However, don't wait till the lights go off. “It's best to do research ahead of time to know what tools and resources your utility offers,” Pratt says. Here in Louisville with LG&E I can text to report an outage and receive an estimate for when it should be restored as well as updates on progress. During a recent outage their estimate was spot-on. That intel was super helpful, because I knew I could wait it out and not have to decamp to a coffee shop to work.
I know it’s not an incredibly expensive product, but a food dehydrator has been on my prepper wishlist for a long time. They’re so convenient, especially when you have ones with so many racks like the Excalibur on hand. Yes, you can dehydrate foods without one, but it’s not as easy to do, and thus for me, makes it much less likely I’ll actually bother to do it. Major wishlist item here.
Not to mention the “year without a summer” that happened after the eruption of Mt. Tambora in the Dutch East Indies in 1815. The resulting ash and smoke plume blocked the sun enough to lower the average temperatures only by a few degrees. It was enough to trigger famines in North America and Europe for several years until temperatures gradually normalized. If the Yellowstone caldera erupts the smoke and ash would block the sun much as would a nuclear winter and would trigger even worse famines and suffering from people trying to cope with minimum if any infrastructure for heat, water, medical, etc. just for the simple reason that we’ve got way more people now and more of us live in urban areas.
A cyber attack would be less destructive than an EMP, but it could still cause total chaos – and cyber attacks aren’t just something that could happen. They’re happening now, and already causing disruption on a large scale. The World Economic Forum estimates cyber attacks will cost $8 trillion over the next five years, and that’s just the financial impact.
The one thing which hits home to me is a reminder to keep following what Frank Herbert wrote in his Dune series. “Fear is a mind killer.” A little fear helps motivate but we, humans, seem to overdo even or especially in our emotions. Whether it’s the ‘net’ or the news, it seems people want to push that fear button to motivate others. So now when it happens, I teach people to take 3 deep breaths in and out s l o w l y. This allows the dino rational self to catch up with the emotional lizard. Having experienced a few ‘events’ in life. This had helped me through. Thanks for the list. Am going through these as an evaluation 😉 and reminder.
As someone who reads a lot on the internet, you have likely come across many authorities with “expert” advice on one topic or another. This is where the gray matter between your ears becomes the most important tool in your box of prepper skills. Think it through before you unilaterally apply someone’s expertise to your own situation. Let me repeat: this includes advice and suggestions from this website!
Despite a lull following the end of the Cold War, survivalism has gained greater attention in recent years, resulting in increased popularity of the survivalist lifestyle, as well as increased scrutiny. A National Geographic show interviewing survivalists, Doomsday Preppers, was a "ratings bonanza" and "the network's most-watched series", yet Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times declared it an "absurd excess on display and at what an easy target the prepper worldview is for ridicule," noting, "how offensively anti-life these shows are, full of contempt for humankind."
I have been storing firewood. I also have two camp stoves, a single burner and a double burner. When things first fall out, my intention is to use the wood in one or more rocket stoves to heat water. Hot water will be a necessity for sanitation, utensil washing and general hygiene. The camp stoves will be used for cooking. That will continue until the fuel is exhausted. By that time I hope to have gained enough experience that I will be able to modulate the wood burning rockets stoves so that cooking on them will not be that much of a problem. I also plan to use wood burning to distill water as I anticipate that we will need to use ocean water for our water supply unless we just happen to have a wet year such as we are experiencing this year. If it were last year, we definitely would be distilling ocean water. Ocean water doesn’t have to be distilled for washing utensils, hands and clothing. It must be boiled however because there will be all sorts of stuff floating in the ocean that you wouldn’t want to touch let along wash with. Drinking water and water for face washing and teeth brushing will have to be distilled as one cannot drink salt water. I would recommend dehydrated foods for getting used to outdoor cooking, but for long term food you are going to need beans and rice. You can store a lot of calories in a small space for a long time with those two items. Beans and rice together release the protein in the beans to supplement the meat you eat. I always wondered why Mexican food featured beans and rice at the same meal. I thought it was overkill on carbs. Then I found out that the rice released the protein in the beans which otherwise was locked and unavailable.
Richard Mitchell Jr., professor emeritus of sociology at Oregon State University, is probably America’s greatest academic authority on prepping. He says modern-day survivalism as we know it is a relatively recent phenomenon, born out of the U.S. real estate boom of the late 1960s and early ’70s and the concurrent rise of guns-and-ammo magazines. Together, he says, these developments gave rise to a baby-boomer fantasy: moving to your second home in the country and learning to protect yourself in the great outdoors.
Also, I’m not a big fan of eating canned food if I don’t have to. I feel it comes with chemicals and has less nutrients. However, in certain situations, it’s better to do that than starve. It definitely stores well. I like to keep beans and seeds around to sprout when I need them. Sprouts are highly nutritious and it fits better with my taste buds as I eat mostly fresh foods; although I am also keen on the beans and rice idea and I always stockpile 3 months of organic oatmeal if I can. Another thing I do is buy carrots and cabbage in bulk and leave them in the refrigerator as both veggies last a long time and you can eat them for at least a month if not longer. Onions are also a decent vegetable for lasting for a duration and when they start to sprout you have yourself some green onions instead. Potatoes also last fairly well. If you buy spaghetti squash and pumpkin in September, it will usually last until February.
What happened in Hawaii with the “this is not a drill” notification, is certainly be a wake-up call. It’s not fear-mongering to suggest in the current state of world tension and antagonism that someday an alert like this one would be for real. My guess is that you have been thinking, as I have, “What would I do if that alert popped up on my phone?” If you haven’t given it any thought, it’s time to do so! Just like the young man who knew of that concrete tunnel, you should also take note of possible shelters, assess what you have with you right at this moment that could help with your survival.
I first read this article two years ago, and started laying in the suggested items over a period of several weeks. Reading other articles on this site led me to start stockpiling water, vitamins, and personal-care items; I also took on a second part-time job to add to my emergency savings account. Unfortunately, I lost my full-time job several months ago with no warning and am still job-hunting, but I’m not worried about it. This experience is so much less stressful with a fully stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry, the aforementioned other supplies, and plenty of cash in the bank. Only a few family members know that I prep…everyone else can’t figure out why I’m so calm. Thank you, Gaye!
Didn’t see this on the list and it could be an entire new thread. But first have a olan of what you will do. Think of all scenarios. What to do if you are not at home with the family. Where do you meet? Do you have a bug out site that everyone who needs to know has a map to it and knows when to bug out. Make sure you have what you need from this llist at the bug out site already. Do not try to haul what you need once you get there. You wil never make… Read more »
After three days eating very little vegetable matter, I was thrilled to dig into Thrive Life’s Tuscan Quinoa Bowl, which included a ratatouille-like sauté combining asparagus, zucchini, and diced tomatoes. The cooking process felt kind of like a science experiment— you fry dehydrated garlic bits in oil, then pour in the dehydrated vegetables and seasoning along with a cup of water—but the result actually tasted like something I might cook at home, minus the strangely firm consistency of the vegetables. The following night, I prepared a Chicken Cranberry Pot Pie, rolling out the dough for the pastry, cooking the filling in a slow cooker, and carefully sealing the pie with the prongs of a fork.
My OCD side has often obsessed over the years about my prepping to the point of actually hurting my progress. See items #12, #13, and #14. Yes, you CAN procrastinate in an OCD manner! As you brought up, you can study study study to the point where nothing actually gets done. A favorite saying of mine is that “I hate do-overs”. I’d rather thoroughly examine a situation and do it right the first time instead of taking four tries to get it right. But that often accomplishes exactly what I’ve suggested…nothing.
I very much agree the article was amazingly detailed but i am neutral about the permits…on one hand you can get them and the county will have on paper where your bunker is which by the way the general public can look at or take the risk of no permits and guarantee that no one other then yourself and whoever you choose knows the location of you bunker….personally i would take the risk….
I originally had the same idea until I did some research on Google. I found that overseas containers are NOT suitable for underground placement. Besides the metal being prone to rust over time, the units are built for strength in the corners to support lifting. The sides have very little strength to withstand inward pressure created by backfilling. Depending on size, location and delivery, the containers will cost $2000 and up. I bought 17.5 cu yards of redimix, fiber reinforced concrete for $2100. Just a thought.
Yes, freeze dried food is pricey. With some care, however, you can find pouches, tins, and buckets on sale. The advantage of freeze dried food, and meal pouches especially, is they are lightweight and therefore transporatable. They are quick to prepare and require no planning or thinking. Add hot to boiling water, stir, let sit for a short time, and eat.
I like to store honey and sugar not because these are great survival foods, but because they have so many other uses that most people are not aware of. These two items will store for many years and are bound to outlast you. Besides working as sweeteners for your food, they can also be used as an antiseptics or food preservatives. You can even preserve meat using honey and I recommend reading the following articles as it will teach you how you can benefit the most by stockpiling these foods:
It is has been a couple of years since I wrote about some of the mistakes and goofs we all make while prepping. Since then, a lot of things have changed. For one, the mainstream media has caught on to “three-day kit” mania which means more and more families are now ready for short term disasters. On the other hand, threats from wacko foreign leaders have escalated to the point where terrorist-driven EMPs, pandemics, and outright wars have become more of a possibility, if not a probability. Talk about two very different sides of the same coin!
And there is no trouble with right wing speakers speaking- they just need to take the heat for what they say like grown ups. To speak, the left endured beatings, water hoses, attack dogs, bombs, prison. These complaining right wing “speakers” are wimps & whiners. No one rolled the red carpet out for the actual Free Speech Movement & young people were beaten for speaking out, fired, expelled and yet they fought on and made gains because treating people with equality, being against war, is a positive and healthy human endeavor. Supremacy is not.
While I’m a big fan of mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets, since my family is just two folks (unless extended family make it to the house in an event), I package things up in 1 gallon mylar bags before placing into the buckets. Allows me to open less food at once to the elements. Sure, I have gamma lids to apply afterwards, and the mylar bags I use have ziplock style tops for resealing, but the less I open to the elements at once the better it will last. To further extend shelf life of opened bags, I have a large supply of small silica gel packs that I can toss a few into open dry good bags. Once I finish the bags I can reuse the packs by gently heating in my Sun Oven.
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.
My biggest fears our that men, particularly white men, will refuse to grow up, all the while corporations rape & pillage the earth and set working class people here and around the world against each other to their advantage. Men need physical work & activity, craft, not office life. Without that men find themselves frustrated & lash out, unable to define themselves in the world. There is a reason that handcrafted materials are so often better, homegrown food healthier.
Good article! A few years ago, a medical condition for someone in my family required that I learn how to cook without high fat dairy, no corn products, no fish, and very low sodium. That means almost no packaged or processed foods, no fast food, almost no snack foods, no packaged flavor packets, no bottled flavorings…well you get the idea. Now I visit Costco a couple times a year for rice, beans, pasta, and meat. I grow almost all the vegetables we eat year round. Our grocery bills have gone way down. And now I actually know how to cook almost anything from scratch ingredients that I always have on hand in bulk. The foods many preppers stock up, are foods I never have in my house so I wouldn’t miss them if they suddenly became unavailable. In hind sight I’ve learned that “stuff” isn’t as important as skills. Trust me, cooking is a skill.
Thanks, Viet Nam Vet. People keep calling us a democracy but that is not our form of government. Our founding fathers were reluctant to have a true democracy because they correctly feared mob rule. It doesn’t bother me that government moves slowly. That keeps it from swaying to and fro in shallow breezes. Congress was supposed to be a deliberative body. The Supreme Court was supposed to be an even more deliberative body. Rapid response is only acceptable in the troops coming to your rescue, not in governments.
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.
This one in particular can get unruly fast, as there’s always plenty you’ll want to do with regards to prepping no matter how much you’ve already got done and under your belt. If you’ve already started one of these, it’s been set up for a while, and happens to be a complete mess, take a look at the article I spoke about before, on re-organizing your prepper to-do list. It will help you sort your list out in an order that makes sense.
Dozens of earthquakes gave Hawaii residences a 48 hour warning before the volcano erupted. The average warning time for California wildfires victims was 20 minutes. Japan’s tsunami victims had a 15-minute warning. Being one of the first to know about oncoming dangers can provide you a head-start. Emergency alert systems are a great preparedness resource. There are several companies that provide emergency alerts services and many of them are free. There are also a couple of different ways to receive alerts. Modern technology has given us many different methods to be notified of possible threats. Here are several options to consider.
Buy the best flashlight models you can afford, and focus on a blend of output and runtime. Variable mode and output lights are more complicated to use, but their power-saving features and different color LED’s may be worthwhile. Lights are useful for signaling anytime there is low or no light, and powerful ones can be easily seen for miles, so don’t skimp on output.
Flours are tricky to substitute and get the right texture. The recipes above use unbleached white flour. If you want to add in wheat or other grains then just be aware that the more heavy grains you add, the heavier the texture. This is why when doing pizza crusts or similar, a lot of people will use half white and half wheat at most for their crust. Any more whole wheat and the crust can just seem too heavy.
Quick and easy foods help you through times when you are psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. No cook foods such as freeze-dried are wonderful since they require little preparation. MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), such as many preparedness outlets carry, canned goods, etc. are also very good. Psychological Foods are the goodies – Jello, pudding, candy, etc. – you should add to your storage.
I usually go into lists like this thinking “this person is going to prove how little they know”. But, you just proved how much you know. This list is spot-on, especially the parts about preparing both for and against human nature. IE: in a perfect “bad” situation you want to be that person that is prepared, and can help others learn how to survive by teaching them to hunt, farm, build shelter. But, in a realistic survival situation you need to protect yourself to ensure you’re not just prepping for the big dude down the street with a gun to come over and take advantage of you.
It is hard learning to garden. I just put in my first huge garden a couple of years ago. One thing that I did learn…. is that there are many different ways to garden. There are many books at the library about different types of gardening and of course the internet has a wealth of knowledge. Everyone of course, thinks that their way is the best. Good luck with the garden.
No matter what side of shelter door you're on, you can't deny that the elaborate lengths that some people go to to prepare their doomsday shelters and supplies is absolutely compelling. Some shelters are historical, and built by governments during times of war. Others are the creation of individuals who just want to play it safe. Here, we've compiled a series of photos of some of the most souped-up, strong-walled, fully-stocked emergency shelters in the world - Charlie Hall's doomsday shelter is probably nicer than your apartment.
Yup, you’re right about the dehydrated food having around half the daily recommended calorie count for adults – but I still feel they’re valuable if you can afford it. A food stockpile that big will a least help you get by for the year, regardless of whether you’ll be thriving. And it’s easier (in my opinion) to supplement a stockpile than to depend on growing, hunting, trapping, or fishing everything yourself, especially if you’re not used to doing it.
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.
To be truthful, my initial goal with this article was to respond to readers who were just getting started and wanted a shopping list of things to buy for their food storage pantry. I also wanted to compile a checklist that more experienced preppers could use to compare what they had to what they needed. My goal can pretty much be summed up by saying that I wanted to write about getting started with food storage the easy way. No frills, no fluff – just a common sense list of food items to get you started.
Canned meat: Get about 20 cans of assorted meats. Without refrigeration it will be hard to keep meat from spoiling, and that’s if you can get it in the first place. There are quite a few options, SPAM, Ham, Beef, Chicken, Tuna and sardines, but remember buy what you eat now. Also make sure you have a manual can opener, your electric can opener might not work.
Most of us have some sort of toolkit around the house, but if you want to be prepared you need to make sure it’s ready for anything. At a minimum you’ll need a good carpenter’s hammer, a heavier ball peen hammer, wood saw and hacksaw. Other essentials include a monkey wrench, measuring tape, square and level. Cordless drills are great, but a hand drill is also good to have – what if your generator goes and you need to fabricate a replacement part? A set of good screwdrivers is also vital – don’t rely on an electric one. Make sure you have wrenches to fit all bolts on your vehicles and equipment, too.
Clothing: There’s a reason why characters in military movies refer to socks so often — they’re critically important and often overlooked. We love Darn Tough socks because they’re wool and a lot more durable than other brands like Smartwool. Grab a boonie hat, too; they’re easy to throw in your bag and provide better protection than most other options.
All the membership or discount cards they give you at stores track every purchase you make and I read somewhere these purchases, n o matter what you buy are tracked by the government. Even your computer tracks you. Have you eve noticed if you purchase an item online a few minutes later you will see a little screen pop up on the side showing what you just purchased and other similar items for sale.
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.
When I was 17, Nasa announced the discovery of a far-off planet. News reports hinted at the prospect of the Voyager being deployed, but I never got to hear what the probe actually found. The excitement eventually dwindled and I got on with my life, but the discovery sparked an ongoing interest in space and exploration and, later, in the environment and geopolitics. About 18 months ago those interests led me to prepping.
Just be aware, if you have stored mixes like bisquick or cake mixes which have baking powder in them. Baking powder has a shelf life, after that shelf life, the bp isn’t stable so your product may not rise and/or may taste funny. Depending on what form of dry milk (powder as opposed to instant milk) is used, that can also make your premixes go bad.
For experienced preppers like Daisy Luther, founder of the blog The Organic Prepper and the online survival goods store Preppers Market, ready-to-go freeze-dried meals are more of a last line of defense than anything else. Though she insists these products “have their place,” her version of long-term food storage sounds more like a way of life, a process of slowly building up a pantry that will enable her to feed her family as healthfully and economically as possible. Sometimes that means stocking up on the freeze-dried stuff, or buying whatever’s on sale at the supermarket; but it’s also about living in sync with the seasons, growing food in her own garden and using timetested home preservation methods—like canning and dehydrating—to ensure she always has food on hand.