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The sun ☀️ is our greatest survival ally

During some morning meditation and reflecting, I thought about what an incredible resource the sun is to the survivalist. Here are some of my thoughts on how the sun helps us and if we study each method and learn how to capitalize on it’s ability, then we can become better prepared to survive. Feel free to add to the list if you have any thoughts.

Generating electricity through the use of a solar panel Cooking food with a solar oven Heating up a house by opening the blinds Disinfecting water that is placed in a clear bottle Providing vitamin D through our skin to keep us healthy Telling time by using a sun dial or just looking up in the sky for a general sense according to it’s position Helping us navigate. Rises in the East and sets in the West Brings life to our gardens

Thank you sun! 

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Solar blanket (panels) by Off Grid Trek

Do any of you own or tried the “28.5W Solar Panel, 23.8% Efficiency Rating, 1.1lbs” by Off Grid Trek?

I own two Ryno Tuff 21W Foldable Solar Panels, based on The Prepared’s extensive testing and recommendation. I am wanting to get one more, and want to diversify, as I believe in redundancy that is partially diversified in the scenario that one brand decides to crap out.

At $280, it is considerably more expensive than Ryno Tuff’s $50 offering.  I am willing to pay more for a better product that will last longer (years). It also has a DC port.

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in the Arizona desert with temps upwards of 120F in the height of summer.  We also have dust, wind and monsoon rains (oh, joy).

Your thoughts and input are appreciated 🙂

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It can’t be said too many times…do your estate planning

I’ve posted this before but it really can’t be said enough. Get your affairs in order. EMPs are a possibility, but death is a certainty and unlikely, sudden, too young, too healthy, “But he worked out every day!”, “But I always thought I would go first!” deaths happen all the time. We just had one in our family.

Lots of good articles out there, I’m linking to one below. I would say the very FIRST thing everyone should do is check the beneficiaries on your accounts. Any bank account, retirement account, HSA, anything should have the person you intend listed as a death beneficiary and then have alternates. That way the assets go directly to your beneficiary on your death instead of going through probate – they have access to the funds right away. This is easy to do and doesn’t cost anything. After that you can get into your will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, life insurance etc. 

Finally, talk to your family. Make sure someone trusted knows what accounts you have, where to find your will, what your intentions are. possibly even share passwords with them if you trust them. If not, consider subscribing to a password manager service that can allow someone to have emergency access in the event of your death (e.g. LastPass).

Honestly, don’t spend another dime on ammo or #10 cans until you have dealt with this. It causes so much pain, stress, and heartbreak on top of an already heartbreaking situation when someone dies unprepared.

Sample article here – and there are lots more out there. 

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Tips for pets? – Pet Preparedness

What are peoples plans and more importantly tips to dealing with pets in a situation where bugging out is prudent?  We have two cats, both are leash trained and very easy to get into their crates.  Travel by car is a non issue for them.  We also have a gallon bag of food for them in my bag.  I am worried about having to ditch the car though.  Any hints on supplies we should have, training we should do, or any other things?  

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Changes for/life in a world with reduced oil accessibility?

I’ve been trying to find (or create?) a big list of approaches/technologies/products/ideas that someone could consider to a) reduce their oil dependence in the present, or b) live life in a future with reduced/nonexistent oil/fossil fuel accessibility.

I want to look at these ideas to consider adopting some now or supporting my community to develop some of the ideas. Below, I’ve given examples.

Also, to be frank, I want a list of ideas to look at when I find myself doomscrolling through peak oil and oil dependence articles. Those articles describe the stakes and the scale of the problem, but at the end of them, I’m usually left thinking “what could I do to address the issue?” That uncertainty about what to do (for me at least) often results in more doomscrolling about the general topic. I want to break a spiral by pulling up a nice big list of concrete ideas for myself and/or my community. (Then once I’ve broken the spiral, I can actually evaluate which ideas are truly useful for me personally. But first, the list to break the spiral.)

So if you’ve got a recommendation for what to learn about or where to go to learn how to be less oil-dependent (whether through traditional approaches, or modern ones, or a mix) I’d be very happy to hear your ideas and resources.

Here’s some of my examples…

Food preservation: Create a root cellar (attached or detached to the home) to help preserve food without spending energy on active cooling/refrigeration. Food preservation: learn about fermenting (sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough…) Food supply/production: Look up local farmers and figure out what products I could potentially purchase without relying on long distance trucking to bring it to my area (and identify what I can’t acquire locally) Food supply/production: Learn about household-level gardening techniques that don’t rely heavily on synthetic fertilizers, and make efficient use of hand tools vs power tools (like a scythe) Transportation: Live within an e-bike’s range for commuting to most places, and combine that with setting a back-yard solar system for charging the bike (these ideas don’t have to work for everyone, just pass along the ideas that might work for someone) Housing: Assess a home’s structure for retrofitting (insulation, passive solar) to reduce the energy inputs needed for heating/cooling. Housing: Learn about rocket mass heaters, modern/traditional woodstoves/wood boilers to supply heating energy via a resource that can be grown locally. (learn what it takes to grow a healthy “wood lot”) Clothing: Identify local resources and expertise for making and maintaining clothing (knitting and sewing hobbyists, local seamstresses/tailors, sources of fiber to make fabric, potential trade options if there’s no enough ) General energy: learn about household-level power generation like photovoltaic solar panels and evacuated tube-based solar hot water systems General energy: learn about community microgrids to generate (electric) power locally/in a distributed manner Societal structure: discuss my concerns with family, friends, community members, and elected representatives

(And if you have website/book recommendations instead of individual ideas, happy to hear that, too!)

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What shortages/price hikes are you all anticipating?

I feel like I’ve seen a lot of news about higher fuel prices and an expectation that wheat will be in short supply and higher in price, but I was reading this article and found that Russia is one of the leading exporters of fertilizer. Fertilizer shortages could ultimately really impact agricultural yields globally. What shortages/price hikes are you all anticipating and prepping for?

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Disaster Burnout – How to recognize it and what to do about it if it happens to you or the people in your group

Life in a state of global pandemic has taught us all a thing or two about stress, boredom, frustration, fear, anger, and grief.

In the early stages of the pandemic, people mounted shopping campaigns to secure as much toilet paper as possible. Frenzied shoppers scrambled to buy the last 20 pounds of flour and hoped there was still yeast left at the end of the grocery aisle.

Job hours were cut back or entire days trimmed from schedules until finally people were laid off for lack of work.

As the year wore on, people used credit to pay for expenses. Savings accounts were raided and left empty. Some countries offered financial assistance, but that assistance was finite. Those at the end of the pandemic financial programs stood on the precipice of a big, black void. What next?

When would this pandemic finally end and life would go back to normal?

Stress set in as the financial pressures mounted. Domestic relationships imploded under the weight of pandemic stress. Was it financial? Was it from spending just a little too much time together?

Or, were relationships failing because the pandemic had changed people? Partnerships are hard to maintain when the people in them turn inward and away from the other.

People had lost loved ones and were unable to even visit in the hospital as their family member lay dying. Proper funerals weren’t allowed and the associated community support for grief that comes with the ritual of a funeral.

The preppers who were better prepared at the onset of the pandemic still had to cope with many of the issues non-preppers faced, like job loss and grief.

I was prepared for pandemic and increased my preps before it was declared. It was nice to have PPE’s and a very well stocked pantry including non food items and I am grateful for that preparation. 

But, today I am as weary of the pandemic as everyone else. When the pandemic was declared, we were all given a new set of rules about how to live. Masks and social distancing became the equivalent of little bubbles around us, invisible boundaries never to be crossed. We lost the ability to connect with each other in a spontaneous and joyful way.

When was the last time you were truly, spontaneously happy and carefree?

Even a visit with a generous supply of preps doesn’t perk me up.

I feel like the kid in the back of the car: “Are we there yet?”

Burnout is present when you go to sleep knowing that the next morning will probably not be much different.

Burnout is knowing that other people feel the same way and they are as powerless to change the pandemic as you are.

If the pandemic were a bus, I want to get off now, please.

One definition of burnout is physical and mental collapse.

Whenever I peer over the edge into these dark corners of prepping that are easier to ignore, I learn something that makes me a stronger, wiser prepper.

I don’t hide from the mental and emotional aspects of disaster because if I did, then how could I recognize burnout and the need to address it? 

I feel my emotions and ride through the difficult ones so I can learn to manage them better when unpleasant situations provoke them.

So, here’s what I’ve figured out about burnout during this journey through a pandemic.

Any prolonged disaster is going to eventually provoke burnout. We are human and there is no point pretending that it won’t happen to us. Everyone will arrive at burnout sooner or later and want off the bus, too.

Remember the footage of the end of World War II from various countries? People were hugging and kissing and jumping into each other’s arms. Some were dancing in the streets. People were ecstatic because the war was over.

If all those people hadn’t been burned out, then their reactions would have been much different. “Oh, really, it’s over. *Yawn* How nice.” 

We need to plan for burn out in ourselves or in our group. Burnout looks like depression, hopelessness, and fatigue. A person who is burned out is a jaded person who has had enough of the circus and just wants to go home.

Burnout can cause us or members of our group to make mistakes and errors in judgement that can have dire consequences.

Burnout if not addressed can affect the morale of the person’s group. It adds to their stress.

Every person has a different way of coping with burnout. If it happened to me in a high stress job, I changed jobs, fields and went off in an entirely different direction in order to challenge my brain and skills. It became a way to learn new things in a new environment and shake off the heaviness of burnout.

If the burnout wasn’t from a job, I took up new hobbies and taught myself new things from college level books that I put aside in my library.

If it was a relationship, it got better or I got out. Life is too short to live in a state of burnout, disaster or no disaster.

Burnout comes from working our brains the same way day in and day out. The remedy is to do something different. Change one big thing or a bunch of little things. Get creative.

Take the negative things that happen during a disaster and turn them into opportunities for learning.

Don’t ever completely grow up. Reserve a part of yourself that is free to be a child. This will help you remember how to play and not take yourself too seriously. It is invaluable in a disaster to be able to build a fort in your living room or dissolve into hysterics over a silly joke.

Laughter displaces burnout and drives it away.

My Mom, who survived the long occupation of The Netherlands in WWII, told me how they would laugh and make silly jokes, even during the really bad times. Sometimes, they sang or played games or talked about “some day” when it was over, what would be the first thing that they would like to do. 

But mostly, they laughed because when they laughed they felt stronger, in their spirits, an intangible untouchable part of them that no one could steal from them.

Until she died at 86, my Mom was often mistaken for a woman much younger than her years. She still sang and her giggle was infectious. Her spirit was as strong as ever and no one could ever steal it from her.

When the going gets really tough in a long term disaster, I will deal with burnout by remembering her example.

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What’s worth canning?

I’d like to ask a question (ok, 2 questions) to the folks who are experienced with canning fruits and veggies:1) What fruits & vegetables do you prefer to can and what do you prefer to freeze? (Set aside the issue of the power going out and the freezer defrosting…)2) What fruits & vegetables have you canned that you won’t can again – because of the effort involved, change in color/texture, shift in taste, equipment needed, etc.

Thanks in advance!

-WS (a canning newbie)

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Digital preparedness

Full disclosure: some of the staff here know more about this than I do (I’ll likely link shamelessly to their past affiliated sites…) I realize this is a niche topic but wanted to contribute where I could.

If you think of Preparation along the lines of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, digital preparedness might be a bit closer to the top in terms or rarity rather than urgency/importance (The base of the pyramid is *more* important than the top, remember) but in situations that fall short of a full grid-down disaster, information can be critical (you are [probably] reading this on a website, after-all!).

You can also think of Digital preparedness as a meta-prep, along the lines of financial-preparedness (of the mutual fund/savings/retirement account variety, rather than the gold/silver investing kind) – something that might help you along the way in anything short of a full-blown apocalypse.

Nothing will ever take the place of learned skills or reference material on printed paper (some digital media you can print out!), but in situations where you’ve prepared for power outages and have your food/water, shelter, and safety taken care of – information certainly can’t hurt.  Even if digital preparedness isn’t essential to your survival scenarios, it can also be helpful for simple organization and maintenance until you have more important things to worry about (similar to financial preparation, where ideally you’ve got savings and retirement accounts in order – and use them as a base to build on your other preps in the event that your savings and retirement accounts don’t exist anymore for exigent reasons).

Password managers If you buy things online, do online banking/investing, pay bills online – You should really seriously consider a password manager.  They can be a small pain to set up at first but it also forces you to organize and take stock of things.  The better ones will be able to export to standard formats for backup and portability. Good ones integrate with your phone and computer.  See more here: Two Factor Authentication By now it’s common enough that you probably have the option for two factor authetication (gmail, your bank, etc).  Enable it.  If you enable it you need to also consider redundancy.  Some sites that offer two factor also provide one time use reset codes – you have to save these and get a limited number.  You can sometimes designate alternate cell phones for two-factor like a trusted family member or friend (or a second backup phone if that’s your thing).  There are different types of two-factor such as cell phone, email, software, or hard token.  Personally I’m OK with cell phone based but your risk-convenience trade offs may differ (and i use a combination of them).  Facebook and Google both have options as well (how much do you trust them though – not saying you shouldn’t just that you should think about it first).  For more information: Identity Protection Credit Freezes
I’ve had my personal information breached at least 4 times that I know of (no true identity theft, but it’s out there for the taking).  Most identity monitoring services tell you when it’s already happened, to [help] prevent it from happening in the first place consider a credit freeze (in the US).  A credit freeze is different from a credit fraud alert – credit fraud alerts are temporary but a credit freeze you control and can turn off/on at your discretion.  Want a new credit card?  Ask the provider which bureau they use and then unfreeze the relevant one – you can even set them to be temporarily unlocked and re-enabled after a set period of time.  It’s not perfect but it may be a deterrent.  You will need to record some private pins/codes – make copies and put them someplace safe you will remember, you might only use them a couple times a decade so plan accordingly.  For more info (I always look for the in the link): Credit monitoring
You can pay for credit monitoring if you want (be warned, Equifax had a breach, this is about deterrence, nothing is 100%) but many banks and credit cards offer less-formal credit monitoring options.  I have two separate options and I check them each 1-2 times a month, they’re easy to get to and the next best thing to formal paid services. Consider multiple credit cards For the longest time I had one credit card.  I also paid for everything by credit card (paid it off in full each month).  Once every year or three someone would steal my credit card info and I’d be without a credit card for the 5-10 days it took to replace.  I was not prepared.  Now I have two, one stays in my wallet and one at home locked up.  Also a check card but i avoid using that for my own reasons. Be aware of the impact on your credit score – opening new accounts/cards can cause a hit at first.  You want to balance your credit usage and consider not having a completely inactive card – less of a guide more of an FYI/proceed with awareness (FYI – my at-home card is used for car insurance so it gets some mild usage). For your second+ credit card, consider a different bank (you might get different free services, like that free credit reporting).  Also if one bank gets breached, all your eggs aren’t in one basket (good for money management too I’m told, but thats another topic) You need to consider not just yourself but also anyone you have a joint account with (you may want to reassess your joint accounts – which may have credit score implications if you close older joint cards).  If you are married or have kids, you might want to consider having those chats with anyone you are financially entangled with. Know your public information – If you own property, your name is probably in (multiple) databases linked to your address(es), unless you have an LLC/trust/shell company obscuring your identity.  If you sign up for a grocery store “bonus” card they’re probably selling/sharing your data with someone who is aggregating it.  Not trying to stoke your paranoia or encourage you to change your legal name – just be aware of what you “give out” for free.  Google yourself and see how exposed you really are (sometimes, having a common name comes in real handy, hard to distinguish from all the others!) Data backup/archival Do you have files, photos, reference materials, or personal memoirs on your computer that you want to keep forever?  Do you have a backup plan?  There is a lot to consider but sometimes a simple external hard drive and a monthly backup is enough.  Off-site and cloud storage are other options.  Dry acid-free archival quality paper is one of the longest lasting information storage media invented (short of stone tablets?) – but it’s not as portable or convenient. For smaller scale storage, or prep-related storage, you might consider a USB key (think home owners insurance, backup codes for finances, medical records, etc).  There are different types with different features, some claim to be quite impressive.  I *HAVE NOT* vetted this myself, but if you want an upgrade from a basic USB stick for a go bag – something with encryption and security features might appeal to you (seriously do your homework, I’m interested in this but haven’t researched it yet): If you care – many social media and communications platforms allow you to export your data en mass for local use and backup (I *think* you can thank EU data laws for that?) – so there are ways to backup all your facebook photos or emails if that kind of thing is important to you (i’d argue a high quality usb stick with a digital family album stored on it weighs less than the real thing if your house burns down). Webpage archival Have you found an article or web page you’ve found helpful and might want to reference in the future?  Maybe you’ve saved it in your bookmarks – what happens when the internet goes down or the website is taken down?  Saving web content offline can be both easy and frustrating.  Dynamic content can be generated on the fly so even if you “save as” to your PC, you might get a blank template when you open it.  Luckily there are solutions: A simple but slower solution is to “print to a PDF.”  It might take 2-3 steps and can be annoying to organize but it will work offline and you can save to your USB/backup storage of choice if you choose to.  Sometimes it messes up formatting but is usually readable. A solution I like (which I *think* can be configured for both offline and cloud based storage) is Apple/Safari Reading lists. Once set up this (in theory) offers me one-click offline storage that (can potentially?) be synchronized across devices.  It’s very much an apple ecosystem tool though.  Bonus – from what I’ve read safari is better for battery life on Macs! There are a number of built in and third party options for this, some with cloud synchronization options.  Too many to research right now, but you have options depending on what works for you. Prep logistics Google “My Maps” ( is basically user-friendly digital cartography for the masses – now if you’re a high profile public figure with a secret underground bunker (a general category not a specific reference) you might want to not share that info with Google.  But if you want a list of your friends, family, and locations to consider on the way to a secondary location that are all public knowledge anyway this can be useful.  I mostly use this for planning/brainstorming and personal organization (i would not suggest for an emergency but i would suggest to help you make a hard copy map for emergencies).  I’m unsure if their printed maps are any good but you might be able to make it work.  I believe you can also save these “off line” on your mobile device, even when the internet goes out. Google Docs and Sheets – OK, I’m lazy, there are alternatives for the security conscious but for everyone else, it’s useful to organize.  Contact lists with phone numbers for emergencies (to print out!) and put in your bags – and update as needed.  Scenario planning if you like to write to help you think, even renovations for your primary or secondary residence (if you have a location to “bug out” to). Supply lists for future purchases.  It’s just an organizational tool Accounting – part of the financial meta-prep again.  Since most of my purchases are off amazon it’s easy to see what I’ve spent and what it got me.  I literally have a spreadsheet tallying my prep expenses over time (useful for reassuring the spouse you aren’t “going overboard”) Surveillance Wireless cameras – I need to do more research here.  Arlo cameras look appealing to me but I think they require an internet connection to be useful.  Ideally I’d like a wireless-radio camera system, battery powered if possible (even if it uses wifi as the radio mechanism but *does not* require an active internet for monitoring – for scenarios where safety is a concern but you still have power but maybe not internet) Car dash-cams – This was a suggestion off a random prepper site before I settled on The Prepared.  There are versions of these that are set up to record while you’re parked using a battery backup if disturbed or simply record while actively driving your car under power.  After one too many close calls with bad traffic I invested in this more for proof in case anyone tries to sue me but it might have other applications – I like my BlackVue 1 channel with wifi, but I’ve yet to be in an accident with it, so a little hard to test. Radio/Communications ThePrepared has an article on ham radios that you should read ( – because my particular breed of “preparation scenarios” gears towards government censorship and net neutrality I’m prone to imagining how ad-hoc mesh networks work or trying to figure out what you can do with a HackRF One software defined radio… but hey, we all need our hobbies. Cell Phones Backups – both backup your data and consider having a second phone as a backup.  Backing up your phone is fairly easy, you might do it already but you can go to 7-11 and buy a pay-as-you-go cell phone with a prepaid plan in case your cell phone breaks (is stolen, lost) when you *really* need it.  Be sure to set it up with relevant numbers.  You’ll need to consider battery charge and storage if you don’t use it frequently.  While you’re at it, consider memorizing a couple of important numbers – in case you’re ever arrested (or your battery dies) and don’t have your cell phone to look up the number you need for you one phone call you really need to make. Privacy Consider what kind of encryption your cell phone supports.  For example, Apple has something of a reputation for privacy of mobile devices (i think?) but other vendors may also. Consider what privacy laws apply to forcing you to unlock your phone.  Consider if you trust police or a third party aggressor to honor your rights with regards to fingerprint or face based phone unlock features.  Sometimes an old school strong pass-code is better. Warning: politically adjacent link, but it has valid politically agnostic (and up to date) advice regarding technology usage.  Please don’t ding me for linking to this! Devices If you have the means and interest: laptops, tablets, and smartphones are various form factors that are portable.  If it is important to you – you might consider having an old one in a tiered go-bag system (again, consider battery charge issues), or at least having one you can grab on your way out the door.  ThePrepared has reviewed solar chargers that are appropriate for cell phones (and tablets?) There are other semi-portable (certainly in a car) solar panel and battery options that might recharge a laptop.  Again, take care of the base of maslow’s needs first (food, water, shelter, protection) but *if you want* there are options available to you. Read More

What would a non-nuclear world war look like?

Hi all, 

I’ve seen a lot of us talking about nuclear war and MAD (which has been on my mind as well), but I’m also curious what you think would happen if we had a non-nuclear world war. WWII could serve as some template, but we now have stronger international communities and weaker local communities. 

It looks like higher food and gas prices are already happening. People are pulling together more, but hate crimes are also spiking. Globally, alliances are strengthening and being made for the first time. Several countries are also talking about localizing their supply chains more. 

Do you have any predictions for what it could look like both in terms of everyday life and in terms of global relations?

(Edit: does anyone know if you capitalize “in” in a title? It looked wrong both ways…)

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What can we learn from the war in Ukraine?

One of the main lessons I’ve seen so far is the need to reassess my bug out plan. There was a 6 mile (10km) long traffic jam of refugees fleeing to Poland.

At what point do you abandon your vehicle and trek it on foot? Is going on foot any better?

Another thought I had was having enough water, food, and fuel on hand. You don’t want to run out of food during the middle of an invasion and try to go through a war zone to buy groceries. 

My heart goes out to all those affected. Even to the Russian soldiers who may not like what they are doing but have to.

Let’s learn from what is going on and prepare for the future.

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Community portable water filtration systems


I am a member of my local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and we are looking to replace our portable emergency water filters.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a company that produces portable, self-contained emergency water filter systems?

Our CERT currently has an Emergency Potable Water Program where, if our local water supplier was unable to provide potable water to the community, we would step in and supply potable water through several distribution sites.

The manufacturer of our current units (Global Pure Water) has gone out of business.

Thank you for any thoughts.

Bob Clements

Milwaukie, Oregon

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How to communicate with out of town family during a grid down situation?

I need to resolve how my family will communicate with my parents and teenage sister who live three hours away should the grid go down. I’m not technical, so it’s not something I know where to start researching. But, my husband is technical enough to set systems up since it’s not my strength.

If cell towers and land lines go down during hurricane season (common where we live in North FL), a possible Russian cyber attack (increasing likelihood given the current global situation), or EMP, how do you communicate with others from a distance?

Having done humanitarian work with refugees in Italy and Ukraine, I know how to use blue tooth technology to communicate when cell towers aren’t available. We don’t have HAM radios and I imagine walkie talkies have a short range. But, if the electric is out entirely? For months?

Are satellite phones dependable during an EMP situation (if stored in a faraday)? What are other options? I’d like to invest in this for all family households, totaling three families (my husband’s parents as well in Kentucky), so I’d like to not break the bank, but if I have to…

This is one of those things that keeps me up at night as we have a toddler and are very close to our families. I’ve only found vague or shallow information on this issue. Nothing that breaks things down with clear directions.

Many thanks in advance for your time!

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A list of places where you can find TP other than the forum

Hey folks, here are other places where you can follow or interact with us:

/theprepared: Interesting, educational, and entertaining prepping related Reddit posts. Facebook and Twitter: Top articles and forum posts are shared throughout the week. If you want to have more real time conversations you can join our Slack group (leave a comment down below if you would like a private invitation to join), or Discord server.

Thank you for being part of this community!

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Creating a prepping team

No man is an island and no one can succeed in a disaster alone. Mad Max, The Omega Man, I Am Legend, even The Road had guys going it alone against the post-apocalyptic hordes. But that’s not realistic. A truly prepared individual will surround themselves with like-minded others who have diverse skill sets.

The question I have is how? How do we find these people? I’ve been looking. I’ve joined groups, I’ve been on other forums. I want to enlist the people in my community,  but do so without coming on like a desperate weirdo or paranoid gun nut.

Where do y’all go to find others?

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Nuclear power plant failure…options?

   So I was perusing the beginner prepper guide and was thinking about things I should start with to better prepare me and my family for emergency situations. I live in Kentucky and happened to see the map for nuclear power plants and wondered about the fallout should the ‘world go dark’ scenario – government collapse etc. So what I was wondering was…how far could you live in a place near a nuclear powerplant and not have to worry about things like fallout or radiation poisoning in the water and air? At least not enough to have to move…    I’ve included an image that shows the current location of nuclear power plants and the link (Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean Conditions) to a website that shows the real-time wind/weather patterns (quite beautiful actually).   I obviously don’t know much about nuclear power or what their procedure is should they need to power down but I imagine it wouldn’t be pretty if they had to be shut-off permanently? I do know that in the event of a power failure they recommend everything outside of a 100mile radius to evacuate. Any references would be greatly appreciated as I really enjoy a good research rabbit hole but a starting point does help.   I guess I’m just not sure how much energy and resources should be spent in a place that would prove unlivable when nuclear power fails and starts affecting the environment.

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How would those who live in a city survive without trucks?

While taking a business trip to Southern California I looked out the window and saw nothing but buildings, roads, and urban yuck as far as the eye could see.

At any time, I was probably looking at a million or two people. The thought that crossed my mind is how are all these people supported? I didn’t see any farmland, no large bodies of water, and where was the power plants? It seems like the food, water, and even power was transported in. What if all that stopped? By looking at the pictures you can see a few small bodies of water or a few football fields or parks that could be turned into farmland. I still don’t see how the vast number of people I was looking at could have enough resources and survive though. It would require a mass exodus out of the city or a large portion of the population to die off.

If you live in a city, it is even more important to store water, food, and fuel. And have a way to protect those resources because the hundreds of people around you who are not prepared will get pretty desperate.

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“Reasonable” preparations for a nuclear conflict—picking a place to live…

Hey everyone. Brand new to the forum; really cool to find a site with such comprehensive resources for common sense preparedness.

I’ve been working on some minor preparedness here and there since COVID started a couple of years ago. Events in Ukraine are now causing me to accelerate and take things to the next level. Specifically, and sadly, I am concerned that we have crossed a threshold where the prospect of a global nuclear conflict will be a real possibility for the foreseeable future.

I have two young kids and am determined not to take a passive stance, leaving my family’s fate completely in the hands of the government. I’m also as yet unwilling to go the other extreme (living completely off-grid in a bunker). So I’m asking myself, is there a middle ground?

I’ve started reading Nuclear War Survival Skills by Kearny. I’m finding that there are indeed actionable strategies that any sufficiently determined citizen can take. But the big question I’m grappling with right now is—do I want to relocate my family?

Currently, we live in the southwest corner of the Denver metro. As I understand it, Colorado is a pretty target-rich environment for nuclear strikes. But that brings me to question number one:

Does anyone know of any up-to-date resources available to the public that assess the risk of nuclear strikes by geography? I know that missile silos, air force bases, large civilian runways, etc would all likely be the first targets. Possibly major cities after that. But I’m wondering if any agency or individual has aggregated all these risk factors into one map.

Based on my limited reading so far, it does seem that if one is located outside the primary blast radius, steps can be taken to sufficiently protect against fallout such that one could at least survive the initial strike and the following ~2-4 weeks of heavy fallout. So I’m trying to determine if there are places I’d actually be willing to live that might be far enough from the most likely targets.

Has anyone researched this before? Curious what you’ve found?

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Food storage/self reliance

I applaud that you are advising (like the Red Cross) to have 2 weeks of shelf-stable food stored, however, it’s rare that disasters occur singly. There are always cascading effects. FEMA, quite quietly, advised a few years ago not to expect them to show up for a week (previously it was 3 days and that’s after state governor declares disaster). So a scenario might be that a disaster happens, then you have to self quarantine for 2 weeks. Or you lose a job and it takes a month or more to find a replacement. Professional searches have been known to go for months.

So building your storage can and probably should be gradual, buying what you eat and eating what you buy.

At the other end of the continuum are the Mormons (LDS church) who take it as part of their faith to prepare to survive for a year (or more) on stored items and have tools to plant during that year for the longer haul.

I’d say 1 weeks worth of self reliance is a good start, but then extend the goal to a minimum of 3 weeks if you have the storage capacity. Shelter in place is often the best strategy for many disaster scenarios.

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Mass shooting NYC Subway. Bombs found

No matter if its a criminal or a terrorist or a nut job, theres no way on earth I’m letting my wife fly to NYC for a shopping trip in July.   Be it US, UK or EU cities are fast becoming no go areas.

gunman wearing a gas mask and orange construction vest is on the run in Brooklyn after shooting at least 13  people on a packed subway station platform in Sunset Park during rush hour on Tuesday.  

At least five people are believed to be injured, with four said to be either shot or hit by shrapnel and another shot on the R train at the 36th Street station in Sunset Park. 

At around the same time, there were reports of an explosion nearby. It’s unclear where the gunman is now but NYPD units are hunting for him. 

An NYPD spokesman could only confirm that a shooting had taken place and that no one was in custody. 

Multiple undetonated devices have been found at the scene that the FDNY is now working to remove safely. 

‘Originally, the call came in as smoke in the subway station. Upon arrival, officers found multiple people shot and undetonated devices.  

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Free DIY: How to make small waterproof containers using plastic trash

It’s great to store smaller bug out bag items in waterproof containers, like medication, tinder, or water purification tablets. In this post, I show how to DIY a free and quick method that recycles/upcycles the plastic bottles you’ll be throwing out anyway. 

When deciding what containers to upcycle, favor sturdier plastic with quality caps, like the too-expensive disposable water bottles.

–A 16oz water bottle or old apple sauce container provides a large capacity inside the lid and a definable lip that can be cut across.–

Next take a hacksaw or sharp kitchen knife and cut below the lid. If you need a slightly larger container, leaving a portion of the neck of the bottle will give some extra capacity. After that, sand down the rough plastic to create an even and smooth surface. You can even just rub it against some concrete. The nice thing about this project is that it does not need to be exact or perfect and further steps will make up for any imperfections.

–Before and after sanding–

Taking another piece of thin plastic that would have ended up in a landfill for the next 500 years, trace around the lid and cut out the little circle, this will form the base of the container.

–-I cut out clear plastic circles (which is why they are hard to see in the picture) so I could see inside of the container, but you can go with colored plastic if you want.–

Run a thick bead of hot glue or super glue around the rim of the lid and press on the plastic circle. Hot glue is nice because the thickness of the glue fills any imperfections between the sanded portion of the container and the plastic circle base. Any excess that comes out of the side can be wiped or scraped off.

Possible uses:

The container made out of the large apple sauce bottle can store three large cotton balls that can be coated in vaseline for an excellent tinder source.

Learn more about how to make these by reading this post by forum member Jay Valencia.

Using one of those slim and more eco-friendly water bottle lids, I created a small container that can hold red pepper flakes for spicing up food. On the right is a container made from a full sized lid that is able to hold four ibuprofen liquid gel capsules, perfect for throwing in a pocket or purse.

By combining two wide mouth Gatorade bottle lids, a larger container can be made. Or you can place one of those plastic circles in between the two halves and make a container on either end. Perhaps one side is your medicine in the morning and the other end is for the evening.

By screwing a waterproof container on the end of a Sawyer Mini or Hydroblu Versa, top rated in the Best portable survival water filters article, you will protect the protruding tubes on either end that can be damaged if dropped and also stop any leaking of the filter inside your bag after use.

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Inflation preparedness

Alternatives to the US dollar (eg gold, bitcoin) are frequently discussed as insurance against inflation. But are there other steps one should be taking to prepare? Should a renter try to become a homeowner? What storable goods are likely to become expensive? What storable (yet necessary) goods are likely to become scarce?

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Do I need more than a whole house generator?

I have a natural gas line into my home and a 22kw whole house generator that automatically kicks on when the electricity goes out. It can easily power everything in my home, including my gas furnace (necessity) and my whole house a/c (a nice luxury during a summer outage).  The primary worries in my area are winter storms and high-wind storms (including tornados, although I don’t live in “tornado alley.”) My question: “redundancy” seems to be a key concept in prepping, and I’m beginning to wonder if over-reliance on my generator for heat and electricity is wise. Thoughts?

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