than 200 years.
  46. Terrorism and other mass attacks becoming easier and easier.  With technological advancement comes the ability to manufacture very deadly weapons of mass destruction.  The worst of any of these are biological weapons that can kill millions or billions, not just directed at humans, but possibly at livestock and crops.
  47. Willingness of countries to fight over less and less. Natural resource depletion, especially fresh clean water, has always been a war starter.  Now with so much less to go around it has become an even larger issue.
  48. Many so called leaders now feel that nuclear war is winnable or the ONLY option. Nuclear weapons are now on more of a hair trigger than they have been for decades.  Countries are itching for a fight like North Korea and China against Japan and South Korea. Those that are overmatched in conventional weapons feel they can make this up with nuclear warheads.  Human civilization is almost living on borrowed time with this one.
  49. Intensification of religious hatred. In the past few years peoples’ disgust towards each other based on their religious belief has grown to the most dangerous level in decades and is continuing to get worse.  Look at all the examples of savage attacks based solely on someone’s faith every week.
  50. Lack of preparation by 99%+ of the population. This is something that should be of grave concern to everyone.  People are simply not ready for the next human catastrophe, which will eventually come violently.

Number 50 is the most essential.  It is a simple choice by an individual if they want to have a chance to live for themselves and their families and see through a SHTF disaster, or die a hard ugly death.

There are countless more than 50 abominations that humans are rotting through now.  It is the choice of the individual to either attempt to do something about the storm that will come, or live in self denial that this could ever happen.

Do you live in a world where your government will come to the rescue like the cavalry? A world where you need not self prepare for anything because 9-1-1 calls will link help within minutes?
Or have you come to terms with the fact that, as we saw during Hurricane Katrina, you will be totally on your own and failure to prepare will leave you without food, water, or anything else necessary to survive?
A lot of problems with human civilization add up in the future to a collapse of most of everything we depend on.
The choice is up to each individual, as the signs of impending big problems in the future cannot be dismissed no matter how far in ground someone wants to bury the truth.

C.  The Reality of Survival: “Forget Good Guys and Bad Guys… The Prepared Guys Win”
21 July 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Selco
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-reality-of-survival-forget-good-guys-and-bad-guys-the-prepared-guys-win_07212014

The following article has been generously contributed by Selco of the SHTF School web site. For those who have never seen Selco’s work, he’s the real deal. He was there in the 1990′s when his city in the Balkans was surrounded by a hostile army. From one day to the next life as he and those around him knew it had changed drastically. The media, of course, told people that everything would be fine. But As Selco highlighted in a previous article, the reality of collapse was brutal. Peace and stability very quickly turned to war and madness. He details his experience in his One Year in Hell survival course. In the article below, Selco shares his views on what it means to survive when your entire way of life has been cut off from the rest of the world. 

Do you want to know what it’s really like when it hits the fan? Then keep reading.

normalcy bias2

 Survival Among Humans By Selco
TV news and internet are covered with headlines like “shocking, captured Iraqis beheaded” or “they are killing everyone on their way” and “prisoners executed” and similar.
And folks who watch and comment on the news and videos who still live in a “normal” world without this kind of craziness going on, are shocked of course.

First comments are that those people and groups who are doing that are animals and they need to be “bombed to stone age”, or “they are not deserving better anyway” and then goes “they are all same there, let them kill each other” and similar.

While I would definitely like to see that fanatics getting “eradicated” there, there are more things that should be considered.
Most of the folks are not going to watch video of that violence, because it is too much for them they will change channel, or simply open the page with news from the “celebrity world.”
People do not want to watch or think about bad things, people want to forget that, and yes, at the end there comes again that famous “it cannot happen to us” idea.

  • Do you really think that when (not if) SHTF events would be much different in your part of the world?
  • Do you think that when collapse happens, you and people around you in your town will be somehow able to organize food distribution, security and safety for residents, and all those criminals and sick bastards will somehow disappear, and there is going to be new better society?
  • Are you under the influence of movies and you think that good guys win almost always and that there is justice and sense in everything?

I hope you do not because I highly doubt anything like this is going to happen anywhere.
Forget good guys and bad guys. Prepared guys win, they can be good or bad, or both.
Problem is in the fact that simply too many people are waiting for S. to hit the fan so they can go out and play their own version of God. Just ask yourself this question: Who is more experienced living in place without any law, criminals or regular folks?

 Criminals, sick folks, small Napoleons, guys who suddenly think that they have solution for building new society without including morale in story…
There are guys who wait for SHTF to go out and rule, to take your food, enslave you, recruit your older kids, or to take your wife maybe for fun.

Maybe how and when everything happens in your neighborhood would be different when SHTF then in those news articles that we talking about, but lot of things gonna be the same, lot of people, not enough resources, and fight for power.

 It is often hard to imagine for regular people how nasty other humans can become. If you have been to prison, war or deal a lot with criminals you know better.
And again, I am taking this from my own experience. Again.

 One day I had job, family, car, restaurants, cinema, girlfriends, I was listening Guns n Roses and was angry about last album of Metallica. Life was nice and good to me, I had problems but they were in the range of am I lazy to go and rent video tape, or just spent afternoon reading something.
Then BAM!
I suddenly realized that I am living among guys who are finding amusement in taking women and teenage girls to “rape prisons”, or kill for fun and not for survival. I suddenly realized that I was living all the time among whole bunch of weird sick folks who when SHTF just went out to have fun.

And yes, I heard and read many times “they are just different down there, they are all the same, let them kill each other, they are different.”
And I am sure that if tomorrow SHTF in Sweden, there s gonna be folks who gonna write “oh, leave them, they are animals anyway, not like we here, they are different.“
It is the easy answer. It feels good to think like that.

But forget that, forget about image of “we are nice and decent folks here, and it is impossible to happen to us, these kind of atrocities.”

 Be prepared.

Whenever someone I know tells me about bad situation here something like “OH, it is gonna be OK, it is not gonna happen to us, situation will be better,” in that same moment I get a strong urge to go out and buy more ammo.
Or whenever someone says to me “do not worry, we have system here, they gonna take care of everything,” I feel like I am gonna throw up.

Screw the system, you need to build your own system.
It is like people live in their own little pretty house. Outside you have monsters knocking on windows looking at the people inside but they look away. Facing reality is uncomfortable and most believe monsters never come in. Bad news is that closing your eyes does not make you invincible. You are just blind and more vulnerable.

 Lesson here is, do not discount what you can learn from ongoing crisis half way around the world. I never expected people could turn into monsters all around me so fast, I adapted and survived, but you have chance today to understand this and be prepared for this.

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Your minimal emergency electric needs

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles / Your minimal emergency electric needs)

10 Things You Will Miss Most Without Electricity At Home
17 Jul 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/10-things-you-will-miss-most-without-electricity-at-home/#more-28882

electric light

 To go without electricity for a couple of hours is a bad enough experience for most. But imagine the horror if the power were to stay out for days, or weeks…

The resulting shock to today’s modern man (and woman) would not only be an emotional jolt, but could quickly turn into a life threatening reality for those who have not prepared for such an occurrence.

These ten things will be high on the list for most people; the things that will be missed the most based on the modern lifestyle of today’s generation…   In no particular order, food for thought, People will be forced to deal with the loss of use very quickly…

LIGHTS The most basic of luxury that electricity provides is our light at night, and even during the day. How long will your batteries last in your flashlights? Then what?

CELL PHONES Most of today’s communications revolve around our cell phones / smart phones. They are the lifeblood of our social networks and the primary means of communicating with our family and friends. How will you cope without that ability?

INTERNET AND COMPUTER This category should almost go without saying… it is probably the most relied upon resource in our modern lives today. It is crucial to our communications, our finances, and our entertainment. Many people won’t know what to do without it.

TELEVISION The typical adult watches 4 hours of television per day while the typical child watches 6 hours of television per day including their video-games. It will be a shock to the system without this distraction.

iPODS, STEREO, MUSIC I mention this category due to the observation of so many people walking around with ear-buds attached to their iPod devices while listening to their music. There will be no recharging these little entertainment devices. Like television, music is a major part of the background (and foreground) entertainment for many people.

AIR CONDITIONING, FANS, AND HEAT Many modern buildings will be uninhabitable without it, due to their HVAC design and necessity. We have lived for many decades with the convenience of air-conditioning, and being without it will be a shock. If electricity were to fail in the winter, there will be even more grave consequences.

REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER This sole appliance is in its own category due to the important role it serves in keeping your food fresh longer and keeping you supplied with food for a time. Your frozen foods will be thawed within 24 hours and will need to be consumed immediately or tossed out. Then what?

KITCHEN APPLIANCES How will you handle first thing in the morning without a cup of coffee brewed in your electric coffee pot? Think about ALL of your kitchen appliances that run on electricity and how you would manage without them. No dishwasher?

STOVE, OVEN AND MICROWAVE The majority of people rely on an electric stove, oven or microwave for cooking their food. Let that sink in a moment…

CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER Keeping our clothes clean is something that we completely take for granted. It would not take long for this situation to become unhealthy.

 Observations and considerations… Some of the categories listed above are really subsets of “Entertainment”. Although entertainment is not part of the survival basics (water, food, shelter, etc.,) it WILL be a major emotional factor for many people. It is a category that most people rely on for daily distraction. When things go “quiet”, it will be jarring for most who have become accustomed to the constant noise of this distraction. They will be forced to deal with the reality of their own life, and may not know what to do. It could result in a rapid escalation of chaos, particularly in densely populated areas as tempers flare while people are forced to deal not only with the loss of the distraction, but they will be forced to deal with survival itself.

Communications. My observations of the world we live in today reveal that many people, if not most, always seem to be on a cell phone talking with someone else… everywhere they go. In the car, in the store, at home, on the street, at work… It seems to reflect an insecurity of sorts. The need to be in constant contact with their circle of friends. Without this emotional outlet or constant communication, these people will have a very difficult time coping. Even if cell towers are up for awhile during a power outage, once your cell phone battery drains, that’s it… Silence.

Kitchen. You better start thinking about how you’ll manage without these electrical appliances. Do you have the ability to prepare food? Do you have food that doesn’t require much or any preparation? Think of a power outage in various time periods. While it’s pretty easy to survive a few hours or even a day or two, use your noggin and consider being without electricity for longer. Seriously… how will you survive without it?

I haven’t’ mentioned WATER until now… While this resource is number one for survival, during short term power outages you will not lose your water pressure. This will only become a critical issue if electricity is lost for a significant period of time. All water municipalities have power generators for their pumps, and so long as they can get fuel, they can keep the pumps running. A severe enough disaster however could throw a wrench in the works… use your imagination. This is similar for sewage treatment.

Hopefully these thoughts have given you something to think about. If you are inclined to become better prepared for such things, spend a day keeping track of everything that you do and see how many of those activities involve the requirement of electricity. Then imagine life without it. Figure out how you would survive without it.

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B.  Batteries: How to store them, Myths and Facts
22 July 2013, by Great Northern Prepper.com
Pasted from: http://www.greatnorthernprepper.com/batterry-storage-battery-myths-facts-nicad-vs-nimh-vs-lithium-ion/

Today I want to talk about some myths and facts about storing batteries, how to do it properly so that the batteries you have in your preps will last as long as possible.
First thing is first, before we talk about myths, facts and storage you need to treat your batteries just like your food preps, rotation is the key.  Just like food you need to continually use these batteries in the FIFO (First In First Out) Method, that is use the older batteries first and replace them with newer batteries etc., etc.

What are differences in Batteries?
 Alkaline:  These are the “standard” batteries that we are familiar with, the one time use disposables, however some can be recharged (however this can be chaotic in its results).

NiCad:  Using nickel oxide hydroxide and cadmium, these are rechargeable but newer technologies have made this battery nearly obsolete, however some devices cannot use newer batteries

Nominal Cell Voltage: 1.2v
Cycle durability: 2000 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 70-90%
Self Discharge rate: 10% per month

 NiMH:  Using Nickel metal Hydride, this battery is similar to the NiCad batter however it offers higher energy density than NiCad, which gives it roughly twice the capacity of the NiCad.  NiCad’s also suffer from what is called “memory” that is the battery will lose capacity when the batteries are recharged after only being partially discharged.  NiMH can also suffer from this but not as sever as NiCad.

  electric eneloopLithium Ion: these batteries produce the same power as NiMH but weigh 20-35% less, they also do NOT suffer from the Memory effect at all.

Nominal Cell Voltage: 3.6/3.7v
Cycle durability: 400-1200 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 80-90%
Self Discharge rate: 8% @ 69.8 degrees, 15% @ 104 degrees,  31% @ 140 degrees

 Personally I prefer the Sanyo Eneloop NiMH since they seem to have proven to me and through other reviews and studies to be one of the best rechargeables out there.  They are a Low discharge battery that means they lose their charge at a extremely low rate (holding roughly 90% of their power if stored properly).  The Eneloops also charge close to their rate capacities (around 1970mAh – 2000mAh).  Although they are more expensive upfront they last longer and overall are cheaper

electric chargerHowever I would recommend the Power Ex MH-C9000 Wizard One charger which is a “Smart Charger” which analyzes the batteries discharge rate and charges them accordingly to make sure the battery doesn’t suffer from the “memory effect”  these can easily be used with a small solar charger and inverter.

Regardless of what battery charger you get, make sure its a “smart” charger and the maximum charge rate shouldn’t exceed 1/3 the rated capacity of the battery, in the case of the Eneloop (2000mAh) this rate should be 700mAh.  If you can set the chargers discharge rate set it at 100mAh.

STORING BATTERIES:
MYTH: Storing batteries on concrete will “suck” the energy out of it, i.e. it will discharge its stored energy and die.
In the past car batteries were glass jars stored in a wooden case, the moisture on the floor would swell the wood and fracture the glass, so this was true.  Later as plastic cases were used the plastic was still porous and allowed electrical current to conduct through the container to the moist concrete, so thus this was still true.  Today car batteries use a polypropylene which is highly isolative and are not subject to this.  In the end, todays batteries are fine to be stored on concrete, but will still discharge regard of where they are stored, so rotation and use is still the rule of today.

FACT: Storing them in a Freezer/Fridge will make them last longer.
Well this is a mixed message, while energizer and other manufacturers say “not to”, reviews and test show this to be untrue.  Colder temps slow the discharge rate but with Alkaline batteries it is a slightly reduced rate, not really worth the time and space used.  NIMH batteries can see a useful bump in their capacity retention, but with the advent of Low Discharge NIMH batteries it is unneeded.  If YOU DO freeze them make sure you allow them to warm to room temperature before you use it.

electric battery storage

Whats the best way to Store them?
Store your batteries around 59 degrees in a dry area, guess what else you store in a cool dry place– your food preps, so just store your batteries in the same area as them.  It is recommended that every 6 months you discharge them fully and recharge them fully (for NIMH low discharge batteries).

For Lithium Ion Batteries store at room temperature in a dry place and charge to about 20-50%, and charge them about once a year to prevent overdischarge.

Store NiCad at room temperature in a dry location and charge at least once per year to prevent leakage and deterioration of performance.

I keep around 50 NIMH Eneloop AA and around 15 Eneloop AAA batteries, which I rotate through, all year as needed.  I also have some rechargeable D, C and 9 volt batteries as well for batteries and other applications, however I have yet to purchase any solar panels, it is high on my list, but the budget is the budget.  I also keep about 3-4 of those Costco packs of Batteries in the house for use as well.

 

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