Took some time off from the “Honey -Do” list today to fire up the Honda eu2000i generator using some gasoline I had stored some 18 months ago. This is a prudent thing to to for a number of reasons. First, it’s hurricane season here in Florida and my neighborhood has those old-fashioned wooden power poles that are Always affected high winds, so the likelihood of my power going out even in winds short of hurricane strength is better than even. Second, having a working generator and bad gas is like having no generator at all. It’s like having a shotgun, but no shells. For the record, the 5 Gallon can of gas I filled and added a fuel stabilizer to, started the Honda on the fifth pull and ran like a champ.
If you’ve got a generator and stored gasoline, why not take a moment to crank it up this weekend? You’ll be glad you did.
Be safe. Be prepared.
2013 Practical Prepper
As I see it, the BIGGEST regret most folks will have when the economy house-of-cards comes crashing down is that they did not have an adequate supply of food to get through the period of turmoil and chaos it will leave in its wake. I’ve been preaching all sorts of prepping for a few years now and many people have responded positively. For this I am very grateful and heartened. If, however, you’ve been waiting for the ‘right time’ or that next bonus check to begin your food preps, for Pete’s sake, start it NOW. Those people in that photograph do not live in a 3rd world country, or one ravaged by a natural disaster or war or famine, they live in Greece. A modern country. A member of NATO! A country, however, ravaged by debt and ‘economic austerity imposed upon it by their European Union overlords.
The Greek Debt to GDP ratio is 160%. That is to say that they owe 60% more in debt, that their entire economy produces. Ha ha, what a joke of a country, eh? Before you snicker too loudly, please realize that the US debt to GDP ratio is about 110%. Yes, that’s right: We too, owe more in debt than our entire economy produces. The only thing preventing pictures like the one above from being taken all across this country is the world’s mistaken and misplaced belief that the US dollar has some real value. The milli-second that some country comes to its senses and proclaims that it no longer has faith in the US dollar – we’re screwed. Financially, we will have become Greece. Psssst: The dirty little secret is that we ALREADY ARE GREECE! Like I said, all it will take is for some kid in a crowd to proclaim that the ‘Emperor has no Clothes!!!’
To wit, I have recently begun the slow process of ‘upgrading’ my food stores from grocery store canned and packaged food to long-term freeze-dried, dehydrated meals. This will be a slow process because it is expensive. But, my foresight in stocking up about a years’ supply of food has bought me time to do the transition at my own pace. Ideally, I will have a good supply of both types of stores, for variety’s sake. I hope I have the time to complete the transition. I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, I implore you to stock up on food now. I have plenty of ideas on the subject in this blog if you’re a first time visitor. Do not hesitate. We are Greece/Greece is us.
Practical Prepper 2013
No doubt about it; America now knows what ‘Prepping’ is. Doomsday Preppers (National Geographic Channel) has brought to light the idea that there are many people among us, our neighbors perhaps, that, to varying degrees, are preparing provisions, locations, and self protection schemes in case some calamity befalls their neighborhood/city/state/country. It has become one of the most popular shows on the above-mentioned cable channel better known for wildlife or space documentaries.
This is a good thing, right? I mean, anything that shows preppers as just ordinary people can only create converts and grow our ranks. Well, that would be true if the show did depict preppers as ordinary people. My problem with the show is that that is not at all what they do. Let me explain:
What they do mostly is find the most extreme cases of people or families involved in meticulous prepping for some very specific event like the Yelowstone Super Volcano, or an EMP attack, or a worldwide avian flu pandemic, follow them as they toil away trying to protect their families from the calamity, then actually dismiss their whole raison d’etre (reason for being) by showing how ‘experts’ think the possibility of their particular event happening is breathtakingly remote. What’s the subtle message here? These people are perhaps harmless, but needlessly obsessed with events are exceedingly unlikely to occur. Sure, they mean well, they’re just a little misguided. Innocuous criticism, right? Well maybe.
But maybe not.
In days with filled supermarket shelves, you are ‘merely’ misguided. However, in darker days, how long will it be until you (we) are looked down upon as greedy, or selfish, or hoarders of the ‘community’s food’? Think about if for a moment. If a food shortage does occur, no matter the cause: weather, local rioting, terrorism, a trucking strike, or crop failures, how long will it actually take for your benign little obsession with ‘food hoarding‘ and the ‘2nd Amendment‘ to cause you to be labeled as a ‘threat to the community, or an ‘extremist’ or, (if you’ll forgive the insertion of yet another French term) the coup de grace: a domestic terrorist.
Oh Practical Prepper, you’ve gone over the deep edge, dude. How can my belief in the sactity of the 2nd Amendment and my having several guns for my protection and that of my family and our food be ‘terrorism?
Exhibit A: Mock Disaster Training Exercise in Scioto County. Guess who the bad guys are? Click the link. More tonight. Do you think this exercise and story occurring on the same weekend as Pro 2nd-Amendment rallies are taking place across the country was an accident? I don’t.
Be Safe. Be Prepared. Opsec.
Practical Prepper 2013
With A Little Light Reading, The Coors Beer Parable, and some ‘Stream of Consciousness’ For Your Reading Pleasure.
It’s been some months since I’ve posted anything of substance, and , in a small way, I’m sorry for that. I harbor no illusions about my vast readership waiting forlornly for another nugget of wisdom from their favorite prepper, still, having started and cultivated this blog for a few years now, I do feel a responsibility to those surprisingly many people who have found it and , finding the content interesting, subscribed to it. Thank you very much to ascribing at least a modicum of value to the words and advice I proffer. OK, enough mea culpa, on with the show!
Since my last substantive post, I have reworked my 4 raised-bed planters and they are now ready to receive my Fall planting; I have gone hiking in Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park) and Wyoming (The Snowy Range – Medicine Bow and Brown’s Peak to be precise); found out I’m going to be a grandpa (WOW), and added a pistol caliber carbine to my collection as a ‘Trunk Gun’. And, oh yeah, I’ve been stepping up my prepping some. There might be an October Surprise in the works and with the world in the state that it’s in (both economically and politically), one can never be too prepared. I must admit though, it’s hard to be both pessimistic and optimistic about the future – but that’s where I find myself these days. The news of my son about to become a father is a blessing beyond words. There are simply no adequate words to describe how thrilled and thankful to God I am. Yet, a glance at your favorite news sites on the internet will tell you that the world has become even more financially unstable than it was when the S nearly HTF back in 2008. So, I find myself adding to my food supply for my children, and (gulp!) grandchildren’s sake. I bought lots of Mountain House freeze dried meals for the hiking trip and an equal amount for my preps, along with a few more cans of Morning Moo powdered milk and some canned butter and cheese. Oh, and I picked a few books from off my bookshelf to appease the pessimistic side of me, and began reading them last week. JWR is great at getting you in the ‘survival mindset’.
Which brings me to the Coors Beer Parable. The story begins with our trip to Golden, CO, where they make Coors Beer – and yes, it really is made with Rocky Mountain Spring Water which cascades down from the Rockies, through the center of the picturesque and beautiful town of Golden, and, in part, into a holding tank right outside the brewery. My wife and I took the famous brewery tour and dutifully sampled the wares along the way (I developed quite a fondness for Blue Moon White Ale on that trip). It was great to taste fresh Coors Beer again as it is only marginally available at my local grocery sore here in SoFla. It was so good, in fact, that I made it my mission upon returning from CO, to stock up on as much Coors as I could afford to buy after a 3-week hiking trip halfway across the country – which I did. I bought four cases of the stuff, which seemed like and endless supply when stacked 4 cases high. Hell, I’d NEVER run out now. Ha! The can in the photo at the top of the post is the LAST CAN of my seemingly endless supply of beer. Like all parables, this one too has a lesson. Can you guess what it is?
Correct! You NEVER have enough! Ever. Those are my words of wisdom for today.
I don’t need to tell you that at the present time there is a real danger of a major war starting in the Middle East. Israel will NOT wait until Iran has a bomb, as Obama is want to do. They will strike Iran’s nuke facilities when they feel they can no longer wait. To them, a nuclear Iran is an existential threat, and, no matter how you feel about the matter, they will deal with it as they see fit. This would open a Pandora’s Box which will spread mayhem around the planet. I pray it will not be so, but I prepare like it is a certainty. It’s the only thing a responsible husband/parent/ grandparent can do. Can your preps use another 10 lbs of rice? Or sugar? Or flour?
More, a lot more, in the next few days. God bless you all. Pray.
Be Safe. Be Prepared.
PP Fall 2012
Well, for Prepping, what else?
So you spent all winter with road maps spread across the living room floor, but $3.80 gas prices have put the kibosh on those plans to drive the gas-guzzler across this beautiful country this summer. Disappointing, to be sure, but with disappointment can come opportunity. Instead of taking a long, expensive road trip, take your family to some local places instead. After all, its the time you spend together that counts, not necessarily where it is spent. And when you get back from your vacation, you can put some of the money you saved on gas and hotels towards starting your emergency preps – the ones you’ve been meaning to get around to for, well…..a long time.
This site has a wealth of information on prioritizing your emergency preps and going beyond just food, water and first-aid materials to communications equipment, firearms for protection, perimeter security, and a host of other useful topics. So, browse as much as you like, but resolve to start those long-put-off preps this summer. The peace of mind they bring, in this turbulent world alone are worth the cost.
I’d start with food, water and medicines – a little each week so as not to upset the budget too badly. Then expand your preps as mentioned above. Start with reading The Prepper’s Mindset, to get your head straight on why the effort is worthwhile.
Don’t put it off. Start today.
Be safe. Be Prepared
Practical Prepper 2012
Yup. This is how my prepping began; BOGO at Publix supermarket. It started modestly with a few cans of BOGO green beans or instant oatmeal or bags of rice, then grew in time to its present state. If you have little or no spare income in these very trying times, then BOGO is the best way for you to start to squirrel away some food for the proverbial ‘rainy day’.
Went to BJs Warehouse today to replace a few expired preps and decided to buy some more powdered garlic and dried, chopped onions – just the stuff to perk up some potentially bland rice and beans dinner. As I had plenty of both, I decided to vacuum seal these packages in an effort to extend their shelf.
Anyone using their vacuum sealer in novel, creative ways? Share it in the comments.
Ever wonder if that flour you stored back in 2008 is still good? I did, so I decided to open a small Mylar bag of King Arthur flour from the preps and, well I’m Italian so, I made a pizza!
As you can see, it came out pretty well. Chicago style deep dish. Yummy! Three year old flour, properly stored made a a darned fine dinner.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.
Be safe. Be prepared.
Rather being an activity that you do for a while, then forget, prepping for emergencies is an ongoing process. For example, three years ago I knew I needed a dependable generator if the grid ever goes down and went out and bought a Honda eu2000i; a gas thrifty workhorse with enough oomph to keep my freezers cold and some power for some lighting and comm gear. The next logical step was to buy some plastic gas cans and store some gasoline – 30 gallons worth. I did that, and for the past three years I have stored the fuel in this storage box in my back yard ( in a spot that is in perpetual shade).
Well, that system has served me well, but it’s now time to upgrade to safer, longer lasting Blitz metal gas storage cans ( pictured at the beginning of this post) which I intend to store in my garage (the wife did not want plastic gas cans in the garage – and I agreed with her).
Like I said, prepping is not something you do then forget about. It’s a ‘lifestyle’, if you’ll forgive that overused term. So, re examine and reevaluate your preps from time to time and make improvements as time and money warrant.
Be safe. Be Prepared.
Here I continue my tutorial on starting a fire without matches or lighters with a brief video about using a magnesium bar and spark striker to start a fire.