Some Last-Minute Purchases and Preps – Part 2, by M.M.

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

#6   12-volt deep cycle batteries and at least two battery charges. (I prefer the 2-,6-, and 10-Amp chargers. I do have a 50-amp charger, but it is hard on a battery. The slower the charge, the better the life expectancy of the battery). These are extremely important and are actually my #2 priority item only after fuel. Get several if they are available. You can build a light system for your property using 12-volt lights or buy an inverter that switches to A/C  use. For outside lighting go to an RV/off-road store and pick up several light bars that go on vehicles. I have one about 15 inches long on my boat that is both a spot and a flood light combination.  I can see several hundred feet at night. and it has a wide field of view with the flood light.  You can also use the inverter to run your computer. You can plug in your survival blog archive stick and look up thousands of articles from the past. on how to articles.  Inverters use power and can drain your battery so use accordingly.

See this picture of a 12v automotive bulb and how to soldier the wires on it. You must use a flux to attach the wires, but it is not difficult. Black goes to the tail end and white grounds it. I used these older-style automotive bulbs in a camp I built in the woods. It was 12×20 and one bulb did a fairly good job of lighting it up. When first getting up in the morning I would turn on the light bulb until I lit the kerosine lamp. And speaking of kerosine lamps, always place a mirror behind the lamp, it is about three times brighter.  These older bulbs draw more power from the battery than the new LEDs. Shop in the automotive and RV store now and get modern lighting. You can purchase complete fixtures and simply hook the wires up accordingly.  The light bulb project described was just to show you how to adjust in a time of need.  Just remember: You can do most things with 12 volt DC that you can with 110 volts AC.

#7   Several 100-foot 16 gauge AC extension cords. (usually orange in color) Cut the ends off (about 12 inches from ends, and save them for other repair uses.) Remove the outer sheath and attach them to the battery on one end and the floodlights on the other end.

[JWR Adds: For DC wiring, typically red is positive and black is negative.  Just be consistent in what you do. Never use AC plugs and outlets for DC wiring, to avoid costly and potentially dangerous mistakes.  I recommend standardizing with Anderson Powepole connectors for DC cabling.]

A simple switch can be used, or you can just touch the wire to the battery post to briefly turn it on. At RV stores, you can buy simple DC electrical switches and wire them in.  If unfamiliar with wiring a switch you simply cut the black wire at the switch and skin both ends back. You attach the two ends to the screws (usually gold in color) on the switch. (This breaks the flow of the current) The white wire is left intact, do not cut it. Works with 12 volts the same as 110 AC If no extension cords are available simply buy rolls of wire. Get two different colors if available so you can sort positive from negative on your batteries. Be sure and buy plenty of electrical tape and wire nuts of several sizes. I usually use a wire nut and wrap it in tape to keep the water out.

#8   Gun Store.   Buy a thermal device to see at night. In all my training I can assure you the bad guys are coming after darkness. If they are professional, it will start between 1 am and 3 am.  If you can get a thermal for your weapon, then do so. If you can get two, then you will not regret it. Handheld thermals are also needed. You do not want to lift your rifle all night long watching for bad guys. If you can find a late-generation PVS-14 then you have found the best there is. They can cost up to $5,000.

You can use the older night vision models if nothing else is available. These are fairly inexpensive, $300 and up. While we are talking nighttime, if you are planning on walking you need clear safety glasses and a pair of small gardening shears.  The glasses protect your eyes from small branches that you will never see at night. You do not want to use a flashlight no matter how dark it is. You are signaling others that you are there and have free supplies for the taking. Use the gardening shears to cut small limbs out of your way for safety and to not make noise. I am sure you will see other items in a gun store that you need, but do not take your leisurely time at it. This will not be a Saturday shopping trip of show and tell. It may be chaotic. Those who have not prepared will be buying guns, magazines, and ammo. Have an idea of what you want before going into the store, buy it, and get out.  Oh, get an extra upper for your AR, there is no paperwork required to purchase these.

#9   All sizes of batteries.  D, C, AA, AAA, CR123,9 volt. My driveway alarm system uses 4 AA batteries for each transmitter and the receiver also takes 4 AAs.  My motion detector outside lights take D cell. If I see the outside motion lights on I will hit the switch for the 12v flood lights. I have never seen a solar light that lasts all night long, and I do not rely on them.   Do not throw your used batteries away, wire them to make a trip alarm. (See previous articles on this website on how to build them).

#10   Lumber, all types, 2×4, 2×6, plywood, etc.  This may be the last thing you get, but it will be handy for boarding up windows. And of course, nails and/or screws. (You do have a screw gun and batteries, correct?)

#11   Sand Bags   I live near areas that flood yearly. We get free sandbags during a flood. Sometimes they only give you 25. Take advantage of them if you have the time.

#12    Pest Control   The south has fire ants everywhere.  It is a constant battle, especially after a rain. If you do not control them, they will get in your house. Other pests are sugar ants, flies, mosquitoes, biting black flies, spiders, roaches, wasps, etc.  Buy a large bottle of Bifenthrin insecticide concentrate.  It kills most pests, especially Black Widow spiders. Demon insect killer is also good. Both are intended for outside use. We have a lot of Black Widow spiders in the south, and they like to get in your wood pile. (I found a big momma spider yesterday with eggs nearby). Bifen also comes in granular form in large bags. Buy several cans of mosquito spray, they are good for chiggers (red bugs) also. If you walk through tall grass, you will need it or use kerosene on your pants cuffs.

#14   Harbor Freight or some other store that carries imported Chinese products. We have one near me and I shop there for a few items. Some of my favorites are the tarps. They mostly sell them in blue, silver, and camouflage. You can use them for many things, but I plan on blocking off portions of my home during the winter to keep certain rooms warm. No sense in heating an entire house. There may be a need to cover your roof from stray or intentional bullet holes.  I also buy lots of rope. I will need it for a well bucket and other chores. Maybe Wally World has it, I never go in there.

#15    A 12-volt winch. They make a lot of models. Some mount on your truck bumper, and some are portable like a big boat winch. You can hang them in a tree to hoist heavy items, maybe a heavy water barrel on skids. You may want to make a shower out of a 30-gallon barrel and elevate it about 6 feet or so. They can retrieve a stuck vehicle in the winter. You can move small portable buildings on skids or move an outhouse; the list is endless on these workhorses. Make sure your leads are of sufficient length for hooking to a battery. You can use extra-long “jumper” cables, if needed. Use pulleys to double (or more) your pulling power.

#16.  Find a store that sells reliable generators. USA made if possible.  Get the biggest one they have. Actually, you should get two — remember one is none and two is one.  While you are at that store get two  extra female and male plugs for the 220 outlet. These plugs are not generic, there are about 6 or more styles so match it to your generator. I have one mounted on my electrical pole which feeds my house if my home generator goes out. I also wired my well with an outlet. I can pump 500 gallons of water in approximately 30 minutes. That takes about 1/2 gallon of gasoline. You will need to build an extension cord of #10 wire. Not a difficult build. I personally will limit my generator use to a few hours per day because of fuel consumption and the noise they make. (Noise attracts people). I have read that the difference between cheap and higher end generators are the windings in the generator itself. Some countries use lightweight wire, or not as much wire. Look at the weight of the generator, a good one is quite heavy.

#17.   There are numerous battery-operated tools to choose from at the big box stores. Some come in a large plastic box with charges and extra batteries. You can get a drill(s), circular saw, jig saw, lights, fans, multi-tool, etc. in these kits or add what you use most. Get extra batteries and blades.  Most of them are good and you can build numerous projects with a few batteries. They are quite compared to tools that use 110 volts. They are not 15-amp racehorses like the 110v tools, but they will get small chores done.

#18.   Hot water is a wonderful thing to have. Actually, it’s a luxury in many countries. Pick up a small hot water tank, they come in various sizes, 1 gallon and up.  It may be hard to find, and you may have to go to a plumbing outlet or an RV supply store. Remember, you may not have running water. As I said earlier, you may not be able to run your generator constantly for your well or you may not have a well.  These tanks may have a simple 110v cord ready for use or you may need to open it up and pull the wires out.  #12 Gauge or heavier Romex is required to build the extension cord.  Most do not exceed 15 amps so get the proper male and female plugs, not cheap low amp plugs.  You can use a 5-gallon bucket and a funnel to fill up the tank. Heat up the water whenever you crank up the generator.

I tried to just hit the major items needed. I did not want to repeat what we all have read for the last decade. I assume most people are already aware of the situation and have prepared for it.

I am sure this list can be added too depending on where you live. Hopefully, this will get you started on creating your list.  I would research the items you need and have an idea of the best brands, where they are located, and then second choices. I have a travel route in mind of what stores I will visit first.

History has taught us how wars are fought. Please study the strategy and tactics used in recent wars, and in ancient wars. Read The Art of War by Sun Tzu.