How Will You Stay Warm in a Winter Power Failure?

A gasoline shortage means you can’t drive, but a natural gas shortage means people might freeze to death. Do you have a back up heat source?

More than 200 people died in Texas earlier this year because of power outages and utility failures. With energy prices rising and every lump of coal or cubic foot of natural gas in high demand, now is the time to consider how you would stay warm if your utilities fail this winter.  

Plan now, while you still have time to prepare, to address how you would you keep warm if the natural gas stopped flowing or there was a long power outage. Do you have an alternative heat source, like a kerosene or propane heater? Are you prepared to survive a week in bitter cold without heat? How about a month? Do you know how to shut off the water and drain the pipes to keep them from freezing?

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A Prepping Primer: Five Basic Steps for New Preppers – Part 2

Too many beginning preppers don’t know where to start or focus on the wrong items. Learn from my experience and avoid stupid prepping mistakes.

This is part two of our series on five steps you should take to prepare. We covered steps one and two yesterday and recommend you read them first.

Step Three: Build To Three Months of Preps

Once you have completed steps one and two, your next step is to bulk up on food. I suggest you set targets: Aim to double your food supply so you have four weeks’ worth of food in your prepper pantry. Then double it again. After achieving two months of food storage, adding another month’s worth of food should be relatively easy.

Storing that much grocery store food means you will have to make things from scratch, so as you build your prepper pantry, start buying bulk bags and packs. When shopping at club stores, you can buy goods in six-packs eight-packs. We even buy ramen in a 48-pack. Then buy larger bags and boxes instead of the one-pound bags usually offered.

For example, buy flour and sugar in 25 pound bags and practice baking from scratch. Practice with bread and similar items, like rolls, flat breads, biscuits, etc. Then learn to make your own pasta and similar items like dumplings. By practicing your baking skills, you will identify things you need, from spices to yeast and baking powder, to cookware. Acquire these items now, as part of your prepping.

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Why it’s Important to Check Your Preps and Maintain Your Gear

Checking your stuff and keeping it in good condition is one of the things that separates preppers from hoarders. Don’t wait too long.

Over the years, I have had ammunition stored in cardboard sleeves corrode, #10 cans rust, elastic in stored clothing lose its stretchiness, batteries leak corrosion, pasta poke through vacuum-sealed bags, mice eat stored food, and plastic handles on buckets fail. The sad truth is that you cannot store something away and expect it to be perfect five or ten years down the road. You need to check on it occasionally to preserve your investment. This will allow you to prevent an infestation before it gets too bad, repackage something before its current container fails, or replace it if you cannot salvage it. No one wants to grab their bugout bag and have the strap break due to rot or find out that the action on their rifle is frozen just when they need it most.

If you have equipment you plan to depend on in adverse conditions, test it out at least one a year. Can you still pump up your Coleman stove or does it leak? And how long do those lantern wicks last, anyhow? Will your generator start when you need it to? Will your hand-crank grain mill still turns or do you need to buy some food-grade grease? Does your red dot still light up or are the batteries dead? Is it OK that some white granular stuff is leaking out of the crimp on your shotgun shells and the brass is tarnished? Will your seeds still germinate? When did chain sharpening files get rusty, and will they still work in that condition? How long ago did your antibiotics expire? Who used up the last of the yeast and didn’t replace it?

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New York Flooding Reminds us why it is Important to Prep for the Unexpected

We have hurricane hunters, weather radar, apps on our phones, and emergency notification, but sometimes things still catch us by surprise.

Some of the biggest disasters this country has experienced happen by surprise. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. The Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption in 1980. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

Many personal disasters and emergencies also happen without warning, from a heart attack to getting laid off. Being a victim of a crime is usually unexpected, as is being in an accident. Bam, your life changes in an instant.

But who would have guessed that a hurricane that came ashore in Louisiana would kill at least 40 people in New York and New Jersey days later? But that is exactly what happened when the remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded subways, floated cars on major highways, closed roads, caused water in apartment buildings and storefronts, spun of tornadoes and caused massive flooding and property damage. (Click here for images and videos.)

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How Peace, Love, and Flower Children Ruined the Country

This country is sliding down the drain and the race on to see if we experience an economic or social collapse first. I blame the hippies.

Somewhere along the way, this country got screwed up. I’m pretty sure it started when the flower children, the hippies of the 1960s, got old enough to be in charge.

The Presidents leading up to and including the first President George Bush had lived through the Great Depression and fought and won a World War. They were not soft. They had the fortitude to do what was right, not what was easy. This approach has since been abandoned by politicians and far too many people.

The Baby Boomers, the children of the Greatest Generation, were the first generation of Americans to be spoiled. That coddling is why they have screwed things up for the past 30 years. They didn’t learn from the Great Depression. They didn’t volunteer to fight for their country (they had to be drafted to fight in Vietnam.) Many of them stopped going to church and rebelled against the Christian-Judeo values of their parents. They became the flower children of the 1960s and went off to form communes and celebrate free love.

That’s when the country got soft. That’s when the rule of law started to bend and weaken, and with it, the country itself.

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How to Overcome Obstacles to Prepping

Are you letting excuses, your budget or a spouse, stop you from prepping? Here are some strategies that can help you overcome these objections.

I have checked off many of the boxes on my “Preparedness to do List” for 2021. So far, we have:

  • Built a chicken coop, a chicken run, and raised 17 chickens
  • Constructed a fence around the garden, constructed 80 square feet of raised beds, and raised some herbs and vegetables
  • Installed three beehives and harvested some honey; purchased and stacked four cords of firewood, with a fifth arriving this coming week
  • Added several #10 cans of long-term survival food to our survival stash and scores of cans, jars, and packages of dry food for our prepper pantry
  • Gone rifle and pistol shooting at least three times
  • Acquired a dog

How are you doing?  Have you hit any prepper milestones?  Crossed anything off your list?  If so, leave us a comment below. If not, what’s stopping you from prepping?

When I ask people that, the answers are usually money, my spouse or family, or I’m too busy. The good news is that all of these objections can be overcome.

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Prepper News Update July 30

Vaccines Less Effective Over Time

The FDA has found that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine drops by about 19 percent to 84 percent over six months.  That’s far better than the Chinese vaccine, which apparently drops below 50 percent after six months.  The news may worry the vaccinated, but Pfizer’s shareholders are probably celebrating.  This news could mean they get to sell booster shots.  According to the wall Street Journal, Pfizer expects to make $33.5 billion selling the vaccine this year.

The Best Places for Survival

A study published in the journal Sustainability rated the top places to survive the collapse of society are island nations in this order: New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland.  These countries were chosen for their ability to grow food, protect their borders from mass migration, and maintain their electrical grid.  My guess is that the U.S. failed on the second point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your retreat a “collapse lifeboat” within the U.S. 

The article is an interesting read for the serious prepper while the actual journal article goes into detail on the problems of a complex society and says it has determined “human civilisation that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.”  While I do not agree with many of the assumptions and predictions of the paper, it is still worth reading and provides many ideas worth considering.

Flashpoints and Future Wars

We’ve talked previously about rising tensions between China and Taiwan and its allies, and how this could result in a war. Here’s an interesting article on flashpoints for World War Three, and Taiwan ranks at the top.

What Kind of Prepper Are You? Guns vs Food

Guns play a role in preparedness, especially in this day and age. But where do they fall in your priority list? Before or after food?

I was watching YouTube yesterday afternoon, and I fell asleep in the middle of a video on beekeeping and woke up about an hour later to a video from a prepper about things that can kill you. (Thank you, YouTube algorithm.) Interestingly, the first and second things on the list were a lack of food and water.

So I restart the video and am surprised to learn that the theme of the video seems to be that prepping isn’t all about guns and you should take some of that cash you spend on hardware and invest it in survival food.

It served as a good reminder that not everyone approaches prepping in the same perspective.

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Survival and Preparedness on the Road: Can RVers be Preppers?

Is it a bugout vehicle? Is it a mobile retreat? Or is it a target on wheels? We examine whether prepping and RVing go hand-in-hand.

RV sales are up and show no sign of slowing down. COVID-19 has allowed more and more people to work remotely, which can mean a nomadic lifestyle. Housing prices are soaring, and some people who cannot afford to buy a home and are opting to live in an RV or trailer instead. People who retire early often spend a few years traveling across the country in an RV.

This raises the question: Can RVing and a nomadic lifestyle and preparedness overlap? Can you do both?

I know of preppers who live in an RV, so the answer is obviously “yes,” but I personally would not do it. To be more specific: I have no objection to going somewhere in an RV for weeks or even months, but I would never sell my house, put all my stuff in storage, and live solely in an RV. I am too tied to my stuff, especially my preparedness stores.

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New Technology for Building the Dystopian Future

My idea of hell is a world of chat bots and automated systems where you can never get to a real human being on the line.

Today, we have companies like Twitter and Facebook determining who gets to say what, deciding about what qualifies as “fact” and what is not, and determining what news most young Americans see daily. If that is not enough of a dystopian nightmare, let’s look at what the future holds.

Three technologies are in the midst of development and rollout that will change the world, starting with the U.S. and other first world countries. They are Artificial intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). While each one seems like a great idea on its own, it’s the combination of all three that leads to potential problems.

While 5G may allow autonomous vehicles to talk to each other on a crowded highway, and will allow you to stream live events from the comfort of your car while it drives itself, it will also allow the collection of greater amounts of data on you. This data will be collected not only by your car and your phone or tablet, but by every Interne connected device in your house. This data is far too much to be analyzed by humans, so artificial intelligence will mine the data, using it to not only to send you personalized advertisement, but to predict your future actions.

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