Midway through December, while temperatures in the UK plummeted, heaps of snow drove transport services into a frenzy and schools into closure. Water supplies froze. Medical assistance slowed, threatening genuine peril. People began to store fuel. Across the Midlands, families were left without power – no electricity, no heat – in some instances overnight. For those of us safely tucked away indoors, or unaffected by the weather, the news could be shocking. It also brought to mind an unnerving question: would you be ready if calamity struck?
What is your physical ability? Are you and your spouse able to lift a 50 gallon garbage can full, in case you have to move it? Not everybody can do it alone easily. I met a person who was physicaly strong, but she had days her hands couldn’t open anything because of a chronic sickness. Another one, very strong also, but his back was fragile sometimes.
Stored food, even buckets of emergency food, mean you will eat well. But you need fresh food and that is tough to get in emergency situations. Having sprouting seeds on-hand will allow you to grow sprouts with just a little water. This isn’t about growing a garden—it’s about having fresh greens to eat every day. Examples of the types of seeds you can use include mustard seeds, mung beans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and lentils.
For global catastrophic risks the costs of food storage become impractical for most of the population  and for some such catastrophes conventional agriculture would not function due to the loss of a large fraction of sunlight (e.g. during nuclear winter or a supervolcano). In such situations, alternative food is necessary, which is converting natural gas and wood fiber to human edible food.
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.
At one, a prominent venture capitalist was said to have told fellow diners of his escape plans. In the garage of his San Francisco home, he told guests, is a bag of guns hanging from the handlebars of a motorcycle. The bike will allow him to weave through traffic on the way to his private plane, and the guns are for defense against encroaching zombies that may threaten his getaway.
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.
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.
If the power grid goes down and water isn’t running, sanitation and waste removal becomes something of value as it can lead to cross-contamination of the foodstuffs and water. Sanitation is of utmost importance to the successful storage of foodstuff and necessities for a proper storage shelter. Things like baby wipes can be extremely assistive in keeping the germs at bay, and they can be thrown in the fire afterward.
Freeze-dried survival meals and dishes are another space-saving, convenient option, but require a significant amount of water to prepare and can be expensive. MREs are quite popular, extremely calorie dense, come in bomb-proof packaging and have a host of nice pack-ins like sauces, spices and candy, but are expensive, bulky and a steady diet of them will cause serious constipation. Don’t rule out either; just make sure you have good reasons for choosing them.
165. Toilet Paper – If stores close down, toliet paper will skyrocket in demand, store up on some now. Get those commercial rolls, with 1000 sheets. A simple way to gauge your needs for 1 year, is to mark how many rolls do you go through in a week. Then multiply this number by 52. If you use 2 rolls per week in your household, then you will need 104 rolls. Remember this will always be a great bartering item.
When I first started prepping, I did not mention my new little “hobby” to anyone. You know, OPSEC and all that. But about a year into it, I realized that I could not do it all on my own. There were things I was having trouble grasping and I needed help. As I tip toed around the edges of my community, I found some like minded people and much to my surprise, I found that I had skills and knowledge that they lacked.
I’ve just explained why EMP wouldn’t be as destructive as a full-scale nuclear war, but it would still be devastating – and it’s a lot more likely than a Cold War-style missile exchange. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, it’s a lot more survivable for the aggressor; our government might hesitate to launch a retaliatory strike on a country, killing millions of its people, because its leaders exploded a nuclear warhead in space. Secondly there are more countries who are capable of doing it right now or could be there in a matter of months.
One newsletter deemed by some to be one of the most important on survivalism and survivalist retreats in the 1970s was the Personal Survival ("P.S.") Letter (circa 1977–1982). Published by Mel Tappan, who also authored the books Survival Guns and Tappan on Survival. The newsletter included columns from Tappan himself as well as notable survivalists such as Jeff Cooper, Al J Venter, Bruce D. Clayton, Nancy Mack Tappan, J.B. Wood (author of several gunsmithing books), Karl Hess, Janet Groene (travel author), Dean Ing, Reginald Bretnor, and C.G. Cobb (author of Bad Times Primer). The majority of the newsletter revolved around selecting, constructing, and logistically equipping survival retreats. Following Tappan's death in 1980, Karl Hess took over publishing the newsletter, eventually renaming it Survival Tomorrow.
Don’t fret over that: below I have provided a handy checklist for what I think are think are the most essential supplies to stock and steps to implement if you are starting from zero or close to zero. This article will not be detailed step-by-step guide on any one skill, discussion over what foods have the best calorie-to-shelf-life ratio or the absolute best way to store water. All of that has been discussed in detail with expert input here and elsewhere. What the list will be is your jump-start to taking simple, positive action that will give the you of today better survival odds in a crisis over the you of yesterday.
I’ve seen a few people saying that an EMP attack would be more destructive than a nuclear war. It wouldn’t. An actual nuclear war would cause unimaginable devastation. Major cities would be flattened and burned by multiple strikes. Airports, harbors and military bases would be hit. Smaller warheads would take out freeway intersections and rail junctions. Parts of the country would be blanketed in fallout. Dust and smoke pumped into the atmosphere by the explosions would block the sun’s light for weeks, adding cold weather to all the other hazards. Then, on top of that, you’d have the EMP as well. Every weapon would cause local EMP damage, and it’s almost certain that high altitude EMP bursts would be included in the strike to maximize the chaos. A major nuclear war would be a lot worse than an EMP. Short of an impact from a slate-wiper asteroid it would be worse than anything I can imagine.
I believe the initial goal amount of food stockpile for someone new to prepping should a year. After a year…they should work towards 2 years, etc. I also tend to agree that it’s better to plan for the worst and hope for the best. So for someone new to prepping a years worth of food is a good 1st goal. Will a years worth of food be enough for a downfall scenario you describe? Probably not, but it will be good for a milder SHTF scenario. My advice is for everyone to start stockpiling as much food as they can…just in case.
Americans get taught there was a single Trail, only implemented against the Cherokee, but there were multiple Trails of Tears imposed on several Southern and mid-Western Indian tribes. Basically, any aboriginal group living on land, or above resources, coveted by Euro-whatevers (violating the 10th Commandment) got ejected and ethnically ‘cleansed’. Many robberies, rapes and murders committed against them during those atrocities. Very like what’s done to Palestinians (between 1946 and today) by Zionists, to Tibetans by communists, and now to the Rohingya (NW Burma) by nominal ‘Buddhists’.
You make good sense about starting with a years supply of preps. Without putting any emphasis on myself it is easy for me to forget that I was born in 1953. What we call prepping is what my grandparents called normal living. They never stored water, of course we had plenty of it back then, but food, preserved, canned, dehydrated, powdered, and in just about every other form was everywhere in their lives. And they were not big farmers, just small timers with no bills, no agenda, no nothing except the ability to have plenty in the toughest of times. Those people taught me a lot and I thank Christ for them every day. Well, that’s enough about me. Best wishes to you and keep up the good work.
“Everything started flying out,” she says. Buckets and cans rolled out of the pantry and down the side of the mountain. Hurricane Maria claimed almost all the food Jennifer had stockpiled, in addition to more than 30 chickens, two cows, four pigs, six ducks, and a turkey. “I had prepped for two and a half years, and I ended up with preps for six months,” she says.
When speaking to preppers like Jennifer, Luther, and Nygaard, it can be hard to separate the more practical aspects of the lifestyle from the enjoyment that comes from doing things yourself instead of paying someone to do them. When I point out that running a small-scale farm and caring for two kids seems like an awful lot of work to do on top of a full-time job, Nygaard demures. “Yeah, it is. But I choose it. I choose to spend it like this because there are things that give me pleasure. I enjoy canning. I love seeing my work on the shelf. You grew that, and you canned it, and you get a source of pride from that.”
Personal hygiene is even more important in emergency situations than during everyday life. We have so many conveniences at our disposal in our society. Yet many people don’t realize the challenges when those conveniences are no longer available. Personal hygiene is really about keeping clean and avoiding unsanitary conditions that can lead to illness.
“My first thought was to get my kids and us dressed! And then it was, “Crap! Close the windows!” We have no car here, and nowhere to go, so we were going to shelter in place. As far as I know, we aren’t near any military installations or big cities (we are staying outside of Kona). And then I started thinking about what supplies we have here- which isn’t much at all. And there was a bit of fatalism, figuring that if it is our day to die, then it’s our day, and not much I could do about it. And we were burning up our phones on social media both to get the word out and to find out what was really happening. But it was a good 10-15 minutes of fear.
Testers felt Soylent beat Tsogo on flavor. However, the Tsogo line has a lot of products, such as fruit and vegetable powders and boost packs (protein, caffeine, energy, green tea), so it’s worth checking out. This might be a line of products you want to work into your regular life, so cycling through your supply before it expires would make the shelf-life less of a concern.
This is the mainstay of what I have except for a couple of items I am missing. Be careful with the pancake mix as it has a short shelf life and make sure to rotate it often. This article has helped a lot. I was worried I did not have enough but have a much larger quantity and feel so much better. I also have variety of other items mixed in and this goes way beyond my every day pantry. With 70 lbs of rice and 15 of beans and 10 of oats as a basis. Working on the beans, I have about 24 cans of meat. A ton of cans of veggies and fruit and cases soup in cans, mixes, cubes etc. I have 15 lbs of matzoh and 5 of crackers. I have about 8 cases of ramen noodles. I have bread mixes, cake mixes, honey, tea, coffee, powdered milk, spices, at least 10 lbs of salt. I have sugar at least 25 lbs but I think more. I have flour. I have at least a dozen pasta and sauces. I have 8 giant sized jars of peanut butter and rotate them out, five giant cans of drink mix(tang and iced tea) This is all besides my regular pantry that would easily last a month and I rotate my groceries from this so they do not expire. I have 200 gallons of drinkable water plus filtration and tablets and bleach for much more. I have all this but still I have the urgent feeling that it is never enough and when I grocery shop am always trying to add one or two items. I know I have six months of survival for 3 adults but thinking maybe it is more.
A serious, coordinated cyber attack could easily disrupt us enough to cause social collapse – and from the attacker’s point of view, it’s even safer than an EMP. It’s hard to prove who carried it out; even if you can pin down where the attackers were located, their government can claim it was nothing to do with them. Meanwhile the attack could cause a runaway collapse, where the failure of one system brings down others in a cascade it could take years to recover from.
30. Paper goods, plates, cups, utensils – In addition to the above, having a nice stock of paper plates, cups, and utensils will be extra convenient. Next time you see a super sale on these items at Costco’s or Sam’s try to shoot for a 1 month supply. These can always be used in a short-term crisis, as well as for the first month in a long term to eliminate washing while other critical things needs to be done.
Vivos, a company owned by Robert Vicino, a California entrepreneur, has the rights to lease 575 of these concrete bunkers in Igloo outside of Edgemont, S.D. People from across the country were in Igloo on Friday, May 19, 2017, looking at the bunkers as end of the world shelters.(Chris Huber /Rapid City Journal via AP) Chris Huber / Rapid City Journal
CNBC: The federal government could soon pay more in interest on its debt than it spends on the military, Medicaid, or children’s programs. The run-up in borrowing costs is a one-two punch brought on by the need to finance a fast-growing budget deficit, worsened by tax cuts and steadily rising interest rates that will make the debt more expensive. -- Big surprise. Trump is the fall guy for years of bad policy?
Great list 🙂 The only thing I would suggest to add would be applied knowledge- for example there is no point in having seeds if you don’t know how to grow what you’ve got. Even if you don’t have access to land or a garden atm try growing crops in pots. Learn about the different soil and nutrient requirements for your selected plants, how to make fertlisers etc. If you are collecting tools know what to do with them, if you have info on foraging apply it now or go on foraging walks with local groups. Whatever skills you think… Read more »
Zombie apocalypse: Used by some preppers as a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for any natural or man-made disaster and "a clever way of drawing people’s attention to disaster preparedness". The premise of the Zombie Squad is that "if you are prepared for a scenario where the walking corpses of your family and neighbors are trying to eat you alive, you will be prepared for almost anything." Though "there are some... who are seriously preparing for a zombie attack".
Great article. Very informative and insightful. I also think learning how to store the right food most especially for leaner times is very important. For me canning is the best way to store food. But make sure that you can your food the right way. It is also a proven fact that canning as a way of storing and preserving different kinds of foods has been done since the 1800’s.
Both the air rifle and crossbow are on my wish list as I have qualms about having a firearm although I recognize they are useful. My personal weapons consist of a large machete, surival knifes, a SPAX axe, hatchet, several fighting knives, and a slingshot for now. Yes, I know I might need a rifle, shotgun, and pistol. I’m ex miItitary, and have used all three. I’m just hesitant for safety and personal reasons.
I personally like 5 gallon buckets with the gamma lids, so that I can access and rotate my food. I built shelves for food storage but I do have some of big Home Depot style orange shelves and they would work well. I also have some mix of number 10 cans but i like them less because they seem so bulky. For things that i rotate through slower input a Mylar bag in the bucket to keep thing fresh. I live in Utah and we have an industrial container store that sells buckets and lids for a great price, a lot less than the e-prep stores.
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 …
A quantity of gold or silver may be a contentious inclusion for some people, but like cash, things will have to be dire indeed before both lose their appeal to humanity. A handful of gold or silver can be converted into just about anything of equivalent value, anywhere, in a hurry and gold especially can secure you a favor that you otherwise may not be able to get.