{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Rick Struchko
February 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

David, I attended last night’s webinar but was expecting to hear from some experts in the field of escape and evasion. I am a former military instructor who taught just that to young Lt’s. Included in that training was knowing how to search someone in a manner that insured (without doing a body cavity search) that they were not hiding anything that could potentially harm you.
One thing that I stressed is to never trust anyone you don’t personally know. Even if they look like a someone that can be trusted, such as law enforcement or military. They too need to survive and will take advantage of their abilities and your trust to rob or kill you in order to feed their families.
The comments were generally pretty good but I would have liked to hear from someone who does this for a living.
Keep up the good work, David and thanks
Rick

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hey Rick,

I apologize if there was any misunderstanding…the call was on strategies to protect yourself financially from a decline in the dollar.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Mary
February 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I plan to store my food in black plastic bags inside trash cans with wheels.
I’m looking for some way to “throw off a stink” when someone opens the lids.
My food would be in cans.

Any Suggestions?

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
February 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Going off of David’s “Grey Man” ideology, you can create a front with the trash can idea (which I think is a pretty good idea) by putting your cans in a garbage bag with empty cans/boxes so it appears perhaps like the bag is full of used food containers. Then, add to that with other garbage bags filled with soiled refuse that may be common to your area, such as dirty diapers, some old meat or other “garbage”. While all the stuff would be enclosed in separate garbage bags, crappy diapers and old meat will raise one hell of a stink and with all hope no one will bother rooting thru several bags of rotting garbage to get to the treasure beneath. Flies and maggots may even add to the puke factor. Just a thought.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Torbjörn "Sweden"
February 26, 2011 at 5:43 am

Take two eggs and pick a hole with a needle,put em in a plastic bag and wait two weeks that will doit

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Vote -1 Vote +1Cindy
February 26, 2011 at 6:59 am

We have dogs, though we bag the ‘deposits’ there is always a stink from our can. It won’t take much. Could be more ‘stink’ than you wanted but it would work.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
February 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

For a stink try smearing butter on the inside of the lid. By butter I mean butter – not oleomargerine. The butter will spoil and become rancid fairly quickly and release buteric acid. The odor will be quite unpleasant and pervasive.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tricia
March 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I have found the best way to store extra food is an old gutted refridgerator, bury it in the ground with the doors up, make sure the door seals are in good shape. Its insulated so heat and cold is not a big problem. It works great as a root cellar. Cover it with straw or other items so it can’t be seen. I have a black berry patch ( thorns included) that I am putting one right in the middle of.

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Vote -1 Vote +1SammiD
February 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

David, thank you so much for bringing us all the survival suggestions and advice. I have an unusual problem…..I live in the largest house on the block, which makes us a target. Our home is a well-kept old victorian…it looks nice and neat and clean. We are not rich or even close to it, but our home makes us look prosperous. We are only myself, my husband and granddaughter and are surviving on about 30K a year. (barely keeping our heads above water)
We live in a small town of about 5000, yet each month we are approached by people asking for handouts or for small jobs so they can earn a couple of dollars. I know that in a survival situation our home will be a target, because we are already being targeted. My husband is in denial about the entire world situation and won’t even discuss the problem, let alone the fact that we are sitting ducks in the event of a melt-down.
There is no one else in my family who will recognize the signs and see the danger. I feel like my little granddaughter and I are on our own and I am very afraid.
I cannot leave as there is nowhere else to go. What can I do to make our home safer and less of a target?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Gary
February 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

Do as much as you can to cause the place to look like it’s in trouble. Let the grass get too high. Let the Shrubery grow too much. Don’t necessarily keep up with yard and front of the house maintenance. Let the car stay dirty. Better yet, Buy a relatively able vehicle that is beat up. In other words… DO NOT PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY BEST. Best advice… Pray Without Ceasing!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Meinhardt
February 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

Become undesirable, Put signs on the doors that say “Danger, Active AIDS paitent” . Get a few bio Hazard bags and fill them with bloody bandages , (put some katchup on them, the flys will love it ), throw them out on the porch by the door. Looters will think twice about taking anything or breaking in your house.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Chuck
February 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

Bill;

I like your outside-the-box idea. The only downside I can foresee would be someone deciding that, instead of robbing the house, to just burn it down. That could be a problem, especially with an old wooden Victorian-style construction.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra M.
February 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Instead of having grass in the front or back yards….plant herbs and edible weed-looking plants! Try to do it in a somewhat haphazard manner so the plants “look” like weeds, but are instead something you can harvest and store your use. Some of these are medicinal in manner and would Definately be something to have with some training on your part as to how to use them.
Just my two cents-worth.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm

This may or may not work, depending on your neighborhood covenants…but it’s a great idea if you can do it.

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
February 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm

When the time comes, doing things like littering your yard with what may appear to be scrap may throw off the scent. Putting an old fridge or other appliance (or two) out on the lawn, maybe have a couple of crappy cars sitting on cinderblocks with a tranny laying next to them, and busting up some of the fencing or siding on the house a little bit to make it look like hell has already made its way to the property may help. Better yet, it might even help to have a couple of beater cars on hand that can be prepped for this duty when the time comes so the locals don’t smell a rat when suddenly a couple of junkers show up in your back yard. It could look like someone cannibalized the cars in the chaos and kept moving. I think one of the past urban survival posts mentioned the idea of intentionally trashing the property a bit to make it look like looters already passed thru so future looters may pass the property by too. I especially like the high grass idea, makes the place look empty.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Gabby
March 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Sammi D, for starters, prepare on your own, stock ply food and water, as for your house, you may have to leave it, the junk car on blocks is a good one to hide a car that runs but looks disabled, As for your husband if he won’t side with you, you’ll have to do it on your own. It took me some time to convince my wife and now shes fully behind my preperations and adding he input. Teach your grandchild, depending on her age make it a game. Go camping and forget things to test out rations and shelters. Fi you can not use a junk car due to your spouse’s lack of forthought, buy a few good bikes for escape but also to keep the whole family in shape. A good bike can carry close to 300 lbs or more, just push them along, The VC in Vietnam used them all the time to move supplies.
Good luck and God Bless

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Vote -1 Vote +1sootsme
March 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm

If your junk car(s) are the same as a/some running one(s), you also have a source of parts to keep one running…

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Vote -1 Vote +1Nomad Janet
March 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Do you have close friends or other family that you could ask to join you in your big house? Just a thought. It might be a financial and security boost to you and your friend or family member. It is much easier to survive as a collective in times of caos. Also think of friends or family members that may have skills that would help in survival situation. We live in a rural area we have contacted family members who live in the city who have some useful skills and also some needs and let them know that we are planning. They are planning what things they can add to our “compound”.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jim@Trails End
February 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

I was taught from an early age “never sell tools”.. “take care of tools”

My Dad was approached quite often for loans of small sums of money, he often loaned money and took tools as collateral. when he died several years ago I inherited several sets of tools that were never re-claimed. I still have tools that I bought 60 years ago. They will be handed down to my son.
“How to Books” are also a tool that can help a family to “Survive in Place”

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Vote -1 Vote +1A. Gabriel
February 25, 2011 at 8:43 am

Dave, thanks so much for all the useful information that might save our lives one day. We are beginning to do some of what you suggest but we need to move faster and do more. . .

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Vote -1 Vote +1joyce
February 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

In addition to food preps and learning food preservation methods for future I have decided to educate my self on herbalism. I came to this realization after thinking about what would happen if there were no access to a doctor or emergency services in a crisis situation. And it is a skill that can be traded.

I have also been giving thought to the sort/type or skill set that I would be willing to allow to ‘share’ my space and preps if the SHTF. This is a work in progress, but at the top of the list so far is a medical person followed by farmer and a person with weapons skills of one kind or another (archery, sword, guns, martial arts). These skills require that I know how to determine who is ‘blowing smoke’ and who is the genuine article. A bit of reading and self educating may help spot proficency hopefully combined with the common sense and intuition to spot the people with the correct mind set.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra M.
February 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I too am looking into herbal medicine. I was a new LVN/LPN and just starting in my chosen field before hereditary disease stopped me cold. It hasn’t stopped my desire to do something in medicine. I’ve taken some survival courses thru the Boy Scouts of America. There was a Dr in the course with me and alot of people said they wanted the Dr with them if it all crashes. The Dr said He would rather have a paramedic! His reason: paramedics are specialists in triage in some really odd and dangerous situations….Dr’s are trained in hospitals or private practice and don’t neccesarily know how to respond to those situations. His words not mine.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Hujonwi
February 26, 2011 at 2:25 am

you have a good point. my brother is a former US Navy Corpsman with the USMC who is now a Physicians Assistant… That’s who I want by my side…

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dave in Calif
February 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

Yes, keep all the hand tools, hand drills, saws, files and planes and stones to keep them sharp, maybe even set up a blacksmith forge that runs by hand. some of these skills could be traded for food, like in the old days before electricity. Barter coiuld be the wave of the future so to speak.

Dave

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rev.J.M.Chance
February 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Food storage has been a priority, as well as ammo, medical supplies and alternative energy. Barter items have also been included in our stockpile. From dice and games to liquor( which I don’t drink) We have purchased some extra items that we keep in our bugout bags as barter items such as magnesium fire starters, survival knives, bota bags and water purification tablets. I agree that barter will be the wave of the future! God bless!

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Reverend…whether you know it or not, you probably have one of the most valuable post-disaster skills available, which is counseling and an understanding of psychology.

Besides the obvious benefit of being able to give people peace about eternity, your skillset is a big one that I talk about developing in my Urban Survival Bartering and Negotiating book.

After a disaster, the ability to help people quickly and efficiently work through pain, suffering, and loss is an incredible force multiplier…especially if you can combine it with a swift kick in the butt at the right time to get people to stop licking their wounds and get busy. It could mean the difference between having a group of 20 people where 5 non-functioning walking mentally paralyzed zombies that some of the other 15 functioning people have to take care of and having a fully functioning group of 20 people.

In many cases, it’s a simple matter of imparting the skill and discipline of having a positive mental attitude. Again, being the reverend, you have the ability to help people have a positive mental attitude through more than just skill and discipline. Feel free to chime in on this 🙂

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Vote -1 Vote +1J. Blair
February 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

I have heard the mention of food storage many times. But there is one tip all can do. When you empty a milk jug, fill it with water and store it in the attic, under the floor or wherever you have room. It cost nothing, and gives me some peace of mind that I am doing something to prepare for the unknown.
There was an excellent TV show on about three years ago that best highlighted what I’m afraid Americans are going to experience. To this day, I think it was cancelled because it began to clue citizens in as to, “hey, this can happen here”. The name of the show was “Jerrico”. Check it out. There may be places you can watch the old episodes. First season was great.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Gary
February 25, 2011 at 10:13 am

and don’t forget some form of water purification. A gallon of household bleach can make very many gallons of water drinkable. Also be sure those jugs do not get any sunlight on them as they are UV sensitive and will crack.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill Meinhardt
February 25, 2011 at 10:42 am

If you have unused freezer space , freeze the jugs of water . Remember to leave about 10% of the jug empty so the ice will not crack the jug when it expands.

This serves two purposes, one all you have to do to drink the water is thaw it out and it will stay fresh indefinatly.

Two, this adds mass to replace the air space in your freezer and the frozen mass will take much longer to thaw , thus preserving your food longer if you lose power.

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Vote -1 Vote +1sootsme
March 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Thank you, Sam. I haven’t ever seen this before, but an excellent tip.

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Vote -1 Vote +1SAM
February 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

I have been using milk jugs to store sugar and rice. Both pour nicely and hold a good amount. I try to buy proper food storage containers when I can but until then I buy the food and use the jugs.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Jessy Sharper
March 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

I’ve seen a few people suggest using old milk jugs for storage and I would advise against it. The milk gets into the plastic and it’ll spoil the water you store in it. Plus the soft plastic breaks down quickly. A better idea is large soda bottles. And because they’re clear they can also be set out in the sun to purify water you’re not sure about.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 10:59 am

Hey J,

Before you start storing milk jugs refilled with water in your attic, you might want to store a couple at ground level for a year or so and try drinking them. There’s a couple of issues here…milk jugs are much more difficult to clean than soda bottles or containers that are made specifically for water. If you don’t get all of the milk residue out of the container, you’re going to have to deal with it 12, 24, or 36 months later when you go to drink your water.

Second, milk jugs are made to break down (degrade) WAY too quickly for my comfort. This is most pronounced when they’re exposed to sunlight, but I wouldn’t trust milk jugs in my attic, unless you also keep the jugs in a waterproof container.

Jericho is a really neat series…not a ton of lessons, but it’s great for starting conversations, creating situations to game, and thinking about what you need to put into place now to be prepared to go through the situations they pose. If you get a Netflix account for $8?? per month, you can get the series mailed to you on DVD.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce
February 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

I agree, my experience with milk jugs (I know it seems really handy, but…) has not been good. As you say they are made, it seems, to break down. Soda (pop) bottles are better, anything from the 20 oz’ers to the two liter. I also store water in the gallon containers ‘Arizona Tea’ products come in, they are heavy duty, etc. I have a couple I carry in the pickup every time I go out of town, to Alaska and back, etc and have used them that way for several years, replacing the water periodically of course, and they have stood up well.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 25, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I also prefer to avoid milk jugs, I do use them to keep non-potable, bleach treated bathing, toilet water as it’s handy, but not for drinking water. They go in the basement and seem to hold up well for a year or two. Soda bottles are excellent, but also can get contaminated. I prefer to just keep bottled distilled water on hand from walmart. 88 cents a pop, for an extra 9 bucks a week you can come upto speed very quickly , and out of the light in a safely stored manner, they last well, mostly forever. for water you want to avoid the attic anyway, you want a relativity temperature controlled area, basements and crawl spaces are great.
Blessings,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1wendy
February 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm

These are a couple things I have learned recently where water storage is concerned, hope it is helpful!

* It is recommended 1 gal. of water per person per day. 1/2 gal. for pets per day.
* Store water in food grade or PETE plastic containers. Ex. Juicey Juice. Stay away from milk jugs. Soda bottles are ok.
* Store away from light and heat.
* Clean, sanitize and rinse prior to use.
* Use a variety of sizes to suit a situation or need.
* Do not store on directly on concrete. Put a layer of cardboard down or use a wood pallet etc. to form a barrier.
* Boil water if possible to clean water otherwise use unscented household liquid bleach to kill microorganisms as follows :

1 Qt. water add 2 drops of bleach. add 4 drops if the water is cloudy
1 Gallon add 8 drops of bleach. add 16 ” ” ”
5 Gallons add 1/2 tsp. add 1 tsp. ” “

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dr Bubba
February 27, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Point of information: commercial bleach (Chlorox, etc.) is a 12% solution at manufacture. The shelf life of bleach isn’t as long as one might think, and by the time it reaches the store shelf it has already begun to degrade and lose strength. Don’t assume you’re using full strength bleach for decon purposes unless you know its manufacture date. Degraded bleach will still decon, but it won’t be as effective as bleach at full strength. Point being, it’s not possible to store bleach for very long before it loses its efficacy as a decon agent.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dorothy
March 3, 2011 at 12:20 am

Wendy,

Those are great guidelines, but I would just like to tweak it a bit if you don’t mind.

In tough times, you will need a lot more water per person per day. To stave off dehydration (a killer), stress and shock (another killer) You will need at a minimum:

1 gal. pure water for drinking
1 gal. pure drinking water for reconstituting dehydrated foods, coffee, tea, etc.
1 gal. pure drinking water for cooking
1 gal. clean water for washing dishes, pots, utensils
1 gal. clean water for sponge bath for hygiene
1 gal. clean water for washing clothes as needed

This water will go much more quickly than you think. I do know from personal experience when I actually lived the camping life for a year and a half; no running water, oil lamps, no electric, porta-potti, etc. where every drop consumed had to be carried in and every drop of waste had to be carried out.

It may also be very wise to stock extra water now just because sources say that water. food, and any other store bought items will becoming more expensive and hard to get because of the rising transportation costs (gasoline).

Personally, I would stock at least five gallons per person per day. If (God forbid), there were any type of nuclear catastrophe – those guidelines would be way too low. Radiation sickness with accompanying diarrhea will require much more water for personal cleanliness as well as cleaning soiled clothes.

May God Bless and keep us in the palm of his hand.

Dorothy Harper

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
March 3, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Dorothy,

I personally find those water requirements to be a little excessive…not to mention unnecessarily discouraging to anyone who wants to store water for multiple people for any length of time in an urban environment.

Water DOES go more quickly than you think…until you wise up and start to think about it. It is common to waste water when you haven’t ever had to work for your water. But if people get exposed to situations where they have a lack of water now and have to work to get it, they’ll become much more respectful of how valuable every drop is, as I’m sure you did during your self-supported year.

Also, if you use 1 gallon of water for drinking, 1 gallon for drinking coffee, tea, and rehydrating food, and 1 gallon for cooking (and don’t waste it,) that’s 25 POUNDS of water per day that you’re ingesting. Since people urinate an average of a quart and a half per day and lose another quart to breathing, sweating, and bm’s, you’re taking on 2 1/4 gallons more water than you’ll use. In addition to being wasteful, this extreme ingestion of water will necessitate watching your salt and other electrolyte levels so that you don’t get hyponatremia…a particularly nasty and painful condition when you drink too much water and cause your electrolyte levels to get to low.

If you can refer me to any studies where people ingested that much water for an extended period of time and had higher performance levels than people who ingested less water per day, I would be very interested in reading about it.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Betsy
February 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I hate to tell you this but over time milk jugs leak water. Pop bottles, and juice bottles don’t. If you don’t drink pop, you can ask a friend or neighbor to save them for you.

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
February 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Milk jugs suck for water storage, I learned that lesson dring Y2K when most of them cracked open after a year. Pop bottles are made to withstand pressure in the high double digit PSI range so they’re super heavy duty. I’ve had pop bottles filled with water for target practice (they’re fun to watch explode when a rifle or shotgun round hits them) and after sitting outside in the southern summer for over a year, most of them were still standing strong with no real sign of cracking. Go for pop bottles.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tom
February 26, 2011 at 7:47 am

For stored gallons of water, I use empty automotive windshield washer fluid jugs – the plastic is sturdier than milk jugs and soda bottles, which we don’t buy anyway. They also have a sturdier screw-on cap. I get the ones with a square shape like a gallon milk jug, so they pack together in storage better than the round ones.

For half-gallons, I save the rectangular juice jugs like Ocean Spray, but generic. They are handy to stash under the seat of a vehicle, and don’t roll. A bonus is that one will fit in the each of the large outer pouches on either side of my framed backpack, so I can have an extra gallon secured but easily accessible when hiking .

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tom
February 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

p.s. I also pick up and re-use discarded Gatorade and other throw-away water bottles. It fights litter, and saves money when I fill them with my own filtered water.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Kathy Casey
February 27, 2011 at 6:34 am

I don’t like plastic for water storage at all, though I do store some water in plastic. However, I have found that sometimes I can find glass gallon and half gallon jars at farm auctions. I use these for water storage. They won’t leak and you won’t get that plastic taste.

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Vote -1 Vote +1terri
February 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

This is for all of you older women who may have grown up with the same teaching as I did the man is our protecter. Well that is true and great except things happen like sickness,death,ect.Therefore it is important that you learn how to care for yourself. Take a gun course,self defence, get pepper spray,and learn to comforable with those things. Teach the young women around you how to sew,can,garden or whatever gifts and talents that you have. This may save your life. I ilve with a vet who is disabled and we are putting plans in place to help each other and what he cannot do he can instruct me on how to. I’m over 60 I took up running and making sure that I stay healthy. I take no Meds. I do know how to use the herbs if needed. Keep trying ladies don’t give up and don’t think you can’t do it you can. God bless

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 11:06 am

Terri,

I’d say it’s important for young women and married women of all ages as well.

When a woman knows that she could take care of herself, she doesn’t have to be dependant on a man anymore. This creates a dynamic where both people know that the other is choosing to be with them out of love rather than being together because of dependance.

One of the best anecdotes I’ve read on this was in a Family Life Ministries book that I can’t remember the name of, but it was explained as the difference between an “A” relationship and an “H” relationship.

In an “A” relationship, each person is dependant on the other. If you separate the two sides of the A, they’ll both fall down. This isn’t necessarily healthy, unless there are external circumstances like physical, mental, or age limitations.

In an “H” relationship, each person has the ability to be on their own, but chooses to be together out of love. If you separate the two sides, they’ll continue to stand, but they choose to stay together. There is still specialization within an H relationship, but each person has the ability to take over or pick up the slack if necessary.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rev.J.M.Chance
February 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm

The two things I cherish most about my wife… Her loyalty and her independence. I define our love as Agape (unconditional). Can she survive without me? We both know she can just as I could without her.I really enjoy being married and it makes me feel comfortable to know that she is on board with “prepping”.
God bless!

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Vote -1 Vote +1sootsme
March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Kalil Gibran also addresses the relationship deal in “Tears and Laughter”, which is excellent reading anyway.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bettye
February 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm

My dear sweet husband has Parkinson’s, thus it would be pretty much up to me to be the ‘protector’. He is a pretty good shot, however. We are in a situation where fleeing would be almost useless, but are fortunate to live in a subdivision that is somewhat out of the mainstream. We have room to store plenty of food and learning how to survive in place has been helpful. My question is, how much is enough. It is hard to think of all the things one would need if all lines of supply are cut off. Also, remember pets and stockpile their food as well.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hello Bettye,

Your situation with your husband is definitely one of the exceptions I was referring to 🙂 It’s also one of the situations that get me SO upset when I read know-it-alls say that our only chance of survival is to flee the city anytime there’s a problem.

As to having “enough” food, I don’t believe that there is a correct answer to that question. I DO know that you want to build up your supply of food, water, fuel, MEDICATIONS, and other consumables at roughly the same rate, but those are different for everyone.

Personally, I’m of the belief that food prices are going up quickly enough that there’s no way that we can buy too much of the non-perishable foods that we eat on a regular basis.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Joan
February 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I would love to stockpile meds, but on Medicare RX program it is not allowed. We can order refills only once a month. There aren’t many people over 65 who are not on some RX.

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Joan, We are on Medicare, also. You might be able to order your maintanence prescriptions for 90 days, also. You do not permission from your Dr. But, you can call Medicare, or use their online website, and try it. It is a bit cheaper that way. Now, if you are talking about more expensive medications, whether or not you have a supplement insurance, you can look your medications up in the book to check out the cost of the generics. If you do not have their book, ask for it. It is free. And, of course, ask your Dr. for help if you need to. Just bring in the book so he can look it up. There may be a medication that is cheaper for you, so you can buy it for 90 days, but will still work for you. The Dr.’s don’t know the medicine program, however, until you bring in the book. Maybe ask for 2 books so your Doctor can keep one. I hope this helps. If not, ask us again. PS Keep up on reorders.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
February 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

There is always the possibility of buying out of country with your own money. Generally the cost will be 10% – 50% of US prices if you buy in developing countries or where the tort rules are not so oppressive to manufacturerers. The customs rule is that you may import no more that a 90 day supply for personal use only in any rolling 30 day period. Be sure to rotate your stock.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dorothy
March 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

Hi Joan,

I was on so many meds it cost almost $800.00 a month. The (grrrrr) doctors only want to give you more meds. They never look for causes or preventatives. They are totally drug pushers (my opinion). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against doctors. Most are extremely kind and caring. It’s the AMA that forces them to give drugs instead of natural alternatives – if they don’t they will lose their license.

I did my own research and by trial and error – found out that I am gluten intolerant. After weaning myself off all gluten, the diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney & bowel problems got better and finally I was able to get off all the meds.

You might want to get tested for food and/or other allergies to see if you can reduce or eliminate as many meds as possible. In a big disaster, you won’t be able to get them.

God Bless you Joan,

Dorothy

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Vote -1 Vote +1VetJim
February 26, 2011 at 1:21 am

Bettye, I know this is terrible and I love my dog, but one of the amusing sayings I had read some time ago is: You know you are a survivalist when you have rations for your pet and your pet is considered rations. Remember this was just a joke, I hope.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Percentage
February 25, 2011 at 10:36 am

I have a few thoughts about the survival tactic of “blending in” with the general population. I notice that, in wearing clothes that are well-worn or even a bit tattered, a red flag can be raised by the condition of our shoes and our physical appearance. My suggestion would be to keep that old, worn, comfortable pair of shoes rather than giving them away or placing them in the next trash bag. A newer pair of shoes, in conjunction with older clothing, would be likely to send the wrong message.
For the men, being always well-shaven and hair (if you have some) being always cut and well-combed are inconsistent with being poorly dressed.
For the women, being well groomed (hairstyle, makeup, fingernails painted etc.) are also inconsistent with older and out-of-style clothing.
When approaching a survival situation and still being in the public eye, it is time to forego that razor and the lipstick. In the meantime, do all you can to stay handsome and beautiful!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rev.J.M.Chance
February 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Well said! I do not stockpile razors. And most of my t-shirts are over ten years old. I keep my old combat boots in the “ready room” They sure look old. Great advice!

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
February 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Take some inspiration from some of the homeless vets we may see on the streets. They tend not to be completely clean shaven but they don’t look like ZZ Top either. But they do have the old faded army clothes that they probably had from after they left the service umpteen years ago, that stuff seems to last forever. If you appear like one of them you may not attract much of any attention, they’ll just look at you as some kind of homeless guy. Heck, look at some of the “career” homeless beggars who dress and play the part, then drive their luxury car back to their loft apartment to retire for the day. I’m not gonna dress like GI Joe but having some of the typical army surplus stuff on hand might help, the more worn the better.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
February 27, 2011 at 4:02 pm

When (not if!) things deteriorate to the point of canabalism it will be decidedly disadvantageous to look homeless. Just a thought.

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Vote -1 Vote +1MP
February 28, 2011 at 12:46 am

true true….of course by that time, all bets would be off anyway as everyone would be fair game….

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Vote -1 Vote +1Leonard M. Urban
February 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

Thanks for making the webinar a downloadable file–had to cut it short @ 7:30 our time (NM) to put out a “fire” at work. I’ve since downloaded it, and will get to hear it tonight.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

get to know your neighbors and let them know that you’re in the same boat. If people know you, even if just by face or by location, they are more likely to include you in their mob mentality as a friendly, regardless of color or other factors. Help people out if you can and if they ask, before everything goes to shit. My neighbors and I don’t actually like each other much, I keep lights on at night to help keep the dealers away, I call the police when they act up, and am otherwise a good neighbor, in the basic sense of the term. Guess what the neighborhood has turned around. And while we still don’t have a lot in common, the worst elements have left.
In a nasty situation, my neighbors know A) that I’m one of them and B) not someone to be fudged with lightly and c) that I’ll help if I can.
Getting to know the neighbors also let’s you know when groups or individuals are in the area who don’t belong and may be scouting things out.
Be able to ask the guy down the street “Hey Charlie….you ever seen that kid before”, it’s worth it’s weight.
Peace,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm

If no one minds, I’m going to point out something that I see as a flaw in the mindset of many who would choose to survive in place. And that is the deep seated fear of everyone around us . I don’t at all disagree with most of what has been said here, particularly womens self defense. But groups survive far better than individuals and to a point the more in the group the better. I know my neighborhood, I know to a point who comes and goes, which car belongs to who, It’s simple situational awareness, mixed with a bit of block building / community building. In a true long term survival situation, my wife and I will do far better by having the help of at least the best of our neighbors. if for no other reason than to help move along the rest of them. When the SHTF most of us will be able to get home, most of us will be operating in our local environs, it’s a good idea to know what they are. With luck, we’re looking at Chinese, UN, or NATO aid after a few weeks . Instead of planning how to survive my neighbors, I’ve worked out how to work with them. We will at some point have to begin to rebuild a nation, and that is going to be a lot harder if we plan to poop where we eat and or don’t know anyone around us. If we are prepared to support it and work with our local government, we have a far better chance still. If we are in a CERT team, still trying to talk my community into one, are vocal in public and local affairs….that sort of thing.
Blessings,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Hey David,

What you’re talking about meshes with the Survive In Place concept. It appears as if you may have interpreted it as a “man against the world” approach and that is not correct. One of the fundamentals IS that you prepare with operational security and don’t make yourself a target. Another is to operate with operational security after a disaster and don’t advertise that you’re a good target. This doesn’t mean living or surviving as an island…quite the opposite, in fact.

The SurviveInPlace.com course devotes an entire section to team building, with neighbors and CERT organizations being a central component.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

When I can afford it, I’ll have to take it. But I’ve had a chance to see mobs and civil war, and while it looks pretty damned horrible, communities that pull together weather the mess fairly well. I’ll agree however that there is a fine line between target and community leader. As it stands I’m a recognized leader in my community and as such may be something of a target in any case, still I feel it’s worth it. People on my block who never would have thought of calling the police now do, that sort of thing. If TSHTF tomorrow I’m in a way better place then I was three years ago. As former infantry and intel, I get opsec, big fan, but in just reading here for a few days, there does seem a strong man against the world thing floating around, and this will get people killed.
I’m not saying that you support it BTW, I wouldn’t waste time here if I didn’t think you had yourself together, but it’s an under current in the prepper / survival community that maybe cannot be addressed enough. And this seemed a good place to do so.
Thanks,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Great points, David.

I wouldn’t say that being a community leader necessarily makes you a target unless you’ve made it obvious that you have a large stock of food, water, fuel, & other supplies.

There IS a big “man against the world” mindset here and in any prepper community. We’re generally rugged individualists by nature…kind of like you were when you took charge of your neighborhood 🙂

That being said, teamwork is key in an urban survival situation. In fact, it’s one of the major differences between wilderness survival and urban survival and oftentimes people who are great alone out in the woods have a hard time making the transition to the slightly different approach required when other people are around. That’s one of the reasons why I write about teamwork, team building, or group psychology every few weeks.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Rev.J.M.Chance
February 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Our neighbors are an active part of our plan. We live in a dead end and watch out for everything that occurs in our neighborhood. A man left a note on my door about purchasing some rims I had stacked in my front yard. I contacted him and they mysteriously disappeared within two days. I called the man back and he was “surprised” that they were gone. He began to stutter when I told him the tag number on the vehicle he was driving. Though we did not press charges, I think he may have learned a lesson about our neighborhood.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 26, 2011 at 12:36 am

I would have pressed charges just to make a point. My block has become a hard target with no known value. Our lives have changed, and we intend to keep it that way. As opsec goes, few know that I’m a prepper though I’ve helped most become the same in a way. Most have at least a 250 watt inverter, most have candles from the dollar store, most have a few days of meals on hand, mostly because things have happened and people want to know what we’ve done. Mostly through simple chatting. One can find a way to raise or lower , or simply agree with standards in their area. Our areas standards were too low when we moved here after the fire. We made a change. We do have more on hand than most, but few know that. OPSEc, But in truth we have a sort of block captain who is not us. Lower standards, but he’s alright, and a great source of intel. Still, what is accepted now is higher than what once was. I wonder sometimes if our fight for survival is not a daily thing, a way of life. A means by which we change the world around us before the SHTF. Granted I do have a few cards in the deck, infantry, 37 year MA, my wife is trained, guns h2h etc…
If I find anything to be true it is that we create our communities. That we are responsible.
But perhaps our host and I agree here.
Blessings,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 26, 2011 at 12:52 am

a quick aside here, while I am disabled, I am and have been for over 25 years a domestic counter terrorist.I most recently published through the DOJ in august of 2010.Most of my life is DNd, and I have no interest in competing with our host. I do hope to start to teach h2h again locally, but it has taken years to form a workable civilian based legal defensive system\. Still, I like it here…good bunch.
PEace, david

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Vote -1 Vote +1Hujonwi
February 26, 2011 at 2:43 am

you should have pressed charges….

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bruce
February 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

Part of being the ‘gray man’: the advice about grooming and especially shoes is really good. I learned many many years ago, when I was in the US Navy, nt matter how I was dressed, when I wore my navy issue shoes, it gave me away to lots of folks.
Blending in, is often walking a fine line. To be invisible, your bearing, not just your clothes, etc is important (and of course, this goes to mental attitude that the site talked so much about), walking along, head kind of down, shuffling a little, et al is helpful, but, don’t have your head so down you can’t see what’s going on around you and don’t look so ‘innocuous’ that you look weak and therefore an obvious target to certain types. You want to look ordinary enough, without looking like prey. By the way, a woman should try to look more like a man, at least at a glance, ie, men’s clothes, hide your hair, etc. Unfortunately, to some of them out there, a woman is an automatic target regardless.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Buddy
February 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

These are all good comments. Remember you can live for two weeks without food but only 4 days without water. Figure a gallon a day for two people not including sanitation.
I have plastic milk jugs under my house so they stay cool, that have been there 15 years. Clean them well.
Do you have barter items? I scrounge old phone books for use as toilet paper when there isn’t any, and then have a stash for barter. Where I grew up we had the Monkey Wards catalog in the out house. If you can’t go outside and can’t flush your toilet do you have a bucket and some lime? Maybe several buckets?
Coffee, tobacco, booze, sugar, rice, beans, salt will all be high priority trading items, but only if you have enough for yourself.
If you watched Jericho then you might have picked up on the idea of duct tape and plastic sheeting so you could seal off a room for a few days. Of course you need to have all the supplies in that room that you would need for a few days.
I’m converting my generator to propane because you can store propane. I’m also converting an older Toyota truck to propane.
The book “One Second After” should be required reading.
For the lady with the nice looking home, consider having an “official ” sign made up with the county health department logo that warms of infectious diseases,
Stock up on some 100 hour candles, available on line.
Have you considered gas masks and filters?
You need to decide right now what you are going to do when people come knocking on your door asking for help. I think the only reason the ant let the grasshopper in was because ants EAT grasshoppers.
I teach firearms classes, including, handgun, shotgun and rifle classes. A handgun is easy to carry, but it takes time to learn how to use it well. I recommend a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot for home defense. You can practice with birdshot and the buckshot will get the job done for home defense. GET PROFESSIONAL TRAINING IF YOU CAN.
You can get Jericho on NetFlix. It’s got some flaws, but there are some things to be learned. In the second show of the first season there’s a prime example of how people are going to react about food and gas.
Don’t diddle around; do what you can do today.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Rev.J.M.Chance
February 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

You have named off many items we have in our “ready room” Who thinks of gas masks and filters? We did. You can get inexpensive masks with new filters at Cheaper than dirt.com
Thank You much!

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

What about buckets, with garbage bags in them? Wouldn’t that be workable?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Turfguy
February 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

walmart-type shopping bags would work great for latrine duty as well. They’re everywhere

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Vote -1 Vote +1Nancy
February 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

David and fellow readers.

If your computer was hiccuping yesterday I’ll offer you a story. One of the survival food vendors emailed me and his long list of customers that many of the smaller Internet food sellers were having their retail stocks delayed due to FEMA ordering 426,000,000 ** correct numbers are listed below ** dehydrated shelf foods and MRE meals and were sending out bid sheets for each of them to fill out for this huge government order. In the past FEMA has only ordered 6 million meals.

This is a jump to a price tag of 1 billion dollars. Congress has restricted all government departments to go maintenance staff and expenses and not spend any money until they agree on a budget. FEMA is directly under the authority of the president and received the green light to spend money. It took a little digging to find out why.

Sun flares exploded over southern China where most of manufacture infrastructure is as well as most of the customers for communication services. More X-class (the worst type) sun flares are expected. Because our little globe is rotating with the sun it is unknown if the next one or series of flares will explode over the northern hemisphere. Whether it does or not, the president thinks it will. Which is why FEMA is sucking up all the shelf stable foods being sold today. At three meals per day for 10 days this will feed 14,200,000 people. ** correct numbers below ** The presidents favorite people to be sure. The troops, all Washington DC government staff and their support people. With 10 days of food they will use 10 days of water in the underground white house (14,200,000 gallons of drinking water per day. ** correct numbers below **

What that means to you and me (if it happens) is the probability of a meltdown of our electric grid in most of the US and Canada. Most city water is pumped with motors to your tap and toilet. Some NASA people expect some radiation if we get the flares. Do you have enough drinking water to last at least 10 days for each human, working animal or pet in your care? Can you fill poly buckets with garden hose or tap within the next 24 hours enough to give your family and animals life for ten days? If the population of the US is 300 million that leaves 284 million to their own devices to plan their own survival. Huccuping computers… blow over from China’s x-class flares are making our Internet take mini-hits. I don’t work at NASA, but I’m sure they would find it reasonable.

With the riots around the world, you can bet FEMA nor the president will stand in front of TV monitors and tell you to get enough drinking water for 10 days and a little food would not hurt. There would be fights at the local market for who gets the last loaf of bread or gallon of water. Fill your buckets at home and get a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, a box of aluminum foil to cover the water buckets from dust then pretend it is just another Friday grocery drive by for the weekend. Be prepared to sit it out in yor own homes with the doors locked. If nothing happens, it is an exercise or test run on how to do it if a real event happens.

Nancy (last name edited)
Corpus Christi, Texas USA

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm

This whole FEMA-buying-food situation has been fodder for exaggeration and unnecessary fear.

I wrote about this 3-4 weeks ago when the proposal was originally posted. You can read the actual “Request For Information” here:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=eaea338540a0aea155a48a650a077352&tab=core&tabmode=list&=

Here is an excerpt:

“The purpose of this Request for Information is to identify sources of
supply for meals in support of disaster relief efforts based on a catastrophic disaster event within the New Madrid Fault System for a survivor population of 7M to be utilized for the sustainment of life during a 10-day period of operations. FEMA is considering the following specifications (14M meals per day):”

Keep in mind that “M” can mean thousand or million.

Keep in mind that the Pentagon’s latest round of war gaming dealt with ways to handle breakdowns in civil order in the US after disasters. This could be a simple matter of “disaster preparedness” being the latest bright shiny thing that they’re focusing on.

14,000 meals per day would make sense to feed up to 7000 first responders. 14,000,000 meals per day seems like it would be beyond the current logistical and distribution capabilities of FEMA…especially in a grid down situation after an earthquake.

I completely understand the frustration with the government wasting our money with top-down solutions rather than bottom-up solutions, but this is hardly something to lose sleep over. It’s a big deal, and I wish they wouldn’t have done it, but I don’t have any control over it…I can only control my actions and how I react to the circumstances that I face.

On the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME caused by a solar flare) that disturbed communications in China…I wrote an article on this one of the last times a big CME was on it’s way to earth: http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/331/surviving-solar-flares-coronal-mass-ejections-and-emps/

They’re serious and have the potential to knock out our electrical grid in an instant, but they’re not that unusual and we’re likely to have several more in the near future…just another reason to be prepared.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn
February 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

It may be helpful to all to google fema camps and see what the government has in mind. Take the time to watch the documentary. When SHTF the last thing you want to do is seek Gov help.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ken
February 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

My past career required that I stayed “under the radar” and blended in unnoticed in public. Here are a few tricks I used.
My car is a plain, white sedan. My truck is also white, and nothing special. Throw a ladder in the back of my truck, even better.
Want to get around a neighborhood or practially anywhere else unnoticed? Wear a nice work uniform, workboots, and a cap or hardhat. Carry a notebook, if necessary. Mix it up a bit, sometimes I used a traffic safety vest.

Look around you, there are probably lots of people around you every day that you never noticed before. Utility workers, meter readers, delivery people, construction workers, road crews. They arent invisible, they just “belong”.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Eric
February 25, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Ken…..excellent advice. I am a geologist and work in mines so I have all of these items in my house, hard-hats, safety vest, work boots, just never thought of putting them on when I was not at work!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Eric
February 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I have a rural retreat that is outfitted with almost everything I will need for a very long time. The problem is that if a “situation” were to arise suddenly I would not be able to get there….too many roadblocks, no gas etc. I could not plan on making it there and be stuck in my (urban) house with nothing. I decided to “prepare” my house with the things my family and I need. I got up one morning and wrote down everything I did, what I used, what I ate, what I drank, what devices I turned on, what I wore, what activities I did and tried to figure out what was NECESSARY and what was LUXURY. I realized that the requirements of survival for humans are pretty simple and without these you starve, die of thirst or disease, die from the heat or the cold, panic and waste your energy and possibly take other lives, or you give up and pass away. If you have prepared enough for these challenges not to take you out in the first 2 weeks of a “situation” you are miles ahead of the next guy. I will not bore you with all of the things you will need to survive (food, guns, shelter, water etc)….there are numerous lists available and all of these lists need adjusting to the person, family, climate, geographic area etc. This appraoch will only work if you have a home….a tight apartment or small studio will require a bit of retooling. My little writing exercise did highlight what my family and I will NEED to survive in a reasonably healthy fashion. You can get most of this stuff (at least) now for a few hundred dollars. A dollar spent now might mean survival later.
1) Shelter…stay put if you have to and don’t bring attention to your “shelter”.
2) Water…you will need 1/2 gallon of water per day (unless you are really exerting yourself, but in this case I bet you’re not). Make sure you have water stashed if you are on municipal water. It will not work when a grid goes down. Buy some stabilized oxygen drops and you can treat almost any water, rain water, creek water etc.
3) Cloths…if you are at home this is easy. If you have to take off in your car do you have it outfitted with survival basics?
4) Hygiene..can’t stress it enough. Have some soap, toothpaste and other products around. Keep yourself reasonably clean and you won’t get sick. Also, we humans need to eliminate waste. Get some 5-gallon buckets and a portable toilet lid and a bag of lime. Throw a little lime on you “business” when through to cut down on smell and disease. Save your water and just change out the buckets. The lime will turn everything to “dirt” within time….extra toilet paper, use sparingly.
5) First aid….have the basics at your house and in your car. Make your own “kit” and put it in a bag or bucket. Learn basic first aid techniques. The basics are quite easy. Buy a book and keep it with your kit(s).
6) Food….this is totally “person-dependent” but stick with nutrient-dense, balanced food and food that requires little prep…canned soups, tuna in oil, dried fruit, Larabars, rice, quinoa (one of the most nutritious foods on earth), powdered milk, powdered eggs and dried potatoes etc. Always keep a jug or two of olive oil around since many vitamins need fat to be absorbed by the body.Take a tablespoon per day if you are not getting fats from another source. Stock food that you normally eat and like. Keep lots of dried herbs and spices in bottles or bags and liberally add them to your food…..these are natures “drugs” and will help you stay healthy.
7) Vitamins….you will not be on an “ideal” diet. Supplement with a multi-vitamin. Make sure you are current on any prescription drugs and have them on hand.
8) Coolness/warmth…being cool enough or warm enough will stabilize your mind. If you are freezing or boiling you are not thinking straight. Have sleeping bags, sweaters, maybe a kerosene heater (I have two) or propane heater (I have four) sufficient to heat up the portion of your “shelter” that you will be living in for several weeks (months?). If you live in warm climate you are OK….I do not and need plenty of warm things for 8 months of the year. Of course have lighters or matches handy.
9) Cooking….get a dual fuel stove that burns white gas or unleaded and stash 20 gallons of treated unleaded in you garage/shed or a propane stove that will attach to your propane tanks/bottles. Or, get a “Volcano Stove” which burns just about anything (wood/paper/pellets) and really puts out the heat. Make sure you ventilate your cooking/heating area. Obviously you will need some pans, utensils, plates and glasses. Keep these clean to stay healthy.
10) Sleeping….make sure you have enough sleeping items (pads, bags, pillows, blankets). Make yourself and your family as comfortable as possible. Lack of sleep will affect your thinking and eventually could take you out of the game.
11) Electricity….this is the most challenging of them all. You will miss this “convenience” the most. Generators are loud and need fuel and are expensive. Unless you have solar, wind, water or some other way to generate power off-the-grid you will have to learn to live without electricity, at least until the grid comes back up. This sounds scary but it really is not if you are ready. Get several crank/dynamo lanterns and many dynamo flashlights. I have many. They are easy to use…crank them up for a few minutes and you will have lights for hours, and they really put out the light! I don’t even use battery flashlights anymore. If you already have kerosene heat buy a couple of kerosene lamps…they are very cheap and pretty efficient. Our pioneer relatives lived nice lives without electricity. If you cover the lighting issue you will be all right. Unless you have stored many batteries your IPods, cell phones and other electrical devices will run out of steam and be useless. You can live without them anyway.
12) Fun and good mental health….face it, if you are living through an emergency you are going to be stressed. However, if you are prepared, you will have time on your hands. Might as well enjoy it as much as possible. Have some books to read, have several games ready for your family to play. Have some decks of cards handy, a football for nice days, some gloves and a ball. Stay physically healthy and keep your mind in the game. You’ll make it through.
Good luck with your plans. God bless you,
Eric

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

If our host doesn’t mind, I’m just going to correct one thing here, and that is that you really should plan around two gallons or more of water per day, per person and more is within reason always better. Water to brush your teeth, flush toilets, sponge bath, wash clothing, household maintenance, etc….though you can supplement some drinking water by having soda, juices and sports drinks in the pantry, people with fuzzy teeth, or who smell are not happy campers. also allow ten to 20% extra for waste or spillage.
Other than that, nicely said.
Blessings,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1Eric
February 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm

David,
Thank you very much for your response. You are quite right in your assessment of TOTAL water usage per person per day. I was referring to the “internal/drinking” needs of the average person. You are quite right about additional needs for cleaning yourself and your things. Boy, do we take the availability of clean water and free-flowing electrons for granted in this country.

Take care and God bless,

Eric

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Hey, Eric: That was really good! I agree with David C’s remark about the water, etc. but you have analysized this pretty good. Your mind must work good for emergencies. Same here, but after the emergency I need to go somewhere by myself for a bit because the emergency stress will hit me. I have a question about number 9. You mentioned to be sure where we cook should be, I forget the exact word you used, “aired”. Do you mean we could cook “in the house near an open window”? Are you speaking about a grill? Keep up on the good thoughts. You will love this newsletter and anything else you can get from David Morris, I promise.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Eric Drayner
February 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

So far as water storage goes, look around for once-used food grade blue plastic 55 gal. barrels. I found some locally that had been used to ship vitamin-water flavoring. Well cleaned they cost $15 each. I bought 4 of ’em, cleaned them thoroughly AGAIN and filled them from the tap, including chloramine to storage spec and sealed them up. Guaranteed fresh for 2 years…probably even longer. Keep them out of the sun and avoid temperature extremes…leave ~6″ air space for possible freezing expansion. Siphon-type pumps are available for about $10. I bought a food-grade stainless steel pump, but it’s not a necessity. Change the water every 2 years to be safe. My next move is a pair of steel-caged plastic 275 gal storage modules, plumbed into my main water supply line (with a backflow preventer valve) for the house. It’s cheap and it’s easy.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jackie Dickerson
February 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Two things on the preparedness side I would like to address.
1. I try and keep a cash reserve at home. During power outages all the stores are unable to sell you items because the electronic sales do not work. From experience they still will accept cash.
2. I have switched from gas generator to a propane power unit. During the last ice storm we were without power for almost ten days. I went to local stores drooped a twenty dollar bill and pick a tank of propane. The one station that had gas had a line around the block. Another reason to have propane power is they never go bad. Gas has to be rotated or some kind of stabilizer has to be added periodically.

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Vote -1 Vote +1DR
February 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

All the above comments have their merit……make sense, etc but….one thing…they all come from people having the bucks to do it. Even on a “limited” basis. re: the persons that are “struggling” to “get by” on a “MERE $30K per year”. We’d live like royalty IF we ever had that much. No one seems to take into consideration those of us forced to survive on what little S/S we get AFTER getting continually screwed, robbed, cheated etc by not only the Obominable Administration in power now but by BIG OIL, CORP America, BIG BAILED out Banks, etc. Then we have “Medical America” what with the outrageous prices for meds, doctors fees and so on. ,Example: Last year Avodart (for prostrate) w/one HMO (NO name here) cost me $6.30. Had to change HMOs… price went to $70.61 for very same item. Was told necessary to stick w/”brand name” as NO generic was available. Learned that was a LIE. BTW: HMOs only limit you to a specified, certain amount for “refills”. Makes
stockpiling meds for “emergencies” exceptionally difficult. Just some “food for thought”…What say you????

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
February 26, 2011 at 12:50 am

If your medical problem is BPH (swollen prostate) please consider any of the excellent non-prescription supplements containing betasitosterols (plant sterols), e.g. Beta Prostate or Prostate Relieve. The former is good, worked noticeably better than my $100/month Flomax Rx; the latter is superb, worked even better for me. These are not quack remedies; both WebMD and PDR Online (Physician’s Desk Reference) agree that betasitosterols are effective. My doctor approved my switching. These cost about $65-$80 for a 3-month supply.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bill
February 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Sorry, my mistake. I should have said Prostate REVIVE. By MedixSelect.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 26, 2011 at 1:11 am

I’m out on disability , state disability- a grand total of $405 a month…I’ve paid more in taxes in a week. It leads me to hate this country a bit..but I work on it.
Still, we make sacrifices, burgers instead of steaks. Ready.gov has a bare bones approach, but it should be a warning. our govt. says you may be on your own….a polite way of saying that you are. After three years we’re back to a bit more normal, or perhaps the new way has become normal. , in either case…with a bit of sacrifice the poor can become self sufficient, And i am the poor. I bring in roughly 4500 per year, I’ve made that in a day, so I get the difference. Water and networking are the keys.
Peace,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Caines
February 26, 2011 at 9:17 am

A good number of meds can be bought online without prescription. Prices very as does quality. I can’t recommend any specific site. Most of the ones that aren’t traps are based overseas or in Canada. If you know what you’re looking for and can save up and don’t mind the risk…. it is probably the only real option for we in the states.
Learning what’s wrong with you and seeking herbal remedies is also worth the work. The problem for we who don’t have a lot of money is that we have to trade goods for skills as often as not.
Peace,
David

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Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn
February 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm

With regards to emergency water storage, I have for years been storing water in empty bleach bottles. As my wife finishes a bottle of laundry bleach I drain all remaining bleach out of the bottle leaving only residual bleach in the bottle and fill it with fresh water. Leaving the remaining chlorine in the bottle helps to insure the water will be safe for use several years after original storage.

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Thank you, Glenn. I love it!

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Vote -1 Vote +1E. Todd
February 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I did something about 2 years ago that helps in many ways. I joind a voluteer police support group. It cost some money for a uniform and duty gear and a little time doing my part but in return I get all the free training I can ask for on every kind of weapon and subject and a lot of like minded friends. In one of the lessons the possability of rural towns locking down is very real but if you are wearing a real uniform and badge known by local LEO to be a friend it goes a LONG way. The profesional LEO is leary of armed strangers but you don’t need to be a stranger. A uniform is a two edged sword. To the bad guys your a enemy target but to the good guys your a welcome asset.
P.S. I also was supplied with body armor.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Great course of action. A couple other names that volunteer police go under are reserve, auxiliary, and even search and rescue in some areas.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Bobbie
February 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I would like to learn more about solar power to use when the grid goes down. Can someone recommend a good system and different sized systems to keep two refrigerators and two freezers going, plus lighting in a home?

Also, for water filtration, Berkey has great systems that can filter standing water from ponds. They filter out lists of junk. Check them out!

Does anyone know of a good web site for shopping for survival supplies?

Many thanks. Bobbie

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
February 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Hey Bobby,

On the fridge and freezer, you’re talking about a very large and expensive system…even if you’re in one of the top solar areas in the country.

The thing with going strictly solar is that you need to generate WAY more energy than you use, for mornings, evenings, nights, and days/weeks when it’s stormy or overcast. If you’re using household current, you have to oversize your system even more to handle the loss from your inverter.

Since you may be running off of charged batteries for days on end, you also need high quality batteries, which aren’t cheap.

Some options to make it feasible?

Get 12 volt/propane RV fridges/freezers.

Get a gas generator and learn how to run it off of wood gas-depending on your situation, this can allow you to run with a smaller solar setup and a smaller battery array.

And plan on only using LED lights.

In any case, 90-95% of off-grid people looking to convert to solar end up buying a generator. And those who do decide to go all solar end up paring down their electrical use considerably.

Sorry for the bad news, but I hope it saves you a lot of time, money, and energy.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Margaret
February 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

One more thing, I have silver coins. They call it “junk silver” but it anything but junk.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Margaret
February 26, 2011 at 10:26 am

Ho Bobbie:
I have the Berkey too and just love it.

A have heirloom seed to produce a crisis garden along with 20 pounds of soil in the garage with small seed starter containers to get a jump on the growing season. http://sustainableseedco.com/

I bought the Excalibur dehydrator and a Food Saver.

Purchase some Soduim Ascorbate (powdered vitamin C) and I purchased powdered collagen to supplement my protien. (Joint Care) http://www.gelatininnovations.com

Since I live in the suburbs of Chicago, our winters are cold so my next purchase is a camp stove that cooks, bakes and heats water. http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cylinder-Stoves8482-Round-Chimney-Oven/746544.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dstoves%252C%2Bovens%26x%3D18%26y%3D5&Ntt=stoves%2C+ovens

I have been looking into the Sun Oven. http://www.sunoven.com/cart/index.php?main_page=products_all

Hope this helps.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Margaret
February 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

Hi again, I would also recomend cast iron cookware. In the event that you may have to cook or bake over a fire. Start learning how to do this right away. In a crisis you cannot afford to waste food.

Also, a childs pull wagon will come in very handy.

Start planting fruit trees and bushes/shrubs now. They may take a few years to produce but better than nothing. They will feed your families and attract small critters to provide meat. http://www.bighorsecreekfarm.com/Default.htm

If you fortunate to have a woodburning stove in your home, lay in several more cords of wood. If you are looking into buying one, get one that offers you a removeable top plate for cooking and heating water.

I would also recomend getting ansmall heavy duty garbage can with cover. Cut a hole in the cover and push through the bottom a clean toliet plunger. This has just become your new washing machine. Remember the clothesline too.

Also, if you community allows chickens and rabbits it maybe a great idea to get them set up in your garage or backyeard. http://www.whistleberryfarm.com/Heirloom%20Chickens.php

Remember that water reserve in your hot water tank and a rain barrel if your community hasn’t outlawed collecting rain water.

Learn how to compost. It will provide many uses.

Baby wipes will be a good substitute to a bath and save on water.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra M.
February 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I like alot of your tips…especially the clothes washing idea! When I was in Scouting and at summer camp we used just that technique except we used Plastic 5 gal. buckets- (with biodegradable soap) they are lighter and we could bring several for rinse buckets and to use as spit baths.
Thanks!

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Thanks, Sandra and Margaret!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
February 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

For your list of ‘basics’ you are looking in the $10K ballpark for solar if your refrigerators and freezers are new and energy efficient models. If not then it will be 5 to 10 times that much.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra M.
February 26, 2011 at 2:35 am

I am still requesting like – minded folks who care for or are disabled to start a forum/chat between ourselves and some experts to noodle out how to care for ourselves. This is something I can’t find in all my searches RE: survival when the meltdown occurs. I would love an ongoing blog(?)
Hopefully Mr Morris can find others or noodle it out with us??? Please?!

Respectfully,

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Vote -1 Vote +1Torbjörn "Sweden"
February 26, 2011 at 6:07 am

first sorry about “bad english” in short all this that is coming about ,is organized,and why ?man has been on this planet so long that she id her self with it ,but YOU have anohter origen,try to focus on the fundamental princible in side your heart!! man is a microcosmos,witch is realated to cosmos,and macrocosmos,this is not so easy to fathom,but step by step,you can,and the upcoming 2012 mayan calender,the door to the origenal world is open,and this is why your focus should be not only horisontal but vertical ,not only outside but inside!! pray for guidens ,all the best Torbjörn

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Vote -1 Vote +1Peter
February 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

Camo in place used to call for a trip to your local thrift store. But since demand for non-profit executive pay has increased, places like Goodwill have dramatically increased their prices for items they get for free. I used to shop Goodwill, but until prices come down, I shop garage sales for lightly used clothing and jackets. Since I live in the woods and work in the city. I have a set of clothing that I have worn out in the woods for a few days and then bag them for a set of spares for the office. They come in handy also when you’re asked to move furniture and filing cabinets. Many layers of dirt and grime will allow me to fit in with the homeless street people that now decorate Obamaland.

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Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
February 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

An afterthought! When I lived in Florida, Hurricane Season, my mother always reminded us to keep up on all laundry before the hurricane hits. Then, fill the washer with water and turn off. Also, clean out the bathtub and fill with water. (Could place something on top or close curtain to keep fairly clean.) Then, place a pan by both. This is for dipping into and carrying the water to a sink for “quick” bathing, washing a few dishes (Hope you have paper/plastic, also) and, possibly, pouring into the back of the toilet so that it can be flushed! I never had to follow through with the toilet. Would this work, anybody?

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Vote -1 Vote +1Sandra M.
February 28, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Pouring left – over (grey water) into the toilet will Absolutely work! You have to guage how much it will take to get it to “flush.” I’ve done this so I know.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dale
February 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

Not sure if it has been mentioned or not, as I haven’t yet waded through the masses of good information here, but another useful tool is a good topo map of the area(s) in which you have an interest. The BLM produces 1:100,000 scale maps for a good price, and you may find a map store in your area with even better resolution. It’s also a good idea to really explore your area, learn all the back roads and local routes. Ahead of Katrina we would have had a much harder time evacuating my mother from her Ocean Springs home if we had not known all the little-used byways and forest roads.

As for good survival-oriented books, try Lucifer’s Hammer. Excellent read, not so much political pontificating, just an engrossing study of survival in face of overwhelming odds.

I also recommend Deep Survival by Lawrence Gonzales. I learn something new from it every time I read it.

A must-have book for every bookshelf, survival-oriented or not, is The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery. This is that book that tells you how to do literally everything in on off-grid world. And it’s not theoretical; this is how Carla Emery lived, and she wrote down every step. Originally mimeographed on coarse paper — I wore my first copy out! — it’s now been reprinted on more durable stock.

You know, I was born long enough ago to have been a child during the Cold War. My mother, a single working parent, was terrified of our getting separated and being unable to survive in event of a disaster, so she trained us all in everyday skills and demanded that we be self-sufficient to the degree possible. By age 8 we all could navigate city buses, find target locations in unknown parts of the city, cook, sew, perform simple first aid (often needed, as we were roughnecks) and negotiate successfully with adults.

I spent much of the 70s in West Africa. When I returned I was panicked about water (the desert does that to you) and societal instability (regional starvation and political coups ditto). Since then I have spent a number of years overseas, including parts of the Middle East that were then beginning the explosions that we are witnessing now. Over the decades I stockpiled salt and pepper, freeze dried refried beans (say that 10 times fast), medications, reference materials (read Lucifer’s Hammer for a good way to protect valuable books in the midst of breakdown), and other useful survival items. For Valentine’s Day this year I gave my husband a survival pack I had carefully assembled. I’ve been serious about this for a long time.

And yet. And yet. I sense that for many — myself included — a kind of fatigue has set in. And for others it has become something other than deadly serious. I am jarred by acronyms like WTSHTF. Really? We have to give it a nickname? It’s just too light and … help me out here. game-like, maybe.

And too often it becomes a panic tool to make money. I imagine we are all receiving the end-of-the-world investment stuff.

What do you guys think? Maybe it has to be light or we’d all go crazy. Maybe if we give it an acronym it loses power over us. It’s just something that has worried me.

Back to taking care of ourselves. We have always kept water on hand, but I caution against buying the gallon jugs of water from the store: these do not survive well, even in ideal conditions. After about a year the plastic begins to break down and the jugs leak. Clorox and pop bottles definitely last longer.

Have we talked about cisterns and water collection systems? If you have gutters you are halfway there, and if you’re going to survive, water collection is a necessary step.

Katrina hit us as a category I storm, and we were without power for about a week, at a time when temperatures were in the high 90s and 100s and humidity almost equally high. Do not underestimate the debilitating effects of such conditions. Particularly the elderly suffer badly. Having enough power to at least use a couple of fans at night, so people can sleep, is very important. We used an inverter, and after Katrina a lot of people invested in extra car batteries — cheaper than a generator, and a lot quieter.

Has anyone discussed window shutters? This is something that is of concern to me. “Teef bars” such as one finds in many areas — those wrought iron cages around windows and doors — may prevent someone breaking in, but they don’t prevent someone throwing something in to drive you out. I’ve been working on hardening ordinary window shutters to provide protection, and would welcome ideas. There are, of course, storm shutters available, but they’re expensive! And you wouldn’t want anything that required electricity to operate.

I train horses and teach riding for a living, and since Katrina I have made a serious push into driving. With so many of the roads blocked by hurricane-downed trees, our horses became very useful, but adding the ability to pull wagons or plows makes them even more of a survival tool. And of course, if your horses — or dogs, or cats — are useful, to you and to the community, they are far less likely to become “rations.”

Right after Katrina, we loaded up with food and medical supplies and made several forays to the coast. We learned some interesting things:

there were MOUNTAINS of water. It seems that every entity out there delivered water. I’ve never seen so much water in one place.

The things people most wanted were Immodium, NSAIDs and pet food.

Local groups — churches, stores, cohesive neighbors — were excellent at setting up infrastructure. Everywhere we went there were food kitchens, clinics and helping centers. There was almost a block party atmosphere, despite the truly horrifying scale of the disaster.

Ironically, while Biloxi was devastated, nearby Ocean Springs had far less damage, and even had a WalMart open. But if you were in Biloxi, your car was drowned, with the bridge down and the highway all but impassable, it really didn’t matter. Ten miles becomes a critical distance under those circumstances. The scale is altered by system breakdown.

Way too much here. I apologize.

Dale

We are accustomed to

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tammy
March 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Dale,

I enjoyed what you had to say and I learned alot right there in your words! Thanks! I wouldn’t have thought pet food was a desireable item. It wasn’t too long ago that dogs and cats ate table scraps. There weren’t commercial dog foods like there are today. Dogs and cats have existed for centuries without the commercial dog foods! You can sew? I’m envious! I am so citified that my list of things to learn is too long to contemplate. However, I’m ever so slowly learning what I can. Those books sound great. And you are right, WTSHTF acronym is making light. I feel upset when I hear those words. But, I get just as upset when I hear Rush or O’Reilly say “time to be heading to their villas in some other country”. Wow! Wish I could afford to have a safe place to go and a dual citizenship in some other country, but (and I’m sorry) WTSHTF, I have no where to go. What makes things even worse, I have a handicapped daughter and boy, is she slow. I need so much help…..Well, it sounds like you had a smart mother. You’re way ahead of the average American woman!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Richard
February 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

Sorry if this was already commented on, but have trash discipline. Make sure you don’t tell everyone what you have by throwing away all of your bags, boxes, or containers in your home waste service cans/ recycling service boxes. I can learn all I need to know by going through someone’s trash can.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pam leech
February 1, 2012 at 11:23 am

I nnever thought of some one going through the trash but that makes perfect sence. Hide your trash. thanks Pam

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Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne
February 28, 2011 at 11:06 am

Hi David,

The gray man approach applies everywhere. Number one is that you don’t look too fancy. I drive a silver/gray used minivan or sedan that doesn’t stand out and isn’t a target vehicle for thieves. People are more likely to ignore me.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Luke
February 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Grey water to flush toilets can be
Poured directly into the bowl. If poured quickly, it will flush with about a third of the volume of a regular flush and you don’t have to lift it as high as you would to pour in the tank and then flush in the normal manner.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Tammy
March 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I can’t decide whether to sell my house to move closer to my family or not! I keep thinking that maybe 2012 would be a better time, but from what you say, now might be the best time. Having said that, I’m better prepared right now. A move and people filing through my house would be a problem. In fact, I would have to pack all that up so no one would see what I have and move it in order to even show my house. Plus, I would have to take money off the sale of my home just to pay for the move.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Nancy Carklisle
March 8, 2011 at 2:11 am

Dear Dave,
Was wondering, if you could suggest is there smething to cover the engine of our car if nec. SUN FLARES ect.
The other question What are OXYGEN Drops? and where to find?
Thanks a million! God Bless us all Nancy C.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Pete Hoyle
March 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

You mentioned forien workers and the gray man attitude in this article. One thing that isn’t mentioned is the most dangerous activity in all of history and that is travel. Eventhough travel today is, over all, safer and faster than the past it is still dangerous and for the same reasons. And that is because in many countries and societies the word for stranger and the word for enemy is the same word. It doesn’t matter if you are travelling from friends and family to friends and family for the most part everywhere inbetween you are still a stranger and potential enemy. Even going to and from work, everywhere you look are strangers. So be prepared to blend in, as much as possible where ever you are. Watch your six.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Martin Fano
July 9, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Best advice is just not to live in the 3rd world…or violent unstable countries in Africa , Asia and South America. But many Americans keep retiring in these places because a cup of coffee is 10 cents…and life is cheap…and along with that comes all the stuff you mention. I refuse to visit these kinds of places as they are just plain unsafe. But then only 30% of Americans actually have a Passport…most are extremly ignorant of of what lies outside the good old USA..their idea of travel is Canada and Mexico! They have no concept what it is like to live under a military government, no human rights etc. In fact if they took the time to learn how things are done in Europe they may not be very happy the way things are done in the USA..and find out that we may not be a “Great and free” as we think!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Larry
July 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm

One thing good about living in a thrid world country is they are already pretty used to having nothing, having limited power or no ower at all. Food is not abundant, and shopping is not an everyday thing. They already have learned so much about living in a collapsed economy, and believe me, we will see that before it’s over. Americans are to spoiled, and most will not prepare because they have the “It won’t happen to me”, syndrome. One thing I will say is trust no one, do not let anyone know what you havge including food, guns, and anything that can be bartered. They will come and get it themselves, or tell someone about it when times get tough enough. (this could even be the government). It is amazing how much information one can come up with when they are given an opportunity to make their lives a little easier for a little information. Low profile, and remember, “Loose lips sink ships”. And most importantly put your trust in the Lord. Everyone else, barter with.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Larry
July 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm

You was asking on window security. I installed auto window film for years. It was then I found about the security film that is sold by major manufacturers. These films are up to 12 mils thick and are amazing. Once applied to glass the become unbelievably strong.I hve secured the edges to the frame with flat bar and screws, and I guarantee a door will be an easier entrance. Someomapnies I have used are Madico, Llumar, Suntek, Solar Guard. You can even get film tinted to reduce heat, glare, or plain clear..

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