It’s Supermarket Time

I’m not one who gives much credence to doom ‘n gloom predictions like this one.  But this is serious.

At this moment, millions of acres of farmland are underwater, and that is not going to change any time soon. When the flood waters came, they moved so rapidly that they literally picked up pigs and baby calves and carried them along. Roads, rail lines and entire small towns have been washed away, and so even if farmers had something left to sell they couldn’t get it to market anyway.

Just last Friday morning I gave a ride to an executive based out of Omaha, and I kidded her about the flooding in Nebraska.  She said, “It’s no laughing matter.  Omaha hasn’t flooded — yet — but it is essentially a little island in the middle of a state-sized lake.”

And Tyler concludes with this:

Food production in the United States is going to be way, way down this year. Prices at the grocery store are immediately going to start rising, and they are going to keep rising all year long. So now is the best time to stock up and to get prepared for what is coming. Our breadbasket has been absolutely devastated, and things are only going to get worse. The mainstream media seems to think that this is just another in a long string of major natural disasters that has hit our nation in recent years, but the truth is not so simple. This disaster is going to have a dramatic impact on our ability to grow our own food, and even if everything went perfectly from this point forward we are talking about a recovery that would take many, many years.

I believe him, and so should you.  We often talk at this here back porch of mine about SHTF scenarios.  This, I think, is going to be one of them.

So get out to the supermarket — now — and start laying in food supplies.  You all know which kinds to get:  stuff that has a lo-o-o-ng storage life, because there’s no telling just how long it’s going to take to recover from this.

Sure, we’ll probably just import foods from overseas;  but it’ll be costly, and if you think that foreign countries won’t use this catastrophe against us politically, I have a New York bridge to sell you.

Most importantly:  if you’re on a fixed income (as I am), your dollar is going to buy less and less food as prices start to climb.  I have about  three months’ supply of food on hand, and that is never going to be enough.  I already started over the past weekend, and I’m going to be doing it daily from now on.

So get going.

Oh, and I don’t think I need to remind anyone here about keeping your ammo lockers stocked, do I?

SHTF Guns: Interesting Take

I stumbled on this article a little while ago, and the author makes an interesting proposition in his selection of decent alternatives in the SHTF (survival) scenario, in that his list includes the Usual Suspects (AR-15, AK-47, M1 Carbine, large-caliber lever rifle), but also suggests the… semi-auto .22 rifle.

Say what?

Now I know, one should embrace the power of the word “and” with the idea, and indeed, the idea of an EBR coupled  with a .22 rifle makes all sorts of sense, but I’m not at all sure that relying on a .22 rifle alone  would be a wise thing.  Here’s Cody Griffin’s take:

The .22-caliber rimfire ammunition doesn’t deliver any kickback or recoil, but can hit targets at 100-yards with deadly precision and ease.

One of the biggest advantages of a .22-rimfire long rifle is the abundance and affordability of ammunition. This will allow you to enjoy endless days of target shooting before SHTF and the opportunity to stockpile plenty of backup rounds to have on hand when disaster strikes.

No issue with any of the above, but here’s the (unspoken) kicker:  is it better to drop a small bullet into an eyeball out to 100 yards, or to have a decent stopper with “reasonable” accuracy operating at the same range?

I myself have embraced the first scenario, only I’ve attempted to increase the oomph  somewhat by having a small-caliber rifle in .22 WinMag (rather than .22 LR) which can, and does, drop bullets into a dime-sized target all day.  (I also have a Harris bipod for it, just to assist in the process.)  Not only does the .22 WMR boolet arrive with more authority than the .22 LR’s, it nearly doubles the effective range thereof.

“But Kim,”  you wail, “what about rate of fire?  A boltie is nowhere near as quick as a semi-auto!”

Which is why I have that covered (embracing the power of “and”) by also having my little Taurus 62, with a dozen rounds of .22 LR goodness in the tube mag:

Here’s my final take on the topic, and it should be well known to all Loyal Readers by now.

The .22 rifle (of whatever action type) is not a firearm, but a household appliance like a frying pan — and its ammunition is not ammunition, but a household commodity like sugar or salt.

In short, every  home should have one, and under such circumstances, a “survival” scenario will always include both  the EBR and the rimfire options.

And as such, Cody Griffin’s list needn’t include the .22 LR rifle, for the same reason that a list of survival items needn’t include “clothing” because duh.

You all do own at least one rimfire rifle, don’t you?  One for each family member, yes?  And an elegant sufficiency* of rimfire ammunition on hand?


*over 1,000 rounds (two bricks) per gun.

Eucalyptus Now

Over at Shooting Times, Rick Mann looks at what he considers to be the four best SHTF rifles — what he terms “Apocalypse-Ready Rifles” — and has devised a test to determine which one is best.

I’m not going to pick holes in his test — it seems quite adequate — and I actually agree with his rationale (e.g. “Granted, cataclysmic conditions of ruin can run the gambit from a camping trip gone bad to total anarchy.” )

As I’m unlikely ever to go on any camping trip which doesn’t include the words “Holiday Inn”, I’m not going to pick two of his choices (the .30-30 lever rifle and the .308 Win boltie), fine weapons though they may be.  No, from where I’m sitting, the most likely scenario is civil breakdown and disorder caused by natural disasters (which could likely cause prolonged power outages, food shortages and such), or else a truly bad situation like a BLM- / Antifa-inspired riot.  In both cases, what’s needed is something for home / property defense (if caught in a riot), and something which would also allow me to do things like pay a visit to a local supermarket for a little un-monetized food collection (the fancy term for looting).

Well, you all know my first choice:

…and if I ever wanted to get fancy, I could always improve the crappy iron sights on the AK with some kind of red-dot sighting apparatus, thus:

I know, some people are going to prefer the Waffen Durch Plastik  AR-15, and while I deplore the choice (I mean, all that plastic… think of the environment, people!), I’ve come to the point of view that you go with what you feel comfortable using — and as most gunnies of my acquaintance have served in the dot.mil (e.g. Doc Russia, Combat Controller etc.), the AR would be a logical choice for them.

(Over The Pond, and following his service in the Paras, Mr. Free Market’s rifle of choice would no doubt  be the FN-FAL — or whatever the Brits called it — but sadly, H.M. Government says that the icky things are Just Too Dangerous or some such nonsense, so he’d have to be content with picking off fuzzy-wuzzies from his rooftop with his trusty Blaser R8 .300 Win Mag.  I for one would pay money to be able to watch that.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, the SHTF rifle choices.

I have to say that for my Readers who live in rural areas, where one could forage for dinner amidst the wild beasties who frolic in the fields, the .308 bolt rifle would be an outstanding choice — although I’d probably choose a .300 Win Mag chambering instead — and if the terrain is heavily wooded, the .30-30 lever rifle would be equally effective.

Mann’s observation about ammo is, I think, quite on the mark:

Sustainment for months is unlikely, so being able to “pick up” ammo—while potentially important—is not a realistic necessity. What’s more important is how much ammo you can comfortably carry.

Here’s my take:  outside the scenario of actual guerilla warfare (ain’t gonna happen, not in this country, Red Dawn fantasies notwithstanding), you aren’t going to run out of ammo.  Seriously, if you think you’re going to need more than a couple-three magazines for your rifle, what you need is not more ammo but more people to support you.  Myself, I could not see myself taking the AK for an outing with any more than two 20-round magazines.  Ammo is heavy, Bubba, and I’m not young and fit anymore.  More than two, and I’d keep them in the car instead.  The amount of ammo on hand is another story, of course, but you all know my “500” rule — a minimum of 500 rounds per  gun (with an exception for exotic calibers like .375 H&H or 7mm Jap).

All this is fun to wargame out, isn’t it?  Even though it is an unlikely scenario, I try not to wander too deep into the Gun Dork Forest, because that’s like drawing up a comprehensive financial plan for when you win the $100-million lottery:  fun, but after a certain point it’s just wasting time.

I do think, however, that some planning is not only necessary, it’s prudent.  You don’t want to be like those morons in New Orleans who, when Hurricane Katrina was about to come calling, arrived at the shelters carrying nothing but a Pepsi Big Gulp.  In a dire SHTF situation, my plan involves staying in place and defending the apartment.  If that’s untenable, then I’ll be loading my Grab ‘n Go* tubs, emergency water cans and the necessary guns and ammo into the Tiguan, and making my way over to Doc Russia’s fortress house.

Call me unprepared if you will, but I’m not a dummy.


*Yes, I still have them, just with fresh supplies.  If anyone’s interested, I’ll post pics of them some other time, after I’ve moved.

Not Quite Unprepared

Quite a few people have written to me about my recent travels in adverse conditions, mostly talking about the SHTF stuff (or lack thereof) that I was carrying in the car. Let me say that I was not wholly unprepared — I generally make at least some preparations when I travel, as you will see — but my unpreparedness was mostly psychological: mostly, I suspect, because I had been used to traveling around the mild climes of Britishland and the Midi.

So let me itemize what I did have in the car; and if anyone has any suggestions for additional items, have at it in Comments.

  • Weapons: as you can imagine, no problems there; Springfield 1911 and S&W 637, Taurus pump-action .22 rifle and an AK, each with the appropriate quantity of ammo.
  • Cold-weather clothing: one heavy coat, one insulated waistcoat, heavy socks, thermals, insulated boots, one wool blanket, one thermal waterproof blanket. What I forgot: gloves (but I seldom leave home without them in winter, even in Texas; this was a one-time omission). Also, even though my heavy coat had a hood, I should have packed a wool cap, but didn’t.
  • Food: Several cans of food — enough to keep me fed for about 3-4 days, five at a stretch — as well as a jar of peanut butter and two large bags of biltong. Fruit, sugar and six 500-ml bottles of water made up the rest of the grocery bag.
  • Tools, etc.: camp shovel, three flashlights and spare batteries, Anza knife and a couple of folders, screwdriver- and socket set, Swiss Army and Leatherman tool-knives, 100′ nylon cord and a small first-aid bag.

It sounds like a lot but it isn’t, really. What was I missing?


Update:  a cigarette lighter.

It’s Not Charity

…or perhaps it is, in its finest form. Read this personal account about dealing with the Houston floods:

The response of Texans, and Americans from all across the country, to the catastrophic Houston flooding proves the power and resilience of the human spirit. The magnitude of the logistics, the care, and yes, the love, is beyond extraordinary. I know. I have seen it.
Dozens of organizations virtually built a small city almost overnight in a space the size of 10-12 football fields. Evacuees from the floodwaters in Southeast Texas came in by the hundreds, then by the thousands. Hundreds of volunteers rushed in from nearly every state.
The Red Cross set up 5,000 cots and provided people who had lost almost everything with blankets, toiletries, showers, laundry service, child care, relocation and job counseling, and many other services. Salvation Army volunteers fed everyone, including volunteers, three meals a day. Volunteers from churches brought in water, juice, snacks, clothing, pillows, and other essentials. Children were provided school clothes, toys, books, puppet shows, and supervised play areas. Chaplains were giving out Bibles and providing spiritual comfort.
A small hospital was put together, including units for triage, primary and acute care, and stocked with all necessary medical equipment and supplies. Scores of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff worked shifts lasting anywhere from eight to eighteen hours. Medical services included mental health counseling, social work, and transport to other medical centers for dialysis and other critical needs.
Walmart established a fully stocked pharmacy for critical prescription needs like insulin and heart medication. HEB set up a store providing food, clothing, and other personal items at no charge. Evacuees were given free transportation to the Dallas Zoo, Six Flags Over Texas, outdoor movies, museums, and other cultural attractions. I even saw a small boy getting a haircut in a makeshift barber shop.
Texas National and State Guard, local police, firefighters, and EMT personnel, and other first responders, were there to provide security and safety, while checking evacuees in and out of the building. Janitorial staff worked around the clock to keep the shelter clean and free of trash. Emergency management volunteers performed countless duties to ensure that the flood victims had whatever they needed. FEMA was there for logistical, equipment, and financial support. The VA was on hand to serve the needs of veterans. The administrative record-keeping needed to keep track of victims, volunteers, services, and supplies was immense.

And then there was this:

Funny: I didn’t see anyone there from Black Lives Matter, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party, Hollywood libs, or any other social justice warriors out there helping the thousands of black families who had lost everything in the flood.  No one but us heartless Christians, conservatives, and other deplorables.

Because actions speak louder than words, and all the above organizations do is spout empty words and cheap sentiment. We The People know what has to be done when catastrophe comes calling, and we get down and do it. They The Assholes couldn’t be bothered.

So if you now feel like punching a liberal in the face (not a very charitable act, I’ll concede), then go right ahead. I’ll hold your coat.

Ideal Companion

Yesterday’s SHTF post was altogether too serious. As the general theme of a Sunday post here on my back porch is “beautiful things”, let’s get whimsical.

Here’s the setting. Assume you’re not married, the S has or is about to HTF, and you’ve decided to hunker down in your house and ride out the storm.

The question: Who would be your ideal companion?

I’m going to confine this question to the Male Readers, because we all know that the Ladies’ choice would probably be end up being Bear Grylls, even though he’s a complete tool in real life and would probably make you eat garden caterpillars or something.

So, on with the show.

The immediate reaction from most men would be to choose one of the celebrity chefs, e.g. Nigella Lawson or Giada de Laurentiis:

…but I’ll bet you a thousand pizzas that both women are not only unfamiliar with guns, but quite probably gun-fearing wussies. (I may be wrong, but I doubt it.)

No, it’s quite clear that the criteria for your female co-defender are simple: she’s got to be self-reliant (i.e. can cook and shoot a gun) and, considering that you might be facing the End Times, likely to be fun in the sack as well. Here’s an (anonymous) example:

Now I’m going to go waaaay out on a limb here, and make the assumption that most women who are comfortable shooting are most likely going to be comfortable in the kitchen too — it’s a self-reliance correlation — so let’s look at maybe the best example:

Sarah Palin

She may be getting on a bit, but ol’ Sarah would probably top the list of most red-blooded men anyway. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that she is the Gold Standard of SHTF companions.

Let’s see if you guys can come up with a competitor. As usual, do it in Comments.