A Maslow-Like Hierarchy of Survival, by I. M. Learning

Maslow’s Hierarchy details the steps a person needs to achieve to be able to function at a level of success.

Food and Water

The first step is ensuring a supply of food and water. Any newbie to prepping is at least aware of this in the basic sense. But how much food and how much water is necessary? Where do you put it? How do you keep the food usable and the water available and potable?

Twenty-Five Year Food Buckets

I started out, as I’m sure many new to prepping do, buying 25-year food buckets. I’m not saying that isn’t a good idea, but I began scrutinizing what was actually in those buckets. Not only does everything require some amount of water, but a lot of those buckets are full of powder to make drinks. So, I changed tactics and began just ordering the meat buckets. Unfortunately, I bought buckets that had two to three times as much rice as there was meat. Again, I began doing some research on canned foods and was surprised how many cans of meat and bags of rice I could buy for a fraction of the cost of one 25-year bucket.

Bagged Rice, Canned Meat and More for Fraction of Price of Survival Food Bucket

Instead, I bought bagged rice. Then, I placed each one in a thick vacuum bag and sealed them with my vacuum sealer. I did the same for bags of beans, cereal (which can be eaten without milk), and other dried goods. Canned meats with a minimum two-year expiration date were purchased. I can rotate those out and replace them up to the time buying food is no longer an option. The same principle was applied to canned fruit and vegetables. I acquired all of this for a fraction of the price of a survival food bucket. An added bonus is that canned foods do not require water for cooking. In fact, all canned fruit, vegetables, stews, et cetera can be eaten straight from the can, if necessary.

Vacuum-Sealed Packages of Heirloom Seeds

I also bought vacuum-sealed packages of heirloom seeds to keep a garden going. Not knowing if our dirt would be usable, due to possible radiation exposure, I have stockpiled several bags of potting soil. My current garden is set up in an enclosure that can be quickly transformed into a hot-house for winter growing.


For water, I trolled every prepping website I could find. Then, I put all their information to work for me.

Phase 1

Phase 1 involved me buying 33-gallon plastic garbage cans. I cleaned each one with Clorox, inside and out, and filled them from my water hose. Some have been secured inside a closed room, and some are staggered around the property and camouflaged.

Phase 2

Phase 2 took about six months to complete. During this time, I began buying cases of water and storing them throughout my house.

Phase 3

Phase 3 is ongoing, as every time I empty any plastic container, I clean it out and fill it with water. This includes milk containers, soda bottles, and any container that has a lid I can secure tightly. I have treated all but the purchased cases of water with bleach, as I found measurements for on the FDA website.

Phase 4

Phase 4 will be completed as needed and involves water collection. For water collection, I purchased two of those garden wagons. (They are those that some people load with fishing gear and take to the pier– the wagons with the big wheels.) Two of those 33-gallon plastic garbage cans can fit on each wagon. I can roll out wagon one and place it under a rain-spout location. There is a hole in the can that will be directly under the spout, about two inches from the top. I placed aquarium tubing in the hole and sealed it on both sides.

This tube then goes into a hole in the second can, about 2 inches from the bottom, also sealed on both sides. When the first can fills up, it will then begin filling the second can. That’s 66 gallons of water I can filter for drinking or cooking, use for the garden, use to wash clothes, or use to bathe in.

The wagon is crucial as I discovered that I couldn’t budge a filled 33 gallon can. Once the cans are filled, I can simply pull the wagon into a secure area and have wagon number 2, with its two tube-connected 33-gallon cans ready to put into place during the next rain.

Shelter, Safety

The second rung of the Hierarchy is shelter. Most preppers already have a shelter or bug out plan. This second rung plays hand-in-hand with rung number 3– safety.

Solar Lights

Because I have a variety of solar lights, I have created black-out covers for all my windows. There is no need for anyone to know I have lights, if they don’t. I have also stock-piled a good reserve of the batteries my solar lights use, as those batteries don’t last forever. I have tested solar lights in the house and discovered they last between five and six hours. And, they can be placed in flower vases around a room to provide a good bit of light.

Weapons and Knowledge About What Works in Your Area

I won’t go into guns, knives, swords, et cetera, as there are a myriad number of prepper sites that already cover that information on weapons. Sometimes, safety is having knowledge about what works in your area, who your neighbors are, and how well prepared you are.

Medical Closet

So, in addition to food and water, I have slowly accumulated a well-stocked medical closet. My research clued me into fish antibiotics that are actually real amoxicillin and other real medicines. I took the amoxicillin when I had an infection, following the normal 10-day dosage. (I am not allergic to penicillin.) There were no side effects, and my infection cleared up.

I have also stocked the medical closet with a wide variety of vitamin supplements, nasal medications, medicinal teas, homeopathic herbs and oils, cough medicines, bandages of all types and sizes, suture kits, alcohol, gallons of hand sanitizer, hydrogen peroxide, cough drops, and a variety of things to treat the wide variety of ailments and injuries that could occur. I have also gathered up books on EMS training and military medical training. Read through these often to make sure you can respond if necessary.


The fourth rung on the hierarchy is self-esteem. This one is a little tougher, if you have not prepared yourself, your home, or your family for the impossibly possible. It is imperative that tough conversations take place with all family members. People who are prepared in a variety of ways, feel more confident taking on challenges because it isn’t the first time they’ve encountered the idea. Prepping is more than food and water; it is a mind-set, a self-assurance that we can handle whatever comes our way. More than one family member needs to know where things are and how to utilize all supplies that have been gathered.


The fifth and final rung is self-actualization. This could be translated into a more common phrase, such as “git er done” or “just do it”. Self-actualization means, I have prepared, my mind is clear, I have a plan, so let’s move forward.

My first phase of self-actualization was to realize I needed to put a binder together and use dividers to keep copies of all the information I was gathering. I have a section on making bread without yeast, a section on food and water preservation, a medical section, a gardening section, et cetera. The Internet won’t be there, so I need to be able to put my hands on all the information I might need without depending on Google. I printed out articles, diagrams, pictures, and any type of document that might benefit me in a survival scenario.

All Four Lower Runs Must Be Achieved For Fifth Run To Become Reality

The premise of Maslow’s Hierarchy is that all of the four lower rungs must be achieved in order for the fifth rung to become a reality. We are living in a world where no less than four major players would like to take America out. How they may go about doing that is fodder for round-table discussions.

Shortening Window of Opportunity

The reality is that we have a shortening window of opportunity to secure food and water, some type of shelter and safety, and feel confident in what we’ve done to be ready, so we can handle whatever may come our way.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.

Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.


  1. We purchased the 250-gallon water cistern from ReadyMade Stores. It is hexagon in shape with an extremely flat bottom and stands about 8-feet high. We keep it in our garage with cardboard all around it so no one can see it from the road. It also has two spigots for water dispensing and both hook to a regular garden hose. In addition, you are correct about Clorox Bleach. It also comes with bleach and 5 water testers to ensure it is safe to drink. We’ve had it filled 5-years ago and it’s still potable water. Go-figure.

  2. With a bug-in mindset, canned food opens up possibilities on quantity that can’t really be achieved in a bug-out scenario. Most canned fruits and veggies at the local mega mart or warehouse club have a “Best by” date two to three years in the future. Since canned goods are generally still edible three to five years past the “Best by” date, that means that can of peas off the shelf will still be good to go seven years after you purchased it. This means that as long as you rotate your canned goods, you can build up close to a seven year supply of canned goods.

    Buy what you eat and eat what you buy.

  3. Beware that plastic milk jugs will eventually break down and leak the water. We use 2-liter soda bottles, 1/2 gallon juice bottles, and 1 gallon vinegar jugs for drinking water, and we store water for washing or toilet use in laundry detergent jugs.

    It’s so nice to have it stored, as just last week the well pump went out, but we had the water we needed until the well guys were able to come the next day.

  4. I washed, cleaned one gallon milk containers several times, let them air dry, then filled them up with filtered water. I checked on them one month later, and they all had the nasty milk smell in them. What did I do wrong? It was very depressing to work so hard and have this happen.

    1. Try rinsing with 9-10% vinegar (also called “pickling” vinegar available at the grocery store) before filling with water. If its going to just be used for flushing/ washing and not cooking/ drinking- what’s the difference?

    2. Caps and threads on jug opening are sometimes overlooked and will taint water flavor and odor. Learned that the hard way years ago. Hope this helps . We use dish soap and thorough rinses .

      1. Needed to add ,we are constantly rotating and purging jugs .Initially cleaned and used to let sulfur in water from well off gas on counter for several hours . Our water is delicious after . Then water jugs hold water to water plants ,humidify dry air in wood stove season , flush in power outage and numerous other uses . When jugs get too beat up or hard to clean the inside they are cycled out for funnels or early garden season cloches . Then recycled . We have experimented with making a gallon of cool-aid in milk jugs . In our area most of them are opaque white plastic and before we can drink it all a white sediment shows up . your results may vary . Keep up the good work .

  5. I agree canned goods are cheaper and can be rotated. They are, however, heavy and contain a lot of sodium usually. On a positive they do supplement your water intake. As for storing water in trash cans, my concern would be that they are not food grade and I wonder if any of the chemicals from plastic and coloring can leach into your water. I propose using 5 gallon food grade buckets which also have better lid options. Just my two cents.

  6. I agree canned goods are cheaper and can be rotated. They are, however, heavy and contain a lot of sodium usually. On a positive they do supplement your water intake. As for storing water in trash cans, my concern would be that they are not food grade and I wonder if any of the chemicals from plastic and coloring can leach into your water. I propose using 5 gallon food grade buckets which also have better lid options. Just my two cents.

  7. There are some foods that are incredible in that they are cheap to buy, keep for years and are easy to use/prepare. Rice and oats are at the top of the list. Other grains are good too but may require more preparation before they can be consumed. Wheat is an excellent source of calories and nutrients but in all of it’s edible formats it took time and effort to get there. I like wheat and include it in my preps but I am aware of it’s limitations. Beans and lentils are another great prep food and they compliment grains providing complete proteins. Of the two lentils are faster to prepare and like rice can be cooked and ready to eat in 20 minutes. Beans require long soak times and benefit from longer cooking times.
    The third leg of my food preps is a sauce or gravy. Rice and lentils beg for some flavor and a simple chicken or beef broth can provide that. More spicy additions will bring variety and taste.
    The trick is to use these in your everyday cooking so that you learn some of the tricks and know what you like.

  8. I used to ask my family, “What would you like to eat with your wheat/rice/beans?” I always got the answer “desert”, so I store various types of comfort food such as puddings and candy. Having both small portions for one/two-day emergencies and #10 cans for long term emergencies helps.

    There is nothing worse than that terrible feeling when your water goes out. Anticipating and planning for the lack of water-on-demand will go a long way in keeping your family calm during a crisis or temporary outages. Having the newer toilets which flush with 1.3 gallons or less makes a big difference in emergencies. Having water stored in gallon containers for your small animals, dish washing, flushing toilets plus having several cases of bottled drinking water on hand allows you to go on about your normal activities.

    Recommend using soda bottles, vinegar or juice bottles for washing and teeth brushing water. Milk jugs are ok for toilet flushing. If you have the space food grade 30 and 55 gal drums are great for long term storage but remember you must have a spigot, pump or way to siphon the water out; not being able to use the water immediately causes frustration.

  9. The 5 gallon water cooler type jugs are perfect for storing water. I choose the type with a screw on top. The water cooler types have a plastic top that is pierced when placed on the water cooler and is hard to seal and use repeatedly. You can buy these empty for about $6 apiece or filled with filtered water for about $11. Handles to help you carry them and a stable flat bottom for storing and of course they store lying on their side too.

  10. I have ate canned food, that sat on the shelves 5-6 years and the food was as if it was canned yesterday. Canned foods will last way longer than you think. Ate some vienna sausages from 2011 two nights ago. Perfectly fine…

  11. Please do not use garden hose for filling containers; they are NOT certified for potable water.
    But the alternative is simple: RV water hose IS for potable water and is available at Wallyworld 25 feet for $10.
    Be safe out there.

    1. Millions of us have been drinking out of hoses for years. I’m sure it’s fine.

      Also, be sure to put some water filters as part of your water prep

  12. This Sunday a hail storm went through my area. I ran out on the double to cover as best I could and was able to save most everything, but it happens fast. For a moment I had that heartbreaking despair experienced by every farmer/gardener throughout time, at the mercy of the elements, wondering what if this were all I had to feed my family? What if it were all destroyed and I didn’t have enough seed or time left in the season to start another crop? Fortunately the feeling only lasted a moment when I realized the grocery store is six minutes away. But it made an impression!

    So while it’s important to have the heirloom/open pollinated vegetable seeds, please be realistic about their ultimate usefulness.

    If one thinks that poking a little hole and putting seeds in the ground and watering once in awhile will automatically yield an abundant year’s supply of food, it only means you’ve never gardened before. There are so many ways for a garden to fail, it’s kind of miraculous when it succeeds.

    Soil temperature, length of growing season, insect pests, plant diseases, frost after your seedlings are up, frost before your crops have fully matured, a too-cool rainy summer, a too-hot dry summer, soil pH, spading, composting, weeding, windstorms, hail storms, deer or rabbits getting into the enclosure, marauding gangs, oh my. Even if everything goes perfectly, it still takes 3 to 4 months for crops to grow to harvest. In addition, you must be physically fit, as it is very labor intensive. What if your shoulder or your knee is injured?

    If there were an EMP in August, your first prayer of getting anything other than radishes and lettuce out of your garden would be the following August. Then there is the problem of storing the bounty through an entire winter and spring until the next year’s harvest. Do you have a root cellar? Do you know how to use it? Exactly how much canning do you plan to do without benefit of electricity and/or propane? Better have a back up plan.

    And seed saving is an art and science of its own, a very complex process and not recommended for the novice when your next year’s food supply depends on doing it perfectly. All these things need to be practiced for years to be of any use in a grid down situation.

  13. If you have a grinder you can grind dried beans and make refried beans by adding hot water and maybe some pwd onions and a bit of salt. As to the binder with how to info. Good start but actually DO the ideas you have in there as much as possible. At least once. Head knowledge only goes so far. There s a learning curve for all skills. It s better not to go through it during times of stress.

    1. Why do you grind your dried beans? Soak them to rehydrate them and then cook them until they are soft. Here is my husband’s fantastic recipe for refried beans:

      4 Tbsp Olive Oil
      1/2 cup Onion
      1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
      1/4 tsp. Pepper
      1 tsp. Salt
      1 tsp. Garlic Powder

      Cook ingredients until onions are tender and add additional oil if needed.

      Add 4 cups cooked beans; stir and mash, adding oil as needed and liquid remaining from beans for smooth consistency.

  14. Fema has a book for free called: Are You Ready? It is very good information. Water: one gallon for day per person normal person needs half gallon a day just for drinking. But you made need more depending on conditions and individual. They recommend purchasing commercially bottled water stored in original containers. They recommend food grade water containers for water storage. If you use your own containers they recommend two liter plastic soft drink bottles not plastic jugs or cardboard containers that have had milk or fruit juice in them. Milk protein and fruit sugars cannot be adequately removed from these containers and provide an environment for bacterial growth when water is stored in them.
    thoroughly clean the bottles with dish washing soap and water, and rinse completely so there is no residual soap. Sanitize the bottles by adding a solution of one teaspoon of non-scented liquid household chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Swish the sanitizing solution in the bottle so that it touches all surfaces. after sanitizing thoroughly rinse with clean water. In our BOBs we have used the new one and half liter soft drink bottles as they are more packable and fit in side compartments of most 72 hour packs. Please follow these guidelines because in an emergency the last thing that you want to do is be drinking contaminated water it is pure misery and dangerous.

  15. After reading an article about canned food being made in Chinese made cans that rust. I took some of my older canned food and started opening a few.i was amazed and saddened at how many of the cans were bad. Much of the food turned to nasty mush that didn’t pass the smell test.
    Water has a problem of picking up the taste of other products in the room. Things to consider.

  16. All the comments are great. I have just a couple of things to add. I attended a museum in Iowa in which the contents of a river boat sunk in the 1800’s on the Missouri river were displayed.. There were many canned goods aboard the boat. They opened some of the cans and found the food to still be edible. Just goes to show that food stored in cans can last for over 100 years.

    During the Iranian hostage situation back in the 1980’s, the embassy employees were besieged and no food was allowed into the compound. The U.S. had stored canned tuna fish in the basement and some other food items I don’t remember. Tuna is good because there are few religious or dietary restriction against fish.

  17. My wife’s parents used to go to the west coast fishing for salmon, they would go out in
    the boat, catch their limit and be back at camp canning fish within a couple of hours–In 1988. I was at my brother in law’s last year and he was feeding that fish to the cats, I couldn’t believe it—that stuff was so good, I managed to talk him out of his fish and found out about some other relatives that had salmon in the pantry—none of them had any intention of eating it. They all were more the happy to give me that canned fish and thought I was a little crazy for eating it. I rationed it as well as I could and just finished the last pint a couple of months ago—the jar was simply labeled, “salmon, 1991”. That stuff was some of the best canned fish I have ever had….
    Kind of a long way around to say expiration dates be damned—If it has a good seal, smells okay, looks okay, and tastes good, more than likely its safe to eat. I did have throw away 2 jars out of 65—they might have been okay—you never know, 28 years is a long time…
    P.S. It also helps to know who was running the caner and their level of experience is.
    With this experience in mind I can meat, fruit, and vegetables all the time and am very confident that I’m eating good food home caned today and enjoying it safely for years to come.
    I have noticed some of the tin caned food tasted a little tinny if its a few years past the “sell by” date, as yet I or my family have not got sick from eating tin caned food that’s a
    year or 2 past its “sell by” date…28 years in the jar and so good, and healthy to….
    Every day of my life is spent figuring out how live on the cheap without being cheap and its an enjoyable cause.
    I have been reading this site every day and haven’t really socialized or even commented, this is a great site, very informative and non judgemental, “THANK YOU” Mister Rawles, You have put a lot of like minded people together for a worthy cause..
    I live on a property with several springs that add up to around 13 G.P.M. year around–the cleanest water you will ever see. Hopefully if S.H.F. I will be able to trade my skills and resources for the other things..”WATER IS KING “

  18. So many posts here focus on storing water in plastic containers, and buying commercially tinned food. Okay for short term; not so good for long term.

    Plastic seems attractive because it’s lightweight, easy to obtain, and resistant to breakage. However, you can never be sure of exactly what chemicals have been used to make those plastic bottles; or to what extent those chemicals will leach into your water over months or years.

    Similar issues exist with tinned foods: all metal cans are lined with a very thin coating of plastic. Who knows exactly what’s in that plastic. And, over time, the cans themselves are prone to rust. You have no way of knowing which cans on your supermarket shelf come from some Chinese supplier who was given a contract because he was the lowest bidder — and I’ve heard rumors that some of those cans are fastened with solder that contains lead. Illegal, sure…. but how would you know?

    For short/medium term storage, I strongly advise glass containers. Five-gallon carboys (e.g., like the old water-cooler bottles) can often be found at flea markets for $10 to $20 each — much cheaper than the $40 charged at beer-brewing supply stores. (Feel the edges of the opening for chips; examine the whole thing for cracks; smell the opening for odors of petrol, etc.) One-gallon (or 1.75 liter) wine/liquor bottles can usually be obtained free or very cheaply. Glass is chemically inert and will last for centuries; I feel that these attributes substantially outweigh the drawbacks of weight and breakability.

    For long-term water supply, serious folks should purchase all of the laboratory-grade glassware necessary to distill their own water. Distilling out just the water from a mixture that may contain unknown contaminants can be tricky; it’s best to consult somebody with an academic background in chemistry.

    Commercially tinned food should be a stop-gap measure to get you through the first few weeks or months. Home-canned food in glass mason jars will not be tainted by preservatives, artificial flavors/colors, loads of sodium, or chemicals found in commercial containers. Yes, you actually have to do some work, but you get what you pay for….. whether the cost is money or effort.

    Wheat ‘berries’ (unground wheat) will store for years — whereas (already ground) wheat flour only lasts about one year. Get BOTH types of grain mill: manual and electric. The electric one is great if the power is on; the manual one is necessary if the lights are off for the next decade or so.

    ‘Root cellars’ of any size can be made from food-grade plastic buckets and clean sand. Look into ice houses, smoke houses, dehydrators for food, and other low-tech options. Don’t overlook the benefits of amazingly nutrient-dense and easy-to-grow sprouts.

    Don’t bet your life on machinery that breaks down, can be complicated to fix, may require spare parts that are impossible to obtain in a crisis, and need electricity. Keep in mind that noise/exhaust (e.g., from a generator) will attract desperate and dangerous people who will do anything to get their hands on your supplies. Keep a low profile.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg… research, research, research!

  19. Karl, FEMA doesn’t recommend glass bottles because of breakage. 2 Liter coke plastic bottles are made to a standard that does not breakdown and leach harmful chemicals into water. Taking everything into consideration they have found the 2 liter soft drink bottles to be the safest thing to use that people have on hand short of purchasing food grade plastic containers. Of everything my family has found is that 2 liter coke bottles are the best thing storage wise, transporting, non-breakable, sanitary, does not pick up taste or smell, ease of cleaning. We also have purchased commercially produced potable drinking water and 5 and 10 liter food grade water containers that are cheap I bought a 5 gallon food grade carry water container yesterday from a local Aldi food store for $3.99.

  20. Food: Avoid foods that make you thirsty. Choose salt free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned goods with high liquid content. Stock canned foods, dry mixes, and other staples that do not require refrigeration, cooking, water, or special preparation. Manuel can opener. Include special dietary needs.

  21. oly ~ Concerns about breakage are probably legitimate for households with children; and also for the average, not-particularly-attentive person who’s just interested in making it through the next big storm when the power goes out for a couple of days. For a typical suburban family, for whom preparedness is not a way of life, soda bottles are likely an adequate stop-gap measure.

    My thoughts about home-canning your own food, distilling your own water, and building ice houses and root cellars should make it obvious that I am speaking to people who are intelligent, serious, and concerned about surviving a long-term crisis lasting months or years. I do not concern myself with those who feel that they’ve covered all the bases by filling up a couple cases of empty soda bottles. I don’t mean that to sound snotty; but really, I am way beyond that.

    Regardless of any claims made about the ingredients used in the manufacture of plastics, the fact remains that none of us REALLY know what went into those water/food containers. Nor can we be certain whether the chemicals deemed ‘acceptable’ today might later be found to pose risks. After all, PCBs were used for years without the public ever hearing about them; they were considered just fine, right up until they weren’t.

    I reiterate that no plastics remain chemically stable for an unlimited amount of time, such as glass will. Are your soda bottles or 10-liter containers stamped with the date that they will start to chemically degrade? I didn’t think so. They could begin breaking down very slowly; perhaps weeks or months before any change is evident.

    I did get a laugh out of the comment that “FEMA doesn’t recommend…” Naturally FEMA will formulate its advice for citizens of average intelligence…. which, from what I’ve observed, is not a terribly impressive level. I like to believe that I can think for myself, and set my personal standards somewhat higher than that. FEMA advice, aimed at the sheeple, is not going to be of much use if a massive EMP takes the grid down for the next six or eight years. If your planning extends no further than some government pamphlet, your family isn’t going to make it.

    If you really are married to those plastic containers, I urge you to not rely on ONLY those. I really feel that making the effort to handle glass carefully in order to benefit from its attributes is well worth the effort.

  22. The fact that as I read these comments quoting fema said this fema said that. Why on earth does anyone still believe the gooberment gives a rats a$$ about you and yours….

  23. Home canning is far superior to commercial processed canned foods, with some caveats. You have to pay attention and know what you are doing, which isn’t that hard to figure out. You must rotate stock once in a while.

    That said, the wife and I canned 24 pints of chicken breasts last saturday. We are going to do another 36 this weekend. Takes us about 3 hours to do 24, 4.5 hours for 36. But 90 minutes is just monitoring the pressure canners once in a while so we can be busy with other chores then. Costs us less than half what the stores charge, and we control what goes in the jars, so no preservatives, no added salt. We raw pack, as the chicken cooks sufficiently during the pressure treatment. This chicken will be good for two years or more on the shelf. it will sit right beside our canned ground beef, our canned turkey breast, our beef stew, our pork chile verde, and our canned salmon. We buy our meat when it is on sale, and can freeze it for later if we don’t have time to process it right away. We even can hot dogs, which can be grilled later, for convenience.

    We’ve canned all sorts of things, from fruits and veggies to pickled relishes to meats to legumes to butter (ghee). Some things don’t work so good (pasta is always a disappointing mess). You just have to take the time to learn and invest a little in equipment and materials. I figure even after our investment in canners and jars, I’ve saved more than half on the cost of the foods we eat that are canned ourselves vs off a store shelf. Perhaps one of the best examples is making and canning home made spam. Delicious and less than 1/3 the cost.

  24. Gatoraid uses a thick plastic for their products. If you’ve lived in your home (with a basement) for as long as I have, you may have had a water heater or two go bad. Don’t throw it out. Unless, of course the lining is cracked. Thick 30 and 55 gal. food grade plastic drums are available if you are close to just about any food processing or large scale baking facilities as well as bottling plants. In most cases, they are trashed. Other facilities send them to recycling centers.

  25. This was a very timely refresher with a great deal of incite and knowledge both in the article and the follow ups. Space is a key consideration, and all things adjusted accordingly. One should not store water in milk containers for extended periods of time. Yet, if the crisis we go down by has a relatively slow but fast fall, those empty milk jugs can be a life saver and filled at the last minute, so to speak. Then they will be fine for x amount of time, a month, two maybe… Many ways to look at things, many ways to play your cards. No one plan is universal, but the framework seems to be: Air, water, food, shelter, protection…

    The only thing I will add, though it was not intended in the article, is the exponential value of like minded bodies working together in times of great tribulations. This is your greatest force multiplier, as night vision is to defense.

    I appreciate this also for it’s timeliness. We all were on hyper mode thru the last eight years of Obama thinking he was going to drop the hammer. When Hillary lost, we all took a sigh of great relief. Yet, the danger of the deep state is still in place, and Trump is pushing them into the corner, ever more daily. Cornered dogs bite. The Bible makes some things very clear, nukes are going to come into play, one of these days and every day that goes by is clearly drawing us nearer and nearer. Remember, Revelation is about revealing. Never has more evidence about the corrupt nature of man and government been more clear, with more revelations coming daily. Buckle up, butter cup. The signs are all about you. Gob bless!

  26. Karl,
    You seem offended by my post about 2 liter plastic containers for water. You shouldn’t it was meant for highest intent for good information. A couple of points: 1 I assume you are not planning on having to quickly move your stockpile of glass water containers. 2 I assume where you live you have no chance of an earthquake. 3 Reasonable people rotate their stock and pour out water product and resanitize in reasonable amount of time.
    4 you seem to be of the opinion that: a) suburban folks (which I am not) do not can. b) suburban folks can not have preparedness as a way of life. c) suburban folks are of lower intelligence than rural folks. d) suburban folks do not have the ability to plan. This seems to be a bit preparedness hubris. 5 I wonder if you ever consume food or drink from food grade plastic? 6 ‘Reasonable people” understand that you don’t leave a water product in a stored container of any sort for years on a shelf because water loves to grows things eventually. 7 “Reasonable people” of “average intelligence” rotate stocks and change out containers. 8 I am interested Karl at what point do food grade containers leach out chemicals into food or water since you made the statement?
    I have been an accredited contractor in the water industry for over 35 years building, maintaining, rehabilitating, water plants and water storage facilities in the Midwest from Minnesota to Mexico, I am very familiar with water production and storage for municipalities, private industry, and government. I am now retired.

    But I don’t mean to sound “snotty”.

  27. oly — I was not offended your other post. My statements were simply meant to explain that plastic is not an ideal material for long-term storage. It is revealing that you interpret a difference of opinion to be some sort of attack by an ‘offended’ person. Although I doubt that further discourse will do much good for someone who thinks this way, I will address the current issues that you have raised:

    1. You’re right. Unless something utterly cataclysmic occurs very close to me, moving should not be necessary.

    2. Right again! I live in a very geographically stable area with almost no chance of an
    earthquake that will cause damage.

    3. Correct again! I sure try to rotate my supplies, since I take these issues seriously. However, many people do not, because many people do not.

    I observe that you repeatedly use the word “seem” in an attempt to make mere opinion appear to have some sort of factual basis. Maybe you should try stunts like this with people who have no experience with debate and argumentation.

    “You seem offended by my post” and “This seems to be a bit (sic) preparedness hubris” and “you seem to be of the opinion that…suburban folks are of lower intelligence (and three similar statements)” are clearly meant as personal insults. A review of my posts does not show any such petty behavior on my part. None of my statements insulted you personally. My interest is in discussing serious issues relevant to survival; not engaging in childish ‘flame wars’.

    Furthermore, I only made one statement regarding suburban residents:

    “For a typical suburban family, for whom preparedness is not a way of life, soda bottles are likely an adequate stop-gap measure.”

    I see no reason to modify that statement. It certainly does not imply, as you claim, that suburbanites “do not have the ability to plan” or “are of lower intelligence” or any of the other ridiculous nonsense that you said.

    To continue answering your queries: “I wonder if you ever consume food or drink from food grade plastic?” Yes, I do; unfortunately, it is very difficult to avoid entirely. However, I don’t store food / water in plastic for years…. which was, if you were paying attention, the whole point of the discussion.

    “I am interested Karl at what point do food grade containers leach out chemicals into food or water since you made the statement?” As I said in my previous posts:

    “Regardless of any claims made about the ingredients used in the manufacture of plastics, the fact remains that none of us REALLY know what went into those water/food containers. Nor can we be certain whether the chemicals deemed ‘acceptable’ today might later be found to pose risks. After all, PCBs were used for years without the public ever hearing about them; they were considered just fine, right up until they weren’t.”

    I also said: “You have no way of knowing which cans on your supermarket shelf come from some Chinese supplier who was given a contract because he was the lowest bidder” — and the same is true of (supposedly) food-grade plastics.

    Additionally, temperature, contact with other materials, and other environmental factors can have a significant impact on the stability of plastics.

    There is no way that you, I, or anyone else –short of perhaps the chemist(s) who actually formulate each specific batch of plastic used to manufacture these products– can accurately address your question. Once again, it is revealing that ‘an accredited contractor in the water industry for over 35 years’ chooses to ignore these obvious factors in order to float out a challenge.

    “But I don’t mean to sound “snotty”.” No, you mean to sound sarcastic. Your entire post consists of (what you imagine to be artfully constructed) insinuations; assumptions without foundation; and defensive remarks. One of us certainly ‘seem(s) offended’!

    This is a perfect example of why I generally don’t comment publicly. It’s exasperating to waste time on nonsense like this. I was trying to contribute useful information; alas, as the saying goes, “no good deed goes unpunished”.[…] ~ K

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