Discussions

I know this isn’t a section on vacuum sealing, but it is a great Prepper tool, not just for food items but for storing ‘stuff’ as well.  As you pointed out, our BOB has our clothes vacuumed sealed to reduce space.  Some disinfectant soaps, medical supplies and more.  We like the idea of water proofing what we can and the space reduction.  When I vacuum seal a firearm it is put away safely & securely. It is not a firearm I plan to use anytime soon. Having said that, easy tear open and cheap & easy to reseal.  It takes 4-minutes out of your day to vacuum seal after cleaning (more on that below).  Oh, and unless you notice that the vacuum bag is leaking (no longer tight around the interior components) the desiccants are good to go until after you open the package (also good desiccants can be reused after heating). As Matthew correctly pointed out, your home/personal protection firearm should be easily accessible, but secure from kids who may be up and around in the night.  Safe storage is inversely proportional to accessibility for most people.  A semi-expensive digital safe, securely mounted to a wall stud, by your bed and in your most commonly occupied room, offers a potential solution for both. But I digress, this question & forum is about Prepping & storage: I’m 67 years old, a good Prepper with 22 years military service.  I’m been flooded, lived through several hurricanes (we live on the coast) and had a very larger tree fall on our home making everything inside a miserable mess.  As a Prepper, I prep for the worse case scenario (that I can afford) and hope for the best.  Everything I have water sealed remained dry.  Transporting goods in a ferocious rain to bugout can leave a person & goods soggy indeed.  Never know, it might be good to have more items watertight, even for the short term, just in case.

First, let me apologize to everyone who put a great deal of thought into this question.  My earlier answer was, well a weee bit witless (being kind to myself). . . .  I have learned a great deal from everyone’s postings and you all have my heart felt thanks! So I have revamped my selection.  I’m still in the defensive role but have cultivated a much more useful firearm portfolio for my location.  As such, in addition to my SIG M17, I have purchased the Beretta 1301 Tactical for home defense and a .22 Marlin for small game. 1.  Regarding the .22 Marlin:  I’m in the middle of nowhere unless it’s hunting season and we’re bumper to bumper pickup trucks, hunters every few feet and dogs aplenty!  As such, I believe larger game will be dispatched quickly should food become scarce.  I figure there will be more varmints and migratory fowl remaining in my area.  The .22 report might not attract too much attention either and avoid alerting others that ‘chow is served.’  Rounds are cheap and I’ve plenty.  I’m no hunter, and I’m not overly enthusiastic about cleaning firearms that I don’t regularly use so I wrote to Marlin about longterm storage.  As such, and with their blessing, I have not fired the weapon, leaving it in its factory lubrication, vacuumed sealed with desiccants, instruction manual and a small amount of cleaning supplies (see pic).  I vacuum seal everything now a days.  I waterproof-seal ammo with desiccants but NEVER vacuum sealed.  I’ve heard that the vacuum sealing process might remove sufficient oxygen causing a misfire.  Can anyone confirm this? 2.  The Beretta 1301 Tactical is a fine firearm.  FYI:  I’m a little bummed that Beretta does not have a functional manual for the model.  All the digital illustrations are missing past page 7.  The information on the Beretta website is ooooollllllllddddddd!  I got in a ‘heated discussion’ with my retailer regarding Tactical vs Competition.  I told them ‘this’ Tactical had a choke and only the Competition came with a choke.  I showed him the Beretta websites that confirmed this!  . . .well, once again I’m eating crow.  The factory confirmed that I own a 2d generation 1301.  Although all the Beretta website information indicates Tactical = smooth bore & Competitions = chokes, my 1301 2d generation Tactical and all newer 1301s now come with chokes.  Only the police and military are afforded a true Tactical without a choke.  It’s taken a bit of a pairing of two older manuals and forum comments to finally become fully familiar with this fine shotgun.  All things aside, I LOVE this shotgun!  Light weight, easy to maneuver in the home and heck, I’m glad it has a choke.  My wife would have a fit if I were shooting slugs in the house anyway.  . . .oh, and dead accurate with GREAT sights! 3.  The SIG M17.  9mm ammo easy to come by and cheap.  I think everyone should have a sidearm. Any, thanks again EVERYONE for the insight and thoughtful postings.  I’m a better person for it.

It’s pretty easy to start and it sure makes the days locked in the house more productive & enjoyable.  Talk about a dehydrators glorious smell permeating throughout the house!  Pineapple (when on sale), bananas (when on sale), and strawberries – just for the smell of it (but they don’t really retain their taste very well for the money). Lots of information on the web.  Here is a teaser of how I started: I started with just the vacuum sealer for everyday use to extend fresh meat freezer shelf life.  Then I started sealing up rice, oatmeal, and beans as it was cheaper than the #10 cans.  Cheap enough to buy, even today. I got pretty imaginative!  I vac-sealed socks and clothing for our bugout bags, sealing extra soap in case of flooding or hurricanes (We live by the Bay), and several firearms. I’m not really involved in regular shooting anymore, and I hate to clean something I’m not using.  I purchased a new .22 Marlin for small game should the future call for it and cleaned up some older keepers with desiccant and vacuum sealed them too.  An email from Marlin concurred they thought vacuum sealing with desiccant was a great storage idea.  I also sealed our ammunition with desiccants as well, but don’t vacuum the ammo vac-sleeve, just seal it.  Vacuuming reportedly causes misfires by not having sufficient oxygen with the powder when you need it.  Sealing duplicate important papers in your bugout bag keeps them safe from water too! Here is a picture of my .22 Marlin with cleaning kit and manual included.  I vac sealed bugout bag clothes as well to take up less room.  Anyway, a Vacuum Sealer is a great little tool to start with.

Absolutely – well, less & more. Since I was always involved in outdoor activities we always had several weeks of backup food and camping supplies around the house. It wasn’t until I retired from the military that I had enough funds leftover, after household necessities, that I began building a Prepper lifestyle in earnest. I started quietly, feeling a little ’embarrassed’ about what I was doing, until one social luncheon. We joined several career, very down to earth, sensible and responsible Warrant Officers at the table. These were the best in our field. Our spouses joined us. These are the type of W4s and W5s you expect to be so ground that ‘Prepper’ would not be in their vocabulary. After all, I served with them for years and no one EVER said a word. The conversation started to lag and my wife blurts out, “Tom’s become quite a Prepper!” AWWWW! Noooo!!! I shrank with embarrassment! Without missing a beat, the senior most respectable member’s wife said, “Oh my; Prepping?!? (name withheld) has .45 cal pistols hidden all over the house and talk about solar panels? We can power the County!” Everyone went on from there! Best food stuffs, heating options, wood cutting & hunting concerns so others would not hear, and more! All these closet liberal Warrant Officers were committed Preppers for years and proud of it. I had no idea! So, yeah, I’m keeping up the family tradition and involving the grandkids as well.  Pretty nice to have company, huh?

Wow!  FLASH BACK!  Your article brought back graphic memories from my childhood.     I come from a long line of ‘Liberal Preppers,’ but we didn’t know it or call it that back then.  When I was very young I loved to explore my grandparents attic.  They escaped Germany after WWI and never forgot what it was like to be destitute.  There were shoes of all sorts, dress clothes never worn which could be sold if necessary – and certainly better garments than my grandparents would ever wear themselves – plus canned and packaged goods from everywhere!  Military and work clothes on racks and dusty firearms in the corners.  They sold candy from a side room, but acquiring a piece of that candy for free, was quite the coupe for me and my brother!     I vividly remember my folks storing canned goods and rotating water jugs under the cellar stairs.  Teachers were leading us grade schoolers in evacuation drills into school basements, “Sit on the floor and cross your legs. Place your head down between your legs and cover the back of your neck with your interlaced fingers.”  I can relive, on command, the feel of the damp floor, the smell of mold filling my nostrils and sense the clammy atmosphere seeping into my clothing and moistening my skin within.  . . .all the while silently waiting in the dark basement for the town’s ‘All Clear’ siren to sound.      Everyone pulled together.  Prepping was never considered a political ‘thing’ unless you considered the international ramifications of Cuba or other international aggression against ‘all’ Americans.     My folks always had a Victory Garden, but it was many years before I realized what spawned every American to grow their own food.  The Victory Garden was essential to remain ‘independent’ TOGETHER, while collectively supporting our soldiers’ needs fighting abroad.     Then, the enemy was outside our gates. . . . 

There appears to be a number of educators chiming in.  Might history be repeating itself? I often consider the Aztecs and the Maya and our approach to Covid-19.  How it applies to our kids and grandkids going to school.  I compliment all Preppers who plan for the worst, rejoice when the worst doesn’t materialize and ready in case all goes wrong.  But other principles of thought raise the hairs on the back of my neck, especially when it affects our kids.  Too many people condone the loss of life as merely the cost of doing ‘business’ in America today. Once ancient, cruel and unenlightened civilizations offered public human sacrifices to appease apparitions they did not understand for a bountiful crop or successful year – for the greater good. We’ve heard that the death of the elderly is acceptable under the circumstances.  More recently, the infection of youth is tolerated because ‘most’ will survive because of their health.  Now we’re considering opening up our schools because the children are resilient and most will survive.  That, of course, does not take into consideration the health liability to those childrens’ parents or the educators in the classroom. There was a time when civilized nations were appalled by the discovery of a 13-year old child exhumed in China whom had been sacrificed around 1600- to 1040-BC.  The practice of human sacrifice was abandoned in China in 221-BC before becoming accepted today as merely the cost of conducting business in America.    Is there any difference between the the Aztec holyman of yesteryear standing  atop his pyramid with blood soaked hands and the civilized programmed discarding of human lives for the greater good today? I’m afraid posterity will demonize America’s Covid-19 approach as the darkest time of an unenlightened and barbaric civilization which practiced human sacrifice against a phantom ‘some’ could not comprehend for the delusional hopes of a successful ‘harvest.’ If human sacrifice is acceptable today, then the future looks grim and Preppers need to be prepared even more than ever.  OUR KIDS ARE STAYING HOME!

We are simple people with limited resources for Prepping.  I offer my thoughts as they fit our needs and don’t profess to know all the answers for others.  Even after 22-years in the military a lot of firearms has never been our objective, but. . . . 1 & 2.  Sig M17 with shoulder holster with two mag pockets and a Kel-Tec P11 with Sticky Holster for concealed carry.  We plan on defensive operations only.  Pistols are our primary weapon.  9mm ammo is inexpensive and as such,  we own a LOT of it.  Also a pistol is not obvious to the casual observer or ‘opportunist.’  If someone sees us without a weapon hanging off our shoulder, before we see them, we might appear to be an easy ‘objective.’  But a little surprise awaits anyone who would consider us so carelessly. 3.  Marlin .22 rifle.  Quiet, small and useful for hunting small game and waterfowl.  There may come a time when we DON’T want to notify everyone in the area we found game.  Shoot as quietly as possible, fetch and return home.  The rifle is lightweight, concealable and promoted by experts as, “. . .boringly dependable. . . .” We don’t plan to buy another long rifle or an AR unless an AR16 becomes available.  No long range shooting in our surroundings unless we see a deer on the road.  We’re designed around a defensive posture in our brick home and surrounding woods with limited visibility.  Easier to shoot around corners while keeping most of our body behind walls.  Only one hand exposed. . . .  I expect we’ll pick up an AR for free if someone foolishly believes we’re an easy opportunity or enters our home without due diligence. NOTE:  After so many years, I find that I’m tired of cleaning a lot of multi-calibre firearms routinely – even though we didn’t fire them.  We concentrated our arms to 9mms and .22 cal.  The Marlin was purchased new for small game, never fired and vacuum sealed (using our FoodSaver) with its manual, cleaning kit and desiccant for the future.  The Marlin Factory thought that was pretty clever.  We vac seal the ammo too, but just enough air is removed to ensure the ammo is sealed watertight.  Too much vacuum sealing may remove oxygen from the shell casing over time and cause misfires, in our experience.  We did the same with other Sigs.

Okay, there’s lots of GREAT info from others, but here is my 2-cents.  I retired as the Superintendent of the Public Utilities in Hampton Roads and bought a lot of portable and stationary generator sets.  I own two. A 5kw and a 2200w.  There are many terms for generators but there are really two basic types of AC generators:  Inverters and ‘all others.’  I chose the more expensive Honda EU2200i inverter for the following reasons, and maybe an answer to your concerns: 1.  Quiet.  An inverter genset does not have to run at max rpm.  Non-inverter gensets (like my Coleman 5KW set) need to maintain their set RPM (1800-rpm for a 4-pole unit, 3600-rpm for a 2-pole unit) to keep the cycles per second (ie 60-hz needed for AC).  There may come a time when I may not want anyone to hear me when I’m filling my water containers from my well or powering my 15.5-cu ft freezer.  At 48dBs @ 1/4 load (freezer compressor cycled off or the well is not running); and a potential max noise level of 57-dBs at full rated load its quiet.  It’s also an acceptable noise level for National Parks.  Note the disclaimer on many gensets indicating they do not need to have a noise rating so they don’t offer one.  Well they are right, it’s not a required rating for portable gensets unless you’re in a Park with noise limitations! 2.  GREAT fuel consumption –  I figure I’ll get well water and freezer operations for many months on a few gallons of gasoline.  I run my well, my 15.5-cu ft freezer and a few lights with little effort on the EU220i.  Over the years I’ve found that many gensets burn a lot of fuel just WAITING for an electrical appliance to be turned ON. They waste a lot of fuel without a load!  Now understand, the EU2200i is too small to run your RV air conditioner. 3.  Experience.  Most of the people we hired were paid, we’ll marginally, and many did not respect the equipment.  I actually saw a Honda 2000 fall off the back of one of our trucks, picked up and used to control the traffic work zone lighting for 14-hours as we excavated a broken water main. They never quit under the most adversarial emergency conditions. 4.  I purchased more than 14 of these portable units with little down time for repairs despite excessive abuse and miserable environmental exposure.  That’s why I purchased mine. 5.  The unit is easily portable by a 67-year old and stuffed inside my popup or any of my vehicles for a bugout (read on). 6. The unit has a setting to restrict the fuel and empty the carb before it shuts down.  When it cools down the fuel filler cap can be CLOSED so that fuel vapors do not escape into the vehicle or storage area.  I store this in my  mud room – no fumes! 7.  Lots of warnings about where to run the genset – and of course, the better you follow the safety requirements the safer you will be.  The EU2200i is multi speed.  RPMs increase as the load increases.  It runs only as fast or as loud as the loads demand.  We live in the sticks and power failures are routine – I can leave the genset running next to the house wall without anyone inside hearing the exhaust noise.  It never gets hot externally.  I NEVER store propane or gasoline containers inside my home or garage but I have no issues storing the Honda with the fuel system in isolated mode inside my mudroom or garage.  It sits in the Mod Room now. 8. The genset has a battery charging outlet and cable capability – but I don’t recommend it as it is not 12VDC regulated.  Instead I plug a 10-amp battery charger into the genset outlet for charging my batteries and let the battery charger do the monitoring. 9.  INVERTER generators are PERFECT for electronics as the power is more refined (cleaner). 10.  This is a VERY SIMPLE generator and does not require the ground rod because it is completely insulated from metal parts. 11.  I rented a Honda 2000 from Home Depot to see if it would operated everything I needed it to operate before I bought one.  Might be a good introduction for you without the financial investment upfront.  Even with everything I know and all the formulas I’ve used – employing a small genset to power anything with a motor is not cut and dried.  Motor Design Code, Service factor and more must be taken into account – or you can try one a friend owns or rent one to be sure. No, I don’t sell these.  Good luck! Good Questions!

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I know this isn’t a section on vacuum sealing, but it is a great Prepper tool, not just for food items but for storing ‘stuff’ as well.  As you pointed out, our BOB has our clothes vacuumed sealed to reduce space.  Some disinfectant soaps, medical supplies and more.  We like the idea of water proofing what we can and the space reduction.  When I vacuum seal a firearm it is put away safely & securely. It is not a firearm I plan to use anytime soon. Having said that, easy tear open and cheap & easy to reseal.  It takes 4-minutes out of your day to vacuum seal after cleaning (more on that below).  Oh, and unless you notice that the vacuum bag is leaking (no longer tight around the interior components) the desiccants are good to go until after you open the package (also good desiccants can be reused after heating). As Matthew correctly pointed out, your home/personal protection firearm should be easily accessible, but secure from kids who may be up and around in the night.  Safe storage is inversely proportional to accessibility for most people.  A semi-expensive digital safe, securely mounted to a wall stud, by your bed and in your most commonly occupied room, offers a potential solution for both. But I digress, this question & forum is about Prepping & storage: I’m 67 years old, a good Prepper with 22 years military service.  I’m been flooded, lived through several hurricanes (we live on the coast) and had a very larger tree fall on our home making everything inside a miserable mess.  As a Prepper, I prep for the worse case scenario (that I can afford) and hope for the best.  Everything I have water sealed remained dry.  Transporting goods in a ferocious rain to bugout can leave a person & goods soggy indeed.  Never know, it might be good to have more items watertight, even for the short term, just in case.

First, let me apologize to everyone who put a great deal of thought into this question.  My earlier answer was, well a weee bit witless (being kind to myself). . . .  I have learned a great deal from everyone’s postings and you all have my heart felt thanks! So I have revamped my selection.  I’m still in the defensive role but have cultivated a much more useful firearm portfolio for my location.  As such, in addition to my SIG M17, I have purchased the Beretta 1301 Tactical for home defense and a .22 Marlin for small game. 1.  Regarding the .22 Marlin:  I’m in the middle of nowhere unless it’s hunting season and we’re bumper to bumper pickup trucks, hunters every few feet and dogs aplenty!  As such, I believe larger game will be dispatched quickly should food become scarce.  I figure there will be more varmints and migratory fowl remaining in my area.  The .22 report might not attract too much attention either and avoid alerting others that ‘chow is served.’  Rounds are cheap and I’ve plenty.  I’m no hunter, and I’m not overly enthusiastic about cleaning firearms that I don’t regularly use so I wrote to Marlin about longterm storage.  As such, and with their blessing, I have not fired the weapon, leaving it in its factory lubrication, vacuumed sealed with desiccants, instruction manual and a small amount of cleaning supplies (see pic).  I vacuum seal everything now a days.  I waterproof-seal ammo with desiccants but NEVER vacuum sealed.  I’ve heard that the vacuum sealing process might remove sufficient oxygen causing a misfire.  Can anyone confirm this? 2.  The Beretta 1301 Tactical is a fine firearm.  FYI:  I’m a little bummed that Beretta does not have a functional manual for the model.  All the digital illustrations are missing past page 7.  The information on the Beretta website is ooooollllllllddddddd!  I got in a ‘heated discussion’ with my retailer regarding Tactical vs Competition.  I told them ‘this’ Tactical had a choke and only the Competition came with a choke.  I showed him the Beretta websites that confirmed this!  . . .well, once again I’m eating crow.  The factory confirmed that I own a 2d generation 1301.  Although all the Beretta website information indicates Tactical = smooth bore & Competitions = chokes, my 1301 2d generation Tactical and all newer 1301s now come with chokes.  Only the police and military are afforded a true Tactical without a choke.  It’s taken a bit of a pairing of two older manuals and forum comments to finally become fully familiar with this fine shotgun.  All things aside, I LOVE this shotgun!  Light weight, easy to maneuver in the home and heck, I’m glad it has a choke.  My wife would have a fit if I were shooting slugs in the house anyway.  . . .oh, and dead accurate with GREAT sights! 3.  The SIG M17.  9mm ammo easy to come by and cheap.  I think everyone should have a sidearm. Any, thanks again EVERYONE for the insight and thoughtful postings.  I’m a better person for it.

It’s pretty easy to start and it sure makes the days locked in the house more productive & enjoyable.  Talk about a dehydrators glorious smell permeating throughout the house!  Pineapple (when on sale), bananas (when on sale), and strawberries – just for the smell of it (but they don’t really retain their taste very well for the money). Lots of information on the web.  Here is a teaser of how I started: I started with just the vacuum sealer for everyday use to extend fresh meat freezer shelf life.  Then I started sealing up rice, oatmeal, and beans as it was cheaper than the #10 cans.  Cheap enough to buy, even today. I got pretty imaginative!  I vac-sealed socks and clothing for our bugout bags, sealing extra soap in case of flooding or hurricanes (We live by the Bay), and several firearms. I’m not really involved in regular shooting anymore, and I hate to clean something I’m not using.  I purchased a new .22 Marlin for small game should the future call for it and cleaned up some older keepers with desiccant and vacuum sealed them too.  An email from Marlin concurred they thought vacuum sealing with desiccant was a great storage idea.  I also sealed our ammunition with desiccants as well, but don’t vacuum the ammo vac-sleeve, just seal it.  Vacuuming reportedly causes misfires by not having sufficient oxygen with the powder when you need it.  Sealing duplicate important papers in your bugout bag keeps them safe from water too! Here is a picture of my .22 Marlin with cleaning kit and manual included.  I vac sealed bugout bag clothes as well to take up less room.  Anyway, a Vacuum Sealer is a great little tool to start with.

Absolutely – well, less & more. Since I was always involved in outdoor activities we always had several weeks of backup food and camping supplies around the house. It wasn’t until I retired from the military that I had enough funds leftover, after household necessities, that I began building a Prepper lifestyle in earnest. I started quietly, feeling a little ’embarrassed’ about what I was doing, until one social luncheon. We joined several career, very down to earth, sensible and responsible Warrant Officers at the table. These were the best in our field. Our spouses joined us. These are the type of W4s and W5s you expect to be so ground that ‘Prepper’ would not be in their vocabulary. After all, I served with them for years and no one EVER said a word. The conversation started to lag and my wife blurts out, “Tom’s become quite a Prepper!” AWWWW! Noooo!!! I shrank with embarrassment! Without missing a beat, the senior most respectable member’s wife said, “Oh my; Prepping?!? (name withheld) has .45 cal pistols hidden all over the house and talk about solar panels? We can power the County!” Everyone went on from there! Best food stuffs, heating options, wood cutting & hunting concerns so others would not hear, and more! All these closet liberal Warrant Officers were committed Preppers for years and proud of it. I had no idea! So, yeah, I’m keeping up the family tradition and involving the grandkids as well.  Pretty nice to have company, huh?

Wow!  FLASH BACK!  Your article brought back graphic memories from my childhood.     I come from a long line of ‘Liberal Preppers,’ but we didn’t know it or call it that back then.  When I was very young I loved to explore my grandparents attic.  They escaped Germany after WWI and never forgot what it was like to be destitute.  There were shoes of all sorts, dress clothes never worn which could be sold if necessary – and certainly better garments than my grandparents would ever wear themselves – plus canned and packaged goods from everywhere!  Military and work clothes on racks and dusty firearms in the corners.  They sold candy from a side room, but acquiring a piece of that candy for free, was quite the coupe for me and my brother!     I vividly remember my folks storing canned goods and rotating water jugs under the cellar stairs.  Teachers were leading us grade schoolers in evacuation drills into school basements, “Sit on the floor and cross your legs. Place your head down between your legs and cover the back of your neck with your interlaced fingers.”  I can relive, on command, the feel of the damp floor, the smell of mold filling my nostrils and sense the clammy atmosphere seeping into my clothing and moistening my skin within.  . . .all the while silently waiting in the dark basement for the town’s ‘All Clear’ siren to sound.      Everyone pulled together.  Prepping was never considered a political ‘thing’ unless you considered the international ramifications of Cuba or other international aggression against ‘all’ Americans.     My folks always had a Victory Garden, but it was many years before I realized what spawned every American to grow their own food.  The Victory Garden was essential to remain ‘independent’ TOGETHER, while collectively supporting our soldiers’ needs fighting abroad.     Then, the enemy was outside our gates. . . . 

There appears to be a number of educators chiming in.  Might history be repeating itself? I often consider the Aztecs and the Maya and our approach to Covid-19.  How it applies to our kids and grandkids going to school.  I compliment all Preppers who plan for the worst, rejoice when the worst doesn’t materialize and ready in case all goes wrong.  But other principles of thought raise the hairs on the back of my neck, especially when it affects our kids.  Too many people condone the loss of life as merely the cost of doing ‘business’ in America today. Once ancient, cruel and unenlightened civilizations offered public human sacrifices to appease apparitions they did not understand for a bountiful crop or successful year – for the greater good. We’ve heard that the death of the elderly is acceptable under the circumstances.  More recently, the infection of youth is tolerated because ‘most’ will survive because of their health.  Now we’re considering opening up our schools because the children are resilient and most will survive.  That, of course, does not take into consideration the health liability to those childrens’ parents or the educators in the classroom. There was a time when civilized nations were appalled by the discovery of a 13-year old child exhumed in China whom had been sacrificed around 1600- to 1040-BC.  The practice of human sacrifice was abandoned in China in 221-BC before becoming accepted today as merely the cost of conducting business in America.    Is there any difference between the the Aztec holyman of yesteryear standing  atop his pyramid with blood soaked hands and the civilized programmed discarding of human lives for the greater good today? I’m afraid posterity will demonize America’s Covid-19 approach as the darkest time of an unenlightened and barbaric civilization which practiced human sacrifice against a phantom ‘some’ could not comprehend for the delusional hopes of a successful ‘harvest.’ If human sacrifice is acceptable today, then the future looks grim and Preppers need to be prepared even more than ever.  OUR KIDS ARE STAYING HOME!

We are simple people with limited resources for Prepping.  I offer my thoughts as they fit our needs and don’t profess to know all the answers for others.  Even after 22-years in the military a lot of firearms has never been our objective, but. . . . 1 & 2.  Sig M17 with shoulder holster with two mag pockets and a Kel-Tec P11 with Sticky Holster for concealed carry.  We plan on defensive operations only.  Pistols are our primary weapon.  9mm ammo is inexpensive and as such,  we own a LOT of it.  Also a pistol is not obvious to the casual observer or ‘opportunist.’  If someone sees us without a weapon hanging off our shoulder, before we see them, we might appear to be an easy ‘objective.’  But a little surprise awaits anyone who would consider us so carelessly. 3.  Marlin .22 rifle.  Quiet, small and useful for hunting small game and waterfowl.  There may come a time when we DON’T want to notify everyone in the area we found game.  Shoot as quietly as possible, fetch and return home.  The rifle is lightweight, concealable and promoted by experts as, “. . .boringly dependable. . . .” We don’t plan to buy another long rifle or an AR unless an AR16 becomes available.  No long range shooting in our surroundings unless we see a deer on the road.  We’re designed around a defensive posture in our brick home and surrounding woods with limited visibility.  Easier to shoot around corners while keeping most of our body behind walls.  Only one hand exposed. . . .  I expect we’ll pick up an AR for free if someone foolishly believes we’re an easy opportunity or enters our home without due diligence. NOTE:  After so many years, I find that I’m tired of cleaning a lot of multi-calibre firearms routinely – even though we didn’t fire them.  We concentrated our arms to 9mms and .22 cal.  The Marlin was purchased new for small game, never fired and vacuum sealed (using our FoodSaver) with its manual, cleaning kit and desiccant for the future.  The Marlin Factory thought that was pretty clever.  We vac seal the ammo too, but just enough air is removed to ensure the ammo is sealed watertight.  Too much vacuum sealing may remove oxygen from the shell casing over time and cause misfires, in our experience.  We did the same with other Sigs.

Okay, there’s lots of GREAT info from others, but here is my 2-cents.  I retired as the Superintendent of the Public Utilities in Hampton Roads and bought a lot of portable and stationary generator sets.  I own two. A 5kw and a 2200w.  There are many terms for generators but there are really two basic types of AC generators:  Inverters and ‘all others.’  I chose the more expensive Honda EU2200i inverter for the following reasons, and maybe an answer to your concerns: 1.  Quiet.  An inverter genset does not have to run at max rpm.  Non-inverter gensets (like my Coleman 5KW set) need to maintain their set RPM (1800-rpm for a 4-pole unit, 3600-rpm for a 2-pole unit) to keep the cycles per second (ie 60-hz needed for AC).  There may come a time when I may not want anyone to hear me when I’m filling my water containers from my well or powering my 15.5-cu ft freezer.  At 48dBs @ 1/4 load (freezer compressor cycled off or the well is not running); and a potential max noise level of 57-dBs at full rated load its quiet.  It’s also an acceptable noise level for National Parks.  Note the disclaimer on many gensets indicating they do not need to have a noise rating so they don’t offer one.  Well they are right, it’s not a required rating for portable gensets unless you’re in a Park with noise limitations! 2.  GREAT fuel consumption –  I figure I’ll get well water and freezer operations for many months on a few gallons of gasoline.  I run my well, my 15.5-cu ft freezer and a few lights with little effort on the EU220i.  Over the years I’ve found that many gensets burn a lot of fuel just WAITING for an electrical appliance to be turned ON. They waste a lot of fuel without a load!  Now understand, the EU2200i is too small to run your RV air conditioner. 3.  Experience.  Most of the people we hired were paid, we’ll marginally, and many did not respect the equipment.  I actually saw a Honda 2000 fall off the back of one of our trucks, picked up and used to control the traffic work zone lighting for 14-hours as we excavated a broken water main. They never quit under the most adversarial emergency conditions. 4.  I purchased more than 14 of these portable units with little down time for repairs despite excessive abuse and miserable environmental exposure.  That’s why I purchased mine. 5.  The unit is easily portable by a 67-year old and stuffed inside my popup or any of my vehicles for a bugout (read on). 6. The unit has a setting to restrict the fuel and empty the carb before it shuts down.  When it cools down the fuel filler cap can be CLOSED so that fuel vapors do not escape into the vehicle or storage area.  I store this in my  mud room – no fumes! 7.  Lots of warnings about where to run the genset – and of course, the better you follow the safety requirements the safer you will be.  The EU2200i is multi speed.  RPMs increase as the load increases.  It runs only as fast or as loud as the loads demand.  We live in the sticks and power failures are routine – I can leave the genset running next to the house wall without anyone inside hearing the exhaust noise.  It never gets hot externally.  I NEVER store propane or gasoline containers inside my home or garage but I have no issues storing the Honda with the fuel system in isolated mode inside my mudroom or garage.  It sits in the Mod Room now. 8. The genset has a battery charging outlet and cable capability – but I don’t recommend it as it is not 12VDC regulated.  Instead I plug a 10-amp battery charger into the genset outlet for charging my batteries and let the battery charger do the monitoring. 9.  INVERTER generators are PERFECT for electronics as the power is more refined (cleaner). 10.  This is a VERY SIMPLE generator and does not require the ground rod because it is completely insulated from metal parts. 11.  I rented a Honda 2000 from Home Depot to see if it would operated everything I needed it to operate before I bought one.  Might be a good introduction for you without the financial investment upfront.  Even with everything I know and all the formulas I’ve used – employing a small genset to power anything with a motor is not cut and dried.  Motor Design Code, Service factor and more must be taken into account – or you can try one a friend owns or rent one to be sure. No, I don’t sell these.  Good luck! Good Questions!