Saturday, January 8, 2011

Vacation, Part One


Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Our Christ's Mass vacation was awesome. We had a chance to sit down and talk with the In-Laws for a few weeks and meet some new folks.

Of the many folks we met, two couples were survivalists/preppers types. Their outlook and preps were alike but vastly different.

Both couples believe that the country, including most of the world, are still headed for hard times. They are suspicious of the government's intervention into the economy, and the security measures to fight terrorism.

Both couples have moved to rural property of about five acres, and they both have a healthcare professional in the immediate family. They have limited funds for prepping because they live in a rural area with low wages. Both couples have put off vacations to buy prepping supplies, the last few years.

The first couple, Couple Z, are buying and stockpiling supplies, mainly food and firearms. For food, they are concentrating on storing rice, beans, and canned foods, and Couple Z plan to hunt for additional food. They have also provided food for their dogs.

Their home is a 2000 square feet circular home, on one level. The house was built by the couple and some paid helpers using an earth bag construction method. The walls are 16 inches thick. (Yes, the walls will stop a 7.62 NATO bullet.) The house is supplied by a community well. They do not have a septic system because the couple use a composting toilet.

The couple have plenty of firearms and ammo to defend themselves. They have also started a defensive "team" with their family, friends, and neighbors.

The second couple, Couple Q, are buying and stockpiling supplies, too. They are purchasing items that they normally use such as toothpaste, clothes washing powder, soap, and ... (You get the idea.) Couple Q are also buying extra food, but they are also developing their food production capabilities. They have chickens, goats, fruit trees (about an acre), a huge garden, and actively preserve their excess food.  Couple Q are also meeting and buying their food from local farmers and ranchers with cash and barter.

They live in a older, really an antique, two-story home that was built during the time when everyone heated with wood. They have their own well and septic system. Plus, they have a generator and some fuel. Their neighbors also live a similar life style.

They have a few guns and some ammo for hunting and protection. Most of their neighbors are similarly armed for hunting, protecting their families, and/or work. (Some of them are police officers)

Now for the Bad

Couple Z live on a ridge with very little capability to produce any of their own food. They also live far enough out that purchasing food would be difficult after a prolonged emergency. They also don't have enough food stored for themselves, according to their threat analysis.

The community well ran dry last year, so Couple Z are adding two 5.000 gallon tanks for potable water. Good idea, but the tanks will be down hill from the house, so the tanks require a pump to supply water to the house. Plus, the tanks won't be buried, so they will be exposed to sunlight and bullets.

Couple Q live closer to town, so the largest landowner (50 acres) in the immediate area is currently thinking of selling her/his land to a developer. The developer's plan is to build houses on one-acre lots and a small strip mall facing the main road. Couple Q's home backs this property, so their home will have several close neighbors, if the plans go through.

This couple, according to their threat analysis, don't have enough ammo for the firearms they own. Plus, they do not have enough of the right types of rifles (their words) because they own two bolt-action hunting rifles and one revolver.

Both couples are also dependent on electricity to run their wells. (Couple Q less so because of the generator) Couple Z also has a problem if the electricity goes out because the composting toilet needs a fan to dry the poop out and draw the smell out of the toilet.

However

It was great being able to talk with folks that are prepping even though we don't have the same political viewpoints. They were very welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable people. Plus, they are working on filling the holes in their preps.

Links:
Mother Earth News -Earthbag Construction
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Homes/2005-10-01/Earthbag-Construction.aspx

Composting Toilet World - Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.compostingtoilet.org/faq/index.php