Where to begin....first of all there are thousands, if not millions, of articles on survival arts and prepping scattered across the internet. For me to to write another chapter on the subject would be silly; besides, I'm far from being an expert. If you want expert advice may I suggest you try my two friends James W. Rawles, the writer of Patriots (and if you haven't as yet read his book, shame on you) and Arsenius the Hermit of 'Living Out There' fame. Links to both can be found on my sidebar under 'blogs I read.
As an old military veteran preparedness was drilled into my head, I believe Arsenius made this point recently. It's a way of life for us. Why I am writing this now you ask, because I've received many questions over the last few days asking my advice. Okay, you'll get it, you may not like it, but here it is - use a little common sense. It works and it's free.
In my early days I followed the teachings of Mel Tappen and Ragnar Benson, old school. Google 'em. Read their books, study.
There are certain rules you should follow towards this lifestyle, they are fairly simple. First, read, I mean how simple is that, just read. Even works of fiction can teach you, like Rawles novel, Patriots. Its nothing more than a primer in the form of a story. There are many others I just haven't time to list (I own a business after all and customers tend to get angry with me when I tell them to sit down and shut-up while I write) but do a bit of research and you'll find many hours of fine reading.
Rule number two, keep at least a years worth of food in your pantry. This rule should be adjusted upwards if you have more than the standard four per household. I personally know families with a zero food supply. They must shop for every meal they cook. Sadly, my son and DIL fall into this category; I refer to them as mushrooms.
I never buy just one can of anything, I purchase by the case. And, please, don't get caught up into thinking it's necessary to stock only canned food. Follow the rules and use the guidelines of the Mormon church, good people who have the art of food preps down to a science.
Each trip I make to the grocery store I grab a ten pound bag of rice, or a bag of dried beans, salt, sugar, flour. I then walk over to the bakery section of my local store and ask them if they have any plastic five gallon buckets. They give them away free. Sometimes I get, depending on the stock, a three and a half gallon, but hey, it works. Now, take those bags and seal them inside those buckets. Google Walton Feeds for further instructions. Simple and cheap and those buckets, if kept sealed, will last for years.
This will take all day at my current pace.
Over the last few years I've ordered, on a three month basis, cases of #10 cans of freeze-dried food from such companies as Emergency Essentials and Preparedness Pantry. Every bed in my home, all four bedrooms, has a stash of cases. They will last for at least thirty years. Think about it. And, learn how to can your own food. 'Nuff said.
Rule number two - security - protection of not only your family members and friends but yourself. You will need firearms, and if you're one of those, 'I have a shotgun and I'm good to go type people,' never mind. Find some purple clogs and a poodle and sally forth.
Again this is one of those 'written to death' subjects. I will only, as requested, touch on 'get home bags.' Let's assume you are intelligent enough to have by now purchased, not only a handgun, but a battle rifle and have gotten some expert training and do indeed practice with your firearms, okay. If not, poodle walking time.
My get home bag is nothing more than an old surplus Czech ruck-sack filled with items I think and hope will help me get home from any natural or man-made disaster if I were stranded on the road. I keep it and a small medical kit along with another ruck-sack which contains my 'critter-getter' in the back seat of my truck. I also have the same setup in my wife's vehicle. One of my readers asked if I worried about thief. Of course I do, but I'd much rather have the peace of mind knowing my bags are always with me, and besides, if thief is a great concern, then remove the bags each evening and replace the next morning.
Contents, well it's kinda personal, but I have water, Datrex food bars (Emergency Essentials) spare clothing, a fire kit (remember the rule of three here, more on that later) a small radio, para-cord and assorted other items. Personalize yours to your needs and climate, adjust to the seasons of the year.
Why you ask, because once upon a time I found myself broken down in the mountains of western Washington State. The nearest help was ten long miles via logging roads with sunset just minutes away. Guess where I spent the night.
Let's pretend, shall we, you are twenty miles across a large city from your home. The Great One has taken one up side his noggin by a freak with a baseball bat and said freak hits a home run. What do you think will happen within the next fifteen minutes....go ahead, take your time. I'll tell you - we will have what we military guys call a 'target rich environment.' Now, you or your wife or your child is 'way out yonder' and their car or truck gets taken by the zombies, and if they escape with their lives, dodging lead and burning buildings and they have a twenty or thirty mile walk home, what do you think their odds are of making it to the safety of your loving arms. Think about it. Any questions?
Folks, I've run out of time. If you want me to continue this, let me know. I do so appreciate your time and patience. Duty calls. And please overlook my edit work, I'm too far behind to worry about it. Thanks.
Over the last few days many nice people have clicked the 'follow' button. I've gone from six, I think, to twenty five in just a few days. Thank you all very much and welcome. I will do my best to make your visits a pleasant experience.
May I introduce my Sweet Wife and grandchildren.
My grandson, Sport Model in his grandmother's arms. He's not quite nine months old. This photo was taken at my son's home. Perhaps one day he'll stand still and I will post a picture of him and his sweet wife.
Little Bit and her Nana.
Again, thank you so much for your friendship and support.
"Do you remember when we went to the flea market?"
"Yes I do, Honey, why?" Silence. The waitress tops off my ice tea. A thunderstorm is hammering our world.
She takes another bite, then, "You 'member you told me nothing in life is free."
Uh-oh. She has those big brown eyes locked on my face. The same eyes that melt my heart anytime she glaces my way.
"I do remember, Little Bit." More silence as she works on the pie and takes an occasional sip of her root beer, her drink of choice.
The rain is heavy, it's warm in here.
"You 'member that nice old man that gave me those two little dolls?"
I know she has me.
"Yes, Papa remembers."
Silence. My coconut cream pie remains as is, half eaten.
"Papa?" I wait for a second then respond, "What is it, Honey."
"Papa, did that old man make you give him 'monies?"
I know where this is going. But it's fun as she blocks me into the corner.
"No, Little Bit, he didn't ask Papa to give him money."
Silence. The rain is steady pounding, the waitress moves between tables; a slow steady shuffle and you know she's weary and resolve to leave a nice tip.
Little Bit has her head down working over her slice of pie, then slowly lifts her sweet face.
"Then I guess some things in life are free, huh." Like that.
Little Bit just yelled and gave me instructions to say 'hello' to all of you. This is a picture from last evening, and as you can see she refuses to smile. She recently lost two of her bottom teeth. Women. Shame cameras add ten pounds, because she really is just a little bit of a girl.
Good morning, dear readers, it's early here and the skies are heavy and gray and you can almost feel the storms building way out there in the Gulf waters. I'll leave you with a bit of the artistic influenced road signs left here by the influx of college students out of Gainesville's University of Florida.
And here's a garden I found in the center of 'downtown' Cedar Key. Nice corn with tomatoes mixed in between.
Now, for my new North Texas buddy, here's that fish I promised. Fought him all day....
Next week I will purchase a .22 Crickett for Little Bit. My friends and I have plans for Independence Day; a cookout and range time to sling lead at various objects and targets. We're lucky as we have a private range.
Since my grandchild is now six years old I feel it's high time she learn basic rifle handling techniques and weapons safety. I was far younger when my father gave me my first firearm; didn't hurt me a bit.
One of my best friends has two little boys, the oldest of which will also take our safety course, it'll give him and Little Bit a chance to burn a few holes in a soda can. They should have fun.
This is a view from our condo's deck. Out pass the island you see in the background is the Gulf of Mexico. Our island is Cedar Key, one of a string of islands extending into the Gulf, it's peaceful and quiet with only the occasional putter of a boat moving into the channel.
Wi-Fi and cell coverage is extremely spotty here; we're out a 'fer piece. It's a three hour drive from our home on two lane roads; slow driving, but I enjoy it.
The above picture is a view north just as you enter Cedar Key. Fishing here is wonderful. Wish you could see the wild flowers on the bank. I use my Blackberry's camera and it isn't the best for photography.
Please be patient if I don't post for a couple of days, I will try, but like I said communication isn't always reliable out here in the Gulf. Now, one last picture of Little Bit, then I'm gone. By the way, this is my first long weekend in four years. I've been working six days weeks for the last two and a half years and I'm enjoying the rest. So, from Sweet Wife, Little Bit and yours truly - have a good weekend.
To all my new followers - thank you. For an older guy writing bits and pieces for his grandchildren to read when I, hopefully, reach Heaven, I am honored to have you along for the ride. And, if any of you have linked this small blog to yours and I haven't caught it, please let me know and I shall respond in kind.
The postman just left, dropped off my recent order of novels. I love books, an addiction to revile nicotine and shooting.
Here are my two newest babies written by M. J. Mollenhour. I have never read the man's work, so will let you know how I like them later. I'm taking Sweet Wife and Little Bit to the Gulf Coast this weekend with a stack of five or six books. Oh, the Benchmade Knife is mine. Pretty isn't it.
If you leave a comment on my blog I shall respond. It might take me a while, but I promise to reply to any and all comments, good or bad.
As my dear departed mother would have said, it's just good manners. I have left hundreds if not thousands of comments on the blogs I follow over a number of years. Most never respond. I no longer follow those blogs. I feel if a reader has taken the time to click and reply the least I can do as the writer is show them respect and acknowledge their efforts.
This will be short and sweet, get a gun. One of my customers came in yesterday and at first glance looked like old poop warmed over; one eye swollen, cuts and abrasions on his face, limped.
He had been mugged while withdrawing money from an ATM the night before. I asked, "Where was your weapon?"
Boys and girls, this must stop. If you live in a 'Shall Issue' state, exercise your right and get that license. Even if you live in one of those wussyfied Socialist states, try and jump through their hoops for approval to exercise your God given right to self-defense. In my humble opinion any man that won't protect his family and friends is about as worthless as tits on a bull.
After license acquisition, practice. This doesn't mean go to the local indoor range and static shoot at a piece of white paper; this type of practice is only good for fundamentals, trigger control, breathing, front sight. I mean practice shooting while moving, using your left hand and magazines changes. Get help, professional help. It could very well save your life.
And while I'm preaching here (which isn't the same as a rant) get in the habit of packing and carrying a 'get home bag' and place it inside your vehicle along with a long gun; rifle or shotgun. Keep it there. I have a group of close friends, all former military, each of us practice this habit and God help anyone that gets between us and our families in any SHTF emergency. To put it in a nutshell those critters would be DRT. Trust me when I say this isn't bravado, it's just a fact. In normal life we're just a bunch of big teddy bears.
Face it folks, there is only two kinds of people in this 'ole world; Survivors and victims, pick a side.
I took Little Bit to Vacation Bible School this morning. As you know 'Little Bit' is my six year old granddaughter and my heart. The reason I'm telling you this, dear reader, is because I smiled for the entire seven mile trip. She holds my hand for every mile we drive. It's the little things in life.