We live in a society where we take so many things for granted.
We shop in well stocked grocery stores with aisle after aisle of products are displayed waiting to be put in our shopping carts.
We go to a gas station and fill up our cars and trucks without much thought except that you notice the costs of gas going up or down.
We turn on the lights, flush the toilets, take a shower and put the trash by the curb for pickup – all convenient and part of our daily routine.
What happens when all those conveniences’ cease?
For those in areas where extreme weather happens a natural calamity is always a real possibility a severe blizzard, groups of tornados, massive hurricane packing 120 mph winds or flooding from heavy rains these are all natural disasters we read about occurring right here in America.
We get a news flash almost every morning of people dying in Somalia, war in Afghanistan, North Korea threatens global powers, terrorists killing people in this country or that and we say “ah, those poor people” and its humanistic behavior to be empathetic toward such plight but what about what is happening right here in your own country?
In the last year in the USA – Boston Marathon Bombing, Jihadist and home grown terrorist attacks that killed and wounded people, mass homicides, and inhuman behavior perpetrated on innocent men, women and children. These do not include the terrorist plots and acts that were thwarted by our government we hear nothing about.
What are the real targets that would cripple a city?
Power stations, water and wastewater treatment plants, bridges, chemical plants, fuel depots, transportation hubs for rail and trucking, those are but a few and I’m sure you as a reader are smart enough to name a dozen more.
The biggest threat is loss of power.
When the power grid goes out our lives come to a screeching halt.
How prepared are you?
My ancestors had their act together because they were not reliant on all these niceties’.
My grandmother canned bulk quantities of fruits, vegetable and meats every year putting them away. They had a root or cold cellar to store water, kerosene for warmth and cooking, gasoline for the car and farm equipment, oil and extra tools, a stack of firewood, apples, carrots, beets and potatoes along with hundreds of jars of canned foods on broad deep shelves that would not collapse in case of earth tremors.
These root cellars were also places they could go in case of emergency weather conditions when a tornado could be seen on the horizon and seconds counted to rush the family to safety.
Let’s face it we are not our ancestors. We are pampered with every convenience under the sun.
We have abundant water, electric, food, fuel and gadgets to chop, brew, microwave, refrigerate, light and visuals such as television, computers and internet.
What happens when there is no running water, no sanitary facilities, no fuel access, no ATM banking, no internet, no cell phone connections, lighting, heating and cooling gone, businesses locked up and you can’t get access to food, traffic lights cease to work and life slowly stops…?
Go look in your refrigerator and cabinets. How much food and water do you have on hand to survive and sustain not only you but your family?
Most homes have less than a week of food and water forget it a few gallons in the cooler you rent.
One thing that never occurs to families is those college kids that are attending school within driving distance or renting on their own, elderly mom and dad where will they go? To a central location I can assure you of that. Kids will run home, elderly parents and family members who need care will need to be taken in.
It will not be a picnic.
One thing people will be unprepared for is medicine they are taking for different maladies, physical conditions, disease and mental health. The pharmacy will be closed and these meds will run out and people will succumb to their disorders and other wracked with withdrawal and pain.
This is something that is also a natural occurrence and those unfortunates who rely on their prescription meds to live will not and those folks unprepared to live through the crisis will not and some will give up hope and put a gun in their mouths and they too will die.
What do you do after days or weeks when someone dies and the public services no longer are operational? Best bet is to put out a stack of combustible materials, wrap the body respectfully in a blanket (it helps with the task at hand too) and light a match burning the body away from buildings and underbrush that could catch fire.
It sounds barbaric but a rotting corpse is not something you want to have to contend with believe me.
Another problem is sanitation. You have no clue how much you and your family members use the toilet, brush your teeth, shower, run the washer and dryer, run the dishwasher and other everyday necessities.
The average person uses the toilet about five (5) times a day to urinate and defecate.
What if you cannot? What is your alternative?
That is a nasty sounding question but how about a family dealing with this problem.
You have a slit trench approximately 15 feet long, a foot deep and a foot wide. You can erect a makeshift partition for privacy for doing bodily functions or keep a 5-gallon bucket on hand, large trash bags that you put double inside the bucket with the extra draped over the sides, secure a toilet seat on top by some ingenious method if that helps when you sit. Toilet paper will go into the bucket as well and you immediately dispose of the waste in a slit trench you use the piled up earth to cover.
Water for Drinking
This is the single most important part of your families and your survival – having a source of safe drinking water.
A human can last about 3-days without water and then your body begins to shut down and you die painfully.
Knowing how to purify water when the tap is shut off will help you.
Believe it or not boiling the apartment complex pond water will not make it safe. These water sources contain heavy metals, pesticides’, ducks and other bird feces and pollutants from vehicles such as gasoline and oil that are washed into the drains by rain and into these holding ponds that were built just for that purpose.
To purify this source you will require expensive products made exclusively for this process capable of removing these impurities then boil the strained water just to add to your own safety.
The best way is distillation where you boil the water and capture the steam and create a method where the condensate is transferred to another clean container – this water will be safe.
Example of basic home built still:
For an example on how to build a home distillation unit, check out this video
The other sources for the first couple days are water in your hot water tank and in toilet tanks – these typically hold 40-50 gallons or enough to sustain a family of four for about two weeks under rationed conditions using ½ gallon per day per person to drink.
You will need to find a suitable source of water (ditches, ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and swimming pools) and treat it correctly to avoid contamination and illness that could kill you in painful ways mostly from dehydration through diarrhea and severe muscle cramps.
You may think our ancestors worked all day toiling in the fields from dusk till dawn, came home washed their hands and faces in a wash basin and had dinner. This is untrue and while they may not have cleansed themselves like we do with multiple showers every day they too were conscious of conservation of water and took baths either sponge baths or in a tub specifically for that purpose but once a week washed the accumulation of human grease, soil and perspiration off and washed their clothing hanging it outside to dry before the advent of modern appliances.
People in our grandparents and great grandparent’s times were a bit more odiferous indeed and why they wore multiple layers of clothing and used perfumes and colognes.
You need to stay clean especially your mouth, under arms, groin and feet areas to avoid bacteria from forming and growing.
Where is a good place to be?
Is it in a dank, damp cave, a tent in a field or hastily erected lean to or a brick and mortar structure?
Definitely chose the brick and mortar structure. It’s why we live in buildings because it protects us from the elements.
One of my closest and most trusted friends has a great second story 2,500 square foot condo with a stairwell from first to second floor, an elevator and two car garages with attic storage. It’s decorated with the finest and most modern furnishings and art how will he and his spouse fair in advent of any kind of disaster?
First, it’s a large dry place that can sustain a small cadre of people if they bring food, water and protection in a planned group survival scenario. The key here is each participant unit being equally prepared and willing to share their provisions and share of chores.
What constitutes being prepared?
Food and water for at least 30 days – sleeping materials (sleeping bags and blankets. days, protection: rifle, shotgun, handgun and ammo, skill sets such as cooking, carpentry, electrical, and survival expertise.
This shared group knowledge and readiness will allow them to survive till situations normalize and safety conditions are reestablished by governing bodies either elected or through strength in numbers.
I know my friend has a generator, stored fuel and what gasoline is in his vehicles – let’s say its 60 gallons total for sake of argument.
How long will it sustain him and run his generator? It burns about 1 gallon per hour so he will have 60 hours of run time.
Using his generator wisely only during evening hours for lighting and refrigeration sustaining it for 2 hours a day he can last a month.
Another method is solar power. An inexpensive three (3) panel solar lit with 12-volt lights and any 500 cranking amp car batteries can be had for under $350 providing lighting when needed. The solar charges the battery and a power conversion device for under $25 from Bestek can transform that 12-volt power to 110 watts for limited uses.
This second story unit does have its blessings however. It has a stairwell leading to the upper areas behind a locked door – easy to defend.
Taking Care of Business
This is the most distasteful part of survival.
You have to protect yourself, your home and the items that will sustain your life.
No one in their right mind advocated killing another person unless they are without morals or a career violent offender
Unfortunately those are just the types you’ll need to deal with.
Marauding armed gangs and mobs will typically remain in their own neighborhoods where they will loot, pillage and destroy places of business and homes. This is seen as an example in cities like Chicago, Ferguson and during the Los Angeles Riots.
This is because they operate from a power base. It usually consists of a street or blocks in a neighborhood they control doing business such as loan sharking, drugs, extortion, prostitution and gambling. It’s a lucrative trade and they won’t venture far from home when disaster strikes.
The most dangerous types are the lone wolves who will commandeer a truck ride through upscale neighborhoods and do home invasions stealing everything they see of value televisions, art, silverware and money.
These lone wolves will find families at home and it will not matter age, sex or affluence – they will beat, rape and possibly kill the inhabitants.
The best way to deal with these violent types is to kill them without any mercy ending their reign of terror with a bullet to the heart and brain.
Now don’t discount friendly Riding Lawn Mower Bob from across the street with his spouse Soccer Mom Betty and their two teen kids.
Very likely like most families they are competing with the Jones’ or maybe you, they live paycheck to paycheck, are in debt up to their eyeballs and have at most food for a couple of days and the water in their hot water tanks, toilet and pool to sustain themselves.
When the food is gone they are going to be hungry fast and they will be the first ones along with several dozen other of your middle class neighbors to forage and they may come a knockin’ at your door sports fan.
Do you blow Riding Lawn Mower Bob right out of his Adidas? Hmmmmm.
Now that wouldn’t be neighborly would it? After all Riding Lawn Mower Bob and Soccer Mom Betty have been nothing but perfect neighbors often attending your social events and you theirs. Their pimply faced brats aren’t your favorites as they repeatedly ignore the Old Man across the street when you wave when getting your morning paper.
Foraging neighbors could present a problem if they suspect you have stores of food. So how do you avoid getting unwanted snoops – keep your dam mouth shut about what you have is what.
Survivalist Sam down the block has his Jeep with a snorkel, dresses in his camo having never served a day in even the Boy Scouts, wears Kill Em All and Let God Sort Em Out t-shirts, a beard and at parties tells anyone who will listen he’s got his –year supply of dehydrated and freeze dried food, bottles of water and high dollar gear ready for the Apocalypse. He will shoot anyone who makes a play and he has his tip top secret wilderness survival camp 250 miles away in the deep woods and when the SHTF he and Fake Boob Barbara will load up and be the last man and women on Earth.
Sure they will – all the foraging neighbors will beat the shit out of Survivalist Sam and take all his stuff while Fake Boob Barbara will hide in the walk-in closet with Precious her Yorkshire Terrier till everyone leaves.
Your Own Family
Here is the time you have a heart to heart talk with the home clan about living and surviving through a calamity of cataclysmic magnitude.
If you have kids you’re up the shit creek without a paddle especially with teenagers.
Gothic Greta your draped in black head to her military boot footed 17 year old daughter will want Mohawk Mike her greasy in need of a shower boyfriend to be with your family or her silly assed world will simply end – hope it does and kick Mohawk Mike to the curb and warn his return will find your boot up his scrawny ass.
Knucklehead Nick your 16-year old grunge lord brat will grunt and snort his acknowledgements and continue to be his anti-social self relegating himself to his room so not much of a problem just buy extra potato chips, Pepsi and snacks and he’s controlled and content.
Now Liberal Linda your darling wife who thinks caring for the world should be her top priority. She needs to understand its family only and no side deals with her book club buddies.
You Deacon Dick may control some of what’s going on in your home. You can enjoy your booze till it runs dry, smoke your cigars on your lanai till your lungs collapse or get smart and organize your friends and neighbors you know well into a neighborhood watch and security team that when and if the SHTF you form a collective, have meetings to provide information on readiness for water and food preps and organization methods to keep the neighborhood and your families safe from outsiders.
See now how it may be wonderful to have a $5,000 sniper rifle you can shoot the balls off a buzzard at a mile away or you just be a normal person with normal problems and you create a solution that works for many not just yourself.
Looking forward to reading more. Great article post. Really Great.
Who ever came up with the theory that a bug out will only last three days? Loose the glow sctiks and get a head lamp, use a lighter alternative to the heavy shovel, your water sys is way too bulky, denatured alcohol for a stove did you say, loose that and get a esbit stove, the 9mm is only good for self defense and small game. Maps, where are your maps and compass you can lay on the map and that had a mirror, you can get a hatchet that is just as effective but lighter than that one ..
Say, you got a nice post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.