I Hope It’s Not Too Late to Start Prepping

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  Harold M.

On December 14, 2011 my wife and I received a wake up call. We were watching Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History channel about 2012. By the end of the show, we were very concerned. I mean I had always heard about the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world in 2012. But I never really took it seriously.

Then we started looking on the computer about potential 2012 events and we came to the conclusion that it is going to hit the fan sooner than we ever expected. Most importantly we realized that we are not prepared….at all. I don’t know who first said “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Doesn’t really matter who did but truer words have never been spoken. Needless to say, we started prepping on December 15th!

We have a small home and limited resources, so stockpiling large caches of food, water and survival supplies is a huge challenge. I immediately bought a gun and some ammo. I buy as much additional ammo every paycheck that I can. (You can never, ever have enough ammo!) Every time my wife goes to the grocery store, she gets buys extra cans of food and bottled water. We have cleaned off some shelves and cleaned out some closets to store our supplies. We also try to read as much info as possible on survival as possible. My main goals are to have on hand at least six months of food and water by June 1st. I also want at least 1000 rounds of ammo by then as well.

Since we don’t have anywhere else to go when the SHTF, we will have to defend the fort. Fortunately the street where we live has woods and there is a decent supply of wildlife (deer and squirrels) but unfortunately the neighbours who live up and down this road are not the most upstanding of citizens. They will be gunning for the deer and probably going house to house as well.

Over the next couple of months I am going to buy sheets of plywood and measuring all my windows so I can have them precut and stored under the beds and couches. Keeping a low profile is another priority. Loose lips sink ships. We speak of our food and water stores with no one. We are also going to stock up on some pints of cheap vodka, rum and whiskey for possible barter if needed. We have a wood burner so I am stocking up on firewood. My wife has starting buying seeds to plant vegetables.

I have one wife and two kids. My youngest is still in high school but my older one is in college a little over an hour away. This scares the hell out of me that we aren’t all together. But I am putting him together a bug out bag so he can make his way home.

I wish I had the money to build an underground reinforced concrete bunker but I don’t. I wish I had the resources to buy right now everything we need to survive for years. But I can’t. All I can do is all I can do. I try to learn and do everything that I can to protect my family.

No one knows what will happen in 2012: solar flares, pole shift, terrorism, hyperinflation, global economic collapse, natural disasters, et cetera. Or perhaps nothing at all. But the world cannot continue on the path that it is going. There will be a thinning of the herd. I just hope and pray that we are in the part that survives…and thrives.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.

Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.

Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.

Contest ends on March 30 2012.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.

Comments

  1. It’s never too late to start prepping!
    No matter how much or little you get done before it’s needed, it’s more than most of the others. If it is a “standard” disaster, then you are less of a drain of the system that comes in to help. If it a “major” disaster or a life changer, you are farther down the road to recovery, and therefore more likely to survive, then recover.
    I just hate it when someone compares their preps to someone who has been working at it over several years, and then quits because they don’t feel they can “compete”. It’s not a competition!
    Even an increase in awareness is a prep. It makes you less likely to get caught up in the panic!

    • JP…you are so right…it’s not a competition – we all have our own particular interests and strengths and geographical challenges -then throw in our respective ages/health/mobility – result is – one size does not fit all.

      So I mold and shape my preps/stores to what I need/want/expect – and keep tweaking my systems according to the latest news and/or my level of paranoia during this time of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  2. Glad to hear you’re prepping!

    Yes, these are serious times, but take care not to get too worked up. It has been said 90% of what a person worries about never happens. I like to add that the 10% of our worries which do actually happen occurs in a way which still manages to surprise us in some way. Focusing on ammo, food/water, and a B.O.B. for your son is certainly a good place to start.

  3. Well put article. I had the same feelings a couple of years ago. I have always been a 30 day prepper but after 9-11 I got more interested. I took CERT classes from our city and FEMA. They suggested 3 day supply but our local emergency manager kept suggesting that a 30 or 60 day supply of food and water with toilet paper would be better. I started researching the subject and found I am not alone. I love your idea of pre cut to size plywood for the windows. As soon as my garden is in I will cut plywood for my windows, mark them and store them with a bag of screws. As for your neighbors, remember that animals don’t poop where they sleep and eat. Respect and kindness is really a good neighbor idea. When we would get R&R we would go to places like Vegas. We knew we would over do it and often did. There was one guy we did not trust much so we gave him our wallets to safe guard. By trusting him with it he was not likely to steal from us. He never did. You will be surprised at how much you have at the end of the year just buying a little at a time. Best wishes.

  4. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Relax, slow down and breathe. All you can do is try. The odds of you fighting it out in a zombie movie or the Mog mile are less than going broke, disease or natural disasters. 2012 is just another year.
    Food for Thought
    Bartering alcohol to those without thus making them 10ft tall and bulletproof so they can get the rest of your supples? Ammo, certain drugs and alcohol are not good to give those without.
    Plywooding windows is a double edged sword as it also limits your view and FOF (Field of Fire) and increases your dead zones. Might consider cutting the frontier days style cross in it to shoot out of, but remember plywood is concealment NOT cover when standing behind it.
    You should also be going for the critters and make a plan for longhunting to supplement. Thats all critters not just squirell and deer, all critters, turn that bird feeder into a trap.
    Eat that steak one bite at a time, prioritize after making a list of needs and remember to enjoy life as you go.

  5. Harold… that was good. No laundry list of goods and toys. No bragging about the Tactical blunderbuss you own. Nothing prudent folks don’t already know… but none the less, you put it in such a way that reafirms the reason We prep at this house. Well put Sir!

  6. L.A. Mike says:

    Well that’s one way to recruit preppers: scare the crap out of them with wild predictions in NatGeo format. Haha, that fueled the fire under my butt too. Good luck, Bro

  7. CountryGirl says:

    There is a valid message here. If you watch or listen to a very biased presentation you could be convinced that the earth is flat or the moon is made of green cheese. The techniques used in mockumentaries (and our media in general) is to flood your senses with the message they want to get across and exclude or outright poison the well for any dissenting point of view. This happens in the majority of what we all believe is true or at the least we have our suspicions about being true. Pick your hot topic or conspiracy theory and the amount of misinformation out their disguised as “reporting” or the result of “studies” is incredible.
    I’m happy the author got a wakeup call and I am not ashamed that it came from the Mayan calendar voodoo mythology BS. The good news is they are aware and taking action. But don’t forget for every obvious “voodoo mythology BS” like the Mayan Calendar BS story there are 100 less obvious but equally voodoo mythology BS stories out their. Be skeptical, be critical thinkers. Don’t allow yourself to be “managed” by smart but dishonest reporters, writers and film or documentary makers. Almost every headline is inaccurate to downright dishonest. Headlines are designed to catch your eye or even anger you not to convey truth. Often the underlying story is written to support the headline and not to convey facts or truth. Rarely do you get simple blatant truth from our media or other sources available to us. Our minds are programmed to accept conspiracy theories and we are but raw meat to those who would decieve. Doubt everything, question motives, decide for yourself and be ready to discover that even with all that you could still be strung along by someone’s BS story.

    • You hit the nail on the head, Countrygirl, well stated. We as citizens are ‘handled’ from the White House on down in an attempt to manipulate us. Always be prepared, but be aware the boogey man you can’t see that is hidden by all the smoke being blown. Be broad in your preperations as with a little proper planning you can cover many contingencies. Question authority.

  8. Most of us are like you. We are not where we want to be, but we are a lot further along than we were 3 months ago. Good for you. We keep on preping and pray for the best!

  9. SurvivorDan says:

    Obviously it’s never too late to start. One day of preparing is better than nothing. Good job. Do you have a .22 rifle? Great for gathering game and the ammo is cheap. I have thousands of rounds of centerfire ammo and 10,000+ rds of .22. Good thinking about the bug-out bag for the college student. I have my youngest daughter living across the country. I made her a small get home back which she keeps at work so she can get to her apartment. There she has preps and a bug-out bag so if necessary she can successfully travel the 42 miles to a relatives home.
    You sound like you have researched things but don’t forget health, 1st aid and medical supplies. I buy a lot of things at 99cent stores and on sale and have gathered a lot on the cheap. You sound determined so I’m sure you will prevail. And if nothing dire happens in 2012, at least you will be well prepared for more common emergencies.
    I’ve spoken to people who’d rather buy the latest electronic whiz bang than food and supplies. Sometimes they tell me that’s its too late for them to start prepping. As you have concluded, it’s never too late…..

    • For those in college, it’s not a bad idea to have some way stations set up with friends or relatives. One of my prep group who live several hours south of me had a daughter going to college in northern Ohio, several hours north of me. Although we never needed it, I was a half way point where she could head in an emergency without traveling the entire way home. She now attends graduate school in NY, so we don’t provide that function anymore, but it could be an option for some folks.

  10. Don’t forget water and water filters. Water is the most important thing, without it you would die in just a few days.
    I would buy a second gun of the same caliber also, and hide it good.

  11. SurvivorDan says:

    I’m going to print your article and give it to the doom and gloom sit-on-their-keisters-and-do-nothing folk of my acquaintance. Thanks and good luck. Keep the faith.

  12. You might want to pick up some sandbags. If you are truly worried about shooting, having a bullet-proof area in your house makes sense. Get the bags, fill them with dirt when you need to.

  13. There may actually be something to the Mayan calendar, but you notice they are not around to verify their findings.
    I will say this and liken them to Dionne Warwick and fortune telling, if they could predict the end of time why didn’t they know they were going to be extinct and predict that?
    Will some catastrophic something happen irregardless of the Mayan’s. Could very well be a possibility.
    But we do not know.
    We hear the threats daily on the news. We surmise that things will get worse before they get better.
    But we need to prep before inflation takes all the money and something actually does happen.
    The fact that you are prepping is the best part that has come from all the predictions of what could or would happen. And I am glad that you and your wife are together on this. What a blessing.
    Keep it up.

    • Ellen….
      The “end” of the Mayan calander is simply the end of an astronomical cycle (the Mayans were excellent astronomers). The end of one cycle is simply the beginning of the next. The folks that predicted some kind of disaster BECAUSE of the end of the Mayan cycle are going to have to dream up some new horror story the next day.

  14. Dean in Michigan says:

    Harold……

    It’s never to late till you get caught with your pants down. Like you said, just do what you can do. I’ve only been at it for two years or so, and should probably be further along than I am, but there is always progress.

    Weirdest thing, I can’t single out any one thing that caused me to start prepping. Just kinda started doing it because I felt I needed to for my family. There are interesting things about 12212012, but I don’t firmly believe in that particular day, we’ll see.

    Either way, the feeling I have now is that I need to hurry up and plug some gaps, because time is running out. Good luck.

    • Same here, I am not moved to prep by all of the hype but it is more of just an inner feeling to start prepping. No one knows exactly how or when a teotwawki event will occur but prepping sure beats being totally unprepared!!! We have made it really fun by camping and “roughing it”. Some of my fondest memories were roughing it with my dad when I was a kid. My kids love it too…the wife not so much 🙂 But it’s great practice and a great prepping experience.

  15. We’ve all been where you are and I know that it’s tough. For me it was my first hurricane over 20 years ago while living in Ft. Lauderdale. I’m just an old survivalist and and have no connection with this site, but over the past months I have found that “The Wolf Pack” are some of the best people to listen to. You’ll find no YELLING, name calling, or other such behavior here. Just good fashioned kindness and common sense. Everybody seems helpful.
    God speed on your preps.

    • Just a little something to life you spirits: “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death” Prb.11:14 NIV.

    • Encourager says:

      Oh, but we tease each other from time to time! We all need a bit o’ cheer when things are gloomin’.

  16. Across the room , to the mailbox , a mile down the road and a marathon each of these journeys start with one step and continue one step at a time. Even if you have only taken one step your one step better prepared than your were yesterday. Some days you need a break and some days you can make up some steps but you still do them one at a time, if you don’t you can trip and fall (spend to much or waste money also). I always keep my eye out for the bargains and rarely pay full price for anything, that way if you do find a great bargain you can buy all you want or think you will need. I also have to give great congrats and respect to M.D. for keeping the dicourse here cordial and respectful to all. Now I need to get back to work to earn more money for preps.

  17. Harold M.,

    The fact you are prepping puts you well ahead of the majority. We didn’t wake up one day and come up with a plan or supplies. Prepping is a journey and an education, both of which will never end. You will learn a lot from those who pass on ideas at this blog.

    You can never have too much clean (potable) water and suggest you look into a water filtration/purification system for catching rain water, or roof run off, or if on city water and the system gets comproismised. Keep on keeping on with the preps.

  18. panhandleprepper says:

    Congratulations on getting started. That is usually the hard part. Now that you are moving, just keep on going; a little at a time adds up quickly. One suggestion for increasing your food and water a little quicker is to buy rice and dried beans. These can be had at the dollar stores for relatively cheap. You can store them in left-over 2 liter soda bottles. Same thing for water. Just full up your left-over soda bottles and refresh them periodically. If you don’t drink the soda, I am sure your neighbors do and will be glad to save them for you. You can always tell them it is part of a recycling project with your youngest.
    Again, congrats on getting started.

    • One thing to do with your grain storage is to place the containers of grain in the freezer for 72 hours to kill off any bugs, eggs, or larvae, and then store the containers in a cool, dark, dry place.

      • JMD Prep says:

        Adding bay leaves will also take care of the critters. Just stick one or two in the container at different levels. Don’t eat them, though. Take them out and discard them when it comes time to use the contents.

        • Spearming chewing gum works great to keep the mice away. Also, spearmint oil is a sprayer can do the trick. The little buggers hate it.

      • Ohio, good advice on putting stuff in the freezer. I’ve been vac packing them with my “Food Saver” but the bags, like everything else make from plastic, are getting costly. Good advice!

    • Panhandleprepper, not sure which panhandle your in but if your in the panhandle of Texas let me send you to the salvage store in Amarillo. It’s called Panhandle Salvage and is located at 58th ave and Western. I filled my truck up there 3 weeks ago with some great deals on food. Not everything is a good deal but some are over the top. For example I bought 48 oz bottles of cooking oil 2 for a dollar that’s 96 oz of oil for $1. The deals change weekly but this place is a great resource.

  19. Jim Culpepper says:

    I used to keep a sign on the bedroom wall, “It ain’t the end of the world unless it really is the end of the world.” I won’t forget the lively discussion about how to organize the root cellar on the day when “The Island of Dr. Moreau” was interupted to announce that President Nixon was sending troops into the persian gulf because the russians were going to. Nope! Obamic economics did not cause and will not cure this mess, so familiarize yourself with fundamentals and don’t get hooked on your favorite weapon, water treatment, food plan and shelter just because you have some good ones. Just because you are not dead doesn’t automatically mean you can take it with you.
    I prefer a Marlin 120 magnum pump 12 gauge because I can operate the thing with numb gloved hands on febuary midnights, but I know how to use the standard brands etc. With a decent pistol, I can break a bottle thrown up in the air and then bust the biggest piece before it hits the ground , but loving my neighbors is my best means of self defense.

  20. Alittle 2Late says:

    Harold…
    I was in Standing in your shoes about 6 months ago. I’m not sure what if any specific action made me decide to prepare other than a “gut” feeling.
    The people in The Wolf Pack are IMO the most knowledgeable and kind folks you will ever find. Ask questions someone will give you a tried and true response.
    Looking at what I have done in 6 months is pretty awesome , meaning I never thought I would be where I am now. Don’t listen to anyone telling you your nuts, because they will be the first ones trying to knock on your door.
    There are a lot of times when I read the “what did you do this week” posts that I think, man I wish I could afford half of the stuff so&so just bought. It just makes me that much more determined. I look at it a more of a guide/ reference into what I need to add or figure out a way to make it.
    As for the plywood, someone mentioned cutting chain link fence for covering the windows.Keeps em out but you can still see. Was an idea that I took and used.
    Glad to have you with us,take one day at a time.

    • JMD Prep says:

      While daylight is important, chain link fence can easily be cut. A couple alternatives might be expanded steel (a pricey, but effective alternative,) or stick with the plywood and invest in daylight full spectrum lighting to help keep from going bonkers. (Also add a quality vitamin D3 supplement to your stock.) Little touches like fake window or outdoor murals can be affixed to the back of the plywood once it’s installed and can help reduce a claustrophobic feeling. They are relatively inexpensive considering the mental health benefits. (Remember to keep some basic latex primer w/roller or brushes if you don’t already have them, and wallpaper adhesive on hand for install.)
      Regardless of natural disaster, looking at what’s happening on the monetary front, I don’t see how hyperinflation and total economic collapse can be avoided at this point. That being said, any investment you make in food and basic supplies is only earning you money.

      • Alittle 2Late says:

        I agree it can easily be cut but not so much with a 12 gauge in their face. And if its on the inside you will hear the glass break before they can start cutting. with the plywood in place you cant see them setting your house on fire. I wasn’t referring to the sunshine.
        Not trying to start an argument but I think you took my suggestion in the wrong context.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      And the Pack influence is always good. This comment motivated me pick up $45 worth of high calorie canned goods while I was out getting a couple of shirts. I also found gloves on sale at Walmart clearanced for $1 a pair. Got 6 pairs. One day at a time….

    • 2late…I also am glad of the prompts – eg., what else do I need to plug the gaps in my preps/stores…I make a note…and then when it’s time/money available for that particular item, I go and get it.

  21. Harold,
    Although I personally don’t expect any more likely hood of an incident on Dec 21, 2012 (Winter Solstice) than we had on May 5, 2005 (The grand planetary alignment that I suspect most people missed) or Y2K, whatever event or threat caught your attention and got you started prepping, the most important part is that you are now aware of the issue and are working on it. Every can of beans, box of ammo or Band-Aids you put aside for the future makes you a little more secure, but the most important thing before buying a lot of things is to make a plan. As I’ve said before everyone should make a prioritized threat matrix for their situation and area, and then list the required skills and equipment or supplies needed to mitigate each threat. Then you can start your purchases with some semblance of order, purchasing things you can afford and planning and saving for large, more expensive items.
    Good luck helps, but planning and steady work will get it done.

  22. Double tap on the rainwater collection, there’s a couple good hand
    Pump well pumps out there if you have a well. Skip the booze and buy
    More basics, perennial fruit and nut trees/bushes are also a good bet
    No matter what happens, cheaper than my gun hobby lol.

  23. Good job on just starting! So many people put things off, until it’s too late. There’s one more very cheap prep you can do as well, that no one can steal from you. Your knowledge. Learn what plants are edible, there are some excellent books that have uses, native American uses, and where to find them in your area. Also bone up on ANYTHING survival, and being here is a fantastic start. I come here often, and although I consider myself an outsider, I still feel good watching some of the “old timers” chat. Remember, “the wise man listens while the fool chatters.” Just lurk and learn here. Don’t just buy a firearm, train with it, learn it and buy another, or have extra anything that can break. Remember, 2 is 1, and 1 is none…

  24. Harold welcome to the wolf pack! You have discovered one of the best sites on the web. People who frequent this website tend to be honest straight shooters (pardon the pun). You won’t find the negativity which is evident on other websites. Congratulations on starting your prepping, it will change your life. As you and your family begin your preperations you will gain peace of mind. If there is some subject you need information on, most likely you can either find it or ask for it here.

    • Col. D: I suspect that the moderator has much to do with the upbeat, clean nature of this site. I’ve seen open threads that reek of hate and bigotry. I avoid them.

      • Methan, we try to keep it respectful and helpful. Those that don’t respect others are asked to go to other blogs. Everyone has their opinions and encourage the Pack especially those new to the Pack to share what they have done and we try to help share knowledge. The goal is to learn from each other.

  25. jackpine says:

    If yo have a gun you need medical training and defensive use of a firearm as well. At minimum get a first aid/CPR trained and pick up a blow out kit because in gunfights bullets are generally flying both ways. If you can’t find or afford training skip ammo for a week or two and get a training DVD, I like Saurez international and Magpul.

    Don’t forget band aids and be cool, having “the big grabber” because you stressed out on prepping will help no one.

  26. Well , Im glad your starting to prep , no time is a bad time to start . Better to start ” late ” than not at all , HOWEVER , truth be told ……. nobody knows when ” late ” is . For all you know , you could still be ( and probably will ) prepping for several more years ……. maybe even decades for different reasons . Your preps will change because the situations will change . 2012 ? yeah , I’ve heard all about that horeseshit as well ……. all I can say is remember Y2K , the disaster that never happened . Dont believe everything you hear or read because 90% of it is just another persons opinion . As for your neighbors , read up on booby traps and perimeter defense , weather or not anything in the outside world affects you , it sounds like you need to prep for defending yourself , your property , and loved ones from them . That would be my first priority . Good luck .

  27. Nuttbush says:

    Doing it tomorrow is the only day that is too late. Just keep plugging away and you will be surprised in 6 months how far you have gotten.

    One thing I have found is that we don’t really NEED some of the things we used to spend our $ on, and therefore we can spend that $ on things we DO NEED.

  28. I try to keep the following in mind:

    – Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
    – Everything cannot be done to address Everything.
    – And the ‘perfect’ is the enemy of the ‘good’.

  29. There was a comment about forgetting about the booze as a barter item and going for the ammo instead. However, I would like to add that vodka is useful for more than just barter. Mixed 50/50 with water, it makes an effective disinfectant even against eColi. You can also use it to make tinctures for medicinal applications, not to mention Molotov cocktails, should more drastic defensive measures need to be taken. Hopefully, it won’t come to that, but it’s always a good idea to have options.

  30. Agree that it is never too late. I’m doing the same and documenting as I go. I hope to help my extended family prepare as well.

    Like the plywood prepping – hadn’t had that one.

  31. Mrs. Prepper says:

    Harold, welcome to The Pack. I am a new prepper myself this year and I can relate to the wanting to make up for lost time, but it is true, it really adds up before you know it. Best advice I got was to do something prepper related each day and make monthly goals which are realistic and obtainable. Just reading all the posts here is a priceless prepping asset. You are ahead of the majority just because you are aware and prepping. I am not as prepared as I would like to be right now, but I am so thankful that I finally “woke up” and now my family and I have a chance to survive SHTF and every day is another day to add to our favor. Be safe and keep prepping.

  32. So one indicator that things are getting more interesting is the article on the theft of Tide detergent and how it’s starting to become an underground currency. Wow. Prep now, prep hard.

    • Encourager says:

      and lock up your Tide!!! Personally, I can’t use regular Tide…it gives me hives.

  33. breadmomma says:

    It is snowing buckets and is freezing in an area that here on the coast seldom if ever gets snow…the firecalls are picking up and the plows are not out yet…if we have one!
    the lights are flickering and it is just a taste of what can happen…being a wee bit prepared is giving me a great sense of peace tonight…
    and being prepare for your family is key…hiding in plain sight is always a great idea…bartering things like mac and cheese boxes, ramen, seems more prudent than alkyhaul…I live in a similar slightly downtrodden neighborhood with similar neighborhood, and so it is better to be a little downtrodden looking ourselves…think of it as protective coloring…as for the end of the world ..2012…well, I can’t answer that ….I live in the shadow of the Cascadian fault line and so for us that choose to live on the coast, being prepared out here on this little spit of land makes good common sense..if an earthquake wipes out the bridges, Uncle Sugar will not be coming to bail us out so we plan accordingly…prepare what you can, don’t go nuts about it, learn from the fine folks here in the Wolf pack and know that there are many more like minded folks out there than there was a year ago…seems to me that if all were prepared…WE all would have less to worry about…

    • new prepper says:

      Snow in March is quite rare and we are getting in the low hills inland also..not much fun

  34. I GOT A EMAIL THE OTHER DAY ABOUT THE MAYAN CALENDAR. IT SAID THEY DIDNT HAVE A LEAP YEAR FIGURED IN IT! SO THE END IS OVERDUE BY SEVEN MONTHS. ANY WAY ITS ALWAYS GOOD TO BE READY FOR ANYTHING WE CAN PREP FOR.

    • Cliff in Douglasville says:

      I bet the Mayans didn’t figure in Daylight Saving time either.

      • Encourager says:

        Have you seen the cartoon of the Mayan guy doing the calendar and he turns to his boss and says “Darn, I ran out of room!” His boss says “That may cause some problems down the line…”

        • Nobody knows for sure what ended the Mayan civilization, but we need people on both coasts to keep their eyes open for strangers arriving by sea wearing conquistadore hats, carrying swords, unloading horses, and bearing a multitude of communicable diseases!

  35. Welcome to the club Harold! Instead of buying bottles of water, you cash wash out & bleach empty 2 liter bottles, fill them with water, a drop of bleach, date them & store them. It will be much cheaper & free up money for other stuff.

    Alternatively you can purchase a used food grade 55 gallon barrel or two from Craig’s List or Ebay, hook them to your house gutters and start storing rain water. We can get old pickle barrels (55 gallon) or pepper barrels (45 gallon) off Craig’s list in my area for $15-$20 each.

    Earlier this morning I saw 2 articles geared toward beginning preppers on this site. It might help you some. http://www.shtfplan.com/
    Prepping for the Financially Challenged: A One Month Survival Plan For Under $300 and The Survival Mom Teaches You How To Prepare More, Panic Less.

    We all know that “Something is just not Right” – in the world and especially in America. I’m glad you joined the Prepper Club. I’ve been prepping since 2008 and I can tell you that you will never be totally done unless you are a billionaire with money to burn.

  36. Legion7 is right. Make sure you learn all you can, and since some of it may escape your gray matter, print out important articles and put them in a cheap Walmart binder – but get a couple of binders or a big one, you will be surprised how quickly it fills up. I’m know M.D. has some great links on this site – make sure to print out the LDS Preparedness Manual – ignore the religion in the first few pages if it isn’t your cup of tea. Whatever your personal beliefs, the Mormons have been prepping and teaching how to prep for the past 2 centuries or so – they are a wealth of knowledge.

    Since 2 is 1 – study and discuss this stuff with your wife and maybe even your kids. Teach your lovely wife to shoot and clean that gun as well.

    Congrats on starting out. For me it is community/family (the wolf pack) and a feeling of joy and security knowing I’m at least doing something to ensure my children and grandchildren get the chance to live a long and healthy life – just in case – and/or I’m going to be eating really cheaply in my retired years.

    • Besides the LDS manual, excellent point, I have a Boy Scout Handbook, several edible plant books, and a few copies of E and E/Military Survival books, all in a firesafe, in ziplock bags. I live in the Pacific Northwest and shake my head every winter when people starve/freeze to death due to IGNORANCE. If I have to eat grubs, ants and slugs to live, and fill my shirt with dry leaves for insulation…so be it. (BTW, slugs are best eaten after washing them in mud or sand to get the slime off. Edible, but boy did I have a sore gut! Not my 1st choice, or even 20th, but needed to know before hand.) Keep prepping, it won’t be wasted! I have meth-dealer neighbors so I understand having several “contingency plans” dealing with them depending on the severity of the societal breakdown.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        I’ve eaten meal worms, red worms and grasshoppers, but slugs? Oh Legion! Perhaps a couple of nice banana slugs stuffed with bees? Ugh…. Lol. I do not need to know. Actually, you have done it for me. Power to ya buddy.

  37. Harold M. says:

    My sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who left a comment. I did feel overwhelmed but I have slowly realized that prepping is more of a marathon than a sprint at this point. Doing a little each week and it is adding up.

    Hindsight being 20/20, I should have added to my original post that my wife was an LPN and she has been stocking up on medical supplies.

    Again, thank you all for the comments and good luck to you all as well.

  38. Great job your doing.
    Me I’d ignore the advise on not stocking vodka GREAT idea barter in pint or less bottles BUT it’s better to keep it for Medical and taking the edge off the day.
    You have a weapon if it’s a pistol and Auto then get at Min. Three mags. If god forbid you have to defends your home 1 mag being fired. 1 to reload with and the 3rd. being reloaded for you. Get a .22 rifle used under 100 bucks ammo is really cheap and it’s great for small game hunting and/or defense. Get your wife and kid to shot and go to a range and learn to hit a target
    Get yourself tactical knife
    store as much gas and tide (main ingedient in napalm)
    place rocks around the house they will stop a car and they diont have to be real big
    Great idea with the plywood We went one step futher and painted the o/s facing wood to look like a window and have hardware in place to hand it very fast. Don’t worry it’s not bullet proof neighter is your house. Got a Basement?
    HIT your dollar Store (family dollar stocks the best here) and put up most of your first aid supplies and canned tune REG. stores are better deal for canned goods like tomatoes/soup/veggies.
    Get yourself and family a great set of boots that you could live in for 20 hours surplus combat infanty are great.
    If you wear glasses get lots of cheater or if you need Rx try dipping your hand in the Lions glass’s collection box .
    And one Important thing if you can’t move get to know your neighbors JUST because they look rough around the edges might just mean your not use to their way of living and they if they work with there hands just might surprise you and be good old boys who know a lot about survival. Esp if your an office type your conditioned to not respect those who are not it clouds your judgement.
    Now that you scared yourself now get a battle mind start looking around you,notice everything start thinking like a bad guy. Practice keeping people an arms lenth away from you/ watch their hands hostil intent comes form the hands first. Be aware good luck and don’t think about it to hard. plan in small steps

  39. Congrats on prepping, it’s never too late. However, the “Mayan Calander” EOTW is todays Y2K con. There are many reasons to prep. Weather, earthquake, socioeconomic. If the Mayan should be correct (NOT), there will be no tomorrow to prep for, EOTW! Me, I’m expecting a long hot (OWS) summer with severe economic problems.

  40. Repair Mama says:

    Welcome Harold!
    We love getting new members to the pack!
    Don’t feel like you can not reach your goals. Sometimes just being aware of what is going on around you is getting you ahead of the sheeple. Small steps gives you time to think about what you want to prep and how you want to go about it. I have found out that prepping for the smaller emergencies, like weather, or prolonged power outage, has helped me see the bigger stuff. Then I can plan for the bigger stuff.
    I try to stock the pantry (not the long term closet) with lots of extras. 1-3 months of short term to medium term things in there lets me know that if business slows down, I can still feed the family. All of the extra soap, shampoo, and otc meds that I have aquired with coupons and sales for cheap will come in handy when I dont have the money to just run down to the pharmacy to get what I need when someone in the family is feeling under the weather.
    Since I have to esentially hide all of my preps from my DH, I have found some ways to store things like they are not even there. I have flipped the boxsprings over on the bed frame and used this for storage. you could put that precut plywood over the boxsprings after filling it up, and then put the matress back into place. No extra space was used and you can still walk in the bedroom. There are a multitude of storage containers that will fit under the bed too. you could put a brick under each bed leg to give you a few more inches of height on the bed, making the space under the bed a little bigger. Fill up the storage containers or flat boxes of canned goods and slide them right under there. more stuff stored and you can still walk around in the room.
    get a short, shallow shelf and put it between the wall and the couch. you will have to pull the couch out a bit, but you will have quite a bit of space there for canned goods, or skip the shelf and just put buckets of grains and such back there.
    hang a small wall shelf above the doorways inside of rooms for candles, or other small things that you dont have anywhere to put. I love the hang on the wall type of candle holders. When the power goes out, I just walk around light them up!
    I also put boxes under my intables and coffee table. I hide them by putting table cloths on the table that drape to the floor. Then no one can see that there are boxes under there.

    Does your small house have a basement or crawl space??
    You could store sealed buckets (put the food inside of the bucket into mylar bags with O2 obsorbers) seal the bucket and you could even put the buckets into a space bag for extra protection from water or moisture. and store them in the crawl space under the house.
    TP, paper towels, and other non food items can be stored here to if you address the water or moisture issue. this will also keep bugs, and spiders out of you preps too. Think about what you can stash in the attic. This area will be very hot in the summer, and very cold in the winter, but you can store out of season clothing, extra coats, cold weather clothing up there till you need it.

    good luck!! Keep up the good work and we look forward to chatting with you here alot.
    take care, and happy prepping!

  41. JeffintheWest says:

    Great article, and prepping is good no matter what your excuse. The preps you make today will save your butt tomorrow, regardless of whether or not it’s the rogue planet Nibiru hitting the moon or the onset of another Great Depression.

    We watched that show too, and I couldn’t help laughing — the American Indian prophecy (Hopi, I think it was?) said that once the railroads spread the end was near — even used the word “railroad” as read by the team and translated by their “Hopi” guru. However the prophecy was supposedly written in the 1600’s, before the concept of railroad had even been thought of or invented in Western Europe — much less built here in the New World. Obvious garbage, though apparently the team was too ignorant to figure it out…. Still it was designed to be scary, and as someone else said above, as long as it motivated you to start, it’s all good. Besides, the more you prep, the more you realize just how good it is to have a little something extra laid by for those bad times that are sure to come eventually for us all….

  42. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Welcome and congratulations on finding the best, good sense, low panic blog on the internet. I can’t speak for the read of the Wolf Pack about what makes everyone prep but I can give you some background and perspective. I am retired Air Force, I’ve lived in a lot of places and I’ve studied people for a long time. I’ve seen the devastation that natural and man made disasters can bring. Part of my function was to keep people alive so they could keep doing their job. For them to do their job they had to have a secure place to rest, a place to meet their medical needs, a place for nourishment and resupply and a place to get a good nights sleep knowing someone else is watching over you. I wrote and exercised and executed those plans many times. When I retired 20 years ago and was met shortly afterwards by Hurricane Hugo I found that what was in the house was close to inadequate. I also learned the people turn mean and nasty when you have something they want and you won’t give it to them. From then on it has been my practice to keep a years supply of food, water, first aid, defensive/offensive weapons and ammo to feed them. I’ve also found friends with the same ideas and the same willingness to do what had to be done and to join forces if the time comes. We too will be bugging in, not out. But we are bugging in with a tornado shelter, supplies, weapons and radios and other communication devices in case the house blows down on top of us. I don’t feel paranoid. I make my insurance payment on the house and on me and on the cars every year just like clockwork. Could I do any less for my family than to insure they have what they will need when we have a disaster of major proportions. If we don’t have it, then the insurance sits right there, ready if needed.
    I applaud you for opening your eyes. Don’t believe everything you read, here or anywhere else, but be sure you can take care of your family without having to wait on the government to wheel in trucks with grills and fresh cooked steaks and baked potatoes. Learn to be self sufficient and to survive, with or without the help of our government.
    Again welcome and congratulations on taking the first and most important step, that of opening your eyes and realizing that it’s not all as rosy as some people would like you to believe.

  43. Mrs. Prepper says:

    Hi everyone,
    I know this off topic, but was wondering if anyone has any ideas for getting old musty smell out of used books? I just rec’d my copy of The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency” by John Seymour and oh my gosh the smell is horrid. I fanned thru the pages and doesn’t appear to have any white or black mold–otherwise I think I would just toss it. The book itself was quite reasonable but the shipping on Amazon…ouch! I know you take your chances with buying used, but until today, I’ve been extremely happy with my used book purchases. This thing is turning my stomach! I ran some searches online and seems each remedy debunks the other. I would like to not damage the book as it appears extremely old (not sure if that’s a good thing now that I think about it–maybe the info is out-dated and now proven unsafe etc?). It appears to have a ton of info covering numerous categories but I can’t bare the smell. I placed in a zip bag and my office is still stinky. Thanks for any tips you can provide. Hope all are well and healthy.

    • Baking soda?

    • Encourager says:

      Contact the seller and return it. You will not be able to totally eliminate the ‘musty’ smell because it is a fungus. You can put it in a plastic bag and then into the freezer, but when you take it out, the fungus continues to grow.
      Amazon is pretty good for accepting returns of damaged goods – and this one IS damaged.

  44. Also, meant to say, take Doc’s advice. Plant a couple of trees, some blueberry bushes, etc. It will take a couple of years to get good fruit from them so start that TODAY!

  45. As long as you’ve started prepping, that’s what matters! I get so tired of trying to talk to people about what this country is facing and being told I’m “silly”. It might not be the end of the world based upon the Mayan calender, but SOMETHING is going to happen and it’s not going to be pretty. Could be this year or next, who knows, but not preparing seems “silly” to me. I’ve been preparing for a couple of years now, and what I’ve accumulated seems to be so little,particularly because I can’t afford a huge cash outlay at one time, but I know I’m way a head of the game versus the rest of my friends and family who are doing NOTHING. Not even water. 🙁

  46. The wisest prediction that can be made, is that someday something bad will happen.

    It doesn’t matter what will happen, but what is important is to prepare for anything so it isn’t as bad.

    2 years ago I saw jobs and homes being lost in this down economy, so I paid off my loans early last August that were attached to my mortgage. It was quite an acomplishment cutting spending in half. I would lose my home if I lost any work, so I prepped in case I did.

    2 months later I lost one of my jobs. If I hadn’t prepared, I would have lost my home with more than 3/4 of my life’s equity in it. I still prep for what may come, but diversify the different senarios that could happen.

    If you are well prepared and weather a disaster, it gives room to help others in need.

  47. Just take small steps, preppin’ is not a race its a lifestyle, you will get there!

  48. five blue eyes says:

    Harold, take a little time go threw the house look for stuff you don’t use sell it on ebay and craigslist. Then use the money for things you need. we do it all the time. Bonus your house has more room and you have less junk!As I go threw stuff I ask myself in a shtf senario will I need it and if I don’t I sell it. Good luck you will get there. I only started a year ago.

  49. Prepping can be stressful and overwhelming in the beginning . My advice is dont panic and think you have to get it all at the same time , thats too expensive for most of us and it will drive you crazy lol . First thing is to do an inventory of everything you own that you think you can use or could be used for something else if you had t . Every tool , every strand of rope , every box of trash bags , any camping gear , etc. After that I think you will be surprised at how many common items you could use in an emergency that you already have . Another person made a comment on another post about never forget firefighting equipment of some type as a prep . Easy to overlook and probably one of the most common things that may happen to a person .

  50. I have been following this site for over 6 months now and tend to read it almost daily… Hi, I’m the ‘madmountin’ (my radio call sign when I climbed Mt. McKinley w/ the US Army in 1981, as a member of USANWTC’s High Altitude Rescue Team (HART). Bear with me as I give you some background on myself so you won’t think I’m a knucklehead. After 21 years in the Army (all in the Infantry) I went to work in the largest prison in Oregon, where I still work (15+years). Currently residing in SW Idaho in a very small town. OK, now some observations. The info posted here is some of the best you’ll find, honest and to the point. The reason to prepare are numerous and I won’t mention any of them. What I will mention is that in my 15 years working behind many locked steel doors, there dwells some very bad men. I have been privy to numerous conversations with them and I can tell you that they would do very serious harm to you and your loved ones for almost nothing. Learn to use all for weapon systems and teach your wife, mother and children how to shoot (accurately). If you plan to ‘bug in place’ plan on defense in depth, which means having layers of defense. Plan on storing food items you are eating now. Integrate beans and rice into your diet if that is what you are storing, you get the picture. One situation I’ve not heard mentioned is having a plan to put out a house fire. Numerous fire extinguishers would be a good start, especially if you have an older wooden home with old shingles on the roof. Criminals have told me this is the preferred method, since they do not want to get shot. They would just smoke you out. Harold, congrats on starting to be PROACTIVE !! Print all the posts here and remember “Your mind with knowledge and wisdom is your #1 weapon. Stockpile all those Wallyworld plastic bags, always pick up those free newspaper want ads you see in smaller stores (for fire starting and emergency T.P.) You might want to consider a good air rifle for taking small game in your neighborhood or backyard. Count me as a new member to the ‘Wolfpack’… and remember,”You don’t need to be a weatherman to know which way the winds are blowing.”

    • Encourager says:

      Welcome to the Pack, Madmountin. I, for one, appreciate your insight regarding the inhabitants of the prison system. We have a few prisons around us – and have seen ‘walk-a-ways’ from the juvi ‘alternative facility’ many times. You can spot them because they will be walking down the rural road with their pants inside out and no shirt on, even in the rain or cold temps. Idiots. A neighbor discovered her house ransacked, clothes and food stolen; when police got there, they told her about three guys who had broke out of the big prison the day before. They found evidence that they had spent the night in her barn. At least they waited until she went to work before breaking into her home! It could have been a different story with a horrible ending.
      You have given us valuable info, thanks!

    • I’m very curious. What do you think would happen with the prisons if some type of dire and sudden emergency occurred? Would prison employees desert the facilities and leave the prisoners locked up to die? Or would they set them free? Is there a protocol?

    • Wow. Welcome, Madmountin. I hope you will consider posting once in a while. We would benefit from the perspective your unique past would give to the topics discussed here.
      I look forward to reading your posts!
      Cat

    • After 7 years in corrections I can tell you he is telling you the truth about inmates. They will do brutal things over something as simple as having the channel changed on the TV. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

  51. Encourager says:

    Harold, thanks for the post. IMHO, I would skip the booze for trade and buy lots and lots of toilet paper. Figuring half of the have-nots when SHTF will be women and girls, that is a no-brainer. I can hear it now “You chose a bottle of Vodka instead of two rolls of TP?!? Are you nuts?!?!” =o)

  52. Uncle Charlie says:

    Welcome Harold. Like the old saying goes, it’s better to have one and not need it, than to need it and not have it. That goes for everything, not just guns, but food, water, toilet paper etc. I’m still waiting for the New Madrid fault to below, that’s why my BOP is East of Louisville and Nashville. I don’t know if MPD Prep was joking or not, but Vodka makes a lousy Molotov cocktail unless he was referring to the kind you drink and then it’s OK, but you’ll need rum as well.

  53. Harold…the most important step in prepping in my opinion…is what you have already done…and that is to link up with like minded people and join in the conversation…

    because we are also traveling this prep journey with you – and important to know you are not alone in thinking how you do..

    and this time next week no doubt – there will be more new cubs – all taking the same steps you are now…so relax, sit a while and be amongst friends. cheers.

  54. Take a deep breath, think lifestyle not race. If I wind up needing a Tent and a sleeping bag [for whatever reason my bed’s not handy] I’d want one of them milsurp three layer -40 jobs, maybe one decade I’ll upgrade that far. I’ve lost some preps to divorce, theft, job loss, etc. I’ll get back to ready sometime. I get a lot from goodwill, SA, and thrift stores. At one time my bugout sleeping plan was two 55 gal. trashbags newspaper insulation, and a 3 mil plastic painters dropcloth. I now have tents for me and the dogs and the cats, all got at much less than retail. Next is to replace the tarp with a dedicated portapotty tent. Didn’t come overnight. Gayle wrote an excellent post on sales cyles, when stuff is on the best sale. [looking for corned beef and cabbage now] used stuff is also best bought out of season buy swimsuits in winter, heavy coats in summer, fall seems best for camping stuff as it gets donated after the summer family trip. As your stockpile grows you’ll see that having this, gives you room to buy only what iis on sale so you can buy more for less. I like most want to bug in, but if I have to lrave. Yes I want the outfitter tent and takedown wood stove, mummybags etc. but when the rain turns brown a tuna can full of cardboard and wax and that dropcloth/trashbag might not look so bad. Now just where do I put the foxfire series in a tent, and ohh yes beware the Stober.

  55. Good for you, Harold, and welcome! You aren’t the only one trying to do a lot with just a little. I’m in the same boat, along with a wife who doesn’t really think it will ever happen. But we’re more prepared than a lot of folks. I’m planting ten blueberry bushes later today, and getting the garden ready for the first batch of cool weather veggies. Trying to talk the DW into more firearms, though she has a childhood trauma issue about them so it’s a difficult subject there. She tolerates my deer rifle and shotgun but pistols are gonna be a harder sell. Still, I’m a lot better prepared than probably most folks around here. It’s a good feeling to know I can handle things myself, even if it’s something as simple as being able to cook when the power goes out 🙂

  56. SurvivorDan says:

    Welcome Harold and thank you for your contribution. I have only been on this site for 6 months.
    I have military, LEO, martial arts and wilderness survival skills so I was a bit over confident about my EOTWAWKI capabilities. I have learned so much from MD and the WolfPack in the past six months that I now know that I knew very little. But I’m learning. And I’m preparing. Welcome. Stick around.

  57. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but the Mayans didn’t calculate leap years into their calendar. The end of the world should have happened 7-8 months ago.

    I sincerely believe that there is something happening or going to happen soon, another revolution, some kind of plague, war coming to American soil, whatever, but I get so sick of people thinking the Mayans had it figured out all along.

  58. Dose anyone know if the crawl space under you’re house will protect you from solar flares? “radiation” If the solar flares knock out power & the world goes crazy, & you’ve been suppling food water ammo. .ect what about the radiation poisoning? Would a crawl space be enough? & how long would you need to stay there??

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