I have been mostly preparing in simple ways up until recently and I can honestly say, even that has been challenging. These are some of the things I have thought of, and I am open to suggestions that anyone might have that I may not have considered yet, aside from building a 60×60 foot fallout shelter because its impractical in my situation and I don’t think I would do well underground.
1 Step 1 – Food – The first thing I thought of, Food. I have been stockpiling canned goods for years. I have had to open a few which have passed their expiration date and they were fine. The primary thing to watch out for with canned goods, in case you aren’t aware is botullinum toxin…which causes botulism. Evidence of this will be bent cans that are “puffy”. If they look like they are pressurized from the inside…get rid of them. These anaerobic ( no oxygen ) bacteria produce a very potent poison which kills miserably.
I also added some dehydrated goodies to the mix, such as GoFoods…I avoided any of the offerings with cereal, because if you add it up…these servings are more expensive than cans and why spend 2 dollars on a 20 cent packet of oatmeal…anyway, you get the drift. Gardening on my lot will be a challenge, and I have killed every plant I have ever touched…but maybe I will give it a whirl…I know Salty is all into that. ( I suspect he be a closet Land Lubber for all the plants he has on his ship )
2 Step 2 – Water – every time I go to the grocery store I buy 3, 24 or 36 pack containers of bottled water. I think I have stockpiled about 35 gallons. I know that I may need to keep going, so I will. I also purchased a tub liner bladder that if the water still flows after an event, I will be able to get about 20 more gallons in the tub I think. Now there is also a stream down the road and I think I could easily get to that to get water for flushing the toilet or washing up with once I filtered it. NOTE : I saw the coolest solar water purifier on Independence USA on the Blaze. Really neat and I highly recommend that Channel / Show if you get the chance. If we weren’t in the middle of a drought, I would consider the water collection method of using gutter water as a valid means of collection as well, but it doesn’t rain much these days.
3 Step 3 – First Aid – Bandages, Gauze, Insect Repellant, Anti-Inflammatories ( Steroidal and Non-Steroidal ), Aspirin, Chloraseptic, Burn Gel ( this stuff helps ). I think that there may be some really good medicines that I left off the list, but this is basic stuff. I know that there are only about 5000 scenarios to cover and the best first aid is to be careful and not do anything stupid….ie: use your table saw only with a fence and push stick…or learn to live with nicknames like stumpy.
4 Step 4 – Fire Extinguishers – If you plan to use fires, plan to put them out. If you dont have fire extinguishers use water or earth to smother out because as Smokey reminds us “only you can prevent forest fires”… wise bear.
5 Step 5 – Cooking fuel – something that doesn’t require you to build a big smokey fire might be best. “Why”, you ask? because WOLVES FOLLOW SMOKE!
6 Step 6 – Weapons – well, it is a no brainer that weapons are a necessity. I really like Ruger but my wife prefers Smith and Wesson. I guess you might want to have about 20 of each type…but since I can only afford a few…that will have to do.
7 Step 7 – Off the Grid Power – Hmm….working on that…though from what I have seen, power storage is the hardest piece of this puzzle. There are several sources of power out there. Solar, Wind, etc. Go with whatever you like. Just remember whatever you do it is going to require a fair investment of time and money to get your storage in order.
8 Step 8 – Literature – Peterson field guide to Reptiles and Amphibians to Identify poisonous snakes..College textbooks on Physics, Biology, General Construction…This stuff may be handy now but also later as a reference…I already had this stuff, but if I didn’t have it, I probably would have wanted to have some of it. All of this literature is hard copy. I don’t really like e-books, because I don’t want anything to be battery dependent in a crisis.
9 Step 9 – Memory sticks and Harddrives that back up my computer and photos…thrown into a plastic bag, thrown into a locker bag, thrown into the storm shelter. But the really important stuff that teaches “how to” I am working on making hard copies. Simply printing them off double sided to preserve space and putting them into a three ring binder thus making my own library if the power collapsed and I could not rely on Powered technology.
10 Step 10 – Stash some entertainment…and items that may be used to cling to humanity in prolonged periods of trouble. I have a couple of really good books ( I know they are good because they have great covers! ) that I have not read yet and I plan on hiding them where I might find them in case of an emergency. This way I will have something fresh to read. Also I have a beautiful Crucifix and some other lightweight sentimental stuff that may help remind me of why I want to live if I lose everything else.
11 Step 11 – I plan on relaxing a bit more. What good is being a bit more ready if it doesn’t provide me with a sense of comfort…because let’s face it…I’ll probably be 100’s of miles from home when that undefined undescribable calamity finally strikes so I suppose I ought to enjoy this here stogey and wait for whatever that something might be….that’s a bit of that humor that i think i am known for, what did you think???
Seriously, I try to do something toward being more prepperish everyday whether it be large in scale or small it matters not as long as I am doing something to move forward I am being productive. Lets get back to relaxing…..No joking really lets talk about it. Relaxation is in my opinion a key element to the Preparedness lifestyle. You can call it meditation, getting away, disconnecting, checking out, whatever label you prefer to attach to it, it is important to “Take a vacation”. Websters defines a Vacation as a respite from every day happenings. As preppers we tend to have to deal with some of the more serious sides of life of which most choose to be blissfully ignorant.
I really don’t think that my lifestyle is extraordinary, and these days everyone is on their way to expertise in preparation. The fact is, if you can deny that something is afoot, you must be watching CBS. Anyway, if even 1 thing I have said has been useful, I’ve probably said too much!
God Bless Us Every One! Take Care.