New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Have a Safe and Happy New Year (with a little history)

Did you know that New Year's is about the oldest celebration worldwide?

Did you know it was originally celebrated in March?

How New Year is said around the world

Arabic: Kul 'aam u antum salimoun
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo means "Good Parties and Happy New Year"
Chinese: Chu Shen Tan
Czechoslavakia: Scastny Novy Rok
Dutch: Gullukkig Niuw Jaar
Finnish: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta
French: Bonne Annee
German: Prosit Neujahr
Greek: Eftecheezmaenos o Kaenooryos hronos
Hebrew: L'Shannah Tovah Tikatevu
Hindi: Niya Saa Moobaarak
Irish (Gaelic): Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit
Italian: Buon Capodanno
Khmer: Sua Sdei tfnam tmei
Laotian: Sabai dee pee mai
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
Portuguese: Feliz Ano Novo
Russian: S Novim Godom
Serbo-Croatian: Scecna nova godina
Spanish: Feliz Ano Neuvo
Prospero Ano Nuevo
Turkish: Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Vietnamese: Cung-Chuc Tan-Xuan

Learn more

No matter how you celebrate the New Year may it be a safe and joyful one for you and yours ;-}

Loving God, thank you for the gift of life in this new year.
Bless and keep me, my loved ones and special friends that we may continue to grow
in body, mind, and spirit, this New Year and always.

Let us know peace.
For as long as the moon shall rise,
For as long as the rivers shall flow,
For as long as the sun will shine,
For as long as the grass shall grow,
Let us know peace.

Creator of all things, God of love,
You have brought us safely to a new year.
Thank you for the many blessings of this past year.
Your bounty and love know no bounds.
Keep us all strong in faith and love of You, that we may be open to the unknown gifts of wisdom from You.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Intro - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

“Anyone who is naive enough to think that bad things cannot happen here or to them, not only has their head in the sand; their butts are sticking up in the air waiting to be run over by a freight train”

My Grandmother

(It sounds really cool in Italian)

One of the hardest things to do in order to become prepared is to actually create and write down a formal preparedness plan that works for you. It takes time, money, effort and thought; which is way too inconvenient for most of us today. Yet it is the one thing that will boost your survivability quotient (your odds of surviving any crisis) and do so with the least amount of trials and tribulations.

We all know it takes precise planning to move to another location or move say a data center. A good 80% of the work involved is the planning – before the move. Preparedness planning is no different.

“Preparedness is not just about stockpiling, it's about having an actual plan.” Dr. Michael J. Ryan,
Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) global alert and response team

Through trial, error and personal experience over the years, I have developed a way to do this that appears to be working quite well for people of all walks of life and various levels of preparedness. This method is “needs” based rather than “crisis” based and will ultimately end up being in outline format.

It is also geared to take control of all those hits (big and small) to your survivability quotient that are within our realm of control. The end result is that this method minimizes many of the hits we take that are not in our realm of control; while at the same time reduces the chances of forgetting something.

Outline format also lends itself to re-arranging priorities; should one say move to Florida where you now need to consider hurricanes and floods or moving away from L.A. and its earthquakes. It is far more adaptable to these priority shifts without rewriting the entire plan.

As a side note: When I moved out of an area that allows me to remove an item from my Crisis I created an “Aside” section to my plan and put that particular crisis in that section. That way if I ever move back into or travel such an area again, I am all set.

So over the next few weeks I will attempt to walk you through each step to formulating your plan.

Sunday we will cover the Prerequisites

Pep On ;-}


Next Prerequisites - How to Make a Preparedness Plan that Works & Not Go Broke

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Celebrations, Christmas Traditions and Prayer

Winter Celebrations

Throughout history humans have created rituals to emphasize important transitional times in our lives. We mark and record these transitions on a regular basis based on the skies above our heads, to our own human designed calendars and create traditions. There is one common theme to our rituals, festivals and holy days throughout the ages, especially during winter – to be humble as we remind ourselves that humans are but a very miniscule part of the universe around us. Read on ...

Christmas Traditions and Prayer

Work of Christmas Begins

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins.

-- Howard Thurman, adapted

Christ’s Mass - Christmas - Christ’s Birth - The word 'Christmas' comes from Cristes maesse, an English phrase that means Mass of Christ. The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years.

What are the beginnings of: The Christmas Star, Christmas Trees, Yule log, Christmas Ornaments & Lights, Tinsel, Candy Canes, Christmas Stockings, Christingle, Mistletoe, holly and ivy, Father Christmas and more then read on ...

“Thank you Creator for all the opportunities you have provided me with this year.
I ask only for patience, tolerance and understanding toward all that you have created and the wisdom to grow and live with it in harmony and peace.”


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week 24 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 24

Grocery Store

  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil


Use the remaining monies from the money jar to acquire any items you determined you are lacking from your review last week.

To Do

  • Become “go-bagers”. Take your go-bag with you everywhere. Ladies, put your purse in this bag. Men, this can also be your brief case. Kids this can also be your book bag. Many of today’s backpacks are made to also hold your laptop. Keep a copy of your emergency contact numbers in each go-bag: individual, home and vehicle (RV, boat, plane).
  • Keep your pets in mind for water, food and first aid storage. (Remember for dogs and cats a diet of dry food will require more water)
  • Continue to hold regular practice drills
  • Rotate food, water and medical stores
  • Learn new skills and practice the ones you have previously learned
  • Continue to record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder and update any emergency data as it changes.
  • Check out the links found on these sites & for detailed information, specific checklists, historical and wilderness skills, links to other informative sites and the like.
  • Repeat the procurement schedule as need to acquire all your preparedness needs. Food storage items will especially need to be repeated to accumulate your desired food stores. This will give you approximately 6 days worth of food and water for one person and pet.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Security is mostly superstition.” Helen Keller

At the end of 24 weeks your Documentation Book should be complete. You should have established a plan and have accumulated enough of the basic goods for one person, plus food and water for one person in, one household, for a minimum of 6 days.

Now just repeat until you have acquired all that you feel you need for the timeframe you feel you need it for.

Note: If you do not need the Infant/Toddler; Pet; Earthquake stuff – use those monies to collect the items you feel you need more of than this accumulates.

"When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live."
Samuel Johnson

What you should end up with for one person per household (for apx 6 days):

Qty Item
1 “Heatalter” fireplace grate (puts more fireplace heat into the house instead of up the flume) If needed
1 “I” brackets to secure furniture to walls, If earthquake zone
1 “Mess Kit” (pan, plate, bowl, cup)
1 3 Ring Binder
2 Aluminum foil (heavy duty)
2 ammo handgun (box)
2 ammo rifle box
2 ammo shotgun (box)
1 Assorted reusable plastic containers (for food and freezer)
1 Assorted screws, nails, nuts and bolts (including wood screws)
1 axe-hatchet/hammer/crow bar tool (All purpose)
1 Backpack for go-bag
1 backpack, duffel bag or rolling luggage (household or vehicle go bag)
1 backpacker binoculars If being “mobile” plays a big role in your Crisis Plan
2 bags Heavy duty large garbage (pkg)
1 baked beans (with meat if possible) can
1 Batteries Extra (preferably rechargeable)
1 Beans 5 lb sack
1 Blankets and or sleeping bag for each household member
1 Bleach Plain liquid (gal)
1 Boy Scout Field Book (check out the used book stores for this) or if you are the expierenced outdoors type – SAS Survival Manual (just search the web to download for free a digital copy, then print it out)
1 Bungee cords (1 pkg)
1 Camping supplies fuel for stove & lantern
1 Camping supplies lanterns
1 Camping supplies stove
1 Camping supplies tents
2 Can Opener – Hand Operated
2 can opener Extra hand operated or GI
1 Cereal dry box
1 Cereal Instant oatmeal or cream of wheat pkg
1 Chapstick
1 child proof latches for cupboards and cabinets, If needed
1 Coffee Instant
1 Comando Saw
1 Compass
1 Condoms
1 container , Waterproof portable plastic with lid for use for important papers not accounted for in your Documentation Book/Binder
1 Cordage (rope) all purpose
1 Crackers Animal box
1 Crackers Graham box
1 Crescent wrench
1 Crowbar
1 Denture care items If needed
1 dish towels, cheap pkg
1 Disposable dust masks
1 Eating utensil kit (knife, spoon, fork)
2 fire extinguisher ABC (per retreat and vehicle, at least 2 per retreat/house)
1 fire extinguisher Extra ABC for each floor and or room of your home, including garage
1 First Aid: “butterfly” bandages, various sizes pkg
1 First Aid: activated charcoal
1 First Aid: Adhesive bandages, assorted sizes
1 First Aid: Anti-diarrhea medicine (Lomodium)
1 First Aid: Antiseptic
1 First Aid: Aspirin and or acetaminophen, ibruprophen, naproxum sodium
1 First Aid: Bee Sting/Insect Bite Kit
1 First Aid: Compresses pkg
1 First Aid: Dental Kit (includes antibiotic treatment, pain gel and temporary filling/caps)
1 First Aid: Disposable hand wipes
1 First Aid: elastic ace bandages
1 First Aid: Eye wash and patch kit
1 First Aid: eyeglasses, Extra If needed
1 First Aid: gauze or bandages roll
1 First Aid: Ipecac syrup
1 First Aid: Latex gloves
1 First Aid: Liquid hand soap and or waterless anti bacterial wash
1 ech First Aid: OTC medications – adult and child (Benadryl, Sudafed, Pepto Bismal, Cola and or Ginger syrup)
1 First Aid: Rubbing alcohol
1 First Aid: Scissors
1 First Aid: Sewing Kit
1 First Aid: Snake Bite Kit
1 First Aid: Splint
1 First Aid: Splint sticks for fingers and toes
1 First Aid: Suture kit
1 First Aid: tape
1 First Aid: Thermometer (Get one of those “strips” instead of a glass/mercury filled type or battery operated digital type)
1 First Aid: Tweezers
1 First Aid: Vitamins and or herbal supplements/remadies
1 Fishing hooks pkg
1 Fishing line pkg
1 fishing rod collapsible, Optional
2 Flashlights with batteries
1 Food for special diets, if needed
5 Fruit can
1 Fuel Extra for camp stoves, heaters, grills, lanterns, etc each
2 Fun Stuff: Travel board games, playing cards, harmonica, activity books, pleasure books, etc.
1 Gloves Fireplace
1 Gloves Heavy work
1 Hammer
2 Hearing aid batteries, if needed (pkg)
1 Infant Items (if needed): Extra plastic bottles, diapers, baby food or formula – Think ahead if you are going to be potty training and or your infant will be weaning to toddler food - do not purchase for more than two weeks worth of these items - weeks
3 Juice lg can
1 ech kitchen tools Hand powered hand grain grinder, hand mixer, etc.
1 Kleenex box
1 Ladder emergency escape for at least one window in each second+ story room
1 Lantern Battery powered camping or extra flashlights and batteries (preferably rechargeable)
2 Large plastic food bags (ZipLoc type)
5 Meat can
1 Medications: If Needed, extra RX or see your physician for a prescription to mark
1 Milk powdered box
1 Milk unsweetened evaporated or condensed can
1 Miracle shammie to use as towel pkg
3 MRE’s pkgs
1 Multi-Tool: Leatherman Tool and or Swiss Army Knife
1 Pasta pkg
1 Peanut Butter
1 Pencil, paper, sharpener
1 Permanent marking pen
2 Pet food for any pet (10lbs)
1 Pet: Carrier for your pet
1 Pet: Leash for your pet
2 Plastic wrap
1 Pliers
1 Pocket sized first aid book/guide
1 Powdered flavored drink mix (Gatorade and the like) Instant
2 quick energy snack, protein or food bar (box)
1 radio Portable AM/FM – preferably hand crank, solar or rechargeable battery operated
1 Reusable plastic containers
1 Safety goggles
1 safety pins various sizes pkg
1 Saline solution and contact lens case If needed
1 Sauce tomato can
1 Shovel Folding backpackers
1 signal mirror
1 Smoke detector with battery (rechargeable preferred)
3 soup, stew or the like ready to eat
1 Space Bags (for those blankets, pillows, sleeping bags)
1 Space blanket
1 Sunscreen
1 Super Glue
1 Tape Double sided heavy duty
2 Tape Duct
1 tape Masking roll
1 Tape Plumber’s (roll)
1 Tea Instant
1 Thermal underwear (top & bottom)
6 toilet paper (rolls)
2 Toothbrush
2 Toothpaste (can be travel size)
3 Towels paper roll
5 Vegetable can
2 Velcro (roll)
1 Video tape or digital camera memory stick/DVD
1 Vise grips
2 water barrels with wheels, towing handle and gravity spout - 2- 5 gallon or larger
6 Water (gal)
1 Water purification filter and or tablets
1 wheat (bulk) Un-ground, whole grain (2-5lbs)
1 Whistle emergency
1 Women’s Heigene- sanitary napkins/tampons
1 Wood (cord)

Prep On!


Friday, December 17, 2010

TNT’s List of Preparedness Checklists

I have accumulated a number of checklists over the years covering various preparedness type crises.

I recently organized them into a spreadsheet for some friends of mine.

This Excel Workbook has a tab for all the “crisis’s” and the link to the source, so you can download these yourself. I also included a summary of the various checklists for each source.

For some reason Scribd felt this was a copyright breach, even though nothing is listed as mine and the source link is there for the reader to go to and get or download all the detail.

Soo, if anyone wants a copy of this workbook please request one via a comment on this post @ and I will send to you.

This workbook contains Tabs (worksheets) for the following:

  • How to Use this Workbook
  • Preparedness General
  • After Crisis Checklist
  • Shelter In Place
  • Important Documents
  • Evacuation
  • Special Needs
  • Animals, Pets, Livestock
  • Go Bags, etc.
  • Car Kit
  • Home Hazards (Fire, Carbon Monoxide, etc.)
  • Boating
  • Lake, River, Stream Safety
  • Flood
  • Cold, Influenza, Pandemic
  • Crime Prevention & Safety
  • Dust Storm
  • Elevator
  • Airline Travel
  • Tornado
  • Windstorm Damage Mitigation
  • Landslide
  • Avalanche
  • Earthquake
  • Hurricane
  • Tsunami
  • Volcano
  • Explosion, Bldg Collapse, Debris
  • Riot-Public Disturbance
  • Public Health Disasters (Oil Spill, Chemical, Biological, Bombs, Radiation and Nuclear threats)
  • Terrorism
  • Economic Threats
  • JWR List of Lists
  • Recap of Resources and their links

Keep on Preppin ;-}


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 23 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 23

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Battery powered camping lantern with extra battery or extra flashlights and batteries (preferably rechargeable)
  • Space Bags (for those blankets, pillows, sleeping bags)

Grocery Store

  • Reusable plastic containers
  • Large plastic food bags (freezer)
  • 1 can meat
  • 1 can vegetables
  • 1 can fruit
  • 1 can juice
  • 1 can ready to eat soup, stew or the like
  • Pencil, paper, sharpener

To Do

  • Review your needs list to see what you are missing or need more of and designate remaining monies from the money jar for acquiring these.
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Perfect Freedom is reserved for the man who lives by his own work, and in that work does what he wants to do.” R. G. Collingwood


Monday, December 6, 2010

Castle Doctrine? Stand Your Ground? Duty to Retreat? I Like Make My Day!

Castle Doctrine? Stand Your Ground? Duty to Retreat? I Like Make My Day!

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe."
Luke 11:21

Find out all about this and a state by state listing @


Friday, December 3, 2010

Cheap & Cool Pantry Can Organizer

Well folks you can make one of these suckers yourself, I’ve done it a time or two and the instructions are all over the web - But if your time and cardboard is limited try

These handy devils are first in first out rotating storage containers for canned goods.

  • Cupboard Organizer 4 Pack $11.96
  • Shelf Organizer 4 Pack $13.96
  • Pantry Organizer Pack of 4 $15.96

Plus if you order 5 packs (any size so you can mix and match) you get a 10% discount! This saves quite a bit on shipping costs. So check them out and get a few for yourself and then as gifts to other Prepper friends.

Now if you are like me and have many other things to spend your greenbacks on, so the cheaper the better is the way to go. After all we frugal Preppers don’t care what is what as long as our food storage and pantry is organized! So there you have it, gives you the ability to organize your canned goods and give a great functional gift to a friend – all at a very cheap price!

Get the scoup @ &

Prep On ;-}


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Show Stoppers to Preparedness

I have been the self-reliant, independent Prepper type since the 70’s. For the last 10 years I have been helping friends and acquaintances get prepared and for the last year I have been helping strangers get prepared through my blog, documents and in public talks, etc. When I was recently asked “What are the top reasons why people fail to prepare or fail in succeeding to prepare?” I had to stop and think for a minute before I answered. This is what I came up with and although these are not ranked, they are the biggies in my book.

  • The “rose colored glasses” attitude: You know the “that will never happen here or to me, etc.” or “people are too inventive and ingenious to have or let that happen” type of people.
  • The “you’re just a doomsayer, no one can prepare for everything” mentality. Are the Boy Scouts doomsayers?
  • The “I just don’t have the time and or money to do this” attitude.
  • The “that is what such-n-such (S & R, the government, fire & rescue, law enforcement and the like) are for” attitude.
  • The “it’s just a gimmick by (corporate or individual) entities to rob us and make money” or “this is just the governments way of keeping us scared” mentality.

All of the above have a few things in common:

  • Lack of thought
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of formal planning
  • Fear of change and the unknown
  • A general lack of self and confidence

My mantra to fighting all of the above is “Don’t let the bastard win” and bastard can be anything or anyone.

  • An exercised brain (thought) collects knowledge.
  • Knowledge is gained through thought and research.
  • Planning is accomplished via thought, research and then written down for formalization and continuity.
  • Fear is conquered through knowledge and planning.
  • Change cannot be stopped, only altered and adjusted to and is an opportunity to learn something new.
  • The unknown is something to think and learn about so it becomes less threatening and often familiar or known.
  • Confidence comes from knowledge and skill, coupled with an “I can do” attitude.

For more detail and tips see Top Show Stoppers to Preparedness @

Keep on Preppin ;-}


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Senate Passes S 510 – overhaul of Food System!!!

“Control the oil and control nations … control the food and you control the people.”
Henry Kissinger

Senate Passes S 510 today - 56 Dems,15 GOP,2 Ind; 25 nays (GOP) See just who voted how @

For those of you that are not quite sure what this means to us ...

Represents landmark legislation that will significantly increase the federal government's power to regulate intrastate commerce while hurting this country's ability to produce safe food and to become self-sufficient in food production.

Will also drastically increase the FDA's power over food and make it very difficult to obtain natural, unprocessed foods of any kind.

It gives the FDA completely power to irradiate, fumigate, pasteurize or otherwise destroy every item you consume, from fruits and vegetables to dairy products. The FDA would then have the power to destroy all small, local farming, gardening or dairy operations in your home town, even if your state expressly defends your rights to engage in such activity.

S. 510 is the final version of H.R. 2749, which was passed last summer by the House of Representatives. (;;

"WHAT IT MEANS: When you buy your food through local farmer's markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) share programs, farm stands, or directly from a farm, you're avoiding opportunities for food contamination that come with mass-produced and processed food. Large food manufacturers receive ingredients from dozens of different farms, many of which are industrial operations that rely on the overuse of antibiotics to keep animals alive long enough to slaughter. Knowing your farmer, you can assess the cleanliness of the farm and workers, ask to see water-testing results to ensure harmful bacteria are absent in the irrigation systems, and hold them accountable quickly if there is something wrong with your food." (

Details of S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Passed Nov 30, 2010 @ 10:09 AM

Details of H.R. 759: FDA Globalization Act
Details of H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act
Details of H.R. 1332: Safe Food Enforcement, Assessment, Standards, and Targeting Act of 2009
Details of H.R. 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009
Food Bills Q&A with attorney Mark Mansour, partner, Bryan & Cave, Washington, D.C.

Today is the Tomorrow that we worried about Yesterday


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 22 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 22

Grocery Store

  • Extra hand operated or GI can opener
  • 3 rolls paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste

First Aid Supplies

  • Eye wash and patch kit
  • Splint sticks for fingers and toes

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Wood
  • Extra Fuel for camp stoves, heaters, grills, lanterns, etc.
  • If needed: “Heatalter” fireplace grate (puts more fireplace heat into the house instead of up the flume)

To Do

  • Household practice drill
  • Clean the chimney
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“If it is to be, it is up to me.” William H. Johnsen


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month (November 2010)

REMINDER..... ALL cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222

It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

31 days After registering call the number above to lodge a complaint or go to

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds.

For more detail see:


Thanksgiving a Day of Abundance

As we get ready to stuff our bird and get all the side dishes and treats ready for our big feast, it pays to look back to that “first thanksgiving” and reflect on the past year. We may not think it at first glance that we have much to be thankful for, but we do!

Read a little history about this day and the Legend of the Five Kernels, take the trivia quiz and then be greatful for all we do have @

Thank you for all that grows,
Thank you for the sky's rainbows,
Thank you for the stars that shine,
Thank you for these friends of mine,
Thank you for the moon and sun,
Thank you God for all you've done!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 21 - Ready Set Go! 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 21

Grocery Store

  • Un-ground, whole grain wheat (bulk)
  • 1 can baked beans (with meat if possible)
  • 1 sack beans

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Heavy work gloves
  • Fireplace gloves
  • Disposable dust masks
  • Safety goggles
  • Thermal underwear
  • If being “mobile” plays a big role in your Crisis Plan: backpacker binoculars per go-bag

To Do

  • Plan a vacation for the household to a wilderness skill or colonial skills school/camp
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“… The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.” Harold Sherman


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are Preppers Doomsayers?

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

I don’t know about anyone else, however I AM NOT A DOOMSAYER.

Yes I am a Prepper. Yes I do believe that there are multitudes of “crisis’s”, “disasters”, “emergencies” or “catastrophes” that can and will occur to each and every one of us. And Yes, I do think some of these may actually be quite large in scope and long in duration. However I do not see this as depressing or hopeless. I figure all these various crisis’s are survivable if we are preparedin case they happen. You know, just like people in Florida are more or less always prepared for hurricanes and their storm surges or people in Kansas are prepared for tornadoes and people living in California are prepared for earthquakes or how football teams practice how to minimize the effects of a fumble or interception. This is not being stupid or crazy; this is being smart and prepared. This is being in control of oneself!

Besides our own government, Homeland Security, FEMA and the Red Cross are all telling us to be prepared to take care of ourselves in a major disaster for at least 3-5 days. So to me it is just plain simple common sense that says I should be prepared to take care of myself and not rely on anything or anyone else.

I know that most of what may occur is not controllable by me, so I take control of what I can – being prepared. This lets me enjoy life and the world around me. I am not huddled in a “shelter” waiting for the end; I am living life to the fullest. I am prepared to take whatever action needs to be done to see to it that I survive and do so with the least amount of trial and tribulation. I may be more prepared for the unexpected than most other people around me but I am not a frightened, whimpering person hiding out.

Yep, being a Prepper does not make me sad, depressed, nor does it give me a sense of hopelessness. Instead being a prepper gives me the confidence that I will survive just about anything except an extinction level event.

My advice to the doomsayers that see no hope and the “rose glass” people that see no threat at all, is to get real and accept that there are way too many things that can “attack” us, large and small and cause great pain and shock, so we are better off being like Boy Scouts, so we can be in control of our own success, survival and fate. It is just plain smart common sense - It pays to Be Prepared!

“I am prepared for the worst but hope for the best”
Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister & novelist 1804-1881)

Keep On Preppin’ ;-}


Are Preppers Doomsayers? @

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food Storage Mistakes – Yikes!

Over the years I have run across various food storage mistakes, many of which I myself made when first starting out. These mistakes are often costly, not only financially but life-wise too, like when on the trail or snowbound and you find a good chunk of the food is no good.

For me food storage includes water, OTC (over the counter) and prescription medications, vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, cleaning and hygiene items.

The best way to avoid these horrors is to plan in advance.

“Preparedness is not just about stockpiling, it's about having an actual plan.” Mike Ryan

Your food storage area needs to have:

  • Cool (45-70 degrees) area
  • Even temperature area. Temperatures should not change more than 10 degrees in a 28-30 hour timeframe.
  • Dry area, not even humid
  • Low to No light area
  • As insect and rodent free/proof as possible. This is on top of the container having this property too.
  • Be organized with everything within easy reach and easy to identify.
  • Some foods need to be refrigerated or at temperatures of refrigeration levels only. Some should not be that cold, like sweet potatoes. Check for food storage information on these specific foods. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things for details on specific items at

Individual Containers

  • Should be airtight and sealed tightly. This will keep out moisture as well as insects.
  • Dating: Write the date in permanent marker where it is easily seen. Discard or compost when unused past this date.
  • Many foods, herbs, spices and medications should be in containers of no, to low light transmission quality.
  • Some foods may need oxygen packets, others may need to be in glass jars with tightly sealed lids. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things for details on specific items at and the Resources tab for details.)

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnsen, Depression-era realist/impressionist painter

If your storage area meets all of the above requirements read on for the common food storage mistakes @

Top Mistakes

Failing to rotate and just stockpiling.

The excuse: “I always cook from scratch with fresh items”. My reply: What is stopping you from substituting 1 to 2 ingredients from your food stores when you make soups, stews, casseroles and goulashes?” I got “well others might not notice it but I will”. This person has a decision to make; they can either run the risk of going to their food stores in a time of need and find out that it is spoiled; makes them sick or worse tastes OK but has no nutritional value –OR- they can be smart and use their food stores for a few ingredients in soups, stews, casseroles and goulashes to facilitate rotation and use.

Storage/Rotation Tips:

  • Be sure to date all stored food. (Manufacturers tend to hide the date codes in small letters and in out of the way places on their products which can make finding the expiration date rather difficult.) Once you do find the expiration or best used by date, use a large permanent marker to put this date in plain sight on the package.
  • Create a simple rotation method. I use colored sticky dots with the date (month/year) on the dot and have two shelving units. Green is “use now” and Red is “use later”. Green and Red items are stored on their own shelving unit. Always put the newest item to the very back or bottom and the oldest to the very front or top.
  • Use a Lazy Susan on shelves that hold small items.
  • Use shallow organizer shelving in tall, deep shelves to add layers for stacking smaller or shorter items.
  • Wire or plastic baskets to hold odd shaped or bulky items.
  • Stackable bins
  • Place similar food items together to make it easier to remember where that type of food item is stored.
  • Keep like food items together will make them easier to find. This works great in the frig and freezer too.

“The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.” Harold Sherman

Purchasing a “Survival Food” kit

You know, those kinds that are good for X number of people for X number of months or years. There are two major drawbacks to these:

  • Meal in a Packet. Low variety of meals and are generally all of one type of food preservation method; freeze dried, dehydrated or canned. You are better off storing individual ingredients in various preservation methods and making your own meals.
  • These meals tend to have a higher quantity of alternate protein sources, of which many people are either allergic to or have a horrid dislike for that make them physically ill.

Purchasing large quantities of flour or rice

Flour has a very poor shelf life, no matter how you store it. This is because to process the grain to make flour you release the oil contained in the grain. This oil is what goes rancid and draws the insects and rodents.
  • You can get a little more shelf life for flour by vacuum sealing and then freezing, but not much more.
  • The un-processed, un-ground gain has a shelf life of 30+ years. You just need a gain mill, preferably hand operated.
  • If you purchase grain or rice in bulk, re-package it into smaller quantities. Use air tight containers and or vacuum seal it.

“God helps them that help themselves.” Proverbs

Lack of Variety

Only storing a few staples or too many “meal in a packet” foods is not enough to keep the average person psychologically well (a major ding to your survival ability quotient), on top of this it is NOT a nutritionally sufficient variety for a healthy body.

  • Purchase single ingredients in various preservation methods. For example potatoes (or just about any vegetable) can be freeze dried, dehydrated or canned; whole, French fried, steak fried, cubed, sliced, diced or riced (your own instant potatoes). Fruits can be canned, freeze dried or dehydrated; in jams, jellies and preserves.
  • Purchase more than one kind of grains, beans and lentils; nuts, vegetables, fruit and meat; in various preservation methods.
  • Don’t forget salt, pepper, spices, herbs and condiments.
  • Many items like: sour cream, butter, mayo, cream, milk, mustard, ketchup, peanut butter, chocolate, flavored drink mixes, Jell-O (try to find the unflavored and uncolored gelatin to make your own flavors (this can be used as a substitute for eggs in many recipes) and the like come in powdered form for long term storage.

Forgetting the staples to make sufficient meals

Things like: Cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs, herbs, spices and other condiments. Think of all the items that require refrigeration, are imported like cinnamon, or are too costly or time consuming to make yourself, like vinegar.

Forgetting Vitamins, Minerals, Food Supplements & other Medications

Vitamin C is especially important, children’s vitamins and items like calcium and Glucosamine and the like.

Many of us forget things like pain and fever relievers, swelling reducers, cold and flu treatments, laxatives, anti-diarrhea or fungus medications and the like. Never forget any prescription or hard to find medications either. Ask your pharmacist and physician for the optimum storage requirements and shelf life.

Discounting Water Needs

Way too many people in urban and suburban areas do not realize that if there is some kind of city wide power failure they will almost immediately lose water and natural gas, as well as phone (land line and often cellular) service to their home. If you have you own water well and it has an electric pump, you are SOL unless you have a backup power source or a manual pump too.

  • Water needs to be rotated too. So make sure you can maneuver your water containers. Look for ones that have wheels and or handles and come with gravity spigots.
  • Water is bulky and heavy to store, one gallon weights about 8 pounds.
  • Four items affect water needs: Age, weight, health and physical activity. (If dogs and cats are fed dry food, they will need more water than if fed wet pet food.)
  • The average human needs one quart of water for every 50 pounds of body weight. If you include hygiene needs, that is about 1 gallon of water per person per day.
  • Water has a tendency to absorb the flavor of the container it is store in, so it needs to be rotated just like the other food items in storage.
  • You can reduce water needs by stocking up on wet wipes, Clorox wipes and waterless anti-bacterial washing gel.

Forgetting “Comfort” or “Psychological” Foods

In order to avoid a solid whack to your survivability quotient we cannot forget things like Jell-O, pudding, cakes, brownies, cobblers, candies and of course chocolate. A few freeze dried, dehydrated, canned or MRE meals, for when you are just too tired psychologically or physically unable, will go a long way to keeping your survivability quotient high during tough times. Add a good assortment of flavored drink mixes too.

MRE’s are not recommended as the prime source of food for long term food storage as they are:

  • Are “Meals in a packet” thus lacking in variety
  • They are loaded with high calories of mostly synthetic origin. If people over eat these meals for an extended period, they tend to get either the “trots” or painfully constipated. Not to mention that they are wasting the calories by consuming more than the body needs or can utilize in one sitting.
  • They are “What You See Is What You Get”. With no rehydration, this means that the portion size is much smaller than we Americans are used to, both psychologically and physically. Our minds won’t grasp that we have eaten enough and neither will our stomachs.

Not Having a Purchasing Plan or “putting all your eggs in one basket”

It is not wise to go out and purchase say a 3 month supply of sugar, then the salt, then the wheat, etc. It is much wiser and cost efficient to purchase smaller quantities of various items during each purchasing trip. This not only facilitates rotating your food stores, it helps to insure variety.

“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” Buddha

Failure to Think Multi-Functional

I have run across way to many people that stock up on laundry soap, dish soap, body soap, toothpaste and a multitude of cleaning products. You can save money and storage space if you only stock up on basic essentials that allow you to make all of the other items yourself.

  • Baking Soda, Washing Soda, Borax, Olive Oil, Vinegar and some old time bar soaps (Fels Naphta, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, Zote, Lever 2000, Pure and Natural, Kirk's or Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap) will allow you to make just about everything listed and then some.
  • If you purchase food grade liner bags, either plastic or Mylar, you can turn a non-food grade plastic or metal trash can into a food storage can.
  • Place smaller quantities of food in food appropriate containers and then place them in another non-food grade container. As long as these outer containers are water and air tight you are OK.

There you have it, the most common mistakes people make in their long term food storage. Check out the links at the end of this “letter” for additional detail and some tips on keeping refrigerated and frozen foods tastier and healthier for longer periods of time.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Food Storage Shelf Life & Calculators

Just finished a rather tedious research task on Shelf Life for all kinds of things from foods, medications, paints, vitamins, air freshener, shampoo and much more.

Download the two Excel spreadsheet/workbooks at:

2 Food Storage Calculators
Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things

"When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live." Samuel Johnson


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 20 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 20

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Camping supplies (tents, stoves, fuel, lanterns)
  • Extra ABC: fire extinguisher for each floor and or room of your home, including garage
  • Hand powered kitchen tools: hand grain grinder, hand mixer, etc.
  • Fun Stuff: Travel board games, playing cards, harmonica, activity books, pleasure books, etc.
  • If needed: emergency escape ladder for at least one window in each second+ story bedroom
  • Miracle shammie (one per person to use as towels)

To Do

  • Learn how to make bread from scratch
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward.” Patricia Sampson


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Emergency Lighting and Heating

Great How-To's Links on Emergency Lighting and Heating @


What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits & Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare

Check the "Downloads" in the right panel to take a look at this 4 month long research that I just completed.

What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need? This goes with "Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare"

Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare (Must be downloaded in Excel format to see all tabs) Read "What Is The Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need?" for detailed explanations.

“On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” Chuck Palahniuk


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 19 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Remember to turn your clocks back today ;-}

Week 19

Grocery Store

  • Heavy duty garbage bags
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 package pasta
  • 1 can fruit juice

First Aid Supplies

  • Suture kit
  • Package “butterfly” bandages, various sizes
  • OTC medications – adult and child (Benadryl, Sudafed, Pepto Bismal, Cola and or Ginger syrup)

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • 1 box ammo for your rifle
  • All purpose axe-hatchet/hammer/crow bar tool
  • Folding backpackers shovel
  • 2- 5 gallon or larger water barrels with wheels, towing handle and gravity spout

To Do

  • Have a “weather” emergency drill (earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, landslide, etc). Include any family, neighbors or preparedness/safety group members. Utilize your rendezvous points and secret communication codes.
  • Learn something new: Orienteering, snowshoeing, making moccasians, etc.
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself. True happiness is born of self-reliance. “
The Laws of Manu


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make An Instant Improvised Lamp & Survival Food Scoring Comparison

Make An Instant Improvised Lamp

Great little How-To PDF downloadable from

“It goes without saying that when survival is threatened, struggles erupt between peoples, and unfortunate wars between nations result.” Hideki Tojo

Survival Food Scoring Comparison

I ran across this neat spreadsheet downloadable from at

This author (jpnkevin) scored the options for disaster survival food against the factors storage life, storage space, preparation time, taste, and cost (per meal).

Although this is an objective calculation the ratings are subjective but based on the facts and information the has been reporting on their blog . Author has also added a weight to each factor based again on their opinion of it’s relative importance. The weighted score total for the survival food options is out of 10.

It is also important to note that the scoring was done for a food supply that will last 6 weeks to 3 months. MRE will fair far better in an 72 hour survival kit rating.

This is really handy and well worth the read. Check out the author's blog too!

“In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.” Edward de Bono