Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: disaster plans

Survivalist OPSEC

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.

Ideas for a Get Home Bag

Maxpedition Noatak

Something happened to the main power feed for my town, and then the backup power feed failed. Someone said it was related to the wildfire about 15 miles north of here, but I do not have any proof of that.

First thing I realized was that we do not have a radio here at work that works off batteries. Once outside power is cut, we lose all communications with the outside world. My boss pulled out a hand crank radio, but the hand crank was locked up to the point where the handle could not be turned.

I thought about getting a $10 am/fm radio with some lithium batteries to keep at my desk. The power does not go off very often, but when it does it would be nice to get some news from the local radio station.

Second thing was that I needed a flashlight. I have a small AAA light on my key ring, but something a little larger would have been nice. My little AAA light does good for close in work, like plugging computer wires into the back of a computer, or lighting up a small room. To make sure the battery has plenty of life, I used an energizer lithium battery.

Well Rounded SHTF Doomsday Survival Plans

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

In the survivalist community there is a tendency to focus more on stockpiling SHTF survival preps, and less on being self-sufficient. Who “really” wants to check on the rabbits, goats, chickens and pigs after working 8 – 10 hours? In today’s urban sprawl, finding land to have a small farm is rather difficult as well.

For a survivalist to be self-sufficient, their not only going to need fruits and vegetables, their also going to need meats, protein, eggs and fat. The problem is, for most people living in the city, having farm animals is not an option. So its a win-lose situation – people move to the city to get a job, but have to leave their farm life behind.

Here in Texas, its estimated that the average people has been removed from farm life for at least 2 – 3 generations. If some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, people will have a lot of learning to do. Those already living on a farm might adjust well, but those used to urban life and instant satisfaction might be a little disappointed.

In the rural areas where I live, its not uncommon to see rows of pecan trees from the first settlers. But now, we are more worried about planting pine trees to sell for timber, then planting fruit trees.

Its not enough to just buy preps, without developing a well rounded long term survival plan. Stockpiling rice, beans, pasta, powered milk and pancake mix in mylar bags is not a long term survival plan, its a temporary survival plan. Buying superpails, making homemade superpails, stockpiling MREs, storing food in mylar bags just prolongs the inevitable, and that is running out of food.

Complicated survivalist plans

When talking to survivalist, it becomes clear that some of them have no idea as to what they would do if a long term disaster set in. For the sake of argument, lets say that some kind of new virus came out of the Amazon. Loggers are cutting in areas that mankind has not seen in 10,000 years. While moving the logs, a worker is exposed to some kind of virus. He goes about his daily routine for a few days, walking around town, going to the local stores, spreads the virus. And just like with the swine flu, in a matter or days its spread all over the world.

When the Swine Flu broke out in early 2009, the US government refused to close the borders – citing that companies would lose too money.

The virus moves from city to city and country to country with nothing to stop it. People become sick, die, social services breaks down, the trucks stop rolling, supplies and food shipments stop to the local grocery stores, panic buying sets in, and in a matter of days the shelves are empty.

From there, certain groups of survivalist plan on grabbing their bug out bag, and head to the nearest national forest where they and their families will live in safety and seclusion. That is, until some kind of dysentery sets in and members of the group needs medical attention.

Written Disaster Plans

Hurricane Ike flooding

While planning for a disaster, an important consideration should be to write your plans down, make copies and then send those copies to your friends and family members. The plans should include destination during the evacuations, contact phone number, routes you plan on taking during the evacuation and backup phone numbers – plus your usual stuff.

Destinations: This is your predefined “bug out location”. If you have to evacuate, where are you going? This should be planned out ahead of time, driven, and this information shared with your friends and family members.

Contact phone numbers: Pick a family member or friend that is several hundred miles from your location. Contact them and see if they will agree to be the messenger service. Before, during and after a disaster there is a good chance that phone lines will be overloaded. Use someone outside the area to relay messages between the affected parties.

Where Would You Go if SHTF?

sea rim state park

If you and your family had to evacuate, where would you go? Part of the answer also depends on the situation, needs of the family members and type of disaster.

Shelter in place or leave? There are many factors should help determine where there is a real need to evacuate, or whether the family unit can shelter in place.

Lets take the example of a hurricane. In September of 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall in the Galveston, Texas area. The storm surge 100 miles to the east drove 10 feet of water 20 miles inland. The only cities there were protected from the surge were the ones that had a barrier built around them.

One of the things that saved Groves, Texas from flooding was the barrier around Port Arthur. Bridge City on the other hand received several feet of water. Out of the hundreds of houses in Bridge city, only around a dozen did not receive some kind of damage from flood waters.

Even though Hurricane Ike made landfall 100 miles to the west of the Beaumont, Bridge City, Port Arthur and Orange area, if a family lived just above sea level there was a real need to evacuate.

Sometimes an evacuation means just moving to higher ground, sometimes it means leaving to area and traveling over 100 miles. But anytime a family unit leaves their house, there is the question of where are they going to go?

Prepping Plans for 2009

Overlooking the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

As I look back 0n 2008, I also look forward to 2009.

Over the past few months I have not been my usual self. Korey (my son) got a deer this hunting season, and so far that is all we have gotten is that one deer. Tomorrow is the last day of regular deer season, in 2 weeks there is a youth weekend. Hopefully between tomorrow and the youth weekend Korey or I will be able to get another deer. This will fill our freezer for the coming year.

January – my wife and I planted a bed of onions. I bought the onion sprouts 2 weeks ago but have not felt like planting them. The onions were a mix of 10-15Y and some smaller green onions for salads and baked potatoes.

10-15Y are a large onion developed by Texas A&M. When the bulb is ready to be harvested, it will be about the size of a baseball. These onions have a sweet taste and are good for putting on hamburgers.

February – Potatoes go in the ground around February 14th. My wife and I already have to seed potatoes in the shed.

This is also one of the months that I like to go camping.

Plant a couple of apple and peach trees.

Cooking Considerations After a Disaster

Pit at deer camp

After a disaster such as a earthquake or hurricane, chances are the power is going to be cut off. From previous examples set by hurricanes Katrina, Andrew, Hugo and Rita – in some cases it could take weeks or months to rebuild the power lines. Its during this time that a simple hot meal can really boost the moral of the group. Just for the sake of discussion, “Group” is defined as friends, family or neighbors.

Some people of the community are ill prepared to cook without a power source, while others may be able to cook for a few days with no power. It is the job of the survivalist to make sure that they have the means to cook for not only your family, but for the neighbors. This can be a daunting task, but with a little planning it can be done.

With a little welding skill and some hard work, a survivalist could build anything from a pit on wheels to a grill that goes over a camp fire. Once the power goes out, the first thing that should be cooked and eaten is the meat out of the freezer and refrigerator.

Another investment that should be considered is a high quality ice chest, like a coleman 7 day ice chest. If kept out of direct sunlight, frozen foods will remain cold for 5 – 7 days. But this is dependent on the outside air temperature.

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Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018