I thought this interesting and wanted to bounce it off the folks here:
Some people are saying we should prepare for at least 7 days, but the way things go after a hurricane, tornado, floods, loss of electricity and the fact that these disasters will continue and perhaps even get worse in coming years according to trends, one week is not enough. Some have said 7 years, but that seems too long so do what you can. Be sure to use the older stocked goods first and replace them with new. Otherwise you will end up with all old food you might not even want to eat. Always check canned tomatoes for spoilage, as even in the can they can spoil. Most other foods last a long time.
1. Water stored to last at least 7 days, at one gallon per day per person. (If you buy cases of l/2 litres - you can buy enough to last a couple of months) Recently, people are saying that water in plastic is toxic, so store water in glass if possible.
Homeland Security recommends 7 days for survival, but in recent years, some people don't have electricity or heat for up to 3 weeks, so to be really safe - plan for at least 3 weeks.
2. A good canteen and basins to catch rainwater. Also have a good supply of water purification tablets or bleach, or plan to boil your water. The surest way to purify water is to boil it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Note: I have received arguments that boiling for longer than 5 minutes will just waste good water, but 15 minutes is safer to kill Cryptospiridium.
3. Food, per person, for one year: (Divide by 12 for 1 month)
Wheat - 300 lbs.
Rice - 100 lbs.
Beans, Peas, Lentils, 50 lbs. each
Honey or Sugar - 60 lbs.
Salt - 3 lbs. (Get 6 lbs to be sure) (See below)
Cayenne Pepper - 1 large can
Dried Milk - 80 lbs.
Peanut Butter - 50 lbs.
Canned food, or dried (ready to mix) food
Oatmeal - 50 lbs.
Alfalfa Seeds - 10 lbs.
Sprouts (see below)
Canned Sardines, tuna, salmon
If you have a baby, include formula and baby food. If you have pets, you will want food for them as well. Store food needs in waterproof containers, capable of also protecting against insects and mice. Use Steel garbage cans or plastic 5 gallon buckets. The vacuum sealed method is also very good. If you are storing nuts or oatmeal, they smell and taste bad after a while, so they will need to be rotated. For all storing of food, the rule is: use up the old and replace with the new.
Also, buy mice and rat traps and don't forget to use them.
NOTE; I recommend freezing nuts for storage.
4. Manual grain grinder
5. Medicines - Assemble a standard first aid kit, with a comprehensive first aid book. Also include things for headache, upset stomach, congestion, colds, such as Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Tylenol, Excedrin, disinfectants, prescription medicines; and anything else you use regularly. Include vitamins, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, sage tea for colds, mint tea, golden seal, brandy (good as medicine), herbal tinctures, hops, catnip (which helps you sleep), herbs for cooking, including dried garlic and onions, cayenne pepper, cumin, basil, and coriander and salt. After you've been eating rice and beans for a few days, they'll need lots of help to make them taste good. Add to this list things such as Colloid Silver, and perhaps even your own Colloid Silver maker. It isn't expensive to make your own Colloid Silver. Also don't forget sunscreen - nobody is safe in the sun long-term anymore.
Also learn about herbal medicines and if you have space, grow some of your own - most are perennials and once you get the plant growing, its yours for as long as you take care of it.
See: http://www.earthmountainview.com for suggestions on herbs and growing your own food.
6. Toothbrushes, baking soda or salt to brush with, a good supply of dental floss (which can be used for other things as well) and another items you need for good tooth care. Stay away from toothpaste that has fluoride in it or you will kill your brain over time.
7. Extra eye glasses
8. For a camp kitchen you need: camp stove with good supply of fuel (in wooded areas, all you need are rocks and a flat tin or grill), pots and pans, plates and bowls (unbreakable) (you can use Army surplus camp kits) cooking utensils, knife, forks, spoon, spatula, biodegradable dish soap, towels, bucket to carry water, dish pan, matches dipped in wax and stored in waterproof containers.
9. A good tent, sleeping bag for each person, extra blankets, sleeping pads, and ground cloth - and another waterproof tarp to cover your camp gear.
10. Clothing - Have clothing for all weather. Include a good warm coat and sweaters, hat for rain or shine, rain gear, a good pair of hiking boots that will take years to wear out, warm winter underwear, wool socks, summer socks (don't wear socks with holes in them as they cause blisters) (learn to darn socks) work gloves, hats, and whatever else you need for warmth and protection.
11. Hunting equipment. Hunting might be necessary for survival in some situations. Be prepared both with equipment and knowledge of how to use the equipment. First choice of a gun is a .22 caliber rifle. You can kill anything up to a deer with it. Purchase 500 rounds of .22 hollow point bullets. If you are not a good marksman, then get a 30-30 or 30-06 and at least 200 shells. A shotgun comes in handy for shooting things flying or running. The bow and arrow is still one of the best weapons. You will have to practice, and of course, you can never run out of shells. If you want to be unseen and unheard by unfriendly people, this would be a good idea. Also, take a compass with you.
12. Fishing equipment. - Get basic equipment. Include assorted sized hooks, fish lines, sinkers, etc. Fishing takes time, but if you are moving toward long-term survival, time is something you may have plenty of.
13. Wood stove. Get one with a secondary burn chamber. It uses less wood and creates less pollution. Get one with a flat top for cooking on.
14. Chain saw, extra gas and oil, spark plugs, chain, etc.
15. Bow saw and a tool to set the teeth with, extra blades.
16. Skill saw (for when you have electricity)
17. Axe, hatchet, files.
18. Spitting maul
19. Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs; candles; propane, kerosene, or Coleman lantern with plenty of fuel, and extra wicks and mantles.
20. A good pocket knife and a sharpening stone.
21. Hammers, assorted nails, assorted screws, wrench set, pliers, wire cutters, screw drivers, pipe wrench, 200 feet of 1/4 inch nylon rope, duct tape.
22. Shovels, spades, hoes, and rakes with strong teeth
23. Charging system - wind, water, or solar - to pump water and provide electricity
24. Backpack - Waterproof. If you are forced to relocate, it may be all that goes with you.
26. Up-to-date maps of the area you want to live in. This will show you land and water away from human habitation.
27. A 4 wheel drive vehicle with all the proper tools for maintaining it. Extra parts.
28. Tire chains for snow.
29. Radio. Have more than one. electrical and battery operated. Get a crank operated one. (See C. Crane company for this information) You'll want to know what's going on in the outside world.
30. Soap for laundry and bathing. Also learn how to make your own and have those supplies handy.
31. Natural insect repellent.
32. A mirror. You'll want to see yourself, but you can use it for signaling as well.
33. Extra toilet paper. Also keep old newspapers and telephone directories for emergencies. (Hint: if you need to use old newspaper, crinkle it up and straighten it out several times first -- it's much softer!)
34. Female needs - (Use cloth pads you can wash)
35. Baby diapers. (Use cloth you can wash) Older kids can go bare bottom when necessary. Indians used moss and grass when necessary.
36. A basic sewing kit (needles and threads)
37. Safety pins
38. Swiss Army knife
39. Bobby pins (you can work wonder with these)
40. Pencils and paper, maybe even a notebook for a diary.
41. Musical instruments (harmonica, flute, guitar) to lift the spirit
42. Crazy glue
43. Patch kit
In the survival sense, think warm clothing, think fleece.
Those fleece throws (the single blankets) are great gifts, roll up nice and compact and are very useful as blankets, capes, padding for sleeping on the ground, tablecloths or even hung up on a leanto to break the wind.
By the time everyone adds their ideas to your list we will all need a U-haul on the back of that 4 wheel drive vehicle. Hey not a bad idea to learn how to build your own trailer, all you need is a spare axle, couple of wheels, a hitch and some wood. Peace - Marguerite
44. Lots of good books to read.
45. .22 ammunition - amount stored should be 5000 rounds, not 500. It is small, inexpensive, and can be used as barter material if need be.
46. .30-30/.30-06 - other calibers to seriously consider are the .308, .270, .243, .223, and 7.62x39. Many people, myself included can't handle the recoil of a .30-06 (and I don't like .30-30). There are more rifles chambered in the calibers I mentioned than I can list, and all are good. It all depends on what you can afford. The amount of ammo one should store should be a minimum 1000 rounds, not 200.
47. A sturdy, fixed blade hunting knife should always be include. You can find these from Buck, Gerber, SOG, Camillus, Uncle Henry, and many others. I prefer the Camillus Pilot/Survival or Marine Combat knives. These have been made under contract for the US military for about four decades and have stood the test of time. They are also inexpensive ($25 and $35 respectively) so if one is lost or happens to break, you don't get as upset as you would should your Gerber BMF ($240) bite the dust.
48. Many people, myself included, have not been able to master the use of a sharpening stone. But with the use of a sharpening kit, such as those by Lansky, we can bring up a very sharp edge on our knives. Great for use on kitchen cutlery as well.
49. A pocket tool, such as those by Leatherman, Gerber, SOG, et al, are much more versatile than the Swiss Army Knife and their prices are comparable to the more expensive Swiss Army Knives. In the meantime, I will hang on to my SAK until I can afford a Leatherman Super Tool. (I still have a house to run.)
50. 200' to 500' of 550# test Paracord is a great addition to your supplies, especially when the 1/4" nylon cord/rope is too thick or not the right tool for the job.
51. Boiling water may be effective, but it is not the best way to purify water. Boiling removes the oxygen content and causes it to be flat. For EMERGENCY purposes only one can use un-scented household bleach to purify water, but you should use only 1/2 teaspoon per 5 gallons of water (1 tsp should the water be cloudy). The best method is to use HTH dry chlorine (65%), which can be purchased in bulk at stores like WalMart, Target, KMart, etc. (Also a great barter item.) The amount to use is 1/4 teaspoon (0.03 ounce) per 300 gallons for a 0.5 ppm of chlorine.
Try a solar water distiller: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...22&btnG=Search
Water Wiser Solar Stills
Passive solar distillation is an inexpensive, low-tech alternative for pure drinking ... Build a Solar Water Heater: An Intregal Passive Solar Water Heater ...
How to make a solar water distiller | eHow.com
How to make a solar water distiller. Want to make drinkable water without a stove/fire? Here's a fun and simple solar distiller that might just come in ...
52. One can also get a complete cookset...cookpots, frying pan, coffee pot, plates, and cups...of good or better quality in the outdoor department of WalMart, Kmart, Target, etc., or a good outdoor supply store that sells camping equipment.
53. One should have two or three pairs of good hiking boots (U.S. issue combat boots are still the best and only cost $60-$80 mail order) in their closet and one dozen pair bootlaces per pair of boots (laces also come in handy for short term temporary uses, too). Should the long-term effect be much longer than anticipated, then the extra boots will be needed. Also a couple pair of good cross-trainers or running shoes would be advisable.
54.You should always have a handful of disposable lighters in addition to matches. They come in quite handy and you don't have to be a smoker to keep them on hand. They are inexpensive and take up very little room.
55. When we packed our food we used food-grade diatomaceous earth for the grains. All grain already has the eggs of insects in it - it's just the natural way. When they hatch out the diatomaceous earth either smothers them because the particles are so tiny or if the larvae is bigger or soft-skinned it dries them up.
I bake my own bread and grind my own flour. In some of the jars where we didn't use diatomaceous there is an occasional weevil and I grind it up - if folks eat animals then a bug or two shouldn't be a problem.
Diatomaceous earth is full of minerals and is a safe, non-toxic way to treat your food. You don't want to breathe it because the particles are so tiny but then, you don't want to inhale flour, either. It's real cheap, too.
We use 1/4 cup for a 5-gallon bucket of grain. We half-fill the bucket, sprinkle 1/2 the dust on, put the lid on, roll the bucket all around, take the lid off, fill the bucket with more grain to the top, add the rest of the dust, roll it around and you're done. You can do it in smaller batches, too. In gallon jars and then pour it into the bucket.
An added step would be to re-open and add a small piece of dry ice to the top. (I like to put it on a piece of broken pottery to keep it from "burning" the grain.) Let the lid rest on top while the dry ice sublimates into gaseous carbon dioxide and displaces bug-breathable air. Then seal tightly.
ALSO: ..I suggest sealing your bags, boxes etc. to keep from getting damp, then freezing them for 3 days..it kills the eggs. I have done this with everything I buy..it works. I have used rice, flour, etc. that is months old (re-stocking as I use). I'm sure it will work for animal feed as well.
You can also drop a couple of Bay leaves in since most bugs hate. Bay leaves are good to use in almost any food storage situation
Another good storage trick for grains and legumes is to use oxygen absorber packs that can be purchased wherever food storage supplies are sold. No oxygen = no living things, and no oxidation of the contents or the container.
To avoid 6 legged critters, vacuum seal your food (see Tilia Foodsaver) and store in 5 gallon plastic buckets with the snap on lids. Or, store food directly in the 5 gallon buckets and pay to have the buckets nitrogen injected. Costs a couple of bucks a bucket. Either of these methods will kill existing critters and prevent future contamination.
Second to vacuum sealing, you can use zip-lock bags. Fill the bag, lower it into a sink full of water until the water is just to the zip- lock. Seal the bag. Remove and dry the bag off. The water pressure pushes a lot of the extraneous gases (air) out of the bag.
Rats can, but won't gnaw into the 5 gallon buckets unless they have a reason to, like the odor of of something yummy on the other side. Properly sealed, a 5 gallon buckets should be odorless.
Rats require 3 things to survive, food, water and shelter. Remove any one of these three things and the rat population disappears.
I have used boric acid effectively for years to keep away roaches, along with Roach Prufe. The last place I was in had ants before I brought in food. One place I had and didn't prepare very many meals, had neither roaches nor ants, but I brought in weevils from the store, and they ate everything resembling a carbohydrate.
56. MAKING DO: . Stock up on kids clothing from the 2nd hand stores, jeans, sweats, warm winter clothing, and if you can't get to a store for any reason, you should have plain white/beige muslin cloth to make longs skirts & shirts once your regular clothing is gone.....but then we will also need to learn how to make clothing out of sheep's wool and grasses. You can make strong sandals out of tires so keep a few around and learning to work leather is a good idea too. There are great leather catalogs you can send for and check them out. Get a couple of old bikes too. Also get extra tubes & stuff to fix them with. Also pick up a few "fake" furs at the used clothing stores to use for covering. Or get real fur, but probably will cost more. You can get wool blankets at the Am Vets & Goodwill stores.
57. RAISING YOUR OWN CHICKENS:
Here's a great idea for your meat chickens. You might want to consider feeding your chickens nothing but sprouted wheat if you don't free-range your birds. However, free-ranged chickens and their eggs are healthier to eat. Buy wheat and soak it in a bucket of water overnight. Drain off the water (give it to the chickens) and let the bucket sit for 3 or 4 days. Rinse the wheat twice a day. Once the little root pokes out it can be fed to the chickens and will have so much more vibrational energy (or spark of life) and nutrition than the unsprouted wheat kernel had.
Chickens fed only on unsprouted wheat will dress out to about 8 to 9 pounds each--this sounds incredible but it's really true. If you are going to raise chickens for meat it would be interesting to try this method. Chickens fed the regular way average 5 to 6 pounds on average.
The sad truth is that store-bought chicken is mushy and tasteless and of course, you get all the hormones and chemicals the chicken ate. When you taste your first home-raised chicken meat you will be in awe. Chickens raised on the sprouted wheat taste even better.
These days, anything you can get that is organic is healthier than anything you buy in a grocery store. Buying at local farm markets is preferable. Always ask if the food is organic before buying.
Even if you don't eat your chickens this idea can be considered for the "after time" when perhaps you might be scrambling for something nutritious to feed your birds.
58. MONEY? What good will money be? Greenback are usually the first thing to become worthless in a sinking society. Gold, silver and gems are what are needed after the governments all collapse.
59 - SALT:
Salt is scarce in wet climates away from the ocean. The only natural source in such places is mineral springs. Vegetarian animals need salt and animals like deer and elk and mountain goats will go to a lot of trouble to get it. Porcupines need even more sodium than most in order to survive all the excess potassium they get from eating pine bark.
Thus, to find salt in the wilderness, find out where the animals get it. I once found what seemed to be too many deer trails in a certain area of forest, and after exploring a bit found that they all converged on a mineral spring. This particular spring was not shown on any geological survey map and was pretty much trampled into a mud-wallow by the deer and elk, but in a pinch a person could dig it out and get salty water. Note it is also a good place to get deer and elk, and maybe indian arrow-heads. Of course some mineral springs have poisonous amounts of minerals like arsenic in them too, so you're taking a bit of a gamble with any non-tested mineral water.
60. SPROUTS - Don't overlook sprouting as a great source of food in time to come.
For families with financial constraints buying even very large amounts of seeds to sprout is affordable. You can live entirely on sprouts.
The seeds stay viable for many years and are packed with nutrition and living, vibrating energy for your body. This is a "living" food vs. a dead food. If you have little storage space and few dollars you may want to learn more about sprouting.
Practice now, making and using sprouts. You can do it simply: for alfalfa sprouts (the most common) just use a tablespoon of seeds, soak them in some water in a jar over night. The next day pour off the water. The health food stores have a 3- piece lid kit to screw onto any wide-mouth canning jar. After you pour off the water invert the jar on an angle upside down (I use a little dish to set it in). Rinse those same sprouts twice a day, morning and night. They don't need the sun to sprout.
After 2 or 3 days they will have all sprouted and you can set the jar in a sunny window if you wish to "green" them up for use in salads or eat out of hand. We always drink the rinse water because it's packed with vitamins and minerals. Or use this water to water your plants. Or for your pet's water.
Walton's has a sprout variety pack that's already vacuum packed and has lots of different kinds of sprout seeds. We bought ours back in 1997 and they are still sprouting great.
Some of the bigger seeds will make really big, long sprouts. They taste the best when eaten young, though. Older sprouts tend to taste somewhat bitter. A sprout can actually be eaten anytime the tiny little root appears. We usually wait a few days, though.
It will be fun to learn about sprouts and a great comfort again, if folks want very much to prepare but don't have a lot of money.
61. CONTAINERS - You can get 5 gal. sturdy plastic containers at the bakery shops as well as smaller sizes. Fill EACH one with things such as Medical supplies, clothing, food, ammo, survival books, reading books, Classic books, tools, etc....and don't forget all the family pictures. There is a process where you can put a picture on a piece of metal & it will last for hundreds of years.
62 - more ideas from a reader:
Regarding water: chlorine treatments do not kill Cryptosporidium oocysts. the best way to rid water of these is boiling. Some say 5 minutes, but bringing water to a rolling boil should be enough to kill any organisms in it. Better to live on water with "less oxygen" (which can be re-added by shaking a half-full jug of water for a few minutes) than suffer the effects of an infection.
Also, if you have squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, or other small, rat sized mammals, a few rat traps could prove invaluable. They are more effective that a dead fall trap, and much lighter (and squirrel with barbecue sauce is dang tasty). Peanut butter is the perfect bait. Also, a high power pellet gun is fairly silent, and will be effective on creatures up to small dogs (when you get hungry they start looking tasty) also works as a deterrent for larger dogs (expect packs of wild dogs in really bad times). Ammo is cheaper even than .22 rounds. Find out about tularemia and bubonic plague (still exists in many parts of North America, especially on small rodents) and how to protect yourself from them. Remember the best way to extract maximum calories from meat, and ensure that it is safe to eat is to boil the heck out of it, split the bones and boil them too, eat the marrow, brains, heart and liver (kidneys are your option: not worth the trouble on smaller animals). As such, expect soup to be your best friend when times are tough.
A few cheap plastic tarps can be invaluable They can serve as makeshift tents, floors, ponchos, camouflage (if they are the right color; can be achieved with spray paint), rain catchers, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad absurditum.
First aid: expect medical services to be limited in very bad times. learn the basics of first aid, long term wound care, and as much general medicine as possible now. An extensive first aid kit (see the STOMP portable hospital at www.cheaperthandirt.com as an example) including many bandages (sturdy cloth is best, they can be boiled and reused if necessary) and perhaps some powdered antibiotics, such as tetracycline and erythromycin (in an emergency fish or livestock antibiotics could be used, learn the indications, contraindications and dosages well or you might kill yourself dosages for humans are the equivalent for pigs).
Lastly, remember that if you are planning on traveling somewhere, others will either be there already, or also traveling there (expect mass migrations in rough times). figure out ahead of time how you would like to interact with them (and expect tensions to be high when resources are scarce).
Even more lastly, as the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy says: "don't panic." Keep your wits about you and think creatively, and you will survive.
Hello, my name is Brett, from Rochester, Michigan. Great page love everything I read so far. I would like to add some tips for your readers...
Electrical and silver bearing solder and a good awl paired with any flame is great for repairs on watches, eye glasses, hunting and fishing gear, obviously electronics. Also good for making fishing weights and lures themselves (poured over a bare hook/bobby pin & shaped by tool or stone, polished with blue jeans or wool)
9 volt batterys kept in individual waterproof bags, a dozen at least. Accompanied by (not stored together) steel wool will light fires on the wettest of days. Also a few sterno petroleum jelly fuel cans are great for fire starting, not the whole can at once but just a 1/2 tsp will light a good fire in wind and rain.
Also safety gear, such as shin, knee, elbow pads and a good rafting/skateboard/bike helmet is great for doing anything dangerous or rugged (forest gathering, hunting, exploring) safety glasses are cheap $3- or less per pair. And save your most precious of senses. Life jackets are good knee savers when working/planting near the ground. Good for makeshift Pillows and seat cushions. Bottle caps (metal) are great tools and have 100s of useful uses from fishing lures to de-scaling fish, cleaning, digging, place in chicken areas like lots of little bowls and will collect rain/dew for birds. Think bowl shaped bobby pins.
I save anything that resembles a tool or simple machine. Also old electrical appliance cords, great copper in side, makes great binding rope. Conducting agent, individual wire can be used for sewing/emergency suture.