Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Three

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Three

Here's the deal. You are away from home, let's say in a strange town on vacation or business trip. Maybe you are across town in a neighborhood you are not familiar with. Anyway, the radio comes on and says "The end is here". Nuke attack, martian invasion, zombies, you name it.

You know you need food and water if you are going to get home. Also, you want to build some stocks for what will happen in the coming days. However, you don't know where the closest grocery store is. What to do?

You need a list of alternative and strange places to get supplies when you need them in a scenario like this. Today's idea - the office supply store.

Office Max, Office Depot, etc. Now bigger is better, but a FedEx/Kinkos will do in a pinch.

For instance, go to the office superstore and check the back section. There are cases of water, snack foods, coffee, tea, sugar and other stuff offices put in the break room.

There is also trashbags, paper towels, toilet paper, soap and cleaning supplies out the wazoo. Same idea. They are for stocking the office. However, they are also survival supplies.

And then the batteries, flashlights, fire extinguishers. Some stores even sell tools for fixing stuff around the office. There may not be any tents or foul weather gear, but there are often plastic sheets and related material for covering desks or furniture. These can be doubled as emergency shelters if need be.

What if FedEx Kinkos or UPS store is available? My F/K store has snacks, candy, even beef jerky at the check out counter. They also have a limited supply of bottled water and energy drinks for late night presentation cram sessions.

An office supply store can be your best friend if the poop hits the fan unexpectedly. Keep it in mind.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Two

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part Two

So, the poop has made the fan smelly and everyone else is heading for the grocery stores or Sam's Club to clean them out. Where can you go? Yesterday, we considered the toy store of all places, today we look at another, yet less off the beaten path place for stores after the SHTF.

The drugstore.

Sure, there will be folks piled up at the subscription counter to get another 30 days of anti-anxiety meds or blood pressure pills, but today's drugstore is a great place to get lots of other goodies.

Food - The CVS, Walgreens or Rite-Aid always has a huge stock of food, including canned and other shelf stable foods on hand. There are lots of those little cans with pop tops which can come in handy if one is on the move on foot and traveling lite.

Besides the food aisle, there are edibles throughout the store; at the check out line, gift rows, etc. Get a handbasket rather than a bulky cart and load up.

Don't forget; drug stores have a huge diet section. That means protein bars and some things not found at a traditional grocers like body building supplements - lots of calories and proteins.

Water - Water, the staff of life, is in the drug store as well. Bottles and jugs. But there is also bleach and iodine handy in the drugstore, useful for sanitizing more down the line.

Hardware - gloves, basic tools, batteries, flashlights and other basics can be found now at the modern hardware store.

Obvious - take advantage of the hardware store for a large selection of things found there in large amounts; multi-vitamins, first aid supplies, OTC (over the counter) medicines, baby supplies, and of course drugs (with prescription).

So, the poop hits the fan and you are on the road or five miles from home and need to resupply. Rather than deal with that panicking mob outside the Safeway, go two doors down to the drug store and get what you need in short supply.

Good luck,

Monday, December 28, 2009

SHTF: Strange places to stock up - Part One

Strange places to stock up - Part 1

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is now behind us and the New Year is on the way. While taking part in the great consumer grab over the holidays, I was in several different types of retail establishments which gave me time to make some observations which may come in handy.

If the Shumer his the fan, most of us might jump in the sled and head to the nearest grocery store or warehouse club for food, water, etc. However, we all know that the Safeway or Kroger is the first place to get hit hard. It helps to have some alternatives!

Here is the first in my suggestions of alternate places for supplies off the beaten path.

Since it was Christmas - the toy store. "Huh? The toy store? What good is a Monopoly game or Barbie doll going to me?" you ask in disbelief.

Try the mega Toys R Us toystore. The front of the store has a huge snack and candy section. I found bottled water, snack food, candy and better yet, protein bars. Apparently, some brainiac in marketing realized they could get some impulse buys on overpriced junk in this section from their shoppers.

Don't forget to see the check out line where they have even more edible junk.

Also, most toy stores now cater to babies as well. Besides valuable diapers, wipe and relate paraphanalia, there is almost always baby formula, food and jugs of sterilized water (for the over protective mothers in the crowd).

And there are batteries out the wazoo in the toy store. Can't have enough of those.

In the toy section, look for Easy Bake Ovens. They contain baked goods and there is usually a section of refills for those things as well. In a pinch, this is food.

The toy store is just one "off the beaten path" for supplies like food to keep in mind should the balloon go up when you least expect it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Prepare: Prepper for President of the US

How many times have you said "If I were president, I would..."? Usually, it is reaction to something on tv which further exhibits the idiocy of our appointed leaders.

And usually our reaction is to something which makes our blood boil like taxes, mistreatment of our military or the UN.

However, from time to time, I give it real thought of solutions and how I could bring them into being if I were President.

Lately, I have been very concerned about famine, starvation, and the price of commodity foods in the world. With weather, fuel prices, and environmental lunacy looming which will adversely affect the ability of this country to grow enough food to feed ourselves (and a good hunk of the rest of the world), food production and storage are first and foremost on my mind.

If I were president, I would embark on the following plan - Project Egypt or Joseph - I can't decide yet. If you are a student of the Bible, you remember the account from the Book of Genesis where Joseph, favored son of Jacob, was sold into slavery by his brothers and ended up in a position of authority in Egypt. During this time, Joseph interpreted the pharaoh's dream that a famine was about to fall upon the land.

Because of the dream interpretation, Egypt went on a crash course of famine prevention. They laid in a store of grain for seven years and when the famine came, they kept their population fed and solidified their power over their neighbors.

If President, I would start a famine prevention plan as well. I would rebuild the grain silos across the country, but specifically in regards to where the population is currently. I would buy excess grain, oats, rice, and wheat from farmers. There would be no more agricultural subsidies not to grow food. The excess production would be stored until there was at least a seven year supply of food, both human and silage, in storage.

Next, I would rebuild the Strategic Petroleum Reserves. Politicians seem to think it is a piggy bank for lowering the price of gasoline at the pumps, it's not. It is an emergency source of fuel to power the US in the event of a crisis. I would do the same with coal, natural gas and uranium.

I would rebuild the nation's emergency medicine stockpiles and again, they would be distributed throughout the nation so they would be accessible to all areas with minimal travel.

So why do this? Because, it is a matter of time until we have a nuclear attack, EMP burst, biological attack or something similar which will show the weakest parts of our defenses. The ability to feed, fuel and treat ourselves if production were halted or brought down to a lower level.

But there are no offers to sit in the White House so we get to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Prepare: Food Storage FAQ

This question has come up before and with winter full on, food storage for tough times is on everyone's mind.

First, go read Allen Hagen's definitive work on food storage - Food Storage FAQ.
There is no reason for me to attempt to do this subject justice as Allen has before with authority. Best of all, Hagen has shared this information with the world for free. That's a life save these days.

Yes, there are good books online for sale like Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and Talmidge's Making the Best of Basics. But if yot are just getting started, research on the internet first before spending money which can be spent on food later.

Before starting a food storage program, look at what you eat. The old "Store what you eat, eat what you store" rule applies, but there is more to it.

For instance, what do you normally eat for lunch or dinner? Let's say its a piece of meat or maybe chicken, some sort of carb like potatoes or rice, vegtable or two, some bread and maybe a piece of cake or pie for dessert.

In the post-SHTF world, that probably won't be on the menu. You may be able to cook, but power will be out or on short availability. Forget running the electric oven or microwave.

Also meat will be a treat served in a different manner than an eight ounce slab on a plate. Meat will be used to flavor a larger dish like stew or soup. Or maybe cooked to make a gravy to go over rice or noodles. Vegtables will be fresh in the summer and pickled in the winter.

The staple for most meals will be a filling carbohydrate like rice, pasta, grain or bread. A gravy, soup or stew will be poured over it. Bread, baked in multiple loves a couple of times a week, will be the scrape/dunk tool to eat with meals. Fruit will be rare and served as a dessert or treat.

Besides the information from Allen Hagens' site, you should stock up on some things he does not mention. For instance..

Canned goods - Get plenty of the canned foods you do like to eat. Watch the dates! Some expire in one year, while others in more than three.

Dried pasta - Spaghetti, noodles, all of it. Watch the per pound price at the store.

Canning supplies - when the garden comes in, you can't eat everything and you don't want to waste it. Remember, a case of jars is only 12 and that won't last very long. Try and pick up as many jars and rings, rings, rings as you can. And salt and sugar for preseving.

Dried goods - which brings up another. Yes, Hagen recommends whole wheat grains, but I always suggest that food storage means getting regular flour as well. And get the aforementioned sugar, salt, baking soda, powder, yeast and other dried goods needed.

The thought of your family going hungry should bother any parent or spouse. Start a food storage program today and don't wait for hunger to set in to get you motivated.

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