The Cyber Monday Part 1 thread on Main St has had quite a few references to stocking up on food, fuel and various other items and on the face of it, this is good. There are however, quite a few things that go into food storage, survival prepping and whatever else you want to call "Being ready when the balloon goes up".
Let me say that I like everyone else have my way of doing things and it may be a bit different than you read on this blog or that book or heard from your neighbor down the street. I have been at the prepping game for about 13-14 ears. I was raised by farmers who grew and canned everything under the sun and then some.
About 3 years ago my wife and I started a company to cater to the angst generated by the turmoil and unrest that was coming from the elections and the prospect of the Government and the FED ginning up the economy and all that we have seen play out since. We saw pain in the marketplace and were poised to place salve on the wounds being created by the turmoil, hence we started a business to help people through the pain and we were able to share our experience strength and hope for being able to live through any uncertainty and storms that were appearing on the horizon.
We are now in the final stages of watching the storm clouds gather overhead.
We started prepping in earnest back in the late eighties and early nineties because we lived in a hurricane prone area and wanted to be able to survive without any help from the gov't. When Y2K became the talk of the town, we again redoubled our efforts to make sure that we had the ability to feed our family and protect ourselves should the world end on New Years Eve 2000. Well, as we all know that night turned out to be a non event that cost around 60 billion for industry to fix. A great way to generate revenue, looking back.
In 2005 when three hurricanes hit FLA in a 3 week span, we found ourselves very well prepared. We were without power for almost a month. We had a generator that provided power for the well pump and small fridge in the garage, lights at night and a little TV before bed. For the most part our lives were not disrupted to the extreme as we had been living a lifestyle that didn't need much outside input to make it go.
We have over the course of our marriage, lived a no frills kinda Flintstonesque lifestyle, we call it prudent living. We have our own source of drinking water that is off the grid. We have several Berkeys in the event we have to take water out of the "pond". We live in the country on land that could completely sustain us should the supply lines go down for food, fuel and power.
We have learned over the years to can our own food, both dry and wet canning. Wet canning can be divide into pressure and water bath. There is dry canning with a pump and seal for dry goods in smaller quantities for things like powdered milk. There is the Food Saver type storage device for dry goods and foods you want to freeze like fresh cuts of game and fish. We have been grinding our own fresh flour from chemical free Montana Golden 86 wheat for at least 20 years. A side benefit is a reduced number of colds and sickness from the high vitamin content in our fresh flour. My children are all in the late teens or early twenties and have never taken a course of antibiotics in their life. They were raised on fresh ground flour and farm fresh food. We only grind enough to use the day we need flour. We get fresh eggs from our chickens and buy a side of hormone free beef and have it processed locally.
And the list goes on...
This thread is for anyone who wants to share their efforts, trials, victories and to ask questions about the finer details of putting back enough stuff to get through the tough times that may lay ahead.
Great thread idea, DaddyO. I hope you get a lot of traffic here.
Good thread idea! Was just on the outskirts of the 3 canes you mentioned but took the in your face hit from Wilma in 08. What a nightmare that was but we had what we needed. Best suggestion I have to start w/ besides the requisite bbb and h2o is to start a garden now and learn what grows where you live, what soil amendments you need etc. Very few are gonna be able to stick seeds in the ground and obtain a crop on the first try. Start now while your mistakes can be a learning experience instead of a major problem.
You still in Fl?
Does your business have a website? I would like to give my business to someone in this community when I can.
Hi, thanks for the thread. Sent you an email re: Berkey's. Any/all info and trusted places to purchase best water filtration very appreciated. Thanks!
your info, DaddyO...
Just purchased a Katadyn Ceradyn setup. Little pricey, but total filtration expectations vs. Berkey is hands down a better system. Got 3 extra filters as well. Total cost: $377 shipped. Also, and not putting ideas in anyones head, but have read several things about Berkey black filters that turned me off...like quality of build. If I'm going to stick this away for a SHTF scenario, I want piece of mind that it's ready to rock when it's needed.
I know, I know, there will be many opinions...but after the research, I think I went with the best choice available. And as far as price, well, let's just say my families life/health/welfare is worth...well, I can't even put a price on it.
DaddyO. Great post. We went through the 2004 hurricanes and it was a good test run. We were well prepared for the hurricane and got along fine without power for a week after Charlie. We started vegetable gardening in 2007 and there is a big learning curve there. Finally in the summer of 2008, I went into the long-term societal breakdown prep mode: started taking Spanish lessons, got a carry permit, started building a home defense arsenal and got the family into recreational shooting. I have learned to cook everything from scratch and we keep a well stocked pantry, water and fuel storage an off-grid cooking and lighting capability. We keep enough cash on hand for an extended emergency, plus physical PMs.
Here is a prep everyone should consider. We opened a second bank account to keep savings/checking accounts at both a local credit union and a local bank where they know us personally. This gives us a back up banking capability in case one goes down without warning, and could prevent a lot of financial hassles.
Nonetheless, a month or two ago, the power went out at midnight and stayed out for the rest of the day. We were up early trying to get the children fed and off to school and it took me a while to round up enough working flashlights to keep things going smoothly. Preps are a challenge. I have learned that the thing you are most worried about almost never is the cause of your downfall. It is always the one you don't see that gets you.
Yes still in FLA and made it through the summer and no Hurricanes! Yesterday was the end of hurricane season and we are still intact, yea.
You are so right about gardening!!!
I have raised beds and it has taken me ~4 yrs to get them just right. Growing your own food or supplementing your food supply can be challenging but rewarding. The biggest impediment for most would-be-beginning farmers is patience. We are so conditioned to get what we want when we want it, that when planting and growing a vegetable garden we over work everything instead of letting nature take its course and carefully fixing the problems as they present themselves.
Thanks for posting!
We took down the website about three years ago due to another business really taking off and eating up all of the time we would have dedicated to the prep business.
I appreciate your desire to be supportive of our community here in Turdville.
I would recommend you find out who heads up the prep efforts in the Mormon community in your area and see if they would be willing to help out by taking you to the Bishop's Storehouse in your area. I am not Mormon, but have become very well connected in the local Mormon prep community and we now just go to their storehouse when they are open as if we are members of their church. They have a great selection and decent prices, although like anything you have to stay on top of prices to make sure they're in line.
Your purchase of a water filtration system is the first step in any good prep effort! We can live quite a while under tough circumstances without food, but water or lack there of will turn even the toughest soldier into mush in a very short time.
I think you said it well about opinions. I am of the opinion that Berkey is a fine filtration system and it suits my situation well.
As far as the quality of the black filters, I have never had a moments problem with them, ever. I have been using them for quite a few years and have come to depend on them as a cornerstone for my family's water supply.
Berkey has had production problems in the past, however they were related to the stainless cannisters, not the filters themselves. Berkey had trouble a couple of summers ago meeting the heavy demand for their products. Their supplier for stainless steel had trouble ramping up to meet the heavy productions needs. Not so with the filters.
Glad to hear you survived the hurricanes too! We had Charley roar right over top of us at 3 in the morning, knocked down 3 big trees in my yard.
Having cash on hand is a very good thing and making sure you have good Operational Security is even better so as not to let anyone know what you have. I am always leery of keeping all my eggs in one basket as well where my money is concerned. I installed a large safe in my home and use it religiously. I recommend everyone get one as well.
The bank accounts I do use are kept at a lower level, we also have holding accts, with no debit cards associated with them and sweep extra cash into the holding accounts to keep the accounts with debit cards at low levels in the event of loss or theft. We had an account get pilfered after buying fuel and having the card read by a thief who had installed a card reader in the pump. I awoke the next day to a debit card that would not work and when I called the bank they informed me someone in OZ had tried to purchase a cell phone account with my card. They got me for $168 which the bank did refund after about 6 weeks. I do save up cash in the holding accounts and turn them into tangibles periodically, either beans, bullets, bandaids or PM's
I was heartened to see "clueless one" post about his purchase of a water filtration system. I wanted to follow up and say that this should be every ones first order of business when thinking about where to start.
Water is the absolute first thing needed when you are facing a high stress, tough situation. Be it physical exertion, high heat or just a high level of anxiety, water is a must have.
There are many levels of systems on the market and you can start with just a travel type bottle like a Sport Berkey, that could be put into your bug out bag. If you have the funds available, a nice countertop unit can be incorporated into your daily routine so that you are used to and familiar with how to use it, how fast it supplies your demand and where it fits best into your house.
You can stockpile water in gallon containers, however this has its drawbacks in that water is heavy(8.35lbs/gal). It also has a limited shelf life when stored, about 6 months is the recommended rotation duration for stored water.
So if you are getting serious about wanting to move to a more independent place in your lifestyle, water should be at the top of your list.
Yes, diversification is key. There is a balance between spreading out your resources and the time and effort to manage multiple accounts, storage, etc.
Even within our family, we don't talk about preps. My children know to never say anything to anyone about firearms, finances, food storage, etc. We don't have home services (lawn, pool, maid, etc.). It's there. We do it, but don't talk about it.
My wife thought I was nuts when I started prepping and that is another reason we are in the habit of not discussing it. It was easier to take action without a lot of debate. My wife has good priorities from growing up on a rural farm with harsh winters. She has come around to seeing the problems lurking out there is mostly on board with prepping now.
Hey yall, (not sure if I am in the right forum but I will shoot anyhow)
I was wondering if anyone has or knows someone that has an Ecoloblue Atmosperic Water Gernerator, and what yalls thoughts were to the upfront cost and if its worth the "fiat". I would think it would be, but who knows.
@BSD - Those look expensive. This is an alternative that I've been considering but haven't pulled the trigger on yet:
I have purchased and can recommend the LifeSaver Jerrycan:
Perfect Bern. Looking into right now. Yes, the other was expensive. I knew if I floated that question I would get some bites. Gotta love that about this place, its one of my favorite aspects.
Bern, if you pull the trigger on that before me, shoot me a PM and let me know what you think. I will do the same and maybe we can relay the info back to this site.
Much thanks for the link, I really appreciate it.
I have a post that will go up sometime this weekend on wheat, grinding, storing and bread making.
on survivalblog.com if anyone has interest in horse ownership.
I started "prepping" during the H5N1 (bird flu) scares a couple of years back. Since then there has been a pretty much steady flow of worrying news events so I never really quit. I try to be as low key as possible so that I don't lead my friends to think I am a total whack job, but as time passes, my beliefs do reveal themselves to those I encounter. Many are starting to pay attention, and a few have started to prepare. I do try to a certain extent to lead by example. At first, prepping consisted of a couple of super sized totes filled with dry goods, cans, masks, and gloves...maybe 3 or 4 hundred dollars worth of stuff with a couple of sacks of rice on the side. Then I started to acquire a bit of specialized material, like a camp stove, fuel, candles and a first aid kit. I joined a gun club and purchased a couple of pistols and a cz assault rifle. Really these guns were just picking up a hobby I had as a kid, as I belonged to a shooting club in my teens and hunted with my dad, too. I come from a long line of gardeners, so canning just sort of went with the territory. I live dead center in a city of over a million people, but we still managed to can 180 jars of jam, relish, pickled beets, beans and garlic sauce this season. (If I could just get my ole lady to quit giving them away for Christmas). We had some shelfs down stairs that weren't doing much so they now hold our canning and odds and sods from the grocery store that we know we will need at some point. Now when we run out of ketchup, mustard, or regular canned items, instead of going to the store we get them from the basement. When the stock gets low we just buy new stuff and re-stock the pantry. (I always liked my grandma's basement because she had a pantry...maybe she knew something many of us forgot) It took a while for myself to feel somewhat "prepped", but if a person just shops ahead, buying two or three bottles when you used to only buy one, eventually you have a pretty good pantry. At the least, you will stay a couple months ahead of inflation. I buy ammunition the same way..always a bit more than I expect to need. If I was rich and famous, I'd do the same thing with booze, but for some reason I rarely get more than a case of rum saved...it seems to have a limited shelf life. Anyhoo...I still keep an eye out and think of other things I would like to have, like a seed grinder and a good crank style pump for getting gas out of underground tanks, but I am not alone. Others are thinking similarly and we are starting to dialogue. I have actually started a meeting outline after having had a few friends express an interest in establishing the lines of communication, an inventory, and the rough outlines of a "plan", although it's form and purpose is yet to be determined. Again, people don't plan to fail but they often do fail to plan. I encourage people to begin prepping for stormy weather.
Wow, sounds like we must have been twins separated at birth! Pretty much the same story here, top to bottom.
Basement shelves stocked with staple goods, always buy a few extra, guns, ammo, camp stove, lantern, and fuel carried over from a childhood of hunting and camping, no luck in stocking booze. The only part of it that I didn't pick up was the canning, though I do have nostalgia for the canned beef that my folks used to do, and long to give it a try.
I don't go chatting up the prepping scene to family and friends much. They don't want to hear it, though they are aware that I am the crazy gold bug in the family, and the guy that buys canned goods by the case. Everything that I stock is stuff that we'll use in the normal course of time anyway, and we just rotate as we go. If I find I've got a few extra of something, and expiration is approaching, then the local food pantry is always happy to have it. It's all good.
Thanks for a great post!