Tales from a beginning prepper?

by M.D. Creekmore on October 5, 2012 · 42 comments

This guest post is by Erica H and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .

I have come to the unenviable realization that I too firmly believe something is going to happen to life as we know it and that our status quoue is going to change dramatically.  However being immobilized by fear isn’t going to help me.  I’ve trolled internet sites and while ive found some useful information, a lot of it has been either too generic, or so specific it doesn’t meet my needs, or worse, costs money to get a simple piece of information.

While there are many scenarios im anticipating, (massive unemployment being the most likely in my mind) the one im specifically preparing for is an extremist situation:  one where the grid is down and there is no electricity.  Specifically why this scenario?  In 2013 the solar maximum is set to come and if the solar flare emits enough radiation, it could take out the electrical grid.  Is this a likely scenario? I honestly can’t say, I’m a project manager not a scientist.  But it gives me a “worst case” baseline scenario to work from.

This scenario gives me my time frame (Jan 2013 approx for the solar maximum) so 6 months.  And it gives a scenario for the conditions I need to prepare for.  I took my worst case scenario from various articles from nasa.gov and other news sites which highlights sketchily this particular scenario.  In this scenario, the electrical grid will absorb the radiation which will take out the transformers.  In this disaster event, the grid will be offline and may take up to 5 years to be brought back online.  This would turn our country into a 3rd world nation.

So Im basing my information on how 3rd world nations live and survive, as well as how our ancestors fared.

Scenario Summary  (worst case)

  • No electricity
  • Breakdown of government
  • Electrical grid may not be back up for 5 years
  • Possible EMP pulse from radiation rendering electronics useless

1st Milestone: Shelter

My first milestone which I have just completed was Shelter.  (I used the word milestone, see I am a project manager).

I have recently moved to the western part of Jersey.  I do not have enough money to own my own property, I rent.  However I have moved to a farm which is renting a mother daughter apartment.  The rent includes all utilities and has ample storage space.  This place is actually a gem for survival:

  • On a hidden road and at a dead-end, house is on a hill
  • 14 acres that backs state land on 3 sides
  • Large river runs through the property
  • Organic orchard with various fruit trees (zone 6 so mainly apples)
  • Built with concrete (to act as a bomb shelter) – so its solid
  • Wood burning stove, which heats the entire house and there’s enough wood on the property already seasoned for 3 years, additionally a lot of trees to replenish.
  • Has a walk in freezer/fridge built into the side of a hill.  Even without power this makes an amazing root cellar.
  • Built in greenhouse (that some poor planner built on the north side of the property, oh well)
  • Has its own well and septic tank (which im convincing the landlord should have a standby hand pump if necessary)

The bonus for this shelter is the landlord is of a like mind, he’s a farmer and believes in preparation (although he doesn’t believe in my extreme scenario).  He is also into collecting heirloom seeds and is a farmer.  Odly enough he spends part of his time in another state on his blueberry farm, so there is a chance he may not even be in the state when the SHTF

The other interesting facts of this place is:

  • It has a pool (which will work well as a cistern
  • House is on a hill with one primary way of egress and is on a dead-end on a hidden road (so easy to defend)
  • Abundant wildlife as were next to a massive state park and nature preserve.

 

Recommendation for others looking to start out:

I make 40K a year.   I do not make enough to own my own home currently (Just got out of some debt).  I don’t make enough currently to have a bug out location and a primary residence.  I am living in my bug out location which I am renting.  I work almost in NYC.  It means I now have a 4 hr daily commute.  It’s the sacrifice I made to ensure I had a sanctuary in case worst case happens.  My next goals are to find employment closer to home, and to begin the next milestones of what I need.

But anyone can, if they’re resourceful enough and willing to lay down the groundwork and the research, begin to prepare, within a budget.  And for those who think im crazy, I live in a gorgeous rural area, my rent is now 500 cheaper, and while I have a long commute, it is mainly via train which equates to reading and research time.

 

Next Milestones:

  • Water storage and purification
  • Food storage – long-term as well as short-term
  • Food replenishment

o   Gardening

o   Fishing

o   Hunting/Trapping

o   Raising Livestock – (for now it will be chickens)

  • Health and hygiene

 

Water storage and purification (Upcoming Milestone)

One of the main reasons why I chose this location was:  a river (with fish!) on the property, and it had its own septic tank and well.  However I face 2 problems.  1) the river water will need purification, and the well currently is electric.  My solutions to this problem are of various costs:

  • Hand pump for the well.  Only a viable option if the well is not too deep.
  • Solar pump for the well.  About 3,500 for the entire system priced out.  And if an EM pulse knocks out electronics, I better have this bad boy put away in a faraday cage first, and then hope I have enough smarts to hook it up myself.  But it’s too expensive for me in my 6 months time frame and budget, so this is not an option at this time
  • Water purification and storage

o  Water storage.  In my research the best thing for long-term water storage was hard plastic containers.  Also putting a small amount of bleach to prevent any bacterial growth.  In this I noted that:  Bleach doesn’t store for long periods of time, and I don’t want to drink bleach water.

§ long term bleach storage issue solved: use Calcium hypochlorite

  • To make a stock of chlorine solution (do not drink this!) dissolve 1 heaping teaspoon (about one-quarter of an ounce) of high-test (78%) granular calcium hypochlorite for each two gallons (eight liters) of water.
  • To disinfect water add one part of the chlorine solution to 100 parts water to be treated.
  • Let the mixture sit for at least one-half hour before drinking.

My main choice would then be to get a water purification system like the Berkley purifiers and use it to purify river water (need to boil first) should the well be unusable.  However this will require:

1.  Water storage (will need to store water cause im not going to the river every day)

2.  Calcium Hypochlorite to make “bleach” to then purify the long-term storage water

3.   AND the Berkley purification system with extra purifying canisters (because in my scenario it will take 5 years for the grid to come back)

4.   And a way to boil water (no electric)

Supplies then to obtain:  (My august shopping trip)

  • Transport water to and from the river (My gardening wheelbarrow)
  • Water storage containers.  I’ve chosen the water brick containers.  Theyre expensive!!! $20 each but they are solid, built to last easy to store (stackable).  In my scenario I need items which will last as they’re wont be opportunity to purchase more
  • Berkeley Water Purifer.  Also expensive but seems to be the best on the market.  I’ve read blogs where people are using brita pitchers and I can’t believe it.  Too flimsy.  Plus the Berkley purifies so much more out of the water.  Plus the filters can be cleaned using a toothbrush to allow them to last longer.  $350 for the filter, plus will need to buy additional filter parts.
  • How to Heat the water: Crisis Cooker – works with propane (with additional kit) Charcoal, or Wood.  Being that I have a large supply of wood I felt this was my best bet.  While it’s mainly used for small “crisis” cooking it can boil water with a pot in a pinch (as well as cook meals) $89.00

Cast Iron pots and pans and Dutch Ovens – have these already from my mother/grandmother and is what is necessary to cook on an open fire.

This contest will end on October 10 2012 – prizes include:

  • First Place : $100 Cash.
  • Second Place : $50 Cash.
  • Third Place : $25 Cash.

Contest ends on October 10 2012.

42 comments

Big D October 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

Erica H ,
Great article, it can be confusing for rookie preppers and veterans alike.A good way to prep is just what you’re doing, pick a scenario and a timeline to shoot for.Along the way you ad for different disasters as time and money allow,there is also quite a bit of crossover.You are taking a logical,organized,systematic approach, and most importantly you are taking action and doing it.Not sitting around trying to find the perfect plan,you’ve put a plan in motion using what you can realisticly do with your budget,location and needs.Instead of hoping to hit the lottery so you can then build a custom bunker on 100 acres in montana.
We would love to get updates as you go to see improvments and upgrades.

FREEDOM2012 October 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

non-fiction writing contest?

What, the place didn’t have an acre of solar panels?

Fantasy writing would be an appropriate title for that piece.

Georgeislearning October 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Great article ,thanks.

I saw a story the other day about Israel could send Iran back to the stone age with an EMP bomb. First thought was well Iran could send Israel to the stone age as well, and /or us too. EMP’s are not that hard to make. Heres a simple one, seems easy enough http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/howto-create-an-emp-bomb-of-your-own/

Do we remember a year or so ago maybe 2 now I forget , the missile launch off the cali coast? heres the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AMdHBgHtNE, easy to search on the net.
Well someone launched it and we say we don’t know who.
We don’t need a nuke to get us. An EMP could be placed on a missile and, well you get the idea.
To me it seems a whole lot easier to make an EMP vs a nuke. I don’t know exactly , I’m just an AC sales guy.

So many scary scenerios out there.

I wanted to share another thing that caught my eye. What do you think about when you think of Iran. I think about a desert, camels , some religious nuts. Something I never thought of was whats contained in this link, I never would have thought what a beautiful country Iran is. http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-09-25/guess-where-these-beautiful-pictures-were-taken-%E2%80%A6

in the 50′s we started helping them with Nukes
we have done some pretty wacked out crap over the years. heck Clinton was involved in some kinda nuke data transfer with China, its not hard to imagine we let slip some plans on EMP’s.

theroetically speaking being prepared might not be a bad idea
don’t mind my misspelled words , I can skin buck, run a trout line and load my guns. Im good :-)
wait I don’t have any guns thats right.

L.A. Mike October 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I believe a nuclear warhead that is detonated in the upper atmosphere will act as an EMP also. Either way, scary stuff.

Georgeislearning October 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

yessir you be right. on both accounts

Penny Pincher October 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

Iran is not desert, most of it. I saw a video of Tehran night life and it is a big modern city, in many ways nicer than a lot of American cities. These are not nomads squatting in the desert with their camel or whatever and their lunch and one extra mag in their pocket. They’re firmly in the 21st century just like us.

Moreover their elite troops are more than competent, and it’s not going to be a cake walk if we go to war with them. More like WW3.

I was going to mention the Hanging Gardens of Babylon but looked it up to make sure and turns out that would have been in Iraq. (oops).

OhioPrepper October 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Seems easy enough? If you could get the components and arrange them properly from the article it could potentially make an EMP generator that could wipe out anything within a vicinity of perhaps 10 feet in diameter. Taking out a region as large as a state or a country pretty much requires a nuclear device, detonated at a fairly precise high altitude. The circuit in that article might make an interesting science fair project, not at all unlike the Tesla coils we made as kids.

JP in MT October 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Erica H:

I understand your planning for “worst case”.. That’s the way I usually approach problems. That way its usually not as bad as I planned for.

A 4 hour commute, WOW! Do you use public transportation or drive? Your ideas look GREAT, but this may be a issue for you. Perhaps, as a follow on, you might let us know some of your possible solutions.

You certainly have a well thought our plan. Not sure how the employment situation is where you are and what wages are. But 40K does not sound like a lot for NYC. You might look for something home based, something part time as you day is already full.

Good work and keep going!

Mike October 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Erica,

I would agree that your “worst case” scenario could be just as likely as any other potential hazard.

Other than the 4 hour commute by train, your location does sound ideal, my main concern would be timing of an event, if you were at work when the SHTF, how long would it take to get back home. Under those conditions I would consider carrying a Get Home Bag at all times.

It sounds like you have most of the resources you will need at you location, and it may be possible to barter your services with the owner working the property to ‘pay your way’ in the event of massive unemployment.

As for boiling water, you have the wood stove. I believe Water Bricks are wonderful, and to transport water from the river, I would suggest a number of 2.5-gallon collapsible water jugs. This way the collapsible jugs would be used for untreated water, which can be placed in the wheelbarrow, poured through some cloth filter into a pot on the stove, boiled then poured through another cloth filter into the Water Bricks. The cloth filters are primarily for getting rid of any ‘floaties.’ When it comes time to drink the water, pour the water from the Water Bricks into the Berkey filter and you are golden.

GeoFagus October 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Erica-Indeed a sacrifice what you are doing, but probably no ned to go through those extremes. I live in the City burroughs and work downtown NYC. I can offer you some helpful solutions to this. If you would like to know more email me. siufump15@verizon.net

jr in sw October 5, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Erika, very glad to hear that you’ve recognized a pending hazard & that you’re taking proactive measures to improve your situation – good job! I also like that you’ve thought out the major categories and are working towards them – shelter, food, and water being the biggest 3. Keep up the good work, and keep moving forward!

I am assuming that since you’re at home, you’re pretty well covered for hygiene/sanitation – if not, more TP! :-) Without derailing your efforts to reach your next milestones, I would strongly urge you to consider adding 1 or 2 additional categories to your list: “security/protection” and “first-aid/medicine”. You don’t make mention of them, maybe you’ve already got them covered too.

Security – not just a weapon & ammo (gun, bow/arrow, crossbow, pepper spray, etc.) to keep your supplies and loved ones from falling into the hands of “bad guys”, but also think about camoflage, evasion, masking noises/smells, traps, etc. to keep the bad guys from finding you.

First-aid – please take at least a first-aid class before January (your date of concern), if you haven’t already. Think about maybe stocking some relatively low-cost medical necessities like gauze, suture kits, OTC medicines, fish antibiotics, etc.

There are other categories that would be of benefit to you (communication, transportation, energy, etc. – but, since these would need to be “hardened” to withstand the solar bombardment that concerns you [and me too]…). Bottom line is that you’ve got just 3 months before your “due date” and you’ve made a good start, so I don’t want to see you dilute your efforts too much… But do please do consider expanding your focus just a bit and see if you can get a little coverage for these 2 critical areas.

All the best.
J

MP in mn October 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I was wondering why there is seldom a mention of a Sawyer water purification system. 1 million gallons before replacing a filter. It seems to me as the way to go. How long would it take to use a million gallons? Years and years. That is what I bought.

Tactical G-Ma October 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm

MP,
I’ve read all the specs on many purifiers, pump and gravity. The way I understand it is that neither Berkey or Sawyer covers everything. Berkey filters out heavy metals and bacteria but not virus. And Sawyer filters virus but not chems and heavy metals. So long as we don’t have a viral pandemic the Berkey does it all. Since the Sawyer isn’t very expensive, I think it should be stage two of any preppers water filtration plans. But I am not a chemist or engineer and may have it wrong. Anybody?

Sw't Tater October 6, 2012 at 3:19 am

Use the Berkley, add 3 or 4 drops of Oil of Oregano oil to each liter. According to reading I was doing yesterday…it’s antibiotic, even against MRSA,anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-virus properties have been used by different societies for centuries. … Now just think of all the things they try to get us to take that are caused by these organisms.Think of the drugs that are becoming ineffective..(.Ladies this would work for all that ails us, from one end to the other!) ..the info says…., effective against…. sinus infections, other URI’s, UTI’s,Yeast,Skin infections, West Nile, Shingles….some ppl even swear it has cured their skin cancers.Info how to use is dependent on the desired… Is contraindicated for use with pregnancy.Reason not listed.

Homeinsteader October 6, 2012 at 8:55 am

These are water FILTERS, not purifiers.

As I understand it (and I am by no means an authority) you first must filter your water for drinking in order to remove as many impurities as possible, and, then, IN BEST CASE SCENARIO, you also need to “shock” it to kill off whatever filtering can’t or didn’t catch. Filtering does not destroy anything – hopefully, it removes things you don’t want to consume, so it is “purified” in that sense, but it’s still not “pure”. I think that word is rather loosely applied sometimes.

This is why we keep Leslie’s Pool Shock, 73% Hypochlorite solution in granulated form. A pack will cost you about $5.00 and will last a a while, if used correctly. Just a few granules is all you need per gallon, or, about 1/2 teaspoon for five gallons. It is a super concentrated form of chlorine chemical, so, some people object to it because they don’t want to consume chlorine. If you are drinking city water, you are drinking chlorine with every sip, but that should not be your biggest fear with city water, IMHO. So, then the question becomes, “do I worry about drinking chlorine?”, or, “do I worry about what else is lurking in my water supply and what it may do to my (survivalist) pack in the long-term?”.

You can also boil it after filtering, if you have the ability to do so: can you build a fire or do you still have a heat source? Wait for it to boil then cool before consuming?

Boiling water alone does not kill off everything that may be lurking in your water, either.

Point of information: we prefer the DIY ceramic water filters, as we believe they are equally effective with these much more expensive systems. You can buy kits and assemble your own, or, you can buy what you need in “parts”. The ceramics, though, are very slow, so, if you were “dying” of thirst, you’d be in big trouble waiting on them.

BTW, you can also use the Leslie’s to make your own bleach anytime you want or need it; bleach loses potency in storage after about 4-6 months, depending on storage conditions. Bleach is typically 4% hypochlorite solution; Leslie’s is 73%; see why you don’t need much? Just dissolve the Leslie’s in water and disinfect away.

We also believe everyone should carry a LifeStraw at all times (we keep ours in a BOB). Very effective, lightweight, doesn’t use much room, and filters thousands of gallons of water for emergency consumption.

There are lots of ways to make any water potable, but they are not all equal. In SHTF, however, it just may be that at the right moment, we won’t care.

Homeinsteader October 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

AZYogi has an excellent post on this feed (below) addressing the chlorine issue, y’all.

Tactical G-Ma October 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

HI,
If a filtration system filters to .02 microns or better, the water is considered pure and needs no iodine or chlorine. Just Water filter is superior to the Berkey simply because Just Water publishes the results of the water test and Berkey just wants you to take there word for it. Even the Black Berkey filter does not publish the full water test nor does if tell who did a test or by what standard. If you use the Just water or the Berkey filter you must either boil the water or treat it with iodine or chlorine. Or skip the boiling, iodine, and chlorine and run the filtered water thru the Sawyer Point Two Filter. Boiled water tastes flat. Many people are allergic to iodine. How much chlorine will kill the viruses.

Nashville Handgun October 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

That’s pretty well thought out – definitely made me do some thinking. Completely realistic or not, it brings up some really good points.

GeorgiaBoy October 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Erica,
Wow, that is a great place, especially if you can get the landlord to spring for a hand pump for the well. The biggest issue I see is getting back to it if you’re at your job or in route when the balloon goes up.
One question- I have well water, no need for a Berkey, but I did not think water needed to be boiled before going through a Berkey.

MM October 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Make your own in 10 minutes and save your $300 Berkey water filter and get this…
http://www.monolithic.com/stories/a-practical-life-sustaining-water-filter

I paid $25 a filter with the spigot and filter cover, including shipping. Do a search a find the best deal.

Homeinsteader October 6, 2012 at 8:58 am

Yup. This is the one we prefer.

OhioPrepper October 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Erica & MM,
These are the filters I also use for bulk filtering. They are available from the following supplier: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/CAMP-352 which includes the filter elements specs and a video on building the simple gravity feed system. They also sell just the filter element for a lower cost.

Tactical G-Ma October 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm

OhioPrepper,
This is my preferred filter for quantity filtration. However it states it is only 100% effective for stuff larger than .05 micron so the water still needs to be treated with iodine or bleach or go through an additional filter that takes out stuff as small as .02 microns to eliminate viruses.

Ace Riley October 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

i am very impressed- good luck

Linda October 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Erica H,

Don’t let dumb people rain on your parade. You are doing great. I am thinking that the 4 hours commute are really 2 going and 2 coming home. That is not very bad for that area. I have relatives that do that also. They don’t think is too long. As you said you are using the commute time for upgrading your knowledge of prepping. Good job.

I have a Berkley filter, the english one because its filter is ceramic and it last around 10 years, I also bought a set of filters as a back up, just in case. This equipment does a wonderful job. Very happy with it.

Wish I could find a place like yours. We live in a retirement gated community, but we are not really safe if the SHTF. We have not a river, or wells. Everything is furnished by the county and it will go puff if the electricity is gone.

Good luck for you in your prepping, don’t feel shy about asking for help about what you should do. The Pack is a very helpful group with a lot of experience.

God bless. Linda

Homeinsteader October 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

Good advice, Linda, especially for “newbies”. There are literally thousands of people on this site, most of them just “lurking”, and that’s o.k., but you also get thousands of opinions, all of it based on what little each of us knows (and that’s the beauty of the sharing!), and our set of personal biases, experience, and “excess luggage”. Sometimes, the advice or opinion is expressed in helpful, kind ways, and sometimes, not so much. And sometimes the lack of experience, knowledge, and wisdom of the poster is more obvious than others.

Keep doing what your doing, Erica: keep learning. And remember, “the best way to learn is to teach”! Well done, dear lady.

Tactical G-Ma October 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Erica,
I have always been prepared for short-term events. I grew up that way. I have only been prepping for major events for about 6 mos. I have found that the more I know, the more I need to learn. And I am constantly reviewing my needs. I ask myself if TSHTF tomorrow what is the one thing I need most that I don’t have. Congratulations on starting to prepare and good luck.

Survivor October 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Erica, great start!! I like the way you’re putting all this into perspective for yourself. With OPSEC in mind, I hope some of your primary aquisitions would be weapons with which you are very familiar and practiced to enforce your easily defendable home. I don’t want to know, just food for thought.

Warmongerel October 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm

The Crisis Cooker looks exactly like the Volcano II stove that I just received today (haven’t tried it out yet). Seems pretty sturdy and I love how it collapses down so easily.

The Volcano II sells the propane attachment as an option so, if you don’t think you’ll use it, you can save about $80. I got mine at the link below for $107, including shipping. Or, I think MD had a link to it somewhere on the site – so you might be able to make him a buck if you can find it.

Good luck. Seems like you’re at about the same level I am.

http://www.amazon.com/Volcano-II-Collapsible-Cook-Stove/dp/B000FDKXN6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349479500&sr=8-1&keywords=volcano+2+stove

AZyogi October 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Great job on deciding to do something about what you fear. There seems to be a misconception about chlorine in drinking water. I have run into it in many writings on survival situations. The chlorine (Cl2) kills bad bugs (pathogens) and then disipates. So all the bad bugs (bb) can be dead and still have a low Cl2 residual (left over Cl2) the minimum residual is around 1.5 mg/l (milligram per lifer) 1.0 to 2.0 after a 24 hour contact time. After the bugs are dead the Cl2 can be removed for drinking or left in to keep the bb from coming back. To get these levels accurate testing is a must, at the least a pool test kit. Removing the residual can be as elaborate as activated carbon filters, or a ferric flocculation tertiary treatment process. Or as simple as aeration, pouring back and forth from glass to glass. Sometimes other factors can increase the amount of Cl2 needed to get the kill you want this is called Chlorine Demand or Cl2D temperature, silt, dissolved solids, ph and more can raise the amount needed to begin with to end up with dead bugs. The end result is once the bugs is dead you are done with the Cl2. Water treatment and its lesser cousin (of ill repute) wastewater treatment are something that can be researched and good texts found. The ones in my library are for running municipal systems, I’ll have to seek books for family or farm use. Get back to you later on that. ((NOTE Cl2D is not related to C3P0))

OhioPrepper October 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

AZyogi,
I grew up in an area that had “city water” although we lived only two blocks from the base of several thousand acres of wooded mountain. We also kept tropical fish which don’t do well with the chlorinated water, so we used one of three options to remove the chlorine, depending on how quickly we needed the water. We had chlorine test kits (for tropical fish) to verify the content (or lack thereof). There was a chemical agent in pill form to neutralize the chlorine which worked in a matter of minutes, we could pour the water back and forth between buckets, aerating the water and allowing the chlorine to outgas, and finally, when we were actually thinking ahead, simply fill buckets with water leaving perhaps 4-6 inches of head space, cover the buckets with a lightweight dish towel, and let the bucket sit around for a few ways, also allowing the chlorine to outgas. So if you don’t want residual chlorine in the water (and I don’t) there are several ways to remove it.

AZyogi October 7, 2012 at 7:41 pm

The capsule would most likely be Sodium Bisulfite. Yes it will combine with free Cl2 and reduce it. You are however left with byproducts of that reaction. The least likeable is the sodium, at least for those on low sodium diets, or those with high blood pressure. Also found in some wines, used to stop fermentation.

Ben October 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

If you are trying to accomplish this in 6 months you might want to find ways to lower your costs. For one, buy the Berkey filter elements seperate from the shiny stainless container. You can find then for @$107 online. Take 2 food grade buckets with lids and mount the filters in the bottom of one. Take one of the lids and make holes to line up with the filters when you stack the buckets. Basically, replace the shiny stainless container with 2 (much less expensive) buckets. Also, if you’ll prefilter your water through a dense cloth or coffee filters you can extend the life of your elements. With the approximately $200 savings you can pick up @10 of the water blocks you want.
To address you water pumping issue (if your solar setup is rendered inop or if you can’t build it in time) I’d look towards hydro electric generation. I don’t know how close this flowing river is to the actual house, but if you channel part of the rushing current into an ever narrowing pipe you can increase the pressure to a point that it can turn a generating device. Search around for DIY hydro electric and you’ll find tons of products and plans. Also, being on a hilltop, don’t discount wind generation.

Just a few thoughts your article brought up for me. Good luck with your milestones. I hope we never have to test out our plans.

SurvivorDan October 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Well the pack covered my concerns about security/weapons, a Get-Home-Bag and 1st aid supplies and training. All sound advice and all should be top priorities.

I like your choice for a survivable abode. The situation seems excellent except for the long commute. That could be very problematic in a SHTF scenario. Hope you have or will get a GHB and perhaps safe havens (friends, family, co-workers homes) between your work and your home in case you are hoofing it home. My youngest daughter works in Manhattan and has a mid size GHB to get her back to Brooklyn. She carries a small GHB at all times because she commutes on public transportation.

As to everything else…I think you are well on your way to being a survivor.
You seem to be taking an intelligent, systematic approach to reach each level of your set goals. You’re doing great.

P.S. As a former grunt I will opine that a dead end street for strangers should not mean a dead end for you. Have a back way out in a hurry (dirt bike or ATV perhaps?). Just a thought for later prepping priorities.

AZyogi October 6, 2012 at 12:34 am

Ok here’s a good read How to Purify Water by Wallace Streete on kindle for $3 I will try to find some cheaper I got this for free by watching Natalie ‘s postings.

AZyogi October 6, 2012 at 1:33 am

Yet another one I got from Natalie for free. How to Purify Water with Solar Energy by Elliot Lee. Kindle $3

Penny Pincher October 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

Get a job closer to home, and use the extra 8 hours (or 4 hours?) commute time to plant a garden or work more hours.

axelsteve October 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

I am more worried about Iran using a dirty bomb then emp. I listend to a guy on the radio a few weeks ago who is a weapons designer(nuke).The theory of the people of his ilk is, that Iran may dirty bomb a couple of our port cities like san fran la or new york before nuking Isreal. I live about 110 miles north of sanfransisko so I kinda dwell on that. Also that theory is on how much pandamoniam that will create after the dirty bomb off with people leaving the bay area or los angelose fleeing the area unprepared.

OhioPrepper October 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

axelsteve,
A typical dirty bomb is used generally to create pandemonium and fear, and if you’re not in the direct vicinity of it when it goes off (like any bomb) then it is generally not something that any of us need to worry about.

canadagal October 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Erica: What a wonderful find. Congratulations! You are indeed blessed to find such a place with so many essentials already in place. Keep on preparing. You are doing a great job.

Lynn October 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Erica
I agree with Canadagal. Kinda new to this myself. Love the Berkey water system. It’s portable, goes everywhere even filtering in the car while I”m on the road. After reviewing many similar blogs, discovered this was best for me. People are great, experienced, and eager to assist. In this day and time, keep your job ! Almost impossible to find another- I know. My choice re: food is dehydrating mainly due to ease of storing and transporting.
My concern with foreign countries is our internet. There is very little if anything, in our daily lives, that is not related in someway to the internet, including the vehicles we drive. Our enemies have proven they can and probably will take down the vital parts of America’s internet, which will cause complete chaoes for several years to come. Former Russian P.M. Khrushchev once stated, America would fall from within. Loosing over 50% of our internet would do just that…without a bullet being fired. Good luck to you and welcome. God Bless America !

Monty October 8, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Erica,
You may want to see if you can stash a bike at work in case your there when/if something happens. You can ride faster than you could walk, strap on the get home bag and ride.

Keep up the great work, prepping can be a daunting task you just have to work at it a little at a time.

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