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Senior Contributor

Preparing for the unknown

I was reading another blog earlier about pallets filled with six month supply of food and supplies of water and toliet tissue etc. Then there were comments about the different emergencies that could happen... fires, earthquakes, floods, tornados, radiation. And how there is no way to really be prepared for everything. What are you doing to be prepared? What is your biggest concern?

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4 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Preparing for the unknown

#1.   Make sure we have enough LP on hand to run an LP tractor to run  the generator.   Thus we will have water

#2. Try to remember to back up farm records  on the computer

#3.  Gee toliet paper.   Usually have a months supply.   Guess I'd better stock up. 

#4.  Otherwise,  I'd have plenty of food.    Selection could get kind of low  but,  we could eat for quite awhile.   As long as we have hogs  we should be able to eat.  

#5.  I've been thinking about maybe a little more garden.   Still only in the thinking stage.  


     Still will have hogs for another 6 months.   We will always have corn to feed them.   but,  our generator will not grind feed. 


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Honored Advisor

Re: Preparing for the unknown

First of all, I'd say that, being almost 57, this is about the fifth time I recall people getting ready for what they perceived to be the End Times.  This fear factor surged after 9/11, and I think it has been a staple sentiment of many times when the economy receded, now being a prime example.

We have dealt with numerous "natural emergencies" - mostly in the form of hurricanes - since moving to NC in 1995.  One of them - Floyd in 1999 - was rated as a 500-year storm.  It was terrifying as it happened, and watching the misery afterwards, moslty stranded animals that humans left behind -  was sad. 

One thing I learned for sure:  You cannot depend upon the government to provide what you need.  FEMa caught hell after Katrina in New Orleans, but the main failure there was in the local government, for not moving people out when they had the chance. 

You need to figure out whether you can best evacuate a given catastrophe, or if staying in place is a better option.  In general, we have realized that our responsibilities to the livestock and horses require us to hunker down and hope it blows over. 

Most survival strategies - and I have a good library of titles on the subject - really require an extension of what every country family at some distance from services and stores ought to keep/know how to do anyway. 

That said, we tend to keep a stock of paper products, soap, and other toiletries that would last for 6 months to a year or so.  I try to have three months' worth of arthritis med on hand, but most people forget that essential.  I've also taken enough nursing school basics to know now how to handle basic health emergencies, and what indicates need for further care.  I keep emergency medical and dental guides, and basic tools for each. 

Foodstuffs we buy in bulk from Sam's and online from amazon could be stretched for quite a while.  Frozen things need backup power to keep, and we have both farm, and residential ones, adn 15,000 gallons of propane storage, usually roughly half-full, to power things.  I would like to figure out a transfer pump/compressor for that, so we can move small canisters. 

I need to fix one hand pump on an old joint and point well by the house (have the parts, but haven't taken the time) , or figure out a better way to bring up water from our main well.  I have the water supply DVD from Lehman's, so need to sit down and figure out which pum we do need to buy for that essential.  We filter all of our drinking water now, in a Berkley Light, which is capable of cleaning up even very nasty water to safe levels, so could dip from puddles if necessary. 

Mike heats us with wood, and of course, we have the wood cookstove, so can manage to stay warm and have food prepared.  I also keep a tripod and Dutch oven, and a Lodge hibachi, if we had to cook camp style.  He's stashed several years' worth of wood already, and is cutting agian, now that his stitches are healed and the chainsaw chaps have arrived. 

Weapons and ammo are necesary, both for hunting and self-protection.  Most people who are stocking up are either also stockpiling weapons and ammo, or are kidding themselves that their families will ever get to use their accumulation of Charmin.  Our family is well-defended in that respect. 

I do worry that the other two kids are 75 miles away, but that farm is less visible, they have wood heat and water accessible, plus a Berkey there, too. Livestock and game to eat, and menas ot harvest them.  Four households of young, healthy people in their 20s and 30s will have to figure it out from there, and help each other. 

I never drive a vehicle home on an empty tank.  Try to refill it when it gets under a half tank.  Nothing beyond that and a few five-gallon cans.  Too attractive to thieves to have tanks. 

We can communicate via satellite (Internet) and redundant 3G in the DROID.  Emergency generator to recharge them, and I have a crank recharger for cell phones plus crank radio in the RV.  I've held onto some of Mike's family artifacts...corn sheller, laundry kettles and paddles, etc.  Have all the recipes for lye soap and such, so we can stay sanitary...a lot of this is just knowing the old ways. 

If the real end of society comes, most of us will be hard-pressed to survive, due to those who did not prepare taking what we've provided.  It is not something that casual suvivalists talk about, and hardcore ones have what they call "bug-outs" to make themselves invisible to avoid: confrontation with scavengers.  I honestly do not allow my thinking to dwell at that is too dark. 

We prepare to make a month or so on our own...have been well over two weeks without grid power and such anyway.  More than that, and you are in a whole new mode, living in a whole new world. 

Radiation:  We saw a map of national nuclear facilities on TV last week, and there are a cluster of them in NC and VA, probably most within 100 miles of all of our farms.  If that goes bad, we are toast.  Enough military installations within the same distance, to make our region a prime target for aggression, near enough to the coast to make us vulnerable.  Have to hope they are on the ball. 

People need to figure how to live in this minute for this day, and accept that they are mortal, with something better waiting.  I love this life, but it's one incarnation of many to me now. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Preparing for the unknown

I think we should prepare, but I really don't sit around and worry about it. I know I have enough can foods for about 3 months, diesel in the tanks to run generators, and the wells for water if needed. Looking at Japan, it really makes you stop and think. I just have so much to worry about now with my grandson and Dad, that I really just take one day at a time. I use to try to plan for everything but not anymore. I will do the best I can with each situation, and enjoy the rest of time not worrying about it.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Preparing for the unknown

You make an excellent point.  When you have to deal with "one day at a time" issues like family health problems, long-term and large-scale disasters pale by comparison. 

I think that for some people, preparing for natural disasters is their way of taking control of an out-of-control projection of future events.  I know I was a lot more concerned about Y2K in 1999 than I am about the End Times or 12/21/2012 today. 

Not that the world is any better off's probably worse.  Some concerns that might have been addressed and resolved in the past dozen years are still hanging around, and have not mellowed well in aging.  A few new ones have surfaced, or are worse by magnitudes than then. 

Some will say we are nearing the end of an age...perhaps so; but, that means the beginning of a new one.  This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...supposed to be a good one. 

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