44 votes

If the blackout lasts two weeks or more

what will you have done to cope?

A shelf full of gallon jugs of water, protected from light so no algae grows in them,, is a simple step almost anyone can take. A few cases of Ramen noodles won't cost much and will slip under your bed. A few extra flashlights and a large pack of batteries, some cans of beans, and you've made an excellent start on emergency preparedness for under $100.

What if the toilet won't flush? If you keep a couple extra boxes of trash bags you can open them to line your toilet for pooping. An industrial-strength debris bag can hold these poop-filled bags until the crisis is over.

Think about ways you depend on continuous electricity and devise alternative strategies.

Electric range? Have a camp stove and fuel and use it outdoors to avoid asphyxiation and fire risks.

Electric alarm clock? Have a windup alarm clock.

Burglar alarm? Get long duration battery backup.

Refrigerator? Keep a supply of non-perishable food.

On a well with electric pump? Keep 100 or more gallons of water in storage, plus a roll of poly film to deploy for rainwater catchment. If your well is shallow, consider investing in a manual pump for backup. Also consider an inexpensive gravity-feed water filter like this one: http://www.cheaperthandir... that screws into the bottom of a plastic bucket.

Electric heat? Have warm clothes and extra bedding or winter sleeping bags. Consider investing in a wood stove for backup.

Or you can invest in an alternate energy system like I did. I made my own photo-voltaic panels, bought solar cells on ebay, soldered them together, and bought some deep-cycle AGM batteries (safe to keep indoors), a 30-amp controller, a system meter, etc. plus a 3kw inverter that turns 12-volt battery current into 110-volt household current.

I also have a very quiet 3kw Honda generator (

http://youtu.be/2FnQ8Z8iYhg It's come in very handy during power outages. I even ran a 10-gauge line 250 feet from my big battery bank in my shipping container to the house to keep the refrigerator going in one power loss situation. I used the same line to plug in two auto battery chargers and recharge the batteries after the power came back on.

I still have most everything else on the list above except that my cache of flashlight batteries are mostly all rechargeables plus I have two solar battery chargers. Also I happen to be moving where there are no winters to worry about and there's plenty of rainwater to collect.

Being prepared is a journey. It can start small and be added to over time. Anyone can do it. Everyone SHOULD do it. A prepared population is a resilient and resistant population. Being at the mercy of government is not what we want here on the Daily Paul.

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Ramen noodles

If you have never eaten Ramen noodles or don't like them, then I wouldn't recommend buying them for survival food! If you have never eaten them then go buy some and try them, then if you like them then get some for storage. Just be aware that they are high in sodium. Also each packet is two (2) servings. I usually make one serving with a pack! I also add either garlic powder or onion powder to modify the flavor a bit. Try spicing it up however you like.
Of course this goes for ANY food you are going to store for survival. Don't store a lot of what you can't stand to eat! A small amount of what you don't like may (perhaps) be useful as trade goods, but don't count on it.
For generators, make sure you have plenty of fresh gasoline. If you buy 5 gallons at a time, once you get 20 or so gallons then start rotating. Use the oldest 5 gallon can in your car or something and refill it, then go to the next 5. You can get propane conversion kits for small generators, if you have the money. You may spend more for this kit than you did for the generator! However, propane has an unlimited storage life(or many years anyway!). And you can use the propane for cooking or lighting. Just remember all safety precautions - not necessarily just the state/county precautions!

I love Ramen noodles but realize they're

a refined, processed food that's not especially healthy to eat often. I stick mainly to whole grains, fruits & veggies, and fish, chicken, etc. I love sprouts including wheat sprouts. The makings of an heirloom seed garden is in my "luggage" for Ecuador. (Yes, I'm an experienced gardener.)

For trading I figure tobacco and liquor would be good but I can't seem to bring myself to invest in any.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Anyone who is not working

Anyone who is not working towards an insurance policy of 1 years worth of food, water etc for each member of their family is playing with fire.

I wouldn't

I wouldn't advertise what you have. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

No matter where you go...there you are.

Off the grid for years, stock up on Gasoline

It's battery science not rocket science, but batteries don't move bodies, far.

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I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

Wheat Diet

Just be careful about living on a limited diet: many people will become ill having noodles as a staple (many people already are). Beans, likewise: white beans are a good choice, but many of the other kinds are good for some people and bad for others (e.g., kidney beans are good for blood type B, bad for O's and A's). I haven't checked Ramen, but rice noodles with egg in them, would be better than wheat.

People used to be more aware of what was good for them when they were consuming only what they could find in season! Times of stress is not a good time to further stress the immune system with the wrong foods.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Yes, some have wheat allergies,

sub-clinical or otherwise. I'm fine on a heavy wheat diet and I don't advocate that it consist solely of Ramen noodles (but I do have some). My wheat is whole grain (stores for years) and most will be eaten as simple-to-prepare chapatis from fresh-ground WW flour. I'll bake regular and sprouted wheat bread too once I construct an earthen oven.

I have four dry bean varieties too although they don't store anywhere near as long as the wheat does. I bought 60-lb. containers of honey and broke it down into 2-lb. jars that can be heated to de-sugar them as needed.

I figure I'll go through most of my canned goods just on the trip to my property, which should take two months minimum as I need to clear a trail, build earthen bridges, and pull the shipping container on skids maybe 100' a day with my 7.5-ton winch, recharging with the generator between pulls.

I'll hire someone to re-supply me with fruits, veggies, and eggs, along with generator and chainsaw gas of course.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Why not pre-position your supplies?

Just curious, but why don't you pre-position your supplies at your property? Or along the way in caches?

It seems taking 2 months trying to winch a shipping container along could lead to all kinds of trouble and lower your chances of survival significantly.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

Good advice in most cases.

I expect I will lay in some buried caches on and off my property but to pack in even a quarter of my food supply and bury it in hermetic containers would leave my shipping container vulnerable and delay my arrival at my property. The people of the region are mostly hard-working and honest but I will still take theft precautions via motion detectors, a nighttime-deployable electric fence, and weapons of course. I intend to stay with the shipping container till I get it where I want it. It has a sleeping loft, microwave oven, water filtration system, radio communications, and YEARS' worth of food staples, plus two camp stoves, fuel for same, a laundry tub and clothes wringer, and a clothesline down the very narrow center isle. All the comforts of home, and it will be my home till I get a preliminary small shack built so I can spread out some while I build my house.

I've got almost all the fasteners and hardware I'll need for construction in the container, plus parts for my methane digester waste-disposal system. I've got windows, screen panels, even a kitchen sink, plus paints and polyurethane varnish, caulks, glues, and tools galore. I'll build a very sturdy floor platform and mount a 18'x30' awning over it for my workshop area and lumber drying shed. It should make a dry work space till my house is built.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Keep a diary so you can write a book

about your adventure!

Well, a blog at least.

One thing I'm eager to post is a video of the shipping container being pulled on its skids by the 15,000-lb. winch. If a spectacled bear, a tapir, or a giant anteater comes into view that will be another must-have video. Unfortunately I will be unable to afford a good telephoto lens before I leave. Aside from a cheap 50mm my lenses are all macro and micro for insect photography. One reason that's a shame is that Ecuador is reputed to be the finest bird-watching area on Earth, more species than anywhere else. Most nature photographers would get the telephoto first but my interests are primarily entomological.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

I went exactly two weeks

I went exactly two weeks without electricity after hurricane Ike. I was by myself in the house and the only nice thing about it was that everyone had to cook all their meat after the first couple of days so everyone left in the neighborhood had the BBQ pits going and everyone was welcome to come and join in. Total strangers became friends.

The heat sucked. Taking a shower by candleight sucked but I got used to it. No internet, but too busy fixing and cleaning up to have time to fool with it anyway. If I went through it again I'd say the most important supplies would be flashlights and batteries and drinking water, although I have read that bottled water is only good for a year. Supplies should be kept updated.

I heard somewhere

That if you put a silver coin in your water, it prevents the water from becoming stagnant.

Yeah and it seems I recall the same thing

about keeping milk fresh longer. I image a few drops of colloidal silver would do the trick too. I made my own CS generator using a couple 1-oz. ingots of 99.9 fine silver (or maybe 99.99 fine, I forget): http://www.flickr.com/photos/36494393@N00/3049620145/in/set-...

New Hampshire and Ecuador.


We were without power for 12 days during Isabelle. The biggest problem for us was lack of ice, no way to keep anything. We had water but no hot water so things got a little funky after a while. Had plenty of candles (happened to buy a bunch at a yard sale the week before) and even tunes from an old Victrola. All the neighbors were great and had big cookouts and time to chat. Fortunately, our house was built in 1905 and designed for no electricity so the lack of A/C was bearable. Needed a good radio with batteries. We are campers so we had things like candle lanterns and a campfire coffee pot available.

Will say however we were extremely glad when it was over - it was getting real old.


That old house is key!

I could not imagine living without electricity in a house built later than 1920. In our 200 year old cape . . . we have a wood fired cookstove that heats the whole house and I can cook and bake in it . . . it is from 1937. We also raise all of our protein . . . sheep, turkey's, chicken and ducks . . . Pigs next year. We have a year round greenhouse 18' X 72' where we raise produce year round. We also have three garden beds and a kitchen garden with plenty of herbs. Hand pump on the well. Four 50lb bags of rice, flour, beans and coffee is a must:) And a year's supply of wine and winemaking supplies . . .distillery equipment is a must as well as some tobacco seeds. . . . so you have something to barter with. A good guard dog breed that is wonderful with children (we have a Picardy Shepherd). Learn how to spin wool and weave on a loom. Learn how to sew. If you do not live near the ocean . . . buy 100 lbs of sea salt . . . it will be needed to preserve meat if you smoke or dry as well as 100lbs of sugar (brown is the best. Learn how to reload and blacksmith . . .as well as Masonry and Carpentry. . . . buy a pre-1975 vehicle that is diesel propelled and keep at least 50 gallons of diesel (diesel does not go bad like gas does). If I missed anything . . . let me know:)

"Bad" bottled water

is a far cry from ditch water. If you boil it or run it through a filter you should be golden. Just keep it out of the light so algae spores won't start growing. I've kept bottled water for several years under these conditions and used some recently when the water was off for repairs. Tasted fine.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Is this a sales pitch

for Honda generators? Just wondering since you are so specific about the generator when everything else is generalized.

Honda are by far

The quietest generators.

It's actually just good

It's actually just good information. I worked for Northern Tool for a good year and a half and Honda Generators were the only ones we never had come in for problems unless they were 10+ years old. They're incredibly reliable.

On a side note, this is very good information and everyone should prepare for the possibility of infrastructure failure. The Sun is a very violent entity and this year we are in the Solar Maximum and Solar Storms of that kind of intensity are far more likely to happen. I do worry about how no one else thinks about how much they rely on electricity, their phones, computers and their fridges/freezers.

It's always important to remember these things are great for civilization, but there are still plenty of people who must live without them and they do so quite successfully. What worries me more than their reliance on those is their inability to cope without them.

Mindset and Psychology has a lot of say in whether people are successful in surviving and also whether Society holds together were something that massive to happen to our infrastructure. It makes me wish I lived in a little no name town where if that happened I could be left to my own devices where I know I could deal with it.

The Road to Prosperity begins with seeking wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the world around you. Peace can not be attained by those who close their minds to the people around them and their choices in living.

"Little no-name town,"

that's where I'm going. My neighbors are farmers. There's trout in the river. There's plenty of bamboo shoots that are high in protein. Some trapping and taking small game with air rifle would bring in more protein without much noise or notice and I have a compound bow for silent kills of larger critters. That would be in a survival situation only. I aim to preserve the wildlife habitat on my land so will only use enough for a house, garden, chickens, and a few cuy (https://www.google.com/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=is...).

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

I didn't know the video would embed.

Also, I did provide a link to the "monolithic water filter" that I was happy to find on cheaperthandirt.com. I bought two of them. They're a whole lot less work than trying to get by with a backpackers' H2O filter. I figured the other stuff was easy enough to find.

My reason for the video link re the generator was so you could see how quiet this one is. If there's an extended power outage the quiet is good theft protection. I ran mine hooked up with a heavy chain that ran into the garage, under the closed garage door, and had it hidden from street view by a parked vehicle. If any thief desperate for a generator was to cruise the neighborhood during an extended power outage they would probably neither see nor hear my generator. Believe me, there were plenty of noisy generators running around the neighborhood that drowned out any noise made by my quiet one.

A warning to first-time generator owners. YOU RISK DEATH if you either run your generator indoors (for theft protection or whatever), even in the garage, or you try to plug it into your house wiring system without an approved and expensive switch box so that can be done safely. You could asphyxiate yourself with odorless carbon monoxide or electrocute a neighbor or a power line worker by doing these things. Without the approved switch use only extension cords directly from generator to lights and appliances.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Working on my

Champion 3500 Watt generator today! Strange coincidence that this topic came up! In general the Champion from what I've read is a bit noisier than the Honda and has a problem with the oil sensor. (which I think is the problem with mine). If you have one and can't get it started try unplugging the wire from the oil sensor. It should work fine without it, just watch the oil level! I know 3500 (4000 peak) isn't a lot, but it's a lot more than zero!

Also, ran into another thing today (without searching for it) that is kinda related. New NBC tv show called Revolution ( http://revolutiontvshow.com/ ), that is supposed to be after the world looses electricity. I don't know but maybe (if TSHTF hasn't happened by then) it will give a few hints to living 1800's style. Although tv tends to simplify things and show things that will not work in real life.