I think there are stages to prepping. The first stage is awareness. Maybe you experience a major hurricane and have to drive around town freaking out because you don’t have enough bottled water. You think, “Never again.” So you purchase realistic items for your area. The second stage is when you come to realize how much stuff you will actually need and you go out and purchase those items. The third stage is when you realize that no matter how much stuff you have stocked up, it will eventually run out in a grid down situation. That leads to the fourth stage–skills. Do you know how to garden when your life and the lives of your family depend on it? Do you know how to trap and hunt? Can you tell the difference between edible plants and poisonous plants? Do you have a trade like carpentry, plumbing, engineering, canning, bushcraft, herbal medicine? The sixth and final stage (and I am just making this up off the top of my head) is when you realize that no matter how many skills you have, you can’t make it alone. You begin to look for a community.

I believe that the only real weakness in this article is the insistence that needing to add a lot of water is a downside to a particular food. Water is life. If you do not have an essentially unlimited supply of water, you will die when it runs out, and food is entirely irrelevant. If there isn’t an essentially unlimited supply on your property (well, stream, lake, etc), nor a nearby supply you can lug to your property, then you need to abandon your place and go somewhere that has water.
Thanks for another helpful article, Pat. I’d been wondering about long term food for my preps. I’ve never had MRE’s, although I have eaten “C” & “K” rations (remember those battleship gray-green cans?) an older relative brought home. My question is, how do I determine the best taste/value for my dollar? My goal of having 6 months to 1 year’s worth of food for a family will be significant in terms of money spent. Do you know of any “survival food” vendors who have trial offers for people to taste test BEFORE they plunk down 4 figures for boxes of… Read more »
It was a bit paralyzing, knowing I couldn’t do much in this situation to keep my kids safe. I’m grateful it was a false alarm.At home we have supplies and plenty of food, but here on vacation, not so much. We did just go to the grocery store last night, so we have several days worth of food, but only an electric stove to cook with if we couldn’t go outside. Otherwise, no preps here, and very little with us.”
Once you get going, it will be easy to lose track of what you already have.  The best way to overcome the state of confusion you will experience six months down the road is to start keeping track of your stored items now – from the beginning.  Use a spiral notebook, a computer spreadsheet, or a clipboard and a pad of paper.  Update your inventory with the item and date of purchase as it goes into storage and of course, mark it off as it rotates out.
In his 2016 book, Can It! The Perils and Pleasures of Preserving Foods, Gary Allen, a food writer and adjunct professor at SUNY Empire State College, traces the evolution of food preservation as a source of culinary innovation. “The original food-preservation methods—like salting and drying and all that—actually turned the food into something else,” he told me over the phone. “Cabbage sauerkraut is not the same thing as cabbage. Wine is not the same thing as grape juice.”
The reason the vacuum sealing system’s up on this list is because I feel food has a much longer “shelf life” so to speak when its vacuum sealed before being thrown in the freezer. Used to have a lot of power outages when we lived in Toronto, and each time our food would thaw out a little it’d taste worse and worse – except for the one vacuum sealed slab of meat we got from a neighbour which I think withstood 2-3 power outages (one which lasted 4-5 days) and tasted as though it was vacuum packed the day before. I’ve also heard of people vacuum packing rice into smaller one-serving portions, and have always thought that a great idea for cases you might want to throw a bunch into a pack and go, or just generally extend the shelf life of your food/prevent rats and mice from getting into things. Necessary? No. Definitely still something I want, though.
If you sign up for alerts about CMEs, I suggest you narrow the frequency of the alerts to no more than once a day. You can do this right when you create the alert, under the “show option” link. That way, if some new study is published about CMEs and every science news outlet covers it, you don’t get hundreds of alerts, just one per day. You might even change the alert, while the news covers this study, to once a week.
Some products are no different than a normal box of mac and cheese: you boil water in a pot, mix the packaged product into the pot, turn the heat to a simmer, cook, and serve. Others are as simple as pouring boiling water in the pouch and waiting a few minutes. In some cases, the water doesn’t even need to be hot (although flavor and texture is better if it is).
This was an informative article, but I would like to see a bunker industry comparison of bunkers. Perhaps this has been done, but I just haven’t run across it yet. If anyone knows of any credible and objective comparisons, I’d be interested in knowing the link to that info. Right now, I’m considering Rising S, Vivos, or Bombardo. I don’t need an underground city, nor do I like communal life (been there, done that in military). I just want a functional bunker for 4 to 6 people that is reasonably priced and will last for a long time.

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Most likely, 2018 will pass without any of these things happening. Then again, most likely it’ll pass without you having a traffic accident – but you still pay for car insurance. If I’m ready to cope with any of the things I fear most in the coming year I’ll also be able to handle anything else that goes wrong, and that’s what prepping is all about.
All good questions and points. Shipping containers are definitely not a good option. They are typically made of 16 and 14 gauge corrugated steel (.065 and.075 inches respectively) and the amount of retrofitted fortification that would be required to withstand the weight/pressure of several feet of earth is considerable. The container would have to be buried fairly deep(as most steel shelters are) since it offers little protection, in and of itself, against radiation, heat or even small arms fire due to it’s light construction. Then of course there would be waterproofing required(although they are made to be exposed to weather,they… Read more »
I opened my MRE and noticed that everything was still pretty much the same. You have food in foil packets although my packets weren’t in separate boxes. They did include the nutritional insert though and I never understood why they had the extra boxes anyway. Another thing we didn’t have when I was in was the handy ration heater. The ration heater is activated by placing a little water in a bag. The water mixes with an element and causes a chemical reaction that generates heat. You wrap your entrée in the bag,  and in 10 minutes you are supposed to have a hot meal. It didn’t work that way for me.
Finally something other than right wing sound bites. There are a lot of us out here that are concerned about survival and where our country is going that DO NOT buy into the baloney that is saying that liberals/progressives are the source of our problems. Yes, people on the left were beaten, imprisoned, and harassed for their beliefs. And yes, there are intolerant jackasses on the left, but the amount of violence, intimidation, denial of rights, and harassment coming from the right far outweighs any other source. I do not care about party labels-right wing democrats in the first 2/3 of the 20th century were responsible for much of the above.Look at the history that does not get taught-Rosewood, Tulsa, Southern Arkansas, and the thousands of lynchings that occurred. These were not done by progressives/liberals. Research history, read about our history, learn what really went on. Then proceed with making survival plans that are positive for our future.
#10 Wow, who to trust and how to meet those “truth worthy” people?? This one hit home. Due to various experiences with people from ever walk of life and every religious persuasion I’ve become a very distrusting person. So to even consider trusting someone, these days, I don’t know with the lives and safety of my family would be nothing short of a MAJOR miracle. Anyone else like me?? How do you over come that natural mistrust??
Water should be able to be stored indefinitely provided it is not contaminated in any way. The problem with storing water in a car is the heat or cold. In the summer time, your water could bake. In really hot environments, if your water is stored in plastic, chemicals in the plastic can leech into your water. There could be some debate about what is the greater harm, chemicals or death by dehydration, but it is something to consider. In the same way, water in the winter can freeze, but as long as it isn’t getting contaminated from any other… Read more »
outisde of the local systems, all newer cell phones in the US should be Wireless Emergency Alerts capable (WEA). Check with your carrier to make sure that your phone is capable (there is some variance by carrier on some phone models.) Then make sure that the service is turned on in your phone settings. These alerts are sent by authorized agencies through a dedicated infrastructure, and there is no need to sign up. If you are in a Tsunami affected alert area, you will get the alert, and the phone does not stop the alert until you acknowledge it. It is important to keep your phone on and charged 24/7. If in the US, Warnings will also be broadcast by NOAA weather radio.
Been thinking about stockpiling some long life food as been a carer for my wife for 14 years and after 12 years of nothing we managed to save $10K which was going to be to fix up the house but decided to put all into the stock market. Well, I have managed to turn it into 140K and although we are well under deeming cutoffs and amount where we lose some pension I was thinking about getting $20K in the long life food with 25 year life span. Just looking at the way food prices have gone up I’d estimate in 10 years the same food will be double.
The true state of the economy: Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and  soon Herberger's, a department store. "The mall is pretty sad," says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. "Once  Herberger's closes, we'll have no anchors." About two-thirds of Ottumwa's Quincy Place Mall will be empty with  Herberger's loss.  Bon-Ton Stores, of which Herberger's was a part; Toys R Us; MC Sports  and others are bankrupt. JCPenney, Kmart and other department stores are closing unprofitable stores in their struggle to survive against  growing online competition.
But mothers like Nygaard, Luther, and Bogwalker probably don’t need to a sociologist to remind them of that: They’re busy taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, running their own business, and doing their best to ensure that everyone around them has everything they need. It can be hard to draw the line between being a mom who is a survivalist and simply being a mom who lives her life with an eye to the future, but maybe that’s kind of the point: In giving traditional “women’s work” a name — like prepping or homesteading — they’re simply making that work more visible.

One thing younger preppers may want to consider too is babies. Assuming prescription birth control will not be available, it will be important to have other methods on hand to ensure that you can prevent pregnancy (if you want to). Additionally, some people may want to network with local midwives and doulas (or even become one yourself!). This is an invaluable skill to have in an emergency SHTF scenario. Every family is different, but as a currently pregnant woman, it’s something that I’m thinking about right now. 🙂
Anyway, another thought runnin’ round my brain as of late is a mistake Gaye’s friend did, “Yes, you can use oxygenators and all that stuff. I tried that and I ended up throwing out all the food. It was rancid. I processed $1,200.00 of food at a local church facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. I threw it out one year later. It was a volunteer church group that did not know how many oxygenators to put in each #10 can.” – //foodstoragemoms.com/2015/11/dehydrating-food-for-long-term/

So far so good. I broke out the crackers; literally because they came apart in my hands. This wasn’t the fault of the manufacturer I don’t think. I was just clumsy. Regardless, once I had my peanut butter on them they were great. I finished up with the dessert, Vanilla pudding which to prepare you needed to mix a little water in the bag and shake the bag for 60 seconds before it was ready. This was definitely good!
Counter-terrorism expert Michael Clarke, who specialises in defence  studies, has urged the public to be ready for “cyber warfare” within the next two or three weeks. He said: ”I suspect Russia will choose not to  respond in military terms. But cyber warfare is highly likely. "It will  be an attack on national infrastructure, not just upsetting city firms,  but getting inside the transport system, or the health system, or air  traffic control. It could affect everyone."
Great read, but #14 in my opinion is not good. Why is it always the prepper in the family that has to compromise? Prepping is not a number one priority, it is the only priority. There is nothing but prepping. It is not a way of life, it is life itself. What good will prepping do anyone if they are away on vacation when the lights go out or a nuclear blast occurs? What good is anything connected with survival if it is not with you 24/7/365.25? One window of opportunity is all an intentional or happenstance enemy needs to cull a prepper. Life is life and death is death and their is no inbetween. A little bit of further advice on bugging out, if you will allow. All this bogus info about bug out bags, bug out vehicles, and bug out locations is just a ton of suicidal bs as far as survival goes. Any bug out bag a person can reasonably carry will not provide enough food to last more than 60 days. We have tried this and dehydrated food is the only feasible plan one can have for lengthy time driven bugging out. Canned food is good, but extremely heavy. Dehydrated food and lifestraws will put you light years ahead of the pack{We dehydrate our own vegetables, fruits, and meats]. Vehicles will only get you killed so how do you take enough supplies to last a year or more. Well, the lowly wheel barrow works tremendously well. With or without a few homemade alterations, such as side bodies, the ‘Texas dump truck'[wheelbarrow] will carry an enormous amount of supplies and is easily hidden while we scout out an area or forage for food or the best drinking water. The wheelbarrow, in effect, is our bug out location. Whereever it is, we will not be far away.One person alone can carry a lot, a whole lot, and if you have two or more people the possibilites are almost unlimited. Make sure the inflatable tires are replaced with solid rubber if possible. We had no trouble in finding solid rubber replacement tires but if you do then get a hand pump and several tube repair kits. Garden utility wagons also work well. Even for carrying infants and small pets the wheelbarrow/garden wagon works great. Admittedly I do not live in the mountains and don’t really know how functional a wheelbarrow would be in that terrain, but it works great in the flatlands and hills. For the small amount of money invested and the positive results achieved a wheelbarrow is the way to go when shft. thanks and God bless.
I still hand wash clothes and hang them out to dry..yes, I do have a washer and dryer, but sometimes I just like sun dry clothes. You can set up a clothes line between two trees, in less of an hour. At the lake, we dry clothes over pallets. By the way, speaking of pallets…they are free and you can use them to start up a fire pit or fire place. Get you some. Pallets are good for LOTS of things. Keep that in mind.
This is a really comprehensive article on food prepping! I was very taken by your last item on “Edible Landscaping.” There is a natural antibacterial, antiviral product called “Sambucol,” that is a syrup (patented) made from black elderberries. There is another syrup similar called “Sambucus,” which is the botanical name for black elderberries. Not only do they taste delicious — like something to top your ice cream sundae with! — they are pretty amazing for coughs, colds, and flu. I am thinking that that might be a good thing to have growing in our yards when SHTF.

Hi Chuck. Another book you might find interesting is “The Third Horseman – Climate Change and The Great Famine of The 14th Century” by William Rosen. There was a period of global cooling that led to massive crop failures, famine and an outbreak of bubonic plague combined with warfare that killed one eighth of Europe’s population. Depressing as hell but very interesting as it shows how all of these things are interrelated.
It isn't hysteria, and GMO isn't 'evolution'. One of the biggest issues for preppers and survival is that GMO seeds will not reproduce in the same way if the seeds are saved and re-used. In fact, in many instances (maybe all?), it's illegal to save the seeds and re-use them! It's far better to track down heirloom seeds that are native to your area and/or compatible with your climate. A good place to start looking is ×