From WTSHTF to TEOTWAWKI: Cleaning Up After the Grim Reaper, by “Sarah Connor”

“Death is still a fearful, frightening happening, and the fear of death is a universal fear even if we think we have mastered it on many levels.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, as the saying goes. The basis of much fear is simply the unknown. As a society, we have distanced ourselves from death. Hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and funeral homes do all the “dirty work” and cemetery’s are neatly hidden behind fences and walls, trees and hedges. We pass by on a daily basis, unwilling to acknowledge what lies beyond those barriers; …




Some Preparations that You Might Have Overlooked, by Tim G.

Some of the things I will mention might have been covered before, but it never hurts to mention them again. Some readers might have missed them. I can tell you from experience that people will tease you about your preparations, but when something happens they will come calling. My own brother borrowed my new-in-box chainsaw and my [12 VDC] jump starting [battery pack] to light up the area so that he could saw in hours of darkness. I told him to keep the jump pack charged. Several months later I got the chainsaw and jump pack back. The saw will …




Safe Food Handling, by B.H. in Western Washington

Safe food handling is critical for a healthy life in both good and bad times. As a former restaurant manager, I can tell you food safety or customer safety was priority number one. It’s hard to make money when you’ve killed your customers, which is the alternative to safe food handling. Death or severe illness is the unforgiving consequence to food borne illness. Food borne illnesses doesn’t just happen in restaurants it happens everywhere food is handled and prepared whether it’s during decadent affluence or full scale TEOTWAWKI. Please don’t confuse food poisoning with food borne illnesses. Chemicals, bacteria, or …




Letter Re: Caustic Chlorine Troubles, and Using Dry Chlorine for Water Treatment

Dear Jim: As you know, ordinary chlorine bleach is an item with a multitude of potential uses in survival situations. In addition to its common use in the laundry to brighten our whites, it can also purify drinking water and serve as a general disinfectant to sanitize food preparation areas and control the spread of disease causing bacteria. Liquid chlorine bleach, however, is inconvenient to store. Only about 5.25% – 7.5% of each eight pound gallon is active sodium (or calcium) hypochlorite; the rest is just water. Yet because of the potency of its active ingredient, and the flimsiness of …




Time For Retreat Logistics Stage Two–The Soft Items

If you are a regular SurvivalBlog reader, the odds are that you already have the majority of your key logistics squared away, like food storage, tools, guns, communications gear. So now it is time to stock up on “soft” and perishable items. These include over the counter medications, vitamins, chemical light sticks, matches, paper products, cleansers, spices, liquid fuels, and so forth. You need to exercise caution when stockpiling soft items, for several reasons: 1.) Shelf Life and Deterioration. Some items like pharmaceuticals, batteries, and chemical light sticks are best stored in a refrigerator. Keep in mind that items like …




The Elephant in the Room, by Norman Church

“I’m right there in the room and no one acknowledges me.” “We must face the prospect of changing our basic way of living. This change will either be made on our own initiative in a planned way, or forced on us with chaos and suffering by the inexorable laws of nature.” – President Jimmy Carter (1976) Before we discuss this Elephant in the Room we must first briefly consider the notion of ‘sustainability’. Too often people debate sustainability issues from an understanding that is vague, incomplete or frankly flawed. “Just exactly what is meant when the word ‘sustainable’ or ‘sustainability’ …




Letter Re: Being Prepared for an Avian Influenza Outbreak

Sir, Please pass on a reminder to people to prepare themselves with a plan and supplies to deal with for the inevitable event [of an Avian Influenza outbreak]. Begin by practicing impeccable agricultural hygiene and discouraging any visitation of persons near their barn yards, hen houses and migratory wildlife flocks of geese or ducks on or near their ponds, open water sources or feed sources. This is best done with a couple of good herding type dogs who don’t mind getting their feet wet in the ponds or on the property watering holes. Our chickens are free range, yet they …




Four Letters Re: The Home Chicken Flock for Self-Reliance

Hi Jim – I am a “ten center” and read your blog every day. Just wanted to say that I thought Keith in Minnesota’s article on “Survival Chickens” was outstanding. A really good example of maximizing what you have (and leveraging Mother Nature) without spending huge amounts of effort or money to get a major benefit. – John   Jim and Memsahib, Regarding the recent blog entry “The Home Chicken Flock for Self-Reliance”, I have a few comments. I have been raising chickens since I was young and continue to this day. Having a source of fresh eggs is great …




Sanitation During a Grid Down Collapse, by Nina in Washington

Sanitation may be an area that is neglected in our preparations for during difficult times. Not because people don’t care, but because we take so much of it for granted we aren’t aware of its importance. There are several areas in the sanitation arena that need to be considered when preparing; 1. Food 2. Daily Living 3.Waste Disposal 4. Medical 5. Deaths The most obvious area to consider is that of our food preparations. We are all aware of the importance of washing our hands and not cross contaminating foods like meats and vegetables. All counters where foods may be …




From the SurvivalBlog Archives: Start With a “List of Lists”

Start your retreat stocking effort by first composing a List of Lists, then draft prioritized lists for each subject, on separate sheets of paper. (Or in a spreadsheet if you are a techno-nerd like me. Just be sure to print out a hard copy for use when the power grid goes down!) It is important to tailor your lists to suit your particular geography, climate, and population density as well as your peculiar needs and likes/dislikes. Someone setting up a retreat in a coastal area is likely to have a far different list than someone living in the Rockies. As …




Letter Re: Post-TEOTWAWKI Trash Disposal

Sir; It seems there has been little on the subject of garbage and what to do with it after TEOTWAWKI. I would suggest that anyone who has put any sort of effort into preparing for the end should come up with a plan for their trash, and soon. Whether you plan to bug in, bug out to a prepared location or already live in your location away from the Golden Horde and their anticipated escape routes, a plan should be in place before it is needed. The best example of how many communities will look (and in a very short …




Prepare or Die, by J. Britely

Throughout my life I have been caught unprepared several times and while nothing seriously bad happened, it easily could have.  I have been lost hiking.  My car has broken down in very bad neighborhoods – twice.  I have been close enough to riots that I feared they would spread to my neighborhood, been in earthquakes, been too close to wildfires, been stuck in a blizzard, and have been without power and water for several days after a hurricane.   I managed to get myself out of each situation, I thanked God, and tried to learn from my mistakes.  I could have …




Sources for Free Survival and Preparedness Information on the Internet, by K.L. in Alaska

Recent comments in SurvivalBlog provided excellent advice on using the public library. You can gain lots of knowledge with no expense, then purchase only those books you want to keep on hand for personal reference. Also, many colleges and universities loan to local residents, so you can use them too, even if you aren’t a student. If your local libraries participate, a great resource is Worldcat. It lets you search for books from home, then go check them out, or get them through interlibrary loan. What will happen to the Internet when the SHTF? There’s no guarantee it will survive. …




Letter Re: Hunkering Down in an Urban Apartment in a Worst Case Societal Collapse

Hello, In the event of a disaster (I live in New York City) I intend to shelter in place until all the riotous mobs destroy each other or are starved out. I am preparing for up to six months. I have one liter of water stored for each day (180 liters) and about 50 pounds of rice to eat as well as various canned goods. I have not seen on your site anything about heat sources for urban dwellers who intend to shelter in place. I’m assuming that electricity would go first soon followed by [natural] gas and running water. …




Four Letters Re: Extended Care of the Chronically Ill in TEOTWAWKI

Mr. Rawles: Every once in a while, at topic comes up that I feel somewhat qualified to comment on. I’ll offer some miscellaneous comments on Dave T’s letter and your thoughts on medicine WTSHTF, as posted on SurvivalBlog. This is not meant to be exhaustive, and of course may not apply to your particular situation. Since I can’t see you, its hard for me to diagnose you or give you specific advice. Disclaimers all ’round. Chronic renal failure: It may be worth learning to do peritoneal dialysis if you may have to help someone deal with this condition in a …