Preparedness 101: The Very Basics – By ZMalfoy

From yesterday’s thread… an idea……to ZMalfoy’s resourcefulness and writing skills…and here we go!  Thank you to all the creative hearts and minds.  You guys are something else (a very nice “something else”).  This thread will be like Our Treehouse, The Chapel, Our Mission and Heroes Contact List: a permanent place to come any time you have ideas, questions or comments that fit within what follows, which was prepared by  ZMalfoy. Thank you all!


Preparedness 101: The Very Basics

by ZMalfoy

Since there was some interest in the subject of preparedness, let’s start a thread for reference for the Tree Dwelling Community.

Since we all have different info, I’ll start with the basics.  There will be some (optional!) homework.  Anyone who has any tips, advice, corrections, stories, links, etc., is invited to share them in the comments.  There will be questions, too, for the community to answer, which may become posts of their own in the future.  One caveat:  Since the writer and blog are based in the U.S., it will be written from a U. S. point of view.  If you live elsewhere, adjust the information and feel free to share with us the variables in things you are dealing with.

So we begin:

1) What are we supposed to be preparing for?

2) Where do I start?

What are we preparing for?

Short answer: Life.

Slightly longer answer: Anything that could happen to disrupt our fun–anything from house troubles to sickness to The End Of The World As We Know It (aka TEOTWAWKI).  Maybe economic collapse, maybe natural disasters, maybe an epidemic or terrorism.  This can be a bit hard to handle, so a few things to keep in mind as we begin:

1) The emergency you face will not be the one you prepared for.  This is the prepper’s corollary to Murphy’s Law.  If you’re ready and waiting for the next flu epidemic, you’ll get an earthquake.  If you’re ready for an earthquake, you’ll get terrorism.  If terrorism, you’ll lose your job and live off your food storage for a few months while working at Starbucks to pay the mortgage.  Luckily, much in the way of prepping overlaps–it’s just the details and the particular tinfoil-hat designs that differ.  So, if you’re prepping with Economic Armageddon in mind, and you see someone freaking out about the New Madrid Fault line, it’s okay–you’re both getting ready for things going pear-shaped.

2) Sometimes, the asteroid hits your house. Sometimes, even if you prep to the nines, all that work will go up in smoke.  Realize that.  Even if you have a “retreat location”–it’s the retreat that gets hit.  In other words–don’t put all the eggs in one basket.  But have the humility to realize that still, sometimes, The Schumer Hits The Fan (TSHTF).  It’s for this reason that many people consider skills to be the most important part of preparing, with stockpiling coming after.  If circumstances make you a refugee, knowing how to sew, grow crops, preserve food, work with wood or metal will be far more valuable than great skill with Excel.  Not that Excel isn’t useful–but in a grid-down situation, your ability to grow tomatoes and weld metal will be far more valuable.

3) Never stop enjoying life. You know the stereotype, and maybe you’ve run into the real thing.  Guys who get so into the mode of preparing against the horrors of the future that they forget about living today.  Don’t be that guy.  Do what you can, as you can and enjoy the blessings God showers you with every day.

4) You will never be entirely self-sufficient.  No man is an island, it is said, and this is true.  One desires to become as self-sufficient as possible, but you will always need someone else, for some reason or another.  As a single chick myself, I’m really coming to appreciate how much I can get done in one day–even on a Saturday.  One more person could double that workload.  A Team would be invaluable.  So talk to your spouse or your family.  This is sometimes hard–people don’t understand it.  But many preps result in frugality–so talk about the economy, look at the fate of northern Japan.  Get a team, if you can.  Network with neighbors, with people online, with extended family.  On the other hand, remember Operational Security (OPSEC).  Don’t tell the neighbors about your food storage, and make sure the kids or spouse don’t either.  Instead, try to subtly nudge the neighbors in that direction without letting them know where the food will be if it all goes to crap.  Talk with them about gardening, the price of groceries, etc.  You know your neighbors–you’ll know the best balance.

5) Every little step helps.  Just go, one thing at a time.  Do what you can, as you can.  Every small thing put away for an emergency, every bit of skill, it all adds up.  Every bag of rice, can of tomatoes or tuna is one more meal that you and yours won’t be hungry.  Every skill is one more thing you can do, not just for yourselves, but for others if needed.

So what should you prepare for?  Well, there are (0verall) two different types of emergencies: Acts of God and Acts of Man.

Acts of God: Look at your geographic region–what is your area prone to?  What weather or other phenomena happens or has happened on record?  Drought?  Hurricane?  Tornadoes?  Blizzards?  Floods?  Earthquake?  Dust storms?  If it has happened on record, it can happen again.  Do you live near the New Madrid Fault line, or any of the West Coast fault lines?  Is there seismic activity anywhere within a 2-3 day drive?  If a local volcano blows its top, where will the ash fall?  If your house may be affected, this is something to prepare for.  Granted, if the Yellowstone Caldera up and explodes (as it has in the past) everyone in the U.S. east of Yellowstone is screwed.  But this is not the most likely scenario.  Start with the most likely event, of whatever scale.

As for the Acts of Men: What dumb stuff can people get up to around where you live?  Is there a government or military facility which might be subject to terrorist attack?  Is there a plant or other places that houses toxic chemicals that might spring a leak (deliberate or accidental)?  I live just Northeast of DC, which is often downwind from the city.  Therefore, I have a stash of Potassium Iodide, just in case Iran finally gets the bomb and gets it into the hands of a bad person who gets it to DC.

Finally, what particular vulnerabilities do you or yours face?  Asthma?  Diabetes?  Physical impairment?  Mental impairment?  What happens if you lose electricity?

Homework Assignment #1) Make notes on three potential areas of concern: Likely/possible Acts of God, possible Acts of Man, and Personal Vulnerabilities.  Let’s look at this danger and face it head on.  Keep in mind, however, there are some things you cannot prepare for.  (See #2 above)

Now this can start getting overwhelming real fast.  If you know what the vulnerabilities are, how do you even start to address preparing for these things?

There are two ways to help organize:  The Rule of Threes, and Start with Short, Move to Long.

The Rule of Threes

You can survive:

  • 3 Minutes without Air
  • 3 Hours without Shelter
  • 3 Days without Water
  • 3 Weeks without Food

I would add, you cannot survive a moment without God.  This rule gives a good hierarchy for where to focus your efforts.  When I was starting with preparedness, this rule helped me focus on what to get first.  Let’s look at each one:

3 Minutes without Air–when would this come into play?  Well, if your car is sinking in water, if a tsunami is hitting, if there’s a chemical attack near you.  Also possibly involved in air–biological attack or natural pandemic.  So, how do you prepare for these things?  Have a device in your car to get you out should you find yourself in this situation–Mythbusters had a great show on this, and I recommend you find it on YouTube.  If it is possible that your area gets hit with a tsunami, the best thing is to be ready to run like hell at a moment’s notice.  In the case of Chemical attack, first, know the direction of the wind, and get out of “downwind.”  Second, a wet bandana is ok as a line of defense if you’ve got nothing else.  Even better are N95 masks with respirators.  Or, you can go truly survivalist and get some gasmasks with filters.  It’s up to you how hardcore you go.

3 Hours without Shelter–this really has to do with keeping your body temperature right.  Cody Lundin has an entire book dedicated to this one thing–98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive! I don’t have this one myself, but I was impressed with another of his books, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes.  In short, however, this includes clothing, housing, bedding, air circulation and even water.  How do you stay warm?  How do you stay cool?  Naked in a blizzard on the plains is not the situation you want to be in.  What shelter backups do you have?  Tarps?  Tents?  Sleeping bags?  Do you have a way to heat your shelter in winter?

3 Days without Water–FEMA (and others) recommends one gallon of water per person per day.  Some people debate between water storage and water filters.  I say both.  Store water–the water in parts of Japan is testing for high radiation, so stored water would be better in that situation.  On the other hand, you can only store so much water.  There are filters (kinda pricey) that will filter out almost all known biologic problems, and many chemical.  Even so, do you have a backup way of boiling water to be sure it’s safe?  In a longer case scenario, will you be able to water your garden?  Will you have clean water not just for drinking, but for cleaning wounds?  Will you be able to keep your surroundings moderately sanitary?

3 Weeks without Food–Food storage is a Big Deal right now, and I’m thankful for it.  Lack of food can cause real social problems–the more people have even a slightly bigger buffer, the better.  How long will the food in your pantry last you?  Can you prepare it without electricity?  Does it need refrigeration if opened?

Assignment #2) Inventory what you have on hand, right now, that addresses each of the parts of the Rule of Threes.  You may be surprised at what you already have!  Add a Medical Inventory to those lists as well.  This inventory will give you a good idea of where you already are, right now.  This will show you your holes–so many people forget about water!–and will help you get a handle on where to focus future efforts.

Finally, when thinking about what you need, start with short term emergencies.  If the car breaks down, if the power goes out in a storm, etc.  Use these preps as the foundation for longer term preparation.  Start with 3 days food backup, then a week, then a month, then 6 months, etc…..Remember: Every little bit helps. Get CPR Certified.  Take a First Aid course.  Learn to can food.

A last word for this post: When you are prepping, you start by prepping just for yourself and your family.  But ultimately, you are preparing for everyone.  You prepare to ride through emergencies, but also to be able to help people–your neighbors, your friends, your community–when it counts the most.  Knowing that, but for the Grace of God, it could be you that was the refugee, you prepare to be able to offer some measure of assistance when TSHTF.  Be ready to be a shelter for others–but to do that, you need to have a shelter to provide!

Final Assignment! Identify one skill you would like to learn that would be of use in a long or short term emergency.  Following posts will go into more detail on various subjects.

Good resources on the net are YouTube,,,, the, and the forums at

Please share any info, questions, tips and links in the comments below.  Your input is essential.

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202 Responses to Preparedness 101: The Very Basics – By ZMalfoy

  1. zmalfoy says:

    Hm. The final link is wrong– Mrs. Survival is here: Clearly I was spazzing on something. Thank’s for catching and correcting the other typos, though! *saved by the editors!*

    • Hey Z, GREAT post. I’ve created a widget (permanent link) to this thread at the bottom right of the home page. So people can find easily and all the additions can be made with one click. :) Hat Tip to Patriot Dreamer and all others who had the idea. I think this reference thread is a great idea. Thanks to all.

      • zmalfoy says:

        That you, Sundance. I think I’ll be writing posts that go into more detail on specifics now that we’ve a good general post– maybe, as they’re written, we can edit this post to add links to those, so there’s a central hub of links on the subject that people can reference if desired. And others can also write posts as well, based on their personal experience, knowledge, etc. . .

  2. Sharon says:

    Fantastic piece, ZMalfoy…thanks for putting this together so quickly to get things started! I appreciate your “tone of writing” about something that could be a downer….you are specific and honest about the vulnerabilities we have without being alarmist. Very well done.

    • zmalfoy says:

      You know, I can see how someone could make this all DOOM! and gloom . . . but for me, preparedness is about asserting control over your life. First forcing yourself to see the world as it truly is, learning what you can and cannot control, and of what you can control, what to do to make things as positive as possible. I hate to use such an overused and abused word, but it truly is “empowering.”

      Then, the feeling of accomplishment as you learn skills, fill personal quotas. . . just last night I canned about 5 jars of citrus (with a lot still to go!)– the feeling of putting well-sealed jars of oranges, grapefruit and lemons up on my shelves, knowing that my excess citrus would not simply go to waste, but be stored for later use. . . I felt good. That’s 5 more jars of food between me and desperation, or 5 more jars that can help out a neighbor in need.

      This accomplishment is the core of what builds healthy “self-esteem”– knowing you are competant in useful skills, that you have something needed and essential to contribute in times of trouble. There’s so much positive about becoming more self-sufficient, that there’s no need to be a gloomy gus about it!

      . . . besides, shootin’ zombies is fun! lol . . .

  3. wendy ann says:

    Excellent! you done good, Z

  4. WeeWeed says:

    Fantastic piece, Zophiel!! I will be re-reading all day and can’t wait to see what links and ideas everyone comes up with!! Hey, I need a ‘like’ button here! :)

  5. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Very helpful, zmalfoy. Thank you!

    We have that Cody Lundin book “When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes”.

    What about having a list of helpful books? Or book reviews?

    • zmalfoy says:

      That’s a good idea! I’ve got some further posts on this subject ruminating, and I’ve planned mentioning various books along the way. But having a central list of Recommended Book and Resources along with reviews would be a good thing to have . . .

  6. Patriot Dreamer says:

    On a related note, I just saw a discount code for “The Ready Store” at FR:

    Just FYI.

    • YTZ4Me says:

      Thanks for the link! We buy something every month; in Jan we bought a 55 gal blue water drum, b/c it came with free shipping. I just haven’t gotten around to scrubbing it out and filling it yet.

      • Lynda says:

        Word of wisdom? Bought in case Y-2K was real in 2000, my 55 gal. blue drum smelled and looked clean after I did what I could to prepare, wash, rinse, fill, find lid, store it in
        a safe place. Because when filled it’s IMPOSSIBLE to move, the first year AFTER the
        ‘man made emergency was over’, it sat through it’s first ice storm [N. Texas, -2 degrees F]
        and seemed to be ok. I thought about it all that year, testing it to see how long it might
        hold up, not really knowing how to empty it, I noticed some fracturing hairline cracks in
        it’s thinner side area [corners were thickly reinforced pvc?] [I found it being tossed on a
        county road farm driveway with scrap wood].

        Before I took the time to figure how to get the drainage started, [plug on the top], it began to leak out the fractures, then one day I found it totally blown out, half full of water, and I was able to push the bruiser over to finish it off and dispose of it. What a waste, and the
        lesson I learned was to KNOW how to empty/use the water I’d hoped to SURVIVE on,
        if only bathing and watering food plants.

        I bought another at a local feed store for ‘a song’, thinking I’d gotten a bargain, only to
        get it home and the darned lid was so jammed or glued/ slick on the outside of rim, that I had to return it….and lost interest. Still thinking differently now:

        I saved two extra large stiff sided children’s wading pools, with rubber drainplugs, thinking
        they could be used for collecting any non-irradiated rain, then for bathing until the next
        rain, the ‘used’ water given to any plants in the yard/garden of higher value than floral.
        Also, I can SEE what’s going on with it, and the pets can have drinks, IF they survive any
        local disasters. Then again, if there’s a hurricane, they would be easy to blow away.

        Back to the water-drawing board! Being a younger elder, I’ve always had an emergency bag, that seemed right for the year(s), but, these are different times, according to Holy Scriptures, and most ANYTHING can happen, as we are seeing everywhere. I think I’ll refresh my bag and add more wisdom.

  7. YTZ4Me says:

    Knowing that you are prepared and have a plan definitely provides inner calm.
    You can never plan for “every” contingency, but even having the basics for the first few days is important, and helps a lot.

  8. YTZ4Me says:

    Our younger son, who is a certified EMT/Paramedic/FF/Combat Lifesaver, recommends this book to keep with your emergency medical kit:

    “Outdoor Medical Emergency Handbook – First Aid for Travelers, Backpackers, and Adventurers” , by Dr. Spike Briggs and Dr. Campbell MacKenzie. It comes in a easy to handle format (about 1 sheet of paper folded in half), with a thick, tough plastic cover for durability.

    Published by Firefly Books, ISBN # 978-1-55407-601-7

  9. Bijou says:

    So glad to see this thread. Haven’t had time to wade through it yet, but will later today.
    Thanks heaps, everybody!!

    I’ve been doing a lot of ‘surfing’ myself lately and will have thoughts to share.
    See you later.

  10. Sad4theUS says:

    Good post Z! I feel that the most devastating thing we have to prepare for now is the coming quake, we all know it’s long over due. The Rapture, which I believe may still be a year or so away, will rescue us from the really bad stuff that’s going to happen during the Tribulation. (Unless you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior! And if you haven’t… then get right… or you’ll get left!)

    • zmalfoy says:

      I know of a good many preppers who believe in the Tribulation, and they’re basically preparing for 1) trouble before the Rapture and then 2) having a good stash around for someone left behind who may need it.

      Myself, I’m a Jesuit-Educated-Conservative-Catholic, and a self-identified Slytherin. I wiggle and slither may way around various beliefs as a matter of habit, lol! ;p Put simply, I’ve embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior, and as for the rest, well, we’ll see, won’t we? Maybe Rapture, maybe not. Either way, I’ll do what I can from my end, and trust Him to do the rest. No man knows the hour, and all that. But, also, you’ll know the signs when you see ‘em. So, I’m filling my lamp with oil, stockpiling a little more just-in-case . . .

      [All that said, I had a dream in college of the last days. I was by a hill, and these red and white rockets fell from the sky-- except they weren't rockets, but Seraphim and Cherubim. They went throught the crowd of us and sorted us into lines. I was sorted into a line, but easily distracted by all the pretty angels and the falling stars, so when I got to the front of the line and saw the seal coming at my head (out of the corner of my eye), I raised my hand and ducked, and my hand got stamped with this huge wax seal instead of my forehead. I was chagrined, because I was afraid that if I moved my hand, the seal would fall off, and I'd be tossed away. "You little idiot," one of the angels sighed. "It's okay. We know you're good. Just, go sit on the hill and stay out of trouble." So I went, sat on the hill, found popcorn, and watched the horsement cover the land while sharing popcorn with my friends.

      Don't know what the final meaning is, but I found it amusing that I would be so distracted by the apocalypse that I'd mistake the Seal as an attack, and end up messing it up. silly me, lol.]

      • Sharon says:

        I’m basically a pre-trib myself, but I always remember as well that God is not actually waiting around for us to come to a consensus on the matter! :) He’s sort of Sovereign! in an ultimate sense and has given us alot of information so that we can be as well prepared as possible. I remember when I was a kid, checking the sky for clouds and whenever it was a completely clear sky, I always felt a bit of disappointment, assuming, “Well, He won’t be coming today, because it says ‘He will come in the clouds’!” … He’s got a plan, and I’m so glad !!

  11. YTZ4Me says:

    I think one of the best pieces of advice I can give, esp. if you have small children, is to “practice” drills, so if a real emergency hits, they aren’t as frightened and have some sense of order.

    We had the misfortune of living in a duty location that maintaining electric power was a challenge. Lots of wind storms, ice storms, etc … and the kids were still pretty wee.

    We got into the habit of playing, “Camping in the House” … we would set up our tent in the living room, and everyone would pile in in their sleeping bags. The tent helps keep body heat in, etc. So even when it was below freezing outside, we were always warm inside. And having the facilities on hand to cook outdoors, including disposable one-time cooking rings you can buy at camping stores. We tried to turn it into an “adventure”.

    Fast forward to when they lost power … they then “taught” their room mates how to set up their pup tent in the living room, making simple meals from what was on hand, even showing them how to make a solar cooker from a pizza box and some aluminum foil.

    Many survival blogs also recommend “practicing” sheltering in your own home for one weekend without electric, gas, or running water — how long would you last, how would you cope, how can you flex with what you have … and it points out “holes” in your planning/inventory … so you can “fix” it before a REAL emergency hits.

    • zmalfoy says:

      Yes! Drills drills drills! Practice makes closer-to-perfect! I need to have one of those weekends myself, soon. I could do okay without electricity, and could manage without gas, but no running water would be a total pain! Clearly, I know of some things to prep before running such a weekend (need more water storage, and alternative heating source. . . aside from the sterno in the pantry . . . .)

    • GracieD says:

      Dealing with Hurricanes, I have had to go without electricity for 7-9 days. Trust me, you learn quick, fast, and in a hurry what you do and do not need in an emergency situation. I am currently trying to talk hubby into a whole house generator, but he just is not goin’ there! One thing that most people do not think about, is clean clothes. I always make sure I have a week’s worth of clean clothes when a storm is heading our way. I absolutely hate taking cold baths, but it beats no bath, and the clean clothes make it tolerable, especially in the summer! Of course, we have a diesel powered generator that will run the fridge, freezer, tv, and window unit to keep cool. :D

      • G8rMom7 says:

        Yeah, clothes is not something I worry about…especially my girls…geesh, they could live on clean clothes for a month…not kidding.

        Our problem is that when we lose power, we have no water…we’re on a well. I wonder is there is some way to set something up to get water from the well directly without an electric pump? I guess we should get some sort of generator to get the water out of it?

        Anyway, in 04 we were out of electricity for a week and we just lived at my in-laws for the week. They closed the schools and they lived about 50 minutes away from my office, so it wasn’t a big deal.

        I feel pretty confident that we wouldn’t have much trouble with a hurricane coming…we are far enough inland that we don’t get the worst of storms. Tornadoes are more of a fear because you can’t really plan for those. My 2nd oldest FREAKS out when you even say the word tornado in her presence. This whole thing would not be easy for her to hear.

        • zmalfoy says:

          I’m not on a well myself, so I’m not entirely familiar with this, but I do seem to recall running across some long, sorta tube shaped buckets designed to work in such a situation– you’d have to move . . . something . . . and set this up, and then it works like an old-school well. . . Arg, it’s fuzzy. I’ll need to look around to find that for you . . .

        • Solaratov says:

          They make solar-powered pumps for wells that come with the requisite solar panel, etc. The only problem with them is that they are primarily meant for stock tanks, etc., so they’re “low-flow”. You won’t get the power through your pipes like with an electric pump.
          That could probably be remedied by putting a large-ish tank in the attic, so that the downflow would have enough pressure. (I’m planning on putting a “water tower” outside, a’la the old train water tanks. That would give plenty of pressure and store/hold about 1000 gallons.)
          If you investigate that – and if you have a gas/propane tank for your cooking, etc. – you might want to check out tankless water heaters. (They’ll save you money over time, too.)

  12. stellap says:

    This is so well written, and informative to boot! I have a question – what is recommended be put away for pet feeding and care?

    • WeeWeed says:

      Small ammunition, for hunting, probably. At least, out in the sticks as we are, that would have to be an option. Out where I am (worst drought in 44 yrs.) water will be our main concern. Perhaps – Zophiel, Yatz, can you store dry pet food the same way as beans or rice??

      • stellap says:

        I suppose you could store some canned food. Sometimes I make my dog a home cooked meal – brown rice (cooked with broth), carrots, peas and canned chicken.

        I suppose there would be some remedies – like aspirin (dogs) etc. you should keep too.

      • zmalfoy says:

        Hmm, I’m not sure– it depends on what the ingredients are. Canned is certainly saveable, but dry . . . it depends on what fats are in the food. I wanna say that it should be possible, perhaps using dry ice to flush out O2 with Nitrogen, and then sealing like rice and beans? Huhn. I’ll have to ask around. . . good question!

    • zmalfoy says:

      Well, I’ll be addressing this as part of the “further details”, but for a head start, here’s some things to consider:

      1) If you need to evacuate, what do you need? Crates? Leashes? Food and water? “poo bags?” Kitty litter and disposable litter box? Do the critters need medicine? Part of your evacuation plans should be a destination– make sure that the destination is ready and accepting of your furry family members.

      2) In general, save you receipts for a month for food, treats, vet visits, medicine. Multiply by 12, and this will tell you what you need for a year (this is a good method for general family stock up as well). Remember to add them into your water storage plans– for a cat-sized critter, maybe half a gallon a day, for a larger critter a full gallon, for mastiffs or bigger, motinor them for a month to see how much they generally drink.

      It all really depends on what critters you have. Consider too, that they may become useful, if you get them trained. Cats (though famously impossible to train) can keep down vermin and other pests in troublesome times. Dogs serve a variety of purposes (even the little yap dogs– they were bred to sound the alarm for the larger, guard dogs). Understand the purpose your breed was created for, and train them in that direction. Caesar Milan has some great insights into canine behavior and body language

      Training is good for any situation– if you evacuate, you need to be able to trust your dog to sit and lay down when you say, and to run when you say. And, learning to be the alpha of your pack will also be very good for you in various situations. Oh, and make sure all critters are up to date with vaccinations, and have a steady, working treatment to prevent fleas and ticks.

      To sum up: In the Bug-out-Bags (which will be discussed in a future posting), include a 3-5 day supply of food, water, a small bag of treats, maybe one or two toys, a blanket, and “clean up” supplies. For longer term, first find out how much you go through, and multiply that out for he amount of time you’re stocking for. Make sure they’re up to date with the vet. And train them as best you can, so they can be trusted, useful as well as good company.

      • WeeWeed says:

        Thanks, Zophiel! I shall look forward to future posts. After reading “One Second After” – well, you know. And I have fuzzy children. ‘Tis a beyotch herding cats, though, if y’all need to know that.

  13. G8rMom7 says:

    I have to go read to the kids but first, I have to say I LOVE THIS. Most of the time when I read these kinds of things, my eyes go to the back of my head because I just can’t comprehend the amount of effort it will take. I love this perspective though because it makes me feel like it’s something I can do. Love the concept of different kinds of tin foil hats. Hilar.

  14. TXMom says:

    WooooHoooo! I am ready! Thank you, Z. Water is the most worrisome thing for me. I don’t know how to really store enough water. What do you think about the Ceramic Drip Water Filters? I am considering them. The Texas Baptist Men’s Water Ministry provides “Just Water” ceramic drip water filters in third-world countries and world-wide in emergency situations. I have some friends who have added these Just Water Ceramic Drip-Filters as one of their items in their emergency food storage. They are reasonably priced, and I am thinking about ordering a couple.
    This article contains link for the The Spec Sheet .
    Monolithic Marketplace
    What do you suggest, Z? And, aside from digging my own pond, how do I store enough water? lol I appreciate this thread very much….thank you.

    • TXMom says:

      oooops. Sometimes I am not very clear. :( I am not anywhere near prepared for emergencies….I meant “I am ready” and excited for this Z Thread and all the information you will share to help us prepare. Thanks!

    • Solaratov says:

      I use the British Berkefeld system. It cleans the water to 100% particulate free and removes 99.9999999% of all bacteria and viruses. They ain’t cheap, though. But they’re tough.

      And, you can get 500-gallon tanks that go in your basement and are connected to your water line. Every time you use water upstairs, the water runs through the tank, so it’s constantly being “freshened” and doesn’t get stale. They also have a tap on the side (at the bottom) so that you can get the water out when the power’s off and water isn’t flowing from your municipal supply.
      (You don’t *have* to put them in the basement, but they are quite large to be put anywhere else.)

      • TXMom says:

        Solaratov, thank you for the lead. We don’t have a lot of basements down here in Texas, but I am interested in storing at least that amount of water. Will check it out.

  15. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Hubby picked up a book yesterday called “Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens” by Kathy Harrison. Haven’t looked at it too much yet, but looks like it could be useful.

  16. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Someone at FreeRepublic recommended a free preparedness manual put together by a FReeper. It is put together from a Christian perspective:

    • Jennifer H says:

      This is really really good- thank you for sharing it Patriot Dreamer. Now that I have spent all day reading this … time to get something done, Anything!

  17. Bijou says:

    Hi, everybody. I think this is a very important thread.
    We all need to be proactive and prepare for all kinds of contingencies. My biggest personal fear is that there will more earthquakes, which could cause any number of disruptions.
    This is a ‘preparedness’ video from the woman who correctly predicted the March 11 quake in Japan. Sundance posted that video earlier, so some of you may remember her. She has had many dreams and ‘visions’ that she describes in detail in her other videos.
    Bottom line…she has said that she won’t be making any more videos and she has now fled to the mountains (from NYC).
    I would not bet against her.

    • Patriot Dreamer says:

      I think the biggest concern for us right now (in the U.S. – don’t know about other countries) is inflation + deflation. Inflation for food, energy, clothing. Deflation for housing and maybe some cars.

  18. Jennifer H says:

    Wow, finally had the time to read this post and comments that I had missed. Great stuff.
    Here are two good informative sites that I check on a regular basis for ideas, and how to’s …. look on the sidebar to the left for categories sharing specific information.
    he has compiled great links as well -

  19. G8rMom7 says:

    One of my friends just posted this on FB. Not sure if it’s necessarily a “survival” thing but it sure could help if you need to pinch pennies. She said she makes it 3 times a year and it costs $2.50 each time. She has four kids too, so I think she obviously uses it a fair amount.

    2 bars of ivory soap, half cup of Borax and half cup of ARM&hammer washing soda.
    Grate the 2 bars of soap then melt in pot with about 3 cups of water. When completely dissolved add Borax and washing soda, stir till dissolved. Take a 2 gallon bucket w/lid(I use a plastic 5 gallon paint bucket). Pour 1 quart of hot water in bucket then add soap mixture and stir. Then add 7quarts of water, stir and cover and let sit for a day, then its ready. I take some of this mixture and put in an old small laundry soap container to make it easier to pour in machine. Top load machines use half a cup, front loaders use one fourth cup. Be sure to stir or shake mixture everytime before use. Mixture will be slimy.

    • ZMalfoy says:

      well, I’d say this qualifies– for budgeting, and for knowing how to make your own laundry soap if times demand. Skills and knowledge like this should never be overlooked. Looking at the ingredients, yeah, I can believe this is very inexpensive. I’ll have to give it a try, see how it works. One can easily stock up on these ingredients without breaking the bank, which means that even if you prefer your regular soap, you can stock a backup store (maybe inside the bucket) with a copy of the instructions for “just in case”. When things go awry, clean clothes and linens may be hard to come by unless you have such a backup availible. And, in such a situation, hygiene becomes even more important than it is now. Last thing you want in a tense situation is sickness and buggies running amok.

    • G8rMom7 says:

      Great! I think I may try it too. I asked her about how sudsy it is because I need a high-efficiency detergent because one of our bathroom showers gets all filled with foam if it’s too sudsy (don’t ask…just another issue with our house) and she said to just use a 1/4 cup and it will be fine. She also said to use white vinegar in place of fabric softener. That and dryer balls keep fabrics soft and non-staticky.

      All of this stuff is “green” too since it uses less “evil” chemicals.

  20. WeeWeed says:

    Here’s an oddball little site that our local radio station began advertising for last week.
    Stun guns, tasers, pepper spray, etc.

  21. Solaratov says:

    One point about generators to consider: They make you a target!

    Gasoline and diesel powered generators can be heard for long distances – and they call out to any marauding bands (in a prolonged SHTF situation) that you have something of value to steal, loot, eat or rape.
    There are gas (propane/natural gas)-powered generators out that are far more quiet (though not *silent*) and one company even sells a solar-powered generator that – if it works as advertised – should be completely covert.
    Also, if you have light showing from a window, you are a target. It means, again, that you have something of value. Prepare for and have on hand the materials to blackout your home; and know and use all proper blackout procedures. This applies especially if you live in an isolated spot (farm, ranch, vacation cabin/retreat); as you have no one to rely on for your defense but yourself.
    If you use a gas/diesel generator that makes noise, perhaps you can share the power with a couple of neighbors – and share the defense duties, as well.

    At any rate, be aware that noise (generator, car, music, etc.), cooking smells, woodsmoke from your fireplace or woodstove, are ALL lures to those who didn’t prepare and want what you have. You MUST be prepared to defend your life, the lives of your family and others you may have partnered with and everything that you have stored to prepare for TEOTWAWKI. The only way to do that is to add to your stockpile some “mission-specific” firearms; and know how to use them. (But, that’s a whole other subject for later.)

    • Solaratov says:

      Delete “WHAT” in that sentence.

      (Evidently, old age has rendered me incapable of holding more than one simple thought in my mind at one time and remain coherent.)

      (I beg to differ…you are quite coherent. But I fixed it for you…;) Sharon)

  22. Jennifer H says:

    Here is a must read site for prepping- chock full of great information including spiritual and practical advice:

  23. Jennifer H says:

    Here is a good bulk foodstuff supplier

  24. I wanted to share an interesting thought. I live on the Big Island (Hawaii) in Hawaii. There are more than a few of us that have decided to move here because of it’s strategic location. We are living on a n island where we have 2 mountains with elevation over 13,000′, where there is very good hunting, an ocean of fish (pretty much clean), many wild fruits and berries, paperbark trees (we planted many mmore at our location), bananas, papayas, amngos, lemons, oarnges, taro (poi), ogo (seaweed), kelp, excellent solar irradiation, first in line for the ocean breeze (very clean air when the trades are favorable and not blowing vog from our active Kilauea volcano (we send it all downline to Maui, Oahu {Honolulu}. and Kauai) where thrie is no reason for anyone to drop any kind of warfare (after taking out Honolulu they could just walk in and look for us in the Hills very well armed) and the populace is a little over 100,000 for the entire Big Island. Water is abundant (on the east {best} side) and a lot of us are very independant with foodstock and ammo (we reload and have cases of what we need to do so), most of us have some livestock, farm some of our own goods, trade with the other guy and have big families. This is not a place to be if you want to get rich, go to sportsbars, read good newspapers, have the big stores (we do most of our shopping on-line these days if we want quality anything lol) and I know some of the people are making their own fuel to get arround on. We have animals for that (horses). Being in the “boonies” has taught us a lot about ourselves and what you need versus what we want. We try to “KISS” around here (keep it simple stupid) yet we like our comfort like anyone else.
    Now I don’t reccommend everybody to come out this way, of course, but if you do we will be waiting for a few good men/women to associate with.

    • Bijou says:

      @gfcinthatorder, WOW! Thanks for the terrific, detailed report. It sounds as if you have found a wonderful place to live, and kudos for having the courage/initiative to take the plunge to a safer, simpler life. I think it’s a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the SHTF, and those who are preparing now are smart.
      Best of luck.
      BTW, how have you planned for power failures (cooking, light, etc.)?

      • gfcandinthatorder says:

        Bijou, yeah I’ve tried to prepare for the worse and I guess it helps when you own a solar company. I think the hardest thing to prepare for is alternative fuel for my boat. I love fish and I gotta be fishing the deep blue. So when I get more$ $$ I guess I have to invest in something that will make me fuel I can use for my outboards. Lol. Oh well any good ideas?

    • Awesome, GFC. Don’t forget to tell them to bring lots of Bushmills. That’s an essential, and it will be hard to get when the SHTF. :)

      • gfcandinthatorder says:

        Grunt, yeah cane juice don’t cut it and pineapple is for sugar. Bushmills is for everything! :) :) especially when the SHTF!

      • gfcandinthatorder says:

        Oh and BTW Grunt, im going hunting this weekend for muflon sheep at about 7500′ elevation. I will need the bushmills when I get home cause my sons and I cover about 20 miles hiking to my favorite site and when I get back that irish stuff takes care of just about everything, I think, although im not really sure cause I can’t always remember. ;)

  25. Jennifer H says:

    I also wanted to share how I have been preparing for when SHTF. I purchased three nubian dwarf dairy goats and have learned how to milk them, make cheese and make goat milk soap. (The milk is unbelievably sweet and delicious- my entire family and friends were quite suprised by this.)
    We also have chickens, and rabbits. I have enough food for all of them in my feed room to last at least a year.
    I followed the 300$ for one year food storage recipe and have that packaged in air tight foodsaver bags all stored in a 55gallon drum.
    I also have learned how to can food and have sucessfully both waterbath and pressure canned many more supplies. I have food enough for my family for over a year, and a way to increase that time frame with the addition of the livestock.
    My son has stocked our pond with bass, catfish and pan fish, which are now fanning nests along the shoreline.
    I have also convinced several friends that it is imperative to stock up and be prepared for hard times to come. We currently have a group of 6 adults and their families who will head here should things melt down to the point where that becomes necessary. It never feels like enough, but I keep plugging away just about every day.

    • gfcandinthatorder says:

      Jennifer, that is way cool and good for you if you have saved that much food for your family already. Can’t go wrong with the fish either. I wholesale solar products and there are quite a few that are great for pumping water and providing immediate power. Keep up the great work and you’re an inspiration for others.

      • Jennifer H says:

        Thanks – got a link to your products?
        We have a well and I do worry about that in the event of power failure …

        • gfcandinthatorder says:

          We have jurisdiction areas where we are allowed to sell our products and we cover the Hawaiian Islands and western Pacific islands. I will give you a link to the company that makes some of our products and you can find a distributor in your area from their links. If this doesn’t help you let me know and I will. Go to http://www.Lorentz de. And look/click on pool pumps and look at the tabs for surface pumps. Or if you want a solar well pump click those tabs. Hope this info helps you and if you have specific q’s let me know and I will try and answer them for you. These puns are the best on the market today and they are knifed 100 countries installed.

  26. Solaratov says:

    Here’s an interesting little video I found, that gives you a bit to think about. Some of it seems a bit more “fantasy wargame” than reality-based – but it’s still food for thought.
    At the very least, it gives you a reason to take a look at your own place and preparations from the viewpoint of a looter/marauder; and alter, adapt, change, refine, improve what you find as weak points.
    You can’t make it perfectly safe and secure – unless you live in a completely sealed, self-contained cube with no entrance or exit – but you can make it too difficult or costly for looters to bother you.

    • Sharon says:

      And then when anarchy has taken hold, tyranny is welcomed as a way of restoring order. Such a deal for the left. They can’t lose: destroy western civilization and personal liberties, and the fallout gives them the advantage no matter what happens next.

  27. Solaratov says:

    For those of you who find yourself with “only” a .22 rifle, and are worried that it may not be of much use in a defensive situation — watch this video.

    Now, the .22LR is *not* a substitute for a proper battle rifle – but you can use it to good effect as a defensive weapon to keep the hordes away from the cabin. Farther away, in fact, than you may have thought.
    The .22 *will* mess up someone’s day quite thoroughly , IF – and this is IMPORTANT! – you equip it properly and LEARN TO USE IT EXPERTLY. It takes as much – if not more, for longer ranges – practice to master it as a defensive weapon as it does your main battle rifle.
    (For that matter, a shotgun with an 18 to 20 inch barrel using good sights and good slug loads makes a fine 400yard defensive weapon, too……….with practice. And, from a rest, a decent .45Auto will hit a man-sized target at 200 yards…..with practice.)

    Nothing comes easy. Practice! Practice! Practice! :D

  28. Jennifer H says:

    This Doctor sells Antibiotic survival packs at this website for any one who is interested…
    there is also great information on health and safety and on getting yourself prepared for when SHTF.

  29. Jennifer H says:

    This woman writes convincingly about keeping low maintenance animals that can provide you with life sustaining protien in a SHTF situation.

    • Sharon says:

      DS and DDIL are conservative/and cons talk radio and gun enthuasiasts. They have stopped listening to GB (some time ago), I recently learned, because they said they are just tired of his endless “you gotta prepare ’cause the sky is falling” focus. They don’t disagree with his concern….just got worn out with the mantra….comments? I have only had the chance to hear him since we left MN….and I sorta got tired of it after a week or or so myself. It struck me as– “He’s not wrong…..but he’s stuck.” Now I just woke up from a 3 hour, very heavy nap….so maybe it’s my blurry speaking. Please don’t throw heavy objects.

      • G8rMom7 says:

        I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have not been listening to him as much either. I’ve thought of getting a subscription to GBTV so I can watch S.E. Cupp who I find rather interesting. But it seems Beck is just stuck…that is a good way to put it. Also, I think he really did a great job at the beginning of getting 9-12 going and supporting all the Tea Party revolutions…he gave us the inspiration to find the truth, but now so many of us have just taken that advice and now we don’t need him to show us anymore. I was telling a friend of mine that between the Treehouse and my FB friends I find out what is going on long before I hear it on the media…including Beck. Although I do like checking out The Blaze every now and again.

        Just watching these highlights that Dreamer posted above, I got really sad for him watching the first one. He is obviously struggling and being away from his family doesn’t seem to be good for him I really really LIKE Glenn Beck. I think I would be friends with him if we were just two normal people that worked together or something. So I just feel bad for him because I think he is hurting. I don’t know why, but I think he is. It’s sad.

        • Sharon says:

          I actually got the GBTV subscription to hear the presentations from Israel, which were astounding in their content and presentation. I assumed I would continue to enjoy the daily broadcasts, but about the third day in, I started doublechecking to be sure I wasn’t watching reruns. Seriously.

      • I totally agree with what y’all have laid out there regarding Beck. I think the guy is really in tune with the “big” picture behind all the liberal angles. However, he is totally draining, and can only be taken in small controlled doses. He can just be too darned depressing with his presentations. :(

        I just wish Beck would do like a Limbaugh or Levin approach and discuss the daily current events, and lessen his doom and gloom approach. He is generally right about stuff, but golly one can only be so worried…. Ya gotta stay focused on some positive aspects too.

  30. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Over at the Survivalist Boards forum, there is a poster there who says he went through the Bosnian war and what that was like:

    my shtf expirience-wartime

  31. Solaratov says:

    This may be the same as PD’s above post:

    Site written by a guy who lived a SHTF situation in the Balkan War; in a city surrounded by an enemy army.

  32. Solaratov says:

    Inevitable: Survivalist show to debut on Glenn Beck’s network
    Dec 13, 2011 6:18 PM by Allahpundit

  33. Should you leave the USA before the collapse? Words of wisdom from someone who tried:

  34. Tom ("Dutch", to friends) says:

    I have only just found this site, and have yet to read the replies/comments in any depth.

    However, here is a crucial insight. I have participated in–and coached/led/taught–many different survival-type scenarios, in conjunction with leadership and management classes. For those who may not know of what I speak, the participants are given a certain number of items scavenged from the downed airplane, shipwreck, or other source, and are told that they have to determine among themselves how to go about surviving. Choices may be to try to travel from the site (how much can the group carry; what do they take; what do they leave?); shelter in place (how do they utilize the resources they have?); or perhaps a combination strategy of some sort. A second type of scenario is a rescue: a team can take only so many people–how does the group go about deciding who is rescued and who is left behind?

    Regardless of whether the situation, the lesson is not about deciding how to survive. Rather, the critical lesson is to take the time to determine what each participant brings to the table, in terms of experience, knowledge, background, insight, etc. During one notable class in which I participated, another man wanted to travel the desert in search of rescue, while I wanted to shelter in place. I described a “solar still” to him, and he was not impressed–until after the session, when the instructor described the exact same item. (LOL, but not in a funny way, had our lives depended on how the two of us worked out the leadership challenge.)

    So, I am encouraged to read in the article about the need to form a team. That is the key to survival. For a standard, take any given SEAL team, or Marine recon, or SAS mission. Everyone knows something crucial, and their part is integral to success. Others are cross-trained, but each has a specialty.

    Thank you for letting me offer my $.02 worth. Now, back to the comments and responses…

    • Coyote says:

      Tom, sorry…but that scenario sounds as contrived as a MSM “Survivor” episode. When it comes to surviving, there are no more “rules”, such as what you can take, what to leave behind, how you “must” do something. Sounds like you are a balding middle-aged-middle-manager trying to sound like an expert for the money. Leave your scripted consulting lines at home and go stomp around in the sticks under the stars and relearn the rules of nature.
      “Leadership” and “Management classes” are trumped by the law of nature. Every time.

      • Tom ("Dutch", to friends) says:

        You are correct: it *is* contrived. It is meant to get people thinking outside the box. Perhaps you have no idea how hard that is to do, sometimes.

        My only point was that a community of like-minded individuals, bringing different knowledge, skills, levels of performance, and capabilities is better served to know what those attributes are. In the beginning of the learning curve, few people actively think, “I can weld,” or “I can .” Getting them to do that kind of second-level critical thinking is a part of developing leaders.

        As for “Poser”, I am honored that you feel the need to call me names. That tells me I made a point.

      • Tom ("Dutch", to friends) says:

        Regarding who I am: I grew up in a farming community in western KS, am skilled in horse, cattle, and hog wrangling; served 24 years in Fire Service, 19 of which were as Captain on a Heavy Rescue company; currently employed as Safety and Compliance Coordinator in the Transportation industy.

        In short, I am an “everyman”, and a “no one”…just a soul looking for kindred spirits in a new home–people who might accept whatever I have to offer, in exchange for not having to tough it out alone.

        Thank you for the warm welcome, Coyote.

        • WeeWeed says:

          We’re ALL “everyman” and “no one”, Dutch. Welcome!

        • Our Coyote has some attitude, Dutch, but he’ll be the first to admit it. Musta caught him with a pounding headache after a long day in the blacksmith shop. But he may have been put off by your willingness to start lecturing before you admitted to reading many posts or comments. Sometimes that’s a sign of trollish tendencies, and there is, unfortunately, much of that on the interwebz that we have to deal with. Welcome to the TreeHouse! I’m a nobody here, too, but you seem like a like-minded guy to many here. Pull up a rock to the campfire, if you like.

        • Coyote says:

          Hog wrangler? Well, hells-bells. Why didn’t you just say so. You are our friend now.

          This guy makes bacon.

        • texan59 says:

          While I “live” in the country, I maintain the M-F routine in the big H-town here in TX. I for one would love for my employer to have this type of preparedness encounter much more so than all the touchy-feely team-building exercises we go through occasionally. I would be scared to death if I had to depend on these teammates to help me survive in a SHTF situation. Most of ‘em couldn’t change a tire, let alone spend a day or two outside. I don’t post over here because I see how far behind the curve I am. I look in here occasionally to see what kinds of things I can do without scaring the daylights out of DW and other family members who seem to live in oblivion sometimes.

          I welcome all posters here because I have a lot to learn and want to read the good and bad about what might be upon us very soon. My friend the Coyote might have OD’d on some fumes from the smithy shop. Know that you’ll have at least one amateur reading your posts along with all the other posters on this thread. Welcome aboard the Treehouse.

          • Coyote says:

            There’s no overdosing on anything here.
            Who you callin’ the amateur? You better recalculate…

            Who does that? Really? Read up again. Someone who pops in and rattles off a bunch of organizational name soups to bolster his name? I’ve seen dozens of his type run in any particular place, thump their chests, shout and tell the world how great they are…and you know what? They are nothing more than a “manager”. An armchair quarterback. A nonner. A zero. An empty suit looking for someone else or another group to feed his own enormous ego, as he has pissed everyone else off somewhere else. Now you are out foraging for anew.
            These types typically claim experience and expertise in group dynamics, but yet are aging and balding “have-done-nothings”. They relish the small fiefdom power they have…now…but when that power of the pen dissolves, I wonder how much of their “expert” remains. That’s the fun part…watching a big-shot mouthy *leader* lose his group because he had no more than very little paycheck loyalty. But, hey…he was the *expert*, while the money lasted.

            Oh yeah…so, who is this guy other than a pig wrangler? Oh yeah…a “coordinator”. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach or “coordinate” and announce that they have “CRUCIAL INSIGHT”. Oh yeah? Blow it. We don’t need YOU telling US any “crucial insight”. We are pretty solid on crap like that. Who are you to tell us our group dynamics are *approved*? You? Who the hell are you?..and I don’t care.
            You are a practiced fool who fools with practice.
            What a joke.
            Who comes on here to throw their curriculum vitae around? Get serious. No body gonna salute your dumb ass or fall to the ground in adoration at you, because you know how to build a “solar still”, something I think every Cub Scout knows how to build.
            As much as I don’t outwardly show it, I respect these folk and my Lord. They’ve shown and DEMONSTRATED over TIME their credentials, and they aren’t posted on a “ME WALL” as I suspect yours are. We operate under a different leader. You don’t have to prove anything to us, and we aren’t under any premonition to prove anything to you.

            And anyone who even thinks that leaders are taught are fooling themselves.
            Leaders are natural. Ever watch that movie series “Band Of Brothers”? Yeah. I guess that would be the easiest way to demonstrate that disparity in natural vs taught leaders. It’s easy to spot your type. I screen foremen who could run my company into the ground with an attitude and ego like yours. But, I don’t care if you know that or not. It’s not your wallet.

            As far as your farming and ranching background…I’m doubtful. Most of the ranching types I know are stoic. So are the firefighters, soldiers and others I know. They are full of bravado WITHIN their own individual groups, but not outwardly until they know you…even then, they are mostly quiet and reserved. Not you. You pulled the pin on that ego grenade and lobbed it in immediately.

            I don’t trust you. You want followers immediately.
            Like someone else the nation knows.

            So…yeah…Dutch…you are still a poser. Nothing warm about it.

    • GFCandinthatorder says:

      And today we are selling SHTF alarm clocks, guarenteed to go off 1 hpur after everybody start screaming. WTH! Ok then one hour before everybody starts screaming. Well now, it realy doesn’t matter if you can’t hear US screaming right now!

  35. barnslayer says:

    Ya’ know that sort of disrespect towards your post-apocalyse junior supervisor is not going to bode well for you when it’s time for your mid-year evaluation. It’s also come to our attention that your ghillie suit is dirty and has leaves on it. Get it cleaned and pressed pronto… And where’s your tie?

    • Ad rem says:

      Excellent article….especially like the part about being spiritually tough.

    • Thanks PD, always love the articles you post.
      I also like the part about being prepared spiritually and mentally. Huge factors of reality when things go completely wrong. I also am a firm believer of being out of debt. If you own your own property (with the exception of local state taxes [which we need another tea party over for being ilegal ] ) and your vehicles you are way ahead of most Americans. Driving around an old car or living in a “not so perfect” home is what I call perfect because I own it!!!
      It si also always good to have “stuff” prepared “just in case” things happen really fast.
      One of the worst things that come in a time of emergency is “FEAR” that usually comes from not being prepared of not knowing where your loved ones are at or where or how they are going to meet up with you. The only way to counter this is to train everybody and go over it routinely. What to do. Where to go or meet. What to grab or take.
      For goodness sake, if you cannot pull a trigger (out of legitimate fear, and I don’t blame anyone who can’t and also add a “you would be surprised who can and cannot pull the trigger when it counts) then DO NOT HAVE A LOADED GUN! Otherwise it is one more that they can use on you.
      If you have a weaoon then use it and get familiar with it!!
      I have a very large family and so I want to know that they know what to do “in case” so I can be confident that I have done all I can.
      Of course there is so much more so reread above all the articles and please add to it if you can. We can all learn from each other.

      • Tom says:

        Good points, all, especially about being unable to do the things you think you are prepared to do (regarding firearms.) It comes down to that mental and spiritual part, in conjunction with the physical part. Knowing how to practice matters. Knowing that your mind will support the requirements of the situation is important. Building a basic skeletal structure of preparedness helps. Certain things will be important regardless of the “event”. Having those things covered, first and foremost, will help set the stage when you plan for other contingencies.

        Patriotic Optimistic Self-assured Energetic Resourceful

        • Coyote says:

          oh wow.



          • Tom says:


            I knew you’d come out and play! Great to see you again!


            Proud Optimistic Self-assured Energetic Resourceful

            • Coyote says:

              Well then, stop standing around with one hand rubbing on your belly and one jammed in your pocket. Unless your fists are good for something other than beating your chest, get in on a thread and contribute something there, Tom-Tom. Maybe you have something to say that is worthwhile to us Treepers. Something viable?

  36. Solaratov says:

    For the ladies: Carrying concealed in a dress……………….

  37. Solaratov says:

    Has anyone else noticed that you hear very little anymore about being groped and x-rayed by TSA at the airports – since the initial ‘outrage’ and shouts of “don’t touch my junk!” ?
    It’s as though it has become the “norm” – and we all just accept it as a part of life now.

    Has anyone noticed that there has been practically no information or outcry about the TSA setting up roadblocks, groping people at BUS STATIONS, ets. (VIPR)?

    Has anyone noticed that FEMA’s ad for a few thousand people to set up and operate “emergency” camps (to hold between 300 and a thousand people each) – which is available as a PDF from the US Covt. – has gone practically un-noticed?

    Isn’t it amazing the things that we come to accept as “normal”, given a bit of time? Rather like a herd of sheep being led on a path to…………………….

    • Not everybody. I just finally got my wife and kids to look up the FEMA camp stuff for themselves, and they finally are getting the message. It ain’t just for conspiracy nuts anymore. But you’re right. Most people just don’t want to know.

    • There was a bit of a kerfluffle yesterday when the TSA wanted to pat down grope Senator Rand Paul. Nevermind the part of the Constitution that says that members of Congress are supposed to be privileged from arrest while going to or coming from a session of Congress.

      Not only that but this is an example of why risk assessment profiling should be used.

  38. WeeWeed says:

    SHTF School will be having a course, soon.

  39. Patriot Dreamer says:

    Some thoughts on the recent ice storm/power outage in the Seattle Pacific Northwest area. I did not write this but thought some of you all might find it to be of interest:

    POWER OUTAGE – User experience

  40. Can anyone make a recommendation for some good emergency candles? Looking for some that last a good long while and (hopefully) aren’t too breakable.

  41. Ad rem says:

    GFC’s …Tips on how to prepare for the serious:

    1. In case you and a few of your friends are smokers….
    2. In case they are at the door and trying to enter….
    3. In case your enemy is deficient in hearing when you order them to leave….
    4. In case there are more than one of you holed up. Diversity is a good thing. They get heavy you know!
    5. After handing out the diversity, save this one for you…just because.
    6. In case they want to know why they have so much lead headed their way?
    7. In case you know you’re gonna be there a long time, being prepared takes good effort. So don’t forget about how to celebrate the Holydays!!

  42. texan59 says:

    Didya hear the tag at the end of Preppers? We are “American Outliers”. F-em! :evil:

  43. Ad rem says:

    Another excellent article “Thoughts on Urban Survival” from a man who survived the economic collapse in Argentina and the subsequent dark times that followed. A must-read for any prepper.

  44. Patriot Dreamer says:

    I admit I know next to nothing about canning.

    How do you start canning? An op/ed by Frank Belcastro

    • freedom1781 says:

      I can a lot. I have both a pressure and water bath canner. I can’t use my water bath canner on my ceramic glass cooktop so I’ll have to buy an electric burner. I’ve canned beans, sweet corn, zucchini relish, pickles, salsa, sweet tomato relish, salsa, and tomatoes. My quince tree is finally bearing fruit so I plan to make quince jelly in the fall. Canning is a lot of work but it’s so worth it!

    • freedom1781 says:

      Community canning centers are making a comeback, especially here in Virginia. Unfortunately, there are none near me. Maybe there’s a canning center near you:

    • stellap says:

      I used to can with my mother – jelly, jam, tomatoes, pickles. These are good things to start with, because they can be done in a water bath canner without worry of poisoning your family! I bought the canner I have now at a garage sale for 50 cents; it has calcium deposits on the inside, but it works just fine. I still can jam – peach and cherry are my specialties. Maybe I’ll do tomatoes this year too. We’ll see. It’s not difficult, but it is important to be precise about measuring ingredients, and sterilizing your equipment, jars and lids.

      • solaratov says:

        Calcium deposits come right out when you soak them in vinegar.
        I use the cheap. store-brand white vinegar, and once a month run it through my coffee maker to keep it running fast. Then, I use that vinegar (preferrably while still hot) to remove any calcium deposits on pots and pans.

        Works like a charm!! :D

  45. You can make an emergency candle out of a can of Crisco and a piece of string. It can last around 45 days!

  46. Max Yemet Tells About Living In Hyper-Inflationary Ukraine–03-27-2012

    Direct link to Max’s site:

  47. Rainwater Collection System Series [Youtube videos]

  48. solaratov says:

    Knowledge of the proper knot can save your life. Learn a few and practice them.

  49. solaratov says:

    Before you invest in an AR-15 type rifle as your primary MBR (main battle rifle), read this……………..

    In fairness, there are a couple of manufacturers out there turning out reliable 15s – but they are not ‘entry-level’ guns. They cost a bit more than a brand-new shooter – or someone new to the AR platform – wants to spend.


    • Caliber and load and cost issues aside, I stopped looking at AR-15 types permanently after hearing first-hand stories of action problems out of the box. For example, a gal I know bought a Colt recently, and is still proud of it, but she talks about the action not being quite right, jams on the range under IDEAL conditions and having her gunsmith polish the action parts to get it working right. What kind of piece of shit battle rifle costs a grand and a half and doesn’t sh00t right, out of the box? What kind of workshop-queen rifle needs to be at the gunsmith twice for every day it spends misfiring at the suburban rifle range? I’m sure some of the other makes are better, but no thanks. I’d rather have a lever action that shoots when it’s dirty.

      • solaratov says:

        At this point, the only Direct Gas Impingement ‘battle rifle’ that I’d trust to run for me would be one from Crusader Weaponry — and you’re talking about spending north of $2000.00. But each one is custom built to your specs and has a permanent Slipstream application.
        Other than that, I am a Piston Operated kinda guy. I prefer the AK-47, FAL, M14/M1A, LWRC (REPR), and others – both new and old. They just are more reliable. And the “extra” weight is only a matter of a couple of ounces – which isn’t going to make a lot of difference in a 9 – 10 lb. rifle. I’ll carry the extra ounces if it means that the gun’s gonna go Bang! every time.
        The piston guns also seem easier to clean — and don’t get as dirty in the actions and chamber areas in the first place (all things being equal).
        And, I like my battle rifles in 30 caliber or better. I don’t want to have to waste time or ammo on a “make sure” shot. I want an enemy down and out when he’s hit the first time – as long as I do my part.

        Yeah. I know. I’m old-fashioned. But then, I’m still alive…aren’t I?


  50. Patriot Dreamer says:
  51. diane says:

    Another great site Re: How To Survive In Hard Times

  52. 1harpazo says:

    If you seemed overwhelmed or behind in prepping, start now! My DW and I felt that way about two years ago until a coworker gave me a list of what disappears first when the SHTF. So we purposed to buy something on that list nearly every time we went shopping. We’re way ahead of where we were two years ago. The list is here:

  53. doodahdaze says:

    Now I got my Stove Tec Rocket stove. It is really cool. It is a wood burning camp stove you can cook on or distill fresh water. The 2 main problems in the coming breakdown. I made my distiller out of a pressure cooker and stainless tubing coil. I got 200 lbs. of salt too. They ain’t got us yet.

  54. doodahdaze says:

    I am thinking we have to plan on permanent survival. These Bug Out plans are for the birds. We should learn to live off the land permanently. If it comes that far temporary plans will fail.

  55. 22tula says:

    Arm Yourself With Knowledge – Read Along

    U.S. Historical Documents – audio

    Charters of Freedom – text

    The Federalist Papers – audio

    Federalist Papers – text

    “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill – audio

    “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill – text

    “The Law” by Fredrich Bastiat – audio

    “The Law” by Fredrich Bastiat – text

    “The Law of Nations” by Monsieur De Vattel – text

    The Philippics – Marcus Tullius Cicero – audio

    “He who knows only his own generation remains forever a child.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

  56. 22tula says:

    “Democracy in America,” Volume I & II – Alexis de Tocqueville – Audio
    “The Spirit of the Laws (Volume 1) – Montesquieu – Audio

    “Democracy in America” – Alexis de Tocqueville – Text

    “The Spirit of Laws” Vol. 1 – Text

    Democracy in America – old time radio – Audio

    “The Predictions of Hamilton and De Tocqueville” – Text
    or Computer Voice – upper rt. corner – speaker symbol
    By James Bryce, M.P. – 1887

  57. 22tula says:

    “Old Family Letters” – Alexander Biddle

    Old Family Letters: contains letters of John Adams, all but the first two addressed to Dr. Benjamin Rush; one letter from Samuel Adams, one from John Quincy Adams, and several from Thomas Jefferson addressed to Dr. Rush; “Letter of credence to the king” and “Letter of credence to the queen” by George Washington as president. Series B contains letters of Dr. Benjamin Rush to his wife written during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, in 1793
    Series A
    Series B

    The Biddle Family Papers

  58. 22tula says:

    Publius Huldah on the Original Intent of the US Constitution
    Published on September 8, 2012

    The Biblical Foundation of Our Constitution

    Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary

    Samuel Rutherford – Lex, Lex

    The Federalist Papers: Modern English Edition – Amazon

    Mary E. Webster

    Constitutional Study Group – For New Members
    Scroll Down & **Please Read** Publius Huldah April 25, 2010 Post

    • Sharon says:

      22tula, boy, you are creating links for a lot of great stuff. I’m trying to capture some of them in a list I’m building in my documents files, so that I can access it when I can plan time.

      Our son and dil have requested time with me to share things I’ve been reading and studying in the last year or so, regard the issues we’re facing. They are very busy people with a daughter still in h.s. and a son who works with them in their successful business….they certainly don’t have the luxury of time for soaking and reading and thinking like I do…so want me to synthesize things. They are both thinkers and paying attention and very very concerned. I’ve locked into much of the stuff out of Hillsdale, but some of the things that you’re linking are very practical and useful.

      There’s no way we will all have time to take it all in, but anything we can internalize/understand a bit better we can make use of with friends and family. It will help folks feel more oriented. I think a high % of people truly understand that “there’s something very wrong” but because the national conversation has been dominated by the loud election year arguments (as opposed to conversation and education between citizens) many of us lack a reference for things that need to be discussed.

      I appreciate your contributions.

  59. howie says:

    I be preppin up. The death spiral is unstoppable now. 4 more Obama years…..cain’t work.

  60. ed357 says:

    Here’s another site that may help. Many cheap and easy to do survival type things……..

    • doodahdaze says:

      I prefer a shotgun over a bow. Tried to shoot one and jus could not get it right. But I got a good recipe for wild game the other day. Now I am figgering how to keep bug’s away. I was trying to burn Spanish Moss to see if it would run off the skeet’s.

  61. ed357 says:

    Need a good garden and meat source?

    Check out aquaponics……

    Aquaponics is growing a garden above a tank of edible fish……

    build by using common throw-away discarded (real cheap) IBC’s (Industrial Bulk Containers)….see IBC’s of Aquaponics………

    You can even get a pdf how to section.

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