Sunday, October 23, 2011

Learning to Prepare? Meet Me at The Fair!

Every season offers new opportunities to learn skills of survival or preparedness, but Autumn is harvest time! Fall abundance is everywhere you turn!

When you think of ways to sustain your family for the long term, do you consider raising a few pigs, cows or goats?  Do you imagine yourself with a few chickens, a sustainable garden, and a safe way to set back food?
Even if you just want an eye-opener to all the possibilities, there's no better place to visit than The County Fair.  This is where you can touch base with some authentic survivalists: the people who have been prepping and making a living doing it, sometimes for generations.
 Many counties hold their own fall fair. Touch base with the local farmers, and learn what crops grow best in your area.  When asked respectfully, most country folk are more than happy to share their knowledge of what works and what doesn't on the farm.  If you'd like a couple of tips about cooking or canning, red and blue ribbon winners will be out in force!
Homemade jellies and jams will be selling like farmhouse hot cakes! Not to mention, good pies to buy!
Every Imaginable Pie!

If you can get to The State Fair, you will find farmers and ranchers who have traveled miles to compete and sell live stock. These are the people who know an Angus from a Hereford, and a Jersey from a Holstein. Very good knowledge if you plan to collect dairy cattle, and not the meat variety. As for chickens, you may see birds of a feather you've never seen before!
Young people who have a passion for raising animals will abound, and possibly inspire your own children.

The North Carolina State Fair offers a Village of Yesteryear, where artists and craftsmen keep primitive skills alive. Rug weaving, lace making, stone carving, and pottery turning are among a few demonstrations. Look for information about quilting and bee-keeping, too. There is even a 3rd generation Tin Smith on hand. (For other views of the ancient art of smiths, check out The Renaissance Faires.  Metal workers who hand forge swords, knives, battle armor, horse shoes, eating utensils, and even jewelry...are found over a fire, showing how it's done.)

There will be a "midway" at the fair. Inevitably, this will be the location for funnel cakes, corn dogs, and red candy apples.  There's always some attention-grabber frying a Snickers bar... but there will be a variety of grilled pork, seasoned turkey, and other good eats:

Even if farm dwelling isn't a part of your plan, you will certainly enjoy a day of feast for the senses, and the family can experience a peek at what daily life could be like in a world without Facebook, television, and city plumbing. Enjoy the day, and the evening!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Frankly, my dear- You need to prepare to make bank!

Here is a subject I have been pondering for a while.

Let's say... a disaster (pick one) happens, and there is a temporary collapse of the way we go about our everyday lives. No banks or ATMs, maybe no jobs... and it may be a while before civilization as we know it comes back.  If ever!
Just our luck, the Tax Collector survives, and wants the taxes on Tara before our cotton field is ready for market! We may be prepared to barter some things, and turn Mama's portiers into a dress... but are there some ways to plan ahead to make some cash in the hard times?
Stealing your sister's wealthy fiance is still frowned upon, so I was excited to see the blogspot, Frugally Sustainable, attack this very question! Here are some of their suggestions, adaptable to small or large spaces:
1.Follow your interests and do what you love – Before you do anything else, do what you love and the provision will follow.
2.Eat from your garden and sell the rest – Utilize every square inch of your property for production. Focus on planting perennials that come back year after year and require little care (i.e. nuts, fruits, berries, etc.). Gather provisions for your family and sell the rest for profit. Consider...selling at a farmer's  market.
3.Raise and sell animals – .... raising heritage breed rabbits and selling them on craigslist and/or to local farm supply stores as pets.
4.Sell pastured eggs from your backyard hens – ... There are farmers that are making thousands of dollars raising and selling pastured eggs.
5.Start a Farm School – ....Open your home to teaching people the old ways of doing things. ...Wisdom that was once commonly passed down from generation to generation has in many ways been lost. People are eager for a rebirth of traditional know-how.
6.Turn your crafty skills into a profitable business – Make candles, soaps, lotions, homemade/repurposed clothing....
7.Write – Begin chronicling your interests. Use social media to your advantage (smile).Create a blog ... someone will find your thoughts valuable.

This is just the short version. I encourage you to visit this great site! Read more at

A good point made by this author is that big is not necessarily better. What good is that 160 acres of land over at Twelve Oaks if you don't have the seed or workers to help farm it? Work what you have, and make every square foot count- even on a balcony! Even in Atlanta!
We say we long to find a more simple, self-sufficient way of living... but the more we read and study we see that the simple life is not as simple as it appears. Learn how to make do with less, and how TO DO more! Learn how to can, sew, and garden... and maybe even how to birth a baby, just in case! After all,  Tomorrow is another day! Get ready!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"You are your own First Responder!"

One person who has been a great inspiration to me is Lt. General Russel Honore.  You may remember him as the Army General who led Task Force Katrina.  He is a true American Hero because in the middle of "government inaction"- he stepped in and took a no nonsense control in the way a true leader does.  He set out steps and a plan for help... and when the media whined and balked, he told them bluntly, "Don't get stuck on stupid!"

That sums it up. Don't cry about what's happened, don't tell me all the reasons this wont work, or "that's not practical." Move ahead with a good plan!
Lt. General Honore says one of the hardest lessons learned from Katrina is: "You are your own First Responder!"
His 1st Step jump-start advice:
1. Have a plan to evacuate
2. Have an emergency evacuation kit, and 3 days supply of food and water at home
3. Have a Weather Radio- or some other means of staying informed

This is the very basics... but a life saver, and something we all can do!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Classic On The Reading List

Whether you are just starting to prepare, or have been at this as "a way of life" for a while, you can certainly appreciate the Preparedness Manual set forth by The Church of Latter Day Saints. Better known as The Mormons, these folks have preparedness and long term food storage at the heart of their belief system. This is not the time or place to debate Mormon-ism... I'm just offering this link if you are interested.
The book, (which you can order from LDS for less than $10, or download for free below), starts off with a little evangelism... but at about page 15 you can begin to see these people have it going on.

Here is a sampling of the table of contents:

20 Food Storage
22 BARE-MINIMUM Food Storage Requirements,
23 Do you Really have a Year’s Supply?
24 Basic Food List
28 Monthly Food Storage Purchasing Calendar
32 The Seven Major Mistakes in Food Storage
34 Common Storage Foods
35 Grains & Flours
45 Legume Varieties
47 Availability of Grains & Legumes
50 Moisture Content in Grains & Legumes
52 Dairy Products
55 Canned Fluid Milks and Cremes, Butter, Cheese, Eggs,
58 Sugar, Honey and Sweeteners,
63 Fats and Oils
65 Cooking Adjuncts
69 Infant Formula
71 Growing and Using Sprouts
73 Pros & Cons of Freeze-Dried, Dehydrated, MRE, etc..,
74 MREs, Meal Ready to Eat,
81 Storage Containers,
93 Oxygen Absorbers
93 Moisture Control,
99 Spoilage,
105 Storage Lives of Dehydrated Food

111 Water
124 Master Food List
128 Master Seed List
129 OK, But what do I prepare for?
132 Surviving in the City
142 Money
145 Defense
147 Clothing
148 Emergency Heating & Cooking
150 Emergency Light
158 Emergency Shelter
159 Master Preparedness List
173 Space Cramp, Where do I Put it all?
175 Emergency Sanitation
176 Emergency Toilets & Garbage Disposal
178 Emergency Generators
184 Thoughts on Disaster Survival, post Katrina
193 Protecting Yourself From Terrorism,
197 Homeland Security Advisory System,
199 Preparing for a Pandemic,
200 Fact about Avian Flu,
204 Quarentine,
205 Quarentining for Epidemics,
207 Biological and Chemical Agent Dispersion,
211 Common Biological and Chemical Agents
213 Nuclear - Chemical Decontamination Kit,
215 Nuclear Disaster and Warfare
219 What to do After a Nuclear Attack,
221 What to do Before a Nuclear Attack

the link:

There is also a food calculator on line. Put in the number of people you are preparing for, and it calculates how much food you should expect to store to cover them:
the link: 

As I always say... Prepare, then go on and enjoy your life! Have a great day, my friends!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Notes on Privacy & Self-Reliance

As promised from the SENSIBLE Conference:

Protect your true identity and your profile
Opt out of as many mailings as you can, and put phone numbers on the Do Not Call List
 Obtain a locked Post Office box
 Contact banks to stop credit card offers
 Create a separate email for "hobbies" that may reveal too much about you, decreasing your home security. Many magazines are online… 
 Unless it is a legal document, don’t provide your birth date or your mother’s maiden name
 Shred your mail!
Limit social networking under your real name- use a code name if possible.
Limit online pictures of your home, family, assets
Keep Privacy Controls tight (No friends of friends viewing!)
Train teens to be more discreet…Monitor Internet
Carefully vet contractors/cleaners/painters, maids or babysitters needed at your house. If you must have them in, make sure your supplies and personal information are out of view.

Your Private Information is Online- available to anyone

Internet Searches in your name  now can show
Published pictures of you, candid pictures of you added by others, news articles or Blogs mentioning your name. Real Estate bought and sold in your name, your property values, your property taxes, and whether or not your are current in paying your taxes. Your voting district, and your affiliation. Churches publish their activities online, possibly indicating your membership, as do school alumni trying to link up for reunions. (Arrest records, outstanding warrants, & jail visitation lists are also online in many states).
Google Earth, & Street view show:
Your House, cars parked in your driveway, and your backyard garden
Google often tracks your membership in clubs, any public or municipal office you have held, and times you have spoken to county government or had your name included in minutes. Your picture may be archived in old high school or college year books online…. Even from the 1970’s or before.
Open Source* People Searches show:
Your full name, nick names, your age and sometimes DOB. Addresses & phone numbers (former and current), the names of people who have lived with you- (parents, in-laws, children, former spouses) often gathered from credit card or utility bills tied to your address…and more
Facebook:  Timeline (Nothing safe here!)

Be aware of who collects your personal info!
Limit the information you provide them
 “Rewards Cards”… the purchase information is being compiled about you, and locating all purchases at your address.(This includes large amounts of food supplies, computers, laptops, audio-video, wide screens...)
All Debit and Credit Card usage…. every purchase, your medicines, if you visited an oncologist or any other doctor and what kind... and much of your medical history, how often you go to the movies, etc. (Move to cash).
“Customer Surveys”, Social Networking “likes”-  are only information collectors!
Monitor your credit rating
Limit your profile on the Internet
 Self Reliance Lowers Your Profile !

The "Charming House"

The Low Impact Woodland Home

How charming is this very real home which has been built in Wales!
If you follow the link, you will see other pictures, and a description of how this residence was created and why.... So fascinating! The owner says it was basically built from rubbish- discarded parts.
Amazing space... !

Some key points of the design and construction:
  • Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
  • Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
  • Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
  • Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring...)
  • Woodburner for heating - renewable and locally plentiful
  • Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
  • Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
  • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
  • Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
  • Water by gravity from nearby spring
  • Compost toilet
  • Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
Also- follow links to the bigger and better, second project:

Enjoy, my friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

100 Important Skills- How Do You Score?

Ran across this article today... 100 Skills Every Person Should Know. Hmmm... interesting... Everything from Survival Extreme situations and Primitive Skills, to How to Replace a Hard Drive!

I've done my share of "Change A Diaper" and ""Shine Shoes"... but not so much of "Escape a Rip Current" or "Hang Food In The Wild"... Certainly "food" for thought!  Now I just wonder if there is a YouTube video on How to Help A Seizure Victim, or Use a French Knife....

Meanwhile... for the more hardcore... The Survivalists Bucket List.

Hey! We don't have time to be slack. Look around... There is no one to "bail out" you and me. Don't just buy those survival books! Read, practice, and teach. My friends, there is no time to sit on the sofa and watch mindless sitcoms. Make every day matter.  God bless you, and Bless The USA.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What helps us, motivates us, and pushes us over the top?

We all have lazy days. In fact, in the South, one of our great prides is figuring out what to do on a Sunday afternoon. Fishing or sleeping? Hunting or relaxing poolside? Hunkering over that Sunday paper little longer after church? I could go on for hours! 

But let's face it. Some of us, no matter where we were born, just have that inner spark. We have to run faster, jump higher, kick better, or somehow excel beyond the imagination.

My imagination is always in awe of our military... The Warriors who may not even realize it is Sunday.  They train and support each other every day of the week. They are out there defending our rights and our ability to have a "lazy day", whether we acknowledge them or not. God bless our military, and God bless the USA!

Here is former Navy Seal, David B. Rutherford. You may request his friendship on Facebook or www.   He goes around the country, inspiring others to do the very thing I wish this generation could have learned from their great grandparents. Work your hardest. Be the best you can be. Be a leader.Support your team!   Never stop training. Never give up. And of course, much more. He understands the meaning of being a part of a team... and teaches others that even in a "team",  the last man on the team has an important part. Sometimes the last is truly the first.  David was a Medic on his SEAL Team... so I think you understand what he means.

As you prepare for emergencies, remember David Rutherford. Remember his motivation. Remember his loyalty and dedication to his team. Remember why the Navy SEALS are one of the most elite fighting forces on the planet.  Remember to be successful, we have to work together as a team. Your family is your first team! Encourage them! Train them up!

Get Ready!

Many people ask me about preparing for the tough times ahead.  In the past couple of years, no one even says, "If..."  They just seem to know it will be something, and they want to be ready.

The possibilities seem endless. Pandemic. Economic collapse. Tornado-Hurricane-Twister. Flood. Terrorist attack, which might include biological or radioactive events. Hopefully none of these will occur- but as our grandmothers once taught their own, "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."
A revealing article regards the events earlier this year in Egypt. It is re-posted below. If you think it can't happen here, I humbly ask that you research some of the history of Hurricanes Katrina or Andrew. 
I'll be back with some tips on how to help your family prepare in a way that is logical and sensible. I also will have some ideas on how to help children prepare in a way that will not make them fearful or alarmed.  Already preparing, but have a reluctant spouse or family? I also have some suggestions for you.  In the meantime, don't let people discourage you from doing what you feel is wise to protect and secure your family and loved ones in these uncertain times.

10 Things We Can Learn From Egypt About Preparing for Economic and Societal Collapse

Mac Slavo
January 31st, 2011

Egypt Riot
As riots spread across the world, having started first in Europe and now engulfing the Middle East, most people in the U.S. outright reject the possibility that the same could happen right here at home. But the fact of the matter is that we remain in economic crisis and there is a real possibility of a total collapse of the system we have come to know.
If the system does happen to collapse, be it because of a hyperinflationary currency meltdown, political uprising or anything in between, here are ten things you can expect to happen, just as they are happening in the Middle East today:
  1. There will be a general break down in law and order. Law enforcement will not be policing your neighborhood. This will likely lead to a community response and vigilante groups setting up neighborhood security details. The law and justice will be determined by those walking your streets with sticks and guns, so be sure to mind your P’s and Q’s. (LINK)
  2. Food and water will become scarce. The average American has about three days worth of food in their home, and likely very little water, as most are dependent on their local city for this essential commodity. As with any major disaster, like hurricanes or earthquakes, panicked people will immediately make a run for the grocery store, either before or at the onset of crisis, looking to acquire any non-perishable goods. They’ll buy everything they can in one trip, which leaves less food for the next guy. Our just-in-time inventory management systems ensure that there will be no reserves in the back of the grocery store, so once the store shelves are cleared, it will be a while before they are restocked. (LINK)
  3. Looting will be rampant. Until all of the food, water, diapers and HDTV’s have been cleared from store shelves, looters will be breaking into retail businesses in search of goods. In Egypt, most of the population is not armed. In the U.S., however, it’s a different story and the general rule on looters is: shoot them. Regardless of whether you are trying to acquire food for your baby or a free Xbox, you will be considered a looter if you enter a private business. (LINK ; New Orleans LINK)
  4. If the rioting and looting gets bad enough, expect full deployment by the military. As we are currently seeing in Egypt, and like we saw in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina saga, government is prepared to restore order by whatever means are available. There will be heavily armed soldiers, tanks and unmanned aerial vehicles patrolling your city. (LINK)
  5. When rocks start getting thrown, Molotov cocktails start exploding, and citizens take it upon themselves to shoot at military and law enforcement personnel,soldiers will fire back – and the firing will be indiscriminate, just like we’ve seen in Egypt and during the Iranian riots of 2009. One report out of Egypt indicates that President Mubarak of Egypt has issued shoot-to-kill ordersgiving the military authority to open fire on anyone it deems a threat. (VIDEO LINK)
  6. Hospitals will run out of basic medical supplies. We saw this in Haiti and we’re seeing it in Cairo. As the injured and wounded stack up, medical personnel will be overwhelmed. Basic medicines like hydrogen peroxide and antibiotics will disappear, and minor injuries may lead to amputation or death in a matter of days if supplies are not restocked. As more dead bodies stack up, this could potentially lead to widespread outbreaks of disease like it did in Haiti. (LINK)
  7. The internet will get shut down. Governments have realized that the internet is the communication medium of choice to organize protests and riots. When Iranians protested their Presidential elections in 2009, Twitter and other social networking sites were used to organize, as well as to broadcast pictures of the events in near real-time. This gives the government ample reason to shut down all digital means of communication, the most important being that government is unable to stop mass gatherings, nor are they able to control the news propaganda of the event itself. Egypt is the first country to have taken steps to completely shutdown everything from traditional internet connectivity via ISPs, as well as phone and text communications. Expect the same in your neck of the woods if and when it hits the fan. (LINK)
  8. Banks will be closed and ATM’s will be out of money. With no law enforcement, banks will be unable to operate. There will be no one to refill the cash in ATM’s, and it’s possible that even if they do have money you will not be able to withdraw it because problems with electronic processing will prevent it. Those who don’t have cash or barterable goods on them will be left with no way to transact. (LINK)
  9. The real value of gold and silver against most other assets will rise. Though only anecdotal reports exist at this time from the streets of Egypt, it’s clear that anytime governmental, economic or social instability hits a particular region, the value of these precious metals rises. The 2010 riots in Greece prove this point, as the price of gold on the street rose to a reported $1700 per ounce, even while gold in global commodity exchanges was trading at $1100. When there are no open banks or working ATM’s, precious metals will become the de facto reserve currency on the ground. (LINK)
  10. The ‘important’ people will probably get the heck out of Dodge. If you’ve got money and power, you’re going to be fast-tracked out of the region. President Mubarak’s sons quickly fled Egypt when the riots broke out. In Tunisia, the President’s wife made a beeline for the nearest international destination – with a ton of gold in tow. While the elite will have access to evacuate a disintegrating regional riot or collapse, everyday folks will likely be stranded. Expect that wherever you are when it hits the fan is where you’ll stay, so be sure to be stocked up on the essentials. (LINK LINK)


Author: Mac Slavo
Date: January 31st, 2011
Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.