To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases  to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles , but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready! This week’s focus is on Hurricane Irma preps.
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
Summer has come to an end for us here at the Rawles Ranch. The children started back to homeschooling on Monday. Obviously, this takes up the bulk of our time in a day. This year our children are variously studying Biology, Chemistry, Algebra and lower maths, American History and Documents, American Literature, Current Events and writing position essays, Latin, Hebrew, Shakespeare, Reading through the Bible/Christian History/Literature/Apologetics/ Discernment/Eschatology, Philosophy, Spelling, Cursive, Review of English Grammar, World Geography: drawing, labeling, memorizing, and piano. Several of these subjects we do all together as a family and the other subjects they study by themselves.
Despite our homeschooling activities, we girls this week, did can 27 quarts of peaches in light syrup, and froze four half-gallons of the same for later use for pie filing and for jam making. We canned six quarts of applesauce from our friend’s apples. Many of these apples turned out to be too ripe and became treats for the cattle and horses. We still need to can the cases of tomatoes this weekend. We’ve harvested more beans and Zuchinnis, which still need to be processed. We harvested seeds from two year old onions that sent out flower heads this summer. I will plant those seeds next year.
Also, from the straw that I laid around my strawberries for mulch this spring, there were oat seeds within it which gave us a small volunteer crop of oats. I harvested the dry heads this week and will be drying the heads out further for a few weeks, while awaiting the maturing of the other oat heads which are still green and growing. Then I will thresh them for the seeds. We’ll probably get about two cups of oats from these volunteers. Since our summers are often dry and it appears that Oats grow so well here, I think I’d like to try to grow them, and wheat next summer. We’ll need to prepare a plot specifically for that this fall.
Our main crop of Broccoli took a very long time to mature this year and are finally beginning to put out heads. I’m very happy about that since it is one of our favorite veggies. It appears that we’ll be having an extended summer into September, at least for the next two or more weeks with no forecasted frost. We’re very happy about that, too.
We continue to mountain bike around the ranch daily for our muscle and endurance building workouts. There is just something wonderfully invigorating and freeing about riding a bike through the woods at near top speeds.
Jim was traveling this week, so there is no prep news from him.
Hurricane Irma Warning
Those of you on the Eastern Seaboard please be aware that Hurricane Irma, which formed two days ago and is now a Category two storm is forecasted to possibly strike the USA between the Carolinas and New York somewhere around September 11 as a possible Category Five, maybe even a dreaded “Six” (off the scale) hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, if the sustained winds are above 180 miles per hour when it strikes land. Please plan and prepare accordingly! You have ten days to plan, prepare and pray.
Get your food, water, fuel, lighting and pet preps together if staying at home and also get prepped to evacuate and know where to go if you must leave. Have a plan A, B and C. Get all of your documents/proof of insurance/ownership/meds, things that can’t be replaced like pictures, pets, gathered together in one place. They expect mostly high winds and a high storm surge along the ocean front, more than rain damage, but one never knows. Warn your friends and family to get ready This information is coming from the GFS Model through the Ventusky website. May the Lord Bless you all. We’re praying for you all and those suffering from the after-effects of Tropical Storm Harvey. – Avalanche Lily Rawles
The Latimer Homestead had some unexpected events this week. While we were busy harvesting and putting our bounty up in secure storage, our house pantry was raided by a few tiny four-legged grey creatures that caused quite a mess. It seems they chewed threw a heavy plastic container of Hoosier Farm powdered heavy cream  and ate the whole thing. (leaving lots of little nasty presents for us.) They also hit other similar packages in our short-term storage area. As many of you know, we keep our long-term stored goods in glass under vacuum seal or in vacuum-packed Mylar bags inside wooden crates or five gallon plastic pails, where mice and other creatures cannot do damage.
However, we were quite surprised at the damage done. These creatures had suddenly raided, probably when the rain came. Anyway, when the first item was discovered, it seemed prudent to go through and check everything to verify what might be damaged and clear it all out and put everything into glass jars, where little teeth can’t do damage. With no food available, they have no need to be among us. We also became more vigilant about the dog’s treats and dog food bowls being cleared at night. It’s been quite a chore to repackage everything, but we see no more signs of these little invaders now. I’m sure they are quite disheartened that their picnic has been packed up, but what’s ours will stay ours.
We had just done a deep cleaning and organization in the spring, but apparently it was time to do it again. It is important to be diligent about these things. In TEOTWAWKI, every morsel will be needed, and we will need to protect it from every kind of predator, as food is life. Be sure that you have the resources necessary to protect your home and stores from pests of all kinds.
This coming week, we plan to complete our work to upgrade our chicken feed and watering system as well as automate the lighting and then, as soon as we get this upgrade completed, move the little chicks to a neighboring area with the large chickens.
Again, please share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments.