Sunday, July 05, 2009

Prepare: Suburban Survival Basics and Intro

Most people these days live in or around a city. Most of us can be classified as "suburban". Very few are completely rural or even part time rural. The reason being jobs, access (to school, health care, etc.), family and convenience.

The world right now is "out of whack". Here in the U.S. we are rapidly running out of time and options. Unemployment is spiraling out of control as all sectors of our economy are in trouble. Money is hard to get for businesses and individuals. Homes are foreclosing. Businesses are shutting their doors. There will be no more easy fixes and recovery will take decades.

With these two things in mind, you, Mr. or Mrs. Suburbia, better wake up and get ready. I truly believe we are about to be in for worse times, rather than better times.

The end will not happen at once.

There will NOT be a sudden "the government is broke" announcement followed by immediate rioting, looting and runs on grocery stores.

The end will come gradually. Another percentage uptick on the unemployment charts. Hiring and spending freezes by the government. Reduction in benefits to the unemployed, elderly and veteran. A mass migration of transient workers heading back to their home countries as jobs and money dry up.

Now is the time to stock your suburban lifeboat for the inevitable.

Money -

Starting now, take 10% of your paycheck, put it in cash and hide it at home.
Start selling (while there are buyers) all of your unneeded and unwanted junk. Hold a garage sale, post to Craigslist, etc. Sell off those compact disks and DVD's you never watch. Get rid of that old stereo forsaken for the IPod.

Stick all the extra money into two piles - Emergency cash and preparedness.

Food -

First, start laying out 4x3 planting areas in the back yard. Use bricks, wood, rocks, whatever to start building raised beds. A half dozen of those will raise a surprising amount of food. Plan on growing food which produces a lot from a little. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans. Melons and corn take up too much room and water.

Next, go to the warehouse store and start buying big bags of rice, beans, spices, flour, sugar, salt, etc. Long term stuff which can be made into meals and food to fill you up.

Buy lots of canned and dried foods. Fill the pantry now while its available with food you like to eat and which can feed you, your spouse and children this winter.

For instance, let's say you go through a pack of hot dogs a week. Buy four packs, freeze three and put the other in the fridge. As long as the power is on, you have one month's worth of hot dogs. Do the same for macaroni and cheese, cereal, etc.

Water -

You need to store water. Buy ten cases of bottle water so you know you have something. Stick it in the closet.

Next, get some storage containers. A couple of 55 gallon, food grade barrels are not that expensive. They can be filled, placed in the garage and treated with a bit of bleach. You now have several days worth of water on hand.

Put up some barrels to catch rain water from the down spouts.

Find a nearby water source. Stock up on bleach, filters and some way boil water.

Energy, heat, light -

Buy several packs of batteries from the dollar store. Get more from the warehouse club store if you can afford it.

Buy at least one deep cycle rechargeable battery. Pick up a solar panel kit, (even a small one will do) to charge it. Once charged, you can use it to power..

A single burner hotplate. You now have an appliance for heating water and cooking small meals.

Also purchase a two burner camp stove and as many gas cylinders as you feel comfortable storing.

The big propane tanks for the grill are handy, I have four. But remember, cooking outdoors alerts the neighbors that "Soups on!".

I don't care to store charcoal. It goes bad too soon.

For light, pick up battery powered lanterns over gas; they are safer to use indoors. Candles are handy, but they don't put out much light. If you do get them, believe me, get the non-scented variety.

LED lights are great for flashlights and head lamps.

A single space heater run from the deep cycle battery can warm a single room the family can use during cold nights without central heat.

A fireplace is good as is a wood stove, but you will need a lot (6 cords a season minimum) of wood.

Protection -

Go to the nearest sporting goods store and select a pump action 12 gauge shotgun. Pick up at least 500 rounds of ammunition mixed in slugs, buck, and bird shot. That is 20 boxes of shells.

Go to another sporting goods store and purchase a .22 rifle such as a Marlin or Ruger. Pick up at least 5000 rounds of ammunition. That is 10 bricks.

Find any friends or relatives who shoot and own guns. Ask what their plans are and what they will do if riots break out or there are food shortages. There is strength in numbers but only among those willing to defend themselves.

Measure plywood for the front windows and door of the home. Put up the highest fence allowed around your property. Install real locks on the front and rear doors and measure out a cross bar as well.

Get a number of fire extinguishers for the house as well as smoke alarms.

Start putting all vehicles in the garage or behind the house if possible.

Transportation -

Keep cars properly tuned and full of gas at all times.

Start storing the largest amount of gasoline you feel comfortable with.

Get a bike for each member of the family and at least one full size bike trailer. Make sure it matches the type of bike you have so that installation is quick and secure. (The bike can be used for short trips to save money and gasoline).

Stock the basics for the car: jumper cables, motor oil, coolant, filters and belts. There is a good chance you will have to keep your own vehicle running in the near future.

Medical/Health -

If you know a doctor or nurse, good for you. Get ready to treat yourself otherwise.

Stock a home medicine cabinet now. How many times has a child or spouse had a cold, fever or the flu and there you are running out to the drugstore or grocery for a box of NyQuil? Fix that now by stocking all of those products without excuse.

Build a real first aid kit. Not just those plastic band aids, but gauze, large compress and wrap bandages.

Have everyone blood type and allergies written down and handy.

Stock up now on soap, shampoo, cleaning products, baking soda, bleach, and lots of toilet paper.

Skills/Knowledge -

What can you do? Can you fix a car? Plant a garden? Home repair? What marketable skill do you have which others need and are willing to pay for?

Stock up on books on farming, small repairs, medicine and other useful subjects.

The bottom line is this. In a very short time, we will be forced to make do with what we have and what we are. You can get ready now, or you can be another statistic. It is totally up to you.

What are sitting there for? Get to work!

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