It’s Always Time

Over at American Thinker, Michael Devon asks the question:  “Is It Time To Start Prepping?

As the title to this post suggests, preparing for disaster is always relevant.  For many people — people with any kind of brain, that is — this would not be a time to start prepping as much as it would be a time to take stock of one’s preparations, and either add to such, refine what you need, or address any shortcomings thereof.  Devon’s list is interesting:

Water sources and water filtration.  You will need a minimum of 2 gallons of drinking water per soul per day — For how long, is the question.  I would suggest that 2-3 weeks’ supply is pretty much all the water one can store easily (unless you have substantial property like a farm), or carry in a car.  For longer than that, filtration becomes more appropriate.  How good is your filtration system?

Shelter.  This should be located 1–2 hours’ travel time outside urban and suburban metros — Forget it.  In my case, it ain’t gonna happen.  If the S genuinely does hit the F, I will either shelter in place, or drive 15 minutes to Doc Russia’s little festung (we’ve discussed it, often, and I know exactly what I’ll need to bring so as not to be a burden on him but a benefit (added security, an extra gun or two for guard duty, and shall we say “an aggressive mindset” towards protection of mine and his).

Non-perishable food.  You will need 2,000 calories per soul per day with a healthy ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. — I have about two months’ supply for me and New Wife, maybe a month longer if we ration ourselves severely.  After that, it’ll be time to go shopping with an AK.  Of course, there are all the dried food packs (e.g. Mountain and MREs), but that’s your call:  I’ve never found any of them palatable.  I’d rather just have dozens of different energy bars as the last resort.

Prescription medications.  Talk to your doctor and somehow finagle a three-year supply of all your non-perishable meds.  Perishable meds are a more difficult issue to resolve. — Only one of my meds is perishable (glaucoma drops, which I keep in the fridge).  I have about two months’ worth of my meds (New Wife has less, need to do something about that), which I can likewise extend to maybe three by skipping every third day.  With sufficient warning (a day or two) Doc can write me all the Rx I need if I think I’ll need longer.  Also worth considering:  “general purpose” antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciproflaxin.

Personal hygiene supplies.Covered.  Three months’ worth (at least) of soap, toilet paper, wipes, toothpaste, and so on.

Ten like-minded adults willing to work hard together and to defend the shelter and its souls.  — Nope, not interested in that big a group. There’d be four of us, although I’d really like it — as would Doc — if the Son&Heir could join us, suitably provisioned of course (that Eagle Scout thing, plus a deadly aim when it comes to boomsticks).

2A hardware.  Never come up empty. — I believe we have that part covered.
(I have some too, if necessary.  Also a few extra rounds of ammo.)

Comms.  Have multiple backup and power for all comm devices. — Ugh.  I need to get a couple decent Garmin walkie-talkies.  Batteries, I have about a six-month supply.

Electrical systems and chargers.  Solar-powered, and multiple redundancy is essential. — I need to check that my solar stuff is still in working condition.  Also my car’s power inverter.

Barter stuff.  Booze, tobacco products, OTC meds, instant coffee, batteries, Bic lighters.  Barter food. — Good point.  Note to self:  empty out liquor cabinet if decamping.  (The gin and single malt alone would get me whatever I want, for about six months.)  Passing thought:  I don’t smoke, nor do any of the folks in our little SHTF party.  Worth considering getting a carton or two of Marlboros as trade goods?  [/post-WWII Germany]

Metal tools.  Axes, knives, saws, etc. — Covered.  My SHTF bins have enough not only for me, but for Doc as well, if he needs any.

Home Depot stuff.  Lumber, screws, nails, tarps, rope, duct tape, glue, gloves, concrete, etc. — Concrete? LOL.  But I might need stuff like 2x4s and plywood (note:  talk to Doc).  All the other stuff I have in plenty.

Replacements:  clothes, shoes, boots, socks, undergarments, jackets, and hats. — Covered.  Included are things like serious rainwear, gloves (work and warmth), cold-weather gear and so on.

Shiny metals.Errrr whut?  I have a couple steel mirrors for signaling, but that’s about it.

Transport.  Trucks, motorcycles, fuel, and spare parts. — Just enough to get me to Doc’s, but I always keep at least a half-tank of gas in the car.  Doc has more at his place.

My additions and suggestions:

First aid:  antibacterial stuff (ointments, disinfectants), bandages and so on.  You can go nuts with preparing a list of this stuff, so I tend to go with a simple checklist of what I’ve needed to have handy over the past ten years, and adding things like coagulants and such for more serious wounds.  Rule of thumb:  whatever you think you’d need for OTC meds, double that number.

Cooking: some kind of camp stove or grill with an adequate fuel supply, plus metal pots and pans (like Lodge) that won’t break.  Also cooking oil because butter is perishable.

Extra sugar, salt/pepper and spices.  Great barter goods if nothing else.  Also rice, cornmeal, pasta, cereals and similar starches.

Canned food of stuff you like to eat.  Don’t bother with the junk like asparagus, cream corn and pumpkin which make you barf just at the thought;  go heavy on your favorites e.g. in my case, corned beef hash, chicken and tuna.  Also:  evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Biltong (not jerky).  Two lbs of biltong, if properly rationed out, can keep you alive for a month all by itself.  (You are already making it, using Kim’s Sooper-Seekrit Recipe, aren’t you?)

Feel free to add or substitute as you wish.

RFI: Jennies

No, not Aniston, Tilly or Lopez.


…because that can wait for another time.

No, I mean generators of the small, affordable and reliable kind which run on either gasoline or propane, or both.  If it’s only one or the other, that’s fine too.

I know diddly about this topic, so all the terms used in the descriptions of generators mean about as much to me as Sanskrit poetry.

Here’s my scenario.

I don’t want to get caught without power during a freezing Texas winter ever again.  (From experience, this is when this shit is most likely to happen.)

Technically speaking we’re not allowed to have one of these things running in the apartment (of course, I’d run it outside on the balcony, where we’re not even allowed to barbecue, but if the SHTF then fukkem).

First question:  What’s the effective wattage and horsepower I should look at?

My electricity needs would be relatively light:

  • phone charging
  • laptop power supply
  • wifi router power (assuming that the network itself hasn’t fallen over)
  • an electric blanket
  • a small bedside light
  • a small electric grill or hotplate, and
  • perhaps my fridge, or maybe even both (garage & kitchen).  If it’s that cold and the fridges too power-thirsty, I’d just pop the perishables into some coolers and store them out on the balcony.

I have little or no room to store the generator in the meantime, so size is very important.  Quiet would also be nice, but not essential because fukkem.

I know how to maintain gasoline for long-term storage, and of course propane is no problem.

As for my options…

Is a cheapie like this Sportsman even worth considering?  What about this Westinghouse, Pulsar or Champion, at double the price?  I really can’t afford to go over a grand — and even that would be a huge stretch — so I would put $600 as my upper limit for cost.  (Is this completely unrealistic?)

As with all such RFIs I put out, personal experience on the topic is paramount.

All assistance is gratefully accepted.

Survival Food

Back when I was a starving musician and living more or less in the back of a van down by the river (some exaggeration, but not much), I couldn’t afford much in the way of food — “starving”, duh — and so I found myself eating an old boarding-school staple, a South African cereal named ProNutro.  Here’s the scoop on it, in addition to what you can read at the link.

It looks like sawdust, and tastes pretty much like slightly sweetened sawdust.  However, its nutritional value is extraordinary:  one bowl per day, and you will not starve.  In fact, if you have a large bowl for breakfast on a normal day, you may find come dinnertime that you’re not very hungry and could possibly skip dinner altogether.

It’s best eaten cold, with either milk or half-and-half (the latter makes delicious porridge of it), with a little sugar to taste.  However:  if times are really tough, you can use water instead of milk.  It doesn’t taste that great, of course, but it will keep body and soul together.  (I once lived on ProNutro made thus for just over a month, stealing sugar sachets from restaurants.)

It is highly absorbent, and even when you think you’ve used enough milk / water, you’ll still have to add more before you’re done.

I’m actually eating a bowl of ProNutro as I write this, which is what prompted the post in the first place.  Try it:  you’ll either like it or hate it;  but there’s no denying that it works as survival food.  Ask me how I know — oh wait, I already told you that.

Note:  I don’t get any bribes income from any product I recommend on this site.

Good Preparations

I draw your attention to this woman’s SHTF prep, not because of its extent — it seems quite reasonable for a family, and for an extended period of time.

Rowan MacKenzie, 38, a homemaker from Missouri, became a social media phenomenon after revealing she’s been prepping her home for 11 years because of fear of an emergency and has upped the ante, spending nearly $30,000 on supplies as a result of the intensification of the war between Russia and Ukraine.  Rowan claims most of her stock will last up to 25 years and she has a ‘flawless’ rotation system to ensure there isn’t any waste.

Her reasoning is quite sound and the photos are of particular interest;  but for a good giggle, read the article and then the comments which follow.

Did they all miss the part about her laying in extra guns and ammo?  Pity the fool…

However, her biggest piece of advice?  Stock up on weaponry.  She said: “The number one must for any bunker is defense. I would highly recommend having a few guns and knives in your bunker at all times, along with ample amounts of ammunition.  You need to protect yourself, especially in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ situation.  It’s kill or be killed and you need the best possible chance of survival.”

Also, this being (I bet) rural or semi-rural Missouri, her neighbors will have made similar preparations, so any interaction between her and them will be of the “Can I swap a cup of sugar for a can of beans?” variety.  If that.

Good for her, and a pox on the naysayers and mockers.

SHTF Reminder

When New Wife first arrived here in Plano and I was giving her a tour of the new apartment, she looked a little taken aback at the extent of my SHTF supplies, as well as my grab ‘n go bags and tubs.  While she didn’t say much about it, I got the impression that she thought I was being a little too paranoid about it — after all, we live in Plano, where disaster seldom strikes.

After the flooding of a couple years back, and the recent cold winters, she appreciated those SHTF preps a lot more.

Then two nights back, we watched A Refuge Of Last Resort  on BezosTV, which was a personal video account of New Orleans during Katrina.  She wasn’t here during that little episode, so I suggested that she watch it with me.

She watched the whole thing in silence.  Then, after it finished, she said, “We need more emergency drinking water.”

I don’t have to tell you guys anything about SHTF scenarios, of course, as we’ve discussed this many times in the past.  Nevertheless, let this serve as a reminder to check your own SHTF stocks, and add / replace as necessary.

My own takeaway from this man’s story was a little different.

Firstly, FEMA is fucking incompetent — we all know that, of course, but it was the depth of the incompetence (coupled with outright lying) which gave me pause.  (Nor, speaking of government agencies, did the New Orleans police come out of this covered in roses.)

Secondly, it is even clearer to me that the more prepared you are, the less you’ll have the need to go to “evacuation centers” or any of that kind of thing.  If you are forced to leave your home (predicted flood, fire, hurricane etc.), you’ll be better off hunkering down with friends or family, or in a hotel room off the ground floor, along with all your supplies.

Thirdly, if you are going to hit the road, do it sooner rather than later.  Keep your gas tanks as close to full as possible at all times.

I certainly don’t have to remind anyone of the need to be well armed.

And finally:  if you do live in a Democrat-run shithole like New Orleans, get out now rather than later.


Apparently, the End Times are almost certainly due at the bus stop soon:

Soaring food, energy, and shelter inflation have led to what could be a new era of civil unrest worldwide. Pockets of unrest have been observed in Sri Lanka, Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, Iran, and Europe. New research forecasts a broader wave of discontent is just ahead.

“Only a significant reduction in global food and energy prices can arrest the negative global trend in civil unrest risk. Recession fears are mounting, and inflation is expected to be worse in 2023 than in 2022.”

Wow… I wonder if some giant, powerful nation could address both those issues simultaneously?

Naaahhhh they’re too busy rummaging in Melania Trump’s undies drawer.

And then there’s this little kettle coming to the boil:

Now, winter in Europe is rapidly approaching when homes particularly in northern Europe will need gas the most to keep their homes warm and one hopes the weather itself will be a mercifully temperate. As recession looms, the only thing overheating right now are prices. Unemployment will surely follow.

My fervent hope is that the popular response to this is to see politicians and bureaucrats dangling from lamp posts but sadly, that’s not gonna happen.  More likely is that they’ll flee to safe havens, clutching suitcases full of our (looted) cash.

I’d take that outcome, now that I think of it.

But if you think all that’s bad, try this.

Aux barricades, mes amis!!!

*Sweet Meteor Of Doom, e.g. this one.