May 29, 2024

Binary Blogger

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Preparation Is Not Paranoia Part 2 – What?

6 min read
The last post, Preparation Is Not Paranoia,  where I setup a series about taking a look at your life and asking yourself, Are You  Prepared?  Prepared for what? Anything disruptive from  small to something large and terrible. There are basic things that we can all do, but don’t, to set ourselves up to weather any unknowns in the future.
Today’s world has too many dependencies, too many things we rely on that won’t support us if the lights go out, or you lose your income stream, or you are cut off from the world for a long period of time.
As I write this I reek of irony. I am one of the most plugged in, gadget filled person out there. I live and breath technology, my life is technology, my house is wired up with all the cool stuff. But as I move forward, somewhere along the way I thought to myself, what if there was a national power grid failure? EMP? Yellowstone blew up? Then I started to see my dependence on what I have and how I lived to be a very dangerous thing if I was forced into a corner. I couldn’t make it.
So over the last year I have slowly picked away and started to pad myself. I will detail some of the things I have done and plan to do that I think everyone should. The point I want to make is that these are very simple things that over time will build into a preparation plan and not a knee jerk reaction to paranoia… duct tape and gas masks… no.
Part 2 will be a fairly long post about the Whats. What can you do? What things should we have around? What can we learn that we as a society have lost the general knowledge to do? In this world of exponentially growing technology power, there is another side to that coin, it’s easier to cause mass disruption by severing those lines. There was a time that everyone lived with a notion that self sufficiency was a responsibility on each person’s head. Now that’s gone and replaced with virtual money, boxed food, everything powered, things come in trucks, don’t worry I can just run down to the store later.
What are some of the things you should have accessible, not necessarily at your home, but accessible?
  • Paper Money – Banks are electronic for many, many reasons. We are a Plastic Economy. Debit card, credit card, swipe and it’s done. In the near future cards will go away and your phone will be the payment trigger. All of your money is locked up in a system that no longer has physical, tangible Dollar Notes as the primary transaction means. If the computers fails due to a virus, cyber attack, or worse, how can you get your money to trade? You need to keep physical money somewhere. A few hundred dollars scattered about, in a safe, in a can hidden in the attic, somewhere that you have purchasing power when others may not. Paper money, gold, jewels will be used as the currency… debit cards not accepted.
  • Paper Maps – Buy a map of the state you live in and a national map. $30 for both, tuck them away. Why? How do you use maps now? Nuff’ said.
  • Phone Book – Keep one of the phone books that get delivered to your house that you don’t want and you throw away. You don’t keep it for the phone numbers but for the addresses. Doctors, businesses, people you know.
    • In addition to that you should have a paper address book of all your contacts in your phone. I don’t know how many posts I see on Facebook and elsewhere from people asking for everyone to resend their phone number and email because their phone died. Paper Backups are vital.
  • Books – Half-Price Books, a used book store, garage sales are perfect places to pick up reference materials. It never hurts to surround yourself with knowledge. I believe while the e-Book is a fantastic advancement for expanding literature’s reach, it’s useless in certain scenarios. You don’t need to recharge a paper book. What kind of books should you have around?
    • A book on camping, mountain hiking, or other outdoor survival activities.
    • Print offs of Military Survival Manual, which can be easily found online for free
    • Physician’s Desk Reference, Mayo Clinic Medical Book, etc…
    • Cookbooks, most have these already
    • Book on gardening
  • Food – This is probably the easiest and most important thing that you can be storing up for yourself. If you have a Sam’s Club, Costco, or other large membership it’s even easier. If not, just buy one more can than you need for the week and tuck it away. All of these types of food can be bought and stored for long periods. When you get to the point of buying more, rotate your storage, use the older and get new ones for the back. It worked for Grandma.
    • Canned Veggies – Cheap, long shelf life. When you goto Sam’s or Costco, spend $5-$8 extra and walk out with 10 cans. Do that a few times over a few months and you have enough for a 1-2 months.
    • Bottled Water – Water is more valuable than crude oil. Sam’s, Costco, Target, Cub, etc… you can get a case, 24-32 bottles, of water for under $5. Same as the veggies, grab one from time to time and stick it in the basement.
    • Rice – Nutritious, lasts a real long time and easy to prepare. Billions around the world agree.
    • Flour, Yeast, Grains – Lasts forever. But, do you know to make a loaf of bread from scratch?
    • Jarred Food – Pickles, olives, beets, peanut butter, etc… – Foods that don’t require refrigeration to store.
  • Medical Kit – For $20 you can get a full OSHA workplace medical kit at pretty much anywhere. It contains everything you need to treat all kinds of injuries, burns, cuts, etc…
  • Batteries – If you have small children you go through batteries. Anytime you see a deal on batteries of all sizes, get them. Long shelf life, you will use them eventually.
  • Flashlights – You can never have too many flashlights. One should be a hand crank or other kind of manual power.
  • Radios – Your lifeline to the world in the worst case. Radio can be broadcast hundreds of miles from the source. A shortwave radio may not be a bad idea either. A battery powered police scanner is a must. Because you can pick up police, air, rescue, and civilian frequencies with them. If you want to go one farther, get your license and get a Ham Radio. If it hits the fan, Ham Radio will become the new Internet for communication.
  • Fuel – Most people have a lawnmower and with that a gas can. Do you have a can just for your mower that you fill up at the start of Summer? Get a couple more and safely store them full. It would be nice to fill the car if the gas stations don’t work or run out.
  • Camping Supplies – Relatively speaking things are really cheap now across the board. Pick up camping supplies, they are made for outdoors and rough conditions.
    • Waterproof matches
    • Propane Tanks
    • Propane burner
    • Magnesium Block – This is very useful to start fires in harsh conditions.
However you look at these series of posts is up to you. You may think it’s nuts, roll your eyes, or not. All of the things I listed above most people have most of these things in their homes today. I just think a little more attention should be paid to how and why we have them. Because the things I am talking about are hopefully long shots and I pray they never happen, but you never know.
Up Next
Part 3 – How?
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