Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: September 2011

Assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki

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Since when is it ok to kill US citizens without due process?  With the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, I guess its open hunting season on people who speak out against the US Government.

Where do we draw the line?

Was Anwar al-Awlaki on the street shooting people? No, he was not. He was on the internet, talking. Since when is talking a crime? I thought political speech was protected for US citizens? Maybe freedom of political speech is only protected when its not “too” critical of the government.

Maybe the government has a sliding scale to judge if someone is “too” radical. If the person scores high in the scale, they will be put to death like a rabid dog? Who gets to make the scale? Who gets to determine who lives and who dies.

Whats next, the government shooting people for voting third party? How about arresting bloggers for telling people to resist the government? Is the army going to get called out on #occupywallstreet?

No exceptions should be made in due process for US citizens. We can not pick and choose to whom the law applies, and who the law does not apply to.

“Every” citizen is entitled to equal protection under the law. That is the very foundation of our legal system.

The execution of an American citizen can not be tolerated.

Today, I am ashamed to be an US Citizen. Two US citizens were assassinated by the US government, and the people applaud.

Whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Whatever happened to due process? The right to a speedy trial, and a trial by jury are the cornerstones of our legal system. We can not allow the government to erode those rights.

President obama took an oath to uphold and protect our Constitution. Assassinating US Citizens is not what I call upholding our laws.

Everyone that voted for obama, your president just wiped his ass with our Constitution and flushed it down the toilet, I hope you are happy.

Survivalist OPSEC

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bug out location cookingAs a survivalist, live part of your life by one simple saying – “loose lips sink ships”.

There is an episode of the Twilight Zone where some satellites are picked up as incoming nuclear missiles.  One man and his family has taken the time to build a bomb shelter under his house, but none of the other neighbors have taken the time to prepare.  As the news of the “missiles” is broadcast over the radio, people started to panic.

The family that had the shelter started moving supplies into the shelter, filling jars with water, grabbing flashlights and batteries, moving canned goods from the kitchen to the shelter,,,,.  After the family closed the door to their shelter, the neighbors start beating on the steel door demanding the family let everyone else in.

As the missiles are getting closer, the neighbors start tearing down the steel door of the shelter.  As the door is just about to be removed, the news reports that the missiles are really satellites, and the whole alarm was a mistake.

The neighbors hear the news broadcast over the radio, they then apologize for what happened and leave the house.

Do not talk about your preps to anyone but family and “very” close friends.
Do not talk about the food you are stockpiling
Do not talk about your firearms, and especially do not talk about military firearms
Do not talk about prepping in any shape, form or fashion
Do not talk about your “Bug Out Location
Do not talk about stockpiling ammunition
Do not talk about any of your survival plans

To all of the sheep around you, you should appear as unprepared as they are.

Ways to avoid talking about your preps


Marketable life skills

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How do you develop life skills that are marketable?  Either through an education, training or experience.  But, how do you know if your skills will be in demand?

Over the past few years I have seen people over spending on their education.  People will go into $100k of debt, for a degree that pays $30k a year.  Its going to be years, maybe even decades before the student loans are paid off.  After college, “who” is going to hire you?

I look at jobs like fishing.  If you want to catch a fish, you need to go to water.  If you want a job, you need to be where the jobs are.  Do not walk into the desert and expect someone to hire you.

The more you learn,
The more you know,
The more education you have,
The more skills you have,
The more training you have,

The more you have to offer an employer, the better.


Two rifle calibers for SHTF survival

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This evening my wife and I went to the camp (aka Bug Out Location) to check on things.  While I was looking through the ammunition stocks, it was like someone turned on a light.  I realized the ammo that I was looking at was divided into 2 categories – small rifle (22 long rifle) and medium/large rifle (30-30, 308 and 30-06).

The 223 and 7.62×39 are stored separately from the main hunting calibers.  When my family goes to the camp during deer season, they do not need to dig through 500+ rounds of 223 to find a box of 30-06 or 308.

While I was looking at the 22 long rifle and the 30-30, 308 and 30-06 I realized that most people would only need 2 calibers for a shtf survival situation.

1 rifle caliber for small game hunting.

1 rifle caliber for everything else.

22 long rifle

Ruger 10/22 22 Long Rifle For SHTFLets say that some kind of long term disaster happens, such as civil unrest, climate change, new disease breaksout.  You and your family head to the remote camp.  Unless you have a small farm with chickens, rabbits, hogs, or goats, the main source of meat is either going to be fishing or hunting.

The 22 long rifle is well suited for taking just about any small game in North America, maybe even anywhere in the world.

If the muzzle report is a concern, stock upon 22 shorts or sub-sonic ammo.

If you need a little more power then the 22 long rifle, there is the 22 magnum.

When my dad was growing up, one of the families main sources of food was small game, like squirrels.  For hunting the tree rats, my dad used 22 shorts.   When I was growing up, my dad used to take me and my brother squirrel hunting every winter.  Instead of using a 22 rifle, we used shotguns – my dad used a 12 gauge with #4 shot, and I used my single shot Winchester 410.  when I got old enough, my dad bought me a Montgomery Ward Western Field (Mossberg) 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Related forum sectionRuger 10/22 Forum


Storing survival gear

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Storing survival gearIts time for a change. My survival gear is spread out all over a spare bedroom, couple of storage boxes and 2 closets. Its time to round everything up and get things organized.

My wife and I have a spare bedroom that my son uses when he comes to  visit.  Since the room is only used a few times a month, we decided to install some shelves and organize our survival gear stocks.

The shelving unit was bought from a local china-mart. The unit is 6 feet tall, each shelf is 36 inches long, 17 inches wide and there is 15.75 inches between each shelf.

To prevent the shelving unit from being pulled over by the grand kids, the support poles of the unit were zip-tied to a set of bunk beds, and the shelves were screwed to the wall with 2 1/2 inch long screws. With small children around, you have to plan on them climbing on everything.

The plan is to have two shelving units side by side, with each unit holding a certain type of survival gear.

Fishing gear – one shelf is going to be dedicated to storing my fishing gear. Currently my fishing gear is being stored in 2 or 3 different places, in the closet, in a tackle box, in a fishing bucket,,,.

A 5 gallon bucket fits perfectly between the shelves, so I should have no problems storing my extra lures, trotline string, extra spools of monofilament line, extra hooks,,,. I need to buy a couple of wire trays to store the smaller items in, such as the spools of trotline string.


As life moves on

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Weldbilt boat on the Angelina RiverThere is one inevitable fact of life, life moves forward, even when you do not want it to.  Things around you change, people get older, kids grow up, life gets more expensive,,,.

As I look back on my life, I ask myself what happened?  What happened to the young man that used to go camping all the time, would spend hours in the woods, and just seemed to know how to have fun?  Where did that person go?

These days, and for the past few years, I have almost no desire to do much of anything.  At the camp there is a tree that blew down.  10 years ago that tree would have already been cut up, split, and put in the shed for firewood.  But today, that tree has been in the same place for several months.

Maybe its getting older, but I am only 43 years old, I should not be feeling like this.  Where has my love of live, and my energy gone?


Wasting food after a disaster

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Wasting foodOn the weekend of September 17th and 18th family and I rented beach house and spent a couple of days at the beach relaxing. This was our last summer bash before old man winter arrives.

Something that was observed during breakfast reaffirms my belief that children will waste the most food then any other group during a long term shtf survival situation.

During breakfast my granddaughter looked at her eggs, saw some pepper and thought the pepper was dirt. To make matters worse, she said the black specks of pepper were “po-po”.

Usually, when a child says something like “po-po” in their food, and adult puts the thought in the childs head. As innocent as it sounds, asking a child if the food taste like po-po puts the thought in the childs head that feces is in their food.

To help the granddaughter know that there was no dirt or po-po in her food, I took a pepper shaker, put some pepper in my hand and showed the pepper flakes to her. After she saw the pepper in my hand, she seemed to be more open to eating eggs with pepper in them.

Several months ago my family and I had a cookout.  When we have a cookout, we have a “COOKOUT” – ribs, brisket, beans,,,, the works.  After everyone had packed up and went home, my wife and I started cleaning up the yard.  It was during the clean up that I found something that irritated me – one of the children and taken a single bite out of a babyback rib, and then threw the rib on the ground.  The size of the bite mark indicated a childs mouth.

With the rib being thrown on the ground, we were dealing with 2 different things – 1, a parent that is not watching their children; 2, a child that was just outright wasting food.

Video about cooking some ribs and brisket on the pit.


Living your life by your own standards

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Bug Out Bag with Mossberg 590As I am sitting here listening to Rammstein, the title song by Rammstein, I have been thinking about my life, and what has been expected of me.

When I was in my early years and in school, I was expected to do my school work and do my homework. The question I always had was “why?”. Why did I “have” to do homework just because some teacher said I had to? During school hours I was required to sit at my desk, be quit, and do my work. But what gave the teacher the right to intrude into my life after school?

In sharp contrast to school, my full time job does not interfere with my life outside of work, unless I am paid for the work.

With homework, why didn’t I get comp time so that summer vacation started early? Students are supposed to attend X number of hours during the course of a school year, so why isn’t homework counted towards that time?

It appears to me that school is one step above child labor. Work was sent home with the students and we were not compensated for our time.

After finishing high school I was supposed to either get a job or go to college. After 12 years of school I had had enough of the teachers crap, so I went to work. The problem is, getting a job and working for someone else does not make you money. Preforming a job duty makes the business owner money, and then you are paid a wage.


Save as much money as possible

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Weldbilt boat on the Angelina RiverAnd I do not mean for retirement (saving for retirement helps, but most of us are not there yet). From news about food prices going up 18.5% from January – September 2011, the Bank of America laying off 30,000 employees, to the new reports on credit card debt owed buy the average American,,,, I do not think we are going to pull out of this recession anytime soon.

The US government has spent so much money, that we will never be able to pay it off. Our great-grand children have been saddled with such a great tax burden, that there is no hope for the future generations.

This Bank of America is a troubling sign. Banks do not like to lose money. In fact there are all kinds of laws to protect banks from losing money. It was just a few months ago that the Federal government cut the banks a blank check, most of which went to performance bonuses.

If you judge the health of a nation but how stable its banks are, and one of the largest banks is laying people off, what does that say? It says the USA is in some deep crap.


Remembering Hurricane Ike Three Years Later

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hurricane ike floodingIts simple amazing how much time has passed under the bridge in the last 3 years.  On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall, and changed the lives of tens of thousands of people forever.

Mom and Dads house was totaled, sold to the insurance company and demolished.

One of my best friends has rebuilt and now has a nice place.

My brother has rebuilt and seems to be no worse for the wear.

It was somewhere around 10:00pm or 10:30 that I lost phone contact with my kids who were riding out Hurricane Ike in Houston.  I figured they were ok, but I worried about them until I knew for sure they were safe.

The winds with Ike were not near as bad as Rita, but the storm surge with Ike was probably 10X worse the Rita.  With Rita southeast Texas got a little storm surge, but nothing like what came in with Ike.

The next morning after Ike passed through, my family and I left the shelter we were staying at and went home.  I hooked to pit up to my truck and pulled the pit around to the front of my house.  I wanted to pit fired up and cooking something, so that the people driving down the street would be assured that life would return to normal.

Something I learned from Hurricane Ike, never underestimate a hurricane. My mom and dad were planning on staying at home during the storm. If they had, they would have been in the attic to get above the flood waters.

A buddy of mine evacuated thinking things would return to normal in a matter of days. Little did he know his house would get 2 feet of flood water.

People in Houston had to sit in the food and ice lines for hours at a time.

When the government says there is a disaster on the way, take the warning seriously.

Keep flashlights and batteries in stock, have a way to cook without electricity, have an extra air mattress, pillows and blankets for guest, fill up the gas tanks of your vehicles.

After hurricane Rita passed through, there were people calling the local radio station complaining that they did not have fuel to drive to the food lines. But the people had several days warning before landfall. The thing is, they were not expecting the damage to be as bad as it was. The majority of the people expected life to return to normal within a few days, but it was over 2 weeks before things started to get back to normal.

Never underestimate the destructive force that nature has.

I think that most of the people that were affected by Hurricane Ike are wiser today – I know I am.

One of the saddest scenes I saw after Ike passed through, was a family looking at what was left of their house. The house was close to the marsh, the storm surge busted through the walls and washed everything inside the house out into the street. A girl who looked like she was around 8 or 10 years old walked over to a man who looked like her dad, and the girl broke down. The man wrapped his arms around the girl, as if he was trying to keep her safe.

I am going to guess that the man and daughter were looking at what was left of their house. The emotional toll was probably more then a lot of people could take. I went through a depression phase after seeing my home town almost destroyed.

Regardless of how bad the damage was, the people recovered and rebuilt. Some of the people of Bridge City sold their homes and left, one flood was enough for them and they did not want to risk going through another one.

Not everyone sold their home and moved out of Bridge City, a lot of people stayed and rebuilt.

Picking a survival rifle caliber

Picking a survival rifle caliber
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.30 caliber survival rifleThere is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle.  When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign.  If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction.  The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy.  With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat.  When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs.  If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22.  My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Standard service round of the US military.  there are survivalist out there that plan on using the 223 as their main survival rifle after SHTF, but I personally would not want to use the 223/5.56mm on deer sized game.

If you want a rifle for hunting after SHTF, there are better options out there besides the 223.

One of the really nice things about the 223, there is a wide range of rifle options available on the market.  There is everything from bolt actions rifle, to the Ruger Mini-14, to the AR-15.

243 / 6mm

The 243 is favored by a lot of people who hunt deer sized game, mainly due to the low recoil. for small framed people the 243 is a viable deer option, but bullet placement is critical.

I say the 243 is good for small framed people, but I used to work with a guy that was around 6 feet 3 inches tall, and he liked using the 243 for deer.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with the 243.  Shooters should be aware of the limitations of the cartridge.


Most Americans not prepared for a disaster

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Personally, I think government has been pushed into so many parts of our lives, people have developed an attitude that government will “always” be there.  We call 911 and someone answers, we call the police and someone answers, we see the police patrolling in their cars, we see the news  TV about arrest being made,,, we have the mindset that government will “always” be there to protect us.

In 28 days later, after the guy leaves the church and is saved by the man and woman, they are sitting in a gas station talking. Either the woman or the man says “there is no government” – the guy that woke up in the hospital says something like “there has to be a government”.

In todays culture of instant satisfaction, not being able to get something within a few hours is a foreign thought to most people. We are used to going to burger king, sonic, and mcdonalds and getting something to eat. Having to wait for food is a concept that most Americans do not understand.

Its been decades since American society has had food shortages or rationing.  I worry that panic may set in if the government ever has to start rationing food, fuel or even water.

After hurricane Rita passed through and the food lines were setup. There were people calling the local radio station saying they did not have gas in their cars to drive to the food lines.

The people calling in had several days warning to buy supplies, but they did not listen to the warnings.

As my family was listening to the radio, we were playing rummy cube in the coffee table in the living room, with light provided by a lantern.  Before hurricane Rita made landfall my family and I had taken the time to pick up some extra supplies and we were ready for the storm.

The people on the radio were a good example of not being prepared, they thought the storm was going to pass and everything was going to be back to normal in a couple of hours. Instead of a couple of hours or a couple of days for things to return to normal, it was 2 – 3 weeks later.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Most Americans unprepared for disaster, survey finds.

Being a liability to a survival group

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survivalist camp bug out locationThere are two types of people in a survival group – assets and liabilities.  In your survival group, how do you determine who is a liability and who is an asset.  For the sake of discussion, lets talk about liabilities.

Liabilities to a survival group usually do not:

Stockpile food – they do not take the time to prepare and kind of food stocks besides some canned goods, noodles, pasta,,, the typical stuff someone would keep in their cabinet.

Instead of having food stored in mylar bags or buying #10 cans, liabilities trust that other people will stockpile food for them.  Storing food in mylar bags is not expensive, but it is time consuming.  The liability usually does not want to dedicate any extra time to preparing their food stockpile.

If liabilities do have food stocked up, its going to be just enough for a few days, maybe a week or two at the longest.

When their food stocks run out, the liability will ask the other members of the survivalist group for help.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, the most in demands items are going to be food and safe drinking water.  Even though food will be one of the most in demand items, its also one of the most overlooked items of the liability.  Where a survivalist takes the time to study their food preps and stockpile food, the liability will usually shop at the local grocery store and only buy what their family needs within the next week or 2 weeks.

Plan – liabilities do not take planning seriously, they may not take time to organize their preps, make plans or test their plans.

Members of a survival group should take the time to have meetings, talk about each others plans, and how to group can work together.  Liabilities may not take the meetings seriously, and even if they attend, they may have little to offer.

Back in the 1990s when the rumors of the US being invaded by the United Nations were going around, a buddy of mine made handout bags for other member of our group.  The bag was a medium alice pack, and contained ammunition of various calibers, rain poncho, matches, food, couple of canteens,,,, in other words, it was a lightweight battle pack.

The plan was to hand the battle pack out to members of our survival group that may show up at my buddies house.  The people that were going to receive the pack had bought an SKS rifle, but had not taken the time to stockpile any ammunition for their SKS.

Stockpile survival gear – liabilities usually do not take the time to stockpile survival gear.  If they do, its just the basic gear – sleeping bags, flashlights, canned goods,,,,.  But when it comes to stockpiling items that take time or money, such as storing food in mylar bags, water filters, or food in #10 cans,,,, the liability will not take the time or spend the money.

The liability will usually stockpile “just” enough gear to say they are stockpiling “something” at the meetings.  When the group holds their meeting and everyone talks about their plans, the liability might say something like “I bought some extra canned goods, or an extra sleeping bag”.

Over the years I have seen a lot of different types of survivalist and have heard a lot of different types of plans.

Work as a team – one of the things of being in a survivalist group, is that everyone works together.  Members of a group may buy matching firearms so that they can share ammunition, do group buys of #10 cans, supplies, ammunition and buy reloading supplies.

When the members of my group were reloading, we would pitch in a buy bullets, brass and primers in bulk.  Instead of buying bullets in boxes of 100, we would buy a case of 5,000 bullets.  We would then pick a weekend and spend a Saturday running the progressive presses.

On the reloading day, our group would have 3 people working together as a team – 2 people operating the presses and a 3rd person that kept the powder hoppers filled up, and the press operators stocked with bullets and brass.

During a reloading session, we decided to see how many 9mm we could reload in 1 hour.  Between 2 progressive presses and 1 support person, we reloaded 1,000 rounds of 9mm in 1 hour.  That is what working as a team does.  We were able to achieve as a group, what we would not otherwise be able to obtain on our own.

Hunter Gatherer or Farmer Survivalist

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SHTF Long Term SurvivalWhat kind of long term survival plans do you have?  Do you plan on bugging out to the wilderness and living a hunter gatherer lifestyle, or do you plan on living the lifestyle of a farmer gardener?

Hunter Gatherer

Our ancestors lived a hunter gatherer lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of years. For some people hunting, gathering roots, gathering berries and fishing the rivers might seem like an attractive lifestyle. I wonder if those types of people are influenced by their genes? Do the survival that plan on bugging out to the wilderness carry more the genetic code for the hunter gatherer lifestyle?

The problem with the hunter gatherer lifestyle, those types of people only plan a few days or weeks ahead of time. Tribes followed the herds along their yearly migration routes. There was little planning – follow the herd, kill something, gather roots, gather berries, catch some fish, follow the herd,,, repeat, as they were required to gather food almost daily. People learned that if they dried meat and fish, or salted the meat and fish it lasted longer. During the Lewis and Clark expedition, the explorers noted that the North American Indians dried their fish to store it during the winter. But man can not live on dried fish alone.

Farming and Gardening

It’s estimated that maybe 7,000 years ago people started adopting the farming and gardening lifestyle over the hunter gatherer lifestyle.

As communities started planting crops, we started thinking in 3 – 4 month periods. People started making calenders, counting the days of the year, planting crops, harvesting seeds, drying crops to save them over the winter, domesticating livestock,,,,,.

People started paying attention to when it was time to work the fields and plant the crops. A few months later its time to harvest the crops and put the crops up for the winter.

After people started planting crops, they found out that they had to stay in the area to take care of the fields.


Shortsighted Survival Plans

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Calm before the SHTF panic stormAfter watching Hurricane Irene hit the east coast, the fires in Texas, and the earthquake in the northeast,,,, do you think people will go into a long term panic buying mode? Meaning, will people start stockpiling food, guns, water and ammunition more then usual?

When there is a disaster, people usually kick into some kind of short term panic buying mode for a few weeks.   People will buy all of the batteries, flashlights, camp stoves, 1 pound propane bottles,,, and even ice chest stores have in stock.  But after the disaster passes, people seem to forget about the disaster and return to what their life was before anything happened.

With the recent events, do you plan on changing your spending habits to buy a few more canned canned goods then normal.

After Hurricane Rita, there were people complaining they did not have gas to drive to the food lines. Even though they had several days warning, they did not gas up their vehicles.  The local radio station would have a talk show where people could call in, and important information was broadcast to the community.  There were people calling in and asking how they were supposed to get to the food lines?  the radio host asked them if they had been watching the news before Rita made landfall.  The people that called in to the radio station usually had some kind of excuse to justify their actions.

What is wrong with people, the news says there is a major storm on the way, and they do not even buy some basic canned goods and gas up their car. I guess they think the government will be there to help them within a few hours after the storm passes.

Random video about stockpiling LED Flashlights, Seeds and Lithium Batteries

Short sighted people

A dog will guard its food bowl, probably because it does not know its going to be getting more food tomorrow. Its an instinct that was probably developed over millions of years.

I think most humans can be dived into 2 groups of people:

1, the hunter gather who plans for 1 or 2 days ahead of time.

2, the farmer who plans 3 or 4 months ahead of time.

When we were hunter/gathers we lived a couple of days at a time. Our ancestors dug roots, gathered berries, or killed a deer and our ancestors had food for a couple of days.

As communities started planting crops, we started thinking in 3 – 4 month periods. Its time to work the fields and plant the crops. A few months later its time to harvest the crops and put the crops up for the winter.

Depending on what instinct the person lives by – day to day, or planning a couple of months ahead, I think that affects how well people plan their lives and how well they plan for disasters.

After a disaster, there are people that will try to return their generators and other unused supplies to the stores where they were bought, there are examples of this with Irene. That type of person is thinking of right here, and right now – kinda like a hunter / gather.

The other type of person puts their generator in storage for the next storm, that is the farmer. He/she plans on using that generator again when there is another storm.

After Hurricane Andrew went through Florida, I remember hearing stories of the welfare families sitting around waiting for the government to show up with supplies. The people had lived off food stamps and welfare for so long, they did not know how to provide for themselves.

I have to ask the question, are we breeding a generation of people who do not know how to be self-sufficient? With the conveniences of grocery stores and fast food, people have grown accustomed to instant gratification. Instead of understanding where food comes from (the ground), people go to the local fast food joint and order a burger.

Post your comments in this forum thread about shortsighted survival plans.

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