I’m a man in his mid 20s trying to prepare for when SHTF to care for 21 family members and guide another 21, none of which are really contributing in any significant way. I’m also part of a fireteam group, but they are not walking the walk on preparations either. My girlfriend is supportive, but I feel generally alone in my preparations. I’ve outlined the problems I have in each group– family and fireteam– in Part 1 of this article series. In Part 2, I went over how I am resolving these problems and my specific plans as well as began outlining the details of steps I’m taking. I just began with a summary of how I am dealing with food and water and provided tables that consider the various sizes of groups I might have to support.
Let’s continue looking at the details of my plan. Food had been classified as Tier One and Tier Two. Let’s take a look at the items in these tiers and their estimated expense and then move into other categories.
- Corn – $34.99/50 lbs * 3 = $104.97
- Wheat (hard red wheat berries) – $15.29/25 lbs * 46 = $703.34
- Steel Cut Oats – $15.17/25 lbs * 6 = $91.02
- Beans – $21.00 (avg)/25 lbs * 13 = $273
- Split Peas – $10 / 20 lbs * 8 = $80
- Vegetables – $23 (avg) / 36 lbs * 26 (case is six cans ~ 36lbs) = $598
- Lentils – $17 / 20 lbs * 6 = $102
- Sweet Potatoes – $37 / 36 lbs * 4 (case is six cans ~ 36lbs) = $148
- 6 gallon buckets – $8.47 * 59 = $499.73
- Mylar Bags + O2 packets (50) = $107.05
- Total = $2707.11 / 21 people = $128.91
- Honey – $92.00/60lbs * 1 = $92
- Granulated Sugar – $13.49/25 lbs * 9 = $121.41
- Brown Sugar – $15.49/25 lbs * 1 = $15.49
- Salt – $27/25 lbs * 1 = $27 (already have 56lbs)
- Powdered Milk – $113/50 lbs * 2 = $226
- Olive Oil – $30/1 gallon * 10 = $300
- Vegetable Oil – $10.99/5 quarts * 10 = $109.90
- Molasses – $29/5 gallons * 1 = $29
- Chia Seeds – $39 / 25 lbs * 4 = $156
- Quinoa – $17 / 4 lbs * 13 = $221
- Shortening – $4 / 3 lbs * 7 = $28
- Baking Powder – $3 / 1 lb * 42 = $126
- Baking Soda – $1.50 / 2 lbs * 21 = $31.50
- Corn Syrup – $22 / 1 gallon * 2 = $44
- Maple Syrup – $60 / 1 gallon * 2 = $120
- Canned Butter – $89 / 12 cans * 3 = $267
- Vinegar (3 gallons) – $10 / gallon * 16 = $160
- Coffee, Instant (10) – $6 / 12 oz * 66 = $396
- Cornstarch (5) – $20 / 50 lbs * 1 = $20
- Flax Seed (10) – $22 / 25 lbs * 3 = $66
- Potato Flakes (10) – $54 / 40 lbs * 2 = $108
- Drink Mix (3) – $25 / 9 lbs * 5 = $125
- 6 gallon buckets – $8.47 * 39 = $330.33
- Mylar Bags + O2 packets (50) = $107.05
- Total – $3226.68 / 21 people = $153.65
- Combined total: $128.91 + $153.65 = $282.56
For medical preparedness, all of the items in the world are useless if you don’t know how to use them. I am not going to rehash a list of much needed supplies for medical preparedness since that list mostly came from Mr. Rawles and the Survival Medicine podcast series, but I have tried to gather as much as I can in terms of reading material and illustrated guides. It doesn’t help you if you get wounded during the move to your retreat location and no one knows how to treat you, but it at least allows for a crash course after the SHTF as well as a reference book.
The books I have on my shelf (in no particular order) are:
- Wilderness Medicine
- Where There Is No Doctor
- Where There Is No Dentist
- Emergency War Surgery
- Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook
- Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook
- Physician’s Drug Handbook
- Physician’s Desk Reference
If you look back at my problem list for the family group, this is one of them– lack of firearms experience. I have approached this problem in two ways.
Personal Defense Kits
For starters, I have assembled three bare-bones personal defense kits. The kits consist of a mil-surp load bearing vest with mag pouches, canteen, IFAK pouch (which will eventually have supplies in it), and a very basic AR-15 rifle that will be zeroed by myself and checked periodically. This is my point and click set-up. Basically, I’ll tell them, “There are bad guys coming, put this vest on, here is a quick tutorial, get this sight on the bad guy, and shoot.” Is this ideal? Of course not! But, it is really all I can afford to do, and it is better than nothing. Now, the kit I assembled for the girl and I are much more tailored to our needs. It consists of a battle belt and a plate carrier with Level III armor alongside her Colt LE6920 and my Stag-15. (I took the slightly heavier rifle.) We are actively training in using them, disassembling them, and will be moving into movement tactics soon. We try and shoot in all conditions in order to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable”.
Undesirable Target With Barriers
The second method of dealing with this issue is focusing on area denial. I have no illusions about winning a shootout with a larger force and, quite honestly, not a similarly sized force without the fireteam present. (The fireteam may not have food, but they can definitely shoot.) What I can do is try to make ourselves an undesirable target.However, this involves using natural barriers, razor wire, steel cable, pits, and fences to make ourselves a harder target and to potentially cause the attackers to question both our size and our combat capabilities. Once again, is it ideal? Nope. But it is all I’ve got at the moment.
No one else on my team has Ham experience. I have blame here as well, because mine is severely limited. It was hard to study that during graduate school, and I only just finished recently. As such, my main focus is on short range GMRS/MURS/FRS comms that have a low learning curve and shortwave radios for monitoring. I am a proud member of AmRRON, however, and that has helped me to close the gap in my skills. I look forward to getting my licenses and join them on Nets. But in the meantime, my communications set-up at least allows for local comms and long distance monitoring. Once I get my license, however, I will have at least the ability to communicate and teach others, if the SHTF. (If an EMP hits us, I don’t think the FCC will care if I teach some people how to use Hams. Of course, don’t transmit unlicensed during anything less than utter disaster, or the FCC will most certainly get ya.)
I have actually had the best success with this area. Nearly all members of both the family and the fireteam groups are actively engaged in improving their health. I have made some wonderful equipment purchases on Craigslist that have allowed those without gym memberships to work out on that equipment instead. Of course, equipment is certainly not needed to get in shape, so don’t use that as an excuse (and don’t let your team use it either). Make arguments about health and about longevity (especially to the older individuals in your groups).
Well, a final thought is that this was a little longer than I expected. I guess my biggest point that I want to leave you all with is that we need to remember why we prepare. It may seem hopeless. (It has felt that way.) You may give up temporarily. (I have.) I cannot begin to explain how my frustration has boiled over (to the point of a few tears) in many a rant to the girlfriend about my situation. At the end of the day, however, what good does that do? I cannot express how blessed I am to have a rock, like her, in my life who will look at me after my rant and simply say “Feel better? Good. Now get back on the grind”.
Continue To Try and Move Forward
As Morpheus said in The Matrix: “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” You can, and you must, continue to try and move your family and your preparedness groups towards a more prepared and sustainable lifestyle. As you do that, however, be sure to remain focused on the task at hand and continue doing whatever you can to put yourself into a better position to survive when things go bad. And, of course, continue to pray for discernment and for God to help your team members have the revelations they need to begin their preparations in earnest.
Suggestions and Ideas?
I am very much open to suggestions and ideas from any of you about this topic. I imagine that many of us are in a similar situation, and we have all approached it differently. Please leave comments with any tips or ideas that you may have. I intend this article to be a conversation starter more than anything else.
God bless you all, and good luck on your preparedness endeavors.
- How to Prepare When You’re The Only One- Part 1, by Patriotman
- How to Prepare When You’re The Only One- Part 2, by Patriotman
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part one of a three part entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.