The Editors’ Preps for the Week

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 often 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!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers,
The Rawles family spent most of the week traveling. We’ve returned to very wintery conditions.  Once we got back to the ranch, we did our unpacking and reorganizing. The Greenhouse path still needs to be shoveled, so we’ll have to update that greenhouse within a greenhouse report next week.  Lily started to plan the layouts for the gardens for this coming summer.  Lord willing, we will be doubling the planted area and will be branching off into new crop growing adventures.  More on that later.

We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps this winter.  May you all have a blessed Christmas week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


This week the Latimer Homestead will be doing a good bit of cooking and baking in preparations for time with friends and family. We were able to get some of the animal grains organized but still have a lot to do to reorganize the human food stores and finish year end inventory. That will wait for when we are not turning our attention to special times with friends and family.

Meanwhile, In the shop…

Work has progressed slowly, but steadily making the shop usable, but we hit a snag this week. I finished wiring the outlets in the last wall of the shop. There are quite a few outlets on this circuit. Its not expected to carry many simultaneous loads, I just had a bunch of outlets because I wanted easy access to power on this wall. There is an outlet within three feet of anywhere on the wall. When I finished wiring the last outlet, I flipped the breaker and then went to check power availability. I didn’t expect anything to go wrong because it was a simple and straight forward wiring job. But there was nothing. No power at all. I spent the next thirty minutes checking breakers and even pulling outlets to verify correct wiring, all to no avail.

It was like there was a missing outlet somewhere that fed the whole string. I have done all of the work myself, from framing, to wiring and even sheetrock, but it has been over a period of about 3 years as the project has been on-again, off-again as priorities changed. After some thought, I decided to trace the power wire in the attic and discovered that it dropped into the wall nowhere near what I thought was the feed outlet. Using a stud finder to find the stud that the wire dropped down next to and then a best guess of where I thought I might have put the lost outlet, I drilled a small hole into the wall right next to a bookshelf and inserted a screwdriver. The clear “tink” of metal on metal was sure a refreshing sound. 10 minutes later I had uncovered the lost outlet and 30 minutes later had active power on the wall. I love my rotary cut out tool!

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Been there! Mine was a case of slot board installed over an outlet, the last outlet before the run to the panel. The slot board and sheet rock had to come down. Electrical mysteries are most disconcerting.

  2. Deep into hibernation here. Just feeding the wood stove and making a living in the shop. The family crowd all gathers at our house Sunday for Christmas this year. Wife is going nutz with preparation. I’m just trying to stay out of the way!
    Helped the neighbor bone out four deer last Thursday. Only took 2 hours and four people.
    Merry Christmas to all.

  3. This week we are working on several projects that have been delayed due to all the hay baling and other summer chores. We are enlarging our turkey yard to add another 1000 square feet. My eldest has a knack for raising turkeys. The largest part of the flock are the Royal Palm turkeys. I also need to finish my LP/OP. We are currently enjoying our fresh turnips/mustard/kale from our garden along with our multiplier onions. There are so many things to do and so little time. I’ll be 64 next month, so I’m not like I used to be.

  4. This was a very rainy week in the mid-south so not many outdoor activities. Concentrated on freeze drying 93/7% hamburger which I got on a very good flash sale from zaycon fresh. Made a big pot of family favorite creamy broccoli and cheddar cheese soup that kept the chill away. Crochet sweaters for the little dogs; the big outside dogs won’t wear them. Delivered a Christmas box filled with food and crochet lap blankets for my elderly neighbors. Made food gifts for the mail delivery folks and got those delivered. May your Christmas be blessed with love and good health!

  5. Received about 8″ of snow yesterday with 1/2″ of ice coming today, so preparing for a possible extended power outage. It’s steadily raining at 30° F. Generators are on standby, and a large bank of batteries in float service are ready to power the 8kW 120/240VAC pure sinewave inverter. The solar panels haven’t been set up yet, so the batteries are charged via the grid (or generator). I’m just feeding the woodstove and cleaning my newly acquired and currently dismantled Rockwell vertical mill. I couldn’t get it down into the basement shop intact. It’s American made and almost as old as I am (>50) but seems barely used. Listening to the local 2 meter repeater int eh backgound. Have a blessed Christmas!

  6. In any kind of shop circuit (I use them everywhere for any outlet) be sure to install 20A outlets instead of the far less capable 15A outlets. It make quite a difference with any larger load. It is also worthwhile to cut the silly 15A ends off of your 12ga and 10ga extension cords and replace those with 20A units.

    1. @Newell,
      Already done. In this area, most house wiring already uses 20A circuits because the code allows a 15A outlet on a 20A circuit. I went ahead and installed 20A outlets, but all of the tools that will be using these outlets are 15A or less appliances. (15A are $.30/ea and 20A are >$2.50/ea here)
      For tools that require 20A, I have a set of Hubbell twist-lock outlets. for 20A, I use the L14-20 variety so either 120 or 240 is available. There are some devices that use 30A and they get the L14-30 treatment.

  7. In my earlier post I should have also suggest that kitchens should always use the 20A outlets too and that each Kitchen outlet should have a dedicated 20A circuit breaker. Many kitchen appliances like a waffle iron, 4-hole toaster, or large electric griddle can take most of what a 20A circuit can provide… meaning with 2400 (120Vx20A) watts you can only run one of those major appliances at a time on any 20A circuit. If you want to really increase the power density in some part of your kitchen (or shop) you can feed each side of a 20A duplex outlet with 20A of power (be sure to break the connecting tabs on each side of the outlet when you wire it. The easiest way to do this (and the safest) is to feed the two circuits via a 20A 240V double pole breaker. That way you have a single point of disconnect for the outlet box and the two 20A circuit share the neutral. You also balance the load on your 240V system because each of the outlets is fed from a different side of the split phase 240/120 panel. Those of you lucky enough to have a 208/120V three phase system can go one better and have three dedicated circuits in a four outlet arrangement. All three circuits share the neutral and a single three phase breaker is the point of disconnect.

    1. Yes! If you can break out the organization of your system so that pairs of circuits run at the same time on opposite sides of the panel you can cut your bill in half. You pay for both sides of the wave even if you are only using one.

  8. Finishing up the last of summer/fall tasks here in Northern Idaho. Solar panels adjusted for the winter solstice, all snow handling equipment up and running (added a LED light bar to both the plow and the snow blower – huge benefit), finally added a Northridge earthquake valve to the propane gas line (someday, local insurance companies will recognize their benefit) and lastly, committed to spending more quality time in prayer and in His word

  9. HJL:
    That’ll learn ya! LOL!
    And as far as the $2.50 fo 20A, that’s nuts. Someone is out to rob there customers. That’s a massive price jump. Good luck with the rest of your sop build and please keep us up to date on its progress. Merry Christmas to all who read the blog, peace!

  10. I always check my wiring using a 12 volt battery . This way if each circuit lights up when I use my 12 volt tester I know there is juice there. This worked well at my remote cabin. I had both 12 volt outlets and 110 as I used a generator
    and 12 volt system.
    In my big shop I split my 200 amp service with a 100 amp panel on each side of the building. I ran a 4 gang box every 8ft. with 110. Then every 4 ft. in between 2 gang box with 220.I ran my wire to every other box so It wasn’t all on one circuit. Where I had my welders I put in a large box at 2ft. off the floor.I ran my conduit at 3ft 6 inches for my 110 circuits and 220 at 3 ft. Before I connected any receptacles I put 4 ft. high smooth metal on the wall over all the box’s. This way if a tool went flying into the wall you didn’t have a hole in the sheet rock. I ordered roofing metal in a roll with no corrugations in it. It worked great.
    My best wishes for all and A blessed Christmas.

  11. Cured and smoked bacon from scratch for the first time. Too salty. When will I learn that recipes are there for a reason? Good excuse for me to try again. Can’t complain about having more bacon in the fridge. Merry Christmas everyone.

  12. Finished stacking the cut wood and gathering kindling. We are behind in the cutting and splitting wood with the fall cabin insulating and sheetrocking project. But the wood is ready to be cut and split and is well seasoned.

    Also finished most of the organizing of space to keep the mice from the food and moved that which cannot be frozen to the cabin (including the paint). Rushing to get ready for real snow. Ice and rain thus far.

    A quiet and peaceful Christmas this year. A welcomed respite and more time for prayer.

Comments are closed.