Thursday, May 31, 2012

For Beginners

            Just read a great article by Dale Martin over at I don’t know if his facts and figures are correct (less than 2% of the population has any preps?) but his advice for beginners is spot on. I suggest you peruse it, copy it, and read it again.

            One thing Dale talks about is the necessity of little successes after a collapse event. Most of the country would be in panic. A moderately prepared person will go a while longer before truly panicking because they are eating, drinking and are secure. If you have to bug out of your home, even a moderately prepared person can last in the wild for some time before really starting to panic.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


            Do you take a daily medication? Do you have arthritis? Diabetes? A Heart condition? Thyroid problems? OK, here is another question: How long will your current medicine supply last? Do you have a 30-day supply? 60-day? 90-day? Does it need to be refrigerated or frozen?

            Millions of Americans take medications every day. Some of them need it to thrive, others to stay alive. I don’t take a daily medication, but I have some good arthritis medication if I have a bad day. It works better than any OTC, but I could certainly survive without it. 

My point is that you should be prepping now to some degree and that is great, but what about the medicines you need every day? When it comes to food and water, we want you to eventually have a 30-day supply that you could stretch out to 60-days if you had to. The more food and water you have the better off you would be. But you can’t necessarily do this with medication. You just can’t skimp on things like insulin.

It’s time to plan for your medical needs. Let’s face it, if you are on deaths door, medically speaking, you are probably not going to survive a collapse of society. Well, your problems are over. I know that sounds obtuse, but I firmly believe there are worse things than death. Many Preppers on their last leg aren’t prepping for themselves. They are prepping for their families and those that stand a better chance of surviving. Sadly, in the first few weeks of a collapse, we will have an initial die-off that includes people who need daily medication or medical treatments to survive.

The following weeks will be the secondary die-off. These are people that only had a few days or weeks of life-preserving medication socked away. Will this be you? Maybe. So what can you do? Go to the doctor and ask for extra medication?

Actually, that is exactly what you do. If they say no, go ask another one. Explain very openly what you want and why you think you need it. They may laugh at you, but probably not. Remember that they have to answer for every prescription they write, so don’t be pissy about them saying no. Just move on. If there are doctors filling out prescriptions for stoners to get “medical” marijuana, there are doctors who will write prescriptions for long term medicinal needs. Of course, your insurance will not likely pay for it.

Of course, there are other ways of obtaining your medication. There are countless online pharmacies. Some require only a prescription from a doctor and you can get whatever you need. Be warned, though, most do not accept insurance. Other online pharmacies do not require a prescription or will write you one after a doctor “speaks” with you. I don’t how legal it is, so use your discretion. Finally, if you live close to a border, you can always go to a foreign country and get your supply. There are no guarantees, however, as far as quality and there may be legal issues with you bringing them back into the USA.

There are some good books out there that can help with Prepper medication. TheSurvival Medicine Handbook is supposedly pretty good and their website is very good. My favorite resource, though, is Armageddon Medicine by Dr. Cynthia Koelker. Her book and website are the most thorough survival medical manuals I have encountered. Plus, the book and website are about being your own doctor so you really don’t have to wait until a survival event to use them. Simple diagnosis and treatment, traditional and alternative, are detailed.

I know I keep saying, but don’t wait. You’re putting away food, water, tools, etc. Don’t neglect what may be your most obvious of necessities. And throw some aspirin in for good measure.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Great Articles

I recently came across some very good, and very timely, articles that I wanted to share. I look at a lot of other prepping sites and while some are ridiculous, many are fantastic. No one can update their site every day, so it is nice to look at several good sites filled with good information.

            A great article about the realities of a societal collapse. Many articles of this ilk are geared more towards the “You laugh now, but I’ll laugh last” mentality of some Preppers. This article outlines some very specific and harsh realities of what life will be like after a collapse. Remember, even regional emergencies should be prepared for. It could take weeks for help to reach you after a snow storm or a black out or a strong earthquake. You can’t rely on anyone to bail you out.

            From my favorite website,, comes an article describing how you can fit a one week supply of emergency food into a five gallon bucket. No kidding. While I think it might work well for two people, you may need another bucket for four. Also, you will need a camp stove or solar oven and a solid water supply. However, it is great information. How about creating a bucket for someone as a birthday or Christmas present?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Doing Your Duty

            One of the main reasons for becoming a Prepper, even a Reluctant one, is my family. I’m not Rambo. I’m not John McClane. I’m just a teacher with two bad knees. Most of the skills I’ve acquired for teaching will be of little help in a survival situation. Even my “people skills” are not that great.
            Nevertheless, as a husband and a father, I have expectations of me that I must meet and hopefully surpass. I don’t freak out in extreme situations. I don’t have a problem investigating sounds in the night. I am loving and supportive most of the time, but I’m still working on it.
            If an extreme emergency-type event occurs, I want to be ready. I want my family healthy and safe. I will not steal from others or harm others because I didn’t have foresight to take care of my own family. My family would rather die than let that happen and so would I.
            I just finished reading this article on The first couple of paragraphs really hit home. The author, a former Navy SEAL, talks about how he had become too reliant on his SEAL team to get through any scrape. Now, his “team” is his young family. Sure, in a firefight, he is the man to have. However, the skills he had were needed by his entire “team” and then some. He needed to acquire more skills and make sure that his new team could help.
            If you are the head of a household, man or woman, you have a duty to protect your family. You need to make sure your team has the complementary skills to get through any emergency that may come about. Consider taking classes together in proper gun use and safety. Go camping and learn to cook outdoors.
            Think about it. You may spend years reading about Prepping, building food stores, amassing weapons, skills and camouflage. But what happens if you are not there? Does anyone else have the combination to the gun safe? Can your kids cook rice using a camp stove or solar oven?

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Doomsday Preppers": More Harm Than Good?

            I’ve been watching the Nat Geo channel’s “Doomsday Preppers” since it started a few months back. While I enjoy it and consider it a very educational show for my own preparations, I have noticed other Preppers are not exactly ecstatic about it. You see, dedicated Preppers like most of those shown on the program are at the fringe of the movement. They have restructured their entire lives around preparing for an event that may never come. 

While I don’t want to speak for these people, I imagine some of them are actually looking forward to whatever event they are preparing for. And that is sad. Some speak with apparent glee about how well off they will be after the “event” compared to others. That is just not a good attitude. I know that it comes from the fact that right now people look at them a nuts and who wants that tag. The only way to no longer be considered a nut is if they are proven right in their wild preparations.

Most Preppers are regular people. We don’t have bunkers or military vehicles. We don’t have plans to filter our own urine for drinking. We don’t own 5 guns for every person in the house. We are forward thinkers, examining the worst-case scenarios of the future. We want to be prepared, not entrenched. 

So what is an average Prepper like? Look around you. Many people who prepare for emergencies do not call themselves Preppers quite possibly because of the growing negative connotations. I know that Nat Geo is working on their second season. They are looking for even more outlandish people to showcase. My hope is that they focus more on the average Prepper than the fringe. But it’s probably not good TV.

By the way, a good Prepper never shows their cards. Some of these people have tens of thousands of dollars worth of supplies and they are showing the world. Sure, they try and keep their names or locations secret, but someone knows them and knows where they are. If the events they worry about were ever to occur, the locals will be all over them.

Don’t let the bad press get you down.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prepper Food

            When most people think of Prepper food, they immediately start thinking of dehydrated milk, MRE’s and jerky. While that is not a bad thing, there is no reason to start out with these types of supplies. With a little planning, you can start your Prepper pantry off with food differing very little from what you might eat now.

            The other night the wife and I were in the mood to BBQ, so we went by the grocery store to do some quick shopping. As I often do, I stopped every now and then to look at expiration dates for certain canned foods. I picked up a can of chili and noticed the expiration was three years away. The can costs a couple of dollars. I have seen chili MRE’s going for $5 each. The can also had a larger portion than the MRE. Sure, the MRE has a longer shelf life, but I guarantee you it did not taste anywhere near as good as the Stag brand chili with chunks of steak. 

You don’t have to use canned food exclusively. Dried fruit or vegetables or uncooked pasta, when packed and stored properly, can also last for years. So it is a good idea to have some of these. Remember, though, most canned food doesn’t absolutely have to be cooked. It might taste better cooked, but you can pop open a can of chili or ravioli and eat it right then. Or let it sit on your windowsill for a while and it will heat up enough to melt any grease.

            So here is the plan. Buy a can or two of canned foods each time you go to the store. Make it meal sized. Chili, stew, soup, beans, and anything else you can find with at least a two year shelf life is preferred, but even a year will work. Put a nice, big label on the front with the expiration month and year so you can see it easily. Organize it so the cans closest to expiring are always in the front. When the food is close to expiring, use it. Eat it. Give it away. Then replace it. 

            Storing the food in a suitable place is essential. Too cold or too hot and your food will not last as long. The garage is a bad place in general to store any kind of food. Dry basements work well. A dry root cellar is even better. You can also store food in a closet or pantry or even under the bed.

            Remember our goal. Start with three days of food and water, then a week, then two weeks, then a month. From there, everything else is a bonus.

Start stacking those cans, my friends. And don’t forget the fruits and veggies.