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News for week of 2023-01-30 (all current event convos go here).

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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Grid down – How to recognize it early?

https://practical.engineering/blog/2022/11/22/how-long-would-society-last-during-a-total-grid-collapse

This was posted in November to the internet but my husband and I just watched this video yesterday. One of the things I found most interesting and relevant was the mention of how the initial reaction to the scenario would probably be more of a vacation vibe until the gravity of the situation really began to sink in after 2-3 days of no electricity. How does a prepared person get ahead of the curve on something like this? Realizing that the power is not coming back up in 12 hours, rather than waiting 48 hours seems like it might give you additional time to stockpile last minute water or supplies before the herd starts to panic. But how do you recognize that it really is a grid down and not an extended power outage? Or do you not worry about getting it wrong after you hit a certain length of outage, for example 6 hours, and assume grid down so that you can start moving to bug in or out as necessary?

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Long term storage ideas for chocolate/cocoa/Tang or Vitamin C?

After a lot of research online over the years, the closest I can come to 10-15 year storage of chocolate chips and/or cocoa is to vacuum seal in a Mason jar with an oxygen absorber and keep in cool, dark place.

Also looking for suggestions regarding a source of Vitamin C for long term storage.   Thanks!

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Iodinated Providone for water treatment

Is 10% Iodinated Providone the same as “normal” Iodine for water sterilisation?

i.e. can I dilute the 10% solution to 2% and use a few drops per quart/litre?

I use it at work, so it would be handy to know.

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CD879C53-0B00-402A-8AAF-A77BADC66245

Low cost long term storage foods from Latter Day Saints/Mormon food storage centers

Since 2014 I have been buying long-term storage food in #10 cans from a local Latter Day Saints Food Storage Center.  (Nearly all the food is good for 30 years when stored properly.  Only a few items have a lower shelf life:  flour and carrots, 10 year shelf life; powdered milk, 20 year shelf life.)  There are about 100 locations nationwide. You do not have to be a member of the Mormon church to purchase–everyone is graciously welcomed to purchase long term food at a greatly reduced cost.   These goods may also be purchased online with about $5-$10 per case shipping if you do not have a Food Storage Center in your area.   This link has prices effective 1/1/2023 for both local Centers and online ordering. The prices are for a CASE of 6 each #10 cans.  

Home Storage Center Prices and Locations

This is a superb opportunity to purchase long term food (generally 30 years), in #10 cans.    Today I went to purchase non-fat milk in pouches (currently only available in Centers, not online).   The cost was roughly half to a quarter of most survival food companies prices for the same quantity. 

I am not a member of the LDS church, however, I have always been welcomed by the volunteers who staff the Centers and the only thing they ask is that you tell others about the opportunity to be self-reliant with food storage.   These Centers do not make a profit, and are run by volunteers. 

If you already have experience with purchasing food from an LDS Food Storage Center; chime in!   If you have any questions, ask me and I’ll get back to you on this thread.   Bon Appetit

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What are your tips for hiding food/valuables?

I was wondering where people hide their food/valuables? And by valuables, I’m talking about tools, solar panels, gasoline, medical supplies, etc… 

It gets to be quite a load, especially food for the family. I have a few ideas, and have a few stashes around our property, but I’d like to hear some other ideas please….

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News for week of 2023-01-16 (all current event convos go here).

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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News for week of 2023-01-23 (all current event convos go here).

Make a top-level comment for a new story/topic. Discussions about the topic should be in the replies to the top-level comment. That way things stay organized and every main comment as you scroll down is a different piece of news.

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Survival movies

Set out on a quest today…to watch a whole list of “survival movies”….movies where the end of the world has come or is threatened and people are trying to survive. I’ve seen “Panic is year zero” many years ago, not bad, “The Road” which was shot here locally, “On the Beach”, “Red Dawn” and a few others. Today’s movie was “No blade of grass”, a completely terrible 1970 movie shot in Great Britain on budget of about $8. In its day, it was controversial because it had an explicit and long rape scene. What a stinker! Wish someone would make a movie out of “Alas Babylon”. What’s your favorite prepper movie?

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_No_Blade_of_Grass_

Mr. Heater to the rescue again!

Once again, an ice storm moved in this week and I lost power for most of the night.  It was late enough that I decided to not run the generator but the house was getting cold.  So I brought out my 30,000 BTU LP portable heater, and set it on the hearth.  It is ventless and has a carbon monoxide sensor but to be extra safe, I cracked open the flue.  Last year, I posted about using this heater and my generator at my mother-in-law’s house.  This year it was my turn.  It has a thermostat and set on 2 out of 5, it kept the center of the house toasty warm and ran for about 3-4 minutes every 15 minutes.  This Mr. Heater is probably the best prepper investment I’ve ever made… and I’ve made a lot.  🙂

So typical of a prepper, I had my generator ready to run if needed.  I had both Humless solar generators in use.  One was just running a few LED lights and recharging other lights.  The other was beside my recliner, keeping my phone fully charged and powering my CPAP.   I’m one of those that can not sleep without a CPAP anymore.  Without it, I start snoring as soon as I fall asleep and the snoring now wakes me up.  So if I’m gonna sleep, I have to power the CPAP.  Having solar generators allows me to use such equipment without running the generator.  I prefer to not run the generator overnight, while I’m sleeping.

Took this pic from the recliner.

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heater ice storm

What three firearms would you have for prepping?

If you could only have three firearms and cared about preparedness, what would you have? Don’t want to start a “the one true caliber” debate (let’s not open that can of worms just yet!), so this is more about platforms/types that work together well if things really get bad in the world.

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3 Billion less birds in North America since 1970!

Yes, that is billions with a B!  And since 1970!  Have you noticed less birds than when you were younger?  I sure have.  And many of the species in decline are common birds you would see in a bird feeder.  Speaking of bird feeders, do y’all feed your local birds?  Do you do so in the winter when they struggle to find food?  I do.  I have multiple hanging feeders and pour lots of birdseed on my walkway in front of the house.  Around here, Walmart sells bulk sized bags and smaller bags, to fit any budget.  I make sure the mix includes sunflower seeds for birds like cardinals.

We are in the midst of a winter storm and tonight will be the third night in a row with freezing rain.  I have no doubt birds struggle to find food with so much ice covering everything.  During such times I put out extra food.  Just took this video looking out from the office.  This just shows one section of birds.  There is feed along the walkway heading to the driveway.

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Livestock for prepping

There seems to be a common belief that keeping certain classes of livestock will insure a source of food (or transportation) when SHTF.  I’m an old lady, I’ve kept pretty much every class of livestock in my goal to be “self sufficient”, and I have a different perspective.  Let’s look at bugging out with livestock, supply chain disruptions for feed and supplies, predation, types of livestock, and sort out whether maintaining livestock REALLY makes us independent, or does it become an anchor around our neck when we need extreme mobility and lack of distraction.

1.  Chickens:  EVERYBODY loves chickens and thinks they’re an ace in the hole when SHTF.  First of all, let’s look at the avian flu epidemic that is affecting private flocks.  30+ chickens and ducks were just destroyed in our county.  There are undoubtedly more that haven’t been reported. They were probably free range.  It is unlikely that most chicken owners can grow their own healthy food for modern layers and meat birds (there’s an element of decades of breeding for high performance or exhibition that makes modern chickens different from those of the WWI era). So owners are highly dependent on supply chains.  Feed is hard to stockpile because it can easily go bad or become rat infested. Bedding is also subject to supply chain disruptions and inflation.  Bagged wood shavings can also be affected by the lumber market.  Around here, shavings were hard to get during the pandemic because the mills were all shutting down. Predation can bring death and destruction to a flock overnight. Oh, and the deep orange of homegrown eggs, to which is ascribed health benefits, is the result of feed compounders adding marigold extract – a dye – to the feed. It isn’t green grass and worms and sunshine.

2. Livestock and Evacuation: The overarching concern for ALL livestock owners is evacuation.  When our county was evacuated due to wildfires in 2020, there was a Facebook network called Cowgirl 911 which coordinated livestock owners with those willing to help transport.  That was the most appalling experience of a lifetime, seeing people pleading desperately for help transporting their chickens, pigs, goats, horses (not trained to load onto trailers).  And transporting to where?  As a horse owner caught up in the evacuation, the amount of time and space it took to load up those horses and their “survival gear” was staggering.

If you are a livestock person already, you’re probably aware of the devastating state of affairs of abandoned livestock after a big disaster. We’ll include cats and dogs here as well.

3. Other small livestock:  Somebody mentioned raising “cuy” in a recent post here.  Did anybody look that up?  Cuy = cavie = Guinea pig=rodent.  “They eat grass.”  Grass is not the same foodstuff from one hour of the day to the next, not to mention seasons.  There is a saying: “Just because you have grass doesn’t mean you have feed.”  I have been shepherding a horse through a major metabolic meltdown for eight months that occurred because of the grass she ate late last spring. 

Rabbits are kept caged.  They are susceptible to many ailments and are subject to the same issues with supply chains, evacuation concerns, etc.

Pigeons:  Why isn’t anybody raising pigeons anymore?  They were survival food for millenia.  If you look at a nicely grown out squab (young pigeon) expertly cleaned, you can only imagine how delicious it would be roasted.  Getting into pigeons is very expensive and subject to all aforementioned difficulties, but if I could convince my husband, I’d be trying pigeons. Or, if wild pigeons are in your area you can catch them to start your loft.

4. And lastly, may I bring up the subject of horses, which have been described here as “the ultimate bug-out animal”.  One prepping blogger went so far as to “instruct” the reader to go out and catch a mustang, train it according to Buck Brannaman (the “horse whisperer), and you’ll have transportation in case you need to bug out and all the roads are wrecked.  This is such a work of fiction that I can’t even wrap my brain around it.  The LAST thing you need to be “saddled” with (pun intended) is horses in a disaster.  They contribute nothing to survival unless you’re actually using them for farming.  They’re timid, they require more knowledge than raising children (neither comes with operating manuals) and while they’re not being used for bugging out, they require ENORMOUS assets, work and money to keep in a state of health. And what abandoned horses suffer in a natural disaster is the stuff of nightmares.  Even worse what they suffer in the hands of the uninformed.

If you are a city dweller who longs for the country life, that’s a realistic desire, but keeping livestock does not, in my book, equate to prepping or survival.  It creates an additional concern, a living “asset” if you will, which adds to the scope of necessary prepping, it does not subtract from it.

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Answered here: 4 important questions about mylar bags and food storage

Dry goods are best stored in Mylar bags since they are readily destroyed by air. These bags are airtight and often come in combination with oxygen absorbers, ensuring a longer shelf life for dry food items. They are also effective for keeping bugs and other pests away, as they provide a barrier that insects and animals can’t penetrate. Often, customers have many doubts while purchasing gusseted food bags. Here we have tried to answer four important questions asked by customers:

What Thickness do Experts Recommend for Using Mylar Bags?

The standard thickness recommended by experts is 5 mils. This thickness ensures that the bag is durable and can protect your food from any environmental pollutants like moisture and oxygen. However, the thickness may vary depending on what type of food you are preserving and how long you plan to store it. For example, if you are storing food for longer periods of time, a thicker mylar bag would be more beneficial.

How Do I Seal Food Storage Bags?

The best way to keep the contents of mylar bags safe is to use heat sealers for mylar bags. You can use either a standard hair straightening iron or a specialized heat sealer to effectively and securely close the top of your food storage bag. Heat sealing is a simple and efficient method for ensuring that your food stays secure and safe in the Mylar bag. To start, carefully insert the open end of the bag into the heat sealer and press down firmly to form a tight seal.

Recommended Moisture Level for Food Storage

Moisture-rich foods shouldn’t be stored in Mylar bags. It is important to monitor the moisture level of food stored in Mylar bags. Generally, the moisture level should be below 10%, but it is best to aim for a lower level of 5-6%. Storing food in Mylar bags with a moisture level that is too high can lead to mold growth, insect infestations, and even food poisoning.

How to Safely Store Mylar Bags?

Mylar bags with food can be stored safely with proper care and attention to the environmental conditions of the storage area. Keep them in a plastic or metal container in a dark area away from moisture and sunlight.

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How to donate to The Prepared? and Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year Fellow Preppers! May 2023 bring health and happiness to y’all!So, I am (as usual late lol) doing my 2022 donations and would like to include the Prepared as I am very grateful for the information and community it has provided.  I could of sworn I had seen a “donate” button on the website before, but cannot find it now.  So if any designated grownup can help me out with that info, I will be very grateful.

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Which are the best all-around boots: combat, work, or hiking boots?

Not much of an outdoors person and I don’t know much about boots for a SHTF kind of thing. Would love to hear specific suggestions if you have them, but to get started I just wanted advice on what category to search through?

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CERT Training

I went through CERT training in early 2019, but seems like folks went their separate ways afterwards and the local EMA sponsor lost interest.  There’s a number of CERT teams in our area according to the FEMA CERT website, but a random phone call to the numbers listed result in either “no longer in service” or “we don’t do that anymore.”

If you’ve been through CERT training, what was your experience afterwards?  Is your group still active?

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Transparent authority

A forum like TP is unique in providing a community to share information and opinion. It is civil, welcoming and non-political. That’s why I read so much here.

One concern I have at TP, and elsewhere, is the appeal to authority.

Most of us post our experience and opinions. Sometimes we suggest our opinions or advice is a little more. That it’s highly informed because we are especially informed and experienced. Most of the time, that is benign. If someone at TP says they have a better understanding of a problem because they work in IT, I listen carefully, because I have worked in IT a long time and can recognize a phony from the real deal. This is really an appeal to our experience and not authority. An appeal to authority almost always is an appeal to a position of authority.

For example, if we are discussing how a regional power outage has affected a large area and how long it’s going to take to restore power, most of us are offering experience, opinion and links to news articles. But if I say ‘I am the Director of Disaster Recovery for a major State and I know what I am talking about’, another standard applies. I am appealing to authority, my own authority. If I am unwilling to identify myself by legal name and contact information and only offer an avatar named ‘CreepyBunny’, most of us will discount anything I say – forever.

Or if you write that expert opinion about XYZ is clear and settled, but your links are to other articles saying the same thing, without publicly available facts and named authorities, you are misleading your audience. It is sleight of hand to trick them into believing your view is ‘authoritative’. Manipulation.

When a journalist writes about a topic and quotes ‘anonymous sources’, it may be exciting and dramatic, it might support your opinion too, but it’s still between the peanuts and the beer.

Why? Because authority is always transparent. If your comments, advice or orders are not offered with your full name and verifiable contact information, then you are just like the rest of us, or maybe another ‘CreepyBunny’.

Wikipedia can be like this. It can be wonderful to get up to speed on a topic like Calculus, the Ford F150 and Italian cooking. There can be many documented authorities quoted in the articles too. But many of the editors that write these articles are anonymous. If I read about a fast developing story or a controversial topic it takes a lot of time to read the links and see if any of the editors are transparent.

So what’s the big deal?

Read this:

Wikipedia and Saudi Arabia

Borncity transparency

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Outer coats for the seasons, watcha wearing?

Sooo in the cold weather here in the UK I wear a modified water resistant, fleece lined Regatta professional soft shell with the velcro (hook and loop) removed and replace with elastic or press studs. And extra inside pockets added, plus some 1 inch webbing for guiding cables or clipping radios, flashlights, knives etc to.

In the warmer weather I use either or both Craghopper Nosilife adventure 2 Jacket, And Or a Nosilife adventure 2 multi pocket gilette, again much modified for hanging assorted items of kit off.

All rather drab and unassuming to meet the Grey Man concept I support, So what do you folks like to wear as outerwear?

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Clothing Arcola Tactical Soft Shell

Anticipatory grief

I’m wondering if people here may feel a sense of “anticipatory grief” relating to others who aren’t into prepping or who aren’t into avoiding infection with pathogens? As I understand it and as I’m putting it in simple words, anticipatory grief is grieving for someone who hasn’t literally died yet even though they’re on that trajectory. It’s complicated grief because there aren’t cultural supports for the grieving process and because there are plenty of unknowns. 

As background, some of my friends and acquaintances act like it’s 2019 or earlier and are traveling, going to large in-person gatherings, and doing other activities that seem risky even as they aren’t taking rudimentary preparedness actions or taking care of their general health. I try to lead by example in my circles, but I’m not invested in trying to change their behavior otherwise (staying in my lane). 

I’ve caught myself thinking, “Say good-bye inside. He won’t be around in 5 years. “Say good-bye inside. She won’t be around in 10 years.” Of course, the so-called Doomsday Clock is at what, 90 seconds to midnight? 

Anyway, I’m just curious. Best regards to all.

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New gun owners with questions?

Seeing as how the demand for firearms is at an all time high, and the number of new gun owners is exponentially increasing, I figured it would be good to open a thread for anyone new or inexperienced with firearms to throw out any questions they might have. So fire away (see what I did there?) I’m here to answer any questions and I’m sure Thomas can drop in as well

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Prepper Chat Night – Friday January 20

Last month’s Prepper Chat Night was great and we had an awesome turnout and even better conversations.

This Friday January 6 at 6pm PST/9pm EST will be our next meeting.

And as a reminder, Prepper Chat Nights are the first Friday of every month on Discord by video or voice chat with other members of the community. 

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Prepper Chat Night 1