Monthly Archives: June 2013

Location and shelter thoughts

Your home is your castle. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a few feet of stone between your family and the outside world, and a moat with alligators. Unfortunately I don’t have a castle, but I have a mixture of rural and suburban areas around me. There are Pros and Cons to nearly all inhabitable structures, and where they are located.

The area you live is a key factor in how you should prep. I am not a fan of city living, and see many issues with trying to survive with thousands of other doing the same. There are many services that a city needs to bring into and out of it. All residents depend on these services for normal daily life like trash hauling, water supply, fuel, and food supplies. All these services would all be taxed during social unrest with our current just in time delivery system and the possibility of the service providers staying home to ride out the unrest with their families. Living in an apartment and trying to have a significant supply of food and water is tough due to the available room for storage. City living does have a few bright sides, they will get very high priority for restoring services and will be provided the bulk of all available supplies and assistance. Cities also offer many different communities of like-minded people ready to help each other.

Suburban living provides some relaxing of the issues I see with living in an urban environment. The ability to have a bit more property will allow for gardening, and possibly some small livestock. One of major drawbacks for me with these areas, could be the masses from the city heading out looking for resources.

Rural living can provide the most freedom from many of the issues above, and inversely suffers from small communities ready to assist each other. Priority of service restoration, as compared to living in urban ares, will also be much lower. Living in the country will require resourcefulness and more planning in advance, in order to provide the necessities

Some preppers living in suburban and urban areas will buy some property in a rural area for their BOL (Bug Out Location). They will preposition some basic supplies there, and head to it if social unrest is looming. Living structures on these properties could be a house, shack, travel trailer, tent or less to provide shelter while bugging out.

Where ever you live, have a plan in place to either keep supplies and Bug-In, or have means to get to a BOL, a relative or friends house that is set up for long term problems. Set goals now to try to move if you do not like the prospects of the area you are in. Look for opportunities to strengthen your ability to defend your family and preparations you put away for a rainy day.

Please leave comments you would like to share regarding the best place to make your castle.

Take care.

Sensible Prepper

Avoid the Grocery Stores and chaos

Having a supply of food available when a local emergency happens is important. No having to run out to the store to get food can avoid dealing with panicked shoppers, cash only registers because the power is out, or credit cards can’t be processed. Remember from the earlier post that most people have a few days of food in their home already. Keeping a little extra on hand can extend your not needing to deal with the masses and empty shelves. Most grocery stores only have enough food onhand to keep the shelves stocked for about 4 days. Most stores expect to have a big truck stop by to replenish their storeroom. What if there is a fuel crisis, truckers strike, or some other event the prevents this “Just in Time” shipping to happen?

Keep a list for a couple of weeks, of food your family consumes. Say in the course of 2 weeks your family consumes 2 cans of mandarin oranges (It happen in my house), and you shop once a week. The next shopping trip, rather than buying 1 can, buy 2. You will consume 1 can and have another weeks supply in the pantry. The following week, buy 2 cans again, and after finishing that weeks can, you will have 2 in the pantry. This is called “copy canning” and is relatively inexpensive way to build up a full pantry of food you will eat. You will not have to depend on eating beans, or rice solely during a time when the stores are not easy to shop at. The fact that you have at least one familiar aspect of normal life, will also be a comfort to your family.

My families plan does contain some long term storable food. Some of it is rice and pasta, but there are also some MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), along with some high calorie snack bars. The more food in your pantry allows you to help others in need with some of these long term storables.

Gardening is a great way to get some food into storage as well, and the quality and safety of the vegetables from your garden will surpass the stores offering of non-organic farming that use chemicals, at best, to grow abnormally big production, size, to preserve it and keep it looking edible. Look into dehydrating and canning as a way to store your garden grown, or food purchased by local trusted growers. We have only gone as deep into water bath canning, for acidic fruits and jellies so far, but have one of those evil pressure canners when time allows.

Another source of food can be found in your yard that you may overlook, there are many edible plants with leaves, flowers or roots that would make a nice amendment to a salad. These greens will have beneficial minerals and help stimulate your digestive system (dandelion greens are actually tasty). Stop by the library, and get some edible plant identification book, head to some common ground you won’t get chased away from by Bubba, or go on a trail walk to try your new skill. Something I have been trying to do is toss some lambs quarter, amaranth and chickweed seed in some common areas around my yard to try to get some of these plants established.

Hunting, fishing, raising chickens and/ or rabbits for meat, are other means to secure food for your family. As with most of the methods described in this post, they should be practiced now, so the skill are there when you may need them.

Please leave a comment on other ideas you may have for feeding your family a healthier diet of your grown, or gathered food.

Take care,

Sensible Prepper

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Water, Water everywhere…

Water is third in line as a necessity behind air and environment, in the survival rule of threes. You can live:

  • 3 minutes without air
  • 3 hours in extreme cold or heat
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

In most areas water may not be too difficult to find, but the main concern will be the cleanliness of the source. Another major problem with water is it takes up a lot of room and is very heavy in order to store a long term supply.

Having multiple methods of gathering water is imperative. The experts consider 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking and sanitation as a minimum.

Storing water is easy, finding room for it not. Most sealable containers, that are clean, can be used with the exception of milk jugs. The plastic they are made from breaks down, and could possibly fail to do their job. Good containers could be as simple as 2 liter soda bottles, or food grade drums in 15, 30 and 55 gallon sizes. If the water comes from the tap, it may be just fine to store without needing to add a few drops of chlorine bleach. As long as the container remains sealed, and no bacteria is in it, it should store well.

In a survival situation, water can also be collected from your roof. A normal house roof can provide hundreds of gallons of water from just an inch of rain. Care should be taken to avoid the first bit of rain that washes the bird poop, and other junk off the roof. The water collected needs to be filtered and sanitized to be safe for drinking

Making water safe to drink can be achieved from one of, or combined methods of boiling the water for a few minutes, using filtration to get out some of the minerals and bacteria, or using purification solutions to improve the quality. A filter can be made with a bucket of sand and charcoal that drips out much cleaner water than what went in. Clean drinking water is imperative to prevention of cholera and diarrhea, which cause dehydration and are leading causes of death in areas with poor sanitation and unsafe water conditions after natural disasters.

Keeping clean when normal conveniences are not available is also very important. Water that may not be safe to drink can be used or recycled for washing clothes, or flushing a toilet. Do not neglect keeping up with sanitation, as human waste and long durations of uncleanliness can lead to disease.

Please feel free to share your plans for obtaining water when the faucets are dry.

Sensible Prepper

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Where to start prepping?

You can’t start anywhere but at the beginning. You won’t have 3 months of supplies if you don’t have enough for a week. A prepping plan for most mini emergencies should get you through 3 days at least.

You should be able to find your food needs already sitting in your refrigerator and food pantry. Water will be a different story. I would suggest getting some bottled water, or save 2-liter soda bottles that have been rinsed out well and filled with tap water. There should be no need to add any chemicals to these containers as long as the conditions were clean when you filled them from the faucet.

Lighting is another important need if the power goes out. LED lanterns, candles and flashlights should be kept available, with a good supply of batteries. Cooking can be done outside on a grill, keep extra charcoal and lighter fluid on hand, or purchase an extra propane tank and keep it available for power outages. You will also want to have a small battery powered radio (preferably with NOAA Weather bands included) for monitoring the news and weather.

Please think carefully during the hot of summer or cold of winter, about ideas for heating and cooling your home safely during emergencies. The extreme summer and winter seasons could make your 3 day requirements more costly. An inexpensive generator is great to have, but the expected total runtime on them is relatively short. Small generators are best used for running the refrigerator/ freezer a few time a day, or keeping up with the sump pump during a storm. They are not designed for running 8 hours a day. The problem I see with the generators over 4000 watts is people either running a big generator to run small loads, or they are over loading and overusing them to the point of failure. A typical house uses very little energy unless the AC / heat, dryer, water heater and stove are running.  My extreme weather plan would center around running a small air conditioning unit in modest room during the summer. For winter, luckily we have a wood burning stove to knock down the chill. Another option is to heat a smaller area with a kerosene stove (assuming all safety warnings are being followed) in the winter.

Don’t forget you will also need to keep extra pet food available. You are still responsible for taking care of your pets during these mini emergencies.

These basic needs should be the minimal start to a 3 day plan:

  • food
  • water
  • lighting / radio / batteries
  • cooking
  • heating / cooling
  • pet food

I will go into more details on all these basic needs later on, and this 3 day plan should provide a basic starting point into prepping for short term inconveniences you will undoubtedly face.

Take care,

Sensible Prepper

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Welcome to the maiden blog post @ sensiblepreppingonline

I finally fell off the deep end and started a blog on prepping. I have been mentored, have mentored, and consume most of my free time thinking of what may be in store for us in the future. The goal I have for this blog is to remain positive as I can, and provide a sensible view of being prepared for most challenges we may face. Not only may there be economic, natural disasters, or social disruptions, we may also have to deal with issues closer to home like job loss, a broken leg, etc.

I am not a writer, so bear with my writing style. i am sure it will get better with time. I have plenty of sensible prepping information to share. I likely won’t have the solution for Cold Fusion, or a perpetual motion machine, and most of the information and knowledge I have is found on many other sites. I hopefully can focus some viewers with ideas to help take some of the anxiety out of prepping, and talk them down from the ledge. Another purpose this site will serve is to link to items I feel would be needed in many situations, preferably before everyone else is also trying to get them too. I intend to be affiliated with a preparedness oriented company, while providing descriptions and hopefully some review of helpful products.

Thank you for visiting. I will provide some information about my background and family life soon. I hope you can benefit from my writing, and look forward to hearing comments from those that would like to share.

Take care,

Sensible Prepper