Discussions

The presented situation doesn’t assume normal times or SHTF, but I think much of this applies: 1). Group up! Friends, family, and neighbors are important in a crisis -whether natural disaster or roving gangs of thieves. I’d likely do what others have mentioned: organize a watch, and watch shifts. It’d also be helpful to have  2). Trim bushes. If you have bushes near your doors and windows, trim them. 3). Install additional motion sensitive lighting near windows and doors, especially if there are bushes. 4). Don’t provide improvised weapons. Remove or relocate decorative stones, artwork, heavy objects that could be used by bad actors to gain entry into your home (thrown through window, attacking your entries) or to assault you. 5). Signage. I have a No Trespassing sign posted on my driveway gate. Although that’s mostly for clueless people who seem to think if there’s no sign, it’s not trespassing, it provides sufficient warning. For the bolder burglar(s), once you’ve stepped inside my gate, you’ve just entered my kill box. That’s all I’m going to say on this because I don’t give away all my preps. OPSEC. 6). Fence. It’s funny that the burglars in the article view fences as a means of hiding their actions, and it’s not wrong, but really fences also keep burglars from getting away from me too quickly if I discover them. 7). Reinforce doors. Upgrade your doors, then install bolt catches for doors. 8). Barricade doors. Old school cross beam anchored at the studs in the doorframe will help. If you’re fortunate enough to have steps on the inside of your front or back doors, you can construct a 2×4 T- or I-bar that also prevents your door from being knocked in. 9). Build and install window barriers. Install 2 eyelet rings into the ceiling in front of each window. Cut plywood and install 2 corresponding hooks. Install old school slide latches at the bottom of the plywood and at the corresponding position in the wall/window frame. You could also go a step further and attach sheet metal to the street facing side. 10). Remove/relocate objects that could be used to gain entry to 2nd floor/upper levels (trellises, vehicles parks too close to residence, etc). 11). Don’t divulge all your preps to anyone. Keep it in your circle of trust, even if it’s just you. No one should know your full capabilities.

Agreed, I don’t think the pandemic will result in collapse. Although, the stresses of unchecked spread on an already overtaxed medical system does have the potential to completely break it -AND the people (doctors, nurses, aides, and others medical-related roles) who keep those systems running. Besides, other things (ie., the election) are more likely to begin the churning process. As to your comment about “the majority of folks have seen little, if any impact from the virus”… well, where do I begin? I think that’s wholly dependent on where you’ve been over the course of the pandemic and whether or not someone you know has gotten sick or died; or if you’ve lost your job. I don’t think minimizing the experiences, suffering, or loss of others for the sake of the statement, “the majority of folks…” does the scale of the pandemic’s impact on our nation -and globally any justice. Despite your subjective opion, things are objectively changing. Spikes are emerging in rural areas and in the mid-West -the very same areas that saw ‘little or no impact’ initially, where many a community pushed to keep things open because the pandemic wasn’t a problem for their communities in the early months. I mean, that was a “city problem” back in January, wasn’t it? I think it’s easy to get comfortable and think, “We’re safe out here in the country” and assume it’ll never show on your own doorstep. And recent numbers bear that out. See for yourself. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map [edits for clarity]

Fire! Heh! Heh. Fire’s cool.
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Thanks for your thoughts. It actually sounds like getting boxes of coins would be a nice mental vacation, especially nowadays. I mean, I did find myself going all “Zen” while doing this -which was great because it kept me from doomscrolling and doombuying. A few other preppers I know insist on keeping their silver dimes, quarters, etc. for small transaction purposes. It kinda makes sense, but only if you’re looking at SHTF transactions being in the form of $valueablemetal for {$thing,$need,$service}. So, I also find it important to invest in knowledge and skills as another means of barter. My bullion dealer had an interesting take on small silver coins (and perhaps [unwittingly] about the whole ‘prepping by buying bullion for post-bank world’): “Bullion is an investment. I have doubts about how bullion would play into a SHTF situation. Hey, he says, How much for water? And, so, what do I do, buy it with one of my Silver Eagles [1 troy ounce pure 99.99% silver]???” Then he grimaces. “If I want water, I’m likely to use my gun if things are that desperate. Screw silver coins.” So, my ultimate takeaway is something along these lines: Investing in bullion is a long-term strategy. In a world where banks have collapsed, it would be good to know your hard-earned money is in a commodity that won’t lose its value -at least not like the paper money does. And while it may not be easy, convenient, or even beneficial to carry it around in a BOB, if you can secure your bullion and keep it safe until things reboot or rebound, you’ll basically be better off than you were when all your money was intangible, electronic and held in a proprietary system that told you when and how much of your own money you could withdraw.

Bullion (gold, silver, platinum, palladium) are solid go-to’s. Bear in mind that pricing is based on 1 ounce of $preciousmetal, prices fluctuate daily, and is dependent on demand. So, timing is important if you’re going to buy. More on that in a bit… Bitcoin relies on electronics and its ability to synchronize with the blockchain (at some point or other). In the short term, it has decent potential for payment of goods and services not available to everyday, surface-dwellers; probably better for use while actual preparing. I, personally, don’t regard it as a solid long-term strategy, especially if your prepping includes scenarios like power outages, lack of cell service, or EMPs. Also, not everyone accepts BTC. A bird walk, but still on topic. I hope this helps. I spent the better part of the past two weeks going through change jars. The impetus (at least initially) was do reduce things we don’t need here at the fort and have more cash in hand. Also, banks are hurting for coins right now. Each side wins. What I’ve learned: Just sitting there in a change jar were a handful of collectable coins (a mercury dime, a handful of wheat pennies). We also found old silver coins (mostly Kennedy half-dollars, quarters, dimes -over $300 worth!). In the end, these were sold to some local coin/stamp collectors. Above: Finding silver among your coins is relatively easy. Silver coins don’t have two-tone rims (usually you’ll see a copper color and a silver-like metal color side-by-side. Not the case with these silver dimes).  – Sold silver coins were sold for cash (eg., Silver quarters fetched $3.50/ea; Kennedys fetched $1.50-$7.00/each). – All money received from the collectible coin sales was split between cash and buying bullion. – The rest of the non-collectible coinage was rolled and exchanged at a local bank for cash. And, yes, they were grateful! Advice: Help yourselves and the banks now. Look into your loose change, you never know what you’ll find. Wikipedia is a great source for identifying silver coin years. Bullion. I’m fortunate to have relatively easy access to a US Mint -approved bullion dealer in the vicinity. My advice: If you’re considering investing in bullion, go big or prepare to pay. ONLY purchase bullion from official government or private mints (US Mint, Canadian Mint, Scottsdale Mint, PAMP, etc) or coin dealers with an established reputation; and avoid purchasing from Amazon or eBay. My bullion dealer showed me examples of the kinds of coins brought to him that were convincing fakes bought off eBay or wherever, but the moment they’re tested, they’re proven fake. Avoid sales tax by purchasing bullion in amounts over $1K. Now, that isn’t practical for me, personally, because times are tight —you did just read that I went though a change jar, right? LOL.  So, whenever I’ve purchased bullion, I’ve paid sales tax, PLUS his commission (≈$7 over spot – spot being the market price/oz). Above: Verifying a PAMP gold bullion [card] using a Sigma Metalytics tester. A gas chromatograph may also be used to verify metal composition. Banking. I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of moving money away from banks. I’ve even looked at my current retirement and, honestly, I haven’t come to any difinitive conclusion right now. At the moment, I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode, but while I’m waiting and seeing, I’m also researching means of quickly liquidating assets (eg., retirement), wire transfers, offshore accounts, and transferring funds to vaulted precious metals overseas. I’m open to others’ thinking on banking, specifically.

@ Carter: *hat tip* Thanks for the mention. 🤠 @ Winston: I totally get it. It really is one of those iffy things. And you make some interesting points, especially the bit about suddenly being known as the “hand out” place. I view my prepping as a series of potential opportunities, each with their own outcomes.  @ ALL: Here are a few additional things to consider: – a mercy bag truly is an act of mercy – a mercy bag doesn’t have to be given face-to-face. anonymity is always an option! – a mercy bag has the potential to lead to alliances that might not otherwise happen, even if for a moment – a mercy bag (failing all else), could be used as a distration to make a quick getaway @ Redneck: You and I are a lot alike in our thinking. I have a very strong preference for unobtrusivness. Being a part of a community is something that takes time and a lot of trust, which (time) is a luxury we might not have right now -but who knows. Trust permeates every aspect of everyday life. Think about it. When I’m driving down the highway, I’m trusting that the person driving in the other direction isn’t going to intentionally steer themselves into a head-on. When I see the signal to cross the street, I look both ways, but I still trust that I won’t get intentionally run over. I put an ATM card into the atm machine because you trust that you’ll get it back. At the range, I trust that someone isn’t going to go on a shooting spree. I trust that, when I board a plane, it won’t just fall out of the sky (or that the pilot isn’t blitzed out of their skull). The list goes on. Society runs on trust. The question is, in SHTF situation, what happens to trust? Does it disappear completely? Who can say? What trust you might have in a prepper community needs to be as-solid or better because (as you mentioned) you can’t afford to have that trust abused or misused in times of need. So, in that regard, your best prep is to guard against such abuses of trust.


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Fire! Heh! Heh. Fire’s cool.
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Prepping & Protesting
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Helmets anyone?
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Prepping for Hurricane Season
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How Soap Works / Soap > Sanitizer
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Preserving meats with salt
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The presented situation doesn’t assume normal times or SHTF, but I think much of this applies: 1). Group up! Friends, family, and neighbors are important in a crisis -whether natural disaster or roving gangs of thieves. I’d likely do what others have mentioned: organize a watch, and watch shifts. It’d also be helpful to have  2). Trim bushes. If you have bushes near your doors and windows, trim them. 3). Install additional motion sensitive lighting near windows and doors, especially if there are bushes. 4). Don’t provide improvised weapons. Remove or relocate decorative stones, artwork, heavy objects that could be used by bad actors to gain entry into your home (thrown through window, attacking your entries) or to assault you. 5). Signage. I have a No Trespassing sign posted on my driveway gate. Although that’s mostly for clueless people who seem to think if there’s no sign, it’s not trespassing, it provides sufficient warning. For the bolder burglar(s), once you’ve stepped inside my gate, you’ve just entered my kill box. That’s all I’m going to say on this because I don’t give away all my preps. OPSEC. 6). Fence. It’s funny that the burglars in the article view fences as a means of hiding their actions, and it’s not wrong, but really fences also keep burglars from getting away from me too quickly if I discover them. 7). Reinforce doors. Upgrade your doors, then install bolt catches for doors. 8). Barricade doors. Old school cross beam anchored at the studs in the doorframe will help. If you’re fortunate enough to have steps on the inside of your front or back doors, you can construct a 2×4 T- or I-bar that also prevents your door from being knocked in. 9). Build and install window barriers. Install 2 eyelet rings into the ceiling in front of each window. Cut plywood and install 2 corresponding hooks. Install old school slide latches at the bottom of the plywood and at the corresponding position in the wall/window frame. You could also go a step further and attach sheet metal to the street facing side. 10). Remove/relocate objects that could be used to gain entry to 2nd floor/upper levels (trellises, vehicles parks too close to residence, etc). 11). Don’t divulge all your preps to anyone. Keep it in your circle of trust, even if it’s just you. No one should know your full capabilities.

Agreed, I don’t think the pandemic will result in collapse. Although, the stresses of unchecked spread on an already overtaxed medical system does have the potential to completely break it -AND the people (doctors, nurses, aides, and others medical-related roles) who keep those systems running. Besides, other things (ie., the election) are more likely to begin the churning process. As to your comment about “the majority of folks have seen little, if any impact from the virus”… well, where do I begin? I think that’s wholly dependent on where you’ve been over the course of the pandemic and whether or not someone you know has gotten sick or died; or if you’ve lost your job. I don’t think minimizing the experiences, suffering, or loss of others for the sake of the statement, “the majority of folks…” does the scale of the pandemic’s impact on our nation -and globally any justice. Despite your subjective opion, things are objectively changing. Spikes are emerging in rural areas and in the mid-West -the very same areas that saw ‘little or no impact’ initially, where many a community pushed to keep things open because the pandemic wasn’t a problem for their communities in the early months. I mean, that was a “city problem” back in January, wasn’t it? I think it’s easy to get comfortable and think, “We’re safe out here in the country” and assume it’ll never show on your own doorstep. And recent numbers bear that out. See for yourself. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map [edits for clarity]

Thanks for your thoughts. It actually sounds like getting boxes of coins would be a nice mental vacation, especially nowadays. I mean, I did find myself going all “Zen” while doing this -which was great because it kept me from doomscrolling and doombuying. A few other preppers I know insist on keeping their silver dimes, quarters, etc. for small transaction purposes. It kinda makes sense, but only if you’re looking at SHTF transactions being in the form of $valueablemetal for {$thing,$need,$service}. So, I also find it important to invest in knowledge and skills as another means of barter. My bullion dealer had an interesting take on small silver coins (and perhaps [unwittingly] about the whole ‘prepping by buying bullion for post-bank world’): “Bullion is an investment. I have doubts about how bullion would play into a SHTF situation. Hey, he says, How much for water? And, so, what do I do, buy it with one of my Silver Eagles [1 troy ounce pure 99.99% silver]???” Then he grimaces. “If I want water, I’m likely to use my gun if things are that desperate. Screw silver coins.” So, my ultimate takeaway is something along these lines: Investing in bullion is a long-term strategy. In a world where banks have collapsed, it would be good to know your hard-earned money is in a commodity that won’t lose its value -at least not like the paper money does. And while it may not be easy, convenient, or even beneficial to carry it around in a BOB, if you can secure your bullion and keep it safe until things reboot or rebound, you’ll basically be better off than you were when all your money was intangible, electronic and held in a proprietary system that told you when and how much of your own money you could withdraw.

Bullion (gold, silver, platinum, palladium) are solid go-to’s. Bear in mind that pricing is based on 1 ounce of $preciousmetal, prices fluctuate daily, and is dependent on demand. So, timing is important if you’re going to buy. More on that in a bit… Bitcoin relies on electronics and its ability to synchronize with the blockchain (at some point or other). In the short term, it has decent potential for payment of goods and services not available to everyday, surface-dwellers; probably better for use while actual preparing. I, personally, don’t regard it as a solid long-term strategy, especially if your prepping includes scenarios like power outages, lack of cell service, or EMPs. Also, not everyone accepts BTC. A bird walk, but still on topic. I hope this helps. I spent the better part of the past two weeks going through change jars. The impetus (at least initially) was do reduce things we don’t need here at the fort and have more cash in hand. Also, banks are hurting for coins right now. Each side wins. What I’ve learned: Just sitting there in a change jar were a handful of collectable coins (a mercury dime, a handful of wheat pennies). We also found old silver coins (mostly Kennedy half-dollars, quarters, dimes -over $300 worth!). In the end, these were sold to some local coin/stamp collectors. Above: Finding silver among your coins is relatively easy. Silver coins don’t have two-tone rims (usually you’ll see a copper color and a silver-like metal color side-by-side. Not the case with these silver dimes).  – Sold silver coins were sold for cash (eg., Silver quarters fetched $3.50/ea; Kennedys fetched $1.50-$7.00/each). – All money received from the collectible coin sales was split between cash and buying bullion. – The rest of the non-collectible coinage was rolled and exchanged at a local bank for cash. And, yes, they were grateful! Advice: Help yourselves and the banks now. Look into your loose change, you never know what you’ll find. Wikipedia is a great source for identifying silver coin years. Bullion. I’m fortunate to have relatively easy access to a US Mint -approved bullion dealer in the vicinity. My advice: If you’re considering investing in bullion, go big or prepare to pay. ONLY purchase bullion from official government or private mints (US Mint, Canadian Mint, Scottsdale Mint, PAMP, etc) or coin dealers with an established reputation; and avoid purchasing from Amazon or eBay. My bullion dealer showed me examples of the kinds of coins brought to him that were convincing fakes bought off eBay or wherever, but the moment they’re tested, they’re proven fake. Avoid sales tax by purchasing bullion in amounts over $1K. Now, that isn’t practical for me, personally, because times are tight —you did just read that I went though a change jar, right? LOL.  So, whenever I’ve purchased bullion, I’ve paid sales tax, PLUS his commission (≈$7 over spot – spot being the market price/oz). Above: Verifying a PAMP gold bullion [card] using a Sigma Metalytics tester. A gas chromatograph may also be used to verify metal composition. Banking. I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of moving money away from banks. I’ve even looked at my current retirement and, honestly, I haven’t come to any difinitive conclusion right now. At the moment, I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode, but while I’m waiting and seeing, I’m also researching means of quickly liquidating assets (eg., retirement), wire transfers, offshore accounts, and transferring funds to vaulted precious metals overseas. I’m open to others’ thinking on banking, specifically.

@ Carter: *hat tip* Thanks for the mention. 🤠 @ Winston: I totally get it. It really is one of those iffy things. And you make some interesting points, especially the bit about suddenly being known as the “hand out” place. I view my prepping as a series of potential opportunities, each with their own outcomes.  @ ALL: Here are a few additional things to consider: – a mercy bag truly is an act of mercy – a mercy bag doesn’t have to be given face-to-face. anonymity is always an option! – a mercy bag has the potential to lead to alliances that might not otherwise happen, even if for a moment – a mercy bag (failing all else), could be used as a distration to make a quick getaway @ Redneck: You and I are a lot alike in our thinking. I have a very strong preference for unobtrusivness. Being a part of a community is something that takes time and a lot of trust, which (time) is a luxury we might not have right now -but who knows. Trust permeates every aspect of everyday life. Think about it. When I’m driving down the highway, I’m trusting that the person driving in the other direction isn’t going to intentionally steer themselves into a head-on. When I see the signal to cross the street, I look both ways, but I still trust that I won’t get intentionally run over. I put an ATM card into the atm machine because you trust that you’ll get it back. At the range, I trust that someone isn’t going to go on a shooting spree. I trust that, when I board a plane, it won’t just fall out of the sky (or that the pilot isn’t blitzed out of their skull). The list goes on. Society runs on trust. The question is, in SHTF situation, what happens to trust? Does it disappear completely? Who can say? What trust you might have in a prepper community needs to be as-solid or better because (as you mentioned) you can’t afford to have that trust abused or misused in times of need. So, in that regard, your best prep is to guard against such abuses of trust.

Welcome. COVID’s been an eye opener for a lot of people. This election season, too. It’s all so new and scary and uncertain. Here are some bigger, broader takeaways for water (in addition to TP’s blog post -which you read). I find that the concepts are as important -if not more important- than the actual gear. Though, having really good, reliable gear can be a lifesaver. Takeaway #1: The average adult human is going to require at least 1 gallon (3.78L) per day, though this number may fluctuate in hotter climates [see #4, later]. Remembering what you’ll need daily is easy to remember, especially if it’s just you. If there’s more than one person, just multiply by the total number of people. Where things get fun is when you consider how many people will need water and whatever length of time you’re preparing for. 3-7 days is pretty standard fair for short-term events (power outage, water main break). 7-14 days for longer interruptions/disruptions. Some (myself included) prep for month-long (or longer) periods without water. Saving/Preserving a month’s worth is easy for 1 person (31gal), but other things need to be accounted-for: total people, storage container, storage space, rotation of stock, etc. It’s easy to spiral. Focus on the concepts. Takeaway #2: Whatever amount of water you decide save, it’s important for you to know that it’s just there to get you over a hump -a big ol’ invisible hump o’ uncertainty that you can never truly account-for much less prepare-for. In more practicle terms, my 49+ days of water may be enough to tie me over for a hunker-down situation with no available running water. After that, I’ll need to find water. Takeaway #3: After your home water reserves are depleted, you’ll want to locate, then filter and/or purify any water encounter in the wild. Check out TP’s blog about water filters. Some really good product tips there. I vouche for the Sawyer myself. Get an SAS (or other, similar) Survival Guide and read up on sourcing water in the wild -especially important if you have to give up your supplies, gear, etc. Let’s just hope it never comes to that, agreed? Takeaway #4: Globally, we are finding ourselves on the verge of freshwater scarcity. Thanks, climate change -and deniers. Ultimately, this will lead to competition for water. Without fresh water, life on Earth is unsustainable. That’s just a fact. The best we can do, collectively, (and not to turn this all political) is to vote the people into public office that can enact real, well-reasoned, scientifically-backed policies that take a “let’s stop risks with our environment and gambling with human life NOW” approach. Or, at the very least, vote for the candidate that will do the least harm. Anyone but the ones rolling back environmental protections and letting corporations dump their toxic shit into OUR water.


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