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How to prepare for societal disruptions
Old 05-04-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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How to prepare for societal disruptions

Here are some thoughts on how to prepare for socialtal disruptions.

First there is a spectrum of disruption types - from local natural problems - sevear snow storms to long term WROL - without rule of law. You can do as little or as much as you want depending upon what you think might happen.

Add your ideas

General - for all situations
1. Prepare your mind - study and educate yourself; including medical first aid
2. Prepare your body - healthy - all medical conditions addressed and check ups - include vacines

3 Preparation
Food - stock up - buy two cases of things you use reguarly and rotate it. You might look into long life food supplies
Water - you have 30+ gallons in your water heater and system also learn various ways to purify water
Clothing - synthetics for heat retention when wet
Communications - radios
Electricity - possibly a generator
Light - use judiciously - attracts attention and fire danger
Security - don't tell people what you have
Entertainment
Exercise
Protection - cane, pepper spray, shot gun - your comforability level
Fire protection
Medial supplies
Waste disposal - human and other

"Bug out bag" - last resort - in case you must leave your house - it should include smaller amounts of most of the items mentioned above.

4. Best place to be - Your Home - depending upon the situation.
You have everything you need to survive

5. Hardest thing to do - after you have all of the above - Nothing - sitting at home waiting for things to get back to normal.

6. Avoid dumb people - especially those who think they can go into the woods and live off the land until things get better

PS - I got the idea for this thread after reading some posts in the Swine Flu thread.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Care you explain what you mean by number 6? Knowing how to forage,hunt and fish are valuable skills.

Good list though
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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Care you explain what you mean by number 6? Knowing how to forage,hunt and fish are valuable skills.

Good list though
As I recall from the Y2K run up: there were various folks who thought they could pick up outdoors and subsistence farming skills in a week or two.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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Care you explain what you mean by number 6? Knowing how to forage,hunt and fish are valuable skills.

Good list though
During the Depression there was virtually no game to be had in much of the US. Fishing (esp ocean fishing) was less affected.

I would add provisions for dealing with extreme temperatures. I bought a couple of small propane heaters that are legal and designed for use inside (Little Buddy). It will run on low setting for 5 hours on a one pound can of propane. Obviously, you need to be careful (open a window slightly, watch distance to flammable objects, etc) but it will enable us to keep one room habitable even if it gets very cold. Similarly, if you live in a hot area, I'd consider a battery powered fan that you could recharge from the generator in an hour or so during the day. I know people in hurricane areas who have a generator and a small room-size AC unit. The generator is big enough to run the AC and the fridge. I don't think they plan to run it all the time, but for a few hours per day they'll be in heaven.

Entertainment: Probably the most useful in a small space if there wil be multiple people is a deck of cards. After that, if you have the room, books. Also, if you or anyone int he family likes to garden, throw some seeds into your kit of supplies. There's very little chance that anyone will need to grow their own food or will be able to feed a family through "home agriculture" on a typical suburban lot, but gardening can be a lot of fun, and you'll feel you are doing something productive. It's more "entertainment, than "food," though.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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Ah Dex do you know something we should know?
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:27 PM   #6
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Care you explain what you mean by number 6? Knowing how to forage,hunt and fish are valuable skills.

Good list though
Most people would die of exposure before they killed anything. Then there is water borne illnesses, ticks (Lyme disease), accidents and being vulnerable to all the other people with guns in the wilderness.

Then think about all of the thousands of other people who have your idea - no living thing would be left alive in a very short time.

It might not play in a movie but staying home and doing nothing is the best thing to do.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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Good points. I suppose it would all depend on how bad the situation had become. Funny thing. Ive been using an electric can opener. It went out the other day. I had to hit the store and buy a manual one.

I would have been screwed.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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Good points. I suppose it would all depend on how bad the situation had become. Funny thing. Ive been using an electric can opener. It went out the other day. I had to hit the store and buy a manual one.

I would have been screwed.
Several times after major hurricanes, the local stores/agencies have gathered supplies to send. Among other things requested: manual can openers.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:53 PM   #9
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Several times after major hurricanes, the local stores/agencies have gathered supplies to send. Among other things requested: manual can openers.
Im all set now!
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:23 PM   #10
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Good points. I suppose it would all depend on how bad the situation had become. Funny thing. Ive been using an electric can opener. It went out the other day. I had to hit the store and buy a manual one.

I would have been screwed.
It reminds me of my journey to the wilds of Afghanistan. We lost our corkscrew and had to survive on nothing but food and water for several days. - W.C. Fields
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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I got some wine bottles with twist caps. Problem solved.

PS. Living off the land is tough, particularly where I am. However, retreating to a house in the boonies to minimize human contacts wouldn't hurt, no?
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
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Hey I had some good boxed wine the other week.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:00 AM   #13
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Pretty good list, Dex. I'd add:

Cash, in small denominations, in case banks are out of commission for a while.
Barter items: Liquor, cigarettes, etc.
Identify local resources before you have to use them. For example: local surface water, best pedestrian/bike routes in case roads are unsafe or impassible or closed due to emergencies, parks, open spaces, or other sources of wild foods / open space.
In your food supply, include extras for sharing with neighbors or those in need. You don't need to tell them what you've got, but having extra won't hurt.
Alternative transportation: bicycles, etc.
Alternative location you could go to if you needed to leave your town, and both the ways and the means to get there.
Small musical instruments (harmonica?).
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:26 AM   #14
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Sit at home and do nothing?

OK, if the entire world, or at least the US is hit by this disruption, maybe this is a acceptable idea. However, for local disturbance, say a tornado or hurricanes, this may not be the best idea. A healthy stash of money so you can bug out may be your best bet.

We have been through two hurricanes in the past four years. Both shut off power for a week. We cleaned out the fridge and freezer and went on vacation. Well to the extent a retired couple 'goes on vacation'.

However, for those that stayed behind, power was the main problem. In Texas in the summer, AC is more important than heat. A small AC that will do a room or two and run off a portable generator was a necessity. Fuel for the generator was the hardest for many. Some folks were driving 300 miles round trip to get gas. Most had 20 to 30 gallons of gas in their garage in small containers. A portable propane generator is one answer if you use propane for the main house. There are several folks here that have 'whole house' generators. While their life was little changed, their propane bill went out of site! One went through $1,000 in a little over a week. On the bright side propane was available and delivery was no problem.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:14 AM   #15
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I have the feeling that most of you are too young to remember the
Cuban crisis as an adult. My uncle was a full bird in SAC and he warned
us things could blow at any time. Lyn and I had plans to retreat to her
folks farm in West Texas if the baloon went up. We also thought a lot
about building a bomb shelter in the back yard ..... we still do sometimes
as we are in the middle of tornado alley here in Big D.

Cheers,

charlie
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:39 AM   #16
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OK, having just gone through some "societal disruption" (aka, evacuated due to wildfires, along with some 30,000 other people in my small city), I'd like to add COMMUNITY to the list. We had people sheltering with us until we decided to leave due to changing situations, and this was pretty much the story for the whole town. People were sending friends to friends of friends, who took them in and shared. It was stressful, but amazing, and being together and taking care of each other felt good!

Having a network of people (and opening up to a broader network) in times of stress can make everything go much more smoothly, and get people's needs met much more quickly.

Glad to be home now, and safe.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:30 AM   #17
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To add to list:

Solar/wind-up radio ?
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #18
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OK - it's not being done for these reasons - but we're having photovoltaic panels installed today. Enough to provide 1/2 of our regular usage - should be more than enough in an emergency.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #19
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For any societal disruption serious enough to require the kinds of preparation being advocated here, I'm not sure I want to, or should, survive.

A short-lived disruption of social services (a week or two) is probably survivable with little or no preparation.

A major disruption is another story altogether. At my age, and at this point in my life, I have little or nothing to contribute to the recovery of society from whatever caused the disruption. My kids are grown and independent. My survival would merely be a drain on the remaining resources.

Just as I do not intend to continue living if major illness reduces my quality of life below a certain level, I would take the same steps if the general quality of life falls below such a level due to a societal disruption.

If such preparations gives you peace of mind, then go ahead and plan them. For me, a supply of the appropriate pills is all the preparation I plan to take.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:46 AM   #20
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During the Depression there was virtually no game to be had in much of the US. Fishing (esp ocean fishing) was less affected.
The Shoshone Tribe learned to live mostly on mice and small desert animals. No matter how rough it gets, if you can catch and eat stuff that most people are disgusted by you will be OK. In the 30s depression my Mother's family was rural and poor living in a well populated Southern region. Still, neither they nor their neighbors would eat possum, for example. Kind of turned up their noses to carp also. Another thing for inland dwellers to check out is freshwater mussels. I think my Mom's family avoided them also. It might pay to learn about mussels, including toxicity etc. prior to whatever disaster you are preparing for.

When I was a boy, there were still almost no deer around; whereas now with a much bigger but more affluent population the deer are eating everyone's roses.

On the Washington Coast clams would be pretty well used up, but I think there will always be enough barnacles to go around. And let us not forget the wonderful world of nematodes.

Of course we will no longer have need of Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig!

Ha
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