Friday, June 6, 2008

Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts - 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Kai Schreiber

I am cleaning up around here.

So, ... The various Friday posts, blurbs, and articles for 2014 have been collected in one place.

January 1, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Dogwood Blossoms, 1906
Willard Metcalf

Happy New Year
I have been trying to come up with something witty, bright, and cheerful that would make you and your family feel better about the new year. (And, re-posted over the internet) It ain't happening.

Because, ...

Some of us are going to die this year, though accident, malice, or just getting old.

Some of us are going to be laid off, fired, or just quit trying to find work.

Some of us are going to go broke, default on our mortgages, or declare bankruptcy.

Some of are going to be hit by our partners, beaten by our children, or suffer mental trauma from our families.

Some of us are going to lose our homes, kicked out of our apartments, or have to live in our cars.

And, ...

The international and national financial crises aren't over; it's just been delayed.

Wars will continue, innocent children will be forced to become soldiers, women will be raped, men murdered in the thousands.

Hurricanes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters will still strike

But, ...

As survivalists, we will go down swinging, preparing our families for these disasters, and ...

'Cause, ...

All of us are children of people that have survived all of this and more!

So, ...

Happy New Year

And, ...

May You Live in Interesting Times

January, 3, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

View of Eastland taken from south side of river, shortly after accident,
showing the rescuers anxiously at work. (ca 1915)
Max Rigot Selling Company, Chicago

New Year Resolution #1
Folks, the first resolution, we are going to keep, is to start a "Threat Analysis"

So, ...

Get yourself a couple sheets of paper, fold them in half (hot dog-style) then unfold the paper. Next, I want you to draw a line along the crease, you made.

On the left hand side, of the paper, I want you write (at the very top) "Possible Disasters"

Next, I want you and your partner (and the children, if they're old enough) to start listing all the possible disasters you and your family may face, this year.

In no particular order, make sure you write:

 - Home Fire (House, apartment, wherever you live)
 - Car Accident (bicycle, public transportation, walking, however you get to work)
 - Work Accident (even if you don't work. 'Cause you might find study work, this year)
 - List all of the natural disasters, your part of the world has had this year
 - and, ...

Continue until you can't think of anymore events.

P.S. If you would like, feel free, to list some of your disasters in a comment, to help others out.

Eastland Disaster Historical Society - Home

January 10, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Volcanic ash drifts around houses at Katmai
after the June 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano, Alaska, USA

United States Geological Survey

Possible Events
Nobody took me up on the offer to share their possible threats in the comments.

So, ...

Here are a couple of mine

Winter Storm (2+ inches of snow)
Freezing Weather (temperatures below 30 degrees)
Heatwave (above 100 degrees)
Thunderstorm (lightening)
Rain Storm (2+ inches of rain)
Dust Storm
Woodland Fire
Grassland Fire

Power Outage
Sewer Back-up

Fired (happens to productive workers, too)
Hours Reduced (happened this month)
Company Goes Out of Business

Car Accident
Car Breaking Down
Car Getting Stuck/Driving Off the Road
Workplace Accident
Home Accident, major
Home Accident, minor

House fire
Barn Fire (happened last year)
Next Door Neighbor's has a House Fire (happened about 10 years ago)

Riots (sport's fans, political, and others)

Financial Recession
Financial Depression
Economic Collapse
Sectarian Violence 
Invasion by Foreign Power
Terrorism, Chemical Weapons
Terrorism, Nuclear Weapons
Civil War
Nuclear War (little one)
Nuclear War (the 'big' one)

Republicans Getting Elected
Democrats Getting Elected
Libertarians Getting Elected
Greens Getting Elected

Peak Oil
Climate Change
Aliens, from outer space, Invasion (don't laugh)

I have to stop because the next step is to ...

Next, you and your family are going to rank each of your listed events from most likely to happen to least likely to happen.

So, ...

On the right-hand side of your paper, I want you to start prioritize the events.

Needless to say, as you list them, make sure you leave a couple of spaces between each event, so you will be able to neatly add other events, as you prioritize.

Once you're finished, ...

You can cross "Make a Threat Analysis" off your new year's resolution list.

January 17, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Stoughton, Wisconsin Tornado (18 August 2005)
National Weather Service
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

So far, you and your family have finished a threat analysis. In the threat analysis, you identified common events that may affect you and your family. These events can be broken down into two categories, technical (human-made) and natural.

So, ...

Why did you and your family need to know this"

Because, ...

Professional emergency management planners, like these United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lists their information in these categories.

Dang, FEMA has added a third type of event, terrorist

FEMA - Be Informed

FEMA - Natural Disasters

FEMA - Technological and Accidental Hazards

FEMA - Terrorist Hazards

Ooops, ...

I almost forgot one; I mentioned a few years ago.

Occupational Health and Safety Administration- Emergency Preparedness and Response 

As you read through the various descriptions, if you find any that you need to add to the family's threat analysis, you need to make sure you also prioritize these events, too.


Docent said...
As events continue to heat up between China and some of its neighbors, North Korea comes under greater stress, and Iran has nearly completed refining the fuel it needs for a nuclear weapon, I am re-evaluating whether nuclear fall out preparation is in order.
Someone You Know said...

Dear Docent and Other Readers,

Good Point.

An inexpensive reference (free) on dealing with "Trans-Pacific" fallout is Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny. You can find it at:

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine - NWSS

or, ...

Scribd - NWSS

Needless to say, you will want to read the whole book.

But, ...

If you're only interested in Trans-Pacific Fallout, you will want to read chapter 18.

Peace. SYK

January 24, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Friday (ca 1882)
Walter Sadler

So Much 'Stuff'
As some of y'all know, I get home about once a month to visit the family.

Well, ...

This month, they came out to visit me.

So, ...

You get this.

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts (2008)

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts (2009)

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts (2010)

GSIEP - Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts (2011)

Reading Ahead
And, ...

If you want to read ahead. Here are ...

GSIEP - Wednesday and Other Stuff (2010)

GSIEP - Wednesday and Other Stuff (2011)

There is some pretty 'good' stuff in these collections.

Just so you understand though, ...

I did not fix any broken links ; - (

January 31, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

S.S. Exodus at Haifa (20 July 1947)
British Admiralty

During the 'Great' Depression and the many lesser ones before and after the '30s, men and some women would leave their families to find work. Some families would even send younger members to live with better off relatives.

Well, ...

During the coming (or is it the on-going) economic collapse, you and your family may need to leave your home.

O.K., O.K., O.K., I have to stop because you know what I'm going to say next.

You and your family need to build an emergency evacuation (bugout, bug-out (BOB), I'm Not Coming Home (INCH), Get Out of Dodge (GOOD), 72-hour kit, or ...) bag for every member of your family.

Where is Your Family Headed
Probably the most important items for an evacuation kit is knowing the answer to some questions. First, where are you headed? Knowing the answer to this question will give you an idea of how long the evacuation kit will have to sustain you and your family.

Next, you need to know what the climate is like. Is it going to be hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, or ...? 'Cause, the climate is going to dictate the required clothing for the evacuation kit.

Next, you're going to have to know the routes; you're planning to take. Yes, routes is plural because you never know which route will be blocked by some event, like downed trees, traffic, landslide, government roadblock, or ...

Next, how long is it going to take you to get to the place where you're going, two hours, two days, two weeks? For each of your routes.

Oh, ...

Plan for it to take you twice as long : - (

The Container
Most folks would recommend a backpack as the preferred container for your evacuation kit, me included.

But, ...

Some families are unable to afford even a surplus pack, such as the medium ALICE pack, an "on sale" bookbag, or a bed sheet bundle.

So, ...

A Ouagadougou un vagabond vêtu de haillons
traverse le terrain de l'école primaire de Wemtenga
Roman Bonnefoy
You and your family may have to place your possession in a large plastic bag or wear them like the woman in the picture to the left.

Either method, you and your family will want to have your evacuation kit in as sturdy of a container as possible, possibly a 5-gallon plastic buckets, an old but functional suitcase, a pillow case, or ...

Remember, you may have to think outside the ...

Backpack ; - )

Real quick, for most families don't forget the car' trunk (in my case, cars' trunk)

The Contents
So what do you need to survive?

Shelter, water, food, medical, protection, and ...

* Shelter
Realistically, you and your family need to plan to have shelter.

Yes, I know: depending on your travel time, the climate, and many other things; will depend on whether you and your family really need shelter. Now, this shelter can take the form of a couple of blue tarps and a couple of lengths of strong string; a commercial tent with all of its required items; or a sheet of strong plastic from a recently purchased mattress and some stout string.

Camping Gear Review - ALICE Pack

Instructables: MrStuff - How To Fold Bedsheet Sets into a "Bedsheet Bundle / Package " (works for Flat & Fitted Sheets, all sizes)

* Water
Yep, water weights over 8 pounds (3.5 kilos) per gallon (4 liters), and you and your family are going to need a lot of it, at least one gallon per person per day. Maybe more if the climate is going to be hot.

You can plan to store most of this in your vehicle.

But, ...

Don't forget the winter. I had some water stored in my car's trunk, and it was frozen solid when I went to use it, the other day.

* Food
For most people, you and your family will need a minimal amount of food.

But, ...

Remember, the kids will have a harder time controlling their 'hunger pains' then the adults. If you think the "Are We There, Yet?" game is annoying wait 'til the "I'M HUNGRY!!!" game.

* Medical
A good first-aid kit is going to be important, especially if you and your family are going to be walking a good distance.

But, ...

This first-aid kit doesn't need to be a store bought kit. It can be a kit; you and your partner (this is a good time to include your children) have put together from odds and ends.

Remember, if you're planning to walk, you need to make allowances for foot problems.

So, ...

Moleskin, moleskin, and the other supplies to treat a blister.

WedMD - Blisters: Home Treatment

WikiHow - How to Treat a Foot Blister (With Pictures)

* Protection
Y'all already know how I feel about firearms (They're the best method of protection, just in case you didn't know)

So, ...

I'll start the debate on what to carry by saying you, your partner, and any other adult need to have a handgun and extra ammunition. If you're carrying a pistol, you extra magazines.

If all you have is a rifle, make sure you have extra magazines for the semiauto.

As a side note, I was looking at 'Shotgun News' and several of their advertisers (CDNN Sports) have pistol magazines at a reasonable price, again. One of my suppliers (INeedMoreGear.com has P-Mags.

You have been warned!

* Transportation, Communications, Clothing, and Other Stuff
Needless to say, folks are going to have different plans on how to get to their retreat, usually a relative's or friend's home. Just make sure you, your partner, and everyone else is practicing walking, riding, or even driving the distances you're planning on covering.

Most folks can't live without their cell-phone, so you can will have communications during most events. If you don't know how to text (that was me a couple of months ago) you need to learn! Same goes for those other features; we are seeing on the so-called 'Smart' phones.

Clothing is one of those other stuff; you need to be thinking about.

Needless to say, you know the drill. What's the weather, hot, cold, dry, wet, and ...? 'Cause you're going to need to have those clothing items.

As we're seeing from the winter weather in Atlanta and other places, folks need to be planning for the extreme weather in their area when it comes to clothing.

This is a good time to get the your children involved in planning for an evacuation because they will have items that they consider 'important' that they'll want to pack.

Remember, your kids are smart, just like you, they just need appropriate 'experiences' to help them learn about prepping.

GSIEP: 16 Weeks

Febraury 7, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Smoke Alarm Billboard
Belfast, Ireland (ca 2009)
Albert Bridge

New Year's Resolutions #3
So far we have complete two of our new year's resolutions, completing a threat analysis and a evacuation kit; these two projects have cost us (you and your family) nothing but time.

Sad to say, this next one will cost you some cash, about $5.00 for the 'el cheapo' models to $45.00 for the 'deluxe' model

First, replace the battery, if you didn't last year at daylight savings time.

Or, ...

Install a smoke alarm if you don't have one installed, yet.

And, ...

If you heat with wood, oil, coal, gas, or other fossil fuel, install a carbon monoxide detector.

Consumer Product Safety Commision - Smoke Alarms

Consumer Product Safety Commision - Smoke Alarms: Why,Where, and Which, CPSC Pub. 559

Make sure you replace any smoke detectors that are over ten years old.

Next, the newer models have a battery that has a service life of ten years.

So, ...

If you recently replaced your smoke detectors, with one of these 'long-life' models, you don't need to replace the battery.

When I moved into 'Home Away from Home' for the new job, the first thing I did was to purchase a carbon monoxide detector and check the apartment's smoke alarm.

Febraury 8, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Trapping in the Adirondacks:
Winslow Homer’s Adirondack Figures (ca 1870)
David Tatham

Prepper vs. Survivalist
To paraphrase Ol' Remus, over at "Yer Ol' Woodpile Report"

Preppers are preparing for good times after bad times

While, ...

Survivalists are preparing for bad times after bad times.

Learning Primitive Skills
Spartan, whenever we talk, accuses me of being optimistic, and I am, because I do see the world with rose-colored glasses, most of the times.

But, ...

I am also a 'realist' and see that 'bad times' can and will be followed by more 'bad times.'

So, ...

What does this have to do with you and your family?

There is the possibility; you and your family will be chased out of your home with nothing but the clothes on your back. Yep, even the rich folks that can hire someone else to get them prepared may face the possibility of surviving in the wilderness.

If you see this, ..

I stopped writing so I could drink some beer on my only day off. Peace SYK

Dirttime - Becoming a Feral Woodsman

Dirttime - Becoming a Feral Woodsman, Part2

Dirttime - Becoming a Feral Woodsman, Part3

Dirttime - Becoming a Feral Woodsman, Part4

Dirttime - Becoming a Feral Woodsman, Part 5

Dirttime - The Feral Woodsman in Camp

Speaking of Beer
It seems during 'good' times and 'bad' times everyone still drinks alcohol.

So, ...

If you're thinking of a 'bad' times business ('cause blogging isn't going to pay), you might want to investigate how to make whiskey, moonshine, rye, vodka, and other alcohol related products.

Winter Montage

Yep, Prepper Related
Oh, for you folks that think drinking beer isn't prepper related.

Can you say, ...

Storage Box
made from Odell Brewing Co.
Winter Montage Box

Storage Box!!!

So, ...

Some of my supplies can be organized underneath my bed that I made last year, with a secret compartment, that I had to fix.

And, ...

Can you also say, ...

Molotov Cocktails

Wikipedia - Molotov Cocktail

Wonder How Explosives and Fireworks - How to Make a Molotov Cocktail with Gasoline

Make sure you read the last paragraph!!! (Legality)

You have been warned.

Feburary 14, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Cpl. Peter Miller

Wrapping Up
I have various stuff to say this Friday, so y'all will be getting a mixed bag of stuff, today.

Evacuation Kits
Here are some thoughts about this 'box full of stuff;' I mentioned earlier in the week.

First, that is exactly what an evacuation (BOB, GOOD, INCH, 72-hour Kit, or what ever you want to call it) kit is. It's a box or a bag full of stuff for you to use during an event.

Next, there is no guarantee the stuff you packed will be appropriate for the emergency. We get complacent, forget to update the kit for a new season, or just forget about the kit because the imminent disaster didn't happen.

So, ...

You may have to improvise to survive the event.

Third, you and your family have to practice with your kit. That new-fangled cook stove does you no good, if you don't know how to use it or don't have the proper fuel for the stove to heat your food.

Prepper Militarization
I use to watch the various Star Trek series (They're no longer on the air). The original Star Trek was all about exploration. Star Trek: Next Generation was also about exploration too, but the series also became involved with fighting wars. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine  became very involved with armed conflict. Lastly, Star Trek: Voyager and to a lesser degree Star Trek: Enterprise returned to its roots of exploration.

So, what does this have to do with prepping?

First, there are a lot of current and former military members and their families that are preppers or survivalists. They have a certain viewpoint because of personal experience or research.

And, ...

We see that viewpoint on the internet. Heck, I have been seeing that a lot in the numerous 'survivalist' novels; I have been reading, lately, for research.

We also see this in the popular media's (or is that the formerly popular media since newspaper readership and  t.v. viewership are declining) vilification of preppers and certainly survivalists.

Now, don't get me wrong.

I think, during certain events, violence will increase.

But, ...

Not to the extent of you and your family purchasing extensive amounts of military gear (to be used to run around in the woods shooting it out with villains) instead of increasing the amount of water and food storage, medical supplies, appropriate transportation, and other of the life necessities.

Second, ...

At this time, I think (and it can change) that we, you and your family, need to be focusing on building a community of family and friends that will insure your survival.

Besides reading a couple of 'survivalist' novels, I have been reading an anthology of 'steampunk' titled "Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution" edited by Ann VanderMeer. It was a good read; I highly recommend it.

Of course, ...

"Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution" got me thinking about some issues.

First, everyone has the right to survive, including homosexuals, blacks, rednecks, Latinos, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and many others. (except for child-molesters, according to me)

Unless, they are trying to kill or harm you and your family

Next, the short story "White Fungus" by Bruce Sterling shows a possible future that does not involve firearms or running around in the streets killing villains that you might be interested in reading.

Feburary 21, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Public Shelter Entrance,
Sderot, Israel (ca Feb 2008)

Improvised Shelters
During a short-term or sudden event, you and your family may need to improvise a shelter out of available material while you await rescue. These materials may be broken sheets of plywood, bits of plastic or tin, and other debris from the disaster.

In other situations, you and your family may need to construct a shelter from bed sheets, for protection from the sun; plastic sheeting or tarps, for protection from rain, snow, or wind.

M4040 - Tarp Shelter

Practical - Poncho and Tarp Shelters

The Art of Manliness - Six Unconventional Outdoor Shelters - 20 Useful Things to do with Bed Sheets

Yep, this last one is just in case you get a deal on a couple dozen sheets, various sizes, for less than 25¢ a sheet.

Primitive Shelters
On this planet, there are many different climates. Some places are very hot, and some places are very cold then there are some that are hot and cold, depending on the time of year.

Well, ...

You and your family need to investigate the native shelters that were used by the area's primitive peoples, like the Inuits. They used tupiq, sod houses, and igloos depending on the time of year.

But, why?

First, these shelters were constructed by one person or one family out of local materials that are readily available to you and your family, maybe.

Next, these shelters were time tested, so they will work in your area of the world.

Lastly, even though they may be labor intensive, these native shelters are, I hate to say it, locally sustainable.

Wikipedia - Tupiq

Wikipedia - Sod House

Wikipedia - Igloo

Make sure you checkout the 'external links,' 'see also,' and the links in the purple area at the bottom of the pages for more information.

Pre-made Shelter
Some families are going to be thinking ahead, so they may build a shed or other type of open-sided shelter, such as the pictures below, to confuse potential thieves or vandals

Antietam Shelter,
n the Appalachian Trail (ca Nov. 2005)
David Benbennick

Red Shelter,
on the grounds of Holidaypark Thüringer Wald,
Schalkau, Germany


Birch Run Shelter,on the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania
David Benbennick

These shelters could be completed with a tarp to seal off the open end.

Appropriate Shelter
Lastly, if you're planning to survival a nuclear fallout or nuclear blast, your family will need to invest in the appropriate type of shelter.

Or, ...

Buy a copy of Nuclear War Survival Skills and plan to build an expedient shelter should a crisis arise.

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine - Order Nuclear War Survival Skill Online

Download for free as a .pdf

Internet Archives - Nuclear War Survival Skill

Or, ...

Madison County Emergency Management Agency - Nuclear War Survival Skill

Feburary 21, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Summer’s End


It may be Beginning
Last Monday; in The Weekly Dose of Doom and Gloom, Part Two; I told you about the 'possible' under-registration of firearms by some folks in Connecticut.

Well, ...

It seems, there is a long history of this activity in these United States and elsewhere.

And, ...

It seems, the State of Connecticut is going to implement confiscation of some of those registered firearms and magazines

And, ...

Folks are calling for another try at getting firearms owners to comply with the law. Needless to say, I think it was California, another state did just that then confiscated those newly registered firearms.

Remember, ...

Registration leads to Confiscation

Say Uncle - People Don’t Comply with Gun Registration

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Remembering the Past
In the The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, he talks about the difference it would have made to the Russian nation's future, if 'suspects' had been armed and waiting for the secret police to come and arrest them.

Needless to say, ...

One person is reminding some folks about the past, in Connecticut.

Sipsey Street Irregulars - An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the Connecticut State Police: You are NOT the enemy (UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO BE.)

Since Sipsey Street Irregulars author lives in Connecticut, he has the 'best' update on the situation.

Feburary 22, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Endurance final sinking in Antarctica
(ca Nov 1915)
Frank Hurley

Winter is Coming
I had a chance to see Shackelton, thanks to the local library. It was an awesome movie, and I suggest you and your family see it.

However, ...

You will need to set aside three hours because it was a t.v. movie.

With that said, ...

Stores are starting, if they haven't already, to discount their winter merchandise. This would be a good time to stock up or begin to acquire your family's winter preps, if you and your partner haven't done so already.

For you folks living in the Southern Hemisphere, it has been a brutal winter this year.

So, ...

Y'all may want to purchase extra heating fuel, cold weather clothing, and other winter preps, just in case.

Laughing during the Apocalypse
There has been a couple of times where I almost died.

And, ...

I was laughing about it.

I bring this up after watching Shackelton. There were, according to the movie, many lighthearted moments during the expedition and the rescue.

With that said, ...

There are also times when only a strong sense of survival saved the crew from almost certain death.

Feburary 28, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Softside Wasserbett
Wasserbetten Sauter

Waterbed and Swimming Pools
Some folks are looking at their swimming pools and waterbeds as a potential potable water source during an event.

Sorry, folks!

You can't use a swimming pool's or a waterbed's water for drinking, cooking, or watering the animals.

Because, ...

First, a water bed is made from plastic that isn't food safe. Next, the chemicals that prevent or inhibit algae growth in waterbeds contain harmful chemicals, such as copper triethanolamine, alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride, and possibly other stuff that you don't want to be drinking.

Second, just like waterbeds, swimming pools use harmful chemicals to prevent algae growth in the water. These chemicals are safe, if you accidentally swallow a small amount of pool water while you're swimming.

But, ...

Drinking large amounts of pool water is dangerous.

So, ...

How can you and your family possibly use this water during an event?

Distill it, of course.

Merriam-Webster  - Potable

WikiHow - Three Ways to Make Distilled Water

YouTube: iggymydog - How to Make Distilled Water or a Liquid

YouTube: Thomas Kim - How to Make a Plastic Bottle Solar Distiller

YouTube: Desertsun02 - Homemade Water Distiller: DIY Stove Top 'Pure Water' Still

Health Issues
I was talking to Hippie, my sister, a couple of years ago, and she started telling me about the dangers of drinking distilled water. Just so you know, she has told me about many other dangers from various foods and such.

Needless to say, ...

I love Hippie dearly.

But, ...

Drinking distilled water is not dangerous, for a short time. If you're worried about calcium deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, acid imbalances, and other supposed dangers, you just need to take a multivitamin and make sure there is salt and potassium in your diet. Oh, and use a toothpaste with fluoride for your teeth.

Link: - Early Death Comes From Drinking Distilled Water

Durastill - Blowing the Lid off Distill Water Myths

March 7, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Underground Food Storage

Low Tech
By now, y'all know that I try to avoid using the word 'sustainable.'

But, ...

Low tech food storage is just that; it can be used over and over again to preserve your family's food.

For most events this sustainability is useless. For some events, sustainable food storage will be the only thing that will insure you family's survival.

O.K. that was a little bit of hyperbole, but you get the point.

So, ...

Which ones?



Cheese, Making,

Waxing, Fruit, Cheese

Ice Houses, Ice Cutting, Ice Harvesting, and Ice Box

Root Cellars, Fundamentals, Building, and a Bucket-sized one

Spring House,

and, ...

Many more. Of course, you can ask your local librarian or historical society to help you find methods that worked locally.

Uuurgh, "locally sustainable." Who knew, New-Age Hippies are preppers and survivalists, too!!!

Medium Tech
This tech level is probably the one that your mom, grandmother, or great-grandmother used to preserve her family's food.

In other words, ...


Needless to say, you and your family (when you get a little bit of extra money or hit that place in your priorities of purchases) will probably want to buy some of those reusable canning jar lids from Tattler

You can find them cheaper, just use your Google-Fu.

Another Needless to Say, ...

You and your family will want to stock up on glass canning jars, lots of them before you need them. Of course, you can find inexpensive canning jars at auctions, yard sales, and probably Craig's List 

As preppers, we get all wrapped up with preparing for an event where we lose electricity.

But, ...

What happens, if you still have electricity? You use it of course.

But, ...

How do you? .....Freeze

High Tech
Yeah, I know that's not the way to spell it, but I wanted to stay consistent with low tech ; - )

With that said, ...

Food in #10 cans, mylar bags in plastic buckets, or ... are some of the ways that you and your family can insure you have food for an event.

#10 Cans
To use these cans, you will need access to #10 cans and a sealing machine. The sealing machines come in un-powered and powered models. If you plan to seal a bunch of cans, you will want the powered model of the can sealer.

The Latter-day Saints formerly had powered and un-powered can sealers (the un-powered could be borrowed by church members and their families) in their Bishop Storehouses; however, it seems these can sealers have been removed or restricted by the church.


I have heard, from friends, tax issues, health department issues, and other logical concerns.

But, ...

You can still purchase long-term food storage in #10 cans from various places

Like, ...

Latter-Day Saints' Distribution Centers

Search for "Starter Kit" then you'll be able to navigate to the other long-term food offerings, such as rice, oats, and wheat at the bottom with the "Related Products"

If you're planning to store more than hard red winter wheat, white rice, pinto beans, and quick oats, Honeyville gives you an idea of what's out there for your family.

... is one source for Mountain House Freeze-dried food. There are others. Remember, you're trying to amass a large amount of food, so freeze-dried might be the last type of food you'll want to buy.

About Safecastle, if you become a 'Royal Buyer Club' member, you will receive some pretty good discounts

Mylar Bags, Oxygen Absorbers, and Plastic Buckets
I have covered this method of self-packing your family's long-term food storage, a couple of times.

So, ...

Here it is again, for beans.

And, ...

Again, for sugar

Useless Tech?
At $399 a pop, I could build a lot of wooden boxes to protect my family's food from rodents and other varmints.

Or, ...

Just purchase my family's food storage in metal cans    ; - )

Food Storage and Survival - Storing and Protecting Food and Gear with a Freight Glove

Lastly, ...
Are you getting tired of reading, yet?

'Cause, ...

I'm getting tired of writing and linking.

So, ...

Come back tomorrow.

No, ...

Really, come back tomorrow.

March 8, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Contents of a French Combat Ration
Paris, France

Meal Ready to Eat (M.R.E.)
I first encountered these meals around 1982-83, as a young soldiers stationed at OPSEC. I liked them for several reasons. These United States' military's Happy Meal, as some soldiers call them, are lighter then the earlier C-rations' canned foods, easier to 'break down,' and took up less space, as trash, in my rucksack.

But, ...

Some people hated them. There were various reasons for this hatred; some reasonable, some unreasonable. Needless to say, I'm not going to go into that because the Meal Ready to Eat (MRE) has changed, in those thirty years.

First, is the packaging. The older meals were difficult to open. The newer meals, like the one pictured on the left, can easily be opened by pulling the two flaps of the seal apart.

Well, ... O.K. a small child might have difficulty.

Needless to say, the plastic outer packaging will make a wonderful expedient water-resistant covering for small items in the field, like a wallet, roll of toilet paper, or other small items. Plus, it makes a pretty good temporary ditty bag. All you have to do is place the item in the empty bag then fold the top over.

Remember, it's only water-resistant. If you submerse the bag, the contents will probably get wet.

So, ... Let us open the bag.

As you can see, everything is neatly packed inside the bag, with room to spare. This is where 'breaking down' the contents will reduce the amount of space, the meal will take up in your backpack.

Breaking down the M.R.E. is usually done one way. All of the contents are removed, and unwanted items are traded away, by the individual soldier, for more desirable items.

Heck, sometimes, if I was lucky, when I finished trading, I had more food than when I first started ; - )

Next, all of the cardboard packages, you'll see later, are removed and thrown in the trash. Then the remaining items are placed back into the bag and packed into the rucksack.

O.K. ...

Enough of the sidetrack.

Let's pull everything out of the bag.

As you can see, to the left, there is a lot of stuff in that bag.

This is a #6 meal, Beef Patty. In the main plastic bag was a beef patty, in the cardboard box, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese crackers, nut raisin mix, wheat snack bread 'twin pack', cheese spread with bacon, beverage base powder tropical punch flavor, a condiment package, a flameless ration heater, a beverage bag, and a spoon.

The beef patty, in the cardboard box is 170 calories, 70 from fat. It is one serving at 74 grams (2.6 ounces).

Needless to say, all of the packages have the current standard nutritional labeling, on the box or package.

In this picture, all the way to the left, is also the package of BBQ sauce. It is 25 calories with zero calories from fat. The package contains one serving at 28.5 grams (1 ounce).

The next two items are the nut raisin mix and the cheddar cheese crackers.

The nut raisin mix has 310 calories, 220 from fat, and the package holds 56 grams of the nut and raisin mix. Of course, all of the artificial chemicals are also included, for freshness.

 The cheddar cheese crackers have 239 calories with 103 from fat. The package size is 48 grams (1.7 ounces).

Of course, both packages for the nut raisin mix and the cheddar cheese crackers hold one serving.

 The next items, that were in the Beef Patty meal, are the cheese spread with bacon and the wheat snack bread.

The cheese spread has 180 calories with 150 from fat. The package contains one serving at 43 grams (1.5 ounces).

The wheat snack bread has 180 calories with 50 calories coming from fat. There are two slices of bread that make one serving at 57 gram (2 ounces).

The last food item is the beverage base powder tropical punch.

It contains 34 grams (1.2 ounces), of basically Kool-aid, for 130 calories.

For you folks, including me, that are watching your intake of sugar, 20 grams!

The next items are the non-food items. Back in the day, I would get rid of everything but the spoon, the toilet paper, and the matches, through trade, along with the tropical punch.

In a clear plastic heat-sealed pouch (it used to be the same material as the food packaging) is contained 4 grams of sugar, 4 grams of salt, 1.7 grams of coffee, 4 grams of non-dairy creamer, two pieces of gum (red package), a moist towelette, a package of toilet paper.
 and a pack of matches.

The matches are special matches. Supposedly, the match cover says so, the matches are specially formulated to be moisture-resistant, not waterproof, so they will work after be subjected to damp air, as in Vietnam.

About that toilet paper. It is about 25 sheets of single-ply toilet paper.

So, ...

If you're careful, you can wipe your butt and nose (not at the same time ; - ) for a whole day!

Needless to say, many folks would carry a roll of regular toilet paper to the field.

Not me, ...

I would trade my coffee for extra MRE toilet paper and place the extra TP in ziplock baggies because a whole roll of toilet paper could get wet (happened many times) rendering it useless.

Next, ...

I am going to show you; what each of the food items look like on a dinner plate, with just a caption as comment.

Beef Patty

BBQ Sauce

Nut Raisin Mix with Oxygen Absorber

Cheddar Cheese Crackers with Oxygen Absorber

Cheese Spread with Bacon

Wheat Snack Bread with Oxygen Absorber

Beverage Base Powder Tropical Punch

About the dollar bill in most of the picture. It's there to give you a general idea of the size of each item or serving.

By now, you're probably wondering what does it look like when all the food is on one or two plates.

Here it is.

All of the Food Items

Needless to say, I don't recommend for folks to store M.R.E.s.

Except, ...

I'll tell you tomorrow.

March 9, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Meal Ready to Eat (MRE)

My Recommendations
At $70 to $80 for a dozen meals, the only people that I recommend storing M.R.E.s are Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and others that are issued the meal.

Because, ...

It would be easy to skip a meal or two, during each training event, to build up a stock of food. After a year, if they went to the field, a lot, their family would have three or more days of emergency food.

No one else. Especially if you are planning to buy the MREs.

Why, ...

$6.25 per meal ($75 divided by 12 meals) you and your family can buy more food than a single meal, for $6.25. Heck, for a family of four that is $25, for one meal!

How much food can you buy with that $25?

Yeah, yeah.

Some folks are planning to eat only one meal, a day. Tell that to your family, they'll soon be talking cannibalism, and you'll be the first one, for dinner ; - )

Yeah, yeah, again.

Some people are saying, 'The MRE is sooo rugged'

Really, have you ever seen a frozen one? How about one that has something, really heavy, dropped on the MRE? How about one that has been folded back and forth until it leaked?

Or, ...

Popped because the food had spoiled?

Needless to say, I try to provide a certain level of ... I don't know; sincerity, level-headiness, truthfulness, unbiasediness (I don't think that's a word, but you get the point), or ...

Earnestness ; - )

What Can You Buy for $6.25
Let us look at some of the meals you could probably make for less than $6.25 that would feed the whole family, just not one person, for one meal.

     75¢ - String Beans, French Cut - 3.5 servings
$1.50 - Fruit, Pears or Peaches - 4 servings
$1.00 - Pasta, Chef Boyardee - 4 servings
$2.50 - Beef, canned - who cares how many servings. It's added to the pasta.

$5.75 and you have fed the whole family for one meal.

Or, ...

     75¢ - Black Beans - 4 servings
     40¢ - (2) Noodles, Instant - 4 servings
     75¢ - Fruit, Pears or Peaches - 4 servings

$1.90 and you have fed the whole family for one meal.

Or, ...

$5.00 - Peanut Butter - a whole jar, O.K. a medium jar
$3.50 - Jelly, you choice - a whole jar, store brand of course
$3.50 - Bread, you choice, again - 12 sandwiches
$2.25 - (3) Fruit, Pears, or Peaches - 12 servings

$14.25 and you have more than enough for lunch, for three days

I know I kind'a cheated.

But, ...

You get my point, ...

With a little planning, you and your partner could feed the whole family, for a lot less and a lot longer, than the three meals a case of MREs would cost, for a family of four, for one day.

With that said, ...

If you look into the whole foods, such as dried beans, whole hard red winter wheat, quick oats, white rice, and many others, we (you and your partner) could probably feed the family for a lot less.

Now you know, why I was complaining about typing so much, on Friday.

March 14, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

probably Polish Red Cross delegation

Before I begin, I enjoy reading Survival Blog and many other survivalist or prepper blogs. The many writers and contributors have provided a great deal of information, over the years, to you and me.

However, ...

Reading Survival Blog may get You and Your Family Killed or any Other Survivalist or Prepper Blog, for that Matter

First, you are encouraged to move to some isolated 'retreat' that you and your family have to provide all of the basic necessities for survival, such as potable water, fresh food, protection while you sleep, medical care, and many others.

You have no friends in Idaho, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, unless you live in one of these places. All those people are strangers; they probably have strange customs, like the way they dress, hunting, and the music. Plus, who says these people are any more honest, and they're not planning to take everything you own, steal you blind, and send you packing, during an event.

Plus, if all the preppers and survivalists move to 'The American Redoubt' or 'The Redoubt of the East,' the government will know where to send the drone hunter-killer teams, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, to kill all you radicals

Next, you are taught how to treat your water, like you had the resources of a small city. Only cities coagulate, remove iron, and adjust the hardness of their water. Heck, where do you even get these chemicals? Plus, how much do they cost, if you can get them? What's these chemical's shelf life? And, what happens when you run out?

Oh, you and your family can improvise.

Third, you and your family are told only MREs, Freeze-dried, and other expensive speciality long-term food storage will work.

So, ...

You spend money on food that is sooo expensive you can't use it, so you never learn how to cook with this food. Plus, have you ever tried to grow food in a place like Montana. Talk about having to import food like lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and other vegetarian food. Oh, don't forget the nearest decent grocery store is three hours away that adds to your food costs, too.

Do they even have pizza delivery there?

Next, everybody is all semiautomatic .308s like FN-Fals, HK-91s, and M1As. Have you priced magazines? Have you even shot those guns? A young dude might get a kick out of them, (pun intended) but your 125 pound partner or 15 year old daughter isn't.

Then, there is the 12 gauge shotguns. Have you ever fired one of those, ten, fifteen, or twenty times in a row, no stopping. Plus, they only have five to eight shells in their magazines. Who wants to reload after five rounds?

Maybe Dianne Feinstein does.

Fifth, buying antibiotics. Do you know how many people die each year from a doctor's or nurse's screw up? And, they're the professionals. Can you tell the difference between a gram-negative and a gram-positive bacteria? You better because one may require a different antibiotic then the other.

Oh, don't get me started on delivering babies!

Next, those advertisers. How many do they have? Do you really think a corporation has your best interest at heart?

Expensive solar chargers, expensive generators, expensive bicycles, expensive food, and expensive ...
Seventh, if you write an article for them, because you really know something, you surrender your copyright. Then, some of these so-called 'survivalist blogs' can sue you for sending it to another publisher for paid publication. Plus, they get to put your work on a CD or write a book with your idea, sell it, and keep all the money.

Almost lastly, Survival Blog and all the other survivalist or prepper blogs, websites, podcasts, magazines, newsletters, and ad nauseam, including this one, can not predict the future. We do not know the future challenges we (you and your family) will face.

Because, ...

There is the possibility having callouses will save your life. (During WWII, the German checked captured Russian soldiers hands. Those with callouses were released. Those without were interrogated then shot)

Or, ...

Having access to clothes washing soap, clean water, and a washing board (During the 1930s 'Great Depression', a government accounting position opened up, An out-of-work family man and over 200 other people applied for the one job. Because he was wearing a clean white shirt, the family man was hired by the manager, even though he did not know accounting)

Or, ...

Being short and robust instead of tall and skinny (During the 100 day conflict in Rwanda, the Hutu (short and robust) killed over 1,000,000 Tutsi, tall and skinny. By the way, during the Rwandan Genocide, about 15% of those killed were Hutu moderates)

Or, ...

Being nice to strangers (During the troubles in Bosnia, in the early days, a Muslim family picked up a young lady because she was walking along the side of the road. The family and this young lady came to a Christian checkpoint. The young lady told the militiamen the family was O.K. Later on, it was discovered, the thugs were executing Muslims that were stopped at the checkpoint)

Or, ...

Being a 'Liberal' instead of a 'Conservative.' (Remember, Bill Ayers the co-founder of the Weather Underground, he was in a meeting where the group talked about having to kill over 25,000,000 'conservative' citizens to implement their policies, if they ever came into power.)

Or, ...

Being underground, when multiple meteors simultaneously explode in the Earth's atmosphere, like "Deep Impact" (I hope you didn't think movies provide a factual depiction of what might happen)

I suggest you read Bad Astronomy's Review of Deep Impact. If you don't have the time and just want to know what might really happen, scroll down to the big red "Aaaaarrgg" and start there.

Lastly, if you don't believe my statement "Reading Survival Blog and any other Survivalist or Prepper Blog may get You and Your Family Killed," Send me a copy of the site's written guarantee that you and your family will survive any event, and I'll ...

Sorry, ...

I have to go; Katniss is calling me ; - )

March 21, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,


Jumper's partner is a nurse, a highly skilled nurse. His wife would be a great addition to any group.

But, ...

They (Jumper and Runner) don't store any supplies for her profession; no bandages, no disinfectants, no over the counter medicines, and definitely no prescription medications.

So, ...

To a certain extent, Runner has cut her effectiveness to any group.

Now, some folks (including my brothers) would think I'm making a big deal out of this, and I am.

Because, ...

My brother and his wife have tried to justify them showing up, during an extreme event, with nothing.

O.K., O.K., I am going to stop because you know where I'm going with this because folks have done the same thing to you. Depending on how you feel, will determine what you and your family are going to do about this. Plus, this blurb is about what to store in your medical supplies.

Take Care of Yourself, First!
Are you on heart medicine, high blood pressure pills, use a Positive Airway Pressure machine for sleep apnea, walker, electric wheel chair, or any other medicine or medical device you have to have to live and be healthy. You need to take care of these first.

So,  what do you do?

First, ...

You need to stock extra medicine. This means building up a supply that can be used during an emergency. You can do this a couple of ways. One, have your doctor write you a prescription for an extra 3-day, two-weeks, one-month, 90-day supply, or however long, you think you will need for an event, and pay for it out of your pocket.

Do not, Don't, Never take less then the  prescribed amount of your medications, during good times. This is dangerous and could be deadly!

This extra medicine is safely stored in a cool, dry place, out of the sunlight. The extra would be rotated, just like your food storage.

For some folks, this method will be expensive.

Another method is buy your regular medicine but in a 90-day supply from an on-line pharmacy. This is something a lot of insurance companies are doing, already. You would pay for the 90-day supply just like normal. Most insurance companies even like this option because it saves on postage, labor, and other overhead.

Next, you would use it just like normal. Needless to say, you will slowly lose the number of days that you have in reserve, but most likely events are short-term.

Another method is to explain to your doctor, so your doctor can get you 'free' samples. Just like before, you would rotate this into your regular medicine, so you always have the freshest medicine.

The last method, is again, to talk to your doctor and have your doctor store the medicine for you. Of course, you will have to work out payment for this medicine.

Second, ...

If you use some kind of powered device for your health, you will need to research and implement an alternative power source for these devices. A short-term simple solution would be a battery bank plugged into utility power. I believe most medical equipment suppliers will be able to assist you in your search.

A longer-term solution will probably require a dedicated alternative power supply, such as photovoltaic solar cells and a battery bank.

Needless to say, one of the most overlooked preps is calling your power company and asking about the procedure and requirements for being placed on the priority reconnect list for power outages.

After you have taken care of yourself, you need to take care of the immediate family. It's the same process. If the baby needs formula, you stock extra formula. If your husband uses over the counter sleep aids, you stock his brand of over the counter sleep aids. If the females in your family are menstruating, you stock tampons, pantie liners, women's pain relievers, and ...

After you have got your medical needs and your family's medical needs, you need to stock a first-aid kit. There are many sources for information on first-aid kits on the internet. The American Red-Cross is a great source for a basic kit

During your gathering of first-aid supplies, you are going to need training.There are many sources of training. One source is the Red Cross or Red Crescent. Another source is on-line manuals such as the U.S. Army first-aid manual.

Yep, ...

If you have been reading "Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness" for a couple of weeks, you know what I'm going to say next.

Practice, Practice, and Practice your skills.

O.K. I'm stopping for now.

American Red Cross - Anatomy of a First Aid Kit

General Reimer Digital Library - FM 4-45.11 First Aid

March 22, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Do you do stupid stuff, like using a circular saw without wearing safety glasses; how about riding a two-wheeler (motorcycle or bicycle) without a helmet; or do you blow off taking your high blood pressure medicine?

Well, ...

You and your family, if you're going to be preppers and survivalists, need to learn and implement proper safety procedures for doing dangerous activities.

Because, ...

Duh, you're just asking to for an event to happen.

Next, ...

Do you do the simple things, such as ..

Flossing and Brushing Your Teeth
During the Korean War, Allied prisons of war returned home, from captivity, with terrible dental problems because they lacked basic dental hygiene items, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss during their internment.

You can prevent this by storing extra supplies, such as toothpaste, dental floss, and toothbrushes, like my family

We buy multiple packages of our favorite brand and flavor when it's on sale, in the family size, of course. Next, we store the toothpaste, in their original boxes, in a Rubbermaid 10-gallon tote. Storing the toothpaste in its original boxes allow us to neatly stack the toothpaste for inventory and orderly rotation. (I took them out of the boxes, a few years back, and we couldn't tell which was the oldest) Plus, if you want, the cardboard package gives you a place to write the date.

We haven't bought dental floss in a long time because I bought about 100 extra-large packages when one of the regional retailers went out of business, many years ago. I immediately removed them from their cardboard and plastic packaging and placed them in a one-gallon plastic bag. I did this because, I feel, dental floss will never 'go bad,' so there is no need for marking a 'best use by' date or 'date of purchase' on the package.

My wanting to store multiple toothbrushes caused a stir, in the family. Because I wanted to have a two or three year supply of toothbrushes, I mistakenly bought a bunch of inexpensive '2 for $1.00' toothbrushes.

Needless to say, they were so hard; no one would use them. We use them for firearm cleaning brushes, now. Plus, our family dentist told me the 'hard' toothbrushes are too hard. He recommends using a soft toothbrush with a quality toothpaste for most people.

Of course, I look for sales on the toothbrushes, too, since they are sooo expensive.

With that said, I also caused another controversy (because of expensive toothbrushes) by not replacing my toothbrush often enough. It seems, according to our dentist, a toothbrush should be changed, at least, every six months.

Next, ...

Our family dentist is cool. He gives everyone in the family new toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and a small package of dental floss, after each visit

Well, you guessed it. I quickly grab them up and place them in a small plastic bag for the evacuation kits.

Lastly, you will notice, I didn't mention anything about traditional mouthwash.

There is a reason for that.

I am the only one in the family with bad breath. Katniss's breath, and the kids too, seem to never have bad breath.

Well, my breath is so bad; I use a product from Young Living (no this is not an ad for them) made from thieves. It is the only product, that I have found that works for me.

Needless to say, it's a liquid, so it goes in a plastic bag when it's in the evacuation kit.

Washing Your Body
I did a similar thing for washing our bodies, from hotel soaps and shampoos.

Another inexpensive method, is to purchase small empty plastic bottles to fill with your regular products. The filled bottles would be placed in a plastic bag then kept in the evacuation kit.

Of course, if you have a little bit more money, you and your family could purchase small pre-filled plastic bottles of your regular haircare and body soap, at a steep price.

Next, ...

Guys, I'll say it again. We need to make sure; we are storing supplies for the ladies in our lives such as tampons, pantie liners, pain relievers, and ...

How Much to Store
Needless to say, a small bag of hand soap and shampoo aren't going to be enough for a financial event, so you are going to need to purchase extra of the same stuff your family uses everyday, just like food storage; store what you use; use what you store.

But, ...

How much?

First, pick a time period that you're going to record the usage of certain products. Now, you need to be realistic. You don't want to record how much shampoo your son uses, after one shower. You or your partner want to observe over a one to two week period.

Next, how long is the event you and your family getting ready for? One month? Two month? Six months? Two Years!

O.K., ...

Your family uses a bottle of  shampoo, every month. If you're getting ready for a two year event, you need to store 24 bottles of shampoo. I would store a little more, say four more bottles, just because.

Of course, you and your family are going to have to continue to track your usage of these items because if your usage of shampoo increases, you increase your storage of shampoo. If it decreases, you decrease your storage of shampoo.

But, ...

What about 'shelf-life?'

Except for certain medicines, like tetracycline, I wouldn't worry about it, within reason. Don't expect a six year old can of pumpkin to look like fresh pumpkin or twenty yer old soap to lather up like brand new soap even though both are still 'good'

Toilet Paper
Some folks, I think, incorrectly say you and your family can't store enough toilet paper for an event. They're wrong, of course depending on the event.

A case, 96 rolls of toilet paper, is only about 12 cubic feet (a box 2ft X2ft X 3ft) A family could easily store three cases of toilet paper, for their use. If you remove the rolls from the box, than flatten the roll of toilet paper, you could easily add a few more rolls to the box.

Needless to say, if you are planning for a two-week event, you only need enough toilet paper for two weeks, for prepping.

The usual warning are in effect for even toilet paper. Store what you use, use what you store; protect from heat, moisture, sunlight an vermin; rotate the supplies, by using them; and never ever tell anyone about your preps.

For you folks planning for a longer event, you need to ...

Practice, Practice, and Practice some more with the tools and techniques you and your family are planning to use during an event.

Changing an Item
Katniss, recently, went to a new hair-care product, shampoo and conditioner.

Well, ...

We still have about a year's supply of the older items on the shelf waiting to be used. Like us, your family could ...

* Give the item to charity by donating it

This is a pretty good idea. It quickly gets the item out of your home, and you could take it off the taxes, at the higher replacement rate. (I think)

* Everyone else still uses the old product as you buy new product

This will work, as long as, no one objects to the new product.

* Use what is in stock, and buy the new as replacement when the old stock runs out

 Since I'm a guy, I don't get too concerned about hair-care products

But, ...

Some family members might find this objectionable. You'll have to work it out.

That's it for now.

If you have anything to add, speak up in the comments.

March 28, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Margaret A. McIntyre

Nuclear War
I have many thoughts about a nuclear conflict, involving these United States and Russia, or China.

So, ...

Let me throw them out.

First, there are certain events that can change a society, I believe, nuclear war is one of these.

Second, the destruction to this country, any country, during a nuclear war would be devastating, but it is survivable by you and your family.

Third, if you are planning for a nuclear war, you and your family must begin to immediately make preparations for a nuclear attack.

Fourth, there are many people that would say that a nuclear attack is unsurvivable; they are wrong.

Fifth, there are some folks that say that a nuclear attack would cause us to return to the 'stone-age'

Thyroid Protection
For older folks, say 70s, or older, damage to their thyroid from radiation isn't a big deal, 'cause they'll be dead in thirty years.

For younger folks, it's a big deal.

So, ...

You need to store potassium iodine (Ki) then use it properly, to insure protection, for your thyroid.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Radiation Emergencies: Potassium Iodide (KI)

Don't ask me about the picture 'cause I was going somewhere with it.

But, I forgot ; - )

Now I remember!!!

Bombed back to the Stone Age ; - )

April 4, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Sometimes we get wrapped up in our fantasies about what an event is going to be like. Some of us think it's going to be all Mad Max, with mutant bikers raping, pillaging, and killing.

Or, ...

The military and police enforcing a dictator's rules allowing raping, pillaging, and killing by the privileged few.

Or, ...

A world without the rule of law (WROL) with everyone raping, pillaging, and killing.

So, ...

We can justify spending money on expensive magazine-fed rifles and handguns.

Guess what?

.22 LR
I recently bought a single shot Marlin bolt-action .22 rifle for $90 from a local firearms dealer. The rifle is in reasonably good shape, but it's missing the rear sight elevation thingy (I forgot its nomenclature)

This rifle, after it's repaired, will allow me to teach the basics of firearms safety to friends and family because it's lightweight, has a simple safety (There is none; unless, you count pulling the cocking knob to the rear) Plus, I'll be able to use it for small game hunting and pest control.


A step up is the magazine-fed bolt-action 22 rifle. Like any other magazine-fed rifle, these rifles require the correct magazine to function properly.

So, ...

It's important to make sure you can obtain more magazines for the rifle (remember, magazines are a weak link) from the original manufacturer or some place such as Sarco or Numrich, before you buy the 22 rifle.

With that said, you and your family could probably use a magazine-fed rifle missing its magazine as a single shot, during an event. (Needless to say, you need to know this will work, before the event)

The next step up in price and complexity is the semiautomatic 22 rifle. These rifles are just like, O.K. almost like, the semiautomatic rifles such as the SKS, AK-47, and AR-15 rifles you may have for protection.

These rifles use two different types of magazines, removable box magazines and a tube feed. The removable box magazine is just like it sounds. It's a metal box, holding the ammunition, that is inserted into the bottom of the rifle to feed it ammunition.


The tube feed semiautomatic rifles use a tube, permanently attached to the rifle, that hold the rifle's ammunition. The tube has a spring, that is removed, to load the rifle. After the rounds are inserted into the tube, the spring is replaced in the rifle. (Yeah, I know, that sounds kind'a confusing, it's real easy)

Probably the best known tube feeed 22 rifle is the Marlin Model 60 22 rifle. These rifles were made by Marlin for a bunch of companies, Sears, J.C. Penny, Western Auto, and ... back when everyone sold firearms (Maybe it will be true again, some day soon) According to Wikipedia, over 11,000,000 have been manufactured.


By now, you're probably thinking this is an advertisement for Marlin firearms ; - )

It isn't.

Because, the next magazine-fed 22 semiautomatic rifle is the Ruger 10/22.


The 10/22 uses a rotary magazine. The magazine spins a cartridge into place for feeding into the rifle. Like the AR-15, the Ruger 10/22 has many aftermarket accessories that can be added to the 22 rifle.

Some good; some not so good.

With that said, all of these rifles can have a scope mounted to them. The more modern rifles will already be pre-drilled for a scope mount. The older 22 rifles will require a gunsmith to do the work, another consideration when purchasing.

The next step up in price is the lever-action 22 rifle. Just like the lever-actions carried by the cowboys, these rifles use a tube feed magazine and a levering action to chamber, cock, and eject the ammunition.


So, ...

Which one to purchase?

Price wise? You can spend a lot of money for a 22 rifle. There are many specialty single shot 22 rifles, used for competition, that will set you and your family back $1.000 to $2.000. Ouch!

Needless to say, I'm joking 'cause you know me. If you're going to spend $1.000, I would suggest  buying a couple of single shot .22s a few boxes of ammo and a whole lot of long-term food storage instead.

Back to the .22 rifles ; - )

For a family on a strict budget, I would suggest a used single shot. They are inexpensive, around $100, and require no magazine. Plus, they are long lasting. (I have a couple, over 60 years old, that have never had a part replaced)

For the families with a little more money, I would suggest the Marlin Model 60. These rifles, used, run around $125 to $175. Of course, you'll need to purchase some magazine tube springs, just in case.

If you want a rifle to accessorize, and set you back some money, buy the Ruger 10/22, at around $250 to $350. They will require some work, usually adding an extended magazine release (the OEM magazine release sucks) and magazines, plenty of magazines at $20 each. (because the rifle is almost impossible to load without a magazine)

As always, what you purchase for your preps is up to you an your family.

Whoa, I apologize.

.22LR handguns are just like any other revolver or semiautomatic. They range in price from under a $100 for an used import (the so called Saturday Night Specials) to over $500 for the exact same dimensions as a full-size pistol, so you can practice inexpensively.

I just realized; I had forgotten one type of .22LR rifles. The full-size AR-15s that shoots .22LR.

These rifles are full-size versions of .223 rifles that have been factory built to shoot the .22LR cartridge. They, like the AR-15, can be a accessorized with AR-15 handguards, pistol grips, sights, and other items.

Needless to say, The Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 are probably the most popular brand of these rifles.

With that said, ...

They are expensive, very expensive compared to the single-shot and tube-fed .22 rifles.

Plus, ...

They will require you and your family to purchase expensive magazines ; - )

Sarco - Home

Numrich Gunparts - Home

Wikipedia - Ruger 10/22 Rifle

Wikipedia - Marlin Model 60

Smith & Wesson - M&P 15-22 Rifle

April 5, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,


SKS Rifle
One of the great things about the SKS rifle is how cheap it is. At about $450 (Samco Global Arm, Inc.), you and your family get a rifle that just needs ammo to work, after cleaning it of course.

But, ...

What would be some nice things to add to it, after you purchase ammunition?

First, I would add a sling, for about $6.00. (Charlie's Surplus) An U.S. Army black nylon sling would be great after modifying with some 550 cord because the sling is too wide for the rifle's sling attachment points.

Second, I would purchase a few stripper clips, at about 30¢ each, I would buy (J&G Sales) about 50 of the stripper clips. That would hold 500 rounds of ammunition and set your family back $15.00 before shipping.

Third, I would add a method of carrying the ammo on stripper clips, such as the Chinese 10-pocket chest pouch (ebay), the Russian 3 stripper clip pouch (Keep Shooting), or ...

Fourth, I would add a cleaning kit like these United States' M10 cleaning rods with brushes, some rifle cleaning patches, oil, grease, and rags.

Lastly, ...

I would add a surplus military ammo can to hold any remaining ammunition.

There are a couple of places on the internet to buy ammo or the SKS rifle ( and Lucky Gunner)

April 11, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

National Archives and Records Administration

Long Pants and Shirts
Folks, as you and your family prepare for possible events, you're going to need some clothing, no matter the season. Some of this clothing, depending on your threat analysis, is going to be specialized such as steel toed boots for protecting your feet during debris removal; welding gloves, apron, and helmet for protecting you during your 'second' career; or the pink and bright red camouflage your family will wear to hide y'all from the zombie horde ; - )

But, ...

Most of your clothing will be general purpose, like long sleeve shirts and long pants that will protect you and your family from intense sun, bitter cold, or nighttime insects trying to suck your blood.

Now, ...

Some folks will tell you to store both short-sleeve shirts and long-sleeve shirts.

Nope! 'Cause you and your family can roll those sleeves up (which I don't recommend unless you're in the shade) to cool off.

Needless to say, the same goes for those pants, too.

Boots, Shoes, and ...
If you have been reading "Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness" (especially "16 Weeks") you know that the possibility of having access to well-fitting and proper foot wear, such as boots, shoes, and sandals are a higher (much higher) priority than camouflage clothing.


Because, for most events, folks will empty out their closets to provide clothing for those 'poor, unfortunate souls' affected by the latest disaster.

But, ...

There will be almost no well-fitting rugged footwear in their donations.

Don't believe me?

Just open your family's closets and see how many pairs of adequate footwear you, your partner, and the children have for an event.

... Sandals
I almost forgot!

Sandals, especially tire sandals, would be an easy footwear to make in a very long-term event.

Thomas J. Elpel's Web World Pages: Primitive Living - Make Your Own Tire Sandals

Plus, ...
If I get around to it, I'll write something on the clothes I have purchased from the local charity stores.

So, ...

You'll know what to purchase and what to avoid.

April 12, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The Village Tailor
Albert Anker

Sewing Kit
During an event, you and your family may need to repair your clothing and other equipment that has been damaged. To do this, you will need a sewing kit.

But, …

What to have?

First, you are going to need a container. Your container can determine what you and your family store, or you can decide what your family is going to store. For my sewing kit, the container determined what I would store.

This container is a former chemical decontamination kit carrier that I found in the trash, many years ago. For some purposes, like an evacuation kit, this container is too large. For other purposes, it is too small.

As you can see, from this picture, the container can hold some stuff.

Here’s a more organized view of the sewing kit’s contents.

The contents and the amounts of each item have changed over the years. Heck, I just added two lengths of white hook and loop fastener, last month. The Velcro was left over from a home improvement project; I completed a couple of months ago.

When I first started a sewing kit, I had a roll of black thread and a paper packet of sewing needles that I carried in a plastic bag. Over the years and by mistake, I added a couple more packages of needles, in different sizes, and different colored thread.

If you look at the roll of green thread, you will notice a short length of very heavy-duty white thread. If I remember correctly, I salvaged the heavy-duty thread from a discarded industrial cushion cover.

The next thing I added, over a couple of years, was various colors and sizes of buttons. In an event, I don’t think, we (you and your family) will need to worry about the color of the replacement button.

However, …

The proper sized button will matter because of the size of the button hole limits the size of the button.

To keep the buttons semi-organized, I took a couple of safety pins and threaded the button, through the holes, with the safety pins.

Speaking of pins, after meeting Katniss and watching her sew a few times; I added some straight pins to the sewing kit. The straight pins are used to hold pieces of material together, so sewing is easier.

You’ll notice, in this picture, I have two types of straight pin containers. One is a plastic container; I bought years ago. The strip of paper, that holds about fourteen pins, has pins salvaged from a couple of shirts; I bought late last year.

The next item, I have in the sewing kit, is three lengths of hook and loop fastener, better known as Velcro. The black Velcro has been in the kit for about fifteen years. The white was added a few months ago.

Probably, the best purchase I made for the kit was a couple of cutting instruments. The first was a small pair of scissors. These scissors are a big leap in usefulness from the folding scissors, you will find in most sewing kits.

The next cutting instrument is a seam ripper. These are wonderful, if you are planning to undo any of your sewing work or disassemble any clothing.

The last cutting instrument is a box cutter, I picked up years ago. I just throw it in the kit because I didn’t have any place to put it. Not really, I wanted a cutting device that could cut webbing or other thick material without being destroyed.

Lastly, in the above picture, all of the cutting instruments point to a needle threader. I ‘discovered’ this vital instrument when I was browsing a sewing display at a local China-Mart. For folks with older eyes or unwilling to take ten to fifteen times to thread a needle, they are invaluable.

Finely, ...

Neatly repacked and ready to close up until the next time I need to make a clothing repair.

April 18, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists

Ken Piorkowski

Dang, ...
I lost track of where I was at, in the writing sequence, so you're going to get an article about power production.

Reduce Expectations
I happen to work at a facility that has emergency back-up power. If we ever lose utility power the huge *ss generator kicks "On" to provide power.

Well, ...

It doesn't provide power to everything, just cell doors, security lights, and security cameras. Needless to say, everyone gets real jumpy!

Being an inquisitive person, I asked why we didn't have a larger generator.

The answer, ...

First, larger power requirements (called loads) such as having all the lights, computers, monitors, automatic doors, security sensors, and everything else being "On", would require a more expensive generator.

Next, a large generator producing more power, using more fuel, powering all the non-emergency loads. Fuel that has to be replaced after losing utility power. Plus, more fuel requires a bigger, more expensive, storage tank.

Which equals more money that could be used for other higher priorities such as (for preppers, water filters, medium-term food storage, first-aid supplies, ammunition, and ...) more comfortable office chairs ; - )

Appropriate Power
You will notice. I didn't mention emergency communications in the items that the emergency generator provides power for; that's because, we use regular alkaline batteries for our radios.


We found that having rechargeable batteries in the radios causes more problems than they're worth, such as the radios being unreliable because folks don't understand how to use rechargeable batteries.

Aaargh, ...

It was a big problem until we switched to regular batteries.

Of course, we had to put procedures in place, like everybody carries an extra set of batteries, just-in-case and we switch batteries every week. Plus, we give these batteries as rewards for "Doing the Right Thing."

What Does This Have to do With Prepping
First, you and your family have to realize you'll be unable to power the clothes dryer, inside and outside lights, electric heater and air conditioner, video games and entertainment center, refrigerator and freezer, and everything else with a generator

So, ...

You have to decide what is important, such as the freezer (with your short-term food storage), water pump and the clothes washer, like my family.

Needless to say, you will have to decide how much fuel you and your family will store for an event.

Next, you're going to need to identify alternate ways of doing things like providing heat in the winter and lights at night. The same goes for storing food even though you're probably already doing that with the boxed, bagged, bottled, and canned food stored by your family.


That's it for now.

April 19, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

l'Illustration Européenne (ca. 1871)

I like candles, except for the fire hazard, for alternative lighting because they store forever if kept away from heat.

Candle Lanterns
One way of reducing the fire hazard from candles is to place them in candle lanterns, like the picture above. These lanterns are usually made from metal with glass sides. They range in price from free (from a garage sale purchase) to well north of $100 from the high-end retailers : - (

There are other candle lanterns that are made from ceramic, pierced metal, and even flammable materials such as bamboo, wood, or paper which is a poor idea (the bamboo, wood, or paper lanterns), for prepping.

By now, you're probably thinking I have a drinking problem, since I mention beer and alcohol soo often.

Nope, at least I don't think so, it's because I'm trying to show you how to think out side the can ; - )

Building a Candle Lantern
Before I begin, I need to tell you that you and your family can use any metal drink can to build this project. If you build the candle lantern from a metal food can, you will need a better cutting instrument, like a hacksaw and a can opener.

When I first started this project, I tried to use an ordinary can opener to remove the can's top. It didn't work, so I busted out my P-51 military can opener.

Now some people will say that I wasted my time removing the top of the can. I don't think so because the can will get 'hot' to the touch with its lid still on.

If you have never used a P-51 or a P-38 , it's pretty easy. All you do is unfold the P-51, hook the little hook under the can's rim, take the big sharp point and place it one the inside of the lid (just like any other can opener) grasp the P-51 with your thumb and forefinger and twist downward piercing the lid.

Do this until the lid has been cut through. Like this.


You could stop right here and have a really nifty drinking vessel, if it wasn't for the semi-sharp and rough edge that you just cut.

So Be Careful!!!

Handling the removed top and the inside edge of the can.

Next, you're going to need a cutting instrument. I used an inexpensive serrated kitchen knife I bought at a local charity store for less than a dollar. Like I said earlier, if you're using a thicker food can or another heavier metal can, you will probably want a hacksaw with a metal cutting blade.

After I had my cutting tool, I laid the can on it's side.

Next, I started cutting.

Needless to say, I also did a little planning by looking at how tall my candle was, that I was going to use during an event, so that the opening would be big enough.

Starting slowly, I cut back and forth, with medium pressure, using the serrated kitchen knife. If you want you can use a towel to possibly protect your hand if the knife slips.

I didn't. It's just in the picture to hold the knife up, so you get an idea of how I started cutting the can.

As you saw back and forth with the knife, you might press too hard denting the can. You will need to ease up on the pressure because the can is easier to cut when it's round.

Once you have a slit opening, you can insert the point into the can and cut one side at a time. It's easier because the knife wants to bind in the can, if you cut both sides at the same time.

Once you have both the top and the bottom cut, you will need to turn the knife around and saw pushing up on the knife to separate the 'door' into two sides.

Very carefully, bend the doors outward.

Remember, all of the cut edges will be sharp!

These two doors, or one door if you prefer, can be opened and closed to reduce or increase the amount of light omitted from the candle lantern. You may also need to close the 'doors' in a high wind to keep the candle from blowing out.

Next, if you prefer, you will need to place two holes on either side at the top of the can. Once you have the two holes; take a length of wire; clothes hanger, electrical wire, or other non-flammable wire and put in the holes.

In this picture, it looks like two wires were used for a handle. Nope, shadows from the camera flash.

Of course, you will want to experiment with the length of candle lantern's handle, so you don't get brunt from the escaping heat of the burning candle.

Lastly, you can use this candle lantern as an improvised cooking device.

But, ...

That's another article.

Preparedness Advice Blog - Fire Safety and Children

Didn't Fit the Narrative
As always, there are usually a couple of picture that don't fit the article.

So, ...

Here they are.

This can had a rounded bottom that made the candle kind'a wobbly, so you may want to flatten the bottom a little bit or drop some hot wax, from the candle, to hold the candle in place.

April 25, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

William Notman

I was watching Morning Joe, CNN's New Day, or some such program, yesterday; when all of a sudden, they started talking about the event out west, with Mr. Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management. It seems Mr. Bundy was ranting about blacks, and they didn't like what he said.

That got me to thinking about where I get my "News."

Now, I have been around the block, a couple of times, so I know to take everything with a grain of salt, sometimes a pound of salt ; - )

So, ...

When folks start talking about the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), and how I need to buy, Buy, BUY gold and silver. I kind'a take a deep breath and listen.

Well, ...

Emergency Fund
For most events, you and your family are going to need some cash, under the mattress or in a bank account, (credit unions are better!!!) in a checking or savings account.

How much is up to you.

But, ...

Your family's long-term goal should be to have enough cash to cover six to twelve months of expenses.

Yes, I know I have been linking to folks, mainly Mr. Smith and Mr. Greer, that have been warning about the end of work as we know it (TEOWAWKI) but it hasn't happened, yet.

So, ...

Most of us probably have access to a 401K plan from work.

You and your partner (if they work) should contribute enough to the 401K to receive the maximum match from your employers.

Let me explain.

My employer matches dollar for dollar on the first 3%  of my income and 50¢ for every dollar on the next 2% of my income.

So, ...

I make $50.000 (to keep the math simple), and I contribute $1.500 to the 401K. My employer will match that $1.500 with their $1.500. On the next, 2% contribution from me ($1.000) they will give me $500 for my 401K. If I contribute any more money to the 401K, I receive nothing from my employer.

So, ...

I contribute $2.500 and my employer contributes $2.000, so I have $4.500 contributed to my 401K, every year, before taxes, between me and my employer.

Needless to say, the 401 limits what you can put your retirement money in.

So, ...

You will have to read your 401K financial information very carefully.

Before I continue, ...

You should never put more money into the 401K than you get a match for because 401Ks have issues.

These issues are ...

* Limited to the Funds in the 401K Plan

* The Funds, you're allowed to invest in, can change without your consent.

* ???

Now, you're going to have to decide what to invest in.

I would suggest that you place your retirement money in different categories. This is called diversification. These categories, depending on your employer, should be a broad stock fund, (S&P 500, Russell 2000 or other) a bond fund, and ???. Again, all depending on what your employer offers.

Now, ...

Depending on your age; depends on the percentage of your money goes in each of these categories.

In general terms, for folks between 20 and 40 years old, 80% to 90% of your 401K is in stocks and 10% is in bonds. For folks, 40 to 50 years old, 60% to 80% of your 401K is in stocks and 20% to 40% is in bonds. For folks, 50 to 70 years old, 40% to 60% is in stocks and 40% to 60% is in bonds.

In other words, the younger you are, the more your 401K should be in stocks. The older you are, the more your 401K should be in bonds.

Of course, some folks are going to disagree with me on the percentages. That's O.K. because these percentages are slightly aggressive.

So, ...

If you want to put less of your money in stocks, do it. It's your retirement fund.

Either way, I need for you to be diversified.

Now, ...

Again, depending on the Funds your employer offers will depend on how you spread your money around. Let me explain.

I am allowed to invest in 7 Funds, a S&P 500 index fund, a Small Cap Fund, an International Stock Fund, a U.S. Government Bond Fund, a Corporate Bond Fund, a Real Estate Investment Trust Fund, and a Gold Fund.

So, ...

I have decided to diversify by investing 80% in stocks (60% in the S&P 500 Index Fund and 20% in the International Stock Fund) and 20% in the Bond Fund (all 20% in the Corporate Bond Fund)

Now, ...

I'm not trying to convince you to invest like me because investing is a very personal matter.

Because, ...

Appetite for Risk
You may want more or less risk (risk tolerance) for your retirement funds.

So, ...

You have to look at how much time you have until retirement, how badly market fluctuations are going to cause you to lose sleep at night, worrying, and how old you are.

I have linked to an article at Investopedia that explains some more of the nuances for risk tolerance. You will also want to read the article "Risk Tolerance Only Tells Half The Story" also in the links. Needless to say, for y'all that are interested, there is more information contained in other linked articles at Investopedia.

Now, after you have divided up your 401K money into different categories (asset allocation), I would suggest you and your partner (and any other working family member) set up a ...

Roth IRA
As you can see, I have been reading and thinking about investing and retirement.

A recent book, I read, by James Cramer of Mad Money fame, titled Stay Mad For Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer). In the book Mr. Cramer makes the comment that 'We can't get rich just on our salaries. We need to invest.'

And, ...

One of the best ways is using a Roth Individual Retirement Account (Roth IRA) to invest. A Roth IRA uses money that is already taxed to purchase mutual funds.

Notice, I said Mutual Funds. Why?

Mr. Cramer made the case that most investors don't have the time to keep up with individual stocks, so it is easier, for you and me, to invest in mutual funds. But, which ones?

I personally like low-fee, no-load mutual funds that are passively managed.

You might be asking 'What?' and that's O.K. because like any other field of knowledge, we have to learn the terms and what they mean, just like firearms and ammunition!

Low-fee is just like it sounds. The fees charged by the folks that will manage your money (What? You thought they did it for free) are low. Depending on the type of fund, will depend on how much is charged. A "high-fee" fund will charge you more money.

Why is this a big deal?

The more money charged in fees; the less money you will make in your investments : - (

Next, ...

Passively managed funds purchase a group of stocks recommend by another group, like the S&P 500 or the Russell 2000. Standard and Poor's (a rating agency) and Russell Investments (an asset manager) that have published a list of recommended stocks.

Since they have done all the research (that costs money) other companies use their suggestions (nobody makes recommendations when it comes to money, unless they're a professional ; - ) to set-up these passively managed mutual funds.

Now, I know you're going to ask about actively manged funds. These funds have gads of employees that need to be paid for the work they do. Salaries that come from the fees they charge you!

Lastly, for this part, loads (as in no-load, front-load, back-load, and others) is the money charged upfront (front load) when you purchase the mutual fund. Back loads are charged when you sell the mutual fund.

And, ...

No load is considered 'no charge' for buying or selling the mutual fund.

Remember, the more money you pay in fees; the less money you will have to invest for retirement.

Just like the 401K, you need to be diversified.

However, ...

In a Roth IRA account, you are allowed to invest in almost any category of fund, not just the ones dictated by your employer.

So, ...

You can invest in a mutual fund that only has energy stocks, transportation stocks, or long-term government bond, short-term corporate bonds, junk-bonds, and many other mutual funds. For my liberal friends and family, there are socially responsible mutual funds that only invest in 'green' energy, fair-trade, and other socially responsible causes.  

Now, ...

Mr. James Cramer has in the past, and I agree, has said with a little effort, investors like you and I, can beat the returns (how much money they make, known as profits) of mutual funds that track the S&P 500, Russell 2000, and others with a little effort.

Remember, just like prepping (and who knew investing was about prepping ; - ) what you, your partner, and your family do is up to you and them.

Investing Funds
Lastly, you take money and purchase individual stocks.

Now, there is a reason for this being the last section.

For most people, you're not going to want to do this because you're going to have to work at it. You have to read the quarterly reports, listen to the CEO's and CFO's conference calls, read the company's filings with the S.E.C., and ...

Always remember, ...

To be diversified!

But, how much diversification is a good thing?

Mr. Cramer recommends five to ten stocks.

Now, these stocks are held in a taxable account, so you're going to pay taxes on them when you get (realize) a gain such as a dividend payment, profit when you sell the stock, or ...

You will also be able to take your losses off your income tax, but we want to avoid that!

Sorry, I loss track. Back to what I was saying.

These five to ten stocks are going to be in different industries. An example is like my portfolio. I own a couple shares in a power company with coal and nuclear power plants, an agricultural company, and a consumer products company. Notice, only three companies because I don't have the time to keep up with any more companies.

Plus, as Mr. Cramer suggests, I only own one company in each industry or sector. He feels (and, I agree for now) owning more than one company in a sector isn't true diversification.

So, ...

Almost lastly, all of these investments are fluid; they will change as times change. If the consumer products company information becomes negative, I'll sell that stock and buy another stock, that I have researched as a replacement. If the stock market starts to crash, I might sell my stock mutual funds and stocks in my 401K, maybe.

Finances for Preppers
Depending on your threat analysis, will depend if you want to plan for investing as a prepper.

So, ...

Emergency Fund
Cash, Cash, and more Cash in a safe, in your home or business, bolted to the floor.

Again, ...

How much is up to you and your family, but I would suggest at least one month of expenses.


Bank closures, Bank holidays, Bank bail-ins, and a lot of other potential nastiness.

With more money in a local credit union, but be prepared to get your money out of there, quickly.


It seems, when you deposit money in a bank or credit union, you are now considered a creditor.

So, ...

The bank or credit union doesn't have to give you your money back. They can give you company stock or a bond that could be worth-less : - (

Credit Card with a $5.000 to $10.000 Limit
As preppers, we are going to face those everyday events, car trouble, wardrobe malfunction, visit to the urgent care, quick evacuation to a hotel, or other minor emergency that we might not have the money for or we want to preserve our cash.

But, ...

This credit card is paid off, quickly.

Short, Medium, and Long-Term Food Storage with Water
I'm not going to explain this because I have been writing for a little while.

Plus, If you have to ask, you haven't read 16 Weeks or April 14th, 2014's 'Weekly Dose of Doom and Gloom, Part Two'

Gold and Silver
I believe, everything I have previously write in this article, a prepper and their family need to be doing, investing for retirement.

But, ...

Preppers and survivalists know that really bad times can happen, so we are going to want to invest in gold and silver.

But, ...

Not in a gold or silver fund, in a 401K or a mutual fund.

We are going to want to hold physical silver and gold, in easily recognisable coins such as U.S. silver Eagles, Canadian silver Maple Leaves, or other popular coin.

Why, ...

'Cause, when bad times happen, the ETF, mutual fund, 401K isn't going to give you silver or gold, they are doing to give you (quickly becoming) worth-less dollars.

How much?

I suggest, you and your family try for 5% to 10%.

So, ...

If you have $100.000 in your retirement fund, you should have $5.000 to $10.000 in physical (on hand in your safe, bolted to the floor) coins.

But, ...

How do you determine the value of your silver and gold since silver Eagles are valued at $1,00 and Maple Leaves are valued at $2,00 Canadian?

But, ...

The silver is worth around $19,00 in each U.S. and Canadian coin.

Since this is investing, I would go with the value of the silver.

So, ...

A $100,000 retirement portfolio would have 264 to 528 ounces of silver or 4 to 8 ounces of gold, or some combination that adds up to 5% to 10% of the portfolios value.

Real Estate
If you remember all the way back to the beginning, I only invested in the S&P 500 fund, International Stock fund, and the corporate bond fund. Plus, I avoided the R.E.I.T., the government bond fund, small cap fund, and the gold fund.

There are reasons.

First, like gold and silver, I believe real estate should be held by you and your family in actual houses, apartments, and business properties that you rent out to other families, local or out-of-state. The local rental property must be seen by your or your family every day because you want to protect your investment. The out-of-state property is located in an area that you like to visit, so you and your family can go there, complete improvement/take care of the property, and take the trip and improvements off your income taxes.

Second, like the gold and silver, the real estate is already paid for. Yeah, I know you and your family don't have two or three hundred thousand dollars, but you might have $5.000 for a down payment on a $50,000 rental home in a less than desirable neighborhood that you're going to pay off, very quickly.

Next, I avoid small caps because I believe you, your family, and possibly friends could start a small business, cutting grass, baby sitting, woodworking, or many others only limited by your imagination.

In other words, you and your family become the small cap that you invest in keeping all the profits for yourself ; - )

Lastly, and this is truly lastly, I avoid government bonds because I believe these United States, as have many other countries, will have financial difficulty in the near future.

Needless to say, I have been writing about money, and that's a subject people take very seriously.

So, ...

Make sure you read the disclaimer, at the bottom of this page, ...

And, ...

If you think any financial advice was given, you're wrong. Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness is for entertainment only.

And, ..

You should only listen to professionals because they might know what they're talking about.

Plus, ...

If you follow what I say, you could wind up poor and destitute, just like me.

Investopedia - What is the difference between risk tolerance and risk capacity?

Investopedia - Risk Tolerance Only Tells Half The Story

Wikipedia - Individual Retirement Account

Vanguard - Compare ETFs vs. Mutual Funds

Investopedia - Stylebox

May 2, 2014

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Ministry of Information, Great Britain

Finances for Preppers
Just so you know, I finally finished last Friday's article about financial preps for preppers.

So, ...

You might not get a very long article, today. We'll see.

You know shelter is probably the most important preparation you and your family can make after thinking, air, and having an emergency evacuation kit.

Well, ...

I would like you to consider that proper clothing is as important as shelter.

Yes, I know I made clothing - chapter: nine in 16 Weeks, but I needed it to be a separate chapter. You know writers prerogative. and all.

I'll be the first one to tell you that 'Cotton Kills' especially outdoors

But, ...

Not always!

Think about it. Do you die when it rains and you're wearing jeans?


But, you know you need to get yourself inside as quickly as possible, use an umbrella, or wear some kind of wet weather gear. Right.

So, ...

If you're planning to be out in the wilderness or without proper shelter for any length of time, ..

Now, some folks recommend, you and your family purchase synthetics like polyester, nylon, and other synthetics for your preps.

But, ...

They are expensive when brand new, especially the speciality outdoor technical clothing from retailers like Cabela's, R.E.I., Campmor, and others.

So, ...

What is a prepper to do?

Quarter-Zip Jacket (left) with a Full-Zip Jacket (right)

You and your family can purchase prepperwear© (I just made that up!!!) from the local charity stores. Of course, you're probably not going to be able to run down to the charity store and outfit the whole family in one shopping spree, but over the course of a few months to a year, you'll be able to purchase at least one jacket for everyone in the family. Maybe even some for guests.

Another option, if you have adequate shelter, is for folks to share clothing. Let me explain.

The person pulling outside guard duty, chopping wood, clearing debris, or doing another outdoor task wears the nice thick polypropylene jacket and long-johns while the folks inside, with the fire, wear regular jeans and flannel shirts.

Another option, if you have a sewing machine, is to make your prepper-wear© from patterns and material from the local sewing supplies store, such as Jo-Ann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, and similar places. Plus, this might be a reasonable side business, for now and in the future.

The last option, I'll explore, is buying from military surplus stores. These, bricks and mortar and on-line, stores will carry older (but still usable by preppers) nylon field jacket liners and field pants liners, the recently obsolete polypropylene 'bear' suits, and used but still serviceable thicker polypropylene long-johns.

Watch out, some of these stores like their merchandise. In other words, their prices are outrageously high.

Just like food, clothing is a preference choice, too.

Katniss hates quarter-zip jackets and jacket liners. She prefers full-zip liners and jacket.

So, ...

That's what I buy for her.

Now, don't get me wrong, for an emergency, she will wear a quarter-zip liner, but she'll be uncomfortable taking it off and putting it on, long-term.

I have also noticed this in children. When they are younger, they have a hard time putting their coats on, so a quarter-zip liner would require a parent's or an older sibling's help to quickly get dressed.

Like Katniss, I have a preference for my outerwear. I like my jackets a little loose, so I can wear multiple layers, under the jacket. The same goes for my 'winter' pants (some folks call them 'fat' pants ; - ). I buy one size larger, so I can layer polypro (shortened from polypropylene) long-johns underneath my pants in the winter. I also do this for my summer work shirts but for a different reason. Baggie shirts allow better air flow on hot breezy days.

What to Look for?
When you're shopping at a charity store, you're going to want to check for serviceability. Is it usable? Do all the zippers open and close, easily and completely? Does it fit; is it the right size? Is it a nice color?

Next, you're going look at the thickness of the cloth. Thicker cloth will mean a warmer jacket.

But, ...

Too thick of a material will mean too warm of a liner or jacket.

Remember, ...

You and your family are trying to stay warm, not sweat!

So, ...

You will need to layer your clothing. Layering allows you and your family to remove clothing, as you get warm, and add clothing as you get cooler.

I apologize, ...

I'll get back to the topic.

Next, you want to see if there are drawstrings at the bottom and chest of the jacket. The drawstrings allow the wearer to open or close the liner to hold or let out warm air close to their body.

Another nice to have, which I recently learned about, was having protection from the plastic or metal zipper, usually between the zipper and your body. This protection protects your skin from the cold zipper. If the zipper forms a tube-neck when fully closed, a flap of cloth, in a quality jacket design, will protect the wearer's throat from the slider body and pull tab.

Now, here come some preferences, again. Some folks like elastic bands for the sleeves and some folks like velcro. I know from experience, both will degrade over time. Elastic will lose its stretch and velcro will become clogged with debris reducing its ability to hook closed.

So, ...

Having a sewing machine handy or a sewing kit around, would be a good idea, if you want to replace the worn out elastic around a jacket's sleeve.

Needless to say, depending on your threat analysis, color may or may not be a big deal. I tend to shy away from the extremely bright colors. (Hey, I'm former military. I have to be tactical ; - ) For some, bushcrafters, outdoors men and outdoors women, nature-lovers, and many others bright clothing is a great idea, so the clothing could be used as a signaling device if lost. (It happens)

I apologize, ...

Off topic, again.

Another nice to have are deep pockets with zippers. The deep pockets can securely hold knit caps, gloves, fire starters, survival tin, munchies, water bottle, and many other items.

Yeah, I know. Those deep pockets don't look cool and sleek, but they sure do come in handy.


That's it for now.

According to my statistics, I have several readers from other countries such as Germany, Finland, China, Brazil, Korea, and many others : - )

Well, ...

I am almost finished with my book.

So, ...

I am looking for translators.

If you are interested in translating, I am interested in hearing from you.

Needless to say, you'll get paid. I just don't know how much or when.

You can leave a comment or e-mail me at

gsiep.blogspot (at)

Needless to say, you'll need to write me in english ; - )

May 3, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


Clothing, Continued

Yesterday, I was talking about how the zipper needs to have some kind'a protection behind it, to protect your skin.

You will notice this quarter-zip cotton sweater has it on the outside. I'll be donating it to a charity store; it's that irritating.

When I talk about buying clothes in certain colors, some people think, I am talking about just the browns and greens.

Nope, ...

I am also talking about the greys, blacks, deep reds, and the colors that don't shout 'Look at me!'

Needless to say, as I mentioned, if your threat analysis indicates that you and your family want to be found, you need to be wearing the bright oranges, yellows, ultra-bright neon greens.

You know, the colors that do shout 'Look at me!!!

Of course, some of us (my family included) have a threat analysis that covers both disappearing in the wilderness and contrasting, so we can be found by search personal or each other.

On way to achieve this is buying and wearing clothes, especially coats, lined with bright colors on the inside and dull and subdued colors on the outside. If you and your family find yourself in an event that being found or located would be a good thing, the brightly-lined coat could be reversed and worn like that or spread open for a signaling device.

These United States' military has a flight jacket, called the MA-1 Flight Jacket that uses this concept.

Oregon Department of Transportation
Another technique would be to have access to a class 3 safety vest (they cost about $30) to wear during an event, like changing your vehicle's tire on the side of the road, in the middle of the night, with big-rigs rolling by at 70 miles per hour.

Now, some people will think obtaining a less expensive class 2 or class 1 safety vest would be just as good. They would be o.k. for a family on a budget, but the class 1 and class 2 safety vests don't have 'arms' with additional reflective material.

So, ...

The class 3 safety vest is 'brighter'

Needless to say, orange, yellow, neon green, or any other bright color is up to you and your partner. Just remember, it's a safety vest or a home-made one with lots and lots of reflective material.

Just check out this flagman, standing on the back of a moving train, in a bright yellow, with reflective strips, class 3 vest.

See, how much he stands out against a dark background!

The same goes for the red railway line emblem!

Lastly, these United States' military has or had a signaling device called, ...

Panel, Marker, VS-17.

Hey, it's the military; what did you expect ; - )

Now, you and your family could make a similar one by purchasing cloth from a local fabric store or, like I did, finding orange or pink material at the local charity store. (More about that latter)

That's it.

According to my statistics, I have several readers from other countries such as Germany, Finland, China, Brazil, Korea, and many others : - )

Well, ...

I am almost finished with my book.

So, ...

I am looking for translators.

If you are interested in translating, I am interested in hearing from you.

Needless to say, you'll get paid. I just don't know how much or when.

You can leave a comment or e-mail me at

gsiep.blogspot (at)

Needless to say, you'll need to write me in english ; - )

May 9, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

“Buffalo Soldiers” of the 25th Infantry (ca 1890)
United States Library of Congress

Former Solider
There is a saying, amoung Marines, that goes something like 'There is no such thing as an ex-Marine'

The same goes for Soldiers

and, ...

Doctors, Nurses, School Teachers, Janitors, Plumbers, Electricians, and most other professions.

By now, most of y'all are puzzled and starting to ask 'Where are you going with this SYK?'

What I'm saying is that your current and past professions will determine how you look at buying your family's equipment.

Take tactical gear.

Current U.S. soldiers will have a preference for M.O.L.L.E gear while current British soldiers will probably have a preference for P.L.C.E. While older, former soldiers will have a fondness for using  A.L.I.C.E. gear and Pattern 58 webbing.

Needless to say, these preferences will carry over to other preferences such as how equipment is treated. Some folks feel that axes can be put away dirty and if the axe breaks they'll go buy another one while other folks think an axe should be treasured and never abused. Plus, the thought of buying another axe would be almost sacrilegious

Of course, ...

This leads to ...

I did a search; the actual saying is "Once a Marine, Always a Marine"

Quality or Quantity
When I was growing up, one of my girlfriends (female and a friend) bought a pair of German-made scissors to use in her new profession as a Hair Stylist, for $300.

One of my nieces, or is it cousins, recently spent $150 for a new stethoscope for her new profession as a Nurse. Plus, I have talked to Doctors that have no trouble spending over $300 for a cardiac stethoscope, either.

Now, each of these people were able to justify (I think correctly) spending the money for equipment for their profession.

However, ...

Paying $150 for a shovel is outrageously irresponsible; the same goes for a $300 knife.

So, ...

You need to make sure you're getting the appropriate value for your money.

Next, you and your family want to make sure that you're buying in the quantities that will see you through the events that you're planning for.

Let me explain.

Say you're planning for a one or two-year breakdown of society.

So, ...

Your family is storing glass canning jars to can your own food, say 288 of them. If you have only 288 canning jar lids, you don't have enough lids for the planned event, a two-year collapse.

So, ...

You'll need to buy more canning jar lids but not the rings because the rings are reusable.

But, ...

What about those reusable canning lids and rings, from Tattler?

It might not be a good idea. Why?

If your family is only planning for a one or two-year event, it would be cheaper to just purchase another set of canning lids instead of spending money on stuff, you're not going to really need, according to your threat analysis.

We also see this happening with firearms and knives.

Folks go out and buy a couple of M-4 carbine-like rifles, LR-8s, 12 gauge semi-automatic shotguns, 10/22s, long range hunting rifles, and all the accessories when all they need is a SKS and a .357 revolver to be prepared.

As I mentioned about knives, some folks spend $100, $200, or $300 on a knife that is going to sit in a rarely if ever used bag that ends up rusting because the knife blade is made out of carbon steel (rusts) instead of stainless steel (less likely to rust)

So, to wrap it up.

Make sure you're evaluating your family's kit purchases to insure you're buying enough and in the proper quality to cover your threat analysis.

This doesn't mean that you buy junk, either.

May 10, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

One of those items you and your family will need in your kit will be a knife. For most families, you will want a ‘low’ maintenance blade in an inexpensive knife because, just like firearms, you are going to be buying a knife for each member of the family.

Now, you can get pretty cheap.

Smoky Mountain Knife Works and other places on the internet sell a couple of packages where you and your family can purchase 20 knives for $10. Heck, I find similar deals, every summer, at our local swap meet.

Now, these knives are going to be made of inexpensive materials that may not hold up under intense use. This is neither good nor bad, it’s just a fact. Plus, these knives are usually folding knives.

Folding knives, even quality folders, will be inherently weak at the handle and the knife’s pivot point.

As knife prices increase, you and your family will have a choice in blade material. The choices will be carbon steel or stainless steel. Carbon steel will rust, making continued maintenance important, even in storage. Stainless steel is just like it sounds; it will not rust, almost.

A knife in this price range will usually have a handle made of a synthetic material, usually some type of plastic.

So, …

How much will these knives cost?

About $10 to $15, each.

Needless to say, you can spend a lot more money for a knife. Remember, you are trying to purchase at least one knife for each member of the family, if not more.

Currently, there is a very popular brand, in this price range, that bushcrafters have used for many years. The brand?

If you haven’t heard of this brand, I have provided a link with basic history about Mora of Sweden.

Happy Birthday
Jumper, my brother, recently gave me $30 in gift cards from Amazon. Needless to say, I wanted something that I could use for my preps.

So, …

I bought three knives; they are the Companion knife model.

As you can see, each of the knives arrived in a separate plastic bag. I immediately removed one of the knives to check it out.

The knife was securely held in the molded plastic sheath. I had a little difficulty removing the knife from the sheath until I remembered Jungle G’s advice, from two years ago. (grasp the knife handle then press down, with your thumb, on the projection on the side of the sheath)

The knife has about a four and a half inch handle with a four inch blade. The knife’s blade is made from stainless steel. As you can see the handle is green and black plastic. This type of Mora knife can be purchased in various colors, handle and sheath.

So, …

If you think a bright orange or yellow color would be better for your family’s situation or you prefer a different color such as dark purple, hot pink, neon green, or sky blue, you can probably purchase the knife and sheath in that color.

No matter the color, all of the sheaths have a very effective belt hook; I learned that after trying to remove it from my belt.

Needless to say, like any tool, this knife isn’t perfect; no knife is perfect for all situations.

Let me explain.

First, the knife’s sheath is designed for right-handed people.

Next, the knife’s handle has a minimal guard. If your hand gets wet or slippery, your hand may slip forward, cutting your fingers on the blade.

Third, this type of Mora knife has a partial tang. (The tang is the part of the knife’s blade that is attached to the handle) It isn’t a big deal on a small knife, but on a larger knife, the tang handles the force placed on the blade. (If, I remember correctly)

Lastly, the blade is made of stainless steel. Yes, even though the blade won’t rust, stainless steel is hard to sharpen. Now, this isn’t a problem with modern knife sharpeners.

And, …

This brings up my next point. Like any piece of equipment, you will need additional equipment to maintain it.

Knife Sharpener
Like firearms, knives, and other equipment, knife sharpeners come in various price ranges and types. You and your family can pick up knife sharpeners as cheap as $2.00 and as expensive as $50.00 or more.

As to types, there are mainly four types of knife sharpeners, stone, diamond, ceramic, and metal. They come in two shapes, flat and rod-shaped. The stone knife sharpener is, just like it sounds, made of natural stone. The diamond sharpeners are made of tiny diamonds embedded in a plastic substrate. Stone and diamond knife sharpeners are usually flat. Ceramic knife sharpeners are made of ceramic usually shaped as a thin rod. These rods can be mounted in a holder or have a handle. Metal knife sharpeners are usually carbide, a very hard metal, also probably rod-shaped.

As you have realized, a stone is the traditional knife sharpener while the diamond, ceramic, and metal knife sharpeners are recent inventions.

O.K., I lied; ceramic has also been used as a traditional knife sharpener. How? The bottom of a ceramic plate would be used to put a very sharp edge on the blade.

Now, …

These knife sharpeners come in various grades; extra fine, fine, medium, coarse, and extra course. As you can probably figure, the fine and extra fine knife sharpeners are used to place a very sharp edge on the knife. The coarse and extra course sharpeners are used to put a relatively rough edge on a blade.

Put another way, …

The fines remove very little of the knife blade’s metal while the course will remove a lot. Plus, the course sharpeners are used to fix a dinged, damaged, and abused knife blade.

Which one to purchase?

Combination Sharpeners
Fisker, Gerber and many others make a sharpener that has ceramic and metal rods, embedded in a plastic holder. These embedded rods are angled at about 20 degrees; the average angle for a sharp, tough knife edge. The metal rod, usually carbide, are ‘course,’ and the ceramic rods are considered ‘fine.’

Some of these combination sharpeners have a place that will also sharpen scissors. Plus, they are pretty inexpensive depending on the additional features

Diamond Sharpeners
The diamond sharpeners are expensive. You and your family can find the diamond sharpeners in flat and rods. There is even one brand that has a ‘V-shaped’ sharpener for serrated knife blades.

If you plan to go this route, I suggest a flat diamond sharpener about 6-inches long or longer in fine and medium. If you can’t find a diamond sharpener in medium, I would suggest, you purchase a course diamond knife sharpener, but be careful using it.

If you’re planning to purchase a serrated knife, you definitely need a tapered rod diamond knife sharpener to properly sharpen this type of knife.

Stone Knife Sharpeners
With the invention of diamond, metal, and ceramic knife sharpeners, I wouldn’t purchase stone sharpeners, in any form


The stone sharpener will wear unevenly, making sharpening a knife or any other sharp instrument difficult. Plus, stone knife sharpeners are fragile

Lastly, …
… at least, for this blurb.

Remember me talking about quality and quanity.

Well, ...

There is a very expensive diamond knife sharpener made by Lansky, that has guides, at various angles, that can sharpen many different types of blades. If you have the money, it runs over $75.

For $75, you and your family could purchase from ten to twenty combination knife sharpeners that you would fine at your local farm and home store.

Art of Manliness - How to Sharpen a Pocket Knife

May 16, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

National Archives and Records Administration

Before I begin, ...


Talking at Work
I was talking to a guy at work, and we got to talking about finances and other stuff. Needless to say, I didn't share, too much. 

Funding His 401K
During our conversion; this guy, I'll call him 'Mr. Investor;' made the comment 'In 2013, I quit funding my 401K.'

I was shocked because in the past, Mr. Investor had definitely urged others to fund the company's 401K to get the full match.

Of course, I asked him to explain why he had quit funding his 401K.

First, ...

He said, 'The financial future is very uncertain, so I did the numbers and figured with what I have now, in my 401K, is good for retirement.

If, ...

Everything continues to limp along.

But, ...

If the economy goes to crap, I have no back up'

I asked him 'No back up?'

Mr. Investor replied 'Things like Beans, Brass, and Bullion'

Beans, Brass, and ...
Needless to say, I played stupid and asked 'Beans, Brass, and Bullion?'

'Yeah, my family and I have about a six month supply of freeze-dried food, dry and regular canned foods. Plus, we have a couple of five-gallon buckets of pasta, beans, and rice.

Brass wise, it's bullets and firearms'

Now, he knows I'm a 'gun guy,' so he shared the firearms his family has.

'We have a couple pistols mostly Glock 19s and a Glock 36 in .45ACP, a .22LR rifle with a scope, and my family and I have taken a couple firearms courses.'

He also mentioned that he had shot an AR-15 awhile back and liked it, so he planned to buy one, some day.

As a side note, Mr. Investor was proud that his daughter was shooting the .45 ACP before she was a teenager.

Of course, I asked Mr. Investor about ammo, and he said they were pretty good. He had bought a bunch of ammo before the elementary school shooting, in Connecticut.

Lastly, he mentioned, he was buying silver and gold with the funds not going into his 401K

This conversion lasted about two hours, so I'm not going to get into the back and forth as I quizzed him about his bullion purchases.

So, ...

Mr. Investor said that he was buying one ounce U.S. gold Eagles and Buffalo coins instead of the 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 ounce because the fractional gold coins have such high premiums. He also said that his silver purchases were silver Eagles and silver bars. Again, his reasoning for the silver bars were their low premiums. Plus, he has purchased some junk silver, over the years.

Of course, I asked him some more question such as when he would sell, if he would ever stop buying, and ...

He replied 'I'll always be a buyer until the economy rests. When the new currency is established, I'll sell some of my family's gold and silver to purchase investments like land and property, on the cheap.'

I asked him about the silver to gold ratio, it's currently about 66 to 1.

Even though he is buying one ounce gold coins, Mr. Investor plans to trade some of his silver into gold 'if' the silver to gold ratio goes to say 30 to 1.

Mr. Investor has some problems that he shared with me.

The first problem is parents and in-laws. He told me that his Mom and Dad thinks he's kind'a paranoid, and his father-in-law thinks he is crazy.

So, ...

They aren't prepping, so he worries they will show up on his doorstep during a long-term event and compromise his family's survival.

Another problem is his sister. He told me she is a recent convert, but she is only purchasing brass and bullion, no beans.

Lastly, ...
This is where I probably blow my OPSEC because I asked Mr. Investor 'As you look into the future, what do you see happening? More of the same continuing slow collapse, hyperinflation followed by deflation, deflation followed by hyperinflation, or some other situation? Do you see us getting through this difficulty?

Or, ...
Will we end up like the other historical examples with a possible loss of our freedoms, slide into fascism/totalitarianism, or worst?'

Mr. Investor replied 'I'm praying that the powers to be wake up before the whole system implode and implement a new currency backed by gold. If that doesn't happen, I see the biggest financial crash in the history of the world. I see broken supply chains, resulting in empty store shelves, until the old system is replaced.

I also see the standard of living, for most citizens, being cut in half, maybe even two thirds!

This reduction in the standard of living will result in civil unrest. Once everything calms down, I see a permanent higher incident of crime because folks won't be able to handle the lower standard of living.

Lastly, those who saved in gold and silver should get through this relatively unscathed.'

May 17, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The Lecture (ca 1889)
D. Lothrop Company

Other Stuff
Mr. Investor shared some other stuff with me. First, he mentioned that his family had 200 gallons of water on hand for an earthquake. (hey, we live in earthquake country!) Second, his family was  upgrading their home, to make it more liveable.

Of course, I told him not to be too concerned about his parents and in-laws. It seems, baby boomers have a mindset that everything is going to be o.k. because they have lived through a very long period of 'good times.'

So, ...

I suggested he purchase more beans and rice or beans and wheat from the Latter-day Saints Distribution Center (search for "starter kit" and click around from there)

Or, ...

Self-pack beans and rice from the local COSTCO, Sam's or local grocery store to set aside for his non-prepping parents and in-laws.

Because, ...

I didn't want to blow my OPSEC anymore then I already did so, I didn't tell him about these two past articles, Storing Sugar and It's Not That Easy (Food Storage) on self-packing long-term food storage.

Needless to say,

I have a couple more suggestion, that I didn't tell him because of my OPSEC requirements.

But, ...

I'll tell you ; - )

Next, after storing more food for the extended family, I would sell the Glock 36.


It's an oddball pistol, in his arsenal. Selling it would remove the need to have two different handgun cartridges, 9mm and .45 ACP. Plus, he could use the money to possibly purchase an AR-15 rifle that he wants.

Next, ...

I would suggest talking to his sister. I would try and explain to her the importance of including food storage, lots of it, in her family's preps.

I would explain that food is a vital need, after shelter and water, that would be in short supply during a financial event. I would remind her that food may be unavailable at any price.

Lastly, ...

I would suggest he, his partner, and children (if they're mature enough) read 16 Weeks to make sure the family is prepared for those more common events, such as house fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, trucker strikes, power outages, and ...

Latter-day Saints - Disribution Center

GSIEP - Storing Sugar Using Plastic Buckets

GSIEP - It's Not That Easy (Food Storage)

GSIEP - 16 Weeks

May 18, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Allie Caulfield

Switching Gears
A lot of folks are concerned about the future, take Charles Hugh Smith. He's worried about the death of the middle class, rightly so.

Now, one of the things that concerns Mr. Smith is that the middle class is destroying itself by eating poorly, nutrition wise. He feels, we spend too much money on unhealthy food.

I can see this.

As some of you know, I work away from my family, so I drive home every couple of weeks.

Well, ...

Last week, I bought lunch on the road, at Hardee's. For about $6, I bought two 99¢ spicy chicken sandwiches and a large order of curly fries with a cup of water. I agonized over this lunch because for the same $6 to $9 lunch, I could have bought enough food from my local grocery to last me almost a week.

Another concern, Charles Smith has, is the loss of small businesses, here in these United States. He feels small businesses are the "stepping stones to middle class income and generational wealth" This has been shown, in our past, where 75% of businesses had less than 5 employees.

Now, ...

What does this have to do with prepping?

First, you and your family need to be healthy, healthy as possible.

Second, you and your partner need to start a side business to supplement your income.

Lastly, Mr. Smith suggest, we realize that living the middle class life is too expensive for most of us.

So, ...

We need to turn-off the t.v., turn-off the advertisements, and definitely turn-off the need to purchase what we 'want'

Of Two Minds Blog  - The Solution to the Declining Middle Class: Destroy Fixed Cost and Debt

Of Two Minds Blog -The Decline of Small Business and the Middle Class

Of Two Minds Blog - The Destabilizing Truth: Only the Wealthy can Afford a Middle Class Lifestyle

May 23, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Cecil Beaton

Where's the Emergency Room?
A couple of weeks ago, in the early morning, I woke up with abdominal pain.

Since I had had corn bread and greasy Italian meatballs for dinner, with half a pound of un-shelled peanuts, for dessert. I wasn't too concerned.

Well, ...

I decided to wash the dishes (I am a slacker on the weekends) instead of try to go back to sleep. Needless to say, the pain increased.

So, ...

I took a shower, put on clean clothes with clean socks and underwear ; - ) then rushed out the door. Where I promptly realized, I didn't know where the hospital was!

Of course, ...

I had seen the blue hospital direction signs and knew where they where at, so I drove, found one and started in that direction.

Since I wasn't feeling well, I stopped at a local gas station to confirm my route. At first, the gasoline station workers were suspicious, they were 'closed', but they answered my pointed and repeated questions "Where is the hospital? and How do I get there?" shouted threw the locked doors.

Since it was still dark, this early in the morning, I couldn't find the hospital.

Well, ...

I was lucky; I found a police officer stopped on the side of the road. After overcoming his suspicions, the officer had me follow him to the emergency room.

To make a long painful story short, I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder, spent a night in the hospital, and spent five days away from work.

So, ...

This weekend, you and your partner with the children, go for a drive to the closest emergency room, just in case you want to drive to the hospital for your next emergency!

May 30, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


During my time in these United States' military we received some training on espionage. Most of it was general stuff such as what to do 'If' you're suspicious of someone, potential signs of someone trying to recruit you, or other such stuff.

Well, ...

One of the methods of recruitment was called a 'Honey Pot.' Usually, this method involved sex, drugs, money, or some other desired object to be dangled in front of the potential recruit. If the person took the bait, they would be convinced to provide information or other harmful stuff.

Another method described was the 'False Flag.' In this method, someone or a group would appear to be a like-minded individual or group. In the training films, I remember, a curly haired man with an European accent trying to recruit a Jewish-American. The curly-haired man would talk about the need to help our newly founded country. Needless to say, our hero always turned the curly-haired man in after reporting the contact to counter-intelligence.

Another technique that I remember and have mentioned in the past is an agent provocateur. Using this technique, a person or group of people, under the pay of or loyal to the security forces, try to cause other people to commit crimes. Two recent examples are the F.B.I. and A.T.F.E. stings using mentally disturbed folks to try and sell weapons or agents acting as sellers of explosives (These incidents are a little more complicated, but you get the point)

I don't remember much more about these films, at least for now ; - )

By now, you probably wondering why I bring this up. Let me tell you.

Katniss is a conspiracy aficionado. Sometimes, she thinks people are trying to manipulate citizens, take the Tonkin Gulf incident or the weapons of mass destruction claims for the second invasion of Iraq, as examples.

Now, before everyone shouts 'fog of war,' 'liberal bias,' or some other claim to discredit me, I am providing these events as examples. There are many more such as the I.R.S. investigating 'conservative' groups but not 'liberal' tax-exempt groups, the V.A. secret waiting lists, lack of support for security and failure to appropriately respond during the Benghazi attacks, and many more current scandals. Plus, if you cruise the internet, you will read and hear even more complex and extreme examples. Glen Beck comes to mind. (One of my favorites, from many years ago, is when he started spouting about people 'might' be trying to kill him, to silence his message)

Now, ...

What's so bad about it; it is possible that this misdirection is happening!

And, ...

There is no way to tell if it's true or false because the national media is involved with the subterfuge!

So, ...

What does this have to do with prepping?

First, realize it happens. Let me give you an example, during these United States' 1930 depression, President Roosevelt's administration lied, numerous times, about the economy turning around.

After World War II and later, some books were written by the participants that revealed these deceptions covering many years of Roosevelt's administration

Next, be sceptical. Reasonably question what people are saying and find a different source providing different or better information about the event. Plus, use your brain, so think about the situation.

Third, be prepared, in a general way, for the event to be true, especially, if the event would negatively affect your family. Take when my colleagues and I may have lost our jobs, many years ago, because the company's contract was being canceled.

The company managers kept telling us 'The contract is ironclad. There is no way; the customer can get out of it.' Needless to say, two weeks before the end of the contract, we were informed of the contract non-renewal and the resulting job losses.

Next, regarding agent provocateurs, understand that some officials consider your family's preparations as hostile acts. Even though you don't think you're a danger and you're not breaking the law, these people may try and entrap you by using your friends, family, and co-workers.

Or, ...

Omit information, so you can't effectively defend yourself during an investigation to clear you and your family of wrong doing.

Wow, that sounds pretty extreme, but think about it. Randy Weaver, supposedly, was entrapped in a, supposedly, illegal firearms alteration (He cut down a shotgun barrel, shorter then the legal limit, supposedly) so he would inform on the Ayran Nation. At least, that's my version ; - )

Lastly, ...

You and your family have to get out and vote.

And, ...

Hold the politicians accountable for their policies of allowing the EPA to over-regulate coal-fired power plants, the V.A. shortchanging veterans, allowing the FDA to over-regulate organic farms and small farms, and many others

Plus, you need to write those letters advocating for holding rogue police officers accountable for their unlawful actions, firing anti-freedom (gun control) police chiefs, prohibiting the police from acquiring expensive military vehicles, firearms, and other gear that may militarize the police.

(Yeah, I know Ol' Remus from 'Yer Ol' Woodpile Report' advocates not voting because he thinks it encourages the politicians.

But, ...

You don't have to vote for the Democrats or the Republicans. You can vote for a third party candidate from the Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, and many others.)

Oh, Oh, Oh
Thanks to Uncle, over at Say Uncle, for a link to a chart illustrating congress is the problem, too.

You'll want to check it out.

Say Uncle - Congress is the Problem too

That wasn't where I wanted to go.

So, ...

Come back tomorrow.

Wikipedia - Espionage

Wikipedia - Agent provocateur

Wikipedia - Gulf of Tonkin Incident

Wikipedia - Iraq and WMD

Wikipedia - 2013 I.R.S. Controversy

Wikipedia - Benghazi Attack

Wikipedia - Ruby Ridge

I have provided these Wikipedia links just to give a general idea on the events mentioned. I do not know if the Wikipedia accounts are true and correct. You have been warned.

May 31, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


I Apologize
When I started writing yesterday's article, I didn't plan to get into an article advocating you and your family to vote. Instead, I had planned to write a quick blurb about Jadinardo, a reader.

Jadinardo's kind enough to send me a couple links, every once in a while, about various stuff.

So, ...

I was listening to one when Katniss asked 'if' this could happen. Of course, I told her 'Yes, it's a possibility because ...'

X22 Report - The Next False Flag Seems To Be Right On Schedule -- Episode 317

Have y'all been keeping up with the on-going situation? I have; kind'a.

So, ...

If you're a prepper, what would you do?

First, update the passport because it's never a good idea to be living in the middle of a shooting war, right?

Next, doesn't matter if you're pro-Russian or pro-Ukrainian. You and your family need to be contacting some friends or family outside of Ukraine and see if they could take y'all in for a couple of months, just in case any shooting starts. (It already has but I'm talking Lots of Russians shooting at lots of Ukrainians or vis-a-versa)

If you can't leave work (I couldn't) send your partner and children to 'visit' your friends. Plus, you won't have to worry about them.

Third, if you live in Europe, you and your family need to be securing an alternate heating source for this winter. I would suggest, while everyone is enjoying the nice weather, for you to load up on a couple of cords of wood, a few full propane tanks (with heater, of course), or whatever alternate heating source will work for your situation.

Be Warned:
I would take immediate delivery because once Russia turns off the gas, this winter, you and your family will get the run around 'cause the supplies will probably get a better price from someone else. Leaving you and your family empty handed.

Next, ...

You know: Proper Shelter, Water, Food, Medical Supplies, Protection, ...

In other words, ... 16 Weeks

The same goes for what's going down in Thailand, Vietnam, and the many countries of Africa

Wow, ...
You can tell when you're getting old. Prices have noticeably increased.

Best Made Company - Collections: All

Wow, ... Modified
Sew a D-ring to the bottom of the bag, to hook the hook, and a crude but serviceable pack could be improvised, freeing up your hands to carry a rifle or small child.

Ooops, I didn't look at the other pictures. It already had a d-ring sewn to the bottom ; - )

Best Made Company - The Best Made Ditty Bag

Almost Lastly, ...
I have been traveling, without a computer.

But, ...

After I log on to my e-mail, I get the same advertisements.

View From the Porch - If you liked $THIS, you'll love $THAT!

The link also has to do with yesterday's blurb.

You might want to throw in a couple of weirdo web searches every time you surf the net, just to throw people off your trail.

For the last couple of years, I have been blowing off the semi-paranoia about the security forces watching our every move because I had been more worried about corporations collecting information.

Well, ...

It seems I was wrong.

June 6, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists

Medium Rucksack Detached from Frame

An Emergency Evacuation Kit
Before we begin, you need to check the local weather because the weather is going to determine some of the stuff you will carry in your bag.

Oh, ...

Don't forget to check your threat analysis, too.

The Bag

I was shopping at one of the local charity stores when I found a backpack for $4.99. Normally, this school book bag costs about $30, brand new.

Needless to say, I was lucky because this quality of bag is usually snapped up or is damaged requiring some repair, usually zipper replacement.

The bag has two mesh pockets, on either side, for carrying stuff. I'll be using one of them to carry a one liter water bottle.

It's hard to tell, but the bag has three compartments, a large main compartment, a medium-sized one, and a small pocket (the big yellow area)

The picture to the right shows the back of the bag. It has a carry handle at the top, two shoulder straps permanently attached to the bag, and some padding covered with mesh.

I personally don't like mesh material, especially in high-wear areas such as on shoulder straps and the padding of the bag.

Oh, well.

At $4.99, I can handle it.

I have had a chance to purchase a similar bag for $10 to $15 on sale. I didn't because of the mesh-material covering the padding.

But, ...

Depending on your threat analysis, this bag may be more than rugged enough for your family's use as an emergency evacuation kit.

Here is a side view, showing the three compartments; small, medium, and large; fully opened and the larger of the two mesh pockets on the side of the bag.

This mesh pocket is big enough to hold a one liter water bottle.

Now, some folks would object to this bag for various reasons.

First, it's not a military bag.

Folks, a few years ago, you and your family could purchase a U.S. Army medium rucksack, like the one in the very top picture, for $25 with a frame. Now-a-days, they are running about $30 without a frame. A foreign military back can set you back some more. Plus, a military bag shouts 'Prepper!!!'

Really it shouts "SURVIVALIST" but most preppers deny being survivalists.

Next, some folks would complain about the yellow panels sewn into the bag. They think a bag has to be a subdued color.

No really!

Especially if you want to be found after an event.

Remember: Your threat analysis determines your preps.

If the yellow really bothers you, you can use a sharpe pen or other permanent marker to color over the yellow.

Now, ...

Most people will remark that black is a poor color choice for the woods, especially if you're trying to hide.

They are correct, but you could camouflauge the bag by attaching burlap strips to the outside of the bag. (More about that later, maybe)

Well, ...

Either way, this is the bag I have, and like most people I don't have the money to purchase another bag. Plus, a black bag 'blends' in today's urban and suburban environment. Heck, it works in a rural environment because rural children probably carry the same type of bag.

Doesn't Fit the Narrative
As always there are pictures that didn't fit the narrative.

So, ...

The Smaller, left-side, Pocket

The Larger, right-side, Pocket with a Water Bottle

Small Pocket on Right Shoulder Strap

June 13, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The Bag

Last week, I talked about the school-type book bag; I bought from a local charity shop for $4.99 that I am going to use to build an emergency evacuation kit.

Well, ...

Before I build it; I have to know what I'm getting prepared for and what I can expect during an event

So, ...

First, you and your family want to research the average temperatures for your area of the world. Here in Berlin, on average, the temperatures range from 26°F to 70°F (O.K, you can tell I'm lying about my location because Germans use celsius (°C). Remember: OPSEC)

But, ...

We, you and your family, will also need to know the extremes, such as the coldest it's ever been in Berlin was -11°F, and the hottest was 95°F.

So, ...

We can expect snow, sleet, freezing rain, rain, and other common weather in the Berlin area.

The next thing we need to know is the weather of the location you're headed to, say Stockholm, Sweden. Just so you know, Stockholm averages 23°F to 70°F with a low around -17°F and a high of 95°F.

Second, you and your family have to ask yourselves 'How are we going to get there?' Drive? Plane? Train? Walk?

Whichever you choose, will determine what you can pack.

Let me explain.

If you're flying, you will be able to carry a minimum of gear as carry-on and as checked baggage. Plus, any fire starting equipment and weapons may have to be left behind at your home.

If your family will be taking the train, you might have to deal with small overhead storage bins, crowded compartments, getting your baggage in the baggage cars, and other related hassles of continental train travel.

If you're driving, you will have the trunk, roof, and passenger compartment to carry additional supplies and equipment. Since it is your private vehicle, you'll be able to carry almost anything you want. You'll only have to worry about getting through customs,if you're crossing international borders.

If you're walking (may the gods help you), your family will have even more difficult decisions to make on what to carry.

Why and How Long?
Third, why are you leaving? Have the Russians invaded your home country, and you're fleeing the on-going invasion? Is it a nearby natural gas leak, and the police are recommending an immediate evacuation? A workplace shooting or some other event?

Each of those events have different but similar needs. Plus, they differ in how long you will be gone. A foreign invasion might find you and your family separated and homeless for years, if not decades. A natural gas leak will see you evacuated from your home for hours to days, and a workplace shooting will find you back at work in a couple of hours, maybe.

I already mentioned this, but it's important.

So, ...

Are you headed to a temporary shelter that was set-up for a quick event like a winter storm with neighborhood-wide power outage by the National Guard or Red Cross? How about your sister's place for a couple of weeks because your landlord got foreclosed on for not paying the mortgage? Maybe to a new country, so your family can avoid the terror of a collapsing nation?

Like I said, up in "Weather" knowing where you're going is important for the climate becasue you have to be prepared for the weather.

Well, ...

Don't forget, you might need to learn another language 'cause the Swedes don't speak German. Plus, you and your family might need to stash some cash, just in case, for the place you're headed. Needless to say, if you're traveling from Georgia, U.S.A. to Moscow, Idaho, you'll only need U.S. dollars. If you're traveling from Georgia, the country, to Moscow, Russia, you and your family will need Laris and Rubles.

Next, I want you to think about who is going to be evacuating. How old are they; how physically fit; how trust worthy; any medical issues or needs; and ...

After you have answered these questions, we're ready to start packing.

Lastly, I think you and your family need to know and practice the basic bushcraft skills of building a shelter, making fire; finding, gathering, and purifying water; and others.

Because, ...

If you lose your gear, you can still survive to your destination.

Weatherbase - Home

June 20, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

United States Marine Corps

Katniss and our children are coming to visit. Plus, I switched shifts, last Sunday.

So, ...

This article isn't finished : - (

Last week, we talked about some of the planning issues in your family's emergency evacuation kits.

Well, ...

I want to add "Time" to the issues list.

Taking my example of leaving Berlin, Germany and traveling to Stockholm, Sweden; it is about 765 miles (1.232 kilometers), according to MapQuest. The driving time is just about 12.5 hours using the E-4 route and a solid 13 hours using the E-20 route. If you were walking, at 3 mph (almost 5 km/h), it would take you 255 hours, with no stopping. Ouch!

Needless to say, since Stockholm can also be reached by ferry, you might be able to use a ferry or private boat to decrease your travel time.

Next, before I begin this week's article. If you and your family don't want to plan an individual emergency evacuation kit, you can go to the American Red Cross' 'Family Preparedness Made Easy' page and start reading and implementing their suggestions.

So, ...

With that said, here's my take on emergency evacuation kits

Just like '16 weeks', you and your family are going to need the essentials in your emergency evacuation kit.

Shelter and Fire
A pack of matches, a blue tarp or two, and some cordage will set you back about $20. Add a little bush craft knowledge on improvising a shelter, you and your family are set.

A couple of bottles of water then a water filter with a few water purification tablets will satisfy your thirst

A couple of snacks are all you need

A simple first-aid kit with a couple of additions are all you need

A kitchen knife will do for know.

American Red Cross - Family Preparedness Made Easy

American Red Cross - Get a Survival Kit

City of Seattle - American Red Cross: Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit

American Red Cross - Anatomy of a First-Aid Kit

Texas A&M: AgriLife, Extension - Preparing Your Evacuation “Grab and Go” Box

June 27, 2014

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

David Pursehouse

Last Week, ...
I was trying to make a couple of point about bug-out bags.

First, it doesn't have to be complicated. You and your family need to pack a few things that will get you to a shelter, friends home, or the next door neighbor's.

Next, you and your family don't need the latest equipment. You can put together a kit from the castoffs of our society.

Like this small kit that I started from a large bag of M&Ms. The bag acts as the water resistant outer cover for the kit. It can also be used to carry water; after, the contents are removed. Plus, the bag is rugged enough for a couple years of service, if it's protected from sunlight.

So far, I have assembled three necessities, shelter/fire, water, and medical.

For shelter, I have scavenged a few pieces of cordage for making a shelter.

As you can see in the picture, I assembled a variety of cordage from old wire (I think it's 12 gauge), an extension cord, an extra power cube, some twine (I found on the street), and a piece of clear nylon strapping that I stripped into three pieces of cordage.

Of course, I still need to power cube and the extension cord, so I am using the roll of twine in this mini-kit.

The next item I acquired for this kit was something to start a fire

I was lucky when I found a 'dead' butane lighter with the flint still sparking. I was even luckier when I found a couple of free matchbooks from a local gasoline station.

As you can see, I placed the matchbooks in seperate plastic bags.


To have a back-up, just in case one set of matches gets wet!

Of course, like the M&M bag, all the plastic bags could be used to carry water.

For the medical supplies, I went with 'kind of new' band-aids, pain relievers, and a couple of small packets of topical iodine for an antiseptic. I salvaged these items from a couple of out of date first-aid kits; we were restocking with fresh supplies.

Of course, most folks aren't going to be able to restock a first-aid kit, but you'll be able to purchase these items from the local China-Mart.

Speaking of China-Mart.

Katniss and I were in there the other day, and we saw these ('new' to us) Capri Sun juice boxes. For $2.00, I was able to purchase four juice bags. They also sold singles for 88¢

I mention this for two reasons.

First, your family is going to need flavorings for your stored water. During an event, you're probably going to be drinking your stored water. If you're not used to just drinking water, it can get pretty boring.

Try it.

The second reason, I mention this.

These juice bags can be reused!

Initially, the top screws off, but it can screw back on, sealing the container.

So, ...

After you or your family get finished drinking the juice (saving the top, of course), you can rinse out the bag, sterilize with bleach water, then fill with tap water and put the cap back on.

Voilà!!! You have water for your kit.

Needless to say, I don't have a picture of the next two items : - (

But, ...

The first item is a queen-size mattress plastic storage or shipping bag. I could use it as a shelter, in a pinch.

The other item is a standard kitchen knife with a cardboard sheath. The knife is from my set of flatware; I bought from one of the local charity stores. It is a standard serrated knife that you and your family could purchase 4 for $2.00.

The sheath is made of thin cardboard, folded over, and taped a couple of times with electrical tape.

That's it.

GSIEP - Deliberate Water Storage.

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