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Prepping for the Worst 2.0

Prepping for the Worst 2.0

I first wrote about Prepping for the Worst two years ago. I’m not alone. An estimated 74 million Americans are preparing for some level of disaster. As before, I still no longer view “preppers” as crazy. Maybe they were right, just early. Better early than late.

It’s that time of year. Summer. When I have too much time on my hands and my mind wanders to thinking about what could go wrong. I am, by nature, a ‘worst case scenario’ person, so time to think is not a good thing.

Thus, it was early August 2021, when I first wrote Prepping for the Worst:

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 or be taken down by hacking.

Add to it a federal government bent on weakening the nation as a matter of ideology, and the once-unthinkable is thinkable.

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.

My prepping really hasn’t been for the “worst case scenario” – it’s been for the most likely bad scenario, mostly focused on energy grids on which we depend, and food. (I know, readers always tell me to focus on home defense, but that’s not something we talk about.)

It was on July 31, 2022, when Legal Insurrection held a webinar on Prepping For The Worst – Basic Survival Strategies For Everyone, featuring ‘The Prepper Mom’ Lisa Bedford, which exposed my weakness: Water.

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.”

I’m not alone. An estimated 74 million Americans are preparing for some level of disaster:

Prepping is big business, with roughly a third (29%) of the adult population in the US dropping a collective $11 billion in the last 12 months on emergency preparedness, according to a Finder survey.

The most commonly bought survivalist items are literally the basics: food and water. About one in five (21%) Americans says they bought staples. After the run on toilet paper during the pandemic, it’s little surprise that this creature comfort is the second most commonly purchased item at 15%. Rounding out the top three most popular items with survivalists are medical supplies at 14%.

The Daily Mail focused recently on doomsday bunkers in South Dakota, and the question of where to go when it hits the fan. These bunkers look enticing, but I’m not there yet, but if it gets to that, then where to go? Having a place off the grid with food, water, and heat resources is Plan B. Right now I’m focused on Plan A.

My mind has been wandering lately, but it wasn’t until earlier today that I decided to write again about prepping, when I saw this NYT article, U.S. Hunts Chinese Malware That Could Disrupt American Military Operations. What jumped out at me wasn’t that the Chinese government is planting malware in our systems, just as I expect (hope) we are doing to theirs. It was the seeming obliviousness to the threat to the U.S. economy that spurred me to write:

There is a debate inside the administration over whether the goal of the operation is primarily aimed at disrupting the military, or at civilian life more broadly in the event of a conflict.

Are you kidding me? I couldn’t code if my life depended on it, but it’s obvious that if we ever get in a hot cyber war with China they are taking down our electric grid as the first shot, and that will start everything spiraling downward. Of course our civilian infrastruture will be a prime target, and if this administration is too stupid to see that, we are in worse shape than I thought.

So all day I’ve been focused on this. Did a food check, and realized a lot of the canned goods I bought in 2020 are only a year away from their sell by dates, so time to start using that supply and restock. I’m good on other food, but that damn water is still a problem because I’m such a procrastinator.

We have a shallow well on the property (featured image), and a major goal this year was to test it and to see if, with proper filtering, it could be a usable bad-case-scenario water source. I haven’t done that yet, but by the fall I will. I promise.

Of course, there’s the other non-natural disaster to worry about – government and ‘woke’ corporations. Prepping for that needs to be part of a plan – what if like in Canada your access to your bank accounts and all your financial resources were cut off? Trudeau Provides The Template: Large Majority of U.S. Democrats Support Canada’s Crackdown On Protests.

Anyway, I have stuff to do. A lot of stuff.


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Those “best used” dates in cans are bs, if not dented , properly canned food can last almost forever.

It’s their way to get us to buy more of their crap

    Dathurtz in reply to gonzotx. | July 29, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Same for a lot of medicines.

      RITaxpayer in reply to Dathurtz. | July 30, 2023 at 7:01 am

      Yeah but which ones

        Dathurtz in reply to RITaxpayer. | July 30, 2023 at 8:39 am

        Pretty much anything in solid state. Not hormones.

        Check out the stuff that has miraculously increased its shelf life in the strategic national stockpile. Turns out, stuff lasts a really long time there, but not anywhere else. It’s weird.

          jb4 in reply to Dathurtz. | July 31, 2023 at 12:06 am

          Agree on pills. For example, anyone who has had serious dental work may have old amoxicillin laying around. I am much warier about half-used bottles of liquid meds.

        I was reading about this the other day because my back was hurting, and I found some old Tylenol I wanted to take for it:

        I took the Tylenol, back pain vanished, and I am still here to tell the tale.

        Almost all medicines are safe long after the expiration date EXCEPT tetracyclines. Tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline are the common ones. The breakdown products are dangers to the liver. The formulations packaged since the mid 90s are safe but likely ineffective because of the breakdown. But formulations before the mid 90s could be dangerous.

        The general safety and efficacy of the medication’s were evaluated after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that next year. Anthrax if a person is exposed to it needs a couple of months or so of antibiotics to eradicate it. The US government did a study to see if the national drug reserves of medicines were usable and it was published or referred to by my memory in the medical letter, somewhere in the early 2000s.

        Dorzak in reply to RITaxpayer. | July 31, 2023 at 1:06 pm

        This article goes into some information and links to an FDA page that lists those currently “approved” past their expiry dates.

          docduracoat in reply to Dorzak. | July 31, 2023 at 2:58 pm

          To Mr. E,

          You are wrong about Tylenol.
          While it is only for mild to moderate pain, it is an effective drug.

          We have begun using intravenous Tylenol in the surgery center and are pleased with the results.

          It is not as powerful as morphine or dilaudid, but for operations with moderate pain we are seeing many patients not need any narcotics (like Percocet) after I.v. Tylenol.

          Breast augmentation, eye surgery, carpal tunnel release, are all treated with only tylenol.

          Bigger operations, with severe pain have resulted in greatly reduced narcotic use after one dose of I.v. acetaminophen.
          We have been favorably impressed with the narcotic reduction.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to gonzotx. | July 30, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I have been stockpiling canned food for decades, mainly because I was buying sale items in quantity. It is enviable that some stuff is not rotated. Virtually all canned goods can last 5 to as long as 15 years. If only we had real tin cans, all products would last, But since the inside of cans are no longer actual tin plated, acidic things like fruit and tomatoes will eventually leak and leave a mess on shelves.

      Dimsdale in reply to JohnSmith100. | July 30, 2023 at 11:22 am

      Most cans are now lined with some type of plastic polymer, so that should not be an issue.

      “According to the Can Manufacturers Institute, today about 95 percent of food cans are made without BPA-based linings, using a variety of other coatings, or polymers. The trade group says linings are now typically made from non-BPA acrylic or polyester epoxies, or olefin polymers. But it’s unclear whether this vague list includes all alternatives in use – and more importantly, whether they’re safer than BPA.”

      Of course, if you are starving, an estrogen distruptor will be of small concern.

    GWB in reply to gonzotx. | July 31, 2023 at 9:17 am

    This is … somewhat true.
    What a prepper is doing, though, is not just worrying about expiration dates, but rotating through foods so they always have the freshest stuff available when The Troubles begin. It’s easiest to use the dates printed on the cans for that, and eat what’s within a year of expiration.

I had so much toilet paper at one time , I’ve finally gotten down to a few 24 rolls

Time to restock..

But your right, it’s the water.

In short, no, bottled water doesn’t “go bad.” In fact, the FDA doesn’t even require expiration dates on water bottles. › blogs

Finding space, I got to get more organized

Just a couple of drops of Chlorox can make stormwater safe to drink

    Evil Otto in reply to MattMusson. | July 30, 2023 at 8:01 am

    Ooooooh no, that’s not remotely true. Only if it’s collected in containers directly from falling.? Drinking water that’s hit the ground after putting a few drops of bleach in it is a great way to make yourself really, really sick.

    A good-quality water filter is a must, along with unscented bleach.

      What about boiling it? I was kind of thinking of that.

        Valerie in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | July 30, 2023 at 10:04 am

        That’s how the Chinese avoided Cholera — by drinking tea instead of water. So, yes, it works.

          CommoChief in reply to Valerie. | July 30, 2023 at 12:51 pm

          Boiling and adding chlorine will kill organisms. It doesn’t remove chemical contaminates. You can use a glass bottle/jug (like you might use for sun tea) and also kill the organisms via prolonged direct sunlight.

          Those cheap cases of water in plastic bottles? Fine for short term use and in a rotation.. Long term those cheap plastic bottles leech a few chemicals into the water; antimony, bisphenal A and phthalates are a few possibilities.

          Tiki in reply to Valerie. | July 30, 2023 at 12:57 pm

          Simply offering a guest a cup of boiled, still hot water, was a politeness and a courtesy. Tea was a luxury for millions of peasants.

      GWB in reply to Evil Otto. | July 31, 2023 at 9:24 am

      Ummm, this is not entirely true.
      What bleach protects you from is bacteria and viruses. And it is actually very able to do that – regardless of how you collect the water.

      What bleach does not protect you from is chemicals and basic dirt. Ideally, even rainwater should be filtered, as there are dust particles and such in the air. And after a radioactive incident this becomes doubly true. Most solid particulate can be pretty easily filtered with a clean tight-weave cloth, and charcoal takes care of most of the rest. But a drinking filter is recommended for straight up drinking water. (If you’re cooking with it, yes, Fuzzy, it will be safe – IF you ensure it all gets to an adequately high temperature.)

    JohnSmith100 in reply to MattMusson. | July 30, 2023 at 8:50 am

    Collect water from roof and channel it to IBC totes, they come in up to 330 gallons. Keep light out of the tote so that algae doesn’t grow, treat the whole tote with bleach. Keep dry granular Sodium Hyp0rclorite on hand, sold as pool supplies, sometimes as pool shock. pay attention to its concentration. 1 teaspoon + 1 gallon water = bleach. Look at ceramic dome filters. You can also make ozone and bubble it through water.

    A pressure washer can be used to drill a well, 30 foot is pretty easy. Buy a pitchure

      A pressure washer can do that?

        GWB in reply to lc. | July 31, 2023 at 9:27 am

        A pressure washer and a LOT of water. And a really long nozzle.
        If you live where it can do that*, it’s probably easier to use a well-drilling pipe.

        (If you have to go through rock of any kind, that pressure washer technique comes to a complete stop. As does the pipe method.)

We’re on the Cascadia fault, near the ground zero of Whidbey Island Naval air station, Trident sub base at Bangor, Indian Island storage depot, and of course Seattle … then there’s the volcanoes, tsunamis, asian giant hornets, the climate crisis, liquifaction down on the flats if the big one hits. Meanwhile, the dummies are closing down the only route in and out of town for a week in August to put in a large culvert under Hwy 101 so the fish can get through from Sequim Bay to whatever is upstream. Of course, we take our lives in our hands every time we try to turn out on 101 when they’ll be putting in a bypass for us in 2028 or so. Fish over people. Morons. It would be cheaper to put a GS10 or so at the existing culvert and if one ever makes it up stream to 101, simply net it and carry it across the highway. It isn’t like they’re stacking up at the highway and dying there – or bears are lined up to eat them like some wildlife Chick-Fil-A.

Dumb as this ol’ world has become I think perhaps living at ground zero ain’t such a bad thing. Meanwhile, I’m prepped as I care to – AND – a half dozen bottles of Canadian blend.

    fscarn in reply to MrE. | July 29, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    The New Yorker had a great article back in 2015 (Kathryn Schulz) about the issues facing the Northwest when the next one comes along. History says that one happens every 300 years, with the last one having happened in January, 1700 (based on records from Japan (read the article as to this tracing)). So, you’re overdue.

    But it’s not your problem alone. We’ll all be effected. Gulp.

I think a lot of people want to plan for a Mad Max or Fallout scenario and it isn’t the right thing to prep for. We aren’t going back to a primitive life. You can’t prepare to get nuked unless you’re in the middle of nowhere and get lucky on top of it.

Supply disruption, utilities disruption, increasing lawlessness oddly combined with extreme enforcement against people/groups that defend themselves. That’s a worst case that is possible to prepare for.

    rabid wombat in reply to Dathurtz. | July 29, 2023 at 9:53 pm

    “ Supply disruption, utilities disruption, increasing lawlessness oddly combined with extreme enforcement against people/groups that defend themselves. That’s a worst case that is possible to prepare for.”

    Dathurtz…absolutely. Define what you are preparing for….for the end of the world, I will render well.

    Most will be either political or weather. Political – think Detroit ‘68, Rodney King, George Floyd, BLM, and etc. Weather, think hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and etc.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Dathurtz. | July 30, 2023 at 8:56 am

    Utility disruption is why I see solar as desirable. Getting far away from cities is prudent.

    Yep. If the Mad Max thing happens, I don’t want to make it. I’m good with holding out until stuff gets back up and running again.

      But that doesn’t take all of this prepping – just a well stocked pantry. I’m low on my usual stock, and I still have plenty for about 3 months.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to txvet2. | July 30, 2023 at 4:37 pm

        I have a well stocked pantry, when I build my own house i include a full walkout south exposure basement, including under an 8 x 12 porch. That part is a pantry. That and an 8 x 24 room has a reinforced slab for a tornado shelter. While we have some deadly tornados, we never are flooded, Mild floods are one thing, build on stilts, Areas which flood to 30′ should not be populated, like parts of Houston.

          txvet2 in reply to JohnSmith100. | July 30, 2023 at 4:52 pm

          Storm cellars are a perfectly reasonable precaution in much of the country, but I don’t see that as “prepping” in the general sense of the term, since the utility is pretty much short term, as in hours or days. The connotation I get with “prepping” is general mayhem, civil war, long term non-availablity of food, that sort of thing.

    GWB in reply to Dathurtz. | July 31, 2023 at 9:33 am

    That’s a worst case that is possible to prepare for.
    No. It’s not. There are a lot of possibilities beyond that that are absolutely possible to prepare for. Those might be the most probable, though.

    However, most people who think they are preparing for those worse things are not. They are planning on eating for 30-90 days, out of cans or plastic totes. Then…? If you aren’t planning on hunting and gardening after whatever wipes things out for a while, then you’re not really prepping for “the worst case scenario.” Oh, and planning that pre-stocked food to last until the first crop comes in.

I special class of prepper is the hurricane / weather prepper. If you live in a coastal area. it’s always wise to have backups. Although now Brandon doesn’t want you to have generators now.

rabid wombat | July 29, 2023 at 9:48 pm

Depending on environment – air, water, food, shelter, heat….

A minute of two without air, a day or three without water, a couple of weeks without food… environment tells you what you can do without shelter / heat….

Air…good luck
Water…most local systems are good for 24 hours
Food…supply chain is strained after three days…

Think ahead….

    Water…most local systems are good for 24 hours
    One thing to ponder:
    If the water system can hold out for a day in a local disaster, does that mean you have a day to gather extra water? Not really. Ask yourself, how many other people on that system will be trying to gather water in those 24 hours, and how long will it be before the system crashes?

    Anony Mee in reply to rabid wombat. | August 2, 2023 at 1:36 am

    rabid wombat, That’s sometimes called the Rule of 3.
    It’s hard to survive more than
    3 minutes without air
    3 hours (freezing weather) without shelter (or proper clothing)
    3 days without water
    3 weeks without food

Worthy of note. The 1905ish public domain version of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Journals can be found at Lewis describes some interesting things about nutrition. A lot of the game they shot for food was very lean and lacked the fat required for sustaining hard physical labor. Bear, buffalo hump and beaver tail contain lots of fat. They rendered and kegged a lot of bear fat. No one here will be shooting game like that during a 30 day emergency. So stock fatty foods or a store bought pail of pork lard. Salt was a problem. Stock salt.

The other thing they did was dig caches. I’m pretty sure the 1905 book have diagrams of the caches and how they prepped, layered and stocked them. The cache is shaped like an inverted incandescent lightbulb and 10ft(?) deep. They stored things layered in a methodical manner with dry grasses and twigs and oiled-waxed canvas between each successive layer. Then carefully sealed them up. They were more worried about tribal scouts discovering them than anything else. Long story short, they returned after a year absence and most everything was okay with very minor moisture damage.

Point being, one needn’t be wealthy to securely cache gear and food.

    gonzotx in reply to Tiki. | July 29, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    I love on rock

    Tiki in reply to Tiki. | July 30, 2023 at 4:27 am

    At the mouth of the Marias River on 9 June 1805, the captains decided to store some of their heavier baggage, plus some excess provisions, and pick them up on their way back. They had learned from the French Canadian engagés (hired hands) who had worked for them as far as the Knife River Villages, about their method for stashing things underground. Pierre Cruzatte claimed to know the procedures, and was given the responsibility for directing the work, which Lewis described in detail:

    a place being fixed on for a cash, a circle abut 20 inches in diameter is first described. the terf or sod of this circle is carefully removed, being taken out as entire as possible in order that it may be replaced in the same situation when the chash is filled and secured. […]

Dave Ramsey: if the fed collapses, forget gold: you’ll need water and ammunition.

    CommoChief in reply to | July 30, 2023 at 7:23 am

    In large part that’s very likely to be true with a couple of specific exceptions.
    1A. During the first week of any long-term collapse it wouldn’t hurt to have some cash and a few oz of gold. The last minute top off of your supplies at predatory prices can be done with that stash of cash (in a Fed collapse they gonna be worthless anyway so put them to good use)
    1B. Same for a few oz of gold coins. I could see a scenario where the guy who possess what you need or want last minute (gasoline/diesel/propane/food/prescription meds) might reject cash but will take half oz gold coin(s).
    2. In the long-term say six months into the new dystopian economy barter + gold and silver would likely become the basis of trade. That barter would include trading your practical skills so a nurse could trade medical care, a mechanic could trade repair of vehicles or generators and so on.

      Brass, lead, and powder will become valuable trade currency.

      Dorzak in reply to CommoChief. | July 31, 2023 at 1:16 pm

      Gold is useful shortly after a collapse, and once things start to get back together. You can’t eat gold. There is a point where I suspect some gold preppers will learn the Curse of Midas first hand – they have gold but not the rest of what they need for life.

      scaulen in reply to CommoChief. | August 1, 2023 at 9:38 am

      Caffeine and nicotine will be the “gold” standard. lol

The best preparation for hardship, other than a basic supply of essentials, is not physical. It is your family, friendships, and community. All of which have to be intentionally developed before hardship. Of course, those also make for a pretty good life in any case.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to Dathurtz. | July 29, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    And Spiritual preparation. Know God, and how He communicates with you. Know His Holy Word.

      And remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They weren’t “preppers”, other than spiritually speaking and by all accounts, maintained their cool when things got hot.

      CommoChief in reply to Morning Sunshine. | July 30, 2023 at 1:51 pm

      Even limited to Christianity the problem is always what constitutes His Word as opposed to what you or I, the various Protestant Denominations, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Christian among other sects and everyone else individually interprets as His Word. History shows this isn’t a minor point.

      Lots of blood spilled over this very problem when those who are certain in their Truth decide anyone who disagrees needs to be made to agree and proclaim ‘the Truth’ and reject their prior beliefs.

        Nothing grieves me more than that. If people would take a God’s-eye view of the Bible (what’s His ultimate purpose) and in particular the foundational truth of Stephen’s discourse in Acts 7, we might understand that God has been moving people on from the temple worship paradigm – the erroneous belief that God abides in a man-made building and we go there to worship Him – but has now made His people – believers – His new temple. That He’s done with the man-made temple worship paradigm: Isaiah 66:1, Matthew 23:38, Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24. About that, Stephen was stoned to death for daring speak that basic truth to his persecutors in Acts 7. That people are now God’s temple? 1 Cor. 3:16 and 6:19, et al. That was in evidence 2000 years ago, at Pentecost. God has left the building (temple curtain torn as if to say “see, I’m NOT there”) and at Pentecost effectively said “Here I Am” – in my new temple: those who love and commit their lives to Me.

        What’s really sobering for me, is a passage by Paul “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor. 3:17). Doubly sobering is, Paul presided over the stoning of Stephen – a temple of God. Paul certainly knew destruction in his life. It was Stephen who spoke truth about the new temple in Acts 7:48. In Acts 17:24, it’s Paul … I think sometimes I hear Paul making a tearful confession in Acts 17:24 – as if to say – I murdered someone for daring speak this truth. Was that Paul’s thorn in the flesh?

        How ignorant is it, for men to kill their brothers in whom the Spirit of God dwells, over the preservation of religious institutions, traditions, buildings, hierarchy, etc. Thankfully, stoning is rare these days – in the US anyway. Still, it’s no picnic being run out of a “church” by rampant ignorance and fear of the indwelling Spirit. I doubt it will ever end, before He returns in judgment anyway.

        If only we could get it through our heads and spirits, that the Word is a person, God come Yeshua, not a book (John 1:1-14).

          CommoChief in reply to MrE. | July 30, 2023 at 8:13 pm

          IMO as long as we allow others to find their faith in their own way, worship in their way and express that faith in their own way without denunciation, coercion or force then we are on the right path.

          When we stray from that path and attempt to cajole, impose or force conformity with our faith upon others we shouldn’t be surprised if others respond negatively, very negatively indeed. History is replete with examples.

          Taking a let-them-go approach to a prodigal child can be a real hell on earth. And recognizing what I have experienced with just the one child, is something the Father has experienced with the entire human race, elicits gratitude no words can express.

Oddly, the ones who need to prep the least seem to be the ones who are the most prepped…rural folks. Water isn’t a major concern for me because I’m close to several water sources. Transporting it will be a pain, but it’s available. I truly pity the people who live in cities when things finally unravel.

    amwick in reply to windbag. | July 29, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    I am visiting with friends in rural PA. He has a good six month supply of emergency food, in a hidden part of his basement… Now he has a six month supply of toilet paper, and paper towels. Live an learn. He is be fully able to defend his precious TP…

      JohnSmith100 in reply to amwick. | July 30, 2023 at 6:29 pm

      Use dry corncobs for awhile, then you will appreciate TP.

      PaulM in reply to amwick. | July 31, 2023 at 9:39 am

      “He is be fully able to defend his precious TP…”

      Well, if you’re not fully able to defend your preparations, you’re probably just making preparations for someone else. Taking from the prepared are the survival ‘plans’ of far too many …

    Dathurtz in reply to windbag. | July 30, 2023 at 7:15 am

    If there is a major, lasting disruption, then very very few would survive past a month in the city. Of course, I don’t live in one so my perception might be off. Where could you even get your water? I can walk down to the creek, fill a trough, and then filter/kill the microbes. Is there something similar?

      JohnSmith100 in reply to Dathurtz. | July 30, 2023 at 6:35 pm

      Your perception is right for larger cities. Better people in cities will perish, then bad elements will fight each other, eventually they will start preying on people in the suburbs. We will need to deal firmly with them.

      docduracoat in reply to Dathurtz. | August 1, 2023 at 9:00 am

      To Dathurtz,

      There is 40 gallons of drinkable water in the average residential water heater.
      There is water in swimming pools that can be filtered and boiled.
      For cities on the coast, sea water can be distilled, the steam condensed and collected as fresh water.
      A pressure cooker and some copper tubing work for this.
      Furniture will be a huge supply of fuel to boil the water.
      And of course, rain water can be collected off a roof by way of the rain gutters into a barrel.
      Then filter and boil.

    Close The Fed in reply to windbag. | July 30, 2023 at 4:45 pm

    Being near water sources is good, EXCEPT when roving gangs come for your home that is next to them.

Whew.! “Prepping for the worst” combined with a pic of a septic tank clean-out stack.

Glad I got the wrong first impression.

    amwick in reply to mjm2112. | July 30, 2023 at 6:47 am

    That is what I thought too… until I read a bit.. ok,,, it was a cap on a home well.

    BTW there is a device you can use to lower down a narrow modern well and pull up water, in the case of a power outage. It may not work for everyone, but I always liked the idea of having one.. I believe you can actually just purchase them..

    Here, if you are interested…

I’m sorry, but it’s all bullshit. OK, so you “prep”for 3, 6, 9,months, a year, two, three, pick your own fantasy. It always comes down to “then what”? Sooner or later you’re going to have to stop playing groundhog and deal with the world as it is.

    Valerie in reply to txvet2. | July 30, 2023 at 10:10 am

    First, you have to survive to that point.

      txvet2 in reply to Valerie. | July 30, 2023 at 1:07 pm

      You’ll survive until your neighbors find out you have food.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to txvet2. | July 30, 2023 at 6:46 pm

        That is why no one around me knows I have stockpiled food.

          “Hey. Why doesn’t John look emaciated and pathetic like the rest of us?”
          “I don’t know, but grab that shovel and let’s go find out.”

          JohnSmith100 in reply to JohnSmith100. | August 3, 2023 at 12:30 am

          Do you know how to make booby traps, poison gas? If not, start learning. Download the Anarchists’ Cookbook, what do you get when you mix gasoline and Styrofoam? While I am not a full blown prepper, I love science and math. A lot of defensive weapons can be made from commonly available chemicals, cleaning supplies. Knowledge and honed skills will make a difference. I have about 2 years worth of food. That may not be enough. You need to survive a massive die off, at least a year, and then be in a position to defend yourself while planting, harvesting, and preserving food. I probably would not survive because of age, but middle aged people should be able to do so.

    Davod1 in reply to txvet2. | July 31, 2023 at 1:45 pm

    I am tied to a wheelchair, and have no illusions what my future will be when the SHTF.

Everyone should read One Second After. This is a realistic and scary portrayal of EMP and the effects of losing our electrical grid. 90+ percent of everyone in the USA dies I BN the first year.

Everyone should read One Second After. This is a realistic and scary portrayal of EMP and the effects of losing our electrical grid. 90+ percent of everyone in the USA dies I BN the first year.

If you’re worried about canned food going bad, think about getting a freeze dryer. Except for a very few foods, you can freeze dry almost anything. Did a big batch of cream cheese just the other day. With good packaging (mylar) and O2 absorbers, you can package freeze dry canned food and keep it for a couple of decades.
Oils and food high in oils can be kept in the freezer for added longevity.

Recipe for making your own Lewis and Clark portable soup.

In the 1750s the British Navy had begun issuing 50 pounds of portable soup for every 100 sailors on long voyages, partly to vary the daily diet of salt-cured meats, and partly in the mistaken belief that it would prevent scurvy.

Also known, among other names, as pocket soup and veal glue, portable soup is the ancestor of the modern bouillon cube and a close cousin to the grace de viande used in French cooking. Ingredients and proportions may vary slightly from one recipe to another, but all result in the same end product: a small, rubbery slab with an intense, meaty taste. Although we don’t know the exact formulation of Lewis’s portable soup, it was probably similar to the following recipe, which appears in a cookbook by Ann Shackleford published in London in the 1760s:

    Morning Sunshine in reply to Tiki. | July 30, 2023 at 10:59 am

    I make this. Only, I take it a step further. When it is dry, I throw it in my blender and turn it into powder. Homemade bouillon powder. I know what is in it, but I have the convenience of powder that sits in my cupboard.

E Howard Hunt | July 30, 2023 at 7:39 am

I’m filling the basement with dehydrated water.

Nothing matters more than the critical first step which is to move out of the city and deep into the country. Should really bad times come, then the real enemy will be your city neighbors because they will want what you have and you cannot protect yourself from al of them. Living in an urban area and prepping is an exercise it futility.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to Cleetus. | July 30, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    It may be futile, but better than nothing until people can manage to move. Most certainly, trying to move during a breakdown is going to be difficult.

No prepping for me.
I plan on taking by force like everyone else!

    Dathurtz in reply to scooterjay. | July 30, 2023 at 8:46 am

    You may be startled by how openly kids talk about the preparations they have made. Overheard a discussion of it at lunch and had students ask me what I had done. I told them I keep a list of students who keep a supply cache for me.

    Maybe prep on which homes you’ll dare attempt this on, you know where you think people will just let you have their stuff. May have to stick to the blue states for that plan to work. 😛

Most of my forceful taking of sustenance will happen in the Congaree swamp.
I know where and how to hunt for everything else. It is extremely easy to bait the South Carolina natives.

My swimming pool might finally find its worth.

One of the things I think about is the sewage pumping stations dotted across my housing development. Water feeds can be pumped to houses under pressure, but sewage just follows gravity. I talked with some maintenance people who said they have a fleet of generators in case of a lengthy power outage. I’m glad my house is on high ground.

People have no idea of how thin is the thread holding civilization up.

As a kid I had my wisdom teeth pulled, and my mom had some old prescription pain medicine from maybe a year or two earlier, so she didn’t fill my new prescription. When the old stuff didn’t work, she had to go to the drugstore post haste!

The prepper mindset is less about paranoia than about lamenting the loss of fundamental subsistence skills.

Civilization’s rind is dramatically thinner than it used to be. We transact almost all of life on a comfortable layer that’s gossamer-thin. Few of us plumb deeper, so fewer of us could survive to fail rebuilding because what if takes to make a pencil is silo’d and distributed.

Bunkers….. Eloi versus Morlochs.

“One Second After”… The book came alive in part because I used to live in Black Mountain and knew the school in Montreat. The threat is real and their problems expected… if they can live long enough.

“Patriots”… also good. As with OSA…. time overtook the book. But the problems of the golden hoard are there…big time.

Major problem is that reality, once again, overtook sci-fi. Drones and AI have made keeping an invisible low profile as tough with the likes of the Echo Papa 607. Bunkers can turn into prisons…. especially if someone who survives above can seal the deal permanently.

    texansamurai in reply to alaskabob. | July 30, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    The threat is real and their problems expected… if they can live long enough.

    agree–regards prepping–one of the most important aspects of survival is distance from the event or it’s effects–the further away from a nexus of attack (especially if nukes involved) the better your chance of surviving the initial event–was up in your part of the world for a couple of weeks last april as my lady wanted to see the northern lights–north of fairbanks to be precise–ak is, in a word, awesome–anyway, the further away from population centres you are, the better your chances of surving the chaos

    have done some provisioning to address the “what” but have focused (and acted) more to address the “where”–as with edged weapons, distance is your friend

Some people’s preparation is for survival. Others’ are for resistance. It certainly appears that things will get much uglier.

These annual prepper posts are the best.

Let me tell ya….It’s all fun and games until you have to move your tribe across the country and restart your entire pantry, generator and water set up..

Eddie Coyle | July 31, 2023 at 8:28 am

Let’s be brutally honest. In any food disruption greater than two weeks, bands of armed men will be taking whatever carefully planned supplies you have. Crops visible above the ground will be taken. Your home will eventually be assaulted. Those who believe they will hunt and fish forget that in some years in the 1700’s, the native Americans in upstate NY, 1/100,000 of todays population, were finding game scarce. Fish, Deer & other animals will be wiped out. Your generator, fuel, water barrel, etc will be taken.

The key to survival will be banding (in advance) with other like minded people, preferably with a diverse group of skills. Carpentry, gardening, barrel maker, weaver, pharmacist, herbalist. Just someone who knows which mushrooms are ok! Above all, they will all need the ability of self defense.

For the short term, stop wasting money. Fill your pantry & rotate the oldest stuff out into your meals. A 10 lb bag of rice and 10 lb bag of beans are minimal cost but will keep you for weeks. Stop buying 50 firearms and 10,000 rounds of ammunition you won’t surve the first 100 in a gunfight. Instead have 5 weapons of different use (if you have the funds). Scoped rifle, shotgun, small game rifle, pistol, “assault” rifle. Key is to have SPARE PARTS for these.

But form your groups now, have a PLAN.

“In any food disruption greater than two weeks, bands of armed men will be taking whatever carefully planned supplies you have.”
“The key to survival will be banding (in advance) with other like minded people,”
Pretty much what I learned reading some of the “stories” about the “Siege of

    Isolden in reply to SHV. | July 31, 2023 at 1:54 pm

    My husband read that and applied it to his prepping plans. One of the things I remember is that no one had any fire sources, no matches or lighters. They’d light a stick and carefully walk it back to their house. Also they had a very difficult time sourcing wood. Things to remember!

OldJarhead03 | July 31, 2023 at 1:11 pm

Pay someone for local for advice (or maybe 2 or 3) on how deep the aquifers are, then drill and get a hand pump.

    Dorzak in reply to OldJarhead03. | July 31, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Also in many areas a state or local agency may publish data. For example the cluster of 5 wells located about 300 yards from me averages water depths of 90-105 feet depending on time of year.

Regarding Mr. Cole’s comment above, I agree with the exception of the gun/ammunition comment. Buy as many guns (albeit quietly and with cash) as you can. If you don’t use them all, they are excellent for bartering or selling if/when things happen.

Get a hand pump if you have a well, so you have a way to draw water
Teach yourself how to make food from scratch. Bread, butter, cheese, pasta, bacon etc teach yourself how to make all of it. You don’t have to make it all the time but make sure you are proficient. You can also trade the products made for services or other things by bartering. Teach yourself how to brew and distill – lay away liquor. You can use it to clean wounds or to sell/barter and in some cases, to preserve food. Teach yourself to garden, get a few chickens. Know where the farms are.

One thing I did not see anyone mention – cooking oil.
My husband is a prepper and was always worried about cooking oil and oil in general; you will not be able to cook with lard or bacon fat or tallow all the time. They have hand crank oil presses for about 125.00, and seeds are cheap (this is my next hobby! looking forward to teaching myself how to do it!)

Do talk to your neighbors. Identify who will not go with “the plan” and know what to do about it. Above everything, be ready. Something will come, whether it is our own military after us, an EMP, foreign invaders, illegal immigrant groups.

Canned food “Sell By” dates are for stores, not for people. MOST canned food will be edible for years – sometimes SEVERAL years – later. Sometimes it will taste stale if too far beyond the date, but still edible. Watch out for the pull-top cans, for example on canned fruit; the pull-top is a weakness. If it smells bad or looks bad, throw it away. Otherwise, the date really doesn’t matter much.

Start lurking on some prepper blogs; for example,

Lots of tips can be found here:

Survival 101

Can someone comment on how to maintain contacts with radio/CB etc.

Peter Floyd | July 31, 2023 at 7:29 pm

The greatest danger is nuclear war. It will likely wipe out the Northern Hemisphere and the following nuclearwinter create a world where very few will survive. I suggest you all go to and downlaod their Nucelar War Survivalk Manuak, its free and has a wealth of information. Currently, they are helping families relocate to safe areas in Panama and Argentina and Chile where they will most likely survive the war, the aftermath and the nuclear winter. Yiou really need this free manual. On the site you willalso find a map of the areas most likely to be destroyed and those most likely to survive.

    docduracoat in reply to Peter Floyd. | August 1, 2023 at 11:00 am

    To Peter Floyd,

    I loved the nuke refuge map.
    I agree that the Southern Hemisphere will likely have fewer targets, so fewer bombs.
    I disagree with Panama and Costa Rica as fallout free after atomic war.
    The Panama Canal will definitely be a target.
    So Panama and likely all Central America will experience radioactive fallout.

    Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand will most likely have no explosions and no fallout.

On The Beach – A Primer

Finicky Fat Guy | August 2, 2023 at 9:55 am

Water is a big concern for me as well. I live in a densely populated suburb on an island (which poses another major concern) with no lakes, streams or such of any significant size nearby.

I recently installed a rain collection barrel and a diverter from a down spout. I was stunned at how quickly it filled in one short rain storm. I plan to use the water for the garden for now, and plan to add more barrels in a daisy chain. Freezing temps will present their own problems though.