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Are you a Prepper?

Posted by tobr24u z6 RI (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 5:20

After listening to one who is prepared for a disaster natural or otherwise, I checked my "survival kit" and found it lacking, other than some flashlights, canned beans, and a case of gin. Maybe I should beef it up other than just with Beefeater. And you? Are you ready? Prep up, if not...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Are you a Prepper?

No. Moving toward a more organic, healthy, environmentally friendly way of life, less plugged into the conditioning and materialism of modern society has nothing to do with "prepping"... for whatever reason some are doing so.

I'm reminded of Y2K and the snake oil salesmen who swooped in to claim the profits people were more than happy to hand out for no real reason, other than some imagined fear.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

When the power was out after Sandy we did fine!


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Exactly, Labrea... but if someone can effectively strum the strings of certain fears, people will panic and do almost anything to belay those fears... including spending an inordinate amount of money on the totally unnecessary.

I've heard several reasons given for the "prepping" craze, some religious and others having to do with ECM's, asteroids, war, sun disturbances, weather... you name it.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I've always been prepared.

I've made much of my living providing professional services to the unprepared.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

ok then, what services do you provide mj? I am of the mind, no one can know all of the possibilities. So I might be prepared for one thing, but not the next. Until I was standing hip deep in water and no way to get out of it (who woulda thunk Nashville could flood? I mean, it's not like we're on the Mississippi), I was standing there dumbfounded when I realized, no way I could've known or been prepared for this. I would've thought, tornado, ice storm, (sink holes have since been added to my mind, but that one, no one ever seems to think it'll be them), but flood? Never in a million years would I have thought it. I don't live all that close to our river, some, but not all that close, and it wasn't the river that got us. 13 inches of rain over two days?! did it.

I've since decided, I can prepare, but for what would I prepare? Would it be the right thing? How can you know?


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I've made much of my living providing professional services to the unprepared.

You and many other smart service companies. People with first world problems will pay dear prices to be comforted. I'll take advantage of them too.

As for Gin..

Hendricks is the best companion if you need a comforter. With tonic and a slice of organic cucumber. :)


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

ok then, what services do you provide mj?

Money, credit, rentals, heating fuels, emergency services, construction services, furnace, boiler, hot water, electrical, cooling, refrigeration service/repair/installations, flood restoration, basement pumpouts, automotive/equipment service - too much to list.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

This year many were unprepared for extended sub zero and single digit temperatures.

We've had record numbers of fuel runouts and freeze/water damage due to frozen/cracked/burst water piping, boiler piping, boiler blocks, frozen oil lines etc.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 9:10

I'm an over-stocker of the usual for a few months. Only sensible. We plan to shelter at home, but could break into a relative's vacation home in the mountains if we had to.

Rob, for you--air. You first need air. Your plan may start with both shelter at home and fallback positions. You sound like someone who's been there and learned a few things you could pass on.

After tending to that, though, no matter the disaster, a person needs potable drinking water, right?--virtually immediately, life and death issue. Water and bottle of bleach at most basic level. Then food and preferably means of cooking.Then, or first for some, medication. Means of sanitary disposal of bodily waste. Means of communication and power for it. Heat for all in winter, cooling from overheating for anyone in frail health. And so on.

We're older and not interested in living after a not-going-to-happen planetary holocaust. Being without power, communication, municipal water for weeks, or worst case months, however, is far from unlikely for some region or regions of our country.

So we stock big bags of rice from Sam's Club--they never go bad and we could even chew them dry if needed. Honey never goes bad. Then larger stocks of the foods we eat all the time anyway. Canned veggies, tuna, etc. Vitamins and routine drugs. We might get sick of dinners of kipper snacks or canned clams, spices and rice, and whatever, but I figure it'd be a self-correcting problem. Do without for a day and we're good again.

BTW, I've done a little research, and the disaster books' descriptions of people immediately preying on each other are not borne out by disasters in this and other countries, so stocking paramilitary weapons and building trenches to stop vehicles around your property probably is not necessary. :)

Deadbolts, even crossbars across doors on weak construction, attractive but thorny shrubs outside windows, whatever it might take to make a house harder to break into by the odd neighbor or vagrant, could be sensible if food and street drugs were running low.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Hendricks? Brush, I want to be in your bunker when disaster occurs...l


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

We've had many customers that have used our emergency services 1, 2 or more times this year for the same issues.

Seems they don't learn, or don't change, even when unpreparedness has cost them thousands in losses.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I would say that being prepared is a little different than "prepping".

Most people are prepared, as a general rule. Most of us have extra food stores, especially if we put up foods, have freezers, or buy extras while items are on sale. Most of us keep some extra bottled or stored water in case we lose power or have a winter issue with water pipes. Most of us have extra blankets, camping gear, emergency kits, or plenty of extras just as a matter of course, or if we live in areas where storms or other severe weather conditions are occasional or possible occurrences.

"Prepping" is a whole different animal... as in expecting some odd disaster to take place, and going overboard to prepare for a long and drawn out existence underground in some kind of bunker... or something similar.

The general rule of 3 is usually enough to remember... we can last 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Most of our customers aren't even prepared for a power outage.

When their power is out they have no running water, heat or hot water.

Not a big deal when it's not too cold, but a major issue when temps are in the single digit or sub zero range.

Many that have basements that flood in the spring run into major problems when their power is out. Their sump pumps stop working flooding out furnaces, boilers, water heaters, burners, electronics, pressure tanks, shallow well pumps etc.

Many don't have back up sump pumps, so when one stops working they're screwed, especially if they're away from home for long periods of time.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

so freezing temps, check! All pipes are fully insulated. They're located inbetween my bottom of the house portion and their top of the house portion and the regular heat running in portions is enough to keep them from bursting... except one teeny-corner that rounded around outside. and that corner burst. Repaired, and now fully insulated. Cars? I did repair my alternator, and then fully charge the battery. Gas is kept above 1/2. Check! Ok. so I guess I might be considered a prepper.


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Many of my properties need many improvements, but if there's a problem I can fix it, or send someone to fix it ASAP.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 10:26

If electricity fails we have about 2 weeks before things get really rough (in winter). Keep your eyes on this latest CA storm rolling across the nation over the next few daze. A Big Ice Storm in the making from Kansas to Va? Sure hope not!


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Toilet paper...always keep a good supply! When hurricane season rolls around, I do my prepping. Plenty of batteries for flashlights and radio, I keep some large plastic containers for pictures and papers that will float if needed. Non perishable food items, I have my drip pot for coffee and some cases of water. I usually use up our supplies starting the end of hurricane season and start restocking when season starts again. We've gone without power for as long as 9 days. It's really not bad, we used to live right on the Gulf and Mississippi River. So my prepping was to get us ready to haul ourselves north when the warnings came.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I once had to use my chain saws and equipment to cut my way out after a derecho.

We didn't have power for weeks in some regions.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Savings and credit are a big part of being prepared for emergencies and unfortunately many Americans have little savings or credit.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Actually having cash on hand is even more important. ATM's are down, gas pumps have to be run on a generator and won't take your debit card. Plastic is worthless.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I have to pay cash to pull many off other jobs, or perform my jobs first when we have shortages of emergency workers.

I do a lot of business with many that will only accept cash/barter for products and services.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

For years, we always kept half a dozen flashlights with a stock of batteries. They now sell waterproof, hand-crank / solar LED flashlights that are surprisingly sturdy, very bright, and not that expensive. So now we have half dozen of these - one in each car, the rest in the house.

Here is a link that might be useful: flashlight


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

We've been without propane since the latter part of December, and it's business as usual. It just means a few small changes in how we do a few things. It's what makes some redundancy a normal part of rural living.

Even Boy Scouts are prepared...

But I surely wouldn't dump ungodly amounts of income on building and supplying a fortress of doom.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I'm a highly mobile person bouncing between different homes, camps, marinas etc, so I'd never build a fortress of doom.

I'm always ready to cash out and bug out, but primarily due to economic and quality of life issues, not some doomer type scenario.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Ah Mark James a legend in his(hers?) own mind. No one is smarter, more fit ~ healthy, more hip, better prepared for anything and every thing because of that wise huge IQ and beautiful reflection in the mirror then he (her?)
At his best when makes his (her?) extended family and former employees look like poor dumb lab rats always needing a new 50" HD TV from some buy here pay here place . They have no credit or savings you know. The food stamp chomping losers. Part time fools that can't hold down a distribution job within the incredible hiring logistics work force of his rust belt NY empire.
At his (her?) worse when he (her?) is kissing his (her?) own butt with a 3 miles smile bragging about how successful he (her?) is.
In this post it smells that Mark James is a classic opportunistic feeder. A lot of opportunistic feeders feed on the bottom. Like a catfish or crab. Human wise I am thinking Mad Max beyond Thunderdome after the great apocalypse of global thermonuclear war. Where as our hero and all around good guy (gal?) Mark James has out foxed Tina Turners Character in a forced less humane take over of Bartertown.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

No, I'm not a prepper in the sense that I am preparing for some disaster.

Like most people, I keep supplies here in case of power outages, primary tornado and hurricane problems.

I have a large pantry with canned goods and most supplies and tools, batteries, jugs of water, sleeping bags, propane, dried foods, basic medical supplies, battery powered radio, lamps, etc.

That will have to do.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

In the 70's through the mid 80's they were called survivalists.

They were given a lot of press and I found them to be disturbing but interesting. I pitied their children, to grow up amongst such paranoia. I even knew a family.

I finally came to the conclusion that the "survivalists" of that time were people unable to find a fit in the world and civilization they lived in and deeply resented the basic failures they were in life, unable even to provide secure, stable and mentally healthy home for their own children. They created in their minds a way to be superior - those who managed to get by in this world were going to tumble it all down - within the survivalists lifetime - and it would then be the survivalists who would then be superior in the human class structure, because he was prepared.

I ( very carefully) asked what they would do if none of this collapse in fact took place. I was spoken to with a kind of pity - I was too ignorant to realize that it wasnt a possibility that things would continue and that at any moment it would all tumble down.

I often wonder if the adults are still alive - most werent all that much older than we were but they had practically no income and what they had went to casings and powder and guns and military ratiins dating back to WWII oftentimes. They ate badly, teeth rotting and imo minds rotting. I cant see where their health would be good on a long term basis.
But I worry more what became of the children. Did they find the mental strength to break away from such pervasive paranoia and poverty and do well in this world available to them?

I have come to believe that perhaps because society has become so educated, that the world has so rapidly changed and moved fast as the speed of light technologically, that some people simply arent built to be able to survive in a world that so radically changed in a mere 50 years.
It as change that maybe came too fast for a segment of the population and they couldnt cope. A civilization went from the farm to the computer driven office within 100 or so years.

Thats the best explanation for such a mindset that I can come up with. In a way, their eagerness for it all to end reminded me of the Manson family members who were so convinced that black America would very suddenly take over in a crash and burn way - leaving the Manson family who were misfits, on the wrong side of the law too often, unable to hold down a job but yet in their minds positioned to rule the world. Because the world was ignorant and the minds of the manson family was somehow much smarter?
It was with the same creepy conviction of the instant fall within their lifetimes of civilization and how they were smart enough to be ready for it - they would be the ones to survive and would be considered the new successes in life rather than the abject failures they actually were.

The survivalists looked forward to it - their eyes shined and sparkled when they talked about it -it was how they would finally be successful.

That was my impression of that segment of people and it was terribly, terribly sad - a waste of lives and a crime against their poor children. Probably unintentional, but the results being the same, regardless of intention. Their minds were closed to other possibilities. Maybe some mental illness was behind a lot of it.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Yes, I'm very preppy. Oh, wrong meaning. I think you mean survivalists. All those who are hoarding for the great overthrow of our government by the wackos who are secretly planning.

When a snow storm comes, I won't starve till the roads are clear. I always have a supply of essentials which of course includes cat and dog food. I never run out of staples. Kids accuse me of hoarding toilet paper. Not true but my supply could last two months. I have canned goods which I myself don't eat but could. We wouldn't be eating well but could survive half a year. Beyond that , who cares?


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 16:18

Mylab these days people are spending tens of thousands of dollars on "prepper bunkers" ... so even the well educated have bought into the "doomsday scenarios".

A nation of "fear and paranoia" ...


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

No one mentioned the true essential...a can opener.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

We've had several customers that were peak oil doomer type preppers - preparing for oil shortages, crime etc.

All have since passed peacefully. We don't hear much about preppers other than on the crazy staged reality shows....


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I saw a television show depicting a bazillionaire who built such a modern home/ bunker Mom. It was ultra luxurious, appeared to be built in a desert area, contained a huge and carefully selected wine cellar, very self contained with energy sources I didnt quite understasnd. They had chef prepared dehydrated and frozen luxury meals, living conditions, bath facilities and supposedly people in there could last, ten of them? For I think five years or something. I do not recall a lot of it because it was so ludicrous imo and that of the announcer from the tone of his voice.
I think it was more surviving a civilization collapse over a nuclear type of collapse, protection devices within and without abounded, with cameras etc endlessly scanning the outer and inner areas. .

At the end, I wondered - so they survive in five years in the ultimate of luxury - assuming that no one would figure out how to take away or forced them to share.
Then what?
A return to outside life as it now was, five years later with the lack of knowledge on how to survive which everybody else was five years ahead of them on. They would be at the bottom of the pack, through self indulgence I think. Might not last a month.
It was so silly and multi millions spent on this thing. Think of the real accomplishments they could have achieved with that money, the lives saved.
What foolish, silly and vacuous and near criminally self absorbed people who dont understand the tool money is nor the proper way to use that tool.

But - its their money and their decision to live with....maybe! If they want to use a $100 dollar precision tool to open a can of paint, thus ruining it - its their tool to ruin.
( I have heard this from DH who grabbed an expensive screwdriver from my hand when catching me using it to pry open stubborn container lids. Lectured! Then gifted me that "ruined" screwdriver and told to keep my mitts off the new one * LOL*
Which I did.)


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

No one person or family or even small band would survive more than a few months - and that would be pushing it - without contact with a larger society. The inevitable injuries or illness to the pivotal persons would doom the rest, or in the case of a single person a bad case of the flu or contracting an infectious agent like a tick-borne virus, for example, would probably mean death by starvation. So the doomsday prep thing is nonsense.

Being prepared for this and that short term thing is common sense.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

The can opener - a tool of immense utility. Imagine a prepper has Swiss Army knife with all the accoutrements. Me, I've got a cigar box filled with church keys from a long gone relative's tavern. My favorites feature the Hamm's Beer Bear. Hardly a day goes by when I don't use one for something. I also like the manual opener that slices off a lid just below the rim.

I don't prep per se, but when cold weather sets in, I make sure I've got an ample supply of extra canned goods. And there are always frozen vegetables, and some comfort foods (like Christmas cookies once they become tiresome) tucked away in the freezer. Gas in the car, flashlight batteries, TP, toothpaste, etc. always on hand. Same for cash. Just about what everyone does here in cold climes. Rarely ever truly snowed in here for more than a day and the last power outage that lasted about three hours was years ago.

I don't see either zombies or the government coming anytime soon if ever. And would I want to be a survivor in some kind of massive nuclear event? Probably not.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

The bomb shelter craze back in the 50's scared me to death as a kid and I admit to preferring a home with a basement for that reason.

As the years have come and gone. the idea of being stuck in a concrete-walled basement after the rest of the house collapsed on top of me has become less and less attractive.

I have never liked the idea of keeping propane around because it can explode in fires, and imo being blown up is one of the less attractive ways to die.

I keep the usual stocks of basic foods, matches, candles, batteries, flashlights, crank radios and lanterns, extra quilts, tarps (in case the roof blows away or the neighbor's diseased oak tree falls on our house) etc etc, lots of extra plastic garbage bags and leaf bags to protect, collect, and dispose of things, and lots of books that could be burned if it gets so cold my values change to survival instead of entertainment; and an elderly RV I could always bug out of here in if I can get it running in time.

I am one of those who fled from TMI with my two toddlers, in a little yellow Chevette. Fun times. Left two cats in the basement with a tap running and a month's worth of food. DH was in Grenoble at the time; couldn't understand a word of French but saw the px of TMI in the newspaper and called home. I was long gone.

I left the day they started talking of the possibility of a radioactive bubble exploding and breaching the reactor container walls. That never happened, but it was a partial meltdown. They never called out an alarm, and the day it began I was in Goldsboro, the town the reactor was in, purchasing chocolates at a local outlet. From that, I have learned to use my own judgement as to whether an emergency is in progress or not.

We're lucky we're in a large, relatively stable country, but over time things can happen.

This post was edited by eibren on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 19:17


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Let's say someone does build an underground bunker and supplies it for some imagined, impending disaster... what happens if that disaster comes in the form of horrible earthquakes or something similar?

I'll take my chances on the surface, thanks, sans any paranoia. I think possessing decent survival skills is enough.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

So the term "prepper" comes from a TV show. I wondered and had to look it up. We're talking about Survivalists, right?

I think if a truly catastrophic world-wide event should occur, I would like "ground zero" to be on top of me; that would be time to move on to the next level of my existence, whatever that will be.

But for the little crises like hurricanes, massive power outages, etc,, sure I'm as ready as I can be, I think. That's common sense, IMO.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

About the only prepping I see on a large scale these days is stocking up on guns and ammunition due to changing laws, shortages, inflation etc.

This is just for personal use, resale etc, not to fight off future zombie hordes until they can make it to their spider holes and bugout vehicles.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

There are those, unfortunately, who have been convinced by media/propaganda that "zombies hordes" in some "post apocalyptic" scenario are a very real future fear.

It's one thing to be prepared in case of disasters that we know could happen, through logic and common sense... such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc... but to toss reality and reason out the window in favor of ridiculous paranoid delusion fed by media is a whole other ballgame.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

My uncle had a bomb shelter built in the late 50's, I think. I don't remember ever seeing it but wonder if it still exists. Only one son of his is living , so maybe he kept it.

My kids were standing at the bus stop in April 1979 when TMI blew. The information coming out was so bad that the populace began fleeing. As I recall, there was one phone line running into the facility. My husband was sequestered in a bunker with other state officials planning what to do. On Saturday night, Walter Cronkite came on the air and said we were approaching a meltdown. To say I was panicked was an understatement given the horrible public info coming from that corrupt plant. My heroes were Harold Denton and president Carter. They were calm, visited the plant and were assuring that it was safe. I looked around my relatively new house and everything I had and wondered if I'd ever return and it would be a wasteland like Chernobyl. I had two little kids, a cat, dog, birds and I would never leave them to fend for them selves. So we're alive and maybe radiation didn't escape, but my lesson learned...never trust the info being given to cover their ass.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

"never trust" is not a lesson learned, it's merely an affirmation of one's ignorance and impotence. People watching the news learned nothing; the hope is that those in charge of nuclear plants did learn something important.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Elvis re: your above response Saturday at 10:26, I completely agree.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

"There are those, unfortunately, who have been convinced by media/propaganda that "zombies hordes" in some "post apocalyptic" scenario are a very real future fear."

I've yet to meet one single person (with an IQ above 15) who feels that way...not one.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I am prepared for standard catastrophes..earthquake, flood, that sort of thing to the degree one can be. I don't consider the power going out extraordinary enough to call being prepared for that prepping. I keep a certain amount of canned goods on hand that I donate to the food bank before they expire there by acquiring positive karma just in case that works. I don't think it is actually possible to prepare for the melt down of our cultural system. From the movies I surmise you need lots of brown raggedy clothes with tons of buckles and metal studs, meshy vest like bits, and uncomfortable looking boots. Not being a person who has much experience with modern firearms I don't see that being helpful to me at my time of life and I am not a fan of brown. I am going to have to accept my time has come if our whole culture melts down-presuming no one is willing to take me on for my cooking and fiber skills. I can make a fire bow from local plants. I know how to make a fire without matches. Does that count?
Toilet paper is useful short term but if the impasse continues you are going to have to learn to use something else. There are websites devoted to that sort of thing.
If I were really prepping for the cultural meltdown I would stock pile things like green coffee beans, pepper corns and other whole spices. Once commerce reared it's ugly head they would be very useful for trade.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I still maintain in a societal meltdown, your green coffee beans, peppercorns, and spices will likely be taken from you by force by someone else finding them useful.

But I don't envision another of antiquity's Western Europe style fall into the Dark Ages. I'm not ready to start crafting chainmail out of can pop tops.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

•Posted by mylab123 z5NW (My Page) on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 15:48

"Elvis re: your above response Saturday at 10:26, I completely agree."

Good to know, Mylab.

________________
•Posted by hostafrenzy (My Page) on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 15:52

***There are those, unfortunately, who have been convinced by media/propaganda that "zombies hordes" in some "post apocalyptic" scenario are a very real future fear.***
"I've yet to meet one single person (with an IQ above 15) who feels that way...not one."

Me neither. How well do you know these people, Jodi? Do they seem normal otherwise?


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 10:17

Somewhere between stocking up for a few days of power down, and whatever inconveniences come with it, and 'The End of Civilization As We Know it,' is the need to recognize the very real possibility of serious grid-down situations affecting whole regions and multiple regions that could last for a couple weeks for some to months.

Potential causes include natural leading to a cascade of failures, cyber attack, coronal mass ejection, and pandemic illness. We've never been in this situation before, and it's gravely serious.

Everyone here seems to keep a stock of food, but in cities the average food supply is estimated, by one report I read, at about 2 days. Water could be a much more serious situation.

Once power goes down, backup generators go on. Most in our nation have been old and inadequately maintained, although hopefully that is being remedied over time for most communities now that we realize how serious the situation is. But--once those go down, the water stops running. One large city had all four or five of its backup generators fail immediately just a few years ago after a storm or something.

Stores these days practice just-in-time stocking, which is just what it sounds like. There's no real warehouse at the back of the supermarket--what's on the shelves is basically what's available. If the trucks stop moving daily massive stocks into a region, food very quickly runs out.

Given the cost "efficiencies" associated with this and budget problems, most governments have also adopted much just-in-time stocking. That includes repair parts and tools for support facilities.

Most utilities are private, and they practice whatever maintenance and stocking they choose after meeting minimum government requirements.

There have been many government and expert warnings that all of the disasters mentioned above are not only possible but considered by experts to be likely and that any of them could disrupt the systems that support us for up to months.

Hopefully we're busy fixing this particular issue, among many, but it was brought home to those who need to worry about these things that the parts to fix transformers destroyed by a pulse, for instance, were made in factories overseas that could not possibly provide enough replacements to bring regional grids back up for at least several months. No transformers, no power.

The federal government's now conducted two nationwide 'Grid-Ex' type tests, and no doubt many other smaller ones. A few generalities were revealed to us after the first.

That the second, much larger drill, was being run was announced last fall, with some discussion in the media, including the NY Times. I just now looked to find out what was released and found--nothing. Including no followup in the NY Times, not even speculation in a byline. A few concerned peeps from those with no information, but nothing from the government or news media. It looks very much like the results have been censored.

I remember that in 2007 all nontechnical discussion of a possible flu pandemic was censured. Worries about a potential pandemic strain had been a topic of routine discussion on TV, magazines, etc., the year before, but then nothing understandable without a degree in epidemiology through the entire flu season. A killer pandemic did not get loose, of course, and normal info resumed after the flu season was over.

In any case, an information blackout is something I'm inclined to view as a bad sign in a number of ways. Not of the end of the world, but definitely of system failures serious enough to be very concerning.

Here's the NY Times article about the second grid-down test that had just been performed.

Here is a link that might be useful: NY Times

This post was edited by rosie on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 11:44


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

The preppers I've met weren't dummies. They had to be relatively smart, knowledgeable and skilled to make the income necessary to support their prepper lifestyles.

Since they performed much of the prepper design and construction work themselves they had to have numerous mechanical, construction and self sufficiency skills as well as being innovative.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Apparently, we didn't learn that much as a species from the nuclear disasters presented by TMI and Chernobyl, etc... and now, we have Fukushima and its future implications to deal with... and any possibilities surrounding the many other facilities that still operate, or are yet to be built and come online.

I've never felt that nuclear energy was any better or more efficient or safe than the idea of spewing coal and petroleum industry waste into our atmosphere, and I've always hoped we would move a little more quickly toward using clean energy methods to power our nation's grids. We certainly have the technology today... and it improves constantly.

The whole idea of getting 'off the grid' and moving toward a more self-supporting lifestyle has implications that go beyond just eliminating the need to be connected and the cost of such... to be self-sufficient, utilizing clean energy, would also help lessen the impact should any major grids fail... for whatever reason.

But should we really live in a constant state of fear and paranoia that a major disaster will happen? I don't think this is a feasible way to live. We're already stressed as a society due to economy and the many other social issues we face. We can't live in a constant state of agitation, wondering "what if"?

I don't think it's possible to be completely prepared for every contingency. It truly does "take a village", and we have to rely partly on that notion... that we aren't alone, that the human race will come together in times of disparity to do what's best for everyone involved. We can't really live as little islands, cut off completely.

It's one thing to be more self-supporting... it's another to hoard and plan on blasting anyone on sight who might need our help should a disaster befall us.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maps of Seismic Hazards...


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

In a world of 7 billion + people if the worst happens-pandemic or enormous natural/energy based disaster, most people are going to die. If you live in a city your chances are going to be smaller. Preppers believe they are going to survive. We have noticed in the past that very few preppers seem to think of bonding with other like minded sorts-so those singular prepper types have a count against them. You are certainly more likely to survive if you can form a community with people with skills that complement yours. I would certainly buy my way into a community with my peppercorns and green coffee beans if possible. Spices were popular and valuable all through the dark ages. If we look to history to see who lived through that(baring bad luck on who got plague) we see small communities in the country who eventually fed back into the cities once the worst was over.


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We are well prepared for the routine emergencies that we may face. Food, water alternatives for energy and heat, extra gasoline...stash of red wine.

If it is a truly a catastrophic event .......I'm not sure I want to be on the other side of it.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I'll show up as a shaman and con people out of "offerings" by promising them a return to pre-apocalypse.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

And they'll line up behind you with sacks of brown rice in hand since the last shaman went away with a loaf of bread a jug of wine and someone beside him singing in the post-apocalyptic wilderness.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 17:53

Well, once again, I'd like to point out that there is a giant possible-disaster gap between routine emergencies and end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-events. It's stupid to imagine no other possibility between a week without power OR a return to the Dark Ages.

Routine emergencies: Happen all the time.

Unprecedented but likely to occur: Potentially many unnecessary deaths and much suffering.

End-of-world: Not going to happen.


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End of the world may indeed happen .......and that will be the end.


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We also live within walking distance of a creek.


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I'm sure we'll see a great spawning of killer tornadoes, typhoons/hurricanes, fires, droughts, floods - news will have to come up with a new word for "massive".

The unknown "they" say snow cover in the upper Midwest isn't really atypical this year and aren't predicting big flooding down the Mississippi. But the ground is frozen a few feet down and ripe for quick run-off, especially with spring rains on top of it. Those floods don't often kill, but ice chunks and debris take out roads, bridges, culverts, etc. and generally spread misery.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I am the total opposite of a prepper. If I lost power, it's dubious that I could find a flashlight, if I even still have one.

But I don't own my home, so there is a loss of incentive right there. My emergency plan in two steps 1) Gather cats and dogs 2) Go to my parents' house.

It probably wouldn't hurt for me to be a bit more prepared than I am, but there really is no reason for me not to just pitch in on my folks efforts more so that I am welcome there. Incidentally, even my other siblings with more vested in the properties they live on go to my Mom and Dad's for a hurricane, for a variety of other equally sound reasons. We move around the homes as we can helping each other nail them up, gas up cars, and gather supplies then we hunker down all together!


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I'm not a prepper. My food reserves would last less than 7 days. I have no water stored. I have no guns. But if I can survive the initial calamity, I'm within a half day hike of the National Forest where I will neither starve or freeze to death. It would not be pleasant and the experience would go easier if I could take with me an axe, machete, a cooking pot, and a small bag of seeds. All of which I have. But I could do this only in the area I know, Arkansas.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

There's really not much food in most wild areas.

The bears are always hungry.


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Rats! Rats would probably rule after the big event, a depressing thought...


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 6:54

Nah tobr the "cat killers" could kill the rats ...

I live near a large body of water, course that is if the friggin frackers don't get their oily hands on it.

As far as the common comments of city dwellers and chaos ...

Yes we saw this after Sandy, mobs of thugs roaming the streets robbing and killing people, raping the women and enslaving the children ... oh wait that wasn't what happened.

What actually happened was neighbor helping neighbor ... and the "movie version" of how people act was just that, a movie.

This is how I see my fellow human beings ... I don't see everyone "not like me" as the enemy to be feared and incarcerated ... but then I know they ARE JUST LIKE ME.

The whole "image" thing ya know :)


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Rats aren't really that different than us though tobr.

They're omnivorous opportunists that can adapt to any habitat on land, who also live equally well alone or in colonies. Anywhere you find people thriving, you can find rats thriving too.

The only real difference is that they are prey, whereas we are not, and r strategy breeders to accommodate for their more dangerous lives.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 7:43

Right, Ohio. I agree.

The notion of how much food to have on hand is, of course, a cultural thing developed from prior need. We're used to having more food than we could ever want practically right out the door. AND, we're all of us used to expecting government to be able to take care of us--including those who insist it never does a good job.

Our culture has not adapted to meet a failure of that supply yet, a failure of the government safety net that might take weeks to get basic food to all stricken areas, even though all authorities agree that massive regional, and conceivably even national, structural failures are extremely possible, some consider effectively inevitable.

We need to reclaim the term prepping for common sense preparation. I have read here that some people who've been through recent big storms are stocking/prepping more than they used to.

Pls8xx, one thing that happens routinely is that areas near populated areas become hunted out pretty quickly. As a solo traveler, I guess you'd be in better position to follow availability into the wilderness than most.

For anyone, how about just buying ahead some of the things you'll eat over the next year anyway, especially when they're on sale? 3 bags of rice instead of 1, 8 of your favorite brand of canned chili next time it's on sale, and so on. DH and I like kipper snacks on crackers now and then, so there's a stack of those little cans on my shelf, instead of one. Then just replace what's used now and then.

Every grocery trip, bring home a couple of gallon bottles of water. Why not? It costs almost nothing. For sure, always keep one in each vehicle. If there's no room in the garage for a two-week supply, how about in a crawl space--if there is one? No storage space? How about purchasing a couple of inflatable water containers--much nicer to drink out of than the tub, and that water'll be needed for a variety of things too. Keep a bottle plain chlorine bleach on hand to disinfect it. Those without outdoor areas, definitely at least plastic bags for personal waste.

Just common sense for those who are dependent for their lives on grocery stores and running water always being there for them. Which is almost all of us.


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Unless one lives in a true desert catching enough rainwater from one's roof for merely drinking and cooking is reliable. In most parts on NA rainwater is clean enough to drink, however if there is one affordable thing to buy and have it would be a gravity water filter.

Most suburban households already have the basic tools for survival sitting around: shovel, hoe, axe, etc. Go to the hardware store and buy the best carpenter's handsaw that they have, with the fewest teeth per inch. This will cut firewood like you read about, or at least one can cut enough deadwood from neighborhood trees to cook. Forget the bow saws and other supposed tree-cutting saws, they are BS. Have a file on hand that fits the teeth, you'll need it eventually, but today's hardened teeth stay sharp an amazingly long time if you are careful not to hit metal or stone.

Know and have on hand the landrace crops and herbs best suited for the local climate. The best thing is for one's yard to be full with them already, of course.

IOW, having some key stuff is important but you need to know how to use it long before any critical situation.


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What do you mean, there isn't much food in wild areas? Of course there is... you just need to know what to look for or how to catch it... and how to prepare it.

It helps to know what plant materials and which animals are indigenous to various areas... but typically, if one has the knowledge, one could live off the land.

I sure don't want to spend my time worrying about what might happen. I'd rather live in the moment and enjoy life.

Some things we can prepare for, and others we simply won't be able to prepare for... lots of variables.


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Hmm, maybe a fat rat might taste good prepared over an open fire...


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"Pls8xx, one thing that happens routinely is that areas near populated areas become hunted out pretty quickly. As a solo traveler, I guess you'd be in better position to follow availability into the wilderness than most. "

I would guess that to be basically true. But Arkansas is not densely populated. The reality is that even here a large majority do not have the skills to hunt and those that do employ the methods of sportsmen. Sport hunting and fishing works where game is plentiful. That would not last long.

Once much of the game has been taken other methods such as traps are a much more efficient way.

There is a tree fruit found in Arkansas that can be bruised and placed in a sack or basket. When placed at the inflow to a small pond of water it will starve the fish of oxygen and they will come to the surface, stunned and easy to catch.

<"It helps to know what plant materials and which animals are indigenous to various areas... but typically, if one has the knowledge, one could live off the land.

Yes, but food resources are just part of what you need to know. Central Arkansas is home to novaculite, one of the best sharpening materials to be found anywhere,

Though I live in a rural area, I doubt there are more than one in a thousand that could find a wild bee tree and know when and how to rob the honey.

If it ever did come to it, a lot of folks aren't going to make it. And some of them think of themselves as preppers.


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Well, Tobr... rat wouldn't be my first choice, but if that's what's available, I'm not going to pass it by. Beggars can't be choosers.

Lots of small animals that are regularly eaten belong to the rodent family... squirrel, etc...


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It isn't going to come to it, unless there is an asteroid impact or a volcanic eruption of sufficient magnitude to shut down most economic activity but not kill everyone outright.

The most likely future is a very slow energy descent as resources and population shrink. The so-called "soft landing". It would make sense that it will be about as unpleasant a process as energy ascent was pleasant. The average family will lose stuff instead of gain it as they did through the twentieth century.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 16:29

"The concept of interdependency," the report notes, "is evident in the unavailability of water due to long-term outage of electric power--and the inability to restart an electric generator without water on site."

Above: What if the May 1921 superstorm occurred today? A US map of vulnerable transformers with areas of probable system collapse encircled. A state-by-state map of transformer vulnerability is also available."

["Today" was in 2009. This is from a NASA article that got a lot of people excited back then. Other things that could make your toilet stop working are, of course, pandemic illlness, cyber attack, and so on.

BTW, did anyone search for discussion on the results of that nationwide government drill back in November? Find something I missed?]

Here is a link that might be useful: NASA


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 16:34

Deleted duplicate post.

I am curious, though, if anyone's found evidence that the results of the second drill are not being censored. It was of real interest to many beforehand.

Here is a link that might be useful: NASA

This post was edited by rosie on Mon, Mar 3, 14 at 17:28


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Alright, well, if we're talking wild areas, I do have to admit that I have always educated myself on wild foods, and often played the "what could I find to eat here?" game in parks and wild areas I hike or relax in.

So I suppose that fits in the category of mental preparedness on my part. There are bayous everywhere here, not a bad ecosystem for finding food. It makes me shudder to think of eating fish from our bayous ... not only because of the petroleum pollution produced here, but because of the sort of utter trash fish that abound, stuff like alligator gar. But as jodik pointed out, if I had to be a beggar I wouldn't get to be a chooser too.

It's also kind of fun to think of how ubiquitous yet ignored certain wild plant foods are by us humans nowadays. Hackberries rank among some of the oldest known vegetable matter eaten by man, but no one bothers with them that I know of these days. They're not bad, sort of citrusy tasting though they have a weird crunch similar to acai berries.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Jodi, I was thinking mainly of wild areas near densely populated suburbs.

You have the intrinsic advantage of living in an area rural enough to be able to harvest wild game without exhausting it, but many of us do not.

Even when I had my "straight run" of egg laying ducks, I had to purchase straw and feed for them. To get those, I had to have money and a vehicle with gas in it.

The only significant and stable group of people near here fully prepared to survive are the Amish, and they are a good hour or more from where I live, even if they would be willing to help out the "English" during a disaster. It is my impression that their own food stores are only just sufficient to get them through each winter as it is, although grains that they sell might possibly be bartered if their usual outlets are inaccessible

IMO a closer look should be taken at seeds for sprouting for anyone seriously into long term survival, due to their vitamin content--and peas, as a starchy, relatively cold weather crop, in case of climate change due to volcanic ash..


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Roaches, roaches might be an alternative to rats if we run out of them...


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Actually, I have a theory that insect chitin might be just as effective for arthritis as the glucosamine from sea creature shells.

Lots of people eat insects. Some people have enough sense to collect plagues of locusts and cook them up.


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Hmm, I can't wait for the crickets to start chirping again. I'm thinking about a nice survivalist stir fry drill...


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Just make certain not to choose a poisonous insect strain....

;o)


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No problem, I'll try them on a dog first...


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A canary would be a faster indicator.

You know what they say about canaries:

Every survuvalist should have at least one.*

*paraphrase


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But I might want to eat the canary, too...


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Toilets always work unless the drain becomes clogged. Power outages don't affect that. If one is going to bother trying to plan for something as complex as the future might as well not get confused about simple things.

Also, the Amish are not disconnected from the economy that the rest of us depend on. The majority of the Amish population are not farmers and do not grow their own food, even. Even the minority that do have a winter's worth of food staples in storage rely on the same basic supply chain as the rest of us. No status quo can be maintained in the event of a serious change.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 8:15

Toilets need water to flush. Many disasters find toilets becoming filled and noisome well before systems are restored to normal. Especially in city apartments, but it also happens in suburban homes, when people use them initially without realizing there's a problem. Bathrooms often end up closed up and abandoned, cloths stuffed under the doors to block odors, etc.


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Backed up toilets?! I think that this thread has run its course...lol!


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Even in a more urban area, Eibren, there are 'food' items running around or flying around, or growing, that one could survive on. It's not uncommon to eat squirrel, pigeon, crow... and there are many indigenous plants and roots that are edible, some of them common weeds.

I would think a more pressing problem would be finding and/or purifying a potable water source... though one could collect rain, or purify other water sources through various processes or using various tools.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

People still employ outhouses or dig latrines where modern plumbing and fixtures aren't available, and while not as comfortable, they still work. Composting toilets are very popular with the "off-grid" crowd.

Heating water through solar means is an option.

Where there's a will, there's a way. Necessity is the mother of invention.

Insects are actually very popular as snacks in other countries, and in some areas bugs are considered a very good and plentiful source of protein... you'll find them offered in South American countries, Thailand and neighboring countries, etc. Crickets, frogs, certain beetles and worms, etc... some are seasoned and deep fried, or cooked in other ways.

My husband says crickets taste kind of like almonds.

In other parts of the world, people eat very different diets than the one we're used to. Different cultures do a lot of things very differently than we do. They survive just fine.

Here is a link that might be useful: 8 Popular Bugs to Try


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Medications necessary to live or function reasonably well would become scarce pretty quickly and non existent after a couple of months, there would be an immediate problem with that which I doubt a reasonable solution exists.

Unless the crisis is one that is reasonably temporary, living would very well actually mean surviving from day to day.


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So much of this depends on the type and extent of the catastrophe - envision tens of thousands, nay millions, competing for the same resources. Despite all, no one is going to respect your little property rights and will poach all that is available to poach - anything wild still running free for the taking will be exhausted for food in pretty short order. When someone wants food to feed their family and the 18 wheelers are no longer loading up at the nearest distribution center, little hoards of gold and cash devalue because you can't eat them.

I have no romantic survival thoughts. Although it is undoubtedly true that some may last longer with their skills, perceived or otherwise.


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"So much of this depends on the type and extent of the catastrophe..."

Precisely. There are some disaster scenarios that will be relatively mild in comparison to others... a few of which would include a low survival probability for most or all people.

Those who live rurally and have the least dependence on modern society may survive, or may survive longer... depending on the actual catastrophe faced.

But then again, given what hurricanes and other disasters have wrought recently, and the way they've been handled, would prove out the theory that humans can survive and rebuild working together.

So... 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other, I suppose.

Personally, though... I don't think I'd want to go through life expecting some horrible planet ending disaster to strike, and spend all my time preparing for something that might not ever happen. I'd rather just live life on my own terms... and being more independent, living closer to the earth and coaxing a living out of it, and having less use for money, is all part of those terms, and what makes me happy.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 13:23

Maybe just plan for what reasonably can be done without disrupting lives? After all, a temporary disruption of services is much more likely than a long-term one.

Can anyone remembering the Katrina disaster fail to imagine a situation where it could take 3 weeks before the chance to stand in line all morning for food arose? While less fortunate people scattered outside town still waited for assistance to arrive? My goal is to avoid all lines if possible simply by buying ahead what we would be purchasing over time anyway.

Most people would be far safest at home, surrounded by neighbors with their own food stocks and other supplies. Barring home-destroying disasters, that should be the plan. Not trying to walk out of Phoenix or Los Angeles if the water failed.

Again, the entertaining scenario of people routinely immediately preying on each other is not borne out by real disasters. As said, people survive best through cooperation--and when in trouble we know it.

Frankly, my goal would be not only short-term "survival" but just getting through a difficult time with a reasonable degree of comfort and security. No insects, though I do have a book about what the original inhabitants of this area scrounged in the woods for food. No tiresome FEMA lines, when the trucks finally did show up. No trying to block the smells from a misused bathroom (very definitely a basic prepping topic!).

As for medication, I "lost" a full bottle of my one 3-month prescription, refilled it, and now always have no less than 3 months' worth and usually more.

Other standards are ibuprofen and omeprazole, which both would last longer than the 1-year shelf life if it came to that. Easy to toss an extra or two in the shopping cart, and both would be good for friendly trades with neighbors. A lot of people take them.

This subject seems to make some a little nervous, but it'd be so easy to get that bare minimum 2-week supply and forget about it.

BTW, has nobody gone to check for him or herself my suspicion that the results of the second national federally-organized grid-down drill are being withheld from the public? I looked again and found nothing at all on it in 2013 or 2014.

On March 3, the WSJ did do that very late report (below) on what appears to many experts to be a successful April 2013 terrorist drill attack on a California substation. Successful because, as one pointed out, terrorists don't normally want to destroy a test target, just practice on and learn from it.

This lengthy article talks about threats to the grid in general but does not mention the nationwide test involving many substations. Seems to me potential censorship should be a real hot topic.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wall Street Journal

This post was edited by rosie on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 13:48


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Rain comes off the roof, put it in the toilet, or dip it out of a pond or a puddle. Unless in the city, it's a non-issue anyway, we'd just crap in the backyard and grow veggies with it.


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How much dynamite would be required to get through 3 feet of frozen ground? Best to wait for disasters to occur in summertime - when the livin' is easy.

Good heavens - in some areas people can't get home - or anywhere - when an inch of snow falls.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 14:25

We are surrounded by woods/streams (creeks) and of course Lake Erie ... a rocket stove is inexpensive to set up and requires little fuel to burn. Bring water to a boil and you pretty much kill any bacteria ... strain it through cheesecloth to remove any debris (critters) first. City or rural these can be set up easily.

Found an interesting (to me) blog ... showed how you can use cotton balls and vaseline for "fire starters", just unroll the cotton ball, spread a little vaseline and roll back up. Can be prepared beforehand (part of the prep) and stores in plastic bags. Saw a demo on utube.

Fill a bathtub with water for "flushing" ... won't have to flush after every "pee" :) Cat litter and a bucket if no composting toilet.

I live in the "emerald necklace", not sure how long it would take to go through the wood, but there sure is plenty of it. 100+ year old oaks etc. Again with a simple rocket stove all you need is a few small pieces of wood.

I also keep "dry goods" around and don't forget to stock "salt", still a cheap commodity, but if you really think there is going to be a "major" disaster you might want to think salt as a trading good.

Yeah yeah yeah I have read about the whole survivalist movement ... we can go a month without leaving the house, and by then the National Guard/Military will be on every corner :)


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Ohiomom, another fire starter can be made by dripping candle wax onto cotton balls, or dipping them in a container of melted wax. Vaseline works, but the wax presents less mess and makes them easier to handle.

A rocket stove is definitely in our future plans. They are incredibly economical, burning far less fuel than most other setups, and they produce more heat and are cleaner burning than conventional wood stoves.

Of course, self-sufficiency includes redundancy in case of failure... so one would want to have several systems in place... just in case. The idea is to live independently of the norms of society, such as having one's own source for electric, heat and cooling, water, sewage, food sources and storage, etc.

There are tons of excellent ideas out there, created and used by those who want to live a more independent lifestyle. Being self-sufficient isn't convenient or easy, but it is liberating and offers better health in many ways.


Here is a link that might be useful: An Interesting Blog...


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 15:27

Well of course they do sell rocket stoves ... or you can make one with 4 cinder blocks ... :) I was not aware they used them for heat, just for cooking.

Jodi I actually tested the vaseline/cotton balls (was curious to see if it really works) and the flame burns quite a long time, more than enough time to start a fire.

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY Rocket Stove


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Well the talk of potable water had me thinking of an item I have considered buying for camping and hiking use and one I feel no good prepper should be without.

Unless you are in an utter dessert without ANY water sources, you can use this ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Lifestraw Personal Filter


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  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 16:49

That's a nice thing to have in the car. I didn't find on quick search a laboratory evaluation, and I have read that most filters can't filter out everything, but it's certainly an improvement over cupped hands from puddle to mouth.

One site recommended it for a bug-out bag. I suspect most people would be best served by keeping a little get-home backpack in the car. It could become a bug-out pack if going home was out of the question, but most times people are going to want to get home to family.

In the car a paper map or maps, for backup, whether the car's driveable or walking is in order.

Ohiomom, I'd gladly trade ibuprofen for salt if it came to it. I've let our stock go down. As you say, something that costs very little but would make a great trade good. Toilet paper takes a lot more room, but a lot of us don't know how to live without it and would prefer not to learn. :)

Speaking of, a roll of heavy-duty garbage bags with ties. Put one in the toilet, lay the seat down over the edges. Add a solution of water with bleach (didn't look up proportion) before tying up the bag and setting it aside, preferably in a garbage can for that purpose.

A far-out-of-area contact for family to leave messages with if possible. Land lines usually stay up when power goes down. Cell phones should have back-up power source, carried with the person, such as a solar unit.


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Yes, Ohiomom... rocket stoves use many different designs, and can be built for cooking, or incorporated into a home as a main heat source. Some are quite nice... though one could also build a smaller, more temporary design just for cooking needs.

The good ideas to be had are really quite endless.


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I have learned some amazing things - a rocket stove and that lifestraw personal filter - its just amazing, the ingenuity people have! Im going to get a couple of those filters, one for here, one for our self contained camper and will have DH read about the rocket stove, although my guess is that he already knows about these things since he loves to read about such things.
What a great thread!


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 17:38

Jodi I looked up the rocket heaters ... obviously this would be a good heat source for an off the grid home.

Mylab the cinder block rocket stoves are very simple .. and they work, watched several videos (utube).


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Have to admit that constructing the rocket stove with 4 cinder blocks is a really low tech handy thing to know.

ohiomom's DIY link is worth looking at.


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I agree that the majority of people will be cooperative very far into a crisis. It's only when it starts to look permanent that things will start to get out of control.


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 18:24

Duluth that is why I like it ... low low low tech :) Also he has his flame a little high, lots of utube videos show folks cooking on these...hey like I said there is a "movement" out there. I imagine if you could keep a steady heat you could cook say a stew or even bread in a dutch oven. Of course I don't have that new fangled fancy cookware ... cast iron is more practical IMO for this type of cooking.

A friend of mine who is an urban farmer built two of these for his "winter" greenhouse :)

They do sell them for those more interested in manufactured ones ... I believe the idea came about to provide cooking in third world countries because it uses a small amount of "fuel" (wood).

Neat idea :)


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I live too close to salt water for salt to be a trade commodity but for inland people it is a no brainer. We are also in the land of water so potable water is everywhere and as useful as the life straw is it had it's limit. There is a system you can make with sand, gravel and plastic buckets for longer term use. I don't have a link to that but it is something you could look up.I think it only takes abut 3 feet of gravel and sand. I think that some sort of natural calamity that means you have to look after yourself for an extended period is what you can prepare for. For me that would most likely be a major earth quake. Any idea that you can prepare for some continual meltdown is just dreaming in my opinion unless you have serious survival skills and are young and healthy.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I've debated building a permanent rocket stove in my backyard here, even though I don't own this home.

I have planted stuff here regardless, and have even collected recycled bricks to line my beds. Since I had some extra, even with stuck mortar, they were fine for rigging up a rocket stove model. It took me 56 bricks to get the right height and size I was considering. Bricks aren't really very expensive, and I think when I priced it out I was looking at $40- $50 total including the metal parts and mortar supplies. Pretty cheap for a nice a permanent feature to add to the yard.

I'm super curious about the possibility of barbecuing on a rocket stove ... seems like you would have to add fuel pretty often, which doesn't really jibe well with the efficiency purpose of a rocket stove, but might still be much more efficient than other traditional means of barbecuing would be.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

The term "rocket" simply refers to a setup that allows wood to burn at close to maximum temperature, converting as much of the mass as possible to heat. If one does not have a way to store that heat - a cooking pot, a greenhouse, a masonry mass, etc, it is a massive waste of fuel.

The ones popular on utube now, usually in greenhouses, are using a long metal flue buried in dirt - the dirt absorbs the heat and prevents the metal pipe from melting - very simp, cheap, and clever. Usually these are exhausting inside the structure, the flue is long enough and the burn hot enough that there is little carbon monoxide or other toxic gas buildup, but nonetheless it would be against code and common sense to do that in a living space. It is marvelously efficient, no direct heat loss to convection as with a normal chimney. For greenhouses and other spaces that no one sleeps in or spends all that much time in it is really smart.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Your better built, more permanent rocket stoves vent to the outside, but take full advantage of the cleaner burning design for higher heat, which allows no creosote buildup and uses a lot less fuel to begin with. There are many designs to choose from, some built right into the home, and a lot more efficient. This is actually an idea that has been used for centuries around the world for cooking and/or heating.

The greenhouse styles we're looking at include those that are dug out below the frost line, and use composting materials as a heat source to maintain a temperature that allows some growing almost all year 'round.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 10:16

"greenhouse dug out below frost line"

Under $300 ...(scroll down for pic)

Me like :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

I love THE GRID!

I get up in the morning, turn on the stove and make tea.

If my electricity goes out, I call the Electric Company and they come fix it really quickly.

If I need the money to pay for it, I go do a little work for someone.

Leaves me plenty of time to get in my Grid powered car to go get beer and dance.

Hay


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Well, Hay, paying someone else to provide what you could provide yourself is always an option, and your choice.

Some of us are tired of wasting money, paying high prices for poor service, and supporting dirty energy, and have decided to remedy that situation by moving to more self-sufficient, cleaner types of energy.

Exactly what we were thinking of, Ohiomom, though perhaps a bit smaller scale. Size will depend on a few variables. But it's a great idea, to be sure! :-)


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 12:21

Jodi the "earthship" would also work for you .... wonder if I could build one in the city?

:)


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Well, Ohiomom, I know that many alternative building/construction methods do pass building codes, though you'd have to check local codes and allowances should you decide to build, or retrofit a current building in your own area.

There actually are a lot of good ideas out there for making one's current home more efficient, more "green"... homeowners have a lot of options these days.

I'd love to build and live in an earthship, but I think it would be rather expensive. We'll have to see what the future brings. With enough support, a lot of what we'd really like to do would be possible. Maybe a smaller version of the earthship would work for us. We don't require the space that many previously built earthships encompass. Some are quite spacious.

What I like the most about this type of abode is that most everything is contained in one "living" space, and there's so much that's recycled, not just in the building but also in its day to day operating.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Indeed, Jodik, the masonry stoves of scandanavia and russia are 'rocket' stoves. When the stove vents outside the space, then there has to be a way to close off the flue otherwise all the stored heat in the masonry will cycle out quickly. I have found it is no easy matter to burn a fire hot right to the end so that one can close the flue fairly soon but without gassing the inhabitants. Like many such things it is simple technology but requires some experience to do well.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

We could always hide out in the horsebox and for sure, fuel is not a concern. We are surrounded by water which flows through acres of reed bed and could get either a wind-turbine or solar panels......it is all a bit of a faff and so far, we have been completely lo-tech (no-tech) with kerosene lamps and candles....and a wind-up radio. However, it is a bit boring......although, if some major catastrophe occured so we had to flee to rural woodlands......I suspect feeling a bit bored in the evening might have a different dimension. Who knows? On one hand, it contributes quite amazingly to my sense of security.....but while I do have a choice to sit in a light, warm (ish) house, waffling away on the interweb and sleeping in a spacious bed (which it emphatically is not, in the horsebox.....although plans are afoot), my main prepping actions are along the lines of having a stash of biscuits and half a dozen books waiting to be read.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

This is an interesting thread. I didn't know about rocket stoves or Lifestraw filters. That rocket stove made out of cinder blocks is very nifty! I want to make one (when the snow melts someday...)

Markj what is a dechero??

David52, does that magic floating flashlight really crank by hand and how long does the light last?

PNB, I have a fabulous bow saw - it's 25 years old and still cuts great. I can't imagine using the carpenter saw to cut firewood.

I am not much of a prepper, but hope to build or do an energy retrofit and have a nice energy efficient home someday.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

My device is giving me a lot of problems with freezing up when I try to watch videos on the internet (or much of anything else, even after clearing it out) so I couldnt watch video on the rocket heater but I read a short article on them - what a wonderful idea!
Cheap to make if you are handy, cheaper to use once they are made. Im surprised they arent used far more often in low cost construction. Even for people who enjoy outside off the back of the home for evening entertaining where they employ fire pits on chilly nights, this seems like a terrific idea to add to the mix.

My question is this: is there a visible open flame or is that the whole idea, not to have one so that the fuel burning waste is directed sideways and out rather than gathering into the room in harmful measures. But where does the heat itself gather - and can it be directed and divided off into different directions? Is there a place one has to avoid due to getting burned if one touches it?

Very interesting - it sounds like just the ticket for Jodi if/ when their dream of building an off the grid place gets off the ground. It seems to me that if there was a living space and another separate sleeping space, you could incorporate 2 rocket heaters in the house, but with your winters Jodi would this idea produce hot enough heat in a big enough area for a long enough period of time to be a viable plan?
If there was a way to work in an iron fire-back, that might extend the time of radiating warmth after the wood had burned out- but I understand I might be completely in the dark on the basic principle since I cant watch the videos.

For transparency :
Im an "on the grid" girl and will go off only if they turn it off for good, and I pray to the great electric god that he never abandons me -

( I want my blow dryer, curling iron, lighted make up mirror, assorted lamps for mood lighting ( I know, terrible energy waste) my clothes washer and dryer, they will take my dishwasher away only when they pry it from the grip of my cold, dead arms)

- but Im just fascinated by the simple, available low tech technology out there and available to almost any budget that can provide some of the most basic needs for less than a fraction of what 'on the grid' lovers like myself will always have to pay.

Just fascinated, and think it just wonderful! I would love to have a long conversation with people who have actually gone off the grid for a major portion of their living conditions, employ these ideas and then hear the pros and cons about that life, it would be so interesting!

Excuse me, I have to go nuke some water for my evening hot cup of tea
* LOL*


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

To me it makes sense to employ good sustainable practices which can also serve as backup in an emergency. For example a rain water catchment system that can be used to not only water your garden but also as drinking or bath water in a pinch. With fresh water becoming more scarce it also makes sense to me to employ practices such as hugelkulter gardening as well. We have a few barrels for rainwater and I am also building a hugelkulter bed as well. It sure would be nice to have extra to share and or barter as well to get through tough times. Getting out of debt is also a good idea. My fathers family experienced the great depression living on a farm. I asked him and my uncle why they had to go to bed hungry when there was livestock they could have eaten. They got serious and said they remembered their dad had to sell to make the farm payments. Even in their rural area they said wild game got real scarce too.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Exactly, rainwater can be used for all water needs.

Large-scale catchment is no easy or inexpensive matter, though. At my folk's place in florida we finally got around to setting up a 500 gallon stainless steel tank that we found used. An amazing piece of hardware, looks like it was originally for a soft drink bottling plant. Now the garden is being watered entirely with rainwater, and it shows. But just a couple of 55-gallon drums would be sufficient for cooking and washing. Drinking water is no sweat with a simple and long-lived gravity filter.

Terrene, what kind of bow saw? I'm curious, because I have never used one that could compare with a sharp heavy duty carpenter's saw. I can cut 4-5 inch locust logs with no big effort with it.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Markj what is a dechero??

A Derecho is an extended straight line wind storm. I was directly in the path of 2 of these in the 90s, 1 while on Lake Ontario and 1 while in the Adirondacks.

I'd never seen so much wind and tree related damage. It took weeks to restore power to many areas.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

David52, does that magic floating flashlight really crank by hand and how long does the light last?

There are 3 LED bulbs. You can turn all three on, one on, and 3 flashing. I set it on 1 bulb, gave it a 1 minute crank last night at 10:30 pm, left it turned on, and its still nice and bright this morning at 5:30 am.


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RE: Are you a Prepper?

Let it be said that there are varying levels, and many different ideas of what it means to live "off-grid".

For some people, it's all or nothing... and they envision living quite the Amish style of life, with no modern amenities whatsoever.

For others, it means living in a comfortable space that is self-sustained and environmentally friendly... while still having wi-fi!

I'm of the latter opinion, that one can live quite comfortably, be quite self-sustaining, a lot more environmentally friendly... and still retain a connection to the modern world through internet and satellite television, and the use of modern tools that save time and effort.

Mylab, my husband would be the one building the rocket stove, so only he knows which design would work the best for our application, and be able to explain the physics of it. All I know is that this general type of heating is something he's very interested in employing, and we will incorporate it into our plans along with other backup systems.

The general idea is to live in a smaller space, grow and produce our own food source, produce our own electricity and heat, and basically live more in tune to the seasons and the land... working for ourselves and our own survival, instead of working for someone else. And with the skill sets of those who will be a part of this lifestyle, we have everything covered. Think of it as "homesteading".

Having redundant systems in place in case of failure only makes good logical sense. For instance, one wouldn't want to rely solely on solar for power, so one would also incorporate wind power into the system, and keep an added backup of a generator just in case.

I would still want to have modern tools that make certain jobs easier, such as chainsaws and other power tools and equipment... we just don't want to rely on the grocery store for our food source, or utility companies for our comfort... these are things we can rather easily remedy.

Campanula, I'm rather surprised that the roof of your little home doesn't already contain solar panels connected to a small system... one that could provide enough power to operate the few things you'd want.

Solar technology has come a long way from being too expensive or too complicated for the average homeowner, and a lot of folks are either buying used systems, or building their own units. There's a ton of information on the internet.

The same can be said for wind powered units and the technology. People are building their own, or buying small systems that have the capacity to power the average home. Windmills have been in use for hundreds of years, the remnants of which one can still see around the world, and around our own countryside as the site of old farms.

Mylab, there are many blogs and websites you can read that record the move of various families or persons from one lifestyle to another, that of living off-grid or homesteading. Some take you from beginning to end, through a land purchase and building process, and some record day to day life as they tend to livestock, or beekeep, or garden and farm, or put up produce, or make soap or candles, etc... lots of interesting stories out there, with no two alike! I think you'd find a lot of information if you searched "homesteading" or "off-grid living".

People have homesteaded for generations. Living off the land is how this country got its start, and some people have simply continued to live in this fashion. And some people are thinking that this simplified way of life might be better for them than what so many think of as society's norm.

It's a choice, much like any other. Some people prefer city living, some prefer suburban living... and some of us just want to get off the hamster wheel of modern socially accepted norms.


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