War Drums Beating Louder: Are You Taking Action? – Part 2 by 3AD Scout

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)

So where to start? Food is one of the main things preppers stockpile. In the case of trying to prepare for a war economy a stockpile of food isn’t a bad idea. However, some of the item that will be hard to get are those that require shipping from far away and/or will be needed to support the troops. Going back to World War Two for an example, it was some basic staples that were in short supply including sugar, gasoline, rubber items, and even shoes. I can grow vegetables and fruit, as well as preserve them. I can do the same with meat from our pigs, chickens and cows. But what most of us can’t or don’t do (and yes there are exceptions) is make our own salt, sugar, and baking soda. These basic ingredients are important when preserving food and/or baking. If you really wanted to hedge your bets, just storing salt, sugar, and baking soda will be of tremendous value when war comes.

Butter was another kitchen staple that was rationed. Personally, I don’t want a milk cow, and besides I’m surrounded by dairy farms so I’m sure a little traded labor will get the fresh milk we need. For those not near farmland there are a few options for stocking up on butter. First, you can freeze it, you can either make your own ghee or buy it and the other option is to buy dehydrated butter. Personally, I have some of all of these options. Again being surrounded by Dairies we can get fresh milk and make our own but with our butter churn.

Although they are not necessities, coffee and tea will surely be rationed and in short supply. What is available will also go to the military to keep up morale and to help keep soldiers warm and awake. During past wars when coffee was scarce acorns, chicory and dandelions have been used as a non-caffeine replacement. Stocking up on unroasted green coffee beans and/or freeze-dried coffee may keep you stocked through the next war. The current food supply issues and inflation just shows that having stored food is not a bad idea. When actual government rationing starts in a wartime environment it will be an even better idea.

Ever watch the black and white war movies where the female characters are after a new pair of silk stockings? A wartime economy will mean some changes for what we wear and what materials are available. In World War Two the pistol belts, canteen covers, rucksacks, suspenders and other field gear was made of a very heavy cotton “duck” canvas. I believe that the interruption in supply chains will require our military to revert from the current nylon/synthetic materials back to cotton and wool since we grow and produce both. As in World War Two, cotton will be in high demand and short supply and will not be available on the civilian market. I suspect wool will be in high demand and short supply as well. Thus being able to sew and mend clothes will be a very important skill.

Sewing for the most part has been reduced to a hobby versus a daily skill. Having a good stock of needles, pins, buttons, zippers, thread and other sewing supplies along with the equipment will be very important, stock up now. If you have children that are growing you may well want to put back clothing and boots in larger sizes for use as they grow. Shoes and boots were also rationed. Not only were shoes and boots rationed but there were even regulations put in place on the colors, Height of boots, and other characteristics. The second-hand clothing market will probably be the only way to get additional clothing as commercial production switches over to military production. Interestingly enough second-hand shoes and boots did not fall under the rationing program. Don’t count on that in the next war.

During World War Two gasoline was rationed, primarily to save rubber tires since Japan controlled all the rubber plantations. For the most part, American was able to produce enough gasoline for our domestic use. Although we have the natural gas, oil and coal deposits domestically, our leaders unwisely choose not to use them. Drilling and mining will take workers and resources that are needed on the battlefields. So we can definitely expect rationing of gasoline and diesel. I also believe that we may well see rationing of electricity. There has been much talk about the fragility of America’s electrical grids now. A wartime economy will only put more demands on the grid not to mention that the grids themselves will be targets.

With the use of more and more “smart” meters it will become easier and easier to shut off select parts of the grid. For example, residential electricity may be on at select times of the day, such as in the morning when people are getting up to go to work or school and again perhaps when people go home to prepare dinner. The rest of the time the grid or meters to residential areas could be shut down. I suspect that that example could be overly optimistic as well and perhaps we will be fortunate to have electricity once a day for a few hours. Besides, look at the price of electricity now, a world war would make utility prices go sky high.

As manufacturing starts to ramp up again in the United States energy demands will too. Generators are great but rely upon fuels that will probably be rationed. Having some type of solar power ability maybe the only suitable option. When I say solar power I don’t necessarily mean having the ability to power one’s whole house. If you can do that great but I think just having the ability to charge and/or operate batteries or 12 volt DC items as well as AA batteries and the like will be more reasonable. That large solar panel system that you paid for to run your home off-grid may also be a victim of wartime “regulations” by being forced to tie into the grid. The bureaucrats won’t care about your little Goal Zero or Harbor Freight systems.

Pay particular attention this winter to what Germany does with fuels, including wood. These may be the same “tactics” that will be imposed upon us in the next wartime economy. We already discussed food but consider that the availability of processed foods may become less available and more un-processed, fresh foods are available whether from stores or Victory Gardens. If the power is out to the microwave and the gas out to the stove how are you going to prepare your food? Having non-electric, older-type kitchen utensils will come in handy.

Think about the possibility of being able to get five pounds of wheat berries or dent corn versus being about to get five pounds of flour or corn meal. If you get wheat berries or corn can you grind it? If you have animals do you have hand-cranked meat grinders and sausage stuffers or do they all have cords? It is better, in my opinion, to revert back to older non-electric tools and utensils than to try and prepare for alternative power sources to run our electric appliances. Just like depending upon stored for, which will run out at some point, so will your stored fuels.

Living in a rural area a lot of my neighbors hunt and a few even reload. There is a very big distinction between a reloader that loads for target practice with pistols and AR-type rifles and those that reload for hunting. The difference is in the quantity of reloading supplies the two types of reloaders have on hand. Those that reload hunting ammunition, in my observations, don’t have a lot of bullets (projectiles), power, primers, and brass on hand when compared to those that reload more for target practice.

I have heard that commercial ammunition was not available during World War Two, since all the supplies were going to make military ammunition, but can not confirm that buy and books or articles. I have heard the stories of young boys being given one or two .22 rimfire cartridges or one shotgun shell and told not to come home empty-handed — during both the Great Depression and World War Two. Many Preppers think about ammunition for defensive weapons but don’t think about having a good supply of ammunition for the hunting rifle. You may want to consider stocking away hunting ammunition and reloading supplies.

The freedoms of Americans have been infringed upon during several wars. Merely being critical of the war was often enough to label one a “subversive”. Given the fact that one major political party wants to infringe upon our rights without a war, I can only imagine what they will do if they can use and implement the War Powers Act. To be fair, the other major political party has also used “war” to implement infringements upon us as well. Remember the PATRIOT Act? With smartphones, smart televisions, and other devices that listen and track us, I can only think that the next war will look like something out of George Orwell’s novel 1984. My goal isn’t to get political here but it is to make people realize that the war on our rights and freedoms will only intensify when the next war starts regardless of what party is in power.

Many of us plan for and consider barter after SHTF for items that we forgot or run out of. What you consider Bartering may be deemed Black Marketeering during the next war. Trading a head of cabbage for a few potatoes may be deemed breaking the rationing laws. Those who operate farms may be “spied” upon by our current technology to see if your farm is holding back or trading food outside of the rationing system. Perhaps to stop this “un-American” black marketeering the war production boards will install cameras around farms to ensure that the harvest goes where they want it. The one issue Preppers will have is making sure they are not accused of being “hoarders”, that is stockpiling rationed goods after the rationing has begun. The burden of proof will be on you to prove when you purchased that 300 pounds of sugar in your preps.

The next war will have a high likelihood of ending up having unconventional weapons being used, those being chemical, biological, and nuclear. If biological and chemical weapons are used the chance of nuclear weapons being used is even higher. Unlike the World War Two era where thousands of Gas Masks were produced for use by civilians under the Civil Defense program, the next war will not have the same luxury due to supply and manufacturing constraints. Civil Defense may come back in organization but the equipment that we have seen in the past like gas masks, shelters, medical supplies, food, and radiation monitoring equipment will not be supplied. The threat of guerrilla-style warfare may also necessitate civilian defense forces to guard key pieces of infrastructure.

During World War Two the continental United States was pretty much safe from attacks, the same will not be true in the next war. With “push button” technology that launches pinpoint-accurate missiles, the war will progress rapidly. As countries deplete their stocks of those types of weapons and are unable to manufacture and deploy replacement weapons quickly, the propensity will be to use those unconventional weapons. As preppers, we need to be as ready as possible for the use of those unconventional weapons.

When the next war happens, we don’t know, but it will happen. Looking back at history and using today’s technology and environment to extrapolate what challenges we will face and then using those extrapolations will make us better prepared. Now go buy some repair parts.