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  1. Grain bins – good source BUT BE CAREFUL when getting grain sometimes the grain makes a dome when grain is removed that you can’t see. Grain may have been removed prior to you finding it. If you climb in the bin from top make sure you have another person there. Attach a rope to you so if you start to fall in the grain the rope will hold you or other person can pull you out. You wont suffocate then as it only take a few seconds to have several hundred pounds of grain on top of you. A bushel of corn weights about 56 # and wheat # 60 think about 10 bu on top of you thats makes for hard breathing. After helping to recover a body in grain bin one needs to think SMART so plan ahead maybe. Most bins have ladders on inside so stay near or use the small opening to let the grain out. I realize it’s slow but safe. I farm some and have several small bins that hold 10,000 bushels each and also a paramedic on local squad. Also wear a mask for dust if you have one since their might be MOLD on top of the grain too.

  2. Most grain stored in privately owned bins came directly from the farmer’s field. Seed grain has usually been processed – cleaned, fungicide applied and then bagged. You definitely don’t want to eat that! But it is a little unusual to find fungicide treated grain in bins on farms. Be more careful of the big silos along highways and train tracks.

    1. Although I can a lot and freeze some dehydrating is an effective way of storing many foods and I have frequently used it. I do have an Excalibur dehydrator which is wonderful but in the summer I frequently used well washed wondow screens that i place in an unused vehicle.. It works well and uses no energy. I like to place my dried foods in canning jars and then use a vacuum packer to seal the jars for long term storage. This step isn’t necessary but does insure that the food doesn’t get contaminated. The Indians and many other cultures have used this method of food preservation for centuries.

      1. Now, you are resourceful woman, Sis. Dehydration is so much simpler and lower cost than other preservation techniques. Storage is efficient since the bulk of the food is a fraction of what it was before drying.

        Carry on

    2. Actually, it is quite common for farmer’s to add powdered fungicide to their grain as it is being unloaded straight from harvest and going into a bin. This is commonly done so that the stored grain doesn’t become infested with bugs. We farm and have done this many times (depends on the year and conditions) and so does everyone we know. I would use extreme caution eating random grain from a bin.

  3. Okay, so let’s keep this as simple as possible. Once the SHTF and those who weren’t adequately prepared run out of resources to provide for themselves, even the most basic idiot is going to start looking for resources in other places. Whether it is an urban environment, or a desert, or a forest, or something else, everyone needs to eat, drink, and protect themselves from the elements and others. You only need to look at the history of the world to reach a conclusion that everyone who runs out of resources will seek more to live off of from wherever they can find it, using whatever methods they can contrive or develop that will produce results. Those who don’t will perish, there are no exceptions.

    So to ask for specific sources citing when this sort of thing will or may occur seems a bit disconnected. It is basic human nature for as far back as your belief structure will allow. Unless you expect manna to fall from the sky when you are want for sustenance, once civilization and the logistics of provisioning the masses fall down, people will always start looking (foraging, hunting, trapping, fishing) for more resources to live off of, wherever they may think that might be. In Baghdad, there was no forest with animals, so they roamed the streets, robbed each other, hit up the refuse piles, fished from the rivers, or otherwise caught and ate whatever they could find. It is not a stretch of any imagination to consider that people in more temperate environments won’t resort to similar means when they find themselves unprepared for a survival situation. Either that, or they give up and die. Them’s the choices, I don’t know how anyone could reach a different conclusion. Anecdotal or not, that is basic human nature 101. Either we agree on some basic concepts here about how things go, and have always gone, or the rest of the discussion is rather pointless.

    1. Benjammin,

      My apologies if my question of asking for sources and my replies to you have offended you in some way. With that, I am getting the sense that your entire world view is based on black or white, simplistic binaries that is either right or wrong. There is a whole world of gray available should you chose to look for it. But, as you make clear here, looking at the gray, you find pointless. Ok. That works for me. There is no prize for arguing on the internet.

      1. No need to apologize. Just good banter from different perspective. Each of us is trying to make a convincing argument. My side is based on my life experience and education, where I’ve built a long career of stepping into capital projects that floundered/failed in the gray and bring them back into black and white success.

        We may be able to cite varying techniques used as a consequence of available technology, different habitats, or graduated degrees of sub-preparedness that any person might be able to employ. The fact remains that once immediate resources are depleted, a person must either adapt to a primitive method of acquiring more resources, or perish. If that person is in an environment where hunting and trapping will produce perceivable chances of success, then those will be the methods developed and deployed, either exclusively or in conjunction with other methods that an person will perceive as viable for the environment. In areas like Baghdad, there simply wasn’t much to hunt, so people opted for other, more perceivably viable methods of survival acquisition. Still hunting was utilized in that region where game (rats, birds, snakes, lizards) were observed. I do not see any gray area in how people respond to their environment in a crisis situation, only varying degrees of ability. If that is the gray you are talking about, then maybe we have found a common point.

        1. benjammin, I appreciate the tone of your reply here, and I think we are making progress. As it has been mentioned in the comments, there are little to no sources for citing many of the examples we are talking about. There is also common references in both content and comments in most survival discussions, as well as the main stream media, that a particular type of technology, or government system is what allows us to be civil.

          However, there are current narratives that also says that people who do not have air conditioning in today’s world have a much higher probability to be violent. This is a narrative that says, if you do not have this modern technology, you are potentially a threat. How many people here did not have air conditioning at one point in their life? I do not recall the world being set on fire through violence in my history lessons because of lack of air conditioning.

          This is one of many examples that may be useful in questioning how certain technologies are framed in a way that says, if you do not have this, you could potentially be a threat. For your example in Baghdad, I know a Kurd who lived in Northern Iraq during 2005 and his account of the war was that is awesome and profitable. When comparing his account along with yours, could we say that accessibility to supplies, and the politics that went in to that plays a larger role in how people respond, rather than just simplifying and saying all people are violent when absent of modern consumerism?

  4. Remember too that your local feed store has whole and cracked grains in 50 lb sacks that have not been treated with fungicide and is able to be safely eaten. It can also be used for seed to grow more. We are talking about corn, soybeans, barley, oats, wheat, and possibly other grains.

  5. Re: Yesterday’s comments on this article. Very informative and each one has been bookmarked. Planning is great, but knowledge is king. That’s why skills and practice will leave you far ahead of the sheeple. Just an observation…one thing on the hunting side that wasn’t mentioned. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania there are a significant number of Canadian Geese that are no longer protected and open for hunting. Think small turkey size. Also, thanks to Mr. Cascio and his review of Cold Steel Cheap Shot 130. Been looking info crossbows for awhile and thanks to his review I’m pulling the trigger and getting one. Quiet and more than enough to harvest those Geese. Also be aware when you see a flock of them grazing, They always have some that are not grazing but are very alert with their heads held high. These are “guard” geese, so caution is advised when stalking and approaching. Last thought…for us preppers SB is THE BEST site bar none…Thanks, JWR

  6. I know that some people either cannot or will not store food. They likely have other plans. If things ever do get so bad that you cannot get food from the local grocery store it is very likely you would not be able to purchase gasoline either. So if your plan involves using your vehicle in any way after a major catastrophe, you better have a fuel plan.
    In the eastern states this is not quite so important because cities and towns are close together. In the western states the distances are much longer. So if you plan on moving have fuel or have good hiking shoes.
    Also if you plan on walking or riding bike after any emergency it won’t work out well unless you walk or ride bike now to be ready. Nothing wrong with a plan that involves walking or bike riding but you have to harden yourself ahead of time to do those things. Many, many people could not walk 10 miles on a flat highway even if their life depended on it. I do not mean this in any derogatory way, only pointing out that we are all not super heroes and we better practice our plans ahead of time.

  7. Very nice article with good advice. Even those of us out in the middle of nowhere will eventually be invaded and/or attacked by those who failed to prepare for disasters. Most of our supplies are well-hidden and cashed over many acres and we can defend our property, but I leave some raw wheat, oats and corn and chicken scratch stored in my feed shed. 98% of folks do not know how to processes or prepare raw grains and while they may take it when they find it, they will be in great pain for as long as they try to eat them. Just like some dumb city kids that shot their first deer and then contaminated the meat because they did not know how to field dress the animal.

  8. The author wrote, “No matter how much food I would have stored if I thought a long-term situation was at hand, I would buy as much more food as I could just before the event if I had advance notice.”

    I have read numerous comments from people who say that they store food now in order to avoid the rush that would take place after, or just before, a major catastrophe struck. The idea is that they would avoid the Walmart Black Friday scene. If you’re preparing for an earthquake or hurricane, I certainly get that. But what if the catastrophe involved what was likely to be a breakdown that lasted for years? An EMP attack or even a cyber attack would be an example of such an emergency.

    While the risks of “mixing it up” with desperate people seeking food and necessities is considerable, if you really had no idea how long it would be before you could get more of any particular thing, would you be willing to bet your family’s well-being on there being future deliveries?

    About dehydrating and canning food, in colonial times no one had Mason Jars. If not eaten fresh, dehydration of vegetables was a solution. In the History Channel program, “After Armageddon,” people used cars as dehydrators, and I seem to recall that window screens were used as trays on which food was placed for dehydration inside the vehicle. The vehicle’s windows would no doubt have been used to regulate the heat inside the vehicle on very hot days.

    About the reading glasses the author mentions, I’ve read that the average person needs reading glasses in their early 40s. Why not head to a dollar store and buy a handful? These $1.00 eyeglasses may not be made with the most fashionable frames, but having pairs of these could be a godsend after a certain period, and by having plenty of extras, you won’t be wasting time and mumbling, “Where did I leave my glasses?”

    And be sure to buy reading glasses of different strengths. I found this in a NY Times article: “People typically start using readers of plus 1 to plus 1.25 diopters when they turn 40 to 45, Dr. O’Brien said. ”With each decade, you go up about a half unit,” he added. ”So when you’re 55 or 60, you’ll be at about 2.5, and when you’re 65 or 70, 2.75 or 3. Eighty-year-olds are 3 and above.”

  9. I loved the animated discussions here.

    But I’m posting to say Thank You to the author.

    I’m in central Nebraska today, with 300 miles of Interstate 80 closed by blizzard, TV reporting 200 rivers at flood stage, roads closing all over the state, bridges becoming unsafe by flood erosion, towns evacuating here and there, state wildlife agents ordered to take their boats to assist evacuation, with forty mph wind gusts blowing snow outside, hundreds of semi trucks parked in small towns along the interstate. River levees starting to breach and one reported death in a river with body not yet recovered.

    My 85 YO mother has overflowing freezers and pantry with everything needed for comfort. We’re watching things fall apart with a hot cup of coffee while reclining on the sofa. She and her husband are prepared. They donate to food pantries and Salvation army every year. It’s a way of life.

    Last month in my home PNW. Over 1800 dairy cattle died by blizzard and extreme cold. Where will the lost milk come from? Whatcwill.be the next hit on major food sources?

    God Bless each of you for the steps you have taken to establish your resiliency. I adjure you to broaden your scope through community ties or you’ll be overwhelmed by trying to do it all yourself.

    Try to get active supporting 4H, FFA, local small food producers. Sure you can bitch and moan about those folks wanting 5 bucks for a dozen eggs and 3 bucks a pound for organic vegetables.

    But that’s what they need to stay in operation. Help them out every so often and buy some product. Your life will depend on them when SHTF in your area WROL. Get their names and phone numbers now, give them a hand within your means.

  10. Hurricane clean up requires chainsaws ( gas, oil, lots of extra chains), pole saws, long handled pruners (for those helping who are not chain saw proficient), heavy duty gloves, rubber boots, boot socks. These will sell out quickly, so stockpile. After Irma husband and I had to cut our way out of our drive way to the road and then appx 1/2 mile down road to reach a pathway to a secondary road. Still have fallen trees and debris to clean up 1 1/2 years later. Debris was fuel for wild fires the following fire season. Garden hoses a must to try and protect until forestry service gets there. We had 3 wildfires within one month last May during a drought due to fallen debris. One within 100 feet of our home.

    We are both seniors and nephew waded in hip deep water to check on us after the storm passed and then had to walk/wade back out due to fallen trees, road collapsed and 4 wheel drive F250 hung up. Two weeks without electricity. Generators saved us.

    God bless Gov. Scott who put armed trooper escorts out for fuel trucks. BIL delivered gas from 300 miles away when he finally got thru to check on us. No phone service.

    Linemen from other states were heroes. God bless them.

    No ice even if lights came back on due to polluted city water. Sewage backed up in the streets once water came back on due to pump station over loads.
    Gov., now Senator Scott, had the common sense and initiative to get things done and keep things from deteriorating into chaos. Will always be grateful. Leadership matters.

  11. Pete, You had my attention until you started talking about eating the family pet. This is the point where I decided you and I are very different folks. If eating a beloved family pet becomes a means for survival, I’m outa here. This life in this world is not the ultimate goal, it’s but a blink of the eye in the big picture. Survival in this disintegrating world with it’s collapsing cultural values is not worth eating my dog for. In fact, as I contemplate things I hear and read daily, I’m inclined to think that not much of this world is destined to last for long, the killing of babies, the rotting of morality, the turning away from and the rejection of God, how long will this go on? I don’t claim to know God’s intentions, but I gotta think He’s had just about enough. Seems to me the killing of the little ones would put us in extreme danger, but I guess God is patient. So if you wish to persevere and survive at all costs in this corrupted world, I wish you the best. But at some point, you gotta cut your losses and run. Good luck to you.

  12. Just another comment most of the grain that is stored on farm is GMO grain so if you plant it you get a nice plant without any seed so you learn to eat the plant (LOL) . When I replanted the corn I raised I got a beautiful ear but NO corn and that was back in the early 90″s and tech has improved since then so think ahead. Also my farm neighbors are several small seed companies that my farm borders and they complain about what I plant next to them. My crops might pollinate their seed crop and its has a patient on their seed rights a very big problem and the attorneys get to fight it out.. Guess who wins – the attorneys.

  13. Couple things. Hazards of accessing grain from the lower ports was pretty well covered. Some people might be tempted to access from the top. This can be extremely hazardous. First, the grain dust that will either be present or will be kicked up once you try to extract the grain can explode, so be very careful about sparks and don’t even think about lighters, matches, lamps, smokes, cheap flashlights, etc. Second, there is a huge danger of a man being sucked down and suffocated, so only operate with a buddy outside manning a safety line harnessed to you inside, at all times. As the grain is loaded and settles, voids form that are unstable. You can disappear like you went through a trapdoor if you’re walking on top of one. Finally, any kind of confined space can be deadly by lack of oxygen. This can happen naturally in a tight structure, but even in farm bins there may be use of methyl bromide or other fumigants to kill insect or animal pests which unfortunately include “grain rustlers”. You absolutely need to establish and maintain good air movement into the space you’ll be working. If you can’t, I don’t care how inefficient it is, just throw in a bucket on a rope and pull it out the best you can (or access from below, per the article).

    Second, is anyone aware of any work on how feasible it is to wash or soak out the fungicide from treated grain? In order to make bulgur, you have to soak the wheat anyway. Has anyone done any studies of whether you can reduce the toxin levels to acceptable levels by field expedient methods?

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