Thanks for the tips! I was actually thinking of doing a post on this but tweaking it to fit ranches. We had a major freeze this year that left us without power for over a week, and the freeze burnt our pump so we couldn't water. We also had several major wildfires that left us without cell service b/c a tower was disabled. I was totally unprepared. I thought we were going to lose everything in our freezer, I couldn't wash clothes or dishers (not a great experience if you have a house full of kids) and no way to communicate with anyone. And that is when a friend recommended your site. It's been so helpful! I think in addition to your list, one could also use a HAM radio or emergency radio, a solar pump if you have a well, and alternative light sources.
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.

I recommend that the very first step you take when prepping is to evaluate the most likely risks specific to your geographical area and your personal domestic situation.  Most, if not all, city, county and state governments will have emergency management websites that will help you sort through the most likely disasters to occur in your area.  Take advantage of these public resources.
There is more to the business than just building a quality product. Aside of the advanced engineering that goes into underground structures, it’s also imperative for a company to have an advanced understanding of geology, excavation and the installation. We’ve been in the underground shelter business for more than a decade and we’ve installed more bunkers and bomb shelters than any of our competitors.  This gives us a vast knowledge on every aspect of the business.
The other thing I want to point out is that there is a bit of redundancy to the solution and resolution of some the listed prepper mistakes.  It stands to reason that a mistake doing one thing will overlap with something else, and so, for the purpose of this article, I felt it was important to maintain those small redundancies.  Now that I think about that, isn’t that the prepper way?
MREs come in boxes of 12 and each MRE is a different meal. You quickly learn which meals you like and which ones you don’t. If you were unfortunate enough to be the last one to the box you got what everyone else passed over. When I was in the service I think the worst meal was the beef patty. There are some similarities between the meals. They all come with an entrée, some side and a dessert. You get crackers and peanut butter or cheese, a condiment packet and usually a drink mix. We would even come up with our own names for meals that displayed our disdain for the contents. One meal, Meatballs with barbecue sauce was affectionately called ‘Meat nuts with Barf A Shoe’ sauce by myself and the guys in my unit. I am sure there are millions of other creative renames. I actually liked that MRE and I think it was pretty much my go-to meal as long as I could beat everyone to the box.
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.
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.
About the author: Clarence Mason has 35 concurrent years of interdisciplinary experience and training in the public and private sectors of the fire service, law enforcement and investigations. Along with his respected colleagues, Clarence has been an invited speaker/presenter on matters involving National and State Security, Disaster Planning/Management and Risk Assessment. Clarence has extensive knowledge and experience in the building of commercial and residential concrete structures, and as a result of blending these unique experiences, is also the inventor of a patented system designed to provide the levels of protections needed in the building industry. You can learn more about the building products in this article at www.tempestbuildingsystems.com
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 »
A very timely article! I’ve been purchasing some basic dehydrated foods to experiment with this past month or so and hope to start cooking with them in the new year. I want to see what I will use and what, if anything, won’t be as popular. I’m starting small, but really looking forward to playing with them. 🙂 Also, there is something very seductive about not having to worry about whether or not I have any fresh eggs or milk or sour cream on hand just when I need them!

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.

This is a really comprehensive article on food prepping! I was very taken by your last item on “Edible Landscaping.” There is a natural antibacterial, antiviral product called “Sambucol,” that is a syrup (patented) made from black elderberries. There is another syrup similar called “Sambucus,” which is the botanical name for black elderberries. Not only do they taste delicious — like something to top your ice cream sundae with! — they are pretty amazing for coughs, colds, and flu. I am thinking that that might be a good thing to have growing in our yards when SHTF.
as a contractor that provided service for another contractor that constructed in-ground pools the first thing I would do is drill some shallow wells in the area and see what your water level underground is. I ran into a few of these underground shelters built in the cold war period that were filled within a few feet of the top. a death trap for any child who finds its entrance. good clue if your home has a sump pump the water table may be high enough to think twice of the underground shelter.
“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.

87. Shotgun – Many will argue if you could only have 1 weapon for home defense, the shotgun would it. The ammunition is inexpensive, is a long gun so there are less background checks when purchasing one, and can always double as a hunting gun. Also, if someone is in your home, and they hear the pump of a shotgun, it will scary any would-be intruder and for close range encounters.

And this theory has a lot more credibility because McAfee is, in fact, the big Kahuna of cybersecurity. McAfee is a British-American who is a computer programmer and entrepreneur. He created McAfee Antivirus back in the 80s, and though he sold his interest in the company, still keeps his finger on the pulse of cybersecurity and politics. He’s already announced that he’s taking a serious run at the 2020 presidential nomination on the Libertarian ticket.
Thanks and an excellent article. However, I am convinced that when this nation goes down it is not just going down: It is going under! Therefore we never quit prepping. There is no such thing as having to much food and water. We just keep adding it on and bracing for the day we know will come sooner or later. It may be Greece, Puerto Rico, or and emp etc. Who cares, sooner or later the crutches are going to be kicked from under this country and the Rodney King riots x 1000 are going to burn our cities to the ground. Anyone that is not habitually prepping is committing suicide. thanks

If there was anything my freeze-dried food experiment taught me, it was how lucky I was to be able to walk down the street and buy a sandwich whenever I wanted to—but also how far I was from being self-reliant in the more quotidian sense. If freeze-dried meals are becoming increasingly popular in America, then maybe it’s because many of us realize that if something really bad happened, we wouldn’t know the first thing about surviving for a week on the ingredients lying around in our pantry. But as we continue to be bombarded by headlines foreshadowing epic floods, economic collapse, and nuclear escalation, there’s nothing wrong with finding a little peace of mind in a bag of dehydrated Chicken A La King.
EAS Participants provide a critical public service to the nation as the resilient backbone of alert and warning when all other means of communication are unavailable. EAS Participants include all broadcasters, satellite and digital radio and television, cable television and wireline video providers who ensure the system is at a constant state of readiness.

Something big is going on, the island has more aircraft than anytime in the last 9 years. They have blocked off some access roads and are now parking aircraft on the National Road. Barriers have been set up around the aircraft areas. Temporary barracks and hangers are popping up everywhere. A tent city full of AF and Navy maintenance personal has also been set up.


Wow Gaye. I read all comments, and I see one from “Katzcradul”, so we know you have a very important web site. (I already knew this) I saw one reader loves cheese and crackers when times get rough. Katxcradul has taught me to “wax cheese” for long term storage, and many, many canning techniques. Everyone should subscribe to Katzcradul’s U-tube videos.
You may feel helpless if you have not been an outdoorsy or rugged person for most of your life, but the most essential lifesaving and survival skills and concepts are easily learned, if not mastered. Below is a list of several core skill sets you should make a point to get trained on and practice when you can. In all but the smallest towns there will be someone who has something to teach you about all of them.
The reason the vacuum sealing system’s up on this list is because I feel food has a much longer “shelf life” so to speak when its vacuum sealed before being thrown in the freezer. Used to have a lot of power outages when we lived in Toronto, and each time our food would thaw out a little it’d taste worse and worse – except for the one vacuum sealed slab of meat we got from a neighbour which I think withstood 2-3 power outages (one which lasted 4-5 days) and tasted as though it was vacuum packed the day before. I’ve also heard of people vacuum packing rice into smaller one-serving portions, and have always thought that a great idea for cases you might want to throw a bunch into a pack and go, or just generally extend the shelf life of your food/prevent rats and mice from getting into things. Necessary? No. Definitely still something I want, though.
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]

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.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in their "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign says that "the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations...rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech...".[86] However, it is alleged that a DHS list of the characteristics of potential domestic terrorists used in law enforcement training includes "Survivalist literature (fictional books such as Patriots and One Second After are mentioned by name)", "Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)", and "Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)".[87][88]
Glad i started prepping. I’ve slacked off for awhile, but i’m back. Last year my cities water was considered undrinkable for about 3 days. Couldnt drink it, use it in anyway, not even a shower. Was said to cause vomiting, rashes, etc. You couldn’t go to a store in this city and find water any where. It was crazy. I had about 6 10 gallon jugs of water, stored away. Another thing was the whole gun ban hype after sandy hook. For a long long time you literally couldn’t find ammo. Or if you did you were paying a few… Read more »
I know that in my own case and also with the majority of the readers on Backdoor Survival, hunkering down and bugging in will always be preferred to taking off into the unknown with our stuff.  For many, the choice to bug in has to do with family, health concerns or financial considerations.  That, plus the availability of stored supplies makes bugging in – or staying at home – the choice when a disaster strikes.
8. Basic camping gear.  In the case of an evacuation, take this with you in case hotels are already filled.  Additionally, camping skills double as survival skills.  Learning how to locate the best camping spot, how to pitch a tent, how to cook over a fire, and how to enjoy nature are important for every member of the family to learn.  A good quality tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads (for us older folks!), and a campstove are good basics to begin with.
During a June wildfire that ravaged the area—causing $40 million in damage and destroying 13 on-the-grid homes—firefighters discovered one of the bunkers and cabins after hearing about five minutes of “popping” sounds, according to a release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office. When firefighters found one of the shelters, they discovered the sounds had been caused by explosive powder. They also found dozens of inactive novelty grenades that had been modified. The man who built the bunkers apparently planned to turn the grenades into useable weapons filled with explosive powder.
As for all of the political rhetoric, as far as I’m concerned both parties are riddled with selfish, self-serving and crooked bums who care nothing for this country or their constituents. They seek only to keep US divided and fighting each other so we’re distracted from their stripping us of our rights, our liberties, and our property. Read 1984 for a glimpse at our future.
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.
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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