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What does prepping look like in your area of the world?

I’m sure we have forum users here from every state of the US, from many different countries, and probably every continent. I’d love to see what prepping looks like all over the world.

So please introduce yourself and where you live. (can be a specific US state,  just general area such as the South East USA, or country)

How do you prep in your area that may be different than how someone else may prep? (in Alaska your car has to have a snow shovel and gun at all times, or in Argentina you have to carry extra water and mosquito repellant)

What disasters, natural or manmade, have you dealt with or are prepping for in your area? (earthquake, tornado, flood, civil unrest)

Areas represented so far below: South East Australia, Colorado USA, Virginia USA, Southern California USA, Pacific Northwest USA, Wisconsin USA, Northern New England, French countryside, South Eastern USA, South Carolina USA, an island in southern South America,

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  • Comments (56)

    • 5

      I live in Colorado and in my area the biggest concern that we have is forest fires and snow.

      Having a good BOB is important if you need to evacuate from a forest fire. During the winter we need to carry a good snow brush, snow shovel, warm clothes, and other winter gear.

      One unique threat that possibly could affect me is that I am not too far away from Colorado Springs, home to NORAD, which monitors all of the air space over the US. I can see this as a high target for a nuke one day. If another country was to invade, they probably would want to take out the monitoring center that looks over the US. (I don’t know to much about the topic, I don’t know if this is a huge threat, if there are backup monitoring centers, or how it all works but just something I’ve thought about) They do have a backup monitoring center in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex (which is just a few miles away from the main NORAD base) and is built under a granite mountain. But still a nuke probably could make short work of that and it still is pretty close to the other location. I hope they have a backup plan in place like on the east coast that could monitor the air space of the US if NORAD was to go down.

      So anyways, a nuke to there, or close by Denver (a major city and other possible threat for a nuke), could introduce fallout to where I live. From nuke maps that I’ve looked at, I think i’ll be safe from the initial blast, but fallout is a possibility. I do have my iodine pills and N95 masks, but a hazmat suit and full gas mask would be a good prep once I get down the basics.

      Nukes aside, I am very blessed to live where I live. Temperatures are not too extreme for the most part, clean water is all around, plenty of mountains to bug out to if needed, trees, wildlife, and more make it a prepper’s dream.

      Another disaster is that SHTF, many of the 2.5 million+ people in the Denver Metro area could look to the mountains for a place to bug out to thinking there is plenty of food and supplies here. So security is something I want to beef up on if hoards of people come through the mountain towns looking for supplies.

      • 6

        Bob, Tidewater, Virginia;

        This area is part of “Hurricane Alley”, the Atlantic seaboard with it’s annual hurricane cycle.

        Hurricanes are the major distinguishing aspect of this geographic area.

        Self-sufficiency for a few days is a requirement. A hurricane can close down access to medical clinics, rescue vehicles are on hold due road closings.  Electricity is lost by many, if not most.

        I’ve dealt with hurricanes and most of the other perils.  The “beltway sniper” event of some 20 years ago, placed a scare into the national response organizations.  Hurricane Alley is also the “Navy Norfolk – Washington, D.C. corridor”.

        A wild guess-timate of those who prepare is ~ 3%.  This same number represents those who prepare for the other perils, like heat waves, ultra-cold weather when home heating is lost, those in need of medical oxygen. Of course, there’s a run to the stores by 97% for small appliance batteries like “AA” when the hurricane is close.

        Robert, any attack on NORAD/Cheyene Mountain and the entire nation is activated. There was what some call a “test” and others say “accident”, when Hawaii’s Emergency Management org sent out an alert re an incoming ICBM attack. This was circa Jan, 2018.

      • 5

        You are a brave man! Living in hurricane country is something I will never do. I just don’t see the appeal, no matter how nice it is. You know that you will get hit by one every year. 

        I do admire people who live there, as I think they know much more about surviving a disaster than i’ll ever know. They know how to prep and survive, as they have to do it every year. I can learn a lot from them.

      • 3

        Ha! I guess I’m brave because I live in S.C.  I used to live in Myrtle Beach.  Never really worried about hurricanes. I do, however, remember hurricane Hugo (1989).  Even 60 miles inland, it took off about a third of our shingles. Over blown trees and downed power lines blocked our road.  We didn’t have power for week. This was before my prepping days. I’d cope much better today.

        I’m thankful to live here.  I’m 72, and with the exception of Hugo, a hurricane has never been a problem.  A huge snow storm scares me considerably more than high winds.  But then, I HATE cold weather.  : )

      • 3

        It’s cool to see how far we have progressed with our preps and know that we are so much better prepared for future disasters than ones we have experienced in the past. 

        I hate the cold weather too. Need to move to Nevada…

      • 4

        Robert, I missed the above mentioned iodine pills comment. Just saw it.

        https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/emergencies/ki.htm#who

        There is guidance on who and when to take.  Glance at the above CDC link. At ADULTS – if over 40 years old, it’s a different adult category.

        The important aspect for the prepper community is that the only entity knowing if the iodine (potassium iodide [KI]) pills are required will be the area’s emergency operations center and the area’s ALS – Advanced Life Support clincs – staffed by EMTs and other med folks.

        Otherwise, the pills can be harmful.

        Do put some research time into this and if evacuating alone, might not want to even carry the pills.  Even if under 40 y.o. well worth researching this.

      • 4

        Thanks for sharing that link. I agree, I need to be careful taking those. But if I see a nuclear explosion (if i’m not blinded by the blast) or hear about it and know fallout is starting to rain down, i’ll probably be taking those. I’d rather fill the thyroid up with iodine than radiation. 

        Luckily, it is a prep that I’m pretty sure i’ll never have to use. But bought it because it was cheap, and I will sure be grateful I thought ahead if I do have to use it.

      • 3

        I have KI in my emergency medical box. I live about 10 miles from a nuclear plant.  I’d guess that would be a high priority target. Desperate and dangerous people would be those without power.

    • 5

      I live in urban Southern California where the only 80/20 prep is for earthquakes. I’ve got a fault line that is fairly stable but if it goes, I’m likely to have no power, water, or gas for a few weeks. So I’ve focused on water and staples for my family and core group for 4 weeks. One of the difficult things is figuring for a generator. I really have no need for one unless the small chance of an earthquake happens. Optimizing that situation is currently beyond me. 

      • 5

        That is good that you are focusing on your 80/20 prepping. My grandmother lives in California as well and her daughter got her a generator incase of an emergency. I don’t think she even knows how to use it though and probably isn’t keeping up on maintenance like cycling out the gas and trying it out every few months.

        It is hard to prep for those situations that MIGHT happen. Most of us don’t have tons of extra money to buy things like a generator that they won’t use in their daily life and is just going to sit there for years. 

      • 4

        FWIW, I think a lot of earthquake preps that might seem extravagant or unrealistic (unless you happen to actually be there when a significant earthquake hits, which of course one doesn’t really know) may become much more justifiable now that some utility companies are preemptively shutting off power when fire conditions get really bad. A generator is a great example because it seems to me like such a pain in the butt for all the reasons you mention. (What if the Big One hits in 30 years instead of next week? You could be living happily in Minneapolis or New Jersey then, for all anyone knows.) But… if the power is going to be turned off for 24-48 hours 1-3x every fall, maybe it feels like a better investment. 

        I don’t know if Edison and the San Diego electricity provide are cutting power as often as PG&E is, but fire season outages are definitely a thing in the area served by PG&E (i.e., most of NorCal).

      • 4

        Our power company hasn’t done any rolling blackouts, and the only blackout to last more than an hour was about ten years ago and it was less than a day. 

        if you figure the fridge and freezer need to be run 50% of the time combined to keep at temperature, then a small 2000-watt generator would need about a half gallon an hour for 12 hours a day. For two weeks, that’s 84 gallons of gasoline. Probably less, as food gets drawn down, only one appliance would be used, but still. Storing and rotating 75-85 gallons of gas is a big ask. Diesel is a factor of five more expensive, solar has som hurdles (and costs) and propane has volumetric storage challenges. 

        The solution may lie in a discussion to move in advance of potential climate change effects, but even that is a big leap. 

      • 3

        That’s good that you have done the math and didn’t just go out and buy a generator only to realize later how much fuel you would need to store. That sure is a lot of fuel to store and rotate through.

      • 4

        Man, that is quite the fuel burden— especially without knowing that you’ll use it in rolling blackouts, but honestly I’d probably come to the same conclusion as you even knowing I’d use it more frequently.

        And yeah, climate relocation is a big step— something we talk a lot about in our household, but I don’t know if we’d actually follow through. We’re from NorCal and most of our friends and family are there, and NW Washington is most appealing to us from a climate change perspective, but we don’t live in either of those places right now. If we moved, I’m really not sure which direction we’d go.

      • 4

        Most disasters can be prepped for.  Water security is one thing I would likely be willing to consider relocating for though.  Much of the South West in the US is very dry and overpopulated.  I would never consider relying solely on the municipal systems for water.  Just seems like asking for trouble for the long run.

      • 4

        Of course solar is the very best option and absolutely no noise associated with it.  The cost keeps most from being able to consider it, especially when considering off grid with batteries.  The only other option that makes sense is a generator that runs on propane.  With a 500gallon tank of propane you could keep the important stuff going for a very long time.  And for the ones that allready have a gasoline or even diesel generator you can fairly easily get a carburetor adapter kit to make it run off propane as well.

      • 4

        All of that is true, as far as it goes. However, does a grid-tie solar system feed your own house during a power failure? What about at night? You’d need to set up batteries and inverters, which gets you right back to the cos/benefit analysis. 

        A 500 gallon propane tank isn’t cheap either. We have natural gas so the tank would just be installed and sit there unused unless there was an earthquake. So same issue. 

        It’s probably cheaper to buy a small diesel genset in the $2500 range, and just stockpile 100 gallons of diesel. I have a 2500 watt propane generator, but it’s in my camper. Because I live in a dense city, I can’t keep it at home, so there’s no guarantee that I can get it to my house. 

        Sigh. I’ll probably just resign myself to gorging on my perishables for a few days and then switch to dry goods. 

      • 5

        I never considered a grid tie system.  Sure, it’s cool to be able to say you’re producing green energy, but I’m doing it to be able to sustain my lifestyle during emergencies.  I am glad I went through the expense and labor to install the system I have but admit it was an expensive science experiment. Doing it all myself really helped on cost at least.  The 29% tax credit helped too.
        The propane wasn’t too bad.  I lease the 500gal tank for 75$ a year.  Buying one is pretty pricey so the lease made sense.  I do use the tank for my generator but also for my stove currently.  I also bought a tankless water heater for it too (not installed yet), and plan to hook the BBQ grill to it soon.  I don’t believe it would be cost effective just for having around for a generator, but if used for other stuff too I think it’s a good way to have the backup security that’s not grid tied.  I’m in the country so LP wasn’t an option here anyways.  The whole idea for me is trying to set up separate systems that are independent from the grid.  I like the extra options in an emergency.

      • 3

        I’d love to learn more about your DIY solar setup.

        Where did you learn how to do it?

        What lessons did you learn that someone should know when they are doing it for their first time?

        I agree that having a 500gal propane tank isn’t the best prep if you run off of natural gas, (kinda expensive just to sit there) but if you are able to use that propane everyday like you Dog lover, then it makes sense.

    • 7

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      I live here, in south east Australia. No hurricanes (we call them cyclones), tornados or snow,  just the odd hail storm and heavy rain. The ocean is full of fish, and that escarpement is teeming with deer.  Less than 10% of residents own firearms, and very few of those (perhaps 150 out of a population of 400,000) own handguns. So I’m better tooled up than almost everyone. Civil unrest here would be much more civil than in the USA.  This impacts my preps because bugging in is a viable option, even though I own two rural retreats. The biggest problem is working out what equipment I keep at mynretreat, and what I keep at home in case I bug in. 

      • 5

        Thanks for the beautiful picture! I think i’d like to bug out there! 

        I was watching Lincoln last night with my wife and the opening scene is of the two opposing sides of the civil war fighting by hand in a shallow river. They all had guns, but you didn’t see any gun shots because they were the old musket black powder kinds that took too long to reload. So instead people were using them as clubs, stabbing people with bayonets, and punching each other.

        I was thinking that if we had a civil war today, it would be incredibly different. I can imagine lots of assault and hunting rifles, and pistols for up close. I can see people using vehicles as armor and protection as they go through the city. Sure would be scary. 

      • 5

        Robert, have you listened to the It Could Happen Here? It was recommended in the “preparedness podcasts” thread a while back. I thought it was really well done— in fact I actually just re-listened to the first episode. One of the strengths of the podcast, in my opinion, was that it really helped me get away from the unconscious ways that the civil war that we had was constraining my thinking about the what a civil war would look like now— and by extension how close to that we arguably are. 

      • 5

        You know, I haven’t heard of that podcast before. But I have subscribed to it now and will have to listen to it soon. Thank you for the recommendation!

      • 4

        Beautiful picture, Down Under !

        It’s definitely not a place to evacuate from.

        I am now in the mood for one of those Aussie brews where 2 hands are needed to hold the enormous can.

      • 3

        Wow!  To say I’m jealous is a huge understatement. 

    • 6

      Hi Robert! This is a great idea for a thread and I can’t wait to read everybody’s replies.

      Anyone whose read anything I’ve posted probably knows this already, but, as the username suggests, I’m Sarah, I live in the Pacific Northwest, and my prepping is mainly tailored to the fact that my area could experience a M8-9 “megathrust” earthquake. Wildfire is also a growing concern, and it rains a frikken $#1t ton out here.

      My big earthquake prep tips and practices are these:

      • I keep a pair of shoes, a flashlight, a pry tool, and heavy gloves under my bed (to get out of the house without cutting up my hands and feet if there is an earthquake in the night);
      • I am a passionate evangelist for earthquake-activated gas shutoff valves;
      • I carry a whistle on my key chain (in case I’m trapped under rubble/debris), and gift them to friends who live on the West Coast;
      • We’ve made some investments that will allow us to live comfortably without municipal water, sanitation, and power for months, because this is the reality of what recovery from a significant earthquake would look like up here. That means buckets with toilet seats, a 55-gallon water barrel in the backyard, smaller water containers for hauling to and from water trucks, lots of battery operated lanterns, etc.; and
      • I cultivate situational awareness around unreinforced masonry buildings and other falling object hazards and weak bridges (e.g., when I’m on one side of one and my family and/or supplies are on the other).

      For wildfire, the big thing for me is recognizing/remembering that, unless you live in the wildland-urban interface, the odds of actually having to evacuate due to fire or losing your house are still very small, and the biggest danger is breathing really dangerous levels of PM (with all kinds of gnar stuff bound to it) each year during fire season. Air purifiers are our friends.

      As for rain, I don’t prep for it, but I think a lot about what it would be like to deal with an emergency while rain was also happening. My BOB pack has a built in rain fly and I’m working on accumulating a second set of rain gear so that I have waterproof pants and a jacket in my BOB at all times. I think those plastic ponchos are great for a lot of applications (because they are lightweight, cheap, and small, and good rain gear isn’t really any of those things), but if I got deployed for CERT purposes or otherwise had to do active physical disaster relief work in the rain, I’d rather be wearing a proper jacket and pants than a giant plastic sheet that could catch on things and tear.

      • 5

        An earthquake in your area looks incredibly scary! Those sure are some long recovery times. 

        Luckily Colorado isn’t that bad for rain. If I lived in your area though I would make sure everything in my BOB is in a ziploc bag, no down sleeping bag, water proof spray my bag, and use that rain fly that you have. You don’t need to be having your gear get all wet and ruined.

        Do you have rain more days than not? Do you usually carry around a poncho or rain jacket? or just on days when you know there will be rain?

      • 5

        Yes to the ziplocs! I find those to be a really good organizational tool anyway, so everything was more or less already packed in them when we moved up from super-dry California. As for the sleeping gear, I got most of my outdoor gear when I was living in CA or MT and rain wasn’t as much of an issue, so now I’m in western Oregon with a down bag. But I recently got myself an inexpensive synthetic woobie for my BOB. Maybe someday I’ll get a real synthetic bag, too, but this was the budget option/quick fix.

        It actually rains pretty infrequently in summer, so I don’t have much need for a poncho or rain jacket for part of the year. But beginning in September (last year) or October (this year) it gets pretty drizzly and damp and by January it seems like it rains more days than not and drizzles almost every day. The big problem with that, for me, is that it’s too wet for a down or even a wool coat, and too cold for a real rain coat with a sweater underneath. This year, I bought a thick fleece coat that comes down almost to my knees, just as long as my rain coat, to essentially serve as raincoat insulation. That’s exactly the right setup for me for most applications, but for winter hiking I have a standard-length rain jacket and rain pants and just wear a lot of wool and/or fleece underneath them. And yes, we pretty much always carry a rain layer and/or an umbrella— but this also marks us as newbs. Real Oregonians don’t put on rain gear or pop their umbrellas until it’s actually a deluge!

      • 5

        This is why I wanted to start this topic, I had no clue what prepping and living in Oregon would be like, but now I have an idea.

        This world is so amazing, just a few miles away from where we live can have a totally different culture, climate, resources, and problems. 

      • 3

        Totally! I wouldn’t have a clue about how to function in a place where it snows, for example, let alone how to function in a winter emergency. My mom and I were just discussing the fact that even though we’ve both lived in places with serious winters (NY and MT, respectively), it’s been so long that we feel like we no longer remember anything useful about that experience. And I’ve never lived anywhere where hurricanes were a concern. 

      • 4

        That could be a good new survival show on the Discovery Channel. Place someone from Southern California on a farm in North Dakota during the winter, or have someone from Nevada work at a surf shop in Florida during hurricane season. 

        Watch people really out of their element learn how things work in the area they are placed and how to live there.

      • 4

        Sort of like they do on Alone, but not in the wilderness. I’d watch that for sure!

    • 5

      I live in Wisconsin, USA. Winter cold is probably the major concern that might not be a concern elsewhere. I became interested in preparedness when I lived in California and faced the risk of earthquakes and fires as a consequence of earthquakes. Covid-related supply chain disruptions and shortages are also a concern, as well as the covid risk from being around people.

      My condo is in a heavily wooded area on a curvy cul-de-sac private road. Wildfire or house fire is also a risk. Electricity provides all heat and light and private well operation. Power went out for over four hours on Christmas.

      I have rearranged and repurposed furniture to have more room to store food and multiple smaller BOB’s. One big bag is not very feasible given my age and strength and the flight of stairs I would need to descend to leave. I am in the process of moving to a ground floor unit for an easier exit, though I would hope to shelter in place in an emergency, if possible.

      In 2021, I am going to try to find a way to store some preps on the property of fairly nearby family members (who happen to be disabled). They have some basics already, but I want more there. That’s where I would go if I couldn’t stay home, so any preps staged there would potentially benefit me, as well as them.

      Thank you to everyone connected with this website. I appreciate the organizers and contributors, too!

      • 4

        I’ve heard of these Wisconsin winters, and how they are miserable. How much snow do you get? Is wind also another issue to make the winter seem even colder?

        That is an excellent idea to store some of your preps at a nearby family member’s home. Both to help you and help them. 

      • 4

        We get 40 to 50 inches of snow a year on average. Wind affects me mostly with its potential to cause tree branches to fall on power lines and cause power outages.

        Worse than wind is ice. It’s easy to slip and fall and break a wrist (which I have done) or to hurt a knee or elbow. Ice causes problems for vehicles skidding, too. I wear traction cleats on boots to avoid falling. I keep a snow shovel, ice scraper, snow brush, and kitty litter (for traction) in my car during winter, as well as usual winter supplies.

        I don’t keep food in the car because I don’t have a garage. I don’t want hungry mice to venture into the vehicle if I can help it. They have been known to gnaw on insulation covering electrical wires in vehicles.

    • 5

      Up here in the forests of northern New England.

      We get ice/snow storms, flash floods in the valleys, and occasional slides on steep mountainsides. Roads are rural, windy, unlit and can be impassible during or after storms. Many towns are miles from the nearest medical centers or big box stores. A sturdy all wheel drive vehicle is a must, as are the usual preps for winter storms (generators, car kits, shovels, etc).  Biting bugs are horrible May-Sept, so appropriate summer gear like long pants, calf high boots, and bug repellent are necessary too.  

      What makes our region really scary though is how difficult it would be to survive here year round in a true grid down/long term crisis scenario. The landscape is virtually barren from mid Nov-April 1, so even if the cold doesn’t manage to kill you, starvation easily will. Long term prepping/homestead/no grid must haves are a good woodstove with cooktop, extensive knowledge of gardening in an area with a short growing season and poor soil fertility, food preservation, small game trapping, and winter time foraging (knowing that you can eat pine bark might just save your life when the snow is a foot deep, the ground is frozen, and there are no other food sources in sight).  

      • 4

        That sure sounds like some rough country! You really need to prepare for the long haul if something bad were to happen that disrupted your normal life. 

        Do you have a good source of wood for your woodstove and the long winter? I always see tons of free wood on Craigslist and might have to jump on all those deals when I move into a house with a woodstove.

      • 4

        Haha yes, wood is definitely one thing we have plenty of around here! The challenge is getting big enough supply of seasoned, dry wood that is ready for use. Relying on freshly cut wood would not be fun in an emergency, “I need fire NOW” situation.

      • 4

        Hi Neighbor!

        I completely agree with what you said about the long barren season and isolation being major factors up here. Wood supply, foraging skills, and hunting/fishing/trapping skills are a must. I grow what I can but nature is a far better gardener than I so I rely on foraging, especially in Spring. Don’t want to rely on it exclusively, but birch bark tea and beard lichen are better than nothing.

      • 4

        Absolutely! I always try to make a note of where the oaks and other potentially life saving plants/trees are when I go out for hikes and walks. It’s an easy, free prep that could be immensely valuable in a true crisis.

    • 5

      I live across the pond, in the French countryside right around Paris’ suburbs. Not many threats to think about. The weather is usually mild, with an occasional storm once in a while. Temps range between -10°C and 35°C on average (14°F to 95°F).

      Floods from the nearby river can be an issue, but I’m too high up on a hill to be affected. Main problem is chemical plants in my immediate area, that can force me to shelter in place or bug out if anything goes wrong. France also has a lot of nuclear power plants (about 77% of the country’s energy production), and while I’m not in any exclusion zone, fallout would affect the entire country. Paris is also an obvious nuke magnet, but I should be outside of the blast radius if it ever gets to that point.

      In a true SHTF scenario, there’s 12 million people living in and around Paris, and even though I live in the countryside I will probably have to bug out someplace else, I’m too close to the city for my own comfort. My main focus right now is to be able to shelter in place for some time (most probable scenario), and fleshing out my BoB on the side, to be first used as camping supplies (I know double dipping isn’t a good thing to do, but I better get some training with that gear first).

      Gun laws here are a bit restrictive, and I’d have to apply for a hunting license. I’m considering getting a crossbow in the meantime. The area mostly has deer and a lot of wild boars.

      • 5

        Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed learning a bit more about France.

        I totally support you using your gear for camping. I think practice and skill with your gear is extremely important. A fire kit is useless unless you know how to use it.

        That sure is awesome that you have lots of wild boar there. Are they mean? I’ve heard you have to be careful around them. I grew up reading the French comic book series Asterix. The main characters live in France and eat wild boar in every book. I’ve always wanted to try boar and see what it tastes like.

        And i’m jealous of your weather. Those look like really nice temperatures.

      • 4

        I grew up reading Astérix too, Uderzo had such a way to draw these boars and make them look incredibly tasty. I’ve never had boar meat but I heard it was lean, tough and with a strong taste. You can eat every part of them though, just like domestic pigs.

        I’ve never encountered them in a hunting context, but in general you want to stay clear of them. They’re quite big, up to 150kg (330lbs), smart and unpredictable. Sows are extremely aggressive if they feel their young are threatened. They often cross unlit roads at night too and made themselves at home in cities after only a few weeks of lockdown.

        Their population is only kept in check by hunters nowadays as wolves were driven out of our forests a long time ago, and they would definitely start raiding gardens if SHTF.

      • 4

        Good idea about the crossbow.  This is off the OP, but I just watched a series on MHz (Amazon channel) called “Murder In”.  I had no idea there were that many beautiful towns and communities in France.  Wonderful scenery.  

      • 2

        Ironclad Amoeba, from what i’ve heard, vineyards and wine production is big in the French countryside. Is that true where you live? Could be a good source of food. 

        I like grapes!

      • 1

        It is a big part of the country’s economy. Not in the northwest however, which is where I live relative to Paris.

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        The local farms mostly produce corn, wheat and rapeseed, depending on the year. Grapes wouldn’t be a good source of food honestly, they don’t grow year round (harvest is at the end of the Summer/beginning of Autumn) and go bad fast.

        I heard an anecdote about the pear trees planted alongside the region’s roads. Allegedly, they were first planted under the monarchy to provide an emergency food source for vagrants and peasants. These pears are very tough and unsavory, but I guess they’re edible enough.

    • 5

      Here in the South Eastern US I’m now inland enough from the hurricanes fortunately.  Most of my life was spent in central Florida and hurricanes were a normal yearly thing to consider.  Definitely the reason I got into prepping to begin with.  Now I’ve moved into the mountains of N Georgia.  The main things I feel worth prepping for here is an economic downturn or grid down scenario.  We do get occasional earthquakes here but they are mild so no real concern.  I carefully thought out about where to relocate to several years ago with prepping being a major consideration.  Fortunately most natural disasters are low risk here.  We do have a couple nuke plants near enough to possibly be a risk if they had an accident though.  That would be one of the few reasons I would consider bugging out.

      • 3

        What are some of the things that you have learned while living in hurricane country?

        Are the mountains of North Georgia more rounded and not as jagged and rough like the Rocky Mountains are? That’s something I learned in school about the mountains on the east coast. I think that would make bugging out easier as you don’t have lots of really steep slopes to climb. 

      • 4

        I guess the frequency of the storms in Florida made me loose fear of them.  I’m in awe of the power of Mother Nature and even see beauty in it.  Kind of helps keep one humble in life.  The main thing I learned is getting through the storm is the easiest part.  The prolonged period afterwards is the part where your preps really help out.  I remember being in Kissimmee Florida right after a big storm.  We went into a Publix market and there was nothing left in it.  Of course all the cold stuff had perished but seeing all the canned goods gone really reinforced the need to be prepared.  Everyone’s roofs had plastic tarps over the damage.  Many still were covered over a year later still.  Propane refills were non existent, and even gasoline was hard to come by for well over a week.  Pretty much for the first 7 to 10 days if you didn’t allready have it then you just did without.
          Being in the south means heat is a bigger issue than cold.  Of course most storms happen in the summer months too.  I learned that if you only have a smaller generator you can use a window unit AC and keep your bedroom comfortable.  Cycling your appliances one at a time works well too. Having a full sized generator would have been nice but you learn to adapt to what you can afford.  I guess the aftermath of a large scale emergency is kind of like camping out but your doing it at home.  I strongly recommend anyone that wants to learn what’s important to them to go camping.  You quickly learn what things you need to maintain some level of comfort.

      • 3

        Thank you for sharing! It does sound like the after part of the disaster is when you really would need to tap into your preps. 

        If I lived there and kept seeing people with their roofs blown off, I would store large heavy duty tarps, extra plywood, and a box or two of roofing shingles. And each shingle would get like 8 nails in them haha

      • 4

        The mountains here on the east coast are big, but not nearly as harsh as the Rockies.  These are one of the oldest mountain ranges on the planet and have eroded down over the millennia.  I’ve read they were as tall as the Rockies way back when.  With the East being settled much longer than the west there has been more time to cut roads and access through most of the areas here.  Access isn’t bad through most of our areas.  It still takes a lot of energy to hike here.  There are many areas too steep to walk up slopes, but at least there aren’t snow covered rock faces year round.  I admire the early explorers like Daniel Boone more and more all the time.  They were some tough people.  That reminds me of a line written by Lewis and Clarke about their experience with the Rockies.  They said after a laborious climb up a giant mountain they finally reached the top, expecting their having crossed the giant mountain range.  Then they realized that as far as they could see were more huge mountain peaks.  As disheartened as they were they kept going.  

      • 5

        Those early explorers sure are some of my heroes. They didn’t have flashlights, butane stoves, weather radios, or waterproof gear. They had to really know the land and work with it. Being able to find, treat, and carry water, hunting and gathering your food (knowing what will kill you and what is edible on top of that), being able to survive the elements in any weather. Those guys sure are incredible.

    • 4

      This is an interesting site for those of us in the US…the National Risk Index. 

      https://www.fema.gov/flood-maps/products-tools/national-risk-index

      I’m in a light blue (relatively low risk) county surrounded on 3 sides by yellow counties (relatively moderate risk). I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. 🙂

      • 3

        Super cool map! Thank you for sharing. I was looking at Denver Colorado on the map and saw that it was in the Red Zone. I wonder if that is just because the population and such is so high there and any disaster would affect so many and cost a lot.

        In the yellow boxes in the top right corner of the map below though, are because of tornados I believe. Weld County Colorado is the most Tornado prone county in the US. Kinda crazy.Capture

      • 3

        I finally got this thing to load and explored the West Coast a bit. Robert’s observation holds there, with cities consistently coming up red (Los Angeles) or orange (San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle), which makes me think it’s just the number of people at risk and the value of the property damaged that is boosting the risk ratings. (The weird outlier is San Jose, which is full of people and high-value property, but Santa Clara County is yellow.) I think looking at the data that way (the more you have, the more you stand to lose) is smart for insurance companies and for motivating local and state officials to mitigate risks, but it seems less useful for individuals trying to evaluate the high- and lower-risk places to live.

        For instance, I Humboldt and Mendocino Counties come up red and yellow, whereas all the foothill and Central Sierra counties come up blue and the purplish-blue that signifies lowest risk. But personally I would take my chances with annual heavy rain, infrequent strong earthquakes, and very very infrequent tsunamis on the North Coast before living in Nevada, Placer, and El Dorado Counties, where you have snow every winter, a really long and dangerous wildfire season, and increasing probability of rain-on-snow events (though those mostly cause havoc downstream and the Central Valley is very appropriately orange).

      • 3

        (Just returned from the swamp.)

        The best post I’ve read here is OldHouse Girl’s with the link.

        The new national risk programs add the actual economic costs. Insurance rates to increase along with utility costs such as electricity.  As of now, California’s residential insurance rates are (relatively speaking) the nation’s lowest. Taxes must rise to address these costs for the public sector and the private sector’s government sponsorship (eg hospital subsidies).

        Thus, certain areas will be high risk for individuals

        For preparedness, I’d recommend forum readers read or reread the COGCONS.  Anticipate no camping trips.

    • 4

      I live on an island in southern South America the size of the state of Connecticut approximately. There are often smaller earthquakes and every few years a bigger one with the danger of a tsunami. In 2010 roughly 450 died in a tsunami because the warning system didn’t work.

      Most people here take these events very calmly and just seek higher ground after a tsunami warning. Life is very basic here anyway so most people don’t have many material things to lose in case of a major disaster.

      A lot of islanders are preppers without them knowing it. Most people have their own well, own animals and grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruit trees and nuts. Self sufficiency is pretty much the way of life here.

      Personally I store enough gas to last 2 months in case of a disaster or other event (once the island was blockaded for 6 weeks and no goods were coming in). We have a solar backup system, a solar water pump we always use and all the other typical prepper things.

      Few people are armed here with guns because it is extremely difficult to obtain a license to buy a firearm. We do have guns because we think it is an important part of prepping. 

      My advice to other preppers in different parts of the world would be; grow a garden, breed some animals and have plenty of water close by in the form of springs, wells, creeks etc. Greetings from the south!

      • 2

        Welcome Juna! When I made this post, I was really hoping that I could have someone from South America, and here you are! 

        Great advice for all of us.

        How do you store 2 months worth of gas? Is it in many smaller containers? or one large one?

        The user named Downunder had mentioned in another forum post that you have to prove a genuine reason to have to own a firearm in Australia. What are the steps to get a gun in your area?

      • 1

        Hello Robert,

        We store our gas here in small 10 liter (2,5 gallon aprox) metal containers that are well sealed. The gas is constantly rotated and stored in a cool (locked) space. You can’t fill large containers here anyway. I make sure the containers are always filled up but never take more than 2 to the gas station. I always tip the guys who fill the car and gas tanks, that way when there are limits on how much gas you can buy, they fill mine up anyway. Yes, that’s part of South America…

        To buy a gun you can just walk into a gun store, choose the one you want and buy it. But then they keep your gun in the store until you have done your paperwork. 1) get a certificate of good behaviour, you can’t have a conviction of violence 2) visit a psychiatric and have you examined. They mainly look for suicidal and psychopath behaviour. If you have a history of that, no certificate. 3) pass a written exam at a specialised police department in your area, pay a fee and give them your medical and behaviour certificates. They also interview you to see if you have a genuine reason to obtain a firearm. 4) wait for about 2 months. 5) buy bullets, go to that specialised police department with the receipt and they give you an authorisation. 6) once you receive all your documentation, send it to the gun store and they will send your gun and bullets. 7) 5 years later, repeat step 1,2 and 3

        We have a farm and animals so that is a reason to have a firearm. Someone from a city would have a harder time to obtain a gun license.

        The police can visit you at any time to see if your firearms are on the premise ( you cannot take them somewhere else unless you have a hunting license) and stored in a safe.

        So Robert, I hope it answered your questions, at least for 1 specific country in South America, Chile in this case.

        All the best!

    • 1

      I follow a group on FB, Cajun Navy 2016. They currently have a thread going on Disaster Preparedness. Many of the group’s members have first hand knowledge living through disasters… Katrina, Rita, Ike, Harvey, Laura, and Delta just to name a few. They have some excellent suggestions. This is a great group and an excellent resource for dealing with storms.