Dear James and SurvivalBlog Family:
Thank you for this tremendously vital preparedness forum. It has been the direct impetus for me to seriously prepare to survive various natural disasters that could assail the New England area, but more importantly, to be prepared for the inevitable TEOTWAWKI  situation, which I expect, we will face within a decade, as soon as the oft-predicted Winter Solstice of 2012–Which still leaves us plenty of time to prepare, if we only make that crucial decision to begin (or to enhance) our preparations and remain steadfast in our intentions to survive whatever may come our way.
For the newer SurvivalBlog readers, and those just becoming interested in survival and preparedness activities, I say, do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of that which you feel you need to do to be get yourself reasonably “prepared” or anywhere near as prepared as others that have been preparing for a long time. Make the decision to prepare for survival and methodically acquire the basic food, water and equipment you will need to handle any emergency situation, short or long-term.
I am a charter 10 Cent Challenge  SurvivalBlog subscriber and I enclose two $5 rolls of silver dimes to cover years two and three of my subscriptions (2007 and 2008). In addition, I have enclosed a boxed silver round medallion that commemorates the 1975 Bicentennial of the Battles of Lexington and Concord . Paul Revere is featured on the medal’s obverse with the words “American Revolution Bicentennial” and “The Shot Heard Round the World”. Please accept this coin as a token of my appreciation for all you have done for me and your other readers, in the name of survival and preparedness—for your tireless, Christian efforts as a true American Patriot–an honorific you have so justly earned. Keep up the good work and may God bless you and your family!
I have been an avid reader of SurvivalBlog for over a year and a half and have learned a tremendous amount of valuable insight from [Mr. Rawles] and the many outstanding contributors to SurvivalBlog. Not a week goes by that I do not receive valuable preparedness advice and tips to add to my store of knowledge.
I am proud to say that I have made a deep, personal commitment to change my life’s focus from a wasteful, spendthrift mode, bent on acquiring so many useless things and squandering cash on drinks, gambling and other frivolous entertainment, to a conservative mode, investing the bulk of my discretionary income in durable goods, firearms, ammo, long-term bulk food, silver and gold coins, a generator, and the like.
At the beginning of 2007, I resolved to eliminate all discretionary purchases that were patently unnecessary. Socks and underwear are okay, no CDs or movie rentals. Less fast food and daily coffee’s, and no impulse eBay buys, etc… Rather, I have been earmarking (budgeting) a substantial portion of my discretionary income for stocking my “pantry” and procuring key survival supplies and equipment. Having recently finalized my child support and alimony commitments (ensuring that my ex-wife could keep the house), I have had been fortunate to have a significantly larger amount of money to “invest” the past six months and now going forward.
Each month, I buy at least $200 worth of silver or gold coins (mostly silver). I have amassed nearly $750 in face value junk silver coins (although I do not consider them “junk” by any means) and nearly 5 ounces of [fractional] gold coins (mostly American Eagles, Maples Leafs and Krugerrands).
Each pay period I add another $100 in reserve food stores and other basic survival gear. I have a half dozen cases of #10 Mountain House cans and will continuously add to that store a few cases a month with a goal of two dozen cases by the end of 2008.
I am pleased to have finally exercised my 2nd Amendment constitutional right to purchase and own firearms. I had never been a gun owner before 2006 as my father was never a sportsman and would not (still does not) allow guns in his house. Since I do not hunt, there was never a need for a gun or guns. That 20th century mindset has changed and I now know just how crucial firearms are in this present age of uncertainly and fear. I keep the knowledge of my guns to myself (and to my two adult sons) and am now fully comfortable to own several guns and will be buying more on a regular basis.
I have respect for my firearms and keep them safely stored (but strategically loaded). If fact, I keep a loaded .40 caliber Glock in my laptop computer bag in a secure, zippered pocket. No laptop, just files and the Glock. My bag is always with me, either in my car, office or at home ensuring that I will always be close to a weapon in the event of an emergency. While I have no concealed carry permit (and am leery to obtain one), I think I will continue to look askance at my state’s laws that prohibit one from having a loaded handgun in their immediate possession without a concealed carry permit. I’ll just risk the consequences. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I have been averaging a firearm purchase every two months or so to include two (2) Glock 23 .40 pistols, four (4) .22 pistols, six shotguns (a Remington 870) for home defense and five Mossberg 500s for home defense/target/game, and two new Ruger .22 rifles (since I must have accumulated some 20,000 rounds of that ammo so far). I will continue to buy shotguns on a regular basis so that I am able to arm as many able bodied sons, daughters and other family members as possible (with two guns each).
Here are a few of my SurvivalBlog“Pearls”:
1. Stock up on: beans, bullets, and band-aids!
2. Live by the Golden Rule, Treat others as you would like to be treated…
3. Buy two or more of everything!
4. Pray for peace and thanksgiving
5. Buy silver (pre-1965 [US 90%]) and gold coins; an excellent way to preserve wealth for the recovery period); Take physical possession of all precious metals
6. Stock that pantry! You can never have enough food! Check those expirations dates! Rotate your stock! Donate almost expired food items to the local food pantry.
7. Buy guns, ammo and multiple magazines for every firearm! You can never have too many guns, ammo, or magazines. Try to standardize weapons and ammo.
8. Pack several bug out bags (one for each person)
9. Buy “survival” presents for your family and friends (flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, camping equipment, sporting goods (guns) bugout bags, etc…)
10. Buy a (bio) diesel pickup truck and a small SUV  for a G.O.O.D.  vehicle (and consider a used U-Haul (or the like) too; also buy a bicycle for everyone)
11. Exercise, get fit, go for long walks (also food for the soul)
12. As the Boy Scouts say, “Do a Good Turn Daily” and it goes without saying, “BE PREPARED”.
13. Life is unforgivingly short! Live for each moment; get the most out of life,
14. Don’t hold grudges. Forgive everybody and give thanks to God!
15. Oh yeah, please give blood!
I plan on buying several more firearms and the next several purchases will be a mix of shotguns and a series of 9mm weapons: four 9mm pistols (Glocks) and two (or three) KelTec 2000 folding rifles (super-sweet) that use the 33 round Glock magazines (which are available for a bargain at $25.99 each at Natchez Shooters Supply). I figure a dozen 33-round mags will be a good start to outfit this part of my arsenal. Those high capacity mags work in the Glock 9mm pistols too.
[Since originally writing this letter in July, I’ve bought one KelTec 2000, one Glock 19 (9mm) and one 20 gauge shotgun]
Finally, I will look to acquire two AK-47s and two then two long-range rifles. I figure this part of my plan should take another two years to accomplish, one gun per month or two.
I consider my cache of firearms as an extremely valuable store of wealth in the face of the inevitable economic collapse. These guns and ammo will be worth as much as I paid for them, or likely even more in the future. Guns and ammo are like money in the bank (except better) and will make tremendous items for barter in a post TEOTWAWKI  society.
I have stocked several “But Out” bags (for my two sons, dad and I), thousands of rounds of ammunition ($100/per month at WalMart) and many other suggested items. I have been chipping away at my extensive list and ply eBay and yard sales for many of the items that I deem essential. At present, I am prepared to withstand a month or so without power, and am primed to protect my investments, but I am not so confident about surviving a really long-term societal collapse as predicted by so many learned prognosticators. My next level of preparedness will be to survive fully three months off grid, with an eye towards a more complete ability to survive any SHTF  circumstance by 2012.
I live (rent-free) with my elderly dad and am committed to staying with him in a quite pleasant coastal New England town. I work for the state in a good-paying civil service position. I have no monetary resources to relocate to a tsunami resistant, easily defensible retreat in the mid west (or abroad) and am committed to my dad who was born in this community, owns his home outright, and has absolutely no inclination of moving. Further, I run into an elderly parental mindset when I suggest basic survival activities such as drilling a simple well or installing a wood stove (forget about voice mail or a dishwasher).
I have gotten away with my ostensible preparations for a hurricane (high New England possibility) but when I expound on the potential collapse of the US economy (due to any of several likely scenarios), dad disregards my exhortations. Since I am the “baby” of the family (even though I’m 50) and am the only family within 400 miles, he accepts my advice as if I were a teenager. Therein lies the actual predicament for me.
I need to prepare for a short, medium, and long-term siege in my existing locale. I expect that most SurvivalBlog readers find themselves in a similar, structurally restricted situation. All of my family, and my fiancé’s family reside along the East coast from New Hampshire down to South Carolina . As a result, I hope to secure a farmland retreat that will be strategically located such that immediate family members could get to the retreat by bicycle or on foot in a worst case scenario. I’ve been thinking about northern New Hampshire or the northwestern quadrant of Pennsylvania .
A topic that I have yet to see discussed in SurvivalBlog is the bugout in the Atlantic region of the country. I understand that there is nowhere along the East Coast that one can escape the fallout from a nuclear detonation in the New England or middle Atlantic region but there will many people stuck along the Atlantic coast in the event of some type of cataclysmic event. I would greatly appreciate hearing from other readers about places in rural New York/New England or anywhere along the Atlantic coast that would be suitable in the occurrence of TEOTWAWKI.
I know that the world is headed for a day of reckoning and that the United States is teetering on collapse due to decades of financial and administrative malfeasance. As a student of history and social sciences, I have always been an ardent patriot but as of late, I have come to the tragic understanding why most people in the rest of the world distrust us, and in many instances, hate us. The current administration’s brainless deficit (and mostly pork-barrel) spending, the spiraling national debt, our sole world super-power mindset, insatiable consumer demand and burgeoning trade deficit will surely land this once great nation in the scrap heap of history’s supercilious, bankrupt empires. I’ll be ready, however. Thanks, JWR and loyal SurvivalBlog contributors!
At least our forefathers were insightful when they insisted that our (appropriately silver and gold-backed) monetary instruments be inscribed with the dictum, “In God We Trust”. My one suggestion would be to go back to silver and gold coins and add the alliterative phrase “…Glocks and Gold” after the word “God” to aptly symbolize our current plight.
As it was in the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the (preparedness) race.May peace be with you all. – David J. (in a blue New England state)