Afrovivalist: Prepare For A Double Whammy – Pandemic & Natural Disaster

Afrovivalist brings up a concept that I considered early in the pandemic. What if something like a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake or Hurricane Katrina happened during this or a future pandemic? How would that affect your plans? How would that affect your region? Prepare For A Double Whammy. Pandemic & Natural Disaster

Here is something to think about. I don’t want to freak anyone out but, Are you prepared for a double whammy? Do you have enough supplies and prepared for some kind of natural disaster during this pandemic.  This is something that I had not thought about as a survival scenario. Hell, I didn’t think I could be living it real time.

Summer is among us. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we could experience wild fires, mudslides, flooding, you name it. As the year goes on, we will experience a natural disaster as we do every year. Any natural disasters could happen during this Pandemic anywhere around the world. It’s been said in the Prepper community “Don’t wait until the disaster happens to prepare for the diaster.” Or “If a disaster happens, it’s too late to prepare.” Well, in this case, during this Coronavirus pandemic, thankfully, we can still get supplies. I would suggest that we prepare for the inevitable. I was doing some research to write a blog relating to pandemic and natural disasters. Instead of creating my own blog on the topic and reinventing the wheel, here is some good information on preparing for a double whammy. I would recommend you read this informative article from Emergency Essential website.

Welcome to the 2020 hurricane/tornado/wildfire/etc. season, a time when emergency systems already maxed out from the COVID-19 virus will extend beyond their limits to respond to the natural disasters that are guaranteed to hit.

You can bet this will be a topic of panic in the news but follow our advice and don’t get caught up in it. The world might get even more dangerous this summer and fall, but if you focus your preparations on the SIMPLE TIPS BELOW, you’ll help keep your head above water while others are struggling to stay afloat.

1. Double Down on Items Vulnerable to Shortages

Because of the pandemic, certain must-have emergency supply items will be either hard to find or at risk of disappearing (temporarily). Follow these tips to stay ahead of the curve:

Cover your bases—the standard rules still apply

Of course, this season, like every season before it, the standard rules of preparation continue to apply. We recommend planning out your supply using the 12 areas of prep—they make it easier to organize and remember important items:

…(continues)

 

TMIN: Get Prepared for Coming Food Shortages

The Most Important News writes about existing and forecast food shortages in You May Not Understand This Now, But You Need To Get Prepared For The Food Shortages That Are Coming

I was going to write about something completely different today, but I felt that I needed to issue this warning instead.  Even before COVID-19 came along, crazy global weather patterns were playing havoc with harvests all over the globe, the African Swine Fever plague had already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the world, and giant armies of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops at a staggering rate on the other side of the planet.  And now this coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented worldwide economic shutdown, and this has put an enormous amount of stress on global food supplies.

On the official UN website, the United Nations is openly using the term “biblical proportion” to describe the famines that are coming.  Even if COVID-19 miraculously disappeared tomorrow, a lot of people on the other side of the world would still starve to death, but of course COVID-19 is not going anywhere any time soon.

Here in the United States, our stores still have plenty of food.  But empty shelves have started to appear, and food prices are starting to go up aggressively.

In fact, we just witnessed the largest one month increase in food prices that we have seen since 1974.

For a long time I have been warning my readers that eventually a loaf of bread in the U.S. will cost five dollars, and one of my readers in Hawaii just told me that “my wife came home with ½ loaf of bread for $2.99”.

So it appears that the day I have been warning about has already arrived for some people.

Of course the price of meat is going up even faster than the price of bread.  The following is an excerpt from an email that one of Robert Wenzel’s readers in Alaska just sent him

Our local Costco as of now, beef hamburger is $9 a pound, and steaks are $18 a pound. Hamburger was at $3.50 a pound before all this.

Our local butcher shops, that butcher and package the little local beef that is raised here, are all out of meat.

Luckily, I have a couple moose in our freezers, and plenty of canned smoked salmon, and salmon season is coming soon again.

Hopefully the price of hamburger has not nearly tripled in your area yet, but without a doubt meat prices are going to just keep heading higher.

Ultimately, it is all about supply and demand.  Meat processing facilities have been shut down all over America due to COVID-19, and this is starting to create some really annoying shortages

If you go to Wendy’s this week, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to get a hamburger. Go to the supermarket and you’ll probably see some empty shelves in the meat section. You may also be restricted to buying one or two packs of whatever’s available. Try not to look at the prices. They’re almost definitely higher than what you’re used to.

This is the new reality: an America where beef, chicken, and pork are not quite as abundant or affordable as they were even a month ago.

But as I keep reminding my readers, the only reason these meat shortages are so severe is because many farmers are unable to make their normal sales to the processing plants that have closed down.

As a result, a lot of these farmers have been forced to gas or shoot thousands of their animals

For farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, and other Midwestern states, they have had little choice but to euthanize the backlog of animals, which means gassing or shooting thousands of pigs in a day, according to The New York Times.

The financial and emotional repercussions on the farmers are profound. Some farmers lose as much as $390,000 in a day, said the report. So far 90,000 pigs have been killed in Minnesota alone.

In the end, a lot of farmers may have to go out of business after being financially ruined during this crisis, and we will seriously miss that lost capacity in the days ahead.

Because the truth is that global food supplies are only going to get tighter and tighter.  As I have discussed previously, UN World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley has warned that we are facing “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”, and he insists that we could soon see 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day…

“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.

And did you catch that last part?

He specifically excluded the effects of COVID-19 from his very ominous projection.

So the truth is that the number of people starving to death each day could ultimately end up being far, far higher.

In wealthy western countries, starvation is not an imminent threat.  But what we are seeing is an explosion of hunger that is absolutely unprecedented.  All over America, people have been lining up “for hours” at America’s food banks so that they can be sure to get something before the supplies run out…(continues)

AYWtGS: Flattening the Curve Vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve

A Year Without the Grocery Store has an article about planning ahead for the next waves of the virus and associated second and third order effects in Flattening the Curve Vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve.

All of us have heard a lot about flattening the curve.  And according to many experts, we have successfully flattened the curve – to a greater or lesser degree depending on where in the country you live.  But we have a new problem now.  People are thinking about re-emerging from their respective lockdowns – whether self-imposed or government imposed.  And all that many people want is for life to return to normal.  Okay, I’ll level with you.  *I* want life to return to normal, but that isn’t my focus right now.  My focus is on getting ahead of the curve.

<img class=”alignleft wp-image-17894 size-medium” src=”https://i2.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979.jpeg?resize=300%2C240&ssl=1″ alt=”” width=”300″ height=”240″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=300%2C240&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=1024%2C819&ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=768%2C614&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=1536%2C1229&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=2048%2C1638&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=650%2C520&ssl=1 650w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_81393979-scaled.jpeg?resize=600%2C480&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Getting Ahead of the Curve?

So what I do mean by ‘getting ahead of the curve?’    It’s a fairly common phrase – “getting ahead of the curve.”  In our circumstances, I mean that we need to be able to look toward the future and see what actions we need to take NOW to take care of our families down the road.

Don’t be deceived – this is only the first wave of the virus.  If the pattern of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 holds true, there will be at least 3 waves of this virus.  So if we are seeing an end to the first wave of the Covid-19, we need to start about thinking about preparing for the second and third waves.  We also need to start trying to figure out what will the financial and practical fallout be for our country, region, state, county, city, and family.

Practical Fallout

One way that we’re already experiencing practical fallout is in the breakdown of our supply chain.  When I was at church yesterday – and yes, for the first time in seven weeks, we actually went to church I spent some time talking with a friend who lives in rural Illinois.  She was telling us that they have friends who work in pig farming.  They started probably two months ago, killing off any baby pigs that they didn’t think were going to be among the best of the litter.  Since then, they’ve taken measures to abort any baby pigs at all.  They know that they aren’t going to have the money to feed those pigs until the meat production plants reopen.

We’re already hearing about how Tyson has been shutting down plants because workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.  We’ve seen shortages of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, garden seeds, soups, pasta, masks, gloves, and so many other things.

So what can we do?  Flattening the Curve vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve<img class=”alignright wp-image-17895 size-medium” src=”https://i2.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873.jpeg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”Flattening the Curve vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=1024%2C681&ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=768%2C511&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=1536%2C1022&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=2048%2C1363&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AdobeStock_83435873-scaled.jpeg?resize=600%2C399&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />

Start now and watch the news.  What item or items (whether in your area or in the entire country) is likely going to become scarce in the near future?

1.)  Right now, if you have room in your freezer or you can pressure can, picking up extra meat is very important.  Bacon was already out of stock at Costco when I went out (with gloves and mask) last week.  They didn’t even have beef in the form that I usually pick it up.  Pork and chicken are the two types of meat that are in the greatest danger of seeing shortages.  The sooner you can get out and stock up, the better off you are.

2.)  Restock any foodstuffs that you can to bring your food numbers back to where they need to be.  If you’ve been using my book and workbook system to get your long-term food storage to where it needs to be and your short-term food storage to 3 months, then you know what areas you’ve been taking from during these last two months. Make sure that you fill them back up.  We’ve used significant amounts of oatmeal and tomato sauce.  When I was out at the post office today, we stopped at a store to refill our personal stores.

3.)  Restock any non-foodstuff items.  Have you worked your way through almost an entire pack of gloves?  See if you can replenish them.  Do you have to wear a mask when you’re out in public?  Are you running low?  Can you make your own, purchase single-use face masks, or another reusable alternative?  How are you on shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent?

Flattening the Curve vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve<img class=”alignleft wp-image-17896 size-medium” src=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1″ alt=”Flattening the Curve vs. Staying Ahead of the Curve” width=”300″ height=”200″ srcset=”https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=300%2C200&ssl=1 300w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1024%2C683&ssl=1 1024w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=650%2C433&ssl=1 650w, https://i1.wp.com/ayearwithoutthegrocerystore.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/markus-spiske-5gGcn2PRrtc-unsplash-scaled.jpg?resize=600%2C400&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Financial Fallout

How stable do you believe your job is?  How about your spouse’s job?  I known and met people who have lost parts of their income because of Covid-19.  I know people who have lost their entire income because of the virus as well.

Even if you think that things are on sure footing, it is a good time now to create an alternate budget.   We have the regular budget that we operate on a month to month basis, but then we have an alternative budget.  First off, If you’ve never used YNAB – You Need A Budget – then I would highly recommend that you check it out.  It is a yearly subscription fee, but it has saved us so much money during the four years that we’ve used it.

So we’ve back to this alternate budget.  It’s a bare-bones budget with every convenience that we feel like we could live without cut out of it.  We aren’t living on that budget, but we’re looking at a time when that might be necessary to live on less.  This enables us to ask, “How much less can we live on?”  And allows us to have concrete numbers as to what we HAVE to bring home…(continues)

The Guardian: We Mocked Preppers and Survivalists – Until the Pandemic Hit

The Guardian has a little article about how everyone wishes they had been preppers before this pandemic. Hopefully some people will be inspired to be a little more prepared in the future.

We mocked preppers and survivalists – until the pandemic hit

You’ve heard of preppers, right? Survivalists? If you’ve watched TV shows like Doomsday Preppers, you know about their strange, apocalyptic beliefs: that a disaster could strike at any time, overwhelming first responders and the social safety net; that this crisis could disrupt supply chains, causing scarcity and panic and social breakdown; that authorities might invoke emergency powers and impose police curfews. Crazy theories like that.

In fact, many perfectly reputable organizations – including the US federal government and the Red Cross – recommend Americans maintain extra food and emergency supplies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) advises keeping a two-week supply of food, as well as water, batteries, medical masks, first-aid supplies and a battery- or hand-powered radio, among other things.

In mainstream society, however, interest in prepping usually invites ridicule about bunkers and tin-foil hats. Preppers have spent years as the objects of our collective derision.

Until now. Today, we’re all preppers – or rather, wish we had been. Non-preppers have been caught in a rain shower without an umbrella. I don’t know if preppers are laughing right now, but perhaps they’re entitled to some vindication.

Now, I’m not a prepper. I am an effete quasi-intellectual with no practical skills of any kind. My current “emergency supplies” are some Hungry-Man Dinners and a liter of bourbon. If things get really bad I will finish the bourbon, lie down and wait to be eaten by stray cats.

But I’ve come to respect the preppers’ ethos of survival and preparedness. One of my friends is one, or at least on the spectrum. When coronavirus hit, he wasn’t one of the millions of people scrambling for surgical masks; he already had them in his survival kit. He kept a few and gave the rest to elderly people.

It has become fashionable to arguenot entirely accurately – that there are “no libertarians in a pandemic”. Certainly, this crisis has been a stark reminder of the importance of collective action. We’re all on this ship together; Covid-19 has laid bare the pathetic inadequacy of the US social safety net, our lack of investment in the common good, and our government’s short attention span for preparing for crises that don’t involve terrorism or war.

But collective action also requires some level of individual responsibility and preparedness, too, at least for those with the ability and the means. You can’t aid your elderly, immunocompromised or poorer neighbors if you haven’t taken the bare minimum of preparations. There’s a reason that airplane safety demonstrations warn passengers to put on their own air-masks before assisting others.

We’re right to be angry at the people stripping supermarkets bare and hoarding desperately needed supplies. Those people aren’t preppers, however. Preppers don’t engage in panic-buying. That’s the whole point. That’s why it is called prepping.

“Prepping is a choice that occurs before a panic, not during,” a prepper recently complained on Reddit. “If you didn’t stock up over time, you are a hoarder or, perhaps worse, an opportunist. In times like these we need to come together and support one another. That doesn’t mean giving away your supplies, but it does mean living in a society.”

Another added, “We aren’t the reason that elderly or immunocompromised people can’t find hand sanitizer, masks or toilet paper. We bought things in small increments when it made zero impact on the supply.” … (continues)

 

See also, The Atlantic: We Should All Be Preppers

Of Two Minds: Surviving 2020 – Plans A, B, and C

Charles Smith at Of Two Minds has an article on Surviving 2020 – Plans A, B, and C

As the bogus prosperity economy built on exponential growth of debt implodes, we all seek ways to protect ourselves, our families and our worldly assets. There are any number of websites, subscription services and books which offer two basic “practical recommendations:”
1. Buy gold (and/or silver) and don’t worry about timing the market as everything else will become worthless.
2. Establish a heavily armed and well-supplied hideaway before everything implodes.
My problem with these suggestions is that they are predicated on a decisive “end of the world as we know it” collapse of civilization.
While I am alive to the possibility of this cataclysm, an analysis of the many feedback loops which will slow or counteract such a decisive collapse suggests other alternatives are even more likely: my term for the slow, uneven decline of the credit/speculative-bubble era is devolution.
I cover feedback loops, historical cycles and why a lengthy devolution is as least as likely a scenario as abrupt collapse in my book Survival+ (free downloadable version is linked below).
In other words, I do not see planning for eventualities as “either/or.” I look at it in terms of three levels:
Plan A: dealing with devolution: government services are cut back, prices for essentials rise over time, fulltime paid jobs become scarce, the State (all levels of government) becomes increasingly repressive as it pursues “theft by other means,” i.e. the stripmining of private assets to feed its own fiefdoms and Elites; most assets fall in purchasing power (value) as the system’s financial props erode.
Plan B: When things become rationed/unavailable, services become sporadic, pensions stop being paid in full, spontaneous homeless encampments arise in heretofore “nice” areas, cities go bankrupt, small businesses go underground to survive the ever-higher taxes being levied on the few remaining productive enterprises, etc.
Plan C: if things fall apart: either move to communities where you or your family have roots (tough luck for all the millions of rootless Americans shifted around by corporate “relocations” the past 50 years) or turn to your neighborhood, town, friends, family, church and other social networks for cooperative strength.
The problem with putting all your resources into a “bug-out” strategy (Plan C) is that it might not come to pass, in which case you’ve misallocated your assets.
This is why I focus Survival+ on structuring a prosperity which will work on all levels. This prosperity has five basic parts:
1. Prepare for hybrid work by developing multiple skillsets, interests and contacts and understand that being productive and reciprocal is more important than getting paid (as I put it: “to take care of Number One, first take care of numbers 2 through 9.”)
2. Develop sustainable, overlapping social networks (self-organizing networks) in which you have more than one place to interact with the same person, i.e. at church or in the neighborhood. I call these non-State, voluntary networks transparent non-privileged parallel structures because they are independent of the State and Monopoly/Predatory Capital Elites.
3. Cut expenses to the bone so you no longer need a large income to “survive.” Consider lowering your taxable income by working less so you’re no longer working so hard just to pay taxes generated by high incomes. (Thanks to correspondent Stephen A. for noting that barter that results in gains is generally taxable. As always, check with the I.R.S. or a licensed tax advisor to confirm what income is taxable/nontaxable.)
4. Reach a new understanding of “prosperity”: health and social wealth are the “treasures” which money cannot buy. Yes, we all need some money, and preserving/growing whatever capital you do have will be difficult and time-consuming. There is no easy “one size fits all” solution.
5. Understand the importance and strength in building and maintaining personal integrity, the one asset we each control in totality and that no one can take from us. All reciprocal networks (financial, political, religious or social) depend entirely on trust, and the bedrock of trust is complete personal integrity.
Much of the devolution we now face is a direct result of the degradation of integrity. This moral/ethical component of financial implosion is glossed over by the corporate media because the Power Elites have implicitly undermined integrity and morality as a means of soldifying their control of the media and of the national income.
Yes, I know this all sounds wonderful, but how do you do it in real life? Well, life is and always has been a do-it-yourself affair. With 200 million+ employable people in the nation, what advice or recommendations can I possibly give to any one individual, when only that person knows their own interests, strengths and potential customers, clients, allies, competitors and mentors?
Let’s start with one simple truth: nobody knows the future. Thus everything we discuss now is contingent on a number of unpredictable interactions. To base our planning on one scenario is to risk misallocating our scarce assets and resources…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: The Truth About Neighbors in Survival Situations

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has an article on The Truth About Neighbors, Coworkers, & Friends in Survival Situations, detailing some things learned about people during this pandemic. I can think of a few additions to the types listed from my experiences, can you?

…many of us are realizing that there’s also a lot to learn about the folks just outside our inner circles: our neighbors, our co-workers, our extended families, and other communities in which we’re involved like churches or schools.

Behavior outside of the group.

While our connections with these people aren’t as intimate as those within our groups,  in some cases they can still threaten an otherwise solid survival plan. Some of the people described below may sound familiar after weeks of movement restriction.

  • The people you warned for months if not years that they needed to put some food aside, make arrangements for their prescriptions, and buy some extra toilet paper and soap.
  • Folks who know more than you now wish they did about your pantry and who’ve made it clear that they think it’s “greedy” that your family has so much while others have so little
  • People we used to really like boasting on Facebook how they snitched on somebody for some innocuous thing they felt flouted the “rules”
  • Neighbors taking a sudden and noticeable interest in your garden or your chickens
  • People in the neighborhood who are no longer working and now just sit on their porch all day and closely watch what everyone else is doing – including people unloading supplies from their cars into their homes
  • The nosy neighbor who demands that everything be “fair” and wants to take a tally of anything – people, water, supplies, guns, you name it.
  • That guy down the street you never liked in the first place who is becoming even more unlikeable by promoting himself as some kind of neighborhood watch king, handing out unsolicited advice and warnings, or maybe trying to set up “rules” by which he expects everyone else to abide
  • The people who are moving closer and closer to overstepping the boundaries of civil behavior – they’re doing small things dropping their trash in your yard or blatantly looking inside the windows of your car – but it’s an escalation
  • The co-worker who asks way more questions about your preparedness level than is really appropriate
  • The community group (church, social club, volunteer organization) that wants donations or participation in a way that is likely to threaten your OPSEC (operational security – more on that later)

You know the ones. They’re trying to get just a little too close for comfort. We’ve probably all seen somebody over this period of time and thought, “Yeah, I’m going to have to watch that guy.”

If the situation were to worsen, you would indeed have to watch that guy.

Identify “who” your neighbors and coworkers are

The people around you can be beneficial, neutral, or a threat. It’s best to determine which one they are as early as possible in an emergency…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Christian Prepper Gal: Has the Reality of It Hit You Yet?

Christian Prepper Gal asks if you’ve realized that you’re in a SHTF situation in Has the Reality of It Hit You Yet?

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. We are in the middle of a SHTF situation. I think for most preppers that is just now beginning to sink in. And, I’ve been amazed at the number of new preppers that have shown up in Facebook groups in the past month! The time to be prepared is NOW. And, I’m not just talking about being prepared with food and household essentials. Unfortunately, so many, and especially new, preppers think that is all they need to or have to do.

Last Fall (2019) I began to feel very strongly that it was time to stop trying to warn people of the need to be prepared. That it was time to make sure we had our own ducks in a row, and see to it that our own lamps were filled with oil. I even expressed to those around me that I felt like “something” was going to happen in 2020. And, by “something” I meant we were going to experience (as a nation) SH(ing)TF. And, guess what?!? It happened! I personally had thought it would be as a result of the election. But, apparently I was wrong. See? I can admit being wrong, from time to time, lol.

It is my belief that this SHTF scenario has just begun. We are all wanting it to be overwith quickly and for things to get back to normal. But, you know what? I don’t think it’s going to be overwith quickly, and I’m not sure things can ever be back to what normal was before the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I also don’t mean to give false hope to others, or myself. The reality of it is that there will be repercussions from our nation being essentially shut down. Even though the term has not been “officially” used as of yet here in the U.S., that is what has happened. We’ve already been shut down for close to a month, and it sure doesn’t look like things are going to be getting back to “normal” any time soon.

How are you reacting to all this?

First and foremost, we SHOULD NOT be reacting with fear. Especially as Christians. But, it’s easy to allow that to happen. Remember, though…

2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

It is especially important to remember that right now, during this pandemic. We do not want to allow our minds to become the devil’s playground, do we? I know I don’t! But, if we allow fear to creep in, that is exactly what we’re doing.

How do we avoid or get rid of that fear? We read The Word of God. Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (KJV). If we read (hear) The Word of God, it drives out fear! How can you have faith and fear at the same time? You can’t! And, that’s why we need to build up our most holy faith. We need to saturate our entire beings with His Word! According to Johh 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (KJV) Jesus is The Word. If we read what He said, in His Word, our faith will abound! And, faith expels fear! If we put our trust in Him, we will prevail and overcome fear.

There was one day a couple of weeks ago that I was so overcome with the negative from the news and social media that I had to play some contemporary worship music. I turned it up loud, and let it drown out all the negative in my mind and eyes. Then, I could put my mind and eyes back on Jesus.

We need to keep our eye on the prize. And, as Christians, our prize is eternal life with our Heavenly Father. So, if we keep our eyes on Him, we will win in the end!

Are you still denying it?

As I mentioned earlier, some (many) people (including preppers) are in denial. They truly think that our government will be able to take care of us and this is the worst that things will get. Some preppers don’t even realize that this is the SHTF that they’ve been preparing for! My thought is that the reason for that is they are only seeing the here and now. They’re not seeing what can and possibly will happen as a result of our nation being shut down.

Take a moment and let that sink in. Think about it. Our government has already put itself two trillion dollars in debt over this pandemic and that has only touched the surface. It will take much, much more than that to dig us out of this economic hole we are in. Do we have that much money and resources in reserve? Most likely not.

The economic downfall of the pandemic is just now beginning to be felt by many. What is going to happen when the food and resources begin to run out? What’s going to happen when parents cannot provide for their families? It will hit those with the lower incomes first. And, we are on the brink of that happening as I write. And, we are only in the beginning; one month since the declaration of this being a pandemic. We have a long way to go before we can even begin recovery. The virus hasn’t even been stabilized yet; it could take up to 18 months or longer to develop a vaccine. Our government is trying to help us and prevent things like chaos as a result of looting and rioting from happening. But, it’s not all up to only them…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Christian Prepper Gal.

Jamie Cooks It Up: Food Storage and Recipes

40 Food Storage Recipes and Food Storage/Pantry Staple Lists is an older blog post from Jamie Cooks It Up! It talks about what kinds of foods to have as staples and for long term storage, and then links to a bunch of storage recipes (also on her site) for using those foods. Maybe you bought up a bunch of food storage early in this pandemic and aren’t sure what to do now. Maybe you’re looking at the supply chain woes and wondering what you need to get through the rest of year. Jamie Cooks It Up also posts a “week menu plan” each week with one meal per day for the week.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails lately regarding food storage, and pantry staples. 

“What do you keep stocked in your kitchen, what are some fabulous food storage recipes, Where should I buy my food storage and What can I feed my family if I can’t go to the store for 3 weeks in a row”. These are just a sampling of the questions posed.  

Now, I am by no means a food storage specialist, however I thought I would put together a few tips, lists and recipes together for you regarding the subject. Please know that the advice I am giving here is just from my own personal experiences, and not the only tried and true method around. If you have some food storage advice, I would love you to leave it in the comment section for others to view. 

Acquiring a substantial food storage can be overwhelming, I realize. The intention of this post is not to cause you stress or grief or feelings of extreme anxiety. When I was newly married, some 18 years ago, I remember coming across an article in a magazine that had to do with organizing a kitchen and what spices a person should  purchase. After taking one glance at the list I tossed it in the trash and thought to myself…”there is no way I’ll EVER be able to acquire all of those things, I wonder how long we can live on cupboard lint.”

It’s true. Those were my very thoughts. 

However, I learned as I’m sure many of you have, that it just takes a little bit of time, effort and financial planning and a well stocked kitchen can be attained. The same is true of obtaining a useful supply of food storage. You don’t need to spend 1 million dollars or build an underground bunker storing 95 years worth of food to be successful. 

Alright, let’s get to it. If you are already a food storage pro, and are just looking for the 40 Food Storage Recipes promised, please scroll to the bottom of the post and enjoy. 

WHY IN THE WIDE WORLD SHOULD I STORE EXTRA FOOD?

As a means of being prepared for difficult circumstances, such as job loss, natural disasters or an economic downturn. 



WHAT KIND OF FOOD SHOULD I STORE? 

You should store food that your family regularly eats, that also has at least a 3 month shelf or freezer life. Baking supplies, spices and seasonings, canned goods, as well as frozen vegetables, fruits, meat and poultry. (Lists found if you keep scrolling down.)

Expensive Freeze Dried Food is not really my cup of tea. I may regret not purchasing it if the continents end up colliding and I am forced to dig a hole in my back yard and eat tree roots to survive. Truly. I may regret it at that point. But for now, stocking and storing a 6 month to 1 year supply of real food my family regularly eats is my course of action. 

Store some long term food storage items such as hard winter wheat, rice, dried beans, etc. I try to keep about a 3 year supply of these things. (Keep scrolling down for a complete list). They are inexpensive, healthy and if stored properly they have a 30 year shelf life! That is a long old time, wouldn’t you agree? I keep these items in large, sealed, 5 gallon buckets (they can accommodate about 40 pounds). I don’t have a big food storage room so I just stick them here and there, which really means my kids all have 3 or 4 buckets in the bottom of their closets. But they don’t mind, they would rather eat rice and beans than tree roots…or so I keep telling them…

LONG TERM STORAGE:

*Hard White Winter Wheat
Dried White Beans
Dried Black Beans
Dried Kidney Beans
Lentils
* White Rice
Brown Rice
*Steel Cut Oats

40 FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
The recipes I have listed for you below, are recipes that primarily use food storage staples as ingredients. You may need a fresh egg, some milk, butter or cheese for some of them, but I tried to keep the list as food storage friendly as I could…
Moogie Mush, cracked wheat cereal

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

4 C hot water
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
3/4-1 C raisins
2 1/2 C cracked wheat (I buy White Winter Wheat and then crack it in a blender)
1/4 C brown sugar
20 packets of splenda

Instructions

1. Crack your wheat in a blender. Don’t add more than about 2 cups at a time. It should be the right texture after about 4 minutes.
2. Combine the water, salt, vanilla and raisins in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
3. Turn down the heat to low and stir in the wheat. The wheat tends to clump up a bit. Break the clumps up with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the sugar and splenda and stir to incorporate.
5. Cover the sauce pan, turn off the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes. (Keep it on the warm burner)

Technology Review: Waiting for the Big One, then Coronavirus Arrived

MIT Technology Review has a good article about community preparedness on the Oregon Coast in They were waiting for the Big One. Then coronavirus arrived. The article’s subtitle is Can being ready for one kind of disaster prepare you for another?

Linda Kozlowski’s neighbor wanted to know if she needed anything from Walmart. It wasn’t a quick trip into town; the drive from the Oregon coast to Portland took two hours. But because of her age, Kozlowski, a 77-year-old retiree, might be at risk from covid-19. Perhaps there would be hard-to-find goods, like hand sanitizer. She thought for a moment and asked for bread, pasta, and toilet paper.

Helping senior citizens is a neighborly thing to do, especially in the middle of a pandemic. But in Manzanita, where Kozlowski lives, joint grocery runs are part of a detailed disaster preparedness plan that Kozlowski herself introduced to the town 13 years ago. Back then, it wasn’t a disease they were concerned about, but a storm that helped locals realize exactly how vulnerable they were to power outages, floods, and landslides.

The Oregon coast is a harsh, unforgiving place where mundane outings can quickly turn deadly. This past January, Jeremy Stiles and his two young children, Lola and William, were swept out to sea by a sneaker wave while hiking north of Manzanita. Lola died at the hospital. William’s body was never found. (Jeremy recovered from hypothermia.)

Until recently, though, the main thing most residents were preparing for was a combined earthquake and tsunami they nicknamed The Big One. The Cascadia Subduction Zone fault line stretches from Vancouver Island in Canada to Cape Mendocino, California. The last Cascadia earthquake occurred in 1700, and scientists have predicted that one will occur every 300 to 600 years. When it hits, the region will be devastated.

So Kozlowski had helped the neighborhood get prepared. She’d followed advice, called a meeting, and identified who had first aid skills, who had generators, who had a chainsaw. She’d organized a spot for everyone to rendezvous if things went bad. Sure, she’d created the disaster plan in case there was a tsunami. But it meant that when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Kozlowski and her neighbors already knew exactly how to lean on one another.

The majority of Americans are not ready for disaster. A 2016 survey conducted by Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness found that 65% of households reported having no or inadequate plans to survive a catastrophe. Forty-one percent of households said they weren’t confident their communities knew what to do if disaster struck unexpectedly. And yet, in the face of coronavirus, preparation has become urgent in a whole new range of ways to a whole new range of people. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders have paralyzed communities, shut down businesses, and led to panic buying. If the nation was generally unprepared for disaster, it was even less ready for this particular flavor of emergency.

“Are we prepared as a country? I don’t think so,” says Irwin Redlener, the director of the Columbia center. “The fact is, the studies we have done that have to do with individual preparedness have been extremely depressing…”

Kozlowski…organized residents to get trained. Then came the portable, handheld emergency radio operators and those familiar with ham radio. Today, every Thursday at 6 p.m., they call in to a centralized channel called the Net (the operation center is the firehouse), say who they are, and listen to what’s called an “educational moment,” about something like how to get to an assembly site. Last year there were 2,701 total check-ins.

In 2008, Kozlowski expanded from Manzanita to two other local towns, covering some 2,000 people, and formed the volunteer corps. Most of its money comes from local fundraising and from the fire department. Her budget is small—even if it has risen from $4,000 to $12,000—but the corps offers classes in emergency radio, WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), and managing chronic illness in austere conditions. The closest hospital is 40 minutes away, so the corps also has a medical reserve made up of local doctors, nurses, vets, and physical therapists. Kozlowski says this training has all helped them deal with coronavirus. “We’ve been talking about ‘How do you wash your hands?’ for a long time,” she says. “Because after a disaster, the last thing you want to do is get diarrhea.”

Kozlowski’s efforts were soon mimicked around the coast. Sharon Kloepfer, a CERT volunteer in Gearhart, another coastal town, told me Manzanita has “blown away every other community as far as preparedness.” In Rockaway Beach, a strip of land south of Manzanita, David Elkins is trying to copy Kozlowski after taking her volunteer corps classes. He was told the city didn’t have any money to hire an emergency manager, so he rallied 25 residents who are now trained in first aid, lost-person search, and small-fire suppression…

Click here to read the entire article at Technology Review.

Raw Story: Cold War-style Preparedness Could Help Fight Future Pandemics

There is an article over on Raw Story about how local preparedness could be a more effective way of dealing with disasters and pandemics rather than a reliance on top-down response. Who woulda thunk?

Cold War-style preparedness could help fight future pandemics

A key group of allies is missing in the U.S. effort to face the coronavirus pandemic: the American people.

In the wake of World War II and during the Cold War, the U.S. was the world’s best at planning and preparing for mobilizing the citizenry to take action in an emergency. In those days, the anticipated emergency was a nuclear attack on the U.S., likely resulting in a loss of national leadership that required local governments and members of the public to step up.

Every American was asked to help prepare for that possibility, storing extra supplies, planning to communicate with family members and developing survival skills.

A poster from 1941 urged all Americans to contribute to community preparedness for emergencies.
Government Printing Office, 1941/Library of Congress

Eventually, this type of “civil defenseplanning grew to incorporate responses to other extreme events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.

Over the latter half of the 20th century, the U.S. civil defense effort encouraged all Americans to be prepared to respond actively to a national emergency.

In recent years, however, Americans’ expectations have shifted from being ready to respond to passively waiting for help from a centralized, bureaucratic federal effort – usually led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency…

…Small organizations are able to adapt: Many have quickly shifted to fill the immediate need. Small wineries, microbreweries and distilleries are making hand sanitizer. Garment and uniform companies are making masks. Schools are using 3D printers to produce face shields.

These examples demonstrate that small-scale approaches can be effective in producing big results. In contrast, larger organizations are more bureaucratic and slower to respond. These inverse economies of scale mirror civil defense efforts: Many working collectively but independently are sometimes more effective than a larger centralized effort.

When facing an unexpected crisis, some amount of disorganization is probably inevitable. But other countries, such as Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Nigeria and Australia, actively work to engage all citizens in disaster preparedness, first aid training and other efforts that give people clear and productive tasks to accomplish.

Following their example – and indeed the United States’ own history – could help create a system of federal oversight and coordination complemented by prepared and trained local responders. That could better prepare the public to pull together as a collective civic community when disaster next strikes.

Click here to read the entire article at Raw Story.

Primal Survivor: 10 Tips for Buying Food During Shortages

If you waited until now to stockpile emergency food, you are probably struggling.  The recent pandemic means Emergency food kits orders are backlogged for months.

Popular retailers like REI are out of virtually all freeze-dried meals.  And supermarkets are having an impossible time of keeping shelves stocked with non-perishables like pasta, flour, canned goods, and instant meals.

This doesn’t mean you can’t stockpile food during the pandemic.  You’ve just got to be strategic about it.  Here are some tips to help you build up a stockpile of food even in the midst of disaster shortages.

1. Understand Why You Are Stockpiling Food

As the experts keep telling us, there is no food shortage right now. Rather, all the panic buying is causing the shelves to empty quickly. People are simply buying more than usual.

Nor is there likely to be a food shortage anytime soon.  Even in countries which have almost complete shutdowns, food manufacturing employees are allowed to go to work.  In fact, governments are organizing safe transportation to make sure these people can get to work!

Sure, there could be food shortages in the not-too-distant future. It’s understandable (and even smart) if you want to stockpile just in case.  However, now is not the time to build up a long-term food stockpile.  Wait until the craziness has died down to start!

If we aren’t going to run out of food, then why stockpile?

The answer is this: So you don’t have to leave your home. And especially so you don’t have to leave home to go to the grocery store.

Because of all the crowds and people who pass through them, grocery stores are one of the most dangerous places during the coronavirus pandemic.  The longer you can go between grocery store visits, the safer you will be (and thus the safer your community will be too).

Once you realize you are stockpiling food so you don’t have to leave home, you will be able to go about shopping in a smarter way.

2. Do Not Go Grocery Shopping during the Panic

If you have enough food in your home to last a while (even if it’s just a few days), DO NOT GO GROCERY SHOPPING NOW.

At the time of writing this, people in the United States are still panic buying.  If you head to the stores now, you will likely find bare shelves and crowds of people.  You won’t succeed in getting the food you need and you’ll expose yourself to a lot of potentially-sick people.

Instead, hold off on going to the store as long as you can.  In countries like Italy, it only took a couple weeks before the panic-buying stopped.  In Serbia, the panic-buying stopped after just a few days and the shelves were back to normal.

crowds at supermarket during COVID-19
Look at all these people shopping for supplies. It’s safer to wait for the crowds to thin out! (Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

3. Make a Food Spreadsheet

A friend of mine works at a supermarket.  She tells me about all the people literally buying 30 packages of spaghetti and nothing else.  Others are buying massive amounts of flour and oil but nothing else.

What the hell are you going to do with 30 bags of pasta???

Sure, you won’t starve but do you really want to eat plain pasta for the next few weeks?  And how will you use flour without yeast or baking soda and baking powder?  Oil is also pretty useless if you don’t have something to fry or cook with it! (continues)

Click here to continue reading at Primal Survivor.

Survivopedia: Coronavirus – What You Should Really Do Regarding Your Stockpile

From Bill White at Survivopedia, Coronavirus: What You Should Really Do Regarding Your Stockpile on how the pandemic may be different from what most preppers prepared and why the so-called “panic  buying” has been a good thing.

As the COVID-19 Coronavirus sweeps the globe, different people are reacting in different ways.

For most, fear is a part of that reaction. That’s normal, as we all tend to be afraid of the unknown and there’s still a lot of unknown about this virus. But the truly scary part isn’t the fear that people are having; it’s the fear that governments are having.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t envy the problems that the president and state governors are facing right now. They are in a no-win situation, where they are having to make decisions based on limited information, with the foreknowledge that there is no right answer. No matter what they decide, there will be others, sitting on the sidelines, telling them how wrong they are.

As it stands right now, if the president or some governor calls for a full quarantine, they will be blasted for overreacting and destroying the economy. If they don’t call for that, they will be blasted for not taking the situation seriously and every death will be laid at their doorstep. Both of these reactions are already happening, it just depends on who is doing the complaining about what the government is doing, and that doesn’t necessarily follow party lines.

Is Quarantine Coming?

The entire state of California, 40 million people, is now under quarantine. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo is directing non-essential businesses to keep their workers at home. Even in Texas, which has relatively few cases, the governor is calling for voluntary self-isolation for the next two weeks.

Is this an overreaction? Or is it necessary to prevent a massive number of people from dying?

To answer that question, we need to understand why the government is calling for people to self-quarantine, specifically why they’re calling for a 14-day self-quarantine.

There’s no way that a 14-day quarantine is going to put a total stop to the disease. First of all, there are a significant number of cases on record, where the incubation period was longer than 14 days. Secondly, even if all incubation periods fell within the 14-day window, people are still contagious while their bodies are battling the disease. If they are treated at home, there’s still a chance of them infecting their families.

So what’s the 14-day voluntary quarantine about then?

Just like social distancing, the 14-day voluntary self-isolation is about slowing the spread of the disease, rather than stopping it. It is being instituted now, to ensure that everyone who comes down with a serious case of the disease will have a hospital bed to rest in and a respirator to help them breathe. It’s to ensure that our medical community is able to give people the treatment they need, in order to give them the greatest chances of defeating the virus and surviving.

I recently saw some rather interesting computer models, which showed how a viral disease of this type propagates through a population. In a “normal” situation, where there are no safeguards in place, the number of cases of the disease rises rapidly, outpacing the medical community’s ability to deal with it. A full quarantine of those who are infected is hard to institute because you will always have some people who are going to be “leakers” slipping through and spreading the disease. The most effective thing to do is to isolate as many people as possible, reducing the number of people who are moving around and spreading the disease throughout the population.

This is what the government is trying to do. By asking people to shelter in their homes, they are hoping to drastically reduce the number of people who are out and about, with the potential of spreading the disease. We are not being told that we can’t leave our homes at all, but rather being asked to avoid leaving them as much as possible. At the same time, places where people congregate, where one contagious person could easily infect many other people, are being closed for two weeks, with the same goal of slowing the spread of the disease.

I remember reading a few years back about how school desks have more germs on them than the average toilet seat. My reaction at that time was to write a satire about it. But if you think about it, our schools are a breeding ground for disease. They are filled with children, most of whom are not all that concerned about personal hygiene and who all come into close contact with each other. Typically, if one child gets sick, you can count on the whole class catching it within a week or two.

So, what will this quarantine do for us?

Basically, it does two things. The first is that it shows the spread of the disease, spreading it out over a longer period of time. This will level out the workload for our medical professionals so that they can give each patient the treatment that they need…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

Christian Prepper Gal: This Is Only a Test. Or Is It?

Christian Prepper Gal has an article up on using the current pandemic to evaluate for preparedness – This is a test. This is only a test. Or is it? We don’t know if this event will last two weeks (seems unlikely to be that short), two months (maybe?), or two years (the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 actually surged on and off for about two years). It’s quite possible that we’re living a piece of history that could be remembered for decades or even hundreds of years. For your own benefit, keep a journal of what is happening to you, how you have prepared, what shortcomings you experienced, what you need to improve, and so forth, so that you can go back in less hectic times and make improvements to your life and readiness.

With all that is going on in the world right now, I can’t help but wonder if this is just a test. A test to allow us to see if we really are ready/prepared for what’s yet to come? You know, kind of like a wake up call? Telling us we only thought we were ready.

I’m really hoping that’s all it is! Why? Because I have already learned so much from it. And, by that I mean how much I am NOT ready and prepared! I mean, don’t get me wrong…I am prepared for a short term emergency/SHTF. And by short term I mean a few months. But, anything beyond that? Well, it would be a struggle to survive.

Funny thing is that I thought that was why I was at the homestead…so I could be prepared for a long term SHTF situation. But, I don’t know God’s reasoning behind things. I can only trust Him that there is something more that I need to learn before being put in that position full time. And, I need to be open to Him showing me what that something is. I do know that I learned a lot about prepping/surviving while living on the homestead and some of those things can be implimented in my preps here in the city.

Okay, so I guess looking back on the homestead experiences, combined with this current pandemic (COVID-19), I am seeing where I need to concentrate on improving my preps. So, for me, it’s a combination of both. A test and a wake up call. However, I do believe that most of us who consider ourselves preppers have been able to see areas that need to be improved upon before we are ready for “the big one”. Or is this “the big one”? Personally, I don’t think it is. Although, if those people who are resistant don’t start realizing that this is a serious matter and keep themselves at home as much as possible, it could turn into a long term SHTF.

I do remember many of us last year (2019) feeling like there was an urgency to step up our prepping. Do you remember? I was strongly prompted and urged to do so. Actually, I’m thinking it may have been right around this time of the year. Anyway, I also told my daughter that something was going to happen in 2020. I didn’t know if it would be as a result of the presidential election or something different. But, I did know that we needed to put a rush on our prepping and learning survival skills. It wasn’t fear motivating and moving me. It was God prompting me. Just like this feeling that we really need to get completely serious about prepping for something bigger than this current pandemic. For something that may last longer than a couple of months.

Geesh! It is so easy for me to get off track here! Okay, back to the subject at hand. Is this a test? Or a wake up call? Or both? Now that I’m thinking about it more, it could be both. A test for us to see the holes in our prepping, and a wake up call for us to continue to work on our preps and push to be ready for “the big one” (as in the big SHTF).

This definitely is a SHTF situation that we are living in right now. But, I don’t think it’s the end game just yet. I could be wrong, I’m no expert, so please don’t hold me to it. It’s just a gut feeling that I have. The feeling that something so much worse than what we are experiencing right now is in the works. It may even be the current pandemic continuing to such a place. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I need to be more vigilant and push forward with much more force my prepping/survival endeavors. Once I can. For now, I can remain vigilant and make plans for what I need to do when we get back to a point where I can purchase more food products.

When I really take a look at where I’ve come (with prepping) over the past couple of years I am amazed at the progress I’ve made. And yet, with this pandemic it has also caused me to see all the areas in which I need to improve. And believe me, there are a lot of holes that need to be filled in. I don’t know about you, but it’s not just the food storage that I need to improve upon. It’s also expanding my medical supplies to include a trauma kit and other emergency supplies; which I had started working on just before I moved to my son’s homestead. I need to work on learning more bushcraft/survival skills and practicing the skills I have already learned. There are many areas in my prepping that I need to expound upon and improve. I will not procrastinate. I will not put it off until everything is “back to normal”. I will continue to move forward. There are so many things I can be doing to improve my knowledge and skills while we are all basically self-isolating ourselves.

Here’s some of what I have learned from the Coronovirus (COVID-19) Pandemic of 2020:

  1. That I do not have enough toilet paper stocked. We probably have enough for a couple of months, but who knows how long this lack of availability will last?

  2. That I do not have enough disinfectant wipes, lysol, or bleach stored. Again, I have some, but not nearly enough if this goes long term.

  3. That people are going to hate you for having been prepared with food and necessities. People were actually complaining that there were some who were prepared and didn’t have to go to the stores for food and necesseties. Not even realizing that some people being prepared left more on the shelves for them!

  4. That it truly is important to keep your mouth shut about being a prepper to everyone except those you are willing to feed and care for in a SHTF scenario. This is because of how people reacted to preppers at the beginning of this pandemic (see No. 3). I can just imagine what would happen if it came to the point of food not being available at all.

Those are only a few of the things I have learned from this pandemic. There are some more things I will be sharing with you in upcoming articles and videos.

So, if you are like me in that your eyes have been opened and you have seen areas that you need to expound upon or improve upon in order to be truly ready for “the big one” SHTF, then I pray that you will heed the warnings and regroup, re-evaluate, or whatever it is that you need to do in order to begin to move forward and accomplish those improvements. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We can’t see into the future (well, most of us can’t). But, we can put our trust and faith in our Heavenly Father and heed His warnings and follow His leading.

Remember we prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Until next time…happy prepping, and God bless!

Hosea 4:6, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)

Organic Prepper: Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies and You’re Out of Money

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper has a timely article out 12 Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies to Buy and You’re Out of Money. Anyone reading the news knows that many preparedness/daily living items are in short supply, and with millions laid off or working reduced hours money is tight for many more.

If you’ve been prepping for the Covid-19 pandemic recently, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things.

  1. The stores are quickly running out of the supplies people want.
  2. People are quickly running out of money.

Both of these things are important. Of course, if there are no supplies, you can’t buy what you need. But secondly, you need to still consider your budget. This situation with Covid-19 will be personally costly. At this point, we all still have bills to pay and your stockpile won’t do you much good when it’s sitting on the curb beside you because you couldn’t make your mortgage payment.

So while I advise doing everything you can to be prepared, I also encourage you NOT to go deeply into debt now of all times. People are getting laid off by the tens of thousands right now. Everything is changing.

We’re at a critical point right now when there’s a crisis bearing down on us and we want to get prepared. But there are very few supplies left on store shelves to buy and many of us don’t have much money left to spend. This does not mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, you’re at one of the most crucial junctures of preparedness right now.

How to prep without buying more stuff

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the possibility of quarantine when you’ve put a halt to the frantic spending. Make yourself a checklist and get cracking.

  1. Fill up all your containers with water. A Mason jar full of water takes up the same amount of space as an empty Mason jar. Go through your house and fill up every vessel you can with water.
  2. Organize your supplies. If you bought a whole lot of stuff in a frenzy – and let’s be honest, a lot of us did – you may have them stacked in a precarious pile in some area of the house. Take the time to organize your food. You can go about this in different ways – put ingredients for meals together, put all the veggies in one area, all the grains in another area…however you decide to go about it, getting organized will help you see what you have on hand.
  3. Make a menu. While you’re organizing your food stockpile, create some meal plans based on the supplies that you have.
  4. Organize first aid and medical supplies. Put all your first aid, over-the-counter medications, prescription meds, and medical supplies together so you can see what you have. Think about how you can improvise anything you’re missing.
  5. Organize other supplies. I keep my supplies in kits. I have a power outage kit with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries, solar chargers, etc. I have a pandemic kit I created back in 2014 during the Ebola scare with masks, gloves, Tyvek suits, booties, and other things specific to a pandemic. I use big Rubbermaid tubs for these kits but you can use anything: cardboard boxes, even space on a shelf.
  6. Do a home-security check.  Go outside and take a walk around your house. Are there things that need to be addressed to make your home more secure? Do you need to trim back some shrubs to keep the area under windows visible? Should you secure downstairs windows so they can’t easily be raised up from the outside? Can you put a locking latch on the gate in the back yard? Does your shed need a lock on it? Focus on the small tasks you may have been putting off to make your home more secure.
  7. Make a family security plan. Would your family members know what to do in the event of a home invasion? If not, you need to make a plan. Vulnerable family members need to get out of the way, and family members who are engaging the criminals need to know who is doing what so they don’t get in each other’s way. Place weapons and potential weapons in strategic areas around the home.
  8. Figure out a long-term water plan. Where could you acquire water if no longer came from the taps? Identify places where you could get water – creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, even fountains if you’re in the city. If there’s nothing like that, figure out how you could capture rainwater the most efficiently. Make sure you have a way to purify this water.
  9. Take a look at your budget. Are there things you can cut right now to help you get better prepared for a long-term financial crisis? Slash unnecessary expenditures now. Call your insurance company for a better rate. Cancel subscription boxes.
  10. Spend some time learning. If you’re already in lockdown, make the most of your time by learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. The best thing you can do right now is to subscribe to Selco’s Patreon that he’s running with his business partner Toby. It’s only $1 a month and the information on there is timely and PURE GOLD. Learn to make things, repair things, grow things, and take some time to look into old-fashioned solutions. This is a great time to pick up some new skills. Read some of those books in your to-read pile and check out how-to videos on YouTube.
  11. Clean and do laundry. This may not sound like a prep at all, but in the unlikely event that the power is interrupted, it would really be bad to start out with a house that needs to be vacuumed and a sky-high pile of dirty laundry.
  12. Assess your neighborhood. If it’s still okay to go for a walk (without coming in close contact with others) take a stroll around your immediate neighborhood. Identify resources, like creeks or fruit trees in the park. Think about which neighbors are more likely to be allies and which ones you expect could be troublesome. This isn’t something you need to act on now – you’re just gathering information.

When you complete these exercises you may find that there are a few things you still need to buy. At the time of this writing, you can probably still do that. The good news is, these things are unlikely to be the stuff that everyone else is buying in a frenzy – think about essential hardware, high-level medical supplies, and tools.

There’s a lot more to prepping than simply buying stuff and piling it into a closet. The time you spend now on non-purchase prepping is also very important. It’s a whole lot easier to think things through right now when you are calm and well-fed than it is to try and figure them out when you’re under stress. This isn’t the time to sit around streaming Netflix or doing a crossword puzzle. There’s a lot of work to be done before we reach the point that we can’t do anything more.

So close that Amazon window on your computer and get to work…

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Organic Prepper: How to Help Your Community Be Better Prepared

Kara Stiff at The Organic Prepper has written How to Help Your Community Be Better Prepared for Covid-19 (and Future Emergencies). It’s worth your time to read.

…Some people can’t get their doctors to prescribe a reasonable stockpile of essential medications, or they need regular access to a hospital for dialysis or some other life-saving service. Some don’t have an extra dollar to spend on food for later because they can’t cover food for today. Others can’t stay home even when they’re contagious because they’ll lose their job. And some are suffering from depression or other mental states that make it literally impossible to think about the future, much less plan for it.

Some of these have been issues for me in the past, and I’m just lucky those periods of my life were short. There are millions of people who live there permanently.

Systemic and personal barriers to other people’s preparedness affect me personally, even though my family is in pretty good shape. We live out in the country but we’re still surrounded by neighbors, and our fortunes will rise and fall with theirs. My family can only be as prepared as our neighborhood, our county, our state. Which is to say, not very prepared at all.

How I’m working on community preparedness

So instead of further addressing our personal preparedness with diminishing returns, I’m working on community preparedness. I’m not an elected official or a leader, just a private citizen, so the things I’m doing are friendly and neighborly things.

Before we got our little cold I did my friend’s monthly livestock feed run for her, saving her a day in the car so she can rest up and take care of things at home. Then, I took my elderly neighbors some extra eggs. I haven’t seen them in a while, and it’s to both of our advantages if they remember who I am. I reintroduced myself to my neighbor who just moved in, so he remembers who I am, too.

Of course, it’s safest to live in a tight network of preparedness-minded people with diverse and complementary skills who unconditionally support each other. But how many of us are actually achieving that right now?

It’s difficult to build and maintain that sort of situation in a nation where most people aren’t interested, and people are always moving. Some of my neighbors form a pretty good support group, but I also have neighbors I’m not close with. Knowing their names and faces is far better than not knowing.

Another thing I’m doing is giving extra money to my local food bank. In these times when all the headlines scream that unemployment is low and the economy is hearty, about 15% of my county is already leaning on the food bank, including lots of elderly people and families with small children. These are the people who can least afford a health problem or a wider financial disruption, and it’s ultimately better for me if they have access to the resources to stock up.

The greater the proportion of the population who can meet some of their needs in any emergency, be it a virus, a weather event or just a personal job loss, the more likely it is that any forthcoming disaster assistance can cover the remaining needs. More needs met equals less unrest (certainly not none, but less) and less unrest equals my family being safer (certainly not safe, but safer).

It’s easy to feel that because I’m all set, all those grasshoppers who won’t see to their own needs can suffer and it doesn’t affect me. But it isn’t true. I am safest when everyone is safest.

This week I’m reaching out gently to friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable because of asthma, pregnancy, age or other preexisting conditions. Because my anxiety about my own family is relatively low, I can speak to them in encouraging, soothing, practical ways, sharing information and urging them to get some extra food so they have the option to stay home, hopefully without stressing them out too much. A few people actually contacted me, and I was able to better answer their questions and listen to their feelings because I’m not panicking myself. They weren’t interested last week when I mentioned the virus offhandedly, but this week, they are.

People become receptive to preparedness on their own timelines.

You might have found in your personal conversations that people are uninterested or even scornful about your preparedness ideas. I’ve certainly found that. My dad was polite but not too excited about my thoughts during last winter’s ice storm. Now he’s been following the Covid-19 news, and all of a sudden he wants to talk more in-depth about water catchment, food storage, and communication if the cell service is ever disrupted.

His change of mind just goes to show that people have to become receptive all on their own. In my experience, all we ordinary private citizens can do is try to gently plant a seed of interest in preparedness topics, and then be there to water it when the circumstances are right. For a lot of previously uninterested people, those circumstances are right now, and they might be looking around for somebody to learn from. Groups you’re already a part of (such as clubs or churches) may also be more receptive now that they used to be.

I’m not suggesting giving them a guided tour of your storage, or anything else that compromises your own security, but something as simple as speaking quietly to group leaders, assisting them to support others…

Click here to continue reading at The Organic Prepper.