Tag Archives: food

Food and water during SHTF

 (Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Food and water during SHTF)                  

RainManPost SHTF Food for thought
13 Sep 2013, TheSurvivalistBlog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Pasted from: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/post-shtf-food-for-thought/

This is a guest post by M. Dotson and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.

We are in the post SHTF era, current timeframe, late spring/early summer. Electricity and water are still available and flowing for now. Stores have been picked clean and the population is beginning to get hungry. Most people aren’t working, but looking for food. The inner city population have begun the exodus out of their normal haunts in search of food. Their population is thinning due to the few police and determined resistance from homeowners, but they still present a huge danger. I don’t know how close I am to being right in this, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now. Pick this scenario apart so we all learn from it.

From your perspective…You and yours have managed to escape the immediate danger. You have bugged in with your food, weapons and knowledge in Suburbia, USA. Your kid and spouse has shown up at your door with their kids and the spouses parents wanting refuge. The kids in-laws cannot stay. You tell them they can stay the night, but they have to move on in the morning.

Next morning the electricity goes out. No problem for now, but how long will that last? You pick up your cell phone to call the problem in to the electric company. Great! They’re working on it, but there are issues everywhere you’re told. It may be a while before service is restored. After breakfast, the in laws of your kid make their teary goodbyes and leave.

Break out the handy-dandy solar cell phone recharger and set it outside in the sun. Check the landline phone and it’s still working. Starting to get warm so let’s get a drink of water… uh oh, no water now. No problem, you break out a jug of water from your stores to quench your thirst.

Curious, you move up and down your street, knocking on doors trying to find out if this water outage is local to you, or the immediate area, or the suburb, or the town. You don’t know all your neighbors, just the ones next door, a few doors down or across the street. Most people have left by now searching for food. Very few people come to answer the door. The few who do don’t know you and demand you leave their property immediately.

Returning to the house you enter a heated argument between the kid and their spouse. It has escalated to your spouse, as well. Why did the in laws get sent away? They have no place to go. That’s why they came here. You didn’t have to do that, there’s plenty of food. You’ve been preparing for years!! Wonderful!

It’s starting to get hot. The AC is off and everyone is cranky and sweating like crazy. Your bodies, used to the wonder of AC, has difficulties adjusting your core temperature and is trying to find balance. You’re hot and the only thing the body knows to do is sweat. AC is also the same thing that drove people inside so they didn’t get to know their neighbors on those warm summer nights. Folks used to sit on their front porch, go for walks or visit friends who had some cool lemonade. AC took care of that.

You have plenty of water, but with all the sweating, it’s going at an alarming rate. The toilets got flushed early in the day and now are not functional other than a container. Lid down, door closed and a towel at the bottom of the bathroom door to keep the smell down. You plan to use the water from the hot water tank to flush once a day. Urinate in the back yard. Girls over there behind the tarp, boys over there by the tree. There’s about 40 gallons of water in the tank. Takes about 3 or 4 gallons to flush the commode so you have ten days or so. Surely the water will be flowing again by then.

You call to find out when the water will be coming back on. You’re told that the electric water pumps will return to service when the electricity comes back on. When will that be? When the lights come on at your house you may get water then. The person hangs up on you angrily. They’re in worse shape than you. They didn’t prepare for this. Their kids are hungry, too, and they are only at work on promises of overtime pay when all this stuff settles down in the next day or two.

Several days go by and still no water or electricity. You have to make plans for the sake of your family. Flushing water from the hot water tank is low. You decide to raid the homes next to you, if the occupants are gone. You don’t consider it stealing, per se. The occupants aren’t going to use it, the only damage you’ll do is to break a window to gain entry and you’ll pay for that in silver or food. By now the water in the tanks is cooled off enough to supplement your drinking water supply. It’s going to rain so everyone is ready with a bar of soap, boys on one side of the house, girls on the other. You set out buckets and pans to catch as much as possible. You use suspended tarps to channel rainwater into anything that will hold water. You get to flush the toilets early today.

‘You gave up calling anyone because no one is manning the phones. The cell phone don’t work now – no service. The only service available to you is the landline and it’s worthless. It’s beginning to smell terrible in the house. The trash is piling up. You don’t want to waste water cleaning out all those empty #10 cans of food. You really don’t want to pile them outside to give away the fact you have food, so you put them in the garage. You have some solar ovens to cook with, but they don’t work so well on cloudy days. So, you make some rocket stoves out of the cans and use cardboard for fuel. Takes care of some of the smell and most of the combustible trash. You have to open windows to let the smoke out.

f&w food1You’re beginning to see activity in your neighborhood. Men are roaming the streets picking over the remains hoping to find some food. They’re kicking in doors in the middle of the night and taking what they can. Your house has been approached several times, but your faithful dog has alerted you every time. You met force with force. You’ve shot at a few and even hit one pretty hard judging by the blood trail you found the next morning. Makes you feel kinda queasy knowing you may have just killed a man, but it was him or you and you were protecting your family.

Late one night you hear your dog howl in pain. Running outside you see men have used a fishing rod and treble hook with a piece of meat. The dog ate the meat, they set the hook and had reeled the animal where they could club him to death. He was going to be several meals, otherwise they would have just used antifreeze or some other poison. You fire several shots to scare the men off.

You wait til morning to bury your friend. While digging the grave a shot rings out and a bullet misses you by mere inches. Retreating to the house, you post your family to have a 360 degree view of the outside of the house and surrounding area. A window is smashed in with a brick and the glass has lacerated your wife pretty badly. She’s bleeding profusely so you have to stitch her up. You break out the first aid kit, clean and dress the wound. You worry about infection. She’s in a great deal of pain and lost a lot of blood so all the self-defense training she has with guns, knives and clubs is pretty much useless for the time being.

More bricks come into the house through the windows. You see a man and open up on him, dropping him in the street. A shot is fired in your direction and ricochets off your homes’ brick siding. You holler out to the assailants that there are children in the house, you have no food and to leave you alone. You’re told to come out with your hands up, get into your vehicle and leave, now. You won’t be harmed.

f&w food2From my perspective….I’m hungry. I’ve been hungry before so used to it. I grew up poor and got mean quick. I was in a gang for a while but they’re mostly gone now. Only a few of us left. The only food we’ve been able to find is when we kick in doors out in the suburbs. Even then food is scarce. We caught a cat once and cooked him. Tasted like crap, but it filled the belly. One of the guys’ grandmothers used to live on a farm so she told us how to do it.

One night while ‘shopping’ at a house one of my guys got shot pretty bad. He died a few days later. We knew where the shot came from so we got to watching the place. Two men, two women, and a couple kids…piece of cake. They also have a dog, a big sucker. Gotta get rid of him before anything else. Hey, I know! I watched Swamp People once where they catch alligators with a big fishing hook. I bet it’d work on a stupid dog.

Went to Wal-Mart and got a big fishing pole. I found out they make some fishing hooks with three points called treble hooks. Then we found an old dead rat and chopped some meat off him for bait, just like in the show. I threw the bait into the backyard. That stupid dog found it and ate it whole. I reeled him in like a fish. He howled a couple of times, but we clubbed him good to shut him up. The old man of the house came running out shooting and yelling at us. We had to run. I didn’t think the dog would howl…the alligators didn’t.

Next morning I was on the roof of a house so I could see into their back yard. The old man came out with a shovel to bury the dog. I shot at him, but missed. My crew was watching the house from the street so we pretty much had the place surrounded. One guy threw a brick into a window. He heard a woman scream in pain. He didn’t know if had hit her or cut her with the broken glass, but everyone grabbed bricks and started throwing them into the windows.

Some shots came from the house and one of my guys went down. He didn’t move again. The old man is a pretty good shot so I open up on him, but miss again. I guess I should have practiced more. I ain’t too good a shot, but he has to be lucky all the time, I only have to be lucky once.

The old man yells out the window he ain’t got any food, but I know he’s lying. I can smell cooking food coming from his house now. I’ve smelled the odor of his cooking fire and seen the smoke coming out of his windows. Let’s see what happens if I offer him a deal….

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 B.  Hard core water conservation for when the taps run dry
21 Feb 2014, The DailySheeple, by Lizzie Bennett (Undergound Medic at http://undergroundmedic.com/)
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/hard-core-water-conservation-for-when-the-taps-run-dry_022014

f&w water

At this point drought conditions are devastating crops and even causing shortages of drinking water in California. Texas has also recently experienced a crippling drought that killed tens of thousands of cattle who had no access to drinking water. There are things other than drought that can cause a massive and rapid reduction in the amount of water we have available to us. Water will be a major problem post-collapse, we all know this, and we store water accordingly but we can never, ever have enough stored water to keep us going indefinitely. We are going to have to become very savvy about how we use what we have whilst still trying to maintain enough to drink, to maintain basic bodily hygiene and to prevent major contamination in our homes. This is going to be a major challenge, possibly the biggest challenge we will face in a collapse situation and anything we can do to seek out our supply will be a major boon in what will surely be very difficult times.

We all know the rule of three, three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. Assuming the air is good enough to breathe water becomes the first thing on the priority list. As much of this precious liquid as possible needs to be saved for drinking so what measures can we employ to make our water last longer and go further?

We all know a good bit about water conservation, showering with a friend, a brick in the toilet cistern and turning off the tap when cleaning out teeth, all saves on our usage. I am interested in what we can do when lowering our usage of what comes out of the tap is not enough, because nothing is coming from the tap.

Rainwater collection methods usually centre around a water butt collecting what comes off the roof, and this is the most effective way of collecting rainwater, but there are other ways. Every drop of rain that lands on your car, the pavement or anywhere else that’s not harvested for watering edibles, drinking or washing is wasted. Children’s paddling pools should be set upon any ground not used for growing, cheap car washing sponges can be put on  shed roofs, brick walls, children’s  play  equipment or anywhere else that will be hit by rain showers and these can be wrung out giving a decent amount to use elsewhere.

People living in low rainfall areas need to be much more mindful of having everything in place for when rain does occur than those of us living where it is pretty much guaranteed  on a regular basis. A decent rain storm or even a heavy shower can prove a Godsend if you are ready to collect it in any way you can.

Little of the rainwater that lands on a tree actually waters the roots of that tree, the branches cause it to drip onto the ground some distance from the trunk, and as little edible produce is grown in the shadow of a tree again the water is wasted. Plant edibles that like cooler shadier conditions in these areas to make better use of the land and the water that drips from the branches. Small raised beds work well as the soil is often impoverished in these areas. All varieties of lettuce do well in cooler conditions and their soft leaves prefer some shade.

Paper plates and plastic cutlery are often sited as they reduce the amount of water needed for washing up. This can be taken a step further by using dry sand to clean out saucepans and skillets as many people in desert countries do. Dry sand is put into and rubbed around a scraped out pot absorbing liquid and acting as a scourer to remove debris. Cleaning done the pot is left to dry out at which point any sand left behind is easily dusted out.

Removing the trap under the sink and placing a bucket underneath means no water at all is wasted transferring from one receptacle to another. A sponge stuffed up the pipe will filter out any debris. You can do several things with this water:

* Flush the toilet (with bleach added)
* Wash down outdoor areas soiled by pets (with bleach added)
* Water the garden
* Soak heavily soiled clothes to remove the bulk of the dirt (with laundry soap added)
* Mop hard floors(with bleach added)

Gardening is going to become the mainstay of survival post-collapse.  The growing season also tends to be the warmest time of year and much of the water we put on the garden is lost to evaporation. Weep pipes that allow water to constantly seep through their sides reduce this, but not enough in a situation where every drop saved may make the difference between life and death. Watering plants where they need it, under the soil is optimum, and this is very easy to achieve cheaply.

Connect a regular hose pipe to a water butt, this can be filled with grey water that has been previously used, or be allowed to fill with rainwater, or even a mixture of both. The hose should then be laid in a trench some six inches deep around the plants you are aiming to water.  That done, cut the hose and make small holes on both sides of it, covering the entire length that will be buried. Using a funnel fill the portion of the hose that will be buried with grit and that done block the open end. Put the hose back in the trench and cover with soil. Turning the tap on the butt (slowly) will allow water to be delivered underground, the grit stops the wet soil from getting into the hose and blocking it. This method prevents water being lost to evaporation and significantly reduces the amount used for irrigation. The same method can be used with a funnel in the end of the pipe allowing for manual watering.

A similar set up can be used in the centre of a group of fruit bushes or near trees. Dig a hole the size of the large lidded buckets that are often used to store rice and grain in. It should be three inches shallower than the bucket so it stands proud making refilling easier. Make some small holes in the bottom, a heated fine knitting needle works well. Put an inch of grit in the bottom and top that with a couple of inches of damp sand, dry sand would just fall between the grit and leach out. Put the bucket in the hole and fill with water before putting the lid on. The water will slowly seep out keeping the roots watered but saving an immense amount as you have not had to wet the top eighteen inches of soil before it gets to them.

A smaller version of this can be made using soda bottles. Make a hole in the cap, fill with water and invert into a hole in the ground, this supports the bottle as well as getting the water deeper into the soil where the plants can better utilise it.

Much is made on survival programmes of building a solar still to produce clean drinking water, and the principle is great and it works. Problem is it takes up a lot of space, has to be dismantled to get to your half cup of water, and there is more condensate on the underside of the plastic than is in your cup. A soda bottle still is far easier, takes less space, involves no digging and is easy to move around.

Take several soda bottles and cut them in half. Set the bottoms aside. Make a few vertical cuts about an inch long from the cut edge of the top section of the soda bottle, this will enable the top to fit easily into the bottom of your still. Put a small container of whatever liquid you are going to evaporate into a small container placed in the bottom of the soda bottle and then slide the top section into it, making sure the slits you have made go down inside the bottom section so water does not seep through them.

Condensate will run down the inside of the bottle into the reservoir…the bottom section of the soda bottle. Just like any other solar still you are never going to have enough to take a bath but when every drop counts it is a way of getting a drink from dirty water.

Anything you like can go into the central pot to be evaporated, coffee grounds, grey water, rain water even urine will evaporate giving clean drinkable condensate. Larger stills will work using organic matter such as grass, leaves and even faeces, all will produce safe drinkable water that requires no boiling or treatment before consumption. Knowing that anything organic, even water from a polluted stream, or stagnant water you have found, can be utilised for a still, is something that could prove very useful long term in areas that are rain deprived, but have sunshine in abundance.

If you are fortunate enough to have trees they too can provide you with drinking water. Strong clear plastic bags, such as large zip locks slipped onto the end of a leafy branch and duct taped or tied with string to hold them there and seal them will cause a decent amount of water to collect in the bag if left over night. To harvest your water make a small hole in the bag near where it is taped/tied and tip the bag up collecting the water as it trickles out. Fold the bag over the hole and hold the fold closed with a paper clip, taping the hole will rip your bag when you go back to it. The water droplets left on the inside of the bag will act like liquid in the still and will form even more condensate than the tree produces on its own, adding to the amount you collect the next day.

Dew collection may sound ridiculous, but it can produce quite a volume of liquid. Most of us have walked through dew covered grass at some point and come out of it wet up to our knees. Laying a sheet or large towel over dew covered grass will collect  enough moisture to have a sponge bath. Rolling across the grass and then using the wet towel may be the nearest thing to a shower we can get if the water supply is compromised.

Where water is concerned nothing should be discounted. We need to think laterally regarding its collection in order to procure as much as possible for drinking. Methods of getting clean drinkable water without having to use fuel to boil it before consumption is the optimum as that also may be in short supply.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just suggestions that may help trigger ideas that would work in your own locations. Innovation is going to be key to surviving in a post-collapse society. Thinking about these things now may well save your life in the future.

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Why you should prep

A.  Your personal obligation,
May 2014 by Mr. Larry
“Two hundred years ago (1812) the majority of the human race lived an agricultural life, their tools, assets and  knowledge were fitted to extracting most of their livelihood from the land, their land.
Fast forward to 1937 (75 years ago) , agriculture had become mechanized, allowing a great many families to migrate to the cities. These new urban residents learned skills that replaced the previous agricultural knowledge on how to provide for their families sustenance.

Meanwhile, back in the countryside, as had been the practice for 8,000-10,000 years, the remaining farm families continued to use the excess from their crop yield to sustain themselves during the winter, they maintained a quantity of their produce as seed for the following spring planting, some of the crop yield fed their livestock, some grains was sold for trade currency,  and if  the harvest had been really good, they added a couple more head of live stock.

The farm family stored food supplies, seed for future crops, and maintained a supportive ecology based on agricultural foods, wood from the forest, and water from the well or stream. They maintained a supply capacity to cover the eventuality that: a rainstorm might damage an early planting,  a drought could reduce summer production,  or an early frost might kill crops before they’d fully ripened. There could also occur: a crop disease in the field, insect and pest infestations in storage, robbery, heavy taxation,  a wild-fire, or a number of family members (work force) could be ill and removed from the seasons production labor effort. There were and are a lot of potential threats, fortunately none have a high probability of severe occurence on any given year.

The new landless,that is,  the migrants from the farm to the city-town, like their country kin, needed to maintain a savings from the slight excess generated by their labor. Life,  in some ways, may have become easier in the city, but there was/is still the chance of losing one’s job; a business bankruptcy; severe, long term illness in the family; theft by robbery and taxation; currency devaluation (more governmental theft), fire, war, calamity, personal needs and eventual retirement.

There remained a need for everyone to set some of their income aside to cover an eventual, “rainy day,” and not just a literal day or a week, but to cover the individual or family in case they missed a significant part of their harvest or a seasons labor for wages.

During recent decades (roughly the last 75 years), the exploitation of essentially free energy (free lunch) from fossil fuels has made the world’s lifestyle wealthy compared to  that of ancient kings. The largess of Western social economic structures have grown to provide an economic safety net for both farmers and unemployed urban residents. These public welfare programs have become so prevalent, that people now expect someone else to look after their deficiencies.
Diligent industry and personal responsibility have given way to public welfare, there is no longer a need for diligent industry or personal responsibility; quite the contrary, both the rural and urban worker can at times maneuver their situation in conjunction with the letter of the law to profit from sloth. Once enrolled in the public welfare, enough people find ways to stay in the program that they become a burden to society. [See also my post, “Tragedy of the Commons”]

The point here is: While governments has set up well-meaning, social welfare programs, these programs can only be expected to function as long as government structures operate within  some nebulous limit we might call, “Normal Conditions”. It’s great that a new layer of protection has been added as insurance for our personal sustenance, but each individual adult, each family, still has to provide diligent industry and accept personal responsibility to protect themselves.

When you  fulfill your obligation to look after your own survival, like any other larger animal on this planet, then you can accept public welfare on a temporary basis.  Relying on and expecting public assistance in times of regional-national-global hardship is like an irrational farmer who thinks: there will never be a crop loss, who doesn’t maintaining supplies, who does not maintain a flock or herd, and who eats the seed set aside for next year’s crop. This is a line of thinking that is bound for disaster, this is “our modern way” in the West and it has been for the last decade.
All it takes is one crop failure; or, in modern terms: massive unemployment, an extended period of high inflation,  the government declaring bankruptcy, a couple of nuclear missiles entering our skies, a deadly pandemic, any form of economic collapse…
…In 3 days you could be dying of thirst, followed by several weeks of social disorder that escalates by maybe two orders of magnitude (100 times worse than what “bad” means in “normal” times), starvation begins in 4 weeks…” (Mr. Larry)
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B.  Aesop knew how it worked — 2500 years ago
If anyone doesn’t understand the obligation of families to one another during a serious economic national crisis, I recommend you read Aesop’s fable,  The Grasshopper and The Ant, as follows:

“Once there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer’s field far away. She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by, and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head. She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.

The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. ‘Why do you work so hard, dear ant?’ he would say. ‘Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?’

The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. ‘What a silly little ant you are!’ he would call after her. ‘Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!’ And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily.

Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter.
The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark.
It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall.

The grasshopper didn’t feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer’s field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. ‘Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?’ wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. ‘Ah – I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!’ declared the grasshopper, perking up. So off he went to the ant’s house and knocked at her door. ‘Hello ant!’ he cried cheerfully. ‘Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!’

The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, ‘All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!’ And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper’s face.

It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.” (That was human thinking 2500 years ago. lfp)
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C.  Remember the addage , “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”  (about 5000 BC)
One thing about the future is that no one can be too sure how it’s going to turn out. Most of us are realists and understand that in regards to the future, it’s better to prepare for the likelihood of falling on hard times than be stuck in the middle of it without any preparations or plans.

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Definitions use in the following article
SHTF – Shit hit the fan (event). Think: Temporary, local or regional disaster that disrupt some services, business and-or social structures for days to months. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado damage, flooding, riots, local volcanic activity, major snowstorms, hyperinflation…Black Swan SHTF events that trigger a chain of cascading disasters can lead to TEOTWAKI.
TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It. (event). Think: long term wide spread disruption, systemic failures, extreme hardship, trying to survive within a collapsed social structure, crime violence escallates, seeing dead human bodies becomes somewhat common. Nuclear War, solar and terrorist EMP, deadly pandemic, major volcanic activity…
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D.  SHTF vs. TEOTWAWKI?
SurvivalCache.com, by  Captain Bart
http://survivalcache.com/shtf-vs-teotwawki/
“This past President’s Day, all the satellite channels on my cable went out. Annoying. About an hour later all power in the house went out! This is about how it would play out if a big CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) were to hit the earth.

Prepared?
First the satellites and then some time delay later (depending on CME speed) the power goes down. Since I hadn’t followed my usual practice of daily checking on the Sun, I didn’t know and it was too late to find out. Then I noticed the cell phones still worked, my Blackberry allowed me internet access (NOT a Carrington Event). Turns out a line fuse had blown and about 40 houses were without power for 20 minutes or so. Not even much of a SHTF event but for a few minutes, a whole lot of things I wish I had already done went through my mind.

We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. For the first week or two, they may be almost identical. Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event. In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. This causes difficulty in preparations. Get it wrong and you could be in trouble.

My SHTF moment may be your TEOTWAWKI event. When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I shared food, firearms and ammo with neighbors. It was a SHTF and not even a ‘Black Swan” event. The problem with this, of course, is that now my neighbors know I’m prepared. If you lived on Bolivar Penninsula near Galveston, Texas, Hurricane Ike was a TEOTWAWKI event. This Cat II hurricane had a storm surge like a Cat IV storm and in parts of Bolivar not even the foundations are left.

The point of this is that not only is one man’s SHTF another man’s TEOTWAWKI, one event can morph into the other. How you prepare for one event effects how you deal with the other type event. If you have only prepared for TEOTWAWKI and that plan is basically taking your fully tricked out assault rifle and scrounging what you need from your neighbor’s deserted homes, then you may find yourself in real trouble when the SHTF but it isn’t TEOTWAWKI. SHTF and even ‘Black Swan’ events happen to all of us to varying degrees with surprising regularity although we often don’t recognize it. If you worked for Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme, the SHTF big time when your job, your investments and your savings all went away at the same time! Everything changed overnight.

I think the most likely TEOTWAWKI event will be some type of pandemic that will start slowly and grow in isolated locations until some critical mass is reached. You may have a different “favorite” TEOTWAWKI event but this one serves for discussion. At the point critical mass is reached everything shuts down, martial law is declared and the TEOTWAWKI spiral begins.

Plan For The Mostly Likely Events
What does this mean for us? I would argue that most of our preparations should be for SHTF events. A TEOTWAWKI pandemic and a normal flu outbreak will be identical on the local level for the first days to weeks. So my first preparations will be to survive a one-week ‘shelter in place’ – grid up and utilities working. My next step is to survive a 2-week, shelter in place, grid down scenario followed by a possible 4-week bug out stint. I am ready and flexible if things change but I feel that this is the most likely scenario and what I base my planning around.

The moral is to prepare for the most likely events first since they are the ones that will surely happen. I KNOW Houston will get hit by another hurricane. If I’m ready for Ike, then I’m set for a different 2 to 4 week grid down Black Swan. If I stretch my preparations to 3 months then I’m ready for a massive commerce interruption and so on. Baby steps will carry you far if you are consistently improving. Giant steps can lead to major, perhaps catastrophic mistakes in planning and execution. Take care of the smaller, high probability events and the low probability events and Black Swans can be successfully handled.”

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E.  How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?
May 12th, 2012, for  SHTFPlan.com, by  author, Be Informed
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

This article has been made available by regular SHTFplan contributor, Be Informed.
Editor’s Note: You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be, because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences for not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.

I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep. People still don’t understand how important it is to put away. I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies. I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation. There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to. Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article I detail some hard core realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history. While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced. For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation. It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.
As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future. After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work, North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out, sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so, Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else, and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives. “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news, while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times. It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themsleves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives. Meaningless chatter. Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment. A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families. The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homeless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event. If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time? What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles. Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm. The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them, because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies. The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about. However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves. This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non prepper needs to understand:

•  Without power the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.
•  Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still need power to work, don’t flush without water. Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?
•  There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.
•  Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.
•  Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectant, or fuel and something to boil water with.
•  Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.
•  A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events  in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.
•  A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.
•  Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.
•  Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history during disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.
•  Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.
•  ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.
•  Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.
•  Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.
•  What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?
•  Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.
•  There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.
•  Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.
•  Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.
•  Travelling will likely be by  foot or bicycle, as their will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.
•  Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE  who moves becomes a target
•  Non preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.
•  The non prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.
•  They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.
•  They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.
•  They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.
•  They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self defense stores or skills.
•  They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.
•  They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with. Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho hums the idea of prepping.
What horrors they will likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning? There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

•  The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services, and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements, but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.
•  The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.
•  The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.
•  The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.
•  The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering with intense hunger pains in their stomachs.
•  The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.
•  The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.
•  The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly, because they have neglected putting away anything to make life more bearable.
•  The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper. Imagine the smell for a moment.
•  The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amoungst the filth that will pile up. No pest control stored up along with no other supplies
•  The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.
•  The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries. Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives. Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.
•  The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.
•  The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that taste so bad it gags them and comes back up.
•  The (NP) will likely have  family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.
•  The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.
•  The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.
•  The (NP) will likely get into  physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.
•  The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.
•  The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their  soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.
•  The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.
•  The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk, and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.
•  The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as  having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.
•  The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.
•  The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics. Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.
•  The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.
•  The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live. They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot. They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying. The (NP) will      likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies. Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal hand outs and thrown-away items dry up. Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time. While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times. Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours. People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources. Even in well-to-do neighborhoods you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout. This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons. It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again. It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand. The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life threatening positions. Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period. When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever. Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare. This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away. People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of shear desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating. Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up. Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future. There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life saving routine or positive lifestyle habit. It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday. Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen. Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world falls apart around them.

To every action there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it. Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.”

End of article

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Your 72+ hour emergency kit

(Survival manual/2. Social issues/Your 72+hour emergency kit)

A.    FEMA’s, ‘Are You Ready’ homepage
 Are you ready? You may need to survive on your own after a disaster. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours, or it might take days.
Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even a week or longer. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You probably will not have the opportunity to shop or search for the supplies you need.
A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items that members of a household may need in the event of a disaster.

Kit Locations
Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work, and vehicles.
1.  Home
•  Your disaster supplies kit should contain essential food, water, and supplies for at least three days.
•  Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
•  Additionally, you may want to consider having supplies for sheltering for up to two weeks. This kit should be in one container, and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
2.  Work
This kit should be in one container, and ready to “grab and go” in case you are evacuated from your workplace.
Make sure you have food and water in the kit. Also, be sure to have com­fortable walking shoes at your workplace in case an evacuation requires walking long distances.
3.  Car
•  In case you are strand-ed, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
This kit should contain food, water, first aid supplies, flares, jumper cables, and seasonal supplies.
Pasted from <http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/assemble_disaster_supplies_kit.shtm>

[Since Hurricane Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf states in 2005, the Red Cross and FEMA have extended their emergency preparation recommendation from 72 hours (3 days) to 5 days for certain categories of disaster. The official, public preparation documents do not reduce preparation procedures into subcategories, so the official recommendation remains 72 hours. This document, Your 72 hour emergency kit lays out a general plan, from which you can adjust your food and water supplies to fit either the 72 hour, or upgrade to the 5 day emergency period. Mr. Larry]

B.  The basics for natural disasters
The US Government’s Homeland Security website provides a list of in-home emergency kit items. The list focuses on the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and materials to maintain body warmth. The recommended basic emergency kit items include:
•  Water, at least one gallon of water per person for each day for drinking & sanitation (should be rotated every 3 months)
•  Food, non-perishable food for at least three days which is not required to be cooked or refrigerated
•  Emergency Food Bars, preferably the products with 2,400 or 3,600 calories and contain no coconut or tropical oils to which many people may have an allergic reaction, in addition to non-perishable food which does not require cooking or refrigeration
•  Battery and/or hand-powered radio with the Weather band
•  Flashlight (battery or hand-powered)
•  Extra batteries for anything needing them
•  First aid kit
•  Copies of any medical prescriptions
•  Whistle to signal
•  Dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
•  Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
•  Wrench or pliers to turn off water valves
•  Can opener for canned food
•  Local maps
•  Spare Keys for Household & Motor Vehicle
•  Sturdy, comfortable shoes & lightweight rain gear, hoods are recommended
•  Contact & Meeting Place Information for your household

Earthquake
Below is a list of commonly recommended items for an emergency earthquake kit:
• Food and water to last at least 3-5 days
• Water purification tablets/portable water filter
• Heavy-duty gloves
• A first aid kit
• A minimum of $100 in cash, at least half of which should be in small denominations
• Family photos and descriptions (to aid emergency personnel in finding missing people)
• Copies of personal identification and important papers such as insurance documents, driver’s license, etc.
• A flashlight (LED type for greatest efficiency) and radio (battery, solar, and/or hand-powered)
• Extra batteries (lithium type for longest shelf life).
• Goggles and dust mask
• A ‘port-a-pottie’ or 5 gallon bucket with sanitary/trash bags
• Water – one gallon per person, per day

Hurricane
For hurricanes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that the ‘disaster bag’ include:
•  a flashlight with spare batteries and
•  a battery operated portable radio (and spare batteries);
•  a battery operated NOAA weather radio (and spare batteries);
•  a “Self Powered Radio” and a “Self Powered Flashlight”. One, “Eton” model has the Weather Band and it is “self-powered”. Some of these will keep your cell phone charged
•  First aid kit and manual;
•  prescription medicines (be sure to refill them once they expire);
•  cash and a credit card;
•  a cell phone with a fully charged spare battery;
•  spare keys;
•  high energy non-perishable food;
•  one warm blanket or sleeping bag per person;
•  special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members;
•  change of clothing.

C.   Building an emergency kit
Make sure you and your family has enough emergency food and water to see you through the first several days of a disaster. Depending on the severity and location of the catastrophe, it may take time for help to arrive and shelters and food to become available. For convenience, you may want to purchase a Red Cross disaster kit.
From <http://www.seattleredcross.org/show.aspx?mi=4171>

Helpful tips
•  As a general rule, you should store 3-5 days worth of supplies. If room and resources allow, store more.
•  Replace emergency food by the expiration dates and bottled drinking water supplies every six months.
•  Make sure your kit is easily accessible. When a disaster hits, you don’t want to dig in the back of the attic for your supplies.
•  Keep smaller versions of your disaster kit in your family vehicles and at work.
•  Prioritize.
•  Purchase a Red Cross First Aid kit and get Basic First Aid training.

Your disaster kit should include: 
1.  Water
Store at least one gallon of water per person per day (two quarts for drinking and two quarts for sanitation and food preparation. Children, nursing mothers and ill people will need more). Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using anything that may decompose or break. Water should be replaced every six months.

2.  Food
Store at least a 3-5 day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that are compact and lightweight, require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of Sterno Canned Heat, but use outside and away from flammable objects.
•  Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables.
•  Emergency food bars
•  Canned juices
•  Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, etc.)
•  Food/formula for infants
•  Food for family members with special dietary requirements
•  Vitamins
•  Comfort/stress foods to lift morale (chocolate)
•  Remember to pack a non-electric can opener.

3.  First Aid kit
•  (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
•  5″ x 9″ sterile dressing
•  Conforming roller gauze bandage
•  Triangular bandages
•  3 x 3 sterile gauze pads
•  4 x 4 sterile gauze pads
•  Roll 3″ cohesive bandage
•  Adhesive tape, 2″ width
•  Anti-bacterial ointment
•  Cold pack
•  Germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
•  Six (6) antiseptic wipes
•  Pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
•  Scissors (small, personal)
•  Tweezers
•  CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield

4)  Medications, medical supplies, and information
•  Keep enough essential medications on hand for at least three days (preferably seven days).
•  Keep a photocopy of your medical insurance cards or Medicare cards.
•  Keep a list of prescription medicines including dosage, and any allergies.
•  Aspirin, antacids, anti-diarrhea, etc.
•  Extra eyeglasses, hearing-aid batteries, wheelchair batteries, oxygen tank.
•  List of the style and serial numbers of medical devices such as pacemakers.
•  Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes or walkers that you would need.
•  Instructions on personal assistance needs and how best to provide them.
•  Individuals with special needs or disabilities should plan to have enough supplies to last for up to two weeks (medication syringes, colostomy supplies, respiratory aids, catheters, padding, distilled water, etc.).

5)  Tools and supplies
Keep some of these basic tools:
•  Battery operated radio and extra batteries
•  Flashlight and extra batteries
•  Cash or travelers checks
•  A copy of your disaster plan and emergency contact numbers.
•  Map of your city and state (to evacuate the area and/or to find shelters)
•  Utility knife
•  Non-electric can opener
•  Fire extinguisher:  small canister ABC type
•  Pliers and wrench
•  Tape
•  Waterproof matches
•  Paper, pens and pencils
•  Needles, thread
•  Plastic sheeting
•  Aluminum foil

6)  Sanitation supplies
•  Toilet paper, towelettes
•  Soap, liquid detergent
•  Feminine supplies
•  Personal hygiene items
•  Diapers
•  Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
•  Plastic bucket with tight lid
•  Disinfectant
•  Household chlorine bleach
•  Hand sanitizer

7)  Clothing and bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and a pair of sturdy shoes per person. You also want to consider packing blankets or sleeping bags, rain gear, hats and gloves, thermal underwear and sunglasses.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
• Jacket or coat.
•  Long pants.
•  Long sleeve shirt.
•  Sturdy shoes.
•  Hat, mittens, and scarf.
•  Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person).

If you live in a hot, desert climate, dress to reflect the sunlight and keep cool.
•  Light colored, loose-fitting clothes
•  Several layers of clothing for the cooler night weather.
•  Wide brim light-colored hat.
•  Bandana or cool tie neck-band with water absorbing polymer beads
•  Thin leather gloves.
•  Desert shoes or boots with canvas tops and durable, heat-resistant soles.
•  Sunglasses rated to reduce UV as well as overall glare.

8)   Important family documents
•  Keep copies of important family documents in a waterproof container.
•  Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
•  Social security cards, passports, immigration papers, immunization records
•  Bank account numbers
•  Credit card account numbers and companies
•  Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
•  Medical insurance and Medicare cards

9)  Entertainment
•  Deck of cards
•  Books
•  Portable music device
•  For children, include a small toy, stuffed animal or coloring book and crayons.

D.  More ideas for your 72+ hour emergency supply kit

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Filed under __2. Social Issues

Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2)
Continued from: Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2

E.   Four Waves of Food and Shelter Seekers
23 Aug 2012, Code Green Prep, by David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/four-waves-of-food-and-shelter-seekers/

refugee2 crowd1

Shortly after some type of disaster that disrupts the normal flow of food and energy into your nearby towns, people will be forced to leave their residences and fan out into the countryside, foraging for food (and subsequently shelter too). That is obvious – if there is no food in the town/city, people can either stay where they are and die of thirst or starvation, or they can pro-actively start looking for food.

People will initially look for food on one of two different levels.
The first level is ‘looking for food nearby and returning back to one’s normal home to eat it and continue living’.
The second level is ‘abandoning one’s former residence and moving, as a refugee, towards wherever the possibility of ongoing survival may be greatest’.
A third and fourth type of food seeking will develop later into a crisis.

It is helpful to understand the differing types of contacts you’ll have, because each poses different challenges, problems, threats, and even opportunities, calling for different responses on your part.

And while we consider our four different waves to be more or less chronologically sequential, there will be some overlaps, with some people representing some waves either earlier than most others, or later than most others.

The First Wave

refugee2 hoarde march[The waves of refugees after TEOTWAWKI will be both heart-rending and dangerous.]

The first wave will start shortly after the social disruption occurs, initially as a trickle, and then successively greater and greater as more and more people run out of food and come to realize that the government won’t magically solve the problem that occurred.

It will only take a week or two before the first type of food-seeking necessarily ends, due to people running out of gas for their vehicles, and being reduced instead to only traveling and foraging as far as they can walk or bicycle (although, on flat terrain, fitter people could fairly easily cycle up to 50 miles out and then 50 miles back home again).

We predict that people in this ‘first wave’ won’t be very threatening, because they will be more in a hurry to cover as much ground as possible to find as much easy food as possible, rather than becoming fixated on specific potential targets. Plus, the ‘kill or be killed’ reality of tough survival won’t yet have fully penetrated, and the region will have patches of remaining lawfulness alongside areas of growing anarchy.

Furthermore, these people are primarily seeking food only, not shelter. They’ve not yet accepted that their city residences have become unviable and need to be abandoned.

Your tactic to resist problems from the first wave of food/shelter seekers will be to maintain a low profile, so most of such people pass you by, and to positively respond to people who do come visiting, encouraging them to go find easier targets/food sources elsewhere.

Of course, the further you are from the nearby towns and cities, the fewer the number of people who might stumble upon you. But you’ll never be 100% guaranteed to be safely far from such itinerant scavengers. Fortunately the danger they pose to your retreat at this early stage is low, so while your location choice will ideally not be right next to a freeway exit, a mere 10 miles from the city center, you don’t need to keep yourself hundreds of miles away from any and all population concentrations.

The Second Wave
As the first wave ends and is replaced by the second wave, people’s attitudes will be hardening, because their ability to travel far and wide is massively reduced. They have probably used up most of their emergency food stores, and now, limited primarily by their ability to walk, any source of food becomes one they must take full advantage of. They can no longer afford the luxury of leaving empty-handed, and their lack of mobility now reduces the number of places they can travel to in search of food. They have to make the best of every possible opportunity.

The grim reality of the ‘eat or be eaten’ concept will also be one which the survivors can no longer ignore.

refugee2 crowd2
If these people come across your retreat, they are likely to be a stronger and more determined adversary than people in the first wave (and people in the second wave could well be the same people who visited more peaceably in the first wave, too).

Fortunately, most of these people in the second wave will still be nomadic and itinerant. They’ll be traveling in the hope of finding a Shangri-La somewhere that is full of food, energy, and welcoming people keen to help them, and probably won’t yet be in the ‘looking for anywhere to settle’ mode that will come later. They might hope for overnight shelter, but they’re not yet looking for a place to settle – or, if they are, they’re probably not yet realistic enough to appreciate the value of your retreat.

People will start abandoning their homes anytime after only a very few days of the crisis commencing and once they start to accept that no magic solutions are forthcoming. This won’t only be due to the lack of food and lack of any future food supply, but may also be due to lack of water, lack of plumbing, and lack of energy in general. A high-rise apartment with no water, no working elevators, and no lights or heating/cooling will quickly become uninhabitable, food or not.

The second wave will probably diminish after three or so weeks, because by that point, people will have either left the city, or died, or created some sort of semi-stable ongoing basis of existence in the city.

Your strategy during this exodus stage is to be located somewhere reasonably far from the main routes people are likely to travel along. It is as important that you are off the likely refugee routes, whether you are 1 mile or 100 miles from the major population centers, because people will potentially be traveling long distances in their search for somewhere better to live.

People may fan out slightly from the main routes as they search for food en route, but they will generally follow the major arterial routes.

Major routes will tend to be well maintained highways, and generally we expect people will move to the coasts and south, rather than inland and to the north. People will, either by reason or instinct, seek out warm climates and water/ocean. The warm climate reduces their dependency on shelter and energy, and the ocean has the appeal of ‘free fish’ and also some type of instinctive deep-seated lure.

The Third Wave
The third wave will be refugees, the same as the second wave, but this time it will be people looking for somewhere to settle.

These will be people who are becoming more realistic in their expectations, and now rather than mindlessly going anywhere in the hope of finding (nonexistent) salvation, they are now looking for somewhere they can settle and survive for the medium or longer term.

refugee2 hoarde camp

Your appeal to these people is not just the food you have stored, but also your retreat as a whole, the under-way food cultivation, the energy creating resources you have, and everything else you have done to prepare yourselves for this future.

1) Some of these people will be seeking short-term easy solutions. They’ll want to rob you of your food, your shelter, and everything else you have. They have no concern for sustainability, they want to live for the moment, and when they’ve exhausted everything you have, they’ll move on to somewhere else.
2) Others of these people will be more realistic, but they’ll still want to displace you from your property and take it over.
3) There will also be a very few people who will be fair and honest and decent, and who will offer to work their way for and with you. They’ll offer their labor and their skills, in return for your shelter and assistance – probably as a ‘package deal’ for themselves and their other family members.
It would be good if you had a way of responding positively to such people, because they may prove to be valuable additions to your small community.

The Fourth Wave
The fourth wave is very different from the other three. It is longer lasting and more potentially impactful on your retreat and community.
Due to the importance of this fourth wave, we have devoted a separate article to it – below.

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F.  Preparing for the Fourth – and Deadliest – Wave of Refugees, Bandits, and other Problem Groups
Code Green Prep, by David Spero
Pasted from: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/preparing-for-the-fourth-and-deadliest-wave-of-refugees-bandits-and-other-problem-groups/

refugee2 horseman

A 13th century depiction of the red – second – horse and rider of the Apocalypse.
The biblical prophecy of the four horsemen is eerily similar to how we see the four waves of refugees after TEOTWAWKI.

No-one really knows what to expect after TSHTF in an extended Level 2 or 3 situation, but it seems universally agreed that the starving masses will be forced to flee their city dwellings and do whatever it takes to survive, wherever they can find the opportunity and ability to do so.

It is helpful to look at the types of people who will come out from the cities as a series of different waves, each with different characteristics. We’ve discussed the first three waves of refugees in this other article, and the good news is they will be relatively brief in duration and not necessarily ultimately threatening to the wellbeing of your own retreat community – indeed some people in the third wave could well become positive additions to your community.

In this part we wish to instead look at the last of these waves – the fourth wave. And rather like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this is the most threatening and dangerous wave – not only by its nature, but also because it will be the longest lived of the four waves. (Christians will be impressed at how closely all four waves can be viewed as having characteristics similar to the four horsemen described in Revelations.)

The first two waves were fairly simple and easily understood. In the third wave, we saw how some members were threats but others could be valuable allies. There is a similar dichotomy to the fourth wave, but in a very different sense, and their duality is part of their danger.

Both will be organized groups, and both will probably already have their own shelter and possibly even other food sources. They probably don’t need your shelter, and they may not even need your food and other resources. But, taking advantage of a collapse of law and order, they want to take it simply because they can, and because all around them, other people and groups are acting similarly, just like the looter who takes items from stores in a city riot, even if they are things of no value – they just take them for nihilistic reasons.

Organized Lawless Gangs
The first of these groups will be organized lawless gangs, seeking to dominate and rule their new expanded territory. The might possibly seek ongoing tribute and ‘taxes’ from you in exchange for their ‘protection’.

refugee2 brigand training
Or maybe they’ll be less formal, and will simply be roaming around as an organized and maybe nomadic gang, taking and destroying as they go.

Gangs that seek to impose their own structure and what passes for their version of order may be groups you can negotiate with. But groups who are little more than anarchistic looters will not be people you can negotiate or create win-win outcomes with.

When encountering the former, you need to shift their perception of you from being a one-way source of goodies they can seize from you, to instead being a two-way trading source and resource they can benefit from. Maybe you can help them maintain some of their equipment. Maybe you have medical resources. Maybe you can trade with them – exchanging items they’ve plundered elsewhere and have no use for, and giving them in return food or other things they do need.

When encountering the latter, you are best advised to indicate to them that you are not an easy target, and any attempt to attack you would seriously weaken or destroy their own force, while leaving you relatively unharmed. With most of the rest of the entire continent lying helpless at their feet, encourage them to go after easier targets.

This encouragement is best done in a ‘face saving’ manner. If you challenge the gang leader’s authority, and the overall ‘machismo’ of the gang itself, they may have no social choice but to fight it out with you – and from their perspective, the lives of their junior gang members probably has much less value to the gang leaders than do the lives of your family and fellow community members to you.

We’re From the ‘Government’ and We’re Here to ‘Help’ You
The second of these groups may be more dangerous. They will claim to be semi-official government groups, seeking to impose their definition of emergency martial law on the region they have assumed control of.

Sometimes their intentions may be honorable and well-meaning (even if dysfunctional and dangerous to you in the process), other times they may be as corrupt and despotic as the outlaw gangs, but cleverly seeking to wrap up their dictatorial actions with an ill deserved veneer of assumed legality.

Unfortunately, whether honorable or not, it is almost a certainty that these self-appointed groups of enforcers will be primarily tasked with taking stuff from you – either to keep for themselves, or to give to the unprepared other people in the region who have empowered these people to act for their benefit.

refugee2 militia

They may attempt to claim special emergency powers that suspend all your normal legal protections and constitutionally guaranteed rights, and if they have been sufficiently clever and sophisticated, they’ll have compliant judges ready to issue court orders authorizing things that should never be authorized.

If you don’t like it, they’ll say, you can go appeal, all the way to the US Supreme Court if you wish – this being in a scenario where the Supreme Court may have ceased to exist, and even if it did, it would be close to impossible for you to go there, and may take years for you to get a case heard and resolved. Meantime, you will be told you must comply with what they tell you is a lawful order to surrender your food, to take in refugees, or in many other ways to destroy the viability of the retreat that you built, for yourself.

Some of the people in this fourth wave will be people you might choose to reluctantly ‘do business’ with. If they are realistic and don’t seek to ‘kill the goose that lays the golden eggs’ and understand that only if your are prosperous can they take a levy or share of your prosperity, then all you’ve done is substituted one form of previous law, order, and taxation for another. And whether the people imposing it on you are bona fide government officials, lawless gangsters, or ‘pretend’ government officials, the net result is the same, and you simply have to matter-of-factly strike the best win-win deal you can.

But if they ask too much, and leave you with too little, you have some real problems to face.

Even a True Democratic Elected Government May Abrogate Your Rights
In particular, you know that even in the ‘best’ of our 50 states, the massive majority of the population is not nearly as well prepared as you are. In the normal world, they might be wealthier than you and have more possessions, a fancier house, and who knows what else, but in the post-crisis world of a Level 2 or 3 event, their wealth and possessions become meaningless while yours become invaluable.

Any sort of democratic majority based government, especially one raised on the notion that the ‘wealthy’ are obliged to support the ‘poor’, and doubly especially where the lawmakers themselves are not prepared and are faced with their own pressing life or death challenges, won’t hesitate to urgently pass any needed laws to compel you to give everything you have to them.

This may well be unconstitutional and unlawful and illegal. But who are you going to complain to, when the local mayor, the local sheriff, and the local judge all turn up on your doorstep together, themselves all starving, and demanding by their joint powers that you give them all your food?

We don’t have easy answers to offer you about these ‘fourth wave’ attackers. But we can tell you that the fourth wave will be an ongoing thorn in your side, and you may find it increasingly difficult to tell between the ‘lawless gang’ fourth wave members and the ‘lawful posse’ fourth wave members.

Hiding from Fourth Wave Threats
A continuation of the article from above: http://codegreenprep.com/2012/08/preparing-for-the-fourth-and-deadliest-wave-of-refugees-bandits-and-other-problem-groups/

Many preppers feel that an important part of their overall defensive strategy is to keep as low a profile as possible; to obscure the existence of their retreat, so as to avoid being noticed – both before and after the onset of some type of societal collapse.

Obscuring yourself prior to social collapse is getting harder and harder with every passing year. The ‘information society’ is finding out more and more about us, and with the increasing tendency of government drones, spotting planes, and even satellites to survey vast areas of countryside, and to create extremely detailed ‘GIS’ databases of all the land and structures in a region, your retreat structure will surely be noticed and if not officially registered, sooner or later will cause the authorities to respond.

If you have an unauthorized structure that has not been permitted and which is not compliant with applicable zoning and health and other regulations and restrictions, you risk having it seized and destroyed. You also risk civil and possibly criminal penalties, and being labeled as another crazy group of survivalist/supremacists. You can imagine the headlines now – ‘Anti-government supremacists arrested, large weapons cache found on site’ and so on and so forth. Remember that what we consider prudent, and what is indeed truly lawful, can – and will – be portrayed as evidence of crazy extremism by the news media and the authorities.

refugee2 family prep

Because one of the fourth wave groups you may encounter will be some form of revived local government, it is inevitable that the ‘footprints’ you have created in developing your retreat will be uncovered. Local health department approvals for your septic system. Utility records for electricity or internet or cable services. And so on and so on. Indeed, one of the weaknesses of the generally sensible strategy of locating in an area with low population density is that you become more obvious by your presence than you would in a denser region.

You may delay your discovery, but you will not prevent it. You need to have a more viable plan to ensure the safety and security of your retreat – fortunately, we have some suggestions on this point to share.

Becoming Part of the Solution, Not Part of the Problem
Your key strategy is to position yourself, your retreat, and your community, so it can create ‘win-win’ relationships with organized ‘fourth wave’ groups.
One of the key things about this fourth wave threat is that it is longer term. Earlier waves of threats can be repulsed or ignored or in some other way worked around, but the fourth wave will be a longer term issue that must be resolved.

A confrontational approach risks failure on your part. And any type of exchange of hostilities can be much more damaging to you than to your opponents. Your opponents probably have either greater manpower to start with, and/or greater ability to recruit new members into their forces. They are willing to accept some risk to their rank and file ‘foot soldiers’.
But you have a finite community of friends, family, and colleagues. You can not dispassionately risk their lives in an encounter. Remember also that with a loss of the sophisticated healthcare facilities we enjoy at present, even minor wounds become life threatening, and even if the wounds can be treated and resolved, they risk depleting your precious limited supplies of antibiotics and other medical resources.

There may be times when you must respond to force with force yourself; where the potential outcome associated with giving in to a fourth wave group is worse than the potential outcome of repulsing their attack, and in such cases you must be resolute in your defense of your retreat and its community.
But in general, you want to position yourselves so that you can find ways to co-exist on a win-win basis with these fourth wave groups.
How would you do that? Please see our article on becoming part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, for a discussion on strategies to create win-win situations for you and the community you are close to.

Summary
After an initial period of grave social disruption, during which the first, second and third waves of refugees will occur, the rate of change will slow and some periods of semi-stable social arrangements will probably follow.
Invariably, regional leadership organizations will appear, and whether they are ostensibly benevolent or despotic, you need to position yourselves and your community so that it can co-exist on a win-win basis with these other (and possibly stronger) forces around it

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2

 (Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Waves of Refugees, Part 1 of 2)

 A. Who Are The Zombie Hordes?
September 2, 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/security/who-are-the-zombie-hordes/

refuge1 zombie

Some preparedness websites will sometimes refer to ‘Zombies’, ‘Hordes’, or ‘Zombie Hordes’. A question is, what are they talking about? What’s their definition of a Zombie?

Zombies became particularly popular following the hit AMC TV series, “The Walking Dead”, in which the $hit had hit the fan, the country had collapsed and some sort of virus/plague/? would turn those who died into flesh eating mind-numbed Zombies. It became a battle of survival for the living – versus the Zombie hordes.

Due to the subsequent popularity of the term Zombie, many have been using the word in varying context, including the preparedness sites.

When we happen to use it here, it is to represent some wide generalizations…

  • Zombies represent those who have not prepared, and have reached a point of desperation.
  • There will also be those in the same category who have not prepared, but will not become Zombies because they will find a way to adapt and manage to survive. However they will certainly not be a majority of the unprepared.
  • To become a Zombie, it will be the unprepared who will have not had the ability to adapt and survive in a SHTF world. They will reach a point of desperation which will cause one of several things to happen…
  • Some Zombies will wither away, unable to help themselves.
  • Some Zombies will be given some help by the goodwill of others, and will remain reliant on them for their continued survival. Some in this category will be able to provide some services in return, while others will not be so able.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a non-threatening way, in search of solutions for their survival. Some of them will succeed, and many will not.
  • Some Zombies will venture out in a threatening way, and ‘take’ what they need by force. Some will succeed, and many will not.

So… when we happen to reference the word, Zombie, it could mean any of the above. It is a generalization of those who have not prepared for a SHTF scenario, and what many will become afterwards.

By referencing Zombies or a Zombie horde, it does not mean that we would not help a Zombie. That would depend upon many things… Not all Zombies will be ‘bad’. Some even useful. However, many will be ‘bad’.

The Zombie hordes reference those Zombies who are branching out from their origins, in search of survival. Some of them will be organized, some not. There will be varying sized groups. Some will be essentially harmless, but many will not be. A desperate Zombie could be a very dangerous Zombie.

If TSHTF, there will be many hard choices to be made with regards to Zombies. Some easier than others.
Don’t be a Zombie. Get prepared now, so you won’t turn into one…
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B.  How to Find Your Way out Of the City on Foot during a Crisis
5 June, by Preparing For SHTF
Pasted from:  http://prepforshtf.com/find-city-foot-crisis/#.UjV_KzEo6zY

refuge1 unprepared populace

You may have seen some of the reality shows where people are practicing their bug-out-techniques. Typically, they are bugging out from large urban areas. Why would you need to know how to escape your own city though?

Large metropolitan areas or areas where there are symbolic structures or events happening are targets. There are certain organizations or even governments that are plotting at this very moment on how to create chaos and havoc in American cities.

Urban areas are heavily populated and creating injuries and fatalities is the objective of these organizations. They do not blow up trees and release chemicals and biological agents to harm the wildlife in rural areas, they will attack where the people are, in heavily populated cities.

You May Have To Escape To Save Your Life
Being ready to evacuate is important, you cannot wake up one morning and hear the sirens and simply flee. You need supplies and a plan, and you can neither plan nor gather supplies once disaster strikes.

Humans have the unique ability to plan for tomorrow by gathering information today and then to make a reasonable assumption about what may happen in the future. Start doing threat assessments for your area to give you some idea of what to expect.

You know that large cities are a target and it is just a matter of time. Just a matter of time before one of the hundreds or even thousands of cyber attacks that occur daily against the United Sates is successful. The power grid can go down, planes would be grounded and trains sidelined.

At anytime, canisters of Sarin gas can be carried away from a rogue nation that has it stockpiled. One drop of the gas the size of a pinhead is deadly to humans, so imagine the destruction if just one canister is left on a subway platform somewhere. You will have to flee and you will need to know how to do it to survive the crisis.

Getting Prepared
You know what a bug-out-bag is but just a quick reminder about priorities. To survive you will need shelter, water, fire and food. In addition, you will need the means to collect and purify water and have the knowledge and skills to forage, fish, hunt or trap for food once you have a base camp set up. You have to assume you will not be able to resupply within a 72-hour period so it is important you have the skills and knowledge needed to obtain what you need from your environment.

Travel Routes
Use Internet mapping software that shows terrain features and landmarks, usually this means satellite imagery and there are free programs that provide this. Have at least three routes mapped out, and ensure none of the routes requires that you travel across bridges, through tunnels or use elevated highways. These are ambush points and they may very well be heavily congested to the point of being impassable even on foot.

If walking alone on level terrain, the average adult can expect to walk at about three miles per hour. With a heavy pack and having to backtrack a few times, you will not be able to maintain this pace. It will take time to clear the urban area.

When to Leave
Avoid leaving at night unless your life is in immediate danger. You will stand out more at night and will be a target for looters and other criminal elements. If Martial Law has been enacted, then troops will be out patrolling at night especially if there are quarantined areas. Mingle with the panicked citizens to make your escape in the early morning hours.

Avoid traveling with others unless they are family or trusted friends and in particular avoid anyone that claims to be fleeing but does not have any supplies with them. They may very well be waiting for the right moment to relive you of your supplies.

Move as efficiently as possible to get clear of the urban sprawl, before sheltering. If you must shelter in the city, do not set up any tents or shelters that you can be trapped in if your camp is overrun. Wrap up in a thermal blanket and sleep with your back to a wall with a clear view of the surrounding area.

Carry all personal protection devices on your belt. Do not pack firearms in your pack you should always carry them on your belt. Use bear spray canisters to repel animals and humans not because it is more potent, but because the canisters can spray farther, up to 25 feet in some cases.

Stun guns are another option but they require physical contact, which is something you want to avoid. An alternative is a stun baton that can extend up to 48 inches, this will prevent anyone from getting close enough to grab on to you or your pack.

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C.   What happens after the SHTF, dealing with being a refugee
14 May 2013, IWillGetReady.com, by admin
Pasted from: http://www.iwillgetready.com/what-happens-after-the-shtf-dealing-with-being-a-refugee/

As good preppers we usually think that we will be the lucky ones and we will not be stuck in an urban area when the SHTF. As we all know that is the ideal situation where we will have all of our bug out bags and survival kits to weather any storm, but what happens if you are visiting family or friends that are not preppers? Or if you are on vacation where you flew into the area? Would you have your emergency supplies with you, most likely not as most of that stuff is no longer allowed on an airplane.

So enter into an urban survivalist mode. This is something that is not widely discussed, and should be. Let’s pretend that you are in a major city (like Boston) and something happens and you are no longer able to get out of the area the way you can into it. Using this scenario you just found yourself a refugee, meaning you are pretty much homeless with little cash on hand, what do you do to protect your loved ones and make sure that you stay safe?

For the sake of this blog, cell phones are up and down because so many people are overloading the lines, the local law enforcement are now too busy to be of much assistance to you or anyone else that was not involved directly when the SHTF.

Do you have your everyday carry items on you? This right here will determine how you act. If you do have it then you are moving in the right direction. If you do not have your everyday carry items, you are at a disadvantage as you will have to require those items or try to make do without.

Ask yourself these basic questions:
> Do you have a place to go?
> Would you enter a shelter?
> Would you find a shelter that is off the beaten path?

We all know what happens when we enter a shelter; that is why we say to never go to a shelter if at all possible. Just remember Katrina shelters and what went on in them. In most situations upon entering a shelter they will search your bags and confiscate most of your survival tools, food, and other useful supplies. So what do you do? Do you hid your kit somewhere and hope it survives the night and has not grown legs and walked away by the time you go back to get it?

If you seek out shelter that is secluded and off the beaten path, can anyone see, or find you? You might not want others to be able to find you as they could be gang members, criminals, and your pissed off refugee who has no survival skills and gear.

Mass people will be trying to leave the area so crowd control is something to watch out for. With all the people trying to go the same way people will become heated, angry, tried, scared, and can lash out at others. So do you follow the mob or do you look for another way? Just remember that natural disasters have taught us many things if you paid attention, just look at news footage of the highways where all the cars are stopped and you can’t move your car for hours. Would you leave your car like half of the others, and start walking?

We all know that the basic items like water and food will be the first things to go when something goes down. Or you get the military trying to round everyone up and move them to an area they set up (shelter).

A thing not to forget is that is you end up in one of these scenarios, you will become sleep deprived. This is something that is often overlooked and needs to be reminded, without sleep your ability to process your situation and your decision making ability will become diminished leading to you making bad choices for your family’s survival.
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refuge1 bug outD.  The Top 4 Reasons Why You’re Not Going to Survive Bugging Out to the Woods
Ready4ItAll.org,
Pasted from: http://ready4itall.org/the-top-4-reasons-why-youre-not-going-to-survive-bugging-out-to-the-woods/

In today’s post we’re going to go over a very common and highly flawed bugout plan that many preppers have apparently chosen as their first response for most SHTF scenarios. We’re going to dissect the fundamental flaws with this plan and give some viable alternatives to bugging out to the woods.

There are many reasons why bugging out just in general is probably the worst idea you can have in a real-life SHTF scenario. We went into detail about this topic in THIS article. However, it seems that not only are a lot of preppers insisting on bugging out for practically any disaster scenario, but that many of them are planning on grouping up like some para-military pack of wannabe Rambos and “living off the land” and shooting anything and anyone that moves.

The other day on Facebook there was a heated discussion in one of the larger prepper groups about the best way to train “firing teams” to be ready for the eventual wilderness bugout that apparently is right around the corner.

Guys….that’s not prepping. That’s schizophrenia, or at best, extremism. Honestly, if you spend all day arguing on Facebook about the best way to place “troops” around your “bugout base camp” to “stalk and take out the sheeple coming in to YOUR woods” you have problems. Please go talk to a professional.

What I found more interesting about this conversation wasn’t the whole para-military thing. I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of the unstable, wannabe Rambos from the prepper community, but what was really interesting was that practically everyone commenting on this debate apparently had the same plan to bug out to the woods during a SHTF scenario.

So today, we’re going to go over 4 reasons as to why bugging out to the woods is a REALLY bad idea, why you’re probably not going to survive out there if that’s what you’re planning to do and some alternatives to think about when planning a bug out.

_1. Whose land do you think you’re going to bug out to?
Although there are a lot of public and state-owned forests, nature preserves and other non-private lands out there you could theoretically bug out to, it’s not like these areas are just around the corner for everyone. For most people, it’s going to take some time to get out there, and since you’re not the only one with this plan. It’s very likely you won’t be the first ones out there. Now, you’ve got to hope that everyone else that got there first is either going to welcome you with open arms, not see you, or not shoot you on sight and take your supplies. Remember, there are people on Facebook literally right now that are not only planning on doing exactly that, but DEBATING THE BEST WAY TO DO IT.

Planning on bugging out to that nice patch of woods in the farmlands outside of town? Well, those farmers have been keeping people off their property a lot longer than you’ve been trespassing. They’re more self-reliant that you are, they know the land better than you do and they’re probably a lot better armed. Just because the S has hit the fan, doesn’t mean they’re not going to defend their land.

_ 2. There are VERY few people who have the skills to survive in the wild
This isn’t an attack on anyone that’s spent time working on their bushcraft and wilderness survival skills. These are 2 very important skills that all preppers should learn and practice. That being said, there’s a big difference between surviving in the woods, and surviving in the woods during a SHTF scenario. In a real SHTF scenario, rule of law is likely to be gone. We’ve already shown there are people who have no qualms with shooting people on site, just for their resources and to keep them out of “their” A.O.

If you’ve got a family, and for whatever bonehead reason you’ve drug them out into the middle of the woods to bug out after the S has hit the fan, you’re going to have some real problems. Are you going to be teaching little 4 year-old Jimmy advanced military evasion and survival techniques? How are you going to make sure little 2 year old Sally is going to stay silent for the next couple weeks to avoid the hundreds of confused, hungry, angry and hostile people out there? We could give a hundred examples like this, but in the end the answer is “you’re not”. Even if you’re by yourself, surviving in an area without immediate survival resources AND evading hostiles isn’t something that is usually taught on Man vs. Wild or in your average bushcraft course.

_3. It seems like EVERYONE is planning heading to the hills when SHTF. What makes you so special?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a great many preppers whose SHTF bugout plans involved heading out to the woods to survive. If a real SHTF scenario were to happen, not only will these people be headed out there, but after a day or two without food, even non-preppers are going to start thinking about hunting, fishing and gathering in the woods. Before long, you’re going to see a massive population shift from the cities to the country and forests.

This will mean a few things will happen:

  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be come congested, and probably impassable.
  • The roads leading to the rural and wooded areas are going to be a prime spot for anyone that’s thinking about taking supplies from others by force.
  • There will be intense competition for the limited amount of resources in these areas, likely causing more violence there than in the cities everyone is fleeing from in the first place.
  • Local land owners will very likely be shooting trespassers on sight.

_4. You’re not giving animals nearly enough credit …and humans are greedy.
Despite what a lot of people may believe, animals aren’t stupid. They’ve been surviving without guns, MREs or solar panels a lot longer than we have. Their main instincts revolve around protection and food procurement. They don’t just stand out in the woods waiting for humans to come kill them despite what Elmer Fudd might think.

If you don’t have a lot of experience hunting then you probably don’t know this, but towards the end of the hunting seasons, it becomes a lot harder to find game on public hunting grounds. The reason is simple. Animals have been hearing gunshots, seeing and smelling humans and generally fleeing for their lives for a couple months or more. There is a cycle among game animals. Towards the tail end of the season, the animals are leaving these areas to go to less populated areas where there are fewer humans. Several months after the hunting season is over, they start coming back because the humans have left. In a SHTF scenario, the same thing is going to happen. The animals will leave when more humans enter the forests and start hunting them. In fact, if everyone flees the cities, that’s exactly where the animals are likely to go!

Additionally, humans are greedy. There’s a reason why conservation agencies exist. It’s to keep us from destroying entire populations of animals. If you stick 100+ “hunters” in an area with only enough game to support 10 of them, all the game will disappear, either by the animals fleeing or they’ve all been taken. The same is true with fishing. If a pond gets over-fished, there are no more fish to mate and restock it naturally.

What about water? Sure, there’s lots of natural ways to procure water in the wild. There’s plenty of water out there for a few people… but not hundreds. Again, if there’s only a handful of streams or rivers to get water from, and EVERYONE wants water from there, 2 things are likely to happen. The water will be gone, or someone’s going to start thinking about defending “their” water source by force. Don’t think it will happen? Read some history books… WARS have been started over water rights.

In a nutshell, all those resources you thought were going to be in abundance out in the woods are going to dry up extremely quickly, likely before you even get there. At that point, you’re going to be hungry, without a source of food or water, living without a real shelter, exposed to the elements and dealing with a lot of angry and armed people.

Sounds fun huh?
Ok, so now, let’s talk about some alternatives to this highly dangerous and extremely illogical plan. First and foremost, please read THIS article. The term “bugging out” has gotten so much hype in what I’m going to start calling the “vanity-prepper” crowd, (I blame that stupid Doomsday Preppers show) that every new prepper I talk to immediately thinks that having a bugout bag for the BIG SHTF scenario and being able to live off the land is the most important thing they need to worry about right now. They spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on weapons and gear and then within a couple months they get burned out of prepping altogether and sell stuff to me for cheap on craigslist. J

Having a bugout plan IS important. That is a given. If a hurricane is coming that is a definite bugout situation. If your house is in the path of a wildfire, that is a bugout situation. Tornados, flooding… I think you see the pattern here. These are REAL bugout scenarios, and yes you should have a bugout bag for every family member ready to go just for these types of situations. However, more importantly, you need to have a bugout PLAN. We will be going more into detail about preparing a detailed bugout plan and bugout bag in a future article, but for now, you NEED to have somewhere you can go if your residence becomes unsafe like a family members home or even a hotel.

Now, I know what some people are thinking “…but what about SHTF?….when the SHTF hits…when the looters come…when the pandemic hits…when the mutant biker gangs take over…..blah blah blah”

STOP
You’re arguing a situation that has a 0.00000001% chance of ever actually happening. Yes, there is a chance that someday we may face one of the Hollywood disasters, but why is THAT what you’re so worried about right now? Do you have contingency plans for all the natural disasters that could hit your area? What would you do if you lost your job right now? How much food and water do you have stockpiled? What are you planning on doing about hyper-inflation? Heck, do you even have jumper cables in your car?!

You see, these (and many others) are REAL disasters that you WILL face in the coming days. So, with that being said, maybe instead of arguing with someone on Facebook about “the best way to set up firing teams”, … make a real bug out plan, practice it, document it, prepare for it… and most importantly, try to keep some perspective and reality in your preps and your plans. The rest of the world already thinks we’re nut-jobs; we don’t need to prove them right.

refuge1 rapid mass evacuationPeople fleeing Houston preceding Hurricane Rita

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Continued on Thursday, 27 March 2014, in: Waves of Refugees, Part 2 of 2.
Contents:
E.   Four Waves of Food and Shelter Seekers
F.  Preparing for the Fourth – and Deadliest – Wave of Refugees, Bandits, and other Problem Groups
G. Taking over: The governments proactive attempt to remain in control:

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

City Survival: Evacuate (Part 2 of 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

city2 burn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CITY10 EVAC

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

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

City Survival: Stay (Part 1 of 2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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