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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 repellent)

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, London UK, Northern Mississippi USA, Manitoba Central Canada, Manawatu New Zealand, Northern England, West Midlands UK, Caribbean, Italy, South East Queensland Australia, US Eastern seaboard, Salt Lake Valley Utah USA, Nevada USA, mid Wales UK, 

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  • Comments (185)

    • 9

      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.

      • 10

        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.

      • 10

        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.

      • 9

        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.  : )

      • 8

        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…

      • 3

        Lol!  I keep threatening to move to Alaska because I hate the heat.  I’d much rather deal with the cold and I LOVE snow.  We really only have two hot months (90+ degree weather) and I have a difficult time dealing with that.

      • 7

        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.

      • 6

        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.

      • 0

        I have it and I also would take it in the case of a nuclear explosion. I took it for several days at the time of Fukushima in 2011 and had no reaction.

      • 7

        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 currently live in Manitoba, central Canada. Our winters can be brutal. Right now we (and the rest of Canada) are under a nasty polar vortex. The temperatures have been hovering between -45 to -50 celsius with the wind chill.

        Prepping here means preparing for the cold. I run gas heat, so a prep priority is to get a dual fuel gas generator plumbed in for power outages and a direct vent gas fireplace installed if the furnace goes down. Once the garage is built, then solar panels on the roof and a wood/pellet wood stove installed there as back up. The wood stove ould be nice in the house, but it isn’t possible without a major addition/reno.

        The vehicle is a another source of warmth if the power is out. Gas tank always full and topped with methylhydrate to keep gas lines from freezing. A jug of methylhydrate is the same as gas line antifreeze sold in those little bottles, but much more economical.

        I run studded tires in the winter season and carry emergency candles, break out tools and extra warm gear. But, a big caveat here is: I have had a gas line freeze years ago in -32 celsius and my emergency candle barely made a difference. I broke down in a farm yard, no one home, but they had the local custom of leaving the door open for a traveller in distress. I checked and was able to call for help and then wait in my car. 

        If the door had been locked, I could have also waited in their barn or if no animals and no warmth there, then I could have burned my spare tire in a safe spot to stay warm.

        Part of my winter prepping is to ensure that I don’t have to drive in hazardous conditions when the roads aren’t fit for travel. The other part is to ensure I have a fighting chance to make it to a city hospital if needed.

        We have a small country hospital that is not capable of handling major health emergencies. We are careful not to have accidents or be careless.

        The ambulances, and RCMP aren’t always around. They have a large area to service. The air ambulance can’t always fly in certain conditions. I had to drive my husband to the closest open hospital over an hour away during a blizzard several years ago when the small regional hospitals were on rotational service.

        In order to avoid winter travel, specialist doctors and dentist appointments are before end of October. Pantry top ups before end of September. 

        There is also the mental health side of winter prepping here. The extreme cold is unsettling. You can feel the shift in the atmosphere even inside the house. I think it is instinctual. I light candles where we sit and find they are comforting. The music and television shows are kept positive and lighthearted. We both do puzzles and read. We sleep more until it passes.

        So, that’s the winter side of prepping here.

        Like other areas of the world, we have also been impacted by climate change. We chose our current home partly because the area was not as badly impacted on the projection models.

        Eventually, we hope to find a small acerage and be able to achieve all our prep goals. 

      • 6

        Ubique; Does the RCMP drive special vehicles or just modified vehicles for their patrols ?

        I know at CFS Remote there is Polar type stuff but wondering about your area.

      • 3

        Thank you for the insights. I have a question: how do you estimate the situation in the south of Colorado. I ask because i bought 20 acres years ago (when i was often there) property is a piece of dirt near blanca peak. But there was enough water due to the rio grande. Friend told me, that there are now many people from California trying to survive like settlers. I have not been there since 2019 because 2020 started the pandemic. Just good to know what you think. Is it a good hideaway? 

    • 8

      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. 

      • 9

        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. 

      • 8

        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).

      • 12

        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. 

      • 8

        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.

      • 2

        This is one of the reasons why I started to really focus on dried and canned food; the only reason I’d really need a generator for an extended outage was for refrigeration for food.  So I decided to become adept at using food that didn’t need that.  My family and friends have raved about some of the dishes I’ve served them, oblivious to the fact that they weren’t made with fresh ingredients. Sometimes I think we should have a recipe thread to share our favorite shelf-stable recipes.  

      • 9

        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.

      • 6

        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.

      • 9

        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.

      • 9

        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. 

      • 9

        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.

      • 9

        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.

    • 10

      images-2

      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. 

      • 11

        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. 

      • 10

        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. 

      • 8

        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!

      • 12

        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.

      • 8

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

      • 1

        Amen to that!

    • 10

      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.

      • 13

        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?

      • 8

        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!

      • 9

        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. 

      • 4

        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. 

      • 10

        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.

      • 6

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

      • 9

        I’ve been really disappointed in TV survival and prepping shows. They all turned into fake drama situations. I learn so much more on sites like this one. 

      • 3

        Have you found any TV survival shows that you enjoy? I’ve learned a lot from the tv show ALONE, it seems more realistic than others i’ve seen.

      • 6

        I enjoyed watching Naked and Afraid.  They have kept the drama to a minimum.

        Two people are left in the wilderness with no clothing, food, water or shelter for 21 days.  They have to forage for everything.  They are each allowed to bring one item (common things are knives, cordage and fire starter).

        I wasn’t sure about the naked part when I first watched an episode, but they kept the shows about survival and don’t make it weird.

        This show really got me thinking about what it really takes to survive in some tough circumstances and shows some real survival skills and tools.

      • 4

        I think i’ve only watched an episode or two of Naked and Afraid. Don’t the participants get to bring one item with them, and besides that they are buck naked?

        What is the one item you would bring Melanie?

      • 7

        Yes, each person gets to bring one thing.  Sometimes they are also given an item if the situation warrants it. 

        I think it’s a toss-up between a fire starter and a kukri

        A fire starter is an obvious first choice.  In the situation of Naked and Afraid fire was crucial to staying warm, cooking food, and keeping bugs and animals at bay. 

        A kukri is also a great choice.  It could be used for making lots of things like shelter, fish traps, other types of traps, hunting, etc.

      • 6

        I like Alone, too. The aspects of prepping that I nerd out on aren’t really in the “primitive survival skills” category— my partner and I started watching it because our friends who don’t really watch TV told us that it’s their favorite guilty pleasure, and we’ve found it totally entertaining— but I do feel like Alone is full of good little lessons, e.g., 

        • It’s harder than you think it will be. (Unless it’s setting your shelter on fire. That is easier than you think it will be.)
        • Move slowly and be careful with knives. 
        • Attitude matters.

        It’s also fun to try to guess who the winners will be. (We have a pretty good track record!) They do really try to play up the drama— for example, they create cliffhangers that give the impression of incoming drama when nothing dramatic is about to happen— which we find annoying, but we’re hooked.

      • 7

        I read your comment to my wife pnwsarah, and we both just laughed! It is so true! haha

        -Be Prepared-

      • 1

        That WOULD be fascinating! And maybe the “out of placers” might even come up with better ideas since they’re not steeped in the culture and are less prone to “normalcy bias”. 

      • 3

        I agree.  I mentioned to my wife not long ago that it only took 15 minutes driving to go from the urban city to backwoods country,  with different mindsets. 

    • 12

      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!

      • 6

        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. 

      • 6

        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.

    • 10

      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).  

      • 8

        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.

      • 6

        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.

      • 7

        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.

      • 9

        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.

    • 8

      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.

      • 7

        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.

      • 8

        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.

      • 9

        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.  

      • 6

        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!

      • 6

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

        81IH3blpD2L._AC_SL1500_

        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

        I wonder if you could  make vinegar using the pears? 

      • 1

        Yes, ferment pears into perry which is a form of pear cider after fermentation remove the airlock and expose it to acetobacter and open air. The result of this is vinegar which can either be filtered or distilled.

    • 8

      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.

      • 4

        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. 

      • 12

        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.

      • 7

        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

      • 8

        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.  

      • 10

        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.

      • 5

        For sure, Robert.  They’re my heroes as well.  Prepping for them was called life.  I recently read a book by Caleb Warnock.  He listed supplies settlers had to have with them to make the journey out west.  Interesting. 

        forgotten skills

        Does anyone know what the term do. stands for? (example:  100 do. sugar)
        1845 supplies

      • 5

        That looks like a really great book. What are some of the lessons that are taught in there that we in the modern society have forgotten?

        I don’t think that the ‘do.’ stands for dozen because on the list there is the abbreviation ‘doz.’. I wonder if there is an explaination at the beginning or end of the book. Might be worth trying to ask the author. I looked online and couldn’t find anything.

      • 6

        do. can be an abbreviation for ditto.  I found one reference that sometimes ingredients were grouped together by unit of measure. 

        After the first ingredient is listed with the unit of measure other ingredients using the same unit of measure will be listed with the number of units followed by do.  

        In this list you can see 4 lbs lead.  there are several entries under that using do.  I believe 100 do. sugar would be 100 lbs sugar.  This seems like a reasonable amount of sugar when compared to the amounts of other items like flour and salt listed.

      • 4

        That is interesting if that does mean ditto. It makes sense, but at the same time, if I was writing a book like this, I would make it easier on the reader and not make them have to go back and look at the previous step just to figure out how much they need on the current step. 

        Another reason why do. could make sense is that it is shorter than other abbreviations like lbs. and doz. and back in the pioneer days they had to set all the typeface by hand and it would save them some time. 

      • 4

        I think this page of the book was intended to be a replica of the page as it appeared in the publication of the Nauvoo Neighbor, a weekly newspaper that was published from 1843 to 1845.

        This was in the final publication of the paper, on October 29, 1845.

        I agree, the fewer characters used would have been easier when all the typeface was set by hand.

    • 6

      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. 🙂

      • 8

        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

      • 5

        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).

      • 6

        (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.

    • 12

      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!

      • 6

        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?

      • 9

        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!

      • 6

        Thanks for sharing what prepping is like in Chile! It was very interesting.

        That is quite the long process to get a gun. I’m glad that you were able to get one though.

    • 8

      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. 

      • 6

        That sure would be interesting to follow and see discussions on various disasters. I’ll have to check it out, i’m sure I could learn a lot from them.

    • 9

      I live in the UK, close to central London. A lot of the thinking around prepping in the UK has to take into account the fact that Great Britain is an island, and a relatively small one, meaning that if it comes to real SHTF scenarios your way out will need to involve air or sea travel. Honestly, I haven’t cracked this one so if something really bad happen I am prepping to shelter in place.

      Being an island also creates some specific areas of vulnerability around food, energy and medicine supply, all of which can be prepped for.

      The UK has, overall, a fairly mild climate (thanks to that lovely Gulf Stream), although this hides some very wide disparities. London has roughly the same temperature range as Paris or Brussels (-1 Celsius to 35 Celsius), but the north of Scotland is on latitudes comparable to Norway or Finland. Floods are the obvious disasters to prep for, although snow can be extremely disruptive when it happens (think trains stopping mid track for 10 hours and highways clogged with immobilised cars). In the summer, extreme heat is rare but houses do not have air conditioning (precisely because extreme heat is rare…) so this can also lead to disruption if you are vulnerable.

      In London, the main thing that needs to be prepped for is failure of utilities and transport infrastructure. In case of a real SHTF scenario, the only realistic option will be evacuation on foot as trains will likely be stuck and the road access network will be clogged. Civil unrest is another one, that most people can prepare for by having strong doors and reinforced windows. The UK has some of the most stringent weapon laws in the developed world, and although most blades are legal to own, only non lockable folding blades are legal to carry (yes, your Leatherman Wave can in principle land you in front of a judge because the blades lock). Handguns are impossible to obtain legally if you are a civilian, and you need a hunting permit for a shotgun. Even pepper spray is considered a weapon and forbidden.

      The main, non man-made realistic disaster scenario for London is a failure of the flood barriers. It is deemed a one in 10,000 years event, but that calculation does not take climate change into account. London is close enough to the sea for the river to be tidal, which means that if a bad flood event happens, it has the potential to be a big one. The main prep for that is paying attention to flood surveys when you choose your place to live, and again enough food/water/power to shelter in place if needed.

      • 10

        I can’t imagine living in an area where guns, knives, and pepper spray are so regulated. I’m sure crime is still an issue in London, how do people defend themselves? Or do you just let yourself get mugged? 

        What is the mentality of self defense items there? I guess you can see that here in America, some people would feel helpless and vulnerable if they don’t have a way to defend themselves. Are people there fine with how things are, or are they wanting to carry something like a gun or pepper spray but just can’t?

        The good thing about the UK is that it has a long history of more than a thousand years instead of the US’s 200 year history. You may learn something by studying a previous invasion of England from a warring country, or even recently from WWII where they had kids evacuate on trains to the countryside. (haha my entire knowledge of the history of England’s evacuations is from the Chronicles of Narnia)

        In many places near the Rocky Mountains in the US, people say they will bug out to the mountains if SHTF. Do people in London say they will bug out to the northern less populated country?

      • 7

        Hi Robert,

        I think the mentality around self defence in the UK is that if you are serious about it you should enrol in a Krav Maga class. It is a view widely shared across western Europe, although the UK is quite extreme about it. The English police is known not to carry guns (although they do carry blunt weapons and pepper spray), with only fast response units being trained to use firearms. So that tells you how restricted guns are over here !

        The last successful invasion of the UK was in 1066 AD (the invaders still rule the country to this day), but indeed WW2 and the Blitz are the template people usually fall back on when faced with hardship. And despite the children evacuation stories widely publicised by CS Lewis and a few others (don’t get me wrong, I do love Narnia!), WW2 is actually more of a shelter-at-home story for many Brittons. The bit that is still relevant for prepping is the clever use of urban gardens and allotments (community gardens) to grow extra food. Unfortunately everything green I touch dies so my own prepping is mostly based on canned food.

        I think bug out locations in the UK are quite similar to most other places: people would primarily bug out to a second home, family, or friends (probably in that priority order). Also 15% of the population is foreign born, so likely to try to leave altogether if SHTF, including 5% of European nationals who would probably rush to go back to their home country in case a proper disaster happens. We have seen that with Covid already, more than 700,000 people have left London so far…

      • 4

        I think martial arts are a valuable skill and something I wish I had done more of. 

        My parents got me into some karate classes growing up, but I never gave it my all. Dumb younger Robert!

      • 2

        Actually it is possible to get a section five firearm (handgun) in the UK, I personally hold a licence for the purpose of humane dispatch in addition to section one and two coterminous firearms licence/certificate. You just need good reason to own firearms to be considered for a licence. A shotgun certificate is far easier to get as you don’t need a reason, you just need to be able to show that you are not a risk to other people.

    • 10

      First, I love this thread!  I’m another one from Wisconsin and I thought I’d add my perspective on how I prep (and the kind of things I prep for.) For context, Wisconsin has a lot of different areas from big city to farm land and woods living.  I personally live in a city so some of my perspective is based on that.

      1) As was mentioned, the biggest natural cause of issues is cold weather and snow.  Just today we had a FEMA alert for a pending snow storm dropping 9 inches with 35mph winds tonight. Most Wisconsinites know how to handle it and the civil infrastructure is there to avoid it being a disaster.  We all know to just drive a bit slower and plan for trips to take longer.  However, when it gets really bad you could have freezing pipes, ice on power lines that cause them to snap, car accidents that take out a transformer or light pole, etc.  Biggest risk there is heat being out for a while while power is restored or appliances not working. To prep for that, I have all the major essentials (blankets, flashlights, batteries, Mr. Heater, etc.) but most importantly, a whole house generator with an auto-transfer switch and extreme weather extension cords I can run over to my neighbors house if needed. The generator and most of my appliances run on natural gas which I view as more reliable given the underground delivery system vs. aerial electrical wires subject to the weather.

      2) I’m an IT consultant and even before COVID, I worked from a home a lot.  My biggest risk there is loss of power and loss of Internet access since all of my family’s livelihood is based on working remotely.  For a power outage, the whole house generator keeps me going plus multiple UPS’s keep my workstations and networking gear running while the generator kicks in.  For Internet service, I have redundant connections using two different technologies from two different providers being fed into a dual WAN router that does load balancing and auto-failover in the case one goes down.  Both are delivered via aerial wires so I have a backup hotspot that can be used if the disaster was weather related and it knocked out both providers.  No excuses not to keep working for me!

      3) Civil unrest became all too real for us this summer.  Leaving all politics out of this, I happen to live in one of the most segregated cities in the country and the civil unrest it has caused hit home this summer when law enforcement asked our school to close for a few days due to planned protests and anticipated rioting in our area less than a mile away.  Police were warning family and friends to stay away from our main mall because they thought it was going to be burned down one weekend (it wasn’t thankfully!)  As I said, completely ignoring the reasons and politics, it brought the need to prep for these kinds of situations into focus.  From curfews and going into lockdown and being hypervigilant about the area and getting news about what was going on the outside, to communicating with family and friends about everyone’s safety – it really opened my eyes to an entirely different type of disaster to be prepped for. I think I have some work to do in this area, without going into the fear zone, I think there are some practical things my family needs to work on.

      4) Water safety!  Anyone my age or older in this area will remember the early 90’s when we had an outbreak of kryptospiridium in the municipal water supply and everyone had to boil water and drink bottled water for a while. The good news is that prompted a lot of changes to how water is treated and distributed here and we now have some of the safest municipal water in the country – but you better believe we remember and always have plenty of water on hand just in case.

      Beyond that, I’m trying to be practical about prepping for life – especially because my spouse and kids don’t share my enthusiasm for the subject.  Various types of insurance, financial and estate plans, house fire preparedness, and of course pandemic are all things we all need to plan for – I’m just glad that wild fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes aren’t on my list! Stay safe folks!

      • 9

        Is there a particular UPS that you recommend? Do the batteries wear out over time in those and need to be replaced?

        Here in Colorado, when it snows people tend to drive faster… I guess I must have some Wisconsinite in me, because I drive slower when it rains and snows. Not worth totaling my car and having insurance go up for the next 7 years.

      • 7

        I’m a fan of APC and I have multiple models from over the years. I’ve been moving to the smaller 600VA versions because they are cheap ($60 on Amazon) and I only need a few minutes of run time to let the generator kick in. Batteries need to be replaced every 3-4 years and the devices start chirping when you need to do so but I just set a calendar reminder to get ahead of it. An official APC battery is ~$35. They also do surge suppression so you don’t need another power bar taking up space. I’ve got them on TVs, home entertainment systems, networking equipment, and computers. 

      • 7

        Thanks for the ups suggestion, looks like a smart prep to have.

    • 10

      I live in SoCal and my preps reflect that.  Our concerns are earthquake, fire and civil unrest.  

      in the before time I had what I thought was a sufficient stockpile of P100 and Full face respirator masks because of fire and a child with severe asthma.  After a year of covid and having to rotate my masks I now know I need more.  

      my preps for home center around being able to endure a month or so with no power and high temps (lots of water and freeze dried food) and my go bag is centered around having to walk long distances with collapsed freeways to get home (robust shelter from sun, lightweight, moisture wicking, layered clothes, good shoes and hat, plenty of sunscreen). 

      However, we also travel to numerous countries that aren’t as developed as the US and there I pivot to carry more incest repellant, more water filtration, and more first aid (I will poach from home preps to bring extra abx and things like pred), especially since we are divers.  

      I have tried to achieve a certain synergy between my bag, my husband’s bag, and my child’s bag so if we are out together we can cover a wide range of scenarios.  I carry a collapsible titanium stove you can burn wood in while my husband carries a jet boil.  I carry an more extensive amount of medications whilst my husband has the more beefy trauma kit and my son carries the lions share of “boo boo” items.  I carry the gravity water filter while my husband has a sawyer mini with a backup filter and bag and my son has the aqua tabs.  All of us carry a life straw bottle.  My child is with or close to me 100% of the time so there’s less overlap there. 

      one thing Ive learned is critical is sleep so everyone has their own sleeping pad, sleep mask, blanket (we don’t live in a cold climate so this can be a very beefy emergency blanket/tarp that doubles as a footprint)and earplugs. I have a big Agnes tent I split between myself and my son when we travel alone.  I also carry melatonin.  

      we also try to vary the tools we carry.  We both have a knife and multi tool but I carry a handsaw and he carries an axe, he also carries the shovel.  He carries more stuff to repair the tent while I carry more zip ties.  His flashlight is more robust while I have the bigger and better radio. 

      We do travel to extremely cold climates once per year and my preps are different there.  I need more practice with that for sure. 

      • 9

        It seems like you guys have quite the system there! It sure is impressive. 

        Are you in a highly populated part of California? If a disaster hit, are you going to shelter in place or are you planning on bugging out? I guess that is a pretty broad question and depends on the disaster, but just wondering if the high population is a factor in your preparedness plan.

      • 10

        I would normally plan to leave if possible, except possibly an earthquake and I’m afraid of looting.  I’d go to a home we have in a rural area.  

      • 7

        Great post.  I don’t have a bug out bag, plan to hunker down at home in emergencies.  I do have a “get home” bag I keep in the car.  

        Some autocorrects are funny.  Carrying “incest” repellant is one. Unless you’re making fun of my southern roots. : )

        Stay safe.

      • 6

        Winston – Is there anything that you would like to add to your get home bag that could potentially turn it into a possible bug out bag?

      • 8

        I can’t think of anything.  It’s a basic backpack with a water straw, compass, paracord line, dehydrated food packs, granola bars, matches/magnesium fire starter, magnifying glass, mylar thermal shelter, rain ponchos, small cooking pan, small coffee cup, pill bottle filled with instant coffee, hatchet, flashlight, knife, pistol w/extra rounds, insect repellent, a plastic gas siphon,  2 road flares, small first aid kit w/ toothbrush and pack of baking soda, and a week’s worth of blood pressure and diabetes meds. I know there’s more but off the top of my head can’t think of it.  

      • 8

        Looks like you have pretty much everything in there to double as a potential BOB. Maybe adding a set of clothes if you don’t have any in there and you have a good bag.

    • 7

      I live on a 20 acre homestead in north Mississippi.  I live about a mile off a rural road, down a narrow dead end lane.  There are around 10 homes on this lane, with 2 farmers that both have large tracks of land & herds of cattle.  We are blessed with long growing seasons (I’m still harvesting collards and it is almost February) and normally plenty of rain, but we can get hot & dry in the summer months.  I have an orchard with around 150 apple trees.  I also grow peaches, blackberries, blueberries, muscadines, pears & nut trees.  I’ve just put in some Jujube trees in the orchard and I think they may one day replace most of my apples.  Apples can be hard to grow without lots of care & chemicals where Jujube seem to be free from disease & pests.  I will also this winter be planting some cold hardy pomegranates, soon as they come in.  I also have a catfish pond, where the channel catfish are grain fed each day during the non winter months.

      My prepper strategy is to be prepared to become self sufficient, if necessary.  By no means am I self sufficient now, but it would simply mean ramping up production of items I already grow to become so.  I use my home garden as a test of different plants & varieties, so that I know what works best in my climate, with the least care.  I keep these core plant seed in storage and each year add fresh seed into storage.  Mainly these plants are kale & collards for cool season with the three sisters (corn, pole beans & winter squash) plus amaranth for warm season crops.  This next year I’m testing upland rice and am excited to see how that works.

      If I would ever need to be self sufficient, that would mean we would be talking a true SHTF scenario.  The way I see it, during such a crisis one can’t survive alone, so I prep to include the homes on our lane.  That means extra long term food in storage as well as additional seed.  My plan would be to initially talk with the two farmers on our lane and work out an arrangement with them.  I know them well.  I would be offering some food & garden seed, as well as some of my other prepper resources, and would work with them on protecting & splitting up their herds.  If that works out, I would then suggest we include any families still on our lane.

      I think it important to include any close in neighbors, not because I’m such a nice guy but because hungry, desperate neighbors could well be any prepper’s worst threat.  They have a right to be there so you can’t scare them off as you would folks fleeing a city.  If your neighbors were starving & you were doing well, I would not expect them to leave quietly.  I would expect them to fight & take what necessary to survive.  So I choose to provide for them, but will not let anyone know that until well into a crisis.  The intent is to survive thru a close knit community, where all provide manpower for gardens & security.

      • 8

        Very wise words.  I have some some very close neighbors who I’m trying to figure out my phraseology when I approach them with prepping plans.  I don’t want to give away my prepping situation without knowing their circumstances and feelings on the subject.  A few of my close friends who have seen my supplies have already said “I know where I’m going in case of a problem.”  I tell them to prepare, I don’t have enough for everyone.  I’m sorry, but people who don’t prepare these days are part of the problem and not my responsibility.  If you let in others, it’s like Amway, everyone has a downline (their family and friends). In a SHTF situation, very harsh and merciless calls are going to have to be made.

      • 5

        If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get your Jujube trees?  Did you grow from seed?  Thanks.  

      • 9

        I got mine from Ison’s but I see they are now sold out.  I got 3 Lang & 3 Li.  Those have already been planted.  I have ordered 50 seed that are already dehulled here:  https://jiovi.com/products/jujube-ziziphus-jujube-var-spinosa-50-seeds-dehulled

        I will start these seed, probably two in each pot.  Once they get large enough, which I would think would be next spring, I will take scions from my Li & Lang & graft these 25 or so trees.  No telling what the fruit would be like when grown from seed, so that is why I will graft.

        You might want to hurry & order yours, as they seem to be going out of stock quickly.  I see where Gurneys has Li and a few other varieties.  This video from Dave Wilson Nursery is informative.

        I really wish I had known about Jujube earlier.  From all my research, they could well be the PERFECT fruit tree for the home gardener.  Nothing seems to attack them as opposed to everything that wants to attack apples & peaches.  Looks to be a great no spray fruit tree.  Other cool thing is that if you leave the fruit on the tree, they don’t rot.  They wrinkle up & become like a date.  They are also called Chinese dates.

      • 6

        Thanks so much for the info.  I’ve been looking at videos and online nurseries.  I found a couple of places that still have them.

        I’m going to go with the Li and Wang. 

        One place I found some, but I haven’t ordered yet, so who knows?
        https://bobwellsnursery.com/product/shanxi-li-jujube-tree/

      • 7

        Lang?  Never heard of Wang.  Brothers?  🙂

      • 5

        Opps, yes, Lang.  : )

    • 11

      Hi, I live in the Manawatu,  New Zealand, in a semi rural area. We are lower central North Island. Where I live the biggest natural threats are flooding and earthquakes. I also live a few hours from active volcanos. We are seeing increased large scale floods, but my home is not flood prone to my knowledge.

      Off the east coast of the North Island we have the Hikurangi Subduction Zone. A lot of research is going on there. Two years ago we had a Village Meeting where we were told to prepare for a potential 8.9 earthquake. Here is a video showing what we might experience. 

      https://youtu.be/HQwfSVFUfoM

      We were also told that we will probably be left on our own for 7 days. The problem is that the official Government says you need 3 days supplies. We also have a major attitude in NZ – “she’ll be right”.  I think this tends to put prepping to the back of people’s minds. However, for nanny the Christchurch earthquakes were a big wakeup call. There is now more emphasis on earthquake strengthening of buildings.

      Some of the issues that I find different from your site really relates to food storage. Most  NZers will have tins of baked beans in their kit. The most well known freeze dried foods only have a 2-4 year best before date. Although there are companies that do supply the Wise and Readywise brands. Ordering from overseas is risky due to MPI importation rules.

      Living in a semi rural area, we know that the initial focus will be on larger population centres, but if we do get the 8.9 earthquake we will face a situation that will take out half the North Island including the Capital.

      • 8

        Hi LBV, Thank you for sharing about how being prepared is in your part of the world. I watched the video and the sheer magnitude and rapidity of how an earthquake and subsequent tsunami would impact the area is massive. And you have active volcanos!

        Does anyone construct homes that are raised up on stilt style, earthquake proofed supports to avoid tsunami or other types of flooding)? 

        I wonder why your freeze dried foods only have a 2-4 years best before date? Dr Mac recently commented on a “Harvest Right” freeze dryer. I wonder if that might help for food preparedness? 

        You wouldn’t have to deal with import restrictions. I would check the best before date one would achieve with the Harvest Right freeze dryer. It isn’t inexpensive, but if you could do it as a community project for preparedness, it would mitigate the cost.

        I really enjoyed learning about how preparedness is for you. Thank you..

      • 7

        No one typically builds houses with stilts, just the same typical houses you would see anywhere. The one thing I have noticed is that most new builds are large houses on small sections so no real options for growing food, which could be impacted by a major earthquake. I have a 70sq/m house on a 350sq/m section and have an orchard. Still working on putting in my vege garden. New houses would be lucky to have sun on the actual section.

        The freeze dried food would most likely remain OK longer that the best before date, but I think they are covering their butt.

        Volcanic eruptions are very much ignored by most people, but looking at the history of our volcanos, we are coming due for a plinian eruption. However there should be some warning before it goes. There was an eruption on White Island in 2019 which was quite tragic. There were tourists on the island at the time and many died, while others were badly burnt. White Island is our most active volcano and is very unpredictable. 

      • 8

        @LBV — I must have been typing my comment when you posted yours! Now I just want to second the observation about large homes on small lots— totally a thing these days in my city, too, and my partner and I are just baffled by it. These gorgeous new homes have everything but usable outdoor space. The developers presumably want to maximize what they can sell it for by maximizing square footage, but why buy a big expensive house if you can’t let the dog and/or kids run around out back, host a summer barbecue, or put in a vegetable garden?! Weird.

      • 4

        Oh guys, volcanoes were also not on my radar. We have one of the mightiest supervolcanoes on earth and i didn’t thought about it…

        It’s not the Vesuv, it’s the the Phlegraean Fields. When SHTF, I don’t know what to do. What can you do against such a vulcano? 

      • 4

        SL according to  the Discovery channel and Dr Simon day the biggest risk in that area is Gran Canaria because its biggest volcano has mega cracks along its sides. when it goes they say it will take out the coast of Spain, North africa and the low laying East coast of america as well as the UKs south coast with a massive tsunami triggered by a huge sudden land slide of the kind that cut the UK off from europe when a Norweigen slide engulfed Doggerland.

      • 1

        Volcanoes sure are a powerful disaster that scares me. 

      • 10

        I hadn’t though about the difficulties of prepping when you’re in a relatively small country with import restrictions! Ubique’s suggestion of a freeze dryer seems like a good workaround.

        As for the subduction zone earthquake + tsunami scenario, that sounds a lot like what we’re in for in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, the similarities include gaps between how long the federal government says people should prepare to be on our own and how long we’ll actually be on our own. State and local governments have more realistic numbers, but lots of people just know the old “72 hour” rule. One of the big differences, I think, is that it sounds like you all got serious about unreinforced masonry buildings after the Christchurch earthquake. The danger of these buildings is well understood here, but nobody is willing to make building owners pay for retrofits, sacrifice historic character, or displace residents in a horribly tight housing market. 

        Re: Ubique’s question about raising homes to minimize tsunami damage, I’d guess that’s not really an option the way it is for flood waters. In a tsunami, the wave has so much power behind it that it just smashes the things in its path, and then you don’t just have all that water flowing into/under your house, but all the debris in the water. So you need really strong “stilts” and also a high tower. It’s possible, but it’s probably really expensive, and I’ve only seen it done at the community scale, as opposed to the household scale— e.g., this school in WA that has a tsunami evacuation platform on the roof, which is intended to be a safe refuge for the town. Japan has had these things for a long time. They’re pretty ugly, like a parking structure, which I guess is another reason you wouldn’t be likely to see people doing it house by house (There goes the neighborhood!), but if you just have one per town or one per neighborhood, the visual impact isn’t so bad.

        It’ll be interesting to see if they build more in OR/WA, since the coast is full of tsunami-sketchy situations, like cute little towns or whole neighborhoods and schools fronting the beach with a bay or lagoon between them and the high ground.

        This one looks like a good idea for Cannon Beach: https://www.oregonbusiness.com/article/archives/item/6499-cannon-beach-tsunami-evacuation-structure

        Anyway, definitely curious to hear if there is any tsunami-resistant construction happening in NZ!

      • 5

        Re tsunamis, coastal areas have tsunami safe zones marked out. The government advertising states that if there is a long or strong earthquake, don’t wait for the warning, get out. Apparently they do send out an alert, but my phone doesn’t get those alerts as I imported it myself. Apparently phones went off the other day to announce a mini lock down (Auckland level 3, rest of country level 2) while they locate the source of COVID-19 community outbreak.

        I think there is more concern over the effect climate change is having over the coastal areas rather than a potential tsunami. I am not familiar with any tsunami-resistant buildings, but then I am not that near the coast.

        Re importing food, the MPI have limits relating to percentage of meat. We are free of many common diseases, so biosecurity us quite strict.

        I had a look at the freeze drier, might suggest to friends to see if they are interested. We would have to alter the power as NZ runs 240 volt.

        Re the McMansions, it is becoming an issue in my local community. We are slowly seeing infilling of sections and some say it is destroying the community as we still have livestock grazing in sections and we are allowed roosters without Council permission, something which applies to town. I have to write an article about the status of our community (village vs subdivision) this in our local newsletter.

      • 9

        pnwsarah,

        I was curious and checked if there were any construction techniques or ideas for tsunami proof homes and found a couple of articles.

        I also realized that the stilt houses I had seen on TV were Queensland homes raised up on stilts for flooding, with the additional benefit of cooling the home by drawing cool air up from below as well as a form of pest control.

        Msc thesis states “not to be used as official advice” about potential stilt housing in Indonesia. It is interesting to see what people who face the risk of tsunami are considering.

        Science thesis for Indonesian Tsunami home

        and a home in Puget Sound built to withstand the force of a tsunami

        Puget Sound Innovation House

      • 7

        @Ubique – That Puget Sound Tsunami House is so cool! Thanks for that! Designed for an 8-foot wave seems a little small given what the Cascadia Subduction Zone could serve up, but all those islands in the Puget Sound should attenuate the wave, so I guess whether that’s adequate really depends on the site. The other thing is, one could imagine building the second floor with similar bust-out garage-style doors to let the water flow through that level, too, and taking shelter on the third floor or the roof. (Your electric system would be shot, but that’s better than being dead.) I guess if you were building for that much water you’d probably have to have more reinforcement in the walls, like hella steel (so again, really expensive), but this house seems to suggest that you could do it and end up with a design that actually looks nice enough to get through the local design review process.

      • 8

        You are welcome. I wonder if it would be possible to mount a solar backup or other secondary source on the roof or third floor?

        You know, if you had roof and solar panels you could create additional power. Tesla has shingles and siding panels Tesla roof and panels

        The design aesthetic is also nice with the Tesla systems.

      • 4

        Totally! I mean, anyone who can afford a tsunami-proof house right on the beach on Camano can probably afford a Tesla roof, right? 😀 

      • 6

        Oh yah, for sure! And the Tesla panels and the car, too.

    • 7

      So, please let me introduce myself,  I am Vlad Drac……  Err Bill from northern England, Prepping here is similar to the Americas but much more condensed. Nowhere in the wilds is far from a town except in Scotland and Mid Wales.  People do plan on bugging out but normally only as a last resort , bugging IN appears to be the most popular.

      The biggest differences between the US and UK is of course GUNS, guns are harder to legally but not banned as many people think EXCEPT for HANDGUNS.  But Rifles can be had (licenced) and shotguns to ( certified) .  There are millions of shotguns in the UK and more than a few rimfire rifles. Many Brit preppers adapt by becoming highly proficient in Archery , Unarmed Combat, Martial Arts and being fast runners.  Most small game hunting is achieve with Air Rifles , snares, nets and tactical assault ferrets.

      We can and do access the same gear as our American cousins but with one glaring shortage CANNING pressure cookers, they are almost impossible to find in the UK.

      Much UK prepping involves advanced URBAN PREPPING and this involves developing much high quality knowledge or where to find resources and alternative routes to moving around.

      A lot of preppers in the UK are actually more akin to bushcrafters and outdoorsmen than full blown preppers, Often mainly men who like to practice wilderrness survival techniques more than stock piling, chaching etc and family preps.

      Many UK preppers enjoy homesteading, IE growing as much food as they can, generating power, raising critters, and living in rural communities.

      Prepping has been going on in the Uk since the late 1970s at the height of the Cold war.

      One trend more popular in the UK compared to the US is the ownership and use of STEALTH CAMPERS as BOVs, these are Panel Van RVs built either without side windows or having heavily blacked out windows. Light normally entering via ROOF LIGHT WINDOWS.  Inside they go from mattrass on the floor types to fully fitted out motorhomes but without windows.  The Beauty of these Stealth Campers is they can park in places like Truck stops and Sea fronts where Camper vans are banned as no one thinks twice about just another van at the side of the road.

      Recent Geopolitical events over the last 15 years has seen a surge in prepping, especially among young Urban familes deciding cities are to dangerous, polluted, expensive and overcrowded to raise families. These people especially now with the surge in Home Office Working sell up and move to rural communities to go as self sufficient as possible.

      • 2

        Tactical assault ferrets are a vastly underrated prep.

    • 7

      I’m also from the UK. I live in the West Midlands in a small city. Our house is 120 year old Terrace with a small yard at the back and a bit of garden at the front, just enough that the front door isn’t on the footpath.

      As has already been said by Seb we are generally lucky with the weather although there are very local extremes.

      I have an allotment and the plan is to grow most of our veg. I had to move allotments last year so I am starting from scratch again! Before then I pretty much kept us supplied with fresh food and had enough to preserve.

      As Bill has mentioned, preserving is not as big here and canning supplies are difficult to get hold of and are very expensive. I imported a Presto Pressure canner from the USA more than 15 years ago, when the exchange rate was favourable and I’m so glad I did! It means I do not have to rely on the freezer. I can meats, fruit and veg for the stores and use the freezer for day to day life. 

      I live minutes from the canal system and this would be my route to leave the city should the need ever arise and eventually I my plan is to buy a small canal boat for weekend use and longer holidays. I could also use it as a BOL. 

      In general I feel safe where I live and To answer a question posted earlier, I have never felt the need to carry a weapon and I have never been in a situation where I might have needed one. Maybe it’s luck, but I think it has a lot to do with knowing your area and keeping a healthy awareness of my surroundings. 

      Well, that’s me! 

      • 4

        I know/ knew two girls from Walsall who are preppers, they work in Birmingham and have a tiny bed sit there they live in during the week.  But whats interesting is they have a Canal boat somewhere heading towards Coventry along the GU Canal. I believe that though they both drive and cycle they also have a plastic Kayak they use occasionally to get to their canal boat .

      • 9

        Paddle boarding the canals is getting quite popular as well. I cycle the canals quite bit, it’s the easy way to get about the city and the towpaths are usually quite quiet. 

      • 7

        I think if I lived close to the Canal and Towpath network I would invest in both an Electric bike and an inflatable Kayak, Nearest one is over 40 miles away.

      • 6

        LOL, I have the electric bike (and trailer) Don’t know about the kayak though. 

      • 9

        Dont know much about lectric bikes, the one I was eyeing up was foldable to go in my vehicle and came with two battery packs giving a range of over 45 miles at 18 to 25 mph.  but it was about £800.

      • 9

        I have a Vitesse e-bike and my son has a Carrera. Both are great. They both have a range of 60 miles.  

    • 7

      Wow TEXAS today 24 million on TX power grid, 4 million with no power, 24 million with rolling blackouts.Temps down to minus 20 in places.

      • 9

        That is massive! I wonder how many were prepared for this kind of emergency?

      • 5

        Only the preppers, homesteaders and off gridders I would guess.

      • 7

        I have friends that live in the Fort Worth area.  They were told to expect 15-45 minute rolling blackouts.  Many were without power for hours.  My friends were without power for 12+ hours in below freezing temps. 

        Luckily they have a gas fireplace.  I suggested that they might want to invest in a Mr. Buddy heater as well.

        Sunday evening their temperatures were in the single digits (fahrenheit), colder than mine were in Idaho!  Pretty crazy!  

        I live in a cold climate and we usually have at least a couple of power outages from storms/winds during the winter, and sometimes in sub zero conditions. 

        We are prepared with alternate heat sources, etc.  We have a wood stove and a Mr. Buddy propane heater, plenty of lanterns/oil lamps and other alternate lighting.

      • 7

        Melanie, thanks for mentioning Mr Buddy heater. My husband wants a propane heater.

        We are installing a natural gas fireplace as a means of auxilliary heat. Too many polar vortex events where we are.

      • 5

        We have mains gas central heating, plus a wood burning stove in the living room, and a pair or portable bottled propane gas fires in reserve. 6 gas bottles stored between them.

      • 7

        Hey Bill, I checked out Mr Buddy and the manuf. description states “outdoor use only”.  

        I wish I could fit this house with a wood burner in addition to the natural gas fireplace. I am going to re-visit that idea.

      • 3

        That was melanie not me, In the UK portable gas fires are legal in well ventilated homes,.

      • 5

        Ooops…sorry Bill

      • 7

        Ubique,  I am in the U.S.  I have the Big Buddy portable heater.  It is rated for use indoors.  You do need some ventilation as the heater will burn oxygen from the air.

        It can run from the 1 lb propane tanks or you can adapt to use bigger propane tanks.

        We have used it in our trailer and in the house.  Here is a link to the heater on their website:  Big Buddy Portable Heater

        Here is a screen shot of the specifications

        ScreenHunter 1008

      • 6

        Wonderful! Thanks for the info, Melanie.

        Anything to stay toasty.

      • 9

        Ubique – The prepared put out a portable space heater article that you might like if you are looking for one. https://theprepared.com/gear/reviews/space-heater/

        SORRY! I pasted in the wrong link there. I’ve updated with the correct article.

      • 6

        Awesome, thanks Bradical!

        I’m still trying to wade my way through all the info here – lots to read.

        Thank you very much.

      • 4

        I’ve been contemplating alternate heat sources this week, too. We just had a snow storm, followed by a mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet, ice… the scientific distinctions between all these things is lost on me; point is, a lot of trees and parts of trees came down on a lot of utility lines, and now lots of people have been without power for days. Our house is all electric and has no fireplace, which I love for efficiency and seismic resiliency (no gas lines to break; no chimney to collapse), but we’ve been thinking a lot about how uncomfortable we’ll be if we lose power for an extended period of time. We have winter camping gear and lots of wool and down clothing, and it doesn’t get that cold here, so we’re not in real danger of freezing to death in a power outage, but the risk of a few days of abject misery is very real. On the other hand, we only get snow that sticks about once a year, so… do I really want to buy more gear for that? Probably not, but I am going to review that blog post @Bradical mentioned.

      • 7

        pnwsarah, I feel for you. We lived in British Columbia for years and my husband is from the lower mainland (earthquake/mud slides). I still have family on Vancouver Island.

        The weather there is changed so much, that it is necessary to factor for variables. They are getting more extreme and colder weather.

        A generator doesn’t hurt. I think of them like a spare tire: you may not always use it, but is it ever nice to have one when you need it.

        One thing I can say about trees and ice storms: I love trees and hated doing it, but we took ours down. The trees were planted way too close to the house, not properly maintained by the previous owners, the wrong species for a town lot and some were diseased.

        Aside from coming down in ice and/or wind storm, people forget that trees have a life span and care should be used when chosing what species to plant near a house.

        This years I am replanting after regrading the yard and taking the time to let nature settle the property. The new trees will be of different species and planted further away from the house so that there is no danger of one of them falling on my house or the neighbours homes.

        It also keeps the power lines to the house protected from being taken down.

        A wood/pellet stove could still be installed with the metal chimmney/stack on the exterior of the house. I know they do that here, but it depends on your building codes.

        It is a lot to consider. My reading list is getting bigger by the moment.

      • 6

        OMG, I hear you on the trees! It’s something I pay A LOT of attention to these days, when I walk or run through neighborhoods and look at houses. There are some gorgeous PNW homes with beautiful, stately, atmospheric Doug firs in the front or backyard that I just love, but if we bought here, I’d steer clear of properties with big conifers. I’d look for places with smaller deciduous that produce leaves for shade in summer but don’t screen out the limited winter light and don’t get too big. (Another benefit: Put the tree in the right place and you can shade your yard but keep the solar potential of your roof.)

        And re: not planning ahead for when the tree gets huge: Our other house (i.e., the one that we own but no longer live in) has a giant palm tree in the MIDDLE of the lawn. It looks so dumb and drops these hellacious spears onto an area that we might otherwise use. Super annoying!

        Funny you mention a pellet stove— that’s exactly what I’d want for the house we live in now, but we’re renting, so unfortunately we can’t punch a hole in the wall. 😀 We were actually considering one for the palm tree house before we moved. If we do fully commit to the northwest, sell the palm tree house, and buy here, my ideal setup would be an all-electric house with a heat pump (which we do have here) and a pellet stove as backup. But, we’re not there yet, so… generator? Maybe next winter…

      • 8

        OMG, I am visualizing the giant palm tree – Wow – that is a “statement tree”. And it throws off spears. That’s something a person has to consider, too. Will what I am about to plant discard debris that will later be a problem?

        I think deciduous is the way to go also. 

        This is the tree I have picked out for the front yard which will be in line with the living room window, but not too close to the house.

        Manchurian Alder

        I am planting two more trees in the front yard, but haven’t made a choice yet. I wanted something that could act as a food source, like Serviceberry which produces saskatoons, a fruit similar to blueberries. It can be a tree or a shrub.

        However, I noticed a neighbour carrying a rat trap the other day. *Shudder* That experience set me on a whole day of research on rodent proofing. I am watching my preps like a hawk now even though I always use rodent resistant containers.

        Some people in town are not managing their garbage very well (read: leaving it torn up all over the back lanes) and that is attracting rodents.

        This is also something to consider in case of disaster or crisis: how to prevent rodent infiltration when garbage is an issue.

        That is when I reconsidered having any tree where the berries that might be missed in picking could attract them. 

        There is this plant: Sea Buckthorn

        As far as I know, it is not something rodents are attracted to, but it is bird friendly. The fruit is extremely high in Vitamin C and can be preserved. The thorns are also a good security feature and it can be strategically planted under windows and other places.

        About the pellet stove, maybe your landlord could be encouraged to install one given climate events?  Plus a pellet stove would help protect his rental from pipes freezing in case of power outage. It could also make the rental property more attractive.

      • 4

        I have an NZ native in my backyard that I kept because it constantly sheds leaves. These are very special leaves that take ages to decompose and are murder on any lawnmower or chipper. However they make brilliant fire starters. My dad once lit a pile of the his backyard. Plants 2 metres from the edge of the pile were getting singed from the heat generated. 

    • 4

      I live in the Caribbean where things are just a little different than what you guys experience I guess, and, my first rule of prepping is ingenuity …..

      Make it yourself whatever it is….(if its possible)….. and keep it simple…..that way you can replace easily………I dont have a BOB….. I can survive better at home……… so I wont be going anywhere if the SHTF (well unless its high water)

      Make my own weapons (and I have many) Make my own water (1 gal from dirty water to clean in about an hour) Have about a years supply of food……. mostly cans.

      Plenty of vitamins, typical medicines, sanitizers…. and security devices……….

      I do however ……..have my four best tools…… A model maker lathe…. A small mig welder… and a generator (or two) and a small sail boat…………….the rest I can get anywhere local!

      All around you there is an opportunity to survive longer than those around you ……….. if you research and plan…………. don’t expect anyone to come and help you and you will be just fine!

      • 7

        Oldprepper – That sure is a great talent and skill to be able to make most of the things that you need. Truly resourceful!

        I’d love to see some pictures of things you have made 🙂 Especially the weapons.

      • 5

        Hi Robert

        I was trying to think of what in my tool kit would be useful to you up in your hideaway…….. and my thoughts are that it does not matter what you have to defend…your done….. if you do not know there is someone there…!!!!.

        So a perimeter alarm is what I came up with. There are many on line and at prepper and self defense sites…… they range from about $30 to about $90

        On the other hand you could build hundreds of these at about $2 each and have them absolutely everywhere… you could hear these a half mile away……………….

        1. Take care with these…. they are potent

        All you need for this is…… 1 x 6in nail- 1 x 4 inch 1/2 bolt- 1 small nail- 2 x small springs- 1 x nut….. and 1 X .22 nail gun cartridge (I keep hundreds of these because they are legal everywhere and very self defense useful)

        IMG_0122

        Then you put them together here is it broken down

        IMG_0125

        And finally all assembled

        IMG_0124

        2. Make sure that on the small threaded bolt ………….you have a small hole through (where the .22 is)…………… if you dont it could hurt you..……. and this is what makes it so loud at great distance. The hole only need be about 2/3 mm. Drill a small hole in end of nail for firing pin and solder in

        Mount it vertically in a narrow corridor and almost anything can pull the pin…… car …… person…….. gate opening etc………safe………. door……. inside outside…….. I use fishing line tied to the pull pin and tied to just about anything that may be moved!

        If you mount vertically then some grease or vaseline is needed to stop water penetration…….. but you could also mount horizontal………

        Additionally you can go to sleep with confidence which is so very important…..(in defense situations)…. you cant stay awake every night!

        This is my absolute favorite of all my alarms…. just check it and oil every few weeks…… but if mounted in a dry area you could leave for months…………………………It can also be fitted to more ominous things!!!

        On its own it will make just about anyone run for cover though… Put a couple in your bug out bag for camping protection against wild animals too.

        ENJOY!…………………………..

      • 6

        Oldprepper – Your post was wise and inspirational. I would really like to hear more about how you are making some of your preps.

        We may live in different parts of the world, but possibly we might be able to adapt our local materials to achieve the same items.

        Thank you very much for sharing your information and helping others.

    • 4

      Hi, 

      Introduction

      I lived in Germany and then in the UK. Now moved to Italy which I find best – also for prepping. You can grow whatever you like, we’ve plenty of water in excellent quality and you will never die of hunger, because we’ve trees full of fruits in the wilderness (oranges, mandarins, apples, almonds, nuts, figs and so on…). We have a lot of places to hide, law enforcement is slow and restrictions are not effective. It’s more individual free and wild than Germany for example. 

      What we have to deal with in the EU

      The infrastructure in western Europe is excellent. Due to the fact that we have a high density of inhabitants in the EU, there are not the same preparations required like Alaska or the mountain states in the USA (which I know very well, because I was doing business in the US). We also have not disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. 

      My biggest concern would be a civil war or a collapse of “the grid” – infrastructure.  Because we have many different cultures very tight together, there is a high potential for civil unrests. Additionally we encounter more stress in the population regarding African refugees. Crime rates and violence climbing up, people here are not satisfied. Most italians have weapons and they use it. These scenarios would lead to plundering and perhaps the creation of street gangs and violence. 

      For me, another new concern was born in the pandemic. A possible disadvantage if you are not taking a vaccine, so you are under arrest in your house because you are a thread.

      Another observation i have made is opinion- compliance.  If you are not compliant, there could be sanctions against you. We had the case that people lost their jobs and bank accounts because of a Facebook posting. Unfortunately we do not have such a beautiful and strong law like freedom of speech like in your US constitution. 

      How do I prepare

      Theoretical preparations: I read plenty of stuff to know more, plan better and optimize everything. This helps me for a mental readiness. I am very happy that I discovered this website because the articles are very deep and full of experience. Thank you for your efforts and for sharing your knowledge. 

      Practical preparations: I have plenty of land which a cultivate with permaculture. I have fruits and vegetables for 30 people, so hunger is not the problem. We have a water source which is excellent and drinkable, because I live in a Nationalpark. Furthermore, I have a reverse osmosis filter, just in case…

      I am a computer scientist and independent in time or location for making money. However, my main approach is to not need any money. When the system crashes, I don’t care that much. I don’t have debts. We’ve water, food on our land and plenty of sun for electricity. 

      I’m quite good in archery. I have a compound bow, modified with a target laser. Next what I do is a weapon license. 

      I don’t know if I missed something. Again, happy to read your articles for getting better. Thank you

      • 6

        Yes i forget something that i plan now: a boat. I will buy a sailing boat. I already have a license. 

        And here a picture for you. If you have bad weather, i send some Sunrays to you 🙂

        IMG_20210206_174455_457

      • 7

        That looks so much nicer than the 2.5 feet of snow I got the other day. 

        What is something you would like to do this next year to be better prepared? It looks like you have your basics under control.

      • 2

        Thank you for your reply. I think the basic problems like food, water and resources like wood (We have a small forest on our property) is solved. My main goal is more “stand your ground” like my American friends always say 😉

        That’s why I first will organize the weapon topic, and then full stack ammo and all sorts of guns. 

        The second plan is, when situation is out of control,  a hideaway. This could be a cottage in the mountain forests, where you have no streets, or a destination only reachable via ship. Ideally you take something isolated, like an island. I prefer the azores islands. They are far away from America, Europe and Afrika. It is cheap to buy something there. I don’t know what i will do first,  cottage here or in the middle of the ocean…

      • 9

        Storm, A welcome from Virginia.  Are the Azores isolated or just remote? The important air base at Lajes is where USAF planes refuel. In a big emergency, the Azores could get real busy. Would guess that non-critical residents will have restrictions.

      • 2

        That is something i have not on my radar. I will check where it is. The azores are distributed over a large area and my favorite is flores. Looks like jurassic Parc there 🙂 

        Some say it’s Hawaii of Europe. Geographically it is on the American continental plate. 

      • 9

        Storm, A welcome from Virginia.  Are the Azores isolated or just remote? The important air base at Lajes is where USAF planes refuel. In a big emergency, the Azores could get real busy. Would guess that non-critical residents will have restrictions.

      • 7

        Hi Stormlord and Welcome!

        What a great post and it was very interesting to read about how you prep and about your environment. It sounds beautiful and well set up for self-sufficiency. 

        I aspire for my prepping to be part of a nice lifestyle and as a way to add depth and meaning to life.

        There are lots of nice people here and hope you post some more.

      • 5

        This is my new home 🙂

        I never read articles in the www with that deep and full of experience. You should copy n paste and make a PDF >>> then Amazon. Even if your take 2 dollar, that could be your hosting fee or whatever. If you need help regarding self distribution i would support. 

        Greetz

      • 7

        Hello SL may I enquire is it the Azores that has developed a world class solar powered and wind powered electricity system and a Desalination system, or is that a different group of islands.

        My wife and I both preppers since the 1980s are considering the Azores, Canaries and Balieric islands as a base.

      • 7

        Hi Bill, that’s true. They have plenty of wind and they are not quite accessible like the European continent. If clima changes drives African people to move north, they would never go to the azores because it’s not accessible with their Inflatable boat. They will go to Spain because that’s a few km and then move to the richer northern counties like Germany or Scandinavia. When the level of the ocean rises, azores are also quite save due to the big mountains. I would not choose canaries but prefer madeira. If you want to go to the canaries, take “el hiero” or “la palma”, so that you have more peace. 

        However, biggest plus in your live is a piece of land in a zone with good weather and plenty of water. Then you have the best chances to live. Even if you lack electricity, food and water, then ammo 😉

      • 3

        Cheers SL I like local intel 🙂

    • 2

      Pacific Northwest, Washington State. Earthquakes, wildfires, winter snow, months of cold rain.

      WILDFIRES: I live in an urban-wild land interface, so my preps include go bags in cars and a packed teardrop trailer at all times. Good maps and plans for multiple evac routes. Fire escape ladder for second story (for house fire). Plenty of tight-fitting N95s, and a 3M half face respirator with P100 filters and snow board goggles.
      Plus comprehensive property insurance.

      EARTHQUAKES: All the usual shelter in place preps + materials to cover broken windows, house bolted to its foundation, strapping guards to secure hot water heater, Earthquake Putty for knickknacks, heavy items wired to studs, “earthquake latches” on kitchen cupboard doors, only soft art above beds, fire extinguishers. Chain saw to clear downed trees and a Gorilla cart to haul the bucked-up results. Also lots of different methods for creating clean water (sources: lake nearby, tarp with water collection system). Rain barrels on my shopping list. Folding commodes with potty bags/cat litter (might just use the teardrop’s toilet and those bags). Loads of LED lanterns. Mr. Heater to create one warm room. 15 gallon galvanized tub, washboard, ringer, folding clothes rack. Good maps and plans for downed overpasses/bridges, multiple evac routes.
      I keep a pair of sturdy shoes, hard hat, flashlight, whistle, gas/water turnoff wrench, coat, and heavy gloves under my bed in a drawstring bag.
      Plus hideously expensive earthquake insurance.

      SNOWY WEATHER: Propane generator (propane is easier to store), lots of layers of snow clothing, multiple heat sources (Mr. Heater ftw!), snow shoes, crampons, snow shovel+brush, cat litter for traction, tire chains. Car always has a woobie, old down jacket, huge tough rain poncho (surprisingly useful in heavy snowfall), knit cap. Would LOVE a snowmobile!

      RAIN: Fall/winter/spring can see a lot of rain here. My go bag has a rain cover and always has a rain jacket/rain pants. I have a huge poncho in my car which can double as a tarp. Gaiters, waterproofed hiking boots, layered clothing (Tops: poly technical tees next to skin, then fleece, then down if it’s cold, then rain shell. Bottoms: fleece-lined leggings, rain pants).

      I use down as an insulator because I always have rain shells. The teardrop trailer only works if there’s time to hook it up and roads are clear.

      LEAVE EARLY.
      HAVE COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE.
      HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS.

    • 2

      I live in South East Queensland, a short walking distance from Morton Bay. Our biggest threat would likely come in the form of a cyclone, if one should make it this far down the coast. We have had severe low pressure systems, what’s left of cyclones that hit further North. With that comes severe wind, rain and storm surges or massive king tides. High winds could be a real issue for us. Thankfully, we’re up a slight incline about 300m from the water (elevation about 15m), so storm surges aren’t an issue, nor is flooding, but a tsunami (as unlikely as one is here) could be a problem.

      Our preps are our storm shelf, which has a little food that requires minimal to no heating in the event of a blackout and I am improving that to allow for more than a couple of days. What food that does need heating can be done on the BBQ. The shelf also has water, a battery operated AM/FM radio, torch (flashlight) and candles. Our garage is where we keep tarps and rope in case we lose bits of roof or windows are smashed from debris. We listen to weather warnings and prepare the house (no loose anything outside, check the gutters are clear, etc) if there could be something coming our way.

      Interesting side note, clove oil is a great inhibitor of mould and I always keep a bottle of it in the cupboard. Apparently, immediately after the 2011 floods, you couldn’t get clove oil in Brisbane for love nor money – it had completely sold out!

      My other preps are to set up the car for contingencies – tyre repair kit, boo-boo kit, PPE because of Covid, maintaining the spare tyre, not letting the gauge get less than half. One of the many things I am forever grateful to my dad for was he taught me how to change a tyre, check the tyre pressure and check the water and oil. When I first got my license, he didn’t give me the keys to my own car (which I had saved and paid for) until I could demonstrate I knew how to do it!

      My work bag does triple duty as a work bag, EDC and get home bag, and I’m preparing a go-bag in the event of evacuation from home – I don’t want to waste precious time by trying to work out what I need to pack.

      Even though we’re on town water, we’re currently researching water tanks. It’s looking like a wet Summer, so if we get a couple of tanks now, they should get some decent rain before the wet weather ends and we’re back to dry in the Winter.

      One thing I am not prepared for is security. Guns are a no-no (you can get them legally, but rules are tight after the Port Arthur massacre back in the 90’s) and I have no training in the use of other weapons, so I don’t have any. Why give an attacker an extra weapon? On the list of preps for next year is some self defence, but right now I’m relying on the idea that my partner will be here to save my sorry butt. 🙂

      • 1

        Thank you for the excellent write up of what prepping looks like for you in Queensland.

        With that clove oil, do you place it in a spray bottle and spray over surfaces affected by flood waters?

      • 2

        Hi Robert,

        I use a few drops of the oil in about 500mL water with a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid and wipe over surfaces with a cloth, leaving the surface to air dry. The dishwashing liquid breaks up the oil into smaller droplets, better dispersing it through the water, but it’s not a true emulsion. I’ve used this method on wood, leather and laminate and not had any adverse affects.

        For soft items, like a couch for example, our covers are removable, so when they start to develop signs, I bung them in the washer and add a couple of drops of clove oil to the rinse water. We use or clothesline about 97% of the time, so sun drying also helps with the mould issue.

        If you can’t remove the covers, I suggest you make a liquid as for surfaces and spray on a relatively dry day, maybe even doing it in the sun, and allow to dry.

        Hope this helps!

      • 2

        Thank you for the detailed instructions, they were very helpful and I learned something new. It’s one of those tips that I hope that I never have to use but is good to know just in case.

    • 3

      Thanks everyone, very interesting thread.  I will chime in too.

      I live in the suburbs outside a large city on the US Eastern seaboard.  Over a dozen years here, the main issues at the house have been occasional storms in any season with enough wind (and in winter also snow/ice) causing trees to fall and bring down power lines.  The longest power outage was about 5 days.  After that big power outage I got a portable generator and enough fuel for several days.  

      This area does not get as much winter weather as places farther north but I also don’t think they spend as much money here on snow plows, salting roads, etc.  I have lived in northern areas before where they just deal with snow all the time and it’s not a big problem. Here the roads can get very slippery, leading to accidents and big traffic jams, if they don’t salt the roads because the forecasters get surprised by one or two inches of snow. 

      • 2

        5 days of no power is longer than I’ve ever experienced before, knock on wood. Good to hear that you have a generator now. Thanks for the comment!

    • 3

      I live in the Salt Lake valley area of Utah, USA. Having a 7.0+ earthquake and fear of drought is something that is always on my mind. 

      We have to secure our gear and furniture to the walls so they won’t tip over during an earthquake. I probably should invest in some extraction devices such as hard hat, gloves, goggles, and a floor jack to be able to rescue my family or neighbors if houses were to collapse. 

      A recent prep we got is this 260 gallon behemoth of a water tank.

      z4l81jlb6jcek5ag5u16drnua6hue61i

      • 1

        Great job at storing so much water!

    • 4

      Good Evening Robert,

      Happy Soul here from “out in the boonies” Nevada, USA. We are kind of “on the edge” of civilization here, so our preparations are a mix of “town” and “country”. For us, it’s a cell phone and sat. phone both, and keeping everything to where we can go 10 days on our own with no outside support. The supply chain that keeps us going comes from as far away as Sacramento, CA. Las Vegas, NV. and Salt Lake City, UT. And that means our supplies are subject to 8,000 foot mountain pass snows, and the formidable heat and cold of crossing the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Carrying (and training with) sidearms is routine. It is not that far out in the desert from here that one finds animals that consider we humans to be edible. But then again, if you’re buzzing down the highway on the way home and find yourself in the middle of an Elk migration, and you really have to do is put the windows up to keep said Elk out of the groceries in back, and keep moving – slowly. LOTS of things are different from my early days of prepping in San Mateo, California:

      First, is water. Without no water, the winds, dry air, and high elevation up here will kill you in 72 hours easily. Planning and lots of back up plans on water are vital up here. we have Puravai bottles everywhere, as it can also be used for wound irrigation as it’s (basically) bacteria free.

      We also maintain the cars religiously. There are a few spots where you do NOT want to be stuck with a dead car. And all the cars are full of enough stuff to hold you for a week in hot or cold. Search crews can’t always launch instantly here because of weather.

      Weather is big up here. A high temperature of 90 degrees during the day and 15 to 20 degrees that night is not unheard of. The other biggie is snow in the winter. For us, it’s usually measured in inches rather than feet. But we had to learn LOTS about ice driving when we moved here.

      Setting aside potential threats from proximity to military targets, the biggest thing we prepare for here is fire. Just like the big forest wildfires of the three Pacific Coast states moving in the trees of the forest, we have fire move just as quickly through the scrub brush of our deserts. We don’t have all the trees, but fire is quite happy to move just as quickly through all the dead scrub and bushes (that are full of oils) that burn like mad. That and wind can make things very dangerous very quickly. Keep those Division of Forestry cameras bookmarked on your computer.

      And lastly, be ready to live without technology out here. ATM machines are not always very good at spitting up the cash you requested when it was 11 degrees last night. And be ready to pay cash for stuff as the phone company microwave that carries data to Los Angeles to verify your debit card does not always work so good when the microwave antennas are frozen under a four inch layer of ice 20 miles from nowhere.

      As usual though, the people are what makes it all worth it. we are blessed with SERIOULY GREAT neighbors and friends around us. Prepping is as much community with good people as it is about survival. Be safe out there.

      • 2

        You’ve enlightened me to more threats then I thought were an issue in Nevada. Needing to truck in pretty much all your supplies, and even the internet from neighboring states means that it is important for you to store a bit extra food and other gear.

        You get the gold star of the day for having a good set of neighbors. I’d be interested in hearing how you all talk about prepping and how the topic came up.

      • 1

        Good Evening Robert,

        My apologies for the typos in the last post. Turning me loose with a keyboard at the end of a 12 hour day is not a good idea. On your inquiry about talking with the neighbors on prepping, it happened pretty easily by circumstance. I was introduced to folks through the Ham radio realm and working with CERT when we moved here. There are lots of retired military folks in our area, so being prepared is in their nature. One of our “next door close” neighbors spent his whole career working for one of the “national flag carrier” airlines in Europe. His job was making sure said airline had everyone and everything ready to go in case the airline had to “turn into a giant aid and rescue machine” in the wake of some large disaster event. And this is an area where the “prepper” magazines sell more copies than fashion magazines do on the magazine racks in the grocery stores. Being prepared is a popular thing in our area. Thank you for your interest! Take care of each other.

    • 2

      We are in hurricane country. We have stayed for most of them and shelter in place. Plenty of canned and dried food. Butane stove…. best price, Asian markets. Looks like this:

      https://eleanorhoh.com/stove/

      But much cheaper price at Asian markets.

      Battery operated fans. Water in 5 gallon buckets. Porta-potty. Good flashlights, lithium ion shop lights. Canned and dried food.

      Now…. to the grid going out. And I mean long term, as in a year or more.

      These three things: 1. Water  2. Vitamins and minerals  3. Protein source.

      1. Water. Hand pump on well. You can cut the pipe coming from the ground to the electric pump, lift and plunge. I prefer a secondary hand pump.

      2. Vitamins and minerals. That one to three acres becomes/become produce bearing. Have rototiller… good for as long as gas holds up, to get it started…. but it is to hand tools for the long haul. Old fashioned manual push mower to keep grass down around house for snake prevention.

      3. Protein source. Cuy. Raise in plywood boxes on shelves stacked in shed. Keep warm in winter with wood burning stove. They eat…. are you ready for this…. grass.

      Med supplies.

      Folding hand grills to keep it simple:

      https://www.wigme.com/barbeque-grill-chromium-plated-iron-royalford-rf10371/7e160325

      Buy at Asian markets. I’ve seen bamboo rats, chicken, fish cooked in these.

      Different sizes. Larger conventional grate as well. Surrounded by trees… am in the woods. Plenty of fuel. Cinder block stove. Keeping it very simple, basic.

      Meds, first aid supplies. The things needed.

      It would be 1850s life. The modern conveniences would be no more. It would be living.

      It is estimated that after a year of no grid, 90% of the American population would be dead.

      The first thing in a strategic nuclear war is taking out the grid.

      If a limited nuclear war, with an adversary satisfied with taking out that grid, and then a stoppage, there is a chance we could make it where I am at.

      All out, no way.

      We don’t, here in the U.S., make so many of our own grid parts, for the most part. So much comes from China. Heck, as of this writing, this country can’t even keep its own babies with special needs fed… the baby formula mis-handling.

      So don’t expect things to get fixed any time soon should such destruction occur.

      I would say, for those who don’t have their own place… to look into how to hand drill a well… there are youtube vids.

      For one to think about relying on victimizing others, as too many do… I have heard such words coming out of mouths… would mean one is not ready to escape being among that 90%.

      Just some thoughts from an old man who has ridden through storms and put some thought into what it would take to ride into, and survive, the long haul fiasco that would be no more electricity for an extended period of time.

      • 1

        I know many will not agree with your plan of raising and eating guinea pigs, but they do breed quite rapidly and don’t require much maintenance. It is a smart idea.

        Do you live in the south-east US? Just so I can note down where you are from and add it to the growing list.

    • 3

      Hi, I’m here under the pseudonym Joker and I live in a quiet part of mid Wales which is part of the UK. 
      I run a small holding and do several jobs (including pest control and home slaughtering/butchering) to pay my way. I’m already about as far away from others as I can be while living in the UK however I’m happy to put up with having distant neighbours. The pay off is that I am fully self sufficient in fuel (firewood), water and drainage and only partially dependent on the grid for electricity and communications. The weather is reasonably gentle here and crime is almost unknown in my area.

      I’m licensed to own section 1 (rifle), 2 (shotgun) and a section 5 (hand gun)firearms for the purposes of hunting and humane dispatch. Obtaining firearms is difficult in the UK but they are legal if you can show good reason for a firearm licence however a shotgun certificate is much easier to get as you only need to prove that you pose no obvious risk to other people. Anyone stating that you cannot legally own a section 5 handgun in the UK is  misinformed. You can, it’s just very, very difficult to get a section 5 licence as it is done through the Home Office (government) rather than the local constabulary. 

      I live with my wife, we keep several dogs, cats, chickens and pet sheep so I’m definitely not as much of a total lonely wild eyed psycho as the last paragraph makes me look.

      • 1

        Interesting to hear how gun purchases work there. Without going into politics and such how do you feel about that system of firearm ownership?

        How often do you travel to a store to stock up on groceries and other supplies?

      • 1

        My personal opinion is that the system of firearms licensing here in the UK reassures me. I see a lot of middle aged British men handling firearms in such an inexpert way that I’ve become convinced that if the firearms licensing laws were more lenient here we would see a very high degree of negligence resulting in a large number of deaths.
        It takes time and training to develop the self discipline necessary when handling lethal weapons. I don’t believe that the UK could easily transition back to a firearm owning nation.

    • 2

      I’m in Northern California. Fire is our first and foremost natural disaster so I have a go bag and have practiced evacuating. I’ve got it down to 15 minutes (5 minutes if I’ve already had to evacuate and didn’t put anything back in the house).

      I learned a lot from the Paradise Fire, which isn’t that far away as the crow flies. I’ve practiced all evacuation routes, know back roads into lakes, and have items loaded into my backseat that I wouldn’t mind giving up if other people need to jump in on the way out.

      Next is the great endeavor of fire clearance – in the forest. I’ve been at it for years. We all have around here. I took down a workshop over the summer and plan to use the cleared land for a garden, but first it allows for a safe burn spot instead of the slower process of hauling to green waste. I came home tonight and my folks bought me a chipper for Christmas! Omg! Yay for that!

      I also prepare for civil unrest. Lots of white nationalists in these parts. It’s obvious they’re empowered from time to time. And we’re close to Sacramento and (close enough) to San Francisco that one wonders what the influx of people from there could be in societal collapse. That’s where community building – especially going for walks in the neighborhood and greeting everyone regardless of signs in their yards or flags on their trucks – is important, along with attending inter-governmental task force meetings related to climate impacts and cultivating relationships with like minded people involved in the arts and activism.

      I took krav maga classes. I loved those! Had to stop with COVID and would love to start again, but honestly kind of scared to get the cr*p beat out of me now – being 3 years older and all. And we’re near a high security air force base so yeah – that’s a thing. Watched a Stealth drone fly overhead on its way to making a landing. That was something! Wow! Dystopian and disturbing! I actually saw it pass as I checked out the  campus I was transferring to, partly for it’s large community garden and feeling of compound security should something come to that. It’s all just so weird!

      With the climate crisis wind, snow, and torrential rains are a regulars now, too. We’ve always gotten snow, but with extreme weather events trees *really* come down on houses, power lines, etc. and supply companies, as well as emergency vehicles, can’t get into a lot of places. Chain saws, snow removal equipment, good snow and rain gear, secondary heating sources, food stocks, and proper first aid kits are a must. A land line would be a good idea, too. PSPS in extreme heat require plans to stay cool – understanding wet bulb temperatures and having a generator for a/c or knowing where cooling centers are. I’ve looked into solar, but alas the trees.

      Finally, I’ll be getting my teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) certificate soon, in case I have to leave the US altogether. Would like to go to Dubai, but it’s feeling more and more like wherever one goes, they’re gonna fry, so…

      There’s so much! I just take it step by step, doing the next indicated thing. Started with fire prep, then moved onto food and water and no tech entertainment like puzzling and playing musical instruments (and toilet paper – lol) with COVID, and just continued with supply chain disruptions, [un]civil society building and climate catastrophes becoming the norm. It’s a lot, but feels good to be ready. Water filters are in the mail, now.

      Panic is what kills people. That’s sometimes what guides me. What to do to avoid panicking? I take care of that.

    • 8

      Hi Bob, The RCMP in my area were driving Ford Crown Vic’s until a couple of years ago. They switched to Ford SUV’s, and have a couple of crew cab 4×4’s. There is a boat they can deploy on the lake if someone or wildlife is in trouble. I’m not sure if they are running ATV’s/Quads or snowmobiles like their counterparts further North.

      During blizzards here, motorists have been told that they are on their own if they travel against advisories.

      A couple of years ago, we had a bad blizzard. A man in a delivery truck and a couple in a car were stranded on the highway in it. What saved them was a kind hearted farmer who knew that people had been stranded around their part of the highway before. He got on his tractor and found them all. He and his wife took them in and helped them until the storm and roads were cleared.

      It was a good thing because the RCMP couldn’t get to them, nor could the local tow truck. Even the guys on snowmobiles weren’t around because it was that bad. Those folks were very lucky.

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      Thank you, Ubique.