Google has always been a reliable source for information. With Google Public Alerts, not only do you have access to weather warnings but also current events going on around the world. The program is still growing and perfecting but it’s an awesome addition to preppers repertoire. The system also provides information on where emergency responders should go.
One of the “skills” every prepper should learn (and learn this week or next) is foraging for edibles in and around their homes. Search the library or order a book on Amazon…one with pictures…to learn which weeds provide vitamins and minerals and how to spot them (and their poisonous look-a-likes) in YOUR neighborhood. The day MAY come when that is ALL that is available to eat because the mice, rats, birds, cats and dogs have already been dispatched to feed hungry neighbors. Weeds are likely to still be around even after looters have torn out and dug up your gardens in search of food.
The hardest thing to do is to actually get started. An easy way to begin is to go to home depot or Lowe’s and get a supply of 5 gallon plastic containers and a magic marker. Then, when you can go to the store and buy the rice, beans salt and other staples, you have a place to store them that is water, bug and rodent proof. Also look for some oxygen eliminated packets to put in the bottom of these containers. Also good for storing ammo. Use magic marker to label all containers.
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.
I think that one reason we focus on the big national disasters is that it’s somehow easier for some people to deal with something impersonal that affects everyone. If you focus on your own personal shtf situation, like your spouse dying and leaving you with a mortgage you can’t pay by yourself, it can be too emotionally difficult to clearly assess your preparedness and your needs. Far pleasanter to contemplate slaying dragons than the bear in your back yard.
Ned in the comments reminded me that a bike really should be on this list. Of course, I don’t really need to say, but a good mountain bike is incredibly useful in a SHTF situation where fuel is hard to get. Ned mentioned that it’d be a good idea to couple the bike with a carrying rack on the front or back, and if you can, an electric generator. I think that’s a pretty damn great idea; only problem is I haven’t managed to find any electric generators for bikes that actually have good reviews. If you know of one, please recommend one down in the comments section.
If I’m bugging out, I want a lightweight stove such as an Esbit, alcohol or fuel tab is adequate to boil water, not a large wood burner stove as I don’t need the extra weight in my BOB or GHB. JIf really needed I can build a rocket stove using empty cans and a metal hole punch or my leatherman tool. If I’m bugging in I have a BBQ or two I can use with charcoal, or wood.
We liked the Rice Pilaf because it had actual vegetable content! Whole peas and large slices of carrot. No other company has this much vegetable content, not even Mountain House. With chicken broth, white rice, and a surprising addition of orzo, this meal was excellent, especially with some of the freeze-dried chicken included in the Premier bucket.
You might be able to stretch the time food will stay cold, Martin says, “by wrapping [the refrigerator or freezer] in sleeping bags. Wrap it up as best you can and don't open it unless it's absolutely necessary, and when you do, take out as much as you can use that day.” And when time's running out, why not make it a cooking extravaganza? Fire up the grill (outside, remember!) or go ahead and eat that ice cream you were saving.
“If you’re using it for emergency survival, the fact is you’re going to buy it once, and hopefully you’re not going to use it,” Shields said. “But it’s there as a safety net for you and your family.” That’s what intrigued me about freeze-dried food: You can wait up to a quarter-century to use it, but in an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to eat it at all.