When I was very young I would sometime spend rainy days at my grand-mother’s house going through sporting goods catalogs and the Sears catalog making list of items that might be needed during disasters or emergencies. I have no idea why I am wired in such a way that I give a good amount of thought to being prepared. I am no longer a young boy but now I believe making such plans are more important than ever before. The economic situation in our country can only be described as terrifying to anyone who will take the blinders off and look. It is said that there is nothing new under the sun and if one looks back at other countries and civilizations that followed a similar path you can see the possible outcome. If one prepares for a disaster that never happens he is no worse off but if unprepared when disaster strikes there is no remedy.
Each family’s needs and security situation is different so there is no cookie cutter plan for being prepared. Use available learning tools and make your own plans. The reason I am writing this letter is to share some resources I have found. I am by no means prepared for all possible events. I am working on my own plans as I am able to. If we encourage each other and help each other than if a disaster ever does occur then we will all be better prepared. I will list some resources I have found that others might find useful.
I believe that the first item everyone should try to plan for is a source for safe drinking water. If a well is available consider installing a solar powered well pump. Since most of us don’t have a well I strongly recommend Lifesaver brand water filters. The Lifesaver jerry can filter will make 20,000 liters of safe drinking water from most any source of fresh water. The lifesaver jerry cans are available at Amazon.com. There are other good filters but try to plan for months, not days.
You gotta eat! For short term food storage we should all have a supply of canned goods and basics such as rice, beans, oats, pasta, and flour. Don’t worry too much about storing these foods for long term. As they age just donate them and replace them. One of the best resources for food storage is the Latter Day Saints food facilities. We are lucky to have one of these nearby in Slidell, Louisiana. The Mormons encourage their members to be prepared and set up regional facilities to pack food items for long term storage. Dry food items sealed in #10 cans can have a shelf life as long as 20 years. This facility is at this time open to people that are not associated the the LDS. The LDS web site has a great deal of information about disaster planning and food storage.
Storing food will feed you during most conceivable emergencies. We should also plan for an unconceivable emergency that doesn’t last days or weeks but instead last months or years. We should all have on hand a good supply of heirloom non-hybrid seeds for gardens. Using heirloom non-hybrid seeds allows you to save seeds from your gardens for future gardens. Most hybrid or modified vegetables do not reproduce well naturally. Emergency seed packs are available at many sources. Here are a couple, Sportmansguide.com, item wx2-222028. Type in emergency seeds on Amazon.com and you will many choices. Keep in mind that you will also need to keep fertilizer on hand. As you use the stored fertilizer replace it. You do have hand tools for gardening don’t you?
3. Warmth and cooking
We are lucky to live in an area with mild winters but we still need to plan on heat sources to keep warm. For short term generators or even simply extra blankets will suffice. For long term situations we will all end up burning wood in some form or fashion. Make sure you have hand tools such as ax, splitter, and saw. For cooking most of us have camp stoves or grills that we have used after hurricanes. But what if the fuel for these becomes unavailable or so expensive it might as well be unavailable. Buying some type of wood stove or making a jet cooker now and storing it will give you peace of mind. You can look up plans for home-made wood cookers on you-tube and on several prepper web-sites. I will list some helpful sites at the end of the letter. The Dollar Tree store sells candles that are about 8 or 9 inches tall in a glass jar that will burn for about 80 hours each. The candles cost $1 each. The stores are often out but you can order them by the case from their web site and pick the candles up at the store. You should have a at least couple of dozen of these candles.
This is a difficult topic because this is one area that everyone will have different needs and desires. Most everyone would want to stay in their present location but there are several items to consider. You must be in a secure location and be able to defend yourself at that location. Having a weapon is not enough. You need to consider what is required to set security watches and defendable perimeters. Some people might think that they will not resort to violence to defend their shelter and there supplies. When unprepared people decide to take what you and yours need to survive most people will fight. Your location must have a reliable water source. Many people will find it necessary to join with other friends or family members for support and security. These topics should be discussed with others before there is an emergency at hand. If people decide to plan on joining up together than it would be wise to preposition supplies at the planned location. It is also wise to have a back-up plan in case the planned location is not useable for some reason.
5. Medical supplies
Most of us end up taking some type of daily meds as we get older. There is only so much of these meds that we can obtain and hold. However there are sources for other medical items that we all need from time to time. Many people that are called preppers these days have been buying antibiotics from vet supply resources. www.calvetsupply.com is one I have used. The antibiotics are usually labeled for use in aquariums or for animals. The antibiotics are exactly the same as the ones you receive from Wal-Mart or Medco. I have documentation from doctors that state that the meds are the same and that the shelf life if stored out of intense heat is measured in years in most cases. There is talk that the government wants to stop the internet sales of vet medicines because people are buying them for human use so I would get a supply as soon as you can. We should all have several types of antibiotics and other medical supplies. There are sites that describe which antibiotics are best used for different medical ailments. You should have basic first aid supplies for stopping blood loss from major injuries. Keep QuickClot or Celox packets to stop major bleeding. Israeli pressure bandages and tourniquets are must have items. Steri-strips and sutures are also needed. Also alcohol and Betadine needs to be on hand. Have a supply of forceps and other tools. Buy a good supply of otc medicines, especially imodium, tylenol, and ibuprofen.
As you can tell from this letter we are discussing long term emergencies instead of a couple of days without power after a storm. It would be prudent for us to look at solar power systems to provide some electrical power. This would not only allow you to have a couple of lights but could also power a communication device to talk to people on guard duty or could power radios for communication. We should all definitely have a good supply of rechargeable batteries and a solar recharging device. The more batteries you can obtain now the better. Remember that the day after the emergency is too late to find batteries, radios, or solar devices. If you decide to look into setting up a solar power system you will need deep cycle batteries. The better the deep cycle battery is the more expensive it is and none of them are cheap. A very good book to have on hand is The 12 Volt Bible, it is available on Amazon.
We should not only have at least one bicycle but it should be maintained. We should keep spare tires, tubes, and tire patches for the bike. It would be great to have an extra chain. Don’t overlook having a hand powered pump
Buy a few pairs of jeans and other sturdy clothes and store them in a vacuum bag to protect them from moths. On www.sportsmansguide.com there is available Guide Gear brand jeans. You can get them with or without a double layer of cloth on the front of the legs for extra durability.
This is too large a topic to cover in a letter. The most important thing to say is to learn and plan. There are many books available to order or borrow. Everyone learned a few months ago how quickly ammunition can disappear from store shelves. We should all have a couple of good weapons and plenty of ammunition. There is no such thing as enough ammunition. In a real long term emergency ammunition will become the preferred barter item. Ammo will become the basic currency along with pre ’64 silver coins if we ever experience a real long term disruption. A couple of weapons and a good supply of ammunition are required but from there a person is only limited by his own resources. In a true long term disruption the man with a night vision device will be much more secure than those without. These devices are very expensive for good 3rd. generation models. At least get good night sights such as Trijicon brand night sites for your primary weapon. Trijicon night sights for an AR-15 cost less than $100 and will be invaluable if you ever need them. You won’t be very effective if you cannot see your sights. A similar item is body armor. It seems like a complete waste of money in normal times but would be worth everything if it saves you from being shot. I will share some information from books I have read. It sounds basic but you must know the difference between cover and concealment. Concealment can prevent someone from seeing you but cover can stop rounds headed your way, don’t confuse the two. In times of trouble a weapon is useless in a safe. During a real time of trouble you should be armed at all times.
Trying to be prepared is a project that never ends. All we can do is the best we can but even that will be more than the majority of people. I will list some items we should stock up on and a few books that can be helpful. I should say that these books should be acquired in paper form and not on an e-reader.
| Stock up items for your own use and for barter: bug spray, storage food, ammo, water filters, jeans, t-shirts, batteries, pre-1965 silver coins, otc medicines, skin lotion, towels, blankets, fertilizer, seeds, food grade pails with lids (find a restaurant that will give you mayo and dressing pails), hand gardening tools and wood cutting tools, toothbrushes, 1st aid supplies, candles, reading glasses, bike tires and tubes, tire patches, multi-vitamins, matches, baking soda, sugar, vinegar, propane (propane will store long term), bleach (dry pool tablets store well but must be pure bleach), bar soap, surgical mask, latex or vinyl gloves.
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It by James Wesley Rawles
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by David Werner
Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson
Wilderness Medicine Beyond First Aid By William W. Forgey M.D.
Emergency War Surgery (NATO Handbook:- Third United States Revision, 2004) by Dr. Martin Fackler, et al.
Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition by Abigail R. Gehring
When There Is No Doctor: Preventative and Emergency Healthcare by Gerard S. Doyle,
Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James Wesley Rawles (a great novel but it is full of useful information)
Ranger Handbook an Army field manual. (There are many other useful books and military field manuals).
Useful web sites:
http://jrhenterprises.com/PVS14-3rd-Gen-on-SALE-PVS14SALE.htm, night vision sales
http://rainydayfoodstorage.blogspot.com/ food storage
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/woodgas-camp-stove wood gas stove
http://www.tilapiadepot.com/ raising fish at home
http://www.knowstuf.com/basementaquaponics raising fish at home, aquaponics
http://aquaticpharmacy.com/eshop Vet Supply
http://www.calvetsupply.com/ Vet supply
http://www.cdc.gov/ Centers for Disease Control
http://www.truthistreason.net/guide-to-veterinary-drugs-for-human-consumption-post-shtf Medical info
http://www.firstaidweb.com/ First aid training
http://shop.sportsmansguide.com/net/Main.aspx?kwtid=239433 Sportsman’s Guide
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/NTESearch?storeId=6970&ipp=24&Ntt=wood%2Bstove Northern Tool
http://www.rddusa.com/ military surplus equipment
http://www.natchezss.com/ Natchez Shooter Supply
http://www.brigadeqm.com/default.asp Brigade Quartermasters
http://www.armslist.com/classifieds/mississippi Armslist MS. classified firearms sales and trade.
http://www.wilderness-survival-skills.com/wilderness-first-aid.html wilderness first aid
http://www.gunbot.net/ ammo search tool
http://www.zahal.org/ Israeli Tactical gear
http://www.luckygunner.com/ ammo sales
http://www.midwayusa.com/ gun parts and magazines
http://www.sgammo.com/ ammo sales
http://www.underwoodammo.com/ ammo sales
http://www.trijicon.com/na_en/index.php night sights
http://www.firstoptionmedical.com/ medical supplies
http://www.backyardchickens.com/ raising chickens
http://codegreenprep.com/ prepping info
http://homesteadsurvival.com/ general homesteading info
http://www.backwoodshome.com/ general homesteading info
http://www.goldandsilveronline.com/ pre-1965 silver coins