Part of my SHTF prepping plans include looking several months ahead. Rather than waiting until spring of 2014 to make plans, I like to think about what I should do 4 and 5 months ahead of time.
I see no reason to wait until you are at the farm supply store to think about what crops you want to plant. Lets go ahead and think/talk about what you want to buy, what crops you want to plant, how you are going to store those crops several months ahead of time.
Planning ahead allows me to work out the fine details, such as type of fertilizer I want to buy, what kind of AR-15 magazines I want to get, what kind of new AR-15 I want to get,,, and so on.
Like a lot of people my wife and I have limited resources. We are just everyday middle class people trying to get by. Just like everyone else we pay our taxes, pay the electric bill, internet, health insurance,,,,. Once everything is paid we try to decide how to save money.
The issue we are running into, my wife and I are looking at moving away from Jasper Texas to a rural area. Jasper is already rural, but we want to get further away from town.
We need to put a water well on the land, sewer system, build a chicken yard,,, and a few ether odds and ends to get our new life started.
Then came the Adam Lanza incident and renewed calls for an assault rifle ban.
I am finding myself pulled into some of the panic buying. There was a short period of time between the shooting and Dianne Feinstein calling for more gun control and prices going through the roof. During that short time period I picked up another AR-15 for less then $1,000.
A gun store has some AR-15s for $1,300 each. As I consider buying another AR while I still can, I keep thinking about what that $1,300 could pay for at the homestead. We could probably put down a septic system for between $1,500 and $2,000.
Our lives are like a pattern – we go to work, get a pay check, pay our bills, buy food, repeat.
People have become so domesticated, we are like a family dog. The dog goes to the food bowl and waits to be fed. People go to the grocery store, or fast food places to buy food.
How would people react if the grocery stores were empty? Would people know how to grow their own food? Would people even have the resources to grow their own food?
Learning from experience
My chicken project has taught me a lot. The coop cost around $700. My 13 chickens at at 4 1/2 months old are eating almost 50 pounds of feed every 2 weeks. A buddy of mine asked what I would do for chicken feed during a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. My reply was the chickens would have to forage. Chickens come from a wild jungle fowl. Even though chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain their instincts.
A few nights ago I had a dream that has had me thinking ever since. The dream was about the US going through a nuclear war. The infrastructure had been devastated, no news was coming out of cities like LA or New York. It was as if life had been turned 180 degrees in the blink of an eye. We had limited internet, and we had electricity, but there was no news getting out about how bad the devastation was.
Part of the electricity in southeast Texas is provided by a series of 3 hydroelectric dams – Dam B, Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo bend. In my dream, the electricity in my area was being kept on by those 3 dams.
When the food shipments had stopped, the local grocery stores were cleaned out in a matter of hours. What led to the shipments stopping, was the main computer systems that tell the trucks when to roll and where to go had stopped working. Since the trucking companies did not know when and where to deliver the products, the workers stopped loading the trucks.
Our society has grown so dependent on computer systems, we do not know how to do anything without them. The local Sonic can not even fix an iced tea without their computers being up. A lot of radio stations broadcast syndicated content, that content travels over the internet. Without the internet, a lot of radio stations would not even have a morning show. Inventory control for massive retailers are controlled by remote offices, and you guessed it, over the internet.
After 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.
Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would your survival gear stockpile look like? For a lot of survivalist it would be mostly beans and bullets – meaning now very much thought or attention to detail has been put into the plans.
When the SurvivalistBoards youtube channel was opened, I wanted to publish a wide range of videos. The plans were to post videos about everything from gardening to wilderness survival. There are certain topics that do better then others. It seems that fishing videos probably do the worst in view counts, and firearm videos do the best.
But to have a balanced channel and blog, I think one should cover a wide range of topics. It seems that example videos and articles work best. Instead of saying what people should do, I show people what I am doing, and end it with that. Then let the viewer make up their own mind.
How does all of this relate to stockpiling survival gear? When dealing with survivalism, I do not think its enough to just stockpile bullets and beans. A well rounded, long term SHTF survival plan, should cover as much information and resources as possible. It is not enough to buy a case of 7.62×39, store some rice and beans in mylar bags, and then proclaim you have a well rounded survival plan. Ammo, rice and beans are not a well rounded plan.
A couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine and his wife dropped by my house for a little while. As most conversations do, we turned towards the topic of survivalism, and trying to find weak points in a survival plan.
Lets say there is some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, a new disease breaks out, long term civil unrest, climate change; besides insurance (no insult intended towards my buddy), I think the weak points for just about everyone will be are medical needs, safe drinking water and food production.
Medicine – Lets take my wife for example, she developed high blood pressure, and has been on high blood pressure maintenance medicine for almost 20 years. Running out of medicine could have a negative impact on her long term health. Then there are the people on heart medicine, anti-depressants,,,,,, just a whole slough of meds.
Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water, and that is all there is to it. Water borne infections can kill off communities with little or no advance warning. One of the number one killers in the world today is unsafe drinking water.
I think there is a tendency to focus more on 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 todays 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.
Why are you where your at right now? What are you doing there? What course of events drove you to be at your present location?
As I get older, I think about my life, and the course it has taken. There is some regret, there is some happiness and some sadness.
A couple of weekends ago my family and I were up at the camp having a relaxing weekend. One of the people there was a long time friend of mine – we have been knowing each other since around 1977 or 1978,,, somewhere in there. At the day turned to night, we built a camp fire, grabbed the lawn chairs and talked about past times.
Its one thing to have disaster plans, its another thing to test those plans several times a year. So when is a good time to test your plans? Personally, I like to observe how things go during holidays and events. Even during birthdays parties, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter,,,,, anytime people gather at my house I like to observe everyone and see how things go. Do we have enough hand soap, were we able to cook for everyone, were we crowded in the house, were the bathrooms accessible,,,,,.
The most recent test was Labor Day, 2010 – during labor day weekend my family and I headed to the camp for 2 days. Early saturday morning my wife got up and went to the local wal-mart to get some last minute stuff. From her report the store was fully stocked on just about everything besides meat – steaks, briskets, sausage,,,, stuff like that. I figured that people coming into the area would have cleaned wal-mart out.
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.
On July 30th, 2010 my family and I headed to the camp for 3 days for a little get away. One of the things that I like to do on these little “get aways” is to take notes, and figure out ways to improve – what went right, what went wrong, and what can we do differently.
One thing that I wanted to test on this trip was the Royal Berkey water filter from Directive21.com – this will be covered in another article, its just too much to go into right now.
One thing that happened, was while the guys were washing off the 4-wheelers, the water hose was left on and the well was drained. So we were without water for about 12 hours – 8pm, until a little after 8 am. By turning off the water pump, the well had time to fill back up.
Lets see, how would be the best way to describe this – prepping/survivalism is a way of life. Its not anything that I put any extra thought into, it just happens. Its like putting on your shoes, or tying your shoes, walking to the kitchen to get something to eat,,,,, its like a way of life.
Over the weekend, when my wife and I are at the grocery store. I picked up a couple of jars of creamy peanut butter and a couple of jars of honey. The 2 things that do not require special storage. They can be opened and left on the kitchen counter for months, honey will stay good forever.
So while we are shopping, I’am standing there thinking about how to eat the peanut butter and honey with no bread, or maybe just crackers, or straight out of the jar. The honey contains trace minerals, its good for cleaning wounds, and its its supposed to be good for your allergies. It does not have to be kept cold, or frozen and it does not have to be cooked.
Do you have a long term survival plan? We are not talking 3 days, or 3 weeks, or 3 months,,, how about 3 years? If there was a total break down of society, what would you do?
My plans are like a flow chart, with a bunch of “ifs” on it. If power, no power, if long term, if short term, if food runs out before life returns back to normal, when will the local community have support from the outside world, is the disaster local, nation wide or world wide. In all there are 4 major plans – A, B, C, & D.
Food plan A – First Tier:
The first level in your survival food preps are the frozen foods in your freezer and the foods that you have to keep cold. In the event of a power outage, these are the foods that should be cooked and eaten first.
The main course for the first week or so will be meat and anything else in the freezers. The time line for this depends on the generator. If the power goes out, gas = food. For every day we can keep the food in the freezer frozen, or cold, that is an extra day we get to eat out of it. One of my investments has been a 100 quart 5 day cooler. Storing some frozen good in these high quality ice chest could extend their freshness by 5 – days This is the deep freezer. It is full of deer meat, sausage, hamburger and ribs. Each package of ribs has 3 slabs in it. The white packages are full of deer mixed with beef hamburger. Notice the tub in the top right hand corner, we will discuss that in a little bit.
If the power goes out, and the food is spoiling before we can eat it – the plan is to have a massive bar-b-q and invite all our neighbors over. The smoker is used to make whatever into jerky. I like to think I have a way to cook without power. At this family reunion, I cooked enough for 100+ people at one time.