Economic Collapse Blog: More than half “plan to stockpile food and other essentials” for the months ahead

Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse says that More than half of all Americans “plan to stockpile food and other essentials” for the chaotic months ahead

There was a time when preppers were relentlessly mocked, but nobody is laughing now.  Today, most Americans are thinking about stockpiling food, and this massive shift in our national mindset has been sparked by concern about what is going to happen in the months ahead.  Many Americans believe that another wave of the coronavirus pandemic is coming, others believe that our ongoing economic depression will get even deeper, and yet others are convinced that the upcoming election could produce widespread violence.  Of course there have always been people that have been deeply alarmed about future events, but we have never seen anything quite like this.  In fact, a brand new survey has found that over half of all Americans are currently planning “to stockpile food and other essentials”

Slightly more than half of Americans in a recent poll from Sports and Leisure Research Group say they already have or plan to stockpile food and other essentials. The chief reason: fears of a resurgent pandemic, which could lead to disruptions such as new restrictions on businesses. On Oct. 2, the number of COVID-19 cases in the USA was its highest in almost two months.

People still remember the shortages that we witnessed earlier this year when the coronavirus pandemic first erupted in this country, and those that ended up being stuck at home without enough toilet paper would rather not repeat that experience.

So as the mainstream media continues to hype a new wave of the pandemic, we should expect to see Americans hitting the grocery stores really hard.  And according to data company Envestnet Yodlee, there is evidence that this is already happening

Already, there’s some evidence that grocery sales are rising, according to data from industry sources. The typical bill for a trip to the grocery store rose to $72 for the week ended October 6, or 11% higher from the week before, according to data company Envestnet Yodlee.

“That’s the highest we’ve seen since the first week of June and the second-highest since we started tracking this in January,” said Bill Parsons, group president of data and analytics at Evestnet.

Fortunately, many grocery store chains anticipated a spike in demand in advance and started stocking up ahead of time.  The following comes from CNN

Grocery stores across the United States are stocking up on products to avoid shortages during a second wave of coronavirus.

Household products — including paper towels and Clorox wipes — have been difficult to find at times during the pandemic, and if grocery stores aren’t stocked up and prepared for second wave this winter, runs on products and shortages could happen again.

During a time when other retailers all over the nation are failing at a pace that we have never seen before, many grocery store chains are actually experiencing booming sales.

And of course I have been warning that this would eventually happen for a very long time.  During a time of crisis, demand for food and other essentials tends to go up and demand for non-essential items tends to go down.

Needless to say, this is something that is not just happening in the United States.  All over the world we have seen demand for food on the rise, and this comes at a time when global food production has become increasingly stressed.

As a result, food prices all over the world are starting to escalate quite aggressively

Food prices continue rising during the coronavirus pandemic, jeopardizing food security for tens of millions worldwide.

On Thursday, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations said world food prices rose for the fourth consecutive month in September, led by surging prices for cereals and vegetable oils, reported Reuters.

FAO’s food price index, which tracks the international prices of the top traded food commodities (cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat, and sugar), averaged 97.9 in September versus a downwardly revised 95.9 in August.

Sadly, this is just the beginning.

Global food supplies will continue to get even tighter, and global demand for food will just continue to shoot higher.

So I would stock up while you still can, because prices will never be lower than they are right now.

Meanwhile, our society continues to unravel right in front of our eyes.  You would think that the Lakers winning the NBA title would be a time to celebrate for the city of Los Angeles, but instead large crowds of young people used it as an opportunity to riot and attack police officers

A crowd of more than 1,000 revelers descended into the area around Staples Center after the game. Unruly individuals mixed within the crowd began throwing glass bottles, rocks, and other projectiles at officers. That is when an unlawful assembly was declared, and only a limited number of people complied and began to disperse. A larger portion of the group broke off and began vandalizing businesses while continuing to engage in violent behavior, some aimed at responding officers.

In Portland, protesters just toppled statues of Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln during a “day of rage”, but the mainstream media didn’t seem to think that this was any sort of a problem.

And in the middle of the country, the violence never seems to stop in the city of Chicago

Five people were killed and 48 others were injured by gunfire this weekend in Chicago. Five of those wounded were teenagers.

Last weekend saw 37 people shot throughout the city, five of them fatally.

Of course things could soon get a whole lot worse.

According to one recent survey, 56 percent of all Americans expect “an increase in violence as a result of the election”.

Isn’t that incredibly sad?

Many are still hoping that such a scenario can be avoided if one of the candidates is able to build an extremely large lead on election night.  A large enough lead could potentially cause the candidate that is behind to concede fairly quickly, and that may ease tensions.

But I wouldn’t count on that.

At this point we are about 500 hours away from the election, and both sides are indicating that they are prepared to fight until the bitter end.

And the side that ultimately ends up losing is likely to throw a massive temper tantrum, and that won’t be good for our country at all.

So it makes sense that so many Americans are making extra preparations for the months that are ahead, because it definitely appears that they could be quite rocky.

Organic Prepper: A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers

Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper writes A Personal Letter to Stressed Out Preppers Who Are TIRED of This Apocalypse

Dear Friends:

2020 has certainly been quite a year so far, and a defining one for the preparedness movement. No longer are our stockpiles of rice, beans, and hand sanitizer objects that make us strange. Our stashes of TP would make us the envy of the neighborhood if, of course, anybody knew we had it.

So many of the things and beliefs that made us figures of mockery in the past are now proving their value. We’re learning, with a mixture of relief and perhaps dismay, that we weren’t so crazy after all.

When the first lockdown began, we weren’t out there emptying the shelves in the frenzied throng (even though we’re the ones who got blamed for it.) We were watchful but for the most part, comfortable with our preparations. We understood before things went sideways that extended events can result in civil unrest, crime sprees, and chaos. We realized that we could be facing shortages.

And then time went on.

And on.

And on.

This has been a year in which so many things have occurred that proved preppers have things right that it’s positively exhausting. We’ve had a pandemic, civil unrest, food shortages, increases in crime, exorbitant unemployment, and we’re facing an economic collapse, or at the very least, an economic crisis.

And we’re tired.

Maybe everyone doesn’t feel this way. Maybe you’re perfectly fine and you live on your back 40 and have been completely untouched by any of the above-mentioned crises. Maybe your finances are just fine, you never got out much anyway, and you’ve still got 8 years’ worth of food socked away to supplement the things you grow. Maybe you’re reading this as you spin goat hair into yarn from which you’ll make this year’s mittens. Maybe you have no relatives, friends, or loved ones in the path of danger. Maybe your area isn’t prone to a single natural disaster.

If this is the case, I salute you. I really do. Good for you.

But for most of us, this is not the case. A lot of us are tired.

And I mean tired.

I’m sure there will be plenty of folks in the comments who say, “Daisy Luther is such a whiner” but whatever. I’m just going to come right out and tell you how I feel about this.

This year has been difficult.

My life changed completely. The lives of people I love changed completely. I lost some people I cared for deeply to the virus. I watched people in my family frolic around blithely ignoring the virus for which they’re in a peak risk group for death. I watched my country get torn asunder by everything from the pandemic response to racial injustice to perceived insults or losses of rights. I have a family member who lives in a riot zone but due to work and finances, can’t just relocate. (Although those folks on the internet always make it sound so damned easy to just quit your job then up and move to the boondocks to raise sheep.)

I have friends who have developed such extreme political views on either side that I don’t even know what to say to them anymore. I still love them. I still know they’re good people or we wouldn’t have been friends in the first place. But what the heck, y’all?

Then we’ve got hurricanes and the worst wildfires ever in history and floods and droughts and snow in September and murder hornets and the Olympics got canceled and there was some radiation leak in Russia and police brutality, which you will say is alleged or real, depending on your personal perspective. Oh yeah, and the US Postal Service has gone to heck, a lot of kids can’t go back to school so they’re surfing the net while they’re supposed to be “distance learning” online, and Netflix is playing a child porn movie to prove that kids are getting sexually exploited. Our system is going downhill on a greasy slide.

Our presidential candidates are (in my humble opinion) like a choice between your favorite sexually transmitted infection, syphillis or gonhorrhea. And regardless of whether syphilis or gonorrhea wins, all hell’s going to break loose (or break looser because it’s already pretty freakin’ bad in a lot of places) before and after the election that may not even happen the regular way because of the pandemic.

And we preppers who were ready for an emergency are sitting here scratching our heads thinking, “Heck fire, I wasn’t actually prepared for ALL OF THE EMERGENCIES AT ONCE.”

And it’s going on and on and on.

And that’s the other thing.

This stuff is going on and on and on forever. Ad infinitum. We are still in the middle of a global viral outbreak that we don’t completely understand and lots of places are still under major restrictions. A lot of folks don’t have their jobs back and a lot never will. We have been dealing with this particular disaster since at least February and the mental toll of dealing with the restrictions, the loss of income, the isolation, and the loss of freedom has been harsh for many people. There are folks who are just plain mad that they didn’t get the apocalypse they signed up for and they haven’t gotten to shoot any marauders and quite frankly, lockdown is boring as heck.

Lots of us have family members and people in our inner circles who are chomping at the bit to get back to “normal” when things simply are not normal. We’ve got loved ones who want to head out to parties and who want to throw caution to the wind and who flat don’t give a hoot what they bring home to Grandma. We’ve got loved ones who are using this entire scenario to say how we’ve overreacted. We’ve got loved ones who still get aggravated when we bring home more toilet paper.

When we were prepping for all this stuff most of us never expected that our families who were also prepping for this stuff might not be on board with this specific scenario. We never thought we’d have to argue with children and spouses and friends and lovers about things like quarantines and masks and not eating all five years’ worth of the good snacks like Oreos in the first 6 months. We didn’t consider that we might not be able to replace our Bluetooth headsets or that we’d need them for work or that we’d have to have our offices in our homes or that our kids’ teachers might see their BB guns in their bedrooms and send the SWAT teams after us.

We can’t go to church but we can go to riots. We aren’t supposed to travel yet mysterious busloads full of “protesters” show up in other states and that’s just hunky-dory. The borders are closed except they’re not really and the restaurants can’t serve you except they can sort of and we can’t go to the beach but we can line up for a vaccine once the promised injection, untested for long-term side effects, is ready.

This is the worst apocalypse ever because it’s so dad-gum boring and it’s going on for-freaking-ever. That’s the thing that nobody warned us about. This monotony just goes on and on and on. It would be one thing if we were out there fighting for resources but in reality, we’re all just standin’ in line at Wal-Mart with our masks on waiting for our turn to get zapped with a thermometer to see if we are allowed to go inside. If it weren’t for wifi we’d all be crazy by now. Or – let’s be real for a moment – maybe it’s because of wifi so many people are crazy right now. Social media is a jungle – an outright vicious and bloody jungle – and may the most audacious mofo win because those of us who still retain our human decency are not going to be able to hang with the people out there flinging wild ungrounded insults like poop in the monkey cages at the zoo.

And folks – I hate to say it but we’re still on Round One.

We’re going to be dealing with this bizarre altered reality for quite some time. This virus ain’t over yet or if you don’t believe in the virus, then consider that this government response isn’t over yet. We’re never “getting back to normal” and we’re going to have to adapt. We’re going to have to hope our children who are going to school in personal bubbles aren’t going to have OCD and chronic anxiety for the rest of their lives. We’re going to have to learn to make do without all the imports that no longer seem to be populating stores.

We never really expected that a huge part of survival would just be waiting and adapting to the new world around us. Not this new world anyway. This isn’t one we can shoot our way out of or buy our way out of or wait our way out of.  We have to adapt to the new economy, the new precautions, and the new suspicions. We have to adapt to a different type of supply chain.  We have to move into survival mode as we watch civil unrest and riots break out in the most unlikely places, although it’s not really the survival mode we ever expected. We have to adjust to the nearly constant state of offense and unrest. We’re going to have to teach our children to be bold and fearless despite a system that wants them to be afraid. We’re going to have to forge a path through a labyrinth that is nothing like the one we expected when we began prepping for serious events because this event was so wildly unpredictable that nobody could have seen it happening the way it did.

But this is what we do.

We’re preppers. Preparing for the unexpected is our thing. Even when the unexpected is long-lasting, monotonous, boring, and stifling. Even when our family thinks we’re overreacting. Even when everything changes and things don’t get back to “normal.” Even when we’re just sitting there right on the edge of chaos wondering if today is the day that things will erupt in our neck of the woods.

Every.

Single.

Day.

For.

Months.

The way this unfolded isn’t the disaster any of us expected but it’s the hand we’ve been dealt. How well we’re able to handle it will tell us a lot about how mentally prepared we actually are. How we manage our friends, families, and expectations will help us determine how things might go in a future, more Mad-Max variety of apocalypse.

Take this as the learning experience that it is. And don’t be lulled by the boredom into a false sense of security.

Because this is not over. Not by a long shot.

Hang in there, my friends. Whether we have to pull our loved ones along by their collars, whether we have to buy our supplies and stash them away on the sly, whether we have to prepare all on our own, we have to deal with the apocalypse we’ve been given, emotionally and physically.

It’s going to be a long haul, but we’ve got this. I don’t know if you’re feeling the same way that I am, but just in case you are, I wanted you to know – you’re not alone.

Daisy

The Organic Prepper: Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about how Our System Is Crumbling Right In Front of Our Eyes.

Back in January, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to catch globe attention, Selco wrote an article stating, “It’s not the virus you need to worry about. It’s the system.”

Virus or illness on itself might not be a problem in its essence, but the impact that it brings to the system and people might be so huge through the media that it causes the system to stop working in the normal way. So you could find yourself in a collapse not necessarily because of a huge pandemic, but because of the reaction to it.

Another case might be the simple unwillingness from the system to admit how bad the situation is in order to stop the panic when folks realized the truth.

So, what might bring the system to collapse might be a real pandemic or a reaction to the pandemic (which might or might not be controllable) or simply the government’s poor or late response to the pandemic. (source)

As things were just beginning to unfold, the article took a lot of heat on social media, with people saying Selco didn’t understand how things would go because he is not American and doesn’t know how things work here. Whoops. I guess that’s rather embarrassing in retrospect.

Because here we are, seven months after Selco wrote his warning, and our system is indeed falling apart.

Our system is failing in many ways.

It’s indisputable that our system is now failing in numerous ways. Some of these things directly relate to the virus and the subsequent lockdown, while others are tied to the nonstop riots that have been going on in some areas for more than 100 days. The riots began after the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck until he suffocated.

From the economy to the justice system to the infrastructure, our system is grinding to a halt in a variety of manners that stand to completely change the American way of life. Let’s take a look.

The economy

As predicted, our economy took a massive hit when government-mandated lockdowns closed the doors to many businesses. Despite billions of dollars in relief (much of which went to large businesses in an act of crony capitalism), the new economy has been nothing short of disastrous.

Millions of jobs are gone and are never coming back. Millions of small businesses have fallen. Corporate landlords aren’t getting paid rent and mom and pop landlords are being forced by the CDC (that’s right – the Center for Disease Control) to house people who can’t pay their rent, while still maintaining their mortgages.

Obviously, this trickles down to the average American who just wants to go to work and pay his or her bills. If you’ve lost your job, you are now in a heated competition for the few jobs remaining. The effect on the economy was “swift and severe” according to a paper published by the Brookings Institute. Now that the CARES Act financial assistance has run out, more and more families are being pushed into desperate levels of poverty. (If this is happening to you, please check out this article for essential advice on surviving this situation.)

But it goes even further than that – in a puzzling turn of events, our country is running out of coins. Many stores no longer give out change that is less than a dollar. You can choose to donate your change digitally to the charity of the store’s choice or get it back on a store loyalty card. Many people are concerned that this is a push toward a cashless society, something that would cause even more day to day financial problems for people who are already struggling. (And this is not as far-fetched as it might seem – it’s happened in Venezuela, too.)

Consumer inventory

And what about the folks who do have money? Well, spending it might be harder than it used to be.

Remember when the first hints of a looming lockdown occurred and store shelves across the country were emptied? And remember when all the shortages were blamed on those selfish hoarder preppers? And remember when they said if you would just buy for the next few days or for the week all the inventory would quickly be replenished because the supply chain was A-OK?

Yeah. I remember that too. And guess what?

Store shelves are still pretty spotty in many parts of the country. Some places still have limits on how much meat or toilet paper you can buy. If you go to your local Target, it’s difficult to find things like bedding and certain cleaning supplies.

Food plants continue to close due to outbreaks. Canned goods are still in high demand. (source) And what is affecting us even more is that we still aren’t getting the shipments from China that we used to receive.  When all of this began, I posted a list of essentials that we were getting from China which might affect our supplies, and unsurprisingly, many of these items remain difficult to find.

When you can find supplies in your local stores, you may find that the selection of options is far more limited than before. This is pretty startling, but something that I noticed when I spent several months abroad was that most other countries don’t have chicken cut in 12 different ways or 47 different brands of laundry detergent. What feels like a “shortage” to us is somewhat normal elsewhere and this is something you can adapt to fairly well.

At the same time, limits on purchases make it incredibly difficult to stock up for the future, and you can also expect to see fewer and fewer choices in the months ahead unless something happens to change the situation dramatically.

Education

One of the first casualties of the lockdown was the education system. Most schools simply gave up and didn’t continue the school year after the March lockdown. Colleges and universities turned to distance learning. Graduations were held virtually, if at all.

The new school year looks a lot different too. The schools that have reopened for in-person learning have stringent – and somewhat unsettling – social distancing policies. Many schools are only open for distance learning via Zoom or other online portals. (And don’t even get my started on the privacy issues this has unlocked – not to mention the overreaction of at least one school so shocked at the sight of a Nerf gun in a boy’s room that they called the cops and suspended him.)

Some schools reopened only to close again within a week when a new outbreak erupted. Huge outbreaks are occurring at universities as (big surprise) students party without a lot of regard for social distancing. Many colleges are fighting this by offering as many classes as possible in an online format. This is causing many families to question why they’re still paying the same exceptionally high prices for the education as they did when everyone spent time in the classroom, used campus facilities, and had the benefit of an active social life.

The postal service

The US Postal Service has been losing money hand over fist for years. After the COVID pandemic, it lost a whopping 2.2 billion dollars in the second quarter. In a recent Senate hearing, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testified that they could not guarantee the ability to deliver mail-in ballots for the November election in a timely manner.

And it isn’t just the mail-in ballots that are a problem. There have recently been massive delays with the mail. These delays have led to mailed prescription drugs arriving late to patients who depend on them, thousands of dead baby chicks, and shipping delays that are causing unprecedented issues for small businesses that mail products to customers – and 70% of small businesses use the USPS regularly.

Many have blamed changes made by Postmaster General DeJoy, who donated to President Trump’s campaign, for the crisis.

The new leadership of the U.S. postal service has come under fire from lawmakers and advocates who worry that a slower mail system will affect the presidential election in November. But the impacts could disrupt everyday life for Americans in many other ways.

The U.S. postal service, which has suffered from financial troubles for years, has lost billions of dollars amid the coronavirus pandemic. But last month, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a number of orders aimed at cutting costs within the agency. Those changes include eliminating employees’ ability to log overtime and barring workers from making extra trips to deliver late-arriving mail. DeJoy’s changes have been blamed for reported widespread mail delays.

“Let me be clear about the reasons behind our restructuring and the need for our plan. Our financial condition is dire,” DeJoy said in a memo sent to USPS staff on Thursday, NBC reported. “Our critics are quick to point to our finances, yet they offer no solution.” (source)

Regardless of the specific cause, it appears a reliable postal service has been yet another systemic casualty. One recent video even came to light of massive bags of mail simply being dumped in a parking lot.

The legal and criminal justice system

After the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, the country erupted. Protests were widespread. The organization Black Lives Matter reached peak popularity. The movement was quickly co-opted and groups like Antifa and the Occupy movement took over. Protests soon turned into violent riots that saw cities across the country turn into battle zones.

The unrest has lasted for more than three months and shows no signs of slowing down soon. Armed conflict has broken out in numerous cities. In fact, a demonstration promising to “lay siege” to the White House is planned for later this month through the election.

This goes hand in hand with calls to defund the police in many of the cities where the protests/riots are taking place. Massive budget cuts have already occurred in Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Oakland, Portland, Philadelphia, Hartford, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, just to name a few cities. (source) It’s important to note that some of these cities have been the sites of extreme upticks in violence, looting, destruction, and arson.

And it isn’t just the criminal justice system breaking down. The court system in general has been on hiatus. Family court closures have halted divorce and custody hearings. Civil suits are at a standstill. Once the courts reopen, the massive backlog will mean even further delays.

The wheels have simply stopped turning.

The election

The upcoming election is the next broken element of the system. This year hardly feels like an election year in the first place.

Many people are hesitant to vote in person due to the virus. The postal service has said they may not be able to get ballots to people on time. Big rallies are a thing of elections past. We have yet to see a presidential debate between the candidates. We probably won’t know who won on election night. In fact, it could be weeks before a winner is announced, and even then, it looks as though Biden and Trump are both intent on questioning the outcome if it isn’t in their favor.

In short, it’s going to be a huge bone of contention that is likely to escalate the violence discussed above for weeks, if not months. We could have the fifth contested presidential election in American history. (And I’d say that isn’t just a possibility, but a likelihood.)

If an already divided country can’t agree on who won the election, would that be the final nail in the coffin of our system?

What can we do?

A lot of these are “big circle” things that are out of our personal realm of control. We can’t do anything about imports from China, we can’t stop the riots in Seattle, we can’t fix the postal service.

But we can focus our energy on getting as prepared as possible for what promises to be a bumpy road ahead. And we must also stop focusing on a system that is broken to solve our problems. Selco wrote:

Do not forget one basic fact: you as a prepper/survivalist, at your core, most probably do not trust the system.

I am not saying you hate it, but you just do not trust it completely.

So, watch the news and announcements. Help if possible, obey if possible (and if it makes sense) but always keep in mind that the system at its core has a very basic obligation: to keep that system running. If that means the system has to lie to you or let’s say, bend the truth, it will do it, because to the system you are an individual, and the system is machinery that needs to run.

So, keep some common sense, and trust your gut instinct. (source)

Pieces of the system are tumbling over like one domino after another. Every stressor added is knocking out more of the system as time goes on.

Do you think the system is fixable or do you believe it is broken beyond repair? What do you foresee for the rest of the year?

Civil Defense Manual by Jack Lawson on Sale Now

Jack Lawson is one of the co-authors of the now out-of-print but still much sought after book A Failure of Civility. He has now published Civil Defense Manual, Vol. I & II: How to Prepare and Protect Your Neighborhood from Disaster, Riot and Civil Unrest.

What’s in the Civil Defense Manual?

An overview of some subjects…

  • How to protect and secure your neighborhood against riot, civil unrest and fire using the CDM Neighborhood Protection PlanTM concept.
  • How to determine the level of danger from mobs where you live with this simple calculator
  • Checklists of items you must immediately purchase when Extraordinary Catastrophic Events strike in practical check box checklist forms
  • Tips on how to survive a gun battle
  • How to get gas station fuel from underground tanks in a total Grid Down situation
  • How neighbors can make their area a secure fortress by using simple military tactics
  • Night fighting without night vision equipment-written by a Navy SEAL Officer
  • Water sources, where are they and how to make water drinkable
  • Emergency lighting on and off the grid, how to make a torch and lamp, how to make lamp oil from trees, how to make candles and wicks
  • A simple way to store chicken eggs without refrigeration for up to two years
  • What you need for individual/cooperative tools, supplies, equipment needed for survival
  • Improvised security devices, improvised weapons and improvised attack vehicles
  • How to make your own N95 equivalent reusable face mask
  • The most probable catastrophes that are looming and what their characteristics will be
  • How to make a bullet cause a shotgun effect by using the ‘skipping rounds’ technique
  • Where and how to get salt from Mother Nature virtually anywhere
  • The step by step procedure of organizing your neighborhood and how to put it in action
  • What to buy in emergency foods and proper storage
  • Cold weather refuge from freezing without burning fuel
  • How to make Pemmican-the long-term storage food staple that provides everything you need in one food source
  • Marksmanship fundamentals… how to logically and properly choose your firearm
  • Medical information and resources and alternative pain control methods
  • How to make your own hand sanitizer
  • All about short and long-range radio communications
  • Dental care, how to protect your teeth without a dentist and pain control methods
  • How to make your own toothbrush and toothpaste
  • What fuel to store and how to store it.
  • The ABCs of alternative power sources
  • How to survive hypothermia and cold weather when others die
  • How to aggressively defend your neighborhood using strategies and simple military tactics that will defeat far superior forces
  • How to survive biological infectious disease and protective equipment needed
  • Principles of an Area Tactical Proactive Defense, patrolling and house clearing
  • Strategic and tactical principles of thought
  • Tactics… Plain language explanations, that even with no military or Law Enforcement background, you can understand. Tactical and strategic principles, effects and movement:
    • All Around Defense
    • Fields of Fire
    • Interlocking Fields of Fire
    • Supporting Fields of Fire
    • Element of Surprise
    • Force Multiplier Effect
    • Violence of Action
    • Economy of Force
    • Kill Zone maze
    • Defense In Depth
    • Flanking Attack principles
    • L Shaped Ambush
    • Cover and Fire Movement
    • Fall Back Fighting Positions
    • Area Tactical Proactive Defense (aggressive defense employing offensive maneuvers)
    • Serpentine Entry Control
    • Perimeter Defense and the Vauban Star Perimeter Defense principle
    • Indirect Approach Strategy
    • Employment and coordination of Inside Marksmen and OutFlanker Marksmen
    • The Rapid Response Force
    • The third Dimension of the Defensive Perimeter
    • The Castle Concept
  • Setting up long-range marksmen and observation posts
  • How to fortify and defend a suburban neighborhood, high-rise building, ranch, farm or houseboat on a lake or river
  • Where to hunker down in the city
  • How to survive hurricane, earthquake, tornados, electrical power outages
  • Why government can’t assist and why you and your neighbors are on your own.
  • Why natural gas flow will stop with most severe disasters-contrary to popular thought
  • The organizational structure needed for a CDM Neighborhood Protection PlanTM
  • Defense Perimeter principles and how to build fortifications
  • Surviving Nuclear Warfare where you are with what you have
  • The effect of an Electro Magnetic Pulse event (EMP) on you and what it will damage
  • How to build an inexpensive Faraday Cage
  • Sanitation and care for the dead made simple
  • Fire protection procedures
  • What a disaster will really be like and how to mentally prepare yourself for disaster
  • How to create an essential Intelligence Section to know what is happening in your area
  • The A to Z of underground shelters and everything you could possibly want to know
  • Security in Motion, Survival-Escape-Resistance-Evasion (SERE)
  • How to deal with family, friends and those who don’t prepare
  • Bullet proof vest protection level chart and penetration chart of common materials
  • Morse Code chart
  • Emergency Radio Frequency list
  • The Military Phonetic Alphabet
  • Calculation form for food, how many people it will feed and for how long
  • Blood transfusion compatibility chart
  • Chart of Catastrophic Events and Characteristics
  • Numerous engaging and illustrative stories to heighten the learning experience
  • Book features: Large font, written in Layman terms, practical check box checklists and forms, definitions, diagrams, depictions, charts, photographs and stories

Update: Having received a copy of Civil Defense Manual, I can now see that contributing authors include Sam Culper of Forward Observer, NC Scout from Brushbeater blog, former Navy SEAL Matt Bracken, Concerned American from Western Rifle Shooters Assoc., and SELCO among others. All of those names should be familiar to readers of this website, as I’ve posted or linked to all of them previously. Their contributions are mostly in the form of chapters dealing with their specialties, like communications for NC Scout and intelligence by Sam Culper. At least some of those sections may have been previously published by those contributors. The two volumes are letter-sized paper, perfect bound, for a total of 950 pages.

See also Civil Defense Manual Store Food Now!

…The Food Weapon

No folks… not that kind of weapon. Food… or the lack thereof. Food is a weapon that can destroy people, movements, groups, nations… and those with enough power to control food and use it as a weapon… don’t have to lift a finger, fire one bullet or even engage their enemy.

All they have to do is sit back and wait for your emaciated and starved carcass to start rotting. Then what will come true is what Charles Heston said at an NRA Convention… “You can have my rifle… but you’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands!” That’s what those who use food as a weapon will do… wait until you’re dead and cold. And as an added bonus… they have that fine firearm you were going to defend your lifestyle with…

AYWtGS: Homeschooling Is Preparedness

From A Year Without the Grocery Store blog comes Homeschooling Is Preparedness.

Wow, what a year and a summer it’s been!  Are you apprehensive about sending your children back to school wearing masks?  Have you considered homeschooling, but you’re – if you’re very honest – kinda scared?  Is there even an apprehension that you may even screw something up so badly that your child’s education will be skewed for life?

***There are links in this post.  Some of the links may be affiliate links. My promise to you is that I will only recommend the most economical version of the best quality of items to serve you. Many of these are the items that I have bought for my own family.  If you click on a link, your price will remain the same.  If you make a purchase, we may make a small commission which aids in the cost of running of this website.***

Homeschooling As Preparedness - It's Honestly Very Simple

Homeschooling as Preparedness

Have you ever considered that schooling your kids CAN BE a part of preparedness?  Last year, I wrote about the fact that there may come a time when you may HAVE TO homeschool your kids.  I’m sure that almost no one believed me!  I have to kind of chuckle sitting here now.  I was……well…..kinda right.

But the truth of the matter is we are “sitting” here now and many people have had to do a version of homeschooling earlier this year, and now, some people are considering homeschooling.

But why should you listen to me?  Well, I’ve been homeschooling for more than 14 years, and I’ve graduated two children.  I’ve got three more children still in school.  I’m not perfect, but I’ve been at this a LONG time and tried all different kinds of curricula from boxed to DIY to combining multiple curricula together.  I’ve also been writing and homeschooling as a part of preparedness and discussing cheap schooling supplies for a long time.

I have a revelation.  Homeschooling is actually VERY simple though not always easy.  But anyone can do it!

The hardest part of homeschooling can be just being with your kids, but even then, you CAN do that!  And, it honestly does get easier over time.  I’m to the point that I hand my kids their assignment sheets (which I create an entire semester in an evening) once a week, and then give me their assignments at the end of the week.  I do have to grade their work, but I’m fairly hands-off other than that.

Homeschooling As Preparedness - It's Honestly Very Simple

Homeschooling Options

So in writing this article, I was trying to figure out the way that I could most simplify this for you.

I want you to ask yourself these questions, and choose the one that fits you best.

1.)  Do you need someone else to plan the curriculum AND do the teaching?

2.)  Want to do the actual teaching yourself, but you need someone to plan it for you?

3.)  Do you want to create something for your kids yourself so you can play to their interests?

4.)  Or does this fit you?  You want your kids to learn, but you don’t want them to feel like their actually doing school.

Homeschooling As Preparedness - It's Honestly Very SimpleWhich number fits you?  #1?

If #1 fits you best, you have a lot of options.  I mostly know if Christian curricula, so that’s going to be mostly my focus.  If you want someone to do the actual teaching, you have several awesome options.

ABeka

ABeka has a video curriculum for grades 1-12.  They have an option where they will even grade it for you and keep your transcripts.  This is a Christian based curriculum with Bible stories in grade school and Bible as one of the subjects in high school.  It is rigorous – so do be aware.  We used the online class portal with one of our children three years ago.  As the parent, we tracked their video watching and had to check to see which videos this child watched (or skipped as was the case sometimes) and which assignments they still needed to submit.

Pluses – It’s all done for you.  It’s very comprehensive.  The videos are first class – and every class is on video.  It’s like your child is a member of the classroom, so in many ways, they will feel like they are at school.  It’s immersive in that way.

Minuses – if you can call this a minus – it’s very rigorous.  I had a child (in 8th grade) who was struggling terribly with grammar.  I took him back to do some remedial grammar, but because Abeka is rigorous, I took him all the way back to A Beka’s second-grade grammar and spelling.  It really started at the beginning.  Another minus is the cost.  Because it’s almost like your child is attending a classroom with a teacher and fellow students, it is more expensive.  Costs range between $110 and $140/month for 10 months or one single payment of $959 for grades 1-6 or $1219 for grades 7-12.

Monarch

Monarch homeschooling is through Alpha Omega press.  It’s a completely online homeschooling option that allows you to use it for up to three kids and you get access to up to 50 courses.  Each student takes five different core courses including Bible, History and Geography, Language Arts, Math, and Science.  The student reads (or watches) all the lessons online and does the work that goes along with it.  They also take tests and quizzes online.  The grading is done automatically.  This is really a great “Hands-Off” option if you work from home, but want to homeschool.

We’ve used the DVD curriculum version of this about four years ago.  So we’re fairly familiar with it.

Pluses – You can do up to 3 children for $70/month or just one child for $40/month.  It’s so very hands-off for people who need someone else to teach their children or for a mom or dad who works from home but doesn’t want to send their child to school.

Minuses – If you’re child is really at different grade levels in different subjects, it’s hard to figure out which grade to put them in.  It’s not all a video, but there are some videos.  Many of the lessons, however, are mostly read.  If you have a child who does better as an audio or visual learner, this may not be the curriculum for you.

Which number fits you?  #2?  Homeschooling As Preparedness - It's Honestly Very Simple

Do you really want to teach your children yourself, but you need someone to tell you what to do?  There are several options, but I want to give you a word of encouragement.  You are the teacher.  When you read through the curriculum, if you see something you don’t want to do, you don’t have to do everything that the curriculum tells you to.  You can choose what you want your children to do and what is too much for them.  No matter what curriculum you use, you can still tailor it to them!

ABeka Book Curriculum

This is different from the video school curriculum.  It’s still rigorous – you use the same books for your classes, but you teach them and direct their education.  You will grade their work and help them as they work through their classes.  We used this curriculum for K4 and K5, and honestly loved it!

My Father’s World

Ever heard of the Charlotte Mason approach to schooling?  My Father’s World is a Bible-based curriculum that employs the Charlotte Mason approach.  History is studied in chronological order.  Great books are read.  Notebooking and narration are employed techniques of learning.  We’ve never used My Father’s World, but I have to admit, it intrigues me…(continues)

TACDA: Water – The Absolute Basic

Dr. Landon Beales has written an article for The Journal of Civil Defense on Water: The Absolute Basic on storage and purification of water.

Storing water is as easy as turning on the faucet—as long as you store it before an emergency arises! If you wait until it’s critical, then both frustration and costs increase – in direct proportion to the water’s availability! The following are some basic recommenda-
tions to guide you in this fairly simple storage project.

Recommendation #1: Store water from the source you are currently drinking.

Family members are accustomed to its taste and mineral content, so adjustment to “new” water won’t be necessary. There are enough other challenges during emergencies without being frustrated by your water supply.Recommendation #2: Store your water reserves in new, thoroughly cleaned, heavy duty, plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.

Heavy, plastic containers have the major advantage of being shatterproof and lighter than glass bottles or jugs.
The federal government, through the Department of Transportation, has developed a rigid burst test and handling standard (DOT #34) for plastic containers utilized in the interstate hauling industry. Plastic containers in this classification are designed to specifications for strength and transportability when filled with liquids. Plastic containers meeting DOT #34 are available in many sizes, ranging from 5-gallon to 55-gallon models. Water weighs eight pounds per gallon, so the 5-gallon container (at 40 lbs.) is about the maximum weight most people can carry – and just the right size for water storage. The 5-gallon container is designed for  tacking to conserve space and is easy to handle for rotating your water supply.

If you don’t have a storage space problem, the larger containers are better for consolidating and organizing water storage. If your storage space is fairly limited, smaller storage containers  facilitate stacking and moving them more often. Shipping-grade water containers, when filled with water, are capable of withstanding both hot and cold outdoor temperatures. This is important if some of your volume of water must be stored outside the protected environment of your living space.

There is always a great temptation to “keep it cheap” and store water in used containers. The difference in price of acquiring and preparing used containers is comparable to acquiring new equipment, all things considered. It’s not worth risking loss of your water supply by using containers of unknown origin and quality.

New containers should be sanitized. Rinse the new container with drinking water from a new, dedicated ‘drinking water safe’ hose (such as those used in campers). Rinse 55-gallon containers with a 50% solution of water and bleach. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Leave the bung filler cap slightly loose. Swish and roll the container so the bleach solution reaches all areas of the container. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Pour the solution back into a clean bucket and use it for the next container. Repeat the process. Pour out the solution before filling with clean tap water. The remaining bleach will ‘shock’ the drinking water. You may wish to add 1⁄4 c. bleach per 55-
gallon drum of water before tightly replacing the cap on the bung. Wash off the outside of the drum with clean water so as not to damage clothing or nearby items with bleach. Bleach residue is dangerous to your health. Filter water at point of use…(continues)

PDF of article from The American Civil Defense Association

Detroit News: How to Get Prepared

The Detroit News interviewed the couple who run The Provident Prepper website and asked them about preparedness in COVID-19 caught us off guard. Here’s what disaster preppers say we needed to do all along

For three months, Jonathan and Kylene Jones didn’t step foot inside a grocery store. They relied on their Utah home’s built-in storage room supply: flour, rice, beans, a freezer full of food.

That was last summer.

The couple, founders of the “The Provident Prepper” website and YouTube channel, wanted to do a 90-day trial of surviving solely on their food storage and garden. Bartering and trading was allowed — their kids hauled hay for a nearby farmer one day in return for a Subway sandwich — but they couldn’t go to the grocery store. Those were the rules.

So when the coronavirus erupted in March, emptying grocery stores and turning others into hoarders overnight, Kylene and Jonathan Jones relaxed.

“When this pandemic struck, we’d already been through it,” said Kylene Jones, 55. “There was this great sense of peace that taught us that we’re just fine, we can do this.”

The Joneses acknowledge that very few people have the patience or time to do an experiment like theirs.

But a variety of people who prioritize preparedness say that most people can and should have supplies and plans to get them through several days. It’s doable without entertaining conspiracy theories or spending a fortune on special tools and supplies.

Here’s how to start.

Think it through 

Yes, it might feel weird or unnerving to imagine worst-case scenarios. But thinking through possible disasters — especially now that we can envision one — is key to preparation and peace of mind, said Ontario’s fire administrative director Jordan Villwock.

“While it’s not fun to think about, it’s always better when an incident happens that you’re prepared,” Villwock said. “Hope is not a good contingency plan.”

Florida gets hurricanes. In the Midwest, tornadoes. California is blessed with earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides. Get to know your area’s specific vulnerabilities. Do you live on a fault line? Is your beachfront property susceptible to a tsunami? Look up your local jurisdiction’s hazard mitigation plan, which should detail threats unique to your area, Villwock recommends.

While you’re at it, look up evacuation routes for your neighborhood — include routes with the blue “evacuation” signs as well as little-known streets that might come in handy if the larger thoroughfares get blocked. Find routes that don’t use bridges or roads crossed by bridges. Know how to get out, in case of an emergency.

Plan for communication 

Sit down with your family, roommates or neighbors and discuss. Decide on a meeting place in your neighborhood and one farther away, if it’s not safe to stay close to home. Agree on an out-of-state contact who can serve as an intermediary to help relay information. Memorize and write down that person’s contact information.

“Some people hesitate to feed their children information that’s scary, but I think it can be done in a non-threatening way,” said Jonathan Jones, 60. “It truly empowers them to look at a situation and say, ‘OK, here’s what we’ve already done and we can think this through.’”

Also write down your medical insurance, doctors’ contact information and any other health conditions (including allergies).

Many jurisdictions now have the capability to send messages through Amber alerts _ remember your cellphone blaring the various curfew alerts? Individual cities and counties often have their own emergency alert systems. Sign up for them on your city’s website. You should also follow your local government, police and fire departments’ social media, which are often the first to sound the alarm about an emergency near you.

Get ready to go 

Practiced preppers often have a couple different stores of supplies. Call it whatever you want — a go-bag, bugout bag, 72-hour supplies, or basic preparedness kit — it should be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Think of the 2018 Camp Fire, a deadly wildfire that tore through the Northern California town of Paradise in minutes.

Ready.gov, the federal preparedness website, advises that you fill your bag with the basic supplies we’re now all accustomed to — hand sanitizer, face masks and gloves — and some we’re not — an AM/FM crank radio, a flashlight, cellphone charger, extra batteries, a whistle, a utility tool, a blanket, a personal hygiene kit, bottles of water and at least three days of non-perishable food.

Villwock recommends also keeping cash in small bills in your bag, along with paper maps of your city.

“Think what life would be like if you’re finding places and you don’t have Google Maps anymore,” he said. “How would you get around?”

Don’t forget a first aid kit, which should contain supplies to treat an immediate injury and help you last a few hours if you can’t get medical help quickly. Villwock recommends bandages, ointment, antiseptic towelettes, an ice pack, tweezers and tape.

Once you have the basics down, customize. If you have children, add enough supplies for them too. If you live in a cold climate, pack a sweater, hat or boots. Perhaps you need medication for anxiety.

“Address stuff based on what’s going to kill you or cause you the largest problems the quickest,” said Dan Baird, founder and head instructor of the California Survival School. “Take care of your first aid needs and basic health and safety needs first.”

Keep your bag in a readily accessible place, like your car, a coat closet or garage. “You don’t want it buried deep in the closet in the middle of the house,” Baird said. If you keep the bag in your car, maybe add glow sticks so people can see you if you’re stranded one night on the side of the road.

Some experienced survivalists include other tools, ranging from eating utensils to things like the “doomsday axe.” But Villwock cautioned against getting caught up in all the advanced supplies.

“Having all those tools and blankets … is going to make it more comfortable during the disaster,” Villwock said. “When you have reusable plates and can openers and duct tape and Q-tips, yeah that’s going to all come in handy, if necessary. But 72 hours, I could go without a Q-tip most likely, you know.”

Prepare the home 

By now, we’re probably all accustomed to having a couple extras boxes of pasta or cans of beans in our pantry. But what do we really need in a home supply?

Preppers recommend plenty of non-perishable food and at least one gallon of water per person, per day. You’ll also need a backup of your medications and basic home tools. Frozen food is good too, but it may spoil quickly during a power outage.

How long should supplies last? Three weeks, three months or a year, depending on which prepper you ask. You’ll have to decide what length of time makes sense to you.

Once you do, they advise that you buy a little extra of your regular grocery list every week until you’re stocked up. Don’t waste money on items you never use, Baird said. Rotate through the items, keeping your supply’s shelf life fresh.

“Have your spaghetti, have your macaroni and cheese, have your oatmeal,” Baird said. “Have whatever it is you already like to eat.”

The Joneses agreed. During their 90-day survival trial, they learned they had packed too much tuna for their liking, but not enough cat food. They fed the tuna to the cats and adjusted their shopping list going forward. Also, Kylene Jones realized, they needed more chocolate.

Where to keep it all? Don’t be afraid to do a spring cleaning to maximize your pantry or closet space. Then get creative. In addition to a storage room on their 1.5 acres, the Joneses use empty space under their bed.

“We recognize that a lot of people can’t have that, or it’s not practicable, but whatever space you have, you can make it usable,” Jonathan Jones said.

Don’t get overwhelmed 

If you’re stressed imagining the next disaster and the prospect of preparing for it seems too much, stop and take a breath. Think of prepping as the opposite of hoarding — get ready while you’re in a calm state of mind so you don’t have to panic later.

Preparing is also a form of community care, the Joneses said. Planning ahead means no last-minute runs to the store to stock up, taking away from other people in need.

“A lot of the reason people don’t prepare is because it seems overwhelming until you break it down,” Jonathan Jones said. “When you break it down into small, manageable pieces, then it’s doable, then you can make some real progress. And then what comes with that is a lot of peace of mind.”

So think ahead. Keep it simple. And don’t hoard toilet paper.

Yanasa Ama Ventures: Is a Global Famine Coming?

Yanasa Ama Ventures is a video company run by a ranching couple, focusing on agricultural, wildlife, and conservation videography. Besides offering such services, they also have a wide variety of ranch tutorial, tips, news and opinion pieces on their Youtube channel. Below they talk about a variety of food problems occurring across the globe, and what they may portend for the future. The novel coronavirus and its effect on global supply chains is pretty well known at this point, but there are a host of other issues as well. If you’re not keeping track, China is dealing with droughts, pestilence, and historic flooding, parts of Africa are dealing with droughts and locust plagues, and Russia has been limiting their exports of grains whether to protect domestic supply or for political power. Yanasa Ama talks about some of these topics in the video, as well as the effects of a solar minimum. You can also find articles like this one from NPR, saying there is no need to worry about food shortages, but it relies on computer models which say that because food supply has increased for many years, it will continue to increase for many years. While that may be true over time (much like holding stocks), it doesn’t account for bad years, or deny that there could be famine in some years.

“Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping’s call for an end to food waste is a sign that the communist country is facing a shortage of grains and pork after months of flooding, insect infestations, the African swine fever (ASF), and the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).” – Taiwan News

“In 2020, locusts have swarmed in large numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. When swarms affect several countries at once in very large numbers, it is known as a plague.” – BBC

“Southern Africa is suffering through its worst drought in several decades and perhaps a century. Drought and its associated impacts have been causing critical problems for agriculture, vulnerable communities and overall development for many years in South Africa. This year they need to import more than 100,000 tones of cereal to survive famine. “ – Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital

“The coronavirus has revealed how risky it can be to rely on Russia for grain imports. Despite warnings from the WHO and WTO, Russia imposed an export quota on critical grains such as wheat, barley, and maize as the virus swept across the globe…Whether for domestic food security or international hybrid warfare, Russia’s behavior in 2010 and now during the coronavirus foreshadows new dangers in a warming world. ” – National Interest

 

Seattle Times: Washington State Stockpiling Food

Derek Sandison, director of the Washington state Department of Agriculture, tours a Fife warehouse Friday that’s packed with nonperishable food the state can tap if demand at food banks and other distribution centers soars amid the pandemic and resulting economic collapse. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

From the Seattle Times, From peanut butter to applesauce, Washington state stockpiles tons of food for the need ahead. Note that even The Seattle Times references the “resulting economic collapse” as a reason for having food stockpiled.

In Washington state’s new food warehouse, there’s enough Jif peanut butter to make nearly 3 million sandwiches.

Barilla pasta boxes stretch to the ceiling, 100,000 in all. Large stacks of TreeTop applesauce, pancake mix and canned green beans sit on pallets, like soldiers waiting to be sent into duty.

Since the coronavirus crisis first rocked Washington in March, nonprofits and state agencies working in food assistance have been forced to draw a completely new road map for getting food to people who need it.

The warehouse in Fife is part of that new model. After seeing food banks struggle to meet demand once the pandemic hit and the economy tanked, the Washington state Department of Agriculture (WSDA) began preparing to buy and stockpile tons of food to ward off a shortage in the months ahead.

The new stockpile is driven by two major factors: A nearly doubling in demand for food assistance across the state and a national food supply chain that is bogged down amid an overwhelming surge in demand.

As many as 2.2 million Washingtonians — about 30% of the state’s population — are facing food insecurity, according to Katie Rains, WSDA food policy advisor. That’s more than double the 850,000 state residents who sought help from food assistance programs last November, before the pandemic. 

We’ve been in this very desperate situation starting toward the end of March,” said WSDA Director Derek Sandison. “This [warehouse] is a continuation of our efforts to make sure we have fusions of product that will help us to continue to weather the storm.”

The storm took hold in mid-April, Sandison said during a tour of the warehouse on Friday. That’s when the state’s three main food bank distributors — Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest — told the WSDA that based on the spike in requests for food assistance, the organizations had roughly a two-week supply of food for hunger relief.

“We went into panic mode,” Sandison said. “That’s not an exaggeration. … So we jumped in with both feet and started active procurement on our end.”

But as the WSDA was trying to buy as much nonperishable food as it could to increase the state’s emergency reserves, so was everyone else.

Not only was the WSDA competing with other states and large national food-assistance programs, it also faced competition from grocery stores as national supplies of products such as pasta and peanut butter were becoming increasingly hard to come by.

“Peanut butter was a very highly wanted and needed commodity,” said Gary Newte, sourcing and product director for Northwest Harvest. “Peanut butter prices have probably tripled in the last three to four months.”

These high costs are having significant effects on the big food bank distributors’ bottom lines.

“Over a seven-month span during this crisis, we’ll spend more on purchasing food than we have for the previous four years combined,” said Thomas Reynolds, CEO of Northwest Harvest.

And six months into the pandemic and economic crisis, those costs haven’t gone down, Newte said. Many food distributors are still waiting on food they ordered months ago, he said…

Click here to read the entire article at The Seattle Times.

 

The Medic Shack: Prepping 101 – Water

Chuck at The Medic Shack talks about water preparedness, including storage and sanitization in Water – Prepping 101 the Basics.

As the SARS-2-Covid-19 bug I coming for another round for us. And as we dig further and further into the latest high tech gadget to make sure our homes are free from the Virus. So do you have enough water? A lot of people found they had holes in their preps, or came up short for needed supplies. Also a lot of people found out that they didnt prep at all. So I decided to bring back the prepping 101 series. But do it as a prepping 101 Dont’ forget the basics. What are the basics?

  1. Store water (safely)
  2. Make sure you are able to cook the food you’ve stored
  3. Implement an off-grid waste system (Trash and toilet waste)
  4. Pack a bug out bag with a bug out plan

How many folks here store water? How do you store it? Do you rotate?? What do you do to preserve it?

As a child of the NM desert living in South Carolina, the waste here is DEVASTATING to me. Folks here literally let it run down the street! (Whoa panic attack coming on. DEEP breath) In a state where the water table is measured in inches rather than the hundreds of feet back home………

Back on topic. In our house we store 3 types of water. Yup y’all heard me. 3 types Bottled, Bulk and other. Bottled water. We store, on hand for each person 3 cases each Sounds like a lot, but in reality its only about 15 gallons. (Depending on the size of the case you buy.  YMMV.)

Why Bottled?

First its easy. Easy to store easy to grab and go with and easy to use in an emergency. Don’t be sucked into the Designer Waters. There is not a bit of difference between Great Value brand bottled water and the 5x as much case bottled by the leading cola company. 3 cases per person.

Bulk water.

Here is where storage becomes and issue. Bulk can be anything from 5 gallon bottles to the 300 gallon cube /caged containers and larger. The issue with storing large quantities of water is keep it “pure and sanitized”

Back in the day.

Decades ago, Chris and had a water bed. It was NOT a good storage idea. Well it was’t a good Idea to have to sleep on your storage Keeping it clean and drinkable was tough. Heated water loves to grow bugs. But it gave us and idea. We tried twin sized bed bladders. They worked but they are a pain to handle. And they need a frame to support them.

The 21st century.

Thankfully today bulk water storage is easier. We use a couple of things. First is the 360 gallon “Cubie” container. That contains rain water that is sanitised for dinking if needed, but it is our “Other” water. It is to flush the toilet, wash dishes, wash hands and people. In a pinch we can drink it safely. Also its to water our garden. South Carolina has lots of rain. So refilling it is not an issue Its big,. Its bad and a hurricane isnt moving it. In the house we have racks of 5 gallon containers. We use this 4 tier high bottle rack.

Each person in the family has 1 rack 20 gallons of for each person. Also just ordered one of these pumps for the 5 gallon water bottles. My wife has trouble lifting it on the dispenser. This will make it a lot easier. This is the one we bought.

More bulk.

Under each bed is a 50 gallon bladder. Today the one that we used has been replaced by a better one for what we paid for ours. The new one is 60 gallons tougher and no plastic taste that ours had for a long time.

That is a lot of water!

It seems so. 1 360 gallon cube container. 4 5 gallon bottles of water per person. 1 50 gallon water bladder per person. It comes out to 730 gallons of water in our house. Thats a metric poop ton (As my eldest Jake says!) of water. According to the EPA we use about 300 gallons per person per day. That 730 gallons we have put by will only last a 2 people 2 ¼ days give or take. Most medical people suggest that we drink at least 4 quarts (1 gallon) of water per day. We can double or even triple that depending on exertion level, temperature and humidity.

Now add in water needed for food prep washing up and basic hygiene, and you could hit 10 gallons a day. Doesn’t sound like much compared to 300 gallons. But at that rate you’d be out in a week. I wrote a piece on sanitizing for the Covid virus In it I talked about using bleach and pool shock to make bleach. Looking at it we didn’t talk about using it to purify water

Sanitizing water

Disinfect water using household bleach, if you can’t boil water. Only use regular, unscented chlorine bleach products that are suitable for disinfection and sanitation as indicated on the label. The label may say that the active ingredient contains 6 or 8.25% of sodium hypochlorite. Do not use scented, color safe, or bleaches with added cleaners. If water is cloudy, let it settle and filter it through a clean cloth, paper towel, or coffee filter.

    • Locate a clean dropper from your medicine cabinet or emergency supply kit.
    • Use the table below as a guide to decide the amount of bleach you should add to the water, for example, 8 drops of 6% bleach, or 6 drops of 8.25% bleach, to each gallon of water. Double the amount of bleach if the water is cloudy, colored, or very cold.
    • Stir and let stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn’t, repeat the dosage and let stand for another 15 minutes before use.
    • If the chlorine taste is too strong, pour the water from one clean container to another and let it stand for a few hours before use.

Volume of Water

Amount of 6% Bleach to Add*

Amount of 8.25% Bleach to Add*

1 quart/liter

2 drops

2 drops

1 gallon

8 drops

6 drops

2 gallons

16 drops (1/4 tsp)

12 drops (1/8 teaspoon)

4 gallons

1/3 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon

8 gallons

2/3 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon

 

*Bleach may contain 6 or 8.25% sodium hypochlorite.

That will put you on the right track for making your water safe to drink. Also Do not forget to sanitize your containers!

Filters

Filters are a useful item. We have a few types. For personal use and in the Bug Out Bag, (More on that in a later). The Life Straw. Is a GREAT tool. Everyone has one and a spare filter. For the home if you can afford it, The Big Berkey Is the standard of the industry, But it is PRICEY…

Click here to continue reading at The Medic Shack.

Survival Mom: The Food Storage Companies I Recommend and Why

Survival Mom has written an article about her experiences with a few well known food storage companies in The Food Storage Companies I Recommend and Why. I’ve made purchases from almost all of those mentioned as well, and my own experiences mirror hers – Thrive and Emergency Essentials are my top go-tos, but I’ve used the others for bulk purchases that I have packed for long term storage myself. Mountain House has good quality, but we prefer ingredient-based storage to complete meal storage.

The Food Storage Companies I Recommend and Why via The Survival Mom

Over the years I’ve purchased “survival” food from a dozen or so different companies, and believe me, not all companies that sell that type of food are the same. In a couple of instances, the food was so bad that even I, a pretty damn good cook, couldn’t salvage the end result.

If you’re going to invest money in freeze-dried and dehydrated food, then it’s worth the time to research and try sample-sizes of a company’s product before stocking up.

Some of the brands I’ve used and purchased are Thrive Life, Legacy Foods, Honeyville, Emergency Essentials, and the one widely-marketed brand that was the worst and which will remain nameless. (Wise consumers will be well-advised to steer clear of that particular brand.)

Currently, the company I use most often is Thrive Life.  Over the years and hundreds of cans of their food, I’ve found their quality, taste, and variety to be the best. Disclaimer: I like their food so much that I am an “independent consultant” for their company and earn a commission for any sales generated from my link.

Thrive Life foods

Thrive Life has an outstanding, user-friendly website, and a huge array of mostly freeze-dried foods that can be incorporated in thousands of recipes. This is my recommended form of food storage — individual ingredients that give you unlimited recipe options.

Just-add-water meals come in handy for events like power outages and quick evacuations but they do limit your meal choices to just the varieties you have on hand. Thrive Life offers the opportunity to earn money and have foods auto-shipped, which has helped me stay on track with food storage goals and build a supply of freeze-dried food. In short, they have some unique features similar companies do not offer. I’ve been a Thrive Life consultant for 8 years and most of my own food storage comes from this company.

The Best Food Storage Company?

So what about other companies such as Emergency Essentials, Walton Feed, Augason Farms, and Honeyville?

None of these companies are inferior, they just don’t rise to the top in the various categories that I personally find to be most important — most helpful website and resources, an auto-ship option, consistently high quality, and the largest variety of products.

Years ago, I’ve visited the main Emergency Essentials store in Salt Lake City and found the manager there to be friendly and helpful. Their site offers survival products that are priced well along with freeze-dried food, and I’ve purchased MREs there as well.

For a year or so I taught classes at the Honeyville Farms retail store in Phoenix and bought quite a few food items each time. One thing I noticed was that the food purchased in the store was very nicely priced but the price increased dramatically online. They advertise a low shipping cost, but obviously, the price of shipping has to be made up elsewhere, thus the increase in their online prices. This made it difficult for me to determine which of their products were priced well and which might be more expensive than other brands, whose shipping charges were higher.

A couple of years ago I priced a 50-pound bag of hard white wheat at the Honeyville Farms retail store and back then it cost $19.99, but was $43.99 online. That’s quite a difference and is typical of all their food products. The $8.99 shipping charge becomes meaningless, and it also makes it very difficult to truly compare Honeyville’s cost and value with other companies. One thing I do like about Honeyville are their baking mixes for things like cornbread and brownies.

Augason Farms is very well-known in the food storage community. It’s family-run and offers generally lower prices. However, what I’ve found is the quality of food is a mixed bag. In some cases, it’s as good in terms of appearance and flavor as Thrive Life, but too often, the quality is lower. I sampled some of their soup mixes, and they aren’t something I would feed to my family without major improvements on my part.

Rainy Day Foods/Walton Feed was the very first food storage company I encountered, and the ordering process, at least back then, was quite confusing and complicated to a newbie. It really helps to know what you want and will use before perusing the site. Eleven years ago when I first began my food storage project, I had no idea what adzuki beans were or whether we would ever eat a #10 can of ABC soup mix! Their website is functional but offers little additional help or support, unlike Thrive Life.

Rainy Day products are good quality, we used the cocoa powder I bought years ago. If you want to take a look at their products and pricing, it’s best to place a huge order with other people, if possible, in order to save on shipping. When I did this, an 18-wheeler delivered the order to my friend’s house (she was the coordinator), and she divided up the orders for each person.

Two other well-known brands I’ve tried are Mountain House Foods (Read my Mountain House review.) Legacy Foods. I tried several of their freeze-dried entrees — very good!

All that food is surprisingly similar. Here’s why.

One factor many don’t realize is that all this food, whether it be wheat, strawberries, corn, and everything else comes from only so many farms! Just as food processing plants package food and then place different labels on them for different brands, these farms and packing plants do the same thing. So wheat purchased from Emergency Essentials just might come from the exact same farm as Augason Farms wheat or vice versa.

There are very few plants that freeze-dry massive amounts of produce, so it’s just logical that the food itself is the same from one company to the next, and only the label and, possibly, the packaging process is different. Exactly where the food comes from is highly confidential, and you will probably only find out the country from which it originated…

Click here to read the entire article at Survival Mom.

TMIN: Everyone in America Needs to Be a Prepper in 2020

Michael Snyder at The Most Important News writes Why Every Person In America Needs To Become A Prepper During The Second Half Of 2020, citing what he sees as the events ahead.

It has been on my heart to write this article for a few days, but I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to write.  2020 has already been one of the worst years in modern U.S. history, and it looks like the next six months are going to be extremely challenging as well.  But even though most Americans are expecting that things will return to “normal” in 2021 and beyond, the truth is that the “perfect storm” that we are witnessing is only in the very early stages.  All of the old cycles are ending, all of the bubbles are bursting, and we are starting to experience the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  So even though the remaining months of 2020 will be chaotic, the truth is that things are going to get progressively worse as the years move along.  That means that you should use this period of time to prepare for what is ahead of us, because at some point the window of opportunity to prepare will be closed for good.

COVID-19 should have been a wake up call for all of us.  Lockdowns were implemented very suddenly once the virus started to spread in the U.S., and shortages of key items began to happen.  To this day, many retailers are still limiting the number of items that you can buy in certain categories.  Hopefully this has helped people to understand that if you have not stocked up in advance, you may not be able to go out and get what you need when a major crisis strikes.

During the initial stages of this pandemic, a lot of people ended up being stuck at home without enough supplies.  In the event of a truly historic emergency, you can certainly survive without toilet paper, but if you run out of food you could find yourself in big trouble quite quickly.

The good news is that COVID-19 is not going to kill us all.  About half a million people around the world have died so far, and the final death toll will be a lot lower than the tens of millions that died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920.

But if our society was extremely ill-prepared for a pandemic of this nature, what is going to happen when a pandemic that is much more severe hits us?

Scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a killer plague sweeps across the planet, and the Bible tells us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days.  If you find yourself isolated at home for an extended period of time as millions of others are dying from a virus, will you be able to survive on what you have already stored up?

If not, you need to get to work.

Big economic problems are ahead as well.  So far in 2020, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and it is being projected that U.S. GDP will decline by 46.6 percent on an annualized bases during the second quarter.  Those are absolutely disastrous numbers, but so far trillions of dollars of emergency government spending has helped to ease the pain.

But those emergency measures were only meant to get us through a few months, and it is now becoming clear that this new economic depression will be with us for a very long time to come.

Of course deteriorating economic conditions will fuel even more civil unrest.  We have seen rioting, looting, arson and violence in city after city, and much more civil unrest is on the horizon.

If you live in one of our major urban areas, you may want to move while you still can.  Due to a huge surge in demand, property prices in the most desirable small towns and rural areas are already starting to go through the roof.

On top of everything else, food shortages are starting to occur all over the globe.  According to the head of the UN, we are on the verge of seeing “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world”…

The U.N. chief on Thursday warned the largest gathering of world leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began that it will cause “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world,” with historic levels of hunger and famine and up to 1.6 billion people unable to earn a living unless action is taken now.

Giant swarms of locusts the size of major cities are devouring crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, African Swine Fever has already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world, and crazy weather patterns have been playing havoc with crop production all over the planet.

And now on top of everything else COVID-19 is greatly disrupting food distribution systems all over the world.

We have never seen so many severe threats to global food production occur simultaneously, and the Bible clearly tells us that there will be “famine” in the last days.

Meanwhile, a major war could erupt in the Middle East at any moment.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will begin the process of annexing portions of Judea and Samaria in July, and Israel’s Arab neighbors have promised a very forceful response if that actually happens.

The region has constantly been on the precipice of war for years, and this could potentially be the trigger that finally causes it to happen.

If everything that I have discussed so far wasn’t enough, the planet that we all live on is becoming increasingly unstable.  We have witnessed a number of very alarming earthquakes this week, and a truly catastrophic event could literally happen at any moment.

As my regular readers already know, I am particularly concerned about seismic activity on the west coast and about the potential for a historic earthquake along the New Madrid fault zone.

But even considering everything that I just shared with you, there is no other time in human history that I would have rather been alive than right now.

All of human history has been building up to this point, and we are so fortunate to be living during this moment.

However, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to thrive during the historic events that are ahead if you have not made any preparations for what is coming.

I realize that things may seem very chaotic now, but the truth is that this is your window of opportunity to prepare.

I would take full advantage of that opportunity, because the clock is ticking.

American Partisan: Lessons Learned from a Power Outage

American Partisan has a nice short article on some Lessons Learned from a Power Outage, mostly along the lines of “things I should have checked ahead of time.”

As I sit hear listening to the local FM country music station, I am approaching 24 hours without power thanks to the derecho that blew through the Northeast. I started keeping a running list of lessons learned. Basically, if it was something I wished I had or something I was super glad I had already, I wrote it down. This has been a great training scenario. Though if the power company could go ahead and get me back up that would be greattttttt.

  1. Inventory ahead of time. I realized after the power went out that I did not have enough D batteries to power all lanterns AND have a backup set for each. I bought a few Streamlight Siege Lanterns a year or so ago and I absolutely love them!
  2. When the power went out, I assumed it would be short. At my previous residence, I was on the same grid as the local EMS and Fire Station, so we were always back up first. I did not pull the generator out until about 7 hours after we lost power. That is seven hours of lost time that could have been used charging items.
  3. Stock extra gas. I had some stocked, but I had been dragging my feet in getting all six of my 5 gallon cans filled. That is going to fixed real quick.
  4. Identify property issues before the storm. This includes tree limbs, earth gradients and drainage issues, etc. Walk your property during the storm to identify runoff issues, gutters that need to be address, and things like that.
  5. Have a list of local radio frequencies handy. Keep your radios charged.
  6. If you have a propane grill, make sure you stay stocked on propane fuel.
  7. In addition to #6, have another method of off grid cooking available.
  8. Keep your basic power outage supplies together and accessible so you are not scrambling into multiple tubs or rooms to gather stuff.
  9. Use UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) Surge Protectors on your Wifi and your computer. This way, if a power outage hits, you have time to turn your computer off properly while it runs on the surge protector’s battery. Additionally, by keeping the modem up, you will have internet.
  10. If the power outage continues, you can use frozen items to keep the fridge cool. Currently we are using a frozen turkey from our chest freezer as a cooling method.
  11. Don’t hesitate to get bags of ice from the local convenience store as well.
  12. If you have a generator, make sure you keep a handy list of all of your appliances and the necessary starting and running watts they need to run. This way you can easily tell what can run at the same time based on your generator wattage.
  13. Have necessary extension cords on hand (ideally 12 gauge or 10 gauge) in order to safely run those applicances off a generator.
  14. Have candles on hand. While having a bunch of LED lanterns are nice, sometimes the gentle light of a candle suffices. Plus, it looks cool.
  15. Get a kerosene heater and stock kerosene. While you are at it, might as well get a kerosene lantern as well. Duplicity!
  16. If you have the chance to get gas for cooking, do it! The previous location I lived in had gas, while this new place has it to the house but not hooked up yet. Thus, we cannot cook anything with our electric range. Hence why #6 and #7 are important. Additionally, in the winter, you could use the stove for warmth. I know several people who survived for weeks like this during Hurricane Sandy.
  17. Some night lights (small plug in hallway lights) have battery back-ups. This could be important – especially if you have kids.
  18. Battery back-up charger for your phone can help a lot.
  19. Be sure to evaluate your food once power is restored.
  20. Be Proactive, Not Reactive…

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)