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 »
Let’s face it, practical and usable space quickly becomes a valuable commodity when you are going to spend a significant amount of time in the shelter before venturing topside, and that environment should be comfortable, healthy and space efficient. You are going to be stressed enough if you are in there, and the last thing you need is the additional stress of a cramped, unfriendly environment.
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 »

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.
I was surprised to read an MRE review here. I’ve had my fair share of them as well. And for the record, if I was the first to the box, my favorite was Menu 3 Beef Ravioli in meat sauce. Not half bad. I never considered them an option for disaster preparedness though because they were always too bulky for what you got in them. Most of the time in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’d open them up, and stow the spoon and the main meal and toss the rest back in the box for others to pick over later. We… Read more »

@Cycloneous: Learning any martial arts skill takes years. Too many dojos promote people in order to keep them coming back. Elvis Presley was supposed to hold black belt ratings in several different martial arts. I strongly suspect that if he were to engage in a match with even a first class brown belt in any of those disciplines he would have gotten his butt royally kicked.

When you go back to the last depressing days when we were in a survival mode, the last one the Y2K of course, before the 1970s, what had happened was you only saw this one element of survivalist, you know, the caricature, the guy with the AK-47 heading to the hills with enough ammunition and pork and beans to ride out the storm. This is a very different one from that: you're seeing average people taking smart moves and moving in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst. (...) So survivalism in every way possible. Growing your own, self-sustaining, doing as much as you can to make it as best as you can on your own and it can happen in urban area, sub-urban area or the ex-urbans. And it also means becoming more and more tightly committed to your neighbors, your neighborhood, working together and understanding that we're all in this together and that when we help each other out that's going to be the best way forward.


The primary purchasers of the product are water treatment plants. Pool owners are just discovering it, but most aren’t seeing the advantage of having a non-degrading bleach supply. Once they start figuring out the savings from buying calcium hypochloride, and the retail price comes closer to the cost of pool chlorine, calcium hypochloride will become a hot seller.

I wish we’d all stop using the term democracy when describing America. We’re a limited Constitutional Republic and there is a big difference between them. My concern is when you accept the other sides terms in a debate, you give them the upper hand and they control which way the debate goes. Same with gun control, allowing them to hammer in the words “Saturday night special” or ” assault weapons” lets them control which way things go and weakens our position.
Regarding the general category of water purification, you have essentially combined reverse osmosis with UV disinfection PLUS the necessity for solar and/or gas generated power. Take away the essential electrical power and you still have to boil your water. If you do the math, you could invest up to $2500 for your version of water purification. That’s a “big ticket” indeed. Once again, there are abundant information sources that provide instruction for long term water purification that cost far less.
But there are more and more like-minded people out there in communities around the country: engineers, nurses, doctors, dentists, people with different skills and mindsets and ways of contributing. We’re harmonious. We offer each other support and keep ourselves to ourselves. We see prepping as a way to increase our chances of survival if something happens. And we’re all ready to get out of the way when it does.

Fact is, Bible-waving folk were more often opposed to chattel slavery and other wrongs – abolitionism arose from churches. Foregoing isn’t to whitewash nominal conservatives, whose numbers have contained the likes of greedy, exploitative, and murderous land, cattle, railroad, and mining ‘barons’, the likes of those who overran and murdered (for their lands) aboriginal tribes, and who today are arrant hypocrites, like those neo-cons and RINOs.


I wish we’d all stop using the term democracy when describing America. We’re a limited Constitutional Republic and there is a big difference between them. My concern is when you accept the other sides terms in a debate, you give them the upper hand and they control which way the debate goes. Same with gun control, allowing them to hammer in the words “Saturday night special” or ” assault weapons” lets them control which way things go and weakens our position.
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A word on the market. It's not news that the DOW has been slammed by  1700 pts in the last 48 hours, but tomorrow will be interesting. Will  the sell off continue? Bottom line: Likely not organic. Is this the  coordinated crash, or crash attempt? Here is what the non establishment types think: There was no "selling panic", and no legitimate  liquidation as the selloff was largely a function of coordinated  deleveraging by both hedge funds and systematic traders. I.E., It's a  hit job. Not that the "why" or "who" matters when the rubber hits the  road. Just a heads up...
These have a pull ring pop top. The ones I bought have a 3 year expiration date. I have eaten lots of things that were expired. These will still be good years after that. The Wal-Mart Great Value brand costs a little less but the Libby’s tastes better. I eat these right out of the can. I have also added them to soup and pasta. Cost: $0.50. (11 cents per oz). 40 cans for 20 dollars
Articles on the subject appeared in small-distribution libertarian publications such as The Innovator and Atlantis Quarterly. It was during this period that Robert D. Kephart began publishing Inflation Survival Letter[6] (later renamed Personal Finance). For several years the newsletter included a continuing section on personal preparedness written by Stephens. It promoted expensive seminars around the US on similar cautionary topics. Stephens participated, along with James McKeever and other defensive investing, "hard money" advocates.

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I would like to add, buying too much of something at one time. I have lots of water and food stored. Toothpaste, soap, qtips and such. How much medical and bandaid? NONE. Make a list most definitely. But include stuff you HAVEN’T BOUGHT yet. Checkmark items you have with the amounts. Also I have 3 non bullet weapons and have a 4th on the way. A regular size crossbow (with a broad head it will penetrate any class of body armor) A pistol crossbow which is actually more powerful than the large one, but you can’t get broad head for them. They will however penetrate 3/4 pressed plywood particle board. Good for human threat or rabbit get. A wrist rocket slingshot with “hunting” rubbers and I’m waiting on a new item called a “Pocket Shot”. It’s a new type of slingshot that self centers the ammo. You can fire almost twice the ammo in the same amount of time. All 4 will be valuable to be quiet during the first month. After the hordes have been thinned, noise from a gun will bring less attention.
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.
While I keep almost all of my food in the basement, with only a small portion in the kitchen pantry, 98% of my basement food storage is in sealed cans, or in mylar bags stored in 5 gallon buckets. That way if my basement floods I can wash the cans with disinfecting solution (10% bleach solution) and relabel using markers. Upstairs I keep my emergency blankets since they aren’t impacted by summer heat where if I tried to store food in the bedrooms it would be at risk from summer temperatures. But as I write this I realize I need to move my water filter and water BOBs out of the basement and upstairs so they don’t get impacted by a flood. Thanks for making me think of this!
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.
14. Canned Cheese – A little company in Australia, called Bega, makes a wonderful canned cheese that can for a LONG time! The manufacturer says that the shelf life is only 2 years, but canned goods if handled properly can last much longer than that. Here is one prepper who opened them after 13 years, and the cheese still tasted great! Grab some Bega for your next camping trip, and see how you like it, may make a nice addition to your long term food storage plan!
The system comprised four dugouts and cabins built of concrete and corrugated metal, and a few other spots where he stashed his provisions and arsenal of guns and ammunition in trash cans and barrels. All the shelters were illegally built across a 2-mile radius on state and federal property outside of Brian Head, Utah, according to a report from the Associated Press. Two of the shelters burned down in a wildfire last June.

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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.
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.
The rest of the fire risk will be from all of the things you bring into the bunker. Your power system could spark a fire, and your supplies could provide it fuel. And while you’ll probably (hopefully) also have fire extinguishers in your bunker, even a small fire could be a serious risk for the oxygen levels in your bunker. Fire uses oxygen, and you need to be sure your ventilation system can replenish that oxygen very quickly.
If you are close to ground zero, the buildings are going down, and I live near mountains so the shock wave would hit twice or more off the mountains. Without shelter, you’ve no protection from secondary fall out, as you’d need to make the shelter air tight. That’s where the plastic comes in. If the building stands, you’d spend that half an hour, shutting off the AC and heat as you don’t want to bring in outside contaminated air. You’d tape off doors, vents etc. You’d need to live in that space, it could be weeks.
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.
3. Supplies for bartering: These are my lowest priority but it never hurts to have a little extra of something that could be useful for bartering in the future. But remember your situation is different from mine. You might not have the room to store hundreds of gallons of fuel or water, so you might want to stockpile supplies that take up less room like batteries, lighters or water purification tablets that can be used to barter with in the future.
An urban prepper and rural wannabe, Karen has been working as a freelance writer for a decade and prepping for about half that time. She has gathered a wealth of knowledge on preparing for SHTF, but there is always more to learn and she has a passion for gathering and sharing that knowledge with other like-minded folk. Karen lives in London, Canada with her two children and plethora of cats. In her spare time she is writing the next great apocalyptic novel of our time, full of government conspiracy and betrayal at every level.

Another best practice is to store a variety of foods in a single bucket.  So, for example, instead of creating a bucket filled with a single food type, create a bucket that include a variety of foods plus appropriate condiments.  If you are ever forced to use your food storage, you can pull a single bucket with everything you need to get by instead of riffling through a dozen or more buckets to gather what you need for meal-preparation.
115. Generator – Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running?? If you do plan on getting one, look for tri-fuel generators.
115. Generator – Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running?? If you do plan on getting one, look for tri-fuel generators.
HBCD has been classified as a category 2 for reproductive toxicity.[6] Since August 2010 Hexabromocyclododecanes are included in the EPA‘s List of Chemicals of Concern.[7] On May 2013 the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) decided to include HBCD in the Convention’s Annex A for elimination, with specific exemptions for expanded and extruded polystyrene in buildings needed to give countries time to phase-in safer substitutes. HBCD is listed for elimination, but with a specific exemption for expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) in buildings.

Anarcho-primitivists share many characteristics with survivalists, most notably predictions of a pending ecological disaster. Writers such as Derrick Jensen argue that industrial civilization is not sustainable, and will therefore inevitably bring about its own collapse. Non-anarchist writers such as Daniel Quinn, Joseph Tainter, and Richard Manning also hold this view. Some members of the Men Going Their Own Way subculture also promote off-grid living and believe that modern society is no longer liveable.[108]
18. Freeze Dried Options – Just add water! Nothing beats freeze dried foods & having a nice selection of #10 cans in your storage plan is a wise choice. Lots can be said here, and this option will definitely give you the longest shelf life, but it is the more pricey choice. There are some great food companies that offer freeze dried storage packs. 3 reputable food storage companies are:

Cooking fats can be substituted in most cases with the exception being frying. Some oils and fats have a lower smoke point than others. I have never had any luck using olive oil for trying to fry potatoes to a crispy state but grape seed oil, peanut oil, or lard does just fine. Pie crusts made from lard, flour, salt, and a little water are really good. You really don’t need butter to make a flaky crust if you have lard.
Actually, the intent of the article was to help readers put together a starter cupboard of food storage items. I wanted things to be simple and uncomplicated without regard to how many mouths these items will feed for “XX” amount of time. So many online food storage calculators are way too overwhelming to deal with. Most of my readers need and want a starting point or simply a list they can go through to check against their existing food storage inventory so that they can fill in the gaps.

In a Saturday, May 13, 2017 photo, Kenneth Young, of Queens, N.Y., walks up the side of one of the bunkers that Vivos is trying to lease at xFest, a three-day gathering for people who want to convert the site's bunkers, which formerly housed bombs, into shelters for protection against tyranny, anarchy, nuclear war, the end times or any other calamity that might befall civilization, in Igloo, S.D. (Chris Huber/Rapid City Journal via AP) Chris Huber / Rapid City Journal
Great list for those people who want to start prepping but don’t know how. It would be really great to add survival seeds on that list. Learning how to homestead or growing food will save you a lot of money for survival food. Also, it would be great to consider the place where you’re residing and stock the necessary items you will definitely need in case of SHTF.
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.
There are some weight considerations in that MREs weigh more than freeze dried food but they do have their advantages. I have a few boxes stored as part of my food storage plan because they are an easy way to get the calories you need for survival. I also have food stored in buckets, canned food and freeze-dried food. I am an equal opportunity food storage person and there is something to be said for having variety. Are MREs the the best prepper food? I don’t think there is ever a single best food for all prepper situations, but MREs are proven reliable. If our military uses them you can bet that you could find reasons to use them too. They are more expensive than other options but you don’t have to prepare anything, they even throw in the salt, pepper and a little moist towelette to wipe your face and hands when you are done. They used to come with toilet paper and chewing gum but apparently that is not part of these MREs.

What you are going to get is a list of 20 items that can easily be purchased at your local grocery store, warehouse club and surprisingly, even online at Amazon.  They can be purchased in one shot, all at once, or you can pick up one item from the list each week over a period of twenty weeks.  The choice is yours.  All I ask is that you consider getting each of the items on the list and that you also consider getting started sooner rather than later.  I promise you that this will be easy.
The system comprised four dugouts and cabins built of concrete and corrugated metal, and a few other spots where he stashed his provisions and arsenal of guns and ammunition in trash cans and barrels. All the shelters were illegally built across a 2-mile radius on state and federal property outside of Brian Head, Utah, according to a report from the Associated Press. Two of the shelters burned down in a wildfire last June.
Each of us has personal fears. It might be poor health. It might be a precarious job situation. There are a great number of individual calamities that can befall us, however, the fact that you have just been fired from your job, while I am concerned as I would be for anybody who has lost employment through no fault of his own, it doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t affect my neighborhood. It doesn’t affect the distribution of food and utilities.
The 3 most important immediate needs are water availability, water purity and food to feed the family. I am starting a business to be an authorized dealer for items that meet these needs – as a way to help out friends, neighbors who have not started preparing for immediate needs if the power goes off for more than a week. Hand pump on the well head, Water purifiers and a home freeze dryer which will pay for itself in a year or 2 based on the prices of freeze died foods. I really, really want to freeze dry my own highly nutritious food without preservatives instead of buying commercial freeze dried foods.
FEMA and its federal partners understand that improving the EAS is a process that takes time. IPAWS has compiled experiential lessons learned and best practices from the Alaska EAS Tests in 2010 & 2011 as well as through the EAS rebuilding effort and tsunami live-code test in the U.S. Virgin Islands (located in the EAS Tests and Demonstrations section).  Laboratory research is also being conducted at IPAWS.
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I wrote a blog on this a couple years ago for the Dallas preppers the place to go is Honeyville. Do the math and figure out protein, carbs, vegetables, and fruit per serving and order case lots. To pull together that much it’ll run you about $3000 and then you’ll have what you need. I parcel mine into tubs two tubs will feed a family of four a balanced diet of 1800 cal per day for a month. (See photo.)

The difference between me and someone else? Imagine if we both lost our jobs at the same time. Realistically, I haven’t got to spend any money. I’ve got a back-up of food supplies to last six months. I haven’t got to buy wood. I haven’t got to turn the taps on, because I’ve stored rain water and filtered it for drinking. I haven’t got to put the heating on, because I have other means of keeping warm at home. I could be unemployed for a while without it impacting me financially. Whereas someone else, they’re thinking: “Shit, I’ve got a month’s wages. I don’t know how long this can go on for.” That’s a kind of prepping in itself.


Making bread is not as hard as you might think. Getting used to doing it in a Dutch Oven or solar oven is different but totally doable. I think the solar oven would be much easier to regulate the temperature and prevent burning but if you are cooking on a woodstove or hearth then you can still do it but you will have to pay more attention during cooking times.
I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you there. NT Wright, one of today’s most respected theologians, wrote in his book Luke for Everyone, about the Last Supper and how frustrated Jesus was when he tried to explain about the things that we’re going to happen. The apostles, Knuckleheads that they were, we’re just not getting anything he was trying to convey. Just before the statement about the swords, Jesus had pointed out that he had sent them out without purse or bags or sandals and that they were not short of anything. And then he said that in the future anyone who has a purse should take it and the same with the bag. And anyone who doesn’t have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one. As NT Wright put it, when Jesus says “That’s enough!”, he isn’t suggesting that two swords would be sufficient for the job in hand. What could that possibly mean? What he is doing is wearily putting a stop to the entire conversation, in which at every point they seem determined to misunderstand him. This discussion can be on pages 264 through 267 of the aforementioned book. NT Wright is not known as a gun rights person but rather as a theologian of high rank.
With this you can can fruits, veggies and even meats. You can do this without the salt or other preservatives and for meats, eating dried or jerked meat gets old fast when you have to eat it instead of it being a snack. The high temp of the pressure canner kills the bacteria that spoils food so it lasts for years. You can make your favorite chicken and beef soups with al the veggies, pasta or potatoes in them.
Durable packaging: Can it hold up to abuse, floods from storms, etc. For example, the biggest danger during an earthquake is things falling. Since it’s easy to imagine storing supplies like this on the bottom shelf in a garage, consider how it would hold up to stuff falling on top of the container or flood water coming in. Or zombies… those sneaky zombies.
Even though I have a good start on my food pantry, it is always a good idea to look at others ideas. I had not thought of bulk pancake mix. I am a single person and got a great deal on Bisquick shake and pour ($1.00 each) I bought 2 dozen! I don’t really care for pancakes on a regular basis but once in a while… That all being said, I did purchase a vacuum sealer and have made good use of it. I also have a large dehydrator and visit the farmers market often for goodies to dehydrate and seal. When I have purchased these 20 items, I am then on to other needs such as shelter, etc. I have a lot of camping gear but not a good tent if I should have to vacate. Thank you Gaye – keep up the good work.
9. Cash.  This isn’t exactly a product, but without a supply of cash during an emergency, you and your family could be left high and dry.  Set aside some cash each month, in smaller bills, and have it ready to grab if you must ever leave your home in a hurry due to a natural disaster or some other crisis.  Figure on having enough to pay for 7 nights at a hotel, 3 or 4 tanks of gas, and enough to pay for a week’s worth of food and other supplies.
For Erica Nygaard, an Iowa-based mother of four who started storing and growing her own food after a divorce 11 years ago, the desire to prepare for the future stems directly from the vulnerability one can feel as a single mom. “When you become a single parent, that weight really hits you: I am completely responsible [for my children,] no matter what. No matter what happens, these four people have to be taken care of.”

Grains. Grains are good for making flour or meal. Wheat and corn are the most common. Bear in mind that you will need a grain mill to process these, and I recommend a good hand mill in case power is an issue. By storing whole grains instead of flour or meal you drastically increase storage life. Again you can buy these in ore-sealed buckets, or repackage bulk purchases yourself to save money. If you want to increase the shelf life even more, you can turn them into flour and then into Hardtacks.
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