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“The Preppers Were Right All Along”

“The Preppers Were Right All Along”

Bloomberg News reports on how the prepping movement has accelerated. Back in August 2021, I wrote how I was “Prepping for the Worst,” and I’m glad I did.

One of the best moves I made was to start “Prepping for the Worst” in August 2021, after I saw how the pandemic supply chain problems and Biden’s move to unreliable ‘green’ energy put everything at risk:

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, and I’m not panicked. I’m just concerned, and thinking the unthinkable….

The pandemic made clear we live on a thin line that can be disrupted. It’s not unthinkable that our key systems — the electric grid, natural gas supply, gasoline — could fail….

So all in all, I no longer view “preppers” as crazy. Maybe they were right, just early. Better early than late.

I don’t plan to be late….

I have so little faith in the people running this country at various levels that stocking up on long shelf-life food and other prepper-lite protections seems to me, for the first time in my adult life, to be one of the least crazy ideas.

The post generated a lot of comments and good suggestions, showing that much of the readership was thinking along the same lines. In just the year since then, the prices of what I purchased have soared, I’m estimating by 30% and in some cases 50%. I’m glad I acted when I did, but if you haven’t yet, better to purchase now, because prices aren’t dropping.

We followed up in August of 2022 with an online event, VIDEO: Prepping For The Worst – Basic Survival Strategies For Everyone,

The presentation by Lisa Bedford confirmed much of what I had done, but highlighted what remains a big gap in my own preparations:

Her presentation focused having a methodical approach centered on “The 8 S’s”. I found that really helpful in how to think about an overall approach, rather than being random and reactive.

The presentation also focused on relatively short-term (30-day) preparation, rather than what it would take to live completely off the grid for longer periods in case of complete collapse. I think people need to be prepared for a longer period, but for most people in most places, the first 30 days are critical.

While personal security was addressed in passing, this was not a self-defense presentation. That’s another issue which needs to be discussed separately.

Last but not least, her presentation focused me on water. Water. And more Water. It’s the hardest thing to do in many ways because water is such a critical immediate need and the quantities needed are more than most of us have handy. So water solutions are something I’m definitely focused on:

“It’s easy to buy 30-days worth of food. That’s easy. It’s the water that really worries me.”

Better late than never, Bloomberg News ran a post today The Preppers Were Right All Along:

Preppers, as the community of bunker builders and food hoarders is known, emerged during the Cold War as fears of nuclear holocaust drove some people to go to great lengths to prepare for survival in a burned-out world. But as the movement persisted over the decades, it has been mostly ignored by mainstream society, myself included, which came to view preppers mainly as paranoid radicals.

So it’s more than a little uncomfortable to confront the reality that this fringe industry is increasingly mainstream. In fact, in an era of growing environmental volatility and geopolitical unrest, Augason and his competitors appear downright prescient, maybe even pragmatic.

Disaster after disaster has reminded us all of the disturbing premise underpinning prepper thinking: We’re increasingly at risk of being cut off from our normal food supply. One recent report predicts that the survival food industry, which now produces very roughly $500 million in annual sales (privately held manufacturers don’t like to share their numbers), will grow by $2.8 billion by 2026.

The growth of this industry speaks volumes about the fear mindset that has crept into mainstream consumer behavior. You probably have at least one friend, colleague or neighbor who has been toying with the idea of becoming a “prepper.” Maybe not building a full-on bunker, but lining their pantries with long-storage food in the event that another major storm, blizzard, wildfire or another public health crisis hits.

I wonder why prepping “has crept into mainstream consumer behavior”? The Bloomberg article centers on “climate change,” but the reality is that it’s the dangerous policies of the current federal government and many blue state governments which are strangling energy security and production for political purposes. From cancelled pipelines to increased red tape, we are being strangled of reliable energy supplies. New England faces natural gas shortages this winter while diesel fuel that makes the economy run is unsustainably expensive and in short supply.

If in August 2021 we were on the edge, we’re hanging over it now. Long term water is still a worry, but the new potential natural gas shortage took me by surprise – if we lose both natural gas and electric, I’m pretty screwed over for heat (we don’t have a fireplace). So I still have some things to sort out.

Stock up while you can. And prepare for the worst.

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Comments

Good time to start stocking up and rotate your food supplies. Sample your supplies to make sure you like the taste.

    grinder in reply to r2468. | November 7, 2022 at 8:47 am

    I object to the characterization of preppers doing anything out of “fear”. We are prepared and refuse to be victims.

      MontanaMilitant in reply to grinder. | November 14, 2022 at 11:54 am

      Agree. My family (parents and siblings) used to laugh at me for my prepping. That stopped in 2020 when suddenly they were begging me for advice.

      Sadly, Covid turning out to be no worse than seasonal flu has returned them to a state of complacency that actually is now more dangerous because they think that the government can handle future disasters so they don’t have to.

      I have always equated prepping to playing poker. You have to ante up to be in the game. You may lose a few hands (waste some money on food products that weren’t durable) but when the inevitable collapse happens, those who didn’t gamble are the real losers and I have the chance at the survival jackpot. And sometimes you also have to bluff your way out of situations where you’re not holding good cards.

    Sonnys Mom in reply to r2468. | November 7, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    What made me decide to buy 3 months’ worth of dehydrated “emergency food” was hearing that nationwide, we now have less than a month’s supply of diesel fuel on hand. I always dismissed prepper concerns as dystopian fantasies, but this news really hit home. I simply never thought about food DELIVERY being interrupted. Thanks, Brandon.

      The upside is that thirty days is the cushion available. While we are drawing on the cushion, we are also adding to it. It doesn’t mean that we will run out in thirty days, unless we stop adding.

      While history is only a guide, not a guarantee of the future, I saw in Lebanon in 1975 that food and fuel supplies would stop intermittently, After a day or two or three supplies would again appear and people would stock up.

      IF that scenario occurs here, people with a thirty day stock of, say, food, could draw on that stock during a multi day shortage, and restock when supplies were again available.

      Of course, it might not be possible to restock fully, and one would then be slowly reducing the cushion, but a thirty day reserve could get one through a crisis of intermittent supply chain breakdowns for far longer than thirty days.

      My thinking is to stock up on everyday essentials so we can avoid riot/looting zones, then restock as possible when things calm down. Repeat as needed.

      Everyday canned goods, rice and pasta are the core of long term food supplies. Just stock more than most people do. Then dehydrated (like LDS canned foods) to supplement. Freeze dried food is mostly a luxury or situation specific.

        food and fuel supplies would stop intermittently, After a day or two or three supplies would again appear and people would stock up
        We saw this with toilet paper and paper towels during the dempanic, too. I think that opened a lot of people’s eyes.

          Dimsdale in reply to GWB. | November 10, 2022 at 8:18 am

          In New England, you see it every time there is an oncoming storm: bread and milk flies off the shelves, like we will be trapped in our houses for weeks.

          And yes, I do have four cases of toilet paper, thanks to my wife. I did try to tell her that diarrhea was not a symptom of Covid, but there you go. At least it doesn’t need to be rotated!!

    If you are hungry enough, taste won’t matter much.
    Stock some spices and spice mixes (Cajun, etc.) to “help” taste.

      This is good advice. Sauces, spices, soup mixes, etc. can make rice, pasta, even ramen taste pretty good, and can add variety. I was doing some taste tests for my tiny little stash of that stuff and discovered that I absolutely love Lipton onion soup mix in ramen noodles (I just keep the packet of ramen flavoring out, to use with rice, makes a decent fake pilaf). I’ll have that for the occasional lunch now (and no I’m not in college and haven’t been for decades, heh). Just half a packet of soup mix, so one packet makes two meals. You can also make fake but tasty chicken noodle soup with Ramen: canned or leftover chicken, peas, carrots, onion, ramen with the pack mix. Tastes better than Campbell’s anyway (to me, ymmv).

      Anyway, yes, whatever spices, sauces you and your family like is great to keep on hand to help add variety and keep things from getting boring.

Bearing Arms, an excellent firearms blog that emphasizes the politics of firearm civilian ownership, says 1,250,000 guns were sold last year. not said here but reported elsewhen on the blog, these are not previous owners that are adding to an arsenal or collection, but primarily new buyers, with white and black females taking the lead, followed by black and Hispanic men, then by white men, often first time buyers.
https://bearingarms.com/camedwards/2022/11/06/gun-sales-top-1-million-for-38th-straight-month-heres-why-that-matters-for-the-midterms-n64020
What might be of interest to some readers here is the outrageous conduct of the Federal Court in a case where a synagogue sought to have the congregation carry to protect themselves from ongoing threat. Goldstein v Hochul, New York Jewish Gun Club is a driver.
https://bearingarms.com/john-petrolino/2022/11/06/nys-jewish-gun-clubs-scathing-response-to-non-action-of-court-n64038

    I think you had a typo there, but the real numbers actually make your point more strongly. It was over a million guns per month, not last year.

    I wouldn’t call Bearing Arms “an excellent firearms blog.” I would call it “a decent extension of the Townhall publishing empire into the arena of the politics of firearms.” They do not publish anything about firearms themselves, nor shooting. They have one really good writer.

In addition to SPAM, which has a shelf life easily in excess of 5 years if stored properly (and made intentionally so from the inception), every prepper should be aware of KEYSTONE FOODS. Keystone packs food, not dishes. It has a 5 year shelf life on the can, and is eaten by many unaware they are doing so, as it tends to be an ingredient to a recipe. It is not prepper food per se. It is the type of food you find in military situations, cafeterias, science expeditions, and hunting or fishing camps. Here is a short YouTube video of the canning process and a real eye opener for many new to the practice of having a month or so of food on hand. I promise you will be impressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p40gaCou2Qs&t=13s
In Hawaii, particularly on Kauai and the Island of Hawaii where mother nature frequently goes violent, we are constantly admonished to have such.

    DHS recommends keeping at least 3 months of emergency supplies no matter where you live. CA, home of earthquakes, only recommends one month. Few have even a week’s supply. Just keep in mind how many people were lined up at the grocery stores at the beginning of the WuFlu shut downs 2 years ago. Do you think they are now better prepared? HA! Those are the zombies we may be forced to shoot some day.

    I try not to think about that too much. Things are depressing enough as it is. I’m just planning to hunker down and stay out of it hoping it will be over by the time I have to move out. Even now, it’s hard to believe how desperate things could get very soon. I really hope it doesn’t come to that but our government doesn’t even try to hide its disdain for ordinary citizens. They are not going to simply go away after Tuesday.

      scooterjay in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 6, 2022 at 7:17 pm

      Careful with that axe, Eugene.
      Using a firearm to defend yourself may ruffle feathers here.

        Zombies have feathers?

        JohnSmith100 in reply to scooterjay. | November 7, 2022 at 12:01 pm

        How about crossbows with coated sodium metal tips? That would be spectacular. Or those tips could be laced with additives. Or how about throwing knives knives with similar traits.

          Throwing knives are illegal in a lot of states (well, too many). Yeah, it’s dumb, but they also outlaw “throwing stars” ’cause of all those ninjas holding up corner stores.

          My archery supplier is 3 Rivers. They currently have a deal on an adult Samick Sage kit.

          https://www.3riversarchery.com/adult-recurve-bow-kit.html

          They’re completely out of “coated sodium metal tips.” but the good news is broadhead arrow heads kill well without the need for “additives.” As long as you keep them razor sharp.

          I don’t know if you intended to touch on this point or not but if the SHTF and you want to survive, don’t attract attention. Bows are a lot quieter than rifles.

          My instructors in the Navy made sure that that the Resistance and Escape part of SERE school was much more unpleasant than the Survival and Evasion part. I had a natural advantage since I have been a hunter since childhood. I can make myself disappear. Maybe my greatest achievement was when I only had a license to take a buck and a doe and her fawn had to step over my legs. Old girl had no idea I was there.

          Societal collapse is not a fun thing. Sure, have guns. But think past your guns.

        DaveGinOly in reply to scooterjay. | November 7, 2022 at 1:37 pm

        A Pink Floyd reference?

“Long term water is still a worry, but the new potential natural gas shortage took me by surprise – if we lose both natural gas and electric, I’m pretty screwed over for heat (we don’t have a fireplace).”

Without heat, the water in your pipes freezes and expands, busting the pipe and flooding your home.

r2468 wrote “Sample your supplies to make sure you like the taste.”

Starvation improves the taste of many things.

    Another Ed in reply to Another Ed. | November 6, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Read this book review to learn of a product consumed by the starving population of the Warsaw ghetto – dupniki. The book in its entirety is well worth reading.

    https://ihuanedo.ning.com/group/worldnewsevents/forum/topics/book-review-the-taste-of-war-by-lizzie-collingham

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Another Ed. | November 6, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Might I suggest that you acquire a wood or coal stove? In the past we heated with wood in a cabin in the high mountains. I have a wood stove that I can install in a day or so.

    Subotai Bahadur

      We once cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal for our entire extended family in our garage after a hurricane on a charcoal Weber. No power of course. But we finally had running water after 4 days. We had turkey and stuffing, peas, gravy, instant mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn bread, a dessert cake. Everyone was astonished. My father asked how the hell we did this (and he was a gourmet chef and a camper hunter). I said all the recipes were in the Weber booklet that came with the BBQ. That did bring howls of laughter on an otherwise disastrous year.
      We have now learned that in addition to Coleman stoves and lanterns (ours are white gas or multifuel …a gallon will last a week for light and cooking) , one keeps a good gas grill around.

        Make sure you can cook with charcoal on whatever “grill” you have. Charcoal is something you can actually make if the situation gets really bad. You’re going to have a hard time making more propane.

    MattMusson in reply to Another Ed. | November 7, 2022 at 6:06 am

    For water, make sure you have some Clorox. Just a few drops and a few hours and your creek water will be safe to drink.

    The problem with Natural Gas is not delivery and not production. We will flare record amounts of natural gas this year because the shortage of pipeline capacity cannot get it where it needs to go. And, the pipelines that are being built are to export terminals where it can be frozen and sent to China or Europe. (The Chinese are negotiating for 3 Trillion cubic feet of gas over the next 20 years.)

      MontanaMilitant in reply to MattMusson. | November 14, 2022 at 12:14 pm

      Be aware that chlorine bleach has a shelf life and loses potency over time. It also doesn’t remove suspended sediment and dissolved chemicals. You can create usable sand filters from 5 gallon buckets and clean sand (washed to get fine sediment out). It will remove sediment from creek water but not pollutants or bacteria. I find an additional water filter or boiling the water is safest

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Another Ed. | November 7, 2022 at 11:31 am

    There’s a saying in the Spanish-speaking world that applies here: “A buen hambre no hay pan duro.” (“There’s no such thing as hard-to-eat bread when you’re hungry”).

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Another Ed. | November 7, 2022 at 2:56 pm

    For those whose newfound interest is self sufficiency, I suggest that you read 70’s vintage “Whole Earth Catalog”, there are many editions and they are available for download.

    Another good resource is Mother Earth News, it’s archive is available on a USB drive, though the price jumped from $15 on sale to $60 now,

    My father was a school teacher, he did not get paid during the summer. He loved his garden, so I grew helping to garden, can, making pickles, beer, wine, etc. I went shopping with my dad, he bought sale items in quantity in order to have that stuff over the summer.

    After I married, I continued doing those things to make ends meet, I have continued for over 40 years,

    Those who have not developed these skills need to start busting their ass to develop them ASAP. They need to involve their children, so that they will always be able to fall back on those skills whenever times become difficult.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to JohnSmith100. | November 13, 2022 at 2:09 pm

      ” 70’s vintage “Whole Earth Catalog””

      Interesting how the vintage WEC was about individual agency and variety. The current, in principle more universal, e=catalog is more about converging on the one true, acceptable whatever. I recall from WEC sourcing for wind turbines, water turbines, and plans for plant waste digester plus tractor conversion to use the emitted methane.

      Nowadays energy innovation is about giant turbines placed where underclass don’t want them — and there’s nothing to health and wellness impacts of the subsonic pressure waves from the blades; honest — and your electric car hooked into the grid they turn off when they “need to.” And pitching smaller installations, like single-home solar, as being integrated with grid control.

      You have to dig a bit to get past the search-engine tilt, n find single-use, independent installations, though the technology has advanced considerably. Takes barely more than a burbling spring to push a modern, low-flow water turbine to make enough power for a slightly efficient homestead. But, demanding that everybody install compact florescent bulbs, making hazardous waste sites of every home where one breaks, while ignoring and impeding the then-emerging LED tech: more efficient, longer-lasting, and easier disposal, somehow was better. Couldn’t be that GE was on the advise-y council, and made CFLs. But, I digress.

      You might not recall one of the earliest general-access chat and bulletin boards: The WELL, for “Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link..” That story was captured in “Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier”, where every aspect of current e-mediated social events *except* govt-integrated oligarch capture played out with terminals over dial-up.

      Announcement of shutdown of the WEC, included net: “With the interweb, this kind of catalog doesn’t need to be assembled.” I wonder what Brand and the rest think about that now. Brand did good w0rk for a while, parlayed into an Assoc Prof gig. Now he’s part of The Long Now people, taking Bezos’ money and making BigThink pronouncements on TED. That’s a story of capture as disheartening as Burning Man. Sigh.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Another Ed. | November 7, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    There will be many people who begin to like the taste of rats, squirrels, pigeons and other yard bird.

    No truer words were spoken: “Starvation improves the taste of many things.”

    Even the taste of human flesh in some cultures.

    “Donner. party if six, er five.” h/t Robin Williams.

    Dolce Far Niente in reply to Another Ed. | November 10, 2022 at 10:38 am

    There is simply no point in storing food that is unpalatable; you have finite space and finite monetary resources, so put away foods your family will enjoy rather than simply choke down. We’re not talking about raiding ruined grocery stores for a few calories; this is food you are selecting and paying for with the luxury of time and planning.

    Note also that food refusal in an emergency by the very young, the fragile elderly and the mentally compromised is a real thing and can be deadly.

Air, water, food, shelter – depending on your specific circumstance the order changes…

Remember all draw ‘moths’ to light. For example, your house has lights on, and no one else in the neighborhood – may draw those you do not want…

How do you protect what you have? How do you communicate to those you choose?

A LOT of open questions…..

filiusdextris | November 6, 2022 at 7:48 pm

I once passed a Rhode island winter without any heat other than blankets. I frequently ran from the bed to the shower/kitchen and back. It’s doable maybe if you’re under 40, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

“The pandemic made clear we live on a thin line that can be disrupted. It’s not unthinkable that our key systems — the electric grid, natural gas supply, gasoline — could fail….”
*****
Before that reality check, “prepping” looked like a PITA, canned food rotation, watching for expiration dates, etc,. After store shelves went empty, I began to acquire long shelf life (years) basic foods and increased the amount of canned foods that are rotated by normal use. Live close to a river, a stream and pond next door, so water not an issue.

After reading about life during the Balkan civil wars, the bottom line is that, if thing go bad for a long period, there will be groups of people, meaner, better armed who will likely be able to take your supplies.

Every locale has a weak point. Water, heat, shelter. The one constant is people… the “golden horde” that will sweep like locusts. In Alaska , the obvious is warmth but down in SoCal.. water. Having put in solar with batteries one can use a designed dehumidifier that draws water from the air… as long as the humidity is over 25%, Have to admire devout Mormons with regard to each family having a year’s supply of food. If I had my druthers, I’d pic Prince of Wales Island if one knew subsistance. Glad everyone is or is getting on board.

If we (the people of the USA) really come to this point, there may be a lot of fresh meat available at the outskirts of DC
Hannibal the Cannibal

I’ve been amused, given the conventional stereotype of a ‘prepper’, at how many leftists have now joined the movement, stoked by fever dreams of the civil war they are absolutely convinced will come if Democrats lose control of the House & Senate this week. Doubly so if DJT wins in 2024.

No fireplace, once the logs burn down the heat goes back up the flue. Get a wood stove.

smalltownoklahoman | November 6, 2022 at 9:59 pm

In your case Professor, I’d say shop now for some extra blankets and warm clothing just incase you do have a power outage. Your right about bad federal policy screwing us all over on energy, none, well almost none, of our nation’s problems would be nearly as bad right now if it was not for this issue. It really has a knock on effect to everything we do.

Professor, what did you do for water
5gallon?

I have been collecting tuna, noodles and
Peanut butter, flour and sugar

I have a bread machine but screwed if electricity is out, don’t have a generator

That’s something that would be good but in order to have one big enough for the house about 12,000 and then you will need fuel source to run it

Lots of toilet tissue,

Hey i have deer around me, and a creek, (fish) which has water moccasins in it, always freaks me Out.

My dogs killed a LARGE one, tore it in half, what a way to go, but I still don’t know how they weren’t bit and died, but God was on their side that night.

I worry about my dogs, going to start getting 40 lb bags of dog food, lots of them

Lol, we are in for some delightful meals.

    Baking your own bread is ridiculously easy, so while the lights are on and the internet is working, learn how. I have a few “go to” recipes on index cards (simple stuff: sandwich bread, drop biscuits, an easy quick bread).

    Tuna, noodles, etc. are great, but make sure you have enough protein and variety. Canned foods aren’t as safe now because they are “canned” in mostly cardboard now and not tin, so keep rotating whatever you are eating/buying. Buy two of things you can: one to use, one to keep back just in case. Keep doing this, cycling out the oldest by using it, and building up that backlog of stuff you will rely on when (I’m pretty sure we’re beyond “if” at this point) the SHTF.

    Keeping your dogs well-fed is a good trade-off. As it were.

      Can opener! Can opener!
      .

        LOL. Learning your prepper rules from Looney Toons!
        (The classic cartoon where Sylvester is well stocked with oodles of cans of tuna as his human masters go on a trip (forgetting him) – but the mouse has the only can opener. Hilarity and pain ensues.)

        Oh, and make sure it is not an electric can opener.

        Dimsdale in reply to DSHornet. | November 10, 2022 at 8:24 am

        Most canned food are pop tops now anyway, but a military can opener and a church key are never out of style.

        Dolce Far Niente in reply to DSHornet. | November 10, 2022 at 10:44 am

        In an emergency you can flip the can over and rub the top of the can back and forth over concrete or a flat rock. In a surprisingly short time you will grind away the raised lip on the can, leaving only the now- loose lid.

      When buying canned fish, always make sure it is packed in oil. Water will degrade the product in a year or so. Sardines and tuna in oil have been known to last 25 years in low temperature and low humidity environments.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 7, 2022 at 1:49 pm

      I have built a small stock of food by replacing every can and container I use during the week with two that I buy at the end of the week. This way my stock is always growing. Spam, pasta (and sauce), PB, tuna/salmon, canned veggies, crackers, etc.

        Dimsdale in reply to DaveGinOly. | November 10, 2022 at 8:26 am

        Keep all of your grains, flour, pasta, rice etc in metal can. If in bags or plastics, inspect regularly.

        Rodents are cagey little things.

          So are insects – including the ones that after a couple of months will start hatching from the very small but finite amount of insect eggs that are allowed in flour.

      alaskabob in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 7, 2022 at 2:20 pm

      “Keeping your dogs well-fed is a good trade-off”…. 50 ways to wok your dog?

        LOL
        Or she could mean the other ways a dog is useful – protection, hunting, etc. 🙂

          This is too funny! I did mean for protection/hunting, but I guess in dire straights one might consider Bob’s idea. That would be incredibly hard, but collapsed societies have been known to resort to cannibalism (supposedly happened in both Russia and China during their planned de-population starvation campaigns). And more recently to eating zoo animals.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | November 7, 2022 at 3:15 pm

      Better canned in glass. My experience is that even current cans without tin will easily go 5 years, color and texture may degrade but most is usable 10 or more years. Except!!, acidic stuff like fruit and tomatoes.

      Have lots of dry beans, power your generators:) Sprout them for fresh food replacement.

      Stock up on TSP, great for cleaning and the waste water is great fertilizer, so do not waste it.

        AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to JohnSmith100. | November 7, 2022 at 3:44 pm

        Most people won’t last 5 weeks, let alone 5 years.

        Glad I went to SERE training. Even happier that I own property in the hills, with wildlife, nearby water sources, and a lake.

      Need a brick oven or a cast iron oven to fit over a fire.

    DSHornet in reply to gonzotx. | November 6, 2022 at 11:47 pm

    Our little generator (2.2Kw surge, 1.8 Kw steady) will run the TV setup, gas furnace, freezer, refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, etc for short periods, most of them at the same time because they use little power – with the exception of the microwave, coffee maker, and toaster oven which are higher load appliances. A high efficiency (97%) gas furnace uses surprisingly little power as does the small chest freezer and fridge, which will stay cold for a long time if the doors stay closed. With a well insulated home that will stay warm for a while, the furnace doesn’t need to run much.

    Load test your generator at least every other month by cleaning the coffee maker with vinegar, and change the oil annually. Use your fuel stock, rotate to keep it fresh, and use Sta-Bil in the fuel jugs. Buy a spare spark plug. When you desperately need it is not the best time to wish you had kept up a preventive maintenance schedule.
    .

      puhiawa in reply to DSHornet. | November 6, 2022 at 11:58 pm

      A touch of Techron in the fuel mixture will keep varnish out of the carburetors and pistons. Likewise keep a can of carburetor cleaner and engine starter on hand. All three of these products are stable. Transmission oil works just fine for saw oil and is a lot cheaper. It can also thin engine oil in a car or generator, be used as a tool lubricant and rust preventive and anywhere else you need a light, pure oil. A quart goes a long way.

      henrybowman in reply to DSHornet. | November 7, 2022 at 12:14 am

      Get ethanol-free gas if you want to avoid breakdowns in your generators and power tools.

      rinardman in reply to DSHornet. | November 7, 2022 at 8:43 am

      The best solution to fuel problems with portable generators is an LP powered generator. Dual-fuel generators can run on either gas, or LP. LP will last indefinitely, unlike gasoline. If you are looking to buy a generator now, I would only consider a dual-fuel model. And get as many tanks of LP as you can afford and have room for.

      The big problem after that is will either fuel type be available when you need more?

      Dimsdale in reply to DSHornet. | November 7, 2022 at 8:59 am

      When you get the Sta-Bil, make sure you get the Marine formula. More expensive, but better formulated to account for ethanol in high humidity conditions. It’s blue vs. the normal red variety.

    VaGentleman in reply to gonzotx. | November 7, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Buy dual fuel generators. They run on gasoline or propane. Propane is easier and safer to store and doesn’t go bad in storage. Propane has less energy per pound than gas, so a generator that makes 2kW on gas will make ~1.8kW on propane. When you are done using a gas generator, shut the fuel off at the tank and let the unit run until it quits. That gets all the gas out of the carb and keeps it from varnishing up as quick.

    Communications are another thing. I have a CB, but my go to is several GMRS talkies with a base station. Much more powerful than CB. You do need a license for GMRS, but it covers the whole family and there is no test. $35 for a 10 year license.

    Living in a condo, I can’t do generators, etc. My go to here is a pair of 500watt hour solar power stations with solar panels. Enough to keep the radios, flashlights, etc charged and run a 30 qt refrigerator (12v), and run a small tea kettle to heat water for coffee and soup.

    Stay safe.

    Only sort of a joke – but snakes can be cooked and eaten.

I actually keep thinking, do I want to live in a society that deprived?

Maybe I need to
Stock up on some fentanyl, just in case…

I need a water purifier, for the creek

    Dimsdale in reply to gonzotx. | November 7, 2022 at 9:03 am

    Costco has a four pack of Lifestraws for $54. Each good for a 1000 gallons.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to gonzotx. | November 7, 2022 at 3:41 pm

    Buy ceramic dome water filters. sodium hypochlorite on hand, to make your own bleach. You can use charcoal for the final filter.

    I suggest that people look this stuff up online. save it offline and keep a printed copy. For crucial things, laminate the copy.

I wonder if the Pelosis have a 3-month supply of hammers and cocktails…

    The gourmet ice cream chest is packed…

    You can reuse hammers unless the police seize them….

      DaveGinOly in reply to Dimsdale. | November 7, 2022 at 1:55 pm

      The Pelosis are well-practiced at getting hammered without the need of hammers. David DePape probably misunderstood Paul when he said, “Come to my place and we’ll get hammered.”

‘I wonder why prepping “has crept into mainstream consumer behavior”?’

Two years of “I went to the store to get X and there wasn’t any anywhere,” where X has been toilet paper, baby formula, auto parts, bikes, lumber…

If heat is a worry, then this gadget – a Mr Heater Buddy Flex, and a few 20# bottles of propane, will ease your mind. You can even add a propane stove to the mix, but you will want to get the adapter hoses to connect the heater and stove to the 20# bottles. They’re not cheap, but unlike gasoline, propane never goes bad.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Heater-Buddy-FLEX-11-000-BTU-Radiant-Propane-Space-Heater-MH11BFLEX/313597216

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Heater-Buddy-FLEX-8-000-BTU-Propane-Cooker-MH8CFLEX/313597313

    And if you are a camper using those small bottles of propane, don’t throw them away after they are emptied. Refill them from your #20s and keep all of them filled. Very handy to have around. I’m not worrying about generating electricity. I have enough solar products to keep my phone, radios and watch charged. Propane for cooking.

    Staying warm? Very easy around here.

    It’s the possibility of widespread civil mayhem that I worry about. Arson worries me.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 4:32 pm

      If you are going to depend on LP, buy a 500 or even 1000 gal tank (which is what I have) which has a liquid draw port, That is how I fill 9 to 100 lb tanks. If there are serious infrastructure problems, it will be hard to get tanks filled. Scavenging gas or diesel will be easier than getting propane.

        My worst-case scenario is to hunker down for 3 months or less and if the situation doesn’t improve, relocate with the supplies that remain (probably another 6-8 months worth as of now). If a disaster lasts that long, there is no planning for it in advance than to be prepared to move or fight. I am not placing much confidence in finding enough people to help if or when it happens. I don’t need anyone to get through the 1st 3 months and have 1-2 lined up should I have to relocate. After that? We would likely be in an apocalypse how do you plan for that?

Raised by grandparents that saw The Great Depression, I have always been a “prepper” and so has my wife. Can our vegetables from the garden, hunt and fish, rice and beans when on sale and so on. Nice to see it is finally dawning on people that the government can’t save you and in some cases just won’t. You have to do it yourself

    My parents grew up in the depression and I grew up during the Cold War. We had regular Civil Defense air raid drills and PSAs warning us about being prepared and what to do if we heard the sirens. My father was planning a small bunker in the basement. Our parish church was the focal point for food and water preparations but everyone was urged to stock up at home. Those ended not because the risk wasn’t there but because of MAD which banned Civilian Defense preparations.

    Somewhere along the line, being prepared something for nutty doomsday conspiracy theorists. I’m old enough to remember when assassinations and civil disturbances were common. The Cuban missile crisis was a very real event that came within a whisker of nuclear war. I remember my father trying on his WWII army uniform to see if it still fitted in case he was drafted. Some of us never forgot. We used to win wars for a reason.

    We preppers are not and never have been “nuts” nor “kooks”. Today, we are better prepared than ever in spite of the hostile environment that discouraged and mocked that behavior. But we quietly prepared for a future that more and more of us saw coming long ago.

    The same crowd that was rioting, burning down cities and bombing police stations 1960s and is the same crowd doing it today. It’s nothing new and it was worse back then. The big difference today is it is government sponsored and on a global scale and has become normalized. So here we are. And still, despite it all, we are pausing the struggle to fight amongst ourselves over who should become president in 2024. A “gentleman’s debate” where we will just pick this up later. Good grief!

    Tom Cotton gets it. He is stepping out of Trump’s way:

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/11/06/tom-cotton-will-not-run-president-2024/

    DeSantis, Cruz, and others have said they would not run if Trump decides to run. Okay, let’s see if they meant it or they are just the latest over-ambitious weasels determined to take over the Stupid Party? We need them all to be on the same team and fighting united!

    We absolutely MUST finish what Trump help us start. History demands it. We cannot allow what just happened to pass without clearing the decks of people determined to destroy us. The fight is only now pivoting to our side. Let’s see if we are up to the task. That is why we need to prepare. We need to survive what is almost already upon us so we can see if we are still even in the game.

    Let Pence, Kinzinger and the other boobs challenge Trump. It will give the squishes and MSM preoccupied something to do while the adults push on.

      Dimsdale in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 9:24 am

      Same here. My parents were depression reared, and as a result, I tend to be a hoarder, which isn’t so bad if I organize it enough to keep the wife happy and off the “Hoarders” tv show. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Speaking of the wife, she used to think I was a bit crazy until Biden did his dirty work.

      The Boy Scouts (Be prepared) further enabled me to live relatively worry free: lots of camp gear, e.g. sleeping bags, camp clothing and supplies etc. Camping stoves, like Coleman, which can run on that stove fuel, are really economical and more controllable and less messy than charcoal. Even though I live in MA, I am situated in the geographic center of the most heavily armed, conservative town in the state. Well water, with 250 gal rotated storage, private septic, wood stove and two cords of seasoned firewood, plenty of land to gather more wood if necessary, double oil tanks and sufficient personal protection – for the bears, you know Generator and plenty of fuel, which is yearly used in the cars and refilled. Costco as a bulk food source. Motorcycle if fuel really scarce. Good relationships with local hunters and farmers. Goodly amount of literature describing how to do things “the old ways.”

      Electricity is the only questionable resource, especially with recent warnings of low supplies of fuel and potential rotating blackouts. Survived for a week with no power back in 2008, so I have had practice.

      Keep the fuel tanks in your cars topped off at all times.

      henrybowman in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 2:47 pm

      “My parents grew up in the depression and I grew up during the Cold War. We had regular Civil Defense air raid drills and PSAs warning us about being prepared and what to do if we heard the sirens.”

      Same. During the LBJ years, our HS science club was given the “opportunity” to take the CD Shelter Manager course. It was a day of book-larnin’ in a room in the statehouse in Providence, followed by an overnight session in the basement shelter. Cots, patrols, geigers, emergency food, distributions. Luckily did not need to use the pooper overnight, but never forgot how slightly dirtier hands were often a good tradeoff against having to use waterless hand cleaner with no rinse available.

      Trump has a bit of an ego problem which will make him run again. He’s 76 today… I’m not voting for a 78 year old man, period.

        Dimsdale in reply to Sanddog. | November 10, 2022 at 8:36 am

        Much as I like him, the contrived baggage may be problematic.

        He might be better as a kingmaker than a candidate.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 4:37 pm

      “The same crowd that was rioting, burning down cities and bombing police stations 1960s”

      If those trouble makers had been put down then, we would all have been better off.

    Arminius in reply to diver64. | November 7, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Remember when g9vern9r Whitmer banned seeds and all other gardening supplies. it’s good to have a garden. It’s best to have a garden that doesn’t look like one. From ground level or the air

For anyone who still doesn’t know what has been going on for decades, this the “New World Order” Bush 41 announced in 1989:

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/great-reset-perfect-storm

The Big Reset, the Fourth Reich. This is no accident. It’s been in the works for over 100 years. How about that for conspiracy “theory” eh? Me worry? You bet.

One positive not today:

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/ptsd-stricken-progressives-flee-austin-over-too-many-republicans

Maybe Texas will be saved. If this is true, I may reconsider moving to Texas. I used to love Austin and maybe I can love it again.

    texansamurai in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 9:23 am

    I used to love Austin and maybe I can love it again.
    ____________________________________________

    if you’re talking about austin in the 60’s and 70’s, that austin is gone forever–born and raised there and remember it well–we used to dance with the sds clowns and the black pansies on the west mall–beat the hell out of each other and then go home–was a different era–now those idiots (or whatever their current iteration happens to be) are not only armed but protected by the da and the “legal establishment”–good luck with that–moved away from there nearly thirty years ago and am damned glad we did–other than a bit of the music and a couple of authentic austin restaurants, don’t miss it at all

    tx is huge and parts of it are still beautiful and unpolluted by all the karens and kens and their poisonous sj ideology–you’re more than welcome here but will take you a while to comprehend the state of mind here–once you do, doubt you will ever want to live anywhere else

    henrybowman in reply to Pasadena Phil. | November 7, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Huh. If we had known back then that abortion would be the trigger that sent them fleeing, we would have doubled down on it.

The most important prep is a good community. You aren’t making it alone. Period.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Dathurtz. | November 7, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Outstanding reply!

    I live in a community of mainly conservative and libertarian minded people. A few libtards but not many.

    We are well armed, we can close off and defend our property. A long way from a major city. Good planting soil, and hardworking industrious bunch.

    We have known each other for years, go hunting, fishing, and drinking together. We all have home grown food. We’ve already spoken about how to band together and how we can lock up our community.

    Also, we know that we can interrupt the supply chain of food into the city. Block the roads and bridges to keep the crazies out.

    Most of us are combat veterans, and certainly not the REMF idiots and back office folks.

Spam kept the Russians alive in WW2, time to buy a case.

Just a note on a harbinger of the future: India has stopped exports of flour and the local Indian markets have been cleaned out within days.

With the reduction of grain exports from Ukraine, this might become more widespread.

CBS’ 60 Minutes had a segment on preppers last night.
Their ‘go to’ guy suggested that having enough food and water to allow you to live for 14 days covers most of the obvious scenarios.

    Their “go to” guy is a dangerous “expert”. He probably recommends standing 3 feet away from the edge of a cliff to safely get a good snapshot.

      John Ramey: If you have two weeks’ worth of food and water in your home, a radio, some basic supplies, that alone, that little bit of effort and cost covers you for the vast majority of scenarios. That’s that minimum threshold that everyone should aspire to.

      60 Minutes – Newsmakers
      Preppers in 2022: Stocking up and skilling up for extreme catastrophes
      60-minutes

      By Jon Wertheim

      November 6, 2022 / 7:33 PM / CBS News

      If you hear the term “survivalist” and it conjures images of militants and conspiracy theorists— residing on the fringes and on compounds, armed to the teeth—well, it’s time to reset your doomsday clock. A worldwide community of preppers – those who stockpile goods and skill-up for extreme catastrophes – is girding less for the end of days, than for a disaster that calls for taking cover. A climate emergency, civil unrest, the possibility of a dirty bomb, to say nothing of a global pandemic that suddenly shuts down the world. It was COVID that turned abstract apocalyptic scenarios into a reality. Modern preppers come at it from all angles and for all kinds of reasons. We went high and low, talking to a few of the millions of Americans who have joined the movement.

      Bradley Garrett: We’re literally going over the edge of the mountain right now.

      Bradley Garrett led our crew down a narrow trail near his home in Big Bear Lake, California.

      Bradley Garrett: When I moved here, one of my first– off-road adventures was to figure out how to get off this mountain without using the highway. And that’s what we’re doing right now.

      Jon Wertheim: What are we going, ten miles an hour?

      Bradley Garrett: Nine.

      A former university professor, Garrett wrote a book two years ago about prepping then became a convert himself.

      Bradley Garrett: Our country doesn’t have the infrastructure anymore to be able to deal with emergencies in a meaningful way.

      Behind the wheel of his hybrid four-by-four, he offroads, not for kicks, but to practice what preppers call bugging out – getting out of Dodge in the event of disaster, steering clear of the masses.

      Bradley Garrett: We’ll take these roads and make sure that, you know, they’re not washed out and we can still use ’em.

      Jon Wertheim: Just give it a dry run?

      Bradley Garrett: Give (LAUGH) it a dry run, yeah.
      readyornotscreengrabs01.jpg
      Bradley Garrett

      Test-running an escape route to the Mojave Desert sounds like overkill. Until it doesn’t. Consider this: days before our interview with Garrett, a wildfire forced him to put his bug out plan into action.

      Bradley Garrett: And it climbed the ridge.

      Jon Wertheim: I mean, literally right behind us.

      Bradley Garrett: Literally to right here. My neighbor came and knocked on my door. And he said, “I think it’s time to evacuate.” There were helicopters pulling water from the lake and dumping it on the fire. And we decided to go. So we packed up the dogs, and the guinea pigs, and we were out the door.

      Jon Wertheim: How long it take you to pack?

      Bradley Garrett: Thirty minutes.

      The wildfire burned more than 1000 acres, but didn’t reach Garrett’s cabin. Still, he used the close call to assess his readiness.

      Jon Wertheim: How do you think you did?

      Bradley Garrett: Pretty well, we fell down on documents. Birth certificates, credit cards. They were all over the house. And I had stuff in filing cabinets. It was a mess. I wanna get it down to 15.

Don’t forget antibiotics. When the pandemic first hit in 2020, Gov Northam made it impossible to actually visit a doctor, and the first thing I did was to order a variety of antibiotics and put them in the freezer. If you get sick, even from a virus, it is most likely secondary bacterial infections that will kill you, and you need to be prepared. Also make sure you have plenty of salt (Kosher salt has no additives and is best). If you are susceptible to sinus infections, as I am, washing your sinuses out with hypertonic salt water solutions every day is a very good preventive.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | November 7, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Regarding antibiotics, I used to get them as vet supplies, over the years the vet lobby has made it so that is no longer an option.

    Dimsdale in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | November 10, 2022 at 8:43 am

    I might argue that iodized salt would be preferable to plain salt. The iodine is useful for radiation sickness as well. Medicinal iodine is a great disinfectant and can be used to purify water (tastes like crap though).

Don’t forget hydrogen peroxide, either.

an era of growing environmental volatility
LOL. He’s still got to hold onto his woobie, as he admits how smart these people are.

For heat without a fireplace or wood stove, Google ‘ flower pot candle heater instructions’. Build at least one so you understand it, and have the materials for several more.

You do NOT want to be operating a camping stove indoors with the windows closed as they produce carbon monoxide. The flowerpot heaters use candles so, fire aside, they are safe indoors.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to wudndux. | November 7, 2022 at 4:50 pm

    Those flower pot heaters do not put out squat BTUs. Look at catalytic heaters, Little CO, but oxygen depletion is a risk.

(we don’t have a fireplace)
We have one, but it’s gas. (Because… those stupid environmental regulations that will supposedly save the idiot journalist from nature, red in tooth and claw.)

Survival Blog is a good site. Brighteon has a multi-part series on prepping.

WRT defense. Think about passive deterrents. Western Wa has deteriorated into a 3rd world hell hole for violence with no law enforcement except if you dare defend yourself.

I was made aware of a neighbor near to where I used to live who saw drug deals going down at night at an access entrance to a gravel road maintained by a utility. This is a fairly secluded area. The homeowner walked out with a phone and was packing and was going to take video. He ended up shooting one of the guys who got violent and took his phone.

Now the homeowner is being charged by the county prosecutor for the shooting.

Net/net- he should have just spiked the driveway at night so there would be 8 flat tires… and some drug dealers who would rethink their choice of location. This is passive security whereby you are prickly in a way that can’t come back to you. Such measures can be dialed up according to the risk or certainty of being violated.

Sports fans, this is good info. I would only add that if you decide you want to embark on bolstering your logistics, you would be well advised to not talk about it. Plenty of accounts suggest if things get bad enough, reasonable but desperate people will come for your reserves. In short… Know and be silent. Don’t show off your cellar when the guys are over for game night. My humble .02

    texansamurai in reply to E_Wyggyn. | November 7, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    would only add that if you decide you want to embark on bolstering your logistics, you would be well advised to not talk
    ___________________________________________________________________

    excellent advice–we have a couple of neighbors we see from time to time–a retired seabee and a blue suiter and every time we see / talk with them they are advertising the calibers and extent of their individual armories, how much coin of the realm they’ve hidden away, the extent of their doomsday preparations ad nauseam–foolish indeed

Keep in mind many of us live in apartments or town homes which makes for limited storage. I wish I still lived in a house with a basement or attached garage that’s easily secured against intrusion.

Much great advice in this comments section but there’s been one thing nobody’s mentioned.

Any ideas on waste disposal?
.

    Most of your waste can be repurposed. Those empty food buckets are not waste. Your toilet will still work if you save your dirty water for that or pool water or waterbed water. Otherwise, the buckets.

    Dolce Far Niente in reply to DSHornet. | November 10, 2022 at 11:17 am

    A 5 gallon bucket, kitchen trash bags to line it and kitty litter for solid waste. Urinate elsewhere if possible, but if not, the kitty litter will soak it up too.

Wool is your best friend in cold weather. It is comfortable over a wider range of temperatures than expected. From experience with a seldom used toilet, i can tell you that toilet paper tends to disintegrate over time. Cannot believe we’re having this diuscussiuon on this web site!!!! Bleak ties ahead in the progressive Utopia!

Not “prepping” — prudence and resilience.

I grew up just assuming the power would go out for a few days, a couple times each Winter. A pantry, some stockpiled supplies, and some skills won’t get you through the post-nuclear zombie apocalypse. BUT it’ll get you through the sourcing shocks as things settle out after a big change.

Interesting to me, is the current bias toward design-ed housing: multi-unit file cabinets of “dwellings” that you can sleep in and eat your delivered food, if the power’s on. They are completely precarious if any of the grids goes down: electricity, transport, water. Pushing “power” toward single-type, single network — all electric — is another fool’s errand.

Consistent, relentless policies are actively making stand-along single-family housing harder. I live within the city, as my physical mobility requires what I need from the great web of commerce be within a walkable 3 miles. BUT, my neighborhood is legacy, century-old, lower class homes built to live in; as close to “homesteads” as there are in town.