Prepare Alone or as a Group?

by David Morris on October 20, 2011

This week’s newsletter is sponsored by a Maryland doctor with an unconventional retirement plan.  If you meet 2 simple requirements, he can show you how to live a rich retirement with just $10,000
in savings.  Click here for full details…
http://www.surviveinplace.com/a/retire2

One of the early realizations that people have as they’re starting to get prepared is that they just don’t want to do it on their own…they want to get prepared with friends, family, and/or neighbors so that if a disaster ever does happen, they won’t be alone.

This is very wise.  Complete self-reliance isn’t possible or even desirable for most people.  It’s normal to want to have at least some interaction with other people, and it’s normal to not be an expert at every conceivable topic under the sun.

With the realization that we all have limited resources, which is better…getting yourself prepared and then finding a group or finding a group of unprepared people who want to get prepared and going through the journey together?

I go into depth about building your mutual aid team in the SurviveInPlace Urban Survival course, but it’s a very important question, so I’ll cover some of the high points here.  To start with, you’ll note that I call it a “mutual aid” team and not a “fire team” or “militia.”  That’s because, while the ability to mount an effective common defense MAY be important, having a group of people who you can be real with, go through life with, share good times with, and help each other through down times with is DEFINITELY important, regardless of whether you ever find yourself in a survival situation or not.

Back to the question of whether to start off alone or with a group–An easy way to answer it, and several other prioritization questions is by looking at preparedness like you would building a house.

If you just want to throw up a hasty shelter, you don’t need to do a lot of planning.  It won’t weather storms, or last long, but it will give you some basic protection for a short period of time. But if you want something that’s going to last your entire lifetime, you need to do proper planning, lay a solid foundation that will support the structure, and plan out things like plumbing and electrical in advance.

So, using the example of building a house, the individual is going to be the foundation of any mutual aid group.  If you do it the other way and spend your time getting together a group of like-minded, yet unprepared people, it’s kind of like building a straw house that’s unstable and fragile.  It’s also somewhat like the blind leading the blind.

But, if you take that same time, and get YOURSELF squared away…with basic shelter, fire, water, food, medical, and security skills and supplies, then when you start building your mutual aid group, you’ll have a solid foundation in place already.

Now another big reason to do personal preparedness before group preparedness is to use it as a test.  Let’s say you get together with 5 other families and decide to get prepared together.  Three months later, 2 of the families have all of their basic supplies for surviving 40 days & 40 nights, one family has a couple of weeks taken care of, and the other two families just have a couple of extra boxes of mac and cheese.

But…and here’s the big but.  The two families that haven’t actually done anything know exactly who’s house to go to if something happens and their kids are hungry.  This doesn’t mean they’re going to go demand food with a gun in hand, but it does almost guarantee conflict and very difficult decisions in the event of a food shortage.

By building your group before anyone in the group has taken care of themselves, you’ve placed an unnecessary target on yourself and anyone else who actually takes steps to get prepared.

You don’t know who the unprepared members are going to talk with about your group, and you don’t know who they’ll bring with them when they’re looking for food.

They just won’t have as much incentive to keep your group a secret since they don’t have any supplies to get stolen or looted.

You should even step back and take a look at your PERSONAL planning like building a house and make sure you have a solid foundation.  There are some basic skills and items that you’ll want to have to build a solid preparedness foundation before working on advanced skills and buying advanced items.

One example of this is taking care of food and water to last you for 40 days or 6 months before you go out and buy a generator and solar combo, a bank of deep cycle batteries, and a heavy duty inverter.   One of the most pragmatic reasons for this is that it’s much more likely that you’ll face a simple financial crisis where you NEED your survival food before you face a crises where you NEED backup power.

Another example is learning solid empty-hands defense tactics before spending time and money on firearms, ammo, training, range time, and storage.  You’ll ALWAYS have the empty handed skills, but the firearms skills depend on you having your firearm with you when you need it.  Even if you do have your firearm, you might have to fight with your hands to be able to get to your firearm and use it.  As you know, I whole heartedly recommend Target Focus Training for empty handed fighting.  I’ve bought every VHS and DVD they’ve made since I started using their system in the mid 90s and I’ve done live training with them more times than I can count at this point.  If you’re interested in learning more, you can see a special offer that they put together for me at www.SurviveInPlace.com/targetfocustraining

Once you DO have the basics taken care of for you and your family, THEN it’s time to start thinking about creating a mutual aid team.

This is a tricky process…kind of like hiring an employee, going into a business partnership, or even like getting married if you form a formal group.  Keep in mind that formal groups are kind of like marriages.  Almost all marriages are “made to last” but over half still end in divorce.

If you get a mutual aid team  that’s got 6, 10, or 12 people, it’s INCREDIBLY likely that the group makeup will change over time.  Long term relationships are difficult with 2 people, let alone 10 or 12.

What I teach my students in the SurviveInPlace Urban Survival Course is to go slowly.  Just become friends first.  If you think that you’ve found someone dependable, start doing activities together that are slightly stressful to see how well you can work together under stress.  This could be as simple as backpacking or playing paintball or it could be going on vacation together.

Use headlines in the news to see if they are on the same page as you on moral, ethical, and preparedness issues and if you think it’s a good fit, move forward.

You may never end up having a super formal group with matching clothes, encrypted radios, group training and other wiz bang cool stuff.  It might just be a group of families who help each other out through good times and bad, who go in together to buy bulk supplies, and who have said that they’ll watch the other’s back if things go bad and maybe even live under the same roof if things get real bad.

Remember that the only way to be sure that a secret is kept is to make sure that only one person knows it.  The point of saying this is that you should try not to disclose too much of your preparations too early.  If you’ve got a year of food, don’t feel like you need to tell people.  Just say that you try to buy a little extra every time you go to the store in case you lose your job or things get real bad.

Keep in mind that if a survival situation develops before you have your formal mutual aid team formed, others on your street and in your neighborhood will want to quickly band together to protect your neighborhood from outsiders.

In other words, if you have supplies but no group, you can form a hasty group.  If you have a group but no supplies, it’s much more difficult to quickly get several months of supplies.

This very thing happened in New Orleans after Katrina.  As soon as the hurricane passed, gangs started their turf war.  In response, several neighborhoods quickly blocked the streets, set up rotating watches, and took care of each other until utilities and the supply chain got repaired.  The neighborhoods where this happened became incredibly close and are still close to this day.

So, what are YOUR biggest questions about Urban Survival?  Let me know by commenting below.

Until next week.  God Bless and stay safe!

David Morris

P.S.  So, if you’ve got your supplies…your food, water, bullets, and butter…that’s great.  When you do, it’s time to address operational security, disaster/survival psychology, building your mutual aid team, improvised medicine, field expedient ways to up-armor your house, making your house and your family NOT look like a good target, and many of the other important strategies and tactics covered in the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course.

If you haven’t signed up yet, take a look at the complete course description at http://SurviveInPlace.com

 .

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1LiLBKP
October 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Another great article with many issues to consider. While we don’t have a group of like minded individuals, I do expect my two (young adult) sons to end up back at home. I speak to each of them regularly about the need to have preparations, however they are struggling to maintain their monthly bills. So, I am trying to prepare for our family. I don’t mention to them exactly what/how much I am doing to prepare, however they know that I am preparing for an emergency. While they may come with no food or water they each have skills that will benfit the family. They will provide extra security, and each has specific talents that will be needed if the shtf happens. Also having lived in our current location for 13 years we have a trust relationship with our neighbors. We do not hang out together, however we help each other as needed. We do not expect trouble with our neighbors, but also don’t count on them as being part of a like minded group. I do believe we could easily set up a neighborhood watch. We live in the county, however it has grown to become as large as the city. We purchased land in the country (2 hour dirve) but would prefer to survive in place. Do you think it is necessary for us to purchase tent, and sleeping bags? We have been preparing each place with basics. However, I have no plan if we are not at one of the two places. Thanks David!

Reply

+6 Vote -1 Vote +118Echo
October 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

I have two daughters in college. One of them very much comfortable in the outdoors. We’ve taken wilderness survival classes together etc.. The other, quite the “girl” would rather not camp away from electricity. What I did for them was to create their own Get Home Now bags complete with 72 hours of supplies (including cash), water filters, and some additional shelter items that vary by summer or winter. They have strict orders from on high (me) that the bag stays in the trunk of their car. One other thing I added is a notebook with maps, alternative routes, alternative destinations (safe family and friends) and communications plans for re-establishing lost communications. That way we all have a reference to follow if we lose conventional (cell/internet) communications. I give up some OPSEC by giving them a notebook with “important” locations, but I gain some peace of mind that they have a plan they can follow that will up the odds of us reconnecting. Little things like “If you decide you must leave the dorm, leave a note stating your intentions, the route code, when you left and what you intend to do if you can’t reach that location. That is about as far as I can get my “girly” daughter to go along. My other one has augmented her bag with items she thinks would be helpful and is willing to dry run the system. Once your kids reach college age, you just have to work within the limits they will agree to.

Good Luck.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Concerning communication with your daughters — experience in New Orleans with Katrina indicates that even when you cannot get a dial tone, often a very short text message will get through. That is because a short text message is a single digital packet that requires orders of magnitude less bandwidth than a phone call.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 2:13 am

18Echo, your training is starting to show through… De Opresso Liber

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1X-wonderbug
October 29, 2011 at 9:19 am

It never hurts to have a tent big enough to hold the family, and a sleeping bag for each person. also ground cloths and the Army sleeping mats. Basic camping stuff. Can never tell when they might come in hand for yourselves or others. In organizing your neighborhood or subdivision, if you can’t do it, get someone who has the leadership ability and is like-minded. Then define the boundaries of what you want to defend. A good book to read is David Crawford’s “Light’s Out!.” Another great source of advice is Jim Rawles’ http://www.survivalBlog.com. Read his instructional-fiction novel, “Patriots.” You should have a written plan of what to do if family members are separated–where to reconnect, etc. When the Schumer hits the fan, you will be on your own.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 2:05 am

What if a scenario developes where your only way of staying warm is your sleeping bag & warm clothes? A tent might proof really nice to have, too. Unless you live in Del Rio, you will probably need those items.

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
October 21, 2011 at 8:40 am

Excellent advice. We have a group of 7 famlies that are trying to prepare as a unit. So far, while we are all individually prepared with at least 2 months of food and supplies, we are slow in formin a unified plan for anything but a temporary emergancy. The group does see the need for longer term preps, and my homestead has been designated the common retreat (everyone else lives in urban environments.)

I guee my question is how do we organize for the longer SHTF scenarios, where one or more of the famlies might need or desire to live at the central retreat?

I’ve been considering appointing/electing members of our group to the equivalent of the military positions of S1 – S4 (personnel, intel, training/operations, supply/logistics)

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
October 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Keith, it’s apparent you haven’t formed a viable group since you’re just now in the process of “considering” action and more importantly your use of “I’ve” in lieu of “we’ve” tells me others are dependent on one person’s (yours) extended preparations.
I’m not being critical, only intending to point out that time is short, that the coming collapse won’t be over in two months but will last realistically two to five years, that seven families with food stored and consumed in seven different homes does not constitute a store of food and water necessary when those same people appear at your safe house two months hence.
WATER will be the controlling factor in managing the urban masses people start to die in four days without WATER. Does your safe house have a sustainable water supply to support thirty (8X4) people? Plan on your group being on your doorstep in one month, not two or three.
Good luck.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Kristen
October 21, 2011 at 8:42 am

I’d like to know what to do if we run out of toilet paper or can use our bathrooms because we don’t have the power to flush? I know that sounds silly, but I really don’t know. I realize an option is going outside, but what if it’s winter and freezing? Especially since I have a 1year old daughter, so its these basic things I’m starting to think about.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

Thats the whole 6 months suppy thing. Toilet paper, even walmart bags to use in the toilet if it doesn’t have water in it, should be in ready supply. Neatly stowed away of course so peeople don’t start thinking you are some kinda horder.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1cc
October 24, 2011 at 11:07 am

Stock up on wash rags, face cloths. Use them like cloth diapers. Wipe, rinse, wash, reuse.
Get a different color for each member of the family.
Sarah uses blue, Tommy uses orange, Bill uses red, Joan uses green, and so on. Each person now has their own personal color wipes.
Once they have used it rinse it out and then wash to reuse. Have a diaper pail close by to place used rags in till wash day. These are sturdy and will get many many uses from them. Not like one time use of T. P.
You may also want to stock up on diaper wipes. They are compact and will clean up the behind area. But again you will have to worry about disposal of them.

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Phineas
October 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

Kristen — great question — here are some thoughts. If the problem is relatively short term, you can have some plastic bags on hand that you can put in the toilet or in a 5 gallon bucket. You can get a toilet seat for the bucket. You can also buy bags that have stuff in them that starts to biodegrade and descent the stuff in the bags. Longer term, people will have to store the stuff in 50 gal barrells or bury it safely, away from streams or lakes. Stock up on toilet paper (although water will work fine if done properly). You can put the paper in vacuum bags and store it in a fraction of the space you’d otherwise need. In addition, waste disposal is partially a water problem, so make sure you’ve got enough emergency water available. One further comment. Have plenty of hand cleanser too, since in a SHTF situation even small infections will be potentially dangerous, and diseases will spread through many populations.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Kaytee
October 21, 2011 at 9:24 am

There are “bucket toilets”, that are essentially a 5 gal bucket with a toilet seat. Add a plastic liner to make waste disposal easier, and/or “enzymes” to control smell and help break down the waste. http://beprepared.com/search.asp?t=ss&ss=toilet&image1.x=5&image1.y=0 shows this type of set-up (I have no association with this company, other than being a customer).

There also are “composting toilets”, but those tend to be rather expensive. Might be worth it if you have a wilderness cabin or basement without regular plumbing. Examples: http://www.homedepot.com/Bath-Toilets-Toilet-Seats-Bidets-Toilets-Waterless-Toilets/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbz9b/h_d2/Navigation?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=1005

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 2:18 am

Waste can be burned, too.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 21, 2011 at 10:20 am

Water is life.

Is a well possible in your area? Is there any standing water (river, canal, lake) nearby that can be used as a source of non-potable water for flushing toilets and can be purified for drinking?

If you have no source of water, and the utilities fail, you die or become part of the mob moving about looking for basics.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Ed scout leader
October 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

Water for flushing can be taken from a sump pump pit if the dwelling is so equipted

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

When the SHTF you`ll have to use your imagination [do things you normally wouldn`t do today]. At Walmart you can buy a sponge-on-a-stick shower brush ; soak it & squeeze it to get soft, then have a 5-gal. bucket next to your toilet half filled with soapy water, & “go to town”. Use rain barrels & 5-gal. buckets outside to collect water for all non- drinking purposes [& if need be,with a Sawyer water filter, you can even drink that water]. Hope that helps.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Hi Kristen,
I left you a note, but I`m not too sharp with all these buttons & links, & I think I left it in the wrong place. Try looking below, just after Bill`s comments.
Jarhead

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1captain mike
October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Alot depends on where you are, but I assume you are at least semi-suburban if you can “go outside”. Most people worry too much about this. A little time in the Army or Boy Scouts helps. Get a survival or field manual on latrines. As far as your daughter, you just need a bed pan. She won’t really notice the difference.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill B
October 21, 2011 at 11:46 pm

In addition to the other good suggestions, I recommend keeping several gallons of Clorox bleach stored near the bathroom. If running water is out, Clorox can help keep the stench down until you can empty your toilet or waste bucket. (Clorox has its own harmful vapors, of course.)

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1lisa
October 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

@ Kristen,

good question about the toilet scenario.

Having been thru Hurricanes and Tornadoes and other things I can tell you even if the water is contaminated, of you keep a bucket from home depot by the toilet or under the sink, in the event of an emergency if you have water coming out at all you can fill it up from the shower or tub and simply use it flush the toilet.

I know from experience with disasters and homemade sewer that if you gently throw a rebuke or two of water down the toilet it will flush itself.

That being said, I would have hand sanitizer on hand by every sink just in case, and baby wipes and toilet paper.

Now you can utilize paper towels or like in the olden days the catalogs (although I do not suggest it.)
I would suggest stock piling TP now.

one last suggestion is I would suggest having clorox wipes for water free cleaning of bathroom fixtures at all time, along with regular clorox bleach for water sanitation, along with a large tank. My father kept two.

One for bathroom use and one for consumption.

At the onset of a storm,he would put them in their perspective rooms and fill them.

In a hurricane (when I lived in Florida as a kid) the sewer can flow into the water lines or or infrastructure is interrupted,so clean water is not garennteed. You need a clean water supply to take sponge baths and brush teeth,wash hair etc….even wash your cloths by hand. in each scenario typically it was 2 -3 weeks worth of sponge baths and hand washing laundry till the situation got straightened out in the worse scenarios.

access to water,and cleanliness is important.

One last thought…

Your going to want some duct tape if you have small kids.

Small kids may not remember that the water is contaminated, so you may need to place tape across the faucets to remind them. Thats what my dad did with us. We saw the duct tape on the faucets in question and remembered immediately.

Just FYI hope it helps

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1MajorDad
February 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Kristen,
I live in Alaska and we go to out to a cabin in the winter that does not have “indoor facilities” or running water of any kind. However, if you can dig and build an outhouse (before the ground freezes) it can be usable during the winter months. As far as the cold, we have gone out at night when it is -20 or lower, and can testify that the worst part is getting there and back. But if you get some “blue board” insulation and place it on the toilet seat, you will not feel the cold when you sit on it – it will actually feel warm. I know it sounds crazy, and I did not believe it until we tried it – but the insulative properties of “blue board” insulation is such that it reflects your body heat back and it does not feel cold – even at -20. I know it does not help on the trip out and back – but at least there is not the “shock” of hitting a frozen toilet seat. Also keeping a small lantern or even a well enclosed candle (in case it is knocked over) can help to add a bit of heat to the building as well as provide a “night light” in the outhouse as well. A small tea candle in a secured lantern type holder (placed above where children cannot get to) is a good idea as they are not expensive and will burn several hours giving some light as well as a bit of heat in an insulated outhouse. They usually will burn out before dawn (depending on when you light them) but they are relatively inexpensive considering the comfort they bring on cold northern nights. Just sharing our experiences.

Reply

-1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 27, 2012 at 2:07 pm

It sounds like you just need to make a set of PJs out of blue board 🙂

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 2:10 am

Think back to what your ancestors did. Outdoor privies, thunder jugs, slit trenches, cat holes. It ain’t pretty, but it looks more factual every day. Just make sure you do it, and keep your hygene uppermost.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 21, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have an odd kinda problem, My family is very tight. We are all pretty much on the same page when it comes to “it” happening. We all get alond very well and work together very well.

Now the problem, the family farm can sustain us all comfortably. The area it is in has built up to the point that it would look like a seen from a zombie movie if anything actually went wrong with society. But it is still “the place to go” should anything happen.

I think I am the only one who realizes what a bad spot it is.

I really enjoy your site, Keep up the good work

Walt

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I left you a note; didn`t know about these links. Scroll down for the note. Good luck.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lindalee
October 22, 2011 at 4:29 am

Hi Walt,
We seem to be in a similar situation. Although hubby doesn’t think anything bad will happen, we live about 1-10th of a mile from the interstate. The exit ramp rolls up to within a couple of hundred feet of our house. it’s a 200 plus acre family farm and could easily keep us all but the location makes it almost worthless for surviving.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Can you camouflage your location with some combination of fences, trees, and shrubs? If you can look like a worthless abandoned lot you might be OK….

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Missy Steiger
October 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

Yes. Us too. We’re currently looking to sell and relocate but it’s a buyers market, not a sellers. We can but try. Also, we have some people we could possibly bring in with needed skills but I’m not sure if I want the baggage of the family that might be included. I also have a brother and his family who are Morman so I’m sure they’re ready but they live over an hour away and in a bad situation that can be like the other side of the country!

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Hilary
October 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

Having been through a major economic SHTF scenario in another country might I suggest that the idea of people swarming down the highway to your few acres is unlikely. It is much more likely that they swarm into the city as that is the best place to find another job, housing and government support. Living even several miles out in the country is enough to put off most people. Most people don’t think “I need food – food comes from the country – go find a farm.” Given that large numbers of children can’t even name a potato or cabbage in the garden it is much more likely they will think, “Need food – nearest shop, nearest distribution network – demand from the government – protest – riot”.

In our financial SHTF we moved from our 5 acres into the city, got part time and temporary work, got support from friends, bought enough food even if only just, were very cold sometimes in winter, couldn’t buy clothes as no money, but survived.

So unless it is a total TEOTWAWKI with no power, no water, etc for a long time I don’t think most will leave their comfortable/less than comfortable homes for the unknown. So I think any few acres well set up will work for 99.9% of the circumstances to come. Of course if you can get the ideal place, then go for it.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thanks But its not mobs from the city its the hunderds of people who moved out to the county, near my parents, from the city. the people are there and totally upprepared for a 3 day power outage, I saw that first hand after that hurricane last summer. There was one lady who couldent open her electric garage door with the release handle( never reaad the paper that hung on it) and couldnt charge her cell phone. Needless to say, she was out of food in 24 hours. Sadly theres lots of them.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1oujennysue
November 20, 2011 at 8:09 am

Missy, have you taken the Urban Survival in Place course on here? It has a lot of good information about getting out of town ahead of time and how to do it. I keep at least 20 gallons of gasoline stored, enough to get us to the place we have chosen to evacuate to if necessary. It’s also a good idea to keep your gas tanks full, never let them get below half a tank, in a SHTF situation, you don’t want to be in a long line at the gas station, you want to be on the road ahead of the hoards.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

All I can think of which is practical is to focus on making all of your preparations completely hidden (trap door under rug; false wall at back of closet; trap door under storage building out back; etc). Then when the zombies from the surrounding housing projects show up, invite them in and share what is visible but keep most invisible. Tell ’em you had a bad crop year; you have been living hand to mouth, etc. Send them away with some seed packets for their back yards.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
October 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Bob,

It’s very possible that they’re neither and would simply rather die than turn someone away.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Phineas
October 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

I find that firearms provide a reallyuseful way to distinguish between who’s serious and who’s not. Rather than discussing how much food one has, you can figure out who’s armed and who’s not. Even if someone has food, if they’re not armed they’ll probably have it taken from them. On the other hand, be careful of those who are armed but do not have any stored food — they’re likely to be coming after you!

Reply

+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Laurie Baker
October 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

David , I can’t thank you enough for your words of wisdom and read and re-read and try to process everything, so most of the time i find myself speechless until i have had time to do the processing, but do want you to know that i hang on every word and am extremely thankful that you take your time to help others like myself..much love and appreciation to you and yours.
Laurie B

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1mtnmedic1
October 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

In forming a group, I think it is vital to either find a well trained or become as well trained as possible a strong field Paramedic. This is someone who can be priceless if things go south for any extended period of time. A nurse could fill this slot but I prefer a medic simply because we are used to having to work with what we have in what ever environment we happen to be in. Nurses and doctors for that matter are used to working in a hospital setting where they have optimal lighting, sterile environments with adjustable beds and all the help and resources they could ever want or need. Medics on the other hand are used to working with what we bring on our own backs and utilizing whatever and who ever is available to make up the difference.
If you can find one in your area, especially one trained in multiple areas such as firearms and medicine or food prep I suggest you do everything possible to recruit them. Just my oppinion! God Bless

Reply

+4 Vote -1 Vote +1juan o aguirre jr
October 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

those that are armed are taking a huge step in the right direction and is the corner stone of being preparded and haveing food and first aid and other hygene products is a must but one must go with the other and if you have food and no gun or rifle your are f%*(&( and if you have a gun and no food you are f%(&( and you have both you are in good shape and just need to fine tune the processess and those who dont you are in some serious bull crap or denial and most americans today are to reliant on the govt to bail out their asses and parden the language but we have to START ACTING LIKE AMERICANS AND STOP WINING AND ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF PUSSIES PARDENT THE LANGUAGE BUT LETS GET REAL AND SERIOUS I AM!!!!!!!!! AND ALL OF YOU NEED TO BE TO.

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

For Walt: Even with a farm near Zombieland you can still defend it by purchasing a fence charger. In Amazon.com, look under “fence charger” & you`ll find several nice ones, including solar-powered chargers for a reasonable price. I am eying one that is 6-volt, 25-mile range complete with a solar panel for under $200 [zombies will not like this , though]. You put a sign outside the fence telling them it`s got juice & they`ll probably go somewhere else.

Reply

+3 Vote -1 Vote +1CaptTurbo
October 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Do you think the people will be too stupid to know how to short an electric fence? I used them on our farm when I was a kid and some of the pigs were smart enough to learn how to defeat them. They would roll large stones into the wires and then take a nice stroll where ever they wanted. Those pigs would soon become sausage but the point is that at least some of those “zombies” might be as smart as a pig.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I don’ think an elecrtic fence is gonna cut it. any one dumb enough to be scared away probably won’t be a problem. The running generator, that is a real concern. Can’t talk anyone into nice quiet solar anything. the farm being in a big bowl makes it pretty indefenceable. So you have hungry people wandering around following the sound of a giant generator wondering down the hills from all directions to a fully stocked place.

That sorta sums it up.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

My grand father bought the place in 1960 and planned to wait out a nuclear winter during the cold war. The place is great except the rural niebors are all yuppies in mc masions now

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 24, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Walt; I was trying to be Mr. Nice Guy with the electric fence thing, so piss on it! How about just laying out a lot of booby traps in the area you`d expect the zombies to enter the property. Dig a bunch of holes big enough for someone`s foot to fall in & catch a board full of large nails, & then camouflage the traps with the prevailing vegetation.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Missy Steiger
October 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

Unfortunately, all it takes is a pair of insulated wire cutters to deal with an electric fence. It’s a good 1st defense but I wouldn’t rely of it completely.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sue the frugal survivalist
October 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Addressing the issue of toilets and toilet paper raised by the young mother… Thrift stores commonly have very sturdy movable, tubular leg toilets intended for use by bedroom bound invalids. These have typical toilet seats and a plastic bowl underneath with a lid that can be closed to contain odors. These toilets are usually easily disasembled for storage and are relatively light enough for anyone to move. The toilet bowl slides out for easy emptying. I paid $5 for one that came with instructions and looked brand new. It’s now stored with my survival supplies .Sure beats a bucket. Cheaper, too.

Cody Lundin’s book, ” When All Hell Breaks Loose ” covers toilet hygiene problems in depth. He’s obviously had real experience with problems in this area. One suggestion he had is that an extensive paperback collection not only provides entertainment in a long term survival situation, but also can be used as toilet paper. Surprisingly, I’d never thought of that !

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1dans-in-co
October 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I knew that I should have bought Hillary Clinton’s book “It takes a village” the other
day at the librarys used book sale! Heck, they had Barack Hussein Obama, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Bill Moyers, all kinds of good Toilet Paper books!

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jon
October 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Pets for 40 days. Do not forget about them and having supplies to feed them. A good dry food is best. I have two 12-gal trashcans with lids for storing pet food. I use all of one, then rotate, while refilling the first. That way, there is always a 40+ day supply. For survival, avoid getting “organic” or “natural” blends which have a very short shelf life. A point to remember as well, is that very few emergency shelters, whether government or non-profit, can or will accept pets. In most cases, their answer to any pet arriving is a bullet. Some small pets, like rodents, may be able to be released to the wild. For others for which you cannot well provide, well, you will have a hard decision to make.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Linda
October 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

So glad you wrote something about pets. I talked to a lady that does earthquake seminars and some for FEMA and one day I called her to ask if she knew of any shelters for pets. I think she misunderstood me or I phrase it wrong because I meant shelter with guardian and pet shelter, she said that during Katrina, people who had their pets in shelters were given to poachers for lab experiments unknowingly. They would say, yes, that’s my cat or dog and the shelter would release them to that person until they got wise to it… the suggestion she made to me is to carry a picture of your pet together with you and that would be your I.D. and your pet feline or canine that way there would be not mistake that the pet belongs to you. The only way I can see this working is if all the shelters had this restriction before they released any animal to a person. I was so shocked when I heard those sweet innocent animals were given for experiment. I wouldn’t know what to do when the time came if they ran out of food, release them so they can hunt for food or let them starve while we watch them die. What do we do then when they run out of food. It’s a a decision that I wouldn’t even want to think about. I thought about a shot to put them to sleep but where would we get one to do that ? I couldn’t handle any of it. 🙁

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
October 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Linda,

I can confidently say that pets weren’t systematically given to “poachers” for “lab experiments.” That just sounds way too much like an urban legend. I could see the possibility of that happening once or twice, but it just doesn’t pass the smell test.

David

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1okiewife
October 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I have saved my phone books for the past several years with the idea that they may come in handy to replace toilet paper. I am old enough to remember the Sears catalog in the little house out back, and phone books seem like a suitable substitute.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Melba
October 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

on the subject of toilet paper…I save all the phone books in case we run out of toilet paper so we can use them. As kids my mom saved the Sears Roebuck catalogs for that very purpose.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Terry
October 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Great GREAT article!

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1chuck
October 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

one thing about using 5 gallon buckets for toilets make sure to stock up on lime.also save all you can save fireplace ash to cover smell

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Thinker
October 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

What do you do with your old telephone books? Throw them away? No, silly, they might not be as nice as Charmin Ultra, but they don’t take up much room. There are actually two problems to consider about flushing a toilet – one is a lack of water, but the other is a longer term situation with no power to pump the sewerage, or a break in the sewerage line itself. A couple of cases of baby wipes from Costco, Sam’s Club or Walmart would be in my stockpile with a small child, for sure. BTW, cases of toilet paper make excellent insulation for your attic – solves two problems at once… One of the best barter goods to have.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mike Harlow
October 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I have tried two meetings with the like minded. First time two showed up and one was a liberal. The second time four showed up. I don’t think very many are aware of the impending danger so they are not sufficiently scared yet. Because of this skeptical, foot dragging, apathy, I believe the majority of the population is going to become a very real threat to the rest of us. When the supply chain fails and the food runs out, it will get very dangerous very fast. The most dangerous time of our lives will be the first month of starvation or the second day of no water. Usually after 3 or 4 days, your stomach stops producing acid and the hunger stops. You just have less and less energy. After three days without water, you are homicidal. Then you’re dead. Get a filter and several 7 gallon stackable juggs. Why not a big barrel? Sure you can roll it but can you put it in a car or truck by yourself? Same goes for huge plastic or metal containers of food. All my stuff can be loaded by me alone if indeed it comes to that and it might. Ammo is heavy. Small ammo cans are do-able. 20mm cans are not. I tried. Try to imagine life without TP or Kotex. Stock up. A flush toilet without water doesn’t work. If you stored gobs of water, (swimming pool)just fill the tank before using and flush when done. Sooner or later, electricity will disappear. Have a way to cook (propane, wood, sterno, butane, charcoal). Good Luck, Overdog

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Miss Kitty
October 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

I’m not sure what you mean by your comment “and one was a liberal.” It sounds like you think “liberals” are inferior or a problem in some way? Perhaps you would care to explain what you meant. In any case, prepping really shouldn’t be about conservative vs. liberal vs. independent or whatever. It’s about being grounded in reality and being willing to take personal responsibility to care for yourself and your loved ones. There are plenty of people (more every day, it seems) who are seeing the reality of their own vulnerability in our fragile national infrastructure, and they are taking actions to prepare — and a lot of them are “liberal” or middle of the road, politically speaking. This is about willingness to see the truth and break through the denial the culture and mass media has tried to lull us ALL into for the past 50 years or so. This is not about political orientation. I know liberals who have a gun for self-defense, for example, and others who are prepping very thoroughly. So please do not perpetuate stereotypes that are not true and only serve to create animosity as opposed to unity. United we stand …

Otherwise I think your suggestions are excellent ones. Peace, brother.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

The “Liberal” perspective (as the political term is used in the US; different meanings elsewhere) typically includes the concept of “entitlement”. Every individual is entitled to food, water, shelter, and clothing. This perspective is not consistent with personal survival, which centers on the idea of personal responsibility. Survival is about staying away from government shelters, not embracing them. It is about staying “under the radar” of both unruly mobs and government bureaucrats who “want to help”.

Given a liberal who rejects the concept of entitlement, then no problem. There is plenty of room for differences in political opinion. For example, I suspect there are differences among those on this site regarding the “war on terror” and the general issue of foreign involvement of US troops. Many, including myself, might appear as “peace-nicks”, and thus might appear “Liberal” in that way. So let’s stay focused and NOT discuss such things. But a sense of entitlement — that someone else is responsible for your health and well being — is not consistent with survival.

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Pat
October 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm

The only way 3 people can keep a secret is if 2 of them are dead. Don’t brag, or boast about what you have when SHTF.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Old dog
October 21, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Groups are the way to go. Just rmember the two most important considerations, its not what they have or what they know. It boils down to who do you realy and truly trust and who do you actually like and get along with even in hard times. I have friends with lots of stuff and even a daughter who arnot invited to our group, hard times call for hard decisions

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1abeam
October 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

We live full-time in our motor home and not any extra space to store supplies. Any suggestions?

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 22, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I can think of two. Even a small 5×5 self storage unit can store a lot of stuff. You have to consider temperature, however, so you may want to get one in a more northern part of the US. Other possibility directly relates to the subject of this article. Is there a family member or close friend who owns a house who would allow you to put a small storage shed on their property for a price? Anyone you trust with property?

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

roof rack or trailer. I do some real long comutes to work sometimes, 3-31/2 hours one way and I make sure no matter what I’m getting home. I drive a big old suburban stuffed with stuff!

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
October 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

David: I have saved many 2-litre bottles from soda pop, carefully washed out inside and out, carefully dried. I have filled most of them with filtered water from our Culligan filtered faucet.I fill them and put the date on them with tape. I, also, seal the lids with lots of ample packaging tape. However, I have a question. When I open these cleaned bottles to fill them, I smell the “gas” from the soda pop that was contained in them previously. I don’t mind this, but I am wondering if this “gas” that is left would be enought to keep the water safe from bacteria. If not, we will use new eyedroper at time of needing to drink water to drop 1 or two drops of bleach that says it will disinfect. What do you think? Is it really necessary to use bleach if there is some smell of “gas” in the bottle when we open it? I have always understood that this “gas” had the secondary benefit of keeping microbes out of soda pop.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I would think that any gas or flavor or any other indication of the soda that formerly was in the bottles is a bad sign, not a good sign. An open bottle of pop will not keep. As a general rule, water should only be stored in containers intended for the purpose that have never had anything else in them.. The bleach may save you, so don’t eliminate it.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Howie
October 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Keep the water filled bottles for other uses. The water could always be used for cleaning or septic purposes. You will always find some use for it. So! your labor has not been in vain!

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1MajorDad
February 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Empty 2-liter soda bottles are excellent for storing water agter being thoroughly cleaned. In my experience, I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon of unscented bleach to each bottle that I have filled with filtered HOT water. The extra few drops of bleach will help ensure the water stays potable. If you fill the soda bottles with hot water and seal it with the original cap, as the water cools it will contract and form a seal that is simular (but not as sure) as that in a canning process. It will suffice though to last a year or so. I suggest that all water containers be rotated, i.e. either used or emptied at least once a year, dried out and then refilled with treated fresh water. I try to rotate half my stock every six months. I know this works by experience as twice in my life we have had to depend on our water storage to get by. Once when the pump to our well went out on Christmas Eve (try getting a new pump installed quickly in the winter, and worst of all over the Christmas / New Years holidays when no one want to work), and the other time when we living in the Mohave desert and a water main that fed the housing area we lived in broke. We all were without water for almost two months before it was repaired. Most of our neighbors had to depend on store bought water. (We thank God that it happened during a time when stores were still functioning and they could buy what they needed) We survived on our stored water and saved a ton of money during that time. I mention these two instances to show that the stored 2 liter bottle system works. BTW – we also have larger storage containers as well, but we transfer the water into the two liter bottles because they are easier to handle in the kitchen and bathroom sinks for washing and pouring water out of. 3 – 5 gal containers work well for filling and flushing toilets.
I hope our experience can help give others some ideas about water storage.

Reply

+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Hujonwi
October 22, 2011 at 12:26 am

One thing to remember about using phone books or other magazines for toilet paper is to wad it up, very tight, then straighten it back out and wad it up again. Do this numerous times and it ends up being quite soft. Trick I learned in the US Navy when the ship I was on ran out of toilet paper…

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Grandma "Pol"
October 22, 2011 at 12:53 am

Does anyone have any suggestions for a substitute for adult Depends and incontinence pads? What will paralyzed people, who are preppers too, do for this need? Thanks for any advice, and God bless all here!

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa
October 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Make those items part of your supply. As a female prepper, I have a years supply of tampons and kotex pads. I do reccommend purchasing plasic underwear and reuusable padded cloth for the inside. We have not always had Depends or Huggies and our ancestors had things figured out. God Bless

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Hilary
October 24, 2011 at 2:00 am

It depends on whether the person is bedridden or not. Back in the 1960s when we had an old persons’ home incontinent old people slept in nightdresses that had a slit down the back and their bottom would be on a second piece of sheeting over a piece of rubber sheeting. We would change them, sometimes six times a day if that was necessary (something I would help with as a 13 year old). We would have a commode for each old person. This is a portable potty set under a toilet seat on a chair, with a lid to keep out most of the smells for the short time while you put them back to bed and before you emptied it. They would be regularly lifted onto the commode and if we were lucky we could avoid many of the wet beds. If not, we would just change them, uncomplainingly, yet again.

Alternatively, and for those who were not confined to bed, you would have to make adult diapers and change and wash them as required.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sailorman Andy
October 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

Great article.
There’s probably a lot here that many haven’t addressed. I doubt that the problem we are struggling with is really that unique, but has become an issue we find troubling. Over the years, even before we became really serious preppers, we have been fortunate to usually have an abundance with what we grow, and have shared with our neighbors. The majority in our neighborhood either don’t have a clue as to what may happen, don’t want to know, and think that I’m some sort of “nut case” when I try to broach the subject of preparedness.
Our problem that, we have yet to find a solution for, is how to deal with those that I’ve talked to but fail to prepare for themselves. We have inadvertantly made ourselves a target by our past generosity. How we deal with those we care about when they come for a handout, after refusing to prepare for themselves, is extremely difficult for us especially since we have prepared over the years for long term survival ourselves. Any thoughts about this situation ? Most will have nothing we may need, so barter isn’t much of a consideration. We do not plant a garden, but raise our produce to use as we consume, in our greenhouse, so work in the garden is not a barter item. We need help to arrive at a solution that we can live with.
For God, Family, and Country. Andy

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
October 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

For short term survival, I don’t think there is much you can do. You are pretty much forced to support these people at subsistence level. So you might as well figure out how to do that at minimum cost and plan how to remain in control. I’m planning to distribute rice and dried pinto beans. In 25 or 50 pound bags, they are cheap as sin.

For longer term survival, you can have extra seeds available to distribute.

We can hope that they will wake up slightly before things get really bad and be able to pull a little weight. Your example might encourage them to start acting when others are still catatonic.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Dave's Last Resort
October 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

@”not any extra space to store supplies.” Solve that and then you can ask a bunch more questions. If you are stationary, build a shed or rent a storage unit. If you are mobile, get a trailer. Pay attention to the news so you have a couple days warning. FerFal’s book on the 2001 collapse in Argentina is EXCELLENT for all readers here. Search Amazon for “FerFal”

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robby777
October 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm

It’s the hard decisions that you will have to make when TSHTF that may make you psychotic. Mental preparedness is to often overlooked. The second is advertising when TSHTF. If you are seen to be too clean, too well fed and clothed; then you are making yourself a big target. Too much signage such as “protected by Smith & Wesson” is also not smart. Low key is the password, since most of us will have to servive in place. Open barter is risky since you are showing part of what you have. If you have something to barter, the criminal will know you have more tucked away.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Lana
October 22, 2011 at 11:10 pm

First aid…be prepared for injuries or major wounds. Purchase Quick Clot for stopping bleeding. It’s also available for pets. I purchased mine on Amazon.com. My research says it has a shelf life of three years. This does not necessarily mean you will not need a doctor but, could save you or your pet’s life. Stay vigilant!

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1oujennysue
November 20, 2011 at 8:21 am

Superglue is invaluable as well for treating cuts that might otherwise need stitches.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 1:58 am

Actually, superglue was developed for just that (during the Viet Nam war). But it was found that it would also seal in bacterial & caused infection to be so bad that it was discontinued. Use with caution, only after a good cleaning of the wound, & monitor closely.

Reply

+2 Vote -1 Vote +1lisa
October 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I wanted to add, I asked some of my neighbors if they plan on doing anything…(without letting on I am)…

Some neighbors are, and have water,food etc set to the side like me….Others just laughed at me like I was nuts.

The neighbors that are prepared know that if something happens they have me as a trade partner(and vice versa) As far as the people who laughed at the question(who don’t know what I am doing) They are on their own…..They are oblivious to what the ones of us who are preparing are doing. And I feel bad for them, but its their choice.

I know this is cruel, I do give to my local food pantries, but I also prep for my family. as living in Colorado never knowing when a heavy snow is coming…winter prep is normal anyway, but I do it anyway due to military family members and having experience with being in tight spots. I call it “starvation insurance”….

I help out my fellow citizens, but I do keep a survival nest egg just for my family, and I don’t plan on sharing it. I will however trade though if need be. It boils down to the thought process of “How can I pay my neighbors rent if I can’t pay my own” and having two small kids, I am not willing to watch them starve because people who could of prepared, chose not to…I wont be quilted into trading my families survival for the elevation of guilt imposed by people who believe the world is rosy and perfect.

I am not an extremist, but I do have at least 6 months of water and 3 months of dry goods down stairs, while having 3 months of frozen goods, and 3 months of dry/canned goods plus another 6 months of water upstairs. I keep it well hidden out of site and well organized. In this day and age one must take care of themselves. I wish I had more neighbors who where like all of us, but there is only a hand full of us spread out, we share tools and trade services like construction for electrical or child care for plumbing etc. The rest just kinda laugh at us for the way we share our time with each other, while sleeping with their doors unlocked. In a society with a declining economic situation, having people you can trade with and depend on in my opinion is your best asset besides preparation.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Chris
October 24, 2011 at 8:44 am

Can you tell what to do if you have no one is around you can trust and no family around or you can get into a group? They think we are nuts. We have stocked up on stuff (told no one about it.) And it it just the two of us and we are older in our mid 60’s.And it’s up to me because my husband is not well in his mind and is unable to help. And I know only the fit survive. I have some what of a plan, but it’s not the best at this point.
Any advice would be of help.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jarhead
October 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hi Chris; You are doing real good just to keep a stiff lip. You might could go to church to meet other people such as yourself. It would take some time to develop trust among yourselves before you can begin dropping a few occasional hints to get on the same page.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1walt
October 24, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Maybe start looking at finding a church. Some churches are kinda lame and its kinda( Jesus loves me so everyone can kiss my back side. Others are all about each other and being there for each other. I can’t tell you where to look or what to look for , But I can tell you you may be surprised what you may find, besides religion.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tessa
October 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Hold the TP panic button! Phone books and newspapers use water soluable ink. Soak the ink off in a bucket of water, add a few drops of liquid soap. Rip off a screen from one of your windows or have screen stored (rolled up) in your grab n go bag. If the paper breaks down completely, pour off the ink, rinse, let settle, repeat until you can live with it. Then pour the pulp onto the screen and let dry. If the paper hangs together for you, lay it on the screen to dry. TP panic solved. Paperback ink doesn’t break down as easy so use as is. A great use for liberal books that are helping drive us to economic disaster!

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
October 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Hi Tessa,

Thanks for the tip, but you can just use the phone books “straight”…without getting the ink off. Just wad them up and unkrinkle them and you’re good to go.

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Mary
October 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I think anyone under 50 has only seen chamber pots in antique stores. We had a metal pot with handle and lid that slipped under the bed at night. We kids took turns taking the pot to the outhouse to empty each morning. Thank goodness times have changed. I just wish I had paid attention to how mom did everything from canning to washing clothes by hand to baking bread to heating and cooking with the coal stove…. Oh well, maybe it will all come back to me when I need it. I really really really don’t want to ever hoe corn again!

Reply

+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig
October 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for everything David. Did Suvival in Place last year and just finished 40 days and 40 nights. Both are well worth the money and time, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Again your timing is impeccable, I’ve been contemplating discussing Prep with my neighbor for the last week. I have also been thinking about asking my Pastor about a disaster preparedness discussion group at church. I’m no expert but after the 2 courses I think I may be able to help like minded people and I know some of the “old timers” would have a wealth of knowledge I could use (canning). I just can’t think of a way to broach the subject, I’ll pray on it but if you have any suggestions feel free. Thanks again for all you do.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Dug In
November 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Craig,
I would really like to encourage you to get your church together and talk with them. I talked with a church that I have been going to for years. At first I was reluctant. My approach was to encourage them to store up in case of bad weather. When I did my presentation, I included alot of preparedness ideas.Explaining to them in detail, my ideas. Apower point works great. Living in the mountains of Colorado, anything can happen at any time. Up to this point I’ve done two presentations for them, and each time there was about thirty to forty people. They were more interested the second time, bringing many questions. I’ve done about twenty all total. Leraning more myself, each time. This will open the door for you to find those who will be ready to make accountability groups. I have taught wilderness survival classes for adults and kids for about 15 years. Even though you might not have alot of experience, the desire will take you where you need to go. If nothing else you can learn from those who have input into your session. Thereby building trust within the group. Leave a post on how it goes !! Blessings.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Donna
October 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

A good church to visit to begin finding other preppers might be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. (and please, let us not debate theology here) But we have had an emphasis on preparedness for many years. Not all will have followed the counsel, of course, but many have to some degree. Also, you can get information about the local Bishop’s Storehouse. This is available to non-members, and is an inexpensive way to get bulk food supplies. We volunteered not too long ago at ours and learned that many in the community were utilizing this resource.

Thanks to David and to all for all of your great ideas! I will be consulting this advice again and again. I live in the Northeast and we were without power for 6 days after Tropical Storm Irene. We have food storage and camping supplies (the basics), but it was a wake-up call to upgrade, get better organized, and fill in the gaps. We would have been OK on our own, but due to the generosity of our neighbor (offered, not solicited), we had power from his generator 2x a day to run our frig. And the use of his extra propane grill & burner was very nice. We still had water because we are on a small homeowner water association system and my husband, as president, had pushed to have generator back up put in some years back. We were also lucky in that the weather was quite mild at that time, and power was available in nearby communities and so at friends.

So homeowners associations and local community groups are also good ways to get to know your neighbors and learn about who you can count on.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Alan Wolin
October 31, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I had a chuckle about the toilet paper issue. My wife and I have not sat on a toilet seat in about 15 years. We squat over the john–much healthier and much less need for toilet paper. I never spend more then one or two minutes on the john.
The butt tightens up–just like an animal, after a month or two, and most of the time the first sheet used is almost clean. That is the way nature intended it. And you will not get any hemmeroids (probably mis-spelled) either. Dig a hole and cover it after each use with dirt–yes you will be cold in the snow, but it is doable and you will not be sitting on a seat for 1/2 hour reading. Most of the world does not know what a toilet seat is.

Pets do not have the need for toilet paper and neither will you after a few months of natural elimination. You will need strong legs and it gets easier the more that you do it.; Put your elbows on your thighs.

The gentlemen who suggested camping or boy scout camping was right on it.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1Shellie
June 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Alone or group? Hum….. boy do we feel alone, especially being African American. Wish we could move but can’t. Owe more than my house is worth, so I can’t sell it. We (hubby+2 teens) feel stuck. Don’t trust anybody in my community to talk to about what we are doing. It wouldn’t be a wise thing.
We are learning so much from reading articles here and the comments. Been prepping for about 6-8 months now. I am concern about our safety when the time comes. We do, however, have some form of protection. It’s just my family. No other family to trust like that. Different morals and standards. I’m afraid that the people who will suffer the most will be my people. We feel so helpless. But still, for us……… this is a lonely place to be.

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1John
June 16, 2012 at 3:31 am

Shellie, not all white people are devils! I spent most of my life in the Army, luckily in a unit that was all green, some were just a lighter shade or darker shade. What I dislike most about civilian life is all the “separate but equal” that still exists. A smile and a willingness to communicate is the best way to break down those doors.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: