Uploaded on May 24, 2008
http://www.arizonabushman.com The construction of the solar still.
Article Written by Lee Flynn
Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once said, “I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best” (Quotery.com). Some people falsely believe that being prepared is the sort of thing that is only reserved for fear mongerers and doomsday enthusiasts. However, being prepared does not mean that you want the worst to happen. On the contrary, it means that, although you hope for the best, you are simply ready for anything that might come your way. In the same way that you get insurance in case your health declines, it is important to take out your own “insurance policy” for every area in your life. This might include food storage, home repairs, budgeting, or any number of tasks.
The most common motivator for people when it comes to preparedness is the type of disaster that gains international attention. Hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and all manner of natural disasters have a habit of igniting the prepping spark in many people. Such occurrences are often unpredictable and can leave hundreds of people without homes or even, sadly, their loved ones. However, even those on the outskirts of a disaster can suffer dire consequences. At the very least, they may be trapped in their homes for days on end, perhaps without power or water. This is where your emergency food and water comes in handy.
However, although these are the ones which gain the most attention, natural disasters are not the only, and certainly not the most common, reason for needing to keep certain emergency items in your home. You might not have considered it before, but a sudden job loss could come from nowhere and make it extremely difficult to feed yourself and your family.
A top financial advisor, worried that Obamacare, the NSA spying scandal and spiraling national debt is increasing the chances for a fiscal and social disaster, is recommending that Americans prepare a “bug-out bag” that includes food, a gun and ammo to help them stay alive.
David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor and Forbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms.”
His memo is part of a series addressing the potential for a “financial apocalypse.” His view, however, is that the problems plaguing the country won’t result in armageddon. “There is the possibility of a precipitous decline, although a long and drawn out malaise is much more likely,” said the Charlottesville, Va.-based president of Marotta Wealth Management.
Marotta said that many clients fear an end-of-the-world scenario. He doesn’t agree with that outcome, but does with much of what has people worried.
Texas voters last night approved the creation of a water bank expected to fund nearly $30bn in water infrastructure projects in the coming decades. The passage of Proposition 6 means the state will begin putting its 2012 State Water Plan – which calls for more than $50b in spending on new water infrastructure by 2060 – into action.
The project list is heavy on big new pipelines and reservoirs (including a controversial $3.3bn reservoir in East Texas to service the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex 170 miles away), and also features agricultural conservation and municipal water reuse projects.
But advocates of rainwater collection say a key tool for water security is missing from the plan. “Rainwater harvesting was not recommended as a water management strategy to meet needs since the volume of water may not be available during drought conditions,” the plan states.
Rainwater harvesting – one of the most efficient ways of reducing water demand and related infrastructure costs, according to Tamim Younos, president of Virginia’s Cabell Brand Center – has gained popularity in recent years. To protect themselves from water shortage or price increases, some of the world’s largest companies – such as Walmart, Home Depot, and TD Ameritrade – have been installing their own projects.
While Texas offers a number of incentives for rainwater harvesting, including allowing governmental districts to exempt such systems from property taxes, inclusion of the practice in the State Water Plan would have certainly accelerated the trend.
Rainwater collection played a key role in getting several Australian cities through their recent “millennium drought“. But the practice routinely gets overlooked in the United States, as underlined by the Texas plan.
David Crawford, founder of Virginia-based Rainwater Management Solutions, attributes the limited US rollout to resistant utilities, relatively low water costs, a confusing melange of local codes and ignorance about the practice.
“There’s these municipalities that say, ‘Oh, no, we don’t want you to flush our toilets with rainwater because we’ll lose budget money on it,’” Crawford said. “The reality of it is they don’t have the water to sell in many cases.”
In May, online brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation consolidated five offices in Omaha, Nebraska, into a single $250m, 12-story tower expected to receive the LEED Platinum certification.
Along with an abundance of natural lighting, solar-heated hot water, and wind-powered parking lot lights, the building boasts a rainwater harvesting system that waters the landscaping and flushes the toilets. All together, the green measures cut building maintenance costs in half, claims spokesperson Kim Hillyer.
“Anytime you move 2,000 people into one location you worry about how many natural resources you’re going to drain, and if we can limit that then we’ve done our job in being a good community partner,” Hillyer said.
Box stores with large roofs and significant landscaping also appear to be a natural fit for rainwater harvesting, which typically involves collecting rainwater from rooftops, storage in large tanks, and filtration and pumping for non-potable needs. The American Water Works Association estimates that 80% of the typical commercial building’s water use goes to non-potable uses, such as flushing toilets, watering landscaping, and for cooling and processing water.
Listening to the radio on the way into work this morning I learned that hundreds of thousands of people will be without water for “days.”
How many days? The official speaking on the radio would not say.
It would be difficult to come up with a worse time to deprive hundreds of thousands of people of life giving water. Today’s heat index is expected to hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit! Similar heat indices are expected throughout the remaining week.
According to the report the problem is found in a “Fifty four inch main that is without redundancy.” Monitors indicate that the main is going to blow. It is believed by the water provider that allowing the main to blow and then performing the repair would mean the end user would be without water even longer and that the repair would be more expensive.
How many of the people who will be affected by this water emergency will hear this warning? How many of those who do hear it will do so in time to act before the water is cut off and what little water is available in stores is gone?
How many of the people who hear this warning in time will act?
What should they do to prepare for a water emergency that will certainly last for days?
In heat like this each person needs two gallons of water a day. Having two gallons will provide at least a gallon for drinking and a little water for personal washing.
The official in the interview said that the water emergency would last for, “days.” He would not elaborate further. Does that mean two days, five days, or thirty days?
Let us suppose for the moment that the water emergency may go on for a as little as a week. Let us also suppose that we are planning for a family of four. Each person will need two gallons of water per day. Remember this only allows for drinking, cooking, and some personal washing. Never mind flushing the toilet, bathing, or washing clothes or dishes!
Based on the bare minimum of two gallons a day, a family of four will require at least eight gallons of water per day. Just to provide drinking water for a family of four for one week you must set aside fifty six gallons of water – or just a little more than one fifty five gallon drum full of water. That will get you through ONE WEEK!
Unless of course you have friends and family who are in need and come to you for help…
What will you do then?
If you are selfish you will turn them away. If you are a little more thoughtful you will prepare something extra for those who may come begging when they realize that you have resources that they do not.
If you are the thoughtful type you may well need to set aside twice what your family needs to offset the suffering of others!
Storing water takes up a great deal of space – especially if you are the kind of person who thinks that buying cases upon case of individual bottles in smart.
Consider storing water in food grade fifty five gallon drums. It will take up much less space! The up front cost of buying food grade drums can be expensive but it will be much less costly then purchasing cases of individual bottles. Another benefit that drives down the cost is that you can reuse the drums again and again. Two drums will store enough water to provide a family of four with drinking water for two weeks during a water emergency like the one about to occur in southern Prince George’s County. Four drums will provide that same family with drinking water for a month or will ensure you have a little something to share with the ill prepared during a shorter emergency.
Be mindful though – that much water is very heavy. Plan accordingly to prevent damage to your home. If possible keep it on the ground floor. It may also be a good idea to store barrels in separate areas to distribute weight.
If you choose to use fifty five gallon drums you have the added benefit of having a drum or two to convert to rain barrels should the need arise.
During an ongoing water emergency you will quickly find that life does not continue as we know it today. Due to a lack of water the washing machine will no longer clean your clothes. The dishwasher will no longer wash your dishes. Showers will no longer flow. Toilets will stop flushing!
Your drinking water is only for drinking, cooking, and personal washing. That precious two gallons a day will not provide water for dirty dishes, laundry, or toilets.
So what do you do?
The hard facts are these: During an ongoing water emergency you will have to make serious changes in the way you deal with sanitation.
Paper plates and plastic cups, and bowls purchased in bulk will help offset the need to wash dishes – at least in the short term.
Hand sanitizer provides a means to clean dirty hands and frees up more water for drinking.
You may find it necessary to wear your clothes longer between cleaning than you prefer. Hand wash under garments, using as little water and possible, will make life a bit more pleasant. Let the jeans and outer shirts go. During a water emergency (remember we are not talking about life as per usual here – this is and EMERGENCY and there is no water flowing from the tap) things will change – there simply won’t be enough water to live as we are accustomed.
Whatever you do – do NOT use your drinking water for anything other than drinking, cooking, and a bit of personal washing!
As for as bathroom habits go here are some tips:
You need heavy duty garbage bags. Empty your toilet bowl of water then line the emptied bowl with the heavy gauge plastic trash bag. Use the toilet this way. If you have kitty litter sprinkle a little over the contents of the bag after each use. Saw dust or even leaves are also good alternatives to kitty litter. Doing this helps keep the smell down. Replace the bag as needed. Do not wait until the bag is to heavy to manage or until it becomes so heavy it may burst! Place the bags of waste outside your home for trash pick up.
I suggest listening to the radio for public service announcements. Your local government may have different or additional instructions for you to follow. If they do provide direction in this regard you should pay attention. If they do not that is just fine – you know how to proceed.
Don’t forget hand sanitizer!
When the water is off cooking soups and stews (that are full of water) is a good idea!
Drinking alcohol and soda is a bad idea. Both of these dehydrate!
During a water emergency dehydration is a much greater problem than normal. Be sure that everyone in your home is drinking plenty of water! The onset of diarrhea can quickly become an emergency! Be prepared with anti-diarrhea meds. If they don’t work – seek medical attention!
Standing in line made up of angry, desperate people with jugs, pans, and buckets waiting for your turn at a spigot at the back of a tanker truck is a terrible way to spend your time. If you prepare in advance for your and your family’s needs, the likelihood of you having to brave those desperate lines will be much lower.
The math is simple: Two gallons of water for drinking, cooking, and a bit of personal washing – per person, per day is the absolute minimum you should plan for.
Paper and plastic dishes will give you something to eat off of without having to use vital water resources for washing. Keep in mind though that the is a short term solution.
Set aside more water for cleaning undergarments – do not use your drinking water for this! Let your outer garments go.
Heavy plastic bags (the strongest you can find) to line your toilet will allow the bathroom to continue to be used with only some inconvenience.
Don’t forget to store – and use, hand sanitizer!
We are all responsible for ourselves and for our families. This water emergency comes with a warning – most emergencies do not! Don’t count on the government, the community, or your neighbors to provide for you. Take action now so that your family need not fear a water emergency or any other emergency.
Barking Window (BW) where this article first appeared promotes a philosophy of self reliance. This is a place for those who believe in the wisdom of being prepared for hard times and recognize the value of doing it yourself.
All of our writers are able proponents of self reliance. We have different political views. We follow different spiritual paths. We do not write with an agenda beyond that of promoting self reliance and disaster preparedness. Rather the writers who are good enough to share their work on BW have a genuine desire to contribute to a pool of knowledge that may benefit the reader.
This weekend some very good friends of ours spent several hours at our house. At one point over dinner, the husband, James, began asking about food storage. How did I know what to store? How long would it last? His wife, Dawn, had questions of her own and I began making a simple list of how to start with preparedness.
I asked them both what their concerns were. Dawn mentioned the news about the solar flares that might cause problems with electronics on Earth and James said his main concern was a war developing in the Middle East. Since we had never talked about preparedness before, I was surprised that those concerns were on their radars. Previously, we had just chatted about work schedules, homeschooling, and whether or not our kids should go to church camp this summer.
After James and Dawn left, I started writing out a list of the most simple steps we had talked about and then decided to post them here. If you are new to the idea of preparing for an emergency or worst-case scenario, here’s where you can start! I’ll be posting additional lists throughout the year, all titled, “How basic can you get?”
Here is List #1.
image by laura_h_knight
Just getting started with prepping? Has some piece of news scared you to death for the future and that of your family? You can become better prepared for …whatever…by just jumping in and doing something proactive today. I posted List #1 here.
For beginning preppers, here are more simple ideas for getting started. Experienced preppers might even find a few useful reminders!
Here’s another list of simple, basic steps for getting started as a Survival Mom or prepper.
1.� Find a source of inexpensive spices, herbs, and seasonings and begin stocking up on those you use most.
2.� Buy a Food Saver vacuum sealer. You’ll find these on Craigslist and eBay, Walmart, Target, and even Cabela’s. This machine will vacuum seal the Food Saver bags as well as jars.
3.� Be on the lookout for canning jars. The lids and rims of these jars provide a tighter seal than the lids of jelly or other jars.
4.� Once you have a Food Saver and canning jars, invest in one final item: a Food Saver jar sealer. This will allow you to fill those canning jars with foods that would melt or otherwise be spoiled in the canning process, vacuum oxygen from the inside of the jar, and have those foods ready to store long-term.
5.� Wherever you have food stored, be on the lookout for insects and rodents who might chew through food containers. You’d be surprised at what a diligent mouse with a lot of time on his hands can do!
Here are ten more tips to help a newbie get started and a seasoned Survival Mom stay on track!
1. Start looking for both tarps and rope. As long as they aren’t worn out or frayed, they will be useful for making shelters, wind breaks, and even for water collection. They can provide a quick patch to a roof, a wall, or a broken window. Six tarps and a few hundred yards of rope would be a good start, and both are inexpensive.
2. Even if winter weather isn’t a major issue where you live (Wave if you live in Phoenix or Honolulu!), you should still have a few cold weather clothing items for each member of the family. It’s so easy to pick these up at thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales, and end-of-the-season sales at department and sporting goods stores. Warm waterproof boots, wool socks, long underwear, heavy jackets, waterproof gloves and warm caps should be a minimum. If you have kids, buy these in larger sizes when you find them at great prices.
3. Make a rice and beans meal 3 or 4 times a month. These two foods combined create a complete protein, they’re very cheap, and have long shelf lives.
4. Add one method for cooking food and heating water when the power goes out. If you already have a propane camp stove, make or buy your own solar oven or rocket stove. The BioLite stove is a great option because it requires so little fuel, is lightweight, and very portable.
5. Begin to acquire camping equipment even if you don’t camp. A tent, sleeping bags, a camp stove, etc. will come in handy in case of an evacuation or if your home is damaged and unlivable.
Are you ready for more? Did you work your way through Lists 1-5? This next list should keep you busy and out of trouble for a while!
1. Learn how to use a compass and a map. It’s a lot harder than you might think, but it’s a skill that just might make the difference between you or a loved one wandering around in the wilderness, lost, and finding your way back to civilization. Look for classes at stores like REI or Cabela’s. This video does a pretty job explaining the skill.
2. Do your kids know what to do if your home’s smoke alarms ever went off? Have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows these basic rules of home fire safety and where everyone should meet if there ever is a fire.
3. Have pets? Stock up on a month’s worth of extra food for each one. If you buy dry food, be sure to store it in a heavy-duty plastic bin with a tight fitting lid. Rodents, insects, and even the dogs and cats themselves will find a way into this stash. Trust me!
4. Hit a few garage/estate sales this month and buy some extra blankets. Thesealways come in handy! Be sure to keep a couple in the trunk of each car.
In his forthcoming book, Prepared Neighborhoods, social entrepreneur Scott James writes, “the neighborhood is where sustainability meets preparedness. It is one step beyond caring for your own family, and one step back from what the emergency professional does best at a national level. Self-sufficiency for every citizen is not only unattainable but also undesirable. The answer is resilient community.”
How do we build resilient communities? Is there a way to organize around preparing for “short term emergencies” to build neighborly relations and also strengthens us for other systemic economic and ecological challenges ahead?
This summer, our local “transition town,” the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, is experimenting with “preparedness pie parties.” It may be a way to bridge some of the race, class, and political differences in our neighborhood.
Neighbors meet each other, share information, and identify elderly and disabled neighbors to check in with. Neighbors take a few minutes to look at an “emergency preparedness checklist,” like the one FEMA puts out. Maybe one subgroup volunteers to coordinate the bulk purchase of flashlights and supplies. Another puts together a simple contact list with everyone’s name and basic information.
If neighbors are motivated, they could look at the “Map Your Neighborhood” process, piloted in Washington State and now adopted in other states. They have a nine-step process for neighbors responding to disasters, including urging neighbors to put “OK” signs in their windows—and visiting neighbors who haven’t put up a sign.
Some people might dismiss such organizing as fear mongering, a local version of the National Geographic series “Doomsday Preppers.” This is why the tone of such organizing matters: respectful, informed, friendly and hopeful. The message is “our individual security is linked to the well-being of our neighbors.”
The history of recent northeast ice storms and hurricanes such as Sandy and Irene underscores that neighbors are our true “first responders,” and that a modest amount of networking and preparation makes a huge difference. Many of my neighbors view this as common sense.
Rebecca Solnit, in her remarkable book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster, reminds us that adversity unleashes extraordinary community spirit and generosity among neighbors. The fearful images of looting and selfishness are well publicized, but they are not the norm.
Chuck Collins wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Chuck is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good.
There’s a sense of urgency in the prepping community lately that is at an all-time high. Between the global elite warmongers, the impending financial collapse as the government makes plans to attach pension funds, the new viruses, Monsanto’s GMO seeds running amok and threatening the world’s food supply, and Big Food’s toxic food-like substances in the grocery stores with no regard for actual nutrition, it is clear that we are going downhill fast. The soothing ”everything-is-just-fine” propaganda is so blatant that even the most die-hard zombie is beginning to see that something is amiss and that a massive change is soon to take place.
Many of us have stocked our homes to the rafters with beans, rice, bullets, and band-aids. Each trip to the store adds more to our stockpiles as we try to get what we need before time runs out. Newbie preppers are feeling even more frantic, wondering how to prepare when each week it takes more money to put less in the grocery cart. (If you’re new to preparedness, here’s a little primer with some great links.)
With the situation looking more grim by the day, it is very clear that stockpiling is not enough. No matter how many cans of green beans you have stored away, one day they will run out. We have become so dependent on the “buy it as you need it” lifestyle that despite our food storage, there are still gaps that must be filled.
And the only way to fill these gaps is through that which is a step beyond prepping…self sufficiency.
Self sufficiency is defined as the ability to provide for oneself without the help of others. No amount of stockpiling gives you true self sufficiency. It is a combination of skills, supplies, attitudes and habits that mean the difference between a person with a great pantry and a true survivor.
Self-sufficiency is for…
The list could go on and on. These things are hurtling towards us and we must be ready. Self sufficiency, unlike prepping, doesn’t cost a lot of money – it’s about planning and acquiring basic skills and tools. It is about putting your plan into practice before you have no other option but to do so.
What would you do if you could never go to a store again? If you could never have utilities provided by a supplier again? What if you were truly on your own, forever?
For some situations, prepping just isn’t enough. If you don’t have plans for the following, you cannot consider yourself to be truly prepared.
Many people believe that they will just be able to stick some seeds in the ground and feed their families year round. It isn’t that easy. You can only learn the foibles of your bit of ground through trial and error. It takes a lot more veggies than most people think to feed a family for a year. Anything from a blight to bad weather to a horde of hungry bunnies can wipe out all of your hard work and leave you without a bite to store away. Look into some of these methods:
Not all of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we can grow food outdoors all year long. For the rest of us, food preservation is a lifeline in the winter. A few basic supplies and tools are needed. Just like food production, it’s important to practices food preservation and work out the kinks now, while you still have moderately affordable groceries as a back up. As well, this allows you to rely on healthy, non-GMO foods instead of the inexpensive, highly processed garbage at the stores. Learn the following skills:
Reduce dependence on utilities
Whether you live in the country or in a high-rise apartment, you need to take steps to reduce your dependence on electricity at the flip of a switch, water from the tap, heat from the thermostat, and cooking at the turn of a dial. As the divide between the rich and the poor widen, there could one day be a choice between food and electricity. Your priorities are:
Every situation is unique so start now to amass the necessary tools to meet your needs should the lights go out on a long term basis.
Not only should you be prepared to defend your home, but you should try to avoid the fight in the first place by securing your property.
Change your perspective on finances
Devastating financial changes are coming to a location near you. Wouldn’t you prefer to make the cuts now and adjust accordingly, instead of having them forced upon you through evictions, foreclosures, repossessions, and other painful methods? Making some difficult changes now can provide a stable standard of living in a world that is going downhill at breakneck speed. By decreasing your monthly output, you can hang on to necessities.
The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally. The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.
No matter how much food you buy, it may not be enough to get you through these difficult times. You must learn to be self-sufficient in order to remain free from the control of those who would offer you sustenance and shelter in return for your fealty.
Instead of a huge, life-changing calamity, consider that it may be the culmination of many small events, rising prices and lower incomes, and the deliberate erosion of our self-sufficiency by those who would control us that cause TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It).
The lists above aren’t comprehensive – they are jumping off points to apply to your own situations. Wherever you are planted, you need to come to grips with the fact that the world as we know it is undergoing massive changes. Figure out now how to make the best of it and not only survive with your family, but thrive.
Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those items were abundantly available. Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders.
Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American. Our debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.
Today, you still have stores at every corner, reliable utilities, and social safety nets in place. These may soon become a thing of the past and if you wait before preparing, your window of opportunity may slam shut.
I’m not suggesting that you stop prepping – your stockpile is vital insurance that can help to cushion you when things go downhill. But along with your food storage and your rocket stoves and your medical supplies, begin creating a self-sufficient lifestyle that will carry you far beyond what mere prepping ever could.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, May 09, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) We are republishing two important stories here (with links to original sources) that you need to read. The first is a report from a man who survived the war in Bosnia. Although the source of this cannot be confirmed, the advice is extremely valuable regardless.
The second story, appended to the bottom of this article, lists 35 excuses that will get you killed if you fail to prepare for what’s coming. This was originally published on SHTFplan.com and is sourced below.
Read both of these articles if you want to live.
Here’s the first:
I am from Bosnia. You know, between 1992 and 1995, it was hell. For one year, I lived and survived in a city with 6,000 people without water, electricity, gasoline, medical help, civil defense, distribution service, any kind of traditional service or centralized rule.
Our city was blockaded by the army; and for one year, life in the city turned into total crap. We had no army, no police. We only had armed groups; those armed protected their homes and families.
When it all started, some of us were better prepared. But most of the neighbors’ families had enough food only for a few days. Some had pistols; a few had AK-47s or shotguns.
After a month or two, gangs started operating, destroying everything. Hospitals, for example, turned into slaughterhouses. There was no more police. About 80 percent of the hospital staff were gone. I got lucky. My family at the time was fairly large (15 people in a large house, six pistols, three AKs), and we survived (most of us, at least).
The Americans dropped MREs every 10 days to help blockaded cities. This was never enough. Some — very few — had gardens. It took three months for the first rumors to spread of men dying from hunger and cold. We removed all the doors, the window frames from abandoned houses, ripped up the floors and burned the furniture for heat. Many died from diseases, especially from the water (two from my own family). We drank mostly rainwater, ate pigeons and even rats.
Money soon became worthless. We returned to an exchange. For a tin can of tushonka (think Soviet spam), you could have a woman. (It is hard to speak of it, but it is true.) Most of the women who sold themselves were desperate mothers.
Arms, ammunition, candles, lighters, antibiotics, gasoline, batteries and food. We fought for these things like animals. In these situations, it all changes. Men become monsters. It was disgusting.
Strength was in numbers. A man living alone getting killed and robbed would be just a matter of time, even if he was armed.
Today, me and my family are well-prepared, I am well-armed. I have experience.
It does not matter what will happen: an earthquake, a war, a tsunami, aliens, terrorists, economic collapse, uprising. The important part is that something will happen.
Here’s my experience: You can’t make it on your own. Don’t stay apart from your family; prepare together, choose reliable friends.
1. How to move safely in a city
The city was divided into communities along streets. Our street (15 to 20 homes) had patrols (five armed men every week) to watch for gangs and for our enemies.
All the exchanges occurred in the street. About 5 kilometers away was an entire street for trading, all well-organized; but going there was too dangerous because of the snipers. You could also get robbed by bandits. I only went there twice, when I needed something really rare (list of medicine, mainly antibiotics, of the French original of the texts).
Nobody used automobiles in the city: The streets were blocked by wreckage and by abandoned cars. Gasoline was very expensive. If one needed to go somewhere, that was done at night. Never travel alone or in groups that were too big — always two to three men. All armed, travel swift, in the shadows, cross streets through ruins, not along open streets.
There were many gangs 10 to 15 men strong, some as large as 50 men. But there were also many normal men, like you and me, fathers and grandfathers, who killed and robbed. There were no “good” and “bad” men. Most were in the middle and ready for the worst.
2. What about wood? Your home city is surrounded by woods; why did you burn doors and furniture?
There were not that many woods around the city. It was very beautiful — restaurants, cinemas, schools, even an airport. Every tree in the city and in the city park was cut down for fuel in the first two months.
Without electricity for cooking and heat, we burned anything that burned. Furniture, doors, flooring: That wood burns swiftly. We had no suburbs or suburban farms. The enemy was in the suburbs. We were surrounded. Even in the city you never knew who was the enemy at any given point.
3. What knowledge was useful to you in that period?
To imagine the situation a bit better, you should know it was practically a return to the Stone Age.
For example, I had a container of cooking gas. But I did not use it for heat. That would be too expensive! I attached a nozzle to it I made myself and used to fill lighters. Lighters were precious.
If a man brought an empty lighter, I would fill it; and he would give me a tin of food or a candle.
I was a paramedic. In these conditions, my knowledge was my wealth. Be curious and skilled. In these conditions, the ability to fix things is more valuable than gold.
Items and supplies will inevitably run out, but your skills will keep you fed.
I wish to say this: Learn to fix things, shoes or people.
My neighbor, for example, knew how to make kerosene for lamps. He never went hungry.
4. If you had three months to prepare now, what would you do?
Three months? Run away from the country? (joking)
Today, I know everything can collapse really fast. I have a stockpile of food, hygiene items, batteries — enough to last me for six months.
I live in a very secure flat and own a home with a shelter in a village 5 kilometers away. Another six-month supply there, too. That’s a small village; most people there are well-prepared. The war had taught them.
I have four weapons and 2,000 rounds for each.
I have a garden and have learned gardening. Also, I have a good instinct. You know, when everyone around you keeps telling you it’ll all be fine, but I know it will all collapse.
I have strength to do what I need to protect my family. Because when it all collapses, you must be ready to do “bad” things to keep your children alive and protect your family.
Surviving on your own is practically impossible. (That’s what I think.) Even you’re armed and ready, if you’re alone, you’ll die. I have seen that happen many times.
Families and groups, well-prepared, with skills and knowledge in various fields: That’s much better.
5. What should you stockpile?
That depends. If you plan to live by theft, all you need is weapons and ammo. Lots of ammo.
If not, more food, hygiene items, batteries, accumulators, little trading items (knives, lighters, flints, soap). Also, alcohol of a type that keeps well. The cheapest whiskey is a good trading item.
Many people died from insufficient hygiene. You’ll need simple items in great amounts. For example, garbage bags. Lots of them. And toilet papers. Non-reusable dishes and cups: You’ll need lots of them. I know that because we didn’t have any at all.
As for me, a supply of hygiene items is perhaps more important than food. You can shoot a pigeon. You can find a plant to eat. You can’t find or shoot any disinfectant.
Disinfectant, detergents, bleach, soap, gloves, masks.
First aid skills, washing wounds and burns. Perhaps you will find a doctor and will not be able to pay him.
Learn to use antibiotics. It’s good to have a stockpile of them.
You should choose the simplest weapons. I carry a Glock .45. I like it, but it’s a rare gun here. So I have two TT pistols, too. (Everyone has them and ammo is common.)
I don’t like Kalashnikov’s, but again, same story. Everyone has them; so do I.
You must own small, unnoticeable items. For example, a generator is good, but 1,000 BIC lighters are better. A generator will attract attention if there’s any trouble, but 1,000 lighters are compact, cheap and can always be traded.
We usually collected rainwater into four large barrels and then boiled it. There was a small river, but the water in it became very dirty very fast.
It’s also important to have containers for water: barrels and buckets.
6. Were gold and silver useful?
Yes. I personally traded all the gold in the house for ammunition.
Sometimes, we got our hands on money: dollars and Deutschmarks. We bought some things for them, but this was rare and prices were astronomical. For example, a can of beans cost $30 to $40. The local money quickly became worthless. Everything we needed we traded for through barter.
7. Was salt expensive?
Yes, but coffee and cigarettes were even more expensive. I had lots of alcohol and traded it without problems. Alcohol consumption grew over 10 times as compared to peacetime. Perhaps today, it’s more useful to keep a stock of cigarettes, lighters and batteries. They take up less space.
At this time, I was not a survivalist. We had no time to prepare — several days before the shit hit the fan. The politicians kept repeating over the TV that everything was going according to plan, there’s no reason to be concerned. When the sky fell on our heads, we took what we could.
8. Was it difficult to purchase firearms? What did you trade for arms and ammunition?
After the war, we had guns in every house. The police confiscated lots of guns at the beginning of the war. But most of them we hid. Now I have one legal gun that I have a license for. Under the law, that’s called a temporary collection. If there is unrest, the government will seize all the registered guns. Never forget that.
You know, there are many people who have one legal gun, but also illegal guns if that one gets seized. If you have good trade goods, you might be able to get a gun in a tough situation. But remember, the most difficult time is the first days, and perhaps you won’t have enough time to find a weapon to protect your family. To be disarmed in a time of chaos and panic is a bad idea.
In my case, there was a man who needed a car battery for his radio. He had shotguns. I traded the accumulator for both of them. Sometimes, I traded ammunition for food, and a few weeks later traded food for ammunition. Never did the trade at home, never in great amounts.
Few people knew how much and what I keep at home.
The most important thing is to keep as many things as possible in terms of space and money. Eventually, you’ll understand what is more valuable.
Correction: I’ll always value weapons and ammunition the most. Second? Maybe gas masks and filters.
9. What about security?
Our defenses were very primitive. Again, we weren’t ready, and we used what we could. The windows were shattered, and the roofs in a horrible state after the bombings. The windows were blocked — some with sandbags, others with rocks.
I blocked the fence gate with wreckage and garbage, and used a ladder to get across the wall. When I came home, I asked someone inside to pass over the ladder. We had a fellow on our street that completely barricaded himself in his house. He broke a hole in the wall, creating a passage for himself into the ruins of the neighbor’s house — a sort of secret entrance.
Maybe this would seem strange, but the most protected houses were looted and destroyed first. In my area of the city, there were beautiful houses with walls, dogs, alarms and barred windows. People attacked them first. Some held out; others didn’t. It all depended how many hands and guns they had inside.
I think defense is very important, but it must be carried out unobtrusively. If you are in a city and SHTF comes, you need a simple, non-flashy place, with lots of guns and ammo.
How much ammo? As much as possible.
Make your house as unattractive as you can.
Right now, I own a steel door, but that’s just against the first wave of chaos. After that passes, I will leave the city to rejoin a larger group of people, my friends and family.
There were some situations during the war. There’s no need for details, but we always had superior firepower and a brick wall on our side.
We also constantly kept someone watching the streets. Quality organization is paramount in case of gang attacks.
Shooting was constantly heard in the city.
Our perimeter was defended primitively. All the exits were barricaded and had little firing slits. Inside we had at least five family members ready for battle at any time and one man in the street, hidden in a shelter.
We stayed home through the day to avoid sniper fire.
At first, the weak perish. Then, the rest fight.
During the day, the streets were practically empty due to sniper fire. Defenses were oriented toward short-range combat alone. Many died if they went out to gather information, for example. It’s important to remember we had no information, no radio, no TV — only rumors and nothing else.
There was no organized army; every man fought. We had no choice. Everybody was armed, ready to defend themselves.
You should not wear quality items in the city; someone will murder you and take them. Don’t even carry a “pretty” long arm, it will attract attention.
Let me tell you something: If SHTF starts tomorrow, I’ll be humble. I’ll look like everyone else. Desperate, fearful. Maybe I’ll even shout and cry a little bit.
Pretty clothing is excluded altogether. I will not go out in my new tactical outfit to shout: “I have come! You’re doomed, bad guys!” No, I’ll stay aside, well-armed, well-prepared, waiting and evaluating my possibilities, with my best friend or brother.
Super-defenses, super-guns are meaningless. If people think they should steal your things, that you’re profitable, they will. It’s only a question of time and the amount of guns and hands.
10. How was the situation with toilets?
We used shovels and a patch of earth near the house. Does it seem dirty? It was. We washed with rainwater or in the river, but most of the time the latter was too dangerous. We had no toilet paper; and if we had any, I would have traded it away.
It was a “dirty” business.
Let me give you a piece of advice: You need guns and ammo first — and second, everything else. Literally everything! All depends on the space and money you have.
If you forget something, there will always be someone to trade with for it. But if you forget weapons and ammo, there will be no access to trading for you.
I don’t think big families are extra mouths. Big families means both more guns and strength — and from there, everyone prepares on his own.
11. How did people treat the sick and the injured?
Most injuries were from gunfire. Without a specialist and without equipment, if an injured man found a doctor somewhere, he had about a 30 percent chance of survival.
It ain’t the movie. People died. Many died from infections of superficial wounds. I had antibiotics for three to four uses — for the family, of course.
People died foolishly quite often. Simple diarrhea will kill you in a few days without medicine, with limited amounts of water.
There were many skin diseases and food poisonings… nothing to it.
Many used local plants and pure alcohol — enough for the short-term, but useless in the long term.
Hygiene is very important, as well as having as much medicine as possible — especially antibiotics.
As of today it is estimated that ONLY 1% of the population actually goes to much of any effort to prepare and store up enough of what they need to survive a true calamity. This means a huge majority of the population fails, yes fails, to have much of anything if and WHEN what they need each day to live evaporates quickly. Most people have no clue what life will be like after the grocery stores close. They simply cannot grasp the horrors that will befall those people that have not put away for tomorrow or prepared contingencies for life threatening emergencies.
Instead of taking some time, effort , and money to safeguard themselves and their families, they have a wide array of reasons (excuses) for why prepping is crazy and not at all necessary.
There exist a magnitude of what are called TRUE civilization altering or world-as-we-know-it ending events that could happen. Many have already occurred throughout history, as well as within just the last decade. The fact is , it’s only a matter of time before these catastrophes happen again.
People who choose not to prepare for their families will be faced with life and death situations that few have ever experienced before.
Without water people will die within a few days. Without food people will die within a few weeks. Without everyday necessities people will die in hordes from varying ailments and diseases. Without what they are accustomed to on a daily basis, people will suffer and most will die. This absolutely does not have to happen to such a high percentage of the population, but sadly it will unless more people understand there is no real excuse for NOT preparing.
The following are 35 of the most common excuses and causes cited by the 99% of the population who don’t prepare.
1. Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.
Fact or Answer: The overall odds increase of having a mega or even a lesser catastrophe as the population grows and cities grow in size. Just like increasing the size of a target, it is easier and more likely to get hit. Even if your area doesn’t get hit, your location can be cut off from getting vital supplies from areas that DID get hit. Every single spot on the planet is a target, from natural disasters to terrorism to war to pandemics to a black swan event that no one expects. No one is invulnerable anywhere and living this way is delusional and totally unrealistic.
2. I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.
Fact or Answer. The media and government have longed ingrained into people’s minds that no matter what happens, it is repairable. Fortunately up until now there has not been a type of event that is so severe and widespread that recovery is very long or requires massive clean-up involving millions of people and trillions of dollars. There are potential disasters that occur on regular time frames that could easily be ranked as hundreds of times worse than anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. The New Madrid fault zone and San Andreas fault are a couple of examples. A solar induced super EMP (electro magnetic pulse) which occurred in 1812, 1857, and 1859 is another. Fukushima is a recent example how bad things can get almost in a matter of just 24 hours.
3. No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.
Fact or Answer. Help can come IF there are people and resources available. All of the recent disasters have been fairly isolated and allow the majority of the unaffected population to come to the rescue of those in need. What happens when an entire country is affected – or most of the world? Assuming that your government or someone will reach your area with help and supplies no matter what is dangerous. The government is going to spread help to areas of the highest priority FIRST. Your area could be weeks or months away from help and you could be long dead before help and supplies arrive.
4. Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.
Fact or Answer. Ever seen towns and cities cut off by winter storms? Food in supermarkets, food warehouse stores, and restaurants, are extremely limited – perhaps one to seven days at best. To prove this take your population where you live and divide this by the number of grocery stores in your city or town. Now go into one of these stores and look around and consider how fast a few hundred or a few thousand people could empty that store. You see all those trucks coming in each day carrying food and supplies for these stores. Imagine those deliveries stopping. Food will disappear faster than anyone can imagine.
5. My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.
Fact or Answer. It’s a pure numbers game. If food and other necessities are not there for the state to distribute, then everyone who has failed to put away for such a disaster will go hungry. Your neighbors are likely to be in the same boat as you if 99% of the people don’t prep. Those that did prepare are likely to not share with a bunch of people that choose not to. Taking food from those that did store up will not be an easy task, as they will likely be well armed. It is extremely selfish to expect your neighbor to sacrifice their family because you determined that preparing was too much effort. Simply don’t be the 99% that don’t prepare.