Today we present another article in our non-fiction writing contest – by A Country Boy Can Survive
When I was about 11 years old we lived in south Florida (Hollywood). An event happened that changed my life forever, the Cuban missile crisis. We knew we were going to have a war and we would be at the front line. Our house was within sight of the Florida Turnpike and I watched for what seemed like 3 days, a continuous convoy of military equipment and soldiers that flooded into south Florida. They occupied the football stadiums, Horse Racing and Dog Racing venues.
My dad was determined that, God willing, we would survive. The cars were kept full of gas and our bags were packed. He filled the hallway with canned food and milk jugs filled with water. He told us about the water in the water heater and if anything happened to fill the bathtubs and everything we could find with water.
Since we spent our free time fishing and hunting, we had plenty of guns, ammo, and we knew how and when to use them. He taped $1000 in cash to the inside of one of the closets. Previously we had lived near Orlando, surrounded by Air Force bases, and we knew what we should do in the case of a nuclear strike. Thank GOD, it didn’t happen.
I was not a Boy Scout, but this impressed upon me the desire to always “Be Prepared.” Having grown up in the woods and on the rivers and lakes, the outdoors were like home. As I grew older I would go camping and realized that I should have a small water proof survival kit that would fit into my pocket but could be kept in the car glove box.
Dad smoked and had a plastic case used to protect a pack of cigarettes when we were outdoors. I located one and packed if full of everything that could come in handy if that was all I had. Remember this was decades before prepping and before having survival gear was cool. I have since then looked for my kit but have not been able to find it. It is my own lost time capsule from over 50 years ago. To the best of my memory this is some of what it included:
- book of matches with striker
- water purification tablets
- fishing hooks and line (about 30 feet)
- crimp on leads
- aluminum foil
- plastic bag
- paper clips
- birthday candles
- a cigarette ( I did not smoke but it could be used to transport a fire)
- chap stick
- large band aids
- small motel bar of soap
- hard candy
- bubble gum
- needle and thread
- safety pin
- paper folded up
- golfing pencil
- small spool of bailing wire
- some electrical hookup wire
- 9V battery
- some nails
- rubber bands
- small pocket knife
- and just enough room left for a .410 shotgun cartridge
I am sure I had a few more small items that I do not remember. I packed them into the case and slid the cover on top to close the case. I sealed it with a rather long length of plastic electrical tape and wrapped grey duct tape around it as the last prepping item and to further seal the case. Remember this was 50 years ago and I was about 15 years old.
Ever since then I have kept things on hand, having some of everything so that I rarely have to go to the store to get something I need. This lifestyle has always served us well. While in Florida we had several hurricanes, we went through the eye of 2. Our camping trailer was always handy to serve hot food and coffee to neighbors the following couple of days. Mom and dad moved to Pass Christian Mississippi to live on the bayou but thankfully moved 75 miles inland just before Katrina.
They still had 100 mph winds for hours and were completely off the grid for 3 months, no water, electricity, telephone, sewer, trash pickup, TV, and no US mail. They lived off of staples, canned goods, and meat they smoked from the freezer. When Y2K came around, I took the opportunity to make preparations to my home including acquiring a gas space heater, gas generator, batteries, and extra food. Shortly thereafter we in north Alabama had a severe ice storm and the supplies were just what we needed.
We were without electricity for over a week during 3 ice storms, and one time for 2 weeks. Recently we had a massive tornado outbreak with several category 5 tornados. One million north Alabamians were without power, food and gasoline for over a week. Our daughter and grandchildren stayed with us. It was like a week long campout, but with a roof and bed. You may prep for one “disaster” but it is very helpful for other unexpected events.
Prepping is not strange, weird, or crazy. Being a survivalist aka prepper is what made this country we call America. Be ready be prepared.
Prizes for this round (ends October 11 2015 ) in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – Two Just In Case… Essential Assortment Buckets courtesy of LPC Survival a $147 value, a Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain Mill courtesy of FoodPrepper.com a $219 value, and a gift certificate for $150 off of Rifle Ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo… Total first place prize value over $516 dollars.
- Second Place Winner will receive – A case of Sopakco Sure-Pak MRE – 12 Meals and a Lifestraw Family Unit courtesy of Camping Survival.com, and a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms.com
- Third place winner will receive – $50 cash.