In the next decade Howard Ruff warned about socio-economic collapse in his 1974 book Famine and Survival in America. Ruff's book was published during a period of rampant inflation in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. Most of the elements of survivalism can be found there, including advice on food storage. The book championed the claim that precious metals, such as gold and silver, have an intrinsic worth that makes them more usable in the event of a socioeconomic collapse than fiat currency. Ruff later published milder variations of the same themes, such as How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, a best-seller in 1979.
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.
afraid i haven’t. my experience has been that the average person will resort to lying, stealing and often violence at the first sign of trouble. there are exceptions, of course, but i haven’t found any reliable way to identify them before the shtf. even longtime friends can turn on a dime; and relatives…well, just consider what happens when some well-heeled person in the family dies! wish i could be more encouraging, but i just don’t see it that way.
One item you must have is jug or two of plain, unscented, regular bleach and an eye-dropper for precise measurement. Adding one part bleach to nine parts water makes a great disinfectant, but more importantly you can add 16 drops of bleach to a gallon of water to kill germs in an emergency. It has other obvious uses for hygiene, and is too cheap to not have handy for such an occasion. Just keep in mind that bleach has a short shelf life, not the first thing you’d want to stockpile. Get more than one water filter, such as the ones made by Sawyer or Berkey.
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.
First aid: Many of the first aid kits you’ll find in Amazon searches aren’t good enough for survival scenarios (regardless of what their marketing says) because they’re meant for daily use or OSHA work compliance. Invest in a high-quality kit that includes supplies for more serious injuries like broken bones or deep, bleeding wounds. Frankly, we’ve never found an off-the-shelf kit we’re 100% happy with, but a great starter option is this Adventure Medical Fundamentals Kit.

Prepping isn’t just for the zombie apocalypse. I live in costal New England and you can bet that there will be at least two or three situations where you won’t have power or won’t be able to get to the store for a while. Blizzards, hurricanes, etc. Also personal crises like losing a job or unexpected car repairs can leave you looking at zero food budget. Always good to have emergency rations to live off of until things return to normal.
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 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.
After 15 minutes, I was startled to discover that the cereal had puffed up into a Kashi-like multitude of grains, flecked with tiny pieces of apple, complete with green peel, that looked just-chopped. It didn’t taste as good as it appeared: Eyeballing a fourth of the bag had resulted in a poor distribution of seasoning, yielding a flavor I can only describe as water laced with traces of cinnamon and sugar, though subsequent attempts tasted better.
One last tip, don’t forget to store easy to prepare foods to help you get through on difficult days.  Even though they may not be on your list of required food storage foods, you may want to reconsider puddings, juice boxes, instant packaged foods, coffee, candy, muffin mixes, cake mixes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup (lasts a long time without refrigeration), brownie mix and other specialty comfort foods.
A lot of prepping is common sense, but there’s very little of it around. The theory goes that it’s psychologically uncomfortable to think about death and dying, so people tend not to. And people often think that a disaster won’t happen to them, so they’re less likely to prepare. But it’s not very difficult, and it’s not expensive – I buy equipment from Amazon: a survival blanket, a sleeping hammock, one of those bottles that filters contaminants found in water. Most of the time you won’t need it. But it’s that one time when you really do, and you haven’t got it, or you haven’t taught yourself how to use it… that’s when it’s too late.
I know there are quite a few things we need to be aware of that could turn our world upside down, but having clean drinkable water does not get the credit it deserves. Is this because we are so used to the water just coming out of the faucet and we take it for granted. There will never be a water shortage on this planet, but there will be a drinkable water shortage. Have a look at this article about the looming water shortage.
One last tip, don’t forget to store easy to prepare foods to help you get through on difficult days.  Even though they may not be on your list of required food storage foods, you may want to reconsider puddings, juice boxes, instant packaged foods, coffee, candy, muffin mixes, cake mixes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup (lasts a long time without refrigeration), brownie mix and other specialty comfort foods.
That is a great idea Scott! When I started writing this article it was my intent to get people thinking about how to cook in an emergency or SHTF situation. While a lot of the readers of Backdoor Survival are experienced at cooking, there are also a lot of folks out there that are just learning how to cook. I am 34 and I have to say that a lot of people my age don’t cook but they are learning. I always have cooked. Mom headed out the door when I was 4 so it was me and my Dad who cooked for me a lot of the time but I had to do some too. Donating food is a great thing to do if you are not able to use what you have stockpiled and it is set to expire. Thanks for a great suggestion as we enter the holiday season!
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.
Paracord: It’s so handy that many preppers wear a bracelet made of braided paracord that can be pulled apart and used as a normal 20-foot line in an emergency. Some bracelets are just the paracord, others have tools like a compass or whistle built in. If you don’t want to wear it on your wrist, you can tie it to your purse or bag as an accessory. We don’t yet have a specific favorite here, so just shop around.

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.


@Loonejack That WAS strange weather, wasn’t it. One storm after the other after the other. No relief for those poor people. Good idea not to live on the east coast. There are some saying that we are overdue for an Ice Age and that it could be here in the next decade or so but does any one REALLY know. It really does come down to speculation. There was a mini ice age in Europe from about the 16th to the 19th centuries. They’re not quite sure about the exact times. There were three particularly cold intervals: one beginning about 1650, another about 1770, and the last in 1850, all separated by intervals of slight warming. Everything goes in cycles, especially the sun, and if we do experience a true ice age then we’ll just have to deal with it. I would think in a situation like that people would come together for mutual survival.

Basically I would think in terms of mixed contents for five gallon buckets. I always use Food Grade buckets only combined with good Mylar bags and oxygen absorbing packs. By mixed contents I mean bags of rice (white) beans various types along with pasta products etc. this way you do not expose five gallons of rice or beans all at once. This extends the overall life of your food supplies.
After 9/11, my dad filled a duffel bag with some energy bars, a couple gallons of water, some penicillin, and a map. Amid scaremongering headlines about imminent anthrax and “dirty bomb” attacks in the city, he wanted to have some supplies on hand in case we needed to get out of Brooklyn fast. Were he to assemble such a bag today, he’d likely stumble on a number of companies promising a more wholesale brand of disaster preparedness: a box full of shelf-stable freeze-dried meals, to be revived from their dessicated state with the addition of boiled water.
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