One Second After: Actions to Take Immediately Following an Attack

This is the second topic for our Group Book Discussion of the novel One Second After. To return to the main discussion page click here.

In the story, immediately following the attack, the main character had enough of a sense about what was going on, that he quickly stocked up on insulin for his diabetic daughter. He also hurriedly stocked up on cigarettes- he regretted not stocking up on other items, or taking other actions immediately following the attack.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

  • Do you try to evacuate? Do you stay with your community?
  • What stores do you go to, to try and stock up on stuff?
  • What last minute items are you going to try and stock up on?
  • What items will be bartering tools that you should have stocked up on?
  • Should you have gotten it sooner?
  • Do you try to get a bunch of ice? Will it help?
  • What are some things you are thinking you should have done? Do them now!
  • What foods are you going to eat first?
  • How are you going to extend the perishables you currently have?

DISCUSS

In our comments section below, ask questions, discuss your thoughts on this topic, and these questions. We will be covering a lot of the other issues over the next three days, so to keep it organized please stick with this topic.

We encourage everyone who participates to do so in a very respectful manner. As we read the novel, we soon became very aware that the discussions around this book could become very political, and personal. Such topics have a tendency to bring out strong opinions. Please share your opinions in a kind, and mature way. We reserve the right to, and will delete any comments that may be considered offensive or encourage illegal or unethical activities.

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  • Northeastcamp

    We would definitely stay put. We have spent much time preparing our homestead and live in a very rural area. We have a good food storage built up, garden and greenhouse, put in thirty blueberry bushes last year and this year will be adding fruit trees and also chickens and a few pigs. We dehydrate and can much of our food: vegetables, fruit and meat. We just finished installing our generator and we are now putting in a Kitchen Queen wood cook stove for heating and cooking. We added a Bison water pump to our well. Two years ago we purchased a propane refrigerator with freezer which should run for five years on our 500 gallon propane bottle and have been doing everything we can to eliminate electric appliances. We have been preparing for about two years. The most important thing I can say is PRAY that we will never need any of this. God bless us all!

  • Truckinbutton

    I would stay put. I live out in the country and know how to survive there. I would not go to town for anything—if I don’t have it, I will have to learn how to do without it or barter with the neighbors. If it were an EMP attack, I would have to ride a bike to town, and with all of the looting that would be going on, it would be too dangerous. So I am staying put.

    Our in house food storage is pretty stocked. We still have space under beds and in closets, but we are about to load up the root cellar with shelving and more canned goods. Aldi’s is the best place to buy canned vegetables, and they have good prices on other nonperishables as well.

    Last minute items—-If it is an EMP, there will be none—like I said, I ain’t going nowhere. If it is foreseen, then ammo, seeds, grain for animals during winter, gas, diesel, propane, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and powdered drinks. More pool shock–you will be able to make your own chlorine bleach out of it for laundry.

    One handy tip—–outdoor solar yard stakes make great night lights at night when you can not see. Take them outside in the morning to recharge, and bring them back in at night.

    Food—–RATION! I go nuts right now when I stock up the pantry and the guys in the house eat like hound dogs! The meals and food would be rationed. We would start with the fridge, then the freezer, then go to storage. Dehydrated food is also lighter, takes up less space, and taste wonderful.

    To extend the perishables??? If I had too many perishables, I would probably try to barter with them. We have been working on our storage for months, and I am not at the level I want to be, but I am getting there.

    Most importantly, I would continue to pray to God for His continued guidance, and ask for wisdom to survive in a manner that is pleasing to Him.

    Ammo will always be a bartering tool, and the .22 is common as well as the 12 gauge. So I would see if I could get my hands on that. I was a teacher so I would immediately begin a school for the local children and barter my services. People are not going to want to travel or have their children very far away from them. Plenty of kids around here to teach.

    No I am not going to stock up on ice. The well water around here is cold enough to freeze you to death in the heat of summer. We will draw it out of the well.

  • TK

    If this book doesn’t awaken people to scurry and get your supplies now, nothing will. It will be very dangerous at any store just following an EMP or other disaster.

    Use to think we would all gather at the family farm, but now it is 300 miles away and over 100 that would head there. Looks like staying our new area is the safest option and bonding with a few like minded souls. So our first actions would be praying while securing the house as every second counts.

    Refrigerator items eaten first, then freezer foods. Pressure canning what we are able. Wow, now that’s something I haven’t done before… pressure canning over a fire. Yikes! Ration for long term scenario. A garden of course depends on the time of year.

    What should we have done? Wow! LOTS! Learning every day how unprepared we are.

  • Wanda

    We would definitely not evacuate. We live in our “bug out” location. lol We have 30 acres on top of a mountain, out in the boonies. We have our own little family community up here. My mother and two sisters also have homes on the property. My sons and their wives have built small cabins that they live in. Our plan is for everyone’s children to bring their families here and stay at their own parent’s house. Our first priority will be to pull our submersible well pump and build a cover over the well, if we haven’t done so before then. We have two of the cylinder water buckets. We also have a large stainless steel box about 5’l x 4’h x 3’w that we will set up to catch rain water. Next we will dig/build an outhouse for day use. We are on a septic system so we could continue using the toilet inside but would have to haul water so we would probably limit it for night use or extreme weather. If we all make it home there will be 30 of us, 22 adults and 8 children 5 yrs. and under so there would be plenty to share the work load. Plenty to have to feed also, I know, but most of us have been storing food. They all know that if circumstances allow they’re to bring their storage with them. I’ve told them all that, “I’ll share my food with you, but you’re not getting my toilet paper.” lol.
    We would eat what is in the refrigerator first, then freezer. We would plant a large garden as quickly as possible, (does anyone know if a tiller would be affected by an emp?) crops depending on time of year of course. We have 17 chickens right now so that will help. I’m covered up with fresh eggs right now! Mainly got them to have on hand, just in case. My mother and I discuss this all the time; planning how we would handle certain things such as, how we would wash, how we would cook, etc. So we have a plan or at least an idea of what would be needed. We’re trying to learn/try a new skill every month.

  • Lauren15787

    Its interesting to note that most people will not know what happened. It also depends on where you live and what time of the day and season “it” all happens. Just say you are all prepared and work in the city. Your car does not work and now you have to walk home. An emergency car kit/backpack with water and food will be essential to you getting home. The question of going to the store after everything is down by an EMP is strange. The electricity is down, the cash registers do not work and the lights are lite by back-up generator but if that is out too, the store will usher people out and the store will close its doors. Communication is down. The workers will not know the extent of the problem. Once the problem has sunk in there will be two types of people who act quickly, the ones that will take advantage of alarms not working and break in and take what they want and the ones that are prepared and already have what they need. I plan on being prepared and stay away from the ones that panic. I read that sugar and salt along with anything that can be bartered in small quantities will work when things settle.

    Eat what is in the frige and keep the freezer door closed — that food will last a few days. Once the meat thaws cook all of it eat some and keep the rest in a cooler with the last of the ice. I think a lot of people will think that everything will go back to normal soon and eat the food in normal large quantities. Then starve in a few weeks.
    The question of what to buy now (that is within everyones buget) is sugar and salt along with anything that can be bartered in small quantities. These will work when things settle.

  • Lauren15787

    Its interesting to note that most people will not know what happened. It also depends on where you live and what time of the day and season “it” all happens. Just say you are all prepared and work in the city. Your car does not work and now you have to walk home. An emergency car kit/backpack with water and food will be essential to you getting home. The question of going to the store after everything is down by an EMP is strange. The electricity is down, the cash registers do not work and the lights are lite by back-up generator but if that is out too, the store will usher people out and the store will close its doors. Communication is down. The workers will not know the extent of the problem. Once the problem has sunk in there will be two types of people who act quickly, the ones that will take advantage of alarms not working and break in and take what they want and the ones that are prepared and already have what they need. I plan on being prepared and stay away from the ones that panic. I read that sugar and salt along with anything that can be bartered in small quantities will work when things settle.

    Eat what is in the frige and keep the freezer door closed — that food will last a few days. Once the meat thaws cook all of it eat some and keep the rest in a cooler with the last of the ice. I think a lot of people will think that everything will go back to normal soon and eat the food in normal large quantities. Then starve in a few weeks.
    The question of what to buy now (that is within everyones buget) is sugar and salt along with anything that can be bartered in small quantities. These will work when things settle.

  • abbi

    AGREED~~ HYPER INFLATION’
    ..THERE WILL BE PLENTY’.
    ‘.JUST JACKED UP PRICES$$$.
    The more our dollar is devalued, the more we can expect inflation. This will probably effect the staples most, i.e., bread, milk, coffee. Meat and sugar already on their way up as we speak.
    We have really good powdered milk and other things that we use a lot of, canned tomatoes, onions etc.. We are always looking for suggestions.

    We feel that this way we will have an opportunity to avoid the supermarket during a time of crisis and people feeling vulnerable. ALSO!!! we do not advertise what we have put away..to anyone.

  • Midnightmom

    As others have mentioned, I would stay put. This is where my supplies are. Unfortunately it is an apt, so it may be difficult to defend.

    The closest store to me is the 7-11 on the corner, but I don’t think I would head over there….it would be too busy, and they don’t have a large enough supply of anything that wouldn’t be gone by the time I walked there anyway!

    Stocking items for barter presents its own set of problems. Being a person on a restricted diet and a fixed income, I wouldn’t want to spend my money on items that I wouldn’t eventually be able to use for myself, and that eliminates sugar and chocolate. l’m a non-smoker so I wouldn’t want to spend my meager resources on buying tobacco in any form. I’m usually a tee-totaler, but I might be persuaded to stock up on some vodka-can be used to make tinctures, etc. So what does that leave left to store for barter that I can afford to buy now even if I won’t use it now, but may need to use it eventually??? I’m not at all sure. I guess that is why I have started to buy and save junk silver.

    I have water put up, and a drip filter for cleaning sediment from water that I would have pre-teated chemically. My concern is whether or not I would be able to actually get to the river to draw water to treat. It’s not far, but being disabled makes it diffucult to get down the bank to the water’s edge. I’ve thought of dropping a bucket off the edge of the bridge, but I’m not sure I’d be strong enough to haul it back up.

    Living in an apt also presents its difficulties as far as cooking safely indoors. Outside cooking would probably be out of the question in this scenario. I really need to get a coleman camping stove and some fuel I guess-especially since my stove is an electric range.

    I would probably cook up the meats I have and try to eat them before they went bad. Should I invest in a canner? The outlay for the cooker and the jars seems to be way out of my budget-realistically. Instead, I am stocking spam, tuna, chix, beef stew, etc. I know it’s only a temp fix, but it’s all I can do for now.

    I’m actually more worried about hyper-inflation right now than an EMP.

    • Cherlynn

      We are each in different circumstances. You should be aware of your surroundings and see if you have a younger more fit neighbor who will be staying also. Chafing fuel would be much safer for inside. I get 12 packs of it that burns for 2 hours for $13. You can also cook over those little emergency heaters you make out of toilet paper.
      How to Make an Emergency Survival Heater
      you will need: A roll of unscented toilet paper. With the cardboard tune removed. An empty metal can that is a little taller than the toilet paper roll ( the 29 to 30 oz veggie or fruit cans work well) bottles of unscented 70 to 91% isopropyl alcohol and matches.

      One bottle of rubbing alcohol burns for 8 hours and is very safe to use inside. We burned 20 of these nonstop Dec. ’08 for 3 weeks and we used them to cook over (put a cooling rack on top of 2 shortening cans over the flame) -10 outside with 40MPH winds blowing and we stayed at 50 degrees the whole time.

      good luck to you! Hope you figure things out without breaking the bank. I grew up eating rice for breakfast and beans for dinner and survived just fine. Having lots of these stables stored can be a big help and then use the meats for a once a week treat!

      • Jane

        Never heard of that type of emergency heat – I take it you pour a bottle of alcohol over the tp in the can and then light it?

        • Lauren15787

          yep

  • Anonymous

    if you plan to go to the stores 15 minutes before an attack you might as well roll over and die! you are late to the party! not even fashionably late. just late. L-A-T-E- LATE. you should have gone to the stores before. you should have gotten at leat a years worth of food before. or at least started working towards it. something is better than nothing. think ECOLOGY and you will have a better chance of making it. in regards to bartering…small cans of beenie weanies! small cans of any type of meat is always appreciated. FOOD and SKILLS/SERVICES are the main items of bartering. don’t wanto run out of ammunition? learn how to make bow and arrows.

    • Beverly

      The bow and arrows is a good idea, I am spoiled I need to learn to fish and trap.
      I don’t know how to skin any animals or clean a fish. I will be looking for info on this.

  • J – newbie

    Just thought of another barter item … BREAD!

    I think the main character in the book actually mentions it, but not positive. For all of you who have mastered the skill, might be worth storing some extra bread-making ingredients with the idea of using for barter.

    LOL, won’t do me much good unless emergency conveniently holds off until I learn how!

    • Anonymous

      the main character did refer to it. “my GOD it really was leningrad.” they were putting sawdust in the bread mix as filler. it was a well kept secret.

      • Cherlynn

        don’t know if it’s any secret! to this day in Russia most bread has saw dust in it! They put mushrooms in everything also.

  • learning newbie

    * Do you try to evacuate? Do you stay with your community? I think I’d have stay put (unless I can buy some land to bug-out to and fortify my family there).

    * What stores do you go to, to try and stock up on stuff? We had two “blizzards” last year and people went nuts at the store. I’ve learned to keep 5-8 gallons of milk on hand, and I’ve now got powdered milk to make it go farther (large family). In an EMP attack, I think all commodities not locally produced (medicines included could become tradeable commodities).

    * What last minute items are you going to try and stock up on?
    For short-term shortage it was milk–but right now I’m still shy on my water needs. I guess I’d try and get water supplies (filtration, etc). I’m woefully unprepared on water. I’d try and get a few rain barrels too, as well as lots and lots of ammunition. And more propane for the grill. Oh and vitamins. And something to enclose our garden in and protect it from foragers of all kinds. Sheesh I have a long list. I’m so not ready.

    * What items will be bartering tools that you should have stocked up on?
    Chocolate chips. I figure people will have a sweet tooth at some point… I think I need a bigger variety of tradeable goods though.

    * Should you have gotten it sooner?
    I should have started everything sooner, I might be playing so much catch-up now. I’m seriously thinking about getting/making a solar oven.

    * Do you try to get a bunch of ice? Will it help?
    Dry ice? It might help for a while, but it’s probably not worth the hassle.

    * What are some things you are thinking you should have done? Do them now!
    The list is too long! Solar oven, water, ammo, more powdered milk, etc. So many skills to really learn (pressure canning, hunting, solar/dutch cooking). I need to fill the kids in on our plans too. They only have a vague inkling at the moment.

    * What foods are you going to eat first?
    The ones in my fridge that will spoil fastest.

    * How are you going to extend the perishables you currently have? Put a padlock on the fridge and only I or my hubby can open it. (and we do so w/rapid speed). Not sure if that will really help, but I might buy myself a little time…

    Just read the canning idea though–I think that is an excellent idea–to can what I’ve got.

    It’s interesting to me that this book came out last year, yet some of the reports and warnings about this kind of attack have been out for several years (some soon after 9/11). I read an executive report of the commission to assess the threat to the US that was published in 2004. Just a few months ago, I was visiting the House Gallery at the US Capitol and heard their discussion on a bill requiring stricter security measures against terrorist attacks. (They were requiring the power providers to provide the greater security). I think I recall EMP attacks being mentioned, but 1) It wasn’t clear who was setting up the standards for greater security, 2) what those standards would be, or 3) who would enforce the installation of the security measures in privately and publicly owned companies who provide power?

    BTW, they all agreed on it (both Republican and Democrat), which I tried to tell my kids was pretty significant and unusual.

    The problem is, it’s taken a good six years since the commission’s executive report to do anything, and I’m not entirely sure the measure/bill had any teeth to it so that something will acutally be done…

  • Prepared Teacher

    * Do you try to evacuate? Do you stay with your community? STAY, STAY… too many vehicles staled on the roads and too much to transport if you have stocked up well. Also we all know our homes ( vulnerable entries, exits) etc….

    * What stores do you go to, to try and stock up on stuff? I DON”T, too many people will be crazy at these places ( we have seen it on T.V when hurricanes, floods etc), while others are out at the stores and criminals or looters will be busy in town and not at residences, I am on my way on my bicycle to pick up our daughter who is 20 miles away in another town. ( she is there only because they offer two language learning in the class).

    * What last minute items are you going to try and stock up on? NOTHING, at that time. Right now, everything, I’m working on more food storage, but need to add fuel ( charcoal, propane, wood), more bartering items….the list goes on

    * What items will be bartering tools that you should have stocked up on? alcohol (drinkin), tabacco, gasoline and or diesel, water, food, toilet paper, batteries, wood, seeds ( during season to plant), clothing (for winter), I think almost anything will be wanted by someone somewhere.

    * Should you have gotten it sooner? anything on the internet (recpis, information on living old ways), books on living old ways, water, seeds, wood ( to use to cook and keep warn in our house)

    * Do you try to get a bunch of ice? Will it help? Not worth it, by the time we get there on bikes and back its going to melt. Then there are people who will attack you. Then its not work the money they will charge you, same the cash and deal with it. Ice will only prolong the fridge and freezer foods for a few days.

    * What are some things you are thinking you should have done? Do them now! water and wood. recipe and menus for food storage.

    * What foods are you going to eat first? fridge, freezer, the rest will follow.

    * How are you going to extend the perishables you currently have? rationing, eating serving size ( no pigging out), a fun snack once a week to keep spirits up. good breakfast (need energy to work the land and such), light lunch ( crackers and fruit….) dinner.

    • Prepared Teacher

      Almost forgot CANDLES, CANDLES, OIL LAMPS, MATCHES AND FUEL FOR OIL LAMPS. you need to see at night to read and play games….

  • Cherlynn

    #1 Fall on knees and Thank my Father for knowing ahead of time we needed to be ready. Ask for His guidance to lead us in this new crisis.

    #2 Pull out the coolers and take inventory of the fridge and pack into the coolers what needs to be saved a few days to use up. Put ice block from freezer into coolers.

    #3 Take inventory of the freezer and make plan to use the fridge stuff and then the freezer up next.

    # 4 Say another prayer for any family members away from home that they can make the hike in safety.

    #5 check and take care of livestock.

    #6 Welcome to your new life. Get out the supplies you need for night time, ect and be ready for family coming in from jobs- 14 miles away. No need to panic this is what we’ve been working toward! If ye are prepared ye need not fear!

    • Wanda

      You’re right Cherlynn, #1 and #4 should be our first priorities. His wisdom and peace in the situation will be greatly needed.

  • J – newbie

    In view of my mini freak out by the time we got to family & food protection, I’m going to revise the plan for ‘immediate actions’ so the first item is
    “Do 5-10 minutes of calming meditation while absorbing the new reality (even if it has to be in a bathroom if I’m away from home). Then spend 10 minutes mentally reviewing & possibly revising the next few items in the plan for that type of emergency, all the time doing deep (yoga) breathing. THEN get to it!”
    Think it’s worth the time to do this so subsequent actions are efficient and effective.

    Of course the exception is an earthquake or some other “immediate evacuation” event … in which case it’s grab family & 72-hour kits and beeline out. Then breath to calm down ;-).

  • Hntersmom

    1. dh always told me if something big goes down to head to my mil’s 60 miles away. Im not sure if I would want to because she is in the middle of nowhere(although right by a lake!)

    2.walmart, sam’s, feed store(for seeds)
    3. I need beans, rice, flour, sugar, powdered milk, vitamins…just about everything! I REALLY need to have a supply of my heart med on hand. I had a one month supply at one point but had to use it because we didnt have the $ that month. I really also need to talk to my doctor about how I go about weaning myself off of it if needed so I dont have to quit all at once.
    4. I do have good supply of first aid stuff, shampoo, even diaper wipes(my youngest if potty trained but i keep them). I can also crochet(blankets and hats anyone?)
    5.ice is a headache
    6.i definitely need to do an inventory and run through preps with the kiddos. And brush up on skills. make a notebook or something.
    7.anything fresh in the fridge, then the freezer, then the canned /dry stuff last
    8. extending..well all i cna think of is eating the dogs if we had too

  • Julie K.

    1. I would definitely not evacuate. Being a refugee and depending on others is a bad idea. We would hunker down and work with others. We have enough food storage that there is no way we could transport it.
    2. and 3. I might try to head to our Wal-Mart which I can see form our house to stock up on baby formula (to give away) and vitamins (also to give away). I might also try to get more water filters and bike repair supplies.
    4. I would barter our extra rice, sugar, and wheat. But I am not sure for what just yet.
    5. If things go down, of course, I should have gotten it earlier. I am trying to do a little each month and avoid going into debt for anything.
    6. Ice is so temporary that I wouldn’t bother.
    8. I would probably go through our canned, boxed, and items from the grocery store first and then hit our longer-term storage items like freeze dried foods, rice, and wheat.
    9. I would extend perishable through canning if we have fruits and veggies as well as eating the items in our freezers within the first 3 days.

  • Bonnie

    I would definately stay put if I was home. If not, then I would try and get home. I would try and avoid all stores as that is where everyone will be going. As far as barter items, I think that tobacco, coffee, ammo, medical supplies, and canning supplies will be in great demand along with alcohol.
    For food items, eat from fridge first then freezer. If I have to, I know how to pressure can meats and other non acid foods. Keep canning books on hand!!!

    • J – newbie

      Bonnie, I notice you wrote tobacco rather than cigarettes.

      Reminded me that my grandpa used to “roll his own” from can of tobacco + cigarette papers. LOL, or he’d make up a whole bunch at one time with this little machine — put a long paper in then skinny row of tobacco then “jimmy” it somehow so it rolled itself, and then he’d use a razor blade to cut to right lengths. As a kid, I found it fascinating to watch it happen. Thanks for my smile from the memory :-).

      If canned tobacco is still available, it would stay ‘fresh’ a long time and probably go further so better bartering. Presumably thin paper would work if no one makes cigarette papers any more.

    • J – newbie

      Bonnie, I notice you wrote tobacco rather than cigarettes.

      Reminded me that my grandpa used to “roll his own” from can of tobacco + cigarette papers. LOL, or he’d make up a whole bunch at one time with this little machine — put a long paper in then skinny row of tobacco then “jimmy” it somehow so it rolled itself, and then he’d use a razor blade to cut to right lengths. As a kid, I found it fascinating to watch it happen. Thanks for my smile from the memory :-).

      If canned tobacco is still available, it would stay ‘fresh’ a long time and probably go further so better bartering. Presumably thin paper would work if no one makes cigarette papers any more.

  • Ipreach4god

    1. i definitely stay in place…i have prepped for a bug in situation…between the mountain house foods, canned goods, abundant(as of now) supply of animals in the area and on my small(about 20 animals) farm…i am not leaving unless i have to

    2.i have no intention of having to go to a store…one thing i can say is after i got serious about this…i convinced my wife to do the same…we restock things before they are low and try to shop weekly for anything that we use…i am sure i will be out of something…but it will be a zoo out there…with people not prepping for anything…

    2a.the one thing i fear is not having my sons meds stocked…we try to keep a 3 month inventory on hand, but some meds do not store for long periods…while we also keep a lot of things on hand like antibiotics…that are not in use…we fill prescriptions every month and try to 6 days early…it adds up after a while…also while we are talking about meds…there are a few great vet web sites you can order from that could be used for humans in a pinch…consider it…

    3.i hope that we do not need a last min. item…i rotate 20..55 gal. water barrels every six months…i know they keep longer, but no need…shock and water is cheap….

    4.bartering items…i think i have almost everything people will want…i have food, water, ammo, heat,etc….but in having these…..i hope not to have to barter…one thing i do have is skills…a former Army Ranger…i can protect,defend, and survive…as a former carpenter i can build, as a guy who has learned to work on motors and small engines i can repair…i am now studying photovoltaic cells and wind turbines…when i feel i know enough i will purchase one or both of these …

    5.gotten sooner…more of everything…but i saw an item i had not thought of…Ensure..i am going to add this to my food stores this weekend…along with a lot more Gatorade…these are items i have none of…

    6.ice—–i do not think so…i have a root cellar…i know it is not ideal, but neither is ice…and ice will melt quicker than you think…

    7.things i should have done…more of everything,including adding Ensure to my stores..i have what should last my family of 4 for about 9-10 months…but it is not enough…i want 3 years worth of everything i can

    8.perishables from the freezer…then ration it out from there…i have goats,chickens, and rabbits….i can hunt, fish, and trap…i have beans, rice, wheat, and other items…(also i will hunt both with rifle, shotgun, and archery)

    9.i can now…that helps…but will mainly keep them in the root cellar..where they are now…after all it is a cheap refrigerator….

    • J – newbie

      Thanks for the reminders!

      Archery is a skill I did have, so might be like riding a bike; however, can’t hurt to join archery club to become more proficient. Also need to purchase my own bow/arrows – didn’t keep when we downsized housing, but at least know how to make my own basic arrows.

      Also, my Mom has high blood pressure so need to look into doctor’s office “squeeze bulb” style, since home electric version wouldn’t be any use. Actually thought of that when reading the book – wherein it was lucky they had an old-style strip tester (to replace digital version) for the daughter’s diabetes – but forgot to put it on my ‘must check’ list! J.

  • J – newbie

    Had to share! Not figuring out barter goods was bothering me, but a shopping trip this afternoon gave me one idea 🙂 … CHOCOLATE! Guaranteed to increase in value the longer a situation lasted since most people are at least a bit “chocoholic”, LOL. Easy to store – especially if it’s cans of [Hershey’s] chocolate syrup – and, unless storage area temperature goes off the scale, packages of chippets, baking chocolate, etc. w/extra wrapping would keep fresh for quite a while.

    • Jane

      Just don’t store chocolate anywhere near soap products – it will pick up the flavor of it. And speaking from experience soap flavored chocolate is horrible!

  • Angie

    Reply to Christine-Hammock House and those of you who posted a reply to my question on canning meat from your freezer: I like Christine-Hammock House’s idea of dwindling down the freezer items, I was thinking the same thing. What good would it do me to store alot of extra cooking sources, charcoal, wood,
    propane, and then use it all in 2 days to cook and can all my meat from my large freezer. This hunting season, I think I’ll cook and can more of that meat.
    And besides I think with having so many kids, I will be busy with other things.
    Thanks to all.

  • J – newbie

    More thought-provoking questions! particularly since I really am a “newbie” to becoming prepared – so I’ve answered them all.

    Definitely stay! Our [small] city has been able to retain distinct, functioning, walking-oriented neighbourhoods, each with a number of community-centred organizations and a *lot* of community-minded people. Most also have the basics; e.g. ours has a health centre, pharmacy, grocery stores (one large + a number of corner grocers who focus on local, fresh produce and products), all within about a 20-minute walk for everyone.

    Mostly buy at local large grocery store … they have case lot sales on a wide variety of items on a regular basis throughout the year. Zellers’ for ‘whatever’ that we need to restock when it’s on sale. Dollar store downtown for the “bits”.

    Last Minute Items: Off the top: Water, water, water … Ensure, Ensure, Ensure … and Fuel of whatever type(s) that will work for cooking. Anything else would depend on our on-hand inventory. (Need to give this more thought.)

    Bartering: Right now, not a clue … this one I will be particularly interested to see what everyone else has to say!

    Getting things sooner? No doubt, LOL … but all we can do is our best as much of the time as possible. 🙂

    Ice: Nowhere to store it – apartment living, so only one regular fridge/freezer.

    What are some things you are thinking you should have done? Do them now!
    This one I’ve been thinking about a great deal after reading the 2009 & 2010 Challenges and comments, and our city’s overall preparedness plan!
    1. Have already talked with building manager. She was receptive to a ‘building preparedness’ class (given free by our city) and to the idea of “common items” storage if most are interested and will chip in.
    2. Have an appointment with the city’s Emergency Coordinator to clarify what is already in place for our neighbourhood … and the protocol for putting into use.
    And
    3. Plan to follow that with a [already partly written] proposal to our neighbourhood association and, with their backing, to neighbourhood public facilities, groups and our community paper re a more concentrated – and specific – neighbourhood preparedness plan … or at least enough to plug the holes … a few of which you could drive a truck thru!!

    First foods: Hmmm … probably figure that out once next issue is sorted.

    Extending perishables: Depending on the season and what’s already in the pantry would try to “put up” as much fresh produce/perishables (including meat) as possible. Fuel consumption for this is a potential issue but it sure beats going without the food later or having good food rot!

  • J – newbie

    More thought-provoking questions! particularly since I really am a “newbie” to becoming prepared – so I’ve answered them all.

    Definitely stay! Our [small] city has been able to retain distinct, functioning, walking-oriented neighbourhoods, each with a number of community-centred organizations and a *lot* of community-minded people. Most also have the basics; e.g. ours has a health centre, pharmacy, grocery stores (one large + a number of corner grocers who focus on local, fresh produce and products), all within about a 20-minute walk for everyone.

    Mostly buy at local large grocery store … they have case lot sales on a wide variety of items on a regular basis throughout the year. Zellers’ for ‘whatever’ that we need to restock when it’s on sale. Dollar store downtown for the “bits”.

    Last Minute Items: Off the top: Water, water, water … Ensure, Ensure, Ensure … and Fuel of whatever type(s) that will work for cooking. Anything else would depend on our on-hand inventory. (Need to give this more thought.)

    Bartering: Right now, not a clue … this one I will be particularly interested to see what everyone else has to say!

    Getting things sooner? No doubt, LOL … but all we can do is our best as much of the time as possible. 🙂

    Ice: Nowhere to store it – apartment living, so only one regular fridge/freezer.

    What are some things you are thinking you should have done? Do them now!
    This one I’ve been thinking about a great deal after reading the 2009 & 2010 Challenges and comments, and our city’s overall preparedness plan!
    1. Have already talked with building manager. She was receptive to a ‘building preparedness’ class (given free by our city) and to the idea of “common items” storage if most are interested and will chip in.
    2. Have an appointment with the city’s Emergency Coordinator to clarify what is already in place for our neighbourhood … and the protocol for putting into use.
    And
    3. Plan to follow that with a [already partly written] proposal to our neighbourhood association and, with their backing, to neighbourhood public facilities, groups and our community paper re a more concentrated – and specific – neighbourhood preparedness plan … or at least enough to plug the holes … a few of which you could drive a truck thru!!

    First foods: Hmmm … probably figure that out once next issue is sorted.

    Extending perishables: Depending on the season and what’s already in the pantry would try to “put up” as much fresh produce/perishables (including meat) as possible. Fuel consumption for this is a potential issue but it sure beats going without the food later or having good food rot!

  • Susan

    We would stay put at home on the edge of a semi-rural community, young children attending school 6-10 miles away who could be retrieved on foot if necessary. If we needed to bug out and could find transportation, we might choose to join relatives living in very rural areas 2-4 hours away. We’ve been practicing our skills as well as building our storage the past 3 years…way beyond food/water (gardening from seed with minimal water use, dehydrating, canning, baking bread, installing pellet stoves with battery backup (hardened) & solar recharge for heat, learning to not use A/C in the summer, teaching kids to live/play without electronics).

    In the panic and confusion that would likely follow such an event, I would wish we had more security preparation, more barter items and cash/coins on hand, and more knowledge of how our neighbors would react. We’re known in the neighborhood as preppers/gardeners and I imagine that the unprepared seeking help will be more numerous in our area than more dangerous people roaming urban areas. I’d be glad that we had thought it through ahead of time (no matter how gloomy it seems to think about now).

    I read this book about 12-18 months ago – couldn’t put it down.

  • We would definitely plan on staying put. At this point in time we do not have a bug out location to go to. Unfortunately I have 2 daughters away at college. One is close enough that my ex-husband should be able to go up after her on his motorbike or in his Jeep. I hope he will be able to get her if need be. The other is 2 states away. She has been told to try to get to the nearest military facility as she still has a dependant ID card.
    As for stores, I would probably not go anywhere or if anything just go down to the commissary down the road (5 miles?). We do have a good supply of foods for the 3 of us at home, and I think going down to a store may be more dangerous. Besides, after an EMP, we would be walking and it would be difficult to get the food home.
    Where we live, we are surrounded by lakes, and we have a water filter staged to go. I would use the fridge foods first, then the freezer, then the storage. I have a small green house so would be trying to grow some stuff. We are looking at getting a couple hens for eggs, but they really are not allowed here, so it would have to be under the radar. unfortunately we would not have a rooster even if we managed the hens so it would be difficult to keep up the egg production or grow it any.
    I do can and dehydrate our foods(the dehydrating is a bit more difficult here in the PNW, have to have electricity,,,can’t do solar very well here,,,) we have lakes so maybe we could fish for awhile,,,we have gas stoves and a fire pit outside also a gass grill with some extra fuel for it.
    The big thing we are missing is a way to heat the house. We have a gas furnace and no real fireplaces, only gas, so after the gas is shut off we will be in trouble there. That is something we have on our want to correct list, but it will take some time to save up the money for a wood burning stove.

    • Gina

      We live in a North Dakota, so we have very long and cold winters. We couldn’t afford to get a wood stove in our home yet. We purchased a “portable wood stove” (search it on the internet. They run around $200, but you can purchase one at an army surplus store for cheaper possibly. It would only heat one room, and you can vent the piping out window. It all packs down, weighs about 18 – 20 pounds so you could take it with if you had to leave. They can be converted as well to run on various types of fuel. But we just have ours to burn wood.

      • J – newbie

        Gina, thanks very much for mentioning your portable wood stove because none of our activities resulted in a need to be aware of this type of equipment.

        Took your suggestion and did a ‘Net search! It’s much more like a small [old style] cook stove than I would have expected when thinking “portable” and “stove”. And the pack-it-up-and-go aspect is really impressive.

        Portable, versatile and reasonable priced … doesn’t get much better, so thanks again. 🙂

  • Angie

    I see several people saying they would can their meat that is left in the freezer so it won’t spoil. But, how would you do it if the electricity is out for those of you who don’t have gas stoves? On an open fire, or maybe coleman stove with extra gas? Thanks.

    • Melissa

      I was leaning on the side of using my pit with fire to do this or a coleman stove that runs on propane

      • Rise’

        I practiced canning using my Coleman stoves this summer. It works great!

    • I know you can use the Coleman stoves or other camping stoves, I’ve seen others do it. I also know of others who have wood stoves that can with no problems. If you have a BBQ grill, you can use that, if it has side burners even better! :o)

    • I know you can use the Coleman stoves or other camping stoves, I’ve seen others do it. I also know of others who have wood stoves that can with no problems. If you have a BBQ grill, you can use that, if it has side burners even better! :o)

    • I bought a dutch oven and some charcoal, and my hubby said we could do something as simple as foil dinners like he did at scout camp.

  • Jlbt67

    Fortifying your home: (1) Own a gun, have plenty of ammo, and know how to use it. (2) Have a safe/secret place to hide in your house…false wall in a celler, attic, or closet. (Thousands of people survived the Nazis doing this.)…also hide your food should you be forced to leave your home. (again, false walls work well.) (3) Secure windows and doors to allow only one means of entrance into house. Have that entrance in a place that can be protected from behind a wall or section of furniture. Shooting the first looter that walks through that door will greatly discourage anyone behind him. (4) Have a Safe room to sleep in. Board up any windows in that room (a well hidden escape hatch through the window is recommended). Have trip wires (clear fishing line) around the house with a small bell or other device attached to it. (You don’t want any surprises while you are sleeping….of course a rotating guard duty is recommended.) Although this might sound like over-kill, FEMA has addressed this issue. There are over 1000 criminal biker gangs in the U.S. They are highly organized, better armed than any law enforcement agency, and will ravage communities as they criss-cross the country. Think outside the box. (An ex-Green Beret)

  • Jlbt67

    Not a good idea to evacuate unless you have a well secured, well stocked retreat to go to. You will not be able to drive (unless you have a pre 1980’s auto).. There will be millions of stalled cars blocking the roads. Once the criminal element realizes what has happened (and law enforcement will be nil) they will see any moving vehile as a prize (people evacuating will have their food and valuables with them). They will be an easy target via road blocks, etc. Evacuatibg by bike is totally impracticle….can’t carry extra clothes, food, etc….again, an easy target. Best to stay put and concentrate on fortifying the home for the possible coming onslought of looters, etc.

  • CrazyFarmGirl

    I thought I would run through each question. Would I evacuate? No. I live in the country and my parents live nearby, so my intentions are to take care of them as well as my family. I homeschool, so I am with my child most of the time. Unfortunately, my husband’s job is an hour away and he often works out of state. I would have to plan on taking care of things at home without him. Not a pleasant thought, but realistic. I live 15 miles from town, so buying items last minute is not an option. I haven’t really put much thought into bartering, but I do have a good supply of soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and of course food! We have a garden and I have chickens, a milk cow, and a few calves. Ice, I’m out of luck. I need to practice canning meat – don’t want to have to learn a new skill in an emergency situation. I am comfortable with my pressure cooker, so that’s a plus. The food in our freezer would need to be canned to extend our food for a much longer period. I have recently gone through my food storage room and dated everything with a Sharpie so that the dates are easy to read. I need to make a binder with the recipes that would be required so that anyone in the family could cook with the stored food.

  • Rise’

    The only thing that makes sense for us is to stay here. This is where our food stores are as well as our guns and ammo… all our tools, etc.

    I would also get as much ice as possible as well as fuel and powdered gatorade particularly if it is hot. I would also stock up on caffeinated products as caffeine is a natural treatment for migraines and my daughter who has a rare brain disease suffers from excruciating headaches – you can’t stock up on narcotics – so natural treatments would be all there is (guess I should get out and buy some coffee this week!).

    For bartering – ammunition will be key. Also, garden seeds and tools, and medicines. And yes… I wish I would have started prepping 10 yrs ago instead of this past summer. Procrastination is our worst enemy.

    We will eat what’s in the fridge and then the freezer. I have been laying in pickling salt and reading up on preserving meat like that. Our native ancestors hung meat out to dry… so will I. I would also can what’s in the freezer so I need to always have a stock of empty jars and lids! This does take some water so the minute I know something has hit the fan I would fill those canners (as well as anything else I can get my hands on) to supplement water storage. Eventually the water pressure will become non-existent. That reminds me to buy another rain barrel or two!

    • Angie

      My husband still does this meat hanging thing!! He cuts it into strips, salts it, and hangs it. Makes jerky, you can do it with fish also. Thanks, I actually forgot about that when posting above about anyone knowing how to can without electricity. We will have meat hanging all over my house, not just in the garage like usual during hunting season. Stock up on salt and vinegar, string, and clothes pins. Thanks.

  • Jeanna Catena

    Along with the list of items to store and prepare for now, I came to the realization that there are other things I need to do also. For example, I’m horrible at keeping up on my laundry. I tend to put it off until we need something to wear, then do a laundry marathon. Once done, I fall into the same old rut of putting off the laundry.

    I’ve now made a new commitment to keep up on my laundry. Should something like this happen, I certainly don’t want my first thought to be…”Oh no, we don’t have anything to wear tomorrow”. That would be added stress and an initial strain on the resources available. Of course laundry will become an issue, but it doesn’t need to be “the very first issue” that we might encounter.

    Now I’m off to print all of my recipes (yes, my washing machine & dryer are running at the moment *grin*) so that I have a hard copy of them. Also, my food storage records need to be printed. I am proud to say that our family’s emergency plan, contact info and all information needed, should we have to evacuate, has already been printed and placed in a general location, as well as a copy in each “To Go” Bag (72 hour kit) that is easily accessible to all.

    This book certainly gave me a new way of looking at my food storage and preparedness. It was an eye-opener and a major motivator for me. Thanks Jodi & Julie for making this group read a reality!

    • Ipreach4god

      because of the laundry issue, we recently purchased a hand washer from Provident pantry(i think)…it is a little smaller than what i would like…but it will work…also, i am not sure of your location, but we also have a lake on the property so we could alway go the old fashioned way and wash on the rocks…

    • I know what you mean by not wanting to worry about the house (in your case laundry). When a wild fire came close to our house and we had to prepare to evacuate all I could think is that I wish my house was somewhat clean. I just knew if I had to evacuate for several days I would not want to return to a messy, chaotic house.

  • I think we would probably stay in our community ( it would actually depend on what is happening ).

    Living in ‘hurricane’ country, we always stock up extra just in case of everything, including starting to make bags and bottles of extra ice, but that would absolutely be one of the things I would try to get more of. I know with Hurricane Andrew, and then Charley, Francis and Jeanne in 2004, ice was a precious commodity.

    Last minute items would probably be, extras of matches, charcoal, propane, gas, lamp oil – oh, and extra toilet paper! ;o)

    Bartering: well, relying again on Andrew, I’d have to say, ice, coffee, cigarettes, chocolate, sodas, canned fruit… there is more, but can’t think right now.

    Should I have gotten stuff sooner, always. Double and triple what you think you might need, trust me, it will get used!

    Absolutely stock up on ice – you can even put it in your washing machine (top load) to help preserve food if need be.

    As far as food to be eaten first, stuff in the refrigerator – then freezer, then home and stored canned, as well as dehydrated and freeze-dried foods we have.

    I dehydrate and pressure (as well as steam and water bath) can a lot of meats, veggies and fruits (as well as spices and herbs) – so I would probably do that for what’s in freezer. But have been trying to dwindle freezer items down, so I don’t have to worry about it.

  • It is important to reiterate that if an EMP were to occur, electronics would cease to exist.

    This blog and any Internet resources all of a sudden go away. There is no Wikipedia or Preparedness site to go learn from at that point.

    What you have to date, knowledge or stored in your home, is where your starting point is.

    If you do not know that an EMP takes our your cell phone, car starter, and any type of walkie talkie or electronics device, than it is a serious and steep learning curve to start from for many.

    The term prepper or survivalist no longer apply to the latest group of folks who are becoming aware in life for being self-sufficient.

    This is why I love that this blog posted the topic. Being prepared for any type of scenario, small to big is not only realistic, but likely to occur during our lives.

    Have a plan, be it for small or big, but have that plan in place and practice for it!

    • Angie

      Thanks Brian. We homeschool and literally have hundreds of books. I was thinking to downsize our bookshelves again but I think I’ll keep all those resource books. We have books on preparing wild game, outdoor survival, you name it, we have it! A good place to pick up books that will help you in a situation like this is a library sale, or a thrift store. They are cheap and plentiful.

      • J – newbie

        Angie, thanks for the reminder about resource books! We downsized a huge amount of books as well as ‘stuff’ when we downsized housing … time to start selectively adding back.

        FYI to all – while we still have the ‘Net 😉 – there are a number of web sites that offer books in the public domain (i.e. no longer under copyright). Quite a few on gardening, *all* aspects of homemaking incl. family health care, plus farm-oriented from late 1800s and early 1900s. A bit tedious to read since they’re even more wordy than me 😉 but sure do have tremendous amounts of common sense and ‘making do with little’ advice.

    • Ipreach4god

      one thing i started doing last summer was printing as many articles as i could that i found to be info i didn’t know already…i have 4 three ring binders full now and working on a fifth…it is a great point to make

      • Abmiller

        I would be interested to know what your favorite websites are that you printed from and what categories your binders cover? Where do I even begin? Thanks for your help!

  • Very interesting post, and I’m glad you are inspiring some discussion.

    Ensuring family is secure and safely bugged in our home is highest priority on my list.

    The “Get Home Bags” are likely to have been used for the first time, so there may be some regrets not pushing wife to have done a trial from a reasonable distance sooner.

    We would conquer and divide across multiple topics as a family. It is critical at this early phase with a incredible learning curve of book reading and reference material for the wife.

    Taking note of what you have and do not have comes immediately afterward. Check lists for needs, overstock, bartering, etc.

    Community networking for awareness and safety comes next, if possible. Considering backup options is also to be considered if you have to bug-out to another locale.

    Integrated Circuit Boards for electronics will not work, so most communication methods will not work. Word of mouth and how good your relationships are with people now comes into play.

    Knowledge is power, and training or awareness is all important. One can never, ever be too prepared for man-made or natural disasters.

    • Ipreach4god

      i am not sure of what your family looks like, but i have bug out bags for each of us in each vehicle…i carry the biggest, the wife a smaller and both kids have even smaller…we live where there is bad weather and i change bug out bags in the winter and summer so my gear is relevant to the season…

  • how to preserve the freezer? dehydrate or can it!–mercedes

  • Lovie

    I read this book about 3 weeks ago and I must say it just about made me come unglued. I was really depressed for about 2 weeks. Prior to reading it, I had been a little ho-hum with my food storage but since have become gung-ho.I am trying not to become frantic about it though.

    If something like this were to happen, we would stay at home or try to get there if we were away. We live in a rural area and like most folks out here, we don’t really know our neighbors. That should probably change. Everyone is very self-sufficient.

    We would eat all the refrigerated stuff first of course. I am stock-pileing canning supplies so I can up my freezer stuff if I have to.

    What are some ideas for some things that would be good to barter? My husband makes wine and I am thinking some folks might trade for a little “fruit of the vine” 🙂 Why not?

    I am working on getting tools together that will allow for a reasonalbe level of comfort. Alternate ways of cooking, preserving food, maybe some mosquito netting for the summer months. etc.

    • Npp1966

      oohh mosquito netting good idea!!!!

  • Npp1966

    1. will probably end up sheltering in place. if you haven’t made it to your bug out location before emp hits it most likely won’t be feasible to try and leave your area.
    2. pharmaceuticals of any kind especially antibiotics
    3. what ever can catch my eye food, matches, batteries, fuel
    4. toilet paper, cigarettes, coffee, toiletry items, alcohol
    5. can never have enough and usually not enough money on hand to get it before you need it.
    6. grab ice if you can will give you a simple pleasure for a few days
    7. more of everything water, fuel, food, etc
    8. start with frig and work on freezer food
    9. don’t know if you’d be able to extend perishables by much. to try and preserve would use a lot of fuel might be better to gorge on what is on hand.

  • my family’s first order of business is that every nuclear family reunites itself. if there is radiation then we have to take cover. in our situation, if there is radiation we would have to shelter in a public building with deep basements. i showed my dh the cache i made in the even that it’s needed. his jaw dropped at the site of it. i plan to use personal hygiene items for bartering (dental hygiene, soaps, combs, pads, etc…) these items should REALLY have been gotten A LOT SOONER than a quarter to bomb time! it does not hurt to get a bunch of ice. if you have a pool with cold water use that! pioneers used to keep their canned goods in root cellars, lakes and ponds. i plan to eat refridgerated food first, followed by the frozen food. when they have either been eaten or spoiled then i will go on to canned goods. if i know my food will spoil before it’s eaten i will consider sharing in a safe way. i will definitely consider starting a stone soup in the neighborhood. i will make sure the garden is in full swing. i live in cali and the growing season is definitely longer. also there are veggies that can be grown year round. first veggie to grow will be veggies that need a shorter time to grow—radishes anyone?—mercedes

  • Savingsqueen

    I left my stinking response on facebook sorry, my bad , I in the right place now.
    Melissa

  • I would not leave, I would be very low profile though….Lister diesel generator in the basement vented out barely makes any noise. Off grid heat….ukon m1950 packable multi fuel stove with white fuel burns with almost NO fumes or smell….. undetectable and portable and you can cook on it. In an emergency animal hospitals and feed stores are often overlooked and a good place for grains and even dog food ( it is edible) also for antibiotics, medical supplies, and SEEDS. COLLECT AND STORE SEEDS…. good bargaining tool. I dehydrate almost everything I have because it is light and I can store more without using electric….. I also have my own well and a rain water collection system.

    • Jeanna Catena

      Yes, I agree about the Vet idea. I would much rather eat the dog food than our family dog. I say this lightly, but there were two very real scenes in the book where the family pets had to be eaten for survival. One where they gave the dog to another family and lastly a daughter was fed a family pet solely for her survival. Not a pleasant thought, but according to the story…a very realistic one.

      • Pippie00044

        I’m sorry there would be no way I would give away my pets nor eat them, I would harm anyone who tried to do so, they are too much like family to me, it would be like eating my child. No way would i do it even if I was starving.

        • Midnightmom

          I’ve never been that hungry either, but……………….if stranded/starving people are willing to eat each other (historic incidences), I’m sure they (me??) would have no hesitation in eating an animal.

  • melissa

    I don’t think I would evacuate unless I felt I couldn’t protect my family. I would rush down to the small store store down the road, I think the local walmart’s would be getting cleaned out. Last minute items, whatever is left in the store. Hopefully, I’ll have everything on hand already but will grab extra of whatever I can get, especially butane, candles, matches and others stuff for lighting. Cooking oil would be on my list too.

    Once I fully realize that the electricity isn’t coming back on, I will start canning my meat from my freezer so it doesn’t go bad or have to be consumed immediately.

    I’m sorry if I’m not doing well in this discussion. It’s my first book discussion. 🙂

    • Michelle

      Love the canning the meat idea. I’ve only seen a U-Tube video of it being done before. Guess I should probably make sure I print the instructions and add them to my “good stuff to know” binder.

      • melissa

        Good idea, I should do that too.

        I read about doing that to the freezer food in “Putting Food By” (if I’m remembering the name of it correctly). I’ll check it out to be sure and post it if I’m wrong.

      • I can meat all the time, it really is a great way to preserve it, and, it makes it sooooo easy to use it! :o) (Because I use broths and stock when I can, it makes the meat so moist and super flavorful – we actually prefer using our canned ground meat more than just cooking it up fresh!)

        Make sure that you get a Ball Blue Book canning guide, and I’ll be honest I also always turn to one other book: Growing and Canning Your Own Food, by Jackie Clay. I purchased mine through:

        http://www.backwoodshome.com/store/files/jc01.html

        When I can, those two books are always right near by. :o)

      • Canned Meat, Fish, Chicken, or Pork is an incredible way to store for your pantry longer term.

        We are getting ready to begin pressure canning some cube meat this winter. Can’t wait!

        My understanding is that it isn’t pretty to look at, but it sure tastes incredible in a stew.

        Brian

      • Acbmindy

        Right before I sat down to read this I just canned 10 lbs of chicken! Now I’m wishing it had been more as the price was $1.69/lb for boneless/skinless chicken breasts! VERY easy…put in clean, sterilized jars, add 1/4 tsp salt, pressure can at 11 lbs pressure for 90 minutes. Perfect for enchiladas, casseroles or my favorite…chicken salad sandwiches!

    • melissa

      I’ve been thinking of something else that is a very common item that everyone should start collecting and that’s water filters. (Berkey would be nice but so expensive) I’m thinking more along the lines of brita or pur water filters. Picking up a few packs here and there. Again, I know they aren’t as good as Berkey but they do help remove contaminates. Just a thought.

      • Melissa,

        For the type of scenario here to occur, your average water filter is not going to be able to filter local ponds, streams, etc.

        Remember, an EMP is going to likely knock out any controllers down at your local Water Treatment Station, so the Diesel Generators are either going to run for a short period or shut off very soon thereafter.

        Investing in an Big Berkey Water Filter is nice to have, but a more practical approach to consider is a Katadyn Pocket Filter, which can do up to 13,000 Gallons of local pond or stream water.

        Just some food for thought 🙂

        Brian

        • Melissa

          I have a pond in my front yard. I’m sure bacteria and such will grow in it but at least I would know that there are no chemicals or sewage being dumped in it. I would use the small filters as an only sanitizing device. I would also boil it. Just thinking they are small and would be a great addition to boiling, possibly removing some of the dirty look. How would the pocket Katadyn do a better job? What process does it use that is different than the other filters? Does it use a special element not in the others?