Friday, February 29, 2008

Prepare! Friday useful survival links

Jerry D Young over on FalloutShelter653 has a new story posted. Jerry writes the better survivalist fiction out there. I read this sort of thing frequently and will feature regular reviews of good stories. See Jerry's story here.

How much food should you plan on storing for your family when the SHTF? I found a great food planner here courtesy of the LDS. After making my calculations, I realized I needed to stock up on a few things. Since running the calculator, I have picked up another 10 lbs of corn meal, 5 lbs of honey and always more rice. Check it out and don't forget about water!

Another neat blog to check out. Nice layout and good information.

Have a good weekend. Check your preps, check your vehicle and get ready.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Prepare! The Most Important Emergency Supplies To Buy Now

Go online to any of the survival themed forums.. TB2K, Frugals, etc. Check and see what the experts there have to say is the most important items to have on hand should a nuclear war break out, an asteroid strikes the earth, a mega earthquake or alien invasion should take place.

Guess what? None of them will agree. One survivalist will say proper firearms. The next will insist upon junk silver coins or cash. Another will say a preparedness retreat in the hills.

All of the above survivalist answers are wrong. The correct answer is food.

Try this. Go a day without eating. No, not breakfast, no coffee, no quick lunch, no sodas, no dinner, no dessert or snacks. Odds are you will either make it until 2 in the afternoon before you break down and go for that candy machine or you will feel so awful you will give up on the spot.

That is what hunger does to almost anyone. The adverse affects kick in quickly because our bodies are programmed to want three squares a day at regular intervals. When we fail to get food, our blood sugar begins to short circuit and the rest of our body begins to suffer.

Only after a few days will our body adjust and begin to deplete our bodies fat and muscle content for energy.

A starving individual, family or group will be unable to produce, to work or defend a home or retreat. So much for the firearms and gold bullion.

What makes food easy is that unlike weapons or precious metals, food is readily available to any survivalist at a reasonable price. The local grocery store contains enough products to fill a survival pantry several times over.

Finally, food is available now. Once the stores are cleaned out, those with the supply of food will be able to barter and trade for the other things they need.

So, stock up on food now. Get to the market and start with the basics. No not beef stew and tang. But component foods; flour, salt, sugar, honey, baking soda, powdered milk, yeast, and oil. All of these products store well for a long period of time and are very cheap.

The survivalist stocks food first and all other items (with the exception of water) come second.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Prepare! Who will survive the end of the world

The other day, I was talking with my good friend, open survivalist and curmudgeon, "Dan'l Boone". Between "Dan'l's" rambling about fiat currency, black helicopters and Trilateral Commission hijinks, "Dan'l" opinionated about who would not survive Doomsday.

"Them rich folks are going first, followed by the welfare rabble and then a bunch of them politicians. Finally, it'll be all them hippies, commies and gun grabbers."

"So who will be left?" I asked.

"Good folks like us and a bunch of Mutant Zombie Bikers (MZB), convicts and raiders. After all, we got to have someone to shoot, don't we?" Dan'l winked.

I hated to disagree with "Dan'l" but his was wishful thinking.

Let's think about some real end of the world situations. Whether you call it TEOTWAWKI, Doomsday, the Apocalypse or the end of the world, some will be the first to suffer.

Addicts - nope, not the stereotypical heroin addicts portrayed in movies and fiction, but the everyday addicts around us. Those people you live and work with today who are hooked on cigarettes, Diet Coke and prescription drugs.

Studies have shown the first things to go in a crisis are not generators and match grade .308 ammunition, but more common addiction products: Cigarettes, soda, beer, ice (to keep that beer cold) and junk food. Many in the "prepper" community suffer from these same addictions and for some reason or another, think they will have plenty of time to stock up on Marlboros and Bud before they get to the retreat. Further, they think everyone else will tolerate their addictions and subsequent withdrawl after things really go down the toilet.

Moderately disabled - These are the folks you know (and may be one of) who tools around in their scooter, has a kitchen counter covered with a half dozen prescription drugs, and wears a "fighter pilot mask" at bed time to counter the effects of sleep apnea. So many of the survivalist crowd suffers from one or more of these symptoms, but for some odd reason, thinks they will survive the end of the world just fine thank you very much.

(Somehow the idea of seeing some 50-year old, overweight guy in a scooter toting an AR-15 at the bug out retreat does not inspire too much confidence).

Everyday entitlement dependents - Nope, not he inner-city queen with 15 children, but the other government dependent you know all too well. These are the folks living off Social Security payments, disability checks and government pensions.

I don't know how many preppers I have met who are financially dependent upon the government to provide for their day to day living expenses and then believe that they will magically survive economic and societal collapse.

The less fit or out of shape crowd - This is the overweight, 50-year old guy with a full gun safe and closet of Mountain House #10 cans, but who gets winded walking to his truck in the morning.

This is the same person who thinks the MZB's will stand still while he huffs and puffs around his retreat plinking them off like old beer cans... This is the same guy who thinks everyone else will wait for him to catch up while they walk to the bug out retreat after a dirty bomb has detonated in the city... This the same guy who is the first to complain about how bad his feet and back hurt, how he pulled yet another muscle and needs to take it easy on the couch today...

Dump this turkey from your preparedness invite list now.

The picky eater - The post-apocalyptic menu calls for rice, beans, gritty homemade bread, water and powdered milk. What is the picky, grown up eater suddenly going to do? Dig in with relish? I don't think so.

The picky eater is the middle aged person (perhaps you) who has to have meat three times a day. Needs crackers with their chili, white bread with butter at dinner and condiments on everything. This person complains if food is not prepared to his liking and mopes in the living room until his wife fixes his favorites just right.

If you know this person, remove them from your retreat list now. They will only serve to infuriate and bedevil you.

Afterwards, "Dan'l" looked at me like he was hurt and left the room muttering about needing to go inventory his preps or something. I hated to hurt his feelings, but I know Dan'l smokes, has high blood pressure and hates rice. (He has 321 cans of Spam, though). Oh well, perhaps he can find some MZB's who have an opening at their retreat.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Prepare! Preparing for the unprepared

Welcome to the 21st century! Will you survive?

Imagine a nationwide pandemic resulting in travel restrictions, quarantines, and funeral pyres. How about a Zimbabwe style economic meltdown which makes the Great Depression look like a bad day at the races? Or how about a handful of nukes going off in random cities across the U.S.?

Sounds depressing? O.K., so why bother? Only an idiot would prepare for some imaginary crisis the thought of which would be so unsettling who would want to survive?

Hurricane Katrina was not an imaginary crisis. Some people who were prepared, those that had food, water, gasoline, reliable transportation, etc. either

a) got out before the hurricane hit or
b) successfully rode out the flooding and subsequent looting.

Others waited for any outside help. Help for a scenario which had never been imagined or prepared for. And those people who waited, suffered.

We all saw the images on television. Stranded motorists lining up for fuel. No food or water. People gravely ill for lack of basic medication and sanitary facilities. Most of all we saw the local, state and federal government paralyzed and overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crisis. The individual "crazies" who prepared were at home or safely somewhere else out of harm's way.

So what can one do? I don't have a fortune to buy an underground complex in the Idaho mountains, a five year supply of canned food, an arsenal of weapons and a stash of gold coins.

And most of you don't either. Most of us work in cities and live in populated suburbs. Our homes no longer have basements, water from our own well, a tended garden, or chickens in the front yard. In our zero-lot lined communities, we are lucky to have a backyard!

However, any one of us can purchase extra food at the supermarket down the street. Water comes clean and ready to drink from the kitchen tap. What is to stop you or anyone else from storing a few gallons in reusable containers? Why not purchase a camp stove or outdoor bar-b-q grill for emergency cooking? Most of the supplies needed for the unthinkable are readily available and affordable to 90% of the population.

Your Mission: Success!

My philosophy is this: I don't believe in survival, I believe in success. Survival is cold oatmeal and water from the water heater three times a day. Success is three balanced daily meals, a comfortable and secure shelter with running lights, fresh water and heat. Make your goal the ability to successfully ride out any scenario.

Survival scenarios run the gamut from the inconvenient to the dangerous.

1) Minor inconvenience, non life threatening - Power outages, blizzards, ice storms. In most cases the above are non emergency if you have the basic standbys - food, water, alternative heat and lighting, and communications.

2) Limited or regional catastrophe - earthquake, flood, hurricane, volcano. In this case, the immediate area is affected but the majority of the nation is unaffected; i.e. Hurricane Katrina - the rest of the U.S. was available for refuge and to bring in supplies.

3) Break down with long lasting repercussions - war, insurrection, invasion, economic collapse. Although the framework (utilities, security, purchase and exchange) may be functioning in some parts of the country, the majority of the nation is affected and suffering from systemic dysfunction.

Even with all of your planning, you most likely are not going to be ready for item 3 tomorrow. However, you can get a good start today on item 1 if you start now.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Prepare! So why do it?


The dreaded "Y2K" is looming. On that day, computers will freeze when code is unable to translate the date "00" (short for 2000). Banks, airlines, traffic controls, water plants, power stations, ATMs and every other computer enabled device and system will fail and our system will crash to its knees.

When you wake up on January 1, 2000, your TV, radio, CD player, VCR, and DVD player will be silent. Your car won't start. The water, electricity and gas are off or barely functioning. Your refrigerator is idle and your shelves are bare. The local grocery store is without power, but is still functioning. Of course, all of your neighbors are thinking the same thing and the store has been stripped clean. Those with running cars have drained the local gas station of any available fuel.

The bank is closed and the ATM is down, you can't even get cash to buy black market goods. And those credit cards - useless plastic. The government is paralyzed. Law enforcement is stuck with non-running cars and no communications system. Panic and lawlessness quickly takes over the city streets. Your family is hungry, scared and cold and there is nothing you can do about it.


Thankfully, this never happened. January 1, 2000 was just another New Year's Day.

But what if you were one of the millions who worried and prepared for the worse? You sold your stocks in the fall of 1999. You converted your savings to cash and gold coins. You stockpiled food and other essentials. You planted a garden and stored propane and gasoline. You simplified your life in preparation of a future world without modern conveniences.

Were you a sucker and a fool for falling for the greatest non-event of the century?

Maybe. But consider the following.

You sold your stocks and other over-hyped investments.
In 2000-2002, the stock market plummeted. You may have very well preserved your principal while others lost their shirts.

You invested in gold.
Dumb. Not really. Gold has soared almost 200.00 an ounce since 1999. Compared to most stocks, this was a very prudent investment.

You simplified your life and stockpiled essentials.
Over reaction? Maybe not if you were one of the millions who lost their jobs in the following years due to the recession and the after shocks of 911. You were better prepared others for daily life with reduced income and job insecurity.

So what do we do now? Y2K is over, as Alfred E. Newman says, "What? Me worry?".

There is plenty to worry about. Avian flu, bio terrorism, dirty bombs, Iran, hurricane Katrina level weather events, economic meltdown and the list goes on and on. You can do nothing and wait for help to arrive or you can began working on your own to not only survive possible emergencies - but succeed.

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