Preppers?

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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EdithKeeler
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Preppers?

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:15 pm

I did a quick search and see that prepping has been discussed off and on. I'm curious who here is (what I would call and I mean no offense) a "hard-core" prepper (like, a specific place to go and years of food saved up) and who's kind of a semi-prepper (like a considerable amount of food and other stuff ready, but not enough for years)... or however else you define your "prepper-ness," if at all.

I've known about prepping in general, but didn't give it a lot of thought. However, I've recently realized that for a person who lives near a major earthquake fault line (we're well-past-due for the BIG ONE on the New Madrid Fault), that I'm probably not all that ready if something catastrophic happens.

So, of course I started Googling, and found a lot of prepper info. I was basically looking for info about what kind of stuff to stock up on and how much, but there's a lot of other interesting stuff out there. I'm not a big weapons person--my dad taught me to target shoot when I was a kid, and I've done a little trap and skeet--and I can totally picture myself freezing in the face of a true "situation" and probably getting shot with my own gun, and then Negan's men would steal my stash.... But it did make me think of how I'd defend myself if confronted by looters, etc. I'm not ready yet to buy a gun and take firearms classes, but it's a little bit in the back of my mind.

I've toyed for years with the idea of having some small place out in the country. From a prepper perspective, that might make sense to have a place to go if an earthquake destroys my house, or a hurricane hits my (future) house. I think some of the EMP issues that are brought up are interesting to think about--I'm pretty digital, but I can see the advantage of having some key things be analog (reference books, maps, etc.).

One thing that I have been interested in for years--but haven't done much to increase my knowledge--is edible wild plants--what we can eat and how to find them. I never really thought about the idea of having small caches of money stashed in several different places, just in case. That makes sense to me. One thing I need to look at further is how best to prep for my pets, in case we have to leave because of an emergency. It's easy to have a spare 40 pound bag of dog food in the house--much tougher thing to take it on the road.

Anyway.... I'm just curious about who does a little or a lot of prepping, what you do, what resources you've found valuable, and as much of your plans as you're interested in sharing.

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jennypenny
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Re: Preppers?

Post by jennypenny » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:50 am

Step into my office ... :D

I could list lots of websites and other resources, but for a starting prepper it can be overwhelming. Besides, personal circumstances dictate most of what a person needs to do to be prepared anyway.

My recommendation is to plan for different time frames, starting with 3-5 days or whatever the length of your worst weather event/natural disaster has been. What would you need for that? It's usually just food, water, medications, a light source, a bathroom alternative (home depot bucket with a toilet seat on top and garbage bags will work) and a heat source. Keeping some cash around is helpful, too.

Beyond that, what would be the most likely emergency near you? For us, it would be something like civil unrest (we live near a city and IIRC you do, too) or an epidemic (health issues here so we'd have to avoid communicable diseases by bunkering down for the duration). Most people wouldn't bug out for those kinds of events, so you'd need 2-3 months worth of stuff stockpiled to bug in. Beyond multiplying the 3-day supplies by 10, you'd also need other monthly supplies like pet meds, birth control, and feminine products. It would also mean having a way to clean yourself, your house, and your clothing, a decent first aid kit to address minor injuries when you couldn't get out (be able to do stitches and clean wounds), a water filter since it's too much water to store, a cooking source, and a power source strong enough to charge communications at a minimum. I'd also suggest fire extinguishers (if you don't have them already) since you'd most likely be using open flames and response times for emergency services would be longer.

Track what you use for a week including specific amounts. If you can, track it for a month to make sure you include occasional items like medications that are used infrequently. Build up your stockpiles in weekly increments until you get to 6 months. You can stop at that point -- an emergency that lasted longer than 6 months would be almost impossible to survive in a densely populated area and if you bugged out, you wouldn't be able to transport that much stuff to a new location.

There are lots of other items that might be helpful, but what I listed above is an easy way to start and covers most emergencies. A slow doom scenario would require skills and tools instead of stockpiles and EREs are probably more suited than most to try to acquire those since the approach to ERE is almost the same. It's mostly just learning to source your own needs instead of stockpiling them. It can be anything from growing food to learning herbal alternatives for needed medications.


edited to add: We have family members that we know will never prep and would show up on our doorstep when their cupboards were empty. It's annoying but we would never turn them away so I include them in our 'counts' when I calculate how much of everything we would need. Better to have too much. I have elderly neighbors that I would help out, too, if necessary.

edited again to add: I always forget to list bug repellent, mouse traps, and rat poison, but if people were cooking outside and/or trash pickup was suspended, they would be necessary.

ffj
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Re: Preppers?

Post by ffj » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:37 am

Prepping can be really interesting to learn about if you avoid all of the paranoid people who believe civil war is around the corner. It's basically preparing for disruptions in your life. I got on board after a couple of ice storms basically shut down my part of the country a few years ago.

Here is my boy-scout method of being prepared.

I never let the fuel levels get low in my vehicles
I have an inverter that can run off of my cars battery so essentially I can use my car as a generator if need be
I have camping equipment, enough for the whole family, and I could essentially "displace" my family into a tent with all of the essential items needed
I have plenty of water stored and the means to filter and purify it
I usually have plenty of food, and I could easily see going a month before having to replenish
I have a few solar panels that supply energy to a battery bank for emergency power
I buy the big bags of pet food usually because it is cheaper so no worries about dog food
I keep bicycles in my barn in case needed
I grow some of my food
I have the means to keep small animals, chickens, rabbits, ducks, etc.
I have the tools to to make my own repairs to my home
I keep firearms because they are cheap insurance and I like them. I am also proficient with them, which is important.
I have an alternate heat source as well as alternate cooking methods
I keep a healthy first aid kit available and being that I am an EMT, know how to use it
I keep regular medications and toiletries in stock, which is easy and cheap
I know how to cook from scratch

Basically I have set my life up to where I don't have to fight and compete for resources for small and short-term events. You won't find me fighting over the last loaf of bread because a major storm is about to hit the area. Unfortunately, a lot of the prepper sites focus on massive displacement, tyrannical government, war, and roaming hordes of criminals which if ever does happen all bets are off anyway. I think that part gets way overblown and it makes regular people who just want to be more prepared turned off to the message of becoming more self-sufficient.

@Jennypenny
Reading my post, it sounds like I am ragging on yours. I'm not, hopefully you don't take it that way.

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jennypenny
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Re: Preppers?

Post by jennypenny » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:12 am

Nah, like I said, people's circumstances dictate their needs. Beside, civil unrest doesn't have to happen in your neighborhood to be a problem. It just has to bugger up supply lines, tie up emergency services, or require an increased police presence to disrupt your life.

After Hurricane Sandy, my brother's neighborhood at the Jersey shore had to set up a formal watch because people were coming in boats from the bay at night to steal from the abandoned houses, within like two days of the storm. The National Guard set up check points along the shore towns on the bay and if you left your neighborhood to get supplies it could take hours to get back through the check point to your house. Same at my in-law's on a barrier island. If they left for groceries or a doctor's appointment, it would take all day to get back onto the island.

halfmoon
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Re: Preppers?

Post by halfmoon » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:08 pm

Some great advice here. @jp mentions medication, and that's something I would recommend stockpiling right away. Medications undergo occasional supply shortages even in "normal" times and could be virtually impossible to obtain in an emergency. I've made a point over the years of renewing our routine prescriptions about a week early (seems to be the acceptable insurance limit). Over time, this builds up a buffer.

On a humorous note:

http://meridianwealth.com/2011/08/01/hu ... al-crisis/

George the original one
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Re: Preppers?

Post by George the original one » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:09 pm

We live in a forest, so most scenarios involve hunkering down because roads are impassable due to downed trees, landslides, flooding, and/or electricity is out. It is an annual occurence and with an every-5-year occurence of the situation lasting 5+ days. Forest fire is the most likely scenario involving an evacuation, but our rainforest status coupled with modern forestry practices minimizes this danger, though increasing population pressure increases the liklihood through traffic accidents & malacious stupidity in the late dry season.

We're still weak on the fresh water situation as we'd have to drop a bucket into the well if the electricity is out long enough to run down our stocked water. Flusing toilets is just a matter of hauling buckets from the river (glorified creek). Gardening provides edibles that can get us through winter, but the "lean months" would require scavenging. Fortunately I know what's edible and how to prepare it.

Home elevation is above 300' with a fire break around the house, so tsunami & forest fire dangers are reduced... earthquake resistance is likely low due to alluvial deposits.

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cmonkey
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Re: Preppers?

Post by cmonkey » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:15 pm

I started getting into the crowd of preppers that prep for civil unrest/government overreach a few years ago, but it never sat well with me to stock pile food, guns and gold because I knew if push came to shove I'd never be able to defend my stash. I do have a .22 LR which is very handy for killing small game and I have a couple of 9 mm hand guns that I've never even used. I regret buying those and am not sure how to get rid of them at this point.


I think emotional/mental prepping is much more important, personally. Lowering expectations and living with less means day to day means that any disturbances that would be catastrophic turn into mere inconveniences. Not buying 99% of the stuff normal people buy also means I am immune to 99% of supply chain disturbances as well.

halfmoon
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Re: Preppers?

Post by halfmoon » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:29 pm

@cmonkey,

Cabela's will buy your used guns if you don't mind taking a considerable loss.

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chenda
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Re: Preppers?

Post by chenda » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:50 pm

Another solution to consider is moving to an area less prone to natural disasters or less vulnerable to longer term decline, either through climate change or other trends. I would also be wary of living in too isolated a location. By all means avoid major conurbations but being close to law enforcement, utilities, supply lines and medical care brings with it security. If you have a trapped nerve in a tooth you don't want to be miles from a dentist. A small to medium sized town, an hour or more from a first world city, with a prosperous and diversified local economy, good water supply and agricultural climate is about as secure as you can get from most likely scenarios, imo.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Preppers?

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:11 pm

chenda writes:
Another solution to consider is moving to an area less prone to natural disasters or less vulnerable to longer term decline,
Frankly, it's kind of hard to imagine where that could be! I live in Memphis, and when I moved here, I asked about getting flood insurance (because of the Mississippi River). "No," they replied. "We're on a bluff, so we don't have to worry about flooding... but you do need earthquake insurance." Who knew! We have tornadoes here, too. My half brother lives in Moore, OK, that weird place that gets hit by tornadoes repeatedly (and yet he stays...). In Atlanta it was tornadoes and more recently drought. Wildfires, floods, hurricanes... it's pretty hard, really, to find a place that's perfectly safe. Sure, you can do some risk management, and it seems like it's important to plan... but Mother Nature can still get you if she wants to!!


cmonkey writes:
I think emotional/mental prepping is much more important, personally. Lowering expectations and living with less means day to day means that any disturbances that would be catastrophic turn into mere inconveniences. Not buying 99% of the stuff normal people buy also means I am immune to 99% of supply chain disturbances as well.
Very good point. I think in some ways I'd have a small advantage over others if something bad happened; I grew up around my grandparents' farm and have some small knowledge of self-sufficient "country" ways, and have NO problem living a simply lifestyle. I can also cook, can garden, and am generally resourceful and creative, so am probably ahead of at least half the people out there.

ffj writes:
It's basically preparing for disruptions in your life. I got on board after a couple of ice storms basically shut down my part of the country a few years ago.

Here is my boy-scout method of being prepared.
All good points and good examples, some of which I hadn't considered.

jennypenny writes:
My recommendation is to plan for different time frames, starting with 3-5 days or whatever the length of your worst weather event/natural disaster has been. What would you need for that? It's usually just food, water, medications, a light source, a bathroom alternative (home depot bucket with a toilet seat on top and garbage bags will work) and a heat source. Keeping some cash around is helpful, too.
Great post overall--thank you!


I think for me, right now, the plan is to:
--stockpile a little cash and stash it a few different places. I keep thinking "what if that part of the house with my supplies is destroyed?" so it seems wise to have some cash and other stuff (cache, actually!!) in a couple of different places.
--stockpile some food. I usually have a pretty well-stocked pantry, but I think I'm gong to try to be a little more purposeful about it. For me, I can't see buying giant bins of wheat like the LDS recommend, but a few extra bags of rice and pasta do make sense for me. And I regularly buy canned meat and stuff for my church's food pantry, so it makes sense to stock my own shelves with some extras. So, I think just gradually increase my long-term food stash.
--it probably makes sense to stash some cash and a few supplies in my storage unit, too, just in case I'm on that side of town if something bad happens. My storage is close to my office, so it's possible. Not a biggie.
--I've added a few things to a list on Amazon that I'll purchase over time--a water filtration system (there's tons of water where I live, and I have rain barrels, etc. as well. I can't see buying and storing gallons of bottled water), an emergency hand-crank radio that also charges the cell phone, has a flashlight, etc., 2 of those emergency sleeping bags that roll up really small, a multi-tool, first aid kit, and a few other things.

I think the biggest concern for me is probably weather related stuff--we get tornadoes here--and earthquake. Also, the electricity in my section of town is not always reliable; I have in the past lost power for a couple of days at a time. If something bad happened, it could be a good bit longer.

You know, the civil unrest thing.... that's something I've thought about. I think it could happen here, but I'd like to believe it wouldn't. I unfortunately think that my fellow citizens wouldn't behave very well in the face of a catastrophe like an earthquake. The good thing is that where I live is not super-highly-populated (small single family homes), but it's also not in the best area, either.

The LDS resources regarding this stuff are very interesting. I hadn't thought about it before, but I'm a big Orson Scott Card fan, and he writes futuristic stuff, and several of his short stories posit a future where it's kind of a Mormon society. I hadn't considered that they all survived and most others didn't because of the prepping!!

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:38 pm

I dont do much prepping but I think about it sometimes.

Suggestions:
I didn't see a bug out mentioned. You may need to leave quickly from the area.

Copies of important documents and information.

Ham or cb radio or similar.

Training. Preppers really like to buy stuff but, as far as I can tell, only like to train with their guns. Practicing living for a week off what you've put away or some other scenario seems like a good test.

Also, I'd just note that Obama really gave the preppers a lot of exciting new material to work with over the last eight years. FEMA concentration camps and UN Agenda 21 - Innovative and exciting! So far Trump has just gone back to boring old nuclear war which was played out in the 80s. Ronnie did that act to death! How are the preppers websites supposed to scare everyone and sell a lot of junk with this material? ;)

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Ego
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Ego » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:51 pm

Add a Hi-Viz vest to your kit. It's amazing how off-limits places suddenly open up to a neon jacket and chutzpah.

http://designyoutrust.com/2016/12/guy-d ... -vis-vest/

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C40
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Re: Preppers?

Post by C40 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:09 am

Ego wrote:Add a Hi-Viz vest to your kit. It's amazing how off-limits places suddenly open up to a neon jacket and chutzpah.

http://designyoutrust.com/2016/12/guy-d ... -vis-vest/

Wow. I may need to start encorporating that into my free entertainment strategy. I've noticed people treating me different when wearing my grease monkey jumpsuit, so I don't doubt the possibilities here.

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Sclass
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Sclass » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:48 pm

Ego wrote:Add a Hi-Viz vest to your kit. It's amazing how off-limits places suddenly open up to a neon jacket and chutzpah.

http://designyoutrust.com/2016/12/guy-d ... -vis-vest/
Brilliant. Reminds me of the guy who made his white SUV look like a city maintenance vehicle so he could park illegally. I think I read about it on this forum.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:46 pm

I do light prep.

The above mentioned stuff, plus several boxes of surgical masks, nitrile gloves, and 4 gallons of bleach.

We use all these items fairly regularly, anyway, so this is just in case. Get gloves at a Costco business center, masks off eBay. All this fits in the Ebola drawer.

BTW, the vest needs a clipboard or a hardhat and a purposeful stride to maximize effectiveness. Look people in the eye, give em the nod, thru every time.
Last edited by Riggerjack on Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

halfmoon
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Re: Preppers?

Post by halfmoon » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:36 pm

We've always been ridiculous bulk buyers (see my intro post re hoarding), so prepping is a byproduct. We've learned a few things, though:

1. Just stock what you would normally eat anyway and rotate by eating it regularly. There's nothing like looking at shelves full of some nasty stuff you'd only eat if you were starving...and eventually throwing it out.

2. Avoid canned goods unless you'll really rotate them. This is especially true of tomato products, which eat through cans over time.

3. Dried beans, lentils, pasta, rice and popcorn will last well. Sadly, whole grains are worse for storing because of the fat content. Rotate, rotate, rotate.

4. Don't forget the spices, condiments, vitamins, oils and dried fruit/veggies. Did I mention rotating?

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vexed87
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Re: Preppers?

Post by vexed87 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:56 am

I bulk buy to reduce dependence on regular trips with our car, also to save money, but it's also a great way to have peace of mind in case of financial crisis or other emergency. I'll do 2-3 trips to Costco for sacked starches/grain/legumes and order what I can't get there on amazon. I think DW and I could go a few months without food shopping if we had to, though we would be eating mostly rice and beans. I don't often let my stores run down before buying more. I've also got 5 X 25 litres of water which is probably overkill here in the UK seen as though it rains a lot, but I'd rather not be worrying about purifying water in the event that the grid went down, I'm sure I'd have bigger fish to fry!

Luckily we don't experience many natural disasters in the UK, I think the most serious risks are are from disruption to energy/transport and food supplies due to flooding or storm damage or political or economic turmoil. The UK is a net energy importer, and all it takes is war with Russia/China and alliances to shift against out favour and things could go bad quickly, leading to grid down and/or civil unrest. There were riots in London back in 2011 following a police shooting fatality which actually spread up here in the North of the country, which was quite scary at the time, I'm not sure what I would do if unrest spilled out in my 'hood. Obviously, firearms are not permitted in the UK without licence and there are not many about so I don't expect typical advesaries to be armed, so I have a woodaxe hidden in the home for self-defense, I sincerely hope I never need to use it for anything but chopping logs :lol: :roll:

We had a 6 hour black-out after intense rainfall last Christmas, and that was an eye-opener for me. Since then I've found alternatives to all my grid dependent habits so I'm not lost for ways to cook, drink, light the home, and transport myself if we ever had prolonged outages.

Word of warning when storing bulk, I had to throw out 10kg of flour last week because I had a weevil infestation, those blighter's got everywhere. I knew better than storing things in their opened sacks, airtight containers really are necessary. I got complacent! The financial loss wasn't the worst part, it was PITA of cleaning up afterward. I think I spent 2 and a half hours searching and cleaning and I'm dead paranoid that I may have missed some!

Lesson learned, as a preventative method, freeze everything for a few days before storing to kill any eggs that may have made it through cleaning/milling/packaging processes. I have no idea where they came from (as in the food item specifically) but luckily it was contained within our spare room which has acted as an overflow of our main store in the pantry, if it had happened in the pantry I could have been faced with throwing out a lot more dried foods. :shock:

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Sclass
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Sclass » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:47 am

Just got reminded of a rotation trick for some canned food. I lite prep for CA quakes two weeks to a month of food and water.

I donate my cans at food drives. We do this about two or three times a year. It helps me move out the old stuff...without having to consume too much yucky canned food under non disaster circumstances.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Preppers?

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:19 am

I just took stock of my pantry. I've got a lot of stuff that's pretty close to expiring, so I think I'm going to use that up and as I do, be more mindful about what I replace it with. I was interested to see that I have a total of 7 pounds of dried beans and lentils alone, and three lbs of rice! Before I calculated it out, I would have guessed that would last a month. One thing I read said that a 2 lb bag of dried beans will yield about 12 1-cup servings of beans, at roughly 240 or so calories a cup. so..... 7 lbs of dried beans would yield 42 servings of beans and provide calories totaling 10,080 calories. Plus the rice--1 lb of dry rice equals 6 cups of cooked rice, at 200 a cup, or 3600 calories. SO... beans and rice alone that i have on hand would provide 13,000 calories, or about 10 days worth of calories at 1200 calories a day.

Bottom line--I think 3 months worth of food is more than I would have expected if I'd not calculated that out.

HOWEVER... I recently watched 2 episode of Doomsday Preppers. Apparently it's a show that aired a few years ago on Nat Geo. Anyway, the second episode featured a prepper who had converted at least three rooms of her house into food storage areas. WOW. I think that's a little further than I want to go.

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Re: Preppers?

Post by jacob » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:20 am

@EK - https://fstoppers.com/food/what-week-gr ... world-3251 times 12. Aside from calculating calories, don't forget the rather large amounts of fuel and water required to cook dry goods like rice and beans. When we moved into the house, it didn't have a stove or much of a kitchen... so we spent about 6 months w/o a normal stove using an outdoor coleman stove + the bed as a haybox for the pressure cooker. It can be done but it's certainly something else. Fortunately we had tap water. We now store 30 days worth of water for drinking but if it also had to be used for cooking, it wouldn't last nearly that long.

I think I remember that episode of Doomsday Preppers. Sometimes storing all that food is actually a better ROI than standard investments. However, it's not that much bang for the book. Three years of food for us would be $5400 so not much relative to the general portfolio.

One thing we do is to occasionally "eat everything down" by only cooking with stuff that's available in the pantry until it's gone. Of course this breaks the "prep" during the time it happens (always when we relocate and mostly before major holidays). In terms of expiration dates, I do the same thing they do in supermarkets. Each kind of food gets one line of shelf-front and the cans are sorted so the oldest ones are in front. From time to time, I'll go through the "weird ones" (the stuff that somehow was bought but never/rarely is used) and get them used.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Preppers?

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:43 am

My wife was raised LDS, and had a tip. Just stock shelves from the back.

Her uncle had the pantry sharing a wall with the garage, so he opened it up, allowing food to go from car to the back of the pantry shelves directly.

Doing this to meet modern code means that should be a firewall. My plan is to include fire rated doors, (only slightly more than non fire rated) between the garage and the back of pantry shelves, in our retirement home.

George the original one
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Re: Preppers?

Post by George the original one » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:24 pm

Gilberto de Piento wrote:I didn't see a bug out mentioned. You may need to leave quickly from the area.
Bug out options need to consider how many people are also trying to simultaneously leave the area. For instance: you don't want to be evacuating for a hurricane in your vehicle at the time when the roads are congested. Save your skin first, possessions second. To escape rioting, you probably don't have to travel far, but you do need to be ahead of the curve and inconspicuous and not look like a victim. Expect communications networks to be unuseable during mass evacuations.

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Re: Preppers?

Post by George the original one » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:28 pm

Are you prepared at your place of work? Flashlight, couple granola bars & candy, water bottle, know where the first aid kit & fire extinguisher are? Can you find the fire exit with your eyes closed?

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jennypenny
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Re: Preppers?

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:38 pm

^This. I'm totally prepped to bug out, but I think bugging home is a much more likely scenario. I'm prepared to get home from any of my my regular haunts. Even all of my kids have maps and gear to get home from their schools and activities with or without a vehicle if necessary.

Another thing I forgot to mention is to add laxatives to your stockpile. If you suddenly had to lower water intake, limit bathroom trips, and eat crappy canned food, constipation would probably become a problem. I've read recommendations to add something like Miralax or Metamucil to meals in that kind of situation.

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Re: Preppers?

Post by black_son_of_gray » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:46 pm

It's become a minor trend for Silicon Valley techies now:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/ ... super-rich

Lot's of different reasons in the article, but some I feel resonate with the thinking on this forum:
The C.E.O. of another large tech company told me, “It’s still not at the point where industry insiders would turn to each other with a straight face and ask what their plans are for some apocalyptic event.” He went on, “But, having said that, I actually think it’s logically rational and appropriately conservative.” He noted the vulnerabilities exposed by the Russian cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, and also by a large-scale hack on October 21st, which disrupted the Internet in North America and Western Europe. “Our food supply is dependent on G.P.S., logistics, and weather forecasting,” he said, “and those systems are generally dependent on the Internet, and the Internet is dependent on D.N.S.”—the system that manages domain names. “Go risk factor by risk factor by risk factor, acknowledging that there are many you don’t even know about, and you ask, ‘What’s the chance of this breaking in the next decade?’ Or invert it: ‘What’s the chance that nothing breaks in fifty years?’ ”

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