When I wrote my last post, I promised that I would follow up with what we should accomplish this summer in the way of getting prepared for the worst. I’m reading and hearing constantly now about the state of the world, and frankly not much of it is encouraging. I am not clairvoyant, nor do I have a crystal ball that allows me to look into the future. What I do have is a very ominous feeling about the near, if not immediate future of this country, and what’s happening everyday to our society. This is the ten must do summer preps that could make a difference.
This feeling has given me motivation to tighten up my prepping skills, supplies, and equipment. I have decided to extend our food supply from six months, out to one year, and buy a solar generator. We have always relied on a gas powered Honda generator, but it’s time to supplement it with something quiet that does not have to be fueled every five hours.
Now, for those of you that have little to no plan in place. This is what I would do to prepare, in the order that I would do it.
Ten must do summer preps.
- Water Purification: A water filtration/ Treatment system is a must have. There are many very effective filtration systems on the market today. The one I recommend to most people just starting out(usually on a tight budget) is a “French Ceramic” filter. These are baked ceramic material with silver impregnated, activated carbon inside. They filter water using gravity, and therefore require no external power source. In most cases they can be cleaned with mild soap and water a Hundred or more times before they have to be replaced. On the down side, these filters have to be used with containers that are not supplied with the filter kit. We use two 5 gal food grade, plastic buckets that can be found easily on-line or at many stores. It’s a simple process to build the filtration system with the kit and a couple of these buckets. Once this is done, you simply fill the top bucket, and wait for the water to pass through the filter into the bottom bucket, where you can pour it through a spout supplied with the filter kit. I started using these filters years ago on camping, and float trips. I’ve filtered water for drinking from rivers, ponds, lakes, creeks, and even puddles, without any health issues. These filter kits are reasonably priced and can be found on line at Amazon, eBay, and many other e-commerce sites that cater to campers, back packers, and preppers. Emergency water purification
- Food acquisition: The summer season is the time that we tighten up our food supply each year. Even if you don’t garden (I recommend that you start), fresh food is abundant in the summer time, and usually less expensive, especially towards the late summer. Open air, or farmers markets can be found almost every where in this country, and fresh vegetable can be bought by the bushel baskets as the crops start coming in around the end of the growing season. This is also a good time to head to your favorite big box store for dry goods as well. We shop at “Sam’s club” for Flour, Rice, Dry beans, Corn meal, and many other dry staples in quantities between Ten And Fifty lb’s to repackage for the long haul.
- Food preservation: OK, you’ve stock piled a half ton of food, now what? Learn how to can! It’s relatively simple to learn, and the information is every where. I would start with the “Ball Blue Book“. It’s been around forever, and it’s still the best canning reference out there. I recommend that you “Dry Can” all of the Beans , Rice, Flour, etc. Dry goods keep a long time, but moisture, and Insects can present a problem over time, and they can be kept in a viable state almost indefinitely dry canned in canning jars. Here’s a link to an excellent you tube video on the process . While you’re learning the art of food preservation, Check out dehydrating, Freeze Drying, and vacuum processing too.
- Communications: Have you ever considered what you would do if a sudden and complete disruption of land line and Satcomm, communications were to take place? A major part of a healthy prepping mind set, is to consider the un-thinkable. Ask yourself: if my phones (cell and landline), and the internet were to just disappear because of some catastrophic event , How would I gather my family? What would I do to make sure that they were even OK? How would I know where they were or if they needed help? The solutions to a break down in the ability to communicate by way of traditional means are many, and varied. There are draw backs and advantages to each, here’s a quick list of some of my favorites. FRS/GMRS: Family Radio Service, and General Mobil Radio Service are a couple of my favorite choices for relatively short range communications. These two UHF frequency sets have only been in existence for a short amount of time compared to many others, but they have come a long way in that amount of time. The first set that I bought were a set of small “Motorola‘s”, that used standard double A batteries, and were rated out to two miles. In my personal experience two miles was a bit ambitious, and in some situations we were lucky to get a 1/2 mile, but they were still a real improvement over Citizen band radio’s for things like hunting, camping, and hiking. Today, you can purchase these radio’s rated out to 50 miles, and though this may still be a bit exaggerated in most cases, they are a great low cost option for emergency group service. I recommend these be in every bug out bag, and vehicle, as well as mom’s pocket book. Other communication options to consider are Motorola Job site radio’s, and even Commercial radio systems that reach much further, but also cost much more.
- Transportation: I won’t get into a discussion concerning the best “Bugout Vehicle”, that’s a contentious subject, best suited to a lengthy book, and not an article of things to do before it hit’s the fan. I have my opinion of what’s best, and it is for me, but may not be right for everyone. Personally I believe that a survival type ride should be four wheel drive, or all wheel drive, but I know others that think differently, and like Firearms, Knives, and most other prepping tools, if it works for you, then it is the right choice for you. The one thing that all cars, trucks, SUV’s, or what ever, absolutely must have is, consistent, and proper maintenance. Now is a good time to make this happen. It’s always a bad time for the car to break down, but during a crisis it could be disastrous. Tune it up, Change the oil and filter, Check all the fluids , inspect the tires for wear and damage, and try to keep your primary vehicle filled with gas. Any funny little noises, vibrations, or abnormalities, should be looked into, and resolved now. When I was in the Marine Corp, We were taught: “Take care of your shit, and your shit will take care of you”. Forgive the language, but that is exactly how it was stated, and it has been a very valuable lesson over the years.
- Security: Secure your home and property now. With all of the new do it yourself home security systems out there, now would be a good time to consider one for your property. I don’t recommend any of the large “Home Security Contractors” out there. They are grossly over priced, and you don’t own the system. I believe that they are a terrible waste of money, and you will tire of that huge monthly payment eventually. I do like a company named “Simply Safe“. They offer an effective early warning/alarm system, that most anyone can install themselves, and if you move you can uninstall it and take it to your new home. There are no wires to run, and therefore you don’t have to drill holes in the walls, and bad guys can’t disarm it by cutting wires. It is also very reasonably priced, and can be scaled to your particular needs. You buy only what you need, and skip anything that you don’t. Alarm systems are great when you’re away from your house, and they are good early warning systems at night when you sleep, but I don’t rely on them alone to protect me and my family from harm. Secure all of the entry points of your house. There are hundreds of ways to do this, and I suggest that you research what would work best for you. I use steel door bind bars on my doors. I made them from 3 inch angle steel, cut at the top to fit my door knobs securely, and used a piece of 1/4 inch flat steel welded to the bar at the bottom, with rubber cut from an old tire to keep it from sliding against the concrete floor. Once this is put in place the door can not be pushed or kicked in no matter how big and strong the person trying get in is. Windows are another point of concern. Some people use decorative iron bars, but in my opinion, a better option is to cover the entire window from the outside with a 3/8 piece of solid plexiglas, Secured to the wood or metal of the window frame with tamper proof screws. If you use bars, it’s easy to attach a hook and chain to them and tear them out using a vehicle. With plexi, there is nothing to attach or hook to, and breaking 3/8 inch thick Plexiglas is no easy task.
- Firearms: Buy one now! Learn how to use it now! I believe that if every responsible adult, in every house in America owned, and trained to use a gun the already downward spiraling violent crime rate would crash to the ground and burn. When seconds count, the police are only minuets away. The police are great at investigating crimes after they have occurred. They’re very good at drawing chalk outlines around dead people, but the statistical fact is, they are rarely ever on time to save an unarmed victim of a violent crime. This is up to you! If you don’t like guns, I understand, but are you willing to take a chance on the safety of your family because of something you don’t like? I hope not.
- Ammo: Buy it! Hoard it! Stack it to the ceiling! There is no such thing as having too much of it. Ammo prices have come way down from the shortage days of just a few years ago, so now is a very good time to load up on it. I buy mine by the case. Sometimes I’ll buy as many as Ten Thousand rounds at a time, depending on what kind of deal I’m getting. In most cases the more you buy, the cheaper the per round cost is going to be. Try “Cheaper than Dirt”, “Ammo Man”, and “Bulk Ammo”. These on line ammo dealers have some fantastic ammo sales., and I’ve probably put some of their children through college with my patronage.
- Medical/1st Aid: Go through your 1st aid kits and replace anything that is missing or out dated. Don’t forget the kits in the cars, and Bug out bags. If you don’t have a good 1st aid kit at home, and in your cars, bags, etc, make a point to get this one done. Check the medicine cabinet, and replace anything that you are low on. Over the counter medicine and remedies can become scarce during a crisis, and don’t forget the vitamins. Things like Rubbing alcohol, Hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic creams are also important. In addition to supplies, training shouldn’t be over looked. A course in First aid should be considered, or at the least a reference guide to first aid care should be kept some where close to all of the aid kits.
- Sanitation: Once again, after emergency strikes, many things will become difficult to obtain, and things like bleach, soap, paper plates, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning chemicals, are very important to keeping sickness at bay. Remember a clean environment is a healthy environment. Try to avoid buying a lot of stuff that you do not already use everyday, and concentrate on buying extra of what you use everyday now.
In conclusion, this simple list is by no means a complete list, but it will put you far head of most people in this country should a disaster strike. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of people that live their lives from one day to the next, with little to no thought of the future. These are the same people that we see time and time again waiting for help from somewhere, or someone other than themselves, and then jump in front of the first TV camera they see to blame government, charity, or anybody, but themselves, for their lack of preparedness.
I hope that this helps, and I would be very interested to hear suggestions, and comments on anything that I missed in this article. Also check out “Six ways to cook without electric power“.
Dr Prepper X