Prep Monday… a Continuation

Last week, I talked about food, water, meds, and storage, so you’re off to a good, basic start. You’ve probably thought of a few other things you might need, too, especially depending on your particular situation.

Let’s start with fuel – how, after all, are you going to cook that food  you’ve stored if there’s no electricity? “I have a gas stove,” you might say; that’s fine – but  your exhaust fan won’t work and most gas stoves/ovens have an electric start, so you’ll have to light the burner/element. No problem – but you better have a lot of matches in your storage closet!

Alternatives, of course, are wood, charcoal, and propane. Think of it as going camping – and if you have to leave your home, you might very well be camping! You can stock up on all three of these, depending on where you live and the resources at hand.

For instance, we have about 30 trees in our yard and a very nice wood lot. Plus, we have a propane grill, two firepits, and a gas grill we converted to charcoal. If we had to leave, of course we couldn’t take it all – but we also have a place to go that has plenty of trees. The odds of having to go on the run, immediately, are probably pretty small, so we’re in a nice spot at the moment.

Start your own woodpile, covered, hidden, whatever you think best. If you don’t have access to fallen limbs and trees, go buy some a little at a time or find a place that you can, with permission, cut your own. Pick up some charcoal, especially when it’s on sale, and put that in your closet/garage/shed. Propane can be stored, too, but make darn sure you go about it in as safe a manner as possible. Won’t do you any good if it blows your supplies (and maybe you!) to kingdom come…

Back to those matches – yes, you need a supply. Waterproof is good, but of course you wouldn’t need to use those all the time. Get  some of both. Small, easy to store, you can’t have too many. And fire starters (unless you’re very accomplished at striking rocks together or rubbing two sticks for a spark) – dryer lint is easy enough to stuff into a baggie and takes up very little space. If you use glass jars for food storage, the baggies of lint can double as a cushion when you pack up. Candle ends work well, too – an old Girl Scout trick. Wrap them in a little wax paper, twist both ends, and you have a great fire starter.

When it comes to cooking, we seem to have a collective mindset that tells us that more food is good; but in a SHTF situation, it’s not. First, you want to conserve your resources. There may come a time when there isn’t enough food to even fill you up, so you better prepare your stomach to deal with less. That also means not stuffing yourself into a food coma. You want to be able to move fast if you have to, and be alert, not sluggish.

Plus, there are bound to be leftovers – how are you going to store them? You certainly aren’t going to throw them away. Refrigeration will be at a minimum, so you’ll have to eat what you cook at the time. You’re going to have to learn to cook less food. Go check out the US food pyramid – if we followed that, especially in the meat department, we’d probably all be a lot healthier anyway.

And to survive, you have to be healthy. Plan a well-rounded food cache so you can get all the nutrients your body needs. Start now, don’t wait. Start scaling down a little – most people can stand to lose a few pounds at least, and it’s good training. Less is more, just make sure that your food is packed with vitamins and protein. Many people are better qualified than I to advise you on this, look around the Web a bit.

The last thing I’m going to cover today is rather personalized: miscellaneous items. These are things like baby supplies, pet supplies, your own specific needs and wants. If there’s something you can’t live without, stock up now. For me, it’s orange cappuccino, and yes, I have a supply at hand – obviously, I’ll eventually need to give it up as it simply won’t be manufactured anymore, but for now…

Think about all the items you use in a day’s time, and buy some extra next time you go shopping. Certain things will wear out, like socks and underwear, and if you have small children, their diaper sizes are going to change. Keep all this in mind.

For example:

You get up, you drink COFFEE. You use the BATHROOM. You throw in a load of LAUNDRY. You cook BREAKFAST. And so on and on, throughout the day. What products do you use? Can you do without? Can you make them yourself, or a reasonable facsimile? Make a list. Make another list. Start getting ready for… whatever.






4 comments on “Prep Monday… a Continuation

  1. rmactsc says:

    Excellent advice and great blog. You should have your intern start gathering all these supplies together, it will keep her busy lol 🙂


  2. Another fuel & lighting idea: SAVE YOUR BACON DRIPPINGS! (Remember being taught about grease fires in the kitchen?) 🙂 You need a tin can (like an old soup or coffee can), some fabric cloth strips (old T-shirts work great) and a nice stick. Cut your stick to about the same length as your tin can is tall.

    Wrap the cotton fabric around the stick like a bandage.

    Fill your small tin can with sand until it is about 2/3 full. This supports the wick and reduces the amount of fat you need.

    Stick the wrapped stick into the sand. This will be the wick of the lamp.

    Pour the bacon fat over the wick and onto the sand. The fat will soak into the sand a bit.

    Light the lamp as you would a candle. It may take a little while to start the first time, but you will soon see the flame grow.

    At this point you might like to do some fine tuning.
    – Shorten the wick to reduce the size of the flame. This will also make it burn less fuel too of course.
    – Adjust the tightness of the wrap. The tighter the wrap the less fuel will soak into it and so the flame will be smaller. A loose wrap will produce a bigger flame.
    – Use trial and error to get the best result. You don’t want a big flame spreading soot all over the place. A small flame should burn quite cleanly and throw a nice light.

    **You can also use metal lids, filled with bacon drippings with the fabric cloth (about 1 inch wide by 3-4 inches long) cloth inside drippings with about 1 inch hanging off the side, light the dry cloth…it will burn like a small lamp and give you the wonderful aroma of bacon**
    ~Alison 😉


  3. screensaver says:

    Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the good work.


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