The American Civil Defense Association is holding an online webinar on the topic of Psychology of Civil Defense on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 at 5pm Pacific time. The meeting is scheduled to last 45 minutes with 15 minutes for questions.
Psychology of Civil Defense Fear, panic, and sheer terror overwhelm the masses during and immediately after major disasters.
Our survival is dependent upon a change of attitude and the acknowledgment that we are at risk!
Topics of discussion: ▪ Assessing Your Risk ▪ A Change of Attitude ▪ Neighborhood Emergency Plan (for more information see below links): ▪ Psychological Preparation for Life in a Shelter ▪ Plan of Action in the Event of a Disaster
Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Plan handout: Click HERE
Recorded meeting from June 2022 Are We Ready? Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness: click HERE
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
Saturday, November 12 2022 | 6:00 pm MST
TACDA is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Psychology of Civil Defense (Ch. 1, TACDA Academy) Time: Nov 12, 2022 06:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
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A killer hurricane makes landfall in your area, causing widespread devastation. The once familiar neighborhood outside your doors now resembles an apocalyptic wasteland. Thanks to solid planning, preparations, and maybe a little luck, you survived. But what now? Although these storms can be tremendously destructive; the hurricane aftermath can often be just as challenging.
After any major storm, roads, streets, and highways will be covered with incredible amounts of disaster debris, making even short-distance travel dangerous, or downright impossible. Under these conditions it’s best to stay put. But when circumstances require you to leave the relative safety of your home, having the right gear, supplies, and the proper mindset can mean the difference between a safe journey and getting stranded in the middle of a very ugly situation.
This isn’t about bugging out and fighting your way out of Dodge, it’s about essential mobility in the aftermath of a crisis. Whether it’s getting to a hospital or reaching a friend/relative who’s in trouble, getting from point A to point B will be far easier if you know what to expect, what to do, and what gear to have in your kit.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE STORM
Severe Flooding Tropical cyclones can bring lots of rainfall in a short amount of time, resulting in widespread flooding. Standing water can conceal deep potholes, tree branches, downed power lines, and other dangerous vehicle-damaging debris. Driving through standing water is never a good idea, but after a storm it could be fatal.
Hazardous Road Conditions The roads may be covered with all sorts of plant debris, but what’s underneath that blanket of vegetation may be much more dangerous. Expect sharp, twisted metal, and other jagged objects that can easily puncture or slash tires. Post-hurricane, many roads will be choked with construction debris, roofing nails, fallen trees, dangerous rubble, and downed power lines — all have the potential to abruptly shut your trip down.
Out-of-Control Motorists Hurricane-force winds can destroy, or severely damage, traffic lights and signs. Expect chaotic driving conditions, as the rules-of-the-road are replaced by the every-man-for-himself mentality. Add to this distracted, stressed-out, panicked drivers trying to navigate through some very difficult circumstances.
Grid-Down Conditions It’s not unusual for the power to be out for days, maybe even weeks, after a major storm. This means closed gasoline stations, blacked-out traffic and streetlights, and possibly a larger number of pedestrians trying to make their way around all the debris. Overnight, this reality will change the way you live and require drastic changes in what you do and how you do it.
Slow Cleanup Over the past 20 years, urban centers have been expanding, and weather-related disasters have been increasing in intensity and frequency. Powerful debris-generating storms can easily overwhelm solid waste management facilities, and delay recovery efforts. Expect to see entire communities drowning in storm debris and piles of rotting garbage overflowing onto the streets. If previous storms are any indication of what to expect, don’t anticipate a quick cleanup.
Altered Traffic Patterns Roads may be closed, and traffic redirected to bypass damaged infrastructure. If you need to travel, plan on using alternate routes away from overcrowded main traffic arteries. But be prepared for adverse road conditions since these lesser-used roads will typically be the last to be cleared of storm debris, and major obstacles. The first priority for cleanup crews will be to clear a path for emergency vehicles and utility repair workers.
Most vehicles on the road today were designed to be driven on relatively smooth, flat pavement. After a tropical cyclone, many a “daily driver” will not be up to the challenge. Anticipate a high number of abandoned vehicles, as motorists leave their damaged rides on the side of the road and continue on foot. To help reduce the chances of you becoming an unwilling pedestrian, here are some areas to focus on.
The most vulnerable part of your vehicle are probably the tires. Normally, a flat or damaged tire is an annoyance; in the aftermath of a storm, however, it can stop you dead in your tracks. Just having a spare tire is not enough, especially if it’s one of those anemic small spares. You’ll need a full-size spare (preferably more than one), and the ability to repair and re-inflate damaged tires.
Here are some tips and suggestions:
Multiple Spare Tires Under normal circumstances, the thought of lugging around more than one spare tire may seem absurd. After a hurricane, however, you’d be crazy to go anywhere without at least two full-size spare tires. The idea is simple — having multiple tires pre-mounted on simple, inexpensive rims will ensure a quick tire change, and avoid time-consuming, dangerous roadside repairs.
If you plan on driving in a post-hurricane environment, severe tire damage is an absolute certainty; the idea is to resolve the problem quickly, even under the most difficult circumstances. Having multiple spares, is a practical solution that can’t be beat.
Put a Plug In It Normally, a flat requires nothing more than a trip to the tire shop for a quick repair, or replacement. During an emergency, you’ll need gear to handle it yourself. A temporary tire repair can usually be made by removing the foreign object from the puncture site, reaming the hole, and inserting a sticky, self-vulcanizing plug.
The Speedy Seal tire repair kit from ARB includes all the necessary components to repair tubeless tires. Hard plastic…
The ARB Speedy Seal Tire Repair Kit contains all the necessary components for making emergency repairs on tubeless radial or cross-ply tires, without having to remove the tire from the rim — this is a huge plus. But plugging the hole is only one part of the repair; you’ll also need to re-inflate the tire(s). The ARB High Performance 12V Air Compressor is a portable, self-contained unit that operates using your vehicle’s 12-volt battery to quickly re-inflate tires.
The ARB Portable 12V Air Compressor, (CKMP12) comes in a durable carrying case, includes a 19-foot air hose, and all…
Run-flat Tires Run-flat, or self-supporting tires have sidewalls that are heavily reinforced to support the vehicle, and to withstand deflation over limited distances, usually 100 to 300 miles, depending on road and driving conditions. While this is an advantage, blowouts are still possible, and sidewall damage can take the tire completely out of service. When you do get a puncture, it’s not always easily repaired, sometimes requiring an expensive tire replacement. While these tires do offer some valuable advantages, they do have limitations and you’ll still need a backup plan.
Self-Sealing Tires These bad boys have a layer of sealant inside the tire that helps maintain air pressure when punctured. Not bad, but, this feature only works if the puncture is no larger than 5mm, and is near the tread center. Larger punctures, slashes, and tears can still flatten the tire. As with run-flats, self-sealing tires are more expensive than conventional tires, and you’ll still need a plan to replace or repair damaged tires.
Also make sure to have a quality jack to lift your vehicle safely and securely. After a storm, security will be a big concern, and you’ll want to spend as little time as possible exposed on the roadside. Plan and prepare to resolve potential problems quickly and efficiently.
A good bag is the foundation for building your toolkit. Look for sturdy handles, well-reinforced corners, and…
Emergency roadside repairs can often be made with simple hand tools. Sounds easy enough, unless those tools are sitting in your garage. In the aftermath of a crisis, you’ll need to pack the right gear, even for short trips. While a generic tool kit is better than nothing at all, consider putting together your own toolkit. Include multipurpose tools, in the sizes you’re most likely to need for your make and model vehicle. (See the checklist below for basic toolkit suggestions.)
Note: Avoid the all-in-one, roadside emergency tool kits commonly built around useless filler items. Always buy solid tools that won’t fall apart the first time you use them. Test your tools under real-world conditions well in advance of any crisis.
Self-Rescue Gear Fallen trees, utility poles, fences, signs, even dislodged roadway guardrails can block roads and create serious hazards, causing you to make your way around the obstacles. But leaving the paved surface brings the risk of getting stuck in mud, sand, or loose dirt. MAXTRAX is a lightweight vehicle recovery device designed to be safely deployed and used by one person. It provides serious traction in wet or dry conditions, and can even be inverted and used as an improvised shovel to clear debris from around the tires.
MAXTRAX is a lightweight vehicle extraction tool for safe, quick, and easy recovery in mud, sand, or standing water….
Note: It’s also a good idea to pack a small shovel, axe, bolt cutters, handsaw, and machete to help in clearing away small debris, branches, or other obstructions. Flashlights, lanterns, and headlamps with extra batteries should always be in your vehicle, along with an emergency vehicle kit containing flares, jumper cables, gloves, etc., all the stuff you’d need for routine road hazards.
Navigating Checkpoints Checkpoints are not something we see a lot of here in the USA, but after a crisis, it’s something we need to anticipate and prepare for. After a storm, access to certain areas may be managed by law enforcement checkpoints. If you encounter these checkpoints, be prepared to identify yourself and to explain the purpose of your trip. You may be asked for a valid driver’s license or some other government-issued photo identification.
Also be ready to explain the visible contents of your vehicle. (A word to the wise: pack your gear discreetly and don’t dress like Rambo.) The less attention you call to yourself, and your vehicle, the better. Even though checkpoints are usually set up long after the affected neighborhoods have been stripped clean by looters, ironically, innocent people can get jammed-up for lack of proper ID, or for having the “wrong” look.
You should expect gasoline stations to be closed, completely dry from the pre-storm run, or at best unable to process any form of credit or debit cards. If you’re caught short on gas, or simply want to top-off the tank and you’re lucky enough to find a functioning station, expect long lines and to pay in cash. If you’re looking to fill gasoline containers, make sure to bring your own. After a storm, gasoline containers are almost impossible to find, at any price.
Mindset During any crisis, some people will be at their best, while others will unfortunately be at their worst, especially if rescue efforts don’t arrive as quickly as expected. Getting through this chaos, and adjusting to the new (although temporary) normal is never easy, but having the right mindset will help you get through the madness.
It’s really important that you understand and accept that, at least for a while, you’ll be on your own. Don’t expect any outside help. Accepting this reality and planning for it, is possibly one of the most important things you can do for yourself, and your family. Take the time to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, to take care of your own problems. Real-world practice will help you develop confidence and expose weaknesses.
ROOKIE MISTAKES TO AVOID
Driving a Storm-Damaged Vehicle Perform a throughout inspection of your vehicle, including the undercarriage, the engine compartment, and any portions of the vehicle exposed to the effects of the storm, before taking the vehicle on the road. Look for water, wind, and flying debris damage. If in doubt, don’t take the risk of driving an unsafe vehicle.
No Survival Supplies Setting out, on even a short trip, without essential survival supplies, is asking for trouble. Pack water, calorie-dense energy food, a first-aid kit and daily medications, communications, spare clothes, and extra shoes.
Failing to Leave a Trail If things go badly during your trip, will others know where to start looking for you? Draw out a map showing your anticipated route and itinerary. If you don’t arrive at your destination, at least others will know where to start their search.
Underestimating the Dangers Just because the storm has passed doesn’t mean it’s safe to venture out. We all know that storms kill people, but many of us are surprised to learn that there are often more fatalities and serious injuries in post-storm related incidents. The period immediately after a storm is usually the most dangerous, and an excellent time to shelter in place and avoid the chaos. If you must go out, do so with extreme caution, and never by yourself.
BASIC TOOLKIT CHECKLIST
Pack quality tools that you’re most likely to need for your vehicle during an emergency. At minimum, your kit should contain the following items:
Set of socket wrenches
Screwdrivers — full set
Open and adjustable wrenches
Adjustable, Lineman’s and Diagonal pliers
Bolt cutters, crowbar, and hammer
LED lantern, flashlight and extra batteries
Duck and electrical tape, tie wraps
SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE
In the early morning hours of August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew tore a destructive path through South Florida, causing more than $26.5 billion in property damage (in 1992 dollars), and leveling more than 100,000 houses in Miami-Dade County. Overnight, this Category 5 storm transformed a thriving community into terrifying piles of rubble.
At first light of day, the true extent of the devastation became painfully obvious — our family home was completely destroyed, and we were forced to evacuate. Using the rear bumper of my Jeep as a battering ram, I pushed the jammed garage door off its tracks, and began a long and difficult journey. It would take many hours of painfully slow travel, over roads blanketed by storm debris, fallen trees, toppled utility poles, and tangled power lines, to get to safety.
As I look back today, I realize just how lucky we were. Despite the loss of our home, and most of our personal property, it could have been much worse. Since Andrew, I have weathered many more storms, but one constant remains — there is no substitute for skills, planning, gear, and the proper mindset. It also doesn’t hurt to be lucky.
Hitting the streets after a hurricane, even for a short trip, requires skills, gear, supplies and the right mindset. Understanding the challenges, and knowing how to manage the situation will dramatically increase the odds in your favor, and help you safely overcome the obstacles. When the time comes you will either be prepared, or you may find yourself among the many victims, waiting for help to arrive. Now is the time to give yourself every possible advantage. Stay safe, and be prepared.
When the Jews returned to Jerusalem with Nehemiah, they were returning to a destroyed city, completely surrounded by enemies. The lessons taught in the Book of Nehemiah are just as valid today in either a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, or even in everyday life.
Nehemiah 4:23 says “Neither I, nor my brothers, nor my men took off our clothes, each had his weapon; even when he went for water.”
This isn’t bad advice, no matter what century.
The point of the advice is to remain aware and ready to defend yourself at all times. This was referred to by the legend Jeff Cooper as “Condition Yellow”. It means remaining engaged and being aware of the people around you, your environment, and potential issues that may develop, rather than being distracted by your phone or daydreaming.
When I approach a commercial building, like a store or gas station, I glance through the door or windows first, then as soon as I enter I take in the whole scene, noting all potential exits. It only takes two seconds and could potentially save your life.
In a true WROL situation, this becomes even more important. Nehemiah’s admonition to always be armed takes on special significance in the wake of a natural disaster, mass quarantine, power grid failure, or economic collapse.
In urban areas, the average house has about 48 hours worth of food in it. After the ability to quickly restock food from the corner store has gone away, hungry people will get desperate and remaining armed at all times can be the difference between safety and injury, or worse.
In that situation, you and your team should be fully armed and in “full kit” (sidearm, fixed blade knife, long gun, spare ammunition, and RADIO) at all times. When sleeping, be clothed, like Nehemiah suggests, with all your gear within arms reach. Luke 11:21 says “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe.”
I also recommend highly the “3 Blade Rule”. You should always have available in everyday carry (EDC) and on your body in a WROL situation, 3 blades. First, a folding blade knife, which can be carried in a pocket for EDC or on your gear otherwise. Second, some type of multi-tool. For EDC, my Gerber Suspension and my Gerber M600 are in my laptop bag and in WROL, they have pouches on my web gear. The third blade is a full-size fixed blade knife. For EDC, the fixed blade knife is in my “Emergency Egress” backpack in the rear of my SUV (I carry either a Gerber LMF Infantry or my trusty USMC Ka-Bar). With these three blades, you can solve nearly any emergency, self-defense, or survival need.
As far as EDC carry of a firearm, Nehemiah said they carried their weapons everywhere, even to get water and it’s solid advice. There is no purpose is obtaining a Concealed Pistol License and then not carrying a pistol. I recommend carrying whatever your EDC gear is, whether it’s a handgun or a knife (and it should be both) everywhere that you legally can. You can’t possibly predict when evil or flawed ideology will touch your life, so it’s your responsibility to always be ready.
One more point about EDC: Whether or not you choose to arm yourself for EDC, you should ALWAYS carry a first aid kit. If you do choose to lawfully carry a firearm or knife, you MUST carry a first aid kit. Carrying first aid supplies really isn’t hard and can save lives in any emergency. I’ll do a full post on these, but here’s a recap of what I carry and where:
Laptop bag: Ziploc bag of various band-aids, some gauze, a pressure bandage (for gunshot wounds or any penetrating trauma), a tourniquet, and a CPR mask/gloves.
Emergency Egress Backpack: Full kit with band-aids, wipes, antibiotic, gauze, pressure dressings, triangular bandage, Cellox, EMT shears, gloves, CPR mask.
Trunk of SUV: Full Size med kit with multiple pressure dressings, tourniquet, band-aids of every size, combine pads, gauze, triangular bandages, tape, wipes, antibiotic, conforming bandage, EMT shears, minor medications, CPR mask, and gloves.
IFAK (moves between bags): Full kit like above, but also with Cellox for blood clotting.
The first aid kits may seem to be a bit much, but I’ve been blessed to be able to help injured people at accident scenes many times in my life. Having the right gear and never needing it is FAR better than needing the gear and NOT having it.
Jack Lawson is the author of Civil Defense Manual and co-author of the older and now out of print A Failure of Civility. Here he gives a review of Joe Dolio’s Tactical Wisdom, another preparedness book series. All of the works above are worth your time. Jack’s books have a larger format with many photos and diagrams, while Joe’s are smaller with only text, but also may be written in more easy to read style.
Rare does a book catch my attention like Tactical Wisdom. It could have been authored by my alter ego. But the Author, Joe Dolio, has created what I consider a companion and must-read book to my book the Civil Defense Manual. His book “Tactical Wisdom TW-01 Baseline Training Manual” has almost every procedure in it that my book has… presented in a concise and superb manner. He also has a great writing style.
The man clearly must be a genius, if by his definition of the word, we think alike. For those unaware of what I’m talking about, you’d have to read Joe’s opening line in his review of my book. But Joe and I, regardless of our level of intelligence and I’m definitely not a genius, agree on the way to Preparedness, Survival and organizing with others for Strength Through Numbers for protection.
This review is not a ‘trade off’ knee jerk evaluation of the Tactical Wisdom Series from me because Joe wrote a generous review for me… because anyone who knows me well, knows that I won’t praise a poor presentation, incompetence and or misinformation for any reason. The fact is that this Marine Corps Veteran has written a classic in writing the “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual.”
I know that Joe is more intelligent than me by one item… as he quotes The Ultimate Base Line Book… the Bible… in his book. That incredible Guide Book that I’ve seemed to wandered away from… despite being brought up by it. Some people that know me would say… “Lawson, you reading the Bible!?”
Well, I am drifting back to the Bible and Christianity… probably from the insanity of what illogic is bringing our society. I am not reading it because “I’m looking for a loophole” for my transgressions, like W.C. Fields said when one of his friends questioned him astounded that he was reading the Bible on his death bed. I have a pretty good idea where I’m going… and it won’t be pretty… but I still hold out hope for Valhalla.
That being said, I believe our exclusion of God, his Son and the Holy Spirit by many ‘enlightened’ and ‘elite’ people is the basis of the on-going destruction of the fabric of society, decency, the family, Free Enterprise (instead of Fascist Corporations), Individual Rights and Constitutional America.
When the huge egos and twisted values of those who become legends in their own minds represents the aggregate essence of a world of peoples… in lieu of the righteousness and principles of an Immortal and Benevolent Higher Power… mankind is well on the way to catastrophe… if not extinction.
I have read just about every survival book out there. Good ones… and bad ones. Fiction and non-fiction… handbooks, manuals and riveting fiction plots… some with excellent common-sense survival information and storylines… and then there are those with the ‘expert’s fantasy’ on how to survive.
What started me off was the late British Author John Christopher’s 1957 science fiction novel “No Blade of Grass,” first published as “The Death of Grass,” and made into a movie in 1970. A post-apocalypse story where food crops fail, and the world descends into chaos.
But novels cannot convey to you all the necessary methods and explain all the critical information on Preparedness and Survival no matter how good a story they are. However, novels will get you thinking in the right direction and sometimes point out stark issues that imaginations cannot conceive of in normal civility.
A case in point… William Forstchen’s “One Second After.” I said bull shytte when his story had 90% of Americans dying within one year after a High-altitude Electro Magnetic Pulse event (HEMP or EMP) happened. I retracted my words after reading the story and understanding why he would be correct in his assessment.
All the books you will read on apocalyptic events, Preparedness and Survival will give you basic, and in some cases extensive, information necessary to survive disaster and Catastrophic Events… however some will also give you and yours an early meeting with your Maker for inaccurate and erroneous information. Deadly.
But both fiction and non-fiction books on Preparedness and Survival create in you something critical… a valuable thought process that gives you a different perspective and understanding of the frailty of we humans on this planet.
And regardless… almost every book you read leaves you knowing something you didn’t know before you picked it up, if you check the accuracy of the information. Life is a process of learning… up to the second you pass from this world into the next.
What you’ll get in Tactical Wisdom Series is the solid information and procedures on what you must do to prepare for calamity and how to survive it. We both tell people what and how to do it, but Joe brilliantly puts a synopsis and summary at the end of each of his chapters called Base Line Standards.
I look at his Base Line Standards summary at the end of each chapter as the “get up and go… do it if you’re for real…” or don’t… if you’re an arm chair commando and couch potato. When I write a new edition of the Civil Defense Manual… I’ll do the same… put a summary of what people must do in ‘one-line sentences’ at the end of each chapter. A true motivator. A “Shytte… or get off the pot!” motivator.
I was astounded page by page in the similarity of Tactical Wisdom Base Line Standard ‘TW-01’ to the Civil Defense Manual. I haven’t finished Tactical Wisdom Fieldcraft TW-02 yet, but I will and will review that also.
This Marine Corps Veteran has also seen the boogeyman. That ‘qualification’ of combat experience alone does not convey a super mythical power that enables an author to write Preparedness and Survival books… but it does make you hyper-vigilant towards obvious and hidden threats… and creates a “what if mindset” from all the butt puckering of war like going through a hamburger grinder. Some people get this mental state without combat… but most people never do.
Like Robert Preston said in “The Music Man…” “There’s trouble in River City!” Only this trouble coming is real and is not a con job. You will live in exciting times in the next decades… make sure you have water to drink, food to eat and neighbors and friends to help protect you and your family… as well as you, them. Your “Tribe.”
Buy Tactical Wisdom and learn. I am excited that Joe plans to put out more in his series, as he indicates he will… books that will compartmentalize what each facet of Preparedness and Survival skills should teach you. I bought them and am learning from them… you should too.
Joe’s definitely a ‘get up and go’ type of guy with a visionary approach to Preparedness and Survival…
…so, my Base Line Standard advice to you is to ‘get up and go…’
First… get Joe’s books… read his “Tactical Wisdom Base Line Training Manual TW-01” …and start putting together your plan… but with his books’ guidance.
TACDA is holding a webinar on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 at 5:00 pm Pacific (6pm MDT) on the topicAre We Ready? Neighborhood Preparedness. There are 45 minutes for the presentation and then fifteen minutes for questions.
Topic: Are We Ready?
Presenter: Sharon Packer
Sharon Packer has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in physics, and a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering. She has served on the TACDA board of directors for over 20 years in several different capacities. Sharon is an expert in civil defense and in NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) shelter design.
Date: June 9, 2022 6pm (Utah time)
Link: Click HERE to join the meeting. (Everyone invited to this meeting. No subscription required!)
Sharon will give us an overview of Neighbor helping Neighbor with the basics of emergency preparedness:
Live Zoom presentation will be on Thursday June 9th, and the recording will be available to watch by the following Monday.
The Organic Prepper has an article on Last-Minute Preps on a Shoestring Budget. No one knows what’s going to come next, but you can still be prepared for the unexpected. Recently I spoke to a friend whom I hadn’t had a chance to talk to since before the pandemic. She lives and Portland and recounted the very hectic 2020 she experienced there – particularly the pandemic and the rioting. Said friend had some preps put away in case of earthquakes and found herself digging into them with the combined problems of lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, and safety issues attendant to going anywhere during the street violence. She had no problems but she did realize that she wished to have more appealing foods stored, primarily to keep up her morale during difficult times. Even substituting something as simple as more white beans instead of less liked lentils was the type of thing she meant, but keeping morale and occasional treats should be kept in mind. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
…This piece will present you with some ideas for cost-effective preps to help round out your stockpiles and give you an extra edge. We’re all feeling the “bite” caused by the price increases everywhere: at the grocery stores, the gas stations, the drugstores, and the hardware stores. It’s only going to get worse before (and if) it gets better.
There are plenty of long-term food supplies and companies you can use for foods with shelf-lives of twenty-five years or more, I understand. I also understand that many of us can’t afford them. First, let’s put out one precept I hope you’ll adopt as your own:
There’s no shame in not having enough money for something: you do the best you can with what you have and keep a positive outlook on it.
There! Now, let’s get into it!
Regarding food supplies, there are different camps and different schools of thought. I’m a big believer in cans. Yes, I can my own stuff (always in wide-mouth Mason jars to better resist a freeze here in Montana), but this doesn’t stop me from stocking up on canned goods packed in good-old-fashioned cans made out of steel. I recommend canned goods for long-term storage on a budget.
Dried stuff (such as beans, rice, etc.) will keep for a long time, but they don’t really give you a lot in return, not to mention the fact that you have to prepare them.
Here are some basics about macronutrients for you to keep in mind:
Protein: The basic building block of life and absolutely essential for tissue repair and recovery. Protein has a high thermogenic factor. It takes more energy to digest, but you get more return on your investment.
Fats: Also very important as sources of energy and also as macronutrients that the brain (and other organs) rely heavily upon.
Carbohydrates: Believe it or not, you should stay away from these as much as possible, but they do have uses when not consumed to excess. One example is after you perform strenuous activity. It is good to replenish your body with protein, but also with some carbohydrates. This prevents catabolism, which occurs when your body is starving for sugar. Without carbohydrates or simple sugars, your body will “cannibalize” your muscle tissue.
The protein in your muscles is then converted into glycogen, which your body burns for energy. It can be devastating because replacement of protein lost in this manner is neither quick nor easy. This is a “deep” subject that I can go further into in another article, but I think you grasp the point.
A couple of references to help you on these topics: Grain Brainby David Perlmutter, and Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas. The first book will take you into topics such as glycation: how excessive sugars and carbohydrates in the diet disfigure proteins and cause them to form blockages in vessels. The latter work details the differences in the way our ancestors ate and how our “system” of food production is causative, not curative, of problems.
Cans can take a beating, handle a freeze, and most contain foods that are cooked. Go with organic stuff as much as possible, and if that can’t be done, “sift” the ingredients. Buy (in this order) generic brands and then name brands. Compare them. The store brands are sometimes much better in quality and at half the price.
Prepared “dinners” in a can: Most of this stuff is not optimal for your body, but this is about survival, plain and simple. My objective here isn’t to recommend any brand but just to give you a “feel” for what you’ll need. Look closely at the ingredients. You’re searching for the least amount of preservatives, artificial ingredients, or “substances” that are unfamiliar. You’re searching for high protein, moderate to low carbohydrates, and moderate fats. Canned chili is good, as are some of the soups and stews. Think beef stew with high protein content. Think lentil soups, bean soups, and pea soups. These all have protein, and you can augment them with the next category.
Canned meats: Canned chicken is your best bet. It’s already cooked, and you can either add something to it or add it to something (such as the soups mentioned in “item 1”. Once again, make sure it’s really meat, without a whole bunch of “fillers,” such as potato-starch, or some other grains. Tuna fish, sardines, fish steaks. All of these you can find even in the dollar stores.
Canned fruits: Avoid the ones in the high-fructose corn syrup. Go for things with high vitamin C content and some fiber. Canned grapefruit, pineapples, and mandarin oranges are among your best bets. Incidentally, bromelain is a chemical constituent found only in pineapples. It stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and enables you to digest meats more easily…
You can obtain these for reasonably-low prices and store for fairly long periods of time.
Summer sausage, beef jerky, and fish: They can be good for years if protected from light, changes in temperature, moisture, and pests. Once again, go for quality, but an eight-ounce stick of summer sausage can be split between a family of four and lend protein for a quick meal when the lights go out and the music stops playing. There are also Mylar pouches of tuna fish and salmon, good for single servings. Make sure these pouches are made entirely out of Mylar; some pouches have a transparent plastic “bottom,” and that won’t cut it in the end.
Dried fruit: Raisins, apricots, banana chips, pineapple. The ones in mylar pouches will give you some longevity for storage. Dried fruits will help alleviate cravings for sugar. Make sure you drink plenty of water when you eat them, or else they can “rob” your body of its fluids and dehydrate you in the course of digesting them.
Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds. The “buttered” forms will keep longer, and remember, they all tend to become rancid after prolonged storage, but they’ll help. You can store peanut butter for a fairly long time. They’re high in protein. Once again, drink plenty of water when you eat them.
The reasoning behind everything I’ve mentioned thus far is simple:
In a grid-down survival situation, you don’t want the whole, hungry neighborhood to smell that tasty stew you’re cooking on the Sterno stove. You want to crack open those cans and pouches, eat that meal, and seal up anything left over. Don’t leave any signs or signatures that let others know that you’ve stored food, or your “popularity” will suddenly rise, and “company” will drop by…uninvited, of course.
You can eat all of this stuff “as-is” without resorting to a stove.
Food storage: If possible, try to buy some of those large, three or 5-gallon food-grade bucketsfrom the bakery department of your local food store. They only run about $5 a piece or less. Get the ones with rubber gasket rings on the inside of the lids. These “clamp” down into place. If you can’t get the gasketed ones, don’t despair. Use the ones you can find. Seal your cans and packages into these, and then make sure you store/stack them raised up off the floor. Mark the outside of your buckets so that you know their contents at any given glance.
With an absence/shortage of buckets, you can use bins, but I recommend Rubbermaid “Roughneck” bins, the 10-gallon size. They usually run about $10 to $12 or so. They’re worth it. The reasons: they’re durable, stackable, and each bin won’t weigh so much that it makes it impossible to move if the need arises. They’re also dark-colored and will block off light and sight (if you should have to move things, and being spotted by neighbors is possible)…(story continues)
Zombies, an alien invasion, or any other of your favorite apocalyptic scenarios are often used to spur interest in survival planning because each one forces you to think about being self-reliant. While it’s fun to plan for unrealistic situations, a good layered survival system actually prepares you for known and likely scenarios.
What would you do if your car slid off of an icy road at night in an area without cell service? How would you prepare if your house was built in a wildfire area? Or, will you be ready if you’re unlucky enough to have your house destroyed by a tornado?
If any of those questions apply to you and you don’t have answers, keep reading because we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a survival system for real-world disasters. We’ll cover things like layering survival kits, general safety tips and best practices, and overall preparedness.
Why you should trust us
During my 17 years as an Army infantryman, I’ve had to survive in environments with extreme temperatures and severe weather with limited gear for extended periods of time. I’ve also graduated from Survive Evade Resist and Escape (SERE) school, and now I train military advisors. I’ve also applied this training in my everyday life for everything from flat tires to power outages to tornados. Through all of these experiences, I’ve developed a survival mentality in which I understand the importance of a layered survival system. The following information was based on training, experience, rehearsals, and extensive research.
A layered survival system
A layered survival system means preparing a survival kit for the situations you are most likely to encounter. You probably have some kind of layered survival system in place already. Most people have an everyday carry (EDC), a road kit in their vehicle, and a go-bag in their house. But an optimal layered survival system is more than just a bunch of kits adding up to a bunch of stuff. It’s a way of planning and thinking to get the most out of your system, so you end up with gear that you actually need and redundancies you could actually use. In this article, we’ll cover five basic types of survival kits, which will prepare you for most real-world disasters. These include:
In the survival community, we’re guided by a saying: “We live out of our bag, fight out of our kit, and survive out of our pockets.” The point of the saying is to prompt you into thinking about your relationship — both literally and figuratively — with your gear.
In layman’s terms, to “live out of your bag” means that you should pack an actual bag so you and your family can survive for an extended period of time. A good standard is to pack so you’re covering all your needs for 72 hours.
To “fight out of your kit” refers to protection. It’s a kit designed solely to protect you and your family from harm. This kit often consists of a firearm, ammo, and armor, as well as a trauma kit or medical pouch.
Finally, to “survive out of your pockets” means having the necessary gear for survival on your person. This involves developing a proper everyday carry, which is your first and probably most important survival kit because it may be all you have if you cannot access your other kits.
Your everyday carry, or EDC, refers to the items you carry on a daily basis. They’re different for everyone, and if you’re anything like me, you might add, remove, or upgrade items every once in a while. A full EDC looks something like this:
Money: Always carry some form of payment like a credit or debit card and cash. While cash is king, you can get away with about $100 of local currency. That should cover basic needs like transportation, information, food, etc.
Water bottle: Water is life. The average person needs about two to three liters a day to maintain good health. I recommend a water bottle with a built-in water filter.
If you make everything on this list part of your EDC, you will be able to find a practical solution to almost any small-scale problem you encounter. Now, you might think that it’s a lot of stuff to carry, and you wouldn’t be wrong. If you do decide to carry everything on this list, you might want to consider getting a sling bag or fanny pack.
Your vehicle loadout should prepare you not just for a flat tire or dead battery, but also for what you might encounter or, depending on your location, what you might not encounter (like a gas station). You might have enough gear to get by in most towns or cities, but what if you’re in a rural area and you: get two flat tires; run out of gas; hit a deer; experience an electrical fire: or get stuck on the side of the road on a freezing night? Will you be ready for any of those situations? If the answer is no or maybe, the following lists will ensure you are prepared.
Jack with a locking bar
Full spare tire and wheel package
Breaker bar or battery-powered impact gun
Fix-a-flat and/or tire-plug kit
Portable power station with air compressor and jumper cables
3.5 pounds of baking soda (for fuel spills, battery explosions, and brushing your teeth)
NOTE: Before you go loading your vehicle with everything on this list, you should know that some of the items (like gasoline) can be extremely dangerous to store inside your vehicle. They can be even more dangerous if you’re in an accident. Therefore, you should take proper precautions and comply with state and local ordinances regarding such issues.
An emergency cushion
Preparing a cache of emergency supplies is just good practice. It doesn’t matter if you stick it in a hole in your backyard, inside an old storage unit, or in a safety deposit box at the bank — an emergency cushion will help if you’re in a jam. You might be wondering what kind of jam am I in? In pop culture, such things are used when a character decides to go on the lam. Instead, think of a small disaster like a house fire or tornado. Those sorts of things can take a while to sort out, so for an emergency cushion, you’ll want:
Money: $500 to $1,000 as a general rule. Certainly, enough to get you into a hotel and feed the family until you can figure out the next step.
You also might want to store items of value for bartering
Copies of keys, if applicable, for storage units, friend/family home, transportation, etc.
Personal documents like insurance information, licenses, medical information, etc.
Communication tools like a prepaid cell phone, or a satellite phone with a plan, which is useful if in an area where fires or weather can damage cell towers.
Although there’s a lot of overlap, a go bag is very similar to a bug out bag. One is meant for a temporary evacuation of your residence while the other is meant for a long journey. While the difference between the two might be semantics, it’s important to understand the differences before you pack it.
For this article, we’re focusing on go bags. It’s something you stow by your front door or inside your car and fill with essentials meant to get you to a temporary shelter or back home. The packing list might be similar to a day hike. They include:
Cotton balls soaked in Vaseline
Bottle filtration system
Emergency food rations
10-foot snare wire
50-foot fishing line 16 pounds test
Small to medium fishing hooks
Burn gel or bandages
Personal hygiene items
By now, you have probably noticed some overlap between the go-bag and vehicle loadout. It’s true, there are some, but the reason for the redundancies is if one system fails for whatever reason — lost go-bag or missing car — you have the backup. It’s another layer in your layered survival kit.
A weapons package should be designed to prepare you for the worst-case scenario. Think about a natural disaster that disables critical infrastructure and outpaces government resources. A good example is Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Many all over the Gulf Coast were left stranded without electricity, running water, or protection by local authorities. And since then, multiple states have loosened carry laws during a state of emergency. With that being said, a weapons package in this setting is intended for protection and defense (rather than offense). A weapons package typically consists of three weapon systems: an emergency EDC, a backup, and a main gun.
Sub-compact to full-sized handgun (tailored to attire)
Compact to full-size handgun
Gun belt with holsters and a survival knife
2x magazine pouch or more, plus ammo for the main gun
Small medical pouch (built for hemorrhage/gunshot wounds)
Main gun (trunk gun)
Fighting load carrier or plate carrier
Extra magazines or shells (no more than 3x magazines/35 shot shells)
Additionally, whenever you’re handling weapons, you should practice proper gun safety and comply with all local, state, and federal laws… (continues)
The following video is a recording of a webinar presented by The American Civil Defense Association earlier this year on Preparing Your Neighborhood for Emergencies. It goes over getting your neighbors on board, planning for possible emergencies, HELP and OK signs, training, and how the neighborhood responds. As it is a recording of a webinar, there are questions and answers throughout the presentation.
Continuing the discussion on the current happenings within the American food supply chain, we have a series of strange events that have taken place over the course of the past week or two that you may want to catch up on.
Perdue Farms catches fire in Chesapeake, Virginia.
April 30 at 8:30 PM, a fire was reported at the Perdue Farms grain processing and storage facility in Chesapeake, Virginia. When firemen reported to the scene, they found a large soybean processing tank that was on fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control within an hour, and no injuries to employees of the facility were reported.
Spokane Seed Co catches fire in Spokane, Washington
Early on April 29, the Spokane Seed Co in Spokane, Washington, reported a fire just after midnight. The fire was in a multi-story seed storage silo. The company is known for its processing of chickpeas, peas, and lentils. Firemen responded to the scene and were able to contain the fire in two hours but apparently had a difficult time in doing so.
According to the fire department, “The difficulty involving the fire was that it was located in multiple locations as the origin was the auger unit that moved material from ground level and delivers it to the top of the silo; therefore, there was smoldering material located at the bottom of the auger and burning material that had been delivered to the top of the silo.”
(For the record, Powder Bulk and Solids published two pieces of late on April 26 and April 28 claiming that the uptick in fires at food processing facilities was a myth. They then reported the Spokane Fire on April 29 and the Chesapeake fire on May 2. They appear to have largely used Snopes to determine that the uptick in food processing fires was a myth and declared that “the continued spread of the rumor in the news media and on social media is perhaps attributable to a lack of awareness of industrial fire safety issues among the general public.”)
Oklahoma reports highly pathogenic avian influenza and will now monitor backyard chicken flocks.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, as well as the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a case of HPAI was found in Sequoyah County, Oklahoma, at a commercially run chicken farm.
As of this past Sunday, all chicken swaps, sales, and exhibits have now been declared by these two agencies to be illegal in the state of Oklahoma until July 30. Oklahoma says that it is “working diligently with federal partners to prevent further spread of the virus.”
Both state and federal officials will now begin to conduct surveillance of all poultry flocks in the area around the Sequoyah County case – both commercial and backyard flocks.
Officials are asking chicken owners to alert them if their birds produce strange eggs, don’t produce eggs, have diarrhea, cough, sneeze, have low energy, die, or show signs of respiratory distress. (continues)
Here in North America, we’re unlikely to face the full effects of the worldwide famine that appears to be developing, and that we’ve discussed in these pages on several previous occasions. However, it’s biting hard in several regions and countries, and getting worse. For example, see these articles (selected at random from many others I could have linked):
Even though I think we’ll probably still have food on US supermarket shelves, there are almost certain to be local and regional shortages of various products; greatly increased prices; and disruptions in normal consumption patterns, as people are forced to buy what’s available rather than what they really want. It’s not going to be easy for anybody.
If you’ve seen your local grocery store with empty shelves, you’re not alone: Food shortages are still haunting us in 2022. Find out below what food shortages are most common, why there’s a grocery shortage, and why shelves may be empty where you shop.
Food shortages 2022
“Shortages may depend on where you buy your groceries as there are regional differences in supply,” Josh Brazil, VP of Supply Insights at project44, a supply chain visibility solution, says. That means some of you may be lucky enough to not have any food shortages at all!
What’s missing from local grocery shelves may vary depending on where you live, as well as the climate where you live: Winter storms slow down supply chains in the short term (plus everyone rushing to buy bread and milk before a blizzard hits). Different regions may have shortages of different things, especially depending on whether you shop at big box stores or other shops, like local farmer’s markets.
There are a number of variables at play in the grocery shortages we’re seeing this year. “It is a combination of factors: supply chain issues and driver shortages, scarcity of packaging, labor shortages at manufacturing and production plants as the workforce has not returned as facilities restarted from COVID closures,” Keith Daniels of Carl Marks Advisors told us. And, yes, COVID-19 plays a huge role, especially the latest variants.
“Omicron infections impacting employees reporting to work at manufacturing and grocery stores, higher demand from consumers—particularly impacting the last few weeks as consumers revert to eating at home from restaurants out of fears of Omicron,” Daniels said. “The recent, abrupt winter weather is also slowing down distribution.”
Current Food Shortages
Meat shortages, especially beef and poultry, will plague us again in 2022.
Daniels says that meat and poultry are in short supply in many supermarkets. This is due to several factors, with manufacturing plant labor shortages causing most of the issues. Beef will likely see the most shortages because work in beef plants is more labor-intensive, according to Food Business News.
A combination of expensive crops to feed livestock and chickens, combined with high transportation costs and shortages of packaging materials (especially plastics) may cause dairy shortages at your local supermarket. In addition to material shortages, labor shortages may also impact grocery shelves in terms of transportation workers as well as grocery workers to stock the dairy case. As a result, you may have fewer options in terms of your usual purchases of milk, cheese (especially cream cheese), yogurt, and other dairy items.
There may be an egg shortage in 2022.
Similar to other food shortages we’ve encountered, COVID-related supply chain issues have interrupted the business side of commercial egg production. Increased expenses (feed, freight, labor costs), supply shortages, and government regulation have put a strain on the overall bottom line. As a result, producers may be reducing flock sizes, stopping shipping to some states, or selling eggs previously sold to consumers to manufacturers who use them as ingredients in other products, thus reducing the eggs available in supermarkets.
Sorry, vegans: Plant-based proteins may be in short supply this year.
If you thought not eating meat or dairy would spare you from shortages, sorry to burst your bubble! Rick Williams, practice lead—operations and supply chain of JPG Resources, says that plant-based proteins (think tofu, almond milk, soy-based cheeses, etc.) has seen shortages, explaining, “Plant-based saw a huge rise in demand as animal-meat processors were forced to shut down operations.”
We may see shortages of fruits, vegetables, and other goods made with produce…(continues)
What will be the long term term effects of the Ukraine-Russia war for which an American may need to be prepared? In the article excerpted below, Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute writes for 19fortyfive about how The Ukraine Crisis Could Spark A New Cold War (Or A Nuclear War). While much has been written over time on nuclear war survival and preparedness, what are the effects of a cold war? While many of have lived through at least part of the recent cold war between the US and the Soviet Union, would a new cold war even look the same?
Some of the main domestic effects of the last cold war were increased military spending (and attendant rise of the military-industrial complex) and high taxation. Toward the end of the cold war, during the Reagan presidency, the populace had become upset with high taxes and the administration switched from high taxation to high borrowing. High levels of government borrowing has continued to the present. High taxation leads to poor business conditions which leads to a weak economy as seen in the US in the late 1970s. High government borrowing leads to strange market and economic conditions, the result of which has yet to be realized, but in the worst case leads to financial/political crisis.
That said, would a new cold war necessarily be the same? Post World War 2 the US was in an enviable economic situation and was headed into its years of vast economic growth in world trade. The US was entering into its years of world hegemony, powerful and strong. Now, the US is a weakened nation and is coming out of two years of COVID-induced economic weakness with many citizens out of work or having closed businesses. There is little domestic support for a new war, cold or hot. A party that attempts to raise taxes or debt in order to finance a new cold war may not stay in power for long.
I am no expert on these matters, so my conclusions may be incorrect. I don’t know if the US is capable of sustaining a cold war like the continuous military buildup that occurred during the cold war with the Soviets. But it does appear that we entering a time of at least increased hostility and competition with Russia and China.
If China moves to establish control over Taiwan (which may be considered an invasion), will the US defend Taiwan or will we stand by as we have with Ukraine? Some people believe that the US is obligated to defend Taiwan, but there is actually no agreement to do so, and the US has followed a policy of strategic ambiguity in that regard. Failure of the US to defend either Ukraine or Taiwan may lead to further reduced US influence worldwide and reduced trust in US assurances. Reduced trust and influence may result in more rapid de-dollarization, all of which would have their own effects on the US economy for which to prepare.
Its aggression is criminal and unprovoked. The US and its allies contributed to the conflict. But the decision for war—which already is resulting in significant death and destruction—was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s.
If there is one lesson of Moscow’s brutal and unjustified invasion, it is that aggressors should choose their victims carefully. As the Balkan Serbs learned decades ago, it is best not to attack people in Europe, which guarantees heavy media attention in Western capitals. This may be the first conflict in which the public is driving sanctions and boycotts, in this case against all things Russian, including individuals who had nothing to do with their government’s decision for war.
In contrast, Washington has been bombing and invading nations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia for years. Despite wrecking entire states and ravaging their peoples, US policymakers have never been held accountable. The total number of victims in these wars—killed, wounded, displaced—the number in the millions. Washington typically tires of fighting and either downgrades its role or simply leaves, as in Afghanistan, without even apologizing. But no American has ever faced economic sanctions or been charged with war crimes.
Today Ukrainians and to a lesser degree, Russians are suffering. The long-term consequences for Americans and Europeans will be serious as well. No one knows how the fighting will end, but Washington should begin planning for the aftermath…
Washington’s chief responsibility today is not to save Ukraine but to prevent the US or allied involvement and possible war, especially nuclear war, with Russia. Washington and Moscow avoided such a cataclysm during the Cold War when the stakes were global and civilizational. Moscow’s brutal attack on Ukraine is a moral outrage but does not pose the same level of threat as the Soviet Union. There is no excuse for risking their societies and the planet’s survival today…
Finally, Washington should prepare for the endgame. The world is headed toward another Cold War, with a new Iron Curtain likely to rise wherever the reach of Russian troops ends.
Facing domestic unhappiness over the human cost of the war, deceptive cover-up, and impact of Western sanctions, the Putin regime likely will become even more repressive. Observers indicate that the situation already approaches martial law. Moreover, diplomatic retreats, economic penalties, and cultural bans have dramatically deepened Russia’s isolation. Some countries would make the West’s economic war essentially permanent. Opined Poland’s ambassador to the US, Marek Magierowski: “We have to be ready and determined to uphold the sanctions. Perhaps even for a decade or for 15 years or for 20 years, in order to see the real effects.”
Although Russia is a much-reduced version of the Soviet Union, significant dangers would remain. It likely would respond to a new Cold War by reinforcing its military. Most notably, what has been largely a political struggle would turn into an enduring military confrontation.
If so, Russia might become something akin to a giant North Korea, only better developed and with many more nuclear weapons. With less at stake in the international system and greater resentment toward adversaries turned enemies, Moscow would be more dangerous than today. Frontline European states would be even more insistent on American military protection. Violent competition would intensify in battleground areas elsewhere, such as Syria and Africa…(continues)
What’s going to happen with the Ukraine-Russia War and how will it affect us here in the USA? Some things are hard to predict, while others can already be seen. Provocations on all sides seem to be increasing. BCA Research, an independent global investment research firm, recently wrote in a strategy report “we would assign an uncomfortably high 10% chance of a civilization-ending global nuclear war in the next 12 months.” So, many unlikely scenarios, recently thought unthinkable, are now being thunk.
…As has been pointed out here at The Organic Prepper before, the United States is going to experience a fertilizer shortage this year, and that is going to be just one factor impacting our food supply. I’ve discussed the other factors HERE.
Yes, I do think that stocking up on seed for your garden is a good prep idea, but I also think that you really need to consider canned goods at the moment. They’re ready to eat, they’re highly portable, and they store well. They make good barter currency, to boot. Canned goods don’t have to worry about radioactive fallout, as does a growing corn crop, either.
I’m a fan of freeze-dried meals, but I sincerely think that cyberattacks against our power grid are highly likely in the near future. You need warm water to make those. With a power outage likely (Cyber Polygon, anyone?), boiling water is just another step between you and eating a meal. If you are forced to shelter in place, inside, without power, this makes for a bit of difficulty with meal preparation.
MREs are another fine food item to consider at the moment. I have no knowledge as to whether or not the heat packs for MREs give off dangerous gasses as they heat up the food. (Let me know in the comments!)
This food supply not only allows you to shelter in place but helps you to avoid probable food riots in the future. Read history. Literally, every single time there is a shortage of food, violence increases.
(For more information on prepping your food, check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on building your 3-layer food storage system.)
Should you prep water?
Life without water sucks (haha, but not for long). You need it to stay alive, for cleaning, for cooking, and more. If you are forced to shelter in place without any access to power, are you going to have water to drink? A gallon jug of water currently sells for around a dollar. Why would you not pick up a few and stow them away?
I would look at solar options for keeping your well running if that is your primary water source as well. If you rely on city water, at the very least, have an EPIC Nano filter. I would highly recommend looking into Berkey filters right now as well. Neither of these is a radiation-reducing option, but instead are used to keep you in clean water should your city no longer have the electricity needed to create pure water.
If you are forced to evacuate, let’s say, from fallout being brought via wind, do you have water filtration that is portable?
Prep your communications.
China is one of the largest sources of electronics to the United States. We’re already seeing problems getting many electronic components because of a shortage of chips.
This is likely to continue in the near future, and should China invade Taiwan, you are going to see worldwide sanctions be leveled against China. The US will be no exception. When this happens, those supply lines are going to dry up overnight.
Your ability to get radios will then vaporize…
Having proper information can be the difference between staying alive and dying. Right now, you need to pick up a copy of Cresson Kearney’s Nuclear War Survival Skills. You do not want to be caught in the same situation as many Hawaiians did years ago when they found themselves at a loss for what to do when they received alerts via text that an ICBM was on the way.
PDF versions are available online for free, but I highly recommend picking up a print copy as well. Then, read it. This is an easy prep to accomplish.
I recommend looking into a shortwave radio as well. Should the grid go down within the US, you are going to want to be able to pick up information from the outside world so that you have some notion of what is going on. Anne Frank wrote about the importance of their radio and the hope it brought in her journals…
Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance has a good article up on Cooking with Animal Fat. In some sort of long term disaster scenario, it will be easier for most people to procure animal fats than vegetable fats. Lard, as one example of animal fat, is shelf stable for four to six months at room temperature, which also happens to be the same amount of time that it took for pioneers to travel the Oregon Trail. A family of four on the Oregon Trail would take around two hundred pounds of lard with them for the journey. An excerpt from the Practical Self Reliance article is below:
Animal fats can be a healthy part of any diet, especially from a grass-fed and pasture-raised animal. Learning to cook with lard, tallow, and schmaltz is easier and healthier than you might think.
Whether you’re rendering fat from scratch or buying good quality animal fat, there’s never been a better time to reintroduce this classic kitchen staple back into your culinary repertoire.
Animal fats have been through a lot in the last 30 years. Once a staple in kitchens across the country, lard and tallow were largely eliminated from American cuisine in the early 90s when fat-free diets became popular.
At the time, margarine and vegetable shortening became the new popular kids on the block — it was down with natural fats and in with super-processed, high-in-trans-fat alternatives!
We now know that those synthetic, processed trans fats have nasty health consequences, and studies are now confirming the wisdom of a traditional diet with plenty of natural animal fats. (And grass-fed bone broth too!)
Now the pendulum seems to be swinging in the opposite direction and animal fats are making a resurgence. Maybe you’ve noticed the appearance of duck fat-fried potatoes on your local bistro menu or you’ve made an astonishingly perfect pie crust using lard instead of shortening.
Or perhaps you’ve read about the health benefits of using animal fats, many of which are rich sources of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Whatever your reason for wanting to introduce more animal fats into your diet, there are plenty of reasons and resources to get you started.
BENEFITS OF ANIMAL FATS
Animal fats have been vilified for so long that it’s refreshing to see a resurgence in public interest around the once-taboo ingredient’s many health and culinary benefits. Both lard and tallow are high in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids and lack any of the trans fats which are prevalent in commercially prepared vegetable shortenings.
Depending on the recipe, food that has been prepared using animal fats tends to be crispier, flakier, and ultra-flavorful. If the fat is prepared properly before rendering, that is, all the meat has been removed, it should be fairly flavorless and odorless.
Instead of introducing a “gamey” flavor, the rendered fat should work to enhance the natural flavors of the remaining ingredients.
Readily available animal fat is an added bonus of the tip-to-tail lifestyle, it would be incredibly wasteful to dispose of fat instead of finding a use for it — whether that’s in the kitchen or elsewhere.
Even small animals like squirrels are a potentially good source of animal fat, I’ve found it largely comes down to trial and error in terms of which fats are best for cooking with.
TYPES OF ANIMAL FATS
The world of animal fats is vast and varied, with many different factors contributing to taste, texture, and usage.
The type of animal is top of the list, but other factors include where on the animal’s body it’s harvested from, how and what the animal is fed, and the season it’s harvested…(continues at PSR)