Let’s face it, practical and usable space quickly becomes a valuable commodity when you are going to spend a significant amount of time in the shelter before venturing topside, and that environment should be comfortable, healthy and space efficient. You are going to be stressed enough if you are in there, and the last thing you need is the additional stress of a cramped, unfriendly environment.
“Everybody thinks about prepping as this big doomsday thing, like when the zombie apocalypse happens,” Luther says. “But really it’s a lot more likely that someone’s going to lose their job or that you’re going to have a major expense you weren’t expecting, like your car breaks down or a medical expense. So if you think of prepping as something to get you through those situations, it’s really almost like an insurance policy.”
Good point. But if you do have your drives and at least one very simple computer stashed away in an emp-proof container it will once again become useful when they eventually get the lights turned on again. And make no mistake about it. We will rebuild our civilization. Up to that point, yes, I entirely agree with you that hard copy is easier to deal with.

We talk a lot about the 80-20 rule (the “Pareto principle”) on The Prepared. For example, 20% of the total possible work gets you 80% prepared. To go from 80% to 100% prepared requires a lot more work and money. Another example is that you should prepare for the 80% of likely scenarios, not the unlikely ones like fascist zombies arriving on a radioactive alien asteroid.
I love this article and absolutely agree with you. I wanted to know what advice you could give if something like the power grid goes down? The reason I ask is because of the importance of keeping food in a COOL, dry, place. I am currently stationed at Fort Rucker, AL. It is blazing hot here and I would be worried that if the power grid went down, all that work that I did to ensure we had enough food and water would be wasted due to the heat. I know there are circumstances that call for bugging in or out but with a wife and two young kids, bugging in would be my first option. I hope something like this never happens but it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Just hoping for some good advice on how to keep food and water from going bad even if keeping it cool is not an option. Thank you for your time and help!

Each bunker provides enough floor area, with attic potential, to comfortably accommodate 10-20 people and the needed supplies, which would last for a year or more. An autonomous shelterization from virtually any catastrophic event.  All bunkers feature a standard 26.5’ interior width, with lengths of 60’ and 80’, each with a 13’ high ceiling to the top of the interior arch.  Protection will be mitigated for virtually all known threats as each bunker includes a massive existing concrete and steel (4’ x 8’) blast door, that may be additionally sealed to stop all water, air and gas permeation; an air and exhaust ventilation shaft, and space for a rear ceiling escape hatch that can be embedded into the concrete structure as a secondary emergency exit.
The Hawaii false alarm was indeed a wake-up call! Thank you for publishing all this useful information. I’ve always done food storage but there is so much more we need to have on hand. All those little things you need, like knives, compass, a RADIO! – someone mentioned thick soled shoes and of course water filtration. I recently found an awesome 72 Hour backpack I thought was a pretty good deal on costco.com (https://www.costco.com/72-Hour-Tactical-Backpack-Survival-Kit.product.100386699.html?pageSize=96&catalogId=10701&dept=All&langId=-1&keyword=72+Hour+Tactical+Backpack+Survival+Kit&storeId=10301).
My family fashioned an outdoor kitchen under a shed in our backyard with a simple gas stove that we got free, along with a laundry sink, through Craigslist. We have a propane tank from a gas grill connected to the stove and a connection for a water hose for the sink. We even found an old kitchen cabinet for storage and counter space. Throughout the summer, I use our outdoor kitchen for canning parties, picnics and cookouts. This outdoor kitchen is a nice alternative to the heat canning creates in my house. Additionally, I feel secure in knowing I’ll be able to use this kitchen to preserve some of the food from my freezer rather than lose it all during a long-term power outage. 

Legacy Foods 120 Serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Bucket is a great option for vegetarians or people who want more of a bland foundation that you mix with other ingredients. For $299, one bucket covers two people for two weeks at 1,500 calories per day. Although other companies drop the calories to cut costs, Legacy assumed you would add more ingredients to their base, so we thought the relatively low calories per day was acceptable.
When you are in a stressful situation, it wouldn’t be a good time to have your family, especially small children, get used to eating things a different way. When you are prepping food, it is always good to keep the taste preferences that your family has in mind. This way, you are comfortable in the foods you are using, and like what you are packing.
TIP: FEMA recommends that citizens have enough supplies on hand to get them through 72 hours after a disaster. We know a 72 hours bag is not going to be enough. I have put together a list of items from some of the top survival pros. Their recommendations are a great place start if you are new to prepping. If you are a long time prepper, check if you have these items as part of your survival gear.

Time and time again I’ve seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item, and so on. Don’t do that. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll fare much better having a one-month supply of a variety of items than a year’s supply of two to three items.
I think most phones get emergency alerts like that for their area codes. I get general warnings and Code Pinks (abducted children) sometimes. But the apps I recommend are both broader and more specific. For example, with Disaster Alert, I not only get tornado and flood warnings in my area, I also get notifications for any severe weather headed towards me and things like medical alerts for flu and whatever.
Thanks and an excellent article. However, I am convinced that when this nation goes down it is not just going down: It is going under! Therefore we never quit prepping. There is no such thing as having to much food and water. We just keep adding it on and bracing for the day we know will come sooner or later. It may be Greece, Puerto Rico, or and emp etc. Who cares, sooner or later the crutches are going to be kicked from under this country and the Rodney King riots x 1000 are going to burn our cities to the ground. Anyone that is not habitually prepping is committing suicide. thanks
Staying cool is a real concern in many parts of the country. I like to say we left for our long-haired dogs' comfort during one lengthy summer power outage, but I was as miserable as they were. We now keep a stash of battery operated fans on hand, clearly labeled in a box in the basement so I can find them easily with a flashlight. It's nothing like having AC, but prop one in a window and it makes a big difference. Speaking of dogs, you can follow their lead. Heat rises, so stay in a low position, Martin saiys. “Think about how a dog will dig down into the earth to get cool.” I might not go that far for a temporary power outage, but in that same vein, anyone with a basement could head there. “They stay pretty cool year round,” Martin adds.
Don’t forget to make a list of any other kind you might need; a spare car battery, perhaps, or ones for a GPS or to power a charging pack for other electronic devices. Think it through. Also, do not skimp on quality batteries! They are not made equal; better brands will typically have more juice and longer shelf lives. Alkaline batteries lose a significant amount of power over time, so rotate these like anything else. Lithium batteries have much longer shelf lives than alkaline but are significantly more expensive.
If you're looking for the most complete first aid kit, while also keeping affordability in mind, these are for you. They slide nicely into the back pocket of most cars' front seats, so you can be sure to have it handy wherever you go. Not that much extra weight to take backpacking either. This is more than a first aid kit. It's a survival kit. If you want to customize it further, you can. I added more gauze, a little tube of triple antibiotic ointment, and a few water purification tablets. I purchased several, so we always have them wherever we are.

Some lights are crank powered like our emergency radio above and having at least one of those is not a bad idea. Alternate light sources are candles, which are cheap but present a fire hazard, or chemlights, which are completely safe and heatless, but also have utility for marking, safety and signaling. Redundancy is a good idea, but emphasize flashlights and headlamps. Both require…


The #1 thing you.ve missed is to not store everything in the same place even if you are ‘bugging in’. I lost my home & all it’s contents to a fire on Christmas Day. All my dehydrated (by me plus bought stuff) jars & cans are gone, along with stuff I’d been saving…dog food, bleach, baking soda etc. Luckily I’d stored a little bit in the {untouched} detached garage. I mean a wind storm or flood could cause the same devastation. Just wanted to add that because it’s not something you think about. I know I didn’t til it happened.
I think the FaceBook comment, “the electric company knew days in advance the ice was coming and THEY did not prepare.” perfectly demonstrates Mr. Martenson’s approach…..”the ‘Crash Course’ was the problem definition….but, “the book, Prosper, is the solution space.” Some saw the ice storm coming, but seemingly did not prepare (mentally, physically or spiritually); expecting the electric company to make it somehow disappear…..(normalcy bias?)
During this crisis, I have followed the local electric company’s FaceBook page and it is very disconcerting how unprepared people seem to have been. People wrote, “the electric company knew days in advance the ice was coming and THEY did not prepare.”……and, “I pay THEM to handle problems like this”…..and, “This is not the Stone Age, this should not happen”. All I could think of was Katrina and the New Orleans’ Superdome.
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
But women like Jennifer aren’t preparing for a currency collapse, biowarfare pandemic, or any of the other fantastical global crises that have made America’s prepper subculture synonymous with bunkers, bitcoin, and Infowars conspiracy theories. Instead, they view prepping as a lifestyle — one that has very little to do with defending their territory from hostile invaders and everything to do with the more quotidian business of providing for your family and running a home.

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If there was anything my freeze-dried food experiment taught me, it was how lucky I was to be able to walk down the street and buy a sandwich whenever I wanted to—but also how far I was from being self-reliant in the more quotidian sense. If freeze-dried meals are becoming increasingly popular in America, then maybe it’s because many of us realize that if something really bad happened, we wouldn’t know the first thing about surviving for a week on the ingredients lying around in our pantry. But as we continue to be bombarded by headlines foreshadowing epic floods, economic collapse, and nuclear escalation, there’s nothing wrong with finding a little peace of mind in a bag of dehydrated Chicken A La King.
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