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Wherever you are working or living at some point you will have to use vehicles, for most people they are part of their everyday lives. Driving itself can be a dangerous task in many places and as we have seen many kidnappings, robberies and assassinations occur when people are in or around their vehicles.  In times of civil unrest or if you’re traveling to a potentially hostile area your vehicle security and travel must be planned for and taken seriously.

Vehicles should be regarded as an important piece of your equipment and should be well maintained and never treated as a toy.  Before you take a vehicle out basic maintenance checks need to be done, like checking the battery, oil, fuel level, tires, water, spare tire, break down and vehicle emergency kit. You should always ensure you have a good means of communications and that you regularly check in with trusted people who can send assistance in the case of an emergency. You should also always know the routes you are driving and the location of any facilities along those routes that could be of use to you whether it’s a coffee shop with a bathroom or a hospital with an emergency room.

Basic Vehicle Security

Vehicles need to be secured or manned at all times, if they are left unattended, they, and the area around them, must be searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices, contraband and anything suspicious. The area around a vehicle must be searched as you approach it for any suspicious vehicles or people; the criminals may have found your car and are waiting for your approach it to kidnap or assassinate you. I always try to park my car as far away from others as possible, that way there is no cover for anyone to hide and if any other car is parked close to mine they are immediately suspicious.  If you keep the vehicle in a locked garage still always lock doors and trunk, you will also need to search the exterior of the garage for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and signs of forced entry in a high-risk environment.

If the vehicle cannot be garaged, try to park it in a secure, guarded area or somewhere that is covered by surveillance cameras. Drive-ways and regularly used routes from your residence to main roads should regularly be search for IEDs and signs of criminal activity. A vehicle needs to be searched after being serviced or repaired and after being left unattended for any length of time, here are some guidelines on how to search a vehicle:

  • 100 Deadly Skills – Great information for people who want to make sure they can survive any dangerous situation.

    Always search the general area around a vehicle for any explosive devices or suspicious people waiting to ambush you. Always check the outside of a garage for any signs of a force entry before you go in and check garage doors and drive ways for signs of booby traps, land mines and ambushes. The roofs of garages need to secured!

  • Turn off all radios and cell phones and check the immediate area surrounding the car for disturbances, wires, oil/fluid stains, footprints, etc. It helps to keep vehicles a little dirty as you will be able to see smears in the dirt if someone was trying to break in.
  • Visual check through the windows for anything thing out-of-place or wires, etc.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and check underneath the vehicle, inside fenders, wheels and arches for any devices. Also check for cut tires, lose wheel nuts and devices placed under the wheels. This is where a flashlight and a search mirror can come in handy.
  • Check the exhaust as it is a very easy place to put an improvised explosive device. You can have bolts or wire mesh put in to exhausts to stop IEDs from being placed in them; if you do this, make sure the bolts or wire mess is not visible as this can draw attention to the car.
  • Slowly open the car doors and check the Interior of the vehicle even if there is no signs of a forced entry. Do the same for the trunk and make sure to search the spare tire and break down kit.
  • Open the hood slowly and check the engine. Again it might be helpful to keep the engine dirty as new wires and hand prints are easy to see.
  • Final turn on the engine and check all the electrics.

This is just a guide to searching vehicles but as you can see to do a thorough search can take time and would require someone to be watching the back of the searcher. Your best defense is to deny the criminal access to your vehicle but this can prove to be very difficult in the real world.

Vehicle Drills

If you are consider undertaking some advanced driving training, I see little need for evasive driver training but can see applications for people to learn to be able to handle vehicles at speed and in hazardous weather.  Again, vehicle drills cannot be learnt from manuals or videos, you will need to learn them from an experienced advanced trained driver. Always check out the instructor’s background, qualifications and reputation, look for those that offer sensible driving courses and not wannabe spy holidays.

The main thing you need to learn is how to drive safely and to be able to identify any possible threats and avoid them. In most large towns and cities you will not be able to perform such things as J turns or other evasive maneuvers due to lack of space and traffic, so you must always be aware of what is going on around you.  The main thing I tell people is to keep as much space as possible between you and the car in front as this can give you some space to maneuver in congested traffic.

When you watch the movies and there is a car chase and the cars are skidding all over the place check the state of the roads they are on. Chances are the roads will be wet, and the tires on the cars will have minimal tread. This is the same on most evasive driving courses, but these are also usually done on private roads or open areas where there is no other traffic.  Think about why you put decent tires on your vehicles; to stop them from skidding and spinning out of control right? When you are driving around you always want to be thinking of where you could take evasive action, in urban areas there will be few places where you could spin your car around and drive against the traffic flow; that’s Hollywood.

If the criminals or terrorists are in any way professional they will attack you when your car is penned in and you cannot take any evasive maneuvers, not on wide open roads. It’s a common street kid tactics in a lot of Latin American cities to rob cars at traffic lights that are at least two cars back from the stop light with other cars behind them; these cars are stuck and cannot escape. If street kids on bicycles with at most a rusty revolver have worked out how to jack people in cars don’t you think their big bothers have also?

I am regularly asked about whether I favor armored cars or not, as with everything they have their pros and cons. Armored cars do have an application, the first thing you need to consider is what level of armoring the car your buying or using has. I have come across people driving around in cars armored to stop pistol caliber rounds in areas where the bad guys carry assault weapons, they thought an armored car was all they needed and were unaware of the different levels of armoring. You will also need to confirm where the car is armored; doors, windows, floor, engine, roof etc. Some cars may only have some armored panels in the doors and rear seat, always check for yourself and do not believe what people tell you.

Now think like the criminals, if you knew your target was driving around in a SUV armored to B6 level are you going to shoot at them when they are driving around or wait for them stop and get out of the car, or stop them and make them get out of the car? Think about how can you get someone out of a car; what would you do if a female driver bumped into the back of your car, get out to inspect the damage and then possibly be kidnapped by her two armed accomplices crouched in the back seat of her car? Always be aware of decoys that are intended to make you stop and get out of your vehicle, such as accidents or even bodies next to the road. Basic rule, stay in your car and keep moving between safe areas.

A criminal tactic when targeting armored cash-in-transit vehicles is to box them in, cover the van in gasoline, then give those inside to option of throwing out the cash, surrendering or being burnt alive. An issue with armored vehicles is that you cannot shoot at the criminals from the inside. There was one incident I recall from the mid 1990’s where an unarmored van that was moving cash was stopped and ambushed in an Eastern European country, the fact the van was unarmored enabled the security personnel inside to be able to shoot through the sides of the van and drive off the criminals, which they could not have done if they had taken an armored van that day. There have also been numerous incidents where criminals have assassinated targets traveling in armored vehicles with IEDs, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and improvised shaped charges. An armored vehicle can assist you in your security program but it should not be all there is to your security program.

Security Considerations when using vehicles

  • Always check the area around the vehicle before you approach it.
  • Search the vehicle prior to use for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and contraband.
  • Always keep a spare set of keys for the vehicle on you in case the driver loses his or is taken out by the criminals.
  • Be aware of the vehicle’s capabilities; make sure the driver has experience driving that type of vehicle.
  • Always drive safely at the maximum, safest speed, within the legal speed limit.
  • Always carry out basic maintenance checks, before you go anywhere and check that communications work before leaving a safe area.
  • Make sure you know what to do if your car breaks down; will someone come to get you or will you call for roadside assistance?
  • In rural areas things that should be included in your break down kit should include cans of fix-a-flat, air compressor, jump leads, tire plugging kit, tube to siphon gas, gas cans and a tow rope.
  • Know which routes your taking and keep maps in the vehicle for all areas you’re traveling in. Also have alternative routes prepared that have been driven and checked out.
  • Inform personnel at a location 10 to 15 minutes, before your arrival.
  • Constantly check behind you for criminal surveillance vehicles and be suspicious of motorbikes, especially with two people on them.
  • When being followed by a motorbike always watch to see if both the rider’s hands are on the handle bars, if you only see one hand, what is the other holding or doing?
  • Make full use of your mirrors; put a mirror on the passenger side for the passenger to use.
  • Regularly carry out counter-surveillance drills and always be watching for any cars following you or suspicious people along regularly used routes.
  • Keep a good distance from the car in front, so you can drive around it in an emergency and try to avoid being blocked by other vehicles.
  • Never let the vehicle fuel tank to go below half full and know where all gas stations are along your route.
  • Keep doors locked when traveling between locations and in urban areas do not open windows or sunroof more than an inch, so things cannot be thrown in.
  • Always be prepared to take evasive action, be aware of danger points on your routes and drive towards the center of the road to have space for evasive maneuvers.
  • Blend in with your environment; don’t drive expensive cars in poor areas, etc.
  • Be suspicious of all roadblocks, temporary stop signs and car accidents, etc. Never stop to pick up hitchhikers or help other motorists, as these could be covers for an ambush or carjacking.
  • Keep vehicle keys secure and know who has all the spare keys and access to the vehicle.
  • Remember others can monitor tracking devices and help services such as OnStar, then get the details of where you are and you’re routine without the need for surveillance.
  • Be extra vigilant at traffic lights and in slow-moving traffic.
  • Keep the vehicle in a locked garage when not in use and lock all doors and the trunk.
  • Wherever legal reverse park; this will help if fast get away is required.
  • Always use seat belts, especially when driving at speed or taking evasive action.
  • Keep a safety knife handy to cut away seat belts and break windows in the case of a crash.
  • When driving on dangerous roads or taking evasive action open the vehicles windows to make escape easier in the event of a crash.

Wherever you are working or living at some point you will have to use vehicles, for most people they are part of their everyday lives. Driving itself can be a

How to go off the grid with no money is a common question that many people are asking these days.  In the luxury that we take for granted today, going off the grid may seem non-sensical.  But the truth is there are hundreds of thousands of people all over North America who will choose to live off the grid.

Why?  Because they’ve decided that living a life of true self-sustainability is better and more rewarding than living a life connected to the power grid.

In other words, those who live off the grid don’t want to be dependent on the outside world for resources.  By living off the grid, you are free of society, government, utilities, and everything else we’re accustomed to as a civilization. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? It’s up to you.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re at least interested in the off-grid lifestyle. You probably desire independence, the ability to sustain yourself and to work outdoors in nature.  You probably also want to find a way to go off the grid in a way that costs as little as possible.

Here’s the truth: going off the grid is going to cost you some money no matter what. But it isn’t going to cost you a fortune either, and there are steps you can take to reduce the cost as much as possible.  Let’s talk about how to go off the grid with no money in greater detail.

What Does It Truly Mean To Live Off The Grid?

Off-grid living is nothing new. In fact, for most of human history, humanity has thrived living off the grid! Only a couple hundred years ago, every family that sustained itself did so without being connected to a ‘power grid’ of sorts.

Today in the 21st Century, living off the grid means living free of any dependence on the rest of society. You sustain yourself.

Therefore, this means no connection to the power grid, no running water from a water company, no heat and electricity from an external supplier, no going to the grocery store and instead raising your own livestock and gardens, and without any dependence on society, the public, or the local authorities in any way.

Most people who live off the grid these days do not truly live off the grid. Even though they may create their own running water and electricity and such, they may still go into town every once and again to restock on food and supplies, to watch a movie at the theater, to see a sports game, and so on.

And that’s perfectly fine. If the kind of lifestyle you’re imagining is one where you raise your own food and create your own running water and electricity, but still go into town every so often for supplies or for other purposes, that’s totally cool so long as you keep your dependence on society to a minimum.

In summary, in order to truly live off the grid, each of the following things must happen:

  • You’ll need your own land, with access to running water, timber, and suitable agricultural land
  • You’ll need your own house (or at least some sort of shelter)
  • You’ll need to grow your own food (livestock and gardening)
  • You’ll need to create your own heat and power
  • You’ll need to still earn a living from where you work
  • You’ll need to have your own waste/septic system

Transitioning fully to that kind of lifestyle may sound like it requires a large financial investment, but soon you will learn how to go off the grid with no money at all (or at least a very small investment).

Why Should You Go Off The Grid

Ask somebody who lives off the grid why they choose to do so and they will likely respond with one or more of the following:

  • You can save money
  • You are not dependent on society or government for help
  • You live more simply and therefore consume less
  • You can be closer to nature
  • You can go green and be more environmentally conscious
  • You can live a life of independence

While some people live off the grid because they have to, for most, it’s a choice. You’ll have to work to sustain yourself a lot more, but the tradeoff is you’ll also get a lot more freedom.  One of the biggest advantages to living off the grid will be the fact that you can sustain yourself even in the event of a major crisis that would devastate the more urbanized areas.

You’ll still feel the effects of economic collapses, EMP attacks, and natural disasters no matter what, but you’ll also be able to sustain yourself in those dangerous times.  In contrast to this, in those kinds of major national disasters, those who are connected to the power grid and dependent on society will find themselves in absolute chaos with the risk of being killed significantly high.

While the stores are being looted and people are boarding up houses, you’ll be nestled quietly off on your property and comforted in knowing that you can still feed your family. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever face danger, but it does mean that you’ll be at significantly less risk in contrast to those who are fully connected to the grid.

Steps On How To Go Off The Grid With No Money

So what are some steps you can take on how to go off the grid with no money?  Well, long story short, if you truly have no money with which to go off the grid, you’re going to need to start saving.

STEP #1 – SAVE MONEY

Yes, saving money is the first step to living off the grid.  And guess what? There are a huge number of ways you can save money!

For one thing, cut some unnecessary bills.

Gym membership? You can work out at home.

Going to the movie theater? Wait for it to come out on Netflix or Digital HD.

Eating out? Eat at home.

Car payment? Sell your car and get a less expensive one (and with cheaper insurance).

Health insurance? See if it’s possible to get a cheaper plan.

Shopping? Go to discount stores or buy in bulk to save per item.

You get the idea. You would also be amazed how simply making it a habit to always use coupons can really save you on money as well.  All in all, it’s possible for you to save anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a month on average just by cutting back on your expenses. A few months of saving, and you’ll have enough to go off the grid.

STEP #2 – SET UP A SAVINGS ACCOUNT

While saving money is great, you may easily be tempted to use it.

That’s why you need to have a place to store your saved money, and the best place to do that will be a new off-grid savings account where you make it a rule to never touch it.  This bank account should grow, from a few hundred to a thousand and then to several thousand, and the more it grows the more excited you will be to add even more money into it so it grows further.

Now look, this idea of simply saving money may seem like the obvious way of how to go off the grid when you have no money to start out with.  But guess what?  It works! And if you currently have no money but want to off the grid, practicing patience and setting aside funding is the only way to do it. After all, you can’t just buy property for free. Speaking of property…

STEP #3 – LOOK FOR OFF-GRID PROPERTY

The property for your off-grid location needs to have several things, including each of the following:

  • A house or a place to build a house
  • A storage shed or a place to build a shed
  • Secluded (preferably, though you may not mind having close neighbors)
  • Natural source of water (well, lake, river, stream, etc)
  • Timber
  • Suitable agricultural land for raising crops

Your off-grid property also needs to be affordable, and if the cheapest property out there is what you’re looking for, you’re probably going to have to accept that that property will be a little run down and a ‘fixer-upper.’  If there’s already a house on the property, for example, there may be several issues that you need to fix on your own, but the tradeoff is you’ll be paying less up front.

Also, remember that you don’t have to buy a huge piece of property either.  This idea that going off-grid means you have a massive eighty-acre homestead is ridiculous. Many of those who live off the grid have a small piece of property of two to five acres.

STEP #4 – BUYING THE PROPERTY AND MOVING IN

Be absolutely sure that this is the property you want before you buy it.  In the United States, you can expect to pay $3,000 to $4,000 for every acre of land. So for a five-acre plot of a homestead, that’s fifteen to twenty grand to put down. Yes, there are some areas where you can buy acreage for less than that, but 3k is a good baseline to expect.

If the property has a house or sheds on it, then obviously it’s going to cost much more than that (more on this in the next section).  Once you buy the property, the only real step left will be to move in. It’s possible to move completely off the grid in less than a month if you set your mind to it.

How Much Does It Really Cost To Go Off The Grid?

So you’re probably wondering at this point: how much will it REALLY cost you to go off the grid?  For a small piece of land with a small house on it, $100,000 to $150,000 is probably what you’ll expect to pay.

As an alternative, you could buy a small piece of land for a fraction of that price, and then install a tiny house on it for ten thousand dollars or higher. This would obviously only work for singles and couples, but it is still something to think about.

As for additional expenses, you can expect to pay five grand or a little less for a solar system with 1500Watts, while a septic system can cost you up to twenty-five grand.

Conclusion

So how do you go off the grid with no money?  In short, you don’t.  But you can go off the grid on the cheap, at least when compared to the $250,000 suburban neighborhood homes that are a mainstay in the United States right now.

You’ll really need to save money if this is something you want to pursue, and then afterward, you’ll need to look for the cheapest property you can get while keeping additional costs to a minimum.

That really is the recipe for finding a cheap place to live off the grid right now, and while it may sound overly simplistic, you can’t simply buy land and then move onto it with everything you need for free. It’s simply unrealistic to think that way.

Save money and find a good deal. Do that, and you can spend less money moving off the grid then you would moving into a neighborhood home.

How to go off the grid with no money is a common question that many people are asking these days.  In the luxury that we take for granted today, going

In a survival situation, due to the increased time you will spend outside in the woods foraging for edible plants, hunting, trapping, and possibly living outside, you will have bites of various kinds fairly often. These will primarily be from insects such as ticks, fleas, spiders, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and others.

There will also most likely be animal bites from domestic animals gone feral, like packs of dogs, coyote-dog mixes, wild cats, as well as wild animals such as foxes, bats, and snakes. Unfortunately in such a scenario the chance of getting a human bite also is increased significantly.

All of these bites have the potential to develop into very serious infections and in some cases can be fatal (think rabies). Being a Prepper involves being proactive as much as humanly possible, to minimize any future threats to you, your group’s, or your family’ survival.

One thing you can do right now is to make sure every one of your family members is properly immunized with a tetanus vaccine. No matter what your thoughts are about vaccines, tetanus is one that is indispensable. A tetanus vaccine is given every ten years with a booster every ten years until you are sixty-five years old.

Now is the time to get your tetanus vaccine; do not wait. In a post collapse situation all vaccines will most likely be totally unavailable. Almost all vaccines have to be refrigerated and will spoil and new production is unlikely.

Why do you need a tetanus vaccine?

The bacteria that causes tetanus is ubiquitous (this means it is everywhere) and comes from the bacteria Clostridium tetani. Clostridium t. This a normal inhabitant of soil and this explains why it is everywhere. Clostridium tetani enters the body through open wounds, bites, etc. Once in the body it produces a toxin (poison) called Tetanospasmin which is a neurotoxin (a toxin that damages the nervous system). This results in such violent muscle spasms that it can cause your jaw to lock closed in a violent clenching of your facial muscles, hence the common name of lockjaw. The spasms are so violent they can break bone, teeth, tear muscle, and before the advent of the tetanus vaccine was frequently fatal.

In a survival situation you will not be able to treat this and it will be fatal, and a miserable death at that.

That is why I am strongly encouraging you and your family or survival group to be proactive and get your tetanus boosters now, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain as to the date of your previous tetanus vaccine then get one now, it will not hurt you if it is too soon.

General Principles for All Bites and Stings

There are certain principles that will help concerning any type of bite you might encounter.

  • All bites should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water if available or hydrogen peroxide.
  • If no soap is available, flush out any open bite with copious amounts of water.
  • A mix of one part Betadine to nine parts water can also be made and used to flush out any bite or wound.e application of an activated charcoal poultice to any sting or bite as soon as possible will help immensely. Activated charcoal is always helpful due to its incredible surface area and its ability to absorb toxins and substances of all types on its surface.
  • These poultices should be changed often, preventing them from drying out.
  • In an open animal bite with a macerated or chewed up surface the activated charcoal should be generously applied to the inside of the wound and a poultice over it. This will insure contact of the charcoal with all areas of the wound in order to better absorb the various toxins as well as the microorganisms from the animal’s mouth.
  • There is no downside to the use of activated charcoal; it is completely inert and cannot harm you in any way.
  • It does make a mess, but under these circumstances who really cares.

In the case of any allergic reactions, as a survival medic you will need to access the patient and determine the severity of the reaction. If a patient develops systemic (whole body) symptoms after a sting or a bite then this should be a clue that you may have to intervene to interrupt this allergic cascade before it becomes potentially life threatening.

Systemic symptoms such as lethargy (tired and listless behavior), severe swelling at the site of the bite, near it, or in the face and throat, rapid heartbeat, feeling faint, wheezing and difficulty breathing, generalized itching, etc. should all be treated as a medical emergency. If you have an EpiPen this is the time to immediately give it. Also give the patient an antihistamine such as Benadryl. The dose of Benadryl should be 25 mg every four hours as needed for a mild reaction or 50 mg every four hours for a severe reaction.

Limit the blood flow to the area of any bite. If it is on an arm or leg you should keep the limb elevated and if severe apply intermittent tourniquets, for no more than ten minutes at a time. After ten minutes loosen the tourniquet to avoid permanent damage to the areas “downstream” from it. Ice or any cold substance should be applied directly to the site to help decrease blood flow and also to decrease swelling.

There are many things in the Prepper world that we prepare for that are unlikely to happen; this is NOT one of those occurrences. The odds of you or one of your family or survival group members getting bit is very likely.

 

In a survival situation, due to the increased time you will spend outside in the woods foraging for edible plants, hunting, trapping, and possibly living outside, you will have bites

As a child I grew up in a house named The Orchard and although the land had long since been sold off several large apple trees remained which gave us a reasonable harvest each year. I have fond memories of the delicious fruit pies and crumbles my mother used to prepare. Growing fruit is one of the most efficient forms of gardening – once the trees are established you can expect an abundant supply for decades with only a little pruning and mulching to keep them happy.

Without doubt, the cheapest way to start a mini-orchard is to buy bare-rooted plants: those sold without a pot and delivered while the weather is still cold and the plants are dormant. As well as saving money, you will often find a much wider selection of varieties and sizes available as bare-rooted trees. Many wonderful types of apples, pears, plums etc can be grown by the home gardener that are never available in supermarkets and the trees can be trained to fit the area you have.

However, bare-rooted trees need to be planted correctly and given careful treatment during the first year in order to establish healthy root systems and give a reliable harvest…

apple-harvest[1]

Timing

The biggest stresses on a new fruit tree are usually below ground. Getting sufficient water and nutrients in the first few months after planting is essential and that’s why the timing is crucial. The number one priority is helping your new tree establish a healthy root system. The best time to plant bare-rooted trees is towards the end of winter or the first half of spring – once the ground is no longer frozen so it can be easily dug but before new growth starts.

It’s usually worth consulting a tree nursery that know your area and can advise on the window of time when they lift the young plants and deliver them and when conditions are right for your area. In the mild maritime climate where I live, trees can be planted from November onwards and this gives them a few extra weeks for the roots to establish but in harsher areas you’ll want to wait until spring. You will need to plant them quickly once they arrive – usually within a couple of days, though it’s possible to pack the roots with moist earth to extend this period if conditions outside aren’t favourable.

If you miss the ideal window of time for your area but still want to plant this year, it’s worth paying more for container-grown plants. These will already have roots that have grown into the soil around them and as long as you don’t disturb these too much when planting, they’ll be ready to draw up moisture and nutrients during warmer weather.victoria-plum[1]

Location, Location, Location

Fruit trees don’t like to be moved so it is important to get the location right first time. Things to consider are:

  • Sun or Partial Shade: Nearly all fruit trees require plenty of sun but by carefully scouring catalogues you’ll find there are some less well-know varieties that are tolerant of partial shade. Don’t just consider the ground – it’s the leaves that need sun and this often opens up possibilities for otherwise unproductive areas.
  • Soil: Most will want free-draining soil, enriched with compost. Avoid areas that regularly flood or higher ground that dries out quickly.
  • Wind and Snow: Be aware of the direction of prevailing wind and any large buildings nearby. A wall or fence may create a sheltered environment perfect for heat-loving fruits, or it could funnel icy winds during winter. Roofs can dump a ton of snow on an unsuspecting tree below, snapping its branches. Observe your garden closely to choose the best spot.
  • Other Plants: Trees are remarkably good at drawing up nutrients and water from the surrounding area. Unless you’re using raised beds, remember that a nearby fruit tree or bush may compete with your other plants.

Planting Tips

Many good fruit-tree suppliers will sell reasonably priced kits that include a stake, tie, mulch mat etc and I think it’s a false economy to skip these items.

Follow these simple steps to give your tree the best start:planting-fruit-tree[1]

  1. Dig a hole about a spade’s depth and around 3ft (1m) wide. Although it’s natural to dig a round hole, a square one is better as it encourages the roots to push out into the surrounding ground. Keep the soil you have removed in a wheelbarrow or on a large plastic sheet.
  2. Add a few inches of good garden compost and work it into the base of the hole using a garden fork. Mixing is important so that the tree’s roots don’t meet a sudden boundary between compost and regular soil. Also, mix some compost into the soil you removed.
  3. Look for the slightly darker ‘watermark’ on the tree’s trunk that indicates where the soil level was when it was first grown. Place the bare-rooted tree in the centre of the hole and a cane across the hole so you can check that this line is level with the soil around your hole as trees shouldn’t be planted deeper or shallower than they were first grown. If necessary, add or remove soil to achieve this. Most fruit trees will be grafted onto a rootstock and the join should always be above ground.
  4. Remove the tree and put in a thick wooden stake a couple of inches from the centre of the hole and on the side where the prevailing wind comes from. Hammer this firmly into the ground using a mallet.
  5. Place the tree back in the hole, position it so the trunk is close to the stake and start to shovel the soil-and-compost mixture back around the roots. Gently firm this in with your boots, being careful not to damage the roots. When it’s half full, pull the tree up an inch and then let it drop again as this helps the soil to fill in around the roots.
  6. Once all the soil has been added and firmed, use the supplied strap to fix the tree to the stake, leaving enough room for the tree trunk to grow but not so much that it wobbles about. Also add a protective tube around the trunk if animals are a problem. At this stage I also sprinkle a little seaweed meal fertilizer around and cover it with a bio-degradable hemp mat to suppress weeds.
  7. Water the soil well to stop the roots drying out and to further settle the soil around them.

The First Year for Fruit Trees

fruit-tree-planted[1]Fruit trees always seem to be such strong, healthy plants that we forget how vulnerable they are when first planted. Yet during the first year, the tree can easily die from not getting enough water or nutrients. Until the root system is at least as large as the tree it supports, it is particularly vulnerable to environmental stress.

During the first year or two, keep the tree well watered, especially during dry weather. A good soaking once or twice a week is much better than surface watering daily, though during very hot weather it can be worth doing both. It’s also vital to keep the area around the tree completely free of weeds and grass as they will compete with the young tree, which is why mulch mats are very effective.

Finally, don’t forget to remove all blossom from the tree in the first year. Although it’s tempting to let some fruit develop, doing so will again place more stress on the tree as it establishes and forgoing the first year’s fruit will result in a much healthier tree and better harvest in years to come.

Source: Growveg.com

The cheapest way to start a mini-orchard is to buy bare-rooted plants: those sold without a pot and delivered while the weather is still cold and the plants are dormant.

If the world goes to hell in a hand basket you may wish at some point that you had hidden supplies or items that you don’t want found. What if there are confiscations of gold like there were back in 30’s when President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102? What if you have a simple home robbery? What if you are forced to evacuate without enough time or the ability to take all of your valuables with you? What if there is a relatively normal “Natural Disaster” that blows your house away with all of your stuff?

These are all compelling reasons to plan for and create your own Survival Cache. A survival Cache (pronounced like Cash) is just a fancy sounding word for a hiding spot. Preppers for years have been devising new ways to bury items that they may need. Actually, burying treasure isn’t a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. People used to bury prized items all of the time. We didn’t even keep money in the bank until relatively recently and by that I mean history of the world relatively. If you take precautions, storing a cache or even multiple caches could give you supplies you need (like Hunger Games) or keep valuables safe from those who would try to take them.

The-Importance-of-Urban-Survival-Caches[1]

Plastic buckets like this hold a lot of supplies.

What should you put in your survival cache

This is the million dollar question isn’t it? Everyone will have their own ideas and needs and you don’t have to keep everything in one single cache. Actually, I would recommend you don’t if you have a lot of items. Burying items in a cache is useful in the scenarios I mentioned above, but they can also be used to store supplies along your route if you have a long distance to drive. Let’s say you are living in the suburbs and your plan was to Bug Out if anything serious started happening, but your retreat location was 400 miles away. You could bury fuel and additional food in a cache half-way to your destination. This would give you the ability to refuel your Bug Out Vehicle along the way. That is a great plan if you have a long distance to travel and for some reason, the gas stations are no longer operating. As long as you have properly stored your fuel for the long term, it could mean the difference between driving to your retreat and walking.

That makes sense for caches stored along a route, but what about something close. I know some preppers who are going to be storing gold and silver in buried caches. Others are going to bury firearms, first-aid supplies, maybe a change of clothes, first-aid kits and some food. This type of well-rounded cache would seem to make great sense if you are bugging out or have some fear that the items you store would be confiscated as in the case of firearms or precious metals.

The contents of your own survival cache should be designed to address the need of why you are hiding the cache in the first place. If you are looking for a resupply type of option, then fuel, ammunition and food might make the most sense. If you are simply trying to hide valuables, maybe you don’t worry about food at all. Design the cache to give you what you think you will need the most if you have to go and reclaim it.

How to protect the items in your survival cache

The topic of how to actually build a survival cache will be covered in another article. If you are looking for construction details, there are tons of YouTube videos out there. Regardless of the construction methods of your cache, you will want to ensure that whatever you store in the cache is safe and in the same condition as when you left it.

burial-tube[1]

A well stocked cache can give you vital supplies to survive.

The items you store in the cache and your cache location are going to dictate a lot of what you need to consider for protection. Are these items that will rust like weapons or ammo? Do you live in a humid climate or plan to bury your cache underground? Virtually any place you can store a survival cache is going to be prone to the elements unless you seal it in concrete and that kind of defeats the purpose of hiding it in the first place.

Water damage is I think the primary concern for anyone who is storing a cache. There are tons of “waterproof” caches you can build or even purchase but water has a tricky way of finding any crack if given enough time. Ideally you want to hide your cache in a location that is not going to be exposed to an excessive amount of water and ensure the contents inside are adequately protected and that your survival cache container has as water tight a seal as possible.

All of the items in your cache should be stored in plastic. Smaller items can be stored in ziploc bags and I would actually recommend at least two ziploc bags at a minimum. The freezer Ziploc bags are a heavier plastic and as long as abrasion isn’t an issue, which it shouldn’t, these will keep the water out nicely. I have also heard of people who go the next step and shrink-wrap items on top of the plastic. I might do this with a firearm for extra protection.

For firearms specifically, I have heard of people burying disassembled rifles coated in axle grease and packing a cleaning kit. I don’t know if you have to do all of that, but an excessive amount of lubricant would be very wise. For a pistol I would completely coat the weapon in your lubricant of choice, place the gun in a bag. Place that bag into another Ziploc bag and that should cover you unless you have a very leaky cache container. Into the container I would add several bags of desiccant. I would say the same for ammunition and any spare metal parts I have. There are waterproof bags available online with much denser plastic, but in most normal circumstances, I think two heavy-duty freezer quality Ziploc’s should be up to the challenge.

Quick and easy food grade items like MRE’s or canned food aren’t going to last as long as a hunk of metal, so you can’t really stick these in a tube and forget about them for 50 years. However, they should be protected in the same way, minus the gun oil of course. MRE’s already come in sealed bags, but I would still throw them in another water proof bag if possible. Clothes can be shoved into a water proof bag and as long as you don’t have your cache buried under the sea everything should stay nice and dry.

Where to hide your survival cache

So you have your survival cache of items and a container – now all you need is a place to hide it. The good news is that you literally have millions of options. The bad news is you have millions of options. Most cache’s are buried and this is because of the old adage. Out of sight, out of mind. If people don’t see your valuables they aren’t likely to find them. Of course you can hide valuables in your house as long as you choose a safe place but a survival cache usually has a different utility and needs to be handled in a more secure and hidden manner.

So, assuming you want to bury your cache, you need to try and find a location that has the following criteria:

  1. You will always have access to it. – Locations in cities are tough but not impossible. I would be very hesitant to hide a cache in an abandoned building. Fire or demolition could take your cache away and leave you with nothing but a sad look on your face. If you have to store this in a building try to ensure that you check on it often so you can move it if you notice it has been tampered with or if the status of the building is changing. For instance, if the building is for sale. Some people have suggested national parks as a good place to store a cache and that may work for a lot of people. They aren’t very likely to put a shopping mall or a highway through a national park.
  2. The landscape is not going to change significantly – This one requires some research depending on where your cache location is. If the cache is buried in your back yard, you have a lot less to worry about. If you have decided on a private piece of land, you might want to check to see that no zoning notices have been registered and before that you obtain permission. Like the example above, you don’t want to desperately need your cache only to find out they put a super Wal-Mart up last summer. Or, the land could be in a forest that is logged for trees. Good luck finding your cache if that happens unless you have a very significant landmark.
  3. Not in an area prone to flooding – I wouldn’t bury a survival cache in a river bank or actually too close to a river or major creek for this reason. Even if you have sealed your cache so that it is completely waterproof, there are chances your survival gear could be washed away forever. You don’t want to run to the location to grab your cache when it is a matter of life and death only to find that it is gone, probably due to that once in a century flood last year. Or maybe it isn’t gone, but its under 20 feet of water and now you have no way of getting to it since the local dive shop has burned down.

How to keep people from finding your cache

This is when it might get tricky. First you have to make sure nobody knows about your cache, then that nobody sees where you bury it and finally that nobody stumbles upon it accidentally. To keep the last thing from happening you should ensure that it is buried very well. Depending on the shape of your cache, I might dig a vertical hole instead of horizontally. To prevent people from finding it with metal detectors, you should dig your cache down very deep so that the top is 4 feet underground. You can then fill in a foot of dirt and bury an old piece of metal that you find at a junkyard. Add another 2 feet into the hole and add another piece of metal. The chances of anyone from that crazy TV show coming across your personal treasure should be remote, but this might through a random person with a metal detector off the trail. Additionally you can move large rocks over the cache location and this should prevent anyone with a detector as well.

Two is one and one is none is the old adage so I would consider having two caches you can get too if necessary. Worst case scenario, someone finds one but the chances of them finding both are next to impossible. I would make sure the distance between the two caches is significant though as in miles.

Take extra precaution when you are burying your cache. The last thing you need is for a curious person to see you walking into the woods with a big box and a shovel. If possible, you may do this at night or at a time when nobody is around in more urban settings. Depending on the location, you may draw less attention in broad daylight as opposed to night. I have often thought of going into my own yard with the headlamp on at 3 in the morning, but the chance of neighbors seeing me is still too great. I can always plant a new bush for my wife and the neighbors don’t notice me taking a little longer on the hole.

How to find your survival cache

Now that you have your survival cache buried, how will you make sure you can get back to it when you need to? In a perfect world you would know precisely where you dug your cache, but if you are hiding this along your route in unfamiliar territory, finding your way back might be more difficult. This is even more true if you are under duress.

For locations nearby, your memory and some landmarks may be sufficient. Make sure you have at least three points of reference. If you have buried your cache in the woods, I would try to locate them near a major rock on a hill off a trail. This way, you can find the trail or barring that, the hill and finally the rock. What about GPS? That works great until the grid goes down, but you can also incorporate Geocaching into your cache plans. This can give you a great way to get out of the house with your kids, learn how to read a map and check on the cache.

Maps are more foolproof if you know how to read one and have been very precise with your bearings. I would additionally take photos of the area in all seasons if possible. Also, this is not something you should set up and forget about for years. Make a point to check on your cache fairly often. You don’t necessarily have to dig it up, but you can put eyes on the location to make sure it hasn’t been disturbed.

I would dig your cache up every 5 years though to check on the contents. If this is simply a gun and ammo and you are certain it hasn’t been affected by water this might not be necessary. For clothes, food and spare boots I would check them for rot and fit and replace the food. 5 years is a long time.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for hiding your own survival cache. I’d love to hear your comments below on your experiences with survival caches.

If the world goes to hell in a hand basket you may wish at some point that you had hidden supplies or items that you don’t want found. What if

INTRODUCTION

While we all want to do our best to prepare for a coming crisis, and many of us realize the city is perhaps the worst place to live, very few people are really prepared to pack up the old Winnebago and head for the hills. Most Americans, whether they’re aware or not, are going to stay in the cities.

This is not a hasty decision for most people. Most of us depend on the city for our livelihood, and we can be better prepared by continuing to live in the city, earn a good income, and make preparations for exiting the city at the appropriate time or by staying in the city and living off existing supplies.

This special report explains some of the most critical dangers of living in a city and presents some solutions to surviving them. If you are one of the people who has decided to stay in the city, you’ll benefit greatly from this information.

CITIES ARE ARTIFICIAL

Every city is an artificial construct. Cities formed as people came together to conduct business, participate in social interaction, and benefit from efficiencies in public services (such as schools, sewers, water, etc.) and a common defense. Yet cities cannot survive alone. They need resources from the country; most notably, food, water and electricity. While electricity and water can sometimes be created or found within city limits, the acreage requirements of food dictate that no city could possibly feed its own people.

Read that last phrase carefully: No city can feed its own people. Not one. Cities are, by their very nature, dependent on the importation of food. The advent of just-in-time delivery systems to our grocery stores means that most cities would run out of food within a week if supplies were for some reason disrupted.

Remember, cities are not self-sufficient. Although they may seem to be in 2013, they have for a long time been entirely dependent on the American farmer for their support, something almost all Americans take for granted (except the farmer, of course.)

RISKS IN THE CITY

The city presents some serious risks during a crisis. The four most serious ones are:

  1. The collapse of social order (riots).
  2. The failure of the water treatment and delivery systems.
  3. The depletion of food supplies.
  4. The failure of the power grid.

While not every situation will appear in every city, every situation will most certainly appear in some cities. Will that include yours? We’ll tackle these one at a time:

1. THE COLLAPSE OF SOCIAL ORDER

“Social order” is a delicate thing, and it exists as a psychological barrier that could easily collapse under the right conditions. We all saw this during the L. A. Riots following the Rodney King trial verdict as citizens of L. A. set fire to their own town, yanked people from vehicles and beat them literally to death, and even fired guns at firemen attempting to save their buildings! More recently we were all witness to the looting, violence and total breakdown of society following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Societal_Collapse

Riots can spring up quickly.

What allowed this to happen? Simple: the simultaneous melting away of the psychological barrier of “order.” Once people realized 911 couldn’t handle the load, or was offline, that the local police were helpless or had simply abandoned their posts, “Law and Order” ceased to exist in their minds. They then conducted their lives in the way they always wanted to, but couldn’t because of the police. That is, they ran out to the local stores and just took whatever they wanted (looting). They took out their racial frustration on innocent victims who happened to be driving through the area, and they let loose on a path of destruction that only stopped when men with rifles (the National Guard) were called in to settle things down. In other words, only the threat of immediate death stopped the looting and violence. Rifles work wonders.

Imagine store owners lying prone on the roofs of their stores with AK-47’s, firing at anyone who approached. This is exactly what happened in Los Angeles. But worse, imagine the lawless horde firing at the rescue copters trying to bring in supplies to the desperate masses.

The National Guard eventually got things under control. This event was isolated, however, to one city. Imagine a hundred cities experiencing the same thing. Will the National Guard be able to handle the load? Not likely. What about local police? They aren’t fools; if things look bad enough, they’ll grab their families and head for the hills, just like they did in New Orleans. No pension is worth getting killed for. A few U. S. cities could be transformed into literal war zones overnight. It would require all-out martial law and military force to have any chance whatsoever of bringing order to these streets. And the reality is that there are not enough military in the USA to secure all of the cities if this happens.

This collapse of social order is perhaps the greatest risk of staying in the city during a crisis. What, exactly, would cause this collapse of social order? Lack of three things: food, water, and money. When people run out of food, some will begin ransacking their neighborhood, searching for something to eat. (Remember that in a city, a “neighbor” does not mean the same thing as a “neighbor” in the country. They are not necessarily your friends.) It won’t take long, then, for violence to take over in some cities. While certain regions will certainly manage to keep things under control and people will form lines at the local (depleted) Red Cross shelter, other cities will see an explosion of violence. Imagine the gang-infested regions of L. A., Chicago, New York, St. Louis & New Orleans. Do you think those people are going to stand in line and wait? They already have guns; now they finally get to use them. Pent-up racial tensions & hostilities will simply serve as justification for shooting people of the same or other color in order to get their food.

Even if the food somehow gets into the cities, lack of money (due to the government not sending out checks) could cause the same thing. Eventually, lack of money results in looting and mass theft. As the stealing balloons, it also results in a collapse of social order. Water; the same thing (but faster). The collapse of social order is also very dangerous because it doesn’t require any “actual” collapse of the power grid, telecommunications, transportation or banking. Social order is a psychological artifact. It is a frame of mind, and any global panic can quickly remove the mental barrier that right now keeps people basically “lawful.”

2. THE FAILURE OF WATER TREATMENT AND DELIVERY SYSTEMS

Will the water treatment facilities fail during a crisis? Many will. Some won’t. The problem lies in figuring out whether yours will. Certainly, they depend on electricity, and testing conducted on some plants has already revealed weaknesses in the system.

In one such test, the water treatment plant released a fatal dose of fluoride into the water system when tested. The computers thought they were 99 years behind in releasing minute doses of fluoride, so they made up the difference. If you happened to be downstream, drinking that water, you were dead. Fluoride, no matter what misinformed dentists tell you, is actually a fatal poison. A major crisis likely to demonstrate this fact in more than one city.

The most important question here, though, is about what will happen when the water stops flowing (or if it is flowing, but it’s not drinkable). As you are probably aware, while people can live without food for long periods of time (2-3 weeks), water is needed on a daily basis. You can go 2-3 days without it, at most, but beyond that, you’ll quickly turn to dust.

That means people will do anything to get water, because to not have it means death. And guess where it’s going to be the most difficult to actually get water? You guessed it: in the cities. During the first day of the water crisis, many people still won’t figure out what’s going on. They’ll figure it’s a temporary breakage of a water main and the government will get it fixed within hours. As those hours stretch into the next day, these people will get very worried.

By the second day, more and more people will realize the water isn’t coming. At that point, you could easily see a breakdown of social order, as described in the previous section (as you can see, these things all tend to cause each other.). People will begin their “search for water,” and the first place they’re likely to go is where they always go for liquids: the grocery store, the local Wal-Mart, the 7-11. The shelves will be cleaned out rather quickly.

Beyond that (because those liquids aren’t going to last long), you’re going to see people engaged in a mass-exodus from the cities. They’ll take the gas they have left in their tanks and they’ll leave the city in search of water. Some will go to “Grandma’s house” out in the country where they might at least find a pond or stream to drink from. Others will simply go on an expanded looting mission, stopping at any house they see and asking the residents (with a gun in their face, likely) if they have any water to “donate.”

As a result of all this, if water stops flowing, here are the events you can expect to see in some of the worse-off cities:

  • Looting of all the grocery stores by the second or third day (remember New Orleans?).
  • Minor outbreaks of violence during the looting. Shop owners, for example, may attempt to defend their shops with firearms (ala L. A. Riots).
  • Mass exodus of residents from the city in search of water.
  • Ransacking of any houses or farms within a gas-tank radius of the city.
  • Mass traffic jams on the outbound highways as people run out of gas and abandon their vehicles (if bad enough, this could actually block the highways and trap people in the cities) (Remember Hurricane Rita?).
  • Mass outbreak of water-borne diseases as people use streams and rivers as both a water fountain and a bathroom. People crapping upstream are going to infect the people drinking downstream. Very few have any kind of water filtration device. That last point is really critical. Once the water flow stops, disease is going to strike.

3. THE DEPLETION OF FOOD SUPPLIES

The food supplies will likely dwindle quickly as we approach a possible crisis due to people stocking up just in case. Once the crisis actually hits, expect to see breakdowns in the transportation sector that will result in major delays in food delivery. This means food may arrive in sporadic fashion in some cities (if at all).

Once this happens, food suddenly becomes really valuable to people (even though they take it for granted today). And that means any small shipment of food that arrives will be quickly grabbed and eaten or stored. It only takes one week without food to remind people how much they actually need it, so expect the atmosphere to be that of a “near panic” if food is delayed by as little as three days. The level of panic will vary from city to city. Some cities or towns may experience very little difficulty receiving food. Others may face near-starvation circumstances.

empty-shelves

The shelves will be emptied quicker than you can say EBT.

Remember, the cities depend entirely on food shipped in from the farms and food processing companies. Also, note that if there’s a water problem as mentioned in the previous section, and the mass exodus begins, the highways may be jammed up at critical locations, causing gridlock for the trucking industry. If we’re lucky, some trucks will continue to roll. If we’re not, assume that nothing gets through.

A shortage of food ultimately results in the same behavior as a shortage of water. First, people eat what’s in the pantry, then they loot the grocery stores. After that, with all local supplies depleted and no hope on the horizon, they leave the city and start ransacking nearby homes. Some will hunt in nearby forests, but most city-dwellers don’t know how to hunt. In any case, anyone with the means to leave the city will likely do so soon after their food shortage begins.

4. THE FAILURE OF THE POWER GRID

Nothing is as suddenly obvious nor has such a gigantic psychological impact as the failure of the power grid. When the electricity stops, almost everybody knows it at the same instant (unless it happens at night).

Naturally, during the first few hours of the power failure, if it occurs, people will assume it’s a temporary situation. Maybe a tree fell on some power lines, or perhaps a transformer blew up somewhere nearby. They’ll sit tight and wait for the power to come back on.

What if it doesn’t? Then the city faces a severe problem. Without power, obviously, everything shuts down. Within hours, the looting begins in the more crime-ridden cities (we saw this in New York a few decades ago.). The longer the power stays off, the worse the social disorder.

The loss of power will bring the entire city to a halt. While vehicles may get around for a few more days (using whatever fuel they have left), businesses obviously won’t be operating. Houses that depend on electricity for heat will quickly reach Winter temperatures, freezing many occupants to death. While those that depend on electricity for Air Conditioning will just as quickly reach Summer temperatures, resulting in death from heat stroke. Hospitals and police stations may have generators on hand, with a few days worth of fuel, but in short order, that will be depleted, too.

But the water treatment plant will almost certainly be off-line without power, causing all the events mentioned in the water section, above. Let’s face it, the power is the worst thing to be without in the city. If you have power, you can survive a food shortage, perhaps even a short water shortage. But without power, all bets are off. If you have a “bug-out” vehicle stocked and ready to go (see below), this might be the time to bail.

SOLUTIONS IN THE CITY

Okay, so you’re stuck in the city. You’ve made the decision to stay. You’ve read the problems above, you believe they make sense, and you’re intelligently frightened. What now? You really have two strategies. You can:

  • Stay and defend your house
  • Bug out (leave the city and head for the hills)

Important! This is not an either/or situation. You can begin by staying in your house and assessing the situation. You’ll want to have a “bug-out” vehicle stocked and ready, just in case, if you can afford one, but you may never actually choose to bug out. You’ll have to be the ultimate judge of this. Just remember that when you bug out, you face major risks and disadvantages. Among these:

  1. You’re severely limited in how much you can carry
  2. You have limited range due to fuel
  3. You expose yourself to social chaos, roadblocks, random violence, etc.
  4. Your house will certainly be looted while you’re gone
  5. You run the risk of mechanical breakdowns of your vehicle
  6. You must have a place to go that you know is in better shape than where you currently are.

DSC_0028

Being prepared to defend yourself is necessary.

In general, unless you have a specific, known safe place as your final destination, I don’t advise people to bug out. Just “heading for the hills” is a very poor plan. You might not make it. But heading for Grandma’s house or some known, safe place could be a very good plan indeed, depending on whether Grandma is ready, willing and able to accept you!

For these reasons (and more), staying and defending your house is sometimes the only reasonable course of action, even if it seems dangerous. For the most part, looters and people looking for food are going to have plenty of easy victims, so if you show a little willingness to use force to defend your property, you’ll likely send people on to the next house.

That is, until the next house is already empty and you appear to be the last house on the block with any food and water left. If you’re in a bad enough area, your neighbors may “gang up” on you and demand your supplies or your life. This is truly a worst-case scenario, and unless you literally have a house full of battle rifles and people trained to use them (and the willingness to shoot your neighbors), you’re sunk. This is why the best situation by far is to keep your neighbors informed and help them get prepared. Then you (both your member and non-member neighbors) can act as a group, defending your neighborhood and sharing the supplies you have with anyone willing to help defend you.

When you have this kind of situation going, your neighbors realize you are their lifeline. You supply them with food and water, and they will help support you because they are, in effect, supporting their own lives. The best situation is when your neighbors and other ward members have their own food and water supplies. That way, they aren’t depleting yours, and they have a strong motivation for getting together with you defend your neighborhood. (More on this below.)

STORING (AND HIDING) YOUR FOOD

Storing food is just as important in the city as in the country, but hiding it is far more important. That’s because in the worst areas, marauders will be going from house to house, demanding your food or your life. If you’re dumb enough to put everything you own in the obvious places, you might as well not buy it in the first place. They will find it. To count on having any amount of food left over after the marauders break in, you’ll need to hide your food.

One alternative is to plan on defending your home with force. If you have enough gun-wise people in the house, and enough firearms and ammo, you can probably pull this off. But most of us aren’t nearly as experience with firearms as the gang members. A better alternative might be to plan on bringing you supplies to your ward/stake building where all of the Saints can both pool and defend their resources. This of course will depend greatly on your local Bishop and Stake President.

Back to hiding: the best way to hide your food is to bury it. You’ll need airtight containers, long-term food that won’t rot and you’ll need to plan ahead. Bury your food at night so nobody will notice, and make sure you don’t leave the map on the refrigerator door! (Better to memorize it!) Try to get the ground to look normal after you’re all finished. You’ll want to bury your food as early as possible because it gives the grass time to regroup over the spot. If you’re in an area that snows, you’ll have a great concealment blanket! Most food marauders won’t go to the trouble to dig up food, especially if you insist you don’t have any.

Best plan: Have some smaller amount of food stashed around the house, letting them find something. Better to give them something and send them on their way. The art of hiding your food is an ancient one. You’ve got to get creative. Use the walls, the floors, and the structure of the house.

If hiding your food is simply not an available alternative, then try not to advertise it. Keep it put away in your house or garage in as discreet a manner as possible. Don’t make a point of telling people that you have a years supply (or more). Word gets around fast that Bro. Jones has a ton of food in his garage. Boxes of food fit nicely under beds, behind furniture, in the attic, etc.. Be Creative!!

To sum up the food storage, you really have three strategies here:

  • Store it all in your house and plan on defending it by force.
  • Bury it in your yard in case you get overrun by looters.
  • Store part of it in your house, and hide the bulk of it.
  • Relocate all of it as soon as you recognize a major disaster is in progress.

One of the best ways to store food for burying, although it will only last 2-3 years in high-humidity areas, is to purchase 55-gallon good-grade steel drums. Once you obtain the drums, dump in your grains or other food items. If you purchase bags of food from Walton Feed, this is the perfect way to store it. Don’t leave it in the bags unless you’re actively eating it. [Note: Plastic barrels do not rust.]

Then sprinkle some diatomaceous earth into the drum. You’ll need about two cups to treat a 55-gallon drum, and it must be mixed in well. Diatomaceous earth is made from ground up sea shells, and it kills bugs by getting into their joints.

You want diatomaceous earth that is food grade, and on the bag it says, “Fossil Shell Flour.”

Once you get these drums filled and sealed, you can then bury them in your yard. This is actually a HUGE UNDERTAKING and is a LOT more difficult than it sounds, since you’ll need to dig to a depth of around 5 or 6 feet in order to sufficiently bury these drums. You’re likely to attract a lot of attention unless you do it at night, and you’ll definitely be removing a lot of dirt that you’ll need to find some use for. Because the drums are steel, they will also deteriorate unless you line the outside with plastic (a good idea) and treat the drums with some kind of protectant or oil. (Don’t use WD-40.) Even Vaseline would work well, although you would definitely need a lot to coat a 55-gallon drum.

When you’re all done, you should have your protected grains in 55-gallon drums, buried in your yard and protected against the humidity of the surrounding earth. It’s a big effort, but then again, the food inside may save your life. You’ll find it much more efficient to bury several barrels at once; side by side.

In reality it would be faster and easier to simply build a false wall in your garage and seal up your food behind the false wall. Sure, you might loose 2-3 feet of useable space in your garage, but the tradeoff is knowing everything is safe and sound.

STORING EXTRA WATER

Water can be stored in exactly the same way, although you might want to bury the barrel before you actually fill it with water. Make sure you treat your storage water, rotate it or have filters on hand when you get ready to use it.
WaterIf you don’t have a yard, or it’s not practical to bury your water, you’ll have to store water inside your house. This can get very tricky because water takes up a lot of space and it’s very difficult to conceal. It’s best to get containers made for long-term storage, but in a pinch, you can use almost any container: soda bottles, milk jugs (although it’s very difficult to rinse the milk out), and even rinsed bleach bottles (in that case, you won’t need to add bleach). But a lot of these containers will deteriorate quickly, and they may break easily. Also, consider what happens if your water may be subjected to freezing. Will your containers survive? Be sure to leave enough air space to handle the expansion.

In order to prepare yourself for the water shortage, assuming you’re going to stay in the city, stock at least six months of water at a minimum two gallons a day per person. That’s nearly 400 gallons of water if you have two people.

Of course, even with the best in-house preparations, you may find yourself depleted of water supplies. In this situation, one of your best defenses is to have a really good water filter that can remove parasites and bacteria from the water. You can also treat your water in other ways (iodine, distillation, silver solution, bleach, etc.). Armed with these items, you can safely use stream or river water (or even pond water) for drinking.

WATER WELLS

By far, the best solution for obtaining long-term water supplies is to drill a well. Buy the best-quality hand-pump available (cast-iron pumps available from Lehman’s) and a good cylinder. They will last a lifetime if installed properly. With this setup, you’ll have a near-unlimited supply of water.

The total cost of doing this, depending on where you live, ranges from about $4000 – $6000. Is it worth it? If you’ve got the money, I think so. However, many cities simply don’t allow the drilling of wells, so you may not be able to get one drilled even if you want to.

The deeper your well, the more expensive it gets. Most well drilling companies charge by the foot. When water is deeper, you also need a bigger pump and a more powerful cylinder, so the costs tend to really grow the deeper you go. If you can find water at 20′, you’re very lucky and it might not cost you even $2000. If you have to go down to 200′, it might cost you $7500, and you’re at the depth limit of hand-powered pumps anyway.

DEFENDING YOUR LIFE AND PROPERTY

Let’s talk about force. No doubt, there are plenty of nice people in this country, and I think that in small towns and rural areas, people are going to find ways to cooperate and get along. I also think, however, that some cities will suffer complete social breakdown and violence will rule. If you happen to be stuck in one of these cities, you’re going to need to use force to defend your house. The section that follows discusses what I consider to be extreme responses to violence in the most dire situations. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in these circumstances, but if you do, the information below may be valuable.

Important: Do not use your lights at night. If you are stocking propane-powered lanterns, solar-powered flashlights, or other unusual supplies, using them at night will announce to everyone within line of sight that you have more than the “usual” supplies. Expect them to come knocking in your door. At most, let a fire burn in the fireplace, but in general, avoid drawing attention to your house.

Defending your house is a crucial element on your stay-in-the-city plan. Make your house your fortress, and hold drills to help other family members practice some of the more common activities such as hiding, defending, evacuating, etc.

Some useful items for home defense include:

  • A guard dog.
  • Pepper spray.
  • Firearms.
  • Smoke bombs (military-grade).
  • Trip wires

Let’s go over these: The guard dog is certainly a welcome addition to any family trying to defend their house. Although he probably eats a lot of food, the investment is worth if. Dogs also tend to sleep light, so let them sleep right next to the food storage areas, and make sure you sleep within earshot. If the dog barks, don’t consider it an annoyance, consider it an INTRUSION.

Pepper spray is a great alternative to the firearm. It will incapacitate people and certainly give them a painful experience to remember. On the downside (potentially), it might just remind them that next time they come back for food, they better kill you first. So understand the limitations of pepper spray.

Firearms are useful for obvious reasons. In the worst-case scenario, when looting is rampant, you may have to actually shoot someone to protect yourself or your family. If you’re squeamish about pulling the trigger under these circumstances, don’t plan to stay in the city. Use the “bug out” plan instead.

Smoke bombs can be useful for covering a planned escape from your house. You can purchase high-volume smoke bombs that will quickly fill up any house with an unbreathable cloud of military-grade white smoke.

Trip wires are great perimeter defenses. You can buy them from Cheaper Than Dirt (they run a few hundred dollars). They will give you early warning if someone is approaching. You can connect the tripwires to flares, shotgun shells, light sticks or other warning devices. This way, you can have an audible or visible alert, your choice.

In addition to these devices, you can make significant fortification-style improvements to your home. While none of these are very affordable, they certainly help defend your home:

  • Replace glass windows with non-breakable Plexiglas.
  • Add steel bars to the windows.
  • Replace all outside door locks with heavy-duty deadbolts.
  • Replace all outside doors with steel doors, preferably without windows.
  • Remove bushes and other shrubs where people might hide.
  • Black out the windows entirely to avoid light escaping at night (similar to what residents of London did during the WWII bombing raids).
  • Build secret hiding places for food, coins, or even people.
  • Create escape hatches or passageways.
  • Rig pepper-spray booby traps.

These aren’t as absurd as they might at first sound. Many people living in rough cities already have steel bars covering their windows, and removing extra bushes and shrubs is a well-known tactic for making your home a safer place.

LIGHT

To light your home when there’s no electricity, try the following:

  • Use LED flashlights and rechargeable solar-charged batteries. You can buy all these items from the Real Goods catalog.
  • Use propane-powered lanterns. You can find these in the camping section of your local Wal-Mart. Be sure to purchase extra mantles and store lots of propane.
  • Purchase quality oil lamps from Lehman’s and stock up on oil. You can also purchase cheap kerosene lamps from the Sportsman’s Guide or Wal-Mart, then simply purchase and store extra kerosene.
  • Buy extra candles.
  • Purchase lots of olive oil. Not only can you cook with it (and besides, it’s a lot healthier than corn or vegetable oil), olive oil also burns as a clean candle fuel. You can float a wick in a jar half-full of olive oil and light the wick. Viola, a home-made candle. Olive oil is a fantastic item for your storage anyway because even if you purchase all the grains in the world, you’ll still need cooking oil, and you obviously can’t buy powdered cooking oil. Well-stored olive oil can last for thousands of years.

STAYING WARM

Did you know that people won’t steal giant logs? Although they may easily steal wood you’ve already chopped, most people won’t have any way of stealing logs. They’re too heavy, and the vehicles won’t have any gas left. For this reason, your best bet in regards to stocking fuel for your house is to stock up on UNCUT wood logs.

It takes a lot of extra research to find out how to get them (took me a few weeks of asking around), but you can find a source if you look hard enough. Or you can usually get a permit to go out and cut your own. The effort is worth it, because this will give you a ready-to-go source of heat and fuel that cannot be easily stolen.

The catch, of course, is that you’ll need equipment to cut and chop the wood. A chainsaw is REALLY nice in this way, but it requires fuel. Fortunately, chain saws don’t use much fuel, so if you have a way to store as little as 50 gallons or so, you’ve got enough to power your chainsaw for a few years (at least!). You’ll need fuel stabilizers, too, which you can buy at your local Wal-Mart. (Be sure to buy extra chains for your chainsaw, too.)

You’ll also need splitting hardware. You can buy log splitters or just buy an axe, a wedge, and a sledgehammer. Better yet, buy all four so you have a choice of what to use. And remember, wood splits much better when it’s frozen, too, so you might just wait until the cold hits in Winter to start splitting your wood. Only split a little at a time, because you don’t want to end up with a big pile of nicely-split wood sitting out in your yard. It will invite theft from people who don’t have any. If you already have trees on your property, you’re all set. Cut down about 4-5 cords right now, so they can start drying out, then chop them as you need them.

A “cord” of wood, by the way, is a volume measurement. It’s 8′ x 4′ x 4′, or 128 cubic feet of wood (stacked). Some people that sell wood will try to rip you off, so make sure you know what you’re buying. If you purchase logs, it’s better to get a price per linear foot, based on the diameter of the log. For example, you might ask for logs that are an average of 10″ in diameter, and you’ll ask how much the charge per linear foot would be. Something in the range of $1 – $2 would be great.

RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORS

I’ve already mentioned the importance of getting along with your neighbors. It really is crucial to your city-based survival plan. The best situation to be in, as mentioned before, is to have neighbors who are aware of the issue and who are getting ready for it by stocking their own food, water, and other supplies. Every neighbor that becomes self-reliant is one less neighbor or member you’ll have to support.

The range of neighbor situations, from best to worst, is as follows:

  • Best case: your neighbor is aware of and both temporally & Spiritually prepared for an emergency with their own supplies and training.
  • Good case: your neighbor is aware of a potential crisis, and even though they don’t have their own supplies, they’re willing to help defend yours as long as you share.
  • Bad case: your neighbor didn’t prepare for it, figuring they would just steal from you if things got bad. They are aware of YOUR supplies but don’t have their own.
  • Worst case: your neighbor isn’t aware of anything, and he’s a violent, angry neighbor just released from prison. He is going to be caught off guard by the ensuing events and will likely attempt to use violence to get what he needs or wants.

Your decision on whether to stay in the city may depend greatly on the quality and quantity of your neighbors. If you do live in a bad neighborhood, do what you can to relocate. If you live in a good neighborhood, do the best you can to educate and inform your neighbors.

GUN CONTROL IN THE CITIES

No matter how you felt or thought about gun control in the past, it’s time to face disaster-induced reality. The gun-control politicians (and the people who supported them) have placed Americans in a situation where not only can the police not protect us in a timely manner, but we cannot lawfully defend ourselves. Criminals unlawfully have firearms; citizens lawfully don’t. Intentionally or otherwise, gun-control supporters have created a situation where an unfortunate number of innocent men, women and children are going to be in danger during a crisis simply because they could not obtain the tools of self-defense.

It also happens that the cities where the rioting will likely be the worst are precisely the cities where firearms are most likely to be banned from lawful ownership (and where criminals may wield near-absolute power for a while.). Perhaps when society recovers from it, we can review the fallacy in the cause / effect logic that keeps people voting for gun-control laws, but in the mean time, millions of people are going to have to resort to breaking the law in order to protect their families. And yes, you too will have to resort to breaking the law if you are to acquire a firearm in an area where guns are entirely banned from private citizens (like New York, Los Angeles, etc.).

After the disaster hits, if the rioting gets really bad, we’re going to see local police begging law-abiding citizens for help. Your firearm will be a welcome addition to the force of law and order, believe me. No local cop is going to mind you having a handgun if you’re manning a roadblock protecting a neighborhood of families with children. Act responsibly, tell them what you’re doing, and they’ll probably give you a big thanks. But if you’re carrying a gun while you smash a window of the Wal-Mart and walk off with a stereo; well that’s a different story. Be prepared to get shot.

See, cops don’t mind private ownership nearly as much as we’ve all been led to believe. I know, I work with law enforcement officers in a small town, and I ask them about topics like this. When the crisis hits, they’ll be more than happy to have your cooperation. We’re all going to need as many law-abiding gun-toting citizens as possible in order to fend off the criminals and establish some degree of order.

ONE MORE REASON TO MOVE OUT

If you really feel you need a firearm to protect yourself and your family, your best bet may be to move to a city or state where people are a lot more accepting of firearms. You’d be surprised what a difference the locale makes. Check the gun laws in any state you’re considering moving to. Obviously, “cowboy” states like Arizona, Texas and Wyoming will have fewer restrictions on firearms (and, interestingly, they have less of a problem with gun violence). States where the population is more dense (like California & New York) tend to have much greater restrictions on private ownership of firearms.

BUGGING OUT

Suppose it’s July 19, 2017, and you’ve changed your mind about this city thing. You happened to be right smack in the middle of one of the worst-hit cities in the country. The looting is getting worse, the power has been out for two weeks, and your water supplies are running low. You still have enough gas in your truck to make it out of town if you can get past the gangs, that is. You’ve decided to BUG OUT!

SOME BASIC POINTERS:

  • Don’t try to bug out in a Chevy Geo. You will likely need a big heavy 4×4 truck in order to go off-road and around stalled vehicles.
  • Get something that can carry at least 1000 pounds of supplies. A big 4×4 pickup will do nicely! Yes, it requires more fuel, but you can carry the fuel as cargo.
  • Don’t bug out unless you can have someone ride shotgun, literally. You will need an armed passenger in case you run into not-so-nice people.

WHAT TO TAKE

Ahh, the bug-out supply list. All this will fit in your truck. Here’s what you should take if you’re preparing to bug out with two people:

  • Your 96 hour kits for each person in the vehicle
  • 20 gallons of water
  • 40 gallons of extra fuel or more (and a full gas tank)

WHERE TO GO

As mentioned earlier, if you have a designated place of refuge (Grandma’s house, a cabin in the woods, etc.), head straight for it. If not, you’re basically driving anywhere you can go, so try to head for an area that forested and near a creek or river where you can get some water.

CONCLUSION

Choosing to remain in the city is a rational choice for many people in many situations. However, as you have seen from the dangers described here, the further away you can get from the population centers in general, the better your chances of surviving.

Most people, perhaps yourself included, have a difficult time actually accepting that a major disaster is going to be as bad as described in this report. And after all, if you leave the city, sell out, quit your job, move to the country, and then nothing bad happens? You will have disrupted your life, and you may find yourself broke, jobless, and homeless. You COULD assume it will be a mild event, which I suppose is also a credible possibility. In that case, surviving in the city will be quite feasible, especially if you have neighbors that can support your efforts and you don’t live in a dangerous city with high racial tensions. However, the very nature of a major disaster means that if only one or two major infrastructure components goes down, the ripple effect will quickly create a much worse scenario. It seems there is very little room for “mild” effects unless they are miniscule. The most likely scenario at this point clearly points to massive disruptions, severe shortages in food and water, loss of power in some areas, and a breakdown of social order in certain areas where the population density is high.

But you can survive anything with good planning, an open mind, and plenty of practice. Why not start now?

While we all want to do our best to prepare for a coming crisis, and many of us realize the city is perhaps the worst place to live, very few

Many people are scared that all of their efforts towards prepping would be futile if TEOTWAWKI never actually comes. The problem with this parochial view is that they never take into account the high possibilities of disasters such as floods, snowstorms or even power-grid failures. The other thing holding them back is the “Is this worth the cash?” argument they have with themselves.

Preppers actually learn to save money and prevent spending on things unnecessarily. We buy prepping supplies that are often used to sustain our life while it can still be kept long-term. Preppers also cultivate survival skills such as gardening and home repair which can save them a pretty penny in the long-run. Since increasing your survival odds is highly correlated to the amount of survival knowledge you have, most preppers will definitely invest their time in learning new skills.

 

There are many disasters happening and most of us are not aware of it. Hence, these are 8 reasons why prepping is good for you.

Reason #1: Cash conservation

The skills that you acquire – preferably practical skills to survive will help you to save the money needed to call that repairman to your house. Planting a garden is an excellent way to prep and it is extremely cost-effective. Instead of buying commercial food or constantly eating out, learn how to cook your favorite meal and plant your favorite fruits, you will not regret it!

Do you remember that Greece had to undergo a collapse in their economy which caused many lives to be at stake where those people who could not accept it commit suicide? There were many stakeholders pointing fingers to each other but the debt crisis was actually due to flawed accounting practices and not being transparent enough.

In my opinion, having a job which is more within your control such as being self-employed or starting a blog is one of the best defenses for an economic downturn. You can even start thinking of how used items can be made into something beneficial that we need to survive. Furthermore, you can start prepping with basically no cost at all by learning the skills needed and getting free gear from survival blog giveaways. The art of preparedness is basically how to live by yourself without depending on external sources such as lending money which is the main cause of bankruptcy.

Reason #2: Security better than insurance

When a SHTF situation occurs, your life would be threatened and most people will suffer the consequences of not sufficiently preparing. The suicide rate would spike even when an economic collapse happens where people who are indebted kill themselves just to get out of the loop of debt they got themselves into.

In preparedness, we never support the idea of lending money and we would fully advocate low-cost prepping. Keep a journal with you regarding the best prep skills, fix that leaking roof in your house and stop spending money unnecessarily! Feeling safe and peaceful would be much more frequent when you are much more prepared.

Even recently, retrenchment is rampant in our current economy where most people lost their active source of income. Preparing for a SHTF situation by having a side income, running your own business, stocking up on food and water or even having a surplus of cash would definitely help you to get back on your feet. Is this not better than conventional insurance? What if a snowstorm hit your place? Will your insurance be able to take the pain or would being prepared more likely to mitigate the amount of pain and loss?

Reason #3: Cultivation of critical thinking

When you are preparing for a crisis, you have to pan out what items you should bring and what are the steps you should do for survival. With the constant thought of how to prepare in your mind, you will naturally put in unremitting effort to cultivate the skills needed. What do I need to do to find a safe shelter? How can I ensure that my family would be able to survive at least for a week without external aid? All of these questions are at the very core of the preparedness journey. To increase your survival rate, you have no choice but to cultivate critical thinking, practice it in everyday life and survive!

Since we do not know how a TEOTWAWKI situation will look like, we have to be well-rounded and prepare for the worst to come. But of course, it is wiser to get ready for a more frequent disaster that may occur in your area. Use your intelligence to solve the problem.

Reason #4: Keeping your body healthy

The first rule of thumb to preparedness is keeping your body healthy so that you can think on your feet when a life threatening situation happen. This all involves knowing what food to eat and how much of it you can consume.

 

Basically, there are situations where we are met with water shortage. Storing water is very essential and learning how to purify water is a must. Keeping a body healthy means, you have to know what is the amount of water and food your body needs.

Learning the art of bush craft or how to scout will also be beneficial to your physical health while increasing your chance of survival. The very essence of preparedness is to have great physical capabilities. Can you walk for a few days non-stop in search for safety? If the answer is no, time to get on that treadmill.

Reason #5: Acceptance of the current condition

Knowing that an economic downturn and political tensions are inevitable, ultimately preppers do not complain but we do what we can now. The prepper community always keep their heads up for the recent news and practice practical skills that can help them survive.  If you are reading this post now, most likely you are one of the few people preparing rather than complaining. Preparing for the worst is something much better than complaining about it when the SHTF.

It would be great for you to bond with family and friends. Since you do not complain and you are capable of giving aid to your friends when a disaster strikes, they will trust you more. Since trust is a difficult thing to build and turning people off with your complaint is bad, it would be wise that you start prepping now.
By having enough supplies in your house and knowledge in your mental storehouse, you would have peace of mind appreciating every moment when no problems occur. Even if things do happen, you would accept it totally and put your supplies into good use.

Reason #6: Consistent supply of alternative energy

Preppers will also prep for power grid failures which will potentially happen in a TEOTWAWKI situation such as an EMP strike. Do you know how to make a cost-effective electric generator? How about getting that windmill to generate electricity? All these ideas are great to provide a constant supply of electricity which will potentially help you to save costs in the long-run.

The knowledge on how to get an alternative energy source in the most efficient way possible would definitely be great. Besides saving on certain amount of cash, you get the energy to keep yourself and your family comfortable when a power outage occurs.

Reason #7: Keep yourself safe

In preparedness, you have to learn how to shoot a gun and how to conceal it. There might be times when your life is at the line with robbers or terrorists threatening your very existence.

What happens when your car breaks down in a deserted highway with a winter storm? You would have prayed that you placed your EDC (Every Day Carry pack) or even a bug out bag in the trunk. Having some extra blankets and food to keep you warm would be great.

How about when your house catches fire? Where have you kept the important documents? This would be the time where you wished you packed your bug out bag with the important documents. When your life is at stake, you would not have time to think twice of what documents to keep. All you can do now is to prepare for the most frequent crisis and keep your faith that nothing bad would happen to a good person.

Reason #8: Save people around you (especially your loved one)

The practice of food storage can actually save you and your family’s life because food shortages can potentially happen. Do not always assume that you can purchase food in the local grocery shop, there might come a time even when an earthquake or flood happens where you will be thankful you had that supply of food.

Moreover, medicine would be scarce when the SHTF. When distribution channels are disturbed by a natural disaster for that matter, your local pharmacy or doctor may have their supplies wiped out. Hence, it is imperative that we keep a First Aid Kit and have the knowledge to use it. Who knows? You may come across a wound and get hurt when disaster strike, and knowing how to tend to your wound would be a matter of life and death!

Conclusion

I would like to congratulate you for reading this post! Most people would not even take the first step in gathering information regarding preparedness thinking that it is a waste of time. With this 8 reasons, I urge you to start preparing now because it would definitely be beneficial! What other benefits do you have in mind? Please share in the comment box below.


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Many people are scared that all of their efforts towards prepping would be futile if TEOTWAWKI never actually comes. The problem with this parochial view is that they never take

As you consider the following and plan your food storage, bear in mind that your survival in any scenario will have a great deal to do with the decisions you make now about your food. Good food—and a good variety of that food—boosts morale tremendously in difficult situations. Less palatable food causes stress and much worse. Whether you and your family survive and thrive in the coming difficulties will ultimately depend on acknowledging the essential role of a healthy, varied diet and planning for it. This article will give you some real food storage ideas to use for your family.

There is a lot of advice out there to store food for uncertain times, but how much? How much food to store depends on how long the difficult times last, and only you can decide how long you want to prepare for. First off, consider your situation. How many people are you responsible for? What are their ages? When you are calculating how much food to store, everything is calculated based on an adult and teen males consuming 2500 calories per day. Pregnant and nursing women get the same number of calories. Teen girls and other women are allocated ¾ of this amount. Children under 12 years count as ½.

Consider your food storage needs

Decide what event(s) you are prepping for. Is it a civil war, world war, EMP, financial collapse, personal financial misfortune, pandemic, etc., or maybe all of the above? There is no shortage of people telling you what exactly is going to happen when. So far, they haven’t been right, but someday somebody will be. Collapse of some sort is in our future; history says so. If I’m prepping for a pandemic, I’m going to want a fair number of heat and eat or freeze-dried meals for when people are too sick to prepare food. With a financial collapse, I’ll supposedly have the time to prepare normal meals at home. With an EMP, I better be able to make meals without electricity.

Consider what you want to eat. Do you really want to live on MREs, canned soups, freeze-dried meals, and the like, all of which are really high in sodium and artificial preservatives? Is that how you normally eat, or will suddenly changing to such a diet be a shock to your body? Do you want to just buy a package deal—and trust that someone else knows what and how much you want to eat? If so, pay attention to the number of calories per day. Some of those packages contain as little as 1200 calories per day. Who is going to be happy with that? TEOTWAWKI is not the time to lose that extra weight. Mental stress alone will contribute to weight loss. In addition, are you planning on doing much more physical labor when TEOTWAWKI hits? (You should be.) How happy are those doing the heavy labor going to be on 2,000 or even 2,500 calories per day? Hint: They won’t be happy. You need to plan on double the number of calories for those doing heavy physical labor.

Defining your food storage budget

Decide what your budget is. Most people can probably manage to buy a few weeks’ worth of freeze-dried meals or MREs, but if you’re prepping for the long-term and/or for a family, and your funds are limited, you are going to have to be more careful. The biggest bang for your buck is going to come from long-term storage foods such as grains and legumes.

What new skills you are willing to learn? Are you willing to learn to bake? Are you willing to learn to bake bread—without an automatic bread machine? Are you willing to grind your own grains? Are you willing to learn to garden? What about learning to can fruits, vegetables, and/or meats? Raise livestock? It doesn’t have to be cows and pigs—chickens and rabbits are much more manageable for beginners. The answers to all of these questions should govern the decisions about what you store. If you are not willing to learn to bake bread, storing a whole lot of wheat may not make much sense. You can store white flour instead—its shelf life is much shorter and it is far less nutritious, but it will keep you alive. Pick one new skill to learn each month. The most important one is probably learning to make bread, followed by gardening.

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The first items to store should be a three-month supply of foods you normally eat. Whatever it is that causes us to eat our stored food is going to be a stressful time. The last thing your digestive system needs when it is already stressed is more stress from eating unfamiliar foods. Children and the elderly are much more vulnerable in this situation and you don’t want to increase their stress (and yours!) by forcing a radical new diet on them.

So come up with your list of foods you already enjoy preparing at home and you are already accustomed to eating, preferably foods that require no refrigeration. You should really have a three-month supply of these foods. Make up a menu for one week, list every item you need for each meal, and buy thirteen of each item to have a three-month supply.

What are some real food storage ideas you can use?

Once you have done this (because how many of us really think the chaos will be over in three months and life will immediately return to normal?), consider adding longer-term storage foods. For each adult male per month, store the following:

  • Grains: 33 lbs per month. If you are grinding your own grains for bread, store 20 lbs hard white wheat (white wheat is generally preferred for its lighter, sweeter taste, and is also easier on the digestive system), 5 lbs white flour, 2 lbs rice, 3 lbs pasta, 2 lbs oatmeal, 1 lb popcorn.
  • Dry beans: 5 lbs per month. Pinto beans, white beans, black beans, legumes, lentils. Beans are among the most sensitive of long-term storage foods and must be stored in a cool, dry place. Otherwise, they will become tough and require much longer cooking times to soften.
  • Sugars: 5 lbs per month. This is only for baking and cooking meals, no desserts. It is about 3 tablespoons per day. It does not include amounts needed for canning, making jam or syrup. White sugar and honey store indefinitely. They don’t even need to be kept particularly cool, though they should be kept in a dark place if possible. You can also store brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, pancake syrups, jams, and jellies. Often I hear people say they don’t need that much sugar. And it is true that we should all probably eat less sugar. However, bear in mind that sugar has become an important ingredient in many of our comfort foods. In addition, if you choose to store less sugar, you need to increase the amounts of other items you store to compensate for the calories.
  • Salt: ¾ lb per month. You need both plain and iodized. Most people in my food storage classes thought far less salt would be enough because they would never go through that much salt in one month. And that is true for most of us who still buy most of our food at the store. But when you are making everything from scratch, especially bread and beans, you use a lot more salt. Children need iodine for proper brain development. The rest of us need iodine for continued brain function. We generally get adequate iodine in our diets. However, when many of the commercially prepared and vitamin and mineral-fortified foods that we depend upon are no longer available, we will need to ensure we have sufficient iodine in our diets. For those who are planning to make their own bread (and we should all be planning to do that—bread is the staff of life), it bears mentioning that iodine actually retards the fermentation of yeast and thus hinders the rising of bread dough. So you really want about half of your salt to be plain and half of it to be iodized.
  • Oils: 28 oz of oil per month really is the minimum. Not only is oil an essential ingredient in many recipes, but it can also render normally unpalatable foods rather tasty. Store a variety of oils—olive oil and peanut oil for frying and baking, coconut oil for some frying but more for a long-term storage butter substitute. Avoid vegetable oil (it’s all soy, and almost all soy is GMO). Some food storage experts place peanut butter in the oil category due to its calorie content, but really, do you want to use peanut butter in your baking and frying recipes? Not generally. Peanut butter is indeed high in calories and high in protein and as such makes an excellent addition to the pantry. It just shouldn’t be classed with the other oils. Call it comfort food and store a goodly amount of it, at least 1 lb per person per month. Store all oils in a cool, dry place. And for longest-term storage, store all oils in glass—they will last much longer than in plastic.
  • Dry milk: Store 1.75 lbs of dry milk per month. This amount includes not one drop for drinking—this is only for baking and cooking. If you want to be able to drink some milk, you will need to store more. If you want to improve the flavor of your powdered milk, stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract per quart of milk. And of course, make sure your milk is well-chilled. Dry milk is the most sensitive of all long-term storage foods. It must be kept dark—light will degrade the vitamins and cause deterioration in flavor. It must be kept cool, and of course, it must be dry.

Once you have stored the basics, start adding in other items.

  • Baking essentials–baking soda, baking powder, yeast, powdered eggs, cocoa.
  • Canned items—fruits, vegetables, and meats.
  • Spices—pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, mustard, ginger, herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, sage).
  • Condiments—Ketchup, mustard, relish, soy sauce, salsa.
  • Comfort foods—chocolate chips, candy, gum, Jell-O gelatin, and pudding mixes.

As you build your food storage, you also need to be learning to use it so that you will be accustomed to eating these foods—and enjoying them. It takes practice to learn how to make good bread. And your body needs time to get used to eating whole grains. Make the switch from white flour to 100% wheat in your diet, and you might find yourself with a serious case of the trots.

While doing all of the above, consider your garden. Spring is just around the corner and the time has never been better for learning how to grown your own. Fresh salad greens, home-grown tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and who can’t grow zucchini and green beans? Eating from your garden will add variety to your diet while making your long-term storage go a whole lot further.

Storing food for future uncertainties isn’t exciting. Nobody gets worked up over a bucket of beans or a bag of wheat. And that is probably because the vast majority of preppers and those reading this site have never been without food and have never seen starvation. I know I haven’t. But I am a student of history. Bad things happen when people don’t have any food, when they don’t have enough food, and when they don’t have nutritious food. Don’t let bad things happen to your family. Be proactive. Store a wide variety of long-term storage foods and learn to use and like them now. Recognize that your future and that of your family depends greatly upon the decisions you make now about your food. Start today.

As you consider the following and plan your food storage, bear in mind that your survival in any scenario will have a great deal to do with the decisions you

Water is life. As a prepper, as an outdoors person, and even as a human, this fact has been drilled into our heads over and over. It’s a cornerstone of the “Rule of Threes.” Three days without water and the human body starts to suffer the consequences. Water has a big place in our preparations, and it rightly should.

Water is important not only for drinking, but for cooking, for washing, and especially for hygiene. (And harvesting rainwater is a great way to have it be readily available!) My beautiful wife loves to go camping and has lived out of a backpack for weeks at a time, but the elimination of bodily wastes in the woods is not a favorite activity for her. Or for anybody, I think!

One of the most cost-effective ways to store larger amounts of water is in food-grade barrels. The barrels are strong, compact, and are relatively inexpensive. Aside from their weight when full, the other drawback to storing water in barrels is the inconvenience of getting the water back out of them.

But what if there was a way to use your emergency water storage barrels to run your household in a nearly normal fashion during a grid down event?

Would it make you happy to use your indoor plumbing as usual, without going outdoors to some out-of-the-way spot to defecate or urinate? What if you could do dishes in the sink, almost like normal? Get a glass of drinking water from the kitchen tap? I have developed a system for my home that allows me to do just that.

My inspiration for this emergency water storage system came from a power outage, timed coincidentally with a day when the entirety of my in-laws had descended upon our home. A squirrel had met its end at an electrical substation, causing power outages in the local village, extending into the rural area where we live. Although I owned a small generator at the time, it was nowhere near large enough to run the well pump.

I had water stored in several 55-gallon barrels, and initially thought I had finally found a chance to prove my foresighted genius for my wife and her family. I took a 5-gallon camping water jug (you know, the kind with the spigot?) down to my water barrels, anticipating finally having a payoff for my hard work in preparation for a day like this. I assembled the plastic water hand pump (purchased in 1998 for Y2K), and that’s when my troubles began.

The pump had threads that were different than the threads on my barrel. It wouldn’t screw in, and thus, I had to hold the pump in one hand and pump with the other, while my third handheld the jug to….uh oh: I needed more hands! After I recruited my brother-in-law to hold the jug, I found out the suction hose on the pump was also missing a part, too. The hand pump was out of order. Shaker siphon? Dang. I last saw that on my camping trip a few months ago. In the end, I used a new-in-box drill pump and a battery operated drill. It was an OK ending to the water problem, but not ideal.

What finally evolved from that occurrence and some experimentation is an emergency water storage system that I am pretty happy with. In fact, one problem may be that it is too convenient, not discouraging water use.

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The system is simple and – aside from the battery and pump – inexpensive.

Currently, my indoor emergency water storage consists of two 55 gallon barrels. I have a small 3 gallon per minute RV water pump attached to a couple of valved pickup tubes, and leading to a spigot that I installed in the water line coming into the house from the well pump. The RV water pump is powered by a small 35AH gel cell connected to a float charger, so the battery is always topped off. It can also be recharged by the 50W solar panel and small charge controller I already have.

In the photo, you will notice that there are two spigots, with a valve between them. This was so I could completely isolate the well and pressure tank from the house plumbing: If the foot valve on the well pump went out, and I tried to pump water into the house plumbing, water from my barrels would be pumped back down my well. That’s no good! The valve, hose, and fitting between the pickup tubes in the photo is the inlet where I fill the barrels.

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The clear hose (far right) connected to the upper spigot. Note the isolation valve between the two spigots.

Hooking up the water tanks to the spigot is a snap. I have placed valves in line to allow me to draw from one or the other, or both barrels. With a flick of a switch, the pump is activated. Since it is an RV pump, it has its own pressure sensor, which activates the pump when a faucet is opened. When someone flushes the toilet, the pump kicks on and refills the toilet tank. When someone opens the kitchen tap to wash hands, prepare food, or get a drink, the pump kicks on and delivers the water.

This system also routes the water through our whole-house water filter. also At 3 gallons per minute, it is very nearly the same as having our normal well pump working. The flow is noticeably less, but not by a huge amount. Just for fun, I took a shower with the backup system, and it was very acceptable. My water heater does not use electrical power to heat water, so it was even a hot shower! See what I mean about the system being too convenient? It does not really encourage water conservation.

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The simple PVC pickup tubes. The transparent tube in the center is for filling the barrels.

During one of the “Grid Down Weekend” exercises that our family performs, with no attempt at water conservation, we easily went through more than 60 gallons of water per day. We have a larger, 220V generator now, able to run the well pump. During the Grid Down Weekend, I ran the generator for about two hours a day. We let the refrigerator and freezer run, charged batteries, and ran the well pump for laundry, took showers and refilled the water storage barrels. This actually worked pretty well, letting us use water as “normal” without running the generator. If we were unable to run the generator for some reason, we would definitely want to implement methods to reduce the water usage.

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This 50-watt panel recharges the battery in just a few hours

Materials and cost breakdown for my project:

RV pump: eBay, used, $40 shipped
Clear food-safe tubing: 6 feet @ $1.50/foot
Garden hose “repair end,” female: $3.50
Misc. 1/2″ PVC fittings, valves, tubing: $15
Hose Clamps, stainless steel:  3 @ $1.24/piece
Battery: Used, free. New they are about $55
Float Charger: $20, Amazon
Wire, terminals, switch, etc.: $10

The drawbacks to this emergency water storage system are fairly minimal. As I pointed out, you have to keep an eye on your water use. You also have to make sure that your hose ends are kept clean. You have to make sure your stored water is clean. You may find yourself “stealing” that battery for other needs. Other than those limitations, I think it’s a great system that makes living without grid power a bit easier.

Oh, I did finally get the hand pump repaired and figured out. You know, just in case.

 

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Water is life. As a prepper, as an outdoors person, and even as a human, this fact has been drilled into our heads over and over. It’s a cornerstone of

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if anything happens my goal is to get back to my home as quickly as possible. I have supplies at home specifically designed to help me and my family handle the aftermath of almost any emergency and logically this is our first/main rally point in any crisis. No matter where I am if something happens I will be working immediately to make it back to reunite with the rest of my family. My get home plan is my first priority if I am away unless there is something that prevents me from reaching home. This is less of an issue if I am with my family and we are together, but I like most of you spend a good part of my day away from home.

We like to speak of the ideal of heavily stocked survival retreats located on hundreds of acres of land in the boonies only accessible via a dirt road and after crossing several water hazards. That is the ideal maybe, but almost none of us, when you start looking at the numbers live anything near that type of lifestyle. Are there people who live in remote areas? Of course, but for most of us, our survival retreat is our home in the suburbs or semi-rural areas still easily accessible by plenty of roads with a Walmart within a short drive. Even more live in the cities where our neighbors are practically on top of us. Most of us who call ourselves preppers do not live year round at a retreat taking care of livestock, building barns and furniture from trees we felled and wood shaped with hand tools. Most of us work a job for someone else in an area that is anything but remote and that is almost always away from home. I personally want the retreat, but unless my life changes drastically that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. For me right now, I am where I am so I plan to make the best of it. If something happens I will be heading to my home.

There are multiple strategies for travel needed with the unexpected emergency but the variables start adding up when you consider all the permutations of what the emergency could be and where you are at the time. Today I want to talk about how you can begin to prepare for a situation where you are at work and your goal is to get back home to your family, your supplies and your castle. In a lot of cases you have to plan for situations that are out of the norm. The first plan of course would be to simply hop in our cars and drive home, but what if the roads were blocked? What if you couldn’t even reach your car? You should make a plan now for getting back home in alternate ways and plan for travel that isn’t ideal.

My Get Home Bag of choice right now.

How will you get home?

Before we can really start discussing how to get home, you have to take into consideration how far away home is. For the purposes of this article, I will use the example of a typical work day. For most of us that means we leave home in the morning, go to work and return home the same day. I have written articles on getting home from much further distances, but for this article we’ll assume you aren’t on the other end of the country, you are at your regular day job.

One of the first things I recommend thinking about is a Get Home Bag for anyone who works more than a few miles from home. I personally use the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack right now pictured on the right. A get home bag has been called by a lot of other names, but it is simply a bag with basic supplies that you might need in order to walk back to your home. This is not the same as a bug out bag, but the concepts are related. All of these bags are simply containers for some essentials you might need in an emergency situation. My Get Home Bag is stored in the trunk of my car and has very basic items because on an average day I am not more than 15 miles away from home. I have spare water, some food in the form of a Mainstay bar, work gloves, lighter, paracord, ammo, multi-tool, headlamp and dust mask along with some blood stopper bandages. Could I pack more in there? Of course but I try to lean toward the minimal side on these bags and focus more on what I really could need versus what would be nice to have. For example, I don’t have a compass because I know my town and where my home is. I don’t have hand sanitizer because that is the last thing I am going to worry about. I don’t have a radio because I should be home in a few hours tops but I do have a ham radio in my car that is mobile. Your get home bag should have what you would expect to need on your trek home.

But what if my car is blocked or I can’t get to my car? What if the parking deck that my car sits in all day is shaken to the ground by an earthquake or an explosion? That is when the absolutely prepared person would grab their back up bag from their desk. I don’t have a bag in my desk and really I don’t live far enough from work that I don’t think I could make it back even without a bag. Couldn’t I leave my Get Home Bag in my desk at work and eliminate that problem? Sure but what if my office is closed or blown up or for some other reason I can’t get back to my desk? For me, the trunk of my car is the safest bet that will be with more more often than my desk drawer and if that doesn’t work out I will adapt. One thing you don’t want to have to adapt to are the elements though. I carry rain gear on days when there is a chance of rain even if I don’t plan on going outside. Cold weather is the same thing. Its easy to leave home and think that you will just be in the car, but what if you are forced to walk? Dress for the weather outside, not the weather inside.

Another aspect of making it back home is to have footwear up to the challenge. I have written before about how so many people wear flip-flops everywhere they go now and I shudder to think about what it would be like in a real disaster to have virtually no protection on my feet. As well as my Get Home Bag I have a pair of sturdy work boots in my car. I never wear flip-flops but if for some bizarre reason I have a John McClain moment and am caught with my shoes off I will have a backup.

Carry your Every Day Carry – EDC

Another aspect of my preps is my EDC or Every Day Carry items that I have on my person at all times when I am away from home. For me, my EDC consists of a concealed handgun, handkerchief, multi-tool, flashlight, knife and water. My water bottle is in my backpack with my computer, but I always have that with me. These items augment what I have in my Get Home Bag and I try to religiously make sure they are on me. If I am walking out the door to work I have an almost perfect track record of taking all of my EDC gear, but it is the odd times where my outfit choices are different when this falls down. Going to the pool for example, I have been known to change things up due to necessity and some of my gear stays in the car as opposed to poolside.

With my EDC gear it is always in my pockets or my bag, but how many of you have gone to the bathroom without your cell phone? How many have run down to the corner store without your car keys? What if something prevented you from getting back to your desk or work location and the only way you had to get into your car was several floors up, or under rubble? I try to take my keys and cell phone with me anytime I leave my desk so that I will have this option if needed.

Plan more than one route back home

Where I live, there isn’t a tremendous amount of traffic so I routinely take the same route to and from work. This is the quickest way for me to travel, but in an emergency, roads could be blocked and impassable. If needed, I can take alternate roads, but in some cases that might make my trip longer by taking me further away from home to route back to a good road. Alternately you could cut through the woods or neighborhoods but this isn’t always faster. In some situations, it might be a bad idea to cut through someone’s yard and you could find yourself in an altercation you didn’t need to get in. What if your travel takes you through a rough part of town? You would necessarily want to avoid those areas at this time so that you don’t become the victim of a predator. It helps to know the area you live in well enough and in some cases to perform what I call Neighborhood Recon to scope out alternate routes and identify obstacles ahead of time. Could you make it through the swamp that is in the woods? Maybe, but would you want to?

Have a communication plan with your family

In a disaster, cellular communications might be down and who has land lines anymore? You used to find a phone booth on every corner but now they are nonexistent where I live. My communication plan is really meant to address a lack of communication I can foresee in a disaster. My family knows what my plans are and that is to come home. I might be delayed but I will stick to the plan. In the event that some crisis hits and my family is not in immediate danger from staying put at our home, they are supposed to wait for me to arrive. Depending on the crisis this could be several hours to a day, possibly overnight. Does your family know what your plans are? More importantly, do they know what to do if you never show up?

What are your plans for making it back home in an emergency if your trusty vehicle isn’t available?

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if

Emergencies can take place in a moment’s notice — at home, work or in public places — and knowing what to do next can very well safeguard you from injury or even death. There’s no point in waiting until an actual emergency happens. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can be prepared for whatever comes your way with these emergency survival tips.

Prepare for the Worst

If you live in California, you know the state has been expecting a massive earthquake for several years now. And if you live someplace where snow days are the norm, it’s important to be prepared for toughing it out if you find yourself snowed in for several days. Whatever situation comes your way, it’s important to be mentally and physically prepared for the possible events that can occur. Do your research on what can go wrong and you’ll be better prepared for anything that comes your way.

Pack a Generous ‘Bug-Out’ Bag

This may be the most crucial component of preparing for a disaster. Emergency preparedness bags, or “bug-out” bags, contain a number of items to sustain and protect you for long periods of time when you’ll likely have no other available resources. Some potential items include flashlights, a first-aid kit, water and food, emergency contact information, clean clothes, and an emergency fund. Plan accordingly for any situation and pack all necessary items ahead of time, while regularly updating your bag so any perishable items stay fresh.

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You can be prepared in every aspect, but if your health is poor, it’ll make every other task more difficult than it has to be

Optimize Your Physical Fitness

In order to successfully evade danger in an emergency, it’s important to be in the best physical condition possible. You can be prepared in every aspect, but if your health is poor, it’ll make every other task more difficult than it has to be. If you haven’t already done so, begin an exercise regimen that will build your muscles and endurance. Try going on long hikes and lifting weights to build muscle mass. In addition, eat healthy meals to keep your body in tip-top condition.

Develop Safe Driving Skills

In the case of a disaster, it’s not unlikely you’ll have to relocate to a safer location. Wherever that is, it’s important to drive safely to your destination in the midst of chaos. Begin refining your defensive, offensive and evasive driving skills by refreshing your knowledge on the rules of the road.

Plan for Recreation, Comfort Foods

It’s likely you’ll end up with a lot of “downtime” during a crisis. You may be stuck at one location for long periods, so it’s important not to let panic get the best of you. One way to avoid succumbing to fear or just a bad attitude is to prepare recreational activities and comfort foods. Pack a deck of cards or your favorite board games in your emergency preparedness bag. Include your child’s favorite toys, as well as some snacks your family enjoys. These items will become a source of comfort in an emergency situation.

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Form a survival group as soon as possible to gain advantages with numbers of like-minded people

Prep as a Community

One important aspect of prepping is to become a part of a community that shares your preparedness. This way, in a crisis, you can all support and help one another to survive. Having a community with the same mindset will make you stronger in adversity. If no one around you shares your gusto for prepping, talk to your family and close friends about the importance of being prepared for a disaster or emergency crisis. Upon finalizing your plan, share your preparation tips and tricks, as well as some resources and knowledge with one another.

Emergencies can take place in a moment’s notice — at home, work or in public places — and knowing what to do next can very well safeguard you from injury