The idle musings of a former military man, former computer geek, medically retired pastor and now full-time writer. Contents guaranteed to offend the politically correct and anal-retentive from time to time. My approach to life is that it should be taken with a large helping of laughter, and sufficient firepower to keep it tamed!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Emergency Preparation, Part 8: Some useful articles
I've been meaning to write more articles on emergency preparation from a basic, common-sense perspective, but life, the universe and everything have been getting in the way. To keep the topic going, here are some links to useful articles and resources I've come across in recent weeks. Click on the title of each section to go to the link.
Warbelt Fun: Ryan at Total Survivalist Libertarian Rantfest offers his thoughts on setting up a basic 'survival belt' or 'warbelt' containing essential items for an emergency.
Junk, Minimalism, What We Really Need and Survivalism: Ryan discusses how prone we all are to accumulate junk, and describes his own efforts to get rid of excess clutter and reduce his possessions to those he really needs and/or can't easily do without. I daresay all of us (most definitely including myself!) could stand to do likewise.
Prepping on $40 a week: The TEOTWAWKI Blog has a very useful series under this subject heading, showing how for a relatively small investment each week you can build up a comprehensive emergency kit in short order. There's a lot of material, but each week's entry deals with only one or two things, so it's easily digestible. Highly recommended, particularly for those of us (including me) on a tight budget.
37 Things You Need in a Crisis: The blog Getting Started In Emergency Preparedness has a two part article about this, listing all sorts of things that will be necessary (including linking to other, similar lists). Very useful. Follow the links to Part 1 and Part 2.
What Are the Boundaries of Your Local Economy? Resilient Communities asks this question, and answers it with reference to common resources such as Craigslist. This is a useful concept in terms of local trade/barter transactions. Establish connections now with like-minded persons, so that relationships are already established in time of need when an approach from a stranger might be greeted with suspicion or excessive caution.
Months of free hot water: In the same article linked above, Resilient Communities links to this article from the Kailash Ecovillage in Portland, Oregon. It describes how a family built a composting greenhouse using a straw bale foundation. They ran a hundred feet of plastic water piping through the compost. Heat exchange warmed the water to a very usable 90°-130° Fahrenheit for 18 months until the structure was dismantled. Hot water will be at a premium in an extended power outage, or if you have to 'bug out' to an emergency location. This offers an interesting, low-cost and easy-to-build hot water system for a makeshift dwelling. As one who's spent more time away from hot water than I ever want to spend again, I can assure you, a steady supply of this substance will make survival a whole lot more comfortable - and hygienic! (Don't just think personal hygiene, either. Hot water makes it a whole lot easier to wash dishes, cooking utensils, clothing, etc. That greatly improves your overall health situation.)
Preparedness and Resiliency: Wendy McElroy looks at how to be flexible, and the need to avoid making excuses to avoid making basic preparations. She points out that a basic one-week survival kit, containing all the essentials except water, can be stored in a simple 18-gallon tote (which costs less than $10 from some vendors, such as this one selling through Amazon.com). That gets around most people's objections that they don't have space or storage capacity for an emergency kit, doesn't it?
Alternate Food Storage: A Week in a Bucket: This article at SurvivalBlog covers precisely what its title says - how to prepare store enough food for a week in a single 5-gallon bucket. It's very practical, and very useful. Recommended reading.
There, that's plenty for you to read until I can get around to writing more about emergency preparedness. There's a lot of information out there, as a simple Internet search will reveal. Ignore the advertisements from companies trying to cash in on the growing interest in this field, and do your own reading among the large number of sites offering advice. You'll find plenty of useful hints, tips and tricks.
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I just ran across this website last week. Planning to build one or two to test shortly. Fits right in with the week in a bucket.
Good night folks!
Quote: They ran a hundred feet of plastic water piping through the compost. Heat exchange warmed the water to a very usable 90°-130° Fahrenheit for 18 months until the structure was dismantled.
If they ran 100,000 feet through Congress, the East Coast would have unlimited steam-generated electricity for decades!
About junk and streamlining and getting rid of un-needed stuff-
Unless a person needs to move frequently, having lots of stuff is useful.
What is wealth? It is stuff. Goods. Materials. Tools. That rusting Chevy is a cornucopia of parts and supplies. Same with those 2x4's.
If one can foresee the future, and is a big advocate of central planning, OK, get rid of all non essentials and buy exactly what you need. In my world. I never know what I am going to need tomorrow. That six foot of wire came in real handy today...
It is extremely hard to make things- and our value system has been completely corrupted by money, mass manufacturing and easy availability of goods. Right now, look at some object in your view, and ask yourself-how hard would it be to manufacture a replacement yourself? Like a 2 litre soda bottle. Or a coffee cup. Or ANYTHING. Anybody who has spent time in the third world, be it in America,(yes, we have them) Africa, or anywhere else, knows that the more remote the place, the tougher the life, the less people throw away. Everything has value. It was a real eye opener for me to see a beautifully fabricated stove made from an old tin can and a few nails, from India. Nothing is wasted.
People do not realize what VALUE means. They bitch about the price of gas. $4 a gallon! Damn! OK, fine- would you push your car 20 miles for $4? That's TWENTY FIVE CENTS per cup, or 1/10th the cost of a latte. For under a dollar, you can cut a cord of wood with your chainsaw in an hour or two, a task that would take a couple days of brutally hard work to do with a bucksaw. And gas is expensive?!
The point I am trying somewhat disjointedly to make, is that our view point of what value is, has been distorted by plenty. Making a decision in the midst of plenty, about the value of any item, may be viewed as a very poor decision in hindsight, in the midst of poverty.
Bayou Renaissance Man, Thanks a lot for the linkage!
@ Raven, To me it isn't so much about the amount of stuff you have. Survivalism and or hard money Alpha Strategy style personal economics tend toward being stuff heavy. It is more about intentionally stocking the right stuff vs hoarding random junk.
A few dozen 2x4's stored off the ground under cover makes a lot of sense if you have the space, however keeping every random scrap of wood you have cut in a decade of projects in a big pile doesn't make sense.
Storing a dozen pair of tough serviceable clothes and boots against an uncertain future makes sense; keeping worn out, torn and stained dress pants doesn't.
See what I am getting at?
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