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 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,
This week we had some beautiful, beautiful fall weather followed by a huge windy rainstorm that caused many in our region to lose power for about 12 hours; We’ve had continual rain since that day. Whenever we lose power our SOP is to immediately call the power company to let them know about it, then we fill water containers from our faucet until the water runs out. This is for drinking, cooking and hand washing, only. We usually get less than 10 gallons from the faucet. (We do have some bottles of water stored and we also have a shallow well hand pump near the house and the river flowing through our property. But water from the hand pump and river will need to be filtered and brought to a near-boil.)

Next, we check our headlamps, flashlights, and kerosene lanterns. If it’s near a meal time we grab a cooler and take out of the refrigerator all of the essentials that we’ll need for that meal and perhaps the next. Then we stay out of the fridge, if possible, until power is restored. This time of the year we tend to have many power outages, so I try to keep the house extra well organized and clean: dishes done, floors clean, laundry kept up. Nothing is more frustrating to me than to not have power and have a messy house. So far the longest time without power at our ranch has been four days.

To be prepared for that dreaded long-term grid down situation, we consciously chose to be very low tech survivalists. Meaning that we have generators and PV power but we will only utilize those on a limited basis during a very long term power outage. And that would only be for computer/radio/battery charging  use. If we lose power for more than three days, we shift all of the meats from our electric refrigerator and chest freezer to the propane chest freezer and as much produce as possible. We’ve never lost frozen foods up to this point in many years of frequent power outages. Of course if there was a long-term outage, depending on the time of the year and temperatures outside, we’ll be scrambling to either be canning or drying our frozen produce and meats. And then we would adjust our style of living accordingly.

Our family took advantage of the beautiful sunny weather this week by doing a deep cleaning of the house, a few more outdoor chores, manure cleanup, checking up on all the horses and cattle and giving them all some loving. Jim checked the fence lines and as needed lifted them and replaced “popped” fence clips. (Where the horses and cattle pushed them down trying to reach the grass on the other side.) Jim also trimmed branches away from the fences, so we can Cross Country ski, hike, bike, or run the property perimeter with greater ease this winter. Jim also worked some more on his hunting/counter-sniper Optics Hub tripod system. (A full length article on that will follow, sometime later this year.)

Family Reading Time

Later, on that particular day, after all chores were accomplished, Jim, I, and the children, spread an outdoor blanket out in the sun in the middle of our meadow, in order to read a book together while soaking up the last warm rays of the season. As we sat, and I read, the last of the red dragonflies landed on us, making one in particular of our family giggle with delight. They’re so beautiful! The book I read out loud is titled The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread by Richard Booker. This book traces the blood covenant of Christ through the Old Testament beginning in Genesis through the New Testament and discusses how the Blood Covenant/Blood brother practice and each of the Jewish sacrifices commanded of in the book of Leviticus are very similar and mean the same thing, in the Jewish temple rituals, all point to Christ. It is very fascinating study and grounds one in the Jewish roots of our faith and in the knowledge of our need for the blood atoning sacrifice of Jesus. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sin. The blood of sheep and goats were at that time just a means for the Jewish people to have their sins covered so that they could draw close to God but they didn’t permanently remove the sin. The sacrifices were also a prophetic act/picture of what the coming Messiah/Yeshua Jesus would do would do for us in completely removing sin from us through our belief in Him. Jesus fulfills and completes the Jewish sacrificial system. When we had finished reading and discussing the contents of the chapter, everyone remarked on what a particularly wonderfully special time this learning was with each other all together outside in the last warm rays of the season. Honestly, it was such a beautiful, beautiful day, I didn’t want it to ever end.

Lily and the Children mostly concentrated on homeschooling this week. We all rode mountain bikes and hiked hard and fast around the ranch for exercise several times together this week. Now that the children are older, we’d like to try some backcountry skiing trips this winter, perhaps some winter camping? So we need to get into good endurance shape for this. We’re expecting, this year, hopefully, to have good skiing snow on the ground within the next four weeks.

In the Greenhouse

Lily harvested/brought in the green tomatoes on Friday and did some clean-up in there. Many plants are still alive and producing a bit in the greenhouse. However, we just entered about a 12 day river of rain and cool temperatures which stunt the growth and ripening processes. Notably, last year Lily let plants stay in there too late in the season. Once the cool temperatures and long term rain and clouds arrived, everything quickly became moldy, and she didn’t want another repeat of that scenario.

So we harvested. Now another 35 pounds of tomatoes will complete their ripening process in the house under dark paper.

She also pulled all of the Butternut squash and Zucchini plants from the greenhouse, and a container of green peppers. There are still some orange Cherry tomatoes that are doing well in there that will remain and two other tomatoes plants that she needs to get back to next week.

I’m looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps for winter.

May you all have a blessed week, – Avalanche Lily Rawles


The Latimer Homestead has returned from our trip where we tested our bug out equipment over the course of several weeks in both heat and wet, near freezing temperatures. We made some notes on additions we’d like to add, mainly for comfort and ease, as well as a few improvements for Mrs. Latimer’s outdoor “kitchen”. We encountered a few problems, but we had backups and so never suffered. Carrying multiple sources for fire as well as a water purification system were not only useful for our family but for some others we chose to aid along our path.

Returning home, we have quite a lot of cleanup to do. The chicken coop needs cleaning, the garden needs to be cleaned up and weeds dealt with, and there is a lot of laundry to do, even though we did a lot of it while away. (Some how the laundry washed in the woods that seemed clean there just doesn’t smell clean now that we’re home.) All of this, of course, is in addition to unpacking and cleaning and resupply our equipment and then packing to be reading to roll out again whenever it is required.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with so many who have recently had to abruptly evacuate due to hurricanes, fires, floods, and such. We desire to be able to load up our last minute things fairly quickly, should we have to leave in a hurry. Those photographs and family heirlooms become tough choices, but whatever sustains us is our priority. We’re thankful to have ready what is necessary for our family to live fairly comfortably for a long time in a bug out situation. These tests insure that we know how to do it and are prepared.

o o o

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


  1. I have been increasing my winter wood supplies and have found a local post and pole business sells their scrap pieces at $0.03/ lb. The scrap are mostly already in the 12-18 inch long range and 2-14″ in diameter. While it costs more then cutting wood on friends property, i can will my truck in under with ~1500 lbs of fire wood that is already aged and dry. I spend another 1 hour or so splitting larger rounds and stack at hoem. This has allowed me to stock up wood during the week after work and saves my weekends for elk hunt. The same post and pole producer sells wood chips and wood fines for aninal bedding at $5 per pickup load which is a lot cheaper thab using staw bales for the goats, pigs, and chickens bedding over winter.

  2. I recently finished a book titled The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman. You might find it interesting. It is about expanding the growing season year round by growing cold weather crops in a green house, unheated. You may be at a northerly latitude than the author’s farm, but he is in Maine, and deals with significant snow.

  3. I’ve taken this concept and started applying it to my “team” members where we check in each Sunday evening with what we’ve accomplished prepping wise for the week. Helps keep each other honest and motivated, like a gym partner. I encourage you all to do the same with your prepping friends / family.

    Got back into running this week, 3 times 1.5 miles each. Built out my first AR-15 from a parts kit to give me yet another backup. Doing a tactical carbine / pistol training course this weekend. Ordered more AAA and CR123 batteries.

  4. This week our local grocery store which is a small regional family owned chain had a great deal on russet potatoes. 50 lbs for $5.55. I am busy slicing them on my mandolin, blanching and dehydrating with my Excalibur. Some I pulverize in my blender to make “instant potatoes”, other I keep as slices for hash browns or soup.

  5. The weather here in the UP of Michigan has been remarkably nice for this time of year, I finished up the garden and canned a large amount of apple sauce and slices. About a hundred jars worth. My insurance company has insisted that I remove the wood burner in the garage or they would not cover the garage. So out it went. I am thinking I will build a 55 gallon drum system and keep it un connected in my shed. If the Schumer hits the fan I could assemble it. the insurance company probably wont be available to check on me..Just thinkin… One of my friends has been collecting some derelict RV campers for spare parts for his. I have acquired a stove/oven that doesn’t need power, only LP as a backup for the house if need be. I am going to see if I can get a LP refrigerator from him. Seems like a good idea. Of course that means more LP in reserve will be needed.

  6. As I was getting ready to prepare my beehive for winter, it was robbed out, and I wasn’t able to save it. A total loss. Gives me lots of inspiration for learning more over the winter and trying again in the spring.

    1. Hi K,

      I’m sorry about your hive loss and I understand and completely agree with your sentiments. I love having bees. We had two hives two years ago, which was my first time raising bees. I really enjoyed working with them. We lost the first hive the first winter to cold, dampness and mold. We lost the second hive the next fall/early winter to cold dampness, mold, MITES and HORNETS!!!! There is nothing like experience to learn what works and what doesn’t. We planned on buying four more hives this past spring. And this time, the plan was/is to put them in our fenced-in orchard, high up on a platform under a roofed, open shelter that should keep the hives drier and could be loosely enclosed for winter, to protect them from wind, cold and rain. Also we’ll be deploying hornet traps nearby to decimate that carnivorous population. We ordered our bees and prepared for them. When they finally notified us of the day we could pick them up in April, we had a big scheduling conflict. And we had no-one else available for us who might do the pick-upon our behalf. The bee company said they wouldn’t hold the bees overnight for us that we had to collect them that particular day. Obviously, we couldn’t do it. Thus we had to cancel our order. We were very sad about it. So the plan is that this coming spring, we’ll be ordering four packages of bees, again, and this year we don’t anticipate any scheduling conflicts. We also will be doing more studying of their care, too, this winter. May your home overflow with milk and honey in the coming years. – Lily

  7. Coming back to Life. 2015 was last 8 months quadriplegic and on a ventilator. Strange neuro immune illness nearly killed me. Rehabbing at home my disaster preps and storage largely fed me for a year. Canned tomato juice had burst as had tomato soup. All in basement on shelves. Canned beans lasted as did most canned veggies and SPAM. Tuna cans served well. Sardine tins held up. Walking half a mile daily and lifting weights now. My food storage pantry served well and for good purpose during my rehab. Praise the Lord for my Deliverance from a weird ailment of strange anti bodies never seen in USA before. Maybe it was the three overseas deployments with the US Army 9th Infantry Division or all the shots vaccinations and inoculations. VA with Congressman Tom MacArthur R NJ insistence did not cease treatment. Praise God I Love the small things in daily life now.

  8. After four years, things are looking better on our property after being ravaged by wildfire. My heart breaks for those who have lost all in recent disasters. My husband cut the last burnt tree last month and is working on chipping and stump grinding. Needless to say, there is plenty of firewood – split,stacked and covered! All the warm weather crops are harvested and put up or stored. Some nights are freezing now and the covering, uncovering and hand watering gets a little old but I do love fresh food from the garden. Still have lots of cold hardy greens and root vegetables in the ground. Planning to try storing carrots and beets in damp sawdust in coolers in the garage. Got caught up on some inside projects too and just cleaning the house after the craziness of harvest. We have a deep well and installed a Simple Pump last year to deal with occasional power outages. It has been very good. The fall colors have been beautiful and we’re enjoying the last of the warm days as we get them. Blessings to all.

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