Preparedness Beyond Just Short Term – Think Local…


Preparedness ‘101’ is pretty simple. Enough food for several days or a week without resupply, some water storage in containers, a water filter, and other ‘ordinary’ preps for a short term disruption. Not too much skill is required here – just some extra supplies.

Preparedness ‘201’ builds on ‘101’ with more supplies and several definitive skills.
Preparedness ‘301’ gets advanced in both long-term supplies and important skill sets.
And then there’s Preparedness ‘401’…

‘401’ deals with survival in the long term aftermath of the collapse. It is a time when the great die-off has mostly passed and is a time for sustaining and rebuilding.

Very unlike today’s systems where nearly everything comes from far away, preparedness beyond just the short term will have lots to do with the word, ‘local’. In your vicinity.

Very few can survive alone. It is logistically very, very difficult (for many reasons). Many preppers may be fooling themselves into believing that they will be able to survive on their own during the ‘long term’ portion of the collapse timeline. My question to those who believe this is as follows… “What will you do when your long term food storage (and other consumable supplies) runs out?”

During a hypothetical thought process it is difficult to come up with definitive answers because there’s no way to know the extent of which the collapse has upset the apple cart. This will certainly vary (probably widely) from region to region. The point is however to ‘think local’ as much as you can.

Who in your locality has the ability to farm? Do you know any of them? Do you yourself know anything about farming? How many could it sustain? How will it be accomplished if there’s little or no fuel to operate machinery?

If there are no farms in your region, where is your long term food resupply going to come from? Will you (and others in your locale) be able to convert some land into functioning farms for food production? Is their any expertise in your locality to successfully accomplish this?

For those who think that they will simply be able to hunt, think again. Those supplies will be dwindled early on. Unless you live very, very remote, don’t count on much meat on the table via hunting during the long term portion of ‘post collapse’.

For those who raise livestock, how are you going to feed them? Will it even be possible if you can’t buy any feed? Can you grow enough feed for them (and for yourselves?)? What about water?

So far I’ve only raised questions regarding food (because it’s important!), however what about other areas such as security? While the worst will already be over during this hypothetical part of the collapse timeline, it is unlikely you will have reached this part of the timeline without adequate security. There’s little or no way that one or two people could make it this far without security coordination with others (depending on variables).

Water. Irrigation. How will this be accomplished in a post-collapse region? Can you do it yourself? Or will coordination with others in your locale be required?

I hope that you’re getting my drift. Once you make it to Preparedness ‘401’, the subject matter goes beyond just ‘you’. Because if it were ‘just you’, it’s doubtful that you could survive into the long term after your long term food has run out or during a time of security issues.

While it may be unlikely (or maybe not so unlikely?) that a collapse of this hypothetical magnitude will ever come to pass, for those who are thinking about it, things will be reduced to ‘local’. Tribal. And that’s about it. The ‘how’ is up to you. There’s no simple answer or answers. The purpose here is to get you to think about your own ‘local’ and whether or not it might work out given your location and the people in your local region.


  1. There are those of us (‘Loners’) that would rather go out (or go on) fighting, than depending on a ‘Group’ for defense and survival.
    Always have been, and always will be.

    1. And some of you may be okay, depending on your location, etc.. lots of variables.

      The bigger point though is ‘what if’ you make it that long, and then your long term food storage runs out… is there an ability to sustain one’s-self after that… and how would it be done… especially if you’re not considering any help from others.

      1. How was it always done?
        Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

        I know, you might say: “That’s no kind of answer!”, but, Necessity is the Mother of Invention. The strongest asset you can possibly possess in troubled times, is The Will to Survive!

        My experience with ‘Groups’ is that the majority are just Slackers and Takers, while the minority do all the work. I’ve learned to stay clear of all that personality and drama that go with it.
        I’m not discounting a few (very few) like minded com-padres.

        1. …and ‘groups’ does not necessarily mean all under one roof. It could be a group of relatively like-minded (or similarly motivated) neighbors within one’s local community.

        2. There are those (Very Many) that don’t own property and are not landowners. So those would require what the other had. That group would become, by definition, what the landowners refer to as ‘The Golden Horde’, and therefore be ‘Outlaws’.

          So, if you weren’t a landowner, and didn’t want to be part of ‘The Outlaws’, you would have to become independent and separated from both groups.

          Hence, ‘Lone Ranger’ has a valid point.

        3. I’m with Lone Ranger all the way.
          By observing for 9 years, the only thing my neighbors are good for is gossip and slacking…caring for their own maybe? Well, me too.
          So get your own supplies, a**holes!!

          One example:
          The new neighbor for a year across street never visited until wanting to sell cookie dough for school :-( ; related a story how 4 year old couldn’t open his package with sandwich at school and plopped on floor; didn’t have lunch even though he had a bag of chips—oh, he couldn’t open those either!!!!!!!!!; couldn’t open milk either!!!!; mom blasted school cafeteria employees!!
          What in the hell is this mom gonna do in a SHTF scenario!!
          Whine and succumb to oh, poor me???

        4. …and those are the people who will not make it to the timeline that I’m referring to (the aftermath). They will be part of the die-off. For those who do make it there, the question is (one of many to contemplate), will your locality be conducive to sustaining food production after your own storage is gone? If not, will you yourself have made it to the aftermath in that locality? (I’m speaking generically – not picking on ‘you’)

        5. Lone Ranger.

          I am prepping to go it alone. Besides long term stores, there are plenty of skills you should be at least familiar with to perform with some success. Fishing, hunting, trapping. To add one should be able to forage, scavenge and adapt skills with material.

  2. local sustainability….

    Good topic to consider and really we must if we can hope to plan for the future however unclear that may be for the moment.

    This is how life largely operated prior to the last about 100 years. Yes there was trade far and wide, yet most people of a local vicinity were sustainable to a survivable, and even prosperous degree. It was hard work but could be done.

    I think that is interesting that you mention farm equipment.
    If you have the means or know how having manual equipment is a huge asset.
    That is real value.

    If you don’t farm personally please support your local farmers whether large or small.

    I agree about the tribe viewpoint as well. You may have this skill or resource and another person may have others. Synergy is powerful and multiplicative for good. These relationships are also extremely valuable and require investment in each others best interests and often build over time.

    We really need tools, tangible real tools to live from the land and also the mental tools like knowledge, skills, wisdom, a determined spirit, and a balance between hope and reality, where hope keeps you moving forward….

    Peace and Blessings to all~

    1. Manual farm tools will indeed be a HUGE asset, if it ever comes to that. But what hard work it will be… I shudder to think…

      1. And yet we have so much more knowledge than our ancestors had. We have the knowledge and the know-how (two different things) to make things much easier, even on a manual level. And for people used to a more sedentary lifestyle, those changes will be necessary!

  3. When that time comes in our History, then what nature calls ‘Natural Selection’, or more basically, ‘The Culling of the Herd’ will occur. Only the strongest will survive. As Nature intended.

  4. I was thinking about this a few weeks ago. I don’t have any animals at this point, but my neighbor goes through a bag of feed for her free range chickens about every six months. 50 pounds. How much land would it take to grow 50 pounds of feed? Or 100 pounds? Or 150 pounds? Taking responsibility for animals includes making sure you can care for them, and if all my land is dedicated to making sure the animals are fed there won’t be much left for me.

    It’s always interesting for me to watch people. Preparedness 101 and 201 are the majority of the “prepared.” I look at people’s “deep pantry” and wonder how they expect to survive when their 20 cans of beans are exhausted. Of course, the same thing goes for me, I just have more resources. I’m slowly converting my yard to need little water, working on turning it into a food production area.

    If I don’t survive the initial shock waves, it’ll still be a resource for the future.

    1. @Lauren

      I have accelerated my long term food production garden. I am converting all backyard space using the square foot method. Best thing we can do is analyze our soil and ship in many yards of compost or good topsoil in advance of any disaster. Stockpile your compost get a 10 yard load and tarp it.

      I have a degree in Agriculture and the secret to any successful garden is good soil. Planting sustainable crops like sweet potato, onion, potato, carrot, fruit/nut trees is the best way to go. Forget about the stupid tomatoes and peppers those should only take up about 5-10% of ones long term survival garden. Every calorie produced will count.

      1. I have the fruit and nut trees (including seedlings for each tree as of next spring), and this year I’m going to collect all the leaves I can (18 inches deep is my hope) to layer over the gardens. Next year’s mulch. Next year the pattern of the yard is changing drastically, with food plants and herbs around the trees where they’re protected from the worst of the sun.

        Mass successional plantings (spring planting, inter-cropped with summer, then fall) all growing at the same time. Companion planting and cover crops. Once I finish the transition there’ll only be one area of grass, under the ash. The front is in the process of being converted to yarrow (drought tolerant, mows just like grass, and softer), which will eventually give way for more gardens.

        This year we cut our water use by about a third, and with the heavy mulch I’m hoping for another third next summer. With the garden boxes, green house and the food forest as part of the plan I’m guessing ten years to food independence (with the exception of animal products). I hope for less time, of course, and I’ll push it as best I can to get done more quickly.

      2. @ White Cracker
        I’m going it alone for now, unless circumstances change before the time comes. And your garden list looks just like mine, the only thing I’m adding is garlic, beans, grapes, and strawberries. I love garlic and also have a sweet tooth. I don’t have a degree in agriculture but it’s nice to know my list is comparable to someone who does. The other thing I’m reaching for is a permaculture type garden. I plan to spend my time eating and as little time as possible working the land. “The one straw revolution”!

        I live in central Alabama so I also have a nice long growing season. If I do try to coordinate with the locals there are many to trade with. Locally there are several family farms and one small cattle rancher. If they aren’t picked off as easy targets early on I’ll trade with them whenever possible and when it’s safe to do so. It’ll be at least a few months if not a year before I even think of leaving the safety of my hidden and isolated shell.

        I have a theory that when TSHTF radio stations will stop playing music and all of them that still operate will be playing emergency broadcasts and news reports. I think it “might” be safe to go back out again when the stations start playing music again, if ever.

  5. Here is the unthinkable in today’s mine set. For long term survival people will have to resurrect the concept of master and his slaves. The master did the planning for the future and the slaves (servants) did the labor. The biggest question of operation is “how well did the master treat the slaves for their survival and well being”.

    As harsh as it is humanity survived by slavery for thousands of years. As harsh as it sounds in a long term collapse slavery will return as well as prostitution for survival. No one likes the thought of slavery but some organization is necessary to avoid human extinction.

    1. I believe it started with the Emergency War Powers Act of 1941, although certain things were put in place before that (1933). And yes, every POTUS since Ford, (except maybe Reagan) added to it in various ways. We are currently living under that Act, as it was never repealed.

  6. I do not have several mules, I do not know how to make shoes or glasses, I do not have an everlasting seed bank for all the veggies, I do not have a smelter or forge, ….. so I am prepared with stuff for a few years and can extend that a few more until things wear out.

    A few could survive in the pre-historic way, in a cave until they freeze, get sick, etc. Would you try to have kids in this type of world?

    I think I know my limitations.

  7. Wow, you’re good at this stuff Ken.

    Just this morning when spending a few minutes in the fading Garden I was contemplating what it would be like to suddenly be pushed back to the 1800 lifestyle. Which is basically what you’re saying here I believe; and yes I’m back to that word, “lifestyle”. Being prepared is great and a must do, as is being a survivalist until everything, as you said, “runs out”. I believe there is a difference.

    I feel that those that take the “lifestyle” attitude rather than the preparing/survival mindset are going to be in a much better position to handle the “401” AND “501”phase than 99% of the rest. Yes, I agree than one must “make it” to 401, and there will be some that do, even more that don’t survive 101, 201, 301. I wonder a lot which side of the coin I would be on.

    To be honest, and I usually am, I don’t believe anyone that declares that being in a Survival Group or Tribe is the solution to the upcoming problems. I have worked with several people trying to organize this sort of Tribal attitude, it’s always been “well what are you going to do for me?” response, most just want to be an ongoing “leach” on someone else as they are now.

    Like Lone Ranger, I have gotten more and more to the loaner side of this preparing stuff. I just have a hard time believing that a man in a group would not cut my throat in order to feed his family one more day or week when supplies run out, or this year’s crops fail. People are vicious animals; one had best remember that when being one of 20 or 30 in a “group” and you’re the only one left with supplies. Choose your group very VERY wisely.

    As you said Ken, “Many preppers may be fooling themselves….. “ in fact we all may be fooling ourselves into the fantasy that those 20 cans of beans and 5 rolls of TP will make it through the next Hurricane. BUT!!! At least we all are trying to do something that may increase the chances of living out our lives as best as we can, good times or bad.

    Additionally I happen to enjoy the “lifestyle”, there is nothing finer than to fix a dinner with everything one has grown in one’s own Garden or harvested themselves through your own hard work. Nor is there a better feeling to just enjoy life knowing that when winter comes you’ll be good to go regardless of what the world tosses at ya.


    1. Interesting thoughts NRP….

      Each one should have a realistic understanding of what one can do for oneself and/or household/family…

      While understanding some may prefer self-sufficiency and that may be best for that person, With that I think there are those who currently do have perhaps a few beneficial connections, while not a formal tribe or group, which may certainly benefit one another in various scenarios, and like often said here- it may not be a TEOTWAWKI event, but some of the other possible scenarios/situations we often discuss here…

      Though human behavior in stressful situations can be unpredictable…

      I suppose each person who is living the lifestyle or prepping in some fashion needs to evaluate that risk…

      We have a few connections that are golden…
      We already barter and help each other…

      Peace and Blessings~

    2. Reading all these brings the Donner family to mind.
      they started out being human and when food ran out they became

  8. People today do not understand that all machines, tools, household items, etc were developed by building on an idea eons ago and over centuries, these items were improved slowly, one step at a time.

    No one said “I am going to build a watch” when none existed before in a more primitive state. The knowledge we lack today is the step from mud to concrete or iron ore to stainless steel. To state it depressingly plain – most people do not even know how to cook anymore. Writing is next for the chopping block. We have already become the Eloi.

    1. @homebody
      You’re right about us becoming the Eloi. I also can see how easy it would be to become the Morlocks.

  9. Odd that the “local” subject comes up, driving back home after work, about a mile to turning on my road and home; I watched a person plowing under a twice bailed clover field, doing it with two horse team. The field was probably a 10 acre rectangle. The second day same field, I watched it again. Each day the farmer plowed (guessing) two to three hundred yards long by about thirty yards wide. Seemed to me this person seemed way ahead of the pack.

    I suppose part of 201 and beyond is observing and absorbing your local environment; in this case farms (food), the local loggers (heat); where the free range poultry is (egg selling); remote ponds and other stuff. If it comes to that point I might be able to make contact for trade or work/help.

    1. That “work/help” might include harrowing, rock picking, seeding, cutting with scythe, raking, stacking, storing, feeding livestock – all just for that one crop in that one 10 acre field. That is why many neighbors would get together at harvest time to get the job done. They not always like one another or trusted each other but the work made cooperation necessary.

      1. I recall my father telling me about life on my great-grandfathers’ farm, with some old photos, of harvesting corn by hand picking and hand cutting the stalks. Wheat was harvested by a crew of people using scythes and tying it up in shocks to pile on the horse drawn wagons. Hard work. Three generations worked on the farm to plant and harvest. I worked on the farm I grew up next to, more like helped, never was paid and didn’t expect to be; we hunted, trapped and fished the property in return.

    2. @Grey, That’s exactly my general point. Thanks for making it a bit more clear. Knowing what’s local in regards to potential mutual benefit.

      Some are presuming that I am referring to or recommending ‘groups’. That’s not necessarily the case… Group is the wrong word here… Trading products or services with someone during the long-term aftermath does not mean that they’re somehow in your ‘group’. Knowing ahead of time about your locality and those who may have mutually beneficial assets (skills, services, products, farms, etc.,) will likely be a good thing (for those who make it that long). Very few can survive on their own, long after the original food storage is gone…

  10. My grandparents lived in a rural area not far from the Ohio River when they were a young married couple. They lived there during The Depression and it was there were they had their 2 children.

    Everyone in that rural community had a garden and most had chickens. There were milk cows owned by about half of the families nearby. Some of the families were related. My grandmother’s parents owned the only local general store nearby which also housed the post office. (Her father — my great grandfather — was the Postmaster.) That store was the community center for gossip, gatherings, consumerism, and probably a great deal more.

    I have my great grandfather’s store’s ledger book with all of the store business recorded in it. Some people traded for items they could not grow (salt, sugar, cloth, coffee). The ledger book would carry-forward any dollar amounts owed to the store and when the customers had items to trade, such as eggs or a crop harvest, the ledger book would show a paid-up/credit at that time. This was how the majority of small rural towns ran their businesses a century ago.

    Fast forward about 15 years after The Depression hit and my grandparents moved closer to a small city so that they could both work without the commuting (he was a nightwatchman at a large alloy factory and she was a teacher). They still had the ‘country lifestyle’ — they had a large garden, raised chickens, had bees, raised a few feeder pigs, and kept a milk cow. They put-up quite a bit of food during that time — mind you, they had small children and both worked full time, too!!

    But in that location, being nearer to the small city, and with The Depression still going, the neighbors did not do for themselves as those in the more rural areas. The neighbors did without, they ‘borrowed’, they mooched. Few of them traded but some did help with the hog butchering in Winter. My grandparents were good Christians and hard workers. They gave foods to neighbors but did not receive goods in return. They never spoke of these things to me but my mother told me they were clearly taken advantage of. Seems to me that what happened to them has a few lessons.

  11. I used to think like some others here, that I could go it alone. I can hunt, grow crops, fix just about anything and am well trained in personal defense. I’m pretty much a jack of all trades.

    But then I realized what would I do if I was invaded by a superior force? What would I do if I had appendicitis and needed surgery. What would I do if I broke a leg and couldn’t get around to take care of things myself. What if I needed a dentist for a bad tooth. NO ONE can go it alone forever and it is for these reasons I chose to link up with a couple doctors, a dentist, farmer and rancher, some ex military and LEO’s. We all have specialties the other doesn’t and as a group we have a MUCH better chance of survival long term than anyone going it alone.

    True, larger groups can create friction but that is why you should get your group together when times are good. It will give you a chance to weed out the slackers and get someone who is a better fit for the group. Now is the time to get together with those you can work with. If you wait until after a collapse and then try to get a group together you may end up with those who will cause more harm to the group as they may have other motives for joining.

  12. Prior to WW 2 my grandfather worked some bottom land into productive fields using a team of mules. He and his family raised chickens. 5-6 families that also farmed formed an Agricultural Cooperative. 4 generations later, that small ag coop became a corporation with millions in assets, capital and equipment.

    Now they have diversified into wineries, crush and process facilities for grapes into wine, tasting rooms a farmers market and (sadly) residential real estate. Some would say it has grown too big.(I am one of them.)

    I have left the farm and now have a city job in the medical field. For times that you all describe (Survival 401) I would go back to what I was doing prior to my steady job and trade goods and services on a contract basis. My Grandfather traded produce with local cattle ranchers for beef. As a child and young adult, I helped on round ups/branding and vaccination parties and separation of cows from calves for market sales and livestock auctions. In exchange, I was granted hunting rights. Hunting wild creatures led to my contract work in suburban pest control around fields and gardens of homes of the “fabulously well-to-do”. My city job back then was to drive ambulance.

    I do not foresee a future of returning to the 1800’s especially in terms of the knowledge we now have to use alternative fuels, harnessing of solar energy and medical practices.(Sterile technique in medicine and surgery was not a widespread practice until after the Civil War in 1860’s America.) I see tractors being run on fuels made from biodiesel, Barns with solar panels on the roofs, Increasing use of windmills to: pump water and generate electricity. These changes are already taking place today.

    I will try to adapt and overcome adversity as one of our posters always states. I may be asking questions about raising livestock from Shepherdess in the future, I intend to enjoy life like NRP. and I continue to try to work off my spare tire from my waistline like Bill Jenkin’s Horse. Lastly, I never forget my Grandfather who stepped off the boat in the early 1900’s not speaking the language and not having a pot to piss in. He did alright.

    1. @Cali; Not trying to discount your thoughts but to add my thoughts alongside them.

      BUT, bio-diesel requires power to produce, chemicals to separate out the unwanted parts from the oil being used, tanks, pumps, and I believe Methanol to mix the chemicals in before mixing with the oil base that you are making the bio-diesel from. Not impossible to do, but will take considerable fore-thought to lay in multiple years worth of supplies & safety equipment to accomplish this feat.

      Add to that the land needed to grow an “oil-seed” crop, harvest, crush, and reduce to Oil. A plus to an oil-seed crop like canola is that it produces a byproduct (cake) that is hi protein that can be used for animal feed. I am with you on the solar panels on the barns, but windmills for power generation of just about anything other than a small battery bank is something beyond most folks’ capacity and I believe are prone to bearing damage & high maintenance, not being extremely reliable.

      Large windmills are expensive propositions and require technical routine maintenance to stay online & generating. Windmills as water pumps have been in use, it seems like, forever and is still a good way to transport water as long as you have an elevated storage system or elevated land to put a storage tank on so that you will have gravity feed pressure to wherever you need it.

      The reason I write this is we have just made an offer on property, and all these thoughts have been going thru my mind for years now waiting to get our new place. All of these things would make me or you a target in the earlier 101, 201, 301, unless having a good security program in place. JMHO Still trying to figure a way to make it work! Loclyokel

  13. I have enough stores that if my supply IS depleted by use and not stolen??
    Then we have bigger problems than this discussion here addresses.
    Simply, it means….We’re done.
    Negative outlook today?? No, just thinking ahead.

    1. And I don’t need to tell you–regardless how much yard you have, regardless how much farm you have, you are one and those neighbors you rely on for protection are gonna TAKE what you grew in a New York minute; even if a few care–they will be outnumbered by the takers.

    2. This is why I work on growing renewable assets. If someone takes my food, the seeds for next spring are already in the ground. If they cut down my trees for firewood, I have spares ready to go in the ground in the spring. They can’t take my will to survive, and I’ll outlive the takers.

      1. @Lauren, You are right. Renewables are more important than having a years supply of stored food. In the long term, food producing shrubs, trees and bushes come back year after year. The more that is planted, the better, even if they are in public forests, along hedge rows, and more secret places no one tends to look. I have found some good hiding places to extend my garden in the forest.

        1. Absolutely correct. Find out which fruit-producing trees, bushes, etc, will grow in your area and start planting them. Each year that you wait is another year that you put off…

          This Spring I planted a few apple trees. A few more years and they should produce. I’m fortunate to have lots of natural raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries around here too, along with other various ‘wild’ apple trees that are already producing.

        2. I started a guerrilla food forest in a park close to here last spring. We’ll see what it looks like next spring. One of the grape vines is already up and happy. I spread seeds for lettuce, planted garlic and beans near each of the grapevines. Someone had already planted two peach trees. Next spring I’ll do more. It was entertaining at the time, sneaking around in the dark with plant starts and seeds, but I think it will be necessary as well.

    3. That is what I was trying to convey in my post at 10:58. If the world has not stabilized in about 5 years, I feel we are all done. I will not eat dirt or become a slave to anyone.

  14. Specifically, I am thinking about teenagers.

    Having a family with teenagers is risky. They don’t know how to work. Look about you. Listen to parents complain about how they can’t get their teens to even take out the garbage. Will they really apply themselves when it is time to weed the garden or will their work be slow and inefficient. Try teaching how to use an axe to someone who just stands by with a total lack of enthusiasm.

    Attitude will be a huge problem. Not only does it mean less is accomplished, but it will will have an effect on the moral of the group. A sulking teenager is a curse, like a dark, dark cloud.

    The parents of are basically two types. One set will understand the dire situation and “kick butt”. The other will plead for more understanding and an easier workload.

    If the parents have specialty skills, it will make it extremely difficult to ask them to leave.

    Well, I did say specifically.

  15. I am planning on cleaning out about 6ooo volumes from my library. I sent 10k to the beach house years ago….but just do Not have room anymore for over 22k books in this house! Anyone wants some novels and how-to’s…..please send Ken a message with your email so we can talk in private! Sorry Ken if this aggravates you, but please help. I am taking them to local library Oct 10th if I don’t have any other takers!

    Goods and services will be the ticket! Educate yourselves on as many skills as possible. Those will be more valuable than any actual commodity!!!!

    That being said, a GOOD alternative currency is loaded lead. Another is alcohol. Strange as that sounds. The last best alternative currency is knowledge! Hang in there folks, we are in for a bumpy ride. Tomorrow will be a BIG TELL.

    1. Wow Pioneer Woman! Farm with agriculture and livestock AND a beach house?! Several thousand books for your libraries! Congratulations and keep up the hard work. Beach’n

  16. My thoughts: If a person is imagining a return to any kind of agrarian lifestyle, you have to remember that soil and climate are of primary importance. Sadly, the best farmland in America today is under housing developments near major cities. Adequate and dependable rainfall generally means east of about Iowa.

    Historically New Jersey was an agricultural powerhouse, think the Garden State. I visited it once with good reason, doubt if I’d go back. Our pioneer forefathers settled the best land for their lifestyle first.

    1. Lake Oz….

      Farmland is where you make it! We have water….fair soil, good with amendments. Sadly only 5 months of growing season, but with the greenhouse, we make it a 9 month thing.

      Agrarian lifestyle is coming at you whether you are ready or not. Sorry!

        1. Absolutely no offense taken. I’m just looking to history for clues. But many things have changed in the last 50 or 150 years. I remember my uncle telling me about when soy beans first came to my area. Biochar may be revolutionary or a total crock. We’ll see…

      1. Long term storage capability takes a little pressure off the fluctuations in agricultural production – that early frost or drought year may be a setback but the freeze dried pantry carries you over. A good supply of covered hay and certain grains can carry over the season for the animals.

  17. @Lake Oz,

    I agree with your point about farmland being bulldozed for housing developments. I grew up in “the country”. It’s now mostly all housing developments.

    My childhood was filled with farmers. Those farmer’s children sold out to developers. Now we’re surrounded with housing developments. Look at North Carolina. Our state used to be filled with “agrarian” lifestyles. Now we’re suburbia.

    Greed and population will eventually take over all farmland.

  18. Folks:

    As a regular reader of this Blog, I know that you are all good, well meaning people that contribute and share good information. And I commend Ken for running an excellent, positive, informative Blog.

    But, while saying that, I feel that I would be remiss if I did not add what’s uppermost in my mind, and of course due to my background, it’s: SECURITY.

    When things really start to go downhill in this country, the very first threat that you will have to contend with(And I know that this is not a comfortable thought to deal with.) will be the people in your own neighborhood looking to do ‘no good’. Always was, and always will be. It’s necessary to have the correct mindset to be ready to deal with this.

    To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
    Best of luck to all!

    1. ChiefPontiac

      You are absolutely correct but with good luck and timing, there is an ally that could make defense much easier – winter. Instead of a sustained attack by more and more people, a few weeks of minus temperatures will weed out and eventually stop most movement, particularly from the cities.

    2. Not necessary on the Clinton vote. Prayer can change things—or the ONE we
      pray to can!!!!!

  19. A small garden for me would probably be an opsec liability in SHTF time- easy to see over the walls in my neighborhood. I have tools & seeds on standby, but honestly I only got about a case of food yearly from my backyard garden anyway, so I’ve just stored cans etc.

    I have much admiration for the people here that are up to level 301/401 prep status, something that’s hard to realistically do in the suburbs. Myself, I’m probably looking more at a Random Factor scenario to get past the attrition phase of SHTF, like surviving by hiding out from the world and outlasting a plague…

  20. If memory serves, the old ice houses were insulated with wood chips and sawdust. There’s your aspen sawdust use ?

  21. Fact is, if things really fall apart, and civilization basically vanishes into mobs and tribes, we are all simply not going to make it. No matter how much you have prepared. If the power goes, and the civil society disappears, we all have less than a year to live. Most will have less than a month.

    This is why I do not worry about long term there is no such thing, once the lights go out..everywhere. I prep for issues lasting a few months at most. Anything much longer and I wouldn’t need any more preps. Neither would anyone else.

    Just can’t get around the pesky radiation issue.

  22. On my days off, I am prepping this year’s garden for next season. We WILL need it, regardless of which political pimp wins in November.

    We use heirloom seeds from our own storage, thanks to my wife’s OCD about gardening! I loathe gardening, but eating from your own production IS just plain delicious.

    We’re going to planter boxes for higher sustained yields on what we can grow in our region’s short growing season. Looking at going halvesies with best friend on a couple of steers for next season’s protein-on-the-hoof insurance as well. Looks like we have it worked out so that they are pastured close enough we can keep eyes on them, and they will be grass fed, delicious as well.

    Reloading for firearms on hand, reloading like crazy to build up more than a year’s supply of the common calibers we have. Have plenty of components already on hand, so when our rights are further “eroded” by either the Czarina, or the Egotist, we can make sure we don’t have to wind up on the Progressive Slave Plantation of EBT card holders.

  23. Our technology has advanced so fast that they say a Good EMP or CME would put us back to the early 1900’s. I disagree. I think it would take the vast majority back even further. Consider that technological advances are built using the previous advances. So the technology of 1860’s was the technology that built the new technologies of 1890’s. Here we are in 2016, if we loose electric we go back to pre-electric life, agree. But since we have lost the technological know how of the late the 1880’s and 1890’s we have to keep going back. So at what point in history can society drop back and function at? I believe it will be late 1700’s to very early 1800’s. But I question even that since even without the technology do we have the basic skills such as farming, animal husbandry and even cooking/baking to survive at the 401 level? Can you make black powered? Can you make a forge, deliver a calf or even a baby? We have become so specialized and dependent upon a logistics super highway we have actually become dumber than our forefathers who were jacks of all trades.

    My assumptions have been to survive an EMP or massive CME that smaller solar items that can be placed in faraday cages are needed. Power needs need to be very minimal and have to be a force multiplier and not something that is just “nice” or makes daily life easier. So solar to re-charge AA batteries for GMRS radios for security is a force multiplier whereas charging batteries for a lantern is just nice. The more you can live without the better you will be in the long run.

    1. 3ADscout,
      You bring up a valid point. Skills that most men possessed in the past are only known and used by the rare few now. Worse yet the tools needed are not available anymore. Sure,rudimentary hand tools are still around but the labor savers and food producing multipliers (of that time period) are not. We went from hand hoeing fields to using a plow pulled by an animal.Now people have a rototiller in their garage. When the Tiller is gone they may have a hoe but no plow or animal. A definite step backward.
      You need tools to make other tools plus the skill to go with it.
      Most people really have not thought it out how really bad it will be if hit by an EMP.Very little of their everyday life will be the same. Sad to say but most will not last long.
      No tools or skills to see them thru it…

      1. 3ADscout,
        I didn’t mean to leave women out of this equation. Most women today do not have the skills that were known and practiced back in the day.most have never sewn or even patched clothes. Throw out and get new. They don’t cook anymore. Just throw prepackaged food in the micro. Don’t know how to can food or store it. The list could go on.
        The general population make fun of the men and women who have these skills or are anxious to acquire them.(like folks on this site for example.)
        But who will they come to when the Shtf?

  24. 3AD Scout:

    Blackpowder?: 85% potassium Nitrate, 15% pure charcoal and 10% sulpher. mixed wet formed into slurry, let dry, break into small kernels. Grading is by kernel size. The mixing and wetting process is called “corning” the powder and it reduces the danger of static electricity from your powder mill from going BOOM. Separation of kernel size is done by screen.

    If it all came to an end, I might leave my job in Healthcare and work as a chemist. (or an alchemist) Much of this knowledge can be found in history books.

    1. CaliRefugee ,
      I have played around with black powder… alot. Looks like you have too.
      As 3ADscout astutely pointed out men used to have these skills. They can be relearn ed with a little effort and some common sense. Making black powder can have its challenges. Success is in the quality of the charcoal. The purist want to use Willow orAlder..Maybe Florida Dogwood.
      I suspect you and I are not talking about shooting black powder rifles. More like creating Force Multipliers and defenses for the homefront. As willow and Alder may not be growing in our area other trees and such need to be considered for charcoal. I have used balsa and bamboo.among other woods. Some are more suitable than others.You laid out the basis for BP fir 3ADscout. He will need to do some research and experimentation if he is serious about acquiring this particular skill.
      It’s not just the “mixing” of the three components as much as getting the cells of the charcoal impregnated with the other two components. I found that to be the key to quality basic BP. Then you can move up to adding other “stuff” that can make things really interesting. ..
      You are right though. You better play by the “rules” or you will lose some fingers or be red paint on the wall.
      Making BP is not for the arrogant or careless to undertake. It’s a pass/fail type of skill….

  25. To: Bill Jenkin’s Horse:

    Black powder is dangerous enough that i would probably move on to gun cotton (notrocellulose) or nitroglycerine. Compared to black powder, both are considered safer to work with and less sensitive to heat, shock and sparks. Several members of the Dupont Family have been killed in the family run powder mills back in the day when Dupont was still a family run business. Even the inventor of Pyrodex was killed in an explosion within the manufacturing facility during development.

    The chemistry is relatively simple and can be done by students in Organic Chemistry class. Making primers would be much more tricky. ( true explosives that are both shock and heat sensitive when dry )

    1. CaliRefugee, I agree on gun cotton.Nitro? Hands not as steady as they used to be.
      I believe the point we were both making is that we won’t lose that type of technology or skills even if the lights go out.
      It usually comes down to available materials to manufacture said items. That’s why I mentioned the difference in charcoals. The same with gun cotton. You need a supply of fresh water for the manufacturing of it. So it will come down to what’s available in your area. What is available if you don’t have cotton?
      Have to know what will and will not work.
      That’s why I study and experiment. I figure it’s the same for you.
      If the Shtf we may have to get a cool wizard’s hat to wear.Cuz to alot of people we will be making magic..

      1. Making nitro-anything pretty much requires nitric acid. Obviously, there is a way to make it, but it’s not simple — and requires a catalyst to get a decent yield. Getting nitrogen to bond with anything except another nitrogen is tricky. I have my eyes out for circa WW1 chemistry books. Most people don’t know how much of the global energy budget goes into not-obvious-to-most processes such as: making concrete and fixing nitrogen (for fertilizer, mostly.)

        But if SHTF hard enough that the road/rail/ports transportation system and/or the Markets (as in real commodities, like wheat, corn, gasoline) go tits up, then I fear we will fall far and fast. Meanwhile, prep on, as best one can.

  26. To 3AD scout:

    The possible future you are describing would mean a world of higher infant mortality, higher rates of death of the mother during child delivery, A world before opiate based pain relievers, lack of knowledge of sterile procedures. I doubt we are headed ALL the way back there because the knowledge is already out there. (my point about manufacturing black powder.)

    There is one strong possibility on the horizon right now: Antibiotic Microorganisms. They will and are affecting our lives and the lives of our loved ones right now as we go into another cold and flu season.

    I like to live the relatively simple life. Most of us that blog here do. I hope we do not regress 200 years of progress and knowledge base. Life was nasty brutish and short back then.

    1. Calirefugee,

      We are the exception, not the rule. Something else to consider is being able to find raw chemicals, etc. in the post EMP/CME world. in the EMP/CME scenario there will be many other “disasters” that ocur such as reactor melt downs, chemical plant explosions, fires, looting, etc. sure you could collect bat poop in caves like days of ol’ but I done have any caves near by and much of the local bat population has died off from disease. I also point out that without the technology most of our labor will be spent just trying to grow/gather/find food in a society that doesn’t know pork is from pigs. Or that hamburger comes from cows not McDonalds. My point is the more skills you have to do things like they before the industrial revolution the better. To make life even easier, hit the antique shops and auctions to pick up your post-TEOTWAWKI technology.

      He is a tip- this will sound funny but pick up a copy of an old Sears & Roebuck catalog. They made reprints of these. Look through the old tools and kitchen gadgets, etc. that way when you see something at an auction, antique shop etc you know what it is. Knowing is half the battle.

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