How Many Folks Here Are Prepared to Ride Out 3 Months of No Stores/Gas Stations Open?Submitted by Sue4theBillofrights on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 20:39
Just curious, don't know how many country folk versus city folk here, but if something struck like a Hurricane Sandy in the heart of the city as well as country, how many folks have enough food, water to get by if it was a huge mess and electricity was out, water systems were down, and all the stores closed? Say, 2-3 months. Some places in NYC still had no lights a month after. That's the heart of New York and people are sitting in the dark guarding their apartment lobbies.
If you are smart you can be quite well prepared for an investment of a few hundred dollars per adult.
I have found that it is the easiest thing in the world by buy enough canned goods for each person to eat for three months, if you shop smart. Beans and canned veggies are cheap by the box, and it would be boring, but it would give you all you need, combined with, say, a half dozen boxes of powered milk to sprinkle in for complete protein and vitamins, and/or powered eggs, also cheap as heck in bulk at Walmart.
A large store of canned food automatically eliminates the cooking problem should the gas or electricity for your stove go out.
Water: You can't assume you will always be able to drink what's coming out of the tap, if you are on a town water system. That's what terrorists would go for, and if it gets polluted you need a way to purify it. You will die for lack of water long before lack of food. You also need to brush your teeth and try to keep clean. For starters I just filled plain old filled empty gallon jugs from the tap, and stacked them like a layer cake, with plywood being the frosting between the layers, in a closet. A gallon a day per person is a good number, so for a two month plan, for a family of 3, that would 100 gallons. For longer term I have done all the research and Berkey water filters win, the best you can afford. It's an investment in peace of mind. The good ones don't just take out bacteria, but also heavy metals, solvents, and other chemicals. You could put polluted river water by the factory in it and drink it out the other end.
Next the elements. If you are a city slicker in a cold place, what will you do if the heat goes out, and no electricity for a space heater? Your oil/fuel could run out. The first line of defense is lots good blankets, wool or down, and clothes. An arctic sleeping bag rated for for 0-20 degreesF runs from $60 on up, and you can fit a kid apiece in one of these with you. For more kids about one per 2 kids will do.
The kind of worksuits construction or road workers wear outside in the winter are another way to stay warm with no heat.
If you want to try heating inside, the safest way is an alcohol stove. You can make one out of paint cans, and buy denatured alcohol in bulk the same place you get heating oil. You can boil water and cook with these too.
Kerosene heaters are another solution, but you'll need to store lots of kerosene and it's expensive. They need ventilation. You cannot store kerosene in an apartment. They can be dangerous around little kids. On the other hand a kerosene heater will warm up a space in no time, at which point you can conserve the heat by taping off a smaller part of a room with plastic, like your sleeping quarters, and getting up warm enough to bed down comfortably then hunkering down, conserving the heat. YOU MUST HAVE IMMEDIATE VENTILATION, AT LEAST ONE WINDOW. Kerosene gives off a low level of carbon monoxide.
Propane camp stoves should not be used inside, especially for heating. They give off significant carbon monoxide, and have no automatic shut-off valve should the flame go out, resulting in an extremely dangerous build-up of propane gas. Also propane should never be stored indoors.
You need all that only if you are in a bitter clime in the winter. Otherwise you go back to old days and wear lots of clothes. Just get used to the fact you won't be padding around in your slippers and jammies till spring.
Food, water, the elements. Those are the big three. Remember food won't keep when your fridge has no electricity, which is why cans is the best strategy. For long term 20 lb. bags of rice and bags of dried beans will give you a lot of food, but now you have to have a cooking set-up, and enough water to use it for cooking. I'd throw in a couple of 20 bags of rice and equivalent beans for safety, any food will be worth gold in barter. Over a long term you can solve how you are going to cook it. REMEMBER, YOU CAN SPROUT RICE AND BEANS IF ITS ORGANIC, (LIVE, MOST COMMERCIAL GRAINS ARE NOT.) That means eat with no cooking. This is one of the best kept secrets in our Walmart, GMO society. Just keep it in old coffee cans or other airtight storage. The 20 lb bags of rice at Walmart are ok in the thick-gauge plastic.
What else? This is where it gets fun. Use your brain to come up with the thing other people didn't. A good list of basics is here:
- Fifths of hard alcohol, even if you don't drink. It will be like currency, and buy you ammo or even a rifle from a neighbor who's got extra. Also it cleans a wound.
- Antibiotics in case of wound infection. When the hospitals are closed or overflowing, you cannot afford an infected cut which will only get worse.
- Guns and ammo
- iodine, also sterilizes a wound, also kills bacteria in water. If you have a fast stream at high altitude, away from development, a few drops of iodine is probably all you need to make it drinkable. Always scout upstream as far as you can for animal carcasses. The closer to snow melt, the better.
- sulfur. Has many uses.
- Big sheets of plastic. You will find uses.
- Duct tape ha ha! The single most all-purpose invention in the world.
- matches, lighters, a flint and steel, steel wool in case you need to start fires the old way (can anyone find a good youtube here?)
- hand-wind, rechargeable flashlights
- lots of spices so you won't die of boredom from the canned food if the zombies don't get you. Also some spices are healthful and keep your immune system strong, like turmeric.
- sea salt, iodized salt.
- first aid kit.
- toothpaste, soap, baking soda stockpile.
- toilet paper/paper towels
- Bibles. Mere survival is not enough. Spiritual life and moral instruction is more important than ever now.
Three months is not long in the real prepper world, but everyone doing this will take the panicked edge off as communities figure out what to do. Store a year's worth of dried rice and beans. If we must rebuild society, and we have seeds, we'll need cool heads and a little time to work with.
Ideas comment welcomed!
Stewart Rhodes, President of Oath Keepers, Legal Scholar Yale Law School, "How to Prepare Your Community for Disaster"
The Ugly, Scene from Cormac McCarthy's The Road