Preparedness Lessons Learned From Our Brush With SHTF (Covid)

Guest article by ” RWT “

Personally, I view this episode of our history as a great dry run that we could control. If “10” is a true blackout across the globe then this is a “1”.  My reasons are outlined below, and my lessons learned along the way. What about yours?

  • We controlled the situation. No one went hungry.  Most didn’t get exactly what they wanted when they wanted and how they wanted it, but I doubt more than a handful of people missed a meal.  Seriously, I’ll bet my next paycheck we all come out heavier than before we went into this.  
  • Water and Electricity still flowed making this more than tolerable.
  • We still had freedom of movement and travel as long as we took normal precautions.   Consider a flooded road, not a lot you can do but find another path to your destination. 
  • We were inconvenienced for our necessary needs more than anything.
  • At anytime we could venture out to a food store if we wished, order in, schedule a food pick up all while lazing on the couch.
  • This is the only event in recorded history where we could save all of mankind by laying on the couch and do nothing.   Let’s not screw that up.

Now, that being said, I slept better knowing I’ve been following this blog for a few years and I knew what to expect after reading “One Second After” (view book on amzn).   I consider myself between Kens’ level 3 and 4 on the preparedness scale

I have accumulated doubles of most items that I need to maintain a comfortable existence. Food for at least 6 months for the entire family, if not longer, without buying anything. Meds for 3+ months. More tools than a big Orange Store. A BOL with 7000lbs of beef on the hoof. A ½ acre tank stocked with fish.  Water treatment and containment for the entire family as long as we have average rain. Fuel for a month and solar as a back-up for smaller needs. An expandable garden, general knowledge of trying and failing with it and a solid seed bank with library.   

(All my personal defense items suffered a tragic boating accident years ago so I am relegated to pitch forks and torches.)

The Lessons I Learned

The lessons I learned from this event are numerous. 

I’ll outline a few and I am curious to hear those of the group. 

My family will adapt slowly.  The DW was happy I had prepared, however, still slow to conserve as she is a stickler for expiration dates.   She relented a little on the milk and bread; still she would not budge on meat or canned items. 

I still need many items in quantity. I have enough for this short event and can complete the majority of the tasks I want to.   Many tasks revolve around expanding the garden and solidifying the food supply longer term.

More lumber for building longer term projects such as a chicken coop or rabbit hutch. I can also go scrounge and scavenge the constriction sites if it was that bad. 

More wire for the garden, fruit trees, coops and hutches.   Fighting nature is a full-time job and every critter in the area wants what I have in my garden.   The 4×4 covered garden produced enough for our small family to augment our needs.  Now a 12×12 is required IMO.  

More tarps.  I never expected a hail storm so I had to cover the garden with what I had.  Plenty of tarps to complete the task, but they wont last more than 1 or 2 storms at best. 

More bug/ant poison.  Just keeping the ants down with all the spring rains is a chore.

More medical supplies. The non-digital thermometer I had as a back-up did not work and I had to break into the last bottle of Benadryl.   

Fresh produce will be the most difficult to come by.  I failed to plant the fall garden due to changing the entire program for the spring and we just started the spring garden when COVID hit.

I never realized how many paper towels we went through.  Luckily TP is not an issue as I listened to NRP.   Grey hair and experience are invaluable as I have lost the tops of many a hunting sock over the years so I stocked up. 

You can never have enough batteries; goodness knows why I ordered 144 more.  I told myself it was to keep the 7 game cameras operational.

Bread is a huge need.   The DW baked a loaf when we were short and couldn’t find any in the store.   Luckily, she had enough yeast.  I now see this as the Achilles heel of our bread situation.  How to store yeast or bake bread without it.   I need to find Kens article on it, print it and try it.

[ Read: How To Store Yeast ]

[ Read: How To Make Bread Without Yeast ]

Keeping a better library of articles on “how to” for items I am not familiar with. Baking bread without yeast is an example.  I can camp cook and make meals decent enough for me.  Try convincing a 10 yr. old when “food” doesn’t look like what they are used to.   I know the growling stomach will turn that around, but as a father I want to do everything in my power to not be in that situation.  Luckily, my 10 yr. old has as much of a brain as they can at this age.  They ate what was in front of them. 

Family and friends turned to me for advice. Some were more adaptable than others.  I also learned who not to trust during our conversations as they are running around town without a mask or being just clueless. I know who is not allowed at my home or the BOL and I already had the HARD conversation with them about how their selfishness has changed our relationship, regardless even if they are your own parent. 

This is just a short list of thoughts.  I’ll tighten up my preps and adjust my needs based on this event. 

Now let’s hear from you. Are there areas you have gained a new perspective on?

~ RWT

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152 Comments

  1. – For myself, I’ve found a few holes in my preps that I hadn’t realized I had. For myself and DW, I had about 200 rolls of TP. That is barely enough with my suddenly expanded family group, to include the boys and DIL, who can go through a roll in a week (unless she is unaware of reserves and is actively ‘hunting’ for TP to help keep her occupied) I also need to increase my stocks of N95 masks when this clears up; what I had on hand is barely enough for my own and family use in this time. Sometimes we need a little bit of a shakeup to notice that what we had previously decided was enough, just isn’t in a revised situation.
    – Papa S.

    1. Bogan…”at lot of complainers/whiners/questions..” ———— yes. Not likely to ever change. A very serious reason, for OPSEC. If they find out what you have, might be harassing you/on doorstep. Tell no one if you are storing up any extra of any thing.

    2. Papa Smurf,

      Ditto. As a trial run (if it is) this definitely showed up the holes in the preps.

  2. Good article RWT

    We too learned the paper towel lesson, and also the (drinking) alcohol, milk, and fresh veggies ones. Also, that we needed to get a garden in after a hiatus of several years.

    I noticed a lot of whining about “hoarders” on a local neighborhood board. We live at the edge of fairly affluent “ex-burbs” and my guess is these complainers – some quite aggressive – are probably well to do people, yet who don’t have more than a day or two of supplies on hand. The supplies situation seems to have eased for now. Maybe this will be a wake up call for them. I hope so.

    However, it is also a wakeup call for me: First, how quick people were to complain about others, and secondly on thinking through how to handle situations that might arise. I suspect that in the future confrontations may accelerate quicker than previously thought. Especially where there is less of a ramp up than with this particular contingency, and people have much less time to top off their supplies.

    Above all the enduring value of OPSEC.

  3. Our country was obviously not as prepared as we would like for this pandemic. This is only one scenario that we are not prepared for though.
    EMP: natural or man-made is a perfect example.What a better time for a man-made version from some place like North Korea. We wouldn’t stand a chance.
    I don’t want to doom and gloom on top of what’s going on with the virus, but I hope that someone in our government will realize that there are other aspects of our country that we need to improve upon. The grid is just one example.
    Let’s make products in the USA again more than anything else!
    God Bless!

  4. Though I don’t agree that this was a “1” out of “10”, or the notion that this is over (in more ways than one), I do believe we have learned some lessons (so far).

    The biggest of which may be the foolishness of relying on China for so much of our product – many of them essential products. Will anything in this regard change because of this? In my view, only if there’s incentive to manufacture/produce here in the US again. That comes down to policies, regulations, taxes. I believe that the bulk of consumers will always look for the cheapest product, so that’s the challenge…

    Another lesson – NRP was always right… you can’t ever have too much toilet paper. Who knew?

    The fact that people panic when they begin to see empty shelves. It is a reinforcing loop – the emptier, the more they’ll want to buy. It was (and still is) a shock to many people when they see sections of grocery stores empty. Herd mentality I suppose.

    We still don’t know this will unfold, but, will we learn a lesson that petty tyrants (e.g. especially the “left” state governors and mayors) will seize opportunistic power to dictate “orders” when they can get away with it. Will they get away with it? They CANNOT make laws. The legislatures do, through public debate and voting. This has been thrown out the window. The lesson is (so far) the sheeple will comply when they are frightened. And they are going to be surprised when they don’t get their freedom and liberty back because of all this, unless…

    1. OMG Ken Jorgensen,
      You realize what you just did don’t ya? “NRP was always right’
      Now you have done it! There will be no living with the guy now that you have confirmed it for him!!
      Lol. Just teasing ya both
      PEACE
      MadFab

    2. Ken
      “And they are going to be surprised when they don’t get their freedom and liberty back because of all this, unless…”
      This is what scares me more than the virus. I don’t see the .gov giving back our freedom any time soon and the longer it takes the bigger the “unless…” is going to be.

        1. Bluesman / car guy…
          yuppers…..once the govt dictates, very hard to undo.

          seems I took in history that Taxation was a “temporary measure”…….

          1. Jane,
            Yes the IRS was created for the .gov to get funds for the WWII effort and was supposed to be disbanded after the war concluded. So much for that idea…

    3. Ken:
      That is/was a heck of a compliment, Thank You.
      Not sure it’s warranted or not.
      But Thanks.

      I’m thinking it’s probably about time I submit that Article on exactly what the quote “Is 600 rolls really enough” is really all about.

  5. Lessons learned Yup The wife is finally on board with more of a preparedness life style.

    She saw I had a lot of cheap bourbon, canned meat, beans and rice stored up back in late January and she said “hell no you dang fool!” and directed me to stock up on other essentials like snacks, chips, cheese, potatoes, butter and some better hooch. Now we have over a years of provisions.

    She does understand now that we are entering a new phase of this pandemic… Second wave of the whu-flu / Chicom virus is coming do not let your guard down plus a possible economic depression. Hopefully no war.

    We will probably see rolling regional shutdowns by urban center or by zip code of epicenter with a 10-20 mile radius for the unforeseeable future.

          1. Mr. Cracker, thanks. I used to favor Dickel #12 back when it was made and bottled in TN. However some big company bought them a few years back and it is one step above Early Times, maybe? Agree with y’all on Makers Mark, haven’t tried 1792, Old Forester 100 proof is pretty good. Never liked Turkey.

            A good cheap bourbon drink called a “stone fence”: Bourbon and Hard Apple cider over ice.
            Plan on cold Corona x2, a movie, and a large bowl of popcorn for supper, YAHOO!

        1. White Cracker, yep, my family enjoys the 1792 also. Along with a new drink —cream bourbon. I keep a good supply of what our family enjoys and since the liquor stores were not shut down, the spouse thought we should add s few more bottles to our stash.

    1. White Cracker,
      Glad the DW is fully on board and thinking. That is a wonderful prep.!
      there will not be a return to what was.soon limits on every item necessary wil be limited in some manner. Stock heaviest on what you can not normally grow. Flours/pasta/hot cereals/wheat- Variety oils,butter/ghee, mayo, peanut butter..or a replacement for these. Olive oil can be best saved by freezing. I don’t know how much meats you have secured, but variety is/ will be needed.
      This is not a sprint.It is an endurance race…and safety, comfort,and our very lives will be dependent on what/how we prepare. .One year is a good start. Look at the crops not gathered last fall and not being planted, heavy rain and snows in midwest… crop losses, meat packing shut downs. look at now until next harvest, not coming season- 18 months minimum. consider what you can add now for the long haul. This is not just our country, lacking. China has not planted. Deep freezes have occurred and crops are destroyed the world over.
      Things to consider. many seasonings,as much variety as, family will eat , dehydrated seasonings – include parsley, celery, onion-powder and minced, chives,mushrooms (buy the button ones on sale dehydrate and powder to add to stews, spaghetti sauce).
      I found i needed more fruit, hard candy.. stuff to make snacks we prefer.. vanilla, popcorn,more ream of tartar and baking soda to make own baking powder. I just added oil, have several we do not tolerate and preferred ones are getting scarce.and have already added 2 can openers. extra garbage bags varying weights/sizes.
      Some of my holes: insufficient amounts/ mostly due to diet/health changes. jarred sauces+ diced tomato, roasting pans(various), ziplock bags.,Vanilla, essential lemon, citrus, peppermint, oregano. Eye drops/wash/specific treatments, mylar bags. more buckets.(lots of uses.w/easy open lids), hard candy, dry fruit(apples,apricots and peaches) Onion and garlic powders. Mild and medium salsa.
      Do not forget to store plenty of your favorite anti gassing method supplies. consider meat tenderizer., works well to tenderize odd cuts of all kinds of meat.. use selectively,instead of salt.( it has a sodium base,but papin or bromelin). .
      If those dry beans/peas/legumes can be sprouted they can be planted.
      We will have a new ABBY-normal. More liberties WILL be taken away. Everything will be for “our safety” and our safety is the least of Their worries.. “THEIR” being who ever is making the rulings and edicts.The sheep will say nothing.

  6. This virus event caused us to sit back and evaluate all areas of our self sufficient lifestyle. It is a good exercise to evaluate things that need filled out. We found some small holes in our preps.
    I do not think this is over yet.There is so much we do not know about . Is this 1 event or just a first step,trial run with more things to follow? I was amazed how easily the citizenry obeyed the leadership. Just now there are starting to be some public protests about infringing our constitutional rights regarding assembly.
    Lessons learned for us:
    We ordered more vitamins.
    We are picking up a trailer load of perimeter fencing materials tomorrow.
    We have ordered more garden seeds.
    We are picking up more lumber tomorrow.
    We did more evaluations of neighbors.

    We are in good shape as far as food,clothing,water,firewood,propane and tools are concerned.Hopefully the public has been awakened to difficult times ,even though I do not consider this event a problem for wife & I. A significant problem would be if there are electrical shutdowns.
    Blessings to all.

  7. For us the lack of seeds and veggie plants at our local big box stores was a surprise. I guess we’ll start growing our own once we obtain some heirloom seeds.

    Not certain if this is over yet as the numbers here in Florida keep going up-up-up! I am more worried like the rest of y’all over the economic downside. Most of the small businesses in our sleepy little town are closed and I don’t think many will reopen?

    We have many who lived on the edge here even before the Pandemic, don’t know how many survived as many were old/sick folks that our church “helped out”.

    Looting going on in Europe and some of our own cities. The Left keeps pushing their evil agenda , and China is making threats against Taiwan. Only The Father knows the future, pray without ceasing.

  8. Oh Boy !
    Before all this, it was just us Preppers, a definite minority. We were able to resupply.
    Now that TSHasHTF the majority will now have learned their bitter lesson, and will be ‘Stocking Up’ at every opportunity.
    And so, the ‘Hoarding’ begins.
    Get what you can, whenever you can, because it’s not going to get any better.

    1. MolonLabe, I’m not sure I agree that many have learned a bitter lesson. Many think, they have already seen it through okay without too many problems. Their lessons may be to pass laws to take it from those who thought ahead so everyone has something. I know of someone with a small freezer above the refrigerator who was upset because she bought frozen chicken in quantity so had to throw out some ice. Doesn’t sound like someone who understands what is truly needed. When suggested they buy a chest freezer – nope, won’t work because they have power outages all the time. Some people just cannot see the forest for the trees! And we just cannot do it for all of them. It makes me sad because these are people we love.

      1. I agree, DA. How many of these so-called new preppers are going to attempt to return the stuff they purchased when this all clears up? It’s like after a hurricane–people return cases of water. Then stores have to just throw them out.

        1. Bam

          Around here Costco, Safeway, and other stores have signs up saying returns of food and water will not be accepted. Folks will be “stuck” with their preps. Hee hee hee.

      2. D’inNY,

        You might suggest to the folks with the power outage problem to get a small gen set. Even a Harbor freight special has fair reviews and would carry a chest freezer and refrigerator through an extended outage if run intermittently (one or two hours a day).

  9. The need for regular pumping and maintenance of septic systems.

    No serious holes in supplies, especially essentials. Some luxuries would be gone quick.

    1. Sorry, I would like to add, react quickly if you think something is going south. I did and had no trouble with some essentials like getting additional N95 masks.

      For years the benchmarks have been what people learned from Katrina and Sandy. This is a the new benchmark we will refer to for years to come. Granted we have a way to go, but fortunately for me I have learned much on this website, many thanks to all of you for making this easier for me to get through, and putting me between level 3 and 4.

      Thank you.

      1. Steve, I agree with you on regular septic maintenance. Mine is in functional condition, but I haven’t been regular with adding Rid-X and more routine maintenance. I’ve always viewed a septic system as a great strategy for a grid-down scenario, but given mine is 20-30 years old, it makes sense to stay on top of it.

  10. Yep on the yeast. I don’t have enough and it’s bread machine yeast that I need the most of. Due to my back surgery, standing and kneading dough is tough–so I let the machine do it for me :)

    Best ever pizza/breadstick dough:
    In a separate bowl sift together 3cups bread machine flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. set aside.

    place in bread machine in the following order:
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 TBL olive oil
    flour in bowl
    1/8 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder)
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp oregano

    Make a hole in top of flour with finger (looks like a volcano)

    1 TBL bread machine yeast poured into hole-yeast should not touch the liquid.

    select “dough” function

    When bread machine is finished, flatten dough onto greased pizza pan. Top with desired sauce and toppings.

    Bake for 10 to 20 minutes @ 425* or until crust is done.

    If using for breadsticks – instead of pizza toppings use the following:
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/4 tsp thyme
    1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    Mix together in a bowl. Place on the rolled-out dough before baking.

    Bake @425* for 10-20 min.

    Enjoy – thanks for the work, Ken. Still the best prepping site out here.

      1. Made bread using Bisquick this weekend. 3 cups of BQ, 1/4 cup of sugar and a bottle of room temp beer. Stir until fizzing stops, pour into a greased baking pan and bake at 325 degrees until top is brown. It’s not bad toasted either, but not your normal white bread.

  11. This virus brought the country 3 steps closer to socialism, the stimulus is a government handout such as welfare, if the democrats take control in November this scenario will ignite like rocket fuel and will be total government control simply overnight!

    1. The danger is the draconian measures put in place by cops where people are arrested for voluntarily and consensually having contact with another. I understand self quarantine and it is helpful to stopping the spread but fundamentally, freedom of association and private property are things that must be protected no matter the circumstance. If people want to have people over to their own homes it is wrong for the government to use force to stop that. Cops blindly follow orders for a paycheck. They are the greatest danger to the public. There is no point in having freedoms if they can be overridden by government cops, agents, bureaucrats, judges and politicians.

      1. I disagree. Most law enforcement officers are good people trying to help others. As in all industry there are the bad players. Do not paint the 90% of good officers with the paintbrush from the rotten 10%.

        There is a saying….90% of your problems come from 10% of your people. Pick any industry and that is true. Yes, cops are my friends.

      2. John,

        I agree with you and Pegasus both. It isn’t that most LEO that cause problems but the ones that blindly follow orders that are. True in any area of human endeavor.

    2. Don’t forget. This “free” handout will be taxed also. So, come next years tax season, you will have to account for it.

      1. Might want to check that….I believe it’s considered a “refundable tax credit” (like EIC), and not “income”.

        Do a DDG search for “IRS Stimulus Check Taxability 2021,” there are a number of articles that explain the impact on your 2020 tax returns, especially from Forbes and Money.

        forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/04/06/dont-worry-the-1200-stimulus-payment-wont-cut-into-your-tax-refund-next-april/#1982ce3b5ea8

        money.com/stimulus-check-advance-tax-refund/

  12. Agreed completely. Here in NYC I have electricity and internet. If internet goes out for more than 10 minutes I go crazy because there is nothing to do. There is plenty of junk food in supermarkets with little supply of paper towel, no rubbing alcohol or Clorox and eggs were not available for a few days. But other than that day to day life inside the home doesn’t change. Dominos even delivered. Most stuff can be ordered from amazon.

    Coronavirus is more of an economic virus unless you actually get infected and get moderate symptoms. How it affects you depends on how things were structured before the crisis. If you live paycheck to paycheck this basically magnifies that. If you had cash liquidity then short term nothing changes. I lost 60% of my non housing net worth in 3 weeks and it is still down 40% (bank stocks) but it will recover. President Trump was very quick to push for stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits, small business forgivable loans (PPP) and basically no interest loans to a lot of companies. In 3 weeks money was out the door to help people.

    In a crisis that cuts off electricity and the internet and disrupts the food supply on a national and global level, things would be very different. Hopefully this teaches people to grow an emergency fund with 12 months of living expenses, have 3-6 months of food supply, stock up on over the counter medicines and supplies so they can be self sufficient for 3-6 months without needing stuff from the store.

  13. I agree with many of the comments about what we have learned. Well before things got bad, we did a few things we had been putting off because we thought we were too busy. The septic got pumped, we brought in another load of lumber and fence posts, brought in more feed for the animals, purchased an American Eagle windmill. Ordered in even more small batteries for lights and equipment. We even finally picked the solar unit we wanted for the farmstead and ordered it. Things being what they are, we may not get the batteries to store the energy though….so that one might not turn out well. We even topped off our seed and fruit trees.

    That being said, we are also very blessed because we had the funds saved to complete these tasks. For many people, the “extra” funds are hard to come by. And many in that situation, will also be the ones who will not have a job to return to when (if) we open up for business. The pork being handed out won’t help in the long term for those losing their employment and possibly their health insurance. The sheer volume of people affected will be overwhelming.

    I also learned that if we go into a real lockdown, my family who live many, many miles away that I hoped would come to us will not be able to manage that task because they don’t truly understand what “come now” means.

    1. DAMedinNY

      “I also learned that if we go into a real lockdown, my family who live many, many miles away that I hoped would come to us will not be able to manage that task because they don’t truly understand what “come now” means.”

      Truer and more applicable words were never written. Along with a friend just like your family, have a family member who is so contrary that if it’s not their original idea they’re not doing it, and their spouse goes along to keep the peace.

      Whatcha gonna do?

    2. DAMedinNY,
      they don’t truly understand what come now means

      That word never went out, around here. We all had cell phones and internet for comms. In our situation, we’re dealing with adults. Strong willed intelligent folks. IMHO each situation will be different. As long as you have comms, you can plead your case.

      Now imagine, ya don’t have comms. Ya don’t know what “they” are thinking or doing. Are they coming? Is someone injured? What the h-ll is going on? Why aren’t they here?

      Have I mentioned ham radio?

  14. As a devout pessimist, I learned we are all doomed…no matter what we do…and that Humanity is even more stupid than I had thought.

    Enjoy while you can, then cut your losses.

    1. Ision, your view of mankind is shared high up above. As the Bible says, The Heart (human) is wicked, who can know it? “. This was reported to be one of the bits of wisdom why our Founding Fathers designed our Government the way it is supposed to work. Checks and Balances.

  15. First, this site has been my go to resource throughout this, but it was before too. I’ve learned quite a bit, and there’s always more to learn! Thanks to Ken and all of the folks who post helpful information on a regular basis.

    Good article. I agree with Ken, however. We don’t know where this is all headed yet. I don’t think it’s over by a long shot, especially the economic fall out.

    New perspectives on preps and lessons learned or re-learned on other matters:

    I’m glad I put together some semblance of a plan and resources over 10 years ago when no one was on board in my household. Those were the “eye rolling” days under our roof. No more, and they now recognize the need for foresight and that things can go sideways really fast. Lesson: just forge ahead, trust your instincts and do what you know is right despite what even your loved one’s think.

    I should have had a UVC sanitizer box on hand, as my wife still needs to go the office from time to time due to the nature of her job. Just purchased one last week and it’s great and provides piece of mind.

    While long term and short term food storage is fairly solid (at least for six months), this has made me realize that I really need to take the time to build out our garden to bolster our fresh and canned food stores. Been too lazy or busy on other less important things. It’s going to be a priority now.

    Didn’t have a professional grooming kit for the family. We have one now and have put it to good use.

    Still don’t have a powerful enough back-up generator for our abode. I have a Yamaha, ES 2000 Inverter, but that doesn’t get the job done. The power went out a week ago and we lost two refrigerators full of food.

    I can still make a difference and help people I care about if I try. Most of it has simply been providing advice, tips and information when asked. It has been gratifying to see some of them take certain actions to help/protect their families. Better late than too late.

    I have re-learned that sometimes, you just can’t fix stupid. Especially with extended family. They are going to do what they are going to do at the end of the day, so just let it go.

    I have re-learned that the system is as corrupt as it has ever been. It’s 2008 all over again with the Fed and .gov bailing out the big banks, Wall Street, and hedge funds to the tune of trillions of dollars versus providing some meaningful help to average citizens to get them through. The whole thing is a charade. Same as it ever was.

    1. Your 2000 is *more* than enough to save your fridges or freezers…but you have to use the resource smartly.

      Set your temps as low as they will go, fill any and all unused spaces with a heat sink (bottles/jugs of water are the best you can get) Hook each up individually for two compressor cycles, then move to the next.

      Consolidate the most used items into one unit and cover the other(s) with heavy blankets.

      I have a 10,000W standby unit plumbed to natural gas…*but* I also have the exact same genny you have, and during the last prolonged outage it saved 11 fridges and 9 chest freezers (my neighbours) using the methods I described. I didn’t even have to attend…the first was given instruction, ran his two cycles, then he took it to the next, relayed the instructions, and the cycle repeated until the lights came on.

  16. I am a long time lurker & first time poster. Thanks, Ken, for all you! This is my favorite website!

    We were on a 2 week trip to Arizona when everything started going downhill for our nation @ the end of February. As a long time suburban prepper, I was watching current events carefully in January & asked my extended family to deepen their pantries. Before leaving for our trip, I topped things off for us, prayed for the best & we flew to our destination w/ masks, gloves & hand sanitizer in our carry on luggage. Boy, were we glad to have encouraged our family to prepare & they thanked us when we got home.

    While out of state on our vacation, we came down w/ type A flu, even having had our shots in September. We were diagnosed @ a minor emergency clinic & got Tamiflu. God was good so that we could fly home, just in time to “shelter in place”.

    If we had lost electricity or water during this ordeal, things would have been much more dire. So I believe an EMP would be much more devastating to our nation. When you look @ the lines of cars of folks waiting for the food bank stuff, just look @ the makes & models of the newish cars! The really desperate don’t even have cars! And folks who live in apartments on welfare are just in a pitiful spot. And don’t get me started on those who complain about their kids 24/7 & have to home school, when it should be a blessing & privilege. My neighbors seem to be doing well, in spite of everything …. 2 families in my neighborhood are currently having swimming pools installed!

    When people ask where I got my N-95 masks, I reply “During the Obama administration.” I pray many have been awakened lately to be more prepared for emergencies, but I sincerely doubt it!

    May God have mercy on our nation & continue to protect His children. Thanks for allowing me a forum for sharing. I think I will go out & work in my garden a little more now.

    1. TXDeb,
      Thanks for commenting and for being a lurker on the blog (there are lots of you!). Anyway, hope to hear more from you in the future ;)

    2. TxDeb, glad to hear from you! It helps all of us to hear from others during these trying times. Never be afraid of posting here. We all learn from each other.

    3. – TXDeb,
      Welcome to the comment side of the blog, and we hope to see you again! Have to agree on the effects of a power loss, EMP or not. DW is wanting me to plant some additional fruit trees (we have seven pecan trees that are 20 years old and produce well.)
      We lost an apple and an apricot tree in the past couple of years, so I will definitely need to replace those and maybe add a few others as well.
      – Papa S.

    4. TXDeb:
      Welcome. Glad this is your favorite sight. I was a lurker for several years before being a regular. Been a long time now.

  17. Here in Michigan, we do not have the freedom to move about and travel. We’re not supposed to visit with our neighbors, even if we are standing at least six feet away from them. I can buy pot and lottery tickets, but not gardening supplies. We can go out for groceries/take-out food, but nothing else. Although State Parks remain open, we’re not allowed to travel to them.
    One thing that has been impressed upon me, is to be ready for medical emergencies, which we are pretty much not. Since mid-March, MIL had a stroke, husband of BF needed open-heart surgery, son’s BF’s mom was septic and needed emergency gall bladder surgery, uncle was septic, and neighbors teenage daughter had a sledding accident, impaling her leg. All are doing fine, but this is eye opening to what could happen in a grid down situation. I definitely need to work on medical preparedness.
    We’ve been keeping a long list of things we wished we had done, or that we need to do, if and when we can. I agree with RWT on his 10 yr. old. I’m trying to keep things as normal as I can for my 14 yr. old. He’s old enough to understand, but I know some of this is rough for him.

    1. In the Mitten, thank you for highlighting the medical preparedness issue. It’s a good reminder and it’s so important.

      Also, for those on life-sustaining medications, the 30 to 90 day prescription limits that are typically imposed can be gotten around if you have persistence with your doctor, pharmacist and insurance company. Yes, it might require more out of pocket if insurance still refuses to cover, or having a prescription called into a different pharmacy by your doctor, but it can be done. Get to 6 months on hand at least, if you can.

      1. For prescriptions, I cannot say how this worked…maybe it was a sympathetic pharmacist, I do not know. In early March I asked for a 90 day supply of DH’s meds, and said I would pay cash and not use insurance. It was a pretty cheap med. Anyway, just a week ago my pharmacy called and said his meds were ready, a 30 day supply paid for by insurance. Wow. Great news! Now we have a really good supply.

  18. If you can frighten people enough, they will do whatever you say.
    You do not need proof, you just need some “experts”

    1. Or, just say “officials”. The “officials” said, blah-blah-blah. Just who are these officials? It’s all in the wording. People fall right into line…

      Just like “experts”. I’ve encountered my share of less-than-experts who have fancy titles. I learned long ago that just because someone is titled, does not mean they’re very good. In fact many are not good at all.

      1. Ken,
        Like 4 out of 5 Dentists or 9 out of 10 doctors…
        What Dentist? What Doctor?
        Sheep are easily led…

  19. I hope y’all will indulge a few more comments today:

    Zycam is over the counter & I think it lessened our flu symptoms in February. We will definitely stock up on that. Also, glad you mentioned out of pocket $ to pay for prescriptions; that sounds like a good investment.

    We have been using this extra time to enhance our preps & skills. My hubby has become a ham operatator during the last 2 months. He used a fairly local source for the equipment as quickly as he could since we feel that things like electronics will get increasingly hard to find.

    I have inventoried our food stores. We ate some baked beans the other day w/ a “use by” date of 2013. I rinsed them well in a colander & added my own onions & spices. They were tastey & we suffered no ill effects.

    We have shopped once every 2 weeks during the senior hours @ our local grocery store & once @ Costco. Costco had TP & we didn’t need it but I got some anyway, knowing I could pass it on.

    A dear friend died last week. His funeral ……was on Youtube! I cried because I could not hug his widow. Our Sunday school class has been Zoom-ing for weeks & we miss the intimacy. But our class provided a large meal to the family after the funeral. We took everything to the church parking lot, put it all in one truck & they delivered it on our behalf. I sent TP & soap & other paper goods as my contribution. The times, they are a changin’.

    1. TXDeb, during our quarantine, we have eaten a lot of expired food! I am living in a bunkhouse in my new farm, waiting for the old farm to sell (good homestead farm, if anyone is looking!), and storing overflow in a Conex container. One thing I’ve found is that I need to organize my stores better to prevent expired groceries! Can’t wait to build that house with loads of storage space!

    2. TXDeb,
      Your hubby is a smart man. First he picked you, then showed he cared enough to become a ham.

        1. Plainsmedic

          Thx! Will get one geared up for the new ham equipment pronto.

          Assembled a full sized trash can faraday cage 5 years ago. When we moved back home to TX from OH, the faraday cage went into my vehicle instead of on the moving van. (I had packed up all our long term food in generic boxes before movers came on the scene!) My 2 adult sons helped us unpack our vehicles here & were amazed that their dear old mother had assembled such a thing. My response was “Why haven’t you put one together yet?” 10 years of Boy Scouting as a family has been great training.

          Appreciate all the encouragement.

  20. I found several things that I needed to shore up, but I also found things that I had done really well. I was proud of myself and how I have raised by young ‘uns. They have done really well during all of this. Although it never hurts raising kids on a farm! I got phone calls telling the old man they had this covered and that covered. All were secure in what they were doing on a day to day basis and were under no stress. They also knew that if things just went completely to hades in the handbasket to get back to the farm in the woods. They even knew exactly what I needed them to bring with them if they needed to come home.

    1. My DD told me yesterday that this has solidified her prepper penchant and she will be adding more stores as she can. I was glad to hear that!

  21. This all has been good,
    Still learning and observing and taking mental notes, we are not done yet,,,,
    I am glad that i did everything i did though, we wont go hungry and can deal with most challenges.
    Money is the limiting factor with much of this.

    1. Kulafarmer, my budget is my only limiting factor as well. Spare chainsaws are one thing, but buying an overhead fuel storage tank for off road diesel and ethanol free gas plus filling them was out of my civil servant budget. But I did get some extra fuel stored.

      And you are right. We haven’t seen the end of this yet. I write on a farm calendar my temps and rain gauge measurements every day. Then I write in a notebook each evening before bed. I scribble about what I saw, what I learned, and what I need to keep at. That notebook is filling up quick the past 30 days.

      1. BG in TX
        Thanks I like the idea of keeping a log book. Normally not a person who did a diary or keeping records but this appears to be a necessity.

        1. AC, I was once told that a dull pencil is always better than a sharp mind. Writing stuff down sure helps me remember stuff when I need it later.

          BG

      2. BG in TX
        Thanks for the reminder of the journal, had started last week, need to keep filling it in

  22. Brush with SHTF? Perhaps, compared to a long-term grid-down event. Hope am wrong but have the feeling we’re barely past the anteroom of the labyrinth.

    Predicted food shortages based on last year’s crop failures seem to have been hastened by the emptying of stores and warehouses. Reduced staffing and closure of food processing plants due to disease have broken farm-to-store supply chain and come with the inevitable culling of meat, egg, and milk animals. Solar minimum weather already impacting planting this year, along with delayed return of ag workers to the country. And some international borders are not just closed to people, but to grains and other crops as producing countries slow or stop food exports. Some folks on pig blog already sold out. Seeds and chicks hard to get.

    Some businesses around here are closed for good, and the buildings are already for sale. Didn’t have the resources to ride out a few months, even with assistance.

    In deep blue states like mine, criminals are not only being let out of jail, they’re allowed to run rampant. It’s hard to get a prison sentence here, you’ve got to be really bad. Who knows if they’ll ever be locked up again.

    Plus the medical uncertainties around antibody development, length of contagious period, vaccine research, second wave infections, etc. make it seem like we may have more hardship ahead of than behind us.

    What have I learned? The answer to NRP’s question is usually NO.

  23. Where to begin? The other half has went from a passive accomplice to active. The holes in our preparedness are many and unnerving. Have had multiple nights of freezing temperatures that have probably ruined the peach and apple crops. That is a stark reminder about crop failure in a crisis. Watching two women fight over TP was fun, I admit. But it was a harsh reminder of how fast people loose there veneer of civility. I won’t even go into watching people tow the .gov line (for their own good).

    1. country..excuse me if this is a silly question, I know nothing of peach and apple crops. If they are ruined (for regular sale/use as fruit), can you quickly pick them, cut off the fruit, leave pits and cores (mix peach and apple together), and make peach/applesauce, dehydrate to make fruit leather? Or if they have a slight off taste, dehydrate into bigger chunks sort off, and sell as Horse Treats? Dog Treats? Pig Treats? Goat Treats? — (Goat Treats might be the trick…I have often over the yrs been assured that goats eat anything, and goats/goat milk is becoming/is the “in” thing….People love their goats)

      1. Jane

        No, the trees were blooming. I hope to be wrong, but it appears the freeze destroyed the blooms. No blooms, no fruit. We shall see.

        1. country…darn shame. Sorry for your loss. (and if I sound funeral…well, it truly is a loss to one/family who is counting on it..)..

          keep my fingers crossed some sort of magic happens .

          1. Jane
            Thank you for the thoughts. As for your opening line, my grand father once said The dumbest question is the one not asked.

          2. country…You’re welcome. True, about questions not asked…grin.

          3. Jane we had alot of little peaches on a young tree, usually the fruit drops off shortly as it shrivels. .

          4. Just Sayin’– a shame..Sigh.. Guess it is nature’s way of feeding the critters…especially ones not able to climb trees…

  24. Well, RWT, you lost your bet, I lost 32 pounds, but not because I didn’t have food, on the contrary. I gained muscle exercising to fight or flight from the summer mosquitoes, and my footprint doesn’t sink so far in the snow here in northern MN. I don’t make them Bigfoot footprints anymore, not fun fooling people anymore…..

  25. Good article for a discussion. Although we consider ourselves well stocked, we still ventured out a few times to get fresh milk and vegetables. The freezers are full and the pantry is fairly deep (4 to 6 months) but we learned of a few shortfalls in our preps.
    The other day a 50 lb box of carrots found it’s way to our house. Great, right? So I thought that we would freeze some and spend a few days canning what we didn’t freeze. I started prepping the carrots, reached up in the cupboard to get my canning kit with the jar lifter, funnel, etc. It wasn’t where it normally was supposed to be so we tore the house apart (literally looking for that jar lifter. Not to be found. I looked at the wife and said, ‘One is none’.
    Two have been ordered. Then I went upstairs to get the wide mouth mason jars and guess what? Although we have hundreds of jars, several of the boxes were mislabeled and wide mouth jars are in very short supply. It’s not the end of the world to use regular mouth mason jars for carrots but more wide mouth jars have now been ordered.
    I’m thankful that we are isolated and decently prepared but we are now going through the checklists.
    Snowed here off and on all day. My seed starts (tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, cauliflower) are getting larger and soon it will be time to get them outside and hardened off.
    God bless all. Stay as safe as possible my friends.

  26. Having a sour dough bread starter going helped me make bread without yeast…and you could not find it for serval weeks around here! I had already ordered
    multiple bags of flour in January when this virus tripped my spidey sense.

    My husband is so on board with prepping now and my young adult
    children now see the value of a deep pantry. No one is eye rolling now!

    My garden is in giant pots, and I’m glad right now because we are getting down to 37 tonight. So after the sun goes down all the maters and peppers will go to bed in the shop.

    I’ve also been amazed at the “buggy police” who look at everyone’s cart and whine about how much they are buying on Facebook. I made a point NOT to wheel around with giant tp packs and multiple Clorox wipes. I’ve been stocking up for real since January and will continue as food shortages look to be in our future.

    Y’all stay gray,

  27. Well the silver lining for me was this convinced my husband that we should get sheep. One more step forward with self sufficiency.

  28. We had electricity, heating and cooling, water, working vehicles, gasoline, satellite tv, internet, and Amazon. We traveled through three southern states without restriction to maintain our unsold farm. DH went to the feed store once a week. We had a barn, chicken coop and fences built. It hasn’t gotten bad yet, but I am concerned that it might. I hope you all stay well and avoid Covid19. THAT could be bad!

  29. Things I have learned include finding local egg producers and meat producers here in my rural area. I am so glad to have found some local suppliers.

    I have been able to buy chicken and duck eggs and then go deliver them safely to some friends who live paycheck to paycheck and who are no longer employed.

    Even though I am pretty well set for a couple months with food, I am finding the comfort food which we do not normally eat has gone the quickest. That and the wine! So, if and when this comes to an end, I will have to create a fully stocked wine cellar and maybe get some of that 1792 or Jim Beam Devil’s or Angel’s Cut.

    I am missing the fresh fruits and veggies, too. That is a hard one. Frozen and canned just do not compare. Bigger garden this year and starting and orchard with grapes and berries too. At least we have time to make those happen!

    1. Kudos on finding the eggs and meat! I raise our meat, but got rid of old laying hens last fall, and just didn’t feel compelled to get more this spring. Country neighbor has extra and will trade for ground beef.
      Don’t know if this would interest you, but have you considered making your own wine? I’ve seen simple set-ups using 5 gallon buckets and natural fermentation, and kits that can be ordered on-line that are a bit more involved. I’m going to try my hand at beer-making when things slow down here.
      Happy planting – good luck with the orchard!

  30. I learned not to put off buying that extra
    item until next time, not to put off elective surgery as next time you may no have to live with it forever and make old man check his stores before all was sold out. We were fine for food and a neighbor about 8 miles away had a lot of mandatory doc appts for her husband and would offer to buy us what we needed. So we had some fresh fruit and a few extras. That met I didn’t have to dip in our food storage for the freeze dried version.
    I am still surprised how fast people bowed to the government and threw their rights out the window. It should be I interesting to see how we come out of this.

  31. Well my experience with the coronavirus has actually been positive. My neighbors are going around checking on each other, asking if folks need anything. I learned before the lock down that at least three of my neighbors are armed. One is a new family man; he heeded my advise in early February and stocked up. Three of my neighbors are nurses and one down the street is an old retired country doctor. The old doc brought us two grocery bags full of grapefruit from one of his trees. That’s just the kind of folks we have around here.

    My brother has a hobby farm two hours north. He saw this coming in early January, as did I. He ordered 60 extra meat chickens and a few dozen extra egg layers. He plowed extra plots and now has most everything planted (SE Georgia).

    I live on the edge of suburbia. I have a lot of inside space to store dried goods but limited outside space to garden; my brother has limited inside space to store goods but 30 acres to farm. So we plan on trading.

    Lessons Learned:

    I can trust my neighbors. These are good folks.

    My brother and I can work together to make ends meet, provided we can still travel. (Note that in Florida, taking care of family is a legitimate reason to be out.)

    This could have been a lot worse. (1) It could have been abrupt–as it stands intelligent folks saw the writing on the wall in January and acted appropriately. (2) We could have/or still might loose electricity. That would be devastating. We have the inside frig/freezer packed, the garage frig/freezer packed, and the garage freezer packed. If we lost that, we would have to rely on beans, rice, wheat and oatmeal.

    Politics

    I take a different stand on the stay-at-home orders. I completely support them. Our rights are not absolute–not the right to religious freedom, not the right to bear arms, not the right to freedom of assembly. One’s right religious freedom does not give parents the right make their kids play with rattlesnakes on the alter and say, “If you get bitten, you are a sinner!”. Yes, this is a real U.S. Supreme Court decision. I totally support the right to bear arms. But violent convicted felons have given up their right to bear arms. Likewise, freedom of assembly does not give stupid people the right to place others, possibly immune compromised people, at risk.

    I think we need to look at just who is getting arrested for violating the stay-at-home orders. In my area a few hundred teens were sited for having a keg party. I have no problem with local and state governments saying you can’t have house parties. I also agree with local and state governments cancelling church services. It is possible to watch the sermon online. This is what we have been doing. Now I think it is going to far to site drive-in church goers who “attend” in the parking lot via short wave radio. This is why we have courts–to say the government has overstepped its authority.

    I think preppers need to do a mental shift. It is not the government taking our rights away. It is the government attempting to protect the medical infrastructure. If the hospitals collapse, we are all screwed.

    Here’s the question I have for ya’ll. Is your local sheriff really concerned about you leaving toilet paper or a bag of groceries on your neighbor’s front porch? Or are they more concerned about breaking up house parties and underground dance clubs?

    In my honest opinion, most of the law enforcement/national guard think like we do. They are good folk. They will use common sense when enforcing distancing laws. When they don’t, the courts (and Justice Department) will be there to curb their behavior.

      1. Stand my Ground,

        I am a “her”. And I genuinely believe our rights are not absolute. I do believe the government has to have an overwhelming reason to deny rights. For example, the government was right to deny Typhoid Mary the right to cook as a living. We might disagree about where to draw the lines. But surely we don’t disagree that the lines exist. To define the discussion, would you not agree that the state should bar sex offenders from working in the child care field?

        1. We are all entitled to our opinions arent we.
          Sooner or later there will be a good solid push back against infringement on our constitutional rights,
          November is right around the corner,

        2. Bam

          I shall chose to remain silent. You are entitled to your opinion, yes you are.

          I do sincerely apologize for the gender mix-up. I’m not that familiar with your postings.

          1. Stand my Ground,

            No problem–Bam is not gender specific. I am actually curious about your justification for your position. I would really like to hear you out. I think we should all be willing to revise our views in light of new evidence.

        3. You’re not talking about rights, you’re talking about the ability of a government to establish standards of behavior and set limits on that behavior. Both of your comparisons are meaningless in that sense.

          The “right” to religion as designated in the constitution is actually to ban the government from establishing a state religion. Freedom of religion is never mentioned, although I think that to believe or not is a basic right and one that cannot be limited. LAWS may limit the form of that expression, but my belief is not up for question. Even if the government decided to outlaw religion (and those who believe that will never happen are ignoring both history and human nature), they have no jurisdiction over my thoughts and beliefs.

          You believe that government can limit all behaviors and the results of those behaviors. I believe that some things are outside of the law.

      2. SMG
        Dont bother,,,
        Its a poke at anyone who disagrees.
        Why else do you think half the country voted for hildabeast
        We know what our rights are, millions of others do to, right now we are all just politely giving these rubes a pass, that wont last indefinitely

        1. After reading the comments relating to the secondary thread of politics that got introduced and is being well groomed, and seeing a number of logical fallacies being used, I think you called this right and early.

          What was the topic again? :-)

          1. Farmgirl,
            Lessons learned!
            One of the shortfalls i have that i want to remedy is meat,,,
            I do have chickens, dark Cornish, are a decent all around bird, but i would really like livestock, a steer or heifer would be nice but realistically some sheep or goats would be better from a renewable aspect, rather the sheep. Looking at pigs too, those American Guinea hogs are nice but hard to find out here, looking at hogs for the same reason, to be able to have our own meat source. One lesson i have known, and many others out here in the islands will learn, is the folly of relying on all our foods coming from elsewhere. In a bad situation certain things will be or are un available, this is a problem.
            This all said, venison is pretty readily available, no limits on number or on when you can hunt so is a good resource, but it is not captive like standard domestic livestock. I like to hunt but being able to fatten up an animal specifically for eating is easier to some degree. Although my significant other is not fond of eating pets,,,,

          2. Kulafarmer,
            Given the situation with the processing plants, and what’s happening to the money supply, and everything else, anyone who wants to continue to eat meat probably would benefit from raising some of their own.

            What I’ve learned about meat raising (very abridged)
            Raising one’s own meat is an undertaking. I’m still learning, having only been at this for about 9 years.

            I raised Nigerian dwarf goats for a few years. They are a good dual purpose goat, give a nice rich milk, with a high return for feed investment, and very gentle tempered. That temperament will definitely make them very pet-like! Not fence jumpers, but definitely fence squeezers, especially the kids. If not de-horned, be careful what size woven wire fencing you use – I was often helping one get unstuck after sticking her head through the larger woven wire, but not being able to get back out. If you have a buck, don’t house him with the does and the milk will not have such a strong ‘goaty’ flavor.

            Friends of mine raised the guinnea hogs and liked how easy they were to raise and feed. They used electric fencing to keep them in, which usually worked. They got a lot, not all, of their feed from the grocery store produce culls. Small animals, so depending on how much pork you eat, might need a breeding pair to keep up with demand.

            I now raise Freedom Ranger broilers, and grass-fed Jersey steers. The broilers are easy. They forage some, and get poultry feed I purchase from our local grain supplier. I use electrified poultry netting, on a solar charger, and made a hoop house for them out of cattle panels and chicken wire that my sons and I can pull around the pasture. I close them in every night to keep determined predators at bay. 12 weeks to finish. The steers are a whole ‘nuther ball of wax. Fencing and dealing with manure are my least favorite aspects. If there’s a weakness in the fence, they will find it. Feed is intense. Good pasture, lots of rotation, with good minerals, good hay in the winter. I use round bales, since I’d rather use a tractor to move hay than chuck 40lb bales up and down the loft. Hay is one of the biggest variables, affected by weather, availability of baling for hire, and pricing due to lots of things. One round of good quality grass/clover mix is 900 – 1200 lbs, depending on baling, and will last a good week or more for 6 yearling steers. Vet care, too, unless you can de-horn, castrate, and treat the occasional bloat yourself. Jerseys + grass-fed = two years, start to finish. Best beef I’ve ever tasted, and I never have to buy any. Helps pay the taxes, which is why I’m still doing it.

            I guess it depends on how much work you want to do, and what your local resources are. Chickens are easiest, goats weren’t difficult, steers are the most labor intense.
            Hope this helps.

            P.S. Enough venison for everyone in the area?

          3. Farmgirl
            I grew up in ranching, spent a lot of time in my adult life around it too, very aware of the requirements, its a good lifestyle, thats why i feel blessed to be on the awesome homestead we live on.
            And under the current situation i feel prudent to follow through with the livestock. A guy in our neighborhood who has a big plot grows goats and sheep, so are close by Already.
            Im leaning towards the sheep, are a hair sheep breed, smaller animals, really nice. I just got to get me better half on board!
            Stay frosty girl!

          4. Kulafarmer,

            Well I feel kind of ….sheepish. Did I at least sound like I knew what I was talking about?

            I’m jealous of your year-round grazing.

          5. Farmgirl,
            Oh you did sound like you are knowledgeable with re to livestock, is good for me to hear reminders, actually had a couple does a few years back but didn’t have decent perimeter fence and had issues with a neighbors dog trying to go after the girls, thats the thing about those high output fence controllers, they just keep shocking, bet that dog never tried a net fence again,,,,
            Ive just been reluctant, its like having kids, is a responsibility

    1. Interesting question–where do the rights of the individual end, and the rights of the community begin?

      I watched a video of a father being arrested for playing in the park with his daughter. I know people have been cited and even arrested for gathering in their own cars in a church parking lot. Others have been arrested for simply being out in their own yards, and not within range of another person.

      So while MOST LEO’s and national guard may be good people, there are some (as always) who abuse their authority. And chances are good that not only will they get away with it, but it will be lauded and they will be worse the next time.

      The courts have shown a decided lack of interest in protecting the rights of the mere citizens, choosing instead to use their position for grandstanding and social justice causes.

      So at what point do you say “Oops”? Or do you just go along saying “Rights aren’t absolute” until someone steps on YOUR rights?

      1. Lauren
        Guess the citizens who reside in the state of Ohio are going to find out.

        Their dictator governor has decided to keep everything locked down until there is a vaccine for each and every one before we will let businesses start up again.

        I am not joking, on radio (Mark Levin).

        Welcome to the 5th order or column which title works for this train of thought.

      2. Lauren

        “Interesting question–where do the rights of the individual end, and the rights of the community begin?”

        Currently, in general, individual right are overarching, federally protected, and interpreted ultimately by the Supreme Court. Community rights are enumerated at the local level.

        Freedom of speech, for example, has been fairly broadly interpreted as a freedom of all sorts of expression. However, local law criminalizes me destroying someone else’s property if I don’t like the color or just because I can.

        There’s freedom of assembly, but generally not in the middle of the highway without risking arrest.

    2. “It is not the government taking our rights away. It is the government attempting to protect the medical infrastructure. If the hospitals collapse, we are all screwed.”

      Point understood, yet hospitals can also collapse financially. For example Quorum Health filed for bankruptcy last week- they run 23 hospitals here and across the country. All hospitals in my state are cutting back drastically.

      NOW the governor says her administration is “reaching out to certain hospitals to urge them to bring back the laid-off employees and redeploy them, if necessary, in different ways.” and she thinks they are scheming to cover their bottom line- “I’m really disappointed the hospitals in New Mexico behaved this way,” Lujan Grisham said.

      See the two-step shuffle?
      I damn near shut you down, now I’m gonna tell you how to operate your Business…
      And her Secretary of Health is now backpedaling, saying the order to halt elective surgeries was really more of a strong suggestion. I tried to grab her quote from the Albq. Journal online story, and found it had been edited out four hours ago! Lol!

      Gonna be a lot more of this type of editing, comment erasin’, deflection, distraction, and finger pointing happening as we shift from the pandemic to the financial crisis…

      1. “And her Secretary of Health is now backpedaling, saying the order to halt elective surgeries was really more of a strong suggestion.” in actuality, almost all of these orders are just that, suggestions. Here in NH our Governor has openly admitted this, the Constitution trumps all other laws, if what they are doing is in conflict with that, then what they are doing is not legal.
        And, as far as restarting the economy or however you want to put it, anything not specifically given the the Feds in the constitution is explicitly the purview of the states and the people. I have seen this mentioned here quite often, but it bears repeating, The Constitution does not give you rights and freedom, it restrains the government from taking things from you that are god given natural rights that all men already possessed.

  32. I’m grateful I trusted some of the impulses I had to get something done early, or buy ahead of time. Ordered broiler chicks a month early, and got all the feed I would need to finish them before they even arrived. There are so many little things that were taken care of, almost as an after thought. At the time, some of my purchases almost seemed impulsive – picking up some extra canning lids, getting the foodsaver rolls for packing my chickens 6 months ahead of time, ordering extra bulk herbs for making medicine teas, and so many other things. I’m starting to get a feel for that ‘little voice’, and learning to pay attention to it. After getting some feedback here, I’m working on acquiring a generator. (Is Champion, duel fuel, 3800 watt a good choice? Had good reviews, for what that’s worth. Just need it to run one chest freezer at a time.)

    Money has definitely been a constraining factor. I’d like to get a Bison hand pump for the well. I can store water for us, but have animals and greenhouse to water, too.

    I’ve also learned not to underestimate a human being’s ability to believe what they’re comfortable believing. Even watched it play out in my own mind, at times. The temptation of normalcy bias is so strong, and very destructive in a time like this.

    RE: where the lines are drawn. I believe we established that early in the founding of our country, when the document that is supposed to be the foundation of governance was drawn up. The word choice was very deliberate: enumerated – listed as an acknowledgement, not as permission; unalienable – inseperable, not something that can be taken away, although unfortunately can be given away. And that’s all I have to say about that.

    1. Farmgirl
      I have one of those Champion 3800 generators and they are fine but are a little louder than some. Mine will run a fridge or freezer plus a small electric space heater plus an electronic item such as a laptop or tablet and that’s pretty much at full load. Good choice on the dual fuel option. I’ve grabbed a 30 lb propane tank that was filled 30 years ago and it ran my BBQ all one summer.

      1. Thanks, Northern Sarge,

        I hadn’t thought about the noise factor. I guess I’d prefer as little noise as possible, but am assuming the really quiet generators might be out of budget for me. If it can run a space heater and your freezer, sounds like it would work for what I need.

  33. Thank you, SMG.

    Fear of death is what’s being used now. And to rope in the conscientious people, guilt – fear of causing someone else’s death. Such a persuasive argument. When people are hungry, perhaps homeless, it will be a less convincing argument.

  34. It might seem like a 1 right now…but that could and probably will change.

    Learnings…I had to make more Garden beds but that was a quick fix. Books…need more for my kids. Trust my gut. Always trust my gut. Trust in God.

    What I am preparing for now…there is another storm brewing. This is not over yet.

  35. Well said SMG

    The push back is starting, people from both sides not buying it for long term. Its a slow motion train wreck here, and the political class is showing their ignorance

  36. Do you all really think this is a just ruse to kill the U.S. economy? That’s really the only justification I can see for being opposed to government-mandated social distancing. Note that local and state governments are doing the mandating–not the federal government. So there are no anti-federalist arguments that apply here.

    (I am not a troll. I have been prepping for more than 10 years now. My dh and I are solid Republicans.) I genuinely want to hear your reasons.

    1. Bam, I am late to this discussion, i see the problem as “Government -MANDated” it means we no longer have free will to do common sense things. like to go to worship services with our extended family. I am part of a congregations that have several large families.. any one of those families is greater than the limit of 10 in some mandates. SO is breaking up individual families next because it is a government mandate?. Once you go down the officials are in control YOU have already lost every freedom.

      1. Just Sayin,

        I agree with the government setting standards to protect the general public. But I think they backed themselves in a corner when they said face masks don’t protect the general public. The government should always select the least intrusive way to protect the general public. (And if limiting freedom, there should be evidence of overwhelming need.) Shutting down church services is more intrusive than necessary since the public could be protected simply by requiring people to wear face masks (which do offer protection) while out in public. Perhaps I just take a different stand–I don’t think I have the right to take actions that could reasonably be expected to cause harm to others.

  37. The thing I learned that surprised me about this. I thought it would be a breeze to hunker down. I am finding that being quarantined is a lot harder than I expected.

  38. Farm girl, champion is a good generator, I have an older one and it still starts with the first pull. However. They are made in China, I know you didn’t want to hear that lol

    1. La la la la la….what did you say – I can’t hear you.

      Dang. I will look some more, but am wondering if any are made anywhere else.

    2. Farm girl, David,
      I’ve been looking for a dual fuel generator myself. I cannot find one that’s truly made in America. They advertise as an American product, however when you dig deeper, they are American owned companies, but built elsewhere. Beach’n

      1. I have noticed several postings here talking about generators. The thing to remember imho is that refrigerators and freezers can be managed in an extended power outage by connecting them to the generator one or two hours a day. Managed means keeping the freezer froze and the refrigerator cool not opening them unless you need something and being quick about it.

        Unless you are setup with a lot of fuel you will have power for a few hours and none the rest of the day. Uncomfortable? Yes. Get you by with no loss of food? Also yes. Depending on the size of the gen set and your well pump requirements you can even have water. What you can’t have is “normal” day to day power.

    1. Common Man
      Working,, last I heard. My contact said he was up to his elbows at work and at home.
      He is fine from what I gather.

    2. Have been missing him also, especially his updates on my old “stompin’ grounds” and impacts to his business and staff. When all this first started, he gave some pretty good advance insight about what was happening in China. He also has good info on generators for the folks who have been asking lately.

  39. I have been wanting a grain grinder for a long time now. Didn’t buy it. That’s my biggest regret and lesson learned. Shoulda, coulda, didn’t = dumb. Beach’n

    1. Beach’n
      It is never to late. It depends on what type of grinder you are looking for.
      At Christmas time I gave in and purchased the hand grind model. Not sure of the production origins but it ships out of from Utah.

      Found our electric mill in classified ads way back when, sometimes on Craig’s a used one can be found. Even brand new ones that were gifts, and the receiver did not like the gift.

  40. SMG,
    I went in to SHTF mode in October of 2016 right before the election. I even posted on this site my intention to do it on the weekend free for all back then.
    My decision to do it actually was based on events of the previous 18 months. I wrote a threat assessment and I didn’t like what I saw. So I went all in. I have shifted my paradigm numerous times in the last 3 1/2years as our situation changed. I stepped down from being in charge of the group I started. I believe that I could do more in a different capacity.
    I did a threat assessment back in late December. Bad case/worse case scenario. No happy ending. I urged folks here for years to study their own states pandemic flu plan. Obviously most didn’t until recently if even then. The governor calls the shots in the individual states not the Feds. States rights don’t ya know. And if ya have a left leaning Commie traitor as your Governor? The irony abounds.
    What you and I (and others here)are ranting about now with the unconstitutionality of the behavior of these cancerous traitors? I expected this to happen in 2016 when the Clinton criminal cartel won the election. No one was more surprised than me when Trump won. He thwarted their plans. Hence,the nonstop attack on the administration for 3 1/2 years. They are opportunist who are using this virus to usher in their plans that would of already been implemented if the cackling murder lady had won.
    Whoever they pick for VP to run with Biden will be the defacto president. They will use voter fraud and counting manipulation to steal the election. So folks here better plan on that potential reality .
    The worst part(?!) is how many (even here) who are willing to give up their own freedom and are Hell bent on forcing you to do the same. They are the ones who will turn in their neighbors, friends and family and will feel justified and Happy to do so.
    I personally have utter contempt and loathing for them.
    They deserve nothing less than to swing from a traitors noose…
    They deserve nothing more than an unmarked traitors grave…

  41. Lessons Learned: All my “woulda’, shoulda, coulda’s ” and “on my list to dos” just need to be started. I have wanted to teach myself row crop farming with a tractor for years.(I do hay and vineyards already) Finally just up and did it this year. Potatoes and carrots going in. Much to supply the family, but also to donate to the food banks. Since I am still learning, I expect some failures. fortunately we are in a position to buy into/support our neighbor’s CSA, so we will get veggies from them for sure. Anything I am able to produce is ‘icing on the cake’.
    Also, one other point: Nothing like a crisis to get people thinking. DW is now onboard with this “prepping thing”. LOL. She went to town 50 miles away for a Dr. visit, came home with groceries and supplies, happily producing 20 seeds packets for veggies we eat. ” They were 1/2 off!, I got all of the ones we can use. ” Very proud of her.

  42. Good article, RWT, thanks for sharing it with us. Personally I don’t believe we should let down our guard with COVID-19, and I believe it has already proven to be a very formidable “disaster.”

    This world-wide pandemic was not a scenario that I really planned for, and it was stupid/naive (pick one) to have minimized what a pandemic can do to a population or through gov-think. Never would I have expected an entire Nation to be nearly closed down by a President. So this next “disaster”, the economic collapse, we have planned for. Of course, getting past the collapse to see what kind of fiat we will have is an exercise in futility, so we’ll muddle through and make sure our bills are paid early, with funds left over and barter-items to use, when needed.

    I still believe that COVID-19 was created as a bioweapon, although our “officials” aren’t admitting this yet. Maybe they never will, but the narrative is rapidly changing, and China is on the short-list for blame. The actions that follow this pandemic could place us in even more danger through retaliation or restrictive measures against China. So in the near future, our preparations will include more protections against wartime activities. We will work towards plans that include more direct attacks (biological, chemical, EMT, etc) and shortages that occur from wartime actions.

    The strangest issue that kept cropping up for me during the past 45 days or so has been using foods that are not being replaced. lol

    This year, in February, we converted our greenhouse into a raised bed growing greenhouse and we couldn’t be happier. We are now eating fresh salads made from a variety of greens, and we have delicious and juicy radishes. The seedlings that I’ve started from seeds are flourishing, too, and a couple of tomatoes and cucs in 5-gal buckets are growing nicely. We are getting about 2 1/2 extra months of growing food with this greenhouse, so we will continue with our greenhouse growing. The only heat is at night (propane) and we don’t keep the thermostat high — it’s in the mid 50s. This keeps the greenhouse warm enough so that our water pipe and hosing doesn’t freeze, and all of the plants are protected against cold and freeze.

    1. Modern Throwback,
      Sounds like a nice greenhouse set-up! You mentioned heating with propane, and I wondered what kind of heater you use. I use a woodstove at present, and have to tend it in the middle of the night. Really messes with my already messed-up sleep schedule!

  43. The rate I have burned through non-survival supplies is astounding. O am a fairly well stocked person. Some people call my place the grocery store and others call me the hardware store. I have a lot of crap.

    I have around a month of disinfecting wipes left. I suspect if expert-level poo did hit the fan they’d last longer. But I guess I never expected a slow burn like this. I also didn’t think I’d be still going out into the Ether.

    My work is more or less in various grades of lockdown. People are quarantining *in* to work in 2-week shifts. I’ve been going in every 10 days or so. Most work I do can be done remote. This is something I didn’t expect as it burns up yet more of my PPE.

    I never thought people would be jealous of me walking around with a respirator on to the point it was disheartening. I never thought I’d see the day where people were wearing bandanas over their face like in an old Western.

    I am not a huge fan of frozen food. It has made me consider getting a chest freezer. Basically I only keep refrigerated/frozen stuff such stocked that it goes bad about the time I would be using it. Well, the frozen food is getting consumed faster because we are in pseudo-SHTF.

    I used to think we’d lose our firearm rights about the time I wouldn’t care anymore because I’d be old and dead. The 1.9m firearms sold in March says it is unlikely but I still added to the panic by buying thousands of dollars of “not Clinton era” magazines. Do I need more? Nope.

    I could use another spare fence charger.

    This might be the year I get serious about solar power.

  44. I wish we would have planted a bigger garden. The stores are out of a lot of fresh produce. I had planned on eventually doing it. I should not have waited and just gone ahead and planted.
    Also we did not finish our chicken coups. So that would have been great to get those finished and get our chickens.
    Biggest lesson is do not procrastinate. Get ‘er done!!! Do not put your projects on hold.

  45. So far, we’ve been fairly satisfied with out level of preparedness since this whole thing started.
    We’ve not had to cut any corners as far as food goes.. My wife is 100% behind all of the efforts we’ve made over the years and this has proven the effectiveness and shown us where the few remaining cracks are. We haven’t had store-bought bread in years, opting for home baked in either the oven or the bread machine. Flour is fresh milled from a very good supply of wheat, as needed. We did break into the supply of Mountain House the other day, just as a treat though. We really like some of their stuff :)

    We have kept a list of areas where we can improve our preps, but it’s honestly a short list.

    We’re also very lucky to be able to work remotely… My wife has worked from home for the past 10 years and my job lends itself perfectly to WFH. We’re both in fields that are considered “essential”, so winner, winner, chicken dinner… we can pay our bills *and* help out friends, family and neighbors who aren’t as lucky.

    We’ll all be glad when this subsides and we’ll all be a little wiser.

    Stay safe all

    1. Thanks for the comment. Being prepared certainly makes our lives easier during these times. And, there’s nothing like homemade bread!

  46. I don’t comment often, but had to this time
    1) Ken, I’ve been following your site for over 10 years and think it is great, the best prepper site i follow. Thank you for all you post. Your reference for important info is excellent (recently looked up bleach to water ratio for cleaning)
    2) From afar, America is not doing great, and I urge you all to realise the great urgency of the situation you are in, the COVID numbers continue to rise, as do the deaths, but it is the economic shock that is still weeks away that will be the gut punch. Please realise that your economy is really going to be hit hard and 22 Million unemployed will soon be 50 Million. Supply chains will be stretched and at times broken and this is only the beginning.
    3) be prepared for a lot worse, stock up now while you can and stay safe.

    1. Wow, 10 years. You’ve got to be one of the earliest who came across my site and are still here today. Thank you. I agree entirely with your feeling of great urgency. I too believe that the “gut punch” is coming soon. I do not wish for it. I am not one of those who desire SHTF. Rather, I am realistic in my critical thinking. This may come to pass. Thanks for mentioning your longevity here. Appreciate it.

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