In the previous decade, preparedness consultant, survival bookseller, and California-based author Don Stephens popularized the term retreater to describe those in the movement, referring to preparations to leave cities for remote havens or survival retreats should society break down. In 1976, before moving to the Inland Northwest, he and his wife authored and published The Survivor's Primer & Up-dated Retreater's Bibliography.
In addition to a newly built three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, this 104-acre property in central Wyoming features a heated barn with an extra 800 square feet of living space on the top floor and a 400-square-foot bunker reinforced with tire bunches. The bunker, wedged into the side of a hill, isn’t finished but is hooked up for electricity and water, and everything is powered with a pair of generators connected to an underground 2,000-gallon propane tank. While outfitting the bunker for comfortable living, you can take advantage of the property’s fine farming and hunting possibilities. There are plenty of elk, deer, pheasants, and waterfowl on the tract, which comes with its own well water and equipment that will irrigate 65 acres of land.
With that goal in mind, let me say this:  this is not a list of items intended for deep storage. Nor is it a list of items packaged so that they have a 25 year shelf life.  (And in reality, do you really need your stored food to last that long?)  I am also not going to list items that might be foreign to your palate, difficult to find, or too costly to absorb into your weekly shopping budget.
Medical is another critical group of items that should be well-stocked for the average and serious prepper alike. The most important thing about this is the individual needs of yourself and your family. Special antibiotics, diabetic medicine, hearts meds etc.. will vary from family to family. Aside from the basics be sure to understand your family’s special needs as well.

I have muscle racks from Sams Club. They are so heavy duty so hold A LOT of weight for totes, #10 cans, buckets. They are adjustable and I want to say each shelf holds up to 1000lbs??? I think the racks are around $160. I have found some great prices on Augason Farms products online at Walmart and Sams Club. For #10 cans the LDS cannery has some of the best prices on pantry staples. Emergency Essentials has other items like baking powder, cornstarch, etc in smaller cans which can be nice to look into.
In my tours in Afghanistan we used a lot of “connex”/shipping containers for bunkers. Keep in mind that this was AFTER we hardened them with additional steel “I” beams and a lot of extra welding and they were placed above ground surrounded by HESCO barriers and covered on top with about 3 feet of sand bags. The ceiling would bow inward from the weight even in spite of the reinforcement and the bunkers that had been there for several years would leak and the ceiling and walls were warped pretty badly. They worked great for incoming rocket fire and mortars… Read more »

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.
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]

Much of what has been said I agree with. What I do take exception is that many think that an EMP Pulse at this point in time would be somehow less devastating then a nuclear attack. A Nuclear attack kills rapidly initially and then other problems would cause a die off. An EMP Blast would not kill masses but it would be equally devastating as all infrastructure fails and mass starvation, lack of resources would have the same effect. Read the Book 1 Second After and it illustrates how bad things could really be. I am not minimizing the devastation of a Nuclear Bomb. I am pointing out that the impact woult probably be close to the same.
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. 
Per #17: Consider 25 pounds of sugar, even if like me, you don’t use it; it can become like money because so many have a sweet tooth for it. Next: at least the same amount of salt. (I buy sea salt for the iodine within and it’s a mineral all animals need in their diets so it too, can be used like $$. Third: black peppercorns, in past history this was used as money everywhere along the spice routes. Why? Because they have a very very long shelf life without losing potency. Then buy a pepper grinder, coffee/spice grinder and/or a mortar and pestle.
18.  5 pounds of Coffee or 100 Tea Bags.  There are those that will say that life without coffee is not life at all.  Whole bean (assuming you have a hand grinder), ground or instant – take your choice.  Or substitute tea.  Green tea and many herbal teas are quite therapeutic so if you like tea, this may be a good way to go. To learn more about bulk coffee processing and storing for preppers, read this guide here.
There are a lot of items on the market right now for alternative toilets and instructions on how to build your own septic trench. It is suggested that you look at your own situation and see what would be the best option for yourself and your family. Not all families’ situations are the same so it is best to be prepared for any emergency. Read our article on how to build your own outhouse and be prepared to live off the grid.
Sticking around when there is at least a 50% chance of a disaster occurring (hurricane, flood, landslides, tsunami, wildfire) is just plain silly.  Part of your planning should be to determine the trigger point for evacuation as well as identification of an evacuation site and a route to get there.  Better yet, plan multiple alternate routes as well.

Thomas spoke about these in his article on purifying contaminated water. Basically, the reverse osmosis water purification systems, like the one featured as #5, will take care of larger contaminents. Couple that with ultraviolet disinfection and the rest of water purification is pretty well taken care of without requiring anything too expensive. Remember that this system requires electrical power, so you’re going to need to take that into consideration. But with a solar panel generator, it’ll do the trick perfectly.
You might also check if there is a local cash and carry…that’s a business which sells wholesale to other business/restaurants. You can buy bulk there for almost wholesale prices. They will have bulk items of many things in addition to other items like paper plates, napkins and you get the idea. If you can find a place which sells bulk, then ask your favorite store to special order. Who knows, you might get it cheaper that way. BTW: Gaye, next time you’re on the mainland near Mt. Vernon, check out WINCO for those bulk items.

“I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department, or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything. My budget was already substantial, but I ended up buying new computers for the Computer Learning Center, half of which, one month later, were carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America. (More and more of our tax dollars at work!)”


Salt, pepper, some chili powder, mustard, sugar, honey – the list is endless.  These items do not need to cost a lot nor do they need to take up an extraordinary amount of space.  When push comes to shove, however, your eating experience will be greatly enhanced by having a variety of flavor enhancers on hand to enliven the taste of your stored food stuffs.

If the height of the Concrete shelter is decreased to 8 feet ( the same height of the ceilings in your home), the required depth of the hole is reduced to 10-11 feet and the gross interior area is 1,600 cubic feet. This is still more than a 10 foot pipe of the same length while also providing complete use of the space, as the side walls are not coming in toward the center as they do in a pipe.


Based on factors like the proliferation of nuclear weapons, global political tensions, and unchecked climate change, scientists said the symbolic clock was poised at three minutes to “midnight,” a.k.a. doomsday, in 2015 and 2016. That’s considered a very high-risk state of affairs—much worse than 2010 (six minutes to midnight) or the end of the Cold War circa 1991 (17 minutes to midnight).
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. 
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. 
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.
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The increased inflation rate in the 1960s, the US monetary devaluation, the continued concern over a possible nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union, and perceived increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures caused a number of primarily conservative and libertarian thinkers to promote individual preparations. Harry Browne began offering seminars on how to survive a monetary collapse in 1967, with Don Stephens (an architect) providing input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat. He gave a copy of his original Retreater's Bibliography to each seminar participant.[citation needed]

You may actually be right, Illini Warrior. There’s something very strange going on with people. They seem to becoming more violent and destructive and I really don’t know what the cause is. Just this morning on the news I heard that another package exploded. I think it was in a UPS depot somewhere in the States. Apparently two people were killed and a number injured. I don’t know what people are thinking when they commit these kinds of atrocities. And we’re still supposed to be living in the “good times”. What’s going to happen when you deprive people of their creature comforts and have them starving at the same time. I shudder at the possibilities. I hope to god you’re wrong about 2018.

2. At least two ways to cook food in a power down situation.  I’ve used the Sun Oven for years (visit the official website here) and own the Stove-Tec Rocket Stove.  The Eco-Zoom stove is another version of a highly effective, fuel-efficient stove that weighs less than the Stove-Tec.  If the prices of energy skyrocket, and it looks as though that may happen in the near future, it will be a blessing to have alternative ways to cook food without cranking up the gas or electric range.
You know the feeling, and it's a bad one. Suddenly everything in the house goes silent and dark. Power's out. You run outside to see if it's just you, and check your breaker box. Meanwhile you're wondering: How long is it going to be out? A few minutes is one thing. A few hours, even. But if you're without electric for days on end — or longer — the throwback appeal of reading by candlelight quickly loses its charm.
In an emergency situation, you will be doing some home cooking. You will need oil to get the job done and prepare a hot meal. Lard is long-lasting and high in calories. You can use it to add a bit of flavor to your food. You probably remember even today how good your grandmother’s cooking used to taste. Our grandparents used lard when cooking and a large can would last them for a long time. In case of emergency, you can even use it as a butter substitute and it will provide you with the calories you need to survive.

At a minimum, a good framing hammer, hand saw or hacksaw, medium prybar, axe, shovel, vise grips, screwdrivers, fixed blade general purpose knife, small mechanics kit with wrenches, can of all-purpose lube, sturdy cordage (paracord or accessory line) and duct tape. Ensure you have an adequate wrench or similar tool that can shut off water and gas valves in and around your home.


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.
I know that you two are really heavily focused on gear, but I think something like having a solid stock of mason jars (various sizes) to fill with preserves would be a far better option then your plastic air tight sealing bags that will quickly run out in most situations. Why not just use ziplock bags if you must? For that matter, you’d probably want to have a big pot and a few key tools to cook your preserving in.
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17. Spices and Condiments. Adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods, thus mitigating some of the boredom that is likely to occur over time.  The exact mix of spices and condiments is up to you but some suggestions include  garlic, chili, Tabasco (hot sauce), salsa, oregano, thyme and black pepper. For a full list of the best prepper herbs and spices, check out the BDS guide here.

So a nuclear war would be bad, but how likely is it? Well, not as likely as it could be. This isn’t 1983; the Cold War is over. On the other hand, it could come back. Russia is smarting from the treatment we gave them during the Clinton era, and they’re steadily rebuilding their military. Russia’s nuclear forces are the most powerful on Earth, and President Putin probably has the starch to use them if he thinks it’s necessary. Putin is also pushing hard to rebuild Russia’s influence in eastern Europe, and there are several places where a small border skirmish could grow into a confrontation between Russian and NATO troops. If that happens, nuclear war is back on the table.


Another wave of survivalism began after the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent bombings in Bali, Madrid, and London. This resurgence of interest in survivalism appears to be as strong as the 1970s era focus on the topic. The fear of war, avian influenza, energy shortages, environmental disasters and global climate change, coupled with economic uncertainty, and the apparent vulnerability of humanity after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, has increased interest in survivalism topics.[20]
Individual survivalist preparedness and survivalist groups and forums—both formal and informal—are popular worldwide, most visibly in Australia,[93][94] Austria,[95] Belgium, Canada,[96] France,[97][98] Germany[99] (often organized under the guise of "adventuresport" clubs),[100] Netherlands,[101] New Zealand,[102] Russia,[103] Sweden,[104][105][106] the United Kingdom,[107] and the United States.[23]
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
Ed, I was thinking about the box culverts as I reasd the article. As a Civil Engineer, I have used them in numerous applications as a cost effetive alternative to poured in place concrete. I would expect a bunker design would be an easy adaptation of the typical box culvert instalation. The ends can be precast solid or with openings for addition of steel or aluminum doors. Openings can also be cast in the sides or tops for hatch or vent installation with some size limitations. 12′ x 12′ x 4′ running length is as big as you can truck… Read more »
Barbara – I know what you mean. It is easy to become both overwhelmed and disorganized at the same time. The nice thing about the list of 20 items is that you can purchase them all at once or one item a week. Then you can set them aside and at least for the short term, consider your food shopping done and move on to the gear or the next major task on your preparedness to-do list.
15. 20 cans of Soup or Broth. The beauty of canned soups and canned broth is that they are a budget friendly.  Soups are an all-in-one meal solution. All you need is a can opener and a spoon and you have a meal ready to go.  For an extra satisfying meal, try using a can of soup as part of the cooking water for your rice.  Yummy! For a guide to making your own bone broth, see Donna’s guide here.

Personally, I’d separate this list out from the actual food stockpile list. Why? If you have a list of foods you’re stockpiling, it’s better to organize it in a way that makes sense to you (refrigerated, frozen, canned, grains, etc.) than it is to organize it by food expiry, and if the food is expiring soon it can be hard to tell if you just tacked the expiry date on to the end of each item in an unorganized list.
Vivos promises the biggest feature is the extremely low and affordable price with each bunker being privately sold for $25,000, with a land lease and bunker lease for 99 years. Owners can bring as many friends and family members for their private bunker at no extra charge. Each bunker is offered in its “as-is” condition, ready for outfitting and provisioning by the buyer, including the needed interior mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, power generation, air filtration and exhaust), and the build-out and furnishing to suit personal needs.
No one wants to get sick, let alone contract a disease that may go untreated due to the lack of available medical facilities or medical personnel.  One of the best ways to avoid sickness is to maintain good hygeine and to properly dispose of human waste.  This is not as easy as it sounds because traditional waste systems may be inoperable due  to the lack of water and or ruptured sewer lines.
Oil of oregano. This is my favorite pick for a medicinal herb. This stuff has amazing immune system benefits and antibiotic properties. We use it constantly in my house to wipe out colds and flues, it does the job every time! Capsules are the most convenient form, although you can purchase the oil and add it to beverages (Don’t expect it to taste good!)
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