Common preparations include the creation of a clandestine or defensible retreat, haven, or bug out location (BOL) in addition to the stockpiling of non-perishable food, water, water-purification equipment, clothing, seed, firewood, defensive or hunting weapons, ammunition, agricultural equipment, and medical supplies. Some survivalists do not make such extensive preparations, and simply incorporate a "Be Prepared" outlook into their everyday life.
Things may not go the same way as your favorite prime time series. Although you can take advantage of the tiniest opportunity to run, find an ally, and make a barricade, your chances of survival above the ground remains at a slim ten to twenty percent. An underground shelter provides a better hiding place, increasing your chances to live through war, pestilence, and famine.
Buy dry foods, canned goods and peanut butter, then use the oldest on a regular basis and rotate new stock into the pantry. Too many people buy foods that they will only eat when the SHTF and then since you’re not using it on a regular basis, it’s gone or going bad. If however you buy many of the foods you currently eat for SHTF planning then you can eat the oldest food and rotate new stock into your holdings as a routine part of your meals.
Grains. Grains are good for making flour or meal. Wheat and corn are the most common. Bear in mind that you will need a grain mill to process these, and I recommend a good hand mill in case power is an issue. By storing whole grains instead of flour or meal you drastically increase storage life. Again you can buy these in ore-sealed buckets, or repackage bulk purchases yourself to save money. If you want to increase the shelf life even more, you can turn them into flour and then into Hardtacks.
There are some weight considerations in that MREs weigh more than freeze dried food but they do have their advantages. I have a few boxes stored as part of my food storage plan because they are an easy way to get the calories you need for survival. I also have food stored in buckets, canned food and freeze-dried food. I am an equal opportunity food storage person and there is something to be said for having variety. Are MREs the the best prepper food? I don’t think there is ever a single best food for all prepper situations, but MREs are proven reliable. If our military uses them you can bet that you could find reasons to use them too. They are more expensive than other options but you don’t have to prepare anything, they even throw in the salt, pepper and a little moist towelette to wipe your face and hands when you are done. They used to come with toilet paper and chewing gum but apparently that is not part of these MREs.
A popular way of guarding against this kind of catastrophe is storing food at home. This is called Long Term Food Storage, Emergency Essentials, or Emergency Survival Foods and there are dozens of companies selling food specifically for this purpose. The best, including those listed below, have great tasting products with a long storage life at a reasonable cost. 
Any canned foods you purchase at the grocery store will store for a number of years under the right conditions. Canned food makes great prepper food because it can be stored for such a long time and because you can eat it right out of the can if necessary. Canned food will also provide a hot meal when you have the means to heat it and you don’t need any extra water or ingredients. Plus, depending on what you buy, you can get a complete meal in a can (think soups and stews) and you can get almost anything you could want in terms of canned food, including:
If you’re one who needs to make some adjustments, that’s okay. Look at these suggestions and add the things you’re missing. It’s easy to take a basic storage and add the essentials to make it livable, but it needs to be done. As I did the research for my cookbook I wanted to include recipes that gave help to families no matter what they had stored. As I put the material together it was fascinating to discover what the pioneers ate is the type of things we store. But if you have stored only the 4 basics, there’s very, very little you can do with it. By adding even just a few things it greatly increases your options, and the prospect of your family surviving on it. As I studied how the pioneers lived and ate, my whole feeling for food changed. I realized our storage is what most of the world has always lived on. If it’s put together the right way we’ll be returning to good basic living with a few goodies thrown in.

Rather, this preppers supplies and gear list is meant to cover all of the items that a normal person would need in order to survive virtually any disaster. Since there are multiple items which can perform the same task (such as matches and a flint both being able to start fires), I’ve divided up the items into categories by the survival task that they perform.
MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat and they are essentially military food. This is the type of food soldiers are provided with when they aren’t near a facility or camp that has a mess hall. MREs come in cases of 12 and each waterproof foil bag contains one three-course meal. When you get MREs, you can choose from so many options that the variety is pretty decent. There are even vegetarian meals available. Brands of MREs include:
Freeze dried food is the other specialty food option when it comes to prepping for survival. These are regular foods that are placed in a special unit in which the moisture is literally frozen out of the food, then it is heated slightly so that the water becomes a gas and can be removed from the food. The food is then vacuum sealed in a moisture- and oxygen-proof bag. These foods are easy to rehydrate, simply by adding water, and they can generally be eaten right out of the bag. There are many different brands of freeze dried foods available, such as:

*We wanted to test the Augason Farms 30-day bucket, but due to the 2017 natural disasters driving up demand for emergency food, we couldn’t get that exact one in time for this article. Instead, Augason sent us a 1- and 2-week bucket, which together have the same food as the 30-day. We used the nutritional data from the 30-day bucket in our analysis.
See our review of over 70 of the top portable survival water filters for bug out bags. Because even though water is critical, at more than 8 pounds per gallon, it’s not practical to carry enough to last more than a day — which means you need to be able to make safe water from whatever you can. We break down the best picks (only $25!) and how to use a mix of filters, purification tablets, soft canteens, and hard bottles with filters in your kits.
Of course, each of us should prepare for poor health, loss of job, loss of home due to local conditions, but you have support systems in place for localized problems. The area where I live was burned out four months ago. Over 1,000 homes were either destroyed or damaged. People have moved on. Reconstruction has started. Road are being cleared of mud and debris. We may have more local devastation, but it won’t affect 99.99% of the folks reading this post. An atomic attack, an EMP attack, a CME burst from the sun over a widespread area, a 1918 type of flu epidemic, all of those things will affect 99.99% of those reading this post. I don’t think those are bogus in the least nor hype just to get readers on this list. I sincerely hope that you re-consider your position that they are just hype to get readership.
The Subterra Castle covers 34 acres of estate, including an airstrip, and other facilities. The silo which was bought by Ed Peden for only $40,000 transformed this former junk heap to a modern day castle. The complex tunnels of the site stays 10-15 feet underground. The family just needs to make sure they stock up with emergency food and other basic needs, then they can sleep well knowing that they are safe from almost everything.
I purchased a 30 day supply for 2 people of freeze dried food – that was when I had a basement to store it in. Now i live in the Arizona desert with no basement. I considered purchasing additional food storage but then realized, I for some reason I have no power, it’ll most likely be very hot (especially if summer time), therefore not way to regulate temperature. Any storage food I did purchase would be ruined ( I assume). Anyone else have this issue when thinking about the unthinkable?
This is the easiest way to store emergency water and is ideal for any type of home. As long as you have warning you won’t have or be able to use your water, the waterBOB is indispensable. This is a one-time-use container that holds up to 100 gallons of water. Since we need to store 1 gallon per person per day, the waterBOB provides 100 days’ worth of water for one person.
Expert advice isn’t always as expert as we’d like to believe. There have been many times when I tried to follow how-to advice, only to get frustrated that I can’t seem to do what they did, or I sometimes figure out a more efficient method on my own anyway. This is especially true for the prepper lifestyle. When the internet started exploding with prepper advice a few years ago, most of the bloggers and self-proclaimed experts were learning as they go along with their readers.
Pat I felt the same way you did about becoming a prepper. One day something inside of me said ok look, it’s time to start making a list and to get going on this endeavor. I started with the basics. I have been prepping for about a year + and have collected quite a lot of supplies. I educated myself in ways to store food. I am a You Tube watching fool, always looking at videos on how to do this or that. I’d like to know how to meet others who are prepping as well. I don’t really know… Read more »
My military experience was let’s just say in the last century and MREs have gone through some pretty decent changes and updates since the time I was chowing down. For those who don’t know what an MRE is, the Acronym stands for Meal Ready to Eat and this is what is given to our soldiers when they aren’t near a mess hall. When I was in the field we would usually get an MRE for lunch. Breakfast and dinners would be a hot meal, or it started out as hot when we crowded around the mess tent or the insulated containers they drove out to us on the back of a jeep. By the time you got somewhere to eat your meal it was usually cold. We would only go to the field in the winter time naturally.
87. Shotgun – Many will argue if you could only have 1 weapon for home defense, the shotgun would it. The ammunition is inexpensive, is a long gun so there are less background checks when purchasing one, and can always double as a hunting gun. Also, if someone is in your home, and they hear the pump of a shotgun, it will scary any would-be intruder and for close range encounters.
Greer has a palpable certainty that some kind of shit is going to hit some kind of fan and he believes his prepping is a commonsense reaction to that. He believes the threats could come from AI (artificial intelligence), economic collapse, an atomic bomb or even an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) – and the resulting chaos will see him hit the road to get out of the city.
I’ve gotten a lot of flour sugar, stuff for scratch cooking, something like bullion cubes, evaporated milk, yeast, can veggies you can throw together all kinds of soups. I ordered powdered eggs and butter, biscuits and gravy, homemade beans, I have done some canning, of meats and made some spatgetti sauce for canning. Think camping, I got a dutch oven-good for cakes and breads.

For example, a 10 foot Pipe that is 20 feet long will require an 18-20 feet deep hole and provides a gross interior area of 1,570 cubic feet. Keep in mind that the interior surface is curved ( similar to being in a submarine ), and therefore requires a floor to be installed, which reduces headroom. Simply put, a pipe doesn’t lend itself to being space efficient and comfortable.

“His only intent was to defend what he had there if the end of the world was to come,” Lt. Del Schlosser of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office told AP. Schlosser added that the octogenarian man was preparing for an end-times scenario that could have involved governmental or societal collapse. Authorities have not released the man’s identity, due to an ongoing investigation, but revealed that he lives in the nearby town of Parowan.

Neutrons are emitted only during an active fission process, such as that taking place in a nuclear reactor or at the actual moment of an atomic explosion. Neutron activation that is structurally significant takes many years, and is only a concern in materials that will be used to construct things like nuclear reactor vessels. This is in no way a concern when choosing structural material for a shelter.
As well as tools, stock up on basic supplies. Some plumbing fittings are good to have – pipes, joints and similar items. A couple of spools of electrical cable can be used for repairs or projects, and you can also strip and separate the cores if you need fine wire. Simple light fittings, switches and other components help too. Stock up on timber; 4×2 and plywood have a multitude of uses.
At the bottom level, you can access the deep silo measuring 185 feet where the Atlas F missile used to stay during the cold war. Although the living areas look normal, its window views are just a mimic of outdoor lighting. The Silo Home also provides luxurious amenities such as an enormous master suite, a marble-tiled jacuzzi, and a gourmet kitchen.
Roll out your dough into squares. You can make these loafs individual sized or sized for a whole family to slice and eat. Put fillings in the center and then fold over to make a pocket or shape however you want. Seal with some water. Cut or poke a few small slits. If you are lucky enough to have an egg you can brush it on the outside of the loaf to get a golden brown crisp crust.
More countries trying to ditch the US dollar: After Venezuela, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that  it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal  Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to  reports in Turkey's Yeni Safak. It won't be the first time Turkey has  asked the NY Fed to ship the country's gold back: in recent years,  Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was  brought back from the US last year.

Forums and Facebook groups are littered with the same fundamental questions asked over and over again, but they often get incomplete, conflicting, or even dangerous answers. Then we’d read a blog where they did some quick googling and cranked out a post just to get some traffic. Or we’d have to dig through crazy propaganda and extreme political opinions in the hopes of finding a right answer. It drove us mad — we just wanted the facts and straightforward answers!


But of the many women I spoke to for this story, none view their lifestyle as non-collaborative. For Andrea Chymiy, a family doctor who lives on an island several miles from mainland Washington and runs a blog called Lefty Prepper Mom, learning about emergency preparedness and writing about prepping is part of a wider commitment to community service: providing others with the emergency first-aid skills and food storage know-how to fend for themselves in the event of an earthquake or other natural calamity.

I think it depends on the situation. Dollar for dollar, I think you can get more for your money. A case of gov MRE’s is around 75-100 dollars. That’s 12 meals. If you have a family, and if this is your only means of ‘survival’ food, it is not going to last that long. For food on the run, the tactical run, it is an excellent option to have. For a 72 hour grid down fight or flight scenario, also a good option. While I wouldn’t completely write them off as useless or non essential in most survival situations, they… Read more »
I can’t agree with your solution for water purification. If the argument is to “also” include scenarios where boiling isn’t practical, there are other options that fit the bill. For us, we’ve been using a Berkey filter system in our home instead of something that needs water pressure or power to serve in both bug out and Flint, MI like scenarios. We use it day to day today. Not cheap upfront but the cost per litre/gallon over time is a fraction of what you’ve proposed – with all due respect.
Check dried goods: rice, flour, grains – frequently for bug infestation. You can mix food grade diatomaceous earth in with dried goods and it will kill pantry moths and weevils. It is safe for humans and pets (as long as it is food grade). It works by shredding the exoskeletons of any soft bodied bug. It is used in grain silos to keep bugs from infesting grain. You can probably get some through a feed store. Some garden centers carry it. You can also order it online, but check the shipping cost. Pantry moth larva and weevils can squeeze through some very tight fitting lids. We’ve been fooled often by them.
Very, very well said MissKitty. You’ve reminded me of some of the natural disasters that have happened which did have a direct effect on us. The Yellowstone Caldera is a real worry but what can we really do about a potential disaster of that magnitude. That would almost be a planet killer. And I do agree 100% with you about “THEM” trying to keep “US” distracted and divided. Hegelian tactics. Bread and circuses. Cause and affect. Then solution. Cause the problem and then miraculously provide the solution. Orwell may have had it pretty much correct but I don’t think even he realized how really bad it could get. Even in recent memory I recall the Iceland volcano disrupting air travel and that was a very small event. Some of the other ones that effected the climate were Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines which dropped global temps for 2 or 3 years. The 1883 explosion of Krakatoa. That was not that long ago. The four years following the explosion were unusually cold, and the winter of 1887-1888 included powerful blizzards. Record snowfalls were recorded worldwide. You mentioned Tambora in 1815. It produced mid-summer frosts in New York State and June snowfalls in New England, Newfoundland and Labrador. In 1600, the Huaynaputina in Peru erupted. Tree ring studies show that 1601 was cold. Russia had its worst famine in 1601-1603. From 1600 to 1602, Switzerland, Latvia and Estonia had exceptionally cold winters. The wine harvest was late in 1601 in France, and in Peru and Germany, wine production collapsed. Peach trees bloomed late in China, and Lake Suwa in Japan froze early. These are just some of the worst volcanic events and if people are interested they can go to wikipedia and look it up themselves. For me the point of this is that the global weather system is rather fragile and delicate and doesn’t take all that much to disrupt it. I’m sure the “planners” have taken this into account before they start throwing a whole bunch of nukes around and stirring up so much dust that we have an extended nuclear winter. Unless their plan IS to try and get rid of as many of us as they can in one fell swoop. I’ve heard figures of 500 million bandied about as the ideal population limit for this planet but as I can’t get anyone to confirm, who knows. The best that any of us can do is to be as well prepared for the potential disasters that we CAN deal with.

A very timely article! I’ve been purchasing some basic dehydrated foods to experiment with this past month or so and hope to start cooking with them in the new year. I want to see what I will use and what, if anything, won’t be as popular. I’m starting small, but really looking forward to playing with them. 🙂 Also, there is something very seductive about not having to worry about whether or not I have any fresh eggs or milk or sour cream on hand just when I need them!

Using resinous woods (such as pine) for interior heating and cooking fires a very bad idea. As smoke cools on its way up a chimney, flammable resins accumulate in chimney flue(s). Eventually, months or years later. when someone builds another fire (say, during a cold Winter night), those resins ignite, and you have an upside-down solid-fuel rocket engine. Flame may gush sideways out of cracks in chimneys, igniting an entire abode.
For Sais, it is a family affair. He and his wife don’t have children but their wider family of nieces and nephews often go out to the bush to learn how to build shelter and start fires. They’re fun camping trips but also survival training. His parents also know the bug-out locations. Whether they are willing or not to go there in the event of a “situation”, he’s not sure. “We have had conversations,” he says.
We are near an Air Force base with Sandia National Lab that is involved with nuclear defense. If an enemy targets that, we are likely dead from the initial exposure or the loss of shelter. The base is just south and next to the Albuquerque airport. East, 4.5 hours outside Amarillo is another facility. 3 hours North is Los Alamos. Its been nice knowing you.
Pat I felt the same way you did about becoming a prepper. One day something inside of me said ok look, it’s time to start making a list and to get going on this endeavor. I started with the basics. I have been prepping for about a year + and have collected quite a lot of supplies. I educated myself in ways to store food. I am a You Tube watching fool, always looking at videos on how to do this or that. I’d like to know how to meet others who are prepping as well. I don’t really know… Read more »

Things must be simple and easy. You want to limit the number of important decisions you’ll have to make or things you’ll have to remember in a crisis. You should not have to remember where things are, put them together, worry about not having something important, or lose time while you do the work you should’ve done beforehand. You shouldn’t be thinking, “Well, wait, will I need the camping stove I have in the other bag?”


Many municipal water supplies are disinfected with chloramine now, not chlorine. (That's Texas law, for example.) The difference is that chlorine evaporates, while chloramine does not. It can only be removed by chemical reaction or charcoal filtration. For that reason, I avoid tap water as much as possible. But one nice thing about it in a survival situation is that, based on personal experience at least, it does not go bad.
And while most of them will tell you they got into survivalism out of an interest in self-reliance, that spirit by no means excludes a sense of cooperation. It’s there in the endless churn of blog posts, advice columns, Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, online classes, and digital marketplaces these women use to connect and swap information every day. And it’s here at Wild Abundance, in the open-air living room, where a woman with short hair and tattoos balances two tall boards of wood on the ground as another starts screwing in the shelves that will connect them into a bookcase.
Wheat can be cooked as is but most people will grind the wheat for flour. My favorite manual grain mill is the Wondermill Junior. Grinding flour is hard work, so you will probably prefer an electric mill, too. Wondermill and NutriMill both make very good electric mills in the lower $200 price range. I found my electric mill in a second hand store for about $30, so you might also start checking places like Goodwill and even online — Craigslist or eBay.

Onsite amenities are planned to include, a General Store, a members-only Restaurant & Bar, BBQ areas, a Community Theater, Hot Tub Spa, Gym, Medical Clinic, Hydroponic Gardens, Meeting Rooms, Classrooms, a Chapel, Horse Stables, Shooting Ranges, Vivos Equipment and Construction Supply Depot, Woodworking Shop, Maintenance Shop, Metal Fabrication Shop, and a fully built-out showroom bunker to demonstrate how each can be outfitted and equipped.
While survivalists accept the long-term viability of Western civilization, they learn principles and techniques needed for surviving life-threatening situations that can occur at any time and place. They prepare for such calamities that could result in physical harm or requiring immediate attention or defense from threats. These disasters could be biotic or abiotic. Survivalists combat disasters by attempting to prevent and mitigate damage caused by these factors.[31][32]

I am really enjoying this site that I discovered through Pinterest. You make everything simple and so much easier to follow than most the prepper websites I have seen. I have even ordered the LDS Providential Living, and while the information contained therein is great, it is just not really practical stuff easily affordable on a budget. This startup guide is wonderful and I really enjoy the 12 month breakdown you have provided as well. I have added your boards, but it would be nice if you had a Pinterest pin on your site so that all your archives I could store as well. Thank you so much for all you are doing! I learned some really cheap ways to make fire starters from you.


Part of prepping is not just stocking up on items, but also acquiring certain skills and training that will prove useful. Below is a list of many different skills you can learn. While you can’t be a master of all trades, it may be beneficial to focus on 2-3 skills you can become an expertise at. Then you will become the go to guy time and time again 🙂
It’s one thing to have solar panels, another to have a generator, and quite a remarkably nice thing once the best of both worlds are mixed. Yes, this is high up there on my dream wishlist. No, it’s not at all a necessity, but would it make life one heck of a lot easier if you had this even during a power outage – hell yes. Also – “It takes the same amount of time to charge your device from a Goal Zero power pack as it does from the wall.” How cool is that??

Laura B. "You have no privacy on the internet, and probably never have."You got that almost rite, all except the word "probably." You have never had any privacy on the internet, and very little anywhere in this country for a lot longer than the internet has been around. Your credit cards track you and your perches. Your drivers license tracks you. Your phone, both cell and home, tracks you. Everything you buy, car, home, property, even the groceries you buy are tracked. Every bill you pay tracks you. The only way to not be tracked is to not have a birth certificate, a social security card, a credit/debit card, never own anything taxable and never pay for anything with anything but gold, silver, or barter. Even the government currency called the dollar has a # on it so it can be tracked. All the things I've listed were put in place for 1 reason, and that is to track. Privacy hasn't been a part of American life for over 100 yrs.
I guess I have been taking a longer view. Any disaster will shut down delivery to stores so all fresh greens will stop. I remember that during the same period in history the Polynesian sailors were able to stay out at sea much longer than European sailors and didn’t know what scurvy was. They used bean sprouts to supplement their diet. Last Christmas I asked my wife for a bean sprouter. It has been a lot of fun playing with, eating and learning to work with a multitude of seeds. One interesting fact was that wheat sprouts have an interesting sweat taste. This got me gathering information about what makes good sprouting seeds and it seems that fresh and non-treated (as usually done by our commercial world) is the critical factor. It was about the same time I learned that one of my nearby farm friends has a crop of winter wheat being harvested this July and would have no problem giving me a 5 gal bucket. (@ ~$8.00 a bushel) So I started looking for a food grade bucket and learned that both Jewel and Dominics (grocery stores) go through a number of 5 and or 2.5 gal buckets weekly or daily, (labels usually describe cake icing) for free. Sometimes I have to clean the remnants out, but that’s not to hard and the price is right and they are food grade. I am excited to have fresh wheat and two uses for wheat. Opps I still need to get a flower mill. One step at a time. I have the buckets now.
Survivalists, otherwise known as "doomsday preppers," are having a moment of shine in popular culture. Some people believe that peppers are planning for nuclear warfare, or the world's inevitable economic collapse. Some believe that they are protecting themselves from the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Others believe that these pre-apocalypse preppers and planners are simply and certifiably insane.
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

Luther’s decision to build up a pantry, she says, did more than help the family get by on a tiny budget. Later on, it would also help her through a divorce, the sudden death of her ex-partner at age 40, and getting laid off from two jobs in the automotive industry in the late 2000s. “I feel that it’s the whole reason my my mortgage didn’t go into default when I was unemployed, because I didn’t have to go to the grocery store and buy stuff,” Luther says of her experiences during the recession. “All the limited amount of money I had could go to paying the mortgage and keeping a roof over our head.”


Regarding the 2L soda bottles, how long do you store them before changing out the water with fresh water? Would you say that the water stored in this way would only be good for cleaning clothes, washing dishes and bathing and not for drinking or cooking? I have pondered doing the same thing but wondered how long the water would stay fresh and free of bacterial growth etc. (aka safe to use).

You may feel helpless if you have not been an outdoorsy or rugged person for most of your life, but the most essential lifesaving and survival skills and concepts are easily learned, if not mastered. Below is a list of several core skill sets you should make a point to get trained on and practice when you can. In all but the smallest towns there will be someone who has something to teach you about all of them.
181. Animal husbandry – Caring for animals, how to raise them and breed them is animal husbandry. Chickens, goats, cattle, horses, for whatever reason can provide milk, eggs, transportation, carry loads, etc … and proper care is something that must be learned. Chickens are a great place to start. Get 3-5 chickens, a proper chicken coop, then some feed and you are good to go. Craigslist is a quick place to find baby chicks for sale. Did I mention your reward is delicious eggs everyday! Hint: The Leghorn breed lay the most eggs …
Don’t overlook the importance of a solid financial foundation in prepping — it reduces your chances of an emergency happening in the first place and makes them much easier to handle when they do. Check out our money management basics for normal preppers with tips on building an emergency “rainy day” fund and how to change the way you save, budget, spend, and invest.

I would like to add something, not necessarily to the list, but more like “food for thought” ideas that could very well save you and your family’s life. Living in the South, you “will almost” grow up around some natural disasters, whether it be a hurricane or tornado, most of us here take “prepping” very serious..and we learn a lot from those disasters also (I.e. Hurricane Katrina). I grew up around great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, other relatives and friends, who have a garden, almost for the entire year. Learning to can and freeze food was as natural as brushing your teeth! During the summer, when school is out, we shelled peas, shuck corn(yeah say that fast!), canned beans and tomatoes, picked berries, smashed berries, and, on occasion, churned butter! I wish I had a dollar for every pea I shelled! I be richer than Midas! Knowing these “techniques” can make a huge difference in feeding your family for several months without electricity. There have been lots of times when we would get lunch or diner straight out of the garden, washed and prepped, cooked, and on the plate in a couple of hours. No storage. No refrigeration! Scraps of food went into the garden or compost. And you can cook this stuff straight over an open fire. Two words…”cast iron”…it is a very good investment…it is great to use anywhere…open fire or stove! You don’t have to wash cast iron(I know it does sound gross, but believe it or not, that is the “beauty” of cast iron)..you wipe it out and keep it seasoned. You can cook anything in cast iron, from biscuits…to a cake! People with cast iron can cook almost forever! I would view it as essential. Enough about the garden.
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. 
The way I think of it is, it depends on the food. How long will it last once you open it? Will it last long enough once opened for your family to consume it before it goes bad. Also, only buy foods you know how to use and that you will actually like to eat. No point in buying wheat berries if you dont have the manual grinder to process it and if you don’t know how to cook with it. I have a family of 4 including 2 small children. If I store rice in a 5 gallon mylar, will we use it before it goes bad once it’s opened? Possibly not. So i put it in 1 lb mylar bags. We can pull out smaller amounts at a time.
Because I couldn’t stop wondering what it would be like to actually live off the stuff, I placed an order for Wise’s Seven Day Emergency Food and Drink Supply, a shoebox-size assortment of breakfast foods, entrées, and dehydrated whey milk substitute, in addition to a few other options I’d discovered online. I wanted to know what an insurance policy tasted like.
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