This article has been written by John F. for Survivopedia’s contest “My Prepper Story“. You can vote for this article until March 29, 2015 using the “Vote Up” box at the end of the article.
My story is pretty basic, as I have been preparing for about 2 years. This isn’t my first rodeo. In the late 1990’s I became very concerned with the Y2K seen, and spread the word to everyone that would listen to my grave predictions that the sky was falling yada yada. I thought it made so much sense to prepare …… it was obvious that the world was about to end, when the computers wouldn’t reset themselves. Of course I was totally wrong, but never less it was good training for what to do and what not to do. Back in those days, I had prepared for myself and 10 other people for 6 months. I felt that the country would reset within 6 months.
I became the laughing stock at the office…. and I was hearing others say… that they would just come to my house if something actually happens.
First of all keep your mouth shut, tell no one unless you discover another prepper to plan together. This is very important. In a SHTF situation you will become a target.
Due to limited resources my preps have been gradual and planned every move.
Start small, store for 1 week, than 1 month, than 3 months, then 6 months etc. I started out on food storage of buying long term items: beans, rice, peanut butter etc. I now have a large food stash of canned meats, canned fish, etc. I now have a large food supply with a large variety. I label and rotate my stock.
I really encourage everyone to get a food dehydrator. Get a good one that has a temperature control. I have a huge stash of dehydrated food, storing in Mason jars and sealed with vacuum seal. You can dehydrate almost any kind of vegetables. I have a garden and dehydrate everything, making sure nothing goes to waste. The advantage of dehydrating vs canning is that it takes hardly any room, and is very light. They say that vegies that are stored in sealed Mason jars will last 25 years. Foods that I have dehydrated 3 years ago are just as good as dehydrated yesterday.
Water is also a major concern. I live within 1/4 mile of a flowing river, which I plan to transport water, in 5 gal pales. I also have purchased a rain barrel ($35 of craigslist) and plan on setting up an eve trough system from my storage shed with “blue tarp” on the roof. Water from asphalt shingles has heavy concentrate of oil. I have also purchased a Berkey water filter. I also have material to build a poor man’s water filter with Organic charcoal, pool sand, and pea rock, in a 3 stage drip system in 3 white buckets. I also live within 1/2 mile of a county park that has a hand pump of good “clean” water, year around. To transport the water and other supplies and to stay below the radar, I picked up a child’s cart that you pull behind a bike at a garage sale for $ 35.00.
At this time, I don’t have a wood stove or chimney, however plan on finding one this summer. I have concerns that having a chimney with smoke rolling out is also a dead giveaway that I have preps. I only plan to use my wood stove when SHTF is well on its way. In the mean time I intend to heat with a kerosene heater as there will be no smoke to give others the idea that I have prepared.
As far as lights, I have 2 Adaldin Lamps, however would only use them in winter months as they give off a lot of heat. In the summer months, I have purchased 10 solar lights (the spot lights). They give off an amazing amount of light and they are free. Note: be sure to purchase extra rechargeable batteries, and charge to full every 4 months. I have been told that rechargeable batteries are good for 800 recharges.
My location is in a small town and I’m on a very visible location. I have made my garden blend in with the shrubbery. I plan on doing extensive container gardening in the back yard where it will not be visible from the street. I’m hoping to get a more rural location for a bug out location. I’m planning on purchasing plywood to put on the windows to make the appearance that I have been looted and boarded up windows. I also plan to have black paint to paint the interior windows to mask the interior light from my solar lights. I plan to go “under-ground” in the finished basement to control lighting and heat when SHTF.
If SHTF, I expect widespread looting. Never store your supplies in one spot. I highly recommend hiding the supplies in several places, making a master list of where your storage is and the amounts. Never put you supplies together. Spread your stash around in case you are overrun by looters. Hide your supplies in different areas, out of site. I have built secret walls, found hidden cavities under the flooring etc. Use your imagination and it is amazing where you can hide supplies. Using the attic has limits due to heat and cold temperature changes.
For cooking I have built 2 rocket stoves, from #10 cans. Instructions can easily be found on YouTube. I also plan on building a “solar Oven”. Again go to Youtube for details.
Other preps are: doing laundry. I have a “round” clothes line (don’t forget clothespins. Buy at the dollar store) There is a recipe for homemade laundry detergent on Youtube. It figures out to 35 cents a gal. You need to buy the supplies now, before SHTF. My homemade washing machine is 5 gal buckets and a toilet plunger. Also as seen on Youtube.
Other preps that I have done is made a homemade shower system for bathing. Using a 4×4 post and securing in a Christmas tree stand, I have built a shower by putting a 5 gal bucket on top of the 4×4, I have a faucet to release the water in a shower head. It might sound funky but being able to take a shower will be great for your mind and soul.
Also I recommend getting resources on “how to” books such as back to basics. Get books on first aid, eating wild edibles, etc. Go to the Library and get magazines such as Mother Earth news, Organic Gardening etc. make copies of good articles.
Click here to read the rules of the contest.