Survival questions


October 13, 2004, 08:30 AM
I've been thinking (my first mistake right? :) ) Lets say that we have an "event", and this "event" causes a disruption of 3-6 weeks of "normal" commerce. In other words, sporadic electricity, food shortages, etc.

I've started to set aside some food stuffs and basic needs for such a scenario.

Now, my weapons are covered mostly. I have a Garand, Rem 700 bdl in .06, Kimber Pro Carry, Ruger 10/22. I still need to fill in some of the various cailbers and maybe add a shotgun, but for the most part I think I'm ok with what I have.

My questions is about food storage and "other" needs...such as medicine/first aid, power/fuel, etc.

Are there any "rule of thumbs" in preparing for such a situation? Help me make a list, OK?

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Greg L
October 13, 2004, 09:18 AM
Don't forget the toilet paper.

October 13, 2004, 09:20 AM
Give a little thought as to what you use everyday that is a neccesity.

In order for a human to live you must first have air. Then you must have water.and then food. and lastly shelter

I would think about and provide for that first. Then worry about health care and hygine.

After this is satisfied I'd worry about weapons etc,


October 13, 2004, 09:40 AM
"Don't forget the toilet paper." :)

yeah and dog food.

I've put dried beans, rice, pasta noodles away so far. I also have canned tuna, canned chicken, canned veggies too.

Has anyone used a food dehydrator to do various veggies?

October 13, 2004, 09:56 AM

One of our inlaws gave us one of those little round dehydrators and all I can say is that it does do the job. I've dried a bunch deer meat, fruit and veggies in ours. Works like a charm even in humid Alabama.

Only problem is when making deer jerky and fruit. I can get it to last too long with kids around. They pool around the dehydrator like vultures eyeing the finished ones. :)

October 13, 2004, 01:52 PM
One good way to start is to set aside a couple days and don't use electricity or go to the store.
See what situations present themselves.
Obviously for me, the biggest concern is water. I live in the desert. I get my water from a well that is powered by electricity. Without that well, there is no where for me to get water. Without water you can't flush the toilet, and cooking becomes an issue (aside from drinking water).
Then comes food. Without electricity, your refridgerator and freezer arn't going to work. Here in the desert, it doesn't get cold enough at any time of the year to store food outside (not to mention that you would be feeding the coyotes). Wihtout electricity I won't be able to use my stove. So, I need an alternative for cooking or I need to have food that doesn't need to be cooked. Then you have to wash the dishes used to prepare and eat the food. Without adequate water, we have another issue. If you can't clean the dishes you are going to get diarrhea which will increase your bodies demand for water. Let's say you have a Coleman stove or a backpacking stove: do you have enough fuel to run it for the length of the outage ? Of course most of the people on here could burn wood, but I don't have that option (no trees).
Then of course there is heating and cooling of your home to maintain a livable condition. Here is the deset, without air conditioning, your bodies requirement for water goes up.
If you are on any perscription medication, obviously you need enough of it to see you through the crisis. If you are on insulin or something that needs to be kept cold, you are in trouble.
Everything after that is pretty much gravy. Light, the ability to keep warm, a radio to keep you updated on conditions.

If I was going to stay in this house, the first thing I would do is put a solar pump on my well.

by the way, there are countless websites that deal with this very subject that provide lists of supplies you will need. There are even lists put out by the government. Just do a search and you will have more information than you could use in a lifetime.

Greg L
October 13, 2004, 03:37 PM
Has anyone used a food dehydrator to do various veggies?

I had one of those little round ones but it was too small to do the quantities that I wanted to do. I prefer to set up a whole bunch to do all at once & get it over with rather than a little at a time over a long period of time.

After I got rid of the little one I got a broken apt sized fridge & built a rack system inside of it. I mounted a light bulb on a dimmer switch down at the bottom with a couple of computer fans mounted up high on the sides (mounted through the walls) for air circulation. It worked really well & I could do 5+ lbs of apples at once.

These days I'm lucky as I have a double oven that can be set down to 140 degrees so most of my drying is done in there.

October 13, 2004, 04:08 PM
I'm not a "survivalist" per se, but I've always thought it prudent to keep 3-4 weeks worth of food in the house for any disaster or whatever that comes up. I also, between gallon containers and single serving bottles, keep around 10 gallons of drinking water around (this doesn't include "survival" drinking water like toilet tanks and water heaters -- they add another 50 or so gallons).

My trick is to simply stock up with extra food that I like to eat anyway, then rotate through it versus keeping MREs or whatever in a separate stash. As 444 mentioned, you need to be aware of your cooking situation. I have a gas BBQ with 5 gallons of propane, so cooking food for a few weeks is easy for me as long as I'm prudent. I always keep lots of food around that doesn't need cooking, like cereal -- nothing like Cocoa Krispies with dehydrated milk to perk you up in a survival situation... :)

If things were to really get bad, I live a half mile from the beach so I'd just grab a polespear and snorkel gear and go and catch some surf perch.

As far as energy needs, I live in SoCal, so room cooling or heating is not an issue. I have a few Grundig and Freeplay lights and radios and keep bunches of batteries around. I also have a couple of power inverters, so I can always let my trucks engine charge stuff up if we're looking at weeks versus days. There's really not a lot in the way of "big" electronics (fridges, etc.) that I can't get along without. It's nice to have lights and radios though.

My situation is setup based on me being a condo dweller. Other mileages may vary. My parents, for example, live on a farm. They have their own water source with lots of storage capability. They have all kinds of fresh food growing at various times of the year. They also have a gigantor sized propane tank (so long term cooking and heating capability) and a generator with plenty of fuel.

October 13, 2004, 04:10 PM
Medicine would be a good one. I'm diabetic, and try to keep around a 3 months supply. I've come to the realization that any number of things could cut off medicine supply for weeks, and w/o insulin, I ain't lasting long.

Dave R
October 13, 2004, 04:41 PM
Coupla real-life experiences...

I lived 7-8 miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta Quake (World Series Quake.) We had no power for 3 days. Cooked on the woodstove. Hung clothes on the line. Ate stuff in the fridge first. Had just started on stuff in the freezer when the power came back.

Lessons learned: STORE WATER. After the earthquake, our water was "unknown" whether it was good or not for several days. We're members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), and our church advises members to have a year's supply of food and a "72-hour kit" (aka Bug-out-bag) so we had plenty of food.

Then we moved to Florida in time for Hurricane Andrew. We didn't get hit much, but when I went to Home Depot, the line went clear to the back of the store, and everyone in line was buying a generator and an outdoor grille.

Lessons learned: Have a way to cook if the power is off. And a Generator will let you run power tools to help with repairs (and to run your AC or fridge for a while.)

Here in Idaho, if the power goes out in the winter we have no heat. So we keep a cord or so of wood around for the wood stove.

October 13, 2004, 04:50 PM
Read Lights Out by HalfFast

Very educational, added a few things to my list that I hadn't thought of.

October 13, 2004, 05:50 PM
Don't forget wireless Internet for cruisin' THR :D

October 13, 2004, 05:59 PM
Water, water, water.

Store enough water for immediate needs (3 days). Figure out how you are going to come up with supplies for day 4 and after.

A solar still ( is an option if you're in a dry area; you can (should) also get a portable filter and some water purification drops.

If the S truly HTF, water will be in very short supply in most urban areas. A book ( I recently read reminded me just how vulnerable the Bay Area's water supply is in the event of a major quake. Make sure you have a good pair of boots, a source of water, and a means to get food, and you should be good to go.

A pocket-sized survival guide would also be a good thing to have.

October 13, 2004, 09:45 PM
When we had the big blackout here in the midwest a couple of years ago, what I was amazed at was the number of people who owned generators, but had no gas to run them. When the power's out, the gas pumps don't work!

I keep 25 gallons of stabilized gas on hand, and replace it every year to keep it fresh.

With water and heat (as required) most everyone could survive 72 hours without electricity. 6 weeks is another story entirely!!

Paul "Fitz" Jones
October 13, 2004, 10:19 PM
I have been in three earthquakes in California, Bakersfield, Tehatchipi and Newhall-San Fernando. We were in the northernmost suburb of Los Angeles and did not have water, phone, electricity, gas, mail or bills for 4 months. I have had a survival retreat now for 25 years since. I could write a book


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